Trump Tax Cuts = South Park Underpants Gnomes Profit Plan

So listening to the arguments for and against the Trump Tax plan it seems like they basically have the same plan as the Underpants Gnomes in South Park.

Phase 1: Collect Underpants

Phase 2: ?

Phae 3: Profit

Really, when you look at it they’re basically saying the same thing. They’re saying:

Phase 1: Give even bigger tax cuts to the wealthy

Phase 2: ?

Phase 3: Profit

Let’s look at one specific example of why this won’t work. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, said that if these tax cuts come through he will bring $150 Billion back to the US. What he isn’t saying is that they’ve already started automating jobs at Foxconn. So if they build a plant here it will be almost entirely automated. That means that virtually no jobs will be created for human workers and the only people that will benefit are the investors. Whatever, I’ve told you all a long tome ago to start using Linux anyway LOL :). Seriously though, Linux is awesome and pretty much guilt free. I’m always happy to help someone learn more about Linux.

Anti-Net Neutrality Is Corporate Welfare

Net-Neutrality is in the news yet again as we are on the cusp of losing more of our first amendment rights again to big, unethical, telecom companies. Instead of making all of the arguments for net-neutrality that other individuals, organizations, and net-neutral companies like Google have already done a great job of I want to make a very specific one. I want to talk about how it’s corporate welfare.

You see, when a town install public broadband or has a company like Google available these companies tend to actually do their installs correctly. A town like Bellingham, WA would cost about $10 million dollars to wire up, if it was done all at once, of course publicly owned networks tend to pay for themselves including for their own expansion and maintenance, so you usually install some at a low cost, and then incrementally allow it to expand, but that is a topic for another article.

What is relevant is that if you look at a town like Bellingham you will pretty quickly realize that most residents only have real access to 1 telecom company and that almost all of the providers here are anti-net neutral. CenturyLink put an almost laughable amount of fiber in and is overselling their capacity and service choices here, just like they did in King  County.

http://www.king5.com/money/consumer/centurylink-hit-with-class-action-lawsuit-over-billing-practices/451646322

Estimates put it at about only $500,000 so about 1/20th of the fiber necessary to really make Bellingham competitive in the modern world and their pricing is way higher than Google. Of course getting real figures out of CenturyLink is next to impossible. This spotty service isn’t even available everywhere and is anti-net neutral. Comcast is even worse with their copper infrastructure. Our government has used these poor providers as an excuse not to give us better choices, and this has resulted in virtual monopolies all over our town. This is true of many place in the US. Some towns simply have their service cut off if they don’t purchase enough connections from one of these giants. See these town in 13 states that had 1,300 connections abruptly shut off by Verizon proving that totally private service is not reliable. https://muninetworks.org/tags-57

A company like Google though, and most publicly owned networks, expand until the town has adequate coverage for everyone, include an access for all component, and therefore provide adequate opportunities for everyone. Smaller private providers often just get absorbed by Comcast or one of the bigger providers, who often make the absorbed connections and quality standards surrounding them worse. This gives you the illusion of choice but really just hides monopolies in the background.

So how is this corporate welfare? With net-neutrality a company has the incentive to build a better network to keep data prioritization equal. This is not expensive for them to do and lowers the cost per MBit for consumers. Even with that, most Americans pay 10 times the amount paid in other developed countries for their services and get much worse service in return. Without net-neutrality a company can throttle connections or even steal bandwidth from other parts of the network to keep premium customers data flowing at a fast rate, making the slower connections even worse. They can also take ransoms from companies to prioritize their traffic above others. Think of how this will effect the news! It also means that they are not regulated to build better networks and that the connections for most individuals will get worse while only an elite few see better connections. We are allowing them to do a terrible job and make more money than ever off of their poor services by not regulating them. That’s how it’s corporate welfare. We’re essentially giving them more money by not guaranteeing their services will even be good or usable for most.

It should be noted that most of our regulation was almost toothless before this anyway. If anything we needed more regulation to protect the interest of the average American, not less.

Also, the FCC under the Trump administration is pushing many other backward telecom standards listed here.

https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/26/fcc-wont-vote-on-net-neutrality-in-november/

Most of them sound good until you look into them. For example, the “Common-sense measures” to ease transition from copper to fiber, part of what they’re voting on is also corporate welfare. See Fiber is a great idea, especially publicly owned fiber, in fact it should be the default standard for telecom cabling in the US today, but this administration is just going to give tax money to big telecoms to upgrade their privately owned infrastructure. So 18 Billion dollar CenturyLink will not have to spend their own money maintaining and upgrading their own infrastructure. You’ll do it for them, even if you’re note one of their customers. They will be given your tax dollars instead. It’s a handout.

Comcast’s New Bullshit Wireless Service (XFINITY Mobile)

So Comcast rolled out a plan similar to Google’s Project FI recently. I was, like most thinking Americans, skeptical. I knew it had to come with a horrible catch attached to it, like possibly requiring my mother to undergo experimental medical testing to get the deal. Comcast is one of the most hated companies in American history after all and their partner Verizon isn’t far behind. Actually, Comcast is one of the most hated companies in all of human history.

Google, a Net_Neutral company, partnered with slightly more reasonable wireless carriers T-Mobile and US Cellular but their pricing is about the same. Still, their pro Net-Neutral stance shows that they are at least a progressively run company for the time being.

Comcast partnered with super Anti-Net Neutrality carrier Verizon. We all know these guys for charging us at least 10x what people pay in other developed countries per for our services and backing them up with half-assed technology, like copper instead of fiber-optic based wiring, now they’re teaming up to pretend they’re doing you a favor again while taking advantage of you. Here’s how.

You have to have an XFinity account in the first place to even get XFinity Mobile. They mislead you with their advertising and say you can get unlimited calling for $45/month, but that’s only if you have one of their premier TV packages which start at $150 a month. If not, because you realized that traditional TV is going the way of the dinosaur and stupid, you will pay $65/month. So a family of 4 without a premier TV plan will pay almost $100 a month more for an unlimited plan than they will even with Verizon directly, who overcharges them too. The flyer I received also indicated that this may be a limited time offer that only extends through July as part of their “amazing” launch. In short, they’re screwing you again.

Yes, there is a pay per Gig option of $12 per gig, but this pricing is on par with many other providers that won’t hypothetically eat your firstborn if you sign a contract with them. The wireless hotspot access they advertise is largely stupid and pointless. Most businesses will allow you to use their Wi-Fi if you’re in range, staying with them, etc.

Comcast is also fervently against Net-Neutrality. This is probably because the truth is that Net-Neutrality is good for the end user. It effectively requires companies to actually improve their infrastructure without charging their customers more as their demands increase. It also keeps questionable companies like Comcast and CenturyLink from doing things like censoring the news, etc. using network prioritization or stealing bandwidth from their poorest users. All of that will be fair game if we lose Net-Neutrality by the way.

In the end it’s a bandaid to the problems we face with telecom today. We need public broadband that is Net-Neutral. Sure, private local providers can help provide access to this network, but without it we’ll just keep playing these games and keep being taken advantage of. How about this. How about instead of shitty Comcast hotspots we establish a network of public broadband Wi-Fi hooked up to public fiber that people can use to get their work done anywhere at no cost and get America out of the telecom dark ages.

So in short, one of the most immoral things you can do during this dark time is voluntarily give Comcast, CenturyLink, Verizon, and any of the other telecom companies supporting Trump’s Anti Net-Neutrality policies your money. It doesn’t even make financial sense to anyway.

One more note from the standpoint of the government. Whenever a new service comes up government officials who either don’t get it, or claim not to get it because they’re invested in these big telecom companies, use these services as justification that services are becoming available to more and more people at better rates but that simply isn’t true. The competition we’ve seen in the private market gives us all about the same services for about the same prices with limited equipment options. The companies carve out territories and stop competing almost immediately, creating an illusion of competition while establishing virtual monopolies. It is not in their interest to really make improvements. The only times that they do are when public options are established that actually bring pricing down, and give citizens a better option.

Before doing the right things, the big providers will usually start out by trying to force communities not to provide a public option in the first place, turn them off if one has been installed, or even use red scare tactics and call it socialism. Basically, they will try everything not to let you have better service, from an ethical provider, at a better price, but if your community sticks to its guns it will change their behavior for the better too.

Be Leary of Candidates with Endoresements

I know, you look at the title and think that I’ve gone off the deep end. Well perhaps you think I’ve gone off the deep end again, but there is solid logic to this argument. You see, when candidates run for seats they seek endorsements, but many of us do not know how that process works. Essentially, it’s a pay to play process. If you want to vote for a candidate, say with the Whatcom Democrats, you have to show up and pay a fee. Sure, they’ll argue that the money is used for events, etc. but the point is that you have to pay just to get in and vote.

So in a town like Bellingham where 1/3rd of the people, including families, earn less than $25,000 a year per household you will probably end up with a lot of those people supporting a candidate that is considered “more liberal” which these days translates to less bloodthirsty, or not crazy, or not a dirt bag of a human being, etc. The poor not only have a hard time affording a fee of any kind, but it is inappropriate to ask them to pay any amount to vote. The minimum wage here is $8.75, and low-income voting is $10. So you’re asking them to give up more than an hours worth of pay to vote. Plus, they may work later shifts meaning that making the meetings are harder for them than the rich people that can easily make the meetings, pay the $20 “normal” fee (or more accurately the “make sure you do me a favor with a Waterfront Construction Contract fee”), and make it home in time for supper.

So by default these organizations bias their votes, and endorsements, to the very wealthy. For instance, we have approximately 800 homeless people in Bellingham and Whatcom County. A simple luxury tax would take care of the issue. We have tons of millionaires in Bellingham, especially in Fairhaven. Still a candidate like Todd Donovan will support new roads for bicycles before a luxury tax, because growing a spine and doing the right thing would probably cost him the endorsement. So all I’m saying is to read between the lines. Candidates with endorsements are often bought, like Todd Donovan. He was directly asked this question recently and tried to tell poor people essentially to shut up because they don’t pay a lot in taxes. He was more business like about it, but that was the gist.

To recap our taxes in Bellingham,

  1. Our homes just went up in value. So we paid higher property tax than ever before. This is part of the real-estate scam. It works out well because the govenrment can bring in more money while not raising the percentage of the tax. So they can say they didn’t raise the tax even though you’re paying more. Again, that’s what we call a scam.
  2. We have almost 9% sales tax.
  3. We have some special taxes.
  4. We legalized marijuana recently, meaning that we have about $70 million extra in taxes earmarked for healthcare but the government always tells us that we’re out of money.
  5. There have been many “voluntary” tax increases. They should not be considered coluntary because they included issues like replacing bad fire equipment that the city didn’t budget for. So the choice was, “do you want to pay an extra tax and have a reliable fire truck, or not.” They did the same thing with educational technologies.
  6. The police purchased a $400,000 tank in the midst of all of this. They sold our snow plows because they said we don’t need to keep specialized equipment around. I guess a tank doesn’t count.

… Sadly, the list goes on, but you get the picture. We pay more all of the time and they do less with it.

The Police, Armed for War with the Citizens?

So I wasn’t in any trouble, but I got to go to our local police station today and check out their gear. Again, I think most cops are good people that are trying to do right by their communities, but when there is a problem, it can only be amplified by the unnecessary availability of gear that is best left for use in warfare. Which is a lot of what I saw today.

Obviously I’m focusing on Bellingham, WA and Whatcom County, but sadly my research shows that other cities police forces are even more armed than my own. Here’s a list of what I saw today.

  1. The cops have at least 20 cars and SUVs even though this is a medium sized city. Most have shotgun mounts. All are big and most very new. (Supposedly our city is out of money and can’t help the homeless or plow the roads, remember?) They also have some cool BMW motorcycles.
  2.  They have a light armored vehicle they call the BearCat, with gear included a public records request revealed that they spent $224,000 in 2008, $12,000 for maintenance since and the armaments for the vehicle bring the total to about $260,000. It was deployed once to subdue a riot at WWU, but even that use was unnecessary. Although the police followed proper procedure, before using the vehicle, it should be noted that they did not need a tank to deploy tear gas, etc. It also gets really shitty gas mileage. So bad that a motorcyclist could probably run a Yamaha R6 off of the fumes that the BearCat spits out.
  3. Each officer carries a high voltage taser with a range of 25 feet (makes you wonder why they shoot so many people and why they did so recently here), a gun (9mm I believe), at least 2 magazines of bullets (so at least 30 rounds of ammo plus what’s in the gun), pepper spray (I’m fine with this and the taser), body armor (ok good idea), and the cars and BearCats have shotguns available in them (some of them non-lethal bean bag shotguns). In short the cops are better equipped to pacify their citizens than most WWII commandos were while fighting the Nazi’s.

So it makes you wonder. Why do they keep telling us they’re out of money? In Bellingham we found enough money to arm our police for all out warfare with the citizens, we found 30.3 million dollars to give to a single construction company for our Simpsons Springfield Monorail Project (aka the Waterfront Project), we will dump at least an additional $10 million in through the greenways bill for the same project, but we just can’t help out the homeless.

Here’s why. The police are here to protect you, but their order of priority starts with the president and works its way down. So they’re really here to protect the mayor, her corrupt friends, their corrupt friends, and so on and so forth, whether they know it or not. The citizens, especially the poor citizens, can pretty easily get shot just for being a nuisance. Although the recent suspect shooting in Bellingham appears to have been handled correctly, according to the law anyway, one does wonder how a guy with a knife was a threat to an officer with a taser that had a 25 foot range who also has been trained in hand to hand fighting and was wearing a knife resistant vest. Oh yeah, and had backup and a partner. I’m not saying the officer should have put his life at risk in anyway, but it seems like they had more options than shooting the guy. At the same time, the guy was a total scum that stabbed 2 people, so in some ways, whatever.

A Picture of the Ferndale Police Tank that Mayor Linville refers to, “as something they don’t have to use, but just another tool.” Perhaps like she is. Anyway, does anyone really think that the government buys this kind of stuff to NOT use it? It’s not a spade vs. flat shovel, or a new kind of pruning shear, it’s a God Damned TANK! The police are supposed to be citizens enforcing the law. How many other citizens do you know that have tanks in their garage? This is unacceptable. I should note that we have these expensive, draconian, vehicles at the expense of taking care of our schools, our infrastructure, the homeless, and just about everything else the poor and middle class rely on. We also pay our cops and firefighters like shit and even had to have an emergency bond measure to buy a new firetruck, because our government is that incompetent. We pay almost 9% sales tax, and high property tax. The problem isn’t that they don’t have enough money, so something else must be going on.

ferndale tank

A picture of the City of Bellingham’s Light Tank

A bit more from an older article:

https://sweeneypolitics.com/2015/02/15/interviewing-mayor-kelli-linville/

 

The Excuse Machine (How Modern Governments and Corporations Keep You Down, While Appearing to be Reasonable)

 

So, I want to start out by saying that governments are important. They are more important than corporations, and you should never want a corporate government. A well run government can do great things for it’s people and help its people prosper. So why do our governments suck so much? Well, because if you don’t watch them and hold them accountable, they will degrade into what we see today. So if that’s true then why don’t we want less government? Well there are many reasons, but the biggest one is that corporation will take over and they are totally amoral machines that always do the least amount possible and always half-ass everything at best.

So, how does the excuse machine work? Well, the excuse machine is a method of obfuscation that your government, and often corporations, use to try and keep you from holding them to account. It is especially important that they get you to doubt yourself along the way and drive a wedge between you and any potential supporters. For some odd reason, people still tend to believe large organizations over other citizens. They usually try to sound believable and will start by only half lying before full out lying. Keeping track of a lot of lies is hard to do after all. Still, they do this all while increasing your taxes and convincing you that all of the critical things you’re voting for are actually voluntary tax increases, so don’t bitch to them if your taxes go up. They never address the fact that your taxes are so high that there should be no need for tax increases, except on the very wealthy because in essence you’re asking your leaders to tax themselves.

Unregulated and unaccountable government explains many issues, from the local to the national and even global level. For example, in my city the government installs fiber-optic cable for itself. It refuses to give the citizens access to it, even though they paid for it, and even though it covers most of the city. In the background the City Council refuses to meet with local providers, but rolls out the red carpet for companies like CenturyLink and Comcast. Giving them full meetings. More than likely, almost all of the government officials are investing in these companies, because they can make sure they have little or no competition. Since the companies are considered individuals under our law and the individuals investing in them are as well, you can’t even find out if that is true, but where there is smoke there is fire. These kind of scandals go on all of the time but are easier to expose when the public welfare is at risk, since you can actually look into the history of the people and companies involved if that level of concern is justified.

Still, the excuse machine is in effect from the onset through a potential investigation. Here are a few examples. A citizen approaches their government with a good idea that doesn’t cost too much. In today’s terms let’s say 5 million or less over a 7 year period. A small amount of money to most cities. This idea will revolutionize the city, bringing in new jobs with good benefits and raising the quality of life for the citizens. Here is what they will probably run into.

  1. The government is really lazy and they consider themselves underpaid for their work. So they will use every excuse in the book not to do work. While the pay side of this was true in the not to distant past, many government jobs are very sought after by those of us under 40 since the pay is decent and they actually come with benefits. We’d love to have the jobs that the current government officials take for granted and even blow off, but the system of nepotism keeps it in place. Solution: Eliminate nepotism, replace current employees and officials with non-baby boomers, and let them know that although they work hard they don’t work any harder than just about any other working person in America. Especially those holding down 2 or 3 part-time jobs just to make ends meat.
  2. The government will tell you that any idea you have that doesn’t directly link to a corporation that they’re getting fees from or buying stock in, in the background, is simply too expensive. Solution: Look for other projects where they did find the money. In the City of Bellingham, WA we awarded $30.3 million dollars to a single construction company to re-do our Waterfront. We also had a tax increase to renovate and build new parks around the Waterfront to the tune of probably another $10 million. All while Mayor Linville tried to push our responsibility to help out the homeless onto other organizations and even tried to declare a state of emergency. A few apartments are being built so our elitist government can try and pretend like it cares, but the truth is that Bellingham has more than enough money to end the homeless problem now if we imposed a luxury tax on our wealthiest and most wasteful citizens. On another front, a public fiber-optic expansion would only cost $500,000 initially and would probably start paying for itself as clients hooked up to it. The city instead refused to seriously look into it and rolled out the red-carpet for CenturyLink in the background. Still, even a worse case scenario full fiber install would cost about 1/8th of what the Waterfront project will cost and will help the city out. The Waterfront has just as much a chance of becoming our Simpson’s Springfield Monorail project as anything else.
  3. The government will threaten you on behalf of corporations. Publicly the government will almost never trample on your rights, but behind closed doors they have no problem with it.  Ted Carlson, the Public Utility Director for the City of Bellingham, will threaten to end meetings on behalf of the power company (PSE) if anyone mentions seizing the company. Deputy Administrator Brian Heinrich will even tell them what they can talk to their elected officials about. This is just short of Brown Short Fascism, but in their defense it’s probably Mayor Linville that’s putting them up to it. Solution: Replace not just elected officials, but most of the government with decent, working class people. Never allow any candidate to run unopposed in any election. Demand the tax returns and investment information of all elected officials, even local ones. Demand that all corporate donors are revealed before ballots are cast.
  4. If you prove them wrong, they’re hide behind their own incompetence or even the weakest people, like the homeless. You see they’re so lazy and corrupt that you can pretty easily prove them wrong, that’s when they’ll use the mess they created, and didn’t really work on, to justify not doing anything better. They’ll say, “we have real problems, like the homeless” City Of Bellingham’s PUD Director Ted Carlson’s response to the idea of Public Fiber Optic Internet after the idea had been proven sound. You see, regardless of how much money they take in, they intentionally mismanaged it for many reasons. In some cases, they may even be trying to make your government inefficient to clear they way for their private sector pals. Ted Carlson said, “if the government is so bad at doing things, then why do you want us to do it.” Well guess what, the government shouldn’t be bad at doing things and we expect a higher level of service for the taxes that we pay. Whatever the reason the solution is simple. Solution: If, lime most Americans (aka the poor and middle class) you are paying high taxes then your government should be providing stellar services. In Bellingham we pay almost 9% sales tax coupled with high property tax. There should be more than enough money to deal with the homeless problem, fund our schools, provide a public option for telecom, transportation, etc. So if they’re telling you there is not, then you tell them that you will be taking the difference out of their salaries, including overpaid school officials, if they fight back, you fire them. They work for the public after all.
  5. Accuse your citizens/customers of not being thankful for what they have. This has a slightly religious slant to it and you can always find a place on the map where people have it worse. This allows you to inflate the cost of necessities and pretend that they’re luxuries. “Don’t complain about your high water prices,” a corporate goon or government official might say for example, “at least you’re not living in Flint, Michigan.” While this is true, the situation in Flint is unacceptable, and the fact that President Trump didn’t make this a top priority to address as soon as he took his oath is reason number one-million and fourteen why he should be impeached, but this article isn’t about him directly. Anyway, this tactic is very effective, as it might make the person feel guilty and ashamed for asking anything more out of their government.
  6. Tell the citizens that you see their point, but their idea is unnecessary. Ken Mann of the Whatcom County Council said this about a crosswalk because he, “never noticed anyone cross the road there.” Well, of course they didn’t. It was unsafe to do so without a crosswalk. It is now reported that disabled people are using the crosswalk just about everyday.
  7. Talk about unity and shame progressives for not getting behind your shitty candidates. This is the current line of the Democratic Party who refuses to learn from their mistakes. For example, tell the Bernie voters that although you understand their concerns you just can’t support candidates that actually give a shit about other people like Bernie Sanders, Keith Ellison, or Elizabeth Warren right now (then cough the word never into your hand). You’d like to but right now we need unity. Of course what this really means is unity behind the corporate Democrats that have ruined the party and cost us the election. Another local examples. Kelli Linville loves CenturyLink, a company whose corporate values totally align with Donald Trump. So in essence, on this and a few other issues, the Democrats effectively support Trump and the Republicans. Sure, they’ll never admit to this, but actions speak louder than words. They’re hoping to walk a fine line where they can take care of their corporate donors, and appear to be progressive. A better example is the DNCs support of Tom “Trump Likes Him” Perez and Cory “Steals Medicine From Grandmas” Booker. These guys are the premier DNC “leaders” right now. Sure, they gerrymander on a few issues and can appear to the untrained eye to be good Democrats, but they’re horrible people. If you bring this up, the Democrats will almost admit to it as well, but talk about unity again. In essence they’re always running the fear vote so they can take care of their corporate donors. Was Clinton a better candidate than Trump? Yes she was, but she was severely flawed because she made horrible choices during her career that made her an easy target. She did that to herself, not the Republicans. For example she wanted to hand out no fly zones like lollipops at the banks and did not support Universal Healthcare. We had an almost perfect candidate in Berine but the DNC stabbed him in the back because the Democrats figures that we would never vote for the horrible Republican alternative out of fear of what might happen. They are still doing the same thing, and if this is their strategy moving forward, as it appears to be, we’re screwed. Note: You can also work the shame angle from the unity angle. You can shame progressives for not getting into line and creating a terrible situation when the truth is that the Democrats largely did this to themselves. For example, Trump had a 5:1 bot ratio. Clinton generally thinks the internet is annoying.
  8. Tell them to be careful of how they ask for things. Sure, this one is rooted in reality. Being respectful of others is usually the best policy. However, sometimes your officials don’t deserve your respect. You know like when they back telecom companies that support Trump’s FCC agenda, like Kelli Linville and some of the COB council members do. Still, this puts them in a position of power since they can easily ostracize those that seem to “care too much” and are “too upset” about their policies. Guess what guys, it’s ok to be very angry with your government. There are just as many Democrats that screwed you over as Republicans, and the time to hold them to account is now. Solution: Locally, we need a mayor that isn’t so corrupt. While she seems to gerrymander pretty well she supports the militarization of the police with as much regard as buying potting soil, she supports Trump by supporting telecom companies that will prioritize the information you receive, she supports overpaying high level school administrators while the schools themselves can hardly function, she supports a Waterfront project during an age when physical expansion is foolish. The list goes on and gets even worse at the State and National level. Time to replace most of our leaders. Oh, and it’s ok to be angry with them too and let them know why. They’ve earned it and don’t deserve your respect. Hell, they’ve gotten rich by screwing you over.  Kelli Linville says she has a soft spot for the homeless, well guess what, if she would put a reasonable luxury tax in place (aka tax people like herself) the homeless problem would be dealt with humanely and efficiently. Meaning we could easily house, give medical care too, and feed the homeless. There is a currently a 6:1 ratio of unoccupied housing to homeless people. The truth is that she pretends to care publicly, but will never take real action to solve the issue because it would mean taxing her donors.

I’ve given you a few examples, many of them hyper-local but you all have your own. The sad truth is that this is considered par for the course in most of the country. In the current state that most town are in basically any good idea will go through the flow chart I’ve posted. Still, the solution is simple. If the government has become untrustworthy, and does not serve the people, then we need to replace it. There are many more community minded, young people, waiting to do so that would be happy to have the good jobs our government officials take for granted. So let’s get them in there, hold our governments accountable, and create a modern civilization. You don’t have to feel bad. You won’t be putting anyone out. The current officials have already made their private investments, and all of their decisions are based on taking care of the corporate citizens first. So if they fall on their face instead of getting mega-wealthy off of the suffering of their own citizens, then it’s not like they don’t deserve it.

Specifically to the residents of Bellingham, WA. Remember the slogan for the next election, since our local paper has been bought and does not do any real investigative reporting in relation to the government. Linville Lies. Just look at the state of our city. The proof is all around you. If the Herald folds, then let it go. We need a news source that will actually do investigative reporting. We can create that online and member fund it like The Young Turks do. Losing the Bellingham Herald will be no big loss if they won’t start acting like journalists and holding accountable.

Fight Fascism, Use Linux

Here is the list of Tech CEOs who were so spineless that they met with President Trump.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/14/technology/trump-tech-summit.html?_r=0

You might say, “how can anyone representing some of the most forward thinking companies on Earth meet with Donald Trump?” Well, that’s it. With the exception of Tesla, they are not forward thinking companies. They’ve been selling you the same garbage, slowing down the release of new products, repackaging Open Source tools with slight modifications and charging your for them, and throttling your access to the best of their ability for years. Oh yeah, they charge you a lot for it too.

However, there is good news. You don’t need to run Windows or Apple anymore. The Free Open Source Operating System Linux has been amazing for years now and most distros are user-friendly too. Linux is also very efficient and scalable, so in general you can keep your systems viable and running for 2 or 3 times longer than with Windoze or CrApple systems which is good for the environment. Plus once you make the switch to Linux you never have to deal with any of the bullshit surrounding proprietary computing again, except when you deal with people who haven’t made the switch, even then there are usually simple workarounds. LibreOffice, for example, can read from and save to just about any other Office Suite format. You can use Amazon Video in Chrome, which runs on many Linux distros, and therefore use Google Service like Docs and Drive with Linux. The list goes on, but in general, since there is a better free alternative out there than the companies that met with Donald Trump provide, then why reward them by buying their products? Open Source is already everywhere anyway.

The distro I recommend is Ubuntu Linux:

https://www.ubuntu.com/

Here is a link to the only ethically made computer on the planet. The Raspberry Pi. It runs Linux and is only $35. It uses a more efficient ARM processor (like your smartphones does), than the Intel stuff you’re used to. It’s made in the UK by workers that actually have rights. Imagine that. So when Apple or Samsung tells you they can’t afford to make the iPhone, the Galaxy, or any of their other overstated products here, you can tell them you know they’re full of shit.

https://www.raspberrypi.org/