After the National Conventions I thought to share some ideas and thoughts I've been promoting over the past years. I'll be honest; see the below, by all means share with Hillary, Bernie and the DNC. Trump of the RNC, Johnson of the Libertarians and Stein of the Greens.
I'm an Independent, age 63 and retired, the son of a Republican father and Democratic mother, so I see both sides; an Independent member of WV Senator Manchin's "Project Weirton" task group where I put forth ideas for reviving the regional economy in Weirton then nationwide. From West Virginia, I in June voted for Sanders. I will wait until I go to the polls to make my decision and a lot will depend on the parties' platforms and the policies they propose as well as the debates between their candidates. How to resolve our economy's problems and the loss of jobs in this country is of primary importance to me and I note the Democrats have not supported outright rejecting the TPP which well may be a vote killer. Both the Republicans and the Democrats say they don't want the TPP but the Dems would not put it into their platform! We need further clarification on the Dems' position on accepting or rejecting the TPP.
(N.B. According to Sanders today the Dems ARE going to keep the TPP from passing during Obama's lame duck session - GOOD!)
IDEAS and COMMENTS:
Concerning climate change worries let me first say as a physicist that the climate is a fluid medium and always it will change over the years whether by natural (precession, nutation, continental drift, variances in solar energy. etc.) or alleged man-made influences. Look over the geologic history of this planet. The climate constantly has changed and species must adapt or make room for new species. Too bad, if you lose your valuable beach front property, you may need to move inland. Some innovative energy solutions are needed though to minimize this, see the below.
1) On Jobs and the Economy - LET'S CUT TO THE CHASE!
Budgeting, economic and tax issues, including the "How to Pay For It All" questions will all be addressed if we can enact the National Employment Recovery Act (NERA) and the Bring Jobs Home Act. (BJHA). That's the answer to our dilemma, keeping existing jobs here by removing the incentive to go outside the country while preserving our nation's standard of living. This ought to have bilateral support, when it is pointed out that with this mechanism local businesses large and small would not be driven out of business by subsidized or lower cost labor or currency manipulations overseas. With that level playing field then it is the quality of their services and products that will dictate whether they survive or fail.
Our good jobs being outsourced overseas is at the root of most of our economic problems. You are right, it IS all about money and here is a link which along with its internal links and a note on education reform explains the concept and ties everything together nicely:
For more see my Facebook web page
2) On Energy, Jobs, the Economy and Climate - the Hydrocarbon Component
DO NOT blindly disavow the use of coal, natural gas, and especially agricultural, municipal and industrial waste (for recycling) sources. If used CLEANLY with ADVANCED GASIFICATION TO ENERGY TECHNOLOGY such as I've been proposing for the Weirton area some years now.
We have a chance here to not only resolve energy issues but through the increased domestic employment resolve Social Security, Medicare and deficit issues as well. I am sure you will see the tie-in. Understand up front what I am discussing here is more a CONCEPT than any specific implementation though I do mention some companies I am aware of for validation.
The answer is to switch from BURNING coal and other hydrocarbons to GASIFICATION and RECLAMATION! That is the hydrocarbon component for the future picture and IT CAN BE DONE! Gasification is 70% or better more efficient than burning with no pollution concerns, and if municipal solid waste is used as the primary feed stock then the metallics and silicate components are also reclaimed for reuse turning landfills into reusable hydrocarbon storage reservoirs. I have been promoting this concept for my home town area for a number of years, using the energy, metallic and silicate end-products to anchor regional industrial parks here and elsewhere in our country to revive the economy.
Yes, clean coal technology, or more precisely clean HYDROCARBON technology, DOES exist if we are willing to implement it, specifically gasification, a "flavor" of which is what I am advocating using, to anchor integrated industrial parks to revive regional economies such as my home town of Weirton, WV. This approach levers us nicely to energy independence while renewable sources mature.
Fusion, wind, solar, tides, geothermal, fission, along with the efficient extraction and reclamation of the hydrocarbons stored in natural gas, coal, agriculture and waste residues; will all be components contributing towards the complete alternative energy picture. Each technology will find its appropriate niche and I do not foresee any one solution reaching dominance at this time. Hydrocarbons converted to electricity and liquid fuel, both coal and other waste, via non-polluting advanced technology really is the good and practical way to go right now, especially in the rust belt areas here in the USA.
Pursuing that route gives us the time we need to get other methods up and off the ground to supplement it. We need lots of different ideas and technologies in the pipe without betting too much an any one horse.
My ideas on this is we use as primary feed stock various waste materials, primarily municipal solid but also and industrial as well which ALSO are renewable in the sense that they are constantly generated. We recover from them the money-making synthesis gas, along with metallic and silicate by-products that can be reclaimed and reused and use this to anchor integrated "remedial" industrial parks of companion industries in a cooperative manner to revive regional economies. See:
all in the "Project Weirton" folder along with other documentation.
So what defines the popularist term "green" anyway? If we're just talking non-pollutive and not renewable then even coal can be green when used with the right technology.
If by "green" you mean "natural", well then, hydrocarbons ARE Nature's ultimate recyclable medium. I am surprised "greenies" don't acknowledge this. Our own bodies run off hydrocarbons. Photosynthesis is how Nature captures and stores solar energy for reuse as well as its resolution of the CO2 issue. Bio-waste, municipal waste, agricultural waste (and by the way these must be considered renewable since they are constantly generated), as well the more dense "fossil fuels" such as oil, natural gas and coal that Nature has wisely stored up for us, all are varying densities of hydrocarbons and promoting the effective use of hydrocarbons must be regarded as an important component that will bridge us towards energy independence.
So do not automatically eliminate cleanly processed fossil fuels with that definition of "green". Coal and natural gas will continue to be major players though serving more in back-up and supportive roles as other technologies prove themselves to be economically as well as environmentally feasible.
3) On Energy, Jobs, the Economy and Climate - the Nuclear Component
And from the LinkedIn Blog Discussion "Solar vs Nuclear":
Germany leads the world in solar power, because they don't seem to have an alternative. They have used up their easily obtained oil, gas, and coal. They do not have nuclear deposits, they are relatively landlocked from ocean resources. Solar technologies make sense in Germany and most EU countries. Solar does not replace fossil, just makes it last longer.
Distributed power facilities: Let me use Germany (or Japan...) again as an example. Germany has some of the worlds most efficient power plants. They are much more efficient than building lots of small power facilities around the country. You will use 10-20% more fuel with a distributed system than with a centralized system. A small power plant with a condensing turbine uses much more coal than a universal pressure power facility with advanced burner technology and pollution controls.
Distributed power reliability: Base load the grid with nuclear, hydro, and large coal plants. Add on peaking units such as co-generation plants and gas turbines. Supplement with wind, solar, geo, etc. to reduce load during high demand, and try to match these alternatives in the most efficient manner possible. Your grid is not as stable as it can be... Incidents will happen, but your power is on 99+% of the time.
4) On Energy, Jobs, the Economy and Climate - the Ultimate Solar Component
I sent the below to Bill Gates, Mark Zukerberg and their cadre of billionaires intending to address energy and climate change solutions. Forward to NASA, the Department of Energy and the Department of Commerce, Space-X, and other national and private sector players ought to be interested in a slice of THIS pie! :-):
Congratulations to Space-X, a significant milestone with that safe landing. OK, time to get out of our crib then! Here is the ultimate solution, one which will resolve the energy shortage dilemma, solve the climate change issue and push our technical know-how to the limit. (An estimated thirty year project that focuses on creativity and purpose for all mankind. Beats warring with each other for sure.)
5) On Preserving Social Security- NOT a Ponzi Scheme
Some think ALL insurance policies are nothing but ponzi schemes as well, for Social Security is more accurately named Old Age and Disability INSURANCE, set up after the Great Depression when everyone pretty much lost their shirts by the economists of FDR's era with the premiums being paid as FICA payroll deductions.
EVERYONE NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND THIS. Your FICA payments are old age and disability insurance premiums, not some personal "retirement savings account" (like IRAs and 401Ks are), with the Federal government being the Underwriter for this INSURANCE. which by the way is designed to cover only 40% of one's retirement needs - a safety net to keep you off the state's "poor farm".
Before Social Security if one was old and impoverished or disabled the only choice one had was to sell everything and go into what was called a state run "poor farm" where you became an institutionalized warden of the state. But (speaking rhetorically here) I guess independently rich people wouldn't know anything about that. They'd just fire their employees (eliminating those employees' ability to pay into Social Security) and abandon the country that gave them a start to begin with by moving their companies' overseas where one can get workers for what would be slave labor here, then bring the products here to undercut what competitive businesses that remained so they would have to do the same or go out of business. NERA would slap a fat surcharge/tariff on those products to negate any advantages gained in cutting the country and use it to cut the deficit and educate the next generation.
6) On Immigration
President Theodore ("Teddy") Roosevelt ALREADY nailed this back in 1907! We just need to take what T.R. has already stated and make it our national policy!:
Theodore Roosevelt's Ideas on Immigrants and Being an AMERICAN (Every citizen needs to read this!)
We don't necessarily need to export non-violent illegals first, but funnel them through centers where they can properly be vetted and legalized. If you an illegal immigrant then now is time to get legit if you want to stay here and get yourself "into the pipe" of becoming a USA citizen by getting your N-400 (green card application) form filled and submitted whether you have a currently valid visa or not. The N-400 form is something I would think should be easily obtainable and turned in at any post office, treating the process like draft registration. General information about becoming a USA citizen is here with more formal information here. Note that depending on who is elected president if you have not at least started this effort the odds of deportation will be much higher.
In becoming a citizen of the U.S.A. you will have to assimilate yourself to us and to the American culture and you will find that in the majority Americans are open minded about this (as at one time we were all immigrants as well). If you proceed though note this condition from Teddy Roosevelt: "... it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."
For those immigrants who simply want to come here seasonally to work, in the harvests for example, I will say that we need to make the work visa process easier to acquire and maintain while strictly enforcing the time period the visa allows.
SANCTUARY VISAS (proposed) - "Refugees" are a special class of immigrant, unwillingly forced out of their homeland due to nationally recognized political unrest, man-made or natural disaster. Requested by the President and approved by congress, sanctuary visas are for a specific purpose and can vary on length of time authorized according to the situation. Once vetted a sanctuary visa allows a refugee to stay as a temporary guest provided they remain well behaved and cause no issues, but must be returned from whence they came once the situation has been resolved and it is safe for them to go home.
7) On "Pro Life" vs. "Pro Choice":
This can be resolved. Enact a Sovereignty of the Womb law granting every adult woman absolute sovereignty over reproductive issues within her own body. Then international law takes precedence and only in the event of a live birth, effectively a "border crossing" do our nation's laws apply. This is not a meant to be any moral or ethical solution, but a legal and political one that lets us stop wasting time, money and energy and get onto solving more important issues.
8) On Same Sex Marriage:
My opinion, the term "marriage" has strong secular + historical, cultural and religious overtones that can not easily be refined (as "gay" was) to suit current whims without raising the strong arguments it has. In my article I advocate a secular solution; "union", a term encompassing marriage. I.e., all marriages are unions but not all unions are necessarily marriages. Then "marriage" is just one type of "union". To be "united" or to be "married" is, generically, to be "joined". Secularly and legally the two terms are equal but this solution removes any "freedom of religion" constitutional conflicts. Let the faith groups hash it out. Government need not be involved nor do we need secular conflicts, it bleeds our time and energy.
To me this is an easy resolution that maintains "separation of church and state".
In all the parties we need more Moderates and fewer Extremists for our government to function. Too many extremists polarizes a party into a "my way or the highway" dysfunctional attitude that results in gridlock. Democratic government only works with bilateral intelligent negotiation and compromise so that our government can function and all its citizens benefit.
Independent member, WV Senator Manchin's Project Weirton task group