Notice: Since February of 2019, this website has seen very erratic drops in search engine referrals. So if you consider the information on this page to be worthwhile, I recommend posting a link to the page where you can. Otherwise it is unlikely that it is going to reach very many people. For more on that, see About Dave Conklin.net. 2/23/20, last rev 10/14/21.
The story behind this page: Back in 2010, I posted a series of pages titled, A Tale of Two Cities, which was a metaphorical reference to the United States and the course it has been on for the last 60 years, or so. I eventually replaced them with the this page (Dave for Pres) in 2018, but taking a second look at A Tale of . . . , the pages might have a certain merit all their own, so I decided to repost them, for posterity. The only change I have made to it since 2014 is that I condensed all three pages into one.
For a take on current events, go here: Dave's Daily Blog
Dave for President of the United States
I certainly hope no-one takes me seriously about this—the part about Dave for President—it just seemed like an efficient vehicle for conveying my thoughts. Anyway, here is what I would do (or try to do) as president, i.e., my “platform.” A couple items might sound like science fiction, specifically a sunlight-to-hydrogen economy and genetically modified babies, but I do believe the groundwork for such concepts has been laid. If it seems unlikely that such things could be acheived in even an eight-year term, I would point out we landed on the moon just eight years and two months after JFKs 1961 moon speech.
1/01/2023: Recently, nearly four years after creating this page, I came to the realization that one particular entry (was #19, now #4) regarding a constitutional amendment declaring the Bill of Rights as rights of the individual rights against any sort of intrusion, probably rendered four earlier entries regarding privacy and the 4th Amendment redundant. So I decided it was high-time to reorganize my entire platform, now loosely arranged by priority.
1 A new constitutional amendment providing for an election to be held late in the year preceding every presidential election year, allowing voters to choose two political parties from a maximum ten political parties. The ten political parties will be chosen by the online petition of registered voters to their respective Board of Elections or Sec. of State, to be tallied at a set date preceding the election into a national total. The ten parties with the highest number of signers will be selected for the ballot. And no one will decide or define what constitutes a viable political party except the voters. The two parties, and only the two parties, with the highest number of votes will then choose candidates for the upcoming caucus, primaries, and for any Congressional seat for the next four years; No party will elect, appoint, or promote any official representative or candidate prior to the party election, rather presenting their platform online, in written form; And all US citizens will be guaranteed the right to choose which of the two parties they can vote for during the caucus and/or primary elections on voting day.
2 Ensure that government agencies such as the EPA, FCC, and CPB are working for us and not “them.”
3 Restore the Glass-Steagall act and continue pushing for the restoration of other consumer/economic safeguards that have been methodically removed over the last 50 years or so. Deregulation was a big contributer to the recession in 2008-10. Clearly, there are those who would continue to push us down the same path and would like to completely dismantle the safe haven for savers/investers which the Glass-Steagall act helped to create. Some of their deregulatory fiddling was reversed by Dodd-Frank (which is under attack), but I would push for more. revised 8/11/23
4 Push for a US constitutional amendment verifying unequivocally that all civil liberties, including the 1st amendment, are rights of the individual, against any possible private sector, as well as governmental, restrictions or intrusions, with the only exceptions being those involving national security secrets, handling of WMDs (4th A), the safety of many (4th A); and that any monopolies or collusions that threaten those rights be subject to timely breakup; and that no subjective exceptions, such as the words “hate speech,” be included in any interpretation of freedom of speech; and that no type of language spoken or penned by an adult citizen that does not blatantly call for physical harm, or involve deceptive authorship, be subject to removal when conducted in proper public circles; and that no physical checkups be conducted unless associated with the safety of many, and never in an unscheduled fashion unless a justifiable reason exists. This proposal, however, is in no way meant to supersede common law regarding liable, slander, divulging of trade secrets, or copyrights etc. Added 2/21/22, rev 1/01/23, 1/01/23, 9/01/23: A page I put together regarding the erosion of constitutional rights and privacy and what can be done about it: what comes after
5 Push for a constitutional amendment to abolish corporate personhood once and for all and ensure absolute transparency regarding all “dark money” currently being funneled into the US election process. There are those who argue that it is up to the individual to separate fact from fiction, and any such laws would be condescending, which is a good point, but truth tellers can also be drowned out by big money interests. Some degree of balance must be restored. And then, of course, there is the disparity in lobbying resources between big money and the average citizen, which never seems to get fully resolved. added 7/14/19
6 Instead of attempting to appease US corporations with any more lower tax rates, tell them if they do not bring their profits back to the US, declare them, and pay their fair share of taxes on them, they will no longer be allowed to do business in the United States. (The United States is a huge market. If they want to take their business and product elsewhere, I’m sure there will be someone else more than willing to move up and take their place). Incidentally, after doubling between 2008 and 2014, a 2016 estimate put the amount stored in offshore tax havens by US corporations at 2.1 trillion, resulting in a total tax deferment of $620 billion. One can only guess what the amount currently is. rev 11/12/21
7 Institute a personal tax structure more like the highly prosperous mid-twentieth century, when the wealthiest paid a much higher percentage than they do now, and use that revenue to lower cost burdens that have been shifted to the middle class, such as rebuilding our infrastructure, higher education, etc. Also create a graduated tax curve--one that does not clobber a person the moment they make over the poverty level with the same rate as the wealthiest, minus all the loopholes--one that then increasesexponentially for extremely high income earners, with the goal of decreasing the likelihood of individuals having a few spare millions lying around to spend on lobbyists and/or election campaigns, or just plain taking the country's wealth from the people and giving it to themselves, other countries, and bankers etc. rev 11/08/20, 1/01/23, 7/09/23
8 Stand up to the oil and coal industry and make energy independence for the US a top priority with emphasis on solar energy to hydrogen research. Once there is no need whatsoever for the US to run trade deficits (which have "taxed" the American people, US farmers included, since 1975 to the tune of some 6.25 TRILLION dollars as of July 2018) and perpetuate dollar hegemony, tariffs will be implemented to correct trade imbalances, counteract unfair trade practices and offshoring etc. A key part of this is to ensure that the bulk of solar technology is manufactured here, and not China, to help offset job loss. added 8/03/18
9 Implement a single-payer health system, and relegate the existing health insurance industry to a much less prominent role. The trick will then be to keep any social-nanny-type restrictions designed to protect the individual from him or herself from creeping in. Modern medicine has gotten very complex and sophisticated and continues to do so, while the population is growing older. The US needs a health care system that is as simple, streamlined, and cost efficient as it can possibly be; not the disjointed, complicated mess it currently is. As large a country as the United States is, it could be the best and the most efficient in the world, by far, as opposed to the least efficient. rev 5/26/19, 6/22/19, 8/07/2020, 11/08/20
10 Make sure the US has a well funded and unhindered genetic research program (unhindered by any goofy restrictions on stem cell research, or embryonic stem cell research, etc.) with the goal of engineering people who are—on average—more intelligent, healthier, have longer lifespans, are less superstitious, and are less violent. This may require genetic samples of many thousands or even millions of people, and the collection of personal data, all of which should be completely voluntary.
11 Make any such discoveries and the gene splicing technology (potentially the greatest tool mankind could ever utilize - if used wisely) necessary to implement it available to the entire planet, and indeed to every person on the planet, so that any couple on earth—regardless of social status—can select the latest and best DNA sequences for their child. (The DNA sequences—a very small percentage of the human genome—would be added to their own to create a unique embryo.)
12 Outlaw the use of credit score to discriminate against any job applicant, and make sure its only legal use is as a tool for banks in the money lending process. A few states have already passed their own laws to this effect, but a national one is needed.
13 In the near term, strengthen the US-Mexican border to stave off any rapid influx of people that may strain health care and other tax-based resources, affect wages and the job market for certain US citizens, include some very bad guys, and cause a very unfair situation for those who do respect international borders. Then set a date for any crackdown on any new violaters, as opposed to implementing some Naziesque retroactive campain against long-term illegals. (A more extensive border wall should have been constructed many years ago.)
14 Beyond restoring Glass-Steagall, update the rules for banking practices. We all know the shady practices that some banks and credit unions do that penalize the poor: account maintenance fees designed to steal a person’s last dollar so they can impart an overdraft fee on top of that when the account holder writes that bad check, or charging outrageous fees to mail a monthly statement that probably does not cost the bank more than 1st class postage, with the only other option for receiving a statement being to purchase the latest computing device that supports a browser that supports the latest encryption algorithms—all of which requires an internet connection, of course; which exposes their new device to malware and viruses. And then you have some credit card companies and loan agencies still getting away with "murder." An update of Federal rules regarding such practices is long overdue. Such laws at the Federal level would level the playing field for all banks and businesses.
15 New law: With rare exception, all new non-consumable products sold in the US must be in good working condition after ten years of use, unless damaged by “catastrophe” or obvious misuse. Articles of clothing: five years. Purchasers of products that have failed within their respective time frame will then be able to take the product to a branch of the Consumer Protection Agency for a quick inspection to determine the cause of failure. If cumulative data indicates a product prone to failure due to poor quality or a manufacturer’s defect, the manufacturer (specifically the individuals running the company at the time the defective products were made) will then face fines imposed by the CPA and possibly be responsible for refuding all or part of the purchase price to the purchasers. added 1/17/20, rev 11/16/20, 1/21/21
16 Make sure all search engines are severed and independent entities from any web content that they refer to, possessing no vested interest whatsoever in said content, so that they and their operators remain wholly neutral and utilize search algorithms that direct to the best and most relevant information first while excluding nothing. added 2/21/22
17 Restore and enforce the constitutionally guaranteed rights against search and seizure that have been steadily eroding ever since Ronald Reagan’s communistic drug czar, Carlton Turner, began his assault on them. Under my watch, if any US citizen who has lived in this country for 50 years or more, or who was born in the US to parents who have lived in the US 50 years or more, is ever searched without probable cause, including that citizen’s personal property, vehicle or land etc. (excepting emergency situations), at any location inside the US, a US territory, or at any point of entry, the employment of the person who executed or ordered the search will be immediately terminated if a US government employee. 4th amendment violations by the private sector, as well as all levels of law enforcement, will result in fines or possible prosecution. added 7/14/19, rev 9/05/23
18 Mandate that all phone service providers and phone manufacturers devise a way for anyone with a landline, cellphone, smartphone etc. to be able to block calls simply and easily from their phone much like many email services. Enough of this nonsense! The phone system has been digitized for years; phones have been digitized for years; emails can be blocked via a simple program; so why can’t I easily block certain numbers from ever coming through in the first place? Answer: so phone solicitors, bill collectors and crooked bill collectors, along with any manner of other crooks, can harass you. The blocked calls would be diverted to an answering service so the caller could not ascertain that the number has been blocked. added 1/01/23, rev 6/23/23
Note from the future: Congratulations, I was elected and managed to accomplish my entire list. You, the lower eighty percent of the US population, who voted me in office have now reclaimed much of the wealth that you were tricked (again and again) into handing over to the top 20% (with emphasis on the top 1% or fraction thereof). Your elected officials are now much more likely to listen to you and affect policies that will benefit you, as opposed to only benefitting the corporate elite. While humanity is still divided among races and creeds, there is not near the racism that once persisted. No one can now point to a specific race and claim it to be any more devious, or more prone to violence, than any other. Population control can now be calmly and intellectually discussed. The USs bloated financial sector has been deflated, while much of the domestic manufacturing lost to offshoring has returned, restoring the US to a more self-sufficient production-based economy; a tax scheme, and social credit scheme based on GDP, have been implemented to offset any rapid job loss that may arise due to automation and other factors and ensure that the excess proceeds from all that increased productivity by the young continues providing for the older generations, as opposed to providing for super-rich corporations and super-rich individuals; a strong border is becoming less and less important because all countries of the world are elevating their own societies; the colossal annual pile of tossed-out defective products has diminished; and the US no longer has a trade deficit, allowing a return to the gold standard—a tool to combat inflation, and (ironically enough) a deterrent against trade deficits. Environmental pollution is decreasing rapidly, as fossil fuels have largely been replaced by a sunlight-to-hydrogen economy. And lastly, the threat of nuclear war is something taught only in the history books. last rev 12-20-21
Note from the present: Sorry, but the scenario described above is never going to happen in a million years because there are enough bought-off elected officials at both the state and Federal level to ensure that none those items listed in my platform will ever happen. Due to the collision of population and climate swing, human society will descend further into chaos and authoritarian rule.
End note, some advice: Watch out for false prophets—those who would read articles like this and pretend to be a champion of the people, when all they really plan to do is trick you out of the little actual wealth you have left. (Gee, who could Dave be referring to?) No one has a crystal ball to see in the future, of course, and I did not vote for either Presidential candidate last election (2016), but if Mr. Sanders had been on the ballot, my vote would have gone to him.
5/25/18: Whenever you post something on the Internet, you never know if anyone is going to read it or not. I was therefore a bit taken aback by the sudden surge of interest in the recent advances in genetic engineering such as CRISPR so shortly after posting this page. In the original introduction, I used the words designer babies, which I quickly changed to genetically modified . . . I regret using the word designer, as it implies couples ordering up specific genetic traits for their child such as blue eyes or blond hair. I do not support the concept at all; in fact, quite the opposite: I think any genetic changes beyond what is critically necessary to improve health, and mental health, should be avoided to ensure genetic diversity. Secondly, I think it very important that the latest treatment package be available to every human being regardless of social status. In other words, the richest person in the world and the poorest Siberian eskimoe alike would have access to the same genetic upgrades for their child at any given time. I think any other scenario could, and no doubt would, be socially devastating.
For more on the subjects of censorship and genetic
uplift, I put together a special page:
8/09/21 In March of 2021, I received the third economic stimulus payment. I had cashed the first two checks, but I decided things had gone too far, and at some point, you have to grow up and practice what you preach. So I promptly sent a letter to the new secretary of the treasury, Janet Yellen, telling her exactly what she could do with the third payment. (Well, you want to be a public servant, you have to be prepared for some flak). I am not accepting the payment because, of course, it is only “funny money” sent out by a government that does not have the money to begin with. I sent the letter because I received the payment in the form of a debit card, rife with potential fees, and yet another gift to the banking industry, as if all the stimulus money in their coffers was not enough.
If you have read my platform, then you probably know how I feel about plastic cards, so I will take this opportunity to elaborate: Suffice to say that, in addition to the invasion of privacy and extortion issues that occur when they are forced on people, and indeed they are . . . the rise in popularity of the credit card (more lines of credit) is one of those few things that, in my view, the American public did to help create the present situation, of which there are many names for, plutocracy, corporatocracy, or technocracy being a few popular ones, but if I had to pick the best description, it would be, a nation of debt slaves. And I certainly do not think it is what the founding fathers of the United States had in mind . . . To put it bluntly: The more personal debt the public has taken on, the more corrupt and powerful the bankers, corporations, corporate executives, and government have become, to the point of the public losing jobs, wealth, quality infrastructure, and democracy. revised 9/01/23
So for the US treasury to be passing out credit cards, in my view, only epitomizes the US government’s collusion (democrats and republicans) in this trickle-up, democracy-subverting scheme that rewards the richest and our bloated financial sector while penalizing everyone else. And I think a good analogy to the person overseeing the program—in this case, Janet Yellen—is the financial-world equivalent of El Chapo passing out free crack vials to half the country. And not only does it promote the idea that multiple lines of credit are a necessity for Joe citizen to maintain some basic standard of living, I also suspect there are other agendas, such as a cashless society (see what comes after)
Lastly, to be an armchair president for a moment, I think President Biden should have at least requested that anyone not-in-absolute-need-of-the-stimulus-payment not accept the payment. Just how many would have listened, I don’t know.
References: I actually came across the following
after I had
written all of the above, so not really a reference but a good
article that covers the same general subject, only a
little more analytically.
2/19/24 State of the Union
Democracy in the US
So the form of government we have here in the United States is not a true democracy. It is really sort of half-way between a true democracy and a communist social-nanny state. And much of our government is set up to protect minorities. This is all may be rightfully so, but I have come to the conclusion that the democracy aspect needs a proverbial “shot in the arm.” As voters, we need a better way to switch gears.
So I added my party-election idea to my “platform,” and set it at number one in the list. (Things really are just that bad.) Forget this idea of predetermined candidates, simply because they are in office, or they are Vice President, etc., or because just enough people support them in the only other major political party to make them the only candidate you can realistically vote for to get rid of the other guys. We, the people, need a greater ability to switch gears and make a point regarding the direction we would like to see the country go in without having to vote for the individuals we are “stuck with.” In my opinion, we need a better democracy, not a worse democracy, and we will probably have to fight for it. So let’s get to it.
The upcoming presidential election
Well, no one with half a brain who has lived on this planet a while probably needs me to point this out to them, but in regards to presidential elections—like a graph depicting the average temperature of the earth—the overall trend seems to be upwards on the silly scale, and this one really takes the cake. What we need, of course, is a political party/candidate that focuses on the few sound-economic ideas that Trump has championed, and the few Biden have championed, and dumps everything else, because both have been a complete disaster in regards to “everything else.” Without a better way to “switch gears,” I suppose we only have one choice this time around, and that is to vote for a third-party candidate, and hope that this election becomes the first year that the extremists that have taken over both the republican and democratic parties are toppled. My recommendation—the reform party.
The eternal Israel-Palestine conflict
So, as an agnostic myself, I especially don’t like it when any group attempts to force others to comply with their wishes based on religious doctrine. But when it comes to the Al-Aqsa mosque, this is something that was part of land occupied by Muslims of the Ottoman Empire for generations. And if there is anything the Palestinians have made abundantly clear in the past, it is that Israel stays out of the Al-Aqsa mosque compound. Of course, they didn’t. The first incident was in April 2021 under Prime Minister Netanyahu, the second in April 2022 under orthodox PM Bennett, and the third in April 2023 under Netanyahu. The really bad thing is, these PMs were not elected by no one. They were elected with the support of many orthodox and ultra-orthodox types. And that approaches the heart of the matter: The state of Israel’s very existence is and always has been a religious war sold under many excuses. So can someone please explain to me why we, the United States keeps shoving our nose into this mess, when it defies the core ideals of our constitution regarding freedom of religion and separation of church and state? A rhetorical question, (I'm pretty sure I know what the answers are.)
At the time I write this—Feb 2nd—World War III appears to be right on schedule, Netanyahu is obviously going to murder as many Palestinians as it takes to goad Iran into making a direct strike on Israel (or a US target), and after that, who knows when it will stop—after thousands are killed, hundreds of thousands, millions, billions? And all because the United States could not stop supporting zealots?
Genetic uplift via germline DNA editing
With all the potential ways humanity has created (and is still creating) to do itself in, I am quite convinced that the survival of the human race depends on it. And if it doesn’t happen, it will probably be due to interference from two groups: religious zealots and or the speech-suppressing woke mob, rather than a failure to develop the technology.
I came across an article from 2020 about a scientist named Stephan Hsu, who was forced from his job at Michigan State University for comments he made years earlier while discussing race and genetics. In the meantime, inner city violence by black youth in the US has gotten much worse, to the point where I don’t think trying to shut people up or punish some scientist from pointing out behavior differences is going to squash the racism that these black youth and black criminals are no-doubt producing.
And the white race carries on, working towards its big thing—blowing up the world and turning what’s left into an uninhabitable radioactive wasteland.
So tell me, what could be more dumb than attacking the very thing that might greatly reduce the human capacity for violence? In the context of improving human health, intelligence, and non-destructive behavior, scientists must be allowed to discuss any and all sorts of differences between races, ethnicities, and genders, both statistical and between individuals.
Anyway, even if selecting specific human genetic sequences to affect behavior and intelligence is much farther down the road than curing genetic disease, this much is obvious: If humankind shuns germline editing for no good reason--or any good reason, too, I suppose--clearly we are going to end up with a few million different drugs and medical treatments to fix conditions that could probably be repaired in a few generations with germline therapy. And, let’s face it, people are only going to get sicker, and crazier, and less intelligent.
The US southern border
Gads, what a disaster. As far back as the nineteen nineties, some were saying, “We need a barrier,” as the speed of the influx began being detrimental. No one in Congress, Republican or Democrat gave a damn. They said, “Nope, too expensive.” Anyone who brought up the issue was deemed a racist. Some barriers were constructed or expanded, but . . . So as the birth rate remained substantially higher in the countries where the immigrants were coming from as compared to the birth rate in the US, which declined slightly, the potential detriment to the US of out of control immigration grew. And then, to top things off, the one presidential candidate who at least talked about doing something about it and building a wall, turns out to be a traitor to democracy, which many voters probably figured out before he tried to stage a coup, thus giving him the boot, thus allowing the next commie to take his place. Honduras, here we come. Well . . . if they are all going to come up here, and the US is going to turn itself into a classic South American dictatorship, we might as well go down there and create a new democracy.
Seriously though, I have come across web pages making broad statements about immigrants coming over the southern border that are very derogatory, explaining what terrible people they are. I sometimes wonder if some such articles are not just some psycho’s rant, but rather a strategic attempt to paint anyone who advocates controlled immigration as some sort of racist.
While unvetted criminals getting through may be part of the problem, the main issue is the expense involved in processing, dealing with, and caring for too many immigrants, bad ones included, in X amount of time by a country that is already broke and a government that pays for all its bad policies by borrowing and spending. And regardless of where the money may be coming from now, we all know where it will eventually come from in the long run.
Some misc. good ideas and some misc. bad ideas
So the state in which I live, contrary to what the state legislature and the governor has tried to push on everyone for years, passed two referendums to add two amendments to the state constitution, one guaranteeing abortion rights and one to legalize marijuana, with certain provisions, of course. Good ideas.
Now I’m thinking of starting a petition myself to get an amendment outlawing all the extortion that is going on left and right (give us your info and put this tracking collar around your neck, or pay up, sucker). Of course, it probably already is illegal, only no one will do anything about it. I even tried to buy gas the other day (not one of those supermarket-chain stations) and was told to give them my information or pay a higher price. I heard there are some businesses—I think it was in New York—offering discounts to cash paying customers. That’s good and all, but how’s about just giving us a damn price and leaving it at that.
A while back, Representative Cori Bush threw out the idea of black reparations. What a dumb idea, I have to say; not in principle, but in practice, and not just because it was put forth so soon after the whole COVID relief fiasco. The problem is, these days, and as I have already touched on, the money—like that raise you got yesterday—will not come from the rich, it will not come from white people, it will not come from American productivity, it will only be borrowed. The resulting flood of easy money will drive another round of inflation, no one will gain squat, and the rich will be compensated by another tax break.
On a related note, secretary of the treasury, Janet Yellen, recently claimed that everything the Biden administration did in early 2021 was the right thing to do at the right time. I think someone should buy her a nice big coal shovel for Christmas. I’m sure she could use one to shovel that amount of s--t.
In last year’s entry, I touched on the high probability that the whole electric-stoves-were-better-than-gas-stoves assertion regarding greenhouse gasses was so much malarkey. The assertion is that gas stoves leak methane around the fittings, dooming us all. Since then I did the math, and this is what I found: An electric stove generates six times more CO-2 than a gas stove—if powered by a coal-fired plant—and 2.6 times more if powered by a gas-powered plant.
Here are some of the parameters I used, for anyone interested: Nat gas emits 117 lbs of CO-2e per 1 million BTUs. | 293 KWH equals 1 million BTUs. | Av. coal plant emits 2.3 lbs of CO-2 per KWH for a total of 673.9 lbs per million BTUs. | Av. loss in transmission is about 6%, resulting in a grand total of 718 lbs of CO-2 per million BTUs.
The average gas powered plant, BTW, emits about .97 lbs of CO-2 per KWH.
As far as the methane is concerned, the gas is reportedly 28 times more potent at retaining atmospheric heat, but as far as how much methane the fittings on a typical gas stove leak, I mean, who knows? Common sense would say it is a minuscule amount, though. I think it comes down to this: If a gas stove sits unused, then it is simply leaking a tiny amount of methane for no reason. If it is being used a lot—such as in a restaurant—then the stove no doubt contributes much less to global warming than an electric stove would—if that electric stove were to draw its power from a coal or gas powered plant. And, as I pointed out last year, about 61% of electric power generated in the US is from fossil fuels.