Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Neoliberalism Has Ruled For Decades - Is That Nightmare Over?

Preface
Below is an email I sent family and friends yesterday, explaining why this is my last essay on this blog.  Individual Sovereignty started a bit over thirteen years ago.  It's time to change horses... but first---
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Introduction
Only a bit over six minutes in length (too brief to be a complete explanation), this clip to some degree explains the neoliberal coup.  Pay particular attention to Jimmy Carter's short statement.  Carter was elected President largely because of the efforts of David Rockefeller and Z. Brzezinski (author of The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives).
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The Email (Title:  Maybe, Maybe Not), edited
The end of neoliberalism?---
 We can always hope.  It should have collapsed after Pinochet in Chile, or at least after the Crash in 2008.  Corporatists, politicians, economists of a certain flavor, the Corporate Media, and others keep it hanging on... without naming it.

Neoliberalism has brought us lost jobs & manufacturing, income inequality, austerity, increased susceptibility to disease, environmental destruction, increased military interventionism, privatization, Neofeudalism, and a weaker, less resilient economy... among many other ills.  

Prominent Neoliberals include/included:  Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, Walter Lippmann, Kissinger, Carter, Brzezinski, David Rockefeller, Milton Friedman, Reagan, Thatcher, H.W. Bush, both Clintons, Gore, M. Albright, Robert Rubin, Alan Greenspan, Obama, Biden, Larry Summers, T. Geithner, Pelosi, McConnell, most all Mega Bank CEOs, etc.  The Cheney-Bush-Wolfowitz cabal was NeoCon, and the difference between that & NeoLib is almost nil.  Trump isn't a NeoCon or a NeoLib.  He has no ideology at all.  The closest one would be straight-up Fascism.

As you can see, the term "neoliberal" transcends the old labels of Repub, Dem, Conservative, Libertarian, & Liberal.  That's not only my opinion.  Many articles have been written on the subject in numerous, prestigious publications... The New Yorker, The Atlantic (founded as The Atlantic Monthly), NYT, The New Republic, The Guardian, etc.  Here are a few of those pieces---
https://newrepublic.com/article/155970/collapse-neoliberalism  (neoliberalism on both the Right & the Left)

Neoliberals are all across the political spectrum, and have been for decades.  I believe anyone not fully aware of the details in all the above is behind on the learning curve in politics.  So, after posting this--- maybe in the next few days--- on Individual Sovereignty, I'm going to leave that blog and start a new one.  [The theme of it will be something along the lines of "Ecology and World Survival".]  I've concluded that neither the Right or the Left (on Main Street) truly understands the unquestionably dominant economic and political philosophy/ideology in the world (including the USA) today--- neoliberalism, and the fact that it has displaced all the old labels.  I'm growing weary of trying to explain it.  Time to move on.  ☺
p.s.  Neoliberalism is not "new", and it's not "liberal".
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Not only my opinion.  Stay Well
p.s.  Many thanks to those who have followed this blog for years, and to those who visited however briefly.  Within a month or so, I hope to have the new site up and running.  I'll post a link on this blog when appropriate.  If you have any interest in Human Ecology and Environmental Science, please have a look.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

"Planet of the Humans" - Overwhelmingly Right on the Mark

Preface
This isn't really a Michael Moore film (link below).  He was only an Executive Producer, not the Director or primary Producer.  This is a Jeff Gibbs documentary; he was co-producer of "Fahrenheit 9/11" & "Bowling for Columbine".  He's a long-standing and legitimate environmentalist.  [Side Note:  my own environmentalism started about 1970.]

Because it's critical of primarily mega-sized Green Energy projects, the political Left already is attacking the film.  "Misleading... dangerous... destructive."  More than Mega Green Energy, though, this documentary is disapproving of the developed world's pursuit of seemingly unlimited growth and ever-expanding consumptionThose are Sacred Cows, and almost no one is willing to risk challenging them.  Too bad, because they need to be challenged above all else.  The problem is not only fossil fuels.  Pursuing infinite growth (including infinite population growth) and expanding consumption on finite Earth is dooming us to disaster.

In addition to everyday people, Gibbs interviews authors in this field, academics/scholars in sociology, anthropology, engineering, ecology, et. al., as well as experts in industry, social psychology, the Law, and environmental activism (such as Bill McKibben and RFK, Jr.).  On top of that, he includes relevant News and/or Briefing clips of well-known politicians (Bloomberg, Gore, Obama, and others), plus industry spokesmen.

The only error I've found in the film so far is a brief segment that seems to claim sewage sludge is not "biomass".  It is biomass, Mr. Gibbs.  In my view, that's a minor error.  Overall, this is a "turning-point" film that's right on the mark.  I suspect that John Muir (Conservationist and Founder of the Sierra Club), Bucky Fuller (genius inventor and author of "Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth"), Roger Revelle (pioneering climate scientist who studied global warming as early as 1957), and Barry Commoner (Biologist/Ecologist and author of "The Closing Circle", 1971, in which he said that the U.S. economy needed to be restructured to be in harmony with Nature) all would agree.  I'm guessing the critics of this film know little to nothing about any of those great men.  Point being:  I suggest everyone should ignore the neophyte environmentalists (& others) who are criticizing this crucial film.

A significant portion of the doc legitimately criticizes the burning of whole trees (after they're shredded/ground into chips) in biomass power plants.  Trees are the last thing we want to use for that purpose.  They convert atmospheric CO2 into O2; burning them creates CO2.  Hello.
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Below is an email (slightly edited) I sent to family & a few friends encouraging them to watch this film.  The title of the email is in quotes.
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"Probably the Most Controversial and Important Film You'll See This Decade"---
Shortly after it starts, if you think you know what it will be about... you don't.  Plus, don't miss the postscripts interspersed among the film credits at the end.  Finally, if the orangutan scenario close to the end doesn't get to you, you're not very human... or humane.


A few things this doc illustrated to me (or reminded me of)---

1.  Paul Ehrlich (author of "The Population Bomb", 1968) was correct; it's only his timeline that was a bit off.
2.  The political Left gets propagandized probably just as much as the political Right... & often buy into it.
3.  Industrial-sized Green energy has monumental problems.
4.  The Powers-That-Be (including those on the Left) are tinkering around the edges of humanity's greatest physical/material problem.
5.  Just as important as (or perhaps more important than) our sources of energy are:  our consumption & lifestyle; and our attitude toward life other than humans, as well as toward Nature in general.  This philosophy in the developed world of ever-expanding consumption and infinite economic growth (along with infinite population growth) needs to be discarded.  Even dolts know that Earth is finite, not infinite.
6.  Many things, if not most, are gray rather than black or white.
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Not only my opinion.
Think out-of-the-box.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Despite Ongoing Propaganda, COVID-19 Numbers STILL GOING UP

Preface
Numbers below are as of April 28, 2020 at 6:00 PM, Mountain Time, USA.  Compare them to those of my April 25th Post.
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USA:
Known cases--- 1.03 million
Deaths--- 58,947 (over one quarter of the world's total)

The numbers keep going up.  Nothing has peaked.

WORLD:
Known cases--- 3.08 million
Deaths--- 214,000

The total number of known cases (and deaths) keeps going up.
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A few facts to keep in mind---
1.  Most people who catch it suffer to varying degrees, and recover.
2.  Too many younger & younger folks (and others) are catching it and dying.
3.  COVID-19 is at least 10 times deadlier than the flu.  [So far this flu season in the USA, over 20,000 people have died from that bug.]
4.  Is it now safe to congregate in large groups?  No.  No.  No.
5.  Much more testing is needed in order to get a handle on this whole situation.
6.  Should people still wear masks?  Yes, definitely.
7.  Should all other precautions still be taken?  Yes, no question about it.
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Trump and Crew are wrong on almost everything they say about this new virus.  Don't believe them.  Their pronouncements primarily are nothing but Edward Bernays style propaganda geared toward the next election.

Not only my opinion.  Stay Well
p.s.  For any new readers here, while not a virologist or epidemiologist, I do have an extensive background in Biology and Environmental Science.  Unlike Rush Limbaugh ["It's just a common cold, folks."], I generally know what I'm talking about in those and related fields of knowledge.  😊

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Latest Numbers of USA & World COVID-19 KNOWN Cases, and Deaths

Preface
Numbers below are as of April 25, 2020 at 3:30 AM, Mountain Time, USA
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USA:
Known cases--- 927,000
Deaths--- 52,400 (over one quarter of the world's total)

One to two days ago, known cases were a bit over 800,000; deaths were close to 50,000.  The numbers keep going up.  Nothing has peaked.

WORLD:
Known cases--- 2.79 million
Deaths--- 196,000

The total number of known cases (and deaths) keeps going up.
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Unless someone is talking about a relatively limited geographical area, anyone who claims that covid-19 has "peaked" is wrong.  It certainly isn't true for our entire country.  The numbers keep going up.
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Not only my opinion.  Stay Well

Friday, April 24, 2020

Trump Outdoes His Former Ignorant Statements

As reported on Democracy Now (today)---

"And then I see the disinfectant... knocks it [the virus] out in a minute...is there some way we can do that... by injection... inside [the body]... almost a cleaning."  ~ DJT

The above statement was toward the end of Trump's announcement about new research to be done on covid-19 by Homeland Security.  Perhaps it was more of his gaslighting, meant to confuse people.  Or, perhaps it was simply another measure of his utter ignorance regarding human biology in particular, and Science in general.  In any case, these kinds of outrageous announcements might encourage uneducated people who may be feeling desperate to try it on their own.  Hopefully, that will never happen.

In all my years of following American politics, I've never heard anything more stupid than this bit by DJT.  Absolutely unbelievable.  This is the man who has access to the nuclear war trigger.  Think about that.  Not only that, he's the man who asked, "Why can't we use them [nuclear weapons]?".

Shortly after The Don's imbecilic remark, Lysol issued the following warning:
"...under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion, or any other route)."

Even a four-legged donkey (or a puppet for the Financial Sector) should be able to beat Trump in the next election... that is, if there's any common sense at all left in the American people.

Not only my opinion.  Stay Well

Friday, April 17, 2020

"Now That We Have Passed The Peak In New Cases..." ~ DJT


Our "genius" President apparently has no clue as to how to read data; and, it looks as though his advisors don't either.  Or perhaps they informed him otherwise and, as usual, he's not listening.

Mr. President:  as a country, we aren't even close to the peak in new cases.  Why?  Because we have no idea how many people have been exposed to, and are carriers of, covid-19.  Why?  Because the paltry amount of testing you keep bragging about is nowhere near the amount needed.  We don't have to test every person in our Land, but the less than one percent of the population tested thus far is inadequate for making the statement you made regarding the peak of new cases.  "Peak" means the highest possible number, Mr. Pres.  In case you're ignoring it, the number of cases goes up every single day.  Hello.

On top of that, and again, in case you're ignoring it, the number of deaths in a 24-hour period (not total deaths) went from 2,400--- 100 per hour--- to over 4,500.  Nothing has peaked yet.  It's a fairly safe bet that at least hundreds of thousands of people that we don't know about are infected with this virus.  My best guess:  that number is in the millions.  Very shortly, the total number of known cases in the USA will be over one million.  That number will continue to increase.  We have no natural immunity to this new virus, and so far, no vaccine either.

Just because the increase in cases has become arithmetical (rather than exponential/ geometric) in 2 or 3 cities does not mean that's what will happen countrywide tomorrow, next week, or next month.  Plus, when we consider the gross lack of following precautionary measures (social distancing, masks, disinfection, etc.) that's going on outside those few cities mentioned above, the whole situation gets very bleak.  Before too long, the chance of another exponential surge in new cases is extremely high.  Such a surge will be due primarily to our Leaders' poor response to (and attitude toward) the pandemic.  Too many people (including our "Leaders" in DC) still are taking this whole thing way too lightly.  That pretty much guarantees another exponential increase in both cases and deaths... soon... very soon.  If everyone doesn't start taking this pandemic seriously, that exponential/geometric increase will continue.

Wake up... or, stop lying.

Not only my opinion.  Everyone Be Well

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The Absurd Gaslighter Trump Falls Flat AGAIN


Kudos to Paula Reid (CBS reporter) and to The Intercept, an alternative News organization---  https://theintercept.com/2020/04/14/trump-pr-stunt-falls-flat-white-house-video-exposes-failure-prepare-pandemic/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=The%20Intercept%20Newsletter
At least watch the embedded video clips in the piece at the link above.

The above article clearly shows the absurdity of Donald John Trump.  His egomaniacal antics at the Press Briefing demonstrate not only his ongoing psychological gaslighting, but also his utter incompetence.  Apparently, Trump thinks not only his remaining base supporters are stupid and uneducated, but the entire country as well.

When pressed by Reid about the glaring gaps in his self-promotional video, Trump's primary response was:  "You're so disgraceful... you know you're a fake".  Launching personal attacks is one way that gaslighters handle legitimate criticism.  Another way is to completely ignore verifiable instances of failure... key instances.  Too bad for Trump, though--- this time all his efforts fell flat.

It's incredible and baffling how this man believes he can sell the idea that his handling of the covid-19 crisis was spot-on from the very beginning.  Even a drugged chimpanzee [😊] could see through that outright lie.  Unfortunately, if a lie is repeated by a cult leader enough times, then some people (especially cult followers) come to believe it.  Despite that, I don't see how that's possible in this particular case.  Trump finally made a claim that is so absurd not even his die-hard supporters will believe it.  At least, if there's any reasonableness at all left in this Land--- any critical thinking skills still remaining--- that's how it should play out.  If it doesn't, that will be one more reason why many Plutocrats and Oligarchs have (for the last 50 or so years) suppressed & poo-pooed the idea of a Liberal Arts education.  They didn't want any critical thinkers graduating from colleges and universities, and in general, the broader one's education, the more one possesses critical thinking skills.

Having critical thinkers would not be favorable for the implementation of propaganda... which now reigns supreme.  It wasn't any kind of "conspiracy"; it was right out in the open for all to see.  Basically, the whole process was people with mutual interests working (primarily independent of each other) toward a common goal.  In large part, the goal was reached.  Mostly due to a lack of sufficient critical thinking skills on our part, we now have a President who is the King of Elected Gaslighters, makes outrageous claims and contradictory statements, spews out lies as though there's no tomorrow, can't handle the slightest bit of legitimate criticism, usurps unconstitutional power on an unprecedented scale, has totally alienated all our key Allies, launches personal attacks and smears as though he's a spoiled eighth-grader, is a crass bully, and is an Autocrat Wannabe.  On top of all that, he may have a 50-50 chance of being re-elected... when his chances in any rational society would be ZERO.  I find it all tragic, sad, revealing, and darkly hilarious.  It's Bizarro World... again... and eerily Orwellian.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well
p.s.  I'm not a Biden supporter, either.

Monday, April 13, 2020

COVID-19 Has a Message for the Politicians in the Current Administration


STAY OUT of the realm of Science.  Why?  Because you don't know a damned thing about it...and you don't pay any heed to experts in the health field who know quite a bit about Science.

March 7, 2020 in the USA---
Confirmed cases:  401... and 19 deaths.

April 2, 2020 in the USA---
Confirmed cases:  over 239,000... and over 5,800 deaths.

April 13, 2020 in the USA---
Confirmed cases:  over 500,000... and over 21,000 deaths.

Meanwhile and presently, Trump is ramping up his psychological gaslighting.  He blames the Democrats and the Media for not taking the virus seriously.  This is what gaslighters do:  they accuse others of the very thing for which they, themselves, are to blame.  Then they repeat it over and over.  He's now saying he took bold action by banning China travel.  He ignores:  his shipment in March of tons of PPE to Asia; prior to that, his utterly dismissive statements re covid-19; his failure to take Executive action early on re the manufacture of ventilators; his complete--- & ongoing--- failure to facilitate testing for the virus; his total disregard for the wearing of masks; his complete lack of understanding as to how this virus spreads; etc.  He also ignores the fact that evidence suggests the virus entered the U.S. from Europe, not China.

Pence is just as (or perhaps, almost as) bad as Trump re covid-19.  The last recent statement I saw on the News from him was:  "No one [on Main Street] needs to wear a mask.".  Mr. V.P., here's what the scientists say:  everyone needs to wear a mask.  That includes you.  Do us a favor and put a gag inside yours, and Trump's, too.  Keeping the two of you from talking would be far better than anything either of you have done so far in office.  😊

Given the exponential progression of the numbers above, it should be painfully obvious that Trump, Pence, Larry Kudlow, Mike Pompeo, etc. are light years behind on the covid-19 learning curve.  They don't have a clue, and none of them appear to have any respect for Science or scientists.  That's probably because they all (except for Trump) seem to be fundamentalist, religious nutcakes... but most importantly, they all (including Trump) appear to worship the idols of Business, Money, and Power.  From all appearances, nothing is more important to them... especially the health of those who (in their eyes) are below their station in life.

To make matters worse, Trump & Crew now are working on a plan that in all likelihood will spread covid-19 even more.  Luckily, re-opening the economy is not within their power; however, they can promote the idea with great vigor.  Of course we need to get people back to work; that's a given.  But if we do it too soon, it will be disastrous.  What's needed now is much more of a direct infusion of cash to the American public.  Better yet, a Guaranteed Basic Income.  We can't afford that, you say?  It will make people lazy, you say?  The work (for 20 years) of the economist, Guy Standing, says otherwise on both counts.  People work harder when they have some minimal, basic economic security.  It really is time to think out-of-the-box.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well
p.s.  Again, for any new visitors here (& a reminder to everyone else), I'm not a Democrat or a Republican.  Plus, I have a Science background... both in the field and academically.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Trump HAD TO do a 180 Turn, Plus the Coming Depression

Preface
For any new readers here, I'm not a Republican or a Democrat.  I, however, have been a keen observer of American politics since 1956.  I'm a strong believer in Capitalism, but not the Crony-Casino-Derivative Capitalism we have today... which is nothing but a racket, and promulgated by the public and private Plutocrats who run this country.
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For the past two+ months, the Administration's lies (or at best, completely ignorant statements) about covid-19 continued on, and on.  Finally, Trump and Crew were forced by reality to do a 180 degree turn on their view of the subject.  No one any longer believed what they had been saying.

Examples of previous statements---
1.  The virus is "tightly contained" in the U.S.
2.  It will be "gone by April".
3.  One day soon, it will "just disappear".
4.  Unemployment will be "nowhere near 20%".
5.  "We're doing very good [in handling the crisis], very, very good.".  ~ DJT  I assume he meant, "very well".  No, Mr. President, you're not doing well in handling much of anything... not even presently.

Now, Trump has jumped onto the bandwagon... with too little, too late.

Here's the current situation for the USA---
1.  COVID-19 confirmed cases:  over 239,000.  Total number of cases:  unknown.
2.  Deaths:  over 5,800 (which far surpasses those of the 9-11 attacks).
[Numbers above were updated at 8:30 PM, Mountain Time.]
3.  Testing still lagging behind.
4.  PPE for med facilities and First Responders still inadequate.
5.  Unemployment projected/predicted to be about 30% in June.  [It was 25% in the 1930's Great Depression.]
6.  The probability is high that, if we're not already in one, by this summer we'll be in a full-blown economic Depression.  The metrics are all there.

Trump called covid-19 the "Chinese virus".  I guess that makes H1N1 (swine flu) the "American virus".  It, too, was a pandemic; it lasted a bit over a year & a half.  By Trump's reasoning, arguably we could refer to the current situation with covid-19 in the USA as Trump's Epidemic.  His treatment of most of the crisis thus far has been dismissive, inadequate, and ignorant.  Had he taken things seriously in the past 2 - 3 months, we would be in much better shape at the present time.  Until just recently, his main concern has been for Wall Street, not Main Street.

March 7th the U.S. had 401 confirmed cases and 19 deaths.  Compare that to the numbers above.  Because of a slow initial response by the Fed Gov't, this is only going to get worse... much worse.

We can't blame only Trump & Crew, though, for this public health disaster.  For decades, public health funding has been cut again and again and again.  Neoliberal policies promulgated by the Oligarchs and Plutocrats (both public & private) have been the reason.  The cuts started out years ago in the mental health field, but quickly moved to include physical health as well.  Why?  I only can speculate, but consider the following.

1.  The Super Rich live in a different universe than do the rest of us.  I doubt many of them care much about people who have to use public health facilities.  They probably consider such people leeches of some sort.  As long as the Rich can get private health care for themselves, they don't care about public health care.  I mean, in general.

2.  Plus, the Plutocrats most likely don't see any benefit to themselves in having public money spent on such facilities.  They would rather have it spent on something that allows them to get a piece of the pie... such as war machines, highways, or subsidies for the fossil fuel industry... just to name a few items.

3.  In general, Plutocrats/Oligarchs are Neoliberals, and Neoliberalism greatly favors privatization.  The goal is to privatize the whole world, and that goal is well on its way to being met.

Then we have the non-resilient, weak, and generally poor condition of our economy... headed for a Depression.  That can't all be blamed on Trump & Crew, either.  For decades, both public and private Oligarchs have been (in general) converting our economy to one of just-in-time production--- in whatever factories that haven't moved South or overseas--- and to one of suppressed wages & salaries (which means people cannot save for a rainy day), and financialization, and part-time jobs, and reduced benefits, and deregulation (especially regarding Banking), and job insecurity.  As a result, we simply cannot weather much of any type of economic and/or financial storm.  The condition of our economy is almost always extremely precarious, and that's been true for years.  All it takes is one Black Swan to bring it down.

So, what are the general solutions to all of the above?  Specific solutions would have to be proposed by people with specific expertise in several fields.  In general, though, it seems to me the following would be helpful.  First (and I've said it many times here), we must stop drinking the Edward Bernays style Propaganda Kool Aid coming from Oligarchs (public & private) in both major political Parties.  Second, we must get rid of Neoliberalism; it benefits only the Rich and Powerful.  The rest of us get austerity.  Incidentally, in practical terms, there's very little difference between NeoCons and NeoLibs.  Third, we must recognize that our economy has been almost always a Mixed Economy, meaning a mixture of both capitalism and democratic socialism.  [See *** footnote below.]  In that system, unlike Crony-Casino-Derivative Capitalism or Totalitarian Socialism, we can have--- among other benefits--- both a strong economy and a well-prepared and strong public health complex.  It's all possible, but not without ignoring plutocratic propaganda.

*** For any who disagree with the contention that we have some socialism in our system, I offer this---  what do think public roads, public water systems, the VA Health Care System, Social Security, etc. are?  They are socialism in action. I would not prefer to have all roads/highways as private toll roads, maintained by a gazillion different private companies with a gazillion different prices/fees for use.  Would you?  Some utilities must be publicly maintained and operated or else the public, sooner or later, will wind up getting shafted.  Plus, for some things it's virtually impossible to have "competition" play any role at all.  For example, interstate highways--- do you believe that we could have a dozen or more roads--- side by side--- with different fees competing for your dollar, roads running from, say, L.A. to Chicago?  I don't think so.  That's why we have public roads, and that's democratic socialism.  Please get over any distaste for the word, "socialism".  It has been in our system for decades and decades.  Even in the 1800's, we had socialism for the Rich.  Railroads were given vast tracts of lands (on both sides of the tracks, extending way beyond what they needed just for construction) by the Fed Gov't because the politicians wanted to encourage such construction... they knew the value of the railroad system to the country.  Hence, a massive "Handout".  That's socialism.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

President Trump Has Earned a New Title


King Donald the Ignorant
He had some tough competition for the title, but beat 'em all out.  A close second was the Texas Lieutenant Governor.  He basically stated that we should all go back to work.  Even though old people would be put at risk of dying from covid-19's increased spread, they should be willing to do that for the sake of the economy.  Really, Lt. Governor?  You really said that?  You, an elected public official.  Good grief.
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Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Mnuchin is Wrong About Both COVID-19 & the Recession


He recently claimed---
1.  The economy should rebound once the new virus is "contained".  [There are two assumptions in that view:  the bug will be contained; and our economy will or should rebound.]
2.  The designation, Recession, is not "terribly relevant" because it's the gov't that is effectively shutting down large parts of the economy.  The downturn is not due to underlying economic conditions.  Instead, it's due to measures necessary to slow down the spread of the virus.
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All the above sounds reasonable, but is it?  Consider the following.

1.  Containment does not mean eradication.  It means limiting the virus to a smaller number of areas.  The way things are looking, it's too late for that.  [Nevertheless, "flattening the curve" is important.]  This virus, officially designated by WHO as SARS CoV-2 or SARS 2, spreads easily and rapidly.  [SARS = Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.]  Too many younger people (in particular) appear to be spreading it all over...because, since most cases of infection are mild to moderate, the younger crowd seems to think it's no big deal.  The fact is, covid-19 (SARS CoV-2) is spreading like wildfire both here and globally.  Containment is not likely.  The best we can hope for is slowing the spread and rate of infection (flattening the curve), thus giving the medical establishment time to get caught up, so to speak.  That means rapid testing, isolation, and more PPE (Personal Protective Equipment...for health care staff).

2.  The slow initial response re testing, and the continued slowness of testing, means that this virus is now in all 50 States here...and in people who currently are showing no symptoms whatsoever.  Add to that the instances where people simply are not practicing social distancing at all.  Except for the three cities with large numbers of known infections, I'm mostly convinced that too many people (everywhere else) are not taking proper precautions.  I know for sure they're not in this little valley where I live.

3.  An unknown number of people infected with this bug are going to work.  They're showing no symptoms yet.  Some people with symptoms are going to work anyway; they have little financial choice.

4.  Bottom line re covid-19 in the USA:  it already has become widely spread, and continues to do so.

5.  The Administration is reluctant to use the word, Recession (which we're already in); arguably, we're rapidly approaching a full-blown, economic Depression.  [The 1930's Great Depression, which lasted about ten years, was not so named until halfway through it.]  There are at least two economies in the USA:  one for the top 20% (or so) of income earners; and one for the bottom 80%.  When Trump & Crew refer to "our great economy, the greatest in our history", they're referencing the economy of the top tier, not that of the overwhelming majority of Americans.  Even then, they're inaccurate.  Our greatest economy was during the Golden Age of American Capitalism, from about 1946 to the "Nixon Shock" in 1971.  The Trump years aren't even in the same universe, never mind ballpark, as that economic boom.  By the way, mega biz was taxed at up to 90% then... and they still prospered.

6.  In several fairly recent past posts, I've detailed the reasons for the contention immediately above.  No time or energy to repeat all that, but here's a partial, truncated list of those reasons.

a.  Record national/public, corporate, and personal DEBT...and it's all coming home to roost.  U.S. TOTAL Debt is now over $76.8 trillion.

b.  50% of workers in the USA make less than $33,882 per year.  The Middle Class continues to shrink.  (See:  usdebtclock.org)

c.  The Gov't Jobs Report fails to identify how many jobs are part-time, temporary, or both.  Too many people are struggling with two or more jobs.

d.  The unemployment stats put out by the Feds are always way too low.  See this post:  http://individualsovereignty.blogspot.com/2018/02/the-real-state-of-union-rather-than.html

e.  Many countries are dumping Dollars, forming their own currency exchange agreements, and their own Trade agreements.  Trump has so alienated them that they are by-passing the USA.  Even prior to The Don, the same thing was going on in order to oppose American hegemony.  We are becoming isolated in the world economy.  Other countries are tired of our Govt's bullying.

In addition---

7.  Mega Banks and other Mega Corporations do little to nothing to help increase the number of good-paying jobs and manufacturing in this country.  Despite the current Admin's rhetoric, factories & jobs continue to flow South or overseas.

8.  Bizarre financial Derivatives continue to threaten our Financial Sector and/or our economy and the world's, as well.  Essentially nothing is being done to correct that situation.

9.  Mega monopolization in the Business world is stifling small businesses in the USA.

10.  Rampant Financialization (since the 1970's) continues to destroy jobs and manufacturing, suck up Middle and Lower Class income, and cause an exponential rise in income inequality.

11.  Bottom line re Recession:  even without the covid-19 trigger, we were right on the cusp of the overdue Recession.  The virus wasn't the cause of the Recession we're in now; it was merely the trigger.  The causes I just listed above.  Our economy is not resilient.  Even the workers are always in a precarious situation--- insecure jobs, poor benefits, essentially flat wages, low wages, obscene health care costs, etc.  The economist, Guy Standing, refers to them being in the Precariat Class.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnYhZCUYOxs
Even people who are doing okay, living paycheck to paycheck, have little to no way of saving for a rainy day.  The Establishment doesn't want them to save.  It wants them to spend, spend, spend... and to increase their debt... so that the consumer society can expand, expand, expand.  Debt will be our downfall.

12.  Finally, on both the disease and economic fronts, this is not about only the USA.  It's worldwide.  On the economic front, most of the "Developed" countries (not only here in the U.S.) are on the cusp of--- or already in ---a Recession.  We in the USA cannot be unaffected by that.  The next Depression, like the last, will be worldwide.
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p.s.  The reason the Dems in Congress haven't yet (as of about 7 AM) agreed to pass the COVID-19 Relief Bill--- or whatever it's called ---is because the money going to corporations has too few to zero conditions on it.  Remember the last Bailout Congress passed re the Mega Banks?  No restrictions as to use of that money.  Did they loan it out to stimulate the economy?  Answer:  very little of it.
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Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

COVID-19 Has Dealt the Trumpian World a Mighty Blow

Preface
Like other posts here, this one is an essay.  It's not an academic thesis.  Essays usually contain both facts and speculation/opinion/analysis.  So, when you read below (for example) Trump & Crew are rolling back environmental-health-safety (EHS) regulations on a massive scale, don't look for footnotes verifying that.  I don't have the time or energy to do a bibliography on commonly known facts.  If you have doubts about the veracity of some statement, you'll have to do your own research.
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In regard to covid-19, Trump tried his usual (now boring) gaslighting--- lies, contradictory statements, outrageous claims, etc.  That didn't work, so here lately, he had to get off his butt and actually do something.  About 90% of his public statements now are totally scripted (to keep him from sounding like a gaslighting idiot)... and he sounds bored to death reading them.  Every so often, he briefly goes off script and returns to gaslighting; but anyone with any sense at all sees through it.  The Trumpian World is starting to collapse.  A tiny virus is bringing it down.

In the Trumpian World, phenomena such as Nature, ecosystems, conservation of natural resources, biodiversity, and the like count for little to nothing.  At the highest levels, the Trumpistas appear in general to care only about finance, economics, and corporatism.  [I imagine they care about their families, as well.]  I suspect that is why they know little to nothing about Natural Science.  Trump & Crew are rolling back environmental-health-safety (EHS) regulations on a massive scale.  As do many to most Corporatists, they believe forms of pollution are externalities... in other words, pollution need not be considered in the manufacturing, distribution, and pricing of consumer goods.  It's someone else's problem.

The elected and appointed Trumpistas say they represent the common people, but the EHS regulations and standards they're eliminating protect the health and safety of all of us.  In some cases, the health of the planet is being protected as well.  Unfortunately and necessarily, EHS regs usually increase the cost of doing business.  That's why they're being eliminated.  Never mind the health & safety of the common people.  According to the Powers-That-Be, the solution to pollution is to ignore it and/or let it dilute in Nature.  Wow, what genius thinking by ignoramuses in the Executive Branch (and a large portion of Corporate America).

Then along came covid-19.  At the highest levels, the main concern in the Trumpian World was not health, but rather the impact on Business... especially the Financial Sector.  So, the initial response was slow.  The next response was poo-pooing the disease.  The next response was a lack of test kits.  After all, we don't want people to know how widespread the bug is... that wouldn't be good for Wall Street.  [Incidentally, only about 14% (not counting 401k or Pension accounts) of Americans are invested in the Stock Market as individuals.]  All during this whole scenario, Trump is saying it's no big deal, "Relax, it will all pass.".  Off script, he's still saying that.  Meanwhile, in my opinion, the overdue Recession has begun.

Yes, Mr. Pres, just as with the Spanish Flu and the Swine Flu, this too shall pass.  But at what cost in human suffering?  Hopefully, Mr. Trump has learned the following lessons.
1.  Viruses aren't affected by childish gaslighting.
2.  Inept handling of a disease outbreak can have a severe economic impact.
3.  It's not really possible to ignore a pandemic.
4.  It's not really possible to ignore an economic and/or financial downturn.
5.  Business and Wall Street aren't the only things that matter.
6.  Lying about a situation is not usually the best way forward.
7.  Mother Nature is in charge of this planet, not Corporatists.  [By the way, Adam Smith denigrated Corporatists who thought they were "Masters of the Universe".  Some in the Trumpian World think he praised them.  He did not.]
8.  Don't try to ignore Mother Nature, or treat her badly.  You'll regret it.
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Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Friday, March 13, 2020

The OVERDUE Recession is Starting NOW

Preface
Below is the latest email (slightly edited here) I sent to family & friends.  The Recession hasn't officially started, because the Powers-That-Be in Gov't need at least two calendar quarters (I think) of data before declaring it.  Anyone who doesn't have his/her head buried in the sand, though, probably would agree:  this is the beginning.  Act accordingly, as follows.
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Be safe, & keep stocked up.  This is the start of a Recession...possibly even worse, a Depression.  Irrational exuberance re the economy already is evaporating.  Distribution of goods already is being affected.  "Runs" on grocery stores already (just barely) have started.

If anyone never has believed me in the past about the overdue Recession, believe this now:  it has started.  
The covid-19 Black Swan, predicted by Daniel Zhang, is at the beginning of crushing the economy.

We'll all survive that, but those of us with a cache of extra household goods (not just food) will be much more comfortable than others.  Distribution of goods eventually will slow way down...temporarily...maybe only for a couple of weeks, maybe for a bit longer.  It hasn't kicked into high gear yet, but it will...no one knows exactly when.  Stock up... food, OTC meds, paper goods, anything you use daily or weekly.

Thanks to the slow response (& lack of previous preparedness) by most governments--- especially in the USA ---covid-19 sooner or later will infect multiple millions, and will devastate the world economy.  If we all don't pull together on this situation, many fewer millions will die (directly or indirectly).  That's not hyperbole.

p.s.  Worldwide:  140,000+ cases; 5,300+ deaths; 123 countries (including "territories").
USA:  1,650 known cases; 41 deaths; 47 known States.
Compare these numbers to those in the March 10 post/essay immediately previous to this one.
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Not only my opinion.  "Be Prepared"  (A long, long time ago, I was a Boy Scout.  For those who don't know, that's their motto:)

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Latest COVID-19 Stats - Not Looking Good (at 11 PM, I edited the numbers)

Preface
This info is from several sources.  The main one is:
https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus
Multiple charts/graphs there to analyze.
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Latest Stats---
Deaths
Worldwide - 4,026
USA - 31
Known Cases of Infection
Worldwide - 118,000+
USA - 901 (a short time ago, this number was 2, & in the past 3 days, it has more than doubled)
Global Death Rate
Depending on the information source, the fatality rate ranges from
2.3% to 3.48%.  As I pointed out in the last post/essay, even at one percent covid-19 is ten times deadlier than the flu; and the flu kills up to 650,000 people every year.
Countries and USA States Known to Have the Virus
Countries - 105 (not long ago, this number was 50)
USA States - 36 (not long ago, this number was 7)
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Speculation

Trump recently stated (regarding covid-19), "...and then one day, it will just disappear.".  That's possible.  SARS seems to have done that, but maybe not.  It just as likely could have mutated and hopped back to some animal population.  In the future, it could mutate again in such a way that it jumps back to humans.  In my opinion, instead of Trump's scenario about covid-19, it's more likely that we're stuck with the virus...in the same way we're stuck with the common cold and influenza.  They haven't disappeared.

Like with the cold and the flu, it's possible that warmer weather will scale back infections of covid-19; but it's too early to tell.  It's every bit as possible that won't happen.  One thing's certain:  this virus is not contained.  Despite reluctance by WHO and the CDC to declare it such, it's a pandemic.

Trump is looking very grim these past few days.  He's not concerned about covid-19 infections; instead, he's worried about the impact on our economy, and thus the impact on the upcoming election.  The way he talks about the whole virus situation is truly pathetic.
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Not only my opinion.  Be Well
p.s.  Again, for any new readers here, I'm not a Republican or a Democrat.  Despite what The Don says, this issue is not about politics.  It's about health.


Saturday, March 7, 2020

Here's Why COVID-19 is MORE DANGEROUS Than the Flu

Preface
Stats regarding the 2019-2020 flu season (not yet over) in the USA---
Infections:  over 20 million;
deaths:  over 20,000;
death rate:  .1%  [This is a best guess because not all infections are reported.]
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So, why is covid-19 more dangerous?  The Executive Branch in DC is trying hard to downplay the effects and risks of this new virus.  That's probably because before the virus was detected, Trump cut funding to the CDC and disbanded the global health/pandemic response unit in the Exec Branch.  Now we're in a pickle.  The following is what the Administration is not telling you.

1.  COVID-19 is a new virus... because of that, we have no natural immunity, never mind no vaccine.  World population has been building up natural immunity to the flu for hundreds & hundreds of years.  [Many people still get the flu because viruses mutate faster than bacteria.  Mutations decrease natural resistance to infection, and decrease the effectiveness of flu vaccines.]

2.  COVID-19 appears to spread faster than influenza.  That's based on early evidence, and may change.

3.  Already there are two different strains of covid-19, "L" and "S".  S appears to be the ancestral strain, and L, based on early evidence, seems to be more aggressive.

4.  Even if the death rate of covid-19 is only one percent, that's ten times more deadly than the flu.  The flu kills between 200,000 and 650,000 people per year globally.  Yeah, the flu.

5.  A vaccine for covid-19 is months away, perhaps as long as a year.  Even when it's available, how many new strains of the virus will there be?  In other words, the effectiveness of the vaccine may be questionable.

6.  The flu doesn't have the effect on the world economy (including in the USA) that covid-19 is having.  Brace for bad times.
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Current covid-19 stats---
Confirmed infections:  over 106,000 worldwide and 401 in the USA;
confirmed deaths:  over 3,600 worldwide and 19 in the USA.
Only a few days ago, these numbers were much lower.
When I started this covid-19 series, the virus was known to be in 7 States (USA); it's now known to be in 29 States.  An educated guess:  it's in all 50 States, some just aren't yet confirmed.
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Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Monday, March 2, 2020

COVID-19 - New Developments Indicate It's Rolling On


1.  In three cases of infection in the U.S. (2 in N. CA, 1 in NW Oregon), the source of the virus has been designated "community", which means unknown.

2.  The first genome study of covid-19 strongly suggests the virus was undetected in the U.S. for six weeks.  That alone (if true) means it's far more widespread here than reported.

3.  The death toll here from this virus went from two to six overnight.

4.  The virus now is known to be in sixteen States.  A couple days ago, it was known to be in seven States.

5.  In Texas, a person who tested positive for the virus mistakenly was released from quarantine... and then went shopping at a mall.

6.  It's now in 65 countries.  A couple days ago, it was in 50 countries.

7.  The number of new cases of infection in China has slowed, but that number still is increasing the total number of cases.

8.  Italy and Iran have been hit hard with new cases.

9.  Worldwide, the number of known infected people is well over 90,000.

10.  Worldwide, the number of deaths from covid-19 is well over 3,000.
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Bottom Line---
COVID-19 is not anywhere close to being contained.
A vaccine is months away from being available, perhaps even a year or more.
Trump can brag about his Admin's containment efforts all he wants to, but the fact is:  covid-19 is nowhere near being "contained" in this Land, it hops around extremely rapidly, and (despite what some people think) an infection can be extremely severe in probably at least half or more of all people.

Speaking of that, I've read some online comments here and there by people who think the disease is no big deal.  Why?  According to them (paraphrased), it's only bad in kids and old people.  [I guess they don't value any kids or old folks.]  Whoa!  Let's think about that.  Currently in the U.S., people 65 or older make up 15% of our population.  Children - 22%.  Then we have to include a category the poo-pooers left out:  people with an underlying medical condition.  I have no idea what percentage of our population they constitute, but I'm guessing it's safe to say that number (not counting kids & seniors) is at least 15%...probably higher.  So, do the math.

While many infected with covid-19 may experience only mild to moderate symptoms, over half the population are at risk for severe effects, even death.  As it becomes more and more obvious in the coming months that the virus is spreading here and is far from being contained, I expect some Powers-That-Be to start spouting the line:  "Hey, for the overwhelming majority of people, the symptoms are no worse than a really bad cold.  Relax.".  If that happens, don't believe it for even a minute.
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Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Disturbing Responses to COVID-19


1.  Trump has put Pence in charge of the battle against the virus in the U.S.  Other than Trump, himself, Pence probably is the most anti-science person in the entire current Administration.  There are so many competing for the anti-science King title, though, that naming Pence as the winner is a tough call.  :)

2.  All statements about covid-19 now have to be approved by Pence before being released to the public.  That includes all informational statements from the CDC, medical researchers, and all medical professionals in the Gov't.  Does anyone besides me see a problem here?  This approval requirement basically is a modified Gag Order, and approval for release will be doled out by a guy who essentially knows jack-squat about Science.

I'm guessing the probability is high that sooner or later crucial info may be kept from us because its release would have a damaging effect on the economy.  The false perception of a "great" economy is crucial to Trump's re-election.

3.  The pundit, Rush Limbaugh, has stated that covid-19 is nothing but a "common cold".  This is often what happens when people with little to no science background delve into a scientific topic.  I imagine he read somewhere that one type of common cold is caused by a corona virus (which is true).  I further imagine he concluded that means covid-19 is a common cold.  Apparently, it never entered his mind that several different types of corona viruses exist, with different degrees of virulence.  SARS is caused by a corona virus, too, but it's far from being a common cold.  Arguably, covid-19 is worse than SARS, especially in regard to how fast it spreads.

Hey, Mr. Limbaugh (& all his fans), covid-19 causes illness MAGNITUDES worse than a common cold.  In your dogmatic pontifications, perhaps you should stick with what you know.  I'm not sure what that is, but am fairly certain it involves nothing scientific.

Finally, the 1918 Spanish flu infected about 500 million people and killed an estimated 50 million...including 675,000 in the USA.  Pandemics never should be taken lightly.
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Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Friday, February 28, 2020

Our Bubble Economy is About to Meet the COVID-19 Black Swan

Preface
I'm not a virologist or toxicologist; however, I do have a Biology and Environmental Science background, both academically and in the field.
Key terms in the title above---
COVID-19:  corona virus disease, 2019;
Black Swan:  "black swan is an unpredictable event that is beyond what is normally expected of a situation and has potentially severe consequences. Black swan events are characterized by their extreme rarity, their severe impact, and the practice of explaining widespread failure to predict them as simple folly in hindsight."  ~ Investopedia
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Following are a few facts regarding covid-19, and some speculation on my part.

Facts---
1.  The virus is:  highly contagious, spreading rapidly, and too often deadly (especially in children and old people).
2.  The CDC has stated that there still are a lot of unknowns regarding exactly how this virus behaves.
3.  Except for Antarctica, the virus is now on every continent in the world.
4.  It's now in 50 countries.
5.  Confirmed cases in humans now number 82,550; confirmed deaths from the virus now number 2,810.
6.  Larry Kudlow of the Trump Administration stated that the corona virus epidemic was "fake news", and that the U.S. has the virus "tightly contained".  Trump has stated that China has the virus under control, and the risk to U.S. citizens is "very low". 
7.  The CEO of Alibaba, Daniel Zhang, recently stated that the corona virus (covid-19) is a Black Swan event for the world economy.
8.  The U.S. Stock Market is now down 13%.

Speculation---
1.  The Establishment (including Trump and the CDC) is scared to death to use the word "pandemic"...because of the effect it would have on the economy.
2.  A pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease; therefore, covid-19 is a pandemic.  The Establishment would argue the numbers are not yet high enough to warrant that designation.  Okay, that's arguable, so at the very least, it's a pandemic in-the-making.  And the rapidity with which it spreads guarantees the making soon will be completed.
3.  Kudlow, Trump, et. al. are either flat-out lying or demonstrating a degree of ignorance beyond the pale.
4.  The private and public Powers-That-Be will do anything to keep the Bubble Economy rolling along on irrational exuberance.  They rarely will give us the truth regarding covid-19.
5.  This tiny virus very well could bring on our overdue economic & financial Crash.

Not only my opinion.  Be Prepared

Thursday, February 13, 2020

The Racial Term "White" is Propaganda


Preface---
Below is a somewhat edited email I sent to a few family members and friends during the recent Senate trial of the impeached Trump.  The overwhelming bulk of the essay is not about the trial.  Rather, it's about immigration, Race, so-called "white" culture, propaganda, ethnicity, and our Fed Government.
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The Repubs have pulled out all the stops in terms of distraction from Trump's criminality.  It's obvious to the point of being comical, but their immigrant-hating, minority "base" supporters will buy it.  I don't think the majority of them are really "racist".  What they fear is that some other culture will become dominant here in the USA.  The same is true for some "white" people in other Western World countries.

According to Pew Research, "non-whites" were the majority in 293 Counties in the USA in 2018, mostly in the Southwest & Northeast, but not totally.  Given the birth rates of different ethnic groups (not "racial" groups, which is a different category), it's a given that so-called "white" culture will not be dominant in the future, and that's only counting the influence of immigrants who are here legally.  So, folks worked up about "illegals" need to get over it.  Besides, a culture doesn't have to be dominant in order to survive.  Look at the early immigrant Germans, Italians, Irish, Jews, Chinese, other Asians, etc.---all different cultures, all hated by some people at different times, & all still here... both the ethnic groups and their different cultures.

In addition, White Supremacists should wake up to the fact that Mexican-Americans belong to the same "Race" as they do.  In a 1950 Supreme Court Case (Hernandez v. Texas), the decision affirmed that although such Hispanics biologically are members of the "white" race they also are an ethnic "class" apart, & as such, should be represented on juries. [There were no Chicanos (Mexican-Americans) on the jury in the trial of Hernandez.]

I've maintained for years that the so-called "white" race isn't white at all.  The proper term is Caucasian.  Caucasians are from Europe (including Spain), the Middle East, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, West Asia, & Central Asia.  [Russia and Turkey are in both Europe and Asia.]  By any reasonable measure, our skin color (& skin color basically means nothing significant) is not "white".  Slap a piece of computer paper on your arm, hand, or face.  It's plain that we are not "white".  That racial term came about because "white" is associated with purity, goodness, and the opposite of "evil" darkness.  [Muhammad Ali pointed that out in one of his college speeches, and he was correct.]  To me, the use of it is subtle racism.  Our Gov't & the Establishment in general once used the correct term, Caucasian; they all now use the term "white".  Shabby, false propaganda.

Sorry, but as a painter who uses many different colors every day, it bothers me that "white" is used--- especially by the Government--- to refer to a particular biological Race.  It also bothers me that too many people appear to be ignorant of the difference between "Race" and "Ethnicity".  Different ethnic groups (with very different cultures) often belong to the same Race.  There is no single "white" culture.  That's a myth, and egregious propaganda.
Wake up, "white" America.  ☺☺☺
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Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Sunday, January 26, 2020

ADDENDUM to "The Coup is Almost Complete"


My friend replied to essentially the post immediately previous to this one (which was an email to him).  In his reply, he pointed out that decades ago the major Parties had an inversion.  They flipped certain beliefs & principles.  The Repubs (in general) went from being anti-slavery to often being basically racist & against the poor today.  The Dems (in general) went from essentially supporting slavery & the Uncle Tom era (some Dems were high up in the KKK) to being anti-racist and supportive of poor people.  He ended by saying he knew what I was talking about in my first reply, but he was referring to the GOP now--- basically a mob-like crime family [at the highest levels], and that America was rotten to its core [again, at the highest levels]...due to unregulated capitalism.  "Sad."
My reply is below.
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Agreed, but the Dems did more than just get rid of racism in their ranks.  The Establishment Dems eventually became Neoliberals, with very little difference between them & NeoCons when it comes to war, the economy, fiscal policy, monetary policy, foreign policy, the Financial Sector, Crony Capitalism, the broken Fed Justice System, the favoring of aristocrats, the War on Drugs, etc.  In other words, the Establishment Dems became Corporatists.  The Corporate Media refer to them as "Moderate Democrats".  They aren't.
 
In reality, there are no Dems, Repubs, Liberals, or Conservatives anymore.  They've been replaced by Neoliberals & NeoCons.  The old terms are used as propaganda by the Corporate Media & the Parties to keep people stuck in the past and to keep them believing that the old values & groups of 60 yrs ago still are in the game.  They aren't, they're gone.  They've been replaced by the Neo- groups...all Corporatists.

Only Libertarians and Progressives have remained in place & true to their original characteristics...and each has little to no power in national electoral politics.

Calling the Powers-That-Be either Republicans, Democrats, Liberals, or Conservatives is a huge mistake in my opinion.  Referring to a dog's tail as its fifth leg doesn't make it so.  The only people with any significant power in Office today are either NeoCons or Neoliberals.  They aren't anything like Repubs, Dems, Conservatives, or Liberals.  Saying they are misleads Main Street, and makes Main Street easier to manipulate.  Cognitive dissonance (& similar techniques)by way of Edward Bernays style propaganda--- that's how the Neo-groups have come to power/staged a Coup...by convincing people that they are the true-blue Parties of 60 or so years ago.  

Main Street believes it because literally everyone keeps calling them Repubs, Dems, etc.  They aren't.  [Or, they are in name only.]  It's all Orwellian, political Doublespeak ...& it worked like a charm.  It's not about Repubs & Dems (or Conservatives & Liberals) anymore; they don't exist nowadays.  [Even Chris Hedges has written & lectured about the "Death of the Liberal Class"; and the author of "The Conservative Mind", Russell Kirk, must be turning in his grave...given the people who are called "Conservatives" today.  The same with Robert A. Taft.]  Today, it's all about the Oligarchy & the rest of us.  Until every adult (or at least a vast majority) on Main Street realizes that, we are all shafted.  Sad, indeed.
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Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Thursday, January 23, 2020

The Coup is Almost Complete

A friend wrote me an email in which he decried the show trial in DC...the sham, cover-up (so far) performance in the Senate.  My response is below.
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Yessir, it's flat-out Orwellian.

I would disagree, though, that these Fascists are "Republicans".  Republicans (before they dried up & blew away) believed in a Constitutional Republic.  These folks are Trumpistas/Corporatists/Fascists...a horse of a different color.  Republicans didn't believe in Interventionism overseas, or shooting people in the back, or doubling/TRIPLING the Debt, or a National Surveillance State, or ignoring the Geneva conventions on war, or a host of other nightmares.  

The Repub Party was hijacked a long time ago, even before Reagan.  [The Reagan years almost tripled our National Debt, & essentially launched Neoliberalism in economic policy.  Both Reagan & Thatcher joined in what was known as the "Washington Consensus", pure Neoliberal policy.]
"Pinochet's neoliberal policies came to be codified as 'structural adjustment', and Thatcher became one of structural adjustment's most enthusiastic promoters, not only for Britain but the world, popularising her approach with the slogan 'There is no alternative'. With Thatcher and the US president Ronald Reagan as its main boosters, and the World Bank and IMF as its executors, structural adjustment or the Washington consensus was generalised throughout the developing world."

The story is similar with The Democrat Party.
Carter, David Rockefeller, Brzezenski, & the Trilateral Commission created much of the philosophical underpinnings for Neoliberalism.  The Trilateral Commission's 1st Annual Paper ("The Crisis of Democracy", book-length) proposed:  the crisis of democracy was that there was too much democracy in the world.  According to the scholarly authors (all supposedly "Liberals"), that had to be remedied if the Establishment were to survive.  "The Crisis of Democracy" was published in 1975.

Today, the terms "Republican" and "Democrat" are nothing other than Edward Bernays style PROPAGANDA.  The NEOconservatives & NEOliberals both started up in the 1970's (the difference between them is almost nil); they now rule much/most of the Western World.  In practical terms, "Conservatives" & "Liberals" no longer exist; they've both either converted or given up & faded away.

With Trump & Crew, the Neoliberal/NeoCon Coup is now almost complete... and it's not a "conspiracy"; it's in plain sight.  Meanwhile, the main worry of too many Americans is:  when is the new I-Phone making its debut.  Hey, maybe this next one will be able to fry pancakes.  ☺
And so it goes.
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Not only my opinion.  Be Well