Answer to Kissinger

See previous posts on the breakup of Russia. You should know at the outset the following things:

  • I’m married to a Russian and have relatives there. The war has prevented my wife and son, not to mention me, from visiting them. I’m furious with Putin about that.
  • I had significant investments in Russian mutual funds in 2014. Putin’s action cost me a million dollars. I’m willing to kill him on that count alone. I had the residuals of that, still, on February 24th. The war rendered them valueless, and sanctions confiscated them. If I could resurrect him and kill him twice, I’d do it slowly both times.
  • I visited Ukraine 4 times between 2009 and 2011, staying a week each time, twice in the west and twice in the east. I took a trip from Kharkiv to Luhansk by myself (i.e. without a guide/translator). I felt perfectly safe there. Safer than I felt in Russia the many times I’ve been there. I had many friends there. I’ve lost touch with all of them since the war.
  • I hired several Ukrainian musicians through One was living in Kharkiv. I’ve lost touch with her. The other one, though living in the US, is working much too hard and has developed health problems. If you want to hear what kind of music, see .
  • Ukraine was greatly affected by the US 2008-9 financial crisis. They sell goods and export labor to the EU, and the EU was curtailed by lack of business from the US. This was practically all they talked about, well, except for when Stalin tried to starve them to death. Russia was not much affected by the 2008 events. My wife never mentioned it. When in 2013 Putin tried to override Ukraine’s desire to go more toward the EU, of course they rejected him.
  • While the Ukrainians may have had some rough edges while trying to define their country, they definitely are the victim. How many Russans within Russia’s pre-2014 border have died from Ukrainian rockets? Zero. How many Russians fled rather than fight in the war? Half a million. How many Ukrainians? 7.5 million. At least. There are many orders of magnitude difference in the crimes of the Russians and the misdemeanors of the Ukrainians. If you disagree, go out in our back yard and shoot yourself. For sure don’t tell me about it.

Now we begin the analysis I wrote first for my group of friends, who already know all that stuff about where I’m coming from.

Russia launched 76 rockets today.  16 hit their targets.  60 were shot down.

(1) Update from Ukraine | Ruzzia Attacks again | Ukraine gets more military support from USA – YouTube

  1. Expecting another massive ground attack on Kyiv in February or March
  2. Politico expects war to stalemate, possibly for years, due to lack of resources on both sides
  3. Russia continues to inch forward in Donbas

Where were you when the rockets hit?  Going about your daily life?  You should be holding a protest sign in front of the White House.  If I were aware of an organized demonstration, I would go.  I looked for a protest to join early in the war.  No one seems to be coordinating anything.    If just ten other people will go, I will go.

Musk’s suspension of journalists could embolden authoritarians, free speech experts warn (

Musk has lost everything.  Especially respect.  People I know who once liked him now say he’s nuts.  See also One of Tesla’s Largest Shareholders Calls to Ditch Elon Musk ( .

Japan to Build a More Powerful Military, Citing China as Its No. 1 Menace (

When I was young, the idea of Japan rebuilding their military scared people crazy.

Sasse’s exit from Senate prompts GOP unease over replacement (

I don’t know these guys, but here is what even fellow Republicans are saying:

“It looks bad. It smells bad. What it looks like is two rich guys using their money and power to grab a Senate seat,” said Jeremy Aspen, an Omaha Republican and former state party delegate. “This is how authoritarian countries operate, where a powerful few ride roughshod to get what they want. Things like this stay on voters’ minds.”

Russia Suffering Crippling Loss in Ukraine Threatens World Order: Kissinger (

Henry Kissinger in my opinion had a more negative impact on the world than Hitler.

Hitler’s impact was pretty much limited to WWII.  Kissinger’s legacy continues on, still today endangering the world.  Kissinger and Nixon opened up recognition of communist China, eventually displacing Taiwan on the UN security council, handing a second totalitarian communist country a UN veto, rendering that organization completely helpless and hopeless.

This move toward China eventually exported most US manufacturing jobs there, and from the rest of the world as well, giving China unprecedented power to use economic blackmail, and financing their military buildup at the expense of the United States.

Now Kissinger says we should leave Russia intact, to continue their imperialistic manipulations to expand their territory and their energy blackmail and nuclear blackmail.

Someone needs to take Kissinger out.  Even at 99, he is too dangerous to leave alive.  If I publish a counter to his arguments, it doesn’t get noticed.  This is the thing.  Kissinger at 99 has the power to command the world’s attention.  He should not have that power.  No one elected him.  He was appointed an advisor to Nixon, the only US President whose actions were so criminal he was removed from office.  The House approved the resolution to impeach Nixon by a vote of 410 to 4.  Kissinger should have been ignored after that, and all his policies reversed.  Woe be unto anyone who follows Kissinger’s advice.

Russia should, and I believe will, be broken up and its nuclear weapons destroyed.  If Kissinger gets his way, Russia will continue building their arsenal until they convince themselves they can pull off a first strike, and they we WILL have the world war Kissinger warns about.

Kissinger doesn’t want the legacy of his own world order taken apart, and something better built.  He wants to be the architect of the world.  I think we should hang him up by his toes.

If you don’t believe me, look at what the Russian Press is saying Kissinger says it’s time to resolve conflict in Ukraine through talks – World – TASS Remember that Russia defines negotiation as achieving their aims, all of them, through peaceful means.  Another way of saying that is “unconditional surrender.”

And this article Kissinger outlines Ukraine peace proposal — RT World News “Urgently negotiating an end to hostilities in Ukraine would prevent another world war.”  Actually, defeating Russia and breaking it up would prevent another world war.

California county considers secession to become new US state (

I have driven through this county one time.  Frankly, I think it would be no loss at all, possibly a gain, if it were to secede not only from California, but from the U.S.  It is a combination of people building big new houses on flammable hillsides and, er, ah, mostly nothing else except desert.  No one should live there.  2.2 million people living there is just because there is no space left in LA that they can afford.  So better to reduce the population of LA and let them move where they really want to live.  Would greatly reduce traffic also.

US responds to Russia’s threats over Patriot missile systems (

“The only provocative measures that have been taken over the course of this entire conflict are being made by Russia,” State Department Deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel told CNN – accurate

adding that the U.S. “is not now nor has it ever been at war with Russia.” – total lie.  Us saying we are not at war is just as inane as Russia’s use of the term “special operation”.


Ukraine Will Invade Russia

Ukraine will invade Russia eventually, and the weakened state will be dismembered one way or another, by its neighbors or by the international community, and its nuclear weapons confiscated (whatever is left if they don’t use them – most of them probably don’t work).

This following results from cold logic.  A computer could figure it out.  (An old fashioned expert system, not the namby-pamby neural nets they use now which are incapable of sequential reasoning).

Dictionary redefining ‘man’ and ‘woman’ is what happens when you reject reality for one group’s fantasy (

“Pete Buttigieg is an adult female human being who identifies as male and is attracted to other female human beings who identify as male.”

I actually can’t even figure out what that means, and I’m an ace with the logic of English sentences.  Language is evolutionary, it is the way people talk, not what anyone defines. 

What does this have to do with Ukraine?  The article suggests that language is the result of people living in a fantasy with regard to their sexual identification.  The Ukraine issue results from the fantasy that Ukraine can just take back its territory and the war is over.  It won’t be over for the Ukrainians abducted by Russia, nor will the rain of Russian missiles end.

What Percentage of Americans Are LGBT? (

For “Generation Z” the number is 20%, one out of five.

The survey is misleading, and provides an excellent example of how pollsters control results by the way they ask questions.  “Bisexual” was popular when I was in college, and likely a large fraction of females and at least some mails fancied experimenting with group sex, which was at the time initiated with the codeword “I’m bisexual”.  It was the invitation to the orgy. 

I have to take my roommate’s word on this.  Whenever he took me with him, we got an answer something like “my boyfriend’s due to show up a little later, not tonight.”  Engineers are the anti-sex among human particle types. 

A major sub-headline in the above article is “Bisexuals make up 4% of all U.S. adults.”  Subtract from 7% LGBTQ and you get only 3% that are actually LGTQ, not enough to sway the definition of a word with long history like “man.”

Four things have changed since then.  (1) It is legal for gay couples to marry, and they are incentivized to do so in order to obtain health insurance if one of them is working a decent job.  (2) It is illegal to fire people for saying they are gay, so they are willing to answer surveys.  (3) Gallup polls is asking the question, loaded with the bisexual term. (4) Couples are having far fewer children, often in single parent families.  A boy will feel he must be like his mother to be successful.  A girl will feel like she must not be dependent on a man.  And some parents who prefer to have a child of a particular sex, will unwittingly apply pressure to an only child of the other sex.  Cheryl, who grew up down the street, swears she is gay because her father wanted a boy and sent her out for sports, especially basketball, where ALL her teammates were gay.  100%.  All.  

Cheryl is married to a hot younger female, living in Austin working for the secret service protecting George Bush.  She doesn’t and won’t have any children.  There is no danger of society being overrun with this trend.  It’s self-extinguishing.

THE UKRAINE WAR IS *NOT* SELF-EXTINGUISNING (though optimistic pundits on both sides hopefully forecast the other side will run out of ammunition).

Russia is destroying Ukraine’s economy, raising costs for U.S. and allies (

Ha!  What did I tell you?

Kyrsten Sinema’s slam dunk. Arizona independent says what Democrats are afraid to say (

Sinema wrote, “Americans are told that we have only two choices — Democrat or Republican — and that we must subscribe wholesale to policy views the parties hold, views that have pulled further and further toward extremism.” She added this is a “false choice.”

It is not a false choice.  Game theory dictates people will amalgamate to gain control, and this results in accommodating other people’s views, and results in the dichotomy Sinema complains about.  Her move to be independent, and her statement above, suggest she’s never heard of game theory and is remarkably naïve for a politician.  The Dems are better off without her.  She would sabotage their efforts just like Manchin did in a heartbeat.


Wait, what?  We will amalgamate for power and thus accommodate other people’s views?  Then the more power available, the more amalgamation.  The higher the population the more amalgamation.  Pretty soon, only other people’s views, and power, are important.  TRUTH HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT.  Thus the whole Trump phenomenon, and the redefinition of MAN are aspects of the same thing.

We live in a fantasy of other people’s wishes.  That is the most important thing governing our thoughts and our behavior.  THAT IS WHY ENGINEERS ARE THE ANTI-SEX.  Then do not easily grasp that truth is what others say it is, not the results of their experiments.  They are trying to get physical machines to work.  This is INTRINSICALLY ANTI-SOCIAL and makes them hard to control with ordinary social means.

Putin tried to control Ukraine this way.  They remembered the Holodomor and preferred European control.  Putin had to kill them.  They were a direct challenge to his ability to control anyone at all.

Nearly half of young adults in the US are living at home with their parents, and all that saved rent is fueling a luxury boom (

Living at home is normal.  Normal is defined as what people have traditionally done.  For 2 million years they lived at home.  Even after their parents died, they carried the ancestral bones around with them when they migrated, perhaps decorating their tents or caves with a skull or two, or keeping the bones under the floor.  That’s normal.  Ask any archaeologist.  What we do now is an aberration.  It won’t last.  And I’m chronicling the end of it with my CHRONICLES OF THE END TIMES.

This many people haven’t lived at home since the Great Depression.  But that came on suddenly.  The current situation came on gradually as actual labor jobs were exported to other countries.  The idea of this that economists had was very simple.  Here it is . . .

  1. There is enough money in the US & Europe to make the whole world rich.
  2. If we just give it away, the recipients won’t build anything, won’t have jobs, it’ll be squandered.
  3. If we let them make stuff for us, that will give them stable job-based lives, permanently enriching them at the expense of the US and Europe

What do you do when the money runs out?

Economists don’t have a concept for that.  Our economist friend Rajnish Mehra has admitted to me he doesn’t understand what money is.  That still true, Rajnish?  I do understand.  See .  Chapter 3, “Finance Dawning”.  This is in the preview section on Amazon.  You can read it online without paying the whopping 99 cents I charge for the book.

Money is an IOU, a promise to produce future goods and services.  Inflation is just reneging on that debt.  We have to have inflation because the U.S. is no longer producing anything much, neither is Europe, and the money collected in exchange for our former productivity is running out

Since ancient times, really ancient like 5000 BC, when you run out of money you have two choices:

  1. Sell yourself into slavery.  This could be temporary.  Only the exploiters of the Western world much later attempted to make it permanent.  The modern term for it is “get a job” but it is the same thing.  Look at the way Musk treats his employees.
  2. Take up arms and lead a rebellion, or start your own empire and take over other people’s means of production.  This is what Russia is doing in Ukraine, taking over farmland, mining, and eventually the newly discovered energy deposits.


When did relations with China break down?  And Why?  They broke down when Trump imposed tariffs on Chinese goods, threatening the peace-bribe that the US had been providing for decades. 

So what was the reaction?  Take over the means of production of the most valuable commodity consumed by the US, chips.  They couldn’t figure how to make them (they tried), so the solution is to just take Taiwan, where they are made.

With young adults living at home, retail spending will not crash as expected.  With the US not producing anything, inflation will not come under control.  I am now leaning a little more pessimistic.

In past decades, the U.S. ramped up productivity over and over and that kept inflation low.  The U.S. was still producing “stuff” but not jobs.

Twitter and Facebook do not produce anything.  Apple only produces the 14th iteration on something we already have.  Probably you have a drawer full of old iPhones.  Will you buy an iPhone 27?  233?  40,687? 

I’ve ridden on a train like this.  2.8 million Ukrainians were told war is coming and they will be killed unless they boarded such a train.  The trains were only running one way, to Russia.

300,000 children were kidnapped and sent to Russia as orphans.

Russia is still able to make 40 missiles a month in spite of sanctions.


This objective can only be stopped in one of two ways:

  1. Give Russia all the land they eventually want.  Anything else is just a delay until they start up again.  They want, of course, all of Ukraine, and probably some other countries (the Baltics at a minimum).  So this is a non-starter.
  2. Take Russian land and keep taking it and offer to stop if they return the civilians and stop their missile attacks.  Any fixed amount of land without demonstrated ability and willingness to keep taking it will just be viewed as a pause to regroup by Russia.

This is the logical conclusion that even a computer could reach.

Here is a map I’ll use to illustrate what needs to be done.

Ukraine is blue and yellow, with orangish captured territory.  Russia is pink.  A buffer zone needs to be established, up to and including important roads.

Then offer to restore Russian administration if it stops rocket attacks and gives back abducted people.  Russian ability to launch low cost rockets, by the way, is reduced but not eliminated by this move.  They often launch from the Caspian Sea, so control of that has to be taken eventually.  After Russia’s refusal, the next step is this:

Ukraine must push to the Caspian Sea along the near-canal that already exists starting from Rostov-on-Don, gaining enough territory to the north to defend it, isolating and “eliminating” Russian resistance in that ridiculous southern extension of Russia.  This will end threats to Georgia and Armenia, and Azerbaijan will cease hostilities with Armenia.  Georgia already wants to join NATO (suggested by President Bush), and Armenia is increasingly looking to the West for support.  Both are Caucasian countries, and Republicans should have no objection to supporting Ukraine in this regard.

The canal to the Caspian Sea has long been proposed.  It would solve the problem of the evaporation of the Caspian Sea, and allow Ukraine and thus NATO to control it. 

Russia could be offered reconstruction assistance in addition to return of Ukrainian population and cessation of hostilities, in return for reforms to its government and business practices. 

If Russia resists these generous terms, the next step is to sever it at the Ural Mountains, administer the western portion for 100 years to instill democratic institutions, and let its Asian former surrogates carve up the eastern portion to suit themselves:

If Russia continues to make trouble, the western portion would be divided as follows:

The northern portion gets a lot of energy resources, but limited ocean access.  It’s capital remains Moscow.

The middle portion gets the farmland and some access to Black and Caspian Seas.  It’s capital could be Volgograd or Voronezh.  If there is argument, split it further.

The Southern Portion would be ruled from the palace at Sochi, and become primarily a resort.

Perhaps now you see that Russia is ridiculously large, an empire in need of breaking up.  YOU CAN FIT THE UNITED STATES INTO IT TWICE.  INCLUDING ALASKA AND HAWAII!!!

Key Factor in the End of Society

You may be forgiven for thinking that environmental decline is the cause of the end of societies, because that leaves a record that archaeologists can follow and comment upon.  Financial transactions prior to Roman times are very vague and hard to follow at a macro level (even the Roman Republic is tediously hard, I once read a book on it’s economy).

Two things archaeologists are right about.  One, as long as there are resources are available in an area, people will exploit them.  Two, it’s not the same people year after year.

So if you look up the decline of Sumer, you’ll find the date the last occupants left it as uninhabitable desert.  You won’t find a chronicle of all the groups that rose to power there and died out.  But if you ask different questions, you can find that chronicle. 

Ur was founded in about 3800 BC we learned the other day, and abandoned in 500 BC.  But . . . the Sumerians disappeared with the third dynasty of Ur in 2004 BC we are told here History of Sumer – Wikipedia .  Even that is misleading.  The Sumerians fell into decline hundreds of years earlier, and the kingdom was continued by their hangers-on, The Akkadians, from 2234 to 2147 BC, and some other group until the 2004 date.  See this tag in the above article.

Further, pretty much everyone agrees the Sumerian civilization did not develop in Sumer.  It came from somewhere else.  The current best theory, in my opinion, is that they walked up out of a valley that became the Persian Gulf as sea level rose at the end of the last ice age.  The shoreline moved for a long time at a rate of a meter per day.  Too fast to settle, but one could easily walk ahead of it.  The Sumerians already had boats and many other “inventions” when they appeared in Sumer.  There is no trace of their evolution there.  But believe me, there are archaeologist as we speak trying to figure out how to conduct underwater archaeology in the Persian Gulf.

So, civilizations move around, and may abandon a resource poor place without falling.  When I speak of the end times, I am talking about a seemingly unnecessary fall of civilization.  Such as the fall of Sumer, much earlier than you probably thought.  It really only lasted 1500 years, like any other respectable ancient civilization.  In this note we’ll relate today’s news to possible reasons. 

Chronicles of the End Times:

The bear market in stocks is entering its final phase, and the next chapter has nothing to do with the Fed or inflation, Morgan Stanley says (

  1. The firm says elevated inflation and how the Federal Reserve responds to ongoing CPI reports is yesterday’s news.
  2. Investors should instead turn their focus towards the looming decline in corporate earnings.

I have a number of reactions to this.

  1. I’m not so sure about corporate earnings.  First, the companies have already jacked up prices way faster than costs rose, which I dealt with on wheat and Raisin Bran in a previous letter.  Also, a story with admissions to that effect.  So, a little retraction on prices will restore volume, and the companies MAY be making plenty of money.
  2. The mall parking lot was completely full 14 days before Christmas.  Note: the mall parking and the mall itself is 3 times larger than any previous prosperous year.  So I’ve never actually seen so many people at the mall so early before.  This is in addition to deliveries (Walmart and Amazon delivering free same day as order in most cases) and other non-mall sales (Target, Academy and physical Walmart).  In the past, such a Christmas has portended optimism and rising markets for many months, at least until May.
  3. If there were a decline in profits, it would be temporary, and is not a reason for a large swing in equity prices.
  4. And finally, most important, both the economy and markets are unpredictable (perhaps because of the relation between the two).  Markets are unpredictable because of Rational Investor Theory (RIT).

RIT holds that rational investors already, as a group, take into account all available information.  Therefore, there is a 50-50 chance the market will deviate from its accepted growth trendline.  No one can predict better.

Keep in mind the following: I have studied extensively how inequality proceeds from basic random interactions in game theory (just the decisions people make in business, whether to cooperate or compete for example).  Take a look at Wealth-relative effects in cooperation games – ScienceDirect. The results show that even though no one can predict the correct moves, a few people will get wealthy and the rest will go bankrupt.  And yes, that is likely why, as mentioned yesterday, debt relief was a “thing” in the ancient world, prior to the Phoenicians suppressing the information from the Greeks, whose civilization (180 years for the great power, Athens) was too short to figure it out.  Any kind of extortion or force makes it worse, but it happens naturally, and very quickly.

So, when I have critiqued Warren Buffett and Elon Musk as talentless lucky individuals, this is where it comes from.  Buffett grew up the son of a Republican/Libertarian Congressman, who also owned a small brokerage firm.  Warren’s best friend growing up had a father who owned a larger brokerage, and they hung out there for kicks and grins instead of shoplifting or pulling pranks like other pre-teens.  Then Warren graduated from high school in Washington DC, his buddies there being the sons and daughters of other members of Congress.  He was born connected.  He was born with a very valuable rolodex.

He used this connectivity, and his Father’s reputation, to get others to give him money to invest, and to get on the boards of companies so that he had access to inside information to see how to invest it.  To not succeed, he’d have had to have been a real dodo.  Let me elaborate on these two effects with respect to RIT:

  1. RIT does not apply to true inside information.  Nor, by the way, does the law against insider trading apply to a board member acquiring an entire company. 
  2. If you find a way to make a higher-than-average return at lower risk (which RIT says is impossible if you strictly follow the rules), then you increase your return by borrowing as much as possible, or in Warren’s case, managing other people’s money. 

Note that I have speculated Musk’s path was different.  I think he is a brilliant self-promoter who managed to get credit for more of PayPal’s success than he deserved, and thus a larger payout, around $11 billion I believe (from memory, too lazy to check it).  The next two successes, though difficult I’m sure, were quasi-monopoly no-brainers.  Conventional car companies were unable to go electric because of their high volumes, and the burden of design history.  American engineers knew how to make rocket engines, but many were unemployed by the decline of government spending, and conventional aerospace companies were too bloated, making too much money on cost plus contracts off the bloat, to use Musk’s methods.  By the way he had complete access to NASA’s space capsule history and copied much of it.  He’s willing to copy when it’s good enough.  Not that this was bad, but what he is doing now will sabotage both those companies eventually.

Yesterday I was complaining about employment.  Here is how that arises:

  1. RIT together with the random progress toward inequality divorces talent from success.
  2. A lot of highly skilled people wind up down on their luck.
  3. At least some of the stupid ones who got lucky are smart enough to just hire the skilled ones.

Seems fine, right?  However, this society cannot evolve, because traits are not passed to future generations in proportion to a repeatable success skill, if success is random and not a skill at all.  There was an intuitive grasp of this in every anti-nobility movement throughout history.

If the society has no evolutionary pressure to evolve, it will devolve.  Since economic success brings this situation about, the more successful societies devolve faster. 

The other part of the end of Civilizations was migration.  If a civilization is still functional, it can migrate away from a place where it has depleted resources.  If a civilization becomes non-functional before resources are exhausted, others will migrate in to take the resources.  For whatever reason (possibly disease, possibly some of it from Europe), civilization in the Americas was in severe decline when the Europeans found it.  Read about the Inca Empire, in the midst of civil war with brothers rivaling for what was left of the pickings.  Numerous Mayan cities abandoned and that population having returned to subsistence farming.  The Aztec’s with only one string city, depending on an island fortress, succumbing to a token force that should have been easily overwhelmed.  North American Indians having deserted their mound cities, and on the East Coast having neither the will nor the force to expel puny European colonies.  Earlier expeditions, for example the Vikings, got nowhere.

The same thing is happening today, but traditional Americans are the declining population, declining in numbers and in share of the economy.  The spread of inequality has reduced many to student debtors or dope addicts.  Jobs are done by ambitious foreigners, either in their home countries or here.  This is our swan song.  Trump appealed to this voter segment, but as far as I can see he did nothing, well, except get some of them thrown in jail.  Meanwhile 20,000 a month walk across the border into El Paso, no longer seeking jobs, but asylum status.  The Akkadians and other later migrants into Sumer were also refugees from wars in the Middle East and seeking asylum.

Vladimir Putin Concedes Peace Deal Likely Needed to End Ongoing War In Ukraine (

At a press conference in Kyrgyzstan on December 9, 2022, Putin shared that he was “disappointed” by Merkel’s comments, and added that, while he’s aware a deal between Ukraine and Russia will likely be required to end the ongoing war, he feels cheated by the failure of the Minsk agreements and is therefore weary about making another deal.

Putin is in a technical sense right about the Minsk Agreements, but as usual is ignoring some of the facts in order to bludgeon with others.

Ukraine clearly wanted into the EU.  Putin wanted Ukraine in a trade group he was forming, and offered Ukraine a loan.  A loan is just a means to control, and clearly not as good as the EU membership Ukraine wanted.  When the head of the government went with Putin’s proposal, the people kicked him out.  Putin can’t afford to acknowledge people have the right to kick a leader out.  Seeking further distance from Russia, Ukrainians passed some ill-advised laws dis-favoring Russian language (since at least partly corrected).  Right-wing groups as they do in any revolution.  Ukraine had many Russian loyalists at the time, those on the take from Russia, in positions of authority because of Russia, and ordinary ethnic Russians who simply calculated Russian pensions were higher than Ukrainian pensions.

Some of those loyalists handed over the Ukrainian Navy and other military assets to Russia when hostilities broke out.  Others enabled the invasion of little green men.  It was necessary for Ukraine to identify and purge these people if it was going to be a country separate from Russia.  This is unpleasant business, which may involve arrests and jail, or when that is not feasible, simple assassination.  Even Obama assassinated US citizens (famously with a drone strike) when he deemed them traitors, and there was no “trial by jury”.  Russia saw this as terrorism or fascism.  I see it as a revolution, something Putin cannot admit is admissible or he loses his own job.

Recall that Ukraine has good reason to hate and fear Russia, from subjugation and eradication of Ukrainian culture in the mid-19th century to the Holodomor in the 1930s when Stalin starved millions.  That, by the way, was the first Russia-Ukraine story I heard when I visited in 2009 for the first time.  ALL of the women I talked with who said they wanted to leave were in fact not Ukrainian, but Russian.

Once the traitors were dealt with, Ukraine was making mincemeat of the little green men and their Donbas allies, rapidly regaining territory, even more rapidly than today because they still had an air force.  Russia sent air defense weapons, the green men shot down a Malaysian airliner and a few Ukrainian Jets, and the conflict ground to a halt.  Ukraine was never allowed to regain control of their border as promised.  We’ll never know if they’d have granted autonomy to Donbas.  Russia never let go.  Makes no difference to me.  The aggressor was Russia.  The people in Donbas have but a short ride on a train to get to Russia if they want to live there.  Russia in fact gave them all passports.  They had no right to seize that land, which they eventually did. 

The moment rockets fell on apartment buildings and maternity hospitals, Russia abandoned any claim to rightness and restructured a world that could only exist if Russia were defeated and dismembered.  Because if they are left, it is clear to everyone they will rest up and do it again.  And again.  Eventually with nuclear weapons.

Russia’s elites know they’ve lost the war. They should jump ship (

A rather complex analysis.  Read it if you are the slightest interested in such things.  Too much to summarize, other than the top line – both hawks and doves believe a Russian failure is likely, and will bring down the regime and them with it.  So neither will depose Putin.

Stanovaya (not the author, someone the author is writing about) suggests that, given elite loyalty to Putin, the West should engage Russia in a “dialogue” that “would be designed to firmly guarantee to Moscow that Russia would continue to be a stable, autonomous state.

At the end of the Yeltsin era, the West had no animosity against Russia, and was not working to contain or destroy Russia.    That fact, and it is now a fact, was brought about by Putin.  “Former US President Bill Clinton says he told the Russian leadership that Moscow could one day join NATO.” 

However, now the West cannot afford to leave Russia “alive”.  It is too great a long-term threat.  It can never be disarmed as a single integrated nation.  There is not the internal political inclination, which still tends toward empire.  Even were Navalny elected, I do not believe the military would let him disarm the nukes.  They would kill him first.  However, with Russia broken up and the parts threatening each other, they will hand over their nukes to anyone they perceive as being able to keep the peace.  It is rather clear the only reason the former republics which maintain an alliance do so only because they once believed (no longer) Russia could keep them from going at each other’s throats.

Now you see what a terrible mistake it was not to defend Ukraine.  Who has the credibility to assure the split-a-parts of Russia of maintaining the peace?  Absolutely no one.  The US was signatory to the Budapest Memorandum, in which clearly by Ukraine’s understanding they would be assured of the integrity of their borders, by force as necessary, in exchange for giving up nukes and the assurance nukes provide.  The US didn’t.  Now it is not in a very credible position with the future parts of Russia.  Mark my words, there will be future parts, it will not last.  Ukraine may only be a radioactive pit, but Russia will not emerge from this either. 

Biden has made the biggest mistake possibly in world history.  You can argue Truman didn’t actually know, or didn’t have enough bombs to make it stick.  What I really think is Truman didn’t have the guts.  However, be that as it may, Biden is much older than Truman was, with vast experience in foreign policy.  He didn’t have the guts either.  But he doesn’t have any excuse.  He clearly should have – was expected to – reverse every Trump policy, yet he left the most damaging one in place, the withdrawal from and desertion of the people of Afghanistan to whom promises had been made.  So, then he was perceived as weak by Russia, and as untrustworthy by everyone he might want to persuade of something.  He proceeded to prove that beyond doubt with Ukraine.  There is nothing Biden can do to make up for this, or nothing he is likely to do.  He will just arrange for the fall to take a long time and kill a lot of Ukrainians.

‘Treason out loud’: Critics rip Marjorie Taylor Greene for ‘fantasizing about killing her colleagues’ (

“I wish Marjorie Taylor Greene, Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, Vladimir Putin and the entire siloviky, would drop dead.” 

Anybody hear anything drop?  I guess no one is listening.  Anyway, me and Marjorie are even now.

The Key Factor

Earlier I proposed that civilization would need to do something extremely unlikely to prevent its own collapse.  The reasoning is that due to the Fermi Paradox, millions of other civilizations have tried everything reasonable, and none of that worked.

Ordinary means of combatting inequality, controlling migration, managing resources will have all been tried.  Even nuclear disarmament will have been tried.  Probably suppressing giant Ais will have been tried as well.

Humans have tried only three methods of social organization that I know of:

  1. Primitive tribal communism
  2. Division of labor, capitalism, and either slavery or employment for those that fall into poverty, depending on what era you are talking about
  3. Division of labor and planned-economy style communism

I believe those are fairly obvious and will have been thoroughly tried by the millions of civilizations.  Anything else we try must pass the evolutionary test.  That is, natural selection must operate on it, and operate constructively, not producing poison or decay.

The most successful animals on the planet are the social insects, comprising 30% of animal biomass, and 80% of insect biomass.  It isn’t clear to me this would solve the problem.  Ant species engage in continent-spanning forever war.  Fire ants disappeared from south Texas for a while.  Now they are back.  This is the ebb and flow of the war boundary, not something humans are doing.  However, if a system were found to guarantee only one queen per planet would survive, this might work.

If implementation could be guaranteed, we could solve the problem by abandoning the division of labor and capitalism and jobs.  The trouble is this would leave us virtually powerless against a well-armed adversary.  There are not likely to be interstellar adversaries, since they all fall victim to the Fermi Paradox.  But you cannot ensure everyone on Earth will cooperate.  Er, short of turning all the nukes over to an AI.  That might have actually been tried.  It was the “solution” proposed in the Sci Fi classic The Day The World Stood Still.

If jobs are the key factor, and not division of labor (aka specialization), we might be able to figure something out, and not become powerless.  If specialization is the key factor, I am unsure there is a way around the Fermi Paradox.  Your thoughts are welcome.

Why We Don’t Control Our Society

This is an article about how the rich and powerful have more than their “share” of influence in a democracy. Certainly, the recent implosion of Elon Musk illustrates that billionaires have no more sense than Putin (who is also a billionaire – they cannot “see” the real world, which I know just from interacting with millionaires). At the bottom is a link to a petition if you agree and want to do something about it.

Twitter’s Elon Musk is warned to prepare for ‘hundreds or even thousands’ of arbitration cases (

Q: Your employer provides a bed and a toothbrush and orders you to spend 24/7 at the company base.  What kind of organization is it?

A: Military organization in which you are compelled to serve and likely to give your life.  You may not have children and your family may not survive.  If you can help it, working for such an organization should be avoided at all costs (e.g. half a million young men leaving everything behind in Russia).

There is more and more similarity between Musk and Putin.  Neither got their money honestly.  Honestly, when I signed up for PayPal I had not seen ANY of the vaunted publicity Musk generated or heard of him.  I was frustrated with taking credit cards and looking for a way to send my business partner money, and researched all options.  Musk just by accident landed on the right bandwagon and is good at promoting himself.  He intended to work for Netscape but didn’t get hired.

Billionaire James Dyson says letting people work from home is ‘staggeringly self-defeating’ and will cause friction between employers and employees (

Yet another staggeringly arrogant billionaire.  The data showed productivity went up when employees worked from home.  Dyson says “Without control over where employees work, companies like Dyson will hesitate to invest in the UK”.  That can only benefit the UK.  Put Dyson in the same cell with Musk.  Let them try and control each other.

I have been against the idea of “employment” and equate it with slavery for most of my life.  This is not a new attitude.  Just think about it for a minute.  Jobs appear and disappear in a flash.  Look at the layoffs every time the wind blows.  Musk didn’t care about Twitter’s employees.  Nor does he care about users.  Only their money.  He’s just another dictator.  Look up the original theory of corporations.  They don’t exist to make a profit.  They exist to serve the public good, to accomplish things one individual cannot.  The system is out of balance.  Americans were far happier in the 1950s and 60s when the top tax bracket was over 90%.

Supreme Court takes second case challenging Biden student loan relief (

The old civilizations (Sumer, Babylon, Phoenicia) found that society collapsed without periodic debt relief.  However, the Phoenicians did not want to give the Greeks this concession, and failed to inform them when teaching the Greeks trade and business.  So the western world struggles to this day with erroneous ideas about debt.  You probably think those students shouldn’t have borrowed and you don’t want to pay their debt.  Understandable.

The education should have been affordable to begin with.  Schools lobbied for government money to expand greedily.  Then they became so expensive there was no other way to afford them.  I went to school on full scholarship.  I didn’t pay for it.  I am not in any position to say these other students should pay for worthless degrees that advisors sold them, for which corporations suddenly decided oops, we don’t really need those people.  Debt can cause the collapse of society.  Nearly did a couple of times in the last 100 years.  Don’t think 2008 was just financial.  It heavily impacted Ukraine (I was there in 2009, 20, 11) and generated their desire to join the EU, which pissed Putin off.  2008 caused this war, the Arab Spring, and the unending wars in Yemen, Syria, Libya, etc.

A brutal Russian paramilitary group active in Ukraine called for border intelligence on nearby NATO states: report (

Rogue actions in NATO states planned.  Why such surprise?  They already blew up a pipeline, and “possibly” instigated attacks on power stations in the US.

Ukraine rejects «moral lessons» from the West and criticism of attacks on Russian territory (

Moral lessons from the west will only get you in an interminable war like Afghanistan or Vietnam.  I totally agree with Kuleba.  The reason I gave up on Ukraine is because of the US not Ukraine.  The US is not moving fast enough to cut off Russia’s preparation for a larger war.

Retired Navy SEAL made famous after coming out as trans announces detransition: ‘destroyed my life’ (

I have for a long time been against irreversible decisions.  Suicide, for example, is irreversible.  Maybe you will change your mind?  You never know.  That is the problem this person faced, and on that point alone, I do not think the US government should be subsidizing and encouraging this sort of thing, forcing doctors to perform the surgery.  I won’t say make it illegal, just don’t encourage anyone.  The gay and trans community is allowed to proselytize.  Most of the Muslim world is polygamous, but would be persecuted for that here.  (BTW, it’s not like you think.  A man has to be able to provide a separate house for each wife, and they can’t all sleep together.  It’s not polyamory.)

Florida divests billions from investment firm over QAnon-linked conspiracy theory (

“‘Florida’s Treasury Division is divesting from BlackRock because they have openly stated they’ve got other goals than producing returns,’ he told Reuters. He was referring to the company’s commitment to environmental, social, and governance principles, a collection of socially responsible investing values widely known by their acronym, ESG.”

The above is true to the best of my knowledge, and not a conspiracy theory.

Whether it is a good idea or not we can discuss another day.  As above, corporations do have responsibility to the public good.  However, BlackRock is far too large and controls too much.  This means investors don’t actually vote on corporate matters.  Only BlackRock votes, and if states like Florida leave when they aren’t cutthroat, they will be cutthroat.  In the 60s and 70s a lot of pollution reduction came from investor activism.

What this voting conundrum means is that compared to 50 years ago, we no longer actually control the largest entities in our society.

If you agree sufficiently to want to do something, sign this petition. The current number of sign-ers is pathetic. Does that mean everyone has great confidence in billionaires? Expects to soon be a billionaire themselves (trust me, the odds are much lower than you think, even if you already have 100 million, see Wealth Relative Effects in Cooperation Games). Or it just hasn’t been noticed? If you and 88 other people sign it, it’ll start to get promoted on

Fair political voice of billionaires such as Musk, Bezos, Soros, Murdoch

How Civilizations Fail

Dec. 8th, 2022, Houston, TX, US

Since writing this, and one other on the breakup of Russia, which I will get posted here shortly, Henry Kissinger has advocated Russia not be broken up or even significantly defeated. I’ll get around to rebutting that too. One thing at a time.

This story just appeared, related to my comments about opposition to an actual Russian defeat.  In addition to making you aware of the self-serving Ukrainian remarks, and the additional background on those who resist Russian defeat, I wish to provide my own response.  First a summary of the already short article:

Ukraine Says Western Allies Shouldn’t Fear Russia Falling Apart – WSJ

  1. Ukraine FM urges allies not to fear breakup of Russia, defends their right to attack bases on Russian territory.
  2. Though united on preventing Ukraine defeat, not all support re-acquisition of territory lost in 2014.
  3. Some of these allies worry that such an outcome could profoundly destabilize the nuclear-armed Russian state, potentially leading to its fragmentation and wide-scale unrest, with unpredictable consequences for the rest of the world.
    1. Anthony Blinken claims US supports re-taking all territory
    2. But we know US limited HIMARS to not attack Russian bases, and Miley does not support full re-take
    3. I have urged you to call for Miley’s replacement.  If you value civilization on Earth, write now.  That I have largely given up urging you (only a few respond) does not mean I don’t write myself.
    4. In “Chicken Kiev” speech of 1991. Then, President George H.W. Bush in a speech to Ukrainian lawmakers warned against “suicidal nationalism,” urging Ukrainians to preserve the Soviet Union and abandon their quest for independence from Moscow.
      1. GHW Bush was former director of the CIA and the only person in America who does not remember where he was when JFK was assassinated.  Photos place him on a street corner in Dallas.
  4. “I’m calling on the world not to be afraid of Russia falling apart. If the wheels of history begin to turn, no human will change it,” Mr. Kuleba said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal in Kyiv.

I can’t help but like Kuleba.  He calls them as he honestly sees them, and that is right.  IF the wheels of history begin to turn, no human will change it.

I believe we have choices.  I suspect, strongly, on evidence, that millions or billions of civilizations in the Universe have made choices that limited their lifespans to a few thousand years, and went kaput.  As Mr. Kuleba points out, we have to make those choices before the wheels start to turn.  Once turning, no human will stop them.

I do not believe the present crisis is existential.  It is reminiscent of the qualities of an existential crisis, and thus I “chronicle the end times”.  But most likely there will be no nuclear war, Russia will be left intact, and will rot from within.  Russia or China or other countries will take ambiguous lessons, and the wheels will turn unexpectedly on another day.

If you have thought about this for a few years, without dismissing it as hopeless or irrelevant, you will have reached the same conclusion I have, which is the only logical conclusion to reach:

  1. We must act in the moment in an entirely unpredictable manner, in a way no responsible civilization would act.  Any reasonable action has already been tried by the millions of civilizations that failed.  Better to be a cockroach dodging at random than a genius who is wrong.
  2. We must in the long run seek to understand the dynamics of civilization in a novel way, not biased by our own accidental survival (which reveals nothing of our future chances), or on our over-confident narrow-specialist academic disciplines, or our politics which amount to everyone for themselves, nor our idealism which amounts to everyone for anyone but themselves.  None of the things which didn’t work for other civilizations are relevant.

Natasha was wondering today about North American Indians, which didn’t leave any big cities.  They had them.  But there are almost no stones in the Mississippi River Valley, so when de-occupied these cities disappeared except for the mounds on which buildings were built. 

Ancient Native Americans Once Thrived in Bustling Urban Centers – HISTORY

Cahokia: North America’s massive, ancient city – Big Think

Mound Builders – Wikipedia

There aren’t great and stable river valleys in Central America or in the narrow land west of the Andes in South America.  Cities there were based on either cisterns or natural aquifers.  The weather in the Western Hemisphere is horrible.  Decades of drought are followed by decades of flood.  The mountain configuration causes the jet stream to rise to the north pole, then dip down all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.  The cold winters and sweltering summers shocked the hell out of early European Settlers, destroyed the first colony, and 90% of the second.  Check out the tornado frequency map:

North America is the only place in the world that has “violent tornadoes”.  South America, Central America, Africa and Asia are nearly tornado free.  Europe’s tornadoes are mild.  You may wonder why I continue to risk Hurricanes here south of Houston and north of Galveston.  Just 10 miles north of me most of the violent weather peters out.  Hail storms cease.  Tornadoes disappear.  I am balanced on a knife edge of moderate weather.  To improve my situation I’d have to go north to central Canada, or west to the desert.  Some of the places that have fewer tornadoes have loads of hurricanes:

Notice that most of the category 5’s are in the Pacific and threaten Asia.  Here they mostly go to New Orleans or Corpus Christy, and all rapidly dissipate in south central Texas (those curving toward Mississippi last longer over land).

This is not something I just observed after living here half a century.  I checked flood plain maps when buying a house.  I was aware of the quiet region from my first couple of years here.  By the time Claudette flooded all the high-value homes I admired near me in 1979, I resolved never to move.

The Mound Builders had a Great River Civilization.  With NO STONES for hundreds of miles in any direction, they build no lasting structures.  With the WORST WEATHER ON THE PLANET what they did build, except the mounds themselves, was rapidly wiped away once they were no longer maintaining it.

In the Amazon Basin, you can’t have a Great River Civilization.  The Jungle will swallow up any such thing.  There are too many insidious and ferocious things wanting to eat any pile of stored grain.  Grain was wealth in the early civilizations.  If you can’t store it, you can’t build wealth, and you can’t have civilization.  Harsh, but I tell the truth.

In Central America, cities dependent on stored water were wiped out by periods of drought.  After a couple hundred years at the most, inhabitants would return to their plots of land or the jungle. 

In the American West, a similar strategy of stored water was adopted to supply cities like Phoenix and Los Angeles.  How did the much-vaunted Europeans do at managing what was essentially the giant cisterns of Lake Powell and Lake Mead?

Hmm, not any better than the Central Americans, I see, and in less time.

River civilizations are stable as long as there is rainfall anywhere in the river basin, and the civilization learns to withstand floods (thus the commonality of flood stories).  The longest lasting one that I know of is the first really large one, Ur.  Founded in 3800 BC and abandoned on 500 BC when the river changed course, it lasted 3300 years.  Yet it was unknown in biblical times.  Completely forgotten by the ancient Romans and Greeks. 

Rome was founded in 753 BC and became a republic in 509 and the most powerful empire on Earth in the first century BC.  By 400-something AD Rome was sacked and the empire in the west gone.  In Constantinople it lasted until 1453.  Giving the benefit of the doubt, the Roman empire lasted at most 2000 years, only locally important for much of that time, barely half as long as Ur.  Athens remained a great power for only 180 years.  The British Empire lasted about 400 years if you really stretch the end dates.

Civilizations do not last long in the grand scheme of archaeological time.  Where is the new knowledge that would suggest we are different?

Ah, yes, that.  There isn’t any, is there?  When our river dries up, we’ll be gone.  I think you should not even worry about man-made disasters.  And if defeating a genocidal expansionist extortionist empire seems a little bold, like a reasonable civilization would not take such a risk, it’s probably the right thing to do.

Deal With The Devil

I have been publishing a daily newsletter to a couple dozen friends since the first day of the Ukraine-Russia-US war. Of course, the US is at war. Saying “not” is as pointless as Putin saying “special operation”.

Many of us wrote to our political representatives, and the things we asked for were eventually delivered. But too late to keep Ukraine from being destroyed and many Ukrainians killed and millions displace. Uh, AND a huge financial bill to the US, the smallest component of which is weapons. We are on the hook for the trillion-dollar rebuilding of Ukraine, even if Russia just knocks it down again, which they will if we don’t stop them. All because Biden could not bring himself to “Just say NO.”

I became disgusted and branched out beyond Ukraine to offer general commentary on things I thought were not just stupid, but eventually leading to the end of society. This is tied up with the Fermi Paradox, which I will gradually explain. I am going to post a few of the old notes, beginning with this one from December the 8th, chronicling how US politics got so polarized. It was the Devil, er, I mean Evangelical Christianity. Same thing. You will understand eventually.

Dec 8, 2022, Houston, TX, USA

Thanks to the many people who provided feedback yesterday.  I guess there is at least some interest in my pessimistic take on the news.  Better to be surprised on the upside than down is my motto.

I wrote you a long explanation recently of how I left church after they went into politics in the early 90s.  A pastor who was party to negotiations with the Republican Party now describes how in exchange for overturning Roe v. Wade, the churches agreed to a larger program of right-wing policies:

‘Deal with the devil’: Evangelical pastor testifies about bargain Christian conservatives made with GOP (

  1. The conversation went something like this: “You guys want Roe v. Wade overturned, we can do that for you, but you take the whole enchilada, you take the whole thing,”
  2. “From that point on that community that I had served, and still do, made a deal with the devil,” he said. “That deal was, we would support everything on the conservative agenda, whether or not we had conscientious conflict with them. The means were justified by the ends of that.”

Last time I checked (and I have read the whole thing through more than once) there was nothing in the New or Old Testament about the ends justifying the means.  I hope this guy likes Putin, because he’ll probably share a cell in hell with him.

There is also nothing on the NT or OT about abortion.  But sacrifice of teenage daughters is condoned.  See Judges 11.  Bet you didn’t know that.  It’s no accident you haven’t heard it.  It so troubles the “priestly class” that it isn’t cross referenced in indices or concordances, nor is it covered in Bible study classes.  The only way to discover it is to read straight through.  To find it again years later, I had to read a large section straight through again due to the lack of indexing.  After that I committed the book and chapter number to memory.  The book omits mention of Jephthah’s children and wives later after he became a judge, but typical numbers were something like 40 and 20 respectively, so the deal maximized his evolutionary success.  The daughter seemed to understand and accept.  If you do the math, it also maximized the number of her future genetic representatives.  She is 50% related to Jephthah, and so 25% related to his likely 40 or so children.  That’s the genetic equivalent of having 10 of her own children. 

In other words, the truth is not what you think it is.  It has been deliberately and carefully hidden from you by the people you trust the most.

Our current politics is then infected by this deal with the devil.  The devil wants conflict and chaos.  Yep.  That’s what we got.

Iran ‘on verge of collapse’ after carrying out first execution over protests (

‘Leaked: Basij leader there has admitted the possibility of Tehran’s fall tonight is extremely high and that the Presidential palace may be attacked. Khamenei and Raisi told to be transferred to a safe place ASAP”.’

Well, I’ll believe it when I see it.  If it happens, all I can say is easy come, easy go.

The Supreme Court Seems Less Inclined to End Democracy Than Before (

Bull.  It doesn’t matter that the justices took a beating in orals.  They can still rule any way they want and will.  The deal with the devil is harder to get out of than that.

Scholz: Risk of Russia using nuclear weapons has diminished, for now (

International pressure my foot.  Putin was made to realize the utter destruction he faced.  Meanwhile his titanic submarine wave maker failed its field test.

Men are dropping out of the labor force because they’re upset about their social status, according to a new study (

Non-college-educated men have seen their pay shrink by more than 30% since 1980 compared to the average earnings of all other prime-age workers.

This is the demographic that causes revolutions. 

Winter is coming: The ‘best country in the world’ is planning to ban electric cars amid the energy crisis. Is it time to revisit oil stocks? Here are 3 big plays (

In event of electricity shortage, Switzerland may ban electric vehicles.  In a future California, that would translate to all personal vehicles.  So maybe the story on Oxfordshire is not limited to university towns after all?

Elon Musk could move Twitter from San Francisco after ‘mattress’ probe (

  1. Elon Musk could potentially move the company headquarters out of San Francisco after the city launched an investigation into reports that part of its corporate offices were converted into makeshift sleeping quarters for overworked employees.

Just like he moved Tesla from LA area to Texas, where there are no labor laws whatever as far as I can see.  Texas was among the first to make “the deal.”

NATO chief says Russia wants a ‘freeze’ in Ukraine fighting so it can prepare for a renewed assault early next year (


Russia’s central bank just issued a warning about ‘new economic shocks,’ and it shows the new $60/barrel cap on oil is working (

The price cap on Russian crude and EU’s oil embargo present “new economic shocks,” the Bank of Russia said.

Kremlin Says Russia Is Done Taking Territory From Ukraine (

“For now!”  (always read the fine print)


Vladimir Putin: Fresh claims the Russian President is preparing to flee to South America (

Like the Nazi he is.  Note: if he has a plan to flee, he will not start a nuclear war.  His chances would be zero.  There would be a bounty on his head a million miles high.

He was reportedly thinking of fleeing to Iran earlier, but I guess that’s off the table as Iranian bigwigs play to flee:

Iran would be negotiating political asylum with Venezuela in the event of an eventual loss of power, according to the media (

There is no shortage of people tweeting and writing articles saying we should end the fighting, negotiate (aka yield) to Russia.  Look at who writes these.  Elon Musk formerly world’s richest man.  Economists and bureaucrats and businessmen who make money dealing with Russia.  There is a lot of money involved in the current mobster scheme of controlling Russia, money for people all around the world.  If you break Russia a part there is no accountability to those past funds flows.  New parties will scarf it up.  Former mobsters and oligarchs will be summarily disposed of in frozen ditches beside the road.  Anyone who makes a fuss will be killed by whatever new mob takes over. 

While in some ways the new mob will be no better than the old mob, I believe the world has a choice:

  1. Yield to nuclear blackmail by refraining from attacking and dissembling the Nazi war and criminal culture in Russia, eventually surrendering the planet to a nuclear dictator or fighting a nuclear war with one.
  2. Defeat Russia utterly and completely so that other despots realize that their nukes are more of a liability than an asset.


On the above dichotomy, which way do you think it will go?

Eliminate Islam & Restrict Christianity

I have studied religion, its origin and meaning, all my life, having completed catechism classes at 9, reading the bible cover to cover in college and again in my early 30s, attending church and Sunday School, trying several different churches, investigating biblical archaeology, and so forth. In my early years I thought there was something special about Christianity, but gradually have been disabused of that notion. Not all at once. I became disenchanted with churches particularly in the early 1990s when they got involved in politics. Now we have some inside testimony on how that happened, and how evangelicals made a “deal with the devil” accepting things they didn’t agree with in order to overturn Roe v. Wade. There is NOTHING in the bible about the ends justifying the means. Rather the opposite. The ends are to use the correct means, and leave the outcome up to God. Jesus even allowed himself to be crucified. Must have been quite painful.

Pastor Admits “Deal with Devil” to overturn Roe v. Wade

  • In that meeting that I participated in, the conversation went something like this: ‘You guys want Roe v. Wade overturned, we can do that for you, but you take the whole enchilada, you take the whole thing,”‘ he said. you take everything else that comes with it.
  • “From that point on that community that I had served, and still do, made a deal with the devil,” he said. “That deal was, we would support everything on the conservative agenda, whether or not we had conscientious conflict with them. The means were justified by the ends of that.”

The participants in this fiasco must at least have their tax exempt status revoked, retroactively to the date of their political involvement.

The right-wing plan to have a state-called constitutional convention, playing fast and loose with rules that don’t exist, must be seen not as legal but as an attempt to undermine our government, as insurrection and treason. They want to establish religion in the constitution. I will not have it. You want rebellion in this country, that’s the way to get it. My ancestors came here for religious freedom, and I intend to preserve it by undermining these people every way that I can.

I held off on denouncing Christianity until after my mother died for her sake and after my sister quit suggesting we go to church. Now the gloves are off. This is misleading clap trap and not harmless. It grows and festers and eventually wants to take over. If we are to actually preserve the freedom to have the religion of our choice, then contain it and get it out of government. Otherwise, with church attendance declining, there will soon be a political majority for a very different kind of constitutional convention, called by Congress, removing all rights of religious groups as threats to our country.

All religion is evil. Read Judges 11. Not only is abortion not mentioned in the bible, but sacrifice of a near-adult daughter is condoned, and the asked-for reward given.

Jephthah greeted by his daughter and only child (at the time)
There is no way he didn’t expect this. He meant exactly what happened.

You will not find this reference if you look in an index or concordance. Since ancient times the priestly class has had a hard time explaining it away, and would like to be rid of it. But it had already become a popular annual festival.

The account avoids mention of Jephthah’s wives and children later after he became a judge, but typical numbers were 20 wives and 40+ children. He maximized his evolutionary success. His daughter seems to understand that her own is also maximized and does not put up a fuss. She has 50% of his genes and therefore 25% genetic commonality with any other children he may have if the agreement is completed. 25% of 40 is the equivalent of 10 children of her own in evolutionary success, which is a low possibility. But if she cooperates, it is in the bag. She will have many descendants.

So what about Islam? Without question, it is a religion which advocates war, and the killing of those who will not accept it. No one can excuse, soft pedal, or make the Quran scriptures repeatedly directing that behavior go away. No one can deny that Islam produces grievous and frequent occurrences of such behavior. Does Christianity? Sometimes. Often. But its founder did NOT advocate that. Christian scripture does not say it. So we cannot at this time ban Christianity on that basis. However, if its members don’t behave, maybe.

At this point we are engaged in a war with Russia. We the U.S. We are paying for it and providing the weapons, and have merely contracted out some operational aspects. Russia views it as a religious war at least in part. They have taken Iran as a principal ally, supplying them with long range missiles with which to destroy Ukraine’s energy, freezing and starving its people.

It makes military sense to interdict Iran’s ability to produce and transport those missiles immediately. The uprising in Iran is not strong enough to topple the government. We toppled Iran’s government in 1953 for much less reason, merely commercial concerns. We handed it over to the Shah, a despot. Instead we should re-educate it like Japan and Germany. This should be undertaken immediately.

Saudi Arabia is allying with China. They should be put on notice they need to loosen up, and get rid of the murderer bin Salman, or they will face the same.

It is inexcusable that Truman did not force disarmament of the world after the US developed the atomic bomb.

Truman was too “religious” to take this step. I guess he thought God would come down from heaven and “fix” everything. What historical example did he have? Well, er, none.

Now we either cave to a nuclear extortionist, or we have a nuclear war (assuming he is not bluffing – likely no Russian officers would push the required buttons – I have a Russian wife and have spent time there and they love life and do not wish nuclear annihilation).

There is some “fear” that Russia may break up. See for example this article by Brent Eastwood. The breakup of Russia is the best thing that can happen, the lowest risk. Most likely all the component states can be persuaded to give up nukes as was Ukraine.

However, if we don’t defend Ukraine, there is no chance they can be persuaded. The lack of defense of Ukraine (and before you blame Biden, which is accurate, realize the usually hawkish Republicans were even less willing on average) guarantees every two bit country on Earth now sees nuclear weapons as a “must have”.

What you want and what you actually get as a result of your actions are two entirely different things. Just as Putin got a stronger NATO when he invaded Ukraine, Biden got more nations resolved to develop and use nuclear weapons when he declined to defend Ukraine.

Think about it. Talk with your friends. Take action that is not typical within history. Otherwise we are just repeating ourselves until we die.

Don’t Be Fooled – Russia is Winning by Large Margin

I will start slow and lay some groundwork up to my point.

Analysis: Have China and India shifted stance on Russia war? (
If you have to ASK, it’s not significant.  Russia will not notice.

Russia launches new Ukraine barrage as grain deal extended (

  • Thursday as the first snow of the season fell in Kyiv
  • Moscow’s missiles continue to take out power and gas plants as winter descends
  • Air raid sirens sounded across Ukraine on Thursday. At least four people were killed and more than two dozen others wounded in the drone and missile strikes, including one that hit a residential building, authorities said
  • In eastern Ukraine, Russia “launched a massive attack on gas production infrastructure,” state energy company Naftogaz head Oleksiy Chernishov said in a statement
  • Russian strikes also hit the central city of Dnipro and Ukraine’s southern Odesa region for the first time in weeks.
  • Critical infrastructure was also hit in the northeastern region of Kharkiv, in the area of Izyum, wounding three workers
  • Separately, the United Nations announced the extension of a deal to ensure exports of grain and fertilizers from Ukraine
    • In addition to securing the safe passage of Ukrainian exports, Guterres said in a statement the United Nations is also “fully committed” to removing obstacles that have impeded the export of food and fertilizer from Russia.

Ukrainians make bold statements about how they are undaunted by strikes.  However, I notice a distinct lack of future tense in the statements today.  There is no “will be” or “will remain” undaunted.  Ukrainians are starting to realize they cannot expel the Russians if they are all frozen and starved to death (Ukrainians living in cities are dependent on refrigeration for food).

The “obstacles” to Russian food export are not direct sanctions on the food and fertilizer, but sanctions on use of Western shipping, insurance, etc.  If Russia is allowed such access, there will be a rage of cheating and other goods will be exported, and material to make arms will be imported.  In any case, sale of Russian food will support their war.  They can fight indefinitely.  No one is attacking them on their turf.  They are not starving or freezing.  There is zero reason for them to stop.

Russia’s chilling ‘World War’ warning to West after Poland strike; ‘You are moving closer to…’ | Watch ( Medvedev has been a loose canon saying nothing that reflected actual Russian policy.  He’s trying to ingratiate himself and save his own skin.  It isn’t going to work, and we should ignore him.  The louder he shouts, the weaker he appears to other Russian siloviki (ruling club).

Russia’s economy has finally fallen into recession, 8 months after it invaded Ukraine ( A 4% GDP shrinkage is completely insignificant.  Sanctions are not working and will not work.

‘That’s not the evidence’: Ukraine and allies in rare public clash over Poland blast (
Pay absolutely no attention to this controversy.  I’m sorry I mentioned it in previous issues.  Two missiles hitting a small farm are not significant no matter whose missiles they were.  This is a phenomenon well known in management science.  A committee (whether of individuals or nations), will spend more time discussing a small item than a large one.  They don’t understand the large one nor what to do about it.  But they can investigate and decide on the small one ad infinitum.  Everyone is an expert.  The important thing is dozens to hundreds of Russian missiles striking Ukraine electrical and energy infrastructure every day!

Kremlin says it cannot imagine public negotiations with Kyiv (

  • One thing is for sure: the Ukrainians do not want any negotiations – Peskov
  • Moscow would continue what it calls a “special military operation”, and that missile strikes on targets across Ukraine were the consequence of Kyiv not being willing to meet at the negotiating table.

Recall numerous previous statements by Peskov and other officials.  Russia defines “negotiation” as achieving [all] of their objectives by peaceful means, including the de-nazification (ethnic cleansing) of Ukraine, and seizure of the 4 annexed provinces at a minimum, guarantees of Ukraine’s pro-Russian stance and pro-Russian government officials, official status of Russian language in Ukraine, economic coupling of the two countries, Ukraine can never join EU or NATO as its citizens want.

You can have government officials of Ukraine sign such documents all day, and they will just be ignored or even assassinated, while the Ukrainians continue to fight Russia.  Russia simply wants to cut off US weapons.  That is the only effect of negotiations.  The US is the only party to a negotiation that will keep its word when it is not in US interests to do so.  I do NOT consider this an admirable trait, but a flaw in today’s world.  We are living in a world where those with moral stands do not set an example.  They are simply killed and quickly forgotten, erased from history.  The internet makes it possible to erase someone or something with a few keyclicks.  No book burning necessary.

Anger on the front lines and anxiety at home as Russia’s mobilization is mired in problems (
50,000 mobilized soldiers deployed in Ukraine.  300 known to be resisting.  That’s 0.6% in case you need help with a calculator.  In no society on Earth is that level of opposition considered significant.  The press are just scouting out one or two disgruntled people to try and make a wishful dream come true.  Isn’t going to happen.  There will be no soldier revolt in Russia.


Ukrainian military victory not likely anytime soon – top US general — RT World News

Pelosi to retire as Democrat leader — RT World News (won’t seek to be minority leader)

NATO’s hair trigger: The Polish missile incident was a close brush with nuclear annihilation — RT World News (more bluster to intimidate the West – if Russia were willing to be the first to use nukes, they would not now be retreating from Kherson)

Zelensky ‘lying’ to drag US into WW3 – Tucker Carlson — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union (Tucker Carlson has proven he will say anything to help Putin)

Andrey Kortunov: American attempts to preserve hegemony will only make the transition to a new world order harder for Washington — RT World News (the article suggests Russia is simply jealous of the attention paid to things like US mid-term elections by the rest of the world, indicating it is the US whose politics are consequential.  The whole war is Russia’s effort to be consequential.  This starts to make sense.  A “school shooter” is attempting to be consequential.  Russia is just a mass shooter – trust me, it is the entire population, not just Putin – and should be treated as such.  Send SWAT.  Eliminate shooter.  Then talk about why the situation arose and how to prevent it in the future.  Pass laws against guns (in this case, nations with excess military capability)).

Special operation does not depend on weather conditions — Kremlin spokesman – Russian Politics & Diplomacy – TASS “The special military operation is continuing, it does not depend on climatic or weather conditions,” Peskov said. He added that “its goals must be achieved.”


Do you see ANY reduction in Russia’s determination to use missiles to reduce Ukraine to the stone age?

Do you see any reduction in Russia’s CAPABILITY to do so?

Russia is now able to buy as many drones and missiles as it wishes from Iran, and as many artillery shells as it wishes from North Korea.  N.K. has been evading sanctions for years and is likely supplied by the Chinese.  Do you see any decline in Russia’s ability to get revenue from oil?  No, it has gone up.  Price caps are legendary for their ineffectiveness.  Nations have been getting around embargoes since time immemorial. 

Russia’s objective of destroying Ukraine is easily within their capability, and does not depend on holding any territory.

Once Ukraine is destroyed, there will be no resistance to Russia occupying the territory.  The way NATO quickly shied away from any confrontation recently confirms NATO will not engage Russia.  It is questionable whether it will even activate a collective defense.

Only the US is capable of checking Russia, and Biden is not going to do it. 

Trump has proven he will hold Ukraine aid hostage to his own devious agenda (fake evidence against Hunter Biden)

The remaining contender for President is Ron DeSantis.  In all of the last year he’s made only TWO statements about Ukraine.  Here they are:

Ron DeSantis praises Elon Musk for keeping Starlink satellites above Ukraine (

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) admonishes Ukrainian officials for criticizing Elon Musk’s so-called peace proposal. (

The Musk proposal gives Russia Crimea and other territory, and does not prevent Russia from continuing their war in the future at any time they please, and have recovered sufficiently.  It grants them Ukrainian neutrality, which will enable them to enter and manipulate Ukraine politics.  Likely the Ukrainian people will not accept it and will keep fighting.

DeSantis’ position on Ukraine is the weakest of the three – Biden, Trump & DeSantis. 

Here is a chronology of Trump’s evolving position:

  • 6 years ago Donald Trump on Ukraine – YouTube He will not allow Putin to go into Ukraine.  The mess was made by Obama (I agree completely with the verdict on Obama.  My initial support for Trump was rational, based on his statements.  Ukraine was dominant in my politics already in 2016.)
  • March 22 Trump Explains What He Would Do to End Putin’s War in Ukraine | CNSNews
    • Reduce price of oil drastically by pumping more in the US.  Starve Russia’s finances that way.  This is something no Democrat can do because they depend on the green faction.
    • Would make heavy use of drones rather than jets.  In fact drones have been very successful for the Ukrainian side, even weak Turkish drones.  US is still withholding all but its smallest drones.  The more capable US drones have 2500 mile range and could strike deep in Russia.  Trump wouldn’t care.  He ordered actions that killed Russian troops in Syria, and nothing came of it.  He is a master of blustering himself, and sees Russia as a weak blusterer.
  • Trump pushes for Russia-Ukraine talks, complicating GOP politics | The Hill – This position I consider disgusting.  But it’s likely to get Trump votes of anyone who doesn’t want nuclear war.
  • Ukraine could be Donald Trump’s path to political salvation | The Star – many Americans don’t see the point of the war.  (don’t see the connection with Taiwan? I see it so clearly I fail to understand them)  If the polls can be believed, those who support Trump (and most Republicans do) care little about how he did in the past in Ukraine. Rather, they are interested in what he would do now.  McCarthy will lead the House and is already talking about reduced support for Ukraine.  30 liberal democrats sent a letter which they withdrew, but it likely represents their feeling they want negotiation.  Trump argues he would get a stronger deal in negotiation than Biden.  Um, this might be true, I’m not sure.  Trump is also as likely as Putin to ignore a deal and shoot.
  • Viktor Orbán says Donald Trump’s the one to end war in Ukraine – POLITICO – The US must come to an agreement with Russia, ‘and then the war will be over.’  Likely to end or roll back NATO expansion, and cede territory to Russia.  I am not however convinced Russia will not start the war up again, and I think China will soon invade Taiwan.

In thinking about the future, and 2024, it is time to face the music.  These are the only 3 men who might possibly become president.  Any other is a total pipe dream.

Biden says now he will not force Ukraine to negotiate, though he’s letting his minions say otherwise.  The two Republicans are significantly worse and will, in my opinion, endanger the security of the free world.  So the only alternative is to press Biden to (a) make good on his promise not to force Ukraine, and (b) clean house and get rid of his minions sending mixed messages that encourage Russia.  Biden must stop the missiles and clean up messaging.

Minion in Chief, General Milley

Damage to Ukraine’s Infrastructure

Damage to Ukraine Residential Structures

Cost to Rebuild Ukraine $750 billion

Guess who is going to pay that cost in any negotiated settlement? The U.S. taxpayer. If you think it is expensive to continue the war, just try paying for a negotiated end. Russia is liable to wind up collecting damages. Remember it defines negotiation as achieving ALL of its aims. That includes a New World Order with it and the Chinese making the rules and the US losing out, being dominated and extorted by trade in critical commodities.

ACTION – send this letter or some variation to Biden now:

Dear Mr. President,

With elections running so close, it is likely even a few people voting on the Ukraine issue will decide them.  I voted entirely based on who supports Ukraine in the mid-term elections.

Of the three men most likely to be elected President in 2024, you are the only one promising not to force Ukraine to negotiate, and supporting the expulsion of Russia troops from all Ukrainian territory.  This should give you an advantage.  DeSantis and Trump both strongly intend to “negotiate”.  Russia defined negotiation as achieving all their aims through talks, not giving up anything, which will likely embolden China to take Taiwan.  I don’t believe you for one second that China has no intention to invade Taiwan, don’t waste your breath on that.  Xi and his generals have stated their position over and over.  None have recanted.

If the war is still going on in 2024, you will lose.  The war will not remain popular that long.  You must be the victor by then, or at least way ahead so that switching leaders is a scary proposition, possibly costing the lead.

If Russia continues raining missiles on Ukraine – and I see nothing to stop them, they can get all they need from Iran – there will be no Ukrainians left by 2024.  Maybe by 2023.  This missile battle is independent of territory battles.  Russia is just saving their troops until Ukraine is destroyed.  Russia is winning the missile battles.  Even 80-90% success at shooting them down does not stop the cumulative effect.

You can either stop the missiles yourself, or give Ukraine the means to stop them and risk however Ukraine might later use that capability.  Make up your mind quick. 

Further you must clean up your administration’s messaging.  Get rid of the minions who are advocating forcing Ukraine to negotiate. 

Don’t be fooled by morale in the Russian army.  The ground war is irrelevant for the time being.

Sincerely Yours,



EASY WRITING TIP:  I don’t use these links.  They are tedious. Enter “write to the white house” or “write to john cornyn” etc. and it comes right up.

The Buddhist Temple Near Me & The Essential Purpose of the Largest Religions

Yesterday I was driving around to charge the battery in my 27-year old Jag, and went west of Friendswood on a road I haven’t traveled in several decades.  Just barely outside the city limits I came upon a Buddhist temple with a giant Buddha statue and two stele.

I drove straight home and returned with Natasha and Grandon to investigate more thoroughly.  The following was written upon the left hand stele:

I had been thinking that the “essential purpose” of Judaism and Christianity was the resolution or forgiveness of guilt.  So now I have the essential purpose of another religion and it is different.  Buddhism is concerned with the relief of suffering.  This is consistent with other things I’ve heard about it.

So what is the purpose of other major religions?  I set out just now to discover. 

I have read a good bit about Islam but could not pick out the purpose of it off the top of my head.  When reading this excellent article A Black Christian Speaks on ISLAM: The Whole Truth. : (worth reading) I realized it is about “submission”.  That agrees with what I had learned, and many visible aspects of the religion.

Those three I’m fairly sure of.  The other top religions I’ve read less about, except possibly folk religions but there are so many of them.  Below is a list I compiled of the largest religions and what their essential purpose is:

religionsizefoundedessential purpose
Christianity31.2%1st century ADabsolution from guilt
Islam24.1%7th century ADsubmission
Irreligion16.0%distant pastrealism, freedom from superstition
Hinduism15.1%23rd-15th cent. BCending the endless cycle of birth
Buddhism6.9%5th cent. BCfreedom from suffering
Folk religions5.7%1000 centuries BC(a) maintaining connection with ancestors
(b) exorcism or banishment of ghosts/demons
(c) control of physical world using ghosts, demons or magic
Sikhism0.3%15th century ADblend of Christianity and Hinduism (cycle can be ended by god’s grace)
Judaism0.2%15th century BCatonement of guilt through law-keeping and sacrifice, union with god

It immediately sticks out that 3 of the top 7 started in India.  Another 3 started in the Middle East.  The only other one essentially started so far in the past a location is not too meaningful.  I suppose with respect to established religions, India and the Middle East had early civilization.  However, the earliest Middle East religions, from similar time frames as Hinduism, did not survive except as mythological literature.  Hardly anyone worships Inanna or Zeus.  Though Allah may be an old pagan mood god, and it has long been observed the similarity of Jesus and Ba’al.  An early Chinese religion did not make the top 7 list, though Buddhism spread there and also to Japan where it gave rise to Zen.  Ancestor worship in China and Japan would, I think, come under Folk religions.  But I don’t actually know if the people who compiled this table counted it there.  The founding and purpose columns were added by me.

My dating of Folk Religions is based on ceremonial burial of the dead with artifacts from life, which began about 100,000 years ago and rapidly spread.  Despite the resources consumed or sacrificed, which reached a peak just before the advent of writing with entire courts and their living retinues sometimes being buried with kings, and wives with husbands, practitioners out-competed the more pragmatic sorts.  There are various theories about this.  Maybe religion increased cooperation (I’m not completely convinced).  Or maybe when being reach a certain level of sentience they just can’t plan and function under the constraint of a limited lifespan. 

These two can be united based on the Last Turn Dilemma, an idea that just occurred to me.  The last turn dilemma is that in game theory, it is advantageous to cheat on the last turn.  The opponent/partner cannot retaliate.  However, if you know your playing partner thinks this way, it is advantageous to cheat on the next to last turn.  And by similar reason the 2nd and 3rd to last, and by induction, on every turn.  Mortality establishes that there is a last turn, and potentially places a limit on sentience, because more sentient beings would cooperate less (a finding social science research supports).  Belief in an afterlife, conditional upon the current life, works to remove the last turn dilemma.

It is likely the dead were buried to get rid of ghosts.  Whether people saw actual ghosts or imagined they did, the ghosts often in folktales ask for their body to be buried and promise to go away when this is done.  I recall my mother saying she awoke one morning after my father died, and saw him walk across the room to get his wallet.  If one saw ghosts attempting to get or use things of their daily life, this would explain ceremonial burial.  As the belief became entrenched, one can imagine it growing.  It’s not clear to me why it should decline after the invention of writing.

We have people among us now who act as lunatics.  Sometimes they are dangerous.  They may walk in a school and commit mass murder of children, which is not rational.  But something that the ghost of an enemy might do.  So there is a similarity between hostile ghosts (demons) and living people who are anti-social, sociopathic, schizophrenic, or otherwise violently abnormal.  So exorcism would serve a similar purpose as ceremonial burial, and I have lumped these essential purposes together.

Primitive people did not necessarily bury their immediate ancestors in remote locations and abandon them, however.  They kept the bones under the floor, for several generations, and took them when they moved.  They embalmed and kept heads or skulls, and seem to have imagined conversing with their ancestors.  Anyone who has lost dearly loved parents can sympathize with this.  But someone who seriously believed in ghosts and demons would experience it as more real.

Control of the world via demons or magic is accomplished by requesting spirits do it.  Animism involves the belief that material objects possess spirits.  There is residue of this even in ancient Greek religion.  My mother, a few months before she died, told me to look for her in the trees.  Mother was a devout Christian, yet some of these older beliefs persisted in her. 

Famous agricultural rituals involved doing things in the fields to suggest fertility, so the spirits of the seeded plants and the land would take the hint and grow.  This is a basic magical concept, imitation.  You see it also in Voodoo dolls.  Gradually the larger of these spirits, those most important, became gods.  For example, the north or south wind could be invoked to control the weather.  The god of storm and thunder characterized Zeus and also Ba’al. 

So that is the rational behind the essential purpose of Folk Religion, which I consider the fundamental basis or origin for all religion.

The oldest established formal religion is Hinduism.  It’s purpose of ending the endless cycle does not resonate with us in the west, especially in the US where there isn’t much history and everything is new.  Behind the dilemma of the endless cycle is karma.  What you do comes back to you.  Think how similar this is to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  If you do bad things, you come back on a lower rung and have to work your way up again.  As you gain wealth and power, it is so easy to slip up and go backward in the next life and suffer.  So many of the ideas of morality, guilt and suffering are already present in Hinduism.

Buddhism is a rather small reformation of Hinduism.  The purpose of Hinduism was already to end the cycle, and the cycle was seen as suffering, but it was rather difficult, sort of like the Old Testament law.  The Buddha achieved enlightenment, and by foregoing attachment to the things of this world, in which the cycles play out, ended suffering immediately.  My understanding of Buddhism may be erroneous, I am no expert.  But according to the stele, it’s purpose is freedom from suffering.

In Judaism and Christianity the endless cycle just becomes hell.  When we understand this equivalence, it is a bit easier to understand why Hinduism was concerned with ending the cycle.  But in the more straightforward Middle Eastern thinking, you get one chance and once you are in hell that’s that.  Further, the idea emerges that eventually you will do something stupid and go to hell.  To avoid this fate you have to have to follow a strict set of guidelines (the law) or simply be forgiven by “accepting” a deity.

Continuing to the most recently founded, I have written in the chart what I found on Wikipedia that the purpose of Sikhism is to get off the endless cycle but this can be done by grace, as in Christianity.  I have read little about it.  There seems to be a component of interest in the social or political sphere, i.e. Sikhism is concerned with society.  Maybe?  That’s all I get from a quick review.  It is definitely aligned with New Age philosophy of meditation and the use of gurus.

Rights of People or States?

Our U.S. Constitution has some remarkable limitations on government power, like the one above.

Think of a specific right, or alleged right, upon which the un-Amended constitution is silent. Be specific and write it down. Here are some of my examples:

  1. Right to drive a motor vehicle at any speed I choose.
  2. Right to challenge a person who has insulted me to a duel.
  3. Right to own slaves.
  4. Right to be free and not owned.
  5. Right to control my bodily functions and terminate any that are undesired.
  6. Right to contraception.
  7. Right not to be shot at.
  8. Right to private property.
  9. Right to travel unimpeded across the land.
  10. Right to pass my property to my heirs undiluted.
  11. Right of a legal entity to engage in business or political activity unimpeded using funds raised from a large number of individuals.
  12. Right of a legal entity to own and control another legal entity.

Due to that word “OR” in the 10th Amendment, we’ve no guidance whether these rights are reserved to the people to the States.

Without that guidance, any State can usurp any of them by legislation, which requires only a simple majority of its legislative body, a rather small number of people. The Constitution gives nearly unlimited power to the states if this view is taken literally. We will explore it.

Some such as 1, 2, 7 are ordinary common law matters or are criminal matters, and regulation by civil law or the state are obviously necessary.

Items 3 and 4 were the subject of the Civil War.

5 is related to Roe v. Wade, recently overturned, and 6 to a right proposed to be overturned. Our point here is that these cases are not States vs. Federal rights issues. They are States vs. People’s rights, and whether the Federal government can tell the States not to take away rights.

8, 9 and 10 are tied up with the 5th Amendment

Travel is part of the “liberty” of which one cannot be deprived without due process. However, due process seems to be as simply as buying various choke points in the land and putting up no-trespassing signs.

Although Britain and other countries had stock trading companies, these are not provided for in our constitution. Law began to be enacted to address corporations from 1811, and initially they were for limited purpose such as manufacturing. As the popularity and size of corporations grew, several issues came up:

1873 – a New Jersey law broke the Camden & Amboy monopoly to enable the National Railroad Project.

1886 – the Supreme Court in Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company, disallowed taxes that favored privately owned business over corporations. The summary of a law clerk (not an action of the court) asserted the decision extended the constitution’s “equal protection” clause to corporations. This is problematic because corporations are inherently dissimilar to individuals, having no feeling, desiring only profit, and not dying from natural causes, only from lack of attention to profit.

1898 – Delaware allowed corporations to own shares in other corporations and fully exercise control and voting rights over shares. This was essentially a way to get around the 1890 Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Corporations were now significantly more powerful than regular humans. Contrast this to the equal protection idea of 1886. Why should entities exempt from certain criminal legislation be “equal” in other respects? One could say certain rights of the people were appropriated by corporations, as when denied by states, corporate law found a way around the restrictions. Now we have four players:

  1. The People
  2. The Federal Government
  3. States, possibly unconstrained except by the list of Federal Government rights, and certain imposed processes (5th Amendment)
  4. Corporations, acquiring unique rights due to unique characteristics and unique legislation -one might say, the states took the rights and eventually deposited them with corporations.

The issue of corporations we will save for another day. The issue of the vagueness of the 10th Amendment has not been overlooked. See Interpretation: The Tenth Amendment | The National Constitution Center. ‘the Court has indeed found judicially-enforceable limits on the power of the federal government to regulate states (and their political subdivisions) directly. So it is now meaningful to speak of “Tenth Amendment doctrine.”’

Arguments about the Supreme Court frequently of two types:

  1. Usurpation of Congress’ legislative power
  2. Usurpation of States’ rights

It is the main purpose of this article to point out that #2 can be disingenuine, and really a cover for usurpation by the States of people’s rights, using the fog of the 10th Amendment.