Signal Wave

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So recently, I was asked:

If you were queen of the world, what are the top five things you would do?

In no particular order:

1)Educate women.
2)End poverty. And poverty doesn't get defined by the current government standard.
3)Put an upward limit on the size of companies and amount of personal wealth.
4)Preserve water and soil quality.
5)Attempt to institute actual democracy.

These are just my first thoughts, obviously subject to revision.

What are yours?

I'm curious to see what the site thinks.

UPDATE: Please do let me see your top 5s!

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15 users have voted.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Not only for the intrinsic goodness of the act (all human beings should have the chance to develop their skills), but also because the more you educate a woman, the more her fertility falls. More educated women worldwide=smaller families worldwide.

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9 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

I tend not to use the words "income inequality," because I suspect them of being a way of NOT saying "poverty," just like I suspect the words "food insecurity" to be a way of NOT saying "hunger."

When I was a kid, people still believed in ending world hunger.

As for the government's "poverty line," well....

2021 POVERTY GUIDELINES FOR THE 48 CONTIGUOUS STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
Persons in family/household Poverty guideline
1 $12,880
2 $17,420
3 $21,960
4 $26,500

https://aspe.hhs.gov/topics/poverty-economic-mobility/poverty-guidelines...

Imagine trying to support two adults and two children on $26,500.
Also consider that $30,000/yr for two adults and two children ISN'T considered poverty.

I realize that

or, as the Office for the Assistant Secretary of Planning and Evaluation puts it:

The poverty guidelines are sometimes loosely referred to as the “federal poverty level” (FPL), but that phrase is ambiguous and should be avoided, especially in situations (e.g., legislative or administrative) where precision is important.

But given that

The guidelines are a simplification of the poverty thresholds for use for administrative purposes — for instance, determining financial eligibility for certain federal programs.

it sounds like a pretty important metric to me.

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10 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
Based on average rents of $2,000 here for a one bedroom apartment.
After FICA tax, income tax, state income tax, one could just about pay their rent. Nothing left for food, clothing or transportation.

One reason house prices are going wild here is the FED's negative interest rates. One can actually buy a typical $400,000 house for a mortgage payment less than that one bedroom apartment rental.
The kicker is having the down payment.

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10 users have voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness @The Voice In the Wilderness

And yeah, it's pretty obvious the very rich are deliberately making it near-impossible for anyone else to buy a house by putting up all, or nearly all, of the cost of the building as a down payment paid in cash. Once buyers have the possibility of getting that, why should they ever take a person who needs a mortgage?

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8 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
Down payments are less than the cost of a lot. Still huge.
It's another reason that young people risk their lives in the Middle East - to be eligible for GI loans.

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5 users have voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

are either buying property outright in cash, or putting down such a high down payment, also in cash, that people who are not extremely rich cannot compete. In fact, sometimes property is sold with the requirement of a very large down payment, made in cash, which nobody who isn't rich could possibly afford.

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1 user has voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

and amounts of personal wealth.

First, I no longer believe that we can have political power dispersed through the population, whether in a republic or a democracy, if wealth is concentrated amongst an extreme few. I once believed we could, due to a combination of propaganda delivered to me through school and the the fact that wealth was much more dispersed when I was a kid. It still wasn't dispersed enough--too many people had really shit lives--but enough people could have good lives that it was possible to believe the hype.

The fact that anybody believes the hype NOW is testament to how eagerly a human mind will imbibe propaganda when it doesn't want to face an unpleasant truth.

Secondly, one of the few things I share with the right--at least some of them--is a hearty distrust of centralization accompanied by a preference for distributed systems. They are usually more resilient, often more efficient (if crafted properly), and they produce much more local control.

To quote the British series Coupling, "I'm very pro that!"

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10 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

and what I said also begs the question of "More efficient at doing what?"

Centralized systems are not always the devil.

Having said that, one thing centralized systems are MORE efficient at is concentrating power into fewer hands.

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12 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

I should rephrase that:

Preserve the quality of soil. Preserve the quality and quantity of water.

I picked that way of stating my environmental goals because it includes, but is not limited to, ending the fossil fuel economy.

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8 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

If we have the technology to determine what people are saying to each other at a distance by measuring the movements of objects nearby

https://www.cnn.com/2014/08/06/tech/innovation/visual-microphone-researc...

or the ability to wed a spider's genes to a plant's

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16779650/

We should be able to use digital technology to create an actual, one-person, one-vote, direct democracy.

I'm not saying it will be easy. We certainly couldn't do it with the digital infrastructure we have now, with its Swiss-cheese security, nor with the political structure we have now, with its endemic corruption. But it's possible.

If it ain't possible, we should break our polities down until they're small enough that it is.

But this goal, obviously, would have to wait on achieving goal #3, and it might also have to await the achievement of goal #1.

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5 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

CB's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
"create an actual, one-person, one-vote, direct democracy". It is called "blockchain".

But I don't believe that would solve the problem. If you ask most people, they cannot even tell you why they voted as they did. Most are influenced by subconscious conditioning without their even noticing it.

People are infinitely malleable through the selective use of the tools of propaganda.

1) Bandwagon propaganda: Human beings are a social animal and most of their actions are influenced by society. They constantly try to fit in. Bandwagon propaganda technique works on follow-the-herd mentality...

2) Card Stacking propaganda: The term card stacking is originated from gambling. It takes place when gamblers attempt to stack decks in their favor. This propaganda technique is used quite often. In this technique, you omit certain facts to misleading your audience by making a product appear better than they actually are...

3) Plain Folk Propaganda: You must have noticed that, nowadays, even powerful companies are using ordinary people to advertise their product than using celebrities or a well-known face...

4) Testimonial Propaganda: Opposite to plain folk propaganda, testimonial propaganda uses well-known celebrity to endorse their product. In this way, they can easily convert fan-base of that celebrity to convert into their customers...

5) Glittering Generality Propaganda: In this type of propaganda, propagandist uses emotional or vague statements to persuade their audience. They use phrases like “we understand you” or “always with you” to create positive anecdotes, which makes products look appealing and results in better sales...

6) Name Calling Propaganda: Name calling Propaganda uses a totally opposite technique than Glittering propaganda. In this technique, propagandist intentionally uses a pejorative phrase to create a negative opinion about another brand...

7) Transfer Propaganda: Now, this type of propaganda is a smart way to use the opportunity to project certain qualities of a product, idea, or person. this technique various ideology to get favourable outcomes. This type of propaganda is frequently used by politicians...

8) Ad nauseam propaganda: This type of propaganda is adopted by many companies which sell products like shampoo, hair oil, cooking oil, or face creams. The purpose of this type of propaganda is to make a place in the minds of your viewers...

9) Stereotyping propaganda: The agenda behind this type of propaganda is to target a group of segments of the society and their certain traits...

10) Appeal to prejudice propaganda: This type of propaganda works on the principle of exploiting audiences’ desire...

11) Appeal to fear propaganda: This type of propaganda uses the fear of people to convince them to buy their products...

Democracy theoretically means at least 50% plus one gets the vote.

From the Lincoln quote: “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time” and that's all you need.

I think China has more true democracy than the western countries. The government is made up of the 2,980 elected members of the National Peoples Congress who have actually served their country in some capacity. According to long term survey by The Harvard Gazette their government has a popularity rating of 95% compared to the US's 38%.

But almost everyone in western nations truly believe "we have more freedoms". Yes we do have more "freedums" - we have the freedom to be bamboozled again and again and again by those who prey and profit from our inability to really understand what and who we are voting for.

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14 users have voted.

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
Enough said. The problem is not the voting system (which could be improved). The problem is mindless voters voting against their interests because of slogans. Both Blue AND Red.

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6 users have voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

or, as it's also called, "a republic."

The time for that idea has come and gone. It apparently was never a very good one, though perhaps preferable to the others competing with it in the 18th century.

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0 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

zed2's picture

Democracy would conflict with neoliberalism which already won the fight three decades ago, so its all already been decided. At least they say so.

Here are some glimpses of how this happened. You may get a blank page and need to scroll up.

Politicians REALLY Really don't want people to know this, though.

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8 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@zed2

personal wealth.

If that won't do it, everybody can get the same basic income, free healthcare, education, food and housing.

If capitalism won't play nice, it can sit in the corner.

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9 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@zed2

I recommend everybody check them out.

"When it comes to free trade, democracy, and national sovereignty, you have to pick two and abandon one, so Dani Rodrik emphasizes.

I agree with this. Though it might be true that for "free trade," one would have to substitute the word "capitalism." I'm still not 100% sure about this.

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7 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

to either confirm my power or replace me.

That would be a whole lot easier than try to tackle the most worthy issues you have raised!

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5 users have voted.

"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

this is interesting, but what a weird headline! Who is actually shocked by the expose that the CIA wanted to kidnap and/or murder Assange?

Grim calls it an "extraordinary reporting from Yahoo! News," but the only thing that looks extraordinary to me is that the CIA's plans to assassinate Assange got reported in the mainstream.

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13 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

ggersh's picture

free from being monopolized and free from neoliberalism/capitalism's grasp

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2021/09/28/there-is-no-good-form-of-capital...

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9 users have voted.

The correct response to someone who supports going to war if China attacks Taiwan is “Are you enlisted?”

The correct response when they inevitably answer “no” is “Then shut the fuck up.”

Caitlin

enhydra lutris's picture

answering some questions by challenging the question or the premise(s), which kicks in and is hard to get past. Before I answer, I would point out that the world YOU would get with your answers depends very much on the order in which your objectives are achieved, so, although you say "in no particular order", a world in which 1, 2, and 3 precede 5 is likely to be very, very different from one in which 5 comes first.

What is the environment? Is this magikal "make it so" land where you decree and it is done, or must groundwork be laid? In addition, how much can we expand any given item by precise and possibly creative specification of the meanings of the terms used? Is it "pass the law and let the regulators fill in the details" or "specify everything up front"?

You said Queen of the World, so US centrism goes preemptively into the toilet, and the entire socio-political and cultural background shifts, but also fragments and fractures, creating even more need for caveats, and really kinks the law v rules and regulations issue mentioned above. "Educate the women", for example, becomes ""educate" the women" as determined by local habit and history, culture and all that, and I'm sure you can already see where that goes.

I have always been an advocate of "Full Equality For All" (fefa) and "All Power to All of the People" (apap), which will color my answers.

1) Though I understand and agree with your choice of Education for women, they will be restrained and constrained in getting and using said education by the men and in all cases, by the least educated among us. I would say a full, quality education for all, including at a minimum, math and the sciences, literacy and literature (theirs and global), history (theirs and global) including history of science, thought, technology and culture, done right, not names, dates, places and people, but influences, relations, interactions, and causes, agriculture/agronomy and ecology, logic and reasoning (including methodology), enough "accounting" to understand what the hell is going on both at home and worldwide, semantics and propaganda. This has to come first, it underpins everything else

2) End poverty and its effects, meaning the elimination of food deserts, easy universal access to health services and necessary products and a meaningful ability to relocate, change employment, vocation and/or avocation, etc. Education will go a long way to sustaining this once the basis implementation is somehow brought about. Capitalism as understood and implemented will not survive but will need to be replaced with some process(es) that can handle surplus and will not be deranged by the need for a much smaller labor pool, shorter work weeks and work days, rotating short shifts and the like.

3) A restriction on the size and wealth of companies and the wealth and size of holding of individuals has to happen and must run concurrent with process 2. The whole "economy" and the whole of "economics" as we know it has to be supplanted by something focused on repairing the global ecosystem and providing the necessary goods and services for full and complete lives for all without make-work instituted just to meet the "demands" of various ideologies as to who goods and services are to be created and distributed.

4) Repair and preserve soil, water, air, and the oceans as well as plant and animal communities necessary for a thriving world, such as coastal (and riverine) mangrove habitats, kelp forests, forests, etc.

5) The creation of a functional and stable form of self-government which probably will deviate from traditional concept of "democracy". It has to take into account the fact that the right to choose ones master or ruler doesn't really alter the nature of a master-slave or ruler-serf relationship. Within reason, so long as various fundamental rights and rules are preserved, governance should only be as to general rules and principles and not details until abuses arise that must be addressed, and some provision for a process to deal with that needs to be established. As much as possible needs to be considered for inclusion in the commons, including not merely land and water, etc., but also culturaland other intangible things.

now way behind today's chore list.

be well and have a good one

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6 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@enhydra lutris

That's too small a response to what you said, but it's all I have time for now--just wanted to drop it here because a lot of people misunderstood what I meant by "democracy."

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0 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

magiamma's picture

(an interesting and lively conversation ensued.)

1. Cancel all money for the military industrial complex and redirect to peaceful endeavors

2. Stop all unsustainable resource extraction

3. Redirect all resources to address climate change in a sustainable manner: a. Housing b. Agriculture/ Food c. Infrastructure d. Education e. Everything else

4. Support planetary biodiversity and ecosystems

Just for starters... (too funny; am smiling; great question)

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11 users have voted.

Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

enhydra lutris's picture

@magiamma

any other to be at all likely to be brought to fruition, hence, top priority.

be well and have a good one

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4 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@magiamma
I would replace it with:
"Replace private companies making war materials with the pre-WW II Arsenal system in which the Army made it's own weapons and the Navy built its own ships in Naval Shipyards." During WW II and the Civil war, outside companies sold weapons to the government, because the productive capacity required far exceeded the in-house capabilities. But now we have private companies using Government Owned (GOCO) facilities to make a profit from the Government. Not a limited profit as in WWII but HUGE profits. Contractor employees have replaced Civil Servants (ofyen veterans, thanks to veteran preference, that understood the life or death consequences of their actions on their brothers/sisters still in uniform.

Our aircraft and ships are built in facilities OWNED by the USG and run to make a profit for private interests. We have axyual mercenaries (politely called "contractors") fighting battles (and torturing prisoners in violation of the Geneva Convention).
Why not contract our the FBI and the police and fire departments? Government should not make automobiles and refrigerators like Socialist countries. Private industry should not make missiles, tanks, warships and warplanes.

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

magiamma's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

But if I am running things, and there is no war how many weapons will we need and how do we build things in a sustainable way that does not unnecessarily deplete the planet’s resources?

https://rgs-ibg.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/tran.12319

http://theconversation.com/us-military-is-a-bigger-polluter-than-as-many...

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3 users have voted.

Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@magiamma

I forgot to h/t magiamma on this. It was her idea originally!

Sorry, magi, I'm not at my best these days. It wasn't intentional.

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0 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

QMS's picture

we may have a better chance at survival Wink

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7 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@QMS

the survival of the human species is a very high priority, as is the survival of life on the planet generally.

There was a time when this world took those two things for granted as basic values as well. It wasn't that long ago. Even under Bush II, most people took those two things for granted as basic values, at least at first.

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0 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

as the Bible says, someplace....Isiah? maybe.

Without the ability to manufacture what we, the USA needs, we will not survive. Never mind ruler of the world or a mighty empire, simple survival of most of us is at risk.

After Janis mentioned Foundation I decided to re-read it and the entire thesis is, What happens to a planet that cannot produce and depends on other planets for sustenance?

Trantor, where the Foundation is located and from whose POV we are told the story, describes how a propagandized people accepted a nonsense reason for their re-location to this planet that contains no metals. They were told that they were doing important work, (Flattery) writing history, when in actuality, their opponents were playing a long game of how to increase their authoritarian control.

The story opens 50 years after the relocation when the psychohistorians, with psychological training, start to wake up to reality.

The lesson here is that Informed People may be the only way to stop what is happening. We put up with off-shoring with only some rebellion. It was the beginning of our ending.

Will the USA wake up in time to save itself?

NOT looking good.

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8 users have voted.

NYCVG

@NYCVG
where they semantically analyzed four days of diplomatic conversatoion.
From memory may be wrong in detail:
" They found NOTHING. A semantic zero. Gentlemen, in fours days, Lord ____ told you exactly nothing but did it so skillfully that you thought he had.
THERE are you assurances from the Empire.(holding a blank sheet)"

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3 users have voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

@The Voice In the Wilderness I was ROFL when I read it.

Political and Presspeak are also empty.

But the slight difference, (maybe) is that the nitwits on our televisions may or may not know any better. Just paid off puppets.

The "Ambassador" who spoke to the citizens of Trantor knew exactly what he was doing and why.

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4 users have voted.

NYCVG

TheOtherMaven's picture

@NYCVG

way the bloodyheck out on the Galactic Rim.

Trantor was at the *center* of the Galaxy, had been the center of the Galactic Empire, and (shhhh!) turned out to be the location of the *Second* Foundation.

(Asimov, dissatisfied with the cookie-cutter nature of the plan he had set up, later introduced a major variable in the form of "Gaia", a mentalist society that is capable of creating a very different "New Galactic Empire" from the original Seldon plan.)

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2 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

mimi's picture

to have a queen. Then I would put an upper price limit for a suare yard of land and the same for remtals. And I would put an upper limit on personal and corporations wealth.

Down with the queens! Wink

It is late around here in my woods. We expect storms and rain and it's getting cold, around 47 Frahrenheit.

Hope everybody is sufficiently well off to look forward to tomorrow.

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6 users have voted.

mimi

I live in a democratic state where some guy did a special on the exploding homeless population and declared they were all either drug addicts or mentally deranged. People sure latched on to that one. They bicker and hate on each other over nearly everything but that. Zero understanding that rents have gone from $500 to $2000 in a very short time, while wages have stagnated. The last census of homeless found 40% had full time jobs and 15% were on social security or were a disabled worker.

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2 users have voted.