Rebuilding America

Posted in Uncategorized on April 24, 2015 by alg0rhythm

energyREBUILDING AMERICA, Clean and Green

3 Million new jobs, 100 billion+ in additional tax revenue, 1st year 12.5 GDP

growth, with an average of 6% over 5 years, and 25 % cut to GHG (with

more after testing begins), unemployment down below 3%, better, long

lasting products, more money in consumer’s pockets

Year 1 (Building envelope and housing focused)

Inputs

(in B$$)

0      National building code, with penalties, and hold on sale/rental based on energy efficiency

as well as energy usage meters on cords of devices, phase in 2020, which is also the

payout year on the lend loss insurance. National recycling standards bill, requiring 2

weekly pick up, and 90% material reusability for electronics

-25 Training program –

{Treasury} Turn out 2 million qualified energy experts,  priority for recent  fossil fuel employees

levels, minimum energy efficiency of windows, doors and building envelopes,

Land grant colleges

20,000 teachers @65k (includes overhead) @ to teach Energy audit HVAC and

insulation

Stipends for 1 million low income/ hardship grants for 6 months @12,500

1 million no tuition scholarships

+100 Green bond issues-

{Public sales} Lend loss fund for 1 Trillion(assuming a very conservative 10% fail rate) in gov backed

conservation bonds for efficiency(up to 50% deal size), generation (20%), cosmetic(max

30%)

Outputs

Savings increase, nationally as the bonds become savings currency at high yield 4%

(in B$$)

1000 Retrofits and upgrades–

10 Million buildings being upgraded, building material sales, labor

+100 Revenue increase

Assumes a very low Income tax collection of 10% on the trillion spent

Critical points to understand the urgency of Climate Change

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 23, 2015 by alg0rhythm

7 points I want people to know about Climate Change

  1. Every major scientific organization on the planet has agreed that mankinds greenhouse gas emissions are a major factor in the changing of our climate.
  2. Most of Science behind Climate change, the Green house effect, has been around since before the Civil War, and the core theory was finished before World War I. John Tyndall and James Arrhenius, whose equations were as horrible as his name sounds.
  3. Though climate models being a system as large as the earth are very complex, the science of the Green House effect basically no more complicated than insulation, and dark clothing on a hot day. Just like wool is warmer than polyester, holding in more heat, carbon dioxide and methane are warmer and hold more heat in than oxygen and nitrogen
  4. The reason why the northern ice cap is so important is not because the sea levels will rise so significantly. It’s because instead of a white ice cube on the top of the earth, we will have the dark green sea, which, if you’ve ever worn dark colors on a hot day, the earth will absorb more heat instead of reflecting… something like double the amount. Further, it is believed that there is massive amounts of methane below the ice, the most potent green house gas, enough to change the content of the atmosphere significantly
  5. The worst case scenario of a runaway green house effect is extinction for the human race, likely in under a 100 years. There was the Greatest Generation post WWII, there was the lost generation, and, it’s entirely possible that children born from 2025 or so will be known as the Last generation.
  6. We use 100 thousand billion kilowatt hours of energy per year, all of it by burning fuel- creating heat energy to release energy that wouldn’t ordinarily be out there, even a hundred years ago. Every device you have, every time you get in a car, every time you leave a light on, somewhere, something is being burned to create that energy. The idea that this would have no effect on our environment or that we do not in general, is silly, particularly if you subscribe to the law of unintended consequences.
  7. We waste half of all energy that is produced, either by leaving lights on, underinsulating buildings, leaving things plugged in that don’t need to be, or by producing crap to throw away, plastic bags, napkins disposables… So, we could cut down on greenhouse gas emissions- more than half- by learning to make the most use of what we have.

The need for Justice in America

Posted in Uncategorized on February 11, 2015 by alg0rhythm
Side by side comparisons of major industrial countries rate of death via police

Side by side comparisons of major industrial countries rate of death via police

source: http://www.killedbypolice.net

The comparison to other nations, and the daily inundation with  new cases of police killings makes it clear, there is an epidemic problem in this country around police behavior; 1000+ more killings by police per year than any other nation, the next highest is around 14. This also speaks to the strong likely hood that many more, non fatal police brutalities happen

Many people, seem to shrug off the killing of humans by police as unfortunate issues arising from “resisting arrest”, or dismiss the death as a real consequence of having disobeyed the law or an officer. While facism, like many isms, is an oft debated definition, the ability of people tasked with upholding the law being able to kill at will is contained within all of them. As a person who proscribes to the lessons of Confucius, I believe it is the failure to understand not the whole law, legal process, but simply the role, the definition of what an officer- (I make the distinction of a “peace officer”) is supposed to do.

The role of a police officer aka an officer of the peace, is, to me, is to
1. de-escalate dangerous situations in order to preserve life
2. restore situations to alignment with the law
3. to observe assess, cite, and summon individuals guilty of violating local codes to see a judge empowered to make more critical decisions regarding the severity, up to and including long term limitations of basic rights as consequence to infractions upon others.

This seems to be a logical extension of the simple lightweight, yet powerful principles laid down in the Declaration of Independence, which I hold as law for the United States of America, which say essentially:

Governments are created to keep people from harming one another, and to assure that they may live, free to pursue that which can make them happy, and governments that harm their citizens or impede upon their freedom without sufficient cause, i.e. hurting another citizen, are illegitimate, and must be changed.

This to me is a great summation of a government’s role with regards to an individual, (there are many and more complex roles regarding resource management, money creation, infrastructure building, and defense, but it serves well to create basic understandings of what government should and should not be)
and I would ask that if you agree with those statements, you make your understanding of the law to be that, and there is actually, a very, strong argument for the Declarational principles being law, one that I I will make elsewhere.

Next steps:

For now, every member of law enforcement in this country should swear an oath to to the role, approximately as laid out.

Department of Justice, in accordance with the Constitution, and the Declaration, must set a floor for police behavior as representative of the government, and audit the overall behavior of police as it relates to core US codes.- this would seem to be within their Constitutional authority already, but possibly a need for a national Constitutional Convention like the NY CC of 1801- to examine not only how the law is written, but how the principles which govern those laws play out in day to day processes, and

Examination of what constitutes an arrestable offense; as this is certainly a punishment, for any length of time, it would seem to be a violation of one’s liberty, and innocence until proven guilty.

Possible additional steps include:

Establishing a 3 strike max on brutality cases depending on severity, and zero tolerance for police misconduct that leads to the deaths of citizens- immediate dismissal, with the possibility of criminal charges

Rapid settlement of police cases where wrongdoing is obvious, in whole or at least in part, where there are quantity disputes (Eric Garner)

Examination of the grand jury process, 97% indictment rate for federal cases and a seemingly 0% indictment rate for police, it seems like an expensive extension of prosecutorial discretion.

Length of trial as a whole, as it seems clear anecdotally that longer cases trend toward innocence results,  nor is it clear that year long trials aid in justice, especially when there is little dispute as to essential facts.

Specifically in the case of McCullough, by his own words,he should be charged with obstruction of Justice, as he knowingly presented false testimony to the Grand Jury, and presented them with irrelevant and misleading case law, as well as changing a well established practice for obtaining the “ham sandwich”‘s indictment for another, producing a statistically unlikely result.

Missouri should be liable for any damages resulting from Ferguson riots. The governor took on the responsibility of stopping riots, had weeks to prepare, and was unable to stop the looting? And why you would release the verdict at 9 PM ? Ferguson’s business districts cannot be so large that a hundred or so officers, with mobile units backing them up couldn’t have covered them.

Drug prices wow!

Posted in Uncategorized on February 8, 2015 by alg0rhythm

HealthCare System

A woman I know, practically old enough to be my mother, gets a rheumatiod arthritis medication. The cost to the government for this is monthly is:

$2904.63

+

$152.88 payment.

$3057.61 for a monthly dose 50mg/.5 mL in a plastic automatic dose syringe, disposable

or about

$37,000 per year to treat a disease

being a former chemist, sometime finance guy, I wanted to see what the unit cost was, using 9th grade science skills (thanks, mr. Knudson) reinforce by collegiate and professional work…

Let’s see .5 mL, means 2 in an mL

2 x $3057.61  =1 mL

2000 x $3057.61=1L

move decimal over three places

2 x $3,057,610= 1L

1L = $6,115,220

by weight,  this drug is

$305,761 dollars a gram, by comparison, after golds rapid inflation in price,

it is now, around $1400 a Troy OUNCE,  31 grams, or about 45$ per gram

or it is approximately 9000x gold value

Why I do and don’t agree with Mayor Deblasios protest moratorium and other points

Posted in Uncategorized on December 26, 2014 by alg0rhythm

pluses++ first,

I think holidays is a time for pause, to be spent with families as much as is possible, and the protest movement has created a national stir, they’ve done a lot of work, have to be tired, and need to recharge, something activists often overlook. That’s what the holidays are, this natural space for people to rest and connect to their blood ties and closest friends, enjoying themselves from the perspective of where they came from as well as where they have migrated to.

The death of the officers was a tragedy, a targeted killing, though not an assassination,

The retraining suggested by Mayor Deblasio, around community relations, and use of force is absolutely necessary, ASAP, though it should be noted that the retraining of 35,000 people will take months, even with maximal

There is still a need for police, there are people who use guns, and force, and we do not have the person to person networks to police and protect ourselves. So the function is still necessary, and respect makes their jobs doable.

minuses–

i understand the impulses not to, though, because, like an open wound, immediate, obvious steps have not been taken, and while words of understanding are definitely necessary,  actions that follow

If Commissioner Bratton believes that groups behave better when there is strict enforcement on the small things leads to a better behaved group, I’d like to see examples of how that works- from violation of NYPD internal rules.

In New York City,  if episodes of Bewitched are to be believed, if you work at an elite advertising agency, you break expressly stated rules and lose a client, you get fired, and no one will protect you or feel sorry for you. Apparently, at an elite law enforcement agency,  you can break rules, and someone dies, and they will bend over backwards to keep you on and protect you from criminal prosecution. I make the radical proposition that law enforcement be minimally held to the same high moral and ethical standard associated with the advertising industry.

overall,

Unless someone can come up with a fantastic account of the overwhelming competence and unusual skills of the officers involved in Gurley, Graham, and Garner cases, the officers should be dismissed, immediately, and a formal, joint investigation of the process used to follow up on these cases by Justice and the state AG office, with recommendations for improving the process.

In order to have the credibility to fight crime, and enforce rules,  people must know that enforcers of the law also obey it. When the situation is bad enough that they end up going after their own, it needs to change.

http://theurbandaily.com/2014/12/25/black-nypd-cops-fear-other-officers-when-off-duty/

The roles of the police should be reinforced, and probably through a City Council resolution, something like this, perhaps even as a police oath.

The role of a police officer aka an officer of the peace, is, to me, is to 1. de-escalate dangerous situations in order to preserve life 1st 2. restore situations to alignment with the law 3. to observe assess, cite, and summon individuals guilty of violating local codes to see a judge empowered to make more critical decisions regarding the severity, up to and including long term limitations of basic rights as consequence to infractions upon others.

Eric Garner, and how to clean up police depts or Graces and Disgraces of the Law and Order in New York City

Posted in Uncategorized on August 27, 2014 by alg0rhythm

The role of the police is to protect the lives, the liberty and the happiness of the people, from one another. But equal protection under the law also means equal protection from the law, and nationally it has become apparent that the current system is producing police with a shoot first mentality, rather than a protect the citizens mentality, as well as far, far too many prisoners. It is this on going imbalance that led me to the Eric Garner march on Staten Island.
I found it to be reassuring that things are moving in the right direction, especially considering the caliber of the speakers who were there, and the stated convictions of the speakers- respectful of the role of police officers as necessary to the community, but reinforcing of the simple idea that police themselves must obey the law, and be very displined. Included were the family of Eric Garner, along with that of Ramarley Graham, Sean Bell, and Diallo, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries a Bishop, Dan Cantor of Working Families Party (huge in NYC and growing outward), heads of the Teachers Union, SEIU, and CWA, and of course, the brilliant and controversial speaker, organizer of the event Al Sharpton. He said he was helping the officers, getting them to remove the bad apples before they spoiled the bunch. One of the most informative speeches came from a retired 20 year veteran of NYPD, who revealed that officers in the cases of all of slain men violated NYPD protocol in the process of the killings.
To give an idea of my perspective, and understand why the issue of brutality and police misbehavior is important to me is that I was beaten badly by police with my hands in the air, because I pointed out that they were beating someone else (white, actually), and I ended up getting the worst of it. A quarter inch gash in my leg, and a charge of assaulting a police officer, for “ kicking and punching the officer while sitting on his chest” As though he was ever more than 10 feet away from 8 other cops at the concert.

All was not flowers and candy though- the change in location from the VeraCruzano bridge to a location on the mostly black North Shore. was a little disappointing, as it seems to be a nod towards not disrupting business as usual,which you gotta do sometimes. They also shut down the busses out of the terminal and routed everything on the subway to another stop, meaning SI’s mostly white South Shore community was routed completely around the march, meaning it essentially occurred in an echo chamber, allowing the community to vent- let off steam- without anyone else seeing. This came as a request from the Mayor Bill DeBlasio. A mayor who had spoken at Occupy’s Zuccotti Park, and had been a verbal opponent of stop and frisk. Post election though, he has shown support for what he calls “ limited” use. He also hired Bill Bratton.

Bratton’s version of broken windows, is a discredit to the name of a valid social theory regarding how chaotic environments (i.e. broken windows) contribute to crime levels. Some how that has become stopping petty crimes somehow stops major crimes, like a “gateway crimes” theory. It has led to a 100+% increase in subway dancer, and subway swipe arrests, as the correlation between subway dancing and armed robbery is well documented, by no social scientist, ever. It seems to be a direct line from the stop and frisk concept, more people shook down, intimidates people into behaving better. It has also very obviously been disproportionately applied. There was at one point 5 people in a jail cell (so I heard) that were there for using someone else’s reduced fare metrocard, at least 3 of them, who would miss work going through the system. Another person was there for SWIPING someone else on.

I also have a hard time not thinking through the cost benefit analysis- you have a police officer, who, between equipment costs salary, pension and administration costs the city somewhere in the neighborhood of 120,000 a year- at least 400$ a shift, watching to nab a person using a reduced fare card- 1.50 instead of 2.50… so 399$ net cost, plus staff at the jail, and the courthouse, over 24 hours… almost forgot- overtime, sometimes, because from nab to booking, takes 4-8 hours. I’d tell you some about the deliberate overcrowding of cells, but to belabor the acute and petty miseries they deliberately inflict is almost a digression. All of this to get someone who paid fare to get on the subway system. Insanity.
No, broken windows is a direct line from stop and frisk, a way to get around the blatant unconstitutionality inherent in frisking.
Nation wide, police accountability is lacking, and the measure by which police can use lethal force is completely lacking; there is a de facto immunity to prosecution for police.Equal protection under the law surely means equal protection from the law. If you’re going to enforce the law, you have to obey the law, and be seen as as a moral authority, practicing peace, and protecting the lives of those you serve.

Until officers are retrained to be officers of the peace, until they are all trained thoroughly in protecting the rights of the citizens, and certainly, until Richard Haste, guilty of breaking and entering – on camera, and manslaughter, until MP-5s are a specialty weapon for swat teams in multi gun, multi opponent situtations, there is not justice being dispensed by the NYPD.
It’s the same story, except now I believe, in Staten Island, they will roll a couple of heads so they can keep rollin. It sounds like they are taking it seriously, but, there has to be a culture shift. Police are paid well to be good, and though they definitely have a tough job, it must be done well, there are no other options.
To be quite honest with you, I’m not sure any organizational body, and possibly even an industry with omni present competition, can fully police itself. Whistleblowing is hard as hell.. really, are you trying to see somebody you worked with, behind bars- and maybe you can imagine being in the same situation. I don’t blame just NYPD, because it is a national problem, and it’s mayors, and its lawyers who tolerate the bending of clear intents of the law. Police need to know the law too, and not be allowed to lie to the public. It takes active participation from the community, civilian review boards with some teeth, probably combined with an annual review of cases and best practices, likely in a round robin fashion from other states, and the feds, with the feds themselves being audited by a couple of states according to a template that’s laid out clearly. I think on body cameras is definitely a step in the right direction, as well.

I’m glad they’re moving in the right direction, but the work to move them there is far from over, and it will not be until NYPD no longer tolerates killers in it’s midst, and de militarizes. Having a SWAT team for a city this size is definitely a plus, but giving machine guns to work the Apple store in Columbus Circle is madness. There’s a reason they call petty crimes petty crimes, and you turn officers into petty officers when you focus on small things, especially the crimes of poverty.

Posted in Uncategorized on April 22, 2014 by alg0rhythm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Deal

Image350px-NewDeal

A GREEN NEW DEAL FOR THE USA

Darrell Prince, Jon Rynn, Ph.D. and Brian D’Agostino, Ph.D.
copyright 2014

More than four years after the U.S. economy entered a nominal recovery, unemployment and underemployment in 2014 in much of the country remains at recession levels. During these years, Hurricane Sandy and an epidemic of droughts, floods, and tornados have devastated much of the country, reminding everyone about the rising sea levels and extreme weather events being caused by climate change. Both of these crises—economic and environmental—have a common solution that is politically and financially feasible. In this paper, we outline a policy that can achieve this solution. It offers the single best program for any political leader wanting to deliver on campaign promises of providing economic relief to the middle class and poor, while investing in a sustainable future.
The Green New Deal we discuss involves a unique partnership between the public and private sectors and features a bold program of investment in energy efficiency. The main form of this investment would be refurbishing single family homes, for state of the art energy efficiency and energy generation. Such housing stock is currently the most energy inefficient of all housing, and thus “low hanging fruit” for any effort to reduce private energy costs and the nation’s carbon footprint while simultaneously creating millions of new jobs.
What currently prevents such investment from occurring on a large scale? According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (2013), financial institutions have ample funds to loan for such purposes and the economies that can be realized from such investment are indisputable. “By far the greatest obstacle identified by [lenders],” they write, “is a lack of customers actively seeking financing for energy efficiency investments.” This sounds like lack of a good old-fashioned, Madison Avenue demand generation marketing and advertising campaign, as well as a “tin men” style of door to door sales. The remainder of this paper discusses a public policy innovation that can greatly increase consumer demand for energy efficiency investment and open a vast flow of private capital, earmarked for such improvements to homeowners, creating millions of productive jobs and revitalizing American manufacturing.
The Green New Deal we envision involves two parts: 1. A national energy efficiency building code standard, set in place for seven years hence, and 2. the issuing of a $100 billion in high yield (4%) US backed bonds that would absorb private capital and make it available for a fixed total publicly administered lend loss fund. Making a conservative estimate of twice the current fail rate of such deals of 5%, a 10% coverage means such a program covers a trillion dollars in investment deals of this type. Assuming the US is able to capture 10% of this revenue back as taxes, interest rates on the bonds are easily covered by $100 billion in extra tax reciepts. Moreover, the number of buildings (100 million) in the US, means that conversion market will need 4-5 trillion before all is said and done, which will have a 10-12 year payback on energy savings—a lot of financing, on simple deals.

With this much money flowing that way; large scale demand generation, and product companies will develop quickly to take advantage of such a large emerging market; and big capital will move from plodding antagonist bent on protecting existing cash flows on fossil fuels to enthusiasts seeking to move into low-risk high volume plays, that will also yield several high risk, high reward new technology plays.
Rather than traditional bond markets; the bonds themselves would be targeted towards traditional commerical banks, with these bonds being eligible as “reserve capital”, thus ensuring buy-in from large institutions, though a disproportionate number would be earmarked for smaller banks. The bond sale would serve as “buzz” for the deals themselves. It’s also a huge PR boost to banks, headlines that read ”Wall Street saves the World,” is a little different than their current pariah status for most Americans.
The private financing would make ultralow interest home improvement loans intended to retrofit housing for energy efficiency, energy generation and remodeling. The program should be designed to require a bare minimum of paperwork from homeowners and no net increase in monthly costs. Once the improvements are made, the loan can be repaid entirely out of the savings resulting from lower costs for fuel and electricity.
This funding system uses public policy to create incentives for private lending by increasing consumer demand for investments in energy efficiency. The citizens earn interest on bonds, the lenders get larger, more stable reserves from customers, as well as high volume of low risk deals, the homeowners undertake the investment and realize long term cost savings as well as measurable status upgrades to their homes, and the US reaps the positive externalities of large scale job creation and a greatly reduced carbon footprint.
The job creation would occur through a multiplier effect—homeowners would employ contractors and their workers, who would purchase materials from local businesses, which in turn will need to be manufactured, spurring job growth in manufacturing as discussed by Rynn (2010). The program embodies the principle of “subsidiarity,” namely the use of government in a way that empowers, rather than pre-empts, action in the private sector (D’Agostino 2012).

REFERENCES

American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. 2013. Engaging Small to Mid-Sized Lenders, Executive Summary.

D’Agostino, Brian. 2012. The Middle Class Fights Back: How Progressive Movements Can Restore Democracy in America. (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger).

Rynn, Jon. 2010. Manufacturing Green Prosperity: the Power to Rebuild the American Middle Class. (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger).

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