Monday, April 17, 2017
civilians from any of that. It amazes me how some Americans, especially some supposedly "Conservative" Americans, ignore facts, the Constitution, & history and immediately wrap themselves in the flag whenever any group of conniving politicians starts beating the war drums. Our history as a nation is replete with examples of that. Here are the real reasons those drums are beating so loudly; this is why private and public Oligarchs now constantly are angling for another major war. The following points are the main reasons why "Republicans" are so loud and "Democrats" are virtually silent (and thus complicit) on the whole war mess---
1. The fiat Dollar's status as the world's reserve currency is being seriously threatened. Countries not only are dumping Dollars, but also are joining together in agreements that bypass the Dollar completely. That's especially true regarding Russia, China, and other countries in Asia...but also elsewhere. [Many countries appear to be fed up with the financial & economic Bully-Boy tactics of the highest levels of our Gov't...and justifiably so.] The PetroDollar is on its last legs everywhere; its collapse is fairly imminent. The USA's military, which essentially is the Fed Reserve's enforcement/intimidation arm, often has been used to keep countries in line relative to the dominance of the Dollar. [That's probably why Saddam was taken out. He was on the verge of selling oil in non-Dollar currency. Libya and Iran were threatening to do the same.] Without that Dollar dominance, our fiat Dollar and debt-based economy would be toast...much more than both are already.
2. The Global Debt Bubble, which is a gazillion times larger than the Stock Market Bubble, is on the verge of bursting. Arguably, it could be said that it's already bursting. I suspect that most Oligarchs (especially those in public office) think another major war will kick the can down the road. Except for the "Defense" (which should be "War") Sector of the Stock Market, investors then would turn to the Bond Market (which should be the DEBT Market)...because they perceive it as less risky.
3. I also believe that, above all else, Oligarchs have a great desire to keep our debt-based economy rolling along. Why? Because it transfers wealth from the Poor and Middle Classes to the Upper Crust better than anything since Feudalism. Adjusting for inflation, in the last thirty years or so the incomes of the Super-Rich have gone up by 700%. In the same period, the incomes of the rest of us have remained relatively flat. Our economy primarily is based on two things: Debt, and War (referred to as "Defense" by the Oligarchy). Since the advent of rampant Financialization, "average" Americans have had to go into fairly massive debt in an attempt to simply stay even in terms of lifestyle. Unfortunately, that debt isn't doing the job in most cases. Close to 50% of us are living in poverty or near-poverty, and the Middle Class basically has been hollowed out. Most Oligarchs don't appear to care, but they have very effective Propaganda techniques to make some people think they do care. Plus, they have tried & tested diversion techniques (such as war, the Two-Party political system, phony "Populist" movements, etc.) to distract us from the greatest transfer of wealth in human history. [As I've stated several times, none of this is a grand "conspiracy". Oligarchs mostly do all this simply because they have mutual interests and objectives; it's merely "good business" practice to them. Sometimes they work together, but most of the time it's done independent of one another. Even if it were a "conspiracy", of what use would that knowledge be?]
Side Notes: here's a little history---
1. Since the end of the Korean Conflict [that's the official, technical name...because then supposedly our participation in that war doesn't violate the Constitution] in the early 1950's, our Gov't has had nuclear weapons in S. Korea aimed at N. Korea. Is it any surprise then that N. Korea has developed nukes?
2. Not too many years ago, N. Korea offered to freeze its nuke program in exchange for concessions (such as the lifting of economic/financial sanctions) from our Fed Gov't. Our Gov't refused even to have talks about that proposal.
3. Even more recently, N. Korea offered to freeze its weapons-delivery program in exchange for the lifting of sanctions. Again, our Gov't refused to have talks about it.
4. China has been trying for years to get our Gov't to just sit down and talk with N. Korea. No luck.
5. The 1950's Korean "War" never officially ended. A "Cease-Fire" Agreement was made between military muckiwups on both sides, but the Gov'ts involved have not yet signed a Peace Treaty. Technically, they're all still at war. Any good or common sense appears to be lacking on both sides.
6. Various reports indicate that most of N. Korea is experiencing famine to one degree or another. The Gov't there is desperate for relief...one way or another. I can't think of one good reason for not sitting down and having talks with them...rather than threatening an unconstitutional First-Strike with a nuclear option.
It should be obvious by now that Hillary Trump is not: "America First", or "draining the swamp" in DC, or going to favor the little guy over outfits like Goldman Sachs (now, even more so, it's Gov't Sachs), or going to make sure that "everyone has healthcare", etc., etc., etc...ad nauseam. The man is Same-Old, Same- Old, except that he's a much more dangerous version.
Relative to the title of this piece, the bottom line is this--- the war drums are all about maintaining the American Empire, the world fiat Dollar, our debt-based economy, and the tools that make the Super-Rich richer. They have almost nothing to do with saving average people or helping other countries.
Not only my opinion. Be Well
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
As reported on the Democracy Now news hour yesterday (you won't find this on the Corporate News Media, such as NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, etc.)---
1. The missiles used in the unconstitutional attack on Syria that was ordered by Trump have a price tag of over $1 million each.
2. After the attack, Raytheon (the maker of those missiles) had a big increase in their stock on Wall Street. Their total stock value jumped up by about $1 billion.
3. Trump has investments in Raytheon, so he benefitted directly.
Perhaps it was all an innocent coincidence. I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions. Be well.
Saturday, April 8, 2017
In terms of foreign policy, we've gone from Donald Trump (which was bad enough) to Hillary Trump...the Perpetual War Hawk. Yes, the gassing of civilians was horrific, & allegedly done by Assad; that doesn't mean the US Gov't has any right to attack Syria. The attack violated both the U.S. Constitution and International Law. But then, our Gov't has been doing that for decades.
Before he was elected, Donald Trump tweeted (back when) that Obama had to have the approval of Congress before airstrikes in Syria could be launched. [If I recall correctly, Obama never obtained that approval, & very few of us objected.] Apparently the puppet Hillary Trump has changed his/her mind. So far, the only Repub politician I've seen protest His Lordship's violation of the Constitution is Rand Paul.
The "Unitary Executive" concept reigns supreme. That's Executive Absolutism. Bye-bye, Congress...you're screwed. The public and private Oligarchs in this Land are trying to provoke another major war. That's what Oligarchies do when a country's economy is tanking and the Propaganda no longer is effective.
Not only my opinion. Be Well
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Let's first define one term. By "Elites", I'm referring to those who are either super-rich, or in positions of super-power and/or influence, or both. These people are in public or private positions, or both. It's a general definition; there are always a few exceptions to any general rule. The exceptions, however, do not invalidate the general statement.
1. We've had the National Security & Surveillance State since at least 9-11-01. Yes, security is important; however, excesses in that field by the Elites have created a monstrous problem. It is this: the Fourth Amendment essentially has been eliminated. Other constitutional guarantees of protection against an errant gov't have been seriously compromised as well. The Elites have done all this by various means, but often it's by passing laws in the dead of night before any of our "Representatives" have had a chance to even read a particular law. Those who originate these laws (e.g., The PATRIOT Act, FISA, the National Defense Authorization Act, etc.) seem to have the insane idea that even though the laws are in conflict with the Constitution, somehow they trump that document, which of course, is the Supreme Law of the Land. We the People appear to be putting up with this nonsense.
Perhaps it's past time to recognize that the "Security" State is more concerned with security for the State as opposed to for us. We are fast going toward a Hard Fascist State, and leaving behind the Soft Fascism which we've had for at least a decade or more. Many people don't believe that because, I think, they associate Fascism mainly with the anomalous weirdness of the German Nazis & their obsession with the elimination of Jews. Let's not forget Franco's Spain and Mussolini's Italy; they were more truly Fascist. Fascism means the marriage of the power of the State to the power of Big Business. It's a totalitarian rule by public & private Elites. That's what we're rushing toward in the USA.
2. Not since the Cold War with the old Soviet Union have we been so close to a nuclear war disaster in the world. The current crop of politicians in DC seem to hold the insane view that: (a) "tactical" nukes can be used without any significant, serious, long-term, detrimental consequences to humans and our planet; these business folks probably haven't had a science class since high school, & they are clueless on this subject; and (b) a "first-strike" war is permissible under the Constitution and International Law... not true.
Critics of this critique probably will say something to the effect of: Iran, Russia, and especially North Korea are a distinct danger to us, and threaten us repeatedly. Some of that is true, but not to any serious degree. What those countries are doing, for the most part, is pushing back against our threats to them. We have economic and financial sanctions against them (especially N. Korea & Russia). Sanctions are an act of war. The Bully-Boy US Gov't seems to believe it can act against any other gov't in the world (including allies) and there will be no blowback. That's an insane belief.
As reported by the dissident, Noam Chomsky (on Democracy Now), not long ago N. Korea offered to sit down and talk about their stopping weapons-delivery testing in exchange for our Gov't lifting sanctions against their country. Our DC politicians refused to even consider it. Naturally, to my knowledge that whole business never was revealed by the Corporate Media. I'm not defending N. Korea; I'm against any totalitarian regime. The point is, our Gov't appears to be escalating the situation, rather than diffusing it. Worse, with Buffoon Trump, the politicians now are talking about a first-strike...with a possible nuclear option. That's unmitigated insanity.
3. Our top-level politicians, including both Democrats and Republicans (and those in the Corporatist Cabinet), seem to have lost all common sense. Here are just a few examples of that.
(a) The Democrats keep harping on the concept of Russia "interfering with" or "influencing" the last election here. They can't or won't face the fact that the real reason they lost the last election (& not only at the national level) is because We the People no longer buy into their Corporatist and/or Neoliberal crap. Almost without exception, top-level Dems are shills for the Wall Street Casino Capitalists. They truly do represent the Status Quo...which most Americans have no patience for anymore. Dems whining about the Russians displays hypocrisy to the Nth degree. Our Fed Gov't has a history of interfering with elections, influencing electoral outcomes, and even overthrowing democratically elected gov'ts. During the Clinton Era, our Gov't made sure that Boris Yeltsin got elected in Russia. Top-level Dems are insane to keep on with this Russian interference narrative.
(b) Trump and the Corporatist/Neoliberal Repubs are in the process of making it easier for the Financial Sector, especially the monopolistic Mega Banks, to screw over the bottom 99% of Americans. They are doing so by removing the paltry restraints on the Crony Capitalist, Mega Banks. They are guaranteeing the next Bust in the Boom-Bust American Business Cycle. We're right on the cusp of being overdue for that Bust, and they are hurrying it along. They do this because, for the most part, the Super-Rich benefit greatly from such a Bust. How? It's simple: during a major recession or depression, the Elites can buy up assets cheaply. We've seen it over & over in our history. For example, not long after the 2008 Crash, Mega Banks bought up smaller and/or troubled banks at pennies on the dollar. The "Too-Big-to-Fail" Mega Banks grew by 37%. During the Great Depression of the 1930's, super-large landowners and banks bought up small farms and a myriad of other assets at bargain prices. Assisting that type of scenario, as the current Repub Corporatists are doing, is insanity. It will further ruin our country and cause great suffering among the majority of us.
(c) Similar to the point above, both Repubs AND Dems refuse to bring back the Glass-Steagall Act. In my view, their refusal is because they are Wall Street shills. If Mega Banks want to play at Casino Capitalism using bizarre financial derivatives, then they should do so with their own money, not ours. That's just common sense. Anything else is insanity.
Not only my opinion. Be Well
Saturday, March 25, 2017
Lessons The Don should have learned---
1. He's not the big, bad, tough deal maker he thinks he is.
2. Talking about riding a bronc and doing it are two different things.
3. Like everyone else, sometimes he's a failure at executing a task.
4. Many people don't respond well to bullying and/or ultimatums.
5. Politics can be complicated.
6. He's not the Boss of the Congress.
7. It takes time to craft a decent piece of legislation.
8. Running the Executive Branch is not the same as running a corporation.
9. He has no popular mandate.
10. He doesn't know as much as he says he does.
Lessons We the People (especially Trump supporters) should have learned---
1. All ten points above, plus...
2. The Don is in over his head.
3. For the most part, he's full of hot air.
4. He's not an effective politician, not even an effective rebel politician.
5. His style & manner do not command respect.
6. He displays either ignorance or naivete regarding crucial subjects/topics.
7. When he says things such as, "Nobody knew that healthcare is so complicated...", that suggests he's not fit to be President.
8. He makes promises he can't keep...and he knows that.
9. He'll be a disaster on the international stage.
10. He's not a genuine Populist.
With The Don & his Crew in office, we're all in deep trouble...nearly everyone in the entire world. In fact, the most recent election cycle has demonstrated that the so-called Two-Party System in USA politics (which is NOT mandated in the U.S. Constitution or anywhere else) is working against common people and fostering Elitism. In other words, this problem is way beyond just Trump. Until that System is peacefully changed, our country will continue to experience SSDD... in politics, economics, finance, and almost all social matters.
Not only my opinion. Be Well
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Edward Bernays style Propaganda Kool Aid. In addition to the National Debt numbers, the online "U.S. National Debt Clock" (in real time) has a wealth of other information. [A small portion of it is listed below.] As opposed to what Janet Yellen and many politicians are saying, that info gives us a genuine dose of reality...instead of propaganda.
Since the end (sometime in the early 1960's) of the Golden Age of American Capitalism, here's what Republican & Democratic politicians, the Fed Reserve, Financialization, Globalization (of a certain type), Crony Capitalism, and Corporatism have all brought us to---
1. Our public National Debt is almost $20 trillion. [We are now among the world's top debtor nations.]
2. U.S. Total Debt (public & private) is now a bit over $67 trillion.
3. 42.6 million Americans are living in poverty.
4. 31.4 million Americans are without insurance (the Debt Clock doesn't specify whether that's health insurance or all types of insurance).
5. The U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is about one trillion dollars less than the public National Debt.
6. The Median Income in the U.S. is now $30,123.
7. The Median New Home Price in the U.S. is now $311,015.
8. The "Official Unemployed" number is 7.616 million.
9. The "Actual Unemployed" number is 14.949 million.
All the above is only a tiny fraction of the valuable info found on the Debt Clock.
Glenn Greenwald, who was on a Team that shared a Pulitzer Prize, has pointed out that the Financial Sector in the USA essentially has captured our government. Financialization and the revolving door between Mega Banks and high Gov't positions have contributed greatly to the hollowing out of the Middle Class in this Land. We now have a President & Executive Branch Administration who want to roll back the paltry regulatory protections of Dodd-Frank, thus giving the Financial Sector even more freedom to practice Casino Capitalism... which will further put our financial and economic systems at risk.
The rationalization for such action is that jobs will be created. History says otherwise. Starting with the elimination of the Glass-Steagall Act during the Bill Clinton Era and right through to the lack of prosecution of crooked bankers during the Obama Era, it's clear that: banking needs strict regulation (enforcement and prosecution); and the Mega Banks need to be broken up. Casino Capitalism does not create jobs for the Lower & Middle Classes; it simply enriches the Super-Rich. That's what Trump is pushing/peddling.
Not only my opinion. Be Well
Sunday, March 5, 2017
Relative to the first part of the title above, I'm just saying that. I have absolutely no proof to present as to its authenticity. None whatsoever. I'm following the lead of our Tweety-Bird President, who claims that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower...but then the Don failed to offer even a shred of evidence. IF Obama actually did do the deed, that's a major scandal and it should be exposed. What's more likely, though, is that President Trump made up the story in order to distract from the many problems facing him & his staff... especially those involving Russia. If that's the case, it's also a major scandal...and should be exposed. I have no idea which scandal is true, but I hope we find out.
A third option is that Trump was misinformed about the Obama story. If that's the case, it reinforces why it's crucially important for anyone to obtain hard, irrefutable evidence before babbling in public about some particular supposed action. As far as I can see, Trump failed to do that.
Mr. President: you FAILED to present any evidence (at least, as of this writing)... and perhaps you also failed to even obtain any evidence. Your credibility just keeps getting worse. Why should world leaders (or anyone) believe anything you say???
In the piece immediately previous to this one, posted a couple nights ago, I mistakenly stated that the National Debt was $19.981 trillion. At that time, it was $19.961 trillion... As of tonight, it's $19.963 trillion. The Debt Ceiling "Holiday" is almost over.
Not only my opinion. Be Well
Friday, March 3, 2017
During his Address to Congress at least, King Donald did almost zero whining. Thank Heaven for that. I'm guessing the primary reason for that blessing was the fact that the speech was 100% scripted, and Trump pretty much read it word for word. The content (and other statements), however, revealed some genuine flaws in the thinking of this Corporatist Administration. Here's what they don't appear to grasp...or they do and they're simply presenting a fraud. It's hard to know which one.
1. Trump and some of his staff claim that the budget increases for the Defense Dept. (which should go back to its original name, War Dept.) and for Homeland Security will be offset by cuts in other Depts./Agencies. Since they claim that, they must already have the numbers. Let's see those numbers. I very seriously doubt their claim to be true. My guess is that all the cuts won't amount to even 10% of the billions in increases. Furthermore, the proposed cuts undoubtedly will be in social programs and environmental/health/safety (EHS) programs... you know, those programs that improve the lives of common people. The combined budgets of all those programs already are dwarfed by the Defense Dept. budget before the increase (never mind Homeland Security's budget). In addition, our "Defense" Budget already is larger than the next seven largest in the world COMBINED.
2. Along those same lines, Trump & staff are proposing a TRILLION Dollar infrastructure re-building program. At the same time, they're proposing a massive tax cut. Supposedly, the economy will boom so greatly that the trillion dollar expenditure will be covered by tax revenue generated by all the unemployed we have now, those who soon will have full-time permanent jobs. The Don appears to believe that tax cuts and regulation reduction will result in Mega & Mid-Size Corporations making capital investments and thus creating many new jobs. Fairly recent history suggests otherwise. In this sorry Age of Financialization, mega & mid-size companies no longer need to hire more people in order to increase company profits. Instead, they downsize, or ship facilities overseas (cheaper labor there), or invest in Hedge Funds, or become a bank (General Motors makes just as much money on car loans as it does on car production), or invest in foreign factories or real estate, or invest in foreign currencies or bonds, or become corporate raiders buying up companies and then downsizing or dismantling them, or simply bank the extra cash...usually offshore.
3. As David Stockman (formerly of the Reagan Administration) wisely points out, a crucial date is looming--- March 15, 2017. That's the day when the Debt Ceiling "Holiday" (developed by Obama & Boehner) ends. After that, the National Debt by law cannot exceed $20 trillion unless a Republican Congress raises that Ceiling and thus kicks the can down the road again. By summer, the Fed Gov't will be out of cash for everything but absolutely essential services. According to Stockman, tax cuts will not yet be in place, ObamaCare will not yet be replaced, and any job-producing Infrastructure activities will have to be postponed. As of tonight, the National Debt is $19.981 trillion dollars and increasing at a phenomenal rate. It won't be long at all before it hits $20 trillion.
4. To avoid the Mother of all Fiscal Crises, it seems to me the Congress will be forced to raise the Debt Ceiling yet again. [They always do.] Most likely, that will result in foreign governments and banks dumping the Dollar even faster than they are now. That will bring the demise of the Dollar ever closer. The Petro-Dollar already is on its last legs. These events will hasten the culmination of the worldwide economic crisis already in progress... and will render Trump's vague economic plan useless.
5. Trump's proposed slashing of the EPA will freeze the SuperFund Toxic Waste Cleanup Program (that's already happened), the Radon Program, the Brownfields Redevelopment Program, and several other programs that greatly contribute to clean air, clean water, and unpolluted land. The result will be a poorer quality of life for everyone. Trump mistakenly believes that any money saved by companies being able to avoid EHS regulatory compliance will be used to create jobs. That's the great myth. See the second half of number 2. above for the reality.
6. Except for bashing immigrants & refugees and beating the Perpetual War drums, Trump & Crew seem to have no focus. Rarely resolving anything, they jump from one item to the next. That's especially true of the Don. Yes, it's early yet in his Kingship; however, if the first forty or so days are any indication, the man won't accomplish much at all that's positive and good for We the People. On top of that, the Executive staff slots still aren't all filled. Plus, with seemingly sincere & consistent---but incompetent & narrow-minded---people like Jefferson Beauregard Sessions in place, the whole Reality Show of an Administration becomes a circus.
Finally, a few closing observations (and reminders)---
1. During the Golden Age of American Capitalism (from the end of WW II through the 1950's & into the early 1960's), the greatest economic expansion in our history as a nation, with few exceptions corporations were taxed at a 90% rate. They now pay (if at all) 35%.
2. Politically speaking, I'm not Red or Blue; I prefer Purple. So do 41% of American adults. 25% are Red and 31% are Blue. 3% don't give a damn, and given our recent history (30-40 years), can't say that I blame them much for that view. :)
3. Trump & Company are either incompetent, ignorant, or devious fraudsters... or some combination of those. In any case, they are wrong for this country and the world.
Not only my opinion. Be Well
Thursday, February 16, 2017
The Deep State has hit Trump at least twice at this juncture. The first time involved the Judicial Branch and his "travel ban" Executive Order. The second time was regarding Flynn and the Russian Ambassador. "Officials" in our Gov't brought the whistleblowing leaks (concerning Flynn) to the attention of the Acting Attorney General. Weeks before, Trump apparently knew about Flynn's lies to the V.P. and the public. So much for transparency in government.
King Donald is so thin-skinned and insecure that after about a hundred more hits by the Deep State, he'll probably have a nervous breakdown. If and when that happens, let's hope his finger isn't on the nuclear button. [This is the guy who asked, "If we have them (nukes), why can't we use them?".] Good grief.
His press/news conference today was one for the books. Whining, whining, and more whining. He's an embarrassment to this country. On top of that, he's still dwelling on the election...and still thinks he had some sort of massive landslide victory. It's as though he's trying to convince himself, not us. The man appears to be emotionally retarded. The piece on Frontline a short while ago (sorry, I forget the title...maybe, The Choice) about his childhood and upbringing gives insight into that. Trump always has to see himself as winning and as a success, even if he loses and/or fails. When criticized, he either attacks with lies... or whines... or both.
I'm certainly not in favor of The Establishment in American politics, but Trump is not the solution to that. This is the Buffoon Administration, and it's extremely dangerous. It's filled with Corporatists, Elitists, Militarists, and worse. The Don makes promises he cannot possibly keep, but he'll violate the Constitution, the Natural Rights of commoners, International Law, and any measure of common sense trying to fulfill those promises. He thinks he's the greatest thing since sliced bread... and can't stop talking about how great he is. When he comes up against the wall of Reality, he'll crack. Before he cracks up, he'll probably double or triple the National Debt (which already is obscene), get us into another major, unconstitutional war, and destroy what's left of our economy. On top of that, he'll generate more terrorism than did Bush & Obama combined and make enemies of allies around the world. This President is an unmitigated disaster. All he'll do is make the Super-Rich richer, poor people poorer, encourage the prejudiced, further hollow out the Middle Class, increase the pollution of the planet, continue Perpetual War, and in general, destroy America. Of course, he says he'll do the opposite of all that... but then, the guy is a Con Man. [And no, I'm not a Democrat...or a Republican.]
So, how many Americans really do support and/or approve of him? The polls I've seen indicate that the number is 1/3rd of all adults in this Land. One-third. As paltry as it is, look for that number to shrink before long. Why? The guy doesn't have a clue about American Government. I probably know more about the subject... and that's not saying much. Plus, as written above, the man appears to be emotionally retarded. That does not bode well for coping with the stresses and strains of the Presidency... or for making wise decisions. Finally, he's choosing people to fill his Administration whose actions are going to piss off the vast majority of Americans, never mind the world.
Not only my opinion. Be Well
Monday, February 13, 2017
Chris Hedges is recognized as a genuine "Progressive" and well respected as a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist.
This clip (below), only about 12 minutes long, is on a site deemed by the Democrats & Republicans to be a source of "fake news"...and also deemed by them to be a place where "supporters of Russian Propaganda" pontificate. It's RT, formerly "Russia Today". There are a few (very few) sites that really do put out fake news. The stories are complete fabrications. From what I've seen over the past two years, RT is NOT one of those sites. They do, however, have a certain "slant" to many of their presentations. That's easy to recognize and filter out...just as it is with any other news site.
Analysts on both the American "Right" and "Left" often appear there as guests. As one of many alternatives to Mainstream American Media, I've found it to be a very good source of analysis. All news sites are "slanted" to one degree or another, & this one is no more so than Fox, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, Democracy Now, PBS News Hour, The Washington Post, New York Times, etc., etc.
Democrats and Republicans have failed...utterly. The result is King Donald the First. He won the election because people were justifiably angry, desperate, & wanting change. [As a friend pointed out, there also was manipulation of the voter rolls by the Repubs with a program called "Crosscheck"; however, that does not explain why a lot of people voted for Trump.] Unfortunately, Trump is a Corporatist and a Con Man. He will violate the Constitution even more than Bill Clinton, Dubya Bush, & Obama. The Police State here will grow, more money will be sucked away from the Lower & Middle Classes, and once again, the Deep State/Shadow Gov't will prevail. The Super-Rich will get richer, and the economy will crash...more than it has already. The 7-10-year Boom-Bust Cycle, which benefits the Upper Crust & has been ongoing for about 45 years, will continue.
The good news is that it's likely we'll survive...and finally wake up & see through the Edward Bernays style Propaganda coming from the so-called "Right", the so-called "Left", and other Corporatists such as Trump.
This clip is a must-see; it's a brilliant critique---
Not only my opinion. Be Well
Friday, February 10, 2017
King Donald appears to think he's still a CEO, or worse, the owner of the American Gov't. This is somewhat understandable because there are few (if any) institutions more dictatorial than a Mega Corporation...and that's the atmosphere our President is used to. He appears to believe that he's the Boss of the entire Fed Gov't., and that being Commander-in-Chief entitles him to ignore Immigration Laws passed by Congress and other laws such as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) passed into Law during the Nixon Era. [Just the other day, the Army cancelled/terminated the NEPA requirement for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). That's a direct violation of NEPA.]
The Don appears to be ignorant of the fact that we have a government composed of three separate branches---all co-equal. He apparently doesn't believe in the concepts of Checks and Balances and Separation of Powers. This also is somewhat understandable. That's because going back at least to the Bill Clinton Era, the Executive Branch has pretty much embraced the concept of Unitary Executive Power (especially promulgated during the Dubya Bush Era). This concept purports that the President is allowed to set aside any laws that conflict with the Executive's view of actions necessary to preserve "National Security". It was honed into a weapon (against democracy) primarily by John Yoo and David Addington in the Bush Administration. In essence, it places the President above the law. Clinton, Bush, Obama, and it looks like Trump as well all believe in it. This is a big part of the reason for Presidential violations of statutory law and the Supreme Law of the Land, the U.S. Constitution.
This is the reason that recent Presidents believed they could spy on Americans without obtaining individual warrants signed by a judge. It's the reason that recent Presidents thought they could go to war without the approval of Congress. It's the reason they believed that people (U.S. citizens) can be arrested and held incommunicado without a warrant. It's the reason they all still believe that the President can order weaponized drone attacks whenever and wherever the Executive Branch so chooses...even if the target country says NO. This is the reason that FBI Agents now can write their own Search Warrants (called "National Security Letters"), and if you're served with one, you cannot reveal that to anyone (not even an attorney) or you're subject to five years in prison. That's a prime example of Fascism in action.
Trump's implosion is evidenced by his continual whining about judges, about "fake news", about Nordstrom dropping his daughter's clothing line (!), about lawmakers who wish to alter Asset Forfeiture laws, about anyone who criticizes or opposes him, and by his continual use of Twitter as a vehicle for all his woes & complaints. [He's acting like a teenager.]
King Donald, like all recent Presidents, appears to believe that no one in the Judicial Branch or the Legislative Branch has the right or duty to oppose him. He seems to think that he's the Head Honcho of the whole Shebang. He thinks he's the CEO of the Fed Gov't. Like the Presidents of our recent past, apparently he believes that being Commander-in-Chief of the military means that he's entitled to be above the law. Being the Head Honcho of the military does not entitle any President to ignore any part of the Constitution or any Law passed by Congress. There are limits on the Presidency...a lot of limits. Without strict observance of those limits, we have a Fascist government.
Not only my opinion. Be Well
Sunday, February 5, 2017
Trump beats out even Dubya Bush and Obama for the title, Lunatic King. I didn't think that was possible....especially so soon after the election. Naturally, I'm exaggerating with the title of this essay; however, exaggeration often drives home a valid point. Here are just a few of Trump's "lunacies"---
1. He's acting like an idiot with Iran. Trump claims that Iran is the greatest generator of terrorism in the world. In reality, that title belongs to either Saudi Arabia---with its spreading of Wahhabism (a fundamentalist form of Sunni Islam)---or to the USA, with its weaponized drones and American Empire view of world relations. For about forty years, the Iranian Gov't has tried to turn its own people against the USA. It failed to do so. Trump has done it in ten days.
2. In a really dumb/lunatic move, King Donald not only placed a Gag Order on the EPA & other Gov't agencies, but he placed a freeze on any new contracts for the cleanup of SuperFund toxic/hazardous waste sites. There are over 1,800 such sites in our Land. This means that hazardous wastes will not only continue to leach into our groundwater and/or flow into our surface water, but overall will accelerate. Some of these sites are military installations with pollution dating back to the '50s and '60s. [As a HazMat Specialist with Sacramento County about 15 years ago, I conducted regulatory compliance inspections of one of those sites, McClellan Air Force Base. These pollution problems are real, and need to be addressed.]
SIDE NOTE: The pollution going back decades is a direct result of an almost total lack of environmental regulations and/or enforcement in the 1940's, 1950's and 1960's. Even today, enforcement of environmental regs is lacking to one degree or another in some areas of our country. It's a fairly safe bet that Trump & his Administration will worsen the situation.
3. The blanket ban on people from seven predominantly Muslim countries is making enemies around the world. Even many in Israel condemn it. Fortunately, the judicial section of the Deep State here is fighting Trump on this one, and for the moment at least, is winning.
4. Trump's (for the most part) Corporate Cabinet is beyond ridiculous. These people will favor Mega Banks, other Mega Corporations, and the Super-Rich over Main Street in a heartbeat. It all shows where Trump's true loyalties exist. In terms of the Oligarchy v. the rest of us, it's SSDD. On second thought, this time it will be on triple steroids.
5. King Donald's views (and already, actions) on Climate Change display an exponential amount of ignorance. He's not a stupid man, but he's quintessentially ignorant on too many crucial issues. Either that, or he's propagandized beyond the pale... or both.
Not only my opinion. Be Well
Monday, January 30, 2017
Never mind the fact that Article II, Section 2 enumerates ONLY TWO Executive Orders permitted under the United States Constitution. The President may order Department Heads to submit reports on anything having to do with their respective departments, and may grant clemency/pardons to specified prisoners. That's it. No other Exec Orders are listed/described. Put that aside...because We the People apparently have accepted the Fed Govt's analysis which states that other Orders are IMPLIED. Some analysts have argued (to no avail) that the Constitution does not imply powers, but instead ENUMERATES them. [We have, after all, a government of Enumerated Powers.]
So for decades & decades, we have allowed past & present Presidents essentially to issue decrees (like a King) that instead should be ideas for legislative bills submitted to Congress. Never mind all that. Trump isn't the only guilty party.
The USA's Soft Fascism is hardening rapidly under this new King & his Administration. The recent blanket ban is proof of that. Here are a few of the results:
1. at JFK Airport, some moron kicked & punched a Muslim woman who was dressed according to her faith, and then said, "Trump is here now; he's going to get rid of all of you!";
2. a PhD candidate at Stanford, who had been visiting abroad, was detained upon return to the Land of the Free because the country visited was one of the "areas where we've had trouble" (the quote is from an Administration spokesman);
3. other students with Green Cards attending other universities had similar experiences;
4. Iraqis who helped save the lives of American soldiers, and thus were targeted in their own land, were denied entrance as refugees to the USA at the airport... because of Trump's "Executive Order".
So much for "extreme vetting". With this Order, apparently there is no vetting. There's only a blanket ban.
Pluralistic societies/countries, if they were to use Trump's reasoning, should ban all Americans from entrance to their lands... because some Americans are violent racists. That's the same flawed logic.
Trump already has demonstrated that he should be impeached. Keep in mind, the Impeachment process begins merely with an investigation by the House. It may end there. It's the Senate that has to vote for conviction (removal from office)...2/3rds of Senators must so vote...if the House votes to proceed.
Not only my opinion. Be Well
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
A couple of years ago, Moyers & Company had as a guest Mike Lofgren, who had been a Congressional Staffer for 28 years. During his long stint in Congress, he became aware of the Deep State (Shadow Gov't)...which is a conglomeration of like-minded public & private individuals. If you're not familiar with that group, simply Google/Bing the term.
As Lofgren pointed out, the Deep State doesn't care whether Repubs or Dems are in power at the national level... those labels are meaningless to the true Powers-That-Be. Genuine Repubs and genuine Dems don't exist anymore at the very top echelon of the Fed Gov't. Mostly Neoliberals exist there. That's Lofgren's conclusion after working 28 years in Congress.
Jump forward to today.
Trump will be squashed and/or completely marginalized by the Deep State, mostly because he has no ideology. He's nothing but an opportunist, and they won't abide that. Either that will happen, or he'll simply self-destruct.
One would think that the Deep State might favor a guy like Corporatist Trump. They favored Corporatist Clinton instead because she represented the status quo. Although Trump adheres to Corporatism, he also appears to be: against Globalization; too unreliable; too volatile; anti-status-quo; too thin-skinned; and too egotistical. None of that (if true) would bode well for Neoliberalism and Corporatist Globalization... the darlings of the Deep State.
Don't get me wrong---Trump will not be good for Main Street or the USA in general. He's not a Populist. He's a dangerous opportunist who says anything he thinks his audience wants to hear. He's a billionaire Corporatist, a Crony Capitalist, and an ego-maniacal flip-flopper. [I just watched a clip of his speech at the CIA. Despite all his previous denigrations (often vicious) of the intelligence community, he says he's their biggest fan. Typical Trump--- he says whatever his current audience wants to hear. In this case, I doubt that the audience believed him.]
Apparently, Trump has little to no idea what he's up against. The main point here is this: the Deep State runs this country. Elected puppets have very little to do with it. They primarily are figureheads. They give the illusion of a democracy. In addition, Trump now has an approval rating of 32%. Not only that, but he lost the popular vote by about three million. He has no "mandate". Finally, never mind the entire Fed Gov't, even only the Executive Branch is so huge that it's essentially unmanageable. It's nowhere near a monolithic institution overseen by one person. Half the time (I'm guessing), the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing. Getting around bombastic Trump won't be especially difficult.
I'll give Trump this much--- he did get us out of the TPP. That's significant... and it's one of the reasons that the Deep State will utterly marginalize the guy.
Not only my opinion. Be Well
p.s. For those who may not know: the Deep State is NOT a "conspiracy theory"; it's a well-accepted concept. Plus, for the most part, it's in plain sight and operates right out in the open. [Example: shortly after Trump issued memos suggesting that the DAPL (pipeline) and the Keystone XL Pipeline both should be restarted, an Administrator at the Badlands National Park tweeted scientific facts supporting the concept of Climate Change.]
Saturday, January 21, 2017
Here's (the above link) Obama's keep-out-of-jail card (because of the $ you gave my election campaigns) for JP Morgan Chase/Jamie Dimon and the other Mega Banks. [Dubya Bush was no better.] As W.K. Black points out, they all should have & could have been prosecuted.
Now we have Trump...who probably owes up to a billion $ to various Mega Banks. No problem there. :)
Democrats are talking about "resistance" to the new regime. That's all well & good, but Establishment Democrats need to be resisted as well. Most likely, 99.9% of them are promoters of Corporatist, Wall Street, Casino Capitalism. They're Crony Capitalists of the highest order.
Not only my opinion. Be Well
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Below is my response to an email from a family member. The bulk of his email was a reprint of an article about Obama in the final issue of Newsweek. [Apparently the magazine is ceasing publication.] The article lambasted Obama with a variety of assertions.
I agree with most of this, but take issue with the following.
1. Obama's first job after college was not as a "community organizer", but instead was with Business International, a mega business consulting firm and a known CIA front.
2. His Marxism was "warmed over" because it was an act. He's a Corporatist, not a Marxist. He became a multi-millionaire while in office. He failed to prosecute fraudulent Mega Bankers, even when the fraud was admitted... and the evidence supporting that admission was clear. He received more campaign $ from Big Biz than did McCain. In his first term, he kept all the Wall St. Bush economic people in his Admin. Anyone who believes Obama was on the so-called "Left" is the victim of unmitigated Propaganda... & that Propaganda worked.
3. He did have a record in the Senate: he supported the Afghan & Iraq wars, the Death Penalty, voted for the PATRIOT Act, voted against Universal Health Care, and supported anything that favored the highest 1% on the economic ladder. [None of that record is in the slightest a "Marxist" record.]
Obama certainly was/is unqualified, but he's definitely NOT any kind of Socialist. The Newsweek author simply is reinforcing the Propaganda that most Americans bought into.
Let's see if Trump, who is facing an imploding economy, blames Obama for economic woes the way O blamed Bush. I'd say there's a very good chance that he will. Funny thing is, they both have a good case... that's because the Cabinet members & other economic advisors aren't really "Conservative" OR "Liberal"... instead, they're Corporatists who promote Boom & Bust cycles that benefit the Super-Rich. They bamboozle ANY President into thinking they're on the right track with that policy (of course, they don't use Boom-Bust terminology). As I look at Trump's Cabinet & Advisors on economic policy, it's easy to predict that's exactly what will happen to the President-Elect. Just watch.
p.s. Thanks for the piece. It reinforces my belief that the Corporate Media (including Newsweek) are way beyond those old, worn-out labels of "Conservative" and "Liberal". Every one of them is Corporatist... and their main objective is to benefit the 1%.
On a similar note---
Don't know how I missed this piece, but just a bit ago I finished watching a documentary (on Netflix) narrated by Matt Damon, titled Inside Job. It's from the year 2010, and is an analysis of the 2008 Crash. Although I was familiar with most of the facts explained, the film blew me away.
Long story short, the piece showed how the Administrations of Reagan, Poppy Bush, Clinton, Dubya Bush, & Obama, plus Oligarchs in the Financial Sector, plus Presidential advisors from academic economics---all essentially more or less in collusion--- were responsible for the last Crash. The devastating role of bizarre financial derivatives was laid bare, as well as the utter failure of governmental regulation, and how millionaire economic advisors shape Executive policy.
Bottom line--- American Presidents (with very few exceptions) have been molded economically by BIG Business reps and academic millionaire economists to the point where the Presidents are mere puppets...at least, when it comes to issues such as finance, the economy, jobs, & the like. Those issues are the most important ones to almost all of us. If you can't make a decent living, all the other issues don't matter. The only possible exception to that statement is the issue of Freedom.
Finally, as pointed out in the film, those "academic" economic advisors became millionaires by giving speeches to mega corporations at $100,000 or more a pop. After advising the President, many/most of these economists then move on to high corporate positions at an annual salary of $300,000 or so. A question should arise as to conflict of interest, eh?
Don't miss Inside Job.
Not only my opinion. Be Well