Deadly integration of militarism and capitalism

I didn’t mean to start out the new year of 2017 with a downer and most likely opinionated post. That is what has happened though as I decided to read an article with an unassuming title that ended up pissing me off. If you’re interested in reading the source article for all the quoted text:

SOURCE: America Deconstructed: the Great Unraveling

This is what started getting me pissed off…

American GREATNESS is code for world dominance in all areas of life; arguments to the contrary are matters of unjust defamation and internal subversion.

As if we’re so awesome, in our privileged arrogance, to believe that we’re superior to everyone else in the world. What is an American anyway? British, German, Irish, Russian, etc. We all have multicultural roots as hundreds of thousands immigrated to this country from the 1400’s to the 1700’s most often as a punishment. A lucky person was considered to have survived the trip to the “new world” only to be met with conditions worse than the ones they left. I submit that America is not great anymore, we’re not #1 in things that matter, like education and industry, but in things like gun ownership and incarceration. We’ve spent the last 15 years, at least, pushing a military agenda to fuel our capitalist machine to grow wealth for a relatively small portion of our population. Our elite have managed to transform our country into an Oligarchy. Head here to read a good post about oligarchy on In Saner Thought.

Business has been allowed to expand practically without limit, banking even more so, but it is the military factor that has given American capitalism its particular identity, a capitalism bent on solipsistic force-feeding, the ingestion of world power at the expense of other nations and our own people (upwards of 90% of them). Militarism and capitalism comprise a heady brew: the martial spirit turned inward, to ensure conformity with the System as it is, and complicity with its criminal activities (as in war crimes, or more difficult to discern, legitimated violence, in which society’s upper groups enjoy a privileged status, the violence practiced on those below).

The gold standard stopped being a standard in 1971 thanks to the Federal Reserve and Richard Nixon. Ever since then, there has been a slow erosion of policies and law that hindered business and banks from making more money at a quicker pace. The repeal of Glass-Steagall brought banks and lending institutions into the financial market mix as well in the 1990’s. The Fed ran with a 0% interest rate for several years leading up to the financial crisis of 2008-09, where no one in business or banking was held accountable, but Lehman Bros. was used as a scapegoat. My opinion is that they were used to show other businesses what would happen if they didn’t fall into line with the oligarchy that had taken control of our financial systems. The far-reaching powers granted to the President to use military force abroad to protect national security and punish terrorism and those who are harboring terrorists further fueled the capitalist machine.

Finally, don’t judge Trump too harshly, unless of course one is prepared to judge his peers by the same standards as well. Obama is Trump, without the hotels! He is Cheney, without the Wyoming twang, or Bush, the Texas ranch. He is what may be termed, an ultra-imperialist statesman, using liberal cosmetics to disguise policies of repression (targeted assassination, a blip on the radar screen of evil, outweighed by policies, e.g., nuclear modernization) which can bring down the house. Trump is not thereby exempt from criticisms and responsibility; he is a distillation of American political culture (and US culture in general), rashly opinionated, inflated in self-esteem, reactionary in political-economic core beliefs, hateful of those who do not see things in the same way he/she does. This is the start of a bleak winter—not for ourselves alone, but for everyone on the planet, as America’s destructive tendencies come more and more to the foreground.

The eyes of history will be the true judge of Trump and the U.S. democracy in the coming decades. We’re living through an interesting time, faced with a fork in the road, we chose to go with the wildcard candidate hoping that things will get better. The problem I see though, is that corporations, banks, and lobbyist purchased government officials are actually running the country. The President is just the lipstick on the pig that the American people are allowed to see. When media is controlled by the oligarchs, when the financial systems are controlled by the oligarchs, when the government is controlled by the oligarchs, are we not therefore, living in an oligarchy?

It’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better if, and when, the American people decide that they’ve had enough of the current system that is systematically favoring the wealthy.

Open letter to Commission on Presidential Debates

I would like to offer my congratulations to you for once again stifling the opportunity of the American people to learn about more than just two candidates.  This year I believe is going to be the last year that you’ll have the opportunity to operate in the shadows quietly supporting the Republican and Democratic parties and the two-party system.  There is a growing sentiment in the American public that believe that a two-party system no longer represents them completely.  The favorability number on Trump and Clinton are clear indications of this sentiment.  In addition, the arbitrary rules that you have created to prevent another Ross Perot 1992 incident from happening appears to be in contradiction of your own mission posted on your website.

The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) was established in 1987 to ensure that debates, as a permanent part of every general election, provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners. Its primary purpose is to sponsor and produce debates for the United States presidential and vice presidential candidates and to undertake research and educational activities relating to the debates. The organization, which is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) corporation, sponsored all the presidential debates in 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012. (Source:  Commission on Presidential Debates:  Our Mission)

According to your own mission, you “ensure that debates … provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners.”  The requirement that a candidate (not part of the Republicans or Democrats) meets 15% support in allegedly random polls selected by your organization is unfairly biased and restrictive to anyone opposing the two-party system.  Two of the five selected national polls were owned by the same company.  I wrote about that here.  This 15% rule was enacted, I believe, after the 1992 election cycle where Ross Perot had secured 20% of the popular vote that year and threatened the two-party system as an Independent.  The 15% rule is too high, and, if a candidate is listed on the ballots for all 50 states, should automatically receive a spot in the debates so voters can be given the best possible information on a candidate that is statistically able to achieve 270 Electoral votes.

The CPD obtains the funds required to produce its debates every four years and to support its ongoing voter education activities from the communities that host the debates and, to a lesser extent, from corporate, foundation and private donors. Source:  Commission on Presidential Debates:  An Overview

As I’ve not reviewed the tax records for the CPD, I’m only theorizing as to the sources of funds required to produce the debates.  It’s stated here that corporate, foundation and private donors provide a smaller portion of the funds required.  Corporate donors as in large mainstream media corporations?  Foundation donors as in The Clinton Foundation?  Private donors as in oligarchs such as Rupert Murdoch and the Koch brothers?  I’ll leave this one for others to think about.

The final sites and dates for the debates are chosen by the CPD board of directors and announced approximately one year in advance; this allows for complete logistical preparation by the CPD and the media, and for the sites to take full advantage of debate-related curricular additions. (Source:  Commission on Presidential Debates:  An Overview

Although the dates were selected for this year over a year ago, they interestingly fell on dates that traditionally had other major events going on:

  • September 26th: Monday Night Football
  • October 9th:  Sunday Night Football

Why wouldn’t all the debates take place on a Friday or Saturday to maximize complete viewership and accessibility?  It just seems odd to me and I’m sure I’m not the only one that has made this complaint.  Case in point:  Trump Complains About Debates Conflicting with NFL Games, ABCNews

As a registered voter and an American, I’m disappointed with the CPD and their obvious manipulation (with their own rules) to ensure that the people don’t have everything they need to be as informed as possible.  I agree that the CPD is required, however it should have membership with people who are not affiliated at all with politics to remain as nonpartisan as possible.  I support Gary Johnson’s and Jill Stein’s fight against the Commission on Presidential Debates, however the system had prevailed and blocked them from being able to participate unless they met the 15% polling requirement (which they didn’t).

It would appear an informed electorate is frightening to the rulers of the “used to be” Democracy.

Debating on watching the debates tonight

The first Presidential debate is tonight squaring Trump and Clinton on the “major issues” (selected by the moderator) of America’s Direction, Achieving Prosperity, and Securing America. I actually stared at the topics for a long time thinking of how ridiculous they actually are when measured against the growing personal knowledge that we’re in a socialist elite (1%) and capitalist non-elite (99%) system. How can any Presidential debate actually discuss anything of importance when the socialist elite are essentially immune to the countries laws when the two people on stage are well within that 1% group. When you consider that 97% of the country makes less than $250k/year, showing support for either of them is basically endorsing the status quo.

Presidential debates are rigged from the beginning to support a two-party system. My belief is that we need to remove the obstacles of the two-party system to allow all party candidates so that the American people can actually find out who all the players are, not just the ones spending millions. Simply put, if a candidate regardless of party is on the ballot in all 50 states, they should be default be allowed to debate. Ross Perot was allowed in the debates, but the rule of 15% didn’t apply to him as it was put in place for the 2000 election cycle.

Reviewing the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) criteria for allowing a candidate to appear on the stage, which states:

… in addition to being constitutionally eligible(1), candidates must:

Appear on a sufficient number of state ballots(2) to have a mathematical chance of winning a majority vote in the Electoral College.
Have a level of support of at least 15 percent of the national electorate (3) as determined by five selected national public opinion polling organizations, using the average of those organizations’ most recently publicly-reported results at the time of the determination.

I’m going to break this apart into several pieces as I don’t think that most people know that these rules even exist.

1 – Requirements to be President

As directed by the Constitution, a presidential candidate must be a natural-born citizen of the United States, a resident for 14 years, and 35 years of age or older. These requirements do not prohibit a woman from being president, yet this has yet to occur.

2 – State Ballots

I’m actually a bit peeved at the fact that this one requirement doesn’t permit a candidate to be on the debate stage. The monumental feat of getting through all the red tape and hurdles for EVERY state is an accomplishment in of itself. Gary Johnson has managed to get on the ballot for all 50 states. Jill Stein is on the ballot in 45 states, 3 states write-in, and 3 states not on the ballot. What actually qualifies as a “sufficient number” of state ballots? I would venture to guess that if you hit 75% of the states, or 38 states, that would indicate a sufficient number. Oh, but there’s that “mathematical chance of winning” portion that, if argued properly, is never going to be achievable in regards to the Electoral College (EC). No lie, I could write an entire post about the EC and how it is horribly dated and no longer appropriate for a system where 1 person = 1 vote.

3 – 15% Support in National Electorate

This is rub on this short list of requirements. First, who decides the five selected national public opinion polling organizations? My spidey sense is telling me that the selection is rigged and the public opinion polling organizations chosen are in fact not truly public opinion. I still don’t quite understand how 600-1500 people are a large enough segment of the population to have a “public” poll. As it stands right now, based on RealClearPolitics, Clinton 42.6, Trump 41.1, Johnson 7.2, Stein 2.3.

genelecpolls

The 5 polls selected by the CPD are as follows:

  • ABC-Washington Post (Nash Holdings, LLC, controlled by Jeff Bezos)
  • CBS-New York Times (The New York Times Company)
  • CNN-Opinion Research Corporation (InfoUSA, partnership and majority investment by Lake Capital, private equity)
  • Fox News (Fox Networks Group, 21st Century Fox, Rupert Murdoch)
  • NBC-Wall Street Journal (News Corp, Rupert Murdoch)

I’m not surprised that most of these polls track back to just a handful of companies and people. It’s no wonder that a third-party candidate can’t get any ground to be included with the debates when the polls playing a part of the decision are stacked against them. The poll threshold should be lowered to 10-12% to give the American people more of an informed choice. Johnson and Stein have garnered support from 9.5% of voters on average in all the polls pictured above. In a country with 250 million or so potential voters, that translates into approximately 23 million people. How can 23 million people be denied in supporting a third party candidate?

What’s the harm?

Seriously, what’s the harm in allowing a third-party candidate on the debate stage? The format can be altered to allow 3 or even 4 people address questions from the moderator and still easily fit into a 90 minute program. Are the Republicans and Democrats THAT afraid? The massive hurdles and effort required to get on the debate stage is proof enough for me that they are in fact afraid to have any real competition. It’s a sad time for America when the people no longer are represented by the elected officials put into office. Our first issue is actually taking the time to vote for those officials. Things right now would be a lot different if more than half the voting age adults actually, well, voted.

Crazy idea to fix the economy, FTW!

Every day, during my lunch, I read several news sites including MSN. I know, MSN isn’t exactly the best source of news, but I’m an avid music fan and find some of their coverage interesting. The rest of main stream media is a joke now that I’m onto them and their filtered brainwashing of individuals pushing “news” that is subliminally lulling them into a false sense of comfort. There is so much that goes on around the world that just isn’t covered anywhere in American media. When Gary Johnson asked “What is Aleppo?” on Fox News Morning Joe, I was at first surprised but quickly realized that his platform isn’t primarily focused on foreign policy, rather domestic policy. News outlets instead hammered him for not knowing about Aleppo and made correlations to someone not knowing about Sarajevo in the 90’s or Iran-Contra in the 80’s. It’s crap if you ask me. Yes, I’m a third-party supporter, however I’m not biased enough to not recognize a mistake as we all make them. No one is perfect.  He does have a few ideas on his platform that suggest it would improve the economy, but don’t go far enough I think.

The entire monetary system, as it exists right now, is predicated on borrowed money. It was created out of thin air, by the Fed, after the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. A system so broken and propped up by debt can’t sustain itself for too long, and none of the plans by any Presidential candidate really lives up to the promise of being able to fix it. The rich elite run the country and until they don’t, nothing will fundamentally change. Here is a quick and dirty plan I came up with after reflecting a short period of time. I’m not an economist, but do understand the concept of credit/debit systems and religiously balance my register every month.

For all households making less than $250,000/year

  • Forgive all property asset debt
  • Forgive all consumer credit debt
  • Forgive all student loan debt

That might seem like a high annual income amount, however only 3% of American households make over that amount per year. Essentially, you would be removing the two largest amounts of debt for almost 97% of the entire country. An enormous amount of spending power would return to almost 97% of households to where the question or food vs. utilities would not need to be thought of again. The catch, and there’s a catch, is that anyone with a forgiven property asset or consumer credit debt would not be permitted to take on any new debts of those types for a minimum of 12 months. For the majority of the country, I don’t think that would be a problem. This one simple and drastic measure would remove the following amounts of debt from the U.S. financial system:

  • $13.8 trillion in mortgages (EOY 2015)
  • $929 billion in consumer credit (May 2016)
  • $1.2 trillion in student loans (April 2015)

Essentially, when you add it all up, it would remove more in currency than the Fed added to stabilize the economy during the 2008-2009 financial crisis. The amounts are staggering especially considering that the group of people in the U.S. that hold that debt are NOT part of the elite class that can afford do a house outright, don’t carry credit in most cases, and typically go to college for free with a “donation” to the University being attended. Forgiving this debt would in turn give the economy a shot of adrenalin to get it jump started in the right direction. How would your view of the country change if you didn’t have to make your monthly mortgage, credit card, and school loan payments. How much would your lives change for the better?

The other side of this problem is with the law and regulatory requirements that would need to be changed. The financial sector could no longer be allowed to self-regulate as they’ve shown over the last several decades they only care about making more money. Any law put in place in the last 30 years would need to be reviewed, analyzed for effectiveness, and then repealed or updated to align with the founding fathers view of law. The law is what grants all citizens the equality that is required to be a true democracy. Laws that favor the elite and/or don’t apply to the elite need to be removed completely. Here’s an example: a guy with a pound of marijuana is sent to jail for 5 years with 5 years probation (legal in some states) while a government official complicit in sharing top-secret emails that threatened national security is mildly scolded. Another example: executive office officials are brought up on charges for destroying top-secret documents, charged, and served jail time while the President that ordered this to take place is pardoned following his resignation by his former Vice-President.

No idea is too crazy once you’ve passed the proverbial point of no return. Yeah, it will be a whole hell of a lot of short-term pain in terms of the financial market, shifting of power, etc. When you weigh it against the long-term potential of doing the above plan and keeping the system working or letting it go and having the system crash globally, seriously, what would the better choice be?

Neoclassical economics are killing our Democracy

Corporate America is stealing our future one dollar at a time.  They have brainwashed us into believing that a neoclassical system they’ve put in place is the one that will create prosperity as they achieve wealth and power.  The players of this neoclassical system are corporations, banks, politicians, and the wealthy elite.  Their’s is a systems of Socialism, but we don’t see that because we’re driving the wheels of their machine through a Capitalist market.  Essentially, the capitalist non-elite are supporting the socialist elite.  I’ve been reading and watching a lot about this lately due in part to our ridiculous Presidential election coming up and also because I’m tired of being a pawn in their game of becoming ever richer.

Our elite have convinced us that the only way to be happy is to acquire debt that purchases the goods and services produced largely in other countries.  Debt, as I’ve come to realize, is basically a modern form of slavery.  We are slaves to the corporations, holding the majority of wealth in the country, that take what they want even when we don’t have it.  The 2008 housing bubble crisis proves this point to me in the form of thousands of foreclosures around the country.  The people who couldn’t afford predatory lending practices paid the price, they lost their home.  The banks and mortgage companies, left with sub-prime defaulted mortgages, got bailed out by the government.  They created over $8 trillion of new debt, created money out of nothing, to keep the companies that had become so pervasive in our economy that we couldn’t let them fail.  What if we had?  Where would we be?  Our country wouldn’t have died.  We would still be here, perhaps even with a reformed and more equal system.

Here’s a scary statistic.  All paper currency in the world right now is 97% debt.  The appearance that our world economy, in my opinion, is on the brink of collapse that even the elite won’t be able to stop.  Sure, they’re fine now, stroking the palms of politicians at the ratio of 5 lobbyists to 1 politician.  Over the last 50 years, the system has been rigged and contorted with massive deregulation, repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, created conflicts around the world.  All this has resulted in a system where only a wealthy few, contributing very little, have ridden the backs of billions of people making sure they can never climb out of poverty.

The Presidential elects have shown concern on the realization that the middle-class is disappearing.  That is the truth, the middle-class is shrinking.  They are borrowing more and more money as they’re buying into the lies of the elite corporations that sell them their mortgages, cars, and “stuff” that we are all brainwashed into thinking that we need.  I’m starting to think that middle-class is being systematically dismantled because they are the biggest threat to the wealthy elite running corporations, media, and government.  The middle-class, still with the ability to become aware of the truth and open their eyes to the system that has been allowed to continue, are a huge threat to the socialist system at the top of the heap.  I’m starting to question everything now.  I’m starting to actually research this and verify what I’m being told.  I’m shocked to find that verifiable facts are emerging through multiple sources that are confirming what my research is uncovering.

I am so frustrated at myself for having fallen into the propaganda without actually seeing the real motive behind all of this.  The arrogance the top corporate and political leaders have had for the last several decades.  It seriously pisses me off!  My concern isn’t for me, but for my daughter.  What is she going to inherit if this system is allowed to continue unchecked and unregulated?  What is she going to have to suffer with, or rather, without, as she gets older?  Will I be able to help her with college?  Will she be in a position where poverty is the only choice she has no matter how hard she works?  I’M ANGRY AT THE SYSTEM!

The military actions we’ve been involved with in the last 15 years since 9/11 are only proving to me that we have spread our parasitic system around the world.  We decimate a country hunting for possible terrorists.  We arrange for a huge loan from a world bank and then offer to rebuild their country.  That money that should have gone to the citizens left in that country instead go to U.S. based contractors that build infrastructure that the poorest people can’t access.  What good are highways without a car to drive on them?  What good is electricity grids if you don’t have a house to have it delivered to let alone pay for it to be delivered?  Instead, the poor people who don’t have a voice have to lose their farms because we’re now drilling for oil or stripping for resources.  These people have to endure pollution in the rivers they’ve come to depend on since being pushed off their farms.  How the hell is a humanitarian mission going to help a poor citizen if all the money from the loan is spent on the minority elite that can afford to use it?  WTF?

I’m sure by now you’re asking yourself what can we do.  I can’t tell you anything other than just do some research, listen and read with an open mind, and decide if who you’re voting for truly has your back of their own.  This year’s Presidential election isn’t about Trump vs. Clinton, it’s certainly not about male vs. female, it damn well isn’t about rhetoric that helps get them voted in to result in 4 years of excuses how the Senate and House are polarized against their platforms.  What it’s about is very simple I think, it’s about who is the best choice to go against the system.  Simply put, in my mind, neither candidate, including third-party, would ever go against the system.  Third party might have a chance, if they won, but the system is so much more than what one person can fix.  The President certainly isn’t the fix.

What fixes the system; reboots the economy; makes serious change, is us.  The non-elite people who are being broken under the weight of a socialist elitist system that has been created right under our noses.  We fix it by paying down our debt and getting rid of it, can’t be a slave to the system if you don’t owe it anything.  We fix it by working to educate others around us to start looking with wider eyes and actually seeing it for the corrupt bully that it has become.  We fix it by rising up and demanding that it be fixed through our elected officials, as we the people, have the power to remove them from office and put someone in that will listen to us.  We fix it by going back to the economists that helped create the system that worked and was backed by a gold standard.  We fix it by creating an open and honest discussion that isn’t partisan, racial, mean, or accusatory.

What would happen if all credit and housing debt in this country were forgiven, with a moratorium on any new credit, and a concerted effort to make sure anyone without the means could access the money they needed to start over?  The non-elites would benefit the most as they would suddenly own their home and everything that had been purchased on credit.  The system would start to self-correct with each subsequent paycheck.  The elite would bear the brunt of this forgiveness, including the government, as they control more debt than all the non-elite combined but don’t have any assets they could own afterwards.  Wouldn’t that be something?  It’s been done before; Germany 1947, following WWII.  It’s not such a fantastical idea, and how can 99% of the country not be right against the remaining 1%.  It starts with us and its up to us how it ends.