How does government enable us to serve the Energizer Bunny we call society?

The struggle we see today over control of government is disingenuous.  Hell.  It is downright phony.  As I write this, the two major parties vying for control of the United States government, the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, are centering their narratives on political packages they believe meet the desires of the electorate such that the electorate gives one of the parties control over legislation, administration, or both.  But do either offer any real change as to how the current model of government operates?

For the better part of the last 230 years or at least since the United States ditched its mercantilist economic policies, the United States has followed a policy that favors private control of the factors of commercial production where individuals or associations of individuals keep as income the revenues minus taxes and costs of production.  Such a policy under-girded by the concepts of liberty and freedom is hoped to incentivize these private owners to create innovative products while enticing the consumer to borrow money and purchase product.  Not only does the exchange between producer and consumer create taxable events thus revenues for government, but the ability that the producer and consumer have to autonomously enter into contracts to purchase validates the government’s authority over the jurisdiction of the United States.  Government hopes that the freedoms producer and consumer enjoy along with the protection of the infrastructure upon which trade is conducted will engender an allegiance to American government, American culture, and American “society.”

Freedom and liberty are essential parts of the American government’s narrative and for all the squabbling between the two major parties, that base narrative has not changed, although it has been my observation that Democrats don’t use those words much as opposed to Republicans who enjoy attaching the words to markets and commerce.  Government’s role is to sell the prevailing narrative.  The economic policy component of the narrative is capitalism and this policy component, while not explicitly referred to in law, is implicitly referred to in various statutes as “markets”, “commerce”, “trade”, “full employment”, etc.

I think, however, that government has a more metaphysical role as well.  Government’s other role is to convert human energy into something consumable.  Humans prey on each other and technology and to some extent, the democratization of technology, has made that predatory behavior less obvious.  For example, currency is a technology.  We invest varying amounts of energy in capturing it and expend energy purchasing with our currency items for current or future consumption.  Our energy via currency is converted into tax revenues for government and profits for investors.  Through fiscal policy and the policy of capitalism, we are reduced to the function of a battery.  Unlike Neo, we are unable to unplug.

While humans have moved horizontally from the era of direct cannibalization, government keeps in place an alternative form of cannibalism; one that extends our lives via social welfare safety nets, investment in medical advances, the delusion of growth via travel and institutional education, laws protecting our person and property, financial services promising comfort in retirement, and media stimulation to ease the pain and suffering stemming from being consumed five, six, seven days a week.

Who does this energy transference ultimately serve?  I cannot say for sure.  When I see poor people in grocery store aisles struggling over the affordability of food.  When I see people dying because they cannot afford surgery.  When I see people having to work well into their seventies instead of resting and enjoying the status of a venerated elder while passing down knowledge to younger generations, I cannot say that this energy transfer system that we call the political economy serves the common man.  Rather, it serves us up…

So, what is government?  Government is a cannibal.  Government tenderizes us for consumption.  Government sells us on the requirement to comply.  Government enables us to serve the Energizer Bunny that is society.

Georgia’s congressional delegation should express more interest in the C-Band

Georgia’s congressional delegation demonstrated very little interest in H.R. 4855, the Clearing Broad Airwaves for New Deployment Act, a bill that would have cleared and made available for auction between 200 and 300 mega hertz of spectrum in the C-Band.  The C-Band is a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum falling between four to eight gigahertz.  This portion of spectrum is used for satellite communications, some Wi-Fi devices, some cordless phones, and for surveillance and weather radar systems.

Some companies that offer wireless broadband internet access are interested in this piece of spectrum real estate in order to meet the increasing demand for “Internet of Things” services and the Fifth Generation wireless platforms they are expected to ride on.

H.R. 4855 may have been more of a prodding rod than a leading initiative.  Back in June the Federal Communications Commission announced that repurposing of the C-Band would move at an accelerated pace.  Five eligible satellite carriers: Eutelstat, Intelstat, SES, Star One, and Telesat, agreed to an accelerated schedule for clearing and relocating frequencies in exchange for $9.7 billion in relocation payments upon completion of the reallocation.  Clearing out and relocating their frequencies make available mid-band spectrum for wireless company use.

While H.R. 4855 would give the Commission until 30 September 2022 to clear, reallocate, and auction the C-Band spectrum,  the Commission’s order would give satellite operators until 5 December 2023 to clear and relocate their operating frequencies.

While Georgia has its urban centers i.e. Atlanta, Savannah, Columbus, Augusta, it still has a significant agricultural base and rural communities.  The current COVID-19 pandemic has exposed flaws and gaps in service delivery and has likely widened the gap between broadband urban haves and rural broadband have-nots.   Congressmen from Georgia’s rural areas should remain mindful of this gap and take every opportunity to lead on congressional initiatives that could spurn broadband deployment in rural Georgia.

For example, H.R. 4855 had only three sponsors.  None were from Georgia.  In addition, a scan of the internet found no media coverage containing any discussion about the C-band by any members of Georgia’s congressional delegation.  Georgia’s congressional delegation should remain engaged in discussions about the benefits advanced communications can bring to taxpayers and Georgia’s industries.

 

 

How is thermal imaging being used to detect COVID-19?

Dubai Police have recently began equipping their officers with innovative smart helmets fitted with thermal imaging cameras designed to detect people running a high fever – a common symptom of COVID-19. The helmet can identify a high temperature from the safe distance of five meters and will send an automatic alert to the wearer if a fever is detected.

Some businesses in the U.S. are using similar thermal imaging technology to detect if customers or employees at their business have the COVID-19 symptom, which could help reopen the economy faster. Companies like Thermal Guardians have begun manufacturing these thermal imaging tools for use in public spaces such as airports, hospitals, residential communities, and businesses.

Watch this video from the Khaleej Times of the Dubai Police using the smart helmets:

Taking over the Democratic Party by leaving the Democratic Party…

No matter who wins the presidential election this fall, by the end of summer 2021, all those corporations promising investment in the black community will have reneged on said promises. The existing political-economic model was never designed to generate said promises. Even if implemented, the matrix of existing political-economic rules cannot sustain these promises.
 
Unfortunately for the Afro-Diaspora, none of its representatives in Congress have proven themselves bold enough or adept enough to create a coalition necessary for passing radical legislation that authorizes the “Fourth Branch” to take the necessary administrative steps to change the model. The steps voters will have to take is to clean these leaders out along with their younger progeny and heirs who hope to take their place. A one-swoop, multi-generational housecleaning is needed.
 
In other words, any under-40 aspiring politician who parrots the hat-in-hand, “massa hook me up” mantra of the current old heads in power needs to be discouraged from even running for county dog catcher much less a seat in government.
 
The Marines have a saying. We don’t care if you are a lawyer, doctor, engineer, mechanic, or administrative assistant. You are first and foremost a fighter. The Diaspora needs a new narrative based on critical thinking and less emotion. It is that narrative that will energize and guide the street fighters the Diaspora needs.
Politics is a blood sport. This is something the Republicans, and in particular members of the Hard Right, have come to realize. This is why, although their views are allegedly held by a minority but significant amount of the population, they have been able to hold significant sway over Congress, the White House, and state elections. They don’t have a big tent. They have a focused headquarters company of political operations and strategists.
 
Unlike Democrats who have conflated diversity in the rank and file to mean having multiple voices espousing multiple narratives, the GOP speaks with relatively one voice (although some will say the current one voice is the wrong voice).
 
Democrats have too many “Karens, Chads, and Biffs trying to lead and too many Keishas, Leroys, and Jeromes trying to impersonate them. The “Big Tent” needs to be cleaned out.
 
In all this confusion, head faking, and delusion, the promises of so called “equality” will fade away, and reality will raise its annoying head.
 
Chaos, however, should not be looked upon with despair. Rather, this is an opportunity for the Diaspora to create what I term ‘controlled anarchy.’ Rather than stepping in and trying to save the Chad, Becky, Biff, Karen-led Democrats, the Diaspora should clean its own house and then implement a plan of arms length manipulation of the Democratic Party with the end game of getting the Party back to its original mission: to serve the interest of the common man.
 
As the economy changes to a model that is further opposite of the needs of the average Afro-Diaspora man and woman trying to make their way, it is time for Afro people to stop trying to equate to or be white, and create a political model that in the end, ironically, serves everyone.

Telecom capital expenditures to grow at one percent per annum…

 

A recent report from the Dell’Oro Group forecasts the worldwide telecom capex — the sum of wireless and wireline investments — will have a one percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2019 and 2022, despite uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

In the U.S., the three years of predicted growth in telecom markets will bring elevated investments in mid-band capex, millimeter wave spectrum, and low-band projects.

Source: Dell’Oro Group

Adaption to changes brought on by COVID dependent on age …

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we all connect, but how people have adapted to these changes has varied depending on age. According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, a majority of adults under 50 say the internet has been an essential tool for them personally during the coronavirus outbreak, while about a third 65 and older said the same. Adults 30-49 were the most likely age group to turn to the internet to replace social and business encounters, with 65% reporting that the internet was essential during the outbreak.

Adults under 50 were much more likely to hold virtual gatherings, watch online concerts or live events, and participate in online fitness courses than those over 50. A total of 87% of all U.S. adults said the internet has been essential or important during the outbreak.

Source: Pew Research Center

There is no such thing as economic equality

“Who is creating equal. I’m trying to find the equation.” — Louie Bagz

Byron Allen, a black billionaire media business owner, appeared on Fox Business News today sharing his insights on economic equality.  Economic equality has been one of the major topics during the last five or six weeks since the death of George Floyd last May.  At first glance, you could argue that Mr Floyd’s death had nothing to do with economics and that the media’s highlighting of the plight of black people in the American economy is another angle to either drive up ratings by keeping the story hot or to keep the American public distracted from other undercurrents.  Frankly I think it’s a bit of both.  Conflating an economic argument with an act of horrific brutality gives Emmy and Pulitzer chasing journalists something more to talk about.

On the flip side, you can make an argument that Mr Floyd’s death was related to economics based on an economic decision he made that tragically led to his death.  Mr Floyd was trying to make a purchase with a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill.  Somewhere in his decision matrix he concluded that his optimal currency for use in exchange for some other good or service was a dollar bill not recognized as legal tender in the United States.

But currency connotes more than just money in circulation.  The amount of currency one is in possession of transmits a message about the value that an individual brings to market.  Is this individual willing and able to pay for goods and services that I have in my inventory such that I am willing and able to supply such goods and services?  In Mr Floyd’s case that value, at that moment in time, may have been zero.  But did that necessarily mean he was not economically equal to the merchant he wanted to trade with or anyone else for that matter?  I would argue no for the simple reason that there is no such thing as economic equality.

Let’s first define “economic.”  Economic, which is derived from “economy”, entails the management of income and production.  To be economic is to derive and apply certain rules regarding the management of resources in order to achieve some targeted income or production goal.  An economy is a system of rules or decision-making matrices that determine how wealth and income are to be distributed and how production is to be managed.

“Equality” is to do or to make something equal.  Two or more items are said to be equal when they are of the same quantity, size, or value.  Two or more individuals may be considered equal where they have the same abilities, rights, or rank.  But can Mr Floyd’s decision-making matrix be equal to mine?  Would his approach to deciding between producing more bread versus producing more wine equally reflect mine? For the simple reason that no two people are alike I would conclude that economic equality does not exist because no two economic decision-making systems for income, output, and wealth are alike or can be alike.

Can we find economic equality on a macro or national level?  Specifically, can we find economic equality between Anglo-Americans and Afro-Americans?  Again, just like on the individual level, you won’t find the non-existent.  Anglo-Americans, as a collective, follow the rules of income, wealth, and production as determined by a minority made up of political, banking, and religious elites for the benefit of the masses to the extent sharing those benefits with the masses protects the interests of the elite.  After acquiring by force land, minerals, and waterways, Anglo-Americans were able to apply technology and free labor to build an economy and refine a political economy that applied rules of wealth distribution for its people.

Afro-Americans were not at the table when the rules of acquisition and distribution were made.  You cannot enjoy economic equality when you were never the author of the economy’s rules.

But even if Afro-Americans had garnered a sufficient amount of land and other resources such that they could design their own economy, would there be “economic equality”?  I would argue no because differences in lineage, history, environment, and values, to name a few characteristics, would likely create a decision matrix different to those of Anglo-America.  Even if per capita production and quality of goods and services were on par, I would argue that because of the difference in decision rules, both economies would not be equal.

And would it necessarily be a bad thing if both groups were not economically equal where each group decided via its own standards how best to distribute income and wealth?

Donald Trump should not want to be president. He should want to rule …

It has been my observation that after three years in office, presidents take on a certain demeanor that exudes competence in the job, including how to engage the public, how to propose and enact policy, and, most importantly, how to satisfy the bond markets. Mr Trump does not exude any of these qualities.
 
To govern well in a three tiered government system, you have to pretend to believe in democracy, distract the masses with advocacy for the republican form of government while in reality bending as many local and state governments as possible to your will and vision.
 
A true “tough guy” never blusters or engages in puffery. Like my father, the Original Alton Drew, was fond of saying, your bluff will be called. Rather, a tough guy rules the way music should be listened to. He should be felt, not heard, and the inability to be felt and not heard is resulting in local and state governments not falling in line and a federal government not worth the taxes it collects.
 
What you are seeing now in America is not the beauty of democracy, but its inefficiency, depravity, and imbalance. This volatility stems from the top.
 
Yes, the United States may be a combination of fifty sovereign states, but it was meant to be governed as one big pool of resources exploited by the few. That means keeping every jurisdiction in line with the program. Donald Trump doesn’t understand the program. Donald Trump shouldn’t want to be President. He should want to rule. There is a difference…

The companionship provided by artificial intelligence …

 

AI companion robots have been used for years to help patients struggling with illness feel comforted when loved ones are unable to be by their side. For some medical professionals, the robot of choice is Paro — an artificially intelligent companion seal invented by roboticist Takanori Shibata. Paro’s companionship qualities have been effective at reducing the use of psychotropic drugs, improving blood pressure and oxygenation levels, and stoking emotional responses in Alzheimer’s patients.

During the coronavirus pandemic, new use cases for AI companion robots have surfaced. In addition to patient care, Paro has been used as a stress-relief tool for overextended virus testing employees and to combat loneliness in frontline workers that have isolated themselves to protect their families from contracting the disease.

“Since we can’t have human interaction right now, it’s certainly a lot better than nothing,” said MIT robotics ethicist Kate Darling about the use of AI companion robots during the pandemic.

Other companion robots on the market include Sony’s child-monitoring dog Aibo and Joy for All’s animal-like robots, to name a few.

Watch Paro in action, courtesy of CNBC:

Trump’s rural broadband plan provides more financial support than Biden’s plan …

Rural communities may get an influx of new residents from urban centers according to a study cited by Axios.  Nearly a third of Americans are considering moving to less densely populated areas with more urban residents considering making a move versus suburban or rural residents.

Given the nation-wide work in place requirements faced by many Americans and an increase in demand for additional broadband bandwidth as Americans turn living rooms, kitchen tables, and dens into work spaces, new rural residents will want the same quality of broadband services necessary to fulfill their employers or business customer needs. This means closing the gap between broadband gap between rural areas and urban areas faster than expected.

Apparent Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has declared in his campaign platform budget support for broadband funding.  Mr Biden would like to provide $20 billion of financial support for broadband build-outs in rural communities.  He asserts that this amounts to three times the amount previously provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Connect Grants Program. The program funds broadband deployment into rural communities where it is not yet economically viable for private sector providers to deliver service.

Donald Trump’s most significant contribution to rural broadband deployment so far has been the $50 billion Rural Infrastructure Program.  Eighty percent of the program funds was allocated to state governors and the remaining 20% was allocated to select states that applied for Rural Performance Grants.

Politically, I don’t see the needle being moved very much in favor of either candidate’s efforts to become president.  Whether he wins or loses, Mr Trump could leave a legacy of broadband funding that resulted in economic growth bleeding over into rural areas as broadband companies leverage the government’s incentives into creating new services, particularly in 5G network technology.  Studies show that 5G deployment is expected to create 8.5 million jobs between 2019 and 2025.  5G deployment, construction, and consumer spending is expected to fuel job growth of 394,700 jobs in Los Angeles, New York City, Pittsburgh, and Roanoke alone.  Both candidates hope that federal government spending can bring some of these jobs to rural areas.