Professor, Where Do Your Loyalties Lie?

Because of all the writings and the rantings and the criticisms that I offer I have been asked many times…..just what do you want from a political party?

I mean so far I have seen nothing in the parties that I can sign onto….in the distant past I was a socialist and then a Green……I have never found anything I liked about either of the two major parties….most of them talk a good game but never deliver…

I have a problem with most of the policies….domestic, financial, energy, education and mostly with their foreign policies….the major parties are not about the country but rather the cash to be made by deceiving the voter….

There are major issues that need attention in this election…..

A selection of issues at stake in the presidential election and their impact on Americans, in brief:

Source: WHY IT MATTERS: Issues at stake in election

Issues that need to be talked about beyond the platitudes we have these days…..

So I sat down to list what I am looking for in a political party….the list was going well….that is until I read in “Popular Resistance” the 15 core principles…..after reading the list I saw possible solutions to the issues that we do not talk about….why?  Easy…most will not generate the necessary applause……

This list was developed during the organizing process for the Occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC.

Corporatism – Firmly establish that money is not speech, corporations are not people and only people have Constitutional rights. End corporate influence over the political process. End corporate welfare that enriches the few and instead treat government investment as something that all profit from, ensure corporations pay their fair share by ending corporate loopholes and tax subsidies and put in place a global tax so that off-shoring of money does not avoid taxes. Protect people and the environment from damage by corporations and end corporate trade agreements and partnerships that undermine consumer, labor and environmental protections.

Wars and Militarism – End wars and occupations, end private for-profit military contractors and end the weapons export industry. War crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes against peace must be addressed and those responsible held accountable under international law. Reduce the national security state and demilitarize the police.

Human Rights – End exploitation of people in the US and abroad. End discrimination in all forms (race, gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity), guarantee equal civil rights, and the right of people to travel across borders to work and live. Make the Universal Declaration of Human Rights a reality.

Worker Rights and Jobs – Guarantee that all working-age people have the right to safe, just, non-discriminatory and dignified working conditions, a sustainable living wage, paid leave and economic protection. Put in place policies that allow worker owned and managed businesses, e.g. worker-owned cooperatives, so workers can build wealth and have greater control over their economic lives.

Government – Guarantee that all processes of the three branches of government are be accountable to international law, transparent and follow the rule of law. Respect the civil rights of government employees. Create a work environment in government that empowers service to people, participation, honesty and integrity and that protects whistleblowers. Build policies and infrastructure that allow people to participate in decision making.

Elections – Guarantee that all citizens 18 and older have the right to vote without barriers and establish universal voter registration. Guarantee that all candidates have the right to be heard in open debates and to run with low-threshold ballot access laws. Count all votes in a transparent method open to the public. Institute new voting systems so that more than majority views are represented, e.g. proportional representation; and voting systems that avoid voting based on fear of the greater evil, e.g. instant run-off or ranked choice voting. Create a level playing field by funding public elections with public dollars and clean election laws. Require that all donations directly and indirectly to elections should be transparent, i.e. no anonymous funding of elections.

Criminal Justice and Prisons – end stop and frisk and other racial profiling police practices that lead to police harassment,  brutality and even killings of civilians; respect constitutional rights against search and seizure, right to counsel and against self-incrimination. End the drug war and adopt a public health, evidence-based drug policy that respects individual rights and does not rely on law enforcement. End private for-profit prisons, end mandatory sentencing, recognize prisoners have the right to humane and just conditions with a focus on rehabilitation and reintegration into society and abolish the death penalty. Police need to protect the right to peaceably assemble to redress grievances and the right to Freedom of Speech without infiltration or other police practices that undermine those rights.

Healthcare – Create a national, universal and publicly financed comprehensive health system, i.e. improved Medicare for All, which provides full health coverage throughout life with no out-of-pocket costs. Promote wellness in public policy. Recognize that health is a human right not a commodity.

Education – Guarantee that all people have the right to a high quality, publicly-funded and broad education from pre-school through vocational training or university.

Housing – Guarantee that all people have the right to affordable and safe housing. End predatory mortgage and foreclosure practices.

Environment – Adopt policies which effectively create a carbon-free and nuclear free energy economy and that respect the rights of nature. Confront climate change with a rapid and comprehensive transition to an energy efficient, wind, solar and other renewable source-based economy that ends the wasteful use of energy. End the extractive economy and move toward a circular system where there is no waste and everything is re-used. Remake land use planning to support a healthy environment.

Finance and the Economy – Break up the too big to fail banks, develop public banks in every state and major city, encourage community banks and credit unions, create local stock exchanges to allow investment in local communities and create microfinance loans to encourage entrepreneurship and support local businesses. Re-make the Federal Reserve into a transparent, democratic institution that responds to the needs of the economy and not to the needs of big banks. Put limits on the discrepancy between worker and executive pay. End policies which foster a wealth divide and move to a localized and democratic financial system. Guarantee that people’s deposits are protected and that the public does not pay for financial institutions that fail. Reform taxes so that they are progressive and provide goods, monetary gain and services for the people including creating a guaranteed national income.

Media – End the concentration of media by a small number of corporations. Democratize the media by recognizing that the airwaves and the internet are public goods and recognize independent and citizen’s media as legitimate media outlets. Require that media be accurate and accountable to the people and that the internet be accessible to all people, respect people’s privacy and promote the sharing of information.

Food and Water – Create systems that protect the land and water, create local, affordable and sustainable food networks, encourage community supported agriculture and farmer’s markets and diversify local food supplies so that food does not depend on transit over long distances. Encourage organic food production free of chemicals and end genetically modified foods. Guarantee the right to produce and harvest seeds. Stop commodification of water and guarantee access to water as a public good.

Transportation – Provide affordable, clean and convenient public transportation and safe spaces for pedestrian and non-automobile travel. Develop land use planning that creates walkable and bikeable communities, with mass transit so that people do not depend on automobiles. Improve travel by train, rapid transit and commuter rails, so people are not dependent on air travel and automobiles.

That was easy….it saved me a lot of time….after all I am basically an old man….now it I can find a party that has these principles in their heart then they have me…..the closest I have found so far is the Green Party….

Or maybe it is time for a new political party….one that has all the desires of the American people at heart.

I prefer principles to party….all Americans should feel the same…..that would make changes that we all desire…..without principles we have a loss of awareness and this loss feeds ignorant decisions during an election.

A wasted vote is a vote along party lines….if these toads lose then it is their fault for not having any principles…..

Me? I’ll vote for a party of principles.


The Terror of the Status Quo

Let start by saying that I have found some amazing thoughts and insights recently in the American Conservative….an unlikely source for me because I guess I am one of those “apologists” (an off-handed insult by those on the Right for people that will not agree with them) just 20 years ago I would had scoffed at anything coming from a conservative source….but these days of stupidity it is a joy to see that there are still some that can think for themselves on the Right.

We are bombarded by terrorists that commit those atrocities in cities across the globe….the problem is when analyzed by the media and some bloggers they try to look beyond the recent attack to a larger reason….the problem is that these attacks come mostly from a handful of “lone wolf” attackers (more on this subject at a later day) …..few look at the person….they are disgruntled, discouraged and wothless citizens that seem to want some sort of recognition.

Once upon a time the big threat to civilization was al-Qaeda. But today it is ISIS, alternatively known as the Islamic State, ISIL, or Daesh. Transcending their existence as actual physical entities, the names or acronyms have become metaphors for terrorist attacks, striking fear in the hearts of the people and enabling the political class in Europe and the United States to grow government in response. At the Republican National Convention, presidential candidate Donald Trump vowed to destroy ISIS—and the Democrats led by Hillary Clinton will probably follow suit. But can it be done? Or, more to the point, how does one go about doing it? How will Trump and Clinton keep their promises to keep Americans safe from Islamic radicals?

What we call terrorism is a tactic used by groups that are essentially political. You can find it in Tacitus, read about it in the accounts of 19th-century anarchists, and consider how it evolved in modern times, starting with the European leftist groups in the 1970s and then migrating to the Middle East. Today terrorism and Islamic radicalism are closely linked, but it is important to remember that it was not always so. What we refer to as terror enables a weaker party to demoralize and even threaten the stability of a nominally much stronger ruling authority.

Source: The Terror of the Status Quo | The American Conservative

What the American people do not know about terrorism would fill volumes….but instead they prefer to champion lame one-line solutions….which most times is not a solution at all but rather a program to strengthen the terrorist resolve.

2016: Could This Be True?

2016 like any other election has had its share of accusations about this candidate or that…..this time around it has run the gambit from outlandish to just plain lies…..

I have posted on the possible connections of the Clinton Foundation to foreign entities and that means the candidate has these connections….and I read a piece yesterday about the Trump connections….

But a new piece in Newsweek has made some disturbing accusations about the GOP’s magic candidate, Donald J. Trump…..

Probably the most talked-about political story of the day comes courtesy of Newsweek, where reporter Kurt Eichenwald details Donald Trump’s intricate business ties with foreign businessmen, governments, “and even criminals” via his Trump Organization. With deals in nations such as Russia, Turkey, India, and Saudi Arabia, Eichenwald writes that conflicts of interest regarding national security would be impossible to avoid, even with Trump’s plan to put the business in a blind trust and turn it over to his kids. He concludes that the only way to avoid what he calls “legal bribery” is for the entire Trump family to sever itself from the sprawling Trump Organization if the candidate wins in November. Among other things, he notes that the organization has trademarked the Trump name for branding projects in Russia.

“Never before has an American candidate for president had so many financial ties with American allies and enemies, and never before has a business posed such a threat to the United States,” writes Eichenwald, who concludes with this jarring line: “If Donald Trump wins this election and his company is not immediately shut down or forever severed from the Trump family, the foreign policy of the United States of America could well be for sale.” Click for the full investigative piece. Meanwhile, former campaign-official turned-CNN-talking-head Corey Lewandowski blasted both Eichenwald’s credibility and the entire premise of the story, notes Politico. “Do his children continue to run a $10 billion corporation that their father has built?” he asked. “Absolutely they do. Why wouldn’t they?”

Source: How the Trump Organization’s Foreign Business Ties Could Upend U.S. National Security

I will admit that Newsweek is not one of my favorite sources but I wanted to be fair after writing about these connections of the Clinton candidacy….this piece has all the length of ….say…War and Peace…….

Now I wait to see what comes from the fingers of those aged Trump supporters in his defense….

Is War On Terror A Ruse To Enrich The US?

I enjoy research for it makes me search every dark corner of the subject…..there you find some amazing stuff and you also find some crap that only a demented mind could come up with…..

Ever noticed that when it becomes necessary the MSM will drop the “T” word…..terrorism…..especially if they want to get the readers attention…..

This opinion piece makes valid points but I think that it is more that the military-industrial complex (M-IC)…..more than to enrich the country…..there are many defense contractors that are making cash hand over fist…..and none of it is to benefit of the nation…their desires are purely egocentric.  The only ones that benefit from this are the many defense contractors and our corrupt government officials……the country is not enriched…individuals are.

The War on Terror has become a war of terror, a smokescreen for the pursuit of Western global hegemony, writes Firoz Osman.

The death and destruction that followed the attack on the US on September 11, 2001 unleashed a tragedy of mammoth proportions globally, with Islam and the Muslim world being portrayed as the single most dangerous threat to global stability today.

President George Bush declared a “crusade” against the perpetrators. The campaign was given the name “Operation Infinite Justice”, but because of its religious connotations and obvious anti-Islamic links, the US settled on “War on Terror”.

Source: OPINION: War on Terror a ruse to enrich US | IOL

The War on Terror while originally was started for revenge for the 9/11 attacks….has morphed into a money making scheme that will take decades or longer to break.

While thanx to the War on Terror the US is safer now than it has been in the past…..the problem is that the rest of the world cannot say the same thing…..

The United States is known for its mighty contributions to technological advancements, medical breakthroughs, art and literature – but it is a country that is not always associated with self-reflection. You see, America has little time for navel gazing, because dominating the world order is a full-time chore.

This Sunday marks 15 years since the most nation-shaping moment in the last 50 years of US history: the attacks of 11 September 2001. While the unprovoked Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor in 1941 defined a world for those Americans born in the early 20th century, the al-Qaeda orchestrated attacks on New York and Washington DC have come to define a world for those born at the end of the previous century and the start of the current one.

It’s high time for a little self-reflection, even navel gazing, if you will.

Source: After 9/11: America may be safer but the rest of the world pays the price | Middle East Eye

While I am sure that there are many that think that since the US is safe then all is well in the world……not in these days when the planet is basically one large community….

How To Beat Falling Oil Prices

As we all know the oil market is kinda volatile…up and down….it has been so bad that the Saudis are looking for ways to expand their chances for income….they are exploring many different avenues to make cash.

But it seems that they have found a good way….at least in the short run…..

Muslims are required if possible to make the trip to Mecca at least once in their life….it is a religious obligation….

With Hajj prices for UK pilgrims soaring to $12,000 from $4,000 in 2010, many pilgrims can no longer afford to take part in the trip

With its glittering skyscrapers, ritzy hotels, and sprawling shopping malls, it is hard to believe Mecca was ever a simple dusty, desert town where the likes of Abraham, Hagar and Muhammad once roamed. The transformation to the landscape over the last few decades has been swift and irreversible.

Both staggering poverty and opulence are on full display in Mecca during the annual Hajj season, which began last week. Huddled masses of pilgrims from all over the world lie sprawled out on blankets on the floor of the courtyard outside the main mosque. They include the African family of five who lie asleep with all their belongings at the front door of the high-rise shopping mall and hotel just adjacent to the Grand Mosque, to the thousands of panhandlers who set up camp each year in the Tent City of Mina, selling scarves, slippers, toys – anything in the hope that foreign pilgrims will give generously.

Source: Is Saudi Arabia pricing poorer pilgrims out of Hajj? | Middle East Eye

That is one way to take advantage of a captive audience…..fleece the pilgrims….

Ah the greed is just amazing and all in the name of GOD……

The American Pravda

Pravda….does anyone older than a stick of gum know what that word means?

Let me help…it was the official media organ of the Soviet Union…..a propaganda rag….the same as many of our “award winning” newspapers like NYTimes or the WaPo to mention only a few……

Skip forward….have you read any of the conspiracy theories floating around the internet?  You know 9/11 was a false flag, chem-trails or the school shooting was staged….those sort of BS reports.

Ever wonder where all these conspiracy theories got their start?

A year or two ago, I saw the much-touted science fiction film Interstellar, and although the plot wasn’t any good, one early scene was quite amusing. For various reasons, the American government of the future claimed that our Moon Landings of the late 1960s had been faked, a trick aimed at winning the Cold War by bankrupting Russia into fruitless space efforts of its own. This inversion of historical reality was accepted as true by nearly everyone, and those few people who claimed that Neil Armstrong had indeed set foot on the Moon were universally ridiculed as “crazy conspiracy theorists.” This seems a realistic portrayal of human nature to me.

Obviously, a large fraction of everything described by our government leaders or presented in the pages of our most respectable newspapers—from the 9/11 attacks to the most insignificant local case of petty urban corruption—could objectively be categorized as a “conspiracy theory” but such words are never applied. Instead, use of that highly loaded phrase is reserved for those theories, whether plausible or fanciful, that do not possess the endorsement stamp of establishmentarian approval.

Source: American Pravda: How the CIA Invented “Conspiracy Theories” – The Unz Review

This from a site that leans toward the Libertarian side of the political discourse….so take that into consideration…..