Thursday, June 30, 2016


 The first point is that what I’m going to say isn’t going to be found in the mass media, which is a kind of mouthpiece for the current “wisdom”, and policies in Washington.

The repeated party line (both parties) is that Russia is the #1 existential threat to the U.S.  As Professor Stephen Cohen points out, that simply isn’t true.  The #1 threat is terrorism because they will eventually get their dirty hands on fissionable materials and can make a dirty bomb.  If the airplanes, which tragically hit the twin towers, had these materials they would have been spread out over a 10-mile area, which would have been uninhabitable for years and years.  All Manhattan residents would have died.

Not only that, but U.S. nuclear reactors—in spite of U.S. government propaganda to the contrary—are vulnerable to terrorist attack.  Hitting one of them would be the equivalent of exploding a hydrogen bomb.

In the recent press accounts of the attack on the airport in Istanbul, the terrorists spoke Russian indicating that Isis has spread to Central Asia, some of it territory in the Russian Federation.  It is in the interest of both the U.S. and Russia to stop Isis and other radical Islamist terrorist groups.

A Washington Post column, yesterday, suggested that Obama may be considering reaching out to Russia to become allies in combating international terrorism but that Ash Carter and others in the administration reject that idea.  The column then goes on to quote “experts’” reasons why this is a bad idea in a completely one-sided article echoing the foreign policy establishment’s idea that Russia, not terrorism, is the real threat to the U.S.

 Tragically, Cohen emphasizes, there is the lost opportunity for US-Russian cooperation against international terrorism, whether as represented by the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq or by terrorist attacks inside Russia and America. Moscow has repeatedly proposed such an anti-terrorist alliance only to be rebuffed by Washington, despite the fact that Russia has essential assets and experience accumulated during years of coping with this growing threat.

 Cohen recalls that Moscow intelligence agencies alerted the FBI and CIA to one of the Tsarnaev brothers, who carried out the Boston bombings three years ago, but the warnings were disregarded, largely due to the unfolding new Cold War. Refusing to cooperate with Russia against this truly existential threat, which “Putin’s Russia” is not, is, Cohen thinks, the most egregious failure of the Obama Administration and a disregard for US national security.

Sunday, June 26, 2016


What do Trump, Sanders, and Brexit have in common? 
(Brexit is not a breakfast cereal.)  When capitalism is in crisis because of a disappearing middle class and unemployment/underemployment, the “dispossessed” turn against the “establishment.” 

Both major political parties in England, “the establishment” didn’t want Britain to exit from the EU.  But Brixit supporters capitalized upon nationalistic, racist, anti-immigrant fears.  Coupled with the failure of EU capitalist elites to provide meaningful work for millions of Brits (and the misplaced anger at immigrants who were not the cause of severe economic troubles)  Brixit won.

In the U.S., millions of unemployed/underemployed victims of globalization and capitalist finance and their establishment political puppets find crazy Trump appealing because he pretends to be anti-establishment, anti free trade deals, and one who can provide jobs.  Like Brixit leaders he appeals to nationalistic, racist, and anti-immigrant fears.

And Bernie?  He doesn’t appeal to nationalistic, racist and anti-immigrant fears and offers anti-establishment solutions to America’s economic crisis.  He knows that globalism has produced “winners,” the 1% here and in Europe and millions of “losers,” here and over there.  He knows that capitalism is incompatible with democracy when there is a failure to have proper income distribution. He was in the tradition of FDR who talked about “the malefactors of great wealth.”   

America had its chance, now it will get Hillary, the lesser of two evils.



Religious evangelical whackjobs say yes and compare Trump's "faith journey" to that of St. Paul! Most scholars agree that there would be no Christianity without Paul's incredible evangelizing efforts around the part of the world where he traveled. To compare Trump to him, to put it in mild terms, means that you're a hypocritical asshole.
That trump is a born againer is the suggestion of James C. Dobson, one of America’s leading right-wing evangelicals, who said Mr. Trump had recently come “to accept a relationship with Christ” and was now “a baby Christian."
In an interview recorded at an event by a Pennsylvania pastor, the Rev. Michael Anthony, Dr. Dobson said he knew the person who had led Mr. Trump to Christ, though he did not name him
For evangelicals, “accepting Christ” is at the heart of becoming a genuine Christian, and refers to acknowledging sin and declaring the need for Jesus Christ as savior.
Mr. Anthony referred to the Damascus-road conversion of Saul, a zealous Pharisee, who later became the Apostle Paul: “He didn’t know the language either.”
Dr. Dobson agreed.
“I think there’s hope for him,” Dr. Dobson said. “And I think there's hope for us."  

Saturday, June 25, 2016


Long post but maybe worthwhile for us political junkies.

Why would some left wingers want Britain out of the EU? To answer that we need to understand neo-liberalism. But first let’s see the term used in context:

ALTERNET: “Voting to leave the EU is a no-brainer for the Left. The European Union is remote, racist, imperialist, anti-worker and anti-democratic: It is run by, of, and for the super-rich and their corporations. A future outside austerity and other economic blunders rests on winning the struggle to exit the EU, removing us from its neoliberal politics and institutions. Corporate bureaucrats in Brussels working as agents of the big banks and transnationals’ now exert control over every aspect of our lives. Neoliberal policies and practices dominate the European Commission, European Parliament, European Central Bank, European Court of Justice and a compliant media legitimises the whole conquest. This has left the EU constitution as the only one in the world that enshrines neoliberal economics into its text. Therefore the EU is not—and never can be—either socialist or a democracy.”

What is neoliberalism? Again, If we don’t understand it, we can’t know what’s happening in the world. It’s a Reagan-Thatcher economic doctrine essentially. It’s core beliefs are:

Economy is a self-regulating entity that always balances out.
Government is inefficient and costly. There must be limits on public spending.
Private business is efficient and therefore the best way to solve our problems.
Wealth trickles down from the wealthiest to the middle class and the poor because businesses create jobs that then put more money into the economy leading, in turn, to more jobs.

SOCIALIST WORKER.ORG: The EU uses rule-bound policies--on limits to public spending, on debt as a proportion of GDP, on competition--to limit what national politicians can do at the behest of their electorates. Since the rules do not allow for devaluation or the levels of state expenditure or debt that would have been necessary to stimulate the economy, the only remaining response to the crisis of 2008 was austerity.

“In this context, it is incredible to me how lightly how some Remain supporters are prepared to pass over the experience of Greece. In Yanis Varoufakis's revelations about his encounters with the so-called Troika, it was the two EU institutions--the European Central Bank and the European Commission--not the International Monetary Fund, which were most relentless in pushing for austerity.
“And what did these upstanding upholders of European values tell him? We don't care that that the Greeks voted against austerity. It is no concern of ours if Greek children are suffering from malnutrition. It is irrelevant that Greek hospitals are running out of pain-killing drugs. These are the rules. Get with the program and start cutting pensions, privatizing services and increasing taxes for low-wage earners.”

Friday, June 24, 2016


                                         REPEAL THE SECOND AMENDMENT

People argue about the intent of the framers of the 2nd Amendment as it applies to the “rights” of citizens to own AK-47’s. Who cares? The framers upheld slavery in the Constitution. They didn’t believe in the right of women to vote. They didn’t believe that ordinary citizens should vote for U.S. Senators. Today the gun lobby relies on the wording of the 2nd Amendment to justify making weapons of mass destruction.
The AK-47 is an assault weapon for gun fetishists who think they've joined the military if they have one slung over their shoulders. Perhaps a proper interpretation of the 2nd Amendment does allow for AK-47's. So what? It isn’t sacred, Immaculate Conception isn’t involved. The framers weren’t infallible. In some Jewish, Christian, and Muslim temples, churches, and mosques today religious leaders teach that everything written 14 centuries ago, or more, are applicable to today’s situation verbatim! Really? What the Bible and Koran say about gays, for example! They worship at the alter of anachronism. So does the NRA when it comes to the 2nd Amendment. i don't give a damn about how many angels can dance on the barrel of an assault rifle!
Get rid of it, repeal the 2nd amendment the way the prohibition of alcohol amendment was repealed. We need to modernize our thought processes and stop thinking like medieval fundamentalist religious whack jobs.
Professor David S. Cohen points out: “Gun-rights advocates like to make this all about liberty, insisting that their freedom to bear arms is of utmost importance and that restricting their freedom would be a violation of basic rights.
“But liberty is not a one way street. It also includes the liberty to enjoy a night out with friends, loving whom you want to love, dancing how you want to dance, in a club that has historically provided a refuge from the hate and fear that surrounds you. It also includes the liberty to go to and send your kids to kindergarten and first grade so that they can begin to be infused with a love of learning.
It includes the liberty to go to a movie, to your religious house of worship, to college, to work, to an abortion clinic, go to a hair salon, to a community center, to the supermarket, to go anywhere and feel that you are free to do to so without having to weigh the risk of being gunned down by someone wielding a weapon that can easily kill you and countless others.
“The liberty of some to own guns cannot take precedence over the liberty of everyone to live their lives free from the risk of being easily murdered. It has for too long, and we must now say no more.”


Congress is in recess. But how would we know if it is or not? They don't do much. The recent sit-in by the Democrats in the House of Representatives was attacked by many in the GOP because it interfered with the business of that non-august branch of the legislature. What business? Trying to repeal Obamacare for over the 100th time? Waiting for the Supreme Court to repeal Obama's effort to treat immigrants with some decency and respect? Blocking the Senate's efforts to pass an immigration bill? Passing a Zika bill that doesn't provide enough money to effectively combat the virus that has already caused birth defects in the U.S.?  
Acting as stooges for the NRA? Congress is in recess but how would we know?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016



Our corporate masters know what is coming. They know that as the ecosystem breaks down, as financial dislocations create new global financial meltdowns, as natural resources are poisoned or exhausted, despair will give way to panic and rage.

They know coastal cities will be covered by rising sea levels, crop yields will plummet, soaring temperatures will make whole parts of the globe uninhabitable, the oceans will become dead zones, hundreds of millions of refugees will flee in desperation, and complex structures of governance and organization will break down.

We have little time left. Climate change, even if we halt all carbon emissions today, will still bring rising temperatures havoc, instability and systems collapse to much of the planet.



The GOP meme about gun control legislation favored by the democrats is that they should focus on “terrorism not guns.”  But the mass slaughter by guns in the U.S. which occurs everyday and adds up to some 31,000 dead people each year isn’t terrorism.

 And not all of the mass shootings in Washington, Ft. Hood, Isla Vista, Charleston, Chattanooga, Roseburg, Colorado Springs and San Bernardino were not connected to terrorism.

What the GOP is offering us is a fallacy of false alternatives, pretending that either we focus on terrorism or guns.  But, terrorists use guns!  Duh!

What is really going on is that most GOP politicians are on the take from the NRA, the blood money dripping from their campaign coffers.  It isn’t that they can’t think straight.  Most of them are lawyers and have studied logical fallacies in pre-legal or legal argumentation in law school.

 What they do is purposely use errors in reasoning to throw sand in the eyes of the public so we can’t see them for who they are:  prostitutes who give sex workers a bad name.