Planet One

Neil deGrasse Tyson classified a unified world where everyone was content with society and all its iterations as “Planet One”. There would be no desire for war or one-upmanship of any kind; as Elvis said, there will be peace in the valley. Utopian visions are comforting, even occasionally sustaining a purpose for one’s life.

One should not scoff at utopias and discard them as fantasy although a reality check quickly discounts that a utopian state will ever occur. Utopian visions are useful for identifying current issues that prevent a utopian experience. At a general level, how would religion perform in order to promote a utopian concept? Politics? Neighborhoods? Businesses?

At the individual level, could ambition exist? Pride? Judgment? What about any comparative rationale? Dare one have any kind of prejudice? In a favorable environment, moss exists in a utopian state although the need to reproduce in some fashion still exists, implying that things aren’t as utopian for moss as one would think.

A new vision of utopia has emerged because of the advancement in electronic technology. Is it possible to achieve a utopian state with a comprehensive support system provided by electronics? This may not be achievable for humans because they would have to turn over moral issues and definitions of utopia to the computers. Mariner has seen The Matrix and is not confident that this kind of utopia would exist for humans – although it may exist for the electronics.

So why does the idea of utopia hang around? It hangs around for the same reason as aspirin; thinking about a moment when one’s problems disappear, life is beautiful and the birds are singing, and that maybe, just maybe, things will feel better – just like taking aspirin.

Instead of envisioning utopia, reverse engineer utopia back to the present and ask, “By any definition, what is preventing utopia?” An example follows that is a large issue and certainly stands in the way of utopia.

The idea that racism is an endemic conflagration full of politics and skin color has begun to step into a broader plain that makes the point that racism is a weakness in the power structure of nations. A nation cannot exercise its full potential because racial prejudice eliminates the potential that may be had if all races were included. Taking this perspective, Donald and the white supremacists clearly would diminish the potential of the nation by eliminating the nonwhite population.

Simply by shifting one’s mindset from exclusionary awareness to a mindset of personal concern that one’s personal wellbeing is constrained suggests an entirely different set of resolutions promoting national potential, therefore assuring an individual will have improved finances and security.

The race issue is becoming more than a learned prejudice. The “Z” generation (born after 2007) is a white minority. For the first time since the Census Bureau has released annual statistics, they show an absolute decline in the nation’s white non-Hispanic population. Note the word ‘decline’; the drop has nothing to do with immigration. White citizens are producing children at the rate of 1.78 per woman. Not enough to sustain population.[1]

As long as the word ‘race’ is required to discuss black population, racism will not disappear according to Ibram X Kendi in his new book, “How to be an Antiracist.” A good example of not identifying race is the new awareness by corporate America; they already feel the fact that nonwhites don’t produce enough GDP and in many subtle ways are trying to integrate nonwhites into the economy. Mariner has noticed that television commercials with increasing frequency use mixed couples and mixed marriages.

Mariner is envious of the wonderful skin tone of Halle Berry. It’s too late for him; maybe his great, great grandchildren will be lucky.

Ancient Mariner

[1] For additional, dependable statistics and dialogue, see William H. Frey’s latest book, “Diversity Explosion: How New Racial Demographics are Remaking America,”

How to Herd Cats

In lieu of civics not being taught in public school systems, and in light of the immeasurable importance of a presidential election at this point of social and political change, mariner will remind readers of the ease and indeed the right for them to communicate their opinions to their elected representatives – state as well as federal.

Expressing one’s opinion to a representative is as simple as using a telephone, email and text or more deliberately, a face-to-face at a town hall event or visiting the representative’s office. And always there is a handwritten or typed letter, seemingly old fashioned but surprisingly influential. Do not be intimidated; these folks are sensitive to a voter’s influence on their job security – a voter is a member of the Board of Directors.

Aside from the vote a citizen has, communication directly with their representative is a very important activity. It is how a citizen manages their democratic government.

A voter can communicate indirectly with their representatives by attending legislative hearings, attending political party meetings, and in Iowa, at least, attend the caucuses. See to it that one’s name is on the mailing list of all direct representatives and the mailing list of one’s preferred local party committee. Always vote at every chance for everything from dog catcher to school board to primaries and elections. Even vote for the judges.

Be aware of and participate in current petitions, referendums and activities by related unions, education, housing, seminars and social presentations of cultural or political issues.

All this sounds like a second job. It is. Certainly one’s own career and life experience comes first but herding political cats is as important as going to the grocery store. Make time!!

A warning: social media and television news are as convoluted as walking through an endless swamp of alligators. It is very, very important for a voter to have a personal compass that reads motive. These sources, every one, have ulterior motives. The activity isn’t herding cats, its hunting cougars.

As to donating money, contain it to causes as much as possible. Donating to one’s specific jurisdictional campaigns is okay but put one’s money where it will do the most to promote the voter’s opinions – typically large organizations promoting the voter’s perspective.

Every citizen must realize that they are as much a part of a democratic government as any elected official. There are four branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial – all who work for the fourth: the citizen.

Ancient Mariner


The Resistance

Mariner receives correspondence from a number of readers. It is obvious that mariner is not an instrument of change, entertainment perhaps, even a puzzle; but not an instrument of change. Readers, indeed all people without exception, except perhaps easily led nonthinkers, have their opinion, whatever its logical or illogical constructs, and will stick to it. Having principles is a good thing.

What drives mariner to frustration is the incongruity of it all. A few examples:

The US is the strongest and purest version of democracy among all nations. Oddly, it ranks last among the 28 democratic nations with only 47% voting. More than half of the electorate (mariner should stop aggrandizing citizens with that term) does not vote.

Oh, but they carry guns in fear of the government invading their homes and stripping them of security and worth. If one thinks about it correctly, the citizens own the government; the government doesn’t own them. Paranoid bullets won’t even be noticed when confronted by the largest, best trained, highly equipped army in the world. But think what an additional 53% of votes would do to an election. If one doesn’t vote, one can’t bitch. The subset of the paranoid citizens that do vote, vote for an Antichrist just to cause trouble for the establishment.

Mariner understands that the heavily capitalist plutocracy that exists today has screwed the labor class and most of the middle class. But causing lasting pain between US allies and disrupting trade and commerce with an incompetent, uneducated president does not help. Building an irrational and largely useless wall may appeal to a dissident’s paranoia but it comes at an even higher price on civility, equality, and freedom – to say nothing about misspent taxes. This is no time for a king, though it must be entertaining for dissidents to watch the conflagration.

Just as horses and much earlier spears became useless because of advances in technology, bullets are on their way out. Even today new technical processes armed with a dissident’s private information can strip them of everything – who needs the government? Most citizens haven’t had time to contemplate about the new world offered by automation and access to universal information. It is time to evaluate what will change. The change will be the greatest shift in human history.

How can Joe Citizen protect himself from the tech/data giants? (This is a magnitude more likely than the government barging in.) Keep the gun as a souvenir but cherish one’s voting registration – and vote, goddammit!

Ancient Mariner.


News of the Moment

֎ Did the reader see Apple’s new ad selling an Apple credit card that “doesn’t need a bank”? Cryptocurrency is here to stay.

֎ Did the reader read that Jakarta, a city larger than New York by 2 million residents and is the capital of Indonesia, is sinking into the Java Sea? So they are building a brand new city from scratch on the island of Borneo. The downside is that it will house only 1.5 million residents – mostly government workers. Other nations should watch and learn how to do this so that when their home town sinks below the waves, they’ll know what to do.

֎ Mariner surmises that PBS news must read his blog. On Wednesday night’s broadcast they covered a children’s program in Oakland, California where a group of children are taken to a nature park on a regular basis. The program leaders believe that being outside (and not on a sidewalk leashed to a parent’s hand, is good for the general health of the children. One of the leaders had a good tag line: “You can’t click anything in nature.” (see mariner’s “The Child Park” published August 19)

֎ From Dave Chappell’s new Netflix show: “I want to see if you can guess who it is I’m doing an impression of.” He adopts a Homer Simpson–like tone and flails his arms: “Uh, duh. Hey! Durr! If you do anything wrong in your life—duh!—and I find out about it, I’m gonna try to take everything away from you!” Chappelle whines. “And I don’t care what I find out! Could be today, tomorrow, 15, 20 years from now. If I find out, you’re fucking—duh!—finished.” The audience doesn’t have much time to guess which dullard Chappelle is imitating, as he reveals the answer almost immediately: “That’s you!”

֎ Hazrat Inayat Khan appeared on the Zen daily calendar today saying “There can be no rebirth without a dark night of the soul. A total annihilation of all that you believed in and thought that you were.” He died in 1927. How did he know what it would be like in 2019?

֎ The Tongass National Forest in Alaska spans nearly 17 million acres, and its wilderness of old-growth cedar, spruce and hemlock trees makes up the world’s largest temperate rainforest. President Trump is pushing his agriculture secretary to lift logging restrictions in this cool-temperature preserve.

Ancient Mariner




About Labor Unions

Labor unions have been on the decline for several decades. Conservative politicians, businesses and lawsuits limiting union financing are the primary causes. Even more specific, the Internet and advancing technology have changed both the workplace and the treatment of payroll making it a finite overhead that does not flex with profit.

The union model, in place since the start of unions at the beginning of the twentieth century, is corporate-specific; the union is a unit of a specific business and is subject to the condition of that business. Some unions were able to merge with other unions in the same market, e.g., steel, carpentry, autoworkers, truckers, steamfitters, etc. Service unions, e.g., hotel workers and shipping also merged to be a generic force across several businesses. Government unions have survived in democratic states but have been throttled in republican states. A precedent was set at the Federal level when Reagan busted the air traffic controllers union. The following paragraphs succinctly describe the union situation:

[U.S. Labor Unions By Jordan Yadoo]

The Situation

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court found that states cannot require public employees who opt out of union membership to nonetheless help pay for collective bargaining undertaken on their behalf. The court had deadlocked over a similar case in 2016. The decision is expected to reduce the funds unions use to support their members and expand recruitment efforts. And it is likely to cut into their political power, since they’ll have less to spend supporting (mostly Democratic) candidates. The court’s decision was another blow to a system that’s been in decline for years. In 2017, just 10.7 percent of wage and salary workers in the U.S. belonged to a union; almost half the rate in 1983. So-called right-to-work laws, which ban any requirement for employees to pay union dues or fees, are already in place in more than half the states, including the traditional union strongholds of Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin. In the public sector, where the membership rate has hovered at about 35 percent, unions were already feeling pressure to agree to pay, pension and health-care cuts. There have been a few bright spots: a string of recent successful unionization campaigns by journalists at the Los Angeles Times, Vox Media and MTV News, and a series of teacher strikes in states including West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Colorado that led to salary increases.

In 1935 the National Labor Relations Act codified workers’ rights to unionize and engage in collective bargaining. By the end of the Great Depression, unions grew in strength and number. When the AFL and CIO merged in 1955, more than 1 in 3 American workers had union jobs. But as the U.S. economy shifted from manufacturing to services, unions gradually lost ground. Workplace walkouts declined. From 1970 to 1980, there were an average of 280 work stoppages per year in the U.S. involving 1,000 workers or more; in 2017, there were 7.

Union workers earn about $200 more per week on average than non-union workers, and have better retirement pay and health insurance. Some economists link today’s wage stagnation, broadening income inequality and lack of economic mobility to the decline in unions.

As manufacturing dwindled, the economy depended more on the service industry (restaurants, hotels, transportation, white collar labor, government, etc.) as a significant working class contributor to GDP. The service business model was too eclectic to unionize easily. Most recently teachers and fast food workers have increased their political voices but legislation, business profit models and self-destructing ennui by workers make a recovery of unionization difficult.

Mariner often quotes Deming in his statement that a new paradigm cannot evolve from within the old paradigm. Boy, is that true today! The ‘Establishment’ has reached the end of the road as the entire world jumps into a different reality. This includes the union ‘Establishment.’

Guru suggests that the marriage between business and unions is over. The influence of the Internet and the ability to move whole companies from country to country without disruption eliminates the hold that a union may have on a stationary business operation – the business can just move elsewhere. What unions may evolve into is a guardian of worker wellbeing in general with no specific business relationship.

A good example that exists today is the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The rights of free speech, among other Constitutional rights, is defended constantly not for just paying customers but for all citizens. Consider an American Worker Rights Union that is a constant presence between business practices and worker rights and wages. Another example is the National Organization for Women (NOW).

Mariner remembers his father (Labor Chaplin of Maryland) visiting different unions. They weren’t too far removed from social clubs except that the issues were quite important. Today, this is inefficient. The enemy is a freewheeling corporatism and a plutocratic government. The union defense is in changing legislation and protecting everyone who suffers from illegitimate wages and benefits.

Ancient Mariner


College, Economy and Jobs

There are a few folks still alive who remember the small four-year college as a finishing school for social graces and intellectual elitism. Liberal Arts was the major purpose, refining ideals, philosophy and social insight. Of course there were more pragmatic subjects in the sciences, engineering, medicine and the like but most of these subjects required advanced degrees beyond the small liberal arts college.

Things changed after World War II. The GI Bill financed college for veterans. Slowly as the 1900s passed, social grace was displaced by the opportunity to have a better paying job; certainly the intellectual purpose still existed but people with four-year college degrees clearly had a better chance in life. At the end of the century things began to shift again.

The issue is the imbalance of the workforce. In the 1990s the economy expanded through investment opportunities rather than manufacturing. The number of manufacturing jobs dropped dramatically between 1997 and 2010 – to the tune of 5.7 million jobs. The net effect was that a college degree was the sole strategy for getting a better paying job; and colleges grew.

Further, by 2030 automation will reduce the number of all jobs by 73 million. While college degrees may be valid for a narrow group of post graduate studies, the four-year degree, at the moment, is not providing the better future it has promised in the past. Statisticians who follow these studies suggest far too many students are entering college than there are jobs to accommodate them.

The lack of trained labor employees that would be needed for a recovery of manufacturing has caught the attention of Congress. Conservatives already are looking for ways to redirect Federal funds that support four-year colleges in order to improve trade schools, community colleges and training offered by businesses.

Given the increased complexity of artificial intelligence and integrated computer processes, and robots of every description, a manufacturing job indeed needs more training and comprehension today than the old school, labor intensive environment. But Liberal Arts is not required.

What all this means for small liberal arts colleges is not good. Already dozens of colleges have had to revamp their majors to include service work like nursing, criminal justice, and business accounting. Still, too few students are registering for liberal arts majors. Today, there are too many service workers who have four-year degrees; the market for students is no longer growing. College mergers are frequent and reflect a changing student environment that is a cross between subjects requiring labs and in-person attendance combined with internet-based classes taken at home.

Today, college tuition is out of whack similar to the health industry. There are certain sectors of the economy that should not be driven by maximized profit. Given the fact that there are too many college students and the cost is astronomical, it is likely that elite universities and state universities may be all that survives. Yet again, smaller colleges could redefine their purpose toward two-year programs. The honing of one’s civility will not be one.

Ancient Mariner


Guruvian Observations

Guru, the alter ego who views humanity and the universe from somewhere around Neptune, predicted during the first Obama administration a Donald-like bowling ball. Not that Guru is a genius – many predictions are whimsy – but Guru hit the bullseye on this one. The federal government had become irrelevant to citizen reality. The election process, indeed the daily ritual once elected, was tightly wrapped around raising money rather than pursuing the American dream. Ex-senator Al Franken confessed on a late night TV talk show that the first five hours of every day were spent calling donors and lobbyists to raise money not just for Al but for the Democratic Party. It was the same with the republicans.

Campaigning had become a traveling carnival complete with snake oil salesmen who did not base rhetoric on problem solving but rather reinforced the insecurities of the electorate should something actually change. Meanwhile, the electorate reality was indeed changing; the economy was slanted toward shareholders and investment, leaving actual labor investment in the dust. Ignoring the wellbeing of the electorate – especially their economic wellbeing – is a recipe for populism. Elected officials were about as useful as bowling pins.

Along came Donald. A bowling ball made to order. Pick any analogy: a bull in a china shop, a landslide blocking the highway, a spilled garbage can. As has been widely reported, three rustbelt states took advantage of the Electoral College to overthrow the popular vote in the 2016 election. Populism took charge via Donald.

What is good about populism is that it forces instability; it disrupts the status quo; it makes things uncomfortable for the irrelevant processes of a stagnant culture.

What is bad about populism is its mindless destruction; it throws out the good with the bad; it wounds the culture in a way that will take time to heal; it ignores opportunity in order to sustain disruption.

The days of the guillotine have passed. Fortunately, the United States is isolated between two oceans and inherited an immense wealth in a newly discovered continent. Otherwise, one wonders whether war, destruction and murder, as observed today in other parts of the world, would be the process for US populism.

Guru still is concerned whether the ship of state and the state of the electorate will be stable enough to receive a turbulent century of unknown disruption to society, economics, environment and day-to-day survival.

– – – –


Havin’ a heat wave ♪

[The Washington Post] In what has become a seemingly monthly entry, this past July was not only the hottest July but also the hottest month on Earth in recorded history. It was so hot that wildfires ravaged millions of acres of the Arctic and swaths of Europe set record highs, including 108.7 degrees in Paris. July 2019 “beat” July 2016 — a month further warmed by “an extremely strong El Niño” — by about 0.07 degrees, according to the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service.

Ancient Mariner


What’s a ‘Job’?

Everyone must know by now that the twenty-first century is a century of unbelievable change. Much more upheaval to society than had by taming horses, discovering electricity, inventing gunpowder, defining economic theories, the internal combustion engine, or plastic. War is changing from gunpowder-driven murder to electronic invasion. The weather is changing. The biosphere is in the midst of crumbling. Think of something; it will change – if it still exists by 2100.

Even jobs will change. In fact, the reader must imagine that they’ve never heard the word. Or that particular meaning of the word ‘work.’ Mariner has presented the statistics in earlier posts. Just a few examples that soon will disappear are truck drivers, motel employees, white collar employees, primary care physicians, many creative writers and musicians, many fiction authors. Of course, the list is endless. Truth be told, how the entire economy functions will change.

For the purpose of this post, the word ‘value’ will replace the word ‘job.’ A sample of how to use value was proffered by mariner years ago in a post that said a mother deserves recompense (cash will be gone, too) for raising children. One could ask, “What’s your primary value?” “Raising my children,” she would reply. This is not a new idea.

In 1935 President Roosevelt (AKA FDR) signed into law a bill creating the Works Progress Administration (WPA). It was during the depression and money just wasn’t to be had because the public, in general, wasn’t ‘working’.

“While FDR believed in the elementary principles of justice and fairness, he also expressed disdain for doling out welfare to otherwise able workers. So, in return for monetary aid, WPA workers built highways, schools, hospitals, airports and playgrounds. They restored theaters–such as the Dock Street Theater in Charleston, S.C.–and built the ski lodge at Oregon’s Mt. Hood. The WPA also put actors, writers and other creative arts professionals back to work by sponsoring federally funded plays, art projects, such as murals on public buildings, and literary publications. FDR safeguarded private enterprise from competition with WPA projects by including a provision in the act that placed wage and price controls on federally funded products or services.”[1]

A few things to place in mind: FDR taxed income above $25,000 ($460,000 today) at 100%; the Green New Deal legislation in the House today uses this WPA idea to create jobs that return manufacturing to the economy except it uses private companies to bid for contracts; FDR had no choice but to underwrite WWII in the depth of the depression (the war, however, launched the US into a new economy).

Returning to employment value, it may be that significantly more people will contribute to local projects, volunteer for special needs and create home services and homemade products that improve the value of community life or provide government services similar to the WPA. This interpretation of value for pay can only succeed if government provides a livable base of income for all citizens. True, many if not most individuals still will provide value through typical employment for pay. Even today with a growing number of elderly and retired individuals, and millennials already putting off normal life expectations, a significant percentage of citizens would have a more stable lifestyle if government paid a stipend today.

Two financial conditions must be in place to ease the move from ‘job’ to ‘value’: The tax code must be transformed and cash must be transformed.

TAXES. Everyone will agree that paying taxes is a silly, expensive game. And game is the right word because the complexity is nothing more than years and years of fixes by the wealthy, corporations, banks and lobbyists. Taxes should be nothing more than a statement sent to each individual. In other words, an individual’s taxes are paid through their place of employment – ‘paid’ not withheld. The stipend would not be taxable. In fact, employers would be taxed by size and number of employees as well as by profit.

CASH. Today cash already has started to fade. Increasing numbers of companies will not handle cash – especially retail stores. The next item that should be removed is credit cards. Banks relish being in the middle of a person’s assets, liquid or invested. Banks make huge profits for being nothing more than bookkeepers.

Politics certainly will interfere when the role of banks is challenged but modern technology is so fast and so intricately connected that big banks aren’t needed in the future. The reader may already have come across the term cryptocurrency. Unlike banks, cryptocurrency is one single database called a blockchain that keeps track of every individual’s financial activity. Once cryptocurrency is de rigueur, money will be no more than an electronic transaction called a bitcoin. Historically speaking, humans have progressed from paying bills with chickens and bags of flour to pieces of metal or shells to pieces of paper called money to not having to carry anything to perform financial transactions. Just ask Ethiopians – they’ve been doing it for many years.

The redefinition of job to value, the reinvention of taxes and the conversion to electronic money each will take decades if not generations to be accomplished. But, we have a whole century . . .

Ancient Mariner


Earth Overshoot Day

Yesterday, July 29, was Earth Overshoot Day. Earth Overshoot Day (EOD) is that day in a calendar year when humans have consumed what the planet can restore in one year. With very few exceptions, each year since 1969 a new record has been set in that EOD happens earlier in the year. In other words, during 2019 humans have consumed in seven months what it takes the planet a year to replace.

Do the math. This can’t go on forever. In 2019 humans consumed planet resources at 1.7 times what the Earth can provide. All the environmental programs in the world can’t keep up at that rate. Even mariner’s beloved Chesapeake Bay, a cornucopia of sea life, is threadbare from excessive fishing.

Many of the resources similar to those in the Amazon rain forest cannot be restored even over generations. Fresh water, that is at least somewhat potable, is becoming too scarce for society to survive in certain regions; the fastest growing landscape around the world is desert.

It’s not just creatures and environment. Bauxite, the principal ore for aluminum, has about thirty years left at today’s consumption rate. Even Helium provokes concern not that it will be depleted but that the availability already is close to consumption. There may come a day when one will not be allowed to fill balloons with Helium!

In the United States and perhaps in all the industrially developed nations, consumption has spoiled a majority of the citizens. Mariner remembers in his childhood the first time he had three different fresh berries in his cereal at one time. Folks get used to abundance. It is interesting, too, that part of the role of progress is to keep abundant consumption easily available.

EOD, among many issues, has made citizens aware of wastefulness. The use of cows to provide protein is a popular issue. Raising cattle requires land, machinery, feed, and time that far outweighs the cost of “ourselves eating the grass in the first place”; using the grain family to provide protein is immeasurably more efficient – why let the cows eat it first?

Large corporations like Proctor and Gamble are actively looking for a replacement for single-use plastics. There is so much waste in the US that it has been shipped to a half dozen other nations for processing. The volume is so great that these countries have stopped receiving US trash. What will the US do with it? The sensible answer is to stop producing it.

Other than surrealistic agronomic solutions to offset wasteful consumption of the environment, other than preventing mining, deforestation and excessive entrepreneurship to abuse the biosphere, EOD can be extended purely by self-conscious conservation. Is someone enjoying being too fat – beyond normal body types? Contribute to extending EOD by eating less and stop consuming frivolously – that includes all of life’s purchases not just food. In mariner’s town, every family seems to own at least five gas or electric yard toys. Could a little more elbow grease push the EOD later in the year?

Mariner’s mind wanders speculatively. Today, environmentalism, eliminating gourmand behavior in everything, and commitment to a better world by every definition can significantly delay the Armageddon of a world consumed.

Ancient Mariner



Very Important Interviews

While seminal insights are available on television, they are relatively rare. However, within 24 hours two interviews of authors with intellectual insight, unspun perspective, factual interpretation and a superior understanding of recent American history were presented on television.

First, Cspan2 BookTV broadcast an interview with Tim Alberta, a seasoned, persistent correspondent for Politico, describes the Trump phenomenon with a comprehensive understanding of the federal government and the social times the nation is exploring; Alberta suggests Trump did not create his opportunity, he was inevitably drawn into it by a dissonant Congress.

Second, this past Sunday 60 Minutes on CBS broadcast a segment that interviewed Ray Dalio, a relatively unknown billionaire who has joined those billionaires who have committed half their net worth to social causes. He is the author of “Principles” published by Simon and Shuster, 2017. Dalio describes cogently the failure of the capitalist model that has been in place since the last century. He analyzes the political/economic reality with realism and humanism and, like Alberta, casts aspersions on the lack of relative importance by government.

Buy the books for a clear understanding of our times. Otherwise, the interviews can be found at the following links:

Tim Alberta, author of American Carnage, Harper Collins July 2019

Ray Dalio, author of Principles, Simon and Shuster, September 2017

The reality and intelligence provided in these interviews will, if nothing else put TV news in the trashcan.

Ancient Mariner