SOTU: 2017 SUMMARY UPDATE

This is an update to the Original 2017 SOTU SUMMARY and covers the period of 2017-2021. In conjunction with other cited references, it serves as the basis for the Future Forecast 2022-2028.

Note: all links open a new page. To return to this summary, just close the opened page.

New additions: Status of the U.S. Economy, and International Cyber Security.

Status of the U.S. Economy:

Observation of issues from a high level indicates conflicts regarding the economy are political. The U.S. is a great country in most respects, however, there seems to be a disconnect between idealism and reality.

Idealism produces an endless array of social programs for which, politicians believe, there is sufficient funding. This is a myth as the deficit now represents five years of federal revenue from taxes, etc. The reality is there has been a growing federal deficit since 1992.

Imports vs Exports & Trade Deficit indicate the total trade deficit for the period 1992-2021 is 17 trillion, 132 billion, 255 million. That is 815,820,238,095 on an annual basis.

Annual interest payments on the national debt now exceeds $550,000,000,000, nearly the total cost of education for K-12 schools, or the Department of Defense budget.

What does the future hold? Possibly a reduction in social programs as the national deficit grows. Social programs, healthcare and more will suffer lower and discontinuing services.

The real data shows the U.S. is well on the way to bankruptcy. Annual revenue vs programmed expenditures indicates a significant departure from fiscal responsibility.

The point being, that occasionally organizations and society become so engrossed in the detail, that they miss the overall picture and can’t see the forest for the trees.

Most of the trade deficit is a result of unbalanced trade with Asia, mainly China.

Refer to the posting on Status of the U.S. Economy.

International Cyber Security:

The education service industry is indeed global, and possibly covers every continent and culture. Networks of agreements exist between global universities  and employers.

Universities worldwide are developing large-scale interconnected campuses that resemble towns and factories. Examples of large-scale campuses are IIT Bombay, India, the National University of Singapore, and the Suzhou Dushu Lake Higher Education Town of the Peoples Republic of China, all interconnected.

Internationally, coursework outside the degree program is limited. As a result, more time and depth of study is provided allowing students to focus more on how-to-do-it. U.S. colleges and universities require, on average, one to one and a half years of study outside technical degrees of study.

Therefore, in many ways, U.S. students are not competitive. Many large companies in the U.S. are headed by graduates from foreign degree programs.

Hardware and software companies provide international academic organizations with products to practice-on and make engineering changes-to under contract.

DEF CON Workshops are provided by organizations that teach participants how to secure, or hack through the cyber security of sites to access or change content.

Computer systems located in China and North Korea routinely crawl the worldwide web, hacking into U.S. banks and companies to access funds and trade secrets.

Refer to the posting on International Cyber Security.

SOTU 2017 Upadates:

Oath of Office:

Ben’s Guide: Known as a swearing-in ceremony. The official reciting the oath swears an allegiance to uphold the Constitution.

The Constitution only specifies an oath of office for the President; however, Article VI of the Constitution states that other officials, including members of Congress, “shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation to support this constitution.”

U.S. Students Achievement Level:

U.S. students’ math skills have remained stagnant for decades. This means they are falling behind many other countries, and scores are now below the global average.

Students placed 11th out of 79 countries in science and 30th in math. When analyzing the U.S. results over the years, there has not been any improvement in math since 2003, and no improvement in science since 2006.

Micro-communities within host nation borders: 

ADWEEK: Announcement of the upcoming #SMWLDN on Nov. 2 – 4, 2021 provides an insight into reimagining social media marketing for a better tomorrow.

Forbes: article on The How And Why Of Building Micro-Communities On Social Media.

Immigration into the U.S.

Pew Research Center: The United States has more immigrants than any other country in the world. The U.S. and World Population Clock.

Today, more than 40 million people living in the U.S. were born in another country, accounting for about one-fifth of the world’s migrants.

Unskilled job market shrinking:

MIT: Study finds job-replacing tech has directly driven the income gap and loss of jobs for the unskilled continues.

Within industries adopting automation, the study shows, the average “displacement” (or job loss) from 1987-2016, displacement was 16 percent, while reinstatement was just 10 percent.

In short, those factory positions or phone-answering jobs are not coming back.

Bureau of Labor Statistics:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes a variety of news releases and publications on economic data. BLS employs many surveys and statistical methods developed and refined over the course of the year. This is an excellent source to use for original research data. Strategic Plan, FY 2020-2025.

However, keep in mind that data is frequently updated during the year. Always recheck the source for changes.

Free money for all: 

AP News: In experiments across the country, dozens of cities and counties — some using money from the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package approved in March.

Proposed levels of payment are $500 to $1,000 each month to do with as they please and tracking what happens.

United States Census Bureau: Income and poverty in the United States: 2020 – Current population reports.

Employment and Underemployment:

The nation’s workforce, including employment and unemployment levels, as well as weeks and hours worked.

Data collection also includes occupation, industry, and class of worker (e.g., self-employed, working for a private firm, or working for a government agency) in the American labor force.

Included are behavior and estimates of home-based work.

U.S. contribution to the U.N.

COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: The United States remains the largest donor to the United Nations, contributing roughly $11 billion in 2019, which accounted for just under one-fifth of funding for the body’s collective budget.

Included are the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the World Food Program (WFP).

Government Accountability Office:

GAO@100: A century of GAO activities in non-partisan fact-based work. The presentation is a modern web design with a graphic presentation of areas of interest.

Included are current trends in Artificial Intelligence (AI) Automation and the Internet of Things, Blockchain & Distributed Technologies, climate, health, and weapons, and more.

Cost of Violence as Percent of World GDP: 

VISION OF HUMANITY:  The economic impact of violence improved by 0.2 percent from 2018 to 2019. The biggest improvement was in armed conflict, which decreased by 29 percent to $521 billion.

In the ten countries most affected by violence, the average economic impact of violence was equivalent to 41 per cent of GDP.

Cost of lobbying exceeds $3 billion annually and over 12,000 lobbyists:

Open Secrets: The combined organization, OpenSecrets, merges the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) and the National Institute on Money in Politics (NIMP).

The total cost of lobbying, and the number of lobbyists continues to increase.

New World Order: 

The Atlantic: In 2016, Australia struck a deal with France to buy a fleet of diesel-powered submarines.

Australians will scrap their agreement with France and team up with Britain and the U.S. instead, forming a new “AUKUS” military alliance in the process.

Healthcare Swindle:

Alliance for Natural Health: It’s no mystery that American health care is a crony mess.

In many ways, this is because health care is treated differently than almost every other service.

$10 for an aspirin; $300 for a single X-ray; $8,000 for an emergency room visit.

World economic situation: 

United Nations: Global manufacturing-dependent economies are faring better, both during the crisis and the recovery period. Trade-in services, in particular tourism, will remain depressed amid the slow lifting of restrictions on international travel and fear of new waves of infection in many developing countries.

According to the World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) mid-2021 report, following a sharp contraction of 3.6 percent in 2020, the global economy is now projected to expand by 5.4 percent in 2021,

Marijuana Trends Among 8th, 10th, and 12th Grades:

Monitoring the Future: Daily marijuana prevalence rose in all three grades in 2019, significantly so in the lower two grades, with a further increase in 2020.

It is noteworthy that among 8th graders, it showed little change between 1996 and 2019.

In 2020, in all three grades, daily marijuana levels were at or near the highest level recorded since 1991 (1.1%, 4.4%, and 6.9%). Refer to page 14.

U.S. $42 Trillion GDP loss: 

AP NEWS: US Economy grows 6.4% in Q1, and it’s likely just the start. The economy may have grown 6.4%, but from what baseline? Additionally, the U.S. GDP loss increased significantly.

Applying the 250% formula as depicted in New Rules, the cumulative GDP loss since 1992 is $42 Trillion.

Harvard: U.S. Competitiveness: A Recovery Squandered. Structural failures in the U.S. political system continue to prevent meaningful progress on actions needed to improve U.S. competitiveness.

Drug and Alcohol Use Among College Students:

Addiction Center: College students make up one of the largest groups of drug abusers nationwide. Starting out in college produces some natural social anxiety for many students.

As students are facing the high demands of coursework, part-time jobs, internships, social obligations, and more, many turn to drugs as a way to cope.

Alcohol is involved in the vast majority of substance-related problems on college campuses. Because drinking is often socially acceptable.

Political gridlock: 

FiveThirtyEight: How much longer can this era of political gridlock last?

Divided government is probably imminent, and the electoral pattern we’ve become all too familiar with — a pendulum swinging back and forth between unified control of government and divided government.

New Jobs are STEM:

Pew Research Center: The STEM workforce (science, technology, engineering, and math) has grown rapidly in recent decades.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics identifies projects for strong growth, many are STEM. Increasing diversity in the STEM workforce is closely tied to the educational system.

Fiscal outlook and debt:

Congressional Budget Office: CBO projects a federal budget deficit of $2.3 trillion in 2021, nearly $900 billion less than the shortfall recorded in 2020.

At 10.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), the deficit in 2021 would be the second-largest since 1945.

Federal debt is held by the public—which stood at 100 percent of GDP at the end of the fiscal year 2020.

Charter Schools:

EducationWeek: A charter school is a tuition-free school of choice that is publicly funded but independently run.

Conceived over 25 years ago in Minnesota as a means to loosen red tape around public schools and free up educators to innovate, charters have since grown into a national movement that spans 44 states plus the District of Columbia and includes around 7,000 schools and 3 million students.

Status of the U.S. Economy

Economic models used, and predictions derived from them, tend to have a narrow and shallow understanding. There are thousands of economists at work predicting current and future outcomes. Unfortunately, however complex the models are, the capability of providing accurate outcomes is in question. Currently the economy is in a recessionary state, and applying this narrow and shallow approach will always be behind the real world outcomes. As the saying goes, “they are playing inside the sandbox, and oblivious to their surroundings.”

Decisions made always have a future outcome, not always knowable in advance. However, failing to attempt or predict and monitor outcomes for revision, will usually produce an undesirable outcome. In the case of trade deficits, they are reported and knowable. The 17+ Trillion trade deficit is funding provided to other trading partners in pursuit of their growth objectives at the the expense of U.S. futures.

Prior to 1998, trade deficits were manageable. Over the period from 1998 and 2022, imports have resulted in increasing loss of real income and degradation of the U.S. infrastructure. Today, the suggested method of improving the infrastructure is to borrow. Prior the this time taxes and fees from production paid for these items.

Additionally, the trade deficit can be used by trading partners to build their infrastructure, military, shipping, and buy other assets. China has routinely purchased raw materials resources previously used by the U.S. when manufacturing was performed in the U.S. China has also made agreements with countries such as Italy and Spain to secure shipping ports.

The data below indicate much of the 30+Trillion in deficit is, in fact, an outcome of taking a global perspective, where China and other countries have not reciprocated. A case could be made the U.S. is funding Chinese and Russian aggression.

Recession seems to be a long-term prediction. With the possibility of international conflict, shortages will more likely occur than not. Plan for depression.

United States Census Bureau Provides data for Imports vs Exports and resulting trade deficit for the period of 1992 – July 2001. All figures are in millions of U.S. dollars.

This is an update of the New Rules: U.S. Economy and International Trade posting, which states that the Most Favored Nation (MFN) status was given to China by Congress in 1992. Refer to that posting for a background discussion.

The chart indicates that before 1992, the trade deficit was relatively minor. Since 1992, the overall trade deficit has continued to grow. Reviewing data provided by the United States Census Bureau indicates the majority of the U.S. trade deficit is with Asia, mainly China.

The total trade deficit for the period 1992-2021* is 17 trillion, 132 billion, 255 million.

The World Trade Organization (WTO), established in 1995, has the objective of facilitating international trade.

Several articles and research papers have been written on open free trade. Review the CATO INSTITUTE for background issues that impact global trade.

U.S. GDP Growth Rate data for 1992 – 2020

<a href='https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/USA/united-states/gdp-gross-domestic-product'>U.S. GDP 1960-2021</a>. www.macrotrends.net. Retrieved 2021-09-27.

macrotrends website provides U.S. GDP Growth Rate data for 1992 – 2020.

The question frequently asked, “what is the ideal growth rate?” A healthy rate keeps the economy in an expansion phase of the business cycle. U.S. GDP growth rate for the period is 2.38%, within the desired rate of 2% and 3%.

Factors included in determining the quarterly GDP are published by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. GDP reflects data internal to a specific economy. Economists use varying definitions and formulas for determining GDP.

As data presentations, the chart and tables are interesting and provide some limited information regarding the health of the U.S. economy. However, are not sufficient to evaluate, understand and make predictions on the future.

Summary:

The American Presidency Project  website contains Federal Budget Receipts and Outlays 1930 – 2020 with estimates to 2026.

The website contains a Presidential Documents Archive with collections of public messages, statements, speeches, news conference remarks, documents such as Proclamations, and Executive Orders.

Growth in deficit spending began in 2009 following the 2008 market slump. Future deficits over $2,000,000,000,000 may be an annual occurrence.

Annual Interest payment on the national debt exceeds $550,000,000,000, nearly the total cost of education for K-12 schools, or the Department of Defense budget.

Annual borrowing is required to fund the difference between federal tax revenue and expenditures.

Horizon scanning is the observation of issues from a high level and is frequently referred to as viewing activity from 40,000 feet (eight miles up). The point being, that occasionally organizations and society become so engrossed in the detail, that they miss the overall picture and can’t see the forest for the trees.

Data identified in the figure and table for Imports vs Exports & Trade Deficit indicate the total trade deficit for the period 1992-2021* is 17 trillion, 132 billion, 255 million. That is 815,820,238,095 on an annual basis.

Information in this posting will be addressed in the SOTU: BACKDROP SUMMARY for 2021-2028.

End of Posting

International Cyber Security

Roadmap of an interconnected system of universities specializing in computer science and cyber security. This system originated in India with funding provided by the USSR. The campus consists of over 500 buildings on 500 acres.

Several faculty from the USSR were assigned to the campus, and faculty from the India university attended universities in the USSR. Major international corporations provided their hardware and software under contract for updating and distribution by students and faculty. This may have led to graduates with significant knowledge and experience on accessing and manipulating these resources, thereby compromising the international digital communications network.

Given the knowledge and experience of graduates, they are highly sought after, and are employed in organizations worldwide.

Background:

Horizon scanning without a specific agenda. Refer to the "About" link on the Online Education website. Additional postings are listed in the Research Category.

Computer science and associated professional fields are the roadmaps and gateways to communications for social, business, government, medical, logistics, industry, space, military communications, and more.

Cyber security is a necessary component of a digital communications network. Aggressors, be they competitors, enemy states, or the curious and mischievous hacker, need to be prevented from accessing digital communications and information. Cyber Security is a growing field of study and employment.

Note: For a broad discussion on the subject refer to the ink and embedded video titled NATO Cyber Defense Center launches cyber threats 2030 overview, a discussion on digital, social, cyber, conventional, AI, and international cyber warfare at the bottom of this posting.

The following examples demonstrate the results of applying horizon scanning to interconnected and independent events. Observation research can be initiated by the information presented on TV, radio, printed media, conferences, or other sources. Rarely, does an observation represent a single state of a single issue. Often they are complex, complicated, or confusing issues.

Keep in mind that findings do not reflect decision-making outcomes, and are considered a null hypothesis until agreed on by at least three independent researchers, or documented and verified information sources.

After initiation of research, there is no contact between the researcher and the organization or persons under study. Organizations and persons under study tend to change strategies and tactics frequently in response to changing environments. Therefore, revisiting initial outcomes prior to publication is necessary.

In addition to understanding the event under observation, information may indicate changes occurring in the future, and impact other events.

Interconnected Events

Observation Research Event I - Initiation

While attending a conference on higher education, attendees introduced themselves and exchanged business cards. In addition to administrators and faculty in attendance, members of commercial organizations providing services to K-12 and higher education schools participated with the intent of acquiring new business relationships.

Discussion concerning course preparation and support services provided to universities, an expanding field of business, was presented by an attendee. Information printed on the attendee's business card was researched on the internet with positive results. Further research of the attendee revealed that in addition to working as a representative of the company, was an active member of a local school board. Such relationships are not uncommon in education.

The company identified on the card is an organization listed on the page of the previous support services link. CEO of the company was a previous member of a top international internet search firm. Activities of the commercial support services organization were researched revealing it is a recent startup. CEO of the organization has academic roots in the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, India.

Observation Research Event II - IIT Bombay of India

IIT Bombay: English is the language of instruction.

Wikipedia: Provides an overview of the university.

Department of Computer Science and Engineering

U.S. News Education Rankings

As stated on the page for IIT Bombay, it was established in 1958 under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), with funds provided by the then Soviet Union. Vision and Mission of IIT Bombay (Staff Handbook, page 10-11 the .pdf)

The Institute received substantial assistance in the form of equipment and expert services from the USSR through UNESCO from 1956 to 1973. It also received serval experts (59) and technicians (14) from several reputed institutions in the USSR. The UNESCO also offered a number of fellowships (27) for the training of Indian faculty members in the USSR. (page 10-11 of the .pdf)

The campus is a fully residential institute, comprised of several hundred buildings on several hundred acres. All students and most faculty for all programs live on the campus. Students are accommodated in its 15 hostels with in-house dining. The campus also provides individual homes for families and excellent amenities for sports and other recreational facilities. Included are medical services for the entire family, and stores for shopping.

Freshmen study in an open classroom environment.

Sophomores assist as teaching assistants for the freshmen class and are encouraged to work with commercial organizations as interns during the year.

During the junior and senior years, students begin researching and contracting with the largest international organizations that provide current hardware and software for student projects.

Graduates of IIT Bombay are highly prized by international corporations. International students are limited to no more than ten percent, with the traditional number around one percent. The number of employers desiring to hire graduates is restricted by invitation as demand for graduates far exceeds availability.

There is limited coursework in the humanities and social sciences. The tight focus on the program of study produces highly qualified and effective graduates. This approach is also common outside of the United States making it difficult for U.S. students to compete. Computer Science faculty in the U.S. are highly populated by graduates from outside the country.

It is common among institutions of higher education to have collaborative student transfer and research agreements.

IIT Bombay has partnerships for the doctoral program with the Monash University of Australia and the National University of Singapore.

Observation Research Event III - Monash University of Australia

Monash University of Melbourne Australia: English is the language of instruction.

Wikipedia: Provides an overview of the university.

Department of Computer Science

U.S. News Education Rankings

Monash University is Australia’s largest university with extensive courses and study options, research projects, and international exchanges. This combination of assets provides an education that sets graduates apart from their peers.

Monash provides students with all the tools, support, and resources needed to study online, on-campus, and everything in-between as part of the course of study.

Prior to entry to the university, students must complete a “Diploma” which is a combination of technical courses including science, math, and information systems. As with IIT Bombay, there are few requirements in the areas of humanities and social sciences at the degree level.

Students from over 170 countries attend the university. Monash has an international campus presence and cooperative programs in Italy, Malaysia, India, South Africa, and the Peoples Republic of China at the Suzhou Dushu Lake Higher Education Town, inside the Suzhou Industrial Park, home to several thousand foreign companies and research institutes.

Observation Research Event IV - National University of Singapore

National University of Singapore: English is the language of instruction.

Wikipedia: Provides an overview of the university.

Department of Computer Science

U.S. News Education Rankings

The National University of Singapore (NUS) is the oldest higher education institution in Singapore. According to most rankings, it is considered to be one of the best universities in the Asia-Pacific region, and in the world. NUS adopts features of the British system, such as small group teaching tutorials on top of regular two-hour lectures, and the American system of course credits.

In September 1904, Tan Jiak Kim led a group of representatives of the Chinese and other non-European communities to petition the Governor of the Straits Settlements, Sir John Anderson, to establish a medical school in Singapore. The school has grown over the years and now consists of Duke-NUS Medical School, a postgraduate medical school jointly established with Duke University.

Yale-NUS College is a liberal arts college and was established in collaboration with Yale University It is scheduled to merge with NUS by 2025.

The School of Computing (SoC), established in 1998, has two departments – Computer Science and Information Systems and Analytics.

The department of Computer Science offers two undergraduate degree programs – Computer Science and Information Security. As with IIT Bombay, graduates of this program are highly sought by international companies and universities. Refer to the bottom of the linked-to page for commercial and academic organizations cited.

The department of Information Systems and Analytics offers two other programs - Information Systems and Business Analytics.

NSU has the largest virtual supercomputing facilities in the region and uses Internet2 technology to make distance learning possible. Students from Singapore and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology can learn and interact with one another in one virtual classroom.

The international digital pathway between universities provides the ability for administrators, faculty, and students to share information, collaborate, and cooperate on projects in virtual cyberspace.

It has become routine for universities and independent international organizations to create opportunities for students and others to test and demonstrate knowledge and skills acquired in the computer science field of study. The intent of these opportunities is to enhance understanding and performance in cyber security.

Observation Research Event V - Cyber and Social Hacking

DEF CON Workshops is one of the popular independent organizations demonstrating real-world security and social engineering measures for physical sites and applications for cyber security. It may be considered productive or counterproductive. The intent is to determine threats and countermeasures to provide cyber security to sites. On the opposite side of the coin, participants may learn how to hack through the cyber security of sites to access or change the content of hacked sites.

The DEF CON category on YouTube provides a popular series of videos on hacking. It may not be what comes to mind when the term "hacking" is mentioned.

Summary Comments: Observation Research Events I-V

As stated in the opening, observation research is a method of horizon scanning to acquire information. It can be initiated by the information presented on TV, radio, printed media, conferences, or other sources.

Rarely, does an observation represent a single state of a single issue. It is a method of gaining insight into issues of the time and potentially offers a vision of the future. Upon initiation, no contact is made between the researcher and the organization or persons observed. Final conclusions regarding the outcome are seldom reached. It is a never-ending information-gathering process.

Comment I:

It appears from the information provided by the universities linked-to, that the education service industry is indeed global, and possibly covers every continent and culture. That there is a network of agreements between the universities that would provide a path for students to move freely between global universities and employers providing entrance and visa requirements are satisfied.

Comment II:

Computer engineering, in conjunction with electronic engineering and Computer science, are the hardware and network design components of the worldwide communication system. Computing and communication facilities are networked worldwide via telecommunication systems. Also, refer to Information and communications technology.

Communication between computers and peripherals internal to organizations is made possible with the application of local area networks (LANs). Communication between local LANs and external organizations is made possible with the application of wide-area networks (WANs).

Software Engineering is the design component for software that creates computer and peripheral operating systems, and application programs that create and manage information systems for commercial business and personal services.

Comment III:

Universities worldwide are developing large-scale interconnected campuses that resemble towns and factories. Examples of large-scale campuses are IIT Bombay, India, the National University of Singapore, and the Suzhou Dushu Lake Higher Education Town of the Peoples Republic of China. Refer to the links above.

Comment IV:

Entrance requirements for degree programs indicate completion of science and mathematics requirements must be met before acceptance and entrance to degree programs. Humanities and social sciences are not a significant part of the degree programs as they are in the U.S., where students who graduate from high school in the U.S. score 37th among major competitors.

Comment V:

In the physical sciences, virtually everything that is created can be reverse-engineered. Students in the above-referenced programs learn how to do it.

International hardware and software companies provide academic organizations and students with their products to practice on and to make engineering changes under contract. Most cyber security breaches come from inside the organization. Sony Picture Studios Hacked.

Independent Events

The best security measures are provided by individual users. There are a large number of automated systems attempting to sell products and services or acquire users' personal and financial information.

Virtually everyone receives calls and emails from these systems daily. Commercial businesses and government entities routinely sell information of individual customers and citizens'.

 

It is best to assume anything can be hacked. Your phone, computer, car navigation, communication systems, and more can be hacked, and controlled by someone else with the tools and training to do so.

Email Examples:

1). Typical example is an email is received with the logo of a bank on it. The email contains a form asking the recipient to verify their information by entering their user name and password in the form. Placing the mouse cursor on the link, not clicking on it, will provide the actual address of the server the email came from.

The domain name is shown on the lower left-hand corner of the web page. The domain name is entered into the search area on the web browser. And, in fact, it is not the bank! In fact, it is a website located in Beijing with images of a large international corporation. The domain is listed as registered at the same address as the Chinese communist army. The location of the webserver is in Texas.

Webservers can have services that track the Internet Protocol (IP) address of sites that visit a company or private website. Checking the server log for results of visitors revealed that twenty-four computers located in Beijing, and eight computers in North Korea were crawling the website weekly. Search Engine Watch provides a full discussion on the issues.

Tools located on the bottom of the COM CENTER page were used to research the real domain registrant, and enter the actual domain in the URL space on the web browser. The result of the search revealed the site sending the email request was chinatonga.com, a domain name that has now been deactivated.

2). A second case as in 1). above. An email was received with the image of a bank on it. Once again the email requested the User Name and Password for a bank account. Placing the mouse cursor over the link revealed it was a personal email address. An email from a private account does not redirect to a web page as above.

However, unseen to the viewer or originator of the email, there is an IP address hidden in the header of the email. This email was not associated with the organizations in 1). above. Using tools from the COM CENTER again, it revealed the physical location of the originator of the email. Results of tracing the IP address led to the home of a senior executive of a company that held the accounting information of outside vendors.

Where is China Tonga -2016 - 2021

https://www.youtube.com/embed/BzCqQKnF9Oo

Summary

This posting could continue endlessly. Examples of cyber security breaches continue every day and night. An example: hacking school systems reveals such an example.

When viewing a Wikipedia page, read and test the reference links at the bottom of the page . . . there is a wealth of information to be revealed by doing so.

Example: Trade war and economic slowdown leave giant Chinese industrial estate scrambling to keep foreign companies.

Examples of Nation States Hacking:

U.S. Spy Agency Warns That Chinese Hackers Target Military, Defense Industry

Moving Against China's Military for Hacking U.S. Company.

North Korean hackers ramp up bank heists.

NATO Cyber Defense Center launches cyber threats 2030 overview. Web page and embed video. A lengthy cyber defense and horizon scanning presentation. (2:33.58)

Forward-Looking Predictions:

Education is international commerce and has become a big business. With the advent of current and future communications technologies, each organization is seeking new and growing markets, and hopefully access and increasing profits. However, there is a point at which expansion, growth, and competition dilute profits and sustainability.

Communications technologies are an outgrowth of engineering principles and associated products. With Increasing speed, engineering principles and associated products outgrow the last version. Within this process, errors in cyber security occur as products and management are not keep up to date. New hacking products create the need for putting in place more stringent control features, frequently overlooked.

This results in a continuous flow of funds from government funding, student tuition, and endowments to purchase new communication products and keep up with the education market.

If history is a lesson, this process as with all growth processes will hit a plateau and stall. Marginal competitors and those that overreached and became heavily indebted will be forced out of the education market.

Bolstering current expansion is the current imbalance of import and export markets. Future posting of the Real status of the U.S. economy. This will demonstrate how the U.S. and western economies are funding China's education, business, industrial, commercial, military, and territorial expansion.

Information in this posting will be addressed in the SOTU: BACKDROP SUMMARY for 2022-2028.

End of posting.

Observation Research Phase I:

Initial research presented in the IntelRag is intended to be understood and useful for most citizens.

Methods utilized are nonparticipatory and passive in nature. This method is based on horizon scanning, a future technique. Observers acknowledge and record external issues and events, similar to noting, recording and reporting news and research narratives.

External issues and events may appear to be interconnected and/or repetitive in nature. When this occurs, the observer may initiate an external search for supporting data and information to explore validity for an initial hypothesis. When supporting data and information validate the initial hypothesis, research may continue to the next phase.

Observation Research Phase II:

  1. This phase is conducted as nonparticipatory or passive observation research, meaning there is no contact or discussion with the subject(s) or objects observed. Refer to the Type of Participant Observation Chart.
  2. The observation research process moves into a phase supported by multiple observers and/or the use of verified and validated data and information provided by external sources. Outcomes at this step are reported as observations, not as opinions.
  3. To form opinions, the research process must include agreement among multiple observers and/or data and information sources on the same issue or event.
  4. Observations should include data and information from reliable sources, such as government databases and reports.
  5. When presenting data and information narratives acquired from reliable sources, the result is reflected as an observation, not as an opinion.
  6. When multiple observers report concurrence regarding the same issue or event, opinions may be stated. However, opinions require credible evidence and proof of the hypothesis to be accepted.
  7. An example of an external observation report narrative substantiated by external data and information is the SOTU: State of The Union Backdrop Summary.
  8. Active research issues will be documented on individual subject pages with links under the “Research” menu.

Observation Research Phase III:

Observations reported in the Intelrag are summarized for citizens to review.

Upon completion, observations may be published as individual posts in the Online Log under a relative category.

Observation Research Phase IV:

Potential candidate issues to appear:

The Homeless – U.S. Economic Disequilibrium – Digital Warfare – Cultural Warfare & Insecurity – Far-east Instability – North Korea Weapons Test-bed – China Monopoly of World Resources – South and Central America Socialism – Status of the Soft WWIII.

Research Notes:

  1. Observation researchers must establish and maintain the research process with care and vigilance. Far too often, personal attitudes or opinions are inserted into the process, thereby misdirecting outcomes away from the issues or events. This results in a case of analyzing a participant or external source thought process, not the issue or event.
  2. When performing observations and evaluating outcomes of occurrences, be they related to things, ideas and concepts or actions of individuals or groups; observations frequently demonstrate interacting components forming a system.
  3. People interact with things and other people, and express ideas and concepts between them as a system. Even things in the form of technology provide feedback which affects the interaction of things, people and groups as systems.
  4. Organizations are hierarchical in nature, with a systemic relationship between levels. Activities and beliefs usually flow through an organization at varying degrees, from the top level to the lower level.
  5. Technology systems may have sequential and/or parallel components and systems which are affected by data inputs throughout the main system. An error in data at one component can be feed to other components and systems causing irregular functioning or failure.
  6. Refer to the Online Log – Research Category: Success with Complex Issues and Systems, and Complex Ordered Issues and Systems Model.
  7. There are numerous research applications and techniques available for evaluating issues, events, conditions, science, engineering, finance, economics, anthropology, humanities, sociology, psychology and more.
  8. Frequently research is presented as divided into two regions of logic, qualitative or quantitative. The fact that both of these general research regions are identified as “having issues,” is perennial in the research community. Qualitative constantly attempts to prove it is quantitative, and quantitative attempts to prove outcomes are valid. The statement at the conclusion is frequently . . . “requires further study.”
  9. In reality, it is common, as presented in the process outlined above, to begin with qualitative research, and followup with quantitative research.
  10. Another issue is the use of out-of-date references while performing research. There are thousands of colleges, universities and organizations worldwide, where researchers frequently utilize out-of-date and unverified references.
  11. Ethnography is a term related to observation research of peoples and cultures with their customs, habits, and mutual differences. Keep in mind that as a nonparticipating and passive observer, the challenges can be significant. Presence of mind, the ability to remain calm and take sensible action is required to achieve success.
  12. Research subjects are generally covered in statistics courses at the undergraduate level. Theoretical and applied research courses are required at the graduate level. Review of courses and videos depicts a dearth in the application of ethnography and observation research outside of college degree requirements.

Comments: The following videos are typical of issues and events observed on a daily basis. However, they are on a lower order of complexity than those identified in Phase IV as Candidate Issues for research.

Ethnography or observation research

Ethnography: Ellen Isaacs at TEDxBroadway

Free Online Open Learning Courses: National University of Singapore (NUS).

Quantitative and Qualitative Research for Beginners: Basic introduction to the complex world of research methods and provides both theoretical and practical information for students to give them a foundation for carrying out research in a wide range of disciplines using quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods.

Future Forecast: 2020

Background: The 2020 forecast, as with all writings in the online log are the result of observations of information provided to the public via the news media, government, and public organizations. Observations are not intended to provide opinions. Further information on the research process can be found by selecting the “research category” in the online log.

References linked-to in this forecast provide a view of changing dynamics over decades and centuries. Current decision-makers rely on available information and must apply their knowledge (experience) and wisdom to possible cause and effect of their actions. Decisions made at one point in time may cause unintended consequences decades later.

The forecast is limited to three areas of concern for national and international relations, and the summary. Areas of concern are:

1). Commerce, 2). Impeachment, 3). Negotiations, and 4). Summary.

Process: Passive nonparticipatory observation research based on horizon scanning.

Forward:

1). Commerce

The national and international focus may be shifting from armed conflict to economic confrontation and cooperation trough bilateral free-trade agreements.

The United States balance of trade continues to accrue a net deficit of around $500 billion a year. Most of this debt is the result of previously unrestricted imports into the U.S. from China as a result of the most favored nation (MFN) status assigned. Trade deficits began escalating in 1998 and continue to this day with a total imbalance of over $9,000,000,000,000. Current trade negotiations with China appear to be an attempt to reverse and normalize trade relations. Additional trade agreements between the U.S. trading partners are ongoing.

A similar economic imbalance exists between the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU), resulting in Brexit. The UK government formally announced withdrawal from the European Economic Community (EEC).

Weapons of warfare, territorial disputes, and intimidation appear to be applied in negotiations to achieve or maintain economic status. Nations of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), may be violating the principle of the agreement by developing and testing weapons through third party nations to support this effort, possibly North Korea and Iran.

Commerce Notes: Throughout history, nations with surplus wealth have turned to importing goods and services, including employing foreign military services as protectors and servants. In so doing, agents of importing and exporting nations develop profitable relationships facilitating trade. Eventually, wealthy importing nations become dependent on this arrangement for goods and services and experience a loss of wealth, worker skills, access to raw materials, national and international logistics capability for shipping, commerce, and communication. Essentially, importing nations become economic colonies of other nation(s) which are reluctant to give-up their advantage without conflict.

Internally, the result of unbalanced trade in importing nations may lead to the eventual fall of the government, as with Rome and the British Empire. Although the internal issues with Rome do not appear lockstep with current U.S. or UK scenarios, they are the gradual movement from independent economic strength to dependent weakness and increased taxation. “Give the people a circus,” socialism and downfall. 

The chief benefactor of current U.S. trade policy is Chinese economic reform. Originally, the U.S. moved to grant China MFN status to open-up markets and assist in creating a western style economy in China. However, the result has been for China to give preferential treatment to businesses owned or controlled by the Chinese government, thereby gradually eliminating private ownership and prosperity. Internationally, China continues to manipulate currency exchange to maintain and increase government wealth to expand in acquiring mineral resources worldwide, develop the military, and expand territorial claims, all fueled by globalization, a wrong turn in history.

2). Impeachment

The central and time-consuming issue for the U.S. is attempted impeachment of the president by congress. Observation indicates internal review by the Department of Justice (DOJ) may conclude mindless, unbalanced and corrupt activities by a combination of lawmakers and public servants who may be working in concert, effectively destabilizing and paralyzing the charged functions of lawmakers and public servants.

The Constitution and Guidelines for Impeachment

Interactive Constitution made by the National Constitution Center. Full Text

The Question: Is there factual supporting evidence of activity by the president, identified in the Constitution, requiring impeachment? Or, is there factual evidence of intent by lawmakers, government servants, foreign powers and/or outside influences to overthrow the government?

Treason: 18 USC Ch. 115: Treason, Sedition, and Subversive Activities. (expansive reference)

Treason as defined in Article III, section 3 of the constitution. “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.” Treason in criminal law?

Overthrow: Removal from power; a defeat or downfall. “plotting the overthrow of the government.” (possibly through a series of interconnected events).

Synonyms of Treason: treachery · lese-majesty · disloyalty · betrayal · faithlessness · perfidy · perfidious · duplicity · infidelity · sedition · subversion · mutiny · rebellion · high treason·

Impeachment Notes: Impeachment is a seldom used  power of congress. Two presidents, one senator, the Secretary of War, and fifteen judges have been impeached since 1798. What remains to be experienced is the question “can congress be impeached, and by whom?” Many would respond to the question with, yes, at the ballot box. However, should issues addressed in the Inspector Generals (IG) Report bear fruit, and upcoming Department of Justice (DOJ) Report identify criminal activity, will it be treated as NOT political, but criminal? 

Do the synonyms of treason above apply to conduct of the House of Representatives during the recent impeachment process? Is it acceptable to say that the process was “just political?” Does the U.S. House of Representatives have immunity from the scales of justice, while then requiring the scales of justice apply in the U.S. Senate? It appears some believe so. 

3). Negotiations

On the national and international scene, at any given time, on any given issue, there will be visible and unseen participants with a stake in the outcome of a negotiation. Central issues in active negotiation at any time can be trade agreement with China, nuclear nonproliferation treaty, space exploration, immigration, conservation, healthcare, deficit spending, responsibilities of congress and many more.

Underlying negotiations are unseen participants at a support level or outside controlling authority, such as the world trade organization (WTO). Negotiations, in this sense, form a complex set of participants seen and unseen which can essentially hold the primary issue hostage from making progress and successful completion. (refer to the online log “research category” success with complex issues and systems). The concept of controlling global trade and attempted world government by the EU is depicted in Twitter streams hierarchy of EU participants that may also impact global negotiations.

Further compounding issues in negotiations may be “models of collective behavior” and “the madness of crowds” effect which have potential implications. The most common problem can be the combination of “undue influence” and collective behavior which may explain party-line voting in government. As an example, all members of the one party fall inline behind the speaker’s objectives regardless of the rationality of the issue. Such a move shifts the issue at hand to personal, non-legislative activity. Influence of this nature occurs in national and international negotiations in business, government, education and industry.

Negotiation Notes: Negotiations may be misdirected to provide personal gain from change of ownership of assets which are not the property of negotiators. Politicians may have authority to create trade agreements, however, may also set in motion detrimental outcomes for citizens, while at the same time realizing personal benefitsfor their actions.

The difficulty facing negotiators from an international perspective. even when the intent is genuine and above board, is the inability to predict long-term outcomes. (Henry Kissinger discuses U.S.-China ties at the New Economy Forum in Beijing. A history dialog with implications for the future. The content of the message is the lesson. Always view negotiations from the perspective of the other party, and today, from the interests of their counterparts). The coming cold war with China.

4.) Summary

2020 appears to be a year of continual sparring by political parties for position in congress and local government.

Deficit spending (borrowing money beyond tax and fee revenues) continues, currently around twenty-six trillion dollars . . . with no end insight for increased deficits. Moving towards socialism.

Governments are underwriting profitable businesses by deferring or eliminating taxes, and subsidizing other costs. Moving towards socialism.

Deficits, which are not allowed in many states, will require additional increases in taxation or deficit borrowing to cover expanded social programs. Moving towards socialism.

Candidates campaigning for elected positions are suggesting government pay for medical care and education for all. Moving towards socialism.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are increasingly applied to reduce costs by replacing labor with automation. This has been forecast to temporary raise wages for high-tech computer programmers and information science employees. Forecast also leads to lower incomes for the same high-tech employees in the future as AI and ML routines are employed, reducing the demand for human programmers.

China is developing social reforms, competing technical skills, and an engineering base that exceeds that of the U.S.. Chinese new economy forum. Mostly financed by excessive exports to the U.S.

Observation Notes:

Comments on impeachment are not included in the summary at this time.

2020 may be a turbulent year for many reasons beyond the three areas of concern identified above:

Negotiations with North Korea, China and Iran have not proven to be reliable. Frequently, if not always, broken promises.

Financially, below zero interest rates exist in some global markets, and the stock market has become more of a hustle than an investment arena. Yes, the market has risen significantly and may be the result of hyping sweetheart stocks, while heavily shorting others . . . is it time for caution?

Always a work in progress.

 

Information, Knowledge and Wisdom

Background: The following issues arise during communication of information, acquisition of knowledge and wisdom. Who knew what, when did they know it, and how did they acquire it?

When preparing plans and programs, attending school or performing research, discussions occur between members of groups. As activities progress, changes occur as a result of lessons learned or changing objectives. Public news or information on the issue may not reflect current status or final outcomes. Discussions based on incomplete or untimely results will most likely be inaccurate.

A common occurrence is when students receive information from teachers without familiarity through experience or association with the subject; and are lacking in wisdom. Information combined with knowledge through experience leads to Wisdom. Without completing the cycle, conflict can occur between participants and the public.

The following are modified from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary. Definitions may appear to overlap.

Definition of Information: Communication is the operative word. Visual, oral, written or any combination thereof.

The communication or reception of knowledge or intelligence.

(1) Knowledge obtained from investigation, study, or instruction

(2) intelligence, news

(3) facts, data

  • The attribute inherent in and communicated by one of two or more alternative sequences or arrangements of something (such as nucleotides in DNA or binary digits in a computer program) that produce specific effects.
  • A signal or character (as in a communication system or computer) representing data.
  • Something (such as a message, experimental data, or a picture) which justifies change in a construct (such as a plan or theory) that represents physical or mental experience or another construct.
  • A quantitative measure of the content of information specifically a numerical quantity that measures the uncertainty in the outcome of an experiment to be performed.

Definition of Knowledge: Experience is the operative word. Art, agriculture, business, education, engineering, government, manufacturing, medicine, research, science and more. Design and testing to prove concepts.

The fact or condition of knowing something with familiarity gained through experience or association.

  • Acquaintance with or understanding of a science, art, or technique.
  • The fact or condition of being aware of something.
  • The range of one’s information or understanding answered to the best of one’s knowledge.
  • The circumstance or condition of apprehending truth or fact through reasoning.
  • The fact or condition of having information or of being a learned person of unusual knowledge.

Definition of Wisdom: Discern is the operative word. Formulate and apply successful concepts based on acquired information and knowledge. 

Ability to discern inner qualities and relationshipsInsight

Good sense: Judgment

Accumulated philosophical or scientific learningKnowledge

____________________________________________________________________________

Examples of significant information, knowledge and wisdom disconnects in government.

Note: Selecting a link opens a separate page. Close the page to return to this posting.

$24 Trillion GDP Loss: Result of mismanaged international trade.

Economics for Politicians: Unbalanced global trade can have a negative impact on infrastructure, employment and crime.

Ignorance, Stupidity and Idiocy: Does the level of education guarantee good government?

Gridlock in Government: What has changed since the future forecast for 2014?

State of the Union: Based on real data. Headed down the road to where? You be the judge.

Now you are up to date . . . for the next six years.

The Conundrum of Open-Access Publishing

New principles aiming to democratise academic literature have the support of 11 European countries. But will they solve an age-old problem?

The widespread demand for open-access publications seems to come from a moral standpoint for most academics. Publishers have ripped off scientists for too long – we pay for our papers to be published and then have to buy the paper back off them. Currently, researchers who elect to publish their work with open access are forced to pay inflated prices to the journal. Overall, while largely supported, open access is not without its imperfections.

“it is about money, and the more it’s about money, the more money it’s going to be about”. (Read the full article) The University Times is Ireland’s largest student newspaper, and is the current Student Publication of the Year.

SOTU: 2017 SUMMARY

2017 State of The Union Backdrop Summary

Summary: Items in the table below provide a top-level summary regarding legislative and fiscal health at the national level.

Micro-communities within host nation borders
Unskilled job market shrinking
Free money for all
U.S. contribution to the U.N.
Cost of violence 13.3 % of world GDP
New World Order
World economic situation
U.S. $24 trillion GDP loss
Political gridlock
Fiscal outlook and debt
Oath of Office
Immigration into the U.S.

U.S. 47 million migrants
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Employment and Underemployment
Government Accountability Office
Lobbying $3.1 billion and 11,143 lobbyists
$272 billion healthcare swindle
Marijuana trends among 8th, 10th, and 12th grades
Drug and alcohol use amoung college students
Three-quarters of new jobs are STEM
Charter schools
U.S. students score average internationally, and below average in math

Summary Part I: Prolog

National and international cultures are establishing micro-communities within the borders of host nations via the use of social media. They represent every skill, education, experience and income level, and many differing political and religious systems and beliefs. New technology applications threaten labor intensive jobs as nearly half of jobs are vulnerable to computerization, shrinking the need for unskilled labor. Demand for employees skilled in developing and using science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are in demand.

Technology At Work v2.0, Citi GPS: Global Perspectives & Solutions, January 2016. Offshoring for cost savings is pursued less as a result of new technology applications, which shrink the number of unskilled jobs. Europeans are beginning to mull free money for all. The inference is unemployment creates instability which can be solved by subsidizing family income.

As unemployment rates rise, conflict and instability increase nationally, and internationally, requiring peacekeeping operations. Worldwide peacekeeping operations are expensive. The chart for 2016-2018 indicates the U.S. contribution to be 28.36 Billion of an overall total of 53.03 Billion for the entire UN. (United Nations General Assembly)

World's Most and Least Peaceful Countries in 2016: Currently, violence costs 13.3% of the Worlds GDP annually, or 13 trillion, 300 billion dollars. This equates to 5$ per person daily, and $1,876 annually. Since 2008, there has been a 286% increase in deaths from violence. Possibly as expected, Syria was the least peaceful country in 2016, and by far had the most refugees fleeing to find refuge. (Forbes)

Summary Part II: New World Order, Status of Nations & International Trade:

The New World Order: Ultimately leads to member nations surrendering, or subjugating, their individual authority to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, World Trade Organization (WTO), European Union (EU), United Nations (UN) and “Open Borders.” The New World Order is essentially an initial attempt to bring about common results for citizens of the world. Member nations may have decisions by the EU and UN enacted and enforced within their own borders without their agreement.

World Economic Situation and Prospects: Joint product report of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DESA) and seven additional UN and external organizations. The report is lengthy and extensive. The Executive Summary states more than seven years after the global financial crisis, policymakers around the world still face enormous challenges in stimulating investment and reviving global growth.

The U.S. Trade Imbalance: Imported goods and services have far exceeded exported goods for over twenty years, resulting in a net export loss of ($9,975,399) 9 trillion, 975 billion and 399 million. Had the goods and services trade been balanced, that is produced domestically, at the MMF of 250% of the 1992-1995 level, it would have exceeded over . . . $24,938,498 [24 trillion, 938 billion and 498 million] more dollars of domestic GDP in production and spending, and . . . $12,469,248 [12 trillion, 468 billion and 248 million] more dollars in taxes and fee revenue, and a many more jobs.

Savings from the imbalance of imports are overrated. To arrive at the true cost, the cost of maintaining the infrastructure abandoned, unemployment insurance payments, food stamps, medical care provided and other welfare costs associated with the loss of employment are in fact a cost that should be added to the price of imported goods and services.

U.S. Exports vs. Import - Trade Imbalance

Summary Part III: Congressional Stalemate & U.S. Debt

How Concerning Is U.S. Political Gridlock? Questions about the health of America’s political institutions and the future of its global leadership have become rampant, with some citing partisan gridlock as evidence of America’s decline. Committee members are no-show for committee meetings and votes. The nuclear option established by the senate may not be a friend.

Congressional Budget Office (CBO): Indicates the 2017 budget deficit will exceed $559 billion. U.S. Debt Clock provides a good snapshot of data on a wide range of economic issues.

Fiscal Outlook and Debt: Congress and the new administration face serious economic, security, and social challenges that will require difficult policy choices in the short term about the level of federal spending and investments as well as ways to obtain needed resources. Decisions to enhance economic growth and address national policies need to be accompanied by a fiscal plan to put the government on a path that is more sustainable over the long term.

Summary Part IV: National Defense, Security and Immigration

Oath of Office: The President of the United States, the Cabinet, U.S. Congress, Department of Defense, Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency, and all elected officials and employees of the federal government are required to take the oath. In some cases, the wording is changed based on the specific office. Additionally, most states, cities, law enforcement personnel and their employees are required to take the same or similar oath. The oath may also be required of contractors, suppliers and their personnel performing sensitive work.

Conducting commerce with or serving as an agent of an enemy of the United States, in effect, provides aid and comfort to the enemy. Profit from activities can be used by the enemy to support aggression against citizens of the United States, or allies of the United Sates. Individuals and organizations arranging and participating in such activity are effectively foreign agents failing to uphold the oath.

Immigration into the United States: A complex demographic phenomenon that has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout history.

Definitions: The terms immigrant and emigrant are frequently confusing. Immigrant is a person entering a country from another country. Emigrant is a person who has left their home country for another country.

Migrants is a general term referring to the total number of persons worldwide, that have emigrated from their home country for another. The number of international migrants worldwide has continued to grow rapidly over the past fifteen years reaching 244 million in 2015, up from 222 million in 2010, 191 million in 2005 and 173 million in 2000.

The Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA), the body of law governing current immigration policy, provides for an annual worldwide limit of 675,000 permanent immigrants, with certain exceptions for close family members.

The Migration Policy Institute Interactive Map: and the International Migration Report for 2015 indicate the most international migrants, 47 million, resided in the United States of America. This is equal to 19 per cent of the world’s total. Migration Data Hub.

Summary Part V: Unemployment and Underemployment

Bureau of Labor Statistics Calculators: Display graphical images by category. Selecting an image will lead to a list of data table titles which can be selected for further research. Place a check-mark in a box and select “Retrieve data” at the bottom of the page to retrieve the data.

Data retrieved using the calculator: (in thousands) as of December 2016: (Selecting Employment, Monthly, Labor Force Statistics) will provide a table of reports which will provide the following:

Civilian Labor Force Level: (In thousands. Some totals will not agree due to rounding of hundreds of data files)

Labor Force Participation Rate: 62.7 percent.
Employment Level: 152,111
Employed Full-time: 124,248
Employed Part-time: 27,895
Unemployment Level: 7,529
Welfare Statistics: (current data as of January 2017)
Total number of Americans receiving welfare government assistance: 67,891,000
Receiving SNAP food stamps: 41,170,000
Receiving UI/EDD unemployment insurance: 10,200,000

Total Federal government spending on welfare programs annually (not including food stamps or unemployment): $158,200,000,000

Underemployment:

Personal desires regarding employment may be difficult to gauge. Unemployment + Part-time employment may indicate underemployment. If so, that would equate to 35,424 (in thousands) underemployed. Additionally, there are 28,400 (in thousands) students 16 years and above attending high school and college. These two statistics equal 63,824 (in thousands). * White House briefing response - the data tables are used for many purposes and may be difficult to understand.

Summary Part VI: Government Agencies & Regulation

The Government Accountability Office (GAO): An independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress, often called the "congressional watchdog." GAO investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars. Given GAO is the "congressional watchdog," what is the record of the GAO?

What GAO Found: The lead-in statement. "To operate as effectively and efficiently as possible, Congress, the administration, and federal managers must have ready access to reliable and complete financial and performance information—both for individual federal entities and for the federal government as a whole." Somewhere between 18 percent and 34 percent of total federal assets unaccounted for. The GAO also indicates an estimated 53% of federal agencies may not report expenditures for consulting, and the validity reports submitted may be in error. Funds expended by lobbyists are difficult to determine, as well as who the recipients are. In essence, financial reporting at the federal level is in need of significant review and change. (GAO comment)

Lobbying Database: In addition to campaign contributions to elected officials and candidates, companies, labor unions, and other organizations spend billions of dollars each year to lobby Congress and federal agencies. Some special interests retain lobbying firms. The total lobbying spending for 2016 was $3.12 billion, and the number of active lobbyists who actually lobbied was 11,143. Putting that in perspective, $5,522,123 was spent on lobbying per congressional representative, and the ratio was 19.72 lobbyists per representative.

Summary Part VII: Affordable Healthcare

This question must be asked. "What reasoning can possibly justify legalizing drug addiction for tax revenue?" Creating millions of addicts is somehow unseemly.

Determining what is affordable healthcare is beyond the scope and purview of this research activity. However, something alarming regarding the charge to protect the health and well-being of Americans has been identified as the area of focus.

Mission of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS): The U.S. Department of HHS is to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans. To fulfill that mission by providing for effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health, and social services. Healthcare Tab: Cost for 2016 is expected to surpass $10,000 per person. National healthcare expenditures are expected to total over $3.35 trillion for the year, or approximately 18% of the total gross domestic product (GDP) of $18.5 trillion for the U.S.

The $272 Billion Swindle: Thieves love America’s health-care system. Drug Trafficking by the numbers: $200-$750 billion in 2013, exact data unknown as an underground industry. Drug trafficking is an issue worldwide and defined as the “global illicit trade involving the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, and sale of substances which are subject to drug prohibition laws” by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Marijuana Trends: In daily use, risk, disapproval, and availability. With a national trend on approving the cultivation and sale of marijuana, originally for medical purposes, now for recreational purposes, the daily usage and availability of the drug by children in grades 8, 10 and 12 is alarming. While a large percentage of students state they disapprove of marijuana use, a decreasing number see use as a risk, and the higher the grade level, the higher the percentage of students using the drug.

Statistics and Trends: Six percent of high school seniors report daily use of marijuana. Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States. Its use is widespread among young people. According to a yearly survey of middle and high school students.

Drug and Alcohol Use: College-Age Adults in 2015. Daily marijuana use has grown continuously, and since 2014, cocaine use by college students has increased significantly.

Summary Part VIII: Education

Three-quarters of the fastest-growing occupations require education beyond a high school diploma; with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers prominent on the list.

Students in Singapore and Japan score significantly higher than U.S. students. There is an exception to the U.S. outcome, and that is Massachusetts, which scores much higher. Massachusetts has been on the forefront of the STEM initiative with the University of Massachusetts leading the way on assessment and program improvement. Also, Building products for export provides significant learning experiences.

Charter Schools: Public schools that are allowed the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. They are open to all children; do not charge tuition; and do not have special entrance requirements. The federal Charter Schools Program (CSP) provides money to create new high-quality public charter schools, as well as to disseminate information about ones with a proven track record. 4.5 percent of U.S. GDP spent on education. Highest of all nations.

Latest PISA Results: Demonstrates current standing of U.S. students as holding steady in reading and science performance, and slipping significantly in math. U.S. students score at or below average in all categories.

Current models for managing and administering U.S. schools, teachers and students originate at federal and state levels of government. This approach creates an inflexible model which places a ceiling on growth and excellence by establishing manage-to and teach-to values. It is the same problem industry had thirty years ago regarding quality of products. Focus on the process to improve the product at the process level, the classroom and school.

Students learn and score higher when traditional methods are used. Open classrooms and technology can be used, however, must support structured learning to objectives with the teacher in control.

Student success improves when involved in apprentice programs with industry while attending school.

Student success increases with more time on the subject for deeper learning to solve complex problems.

U.S. places too much emphasis on faculty evaluation by students. Most countries evaluate faculty via student outcomes.

U.S. teaches in a circular model, coming back to the subject at varying times in the curriculum rather than extended time on subject.

Notes:

Future Forecast: 2014 summarizes the current Washington scene and provides a still current Worldwide conflict threat assessment.

Given the national and international backdrop, the following items are anticipated to be included in President Trump’s State of the Union (SOTU) Address.

1. Prolog. (Part I)
2. New World Order and Status of Nations. (Part II)
3. International Trade. (Part II)
4. Congressional Stalemate. (Part III)
5. U.S. Debt Limit (Part III)
6. National Defense and Security. (Part IV)
7. Immigration. (Part IV)
8. Unemployment and Underemployment. (Part V)
9. Government Agencies and Regulation. (Part VI)
10. Affordable Healthcare. (Part VII)
11. Education. (Part VIII)

This is the first issue of the SOTU backdrop, and will be updated annually as significant changes occur. The items listed above represent a review of legislative and fiscal health at the national level. Reviews are based on available federal data, and information published based on the data. National defense and security are addressed in relationship to congress and the administration regarding external and internal responsibilities. Items not included in this initial review are the financial community, military, and more which may be added.

2017 SOTU Part VIII – Education

Three-quarters of the fastest-growing occupations require education beyond a high school diploma; with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers prominent on the list.

Charter Schools: Public schools that are allowed the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. They are open to all children; do not charge tuition; and do not have special entrance requirements. The federal Charter Schools Program (CSP) provides money to create new high-quality public charter schools, as well as to disseminate information about ones with a proven track record.

The Office of Educational Technology: Has developed a national policy and vision to transform teaching and learning. The objective is to make everywhere, all-the-time learning possible for k-12, higher education, and adult education. The National Education Technology Plan is a central component of the policy. The Plan articulates a vision of equity, active use, and collaborative leadership to make everywhere, all-the-time learning possible.

Openly Licensed Educational Resources: The technology plan uses openly licensed educational resources for teaching, learning, and research that reside in the public domain. These resources have been released under a license that permits free use, reuse, modification, and sharing with others. Digital openly licensed resources can include complete online courses, modular digital textbooks as well as more granular resources such as images, videos, and assessment items.

GoOpen District Launch Packet: Designed for districts that have decided to implement a systematic approach to incorporating openly licensed educational resources into their curriculum by becoming a GoOpen District.

Following is a nutshell explanation of the GoOpen implementation plan.

GoOpen: The package is a logical representation of past and current activities by school districts and teachers in the education world, to convert the historically static learning environment into a dynamic, open, interconnected digital learning experience for students and teachers.

GoOpen Viewed Correctly: Summarizes, orders, and explains how past and current activities, were and are accomplished, and offers documentation of those activities as a plan for use by school districts to follow. In other words, it is a lessons learned, purified, ordered and presented for your consideration.

GoOpen Focus: Conversion of existing courses, or creation of new courses for the interconnected digital learning environment, with a recommended sequence of activities. Activities start at the course level by teachers with subject matter knowledge, and work up the recommended sequence of activities and checklists, culminating with approval at the school district level.

Assessment:

Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) Day: Global Lessons for the U.S. Education System and Economy: Published on Dec 8, 2018.

Angel Gurria, director for education and skills and special advisor on education policy to the Secretary-General at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), presents a detailed analysis of the newly released PISA results and lessons learned from deeper learning applications in high-performing nations. The report has significant implications for educational achievement and recommendations for future actions. The survey and report are conducted every three years covering seventy-two nations.

OECD Conference Centre Paris, France 3-4 December 2019. Keynote speeches: Jack Ma and HRH Princess Laurentien | Session 1, Day 1 | Forum for World Education

Education in the future must be in the real-world so students can experience at the pace of change, not locked in a classroom environment where learning is static. Students must learn advanced concepts earlier. Education of college, graduate and post graduate moved closer to the age where learning has better results. Students are programmed that a college degree is the end objective, they must be exposed to the global real-world. Current leaders of education are not competent in the subjects students are taught, they are merely administrators.

Some comments for consideration from the series of PISA videos:

4.5 percent of U.S. GDP spent on education. Highest of all nations.

Students in Singapore and Japan score significantly higher than U.S. students. There is an exception to the U.S. outcome, and that is Massachusetts, which scores much higher. Massachusetts has been on the forefront of the STEM initiative with the University of Massachusetts leading the way on assessment and program improvement. Also, Building products for export provides significant learning experiences.

Teachers must change schools every three years – Japan.

Teachers must demonstrate progress on moving to more difficult schools and curriculum throughout their career – China.

Improving teacher quality is very important. U.S. schools are focusing on now, not planning for the future.

Teacher's degree, certification, preparation, and professional development do not guarantee outcomes.

Class size varies. Higher degree of success achieved in countries with large class size.

U.S. places too much emphasis on faculty evaluation by students. Most countries evaluate faculty via student outcomes.

U.S. teachers have too many out-of-class activities which do not lend to student learning.

Charter Schools are a solution for removing the handicap U.S. education has in improving outcomes for students. Current models for managing and administering schools, teachers and students originate at federal and state levels of government. This approach creates an inflexible model which places a ceiling on growth and excellence by establishing manage-to and teach-to values. It is the same problem industry had thirty years ago regarding quality of products. Focus on the process to improve the product at the process level, the classroom and school.

Students learn and score higher when traditional methods are used. Open classrooms and technology can be used, however, must support structured learning to objectives with the teacher in control.

Student success improves when involved in apprentice programs with industry while attending school.

Student success increases with more time on the subject for deeper learning to solve complex problems.

U.S. teaches in a circular model, coming back to the subject at varying times in the curriculum rather than extended time on subject.

2017 SOTU Part VII – Affordable Healthcare

This question must be asked. "What reasoning can possibly justify legalizing drug addiction for tax revenue?" Creating millions of addicts is somehow unseemly.

Mission of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS): The U.S. Department of HHS is to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans. To fulfill that mission by providing for effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health, and social services.

Healthcare Tab: Cost for 2016 is expected to surpass $10,000 per person. The new peak means the past administration will pass the problem of high healthcare costs on to its successor. The report projects that healthcare spending will grow at a faster rate than the national economy over the coming decade.

National healthcare expenditures are expected to total over $3.35 trillion for the year, or approximately 18% of the total gross domestic product (GDP) of $18.5 trillion for the U.S.

HHS 11 Operating Divisions: There are eight agencies in the U.S. Public Health Services, and three human services agencies. These divisions administer a wide variety of health and human services and conduct life-saving research for the nation, protecting and serving all Americans. HHS Demographics trends, index scores, and workforce size.

Determining what is affordable healthcare is beyond the scope and purview of this research activity. However, something alarming regarding the charge to protect the health and well-being of Americans has been identified as the area of focus. There are very significant costs and detrimental health effects which are the result of fraud, malpractice, legal and illegal drugs; of which the annual, and long-term costs and effects are not determined in total. From the data located, costs range in the hundreds of billions of dollars annually, the loss of tens of thousands of lives, and effectively dilute the value of healthcare provided. These items are addressed here:

Note: A significant number of reports are available on HHS subjects. Some are statistics driven by data from federal government sources, other reports use selected data from the original reports for a specific purpose, and some reports are independently sponsored by universities and research institutions. Occasionally, disagreements arise over the data and statistics, which is quite possible as different sources are used. Keep in mind that for accurate comparison, data and statistics must represent the same population (samples) and characteristics. Disagreements do not imply either report or party is in error. Reports are not always tabulated to the current year. However, the direction of movement in the historical data may be indicative of the future.

Fraud Losses:

The $272 Billion Swindle: Thieves love America’s health-care system. INVESTIGATORS in New York were looking for health-care fraud hot-spots. In 2012 a former head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and the RAND Corporation, estimated that fraud (and the extra rules and inspections required to fight it) added as much as $98 billion, or roughly 10%, to annual Medicare and Medicaid spending—and up to $272 billion across the entire health system. Considering there is some association to reality here, in 2016 a 10% loss of a $3.5 trillion expenditure, would be $350 billion, or 60% of the 2017 Department of Defense (DOD) budget. Despite the penalties associated with conviction, they do not appear to be significant enough. Complete loss of license and property, as in the days of long ago, appears to be needed.

Drug Trafficking:

Drug Trafficking: $200-$750 billion in 2013. Drug trafficking is an issue worldwide and defined as the “global illicit trade involving the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, and sale of substances which are subject to drug prohibition laws” by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Drug Use:

National Institute on Drug Abuse: Research has measured drug, alcohol, and cigarette use and related attitudes among adolescent students nationwide. Survey participants report their drug use behaviors across three time periods: lifetime, past year, and past month. Overall, 45,473 students from 372 public and private schools participated in this year's Monitoring the Future survey. The survey is funded by the NIDA, a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and conducted by the University of Michigan.

Teen Substance Use: Surveys show a promising decline. The 2016 Monitoring the Future (MTF) annual survey results released December 13, 2016 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reflect changing teen behaviors and choices in a social media-infused world. The results show a continued long-term decline in the use of many illicit substances, including marijuana, as well as alcohol, tobacco, and misuse of some prescription medications, among the nation’s teens. The MTF survey measures drug use and attitudes among eighth, 10th, and 12th graders, and is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the NIH.

Marijuana Trends: In daily use, risk, disapproval, and availability. With a national trend on approving the cultivation and sale of marijuana, originally for medical purposes, now for recreational purposes, the daily usage and availability of the drug by children in grades 8, 10 and 12 is alarming. While a large percentage of students state they disapprove of marijuana use, a decreasing number see use as a risk, and the higher the grade level, the higher the percentage of students using the drug.

Monitoring the Study: Trends in Prevalence of Various Drugs. Johnston, L. D., Miech, R. A., O'Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (December 13, 2016). "Teen use of any illicit drug other than marijuana at new low, same true for alcohol." University of Michigan News Service.

Statistics and Trends: Six percent of high school seniors report daily use of marijuana. Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States. Its use is widespread among young people. According to a yearly survey of middle and high school students.

Drug and Alcohol Use: College-Age Adults in 2015. Daily marijuana use has grown continuously, and since 2014, cocaine use by college students has increased significantly.

Increasing number of U.S. adults using marijuana. The number of adults who first used marijuana increased from 823,000 in 2002 to 1.4 million in 2014. The estimate is that the number of daily or near daily users was 8.4 million 2014, an increase from 3.9 million in 2002.

Adolescent alcohol and marijuana use leads to poor performance. A study by the nonprofit RAND Corporation that followed a group of students over a seven-year period found marijuana use was predictive of poorer functioning across more areas, including lower academic functioning, being less prepared for school, more delinquent behavior and poorer mental health. The results are published online in the journal Addiction.

Marijuana is the most commonly abused drug in the United States. Is marijuana addictive? Long-term marijuana abuse can lead to physical and psychological marijuana addiction. Heavy, long-term marijuana users develop physical dependence on the drug and withdrawal symptoms upon quitting. Marijuana withdrawal symptoms typically include irritability, sleeplessness, anxiety, impaired appetite and aggression.

Again, this question must be asked. "What reasoning can possibly justify legalizing drug addiction for tax revenue?" Creating millions of addicts is somehow unseemly.

Is drug addiction treatment worth its cost? Substance abuse costs our Nation over $600 billion annually and treatment can help reduce these costs. Drug addiction treatment has been shown to reduce associated health and social costs by far more than the cost of the treatment itself. But, is it reasonable to provide a climate for the problem in the first place.