Why Vote for Bernie (2)

It still enrages me that it’s up to Trump to call Hillary on her husband’s record.  I mean NAFTA was a poerrful error in favor of the owners of the means of production, and against the workers of the USA< and everywhere else, with their wage-slave wages.

 

Why didn’t Bernie blast Hillary about the fact that her husband doubled the jail population via: racist enforcement of drug laws, shipping away jobs, and then both allowing sub prime loans, AND taking away a great hunk of the safety net for the unemployed?

 

 

And this is prime too:

 

This is What Will Happen at the Democratic Convention

 

better math image

Can Sanders do it? Or is Clinton truly inevitable?

Math vs. Media: Part One

Bernie Sanders has vowed to fight relentlessly for the 2016 Democratic Party’s nomination up to the convention and, despite the apparent consensus of the media’s talking heads that the campaign is a lost cause, he has held fast to his claim that there is a “narrow path to victory.” I am reminded of Galadriel’s ominous words of advice, in the Fellowship of the Ring: The quest stands upon the edge of a knife — stray but a little, and it will fail…

It has even become something of a weekly occurrence for Hillary Clinton and her Wallstreet-backed campaign to imply, insinuate, or flat-out demand that Sanders withdraw his bid for the nomination — they are growing increasingly indignant about the fact that Sanders is trying to win. Which brings us to the heart of the issue — can Bernie Sanders–can we–win the delegates needed for the nomination?

The answer to this question is as simple as it is misleading — No. No, my friends, we cannot. And yet–! And yet, neither can Hillary Clinton — and I am going to show you what the media is willfully hiding from you. I am going to show you why, using the one thing that even the media can’t hide: Math.

Why Clinton Will Not Secure the Nomination, According to Math

According to the Green Papers, Clinton stands (today, April 28th) with 1,664 pledged delegates, while Sanders has gathered 1,371. The amount of delegates needed to secure the nomination is 2,383 and, if you’ll pardon me for my use of arithmetic, I will now demonstrate why that number is hopelessly out of reach for the Clinton campaign.†

Hillary needs 719 more delegates to reach 2,383 because:

2,383 – 1,664 = 719

Now, the pledged delegates that are available to grab in the remaining states all-together amount to 1,016 and in order to attain that blessed number, Clinton will have to win an average of 70.7% of the remaining states. This is because:

719 ÷ 1,016 = 0.707677 or approximately 71%

You might be thinking that 71% is not such an unattainable number for Hillary and her powerful Wallstreet backers — you might be thinking that but you’d be betting against longer odds than would be wise. You see, of the 1,016 delegates remaining, 475 of those delegates are to be won in California, alone — California, which has a semi-open primary. California, where Clinton is polling at a mere 49%. California, where Clinton’s support has been declining as the Sanders Campaign gains visibility and momentum. California — the ace that Sanders, as much as the media, have concealed up his sleeve.

It is no secret that Sanders, a previously invisible independent senator from the tiny state of Vermont, consistently climbs in the polls as he begins to campaign in the weeks before each state has had its primary. You don’t have to take my word for it — check the poll-histories for yourself or read this.

Because Bernie Sanders performs at his absolute best in open primaries and because he consistently rises in the polls, while Clinton consistently falls, it is extremely unlikely that Clinton will perform better than 49 points, let alone win the contest. Let’s do some more math:

Of the 475 delegates available in California on June 7th, lets say Hillary takes 49% of those (even though she will almost certainly take less). That would give her 232.75 delegates, which we’ll round up to an even 234.

475 x 0.49 = 232.75

Next, let’s add that to her current total of 1,664, bringing her up to 1,897. Now, she needs an additional 486 delegates to reach the magic number of 2,383, right? Let’s find out how many delegates Clinton would have to win in the remaining states (besides California, of course).

Of the 541 delegates left, once the 475 CA delegates have been subtracted from the 1,016 delegate total, Clinton is going to have to win almost 90% of the remaining non-California delegates! This is because, when you divide the number of delegates that Clinton needs after California by the number of delegates remaining after California, you get 0.898 or 89%, rounded down:

486 ÷ 541 = 0.898 or 89.8%

Now, how likely does that sound? It’s not likely in Oregon, a fairly progressive state that shares its general attitudes with Washington, a state that Sanders won with about 70% of the vote. It’s not likely in West Virginia, either, where Sanders is currently leading in the polls. Nor is it likely in Indiana where Sanders and Clinton are almost neck-and-neck, which votes on May 3rd. That nomination is feeling a lot further away now, isn’t it?

Okay, okay — maybe you’re thinking, “John, I think you’re being unfair, Clinton could certainly win California.” To which I would reply: I admire your optimism, my friend — and since you’re so optimistic, let’s run those numbers again — but this time, let’s assume that Clinton, for whatever reason, defies the consistent trends that have prevailed over the entire primary season. Let’s say, she jumps up 11% now, winning the California primary with 60% of the vote. So:

475 x 0.6 = 285

Now, add the 285 delegates to Clinton’s current total:

285 + 1,664 = 1,949

But:

2,383 – 1,949 = 434

So, Clinton will still need to scrape up 434 delegates somewhere other than California, some how. Which means — Hold on, first we have to figure out how much of the remaining delegates she’ll have to win:

434 ÷ 541 = .802218 or 80%

Wow! Even if Clinton actually wins California with 60% to Sanders with 40%, she will still have to secure about 80% of the remaining vote! Again, this certainly doesn’t seem likely in Oregon, West Virginia, or Indiana, which means the actual percentage would climb each time she failed to take 80% of a state! Now, are you starting to see why I am saying that Clinton will not be securing the nomination before the convention?

Why Sanders Will Win, According to Math

If you’ve found yourself thinking, “Well, Sanders won’t secure the nomination, either!” You are almost 100% right! Well, 99.6% right, anyway. Because, if we take Sanders’ current delegate total of 1,371, subtract that from the magic 2,383, then divide that by the remaining available delegates, we get 0.996, see:

2,383 – 1,371 = 1,012

1,012 ÷ 1,016 = 0.996 or 99.6%

Therefore, Sanders would have to secure a whopping 99.6% victory in all remaining states to secure the nomination! I think this may be one of the few things that both Berners and Clintonistas could agree on: that that is impossible. But to those of you that are thinking, “John! This is terrible” or “Haha! Take that, Sanders!” I would reply: You are both wrong. Mostly. Let me explain:

First off, let’s acknowledge that the math seems to prohibit both candidates from securing the nomination before the convention — so what does this mean? This means that, since Sanders will not give up before the convention, there will almost certainly be a “contested convention.”

“Um… But John…” you may be saying, “Won’t Hillary still be miles ahead of Sanders in votes at the convention?”

To which I would reply: I’m glad you asked, my paid Hillary-supporter friend! Allow me to demonstrate how that will also not be the case, no matter what the media would have you believe. Follow me!

Since neither of them will be securing the 2,383 needed for the nomination, let’s take a look at another number that has been hiding in plain sight for far too long. I’d like you to meet the number, 4,051. That’s the number of total pledged delegates that are available from all 50 states, plus DC, US territories, and the Democrats abroad. As it should be obvious, a majority of these delegates would be 2,026 because:

4,051 ÷ 2 = 2,025.5

At the convention, this number is going to matter more than the unattainable 2,383 delegates that no one will have. That being the case, let’s take a look at what Bernie Sanders would have to do to get there. If Sanders won 60% of the remaining contests (and remember how 475 of 1,016 are in California, where Sanders will do well), then the numbers at the convention would look like this:

1,016 x .60 = 609.6

Round that to 610 and add it to Sanders current total of 1,371, then divide that by the total delegate count, 4,051:

610 + 1,371 = 1,981

1,981 ÷ 4,051 = .489 or 48.9%

So, in the scenario where Sanders takes about 60% of the remaining vote, we’re essentially looking at a 49 to 51% vote total at the convention — not so bad, eh? And that’s easily within Sanders’ reach, if we do well in California (which we almost certainly will). Let’s look at what happens if he takes 70% (just like he did last time we went to the West/Left Coast):

1,016 x .70 = 711.2, round it down to 711, then:

711 + 1,371 = 2,082

2,082 ÷ 4,051 = 0.513 or 51.3%

If Sanders took 70%, the convention would look like 51.3 to 48.7%, in favor of Sanders! But 70%, while possible, is a bit of a stretch — the new magic number, for Sanders anyway, is actually 64.4% of the remaining states, which would mean winning 655 of the 1,016 remaining delegates, pushing his total up to 2,026, the bare majority of delegates, leaving Clinton one delegate behind at 2,025.

Now, does Sanders winning 64.4% sound too far-fetched? Not particularly, especially when we consider his advantages on the Left Coast, in California’s 475 delegate semi-open primary. An uphill climb, though? Certainly. Remember, though: it is all but certain that Clinton will not secure the nomination, while Sanders supporters are going to be pouring into Philadelphia for the convention by the tens of thousands. Even if Bernie fell short by a few points, we’re still essentially looking at a tie. And that’s when all hell is going to break loose.

Things are going to become very interesting if we have a near-tie at the convention to be decided by the super-delegates.

Things are going to become very interesting when they look back at the many states that are still crying out for a re-vote, states fraught with “voting irregularities,” polling station closures, and voter roll purges — all states which Clinton won and all states which so far have not received justice.

Things are going to become very interesting when the DNC and the super-delegates realize that Sanders, unlike the Wallstreet-backed Clinton-Machine, will bring in not only millions of independent voters that were unable to vote in the primaries, but even defecting Republican votes, sealing the GOP’s utter defeat in November.

Things are going to become very interesting when, while they are thinking about all of these things, they are doing so to the earth-shaking, thunderous chants of“Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!” from his tens of thousands of supporters outside, who have time-and-again proven their ability to rally by the tens of thousands — do you think that we won’t do the same at the convention?

And finally, things are going to become very, very interesting when the super-delegates and the DNC are forced to choose, publicly, whether to hand the nomination to Clinton and watch the millions of independents walk away, along with millions of former-democrat Sanders-supporters, basically handing the general election to the neo-fascists Trump or Cruz — or, to hand it to Sanders, a leader who will have the support, not only of the entire Democratic Party, but of millions of Independents, Green Party voters, and — yes, indeed — even Republicans defecting from the extremist GOP. That will be the most interesting part, I think. I’ll see you all in Philadelphia.

In Solidarity,
John Laurits

P.S. Please feel totally free to reproduce this article, re-post, re-use, re-cycle, or whatever, in whole or in part — credit would be lovely but, ultimately, I don’t really care! Do as ye will! Peace!

#SeeYouInPhilly

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets/follow_button.5e2061bafc51180fc22440a98a3560bf.en.html#dnt=false&id=twitter-widget-0&lang=en&screen_name=JohnLaurits&show_count=false&show_screen_name=true&size=m&time=1462888792714EDIT: I’ve written a follow-up article to address some of the comments because I don’t have enough time to respond to them all — thanks for reading! CLICK FOR PART TWO

EDIT #2: For the updated math, CLICK FOR “INDIANA: THE AFTER-MATH”

†I have not counted the so-called “super-delegates” because they do not vote until the convention, which you might not know because of the media’s disgustingly corrupt attempt to warp the public’s perception of the election.

*All numbers pulled from the Green Papers, today 4/28/2016, at:http://www.thegreenpapers.com/P16/D-PU.phtml

**Also, John has just joined Twitter (finally) and you may follow him and send him pictures of your dinner and crappy mainstream media math to debunk @JohnLaurits. You can buy John coffee here.

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A Giant “No” To Suck-Up Ted Cruz

Beware of anyone who announces their Presidential campaign at Liberty University. Liberty University and its founder Jerry Falwell have used church tax-free coffers to do many dastardly things.

One:  Jerry Falwell rented 300 727 airplanes (huge, right) to Frank Clinton (Bill’s brother) that were used to run guns to Honduras so they may be walked over the river to Nicaragua, thus countering the congress’ LAW that forbid any support to the Contras.  The FBI had 100 counts ready for Frank Clinton as drug runner since the planes that took guns down were alledgedly bringing planeloads full of Manuel Noriega’s cocaine back into the united states, in army duffel bags.

The FBI was ready to move in, when Bill got nominated for President, and presto those charges went away. As a reporter for the Roanoke Times and World News, I knew about and saw the documents that proved Frank Clinton was guilty enough to be arrested and most likely incarcerated. Who but a big ol’ phony warmongering church could even afford 300 727s?

Noriega’s eventual trial was moved from Roanoke Circuit court to Miami for no apparent reason, except the fact that Frank Clinton rented the planes from Falwell, never got further than  Roanoke as the AP and then UPI never ran the story on their wires.  Huh?  Noriega has been in an air-conditioned, porn-filled, fax-ready luxury jail cell since. Falwell and his huge coffers almost got Oliver North elected after he was found guilty in the Iran Contra affair.

Remember that was when Reagan and friends sold billions of dollars worth of arms to Iran, our sworn enemy after their operatives took 53 American hostages that amazingly were released exactly 2 hours after Reagan was sworn in.  The hostages ended President Carter’s chance of being reelected, but their dire actions were also ignored by Reagan when he sold arms to Iran.  The US thus had sold arms to BOTH sides of the three year long Iraq-Iran war in the middle 80s, thus starting the middle east conflict that rages on to this day between Sunis and Shia,exacerbated by the USA.  (OIL OIL OIL).

So that’s Ted Cruz for you. He sucks up to robotized Christian fundamentalists (all fundamentalists are dangerous, but Christians are far more so than Muslims, so far.)  Since the Crusades, Christians have been launching attacks against Muslims in order for big wigs to make a dandy war profit. Falwell’s family had a reputation and got in trouble for moonshine running until Jerry hit on a better money-making scheme, and legal and tax free.

Thus began the Moral Majority (it is still neither….not moral by a lot and not a majority by even more.) Liberty university is also alive thanks to these monies rich folks sent to Falwell, some knowing exactly what he was up to.  The fact that Oliver North, the fall guy for the Iran Contra scheme was narrowly defeated in his run for the US Senate, shows the influence Falwell’s congregation (roped in via Television) continues to have as they pump out Christian activists that, I pray, do not represent most church goers point of view:  the biblically verified concept that Jesus was a plu-perfect liberal.  He always railed against the money changes, the unrepentant rich, war, etc. and Fundamentalists and Baptists in particular are full of greedy supporters of the perpetual wars we’ve created and fought since World War II My Friends and I dressed in dark blue blazers on Easter and handed out “Jesus Is a Liberal” bumper stickers along with the following poems at the Mission Street Church where Falwell spit his junk.

We quickly vamoosed before the envelopes were opened, and did get a rather stout response since my email address was on the stickers.  It’s going to take a lot more than actions that subtle to bring down the powerful and wealthy who have us in our 13th year of Middle East war, and our  73rd of nearly continual wars. Bring the troops home and then never send them out again, that’s my idea. cut military spending by 70% or more, and spend some money trying to regain dignity for the Americans who lost jobs when our billionaires shipped them overseas via free trade, GATT and GATT2. Wondering about the poem we handed out with the bumper sticker?

Here it is:

Jesus is a Liberal

Jesus Christ would not be proud

To see religion in this state. (Virginia that is.)

TV evangelists preach a canon of intolerance.

Jesus never expected people to hate in his name.

Building amusement parks in homage to God

Makes as much sense as waging war for Christ.

A god who attracts such diverse attentions Is not

a nice god or even a holy god. He must be the god

of money, or, The god of land acquisition, or, perhaps

Even the god of death.

Now that should Set bells ringing in your bible-belt ears.

The god of death destroys life and love,

The god of death is worshipped in Lynchburg.

This Poem first appeared in “the Muse,” Edited by Ilya Kaminsky, 1997, Rochester, NY Copyright, Doug Stuber, 1999. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The US Role in Globalization

The US Role in Globalization

The State of Globalization as realized by the G-20 in the year 2012

The United States and its economic allies, as defined by countries subscribing to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Global Agreements on Tariffs and Trade (Gatt I and Gatt II)and other free trade agreements, have assured themselves their best possible corporate profits by moving manufacturing to countries with the lowest possible factory-labor wages without regard for how this effects their own labor communities, or the horrific consequences of moving products so far in the face of global warming and myriad other pollution concerns.

Lee Jae Eui, the author of the Gwangju Diary, and editor of the Gwangju Uprising, and head Nano-technologist at GIST rightly points out that the best governments are those who create a burgeoning middle class.  If the opposite is also true, that the worst governments are the ones who favor larger corporate profits by shrinking their own middle class, then the United States would be culprit number one, and countries like Vietnam, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Mexico, Argentina, (and too many more to list) who are being abused by this set-up are not to be blamed for allowing these pollution-heavy industries to move in and under-pay their workers, because by each countries standards, the miniscule wages gives a large population of people just enough to get by on.  Not what a South Korean would call a middle class existence, but enough to survive.

Benito Mussolini, himself a fascist, defined fascism as “big business and government working together to the benefit of only big business and government.”  By this accurate account, the United States has been a purely fascist state since 1980, with plenty of on-and-off examples since its inception in 1776.  The United States was founded on genocide, made rich by slavery and continues to feed its insatiable greed by dominating human and natural resources worldwide, at gunpoint, if necessary.  Such openly American institutions like the World Bank and the IMF have ruined one economy after the other in order to retain control, drive unemployment up as high as 70% (see Argentina in the 1990s)  and then move in manufacturing once free trade agreements are in place that improve profits by banning tariffs on products flowing back to the US.  In Argentina, J.P Morgan and Fleet Bank went one step further and BOUGHT its central bank.  Once accomplished, the IMF moved in and demanded austerity measures that would assure that JP Morgan and Fleet Bank were paid back their very stupid loans, not in Pesos that were valueless, but in Pesos that, after three years, were jiggered around to being one-to-one with the dollar.  Two banks and a handful of manufacturing concerns benefitted, while an entire population was reduced to economic ruble.

This is not an isolated incident.  Excellent research by my business English class at Chonnam National University discovered, that, of the 147 largest IMF loans since 1980, 144 countries economies suffered, some greatly, like Ghana and other African countries in which the leaders stole great hunks of the loans (as the IMF knew they would), one country managed to battle back and save themselves (South Korea) and two countries saw economic gains by such loans:  Belarus and Costa Rica.

The US itself was not afraid to hand over its own sovereignty to the “trade is king” fascists that thought up the GATT treaties.  Continued meetings of the G-7, G-8 and G-20 have been met by ineffective, thus useless protests from the very beginning.  Protestors are cordoned off into “protest zones” so far away from the proceedings, the media won’t be tempted to cover them, and the head honchos can walk from limousines to pampered meeting rooms, guarded by expensive security forces without having to hear a single peep from the opposition.  It is not hard to prove the globalization is in fact world-wide fascism on a scale Hitler could have only dreamed about.

Even relatively poor countries like Russia can’t help but join the fun, as they sell off their natural resources (mostly oil) so those at the top can have luxurious lifestyles, while the rest of the country languishes in poverty.  Was it a coincidence that the US attacked Afghanistan, Iraq and now Pakistan even though 15 of the 19 bombers during 911 came from Saudi Arabia?  Was it a coincidence that the very man (Osama Bin Laden) who helped us fend off Russia so it couldn’t build an oil pipeline in Afghanistan as head of the Mujahedeen was the one who created 911 which gave us an excuse to attack Afghanistan because that’s where he was hiding out?  No.  This was true, because, once in control of the pipeline that circumvents gnarly Iran by going hundreds of kilometers too far to get to the Indian Ocean, the US would also control a greater percentage of the Russian oil profits.  As it is, Russia receives about 30% of the money generated by its own oil. Wow, bad deal eh?  But Amoco knows how to drill and Luk Oil does not, capiche?

The Iraq fiasco assured that Sunnis and Shia would be fighting ad infinitum.  This is a replay of why the US was willing to tie the Korean War, not win it, and lose the Vietnam War badly.  Why?  Because by in effect losing both wars, Russia and China would forever remain un-allied.  Or at least not allied until we could figure out which one would make the steadiest trading partner.  Winner, China. The loser, by far, in all of this, has been humanity.

One definition of socialism is “from those according to ability, to those according to need.”  China is living proof that communism as a governmental choice has never existed, and its version of socialism does not, in fact, share things equally amongst everyone.  Yes, China is growing a middle class, but not at the expense of even an inkling of inflation.  Why?  Because, as the average factory worker in China makes 52 cents an hour, the Chinese government must control the price of food and rent with an iron fist, and too large a middle class would cause inflation, thus rioting among the factory workers.  Lo and behold, over 40 cities in China have experienced such expressions of rage in the last two years alone.  As the Chinese were lured off the fields and into the factories, they soon found out that what seemed like big money, came with the price of long hours, high rent, and many families ending up in debt who were NEVER in debt as farmers.  Poor yes, but at least not worked to death.  They are now working to fill the communist party coffers, while watching high rise luxury apartments go up, and spiffy Audi and Buick automobiles passing the standard VWs on clogged highways.  Highways NOT clogged by factory workers, who jam like sardines into the subways, or walk or bike to work.

But if US manufacturing concerns are making so much money in Asia (the plastics industries in Vietnam pay an average of 14 cents an hour!) then why are Americans losing their homes to foreclosure at a 6,000 per day clip?  Well, it goes back to 1995, a year in which Bill Clinton, coming off a stunning reversal in the Democratic Party by getting his fellow conservative democrats to usher in NAFTA, he added both the Welfare Reform act and the Banking Reform Act.  What a trifecta for the rich!  Ross Perot, for all his rotten ideas like surrounding drug-infested neighborhoods with swat teams and Marshall Law, was right about one thing: there was a giant sucking sound of American jobs being moved to Mexico as soon as the sizable tariffs on goods coming into the US were dropped.  Winners: corporations, Losers: workers.  Altha Cravey in her excellent book the Working Women of the Maquiladoras points out that those highly polluting companies also moved to Mexico to flee what was left of the anti-pollution laws in the US.  This gave the hard working Mexicans exciting but heart rending experiences like still-births due to anencephaly, (babies born without brains).  Mexicans did not protest, as one dollar per hour is an awfully high wage in Mexico.  So the fate of American labor was set, and only got worse once tax breaks encouraged all companies to move to cheaper labor countries.  Note:  few moved to Africa.  It has been Central and South America and mostly Asia that has been dominated by American and European firms and their own subordinated governments under these treaties that help mostly the famous ONE PERCENT that the US Occupy Movements keep screaming about.

But I digress:  Clinton’s Welfare Reform did this:  it codified and made legal the concept that anyone who receives government help can do so for 36 months per lifetime.  Meaning, if you are a single mother who can’t find work, and have three or five children, after 36 months you are done.  Couple this with NAFTA and later the effects of GATT one and two, and you have a recipe for disaster.  Ice this sewer cake with national, corporate and individual debt, and the stench cannot be covered.  Assure the next depression via the 1995 Banking Reform Act, and, “voila,” you have the current mess in the US.  You see, after the depression of the 1930s, smart legislators, who were NOT OWNED by corporations applied a four-to-one loan to deposit ratio, meaning banks could lend out four dollars for every one dollar they held in deposits.  This is prudent.  By the 1960s the ratio was relaxed to a dangerous 12-to-1.  Still, at 12-to-1 very few “subprime” loans were handed out because there were plenty of worthy customers who could afford to pay their mortgages back.  Then came Clinton’s law, I hope he is still happy about it, in which banks were allowed to lend out 30 dollars for every dollar in deposit.  This 30-1 ratio made it hard for banks to maximize their profits by lending money only to those who could afford to pay it back.  So they devised pernicious loans that were “interest only” for 3 or 4 years, or the famous “reverse mortgages” which gave borrowers absurdly low payments at first, while ADDING to the amount of the loan in the process.   A loan with a repayment of $700 per month for the first four years coulod jump to $2000 per month or more under such schemes.

European banks, envious of their counterparts in the US, requested this same absurd ratio. They did not get it until one finance minister thought up this scheme:  European banks were allowed to lend more than the standard 10-to-one in place at the time, as long as every loan over the 10-to-one ratio was insured.  This way if the shaky loans went bad it would fall on a private insurance company to bail out the banks, not the governments of Europe.  Which insurance company was dumb enough to fall for this assignment?  AIG.

So, in November of 2008, when Goldman Sachs, Citibank, Bank of America and, ahem, AIG were receiving, in total, trillions of bailout dollars, the biggest initial bailout was to AIG, and where did the US Taxpayer’s money go?  To rich European bankers. CBS television News came close to asking the right questions about this, but stopped short of what they knew to be true, thus letting the US congress off the hook for bailing out European banks.  In 1998 in Sweden a similar banking melt-down occurred, with one large difference.  The bankers went to jail (some are still there) and the banks paid the entirety of the bail-0ut money back within four years.  In the US however, JP MOrgan and Bank of America just moved $75 Trillion dollars worth of “loans” from their investment units to their commerical units.  This is alarming, as, in sum this represents 10 times the enormous US National Debt.  It is horrifying because those loans are sub-prime mortgages now insured by the FDIC, meaning BY LAW, US taxpayers could be on the hook for ten times more than our spend-happy, war-mongering government now owns, should those loans go bad.  Once the FDIC bails out these loans, the banks are stil free to sell the foreclosed properties for whatever the can get.  Hence they don’t mind getting 20 cents on the dollar, since the entire loan has already been covered by “bailout” money.  This has skewered the housing market in Florida, Nevada, Michigan, etc.

Barak Obama was blamed for being the initiator of bail-outs the Republicans now claim never should have happened.  (Hank Paulson claimed that without bailouts the entire banking industry would have collapsed, when in reality, Lehaman Brothers was already being bailed out privately by J.P Morgan, while Bank of America was forced to swallow Countrywide and Merrilll Lynch (choosing Lehman Bo\rothers would have been less expensive for them).  But those bailouts, voted on by such notables as Nancy Pelosi, and jammed through congress with hardly anyone reading the details, happened under the Bush Administration.  Bush.

In February, 2012 the Republican candidates stormed Michigan (where Auto manufacturers were, in fact, bailed out by Obama, thus saving hundreds of thousands of jobs) and said he never should have bailed out the car makers.  Seems to me they do NOT want to win in 2012 if they are going to Michigan and saying the jobs should not have been saved.  And holy canoli, the auto makers paid the money back and are reaping huge profits from the bailouts, which is far better than the banks have done.  2012 then is a repeat of 2008, when Republicans also threw the election by picking Sarah Palin as a VP running mate to John McCain.

If the Republicans should, however, gain control of both houses of our legislature, AND the White House, then they would be stuck holding the ball when the depression hits in earnest.  And by golly, they were sitting in the White House (Herbert Hoover, a true market capitalist who refused to loosen the economic reigns, thus exacerbating the crash of October 1929) the last time around, would much rather kick back and sling arrows at Obama than to stand up and do what needs to be done to correct the errors that started in the 1980s when Ronald Reagan, the 8 short years, tripled the US National Debt.  That “fiscal conservative” figured he could borrow his way into a good economy, and everyone since except (of all people) Bill Clinton has followed suit, to the detriment not just of the US economy, but every country that holds US dollars in reserve.

Ah, the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.  Sixty-seven percent of the world’s reserve currency is US dollars.  Imagine how many China has!  Russia is #2 (thanks to oil mostly) and then easy-to-guess countries like Japan, Saudi Arabia and Germany follow suit.  But, due to a massive trade imbalance, the US itself ranks 22nd in foreign currencies held.  Uh Oh.  South Korea weighs in at about 5 or 6 depending on how well its cars and electronic gizmos are selling in the US, and back in 2006 when S. Korea announced it was going to switch its reserve currency from dollars to Euros, the US stock market dropped 600 points before noon.  Even Bush II was smart enough to get on the horn and stop this from happening, because if it had, the entire world may have followed suit and the dollar would have traded one-to-one with the Won.  In short, this reserve currency reality is what keeps the US dollar afloat, via economic blackmail.  Should  the US dollar fail, then everyone will be stuck holding monopoly money in their central banks.

And the IMF has the Bancor1 waiting in just such a circumstance should occur.  Indeed the Bancor is not a fictional currency made up by JM Keynes as it once was, it is already in place should the dollar fail. It will be traded by CENTRAL BANKS ONLY one-for-one with the failing dollars, but at considerably fluctuating rates for any other investors who want to trade in dollars after that initial deal.  This means if your banker or broker is not prepared to get you your Bancors within minutes of their being available, you will have to give up more than one dollar to get one Bancor.

In 2009 the US averaged 6,600 foreclosures per day.2 In 2010 it jumped to 10,000+3 per day, in 2011 it was 9,000 per day4 and God only knows what the tally will be in 2012.  The worst year for home foreclosures during the 1930s was 1933, which saw 1,000 home foreclosures per day.  Sure there were less Americans then, but that does not mitigate the fact that hundreds of thousands of Americans are losing their main investments (the money they’ve put into paying back loans, and the equity on their homes).  How dare Clinton write a book called “Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy” when his own idiotic government passed the two main laws that put us in this mess, then cut off funding for the gigantic rise in poverty.  Now he wants Americans to get back to work, and back to work we have gone…in France, South Korea, China, anywhere that has work…but good luck finding a job in the USA!  I wonder how much his advance was and what his total take will be on this book.  I wonder, how much of that he will donate to charity!?

While in the US I filmed a documentary with the filmmaker Cristian Alva.  We took in quite a charade by Senators Simpson (R. Wyoming) and Bowles (D. North Carolina) who run the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.5  They suggest that higher taxes and cuts to entitlements and defense spending are the only way to avoid the “Moment of Truth,” that is hitting the United States.  But Washington is not about to implement their plan, as Republicans refuse to consider a dime in tax increases, and may well control the whole town again soon.  Worse yet, even if taken at its word, the plan would wipe out “entitlements” in such draconian ways as to render the already-impoverished desperate, perhaps starving.  Aha, just like Argentina, if enough Americans are so desperate, perhaps the Republicans can lower the minimum wage, thus giving small and large business owners incentives to hire more people.  Ooops, bye-bye middle class.  Already minimum wage earners are nowhere near the middle class which is disappearing rapidly in the US.

Grim realities are hitting the US, as fuel and food prices are skyrocketing, while wages are going down, and so many are unemployed.  Ah, but the oil companies will be OK, oil spills or no oil spills.

Already the US pays a number of countries for GATT infractions rather than exposing the well-subsidized farmers of the US to free trade.  European and US subsidies to farmers have made it impossible for Africa to strengthen their economies (corrupt governments in Africa have exacerbated this).  But, for those who refuse to “play ball” the consequences of remaining outside globalization can be huge.  Cuba, Iraq and North Korea are all one need to know about how bad things can get when economic sanctions are applied.  Economic sanctions are often the precursors to war, thus, let’s see what happens in Iran.

Iran, Israel, the US and China could be at the tip of the spear should the world economy fail and another world war be required to help the rich stay rich.  Note:  the EXACT day that Iran had its first large oil auction (“burse”) in which their oil was sold for EUROS instead of dollars, Condoleezza Rice stood up and said Iran had nuclear capabilities.  This was partly because, I am sure, that other than being a reserve currency, the only thing propping the value of the US dollar is that oil is traded in dollars.

Should Israel attack Iran, China will see this as an extension of the US attacking Iran.  Israel, the US last ally, and well paid for at that, would be foolish to drop bombs in Iran without the back up of the US.  China, however, gets about 30% of its imported oil from Iran.  Uh oh.  50% of the US Navy is floating between Taiwan and China.  Why?  Worse yet, under Bush II the US stopped sending its annual letter to India reminding them that they are breaking the nuclear non-proliferation treaties they signed.  Instead we sent over 300 scientists to India to teach them how to build MX missile-sized warheads, which they never had the capability of doing in the past.  Why would the US do this for one of the least stable democracies in the world?  Well, India sits just to the West of China, for one.  And our Navy sits to the east.  For those keeping score at home, the US navy can pinpoint and bomb a single building from 400 miles at sea.

William Blum accurately points out that the US has attacked 31 countries a total of 70+ times since the end of World War II.

The engine of American foreign policy has been fueled not by a devotion to any kind of morality, but rather by the necessity to serve other imperatives, which can be summarized as follows:

* making the world safe for American corporations;

* enhancing the financial statements of defense contractors at home who have contributed generously to members of congress;

* preventing the rise of any society that might serve as a successful example of an alternative to the capitalist model;

* extending political and economic hegemony over as wide an area as possible, as befits a “great power.”

This in the name of fighting a supposed moral crusade against what cold warriors convinced themselves, and the American people, was the existence of an evil International Communist Conspiracy, which in fact never existed, evil or not.

The United States carried out extremely serious interventions into more than 70 nations in this period.”6

For the record, I am an American Patriot who still believes the US has a chance to make amends for its egregious attacks on human liberty since 1492, when Columbus started murdering and enslaving Native Americans.  It will not happen if we keep electing people like Barak Obama or Mitt Romney, that’s for sure.

Obama campaigned on “Change” but has not even fought to change the unconstitutional or unwise laws Bush II cooked up or repealed.  Not once has he mentioned repealing Patriot Act I or II, not once has he asked congress to reinstate even one of the 186 environmental laws Bush II wiped out.  His only change in the Middle East was to move troops from Iraq to Pakistan, where we caused 2 million refugees to flee their homes.  Don’t forget, the last 200 miles of oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea to the Indian Ocean must flow through Pakistan.  US citizens now live in a country where they can be arrested without habeas corpus (without being told why they are being arrested).  At an Occupy Movement action in Chapel Hill, NC in January, a journalist was smashed to the ground and was told not to take any pictures of machine-gun toting police arresting 20 meek protesters.  Caitlyn F. will never be the same, but the US may never be the same either.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is setting up camps in case of social disorder that will be able to house over 2 million “visitors” and the US jail population is over 2 million already.  Thus US citizens themselves may be vulnerable to fascist attacks if they get upset about the economic disasters that could occur in the future.

“FEMA’s latest efforts to satisfy the demand for emergency camps represents a continuation of preparations on behalf of the federal government to prepare for civil emergencies and potential social disorder.”7

In order for the Occupy Movement, or any other (like the protests that toppled dictators in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt) to be successful, the replacements of the dictators will have to make life better for their people, without the help, nay under potential sanctions from the world powers.  Thus, growing self-sustaining economies will be key.  A country like South Korea that is 70% dependent on  exports for its GDP and 67% dependent on imports for its food are extremely vulnerable in these circumstances.  S> Korea has its ways too:  companies pay workers by the month, and with no hourly wage, and no 1.5 or 2 times-the-rate for overtime, the bosses job is to get as many hours as he can out of the workers for the same base monthly pay.  Thus, instead of a normal 40 hour week, workers work much longer, yet for no bonus pay once past 40 hours.

Perhaps NONE of the 175 demands the Occupy Movement has penned so far will be met with laws that meet those demands.  Thus, they will have to come up with an electable candidate who is far to the left of Barak Obama, and who will bring home 100% of the American troops, reduce military spending at three times the rate the entitlements are reduced, and get the US to stop being a fascist bully in order to concentrate on national health care, like so many non-combative countries already have.  If such a candidate were elected, she would have to also have her party in control of the Senate and House of Representatives.  The US Electoral College and embedded, yet illegal “two party system” will surely see to it this never happens.  Fascists don’t give up, they just die.  Steve Jobs and his mega-profitable Apple Computer refused to shut down its repressive factory in China, due to profit demands from its shareholders.  I see.  A company as flush in cash as Apple won’t even hire Americans.  Now Obama says he’s going to bring jobs back to the US.  Since 1917 history shows that revolutions often make things WORSE than they were before.  Wow, how can globalization be worse than it is now?

World War III that’s how.  It’s been centuries since China was an imperialist country.  Not true for the US.  One suspects that China would be a tough country to conquer.  Thus, like me, I am sure you are against World War III, since it could start in Iran, or right here, who knows.  The question is, how do we, as citizens prevent it before it occurs?

Peace.  What do we want?  Peace.  When do we want it?  Now.

  1. http://prosperityuk.com/2003/05/how-keynes-bancor-international-trade-currency-would-work/
  2. .(http://www.onlineforextrading.com/blog/6600-foreclosures-per-day/)

3. http://charleslincoln3.com/2012/01/31/a-historical-perspective-on-foreclosure-1000-per-day-in-1933-vs-10000-per-day-in-2010/

4. https://gicjournal.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/the-morning-after-2/

5. http://www.fiscalcommission.gov/sites/fiscalcommission.gov/files/documents/TheMomentofTruth12_1_2010.pdf

6. http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Blum/US_Interventions_WBlumZ.html

7. http://www.prisonplanet.com/fema-puts-out-contract-for-emergency-camps-to-house-displaced-citizens.html

A Brief History of U.S. Interventions:
1945 to the Present

by William Blum

Z magazine , June 1999

The engine of American foreign policy has been fueled not by a devotion to any kind of morality, but rather by the necessity to serve other imperatives, which can be summarized as follows:

* making the world safe for American corporations;

* enhancing the financial statements of defense contractors at home who have contributed generously to members of congress;

* preventing the rise of any society that might serve as a successful example of an alternative to the capitalist model;

* extending political and economic hegemony over as wide an area as possible, as befits a “great power.”

This in the name of fighting a supposed moral crusade against what cold warriors convinced themselves, and the American people, was the existence of an evil International Communist Conspiracy, which in fact never existed, evil or not.

The United States carried out extremely serious interventions into more than 70 nations in this period.

China, 1945-49:

Intervened in a civil war, taking the side of Chiang Kai-shek against the Communists, even though the latter had been a much closer ally of the United States in the world war. The U.S. used defeated Japanese soldiers to fight for its side. The Communists forced Chiang to flee to Taiwan in 1949.

Italy, 1947-48:

Using every trick in the book, the U.S. interfered in the elections to prevent the Communist Party from coming to power legally and fairly. This perversion of democracy was done in the name of “saving democracy” in Italy. The Communists lost. For the next few decades, the CIA, along with American corporations, continued to intervene in Italian elections, pouring in hundreds of millions of dollars and much psychological warfare to block the specter that was haunting Europe.

Greece, 1947-49:

Intervened in a civil war, taking the side of the neo-fascists against the Greek left which had fought the Nazis courageously. The neo-fascists won and instituted a highly brutal regime, for which the CIA created a new internal security agency, KYP. Before long, KYP was carrying out all the endearing practices of secret police everywhere, including systematic torture.

Philippines, 1945-53:

U.S. military fought against leftist forces (Huks) even while the Huks were still fighting against the Japanese invaders. After the war, the U. S. continued its fight against the Huks, defeating them, and then installing a series of puppets as president, culminating in the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.

South Korea, 1945-53:

After World War II, the United States suppressed the popular progressive forces in favor of the conservatives who had collaborated with the Japanese. This led to a long era of corrupt, reactionary, and brutal governments.

Albania, 1949-53:

The U.S. and Britain tried unsuccessfully to overthrow the communist government and install a new one that would have been pro-Western and composed largely of monarchists and collaborators with Italian fascists and Nazis.

Germany, 1950s:

The CIA orchestrated a wide-ranging campaign of sabotage, terrorism, dirty tricks, and psychological warfare against East Germany. This was one of the factors which led to the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961.

Iran, 1953:

Prime Minister Mossadegh was overthrown in a joint U.S./British operation. Mossadegh had been elected to his position by a large majority of parliament, but he had made the fateful mistake of spearheading the movement to nationalize a British-owned oil company, the sole oil company operating in Iran. The coup restored the Shah to absolute power and began a period of 25 years of repression and torture, with the oil industry being restored to foreign ownership, as follows: Britain and the U.S., each 40 percent, other nations 20 percent.

Guatemala, 1953-1990s:

A CIA-organized coup overthrew the democratically-elected and progressive government of Jacobo Arbenz, initiating 40 years of death-squads, torture, disappearances, mass executions, and unimaginable cruelty, totaling well over 100,000 victims -indisputably one of the most inhuman chapters of the 20th century. Arbenz had nationalized the U.S. firm, United Fruit Company, which had extremely close ties to the American power elite. As justification for the coup, Washington declared that Guatemala had been on the verge of a Soviet takeover, when in fact the Russians had so little interest in the country that it didn’t even maintain diplomatic relations. The real problem in the eyes of Washington, in addition to United Fruit, was the danger of Guatemala’s social democracy spreading to other countries in Latin America.

Middle East, 1956-58:

The Eisenhower Doctrine stated that the United States “is prepared to use armed forces to assist” any Middle East country “requesting assistance against armed aggression from any country controlled by international communism.” The English translation of this was that no one would be allowed to dominate, or have excessive influence over, the middle east and its oil fields except the United States, and that anyone who tried would be, by definition, “Communist.” In keeping with this policy, the United States twice attempted to overthrow the Syrian government, staged several shows-of-force in the Mediterranean to intimidate movements opposed to U.S.-supported governments in Jordan and Lebanon, landed 14,000 troops in Lebanon, and conspired to overthrow or assassinate Nasser of Egypt and his troublesome middle-east nationalism.

Indonesia, 1957-58:

Sukarno, like Nasser, was the kind of Third World leader the United States could not abide. He took neutralism in the cold war seriously, making trips to the Soviet Union and China (though to the White House as well). He nationalized many private holdings of the Dutch, the former colonial power. He refused to crack down on the Indonesian Communist Party, which was walking the legal, peaceful road and making impressive gains electorally. Such policies could easily give other Third World leaders “wrong ideas.” The CIA began throwing money into the elections, plotted Sukarno’s assassination, tried to blackmail him with a phony sex film, and joined forces with dissident military officers to wage a full-scale war against the government. Sukarno survived it all.

British Guiana/Guyana, 1953-64:

For 11 years, two of the oldest democracies in the world, Great Britain and the United States, went to great lengths to prevent a democratically elected leader from occupying his office. Cheddi Jagan was another Third World leader who tried to remain neutral and independent. He was elected three times. Although a leftist-more so than Sukarno or Arbenz-his policies in office were not revolutionary. But he was still a marked man, for he represented Washington’s greatest fear: building a society that might be a successful example of an alternative to the capitalist model. Using a wide variety of tactics-from general strikes and disinformation to terrorism and British legalisms, the U. S. and Britain finally forced Jagan out in 1964. John F. Kennedy had given a direct order for his ouster, as, presumably, had Eisenhower.

One of the better-off countries in the region under Jagan, Guyana, by the 1980s, was one of the poorest. Its principal export became people.

Vietnam, 1950-73:

The slippery slope began with siding with ~ French, the former colonizers and collaborators with the Japanese, against Ho Chi Minh and his followers who had worked closely with the Allied war effort and admired all things American. Ho Chi Minh was, after all, some kind of Communist. He had written numerous letters to President Truman and the State Department asking for America’s help in winning Vietnamese independence from the French and finding a peaceful solution for his country. All his entreaties were ignored. Ho Chi Minh modeled the new Vietnamese declaration of independence on the American, beginning it with “All men are created equal. They are endowed by their Creator with …” But this would count for nothing in Washington. Ho Chi Minh was some kind of Communist.

Twenty-three years and more than a million dead, later, the United States withdrew its military forces from Vietnam. Most people say that the U.S. lost the war. But by destroying Vietnam to its core, and poisoning the earth and the gene pool for generations, Washington had achieved its main purpose: preventing what might have been the rise of a good development option for Asia. Ho Chi Minh was, after all, some kind of communist.

Cambodia, 1955-73:

Prince Sihanouk was yet another leader who did not fancy being an American client. After many years of hostility towards his regime, including assassination plots and the infamous Nixon/Kissinger secret “carpet bombings” of 1969-70, Washington finally overthrew Sihanouk in a coup in 1970. This was all that was needed to impel Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge forces to enter the fray. Five years later, they took power. But five years of American bombing had caused Cambodia’s traditional economy to vanish. The old Cambodia had been destroyed forever.

Incredibly, the Khmer Rouge were to inflict even greater misery on this unhappy land. To add to the irony, the United States supported Pol Pot, militarily and diplomatically, after their subsequent defeat by the Vietnamese.

The Congo/Zaire, 1960-65:

In June 1960, Patrice Lumumba became the Congo’s first prime minister after independence from Belgium. But Belgium retained its vast mineral wealth in Katanga province, prominent Eisenhower administration officials had financial ties to the same wealth, and Lumumba, at Independence Day ceremonies before a host of foreign dignitaries, called for the nation’s economic as well as its political liberation, and recounted a list of injustices against the natives by the white owners of the country. The man was obviously a “Communist.” The poor man was obviously doomed.

Eleven days later, Katanga province seceded, in September, Lumumba was dismissed by the president at the instigation of the United States, and in January 1961 he was assassinated at the express request of Dwight Eisenhower. There followed several years of civil conflict and chaos and the rise to power of Mobutu Sese Seko, a man not a stranger to the CIA. Mobutu went on to rule the country for more than 30 years, with a level of corruption and cruelty that shocked even his CIA handlers. The Zairian people lived in abject poverty despite the plentiful natural wealth, while Mobutu became a multibillionaire.

Brazil, 1961-64:

President Joao Goulart was guilty of the usual crimes: He took an independent stand in foreign policy, resuming relations with socialist countries and opposing sanctions against Cuba; his administration passed a law limiting the amount of profits multinationals could transmit outside the country; a subsidiary of ITT was nationalized; he promoted economic and social reforms. And Attorney-General Robert Kennedy was uneasy about Goulart allowing “communists” to hold positions in government agencies. Yet the man was no radical. He was a millionaire land-owner and a Catholic who wore a medal of the Virgin around his neck. That, however, was not enough to save him. In 1964, he was overthrown in a military coup which had deep, covert American involvement. The official Washington line was…yes, it’s unfortunate that democracy has been overthrown in Brazil…but, still, the country has been saved from communism.

For the next 15 years, all the features of military dictatorship that Latin America has come to know were instituted: Congress was shut down, political opposition was reduced to virtual extinction, habeas corpus for “political crimes” was suspended, criticism of the president was forbidden by law, labor unions were taken over by government interveners, mounting protests were met by police and military firing into crowds, peasants’ homes were burned down, priests were brutalized…disappearances, death squads, a remarkable degree and depravity of torture…the government had a name for its program: the “moral rehabilitation” of Brazil.

Washington was very pleased. Brazil broke relations with Cuba and became one of the United States’ most reliable allies in Latin America.

Dominican Republic, 1963-66:

In February 1963, Juan Bosch took office as the first democratically elected president of the Dominican Republic since 1924. Here at last was John F. Kennedy’s liberal anti-Communist, to counter the charge that the U.S. supported only military dictatorships. Bosch’s government was to be the long sought ” showcase of democracy ” that would put the lie to Fidel Castro. He was given the grand treatment in Washington shortly before he took office.

Bosch was true to his beliefs. He called for land reform, low-rent housing, modest nationalization of business, and foreign investment provided it was not excessively exploitative of the country and other policies making up the program of any liberal Third World leader serious about social change. He was likewise serious about civil liberties: Communists, or those labeled as such, were not to be persecuted unless they actually violated the law.

A number of American officials and congresspeople expressed their discomfort with Bosch’s plans, as well as his stance of independence from the United States. Land reform and nationalization are always touchy issues in Washington, the stuff that “creeping socialism” is made of. In several quarters of the U.S. press Bosch was red-baited.

In September, the military boots marched. Bosch was out. The United States, which could discourage a military coup in Latin America with a frown, did nothing.

Nineteen months later, a revolt broke out which promised to put the exiled Bosch back into power. The United States sent 23,000 troops to help crush it.

Cuba, 1959 to present:

Fidel Castro came to power at the beginning of 1959. A U.S. National Security Council meeting of March 10, 1959 included on its agenda the feasibility of bringing “another government to power in Cuba.” There followed 40 years of terrorist attacks, bombings, full-scale military invasion, sanctions, embargoes, isolation, assassinations…Cuba had carried out The Unforgivable Revolution, a very serious threat of setting a “good example” in Latin America.

The saddest part of this is that the world will never know what kind of society Cuba could have produced if left alone, if not constantly under the gun and the threat of invasion, if allowed to relax its control at home. The idealism, the vision, the talent were all there. But we’ll never know. And that of course was the idea.

Indonesia, 1965:

A complex series of events, involving a supposed coup attempt, a counter-coup, and perhaps a counter-counter-coup, with American fingerprints apparent at various points, resulted in the ouster from power of Sukarno and his replacement by a military coup led by General Suharto. The massacre that began immediately-of Communists, Communist sympathizers, suspected Communists, suspected Communist sympathizers, and none of the above-was called by the New York Times “one of the most savage mass slayings of modern political history.” The estimates of the number killed in the course of a few years begin at half a million and go above a million.

It was later learned that the U.S. embassy had compiled lists of “Communist” operatives, from top echelons down to village cadres, as many as 5,000 names, and turned them over to the army, which then hunted those persons down and killed them. The Americans would then check off the names of those who had been killed or captured. “It really was a big help to the army. They probably killed a lot of people, and I probably have a lot of blood on my hands,” said one U.S. diplomat. “But that’s not all bad. There’s a time when you have to strike hard at a decisive moment. “

Chile, 1964-73:

Salvador Allende was the worst possible scenario for a Washington imperialist. He could imagine only one thing worse than a Marxist in power-an elected Marxist in power, who honored the constitution, and became increasingly popular. This shook the very foundation stones on which the anti-Communist tower was built: the doctrine, painstakingly cultivated for decades, that “communists” can take power only through force and deception, that they can retain that power only through terrorizing and brainwashing the population.

After sabotaging Allende’s electoral endeavor in 1964, and failing to do so in 1970, despite their best efforts, the CIA and the rest of the American foreign policy machine left no stone unturned in their attempt to destabilize the Allende government over the next three years, paying particular attention to building up military hostility. Finally, in September 1973, the military overthrew the government, Allende dying in the process.

They closed the country to the outside world for a week, while the tanks rolled and the soldiers broke down doors; the stadiums rang with the sounds of execution and the bodies piled up along the streets and floated in the river; the torture centers opened for business; the subversive books were thrown into bonfires; soldiers slit the trouser legs of women, shouting that “In Chile women wear dresses!”; the poor returned to their natural state; and the men of the world in Washington and in the halls of international finance opened up their check- books. In the end, more than 3,000 had been executed, thousands more tortured or disappeared.

Greece, 1964-74:

The military coup took place in April 1967, just two days before the campaign for j national elections was to begin, elections which appeared certain to bring the veteran liberal leader George Papandreou back as prime minister. Papandreou had been elected in February 1964 with the only outright majority in the history of modern Greek elections. The successful machinations to unseat him had begun immediately, a joint effort of the Royal Court, the Greek military, and the American military and CIA stationed in Greece. The 1967 coup was followed immediately by the traditional martial law, censorship, arrests, beatings, torture, and killings, the victims totaling some 8,000 in the first month. This was accompanied by the equally traditional declaration that this was all being done to save the nation from a “Communist takeover.” Corrupting and subversive influences in Greek life were to be removed. Among these were miniskirts, long hair, and foreign newspapers; church attendance for the young would be compulsory.

It was torture, however, which most indelibly marked the seven-year Greek nightmare. James Becket, an American attorney sent to Greece by Amnesty International, wrote in December 1969 that “a conservative estimate would place at not less than two thousand” the number of people tortured, usually in the most gruesome of ways, often with equipment supplied by the United States.

Becket reported the following: Hundreds of prisoners have listened to the little speech given by Inspector Basil Lambrou, who sits behind his desk which displays the red, white, and blue clasped-hand symbol of American aid. He tries to show the prisoner the absolute futility of resistance: “You make yourself ridiculous by thinking you can do anything. The world is divided in two. There are the communists on that side and on this side the free world. The Russians and the Americans, no one else. What are we? Americans. Behind me there is the government, behind the government is NATO, behind NATO is the U.S. You can’t fight us, we are Americans.”

George Papandreou was not any kind of radical. He was a liberal anti-Communist type. But his son Andreas, the heir-apparent, while only a little to the left of his father had not disguised his wish to take Greece out of the Cold War, and had questioned remaining in NATO, or at least as a satellite of the United States.

East Timor, 1975 to present:

In December 1975, Indonesia invaded East Timor, which lies at the eastern end of the Indonesian archipelago, and which had proclaimed its independence after Portugal had relinquished control of it. The invasion was launched the day after U. S. President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had left Indonesia after giving Suharto permission to use American arms, which, under U.S. Iaw, could not be used for aggression. Indonesia was Washington’s most valuable tool in Southeast Asia.

Amnesty International estimated that by 1989, Indonesian troops, with the aim of forcibly annexing East Timor, had killed 200,000 people out of a population of between 600,000 and 700,000. The United States consistently supported Indonesia’s claim to East Timor (unlike the UN and the EU), and downplayed the slaughter to a remarkable degree, at the same time supplying Indonesia with all the military hardware and training it needed to carry out the job.

Nicaragua, 1978-89:

When the Sandinistas overthrew the Somoza dictatorship in 1978, it was clear to Washington that they might well be that long-dreaded beast-“another Cuba.” Under President Carter, attempts to sabotage the revolution took diplomatic and economic forms. Under Reagan, violence was the method of choice. For eight terribly long years, the people of Nicaragua were under attack by Washington’s proxy army, the Contras, formed from Somoza’s vicious National Guard and other supporters of the dictator. It was all-out war, aiming to destroy the progressive social and economic programs of the government, burning down schools and medical clinics, raping, torturing, mining harbors, bombing and strafing. These were Ronald Reagan’s “freedom fighters.” There would be no revolution in Nicaragua.

Grenada, 1979-84:

What would drive the most powerful nation in the world to invade a country of 110,000? Maurice Bishop and his followers had taken power in a 1979 coup, and though their actual policies were not as revolutionary as Castro’s, Washington was again driven by its fear of “another Cuba,” particularly when public appearances by the Grenadian leaders in other countries of the region met with great enthusiasm.

U. S. destabilization tactics against the Bishop government began soon after the coup and continued until 1983, featuring numerous acts of disinformation and dirty tricks. The American invasion in October 1983 met minimal resistance, although the U.S. suffered 135 killed or wounded; there were also some 400 Grenadian casualties, and 84 Cubans, mainly construction workers.

At the end of 1984, a questionable election was held which was won by a man supported by the Reagan administration. One year later, the human rights organization, Council on Hemispheric Affairs, reported that Grenada’s new U.S.-trained police force and counter-insurgency forces had acquired a reputation for brutality, arbitrary arrest, and abuse of authority, and were eroding civil rights.

In April 1989, the government issued a list of more than 80 books which were prohibited from being imported. Four months later, the prime minister suspended parliament to forestall a threatened no-confidence vote resulting from what his critics called “an increasingly authoritarian style.”

Libya, 1981-89:

Libya refused to be a proper Middle East client state of Washington. Its leader, Muammar el-Qaddafi, was uppity. He would have to be punished. U.S. planes shot down two Libyan planes in what Libya regarded as its air space. The U. S . also dropped bombs on the country, killing at least 40 people, including Qaddafi’s daughter. There were other attempts to assassinate the man, operations to overthrow him, a major disinformation campaign, economic sanctions, and blaming Libya for being behind the Pan Am 103 bombing without any good evidence.

Panama, 1989:

Washington’s bombers strike again. December 1989, a large tenement barrio in Panama City wiped out, 15,000 people left homeless. Counting several days of ground fighting against Panamanian forces, 500-something dead was the official body count, what the U.S. and the new U.S.-installed Panamanian government admitted to; other sources, with no less evidence, insisted that thousands had died; 3,000-something wounded. Twenty-three Americans dead, 324 wounded.

Question from reporter: “Was it really worth it to send people to their death for this? To get Noriega?”

George Bush: “Every human life is precious, and yet I have to answer, yes, it has been worth it.”

Manuel Noriega had been an American ally and informant for years until he outlived his usefulness. But getting him was not the only motive for the attack. Bush wanted to send a clear message to the people of Nicaragua, who had an election scheduled in two months, that this might be their fate if they reelected the Sandinistas. Bush also wanted to flex some military muscle to illustrate to Congress the need for a large combat-ready force even after the very recent dissolution of the “Soviet threat.” The official explanation for the American ouster was Noriega’s drug trafficking, which Washington had known about for years and had not been at all bothered by.

Iraq, 1990s:

Relentless bombing for more than 40 days and nights, against one of the most advanced nations in the Middle East, devastating its ancient and modern capital city; 177 million pounds of bombs falling on the people of Iraq, the most concentrated aerial onslaught in the history of the world; depleted uranium weapons incinerating people, causing cancer; blasting chemical and biological weapon storage and oil facilities; poisoning the atmosphere to a degree perhaps never matched anywhere; burying soldiers alive, deliberately; the infrastructure destroyed, with a terrible effect on health; sanctions continued to this day multiplying the health problems; perhaps a million children dead by now from all of these things, even more adults.

Iraq was the strongest military power among the Arab states. This may have been their crime. Noam Chomsky has written: “It’s been a leading, driving doctrine of U.S. foreign policy since the 1940s that the vast and unparalleled energy resources of the Gulf region will be effectively dominated by the United States and its clients, and, crucially, that no independent, indigenous force will be permitted to have a substantial influence on the administration of oil production and price. “

Afghanistan, 1979-92:

Everyone knows of the unbelievable repression of women in Afghanistan, carried out by Islamic fundamentalists, even before the Taliban. But how many people know that during the late 1970s and most of the 1980s, Afghanistan had a government committed to bringing the incredibly backward nation into the 20th century, including giving women equal rights? What happened, however, is that the United States poured billions of dollars into waging a terrible war against this government, simply because it was supported by the Soviet Union. Prior to this, CIA operations had knowingly increased the probability of a Soviet intervention, which is what occurred. In the end, the United States won, and the women, and the rest of Afghanistan, lost. More than a million dead, three million disabled, five million refugees, in total about half the population.

El Salvador, 1980-92:

El Salvador’s dissidents tried to work within the system. But with U.S. support, the government made that impossible, using repeated electoral fraud and murdering hundreds of protesters and strikers. In 1980, the dissidents took to the gun, and civil war.

Officially, the U.S. military presence in El Salvador was limited to an advisory capacity. In actuality, military and CIA personnel played a more active role on a continuous basis. About 20 Americans were killed or wounded in helicopter and plane crashes while flying reconnaissance or other missions over combat areas, and considerable evidence surfaced of a U.S. role in the ground fighting as well. The war came to an official end in 1992; 75,000 civilian deaths and the U.S. Treasury depleted by six billion dollars. Meaningful social change has been largely thwarted. A handful of the wealthy still own the country, the poor remain as ever, and dissidents still have to fear right-wing death squads.

Haiti, 1987-94:

The U.S. supported the Duvalier family dictatorship for 30 years, then opposed the reformist priest, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Meanwhile, the CIA was working intimately with death squads, torturers, and drug traffickers. With this as background, the Clinton White House found itself in the awkward position of having to pretend-because of all their rhetoric about “democracy”-that they supported Aristide’s return to power in Haiti after he had been ousted in a 1991 military coup. After delaying his return for more than two years, Washington finally had its military restore Aristide to office, but only after obliging the priest to guarantee that he would not help the poor at the expense of the rich, and that he would stick closely to free-market economics. This meant that Haiti would continue to be the assembly plant of the Western Hemisphere, with its workers receiving literally starvation wages.

Yugoslavia, 1999:

The United States is bombing the country back to a pre-industrial era. It would like the world to believe that its intervention is motivated only by “humanitarian” impulses. Perhaps the above history of U.S. interventions can help one decide how much weight to place on this claim.

***

William Blum is the author of Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II. Portions of the book can be read at: http://members.aol. com/bblum6/American holocaust.htm.


William Blum page

Foreign Policy watch

Bombs Away!

Bombs Away!

A plane that veered off over Cleveland
Still had a one-hour flight,
Before smashing into the building
That has caused the world so much fright.

The air force stood still at Andrews
It is clear they had plenty of time.
The plane hit a segment near-vacant.
Can you solve this riddle in rhyme?

Unocal wanted a pipeline
To run from the Caspian Sea.
Their man is our new Afghan envoy,
We call this diplomacy.

We’ve scrambled jets to bomb the line
Who cares about collateral death?
Our heinous command favors profits
No matter on whom we tread.

Our bombs have cleared the bedrock,
Soon oil will flow through the land.
Our soldiers will stay to protect it,
New sticker: “Free Afghanistan.”

But this place is not like Tibet,
It’s not China that we have to sway.
This time the task is much harder
We must teach ourselves to obey.

Already we’ve gone from a surplus
To $200 Billion in debt.
But somehow this stooge asks for tax cuts,
Increased defense is a sure bet.

What’s wrong with mass transportation?
Or small cars: NO MORE SUVs!?
Oh yeah, that might hurt the profits
Of Exxon, Mobil, BP!

Before the planes hit the buildings
The pilots caroused the Las Vegas Strip.
Does this seem like holy Muslims,
Or agents out to get their last kicks?

You may say I’m some type of cynic,
But our track record is clear.
If you stand in the way of our oil-men
There will be plenty to fear.

Uganda, Iraq, and Afghanistan
Know how deadly this game can be.
Economies crumble below us,
Soon, we will fight to be free.

History holds many lessons,
Those in power fall from their greed.
We are not very good Christians:
We always take more than we need.

The rich get their education,
The rest of us learn for ourselves,
That for-profit domination
Soon leads to a permanent hell.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2002. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Badlands

Badlands

One bumpy flight over the impeachment state
And before you know it, you’re sucking oranges,
Your friends freeze, your mail piles, your art rusts.

This is the year that should decide the fate
Of the world we created in the media age.
Now we know it’s better not to know.

Since everything is news, what atrocity can cause
Us to care? Fewer left to resist the force-feeding
Means corporate controls the entire show.

Can computers outrun the mind police?

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 1999. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

How Politics Makes us Stupid and reactions

From Gwen Fortune after reading http://www.vox.com/2014/4/6/5556462/brain-dead-how-politics-makes-us-stupid

My conclusion, summation and assessment is found in the deep meaning of the phrase, The arrogance of ignorance. Beneath the “A of I” is the acceptance of Fear as the foundation of human existence. Most humans accept fear of extinction as the ground of being–even as they espouse belief in a “loving creature.” Withdrawal from opening to the unknown, to ultimate truths that do not deny “The Shadow” of existence, the yin and yang, the ebb and flaw, in every aspect keeps us in the darkness of the unknown, and prevents the species from actual enlightenment.

We ARE cowards, spinning energies in sick withdrawal–truly the partially evolved.There are many ways these concepts can be and have been stated. I have no more “eloquence” except what I say above. I am saddened–and would like to be hopeful.-and wrong, Maybe another evolutionary epoch.or more will bring critical mass–and productive change. I am not aware of scientific findings to the contrary, to date.

. All I/We know is the creation and destruction of matter in the forms of the physical universes, So far, known history and uncovering pre-history demonstrate a litany” of unending possibilities—until–and the existence of dark (unknown) matter and energy. Belief, and wishing M

PLEASE…do not interpret this response to Charlie’s note as “positive” OR “negative,” Everything we do is personal interpretation to our experience, diverted through an individual mind conditioned in unique communities. As such, our freedom is conditioned/manipulated by personal experience. We have socially conditioned and” apparently” spontaneous responses to our life. Free will?? in our dreams..”Beiliefs–our fantasy.

We are determined by “The Arrogance of Ignorance grounded in the limitation of fear.” Were that it differed.. A hope wish and desire. The wizard.

Channeled ( so I am being told) through /Oya C’Shiva –Gwendoline Alpha Young Fortune,
Gwen

On Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 10:14 AM, Charlie Lindahl
All:

Very interesting artlcle; worth the read. They mention a study where they demonstrate that MORE information and higher intelligence
may NOT always yield the “right” answer. This article requires careful deep reasoning and is by no means the be-all, end-all of the
discussion. But is a fascinating approach to the issues of politics in general.

There’s a simple theory underlying much of American politics. It sits hopefully at the base of almost every speech, every op-ed, every article, and every panel discussion. It courses through the Constitution and is a constant in President Obama’s most stirring addresses. It’s what we might call the More Information Hypothesis: the belief that many of our most bitter political battles are mere misunderstandings. The cause of these misunderstandings? Too little information — be it about climate change, or taxes, or Iraq, or the budget deficit. If only the citizenry were more informed, the thinking goes, then there wouldn’t be all this fighting.

It’s a seductive model. It suggests our fellow countrymen aren’t wrong so much as they’re misguided, or ignorant, or — most appealingly — misled by scoundrels from the other party. It holds that our debates are tractable and that the answers to our toughest problems aren’t very controversial at all. The theory is particularly prevalent in Washington, where partisans devote enormous amounts of energy to persuading each other that there’s really a right answer to the difficult questions in American politics — and that they have it.

But the More Information Hypothesis isn’t just wrong. It’s backwards. Cutting-edge research shows that the more information partisans get, the deeper their disagreements become.

Charlie

Dear Gwen and Charlie and David:

The one issue I have with the original article is simple: it states the political parties have grouped themselves by ideology.

Since 1980, the two Democrat Presidents, Clinton and Obama have proven that though verbally, there is an ideological split between the two parties, when it comes to legislation, the environment, foreign affairs, and labor (to name but four) the actions of the two parties at the top are IDENTICAL.

The ideological divide is a veneer, better put, a whitewash to get people to vote for what appears to be better common sense, a more fair distribution of wealth, some stand on the environment and an end to foreign wars. But none of those have come true.

Look at the Keystone Pipeline, the number of fracking earthquakes i Oklahoma, the continued wars in the middle east, the NOT reviving of the 186 environmental laws scrapped under Bush 2, the NOT rescinding of the unconstitutional Patriot Acts, the NOT restoring of Habeas Corpus, the Hundreds of new formerly unconstitutional surveillance activities, the scrapping of “innocent until proven guilty” by the media, the continued widening of both the income gap and US Debt, both of which could be handled by going back to pre-Bush tax codes, the continued bail outs of banks and AIG that happened under Obama, after derivatives and foreclosures had already gotten the banks their dang money back, the us of drones, the pestering of ANYONE opposed to the government, the deamonization of ANYONE blowing the whistle about unlawful activity by our government, and the pursuit of even MORE FREE TRADE, meaning more USA jobs lost to wage slavery countries, and you see a pattern BY OBAMA that is EXACTLY THE SAME as some of the worst parts of the Bush 2 administration.

Oh there may be an IDEOLOGICAL DIVIDE, but there is no divide whatsoever when it comes to DEEDS, dirty deeds, done dirt cheap.

Hillary Clinton had shown every sign that she would be WORSE. God Bless her, I now look back and see her 1,300 page overhaul of the US health system (Obama failed to lower COSTS, hence he failed in his “reforms” also) as built to fail. She knew it would fail, that’s why she made it so complicated. Bill was on the trilateral commission. ENOUGH SAID, as a governor of Arkansas. Maybe he opposed the Vietnam War at Oxford and she represented an almost-for-sure guilty black panther member who was arrested for murder, IN ORDER TO BUILD a FALSE left wing resume, and had a long term plan to run Bill for President hatched by the same dingbats that sit in the Skull and Crossbones at Yale (sons of the Freemasons, Daughters of the Eastern Star).

Reminder, fellow voters, that Hillary NEVER ONCE voted against ANYTHING AT ALL that Bush 2 wanted. Look it up.

Research about how people are hoodwinked is dandy, academics need their jobs too, but it doesn’t do a DANG THING to change the reality that the media puts the hammer down on Greens and Libertarians alike. Especially, ahem, Greens. We still can’t get the young, the underworked and the impoverished to vote.

Too bad.

Doug:

I hear and understand what you’re saying, but, given that I’ve attended the Texas Democratic Party State convention recently I disagree that
the difference in the parties is simply a veneer.

I *do* agree with your assessment of policy issues in the main, but Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, and Alan Grayson ARE different from their Republican
counterparts. And they walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

Where the two parties ARE the same (minus the examples I just cited) is that BOTH parties are heavily dependent on
corporate cash.

See the recent interview with Jim Hightower (one of my personal progressive heros) on Bill Moyer on July 4th on this topic.

My evidence for “more than a veneer” from Texas:

1) Look at the huge collection of pictures during the respective conventions (R and D).
R: Almost all old white men (oh, and the Log Cabin Republicans were denied a booth as being “philosophically inconsistent with the party platform”)
D: A huge amount of diversity: age, race, size, gender including (proudly) a LOT of GLBTQ.

2) The respective platforms which will EVENTUALLY be reflected in state policy.
An example that is very real for me and for which I lobbied and protested: Houston
passed a citywide anti-discrimination law on behalf of LBGTQ. Houston is thus the last major
city to pass such an ordinance.

This is a concrete example of LOCAL laws that have been passed by Democratically controlled areas,
even in a red state such as Texas.

> We still can’t get the young, the underworked and the impoverished to vote.

NOT true, at least in *my* area of Texas (Houston and environs extending up to College Station).

I met last night *at my house in College Station* the head of the Battleground Texas person (a young Latina) and
a new employee of the Texas Democratic Party (YES they HIRE and PAY staff in the Texas Democratic Party now!)
whose SOLE job is to get LOCAL candidates elected: sheriff, dog catcher, judges, etc.

They were BOTH motivated, BOTH very knowledgeable, and BOTH actively “on the grond” (block walking). And this is
happening throughout Texas in MASSIVE numbers.

In Montgomery County (where Gwen used to live, and I still do), we TRIPLED the Hispanic vote in the last election. Since we
are such a heavy Republican area, it did not make a difference in our state elections (much) but it DID make
major differences in LOCAL elections.

So please please don’t generalize to EVERYWHERE. I am out in the streets in Texas (literally) and we ARE
doing the necessary hard work on the ground (GOTV, blockwalking, etc). WE WILL get Texas blue by 2016, but
maybe by 2014 (Gov/Lt Gov race at least).

Oh, and back on the Keystone Pipeline: note that the pipeline is NOT flowing yet, and the Texas folk working against
it include a coalition from across the spectrum including Greens and Libertarians (and R’s and D’s). And in TEXAS
the protests have been nationally televised and ARE having an effect IMHO.

[ And yes, I’m an unapologetic optimist and activist. ]

Yes Charlie, it appears to be some great work in your part of the world. And, of all the states, Texas appears to be an interesting battleground again, which hasn’t been true since 1948 when LBJ’s Republican opponent was murdered six weeks before the congressional election.

LBJ could have lost as a democrat in Texas in 1948. Wow, pretty bad guy.

But southern democrats, at least the one that controlled North Carolina for decades before 2012, are easy proof of just how long the pro-rich religiously conservative, anti-labor (right-to-work states are inherently wage slavery states), profit over environment “DEMOCRATS” have looked an awful lot like bigotted Republicans.

When I was young we had progressive Jacob Javitz as a New York lefty Republican. Ha, you’re right, we aren’t likely to see that again, or even a Jack Kemp.

You are also correct about Saunders and his small band. But many Democratic strategists are already Open about EW or BS running for president NOT to beat out Hillary, but simply to move progressives back into the fold. it’s the Jerry brown Syndrome where real lefties are used to fold people under to vote for Hillary.

It would take a universal country-wide movement that is working like your local one to change the democratic party into truly representing the poor. To do do effectively, they would have to END all free trade, END the WTO END the IMF, bring back tariffs, and cause a worldwide economic collapse.

This wouldn’t bother me at all, but I am working harder every day to become a farmer. How else can we save the environment, than to end consummerism?

It’s the radical in me. 70% of what is made in factories we just f\don’t need, and those items are messing up the environment. I’m not a LUDDITE, but certain things, we don’t need now and never did need.

Good luck in Texas!

Doug:

Thanks for understanding my position, as I do yours.

For me LOCAL is the action and real change.

I agree, too that, becmoing a farmer is very important for EVERYONE (even “city folk”).

Check out Urban Harvest ( http://www.urbanharvest.org/ ) and Last Organic Outpost ( http://www.lastorganicoutpost.com/index.php/en/ ) for really
great and successful efforts at Urban and Community farming.

And yes, the GREEN party is active in Houston. A good friend of mine ran as a Green and won as a councilman a few years back. He did Good Things
but has since moved on to other things.

Charlie

Dear Charlie:

Lastly-

of course the Greens are all about local, and only run nationwide candidates, if REAL GREENS anyway, to encourage more local meetings. In NC we went from 2 to 20 in 2000, but it’s back to 5 now, form what I am told. Many want me back.

I may leave Korea and come home for good in December. I wrote speeches and coordinated the East Coast for Jerry brown in 1991/2. If there’s a good Dem then I can be on board.

Peace,
Doug

Doug,

You take the Democratic Party to task for failing to do the several things listed here.

Have you LOOKED at the US House of Representatives? The GOP has been in control there since 2010. You do realize who controls the purse strings? Who has to initiate spending bills? Obama’s first initiative was health care. While I think it could have been better, it was a real scrape to get anything passed. The Democrats had both houses for ONE congressional term, and a filibuster proof majority in the Senate FOR less than 2 MONTHS.

Because the Democrats have not succeeded in these things, you equate the parties. I strongly believe you are in error. You allow the perfect to drive out the good.

I too wish for single payer, better benefits for the unemployed, assistance for the poor and education funding. These were not to be, for the GOP obstructing prevents. What we have in ObamaCare is clearly 2nd best, but it beats HELL out of what the GOP would like, which is to cut every spending for anyone except the very very very rich. Tax law changes you want will NOT HAPPEN until we get a Democratic US House.

If you think the two parties are the same, take a look at the Supreme Koch [sic] appointments. The 5 in the majority are ALL GOP appointments and the 4 in the minority are ALL Democratic appointments. To paraphrase a campaign slogan, “It’s the COURTS, Stupid.” No offense intended, and I hope none will be taken.

That said, please, show me where this administration could have done ANY of the things for which you take them to task.

Off to a Saturday AM dress rehearsal for a concert tomorrow night.

With Warmest Regard
David Teague

Dear David-

But let’s read the fine print. Barack Obama is, in most minds, the most influential Democrat. On many issues
his own part was not voting with him.

That’s OK, that’s politics…But, your argument misses a key point: Neither the environment nor labor have the majority of the Democrat’s ears. I live in the south, and assure you very few Yellow Dog Democrats ever get elected in North Carolina, except form Chapel Hill or Asheville. And Asheville’s local politics is often extremely conservative.

Bible-thumping conservative switched to the Democrat party in the south as soon as Lincoln freed the slaves. Republicans have stormed back recently due to Jesse Helms’ success and the hatred of all things Obama.

If you honestly believe that, with the exceptions of Warren and Sanders and a very few others, maybe Harkin and Franken, that the democrats are not ALSO beholden ot big money, then it is hard for me to make my point. The reality is that it’s not just THIS supreme court, but MANY OTHERS that were picked on ideological grounds. I presume this is why we should vote for Hillary Clinton then? Because maybe some senior court members will pass away or retire.!?!?

Obama never once mentioned bringing back any of the 186 environmental laws Bush 2 scrapped. he also supports the Keystone pipeline and fracking (note the earthquake totals multiplied by 20 in Oklahoma due to fracking).

He never brought up the concept of rescinding Patriot Act One or Two, both of which are extremely unconstitutional, and at Harvard President Obama was…a CONSTITUTIONAL Scholar. At least he should have brought up these issues, but I suspect, as many would, that he is in the pocket of the military economic complex (note the continued support of the Fascist junta in Kiev!, the illegal 2009 Coup in Honduras!! Good God Ronald Reagan had NOTHING on Obama when it comes to continuing the antiquated and imperialist BS known as the Monroe Doctrine.

“Bringing the troops home” became “moving the troops to Pakistan.” Ooooopsy Daisy.

Think Obama can bring back the 35,000,000 + millino jobs shipped ot cheaper labor? No? Neither do I, but then again
most of those job moves were caused by three things: 1) NAFTA, 2) GATT@ and the WTO and 3) TAX BREAKS to corporatoins who move jobs overseas. ALL of those were created by another of your democrats: BILL CLINTON.

He had to make a lot of promises and twist a lot of arms to push NAFTA through. HA, the Republicans never could have done it without him. Add to this the Banking reform Act and Welfare reform act (both of 1995) and you find a “democrat” acting more Republican than a Republican would DARE TO DO.

THE END,
Wait
PS
Hillary Clinton, as Senator from New York, NEVER ONCE voted against a SINGLE THING George Bush 2 wanted.

Maybe the Republicans would be worse than all this but does that excuse the “I’m here for the rich” policies the last two Democrat Presidents imposed. AND, AND< AND! when Obama was elected in 2008, the Democrats controlled the white house, the senate AND THE House. and what came of it? NOTHING, not jack, because the southern Dems blocked Obama at every turn. HA
Doug

Fins me a Dem Candidate running on a policy of regaining the environmental laws, rescinding and banning Patriot Acts 1 and 2, ending the spying on Americans by Americans, removing ALL troops form overseas, and putting them to work cleaning up the oceans, for one, and converting, like Germany is trying to do, to Wind and Solar Power and CLOSING nuclear power plants, and THEN I will vote Democrat. Until then, why would I vote for ANYONE who does not support my point of view?
CREATE JOBS: clean up the earth. Just the last one would probably get my vote.

Dear Doug.

IF ANY REPUBLICAN IS ELECTED PRESIDENT, WE ARE GUARANTEED TO GET SCOTUS JUSTICES LIKE SCALIA, THOMAS, ALITO, and ROBERTS. IF THAT HAPPENS, YOU CAN KISS ALL REGULATION OF CORPORATIONS GOOD BYE, YOU CAN THE ENVIRONMENT GOOD BYE, KISS ROE v WADE GOOD BYE, AND YOU CAN KISS ANYTHING THE WEALTHY AND CORPORATE INTERESTS WANT WELCOME.

Any Democrat will appoint better judges and SCOTUS Justices than ANY Republcian.

That said, I acknowledge every one of your points. I know the history of the Democratic Party in the South. That the Southerners moved to the Democratic Party when Lincoln freed the slaves is truly ancient history and it actually has little meaning for today. Those Democrats moved to the Republican Party and took it over when Johnson signed the voting rights act. They drove the GOP to the positions that the Democrats of the late 19th Century held. The Republicans of today would assassinate Lincoln again for that action, and they would delegitimize and depose Obama merely because he is black.

I have lived in North Carolina 77 years, and have watched while the GOP took the NC legislature, gerrymandered voting districts, passed voting laws that destroyed voting rights here, cut education to the bone, then ground up the bones, and raised taxes on the poor and middle class while cutting taxes on the wealthy and corporations. They made it a felony to reveal the “trade secrets” of the fracking fluid that the companies inject into the ground with the potential to poison water in the water table.

Believe me, I know.

But your discussion ignores my one major point: ANY Democrat, even the relatively conservative Hillary Clinton, will appoint BETTER judges and what is more important, better Supreme Court Justices than ANY Republican. That the Democrats are beholden to rich corporations is not immaterial, but they have not sold their very souls to the moneyed interests.

I am not pleased with Obama, and I am annoyed with the Democratic Party. But I will NOT vote for a Republican. I will fight tooth and nail for every liberal who runs. I will canvas voters in this, the most Republican County in Western North Carolina, Transylvania, I will drive potential voters to obtain voter IDs, to register to vote, and then to the polls for early or election day voting.

I am a “yellow dog” Democrat. I will vote for a yellow dog on the Democratic Party ballot before I would vote for ANY Republican. I will contribute to them too. And I encourage you to do the same.

Do not support 3rd party candidates. That way lies a GOP victory and a disaster from from which the United States will take two or three generations to recover.

Dear David:

Here’s one for you:

https://dougstuber.wordpress.com/2014/05/13/the-successes-and-failures-of-barack-obama-the-gwangju-international-speech/

As the chair of the Greens from 1998 to 2002 in North Carolina, you can imagine how hard it was to receive
the 202,000 signatures we needed to just get on the ballot in NC in 2000. We had over 100 volunteers and failed.

Democrats were MOST LIKELY not to sign. gee, how democratic of them.

we got 48,000 signatures and joined Oklahoma as the only two states to fail the party.

I worked for Jerry Brown in 1992, and when Sandy Fox, the CHAIR of the Democrats in Pennsylvania was locked out of campaign headquarters in Harrisburg, due to her backing of Brown, and when the Democrats would not give us the forms we needed to even register potential Convention representatives, should Brown win a voting district, or the whole state, I knew personally that the party was rigged.

Is it better than the republicans? Yes sure, agreed.

But the damage done by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama is WAY WORSE than even Citizen’s United, which only codifies what has already been going on in terms of bribery and corruption for centuries.

After NAFTA and GATT 2 sent the jobs to Mexico and further abroad, Clinton SCREWED the economically challenged via the Welfare Reform act of 1995. It was HIS IDEA.

Likewise the Banking reform act of 1995 allowed banks to lend $30.00 for every $1.00 they had on deposit, not the previously allowed limit of $12.00 to $1.00. That lead DIRECTLY to the 2008 meltdown. AGAIN this major BOOOO BOOOO wws Clinton’s joy to sign, no veto.

Obama’s list of egregious errors is massive, but if you think Hillary Clinton is a “middle of the road” type, look at her record as Secretary of State! She’s not relatively conservative. She’s a mess waiting to happen.

My problem is, no candidate that even remotely is interested in saving the environment, bringing back the environmental protection laws, improving the wages and working conditions of what is left of the manual labor force, bringing ALL THE TROOPS HOME, or at least closing half the foreign army bases, EVEN STAND A CHANCE of being nominated.

Partly this is due to the fact that the MEDIA determines who is leading a race based on ONE THING ONLY: Who has raised the most money. Why? Because those folks can then spend the most money advertising IN THE SAME MEDIA.

Hence, the real representation of the REAL needs of the average American are NOT found in 85% of those elected to the house or Senate in EITHER PARTY.

Until the United States citizens, and not just hippies without work, get on the streets and figure out a way to eliminate money form politics, this is not going to end. We have an Oligarchy, straight up, with many laws WRITTEN by corporations in the first place.

Maybe Kucinich and Sanders and Franken and Warren and Hagan and precious few others stand in the way of all this, but mamby pamby I give in Diane Feinstein types don’t interest me anymore. Not Pelosi either. I quit working for and gave up a long-standing friendship with Jerry Brown when he refused to develop a third party. Good for him, He did a great job gentrifying once proud but poor neighborhoods in Oakland, and is actually doing better than that as Governor of California again.

HISTORY: Even Jimmy Carter stunk out loud. I live in Gwangju, where Carter and his liege Ambassador William H. Gleysteen sent in paratroopers not riot police, and hundreds died in what had started as peaceful protests. His record in Indonesia also stunk. He propped up dictators all over the globe. ooopsy Daisy.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gwangju_Uprising)

If by remaining democrat you believe the USA is better off with Democrats than Republicans, well I can say slightly better off, except when it comes to Foreign Policy, and then the two parties remain very pro military, pro war, pro big business.

We already have enemies throughout the world thanks to Bush 2 and Daddy Bush and Reagan. Now Obama has added Pakistan, and notably is backing the REBEL ILLEGAL JUNTA fascists in Kiev. Eventually that will cause a reaction from Putin.Obama knows exactly what he’s doing. Dumb he is not. If the US economy continues to tank, if the US dollar continues its decline, if the Chinese RMB, now backed by Gold, becomes the unit used to buy oil and later takes over as the world’s reserve currency, the USA is in for VERY HARD TIMES, and only a WHOPPER war could “pull us out” of that. Hence, we might as well tweak the nose of Putin NOW rather than later, right?

And additionally, if the natural gas that flows to Europe via Ukraine is cut off, then the price of natural gas WILL FLY in Europe and around the world, even IF THE USA HAS a 150 year supply. OH Goodie, another fossil fuel President.

The People’s Bank of China is the final mortgage holder on over 22% of American homes. Forget who services the loans, look at the real owner of the debt. We’re already working for China 9 weeks a year to earn enough taxes for our government PAY THE INTEREST on the money we OWE China ALONE.

Why hasn’t Obama been able to show a surplus at least a few years like Clinton did? Because our economy stinks. 0% for how long now? And, like Japan, no noticeable pick up in NET job production.

OBAMA stinks when one examines both domestic and foreign policy realities.

How has he done for education? Uh, MORE religion based charter schools that make fortunes for the already rich.

And for African Americans? Even more in jail now than under Clinton!

And for gun control? HA Sorry, he had the house, senate and his own White House when he first got elected and did not even BRING UP gun control, or the needs of the impoverished, sometimes starving children in THE USA..

Good luck. I’m still worried about the USA, and will be, until campaign contributions are illegal. YUP, Public funding, now!

Thanks for being so engaging,
Doug