Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Education goals. No, Judge Gorsuch. No limits fixed in advance based on status. No mestnichestvo here.

Mestnichestvo in America.
Creeping Crud in the Social Realm.
Russia saddled. 

Russia couldn't rid itself of it, and neither can we 
If mestnichestvo takes hold even one inch more. 

Russia? Russia? Did somebody say Russia? 

I.  Topic.  Reasons to say no to Judge Gorsuch:  Our kids.  Reject his position to fix status by statute, to  limit in advance what education is appropriate for a child unable to attend school in a regular classroom.  See  Extend a hand to the child measured as an individual, and the caretakers who yearn to breathe a little more freely, by funding regular opportunity at a reasonable level. Choose equitable, as part of any policy.

That helping hand  is as American as -- as what?

Well, look at our own heritage.  Freebies, strategically and equitably offered, are our warp and woof. Warp and weft?
  • Freebies. Part of our great tradition? Yes, freebies are just that. Part of our warp and woof. See Freebies in American History. The main problem is not the fact of someone gets a chance to improve quality of life. It is is that someone who had felt superior feels threatened by the movement of others, outside the imposed lower rank allotted to them as the exploitable, there to be exploited. That may even mean that the person on top is not there by merit. So the ones on top put back the fence, make it higher.
    • Remember the era of 40 acres and a mule to former slaves after the Civil War. Once it was realized that whites also could use that land, the benefit disappeared for blacks.
    • Freebies: Look at its broader context, its role in the "superiority" of those on top. Inheritance rights even with some tax is also a freebie. It is a matter of law. No merit required. Statutory succession is there for you, apart from objective merit.
    II. Purposeful Ramble

    A. Examine ranks, status in our society. How is it like mestnichestvo. Other cultures have worshipped rank, hierarchy and status as fore-ordained:  How did that work out?  Feudalism, and, in old Russia, mestnichestvo.   Rights recognized as to children. or those born outside the marital sheets, or on a non-center area in spectrum of gender, all reflect hierarchy and conscious law. Some are valid for other reasons than mere status; a child's rights do not extend to his making his own health and safety decisions all the time.
    B.  Mestnichestvo. Back to current politics.  Judge Gorsuch whose opinion determined that a child need get from the state only minimal education if he cannot attend a regular classroom. Clear mestnichestvo. System of rank and privilege predefined.  Just plug the person in the slot.
    Mestnichestvo: A system to fix status and privilege, role and rank. See  Mestnichestvo was abolished by statute finally in the 19th Century.
    • Since that formal repudiation of legal mestnichestvo in Russia, however, there have been and are those who get around that legal inconvenence by simply taking more than their reasonably fair share of something, or issuing executive orders, kleptocracy-like. 
    • These swipings have ramifications in social attitudes, resources to be allotted,and must be examined, contained if need be for a common good.  Let them stay around long enough, and they tend to become "normal."

    C.  What provisions can we make, as a nation, to foster merit rather than definition by condition that is beyond that person's control.  Who gets opportunity affects productivity not only of that person, by foreclosing possbility, but also of the caretakers who get no reprieve.
    • Start with financial support for overall quality of life, in a spectrum of activities, arts, child care, eduction, mobility, training for modern jobs, enrichment, health so somebody can decently get out of the house to do more of something.  
    • This also means a look at caretaking for elderly now sitting in rings in their wheelchairs, noddingly drugged.  For whose benefit is that? In privately run facilities, it does increase the profit margin because less physical supervision is needed. Is that inevitable?
    • What does that enrichment equitably cost?  For the families freed of anxiety, and the person. Example.  
      • What if we allocated a percentage of all income from all sources derived and from anywhere that exceeds triple the poverty level as set by (think bipartisan, how to factor regional differences, etc).
    D. Funding reasonable opportunity so more people can be productive, including caretakers:

    An allocation (yes, tax for the privilege of being an American, perhaps) of everyone's income over 3X poverty, and problem solved and nobody put in poverty, many lifted out, and why not/  Think about it.  Budget problems solved, some equity restored, and, really, like the workers on Bloody Sunday, 1905 St. Petersburg Russia, demands of regular people are not outlandish.  Just bend, you tsars, just a little.

    Common sense for a common good. The people hope that the idea of a common good has taken root in Gorsuch.

    1.  Explore, Judge Gorsuch.  What are our kids capable of? Not yours, who are fine and in your accepted parameters of worthiness. Ours is a reasonable inquiry.  We don't throw assets away.
    • Explore and find that my kid exceeds yours in compassion, street smarts, historical knowledge, initiative, job performance over 20 years and still going.
    • How did that happen? Him, himself, plus systems that welcomed him.
      • Outside school  No two families work out the same mix of interest, risk-tolerance, combined with the qualities of the kid in question ( now adult), but let people find out. 
        • Financially a little help  property dispensed and overseen (yes, there is a place for agency administration) would make a big difference and lead to more productivity for more than the child.
        • We budgeted for him, less than a car would cost a "normal" guy, he contributed, and he went to where the history was, and it stuck.  He has a lifetime fascination going.   That is freeing for all of us.
        • What would other families do? Not our route, probably (very nontraditonal) but let them work it out.
    Could Judge Gorsuch think big and more broadly in terms of society's total productivity, of course.  Judge Gorsuch.  Rights to opportunity have a ripple effect.

    Hear the opposition: No opportunity that those on the bottom do not earn, now. Let serfs stay serfs, let the landed keep their lands and privilege and welcome another Bloody Sunday. Down Syndrome in Russia: may be improving but ,ong way to go, while we regress?
    Hear the families, not raised to enjoy Mrs. Burgwin's Dancing Classes. How does anyone raise a child these days, much less include enrichment?  See  Parents and the High Cost of Daycare)  Universal basics even makes more (here you go) capitalism possible because people have money to spend.  How will you rule, Judge?  For American mestnichestvo, as the current majority House and Senate now seem to want? Or a higher water level for everyone, and (ahem) more capitalism opportunity, but of course that means competition and the uppers can't have that, can they.

    Mestnichestvo says you have no rights to quality of life. You serve the Estate. And they hold the Estate. So far. 

    Wednesday, March 8, 2017

    Enough. Table the Trump diet.. On to sliding premium healthcare.

    Welcome to the odd crossroads:  Where the size of the buffet overwhelms the ability to chose what to put on today's plate.  And more is coming in from the kitchens, Too much, Satiety. Can't manage another sound-bite. Push away from the table.

    1.  Recalibrate.  Health lies in balance, stepping back  Other matters are worthy of attention. Return to them, for a while.  What concrete information, history, emerges to clarify, explain. Withdraw for a while.

    2.  Next topic. And no Trump rant.  Inspired by Daniel the Hermit.

    Poor healthcare, lack of sustenance at basic levels,, all getting in they way of people's full participation in America. Wait. Is that the purpose? Keep them that way so they can be more easily manipulated, ignored?
    • Healthcare solution. Make it affordable by making it affordability-based.  You pay what you can afford. 
    • Instead of premiums going up with age, premiums go up with income, assets. Up the premiums for elites earning, pick a figure, over $125,000 adjusted, whatever.  A sliding scale.  All income from all sources derived, wherever. 
    There. New topic dealt with. Sliding premium healthcare. Affordable healthcare. You pay into the system what you can afford. If poverty level is (you name it), you pay even 3% of what you make above that. Works? Earn a million, pay, you get the idea.  Next?

    3. So, time out.  Voices in current political and religious events are useful. They help us analyze, vet, dig for facts. Vetting current events fosters autonomy, and initiative, if not nausea at the ignoring of basic facts.  Too many voices, however,even on that topic, merely add to cacophony. 

    The Education of the President. Who is responsible, if not the President. Dawisha Book recommendaiton.

    Staffing was not commenced in time for effective guidance for the president.  Who can and will step in?  We can recommend a book. Putin's Kleptocracy, by Karen Dawisha. Find videos, start at  For red meat, go to You get the gist. Then go back to the book itself.

    Recommended reading.  Why is this book useful as a gift to President Trump?

    I.  The White House staff confronts two main obstacles to success: The President knows what he likes and does not like, but does reads for himself, say some, see  Fortune; ; or does not read much, say others, see Washington Post.  Is it wasted time to send a book for the staff?

    Information on his habits seems to have stopped by January, including as to participation in briefings. Fair enough -- no president satisfied everyone as to direct participations. It has led, however, so some misconceptions about current events, policy pitfalls, how getting laws passed and executive orders implemented.It also eases use of the fake news category, if a matter is not recalled or was not brought up in his presence.

    II.  Today's topic:  Facts about Russia, who lives well, who does not, why, and why. It may be time to counter the gauzy admiration.

    If Russia is close to some in the administration, now or earlier, look at some angles all of them might have missed. What does Russia have to offer except for money-making opportunities for the elite. As voters here, which comes first:  how a country elsewhere might model ways of governing, dealing with disparate populations so there is health, mobility, opportunity; or that those in power get more of it.

     Read Putin's Kleptocracy, by Karen Dawisha, Go to the final chapters if time is short, and then go back.

    In particular look at the chapters entitled, The Founding of the Putin System;  His First 100 Days and their Consequences, May-August 2000; then the next chapter, Russia, Putin, and the Future of Kleptocratic Authoritarianism.

    Putin's Kleptocracy should satisfy the most demanding of source providers. The paging ends at 350 pages, with the balance dedicated to sources, acknowledgments, for personal vetting.and inded, to page 445.