Mark W. Farnham, New Hampshire Republican for US Senate

Watch this space as I ramp up my primary campaign in July. You should already be able to get a sense of who I am from the existing posts on this blog. But I’m sure you will want to know more before you line up to vote for me on September 9th in the primary election.

Mark

Posted in politics | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Want Peace in the Middle East? The Palestinians CAN Cause it to Happen

Want peace in the Middle East? It is actually pretty simple, but the best solution requires the Palestinians to unilaterally do something BOLDLY PEACEFUL. I promise you this will work: Get your folks together. Talk them into disarming and being the model of civility beyond any requirements of Israel for commerce, border crossing, WHATEVER. Invite their security forces in, all the way to your borders to protect you from external issues. Challenge your people to be easy to protect and civil and challenge Israel to protect you. Israel will relish the extra territorial distance from attack and the cost of providing security will pale compared to its value. Then make a long declaration of tolerance. Absurdly long. Let’s say 49 years. Challenge your people to suspend any and all aggressive acts for 49 years and to just play ball. Forgive each other all that is past, but do not demand prisoner releases. That will come.

Before long I promise you the improvement in life and the passage of time will enable you to relinquish mutual hate. Your children and your children’s children will look back on you as the historic makers of peace.

The challenge is to do it now, as soon as you can, even though mutual hatred still burns all around you.

Choose peace. It is the most honorable thing you can do and it is the way to achieve the best possible outcome in the long run. Sooner than you currently believe you will become fully trusted partners in a civil society.

Posted in politics, Thinking Clearly | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Rose-Marie Davidson passed away March 31, 2014

Rose-Marie Davidson, 87, passed away Monday, March 31, 2014 at Manatee Memorial Hospital in Bradenton, FL. She was born April 30, 1926 in New Rochelle, NY, the daughter of Ernest H. and Rose (Bormann) Vogel. She grew up in Larchmont, NY, Fairfield, CT and Fort Wayne, IN, where she graduated from South Side High School. She attended Indiana University and was a member of Alpha Chi sorority.  She received her BFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI.

 

At Cranbrook she met her future husband, Robert Edwin Davidson, and they were married December 20, 1947. Robert’s career as a painter and art professor took them to Oregon, Canada, western New York and Mexico, and they raised four children along the way. In 1975 they moved to Redington Beach, FL, so that Rose-Marie could care for her elderly mother. After her husband’s death in 2000, Rose-Marie lived in Madeira Beach and Seminole before moving to her son’s home in Palmetto in 2006.

 

Rose-Marie loved animals of all kinds. Her life revolved around her family, and she taught her children to appreciate art, books, and the natural world. When she lived in Redington Beach, she volunteered at the Seabird Sanctuary in Indian Shores. She was a familiar sight riding her bicycle around town and enjoyed walking on the beach early every morning.

 

She is survived by her four children, Owen Davidson of Amherst, MA, Andrea Farnham of Lebanon, NH, Robert Davidson of Palmetto, FL and Brian Davidson of Tampa, FL; seven grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and eight nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband and her brother Ernest. A private memorial service will be held by the family at a later date. Image

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In response to Jim Kim’s question about how to end poverty

The effective theme of the long term sustainable solution to poverty is to focus on the gap between the poorest and the poverty level within each sovereign area and ask each sovereign area which has minimized poverty to then wage prosperity on its poorest neighbor. Below a certain level of destitution it is impossible to “fish.” Given a baseline my bet is that enough will work hard that we can tolerate any long term self selected parasites as long as we do not spend money and resources trying to manage them.

In the US, for example (even with its very high definition of the poverty level as compared to desperate people around the world facing a real possibility of near term starvation) we could very nearly eliminate poverty for the persons legally resident here for the amount we already budget if we simply stopped trying to evaluate who “deserved” help and issued funds as a negative income tax along the lines agreed to by the surprising trio of pre-Watergate Nixon, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and Milton Friedman.

If no barriers or “welfare traps” are erected and you get to keep in net about 75 cents on each dollar earned the side effect savings (such as elimination of crimes of desperation)would generate huge increases in funds available to help Mexico. Reducing the prosperity gradient at sovereign area borders is key to ending illegal immigration as a criminal enterprise. In the very long term, low country to country prosperity gradients make international relations easy. (Consider the US and Canada.) This may sound a bit Utopian, but we can actually make this happen if we simply stop trying to regulate who deserves the poverty level. And we should start this right here in the US and the sooner, the better.

We miss you Jim, but my classmate Phil seems to be doing a great job.

As for the World Bank, I would suggest you use some of your resources to calculate for various countries whether they are spending too much trying to regulate the distribution of baseline support and whether it is practical to experiment with just giving it. My hunch is that this is applicable in many sovereign areas, but I don’t have the resources to do comprehensive data gathering and calculations. I’m supposing that you do. It is likely even profitable to determine the current beneficiaries of the slices of foreign aid that are taken by corruption and pay them off above the table to just not interfere.

Posted in politics, Thinking Clearly | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Anvil of God (Book One of the Carolingian Chronicles)

Anvil of God (Book One of the Carolingian Chronicles)
by J. Boyce Gleason brings to mind “Game of Thrones” with a factual
historical setting instead of dragons (although there is a dragon reference in
the extensive footnotes and historical record). Gleason creates a complex and
delightful (at sometimes violent and blunt, at others subtle) set of characters
assigned with plausibility mostly to actual historical figures. As he weaves
his tapestry with fictional details added to the actual historical record you’ll
find yourself rooting and admiring some and hoping the hammer falls on some
others. I doubt you’ll put it down until you take a break to be fresh for the
Author’s Notes. You’ll want to be fresh as Gleason takes you through the
historical references that justify his character choices. Now don’t read the
notes until you finish the rest, but don’t skip them either.

Posted in Book Review | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Justification of Laws Limiting Individual Freedom

Justification of Laws Limiting Individual Freedom

Humans have a right to seek joy by any means that does not prevent or reduce the joy of others. Any other stance is an expression of religious views, which I respect, but which should not be promulgated by the government.

Therefore, any law must be to either:

a)      Create facilities for the joy of all
b)     Restrict freedom for the purpose of preventing one person from depriving another of joy or the possibility of joy.

In the cases where law is promulgated in support of the creation of facilities for the joy of all, the laws should be as efficient as possible.

In the cases where law is promulgated in support of prevention of the preemption of the joy of others, the minimum restriction must be sought, and any notion that limiting any person’s joy because others might be jealous or envious of greater joy must be rejected.

Examples:

Category A:

  • Interstate Highways
  • Sewer and Water facilities
  • Public Schools
  • The Common Defense

Category B:

  •                Thou shalt not kill (or even assault) other humans
  •                Don’t steal (with exceptions, such as taking a car to get a trauma victim to a hospital)
Posted in politics, Thinking Clearly | Tagged | 2 Comments

ACA: Good name, Possibly a good notion, Horrible implementation

The fundamental underpinning of the math and costs under mandated universal care NOT paid for by the government is people who have continuously paid for insurance are now pooled with folks who previously rolled the dice on the costs of chronic ailments. There is no reward for having paid to not take the risk over a long period and we are now burdened directly with the cost of the losers. Now, historically the culture in this country is that buying insurance is an individual risk choice. Don’t buy fire insurance? If your house does not burn down, big win. Most people choose to not take that risk and if you have a mortgage the bank makes the safe choice for you because their experience is based on a pretty good proxy for the entire risk pool. It would be entirely possible to craft a system that rewarded people for their past contributions to the shared risk, but that was not done. In the name of helping the poor, the ACA has taken advantage of and done damage to those who have previously paid for insurance. We would be far better off to deal directly with ending poverty for those legally resident in the US with something like the Friedman-Moynihan-Nixon plan and allowing a choice of whether to buy insurance. Or, in addition to a F-M-N negative income tax plan we could just pay for “A and E” (accident and emergency) care from the federal level with a credit over time to the folks who previously paid for insurance and let insurance for chronic problems remain a choice. Of course the most expensive choice is universal coverage of both “A and E” and chronic problems. There is zero chance we can meet everyone’s every need until we routinely have “Star Trek” era technology, so don’t hold your breath, and plan for rationed care if you want that option. Just like phasing out the Ponzi scheme of social security, we should pay off our obligations to those with sunk cost in the prior system when we completely change the rules of the “game.” This just in from the feds: The reason exchange coverage in Vermont is so high is lack of competition. Sigh. No kidding.

Posted in politics, Thinking Clearly | Tagged , , | Leave a comment