In The Land Of The Free

Our politicians are always, no matter the party, telling us to take back our democracy from one party or the other…..but let’s be honest there are not telling you the truth……most of what they taunt is myths and lies…..

Myth No. 8—We have a democracy.

If you think we still have a democracy or a democratic republic, ask yourself this: When was the last time Congress did something that the people of America supported that did not align with corporate interests? … You probably can’t do it. It’s like trying to think of something that rhymes with “orange.” You feel like an answer exists but then slowly realize it doesn’t. Even the Carter Center and former President Jimmy Carter believe that America has been transformed into an oligarchy: A small, corrupt elite control the country with almost no input from the people. The rulers need the myth that we’re a democracy to give us the illusion of control.

Myth No. 7—We have an accountable and legitimate voting system.

Gerrymandering, voter purging, data mining, broken exit polling, push polling, superdelegates, electoral votes, black-box machines, voter ID suppression, provisional ballots, super PACs, dark money, third parties banished from the debates and two corporate parties that stand for the same goddamn pile of fetid crap!

Myth No. 6—We have an independent media that keeps the rulers accountable.

Our media outlets are funded by weapons contractors, big pharma, big banks, big oil and big, fat hard-on pills. (Sorry to go hard on hard-on pills, but we can’t get anything resembling hard news because it’s funded by dicks.) The corporate media’s jobs are to rally for war, cheer for Wall Street and froth at the mouth for consumerism. It’s their mission to actually fortify belief in the myths I’m telling you about right now. Anybody who steps outside that paradigm is treated like they’re standing on a playground wearing nothing but a trench coat.

Myth No. 5—We have an independent judiciary.

The criminal justice system has become a weapon wielded by the corporate state. This is how bankers can foreclose on millions of homes illegally and see no jail time, but activists often serve jail time for nonviolent civil disobedience. Chris Hedges recently noted, “The most basic constitutional rights … have been erased for many. … Our judicial system, as Ralph Nader has pointed out, has legalized secret law, secret courts, secret evidence, secret budgets and secret prisons in the name of national security.”

Myth No. 4—The police are here to protect you. They’re your friends.

That’s funny. I don’t recall my friend pressuring me into sex to get out of a speeding ticket. (Which is essentially still legal in 32 states.)

The police in our country are primarily designed to do two things: protect the property of the rich and perpetrate the completely immoral war on drugs—which by definition is a war on our own people.

We lock up more people than any other country on earth. Meaning the land of the free is the largest prison state in the world. So all these droopy-faced politicians and rabid-talking heads telling you how awful China is on human rights or Iran or North Korea—none of them match the numbers of people locked up right here under Lady Liberty’s skirt.

Myth No. 3—Buying will make you happy.

This myth is put forward mainly by the floods of advertising we take in but also by our social engineering. Most of us feel a tenacious emptiness, an alienation deep down behind our surface emotions (for a while I thought it was gas). That uneasiness is because most of us are flushing away our lives at jobs we hate before going home to seclusion boxes called houses or apartments. We then flip on the TV to watch reality shows about people who have it worse than we do (which we all find hilarious).

Myth No. 2—If you work hard, things will get better.

According to Deloitte’s Shift Index survey: “80% of people are dissatisfied with their jobs” and “[t]he average person spends 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime.” That’s about one-seventh of your life—and most of it is during your most productive years.

Myth No. 1—You are free.

And I’m not talking about the millions locked up in our prisons. I’m talking about you and me. If you think you’re free, try running around with your nipples out, ladies. Guys, take a dump on the street and see how free you are.

I understand there are certain restrictions on freedom we actually desire to have in our society—maybe you’re not crazy about everyone leaving a Stanley Steamer in the middle of your walk to work. But a lot of our lack of freedom is not something you would vote for if given the chance.

 
Read!  These observations are accurate and if you ask yourself questions after reading then you will agree.
 
But if you blindly follow then you deserve to lose the rights that you have one at a time until there is NOTHING left.
Advertisements

Space Command Or Space Force?

I have been one of the few bloggers that show any concern over the proposal for a 6th branch of military service, the Space Force, as Trump has labelled it.

Then I read about the need for a Space Command…..is this the same as the Space Force or yet more waste of the taxpayer money?

Pentagon leaders wanted U.S. Space Command, a new joint combatant command for space warfighting, up and running by the end of 2018. Two full months into 2019, Congress has yet to repeal a law that is preventing the command’s creation, according to defense and Trump administration officials.

Here’s the problem. In the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, lawmakers ordered U.S. Space Command to be subordinate to U.S. Strategic Command, the same way U.S. Cyber Command started out under STRATCOM. But the administration wants Space Command to begin its organizational life as an independent unified command.

https://www.defenseone.com/politics/2019/02/legislative-hurdle-delays-us-space-command-stand/155220/

The Space Force proposal has been sent to Capitol Hill……..

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on Wednesday sent to Capitol Hill a legislative proposal and a “strategic overview” of how the Pentagon plans to organize a U.S. Space Force as a separate military branch. The information was emailed to the staff directors of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, as well as the House and Senate Appropriations defense subcommittees.

The proposal is the culmination eight months of work since President Trump directed the Pentagon to draw up a plan to create a Space Force. Shanahan already had been designated by Congress as the point man for the space reorganization and he has overseen every step of the process.

Now that the proposal has been kicked over to Congress, DoD faces what could be a harder-than-expected job communicating the plan to Congress and the public. One of the challenges for DoD will be to argue that Congress should authorize a Space Force for reasons of national security, not just to satisfy the commander-in-chief’s directive.

https://spacenews.com/space-force-proposal-officially-sent-to-capitol-hill-now-come-the-questions/

As this proposal moves closer to reality….I ask how much of the taxpayers money will be wasted this time?

The Trump administration plans to spend $2 billion over five years to create its Space Force, according to a Defense Department proposal released Friday.

The legislative proposal

https://thehill.com/policy/defense/432235-pentagon-seeks-2b-over-five-years-for-space-force

Once again yet another way to expand the DoD budget while asking the nation’s population to make the sacrifice in services and entitlements…..

To make the case for justification for a Space Force…..National Security……

We quickly learned that America no longer owns space. We operate there along with every other space-capable nation, including adversaries like China and Russia. We learned that they are doing everything in their power to interfere with our operations. We learned that future wars will take place in space.

And we quickly realized the grim truth that we aren’t ready.

China and Russia, in particular, are aggressively pursuing space-based capabilities. China successfully destroyed an old weather satellite in a test in 2007, creating a debris field of more than 3,000 pieces, which could have damaged countless other satellites in orbit. They’ve stayed at it, continuing to work on anti-satellite weapons including lasers, signal jammers, and other ways of blinding our assets in space. In some areas, they are beating us.

https://spacenews.com/op-ed-getting-space-right-is-both-a-national-security-and-an-economic-question/

And this sage will continue….and IST will be watching and writing…..

Learn Stuff!

Turn The Page!

When The “S” Word Is Okay

The 2020 election is quickly approaching……and we have the usual word in the debate….socialism…..

Soon we will be bombarded with the “S” word as the Dem field starts to take its final shape……Trump will be out front with the accusations followed closely by the GOP and their lies that they do so well.

The problem is they are not against “socialism” just not for the people of the nation…they prefer that corporations get the “free stuff”……

This news report of 7 years ago helps understand just how bad “corporate socialism” can be……

A proposal to spend $250 million of taxpayer money on a retail project here illustrates the damage state and local subsidies do by taking from the many to benefit the already rich few.

Nationwide state and local subsidies for corporations totaled more than $70 billion in 2010, as calculated by Professor Kenneth Thomasof the University of Missouri-St. Louis

In a country of 311 million, that’s $900 taken on average from each family of four in 2010. There are no official figures, but this one is likely conservative because — as documented by Thomas, this column and Good Jobs First, a nonprofit taxpayer watchdog organization funded by Ford, Surdna and other major foundations — these upward redistributions of wealth keep increasing.

http://blogs.reuters.com/david-cay-johnston/2012/06/01/how-corporate-socialism-destroys/

Fast forward to the Trump presidency…….

“America will never be a socialist country,” Donald Trump declared in his State of the Union address. Someone should alert Trump that America is now a hotbed of socialism. But it is socialism for the rich. Everyone else is treated to harsh capitalism.

In the conservative mind, socialism means getting something for doing nothing. That pretty much describes the $21 billion saved by the nation’s largest banks last year thanks to Trump’s tax cuts, some of which went into massive bonuses for bank executives. On the other hand, more than 4,000 lower-level bank employees got a big dose of harsh capitalism. They lost their jobs.

Banks that are too big to fail – courtesy of the 2008 bank bailout – enjoy a hidden subsidy of some $83 billion a year, because creditors facing less risk accept lower interest on deposits and loans. Last year, Wall Street’s bonus pool was $31.4 billion. Take away the hidden subsidy and the bonus pool disappears.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/02/12/trump-wants-socialism-rich-brutal-capitalism-rest-us

After over a 100 years of demonizing socialism is now what the GOP tells their child-like followers to send them hiding under their beds…..

And while they are hiding democracy is slowly slipping from their grasp……

This growing animosity toward the greed of the immensely wealthy is not merely symptomatic of a popular presidential candidates’ rhetoric, but indicative of the harrowing economic inequalities existing in American society and politics. The 62 richest people in the world have as much wealth as the bottom 50 percent of the world, roughly 3.6 billion people. The wealthiest 1 percent of the global population have as much wealth as the other 99 percent of the world’s population. For decades, wages of the middle and working classes have remained stagnant in the United States while the top earners have seen their wages grow exponentially. In the United States since the 2008 recession, nearly 99 percent of all new generated income has gone to the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. Current trends suggest these enormous disparities in wealth are expanding.

https://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/economy-budget/268947-a-democracy-lost-to-corporate-socialism

Political lies have replaced knowledgeable discourse and the specter of socialism taking over and people will lose all their rights……under these lies that is exactly what is happening and socialism did not have anything to do with that loss.

 

It’s “Antisemitism” Again

OMG! The House is about to try and bring”charges” up on a member that they accuse of antisemitic words….Rep. Ilhan Omar is once again in hot water with the d/bags that are bought and paid for by AIPAC…..

It’s easy to name the newest member of Congress making the most headlines: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. But another freshman lawmaker continues to generate controversy of her own, and it’s about to intensify this week. Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Muslim Somali-American, is again under fire for statements seen as anti-Semitic. And while the Minnesota representative has apologized previously for similar controversies, this time she is doubling down while denying the anti-Semitic allegations. The details of what’s going on:

  • What she said: Speaking last week in reference to Israel and its supporters in the US, Omar said, “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” reports NPR.
  • The backlash: Critics pounced on that statement as anti-Semitic, including Jonathan Greenblatt of the Anti-Defamation League. “Accusing Jews of having allegiance to a foreign government has long been a vile anti-Semitic slur that has been used to harass, marginalize, and persecute the Jewish people for centuries,” wrote Greenblatt to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
  • From colleagues: Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel, chair of the House Foreign Affairs panel, also called it a “vile anti-Semitic slur.” Another Democrat, Rep. Nita Lowey, chair of the Appropriations Committee, called on Omar to apologize, saying she “continues to mischaracterize support for Israel.” Rep. Josh Gottheimer, also a Democrat, likened this to when “John F. Kennedy’s loyalty was called into question simply because he was Roman Catholic,” per the Washington Post.
    Doubling down: Omar is not apologizing. “Our democracy is built on debate, Congresswoman!” she responded to Lowey. “I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee.” She adds that opposing Benjamin Netanyahu “and the occupation is not the same as being anti-Semitic.”
    Possible rebuke: The House is expected to vote Wednesday on a measure that doesn’t mention Omar (at least in its current draft form) but is seen as an “unprecedented public rebuke” of her, per Politico. The resolution condemns anti-Semitism and the “myth of dual loyalty.” Republicans are pushing for more, however, including having Omar removed from the Foreign Affairs panel.
  • AOC defends: Ocasio-Cortez is backing up Omar. “One of the things that is hurtful about the extent to which reprimand is sought of Ilhan is that no one seeks this level of reprimand when members make statements about Latinx + other communities (during the shutdown, a GOP member yelled “Go back to Puerto Rico!” on the floor),” she tweeted, one of several on the topic.
    Trump weighs in: Omar “is again under fire for her terrible comments concerning Israel,” he tweeted. “Jewish groups have just sent a petition to Speaker Pelosi asking her to remove Omar from Foreign Relations Committee. A dark day for Israel!”
    Past controversy: Omar apologized earlier this year after asserting that support for Israel was “all about the Benjamins” and again for a 2012 tweet asserting that Israel had “hypnotized the world.” The “Benjamins” comment led to formal criticism in the House for perpetuating “anti-Semitic tropes.”

All this is so much bullsh*t and a waste of time and energy that should be focused on important issues…I am with Rep. Omar……time for the old farts in the House to admit they are agents of a foreign government…they want to investigate Trump when they may be just as guilty as he.

 

Health Is Expensive

In the last decade as I grow older my health has come into question…..first a badly broken leg that needed screw to repair…..then loss of 4 toes because I was a heavy smoker for 50 years….then a diagnosis that I have diabetes and high blood pressure…..all that has been costly…..meds out my butt….the insulin alone is $450…..

My hospital stays are not completely covered by Medicare so I have been hit with bills on top of bills and then there are those “drug plans” that pay NOTHING hardly so drugs are expensive.

I pay monthly on my bill but if I cannot pay $200 a month I am turned over as a deadbeat and sent to a collection agency….the best health care in the world MY FUCKING ASS!

I am fortunate I have a pretty good retirement pension and I have some savings without that then I would probably be sleeping on the street with my honey and my dogs in a discarded packing crate under bridge somewhere……

I bring all this personal stuff up because of something the Dems are favoring…..Medicare for All…..

The concept of expanding Medicare coverage to not only seniors and disabled people but just about everyone, has recently shot up in popularity among Democrats and party activists at the national level.

Among proponents of so-called Medicare for All, there are varying ideas for how such a government-paid and government-administered health insurance system would work and how exactly it would affect patients, doctors, hospitals and insurance companies.

Still, there are key similarities in the proposals put out so far for either a national or one-state-only Medicare for All system:

They would all entail expanding insurance coverage — and raising taxes a lot.

Yet they also could result in lower total health care spending across the private sector that could make up for all the new taxes. For instance, businesses and families could end up paying less for health care overall, even considering the additional health care taxes.

Some of the overall savings, however, could require cutting the pay of highly skilled doctors.

Or read a better explanation from Vox.com……

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/7/2/17468448/medicare-for-all-single-payer-health-care-2018-elections

The main reason I got onto this rant was from an article I read while laid up in the hospital……

Medical problems contributed to 66.5% of all bankruptcies, a figure that is virtually unchanged since before the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a study published yesterday as an editorial in the American Journal of Public Health. The findings indicate that 530,000 families suffer bankruptcies each year that are linked to illness or medical bills.

The study, carried out by a team of two doctors, two lawyers, and a sociologist from the Consumer Bankruptcy Project (CBP), surveyed a random sample of 910 Americans who filed for personal bankruptcy between 2013 and 2016, and abstracted the court records of their bankruptcy filings. The study, which is one component of the CBP’s ongoing bankruptcy research, provides the only national data on medical contributors to bankruptcy since the 2010 passage of the ACA. Bankruptcy debtors reported that medical bills contributed to 58.5% of bankruptcies, while illness-related income loss contributed to 44.3%; many debtors cited both of these medical issues.

http://pnhp.org/news/new-medical-bankruptcy-study-two-thirds-of-filers-cite-illness-and-medical-bills-as-contributors-to-financial-ruin/

This is an embarrassment….this country supposedly the “BEST” country in the world and most Americans cannot afford to get sick.

Time for a change and most freshman Congresspeople, the Dems, are on-board with Medicare For All…..I like the idea as long as Big Pharma is put into check….but I am afraid that the old guard Dems will do what they always do….turn coward and water down any health plans…..

A Medicare buy-in. A Medicaid buy-in. Medicare for retiring police officers and firefighters under the age of 65. Defend and strengthen Obamacare.

With Medicare for All polling at an unprecedented 70 percent support among the American public and headed toward its first-ever congressional hearing, Politico on Tuesday reported that there is a growing effort among congressional Democrats—including some 2020 presidential hopefuls—to “water down” the grassroots push for a transformative single-payer program by offering up more incremental approaches to solving America’s for-profit healthcare crisis.

The proposals listed above, which Politico encapsulated with the term “Medicare for More,” are just a handful of ideas Democratic lawmakers have put forth as ostensibly more “pragmatic” paths to achieving a humane healthcare system.

But grassroots Medicare for All advocates and campaigners—whose voices were absent from Politico‘s report—strongly objected to any plan that leaves intact central elements of a status quo that has produced enormous profits for the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, while leaving millions of Americans with soaring costs or entirely uninsured.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/01/22/progressives-warn-against-democrats-pushing-diluted-half-measures-alternative

I stand with the Progressives……do not let the industry write the bill like they did for Obamacare….the people of this country deserves adquate health care.

The Growing Hate

By the title one might surmise that this post is about the tensions between races or religions or whatever else us humans attempt to hate……well if so….you would be mistaken.

I have been writing and attempt to teach people about war and its complexities and in that time I have also been an antiwar activist and because I have been such I have hated those we call “Neocons”….or if you prefer “warmongers”….or if you would like a more political correct title….”hawks”……

Since 9/11 it has been out of fashion to hate these people because they are keeping us “safe” from another attack by taking the fight to the terrorists. Since those days slowly but slowly the US has expanded its reach with war all in the name of fighting terrorists…..this overreach was sold to the people by the MSM with their constant drumming of propaganda….

But I can glad announce that the “old days” seem to be returning (at least for others…… for I never stopped hating)…..the public is starting to wake up to the reach of the M-IC and the propaganda of the MSM……

American Conservative has published an article titled “Why Are These Professional War Peddlers Still Around?”, an excerpt from a book by Fox’s Tucker Carlson, which documents neoconservative thought leaders Max Boot and Bill Kristol’s consistent track record of supporting spectacularly awful US war policies. Carlson goes over the many, many acts of military interventionism which have been pushed for by these two legendary failmeisters, documents what they predicted would happen as the result of that interventionism (freedom, democracy and prosperity) and what actually ended up happening instead (needless death, terrorism and chaos), and marvels at how they both somehow remain in positions of high esteem with high-profile, high-paying jobs.

The article was shared today on Twitter by Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna, who commented that Carlson “offers a devastating critique [of] interventionism and shows how much of the foreign policy establishment has failed the American people. There is an emerging, left right coalition of common sense for a foreign policy of restraint.”

 
I am an old fart but it is good to see a trend developing to maybe check the expansion of our many many wars.
 
We can only hope.

OMG! It’s Gun Control!

Closing Thought–28Feb19

For the first time in decades the US will enact a gun law……the NRA will call it gun control…..but in reality it is a commonsense approach to the problem of guns that are running rampant in the US……

The Democratic-controlled House on Wednesday approved a measure requiring federal background checks for all firearms sales and transfers, the first major gun control legislation considered by Congress in nearly 25 years. Democrats called the 240-190 vote a major step to end the gun lobby’s grip on Washington and begin to address an epidemic of gun violence that kills thousands of Americans every year, the AP reports. The bill is the first of two the House is voting on this week as Democrats move to tighten gun laws following eight years of Republican control. The other bill would extend the review period for background checks from three to 10 days.

Both bills face dim prospects in the GOP-controlled Senate and veto threats from President Trump, who said they would impose unreasonable requirements on gun owners. The White House said in a veto message that the background-checks bill could block someone from borrowing a firearm for self-defense or allowing a neighbor to take care of a gun while traveling. Democrats called those arguments misleading and said gun owners have a responsibility to ensure firearms are properly handled. The bill includes exceptions allowing temporary transfers to prevent imminent harm or for use at a target range. The long-delayed bill would merely close loopholes to ensure that background checks are extended to private and online sales that often go undetected, Democrats said.

This will be a fart in a hurricane…….it go NO further than the Senate……the NRA has a lock on the Senate and will use their muscle to keep this from becoming law…..

I have no problem with these checks and neither should any American….keep guns out of the hands of the mental cases or as best we can.

Personally I would go with an assault weapon ban for they serve NO purpose……if a person feels the need to handle and shoot these weapons then the military is always looking for a few good people and they will allow you all the “playtime” with an assault weapon that anyone would want.

My day has come to an end…..I need to take a shower after the scummy stuff in the news….see you guys tomorrow.