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Home country: USA
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Member since: Mon Apr 28, 2014, 07:28 PM
Number of posts: 11,013

About Me

Counselor, economist and public servant.

Journal Archives

That's right.

The right-wing noise machine has long been calling for 'action' on the part of 'brave' 'patriots.' My wife's crazy sister's ex husband has somehow got me on his email list, and I let it happen so I hear the more extreme right wing talking points.

The latest he sent was Billy Graham Junior's disgusting soliloquy on white christian men. I won't pollute this thread with his actual words, but these people hate everybody but old white men. They want women subservient, and to continue subjugating any not like them.

It's disgusting, immoral and very, very un-Christian, if you look at the basic tenets of the faith in Matthew, chapters 5-7. I've often wondered how the Christians could have gotten so far away from the actual wisdom literature of the faith.

OK............I cannot resist..................I see the true culprit here as capitalism. To my mind, it, specifically the primacy of the shareholder doctrine, is to blame for the rise of hate-talk radio and the right wing noise machine, the death of the Fairness Doctrine, the rise of Fox and the rise of the neoconservative and neoliberal movements.

Naomi Klein writes about it in her books - the mantra of 'privatize, deregulate and gut social programs' exists for one purpose only: to funnel more and more and more wealth to a very few.

Heard of 'iron triangles?' They are cabals made up of billionaires, organized crime and corrupt politicians. Trump is the apotheosis of the slow coup that was begun against our republic - against the western democracies as a whole - decades ago. The plain truth is that our republic and the other western democracies CANNOT COEXIST with unrestrained capitalism, which is the goal of the neoliberal movement.

We must dilute the primacy of the shareholder doctrine and force corporations to consider the welfare of workers, consumers and the environment on an equal footing with shareholder earnings.

We must reverse 2017's giant tax cut for billionaires and corporations, cut the military budget, and reimpose a steeper graduated tax for the wealthy. Our fiscal house must be put in order.

As to our monetary house, we are going to have to explore public banking. The bankers at the Fed, as well as the IMF, have created such a system of scarcity that the whole thing has become unsustainable. The forces of greed are blind, though. Everyone knows it is unsustainable - the are just stalling so they can eke out just a little more profit. Just one more pound of flesh from the middle class.

You want to be able to afford single payer healthcare, free college for our kids, strong social security and a newly upgraded and updated infrastructure, then we must rethink the Federal Reserve Act of 1913.

It begins with this question: If the national debt is money we owe to ourselves, then why are we paying it back to bankers and investors with interest?

One more thought. The root of terrorism is austerity that causes discontent among the middle class, and by fomenting fear and mistrust among us for the sake of routing more money from our treasury to the very few, the gate has been opened for white nationalists to rise here and throughout Europe. Let's try and avert the next Holocaust, shall we? Because Holocaust is the logical conclusion of this system of scarcity.

This is from tomorrow's NYT front page:

A quote from the Mueller Report:

The conclusion that Congress may apply the obstruction to the president's corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no one is above the law.

Here's the tweet: https://twitter.com/djlavoie/status/1119057513897504769

I'd say get the paper out and begin drafting the Articles of Impeachment, because you cannot get much clearer than that. We have to impeach, even if the Senate won't try and remove.

The Democrats in the House (and Republicans with any sense of morality, if there are any of THOSE left) have a clear duty. With this report, there's no way Trump should not be impeached and the massive investigations not continue into his utter corruption and criminal activity.

I was talking today with the CEO of a chamber of commerce in my metro area, and in private, off the record, he said the same thing I just did.


My first post here.

I think Buttigieg is by far the smartest candidate, and the most well-versed on both domestic and foreign policy. I also like his position on taxes. Not to mention healthcare and global warming.

As the human race runs at breakneck speed towards


What will it be?

Drug resistant strains of fungus caused by fungicides manufactured by companies like Monsanto?

Reckless overuse of antibiotics in agricultural production by companies like Angus Beef and Perdue Chicken?

Or maybe just high carbon emissions and other greenhouse gasses, courtesy of oil & gas, auto manufacturers, and utilities?

Hey, take your choice!

Or...wait...you want to solve the problem? Get rid of the primacy of the shareholder doctrine by expanding the fiduciary responsibility of CEOs and other C-Suite people running publicly held corporations. Seriously. Check out the 'Accountable Capitalism Act' introduced in August 2018 by a Senator who shall remain nameless (in this forum). Do this and we go a long way toward solving thousands of problems just like the three above. Truth is, capitalism is the plague that will end humankind, UNLESS WE GET RID OF THE PRIMACY OF THE SHAREHOLDER DOCTRINE.


Family Separation Has Scarred These Kids For Life

One year after Trump’s zero tolerance immigration policy, HuffPost spoke to families who say their children are withdrawn, depressed and self-harming. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/family-separation-one-year-later_n_5ca4cda4e4b094d3f5c50ede

We cannot EVER forget this, and we must do everything humanly possible to:
- End this policy
- Reunite families (Trump is asking for two years to make this happen, did you know? https://www.democraticunderground.com/100211989929)
- Bring perpetrators of these crimes against humanity to justice in international courts

Almost a year later, most children from that group have been reunited with their mothers and fathers. But HuffPost spoke with six parents who said their kids remain deeply traumatized. They describe how their once affable sons and daughters are now angry, withdrawn and unable to sleep. Some don’t want to go to school or leave the house, for fear of being separated once again, and constantly burst into tears.

Other children have physical scars, from self-harming after prolonged periods in detention. And at least 200 children remain permanently separated from their parents who were deported back to life-threatening situations and opted to keep their sons and daughters safe in the U.S.

Mental health experts and lawyers told HuffPost that family separation, which happened to potentially thousands of families before the implementation of zero tolerance and which continues despite the policy’s termination, could traumatize children for the rest of their lives.

“There are real long-term consequences in developing brains,” said Elaine Weisman, the program and training manager at International Social Service, USA. “There are going to be lasting effects on a generation of kids and young people.”

Interesting. Now, I like a mixed socialist and free market, a la northern


I suppose philosophically (or ideologically) you could call me a Social Democrat. Or, a Democratic Socialist.

Ah, but the question you raise is whether Social Security can fairly be called a 'socialist' program. While my answer is clearly 'yes,' it seems best to bring in a third party.

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/retirement/122916/are-social-security-benefits-form-socialism.asp. After defining a bunch of terms, they make the following conclusion:

Nevertheless, because the American government plays such a dominant role in the U.S. Social Security system – deciding how much and when employees and employers pay into the system, how much individuals receive in benefits when they get them, and preventing almost everyone from opting out – it seems fair to call the Social Security program a form of socialism.

So there you have it. Funny the Republicans are vowing this country will 'never go socialist.'

But don't worry. This country is no longer a republic, and may only loosely be called a 'democracy.' No, what we have now is a fascist oligarchy, where a very few people own most of the wealth, and the politicians are owned by PAC money, lobbies and corporations. They have no political courage because they are on the gravy train. Most are so afraid of not being reelected they won't lift a finger to enact legislation that actually makes our lives better.

Instead, we get a giant tax cut for billionaires and corporations, as if they didn't already have enough, that has essentially gutted our treasury and will ultimately force massive cuts to Social Security, Medicare, all safety net programs, basically all non-military discretionary spending.

And, we have a rather sinister administration in power that is very much like an old mafiosi caporegime. Donald is the Don, Eric and Don Jr. are Fredo and Santino, Ivanka is Connie, and Jared Kushner is Carlo Rossi. But they are small potatoes. They report to bigger bosses, Russian oligarchs.

Then we have Pence and the holy-rollers, who would impose a 'christian' Sharia law upon us, while still letting the oligarchs have our treasury - as long as abortion is illegal, they are fine with that.

Finally, there is a pretty large group, mostly in the Tea Party and Trumpers, who genuinely believe that there is nothing worth saving about the republic that is the United States in specific and western democracies in general. This group is purposely and purposefully tearing down our institutions - consider the gutting of the EPA, the criticisms of the press, Betsy DeVos sabotaging the student loan forgiveness program, Trump publicly disagreeing numerous times with national security leaders. This is a purposeful wrecking of our republic - an effort to tear the whole thing down.

So, about half of our party is quaking like jelly at the prospect of being labeled 'socialist,' and the other half is saying, "Whatever you might call it, we need a green new deal now, healthcare, expanded Social Security and debt-free college."

We are in for, I think, a time of upheaval. The only ones who can possibly save this republic from being torn apart, and its pieces handed to international oligarchs while we ourselves are made into wage slaves, and then real slaves, is the new kids in Congress. The ones like AOC, Omar and Tlaib, who are speaking truth to power because they don't care if they are one-term Representatives - they want to wake up the people to what's going on and give us back our power.

By way of prognosticating, IF, and it is a big IF, we discover how powerful we the people really are, stop being afraid of these greed-heads and band together to make some real reforms, we might well save those things that are worth saving, and make those things better that need improvement.

But, no, I won't split hairs with you on whether or not Social Security and Medicare are forms of socialism or not. I don't care. What I care about is having more say in policies that affect me. I'm sick of my tax money being routed to corporate profits or billionaires instead of being used for programs that help me, my children and my grandchildren. Medicare for all Americans, a Green New Deal. Expanded Social Security. Infrastructure programs so that we can rebuild/upgrade as part of the Green New Deal. Heavily subsidized childcare, early childhood education, a K-12 system that's the envy of the world, and debt-free college and graduate school.

And to make all this possible, let us pull out the root cause of the evil that besets us: the primacy of the shareholder doctrine. If corporations want to do business here, we need to force them to change their charters - put workers on their Boards of Directors, and consider the welfare of workers, consumers and the environment equally with shareholder profits.

My...wasn't that the verbal gush? It is how I feel though, after 60 years of working my ass off in this capitalist utopia and getting nickel and dimed so much day after day, year after year, that I have less purchasing power now than I did back in the 90s. That isn't good enough. We are better than that.

I'm impatient too.

I want change now.

We race with time, a species of lemmings running at breakneck speed toward extinction.

How much longer can we afford to play a 'long game?' Do you wonder?

Yes, the GOP still controls the Senate and the White House. But it isn't really the GOP any more, you know? It is little more than a criminal gang, controlled by bigger bosses. It is the party of Trump. Its rank and file have forgotten how to be Americans, and instead put party first, and that party is corporate-owned, beholden to oligarchs, a tool of billionaires.

Heard of 'iron triangles?' The Panama Papers? We've been the victims since the days of Nixon of the most massive transfer of wealth in the history of humankind. Away from the many and to the few.

Rank and file, theirs and ours, have been played like so many violins with the age-old 'divide and conquer' strategy. Works every time.

Sometimes at night, I lay awake and wonder what will come. Will we ever grow up as a species and begin planning around human need and not human greed? Will we learn to plan generations ahead to preserve and replenish our earth? Or will we, like the lemmings, run headlong to our deaths over the cliff of capitalism and crash to a bloody death on the teeth of oligarchs?

How can this be?

OK, we don't know WHEN Mueller will release his report - not yet. And we're told that the GOP will do their level best to suppress it completely, contending that to publish would broach national security.

And, we have the Democrats, who are fighting the good fight, to release it to the public insofar as that is possible without broaching national security.

And NOW...

Wait for it....

Barnes and Noble is allowing people to pre-order, and it is supposed to be out on the 26th of this month.

So...what's wrong with this picture? They want to charge $10.95 or some such, with forward by Alan Dershowitz.

Here's the link. https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/mueller+report?_requestid=635245

So, is this the butt-ugly end of capitalism or what? I don't know about you, but I'm pretty disgusted.

Some background on Joe Biden.

I knew some of this, but not all. Certainly the bankruptcy law of 2005 is odious and has enslaved millions of our children and grandchildren to massive student loans.

I also did not like Biden's performance in the Anita Hill hearings.

Hear is a Huffpo article that gives more history. In fact it goes clear back in time. It is quite interesting, but maybe take it with a grain of salt and do some independent research.


Be warned - it is a rather negative article. Here is an excerpt. Note that a) I'm still neutral, though I favor Warren, b) Biden would be exponentially better than Trump, and c) it's awfully early in the game still.

As Democratic voters begin to consider who to make their standard-bearer in the 2020 election, Joe Biden has held an early, commanding lead in the polls, fueled by the belief that he’s the best Democrat to take on Donald Trump. The former vice president spent the closing weeks of the 2018 midterms in what Politico called a “working class whisperer tour” to the midwestern states that Trump carried. Emphasizing his Scranton, Pennsylvania, roots, Biden styled himself in stop after stop as “Middle-Class Joe,” savoring praise from fellow Democrats as the “kind of guy you could have a beer with.”

This version of “folksy Joe” even touted himself as “labor from belt buckle to shoe buckle.” There’s only one problem with this carefully cultivated image: Joe Biden’s entire career.

In more than four decades of public service, Biden has enthusiastically championed policies favored by financial elites, forging alliances with Wall Street and the political right to notch legislative victories that ran counter to the populist ideas that now animate his party. If he declares for the presidency, Biden will face a Democratic electorate that has moved on from his brand of politics.

Well, Hickenlooper is now officially in the 2020 race.

From the Hill:

Hickenlooper launches 2020 presidential campaign


Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) on Monday announced he is running for president in 2020.

“I’m running for president because we need dreamers in Washington but we also need to get things done,” Hickenlooper said in a campaign video.

“I’ve proven again and again I can bring people together to produce the progressive change Washington has failed to deliver,” he added.

Oh...and this is CLASSIC:

Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Ahrens said in a statement that Hickenlooper "is the latest tax-and-spend liberal to join the race."

LOL, if 'tax-and-spend liberal' is the best they can do, the GOP is about to become the next dodo bird. To my mind, it is better to be a tax-and-spend liberal than it is to be a cut-taxes-and-run-up-huge-debt republican.
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