I’m keeping an eye on nuclear power and stumbled on a story from Scientific America about Bill Gates efforts to solve energy demand with nuclear technology. What’s not to like about Bill Gates, he’s uber rich, he’s using his wealth to better mankind and he’s a big thinker. I’ve watched his work in the charter school networks, his efforts to eradicate diseases and his recent purchase of land in Arizona to create the city of the future and I’m impressed with his big moves and thorough planning. He see’s a big area that he can impact, he finds the smartest people in the field, he does his homework so he knows enough to lead the charge and he gets out of the way. It’s pretty much how I try to manage my business, I’m not always successful but the formula has been working.
I stumbled on Thorium (Sodium or salt) based nuclear reactors a few years back and I’m super excited by the tech. I believe that a combination of energy generation through these types of reactors and breakthroughs in energy storage (battery technology) will be the life-changing advancements that have the ability to change the world. Just look to the wars for energy/oil and you’ll get the picture.
The FBI Is in Crisis. It’s Worse Than You Think
The Justice Department’s Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, will soon release a much-anticipated assessment of Democratic and Republican charges that officials at the FBI interfered in the 2016 presidential campaign. That year-long probe, sources familiar with it tell TIME, is expected to come down particularly hard on former FBI director James Comey, who is currently on a high-profile book tour. It will likely find that Comey breached Justice Department protocols in a July 5, 2016, press conference when he criticized Hillary Clinton for using a private email server as Secretary of State even as he cleared her of any crimes, the sources say. The report is expected to also hit Comey for the way he reopened the Clinton email probe less than two weeks before the election, the sources say.
The report closely follows an earlier one in April by Horowitz, which showed that the ousted deputy director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, had lied to the bureau’s internal investigations branch to cover up a leak he orchestrated about Clinton’s family foundation less than two weeks before the election. (The case has since been referred to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington, D.C., for potential prosecution.) Another IG report in March found that FBI retaliation against internal whistle-blowers was continuing despite years of bureau pledges to fix the problem. Last fall, Horowitz found that the FBI wasn’t adequately investigating “high-risk” employees who failed polygraph tests.
There have been other painful, more public failures as well: missed opportunities to prevent mass shootings that go beyond the much-publicized overlooked warnings in the Parkland, Fla., school killings; an anguishing delay in the sexual-molestation probe into Olympic gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar; and evidence of misconduct by agents in the aftermath of standoffs with armed militias in Nevada and Oregon. FBI agents are facing criminal charges ranging from obstruction to leaking classified material. And then there’s potentially the widest-reaching failure of all: the FBI’s miss of the Russian influence operation against the 2016 election, which went largely undetected for more than two years….
Last May, McCabe, then the FBI’s deputy director, sat down at the table in his seventh-floor office for a meeting with two agents from the inspections division. The agents had some questions about the Clinton Foundation leak just before the election. It was a quick meeting. McCabe, an FBI veteran who rose through the ranks over a 21-year career, told them he had “no idea” where the leak came from. The agents left after just five minutes or so, according to the Inspector General’s April 13 report.
McCabe had offered that same basic assurance months earlier to his boss, then director Comey, investigators said, and had angrily lit into FBI officials under him, suggesting the Clinton leak had come from their offices and telling one senior agent in Washington to “get his house in order.” But as it turned out, McCabe knew exactly where the leak had come from. He personally authorized it, Horowitz’s investigators found, to counter charges that he favored Clinton. (His wife received $467,500 from the PAC of a Clinton ally, then Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, in a failed 2015 bid for state office.)……
The concerns about FBI testimony in a major terrorist prosecution underscore a larger question: Are people less likely to believe what the bureau says these days? In January, a federal judge threw out all the criminal charges against renegade Nevada cattleman Cliven Bundy, his two sons and a supporter who had been in an armed standoff over unpaid grazing fees. Judge Gloria Navarro accused the government of “outrageous” and “flagrant” misconduct, citing failures by both prosecutors and the FBI to produce at least 1,000 pages of required documents. The judge said the FBI misplaced–or “perhaps hid”–a thumb drive revealing the existence of snipers and a surveillance camera at the site of the standoff.
This development generated a significant buzz in conservative circles, with the implication being that perhaps Flynn might not have pleaded guilty in light of certain evidence.
We also know that the FBI agents who interviewed Flynn – one of whom was anti-Trump counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, did not think Flynn was lying to them – something James Comey was recently caught lying about himself.
Fox‘s Judge Andrew Napolitano thought Sullivan’s decision at the time was a complete bombshell.
“Why would he we want that after General Flynn has already pleaded guilty? That is unheard of. He must suspect a defect in the guilty plea. Meaning, he must have reason to believe that General Flynn pleaded guilty for some reason other than guilt.” –Andrew Napolitano
And as we noted yesterday, some have suggested that Flynn pleaded guilty due to the fact that federal investigations tend to bankrupt people who aren’t filthy rich – as was the case with former Trump campaign aide Michael Caputo, who told the Senate Intelligence Committee “God damn you to hell” after having to sell his home due to mounting legal fees over the inquiry.
“Your investigation and others into the allegations of Trump campaign collusion with Russia are costing my family a great deal of money — more than $125,000 — and making a visceral impact on my children.”
Let’s not forget about the time Mueller’s team at the FBI massively screwed up the 2001 anthrax case after 9/11 – ruining the life of SAIC employee Steven Hatfill when it mysteriously leaked that he was the FBI’s prime suspect. Mueller assured Congress in a closed-door January, 2003 session that Hatfill was their man based on shaky evidence which was later deemed unreliable. Effectively, he needed a scalp. Hatfill was professionally and financially ruined until he sued the US Government for $5.8 million.
“It’s like death by a thousand cuts,” Hatfill, who is now 56, says today. “There’s a sheer feeling of hopelessness. You can’t fight back. You have to just sit there and take it, day after day, the constant drip-drip-drip of innuendo, a punching bag for the government and the press. And the thing was, I couldn’t understand why it was happening to me. I mean, I was one of the good guys.” –The Atlantic
Nuclear power is the energy source that we should be looking at to power our homes and our electric vehicles. I’ve blogged about this before, and highly recommend you watch the documentary, Pandoras Promise. I’ve written about Thorium nuclear reactors as a technology that is coming back into favor. Other countries have successfully implemented a nuclear energy grid with smaller and safer reactors and technology has greatly improved the efficiency of nuclear fuel and reduced the quantity and severity of the spent fuel. Solar and wind are sexy and the governments of the world have dumped a bunch of money into subsidies to make the market happen but in the end, manipulated markets don’t lend to good outcomes. (HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE,)
If we want energy independence at a reasonable price nothing is better than modern nuclear power. Let’s look at the regulator and permitting process to get the time frame from opening a new nuclear plant down from 20 years to under 5. I’m sure the ‘not in my backyard’ folks will come out in droves, just like they do for copper mines. Never mind there are 64 pounds of copper in a Prius, let them mine in some other third world county….not in our backyard.
As the U.S. moves away from fossil fuels with renewable energy like wind and solar taking its place, one cleaner alternative has been largely ignored: nuclear power. Over the last 20 years, only one new nuclear plant has finished construction in the United States.
There are many different reasons for this, but one of the biggest by far is that nuclear reactors are extremely expensive and complicated to build. The single power plant constructed in 2016, Watts Bar 2, began construction in 1973 and ultimately cost $4.7 billion, including a full $2 billion in budget overruns. Nuclear isn’t exactly the best choice when looking for cheap, flexible energy solutions.
But all that might be about to change, thanks to a new reactor design that’s smaller, cheaper and easier to build. The first so-called small modular reactor (SMR) design has just passed a Phase I review by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, so construction on the reactor can now go ahead. With luck, that reactor will be completed in less than a decade.
Small modular reactors are dramatically different from standard nuclear reactors with their iconic cooling towers. These reactors are designed so that all of their components are built in a central factory and assembled on-site, which makes them much cheaper and faster to construct. They’re also much smaller, making them an ideal fit for rural and suburban communities that don’t need a gigawatt or more of power.
The specific reactor approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is built by NuScale, an Oregon-based energy company that has been working on its design for over a decade. The reactor design is only about 65 feet long and generates 50 megawatts of power, and comes with enough fuel to last an entire year. The reactor can be built and fueled in a factory, shipped on a train or truck, and shipped back to be refueled.
The first such reactor is scheduled to be built in Idaho sometime in the mid-2020s, and will serve as a demonstration of the tech’s capabilities. If everything goes well, we could see small reactors taking the place of fossil fuel plants very soon.
Aeon – Put that way, it would seem that biology does indeed do away with any idea of human nature: whatever characteristics our species possesses are the result of a continuous process of evolutionary differentiation from other species of primates, and there is no reason to believe that such process is over, or will be any time soon. Moreover, people are fond of citing the famous figure that humans and chimpanzees differ ‘only’ in about 1-2 per cent of their genomic sequence, implying that we are not really as special as we’d like to think.
But as Kevin Laland has pointed out in his book Darwin’s Unfinished Symphony: How Culture Made the Human Mind (2017), that small percentage translates into thousands of structural changes at the genetic level, which in turn can be combined to yield millions of ways in which humans are distinct from chimpanzees. Just because the difference is small in percentage, it doesn’t mean it is not both very obvious and highly consequential.
In light of this, we think that the picture emerging from evolutionary and developmental biology is – contrary to the widespread opinion among contemporary philosophers – one that very much supports the notion of human nature, just not an essentialist one. Human nature is best conceived of as a cluster of homeostatic properties, ie of traits that are dynamically changing and yet sufficiently stable over evolutionary time to be statistically clearly recognizable. These properties include characteristics that are either unique to the human species, or so quantitatively distinct from anything similar found in other animals that our version is unquestionably and solely human….
The Stoics grounded that teaching in an approach most famously associated with Epictetus, the 2nd-century slave-turned-teacher who became one of the best-known philosophers of antiquity. He developed a whole ethics based on the idea that we play a multiplicity of roles in life: some of them are given (we are all human beings, sons or daughters of our parents, and so forth), and some are chosen (our careers, whether we wish to have children and become parents or not).
How we play these roles is up to us. In Book I of the Discourses, Epictetus discusses the case of two slaves who react differently to the same demeaning situation (having to hold their master’s chamber pot while he’s relieving himself). What determines the difference is how the slaves see themselves as human beings, a concept not that different from the existentialist notion of authenticity. Epictetus concludes the analysis of that example by admonishing his students in a way that Sartre and de Beauvoir might have approved of: ‘Consider at what price you sell your integrity; but please, for God’s sake, don’t sell it cheap.’
It’s not only modern science that tells us that there is such thing as human nature, and it’s no coincidence that a number of popular modern therapies such as logotherapy, rational emotive behaviour therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy draw on ideas from both existentialism and Stoicism. No philosophy of life – not just existentialism or Stoicism – could possibly exist without it.
“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present” – Marcus Aurelius
“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realise this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius
“No wandering. In every impulse, give what is right: in every thought, stick to what is certain.” – Epictetus
True happiness is to enjoy the present without the judgment of the future.
I spent a lot of years in the healthcare sector. I ran a high complexity lab, a small medical practice that I helped grow to a mid-size group with 14 providers. I drafted and lobbied legislation dealing with Direct Medical Care. I started up a couple offshoot businesses that could be added to a medical practice and I built a lab services company that at its hay day had 8 technicians drawing blood for 7 different labs. I’ve done presentations to a number of groups on healthcare policy, I had a short-lived podcast on the topic and I served on a couple of boards surrounding Banner Healthcare and clinical research and for the merger of the University of Arizona Medical Center and Banner.
I started a ‘Priceline of Medicine’ which looked to match services to vendors. The goal was to help navigate the complex waters of medical coding and billing. My idea was that in our third party …insurance pays everything….’what’s my co-pay?’ world, if the consumer knew what they were buying, they could shop more intelligently. My business was predicated on every rising deductible that forced consumers to fish into their pockets for more of their services. After years of trying to find the entrepreneurial edges in the healthcare field, I finally had enough and made a career change to education.
Today, out of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid, the Trump administration is trying to bring educated choice into a super complex market. Healthcare lives on confusion, denial of services, restriction of benefits and what I used to call ‘wack a mole’. To me, every time we found a new service or code that helped our patients and help the practice financially, the insurance companies would find the new revenue stream and wack it back into non-existence.
American healthcare is broken.
American healthcare has all the wrong incentives to ever get fixed.
American healthcare is robbing future generations of a prosperous life.
WASHINGTON — Medicare will require hospitals to post their standard prices online and make electronic medical records more readily available to patients, officials said Tuesday.
The program is also starting a comprehensive review of how it will pay for costly new forms of immunotherapy to battle cancer.
Seema Verma, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said the new requirement for online prices reflects the Trump administration’s ongoing efforts to encourage patients to become better-educated decision makers in their own care.
“We are just beginning on price transparency,” said Verma. “We know that hospitals have this information and we’re asking them to post what they have online.”
Hospitals are required to disclose prices publicly, but the latest change would put that information online in machine-readable format that can be easily processed by computers. It may still prove to be confusing to consumers, since standard rates are like list prices and don’t reflect what insurers and government programs pay.
Patients concerned about their potential out-of-pocket costs from a hospitalization would still be advised to consult with their insurer. Most insurance plans nowadays have an annual limit on how much patients must pay in copays and deductibles — although traditional Medicare does not.
YouTube – HERE
This forum, hosted by Bloomberg, is from the World Economic Forum at Davos. This forum is the GLOBALIST crowd which is in contrast to Trumps, Make America Great Again movement.
4:37 – What did we learn from the 2008 crash?
6:42 – We don’t have even a Plan A?
8:44 – Monetary Policy mixed up. Banks are in better position than ever before.
25:10 – Heavy regulators on banks
28:36 – The great banking QE experiment – Markets reaction to tightening of interest rates
34:17 – Recessions will happen, buy low sell high….DUH
47:00 – Discussion on technology as disruptors and the markets
49:00 – Chinese regulator explains what the second largest economy in the world will do in a crisis…hint, don’t short China
52:30 – Increased interest rates mean a stock adjustment – China ‘interest rates are a risk and so is regulators’. People are regulators.
101:00 – Europe
105:00 – How does China manage a problem
World Economic Forum panel discussion with some of the largest banks, economists, and regulators in the world. This discussion is full of some great insights into where we are and what would happen if an economic crisis should (eventually will) happen.
I grew up with Bill Cosby. I remember listening to his Wonderfulness album over and over. I knew each of the skits. He came into our houses adn Dr. Huckstable on the super hit sitcom, The Cosby Show.
After more women come forward to accuse Cosby of sexual assault, TV Land pulls its “Cosby Show” reruns. This is not the fate many would have predicted for a show that was once so popular it commanded $4 million per episode when sold into syndication, and whose reruns have generated over $1.5 billion in the last 20 years, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Noone was bigger than Bill Cosby in the 1990’s. He had it all.
But the Pride and the power it manifested lead him to abuse women. For a long time, noone believed that this great guy that we grew up with on TV could possibly do the terrible things he was accused of. Now at 80 a guilty verdict comes down.
This is a prime example of the sin of pride manifesting into lust.
What the case was about
So my theory on the 7 Deadly Sins and how they creep into peoples lives is an ongoing set of ideas and examples that make my case. Today’s installment that sharing ks a person of authority displaying one or more of the 7 Deadly Sins in their full glory. Here’s a former Clinton Ethics official and current Commissioner of the Port Authority for New Jersey. She’s apparently a pretty big deal in the police world and isn’t afraid to drop some names.
There is a definite tone which essentially exemplifies the “Do you know who I am?”. This is someone who’s had power and prestige for a long time.
The irony of the Ethics authority using her title and position to influence a traffic ticket.
According to a police report from March 31, 2018, Turner’s daughter had been pulled over on Route 9W by Tenafly, N.J., police, but allegedly could not provide proof of insurance or registration. So Turner was called to the scene to help resolve the matter, NJ.com reported.
Police video then shows Turner demanding to know what was going on, and brandishing her credentials as a Port Authority commissioner. “I need to know,” Turner repeatedly tells the officers, demanding information about the traffic stop, according to Fox News.
The police officers then inform Turner that they are not under any legal obligations to reveal any information to her because her daughter and the passengers in the car are all over the age of 18. Turner appears to grow increasingly frustrated, and demands that the officers refer to her as “Commissioner” rather than “Miss.”
In the police report about this incident, an officer writes that he advised Turner “to speak with the driver of the vehicle for more information,” based on the way she was “attempting to misappropriately use her professional position to gain authority in this situation.”
When an officer attempts to end the conversation, Turner says:
“You may not tell me when to take my child. You may shut the f— up!”
Allegations of a code of ethics violation prompted the Port Authority’s inspector to investigate. Turner resigned after learning of the investigation, the Port Authority said in a statement Monday. A spokesman for the Port Authority called Turner’s actions “indefensible,” and Turner has refused to comment about her resignation.
There is a part of me that I haven’t quite realized until just recently, that part of me that needs to create. A friend referenced a trait among people with dyslexia that involves the person overcompensating because of having to adapt their learning to assimilate. That overcompensation caused by dyslexia, allows a different part of the brain to grow. That part of the brain is creative.
I never realized I had a mild form of dyslexia until during our discussion I told my friend about mixing up ‘B’s’ and ‘D’s’. When he explained how his son and brother had a more severe form and how is research into dyslexia lead to the finding that different parts of the brain of a dyslexic overcompensate, a light bulb when on for me. I have to create. At the core, the joy of entrepreneurship for me is taking an idea and bringing it to market. The longer I’ve been an entrepreneur, the more complex and sophisticated the business. As I look back, money was never the motive, it was the joy of seeing what has been created. I love the ability to change people’s lives through our businesses. I love the ability to figure out how to thrive when others have failed. To enter a new market and deliver something different is what keeps me going.
I’ve always had the ability to take super complex concepts, break them down and focus on what’s the most important. By far, my 7 years in the medical field was the most intriguing and the most complex. From the heavy regulations to the super smart medical providers I worked with, the medical industry kept me on my toes and always looking for the next opportunity.
My Creative Side;
Ever since I was a child I remember building elaborate cities out of toothpaste boxes.
As I moved into business, I taught myself basic graphic design with programs like Corel.
I started home video production and spent hours and hours editing sound and video into rudimentary YouTube videos.
I launched my first blog in 2008 (TucsonChoices)
7 years on the radio producing a 2 hour drive time talk radio program (Wake Up Tucson)
I was a columnist, writing editorials for a couple local newspapers (Inside Tucson Business)
I started a podcast on health care policy and political topics of the day (Broken Healthcare Solutions)
My job involves building and designing complex charter schools. I’m on point for all aspects of design and construction (Leman Academy)
I’m slowly drafting two books….let’s call them manifestos….one on the future of America and the other on the 7 Deadly Sins.
Part of my joy of building out Patagonia is, of course, sitting under and dreaming, but also deciding what to build where. Someday the money will come to see the plans come true.
I find that I go through lulls of creativity from time to time but then it kicks in again. I’ve got to keep creating!