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Author Topic: Children in a free state  (Read 20048 times)

RhythmStar

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #45 on: June 14, 2003, 11:39:29 am »

Sure, "public" and "private" are not clearly defined.  The principle must still be met.  Otherwise, the USDA will continue to publish pamplets on how to mow a lawn.


In computer tech, the quality of documentation and technical support are big factors in selecting a vendor.  I guess this is something that all vendors could benefit from doing, although I also see how gov't presence would impede that.

HOWEVER, there is a need for technical standards, especially in the engineering fields.  This is an area where I see unbridled privatization as having potentially disasterous side-effects that would be difficult to explain to non-technical voters.

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Your next para misses the thesis of those seeking smaller government.  A USG study, more properly a function of the private sector, can NEVER have a "reasonable" cost.  There are practical exceptions but I allude to principle and not certain matters of state.

As an engineer, I like detail.  The single-minded focus on their thesis by small-gov't advocates sets off alarms for me regarding details being ignored.  Perhaps I am just focusing on the wrong end of the elephant.  However, those who argue for statist constructs always bring up these details.  Mantra-like repitition of a theme may be good for some things, but it leaves implementation-minded folks hungry.

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Otherwise, economic distortions occur, eg large government hospitals with large fixed budgets located in areas of depleted population.

Large and centralized is in general a bad thing.  Wherever it happens, the risk that demand will wane exists.  

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The bridge example is called fallacy.

It is a rhetorical example to illustrate a point.  Even if one assumes that the publicly-built bridge is far costlier than a privately-built alternative, it's functional value as a bridge is not lessened.  While you may not need to be convinced of this, it seems there are those around here who do (albeit not in this thread).

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I am not a Libertarian.  I am a Republican.  Your supposition can't get addressed by me.  I have many posts here discussing transition from government programs to the private sector.  Again, I believe in transition.  My writings document this and my work products demonstrate this.

I am registered as a Libertarian, but I am not purely in their camp.  I tend to vote Libertarian for local politics and Democrat at the national level.  The reason is that I would rather pay an extra 50K a year in taxes than to have my civil liberties abridged by social conservatives and religious reconstructionists.   Since the desire to curtail civil liberties is so often a religious issue, I see the chance of getting Libertarians to recognize the Fair Use rights to the commons, and to make some principled decisions regarding their fellow citizens' well-being, as a far better bet than getting those other people, who think allowing me to live free will incur the wrath of God on the nation, to let my civil liberties be.  

I also do not buy into the foreign intervention thing, which seems to always expand under Republican administrations.

Besides, I am very staunchly AGAINST deficit spending.  If herion is the irresistable addiction for the morally weak, then deficit spending is the heroin of the political class -- they get to bribe themselves into office with the future earnings of children, while neatly avoiding all the hard fiscal questions.  I guess my position on deficit spending is as flexible as your position on publically-funded research. :)

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Those "working strategies" already exist.  I accept the FSP program because it concentrates these preexisting programs in a small state to get magnified.  

So pick a problem domain and lay a few on me.  People looking for solutions cannot allow themselves to fall prey to the 'not invented here' syndrome.

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Your example of closing down a public utility is fallacy.  If the operation is indeed a public utility, it must be retained and maintained.  Review of the tariff is another matter.  Dominion Resources/Virginia Power is exempt from review because of lifestyle requirements of some. I'm sure this situation can be found in 2 or 3 other places.  

FWIW, the LA Dept. of Water and Power is a great foil to the fallacy that all publicly-run enterprises must be inefficient and badly-managed.  In a state full of failed private utilities and sky-high rates, LADWP delivers energy at a rate far below the private utilities, competitive with (probably) any private utility in the nation.  They also generate a surplus of energy, which they sell to surrounding communities.   If one can set aside ideology for a moment, one should be able to see that whether an enterprise is well-run or not has everything to do with management and far less to do with who owns the shares.   For example, if all LA DWP customers were given shares in LA DWP, and the LA DWP was reorganized as a non-profit corporation, how would this model necessarily be bad?

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A collective question could not be:"What are you FSP people going to do about the children?!?".  The more realistic scenerio will be asking in the hallway  :" Who can I speak with to get my grandson in your school over at Maple Street and Elm? X needs a little help in Y and I know that you successfully helped...."  

That presumes connections that often do not exist.  Information must be where people can find it, and you cannot assume that they will find it from their neighbors.  Who says they know their neighbors?  Who says their neighbors will help them if asked, or be able to help if willing?  The Internet is the only mechanism (today) that may effectively combat the natural stratification of connected vs unconnected, by connecting everyone regardless of station.  Yet, even there, we have the 'digital divide'.  

OTOH, as long as free libraries with free Internet access for users exist, then there is the possibility that all people can find what they need, when it indeed exists.

Anyway, it is my opinion that as long as the small-government movement meets the challenge of 'how will you do it?' with vague allusions to private means, they will always be viewed by the majority as being selfish at best, and duplicitous at worst.  I don't happen to think that's the case, but I do think some evolution needs to happen on the small gov't side before the PR issue will fade.  Concrete examples would go a long way towards that end.

RS
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Zack Bass

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #46 on: June 14, 2003, 12:01:00 pm »


  ... if all LA DWP customers were given shares in LA DWP, and the LA DWP was reorganized as a non-profit corporation, how would this model necessarily be bad?


What good are shares in a non-profit corporation?
Will anybody give me money for them?  Am I even allowed to sell them, since you say they are "given" only to Customers of the DWP.
The only value I can see for them is in their corrupt use: use their voting power to skim money from the corporation, e.g. through bribes for contracts.  I certainly have no incentive to make the corporation profitable, since that is impossible.

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BobW

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #47 on: June 14, 2003, 12:21:08 pm »

Hi Rhythm Star,

Basically, we're just "fighting" over details.

The small government movement is throughout the country.  It's just not going anywhere witho ut concentration.

In government selection of vendors there are other superordinate factors.  The horror stories are well known.

Many industries have tech standards, eg aviation, maritime, finance.

Alarms are healthy.  Details are not ignored.  They are assigned to engineers and others.

Actually, foreign intervention is bipartisan.  Since "modern times" both parties expanded this.

Working strategies are in the mill even the N.I.H. (Not Invented Here) is pending.  Transport Canada is being watched to privatize FAA, financial crime investigations by private contractors in the UK is being studied for the US to copy.  Educators have embryonic programs to expand on.  You know the roadblock here.

A major headache - with a quiet plan is health care rationing.  It can be seen in Dept of Vet Affairs.

I'm not familiar with LADWP so cannot comment.  One general problem is that shareholders can sometimes pick management that shouldn't be there.  I'm not addressing LAPWD but am thinking of Wall Street.  

A nonprofit could be bad for shareholders as soon as a competitor moves in.  The company can't always make quality businss decisions.  It's the United Airlines syndrome (ESOP [employee stock ownership plan]).

The small government movement is not operating on "vague allusions".  Heck, the Defense Department is being contracted out.  it's no illusion. The PR is following our reforms.

BobW
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RhythmStar

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #48 on: June 14, 2003, 02:46:19 pm »


  ... if all LA DWP customers were given shares in LA DWP, and the LA DWP was reorganized as a non-profit corporation, how would this model necessarily be bad?


What good are shares in a non-profit corporation?
Will anybody give me money for them?  Am I even allowed to sell them, since you say they are "given" only to Customers of the DWP.

They give you a voting share in the election of the Board of Directors, just like any other corporations.  And no, it would be silly to sell them as that would give other people your voice in the operation of the utility.

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The only value I can see for them is in their corrupt use: use their voting power to skim money from the corporation, e.g. through bribes for contracts.  I certainly have no incentive to make the corporation profitable, since that is impossible.

Bylaws can prevent such corruption.  IAC, it is a Bad Idea to usurp the power of the BOD to manage, as the shareholders rarely have the time or inclination to become familiar with the details and operations often have critical time factors.  Nevertheless, contracting guidelines can help control cost, although forcing bids to go to the lowest bidder is a formula for disaster, if you ask me.  Cheapest is NOT always the best value, particularly in the power generation business.

As for the profit issue, operating surpluses could be folded into the utility cash fund and earn interest.  At the annual shareholder's meeting, the question of whether the monies should go to some capital project, or be reimbursed to the shareholders as a utility bill dividend could come up.  So, there is no reason that a profit of sorts could not be generated.   In fact, if the utility had saleable excess generation capacity, there is no reason that you couldn't get your electricity for free AND get a check too!  Why not?

RS
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BobW

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #49 on: June 14, 2003, 09:48:07 pm »

Hi Zack,

Ref: Reply # 46

That's an excellent point, Zack.

BobW
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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #50 on: June 14, 2003, 10:00:51 pm »

Hi Rhythm Star,

Bylaws, contracting guidelines, shareholders meetings etc aren't working as of now.

Utility cash funds (paid vacations) arent working in California.

Besides electricity and a check too, why not throw in free lunch at the shareholders meeting?

RS, are you writing from California??

BobW
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Zack Bass

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #51 on: June 15, 2003, 05:45:55 am »


  ... no, it would be silly to sell them as that would give other people your voice in the operation of the utility


I don't consider a share I can't sell as something I "own".
And if I do own one it is not silly to sell it, since I get something of value in exchange.  Heck, I'm moving anyhow.

Quote

  ... it is a Bad Idea to usurp the power of the BOD to manage


Not if by doing so I can skim money from the Corporation to line my own pockets.

Quote

Bylaws can prevent such corruption.


Then Permit Bureaus and Zoning Boards ought to have bylaws, and many of our problems will be solved.
If only Enron had had bylaws....

Quote

As for the profit issue, operating surpluses could be folded into the utility cash fund and earn interest.  At the annual shareholder's meeting, the question of whether the monies should go to some capital project, or be reimbursed to the shareholders as a utility bill dividend could come up.  So, there is no reason that a profit of sorts could not be generated.   In fact, if the utility had saleable excess generation capacity, there is no reason that you couldn't get your electricity for free AND get a check too!


Shareholder Dividends... sounds a lot like a For-Profit Corporation to me.

If I get a check just for being a Consumer, I'll be sure to subdivide each room of my house into an apartment and get multiple checks.  If I save carefully, in a few months I can get a loan to wire up thousands of new teensy-weensy one-square-foot apartments and get a check for every one of them.  I don't see any limit to the wealth I can generate.

« Last Edit: June 15, 2003, 05:59:07 am by Zack Bass »
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RhythmStar

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #52 on: June 15, 2003, 02:30:06 pm »

>>bylaws, etc. not working

Corruption exists and must be rooted out, prosecuted and punished.  That's what we have laws and police forces and prisons for.

As for Enron et al, Waksal got sentenced many years in prison for his white-collar crime.  I sure hope some Enron execs follow him into the slammer.  

>>for-profit

Actually, I think the current formulation of for-profit vs non-profit corporations is a little arbitrary.  However, there is nothing stopping us from creating new vehicles of joint ownership, except perhaps a bit of political inertia.  I would think political inertia would be the thing FSP folk would be the least discouraged by, considering the project. :)

>>free vacations

I have no idea what you are talking about.

Corporations are collectives.  The only difference is in how one comes by the shares and what one can do with them.  In all other aspects, they are structurally quite similar -- authoritarian rule by committee, individual autonomy sacrificed to the group, joint ownership of the means of production, etc.  In essence, a for-profit corporation is a collective you can buy and sell shares in, while the non-profit corporation is one where the shares are granted to provide voting rights pertaining to electing the BOD and are generally not transferable, while the organization has certain restrictions on its activities in return for a tax exemption.  

I note that there are also some restrictions on the transference of certain classes of shares in many for-profit corporations as well.  (shrug)

If one eschews all collective enterprise, then you may as well ABOLISH corporations altogether an allow only partnerships and LLCs.  And even that does not protect you from the spectre of employees and customers being also equity partners, although it may limit the possibility in practice.

RS
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RhythmStar

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #53 on: June 15, 2003, 02:34:08 pm »

Zack says:
Quote
I don't consider a share I can't sell as something I "own".
And if I do own one it is not silly to sell it, since I get something of value in exchange.  Heck, I'm moving anyhow.

OK.  Can I buy your right to vote in the Free State?  I think maybe if I just buy all the voting rights, then I can be King and you guys can all work at my garbage-oil plant.  :)

RS
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jeanius

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #54 on: June 15, 2003, 03:25:33 pm »

I believe that the crime and courts response to child abuse is the best approach.  Just as assault and battery is dealt with between adults violence (including sex abuse) to children should be treated similarly.  

The argument so many have proposed which has led to the incredible power of the government in this area now is "what if a child slips through the cracks".  This has led to the ability of a neighbor with a dispute to call CPS and file a report that could cause your children to be removed from your home.  "Better a mistake than a child abused" is the cry of the protectors.

Well, children in bad situations are *still* falling through the cracks and the rights of people who have done no harm have been trampled.  I would argue that children will fall through the cracks regardless of the method used.  I would also argue for not trampling on the rights of parents.

There is no 100% solution.  Something that might help is to confront adults we think might be abusers.  If your neighbor's kid is black and blue all the time, talk to the neighbor, talk to the kid.  Abusers like to hide so confrontation could be a deterent.  I'm not talking about being a spy but rather reacting to obvious evidence.  This could be problematic if people treat this idea as open season to pry into their neighbors' lives.  Before the government stepped in to take care of us all communities played a bigger role in this sort of thing.
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RhythmStar

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #55 on: June 15, 2003, 04:40:39 pm »

Suppose that a non-invasive technology existed that could tell if a person was lying with 100% accuracy.  Assume that the device had been proven effective in all cases where the subject knew they were telling a falsehood.

Should the state be able to use such a device to pre-screen alleged perps?  Kinda like a mental Breath-a-lyzer?   Or, would this violate protections against self-incrimination?

RS
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BobW

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #56 on: June 15, 2003, 11:01:08 pm »

Hi Rhythm Star,

Ref # 52;

I am going to present a guarantee here.  Corruption wil not be rooted out nor prosecuted nor punished.  Some high-profile, easily adaptable to TV coverage cases, will be for the symbolism - but that's all.

The laws, police forces and prisons are established and run to serve a different era.  There is no way a block of 100 federal investigators at GS13 level can compete against a block of 500 private sector defenders earning US$3K.  This is what is going on now.  Save for the high profile cases suitable for broadcast coverage such as Enron, the big stuff is unknown to the American public.

Corps and not for profits can be viewed as a distinction without a difference.  Look at the payroll, the executive compensation packages and the ability to contract.  Then, look at the contracts.

There IS a roadblock to correction and it is not political inertia.  A "political machine" is needed.  As of 15 June 03, we do not have one. Maybe later.  I'm ready to move.

My comment re utility cash funds = (paid vacations).  Those funds encompass the slush funds.  By an Arkansas coincidence (term coined by Wesley Pruden, Editor of WASHINGTON TIMES), their meetings are sort of like ...

Please don't think I only address public utilities.  Two years ago, all the States Veterans Affairs Committee (about 40 states have their own state agency that is not critical to the citizenry)  had their annual meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico!  We didn't win on this one but some of our adversies are now scared because we monitor.

California isn't the worse place.  It's just a good place to report from because the broadcast journalists have good background scenery.  

Unless and until we move we are in a combined beer joint/coffee club.

Ref a for profit corp; pro forma, the shares might be available for purchase but as for buying in;...you still might need permission from the corporation.  Even in not for profits, don't label the B of D as holy as Oliver Cromwell's Round Heads.  These systems are rigged.

Collective enterprize isn't the problem.  An environment where the political aspects are addressed and maintained repeat - and maintained -is needed.

Until a move and a practiced machine in place, United Way will continue to compensate their honchos more than the rewards given to America's engineers who build things, invent things and repair things.

BobW
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BobW

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #57 on: June 15, 2003, 11:03:45 pm »

Hi Rhythm Star,

Ref # 52;

I am going to present a guarantee here.  Corruption wil not be rooted out nor prosecuted nor punished.  Some high-profile, easily adaptable to TV coverage cases, will be for the symbolism - but that's all.

The laws, police forces and prisons are established and run to serve a different era.  There is no way a block of 100 federal investigators at GS13 level can compete against a block of 500 private sector defenders earning US$3K.  This is what is going on now.  Save for the high profile cases suitable for broadcast coverage such as Enron, the big stuff is unknown to the American public.

Corps and not for profits can be viewed as a distinction without a difference.  Look at the payroll, the executive compensation packages and the ability to contract.  Then, look at the contracts.

There IS a roadblock to correction and it is not political inertia.  A "political machine" is needed.  As of 15 June 03, we do not have one. Maybe later.  I'm ready to move.

My comment re utility cash funds = (paid vacations).  Those funds encompass the slush funds.  By an Arkansas coincidence (term coined by Wesley Pruden, Editor of WASHINGTON TIMES), their meetings are sort of like ...

Please don't think I only address public utilities.  Two years ago, all the States Veterans Affairs Committee (about 40 states have their own state agency that is not critical to the citizenry)  had their annual meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico!  We didn't win on this one but some of our adversies are now scared because we monitor.

California isn't the worse place.  It's just a good place to report from because the broadcast journalists have good background scenery.  

Unless and until we move we are in a combined beer joint/coffee club.

Ref a for profit corp; pro forma, the shares might be available for purchase but as for buying in;...you still might need permission from the corporation.  Even in not for profits, don't label the B of D as holy as Oliver Cromwell's Round Heads.  These systems are rigged.

Collective enterprize isn't the problem.  An environment where the political aspects are addressed and maintained repeat - and maintained -is needed.

Until a move and a practiced machine in place, United Way will continue to compensate their honchos more than the rewards given to America's engineers who build things, invent things and repair things.

BobW
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BobW

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #58 on: June 15, 2003, 11:03:59 pm »

Hi Rhythm Star,

Ref # 52;

I am going to present a guarantee here.  Corruption wil not be rooted out nor prosecuted nor punished.  Some high-profile, easily adaptable to TV coverage cases, will be for the symbolism - but that's all.

The laws, police forces and prisons are established and run to serve a different era.  There is no way a block of 100 federal investigators at GS13 level can compete against a block of 500 private sector defenders earning US$3K.  This is what is going on now.  Save for the high profile cases suitable for broadcast coverage such as Enron, the big stuff is unknown to the American public.

Corps and not for profits can be viewed as a distinction without a difference.  Look at the payroll, the executive compensation packages and the ability to contract.  Then, look at the contracts.

There IS a roadblock to correction and it is not political inertia.  A "political machine" is needed.  As of 15 June 03, we do not have one. Maybe later.  I'm ready to move.

My comment re utility cash funds = (paid vacations).  Those funds encompass the slush funds.  By an Arkansas coincidence (term coined by Wesley Pruden, Editor of WASHINGTON TIMES), their meetings are sort of like ...

Please don't think I only address public utilities.  Two years ago, all the States Veterans Affairs Committee (about 40 states have their own state agency that is not critical to the citizenry)  had their annual meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico!  We didn't win on this one but some of our adversies are now scared because we monitor.

California isn't the worse place.  It's just a good place to report from because the broadcast journalists have good background scenery.  

Unless and until we move we are in a combined beer joint/coffee club.

Ref a for profit corp; pro forma, the shares might be available for purchase but as for buying in;...you still might need permission from the corporation.  Even in not for profits, don't label the B of D as holy as Oliver Cromwell's Round Heads.  These systems are rigged.

Collective enterprize isn't the problem.  An environment where the political aspects are addressed and maintained repeat - and maintained -is needed.

Until a move and a practiced machine in place, United Way will continue to compensate their honchos more than the rewards given to America's engineers who build things, invent things and repair things.

BobW
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BobW

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #59 on: June 15, 2003, 11:06:35 pm »

Hi Rhythm Star,

Ref # 52;

I am going to present a guarantee here.  Corruption wil not be rooted out nor prosecuted nor punished.  Some high-profile, easily adaptable to TV coverage cases, will be for the symbolism - but that's all.

The laws, police forces and prisons are established and run to serve a different era.  There is no way a block of 100 federal investigators at GS13 level can compete against a block of 500 private sector defenders earning US$3K.  This is what is going on now.  Save for the high profile cases suitable for broadcast coverage such as Enron, the big stuff is unknown to the American public.

Corps and not for profits can be viewed as a distinction without a difference.  Look at the payroll, the executive compensation packages and the ability to contract.  Then, look at the contracts.

There IS a roadblock to correction and it is not political inertia.  A "political machine" is needed.  As of 15 June 03, we do not have one. Maybe later.  I'm ready to move.

My comment re utility cash funds = (paid vacations).  Those funds encompass the slush funds.  By an Arkansas coincidence (term coined by Wesley Pruden, Editor of WASHINGTON TIMES), their meetings are sort of like ...

Please don't think I only address public utilities.  Two years ago, all the States Veterans Affairs Committee (about 40 states have their own state agency that is not critical to the citizenry)  had their annual meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico!  We didn't win on this one but some of our adversies are now scared because we monitor.

California isn't the worse place.  It's just a good place to report from because the broadcast journalists have good background scenery.  

Unless and until we move we are in a combined beer joint/coffee club.

Ref a for profit corp; pro forma, the shares might be available for purchase but as for buying in;...you still might need permission from the corporation.  Even in not for profits, don't label the B of D as holy as Oliver Cromwell's Round Heads.  These systems are rigged.

Collective enterprize isn't the problem.  An environment where the political aspects are addressed and maintained repeat - and maintained -is needed.

Until a move and a practiced machine in place, United Way will continue to compensate their honchos more than the rewards given to America's engineers who build things, invent things and repair things.

BobW
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