VIDEO BLOG: Open up the debates!

I want to throw out a challenge to the participants in the coming presidential debates.

Of course, the fair and democratic thing to do would be to open the debates to Jill Stein and Gary Johnson.

But certainly the Democratic and Republican parties, and the puppets administering the debates, couldn’t care less about fairness or democracy.  They’re in the game for power and it’s winner take all.  Screw the founding fathers, the intent of the Constitution, and all that fancy high-sounding theoretical fluff.  They want to win.  There’s lots of money to be made for their corporate and Wall Street friends.

So I’m not going to talk about values, and none of what I have to say is directed at either the Republican or Democratic leadership, and certainly not the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is just a shill organization, a smokescreen for that same leadership.

I am making my appeal first to the candidates, and second to the TV network in charge, CNN.

Donald Trump thinks Jill Stein is a beer mug you can buy at Jillian’s Curios in Topeka, Kansas.  Trump knows what a Johnson is but hasn’t a clue about this Gary guy, or why he should worry about this Gary guy’s peepee.  Besides, Trump shouldn’t care who’s onstage. What is he going to do?  Fine tune the septic swill that spews out of his pie hole?

So I say to you, Donald.  Let’s go for it.  The more the merrier!

Clinton is the problem.  I don’t think she relishes having someone like Jill Stein on that debate stage.  Jill is more intelligent, better informed, has integrity, knows what America really needs, speaks for the priorities and values of the vast majority, and is honest.  Whew!  That could be a real problem.

See, Hillary and the Donald are bullshitters of the highest order.  Hillary is in her comfort zone in a pile of shit.  She figures she can hold her own against even the tsunami of the stinky stuff Trump will barrage her with.

But Jill Stein?  Big problem there.

So my challenge is to you, Hillary.  You claim to be the Iron Lady of America, with all the right stuff to be the first female prez in our history.  Show us you’re not afraid of some real competition.  Do you have the brass cajones, the bulked up ovaries, to go head-to-head with someone who actually has something to say?  Who has a real program for rescuing America from the likes of hypocrites like you?  Are you up for it?

I think not.  But Hillary, this is your chance to prove me wrong.  Let’s see some courage.  Show some guts.  You can still laugh that hyena laugh, even faint, have convulsions, or cough your way through the performance.  Jill Stein won’t crimp your style.  She’ll just put some substance on the table.

Like I said, I doubt if Hillary is up to it.  I expect her to refuse to allow Stein and Johnson in the debates.  While Johnson poses no threat, Hillary is DEATHLY AFRAID OF JILL STEIN!

Alright!  NOW it’s time for you folks over at CNN to listen up.  Come on, guys.  Let’s put on your thinking caps.

I’m not talking public duty, responsible broadcasting, patriotism, or anything of the like here.

I’m talking money!

Big clue . . . Hillary turns down debating Jill Stein.  Why?  Because it’ll be a bloodbath.  Stein will chop up Clinton like those table chefs at Benihana.  Then she’ll turn to Trump and vaporize the moronic egomaniac.  Trump won’t know it because he’s oblivious to everything except his own self-aggrandizing blasts of noxious self-adulation.  But the audience will know!

Do you see what’s at stake here?  You guys want a cage fight and you’re counting on a real battle of the bloviators from Clinton and Trump.  But what about the midget who comes out of the audience and pile drives both of them into a mat soaked with the blood of their disgusting egos.  THIS IS WHAT YOU’RE REALLY LOOKING FOR!

You’ll make good money on that first debate.  But after Stein turns Hillary and Donald into hog sausage, the next debate will be the windfall of windfalls!  The second debate will get so many viewers, it’ll make the Superbowl look like a 4 am public service announcement.

So wake up, CNN!  When Hillary refuses, get all righteous on her.  Start talking about inclusiveness and the right of the voting public to have real choice.  Tell Hillary that public duty requires you to put both Jill Stein and Gary Johnson in the debates.

Then send me a fat check for putting you on to the greatest cash cow in the history of politics.  Call the second debate . . .

“The Fiercest Bloodiest No-Holds-Barred Death Match Presidential Debate in History”

Blood and guts!  It’s what sells.

Posted in Democracy, Nihilism, Political Rant, Satire, Video Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

It’s not easy being infallible . . .

In case you didn’t hear President Obama’s historic speech at the Hiroshima Peace Park this past May 27th, let me sum it up for you.  Paraphrasing . . .

“It’s very sad.  War is nasty.  Shit happens.”

There is broad consensus among reputable historians — who don’t filter everything through the brainwashing lens of American exceptionalism — that dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was entirely unnecessary.

There is concrete evidence — I’ve seen the U.S. government documents on display at the Hiroshima Peace Museum myself — that dropping the bombs was an experiment.  These two Japanese cities, both of relatively marginal importance in terms of the war effort, were the petri dishes, the Japanese were the bacteria.  The nuclear scientists who had developed a deployable nuclear weapon wanted to see how people and dwellings would hold up in the 10,830º fireball.  You think I’m exaggerating about any of this?  The bombs didn’t target factories or military installations.  The epicenter of the Hiroshima explosion was directly over a medical clinic, for chrissakes!

With those two heinous war crimes, of course, America was just getting warmed up.

Next came Korea, or more specifically North Korea.  In what was considered a savage and one-sided genocidal attack, over 20% of the population — by some estimates close to 1.4 million people, mostly civilians — were killed by the U.S. campaign.  North Korea was reduced to rubble.  At the end of the carpet bombing, planes were returning with all of their bombs, with the pilots complaining there was nothing left to bomb.  Why did North Korea deserve this genocide?  They were demanding that as promised at the end of World War II, when they were finally liberated from the oppressive rule of the Japanese, that the country be unified and free democratic elections be held.  You think I’m making this up?  If you can go beyond the facile fairy tales of our high school history texts and do some reading, you’ll find it in the historical record.

us-bombing-record_reducedAfter taking a little breather, the U.S. moved on to Vietnam.  What was the problem there?  These misguided gooks might go communist and we couldn’t let that happen!  Of course, Vietnam is now a communist country.  I’ve been there.  It’s a pretty decent place.  No one tried to shoot me.  I practically never saw any police.  The food is spicy.  Amazingly, I was treated with courtesy and kindness.  Why was I amazed?  Because I’m an American and we slaughtered up to 3.9 million Vietnamese in that war, again mostly civilians.  We sprayed them and their farmland with lethal chemicals that are still causing horrible birth defects.  In fact, America dropped twice as many bombs on this tiny country as was unleashed by all sides in every theater of World War II! 

Try to wrap your head around that.

Of course, just because we were at war with Vietnam didn’t mean we would confine our destruction and carnage to that country, in losing the war.  We also mercilessly bombed Cambodia and Laos.  In Cambodia — a country we weren’t at war with — America dropped a half million tons of bombs killing 100,000 innocent people. 

But that was child’s play compared to Laos, again a neutral country which was not in any way taking sides in the Vietnam conflict.  Laos has the chilling distinction of being per capita the most bombed country in the history of the world!  Yes, we really cut loose on this tiny, impoverished nation by dropping 2,000,000 TONS OF EXPLOSIVES on them!

And how bad does America feel about the death and destruction it inflicted on tiny Laos?  Never one to let an opportunity for cynical irony go ignored, Obama in his public relations swing through Southeast Asia stopped by to do some glad-handing.  While when it comes to countries we’ve abused Obama prefers to leave the past behind, to look ahead toward a bright, harmonious future — in particular one controlled by the corporate totalitarian regime of TPP — he did give a slight nod to a problem that 2,000,000 tons of explosives had left scattered across the landscape of Laos: that of unexploded ordnance.  He was in such a generous mood that he committed $90 million to help clean up the mess before more children lost their arms and legs.  $90 million for 2 million tons of explosives only four-and-a-half decades late.  What a guy!

I could go on but we’d be looking at a book.  A very depressing one at that.

The point is the bombing and the wars just keep on going and in parallel we are treated to a never-ending barrage of self-righteous deceptions and exceptionalist demagoguery.

The only difference now is that the rhetoric is more vitriolic and audaciously deceitful.

Since hopefully many of you like myself may not be amused by Obama’s infinite capacity for expectorating America-first drivel, let me spare you from listening to this narcissistic ideologue and sum up his recent speech before the United Nations.  I read between the lines a bit, and here’s the gist of this remarkable gust of self-congratulatory hot air:

“We know if you repeat a lie often enough, it will stick.  We are also firmly committed to never admitting a mistake, and no matter how implausible, always finding someone else to blame for what goes wrong.  Finally, the United States of America never apologizes.”

For the final UN speech of his celebrated 8 years as president, I think Obama has done an excellent job of clarifying exactly where the U.S. stands, and sealing his place in the history books after the U.S. inevitably implodes, as one of the most myopic of our chief executives.

Having said that, I’m still for offering a balanced view.  Though we often get caught up in quibbling about the details, let’s look at the big picture and give credit where credit is due.

Do you think keeping track of the torrent of destructive but spellbinding lies dumped on the American public and the rest of the world is easy?

Can you fathom how thoroughly exhausting it must be to relentlessly embrace and nurture such intemperate arrogance, such malignant hubris, such shameless moral insensitivity, how draining it is to keep feeding the rhetorical river of buttery self-congratulations and slimy bombast?

What about having to unrelentingly deny facts, obfuscate and hide the truth?  What about the colossal task of constructing an alternative and patently false reality to keep American citizens from waking up to the horror their leaders are visiting on the rest of the world?  You’re going to tell me this is not incredibly grueling work?

In a nutshell . . .

Do you think it’s easy being infallible?

Maybe we should ask President Obama at his next news conference.

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A Look At Some Other Numbers

On July 20th, I amsterdam_jazz-d49n4v6created The “I’ll vote for Jill if you will” Pledge Campaign This included setting up petitions at four reputable petition campaign sites to keep track of the number of participants.  Off to an encouraging start, I got signatures on the very first day.

This whole effort addresses what I consider to be the primary obstacle to Jill Stein getting elected.  That is, it offers a mechanism to work around the predictable fears that most voters have that if they vote third-party, they will “throw their vote away” and even worse, end up electing one of the major party candidates who they abhor.  Those who voted for Ralph Nader — I was one of them — were wrongly accused of throwing the election to George W. BushThough this is easily established as false, the idea of the “spoiler vote” continues to persist and serve the agenda of the two-party monopoly, preventing any real challenge from either the progressive left, the libertarian right, or any party for that matter functioning outside the narrow, tightly choreographed corporate mainstream.

The success of my campaign to unite potential Jill Stein voters into a bloc, essentially by “pre-polling” the voting public, was predicated on ascertaining in advance that there were sufficient voters to elect her.  Ascertaining that meant voters could comfortably vote for her without fear of wasting their votes, perhaps inadvertently electing Donald or Hillary, whichever might be judged worse — though in my book it’s a toss-up. 

The target was 50 million or more voter signatures, which I determined would be enough, if distributed appropriately in important swing states, to put her in the White House.

The key to getting that many signatures was the power of an exponential multiplier, or as I euphemistically dubbed it, the power of numbers.  If each person who signed the petition — and in doing so agreed to participate in the program — told only two others, instructing them to each likewise tell two others, in less than 30 days we could have over 67 million people signed up, more than enough to eradicate all anxiety about voting for Jill Stein.

So how did we do?

On September 9th, we finally hit 5,000 signatures across all four petition sites.

That is, we managed to get 5,000 well-meaning folks — and judging from the comments very passionate supporters of Jill Stein — to jump on board, and it only took 52 days.

Mind you, I didn’t just sit back and twiddle my thumbs.  In fact from the day I started the campaign till now, I’ve sent out over a thousand tweets, posted it on over ninety Facebook pages, posted it as comments on some fifty plus political media sites, posted it on Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Stumbleupon, Reddit, Blogger, Delicious, and Live Journal.

Which suggests that assuming I don’t suffer from dwindling returns for my effort — highly doubtful since the “low-hanging fruit” gets used up quickly — in order to get to 50 million signature, I would only need to keep doing what I’ve been doing for the next 1,424 years. 

What do you think?  Should I keep going?

Alright . . . what happened?

That is perhaps the easiest question in the world.

People didn’t recruit anyone else.  Despite their personal enthusiasm for Jill Stein, despite many of them — judging from the enthusiastic praise I got for the idea — thinking it was a highly ingenious way to make her a viable candidate in the eyes of a fearful voting public, despite them making a firm pledge when they signed the petition which committed them to the action which was the critical core of the strategy . . .

“I will now contact two other people who I respect and trust, let them know there is a real alternative to the Clinton vs. Trump political spectacle, explain that if we frustrated voters join together, we don’t have to throw our votes away, we can elect a great president, America’s first female president no less.”

. . . they just couldn’t bring themselves to talk to and convince others that this was a necessary and worthwhile project.

Am I surprised?  Of course not.  Disappointed but not surprised.

As citizens we have become paralyzed by our own timidity and fear of failure, intimidated and rendered dysfunctional by the dysfunction all around us.  We’ve become disengaged and numb from the constant trumpeting of counter-productive memes, false narratives, the insultingly banal media coverage of politics, the disinformation and propaganda that bombards us 24/7/365.  We have been made cynical and immersed in despair by endless violations of the public trust by our leaders, by the condescending and cavalier lies we are constantly told by our politicians and other puppet-masters in the pulpits of power.  Most tragically, we have become afraid, afraid of the police, afraid of the government, afraid of one another, afraid to act.  We’re just too afraid to turn to a couple other people and say:  “Hey, look at this.  I think it’s a great idea!”

But here is the problem . . .

No matter how hopeless and difficult it seems, we must act.  We must get involved.  Time is running out on democracy.  There still remains some small hope that we as citizens can make a difference.  But that hope is shrinking fast.

What probably the majority of citizens apparently fail to understand — or if possible avoid thinking about — is that in our current social and political environment, under the “rules of the game”, we have no choice but to participate.  Just being a citizen means you are intrinsically a functional “activist” in a system which determines everything that is happening now and will happen in the future.

There is widespread reluctance to recognize and embrace a simple fact:  The future is still ours for the taking.

The numbers are with us across the board — on many key issues, on outrage and contempt for Congress, on collective revulsion for the choice we are being waterboarded with via the two major party presidential candidates.

What is lacking?

Courage.  The courage to just reach out to others and say:

“I’ve had it!  I’m not playing this game anymore.”

Yes, many are saying this but only to themselves.  Until the American public hears a loud roar and a thunderous chant, and each and all realize they are not alone, they individually will again buckle to their fear, and be afraid of a simple act like reaching out to just two others — even two others of like mind and thinking — and talking, just being open and honest about issues that confront all of us but from which we retreat like cowards.

Recognize this . . .

Being paralyzed by fear and hopelessness is a form of “citizen participation”.

As is surrender or any other form of capitulation or acknowledging defeat.

It’s self-sabotaging but participation no less.

To not act is counter-intuitively an act.

Because to not act is a choice.

And all choices have their consequences.

We will live or die by what those consequences look like.

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The Peace Dividend Concept . . . Now A Book

peace-dividend_cover_400x600We each do what we can do.  That’s all we can do.

As anyone who is familiar with my writings knows, for the past four years I’ve expressed my alarm at the systematic disempowerment of everyday citizens — the 99% — and the destruction of our democracy.  I’m never content to merely identify a problem without trying to identify a solution.  Thus my books Candidate Contracts: Taking Back Our Democracy (June 2015) and Fighting for the Democracy We Deserve (September 2015) focused on ways to address these critical challenges, even given the shredding of our personal liberties and the sabotaging of normal mechanisms for implementing reform.

In developing the ideas for these books, at some point I realized that the militarization of our domestic police forces, our communities, our media, our foreign policy, in fact, just about every aspect of our lives and everything America now collectively does, was central to the control the oligarchy now has over the country and its citizens.  This militarization finds its most obvious expression in the constant wars and the insertion of U.S. troops all over the world, the open-ended and ubiquitous War on Terror, and the pursuit of world domination by any means necessary, all of which are steadily driving the country to its own cataclysmic unraveling.

But it also occurred to me that not only was this militarization the main mechanism for reshaping America into an imperial autocracy, it offered at the same time a phenomenal opportunity for its citizens to reclaim their country.  I believe that the war machine is its own Achilles heel — at least until voting has been outlawed and we’re all locked away in work slave camps — in that its abuse of power is so ham-fisted, at core so contrary to the best social and political traditions of our nation, once the majority of citizens understand what is going on, the whole destructive regime of the warmongers can be taken down and replaced with one that serves the greater interests of all Americans.  Of course, the major challenge is finding a way to communicate it in a way that makes sense and guarantees a significant number of people will pay attention to it. 

This unfolds as my Peace Dividend concept, a historical and political analysis of endemic institutional corruption and abuse in the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, the NSA and other national security agencies, Congress and the White House, offering a strategy for challenging and ending the egregious violations of public trust.

The Peace Dividend concept originally appeared and is explored in summary form in both of the two books mentioned above.  With the publication of my new book, it now has its own dedicated volume with full explication, justification, and documentation . . . 

The Peace Dividend: The Most Controversial Proposal in the History of the World.

Here’s the premise:  With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1992, American citizens were promised a “peace dividend”, i.e. less money for war, more for peace and a good life for all. The U.S. military under misguided leadership has attacked eight countries since then. The defense budget has exploded, buying a lot of junk that doesn’t work and military hardware we don’t need.

American citizens have been grossly deceived about the real purpose and agenda of our military exploits throughout the world.  As I incontrovertibly establish, we have had over $4.82 trillion of our hard-earned tax dollars taken under false pretenses and wasted with cavalier abandon on unnecessary wars and unneeded weapons.  This transparent fraud on the American people has been perpetrated for two-and-a-half decades.

It’s time to change all of that.  It’s time for a fresh new narrative, and a vibrant national conversation.  It’s time to start thinking and talking about peace again.  This book explains why and exactly how we begin.

The Peace Dividend strategy is a direct attack on America’s systemic addiction to war by appealing to the self-interest of its citizens, literally INCENTIVIZING citizens to redirect their thinking and start WORKING FOR PEACE!

The Peace Dividend: The Most Controversial Proposal in the History of the World is now available both as an ebook and deluxe paperback at many of the usual outlets . . .

Amazon (Kindle) / US . . . amzn.to/2cpIRfQ
Amazon (Print) / US . . . amzn.to/2cEhnCb
Amazon (Kindle) / UK . . . amzn.to/2cKXFsV
Amazon (Kindle) / Canada . . . amzn.to/2ciZKdl
Amazon (Kindle) / Japan . . . amzn.to/2cbf3TO
Barnes & Noble . . . bit.ly/2cWxvzd
Kobo (Indigo) . . . bit.ly/2cI8cB6
Apple iTunes . . . apple.co/2cqw7an
Smashwords . . . bit.ly/2cb6Cse
Direct from printer . . . bit.ly/2c3mJsl

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Deep-State Doppelgängers

What Me Vote?

As an outsider — I’m an American expat living in Japan — I’ve had to seek out my own unique set of “insiders”, individuals who have special access to the inner workings of the U.S.  My most fruitful source of insider information has turned out to be an Latvian taxi driver based in Youngstown, Ohio who has a network of informers deep within the bowels of our opaque government machinery.  His expert psychic talent plus the natural ability to see through both lead paint and building insulation, combine with his disarming knack for making light of any situation — he has a sideline business as a stand-up comic at local area funerals — to penetrate the most secure firewalls of secrecy put in place by the plutocrats and power brokers nestled in the Washington DC bubble.  I’ve never met him in person but we talk regularly on Citizens Band radio (channel 7).

What he told me yesterday was shocking and left me nearly speechless.  But speaking I am right now to share with you what I learned.

It doesn’t matter who we vote for in the coming election for president!

This is not because as is commonly thought the electoral system is completely rigged.  Rather, it’s because whoever is elected will immediately be disappeared by the Deep State security agencies and replaced with a robot which you and I will not be able to detect is a fake.  Then this deep-state controlled doppelgänger will do and say what it is programmed to say and do.  You and I will never be the wiser.

The NSA in conjunction with DARPA have been perfecting the science of anthro-robotics for this very purpose.  The results are astonishing.

The Donald Trump prototype is already being street tested.

Donald Trump_Anthrobot

On the other hand, the Hillary Clinton robo-doppelgänger has had some snags.  The finest researchers at the facility are having trouble capturing some of the tics, outlandish facial expressions and seizures which have recently become her trademarks.  After all, they’ve spent millions of dollars trying to emulate normal behavior, not that of a crazy person.  Look at this video and you’ll see what they’re up against.

They’ve still managed to come up with an “early version” of what they are confident will be a very convincing President Clinton II simulation.

Hillary Clinton_AnthroBot

No one gives Jill Stein a chance in hell of winning the election.  But the ever-cautious deep state robotics experts are taking no chances.  This early mock-up appears to need a little fine tuning but I’m confident they’ll get it right by inauguration day.

DARPA and the NSA have decided they can replace Gary Johnson with a washing machine jacked up with some artificial intelligence and nobody will know the difference.  They are, however, having a little trouble keeping the feisty anthro-bot on message.

Gary Johnson_AnthroBot

There you have it.  Voting is a complete waste of time!  Don’t bother.

The good news is that the 23rd season of Dancing With The Stars will be showcasing such amazing talents as Amber Rose, Ryan Lochte, and Laurie Hernandez.  It would appear that November 8th will be a good day to just stay home and watch TV.

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Russian Roulette

Revolver_6 BulletsSince everyone seems so easily distracted these days, I’m going to make this short and sweet, extremely straightforward.

People question my choice for president in the coming election.  Here’s my reply.

There’s a revolver on the table and six bullets.  You are going to play Russian roulette.  You have no choice in the matter.  You will play!

Voting for Hillary Clinton means they will load six bullets, filling the cylinder.

Voting for Donald Trump means they will insert five bullets, leaving one chamber open.

Voting for Jill Stein means there will be no bullets in the gun.

Why Russian roulette? 

Because Hillary is surrounding herself with warmongering neocon lunatics — she is a warmongering neocon lunatic herself.  She’ll start a major war with Russia.  Lacking any diplomatic sense or understanding of history, she has equated President Vladimir Putin with Adolph Hitler.  Since Obama already has pushed America and Russia to the brink of war, and Hillary just keeps escalating her facile anti-Russian rhetoric, we have no reason to expect otherwise.  World War III, here we come.

Trump talks of rapprochement and working with Russia.  But he’s crazy and changes his mind daily.  Who knows?  He’s almost as scary as Hillary.

Jill Stein wants peace and cooperation in the world.

If the U.S. ends up in a major war with Russia, it will go nuclear and that will be that.

All other issues — immigration, Muslims, wealth inequality, jobs, equal rights, a living wage, etc. — will be off the table because there will be no table, no room, and no building.  The city, the nation, and everyone in it will be turned into radioactive corpses and rubble.

Pick up the gun.  Choose your game.

I made my choice.

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Thought Experiment

Santa Fe NM rich and poorLet’s say that you spend $20 on two fifths of whiskey, get so drunk that you have a horrible automobile accident, hitting a school bus, killing over fifty elementary students, causing serious injury to several others.  Three of the children who survived are now quadriplegics, two others have permanent brain damage, a number are disfigured because the bus caught on fire, and they couldn’t get out in time.  Moreover, enraged by your clearly irresponsible behavior, several of the parents, solid members of the NRA — thus well-equipped with assault weapons and handguns — have vowed to avenge the death and crippling of their children.  You find yourself being hunted down and must be on the alert at all times for a potentially lethal attack.

Now let’s imagine that through the magic of quantum theory and Einsteinian relativity, we could take you back to before this entire incident.  You have that same $20 in your hands.  You’re given a choice.  You have full knowledge of what will happen if you buy the whiskey but you have an option:  You can walk up to a complete stranger and hand him the $20.

To make it interesting, let’s say the stranger is a bum.  Let’s say that from all appearances the guy is not employable, lives hand-to-mouth on what he can panhandle.  It is also easy to imagine he will spend the $20 on cigarettes and beer.

Knowing what will happen if you keep the $20 for yourself — the whiskey, plowing into a school bus, mangling a bunch of innocent kids, creating enemies who now want to kill you — would you hand the $20 to the bum?

Since all of the good people who visit my website are the most intelligent, rational, decent and sensible humans on the planet, I will assume to a person that all of you would opt to hand the $20 over to the bum.  Not only would you be sparing yourself a monumental amount of grief, and a stain on your conscience from which you might never recover, I have no doubt that the warm bubbles of Good Samaritanism would fill you with giddy abandon, a tactile bonanza for your good sense and generosity.  What a splendid feeling!  Why, it would be better than a kick-ass dose of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors!

So what if the guy is a bum.  A lot of people never find their groove.  That $20 will make him feel like he won the lottery.  He can spend it on whatever he likes.  It’s really none of your business, right?  And it’s not like you haven’t made some bad choices at one time or another.  What about that time-share you bought in the Bahamas that turned out to be a shed for garden tools?  Let him buy some cigarettes, a Hustler magazine, and Wild Horse.

Alright.  Now through the magic of Blog World — where anything can happen because the person writing the blog can make up whatever he wants and being somewhat disconnected from reality or just plain nuts is no barrier as long as he can afford the $27.95 a year for an internet domain — let’s say YOU are suddenly in charge of the entire federal budget.

Now you don’t have just $20 to spend or giveaway.

You have $1.16 trillion dollars!  That’s the total discretionary federal budget for 2016.

Here’s the choice.  Do you continue to spend the majority of the money on defense, buying unnecessary junk, building and maintaining military bases — the U.S. already has close to 1000 in 143 countries — starting wars, bombing nations into complying with our agenda, killing tens of thousands of innocent people, spreading even more terrorism across the planet?  Do you inflict carnage and suffering on undeserving citizens in distant countries, blowing up not just school buses, but whole schools, hospitals, villages, whole cities?

Or do you give some aid and comfort to those who for one reason or another have fallen on hard times here in the U.S.?

Despite the putative recovery from the 2008 crash, despite America still being by far the wealthiest country in the world, despite having the largest economy in the world with a whopping GDP of $18.56 trillion, there are some 45 million Americans living below the poverty line.

There are over 500,000 homeless people in America!

Does that compute?  Over a half million human beings, many of them children, without a place to live in the richest nation in the history of the world?

Just considering the enormous amount of waste the direct result of Department of Defense incompetence and skewed priorities, it seems obvious something could be done about this.

The $1.5 trillion which is being spent on the biggest boondoggle in military history, the F-35 fighter jet, could push every single one of the 45 million poor above the poverty line for at least the next five years.

The $1.0 trillion which is being allocated to upgrade our already excessive nuclear arsenal, which currently has over 7,000 nuclear bombs — enough to destroy the entire planet forty times over — could put every homeless person in a $1,000,000 mansion and give them $50,000 to live on every year for the next twenty years.

Is this so outrageous?  The idea of “helicopter money” to the homeless?  Helping those folks who struggle every day to make ends meet pull even with the rest of us?

Finland is right now testing out the idea of a guaranteed minimum income for citizens who are now unemployed, a no-strings-attached, tax-free stipend of $630 per month.

Yeah, some of those homeless and poor people might not be employable.  And a few might buy beer and a Hustler magazine. 

But the truth is most of them will feed their kids and replace the bald tires on their car.

I’m not suggesting we give million-dollar mansions to every homeless person.

The point of this article is to put things in perspective.  We hear these figures bandied about all of the time.  $3 trillion for the Afghanistan war.  Another $4 trillion for the Iraq war.  Figures so mind-boggling, it’s almost impossible to wrap our heads around them.

Can anyone out there say with a straight face we can’t find some money in the vast wealth of the U.S. of A. so that everyone can have at bare minimum a decent life?  So that we can be proud of our country and the way it treats its citizens, especially its most vulnerable?

We can do whatever we decide to do.  That’s what a democracy is, if we still have such a thing in America anymore.  It’s a matter of getting over the brainwashing we have been subjected to all of our lives.  It’s a matter of reconnecting with the values which allegedly are the foundations for our Christian nation.  Granted, Jesus wasn’t a U.S. citizen but it seems a lot of people here claim to align with his teaching.  Does this sound familiar?

“Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Matthew 25:34-36

So, returning to our “thought experiment” . . .

Does the comparison of America’s leadership to an inebriated driver plowing into a school bus full of children hold up? 

Is there any doubt?

Our foreign policy has the U.S. military careening across the planet spreading death and destruction, chaos and fear, violence and terrorism.  The whole bunch — Obama, Biden, Carter, Clinton, Power, Rice, Nuland, Kerry, Clapper — are drunk on power.  Yes, they are drunk on their sense of entitlement and destiny.  They are drunk on psychopathic fantasies of conquest and empire.  They are drunk on delusions of becoming deities.

And a school bus of innocent maimed and dead school kids, however horrifying and tragic, is small potatoes compared to the tens of thousands murdered, mutilated, crippled, driven from their homes, subjected to the worst possible conditions, by U.S. military aggression over the past 15 years, with the fraudulent War on Terror, pursuit of regime change, and wholesale destruction of nations which posed no threat to the U.S. or its citizens.

Yes, these lunatics are DUI alright.  They are driving America and the world to the brink of destruction, under the influence of greed and profit-seeking by the defense industries and a fanatic loyalty to the bogus pseudo-ideology of neoconservatism, a brain-eating, morally debilitating virus spread by sociopaths like Robert Kagan and Paul Wolfowitz.

So there’s the choice.  Help some people who need help.  Or continue to let the crazies get behind the wheel of the mightiest military machine in history so they can perpetuate the destructive rampage that makes the U.S. the greatest threat to peace in the world today.

I titled this piece Thought Experiment.  But in reality, this is no cerebral exercise at all.

Because when you step into the voting booth on November 8th, you will have this choice or some version of it staring you in the face.  Every decision you make is another iteration of this choice.  Who you choose as your congressman, who you select as your senator, who you vote for to become president.  Their priorities become your priorities.

No one who has read even a handful of my articles will have any doubt about where I stand on the election.  I believe everyone who has regularly breathed the toxic brew of cronyism, self-serving lies, and monomaniacal propaganda, which currently permeates our nation’s capital, must go.  We cannot make progress without complete and total regime change in Washington DC A clean sweep!  But I’m extreme that way.  I keep thinking we can have a government which truly represents the people, looks out for their best interest, one which puts the enormous wealth and resources of the U.S. to proper use, promoting the general welfare of its citizens.  Realistically, for starters that would require kicking our addiction to war and then becoming the world’s greatest purveyor of peace.  Without that, we can never escape the moral and financial bankruptcy which will inevitably destroy our nation, if not the entire world.

Just remember.  There’s a reason why America is one of the most feared, and increasingly hated, reviled, and targeted nations in the world.  There’s a reason why the world is in the screwed-up state it’s in.  And if you return the same people to office who caused this mess, then you become part of the reason too.

It doesn’t have to be this way.  We don’t have to have perpetual war.  We don’t have to live under the thumb of the rich and powerful.  We don’t have to be the victims of grotesque wealth inequality.  We don’t have to sit back and watch as our country is looted and our democracy becomes a standing joke.  We don’t have to march to the constant beat of war drums and drink the Kool-Aid of ultra-nationalism and exceptionalism.

Which America will you choose?

November 8th.  Voting is not a thought experiment.  It’s the real deal.

By the way, as noted in the fine print on the image at the head of this article, that is an unretouched photo of contiguous rich and not-so-rich neighborhoods in Santa Fe, NM.  Bernie Sanders made wealth inequality central to his recent presidential campaign.  People responded to his message for good reason.

It’s not just embarrassing.  It’s unacceptable.  It’s immoral.  It’s unconscionable.

It’s un-American!

Maybe we can’t all live in mansions.  But the poor and homeless certainly deserve better.

Let’s spread the wealth around a bit, eh?  We begin that with peace in the world and peace right here at home.  Peace with one another.  Peace with our own souls.

Does this make me a socialist?  A hippie?  A peace-and-love Pollyanna?

 

Posted in Altruism, Deconstruction, Democracy, Economics, Political Analysis, Social Commentary, War and Peace | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

There were over 28,000 Prince deaths last year.

I never use the phrase ‘conspiracy theory’ anymore. It carries too much of a pejorative connotation and strongly implies that what is being discussed should obviously be dismissed.

I prefer a clumsy phrase which will never be used again:  ‘Observations and commentary on suspicions of coordinated action’.

To be candid, I will not be presenting anything like a conspiracy theory here, or making any attempt at a cohesive and conclusive argument.  What I will do is offer some facts and throw out some questions, then let you draw your own conclusions and make whatever connections might seem appropriate.

We were all saddened, perhaps shocked when Prince recently died from prescription opiate abuse.

At the same time, over 28,000 people died in the U.S. last year from prescribed opiates.  We might ask:  Is there is no human price too high to pay when it comes to maximizing corporate profits?

“Nationally 125 people die every day from drug overdoses,” according to a recent article in the New York Times.  Death by drug overdose has recently been dramatically accelerating.

Death by heroin overdose quadrupled in eleven years and is now reaching alarming levels.

Here are some questions that immediately come to mind:

Why is it that so little funding is being made available for rehabilitation programs to treat drug addiction?

Why is it that the FDA is so lax when it comes to dealing with Big Pharma, apparently not willing or able to perform its mandated duty to protect the American public?

Why is it wherever the U.S. mounts special ops campaigns or as in the case of Afghanistan a full-on military assault, production of heroin and trafficking of drugs seems to explode?

Why is it that the CIA is often implicated in drugs-for-arms deals and drug trafficking?

Why is it America seems incapable of winning the War on Drugs?

Okay, here comes the curve ball . . .

Are you familiar with the Boxer Rebellion?

I was taught in high school world history class that this was an uprising against the West in China, specifically Beijing, which illegally seized power from the legitimate authorities, and was subsequently put down by Western powers with the help of Japan, to restore the proper order.  It was a turn-of-the-20th Century example of the enlightened West fighting the evil of terrorism in a nation we held dear to us because of our mutually-beneficial trade relations.

The truth is that China had been the victim of a vast opium trade, promoted by the West over several decades, which resulted in massive addiction and effectively a subjugation of China to economic manipulation and control by the West.  The Boxer Rebellion was an attempt to reclaim the country from foreign control and eliminate the scourge of opium addiction and the resulting disintegration of Chinese society.

Xi_Jinping_October_2015Xi Jinping, the current president of the People’s Republic of China, as many other embittered Chinese scholars likewise do, refers to this era of addiction and enslavement as the Century of Humiliation.  He has vowed to never allow China to be subjected to such disrespect again.  It’s what drives his foreign policy and what our historically-ignorant politicos view as his “confrontational” policies and recalcitrance with the U.S.  You see, Xi Jinping is acutely aware of America’s use of drug trade and drug addiction to control and enslave whole nations.

Are you?

 

Posted in Corporatism, Deconstruction, Health Care, Political Rant, Social Commentary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Just Making A Buck

US Top Arms SupplierIt seems that every time I look at a news media site, there’s yet another announcement of a giant arms deal between the U.S. and some foreign country.

Maybe I should feel all aflutter that at least some things are still being manufactured in the U.S., instead of China or Bangladesh.

America is the main supplier of arms to the world.  I don’t mean prosthetic arms.

Guns, bombs, bombers, fighter jets, ammunition, artillery, tanks, attack helicopters, attack and reconnaissance drones, rockets — you name it — just about every killing device and deadly combat technology, except nuclear weapons, is in the catalog.  Last year our foreign sales of military equipment reached a record high of $46.6 billion!

Recognizing that making money and bolstering the economy are main drivers for most of our foreign policy decisions, I still can’t help but wonder why two obvious questions never get asked:

  1. As an allegedly Judeo-Christian nation, is this really the best way to honor those values we claim are the core of our beliefs?  “Do unto others …” and “Thou shalt not kill …” are a couple phrases that immediately come to mind.
  2. Is flooding the world with weapons which may, given the apparent volatility of political loyalties, be ultimately pointed right back at us, really a very smart thing to do?

I realize that these are secondary and tertiary considerations — if they ever come up at all — in the boardrooms of military companies and their mirrored think tanks, and the decision making forums of our government, where profit and raw power are more important than people’s lives, reducing and eliminating human suffering, or even embracing basic human decency.

But how can we claim to be advocates for a peaceful world if any Tom, Dick, or Abdul can arm their countries to the teeth by simply buying the ingenuity and efficacy of American killing machines, instruments of war, technological marvels that erase human life?  Or do we even bother worrying about such inconsistencies anymore?  Frankly, it doesn’t seem that in the raucous din of saber-rattling and incessant beating of war drums we now must endure 24/7/365, peace ever gets even passing mention by our congressional leaders or White House spokespersons.

It’s quite obvious to anyone not under the ideological spell of neocon lunacy . . .

The aggressive promotion of our war industries and pursuit of profit through arms deals is mind-bogglingly self-sabotaging, whatever the pecuniary rewards.  It’s like pulling up with a truck full of assault weapons in downtown Cambden, NJ and selling them to anyone who forks over the bucks, hoping that all these folks will use good judgment and not cause any undue harm.  It is an understatement to say this approach is patently stupid and suicidal!

President Obama himself, a man who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize based purely on the rhetoric of his presidential campaign and speeches made in the first few months of his presidency, most notably his A New Beginning address to Muslim nations June 4, 2009 in Cairo, has outpaced George W. Bush with accelerated approvals of lethal weapons sales to foreign buyers, and has significantly relaxed or done away with altogether the regulatory framework intended to safeguard against those weapons getting into the wrong hands.

ISISTo put this in perspective, President Obama has sold more armaments than any president since World War II, and thus we are daily treated to scenes in the media of all sides of a conflict blasting away at one another with high-end U.S. manufactured equipment.  Much of it initially goes to legitimate, approved buyers but then gets stolen, captured, even intentionally passed along, so that terrorists groups who represent our worst nightmares, who are anti-American to the core and willing to do anything to destroy the “Great Satan” and supreme infidels we are judged by them to be, then are in a position to mount astonishingly successful military campaigns, conquer and control huge swaths of territory, forcing millions of refugees to flee to Europe and other areas of the globe, creating the worst such crisis in seven decades.

Many political analysts on the left — ones I happen to agree with — say this is all actually entirely preplanned and deliberate, that the U.S. has mutated into the Empire of Chaos, one maintaining its supremacy as the world’s only remaining superpower by seeding and feeding disarray and destruction.  This is entirely consistent with the Wolfowitz Doctrine, a landmark policy embedded in Defense Planning Guidance recommendations issued in 1992.  This paradigm-shifting proposal in short order established the tone and substance for America’s application of power over the subsequent two-and-a-half decades:

Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union.  This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.

So America is to reign supreme and anyone who appears to threaten that arrangement will have to be dealt with accordingly.  Even the slightest challenge can trigger overwhelming opposition by the U.S.  The list of countries bombed into submission, functionally erased as nations, or whose leadership has been replaced by regime change if formidable and still growing. 

Except for its confrontation with the Soviet Union during the five decades of the Cold War, the U.S. has typically limited itself to smaller, more easily bullied countries — Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, Libya.  Despite its abysmal record of both military and diplomatic failure in almost all of its interventions, America’s recklessness and hubris continues to escalate, as this cycle’s presidential candidates, divorced from the realities on the ground, competed in bluster and bombast, promising bigger and badder explosions and wars.  No country, large or small, is to be given a pass. For example, Russia and China just recently were identified as major national security threats.  They are now prime targets for either military action or chaos and crippling by whatever means the U.S. chooses to enlist.  Of course, neither has attacked nor shown any intention of attacking America.  BUT they are both growing more powerful and have proven unwilling to play a submissive vassal state role, determined to meet their own needs and national priorities.  And even more horrifying in the view of the hegemonic America-first neocons, Russia and China are now cooperating on many fronts and appear to be entering into a full-on military and economic alliance, inviting countries from the rest of the world who are fed up with Washington’s imperialism and truculence.   

Not only Russia and China are in the cross hairs.  It seems on a more perspicuous analysis that the Wolfowitz Doctrine applies not just to hostile powers, but any power, as the U.S. manipulates and bullies even its allies to exclusively serve American interests.  Recently, we’ve seen aggressive interference by the U.S. to prevent any pursuit of independence by EU/NATO countries.  Japan, of course, has been under America’s thumb for seventy years, and despite some grumbling from Japanese citizenry, has remained a good lapdog for the Empire.  With Obama’s “pivot to Asia”, which is built on intensified deployment of military assets in the region, while stirring up longstanding rivalries among the Asian countries, divide-and-conquer is alive and well.  Though the Chinese have a longstanding history of non-aggression and have made it clear they would rather work out any disputes at a conference table rather than on the battlefield, it is now the primary boogeyman.

For our “friends” often much of this meddling and manipulation comes down to money.  It’s such a win-win situation — unless, of course, you happen to be an American citizen.  The U.S. guarantees the security of other nations against both real and imagined threats, and foots the bill for much of the military equipment and deployment of U.S. troops.  The countries are effectively subsidized for being an American protectorate, quite generously so.  Pax Americana gets to be king of the mountain.  You and I foot the bill.  The defense industries pocket the profits.

All I can say is this:  What a colossal waste!

What a waste of our tax money.  What a waste of our leadership role in the world.  What a waste of our generosity.  What a waste of our resources.  What a waste of the energy that once went into building a great nation and maintaining a functioning society.

Environmentalist Bill McKibben, activist Naomi Klein, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, and countless others have proposed that America immediately take the lead in creating a green energy world.  We can still make a buck — billions and billions of them, far more than we make on weapons of war — manufacturing and selling the necessary equipment and technology, and providing training and infrastructure for a global green energy revolution. 

Is it so far-fetched to imagine a world covered with wind turbines and solar panels, instead of missile launchers and tanks?  Is it so extreme or quixotic to want to transform the surface of the planet into a vast sustainable community instead of a killing field?

Where would you have America invest its vast economic resources and wealth?  Creating a harmonious future and habitable planet, or promoting chaos, death, destruction, and the inevitable collapse of civilization?

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

What Red State vs. Blue State Looks Like To An Ant

Red_vs_Blue_Ants_View

Just watching the two major-party conventions and seeing people now excitedly lining up on one side or the other like opposing Ninja turtle teams is both amusing and frightening.  We can count on the talking heads and modern media to regurgitate a story line familiar to devotees of Saturday morning cartoon shows to give substance to our political aspirations.  Unfortunately, the narrative is insultingly simple-minded and mostly a distraction.

With the nation divided into red and blue states, the news robots now have the solemn and putatively critical duty to keep us up to date on any shifting of allegiances and rebalancing of the color scheme, milking any incremental addition of a splotch of blue or dash of red for whatever drama they can generate, before cutting to a commercial break.

What has this got to do with the mounting crises we find ourselves in?

Here is a short list of profound challenges confronting the world:

  • Potential for nuclear war and the annihilation of the planet.
  • Climate change.
  • Resource depletion.
  • Desertification of shrinking tracts of farm land.
  • Diminishing fresh water supplies.
  • Acidification of the oceans and overfishing.
  • Antibiotic-resistant diseases.
  • Accelerating species extinction.
  • Human trafficking and enslavement.

Here is a short list of critical challenges just to our nation:

  • Destruction of democracy and rule by an oligarchy.
  • Historical levels of wealth inequality.
  • Loss of privacy and basic constitutional rights to the surveillance state.
  • Corporate tyranny and plutocratic control of the economy.
  • Almost 50% of Americans living in or close to poverty.
  • As many as 29,000,000 still without health insurance.
  • Rampant social and systemic racism.
  • Crumbling of infrastructure and crippling of our social institutions.
  • Militarization of society and seizure of power by the military-industrial complex.
  • Police brutality and murder of innocent citizens.

Pundits and politicos in service to their oligarchic masters can generate all the wonderful spin they can.  But America’s economy has been hollowed out from the inside, and due to a fanatic allegiance to a defective and extremely destructive ideology, the needs of everyday citizens have been ignored.  Anger and frustration mount.  Signs of decline and decay are all around us, behind the glitter and the glitz.  Worst of all, the U.S. as a world power is losing the mantle of leadership.  Its policies have inflicted so much chaos, destruction and death on the rest of the planet, the U.S. is losing its legitimacy and predictably is being challenged by Russia, China, and the non-aligned countries of the South.  Of course, with the myopia and desperation that characterizes a dying empire, what’s America’s answer?  More chaos, destruction and death.  We are involved in seven wars right now and the specter of World War III looms frighteningly on the horizon.

Everything comes back to what we as a people do to reverse this disastrous course.

Isn’t it time to put away the gang colors and actually begin to solve some problems?

Is it possible?  I don’t know.

I do know it’s absolutely necessary.

Our survival as a country and even as a species depends on it.

Posted in Climate Change, Corporatism, Democracy, Economics, Environment, Health Care, Political Analysis, Political Rant, War and Peace | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment