Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Economic and Financial Crash is Just Around the Corner


Best guess--- The Crash probably will be anytime before the end of next year.  No one can predict exactly when.

Today I saw an ad for blue jeans; the price of the britches---$60.


In 1961, similar jeans were $3.95...I know because I remember buying a pair for that price in Ft. Collins, Colorado while I was a student at Colorado State U.  [You remember the damnedest things when you get old:]  So, about four dollars versus sixty dollars; to me, that's hyperinflation...it's already here.  It may be a bit anomalous for hyperinflation because of the long span of time involved, but nevertheless, it seems to me it IS the beast.

Decades of monetary policy from the Fed Reserve have reduced the value of the Dollar from 100 cents in 1913 to about 3 or 4 cents today.  They've purposely debased/devalued the Dollar in order to be able to afford the interest payment on our massive National Debt (ever since that Debt doubled or tripled---can't remember which---during the Reagan years).  They can pay it with ever cheaper dollars.  That's why the Fed is always shooting for 2% inflation... per year

Imagine what an ounce of gold would be worth if all the beaches of the world consisted of grains of gold instead of grains of sand.  Whenever the amount of some item is increased in the Market, the price/value of each unit of that item goes down.  Through institutionalized deficit spending, the Fed being the main purchaser of T-Bills (monetizing the Debt), and the horrendous QE for the last 8-9 years, the Fed has made the Dollar almost worthless...by creating huge amounts of it out of thin air.  That's why some jeans are $60 now.  That's why the Fed Budget is in the trillions instead of millions or the low billions.  The Dollar is worth less...a lot less.  One even might say that it's almost worthless.  Of course, the Propaganda from the Powers-That-Be says the Dollar is strong.  What that really means is:  it's the best of the worst.  It's the cleanest dirty shirt...and even that characterization is questionable.

The Gov't always can get more "money".  All it has to do is type digits in a computer.  That's what it does when the Fed Reserve buys Bonds/T-Bills.  Actual currency isn't printed up and handed to the Treasury by the Fed; the Fed simply types the amount onto its Balance Sheet.  It never will "run out".  The problem is that the world is fast losing faith in the value of the Dollar.  We all should be, too.  Countries are dumping the Dollar and bypassing the Dollar right & left.  Those Dollars then come home, which means more inflation, but this time it will be much faster than that from 1961 to the present.  International players such as the IMF and Bank of International Settlements already are looking into replacing the Dollar as the world's reserve currency.  Can you blame them?  I think not.

No politician can stop this...it's too late.  We'll survive, but the cost of that survival & recovery will be high.

Don't believe the Elites' current Propaganda.  They're telling bald-faced lies because they're afraid the truth would result in massive panic...including a monumental exodus of capital from the USA.  [To those who think the public & private Powers-That-Be never would lie about such things---please, are you kidding me?  History says otherwise.]

Be Prepared (see previous posts), and Hang in There
p.s.  Your degree of comfort during the real recovery will depend upon your degree of preparation.  And, no, you don't need a bunker & hand grenades; there won't be a massive Mad Max scenario.  The Powers-That-Be would institute Martial Law on a monumental scale before allowing that to happen.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Trump's Violation of NEPA-SEPA Laws-Rules


Preface---
Formerly I've been an independent environmental regulatory compliance consultant to businesses.  In that capacity (and others) I became very familiar with the various National and State environmental laws and regulations.  In addition, I did the research for and wrote a number of EISs (Environmental Impact Statements, which are required by Law for many projects) for some clients.  Because of that, I became well versed in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)---a Law passed during the Nixon years---and a few different SEPAs (State Environmental Policy Acts).
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A couple days ago, I came across an article with a link to a page in the Federal Register dealing with the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)...specifically, a Notice of Intent (NOI) stating the Army would be doing an EIS in relation to the Pipeline.  That NOI was published in January of this year.  I was a bit surprised because I had seen no indication of such an EIS all this year.  [Because this whole thing is in my field, I keep my eyes peeled for EISs on huge, major projects.]  I did another Search...no luck.  I then contacted (by email) the Army's Corps of Engineers Civil Projects section and asked to see a copy of the EIS in question...or, if there was none, why not?  Incredibly, I heard back within the hour.  Here's the body of the text/reply:
"Upon revaluation of the Dakota Access Pipeline project the U S Army terminated its intent to complete an EIS. This action was announced in the Federal Register in February 2017.".

The Army, as the Lead Agency, published the NOI on January 18, 2017...a couple days before Trump was sworn in as President.  Here's the link:
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/01/18/2017-00937/notice-of-intent-to-prepare-an-environmental-impact-statement-in-connection-with-dakota-access-llcs
The easement for crossing the Missouri River at Lake Oahe is owned by the Army Corps of Engineers.  The point being:  there's no doubt that the NEPA requirement for an EIS applies in this situation.  Sometime after Trump is sworn in as President, the Army publishes its EIS termination notice... in February.

Not long ago, I saw a News clip of Trump bragging how no one else had the guts to authorize DAPL.  "But I closed my eyes and just signed it.".  Yes, and here's what that means: 
you have violated the National Environmental Policy Act.  If the Fed Gov't issues a permit for a project of that size & potential impact (& owns the easement on which the project is located), and even if the project is completed by a private company, an EIS is required.  That's well established...there's no question about it.

SEPAs also require an EIS on major projects.  [If an EIS is completed under NEPA Rules, it fulfills any State requirement.]  North Dakota doesn't have a SEPA, but South Dakota does...and the DAPL goes through portions of both Dakotas, Iowa, and Illinois.  It's a HUGE project with significant potential impacts.  For one thing, it crosses (or goes under) more than one major river.  There's no doubt at all that an EIS is required by Law.

I think the Standing Rock Tribe has filed a lawsuit over this very thing.  I hope so.  Trump is not above the Law; he just thinks he is.

It's not relevant to my point here if you are for or against fossil fuels, or for or against the Rights of Native Americans/Indigenous People/American Indians.  It's not even relevant if you believe the EIS requirement on major projects is a good or bad thing.  What's relevant is that the President has violated the Law.  He can't repeal a Law without Congress.  Perhaps the Corporate Media and the Democrats should stop beating to death the Russia distraction, and instead, concentrate on something solid...such as this scenario.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Trump Admin Wants to Kill Net Neutrality Rules


Ajit Pai, who originally was brought into the FCC by Obama and more recently was appointed as FCC Head Honcho by Trump, is planning to eliminate Net Neutrality Rules (referred to as NNR in the rest of this piece).  Pai has a credible background, but it should be noted that he did a two-year stint as a Verizon attorney.  He claims that the NNR are hurting Business interests, stifling job development, and that the Mega Internet Providers should be allowed to "voluntarily" comply with the spirit of the Rules.  Please...who in their right mind thinks that will work out in favor of the rest of us?

I don't have the time to detail all the reasons why NNR need to be retained forever, so if you're not already familiar with those reasons, do a Search for:  what killing net neutrality means for the internet.  Suffice it here to say that those Rules prevent the Mega Players from screwing over 99.9% of us relative to internet usage.  Killing the NNR would hurt us and benefit the Big Boys in the Internet Game.

Although the Oligarchs lost the last battle over this issue, it's obvious they haven't quit the war.  They never will.  That's because the internet is the greatest democratizing tool ever to exist...and they know that.  The Gaslighting Trump knows that, and the last thing billionaires want in a society is full participatory democracy.  As in the last battle over NNR, it again will take millions of citizens speaking out to overcome the Oligarchs' efforts to eliminate these protections.  On Wednesday, July 12, you'll see all kinds of postings on the Web showing you how to have your voice heard.  Please participate.  If you don't, it's pretty much guaranteed that:  the cost of internet usage will increase; there will be "slow lanes"; some sites will be "throttled"; smaller ISPs will be hurt; and outfits such as Comcast and Verizon will be the BIG winners.  There will be censorship on items/ideas that never should be censored.

To those of you who still support the Corporatists in the Executive Branch (or anywhere else), this issue further demonstrates that their beliefs & policies definitely do not favor the everyday citizen.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Monday, July 10, 2017

Nukes and Trumpistas


As reported on Democracy Now, 122 nations have signed a Treaty banning the use of nuclear weapons.  [It's astounding to me that the People of any nation anywhere allow their government to build and possess such weapons.  I guess it's a testament to the power of Edward Bernays style Propaganda.]


Naturally, none of the Nuke Nations signed the Treaty.  Perhaps their leaders should watch or re-watch (it's on YouTube) the 1983 ABC movie, "The Day After" with Jason Robards.  That's the movie that caused Reagan (according to him) to begin the process of re-examining his belligerency toward Russia.  The Trumpistas (Fascistas) in our Gov't definitely need to see it...even though it probably wouldn't do most of them any good. ☺  It's difficult for many "True Believers" to let go and consider alternatives.

The movie starts out a wee bit sappy or what I call "schmaltzy", but quickly becomes a riveting drama depicting the aftermath (in the Midwest) of a nuclear war.  It's not for the fainthearted.

I know all the arguments against banning nukes...and they aren't worth spit.  It's entirely possible to defend a nation without using or even just possessing nuclear weapons.  It's also entirely possible for a People to peacefully force its government to go non-nuke...but only if those people truly have the will to do it.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Deceitful, Stumblebum Democrats & Republicans in DC, the Corporate Media, and the Russians


Below is my Reply to an email from an organic farmer friend.  He stated in his email that the Repubs were only three States away [Democracy Now claims they're six States away] from being able to call an Article V Constitutional Convention, and that they would do so in order to push through Amendments making the USA even more of a Corporate State.  He thought the time was ripe for them to make such a move.  I've edited my response a tiny bit for this venue.
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I doubt there ever will be another Constitutional Convention.  That would open up a can of worms with which Repubs don't want to deal...because then they would have to be on the record regarding being against a bunch of common sense things, such as Term Limits.
Enough States have called for a Convention numerous times...Congress always has just ignored it (thus violating the Constitution), even when Repubs were in Power.
See:  http://foavc.org  (Friends of the Article V Convention).

You may be right, but it's highly doubtful.  The GOP is way behind on its promised blitz of legislation, investigations are going on, some of the Repubs are hiring private lawyers, and over 200 SENIOR Staff positions in the Administration still are unfilled...100 of them are in the State Dept.  Plus, there's a good deal of dissension in their ranks.  There's just too much on their plate now, and it's going to get worse for them.  For one thing, the spending bill extension (or whatever it's called) runs out before Fall; then they have to deal with raising the Debt Ceiling

Trump's Administration already is failing.  I don't think the guy could organize a successful Bake Sale. ☺  He's too arrogant & egotistical to do anything in which he's not the dictator of the whole scene.

The last Constitutional Convention was in 1787.  They don't have the time or the focus to launch another in the near future.  Finally, it's possible that by the time they get those three [or six] States, the Mid-Terms will be here & many/most of them will be out of office.  Of course, that depends on the Democrats, who (like the Repubs) seem to have no clue as to how to run a railroad...or anything else.  

The major political Parties are an utter failure.  They just stumble around, and every so often look out the window of their Ivory Tower while wiping the excess gravy from the Congressional Gravy Train off their lips...trying to figure out what We the People on the ground want from our politicians, or how to further deceive us.  Then, puzzled by trying to understand folks outside the DC Beltway, they go back to bellying up to the Public Trough & slurping their way through the rest of their Term.  They are a disaster, & gave rise to the likes of The Don & his Crew of Corporatist mobsters.  What a tragic joke politics is in America.  Any good politicians are either marginalized or assassinated.
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The following was not included in my Reply---

Trump's recent, childish, "wrestling" Tweet/video clip speaks for itself.  Even the most die-hard of his supporters should be embarrassed for our country.  His behavior (e.g., the recent video clip, his shoving of a Leader to the side onstage at an International Conference, his ridiculous handshake in which he sometimes jerks the other person toward him, his silence when asked a question by Angela Merkel at a Press Conference, etc.), his outright lies, and his ignorance of domestic & world affairs all demonstrate that he isn't even close to being Presidential material.  What he's doing is "gaslighting".  [Google:  What is gaslighting?]  Trump may be ignorant, but he's not stupid.  He's a serial liar, and a dangerous, deceitful person.

As to the Corporatist Democrats, they continue harping on this narrative:  the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming.  [That's the title of a 1966 movie, a comedy-drama.]  Anything to distract from their own failure and corruption.  Anything to distract from their rigging of the Dem Primaries in the last election.  The Corporate Media aid & abet them in the hysteria over Russia "interfering in our election".  Their caterwauling about it is the height of hypocrisy.  Back when, our Gov't made certain that Boris Yeltsin was elected to Office in Russia.  Never mind the dozens of times the Feds interfered with elections in other countries all around the world...including complete overthrows of gov'ts.  Where is the discussion of the content of Podesta's hacked emails???  The Corporate Media briefly skimmed the surface of that, and then buried it.  Instead, it's Russia, Russia, and more Russia.  Russia doesn't want a war with us; it's our Elites who keep provoking things.

Both the Repubs and Dems are bound and determined to demonize Russia and deepen the New Cold War...and New Arms Race.  [The USA is the largest Arms DEALER in the world.]  Anything to distract from the total failure of our two major Parties.  It's no wonder that an idiot such as Trump got into Office.  It's past time to peacefully rectify a situation which threatens not only us, but the entire world as well.  The Corporatists (including Trump) must be kicked out of politics in this great Land.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Review of Some of the Craziness in the Authoritarian, Nonconstitutional USA


The craziness referred to in the title above covers a very broad range.  The text below displays only a few examples of some of it.  I'm calling the USA Gov't "nonconstitutional" (as opposed to unconstitutional) because for many years our leaders have ignored large parts of the Constitution.  It's as though the document doesn't even exist.  Here's some of the craziness, as follows.

1.  Our politicians appear to believe that this also is in the Fourth Amendment:  "...none of the provisions of this Amendment apply if there's a national crisis or any threat to national security...or if Congress passes any Law that contradicts any part of this Amendment...".  Of course, none of that is in the Fourth Amendment, but that fact seems to matter not at all.  Certain parts of the PATRIOT Act and a few other Laws are in direct conflict with the Fourth Amendment.  Crazy.

2.  Once a week (or so), the President meets with others in the Executive Branch to decide which people in other countries are to be murdered with Hellfire missiles from weaponized drones.  Anyone so killed is automatically designated as an EKIA---enemy killed in action.  It doesn't matter if the person is Joe Suspect's grandmother ("collateral" damage) or Joe's ten-year-old son (more "collateral" damage).  They are all EKIA as far as our Gov't is concerned.  This all happens despite the fact that the Executive Branch has no Constitutional authority whatsoever to issue assassination orders.  That authority belongs only to Congress.  The only exception to that is during a war officially declared by Congress.  [We haven't had one of those since WW II.]  Crazy.

3.  According to a portion of the National Defense Authorization Act, our rights to "due process" and "innocent until proven guilty in a Court of Law" are negated if we are suspected of any kind of "terrorism".  [You would be surprised how little it takes to be a suspect in such a case.]  Crazy.

4.  Too many of our militarized Law Enforcement people now do not treat suspects properly.  Instead of innocent until proven guilty, suspects are demeaned, lied to, denied access to rest rooms, or much worse--- sexually abused, shot in the back, beaten or TASED after being handcuffed, or flat-out killed.  No, that isn't rampant in our society, but it's happening way too often.  Here's what's much more common:  nonviolent protesters are pepper-sprayed in the face with no warning, no "order to disperse"...or sometimes their eyelids are held open by one or two officers while another one sprays directly into their eyes... all of this while peacefully exercising their Right to Assembly.  Crazy.

5.  While it isn't yet widespread, small drones have been used by Law Enforcement in lieu of a proper Search Warrant...another violation of our rights supposedly protected by the Fourth Amendment.  Crazy.

6.  Our Executive Branch now bombs other countries, puts combat troops into action in other countries, and in Syria shoots down one of their aircraft...all with no approval of Congress, no involvement of Congress at all, and certainly no declaration of war.  Crazy.

7.  As reported on Democracy Now, since March of this year, U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq have killed about 700 civilians.  All this in a completely unconstitutional war.  Crazy.

8.  Our Military gurus want to send another 5,000 or so ground troops to Afghanistan...to a war with no end in sight...in a land deservedly known as the Graveyard of Empires.  Trump essentially said to Mattis:  go for it.  All ISIS (or the Taliban) has to do is fade back into the woodwork until we leave.  Trump wants to fulfill a campaign promise that's impossible:  "We will exterminate ISIS.".  The Russians couldn't do something similar with 500,000 troops there.  Crazy.
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To any of you reading this who believe you are genuine "Conservatives" (not NeoCons), where is your outrage?  Our country is being destroyed by Militarists, Authoritarians, Corporatists, and Empire thugs...and you appear to be supporting the whole shebang.  Please stop drinking the Edward Bernays style Propaganda Kool Aid.  What will it take for you to wake up?  To those of you who believe you are genuine "Progressives", what are you doing in the Democratic Party?  Ever since 1992, that Party is firmly in the Land of Corporatism.  Please wake up.  We need organized, opposing political forces in this country so a Middle Way can be determined...instead of the Corporatist Dem v. Repub sham that we have now.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Warning About So-Called Crypto-CURRENCY


First, let me state clearly that I'm in favor of alternative currency.  It should be obvious that the U.S. fiat Dollar is crashing...and it's not the only one doing so.  Nevertheless, it's important to note the misrepresentations and falsehoods regarding all crypto-currencies...as follows.

1.  The implication coming from crypto people is that Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc. can be used legally in "money" transactions, and that the crypto-"coins" are not regulated (or barely so) by the Feds.  False.  The first law that applies to them is the Legal Tender Law, Section 5103 of Title 31 (U.S. Code/USC), which delineates exactly what is acceptable as currency.  Guess what?  All the listed items are issued by some portion of the Gov't or the Fed Reserve.  Crypto-"currency" is not Legal Tender.  The Cryptos also fall under several regulations having to do with commodities...because that's what the Feds have designated them as---commodities, not currencies.

2.  Another implication is that because of "blockchain" technology, crypto people will be able to be anonymous, have their own "banks", and avoid the IRS.  All I can say to that is don't be naive.  DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (founded in 1958), created the High Tech world.  If they can't master "blockchain", all they have to do is offer $500,000 (or a million) to some independent contractor or two to do it.  The line of applicants will be a mile long.

3.  Finally, there's a strong implication (sometimes an outright claim) from crypto promoters that not only is the Crypto-World anonymous, but it's also safe.  False.  There is a War on Crypto-Currencies being waged by the Feds and others.  Currently, it's a quiet war.  If need be, though, it will get loud and nasty.  Don't think for one minute that the Powers-That-Be simply will roll over and watch their fiat Dollar be replaced by some private alternative.  [Japan appears to be an exception to that.]  If push comes to shove, they will designate all crypto people "financial terrorists" and a threat to national security.  With current laws already in place, you then will be subject to arrest without a proper warrant, being held incommunicado, and being held indefinitely without a trial.

The Elites already are emphasizing the "criminal money-laundering" aspect of Cryptos.  In addition, it's becoming more & more difficult even to access crypto websites.  None of this is a coincidence.  The war is on, and if you're attempting to use Cryptos as CURRENCY, you are a target.  Lastly, anyone who believes that he/she can do any type of electronic transaction deemed by the Feds to be undesirable, and do it anonymously, is behind on the learning curve relative to what the NSA & other Fed agencies are doing.

The only way Cryptos ever will be Legal Tender in the USA is if only the Fed Reserve produces and distributes them.  The Elites won't allow anything else...and they will fight tooth & nail to make certain the Dollar (or its official replacement) remains King.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well