Friday, May 25, 2018

Dialogue with Facebook

FB: We don't care about your privacy.

Me: I don't care for your "free" service.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Legislate. Repeal. Fail. Repeat.

On Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

Remember the repeal of Glass-Steagall Act in the late 1990s? It was said that law inhibited the efficiency of financial market and credit flow. Just a decade later we have the 100-year-financial-flood and tsunami in our life time.

Now just a decade after that financial crisis, Dodd-Frank rollback and Volker Ruler repeal have the majority support of the Congress.

Most of the Congressmen are servants of the mega banks. That is a fact.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Price tags on some unusual services

1. Ask a porn start to shut up and not talk about a past affair - $130,000 - Stormy Daniel
2. Ask a former Playboy model to shut up and not talk about a past affair - $150,000 - Karen McDougan
3. AT&T paid Michael Cohen to influence policy - $600,000 a year
4. Novartis paid Michael Cohen to influence policy - $1.2 million

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Who is Robert Bridge?

Robert Bridge is an old time troll for Russia Today (RT), a pro-Trump, pro-Russia, anti-West propagandist who trash the mainstream media in favor of RT and Alternative Facts. According to him the US committed more war crimes in Syria than Russia did. If you love fake news and Russian propaganda remember to sign up to receive his news letters or follow him on Twitter.

Side note: Michael Flynn received $45,000 on his speech at an RT hosted dinner with Putin and then National Security Advisor Flynn as main guests.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The war in Syria

Today marks the seventh anniversary of  “day of rage” protests that sparked the war in Syria. Given the carnage since, it’s hard to recall that it all began with 15 children, arrested in a provincial city for anti-government graffiti.

The protests over those arrests in Daraa, near the border with Jordan were peaceful, but President Bashar al-Assad’s brutal response tipped the country into violence. With Iranian, Russian, Turkish and U.S. troops now on the ground, 11 million people displaced and an estimated 511,000 dead, there’s little sign of an end to a conflict already longer and bloodier than the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s.

Syria’s conflict has transformed the geopolitics of the Middle East, and the wave of refugees it generated has sent shockwaves through Europe. In the first months of this year, U.S. jets killed scores of Russian contract soldiers, Israel and Iran clashed directly, and NATO member Turkey threatened to move its troops against an area defended by U.S. special forces.

Allegations that Assad is still using chemical weapons have also raised the possibility of further U.S. airstrikes against the regime. With the State Department to be led by Mike Pompeo, a foreign policy hawk who last year argued for resolute action to secure U.S. interests in Syria, the war could become still more complex.

Friday, October 27, 2017

If you see American Taliban, call them out.

Misogynists hate only those women who are powerful. Misogynists are fond of powerless women. In fact many of them are womanizers and even brag about their philanderer behavior.

Let's face it: Taliban's mistreatment of women started from their faith. They want to keep women powerless so they can easily control them. Christianity in the middle ages has similar sexist attitude. Enlightenment over the past 500 years changed that attitude toward equality. Unfortunately, if you read some of the American religious institution's faith statement, you realize not a small number of people still live in the middle age.

Since the founding of this country our forefathers are beacons of enlightenment. Our declaration of independence is a milestone and testimony of enlightenment thinking. All we need to do is to go back to our glorious tradition and embrace enlightenment once again.

If you see American Taliban, call them out.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Free market principle doesn't work for healthcare

U.S is the country truly believe in free market. In order for market to work, we need buyers sensitive to price and quality. In healthcare patients have limited ability to differentiate quality, and price shopping when a patient has life threatening disease, is, if not fantasy, very very difficult to do. Yes, you can price shop on small things, but for the big ticket surgeries and cancer treatments, how sensitive are you to price difference?

Free market does not work in healthcare. Not in a meaningful way. Add on to the complexity is the insurance market. For profit insurers are avoiding the sick and try very hard to sign up the healthy. Given the high cost of coverage, the young and healthy, if not working for large employer, try to avoid buying health insurance altogether. These behaviors make the US healthcare the most expensive in the world, while the results, judging from premature death rate and life expectancy, lagging OECD countries. What's the point of having a first rate medical research if you don't have access to healthcare?

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Reflection of 2017

T. Rex as chief diplomat
Pit bull in charge of education
ruled by billionaires who
complain about unfair term of trade
building a wall
to keep the newcomers out
oh yes
the thundering roar goes
a nation for the natives only
while the real natives die
on the trail of tears
their numbers dwindle
to almost a disappear
can't even keep their own
drinking water clean
from the pollution of oil
the richest smell of foul

This is the right nation
not always correct, just right
in the sense of self-righteousness
by way of alternative facts
and enhanced interrogation
no longer willing to lead
it's now all about me

Friday, November 11, 2016

History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

Financial crisis is a symptom, the underlying economic ailment is what's hurting the society.
When people are hurting, there are behavioral responses that is human nature, which didn't change much over the recorded history.

If we look back at the Great Depression, and the ensuing tariff war, and the following competition for colonies, and the resulting militarism and fascism, I wonder what's in the store down the road for the world? The world is so interconnected today it is hard to imagine we will take the same paths our grandparents did. But given the rise of nationalism worldwide and the recent 2008 financial crisis, the deja vu cannot be ignored.