What if . . . ?

What if you had a favorite cause or a host of issues which were important to you?

∞  Better schools.
∞  Taxing the wealthy.
∞  Mortgage debt relief.
∞  Raising minimum wage.
∞  Protecting social security.
∞  Expanding Medicare.
∞  Reducing the military.
∞  Ending police brutality.
∞  Free college education.
∞  Money out of politics.
∞  Safer water and food.
∞  Ending the wars.
∞  GMO labeling.

What if you knew with absolute, 100% certainty that a candidate if elected would go to Congress and fight to get new laws passed on those issues?

What if you knew that the candidate when elected had no choice? That there was no room for excuses or quibbling? That this candidate was bound by legal contract to do precisely what you wanted him or her to do?

What if this candidate was not a Democrat of a Republican?

Would you be afraid to vote for this individual, even knowing with absolute certainty that he or she would go to Washington DC to do exactly what you wanted done?

Would you be throwing your vote away voting for this candidate?

Or would you be throwing away your vote by supporting a Republican or Democrat, who you knew would promise all the right things, then go and vote the way the corporations, bankers, rich and powerful, and their mercenary lobbyists told them to vote?

Obviously, if you were the only person to vote for this candidate who was required by contract to keep their promises, your vote wouldn’t count for anything. Your vote would have been “thrown away” by all the other votes which defeated your candidate of choice.

But what if hundreds and thousands and tens of thousands of voters did the same as you and voted for someone they could trust?

What if . . . ?

__________________________________________________________

“Candidate Contracts: Taking Back Our Democracy” is now available. This is how we get the representation we deserve. This is how we make our elected officials do our bidding, to stop taking orders from the 1%, the rich and powerful who have destroyed our system of government with their truckloads of money . . .

Amazon (Kindle) . . . amzn.to/1QJRiNZ
Apple (iBook) . . . apple.co/1BXnPcy
Amazon (Paperback) . . . amzn.to/1Cuq0du
Barnes & Noble . . . bit.ly/1GpTTLq
Smashwords . . . bit.ly/1B4DQCp
Direct from printer . . . bit.ly/1MGjDnN


Posted in Democracy, Political Analysis | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Justin Bieber is the new Hitler!

If someone in the State Department or the White House decides that Justin Bieber’s music truly sucks, or even if they just take a disliking to that froofy, pseudo-pompadour hair style he alternates with his Beetle boy look, you can be assured of the headline the next day, front page of the New York Times:

Justin Bieber is the new Hitler!

The campaign of demonizing this young pop star, thus getting the public fired up for his inevitable liquidation, will have begun.

We’ve seen a lot of ‘Hitlers’ over the past couple decades. If fact, this vilification by association would seem by now to have outworn its usefulness. But no, the public’s knee still jerks when tapped with the mallet of ultimate evil personified. Then it’s bombs away, or at bare minimum, a nice bloody assassination or regime change by proxy.

The great thing about the Hitler device is that everyone knows how it ended. And they can now sleep well, fully convinced of what the new evil-drenched Hitler-reincarnation faces in the Great Battle of the White Hats vs. the Black Hats, an epic struggle which defines our moral sensibilities in this age of television and smart phone enlightenment.

Back in 2003, we had a real solid Hitler in Saddam Hussein. Boastful, cocky, imperious to the core.  He ended up swinging on a rope.  Yes!  Take that brutal tyrant!  Nobody messes with freedom, justice, and the American Way!

Gaddafi was an easy target. He even strutted like Adolph, and though he dispensed with the erect-penis-surrogate arm salute, Muammar had all of the PR trappings of Hitler, his Third Reich gallery-of-rogues henchmen, even his puffed-up Italian sidekick, Benito. Ha! Take a knife up the ass, scumbag!  Blam blam blam!  Bye-bye, chest-thumping despot. Guess we showed him what democracy is all about.

Of course, the latest big-bang-for-the-buck Hitler clone is the grim Vladimir Putin. Oh baby! Are we ever doing a number on this contemptible autocrat!  Though the wily and aggressive Russian propaganda machine pumps out transparently phony approval ratings __ the latest was a laughable 86% __ we know in the West that the cowering Russkies can’t wait for the U.S. and its hyper-masculine NATO allies to reduce their struggling ball-and-chain nation to smoldering, radioactive rubble, so that they can enjoy the benefits of the Home Shopping Channel and 24/7 Donald vs. Hillary news, just like us lucky, well-informed Americans. I’d say your days are numbered, Vlad the Impaler! Keep your shirt on.  Oh . . . I forgot.  You don’t wear a shirt.

Not regularly making the headlines up there with the big neo-Hitlers are little neo-Hitlers. Maybe the general public isn’t paying very close attention, but these tyrants are never off the radar screens of the neocon ninjas and their proud servants, the Orkin men in the CIA.

Included now or the recent past in this exclusive Hitler-lite, by-invitation-only club, would be the likes of Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil, Evo Morales of Bolivia, certainly Raol and Fidel Castro of Cuba, Rafael Correa of Ecuador, and Tabaré Vázquez of Uruguay.

What do all of these scary new Hitlers have in common?

Well, it turns out to be one of two things.

Either they’re socialists __ working hard to block the predatory agenda of capitalism, offering citizens a fair share of national wealth, fulfilling the promise of a good life with minimum standards for income, health care, education, home and land ownership __ or they’re trying to get out from under the oppressive control of the U.S. dollar as the world reserve currency __ the Bretton Woods system that has propped up American political and economic hegemony over the past seven decades.

This last one will definitely get you blown away. This was the real crime of both Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi in the eyes of our neocon goon squad politicos __ George W., Obama, Hillary Clinton, and way too many others to mention.  Currently, we see that the cooperative effort by Russia and China toward de-dollarizing has installed them as the #1 and #2 ranking targets for America’s 7000+ nuclear arsenal.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen . . . many observers have drawn the conclusion that America’s exceptionalist imperial conquerors would prefer risking nuclear Armageddon to giving up the almighty USD as the economic weapon of choice in the international marketplace. World War III will be the ultimate temper tantrum.

“If we can’t have it our way, then everybody dies!”

Having said that . . . I always try to end on a positive note.

All of you devoted fans who swooned to “One Less Lonely Girl” and danced the night away to “As Long As You Love Me” can rest easy.

It doesn’t appear that Justin Bieber is planning on de-coupling from the U.S. dollar __ it has served him quite well __ or leading a socialist revolution among his tweener fan base. Justin seems not at all concerned about the general welfare and never sings about social justice to his faithful “Beliebers“.  He just keeps pumping the U.S. dollars out of their non-biodegradable plastic wallets, like the exemplary capitalist he is.

I’d say he’s probably pretty safe for now.

Posted in Deconstruction, Democracy, Political Rant, Satire, War and Peace | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Another Average Run-of-the-Mill Benevolent Dictator

I am in shock!

Since reading a recent article on OpEdNews, I have been hovering somewhere between appalled and paralyzed.

While I don’t claim to be an expert on all that is going on in this messy world of ours, I do consider myself fairly well-informed. By sourcing a wide variety of news sites from all over the globe, I think generally I have some idea what’s going on “behind the headlines” __ meaning what intrigues and power plays actually drive the more prominent events and crises. These reports often are quite at odds with what folks get from the main stream media here in America.

Quite honestly, however, I never quite got a handle on Libya. I know the U.S. fingered its highly-visible despotic leader, Muammar Gaddafi, for all sorts of things, some true, some never proven. I remember that despite Gaddafi’s denials, he was blamed for the downing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988, a horrifying event. I am aware that Ronald Reagan displaying the incredible military prowess and resolve of the U.S. launched air strikes on Tripoli, in retaliation for the bombing of a Berlin disco in 1986. This was part of an ongoing campaign of demonizing Gaddafi for his aggressive anti-corporate, socialist agenda. Going back to 1981, Libya had been under sanctions for suspected involvement in a variety of terrorist activities.

Almost all sanctions were lifted in 2004. Libya renounced weapons of mass destruction. Slowly relations between Libya and the U.S., and Libya and the E.U. normalized, and mutual understanding appeared to be steadily improving over the next seven years.

Gaddafi, of course, was still mocked in the Western press as a wild-eyed dictator. His penchant for always dressing in military uniform, wearing Hollywood sunglasses, and assuming poses of pompous majesty provided lots of ammunition.

This was very one-sided, to put it mildly. Libyans themselves loved their autocratic leader.

They had good reason to, considering how he treated them, the policies he put into place to bring Libya from a miserable, backward, isolated Third World country, to what it was in 2011 when America and NATO turned on him. I will now quote verbatim from the article I mentioned, by the brilliant economic analyst, Derryl Hermanutz, a list outlined originally by Michael Parenti.

Before Libya was destroyed by the violent coup instigated and coordinated by the West, finally brought to a cataclysmic end with NATO’s bombing of Gaddafi’s security forces, permitting takeover by extremist Muslim terrorists . . .

1)  There was no electricity bill in Libya; electricity was free for all its citizens.
2)  There was no interest on loans, banks in Libya were state-owned and loans given to all its citizens at zero percent interest by law.
3)  Having a home was considered a human right in Libya.
4)  All newlyweds in Libya used to receive $60,000 dinar (U.S.$50,000) by the government to buy their first apartment so to help start up the family.
5)  Education and medical treatments were free in Libya. Before Gaddafi only 25 percent of Libyans were literate. Today, the figure is 83 percent.
6)  If Libyans wanted to take up a farming career, they would have received farming land, a farming house, equipments, seeds and livestock to kick start their farms… all for free.
7)  If Libyans could not find the education or medical facilities they needed, the government funded them to go abroad. For it was not only paid for, but they got a U.S.$2,300/month for accommodation and car allowance.
8)  If a Libyan bought a car, the government used to subsidize 50 percent of the price.
9)  The price of petrol in Libya was $0.14 per liter.
10)  Libya had no external debt and its reserves amounted to $150 billion -which are now frozen globally.
11)  If a Libyan was unable to get employment after graduation, the state would pay the average salary of the profession, as if he or she was employed, until employment was found.
12)  A portion of every Libyan oil sale was credited directly to the bank accounts of all Libyan citizens.
13)  A mother who gave birth to a child received USD $5,000.
14)  40 loaves of bread in Libya used to cost $0.15.
15)  25 percent of Libyans have a university degree.
16)  Gaddafi carried out the world’s largest irrigation project, known as the Great Manmade River project, to make water readily available throughout the desert country.

Gaddafi believed that the wealth of a country belonged to everyone. Libya has vast oil reserves. Once the spigots were turned on after sanctions were lifted, enormous sums of money poured into the country. And Gaddafi put it to work for everyone, not just the elites, not just the multi-national corporations.

Gaddafi had big plans. He imagined the entire continent of Africa adopting his vision of shared wealth, of plenty for all. When he was brutally murdered, he was in the process of implementing a pan-African currency.

Now, if this man was doing such wonderful things for his people, why did America and NATO take him out? Granted, he wasn’t democratically elected. In the first place, if the Libyan people want to have three elephants and a laptop computer chosen by a divining rod running their country, what business is it of the U.S. and Europe? Secondly, had they bothered to go through the motions of setting up electoral mechanisms in Libya, Gaddafi would have won by a 98% landslide. In view of what he accomplished over forty years of rule, despite the despotic, often brutal nature of his leadership, he was widely respected and admired.

The simple answer __ one that I am frankly having a lot of trouble processing __ is that Gaddafi’s ideas were too dangerous. What if his vision for Africa and developing countries of the world had come true? Free education, health care, abundant food and housing?

What if his ideas spread over here?

Think about it . . .

What kind of America would we have if when you went to buy a new car, our government sent you a check for $15,000? Or when you got married, you received $50,000 to help you get started. What if your mortgage was interest-free? What if you could attend college and not have to take out a loan? What if money appeared in your bank account every month because American industry was doing well and showing good profits?

Yes, think about it . . . long and hard.

Dangerous ideas indeed.

Gaddafi was no angel. He was an egotistical, power-crazed megalomaniac, ruthless in his iron rule, aggressively anti-Western, sometimes the sponsor of terrorist killings.

But that’s not why the U.S. got rid of him.

They got rid of him because those dangerous ideas might spread . . . because people might start asking dangerous questions like . . .

“Why can’t we have free education / health care / electricity?”

“Why can’t we all share in the enormous riches of our great country?”

“Why isn’t having a home to live in a basic human right?”

“Why are we all in so much debt __ the federal government, cities, towns, people?”

You’re skeptical?

Just ask yourself this . . .

If America had policies like those in Libya before the U.S. and NATO destroyed it and turned it over to ISIS and other fanatic extremists . . .

Could 1% of America’s population own and control 43% of its wealth?

Could the ultra-wealthy be lord and masters of the world?

Yes . . . think about it.

Think long and hard.

Posted in Corporatism, Deconstruction, Political Analysis, War and Peace | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Values of the Rich

I’ve always considered it important to thoroughly understand other people, in order at bare minimum to know how to act towards them, but more importantly, to learn to appreciate their values, and see what drives their choices in life.

As a successful blogger __ by golly, I have almost 5,000 Facebook friends! __ many of my closest, most intimate buddies are fabulously wealthy. Predictably, the rich regularly devote the major part of their day to Facebook, and hanging out on other social sites. They don’t have to work a real job. They jump online, there’s my stunning profile picture, they click ‘Add Friend’ . . . Bingo! Another billionaire for my growing list of ultra-wealthy connections.

So, despite the holes in my jeans, the t-shirts that I wear __ which look like they’ve been dragged by an 18-wheeler across twenty-three state lines __ I can offer some very valuable insights into the .01%, the folks who are actually pulling the strings here in America for the puppet show we endearingly call the Land of Opportunity.

The other day I started thinking about the way rich people see the world. I was shocked to realize how much we regular folks have in common with them __ how much the filthy rich value the exact same things we do.

Restraint: The rich are conservative. They are emphatically for restraint! They want us to show restraint so they won’t have to. If we regular folks go squandering the nation’s wealth on silly and unnecessary frivolities __ like food and clothing, education for our kids, a car which doesn’t look like it was in a demolition derby __ there won’t be anything left for them to buy a Greek Island or sponsor a coup to overthrow the elected government of a country. And OMG! Have you checked out the price of cosmetic surgery these days? Why, it’s simply frightening! Liposuctioning away that unsightly inner tube and getting dermal abrasion from head to toe is cutting deep into the money that was going toward buying those beautiful art works stolen by the Third Reich. How frustrating!

Turning the other cheek: The rich definitely believe in turning the other cheek! Let’s say there’s some homeless bum standing on the curb. What an eyesore! Talk about ruining a nice day, having to look at that. The rich will understandably turn the other cheek, thereby averting their gaze. Now they don’t have to look at this poor, hungry slob, who probably was laid off from the factory they shipped to Vietnam. This meets the “letter” of Christ’s turn-the-other-cheek mandate, if not strictly His intent. It’s all a matter of interpretation anyway. Let the Biblical scholars nitpick the thing to death, if that’s what they have to do.

Love thy neighbor as thyself: Absolutely! Of course, they mean their neighbors, not ours. Their neighbors belong to the same private clubs, and are less likely to be infected with some awful STD or Ebola, or whatever. There is even evidence that poverty is contagious. Being anywhere close to any common, low-life losers, why all the hard-earned fortune inherited from daddy could go up in smoke . . . just like that! Better safe than sorry.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you: To be completely candid, the wealthy are as confused about this one as the rest of us.  How do you give a blow job to a woman?  So basically they ignore it.

Whew!

Thinking all these deep thoughts is giving me a headache.

I’ll just cut to the chase.

I can sum up the whole ball of wax by just laying out for you what I consider to be the basic ethic __ the defining value system __ of our ultra-wealthy class of aristocrats. Here is the simple, forthright maxim I believe sums up the world view of the ultra-wealthy. By the way, this is from page 92 of my recent book on taking back our democracy . . .

“It’s all mine!  Screw everybody else.”

Now, reach deep into your hearts, folks, and tell me you haven’t felt exactly this same way at some point in your life.

Your mom has just taken away from you a huge bowl of candy you grabbed from the coffee table. The bowl is full of the white chocolate bonbons and caramel squares she has set out for arriving guests. You want them, like really bad! So you start kicking and screaming and throwing a window-rattling tantrum.

“I want it!  It’s all mine!

There you have it. Just like rich people.

Granted . . . you were only three years old at the time.

But you know the feeling.

Posted in Deconstruction, Economics, Political Analysis, Satire, Social Commentary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Real Debt Ceiling

Sovereign debt and its corollary, the federal debt ceiling, are arguably mirages. These operate in a macro context where valuation of wealth and debt are essentially illusions, or at the very least, manageable artifices.

What is not at all manageable, however, is internal debt and wealth inequality. Why? Because in the internal workings of our economy __ and those of most of the developed countries of the world __ ownership and control of wealth are reinforced by rigid and unforgiving legal authority. As is becoming increasingly evident, the laws of this country now serve a very wealthy elite __ a tiny slice of our 318,000,000 people __ at the expense of everyone else.

This is not the 1%.

We’re talking about the .1% and the .01% __ about 30,000 people __ the rich and powerful who actually run the country.

These are the folks you and I never see, because we can’t get within fifty miles of them.

These are the people who operate in a bubble of incomprehension, so detached from the realities of our “ordinary” lives, the basics of survival are about as apparent to them as the emotional life of a Cambodian weaver ant is to you and I.

These are the folks who will repossess your car, foreclose on your home, garnish your pay when you fall behind on your student loan, make it impossible to get an apartment or job for the horrible crime of falling behind on your credit card bills.

They own.

We owe.

Home mortgage debt: $8.17 trillion.

Credit card debt: $3.34 trillion.

College loans: $1.2 trillion.

Auto loans: $955 billion.

Home equity loans: $550 billion.

Total household debt: $13.6 trillion!

The astonishing thing about all of this is that in the wealthiest nation in the world, none of this debt slavery is necessary. There is enough wealth to go around. We could all have the security and basic right to a minimum guaranteed income, a shared sense of community and country which would materialize from sharing our enormous resources and riches.

The ultra-rich could still live in splendor. After all, beyond a certain point, accumulation of money has no impact on the individual life style of a human being, no matter how absurdly rapacious that person is. More money just becomes a pathological numbers game.

How many Bentleys, private jets, wading pools full of caviar, diamond cuff links the size of grapefruits can you own?

I’ve referenced this in a prior blog. But it’s worth reviewing.

To spend the Koch brothers incomprehensible fortune at $10,000 per day, it would take almost 28,000 years __ it would be 29,394 C.E. when you finished your shopping spree.

Spending one million dollars a day, it would take 214 years to go through the monumental wealth of Gates.

The fortune of the Walton family __ owners of Wal-Mart __ totals more that the bottom 42% of Americans. One family has more money than 134,000,000 people.

This is insane.

This is the system we have in place.

This is what the laws of this country have cemented into our national landscape.

Wealth inequality on this level is inhumane and grotesque.

Worst of all __ and the subject of a whole other blog __ the economic infrastructure which locks in this kind of excessive capital aggregation is destroying our planet, and may lead to human extinction. I can’t improve on Naomi Klein’s lucid exposition of this, so I won’t try.

Just taking the narrow view of the social consequences, and the destructive impact wealth inequality has had on our democracy, we need to ask ourselves . . .

Is this sustainable?

One great thing about a rhetorical question is that the answer is so obvious, you don’t have to answer it.

But we certainly need to do something about it . . . before it’s too late.

Other than a handful of legislators __ Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren certainly are talking about it __ and our president who gives lip service to this critical issue, there is no one in public life who is serious about addressing this threat to our existence as a nation.

No one!

Just about everyone in elected office __ to a man, to a woman __ needs to go.

Stuffing them all in a massive launch vehicle for a mission to Mars might be too drastic. But getting them out of office and replacing them with officials who represent the needs and values of every American __ not just the privileged elite __ is not.

Just do it.

__________________________________________________________

“Candidate Contracts: Taking Back Our Democracy” is now available . . .

Amazon (Kindle) . . . amzn.to/1QJRiNZ
Apple (iBook) . . . apple.co/1BXnPcy
Amazon (Paperback) . . . amzn.to/1Cuq0du
Barnes & Noble . . . bit.ly/1GpTTLq
Smashwords . . . bit.ly/1B4DQCp
Direct from printer . . . bit.ly/1MGjDnN

Posted in Banking, Corporatism, Democracy, Economics, Environment, Political Analysis, Social Commentary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“Buddy, can you spare some change?”

We’re on our own. You and I __ the vast majority of Americans __ have no one else to turn to.

Not our leaders, not our pundits, not our spokespersons, not so-called “job creators”, not our teachers or ministers. Not the Clintons or Bushes, not the Trumps or Romneys. Certainly not the Kochs or the Murdochs or Bloombergs, Adelsons or Gates. Not the Dimons or the Blankfeins.

Most of them are on the other team, or at very least play for the other team. That other team is one that you and I will never get to join. It is an isolated, insular, impudent, incomprehensibly wealthy club __ a very tiny slice of our 300+ million __ who have so much, want even more, and will never be satisfied until they have it all. We are just more items on their shopping list. Welcome to capitalism run amok! Welcome to a country where everything has a price and there are some who are so possessed by greed, they see human beings as servants, chattel, minions, serfs, and __ if they can get us for free __ slaves.

What’s this got to do with us? History has shown that in every society there is always an elite which sees itself as superior to the swarming mob, a cut above the unwashed masses, members of an aristocratic class, living in its own exclusive world of privilege. It’s just an unpleasant side of human nature. There’s nothing new about snobbery.

Why should we be concerned?

If it’s not obvious, it’s this . . .

They now own and control our elected representatives, including whoever holds the office of President. You doubt this? Look at Obama’s aggressively embracing and promoting the worst, most onerous trade bills in the history of the world, TPP and TPIP. This one master stroke by the ruling oligarchs will enslave nearly half of the world’s population. National borders will mean nothing. Corporations and the oligarchs who own them will exercise absolute imperial rule over wealth, resources __ our lives, and those of our children.

This whole TPP/TPIP issue should be a warning! There’s a message in this treachery we need to remind ourselves of every waking minute:  Even some of those who claim to be “one of us” or “on our side” are owned by that tiny .1% of America who truly have the power __ the ones who are actually running things.

So . . . it’s just us. It’s you and me against them.

My strategy for radical electoral reform, as described in my book Candidate Contracts: Taking Back Our Democracy, is not elitist. Nor does it pander to the elite. It does not crawl to the rich and powerful and beg them to show us some mercy.

As a matter of fact, my plan is the essence of populist activism. For it to be successfully implemented requires participation by average citizens, across the political spectrum.

I will admit, I did send the book gratis to hundreds of thinkers in academia, think tanks, pundit pools, a host of well-known and not so well-known spokespersons for the “liberal establishment”. While many of these prominent individuals are part of __ often lead __ the national conversation on all things germane to the running of our country, most of them are very much a part of the system. But their endorsement of my ideas might give them credibility, or at least draw some attention to a plan which regular citizens need to know about and actively support.

I’m not sure what to expect of these thinker types.

Frankly, I’m not expecting much.

Most of them are busy, and more inimically, tightly locked into their own methodologies for what they peddle as activism. They often neglect to notice that despite their best and allegedly noble efforts, things continue to deteriorate. The only change is that as each day passes, things deteriorate more quickly.

I must say, there sure are an abundance of people commenting on the problems.

But not many solving the problems.

It’s a fundamental distinction, which is often missed.

What if you had a horrible flesh-eating disease?

Medical experts come in and declare: “We have analyzed all of the data and come to the conclusion that you are in big trouble, clearly in horrible pain, the victim of a terrible disease. It is very tragic! Have a nice day.”

Do we need to bring in several more teams of experts to tell you the same thing?

I assume this is more what you’d hope for: “We have analyzed the data on your condition. While your situation is serious, we have come up with a detailed plan involving a host of drugs, some surgical procedures, and a program for rehabilitation. We can cure this and once we are done, you should be able to live a long and fulfilling life.”

The difference should be apparent.

My book is not more whining. It offers a step-by-step, highly detailed plan for challenging the corruption of our current politicos, and for reversing the destruction of representative democracy in America.

Let me just mention this in closing . . .

There are a few highly visible figures who are on our side, demonstrated by their own writings and activism for our team, by their dedication to making a better life for every American. Once the printed books are out, I will be sending copies to Noam Chomsky, Ralph Nader, Robert Reich, Michael Moore, and several others who are to varying degrees in the national spotlight, and whose support would be valuable.

We’ll see what comes of that.

I can’t force anyone to pay attention. I can only put my ideas out there.

Change doesn’t just magically happen.

People need to believe it’s possible.

Then they need to make room in their hearts and time in their day to make it happen.

__________________________________________________________

“Candidate Contracts: Taking Back Our Democracy” is now available . . .

Amazon (Kindle) . . . amzn.to/1QJRiNZ
Apple (iBook) . . . apple.co/1BXnPcy
Amazon (Paperback) . . . amzn.to/1Cuq0du
Barnes & Noble . . . bit.ly/1GpTTLq
Smashwords . . . bit.ly/1B4DQCp
Direct from printer . . . bit.ly/1MGjDnN

Posted in Corporatism, Democracy, Political Analysis, Political Rant | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

I love Japan!

For a number of reasons I don’t need to get into here, I don’t own a smart phone.

But two days ago, I regretted not having one with me. Or at least a camera.

I was doing my daily 20 km bike ride. Most of my preferred riding is through pastoral areas, soybean and rice fields, often skirting Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, and sometimes through the heart of town by the 400-year-old castle ruins we have here.

But there was one stretch for that particular day’s ride which took me down a secondary road __ not really a highway and not all that busy, but it is a route regularly used by cars, buses, and heavy trucks.

That’s when I saw him.

I so wish I’d been able to take a photo to post here.

A large delivery truck was pulled to the side of the road. The driver was bent down before some beautiful orchids growing in a garden adjacent to the road.

He did have a smart phone and was taking pictures.

Whatever important items were on their way to wherever important items go, would just have to wait patiently in the bed of his massive truck, because this gentleman spotted some splendid flowers along the route, and wanted to show them to somebody.

His wife . . . his kids . . . his mom or dad . . . his best friend?

Just a common truck driver.

But an uncommon man.

Which is pretty common around here.

Posted in Social Commentary, Spiritual | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Race To A Vanishing Point

The writing is on the wall. BIG writing!

The U.S. has again unleashed forces it cannot control, to obtain some perceived geopolitical advantage, and give itself some edge in the grand game of chess, played on an immense, impersonal macro-cosmic scale __ which ignores individual tragedy, human suffering, destruction of peoples and cultures, wholesale slaughter of innocent civilians __ gradually edging the world toward the ultimate confrontation, the really big one, where we get to see what comes out of the other end of a nuclear confrontation.

We obviously learned nothing from our original meddling in Afghanistan, which produced Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda; our meddling in Iran, which produced the current regime we are still trying to dominate; our meddling and war with Iraq, which now has resulted in ISIS; our meddling and destruction of Libya, which now has the country in shambles and has helped spread chaos and carnage across the Middle East and northern Africa.

We just had to meddle even more, and create the current crisis in Ukraine by toppling the democratically-elected government there, then installing a fierce, racist, ultra-nationalistic “pro-Western” puppet regime which will ultimately put us eyeball-to-eyeball with Russia, a world power armed to the teeth with nuclear missiles.

David Swanson points out in an excellent article that prior to the both World War I and World War II, the public remained clueless as to the onset of war. This despite the fact that all the alarms, signals and flags were in plain sight, huge glaring signs that war was where things were inevitably heading. This despite concerned men and women, keen observers, highly visible pundits and scholars __ though admittedly they were in the minority and fatefully shouted down by the usual crowd of bombastic exceptionalists and grinning fools __ issuing grave and sober warnings, dire and thoughtful forecasts, based on sound and knowledgeable analysis, that the world was marching toward a disaster.

Similarly, the evidence is right before us, big pieces of a straightforward puzzle, which even the most simple-minded dolt could assemble into the frightening picture it is.

The insensitive, reckless, aggressive policies of the U.S. are precipitating World War III.

History has dramatically demonstrated that in the heat of major conflict, cooler heads never prevail. This coming war could and probably will go nuclear.

There is, of course, every reason to be concerned about putting food on the table, seeing our kids off to school, showing up for work, keeping the house and yard looking nice, making our homes comfortable for those we love.

But there’s even more reason for preserving a world where there are things like food, tables, kids, schools, places to work, houses, yards, homes . . . those we love.

Am I just being a pessimist? An alarmist? A paranoid?

That’s what they said about those folks who back before 1914 who were trying to get people to pay attention __ over 17,000,000 people then died in the conflagration of World War I.

That’s what they said about many alarmed but certainly better informed folks in the 1920s and 1930s, who said that the Treaty of Versailles was a prescription for major disaster and could only end in a catastrophic conflict. 72,000,000 dead bodies from the greatest war in human history __ so far __ proved them right.

History repeats itself again and again . . . until it doesn’t.

Until there is no more history.

Until it’s all gone, and there is no longer anyone left to be annoyed by pleas for sanity and prayers for peace.

Then the planet will be governed by a vast, all-embracing quiet, when only the scurrying of cockroaches across a dusty, barren landscape offers evidence of life on Earth.

Posted in Deconstruction, Political Analysis, Political Rant, War and Peace | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Shallow

I love all of the hand-wringing, thoughtful analysis, speculation and prognostication surrounding Obama’s public addresses.

Though the ADHD American public seems to little notice or be bothered by the lack of consistency or coherence to our president’s policies on just about everything, pundits lately seem preoccupied with getting to the bottom of his erratic pronouncements. You know, those policy statements which seem often at odds with the best interests of the country, and even more baffling, at odds with themselves.

I hate to sabotage the good work all of the talking heads and pundits do. Moreover, I understand that they have to keep up the illusion they’re doing something invaluable __ after all, we’re talking job security. But this whole business of trying to find coherence in Obama’s policies is a waste of everyone’s time.

There never has been any consistency or sense to it. What can we expect? When he’s talking to his “base”, he spews progressive platitudes. When he deals with plutocrats, he morphs into the plutocrat he really is. When he pontificates about Mother Earth, now he’s the great shepherd guardian of the environment. When he speaks at West Point, Obama becomes the mighty conquering hero, leader of the exceptionalist empire.

It comes down to this. Obama has no core principles, no political philosophy. Most of the time you can just, as they say, “follow the money”. Of course, in our enlightened times, money is free speech. So sometimes it’s about power and its manipulation. But there’s always a “payoff” down the road __ voter support so he can continue wreaking havoc on what’s left of egalitarianism and transferring the nation’s wealth to his friends in the 1%.

Lately, there’s been all of these noble attempts at analyzing why Obama is so hostile to Russia and Putin. The obvious answer is that he now fully subscribes to the nefarious vision of American hegemony embodied in Zbigniew Brzezinski’s Grand Chessboard.

That may be true. But at the very core of Obama’s Russophobic animosity . . . it’s personal.

He hates Vlad the Impaler for upstaging him, not just aspiring to the higher moral ground __ shrewdly making some modest gains on the international stage __ but by Mr. Putin’s actually achieving it in the eyes of the world. Putin’s ratings soar. Obama’s plummet.

Snowden . . . Syria . . . Ukraine.  There you have it, my puzzled pundits.

Obama now has a big chip on his shoulder and a very wounded ego.

Despite a lot of lying, calculating and ruthless propaganda, posing, strutting, bullying, muscle-flexing, employing all of the exceptionalist weapons of the tallest, baddest bully pulpit on the planet, Obama has and continues to make a total fool of himself. And it’s such a blow to his hyper-inflated ego that Vladimir Putin won’t bow before his childish barbs, Obama simply can’t handle it. Poor wittle boy!

We have seen in his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress, then his speech before the U.N., and just recently his remarks to the G-7 __ using these extremely visible and internationally honored forums __ our President leveling vituperative taunts and personal insults at the leader of a great world power.

Personal insults!

This is our Nobel Peace Prize President.

This is our “don’t do stupid stuff” President.

My eyes were opened to how shallow this man is during a recent interview. I had always been in awe of Obama’s vast talents as an orator, delivering noble and moving sentiments, always putting himself in the best possible light, such that many believe him to be a truly great and noble man, a president who cares about the world, the people, world peace. What a shock it was to see the man in the stark personification of a self-absorbed sociopath who evidently has now lost perspective on his own public persona.

He was asked what it’s like being President of the United States.

The first words out of Obama’s mouth and I quote:  “It’s a fun job.”

Do I have to break this down for you? Let’s just ignore how blatantly arrogant that remark was. The President has vast responsibilities and powers. His decisions affect everyone on our planet. He literally has life-or-death power over millions of people.

And he thinks it’s a fun job.

As if we give a flying fuck whether he’s having fun or not.

Obama has kept up a good front for longer than I would have expected. Many would have buckled under so much constant attention and adoration. But for seven years, he managed to fool a lot of people, even the people who are now suffering under his catastrophic lack of vision and leadership.

Obama may be a sharp guy. But it always seems that in the end, good judgment inevitably snaps under the dogged badgering of closeted narcissism. And now we have it, though it might have taken a little longer this time around.

If talk is cheap, and the preferred use of the bully pulpit is self-congratulation over the greater good of the country __ or even an occasional nod to reality __ then the rumors of this President’s greatness for the history books are grossly exaggerated, and will inevitably blow away like mere belches of hot air.

Just what the already overheating planet needs . . . more hot air.

Posted in Deconstruction, Political Analysis, Social Commentary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mission Control: We Have A Problem

On balance, I see Bernie Sanders’ running for president as a positive thing. I wrote this back in August 2011, voicing my support for his candidacy long before the Bernie Sanders For President bandwagon left the barn last month.

Mr. Sanders has some troubling ideas in terms of foreign policy.

But contrasted with a dynastic rematch between the neocon shrew Hillary and the neocon opportunist Jeb, there is no contest.

Go Bernie!

Nonetheless, I feel required to point out something, which in the exhilaration of his early campaigning, no one has addressed.

What if Bernie wins?

If you think we have dysfunctional government now, just try to imagine what would be the result of such a historical “upset” in the duopoly game plan. The center and center-right Democrats __ there are only a handful of genuinely progressive Democrats __ would team with the center-right and right-right Republicans, their shared control of electoral politics threatened by the anomalous election of a truly progressive president. The only legislation which would pass would be bipartisan anti-progressive veto-proof bills.

Of course, with their long-established common ground __ an agenda of defeating anything which the corporate plutocracy disapproves of __ and even more importantly their newly discovered common objective __ totally destroying the Bernie Sanders presidency itself __ mustering 67 votes in the Senate and 300 votes in the House would be a piece of cake.

Bear in mind that on the off-chance he wins the Democratic nomination, he will only be window-dressing for the Dems, a desperate attempt at pulling in the populist vote, which they lost by abandoning the middle and working classes. Any success at the polls by these turncoats will translate into even more aggressive promotion of the vile corporatist agenda they have pursued for decades now, as the Democratic Party steadily morphed into the left wing of the Republican Party.

The simple point is this:  While a Bernie Sanders presidency would inject some hope into our dismal electoral politics and floundering democracy, his election without a supportive Congress would create gridlock and dysfunction of biblical proportions. President Sanders would be demonized, vilified, emasculated, meaning the prospects for the advancement of a progressive agenda, serving the needs of all Americans, not just the ultra-wealthy, would be set back for decades.

There is an obvious remedy to this predictable mega-gridlock.

Blocs of at minimum 34 senators and 151 representatives with an unyielding commitment to Mr. Sanders’ 12-point plan for restoring the economy MUST be put in place via the 2016 election. Either we replace many of the current corporate toadies holding elected office, or the promise of a Bernie Sanders presidency is doomed to utter failure.

I’ll get right to the point.

I have a plan for accomplishing that and __ if progressive activists can actually get it together __ indeed do much much more.

It’s contained in my new book, over 900 copies of which have already been sent to independent and Green Party candidates, NPOs, and think tanks across the nation.

A quiet revolution is possible.

But it requires making a lot of noise.

“Candidate Contracts: Taking Back Our Democracy” is now available . . .

Amazon (Kindle) . . . amzn.to/1QJRiNZ
Apple (iBook) . . . apple.co/1BXnPcy
Amazon (Paperback) . . . [ TBA ]
Barnes & Noble . . . bit.ly/1GpTTLq
Smashwords . . . bit.ly/1B4DQCp
Direct from printer . . . bit.ly/1MGjDnN

Am I promoting my book?

No . . . I’m promoting my ideas.

Posted in Deconstruction, Democracy, Political Analysis | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments