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The Trump Success

31 Jul

So tiresome, the incessant media question . . . “with all of the ignorant, course, foul comments made by Trump how can he continue to do so well?” This is not a question; this is a well worn media strategy to keep a marketable story kinetic. In media land it’s like Trump, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. This maneuver masquerading as a question insures an endless parade of talking heads babbling on about how unprecedented and confounding it all is. This media position; this disingenuous search for the answer is as Madison Ave. as Trump himself. The repetition from program to program broadcasts to us that there is no explanation to be had, we are hopelessly adrift in the Trump fog but we, the media, will keep up our end by continuing to book experts. The covert aspect of “the question” is that it has boarders. Permissible on air conversation is confined to Trump’s charisma, media savvy, his sculpted persona of strength and decisiveness, his blue collar language and attitudes, his fearless use of deceit. For the supporters piece the boundaries include disenfranchisement, disillusionment, stagnant wages, perverted patriotism, and plain old rage.

What is never discussed is racism, sexism, homophobia, and Christian bias. It doesn’t matter what Trump says it only matters what he projects. He constantly spawns new ways to say the same thing over and over, to reassure straight white people that they will not become a dreaded minority class; that they will always remain the ruling power in America. More than anything his supporters desperately need to hear that their whiteness will always be preeminent in the American caste system. There are millions upon millions of scared white people who can feel it, the shift. It’s been coming since the sixties and seventies. They thought they had it tamped down but beneath the boot mitosis was under way. People of color have been procreating as Jesus counselled. Also some serious mixing has been unleashed; unabashedly bi-racial babies are on the rise, why they’ve had to add a new box on the census form. The cultures of people of color have soaked permanently into main stream Americana: music, cloths, food, language, attitude, philosophies, the staples, the launch pad for life. For God sakes the TV ad folks have even bet their all mighty money on commercials featuring diversity. The white comfort of the 1950s, even for poor whites, is slipping further and further into the before time. Despite the white man’s premier military position it hasn’t knocked out anyone since World War II, even the shockingly under armed Vietcong kicked our ass. This evolution creates great confusion and fear for white folks. With the advent of the internet the white people’s control of US history is increasing being exposed to the light of day, authority over the narrative is being lost. The internet coupled with “devices” is neutering the once powerful tool of isolation. The masses can now communicate and educate at will, hell, give them a second and they’ll send you the video.

This is the very simple ugly unspoken answer to why Trump continues to do so well. May the Force Be with Us.

Power to the People

ISIS Crisis

23 Aug

The US, who are we? Who do we want to be? As a nation we should finally be maturing beyond this cape crusader crap. The countries that surround ISIS (besides Iraq/Syria) are Turkey, Iran, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. Given ISIS’ business plan, why aren’t these wealthy countries pounding big time on ISIS? But then why should they spend their money and resources when the ever adolescent US is always more than eager to don the saggy pants, flash some bad ink and play toughest kid on the block. The US forever trying to prove its manhood to its young self, to be the quarterback hoisted onto the adoring shoulders of the world. The world that holds us in contempt. Manhood must be singled out here as there are no women anywhere in charge of any war machines. When do we ever get to move to the boring adult table where wisdom reigns and manhood is measured by how well one cares for the family, the extended family stretching from shore to shore? All this BS about being the only country that can save the world from______________, fill in the blank, is standard teenage rationalization for continuing to play the video game. We have no savior destiny; we’re a simple mortal player like everyone else doing a stretch on the planet. And where is Switzerland, Japan, Russia, Brazil, to name a very few? Why aren’t they terrified of ISIS? They are by definition infidels too, surely they need some bloody CC, conquering and converting, why do they have no skin in this game? Could a US citizen turned ISIS commando fly on home and blow some of us up, yes. Or some cop in Missouri could blow us up, dead feels dead by any hand.

Even the evil ISIS needs a trumped up excuse to rampage, God tells them to; not too original but what are you going to do, it is a tried and true classic. Reduce temptation: we could just round up ALL the Americans in Iraq and bring them home removing one excuse that we use for ourselves. Actually what are these Americans doing in Iraq anyway? What vital function do they provide toward our general welfare? We need some cost analysis on this one. Even if you pretend that their continued presence is essential to American well-being how the hell could they get any work done under these circumstances. Is their charge in Iraq now really just to stay alive? What Iraqis are they conducting official US business with these days, the woefully inept Iraqi government? Picture that, Iraqi officials and diplomatic representatives of our congress working on anything. This refusal to extract Americans from Iraq feels very much like “you’re not the boss of me”. It’s the kind of posturing that neighborhood gangs do to act out sad fantasies of gloriously defending property that someone else owns. Think we will look weak to totally vacate Iraq? Think the Lindsey Grahams and John McCains are strategically brilliant? Face saving is a childish response to adult problems. Our crumbling infrastructure and failing transportation systems actually do make us weak. Our declining educational product makes us weak. Our unemployment crisis makes us dangerously weak. The assaults on voting rights weaken the core of our ideology. And on and on. Say no to war.

Power to the People

War

9 Aug

We have no business maintaining hundreds of military bases all over the world. We can’t afford them; we can’t even provide for our own people, maintain a basic infrastructure, run a robust even steady economy. This is rudimentary budgeting: revenue/expense. What kind of men satiate their need for global recognition at the expense of their own people? This base money is desperately needed at home. You don’t think the 1% is going to pick up the slack do you? These bases provide no benefit to us and worse they breed resentment abroad. They’re official State bling. If you must calm your paranoia use the satellites, the Navy, the Air Force, hell bring Snowden back, slap him in a cubical and give him a terminal. Other countries don’t need to have bases abroad to be successful and safe in the world. These bases are obsolete strategies marinated in testosterone and egoism.

We were not elected to police the world. Sorry flag wavers, Americans do not possess exceptional wisdom. We pick and choose our world policing based on self-interests; this is not noble and we’re not fooling anyone. We are not entitled to police the world. We are not special people touched by God; within the time space continuum it’s just our turn to be powerful. So far in world history the “powerful thing” has been a slippery commodity, transitory, continually sniffing out new players to test. Global policing is ego tripping not morality in action. We need to lose the cape and get over ourselves before the universe kicks our teeth in and moves on without ceremony.

The daily news is exhausting. Blowing people and stuff up is what cavemen would have done if they’d had matches. No country can afford war, not even the wealthy ones; not in deaths, wasted money, nor destroyed cities. Global resources are diminishing for everyone, for anyone to blow them up is nuts. WWII was the last war the US ever fought which was actually connected to defense. All the succeeding wars have been bogus, loaded with propaganda and hidden agendas. The path to national security is through boring long term co-operation and respect not the centuries old tradition of competitive chest beating. Agriculture and water would be a good place to start. This is not hippy dippy pie in the sky, it is hard work. Evolution is survival and then quality of life. Say no to war.

Power to the People

Now Let’s Try The Carrot

14 Jul

“Peace in the Middle East”, as it’s called, could be had but we’d have to stop funding the occupation. We’d have to give up the scripted delusion that an occupation is in our best interest regardless of the Wall Street/K Street hype. Then we’d have to redirect all that big time “aid” money into actual aid, not just an annual wad to be gifted to the current whomever to be spent at their discretion. If we had a financial stake in Palestinian held territories, hospitals/clinics that we funded and helped build, roads, desalinization plants, comprehensive irrigation systems, seed banks, solar and wind farms, housing, etc. we sure as hell wouldn’t want anyone blowing them up. You can bet the American tax payers would lose their collective mind over blown up tax dollars; i.e. you see how we’ve protected our colossal investment to date in the area with an “Iron Dome”. This change, this positive use of aid money turned into construction, instead of destruction, would also be a huge help to the unemployment crisis in the Palestinian territories. You know, all those young able bodied men with no jobs but lots of rocks and plenty of time to throw them. As a bonus these projects would reduce the hatred coming our way from the folks in Palestine and their many watchful neighbors. Any such reduction in hate is an upgrade in our national security. You want to get rid of Hamas, try building something with the Palestinians; improve people’s lives. This is not a new concept; this is sound foreign policy. Yes there would be problems overcoming Palestinian skepticism; “you reap what you sew”, we’d have to work hard to dismantle the reputation we’ve built but we’ve taken on difficult challenges before. The hardest element is shedding a false premise, like WMDs, and replacing it with positive action. And who knows, if the Palestinians come to like us just a little bit maybe we could begin to work on that misogyny thing they’ve got going on.

Power To The People

No Divine Appointment

30 Jun

Who are we to decide anything in Iraq/Afghanistan? Why because it’s so easy to trash their chronic dictator style of governance as oppressive and unjust? So what, oppressive and unjust circles the globe. Redrawing territories, ousting leaders, medieval laws, get over it, none of our business. Unless, that is, you slip up and get honest about the oil. We have misdirected trillions of dollars away from our dire domestic needs, infrastructure, economic growth, education, you know the list, and blown it instead on private security for BP, Exxon, Occidental Petroleum, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Chevron, Halliburton and others. But America is addicted to oil you say, and yes we are. Addiction is bad by anyone’s definition. What do experts say you do to eliminating an addiction, you stop using baby. Even Nancy Reagan gets it “just say no”. It’s not rocket science and not an over simplification. Many consider the US to have the most innovative people on the planet. Some alternative energy systems (solar, wind, hybrids) have already, despite all big oil efforts, been successfully introduced into our market place. Imagine the untapped potential. There’s a staggering amount of money to be made with alternative energy but we’ll have to cut the big boys loose to sink or swim, you know, capitalism style. We must stop subsidizing the big boys with corporate welfare: legal tax evasion, trillion dollar protection rackets overseas; it has destroyed their incentive, made them lazy welfare kings eating bon bons and driving Cadillacs on our dime. They have the option to take a chunk of their massive profits and retrofit their companies to alternative energy production or slip into an earned oblivion. To compete they’d have to actually work, build, invest instead of just brokering. The rest of us are constantly expected to adapt to the ever changing world usually with zero disposal income to retrofit a damn thing. The citizens will transition to alternative energy . . . . we moved from radio to TV, movie rentals to Netfix, rabbit ears to cable, land lines to cell phones, typewriters to computers, desk tops to IPads, 8 cylinders to 4 cylinders, leaded to unleaded. The list is endless. These conversions happen at an ever increasing pace. We hardly blink. We love upgrades. We’ve come to expect them. However, by in large our elected representatives are hopelessly indentured to big oil so cutting the cord will have to come from the citizens; we’re going to have to save ourselves from the ever hungry war/oil twins.

Power To The People

Iraq: The Arguments for More

20 Jun

DEBT: IRAQ/AFGHANISTAN

Why is it we owe the Iraqi/Afghani people anything?

We’ve never felt that we owed the Indigenous people of this country anything for invading their homeland, slaughtering them, diseasing them, decimating their food supplies, kidnapping their children, humiliating them, warehousing them in outdoor jails . . . to name a few.

We’ve never felt that we owed the kidnapped Africans in this country for turning them and their children into generations of slaves, selling them, trading them, raping them, whipping them, hanging them, working them, humiliating them, warehousing them in sheds . . . to name a few.

So why are the Iraqis/Afghanis so very special in our conscience? Certainly we’ve been carefully guided by our leaders for years to believe that we have a moral responsibility to do right by these countries that we’ve invaded, but why? What exactly has moved us to step so far out of character and spend gobs of our sacred money on people we don’t even approve of? Have we had an epiphany? Have we experienced metamorphosis? Have we come to Jesus? I’m not feelin’ it. I smell oil.

SECURITY: IRAQ/AFGHANISTAN

In the last ten or twelve years, globally speaking, do you feel more like a respected citizen of the planet or more like a preferred target? If you travel outside the U.S. are you perceived less like the ugly American or more like that ugly American? And how do we measure security? Women, for example, often measure personal security differently than men. Understandably it is not unusual for a woman to experience apprehension in certain situations that wouldn’t necessarily alarm a man. Young children can often be oblivious to danger and old people are often fearful of an abundance of hazards real or imaged. It’s a subjective thing. We want to feel safe, it’s primal. We want to believe that we can orchestrate safe. We do all that we can; we take the generally accepted precautions in our daily lives but simultaneously, deep in our bones, we also know that our whole existence down here is a crap shoot. How much will you believe to feel safe? I smell oil.

Power To The People

Bergdahl: A Dessenting Opinion

4 Jun

Of course for all of us millions that weren’t there we don’t know the specifics yet of what took place for Bergdahl on June 30, 2009. News reports say that he left his assigned Forward Operating Base before he was scheduled to go on guard duty that date. His FOB appears to have been Sharana, if so, not a mere hill or ditch running through the landscape. If so, the Sharana photos look like there would have been more than one soldier on guard duty at any given time. Negative news reports say that Bergdahl deserted his post implying that he was on active guard duty and just walked away leaving the FOB exposed to attack. Did the soldier that Bergdahl was to replace desert his position before his replacement arrived? On this date, per the Army logs, was there ever a period of time when the designated number of guards were not on duty?

By all reports so far it would seem that Bergdahl resigned. The military of course calls it desertion; the working world calls it resigning. He shed his soldier stuff, guns, rifles, and then quit the soldier job. It happens thousands of times every day in America, people max out, lay down their building keys, office card keys, ID badges, etc. and quit the job that has become literally intolerable to work. The job Bergdahl was working was far worse than most jobs we give the boot to here at home and the consequences of quitting he faced as a result were staggering.

Oddly enough through the negative reporting there hasn’t been any mention of his being a fearful person, a man afraid of dying. That is his reasons for resigning so far as reported don’t seem to have anything to do with the classic fear of dying on the battlefield of war. Many already have started calling him a coward but from what was he cowering? He left unarmed, figuratively naked into a severely hostile environment with possibly his only asset being the power of his clearing conscience. People may not agree with his reasons for quitting or his timing but he can never be accused of quitting for profit.

So called leaders do start wars for profit and for the personal acquisition and sensation of power. And some soldiers slowly discover the lies wars are built on. Understandably they become disillusioned over time and a few, like Bowe Bergdahl, act upon what has been discovered before their tour is over. Per the war masters most of the disillusioned have the good grace to finish out the macabre contract and quietly kill themselves when they get home.

Those in the country who blood lust for a court martial regarding the six soldiers that died searching for the guy that left the war; let them start instead with the guys that told the enormous lies to launch the wars, Bush, Chaney, Rumsfeld et. al. And in the charges don’t stop with these six that lost their lives, add on the thousands of US military personnel dead over the decade of these wars and the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afghani people dead from our wars. Unfortunately, as the collective American psyche operates chances are that once home Bergdahl will have a miserable life and Bush, Chaney, and Rumsfeld will continue their’s in great comfort. This scenario is the cowardice.

Power To The People

Obstructing the Vote

29 Sep

The super hypocritical thing about all this push to legalize obstructions to voting and the practice of gerrymandering is that these very obstructionists are the hardest flag wavers in the country.

One person one vote is held as the ultimate symbol of all that is American; except, it would seem, if the flag wavers are panicked about losing an election.

These flag wavers would boast that the United States is the fairest most honest country on the planet, that all the world should follow our voting practices, that corrupted voting abroad is a bastardization of democracy.  They would say with great pride that here in the United States we are staunch champions of the fair fight; that we hate filthy cheaters; that we despise athletes that cheat with performance enhancing drugs.  We even pee test horses after races to make sure the races are fair and free of artificial advantages.  Cheating is seen as a shameful weakness, a character flaw and those who practice it should be shunned.  A fixed prize fight or (God forbid) point shaving in a football game is a disgrace, it’s simply unAmerican.  These flag wavers would tell you that America is the Poster Child for the level playing field . . . . except, it would seem, if they are panicked about losing an election.

Our wildly flag waving Tea Party was founded on the bumper sticker “no taxation without representation”.  Where are the Tea Party folks now that this most sacred of American rights is under attack?  Quiet as a thief in the night.  Would they argue that there is a category of Americans who can be taxed but who don’t merit representation?  If there’s an election at stake in America is the catchy slogan suspended, does the end justify the means for an inauguration?

Maeve Reston of the Los Angeles Times talked to donors on their way to one of Romney’s several fundraisers in the Hamptons.

“A New York City donor a few cars back, who also would not give her name, said Romney needed to do a better job connecting. “I don’t think the common person is getting it,” she said from the passenger seat of a Range Rover stamped with East Hampton beach permits. “Nobody understands why Obama is hurting them.” We’ve got the message,” she added. “But my college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies – everybody who’s got the right to vote – they don’t understand what’s going on. I just think if you’re lower income – one, you’re not as educated, two, they don’t understand how it works, they don’t understand how the systems work, they don’t understand the impact.” 

So waving the flag while wagging the tongue . . . .  that pesky common person vote, it makes maintaining power much more of an effort than it should be for her people; the people who know best.

Power to the People