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

Friday, July 20, 2018

The Jackass, the Albino Jackass, and the Plutocracy

Below is my reply to a dear friend's email.  Her email was a forwarded political joke which stated that the Dem Party had adopted a new symbol for their organization--- the condom.  According to the joke, the condom was adopted because it allows for inflation, halts production, destroys the next generation, gives a sense of security while you're being screwed, etc., etc.  The original sender of that joke quipped something to the effect of: it couldn't be a more accurate description of the Democrats.

That's good!  What's unfortunate is:  Repubs (just like Dems) are so propagandized they don't realize that description also applies to their Party & its top Plutocrats.  It fits both Parties to a tee.  It easily could be argued that it fits the Repubs better than the Dems... much better.

No matter which major Party is in control in DC, our country is run by Plutocrats or their puppets.  For the most part, they are all serial liars, elitist violators of the Constitution, con artists, empire builders, violators of International Law, and holier-than-thou warmongers.  

Example:  both Parties have supported the Saudi Coalition War in Yemen with major U.S. logistical & intelligence aid.  Including hospitals, water works, & schools, civilian infrastructure has been bombed, resulting in:  the largest cholera epidemic in modern history, millions of people starving, and the death of a large number of children...all because of an Islamic Sunni-Shia conflict, a proxy war between Saudi Arabia & Iran.  Our involvement in killing children and starving people is being sold as "fighting terrorism".  What a sad, tragic joke.  One of the main reasons the Fed Gov't is involved is to fulfill its role as the world's largest Arms Dealer.  Trump brags about that label.

Example:  While each major Party (at different times) has been in control in DC, laws & policies have been implemented that promote the largest transfer of wealth to the Upper Crust in human history.  This has been going on since at least the 1970's.  As We the People are thrown a few crumbs now & again, the incomes of the Rich Plutocrats have increased 700%.  At the same time, wages/salaries (adjusted for inflation) have remained essentially flat.  The Middle Class now comprises less than 50% of the population.  All that has happened under both Repub and Dem Administrations.  It's painfully obvious that we live in a plutocratic system.  All the propaganda to the contrary is nothing but "Reality Show" hype.  That's especially true now that we have a President who barely can read a prepared text from a sheet of paper, and who says one thing one day, and the exact opposite the next day.  He does it on purpose; he's gaslighting, trying to distract us from the plutocratic agenda... which he fully supports.  Instead of reporting in depth on significant issues, the Corporate Media report mainly on Trump's bizarre, buffoon-like behavior.

The Dems should stick with the jackass (male donkey) symbol, and the Repubs should adopt an albino jackass as their symbol.  ☺☺☺
Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Plutocracy Continues in the USA

Below is my email reply to an organic farmer friend regarding his comment (in an email) on my last post here on this site.  He & I agree on the Plutocracy, but differ as to the contributions to that by Repubs and Dems.  He thinks the former are much more responsible than the latter.  My reply below is edited somewhat.
I mostly agree with your comments.  But, even though FDR's Populism was significant, he was not ideal.  Even he admitted that sometimes he had to side with Big Biz.  Plus, I agree with Chomsky's thoughts on Nixon---because Tricky Dick was an opportunist, and because he sensed the mood of the people in the early '70s (except for the Vietnam issue), he became---for the wrong reasons--- the last of the New Deal politicians (in a way).  

I know it sounds outrageous, but think about it.  Nixon signed into Law (he could have vetoed these):  OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Act/Administration, 1970), NEPA (Nat'l Environmental Policy Act, 1970), the precursor to the Clean Water Act (the Fed Water Pollution Control Act of 1972), the Clean Air Act (1970), the Marine Mammal Protection Act (1972), the Safe Drinking Water Act (1974---proposed by Nixon, signed into Law by Ford), the Endangered Species Act (1973), and he created the EPA in 1970, after signing NEPA.

Repub actions aren't all bad.  Plus, though they do it less than Repubs, Dems gerrymander voting districts, too...and Dems manipulate Primaries, too... and Dems suppress Populist candidates, too.  And until a few years ago, Dems in Congress also practiced Insider Trading on Wall Street.  Dems also have an interventionist Foreign Policy, and Dems also often are warmongers and Empire Builders.  And Dems also support questionable regimes such as Saudi Arabia and Honduras (never mind corrupt Netanyahu's Israel).

The whole system is rotten, not just the Repub side of the overall Plutocracy.  Those who keep blaming "the other side" are not helping to correct the situation.  All they're doing is prolonging the squabble and distracting from the overall problem, which is Plutocracy/Oligarchy/ Empire Building.  It's not about Republicans or Democrats; it's about Plutocrats...and they're found in both major Parties.

It all continues with the ultimate Plutocrats, Trump & His Crew.  What few crumbs he has thrown to everyday people are vastly outweighed by his favoring of the Oligarchy.  Plus, the deregulation blitz ultimately will harm us both financially and physically.  The Don continues with his blatant lies, and apparently, some people believe every word he says.  On the Dem side, Schumer & His Crew continue to pretend to be Populists...when in fact, they are Plutocrats and/or puppets of the Plutocracy.

Then, too, we now have the Mega Banks and Mega Hedge Funds more empowered than ever before.  A number of fairly well known & reputable people have stated in the past that if the public ever discovered how the Big Banks really operate, then there would be a revolution in the streets tomorrow.  By the way, keep in mind that a revolution does NOT have to be violent.  A massive, national boycott of Mega Banks would do wonders toward restoring the Financial Sector to sanity.  We don't do it essentially for only one reason--- convenience.  Shame on all of us.
Not only my opinion.  Be Well