Sunday, May 3, 2015

National Politics in the USA is Utterly Disgusting...and Harmful


Again, I emphasize that I'm not a Republican or a Democrat... thank "God".  With the world's greatest library (the internet) at our fingertips and a fairly good grasp of both History and Logic, it's beyond my comprehension how anyone could belong to a limited, specific political group.  To do so almost certainly would require one to be an idealogue, a blindly partisan advocate & adherent... not a good thing.

Here's why national politics in the USA is both disgusting and harmful---

1.  Wall Street runs the show.  Anyone who still doubts that either is not paying attention, or is propagandized beyond the point of no return, or both.  Not only does the Financial Sector run the show, it is waging war on both workers and industry.  The USA rapidly is being reduced to a NeoFeudal State.

2.  With the help of politicians at the highest levels, Mega Banks continue to run amok.  Wealth continues to be transferred from the poor and middle classes to the upper crust at an unprecedented rate.  This is being accomplished largely by Financialization, which extracts income from the 99% and then does not use that money for the creation of jobs.  Instead, funds are invested in bizarre financial derivatives, or foreign currency speculation, or foreign capital investments in manufacturing overseas, or socked away offshore to avoid taxes, or in raiding existing domestic companies & then downsizing or dismantling them.

3.  There's a revolving door between private corporation, CEO (& lesser) positions and appointed, high-level U.S. Government positions.  Men such as Hank Paulson, Tim Geithner, Robert Gates, and others should have been disqualified from government service due to conflict of interest.  Especially Paulson, who previously was Goldman Sachs' CEO, and then essentially gave mega banks billions of taxpayer $$$.  [Ben Bernanke, a non-corporate appointee, topped Paulson:  he made $13.1 TRILLION available in loans to mega banks at POINT 25% (.25%) interest just before TARP.  That makes one wonder why the banks needed the "paltry" TARP funds.]

4.  Politicians at the highest levels (in general) are notorious liars.  They say anything to get elected.  Obama is a prime example.  The 2008 Obama-worshippers have to be the most disappointed people in American political history.  Obama, the corporatist and warmonger... posing as some sort of Leftist.  Obama, contrary to the Constitution, who chooses which people (including Americans) are to be killed by drone attacks.  Obama, who is waging war on US workers and industry.  Obama, persecutor of Fed Whistleblowers.  Obama, who joins with McConnell to push for the TPP abomination.  Obama, who fines crooked mega banks billions & billions of dollars for FRAUD, but jails not one of their top execs.  And on & on.  The guy is the greatest flim-flam artist in the history of our politics.  Bar none.  He even beats out Bush-Cheney for that title... which I didn't think was possible.

5.  Politicians at the highest levels (in general) mostly ignore about half the U.S. Constitution, especially Article I Section 8, Article II Section 2, and the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Ninth Amendments.  Each therefore is violating his/her Oath of Office.  Put bluntly, essentially they are Outlaws.  Where the hell is Law Enforcement?  Where is Justice?
.........................................................................................

So, what can we do?  Here's a start...just a start---

1.  Ignore the Edward Bernays style Propaganda.  Don't automatically believe anything a high-level politician says until you check it out using multiple, diverse sources.  Additionally, stop relying on one or two sources for your national news.  For one thing, the Corporate Media outlets (ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, etc.) omit so much that you can't possibly have an accurate picture of what's going on if you rely only on them.

2.  This one seems counterintuitive, but don't vote in national elections.  A national election is a Rigged Game; don't play.  That's the best way to make the Oligarchy pay attention to We the People.  Everyone who is a "true believer" in some political ideology (& thus a "voter") is perpetuating the Rigged Game.  The Neoliberal Coup that has taken place here and throughout most of the world cannot be overturned by voting.  National candidates for office are selected from the top down, not the bottom up.  Even if, by some miracle, a "genuine Populist" or a "good person" gets elected, that person will be marginalized completely by the Rotten System.  That won't be true forever, but it certainly is now and for the near future.

3.  Educate yourself and others.  With the world's greatest library in front of you, you have no excuse not to.

4.  Be an Activist... organize around just causes.  Do something, something peaceful, even if it's anonymously and by yourself.  If group protests are not your bag, there's nothing wrong with that.  There are plenty of other things that can be done:  boycotting, writing, all types of Art, discussions, commercial ads, speeches, stickers (Street Art), flyers, business-type cards (of a political nature), videos, or ???  Be imaginative.

5.  The Neoliberals have won because basically they have distracted and divided us.  That has to end.  I'm guessing that most of us don't want pointless war, or jobs shipped overseas, or an ever-intrusive Surveillance State, or unsafe food, or a completely debased dollar, or stagnant wages, or economic bubbles, or de-industrialization, or never-ending debt, or ever-increasing price inflation, or the ridiculously high cost of higher education, or a war against workers, or inferior, meaningless jobs, or the rip-off, add-on fees imposed upon us by Big Business, or major rivers & rainwater owned by corporations.  If that's all true...that we don't want those things, then we have to stop being so fragmented when it comes to politics.  Democrats AND Republicans have brought us to the point where we are now.  They need a message sent to them...and quickly.

Not just my opinion.
Happy Trails

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Part II: "Fixing" Our Government


Below is my response to an email I received from some friends.  In their email, they talked about the right to vote, and the fact that they weren't clear on what my solution was to the problem of our government (& economy) mess. 

I suspect that you guys still think 
the Rotten System can be corrected from within the system.  If that were true, then it would 
be corrected by now... especially given that we've had at least 100 yrs to do so.  Keeping 
you in that Rigged Game is a huge part of the Propaganda.  Currently, voting at the 
national level is a complete waste of time, and more importantly, it perpetuates the Rigged 
Game.  That will change only when changes from outside the system force changes 
within the system.

As to clear answers on what to do, I agree with you, but only up to a certain point.  I think 
this is pretty clear: "As long as Americans stay stuck in this Repubs v. Dems charade, that all 
will continue.".  And this:  "...the very first step in "fixing" our Gov't and 
overcoming the coup of Neoliberalism is this:  somehow we have to destroy and/or expose 
Edward Bernays style Propaganda.".  ["somehow" would include writing, talking, songs, other 
Art, discussions, websites, formal speeches, ads, and especially, organizing.]  This stuff will 
not happen overnight, if at all.  And this is clear: "Don't vote at the national level.".  The 
Establishment has to be shown that We the People are in charge.  When we vote, they know 
we're not.  I know, that sounds counterintuitive, but it's true.  [The Rich & Powerful select, 
groom, & finance probably 99.9% of all candidates at the national level.  So, how does voting 
help correct that?]  The top-down, dictatorial Republican & Democrat Parties will select two 
total Yahoos for Presidential candidates in the next election.  Any 3rd Party doesn't have a 
chance in hell because of Propaganda, the Corporate Media, & harsh ballot-access laws.  
How does voting help correct that?  I'm serious.  Voting perpetuates the problem.

I don't know the complete solution to the problem, but I'm fairly certain of where to start.  
The Propaganda of the Neoliberals must be exposed...that's 1st.  Then, peaceful activism 
outside the Rotten System must be organized & instituted.  That means either 
individually, or in groups, or both, we have to boycott, demonstrate, & otherwise protest.  
That can be done any number of ways... it doesn't necessarily mean marching down the street 
with banners held high.  Many things can be done quietly & anonymously... e.g., boycotts of 
Mega Banks (who finance corrupt politicians).  Even in a dictatorship, public opinion matters; 
but making it matter requires hard work & solidarity.  Right now, Americans are so 
fragmented that it's no surprise we're essentially beaten.

There are many, many obstacles to solving America's mess.  One is that too many of us 
think that things can be solved fairly quickly... by voting, for example.  I don't have a lot of 
hope that Americans ever will overcome the Neoliberalism Coup, or even understand what 
that is.  But I keep writing & making vids... because I have very young grandchildren, & fear 
for their future.  NeoFeudalism is almost upon us.  Voting won't stop it.

Not just my opinion.  Be Well

p.s.  I'm convinced that when my body is dead & I'm gone, someday I'll chuckle (or whatever 
spirits do) when I hear you guys say, "By God, Woodrow, I thought he was nuts, but Haley 
was right all along."...:) 

Monday, April 20, 2015

So, How Do We Fix Our Government?


In my opinion, there is no magic bullet to fix things, but...
if we don't vote, much more can be done than just waiting for the collapse.  Even if people do vote, much more can be done.  There's a huge obstacle, though...
PROPAGANDA from Neoliberals (in general, the highest levels of Repubs & Dems).

Unfortunately, Americans seem to have forgotten that this country was founded due to 
the efforts of Activism.  Violent activism is not an option nowadays, but peaceful activism is 
always possible... one issue at a time.  It's a long haul.  The trouble is, due to Propaganda, 
the ~ 25% of adults who are on the "Right" think that demonstrations, protests, boycotts, etc. 
are "Leftist", or "Socialist", or "UnAmerican".  Nothing could be more American.

So, what could be done?  Well, about a gazillion things could be done... IF Americans had the 
will and weren't so distracted & propagandized.  Here's one tiny thing that could be done:  as 
much as possible, boycott all Mega Banks.  Destroy their credit card biz with boycotts.  Is it 
inconvenient for people?... of course.  You can't change who finances your mortgage, but you 
can have an impact in other areas such as credit cards.

By the way, most politicians voted in by most Americans (Repubs & Dems) just recently gave 
the Corporatist Obama so-called Fast-Track Authority on the TPP.  That means one man 
(Big Biz Obama, not Congress) will do the negotiations for that abomination.  When it comes 
up for a vote in Congress, there will be no debate, no amendments, just a yea or nea.  If it's 
approved, we lose.  Big Biz likes the TPP 1000%; so does Obama, so does McConnell.  If 
Congress votes it in, there will be a downward pressure on wages (because of greed, not 
a lack of choice for biz owners), a decrease in food, toy (& other goods), & pet safety, the 
elimination of Buy American in Gov't procurement contracts, more offshoring of jobs,
& the ability of any corporation to sue our Gov't (or any gov't) for infringement on their profits 
caused by EHS regulatory compliance***.  Way to go, you Gravy Train, Fat-Cat Congress 
people!  [EHS: Environmental/Health/Safety]
***The "court" will be a private, corporate tribunal.  It will have the capability of allowing corporations to "legally" raid the U.S. Treasury.

Everyone in Congress who voted for Fast-Track should be inundated with phone calls, 
emails, or letters berating them for such stupidity.  But that won't happen... because of 
Propaganda, distraction, apathy, or ignorance.  The Neoliberals win again. 

So, what am I getting at here?  Simply, I think the very first step in "fixing" our Gov't and 
overcoming the coup of Neoliberalism is this:  somehow we have to destroy and/or expose 
Edward Bernays style Propaganda.  That propaganda has deceived and immobilized the 
American people.  It has misinformed and distracted them.  They are, for the most part, lost 
in the charade of Right v. Left.  The whole thing is a Rigged Game.  The Main Street "true 
believers" in politics have been duped... completely.  [None of this is a "conspiracy".]  Can this 
"first step" be accomplished?  I doubt it, but maybe.  In any case, it's worth the effort to try.  
NeoFeudalism in America is fast approaching.  Doing nothing is not a good choice.  The 
solution to the problem is not to be found in the current major political parties... they 
are a major part of the problem.

Not just my opinion.  Happy Trails

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Iceland & Greece Have it Right


Iceland is well on its way to a complete economic recovery.  Greece has just started, but is on the right path.  How are economies saved or returned to a healthy state?  The answer to that has several facets; the solution to the problem must be based on History, Logic, and plain common sense...as follows.

1.  Mega Banks are not the Holy Grail of Economics.  If they run their businesses into the ground by making bad investments, they should be allowed to fail.  Bailing out casino-type banks is a horrible idea... it saves the rich & powerful, not the economy.  The "too big to fail (and jail)" banks here in the USA became 38% larger than they were before the 2008 Crisis.  Most of them took their bailout money AND the trillions of dollars loaned to them at POINT 25 percent interest by the Fed Reserve and used it to:  give huge bonuses to top management; engage in more casino capitalism; loan money back to the Fed Gov't; increase their lobbying efforts in DC; and buy up other banks.  Did they create any jobs?  Almost none.  In general, Financialization does not create jobs or benefit the economy in the long term.

2.  Whether owed by consumers or governments, in a crisis debts either should be written down to amounts that feasibly can be paid back, or totally forgiven.  Selling off public infrastructure to private companies and/or instituting or coercing "austerity" will not benefit the economy or the People.  About 70% of our economy here in America is driven by consumer spending; I'm guessing it's a similar figure in most other developed countries.  For an economy to be saved or to recover, people have to have money to spend.  Saving a bank that can afford to pay a $30 billion civil fine for FRAUD is not going to save the economy.  Such a bank should be left to die, and the top management (where appropriate) should be sent to prison.

3.  Stop drinking the Edward Bernays style Propaganda Kool Aid put out by Gov't elites and the Corporate Media saying that the sky will fall and the world economy will crash if speculative mega banks are not saved.  That's a complete fairy tale... at best, it's ignorance... at worst, it's blatant deceit.  Many economists agree that no such thing would have happened.

4.  Never get involved with the IMF.  It's nothing more than an oligarchical racket.  If you're already involved, never accept their "structural adjustments".  Years ago, several countries in South America learned that lesson the hard way.

5.  Understand that Neoliberals in both the public & private spheres are creating economic structures that are rushing countries into NeoFeudalism.  Very few politicians are opposing them.

6.  In a very real sense, banks should be a public utility.  They should be loaning money to encourage manufacturing on home soil, rather than gambling on derivatives, foreign currencies, and other insider scams that create no jobs.  In terms of the economy, the bane of the last 30-40 years has been Financialization... paper shuffling for the benefit of the Super-Rich.  We need public banks.  Private, casino-capitalism type banks could still exist, but should not be allowed to use depositor funds for speculation OR to get beyond a certain size.  Reinstate Glass-Steagall.

7.  Understand that agreements such as the proposed TPP are a disaster for economies and the People.  They benefit the Oligarchs at the expense of the rest of us.  Don't believe politicians like Obama or McConnell, who both lie about the TPP.  Even our new Secretary of Defense either is ignorant about the TPP or lying about it.  See citizen.org/tpp

8.  Stop being partisan in politics.  Using America as an example, at the highest levels the politicians are almost ALL on the Neoliberal Team... the Team benefitting Oligarchs at our expense.  Consider this:  80% of us are in favor of raising the minimum wage; 90% of us want the Mega Banks broken up; 80% believe our agreements regarding NAFTA and the WTO should be revised or dumped; and, a vast majority (I forget the %) of us want corporate criminals to be sent to prison...which usually does not happen here.  So, what are our so-called "representatives" doing about all that... not much at all.  42% of Americans now are neither Republicans or Democrats; rather, they are Independents.  The strategy of the Oligarchy, which is using hot-button social/cultural issues to Distract-Divide-Conquer us, is beginning to fail.  Many, perhaps most people, are seeing that the economy is the number one issue in this country.  They are fed up to the gills with stagnant wages while the Rich & Powerful have seen a 700% increase in their incomes in the last couple of decades.

9.  Finally, this next statement is obvious, so consider it simply a reminder.  To determine those responsible for any economic or financial crisis---and to get a clue as to how to reverse that crisis---just follow the money.

Not just my opinion.  Be Well

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Hillary Clinton is a Neoliberal Corporatist


Part of this piece is taken from a video I made and posted on my YouTube Channel.
[YouTube.com/user/scotthaley12]

As Jeremy Scahill (a best-selling author and producer of documentary films) put it in an interview on Democracy Now!, "She's a raging Neoliberal...".  That means Hillary is a Corporatist, not any kind of Populist... despite the propaganda to the contrary.

Harper's magazine (and the piece was re-posted on Bill Moyers & Company dot com) stated that Ms. Clinton "supported Bush's Iraq madness, Obama's Afghanistan & Libya stupidity, and her husband's pro-banker, pro-deregulation, and pro-'free-trade' policies...".  To those of the political Right who might be thinking all that sounds pretty good, you should think again.

Corporatism is NOT Free Market Capitalism.  Instead, it's the marriage of the power of the State to the power of Big Business.  Both FDR and Mussolini called that Fascism.  It's what we've had in the USA (and much of the world) for decades.  It's monopolism and Crony Capitalism.  It's raping economies around the world, and it's making the Super-Rich richer while shrinking the Middle Class.

The labels "Republican" and "Democrat" essentially are meaningless at the highest political levels.  Those labels once meant something; that's no longer true.  At the highest levels, the politicians pretty much are all Neoliberals... they are all on the same Team, so to speak.

Not just my opinion.  Be Well
p.s.  It's not a "conspiracy".

Thursday, March 5, 2015

On What Legitimate, Ethical Authority?


What legitimate, ethical authority do the highest levels of our Fed Gov't have to...

1.  launch a pre-emptive war?  [as in the case of the 2003 Iraq invasion by the USA];

2.  tell Iran that it can't have a nuclear program?  [when Israel has ~ 200 nuclear weapons, and the USA is developing or upgrading so-called "tactical" nukes];

3.  impose sanctions on Russia for intervening in a civil war?  [when the highest levels of our Fed Gov't do the same thing on an almost regular basis];

4.  develop (paraphrased) "tools to guide Venezuela in the direction it needs to go"?  [Venezuela is a sovereign nation...it can go in any direction it so desires];

5.  insist (via the IMF and/or World Bank) that any particular country undergo "austerity"?  [when the USA is the largest debtor nation in the world...and there's no visible austerity imposed by our Gov't];

6.  spy on our allies?  [and then condemn other nations for doing the same to us];

7.  act as the world's Police Force?  [without any U.N. authorization];

8.  refuse to return Guantanamo (which essentially was stolen by us) to Cuba?;

9.  refuse to recognize the sovereignty of Native American Indian Nations?  [said sovereignty being guaranteed by numerous Treaties...all of which have been broken by the Feds];

10.  launch weaponized drone strikes into countries (e.g., Pakistan), killing both SUSPECTS and innocent civilians, when the "intelligence" identifying the suspects largely is from cell phone meta-data?  [Pakistan has told our Gov't to cease and desist more than once.]
..................................................................................

The answer to all of the above is...NONE.  There is no legitimate, ethical authority for those actions.  Every patriot (as opposed to nationalist) should point that out... loudly and repeatedly.

Not just my opinion.  Be Well

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

US Combat CONTINUES in Afghanistan


Not too long ago, President Obama announced that the US combat mission in Afghanistan "has ended".  Like many of his utterances, this one also proved to be untrue.  It wasn't long after the announcement that the NYT reported this:  Obama had signed a secret order authorizing the remaining 10,800 troops to engage in combat.

Most recently, just the other day, the NYT also reported that combat night raids by US Special Forces had increased... now that the "combat mission in Afghanistan has ended".

Another lie from a Fed politician... go figure.

If there ever has been a President begging for impeachment, it is Barack Obama.  The man truly and literally is incredible.  Not only does he lie, but he violates the Constitution over and over.  [I've detailed such violations in several previous posts.]  Of course, he most likely won't be impeached because Republicans commit the same violations.  None of the DC politicians want a public discussion of why the President is not permitted to put this nation at war.  Only the Congress has the power to do that.

Not just my opinion.  Be Well