Friday, November 23, 2018

Genuine Democracy Does Not Exist in the USA

I love this Land and, in general, its people.  Because someone loves their country does not mean that they have to love the rulers in their government.  Our rulers not only are plutocratic, they are fast becoming autocratic and despotic.  All one has to do is listen to and watch the current Occupier of the Oval Office for proof of that.

This never was a democracy; not only that, but our 
"democratic republic" is long gone.  The majority of our 
Founders described democracy as "mob rule", or "two 
wolves & one sheep deciding what's for lunch", or 
"despicable", or "tyranny of the majority", or "the devil's 
own gov't", or "the most violent of despotisms", or 
"violating the concept that whoever owns the country 
should rule it", etc.  [All quotes by various Founders.]
Schools left all that out of American Gov't 101.  😊
Our democratic republic is long gone because---

1.  The Constitution is violated almost equally by Dems 
& Repubs...and often.  That has been going on for decades; some of them even admit it.

2.  The proper use of the Executive Order is violated 
almost equally by Dems & Repubs.  [The Constitution 
allows only two Executive Orders in Article II, Section 2.  
Dems & Repubs claim that those two imply an unlimited 
& unspecified number of others.]

By violating this provision of Article II, Section 2, Presidents have been able to create "laws" without Congress.  For decades, past Presidents each have done this literally hundreds of times.  That makes them autocrats.  Presidents represent the State, not the People; that's why only Congress is authorized to create Laws.  Members of Congress supposedly represent We the People.

3.  In general, the majority of both elected Dems & 
elected Repubs are warmongers & corporatists.  With 
rigged Primaries, rigged elections, gerrymandering, 
voter suppression, black box voting, etc., that's not going 
to change.  Never mind the unrelenting propaganda.

4.  Both Parties believe in Mega Corps being too big to 
fail and too big to jail.  That applies not only to Mega 
Banks, but to Mega Insurance Corps & others as well.

5.  Probably over 99% of national candidates are 
selected, groomed, & financed by Super-Rich Plutocrats.

6.  Both Parties gerrymander House districts.
7.  Both Parties rig Primaries.
8.  Both Parties support corporatist globalization.

9.  According to a Princeton study, national politicians 
ignore the expressed will of the People 70% of the time.

10.  If voting really & permanently changed anything of 
significance, the Powers-That-Be would make voting 

11.  Despite any small victories won by the People, 
Corporatism ultimately winds up ruling.

12.  Except for some indigenous societies (mostly in the 
Past), throughout history---& right through to today--- 
Plutocrats always have ruled.  C'est la vie. 

13.  What we've had ruling our country for decades now is a Plutocratic, CRONY Capitalist, State-Corporate Complex.  It reigns supreme, and it's not a "conspiracy"; it's right out in plain sight.
Under present conditions, voting won't change any of 
the above.  Meaningful change only will come from 
outside the whole corrupt system, a system that should 
be shunned...and that change should be peaceful.

Not only my opinion.
Be Well

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Election = a Mixed Bag - Plus, World Corporate Empire

In what should have been a resounding, slam-dunk rejection of the corporatist, plutocratic, serial-lying, ignorant but clever, law-breaking Trump Admin (and any candidate supported by The Don), the election turned out to be a mixed bag.  There are many reasons for that, but in this essay I'll focus on a chief reason.

[Technically, all the election results have not yet been tabulated.  This is being written just before midnight on Tuesday, Mountain Standard Time.  Nevertheless, I feel comfortable with the "mixed bag" characterization.  Of course, both sides undoubtedly will claim victory on Wednesday.  Once again, and for any new readers here, I'm not a Republican or a Democrat.]

Just as during the Bill Clinton Era, today's Democratic Party (at the highest levels) is run by plutocratic corporatists...or their puppets.  After Clinton left office, the DNC re-took power from the Clintonite DLC (Dem Leadership Council, which heavily leaned toward Corporatism).  Unfortunately for genuine Populists, the DNC quietly adopted most of the policies of the outgoing, corporatist DLC.

So, today (& for a number of years), the only difference between so-called Democrats and so-called Republicans is on most social Hot-Button issues---such as gun control, abortion, gay rights, etc.---and maybe one or two non-Hot-Button, domestic issues.  When it comes to the economy, finance, war, empire, monetary policy, fiscal policy, corporatism, and foreign policy, the two Parties (again, at the highest levels) are pretty much the same.

All of the above means that the Dems in control of their Party don't want to rock the Corporate Boat.  That's why, in the lead-up to the election, we heard little to nothing about the following---

1.  About 50% of working families in the USA are either in poverty, or so close to the brink of it that the difference doesn't matter.  They are in the "Precariat Class", a term coined by the economist & professor, Guy Standing.  People in this Class are insecure relative to their material & psychological existence.  Their lives, through little to no fault of their own, have become extremely precarious.

2.  Of the remaining 50%, about 35% of them are doing okay, but they still are in the Precariat least in terms of economic and financial stability.  Their jobs and lifestyle are no longer secure.  They could lose it all virtually in a few weeks, or at most, a few months.

3.  The economy is "booming" only for about the top 15% of income earners.  Despite any piddly wage increases of late, wages/salaries still essentially are stagnant (after adjustment for price inflation).  That's been true for about thirty years.  In the same period, the Upper Crust has increased its income by 700%.

4.  Our crushing National Debt (which has the potential of further ruining our economy) is not primarily due to social spending; rather, the main cause is massive Corporate Welfare (including military spending).  Corporate welfare DWARFS all social spending combined.  The "Nanny State" in the USA is for corporations, not people.

5.  Our foreign policy kowtows to Mega Corporations...especially those in the Financial Sector.  Our Fed Gov't is belligerent on the world stage because that ultimately benefits the Big Boys in Biz.  [See the book, War is a Racket, by General Smedley Butler, a Marine for 33 years.]  Our foreign policy is further bankrupting our country.  Do you really believe that we need 900 military bases around the world?  Do you really believe that we still need to be in Afghanistan...after 17 years?  Do you really believe that sanctions on a country are not an act of war?  Do you really believe that we need more expensive nukes?  Our military budget already is larger than those of the next top seven countries combined...and that includes China & Russia.

6.  The goal of Mega Corps is to privatize everything...worldwide.  At the highest levels in DC, politicians are helping them do that...or, at the very least, not opposing them.  The monopolists of Mega Biz are moving us all toward NeoFeudalism, and the pace rapidly is increasing.  In the not-too-distant future, the Middle Class no longer will exist.

7.  Finally, our foreign policy is crucial mainly because it drives domestic policy.  Surveillance, War, Trade Wars, Sanctions, all drains economic security from We the People.  It all enriches the Upper Crust at our expense.  It serves to funnel spending away from any safety net for the most vulnerable, and increasingly, from any economic security for everyone who isn't in the top tier of income earners.
The Big Boys & Girls at the DNC ignore most of the above.  Even the small Progressive Wing of the Democratic Party often appears to not get the significance of foreign policy vis-a-vis the World Corporate Empire.  The Democratic hierarchy is basically the same as the Republicans when it comes to foreign policy, sanctions, war, and Empire.

It all comes down to more wealth for the already wealthy...and the top Democrats don't want to rock the boat.  So they mostly ignore Corporatism, and instead, concentrate on immigration or Russian "interference".  No wonder they can't slam-dunk the rejection of Trump & Crew...and if anything needs slam-dunking, it's that.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Reasons Why USA's Fed Government = World's Biggest Bully

In this essay, I'm not claiming these reasons are the only ones or necessarily the most egregious ones.  Nor are they equal in magnitude.  Nevertheless, taken together they do show a pattern of self-righteous bullying, and sometimes outright illegality.  The items in the list below are not in any order of importance.
1.  Not long ago and undoubtedly at the direction of the White House, Nikki Haley (no relation to me) threatened countries with consequences if they didn't go along with the policies of the current anti-Science Administration.  Thank heaven she'll be resigning her post, but I imagine she'll be replaced by someone else who, like Trump, thinks the USA is King of the World.  Threatening allies and others is bullying; doing it in public is egregious, political claptrap.

2.  At the same time that the White House and Congress are braying about Russia, and now China, interfering in our elections, John Bolton is talking about overthrowing the government of Iran.  Is not overthrowing a gov't the ultimate example of interference?  Not only bullying, but the word "hypocrisy" comes to mind...big-time.  [Then there's the fact that the USA's & Britain's governments, back in the 1950's, participated in the coup that overthrew Iran's democratically elected gov't.  Why?  Because the new leader wanted Iran's oil to be for Iran... what audacity.  Then, too, there's the fact that the USA's gov't engineered coups in other countries, such as Guatemala and Chili.  More bullying and hypocrisy.]

3.  Starting with Obama and continuing with Trump, the Executive Branch is developing so-called tactical (low-yield) nuclear weapons.  Some of the Fed policy makers apparently believe that the use of such weapons will not have any serious, long-term, detrimental effects on life on Earth.  In other words, they seem to think that nuclear weapons can be used without much harm to the planet and its ecosystems.

No one knows any such thing.  That use would be a most dangerous experiment.  So far, evidence regarding radiation indicates any such use would be a disaster.  The point here is that development of these weapons is bald-faced bullying.  Do what we say, or we'll nuke you.

4.  The idea of "Preemptive War" probably didn't start with the Dubya Bush Administration, but that Admin claimed that the execution of the concept was legal...hence, the disastrous Iraq War.  In the simplest terms, Preemptive War means:  we are going to attack you because you might be planning to attack us.  Furthermore, we're so special that we're positive you are planning that.  We can predict the future.

Preemptive War is not only unconstitutional, it's also immoral, unethical, and in defiance of common sense.  It bespeaks a gross distortion and subversion of "American Exceptionalism".  As far as I can determine, every fairly recent Administration at the Fed level has believed in it.  There's no doubt at all that Trump embraces it.  This is bullying to the max.

5.  Regarding recent Fed treatment of Native Americans/American Indians---
when it comes to oil pipelines (such as DAPL), the Executive Branch seems to be saying:  we don't care about the risk to your water, or the desecration of your burial grounds, or the desecration of other holy sites.  We are issuing the permit for this, no matter what you say or do.

Furthermore, we are going to bypass the Fed Law requirement for an Environmental Impact Statement on this project.  We can do that because we claim that each section of the pipeline is like a "spur line", which has no such requirement.  Plus, we now have an autocrat-wannabe President who thinks he's above the Law.  Finally, oil is "National Security".  When it comes to that, we can ignore any Law we choose.  More bullying.

6.  Since the Supreme Court's Kelo v. City of New London decision, Fed Eminent Domain applies to taking land for economic development.  That means your land can be (after just compensation) seized and then sold or given to a company for private development.  That's now considered "Public Use"... because of the taxes generated.  This Court decision was/is outrageous.

Our Fed Gov't doesn't bully only other countries and American Indians.  It does so to all of us.

7.  The tactics of the IRS sometimes are Gestapo-like.  I've experienced something like that personally.  They don't mind being bullies at all.
[SIDE NOTE:  By the way, the first permanent Income Tax (1913) applied only to about the top 2% of the population, and did not include taxation of wages.  Only passive income was taxed under that Law.]

8.  Regarding treatment of asylum seekers and other immigrants, separation of 6,000 family members, caging kids, misleading parents, etc.---
This current Administration has acted horribly, immorally, and in an unchristian manner.  It's truly incredible, and all just to make a political point.  Shabby bullying for political gain.  Inexcusable.
Why We the People enable politicians such as these to "represent" us is beyond my comprehension.  As I've said before, massive boycotting could correct the situation and bring down the whole House of Cards.  Unfortunately, that probably never will happen.  Oligarchs/Plutocrats will continue to rule.  The root blame for that is Edward Bernays style Propaganda.  C'est la vie.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Crony Capitalism and Climate Change

This essay is mostly based on the piece at the following link---

Reasonable and well-spoken, Dr. Kevin Anderson explains why even well-meaning politicians and scientists (who are the majority in the Climate Change arena/issue), with their tweaking-of-the-existing-system approach, are pursuing an inadequate solution to a massive problem.  Instead, Anderson says, we need a "Marshall Plan" approach.  [Which, in my opinion, never will happen in time to solve the problem.  Our entire economic and political system needs to be peacefully revamped.]  And he doesn't even mention the permafrost methane "bomb" probability accompanying overall global warming.  That makes things even more urgent.

Because of plutocratic and political propaganda, never mind the inadequate approach of those who at least recognize the problem, I'm afraid it's too late to do anything significant about Climate Change.  By the time the powerful deniers finally wake up (or become honest), the window of opportunity will be long gone.  Our children & grandchildren will be living in a world the harshness of which cannot now be imagined... and the root cause of all that is Crony Capitalism, currently supported by most Republicans and Democrats (at the highest levels).  Corporatism rules.  This is not pessimism; it's plain reality.

The good news is that Anderson believes there's still hope.  Maybe he's right.  There are too many variables to predict with absolute certainty what actually will happen regarding our approach to the biggest problem facing Mankind.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

While Gaslighting, The Don and His Crew Dismantle Protections and Ignore Laws

In general, the Corporate Media should be both embarrassed and ashamed.  With rare exceptions when it comes to Trump, all they focus on are his bizarre actions, statements, and contradictions... in other words, his psychological gaslighting.  At the cost of serious, in-depth reporting, the Media appear to be pursuing nothing but ratings and advertising revenue.  They enable The Don by catering to his purposeful, distracting, contradictory behavior.

Little, if any, attention has been given to the dismantling of protections provided by the EPA, or the Interior Department, or NOAA, or various consumer protection agencies.  Little to no attention has been given to violations of the Constitution, or violation of Laws such as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  See my essay here:
Little to no attention has been given to the anti-Science thrust of Trump and His Crew.

Worst of all, there's almost no discussion of the fact that Trump is merely a symptom of our problems, not the cause.  He's a by-product of conditions (social, economic, political, & philosophical) that go back for decades.  For a brilliant discussion of that issue, see Glenn Greenwald's piece here:

The underlying problems in this great Land are the Plutocracy and accompanying Corporatism or Crony Capitalism.  Until we address those, we will be subject to more of the Trump types... autocrat wannabes, plutocrats, and frauds.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Friday, September 7, 2018

"Fear", "Quiet Resistance", Plutocrats, & In Plain Sight

While Bob Woodward's book, Fear, and the NYT Op-Ed by Anonymous are welcome by anyone who believes in a free society and an honest, transparent government, let's keep something in mind.  Most all the recent information about Trump has been blatantly obvious for a long time to any outsider with even just a modicum of interest in American politics.  His serial lying, half-baked ideas, fear-mongering, erratic behavior, crass behavior, ignorance, incompetence, etc. are---for the most part---in plain sight.  Yes, it's good to have all that confirmed by insiders, but most of this has been evident for years.

Years ago, Trump was trained by the Mob lawyer, Roy M. Cohn.  Cohn taught The Don to use lies and appalling behavior in counter-attacks against critics.  Anything to distract people from the original criticism of Trump.  Anything to change the subject and the focus.  If one looks closely at the history of Trump, that pattern jumps right out at this very day.

Example:  Trump claims that Bob Woodward, a respected journalist, "has a credibility problem".  No, Mr. President, you're the one with that problem.  That statement by you is another in a long series of outright lies.  Everyone knows that, unless they have been propagandized to the hilt.

In a way, Woodward and Anonymous essentially are whistleblowers.  Those who expose wrongdoing, bad behavior, illegality, etc. rarely ever are treated well by or out of government.  Instead, such people are attacked, smeared, and even criminalized.  Plutocrats like Trump can't stand transparency, especially in government.

I've been closely following American politics since 1956, and never have I seen an Administration as egregious and dangerous as Trump's.  The current crop of Plutocrats in DC truly is beyond the pale.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well
p.s.  Again, a reminder--- I'm not a Democrat or a Republican.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

"The Trump Slump" -Or- The Dollar, The Bust, & The Future

I didn't coin the phrase, "The Trump Slump"; that comes from a group of International Bankers.  It resulted from the fact that the U.S. Dollar fell consistently throughout all of 2017.  2018 is boding no better.

Below is a recent email I sent to family & friends.  The title of it was "The Dollar, The Bust, & The Future".

And so far in 2018, price inflation has increased.

If the economy is "surging" (as stated by NBC), why is the median income here in the USA now only $32,110?  Compare that to the median income in 2000:  $31,514... a bare bones increase in 18 years.  I doubt it even covered the loss of purchasing power due to price inflation.  The economy is "surging" only for the upper 10-15% (or so) of income earners.

Just a prepared...I'm guessing the Crash is no more than two years away.  Yes, it's only a guess, but the Stock Market is in a Bubble larger than the one just prior to the 2008 Crash; the same is true of today's Housing Bubble.  The Bond Market Bubble already has peaked & is slowly deflating.  Auto sales are down in 2018.  The PetroDollar is in its death throes.  In less than ten years, the Dollar no longer will be the world's reserve currency; the IMF is seeing to that with a program already underway.  Plus, Fed Gov't spending is increasing more under Trump & the Repub Congress than during the 1st two years of either Bush or Obama.  Our National Debt continues to increase at a phenomenal rate.  [See] Confidence in the Dollar is decreasing worldwide.

Corporate profits are at an all-time high, but where's the "Trickle-Down"?  Corporations are using those profits to buy back their own Stock, thus falsely inflating that Market.

The primary reason our GDP has increased is:  the Powers-That-Be still count income made by the Financial Sector as adding to the Gross Domestic Product.  In fact, though, the Financiers extract wealth from the economy.  Their income should be subtracted from the GDP.  This has been shown clearly by the economist, Professor Richard Werner.  [His interview clips/lecture clips are on YouTube.]

Finally, in the Boom-Bust Cycle since 1973, we are now overdue for the next Bust.  The only thing in question is:  how large will the next Bust be?

The good news is that it's highly likely that this next Crash finally will bring about meaningful reform in our corrupt, Crony Capitalist system...and very possibly an end to the privatizing of government.  We need to return to a Mixed Economy, like the one that produced the Golden Age of American Capitalism (1946-1972, or some say, '45 through the early '60s).
Not only my opinion.  Be Well