Friday, July 12, 2019
Although the next Presidential election is more than a year away, campaigning for it is already off and running. This year it appears to be more comic & tragic than in any recent past years. So, let's take a brief, hard look at why I say that. We'll examine only the two major Parties...the Trump Party (TP), and the Democratic Party (the Dems). The Republican Party seems to have dried up and blown away.
The TP most likely will be nominating a guy who is basically ignorant, a wannabe autocrat, and a psychological gaslighter. Although grossly ignorant of many significant concepts, he nonetheless is quite clever at manipulating people and lying to them. His lies are so blatant, numerous, and obvious that his running for office again is a complete comedy. The tragedy is that he may again get elected. His current Administration's primary legacy will be: abuse of child immigrants. What has happened on his watch in that regard is beyond unconscionable. In my opinion, it's criminal.
There will be lots of talk by the TP about "illegal immigration", but little to none about asylum seekers and the primary reason for them fleeing their Central American countries: past USA support for dictators and thugs in those homelands, plus their neoliberal, privatization policies.
The Dems have about twenty people running for the nomination. I've never heard of half of them, so I assume any appeal to voters they possess is regional in nature. Maybe it will become national, maybe not. Of the total twenty or so, some seem to be running mostly on a single issue, which varies from person to person. One or two seem to be running only to defeat Trump, with not much else in their platform. The Upper Crust of the Dems (which comprises many of the vote-stealing "super-delegates") appears to be leaning toward Hillary-Lite (Joe Biden), because he's the neoliberal, "establishment" candidate with close ties to the Financial Sector. That's important to the DNC. If he gets nominated, most likely the Dems will again (as a friend put it) snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Now, that's funny! It's also tragic.
There will be lots of talk by the Dems about immigration, but probably none about Hillary (& the rest of our Gov't) supporting the 2009 coup in Honduras. The result was corruption, neoliberal privatization, thugs, gangs, murders, and unemployment. No wonder many common people there are fleeing their homeland. In 2016, we were still giving millions to that thug gov't.
If the last several weeks are any indication, the election in 2020 again will be primarily about personalities, not issues. Get ready for another sham election. It's plain to me why 50% of eligible voters don't vote. The whole thing is a farce.
Not only my opinion. Be Well
Thursday, June 20, 2019
U.S. Congressional Representative, Ted Lieu of California, asked a Trump Admin official (in a Hearing) the following: "Under the Constitution, does the President have the authority to declare war?". The Trump guy hemmed, hawed, beat around the bush, and never answered the query. Then Rep. Lieu said he would make it easy: "The Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war, right?". More hemming & hawing from the U.S. Envoy to Iran. Kudos to Representative Lieu.
Those who rely on the War Powers Resolution (often called the War Powers Act), or any other "resolution", to declare war are violating the Constitution and their Oath of Office. In our system of government, it isn't up to the President to decide when to go to war. The Founders believed that could be subject to abuse, and so they made certain that only Congress had that power. At least then, We the People supposedly would be represented in the decision. Plus, Congress was not given the authority to transfer that power to the Executive. The President only has power to manage a war...once Congress has declared war. Finally, no Law supercedes the U.S. Constitution.
According to recent News reports, Trump & Crew are considering using the 2001 Resolution as authority to go to war with Iran. That's ludicrous. Not only is it ludicrous (and illegal) because of the paragraph immediately above, but also because that Resolution had absolutely nothing to do with Iran. Nothing at all.
The last time Congress declared war was in December, 1941. Over the decades since then, members of our Gov't have ignored the war clause of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution of the United States. That means each of them has violated his/her Oath of Office. Very few people seem to care.
The case for war with Iran is so flimsy that it really doesn't exist. The Warmongers' efforts to make the case have a strong stink about them. More importantly, the President does not have the Constitutional authority to declare war on any nation. Once any part of our bedrock Supreme Law of the Land is by-passed, then the same can happen to any other part. Hello. This whole scenario reeks of "The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives". Empire on steroids.
Not only my opinion. Be Well
Saturday, June 15, 2019
In the last four years, I've posted this piece twice before the posting below. It has been edited just a tiny bit . I believe this essay is crucial in understanding how the Constitutional Republic of the USA essentially has been overthrown. It all started as far back as Alexander Hamilton...and it's not any kind of "conspiracy". It was (and still is) an in-plain-sight battle between those who believe in genuine democracy and those who believe in Rule by Oligarchs and Plutocrats. The latter (who are not constrained by political Parties or labels) always have referred to the rest of us as "the little people".
"They" (in the title above) are the Neoliberals, NeoConservatives, and other Oligarchs who over decades and by sheer, disorganized, dumb luck have brought about a coup in our Government. For years I wondered how so many unconstitutional laws could come into being in this Land with barely a peep of protest from anyone. I think perhaps finally I've figured it out. Over the years, now and again, I heard this-or-that politician mention the "necessary and proper" clause of the Constitution; but I never paid much attention to it until recently.
"The Congress shall have Power ... To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof." [All emphasis added.]
~ Article I, Section 8, Clause 18, United States Constitution
The Powers mentioned in that clause, "...the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers...", are those delegated by We the People to our Federal Government. They are the Enumerated Powers that we have given to the Congress, the Executive Branch, and the Judicial Branch. The Government has only those Powers. Unfortunately, going all the way back to our Founding Fathers, some have claimed that Article I Section 8 Clause 18 gives other, implied Powers to the Government. Hamilton and Jefferson debated that very point.
Alexander Hamilton was the Founder who proposed that our Gov't should be that of a Monarchy; he wanted a King as our leader. Luckily, that idea quickly was scrapped. Nonetheless, Hamilton kept fighting for a central government bordering on dictatorial. He wanted a central bank, and he claimed that Article I Section 8 Clause 18 gave the Gov't implied Powers. Hamilton argued that the "sovereign" duties of a government implied the right to use means adequate to its ends, regardless of specific Enumerated Powers. Jefferson opposed him at every turn until Hamilton was killed by Aaron Burr in a duel, July, 1804. Nevertheless, the seed had been planted. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall and others promoted the idea that the Government had implied powers. At times, the "necessary and proper" clause was referred to as the "elastic clause".
The idea eventually lost favor in the late 1800's up until the 1930's. With the Roosevelt Administration, the "elastic clause" was back in favor... and as the Fed Gov't expanded, the idea became more and more the flavor of the day. As that happened, "Legislative Absolutism" took hold more and more. In 1901, Supreme Court Justice Harlan coined that term, warning of a time when unconstitutional laws would be passed as a matter of course. He was right.
Any examination of the "necessary and proper" clause with a view toward common sense tells us that no additional Powers are implied by it. Furthermore, it makes ZERO sense that so-called "implied" powers would be able to result in a law which would essentially nullify any specific written clause in the Supreme Law of the Land. Finally, the use of "implied" powers apparently is virtually without limits. It's whatever an indoctrinated, propagandized public will tolerate.
EXAMPLE--- The so-called PATRIOT Act essentially nullifies the Fourth Amendment. Gathering of bulk data is permitted... without the people being intruded upon having to be suspects of any kind. In addition, FBI Agents can write their own Search Warrants (called "National Security Letters")... the Fourth Amendment makes it clear that judges must issue those. Finally, other portions of the Act violate the Due Process Clause of the Constitution. [So do portions of the National Defense Authorization Act, the NDAA.]
All the "necessary and proper" clause is saying is this: Congress can pass Laws in order to implement the specific Enumerated Powers that were delegated to them by We the People. Nowhere does it say or imply that Laws contravening the Constitution also may be passed. Only an attorney with no common sense would infer such a thing from that clause. Both Hamilton and Marshall were attorneys. [My admittedly limited experience with attorneys tells me that very few of them have any common sense whatsoever. They appear to live in a very esoteric world; as with everything, I'm sure there are exceptions.]
In the "necessary and proper" clause, the "foregoing Powers" refers to the Enumerated Powers in clauses 1-17 of Article I Section 8. "All other Powers" refers to Enumerated Powers in other parts of the Constitution...or, as the 18th clause puts it, "...vested by this Constitution...". Nothing in this clause implies Powers that are not Enumerated. That was Jefferson's position, and he was right on the mark. The Monarchy-loving Hamilton thought otherwise.
So, here's the biggest flaw in our Constitution---
The following, or something similar, should have been added at the tail end of the "necessary and proper" clause and both the "commerce" and "general welfare" clauses: "Nothing in this section should be construed to mean that the federal government has any powers other than those enumerated in the Constitution.".
My conclusion is that certain people in our political history wanted a way around the constraints of the Constitution. It appears they desired a central government so strong that it bordered on dictatorial. To achieve that objective, they inferred from primarily the "necessary and proper" clause, but also from the "commerce" and "general welfare" clauses, so-called implied powers. I see that as pure BS. I sincerely doubt that it was the intention of almost all our Founders to give the Government unknown, virtually unlimited Powers that could, in fact, contravene any of the listed or Enumerated Powers delegated by We the People. That makes no sense... and more importantly, it makes the Constitution worthless. The primary purpose of the Constitution is to restrain/constrain government; that's not possible if we accept the concept of "implied powers"... which can be almost anything.
Unfortunately, "implied powers" has been the flavor of the day for decades & decades. As well as some other people, Trump loves that flavor. Most Presidents do. Most people in both Houses of Congress do, too. That's why we have so many unconstitutional Laws. The Powers-That-Be have convinced themselves (and most Americans, it seems) that the bedrock of our Gov't, the Constitution of the United States of America, contains unknown, virtually unlimited, implied Powers. There's no common sense in that view.
None of this bodes well for what is supposed to be a Free Society. We are marching voluntarily straight into George Orwell's dystopian world.
Not only my opinion. Be Well
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
The Fed Reserve has been ruining this country for over a hundred years. Very few know about it, or if they do, understand it...so very few care anything about it. That's understandable. The Fed's sole job is to transfer wealth to the Upper Crust...even Bernie Sanders, a guy who's all for "government", has said that.
Just before he was killed, JFK started by-passing the Fed by having Treasury & the U.S. Mint issue the "United States Note" directly...without the Fed as Middle Man. [Notice the top of the bill.]
I had several of those "Kennedy bills" (in smaller denominations:) back in the '60s; wish I would have kept them. I'll bet they're worth much more than face value today.
The Fed was royally pissed. The U.S. Note was in direct competition with the Fed Reserve Note. Had he lived, JFK would have dried up the Fed; they would have become obsolete, & their guaranteed-by-law 6% annual dividend would have evaporated. All that has caused a conspiracy theory (of the assassination) involving Bankers & the Administration of the Fed Reserve. It's possible, I suppose, but how likely I don't know. We'll never know the truth about JFK's death.
p.s. The 6% dividend goes to the 12 Fed Branch Banks AND the 25 Fed Sub-Branch Banks---37 in all, & all privately owned. The only thing governmental about the Fed is the Admin Office in DC...and as Greenspan said on PBS yrs ago, "No one has authority over us."...that includes the President. The Congress conducts oversight Hearings, but if you've watched the clips of them on YouTube, you know they aren't worth much. On critical questions, the Fed usually beats around the bush, never actually answering any significant question.
Not only my opinion. Be Well
Sunday, May 26, 2019
Use the Office and/or its Bully Pulpit for---
1. promoting laws to break up the Mega Banks & Mega Tech Companies (clearly they are monopolies);
2. the cessation of all Trade Wars;
3. the withdrawal of combat troops from the Middle East & Central Asia, as well as cutting the number of our military bases on foreign soil by half---that number is now about 800-900 or so---and the military budget by half (currently that budget is more than the next seven largest military budgets in the world combined);
4. the reinstatement of Nuke Treaties;
5. ending of our Central Bank, as JFK started to do (we don't need a Middle Man to produce Gov't currency... especially one who charges interest);
6. a return to some version of the Gold Standard (the amount of gold in the world doesn't prohibit that...only the artificially depressed price of gold does);
7. the end of blanket surveillance by the NSA, CIA, FBI, and any other Agency;
8. a return to the Constitutional requirement of Congress having to declare war before troops are sent to war;
9. a repeal of the "Real ID Act";
10. a reinstatement of EPA Rules trashed by Trump & Crew;
11. policies/laws addressing the threat of Climate Change;
12. promoting the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Banking Act;
13. the reinstatement of "Net Neutrality";
14. promoting the establishment of Banking as a Public Utility;
15. the establishment of the Internet as a Public Utility;
16. the complete revision of the IRS, or maybe, the elimination of it;
17. promoting laws that require Congress to read legislative bills before voting on them, and to vote only on one subject/bill at a time (instead of attaching unpopular bills as riders to bills that are guaranteed to pass);
18. making pot completely legal, and codeine an OTC drug (as it was earlier in my life);
19. reducing our nuclear arsenal;
20. promoting laws that prohibit Usury (laws we once had);
21. prohibiting Gov't interference in foreign elections, prohibiting coups, & prohibiting assassinations by the Executive Branch (according to the Constitution, only Congress legally can order assassinations);
22. promoting laws that establish Term Limits for all elected officials in the Fed Gov't;
23. promoting laws that prohibit electronic, black box voting... use paper ballots only;
24. limiting Executive Orders by Presidents to only the two described in Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution: the Pres can require written reports by his Dept Heads, and can grant pardons to those convicted of Fed crimes (those are the only two described in the Constitution);
25. policies which abide by International Law, and in particular, recognize the authority of the International Criminal Court (we didn't mind doing that when we set up the Nuremberg Trials).
Those are only some of the things the next President should do, but they would be a great start toward returning this country to sanity.
Not only my opinion. Be Well
Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Modern-day "sanctions" should be thought of as essentially the same as laying siege to a major city in the distant past. They are acts of war. Our Fed Government's sanctions relative to Venezuela and Iran are nothing but Empire Building...egregious interference for the purpose of maintaining "American Primacy" in the world.
When a government interferes with another country's economy and finance, and even threatens allies who might not agree with that approach, the whole thing becomes a de facto declaration of war. In the cases cited above, it's interventionism of the worst kind--- strictly to advance "American Primacy and its geostrategic imperatives". It's the main reason our Gov't keeps sticking its big nose into the affairs of the Middle East, Central Asia, South America, and Central America.
It appears that both Neoconservatives and Neoliberals look upon Brzezinski's book, The Grand Chessboard (1997), as the Bible in terms of geopolitics and our Neocolonial Empire. In this Neocolonial Age, our Gov't doesn't have to directly control a country via politics or military force (as in the old colonial times). Now it can do so indirectly by means of economics, finance, and propaganda. No matter who is in power in DC, that's the game. It's wrong, and except for a fairly brief time around the turn of the Twentieth Century (1898-1906 or thereabouts), it's un-American. [Perhaps I should, but I'm not counting our very early history of so-called "Manifest Destiny", when the Powers-That-Be simply assumed that this whole continent belonged to us...because "God" was on "our side".]
Sanctions can lead to a shooting war. Here's a message for our Warmongers; it's taken from the Bobby Darin song, "Simple Song of Freedom".
Let it fill the air
Tell the people everywhere
We the People here don't want a war
Not only my opinion. Be Well
Thursday, May 9, 2019
That's how much our Fed Gov't pays in interest on the National Debt...every day. And yet, DC politicians of both major Parties say the Debt doesn't matter.
By the way, the overwhelming bulk of Personal Income Taxes goes to pay that Interest. That's the main purpose of Personal Income Taxes. Central Banks, other Mega Banks, and other Mega Corporations are the primary recipients of those monies. They hold the vast majority of Bonds & Treasury Notes. ["Bonds" have maturities greater than 10 years, while "Treasury Notes" have maturities from 2-10 years.]
Gov't Services are paid for by Corporate Taxes (such as they are...Amazon paid zero Income Tax in 2018), excise taxes (highway/gas, liquor, tobacco, firearms, etc.), fees, imposts, duties, and more borrowed money...on which you pay the interest...$896 million per day this year.
Alan Greenspan once made these statements (paraphrased): the USA will never default on its Debt because when we need money, we simply print it; we can guarantee no default, but we cannot guarantee the purchasing power of those dollars. [Right, Alan, and that's the catch or rub, isn't it?]
Every fiat (or debased) currency in history eventually failed. The "money" became essentially worthless because the issuing government wound up printing too much of it. That's currency inflation; price inflation is the result of too much currency inflation. The more dollars there are, the less each dollar is worth. Prices then go up in order for producers just to keep even, never mind get ahead. Compared to the 1913 Dollar, today's Dollar is worth about three cents. That's why the pair of Levi's jeans I bought in 1961 cost me $3.95, and the Levi's jeans I bought a few days ago were $49.95. The cost of production (per unit produced) didn't go up; that cost has gone down over the years due to automation, essentially flat wages, foreign factories, etc. Prices on everything have gone up because the Dollar becomes worth less & less every year. That's how fiat currency operates.
Currently, we're at the tail end of today's world fiat currency system. The whole thing (worldwide) is based on so much Debt that's it's unsustainable. All fiat currencies in circulation today are becoming more & more worthless... because each year they are worth less. Hello. Global Debt is now close to $250 trillion; the entire world's GDP is about $84 trillion. Do the math. Such a system will fail. DEBT will kill it. Governments cannot simply "print" currency to get out of horrendous Debt because the result would be hyperinflation of prices; purchasing power would drop to within a micron of zero. That's the rub.
Some sort of Great Re-Set is coming, and with it, most likely a worldwide Depression. Can't say exactly when, but it's virtually guaranteed...all because of the massive Debt Bubble caused by fiat currency and reckless Powers-That-Be.
Not only my opinion. Be prepared.