Thursday, December 20, 2018

Dear President Tweety Bird---

Preface
I really don't like to mock people with name-calling, but the words and actions of your almost constant gaslighting essentially beg for it.  Being far from perfect, I gave in.  Mea culpa.
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Perhaps you would do us all a favor and consider the following points.

1.  It's good that you appear to be withdrawing military troops from Syria.  That's especially true because our involvement in that civil war is unconstitutional.  I'm wondering, though, does the withdrawal include aircraft that do bombing and/or missile attacks?  How about JSOC teams (Special Ops)?

2.  When making your withdrawal announcement, you also claimed (paraphrased here) that we defeated ISIS in Syria.  I think you said, "We won...".  Mr. President, I seriously doubt that even you believe that.  History has shown over and over that war never defeats that type of enemy.  Despite the progress made there (and not just because of our military), ISIS in Syria is far from being defeated.  They merely have faded back into the woodwork for awhile.

3.  Because you tend to lie about half the time, I'm also wondering if you would make public the detailed official Order to withdraw sent to your Commanders in Syria.  You, of course, can redact any sensitive info contained therein.  I mean, surely you don't believe that your Tweety Bird message was any kind of official Order, eh?

4.  How are the seventeen investigations of you and/or your Admin and/or your private companies coming along?  Any info you might share about those?  This is not counting any private investigations that might be going on involving the sixteen women who have accused you of inappropriate sexual behavior or harassment.

5.  How are your gaslighting distractions aimed at We the People doing regarding number 4 above?  Are those distractions working to any significant degree?

6.  Have you read the U.S. Constitution since the 8th or 9th Grade?  Given some of your actions, that seems unlikely.  How about just the 1st, 4th, 5th, & 6th Amendments?  They're really fairly short.  You could easily squeeze them in between golf games.

7.  If you really believe that Mexico is going to wind up paying for your ineffective Border Wall (which should be named, "The Sieve") by you levying tariffs on their goods, has it dawned on you yet who ultimately pays for those tariffs?  It dawned on us (the consumers) quite awhile ago.

8.  Are you aware that 42% of the USA's electorate are Independents, 31% are Democrats, and 25% are Republicans?  I mention that because at times you seem to imply in a braying manner that you have some sort of mandate from We the People.  That's absolutely hilarious.  I'm fairly sure you're not stupid, so most likely your implication is nothing but propaganda.  That's especially likely because 58% of us didn't want you or Hillary to get elected.

9.  Are you aware that, on average, about 50% of eligible voters don't vote in national elections?  It's not because we're lazy; it's because we're fed up with politicians...including you.

10.  With all the Court rulings against your Administration, how is your UNCHRISTIAN immigration policy coming along?

11.  Is there any Head of State in the entire world that you haven't alienated?  At the moment, I can't think of even one.

12.  Most of the people on Earth recognize that we are facing a global, economic/financial Crash.  It's time that you did, too.  The same is true of the worldwide Climate catastrophe.  Start telling the truth.

Finally, don't think for a moment that you have the majority of us fooled.  You aren't any kind of Populist.  While crasser than your predecessors, you're still nothing but a dyed-in-the-wool Plutocrat, an Oligarch.  That's so obvious it's both painful and hilarious.

p.s.  I'm not a Republican or a Democrat, but I think it's highly likely that you won't last through your first term in office...you'll resign or get kicked out.  Given that, perhaps the best course for serious people in the real world (meaning outside the DC Beltway) is to ignore you from this point forward.  You know, just as most of our allies are doing.  You're no longer worth anyone's time or effort...that is, except for investigators.  Your creation of distractions via your childish gaslighting has become boring.
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Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Friday, December 14, 2018

Companies Claim to Have Gizmos With Artificial Intelligence


IBM (and a few other companies) claim to have created AI.  That's unadulterated hogwash.  AI does not presently exist...unless it has been created secretly (probably by the Fed Gov't, perhaps DARPA) and is known only to a select few.  To be an AI creation, a gizmo would have to be aware of itself, and have feelings.  In other words, it would have to be a sentient being.  A machine that can memorize data is not an AI being...not even close.

Those false claims by IBM and others are illustrations or examples of how Orwellian our society has become.  Cognitive dissonance often stresses us because of the way in which words are used today.  Newspeak, oldspeak, doublethink, crimestop, thoughtcrime, facecrime, etc.---or similar ideas--- seem to be fast becoming accepted concepts.  Lies, propaganda, and with Trump, gaslighting, all have become commonplace with many politicians and many people in Big Biz.

Whether purposely or inadvertently, the State-Military-Corporate Complex makes use of Orwellian methods to manipulate the public.  Those methods, plus Bread & Circuses, enable the Plutocrats to confuse and distract those of us on Main Street.  For our own good, we need to recognize such things and whenever possible, shun the perpetrators.  We are many; they are few.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Friday, November 23, 2018

Genuine Democracy Does Not Exist in the USA


I love this Land and, in general, its people.  Because someone loves their country does not mean that they have to love the rulers in their government.  Our rulers not only are plutocratic, they are fast becoming autocratic and despotic.  All one has to do is listen to and watch the current Occupier of the Oval Office for proof of that.

This never was a democracy; not only that, but our 
"democratic republic" is long gone.  The majority of our 
Founders described democracy as "mob rule", or "two 
wolves & one sheep deciding what's for lunch", or 
"despicable", or "tyranny of the majority", or "the devil's 
own gov't", or "the most violent of despotisms", or 
"violating the concept that whoever owns the country 
should rule it", etc.  [All quotes by various Founders.]
Schools left all that out of American Gov't 101.  😊
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Our democratic republic is long gone because---

1.  The Constitution is violated almost equally by Dems 
& Repubs...and often.  That has been going on for decades; some of them even admit it.

2.  The proper use of the Executive Order is violated 
almost equally by Dems & Repubs.  [The Constitution 
allows only two Executive Orders in Article II, Section 2.  
Dems & Repubs claim that those two imply an unlimited 
& unspecified number of others.]

By violating this provision of Article II, Section 2, Presidents have been able to create "laws" without Congress.  For decades, past Presidents each have done this literally hundreds of times.  That makes them autocrats.  Presidents represent the State, not the People; that's why only Congress is authorized to create Laws.  Members of Congress supposedly represent We the People.

3.  In general, the majority of both elected Dems & 
elected Repubs are warmongers & corporatists.  With 
rigged Primaries, rigged elections, gerrymandering, 
voter suppression, black box voting, etc., that's not going 
to change.  Never mind the unrelenting propaganda.

4.  Both Parties believe in Mega Corps being too big to 
fail and too big to jail.  That applies not only to Mega 
Banks, but to Mega Insurance Corps & others as well.

5.  Probably over 99% of national candidates are 
selected, groomed, & financed by Super-Rich Plutocrats.

6.  Both Parties gerrymander House districts.
7.  Both Parties rig Primaries.
8.  Both Parties support corporatist globalization.

9.  According to a Princeton study, national politicians 
ignore the expressed will of the People 70% of the time.

10.  If voting really & permanently changed anything of 
significance, the Powers-That-Be would make voting 
illegal.

11.  Despite any small victories won by the People, 
Corporatism ultimately winds up ruling.

12.  Except for some indigenous societies (mostly in the 
Past), throughout history---& right through to today--- 
Plutocrats always have ruled.  C'est la vie. 

13.  What we've had ruling our country for decades now is a Plutocratic, CRONY Capitalist, State-Corporate Complex.  It reigns supreme, and it's not a "conspiracy"; it's right out in plain sight.
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Under present conditions, voting won't change any of 
the above.  Meaningful change only will come from 
outside the whole corrupt system, a system that should 
be shunned...and that change should be peaceful.

Not only my opinion.
Be Well

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Election = a Mixed Bag - Plus, World Corporate Empire


In what should have been a resounding, slam-dunk rejection of the corporatist, plutocratic, serial-lying, ignorant but clever, law-breaking Trump Admin (and any candidate supported by The Don), the election turned out to be a mixed bag.  There are many reasons for that, but in this essay I'll focus on a chief reason.

[Technically, all the election results have not yet been tabulated.  This is being written just before midnight on Tuesday, Mountain Standard Time.  Nevertheless, I feel comfortable with the "mixed bag" characterization.  Of course, both sides undoubtedly will claim victory on Wednesday.  Once again, and for any new readers here, I'm not a Republican or a Democrat.]

Just as during the Bill Clinton Era, today's Democratic Party (at the highest levels) is run by plutocratic corporatists...or their puppets.  After Clinton left office, the DNC re-took power from the Clintonite DLC (Dem Leadership Council, which heavily leaned toward Corporatism).  Unfortunately for genuine Populists, the DNC quietly adopted most of the policies of the outgoing, corporatist DLC.

So, today (& for a number of years), the only difference between so-called Democrats and so-called Republicans is on most social Hot-Button issues---such as gun control, abortion, gay rights, etc.---and maybe one or two non-Hot-Button, domestic issues.  When it comes to the economy, finance, war, empire, monetary policy, fiscal policy, corporatism, and foreign policy, the two Parties (again, at the highest levels) are pretty much the same.

All of the above means that the Dems in control of their Party don't want to rock the Corporate Boat.  That's why, in the lead-up to the election, we heard little to nothing about the following---

1.  About 50% of working families in the USA are either in poverty, or so close to the brink of it that the difference doesn't matter.  They are in the "Precariat Class", a term coined by the economist & professor, Guy Standing.  People in this Class are insecure relative to their material & psychological existence.  Their lives, through little to no fault of their own, have become extremely precarious.

2.  Of the remaining 50%, about 35% of them are doing okay, but they still are in the Precariat Class...at least in terms of economic and financial stability.  Their jobs and lifestyle are no longer secure.  They could lose it all virtually in a few weeks, or at most, a few months.

3.  The economy is "booming" only for about the top 15% of income earners.  Despite any piddly wage increases of late, wages/salaries still essentially are stagnant (after adjustment for price inflation).  That's been true for about thirty years.  In the same period, the Upper Crust has increased its income by 700%.

4.  Our crushing National Debt (which has the potential of further ruining our economy) is not primarily due to social spending; rather, the main cause is massive Corporate Welfare (including military spending).  Corporate welfare DWARFS all social spending combined.  The "Nanny State" in the USA is for corporations, not people.

5.  Our foreign policy kowtows to Mega Corporations...especially those in the Financial Sector.  Our Fed Gov't is belligerent on the world stage because that ultimately benefits the Big Boys in Biz.  [See the book, War is a Racket, by General Smedley Butler, a Marine for 33 years.]  Our foreign policy is further bankrupting our country.  Do you really believe that we need 900 military bases around the world?  Do you really believe that we still need to be in Afghanistan...after 17 years?  Do you really believe that sanctions on a country are not an act of war?  Do you really believe that we need more expensive nukes?  Our military budget already is larger than those of the next top seven countries combined...and that includes China & Russia.

6.  The goal of Mega Corps is to privatize everything...worldwide.  At the highest levels in DC, politicians are helping them do that...or, at the very least, not opposing them.  The monopolists of Mega Biz are moving us all toward NeoFeudalism, and the pace rapidly is increasing.  In the not-too-distant future, the Middle Class no longer will exist.

7.  Finally, our foreign policy is crucial mainly because it drives domestic policy.  Surveillance, War, Trade Wars, Sanctions, Empire...it all drains economic security from We the People.  It all enriches the Upper Crust at our expense.  It serves to funnel spending away from any safety net for the most vulnerable, and increasingly, from any economic security for everyone who isn't in the top tier of income earners.
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The Big Boys & Girls at the DNC ignore most of the above.  Even the small Progressive Wing of the Democratic Party often appears to not get the significance of foreign policy vis-a-vis the World Corporate Empire.  The Democratic hierarchy is basically the same as the Republicans when it comes to foreign policy, sanctions, war, and Empire.

It all comes down to more wealth for the already wealthy...and the top Democrats don't want to rock the boat.  So they mostly ignore Corporatism, and instead, concentrate on immigration or Russian "interference".  No wonder they can't slam-dunk the rejection of Trump & Crew...and if anything needs slam-dunking, it's that.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Reasons Why USA's Fed Government = World's Biggest Bully


In this essay, I'm not claiming these reasons are the only ones or necessarily the most egregious ones.  Nor are they equal in magnitude.  Nevertheless, taken together they do show a pattern of self-righteous bullying, and sometimes outright illegality.  The items in the list below are not in any order of importance.
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1.  Not long ago and undoubtedly at the direction of the White House, Nikki Haley (no relation to me) threatened countries with consequences if they didn't go along with the policies of the current anti-Science Administration.  Thank heaven she'll be resigning her post, but I imagine she'll be replaced by someone else who, like Trump, thinks the USA is King of the World.  Threatening allies and others is bullying; doing it in public is egregious, political claptrap.

2.  At the same time that the White House and Congress are braying about Russia, and now China, interfering in our elections, John Bolton is talking about overthrowing the government of Iran.  Is not overthrowing a gov't the ultimate example of interference?  Not only bullying, but the word "hypocrisy" comes to mind...big-time.  [Then there's the fact that the USA's & Britain's governments, back in the 1950's, participated in the coup that overthrew Iran's democratically elected gov't.  Why?  Because the new leader wanted Iran's oil to be for Iran... what audacity.  Then, too, there's the fact that the USA's gov't engineered coups in other countries, such as Guatemala and Chili.  More bullying and hypocrisy.]

3.  Starting with Obama and continuing with Trump, the Executive Branch is developing so-called tactical (low-yield) nuclear weapons.  Some of the Fed policy makers apparently believe that the use of such weapons will not have any serious, long-term, detrimental effects on life on Earth.  In other words, they seem to think that nuclear weapons can be used without much harm to the planet and its ecosystems.

No one knows any such thing.  That use would be a most dangerous experiment.  So far, evidence regarding radiation indicates any such use would be a disaster.  The point here is that development of these weapons is bald-faced bullying.  Do what we say, or we'll nuke you.

4.  The idea of "Preemptive War" probably didn't start with the Dubya Bush Administration, but that Admin claimed that the execution of the concept was legal...hence, the disastrous Iraq War.  In the simplest terms, Preemptive War means:  we are going to attack you because you might be planning to attack us.  Furthermore, we're so special that we're positive you are planning that.  We can predict the future.

Preemptive War is not only unconstitutional, it's also immoral, unethical, and in defiance of common sense.  It bespeaks a gross distortion and subversion of "American Exceptionalism".  As far as I can determine, every fairly recent Administration at the Fed level has believed in it.  There's no doubt at all that Trump embraces it.  This is bullying to the max.

5.  Regarding recent Fed treatment of Native Americans/American Indians---
when it comes to oil pipelines (such as DAPL), the Executive Branch seems to be saying:  we don't care about the risk to your water, or the desecration of your burial grounds, or the desecration of other holy sites.  We are issuing the permit for this, no matter what you say or do.

Furthermore, we are going to bypass the Fed Law requirement for an Environmental Impact Statement on this project.  We can do that because we claim that each section of the pipeline is like a "spur line", which has no such requirement.  Plus, we now have an autocrat-wannabe President who thinks he's above the Law.  Finally, oil is "National Security".  When it comes to that, we can ignore any Law we choose.  More bullying.

6.  Since the Supreme Court's Kelo v. City of New London decision, Fed Eminent Domain applies to taking land for economic development.  That means your land can be (after just compensation) seized and then sold or given to a company for private development.  That's now considered "Public Use"... because of the taxes generated.  This Court decision was/is outrageous.

Our Fed Gov't doesn't bully only other countries and American Indians.  It does so to all of us.

7.  The tactics of the IRS sometimes are Gestapo-like.  I've experienced something like that personally.  They don't mind being bullies at all.
[SIDE NOTE:  By the way, the first permanent Income Tax (1913) applied only to about the top 2% of the population, and did not include taxation of wages.  Only passive income was taxed under that Law.]

8.  Regarding treatment of asylum seekers and other immigrants, separation of 6,000 family members, caging kids, misleading parents, etc.---
This current Administration has acted horribly, immorally, and in an unchristian manner.  It's truly incredible, and all just to make a political point.  Shabby bullying for political gain.  Inexcusable.
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Why We the People enable politicians such as these to "represent" us is beyond my comprehension.  As I've said before, massive boycotting could correct the situation and bring down the whole House of Cards.  Unfortunately, that probably never will happen.  Oligarchs/Plutocrats will continue to rule.  The root blame for that is Edward Bernays style Propaganda.  C'est la vie.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Crony Capitalism and Climate Change


This essay is mostly based on the piece at the following link---
https://www.democracynow.org/2018/10/9/climate_scientist_as_un_warns_of

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Reasonable and well-spoken, Dr. Kevin Anderson explains why even well-meaning politicians and scientists (who are the majority in the Climate Change arena/issue), with their tweaking-of-the-existing-system approach, are pursuing an inadequate solution to a massive problem.  Instead, Anderson says, we need a "Marshall Plan" approach.  [Which, in my opinion, never will happen in time to solve the problem.  Our entire economic and political system needs to be peacefully revamped.]  And he doesn't even mention the permafrost methane "bomb" probability accompanying overall global warming.  That makes things even more urgent.

Because of plutocratic and political propaganda, never mind the inadequate approach of those who at least recognize the problem, I'm afraid it's too late to do anything significant about Climate Change.  By the time the powerful deniers finally wake up (or become honest), the window of opportunity will be long gone.  Our children & grandchildren will be living in a world the harshness of which cannot now be imagined... and the root cause of all that is Crony Capitalism, currently supported by most Republicans and Democrats (at the highest levels).  Corporatism rules.  This is not pessimism; it's plain reality.

The good news is that Anderson believes there's still hope.  Maybe he's right.  There are too many variables to predict with absolute certainty what actually will happen regarding our approach to the biggest problem facing Mankind.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

While Gaslighting, The Don and His Crew Dismantle Protections and Ignore Laws


In general, the Corporate Media should be both embarrassed and ashamed.  With rare exceptions when it comes to Trump, all they focus on are his bizarre actions, statements, and contradictions... in other words, his psychological gaslighting.  At the cost of serious, in-depth reporting, the Media appear to be pursuing nothing but ratings and advertising revenue.  They enable The Don by catering to his purposeful, distracting, contradictory behavior.

Little, if any, attention has been given to the dismantling of protections provided by the EPA, or the Interior Department, or NOAA, or various consumer protection agencies.  Little to no attention has been given to violations of the Constitution, or violation of Laws such as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  See my essay here: http://individualsovereignty.blogspot.com/2017/07/trumps-violation-of-nepa-sepa-laws-rules.html
Little to no attention has been given to the anti-Science thrust of Trump and His Crew.

Worst of all, there's almost no discussion of the fact that Trump is merely a symptom of our problems, not the cause.  He's a by-product of conditions (social, economic, political, & philosophical) that go back for decades.  For a brilliant discussion of that issue, see Glenn Greenwald's piece here:
https://theintercept.com/2018/09/21/michael-moores-fahrenheit-119-aims-not-at-trump-but-at-those-who-created-the-conditions-that-led-to-his-rise/

The underlying problems in this great Land are the Plutocracy and accompanying Corporatism or Crony Capitalism.  Until we address those, we will be subject to more of the Trump types... autocrat wannabes, plutocrats, and frauds.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Friday, September 7, 2018

"Fear", "Quiet Resistance", Plutocrats, & In Plain Sight


While Bob Woodward's book, Fear, and the NYT Op-Ed by Anonymous are welcome by anyone who believes in a free society and an honest, transparent government, let's keep something in mind.  Most all the recent information about Trump has been blatantly obvious for a long time to any outsider with even just a modicum of interest in American politics.  His serial lying, half-baked ideas, fear-mongering, erratic behavior, crass behavior, ignorance, incompetence, etc. are---for the most part---in plain sight.  Yes, it's good to have all that confirmed by insiders, but most of this has been evident for years.

Years ago, Trump was trained by the Mob lawyer, Roy M. Cohn.  Cohn taught The Don to use lies and appalling behavior in counter-attacks against critics.  Anything to distract people from the original criticism of Trump.  Anything to change the subject and the focus.  If one looks closely at the history of Trump, that pattern jumps right out at you...to this very day.

Example:  Trump claims that Bob Woodward, a respected journalist, "has a credibility problem".  No, Mr. President, you're the one with that problem.  That statement by you is another in a long series of outright lies.  Everyone knows that, unless they have been propagandized to the hilt.

In a way, Woodward and Anonymous essentially are whistleblowers.  Those who expose wrongdoing, bad behavior, illegality, etc. rarely ever are treated well by Plutocrats...in or out of government.  Instead, such people are attacked, smeared, and even criminalized.  Plutocrats like Trump can't stand transparency, especially in government.

I've been closely following American politics since 1956, and never have I seen an Administration as egregious and dangerous as Trump's.  The current crop of Plutocrats in DC truly is beyond the pale.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well
p.s.  Again, a reminder--- I'm not a Democrat or a Republican.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

"The Trump Slump" -Or- The Dollar, The Bust, & The Future


I didn't coin the phrase, "The Trump Slump"; that comes from a group of International Bankers.  It resulted from the fact that the U.S. Dollar fell consistently throughout all of 2017.  2018 is boding no better.

Below is a recent email I sent to family & friends.  The title of it was "The Dollar, The Bust, & The Future".
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And so far in 2018, price inflation has increased.

If the economy is "surging" (as stated by NBC), why is the median income here in the USA now only $32,110?  Compare that to the median income in 2000:  $31,514... a bare bones increase in 18 years.  I doubt it even covered the loss of purchasing power due to price inflation.  The economy is "surging" only for the upper 10-15% (or so) of income earners.

Just a reminder...be prepared...I'm guessing the Crash is no more than two years away.  Yes, it's only a guess, but the Stock Market is in a Bubble larger than the one just prior to the 2008 Crash; the same is true of today's Housing Bubble.  The Bond Market Bubble already has peaked & is slowly deflating.  Auto sales are down in 2018.  The PetroDollar is in its death throes.  In less than ten years, the Dollar no longer will be the world's reserve currency; the IMF is seeing to that with a program already underway.  Plus, Fed Gov't spending is increasing more under Trump & the Repub Congress than during the 1st two years of either Bush or Obama.  Our National Debt continues to increase at a phenomenal rate.  [See www.USDebtClock.org] Confidence in the Dollar is decreasing worldwide.

Corporate profits are at an all-time high, but where's the "Trickle-Down"?  Corporations are using those profits to buy back their own Stock, thus falsely inflating that Market.

The primary reason our GDP has increased is:  the Powers-That-Be still count income made by the Financial Sector as adding to the Gross Domestic Product.  In fact, though, the Financiers extract wealth from the economy.  Their income should be subtracted from the GDP.  This has been shown clearly by the economist, Professor Richard Werner.  [His interview clips/lecture clips are on YouTube.]

Finally, in the Boom-Bust Cycle since 1973, we are now overdue for the next Bust.  The only thing in question is:  how large will the next Bust be?

The good news is that it's highly likely that this next Crash finally will bring about meaningful reform in our corrupt, Crony Capitalist system...and very possibly an end to the privatizing of government.  We need to return to a Mixed Economy, like the one that produced the Golden Age of American Capitalism (1946-1972, or some say, '45 through the early '60s).
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Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Friday, July 20, 2018

The Jackass, the Albino Jackass, and the Plutocracy


Below is my reply to a dear friend's email.  Her email was a forwarded political joke which stated that the Dem Party had adopted a new symbol for their organization--- the condom.  According to the joke, the condom was adopted because it allows for inflation, halts production, destroys the next generation, gives a sense of security while you're being screwed, etc., etc.  The original sender of that joke quipped something to the effect of: it couldn't be a more accurate description of the Democrats.
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That's good!  What's unfortunate is:  Repubs (just like Dems) are so propagandized they don't realize that description also applies to their Party & its top Plutocrats.  It fits both Parties to a tee.  It easily could be argued that it fits the Repubs better than the Dems... much better.

No matter which major Party is in control in DC, our country is run by Plutocrats or their puppets.  For the most part, they are all serial liars, elitist violators of the Constitution, con artists, empire builders, violators of International Law, and holier-than-thou warmongers.  

Example:  both Parties have supported the Saudi Coalition War in Yemen with major U.S. logistical & intelligence aid.  Including hospitals, water works, & schools, civilian infrastructure has been bombed, resulting in:  the largest cholera epidemic in modern history, millions of people starving, and the death of a large number of children...all because of an Islamic Sunni-Shia conflict, a proxy war between Saudi Arabia & Iran.  Our involvement in killing children and starving people is being sold as "fighting terrorism".  What a sad, tragic joke.  One of the main reasons the Fed Gov't is involved is to fulfill its role as the world's largest Arms Dealer.  Trump brags about that label.

Example:  While each major Party (at different times) has been in control in DC, laws & policies have been implemented that promote the largest transfer of wealth to the Upper Crust in human history.  This has been going on since at least the 1970's.  As We the People are thrown a few crumbs now & again, the incomes of the Rich Plutocrats have increased 700%.  At the same time, wages/salaries (adjusted for inflation) have remained essentially flat.  The Middle Class now comprises less than 50% of the population.  All that has happened under both Repub and Dem Administrations.  It's painfully obvious that we live in a plutocratic system.  All the propaganda to the contrary is nothing but "Reality Show" hype.  That's especially true now that we have a President who barely can read a prepared text from a sheet of paper, and who says one thing one day, and the exact opposite the next day.  He does it on purpose; he's gaslighting, trying to distract us from the plutocratic agenda... which he fully supports.  Instead of reporting in depth on significant issues, the Corporate Media report mainly on Trump's bizarre, buffoon-like behavior.

The Dems should stick with the jackass (male donkey) symbol, and the Repubs should adopt an albino jackass as their symbol.  ☺☺☺
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Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Plutocracy Continues in the USA


Below is my email reply to an organic farmer friend regarding his comment (in an email) on my last post here on this site.  He & I agree on the Plutocracy, but differ as to the contributions to that by Repubs and Dems.  He thinks the former are much more responsible than the latter.  My reply below is edited somewhat.
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I mostly agree with your comments.  But, even though FDR's Populism was significant, he was not ideal.  Even he admitted that sometimes he had to side with Big Biz.  Plus, I agree with Chomsky's thoughts on Nixon---because Tricky Dick was an opportunist, and because he sensed the mood of the people in the early '70s (except for the Vietnam issue), he became---for the wrong reasons--- the last of the New Deal politicians (in a way).  

I know it sounds outrageous, but think about it.  Nixon signed into Law (he could have vetoed these):  OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Act/Administration, 1970), NEPA (Nat'l Environmental Policy Act, 1970), the precursor to the Clean Water Act (the Fed Water Pollution Control Act of 1972), the Clean Air Act (1970), the Marine Mammal Protection Act (1972), the Safe Drinking Water Act (1974---proposed by Nixon, signed into Law by Ford), the Endangered Species Act (1973), and he created the EPA in 1970, after signing NEPA.

Repub actions aren't all bad.  Plus, though they do it less than Repubs, Dems gerrymander voting districts, too...and Dems manipulate Primaries, too... and Dems suppress Populist candidates, too.  And until a few years ago, Dems in Congress also practiced Insider Trading on Wall Street.  Dems also have an interventionist Foreign Policy, and Dems also often are warmongers and Empire Builders.  And Dems also support questionable regimes such as Saudi Arabia and Honduras (never mind corrupt Netanyahu's Israel).

The whole system is rotten, not just the Repub side of the overall Plutocracy.  Those who keep blaming "the other side" are not helping to correct the situation.  All they're doing is prolonging the squabble and distracting from the overall problem, which is Plutocracy/Oligarchy/ Empire Building.  It's not about Republicans or Democrats; it's about Plutocrats...and they're found in both major Parties.

It all continues with the ultimate Plutocrats, Trump & His Crew.  What few crumbs he has thrown to everyday people are vastly outweighed by his favoring of the Oligarchy.  Plus, the deregulation blitz ultimately will harm us both financially and physically.  The Don continues with his blatant lies, and apparently, some people believe every word he says.  On the Dem side, Schumer & His Crew continue to pretend to be Populists...when in fact, they are Plutocrats and/or puppets of the Plutocracy.

Then, too, we now have the Mega Banks and Mega Hedge Funds more empowered than ever before.  A number of fairly well known & reputable people have stated in the past that if the public ever discovered how the Big Banks really operate, then there would be a revolution in the streets tomorrow.  By the way, keep in mind that a revolution does NOT have to be violent.  A massive, national boycott of Mega Banks would do wonders toward restoring the Financial Sector to sanity.  We don't do it essentially for only one reason--- convenience.  Shame on all of us.
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Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Saturday, July 7, 2018

"How Democracy Ends"


The Intercept recently posted a brilliant piece by Murtaza Hussain titled, "Democracy Dies in the Blinding Light of Day".  It's a commentary and review of Professor David Runciman's new book, How Democracy Ends.

Due to time constraints, I can give only a brief, inadequate summary of the hypothesis, as follows.  Instead of Orwell's 1984 or Animal Farm, Runciman makes a very good argument for the ending of democracy via Huxley's Brave New World, in which Technology smothers democracy in a manner barely noticeable.  There's plenty of past and present evidence supporting that premise.  See Hussain's article.

My only criticism (though not much of one) of Mr. Hussain's piece is this---
He cites John Adams, one of our Founders and the second President of the USA, as not favoring democracy.  Adams:  "There never was a democracy yet, that did not commit suicide.".  That is what Adams said, but there's more to the story.  The fact is, the majority of our Founders expressed a palpable disdain for democracy.  They were against that form of government for our new country.  See the second paragraph here---
http://individualsovereignty.blogspot.com/2016/11/latest-count-clinton-has-395000-more.html
In other words, it wasn't only Adams who didn't want democracy for the USA.

This country never has been a democracy.  Elections don't make it so.  That people believe the exact opposite is a testament to the power of Edward Bernays style Propaganda.  This Land's government is a Plutocracy, and it always has been.  Without question, History supports that contention.  It took me decades to come to that conclusion.  C'est la vie.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well


Thursday, July 5, 2018

"The Clown Who Plays King" - NY Daily News


The NY Daily News recently commented on the Clown King, Trump.
My reaction is---

He's got 'em all fooled.  They don't seem to realize that it's all about enriching himself even more via the Presidency.  He has played the Clown his entire life simply to get attention.  

Mega Bankers bailed him out in the '80s only because they figured the name "Trump" would get them more than his complete bankruptcy.  Then they put him on an allowance and nursed his failing business ventures back to some degree of health.  

Those Bankers are very pleased now.  Deregulation of the Financial Sector is the flavor of the day in DC.  All this other stuff, though important, is distraction and deliberate misdirection by The Don & Crew.  The Elites/Crony Capitalists/Plutocrats win again.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Friday, June 29, 2018

The Only Republicans and Democrats are on Main Street


They certainly aren't holding Office at the Fed level.  Of course, there are a few exceptions to that statement... very few.  Those exceptions all have been marginalized by the Plutocratic System.

The political "Right" and the "Left" on Main Street today are stuck in the Past.  Today's politicians at the highest levels are not Repubs, Dems, Conservatives, or Liberals.  Instead, they are Neoliberals/NeoConservatives/ Corporatists/Oligarchs/Plutocrats (or their puppets) who use those old labels to manipulate the public... to divide and conquer.  This is so obvious that it's sickening.  

The whole political scene here in the USA is a complete sham.  The purpose of it is to facilitate the greatest transfer of wealth (from most of us) to the Upper Crust in the history of Mankind.  And it's continuing under Trump...big-time.  None of it is a grand conspiracy.  Rather, it's people with common interests working sometimes together, but mostly independent of one another, to attain mutual/common goals.

I've been closely following American politics since 1956 (1956 is not a typo).  The pattern is clear:  Edward Bernays style Propaganda has been (& is being) used by those in Power to mold the public mind, to move all of us toward the goals of the Plutocrats.  The Powers-That-Be figured out many decades ago that, in a relatively Free society, brute force generally cannot be used to increase and guarantee their opulence.  Rather, that has to be done by means of ubiquitous Propaganda.

The above thoughts/statements are not original with me.  Over the decades, I've learned these ideas from many, many reputable people... all across the political spectrum.  All of them have been marginalized to a great degree by those in Power.  That has been accomplished by means of unrelenting Propaganda and Rules concocted by the Powers-That-Be... especially in the USA, but largely throughout the Western World as well.  Since 2007, I've given example after example on this venue of the use of Propaganda in this great Land.

Until we stop drinking the Bernays Style Propaganda Kool Aid supplied by the Plutocracy/Oligarchy (which adheres to neither Republican or Democratic philosophy), we have little to no chance of preventing the move to a NeoFeudalistic Society.  If we don't wake up, NeoFeudalism will reign supreme.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well 

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Google is the Absolute Pits


Here are some suggestions for Google's parent/holding company (Alphabet, since 2015):  [Their new motto is  "Do the right thing."; following are some right things that need to be done...ASAP.]

1.  Implement a helpful, decent, effective Customer Service system.  Right now you essentially have none at all.  You seem to think we users have time to screw around with your discussion "Forum", or to decipher what some guy with a heavy accent IN INDIA is trying to say in English.  At the very least, get a Customer Service email address...you know, like most companies have done.  Yes, that means you'll have to hire more people;  try to do that in the USA.

2.  Stop making us re-sign-in to everything Google just because we use a different device once in a blue moon.

3.  Understand that some of us out here in the real world don't have a cell phone.  So, when you ask us to give a phone number during your "Security Check-Up", all you're going to get is a landline.  Then you, living in the Land of Assumptions, try to send us some "6-digit verification code" by text that we're supposed to enter online in the "Security Check-Up".  Ooops...it's a no-go.  Or, you ask us to supply a "recovery email"...different from our normal email.  Sorry, I only have one email...can barely keep up with that.  Don't want two.

4.  Tell your East Indian CSRs it's really not professional of them to hang up on a caller seeking help...especially when that caller has been polite & civil.  I called a "Technical Help" number, explained the problem (# 3. above), and was told at the end, "Well, you have to talk to the Technicians."; then he hung up.

5.  Take whatever steps necessary to dispel the reputation you Tech companies are getting amongst those of us who are not Tech Whiz Kids.  That reputation is as follows:  you don't seem to care one whit about everyday users; you only seem to care about advertisers.  If it weren't for us users, you wouldn't have any advertisers.  Hello.

6.  Insert some common sense into your approach to "security".  Anyone with at least half a brain knows that nothing on the Internet is "secure", no matter what you say; therefore, none of us with any sense at all reveal any sensitive info on the Web.  Give us a choice regarding all this supposed "security". 

How do I know that nothing on the Web is secure?  Headlines for the last 20 years have proven that's so.  Major companies, even banks, government agencies, and even the Pentagon have all been hacked.  And you're worried about my email?  Really?  Here's a clue:  I'm not...because there's nothing in my email account worth stealing.  There's no sensitive info there at all.  And, after all, it's my email, not yours.  Also, this computer belongs to me, not you; if I don't want your "email security" for my email on my computer, that should be my business, not yours.  Hello, again.  I suspect that all this supposed "security" somehow benefits you and your advertisers, not me.
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It's definitely unfortunate that the Internet is not considered a Public Utility by the Corporatist Republicans and Corporatist Democrats in DC.  Anyone with any common sense knows that the Web is a Public Utility.  Too bad that neoliberal privatization has been the flavor of the day for decades.  When the recent trashing of net neutrality by the current Administration kicks in, we'll all be disadvantaged.  The Elites win again.
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Yes, this essay is a rant; ranting helps prevent ulcers.  😊

p.s.  I'll bet most users are wondering:  where is the "security" protecting us from intrusion by private Tech companies???  That security doesn't exist.
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Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

More Bald-Faced LIES From Trump & Crew


1.  Regarding separating little kids from their parents at the border, and then shipping the kids all across the country---

The Don claims it's all the fault of the Democrats because:  a) they passed a Law requiring that be done; and b) they are obstructing a new, proposed Law to correct the situation.  Usually Pence is in the background nodding his head in agreement. 

Let's see, first of all, there is no such requirement in any immigration Law passed by the Dems.  The requirement was for separation of children from smugglers, not PARENTS.  There is only Trump & Crew's screwy interpretation of the Law.  This is similar to John Yoo's screwy interpretations of Law during the Dubya Admin.  Yoo claimed the Geneva Conventions of treatment of war prisoners did not apply to Afghanistan or Iraq.  He also claimed that despite the Fourth Amendment, warrantless wiretapping of citizens was legal.

As to obstructionism by the Dems regarding a new Law on immigration, exactly how does that happen when Repubs hold majorities in both Houses of Congress?  Seems to me it can happen only if some Repubs join the Dems in opposition to whatever The Don & Crew are proposing.

The fact is:  this cruel practice (in a supposedly Christian nation) is totally the creation of Trump and Sessions.  It's their policy, and no one else's.  Even many/most high-level Repubs abhor it.  Finally, it's State-sponsored child abuse.

2.  Regarding claims that "the economy is doing great"---

Lately, Trump & Crew are claiming exactly that on an almost regular basis.  Let's see, we have a Stock Market Bubble that's worse than the one just prior to the 2008 Crash.  The same is true of the current Housing Market Bubble.  The Derivatives Bubble is alive and rolling on.  The Bond Market Bubble is starting to collapse.  The National Debt is nothing short of astonishing.  All that begs an answer to this question:  are Trump & Crew so ignorant that they believe none of the above are Bubbles?

Answer:  Of course not.  They all know they're Bubbles, and that those Bubbles will burst relatively soon..."They" being the ones who are deceitfully selling: the "good economic times are here".  Shades of 1929, 1973-'75, 1981-'82, 1986-'87, '97-2001, & 2007-'09.

Add to the above the fact that the rising price inflation rate has almost totally wiped out any wage increases of late.  Add to that:  Trump's Trade War will harm both consumers and businesses.  Then add this:  the Fed Government's Jobs Report and Unemployment numbers are almost always wrong.  Unemployment is at least double the number given by the Feds.  Finally, add this:  for the first time in our history, the Middle Class comprises less than 50% of our population.
..............................................
Conclusion:  Mr. President, you are flat-out lying about both numbers 1. & 2. above.  Either that, or you are the most ignorant Oval Office Occupier we've ever had.
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Suggestion to everyone:  don't take on more debt, pay down what you can, and hang on to every hard asset possible.  The next Crash is overdue.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Kudos to Trump, Plus the Repub v Dem Squabble


Kudos to Trump must be said.  Perhaps he finally recognized that our Gov't, whether for good reasons or sometimes bad reasons, has been threatening, sanctioning, and intimidating North Korea for many decades.  No wonder they pursued nuclear ICBMs.  Then, too, he probably also recognized the value of the Summit to the Repubs in the upcoming Mid-Term elections.  Lastly, I imagine he considered the value of it to his mythical reputation as a deal-maker.  While praising him, though, let's not disregard the crucial contribution of the South Korean President, Moon Jae-in.  He constructed the basis for the whole thing.

Except for Bernie Sanders, Keith Ellison, Elizabeth Warren, & a very few others (all of whom have been marginalized by the DNC), the Corporatist Dems at the top of the heap---who falsely claim to be "Progressives" or "Moderates"---should all be praising Trump for the outcome of the Summit.  As a Congressional guest (Rep. Ro Khanna) on Democracy Now said today:  if the Summit had happened under Obama, the Democrats would be cheering.  [I'll bet little of that takes place.  Here's why.]---

The Corporatists in charge of the upper echelon of the Democratic Party must do everything they can to promote the illusion of a battle between the two major Parties.  That's been the game ever since Neoliberals and NeoConservatives have taken over both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party.  Those Parties now (& for some time) merely are branches of the only major Party in the USA, the Corporatist Party.  I'm not coining a term here; call it the Oligarch Party, or the Plutocrats, or the Shadow Gov't, or whatever.  The name doesn't matter, because after all, it doesn't officially exist.  It's highly likely that especially the young people of today think that the major Parties are the norm, that they've always been the way they are now.  That's simply not true.

The NeoCons and the NeoLibs both began their ascent in the 1970's... mostly on a theoretical level; in other words, they developed their philosophical underpinnings.  The differences between them are almost nil, and center around a few social Hot-Button issues (such as gun control).  They gained speed in the 1980's and really exploded onto the scene in the 1990's.  They are essentially the same on the crucial issues of the economy, finance, war, corporatism, and corporatist globalization.  They now control the Fed Gov't, and have for at least 25 years.

Trump hasn't changed that at all.  He's a faux "rebel", and nothing more than their puppet.  Perhaps he's unwitting in all this, but I doubt it.  Surely at least he knows that he owes the Mega Bankers big-time.  They bailed him out in the 1980's when his arrogance, incompetence, and ignorance relative to Big Business brought his "empire" to the brink of total collapse.  His recent banking deregulation gift to them is partial payback.

Bottom line:  good for Trump relative to Korea; nevertheless, he's still a Corporatist, not a Populist.  He still serves the Plutocrats.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Moyers, Black, Obama, Holder, Trump & Crew, and Mega Banks


All you need to watch is the 1st 11 minutes & 40 seconds to see how the Mega Banking "Cartel" (rather than people with sub-prime mortgages) was the cause of the last Financial/Economic Crisis, and how/why the failure of the Obama Admin to prosecute Mega BankERS (not Banks) has set up the next overdue, soon-to-be-here Crash.  [Trump & Crew most likely will not do the same thing that Obama & Holder did not do.]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXWaAQpofqE&amp=&index=28&amp=&list=WL

Bill Moyers is well known...Bill Black not as much.  He's a brilliant academic in Law & Economics, as well as a former bank regulator.  After the Savings & Loan scandal of the 1980's, Black's team investigated & made about 1,000 criminal referrals to the Justice Dept.  All resulted in successful prosecutions of Bankers, rather than Banks (which are fictitious "persons" & only can be fined, not jailed).  Even fines in the billions of $$$ are considered merely a cost of doing Biz by the "Cartel".

It's all coming our way again.  This time, not only home mortgages, but also car loans & home rental receipts have been bundled up & then chopped up to create "securities" sold by Wall Street.  Plus, bizarre financial derivatives (bets on those securities, and bets on those bets, and bets on those bets, etc.) are back in the game with virtually no regulation.

Don't believe DC's propaganda that "everything is going great".  Everything is going pretty much where it went from 2007 through 2009.  Get ready...all it will take is one glitch, one Black Swan event, or one who-knows-what and the whole system again will be in chaos.  At least, the probability of that is extremely high.  Trump & Crew's deregulation blitz is making it all the more likely.  [I believe that in many areas of society, there are too many regulations; but in the case of the Financial Sector, there are too few.]

Not only my opinion.  Be Prepared

Monday, June 4, 2018

Beware: The U.S. "Debt Ceiling" is an Utter Joke


It was instituted by Law in 1917.  In the 20th century, our Government's Debt Ceiling was raised 90 times.  From 2001 through 2016, it has been raised 14 times; and it was supposed to be raised again last Fall.  Through some sort of machinations, Congress conjured up "emergency spending funds" and postponed the problem until mid-March of this year.

Doublespeak---

March 2018 has come and gone, so what happened?  Congress SUSPENDED the Debt Ceiling until March 2019.  In other words, there is no Debt Ceiling presently.  It was suspended once during Obama's Administration as well.  Considering the history of it, arguably there never has been a Debt Ceiling.   The whole thing appears to be Orwellian Doublethink and Doublespeak.

The Nixon Shock---

Why is any of this important?  Why should we care at all?  It started with the "Nixon Shock" in 1971.  That's when the Executive Branch issued a "temporary suspension" of the convertibility of the U.S. Dollar into gold.  We went completely off the "Gold Standard".  Essentially, our Gov't defaulted on its Debt.  Shortly thereafter, the Dollar lost 25% of its value.  Our long, "temporary" excursion into fiat currency began.  Instead of being backed by gold, our "money" became backed by "the full faith and credit of the United States"That means virtually nothing at all if our Gov't borrows, and borrows, and borrows into oblivion... and the rest of the world knows that.

The Largest Debtor Nation---

This great Land has gone from being a creditor nation to being the world's largest debtor nation.  To whom is the "money" owed?  Primarily, it's owed to foreign Central Banks, other Mega Banks (including domestic ones), and other Mega Corporations.  The kicker is this:  that Debt is now mathematically impossible to repay in full.  So why do those outfits keep loaning us funds?  For the same reason a Bank doesn't want you to ever repay the full amount on your credit card:  the perpetual interest payments; they will never end.  And from where does the Gov't get the funds to make those multi-billion dollar interest payments to Banks & Corporations...from personal income taxes, of course.

In the spirit of Orwellian Doublespeak, the Fed Reserve calls borrowing the "selling of Debt, or Bonds".  When other entities cut back on "buying Debt" (loaning us funds), the Fed Reserve (which is made up of privately owned banks) "buys" U.S. Bonds.  That essentially means a supposed part of our Gov't loans funds to our Gov't.  All this borrowing serves to devalue the fiat Dollar.

The Bottom Line---

Why should we care?  If for no other reason, because we are saddling our children and grandchildren not only with a continually devalued Dollar, but also with a Debt that will have interest payments in perpetuity.  Then there's the extremely high probability that our economy will collapse because of the Financial shocks brought on by the Fed's insane amount of borrowing.

When it comes to borrowing, the Trump Administration is following right in the footsteps of the Administrations of Obama, Dubya Bush, and others:  increasing the National Debt by multiple times.  And why all this borrowing?  For the most part, it's to maintain U.S. Hegemony throughout the world.  And why is that?  Because the availability of several key natural resources is peaking or shrinking, and without control of those resources, the USA cannot dominate the world and further enrich itself.  Naturally, the Establishment denies any such thing...hardly a big surprise.  The Plutocrats claim the whole shebang is to protect the world, spread democracy, and preserve freedom.  Right.  Edward Bernays would be proud of such claims.
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SIDE NOTE---
Price Inflation is not the result of the cost of production going up; rather, it's the result of the value of the Dollar going down.  When the value of the dollar decreases, it takes more dollars to buy the same amount of goods or services as before the decrease.
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Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Largest Amount of Borrowed Money in Any Quarter in USA History


In the 1st Quarter of this year, the Fed borrowed $488 billion...the largest amount for any Quarter in our history.  The Treasury Secretary claims that the Bond Market is "robust", and can handle the borrowing.  In fact, that Market has peaked and is trending down.  It's starting to collapse.  Our Debt is a Bubble sitting on a pin. 

That amount of borrowing plus the Repub Tax Cuts plus other factors = a big rise in price inflation, probably within a year or so.  Mnuchin (Treas. Sec.) says it's good to have a little inflation..."We want wages to increase."  Better hope inflation doesn't exceed the increase in wages; and sorry, but most likely it will.  It's almost there already...only .5% away from the last wage increase numbers.

So much for fiscal responsibility.  Those in the Congress and the White House who claim to be "Conservatives"...aren't.  NeoConservatives are a horse of an entirely different color.

Try as they may, the Establishment (including Trump & Crew) cannot avoid the metrics of the overdue Economic/Financial Crash on the horizon.  According to a study by Deutsche Bank, countries that don't properly manage their Debt experience a huge increase in Financial shocks, shocks that can severely damage the economy.  That has been our path every 7-12 years since the 1973-1975 Recession.  You can thank the Fed, the Mega Bank Casino Capitalists, and most of our DC politicians.  It should be obvious that the bombastic Trump & Crew are not significantly changing anything for the better.  They aren't draining the swamp; they're draining the country of a decent future.  Take a look at USDebtClock.org ...not just the upper left corner, but the entire table/chart.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well
p.s.  Another reminder:  I'm not a Democrat or a Republican.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

"In the Year 2525"


In 1969, a song came out by the duo Zager & Evans under the title "In the Year 2525".  All these years later, I see humanity going pretty much right where the song predicted.  We humans just can't seem to live and let live; plus, we're being sucked into the abyss of technology at a breath-taking pace.  It's de-humanizing all of us.  

Now it's almost nothing for a President to talk about nuking 25 million people...as if they're ants.  I find it not only sad & tragic, but also puzzling...and in a devastating way, comical.  As a species, our ignorance truly is beyond the pale.  Unfortunately, and despite popular opinion here to the contrary, I believe Americans are the worst of the bunch.  Our hubris on the world stage is absolutely astounding...no matter which political Party is in power.  We are so "holier-than-thou" that it boggles the mind.  It's no wonder to me that 80% of the world's people think that the greatest threat to Peace is our Fed Gov't.  That poll was taken a few years ago; now the number is probably up to 90% or more.  My main solace in all that's going on today is that in 10,000 years none of it will matter one whit.

Nevertheless, Life really is fascinating in these weird times.  ☺

Long ago, a Zen Master said, "Once you understand the true nature of Reality, the only thing left to do is to have a good belly-laugh.".  I suspect that he was right.

p.s.  "I feel much better now that I've given up hope."   ~Woody Allen  [That's funny!]
Bottom line:  enjoy Life; it's short.  We all know that, but on a daily basis I think we tend to forget it.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The BIG Lie


About a month or two ago, Trump & Crew, Big Biz, & the Corporate Media claimed that one of the main reasons our economy is "recovering" was this:  wages have increased 2.9% (I forget over what time span).  Here's what they left out--- price inflation is now at about 2.4%...and rising.  

In addition, the Bond Market is collapsing, the Stock Market is still (despite corrections) overvalued partly or mostly because Corps. are buying back their own stock (thus falsely inflating its value), Debt is increasing (our Public Debt is now well over $21 trillion & rising rapidly, while total public & private USA Debt is a bit over $70 trillion), there are 27 million part-time workers in the USA, half of all the workers here make less than $32K per year, the IMF has launched a 10-year program to replace the Dollar as the world's reserve currency, housing rentals are sky-high, the home-owner Housing Market is in a giant Bubble, and Mega Banks continue to gamble with bizarre financial derivatives...thus continuing the Casino Capitalism that resulted in the 2008 Crash.  Meanwhile, Trump & Crew are busily reducing regulations...especially those on the Financial Sector.

The next Crash---meaning, the next transfer of wealth to the top echelon of the Upper Crust---is both overdue and unavoidable.  Ever since the 1973-1975 Recession, we've had an economic/financial Crash every 7-12 years.  The next one looks to be larger than any since (& including) '73-'75.  There's no reason at all to believe that the Boom-Bust Cycle is suddenly going to stop.  There are many reasons to believe that the next Crash will be the worst in at least the last 45 years. 

Be prepared.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Oligarchy Handbook


To my knowledge, no such Handbook exists; if it did, however, this would be a good outline or condensed version.  NOTE---  Certainly not all of it, but much of the information below comes from Noam Chomsky's superb book and documentary titled, Requiem for the American Dream.  The editors of the documentary came up with this subtitle:  "The Ten Principles of Concentration of Wealth and Power".  I would call it "The Ten Steps for Instituting Corporatism in a Society".  These concepts are evident not only in the USA today, but also in all industrialized countries of the world...some more than others.

1.  Reduce democracy---
Reduce or eliminate the input and influence of commoners in the formation of public policy.  The "little people" should be treated as "spectators" when it comes to government because they are incapable of comprehending complex matters.  They should be distracted with consumer consumption and kept apathetic.

2.  Shape ideology---
This begins with indoctrination in education.  Critical thinking and any challenging of Authority should be suppressed.  Except for basic skills such as reading and math, the minds of students should be molded to always accept Authority, wage slavery, war, the hierarchy of society, and a belief in the wisdom of opulence and luxury.

3.  Redesign the economy---
Complete the move (started in the 1970's) to Neoliberalism, Financialization, and Globalization.  In part, that means privatization of gov't infrastructure & services and the promotion of worker insecurity.  Separate worker productivity from wage increases.  Keep wages stagnant.  One way to do that is to promote the moving of manufacturing to emerging economies with low wages and sweatshop conditions.  Reduce or eliminate regulations applying to the Financial Sector so that income can be made without producing any goods or services...as with the use of bizarre financial derivatives and other financial instruments.

4.  Shift the burden carried by Oligarchs---
Make the Rich and Powerful less responsible for funding gov't, and for their own mistakes.  Reduce their taxes, and promote "Too Big to Fail", "Too Big to Jail", "Bail-Outs", and "Bail-Ins".  Increase gov't subsidies to mega corporations.  Let the "little people" foot the bill.

5.  Attack solidarity---
Reduce (through Edward Bernays style "molding of the public mind" Propaganda) the caring by individuals for the fate of others.  Destroy unions.  Clamp down on freedom of assembly, nonviolent protest, and any group that challenges the status quo.

6.  Run the regulators---
Promote and encourage a revolving door between BIG Business and high-level Gov't service...especially in the Financial Sector.  Poo-poo the concept of "conflict of interest".  Promise and provide high-paying, cushy, corporate jobs to regulators when they "retire" from gov't service.  Strive for "Government-Sachs".

7.  Engineer elections---
Continue the practice of having high-level political candidates selected, groomed, and financed by the Rich and Powerful.  Continue to encourage gerrymandering and voter suppression/manipulation.  In Primaries, continue to encourage the Corporate Media to slight or ignore any candidate not approved by the Oligarchy.  Promote and encourage the discussion of personalities rather than issues.  Continue to have debates run by a private corporation, thus making certain that no Populist candidates are allowed to participate.  Make sure that corporations continue to be "persons", and thus are able to contribute to our political candidates (via "free speech" money) in a virtually unlimited fashion.

8.  Keep the rabble in line---
Inundate the public with Edward Bernays style Propaganda Kool Aid all year, every year.  Attack Organized Labor.  Attack any Populist group.  Promote nationalism rather than patriotism.  Talk jobs, not profits.  Never reveal that while the wages of the "little people" have remained relatively flat (after adjustment for price inflation) for 30+ years, our incomes have increased 700%.

9.  Manufacture consent---
Mold the public mind to our benefit.  Keep the Propaganda flowing--- Trickle-Down Economics really works, there's no conflict of interest in having a Mega Bank CEO run a Gov't financial department, Big Biz should have a Stay-Out-of-Jail card, the Boogie-Man is coming so we have to go to war, the type of Globalization we're promoting really is good for the public, the commoners can have either privacy or safety (but not both), etc.  They've bought it all so far, and they will continue to buy it.

10.  Marginalize the population---
Make society an amorphous mass.  Attack and destroy groups critical of Power and Oligarchy.  Discourage the linking of individuals into effective political action organizations.  Denigrate them whenever possible.  Encourage the belief that commoners cannot understand the complexity of the issues facing the world today.  This all creates an unfocused anger which makes people more susceptible to our control.  Gain control of the internet, which is the greatest democratizing force in existence today.  Oppose net neutrality whenever possible.
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And so it goes.
Not only my opinion.  Be Well