Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Reality

According to “Home” by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, 20% of the world's population consumes 80% of the world's resources and 2% of world's owns and controls 50% of the world's assets. Is this a problem? If not why not? If so, why?

Loren M. Lambert © August 10, 2014


I highly recommned:

Loren M. Lambert © August 10, 2014

Common Ground May Get Uncomfortably Common

On Doug Fabrizio's Radio West, journalist Scott Carrier commented after listening to the Cliven Bundy interview. He said that the country is divided about 50-50. One half who's decisions, philosophies and political positions are based strictly upon their religious convictions. The other half who's positions are based upon scientific reasoning. He said the two sides are not talking to each other and that this could be a problem. Both view the other side as preposterous. He also commented on how the religious view the Constitution in dogmatic ways that brook no viewpoint contrary to their own.

Mr. Carrier gained his insight on this matter while producing an audio documentary that posed the question, "do you think that the world is coming to an end?" to those he interviewed. He said that both sides of this divide think that it is for different reasons and champion different remedies.

I asked my mentor, Herb Cowan-- large vegetable farmer and erstwhile rancher, and contemporary with Cliven Bundy, if he thought the world was doomed and what he thought about the self-proclaimed "Prophets" of the Constitution in their view that only the dead founding fathers, being inspired by God, knew what to do.

"It's a damn poor God that can only inspire a small handful of beer drinking, tricorn hatted colonialists and no others since then," he responded. "If things are going to hell, we'll all be to blame. And when they do, talking will break out all along great the divide when we're all forced to huddle hungry and scared on a quickly vanishing plot of common ground."

So why wait for that to happen?

I've never met anyone, including some very despicable and off the charts criminal defendants, who could not teach me something of merit and value. I promise you there are good people on every side of a conflict. Reach out to them. We can stand on common ground today or be forced to when all hell breaks out and there's nothing left but some polluted tiny speck of common ground.

Loren M. Lambert © August 9, 2014

Tie Immigration Policies to Market Forces and All Americans Personally

1. Divide the amount of private land among all US Citizens (not literally, just mathmatically). What ever that amount of land equals, is the amount of land that any US Citizen (not corporation, trust, businees, group, etc) can own without paying any taxes thereon. This will be a fluid number, called a real estate property tax waiver (REPTAX Waiver) that changes based on population decrease or growth by any means.

2. Give every US Citizen at a fixed date one share of an "American Citizenship" allotement or ACA. Freeze the number of ACAs at that point in time. The possessor of the ACA may retain, give or sell it to the highest bidder. If retained by the original possessor or pased by intestacy, the ACA gains an additional REPTAX Waiver every 75 years.

3. Determine the average value of the amount of property covered by a REPTAX Waiver. Upon the transfer of any ACA, this amount will be paid by the seller, or the buyer, as negotiated, to the US Government for the infrastructure costs on immigration.

4. To gain citizenship an alien must obtain an ACA and pass the current health, knowledge and background checks.

5. If an entity other than a US citizen acquires an ACA, it does not obtain a REPTAX Waiver but only the value of the ACA in the market. It also becomes a guarantor of the non-citizen that purchases an ACA from the entity.

6. New citizens by birth obtain a REPTAX Waiver but not an ACA. They can only obtain an ACA by inheritance, purchase or gift.

7. Our borders are sealed and the expense of doing so is paid for by taxing ACAs holders.

Think it through. What would be the consequences?

Comment 1: Paul Mize - More dang leviathan bureaucracy. Government isn't the answer.

Comment 2: Loren M. Lambert - How Paul? How else to tie immigration to market forces?

Comment 3: Barbara JolleyMumm - Why private land and not public?

Comment 4: Loren M. Lambert - The same market pressures that affect public is not the same on public land. I want an the value that each person has that possesses an ACA and a REPTAX to rise and fall with the market. At the very least, citizens should understand the link between immigration and its benefits and detriments to our country;.

Comment 5: Barbara JolleyMumm - Yes but regardless if they "own" it they would feel or believe they have a right to improve, sell, neglect or tear up. Thus those who actually own it must defend it. Even though ownership may be theoretically. I understand the vested interest in citizenship, but that doesn't have to come from already owned private land. Because for example you have 5 acres 2.5 belongs on paper to someone else, yet you live and produce from this property, they decide that they are entitled to their share how do defend your investment.

Comment 6: Loren M. Lambert - It's just a method of assigning a value to citizenship--so we tie it to the amount of privately held land, just like money used to be tied to gold reserves. It's a starting point and then the market will adjust to establish its "true" value. It is not tied to a specific piece of property. Everyone just has a specific right to own a specific amount of property without taxation and that amount decreases with a greater population or increases with a drop in population--what your are defending by how you vote on immigration issues is the amount of land you can own, if you chose, free of all taxations.

Comment 7: Paul Mize - @Loren M. Lambert Perhaps we should use history as an indicator for what we should do. When the American Colonies were founded most Colonies were independent businesses (East India Company, The Virginia Company. etc) with Grants given to them from the King. The Companies had full authority (it would be like a block grant from the Feds) to do as they wished and they were required to return to the King a return (tax) on his largesse. The Virginia Colony was very successful with this model and encouraged colonization with land to the immigrants (Parcels were 50 acres per person) The person who received the parcel was the individual who paid for the colonists to get to Virginia (i.e. Father, Mother, 8 children Total 10 therefore 500 acre Patent) No intervention from King just make it work etc. (It's called capitalism) Another example would be the Transcontinental Railroad (No Potshots at Railroads) For each mile of track that was laid the Government gave the RR's a parcel of land on both sides of the track which they were allowed to sell to offset the capital necessary to fund the RR. Again a type of block grant where the government wasn't involved other than the grant of the Asset…….Go back to the drawing board and determine a method that does not create a bureaucracy, is driven by commercial and capitalist concerns and you might be able to develop an idea……..

Comment 8: Paul Mize - Think about Adam Smith, Thomas Paine, Jefferson, Henry, Washington and what they would do to solve the problem……as opposed to what the progressive idiots would put in place…..Non-socialist, non-communist….You're a smart guy ……show me something……You don't want to know what I would do……...

Comment 9: Loren M. Lambert - Yeah, what would you do? I think we're past the days when we could give away Native Americans' land. You're not talking about capitalism, you're talking about anarchism. Life's a bitch, there will always be taxes, bureaucracies and then you die. I think we'll eat death before we figure out how to eliminate all bureaucracies. I know that I would love to live in such a world so long as it was safe and without competition stifling corruption.

Comment 10: Paul Mize - Dude, I would put a Tower on the Border every mile and a half with a Barrett .50 Caliber and pull the trigger on everybody that ventured onto the North side of the Rio Grande for about one week and the problem would be over………Especially target any coyote riding a Wave Runner back and forth across the river…….You can't spend that money from beyond the grave…….I guarantee you there are plenty of Sharpshooters and enough ammunition available to quell the illegal intrusion……….and Please quit the tripe with the Native American's, I'm 1/16th Cherokee and studied the "Trail of Tears" one of the only friends I speak with from HS is full blooded Cherokee….I hate Custer and Sheridan and Kearney the 7th Cavalry …..(PS: Hey Loren, the government is where the corruption begins) I'll also note that you consider Adam Smith, Paine, Jefferson, Henry, Washington et al anarchists….King George the III, Cornwallis, and Gen. Clinton did also

Comment 11: Loren M. Lambert - Cool, I'd like to talk to him --the Cherokee

Comment 12: Loren M. Lambert - He probably wishes that the six civilized cherokee tribes had had your border control plan. in 1607. . . I don't like tripe--but if you'll stop trotting out Chamberlain, I'll cease with the Native American stufff. It's unfair that I do because I'm just a european mutt with roots back to Rome--so I guess I could . . . .

Comment 13: Paul Mize - I believe you mean the Iroquois Confederacy. 6 tribes: Seneca, Oneida, Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, and later Tuscarora. If you mean the civilized tribes that would be Creek, Cherokee, Choctaw, Seminole, and Chickasaw and there are 5. Go test your DNA .., give you another hobby to immerse yourself

Comment 14: Loren M. Lambert - No not the Iroquois, I did mean the 5 (thought it was 6) mainly based in Georgia when the State Gov sent them on the trail of tears with Pres Jackson's blessing. "Go test your DNA"--is that the intellectual's equivalent of telling me to f-myself? Just ...See More

Comment 15: Paul Mize - No, I'm serious. I used to work all the Scottish Games and I met this lady who is on the board of ISOGG. She convinced me to take a DNA test and I got hooked on the learning process. Weaving together the tales and stories of Genetic Genealogy has been a blast. FTDNA out of Houston TX.

Comment 16: Loren M. Lambert - I'll have to see .

Loren M. Lambert © August 7, 2014

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Redwoods

The Redwoods--awesome and inspiring; the Rangers, professional, competent and informative, only ran into one grumpy one and he was cleaning bathrooms after people inhabit them like dumps; Oregon, friendly flies and friendly people; Denio Oregon--put a gas station there and make a million.

We logged 95% of the Redwoods and have 5% left. The paradox is that the more numerous we are the more value such national treasures have and the more open space we need. What is the optimum ratio of preservation and development? We need to resolve this now because it will not get easier as time goes by.

Loren M. Lambert © August 2, 2014

Wars Fought Against Enemies Are Never Won, They Just Temporarily Create a Momentary Cessation of Hostility

The Israelis think they are fighting the Palestinians and Hamas. Hamas thinks it is fighting the Israelis. They are not. They are fighting an idea, perceived whether true or false and given real effects by each of the combatants.

We think we fought the German, Italians and Japanese in WWI. We did not. We fought the ideologies that inspired them to arms. That is why we won. That is why we all won. While we momentarily raged into battle raining death upon our enemies, in the end, when the guns were silent, we set aside our hatred and instead of burying the living remnants of our enemies, we worked side by side with them to bury the remaining remnants of our mutual hatred.

In the "Book Thief" by Markus Zusack, the narrator, Death, poignantly informs that soldiers who run off into battle exuberantly think they are running at the enemy when in reality they are really running into the arms of Death. For killing an enemy does not destroy the idea that inspired its warriors. The idea lives on and the death it brings continues and reinforces the devotion of the survivors to pursue its same purpose. You see, wars fought against enemies are never won, they just temporarily create a momentary cessation of hostility until we get on with the business of genocide.

And an idea cannot be destroyed by killing those infected with it, for the very ideas, are endowed and infused with the power by the exponential numbers of its martyred servants. For truly we sow the seeds of our own destruction if we see the man as our enemy and not the ideas and ideology that are the engines of his actions. For these ideas corrupt all into believing them, and have forces beyond our own mortalities.

So kill the ideas and win the hearts and minds of all of your enemies. That is the way to peace. We can run towards our enemies, into the arms of death, and continue the bloody cycle and thereby become as bankrupt and naive as those we think we despise, or we can run toward the evil ideas that enslave them and find peace.

Today, we do not fight the people of Hamas, Isis, Russia or Al Quiada, we fight the evil ideas that embolden them and necessarily the leaders who use those ideas to foment fear in order to whip otherwise good people into a frenzy to unleash death and destruction.

Never forget that, so that instead of running into Death's arms we run toward the light, toward life, toward peace even though we may loose our lives to achieve it.

Comment 1: Jacob Dean - Loved the Book Thief, and while it is better to turn an enemy into a friend, there are times when war IS the answer... The terrible, awful answer. Again I quote Netanyahu (and amen his words) "If the Palestinians laid down their arms there would be no war, if Israel laid down her arms there would be no Israel."

Only the aggressor can stop a war short of victory by one side or the other.

There are people who would call Israel the aggressor in this - those people would be wrong. Were there not floods of rockets flying into Israel, Israel would stay home. It is worth noting that if any nation on earth was launching rockets at us like it is in Israel I would be advocating whomever was doing so's total obliteration.

Pray for peace, pray for calm, because short of intervention from on high or an unbelievably unlikely outbreak of sanity amongst the crazies in Hama's, Israel will likely continue to do the right thing - defend her people from the crazy, evil, terrorists who put their headquarters in a hospital basement and use houses, schools, mosques, ambulances, and hospitals as armories and civilians as shields. Many an innocent will die, because sometimes war IS the answer... The terrible, awful answer.

Comment 2: Loren M. Lambert - @Jacob, yet, I often hear Netanyahu and others talk about the Palestinians as if homicidal ideation was an immutable genetic component of their status, as if they were not human beings and often Israel's actions say this. Israel is not always the hapless victim it claims to be.

Loren M. Lambert © July 25, 2014

Civil Societies' Character Scafolding

Unbroken--Laura Hlllenbrand's biography about US Olympian Louis Zamperini-- describes the horrendously violent torture and misery WW II POW Japanese Camp commander Mutsuhiro Watanabe (The Bird) inflicted upon Louis and other camp inmates, often beating them until they passed out and subjecting them to starvation, extreme cold and enslavement.

After the war Mutsuhiro escaped capture and most likely a death sentence by hiding in a small Japanese farming community. When the US commuted and dropped all pending war crime sentences and indictments, Mutsuhiro became a very wealthy and successful business man. In several interviews, with varying degrees of contrition that never quite took responsibility for his crimes, he indicated that it was the war that pushed him over the edge. He asserted that had there been no war, he would have gone through life, by all appearances, a normal caring and empathetic human being.

He was probably right. If it had been otherwise, his behavior would have possibly started before the war and most likely continued after the war.

When civil society brakes down, when those in authority are allowed to act in secrecy or with impunity, and when we send soldiers into the chaos of war, there are always those among us who devolve into ugly beasts and who succumb to their most base instincts.

Remember that before being completely unforgiving of those we have sent into war and against those who have been our enemies. Remember that before we casually decide to commit our young men into foreign conflicts. These wars do not just create casualties of the physical body but of the mind and spirit. Not that there should be no accountability for such behavior but that the pressures and absurdities of war should be taken into consideration.

Remember that also when we think that laws governing and restricting those in power and authority over us are deemed as obsolete or unnecessary--including laws governing voting rights, discrimination, wages, privacy rights, civil rights, etc. We will always need the strictures of civil society to rein in the excesses of those who find the seductive influence of power too overwhelming to resist and give in to bullying their fellow men for either their own sadistic pleasure, for their enrichment or under the delusion that they are morally superior and those they inflict harm upon deserve it.

Loren M. Lambert © July 24, 2014