Thursday, February 12, 2015
Cognitive Dissonance is the uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas in your mind simultaneously. It causes people to change their beliefs or behaviors, or to somehow justify the contradictory ideas...in order to achieve some peace of mind. In crude, common parlance, it "fucks with your mind". Obama appears to be a master of this technique.
His ideas and actions regarding the concept of Perpetual War are a prime example. He says one thing, then does the opposite. For instance, he claims that the Afghan War essentially is over... that our "combat mission" there is done, finished. The facts are: according to the NYT, Obama wrote a secret memo authorizing the remaining 10,800 U.S. troops to engage in combat. The Afghan War is not over for us.
He supposedly ended the second Iraq War... but now we're back in Iraq with 2600 ground troops and war planes. He makes a big deal out of the fact that the troops are trainers and advisors. The number of them started out as 300; very quickly that became 1300. Now it's 2600. Is this a pattern? He says they don't have a combat mission, but holding true to that will be almost impossible.
Obama's Drone Wars pretty much have institutionalized Perpetual War. That's because "terrorists" will always exist, especially given that U.S. actions continually are creating them. He claims that we must not accept the concept of Perpetual War, but his actions virtually guarantee that the highest levels of Gov't already have accepted it. Regarding war, Noam Chomsky made this comment about Obama, "He's worse than Bush."... I agree.
His ideas and actions regarding the U.S. Constitution are another example. He sometimes reluctantly points out that he's a Constitutional scholar; but anyone with even a cursory knowledge of the Constitution readily can see that he violates it more than Bush-Cheney did...and that's quite a feat. Obama, like Dubya Bush (and others, including Bill Clinton), thinks that because he's Commander-in-Chief he can ignore Article I of the Supreme Law of the Land, especially Article I, Section 8.
Article I, Section 8 ENUMERATES the responsibilities of Congress, the duties of Congress. Those responsibilities do not belong to the Executive or the Judiciary. They include: the power to put us at war; the power to issue assassination orders (Letters of Marque and Reprisal); the power to make rules concerning captures on land and water; and several others.
Even IF one accepts the unconstitutional premise that Congress does not have to "declare war" for us to be at war, that instead, Congress can issue a "Resolution" giving the Executive permission to go to war at some point in the future, at a time of his choosing... even IF all that, Obama still has violated the Law. For his current ISIS War, he has been using a Congressional Resolution from the second Iraq War (over ten years ago). Common sense should tell anyone that's ridiculous--- that was an entirely different situation from today. That "Authorization" has expired. The fact is: he's currently at war without a Declaration of War OR a legitimate "Authorization" from Congress. [Not only that, currently he's not asking Congress to issue an "Authorization"; instead, he's giving them one written by the White House. That's not how it works---Congress is supposed to construct the document and determine the conditions.] At the same time, he has planted the subtle idea in our minds that he's a Constitutional scholar. If he is that, then he's ignoring Article I, Section 8 of that document... particularly, the war-making clause. Just because other Presidents have done the same thing in the past does not excuse Obama one bit.
Barack Obama, more than any other President in my long memory, not only says one thing and does the opposite... but additionally, he does more to blatantly make it appear as if those actions are logical and not contradictory. He's the unapologetic King of Cognitive Dissonance, hands down. He beats out Dick Cheney... and that's quite an accomplishment.
Not just my opinion. Be Well
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Congratulations, Greece! Your new leader is a guy who is telling the Neoliberals to go to hell. Every country, including the USA, needs just such a person.
Via the IMF, and/or central banks, and/or other mega banks, Neoliberals at the highest levels (including the Democrats and Republicans here) through deceptive practices entice countries to take on massive debt. Then, when the debt is unsustainable, these same mega banks and the IMF coerce countries to undergo austerity or in some cases sell off their public infrastructure to private, mega corporations. It boils down to this: Neoliberals save the mega banks, not the economy...Wall Street, not Main Street. All for Globalization and privatization. The ultimate Goal is the world as one giant Business...and none of it is a "conspiracy". For the most part, it's in plain sight.
As David Rockefeller stated publicly in 1991: "Surely it is preferable to have the world run by unelected elites than by the corrupt politicians of today."... that's pretty plain. Despite that, Neoliberals often are deceptive. For example, here in the USA they go by the labels of "Democrat", "Republican", "Liberal", and "Conservative". They use Edward Bernays style Propaganda to dupe people into accepting things such as N.A.F.T.A., T.A.R.P., T.P.P., and T.A.F.T.A., all of which serve the Oligarchy, not Main Street.
The Neoliberal Congress and Fed Reserve in this country have given us an eighteen trillion dollar debt... and it's still growing. There is however, no visible austerity here. Instead, it's just under the facade of "the economy is recovering" Propaganda. Here's how it's "recovering":
1. with continued Financialization, which transfers wealth from the Middle Class to the Upper Crust;
2. with continued sale of bizarre Financial Derivatives, which create no jobs;
3. with continued debasement of the dollar;
4. with a massive Trade Deficit;
5. with continued off-shoring of factories and jobs;
6. with the creation of lower-paying permanent jobs, temporary jobs, and part-time jobs;
7. with continued deficit spending;
8. with an estimated one quadrillion dollars of Financial Derivatives still out in the Market... many bubbles just waiting to burst;
9. with QE-4 waiting in the wings;
10. with Gov't promoting another housing bubble;
11. with someone or some institution (or a combination) manipulating the crude oil market; and,
12. with rolling back regulations on the mega banks that caused the 2008 Crisis.
This is not what I would call a recovery.
[NOTE: The 2008 Crisis was not caused by sub-prime mortgages; they were simply the trigger. The underlying cause was the fact that mega, Neoliberal banks sold trillions of dollars worth of essentially worthless Derivatives. Many (or perhaps most) of them were credit default swaps which were supposed to "insure" investors against losses... but didn't. The mega banks knew they couldn't possibly serve that function when they sold them to pension funds, cities, counties, countries, and other investors. It was a massive fraud. Under the Corporatist Obama here, almost no one has been held criminally liable. Plus, things are now set up for the whole scam to happen again... I'm guessing within five years...easily.]
Neoliberals and Neoliberalism must be confronted and resisted. In order to do that, we must stop drinking the Propaganda Kool Aid. First Iceland, and now Greece are showing us the way. Heartiest congratulations to both. There is no reason whatsoever that Globalization must take the form that is espoused by Neoliberals. There are other options.
Not just my opinion. Be Well