The Community Business Venture (A GENERAL OVERVIEW DISCUSSION)

A community forum related to all aspects of our first six ABOUT sections. Developing, Building, and Implementing the Business Venture.

Posted on: » Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:14 pm #1

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The Community Business Venture (A GENERAL OVERVIEW DISCUSSION)

Post by Admin » Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:14 pm

Why Is The Community Business Venture So Important? CLICK HERE.

Please read the special message from Shameem before you proceed

Dear community members,

We are launching the website and welcome all your comments. The community will have the opportunity to execute all the beneficial ideas and suggestions you offer in Phase 2 of the project. Kindly bear with us until that time.

I understand the need for our community members to be more involved in the initial planning and development of the project. It is, after all, your own project. But the forum website, as it is currently functioning in this first phase, does not have the needed capabilities to involve the community in much of the basic development of the early business plan. However, once the project is fully funded and launched in the second phase, the site will have the necessary software and resources set firmly in place. This will allow for a much greater level of end-user participation. Our community members will then have the opportunity to contribute significantly to the development and direction the company takes.

Although I wish otherwise, we will all need to be patient and wait until this level of community involvement can be achieved in a realistic and meaningful way. As it is ultimately your project, your voices will be heard.

Shameem

_________________________________________________________________________________________________


Aspects of the BASIC CONCEPTS section as they relate to the Community Business Venture.

Together they comprise the totality of The Community Business Venture.


The following sections are from the BASIC CONCEPTS on the navigation bar.

1. Summary Of FirstRateCrowd
2. Operational Overview Basics
3. Community Business Plan (Outline)
4. Position Paper on Economic Inequality
5. Position Paper on Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding
6. Dr. Shameem Heetun

Let us know what you think and feel about The Community Business Venture in general.
That is, what do you think and feel about the venture in a broad and overall manner?

Any of the six specific topics you wish to address can be done on the prior page
in the space reserved for these specific topics discussions.
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Posted on: » Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:15 pm #2

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Re: All the six About sections as they relate to the Community Business Venture.

Post by Doctor A » Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:15 pm

This is interesting! We get to crowdsource ourselves for ourselves

As a volunteer on the site I have been given the opportunity to read the entire plan and I am impressed with its scope and depth. Most importantly, it is one of the few plans I have encountered that has the potential to actually significantly reduce Economic Inequality. For years now I have been reading the academic research on the subject matter and this is what I have found:

(1) Many articles point to the existence and severity of Economic Inequality but do not propose any meaningful solutions. Given the state of affairs around the world, the effect and degree of the problem is well substantiated and any individual saying otherwise is either a fool or has a hidden agenda.

(2) The solutions presented in the literature are unrealistic and presented in a fractured fashion. By unrealistic I find them to be expecting either a Kumbayah moment between the Democrats and Republicans in the United States or for the Lion and the Lamb to settle down together on the world stage to solve our problems. Neither could be further from the truth. The proposals presented are akin to threadbare and worn out clothing needing to be thrown out; a new suit is needed. When it comes to being fractured, one has only to look at the many and separate initiatives competing for attention. To list a few:

Climate change
Terrorism
Drugs and alcoholism
Teen age pregnancy
The effects of money in politics
Pollution and green initiatives
Longevity rates in various demographics
Women's rights
Racism
War
Social and work mobility
Prison recidivism rates
Education rates

And the list goes on...

But there is one root common denominator underlying all of these afflictions and that is Economic Inequality. It is obvious if we could significantly decrease Economic Inequality by decreasing Income Inequality we could ameliorate many of these problems.

The idea for a company, First Rate Crowd, that manifests itself as the very embodiment of reducing Income Inequality, is both brilliant and doable. It is a cohesive and practical mechanism helping to mitigate these problems. This is because it addresses the common core denominator of Economic Inequality. It is with great confidence I support the initiative for this Community platform. Should it be implemented on a significant scale, the world would be a much better place to live.
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Posted on: » Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:17 pm #3

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Re: All the six About sections as they relate to the Community Business Venture.

Post by Doctor A » Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:17 pm

Here are my current and additional thoughts on the subject of the community business venture. Although this writing is a bit of a mixed bag, my overall impression of the venture is, THIS HAS TO BE THE GREAT MOTHER OF ALL CROWDSOURCING PROJECTS.

Count me in. As far as I can tell there is pervasive bad news, and from all viewpoints, the ugly fact that the Calvary is not coming to save us. We have just seen from the 2016 presidential election the impotence of our politicians regarding economic inequality. This means we will have to rectify this wrong ourselves. This business idea is a way for us to do it. Here is my review at least from an eclectic mix of perspectives.

I recall reading a recent research paper about combining the responses of multiple rat brains over the internet to form a type of living rat brain computer. It was a thought-provoking article but more importantly was one of the comments. It was in response to what would happen if you were to hook 10,000 rat brains together into one giant computer. To paraphrase, the comment said, " now you cats better watch out."

I think FRC, through its crowdsourcing capability, has a parallel way to accomplish this. And yes, the fat cats better watch out.

Well maybe we of the 99% can be herded after all.

As for anyone who does not believe a change in our economic system is needed, or anyone who is willfully denying what is happening around them regarding economic inequality, I offer the following recent article painting a bleak picture related to your future ability to be gainfully employed. e]

From: Techsite America’s Dazzling Tech Boom Has a Downside: Not Enough Jobs
Posted by Keith Maldonado originally from wsj.com 10-13-2016 http://www.techsite.io/p/458795

The technology revolution has delivered Google searches, Facebook friends, iPhone apps, Twitter rants and shopping for almost anything on Amazon, all in the past decade and a half. What it hasn't delivered are many jobs. Google's Alphabet Inc. and Facebook Inc. had at the end of last year a total of 74,505 employees, about one-third fewer than Microsoft Corp. even though their combined stock-market value is twice as big.


There is a growing sense of frustration that people haven t seen the progress that their parents and grandparents did, says Erik Brynjolfsson, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist whose work has chronicled how technology widens the income gap between rich and poor.

So, what is the answer? What are we to do?

Here is a question being asked about crowdsourcing the formation of a corporation by an organization called Younomy. This is rather prescient as it seems to be a 2012 interview. Although the individual being interviewed does not answer the question directly he does imply crowdsourcing can give a competitive advantage by tapping into the wisdom of the crowd. It look like our crowdsourcing community will be answering this question directly with the FRC project.

Younomy, GuruSpeak Mr Soren Ingomar Petersen, CEO, Ingomar&Ingomar (2012) "Crowdsourcing: Leverages the Inherent Human Social Behavior of Reciprocity" Younomy: It ... What are your crowd sourcing predictions for 2012 and beyond?

Younomy: People crowd source product ideas, and financial resources to help their ideas come to life. So, if we have crowd sourced cars, and crowd sourced investment then why not a crowd sourced corporation? What are other potential areas that can be crowdsourced in business?

Soren Ingomar Petersen: Every human interaction is a form of business and only a small number of these interactions involve an exchange of money to facilitate transactions. Money is the storage of reciprocity. Crowdsourcing super charges interactions by rapidly and economically tapping into the wisdom of the crowd, supporting exponential progress, as well as demise. One's ability to frame, guide, sustain and interpret the online conversation on a large scale can translate into a competitive advantage.


Younomy goes on in another blog to talk in detail about crowdsourcing corporations in a somewhat tangent way to FirstRateCrowd.

younomy.blogspot.com/2012/.../making-of-crowdsourced-corporate.ht...
If organizations can crowd source all the ideas they need to run their entire business operations, they ... Posted 27th February 2012 by Sankar Narayanan


Making of a Crowdsourced Corporate
If organizations can crowd source all the ideas they need to run their entire business operations, they become a truly Crowd Sourced Corporate! At Younomy, we have recently introduced a new concept around open innovation, and we call it the “Open Corporate Pyramid”. The concept likens a business entity to a pyramid. Just like an Egyptian pyramid, the Open Corporate Pyramid has chambers and vaults. The difference is that these chambers are ideation chambers and the vaults are used to capture business ideas.

You can have a detailed description here. We say that organizations can run open innovation events to collect following types of ideas (fifteen in total): customer needs, brand promises, delivery strategies, product/service quality (better), cost effectiveness (cheaper), product performance (faster), customer relations, employee and vendor relations, investor relations, public relations, solid waste management, solutions for air pollution, clean water, energy efficiency, and eco-system protection.

Corporates too can begin to organize innovation events such as unconferences, crowd sourcing campaigns, contests, and so on around one innovation thrust area, before replicating the success in other areas. There are different types of innovation processes, and formats. Younomy will be profiling some of the best practices in open innovation, co-creation in the future.


But FirstRateCrowd goes much further with the extra steps of turning the corporation over to the community. And, if given the right environment of freedom and responsibility, I think the FRC project will be successful. The following excerpt from the Harvard Business Lends support to this idea.]

From the Harvard Business Review
Using the Crowd as an Innovation Partner
From the April 2013 Issue
By Kevin J Boudreau and Karim R Lakhani

Although we of the crowd may be hard to control, given the right mix to allow for our diversity along with guidance and rewards, cohesiveness can be accomplished.

"The strength of the community is its diversity, but it lacks cohesiveness. Companies create cohesion with structures and systems (such as incentives) that align values. They hire employees for “fit” and colocate them so that they can interact directly, become socialized, and share a culture. Moreover, employees gain specific experience and knowledge in the narrow fields where the company focuses. A crowd, in contrast, may draw participants from around the globe—from varying companies, domains, and industries—who have their own interests and motivations. That makes crowds harder to control."


Yes, crowds are harder to control, but with the proper forethought it can be done successfully.

I can also envision turning the corporate paradigm on its head. Why should we work for the corporations when the corporations should work for us. FirstRateCrowd could very well become the new model for how corporations act and function when a community wants to reduce economic inequality. Given the rapid expansion of crowdsourcing at the corporate level, maybe we should now have the tail wagging the dog. And from the looks of things, it is a very long tail as indicated below.

Deloitte
The three billion Enterprise crowdsourcing and the growing fragmentation of
© 2016 Deloitte LLP. All rights reserved.
Deloitte LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303675 and its registered office at 2 New Street Square, London EC4A 3BZ, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (0) 20 7936 3000 .
Designed and produced by The Creative Studio at Deloitte, London. J6256

By: Vimi Grewal-Carr
Managing Partner for Innovation
+44 (0)20 7303 7859
vgrewalcarr@deloitte.co.uk
By: Carl Bates
Partner, Lead for Crowdsourcing
+44 (0)20 7007 7590
carbates@deloitte.co.uk


"Once seen as the preserve of obscure state-sponsored competitions or corporate innovation projects, crowdsourcing is now considered mainstream, increasingly embedded in the core business activities of small and large enterprises alike.In 2014, Gartner predicted that 75 per cent of high-performing enterprises will use crowdsourcing in some form by 2018."

The business world is certainly ready for a paradigm shift and crowdsourcing is the lever to accomplish it. Combine this with the mind-blowing power of the 99%'s desire to reduce economic inequality by doing good in the world and we have a winning combination. Like most human endeavors, a critical mass of individuals is needed. If your traditional work experience is anything like mine, (I will leave out the horror stories for now), then through our joined effort the shift will happen. However, it will need to be revolutionary; but the word revolution needs to be carefully explained in the context of the FirstRateCrowd model.

From: Merriam-Webster: Simple Definition of revolution : a sudden, extreme, or complete change in the way people live, work, etc.

Clearly, we can see the traditional corporate-centric form of capitalism, which has been around for hundreds of years, is ripe for change.

As a refresher...

From: Study.com, Intro to Business: What is a Paradigm Shift in Business? Instructor: Natalie Purcell

A paradigm is a perception or a group of ideas about how things should be done, made, or thought about. In other words, it's your perspective on the world, your point of view, or your beliefs about what's true. A paradigm shift occurs whenever there's a significant change in the way an individual or a group perceives something, and the old paradigm is replaced by a new way of thinking, or a new belief.
Individuals have their own personal paradigms, or lenses through which they view the world. Corporations and other organizations have corporate paradigms regarding the methods by which they believe their goals will best be accomplished.

So, continuing on the theme of a business revolution, I also found the following generalization.

From: wikiHow to Start a Revolution

To create a revolution, you need to unite people around a shared purpose. It’s possible to start a revolution, although it can take a lot of patience, organization, and passion. It will be more likely to succeed if you don’t wing it. A revolution (from the Latin revolutio, "a turnaround") is a significant change that usually occurs in a short period of time.


But I think one critical element is missing from the WikiHow process and that is having the necessary financial capacity in place in many instances before starting. The FRC business venture can supply this necessary financial capacity for our use. Also, from what I have seen, the more people are on the line, meaning they have "skin in the game",the more they are willing to participate. Economic inequality puts at least 99% of the people in the world in just such a position. Just here in the USA, that puts approximately 317 million individuals into play. The idea is to take these individuals and focus them around a cause; the cause is their own survival. No doubt, regardless of an individual's knowledge level about economic inequality, there is an instinctual fear that something is wrong. If nothing else, fear will get a person motivated as a shared purpose.

I have had the good fortune to speak with Dr. Heetun on numerous occasions regarding her goal relative to FirstRateCrowd. Needless to say, she is passionate about stopping economic inequality. Moreover she rails against any form of inequality be it racial, religious, or sexual. However, her main focus remains on economic inequality. Her clarity of thought regarding this issue stems from the fact that much of the world's suffering stems from this one dominant issue. This includes the creation and exacerbation of those inequalities mentioned above.

Revolutions, as in the colloquial sense of overthrowing a government or economic system, are many times rapid, explosive, bloody, and with unpredictable results. Yet I hear many people calling for revolution in this manner without really thinking about the real consequences. For example, the Civil War here the USA caused approximately 750,000 deaths. This accounted for about 2.5% of the population at that time being lost. In today's terms, with a USA population of nearly 320 million people, this percentage is equivalent to the loss of 8.13 million people. To put this into perspective, nearly all of our largest city, New York City with its 8.5 million people, would be annihilated. It would mean a massive amount of suffering and this does not even account for the associated morbidity.

From our discussions, Dr. Heetun has expressed to me her desire not to invoke this type of radical revolution. Rather it would be the nature of the non-violent type of revolution. This involves creating change more in line with the philosophy of Gandhi's non-violent resistance. Bye the way, this resonates well with my own philosophy of how change should take place. What's more, Dr. Heetun and me are similarly minded in that we do not wish to change from Capitalism to another system. Surely we see Capitalism as being broke and needing repair. It's history in just the past seventy years has created a Great Depression and a Great Recession. Talk about suffering! The process seemingly goes off track whenever there is not a sizeable enough moderating element to counter the power of the wealthy elite. Dr. Heetun's aim is for FirstRateCrowd is to become this moderating element. When established on a permanent basis, and with sufficient force, it will continually counter the power of the 1%.

Every revolution has a spark, a defining moment for change. I believe FirstRateCrowd can be the spark for this type of benevolent revolution here and now. The gravity of our situation warrants your immediate attention and action. We all need to join together to solve this problem. Not doing so would be a grave disservice to us all.
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Posted on: » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:56 am #4

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Re: All the first six About sections as they relate to the Community Business Venture (A GENERAL OVERVIEW DISCUSSION)

Post by rhed5 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:56 am

I really like the idea and the conceived direction of the site / app etc. Its heartening to think that there is potential for social change and a population of people that are really making the effort to create a shift in the "balance" of economic distribution. I recognize that this is the infant stage of the platform and my knowledge base on the subject matter is somewhat limited; but I'm really hopeful that the site gains traction and is able to move forward. I look forward to watching things progress.
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Posted on: » Sun Feb 26, 2017 3:45 pm #5

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Re: The Community Business Venture (A GENERAL OVERVIEW DISCUSSION)

Post by marshajmac » Sun Feb 26, 2017 3:45 pm

FirstRateCrowd is an innovative, phenomenal grassroots opportunity to reduce--and eventually eliminate--economic inequality.

For my whole life I have wondered why there must be such economic disparity in the world--the mega-wealthy at the top, and starving masses at the bottom with the majority in between struggling to get by, struggling for the basics let alone an assured decent quality of life.

I have see the slums of India and the mansions of Beverly Hills. It has never made sense to me.

What does make sense is FirstRateCrowd. This is a chance to make a real difference, to make a change for the better where every member matters toward effecting real change. This is change to erase economic disparity and create economic equality.

No one NEEDS a million dollar bracelet. EVERYONE needs quality of life, affordable health care, nutritious meals that are health promoting, comfortable shelter/housing, and enough free time in life to explore one's talents, cultivate friendships one is afforded time for, and to and exercise one's skills without being forced to work two and three low-paying jobs. Most of all those living in slums and housing projects deserve the opportunity to rise above poverty and find a healthful, quality of life.

FirstRateCrowd is a huge unprecedented step in this direction. It is a refreshing diversion from self-interest to economic altruism for all.

It will be exciting to see what unfolds in the coming months as FirstRateCrowd takes off and begins to make real, needed change.
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Posted on: » Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:59 pm #6

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Re: The Community Business Venture (A GENERAL OVERVIEW DISCUSSION)

Post by Doctor A » Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:59 pm

Why IS The Community Business Venture So Important?

Your new ideas and solutions are urgently needed now to stop economic Inequality. FirstRateCrowd's Community Business Venture provides us with a crowdsourced and crowdfunded platform to take the first steps forward towards this end. Our very lives depends upon it.

Time is of the essence but in a manner previously never thought of before. This is due to technology’s ever-accelerating rate of growth in conjunction with the rapidly deteriorating political process careening toward conservatism. The merging of these two events leads us to the most important question of our modern time: "Who will control the Singularity?"

Whose authority will determine which individuals are allowed into the future society or—with just the throw of a switch—which individuals are terminated from the system? It is a Germanesque echo, circa 1939, where some individuals were terminated in Nazi dominated areas immediately and others were left to linger in concentration camps. In either case, the effect was the termination of the individual from the system.

On November 13th, 2015, Doctor A posted a reply to FirstRateCrowd's forum under the major category of Economic Inequality regarding New Age Slavery. My post points toward a renewal of slavery due to economic inequality. Slaves are inherently treated poorly and many are terminated from the systems in which they live either by a slow and gradual decline or a rapid death.

"Most assuredly Wage Inequality causes slavery, just not the type stereo-typically portrayed on television or in the movies. When many people think of slavery they think of modern day Blacks or ancient Jews in the days of the Pharaohs. The slave, bound with ropes or iron shackles, was restrict in their freedom and forced to perform tasks they otherwise would not do. The conditions caused by Wage Inequality are still slavery but with the physical restraints now being replaced by economic constraints. This type of loss of freedom is slow and insidious but nevertheless real and debilitating in a physical sense. If your parents are poor, there is a greater likelihood you too will be poor. If your parents are uneducated, there is a greater likelihood you too will be uneducated. Those relegated to poorer neighborhoods are many times bound by the chains of drug addiction, poverty, crime, loss of medical attention, and the like. The fence of days gone by that restricted a servants movements is now replaced with a financial barrier of similar impenetrability. Both circumscribe the free will of the individual. "

"This is now slavery and on a grand worldwide scale. No longer is it restricted to small regions but rather large swaths of society are affected."

"Slavery seem to be embedded in our DNA. I do not know of a major ethnic or religious group around the world that was not enslaved at some point in time. And with slavery comes annihilation. It is in our history that the sick, weak, and troublemakers are culled from the herd first. Then come the legal justifications for mass extermination. History does not treat the slave well and I surmise this will carry on into our future. Do you really think they will take care of all of us? Why should they?"


Here then we see a great potential once again for their termination.

But there is another side to this termination scenario. One of the ultimate goals of the Singularity is to avoid physical death. It is a holy grail of the technological Singularity to make us immortal by digitizing individuals onto the internet. Your physical body will be left behind; your digital body-that is scans of your physical body, mind, and consciousness-will be uploaded and "live" inside the computer. Those who find the thought of such an existence unsettling are asked to weigh this against the current trajectory we are on of providing pollution, climate change, disease, and threats of nuclear war.

But yet again a great potential for termination looms large. This time a digital life on the internet would be just the flip of a switch away from termination and not involve the primitive and antiquated methods involving bullets, gas, and starvation.

In either scenario, someone or something will make a decision as to who will be terminated. Under what circumstance and from who's authority will this be?

Currently, a great triangle of control between the Trump presidency, Republican control of the congress, and an eventual right-leaning Supreme Court looms forbiddingly over the future. Like a triangular bayonet with three razor-sharp blades, once plunged into the tissue of societal underpinnings it leaves a gaping three-sided puncture more difficult to heal than other wounds.

We are all aware that ideas potentially have an enormous amount of power to bring about change. When ideas are well-thought-out, planned properly, effectively implemented, and benefit the good of the whole, then those ideas can provide the solutions we are so desperately looking for. Undoubtedly, given the scope of the problem and the number of individuals who make up the 99%, there are more ideas to be cultivated and gathered. But this must be done now. Somewhere among us are the bright-minded individuals capable of providing the solutions we so clearly need.

From the Major Category, Economic Inequality: Pitchforks and Torches, Doctor A previously posted the following to the Admin's post:

Post #1 by Site Admin Posted On: » Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:47 pm

The Singularity

The coming Quantum Computer Revolution with its associated subjects of the Singularity, (Ray Kurzweil), will make it impossible to stop the 1% with the outdated modes of pitchforks and torches. The 1% will obviously own the superior computers and robotics. They will gain the ability to hide on the internet never to be caught. Let us know what your opinion on this is.

Shortly afterward, Doctor A again posted,

Post #: 2 by Doctor A. Posted On: » Tue Nov 03, 2015 10:54 am

Yes, This is spot on! The old methods of stopping the 1% with pitchforks and torches will no longer work with the coming Singularity.

It is obvious only the very rich will be able to afford the Quantum Computers ushering in the Singularity. The following is a quote I found from PC World.

"D-Wave last year introduced the second-generation quantum computer called D-Wave Two which has a “list price north of $10 million,” according a research note from financial firm Sterne Agee on Wednesday. The note had a picture of a D-Wave Two with a list price of $15 million.

From PC World
D-Wave prepping quantum computers to outperform conventional servers
By Agam Shah
Mar 12, 2014

I have done a scientific study (Ha...just kidding) by asking my friends if any of them have the means to afford a Quantum Computer and the answer was a resounding "No." Actually, many did not even know what a quantum computer was let alone Kurzweil's concepts on the future of technology.

One has only to couple this with the Robert's Supreme court decision "Citizens United" where Corporations are now considered People to see where this is going. It is clear the very wealthy have been manipulating the court system for the past 30 years to feather their own beds. This is continuing at an unprecedented pace and the trajectory points to more and more control for the corporate elite.

With access to the fastest and most sophisticated computers in conjunction with changed laws in their favor, the rich will be able to hide in the internet with their Quantum Computers making the decisions for them. We will not be able to catch-up to them as they continue to upgrade and expand their technology nor will we be able to even locate them. Just try poking a pitchfork at your computer and see what happens.

Technological change is accelerating. Acceleration is defined as the rate of change of velocity and this rate of change is now increasingly at an exponential rate. At the end of the rope the Singularity is soon approaching; it is an end we cannot even grasp with our minds let alone with our hands unless we act now for the good of the whole—for all of us. Just over the horizon looms the end of an era where the pitchforks-and-torches paradigm will no longer be effective. Then what? As the new quantum-computer age grows larger, even our perception of time is altered. What once was only a future possibility now rockets toward our doorstep due to an exponential rate of technological advancement, industry acceptance, and marketing profitability.

If our brains are left un-augmented, that is to say, without a means to merge our brains with our computers, then our minds will not have the capacity to adapt to future events quickly enough—we are designed for slow evolutionary growth, not for exponentially accelerating growth. Our perception of time will become distorted because our DNA apparatus, built slowly over millions of years to adapt to slower processes, will fail us. Combine this failure of time adaptation with the emergence of a new dominance of the political right, and we have the conditions for a nationally as well as a globally catastrophic event. Like a digital asteroid, an amalgamation of zeros and ones, it hurtles toward us—targeting the untimely demise of the 99%. Whereas before we had declared our ending was "Not with a bang but a whimper," soon there will not even be time to sob. It will only be by a political shift now to a more compassionate liberal philosophy that the 99% avoids annihilation. This in some measure will create the likelihood of enjoying any positive outcomes made possible by the Singularity.

Can you feel your mind's inertia scoffing at this idea? That is a mind predicated upon a slow evolutionary process. To quote Herbert Spencer—an English philosopher of the latter half of the nineteenth century who coined the expression "survival of the fittest" after reading Charles Darwin—"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance—that principle is contempt prior to investigation." Most individuals who have overcome their own contempt or apathy through the investigative process regarding the Singularity have reached the same conclusion: this is not an exaggerated or farfetched idea. Rather, it has become the gold standard for thinking about the future.

Peter Diamandis—founder and chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation as well as cofounder and executive chairman of Singularity University—is well situated to understand this new, accelerated standard for thinking. In his December 2016 video titled "Imagining the Future: The Transformation of Humanity" he bemoans his conversations with undisclosed Silicon Valley friends, technologists, and colleagues: "People have no idea how fast things are moving....” In an evolutionary or Darwinian sense, not knowing how fast something is moving can lead to the rapid extinction of a species. Perhaps Herbert Spencer's expression "survival of the fittest" is as timely now as it was over a century ago.

On somewhat of a tangent, but still a germane aspect to this discourse, we recently witnessed the power of the oligarchs in our 2016 election process. Their powerful and mostly conservative ideological imprint upon the land goes hand in hand with the ownership of advancing technology; it is an ownership entitling them to choreograph the future in their own image.

From: The Daily Beast
By Joel Kotkin 05.01.16
Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump? The Winner Is…the Oligarchy
The real winners in election 2016 are going to be the new-economy oligarchs who are among Clinton’s biggest donors.

HILLARY CLINTON OUR EMISSARY TO THE OLIGARCHS

"This presidential election may have been driven by populist fever in both parties, but at the end, the campaign has left the nation’s oligarchs in better position than ever."

"For decades, the Clintons have built their family political enterprise on contributions from the global ultra-rich; between their campaigns and the foundations, the couple has raised, according to The Washington Post, a cool $3 billion, at least a small portion of it coming from Donald Trump. The outrageous foundation fundraising, not to mention her famous Wall Street 20-minute-for-$250,000 speeches, should dissuade anyone from believing Clinton stands as a traditional populist."

"What does all this money mean? Rather than act an avatar of change, like Sanders or even the unpredictable Trump, Clinton will likely govern as the emissary of our new economic elite."


Granted—whether you call her an emissary, ambassador, or just a go-between—a Hillary Clinton presidency was not going to solve the economic inequality problem. But at least it would have afforded us some time to solve the problem compared to the Trump presidency being thrust upon us.

Wikipedia presents a generally accepted accounting of how New York’s Wall Street got its name. Its name is a direct reference to a protective wall erected by Dutch settlers on the southern tip of Manhattan Island in the 17th century. It was originally a wooden palisade, a wall built to protect themselves from Native Americans, pirates, and the British. But the pigs the Dutch owned interfered with the construction of the wall in their quest for food. Now, with a Trump presidency, those of Wall Street have surely broken through and are certainly well on their way to a frenzied feeding at the trough.

While continuing their gluttonous, frenetic feeding, we find still more evidence of an expansive state of economic inequality growing at a rate at least matching the quickly growing girth of their swollen pork bellies.

Trump's 'forgotten Americans' will get lower taxes on the rich and higher income inequality.

From: The Daily Kos
By: Jon Perr
Sunday Nov 20, 2016

Throughout his unlikely journey to the White House, Donald Trump declared himself to be a "blue-collar billionaire" who as President would be the "voice" of the "forgotten man." Rolling out the first of the three versions of his tax plan last December, the real estate tycoon and reality TV star boasted, "it's going to cost me a fortune—which is actually true."

Of course, it's not true. Dodging his traveling press pool, President-elect Trump on Tuesday night headed off to the tony 21 Club in Manhattan. There, to a standing ovation, he told the well-heeled diners the truth:
"We'll get your taxes down, don't worry."

Theirs, and his. The man who apparently hasn't paid Uncle Sam a penny in 20 years has proposed a tax cut scheme that will enrich him, his businesses, and his children for years to come. Whether based on The Donald's own outline or House Speaker Paul Ryan's "Better Way" budget blueprint, the Trump Tax Cuts of 2017 will drain roughly $6 trillion from the United States Treasury over the next 10 years. Unfortunately for those forgotten men and women who supported him, decades of evidence show that Trump's massive supply-side windfall for the wealthy won't make him "the greatest jobs president that God ever created." What the 45th president and his Republican allies will accomplish, however, is the greatest expansion in income inequality since Ronald Reagan ambled into the White House.

As we sadly look forward to a replay of this debate in January 2017, one thing is for certain about the next president from the Party of Lincoln: You can fool some of the people all of the time, and that's Donald Trump's target market. Which means that Trump's voters aren't "forgotten men and women of America" at all. They're his marks.


Dare we think this feeding frenzy will stop? From an old pig proverb comes the saying, "Where the pigsty is open, the pigs run out." And run they will, straight to the trough.

Trump's win will certainly embolden him and his surrogates to use deceit and underhandedness to win a second four-year term. They have fattened themselves by propagating fake news, Russian hacking, election interference, fear mongering, voter suppression, FBI manipulation, CIA and FBI condemnation, divisiveness, and a plethora of sordid and morally bankrupt techniques.

Will Trump fabricate or use an existing situation to declare martial law in an attempt to mimic world leaders he admires as an excuse to grab more power? If his past behaviors are prescient—that is, likely to predict his future behavior—then it is more likely than not. As a corollary to this proposition, will the war they create to take the focus off of their ensuing economic disasters be added to the national debt while providing plentiful feed slop for the wealthy Military Industrial Complex in an attempt to keep the trough full?

A Trump presidency, Congressional control, and soon-to-be Supreme Court triangle of triumph make for the greater possibility of overreach. They will surely stab the triangular bayonet deeper into to bellies of the sick, downtrodden, and poor just to engorge themselves. Will reaching for a constitutional amendment to extend the President's term limit be next?

Fantastical ideations you say! Given the way they acted in the last election and since Trump has taken office, the prospect of such occurrences are not unfathomable. To the contrary, one imagines that the French in the late 1930's had similar thoughts and conversations in their Parisian cafes just before the Germans invaded—their nightmarish speculations became all too real.

Remember, it was the pundits and pollsters who said a Trump presidency was not possible. And there are also those naysayers and critics who proclaim the Singularity will never be fully manifested as conceived. But just coming close on either of these accounts is daunting enough to say the least. A situation gruesome beyond recognition comes to mind should the two concepts merge into one river of action—a confluence of the new realities bent upon drowning progressive thought and anyone attached to such ideas.

Yes, time is of the essence because waiting and inaction will distort our judgment of the Singularity’s appearance; it is an appearance happening much sooner and more sophisticated than our minds will be able to handle. Who among us has not lost track of time many times during the day. Time is a mental construct used to make sense of movement. It is a constant battle for our minds to continually track the movement of time. In those vulnerable periods of disorientation and confusion we are susceptible to time ambushing our sensibilities and rational thoughts. Like a predator stalking its prey, we will be had.

Let there be no doubt, the single most important aspect we are really battling for here is to control the future—our future—for the good of the whole. Will we control it or let the wealthy elite control our destiny? Make no mistake; what happens here will determine the outcome of humanity. Whoever controls the Singularity will control the future—will it be us or them?

A Trump presidency now tips the scale in the direction of a conservative ideological domination with the wealthy elites determined at all costs to control the technological Singularity. This is why your ideas and solutions are so important now, not later. In Singularity time, later is always too late. It is a now-or-never moment with the outcome of humanity hanging in the balance. Clearly, the FirstRateCrowd community business venture gives us a means to tip the scale back in our direction.
Last edited by Doctor A on Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:22 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Posted on: » Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:39 pm #7

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Re: The Community Business Venture (A GENERAL OVERVIEW DISCUSSION)

Post by Sterling Volunteer » Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:39 pm

Marsha from above certainly put it into perspective when she said,
No one NEEDS a million dollar bracelet. EVERYONE needs quality of life, affordable health care, nutritious meals that are health promoting, comfortable shelter/housing, and enough free time in life to explore one's talents, cultivate friendships one is afforded time for, and to and exercise one's skills without being forced to work two and three low-paying jobs.
As for Doctor A's quote,
In Singularity time, later is always too late. It is a now-or-never moment with the outcome of humanity hanging in the balance.
This is a real jewel of a statement. And the more the truth shines on this quote the more the jewel will sparkle.

I too have read about the Singularity. Yet so many people I talk to are completely ignorant of the subject. It is almost as if they are working so hard and for so many hours a week due to economic inequality they have no time to do anything else. Maybe exhaustion has set in which breeds a state of apathy? Regardless, it looks like to me each person is in their own little bubble with everyone thinking what they are doing is so important. Guaranteed their bubbles will soon begin to pop. Talk about a rude awakening! Just wait til the digital zeros and ones hit the proverbial fan.

The idea for the EIRA I read about in the other section is beyond a brilliant idea. Everything else would take too long to accomplish. At least this gives us a chance because I too see this as a now or never moment. I wonder if the Democrats or the Bernie supporters know about this? Maybe they too "Can't see the forest for the trees." Or maybe they are just too busy politicking to look around.

From what I have been reading in the longevity studies, the Blue Zones related material and other sources, diet is a crucial factor in how long and well we will live. They also point out the role of the community social setting as having an important role in our longevity. Analogously, this site's community social setting is what I also need. People with similar values, background, or taste tend to congregate or associate with one another and support each other. It is a form of nutritional sustenance for the spirit built upon friendship and mutual respect. Living long into the future requires a supportive community. I find hope and gratitude from the special bonds I have made with friends who also think in a progressive way to build a better future.



~SV~
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Posted on: » Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:40 pm #8

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Re: The Community Business Venture (A GENERAL OVERVIEW DISCUSSION)

Post by Jessica » Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:40 pm

Hey Doctor A, I like what you said.
Every revolution has a spark, a defining moment for change. I believe FirstRateCrowd can be the spark for this type of benevolent revolution here and now. The gravity of our situation warrants your immediate attention and action. We all need to join together to solve this problem. Not doing so would be a grave disservice to us all.
Anyone who thinks we are not in a perilous time needs to have their head examined. From what I read so far, and I have read plenty of business plans, the business plan outline is well thought out. Of course the devil is in the details but at least as a cursory first view it makes sense and hangs together. Too many times I have seen people try to start a revolution only to fail miserably because they are under capitalized and run out of steam. At least whoever wrote this plan understands the concept and the financial numbers at the end of the plan looked significant enough to have an impact. I was with OWS and they could not get it together financially or otherwise. What a shame. Good intentions only go so far in this world. But it looks like you guys have a plan and it makes sense to me.

The so called revolutionists I have spoken with all think they need to put their bodies on the line for a cause. These numbskulls have some egotistical desire to become martyrs for a cause. Not me. If I can help with a revolution from my kitchen table that is wonderful. I have no desire to have my head cracked open by a police baton. If others were to put a tenth of their effort into something like this they and everyone would be much better off. Keep me off the cross. You will not find a martyr here but I will fight for a cause.

Perhaps people do not understand that when you say, "immediate action and attention," you mean now. Once Trump and his boys, those in his immediate cabinet and those all the way down the line to his supporters, ruin this country, it will be way more difficult to repair what has been destroyed. It will take about two years for the deterioration of our economy to really show up on the books. You just don't change the direction of the largest economy in the world overnight because of the momentum it has. But sooner or later, the foolishness will set hold and drag our economy down.

Sure, we stopped Trump and the Republicans on immigration and health care but he is now a wounded animal who can lash out and cause a lot of damage. Looks like he aims to do just that next in North Korea. Seems like another testosterone induced machismo miscalculation of risk to me. We women are less likely to take such risk and put the world in peril. But Trump adores the attention his big stick approach is getting at Fox and Friends so he will be sure to repeat such actions in the near future just to satisfy his attention needing ego.

You can bet your bottom dollar Putin is laughing his butt off just thinking about the USA getting bogged down in a land war in Asia again. Oh say, did I forget to mention Trump never learned that lesson in Vietnam because of his medical deferments during the draft. But wait, what was I just thinking! Why go through all this mess when you can just drop a nuclear bomb and solve the problem. But hey, in Trumps mind the feeling of dropping a nuke is probably not much different to that of dropping a bankruptcy on a city. Due to his brain structure, or rather I should say a lack of brain structure as evidenced on MRI scans for those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder(this is what I learned by reading doctor A's previous posts on brain structure), Trump's emotional understanding of compassion for other people is severely lacking. In his mind there is not much difference between the two events. They both just get rid of the problem quickly with little emotions attached. Will repeated nukes equivalent repeated bankruptcies? Maybe in his mind the answer is yes.

I really hope these investigations into his staff about possible collusion with the Russians will bring the small fish into the net with the big fish so we can get them all at once for treason. There is now so much smoke in the room the FBI cannot even see the smoking gun.

Overall I like the idea of our own company. I have donated to Kickstarter and GoFundMe campaigns in the past but with very little input into the system. Do I really need another tee shirt or coffee mug. Here it looks like we will have a lot more say as to what happens in the company once it gets up and rolling than anything I have ever seen before.
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Posted on: » Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:41 pm #9

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Re: The Community Business Venture (A GENERAL OVERVIEW DISCUSSION)

Post by Sterling Volunteer » Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:41 pm

As if we did not already know a Trump presidency would increase income and economic inequality, here is the nail in the coffin affirming just that. This is a PBS News Hour quote from Jared Bernstein,an economist who served in the Obama administration who is now a fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. This is his take on Trumps new proposal on Tax Reform and how it will affect economic inequality.
JARED BERNSTEIN: Let me give you an example. This sounds to me very similar to a House plan that was written by Paul Ryan quite recently. And with that plan, the top 1 percent, their after-tax income went up 11 percent. That’s about $240,000. OK?

The middle class, their income went up 0.1 percent, which we can just call zero. That’s 60 bucks. So that’s the kind of imbalance we’re looking at here. And that’s what I mean when I say this really exacerbates a problem we already have, which is one of high levels of inequality.
Here is the full substance of the report in this April 26, 2017 link: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/argument ... nequality/

It is granted the tax proposal is just an opening salvo to get Trump's plan passed through Congress. Nevertheless, the tact they are taking indicates the priorities they have regarding inequality.

To use a word that we in the 99% can relate to regarding this tax proposal, even a word Donald Trump is familiar with in his tweets and is sure to understand, "SAD."

~SV~
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Posted on: » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:29 pm #10

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REFERENCING: Doctor A, Post #6, Posted Mar 16, 2017
Why IS The Community Business Venture So Important?

Your new ideas and solutions are urgently needed now to stop economic Inequality. FirstRateCrowd's Community Business Venture provides us with...
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Re: The Community Business Venture (A GENERAL OVERVIEW DISCUSSION)

Post by Jessica » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:29 pm

Although I surely prefer a Democrat in office, right now I am would be willing to donate my ovaries to those in need if only I could have someone like George W Bush back again as a Republican Presidential option. To answer the question, "Do you miss me now?, the answer is yes, but only in juxtaposition to the leadership we currently have. Not that my ovaries are worth much anymore at my age, and George W Bush is and never was worth much either, but at least he would be significantly better than Donald Trump.

We continually need to be reminded what the face of evil looks like in order to confront it. Most people in our country have not faced this degree of totalitarian evil other than in a book, movie, or history course. It is not an everyday livable experience for most of us but all of that is changing. With the ascendency of the Trump administration, evil once again cloaks us in darkness. Many have died as heroes to protect the embers of our freedom and democracy from this vile form of government. Listen, you can hear the alarm bells going off letting us know what is coming just around the corner? It is evil creeping towards us with a lust to deny us our democratic way of life. While reading the Huffington Post I came across one of these alarm bells with a not so subtle warning from President Obama.

Obama Warns Americans Against Following In The Path Of Nazi Germany
“You’ve got to pay attention — and vote,” the former president said.
By Sara Boboltz 12/09/2017
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ob ... mg00000009
It’s not that democracy is “fragile,” exactly, but it is “reversible,” according to former President Barack Obama.

During an interview earlier this week at the Economic Club of Chicago, Obama reminded his audience to remain vigilant in protecting the values and institutions that make up American democracy or risk following in the path of Nazi Germany.
“You have to tend to this garden of democracy, otherwise things can fall apart fairly quickly. And we’ve seen societies where that happens,” he told interviewer Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments, after defending institutions such as freedom of religion and freedom of the press. (Obama admitted, however, that the latter sometimes drove him “nuts” during his time in the White House.)

“So you’ve got to pay attention ― and vote,” Obama said in video of the event.
And here is what that evil looks like as it begins to constrict about us, squeezing and denying us the very breath with which we need to live.

From the Boston Review
what-totalitarianism-looks like
Christopher Lebron January 28, 2017

This insightful inauguration article accurately predicted our precarious state of affairs today based upon the five signs of totalitarianism.
At noon on January 20, 2017, a new American era began. Donald J. Trump became the forty-fifth president of the United States of America. Immense power was invested in a man with a personal history littered with misogyny, allegations of sexual assault, lawsuits, employees cheated of wages, self-aggrandizement, race baiting, and denial of science. Our president is undeniably a man with a wanting character. Granting that it is not necessary to like the leaders of a democracy, it is necessary that they grasp the responsibilities of democratic governance, including respect for free speech, reciprocal obligations, and public accountability.

In a week’s time, Trump and his proxies have trampled on the expectations of even this very low bar, throwing tantrums over crowd size, naming billionaires with no civic experience to prominent cabinet positions, and making the stunning, Orwellian claim to the existence of “alternative facts.” Alarming as each moment has been, we cannot misjudge such actions as being merely appalling statecraft. Rather, when taken as a whole, they amount to a fairly coherent set of actions that displays the traits of an emergent totalitarian regime. This is unprecedented in American history. When the president’s chief strategist declares he is at war with the press and identifies the pillars of free speech as “the opposition party,” we need to ask how many institutions will be severely weakened, maybe permanently, as an administration wantonly challenges the foundations of democratic life.

Totalitarianism is an arrangement of state power in which the ruling elite control the conditions of political and social existence while subverting the authority of individuals.

Totalitarianism is an arrangement of state power in which the ruling elite control the conditions of political and social existence while subverting the authority of individual citizens. In a totalitarian state, the will of rulers is effectively superior and morally preferable to the sense and sensibility of citizens, and all state instruments are mobilized to secure this claimed superiority. Under these conditions, the people become an agglomeration, a political organism, sustaining a regime that does not perceive any obligation to reciprocate. Indeed, such regimes insist that the duty of citizens is simply to obey, while the duty of rulers is to express their power.

Here I present five signs of totalitarianism. The presence of any one of these offenses alone casts doubt about a leader’s commitments to democratic political leadership. When they occur together, however, they raise the alarm that we may be witnessing a derailment of a political experiment that has taken two and half centuries to refine.

Sign 1: Leader Insists on Mass Public Adoration. In totalitarian states, one of the first features of public life to be deformed is public assembly. In time, all instances of public assembly—artistic, religious, sporting, festive—are recast as celebrations of the leader. To visibly celebrate anything other than the leader—or to publicly rebuke the leader—is apostasy. By now it is well known that President Trump melted down when faced with the plain evidence that his inauguration was poorly attended in comparison with President Obama’s, and when compared to protests the following day. Rather than concede the point and pledge to work hard to gain more of the American people’s affection, he berated the media the next day while presenting himself to the CIA. His defense was that from where he stood, he saw up to 1.5 million attendees, a number the evidence refutes. Such a pointed reaction indicates what we have long known about Trump: he considers his perspective supreme and if he cannot be the center of everyone’s attention, it will be a cause for resentment and anger.

Sign 2: Regime Controls the Truth. Totalitarian regimes insist that they alone know what is true; this official narrative is perfect and closed to debate. Trump’s alarmingly inconsistent relationship with the truth has been apparent for many years and throughout the campaign. Whether it be his bizarre habit of calling journalists pretending to be his own publicist, insisting they erred in a negative opinion about him; or his longstanding refusal to accept that Barack Obama is an American; or his instance that he personally writes all of his own books; or that abortions are not the barbaric spectacle he claimed in the third debate; or that millions of illegal immigrants skewed the popular vote against him, Trump has made clear that he intends whatever he says to be embraced as public doctrine. The day after the trivial debacle over inauguration attendance, Kellyanne Conway gave us a term that will be with us for at least the next four years: alternative facts. In defense of her boss’s inability to face reality, she claimed that Trump’s attendance estimates were an alternative truth. As ludicrous as this is, all Americans should pay close attention. A reader of George Orwell’s 1949 prescient dystopian novel, 1984, will recognize such an innocuous-seeming absurdity as what he calls “newspeak,” an instrument of the state to control all narratives with which it disagrees by perverting the meanings of words.

Every American should begin to ask what, exactly, does it take to make America not great.

Sign 3: Regime Suppresses Knowledge Producers. Purges of universities, media organizations, think tanks, nonpartisan government administrations, and research institutes are de rigeur under totalitarian regimes. Throughout his campaign, Trump continued to deny the role of human action in climate change, which was resonant with an earlier astounding claim that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by China. One must think carefully about what it takes to offer such a conclusion. Essentially, a leader must have distrust bordering on disdain for scientists to act from the belief that a great many highly educated people in prestigious organizations simply do not know what they are talking about. Since his election, Trump has attempted to silence the EPA, the USDA, the National Park Services, the Department of Health, NOAA, and NASA. He has frozen EPA grants to strangle scientists of funding. He has fired all top administrators in the State Department. He has threatened to defund the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities. His proxy, Bannon, has declared a war on the media. Trump went a step further when he stated that he would seek to “close up” the Internet. “Somebody will say, ‘Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech.’ These are foolish people,” he scolded. Taken together, this amounts to an all-out assault on the knowledge producers best situated to challenge Trump’s approved narrative.

Sign 4: Regime Invents Common Enemies. Totalitarian regimes energize their base and forge national unity by emphasizing an “us vs. them” mentality: “If only there weren’t”—fill in the blank: Jews, immigrants, Muslims, blacks, homosexuals—“our country would achieve its intended prosperity.” Trump ran on a campaign of making America great again, an aim he proposed to achieve in large part through mass deportations, bans on Muslim immigrants, violent suppression of black protesters, and a border walls to prevent “rapist” Mexicans from entering the country. While many supposed this to be campaign bombast, Trump has already set about making good on his promises: the wall and immigration bans are already on the table. It is little surprise then that Trump would lay blame for his loss of the popular vote at the feet of immigrants. Apparently unable to accept anything other than complete victory, he returned to a lie he ought to drop in light of its widely-debunked status: that he lost the popular vote by millions because of massive voter fraud perpetrated by “illegal” immigrants. Trump holds this position despite studies showing that voter fraud of the kind he describes is virtually nonexistent in the United States. Nonetheless, by telling his followers that he perceives these “outsiders” to be a threat to the nation, he has in effect signaled that loyalty to him demands mobilizing the nation’s resources to combat this phantom menace.

Sign 5: Leader Is Surrounded by Cronies and Sycophants. Totalitarian leaders surround themselves with colluders and yes men, whom they often put through extreme tests of loyalty and whom they exile from the inner circle—or worse—at the first sign of disloyalty. Trump is so thin-skinned that it at times strains belief, from his obsessive need to defend the size of his hands to the latest debacle over the size of the inauguration crowds. Leaked reports confirm that he exists largely insulated inside of a bubble of affirmation from yea-sayers—notably his son-in-law, Jared Kushner—and quickly cuts loose those who do not automatically confirm his perspective. Meanwhile, Trump insists that he is billionaire. It may be that he is a Gatsby, but his value or indebtedness is impossible to prove, and he seems committed to never making his taxes public. His domestic and international economic ties are worth knowing—and, per the Emoluments Clause, it is likely he is constitutionally obliged to disclose them. If the Trump administration seeks to reward or punish foreign powers or institutions, the American people must know whether it is because of that national interest or his own bottom line. And this does not even begin to address the degree to which crony capitalism has shaped the contours of Trump’s entire administration. Alt-right hero Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, is most immediately known for his executive role in the ethically bankrupt Breitbart News, but he was previously a principal at worldwide juggernaut Goldman Sachs. Trump went on to nominate former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to the position of secretary of state and Steven Mnuchin to secretary of the Treasury. The latter appointment is especially concerning. Also a former Goldman partner, Mnuchin has been strongly and credibly accused of playing a role in the loss of homes for many Americans during the 2008 housing market crisis. Andy Puzder, Trump’s pick for secretary of labor, was CEO of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. He opposes minimum wage and his company agreed to a $9 million settlement with its store managers for defrauding them of overtime pay. These and other appointments make clear that Trump’s primary interest is not only being surrounded by like-minded powerful men (they are all men except Betsy DeVos, who may or may not make it through confirmation for secretary of education and is also a billionaire) but by socioeconomic equals who have grown rich from the alienated labor of the economically marginal.

The ideal subjects of totalitarian rule are the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction no longer exists.

It does not take a full-on, totally successful, or even intentional totalitarian coup to put a democracy’s integrity at risk. You just need to weaken or destabilize enough key institutions, such as the EPA, to clear the way for your preferred perception of reality; you only need to offer a few “alternative facts” to distract the public from the real ones; you only need a handful of powerful friends in powerful positions to project your worldview nationally and globally. And as all this goes on, the rule of law that differentiates a democracy from other regimes begins to twist, constantly justified by security threats real, slightly real, or completely fabricated. And the twisting and deformation is persistently justified in the name of the people who must live with the new forms of surveillance, such as registries or enhanced facial recognition. The press is told to silence itself unless willing to describe all public celebrations of the president as affecting and tremendous, while legitimate knowledge producers, such as scientists, are muzzled. Suddenly it begins to seem as if you can see Russia from your house, no matter where you live.

In her alarmingly relevant book, The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951), political philosopher Hannah Arendt writes, “The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exists.” This means it is up to each and every citizen to resist by refusing the power of deception and the allure of fabrication. If the first week of Trump’s presidency is any indication, in full light of his personal history, every American, even his supporters, should begin to ask what, exactly, does it take to make America not great. The answer, you will find, is on the news every hour of every day.


Also,from PIQD, we begin to see the rise of more autocratic states around the world, and with this a notable increase in inequality.
piqer: Michael Cruickshank
Wednesday, 22 February 2017
Why The Rise Of Authoritarianism Is A Global Catastrophe

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, many within the educated classes thought that democracy and human rights were preeminent. Humanity was entering a golden age of ever-increasing political participation which would lead to greater levels of personal freedom. In 2017, these predictions look remarkably naive.

Indeed, between 2000 and 2015 democracy fell apart in at least 27 countries - places like Thailand, Turkey and Russia. As well China – the foremost non-democratic power in the world rose to prominence, bringing prosperity for many of its citizens without the trappings of 'freedom'. While some other regions (most notably West Africa) saw increases in democracy, the overall trend was negative.

And now the authoritarian tide has reached the West, the great former bastion of democracy. Leaders with a disdain for democratic institutions have now risen to power in Hungary, Poland, and most notably, the US with President Trump.
Once again we need to confront the tyranny the Trump state brings. But first we need to know how this continues to exist over and over again. The answer is effectively explained by the The Guardian's, Branko Milanovic, on Tuesday 2 May 2017 as follows.
The higher the inequality, the more likely we are to move away from democracy.

Finally, we need to look at the relationship between inequality and politics. In every political system, even a democracy, the rich tend to hold more political power. The danger is that this political power will be used to promote policies that further cement the economic power of the rich. The higher the inequality, the more likely we are to move away from democracy toward plutocracy.
It is a simple as that. And with the recent passage of the Trump Tax Bill, the speed away from freedom and democracy will accelerate as economic inequality increases as soon as the bill is codified across the land.

So there you have it, the age old process of the rich using their power to become even richer while cementing their control over the rest of us for their own benefit. This in their minds is inevitable and they act as if it is their ordained privilege.

I for one do not agree. It is neither inevitable nor ordained. Rather it is a manufactured situation and anything manufactured is not guaranteed to last if we are willing to do something about it.

Let us not forget what this evil can do to us. We need only to look to our future as a reflection of our not so distant past.
“This work was strictly voluntary, but any animal who absented himself from it would have his rations reduced by half.”
― George Orwell, Animal Farm

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.”
― George Orwell, 1984

Although the possible horrors of the George Orwell books were written in the past, they are a prescient reminder of what will happen to the face of humanity should we not act. This is why I became an active member of First Rate Crowd and support the Community Business Venture. It is my way to guard against repeating the atrocities of the past and my bridge to a brighter future. Without hesitation I say what happens on this website is consequential. We are at the precipice and will lose the fight against this cruel tyranny unless action is taken. Donald Trump is the face of this tyranny. It is important we come together as a community to stop him now.

Finally, my inner drama queen demands some light humor depicting what will happen should we fail.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sRecMevpWo
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