Sunday, December 10, 2017

Crony Capitalists, Globalists, NeoConservatives, Corporatism, and the Corporate Media


YaHoo News just posted a brief piece about Ajit Pai (the FCC Chairman) doing a gag skit for some group in which he was a shill for Verizon.  A member of upper management in Verizon participated in that "joke".  The gag apparently fell flat.

The fact is, for some time now the Corporatocracy & its Crony Capitalists have been supremely confident that Americans are so propagandized & distracted that they (the Corporatists) never will be dethroned.  As a result, they don't even try & conceal their Cronyism anymore.

The main problem is that too many Americans don't appear to understand the difference between Corporatism (essentially Crony Capitalism) and genuine Capitalism.  Too many believe the battle here is between Capitalism (or really, a Mixed Economy) & Socialism.  It isn't.  It's between Corporatism and genuine Capitalism.  Most of the Right Wing and even much of the Left Wing seem to think those two are the same thing.  They aren't even close to being the same.  This is why the Right Wing, in particular, is supporting (without realizing it) the destruction of our economy---they think they're supporting Capitalism.  They aren't; they're supporting Crony Capitalism...which basically is Fascism.  Until they overcome that ignorance, our country--- & especially our economy--- is doomed to NeoFeudalism.

The same exact thing is true for "Conservatism".  People who think they're "Conservatives" today aren't even close to that.  They are NeoConservatives (based on the idiots they've been supporting for at least a couple of decades).  NeoConservatism is a horse of an entirely different color, & over a period of 20-25 years, it has totally replaced genuine Conservatism.  The Corporate Media all know this, but continue the myth that current Right Wing politicians are "Conservatives".  They do it because NeoConservatism has a very tiny base of support, whereas the old, long-gone Conservatism has a much, much larger base of support.  NeoConservatives essentially are Globalist, hegemonic, monopolistic, militarist, Crony Capitalist, elitist politicians (pretty much Fascists)...nothing at all like 99% of the old Conservatives, such as Russell Kirk or Paul Craig Roberts.  I would venture to guess that almost all Americans who call themselves Conservatives today haven't even read the "Bible" of Modern Day Conservatism by Kirk, The Conservative Mind (1953).  Had they read it, it would dawn upon them that they've been supporting the wrong politicians.

In The USA, Propaganda reigns supreme.  And so it goes.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Republican and Democratic March to NeoFeudalism


Here we go again--- the Trickle-Down Theory from the Repubs.  Too bad the Theory doesn't work.  The billions given to the Rich with the proposed Tax Cut will not be spent on generating jobs.  Instead, here's where the money will go:
1.  Corporations will buy back their own stock, thus falsely inflating the value of it.  The Stock Market Bubble continues.
2.  The Rich will invest in foreign currencies and bonds.
3.  They'll invest in real money...silver & gold...the way JP Morgan Chase Bank has done.
4.  They'll invest in other no-job-producing, hard assets... or in Financial Derivatives (the bizarre kind that resulted in the 2008 Crash).
5.  They'll sock it away in offshore tax havens.
6.  They'll spend it merging, downsizing, and moving businesses South or overseas.  The current Tax Bill rewards them for doing that.

Let's wake up to the fact that in this Age of Financialization, Mega Corporations don't need many American workers in order to be successful anymore.  Until the next Crash, they can make a bundle via Asset Bubbles...or loaning "money" to consumers.  [General Motors is more of a GMAC Bank than a vehicle manufacturer.]

Any cuts in Middle Class taxes are temporary, but those for the Rich are permanent.  This is an old story; it's nothing new.

While the Dems at least often do work for a safety net for the People, nevertheless, they (like the Repubs) essentially are supporting a move toward NeoFeudalism...two classes:  the very Rich and the relatively poor.  The advantage the Dems have is that they TALK a good game.  Like the Repubs, they make people think they're on the side of the Middle Class...but they have a better spiel than the Repubs.  Keep in mind, they won the popular vote in the last election... not by 100,000...by 3,000,000.  [Some Repubs, including our Liar-in-Chief, believe that was due to 3,000,000 "illegals" voting.  That's hilarious.  Many American citizens were kept from voting, so the likelihood of such a huge number of non-citizens being able to vote is pretty much ZERO.  Many of Trump's pronouncements remind me of the old Nazi theory on Propaganda---the bigger the Lie, the more people will believe it.]

Unfortunately, no one in the Upper Crust of DC politics is on the side of the hollowed out Middle.  Both Clinton & Obama each were in power for 8 yrs...both became multi-millionaires.  Middle Class wages remained basically flat.  The Rich got richer.  Two major Crashes happened.  The National Security & Surveillance State grew.  Wars did not not abate.  Obama launched a 10-yr program to update our nuclear arsenal.  The National Debt ballooned.  The Rich got richer...& the Middle Class continued to shrink...just like it did during 8 yrs of Dubya.  People like Schumer & Pelosi being touted as "Liberals" is laughable.  People such as McConnell & Ryan being touted as "Conservatives" also is laughable.  As for Trump, he's nothing but an ego-centric, mentally unbalanced opportunist.  They all are Corporatists of the highest order, and in general, none of them are working for us.  The fact that any of them even are in political office is a testament to the power of Edward Bernays style Propaganda. 

Presently, the Middle Class comprises less than 50% (just barely) of our population; the Corporate Media make it appear as though it's 80% or more.  For the last 30 years or so, the greatest transfer of wealth in Human history has continually increased...whether Dems or Repubs were in power in DC.  It didn't matter which Party held the reins... and still doesn't.

Too many Main Street Progressives (just like Main Street Right-Wingers) are stuck in the Repub v. Dem political paradigm.  As long as that continues, the Oligarchs' march toward NeoFeudalism will be the only thing that progresses.  Divide and conquer...they're Masters at it.  Most Americans at the level of Main Street appear to no longer even consider a Middle Way...even though 41-42% of registered voters are Independents.  Only 25% are Repubs, and only 31% are Dems.  It's blatantly obvious that no matter which major Party is in power in DC, the Oligarchs make the Rules.  

Voting won't change that...because 99.99% of national political candidates are selected, groomed, financed by, and beholden to the Oligarchy.  Not only that, but almost all national elections of late turn out to be rigged in some way or another...or in several different ways.  Only peaceful protests/activism, boycotts, and shunning from the outside ever will make a difference.  Forget "working within the Political System" to change it.  That System is totally controlled and/or corrupt.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Another Reason People Are Pissed Off


Yesterday I drove to town to RENEW my Driver's License.  I hand the lady my license, & she says she also needs my BIRTH CERTIFICATE, SS CARD, & TWO PROOFS OF RESIDENCE.  And something else...I've already forgotten what.  I drive back home, get my portfolio of docs that I keep handy, & drive back to her office...for the 2nd time.  She looks at an official County doc titled "Proof of Residence" which I had to get when I moved here (almost 5 years ago) and says, "This is no good."  And I say, "Why not?"  She replies, "I need two proofs of residence that are no more than 60 days old.".

It used to be that getting a Driver's License meant you already had established your ID and place of residence, so when license renewal time came up, you simply were asked if there were any changes.  According to the lady I dealt with, the "Real ID Act" changed all that.
[Thank you so much, DC Repubs & Dems:]

The County Office guy who issues the County-required "9-1-1 Emergency Proof of Residence" official document wasn't available when I was at the County Courthouse yesterday.  [The County Courthouse is a few double-wide mobile homes strung together.]  So, the MVD lady (in New Mexico, it's MVD, not DMV:) sent me to the local phone company & also to the place where I buy propane for my home.  I was told to give them my "this-is-no-good" County Proof of Residence, & then they would print out a copy of my last receipt...with my physical address on it, not just the mailing address.  Though by now I was somewhat exhausted, frustrated, & pissed off from all this running around, like a good member of the Herd, I did all that.  Then I drove back to the MVD Office for the 3rd time.

I don't blame the local bureaucrats here; they don't pass the Laws or make policy.  But this whole scenario is only one tiny reason why the Fake Populist wound up in the White House.  [Hillary, too, is a Fake Populist; way back when, she wasn't, but has been since becoming a multi-millionaire.]  Too many people in this country are frustrated with, & angry about, public institutions.  Never mind how bad it is with private institutions.  They wanted a massive change.  Unfortunately, they're not going to get one...at least, not the kind they want.

I could write a whole piece on why the "Real ID Act" is an abomination, but very few folks seem to care, so I won't bother...or bore you.  ☺  Just keep in mind, it was passed into Law by both Repubs AND Dems.

There is a wrinkle to my story.  When "Real ID" was passed (in 2008, I think), many States basically said, "This is hogwash...we're not doing it."...New Mexico has been one of the very last to finally comply.  This State is right in the middle of complying; that may be why I had this License Renewal nightmare, & someone in a different State hasn't recently experienced the same thing.

The MVD Branch Office is 10-15 minutes from my home.  The 3 times I was there yesterday, there were only 1 or 2 people ahead of me in line.  It took me 3 hours to get my license renewed.  In the not-so-distant past, it took about 20 minutes.  The people at the phone company and propane business told me that they print out receipts like the ones I got at least 5 times per day...all year.
This is no way to run a railroad.  ☺

Today, a friend in CA told me that Commercial Driver's Licenses there soon, as part of SMART ID, will have a yellow/gold star on them.  Really, a yellow star?...what a lack of historical perspective.  Good grief.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Sunday, November 19, 2017

We Deserve Corporatism, and Notes on Fed Income Taxes, & on Banking


Most Americans today appear to know very little History, Geography, American Government, & Logic, and pretty much zero about the Constitution.  Never mind knowledge of how Propaganda works, or anything at all about Corporatism, or the significance of gerrymandering, or how political candidates really are selected.  And worse, they don't see the relevance of any of it to their lives.  They don't care that they don't know.  But most of them know the really important stuff, such as when the new I-Phone will be coming out and whether or not it will be able to fry eggs, or perform some other mundane or silly function.  The whole situation is an utter disgrace...on all of us.

In this country, we deserve the Corporatist Clinton (both of them), the Corporatist Bush (any of them), the Corporatist Obama (the Fake Populist), and the Corporatist Trump (the doubly Fake Populist)... along with Global Private Rule.  We all deserve it all...because we all have let them (the Elites) get away with egregious, rampant Edward Bernays style Propaganda---the molding of the public mind---and with blatant violations of the U.S. Constitution.
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Notes on Fed Income Taxes & on Banking---

In 1946, the Chairman of the New York Fed Reserve, Beardsley Ruml, presented a paper to some auspicious group or another.  The thesis of his paper was this:  the idea of Fed Income Taxes for government revenue is obsolete.  I don't have the time or energy to explain his reasoning, so if you're interested, Google/Bing the topic.

I do have the time for this much.  A good deal of his reasoning was centered on the central planning of monetary issues by the Fed Reserve, and on the changing of the Gold Standard by FDR.  A fairly recent example of Ruml's thesis is as follows.  Between the times when Congress voted down the 2008 Bailout package for the Mega Banks and then fairly quickly afterward approved it (about $700 billion), the Fed Reserve felt it had to do something, so it made TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS available to the Big Boys in the form of loans at essentially zero percent interest.  Not one cent of those trillions was from taxes.  Nor was any of it from government "savings".  [There are no gov't savings; the National Debt is $20 trillion...an amount impossible to repay in full.]  The Fed simply added a bunch of digits to its balance sheet; it created the "money" out of thin air.  That's entirely possible with a fiat currency.

Banks do it every day.  For example, let's say you deposit $100 into your bank account.  Because of the obscenity known as fractional reserve banking, your bank is required to keep only $10 of that $100 on deposit.  It loans out the other $90 to someone else.  So now, you have $100 on your account and the other person has $90.  That's $190 from your $100..."money" created out of thin air.  This is all possible because only 3% of the "money" in circulation is actual paper or coin.  The rest of it is nothing but digits on a computer.  In a nutshell, that is our goofy "money" system.

The point of all this is:  Ruml was correct; Fed taxes (NOT State & Local taxes) are unnecessary for revenue.  That's especially true ever since Nixon took us completely off the Gold Standard in 1971.  The Fed Gov't never will "run out of money"; to get more, all it has to do is add digits to its balance sheet.  Some people counter this argument by saying that the Fed Reserve doesn't just add to its balance sheet; instead, it buys Bonds (T-Bills)...which means the Fed loans "money" to the Gov't.  Yes, it does that...but it doesn't hand over a wad of cash to the U.S. Treasury.  It simply adds digits to its balance sheet.

Without a Gold Standard to restrain spending, any Gov't with a fiat "money" system can "print" (97% of the currency never gets "printed") as much currency as it needs...and anytime it so desires.  Some people counter that argument by saying:  in such a scenario, people would lose confidence in the Dollar.  Hello!  All around the world, that's exactly what's happening right now.

Finally, during the Reagan Era, the Grace Commission did a two-year study and found that 100% of Fed Income Taxes goes toward paying the interest on our National Debt.  Not one cent goes for Gov't services.  And who gets those interest payments?  Primarily they go to Central Banks around the globe, other Mega Banks, and other Mega Corporations...the really Big Bond Holders.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

War is a Racket


"As I look back on my 33 years of service in the Marines---from Second Lieutenant to Major-General---I realize that I've been nothing but a thug for Bankers and Big Corporations."  ~ General Smedley Butler
See brainyquote.com for more quotes by General Butler.

Only people who don't know what's going on still believe that our brave & well-meaning military folks are fighting for freedom, democracy, etc.  In actual fact, they are the unwitting enforcement arm of our Fed Reserve Bank and other Western World Mega Banks, as well as other major Corporations whose leaders believe they are the real rulers of the world.  Butler clearly pointed that out in his book, "War is a Racket".

Now (& for some time) that both Repubs & Dems in DC pretty much ignore and/or violate key parts of the U.S. Constitution, the Corporatists are free to complete their establishment of Global Private Rule.  Public Governments still will exist, but only as window dressing.  By the way, none of this is a "grand conspiracy"; to the Powers-That-Be, it's simply "good business practice" and "the best thing for the world".  It's also important to grasp the fact that Corporatists are NOT Free Market Capitalists; instead, they are Fascists.  The very last thing they want is a Free Market.  They prefer a series of Monopolies supported by their puppet governments.

To those who believe Trump is fighting all this, and is the champion of the Common Man, you are sadly mistaken.  Trump is the quintessential elitist, Corporatist, Establishment, Crony Capitalist...the worst kind of capitalist.  He's a serial liar, a Super-Rich snob, a gaslighter, and doesn't care at all about the bottom 90-99% of the USA citizens.  He's just telling you what he thinks you want to hear.  His whole history proves all the above.  Study it, and then you'll see.  A good start is the documentary, "Meet the Trumps:  from Immigrant to President"; it's found on Netflix and elsewhere.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Forget Trump - Fascism Has Been in the USA For a Long Time

Preface---
A bipartisan legislative bill has been introduced in Congress that will stop warrantless domestic spying by the Fed Gov't.
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INCREDIBLE!  It's nice that Senators Paul, Wyden, Sanders, Warren and several others are proposing a legislative bill that closes a loophole in FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) which "allows" the Gov't to conduct domestic spying--- without a proper warrant --- in the USA.  What's both tragic and outrageous is that for decades the DC politicians apparently have believed the existing "loophole" somehow supercedes the U.S. Constitution.

This proves beyond any doubt that most/all national politicians here do not believe (or are pretending not to believe) that the Constitution is the SUPREME Law of the Land.  According to their actions, both past & current, some Laws passed by Congress somehow over-ride the Supreme Law.  That's obviously not true, but no Repub or Dem ever brings up that fact.  [The only thing that can over-ride the Constitution is an International Treaty.]

It would seem that most voters are unaware of all this, or they don't grasp the danger of allowing any Law to trump (no pun intended) the U.S. Constitution.  I simply cannot fathom how anyone could not see the dangers of warrantless searches/surveillance by the Gov't.  Perhaps they do understand the extreme danger, but think either there's nothing they can do about it OR it never will affect them.  Either way, that's tragic.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

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