Monday, October 9, 2017

The White House Has Become...


"It's unfortunate that the White House has become an adult day care center."  ~ Senator Bob Corker
Thank you, Senator Corker, for stating a truth that most of your Republican colleagues probably recognize, but are afraid to speak.  In my book, you are a genuine political hero...a rarity nowadays.

It's important to keep in mind, though, that Trump is not stupid.  His buffoonery coupled with his ignorance of important matters make his gaslighting all the more dangerous to the USA & the world.  The man is mentally unstable.  No, I'm not a psychologist or psychiatrist, but as the old saying goes---
You don't have to be a Master Carpenter to recognize a shack.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Rifle Bump Stocks - A No-Brainer, Gun Rights, ISIS, & More


Any hesitation about ​banning ​"bump stocks" for rifles is ridiculous...they never should have been allowed in the 1st place.  Why not allow grenade launchers?  They are "firearms", after all.  [The Constitution says "Arms".]  How about what used to be called bazookas?...another "firearm".  I'm not for banning all firearms, but WEAPONS OF WAR never should be allowed in the hands of civilians.  That includes automatic weapons, or any device that makes any gun into one.
​[​I don't think even semi-automatic weapons should be allowed.]  I was a hunter back when, and enjoyed it greatly; but to allow civilians ​to have any semblance of an automatic weapon or other weapon of war is nuts.

The 2nd Amendment allows civilians to possess firearms in order to have a "well regulated Militia"...the Founders were averse to having a large standing army.  In fact, when the Treaty ending the Revolutionary War was signed in 1783, shortly thereafter the peacetime Army was reduced to about 700 men (from 17,000).  The Bill of Rights in the Constitution wasn't written until 1789, when it was approved by Congress...but wasn't ratified by all the States until 1791.  Point being:  it was almost 20 years after the 1st Continental Congress was formed in 1774 before the 2nd Amendment came into full force and being, and it's sole purpose was to guarantee a well regulated militia.  Again, "well regulated"...a direct quote.

People who believe civilians (because of the 2nd Amendment) are allowed to have any kind of gun in the world with virtually no regulations should keep the above history in mind.  The 2nd Amendment says no such thing.  It never did.

To those who still believe that "gun rights" protect us from an errant gov't, consider the following.  If some sort of brutal dictatorship were to engineer a coup here, and it had the backing of our Armed Forces, you'd best forget about trying to resist with your collection of firearms in your gun cabinet.  In this day & age---with satellite surveillance, weaponized drones, other advanced weaponry, intelligence capability, psyops, communications monitoring, etc., etc.---any such resistance would be totally squashed...probably in less than a month.  Instead of getting into gun battles with you, the Powers would offer ten million dollars (or whatever) to anyone who would rat out your location, and then bomb you into the next dimension.  The days of Fidel Castro type revolutions or Red Dawn movie scenarios no longer are possible.  Look at the ISIS-types---they've been trying for almost 1400 years to become rulers by force; they've failed***.  Nutjobs always are capable of causing chaos, but they won't ever permanently take over anything by force anymore...especially in this modern era.  The Powers-That-Be won't allow it.

***I don't consider the Ottoman Empire to have been "ISIS-types".  In the areas where they ruled, they were tolerant of other religions.  Eventually, they came to adopt Western world ways.  Islamophobes usually ignore this part of History.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Monday, September 4, 2017

We're Voluntarily Heading to the Brave New World


Below is my response to a forwarded, satirical email from a dear friend.  In that piece of satire, a caller is ordering a pizza from what turns out to be "Google Pizza" instead of "Gordon's Pizza" .  As the conversation proceeds, the customer is amazed to discover that the business knows the caller's pizza-ordering history, medical history, finances, etc., etc.  The header of the forwarded email is:
"This could be where things are heading.
                                                                      .... Partially there now?"
My response has been edited for this venue...in particular, the last four paragraphs have been added.
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We're probably HALFWAY (or more) there already.  Plus, people who have this small electronic tower (I think one is called Alexa, or something) in their homes that they request things of, and that listens to the household even when it's turned off, are flat-out crazy...or maybe merely not thinking clearly.  

Employees at some company recently agreed to have electronic chips embedded in their hands (or maybe some other part of the body...can't remember).  There certainly are some advantages to having "chipped" humans (e.g., opening restricted doors, finding lost kids, kidnapped people, etc,), but the dangers far outweigh the benefits. Imagine what an errant gov't or company could do with such tools.

How people cannot see the danger of these things is completely beyond me.  We seem to be voluntarily heading into the Brave New World.  All because these gizmos supposedly make life "easier" & "more convenient".  The whole thing is just plain nuts... chips in humans, SMART HVAC systems, SMART household appliances, SMART cars, SMART anything, including---Hello--- SMART phones.  They're all hackable, by individuals or by institutions public and private.  Privacy not only is at risk, but privacy also is starting to be treated as some sort of anti-social sin.  The former is bad enough, but the latter is even more dangerous.

The Corporatists---the Powers-That-Be---want to eliminate privacy as much as humanly possible.  They appear to believe that's a very good thing.  As a corollary, it seems they want people who seek solitude to be thought of as anti-social (in a harmful way), off-kilter, perhaps even mentally ill or dangerous.  The Corporatocracy is working toward having us all in a closely-watched herd, or a series of such herds...because herds are easier to manage than free-thinking individuals.  In a still relatively free society such as ours, the Powers-That-Be can't rely on massive brute force to control us, so instead, they use Edward Bernays style Propaganda--- molding the public mind--- and maximum surveillance.  History shows those have been very effective.

All the above must be peacefully resisted if we are to retain any semblance of freedom.  Protect your privacy as much as possible.  Avoid "tracking" of your activities whenever possible.  Speak up against the War on Cash (the War on Un-tracked Transactions).  Avoid surveillance whenever possible.  Gov't AND Big Biz have no business whatsoever in tracking our activities unless we are suspects in a crime.  But they have adopted the attitude that everyone should be tracked and/or surveilled.  That's a direct violation of the Fourth Amendment.  According to the Fourth, the people are to be "secure in their persons, houses, PAPERS and EFFECTS" (emphasis added) unless there's "probable cause" and a properly obtained, specific, and signed Warrant.  The NSA hasn't observed that in decades...and the Big Boys in the Telecom Industry have assisted the NSA in constantly recording our emails & phone calls...1.5 billion emails per day are recorded in the USA.  The Snowden documents revealed that the NSA has a program (can't recall the name of it) the goal of which is to record "everyone, everywhere".

At times, a few "Conservatives" have said to me, "If you're not doing anything illegal, why should you care?  What do you have to hide?"  Are you kidding me?  1. What the NSA is doing in that regard is unconstitutional, and thus illegal.  2. No one needs to justify wanting & protecting privacy...it's a Natural Right.  3. There's a definite danger in relinquishing your privacy; the info obtained easily can be used against anyone who is a critic of the Gov't (or some Mega Company), especially by any rogue element within the Gov't (or Corporation)...and you would most likely never know who did the deed that ruined your life.  And all that could happen to individuals who never broke the Law.

Do I really have to remind everyone of McCarthyism?  Why in the world do you think the Fourth Amendment was created...perhaps to protect you from an errant Gov't?  Hello.  It slays me that "Conservatives" rail against "Big Government", and yet for the most part, fully support the massive NSA---many, many times larger than the CIA---and its illegal, unconstitutional activities (I'm not saying all their activities are such).  Do you support the Constitution, or not?  You can't have it both ways and still be ethically consistent...or even make any common sense.
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Not only my opinion.  Happy Trails

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Impeach the Fake President


Below is a copy of the bulk of an email I sent to my New Mexico Congressman, Representative Lujan.
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Whenever possible & appropriate, I hope you will share the following with your colleagues.
1.  I'm not a Democrat or a Republican, but I've been keenly observing American politics since 1956 (1956 is not a typo)... for about 15 years now as an Independent.
2.  Trump has violated the Constitution at least twice... emoluments, and bombing without approval from Congress... not only the Syrian airfield, but elsewhere as well.  [The fact that other Presidents have taken similar actions does not mean that Trump's actions are legal.  The War Powers Act does not supercede the Constitution.]
3.  He has violated NEPA (Nat'l Environmental Policy Act) at least once.  [Environmental regulatory compliance is one of my areas of expertise.] The DAPL Project requires an EIS (Environmental Impact Statement); there's no question at all about that.  Immediately prior to Trump taking office, the Army had filed an NOI (Notice of Intent) to complete the EIS ; in February, they cancelled that NOI, and later, Trump bragged about closing his eyes & just signing it (the authorization for DAPL).  He did so without a NEPA-required EIS in place.  In short, he violated the Law.
4.  He has made us a laughingstock throughout the world.
5.  His conflicts of interest are beyond belief.
6.  Republicans in Congress are starting to desert him.
7.  It's time to get serious about the Articles of Impeachment that already have been introduced.
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Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Egregious Corporate News Media re N. Korea, and Elitism in the USA


I've heard/seen almost nothing from the Corporate Media about the "diplomatic efforts" regarding the situation with N. Korea.  Instead, all we hear are the war drums.  Where are the details of the very recent Asian Summit held because of this crisis?  Rexxon Mobilson claims that N. Korea has rejected diplomatic efforts.  Details, please.  What have we rejected diplomatically?  I suspect that N. Korea again offered to curb its nuke weapons program if the U.S. would lift sanctions and cease the war games/exercises off the coast of that totalitarian regime.  I also suspect that our Executive Branch replied, no deal.  Unfortunately, we don't know...because the Corporate Media have glossed over the diplomatic side of the story.

The question arises:  why would they do that?  Could it be that it's because Corporate News organizations either are owned by, or heavily influenced by, war contractors (referred to as "defense" contractors since the end of WW II)?  For example, not too long ago, GE---a major war contractor---owned NBC outright.  Now it's a bit murkier...because GE and Comcast formed some sort of joint venture to share ownership, and then there was a merger in some way or another.  Could it be that it's because Corporate News organizations are doing what they've done just prior to all recent major wars---which is: promoting war---in order to increase the number of their viewers and thus their ad revenues?

Whatever the case, they are doing what the late Edward Bernays described as "molding the public mind".  War is good for a failing economy, and a great distraction from things such as the gross income inequality in this country, the ongoing theft by Wall Street & Mega Banks, the nefarious activities of some politicians, and the fact that 50% of working adults in the USA make $30K or less per year.  As Machiavelli knew, perpetual war is the best way to control a population, serve the Rich, and keep the Elites in Power.
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I would venture to guess that about 99% of all elected DC politicians in office are millionaires, or if they're new, on their way to being so.  It has only been fairly recently that they finally passed a law that forbids members of Congress to avail themselves of the benefits of insider trading on Wall Street.  The other perks available to these Congress people are quite substantial.

When newbies come to Congress, each Party tells them flat-out that their number one priority is to raise re-election campaign money.  Everything else is secondary.  That's especially crucial for the House of Reps people; two years isn't much time.  They have to maintain the illusion of one "Party" battling the other.  That "battle" distracts the People from the greatest transfer of wealth in human history.

There was a time when genuine differences did exist between Dems & Repubs.  The Dems WERE Populists; and the Repubs (except for a few) really did THINK that they were Populists...especially for small business interests (which employed 80% or more of us).  That scenario is long gone.  Now (with few exceptions) they're all for the Super-Rich, the Mega Banks, & other Mega Corps.  So, in my opinion, the high-level Dems of today believe that Populism is for suckers as far as they're concerned.  What they're after is phony Populism, just like the Repubs...because that ensures the continuation of the transfer of wealth, while at the same time placating We the People...who are the real suckers.

Plain and simple:  this is a battle between the Super-Rich and the rest of us.  And most importantly--- at the highest levels, the Dems & Repubs are on the same team...and it's not ours.  They are securing the future for the Super-Rich, themselves & their families, and no one else...and at the cost of everyone else.  To me, that's so obvious that it's excruciatingly painful.

From the beginning of the so-called Two-Party System all the way to the present day, the higher-ups of both Parties (with very few exceptions) have all been Elites/Oligarchs.  A few of them often helped the Common Man, but very, very few.  Even before the Two-Party System, all our Founders were Elites; once the USA was founded, all the 1st politicians were Elites.  Our entire political system is based on Elitism.  It took me decades to realize that.  It certainly isn't taught in school...quite the opposite.

I firmly believe if we ever are to break out of this tilted-toward-the-Rich system, the first two steps have to be:
1.  stop drinking the Edward Bernays style Propaganda Kool Aid coming from the Repubs AND the Dems; and,
2.  shun and/or get rid of the Elitist Two-Party System.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Republicans, Democrats, Trump, Elections, and North Korea


Below is my Reply to an email from a friend.  His email contained a link to an article by Thom Hartmann, the author, pundit, and Talk Show host.  Hartmann detailed various illegal methods that Republicans have employed over the years in order to get elected.  [Hartmann often has some great points, but his flaw (in my opinion) is that he almost always puts 99.9999% of the blame for our troubles on the Republicans.  Very rarely does he ever recognize the role of Democrats in those troubles.]  Plus, my friend opined that if Dems had been elected instead, a whole slew of things would be so much better.  My Reply has been edited a bit for this venue.
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Hartmann and his long-time false paradigm of Repub v. Dem; sorry, I don't agree.  Regardless of illegalities by Repubs, the Dems are no better.  Carter was elected strictly because of the backdoor doings of the Globalist Trilateral Commission (David Rockefeller's and Brzezinski's Think Tank)...he was their choice, a guy who basically came out of nowhere.  They published their 1st book-length report just prior to his term:  The Crisis of Democracy...written by so-called "Liberals".  Their conclusion essentially was that the "Crisis" was this:  America has too much democracy...and that something had to be done about it in order to preserve the Meritocracy.  ["Meritocracy" is code for Oligarchy.  Originally, the term meant Rule not only by those of merit, but also Rule by aristocrats...or their puppets.]

After Carter came Corporatist Clinton...enough said.

Then came the wolf in sheep's clothing, Obama.  Enough said.

Now the Corporatist Schumer is one of the top Dems.  He's the go-to guy for Wall Street election campaign money.

Going way back to 1960, there even are serious questions about JFK's election---shenanigans in Illinois by Richard J. Daley & Crew.

No-sir, blaming only Repubs doesn't work for me.  They are only half the problem.  There's only one major Party in the USA---the Corporatist Party.  It has two branches, and they differ only on some social hot-button issues.  When it comes to economic, monetary, fiscal, financialization, war, and Corporatist matters, they are essentially the same.  Hartmann needs to wake up to that fact.

And so it goes.
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The following was not in my email response.

Trump should consider writing a new book:  "The Art of the Failure".  He's made us a laughingstock in the world.  He can't decide who he really wants working for him in the West Wing.  [He keeps replacing people who not long ago were, according to him, "fantastic", "great", "wonderful", etc.]  He can't stand (or work with) the Republican Top Dogs, and they can't stand him either.  He has violated the Constitution at least twice.  He has broken Laws that are on the books.  He continues to refuse to be transparent regarding his finances, taxes, and conflicts of interest.  He has zero diplomacy in his actions.  He continues to beat the war drums; although, so do most of the politicians in DC.  His past lies continue to surface, such as, "I'll be the best friend that the LBG community ever has had..." (paraphrased, I can't remember the exact quote), and "Mexico will pay for the Wall, guaranteed..." (paraphrased).  He has alienated several of our Allies.  He has yet (as of tonight, Saturday, 7-29-17) to get a major piece of legislation through Congress...even though Repubs are a majority in both Houses.  He has yet to fill dozens & dozens of high-level positions in our Gov't; many of them are in the State Department.  That puts us all at risk.  And on & on.
OR---
All the above merely is his GASLIGHTING, in order to distract us from his political incompetence and, more importantly, from his real goal--- to make gobs of money from the Presidency...which is not an unheard of thing in American politics.

Side note, or questions regarding North Korea---
1.  Does the U.S. Gov't have nuclear weapons that can reach N. Korea?
2.  Does Trump appear to be a stable person? 
3.  Is he the one who can order the launch of nukes?
4.  Has the Trump Administration threatened N. Korea in any way?
5.  Given what I think are the obvious answers to those questions, is it any wonder that N. Korea wants nukes that can reach the USA?
And finally---
6.  Where are the political Statesmen in the present Administration???

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Economic and Financial Crash is Just Around the Corner


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Trump's Violation of NEPA-SEPA Laws-Rules


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

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

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

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

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

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

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Trump Admin Wants to Kill Net Neutrality Rules


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

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

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

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

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Monday, July 10, 2017

Nukes and Trumpistas


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


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

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

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

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Thursday, June 29, 2017

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Warning About So-Called Crypto-CURRENCY


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

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

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

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

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

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

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Monday, June 12, 2017

Afghanistan, Several Sane Politicians, & Perpetual War


Years ago, Elites (public and private) co-opted the Congressional powers to start a war, issue assassination orders, & make rules concerning captured enemies... and gave them to the Executive Branch.  The Powers-That-Be then announced that the entire world is a battlefield, and that the people we're fighting are neither soldiers or criminals.  Instead, they are "enemy combatants".  In this new Orwellian world, that means---according to most politicians---those enemies have no rights of any kind.  Furthermore, those people even suspected of being such an enemy also have no rights.  They can be kidnapped, rendered to allies with no ethics, tortured, held incommunicado, and even imprisoned indefinitely.  This is not only unethical, immoral, & unconstitutional, it's insane as well.

All of the above has resulted in Perpetual War...which is both Machiavellian and Orwellian.  It's also a very good thing for Mega Bankers and the War Industry...commonly referred to as the Defense Industry.

For ten years, I've been pointing out here on this blog that the Constitution is crystal clear on this whole issue.  Only Congress has the delegated power to start a war.  [Article I, Section 8]  The Executive Branch, with the President as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces [Article II, Section 2],  manages the war after it has been started by Congress.  The Supreme Law of the Land is so clear on this matter that one doesn't even have to be an attorney, much less a Supreme Court Justice, to understand it.  The Constitution also assigns Congress the power and duty to "...make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water".  [Article I, Section 8]  The CIA and the Military (i.e., Executive Branch) are not given that power.  Finally, only Congress has the power to issue "Letters of Marque and Reprisal" (assassination orders).  [Article I, Section 8]  The President does not have that power.

Imagine my joy when finally I heard on the News last night these words from Representative John Garamendi of California:  "Congress has the only power to declare war.  It's in the Constitution.  And yet, in all the seven and a half years I've been in Congress, we have never taken up the issue of war.".  He's one of ten Congress people who are co-sponsoring a legislative bill to de-fund the Afghan War... a war that's been ongoing for over sixteen years, and has no end in sight.  Three of the co-sponsors of the bill are Republicans and seven are Democrats.  At least it's a start.  From what I've heard so far, it doesn't return the powers (described above) stolen from Congress, but it's a start.


Those politicians in DC who believe that Laws passed by Congress and/or Executive Orders can over-ride the U.S. Constitution by transferring Congressional powers to the Executive Branch are violating their oath of office to "preserve, protect, and defend" that document.  The same is true of those who believe because the President is Commander-in-Chief, he/she has the power to decide when a war begins, who is to be assassinated, and which rules apply to captured enemies.  Being Commander-in-Chief does not mean one is allowed to ignore or bypass other parts of the Constitution.  Those powers have been seized by the Executive in an unconstitutional manner.  The President never had those powers, and still doesn't...at least, not legally.

Critics in office say the Supreme Law of the Land is out-of-date.  So...change it.  There are ways to do that...legally.  Critics then say, it's too difficult.  Yes, and purposely so, but it's not impossible.  It has been done over two dozen times.  Instead of violating your oath of office, get off your lazy butts and try to change it.  I suspect the reason none of you do is because then you also would have to deal with an Amendment for Term Limits...which would be the best change for this country in a good long while.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Comey's Testimony - Wow!


Below is a copy of most of an email I sent to my son, other family members, & a few friends.
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As to Comey's testimony---
1.  Regarding who's lying, Trump or Comey, The Don is the loser...Trump is lying...it's not even close.
2.  McCain sounded like a befuddled old man:
more than once, he referred to Pres. Trump as Pres. Comey; and more importantly, he couldn't seem to keep the difference between two investigations straight.  His questions were just bizarre.
3.  I'm not a fan of Comey's (or for that matter, some of what the FBI does---such as sometimes writing their own Search Warrants), but I'll say this:  after watching all 2+ hrs of his testimony, I'm convinced that in that particular matter he was professional, truthful, totally open, and did a bang-up job.  Compared to Comey, Trump has proven himself to be unprofessional, ignorant, clownish, & an unrepentant liar.  Why he's still in office is beyond my comprehension.

The Repubs most likely won't vote for Impeachment (although that's not guaranteed...I imagine many would rather see Pence as Pres.), but I still predict that Trump will be out before the end of his 1st 4 yrs.  The probability of that is very high.
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Be Well

Friday, May 26, 2017

George Orwell: the Greatest Political & Social Prophet of All Time


Following are just a few bits of evidence supporting the assertion in the title above.  This all applies throughout the Western World, but especially in the Land I love, the USA.

1.  The word "war" no longer means war.  Instead, it means "leading the world", or "fighting terrorism", or "protecting our allies", or "spreading democracy", etc.  More importantly, war now can be waged at the sole discretion of the Executive Branch in the USA...a direct violation of the Supreme Law of the Land.  They say it's not war.  That's very Orwellian...any time our Gov't bombs another country, anyone with any common sense at all knows that's an act of war.  Congressional approval is no longer sought.  The concept of Unitary Executive Power reigns supreme in our Orwellian Gov't; it has for years & years.  As in Orwell's novel, 1984, the meanings of key words are being manipulated/changed by the highest levels of our Gov't and by other Elites.

Very recently, our President gave an anti-terrorism speech to the Sunni rulers of Saudi Arabia.  The extremist Sunni Sect of Wahhabism (adhered to by ISIS & Al Qaeda), which is spread around the world by "True Believers", is Saudi State-sponsored.  Trump then announced billions of dollars in military hardware sales to the Saudis...pretty much on the heels of Obama's similar action when he was President.  Then The Don joined in some kind of silly, celebratory "sword dance" (or something).  All of this is Orwellian to the max.  On top of that, our military is helping the Saudis (logistics, targeting, & equipment) in their devastating war in Yemen.  The Saudis are bombing schools, hospitals, public water facilities, and civilians in general.  The country is on the verge of famine, cholera is spreading, and hundreds upon hundreds of children have been killed by bombs.  This is a Sunni-Shia war; it has little or nothing to do with terrorism, that is to say, the type of terrorism Trump claims to be fighting.

2.  For some time now in the USA, due to CIVIL Asset Forfeiture, a person's property (perhaps certain tools, or a "large" amount of cash, and other things) can be seized by the Authorities without any warrant or arrest just because the items seem SUSPICIOUS.  Law Enforcement people will say, yes, but if everything turns out to be innocent, then you can get your property back.  Try that sometime.  See how much time, effort, and money it takes.  Sometimes the property is auctioned off before your months-long quest to retrieve it is completed.  Often you are stalled in your efforts into infinity, and nothing ever gets resolved.  Local and regional governments are so strapped for income that they resort to exorbitant fines, asset forfeiture, and outrageous fees in order simply to survive.  That's primarily because their manufacturing tax base has moved out of the country.  Local governments often are just as dictatorial as the Fed Gov't sometimes is; that's especially true of County governments.  1984.

3.  Presumption of Innocence until proven guilty, especially in the international arena, is pretty much dead.  One example:  the gassing of civilians in Syria.  It has not been proven that Assad was responsible.  Some people simply assumed it because, by most accounts, the guy is a brutal dictator.  Trump then fires missiles, attacks a sovereign country...an act of war...without any Congressional approval.  By the way, about half the missiles missed the airbase, and the other half hit nothing of critical importance.  Most planes were not hit, the runway was undamaged, and planes flew out of there the very next day.  Nevertheless, none of it should have happened; it was all illegal.  Plus, where's the proof that Assad was the culprit in the gas attack?  The Unitary Executive concept rules.  That's totalitarian absolutism.  Just because it was exercised against a supposedly bad apple does not excuse it.  The President is not above the Law, regardless of what the elite government lawyers claim.

4.  On the domestic front, due process has been disappearing for years.  Without any proper warrant, our private data can be mined, our property sometimes can be seized, and we can be spied upon at will by the Fed Gov't.  Americans don't seem to understand that it isn't only the suspicious people who are being spied upon by the Feds...it's everyone.  Orwellian.  To top it off, high officials such as James Clapper are allowed to lie while testifying before Congress about this spying...with no penalty.  Lying while testifying before Congress is a felony.  Where is the Rule of Law?

In addition, too many people (suspects) are being shot in the back, TASED & then shot, handcuffed & then TASED repeatedly, forced to die of thirst while being held in jail, beaten to a pulp after surrendering, repeatedly harassed for exposing wrongdoing by authorities, arrested on bogus charges which the authorities know will be dismissed, etc., ad nauseam & ad infinitum.  Orwellian.
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If we are to have any chance of overcoming all this, then it seems to me we should consider doing the following.
1.  Start with the premise that most Elites (public & private) are not working in favor of Main Street.
2.  Stop drinking the Propaganda Kool Aid coming from the Elites on the political Right and Left.
3.  Shun the disastrous, dictatorial, so-called Two-Party political system in the USA.  It's a sham.
4.  Shun Corporatism whenever possible.
5.  Understand that effective Propaganda always has some elements of truth in it.  That doesn't mean any conclusions put forth are accurate or logical.
6.  Think critically.  Don't be gullible, and beware of great-sounding catch phrases.
7.  Hold all politicians not only to the Rule of Law, but to high ethical standards as well.
8.  Speak out.  Be a whistleblower.  Governments are not above the Law...except in an Orwellian world.
9.  Abraham Lincoln once said, "Factions destroy republics.".  Instead of Red or Blue, consider Purple.  Be an Independent.
10.  Boycott.
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Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Trump---the Fake Rebel


Trump is (& has been) up to something; WHAT is not clear.  His actions can't just be chalked up to "he's a rebel politician".  Being petty, petulant, paranoid, ignorant, unprofessional, reckless, & immature (the way Trump is) never would serve a rebel well.  Something else is going on.

I certainly don't know, but maybe it's one or more of the following:
1.  he's using his office to further enrich himself; or,
2.  it's all a ploy to get Pence in as President; or,
3.  Trump is angling to repay the Bankers who bailed him out years ago; or,
4.  he really is an ignorant, petty, empty suit; or,
5.  he's mentally ill, or becoming senile; or,
6.  some combination of the above.

Most of the people of the world must be laughing themselves silly because of us having such a buffoon as our "leader".  Or, perhaps they're crying because he's so ignorant and dangerous.  Donald Trump has to be the most incompetent, ignorant, rude, and downright dangerous President this country ever has had.

The fact that he got elected really is a testament to how desperate Americans were for a change in the status quo.  His Fascist idiocy never would have been supported under normal circumstances.  The Corporatist Coup in this Land (ongoing with every Administration since 1981) is now complete.

Jefferson and Madison (both of whom were Elites) warned us way back at the beginning of our Gov't that this very thing was likely to happen...unless we remained vigilant.  We didn't remain so.  Our Founders are turning in their graves.  The Republic of the USA now exists totally in name only.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well