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Bernardo de La Paz

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Member since: Fri Jul 16, 2004, 11:36 PM
Number of posts: 16,993

About Me

Lived most of my adult life in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. Left a piece of my heart there.

Journal Archives

Truly, it is because of the fundamental principle: "Innocent until proven guilty".

Think it through. It's the "proven" part that takes time to build. In criminal cases you have to prove the charge "beyond a reasonable doubt".

It's a high hurdle and we don't like it any more than a hard-right guy likes it when somebody (perhaps of color) is accused of violent crime. But we both live with it (when we pause to think about it) because we know that it helps protect the innocent.

This case is very large and complex. It is bigger and more involved than Watergate, which took two years. Watergate did not have a foreign antagonistic nation attacking us. It did not involved a rat's nest maze of numbered corporations and shady wire transfers. It did not involve tax-dodging sneaky business people highly skilled at hiding dealings.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Thu Apr 13, 2017, 06:57 PM (0 replies)

Indict / impeach tRump & Pence on the same day: Force Ryan into Pres spot (stay with me here)

We don't want Ryan as President, but he doesn't want it now either because he wants to be 2024's Reagan to 2020's version of Carter.

If tRump & Pence go one by one, the one or the other will appoint VP successors and Ryan can politely decline if offered.

But if they both get incapacitated at the same time, per 25th Amendment, Ryan gets forced in automatically as President by the line of succession. Then he could resign but that would eliminate his chances of being Pres ever again. If he doesn't resign, then he becomes 2018's Ford and serves a two year term only.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Thu Mar 30, 2017, 09:20 PM (0 replies)

One thing deliberately forgotten by people saying gubmnt should be run like a business

They deliberately do not say that one of the main principles of business it that you make money by spending money.

A well run government spends taxpayer money to support taxpayers so they can be productive and earn greater prosperity and enjoy life more. Good government spends on:

* Education so people have skills and wisdom (understanding) to be really productive.
* Health care so that illness is prevented, alleviated quickly, and people can spend more time gaining prosperity.
* Environment so that people are not debilitated by pollution.
* Consumer protection so that people don't have their life savings taken by crooks.
* Productive infrastructure such as public transportation for efficient movement of goods and services and people.

When you invest in the well-being of the People of the USA, the country remains competitive and a great place to live.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Tue Mar 28, 2017, 10:57 AM (1 replies)

It comes from a couple of ideological grounds and a mistaken self-view.

First there is the fiscal conservative idea that government should not forcibly take (taxes) and redistribute to the poor. That's "socialism" or "communism". That's what the Romans did through Herod. But paradoxically Republicons and christian RWAF adore Rome for its power and order and authoritarianism (lots of overlap between christians and RWAF).

Secondly, there is the idea that "god helps those who help themselves". It is the idea that hard work should be rewarded and needy people don't work hard. It is reinforced by the framing of language like "welfare queens". It shows itself in Republicon statements like Chaffetz saying that poor and people with pre-existing conditions need to choose between getting an Apple phone or health insurance / care.

The mistaken self-view is that they view themselves as "very charitable". They think that charities could and should do all the helping of the needy. They do not realize that the most charitable people, by percentage of disposable income, are the poor. The average RW christian is middle class and gives some money to churches and charities, many of which have high overhead, and some of which have CEOs and mega-pastors who live very high indeed.

So they overrate their charity and underrate the needs of people and ideologically endorse strict government fiscal conservatism.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sun Mar 26, 2017, 07:04 AM (1 replies)

ALL men were once pre-natal. ALL sons, grandson, nephews, etc. ALL male employees & underlings.

Ask RepubliCON lawmakers if they want their pre-natal grandsons to have the best chance of succeeding in life, whether rich or not.

Remind them that each dollar spent on pre-natal care saves thousands spent on post-natal and developmental and dependent adult care.

If we say that 1 in 10 people is disabled (an under-estimate) and that of those disabilities pre-natal care could be mitigated or reduced or eliminated them to the point of saving 20% in post-natal, childhood, and adult care, then it becomes very compelling. That would be 1 in 50, and let`s say that the savings are $100,000 over a lifetime (an underestimate).

1 in 50 times $100 K works out to a savings of $2K for every birth. If you spend even only $200 in pre-natal care, that is a very cost-effective savings, and that is an underestimate.

Unfortunately, Republicons are all about quarterly corporate profit reports and don't think much about the long term.

Nearly 1 in 5 People Have a Disability in the U.S., Census Bureau ...
https://www.census.gov › Newsroom › Releases › Disability
Jul 25, 2012 - About 56.7 million people — 19 percent of the population — had a disability in 2010, according to a broad definition of disability, with more than ...

Disability Statistics: Facts on Disabilities and Disability Issues ...
Jan 26, 2017 - A study in the United Kingdom found that the poverty rate for disabled people was 23.1 percent compared to 17.9 percent for non-disabled people, but when extra expenses associated with being disabled were considered, the poverty rate for people with disabilities shot up to 47.4 percent.

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Thu Mar 9, 2017, 09:23 PM (0 replies)

Boils down to convenience for ONE writer vs. convenience of 100s of readers. Assymetric

In the General Discussion forum, most threads have at least 300 views. Many have much more, but that would include multiple views as discussions progress. But let's assume 300 readers per Original Post and per most posts at the beginning of a thread as a lower bound on the number.

Dashing off quick OP with an opaque title and a sentence or two saves the writer time. Let's say it takes 30 seconds to do that. For comparison, let's say that a more informative title and several sentences summarizing key points and making a convincing case to view the video (live or YouTube) takes two minutes, 120 seconds for a little more typing and a little more thinking.

On the other side of the equation, a reader reading the better written OP can read it and decide whether to pursue it further within say 20 seconds. But dashed-off OP can easily take 60 seconds to puzzle out what it is referring to and then to glean from sparse clues enough information to decide to whether to pursue it.

However, to dramatize the case, let's suppose the difference in time is only 6 seconds instead of 40 seconds.

If there are 300 readers for every writer, dashing off an OP saves the writer 90 seconds and costs the readers 300 x 6 = 1800 seconds or half an hour.

On the other side of the ledger, if the writer spends an extra 90 seconds she/he saves readers half an hour of time.

Now, isn't it progressive and considerate to invest a mere 90 seconds to save the community a half hour?

Multiply that out by dozens of threads and it becomes easy to see that considerate writers make the community much more efficient.

Who is the writer writing for anyway? Their own ego or the edification and enjoyment of 300 readers?
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Tue Mar 7, 2017, 10:28 PM (7 replies)

Origins of the term October Surprise; Election AND 52 American lives hung in the balance

Alleged chronology (Wikipedia)
March 1980: Jamshid Hashimi, international arms dealer, is visited by William Casey (Reagan/Bush Campaign manager) at Washington's Mayflower Hotel, who asks that a meeting be arranged with "someone in Iran who had authority to deal on the hostages".
March 21, 1980: Jamshid Hashimi and his brother Cyrus Hashimi meet at the latter's home.
April 1980: Donald Gregg, a U.S. National Security Council aide with connections to George Bush, meets Cyrus Hashimi in New York's Shazam restaurant, near Hashimi's bank. Former Iranian President Abolhassan Banisadr said in his 1991 book My Turn to Speak that he had "proof of contacts between Khomeini and the supporters of Ronald Reagan as early as the spring of 1980.... Rafsanjani, Beheshti, and Ahmed Khomeini played key roles."
Last week of July 1980: At a meeting in Madrid arranged by the Hashimi brothers that includes Robert Gray, a man identified as Donald Gregg, and Mahdi Karrubi, William Casey says that if Iran could assure that American hostages were well treated until their release and were released as a "gift" to the new administration, "the Republicans would be most grateful and 'would give Iran its strength back.'" Karrubi says he has "no authority to make such a commitment."
About August 12, 1980: Karrubi meets again with Casey, saying Khomeini has agreed to the proposal. Casey agrees the next day, naming Cyrus Hashimi as middleman to handle the arms transactions. More meetings are set for October. Cyrus Hashimi purchases a Greek ship and commences arms deliveries valued at $150 million from the Israeli port of Eilat to Bandar Abbas. According to CIA sources, Hashimi receives a $7 million commission. Casey is said to use an aide named Tom Carter in the negotiations.
September 22, 1980: Iraq invades Iran.
Late September 1980: An expatriate Iranian arms dealer named Hushang Lavi claims he met with Richard V. Allen, the Reagan campaign's national security expert, Robert "Bud" McFarlane, and Lawrence Silberman, and discussed the possible exchange of F-4 parts for American hostages, but Lavi says they asserted they "were already in touch with the Iranians themselves". (Silberman, Allen, and McFarlane deny they met with Lavi, but reporter Robert Parry obtained a copy of Lavi's 1980 calendar after Lavi's death, which corroborated the Iranian's account.)
October 15–20: Meetings are held in Paris between emissaries of the Reagan/Bush campaign, with Mr. William Casey as "key participant", and "high-level Iranian and Israeli representatives".
October 21: Iran, for reasons not explained, abruptly shifts its position in secret negotiations with the Carter administration and disclaims "further interest in receiving military equipment".

October 21–23: Israel secretly ships F-4 fighter-aircraft tires to Iran, in violation of the U.S. arms embargo, and Iran disperses the hostages to different locations.
January 20, 1981: Hostages are formally released into United States custody after spending 444 days in captivity. The release takes place just minutes after Ronald Reagan is sworn in as president.

Taking their cue from the President, House Republicans threatened to block continued funding for the inquiry unless the Democrats agreed that Bush had not gone to Paris. Although Bush’s alibi for the key weekend of Oct. 18-19, 1980, was shaky, with details from his Secret Service logs withheld and with supposedly corroborating witnesses contradicting each other, the Democrats agreed to give Bush what he wanted.

A BAC 111 aircraft, which had been reconfigured to carry a sufficient amount of fuel to travel 3,600 miles, left Andrews Air Force Base in the late afternoon of October 19, 1980. The aircraft's destination: Paris, France. The Passengers aboard the aircraft included the command pilot U.S. Navy Captain Gunther Russbacher, Richard Brenneke and Heinrick Rupp, on the flight deck; and in the cabin was William Casey, soon to be the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency; Donald Greggs, soon to be the ambassador to South Korea; and George Bush, the future Vice President and President of the United States and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency. There were also Secret Service agents aboard the aircraft.

This is the weekend - three weeks before the November 1980 Presidential Election, that Bush has claimed he spent at Andrews Air Force Base.

Testifying to this flight is Russbacher, the pilot. The Navy pilot is currently at Terminal Island, a federal prison, awaiting an appeal on a charge of misuse and misappropriation of government properties, misuse of government jets, and misuse of government purchase orders for purchase of fuel. He was also a member of the Office of Naval Intelligence and worked with the Central Intelligence Agency. Russbacher's alias is Robert A. Walker. Russbacher now becomes the second crew member of that flight to testify to this clandestine episode that may have changed the politics of this nation and which has been labeled the "October Surprise". Brenneke was upheld by a Federal jury when he testified about the flight. After his testimony he was charged by the Federal Government with perjury, but a Federal jury acquitted him upholding his testimony that the flight actually took place. The trial was held in Portland, Oregon last year.

Russbacher, in an exclusive interview, states that Bush stayed at the Hotel Crillion in Paris. Russbacher has stated that more than one flight was involved, but that this was the initial flight at which time an agreement was made between Bush and Casey and the Government of Iran to delay the release of American hostages in Iran until after the November 1980 election. Former President Jimmy Carter and several Congressmen are now asking for an investigation into the "October Surprise".

According to Russbacher statements, Bush stayed only a couple of hours. He attended a meeting at the Hotel Crillion and at the Hotel George V. Russbacher, Brenneke, and Rupp stayed at the Hotel Florida. Bush did not return on the same BAC 111 aircraft or return with some of the people he had flown with to Paris, but instead Russbacher flew him back in the SR71. The aircraft was refueled about 1800 to 1900 nautical miles into the Atlantic by a KCl35.

The returning flight with Bush landed at McGuire Air Force base at approximately 2 a.m. on October 20. Russbacher states that Bush, while in Paris, met with Hashemi Rafsanjani, the second in command to the Ayatollah and now the president of Iran, and Adnan Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabian businessman who was extremely powerful. Arrangements were apparently made to pay Iran $40 million to delay the release of hostages in order to thwart President Jimmy Carter's re-election bid. The $40 million was the beginning of terms that created the Iran-Contra scandal that is now being reopened by Congress.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Mon Feb 20, 2017, 07:21 PM (1 replies)

Breath deeply. Worry about things you can change, and then do something. Observe the rest.

Maintain calm awareness.

Be poised to shift stance quickly.

Don't fight fears or worries. Whenever fears and worries rush in to overwhelm you, just say to yourself "Oh, hi. You again." Then mentally in your mind open a window and let a breeze waft them away. Direct yourself to something that needs to be done, not as a distraction, but as a way to maintain progress forward.

We will survive. We will persist and persevere.

You, me, DU, Democrats, the USA, this beautiful world. We will persist and triumph together.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sun Feb 19, 2017, 08:17 PM (2 replies)

Trudeau blames corporate elites for rise in global public anger [Wealth inequality]

(emphasis added)

Justin Trudeau is blaming corporate and government leaders for the spike in global anger rocking world politics, warning that low wages and the shift to precarious part-time work is at the heart of why citizens are opposing traditional powers.

Speaking at the St. Matthew’s Day banquet – an elite, black-tie event in Hamburg with a tradition that dates back centuries – the Prime Minister said companies contribute to public anger when they post record profits on the backs of workers who are underpaid and overworked.

“It’s time to pay a living wage, to pay your taxes, and to give your workers the benefits – and peace of mind – that come with stable, full-time contracts."


It is that type of language that has led Mr. Trudeau to be labelled the “anti-Trump,” a term used Friday on the front page of Germany’s Die Welt newspaper. The paper also declared Mr. Trudeau the “sexiest politician alive.”



In my opinion, wealth and income inequality need to be addressed sooner than later or else there are going to be revolutions. The disparities are becoming untenable.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Fri Feb 17, 2017, 11:08 PM (12 replies)

Social and fiscal conservatives hate liberals for two different reasons.

Politics is at least two-dimensional, so the "liberal vs conservative" rhetoric is inadequate on the face of it straight from the get-go.

A further problem is that many people indulge in binary thinking. They view themselves as "pretty good" but think that any liberal must be really very extremely bad because, you know, they're liberal.

Both liberals and conservatives, of all stripes, will fall back to a base of justifying their positions on the basis of Freedom.

Social conservatives hate liberals (especially social liberals) because to varying degrees they think they are decadent condemnable creatures who are leading society to the breakdown of the family, destruction of morals, and to hellfire and brimstone ala Sodom and Gomorrah. Some of them haven't even got to the point of accepting miscegenation (race mixing through marriage).

Fiscal conservatives hate liberals ultimately because of viewing things through the lens of the idea of voluntary versus involuntary charity. To varying degrees, they view government spending on poor people and social causes in any form (like public education) as taking from responsible people and giving it to irresponsible people. They frequently have an exaggerated view of the percentage of income that comfortably well off people spend on charity, or would spend if there were almost no taxes. They also tend to have no clue about the cumulative and synergistic effects of a thousand little disadvantages people might experience growing up and in their lives.

Of course, too many social liberals and fiscal liberals have correspondingly distorted views of conservatives.

Social liberals appeal to individual freedom, personal liberty.

Social conservatives appeal to freedom against the forces of darkness, as they see it.

Fiscal liberals appeal to the freedom from crushing disadvantages, for example FDR's third freedom: freedom from want.

Fiscal conservatives appeal to the personal freedom of giving to charitable causes only as much and in ways a person chooses.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Mon Dec 26, 2016, 06:42 AM (0 replies)
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