Daily wisdom

Coronavirus, religion and stupidity.

21st century wisdom

What can I say? How far did the wind blow?

“American televangelist Kenneth Copeland, who recently claimed that the coronavirus pandemic will be “over much sooner you think” because “Christian people all over this country praying have overwhelmed it,” has summoned the “wind of God” to destroy the novel coronavirus during a recent sermon.

Before blowing at the camera, he said: “I blow the wind of God on you. You are destroyed forever, and you’ll never be back. Thank you, God. Let it happen. Cause it to happen.”

https://www.yahoo.com/news/televangelist-kennth-copeland-blows-wind-194622515.html

Questionable action.

“Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden said that the Trump administration showed “poor judgment” in relieving a warship commander who was trying to stem a coronavirus outbreak among his crew.”

Business as usual for Trump administration. Politics first, lives later.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/dismissed-u-carrier-captain-gets-150544641.html

In his four-page letter, Crozier, who took command in November, described a bleak situation aboard the carrier as more of his crew began falling ill.

He called for “decisive action”: removing more than 4,000 sailors from the ship and isolating them, and wrote that unless the Navy acted immediately it would be failing to properly safeguard “our most trusted asset – our sailors.”

The letter put the Pentagon on the defensive and alarmed the families of those on the vessel, whose home port is in San Diego.

“Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden said that the Trump administration showed “poor judgment” in relieving a warship commander who was trying to stem a coronavirus outbreak among his crew.”

Past performance is not an indicator of future results.

I hold Trump and his cabinet responsible for a botched, and frankly criminal response to the pandemic. I hold Trump’s party responsible for mindlessly supporting the disastrous policies of their president and ignoring the well being of our country.

For example: Unexpected expenses are non recurring unpredictable bills – Budget for these by setting aside a fixed amount each week or each month. If your property taxes are $5,200 per year, for example, set aside $100 a week. If your eyeglass exam and lens replacement cost $300 each year, set aside $25 per month.

https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/expect-the-unexpected

Why do countries have a military?

Countries have a military during peacetime. Why? Do they expect wars? Maybe. But in case there is a war, armed forces are trained to be ready.

We are at war now. The world is at war with the virus! Are we ready for this war?

Trump disbanded the pandemic team in 2018.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Public health and national security experts shake their heads when President Donald Trump says the coronavirus “came out of nowhere” and “blindsided the world.”

Many authorities have been warning about the next pandemic for years and have soundly criticized Trump. The Trump administration made a decision in 2018 to dismantle a National Security Council directorate at the White House charged with preparing for when, not if, another pandemic would hit the nation.

https://apnews.com/ce014d94b64e98b7203b873e56f80e9a

If governments print money to pay off the national debt, inflation could rise. This increase in inflation would reduce the value of bonds. If inflation increases, people will not want to hold bonds because their value would fall…Therefore printing money could create more problems than it solves.

Trump inherited a growing economy from Obama.

He and his party cut taxes during the booming economy.

Any household knows that it is prudent to pay off loans when income is good. So trumpists did the exact opposite. National debt grew additional $4Trillion.

https://www.thebalance.com/trump-plans-to-reduce-national-debt-4114401

https://www.thebalance.com/national-debt-by-year-compared-to-gdp-and-major-events-3306287

So the Trump administration with the support of his party behaved as if good times would last forever. But any adult who’s got a pulse knows that this is not how life works.

Any business, any family, any government should be prepared for unexpected, unforeseen occurrences, crises, i.e.The “rainy day”

A crisis, e.g. one like a pandemic, is not a matter of “if” but “when” The Trump administration has been warned of a coming coronavirus crisis and ignored it.

So the situation right now as the world is struggling with the pandemic:

Due to tax cuts Government debt is skyrocketing.

The Economy is in recession.

The Fed spent its ammunition to fight the recession because they already dropped the prime rate to zero.

In the Trump era of irrational exuberance people spent like drunken sailors.

Consumer debt is at its highest level since 2008.

Consumer debt is at an all time high.

U.S. credit card debt hit an all-time high of $930 billion.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-consumer-debt-is-now-breaching-levels-last-reached-during-the-2008-financial-crisis-2019-06-19

And now that unemployment will jump how will these people be able to pay off their loans?

Well, the government will step in and absorb all debt. How will the Fed get the money? Not from taxes because “Republicans” cut taxes and unemployment is skyrocketing so people and businesses will not pay income taxes. So the Government will have to issue bonds to borrow money. But why buy bonds that have no return, pay no interest?

So the Treasure will have to print money. That most likely will lead to inflation.

Already, the national debt stands at more than $23.5 trillion and will be on track to eclipse $25 trillion. Taxpayers shelled out $574.6 billion in fiscal 2019 on interest payments for the debt and another $229.1 billion in fiscal 2020.

In short, the shock from the COVID-19 spread will blow a fiscal hole through Washington, D.C., that could take years if not decades to patch.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/22/government-budget-deficit-is-about-to-explode-to-fight-the-coronavirus.html

I am not blaming Trump and his government for the coronavirus. I hold them responsible for reckless fiscal policies like the latest unneeded tax cuts and military spending.

I hold Trump and his cabinet responsible for a botched, and frankly criminal response to the pandemic. I hold Trump’s party responsible for mindlessly supporting the disastrous policies of their president and ignoring the well being of our country.

What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.

Our democracy might recover from Trump’s 4 years and get stronger. It will not, in my opinion, recover if Trump wins reelection.

One of Trump’s supporters asked: “Can you say anything positive about Trump’s accomplishments”? And I thought about it for a while. And here is my answer:

What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.

And by “what” I mean Trump and his party.

Friedrich Nietzsche, the German philosopher, famously said: “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

Our naive founding fathers did not anticipate today’s situation, when a totally inept man would be elected President of the United States.

The “rule of law”, the country of laws, our Democracy only works if citizens willingly participate in upholding democracy, upholding the laws and the Constitution of the country. Unfortunately this is not the case in Trumpland.

Below is a brief list of ways Trumpism is testing the ability of our country to overcome the stress that our Democracy is subjected to.

It took the arrival of such a leader (Trump) to reveal how many things that had always seemed engraved in monumental stone turned out to depend on those flimsy norms, and how much the norms depended on public opinion. Their vanishing exposed the real power of the presidency. Legal precedent could be deleted with a keystroke; law enforcement’s independence from the White House was optional; the separation of powers turned out to be a gentleman’s agreement; transparent lies were more potent than solid facts. None of this was clear to the political class until Trump became president. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/04/how-to-destroy-a-government/606793/

Systematic efforts to intimidate the media. “The president’s tweets can have an impact and consequences for the press both at home and abroad. His rhetoric has given cover to autocratic regimes: world leaders from Cambodia to the Philippines have echoed terms like “fake news” in the midst of crackdowns on press freedom. And the rhetoric has sometimes resulted in harassment of individual journalists in the U.S., where the CPJ (Committee to Protect Journalists) is aware of several journalists who say they were harassed or threatened online after being singled out on Twitter by Trump. “ https://cpj.org/blog/2019/01/trump-twitter-press-fake-news-enemy-people.php

Building an official pro-Trump media network.“CNN is a voice that really seems to be the voice out there and it’s a terrible thing for our country,” Trump said, diverging from his speech on protecting Medicare for seniors at an event in The Villages, Florida. “We ought to start our own network and put some real news out there, because they are so bad for our country.”

“United States (1971) The freedom of the press, protected by the First Amendment, is critical to a democracy in which the government is accountable to the people. – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black in New York Times Co.

Politicizing the civil service, military, National Guard, or domestic security agencies.

“The politicization of the FBI has been swift and extreme. According to Reuters polling, just two years ago, 84 percent of Republicans viewed the FBI favorably. By February 2018, 73 percent agreed that “members of the FBI and Department of Justice are working to delegitimize Trump through politically motivated investigations,” according to a new Reuters poll. Thanks to a president eroding long-standing norms and America’s extreme political polarization, the FBI may not be alone. We are at risk of becoming more similar to struggling democracies, where most security and law enforcement institutions are simply assumed to be aligned with a political party.” https://www.justsecurity.org/55383/politicization-security-institutions/

Using government surveillance against domestic political opponents.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/johntorpey/2020/01/31/will-american-democracy-survive-the-trump-swamp/#53fcb9b06900

Trump’s attacks on courts undermine judicial independence

“..Language in the article suggests that the framers wanted the judicial branch to serve an independent role free from political pressure. It stated that judges should “hold their Offices when they exhibit good behavior.” This meant judges could only be removed for misconduct.”

“The American people should be deeply troubled and scared as to the status of their rights and liberties over the next three to four decades,” said Daniel Goldberg, legal director at the progressive Alliance for Justice.

The most troubling part for me is that Trump is replacing all the professional career department heads with his loyalists.

Our democracy might recover from Trump’s 4 years and get stronger. It will not, in my opinion, recover if Trump wins reelection.

Socialism with social programs. Not the same.

Capitalist countries with social programs have nothing to do with socialism as implemented in a “dictatorship by the proletariat”.

I keep reading all the time about people confusing social programs with socialism and/or communism.

Capitalist countries with social programs have nothing to do with socialism as implemented in a “dictatorship by the proletariat”.

What is Socialism and Communism?

In a pure socialist structure the government owns all means of production.

“In a purely socialist system, all legal production and distribution decisions are made by the government, and individuals rely on the state for everything from food to healthcare. The government determines the output and pricing levels of these goods and services. “

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/socialism.asp

Theoretically no social classes exist in socialist country. But of course classes will form in any society. So, in a socialist country there is a ruling Communist party, then the bureaucracy, then upper management of industry, then the intelligentsia, and lastly the workers.

Any private enterprise is illegal and is punished by law. It is called “dictatorship by the proletariat workers”. So by definition this social system is a dictatorship. There are plenty of examples of countries with a socialism system, and most of them have fallen apart. There are a still a few remnants of this dying system: Cuba, N. Korea, Venezuela. All of them are disastrous dictatorships.

The main principle of Socialism is: “from everybody according to their abilities, to everybody according to their work.”

Communism theoretically is the next evolutionary step, with the motto: “from everybody according to their abilities, to everybody by their needs.” There has never been a country with a true communist system.

But socialist countries are ruled by a communist party. The main goal of communist’s is to firmly establish communism everywhere on the planet.

So, to summarize, “social programs” do not mean socialism.

Religion over Science.

students can’t be penalized if their work is scientifically wrong as long as the reasoning is because of their religious beliefs.

The Ohio House on Wednesday passed the “Student Religious Liberties Act.” Under the law, students can’t be penalized if their work is scientifically wrong as long as the reasoning is because of their religious beliefs.

https://abc6onyourside.com/news/local/ohio-house-passes-bill-allowing-student-answers-to-be-scientifically-wrong-due-to-religion?fbclid=IwAR1KC9ii-vFqCD5mmCIM_y2FExQWaUqNpwIleWnUfOdaS8BmfXbewmzo2eo

Economic Grows and Consumption

His commitment to sustainability is not restricted to academic life, he is the scientist who also “walks the talk”: his cell phone was hip ten years ago, he avoids flying (which can be a challenging principle to follow at times) and actively encourages his environment to explore the joys of green living.

There got to be a better way

Miklós Antal, ecological economist, is a postdoctoral researcher at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He now studies macroeconomic aspects of sustainability transitions. Previously he was engaged in energy modeling at the Central European University in Budapest. He got his PhD in economics and MSc in engineering-physics at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics.

The Land of Mediocre.

Upon completion of this survey, it was found that although some departments noted no decrease at all, many of the most prestigious institutions saw a drop of up to 40% in international applications.

Science in Trumpland

In an extremely large survey of 49 of the largest physics departments in the country, representing 41% of all enrolled physics graduate students in the United States, an overall decrease of almost 12% in the number of international applicants was observed from 2017 to 2018.

This was a tremendous surprise, as no such study was even planned. The impetus for this study was prompted by a small number of American Physical Society members contacting the Office of Government Affairs to report a substantial decrease in the number of applications from international students. Upon completion of this survey, it was found that although some departments noted no decrease at all, many of the most prestigious institutions saw a drop of up to 40% in international applications.
Full article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2018/11/06/america-is-no-longer-attracting-the-top-minds-in-physics/#194a99e24a89