Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Finally - The Corrupt Gaslighter-in-Chief Has Been Impeached


He could have been impeached anytime after January 24, 2017.  Why?  Because on that date he violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  See my essay here:  https://individualsovereignty.blogspot.com/2017/07/trumps-violation-of-nepa-sepa-laws-rules.html
He did so by signing the authorization for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), without an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) being done on that project.  It's a direct violation of the Law, a Law which has not been repealed.  Trump thinks he can contravene a Law simply by issuing an Executive Order.  Nope, not legally anyway. 

Here's the kicker.  The reason given for ignoring that Law was as follows.  The Administration claimed that each section of the main pipeline was the equivalent of a spur line.  Short spur lines are not required to have a separate EIS done.  They branch off from the main pipeline for a short distance to some terminus or another.  Any EIS on the main pipeline would encompass spur lines.  It's sheer nonsense to claim that each section of the main line is the equivalent of a spur line, and thus the whole pipeline does not require an EIS.  Such a concept is so ridiculous that it's absolutely hilarious.

That violation by Trump was at the very least a misdemeanor, and grounds for impeachment.  On January 18, 2017, the Army Corps of Engineers (the Lead Agency on the project) filed a Notice of Intent to write an EIS for DAPL.  After Trump took Office, the Corps of Engineers withdrew/cancelled that Notice.  I'm sure that was at the behest of The Don.

That whole business was a minor misdeed by Trump compared to his violations of the Constitution; nevertheless, it's an impeachable offense.  A President cannot essentially repeal a Law on his own...not legally.

In my view, The Democrats dropped the ball by not including all Trump's egregious violations in their Articles of Impeachment.  Ralph Nader has the same view.  According to him and a team of Constitutional scholars, there are at least a dozen misdeeds by Trump that constitute violations of his Office.  At least, indeed.

Too bad the Repub Senators are too chicken to do what's best for our country in the upcoming Trial.  Too bad, indeed.  Here's the good news.  As Al Green (a Rep. from Houston, & the 1st one in Congress to bring Impeachment of Trump to the floor of the House) pointed out, just because a President has been impeached once doesn't mean he/she can't be impeached again.  Let's see what our Serial Liar-in-Chief is hiding in his tax returns.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Friday, December 6, 2019

"There's No Threat to Capitalism Like Capitalists"


Note---
I hope you don't leave this piece before reading the portion about Trump and Mnuchin.  Though the topic below is a bit of history, I do relate it to the players of today.  Plus, I suspect much of the history relayed in the video is mostly unknown to many or most people.
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There's a link below to an interview of William K. Black by Bill Moyers.  Black was a bank regulator key to the production of about a thousand criminal referrals in the Savings & Loan fraud in the 1980's.  He's also a Professor of Economics and Law, and in my view, a genuine American hero.  For more than a quarter century, he has worked tirelessly to expose the ongoing ripoff of the American public by Mega Banks and their political Cronies in DC.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXWaAQpofqE&amp=&index=28&amp=&list=WL

In the above clip, Black explains exactly what caused the 2008 Crash and the complicity of Obama, Holder, Geithner, Jamie Dimon, and others.  He also tells us why the same thing will happen again.  This general topic may be old news, but the details in this interview are revealing, breathtaking, and largely unknown by the "average" American.  It's a Must-See, and brutally relevant to today.

Capitalism is a great economic system, but without strong regulations and enforcement it becomes Crony Capitalism-Casino Capitalism-Surveillance Capitalism and a Kleptocracy for the Super-Rich.  History supports that contention.  There's no question about it.

So, what about Trump relative to this essay?  That's probably an eight-hour conversation.  Briefly, though, here are some points to consider---
1.  Elsewhere in this venue, I've explained why he owes Bankers big-time, both literally & figuratively.
2.  He and his Crew are decimating regulations across the board, including Banking regulations.
3.  His Secretary of the Treasury is Mnuchin, who was more or less a foreclosure king during the last Crash.  Because he would make millions, he was overheard saying prior to the last bursting of the Housing Bubble, "I'm hoping for a real estate crash".  He was a Goldman Sachs Banker for 17 years.  He financially supported Hillary in her Primary run against Obama, and then supported Obama in his run against McCain.  He has strong ties to Wall Street, and apparently, no defining political ideology.  In some ways, he's another Paulson.

None of the above speaks well for Trump in relation to the coming Crash.  The Mega Bankers again will make out like the bandits they are...at our expense.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well
p.s.  The title quote is from William K. Black, and it's in the video interview.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Where the Political Left is Wrong in Social, Educational, & Political Spheres


Here's the main thing wrong with the general political Left in the social, educational, & political spheres of life---
and, although it's well-intentioned, it's creating a "stunning fragility" in our youth.  Plus, it's accompanied by an almost virulent self-righteousness.  The speakers here expose it, & explain why it's damaging...not only to our youth, but also to the country in general.  I agree 100%.
The clip is only 13.5 minutes.

The subject matter at the above link includes:  egregious, over-the-top, political correctness; the coddling of kids; gross intolerance of views other than those promulgated by the Left; "slurring" rather than debating in a reasonable manner; and a subtle self-righteousness regarding social and political issues.

By the way, the political Right (in general) is as bad as, or worse than, the Left regarding this whole shebang... at least, most of it.  The result is that the fracturing of our society gets worse & worse every year.  Civility is well on its way to being totally gone.  It's being replaced by not only rudeness, but intolerance and violence as well.  The Corporate Media seem to focus on such activities, but rarely (if ever) ask "Why is this happening?".  Undoubtedly, the answer contains many factors, complex factors; nevertheless, we need to figure this thing out.  If we don't, I believe our society will continue to break down, perhaps even to the point of Martial Law being imposed.  It costs little to nothing to seriously and rationally consider an opposing point-of-view.

A starting point is this:  every side in any significant disagreement passionately believes that its side is the one "in the right", or "best for most people".  The opposing sides need to find out why "the other side" thinks that way... rather than simply slurring them and giving them sound-bite retorts.

Politicians, institutions of all kinds (religious, educational, social, Law enforcement, non-profit, for-profit, etc.), and all of us "common" people need to wake up and re-double our efforts to promote reasonable & civil debate, tolerance, and respect for individuals with opposing views.  I've seen decades of decay in that regard.  It doesn't bode well for the future of our Land.

So, though it may be extremely difficult to do, I propose to all "True Believers" to (at least once in awhile) step outside the "For or Against" paradigm and make a herculean effort to consider issues without having any prejudgements.  I like Socrates' observation on Wisdom:  "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.".  Let's be more tolerant of each other's views...and start learning.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Saturday, November 9, 2019

A Crucial Narrative Regarding Freedom & Individual Sovereignty



Preface

I first posted this piece on March 1 of this year.  DC politicians only just recently finally have begun to address the issue.  This whole business is a dire threat to individual freedom.  So far, we are voluntarily marching straight into it.  The narrative at the link below is not against SMART tech, but rather, how it is being used.  If you value individual sovereignty, listen carefully.


Behavior Modification by Surveillance Capitalists Redux


At the link below, a Harvard Professor Emeritus brilliantly explains how we are being "herded", and why SMART technology & outfits like Facebook are an egregious threat 
to individual sovereignty.
https://www.democracynow.org/2019/3/1/age_of_
surveillance_capitalism_we_thought

Perhaps in their young adulthood (or maybe mid-life), our toddler 
grandchildren are going to wonder:  how could our grandparents have been so dense?  How could they have allowed this Brave New World of ours to develop?  Didn't they understand the dangers of ubiquitous surveillance?  Did they really believe the argument "I have nothing to hide" meant that they wouldn't be affected?  How could they have not seen how the State-Corporate-Financial Complex most likely would use the gathered data to manipulate and control us?  Were they asleep at the wheel, or too propagandized, or too stressed by trying 
to make ends meet in a declining worldwide economy?  Were they too worried about, and distracted by, advancing Neofeudalism?

Kudos to Professor Zuboff for a well-spoken, insightful, and much needed interview... and for her seven years of research for the book, The Age of  Surveillance Capitalism.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Monday, October 21, 2019

The Pitiful Case of Donald John Trump

Preface
Everything I'm about to say in this essay, other than my opinions, is public knowledge.  One may have to dig just a little to find some of the information, but it's all available to anyone who looks.
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1.  The Don was a millionaire by the time he was eight years old.  Thank you, Daddy.

2.  He likes to tout the fact that his father gave him a "small loan" of a million dollars (when he was a young adult), and from that he built a billion dollar business...supposedly.  Indeed, Fred did give his son that loan...and then, over the following years, he did it again, and again, and again, etc.  The total wound up being sixty million dollars.  Thank you, Daddy.

3.  When his business was on the verge of utter and complete bankruptcy in the 1980's, various banks bailed him out and put him on a generous monthly allowance.  The financiers figured his name on a viable business was worth more than what they'd get out of his bankruptcy.

4.  So much for Trump's narrative that except for a "small loan" from his father, he essentially built a business from nothing.  It's one of an infinite number of outright lies.

5.  The Don learned how to lie, smear his opponents, and psychologically gaslight from the former Mob lawyer (and former Chief Counsel for Senator Joe McCarthy), Roy M. Cohn.  Cohn was his personal lawyer for a time.

6.  During his years in both real estate and the casino business, several times he shafted employees out of both jobs and wages.  At the same time, some independent contractors were shafted out of duly earned fees.  If they sued, he would countersue.  Cases would drag on until the aggrieved parties quit trying to recoup their losses.

7.  He's an autocrat wannabe, but appears to be a shallow, weak person who admires most of the dictators on the world stage.  That alone makes his Presidency an embarrassment to all decent people in this country. 

8.  Thanks to the mistakes, misdeeds, and sheer nonsense of the Establishment Oligarchy, The Don pretty much fell into the Oval Office.  Shenanigans by the Republican Party operatives prior to and during the 2016 election certainly helped, but mostly it was because most people were fed up with same ol', same ol' crap from politicians.  They thought The Don would change things to their benefit.  They were about 99.9% wrong about that.

9.  Since getting into office, he has been crass, boorish, a serial liar, foolish, ignorant, unstable, alienating, and dangerous.  I believe he's the most dangerous President in my lifetime...and I was born in 1942.

10.  The Don should not be hated...hate engenders more of the same.  Instead, he should be pitied... and booted out of office.  Maybe then, we can return politics to some degree of sanity here.  Maybe then, 80% of the world's adults will stop believing that our Gov't is the greatest threat to stability and peace on Earth.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well
p.s.  Again, for any new readers, I'm not a Republican or a Democrat.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Rules From and For the Oligarchy Redux


I first posted this essay a bit over five years ago.  It's being re-posted now because the Oligarchy in this country is getting more & more desperate, and it's wise to keep in mind their methods for manipulating us.  [I've added just a tad more to the text in several places.]
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By the "Oligarchy", I'm referring of course to those at the highest levels in politics, Big Business, and the Intelligentsia...the ones who "run the country".  They are both Democrats and Republicans, but those labels are not in any way important to them.  Their guideposts primarily are power and money.  They're not in any kind of conspiracy, but they do enjoy great solidarity.

Here, then, are their rules for success...the rules by which they live, thrive, and rule others.

1.  Utilize Edward Bernays style Propaganda at every opportunity...to its maximum effect.

2.  Select, groom, and finance the slickest liars and most unethical people possible for national political office.  Marginalize and denigrate any honest and sincere politicians who somehow manage to get into office.

3.  Wrap yourself in the American Flag at every opportunity.

4.  Strive to keep the country perpetually at war.  It's great for Big Business and the best way to control the public mind.  It also gives us every opportunity to "colonize" geostrategic areas without appearing imperialistic; that way we can assure American Primacy.  We're just defending our country.  If one person is killed, it's murder; but if 100,000 are killed, it's Foreign Policy and/or protecting our Homeland.

5.  At crucial times, tell the Little People whatever it is they want to hear.

6.  Continue the myth that Republicans and Democrats at the highest levels have substantially different views.  It's the best way to Divide and Conquer.  Pretend to squabble with your supposed political opposition.

7.  At all costs, never prosecute in court any mega bank CEO who has been complicit in swindling people.  Don't bite the hand that feeds you.  Instead, levy a large fine against the bank for "misleading investors".

8.  Distract the public with minor political issues and various circuses.

9.  Allow people to peacefully protest, but only in limited, designated areas.

10.  When caught in wrongdoing, criminalize the whistleblower.  To do that, take a page from (most recently) Obama's & Trump's playbook:  utilize the Espionage Act of 1917.  Apply the word "spy"...especially when it's not relevant.  The bigger the lie, the more people will believe it.

11.  Make certain that the mainstream, corporate media keep serving up pablum to the public... and/or controversy over nothing of any significant consequence... and/or, fear.

12.  Continue the myth that the People live in a participatory democracy.

13.  At all costs, support and promote the WTO and Free Trade Agreements, the Neoliberal policy of deregulation of the worldwide Financial Sector, and the myth that we're aiding poor countries by forcing them to privatize gov't services.  In other words, continue the myth that Corporate Globalization is good for the common people and the economy.

14.  Avoid conflict with the U.S. Constitution simply by ignoring the document whenever necessary.

15.  Continue the myth that the President of the U.S. legally (and essentially) can create Law by the use of Executive Orders.  If questioned about that, respond by saying that the Constitution "implies" it.

16.  Oppose, denigrate, and when possible, eliminate all labor unions.  Substitute biased "mandatory arbitration" in their place.  This is the best way to keep the Little People workers in check.

17.  Keep the public in fear, and promote cognitive dissonance  in the Little People.  Mold the public mind.

18.  Continue the lie that National Security trumps everything... including common decency, the Law, the Constitution, ethics, and morality.

19.  Continue the War on Drugs.  It's almost as good as actual war in relation to controlling the populace.

20.  Act as though you favor egalitarian issues; in other words, lie.
..............................................................................

Do you recognize any of this?  There is a better way.  The second step toward that better way is to organize.  The first step I've stated over and over:  we must stop drinking the Propaganda Kool Aid coming from high-level Republicans and Democrats, (& Trump, who is neither a Repub or Dem), Mega Corporations, and the Corporate Media.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Sunday, September 15, 2019

An Important Redux re: The Don


At the beginning of Spring this year, I posted the essay below.  It's being posted again because:  it still applies; and recently, Trump has started (just barely) to pretend he is some sort of reasonable Moderate... rather than the unstable nutcake that he really is.


Points For and Against the Current Oval Office Occupier


For---
1.  He kept us out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  I've covered the disastrous downside of that Trade Pact elsewhere on this venue, so won't go into it again in this piece.  Talks related to joining the TPP were started under Dubya Bush, and accelerated under Obama.  Trump killed it his first day in office.

If interested in why the TPP is the worst Trade Treaty in history, use this blog's Search function to locate my assessment of it.  Or even better, Google/Bing/etc. :  Lori Wallach and the TPP.

2.  There is no number 2.  I was tempted to list his meetings with North Korea, but decided against it because he's the one who provoked that country with virtually insane threats of nuclear annihilation.  The person really responsible for averting (for now, at least) catastrophe is the President of South Korea, Moon Jae-in.

Against---
1.  He's a serial liar; he, himself, has proven that over, and over, and over.  In terms of frequency of lying, Trump beats out both Dubya Bush and Obama... which I didn't think was possible by anyone.

2.  He's mentally unstable, and thus emotionally unfit to be in any political office, much less the Presidency.  He, himself, has proven that over, and over, and over.  Now admittedly, I've had only a couple university pysch courses; however, you don't have to be a master carpenter to recognize a shack.  😊  Plus, there's a long list of psychologists and psychiatrists who have stated that he needs to be professionally examined.

3.  Based on his words and actions, he doesn't have a broad understanding of anything that a President should know.  His understanding of key issues, world affairs, diplomacy, statesmanship, war, the economy, the environment, fiscal and monetary matters, cultural matters, science, genuine capitalism, the Law, health matters, etc. is so limited as to be nothing short of comical.

4.  He promotes divisiveness in our country and in the world.  Plus, such promotion is not inadvertent.  He does it on purpose.

5.  While in office (never mind previous to that), he has violated Laws of the Land.  Here's only one example---
https://individualsovereignty.blogspot.com/2017/07/trumps-violation-of-nepa-sepa-laws-rules.html
Read it carefully.  The acronyms and other abbreviations used are not as confusing as they first appear.

6.  He doesn't have even a rudimentary understanding of the United States Constitution.  Many times, he has violated his Oath of Office by failing to "preserve, protect, and defend" the Constitution.  For example, he (like many other Presidents) has violated the War Clause of Article I, Section 8.  Another example--- the Executive Branch (of which he's in charge) violates the Fourth Amendment on an almost daily basis.  Another example--- it's crystal clear that Trump is violating the Emoluments portion of Article I, Section 9 (the Nobility Clause).

7.  As President, his conflicts of interest truly are beyond the pale.

8.  Similar to numbers 1 & 2 above, Trump is the King of Public Gaslighters.  Nothing he says can be trusted.

9.  He cares not at all for the common people of this country.  He's merely manipulating & using some of us in order to further enrich himself.  This is so obvious that it's painful.  Some of his supporters finally have realized it.

10.  He is both an embarrassment and a danger to this country.  I've detailed all that in previous posts, so enough said.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well
p.s.  For any new readers, I'm not a Republican or a Democrat.  Ironically, neither is The Don.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

When the Overdue Recession Hits Us


Preface
I don't have an Economics Degree, so I rely on a broad spectrum of economists and monetary theorists for these essays.  Plus, as a wise man once told me, "You don't have to be a Master Carpenter to recognize a shack.".  :)

A few facts---
1.  Worldwide debt is somewhere in the neighborhood of $250 trillion, which is close to three times the world's GDP.
2.  The U.S. public National Debt is now a tad over $22.5 trillion...more than our annual GDP.  We pay $896 million per day in Interest on that debt.  Politicians in DC are increasing our Debt exponentially.
3.  U.S. personal debt is now just shy of $20 trillion.
4.  U.S. unfunded liabilities now stand at a bit more than $125.7 trillion.
5.  U.S. nonfinancial Corporate debt is now at about $15 trillion...the highest it has been in decades.
6.  Total U.S. Debt (not counting unfunded liabilities) is now a tad over $74.1 trillion.  [See:  USdebtclock.org ]  That's more than three times our annual GDP.

Conclusions---
1.  The world is awash in Debt.
2.  The U.S.A. has a significant portion of that Debt.
.......................................................
Meanwhile, the UK, continental Europe, and Japan all have been adhering to the Zimbabwe "School of Economics" by PRINTING MONEY.  Plus, the USA is on the verge of starting QE-4, more printing of money.  This is all being done to prop up the Stock Market.  In addition, Corporations have been buying back their own stock, thus falsely inflating that Market.  At the same time, Bond Markets have been crashing, capital expenditures have been decreasing, and manufacturing has been slowing down...in the Western World.  In Asia (except for Japan), they have been sticking to conventional economic, monetary, and fiscal policies; but in the West, we are in an Era of Weirdness.
........................................................
Bottom Line---
When the overdue Recession hits, and there's a succession of bursting Debt Bubbles, the impact on Western World Finance and Economies will be much greater than in 2008-2009.  Businesses, a few investment Banks, perhaps some regular Banks, Insurance companies, and associated firms likely will collapse, then unemployment will jump way up, and price inflation will take hold...thus exacerbating the Recession, possibly driving it into a full-blown Depression.

Central Banks refuse to bite the bullet and raise Interest rates (or better yet, let the Market determine the rate) because that would burst the Stock Market Bubble.  We would have a Recession, but we need to because too much money is chasing too few goods.  Big-time inflation is coming unless we dial back all this monetary craziness.
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Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Thursday, August 15, 2019

BIG News on the Economy


On Wednesday night, 8-14-19, in their News broadcasts, the Corporate Media finally admitted that a Recession "may be" in the near future.  Isn't it amazing how we (according to them) went from "our booming economy" to a Bust "may be" right around the corner.  Ha!

Of course, the Corporate Media have known that for at least a couple of years.  Their News isn't "fake", but it's often incomplete.  The metrics for the next Crash have been in place for, at a minimum, the last three years.  News of a "booming economy" meant a "boom" only for a relatively small percentage of income earners.  The underlying, base economy has been pretty much a disaster.  Half the workers in this country are either in poverty, or bordering on it.  HALF.
We're talking about workers, not people on assistance/welfare.

The greatest transfer of wealth (to the Upper Crust) in the history of humanity is still in full swing.  The so-called "recovery" doesn't apply to the majority of Americans.  I've gone through the stats in many previous posts, and don't have the time or energy to repeat that now.  The reasons for this dire situation also have been detailed in previous posts.

Here's all you need to know for the near-term future:  there's no "may be" or maybe (see the first paragraph above) about the coming Crash.  It's about 99.9% guaranteed.  We're overdue for it.  Again, if you don't believe that, simply look at the time intervals between Booms & Busts from the 1973 Recession to present day.  It won't be only here in the USA; it will be worldwide.  It won't be a minor downturn.  It will be a major Crash.  All you can do is plan and act accordingly.

What does "plan and act accordingly" mean?  Here are my main suggestions.
1.  Pay down as much of your debt as possible.  When the Crash hits, your income & purchasing power may go down, but debt payments likely won't.
2.  Stock up on extra, everyday household goods...not only food, but paper goods, OTC meds, toiletries, anything you use regularly.  Credit will dry up for a time (maybe a week, or two, or ?), and businesses run on credit, not cash.  That means delivery of goods to stores will slow way down or stop...temporarily.
3.  Keep some ready cash handy.  How much depends on your comfort zone.  Banks very well may limit withdrawals for a time.
4.  Hang on to (or obtain with cash) hard assets.  Their value will increase when inflation hits.
5.  Don't take on more major debt, unless it's for an asset that you can sell relatively quickly.  When announcing their "news" about the Recession, the Media suggested that you perhaps (because of current lower interest rates) should now buy a house or a car.  That's wise advice only if you can pay cash and have no extra debtCorporate interests want you to take on more debt...don't.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Monday, August 5, 2019

Why the 2nd Amendment ALLOWS GUN CONTROL

Preface
I'm not a Republican or a Democrat, but am a long-time gun owner.  I'm not an attorney, but have studied the Constitution since 1956...mostly informally.  "Studied" doesn't only mean I've read it over and over.  I've researched many constitutional court cases, read dozens and dozens of Supreme Court opinions, and those of lower courts as well.
...................................................
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
2nd Amendment to the Constitution
..............................................
It seems to me that any reading of the above with a view toward common sense leads to the following conclusions.
1.  The 2nd Amendment allows civilians to possess firearms in order to have a "well regulated Militia".  [Our Founders were wary of having a large standing army during peacetime.  They opted for a militia made up of everyday citizens/civilians, non-professional "soldiers".]
2.  Apparently, Americans who oppose gun control have chosen to ignore the phrase, well regulated.  So, too, have some Supreme Court Justices.
3.  Back in the 1700's, "Arms" possessed by militia men for the possible defense & "security of a free State" amounted to pistols and single-shot rifles.  Assault rifles, automatic weapons of any kind, hand-held rocket launchers, etc. did not exist.  It defies common sense that anyone would think any modern day weapons of war should fall under the 2nd Amendment.  Even if they did, those who had them would have to be well regulated to be in compliance with the Constitution.
......................................
Trump is correct when he states that the recent mass murders were undertaken by "mentally ill" people.  Duh.  Too bad he doesn't understand the effect of words such as "invasion", "invaders", etc. on those same people.  Or, maybe he does.  Too bad that Oligarchs like him don't see the connection between horrendous social ills (mass murders, opioid crisis, etc.) and the throwing under the bus of mental health treatment in the USA...which has been going on for decades.  Too bad, indeed.
......................................
Sidebar
Not many, but some gun owners have formed their own "militias".  They seem to believe that they're being patriotic, and are following the Constitution.  Nope.  The phrase well regulated in the 2nd Amendment does NOT mean self regulated.  It means regulated by the Government.  Hello.
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Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Three More Blatant Lies by Our Oval Office Occupier


Note---  The following quotes may or may not be exactly as spoken.  Any error is quite minimal, and does not change the meaning of the precise quote.

1.  "We now have the greatest economy in our history."  Ha!  Not even close to that, Don Corleone.  It's only great for perhaps the upper 15% or so of income earners.  Everyone else is barely keeping even, or falling behind.  The median income in this country is only $33,188; that means half of us make less.  Asset Bubbles (a type of inflation) and the Debt Bubble are larger than just before the 2008 Crash.  Financial derivatives still are a massive problem.  Casino Capitalism and Crony Capitalism still are setting us up for the next Bust... which, by the way, is overdue.  If you don't believe that, simply look at the time intervals between Booms & Busts from the 1973 Recession to present day.  No one, including you, has eliminated the Boom-Bust Cycle.

2.  "We also now have the greatest employment in our history."  Wrong again.  See this post of mine to understand why Gov't employment/unemployment stats are almost always wrong...including those put out by your Crew---
http://individualsovereignty.blogspot.com/2018/02/the-real-state-of-union-rather-than.html
The piece also explains why Gov't inflation stats are extremely misleading.

In both cases above, today's stats are dwarfed by those of the Golden Age of American Capitalism.  During that time, not only was the economy booming, manufacturing growing, and Business thriving, but mega corporations were being taxed at up to 90%.  With its length of twenty-plus years, that economy makes today's look like an unmitigated disaster.

3.  This last quote is in relation to the Mueller Hearing that took place Wednesday.  "Under Article II [of the Constitution], I have the right to do anything I want to."  What planet are you on, Don?  Good grief.  Even a cursory examination of Article II shows that, except during times of declared war, the Presidency actually is a rather modest Office.  Perhaps you were gaslighting when you made that particular statement.  You have a penchant for trying to confuse people with outrageous claims and obvious lies.  Unfortunately for you, most of us see through your dangerous childishness.  Now we just have to convince your cult following that you're a total fraud.

Not only my opinion.  Everyone Be Well
p.s.  For any new visitors here, I'm not a Democrat or a Republican.

Friday, July 12, 2019

The Every-Four-Years Comedy & Tragedy in the USA Has Begun


Although the next Presidential election is more than a year away, campaigning for it is already off and running.  This year it appears to be more comic & tragic than in any recent past years.  So, let's take a brief, hard look at why I say that.  We'll examine only the two major Parties...the Trump Party (TP), and the Democratic Party (the Dems).  The Republican Party seems to have dried up and blown away.
.................................................
The TP most likely will be nominating a guy who is basically ignorant, a wannabe autocrat, and a psychological gaslighter.  Although grossly ignorant of many significant concepts, he nonetheless is quite clever at manipulating people and lying to them.  His lies are so blatant, numerous, and obvious that his running for office again is a complete comedy.  The tragedy is that he may again get elected.  His current Administration's primary legacy will be:  abuse of child immigrants.  What has happened on his watch in that regard is beyond unconscionable.  In my opinion, it's criminal.

There will be lots of talk by the TP about "illegal immigration", but little to none about asylum seekers and the primary reason for them fleeing their Central American countries:  past USA support for dictators and thugs in those homelands, plus their neoliberal, privatization policies.
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The Dems have about twenty people running for the nomination.  I've never heard of half of them, so I assume any appeal to voters they possess is regional in nature.  Maybe it will become national, maybe not.  Of the total twenty or so, some seem to be running mostly on a single issue, which varies from person to person.  One or two seem to be running only to defeat Trump, with not much else in their platform.  The Upper Crust of the Dems (which comprises many of the vote-stealing "super-delegates") appears to be leaning toward Hillary-Lite (Joe Biden), because he's the neoliberal, "establishment" candidate with close ties to the Financial Sector.  That's important to the DNC.  If he gets nominated, most likely the Dems will again (as a friend put it) snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  Now, that's funny!  It's also tragic.

There will be lots of talk by the Dems about immigration, but probably none about Hillary (& the rest of our Gov't) supporting the 2009 coup in Honduras.  The result was corruption, neoliberal privatization, thugs, gangs, murders, and unemployment.  No wonder many common people there are fleeing their homeland.  In 2016, we were still giving millions to that thug gov't.
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If the last several weeks are any indication, the election in 2020 again will be primarily about personalities, not issues.  Get ready for another sham election.  It's plain to me why 50% of eligible voters don't vote.  The whole thing is a farce.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well


Thursday, June 20, 2019

FINALLY---Someone in Congress Asks the Right Question


U.S. Congressional Representative, Ted Lieu of California, asked a Trump Admin official (in a Hearing) the following:  "Under the Constitution, does the President have the authority to declare war?".  The Trump guy hemmed, hawed, beat around the bush, and never answered the query.  Then Rep. Lieu said he would make it easy:  "The Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war, right?".  More hemming & hawing from the U.S. Envoy to Iran.  Kudos to Representative Lieu.

Those who rely on the War Powers Resolution (often called the War Powers Act), or any other "resolution", to declare war are violating the Constitution and their Oath of Office.  In our system of government, it isn't up to the President to decide when to go to war.  The Founders believed that could be subject to abuse, and so they made certain that only Congress had that power.  At least then, We the People supposedly would be represented in the decision.  Plus, Congress was not given the authority to transfer that power to the Executive.  The President only has power to manage a war...once Congress has declared war.  Finally, no Law supercedes the U.S. Constitution.

According to recent News reports, Trump & Crew are considering using the 2001 Resolution as authority to go to war with Iran.  That's ludicrous.  Not only is it ludicrous (and illegal) because of the paragraph immediately above, but also because that Resolution had absolutely nothing to do with Iran.  Nothing at all.

The last time Congress declared war was in December, 1941.  Over the decades since then, members of our Gov't have ignored the war clause of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution of the United States.  That means each of them has violated his/her Oath of Office.  Very few people seem to care.

The case for war with Iran is so flimsy that it really doesn't exist.  The Warmongers' efforts to make the case have a strong stink about them. More importantly, the President does not have the Constitutional authority to declare war on any nation.  Once any part of our bedrock Supreme Law of the Land is by-passed, then the same can happen to any other part.  Hello.  This whole scenario reeks of "The Grand Chessboard:  American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives".  Empire on steroids.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Saturday, June 15, 2019

The Biggest Flaw in the Constitution -OR- Here's How They Do It


In the last four years, I've posted this piece twice before the posting below.  It has been edited just a tiny bit .  I believe this essay is crucial in understanding how the Constitutional Republic of the USA essentially has been overthrown.  It all started as far back as Alexander Hamilton...and it's not any kind of "conspiracy".  It was (and still is) an in-plain-sight battle between those who believe in genuine democracy and those who believe in Rule by Oligarchs and Plutocrats.  The latter (who are not constrained by political Parties or labels) always have referred to the rest of us as "the little people".

"They" (in the title above) are the Neoliberals, NeoConservatives, and other Oligarchs who over decades and by sheer, disorganized, dumb luck have brought about a coup in our Government.  For years I wondered how so many unconstitutional laws could come into being in this Land with barely a peep of protest from anyone.  I think perhaps finally I've figured it out.  Over the years, now and again, I heard this-or-that politician mention the "necessary and proper" clause of the Constitution; but I never paid much attention to it until recently.

"The Congress shall have Power ... To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof."  [All emphasis added.]
~ Article I, Section 8, Clause 18, United States Constitution

The Powers mentioned in that clause, "...the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers...", are those delegated by We the People to our Federal Government.  They are the Enumerated Powers that we have given to the Congress, the Executive Branch, and the Judicial Branch.  The Government has only those Powers.  Unfortunately, going all the way back to our Founding Fathers, some have claimed that Article I Section 8 Clause 18 gives other, implied Powers to the Government.  Hamilton and Jefferson debated that very point.

Alexander Hamilton was the Founder who proposed that our Gov't should be that of a Monarchy; he wanted a King as our leader.  Luckily, that idea quickly was scrapped.  Nonetheless, Hamilton kept fighting for a central government bordering on dictatorial.  He wanted a central bank, and he claimed that Article I Section 8 Clause 18 gave the Gov't implied Powers.  Hamilton argued that the "sovereign" duties of a government implied the right to use means adequate to its ends, regardless of specific Enumerated Powers.  Jefferson opposed him at every turn until Hamilton was killed by Aaron Burr in a duel, July, 1804.  Nevertheless, the seed had been planted.  Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall and others promoted the idea that the Government had implied powers.  At times, the "necessary and proper" clause was referred to as the "elastic clause".

The idea eventually lost favor in the late 1800's up until the 1930's.  With the Roosevelt Administration, the "elastic clause" was back in favor... and as the Fed Gov't expanded, the idea became more and more the flavor of the day.  As that happened, "Legislative Absolutism" took hold more and more.  In 1901, Supreme Court Justice Harlan coined that term, warning of a time when unconstitutional laws would be passed as a matter of course.  He was right.

Any examination of the "necessary and proper" clause with a view toward common sense tells us that no additional Powers are implied by it.  Furthermore, it makes ZERO sense that so-called "implied" powers would be able to result in a law which would essentially nullify any specific written clause in the Supreme Law of the Land.  Finally, the use of "implied" powers apparently is virtually without limits.  It's whatever an indoctrinated, propagandized public will tolerate.

EXAMPLE---  The so-called PATRIOT Act essentially nullifies the Fourth Amendment.  Gathering of bulk data is permitted... without the people being intruded upon having to be suspects of any kind.  In addition, FBI Agents can write their own Search Warrants (called "National Security Letters")... the Fourth Amendment makes it clear that judges must issue those.  Finally, other portions of the Act violate the Due Process Clause of the Constitution.  [So do portions of the National Defense Authorization Act, the NDAA.]

All the "necessary and proper" clause is saying is this:  Congress can pass Laws in order to implement the specific Enumerated Powers that were delegated to them by We the People.  Nowhere does it say or imply that Laws contravening the Constitution also may be passed.  Only an attorney with no common sense would infer such a thing from that clause.  Both Hamilton and Marshall were attorneys.  [My admittedly limited experience with attorneys tells me that very few of them have any common sense whatsoever.  They appear to live in a very esoteric world; as with everything, I'm sure there are exceptions.]

In the "necessary and proper" clause, the "foregoing Powers" refers to the Enumerated Powers in clauses 1-17 of Article I Section 8.  "All other Powers" refers to Enumerated Powers in other parts of the Constitution...or, as the 18th clause puts it, "...vested by this Constitution...".  Nothing in this clause implies Powers that are not Enumerated.  That was Jefferson's position, and he was right on the mark.  The Monarchy-loving Hamilton thought otherwise.

So, here's the biggest flaw in our Constitution---
The following, or something similar, should have been added at the tail end of the "necessary and proper" clause and both the "commerce" and "general welfare" clauses:  "Nothing in this section should be construed to mean that the federal government has any powers other than those enumerated in the Constitution.".

My conclusion is that certain people in our political history wanted a way around the constraints of the Constitution.  It appears they desired a central government so strong that it bordered on dictatorial.  To achieve that objective, they inferred from primarily the "necessary and proper" clause, but also from the "commerce" and "general welfare" clauses, so-called implied powers.  I see that as pure BS.  I sincerely doubt that it was the intention of almost all our Founders to give the Government unknown, virtually unlimited Powers that could, in fact, contravene any of the listed or Enumerated Powers delegated by We the People.  That makes no sense... and more importantly, it makes the Constitution worthless.  The primary purpose of the Constitution is to restrain/constrain government; that's not possible if we accept the concept of "implied powers"... which can be almost anything.  

Unfortunately, "implied powers" has been the flavor of the day for decades & decades.  As well as some other people, Trump loves that flavor.  Most Presidents do.  Most people in both Houses of Congress do, too.  That's why we have so many unconstitutional Laws.  The Powers-That-Be have convinced themselves (and most Americans, it seems) that the bedrock of our Gov't, the Constitution of the United States of America, contains unknown, virtually unlimited, implied Powers.  There's no common sense in that view.

None of this bodes well for what is supposed to be a Free Society.  We are marching voluntarily straight into George Orwell's dystopian world.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Fed, JFK, the "United States Note", and the Upper Crust


The Fed Reserve has been ruining this country for over a hundred years.  Very few know about it, or if they do, understand it...so very few care anything about it.  That's understandable.  The Fed's sole job is to transfer wealth to the Upper Crust...even Bernie Sanders, a guy who's all for "government", has said that.

Just before he was killed, JFK started by-passing the Fed by having Treasury & the U.S. Mint issue the "United States Note" directly...without the Fed as Middle Man.  [Notice the top of the bill.]
I had several of those "Kennedy bills" (in smaller denominations:) back in the '60s; wish I would have kept them.  I'll bet they're worth much more than face value today.  ☺

The Fed was royally pissed.  The U.S. Note was in direct competition with the Fed Reserve Note.  Had he lived, JFK would have dried up the Fed; they would have become obsolete, & their guaranteed-by-law 6% annual dividend would have evaporated.  All that has caused a conspiracy theory (of the assassination) involving Bankers & the Administration of the Fed Reserve.  It's possible, I suppose, but how likely I don't know.  We'll never know the truth about JFK's death.

p.s.  The 6% dividend goes to the 12 Fed Branch Banks AND the 25 Fed Sub-Branch Banks---37 in all, & all privately owned.  The only thing governmental about the Fed is the Admin Office in DC...and as Greenspan said on PBS yrs ago, "No one has authority over us."...that includes the President.  The Congress conducts oversight Hearings, but if you've watched the clips of them on YouTube, you know they aren't worth much.  On critical questions, the Fed usually beats around the bush, never actually answering any significant question.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Sunday, May 26, 2019

What the Next USA President Should Do


Use the Office and/or its Bully Pulpit for---
1.  promoting laws to break up the Mega Banks & Mega Tech Companies (clearly they are monopolies);
2.  the cessation of all Trade Wars;
3.  the withdrawal of combat troops from the Middle East & Central Asia, as well as cutting the number of our military bases on foreign soil by half---that number is now about 800-900 or so---and the military budget by half (currently that budget is more than the next seven largest military budgets in the world combined);
4.  the reinstatement of Nuke Treaties;
5.  ending of our Central Bank, as JFK started to do (we don't need a Middle Man to produce Gov't currency... especially one who charges interest);
6.  a return to some version of the Gold Standard (the amount of gold in the world doesn't prohibit that...only the artificially depressed price of gold does);
7.  the end of blanket surveillance by the NSA, CIA, FBI, and any other Agency;
8.  a return to the Constitutional requirement of Congress having to declare war before troops are sent to war;
9.  a repeal of the "Real ID Act";
10.  a reinstatement of EPA Rules trashed by Trump & Crew;
11.  policies/laws addressing the threat of Climate Change;
12.  promoting the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Banking Act;
13.  the reinstatement of "Net Neutrality";
14.  promoting the establishment of Banking as a Public Utility;
15.  the establishment of the Internet as a Public Utility;
16.  the complete revision of the IRS, or maybe, the elimination of it;
17.  promoting laws that require Congress to read legislative bills before voting on them, and to vote only on one subject/bill at a time (instead of attaching unpopular bills as riders to bills that are guaranteed to pass);
18.  making pot completely legal, and codeine an OTC drug (as it was earlier in my life);
19.  reducing our nuclear arsenal;
20.  promoting laws that prohibit Usury (laws we once had);
21.  prohibiting Gov't interference in foreign elections, prohibiting coups, & prohibiting assassinations by the Executive Branch (according to the Constitution, only Congress legally can order assassinations);
22.  promoting laws that establish Term Limits for all elected officials in the Fed Gov't;
23.  promoting laws that prohibit electronic, black box voting... use paper ballots only;
24.  limiting Executive Orders by Presidents to only the two described in Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution:  the Pres can require written reports by his Dept Heads, and can grant pardons to those convicted of Fed crimes (those are the only two described in the Constitution);
25.  policies which abide by International Law, and in particular, recognize the authority of the International Criminal Court (we didn't mind doing that when we set up the Nuremberg Trials).

Those are only some of the things the next President should do, but they would be a great start toward returning this country to sanity.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Sanctions Are Acts of War


Modern-day "sanctions" should be thought of as essentially the same as laying siege to a major city in the distant past.  They are acts of war.  Our Fed Government's sanctions relative to Venezuela and Iran are nothing but Empire Building...egregious interference for the purpose of maintaining "American Primacy" in the world.

When a government interferes with another country's economy and finance, and even threatens allies who might not agree with that approach, the whole thing becomes a de facto declaration of war.  In the cases cited above, it's interventionism of the worst kind--- strictly to advance "American Primacy and its geostrategic imperatives".  It's the main reason our Gov't keeps sticking its big nose into the affairs of the Middle East, Central Asia, South America, and Central America.

It appears that both Neoconservatives and Neoliberals look upon Brzezinski's book, The Grand Chessboard (1997), as the Bible in terms of geopolitics and our Neocolonial Empire.  In this Neocolonial Age, our Gov't doesn't have to directly control a country via politics or military force (as in the old colonial times).  Now it can do so indirectly by means of economics, finance, and propaganda.  No matter who is in power in DC, that's the game.  It's wrong, and except for a fairly brief time around the turn of the Twentieth Century (1898-1906 or thereabouts), it's un-American.  [Perhaps I should, but I'm not counting our very early history of so-called "Manifest Destiny", when the Powers-That-Be simply assumed that this whole continent belonged to us...because "God" was on "our side".]

Sanctions can lead to a shooting war.  Here's a message for our Warmongers; it's taken from the Bobby Darin song, "Simple Song of Freedom".
Let it fill the air
Tell the people everywhere
We the People here don't want a war

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Thursday, May 9, 2019

896 Million Dollars PER DAY


That's how much our Fed Gov't pays in interest on the National Debt...every day.  And yet, DC politicians of both major Parties say the Debt doesn't matter.

By the way, the overwhelming bulk of Personal Income Taxes goes to pay that Interest.  That's the main purpose of Personal Income Taxes.  Central Banks, other Mega Banks, and other Mega Corporations are the primary recipients of those monies.  They hold the vast majority of Bonds & Treasury Notes.  ["Bonds" have maturities greater than 10 years, while "Treasury Notes" have maturities from 2-10 years.]

Gov't Services are paid for by Corporate Taxes (such as they are...Amazon paid zero Income Tax in 2018), excise taxes (highway/gas, liquor, tobacco, firearms, etc.), fees, imposts, duties, and more borrowed money...on which you pay the interest...$896 million per day this year.

Alan Greenspan once made these statements (paraphrased): the USA will never default on its Debt because when we need money, we simply print it; we can guarantee no default, but we cannot guarantee the purchasing power of those dollars.  [Right, Alan, and that's the catch or rub, isn't it?]

Every fiat (or debased) currency in history eventually failed.  The "money" became essentially worthless because the issuing government wound up printing too much of it.  That's currency inflation; price inflation is the result of too much currency inflation.  The more dollars there are, the less each dollar is worth.  Prices then go up in order for producers just to keep even, never mind get ahead.  Compared to the 1913 Dollar, today's Dollar is worth about three cents.  That's why the pair of Levi's jeans I bought in 1961 cost me $3.95, and the Levi's jeans I bought a few days ago were $49.95.  The cost of production (per unit produced) didn't go up; that cost has gone down over the years due to automation, essentially flat wages, foreign factories, etc.  Prices on everything have gone up because the Dollar becomes worth less & less every year.  That's how fiat currency operates.

Currently, we're at the tail end of today's world fiat currency system.  The whole thing (worldwide) is based on so much Debt that's it's unsustainable.  All fiat currencies in circulation today are becoming more & more worthless... because each year they are worth less.  Hello.  Global Debt is now close to $250 trillion; the entire world's GDP is about $84 trillion.  Do the math.  Such a system will fail.  DEBT will kill it.  Governments cannot simply "print" currency to get out of horrendous Debt because the result would be hyperinflation of prices; purchasing power would drop to within a micron of zero.  That's the rub.

Some sort of Great Re-Set is coming, and with it, most likely a worldwide Depression.  Can't say exactly when, but it's virtually guaranteed...all because of the massive Debt Bubble caused by fiat currency and reckless Powers-That-Be.

Not only my opinion.  Be prepared.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

"War is a Racket" Redux


I posted this essay about a year & a half ago.  It's still brutally relevant today, especially with the NeoCons in the current Administration--- Bolton, Pompeo, Pence and the like ---up to their usual Warmongering.
..............................
"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's 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 can be found online.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well
p.s.  I'm an Army Vet and a gun owner.  Not only Vets, but ALL of us need to wake up to the fact that War (especially the current & recent ones) is not about "spreading democracy".  Instead, it's about economics and finance.  The main beneficiaries of it are Mega Corporations, especially Mega Banks.