So up to now, I have avoided anything more than a yearly blog (Dave for President) in regards to any opinion I might have regarding the political and economic climate of the US, under the notion that anything more frequent would be pretentious and probably a waste of time (as if anyone is actually going to listen and take my advice). But what has one got to lose, I suppose, when things are headed in such a dire direction, in offering their two-cents to the discussion? So I created this page, titled Dave’s Daily Blog, which doesn’t necessarily mean it will contain an entry every day, just a much more current assessment of world events.

Dave's Daily Blog

10/01/22, Yes, it’s been a while, but I am of the philosophy that if you don’t have something relevant to say or write, keep you mouth shut and your pen in the basket. Unfortunately, I think that philosophy is an extremely rare one, which is why I steer clear of social media and “comments sections.”

So what was the extraordinary event that prompted me to finally make an entry? Was it the insane idiots lobbing bombs at each over the top of nuclear reactors in Ukraine? Nope. The raid on Trump’s mansion? Nope. Was it the busload of illegal immigrants let out at Martha’s Vineyard? (Sure did get their lawyers revved up after that one didn’t they?) Nope. Senator Lindsey Graham’s abortion ban proposal? Nope. Was it the 1000-year flood event in Florida? Nope. The extraordinary event was the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act; specifically the fact that it was passed with the idea, anyway, of paying for it. After a half-century or so of running trade deficits, borrowing and spending, one tax break after another for the rich, gutting the US manufacturing base, and dumping “counterfeit” money into the US economy through every scheme imaginable from subprime loans to outright passing it around, this comes as a truly miraculous event.

One thing that the bill does not provide for, to the best of my understanding, is for more oil and gas exploration. All this stuff about clean energy sounds good, but everyone knows the storage technology is just not there yet, and that is still the big problem. New natural gas wells have not been dug for some time, while power plants have been burning more. So now, household energy costs are rising in every way imaginable. So on top of that they want to tax the electrical grid even more with charging electric vehicles? And on top of that someone has blown up the Nordstream pipeline. Well, I’m sure it will work out great for everyone when the inflation reduction act actually starts curbing inflation, about when, 2033? But in regards to the immediate future, it looks like energy executives have good friends in the Whitehouse.

On a related matter: I have heard of various strikes and talk of striking, some about working conditions or being overworked, while others think they will get ahead if they get yet another raise. If there is one thing that everyone should have learned by now, it’s the folly of raising the minimum wage or getting that raise. We are way, way past that. What we have now is an entrenched system of devaluing the dollar and ensuring that any gain by the working class is fleeting. You get that raise; the government and the Federal Reserve find some way to dump a bunch of funny money into the system, allowing companies to raise prices; some rich get richer (sometimes a lot richer); and you remain just as poor. The game is rigged.

The solution to a lot problems, the way I see it, is tax the rich, at an exponential rate (the more income, the higher the rate) and make it much harder to become filthy rich. Eliminate corporate personhood and their tax dodging ways. Now I know what many people are going to say to that: “Well if we get rid of billionaires, then I have no chance of being a billionaire.” Well, greed drives progress, but too much greed destroys, has destroyed, and will destroy. We can keep letting the US get sucked dry: its wealth transferred to other countries and a handful of billionaires. Or we can bring the money back and put it to work, drastically lowering the cost of critical things such as health care and higher education, infrastructure etc.

Unrestrained predatory capitalism verses complete socialism: It’s a balancing act, as I see it, if only the US could have stayed on the beam.


7/31/22, I made some improvements to the hypothetical COVID chart that I posted back on April 1st. Scroll down to my 4/01/22 entry to view.

7/28/22, Back on the 7th of July, I happened to catch a conversation between NBC News anchor Lester Holt and NYC Mayor Eric Adams. Part of the conversation went as such:

Holt: There is a narrative from the Right that liberal, that progressive prosecutors are allowing crime to flourish. Do you agree?

Mayor Adams: “Yes. There's two battles that are happening in our country and our city right now. You have the far-right, that states give everyone a gun, no matter what. You have the far-left that states everyone that uses a gun should not be held accountable. These two groups are not the majority of Americans and they have actually held our country and our city hostage. These two groups don't realize they're co-conspirators to the public safety crisis that we're facing in our city and country.”

My initial thought was, wow, some straight and very insightful talk. I would take it a step farther, though: In regards to these far-right groups, politicians and institutions that Mr. Adams is referring to—one of the main arguments they have always used against any sort of gun control is that many an armed group have been persecuted or killed by their government, so anarchy must prevail. What I find so ironic is that, given the current level of gun violence in the United States, it is those groups, politicians and institutions that have become the greatest threat to US national security in terms of both lives and morale. I mean, does it make any sense at all to live in absolute fear of the government when you are a hundred times more likely to be shot by your neighbor? Where exactly is the "liberty" in that, I have to ask?

7/04/22, Since the mass shooting in Uvalde Texas, I have heard a lot of the usual, often incredibly stupid, rhetoric that follows such events regarding what should be done, but I have not heard a single politician address the issue from the standpoint of the fundamental social causes behind it. Anymore, it seems, it is only the symptoms anyone wants to discuss, rather than pondering any causes. I did discover via an Internet search that the government actually commissioned a study of the phenomenon back in late 2019. The study, carried out jointly by the CDC and the NIH could have a report out by this fall according to this web article that also explains how Congress has been blocking such a study for many years: Now the government is funding gun violence research, but it’s years behind.

Great, but in the meantime, I guess its up to some unqualified guy with an Internet blog, such as myself, to try and figure out what has caused the situation. So, I did find a few web pages, including a Wikipedia page, that offer some possible causes (commonly referred to as contributing factors) for the increase in mass shootings, but most of what I have found seems over-simplified, to me. Over time, I have arrived at the opinion that it might be best to put contributing factors into three different categories: Those that have always existed, those that are more recent, and factors that have increase the severity. With that in mind, here is the list that I arrived at:

Factors that have always existed

1 Loss of a parent, or being raised by a single parent. While there may be little doubt that it is a significant contributing factor with inner city violence in general by black youth, there also appears to be a connection between it and mass shootings.

2 Individuals genetically predisposed with a particular violent disposition/uncontrollable temper.

3 Mental illness or a traumatic brain injury or drug abuse or the unwitting ingestion of toxins in conjunction with a violent disposition.

4 Bullying, persecution and ostracism.

More recent factors, which have increased the frequency and rate of mass shootings:

1 The shift from a rural agrarian society to an urban society, resulting in fewer responsibilities for young men.

2 Television, and with it the potential for a great number of people to be exposed on a daily basis to images of person-to-person violence, much of it involving guns, causing a skewed sense of reality in some vulnerable individuals (the most vulnerable age group being very young-to-teenage males), where such violence represents normal everyday human behavior.

3 Theoretical yet probable: The conflict between scientific knowledge, which has completely dispelled the earth-centric views of the past, and human nature or instinct; specifically the deeply seated yearning that has evolved in the human species to imagine supernatural forces or beings controlling their destiny.

4 Non-traditional forms of treatment for mental illness (anti-depressants), some of which can lead to violent outbursts, especially when the medication is stopped abruptly.

5 Mass shootings themselves, each of which only adds to the “database” of person-to-person violence, thus contributing to the monkey-see monkey-do aspect of mass shootings in the long term as well as immediately following such an incident through media coverage.

6 Theoretical yet to some degree probable: The glorification by a segment of society of weapons not just designed to kill people, but many people.

7 The expansion of multi-media and the Internet, thus increasing the potential for daily exposure to depictions of person-to-person violence, information on all past mass shootings, and interactive depictions of person-to-person violence.

Factors that have increased the severity and death count of mass shootings:

1 The prevalence and ease of acquiring weapons with detachable magazines, especially assault weapons.

2 The use of such weapons to carry out mass shootings, thus inspiring would-be mass shooters to use those types of weapons.

Now, as far as stopping these events is concerned, it is my opinion that only a multi-pronged approach that takes all of the above factors—no single one being more important than another—into consideration would be the most effective way to go, with these limitations in mind: All guns are not going to go away, history cannot be swept under the rug, scientific fact cannot be swept under the rug, and multimedia is not going away anytime soon either.

One of these days I am going to expand on my gun control page and offer some of my own suggestions on each of the contributing factors just covered, for anyone who might be paying attention.

Well, lot of stupid backwards stuff recently I could comment on—such as old fossils digging up relics from the past; old fossils blaming everyone but themselves, like three-year olds, for things they clearly had as much responsibility for as anyone; old fossils declaring personal wars on each other, never mind who gets caught in the crossfire. Watch out bin Salman, you are probably the next one in the crosshairs after they get done fighting Putin. Everyone ready for $10.00/gal gas?—but none quite as relevant, so I going to call this entry closed. Anyway, til next entry . . .

5/26/22, Welcome to the Yosemite Sam States of America:
So when it comes down to it, the Democrats and democratic administrations have accomplished very little over the last 60 years or so in improving conditions in the United States: Johnson pushed through the Civil Rights Act, Carter tackled the oil problem and the inflation problem, and Obama also tackled the oil problem. After the big crash in 2008, the Dodd-Frank Act managed to reverse some of the deregulatory foolishness that helped cause it. And the Democrats claim they could do more if it wasn’t for Republicans blocking their way, but—god help us—most everything else they have tried to do has been based on their own brand of foolishness, and nothing has changed there recently.

Republicans, on the other hand have not done jack squat over the last 60 years to improve conditions in the United States. They have only fed the rich and indebted everyone else many times over by, among many other things, furiously trying to unravel the restrained-capitalist/limited-socialist system that evolved after the great depression and WWII. It truly boggles the mind why people have continued to vote for them for so long and shoot themselves in the foot; only now, in the hell hold that their masters have created, it is kids who are the ones literally getting shot and killed.

Appendix 5-31-22: Figure I better correct this before anyone calls me out on it: There is one thing that a republican president did to improve conditions in the US, and that was the creation of the EPA by Richard Nixon. However, it's authority was later weakened by the Reagan administration.

But before anyone starts raving about Donald Trump: Yes, there were a few things Donald Trump stood for, in principle, that I agreed with, but by and large, he was just more of the same, only worse, and still is.

Filmmaker Michael Moore thinks everyone should forget about third political parties and get behind the Democrats. I reluctantly have to agree that the two-party system makes the most democratic sense. What we need, though, are candidates that, while aligning themselves with the Republican or Democratic parties, swear by the overall principles of the Reform Party, which, of course, has a platform based on common sense as the underlying theme. And obviously, the well of common sense has largely run dry in Congress and many a lower governmental body. Of course, then everyone needs to vote for those candidates, and those candidates need to practice what they preach.

Back on Feb 23rd of 2018, I created a web page with a proposal to lock up all the assault weapons, as a compromise between weapons-of-mass-destruction enthusiasts and everyone else (see: A_plan_for_gun_control) To summarize: I put forth a suggestion for dealing with the mass-shooting problem in the short term—locking up all assault rifles in secure repositories/shooting ranges; and one for the long term—invest in the science of correcting genetic causes for extreme violence. Since then I have only heard one person running for any public office who has taken any of my proposals to heart. So, trust me, they are aware of the idea. All I can say to those politicians who claim to want the assault rifles off the street and full background checks is, could you be any more spineless?

5/11/22, Major discovery, instant time travel from 2022 to 1022 is possible, after all:
I would like to send my congratulations to President Biden: You just handed Donald Trump--your hypocritical predecessor who touted free speech, then requested the military shoot protestors in the legs--a major rallying point with your treasonous and unconstitutional Disinformation Governance Board. Your immediate reference to the “MAGA crowd” pretty much says it all: The United States has only exchanged one tyrant for another. So why do I think Trump could use the D.G.B. as a rallying point? Because the more devious and underhanded you get, the less his base is going care how devious and underhanded he is. I’m not stating it should be that way; that is just the kind of desperate people they have become.

While you’re at it, Mr. President, why don’t you go after the most widely disseminated misinformation in existence—organized religion. I’m sure that will go over swell, too.

Congress, for God’s sake, decide when a fetus has rights--8, 10, 12 weeks . . . whatever, and settle the matter once and for all. There must be 101 more pressing matters, and now everyone is fussing over this issue yet again, and you are to blame (as far as I'm concerned). Or is that the general idea? I would ask congressional republicans to try and focus on the pragmatic and the compromise for a change rather than pandering to the parts of your base that have been brainwashed since they were children into believing they have to take their religion so seriously as to force their will on others or lightning bolts are going to be shot at them from the clouds.

The armchair president (one of many) has “spoken.”

Appendix 6-16-22: I probably dropped the ball on this one: It should have read: . . .decide when a woman’s rights end and a fetus’s begin; as obviously, Congress needs to establish a woman’s right to have an abortion first. | And if there was ever an issue that the Federal government should step in and settle, this is definitely one of them.

4/18/22, Deflating inflation:
In my first entry, here, I mentioned how some republican politicians seem to be attacking Jimmy Carter’s legacy, these days. As to just why they have begun going after Jimmy Carter, of all people, I can only surmise it is because of the respect that he has garnered over time, as more people realize that he did some things right (always better to distract everyone from the other side’s good ideas rather than acknowledge them, I guess). In regards to the inflation Carter inherited from the previous republican administrations—exacerbated by OPEC oil-price increases, among other things—one of those things he did was appoint Paul Volcker to head the Federal Reserve in August of 1979. By the end of 1983, despite Ronald Reagan attempting to tell Volcker what to do, inflation was under control. So had the US voters not replaced Carter, the "stoic math teacher," with Ronald Reagan, the "national football coach," inflation would very likely have been under control by the end of Carter’s second term.

No one has ever fixed inflation overnight, and the remedy will likely cause a bit of a recession, but obviously, there is no one currently at the helm with the right kind of wisdom and fortitude. So to the reader, I recommend doing what you can to get the truth out there before every dime you earn or save becomes utterly worthless.

For further reading—a few URLs I would recommend:

4/01/22, Coronavirus vaccine safety:
Vaccine safety: I’m sure I am not the only one finding it difficult to determine the actual safety of the vaccines, and just how much better off the vaccinated are compared to the unvaccinated, especially with the young. And lately you have certain websites, such as, spouting all sorts of gloom and doom, taking a page—it seems—from the “X-files.” After trying to make sense of it all, I came to the conclusion that none of the information I was finding on the Internet was particularly useful, which led me to the next conclusion: that the only thing that fundamentally matters is the safety of the vaccine compared to the virus itself. That thought led me to imagine an interactive diagram that compares only two groups: those that contracted the virus but remain unvaccinated, and those that are fully vaccinated but have never contracted the virus. Now, a chart like that might tell me something. So here it is. I dare someone (an institution with a lot more resources than I) to make a real one.

Explanation: The chart is meant to track the number of deaths and illnesses from the start of the pandemic extending well into the future, comparing the results of a particular month to the same month from an earlier year—before the pandemic materialized. I chose a monthly comparison so the chart could hopefully be updated on a monthly basis, and also because the incidence of many illnesses change with the seasons. I chose 2018 as the control year, as the vaping deaths in 2019 would have slightly tainted the statistics for that particular year. The percentage increase or decrease is to reflect the rate of increase or decrease (based on the population of that particular age group at the time). Frankly, I do not know with any certainty that sufficient VAERS data currently exists to create such a chart, but that is beside the point. | There is one item the chart cannot account for, of course, and that is exactly when the subjects caught the virus or were fully vaccinated, but the longer the chart is maintained, the less relevant the “when” would probably become.

Appendix 7/31/22: I made some changes to my chart: I added another category (vaccinated and infected) and made each category optional. I also added the idea of a pop up that would appear when a mouse pointer is placed over a certain point along the chart’s lines giving additional information specific to that point in time.

3/17/22, Ukraine insanity:
So how much can one say, really, in an Internet blog, when you know darn well that, for years, Russia has been using the Internet to gauge US public opinion and has used that information against the American public to try and sow discord? And how do you speak out when something you say might serve in some small way to embolden the Russians? It is a rock and a hard place. But I will state this: Once again, Joe Biden’s answer to a problem is throw counterfeit money at it—a trillion here, a trillion there—who cares? And once again, he thinks doing more of the same—weaponizing Ukraine, the very thing that the Russians have said no to for the last thirty years—is actually going to avoid WWIII. Well, I have an open message for Joe Biden: Has your God informed you lately that you still have a chance to at least encourage Ukraine and Europe to capitulate on the militarization of Ukraine and give Putin what he wants, for the time being? You know, the way things currently stand, you don’t stand a chance of being re-elected anyhow. I could say more, a lot more, but I won’t.

3/08/22: Not exactly a news flash that politicians are very good at spreading manure, democrats, republicans or whatever; but, man, some of these republican candidates I have seen lately really take the cake. A while back, some guy was touting how Jimmy Carter (US Pres. 1977-1981) was responsible for rampant inflation—absolutely backwards from reality. Inflation went berserk under Nixon; and, indeed, democratic administrations have historically been much more fiscally responsible than republican, until now, anyway. At any rate, one thing Jimmy Carter did to attack gas prices caused by OPEC price increases was to slash the speed limit in the entire US.

I think it is high time to take a page from his playbook and carry it out immediately—set the speed limits back to where they were ASAP. Then figure out some way to get that damn pipeline from Canada built while accommodating the native Americans, who are rightfully worried about the safety of the pipeline. US oil companies would not have any excuse, then, to gouge the American consumer.

Ukraine: I hate to admit it, but I have to agree with Donald Trump on this point: While Putin may be the aggressor, here, the stupid factor definitely lies with the West and the Biden administration: If a country has no intention whatsoever of coming to the rescue and engaging an aggressor, it has no business spurring a smaller country into war with that aggressor and closing the door to any compromises. No, that does not mean that I think we should engage the Russians. It just means I have a very low opinion of the Biden administration, at this point.

In regards to western media coverage of the war, I don’t think I have ever seen so much propaganda in my life. I’m beginning to think those assertions that those major US media institutions are controlled by the CIA are true.

Lastly, so a trillion dollars of ship and luxury cars burns and goes to the Davy Jones. Sent there by a little defective lithium-ion battery most likely made in China where 80% of them are made. Hmm, maybe Karma really does exist.

mysteries, commentary, sci-fi

3-08-22, last rev = 10-01-22
2022 Dave Conklin