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Who: Kimball Corson. Text and Photos not disclaimed or that are obviously not mine are copyright (c) Kimball Corson 2004-2016
Port: Lake Pleasant, AZ
11 March 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
11 March 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
11 March 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
11 March 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
11 March 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
11 March 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
11 March 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
11 March 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
11 March 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
11 March 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
11 March 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
11 March 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
20 February 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
20 February 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
20 February 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
20 February 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
20 February 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
20 February 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
01 February 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
31 January 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa

A Theory of Faux News

11 March 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
Kimball Corson
All news stories are necessarily abridgments. Some facts are included and others and related stories are left out. The nominal rationale is life is short and their are other things to do. But is that true, in a meaningful sense. Since not all facts and all stories can be covered in full, the business of the news is really to leave the reader or viewer with an impression of current events, occurrences, people and people's thinking.

Faux news arises when those impressions are made deliberately wrong and false, and do not present the true picture and impression in a particular and significant regard. For example, the ad for the island below reads,

"Your very own island in the South Pacific, with beautiful trees on the property. A full one half an acre when the tide is right."

Except for reference to trees when arguably there is only one, the ad is technically correct, but as the pictures makes clear, the impression created by the ad is almost totally false.

The same sort of thing happens when the MSM sets out with one or more news stories to create an impression of events, occurrences, people or the thinking of others, within or across those several stories. It is technically almost all correct, but because of the false impression it intentionally creates, it is simply fake news.

To read the MSM -- watch CNN, for example, you could not believe 44% of the people think Trump is doing a good job. No way, I suggest. The impression created by the MSM is not more than 10% could think that. Why? Because a false impression to the contrary is created by the MSM that is fake news. And opposition establishment supporters simply do not get it or the 44 % would be much higher. Invective and hostility blind them, and the MSM caters to both sentiments because it sells papers better that way and that is what their news bosses tell them to do to increase sales and serve the establishment.

Some people of course hugely discount and don't believe the MSM -- which has the lowest credibility rating ever just now -- for just this reason, and that accounts for the 44%, instead of the MSM likely expected 10% or lower. False impressions are created and left by the MSM not radically dissimilar to the island ad I posited. But many are not taken in by them and filter the news to ignore the spin and slant. They resist false news for various reasons.

More in support of my contention the MSM is doing a truly lousy job on the whole.

The Liberal Establishment Does Not Get It

11 March 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
Kimball Corson
Trump is a reaction to the liberal establishment's failure to address and sell out on --

1) Main Street's and Middle America' s concerns about growing income and wealth inequality, as jobs went overseas and now are being somewhat displaced by robotics,

2) America's economic instability with Wall Street and the Fed at the helm of our economic ship of state,

3) the Fed's failures to contain and avoid creating economic booms that later become busts,

4) the economic decline of the bottom half of Americans and the loss of the middle classes wealth in the form of homes,

5) our badly compromised civil rights, coupled with the militarization of our police forces and their coordination with our national military,

6) the financial corruption of congress and our representatives,

7) the commercial corruption, monitization and buy, buy, buy hype of the the American public scene and way of life,

8) healthcare and healthcare insurance prices rising too much too fast, and

9) the decline of public education and higher education, as a path for economic improvement, being priced out of sight

Most of all, 10) on top of this mess, we have the bloat and ineffectiveness of the liberal and republican federal government that does not address, much less correct these matters. Indeed, Obama did not come close or even have policies targeting or addressing these issues. Many issues got much worse under his tenure.

Britexit was a parallel reaction to similar concerns in Great Britain.

Our present lean toward Russia is a hedge on the prospective hegemony of China and its implications.

Only radical change can fix these matters and the liberal establishment and the republican guard oppose radical change because both profit from the status quo. And distressingly enough, only Trump and Sanders offer hope for radical change. That is our situation in a nutshell.

Will Trump Become a Great President? (written earlier)

11 March 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
Kimball Corson
It is too soon to tell. But his congressional speech provides every indication of it. There was greatness and vision in that.

We must remember, Trump is the accidental president. He and most everyone else expected Hillary to win. We were surprised and, of course, so was Trump. Trump was not ready to be president and chose his staff and cabinet. He has had a fumbling start which is therefore no surprise.

To be sure, he has made some bad staffing and cabinet choices but he was pandering to republicans in congress but will, I suspect, can any who don't do the job and want he wants. "Your fired," is not beyond our imaginations, but more gracefully done in public style of course. But Trump needed the republican congress's' initial support. I see Bannon's hand in this as strategy.

Trump's potential major problem is this congress. It could well block him on much, but for now is largely taking a wait and see approach to Trump. It is pleased with his staffing and cabinet choices for the most part and many of his decisions. A point Trump pays close attention to.

If Trump can rise to his expectations and provide the leadership all hope, we might get a new republican and democratic parties formed behind him in the image of his congressional speech. Both parties are stagnant messes at present. There is a prospect here and a possible coming bandwagon effect. It is a model for America and Americans first. No one has talked about or showed any real concern for Main Street and middle America for a long, long time. Trump does.

We will just have to wait and see what we have got. It is too soon to tell how good or bad Trump will be as our president.

Are People Becoming Less Intelligent?

11 March 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
Kimball Corson
From what I have observed since early adulthood, definitely yes.

Some Requirements of Democracy

11 March 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
Kimball Corson
I submit that the Islamic belief system, to include the required Sharia law, is incompatible, as written and mandated in the Koran, with Judeo Christian western democracy. Why then should the US allow any professed Muslims into the the country? To be sure, there are sensible Muslims who eschew the excesses and absurdities of their religion, just as there are Christians who do the same with their's. But how are we to reliably know at a reasonable cost who they are and who are true believers. Many sensible Muslims are already in the US, having come earlier. I have lived in Saudi Arabia.

A further problem with an open door policy for Muslims from many countries is they mostly come from religiously war-torn countries and bring their problems as luggage with them. While many already here are net gains for the country, having come in earlier, many seeking entrance now are those I describe. In Europe many are ex-soldiers and trouble makers, now being deported in many cases.

Muslim immigration in Europe has not gone well and is rife with problems and abuses all around. Many are now being denied asylum and deported. Muslims in Paris suburbs have demanded Sharia law apply in their areas and a couple I know who have left Austria did so because their home town was over run by Muslims and the wife was repeatedly berated on the streets by immigrant Muslim women for not covering. I should add, life in America is troubled and difficult enough without our immigration policies asking for more problems as they have.

Poor legal and illegal immigrants from Mexico are another matter. Before banishing those who are working at many undesirable jobs, we need to be sure bottom end American workers are willing to do that work at comparable wages or the work simply won't get done in all likelihood. Some common sense is needed on immigration and many seem to oppose that and want everyone who is not a criminal let in. The US has no policy or constitutional requirement to do that.

As an aside, I should add the issue might be become moot in this day and age of declining IQs, as the national mean is now headed down from the low 90's, a figure many informed scholars and psychometricians believe is the minimum to have a functioning democracy based on an informed voting public.

Our Problems Are Political, Not So Much Economic.

11 March 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
Kimball Corson
To be sure, large economic problems and mistaken policies abound, but most yield to good economic analysis; however, the implementation of that analysis is almost everywhere blocked by political restraints imposed by and in favor of the rich. The idea of a political economy has become instead an economy stymied by the politics of congress. That is where we are now and the situation is worsening by the day.

Income and wealth have been redistributed from the middle class and a bit from the lower class to the top end and that has stymied the economy for the bottom half of Americans and left them devastated. Public policy is out to lunch on the issue. The republican party has become the republican guard for the monied class and does all it can to further redistribute income to the rich.

Depending on what Trump can do on health care with the repeal of the ACA, it appears he is about to break his promise of better and cheaper health care for all Americans. With the Republican guard, which wants its patrons out from under the cost of the ACA, Trump is between a rock and a hard place.

If he breaks this promise to Americans here, it would well be, as I have said, Trump's Waterloo -- the point where he loses a truly big block of those who voted for him. His presidency could well come to be on the line over this issue. Just as the ACA was Obama's troubled legacy. what happens now could well be Trump's. The outlook is not good.

With republican's house bill. health care funding is stuffed back into the pockets of the rich and tax credits are used to further shrink government discretionary spending and government itself. The scheme is a two edged sword and diabolical; it gives back to the rich and it reduces government revenues and therefore its discretionary spending on other things. The republican guard, led here by Ryan, is gleeful about it.

American are again being had. Is there no end to the social injustice? The wealthy are murdering us. We are being corralled for social slaughter. And far too few realize what is actually going on other than the fact they intuitively don't like it and rail against Trump. But the real problem is the republican guard they voted into office. Shame on them.

Republican success here will mean social security and medicare are next up on the chopping block and Trump might have to break with his party over his promises in those quarters or fold and go along with the Republican guard. Either way, Americans will likely again lose. The guard controls.

Well, There We Have It . . .

11 March 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
Kimball Corson
The republicans and Trump's sellout health care plan. Regardless of the problems of the ACA, it is a huge net take away program and not at all the Trump promised program of better healthcare for all Americans. Trump's mouth outran what he could do. Shades of Obama.

Under the new bill endorsed by Trump, poor Americans are tossed into the street and given a tax credit against income they likely don't have for medical expenses they cannot get insurance for and cannot otherwise pay. Go bankrupt or sit at home and die is often the choice.

Medicaid is set up for a major haircut, tossing many old folks out of nursing homes into the street or relatives' laps and the rich get a huge tax break almost equal to the subsidy on insurance premiums the poor got under the ACA. There is much spurious rhetoric about freedom of choice, freedom from fines and pie in the sky, but the net effect is America loses big time.

Trump has now breached a major promise to the American people and that slides many like me over from the undecided column squarely into the growing Trump opposition. The republican call is, 'Fuck the middle and lower classes in the country but above all guard and protect the purses of wealthy Americans.' This is the republican mandate. That voting Americans have not figured this out gives us the horrible government we have: Ryan's day in the sun.

Now watch. Social security and Medicare are next up on the chopping block. Entitlements be damned.

America stinks of greed, avarice and corruption.

Price Tags

11 March 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
Kimball Corson
Anticipating that their plan will leave fewer Americans insured than Obamacare and potentially cost the federal government more than Obamacare, Republican leaders on Tuesday launched a peremptory strike against forthcoming predictions from Congress’s independent scorekeeper, the Congressional Budget Office. Democrats say the CBO is now partisan under Mick Mulvaney.

One democrat mused to reporters that the only reason for an OMB estimate is to fudge the numbers for partisan purposes.

If we start going down that path, he said, now we’re going to say the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office doesn’t know what they’re doing and we’re going to rely on President Trump’s Office of Management and Budget, which is totally political Then we go down that road, we don’t have bipartisan, neutral scoring anymore, which is very sad.

Others note the CBO was horribly off on its Obamacare estimates

The Easy Health Care Solution

11 March 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
Kimball Corson
The peregrinations we go through with Obamacare and the current republican replacement effort create unsustainable messes that still leave many uninsured and without health care and for what? To protect the overhead and profits of the now very few, but big health insurance companies left in that industry, in recognition their political clout. It makes no sense. We should instead make Medicare available to all with the following reforms:

1) Allow Medicare to negotiate with the pharmaceutical industry over drug prices;

2) Regulate healthcare providers as public utilities because as Kenneth Arrow proved years ago competition cannot work in the healthcare industry;

3) Make the Medicare FICA withholding tax apply progressively to all incomes at adequate rates;

4) Adopt good healthcare preventative policies with required regular check-ups and eating and life-style corrections;

5) Curb medical malpractice to only cases of gross negligence; and

6) Require that medical schools expand to double their enrollments with initial federal assistance, to reduce doctor's jacked up salaries.

These changes would fix healthcare for everyone and do so simply. Healthcare in these United States would cost about half of what it does now. Why not?

Why Free Markets Do Not Work in Healthcare

11 March 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
Kimball Corson
Free markets do not function correctly in healthcare to allocate resources optimally because of excessive uncertainty. Nobel Laureate Kenneth Arrow has shown us that and why. I explain. There is now an economic literature on point. However, it is not well or widely understood. Absent free markets that function properly for healthcare, it is clear that government has to be involved to assist in achieving results similar to what we might get from free markets if they could work in this area, that is, be cost effective and efficiently provided medical care. Indeed, without regulation, the healthcare markets do not do that at all and have proved that.

In a typical market, say for standard widgets, the product is uniform, well defined and known and the price is likely the same across different sellers because of competition between sellers for buyers and from buyers shopping between sellers for the best price. The product and its price are known in advance. Quality and reliability, are all likely the same in this single market from competition so who you want buy from (the closest seller) is also well known in advance, because you have already shopped around and competition has made the price and these factors all the same. There is no uncertain regarding either the product or it prices. A free market works well in this situation where there is no product uncertainty and no price uncertainty.
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But, unlike health care, widgets are a low dollar item and involve only a single market. None of this is true for the markets involved with healthcare.

The reason markets do not work correctly for health care is two-fold (1) the nature and varieties of uncertainty involved are too great for free markets to handle, and (2) doctors feel morally obligated to treat whoever comes to them, regardless of their capacity to pay. On the first point, there is great product uncertainty and also great price uncertainty, with almost no opportunity for buyers to shop around and sellers to compete for buyers on either product aspects or price.

Consider the varieties of uncertainty involved in purchasing medical care when you need it:

1. You don't know when you are going to need it. (purchase time uncertainty);
2. You don't know what type of medical care you will need (product type uncertainly);
3. You don't know what treatment will be thought to be required.and by whom - specific product and putative seller uncertainty);
4. You don't know who (what specialist) will actually provide it. (actual seller uncertainty);
5. You don't know whether the proposed treatment will be effective or whether further treatment will be required. (product uncertainty);
6. You don't know what the medical care will cost, in either instance.(price uncertainty); and
7. You do not know where you will be when you need it.(location or market uncertainty).

In these kinds of situations there is usually no opportunity for buyers to shop different sellers for product and price differences and sellers do not hardly at all therefore compete for buyers. Markets fail.

Price and product uncertainty alone for both buyers and sellers are enough to cause any market to malfunction, but add in all the remaining elements of uncertainty I describe and free markets have little chance, especially given the possible magnitude of the expenditure by a person, which can rival buying a house. Competition and shopping around is not feasible as in the case of widgets. Resources cannot be allocated efficiently at a market or individual level, given these uncertainties.

Additionally, and secondly, the ethics of doctors favor treatment. Just making it near to an emergency room usually assures at least stabilization treatment regardless of capacity to pay. The expense can be huge, even for that. Competitive market forces stand no chance based on this factor alone.That doctors practice, or try to practice, medicine to a single, high standard of care further compounds this price problem.

Lastly, the market for the production of doctors integral to the provision of healthcare has been rigged to produce fewer doctors than free markets would, and by a considerable margin, first by the AMA and later by the states following the will of doctors. Doctors, being fewer in number are paid more.. Excessive compensation to doctors, who run many hospitals economically, as though they were doctors' cooperatives, accounts significantly for higher treatment costs., contrary to free market principles. There is economic literature addressing this analysis as well.

All of these factors together destroy the free market mechanism for allocating resources efficiently and at minimal cost for both buyers and sellers in the healthcare markets.. Uncertainties destroy free market outcomes, along with doctors' compensation and management practices.

A Theory of Government Intervention

11 March 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
Kimball Corson
The Federal government intervenes in markets, not to make the world bureaucratic, but to --

1) curb abuse by market participants (e.g., the antitrust laws and Dodd-Frank legislation), and

2) address market failures (e.g., banking collapse from over leveraging followed by bank bailouts) sometimes allowed by removing earlier market regulations.

The federal goverment intervenes in the private sector to assist the helpless and needy because --

1) states,

2) countries, and

3) local governments,

drop the ball or do a bad job on average in taking care of them.

GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION ANY AND EVERYWHERE IS IN RESPONSE TO PRIVATE ABUSES AND DEFALCATIONS -- whether in markets or private lives.

Only the social services of the state governments do well because they have have a cadre of professionally trained workers to intervene in private lives and for children, again in response to PRIVATE ABUSES AND DEFALCATIONS.

Conservatives rail on about deregulation and freedom from intervention, under the false banner of hampered productivity, because THEY ARE THE ABUSERS and THEY SEEK THE DEFALCATIONS in care for the helpless and needy. They don't want to be bothered. And out of their own GREED, they don't want to be taxed for it.

It is ignorant, reprehensible and reptilian.

What We Can't Do Because of Republicans

11 March 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
Kimball Corson
We are blocked.

The Problem with Government Lying

20 February 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
Kimball Corson
Joseph Goebbels put it well. He said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." This much is well known. But he also said,

"The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie.

"It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

The implication here is either lies destroy the government and its credibility, at least in a nominal democracy, or the state acts to suppress the truth and dissent about it and becomes no longer a democracy.

Inasmuch as the control of a dictator is not an option for him, Trump has only two ways to go. . . either down in ridicule -- his present course-- or to clean up his administration's act by stop lying.

What Are We . . .

20 February 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
Kimball Corson
. . . besides our appearance and our memories? Don’t memories subsume our preferences, our likes and dislikes, what we favor or don't? Indeed, can't most all else about us be inferred from our memories? Are we diminished then to the extent we forget, to become lesser a person? Alzheimer's suggests as much. In the extreme case, only appearance is left.

But isn't there more? How we observe, deduce and connect things up and deal with ideas? Isn't that too a piece of us beyond memory? Or is it just a manifestation of a well educated mind leaving its traces as method in memory? So who are we besides our appearance and our ever fading memories.

But it goes from bad to worse. In the extreme Alzheimer's case of virtually all memory lost, is there enough of a person left to be a person, or, more pointedly, to have any concept of a soul. That is, devoid of our memories, are we well enough defined, to even have some sort of soul. A vegetable form is as good a contender, is it not? What is left to be perpetuatable? A spark of life must have some unique spark to be distinctive and worthy of meaningful perpetuation, must it not?

to be continued, maybe.

On Immigrants to the US.

20 February 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
Kimball Corson
T shrits and placards claim "Immigrants make the US great." "Let the immigrants in." and "We are a nation of immigrants." It is all a bit foolish and unthinking like a lot of public thought and sloganeering.

The truth is some immigrants do help make America great; some don't contribute or detract much at all; and some are criminals or social problems. The first group is relatively small, but includes all six American Nobel Laureates this year and many scientists and entrepreneurs. The second group is the largest by far and not much can be said for or against them. The last group is a nationwide problem and burden and it is not that small, probably larger than the first group.

The trick obviously is to establish systems and means to distinguish who falls or will fall into which groups and to allow the first group in. exclude the last group and establish how many in the second group should be allowed in without upsetting and too radically changing the country and its neighborhoods. I have met Austrians who have left Austria because so many Muslim immigrants have been allowed in that the character of the country has been radically altered and crime is now a serious problem.

The second group is a policy issue to be decided by government and its elected representatives. How to handle the first and third groups of immigrants is obvious.
Vessel Name: Altaira
Vessel Make/Model: A Fair Weather Mariner 39 is a fast (PHRF 132), heavily ballasted (43%), high-aspect (6:1), stiff, comfortable, offshore performance cruiser by Bob Perry that goes to wind well (30 deg w/ good headway) and is also good up and down the Beaufort scale.
Hailing Port: Lake Pleasant, AZ
Crew: Kimball Corson. Text and Photos not disclaimed or that are obviously not mine are copyright (c) Kimball Corson 2004-2016
About:
Kimball Corson: I am a 75 year old solo sailor, by choice. However, I did take on a personable, but high maintenance female kitten, now a full grown cat, named KiKiPoo when she is sweet, or KatKatPo after she has just killed something like a bird or bat. [...]
Extra:
Although I was a lawyer and practiced law with good success for thirty years, creating significant new law, I never really believed in the law, the politics of law or in the over reaching self-interest of most lawyers I met. Too much exposure to Nietzsche and other good and seriously thoughtful [...]
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Who: Kimball Corson. Text and Photos not disclaimed or that are obviously not mine are copyright (c) Kimball Corson 2004-2016
Port: Lake Pleasant, AZ