Archive for June, 2017

Anti-Trump Hysteria

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

June 26, 2017

“Yes, I’m angry. Yes, I am outraged. Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House,”—Sentiments of singer Madonna.

Comedian Kathy Griffin went further and held up a bloody head (fake) of President Trump on a CNN TV Special. (CNN fired her and she apologized. I note her video apology got half as many viewers as the original insult!)

“The catcher for the Republican congressional baseball team — watched his colleague Steve Scalise, the House majority whip, get shot on a practice baseball field in Virginia, while other lawmakers and aides scrambled for cover.”—News clip from Arlington, Virginia.

Johnny Depp asked jokingly, “When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?” And then sure enough in NYC a modern dress version of Shakespeare has Trump knifed to death as a thinly disguised Caesar!This modern Clergy seem to have a knack for violence.

On top of that leftist pundit Leonard Pitts, Jr. writes in high-fog prose, “The bottom line is that a president of unprecedented incompetence is being enabled by a Congress of criminal complicity in an agenda of frightful destructiveness.”

Locally the city council president hurled “the cruelest cut of all” at our liberal mayor, “He was Trump-like!”

Trump is far from incompetent. He has made considerable money in his lifetime and he did win the presidency. Not small feats for an incompetent. I think Trump is also doing a decent job as president despite his harsh critics. He has a progressive agenda—putting America back to work by reducing the Green and social welfare roadblocks that brought unemployment and poverty to taxpaying workers.

I think the charge of too much friendship with Russians and Chinese is downright laughable. In my lifetime the left-liberal clergy has been only too cozy with Stalin (Uncle Joe as FDR called him), Lenin, Mao, Castro, and other socialist heroes. One of the clergy’s stars in the 1920s, the NY Times Lincoln Steffens, said of the Soviet Union, “I have seen the future and it works.” So now the NY Times and clergy are accusing Trump of being too cozy with Russia and China after both have given up on socialism!. Give me a break!

I think it all began in the 1960s with Vietnam, the Black Panthers, Weathermen, assassinations of King and the Kennedys, the anti-LBJ and anti-Nixon riots and protests. The mass of what I call now the left-wing clergy were in college then and bitterly resented Vietnam. “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids have you killed today?” was one of the milder insults thrown at the establishment!

The protestors are now the establishment (what I call the clergy, see Bill’s Blogs, pp. 74, 78, 103). The journalists all want to be the next Woodward/Bernstein team to bring down a president.

Journalists and editors (and their young apprentices) are now making the high pay decisions for the NY Times, the Washington Post, the AP, and most newspapers, syndicates, magazines, TV networks, and publishers. Combined with most college professors and intellectuals, most artists and writers, most musicians and actors, most government bureaucrats an leakers, most public school teachers, most health professionals, most street activists, most social workers, most minorities, most immigrants legal and illegal, most celebrities, and most people dependent on government benefits (close to a majority today)—this modern clergy comes close to a majority). Yet somehow Donald Trump won the Presidency! How did he manage that?

He got the votes of the majority paying the bills—the taxpaying rich and taxpaying workers. (I’m aware that Hilary got a majority of the popular vote. The Democrats are firmly in control of the big cities and states where they can count on the overwhelming support of non-workers and the plentiful—and relatively rich—clergy.)

Take Noam Chomsky as an example. He is a well-paid Harvard professor and guru of intellectual Progressive/Greens. He is famous for extreme views. He says that the US is the world’s worst terrorist and he claims the US is always wrong.

Chomsky holds that WW2 left the US the world’s leader in nuclear arms and filthy rich corporations. He thinks the present regime wants to warm our planet, which will lead to the annihilation of most large animals like Homo sapiens. He thinks Donald Trump is the worst possible president (Chomsky thinks alternatives [except Bernie Sanders?] would be bad too.) No wonder the Democratic socialists—and some Republicans—follow Chomsky even though many do not recognize his name.

I don’t agree with him.

I think he and most of his Progressive/Green followers have a distorted view of history. They blindly accept the reactionary Agricultural Age meme that wealth is measured in land and resources (some would add diversity). Chomsky claims, “US corporations own 60% of the world’s wealth.” If that is true, how come China and India, the two largest countries and actually all countries on earth are able to get richer and poverty everywhere is declining? How come Japan, Taiwan, the Netherlands, and Switzerland that have few natural resources and little diversity are so rich? Conversely, many countries in Africa and Asia have plentiful resources and much diversity are so poor?

Wealth in the Modern Age is not measured in land, resources, or diversity, but is dependent on efficiency and creativity, the very two things that Trump promised to favor.

Second of all Chomsky and the clergy accept at face value the views of many scientists that the planet is warming and that is certain to bring catastrophe. They also accept the views of leftist scientists like Albert Einstein and Carl Sagan that a nuclear war could wipe out the human species.

History matters—again. The Reformation’s Thirty Years War did wipe out a third of the cities and population of northern Germany. They recovered and the species survived. The Black Plague wiped out a third of the entire population of Medieval Europe and left it with a severe shortage of agricultural workers. This in turn led to the growth of science and technology in the Modern Age!

Mind you I’m not suggesting nuclear war or a return of the Plague would be good ideas! Nor am I suggesting we ignore the possible warming of the planet.

I am suggesting Chomsky and the clergy are prone to a great deal of exaggeration. They are also prone to a great deal of violence. Which is a big deal!

Bill Stonebarger, Owner/President

History

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

June 19, 2017

History has a bad rap. Henry Ford said, “History is bunk.” The philosopher Hegel agreed, “The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.” Huck Finn agreed, “by and by she let it out that Moses had been dead a considerable long time: so then I didn’t care no more about him, because I don’t take no stock in dead people.”

Many, if not most, people today would agree with Huck, Hegel, and Henry. Which is a shame. On the other hand, I claim we can learn a lot from the past. Not so much from the details that history buffs and professional historians are fond of but from the big ideas that have supported and dominated previous Ages. Specifically, the ideas we willy-nilly have inherited from past Ages—the 100,000-year-long Hunting/Gathering Age and the 10,000-year-long Agricultural Age that followed.

I summarized my speculations on a series if videos now available free on YouTube—Democray in World History and Democracy–the Basics.

Here are some highlights:

Part 1:  Democracy in the Ancient World.

Includes the nasty, brutish, short, and cannibal-filled lives of primitive tribal people on all continents in the Hunting/Gathering Age. This was the age when Homo sapiens evolved in competition with other omnivores, carnivores, and other members of the family Homo. The program also surveys the first attempts at democracy in the Agricultural Age of ancient Greece, Rome, and Medieval Europe, pointing out that they did have some features of democracy, but were forced to rely on serfs. peasants, or slaves to do the scut work.

Part 2: Renaissance, Reformation, and Enlightenment.

A critical time for Modern Age> Democracy. Islamic and Jewish cultures were actually superior through most of the Middle Ages. Islam faltered and left it to Jews and Christians to pioneer the first steps in the democracy direction. A popular video that explains why the Enlightenment is so important to the founding of the USA and the Modern Age.

Part 3: The Industrial Revolution, Capitalism, and the United States of America

Gives a good summary view of why I, and others, look on this country as exceptional. Not because our citizens are better than other countries but because we founded and led the way into the Modern Age. I also claim this Modern Age is uniquely founded on three factors—science and technology, free-market Capitalism, and Freedom of (and from) Religion.

It also highlights the most important by far of the memes (cultural ideas, traits, behaviors, and beliefs) inherited from both the 100,000-year-long Hunting/Gathering Age and the 10,000-year-long Agricultural Age. This meme is now a reactionary view of wealth and resources as land and resources. It was true in hunting/gathering times where it led to constant wars between tribes to get and hold the better hunting and gathering land. It was also true in agricultural days for the similar obvious reasons. It led to countless savage bloody imperialist wars to gain resources like oil, gold, other minerals, and living space for expanding populations It is a very reactionary view in the Modern Age where wealth depends not on land and resources but on efficiency and creativity.

Part 4: The Communist Challenge

In the 19th century, Karl Marx saw capitalism as uniquely progressive and uniquely evil. Capitalists brought progress and wealth but to the owner bourgeoisie, not to the worker proletariat. In fact, Marx saw all history as a fierce struggle between evil owners and slave workers, and the workers would inevitably win. Later socialists like Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky, Fidel Castro, Mao Zedong, and Bernie Sanders emphasized the evil (capitalist corporations) and neglected the progressive (growth). The result was a disaster in socialist countries in the 20th and the 21st centuries.

Marx was right about capitalism being a growth force but he grossly underestimated workers. Under the freedom of capitalism, workers did not revolt but instead used unions to get better wages than they ever dreamed of in socialist countries where unions were usually banned.

Part 5: The Fascist Challenge

Fascism, like Socialism, was started in Italy and was basically a heresy of Christianity—with charity for some but no god. The Nazis were also socialists at heart (Nazi is short for National Socialist German Worker’s Party). The Nazis did lead Germany to new heights of power, wealth, and order, but at a fearful price paid by Jews, gypsies, communists, handicapped and gays in concentration camps and then in the final solution—the Holocaust.

Part 6: Democracy in the 21st Century

Brings it all up to date and has recommendations for today.

There is also a popular series of videos, Democracy—The Basics. Six complete videos, one on the past and one on the present and future. All deal with my claim that the necessary basic building stones of Modern Age are three—Capitalism. Science, and Freedom of and from Religion.

Capitalism and Democracy

Many intellectuals will gag at the title because many look on socialism as a more fitting partner with democracy. I don’t.

As evidence, I cite China’s experience with both. I could list many other countries as well like the India, Venezuela, the Koreas, Brazil, Germany, Cuba, Cambodia, Vietnam, Argentina, etc. All toyed with Marxist ideas. All failed with disastrous results for citizens—famines, massacres, and in general misery for all but the ruling class.

Mau Zedong, for instance, was an international hero, lived a rich life with great wealth, lavish protected villas, rich foods, and many concubines. The average Chinese paid dearly for this luxury with extreme poverty, famines, massacres, and bitter humiliations. It was much the same in Russia, Cambodia, India, Argentina, Venezuela, and Cuba. The intellectual rulers often did make a false show of fake frugal living for public consumption.

Since both China and India (and many smaller nations) have adopted free-market capitalism (in China’s case without changing the communist label) there indeed is more capitalist inequality but the increase in wealth actually does trickle down. All classes are getting richer. As Jane and I found on a recent visit. Peasants were not protesting but singing in the streets, “It’s great to be rich!”

Science and Democracy

One of democracy’s most important allies is science and technology. Learn how science and technology (like capitalism and freedom) is necessary for democracy but not sufficient. In Part One the early history of both science and democracy is traced on all continents. It stresses the importance of enduring ideas of the West that first arose in Greece, Rome, and Judeo-Christian memes. Part Two explains how these ideas were modified in the west’s Renaissance, Reformation, and Enlightenment when modern experimental science was born.

Religion and Democracy

A critical time for Modern Age Democracy. Islamic and Jewish cultures were actually superior through most of the Middle Ages. Islam faltered and left it to Jews and Christians to pioneer the first steps in the democracy direction. A popular video that explains why the Enlightenment is so important to the founding of the USA and the Modern Age.

Bill Stonebarger, Owner/President, Hawkhill

P.S. For more details curl up, buy, and read—Twilight or Dawn: a Traveler’s Guide to Free-Market Liberal Democracy, East Gilman Street, or Bill’s Blogs.”

History

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

June 19, 2017

History has a bad rap. Henry Ford said, “History is bunk.” The philosopher Hegel agreed, “The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.” Huck Finn agreed, “by and by she let it out that Moses had been dead a considerable long time: so then I didn’t care no more about him, because I don’t take no stock in dead people.”

Many, if not most, people today would agree with Huck, Hegel, and Henry. Which is a shame. On the other hand, I claim we can learn a lot from the past. Not so much from the details that history buffs and professional historians are fond of but from the big ideas that have supported and dominated previous Ages. Specifically, the ideas we willy-nilly have inherited from past Ages– the 100,000-year-long Hunting/Gathering Age and the 10,000-year-long Agricultural Age that followed.

I summarized my speculations in a series of videos, all now available free on YouTube–Democracy Democracy in World History and Democracy—the Basics. If you are interested in ideas I recommend them.

Here are some highlights:

Part 1: Democracy in Ancient TimesWorld.

Includes the nasty, brutish, short, and cannibal-filled lives of primitive tribal people on all continents in the Hunting/Gathering Age. This was the age when Homo sapiens evolved in competition with other omnivores, carnivores, and other members of the family Homo. Program also surveys the first attempts at democracy in the Agricultural Age of ancient Greece, Rome, and Medieval Europe, pointing out that they did have some features of democracy, but were forced to rely on serfs. peasants, or slaves to do the scut work.

Part 2: Renaissance, Reformation, and Enlightenment

A critical time for Modern Age Democracy. Islamic and Jewish cultures were actually superior through most of the Middle Ages. Islam faltered and left it to Jews and Christians to pioneer the first steps in the democracy direction. A popular video that explains why the Enlightenment is so important to the founding of the USA and the Modern Age.

Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1CHytlrosM&t=7s

The Industrial Revolution, Capitalism, and the United States of America

Gives a good summary view of why I, and others, look on this country as exceptional. Not because our citizens are better than other countries but because we founded and led the way into the Modern Age. I also claim this Modern Age is uniquely founded on three factors—science and technology, free-market Capitalism, and Freedom of (and from) Religion.

It also highlights the most important by far of the memes (cultural ideas, traits, behaviors, and beliefs) inherited from both the 100,000-year-long Hunting/Gathering Age and the 10,000-year-long Agricultural Age. This meme is now a reactionary view of wealth and resources as land and resources. It was true in hunting/gathering times where it led to constant wars between tribes to get and hold the better hunting and gathering land. It was also true in agricultural days for the similar obvious reasons. It led to countless savage bloody imperialist wars to gain resources like oil, gold, other minerals, and living space for expanding populations It is a very reactionary view in the Modern Age where wealth depends not on land and resources but on efficiency and creativity.

Part 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UzcHJpMjdQ&t=17s

The Communist Challenge

In the 19th century Karl Marx saw capitalism as uniquely progressive and uniquely evil. Capitalists brought progress and wealth but to the owner bourgeoisie not to the worker proletariat. In fact Marx saw all history as a fierce struggle between evil owners and slave workers, and the workers would inevitably win. Later socialists like Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky, Fidel Castro, Mao Zedong, and Bernie Sanders emphasized the evil (capitalist corporations) and neglected the progressive (growth). The result was disaster in socialist countries in the 20th and the 21st centuries.

Marx

Life eternal

Sunday, June 11th, 2017

June 12, 2017.

I woke up very tired today looking forward to death. Sorry about that but it’s true. So what can you do when you are 90? Nothing. Nothing. Nothing,

Sober historians consider it a myth but some people still are convinced with Ponce de Leon there is a “fountain of youth” or at least–or maybe at best (?!)–an eternal life in heaven as promised by Jesus (or if you are a Muslim by Mohammed and if Shinto Japanese by the Divine Emperor). I hate break it to you that there is precious little evidence for any fountain of youth or for any life after death.

I know this is heretical and not that many years ago, as a Christian, I would be in deep trouble–actually in danger of being burnt alive at the stake–for even speculating about that possibility. If I lived in a majority Muslim country I would be in grave danger today!

In a previous blog I mentioned my belief that belief in an after-death life was one of the bad religious ideas with a half-life, like other religious faith ideas, with a thousand year half-life. Christians, for instance, are today on the down side of the bell curve that describes such half-lives. Still, if pressed, most Christians today in this country say they do believe Jesus died on the cross to redeem our sins so that we can have an eternal life after death. But most Christians today are really not that firm about this article of faith!

The Pew Foundation who does studies of such beliefs says in my non-belief I am a part of the Religiously Unaffiliated (atheists, agnostics or simply not very interested in churches). It turns out that we “freedom from religions” are the fastest growing religious group in the US today. In Europe today we are probably the majority.

So I do admit to being a non-believer of no religious faith. As such I think that when I do die I will pass into the scientific state known as entropy (random nothingness). I think this is sad but in away fortunate too, and not at all tragic. No eternal heaven, hell, or purgatory for me. A few will remember me personally. For a little while. This too is sad but no tragedy. (As regular readers know this is not quite true in my case. I have enough arrogant chutzpah to believe that the some of my insights in blog, books, and videos will survive in the scientific, historical, and philosophical hereafter.)

I would further argue my non-belief is, if not the most comforting faith, the most reasonable one. I also think that the faith in a life after death is a deeply reactionary idea with truly horrible consequences in the past, and today as well.

As an example take Sir Thomas More, the 16th century English Catholic Saint. Even the left-liberal clergy considers him a hero (A Man for all Seasons) for his courageous refusal to submit to fashion and following his own conscience even when faced with certain death from the powers that be. I admire him too. But not for every season. Some seasons he did what I consider despicable acts.

(It’s really hard for me to believe how seriously people took people having the Politically Correct faith in the Reformation, Medieval, Roman, and all earlier times. For the most part that’s not true of most Christians today. Unfortunately, it is true of more than a few Muslims today.)

When King Henry VIII was a Catholic prince he was praised by the Pope as a “Defender of the True Faith”–Catholic branch. After Henry finally got his divorce outside the Church and was excommunicated, the pope and Catholic priests and monks were mocked as foreign devils (even though the mockers believed nearly identical truths!) and King Henry was hailed as a brave and heroic defender of the true faith–Protestant branch.

To his credit Thomas More did not take his convictions lightly. But his courageous consistency also led to his eternal shame. When he was a Catholic Prime Minister he condemned (and personally supervised) the burning alive of quite a few Protestants. After all, the argument went, since they were destined to spend an eternity in hellfire because of their sinful, false, and wicked beliefs. Burning them alive here on earth might be a blessing if they would convert and save themselves from a worse fate in the eternal fires of hell!

The same argument was used in the Reformation’s Thirty Years War between Christian Protestants and Catholics. A third of the cities in northern Europe were wiped out in this awful war and their populations brutally massacred. Actually, it was virtually the same more recently with the Japanese Shinto kamikaze fighters and pilots in WW2, Communist and Nazi true believers, and the many religious cults in South America and the US who engineered mass suicides in the 20th century. And then most recently it surfaced again with suicidal Radical Islamic bombers who killed 3000 people in NYC with similar faith arguments.

I know full well how comforting it is to believe loved ones (and pets) survive in a good life after death, but the above events are also the tragic results of a firm religious faith in a life after death. I choose not to hold to that faith in a life after death.

As an addendum, I do think some of that fervor for the right PC belief is probably a memetic carry over in Modern Age societies in the Progressive/Green clergy. Their weekly scientific faith in climate change is one example. Their wholesale dismissal of science when it comes to genetic engineering, nuclear technology, and bell curves when it comes to racial issues–are others.

I also fully realize most modern Christians (and Progressive/Greens) in this country will not accept my analysis of their comforting belief in the hereafter. Who is to say they are wrong?

I respectfully and somewhat sadly volunteer.

I do say they are wrong in their misguided faith. At the same time I can also sympathize, and as a thinking moral Christian myself, wish it were not so. Maybe Saint Thomas More did this as well. I sincerely hope so.

Bill Stonebarger, Owner/President, Hawkhill

P.S. For more details curl up, buy, read, and watch–Spaceship Earth, Democracy in World History, Twilight or Dawn: a Traveler’s Guide to Free-Market Liberal Democracy, East Gilman Street, or Bill’s Blogs.

Naming

Sunday, June 4th, 2017

June 5, 2017

Neuropathy.

A new word to me.

I heard it first from my sister Judy who commented when I complained about the pain in my feet when in bed. “Pete (her husband) has similar pains in his feet. The doctor called it neuropathy. He takes some kind of prescription pills for it.”

I was relieved just having my mystery-pain actually had a name! I looked up “neuropathy” on the Mayo Clinic website. I followed up the search by calling my doctor. She confirmed the diagnosis and may have solved my pain problem with pills and lotion.

aberation

Another nice word that I did know but not in this context.

I thought of it one evening last week when I fell awkwardly into the toilet seat trying to get a pesky catheter into my pesky penis. Grandson Kryn, wife Jane, and capable neighbor-friend Pierce righted me (and potentially saved my life!). Later in bed I realized it was a one-time thing (an aberration) and was not at all likely to happen again. I hoped.

costochondritis

Oops!

I wrote the above in all good faith last evening (Monday). I woke up this morning (Tuesday) and discovered on an Internet search that I may have costochondritis (bruised or broken ribs). When I fell awkwardly into the toilet seat I did more damage than I thought. My nasty cold is better but when I cough or laugh my chest gives me pain. I was going to add complaining and crying don’t help much either but that’s not really true. While it may only be true for me, tears and complaints are better for pain than fun and laughs.

“Furstist with the mostest”

Not a word but more like an idea for a military campaign!

Aspiring journalists learn you will get more readers if you begin your news article with a good story. Young reporters followed this advice with two stories on the front page of our local newspaper recently.

One told in detail sob stories of what will likely happen if Obamcare is repealed and replaced. According to the Associated Press 34 million people (later AP claims were up to 100 million) are going to lose health insurance under the Trump plan.

The second local article described in equal detail how millions of people in Wisconsin would be traveling on the coming Memorial Day weekend. A later AP story predicted that 255 million people in the whole US would spend many billions of dollars to crowd the nation’s highways and airports taking a summer vacation.

The two articles were not related in the print versions. But should have been.

What about the Pope’s, and some green activist’s, advice that, “if we are serious about climate change, we will need to reduce our levels of consumption?”

Numerality

As millionaire miner George Hearst was fond of saying, “if d-u-n doesn’t spell done, what the hell does it spell?” I add, “Not sure if Numerality is a word but it should be.”

The news articles quoted above were full of numbers. Am I the only one to boldly ask what these wildly disparate numbers say about American’s real priorities?

Socialism

I here note that I’m doing the same thing–stories to soften the pain.

.Former President Obama laughingly shrugged off the socialism word when a reporter questioned a policy of his. Bernie Sanders, who narrowly lost the Democratic Presidential primary to Hilary Clinton, is proud to claim “democratic socialism” as the answer to all our problems.

I say socialism is fine for the people who don’t or can’t work and think that the government should provide as a right not a privilege a suitable “level of consumption.” In other words, the government should provide health care, food, shelter, and other charity services with no effort on their part. It has not worked well for the citizens of Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, China, Russia, Vietnam, India, Pakistan, Germany and most countries in Europe. But it is still popular. The Europeans, in particular, are sold on cradle-to-grave safety nets and government subsidies for just about any service. Politicians and clergy in the West, including the Democrats and pre-Trump Republicans of the US have also gone all out to give charitable goodies to the citizens and never mind if they are here illegally. Printing presses, high taxes for the wealthy, and borrowing cooperate fund this largess where the clergy profits and the poor suffer. Comes the day of reckoning–disaster!

It’s no accident that the poorest countries have the most inequality-skewed of the economic bell curves (in other words poor countries have always had the biggest gaps between rich and poor) The most stable and richest bell curves are in the countries with a tax-paying and working middle class along with the smallest clergy–precisely the class who brought the unexpected victory to Donald Trump!

If there were any argument about the merits of socialism the abject failures in China, Russia, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Italy, Cuba, India, North Korea, and Venezuela would have settled it. But it won’t. The temptation in any democracy is to offer more goodies is simply too strong to resist for any politician. The winner in votes will surely go to he or she who promises the most appealing goodies.

All of these modern states–China, Russia, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Cuba, India, North Korea, Italy, Argentina, and Venezuela–tried to outdo one another in offering more life-long peace, bread, and progress to their citizens. All failed and ended up bankrupt with cruel dictators, concentration camps, ethnic massacres, and brutal losses of freedom.

Aristotle and his pupil Plato-the two most famous political philosophers in ancient Greece, said to be the world’s first working democracy-predicted this outcome 2000 years ago. To me the only answer is to go back to my three-part division of history and pin our hopes into the relative infancy of the Modern Age. The first two Ages–Hunting/Gathering and Agricultural–took at least 110,000 years to get humans this far. I have faith that someone or group in the Modern Age (only a few hundred years old) will finally solve the racial, religious, and political problems of our day. Jane and I will not be around, nor will most readers, when these problems abate and the Modern Age can reach its full potential (see Bill’s Blogs, pp. 8-22).

Bill Stonebarger, Owner/President, Hawkhill

P.S. For more details curl up, read, or watch–Spaceship Earth, Democracy in World History, Twilight or Dawn: a Traveler’s Guide to Free-Market Liberal Democracy, East Gilman Street, or Bill’s Blogs.