Sunday, September 15, 2019

An Important Redux re: The Don

At the beginning of Spring this year, I posted the essay below.  It's being posted again because:  it still applies; and recently, Trump has started (just barely) to pretend he is some sort of reasonable Moderate... rather than the unstable nutcake that he really is.

Points For and Against the Current Oval Office Occupier

1.  He kept us out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  I've covered the disastrous downside of that Trade Pact elsewhere on this venue, so won't go into it again in this piece.  Talks related to joining the TPP were started under Dubya Bush, and accelerated under Obama.  Trump killed it his first day in office.

If interested in why the TPP is the worst Trade Treaty in history, use this blog's Search function to locate my assessment of it.  Or even better, Google/Bing/etc. :  Lori Wallach and the TPP.

2.  There is no number 2.  I was tempted to list his meetings with North Korea, but decided against it because he's the one who provoked that country with virtually insane threats of nuclear annihilation.  The person really responsible for averting (for now, at least) catastrophe is the President of South Korea, Moon Jae-in.

1.  He's a serial liar; he, himself, has proven that over, and over, and over.  In terms of frequency of lying, Trump beats out both Dubya Bush and Obama... which I didn't think was possible by anyone.

2.  He's mentally unstable, and thus emotionally unfit to be in any political office, much less the Presidency.  He, himself, has proven that over, and over, and over.  Now admittedly, I've had only a couple university pysch courses; however, you don't have to be a master carpenter to recognize a shack.  😊  Plus, there's a long list of psychologists and psychiatrists who have stated that he needs to be professionally examined.

3.  Based on his words and actions, he doesn't have a broad understanding of anything that a President should know.  His understanding of key issues, world affairs, diplomacy, statesmanship, war, the economy, the environment, fiscal and monetary matters, cultural matters, science, genuine capitalism, the Law, health matters, etc. is so limited as to be nothing short of comical.

4.  He promotes divisiveness in our country and in the world.  Plus, such promotion is not inadvertent.  He does it on purpose.

5.  While in office (never mind previous to that), he has violated Laws of the Land.  Here's only one example---
Read it carefully.  The acronyms and other abbreviations used are not as confusing as they first appear.

6.  He doesn't have even a rudimentary understanding of the United States Constitution.  Many times, he has violated his Oath of Office by failing to "preserve, protect, and defend" the Constitution.  For example, he (like many other Presidents) has violated the War Clause of Article I, Section 8.  Another example--- the Executive Branch (of which he's in charge) violates the Fourth Amendment on an almost daily basis.  Another example--- it's crystal clear that Trump is violating the Emoluments portion of Article I, Section 9 (the Nobility Clause).

7.  As President, his conflicts of interest truly are beyond the pale.

8.  Similar to numbers 1 & 2 above, Trump is the King of Public Gaslighters.  Nothing he says can be trusted.

9.  He cares not at all for the common people of this country.  He's merely manipulating & using some of us in order to further enrich himself.  This is so obvious that it's painful.  Some of his supporters finally have realized it.

10.  He is both an embarrassment and a danger to this country.  I've detailed all that in previous posts, so enough said.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well
p.s.  For any new readers, I'm not a Republican or a Democrat.  Ironically, neither is The Don.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

When the Overdue Recession Hits Us

I don't have an Economics Degree, so I rely on a broad spectrum of economists and monetary theorists for these essays.  Plus, as a wise man once told me, "You don't have to be a Master Carpenter to recognize a shack.".  :)

A few facts---
1.  Worldwide debt is somewhere in the neighborhood of $250 trillion, which is close to three times the world's GDP.
2.  The U.S. public National Debt is now a tad over $22.5 trillion...more than our annual GDP.  We pay $896 million per day in Interest on that debt.  Politicians in DC are increasing our Debt exponentially.
3.  U.S. personal debt is now just shy of $20 trillion.
4.  U.S. unfunded liabilities now stand at a bit more than $125.7 trillion.
5.  U.S. nonfinancial Corporate debt is now at about $15 trillion...the highest it has been in decades.
6.  Total U.S. Debt (not counting unfunded liabilities) is now a tad over $74.1 trillion.  [See: ]  That's more than three times our annual GDP.

1.  The world is awash in Debt.
2.  The U.S.A. has a significant portion of that Debt.
Meanwhile, the UK, continental Europe, and Japan all have been adhering to the Zimbabwe "School of Economics" by PRINTING MONEY.  Plus, the USA is on the verge of starting QE-4, more printing of money.  This is all being done to prop up the Stock Market.  In addition, Corporations have been buying back their own stock, thus falsely inflating that Market.  At the same time, Bond Markets have been crashing, capital expenditures have been decreasing, and manufacturing has been slowing the Western World.  In Asia (except for Japan), they have been sticking to conventional economic, monetary, and fiscal policies; but in the West, we are in an Era of Weirdness.
Bottom Line---
When the overdue Recession hits, and there's a succession of bursting Debt Bubbles, the impact on Western World Finance and Economies will be much greater than in 2008-2009.  Businesses, a few investment Banks, perhaps some regular Banks, Insurance companies, and associated firms likely will collapse, then unemployment will jump way up, and price inflation will take hold...thus exacerbating the Recession, possibly driving it into a full-blown Depression.

Central Banks refuse to bite the bullet and raise Interest rates (or better yet, let the Market determine the rate) because that would burst the Stock Market Bubble.  We would have a Recession, but we need to because too much money is chasing too few goods.  Big-time inflation is coming unless we dial back all this monetary craziness.
Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Thursday, August 15, 2019

BIG News on the Economy

On Wednesday night, 8-14-19, in their News broadcasts, the Corporate Media finally admitted that a Recession "may be" in the near future.  Isn't it amazing how we (according to them) went from "our booming economy" to a Bust "may be" right around the corner.  Ha!

Of course, the Corporate Media have known that for at least a couple of years.  Their News isn't "fake", but it's often incomplete.  The metrics for the next Crash have been in place for, at a minimum, the last three years.  News of a "booming economy" meant a "boom" only for a relatively small percentage of income earners.  The underlying, base economy has been pretty much a disaster.  Half the workers in this country are either in poverty, or bordering on it.  HALF.
We're talking about workers, not people on assistance/welfare.

The greatest transfer of wealth (to the Upper Crust) in the history of humanity is still in full swing.  The so-called "recovery" doesn't apply to the majority of Americans.  I've gone through the stats in many previous posts, and don't have the time or energy to repeat that now.  The reasons for this dire situation also have been detailed in previous posts.

Here's all you need to know for the near-term future:  there's no "may be" or maybe (see the first paragraph above) about the coming Crash.  It's about 99.9% guaranteed.  We're overdue for it.  Again, if you don't believe that, simply look at the time intervals between Booms & Busts from the 1973 Recession to present day.  It won't be only here in the USA; it will be worldwide.  It won't be a minor downturn.  It will be a major Crash.  All you can do is plan and act accordingly.

What does "plan and act accordingly" mean?  Here are my main suggestions.
1.  Pay down as much of your debt as possible.  When the Crash hits, your income & purchasing power may go down, but debt payments likely won't.
2.  Stock up on extra, everyday household goods...not only food, but paper goods, OTC meds, toiletries, anything you use regularly.  Credit will dry up for a time (maybe a week, or two, or ?), and businesses run on credit, not cash.  That means delivery of goods to stores will slow way down or stop...temporarily.
3.  Keep some ready cash handy.  How much depends on your comfort zone.  Banks very well may limit withdrawals for a time.
4.  Hang on to (or obtain with cash) hard assets.  Their value will increase when inflation hits.
5.  Don't take on more major debt, unless it's for an asset that you can sell relatively quickly.  When announcing their "news" about the Recession, the Media suggested that you perhaps (because of current lower interest rates) should now buy a house or a car.  That's wise advice only if you can pay cash and have no extra debtCorporate interests want you to take on more debt...don't.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Monday, August 5, 2019

Why the 2nd Amendment ALLOWS GUN CONTROL

I'm not a Republican or a Democrat, but am a long-time gun owner.  I'm not an attorney, but have studied the Constitution since 1956...mostly informally.  "Studied" doesn't only mean I've read it over and over.  I've researched many constitutional court cases, read dozens and dozens of Supreme Court opinions, and those of lower courts as well.
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
2nd Amendment to the Constitution
It seems to me that any reading of the above with a view toward common sense leads to the following conclusions.
1.  The 2nd Amendment allows civilians to possess firearms in order to have a "well regulated Militia".  [Our Founders were wary of having a large standing army during peacetime.  They opted for a militia made up of everyday citizens/civilians, non-professional "soldiers".]
2.  Apparently, Americans who oppose gun control have chosen to ignore the phrase, well regulated.  So, too, have some Supreme Court Justices.
3.  Back in the 1700's, "Arms" possessed by militia men for the possible defense & "security of a free State" amounted to pistols and single-shot rifles.  Assault rifles, automatic weapons of any kind, hand-held rocket launchers, etc. did not exist.  It defies common sense that anyone would think any modern day weapons of war should fall under the 2nd Amendment.  Even if they did, those who had them would have to be well regulated to be in compliance with the Constitution.
Trump is correct when he states that the recent mass murders were undertaken by "mentally ill" people.  Duh.  Too bad he doesn't understand the effect of words such as "invasion", "invaders", etc. on those same people.  Or, maybe he does.  Too bad that Oligarchs like him don't see the connection between horrendous social ills (mass murders, opioid crisis, etc.) and the throwing under the bus of mental health treatment in the USA...which has been going on for decades.  Too bad, indeed.
Not many, but some gun owners have formed their own "militias".  They seem to believe that they're being patriotic, and are following the Constitution.  Nope.  The phrase well regulated in the 2nd Amendment does NOT mean self regulated.  It means regulated by the Government.  Hello.
Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Three More Blatant Lies by Our Oval Office Occupier

Note---  The following quotes may or may not be exactly as spoken.  Any error is quite minimal, and does not change the meaning of the precise quote.

1.  "We now have the greatest economy in our history."  Ha!  Not even close to that, Don Corleone.  It's only great for perhaps the upper 15% or so of income earners.  Everyone else is barely keeping even, or falling behind.  The median income in this country is only $33,188; that means half of us make less.  Asset Bubbles (a type of inflation) and the Debt Bubble are larger than just before the 2008 Crash.  Financial derivatives still are a massive problem.  Casino Capitalism and Crony Capitalism still are setting us up for the next Bust... which, by the way, is overdue.  If you don't believe that, simply look at the time intervals between Booms & Busts from the 1973 Recession to present day.  No one, including you, has eliminated the Boom-Bust Cycle.

2.  "We also now have the greatest employment in our history."  Wrong again.  See this post of mine to understand why Gov't employment/unemployment stats are almost always wrong...including those put out by your Crew---
The piece also explains why Gov't inflation stats are extremely misleading.

In both cases above, today's stats are dwarfed by those of the Golden Age of American Capitalism.  During that time, not only was the economy booming, manufacturing growing, and Business thriving, but mega corporations were being taxed at up to 90%.  With its length of twenty-plus years, that economy makes today's look like an unmitigated disaster.

3.  This last quote is in relation to the Mueller Hearing that took place Wednesday.  "Under Article II [of the Constitution], I have the right to do anything I want to."  What planet are you on, Don?  Good grief.  Even a cursory examination of Article II shows that, except during times of declared war, the Presidency actually is a rather modest Office.  Perhaps you were gaslighting when you made that particular statement.  You have a penchant for trying to confuse people with outrageous claims and obvious lies.  Unfortunately for you, most of us see through your dangerous childishness.  Now we just have to convince your cult following that you're a total fraud.

Not only my opinion.  Everyone Be Well
p.s.  For any new visitors here, I'm not a Democrat or a Republican.

Friday, July 12, 2019

The Every-Four-Years Comedy & Tragedy in the USA Has Begun

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

FINALLY---Someone in Congress Asks the Right Question

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