Saturday, November 18, 2017

Believing the truth

There is a powerful movement which has gained force recently with personal truths leading to accountability for people who abused power, including sexual predation. Where a phrase have noted often is--believing the victims. Which makes me think of bank robberies for an analogy.

Like, imagine you know someone about whom you deeply care who has been accused of robbing a bank, and is facing prosecution. That person either did, or did not, rob the bank.

Thankfully, there is likely to be lots of evidence like video footage, and witnesses, as well as the cash stolen, to establish whether or not the robbery did or did not occur.

But your opinion is not relevant.

Did or did not that person rob the bank?

In situations with sexual assault there can be a problem of evidence, but the truth exists.

Whether you believe a victim or not, is relevant for an investigating authority, including of course for a court case, if you are a prosecutor, or on a jury. But in terms of the truth which we may find difficult to determine--did, or did not that person accused do the sexual assault?

If one person carefully and clearly describes an event, which is a sexual assault, then is a question of truth. Which does not have anything to do necessarily with how you feel about the accused.

A mother can still love her child who is a bank robber, correct? -- Even after conviction, and mountains of evidence.

Your feelings about an accused to me are not important to me at all.

If I knew someone closely, accused in any arena am confident would have feelings about that, and especially want those things to not be true, if there was ANY room for doubt.

But if that person robbed a bank? Would my feelings have anything to do with the truth?

No. And I think it interesting in our times, with things so obvious, you can at times witness people in the media, talking as if their feelings about believing a victim or an alleged victim have relevance to the truth.

What actually matters though is what actually happened. Best when that can be determined, beyond a reasonable doubt. But regardless, there is a truth there.


James Harris

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Heading towards homeless

Update Dec 1st: Thankfully situation is in reprieve as was approved for a program for veterans to prevent eviction from Volunteers of America Southeast, which is a great organization. (If have read this post before, may have noticed had them mixed up with Southwest before, but have corrected now.) Have helped me out tremendously. So have time now, but still have to get a steady income as will just help out for a bit. Leaving post up as is informative and I re-read myself to help my focus.

Update 7:20 pm: Soon after writing this post this morning, reached out to some family where had been distancing, and got a bit of help. So no longer worried about losing electricity. While the gist of situation remains the same. Family can only help, so much. Do feel better though and feel like post serves a good purpose. Main thing is must get steady income and am working hard towards that goal, relying on LOTS of community resources thankfully available. And wish to emphasize DO appreciate that very much! Paying the rent is still a big deal, so title (adjusted a bit) still applies.

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In an apartment in Macon, GA, USA now with electricity which will soon be gone. Is just days away, as know Georgia Power WILL cut off electricity when the bill goes overdue. But how did I get here?

Like now to trace back to October 2010 when found out was being laid off, after finally putting my photo on the web. One of small batch of same photos tend to use for profile pictures. Wondering if those photos messed me up or not. Just know have not found a job just on my own since. Was briefly placed by state of Georgia Vocational Rehab into a position at Helms Career Center here in Macon. How did I end up with them, where in Georgia means state considers me disabled?

Well that's a story. So yeah, laid off in San Francisco with a great package too by the way from large insurance company. And maybe felt yeah was related to web activity, so cleaned up a lot of web postings and focused. Thought maybe best option was to figure out how to make all this activity out here pay. And also had those web analytics! Showing visitors from around the world! Would ask myself repeatedly, am I famous? Answer always gave myself, was no.

Back then was when came up with Core Middle Party. Kind of vaguely wondering if maybe could lead to something, which it has not. And as money ran out, like here now, and desperation began to set in, realized had to leave San Francisco, so moved back to where I grew up, Tifton, GA.

Stayed with my Mom in a volatile situation with my abusive stepfather who was abusing alcohol. We all were. Up to some night I don't even remember, and woke up with scratches, apparently after a fight with my stepfather I do not remember. I quit drinking then, back July 2013. Haven't missed it. He left, abandoning my mother. He would return eventually though, after I left to go into a rehabilitation program for homeless vets at Carl Vinson VA Medical Center. Would end up going through it, twice.

I don't think they knew what to make of me. And by then I was not sure either. Kept insisting the web had something to do with things, which never went over well. Like they wanted me trying to work for the US Government. I was like, with my Twitter account? No way. I'm way too critical of the US Government, and other governments, or just about anything that crosses my mind.

Relish my freedom of speech! And also realize impacts potential employment. Confounds me how often have tried to explain to federal and state employees, trying to convince me to try and work for government. Seems to never quite register. Befuddles me much.

After leaving vet homeless program at Carl Vinson first time, ended up with my father, who was then a widower. My stepmother had died of cancer before my rehab stint. And kind of thought was helping him by staying, but also was spending most of my time on the web. Hadn't worked then since November 2010. Was relying on food stamps for my food. Spending so much time, out here, on the web. Certain had to make it pay. If could only figure it out. Still haven't figured it out though.

At some point ended up in therapy. I wanted cognitive therapy and understood family was worried. The therapist recommended at some point I contact a representative of Georgia Vocational Rehab, to help me get a job, she said. State agency requested my medical file with her reports which went to a medical review board, and state determined I was disabled for mental reasons.

My father remarried and reached a point where he ordered his new wife to call the police on me, after an intervention they called it, when I'd been ordered to simply leave the house NOW. My father tried to throw me out on a dime, saying could stay with my older brother, who lives in public housing, where could only stay for two weeks. I said no, and signed up for rehab again at Carl Vinson.

My father and stepmother wrote a letter to begin eviction procedures after police informed they could not just throw me out that way. Received it certified mail, in the house where we were now avoiding each other. And I ended up at Carl Vinson, again. Which was nice but now more unsure what to do, and had no clue at end of program when a program called VOA offered a lifeline with a program which would put me in an apartment. Lots of programs and appreciated, was so great getting a place to stay again. Apartment on verge of losing now.

They pay for rent and utilities for some months while you get your life back together. Have struggled with that last. Like mentioned Georgia Vocational Rehab placed me with Helms Career Center, which is part of Goodwill, for a bit. But that...such a frustrating story there. It SHOULD have worked out. I ended up quitting rather than having, an angry event lets say with co-workers who I know were mistreating me. But work for Goodwill, right? Goodwill actual employees must be golden, right? Who listens to the mentally ill vet? Who believes him? So left, with a pause for a lecture at the door for concerned staff about how important their work is for the community. Most they ever listened to me really, only at the end.

And found myself, yeah, working harder at trying to make the web pay. Now am just begging. Hey, want to help a vet who is going by the rules, seeking help, and desperate anyway, on verge of homeless? How about give to Volunteers of America Southeast? Their program is how have this apartment. Their website: voasoutheast.org

Contacted them and they may be able to help. Have NOT talked to them about this blog, but figure, why not give the link? If do donate, maybe could say on my behalf? Or just do it for vets in general. Seems to be a good organization. Helped me much. May help me more.

What happened to federal and state help? Well VA has offered advice, on who to contact for help! For real, you end up with a person who am sure wants to help you, listing local community resources, of which you may already be aware. Went to DFACS and signed up for rental help, and was told they would call. No call so far. That just defies reason to me. Is one thing that maybe they do not have funds or cannot help, but to have you fill out a form, and be waiting for a call that just does not arrive? Has been over 2 weeks now.

And Georgia Vocational Rehab? My counselor there, quit. Abruptly after we had been working on things and was I thought at point of maybe being placed again, or at least getting advice on job search. New one was just rude. Scheduled me to come there when I told her was too broke for a bus ticket. She railed about not paying for people to ride around Macon! So how could I get there, huh? Silence from that office now though. (Update Nov 20: Talked to a higher up. Maybe she was stressed or something is MY interpretation now after supervisor support. Was impressed with her supervisor and trust that person. So help with getting employment is still there! But deferred to next month while I focus on stabilizing my housing situation.)

And people wonder why vets can flip out. Appreciate the help, but am in a box now, wondering how to get out, having to beg for help on the web. Where feel web is how I got here.

Regardless, that sense of abandonment by state and federal agencies is telling. They talk so much about helping vets, and yeah, have had plenty of help. But what about that longterm that solves problems? End up feeling like you ARE the problem.

Actually feels good to disclose it all. So much on my mind for years, and yeah, situation desperate now, and where am I? On the web yet again, as if somehow will work out this time.

Left the US military in 1996 after 5 years of active duty, working in medical centers, so saw no combat. Was honorably discharged. Didn't even figure on ever needing VA help.


James Harris

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Business of risk

There is so much risk in life where people can pool resources with businesses which will pay out when needed, up to a point, if needed. And such businesses are called insurance companies.

So strangers will take care of your needs, because you've given them money along with enough other people, if you have a problem covered under a contract, which limits liability of the strangers.

And have posted about money and limited social trust before.

Business is about limiting liability to others, while community at its best will save you with its every breath, like if your nation goes to war. The United States as a community has fought. Like with other allied nations as a community of nations more than once to save our world, and community at the highest levels has no limits. And yeah, even family should not, though reality is that is not always true.

As a community the nation has a duty to its citizens, while to be a business an insurance company should only pay to the limits of a contract. But what if a person is sick and still needs care?

If your insurance runs out? Then your community, if you have it, should still care for you. And when it comes to health insurance, your nation should bear the responsibility, and that is probably best paid for at the national level, but could also be at the state level in the US working together with the federal level.

If an insurance company keeps paying past the contractual limits or takes on a person already sick?

Then that insurance company is NOT acting as a business.

Here's a tweet I made recently talking a subject have discussed here before:

And the tweet links back to a prior tweet where I gave a rather simple healthcare plan which could fit into 140 characters. And will post the text here:

My healthcare plan: Preventive Care--everybody, Core Care--insurables, Expected Care--not easily insured, Elder Care--quality of life at end


Where explain all in a post, from 2009: My Healthcare Plan

That insurance companies can administer insurance even if they are NOT paying from the pool paid into to handle risk is not a wild idea.

Wealthy people will have an insurance company, when they will pay if, for instance, in a car accident. The insurance company has more expertise than a wealthy person who presumably rarely gets in an accident, with handling accidents, and that expertise is worth a LOT.

There is no reason for a person to stop receiving care if they reach caps in their health insurance!!!

And politicians know it.

The government can simply pick up the tab from that point on, while the insurance company continues to handle administration.

It's a simple idea folks. Harder to do in the past because administration was very expensive too, until computers made it very manageable.

So why would such a simple idea, which I put forward in 2009, not be part of the national discussion?

I can speculate. More than likely is about TAXES and POWER.

For instance, single payer healthcare would give vastly more power to the US Government, and some seem to desire it. While others seem intent on cutting their taxes by any means possible, and somehow have figured out a way to do so with healthcare a mess.

Some may wonder about the details, like what if people refuse to pay for insurance and just wait till they are sick, knowing is guaranteed? Well I explained one way to handle with a post I called health insurance responsibility back in 2012.

But limits of liability to be a business are just a reality. Without limiting liability, insurance companies can't act as true businesses, but with it they can focus on their strengths, without people caring as they still GET care.

Do you care with your health insurance, who pays if you need care, like if you're in the hospital as long as payment is guaranteed?

So if it switches from your insurance company paying direct, to the government paying you STILL get care. And don't even have to notice as still interact with same insurance company.

Why would you? Main thing for you is to get medical treatment and get well, not worry about who pays.

Why would anyone think you would?


James Harris

Friday, July 21, 2017

When distribution won

Lessons sharing knowledge of the past have been replaced by more potential where simplifying can be key to getting the best of the present. And with the web? Consider you reading this message which I can expect to have free distribution around planet Earth. But as importantly--YOU can do the same with something you might wish to present to others.

And many of you are so doing, as more and more people come online.

The ease with which we can distribute information, which is of course best when useful, is a sharp contrast to the past, where for instance to get political analysis, I would look to a few sources, as was far more limited in choice. For much might go to certain leading newspapers for that sort of thing. Or would consider certain magazines. And on the daily there were brief briefings expected on nightly news, or could look at a morning of content on Sunday talk shows, as discuss a very American experience which is what I lived--until the web revolutionized information distribution.

Today your political representative, rather than wishing on a press conference to reach constituents, or a newsletter probably signed on to by few, can send a tweet! Where that tweet can be a concise position, which is impossible for some news person to misquote. And yes, can be hard to put a position into a single tweet of 140 characters or into a few such, but that can push people to know their positions inside and out.

And everything else is still available. The news people are still working at delivering stories, though news organizations reportedly worry more and more about how they get paid, and the Sunday talk shows are still there as well as nightly briefings, though television struggles with holding on to viewers, as it must maintain relevance in a world where information flows freely from so many sources so people have choices.

I say it pressures all to be the best they can. From politicians pushed to be able to state positions they now know constituents probably WILL read versus in the past where maybe an interpretation through others might reach some, to news people pressured to get it right, with less leeway to interpret from personal bias, to politically active able to put their own messages out there, with same pressures.

Across the board with so much information available, people can check, and are checking.

Focusing on information distribution can help you figure out where you wish to be in the process am sure. Emphasis on that position is to look for a functional way to simplify.

And social media is most powerful as a conversation.

Conversation on social media is where political positions can be both presented and considered with reply from interested constituents. In the conversation, news stories presented can be challenged by parties represented as well as any people who know, or simply critiqued endlessly from almost anywhere, or anyone as people need their information to work well for their present day-to-day.

Sure some may simply work to disrupt the conversation maybe even simply for attention to themselves, but the need of the many is too great. We need to know, and people will work for what they need. And in our times? Information rules.

Sharing information? Helps us empower each other. And I think is a great thing.

Ease of information distribution has won the global conversation by enabling it.

And am so much happier with the potential to know more where before there was so much filtered through others on which I tried to rely. But also appreciate the work that is involved to get information I need, as to do so must learn to check sources! Must be able to cross-reference against multiple presentations. Must try to learn how you learn to understand how information can be manipulated.

It can be exhausting.

Knowledge takes work!

It can be mentally invigorating as well, but more importantly, can give a sense of being part of the conversation when so much additional change is happening. And based on how our country is set up the people of the United States have the duty and believe as a national community, have the knowledge--to govern the outcome as best we can for our nation.

The brilliance of the national conversation of course is not just a factor here in the United States but in nations around the globe where people are figuring it out, if they have free information distribution too. Not something to be taken for granted and not all have it.

But we do, and now is far easier for the people of the United States to discuss from coast-to-coast or wherever they are matters of importance with each other, and with others around the globe.


James Harris

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Where one party rules

One of the more diabolical schemes in the history of the United States is still in process as the Republican Party decided to ignore a nominee for the Supreme Court made by President Obama, so they could try to install a presumably more malleable one. And that is one of the things on their agenda under President Trump who has nominated someone.

And with one party over all three branches of the US Government many may take it for granted that they will not seek to check each other. Though the system was designed with the Executive Branch, Legislative Branch, and Judicial Branch supposedly doing that to protect the American people.

The pursuit of one party rule in the United States fascinates me, especially as we can see problems with it notably in one country, China. And am not someone who talks China in the negative as believe the country has done much to modernize, and people have a right to their government. And the people of China have a Communist government which unapologetically has one party.

However, it must be accepted that it is hard for a single party to critique itself, and provide checks and balances.

That the United States is facing a constant attempt for one party rule in the modern era is rather puzzling and a cynical electorate seems to take for granted that our politicians have a certain level of corruptness. I, however, do not find it acceptable.

That the Supreme Court is being undermined with one of the one party schemes is a case in point, where small-minded partisans care not for their country, but for a mindless pursuit of an agenda of a segment.

Who knows where this attack on legal authority in the United States will lead. But we can be certain that those engaging in it, do not care.

They're too busy crafting schemes to get through while they have the one party dominance that they clearly believe removes the checks and balances carefully put into the system.

And as critical as I am of Republicans am not at all confident in Democrats either. After all, they seem to operate with the same ideas in mind trying to gain one party dominance for themselves, and the American people have to deal with the see-saw of partisans who seem to have lost concern for their country as a whole, working to divvy it up to advantage in the moment.

Where will it lead? How can we be sure?

When our political leadership is dominated by people who seem to crave a political model from China as to dominance of one party, how could anyone know?

I'm sure even China gets confused.

We Americans deserve the system that was envisioned where the three branches of government do not go into collusion with each other routinely, but vigorously defend the rights of ALL Americans, always.


James Harris

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Paying attention is where capitalism lost

To me capitalism is another one of those words where people use it a lot without being careful with its definition, where many think of large scale capitalism, like with massive corporations but is broader than that and give my own explanation. However there IS an area where I think big scale capitalism clearly lost, which is in directing attention as the web took over.

Information distribution in the past on a large scale involved a lot of capital, like for a major newspaper or a television station. It STILL requires large scale capital in those areas, yet here I am on a blog, with the potential to talk to people all over the globe, without needing all that.

And I think we're finally seeing now how far that can go. Where for instance social media can empower all kinds of people to reach lots of others, where also in politics can see that doesn't have to be for the good of the people, as some demagogue can destabilize society too.

The new tools of information distribution do not care, but then again I don't think the big capitalist who wielded so much control in the past over distribution of information cared either. But their monetary motivation is not shared by the web.

What's fascinating to me is that a lot of people got things wrong early about how easier information distribution might work, assuming it would turn all humans into thieves who would quit paying for information they could take! Which to me was so wacky. It also I think betrayed a dismal opinion of the human species.

Those who think thievery is a typical human behavior of most probably say more about themselves than their fellow humans, am sure.

It can still take money to distribute information, yes. But potentially in our times information distribution often can be done with little to not cost to the producer.

The web does cost money but who pays for the web is remarkably not discussed much in our times.

Today the reality of information distribution is a spectrum, where yes, there is still immense capital involved, say, in a major studio release, but also you can have lightweight players with limited capital who can compete equally and even crush such competition.

And fans do still pay to support those who provide content they love--if you give them a way.

So yeah, big capitalism lost when it comes to paying attention. Many in our times can go for quite some time ignoring much that is still pushed at them through major capitalist systems. And capitalism in general also lost as conceivably a person could go to the library and get on free computers and change the world with their creative efforts.

Seems worth mentioning to me. And there is an irony in a world where lots of people can move things that STILL at least in my country people seem stuck with chasing after those with wealth first. Where I guess there is social inertia involved.

However am confident that in time more and more people will learn to look best when it comes to their attention as society learns better.


James Harris

Friday, February 10, 2017

Uniform taxation proposal for web entities

The question of taxing activity on the web has been deferred for quite some time but as someone who has thought about gaining revenue on a global scale will admit am very interested in a uniform solution so have ideas for one.

To me the simplest solution is to have a global body tasked with gathering taxes at a globally decided percentage of revenue per user, or per transaction above flexible minimums which nations could set. So a web entity would simply report same to that body which would also collect those taxes and then distribute to nations.

Nations then would be tasked with further distribution, like here in the US down to the state level, where the state might then distribute down to the local level.

There is still some big data in there so that enough information is available for that to happen, but other than sharing that data the web entity has a simplified taxation position, and can be protected from worrying about granular distribution.

So the web entity would see only one taxing authority. That global taxing authority would only see nations for distribution. And then those nations would worry about the rest.

Some might wonder why such a system would be best but in my case for example am lucky enough to have a product in over 100 countries which is an open source software product so don't and won't have to worry about taxes, as is freely shared! That's cool and feel lucky is an option. Open source is one of the greatest things that thankfully arrived with the rise of the web.

But producing something for profit is daunting enough a prospect that will admit I'd just as soon not worry about lots of things, especially how could one handle just the taxes from a few nations let alone over 100?

The web by easing distribution means that web entities that are relatively small companies could potentially sell valuable products on large scales but be incapable of handling vastly different taxation rules. And even large corporations am sure find that burdensome though guess some may be facing it now. But nations just want the money, right?

Having globally agreed upon taxation levels could facilitate collection of tax revenue while removing impulse to cheat, facilitate business creation so a small company anywhere in the world could potentially handle worldwide product sales, and leave up to nations to still work through how they wish the money to further distribute.

These ideas are just some that occur to me pondering things, without claims of expertise with it noted am looking at my own interests in potentially having a company with a global product which operates for profit with the belief that in time there will be widespread taxation. It should not be construed as a claim of expertise in any related area. Nor do I claim it is the best solution or that it will lead to a solution as am simply putting forward ideas. If these ideas have been shared by others already, great!

Am not currently looking at anything on this subject though so as far as I know am putting out ideas that are products of my creativity, but I read a lot from all over. Besides the concept is simple enough I'd be surprised if not similar to ideas out there.

These ideas I consider open source, freely given to the world for its use, or can just be ignored. Benefit to me if used greatly outweigh any other so would make no further claims against anyone who used them. And further do not even ask for attribution back to myself.

Well that was fun. And yeah am NO expert in legal things, so I have to guess at things to handle potential areas where yeah, someone might get excited when there is no reason. These are just some ideas occurred to me today I wanted to share, and they are freely given.


James Harris

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Work really fascinates me

Realized have some simple concepts about work, outside of physics, and what it is. So figured should just write out to see.

To me work is when a person provides a service under some kind of contract to some entity.

So you could work for your mother by doing the dishes, and she could be said to have put you to work. Or you can work for your nation, in service to your country, at any number of tasks.

And employment to me is when you work for some entity for remuneration.

And to employ someone you establish a contract for them to work for you for some remuneration.

What fascinates me about looking at work simply is the idea of some kind of contract within its definition, which then carries over to others. But employ is a verb which I think still needs contract stated when trying to define simply. And why abstract to this level?

Because how we define work defines so much about how people give back value to their society usually in exchange for value in return, which is how you make a living. And with my idea that money is most efficient as a return on a favor, the favor of work is interesting to me as well. But are you doing your mother a favor by washing the dishes?

And contracts are a huge subject where you can have social contracts and written ones, but guess all reflect some kind of future obligation. Contracts indicate you will DO something, not that you have done something.

Whether your work can be considered to be a favor to some other entity or not is a lot about community. Having a friend favor you with a cup of coffee is great. Having a stranger do the same at a coffee shop is commerce, as you return the favor with money, which I see as a social IOU. You return the favor of the cup of coffee with money which will be used later in exchange for some other favor.

But defending your nation? Is not a favor to that nation but can be about duty, honor and country. So the nation figures out how to value employment for national defenders on a community basis and for instance in the United States, the US Congress works out how to pay soldiers in the US military.

Found myself almost shifting from saying they work in the US Congress but of course those elected to represent the interests of their constituents are to do a service for their nation under a social contract. They get people to vote them into office with expectations they will do valuable service to the nation.

Our expectations as voters are about future work.

Looking at work simply helps me consider how to work best. But for instance, is this post work? I don't think there is a contract involved, unless am working for myself? The post definitely reflects effort, am sure. Am trying to do my best, and to communicate things I feel are important for myself and for others, maybe.

So to me, no this post isn't work. It IS fun.

It's an opportunity to share ideas others may find useful and help me clarify my own thoughts and set them down in a way meant to help freeze them in place.

Decided not to put links to other posts in this one, but it has labels: business, employment and money and can click those below to get other posts related.


James Harris