POTUS

…and the WINNER is…

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of RE

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on The Doomstead Diner on November 1,, 2016

http://www.screeninsults.com/images/the-tonight-show-starring-johnny-carson-carnac-the-magnificent.jpg

Discuss this article at the Geopolitics Table inside the Diner

We're down here to the last week before the big POTUS election, at last.  Whoever gets elected here, it will be a welcome relief from the insanity of electoral politics we have been suffering through for around 2 years now.  From the heady days when Jeb Bush was the "Front Runner" for the Grand Old Party to the meltdown of the Dark Horse Billionaire for Pussy Grabbing, from the Brief Shining Moment of the Bernie Sanders candidacy to Killary Clinton's emails and coughing fits, no election ever has been a better demonstration of the failure of Amerikan electoral politics and the purported "democracy" we live under.

https://toraradical.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/obama.jpg?w=474 Millions will rejoice as the nearly universally despised Kenyan Golfer finally leaves office, leaving behind a legacy of ever increasing war for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the failed reformation of the Medical Insurance industry known as Obamacare and a lot of expensive Hawaiian Vacations on the taxpayer dime.  Not to mention of course the Federal Deficit now pushing some $20T, not including all the unfunded liabilities simmering in the stew of a failing economic system.

Whoever they get to replace Obama-sama as Puppet-in-Chief, it's not going to matter much at all.  The President doesn't call the shots on when we go to war and with who, nor does he call the shots on who Da Federal Reserve dishes out funny money to either.  Those decisions are all made in the board rooms of the TBTF Banks and the major energy corporations of Exxon-Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell and British Petroleum.  All CONgress and the POTUS do is put their signatures on laws and policy papers drafted up by the legal departments of these corporations.  It doesn't matter which side of the Righty-Lefty divide the politician comes from, he's not going to get campaign funds if he doesn't put his John Hancock on these bills as they pass across his desk, and generally speaking neither he nor his constituents knows what is in those bills either in any detail.  Trade Agreements like NAFTA and TPP are thousands of pages of legalese nobody except a corporate lawyer paid to do it would ever work through.  Homeland Security bills like the Patriot Act and NDAA are signed off on pro forma, SECURITY is the #1 Priority, the Constitution be damned.  Any vestige of "Liberty" that once existed in the FSoA is long gone now, and neither of the POTUS candidates who have a chance of winning this election are going to put a stop to that.

Besides the fact that whoever is nominally "in-charge" in the White House doesn't really have all that much power and is mostly just a figure head, the other reason whoever gets elected doesn't much matter is that not even the Puppet Masters pulling the strings can do much other than try to maintain their own perks as the spin down progresses.  Collapse in one form or another is going to occur here, and it is doubtful any policy maker anywhere can control whether it goes nuclear or not.  Even without a nuclear denoument, on the grand scale it is unlikely there will be a very good outcome here for most of the Homo Saps currently walking the earth.

So why do people worry and obssess over who will be the next POTUS?  Does it really matter whether it is a Pussy Grabbing Billionaire or a Pathological Liar and Power Seeker with a philandering husband?  There's no chance either 3rd Party candidate can win, Green or Libertarian all those votes do is swing the voting in the major parties one way or the other.  A vote for the Green Party is a vote for the Donald, because it is one less vote for Killary.  A vote for the Libertarian Party is a vote for Killary, because it is one less vote for the Donald.  So if you are going to vote, why not just vote directly for the two major party candidates?  It all amounts to the same thing anyhow.

As regular Diners know, this is not a concern of mine, because I don't vote at all.  I have considered this so called "franchise" to be a travesty and rigged game since before I was even old enough to vote, and nothing has changed my mind in the intervening years.  I am not going to drop my vote (which is my "stamp of approval") on any of these candidates.  If I do that, I take some responsibility for what they then proceed to do in office, which is NEVER what they said they would do on the campaign trail.  Even if you voted for somebody who was halfway decent as a human being like Jimmy Carter, what good did that do?  It never made a difference, the trajectory of the Industrial Civilization has been an unstoppable juggernaut since the very beginning.  The power unleashed so great that a few nation-states that got in early in this game were able to roll over every other nation on earth by force, to raid them of resources and employ their populations as slave labor.

Now this paradigm is falling apart, both because most of the cheap energy resource has already been burned, and because the population of Homo Saps walking the earth was artificially inflated past its carrying capacity in the absence of the fossil fuel resource.  Beyond that, the extreme advantage that Western society had by getting to the resource first and building a war machine that uses it is also defunct.  At one time, the Europeans could go in and enslave stone age people with gunz and cannon.  Now everybody has gunz and cannon, and a whole lot more too, like cruise missiles.  You can't just roll over the Chinese or Ruskies like you can a small country like Syria or Afghanistan, and even that kind of small proxy war is a waste of time, money and energy.  Nobody "wins" these wars, they just go on interminably, bankrupting everyone who pursues them eventually.  But still they go on, regardless of who is elected POTUS and regardless of what the general population thinks of them or wants to do.

Nobody can win these wars, everybody loses.  Well, not EVERYBODY, there are always war profiteers running the biznesses of making munitions and uniforms for the cannon fodder who make a profit on the enterprise.  But at this point, what is there really left to WIN in any of these wars?  The landscape is already denuded of trees and agriculture has become impossible as water tables are depleted and there is nothing left to irrigate with.  The oil still left in the ground is mostly too expensive to still pump up and sell to your own increasingly impoverished population.  The countries are filled with impoverished populations who if you "win" said war become a liability on your own balance sheet, vast populations in need of support.  Why doesn't Putin go in and roll over the Donbass with his tanks and annex the Ruskie speaking people there who just WISH he would and get them out from under the thumb of the Neo-Nazis running Ukraine at the behest of their NATO masters?

Not because Vlad the Impaler is afraid of the consequences of such an adventure, if he saw a profit in it he would do it.  No, it is because he realizes that annexing Donbass is just adding more liabilities to his already overburdened balance sheet.  Right now, Mother Russia is better off than most places, they have their own energy resource, their own agriculture and for their size geographically, a realtively small population with a powerful military to protect and defend it.  Why would they want more?  They don't, they just want NATO to stop further encroaching on their borders, trying to steal what they still have left.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/external_clips/2111138/China8-1250x650_article.jpg?1475168786 The Chinese are another story altogether.  They do NOT have their own energy reserves to power their industrial machine, they are seriously into population overshoot even given they occupy a large portion of the land mass of the earth, and as a result of their rapid and basically unregulated dive into industrial production have thoroughly polluted both their arable land and their water table.  Beyond that, their banking system is a Ponzi scheme that puts Da Federal Reserve to shame, so who would expect this country to go anywhere but down the toilet as the industrial economy comes grinding to a halt?  They are entirely dependent on their export model, but who are they going to export to?  A few Ruskies in Moscow?  China is TOAST, it's an accident waiting to happen and I doubt the Ruskies can support them.  In this evolving War Phase though, they are allies of convenience, and so long as the Chinese are manufacturing good missiles and good electronic guidance systems for them, together with the Ruskies they are at least equal to the military power of the FSoA and NATO.  For either side to directly confront the other is mutual suicide, so one can only hope the folks running the show can see this and avoid it.

Which brings us back around to the upcoming POTUS election, where either Killary or The Donald will be appointed as the Public Overseer of the spin down, renege on any and every promise they made in their campaigns and do the very best they can to make sure that as it progresses downhill, the Rich stay Rich and the Poor stay Poor, with as little internal violence in maintaining this status quo as is possible.  Whoever is elected, if it is possible to do so the TBTF Banks will be bailed out still further in the attempt to keep BAU running.  Somewhere along the line here though, this charade will come to an end, the tide will run out and our leader will be left Naked and impotent to do anything about the mess they have made here.  Not a moment I look forward to by any means.  The thought of seeing either Killary or The Donald naked is not something I wish to witness.

http://abiyamo.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Naked-Portraits-Statue-Of-Hillary-Clinton-Released-By-Donald-Trumps-Fans-SHOCKING-PHOTOS-4.jpg   http://www.tinparis.net/thoisu16/Naked%20Donald%20Trump%20statue%20in%20Cleveland%20Ohio.jpg

Bourgeois Bossman

TriangleofDoomgc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of Steve Ludlum

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on the Economic Undertow on May 10, 2016

March 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)March 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)[/caption]

Discuss this article at the Geopolitics Table inside the Diner

In our times of trouble, our nation turns its lonely eyes to …

… a fat guy who cheats at golf:

One morning in the mid-1990s, Mark Mulvoy was on the sixth hole of Long Island’s Garden City Golf Club with Donald Trump when the skies opened, and they ducked for cover under a nearby awning. The rain let up a few moments later, and Mulvoy, then the managing editor of Sports Illustrated, returned to the green. When he got there, he found a ball 10 feet from the pin that he didn’t remember seeing before the storm.

 

 

 

 

“Who the hell’s ball is this?” he said.

“That’s me,” the real estate mogul said, according to Mulvoy.

“Donald, give me a fucking break,” Mulvoy recalls telling him. “You’ve been hacking away in the weeds all day. You do not lie there.”

“Ahh, the guys I play with cheat all the time,” he recalls Trump replying. “I have to cheat just to keep up with them.”

“The worst celebrity golf cheat?” the rock star Alice Cooper said in a 2012 interview with Q magazine. “I wish I could tell you that. It would be a shocker. I played with Donald Trump one time. That’s all I’m going to say.”

“I’ve never played with Alice Cooper,” Trump said. “That’s a terrible thing to say about people, especially me.”

 

 

 

How sinister! Goldfinger is running for president of the United States!

How will James Bond save us from ourselves this time? Nobody knows. Oscar Wilde famously remarked “life imitates art”; that was in a more genteel time when the world actually had ‘art’. Fast forward to the twenty-first century and life imitates commercials

… our ‘alternative’ candidate: unstoppable, mechanistic, can’t be reasoned with, doesn’t feel pity, etc. So far, no horror flick about an Ebbets Field era political cliché-slash-fall guy … no doubt Hollywood’s best minds are hard at work on a concept right at this moment.

Pop culture’s leadership program offers a range of stupid-psychotic characters to run our vital systems … so that we might gain the thieves’ return. Systems include governments, militaries, big businesses and religions. Thieves’ return is exactly what it sounds like; it costs the robber almost nothing to steal compared to the expenses borne by his victims whose relative good nature (they are the slower moving thieves) makes them deserving of their fate. The Cortezes and Napoleons, Goldmans and Sachses (and Madoffs), Trumps and their ilk are not accidents or outliers, they are integral components of modernity like the printing press or Hans Wegner chairs … iPhones and battleships. Our precious system cannot function without them.

The idea, to paraphrase Lewis Mumford, is “to maim and kill with more expert precision than one’s neighbor … “ but, to do so out of sight, without making a scene or scaring the horses, to kill and maim in another country. With a certain je ne sais quoi;

Bourgeois

/bo͝orˈZHwä

  • A part of, relating to, or characteristic of the social middle class,
  • Marked by a concern for material interests and respectability and a tendency toward mediocrity,
  • Dominated by commercial and industrial interests; capitalistic.

In the beginning, the maiming and killing process ‘worked’: gold and riches flowed from Spanish conquests in the New World toward Europe, then from South Asian, African and Chinese colonies toward England other European powers. When the most productive parts of the world were divided the Europeans turned against each other; the rot had begun to set in. America emerged from its century of isolation and European carnage and turned toward colonizing nature itself. With machines, complexity and fossil fuels, Americans and their imitators were able to achieve a level of prosperity and comfort unimaginable in earlier times.

Yet, nothing lasts forever. Analogous to Hyman Minsky’s Financial Instability Hypothesis; prosperity carries with it the germ of its own undoing. Comfort and vanity are corrupting. The parade of thieves across history is evidence that ill-gotten gains are the only kind to be had. Labor, art and creativity are time-wasting hobbies and/or marketing. Innovation and technology are useful only as far as they leverage more efficient theft. Sorry dreamers: facts on the ground speak for themselves: we plunder therefor we are. If any of us chooses to do otherwise someone else steps up to plunder in our place. The iron laws of nature insist that humans pillage or die trying, it is either us… or rabbits and kangaroos: life is a contest with only one winner.

We have made it our destiny to spread our multitudes across the universe, to discover other worlds so we might empty them as we have done with this one … to reduce everything to accounting entities, to turn capital into waste, to replace value with ‘Made in China’ brand poison cat food and and the ‘magic of free parking’.

“Omelets are not made without breaking eggs,” right?

What keeps the various rogues in check is readiness of others to do the same thing. There are too few ‘fools in the market’ able to absorb costs and thereby support the enterprise. Our theft-based economy hiccups because of a shortage of victims solvent enough to justify the expense of stealing from them … or without resources to extract. Those making their way up the economic ladder of deprived of gains they feel entitled to … which in turn amplifies the increasingly vicious pillaging cycle.

Managers’ first and only job is to promote the interests of big business, to stand aside and allow those with most invested to run things. Leadership is a matter of role playing; the leader’s job is to conform to the public’s collective imagination and provide distractions. Managers are employed strictly by how they look, dress, speak, where certified and whom they ‘know’; where they live and work and how they travel. This is how Goldfinger becomes a presidential nominee: he’s a billionaire … or at least looks and acts like one. This is suggestive to his legions of supporters who see something of themselves within him. Under the circumstances, actual competence or capacity is unnecessary, only fashion.

Forms that require labor, skill, difficulty or do not present a marketing opportunity are penalized with diminished status. Because our scams are divorced from reality the scam managers are expected to be incompetent even as they are fashionable! There is no penalty for stupidity in America.

Competence is intolerable except where it allows for the proper internal functioning of the enterprise. The ostensible scam- masters might be buffoons but those who tend the boilers must know what they are about.

Actual or ‘real’ phenomena which take on pop culture’s forms are treated by the culture as if they are scams irrespective of logic: “Buy the fiction, sell the fact.” Because our institutions are acknowledged to be fraudulent and this is winked at it is not hard for marketing to promote what it wishes as frauds. This is how energy companies can falsely accuse climate science of being a scam and have a large part of the public accept it.

The Hollywood villain vicious cycle runs off the rails …

Assad2

… to maim and kill with more expert precision than one’s neighbor.

Whether they intend to be or not, managers are First Law change-agents. The First Law relates to the costs associated with ballooning surpluses (see the upper right corner of this page). The sensible change-agent voluntarily reduces surpluses before management costs spiral out of control. Our bourgeois bossmen are not sensible, they are actors reading from scripts. In boardrooms and in offices, in central banks and strategy sessions verything possible is done in order to maximize surpluses, to gain them by force if need be. Costs rush through the back door and around corners, the surpluses evaporate.

Whoever wins the election later this year will be ill-equipped to do more but dodge responsibility for the country’s (the world’s) accelerating troubles. If the managers were to tell the truth they would discuss overpopulation, permawar, water- and petroleum depletion, loss of topsoil fertility, diminished waste-carrying capacity; resource constraints that will never ‘disappear’. Instead, candidate Trump blames Mexicans for the American working-man’s plight. He does not understand why Mexicans are at our door in the first place … changes in Mexican agriculture. With climate change and other self-amplifying costs of American industrial surpluses, there are more Mexicans and others certain to come.

We are up against thermodynamic entropy, evidence for this is everywhere a person chooses to look. Entropy is not subject to payoffs, PR or force; it does not negotiate. It is a consequence not an option. We had our chance: Instead of adapting, we were offered supply-side fantasies paid for with the charge card … leaving us with an overwhelming mess and hapless Hollywood villains who do not have a clue.

Good luck on us, we will need it.

Assad photo credit: Joseph Eid/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

The Legacy

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of Albert Bates

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on Peak Surfer on May 1, 2016

PeakSurfer

Discuss this article at the Geopolitics Table inside the Diner

"I am feeling pain for you, Mr. President. We didn’t use to have drone strikes on outdoor restaurants in countries we are not at war with."

 

 

  Last night was the annual White House Correspondent’s Dinner, the eighth and final #WHCD for @POTUS Barack Obama. While it is ostensibly a celebrity roast of the sitting president, it is almost always kept very tame. Host Larry Wilmore had a few awkward moments of silence and boos when he quipped:

"And I have to admit it’s not easy to follow the president, man. You got some jokes. Mr. President. The president’s funny. Stay in your lane, man. You don’t see me going around president-ing all the time, right? I don’t go around passing health care, and signing executive orders pardoning turkeys … not closing Guantanamo. Oh wait, maybe I did do that.

"But I have to say, it’s great, it looks like you’re really enjoying your last year of the presidency. Saw you hanging out with NBA players like Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors. That was cool. That was cool, yeah. You know it kinda makes sense, too, because both of you like raining down bombs on people from long distances, right? What? Am I wrong? Speaking of drones, how is Wolf Blitzer still on television?"

Back on June 15, 2015, Marc Maron welcomed President Barack Obama to his L.A. garage for an appearance on the number one rated podcast, WTF. What ensued was an hour-long conversation about college, fitting in, race relations, gun control, raising kids in the White House, and, obviously the reason the President would appear on a podcast with a name like WTF — the Obama legacy. Just like a Correspondent’s Dinner, the jibes were G-rated.

We wondered what could have been.

Marc: Thank you for this honor and I would like to get right to the heart of it. Okay? You are here because you are worried about your legacy, right? I mean, nobody comes to my garage — a President of the United States doesn’t come to my garage — unless you are pretty desperately worried.

POTUS: (laughs) I’ll let other people worry about these things, seriously. There is nothing I can really do about that, so why bother trying? People will judge me, and that comes with the job.

Marc: But lets get right down to it, they will judge you not on the things you got right but where you blew it, right? As Shakespeare said, The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones. Where do you think you blew it?
 

Tented entrance to Marc's garage

POTUS: Well, I don’t disagree with you. I look at many recent presidents whom I consider to have done a better job than I have but who are vilified, often for the wrong reasons. I came to office at a particularly difficult time when the Republican Party was struggling to find an identity, and in their internal squabbles, made me the scapegoat, which put me in a difficult position. I could have handled that better, perhaps. But when I take an unemployment rate of 10 percent down to 5.5 percent, when I drive the uninsured rate to the lowest it's ever been, when I restore people's 401(k)s, when I make sure that we're doubling clean energy, and we are reducing our carbon footprint, and high school graduations are the highest they've ever been, and college attendance is the highest it's ever been, and LGBT rights have been recognized and solidified in ways that we couldn't even imagine ten years ago – when I look at those things, I can say that in terms of not just managing the government, but moving the country forward, we've had a lot more hits than misses. We've made a difference in people's lives. And that is ultimately what you're looking for.

Marc: But didn’t you invite Boehner over for beers? That is not really what I am talking about, with all due respect Mr. President. I mean — you tortured some folks.

POTUS: I think the line is “We tortured some folks,” and I was speaking in the past tense.

Marc: But all due respect Mr. President. I meant you tortured some folks. They are still being tortured. The CIA is torturing them at surrogate black sites in Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. Some of those are probably American citizens. You have people still being tortured in Guantánamo because the various human rights commissions have looked at that place and how it is being run and called it torture. You have a former Gitmo prosecutor, going public and calling it “a severe threat to the reputation of the military justice system and even a fraud on the American people.” You have another former prosecutor there calling the process rigged. We know that there are innocent people there. You have released a few of them, but there are still a lot more that if they had their cases tried in court they would be let go. And they are being tortured with isolation and sleep deprivation and force feeding and bags over their heads.

If you aren’t getting these in your NSA morning briefings, you should listen to Brandon Neely speak about his experiences as a guard at Guantánamo.

POTUS: I think you have to be more careful about taking your news from the Internet, Marc (laughs).

Marc: Okay. That’s fair. What about the Uyghurs? You joked about them. Bush had 22 of them sent to Gitmo in 2002 after they were turned in by the Taliban, unarmed, in East Turkestan. They weren’t fighting the US. They liked the US. They were trying to flee the Chinese who were occupying their country and they were on their way to Turkey. The Uyghurs are as oppressed as the Tibetans, but they don't receive as much recognition because they don’t have a spokesman like the Dalai Lama.

POTUS: And like the Tibetians, or the Taiwanese, we are walking a delicate line. We have to consider our interests with respect to the Chinese, and a host of diplomatic relations there from nuclear disarmament to currency exchange rates to global climate change.

Marc: In 2005 it was determined they were not enemy combatants. They sued in US District Court and when the case was about to come up, Bush had the 5 named plaintiffs transferred to Albania. The other 17 were transferred to Isolation in Camp Six — shackled to the floor, 22 hours per day in cells with no natural light. Hot in the summer, cold in the winter.

Their case went to the US Supreme Court and the court ruled the Executive Branch lacked the Constitutional authority to detain them. Congress then revoked habeas corpus so they were knocked out of court and could not enforce the ruling. Great Britain offered them asylum but Bush wouldn’t send them. Munich, which has the largest population of Uyghurs outside China, invited them, but Bush wouldn’t release them.

POTUS: This was all the previous administration….

Marc: So then you get into office, and they were still there. Still in Guantánamo. Kiyemba v. Obama? Does that ring a bell? The Bush government acknowledged as early as 2003 that the Uyghurs were improperly detained and eligible for release. You held them until 2013.

POTUS: In all fairness, Marc, that was a political football, with a court case pending that tied my hands.

Marc: Seriously? The guy you appointed at the State Department to find countries to send them to said he couldn’t get anyone because the guys you appointed over at the Justice Department made them out to be so dangerous that they shouldn’t even be able to use habeas corpus to have their cases tried. And what did you do? You joked about them. Seriously, Mr. President, I have done some pretty lame standup, but the Correspondents’ Dinner joke about the Uyghurs, who were being tortured in Gitmo, would even have been in poor taste for me.

Why didn’t you just offer them jobs in the White House? They could have been gardeners or janitors. They didn’t have to come into the Residence. They could have mopped the floors in the West Wing.

POTUS: Admittedly, not my finest hour. But in all honesty, Marc, you and I can both agree Guantánamo continues to impose significant costs on the American people. It took a while, but we finally got greater flexibility to transfer Guantánamo detainees abroad, and I look forward to closing the facility before I leave office.

Marc: Right. What about Abdulrahman Anwar al-Awlaki?

POTUS: That is quite a mouthful Marc. Are you studying Pashtun?

 

Marc: Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki was a 16-year old US citizen, with no connection to terrorism. He was in Yemen searching for his father, Anwar al-Awlaki, a dual Yemeni-American citizen who worked as Islamic Lecturer in the Arabian Peninsula.

You decided, in your weekly targets meeting, to kill Anwar al-Awlaki with an armed CIA drone because the CIA didn’t like what he was saying in his lectures. Al-Awlaki was killed by us, America, in a country with which we are not at war. He was a lecturer. He was killed by his own government for speaking the truth as he saw it. He had constitutional rights that you, a professor of constitutional law, chose to ignore. Then, when his son went looking for him, two weeks later, Bang! You droned the son too.

POTUS: I cannot speak to matters of national security as you no doubt are aware. The Department of Defense has issued a statement that the boy was killed by accident, collateral damage in a strike against an Al Qaeda bombmaker.

Marc: He was sitting in an outdoor restaurant!

POTUS: (silence)

Marc: Do you see what I am getting at here? Do you understand the pain I feel in asking you? I am feeling pain for you, Mr. President. We didn’t use to have drone strikes on outdoor restaurants in countries we are not at war with. Even Bush didn’t do that.

POTUS: I was talking to somebody the other day about why I actually think I’m a better president and would be a better candidate if I were running again than I ever have been. And it’s sort of like an athlete—you might slow down a little bit, you might not jump as high as you used to, but I know what I’m doing and I’m fearless.

Marc: For real. You’re not pretending to be fearless.

POTUS: Right, you’re not pretending to be fearless. And when you get to that point?

Marc: Freedom.

POTUS: And also part of that fearlessness is because you’ve screwed up enough times that you know that—

Marc: It’s all happened.
 

POTUS: It’s all happened. I’ve been through this, I’ve screwed up, I’ve been in the barrel tumbling down Niagara Falls, and I emerged, and I lived. And that’s such a liberating feeling. It’s one of the benefits of age. It almost compensates for the fact I can’t play basketball anymore.

Marc: How do you define terror? We are in a War On Terror that is supposed to last my lifetime. What is terror? Is being afraid to go outdoors terror? Is being afraid to sit in an outdoor restaurant in a country not at war terror? Isn’t that what happened last November in Paris? Isn’t that what terror is — keeping people in a constant state of fear; terrorized? Who is doing that? Aren’t you doing that inside America as well as in places like Yemen and Pakistan too? You don’t have to go through the lines at the airport and take off your shoes and have your toothpaste confiscated so maybe you don’t know. Do you imagine there are not consequences when you do that for a long time? Don’t you foresee some really pissed off people?

Ten years shackled to the floor in Gitmo while known to be innocent. I’d be a little pissed off.

POTUS: It is a dangerous world out there, Marc. But look. We ended two wars. I always said from the start that there really are people out there who would have no compunction about just blowing up an entire neighborhood of Americans – innocent men, women and children – for ideological reasons. We have to deal with that. That then means that we do have to be able to identify those networks. We do have to, when we can find those folks, try to prevent them from doing what they're doing. And so, for the last seven years what I've tried to do is to build up a defense posture that is consistent with our values and due process, build up an intelligence system that is consistent with our civil liberties.

Marc: I know. I get it. You are stuck between Iraq and a hard place. I guess what I am saying is that if you want to know how you will be remembered, this is how you will be remembered. It won’t be for Obamacare or climate change. Your record on torture and terror-killing from the skies has been abysmal. You have droned wedding parties and hospitals. It is a standard riff for standup comics. You are deep in torture “to the point of obstruction, concealment, and ultimate complicity” and that’s not me saying that, that’s Wells Dixon, the senior attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights.

You never held Bush officials accountable for what happened. You are still holding back the Senate report on torture.  You had Secretary of State Kerry call Feinstein and tell her to delay the report’s release. Your administration itself has transferred prisoners into facilities run by governments where torture is used — a violation of the UN Convention Against Torture — even though our allies have stopped sending prisoners there, you still do.

You issued an executive order taking control of torture out of the CIA and giving it to the White House lawyers, but you didn’t ban it. You still allow prolonged isolation, sleep and sensory deprivation and intimidating or humiliating practices. Your order specifically did not ban extraordinary rendition or prohibit CIA random and arbitrary secret detention. That was no accident, come on. Although we can’t say for sure that nobody’s been flown off to countries such as Egypt and tortured under your orders, as they were under Bush and Clinton, CIA captives have been transferred to facilities run by the Afghan security forces where we know torture takes place. And lets be serious. That is why you are sending them there.

If they survive and sue you, your guys have repeatedly invoked state-secrets privilege to stop them from having a fair day in court. Without any deterrent of civil or criminal prosecution, future presidents might feel they can bring back waterboarding, or hanging people from the ceiling.  That’s your legacy, Mr. President.

POTUS: This interview is over (muffled mic noise).

Hillarism

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of Albert Bates

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on Peak Surfer on April 24, 2016

PeakSurfer

Discuss this article at the Geopolitics Table inside the Diner

 

"The Irish Water crisis, the slow collapse of public health and education, resurgent child poverty, the epidemic of loneliness, offshore tax-avoidance havens, the collapse of ecosystems, Occupy Hong Kong, Australian greedy banks, and the rise of Donald Trump link to a single bad gene in our political DNA."

 


It is the political silly season, although these days it never seems to be otherwise. Delma Rouseff, Brazil’s heroic anti-establishment, anti-corruption President, has been impeached by the lower house on (dubious) charges of corruption, but the former, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva called it more accurately a "coup d’état.”

Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson resigned after it was revealed he owned an offshore company with his wife to channel millions of kroner. British Prime Minister David Cameron admitted he owned shares in a Bahamas-based trust up until 2010. In Malta, protesters demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat for the same tax-avoidance activities.

Scores of countries will hold national elections in 2016. In January, Portugal elected Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, former leader of the Social Democratic Party and supported by the Social Democratic Party and the CDS – People's Party. Portugal, which rationalized recreational drug policy in 2001, tilted left.

Ireland, which has a gender neutral election law, requiring any election to be supported by at least 30% male and 30% female voters, in February elected a right-leaning Dáil Éireann (parliament). Sadly the coalition is still too fractious to choose a Taoiseach (prime minister)

In 2013 Ireland consolidated separate county and local water authorities into a single national utility, which proceeded to install meters everywhere and raise rates. In 2014 and 2015 local protests blocked meter installers. Four percent of Ireland's population showed up at one demonstration in Dublin. Irish Water is a wedge between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, so no prime minister for Ireland.

Legislative elections for 450 Duma seats will be held in Russia on 18 September. Polls April 10th give Dmitry Medvedev’s conservative United Russia 46%, Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s right-wing anti-communist Liberal Democratic Party 11%, Gennady Zyuganov’s left-wing Communist Party 9%, A Just Russia People's Freedom Party 5% and the remainder to 10 other parties, including the Greens led by Oleg Mitvol.

In Peru, the first round on April 10th narrowed the field to Keiko Fujimori, daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori, of the Popular Force party, and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski candidate of the Peruvians for Change party. Fujimori has a healthy lead and the second round of voting comes June 5th. Peru is interesting if for no other reason than the names of its political parties (as translated): 

Popular Force
Peruvians for Change
Broad Front
Alliance for Progress
Popular Alliance
Popular Action
Direct Democracy
Possible Peru
Hope Front
Order Party
Developing Peru
Everybody for Peru

These names seem like something you might read on post-its on the wall of the “creatives” room in an ad agency.

In Australia, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said last November: "I would say around September–October is when you should expect the next election to be.” However, when parties predictably deadlocked over bills to reinstate the Australian Building and Construction Commission, a bone of contention for the opposition Labor Party, Turnbull this week announced he would dissolve Parliament on May 3 and call for new elections July 2. Turnbull himself is well known to Australians and his party the clear frontrunner. But lately he has been losing ground to Labor leader Bill Shorten in the polls. Labor needs to win 21 seats to take power, a swing of 4.3%. BBC reports:

“Mr Turnbull will attempt to paint Mr Shorten as a union lackey who cannot manage the economy; Mr Shorten will say Mr Turnbull is an out-of-touch protector of greedy banks leading a divided party that stands for nothing.”

The Philippines just concluded its presidential debate cycle and is headed to national elections May 9th. At the top of the ballot is the election for successor to Philippine President Benigno Aquino III. The leading candidate is the current VP Jejomar Binay. His opponents include Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago (People's Reform Party) who is suffering from stage 4 lung cancer. Called "the Iron Lady of Asia,” she was the widely expected winner of the 1992 Philippine Presidential Elections, but lost after an inexplicably unscheduled power outage during the counting of votes. The Supreme Court of the Philippines recently declared optical scanner counting devices “corrupt” and forced precincts to return to hand counts.

Santiago announced her candidacy for president in the launch of her book, Stupid is Forever, on October 13, 2015.

Other candidates include Rodrigo “Courage and Compassion” Duterte (PDP–Laban), Grace "Government with a Heart” Poe (Independent) and Mar "Continue the Straight Path” Roxas (Liberal).

While the People’s Republic of China will not be holding national elections this year, what is brewing at the grass roots in Hong Kong is QI — quite interesting.  Wikipedia reports:

The emergence of new political groups led by young activists is set to shake up the political landscape of Hong Kong. Hong Kong Indigenous, a pro-independence localist group, faired well in the February New Territories East by-election by receiving more than 66,000 votes, coming third after pan-democratic Civic Party and pro-Beijing DAB, gaining about 15 percent of the total votes. A day after the election, localist groups including Wong Yuk-man's Proletariat Political Institute, Wong Yeung-tat's Civic Passion and Chin Wan's Hong Kong Resurgence Order announced a plan to field candidates in all five geographical constituencies.

On 10 April 2016. six post-Occupy organisations, Youngspiration, East Kowloon Community, Tin Shui Wai New Force, Cheung Sha Wan Community Establishment Power, Tsz Wan Shan Constructive Power and Tuen Mun Community, political groups formed after the Umbrella Revolution, formed an electoral alliance planned to field candidates in four of the five geographical constituencies with the agenda to put forward a referendum on Hong Kong's self-determination. Hong Kong Indigenous and another new pro-independence Hong Kong National Party also stated that they will run in the upcoming election.

On the same day on 10 April 2016, the student leaders in the Umbrella Revolution, Joshua Wong, Oscar Lai and Agnes Chow of Scholarism and Nathan Law of the Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) also formed a new party Demosisto which was inspired by Taiwan's New Power Party which was formed by the Sunflower Movement leaders and fared well in the 2016 Taiwanese legislative election. The new party calls for referendum on Hong Kong's future after 2047 when the One Country, Two Systems is supposed to expire. The party aimed at fielding candidates in Hong Kong Island and Kowloon East, facing competitions from other new political groups while posing challenge to the traditional pan-democracy camp.

Finally, turning to the USA: With Bernie Sanders’ inability to unset the Hillary Clinton base in New York (Manhattan 66% – 33%; Westchester County 67% – 32%) on Tuesday, it looks more and more like a Clinton victory at the convention is a lead pipe cinch. Who knows? She might even have the team to out-Diebold the Trump machine. In Brooklyn, tens of thousands of voters discovered too late that they were ineligible to vote. The New York City Elections Board confirmed that more than 125,000 Brooklyn voters had been scrubbed from the voter rolls and the NY Attorney General's office is on the case. Clinton can now win less than half of the remaining primaries and still gain the required number of delegates.

Can she throw some kind of a aikido move on the Trump steamroller? We don’t yet know who controls the machines, but it is a pretty good bet it ain’t the Donald.

This past week George Monbiot penned one of the best essays of his career, although it was actually a teaser for his new book, How Did We Get into This Mess? published by Verso for £12.99.

In naming Neoliberalism as the root of all our problems, Monbiot linked the Irish Water crisis, the slow collapse of public health and education, rigged Philippine elections, resurgent child poverty, the epidemic of loneliness, offshore tax-avoidance havens, the collapse of ecosystems, Occupy Hong Kong, Australian greedy banks, and the rise of Donald Trump to a single bad gene in our political DNA.

Monbiot writes:

Neoliberalism sees competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. It redefines citizens as consumers, whose democratic choices are best exercised by buying and selling, a process that rewards merit and punishes inefficiency. It maintains that “the market” delivers benefits that could never be achieved by planning.

Attempts to limit competition are treated as inimical to liberty. Tax and regulation should be minimised, public services should be privatised. The organisation of labour and collective bargaining by trade unions are portrayed as market distortions that impede the formation of a natural hierarchy of winners and losers. Inequality is recast as virtuous: a reward for utility and a generator of wealth, which trickles down to enrich everyone. Efforts to create a more equal society are both counterproductive and morally corrosive. The market ensures that everyone gets what they deserve.

When George W. Bush attributed the rise of Islamic jihadis to “they hate our freedom,” what he was doing was reinforcing the neoliberal meme. As Monbiot puts it:

Freedom from trade unions and collective bargaining means the freedom to suppress wages. Freedom from regulation means the freedom to poison rivers, endanger workers, charge iniquitous rates of interest and design exotic financial instruments. Freedom from tax means freedom from the distribution of wealth that lifts people out of poverty.

Hillary Clinton likes to tell audiences that because of the Affordable Care Act, "We now have driven costs down to the lowest they've been in 50 years.” Actually, health spending in the United States is higher than it's ever been, so the statement on its face is inaccurate. The U.S. spends more per capita than every other country in the OECD; and twice as much per capita as the system in France, with considerably worse average outcomes.

Monbiot writes:

The privatisation or marketisation of public services such as energy, water, trains, health, education, roads and prisons has enabled corporations to set up tollbooths in front of essential assets and charge rent, either to citizens or to government, for their use. Rent is another term for unearned income.

Unearned income is what buys elections, and not just in the United States.

What the history of both Keynesianism and neoliberalism show is that it’s not enough to oppose a broken system. A coherent alternative has to be proposed. And that is what none of the elections in 2016 seem to be doing.

Feeling the Bern

bernie-dinersgc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of K-Dog

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on the Doomstead Diner on March 28, 2016

Bernie Sanders at the Seattle Rally (photo credit off the Smart Phone of Son of K-Dog)

Discuss this article at the Geopolitics Table inside the Diner

I leave work, it is Friday night and Bernie is having his biggest rally ever about a mile away.   Normally I'd pass the stadium and hop on a cantilever called Edgar Martinez Way, getting on the western end of I-90 heading east over long Lake Washington then south on I-405 to home.  Generally it is twelve miles or forty five minutes, whichever comes first. 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ea/Downtown_Seattle_from_Kerry_Park.jpg/360px-Downtown_Seattle_from_Kerry_Park.jpg The trip around the south end of the lake, perhaps from twenty one to twenty five miles depending on how I decide to drive through the city takes closer to the forty five minutes traffic might mean the way north and across the floating bridge over the lake but always less than the stop and go traffic times that way can bring and a more consistent trip.  There are places to stop at for doggie treats.

Generally starting north to the stadium is the way to go but I've noticed the area in the last two days (SODO) has been crawling with law enforcement of every conceivable kind and some kinds of which you can't even conceive of.  A baseball game at the stadium can severely inter-fear with the commute as it is and I guessed with Bernie Sanders in town the northern route might be a bit dicey.  It was also Friday and stopping for doggie treats on the way home and avoiding stop and go traffic altogether is what I generally like to do on Fridays.

I headed south.  I knew Bernie would be arriving soon but I had no desire to rally and there is nothing Bernie could possibly say to make me a supporter because I already am.  I was not in the mood for circus.

One donut and coffee later get home and no Mrs. Dog.  Turns out she is with our son at the Sanders rally and they lucked out and got seating four rows back from the home plate stage about a hundred feet from Bernie.  A top seat and they get this in spite of deciding to go to the rally at the last minute.  Other people not so lucky had been lined up to get into the stadium since noon.  Fair Fortuna had been with my family.  The people outside had a festive time waiting for the doors to open and the weather was good.

After I spend a lonesome evening alone by myself I ventured out for a late night snack and when I returned Mrs. Dog and son had come home.  They were both animated and inspired muttering things like 'political revolution' and 'get out the vote'. 

With wry pleasure; knowing that neither one of them are morning people, I looked at their wide eyes and said to them.  'Since you are both so inspired you have to get up in the morning and get to the Democratic Party Caucus at Newcastle Elementary to see Bernie is chosen as the Democratic party candidate choice from our district then.'  I knew about the district democratic caucus in the morning only because a Sanders volunteer had called the house earlier in the evening urging me to be there for Bernie.  To be nice to him, I had said I'd think about it not telling him how protective I am about my Saturday mornings which usually involves at least a couple of hours laying about in a Hugh Hefner bathrobe being contemplative sipping coffee and that is all.  As I was talking to the Sanders volunteer the future with coffee was the future I was anticipating.  With my utterance about attending the caucus all that had changed.

That is the story of how I wound up at our local Democratic Caucus Saturday morning with Mrs. Dog.  Our son who had left later in the night to hook up with his girl friend must have gone to her Democratic Caucus because he wasn't at the Democratic caucus where he is registered to vote. 

It was an interesting experience.  Audience participation of a well thought out ceremony.  A retired but still well known Seattle sports announcer, Tony Ventrella now Digital Media Host for the Seattle Seahawks and a well know former sports announcer for Seattle television manned a microphone upon the convening of the caucus and read a letter about why we were there.  Tony lives in the area and was caucusing like everyone else who was there.  I have seen him at the local grocery store.

After a preliminary vote which would have given Bernie three of five delegates from our local precinct at a county wide caucus, the next step up of the caucus pyramid we talked at the precinct level.  After another vote and by following written instructions we had been provided on how to allocate the percentage of the vote that did not round to a candidate evenly Bernie wound up getting four of our five local delegates to the Democratic Caucus for King County from our district precinct.  One delegate went to Clinton.  King County is twice the size of Rhode Island.  I filled out paperwork and when my voter registration is checked I will be notified that I am a delegate and I'll know where to go and when.  I do know it is on a Sunday.

As one of the delegates to the King County Caucus I will be representing Bernie on behalf of the Democrats in my local district precinct after being duly elected to do so.

 :icon_sunny:

And as RE says, who couldanode?!


"Here's another fine mess you've  gotten me into Ollie!"


Bernie is on a roll.  The rally in Seattle was huge.  Bernie can take the entire West Coast if he keeps up his momentum and that will give him more delegates than Clinton and that is the plan!

 

Despite the media disparaging Bernie and building up Clinton every chance they get, the results in Washington show that some of us still have a few clues and don't drink the mass media Kool-Aid with as much abandon as has been assumed.  Mass media radio is spinning the Sanders win as 'he can't keep up the momentum so why bother'.  The voice of empire speaks to quell Sander's gains.  Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Utah, Washington State may be the beginning of a wave that will crest in California.  We shall see how bewitched people are to the siren song of media puppet string pullers who seek to crash the nation on the cliffs and rocks of Trump or Hillary to maintain their song of oligarchy.

Helping Bernie get that extra delegate was a rewarding experience.  I did some of the talking and helped change a few minds.  I'll have fun at the county caucus.  I might wind up being the dog that makes all the difference, because:

 

Videos off the Smart Phone of Son of K-Dog

I'M REPRESENTING !!!

After the King County Caucus some will go on to the Washington State Caucus as delegates and from there delegates to the D.N.C. will be elected.  That is my understanding of the process so far. 
 
If I bark for Sanders right I suppose I could wind up going to the Washington State Caucus without too much trouble.  I expect getting as far as the D.N.C in Philadelphia could wind up being a bit more 'political'. 
 
If I get to the D.N.C. I know someplace I'll be sure to visit.  Geno’s Steaks.  I think it is where Philadelphia cheese steaks started, I'm not sure.  Regardless I could spend several days in Philadelphia hunting cheese steak sandwitches.  They are my kind of doggie treat.
 
Saturday I did not compare Hillary to Rodan the Flying Reptile even once!  I figured I might be in a crowd where some people actually like her so I was careful what I said.  The most I went in any negative direction regarding Hillary was when I said.
 

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/15kdTQWTch0/hqdefault.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quote:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don't think she is actually evil but ………

The overall feeling about Hillary behind the closed doors of the elementary school was that she is inconsistent.  A political deal maker who does not have consistency because she is always doing what 'the money' tells her to do.  She blows in the wind and was called a flip flopper.  Sanders was portrayed to be consistent in his positions with thirty years of solid experience working for principles of social inclusion that the Democratic Party takes seriously.  At least on the local level, from what I saw, this appears to be true.  We all know Democratic Party leadership has other priorities living as they do in a pragmatic stratosphere far above the people they represent but at my caucus on Saturday the principles of the Democratic party were explained along with the rules on what we were to do. 

Sanders was also felt to be a 'stronger' anti-war candidate.  I thought that was a good way to put it.  Nice and gentle, and non-confrontational.  One of the caucus rules was that you were not suppose to mention opposition candidates by name.  It is a good rule and it forced concentration on the relative strengths between Bernie and Hillary on their positions and records.  For the most part this rule was observed.  A few times a name or a couple of initials slipped out but when that happened it was always relevant to a point being made and no big deal.

I did point out that Bernie has a better chance of beating 'The Republicans' than Hillary does.

My son told me that he had thought about making it to the caucus on Saturday but he figured getting me to go was good enough.  This turned out to be true.  No way was Sanders going to take all the delegates from our district.  Four of five was the best we were going to do.  He figured the caucus would probably be closed by 4:30 PM too.  We had finished and all gone our separate ways by noon.

Had I checked the weeks mail before Sunday I would have known I had an invitation to Caucus for Bernie Sanders on Saturday March 26th at 9 AM waiting for me.  I might have clued my son in had I seen it but it was a general mailing and did not say where the caucus would be.  Mail is easily ignored anyway.  As things worked out it was all good. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President Trump

Il Duncegc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of Albert Bates

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on Peak Surfer on January 31, 2016

PeakSurfer

Discuss this article at the Geopolitics Table inside the Diner

"From here this presidency sure looks like an unqualified success."

 

  It has been more than a year now since The Donald moved into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and he continues to be thwarted at every turn by that do-nothing Congress and the Democrat Party.

We all had expected that by now the Asian countries that have dumped their goods here and almost bankrupted our country by causing our trade deficit would have felt the bite of tough new rules, but the Trans Pacific Partnership tied Donald's hands on that one.

Mexico still won’t keep its illegals — the source for Americans’ drugs — on their side of the border. NAFTA prevented the border closing there. It wouldn't even take those Mexican tractor-trailers off our roads, and who knows how many of them are filled with illegals being dropped off in Ohio and Pennsylvania? Still, we are pouring concrete for a bigger wall all the time, whether Mexico pays for it or not. They should because they created this problem, but so far Donald has not gotten a single peso from the ingrates.

And, of course, the Muslims have always been fighting us when they are not too busy squirmishing between themselves. The Donald's executive order closed all our borders to refugees from Syria, Libya, Egypt, and Afghanistan; countries populated by still more ingrates who are unwilling to pay for the wars that we started on their behalf. And wouldn't you know? That is now going to the Supreme Court, challenged by the Democrat Party as unconstitutional. As if the President of the United States, as Commander in Chief, doesn't have the power to keep all the riffraff out. That wishy washy Supreme Court is not conservative enough! The Donald will get his chance to change that, soon, with real right-winging, bitter-clinging, proud clingers of our guns, our God, and our religion, and our Constitution.

Solving our trade deficit wasn't as simple as ending the supply of cheap Chinese stuff. Donald got around Congress and the TPP by calling that retailer CEO summit at the White House. But it still comes in from places protected by those bad trade deals negotiated by idiot presidents who didn't know the first thing about the art of the deal. Now the Chinese stuff goes to Australia and gets rebranded before the container ships take it to WalMart. That is why the prices we pay didn't change much, so I guess we can be grateful. The Chinese and Koreans should be too, but are they? No way.

When the Donald sent the marines to grab Iraq’s oilfields last month there was a big uproar at the UN but what could they do, the toothless liberals? Donald just vetoed any Security Council resolution they passed. Now we control a significant supply of the world’s oil and can set prices where we like, and not just where the Saudis want them, in the basement. We all have to put up with higher prices at the pump now, but rising crude prices have stopped the slump in fracked gas futures and got us back on the path to the energy independence that made America strong.

If the Saudis gripe about that, Donald says he is ready to send a bunch of oil sheiks to his reopened Guantanamo just to let them know who's in charge. Sure, he hasn't gotten rid of ISIS yet, but give him time. He will get their oil too, and you can take that to the bank. The marines are just settling into Iraq now. Syria is a quick hop.

Donald's poll numbers are quite good, and it is long past the honeymoon stage. People are calling him the Second Great Communicator. Doubters have to eat crow. Our military is stronger than ever, and we are respected again, whether foreigners like it or not.

We will know soon whether that do-nothing Congress passes the President's energy plan and American builders can get started on those 100 new nuclear plants. That will be a real shot in the arm for the economy, as well as making energy cheap again. People say the President is a climate denier, but those new nukes will do more to stop climate change than anything Obama did in Paris. Put a trillion dollars into nuclear power, like we will, and your other countries can be energy independent too, you UN people.

People criticize the President for ordering the National Football League to move the Super Bowl to New Jersey, but now that more than a third of the teams have relocated to California, it seems only reasonable that the East Coast should get its share of the action. Some of the best football we've ever seen was played in snow.

When the Donald took office the economy was in shambles. Stocks were getting schlonged. Oil, coal, and car companies were talking bankruptcy and wanting bailouts. The Donald doesn't do bailouts. How about that?

The Donald met with all the banks and cut them checks. He refinanced the country. Remember: this is a guy who knows what it is to go bankrupt and still wind up with high-rise penthouses and golf courses. That's exactly what he did for America. Who cares what the dollar is now worth in Timbuktu? We will soon have legal casinos in every city and every state, and they won't be run by Indians, either.

We are still only a year into this presidency, but from here it sure looks like an unqualified success. We guess that's only to be expected when you buy the best.
 

“I’m Donald Trump and I endorse this message” — Trump for President 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Survey: Most Dangerous to World Peace? Results: Most Evil Recent POTUS

gc2smsurvey-says-2Off the keyboard of RE

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on the Doomstead Diner on August 20, 2015

 

Discuss the Results at the Survey Table inside the Diner

TAKE THE NEW MOST DANGEROUS TO WORLD PEACE SURVEY HERE

One of the greatest dangers we face in civilization collapse is the likelihood of even MORE Wars breaking out than we have already.  Or a total conflagration ending in Global Thermonuclear War.

Despite all the so-called "Nuclear Non-Proliferation" Treaties, and the attempt by the FSoA to keep this a War-Monger Trade Secret after dropping the Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of WWII, the Ruskies got the Bomb, ostensibly courtesy of Spies Julius & Ethel Rosenberg, who were Executed for Treason.

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg NYWTS.jpgJulius Rosenberg (May 12, 1918 – June 19, 1953) and Ethel Greenglass Rosenberg (September 28, 1915 – June 19, 1953) were American citizens executed for treason and conspiracy to commit espionage, relating to passing information about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union.

The other atomic spies who were caught by the FBI offered confessions and were not executed, including Ethel's brother, David Greenglass, who supplied documents to Julius from Los Alamos and served 10 years of his 15-year sentence; Harry Gold, who identified Greenglass and served 15 years in Federal prison as the courier for Greenglass; and a German scientist, Klaus Fuchs, who served nine years and four months.[1][2]

In 1995, the United States government released a series of decoded Soviet cables, codenamed VENONA, which confirmed that Julius acted as a courier and recruiter for the Soviets, but did not provide definitive evidence for Ethel's involvement.[3][4] Ethel's brother David Greenglass, whose testimony had condemned her, later stated that he had lied to protect his own wife Ruth, who had been the actual typist of the classified documents he stole,[5] and that he was encouraged by the prosecution to do so.[6][7] Morton Sobell, who was tried with the Rosenbergs, served 17 years and 9 months of a 30-year sentence.[8] In 2008, Sobell admitted he was a spy and stated that Julius Rosenberg had spied for the Soviets, but that Ethel Rosenberg had not.[9]

In the succeeding years, 7 other countries "got the Bomb", including such notables as Israel and North Korea.

According to a new report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), nine nations — the United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea — possess approximately 16,300 nuclear weapons. in total.-Jun 17, 2014

 

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/55/d2/fd/55d2fdbe6957f98926ba5f997b540196.jpgBeside the threat of the Bomb, we have plenty of Asymmetric Warfare ongoing, with numerous "Terrorist" groups threatening a peaceful world with still other kinds of Mayhem.  ISIS of course is the Demon of the Day on this level, but we still have Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Boko Haram, et al.  Follow the link for a list of the Top 5 Terrorist Groups from The National Interest.

So for this week's Collapse SurveyTM, this is your opportunity to rank which Nations/Organizations are the MOST Dangerous to World Peace as the collapse progresses.

TAKE THE MOST DANGEROUS TO WORLD PEACE SURVEY HERE

survey-saysRESULTS!

For last week's Collapse SurveyTM on the Most Evil Recent POTUS, Bush II came in as Most Evil, edging out his dad Bush I by more than half a point.

 

Full Stats below:

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Standard Deviation Responses Weighted Average
Bush II 7
(18.92%)
7
(18.92%)
7
(18.92%)
1
(2.7%)
4
(10.81%)
4
(10.81%)
0
(0%)
1
(2.7%)
2.57 37 4.43 / 13
Bush I 3
(8.11%)
5
(13.51%)
2
(5.41%)
7
(18.92%)
4
(10.81%)
6
(16.22%)
2
(5.41%)
3
(8.11%)
2.07 37 5.14 / 13
Ronald Reagan 2
(5.41%)
5
(13.51%)
8
(21.62%)
5
(13.51%)
7
(18.92%)
0
(0%)
2
(5.41%)
0
(0%)
2.48 37 5.24 / 13
Barack Obama 8
(21.62%)
3
(8.11%)
4
(10.81%)
4
(10.81%)
3
(8.11%)
2
(5.41%)
3
(8.11%)
1
(2.7%)
1.92 37 5.46 / 13
Richard Nixon 5
(13.51%)
3
(8.11%)
2
(5.41%)
4
(10.81%)
2
(5.41%)
4
(10.81%)
7
(18.92%)
4
(10.81%)
1.92 37 5.73 / 13
Lyndon Johnson 1
(2.7%)
4
(10.81%)
1
(2.7%)
4
(10.81%)
4
(10.81%)
5
(13.51%)
5
(13.51%)
7
(18.92%)
2.11 37 6.22 / 13
Bill Clinton 2
(5.41%)
1
(2.7%)
6
(16.22%)
1
(2.7%)
6
(16.22%)
3
(8.11%)
3
(8.11%)
4
(10.81%)
1.79 37 6.57 / 13
Harry Truman 2
(5.41%)
6
(16.22%)
1
(2.7%)
3
(8.11%)
0
(0%)
5
(13.51%)
4
(10.81%)
4
(10.81%)
2.6 37 6.92 / 13
Gerry Ford 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
2
(5.41%)
2
(5.41%)
2
(5.41%)
1
(2.7%)
3
(8.11%)
4
(10.81%)
2.51 37 8.62 / 13
Jimmy Carter 2
(5.41%)
1
(2.7%)
0
(0%)
1
(2.7%)
4
(10.81%)
4
(10.81%)
2
(5.41%)
2
(5.41%)
2.41 37 8.78 / 13
Dwight Eisenhower 1
(2.7%)
0
(0%)
2
(5.41%)
1
(2.7%)
1
(2.7%)
3
(8.11%)
2
(5.41%)
3
(8.11%)
1.87 37 9.05 / 13
Franky Roosevelt 3
(8.11%)
1
(2.7%)
0
(0%)
3
(8.11%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
1
(2.7%)
3
(8.11%)
2.63 37 9.24 / 13
Jack Kennedy 1
(2.7%)
1
(2.7%)
2
(5.41%)
1
(2.7%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
3
(8.11%)
1
(2.7%)
2.63 37 9.59 / 13

JFK gets the nod as Least Evil, despite the fact (or maybe because?) he banged Marilyn Monroe. 😀

https://bossip.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/jfkmm.jpg?w=700

These Rankings in NO WAY match my own.  My Most to Least Evil Recent POTUS Ranking is as follows:

Richard Nixon
Bush I
Harry Truman
Ronald Reagan
Bush II
Gerry Ford
Franky Roosevelt
Barack Obama
Lyndon Johnson
Dwight Eisenhower
Bill Clinton
Jack Kennedy
Jimmy Carter

I'm not going to go thrugh my rationale for all of them, just TRICKY DICK NIXON.

Nixon was consumate evil on all levels, from corruption and money laundering to running illegal wars to providing a springboard for Bush I.  In my lifetime, no POTUS ever did more to facilitate Corruption and EVIL.

Nixon was the Spawn of Satan.

http://crasstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/nixon-devil-550.jpg

Nixon (Satan's bedfellow) photo nixonsatansbedfellow.jpg

RE

Survey Says: Best Collapse Location / New Survey: Most Evil Recent POTUS

survey-says-2Off the keyboard of RE

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on the Doomstead Diner on August 18, 2015

Visit the COLLAPSE.GLOBAL Portal for Links & Daily Updates from around the Collapse Blogosphere

survey-says

Discuss the Stats at the Survey Table inside the Diner

First, the results from last week's Collapse SurveyTM on the BEST place to Hole Up as Collapse accelerates around the Industrial World.  Very good sample size this week, 140 respondents so far.  The rankings haven't changed much since the first 25 came in, so confidence level is high that this represents the view of most KollapsniksTM.

Full Stats are down at the bottom of the page.

Unsurprising this week, New Zealand ranked #1 as Best Collapse Hole Up location.  My own Hole of Alaska ranked #2.

Apparently some folks did not know where Tristan da Cunha, Edinburgh of the Seven Seas is.  It's widely considered to be the most remote inhabited island in the world.

Tristan da Cunha

The most remote archipelago and the most remote inhabited island is Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic Ocean, 2,434 km (1,512 mi) from Saint Helena, 2,816 km (1,750 mi) from South Africa, and 3,360 km (2,090 mi) from South America

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2015/03/06/2661A5E700000578-0-image-a-91_1425651551507.jpg

I was a little surprised the Sea Gypsy paradigm of going mobile on a Sailboat did not rank a bit higher.  Since a sailboat allows you to go just about anywhere and also can be pretty self-sufficient with a reverse osmosis water desalinator and solar PV panels and wind turbine, this paradigm has a lot going for it.

Few seem to think underground living in a bunker is a real good solution.

http://www.atlassurvivalshelters.com/data1/images/2.jpg

OK now on to this week's Collapse SurveyTM! 🙂

Take the New Survey HERE

We did a survey a couple of week's ago on who would be the WORST choice for the next POTUS.  Guess who won?

http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.110525.1313948902!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/article_970/alg-donald-trump-jpg.jpg

Trumpism: The Ideology

Podcast with Jeffrey Tucker on Donald Trump

Basically for my entire life, each time a POTUS gets elected, he is instantly HATED by at least a portion of the people that elected him to office to begin with, usually for reneging on promises made or for doing something really stupid, but conversation at the Pub is always about how the current POTUS blows chunks. The Donald is HATED even before he gets elected. LOL.

So for this week's survey, I went back as far as Franky Roosevelt, who actually served FOUR terms as POTUS before they limited that to two terms.  FDR got the job of handling both Collapse effects of the Great Depression and WWII, so he seemed to be a good one to start with.  I am trying to keep these ranking surveys with only as many choices as will fit on the page at once, otherwise they become too difficult to do.  You have to scroll up and down as you move the choices around, it's a pain in the ass.

So, which of these recent POTUS was the MOST Evil, and who was the LEAST Evil?

Below are some features of their time spent running the FSoA to consider:

Franky Roosevelt:

Provoked the Japanese into attacking Pearl Harbor by Embargoing Japan. Created the Social Security system and vastly increased Federal bureaucracy. Confiscated Gold.

Harry Truman

Dropped the Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Dwight Eisenhower

Built the Interstate Highways and created modern Amerikan Happy Motoring Mall culture.  POTUS during the McCarthy Communist Purge in the 1950s.

Jack Kennedy

Got us into Vietnam.  Almost got WWIII started over the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Fucked Marilyn Monroe.

Lyndon Johnson

Escalated the Vietnam War.  Created the Great Society Social Welfare system.

Richard Nixon

"I am not a Crook".  Watergate. Cambodia. Took the FSoA off the Gold Standard and went All Fiat, all the time.

Gerald Ford

Pardoned Richard Nixon

Jimmy Carter

Iranian Hostage Crisis.  Lust in his Heart.  Farmed Peanuts.

Ronald Rayguns

Fired all the Air Traffic Controllers.  "Trickle Down'' Economics. Star Wars Missile Defense Program.

Bush the First

CIA Director.  Panama. Gulf War.

Billy Clinton

Repealed Glass-Steagall.  Got Blowjobs from Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office

Bush the Second

Iraq. Afghanistan. Patriot Act.  WTC. War on Terror.

Barry Obama

Obamacare. TPP. More Afghanistan.  NDAA. Golfed while Rome Burned.

 

OK!  Now you get to rank this Rogue's Gallery from Most to Least Evil!

Take the survey HERE

Collapse Locations Full Stats

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Standard Deviation Responses Weighted Average
New Zealand 30
(21.58%)
14
(10.07%)
11
(7.91%)
18
(12.95%)
33
(23.74%)
10
(7.19%)
8
(5.76%)
3
(2.16%)
10.14 139 4.24 / 12
Alaska 19
(13.67%)
16
(11.51%)
17
(12.23%)
28
(20.14%)
13
(9.35%)
10
(7.19%)
6
(4.32%)
8
(5.76%)
7.1 139 4.81 / 12
Nunavut 25
(17.99%)
18
(12.95%)
13
(9.35%)
13
(9.35%)
9
(6.47%)
12
(8.63%)
10
(7.19%)
11
(7.91%)
5.24 139 5.17 / 12
Amazonia 6
(4.32%)
29
(20.86%)
14
(10.07%)
14
(10.07%)
20
(14.39%)
18
(12.95%)
5
(3.6%)
10
(7.19%)
7.35 139 5.19 / 12
Tasmania 8
(5.76%)
10
(7.19%)
7
(5.04%)
8
(5.76%)
12
(8.63%)
13
(9.35%)
35
(25.18%)
14
(10.07%)
7.83 139 6.45 / 12
Finland 10
(7.19%)
8
(5.76%)
11
(7.91%)
7
(5.04%)
11
(7.91%)
11
(7.91%)
10
(7.19%)
35
(25.18%)
7.77 139 6.59 / 12
Tristan da Cunha 9
(6.47%)
5
(3.6%)
6
(4.32%)
8
(5.76%)
8
(5.76%)
33
(23.74%)
20
(14.39%)
15
(10.79%)
7.88 139 6.6 / 12
Siberia 5
(3.6%)
4
(2.88%)
25
(17.99%)
13
(9.35%)
9
(6.47%)
8
(5.76%)
8
(5.76%)
13
(9.35%)
5.99 139 6.94 / 12
Nova Scotia 4
(2.88%)
14
(10.07%)
6
(4.32%)
6
(4.32%)
10
(7.19%)
10
(7.19%)
11
(7.91%)
11
(7.91%)
8.9 139 7.45 / 12
Sea Gypsy/Sailboat 5
(3.6%)
6
(4.32%)
9
(6.47%)
6
(4.32%)
4
(2.88%)
10
(7.19%)
11
(7.91%)
8
(5.76%)
8.04 139 7.87 / 12
Hawaii/Tahiti/South Pacific Island 6
(4.32%)
11
(7.91%)
14
(10.07%)
11
(7.91%)
5
(3.6%)
2
(1.44%)
6
(4.32%)
7
(5.04%)
11.28 139 7.89 / 12
Underground Bunker 12
(8.63%)
4
(2.88%)
6
(4.32%)
7
(5.04%)
5
(3.6%)
2
(1.44%)
9
(6.47%)
4
(2.88%)
15.18 139 8.79 / 12

Potemkin Party

From the keyboard of James Howard Kunstler
Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Like us on Facebook

 

 

5-Reasons-why-Bernie-Sanders-will-beat-Hillary-Clinton
 
Originally Published on Clusterfuck Nation July 27, 2015
Visit the New Diner News Page for Daily Updates from around the Collapse Blogosphere
 

How many of you brooding on the dreadful prospect of Hillary have chanced to survey what remains of Democratic Party (cough cough) leadership in the background of Her Royal Inevitableness? Nothing is the answer. Zip. Nobody. A vacuum. There is no Democratic Party anymore. There are no figures of gravitas anywhere to be found, no ideas really suited to the American prospect, nothing with the will to oppose the lumbering parasitic corporatocracy that is doing little more than cluttering up this moment in history while it sucks the last dregs of value from our society.

I say this as a lifelong registered Democrat but a completely disaffected one — who regards the Republican opposition as the mere errand boy of the above-named lumbering parasitic corporatocracy. Readers are surely chafing to insert that the Democrats have been no less errand boys (and girls) for the same disgusting zeitgeist, and they are surely correct in the case of Hillary, and indeed of the current President.

Readers are surely also chafing to insert that there is Bernie Sanders, climbing in the opinion polls, disdaining Wall Street money, denouncing the current disposition of things with the old union hall surliness we’ve grown to know and love. I’m grateful that Bernie is in the race, that he’s framing an argument against Ms. It’s My Turn. I just don’t happen to think that Bernie gets what the country — indeed what all of techno-industrial society — is really up against, namely a long emergency of economic contraction and collapse.

These circumstances require a very different agenda than just an I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill redistributionist scheme. Lively as Bernie is, I don’t think he offers much beyond that, as if cadging a little more tax money out of WalMart, General Mills, and Exxon-Mobil will fix what is ailing this sad-ass polity. The heart of the matter is that our way of life has shot its wad and now we have to live very differently. Almost nobody wants to even try to think about this.

I hugely resent the fact that the Democratic Party puts its time and energy into the stupid sexual politics of the day when it should be working on issues such as re-localizing commercial economies (rebuilding Main Streets), reforming agriculture to avoid the total collapse of corporate-industrial farming, and fixing the passenger rail system so people will have some way to get around the country when happy Motoring dies (along with commercial aviation).

The “to do” list for rearranging the basic systems of daily life in America is long and loaded with opportunity. Every system that is retooled contains jobs and social roles for people who have been shut out of the economy for two generations. If we do everything we can to promote smaller-scaled local farming, there will be plenty of work for lesser-skilled people to do and get paid for. Saying goodbye to the tyranny of Big Box commerce would open up vast vocational opportunities in reconstructed local and regional networks of commerce, especially for young people interested in running their own business. We need to prepare for localized clinic-style medicine (in opposition to the continuing amalgamation and gigantization of hospitals, with its handmaidens of Big Pharma and the insurance rackets). The train system has got to be reborn as a true public utility. Just about every other civilized country is already demonstrating how that is done — it’s not that difficult and it would employ a lot of people at every level. That is what the agenda of a truly progressive political party should be at this moment in history.

That Democrats even tolerate the existence of evil entities like WalMart is an argument for ideological bankruptcy of the party. Democratic Presidents from Carter to Clinton to Obama could have used the Department of Justice and the existing anti-trust statutes to at least discourage the pernicious monopolization of commerce that Big Boxes represented. By the same token, President Obama could have used existing federal law to break up the banking oligarchy starting in 2009, not to mention backing legislation to more crisply define alleged corporate “personhood” in the wake of the ruinous “Citizens United” Supreme Court decision of 2010. They don’t even talk about it because Wall Street owns them.

So, you fellow disaffected Democrats — those of you who can’t go over to the other side, but feel you have no place in your country’s politics — look around and tell me who you see casting a shadow on the Democratic landscape. Nobody. Just tired, corrupt, devious old Hillary and her nemesis Bernie the Union Hall Champion out of a Pete Seeger marching song.

I’ve been saying for a while that this period of history resembles the 1850s in America in two big ways: 1) our society faces a crisis, and 2) the existing political parties are not up to the task of comprehending what society faces. In the 1850s it was the Whigs that dried up and blew away (virtually overnight), while the old Democratic party just entered a 75-year wilderness of irrelevancy. God help us if Trump-o-mania turns out to be the only alternative.

Oh, by the way, notice that the lead editorial in Monday’s New York Times is a plea for transgender bathrooms in schools. What could be more important? For Transgender Americans, Legal Battles Over Restrooms.

 

James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency, and Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation. His novels include World Made By Hand, The Witch of Hebron, Maggie Darling — A Modern Romance, The Halloween Ball, an Embarrassment of Riches, and many others. He has published three novellas with Water Street Press: Manhattan Gothic, A Christmas Orphan, and The Flight of Mehetabel.

The WORST POTUS Survey

Off the keyboard of RE

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on the Doomstead Diner on July 25, 2015

Visit the New Diner News Page for Daily Updates from around the Collapse Blogosphere

survey-says-2

Discuss this Survey at the Geopolitics Table inside the Diner

 

 

I haven't dropped any new surveys onto the Diner since we had all the problems in June, which probably were not related to The Human Extinction Survey, but nonetheless it has made me skittish about using that plugin.

Besides that though, it doesn't have a means for doing a Ranking Answer, which is something I have been looking for in a Polling system.  I believe I finally found one!  It's off-site, so it poses no threat to the Diner server.  It's also FREE up to 50 responses anyhow.  :icon_sunny:

After you go to the page, you just slide the worst choice to the top of the list, the least worst to the bottom.  It's not a complete list of all possibilities, but I think I got most of the main contenders in the horse race to be the Leader of an Empire in Collapse for the next 4 years.

Once you are done with your sort, you hit the Finished Sorting  radio button and then the Finish Sorting submit button.

Who do you think is the WORST choice among this crowd to lead us down the Collapse Highway?

RE

Farruggio for President 2012 …solutions to save our nation

Off the keyboard of Phillip Farruggio

Discuss this article at the Epicurean Delights Smorgasbord inside the Diner

I don’t intend to list countless measures that, as President, I would take. No, rather, in this world of one minute sound bites and KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid) I have a streamlined platform that covers the really pertinent and key issues of our day:

 

· Cut the military spending drastically to save our states, their cities and our prestige as a nation. The 25% Solution Movement has a simple and novel approach to this: Congress cuts military spending 25% by an ‘Up and Down ‘vote, since this spending is considered Discretionary As President I will use my bully pulpit to go directly to the American public, urging everyone to A) get out and continually demonstrate for this, and B) let their congressional representatives know that they will not vote for anyone who refuses to support this! Period!

· Use the added revenues from the above action ($ 170 billion a year) to send to all 50 states to help with their budget deficits .This would then allow the states to send money to the cities for the same purpose. No need to lay off police, firefighters, teachers etc or to close libraries and schools. You get my drift?

 

· End the occupations of Iraq & Afghanistan and send the troops home… ASAP! This would save us over $ 100 billion a year and stop the killing of our troops and the innocent civilians that they kill. It would also allow the UN, along with the Middle Eastern nations, to help stabilize those two countries.

 

· Flat Surtax of 50% on all personal income over and above one million dollars per year. Let’s leave the federal tax rates as is and begin taxing the millionaires and mega millionaires. If we are truly a nation entrenched in the Judeo- Christian traditions and precepts, are we not supposed to be ‘Our brother’s keeper ‘? Cannot a person who earns millions in income, whether it is from salary, bonus, interest, commissions, or inheritance, afford to live quite well on 50% of those millions? Did you know that 50% of working Americans earn less than $ 27,000 a year? How can a single mother or father raise a child or two on that meager amount? Do the math and see how taking half from a very wealthy person is perhaps the most spiritual thing we can do as a nation.

 

· Return the corporate tax rates to what they were in our recent past. Honor small business by instituting payroll tax forgiveness for up to the first $ 20,000 of wages, for both the employee and employer. This would return up to $ 1500 a year to each worker, tax free. The small business owner would have saved up to $ 1500 for each employee. I would cap this plan at a maximum of 100 employees. This plan would discourage‘off the books ‘hiring and give small businesses more capital to stay competitive, if they choose.

 

· Jumpstart a movement to get private money outof electoral politics… federal, state and local. Not an easy thing to accomplish, due to the 1976 Supreme Court ruling of Buckley vs. Valeo. That ruling stated that ‘Money is free speech ‘. How do we get around such an unfair interpretation without going insane and waiting 20 years for constitutional amendments? Well, as President, I would challenge you, the voters, who elect the moneyed interests time and time again. I would urge that you only support candidates who agree to limit acceptance of campaign donations to $ 100 per person. On top of that, we must not support any candidate who accepts PAC money at all. Period!

 

· I would push for Congress to open up Medicare for any American who wishes to buy in. Why even hassle with the private health insurers? Just charge a FICA like fee to any American who wants to be covered in the same manner as our senior citizens. Once the rates for this alternative are known by the private insurers, you can rest assure that their rates and deductibles will come down. Duh….free market enterprise anyone?

 

· Uncle Sam should A) negotiate to buy the bad‘ paper ‘ mortgages from the banks for tremendous discounts and B) then restructure the mortgages to allow the homeowner to stay in the foreclosed home, instead of having to either abandon or become a tenant of the bank. How about this: Why not have our federal government jumpstart community nonprofitmortgage banks? Imagine if your city, town or county opened, with federal loan guarantees, a nonprofit mortgage bank, charging only overhead costs? Translated: a current mortgage of let us say 5% from a for profit bank would now be perhaps 2% from a nonprofit community one. More home ownership, fewer renters and economic stimulus for the construction industry.

 

· Windfall profits tax on Big Oil and Big Pharma. How can it be that the prices at the pumps and on medicines spiral upwards while our nation is in a depression, both financially and psychologically? We would use the added revenues to create more solar energy use and wind farms. Portugal is getting more dependent upon wind for energy use. Why can’t we? As far as medicines, let’s use the revenue increases from a windfall tax on Big Pharma to jumpstart an alternative care movement. We need more Americans to be able to get acupuncture and chiropractic treatment, massage therapy, psychological counseling to name a few such alternatives to established Western Medicine. Let’s be blunt: For too long our nation leads the world in the‘drug and cut ‘mindset of medicine.

 

I could go on and on. For now, this is my platform. If you agree with even 2/3 of it, then voice your support. You know and I know that I cannot win election, but… the word will get out that we have viable options to what this current Two Party / Tea Party has been offering.

 

PA Farruggio

January, 2012

 

{Philip A Farruggio is son and grandson of Brooklyn, NYC longshoremen. He is a free lance columnist (usually found on the fine Dandelion Salad site), an environmental products sales rep and an activist. Since 2010, Philip is a spokesperson for the 25% Solution Movement to Save Our Cities by cutting military spending 25%. Philip can be reached at paf1222@bellsouth.net }

 

 

On the Eve of the 2012 Election

Off the keyboard of William Hunter Duncan

Published on Off the Grid in Minneapolis on November 6, 2012

Discuss this article at the Epicurean Delights Smorgasboard inside the Diner

Today, America elects a President. You’re a fool if you think there won’t be cheating on both sides. If you want to know about the integrity of our political system, look to Lance Armstrong. He didn’t want to win seven consecutive Tour d’ France titles, more than the American political machine wishes to maintain global hegemony. Juiced on cash and crude, prepared to treat Americans like it would any people in any country.

The Dems have a long history of cheating, but in this election my expectation is of preeminent Republican malfeasance. Not so much with the traditional Dem, mob-like stuffing of ballot boxes, but more like tinkering with the process, and maybe slowing the process. Do you expect to see liberals intimidating suburban moms? How about Tea Partiers and various paid operatives stirring up trouble in Latino and black neighborhoods? Remember too, people have been voting for awhile. Every day a vote sits around, that’s one more day for somebody to do what people will do.

Which is mostly, treat the electoral process, the nuts and bolts at the local level, with integrity. It is run remarkably well, for a thing primarily volunteer. Really, as corrupt as the Republican and Democratic Machine is, I don’t worry about cheating changing the course of this election. The political, financial, corporate, military machine that is Amerika, will continue to do what it was created to do, achieve global hegemony, regardless this election. Which is to say, the presidential vote in this election will do nothing to alter the course of empirical overshoot, and the general trend toward total State surveillance. The only thing that will prevent that, is collapse, or some kind of awakening, the American people seem ill-equpped and certainly not well enough informed to make.

“Superstorm”* Sandy I think has the potential to weaken New York in a way that 9/11 could not. There are now estimates into the hundreds of thousands, people who have been made homeless. Living so close to the sea, I think we can safely assume most of them had jobs, which they are presumably no longer doing, which is lost economic activity. It seems clear to me the estimates of the cost are grossly under-estimated. They reflect a gross estimate of rebuilding as it was. Every time I look at pics, I think, who thought it was a good idea to build all those houses on a fucking sand bar? Shall we talk about a gross misapplication of resources? I think if I were God and I heard Right-wing “Conservatives” yammering on about the great hand of God that is the Market, I’d be pissed. Any market that builds houses on a sand bar on the ocean or a river, has it’s head up its ass. Or rather, it is run by scoundrels. But don’t-ya-know, it’s gay peoples fault?

Good God the Whole Country needs to get STONED; And of course I mean, smoke pot, not throw rocks at each other.

Really, Benghazi? At this point, when there are men of think-tank level influence speaking openly about killing Americans to incite Americans to war against Iran, because they know the MSM won’t report it, which they haven’t, it is impossible to say anymore whether or not that attack in Libya was somehow facilitated directly or indirectly by the CIA, not when we know al Qaida practically is the Syria Free Army funded by America, directly or indirectly. That’s during an Obama Admin, BTW, and your an idiot or worse if you think a Repub Admin isn’t MORE likely of it. LOL. Notice, the only country where we are engaged, the mainstream media isn’t whore enough to associate with al Qaida? An American ambassador died by ambush and they don’t say it was al Qaida! After 9/11, it was like 24 hours. Ad infini-dumb-dumb/ad nauseum for a fucking decade.

The great tragedy of this election for me, is the failure of Americans to recognize, that growth, as our economy has come to depend on it, is at an end. And that is having profound ramifications, and we are pointing our fingers at everything but reality. We are not having an adult conversation about what seven billion people adding 80 Billion people every year, MEANS on a finite planet. GOOD GOD, how infantile the message, lower taxes to generate growth/tax the rich. What has the message given us? Sandy! Billionaire Hedge Fund managers who don’t pay taxes, indistinguishability between Treasury/FED/Wall Street, a grotesquely inflated people physically and economically dependent on a grotesquely inflated State, a hundred million yearly prescriptions for anti-depressants, kids drugged with pharmaceuticals by their parents and people in jail and disenfranchised for smoking the flower of the most useful plant on the planet.

It’s likely to be a contested election, one way or the other. How contested depends on many other factors, not least the progress on the east coast. That nor-easter portends ill. It might be a thing for the nation to rally around beforehand, but it’s almost election day as I write this, and I assume the storm will have begun to hit by then. Consider the rest of November, a languishing relief effort in the east as the nation rages about a contested election. I admit I hesitate to imagine a republican controlled Congress and the presidency (much because the so-called Republicans are controlled by maniacs,) though I console myself that the party would probably be faced with the choice of preventing the 2014 election from happening, and being destroyed politically as a Party forever, but of course that is not really a choice. More, it looks like a Dem Senate, Repub Congress and maybe, eventually, a Repub Prez. Or Obama. Which means more gridlock, as we muddle our way along the seemingly spiral path of industrial dissolution.

(It’s useful I think, to think about the spiral, when faced with the anxiety inevitable, contemplating TEOTWAWKI. The square, rigid world we have built won’t withstand THAT spiral. Best to think about flow.)

Who am I voting for? Mostly I’m voting against my state Minnesota tending toward control, against the marriage and ID-Voter red herrings. For Prez, I’m going to vote for Jill Stein. Partly because I don’t expect the office of the President will ever be inflicted upon her, but mostly because she was arrested bringing sustenance, treats and attention to the sitters, protecting the earth and the land, preventing the dozing of the Keystone II pipeline right-of-way that isn’t yet supposedly a done deal.

Because this election should be about a choice. And really that isn’t so much about a choice, as a conversation, about the fact that any further thrust of the current economic paradigm, of the kind of progress we have grown accustomed to, depends on destroying much of what remains of the vitality of the earth and the biosphere, and only seems to feed the attitude of CONTROL.

* If Spiral Theory is correct, then one might expect to think of Sandy as a pale precursor of what is to be come, climate-wise.

Stooge Time: Scripting the Empire

Off the keyboard of Phillip Farruggio

Discuss this article at the Epicurean Delights Smorgaspoard inside the Diner

Memories of the glorious 70s, at least compared to these terrible times, occasionally flow through me. I can recall the manager of the local pub near our small business that would regularly make the same announcement late each afternoon. “Stooge time!!”  He would shout from behind the bar. It was time again for the re-runs of The Three Stooges Show. Well, aren’t we lucky to be able to see stooge time with regularity this election cycle? All one needs to do is tune in any Congressional debate and watch the stooges operate. Last night this writer was channel surfing and caught the debate for Virginal Senator between Allen and Kaine. Once again, the two candidates parroted each of their respective political party’s script on every issue presented to them. What really irritated me was when they discussed, as all debates do, foreign policy and military spending. The Republican candidate will go right to the Fox channel’s retorts about the attack on our embassy in Libya. They will use this to strengthen the argument for increasing our military presence worldwide… to stop the terrorists. Then the Democrat will laud how this president has curtailed Al Qaeda and has them on the run… oh yeah, we finally got Bin Laden under a Democrat’s watch. Then, both candidates will argue as to which party and which candidate is tougher on terrorism and a friend of the Military Empire. And many of you serfs will run out and vote for one of these two gangs of liars, hypocrites and….stooges.

 

In my almost 40 years of sales experience, I know that the old adage of KISS is relevant: Keep it simple stupid. Well, it is quite simple if you really wish to change the direction and conditions of our great nation. Before we can deal with the multitude of peripheral issues, the paramount one is staring us in the face… as this writer has written about perhaps too much. We need to pull back our Military Industrial Empire, drastically cutting the funding first, and then getting the hell out of the over 100 nations with our over 800+ bases. Imagine if instead of the 56 cents of each federal tax dollar sent to Uncle Sam going towards military spending, the figure was dropped to 30 cents. Translated: we would have tens of billions more each year to help our states and cities with the infrastructure upgrades and improvements to soften the blows of any natural disaster. Ask the folks in New Orleans and the NYC metro area about that. Instead we get twiddle dee and twiddle dum vying for your precious votes, and then handing it over to the ‘friends of the Military Empire’. How many weapons systems does one nation need to perform overkill? How many precious lives and precious dollars need we waste in invading and occupying countries that pose NO threat to our survival… only to that of our corporations?

 

Step # 1 is to stop voting for either of these two phony corporate run parties. Step # 2 is to get out regularly and let your neighbors and elected officials know that enough is enough! Do it with love in your heart, but with righteous anger. The more we get to join us, the quicker change may come. The stake of our nation and of the entire planet is dependent upon us.

PA Farruggio

November 4th, 2012

 

 

{Philip A Farruggio is son and grandson of Brooklyn, NYC longshoremen. He is a free lance columnist (found on Information Clearing house, Doomstead Diner, Op Ed News, Dandelion Salad, Activist Post, Dissident Voice and many other sites worldwide). Philip works as an environmental products sales rep and has been an activist leader since 2000. In 2010 he became a local spokesperson for the 25% Solution Movement to Save Our Cities by cutting military spending 25%. Philip can be reached at paf1222@bellsouth.net }

The Empire’s ‘Servants’ Debate’… Round 1

Off the keyboard of Phillip Farruggio

Discuss this article at the Epicurean Delights Smorgasboard inside the Diner.

We got to see fantastic theater last night. Obama and Romney, servants of the empire and spokesman for their respective parties, the Repugnants and the Demoncrats, danced to the same tune, with but different lyrics. If you notice, neither of the two candidates, or their countless minions in the media and general public, ever discussed the real cause or our economic downfall: The Military Industrial Empire! You won’t hear Obama or Romney mentioning the obscene levels of military spending… record breaking levels that rake in over half the federal income taxes we suckers send to Uncle Sam. After all, the subject was about the economy, and what really is bankrupting it was and will never be mentioned. Is our economy affected by the 800+ military bases we have in over 100 different countries which drains both our treasury and our prestige as a nation internationally? Or that our drone attacks kill more innocent civilians than the targeted terrorists they claim to be after. How about our fine young soldiers dead or wounded for life in that desert heat, for a cause that many still doubt?

No issue has as lasting influence on our daily way of life, the way of life for us working stiffs, than this Military Industrial Empire… which both parties serve so well, and always have. Abortion and contraceptive choice are very vital issues for all of us. Yet, to elect a man president because he agrees with you on that, and then to watch him serve the interests of a War Machine that drains your wallets…. You got me on that one.

I love how the two servants of the elite interests argued back and forth on health care. Obama was so proud for his Affordable Care Act, that he liked it when Romney referred to it as Obamacare. Bottom line: both political parties are in bed with the private health insurance industry, and what little reform they will make is just that… little! This writer is against Obamacare, but for vastly different reasons than Romney. What could have and should have been done was for the president and the Congress to push for an option for anyone under retirement age to buy into the current Medicare system. This could be done in a similar fashion as we do with our FICA taxes. The more you earn (up to an income ceiling to be determined) the more you pay into the kitty. Regardless of what the actual costs would be, they could never equal the premium costs and restrictions (and deductibles) that a private plan entailed. The president’s new Obamacare plan, even with most of us being put into large pools, would perhaps save around maybe 20-25%. So, a plan that a husband and wife now pays for fairly decent coverage (with maybe deductibles of $ 1000, which is actually low nowadays) that currently would cost $ 12,000 to $ 15,000 yearly, would be discounted 20-25%. So what? Who in the hell can afford $ 1,000 a month, plus an out of pocket initial $ 1000 deductible? No, Obama and his corrupt party could have used the bully pulpit to say to Americans: “Hey, if you wish to come into this plan, fine. If not, then you can stay with private insurers. And, private insurers, we are not going to do anything to you legislatively… just to compete with you.” When this approach was taken by local towns that were fed up with the monopoly cable television company in their area, back around 10-12 years ago, the results were astounding! Local towns and cities went into the cable television business, nonprofit, and competed with the local for profit carrier. Soon after, when all the smoke cleared, the prices and service restrictions by the private carrier were lowered dramatically! Obama and Romney: competition works!

Imagine if we had a multi party system in place, and legitimate third party candidates and platforms were part of the debate process. Why in this the 21st century is that not the case here in America? Who is controlling things so that we cannot hear differing voices and differing ideas and solutions? The empire’s representatives were on that dais last night, and the guy asking the questions had his handlers as well. The deck has been stacked for so long, dear fellow citizens, that many of you do not even read the cards anymore. Sad.

PA Farruggio

October 4th, 2012

Knarf plays the Doomer Blues

https://image.freepik.com/free-icon/musical-notes-symbols_318-29778.jpg

Support the Diner

Search the Diner

Surveys & Podcasts

NEW SURVEY

Renewable Energy

VISIT AND FOLLOW US ON DINER SOUNDCLOUD

" As a daily reader of all of the doomsday blogs, e.g. the Diner, Nature Bats Last, Zerohedge, Scribbler, etc… I must say that I most look forward to your “off the microphone” rants. Your analysis, insights, and conclusions are always logical, well supported, and clearly articulated – a trifecta not frequently achieved."- Joe D

Archives

Global Diners

View Full Diner Stats

Global Population Stats

Enter a Country Name for full Population & Demographic Statistics

Lake Mead Watch

http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/NA-BX686_LakeMe_G_20130816175615.jpg

loading

Inside the Diner

You know these soccer moms turned witch are an absolute hoot.  Short back story here...Below the vid on the page are time stamps for various subjects. If your interested in the whole vid just click on the time stamp of the topic.These ga...

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union said on Monday that it continued to believe that Israeli settlement activity in occupied Palestinian territory was illegal under international law and eroded prospects for lasting peace.“The EU calls on Israel t...

 JEDDAH: Hundreds of leaked Iranian intelligence documents have shed light on a shadow war for regional influence.Monday’s reports on a trove of leaked cables expose Tehran’s vast influence in Iraq, detailing the painstaking efforts of Iranian spies t...

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s opposition Labour Party will on Tuesday take aim at “obscene” billionaires, pledging a radical redistribution of wealth to cut the power of the super rich who it says bankroll Prime Minister Boris Johnson in return for tax ...

Recent Facebook Posts

Evacuation orders lifted after Palisades Fire leaves 2 injured and burns at least 40 acres in Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Fire Department ordered mandatory evacuations Monday as a fire ripped across a hillside in the affluent Pacific Palisades area,..

4 weeks ago

US troops pelted with rotten fruit and stones as they leave Syria – video

People have thrown rotten fruit and stones at US troops as they left Syria in armed vehicles, with one man appearing to shout: ‘You liars!’..

4 weeks ago

Corporate America's Second War With the Rule of Law

Corporate America’s Second War With the Rule of Law- Uber, Facebook, and Google are increasingly behaving like the law-flouting financial empires..

4 weeks ago

Photos from Rafael Nadal's Spanish wedding show a reception fit for tennis royalty

From Business Insider:

4 weeks ago

The best toothpaste for kids

From Business Insider:

4 weeks ago

Diner Twitter feed

Knarf’s Knewz

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union said on Mo [...]

 JEDDAH: Hundreds of leaked Iranian intelligence d [...]

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s opposition Labour Par [...]

Who will dare to expose anything of importance if [...]

Diner Newz Feeds

  • Surly
  • Agelbert
  • Knarf
  • Golden Oxen
  • Frostbite Falls

Doomstead Diner Daily November 19The Diner Daily i [...]

[img]https://scontent.forf1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0 [...]

We're running out of time to stop killer robo [...]

Welcome to a World in Which All Hell Is Breaking L [...]

Quote from: UnhingedBecauseLucid on March 18, 2019 [...]

CleanTechnicaSupport CleanTechnica’s work via dona [...]

QuoteThe FACT that the current incredibly STUPID e [...]

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union said on Mo [...]

 JEDDAH: Hundreds of leaked Iranian intelligence d [...]

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s opposition Labour Par [...]

Who will dare to expose anything of importance if [...]

Scientists have unlocked the power of gold atoms b [...]

Quote from: azozeo on August 14, 2019, 10:41:33 AM [...]

Wisconsin Bill Would Remove Barrier to Using Gold, [...]

Under extreme conditions, gold rearranges its atom [...]

The cost of gold futures on the Comex exchange inc [...]

Time for another Bloody Mary!   RE [...]

Kicking off with the death of the Marlboro Man.RE[ [...]

Alternate Perspectives

  • Two Ice Floes
  • Jumping Jack Flash
  • From Filmers to Farmers

Politicians’ Privilege By Cognitive Dissonance     Imagine for a moment you work for a small or medi [...]

Shaking the August Stick By Cognitive Dissonance     Sometime towards the end of the third or fourth [...]

Empire in Decline - Propaganda and the American Myth By Cognitive Dissonance     “Oh, what a tangled [...]

Meanderings By Cognitive Dissonance     Tis the Season Silly season is upon us. And I, for one, welc [...]

The Brainwashing of a Nation by Daniel Greenfield via Sultan Knish blog Image by ElisaRiva from Pixa [...]

Event Update For 2019-11-17http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

Event Update For 2019-11-16http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

Event Update For 2019-11-15http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

Event Update For 2019-11-14http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

Event Update For 2019-11-13http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

With fusion energy perpetually 20 years away we now also perpetually have [fill in the blank] years [...]

My mea culpa for having inadvertently neglected FF2F for so long, and an update on the upcoming post [...]

NYC plans to undertake the swindle of the civilisation by suing the companies that have enabled it t [...]

MbS, the personification of the age-old pre-revolutionary scenario in which an expiring regime attem [...]

Daily Doom Photo

man-watching-tv

Sustainability

  • Peak Surfer
  • SUN
  • Transition Voice

Waterboarding Flounder"Serious oxygen loss between 100 and 600-meter depths is expected to cover 59–80% of the ocean [...]

Of Warnings and their Ripple Effects"We need wooden ships, char-crete buildings, bamboo bicycles, moringa furniture, and hemp cloth [...]

"Restoring normal whale activity to the oceans would capture the CO2 equivalent of 2 billion tr [...]

Ukrainian Rhapsody"Our future will be more about artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and non-state actors tha [...]

LeBron’s Chinese Troll Mobs"In the 36 hours after James’ delete, a troll mob with bot support sent a flame tsunami at the [...]

The folks at Windward have been doing great work at living sustainably for many years now.  Part of [...]

 The Daily SUN☼ Building a Better Tomorrow by Sustaining Universal Needs April 3, 2017 Powering Down [...]

Off the keyboard of Bob Montgomery Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666 Friend us on Facebook Publishe [...]

Visit SUN on Facebook Here [...]

What extinction crisis? Believe it or not, there are still climate science deniers out there. And th [...]

My new book, Abolish Oil Now, will talk about why the climate movement has failed and what we can do [...]

A new climate protest movement out of the UK has taken Europe by storm and made governments sit down [...]

The success of Apollo 11 flipped the American public from skeptics to fans. The climate movement nee [...]

Today's movement to abolish fossil fuels can learn from two different paths that the British an [...]

Top Commentariats

  • Our Finite World
  • Economic Undertow

The self-organizing system seems to be able to figure out ways to keep the economy going. We see an [...]

thank you finite worlders for your words of wisdom and insight I truly appreciated them just finishe [...]

Yes indeed. I remember my student from Barcelona, such a difference between her and the women of Pen [...]

Ah yes: "My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings, Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair" P [...]

This is a chart of US exports of Crude Oil and Petroleum Products. In total, exports of Crude Oil an [...]

Here's an article: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-imo-shipping-factbox/factbox-imo-2020-a-m [...]

What is the shift away from bunker fuels? [...]

Yeah, when the water heater goes out the day after you just put new tires on one of the cars, etc... [...]

I join the chorus in welcoming you back. Any thoughts on how the shift away from bunker fuel on Janu [...]

@Front Range Mike "Most everyone I know is trying to figure out how to cut back and sell their [...]

RE Economics

Going Cashless

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Simplifying the Final Countdown

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Bond Market Collapse and the Banning of Cash

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Do Central Bankers Recognize there is NO GROWTH?

Discuss this article @ the ECONOMICS TABLE inside the...

Singularity of the Dollar

Off the Keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Kurrency Kollapse: To Print or Not To Print?

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

SWISSIE CAPITULATION!

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Of Heat Sinks & Debt Sinks: A Thermodynamic View of Money

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Merry Doomy Christmas

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Peak Customers: The Final Liquidation Sale

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Collapse Fiction

Useful Links

Technical Journals

The effect of urbanization on microclimatic conditions is known as “urban heat islands”. [...]

Forecasting extreme precipitations is one of the main priorities of hydrology in Latin America and t [...]

The objective of this work is the development of an automated and objective identification scheme of [...]