Privacy is an unalienable right by kevin murray

While it is true that the Constitution does not contain the word privacy, so too, does it not contain many other words, including the words slave or slavery, until the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment in which slavery was legally legislated out of existence.  However, a careful reading of the Constitution and its amendments clearly indicates that citizens of this country do have the right to privacy, as demonstrated most particularly by the Fourth Amendment, "…to be secure in their persons," as well as in the Ninth Amendment, "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people," in addition to other Amendments that allude to privacy, and the Constitution itself, which as the prevailing written document, is the Supreme Law of this land, which was specifically written to "…secure the Blessings of Liberty," of which one of the blessings of liberty, is the right to be secure in one's own thoughts as well as to be secure in one's own private possessions, and not to be subject to a government that violates those sacrosanct rights, without due process of the law.

 

The very people and governmental agencies that disparage the rights of the people of their privacy and to be secure in their possessions are almost always the very same people and governmental agencies that lack integrity, honesty, and transparency in their own affairs; and further bring both the worn-out shibboleth that the government needs to know everything about its people in order to protect those people, in which the sacrificing of their privacy is considered to be a fair trade.  For all those that voluntarily relinquish their right to privacy, that is their prerogative, but when that privacy is unjustly taken from them, it is a violation of the Supreme Law of this land.

 

In regards to a world in which so much of what a given person does online or through their conversations and movement is now duly recorded, stored, collated, and utilized by high tech corporations of all types, this is, despite the terms and conditions of usage by the people of those high tech devices and their conduits, a direct affront to the privacy of the individual, whenever those individuals do not have the real power and the real choice to control or to own their  private being in a manner in which they are the masters of their own persona, as opposed to having little or no control over their image, their postings, their movements, and their interactions with others.

 

Those that do not have control over their privacy in their person, have for all intents and purposes, morphed into something that is now public, and the more public that one's thoughts and images are, in which these formerly were private, the easier it is to be marketed to, to be propagandized to, to be manipulated by, and to be controlled.  That is the case, whenever a given individual no longer has a sacred place to be in solitude, therefore having no sanctuary; and hence those without a sanctuary are no longer free or liberated, but are instead, bounded into a form of servitude.

Search and seizure in the era of big data by kevin murray

The Fourth Amendment to our Constitution makes it clear that the policing agencies of the governmental state are not permitted to engage in "fishing expeditions" when it comes to the searching and the seizure of goods or items from possible suspects; but rather are restricted to first getting a warrant, issued forthwith under probable cause or exigent circumstances, and specifically relating to what is to be searched for.  Never has the Fourth Amendment been of more vital importance than in this current era, in which seemingly every activity done over the internet or through one's smart phone is collected, collated, and stored, under the aegis of being for the benefit of the users of such or for the marketing of goods or services to those users.

 

The problem with companies such as Facebook, Google, Apple, Twitter, Verizon, as well as other similar high technology companies really comes down to whether or not they are corporations that ultimately protect the users of their products and their privacy in regards to the integrity of their communications and activities, or whether these companies wittingly or unwittingly provide that cogent information to governmental agencies, for those government agencies own perusal, which essentially then allows those governmental agencies to monitor all those that live in a digital world, in a way, in which those governmental agencies have real actionable information, considered by those citizens to be in most instances to be their own business or their own private communications.

 

In point of fact, communications and posting of all sorts by its citizens, are routinely seized and searched by governmental agencies without a warrant, and specifically are done in a manner in which the privacy of the bulk of those citizens are violated by those governmental agencies, which is not reasonable, and is in constant violation of those citizen rights, all of which is done without probable cause.  This is akin to a fisherman that knows the law in regards to not being permitted to catch certain species of fish, or species such as dolphins, simply deciding to collect any and everything that is swimming in the ocean, because that fisherman has the tools to do so, and does not want to go through the trouble and expense of actually following the law, but rather prefers to ignore the law for his own purposes.

 

While the government can issue all sorts of Executive Orders, or spurious laws, or have court decisions manufactured to support their misinterpretations of Constitutional law; what the government has not done is actually overturned the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, but has effectively perverted such, and has instead added its own coda to the Fourth Amendment, which appears to state, that the government and its agencies are permitted to search and seize whatever that they so desire, without end, for the ostensible safety of its population, whereas the reality of the situation is that they want all of that information so as to get over on its population and to manipulate that population for governmental control of them.

 

If none of these high technology companies will proactively protect the consumer of their products, from unwarranted governmental intrusion of their person and the security of their personal affairs, then the citizens of this country have essentially little protection of their comings and their goings, for what has occurred for all intents and purposes, is that high technology companies and the government are united as one.

How far above and below your land is yours? by kevin murray

Property ownership is one of those seminal things that most people see as finally being able to state as well as to know that they are now the king and queen of their own castle, no matter how grand or how modest that castle may be.  Unfortunately, what a given owner owns in regards to that land is dependent upon Federal law, State law, local law, and the court of law.  Back before modern times, it was common to believe that one owned their land “to the heavens and to hell.”  However, nowadays, with the prevalence of underground utilities, as well as mineral and water rights, one's ownership of the land underneath their property typically comes with caveats, and it is those property restrictions that limit how much land underneath the property is actually owned by the owner of the land above ground.  In regards to air rights, in the age of airplanes, the general rule is that the owner of property owns, depending upon the height of their building, and air traffic around such a building, 80 - 500 feet above the property, as their own private airspace, but as with most everything, it depends upon the circumstances so involved.  That is to say, a helicopter or a drone for that matter, do not have the uninhibited right to specifically hover above your property for purposes of an invasion of your privacy or surveillance, even if they are above the airspace so defined, whereas airplanes and similar that are passing through are permitted to do so.

 

When it comes to the land below the property, the legal ownership documents so created upon the purchase of the home, usually specify what is or is not owned beneath the property, with any and all exceptions to mineral rights or similar, being so noted.  Of course, when it comes to governments and their needs, in most instances within land ownership, their right of eminent domain trumps the owner's right to be the master of what is allowed to occur underneath that land.  On the other hand, while most owners intuitively understand that the air directly above their property is not something tangible that they really can own, as well as acknowledging the typical restrictions as to how high one can build their property per the local zoning laws; so too, they understand that aircraft of all sorts have an imminent need to utilize airspace to travel to and fro.  However, now that drones have  come down significantly in price, so that, even the next door neighbor can own one, and further that drones can be outfitted with recording devices; there obviously is a potential issue with any neighbor that flies a drone over private property and records such, especially when that has been done, deliberately.  While certain States have passed legislation, outlining the rights of property owners and providing such with redress for grievances of this sort, even without new laws being written, each owner is entitled to privacy on their own property, and the flying of a drone, that is taking pictures or video of another person's property could easily be seen by a court of law as an invasion of the privacy of the owner of that property.

 

The old days of owning “to the heavens and to hell,” are long gone, if they ever really existed, and it is up to individual property owners in conjunction with their legislators to see that those that own property are properly protected in this era in which search, seizure, and privacy are all seemingly ceding more and more ground to governmental and institutional agents of all sorts.

Made in USA discount on sales tax as well as on income tax by kevin murray

Certain products bought have federal taxes associated with them, such as fuel, alcohol, and cigarettes.  So too, virtually every State of the Union, have sales tax applied to certain items that are sold, of which, such a sales tax, is typically structured to cover State as well as local budgets.   As reported by reuters.com, when it comes to buying United States manufactured products they "…found 70 percent of Americans think it is “very important” or “somewhat important” to buy U.S.-made products," indicating that a substantial amount of Americans believe in the importance of buying American.  Additionally, as reported by time.com, they "…found that twice the money stayed in the community when folks bought locally," which obviously is beneficial for those communities, as opposed to dollars being spent here but being repatriated back to foreign consortiums or foreign governments. 

 

One way to make the decision to buy goods that are manufactured in America, which helps to sustain jobs and industries within this country, even more germane, is to provide consumers with real incentives to do so, and one of those ways would be to provide income tax deductions specifically for sales taxes spent on American made and produced goods, as well as providing a lower sales tax rate for American made goods.  While to do this, would necessitate, a comprehensive agreement between Federal and State governments, one of the easiest ways to do so, would be to compensate those States through federal benefits on a one-to-one basis for their reduction of sales tax revenue through those State's amendment of sales tax rates for American manufactured goods.

 

So too, in an era of electronic transactions, the ability to seamlessly charged different sales tax rates on goods, would come down to the tagging and bar coding of those goods, which would designate such as being domestically manufactured as opposed to being foreign manufactured or goods that have not so been designated as either domestic or foreign, therefore being defaulted to the higher tax rate.  That is to say, those goods that would have the reduced tax rate would be clearly demarcated as such, and consumers would be aware of the difference in total price between the domestically produced products as compared to the foreign based products.

 

In the everyday world, people are accorded the opportunity to vote with their dollars, so that those that consciously want to buy American, would more clearly be able to see designated those products that are American, and therefore could buy them or not, per their desire.  The least that America should do as a country, is to make it their point and principle that all products produced and manufactured within this country, should be accorded some sort of designation and accommodation indicating such, so that American consumers are therefore able to make an informed choice.

 

If, Americans truly believe that they should be able to buy whatever product that they so desire to buy, without taking into consideration the country of origin, that will not change; what would change, however, is that those that comprehend that they have an obligation to the country of their residence to support better that country by buying domestically manufactured products, they should receive a reduction in their sales tax rate as well as being provided an income tax deduction, as a courtesy and as a thank you for helping to support the people that represent the greatest country on earth.

Your will be done by kevin murray

The most commonly known prayer is the Lord's Prayer -- in which the petitioner requests that God's will be done, on earth as is done in Heaven.  This presupposes that if God's will be done, that the petitioner is voluntarily relinquishing their free will to that God.  But how many that petition God with that prayer, really and sincerely wish that God's will actually be done for them?  Especially, when we take into consideration that part of being an American is the recognition that each of its citizens is accorded the unalienable right to free will and free determination.

 

Of course, what is probably happening and is perhaps lost in the translation of the Lord's Prayer, or in the dilemma so created, is the very reason why mankind lives so often within a construct that is inimical for mankind's betterment.  Which, comes down to the fact, that there are plenty of people that behave in the manner that they really do think that they know best, that what they will therefore is the best, when in actuality the world, itself, proves without a shadow of a doubt, that mankind does not know best.

 

Every time and in every instance that mankind utilizes its free will in a manner that is not consistent with justice, fairness, and love then mankind as a whole, fails; for in every application that is not the epitome of perfection and wisdom, this thus is error, and that which is error, cannot ever be and is not an attribute of God.  This means, that those that are wise enough or astute enough to learn from their esteemed elders or their mentors or through great books of learning, recognizing that such wisdom comes from those that know their given topics absolutely thoroughly and applies such correctly; yet somehow will not listen to that still, small voice within, then they have consciously turned their back on the Great Teacher, and replaced such with something that is both fallible and lesser.

 

Far too many people of real intelligence, influence, and power, align themselves with that power, of which, in form and function, they believe that they are the personification of what is good and right, whereas at best they are a fleeting reflection of what is good and right.  For, as it has been said, "power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" (Lord Acton); of which many of great influence absolutely believe that it is their mission in life to take on the aspects of God, and therefore to bestow favors as well as punishments as if God, even though they are not God.

 

To be powerful in this world, in which one lords it over the other, is to be powerless in the only world that really matters, for those that are powerful but in essence lack selflessness, love, and unimpeachable integrity, are those that live for their will to be done, and therefore for God's will to be subsume by their own.  Whereas, those that truly live the creed of God's will be done, are those that are selfless, loving, and of unimpeachable integrity, for that well aligns in accordance with God, and only those of great consciousness, properly applied, understand that absolute surrender to God, allows the true embrace of the coming of God's kingdom, now and forevermore.

Time for the progressive capital gains tax by kevin murray

Although we read in Holy Scripture, "For you always have the poor with you…" (John 12: 8) --so too, is it quite apparent that we also always have the rich; and those privileged people in today's world are outrageously rich.  So that, as reported by forbes.com, in America, three people, "…collectively hold more wealth than the bottom 50% of the domestic population." 

 

Most Americans have to labor for their money, that is to say, they go to work and are paid an agreed upon hourly or salary wage, and have deducted from their paycheck, Social Security taxes, Medicare taxes, Federal taxes, and in most States of this union, State taxes.   So then, those that work and labor for a living pay their taxes as required per the progressive tax system each year.  On the other hand, the very rich, though they may also labor for their wages, typically, make a significant amount of their money, not from that hourly or salary wage, but actually from capital gains, such as stock appreciation, or real estate appreciation, in which those long-term capital gains are taxed at a lower rate than those that are subject to the progressive income tax.

 

That is to say, the highest progressive income tax rate as of 2018 is 37%, whereas the highest capital gains tax rate is essentially 20% for long-term capital gains.  The fundamental difference between those that labor for their wages, in which they are required to work in order to make a living as opposed to all those that augment that income with capital gains or substantially make all of their money through capital gains is that the former is actually making their money by the sweat of their brow to get their daily bread, whereas the latter is for the most part, utilizing money to make additional money, without typically have to sweat for it, and already for the most part, have their daily bread and so much more.

 

Those that have large capital gains are the richest people in America, yet, those rich people effectively pay lower taxes than all those that are simply trying to make ends meet.  The whole point of a progressive tax system was not that it would be setup just to capture wage income but that such a progressive tax system would capture all income that a given individual makes.  However, this progressive tax system has morphed itself into being manipulated by the richest and most powerful Americans so that they will keep more, and the downtrodden will have less.

 

If this country truly believes in the progressive tax system, then it needs to address the inequalities created within that tax structure, and specifically should make it their point to progressively tax at a higher progressive rate, all those that make more income, whether that be by wage labor, dividends, capital gains, or a combination of those very things.    If, on the other hand, this country believes that it is right and good that just three individuals own more wealth then the bottom 50% of its own citizens, then certainly, don't change a thing, because the rich are getting so much richer, and the poor are getting so much poorer, and therefore we will always have the poor amongst us.

Geography, USA, terrorism and the Middle East by kevin murray

It almost goes without saying that a multitude of Americans are ill-educated; however, what may be somewhat surprising is that some of the most powerful people in America are somehow also completely ignorant of geography.  We know this because the United States spends an inordinate amount of time, money, weapons, and logistics fighting countries all over the world, such as Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Afghanistan that aren't geographically close to America, and pose little, if any, real threat to America.

 

In point of fact, America contiguous border has Canada to its north, and Mexico to its south and both of these countries, America has quite favorable relations with.  The only country that has conducted in recent memory any sort of saber rattling towards the United States that is actually in the immediate vicinity of America was Cuba, but that mainly was a provocation on both sides as well as the Soviet Union using Cuba as its proxy.  Americans if they bother to have learned their history, and actually listened to the father of its own country, would know that President Washington stated: "Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground?"  That is to say, why risk the great freedom and liberty that America has, to get our noses involved in foreign intrigues that are not our concern?  Yet, American does exactly that, today.

 

It is the height of stupidity for America to constantly involve itself, especially outside of the United Nations, in foreign affairs that are thousands of miles away from our mainland.  If, there are problems in the Middle East, and there are always problems in the Middle East, let those that live in the Middle East, and those countries that are located near the Middle East, try to resolve those problems, not America, and thereby do not then use American munitions and its soldiers.

 

The bottom line is that first of all terrorists typically are going to attack locally and not internationally, not necessarily because they don't want to attack internationally, but fundamentally because they almost always lack the infrastructure and resources to actually attack internationally.  Secondly, if a given country does not involve itself in the Middle East, then those that are terrorists are not going to attack those countries that do not attack, interfere, or involve themselves in their affairs, because there is no good reason to do so.

 

America, for no good or valid reason, insists upon being the policeman of the world, and gets its nose into just about every foreign affair that it can do so; however, if it was neutral in its conduct, and simply was an empire about commerce and nothing more, then all those that currently vilify America would not have the fuel to constantly attack her.

 

If America actually thought the process through, then America would recognize that being a melting pot and a sanctuary for all those that desire opportunity and liberty, would make America, both strong within as well as without, as opposed to placing themselves, their people, and their political institutions in harm's way.  

 

America is not Europe, and therefore if western nations can somehow be of benefit in resolving what ails the Middle East, then let Europe do so, because Europe is a heck of a lot closer to the Middle East and also because Europe use to do exactly that, before America decided to get itself fully involved.  If America wishes to sleep better at night, then it should recognize that now is the time to dissolve those political bands which do wrongly connect America to foreign intrigues and tribulations.

Will always the good of the other by kevin murray

For all the talk of peace, harmony, and love within relationships of all sorts, people have a strong tendency to forget or to ignore that in order for this harmony to actually occur, then each and every person in everything that they do, should be willing the good of the other, in every interaction so generated.  That is to say, there can never be true peace and justice in this world, when one party is getting over on the other, or when one party professes one thing, while doing something other, or if one or both parties behave selfishly at the expense of the other, demonstrated by their attitude and by their actions.

 

To resolve all of the disharmony and strife in this world, is as straightforward as actually living to the creed, that all are equally entitled to good, and therefore, that the greatest good that we can provide to our fellow brothers and sisters, is to sincerely desire to see that in all that we do, that we are good, and further that in every interaction, that we make it our point, to see that we are good to others, as if we are those others.

 

Further, to consider it logically, every time that we catch ourselves either thinking or acting out in a manner in which we are directly or indirectly taking advantage of another, we are quite obviously not willing the good of the other.  Additionally, those that do not sincerely will the good of the other, are helping to aid and augment the construct that will never allow this world to be a world of peace, harmony, and love because if others are not being good, then the world itself, is not going to be good.  It is only when everyone, without exception, is good, can this world be a good world, and therefore, in every circumstance of our lives, we have a sacrosanct obligation to will the good of the other, because that is the true doctrine of good.

 

So too, while it is correct to get our mind right in its thoughts and by those thoughts to thereby follow through with the right actions; it is never going to be enough to simply will the good of the other, but rather it is vital to do our part to help bring that good will unto others to fruition.  While, each of us is entitled to our own free will, and none should be coerced into doing what they do not wish to do, we are all ultimately part of the same world, so that every action has a reaction, in which, our actions or inactions have consequences, so then, where there is disharmony we must do our part to bring harmony, as well as where there is misunderstanding to bring understanding, and also where there is hurt to bring healing.

 

In summary, we will the good of the other, because that is what we want for others to do for us, and the more good that is done one to another, the more good that there will be, so that, the good that is lacking in this world, comes down to not only whether we are good or not, but also how we propagate that good with those we interact with day-by-day.

Improving our dismal educational system by kevin murray

The United States should have the smartest students in the world, in consideration that America spends an inordinate amount of money on education as well as having ample resources to succeed in education for its population.  Unfortunately, quite clearly, test results and the general disappointing amount of students that are functionally illiterate indicate that America is not going to somehow improve much of anything, by simply throwing money at the educational conundrum; without instead fundamentally making it a point to solve the puzzle which must be successfully solved, in order to begin to demonstrate by its results, that American students' educational achievements in aggregate are as good as anywhere else, worldwide.

 

In the scheme of things, there shouldn't be much of anything within the current educational system as it is, which should be held to be sacrosanct, so that, in fact, from the administrators of the educational system, to the teachers of it, as well as the resources so given, the hours so attended, and the structure of classrooms, itself, should all be carefully looked at, contemplated upon, and seen as something that simply is not working the way that it should be, and therefore needs to looked at from the perspective, that what isn't working very well, must be tinkered upon, at best, and wholly replaced, as needed.

 

America is gifted with great technological tools, in which, the very biggest and most successful technological companies of them all, are located in America, and most of those companies, make billions upon billions of dollars in profit, every year.  Those companies have an obligation, if they are not already onboard, to see that some of those billions are utilized within the educational system of America, so that, students are able to take advantage of the power and throughput that laptops, tablets, desktops, and even smart phones have of representing the ready capacity to be student aids, and are able to be therefore structured In a way, that each student will have lessons that can be done utilizing these tools in conjunction with programs so written in order to more readily understand the subject matter, of which, unlike a teacher that simply cannot individually deal with thirty students at once, each student would have an online avatar that would keep track of every answer and every click and would work with endless patience with students on their learning.

 

That is to say, students in the same classroom work at different pace levels, further students learn at different speeds within a given subject matter, and additionally some students are much more engaged than others.  The thing about tablets and other smart devices is that what a given student has learned or not learned can be recorded upon that device, of which, that information would then be readily assessable to the teacher or the teacher's aide, so that progress and understanding of a given subject could be seen for what it is, in real time.  That way, there would be far less trickery and far less faking by students, for the tablet tells the tale, as well as the fact that unlike teachers that have limited resources and limited patience, a smart machine does not mind going over the same subject matter, again and again, perhaps in different ways, and through different perspectives, because that is the way that machines can be programmed to interact.

 

A school system in which more students have smart devices to record their progress and their answers to quizzes and tests is a system that will have a much better pulse of its student body, and in order for America to improve upon its dismal educational achievements, America needs to embrace the obvious, which is that technology, properly structured and utilized, will be of real measurable assistance towards student learning.

Plenty of sermons about tithing but never any about the money changers by kevin murray

History is filled of people and their preachers that read from the same Bible, but sometimes come to diametrically different conclusions.  In point of reference, whether one actually goes to church or watches such on television or through other modern streaming means, invariably, there will be sermons promulgated about the importance and therefore the blessing to come for those that appropriately tithe one's wages to the church.  In fact, the details of these sermons can seem rather foreboding, because some preachers even get down to the minutiae of what represents ten percent (which is what a tithe stands for) and as to whether ten percent should represent the gross labor pay or whether ten percent should more appropriately be based on one's net pay.  All of this serves to point out the rather obvious, that those that preach and pontificate about the value of freely giving tithes, almost always have skin in the game of such a sermon.

 

On the other hand, for every ten sermons about tithing, not many sermons are heard about the money changers in regards to the Jewish temple during Passover; which certainly was one of the seminal events in Jesus' ministry, of which, Jesus "… poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew their tables." (John 2: 15).  This appears to make it quite clear that Jesus believed strongly that the house of our Lord should not be the place in which things of this world, corrupt the message of God's love, mercy, and compassion.  Additionally, Jesus makes the seminal point that what is right and true trumps over what mankind allows or permits, especially when what is happening is inimical to one's eternal soul.  That is to say, should any religious organization make it their point, to make a little profit here and little profit there, or be aiders and abettors of such; or should the message of any legitimate religious organization actually be about the saving and redemption of souls?

 

When it comes to tithes, we read in Holy Scripture, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy, and faith…" (Matthew 23: 23).  This makes it very clear that Jesus was quite aware as well as quite cognizant of the concept of tithing, but that those so-called righteous practitioners of tithing had made it their point to meet and adhere to just the letter of the law, but to their utter disgrace, they fully missed the spirit of the law.  Yet, how many of today's religious institutions do the very same thing, and even worse, for they seem to preach the message of tithing as being something akin to a quid pro quo, in which, credulous believers, give their money to their church, in return for blessings and benefits in the here and now, of which, true monetary giving of any amount to the church, is never about the actual amount of the money so given, but always about the heart of the giver.

 

While it is true that religious institutions, as in any institution, have a need and a place for monetary things; so it is also true that God is the Great Provider, and those that preach the True Word, and are faithful and diligent to their faith, should not be the same ones that unnecessarily pressure others to give monetarily, but rather should be the enlightened ones that will concern themselves exclusively upon the only thing that matters, which is bringing Light to the darkness, and thereby souls to salvation.

Money in a banking institution v. money in hand or specie by kevin murray

Most Americans that have built up a sizeable amount of assets will as a matter of course, have a significant amount of those assets stored inside various banking institutions and/or brokerage firms, in which though their account clearly indicates that they are the owner of those assets, not always are they able to access their own money, without restriction. 

 

That is to say, citizens of America, are subject to all sorts of laws, in which, assets can be seized or frozen by governmental agencies, law enforcement agencies, or creditors, when a given person, for example, is suspected of a drug offense crime, has unpaid debts adjudged against them, or has been convicted of certain crimes that mandate such a seizure.  Of course, most Americans don't pay attention to much of that, because first of all they don't conduct their affairs illegally, or at least don't believe that they do, signifying that they are far too often too credulous for their own good. 

 

For instance, wrong information and wrong identities can create the type of confusion in which the wrong party finds their account confiscated or frozen, and in order to unfreeze or un-confiscate an account necessitates not only very good legal aid, which is expensive, but actual monetary assets to pay for such.  Of even more concern, however, is that a government that has the legal right to freeze or confiscate assets under currently narrowly defined circumstances, probably has the potential to expand those conditions against enemies of the state, or in emergencies of national defense, or basically under any condition that it sees fit, if that government controls the legal as well as policing aspects of that country with an iron fist, for certain governments have a nasty habit, of seizing what isn’t theirs, under dubious circumstances, because money is not only a form of valuable power, but also because the lack of money, allows the government to control far more easily people that annoy them.

 

So then, those that have lots of assets that they can log into online, to check upon and count, may find themselves in a situation, under trying circumstances, in which, that money as an asset to them, is frozen, not necessarily because the government has taken it, but because of newly developed governmental exigencies, of which that government has put a "temporary" hold on those assets, perhaps to assure that the owner of such, won't abscond to another country, or basically in order to keep those assets within the country, because of, perhaps, a financial crisis which seemingly necessitates such in order for the monetary system to stabilize itself.

 

On the other hand, those that have money in physical specie, such as gold, have something that has historically held its value as well as also having something of fundamental universal worth as a means to store assets and money.So too, somewhat surprisingly, those that have physical dollar bills, such as $100 bills or other denominations, have money that is relatively stable, which is also universally acceptable, as well as being well-nigh anonymous, and despite whatever financial crisis may come, these owners are aware that the circulation of printed dollar bills, as reported by visualcapitalist.com, demonstrates that "….physical currency makes up only about 11% of the total value," of the dollars in circulation, in which, dollars in hand, in times of blood in the streets, quite obviously have a lot more value than dollars stored in a bank or brokerage account online, especially when the very log-in of the user in question has been seized by the federal government

American sports and their endless playoffs by kevin murray

America, proves virtually every day that it is a country that is all about maximizing profit and revenue, of which, this is seen quite obviously in the sporting world, in which despite having a regular season, which in the scheme of things, should actually decide who the best team is over the course of that regular season, this is really just the preliminary means towards deciding who the champion is, which is accomplished via the postseason.  That is to say, in any of the top four American sports, whatever team has the best regular season record, ultimately represents a whole lot of nothing, for the champion is not decided upon the team with the best regular season record, though, one ignorant of these rules, might question as to what the regular season is actually for, but instead is decided via a postseason playoff format.

 

It would be one thing if the postseason really just had the best teams that have proven themselves over the course of a long season, but instead, the major American sports, make it their point to occasionally let in even teams what have winning records of less than .500, because when a sport decides that sixteen of the thirty teams are worthy of being in the postseason, inevitably that will occur from time-to-time. 

 

Compounding that error, is the stupidity of having four team divisions, in which the fewer the teams in any division, the greater the chance that the division winner will have a sub-adequate record, so that the results of the regular season are compromised by the unworthiness of certain division winners.

 

While the executives of these major league sports indicate that everything that they do, is really because the fans demand it, especially, in order to make late season games more interesting, or in order to allow Cinderella teams to progress deeply within the playoffs, the reality of it is that the more teams that are in the postseason and the more games and rounds that are played in the postseason the less relevant the results of the regular season are, except in the qualifying for the postseason.

 

The truth of why there are so many playoff teams and why the rounds of the playoffs are often so long, really comes down to revenue, money, and profits, of which, for the owners of these sports franchises, this is what it is all about.  The fact that the postseason is more about making money then having the best teams play exclusively against the best is a reflection that money means more than the integrity of the sporting competition, itself.

 

In modern times playoffs have gotten much longer along with having more qualifying teams, and it doesn't seem that the ownership has the gumption to ever reduce such, especially since the money is too good to walk away from.  This seems to indicate that the regular season for all intents and purposes is becoming more akin to just a warm-up to the postseason, in which, there isn't any point in a given player giving their all, till the games really count, and therein lays the crux of the matter.

Unfair global competition by kevin murray

Americans pride themselves on their ability to compete against other comparable companies, and feel for the most part that competition is beneficial not only for the end users of the products, themselves, but also benefits those corporations, for, as they say, iron sharpens iron.  However, it is one thing to compete domestically against other domestic companies, in which, even that competition, may have inherent advantages depending upon location, labor conditions, materials, taxes, and so on and so forth; whereas it is an entirely different proposition to compete against global companies that are headquartered outside the United States, and are not subject to the same laws.

 

For instance, the United States has all sorts of laws, rules and regulations, in regards to different industries, of which, these laws, rules and regulations, cover such things as the environment, so that companies are not permitted to just dump their chemicals into rivers or streams, or endlessly pollute the skies and so on.  Additionally, companies are required or obligated to provide some sort of health benefit to their employees, once they reach a size of fifty full time employees or more.  So too, there are Federal as well as State laws, which stipulate how many hours of labor a given person is permitted to work on a given day, or a given week, before overtime pay becomes mandated.  Also, those of a certain age, such as teenagers have specific rules that apply to the hours and the amount of hours that they are legally permitted to work, in addition to their being Federal as well as State minimum wage laws.  Also, while unions have been in steady decline in America for the last few decades, unions, with the exception of a few industries, are permitted within America, which helps provide those that labor with a seat at the negotiation table with management.  Finally, the currency of any country, can be manipulated by government officials in order for the goods of a certain country to become cheaper to the export market, as well as some governments in order to be internationally competitive work hand-in-glove with the domestic corporations that are exporting goods as a team.

 

All of the above, indicates that domestic companies in certain industries, are often not going to be competitive against global companies, simply because their domestic labor costs and their health costs, as well as their environmental regulations, and so on, are materially more expensive than these other companies, and no matter how hard these domestic companies work on being even more efficient and effective, the ground that they have to cover is just too much for them.  In a free trade world, perhaps this is considered to be ideal, of which the consumers are thereupon able to benefit from getting lower cost goods or services, of which even if this is true, what is lost in the translation, is that it doesn't make sense that certain countries are compelled to pay a minimum wage or a living wage, and are compelled to provide health insurance, as well as abiding with environmental laws, whereas other global companies are not compelled to do any of these things.  So that, what has occurred, in effect, is that the exploitation of labor, and the abuse of the environment have essentially been exported to other countries, while consumers blithely purchase the services and goods imported into this country as if the playing field is level, when it clearly is not.

 

If, it is important that laborers receive a living wage, and further that the environment is dealt with in a responsible and sustainable way, then it would seem to indicate that products and services, the world over, should be appropriately designated as being in conformance with these attributes, so that, those that procure those services and products, will, at a minimum, know which side their dollars are supporting.

Preventive medicine is the best medicine by kevin murray

According to cms.gov, National Health Expenditures in America "… grew 3.9% to $3.5 trillion in 2017," which is a truly astonishing number.   If, all this money being spent on healthcare made America the healthiest nation in the world, that would be one thing, but in fact, the health statistics of America, are disappointing in comparison to other western nations, in addition to the salient fact that America outspends those other western nations at an appreciably higher level.

 

While there are all sorts of reasons why as well as theories on to how to best fix the nation's health expenditures conundrum, it would seem that the most obvious way to deal with these issues at hand, is to address health issues before they become chronic, through preventive medicine, and, in particular, utilizing prudent means such as vaccinations, hygiene, eating habits, diet, yearly physical examinations, blood work, and exercise.

 

In point of fact, most public schools require some sort of physical examination before a child is admitted to that school, and if this is not already mandated by federal fiat, should be amended by federal law, to the effect that all children attending public school, must be subject to a yearly thorough physical examination, including blood work, and any and all other sensible tasks that should be accomplished to assure that child's good health ought to be reasonably examined and dealt with, for the best time to deal with potential health issues is at the beginning, as opposed to being done so at the end.

 

Further to the point, this government, should provide to all adult citizens of this nation, a voucher for a free yearly medical examination, in the hopes that by doing so, that information about incipient diseases such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular issues, would be diagnosed at a much earlier stage, and therefore possibly ameliorated; rather than being diagnosed in an emergency room or similar, at a later stage in which options are more limited as well as being much more intrusive and expensive.

 

The health of a nation is important not only for the well being of that nation, but also for the productivity and cost efficiency of that nation.  What is especially disconcerting is that America is the richest nation in the world, with the best medical facilities in the world, and arguably the best physicians in the world, but the reflection of its population in regards to its health in whole, belies those very facts. 

 

This country should make an effort and has an obligation to make the effort to not only develop well the mind of its children in its public schools, but to pay attention to the physical body of those students, for good health habits begun at a young age have not only a good purpose, but are far better, than taking a benign neglect attitude, for mind and body do go together.  So too, for adults, America needs to make it their purpose that the health of their people is a priority that needs to be properly addressed, especially for those that are of lower socioeconomic levels for their health is most at risk, because of their lack of good and affordable healthcare, which precludes them, so often, from receiving the preventive medicine that they need, resulting in an unnecessary amount of poor and debilitating bad health for them, thereby unfairly reaping the suffering, while all Americans pay that expense.

The people have an unalienable right to self-determination by kevin murray

It is important to recognize that legitimate governments are instituted amongst mankind for the benefit of mankind, and in particular, those governments rightly constructed, first and foremost, make it their point and their being to uphold and defend the unalienable rights that each denizen of that country and of that community are born with, and no legitimate government has the right to infringe or to take away any of those unalienable rights, without just cause.

 

One of those unalienable rights is the right for each individual within that community or within that country to have self-determination, which basically means the right to determine what it is that a given person desires to do without external compulsion unjustly limiting such, making therefore each person truly free to choose what it is that this individual so desires to do, subject only to the constraint of their abilities as well as they not unduly interfering or precluding other such individuals of their own free right to self-determination, and of in particular, for instance, infringing upon others their right to choose, or to take away their right to be free in their own person.

 

Those that no longer have the right to self-determination, because this has been wrongly taken away from them by force, or by governmental decree, or by unfairness of the law unequally applied, are not free, and have had a great wrong done to them, for those that are precluded from free choice, are, quite obviously, not free.  It then follows that those that are not free, are in essence, existing within a construct, in which those that control that freedom, control them, of which, those controlling that freedom, have usurped the unalienable rights of another.

 

To unjustly take away what is unalienable from anybody, is a great wrong, in which, many institutions have been built upon the lie, so propagated, that these other elite people and establishments, in positions of power, claim that they know what is best for a given individual, even though that individual is not them, of which this is justified as being in the best interest of the person who has lost their unalienable rights; but in actuality, the essence of the matter is that those that take away what is unalienable, do so, almost exclusively, not for any perceived benefit of those that have lost their unalienable rights, but rather to exploit, to control, and to empower their own selves, at the expense of those that have had their unalienable rights wrongly taken from them.

 

The reason that self-determination is so vital and so important, is because what we are and what we become should be something that is a domain within our own control and by our own volition, and no other.  For, in the scheme of things, the happiness, liberty and freedom that we endeavor to have, should never be seen as something that is somehow freely bestowed upon us by the state, as if the state has godlike powers; but rather should be seen, as something that is rightly earned by all those endeavoring to do so, in which communities and countries are created to help build better those foundations that will benefit the people as a whole, all gathered together as a working team, determined to improve their world, freely chosen and freely achieved.

Population and economic power by kevin murray

Currently, the United States has the third highest population in the world, with 329 million peoples and also has the highest national aggregate GDP.  The two countries that have a larger population than America, are China and India, in which, India will soon surpass China in population, and each of these countries have over 1 billion peoples in their nation, today.  As of 2019, China is second to the United States in national aggregate GDP, and India is fifth.  However, it is projected by the Center of Business and Economic Research that by 2033, China will have the highest national aggregate GDP, and India, which currently rests fifth in the world, will have risen to third.  Additionally, it is projected by thoughtco.com, that by 2050, the United States will have slipped from third in population in the world,  to fourth, having been surpassed by Nigeria.

 

The United States, declared its independence in 1776, and the Treaty of Paris was signed between the United States and Great Britain in 1783, in which, America's census of 1800 estimated that there were 5,308,403 Americans, at that time; whereas in 1801, Great Britain had a population of 7,754,875.  Not too surprisingly, at that time, Great Britain was the greater power, yet, Great Britain, today, does not rank in the top ten of population, and is only seventh in national aggregate GDP, though, there was a time that this was "the empire on which the sun never set." 

 

The main reason and the most significant reason why the United States will be surpassed in national aggregate GDP in the near future is because its population is considerably smaller than China, as well as being considerably smaller than India, and the numbers of the denizens within a nation, makes a material difference on how wealthy that nation is.  In point of fact, while there is something to be said about GDP per person within a nation; power, that is, real economic power, resides in those countries that produce, consume, and export the most domestic product in total.  That is to say, the countries that have the most economic might are in their way, the most powerful nations upon this globe, and a significant way that countries increase their economic might is the amount of population within that nation in conjunction with their knowledge and throughput, successfully applied.

 

The only possible and sustainable way for the United States to maintain its position as the economic GDP king would be to increase its immigration numbers substantially as well as to increase substantially its birthrate which has been declining for years.  In actuality, though, the only way to increase GDP markedly in the here and now, is to increase substantially the immigration of those that are younger, because younger people are far more productive for far more years, especially as compared to those that are near retirement age, or are in retirement, who consume far less, except for things such as healthcare.

 

The United States is blessed as a nation with plenty of space to grow and plenty of food to sustain a significantly higher population but does not appear to be motivated towards increasing its population, though there has always been a very high correlation in regards to the increase of immigration, bringing more prosperity to this nation.  The fact of the matter is, great nations need not just great people, but also great amounts of people, and the United States has placed itself in the position of being surpassed by China, simply because it wants to shut the door on immigration, and basically concede, without a challenge, its crown to another.

Physician-assisted suicide by kevin murray

Physician-assisted suicide is legal in seven States and the District of Columbia, in which doctors are permitted by those State agencies to prescribe medicine which will terminate a patient's life.  Whether or not one agrees with this act within these States is superseded by whether or not a physician should actually be the instrument of assisting a patient suicide and therefore still be considered to be a physician in good standing.

 

That is to say, should a physician be an instrument of life and the extension and quality of life, in addition to the attributes of being compassionate and supportive with their patients, or should a physician per that physician's discretion, under the perceived voluntary desire of their patient, be the instrument that takes away life from patients, by prescribing and then having administered the drugs that will effectively do that deed?

 

In addition, should not all patients have the right to know before a physician treats them as to whether or not that particular physician has directly or indirectly assisted in the suicide of a given patient?  For, if this is so, how is it conceivable that having first prescribed the medicine that has taken away the life of another that this particular physician would not then be more inclined to continue to prescribe such medicine since the inclination to do so, has already previously been displayed?

 

So too, does not each patient within a hospital have not the right to know whether within that hospital, assisted suicide has been performed or not?  And, therefore knowing the answer to that question, should not that patient have the right to be in a hospital that is consistent with their belief as to whether or not they would ever consent to assisted suicide in their case? 

 

In point of fact, all patients that interact with physicians need to know exactly what Hippocratic Oath, that such physician did or did not take, and specifically whether or not that physician has taken an oath to the effect that: "I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect," in which each patient of every physician and within every hospital should have a clear and unequivocal understanding as to what the position is of each physician and of each hospital, before they are admitted to such as a patient.

 

Further to the point, it is a catastrophic mistake that physicians are even permitted to assist in any patient's suicide, for such besmirches greatly the profession, itself.  Instead, in those States that permit assisted suicide, the person prescribing the medicine should be a special type of degreed individual, which specifically deals only with death, so that, this person, would be the one that prescribes not only assisted suicide medication but also would be the one that performs abortions and any and all other legal acts of death to what would be viable life. 

 

Perhaps there is a need for assisted suicide medicinal prescribers, but that need should not be fulfilled by physicians as is currently performed in certain States, today, but by some other entity; for the most vulnerable amongst us, deserve so much better, than physicians that assist them in killing themselves.

The new transitory by kevin murray

Every day, things happen, of which many of those things happening, really aren't worth recording or having a permanent record of, forever.  Yet, in the age of social media, video recording and posting, audio recording and posting, and picture recording and posting, along with written media of all persuasions, things that are said and done, can conceivably migrate from being somewhat forgettable or somewhat regrettable, which basically means things that formerly would have been seen as being transitory, can and are becoming permanent.

 

While there are many notable events and deeds, which deserve to have a permanent record, such as a graduation, or a wedding,  or a birth, or other seminal events that are meaningful, and often are positive; there are also many events that are not positive, involving people losing their temper or making a fool of themselves, or choice words badly spoken or written, or other regrettable and embarrassing events, that for some opportunistic people are seen as a good opportunity to record and post such, in a forum, in which, once posted, such can be re-posted, ad infinitum.

 

While some of these things so posted are innocuous, cute, and even inspirational, there are plenty of posts that are deliberately made to shame the other, or in the hopes of creating a scandal, of which, pictures, videos, and even written words, especially when taken out of context, can easily change the significance of what really occurred and the editing of media can change the emphasis of what actually happened in a way in which what is being shown is fundamentally an unfair portrayal.  Of course, truth be told, there are plenty of embarrassing and ugly things that are recorded and posted, which are a true portrayal of that moment, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they need to be seen again and again.

 

Everyone makes errors and mistakes, of which, most people that make those errors and mistakes, are not really interested in seeing or having to re-live that moment, again and again, for they feel, with some justification, that what is being shown is not a fully accurate portrayal of who and what they really are;  but if this is what is shown about them, again and again, then it becomes almost futile to try to negate what has become the new norm for how they are seen and perceived.

 

All of the above means that when what is being published and shown via social media and other such means, is functionally out of the control of the subjects that are part and parcel of it, than for all intents and purposes, their persona is not under their control.  It would be one thing, if all this was done somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but there are many people that have agendas, or are just plain mean-spirited and therefore take things that should simply be forgotten in due time, or left alone, and build instead a foundation that is hurtful and destructive to another, in which, the other person has little recourse except to accept the public shaming, essentially because the ubiquity of social media and the resiliency of video and pictures,  have taken what was previously transitory, into the twilight zone of the new transitory, which makes it in so many ways, permanent and indelible.

Groupthink and intolerance by kevin murray

Most people like to pride themselves in how tolerant that they are in regards to other people and their viewpoints.  Of course, not too surprisingly, those that self-evaluate have a tendency to give themselves a relatively high score, whereas when it comes to others, especially those others with opposing viewpoints, they are often viewed as being intolerant.  While it is true, that each of us is entitled to our own viewpoint, it isn't healthy, to just surround ourselves only with people that agree wholeheartedly with what we are saying or doing, because a valued part of life is challenging and investigating our own treasured viewpoints, even points of view of long standing, to see how sound such is, when truly tested, whether such testing is done internally or externally, because in that manner we grow and learn.

 

One of the most dangerous aspects of groupthink is how intolerant some influential people are within that particular group, so that, when it comes to actually hearing or reading about an opposing viewpoint, such is the perceived threat, that those in power, will not even consider hearing or discussing such, and any within that group that challenges that conventional viewpoint, is considered to be on the verge of being an outcast, or being banned, or being punished, for having the audacity to even consider that there is another side, worthy of consideration or listening to.

 

The main reason why those engaging in groupthink will not tolerate dissent within their group, is that they cannot afford to have any cracks within their machine, especially internal cracks, because such may weaken the group as a whole, and that weakness, is something that they perceive, would be exploitable by the opposing side, and lead to the very fracturing of the group, and thereupon its groupthink.  That is why, so often those that preach that we should have tolerance and respect for the other side, as we would want them to have with our side, are immediately silenced and dealt with forthrightly, because the line has already been drawn in the sand, and dissent of any sort, crosses that line.

 

Therefore, because of groupthink, neither side is able to come to an accommodating agreement with the other, because neither side, believes that there is a middle ground between one another or will overtly admit to such, even though, there may well be.  So too, because of the fear factor within the group, even a minority within groupthink, can effectively control the group, because when internal dissent is summarily punished to the degree that those contemplating such, recognize that to do so, could conceivably cost them their livelihood, their home, and their safety, they will often sacrifice their tolerance of others, for the perceived safety of the group that they are a part of.

 

People and groups that aren't willing to at least occasionally listen to the other side espouse their viewpoint in a respectful and considerate fashion have traded common civility and common sense, for the pride of selfishness, that will not broker any dissent or opposition, whatsoever.  What this does, in effect, is create divisions between people, in which, there is little hope of reconciliation, because neither the people or those groups, are willing to concede that they don't already know everything that there is to know, and that therefore the other side is wrong and ignorant, even though, it is possible, even probable, that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Sanctity of life, necessitates God by kevin murray

Western nations have increasingly taken upon themselves a more secular viewpoint, of which God is being consciously pushed away from the public sphere, and is now considered to be only really acceptable for sensible people to contemplate such within the private space of their home, or their church, or in their thoughts; but what has been forgotten is that all of the unalienable rights that citizens have, and the transcendent concepts that are valued so much and are still impressed upon us, are all fundamentally based upon having and knowing our Creator, from which these unalienable rights come from.

 

That is to say, without God, there is no sanctity of life.  So too, without God, all the rules and regulations, all the laws and punishments, all the rights and wrongs, are not defined and circumscribed by natural law as received by mankind from God; but rather is instead, replaced by manmade law, as defined and determined by mankind, of which these laws are ever changing.  Which means, for those that believe that God has no place in this world, is that life cannot have sanctity, that life cannot have meaning, and that in life, everything is permitted, subject to the power of those that make the laws, uphold the laws, and enforce the laws.

 

This means, for those that believe not, that they basically live within a construct that is defined by mankind, which indisputably favors some at the expense of the many, which is unfair in its application and its outcome, and that does what it can to favor the chosen at the expense of all others.  So too, this means that some lives are of more value to those that control the power reins, whereas other lives have little or no value, and because this is the power structure so constructed, then decisions are made which support and uphold this particular viewpoint, which is inimical to the life, liberty, and the happiness of mankind as a whole.

 

All those that do not believe that the sanctity of life, necessitates God, are in the scheme of things, not true believers in the sanctity of all human life, or are not being honest about their innate belief in God.  For instance, those that believe in the sanctity of life without God, are going to be outplayed, outmaneuvered, and outfoxed by those that also don't believe in God, with the exception being that those people also have taken their lack of belief in God to its logical conclusion, so that without God, there are no moral absolutes and therefore they are permitted to do whatever that they so desire, subject to the power structure within that domain.   On the other hand, those that believe in the sanctity of life, without expressing a overt belief in God, in which these people are actually leading lives of love, compassion, concern, patience, and generosity towards others, are actually demonstrating in action that they are functionally God believers, whether this is acknowledged directly or not.

 

For there to be sanctity of life, there must be a Creator of that life, of which that Creator must be the epitome of truth, justice, and love, without any conditions whatsoever being imposed upon those that have been given life.  So too, those that have life, must at their most fundamental level be constituents of that Creator, of which, that life, is beyond time, and forever eternal.