Dealing With A Serial Liar

There's a special place in the world for people who constantly lie to others -- decent folks who trust and rely on them to do the right thing.There is a special place in the world for people who constantly lie to others — who dupe decent but naive folks who trust them, and rely on them to do the right thing.  (See photo to the right.)

You see, career politicians lie and lie.  They eventually have no idea they’re lying, because they have no idea anymore what the truth is.  And they’ve gotten to the point where they don’t care.  Everyone knows politicians lie.  It’s part of the job description. They only stop lying when they take a break to think up new lies.  They say exactly what they need to say.  To get the job done.  They do know what they need to do — what job needs to get done.  But you probably don’t.

Because they lie about it.

Lies can be spotted.  There are key phrases — red flags — we can watch for.  Here is a list of them.  When you hear a politician say any of these, everything which follows is a lie:

“Trust me when I say . . .”
“I sincerely believe . . .”
“The American people want . . .”
“There is no doubt that . . .”
“I’m proud to announce . . .”
“Thanks for that kind introduction!”
“Good evening!”
“Good afternoon!”
“I’m honored to be here!”
“How are you?”

The Nuremberg Tribunal of 1946 declared that crimes against peace are “the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” 

I would make a parallel assessment.  Lying is the supreme personal crime, differing from other offensive personal behavior in that it contains within itself the accumulated potential for all other offensive, even criminal, behavior.  When a person lies to you, the gateway for every other possible abuse is flung wide open.  Humiliation, treachery, sexual abuse, theft, embezzlement, libel, slander, even murder.  Would you trust a liar around your children?  Would you trust a liar with your house keys?  Would you even trust a liar to watch your things while you went to the restroom?

My previous blog dealt with how not to deal a with serial killer.

It contains an important lesson.

Understand . . .

Serial killers and career politicians are very similar.

They both have us at their mercy.  They both have the power of life and death over us.

They don’t play by the same rules as you and I.  They are ruthlessly amoral. There may be exceptions to this.  But as anomalies, these only confirm the rule.

They both have value systems which exclusively serve their own needs.  The only value the serial killer places on human life is the kick he gets from terminating the lives of others.  It’s about a brutal hedonism and personal power.

The only value career politicians place on the trust and loyalty of their constituents, is how it serves to secure their prestigious jobs in the national limelight, and positions them best serve their deep-pocketed ruling class patrons.  It’s about job security and personal power.  All else is subordinate and thus entirely irrelevant.

In my previous blog, I described in nauseating detail what the serial killer of my narrative did to his victims.

Then I described the idiotic, completely lame, totally ineffective things a community did to try to stop the gruesome violence.  Maybe the folks meant well, but they were entirely out of touch with reality to think any of it would be effective.

At this point you ask:  What’s your point, John Rachel?  Is this supposed to be funny?  Actually it’s pretty twisted!

Well, it is twisted.  But it’s twisted on a lot of levels.  Not only is the killer clearly twisted, but apparently our cerebral cortex is too, if we actually believe that any of the measures outlined — regardless of how commonly heralded they might be — could possibly work.  Apparently, all too often our minds are gripped by a covert confusion where form and substance are conflated into a toxic brew of false hope and ridiculous expectations.

‘We have to do something!’ subliminally becomes a license to do a lot of stuff which has no hope of succeeding but temporarily satisfies the anxious goading of desperation and guilt.

My point is that all of the chosen methods to stop the killer were obviously a total waste of energy and time.  What incentive is there in any of the tactics for the killer to end his orgy of violence?  He loves killing and mutilating people!  He doesn’t care what others think or how much suffering it causes.  This is how he gets his jollies.  Dead bodies are his reward! 

There’s only one option:  He must be eliminated.  He must be taken out of circulation!

And this is precisely the way we deal with our current coven of elected officials.

I’m not suggesting assassination.  All I’m saying that if we want things to get better, these pay-for-play politicians — serial liars — who are puppets to Wall Street, investment banks, transnational corporations; who’ve let our country be stolen by a wealthy ruling elite; who have demonstrated time and time again they will never truly represent the interests and needs of their constituents . . . MUST BE REMOVED FROM POWER.

. . . THEY MUST BE GIVEN THEIR PINK SLIPS AND SENT PACKING . . .

. . . AND NEVER ALLOWED TO ROAM THE HALLS OF CONGRESS AGAIN!

We’ve had enough abuse.  We’ve been victimized too long.  No more lies.

Regime change in Congress in November 2018!


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Posted in Corporatism, Deconstruction, Democracy, Political Analysis, Political Rant, Revolution | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dealing With A Serial Killer

There’s a serial killer loose in town.  Eight to ten people a month have been murdered over the past several years.  They’re dropping like flies!

Well, they’re not actually dropping like flies.  Flies usually fall on their backs, their legs do this happy feet dance, they expire with little fanfare or ritual, then dry up and blow away.

On the other hand . . .

This homicidal monster has some strange fetishes. He ends a person’s life immediately by driving an axe in the face, then cuts the dead body into various size chunks.  The entrails he drapes in trees around town, the finely-carved fillets of flesh from the meatier parts of the body — thighs, calves, arms, backs and stomachs if there’s a nice balance between fat and muscle — are fed to stray dogs by tossing them in alleys around town.  More delicate parts — eyes, ears, lips, tongues, genitals — are stuffed into bubble mailers and arrive in mailboxes in the nicer neighborhoods. They’re marked ‘Something Special Just For You’.  Finally the bones are stacked on the hoods of parked police cruisers.

It’s a horrifying, gruesome mess that has pushed the entire community to near insanity.

So . . . what do you do?

I got it!

You put an ad in the local paper:  Stop killing people! We don’t like it!

You get people together for marches.  They go through the business district during the busiest hour of the day carrying protest signs, chanting anti-serial killing slogans, and singing Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall.

You sell t-shirts that say:  “Serial killing is bad for humans and other living things!”

You get experts on TV talking about how the killing really should stop, how the violence and fear is tearing the community apart, what bad effects this has on the kids growing up in this type of environment.  There’s unanimity on all the panels discussing this.  No one comes out in favor of serial killing.

We mount a campaign to send emails to the serial killer — don’t ask me how but somehow we got hold of his AOL email address — and his In box is flooded to capacity with messages decrying his butchery:  ‘People are really upset. You’re a sick man!’  ‘Burn in Hell, MF!’  ‘What is wrong with you? Don’t you know killing is bad?’

We call his office — again, don’t ask me how we got his phone number but we did, he has an office somewhere in the city — morning, noon, and night.  It’s organized through the Code Blue Mothers Against Murder ad hoc committee, and 800 to 1,000 calls a day pour in to his office.  Every once in a while, we get a live person.  Boy, do we give her an earful!  But usually, we get an automatic answering device with a menu:  If you’re against serial killing, please press #1.  If you’re for serial killing, please press #2.  If you wish to speak personally to a member of our staff, just stay on the line and someone will be with you shortly [ bleep click ] Expected wait time to answer your call 2 hours and 15 minutes.

We set up a Town Hall Meeting.  It’s attended by thousands of angry, concerned citizens and they can’t all fit into the high school gymnasium where it’s being held.  The serial killer appears on a video screen — with his hockey goalie mask on, of course — and people vent and express their outrage.  When things calm down a bit, people ask questions and plead with the serial killer.  He explains he has difficulty controlling his temper, but he says he can see people are upset, so he’ll try harder.

There are no killings for a week.  Then they start up again.

So finally, we pull out the big gun.  Yes . . . a petition!

We circulate a petition both in person on the streets, and online — it’s up on MoveOn.org and Avaaz.  We get tens of thousands of signatures!  In fact everyone — well, everyone who hasn’t been murdered yet — signs it.  Our signature drive is a complete success. 

Yessiree!  We’ve really got this psycho by the balls!

Now we wait.

For some reason the killing hasn’t stopped.  Three more this week.

Where did we go wrong?

Hmm.

Posted in Deconstruction, Democracy, Nihilism, Satire, Social Commentary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Russia: Scary Bear or Barely Scary?

The U.S. needs to get its story straight.

We have been fed over the past few years entirely contradictory views of Russia.

Lately, of course, we’ve seen a preponderance of “scare bear” propaganda and commentary.

Could this have something to do with it being appropriations time, the annual fight over who gets what in next years federal budget?  Considering the U.S. can’t pile up debt fast enough to suit its enlightened leaders, this also means lubricating the public mind for increasing the already humongous pile of money which goes into military spending, that being the major component of discretionary spending.

Of course, military spending, besides being intrinsically good regardless of how much it distorts our national values and bankrupts our economy, is about making American safe from the entire panoply of threats.  It seems everyone is at our throats, ready to chop off our benevolent heads.  Besides terrorists, rogue nations explicitly dedicated to destroying us like Venezuela and Cuba, and major nations like China — which lent us over a trillion dollars to buy military hardware to prevent them from attacking us — there is always the little discussed potential for an invasion from outer space.

Having said that, it’s Russia that seems to get all the headlines.  We have former VP Joe Biden concurring with current FBI Director James Comey that, without a doubt, even without any corroborating evidence, Russia is out to get us!

Yet, it wasn’t that long ago that Russia was being dismissed as a second-rate power.  Obama mockingly announced it’s economy was in tatters.  Sure, it might have some leverage regionally but certainly wasn’t a player on the big stage of world geopolitics.

So what is the truth?  Is Russia a wild and woolly beast?  Or an affable and tame dancing bear?

Maybe we need some veterinarian advice to sort all of this out.  Can bears get rabies?

Because while over the past several years Russia has consistently been getting folks from all across the globe to the peace tables, trying to resolve diplomatically the crises created by the West in Ukraine, Syria, the Middle East in general, we are now told that under the spell of their crazed leader Vladimir Putin, the country is foaming at the mouth, haunted and possessed with diabolical visions of world conquest.  Did Russia get bitten by a rabid ground squirrel?

To add to the confusion is this recently announcement, a highly thought-provoking one at that, which should — but won’t — result in some serious soul-searching in the U.S.:  Russia has just recently announced it is dramatically cutting its defense budget for 2017!  As this excellent piece of analysis points out, you are very hard pressed to find mention of it any where in the Western media.

Try to make sense of it.

Russia is 24/7 vilified as a rogue nation, an out-of-control empire-hungry aggressor, with a madman at the helm who longs for the glory days of the Soviet Union’s dominion over vast stretches of the Euro-Asian continent, but in fact only has 15 military bases in 9 foreign countries, AND is cutting its military budget by 25% next year.

The U.S. breathlessly peddles itself as the purveyor of peace, the spreader of democracy, the guardian of justice and a harmonious world, yet it has about 800 bases in at least 63 countries in the world — depending on your definition of ‘base’, some put this figure at over 160 — AND is increasing its military expenditures by almost 10% in 2018.

What are we to think?

Is Russia a scary bear . . . or barely scary?

And what about America?

Much of the world seems to think we’re the truly frightening ones!

Posted in Deconstruction, Journalism, Political Analysis, War and Peace | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s wrong with this picture?

As they say . . . don’t get me started.

Because I could go on and on about this.

Instead I’m going to make this mercifully short and just cite a few incontrovertible facts.

The UN has reported that we are facing a massive famine of 20,000,000 people across Africa and Yemen, and it would only take $4.4 billion to mitigate this horrible disaster.

The United Nations has also reported that all it would require is $30 billion annually, to permanently end world hunger.

Trump and our warmongering Congress is increasing the already bloated defense budget next year by $54 billion, to prosecute more wars and create more enemies for America.

Let me play Devil’s advocate now.  Let me be brutally insensitive and amoral.

Since apparently we as a people don’t truly care if others in the world suffer and starve to death, let’s say for argument’s sake we shouldn’t care.  Hey!  Life has winners and losers.  Some people have it good.  Others starve to death.  It is what it is.

Having said that, having declared our own welfare to be eminently more important than that of anyone else on the planet, let me explain why we’re incredibly stupid — make that completely insane — if we don’t take the money out of the defense budget, halt the famine, and end world hunger immediately.

Actually, let Lee Camp — a truly enlightened activist and my all-time favorite comedian — tell you why.  As Lee says it so perfectly:

“We as a country could do that easily and have more national security than ever, because no one’s attacking the country that ended world hunger. . . . They attack the country that bombs the shit out of the Middle East and bans refugees, and says stupid crap like: ‘We’re #1!’ . . . . If we ended world hunger we’d be safe again.”

Does it really take a stand-up comic to get our national priorities right?

Or maybe we’re trying a different approach to getting laughs:  A comedy of errors.

Posted in Economics, Food, Political Analysis, Political Rant, Social Commentary, War and Peace | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

No Negotiating With Terrorists

“No negotiating with terrorists!”

Now that’s something I can get behind.

A terrorist not only doesn’t share the same goals as you and I, they also don’t play by the same rules.  Terrorists are the ultimate bullies.  They will lie, cheat, steal, even murder, in order to get their way.  The ends justify the means.  They’re right, we’re wrong.  Terrorists can’t fathom compromise, so what is the point of negotiating?

We face terrorism on many fronts and at many levels because sociopathy and barbarism are not subtle or selective.  Perhaps they represent bad wiring in some small but wickedly destructive sub-class of humans, or maybe we all carry the defect, but it only rises up to preempt the better instincts among a minority of us.

In either case, if we don’t want to be “terrorized” into submission, we must decisively stand our ground and entertain no compromise.

“No negotiating with terrorists!”

The United States has become a terrorist nation.

Not you and I as such . . . because regular folks like us are generally peaceful and sane.

Unfortunately, we no longer have any say in the decisions and direction of the country.

But there is a national agenda, driven on many fronts at many different levels, promoted in our names as citizens of the country, which has transformed the U.S. into the greatest scourge in the history of the planet.  We have unbridled power coupled with no coherent political philosophy, fueled by unchecked imperial ambition and delusions of world rule, unimpeded by considerations of morality or sensitivity to the value of human life.

U.S. terrorism expresses itself internationally as wars, regime changes, special operations missions, economic manipulation and interference, cyber and propaganda warfare, and is implemented with the forward-basing of troops, NGOs, embedded intelligence agents, foreign mercenaries, and often outright military occupation of over 140 countries.

All of this is conceived, planned, and coordinated from within our own borders.  Often it reflects official, if not always publicly-known, foreign policy.  Sometimes it grows out of legacy policies and practices, the product of a group-think world view which has a life of its own established over decades, one which embraces the unquestioned, and until recently, unchallenged role of the U.S. as the world’s policeman and sole superpower.

While we can find fault in the workings of the loose collective of institutions which make up what is now called the Deep State, much direct blame for our terrorism can be assigned to the CIA.  This 70-year-old agency has become the main engine for projecting U.S power, providing the foot soldiers, technology and weaponry, for a vast majority of catastrophes we have precipitated over the past sixty years.  The list of sovereign nations the U.S. has illegally meddled and decisively interfered with — compiled by the brilliant and highly-acclaimed historian and geopolitical analyst William Blum — is as formidable as it is disgraceful (please note: *indicates the successful overthrow of a government):

  • China 1949 to early 1960s
  • Albania 1949-53
  • East Germany 1950s
  • Iran 1953 *
  • Guatemala 1954 *
  • Costa Rica mid-1950s
  • Syria 1956-7
  • Egypt 1957
  • Indonesia 1957-8
  • British Guiana 1953-64 *
  • Iraq 1963 *
  • North Vietnam 1945-73
  • Cambodia 1955-70 *
  • Laos 1958 *, 1959 *, 1960 *
  • Ecuador 1960-63 *
  • Congo 1960 *
  • France 1965
  • Brazil 1962-64 *
  • Dominican Republic 1963 *
  • Cuba 1959 to present
  • Bolivia 1964 *
  • Indonesia 1965 *
  • Ghana 1966 *
  • Chile 1964-73 *
  • Greece 1967 *
  • Costa Rica 1970-71
  • Bolivia 1971 *
  • Australia 1973-75 *
  • Angola 1975, 1980s
  • Zaire 1975
  • Portugal 1974-76 *
  • Jamaica 1976-80 *
  • Seychelles 1979-81
  • Chad 1981-82 *
  • Grenada 1983 *
  • South Yemen 1982-84
  • Suriname 1982-84
  • Fiji 1987 *
  • Libya 1980s
  • Nicaragua 1981-90 *
  • Panama 1989 *
  • Bulgaria 1990 *
  • Albania 1991 *
  • Iraq 1991
  • Afghanistan 1980s *
  • Somalia 1993
  • Yugoslavia 1999-2000 *
  • Ecuador 2000 *
  • Afghanistan 2001 *
  • Venezuela 2002 *
  • Iraq 2003 *
  • Haiti 2004 *
  • Somalia 2007 to present
  • Honduras 2009
  • Libya 2011 *
  • Syria 2012
  • Ukraine 2014 *

Among these, at the urging and with the active partnering of the CIA, are 35 countries ruled by horrifyingly oppressive dictators, fascist regimes, drug lords, and jihadists.

This has not just dramatically, malignantly, affected the international order.  It has also created enormous resentment, and generated enemies where there were none before.  In that sense, it is a self-perpetuating reign of mayhem and chaos, keeping the world in flux and disarray, constantly producing even more threats to our country which then, in the adversarial and combative mindset of the CIA, requires further meddling and mayhem.

We have to be honest with ourselves and judiciously apply the same standards across the board when judging such anti-democratic, autocratic abusers of power.  If we’ve been able thus far to rationalize distressing signs that the CIA was slowly becoming a rogue security agency — dismissing sordid leaks and disturbing discoveries as isolated rare instances of individual acts of overzealousness and insubordination — the recent revelations provided by Wikileaks with the publication of their Vault 7 documents provide concrete proof that the CIA has been completely out-of-control for a very long time, and what should truly disturb us is that such behavior is not the exception but the rule.

With terrorist organizations like the ISIS, al Nusra, al Qaeda, and now our own CIA, it is impossible to integrate them into more tempered and balanced institutions, especially in what is portrayed as the institutional framework of a democracy.  These elements violate national and international law and treaties, arrogantly scoff at diplomatic protocol, are adverse to power-sharing, spurn the time-honored boundaries of common sense and decency, and are ruthlessly callous and amoral.

It’s the way unchecked power evolves, how a parasite will ultimately kill its host.

We now have little choice.  The CIA and all traces of it must be eradicated, except for an archival installation in the Smithsonian Institute as a warning to future generations.

This is now a matter of survival for the U.S. and perhaps the human race.

We have inadvertently created a monster and lost control.  The CIA is incompatible with the survival of a free, open, just, democratic society.  It may prove incompatible with the survival of the human race if left unchecked.

Understandably, the CIA will plead the case for its own institutional survival.

But the case is closed.  There is nothing more to discuss.

“No negotiating with terrorists!”

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

Peace Dividend Candidates

We need to get every candidate running for federal office in 2018 on board.

The Peace Dividend Refund is long overdue.

It’s time the government paid up!

As I mentioned in my previous blog . . .

“All the Peace Dividend strategy requires is that people look at it, then stand strong and united — stick up for themselves and other good decent American citizens who have been getting the shaft — then go into the voting booth and only vote for candidates who give us a legally-binding guarantee that they will go to Washington DC and do what needs to be done.”

Okay, that’s simple enough.  We know who to vote for and who not to vote for.

But what’s a “legally-binding guarantee”?

This is the legally-binding candidate contract for the Peace Dividend Refund:

It’s very straightforward.

If we really want our money back; if we want the endless wars to stop; if we want to see our country become strong, safe, solvent; if we want to reverse the barbarous, self-destructive militarization of our country and the world; if we want to end the slaughter of thousands of innocent people across the globe and be respected again as a country that promotes peace and harmony, then . . .

We only vote for candidates who sign the above contract.

No compromise.  No equivocation.  No negotiation.  No fear.

If a candidate for federal office — President, Senate, House of Representatives — will not sign on the dotted line, he does not deserve, nor will he or she get our vote.

If we stand strong, remain united, refuse to back down, we can do this.

Our children and our children’s children will thank us.

 

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The Peace Dividend: Could It Really Happen?

I came up with the Peace Dividend strategy over two years ago.  At the time, recognizing that the plan was — to say the least — very radical, completely unprecedented, totally outside-the-box, I thought that if it had even the slimmest chance of getting any traction, it was going to be a long and winding road to successfully “sell” and implement it.

To get the plan underway requires that we package peace in an entirely different way, that instead of only appealing to pity and conscience, we focus on personal self-interest.

This is not meant to be cynical.  It’s not that people don’t care about suffering.  It’s that most individuals care first about the suffering of those immediately around them, not those in far flung nations they can barely find on a map.

The Peace Dividend strategy is a bottoms-up, grass-roots approach especially targeting folks on the bottom of our economy — the 160+ million who are hovering around or are below the poverty line — because they are most devastated by the economic impact of America’s military aggression and full-throttle pursuit of world empire.

The Peace Dividend strategy is about letting citizens know what’s really going on with the military waste and the endless wars, and making them very angry!  Angry enough to do something about it, certainly for their country, but most of all for themselves and their families — those whose suffering they see every single day in the struggle for survival.

Such a citizen’s “uprising” would be premised on generating a widespread, critical mass understanding that in terms of America’s prosecution of wars, aggressive foreign policy, promoting militarism both overseas and here at home, we as citizens are “being lied to”, we are victims of a huge scam, that the “system is rigged”, that a bunch of “Washington insiders” are running the show, despots who couldn’t care less what the general public regards as important, what we as regular citizens want done.

Do “being lied to”, “system is rigged”, “Washington insiders” sound familiar?

They should.

Trump’s election as president, leaves little doubt that a large segment of the population — viewing our government establishment as a whole — do indeed see things that way.  It’s obvious to anyone paying attention that everyday citizens are being taken advantage of, that we have been and continue to be had by a ruling elite, that they will suck every last drop of blood out of the American economy and us individually if we let them.  And with each mounting disaster, every day even more people are waking up to the tyranny being imposed on us.  There has never been before a period in my lifetime when I’ve seen so much frustration and outrage with the nation’s failing, cold-blooded leadership.

Therefore, I’m now convinced that if we as peace advocates make the case for the Peace Dividend with boldness and clarity, success is inevitable.  Yes!  It could really happen.

As rigorously documented in The Peace Dividend: The Most Controversial Proposal in the History of the World, the military-industrial-security complex allied with a deranged inner circle inside our foreign policy institutions, have perpetrated over the past two-and-a-half decades the most odious fraud in history.  This conservatively amounts to stealing $4.82 trillion of tax payer money.  We have every right to, thus should demand not only that the deception and theft immediately stop, but that as victims of this swindle, we as citizens be compensated.  We deserve and demand full reimbursement:  The Peace Dividend Refund.

The beauty of my approach to voicing our outrage, and asserting our rights as citizens, is that it is entirely legal, based completely on the official facts published by our government, assiduously aligned with the Constitution — therefore not able to be labeled insurrectionist or traitorous — wholly consistent with a democracy based on government of the people, by the people, for the people.

I’m not going to condense a mercifully short but still 86-page-long book for this article. What I will do is give you the “big picture” so that you don’t casually dismiss the idea.

RECOGNIZE:  No current elected official will go along with the Peace Dividend proposal. They and their ruling class puppeteers will oppose it with every dirty trick in the book.

CONSIDER:  When everyday people understand that they’ve been ripped off, defrauded, bilked out of at least $4.82 trillion, there might be a bit of anger out there — in fact a lot.

ACKNOWLEDGE:  When everyday people realize they have the power to demand this fraudulently collected tax payer money back in the form of a $14,952 refund to each and every living citizen, they might just get a little excited.  In fact, if the word gets around, I predict they will immediately, forcefully, uncompromisingly demand their money back — every last dollar!

Let’s put this together.  The VOTING public demands their Peace Dividend Refund.  The incumbents cannot, will not even fake interest in giving in to such an outrageous demand. They will dodge and lie and rail against it.  The VOTING public sees this as more evidence that the “system is rigged”, that “they are getting shafted”, that they are again being had by the establishment blowhards who never do anything for everyday citizens.  Here we have the seeds, the tinder for a MASSIVE VOTER REVOLT.  We unite these angry, frustrated voters into a VOTING BLOC, rejecting business as usual — fraud as usual! — behind the demand of justice and fair compensation in the form of the Peace Dividend Refund. As a result, the vast majority of corporate lapdog incumbents are defeated and replaced by OUTSIDERS who agree to go to Washington DC and put into law . . .

The Peace Dividend Refund Act of 2019!

Sound at all familiar?  Sort of the way an OUTSIDER got elected to president, via a voter revolt that basically said:  “Fuck you! We’re sick of it. The hell with politics as usual.”

Is this mere fantasy?  In these outlandish, ridiculous times?  Where truth is stranger than fiction?  Really?

I think it’s all pretty clear.  And it will be even clearer after Trump and the current pack of bloodthirsty, Wall Street/ruling class puppets in Congress totally muck everything up.

People are going to be ripe for revenge!  Heads are going to roll.

They’ll want their damn money back, I guarantee you!

By the way, please take a few minutes and look at the way the Peace Dividend is fundedYou will note that it drives a lot of the very items on any sensible progressive reform wish list.  Meaning, the Peace Dividend is a watershed for revamping the way our government does business.  I would think that alone would make it worth the time to carefully study, with an open and alert mind, and some thoughtful engagement.

I know that marching in the streets, getting clubbed, pepper-sprayed, manhandled and arrested, are good times and all.  But a lot of people are working two or three jobs just to make ends meet, and can’t join in on the fun.  All the Peace Dividend strategy requires is that people look at it, then stand strong and united — stick up for themselves and other good decent American citizens who have been getting the shaft — then go into the voting booth and only vote for candidates who give us a legally-binding guarantee that they will go to Washington DC and do what needs to be done.  (More on that binding guarantee in the next blog.)

I look at it this way:  Even if a lot of folks have extremely demanding schedules — thus are too busy to fly to Washington DC to attend a peace rally — I’m confident most will find the time to deposit $14,952 in their bank account.  

How about you?

Posted in Books, Deconstruction, Democracy, Political Analysis, Revolution, War and Peace | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Peace Movement in America: Status Report

What’s that sound I hear?

Is it the masses of America demanding? . . .

Peace!  Peace Now!  We Want Peace!

Oops!  My mistake.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news . . .

It’s actually a death rattle.  The low guttural burbling of a movement on its death bed.

The sad truth is that the peace movement in America is in a coma, just a whimper away from an inglorious burial in an unmarked grave behind the county dump.

When is the last time more than a few hundred showed up at a massive rally for peace?

Is there hope?

I’d like to think there is. 

But we have to be realistic.  If we’re going to have a serious national conversation about peace, ending the senseless self-sabotaging wars, and taking America off permanent war footing, we must approach everyday citizens in language they understand, in terms they can embrace, in a way that is so powerful and over-the-top they can’t possibly ignore it.

The Peace Dividend concept is just that.  It is so extreme and outside-the-box — not that that discredits or invalidates it in the least — it can only get traction from two sources.

Either a bold and charismatic politician makes it central to his public oratory and serious political agenda.  Obama, Sanders, and (I hate to admit it) Trump would all be capable of “selling” it.  Obama and Sanders both love war.  Trump is mentally challenged.  Maybe there’s another MLK out there somewhere.  We can dream!

Or we must look to the second and more likely path, which is through citizen demand.

Yet another senseless war breaks out.  Body bags are piling up.  The national debt begins skyrocketing.  People have finally had it.  They are sick of empire building, endless wars, appalling waste.  This scenario could unfold sooner than we think.  We have a tough guy president who’s just proposed a 10% increase in our already bloated military budget, we have both major parties screaming for war.  Major confrontation with Iran, China, Russia — or all three — is on the horizon.

Unfortunately, when that happens all chaos will be unleashed, the fog and frenzy of battle will roll over everyone like a toxic oil spill, the media will go into hyper-drive to “support our troops”, the imbeciles who led us into the conflagration will be grandstanding and/or pointing fingers of blame at everyone else, and clearer heads will be lopped off in displays of fanatic super-patriotism as the media fills our eyes and ears with tales of valor, sacrifice, and super-human acts of heroism.  It will be a bullshit storm of epic proportions.

So we need to act . . . and we need to act now!

We should be sounding the alarm loud and clear:  People need to know about the “rip off” of their tax dollars and the grotesque lies being told to promote slaughter across the planet purely to stuff the coffers of the military corporations and their rich beneficiaries.

We could be doing this right now.  There already exists a phenomenal network of peace activism.  But these organizations are totally ineffective now because their message, 1) is not getting heard, 2) is not engaging, 3) is stale and boring.  I have contacted hundreds of these groups and their spokespersons.  No one is interested in new ideas.  These include a lot of very famous peace activists (you would definitely recognize most of the names).

So . . .

Either I’m crazy.

Or . . .

These peace creeps can’t get their heads around the idea that for 40 years now, continuing right up to the present, they have completely failed.  The old methods and battle cries from the Vietnam War days haven’t worked since the 70s.  These folks need a new paradigm.  They need new memes.  They need both a new message and better messaging.

Just look around.  We just had a Peace Prize president who dropped 26,171 bombs last year on countries we’re not even at war with.  The U.S. has engaged in massive military aggression in eight countries since the peace dividend was originally promised in 1992.  We are now in an open-ended war on terror that is making us and the entire world less safe.  Our military is the scourge of the planet!

Is the current peace movement actually going to claim they’re making progress?  That the demonstrations, petitions, bumper stickers are working?  [Insert Einstein’s definition of insanity here.]

The Peace Dividend concept is not some impulse, some catchy phrase developed over a bowl of hashish.  It’s a fully developed strategy.  I’ve outlined what the approach entails, how it can be effected, how we can pay for it.  This last point is very important.  The Peace Dividend refund, because of its scale and the manner in which it is funded, drives a host of other progressive reforms.  It is a watershed for massive realignment of our priorities and appropriation of economic resources.  Seems like that would be worth paying attention to.

If you know anyone working in the anti-war organizations, please tell them they absolutely must take a look at my plan.  Singing Give Peace A Chance doesn’t cut it anymore.  Neither does getting a peace sign tattooed to your forehead.

The world is rushing headlong toward world war, risking nuclear annihilation and the end of the human race.  Eliminating geopolitical idiocy, imperial hubris, and monomaniacal delusions of conquest by challenging our warmongering elites with a powerful and truly effective plan of action, should be what shapes and defines the struggle of those noble organizations attempting to abolish war and promote peace throughout the world. 

A strategy like the Peace Dividend must be the centerpiece giving focus to their efforts.

Otherwise, the next time I file an update, the response will be . . .

“What peace movement?”


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

Posted in Deconstruction, Political Analysis, Revolution, War and Peace | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Asymmetry

People keep asking me why I don’t jump on the Trump impeachment bandwagon, why instead I’m so fixated on regime change in Congress 2018.

It’s very simple . . . ASYMMETRY.

What do I mean by asymmetry?  In a nutshell . . .

Congress can impeach a president but a president can’t impeach Congress.

Less snappy but more incisive and revealing . . .

Congress can contravene a president’s actions but a president cannot contravene what Congress does.

Yes, a president can veto bills.  But if there are 67 senators and 290 members of the House who want to pass a law, there is nothing a president can do but honor the will of Congress.

When I talk about regime change in Congress, I’m certainly talking about such numbers.  My recent articles call for replacing all 33 senators and at least 400 of the 435 running for the House of Representatives in the 2018 election.  No . . . I’m not joking.

And you should be taking this very seriously too.

Whether you call the resulting legislature a progressive Congress, a people’s Congress, a populist Congress — the label really isn’t important — it would decisively include elected representatives who will actually represent the voters who elected them to office.

This means we can be assured it will do many of the critical things the current batch of self-serving, elitist, corrupt, morally bankrupt, duplicitous, lying thieves won’t ever do.  Things that in poll after poll, the American people say they want done.

This current Congress — Republicans and Democrats alike — simply refuses to:

  1. Protect Social Security and Medicare, making them effective and fiscally sound.
  2. Make the minimum wage commensurate with a living wage, at least $12.50 per hour.
  3. Provide affordable universal health care, probably built around a single-payer system.
  4. Make the rich pay their fair share, returning to the tax rates of the 60s and 70s.
  5. Make corporations also pay their fair share, plus eliminate corporate welfare.
  6. End the senseless, self-sabotaging wars and advance a sensible DOD budget.
  7. Actually rebuild our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, not just talk about it.
  8. End the democracy-destroying impact of the Citizens United decision, and get serious about getting money out of politics.

Asymmetry.  If a veto-proof Congress passed any of the above, it wouldn’t matter if Darth Vader was president, there’s nothing he could do.  And if he dragged his feet implementing and enforcing such laws, then if worse comes to worse, we’re back to impeachment.

At the same time, if a president like Trump tried to pull any of the stuff he’s pulling right now with a truly representative Congress in place, there would be a serious shit storm of blow back.

Build a wall?  Pass a law forbidding use of any government funds or resources for it.

Start a war with Iran?  Repeal the Defense Authorization Acts and any related laws which allow discretionary use of military power by the president, then pass legislation forbidding any hostile military, economic, or cyber acts without explicit permission of Congress.

Abolish the Department of Education or EPA?  Pass a law reinstating them and take away all discretion over the budgets for those departments from the executive branch.

You get the idea.  Let me offer my opening shot again for it to sink in.

Congress can impeach the president but the president can’t impeach Congress.

Let’s backtrack here a bit, as I inject some harsh reality into this discussion. 

As long as the orange autocrat stays on his present course, this Congress isn’t going to impeach him.  Trump is an ADHD imbecile but in terms of pushing the domestic agenda of the far right — the sinister core principles of the current mutant Republican Party — he is Paul Ryan’s wet dream.  As far as foreign policy goes, maybe John McCain and Bonnie Watson Coleman need to bitch slap Trump a bit to get him on board with the annihilate Russia program, but the Trumpster has been a godsend for the war hawks. The sabers are rattling across the Middle East, intimidation of Iran and the Chinese is being cranked up to fever pitch, the administration is threatening North Korea with pre-emptive military strikes, and Trump has proposed an unprecedented 10% increase in the defense budget.

What else could the Rethugs possibly want of their ornery Tweeter of a leader?

But if they did impeach him, in Mike Pence we are looking at more of the same at double the speed with twice the intelligence.  The Republican establishment loves him.  It’ll be a group hug that’ll make Ann Coulter tear up like a Betsy Wetsy doll.

So let’s stop wasting time and energy on something that in all probability won’t happen and even if it did won’t eliminate the nightmare that Donald Trump represents.  As I indicated in my previous article, their bench is deep.  Until we remove all these  monsters from the power centers of our government — starting with Congress — they’ll continue to be a plague on our nation.

Trump will do a lot of damage but this Congress will do more.  The president is powerful but Congress can isolate and immobilize even the most belligerent president.

Asymmetry.  The president is not a king.  Asymmetry is fundamental to the relationship between the executive and legislative branches of government.

Let’s use it to our advantage.  Let’s focus on where the real power is.  Time to target the corrupt, pay-for-play puppet show at the east end of the National Mall.

Let’s put our energies into making a difference that will make a difference.

Regime change in Congress 2018!

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

Line of Succession: Just when you thought it was safe to . . .

I have been consistently and forcefully inveighing against wasting time and energy on impeaching Donald Trump.  The main thrust of my argument has been that while our Chief Executive — i.e. the President of the United States — is certainly very powerful and we can expect Trump to do a lot of damage, targeting him directly is the least effective way to halt his diabolical agenda.  Rather, a truly progressive Congress, one representative of both the needs of everyday citizens and the greater good of the country, could isolate him and counter one-by-one all of his fiercest dictatorial efforts to dismantle democracy and further the self-serving agenda of the ruling class.  As an example, if the orange autocrat signed an executive order permitting fracking on school playgrounds, Congress would pass a law prohibiting fracking on school playgrounds.  If he signed an executive order banning bicycle lanes, Congress would pass a law authorizing bike lanes.  You get the idea.

Recognize . . .

An enlightened Congress would be a bulwark against the broader agenda of the neoliberal juggernaut, the war mongering militarism of the neocons, and the rule by fiat of the rich and powerful.  An enlightened Congress could legislate what the country wants and needs, in spite of an antagonistic, uncooperative White House, and could even put an end to the anti-democratic meddling and chicanery of the Deep State.

Unfortunately, my appeal for “regime change” in Congress has fallen on deaf ears.  Maybe the piercing din of shrill cries for the Trumpster’s ouster have drown out my call for cooler heads and what is obvious to me is a more sane and effective approach.  Or maybe a lot of folks just never bothered to pay attention in high school civics class, thus don’t understand the way our government actually works.

But I haven’t given up.  The only genuine, permanent fix to our ailing system is replacing at bare minimum 450 of the corrupt pay-for-play corporate lapdogs currently seated in the House and Senate.

That is a given and nothing anyone can say or do to distract us can change that fact.

However, a very sobering thought just occurred to me.  I hope it will wake folks up.

What is the line of succession for the presidency?

That is, if Trump is impeached, who will replace him?

That would be Mike Pence, the Vice-President.  Pretty scary thought!

If Mike Pence is impeached, who replaces him?

None other than Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House of Representatives.  Ugh!  Even scarier!  Here’s a man whose insensitivity and cruelty to the everyday citizen makes Ayn Rand look like Mother Theresa.

Then if Paul Ryan is impeached, who replaces him?

Orrin Hatch, President pro tempore of the Senate.  Wonderful!  Here’s a guy vilified as much by his own party as he is by the Democrats.  Just what we need, more gridlock and cage fighting.

And if Orrin Hatch is impeached, who replaces him?

Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.  Yep, the drill-baby-drill former CEO of Exxon-Mobil.  We probably will see fracking in school playgrounds if he becomes president.

If we are not suffering from impeachment burnout, and Rex Tillerson is then put on the chopping block, who replaces him?

Former Goldman Sachs CIO and hedge fund manager, now Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin!  Perfect.  Maybe he’ll streamline the monetary system and just have the investment banks print money for themselves instead of the U.S. Treasury.

So . . . are you getting the picture?

Granted, Trump is an easy target.  But impeaching him accomplishes nothing.  It merely sets up month-after-month, year-after-year of more impeachment hearings.  What Trump represents will not go away just because he does.  As they say in sports, their bench is very deep.

What’s the solution?  Where do we channel our rage?  What will truly turn things around and start to fix this unbelievable mess?

Regime change in Congress is the only option and the only viable place to focus our time, energy and creativity.  There are 33 Senate seats and 435 House seats up for grabs in the 2018 election.  That’s where our power resides.  That’s how we achieve genuine change.  That’s how we turn our nation around.

I see little redeeming value in returning any of the incumbents to office.  That’s just me.  Citizens need to decide for themselves.  But recognize, we need to start this right now.  Waiting until next year will be too late.

How do we decide?

I have proposed — for over four years now — a simple solution.

Candidate contracts.

Decide what we want done.  Present candidate contracts which specify what we want done.

There’s a lot of critical issues to choose from:  Social Security, Medicare; minimum wage; taxing the rich, eliminating tax loopholes and corporate welfare; reducing the military, ending pointless wasteful wars; electoral reform (e.g. Citizens United and term limits); rebuilding roads, schools, communities; guaranteeing good K-12 education.  We can even probably add student debt relief, truly universal single-payer health care, home mortgage relief, and a few others to this list.

Most importantly, there is an enormous amount of agreement among the vast majority of citizens on these key issues.  Having said that, the candidate contract is entirely flexible and can be configured to reflect the unique priorities and will of the voters in each congressional district and in each state where there is a senatorial contest.

The underlying principle, however, is the same . . .

If a candidate signs the contract, he or she deserves our vote.  Simply because at least on the issues which are covered by the contracts, WE KNOW EXACTLY WHAT WILL GET DONE.  The candidate contracts are bulletproof, ironclad guarantees of representation!

No excuses.  No compromise.  No negotiation.

On the other hand . . .

If a candidate waffles, slithers, slides, and avoids discussing and signing the contracts, we then know they are “business as usual” types — i.e. full of wonderful-sounding but empty rhetoric, peddling deceptive campaign promises, but when they arrive in Washington DC they forget us, the very people who voted them into their cushy jobs in our nation’s capitol.

If a candidate will not sign on the dotted line, he or she does not get our vote.

This concept is simple, straightforward, powerful.

No contract = no vote!

This is how we take all of the guesswork out of voting.

So . . .

Dumping Trump is a satisfying thought but it will not get the job done.  Impeachment will take enormous time and energy, monopolize all of the resources we need to achieve real reform, and just set the stage for the next autocrat to push the agenda of the ruling class.

There is only one realistic option . . .

A truly representative Congress is the key — the only sensible, effective path — to restoring some semblance of democracy in this country.


But let’s make no mistake about it.  We have an enormous struggle ahead of us.  But every journey begins with a few single steps.  Every action and all activism begins with ideas. 

Described in detail in two recent books are my ideas for how we conduct a bottoms-up, community-based, grass roots campaign for restoring democracy in America.

CC_eBook Cover_Final_200x300“Candidate Contracts: Taking Back Our Democracy” was published June of 2015 and is available worldwide from all the usual suspects:

Amazon (Kindle)  . . . amzn.to/1QJRiNZ
Amazon (Print) . . . amzn.to/1Cuq0du
Apple (iTunes) . . . apple.co/1BXnPcy
Barnes & Noble . . . bit.ly/1GpTTLq
Kobo (Indigo) . . . bit.ly/1OEI2xj
Smashwords . . . bit.ly/1B4DQCp
Direct from printer . . . bit.ly/1MGjDnN

 

!!!FFTDWD_Cover_200x300Fighting for the Democracy We Deserve” was published September 2015 and is available both in every popular ebook format and as a deluxe paperback:

Amazon (Kindle) . . . amzn.to/1VMf2Ft
Amazon (Print) . . . amzn.to/1L9SdIC
Apple (iTunes) . . . apple.co/1JD1YAg
Barnes & Noble . . . bit.ly/1ZUJUpn
Kobo (Indigo) . . . bit.ly/1IX6rO4
Smashwords . . . bit.ly/22PXWLf
Direct from printer . . . bit.ly/1i7ISFM

Posted in Corporatism, Deconstruction, Democracy, Political Analysis, Revolution | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments