LC’s Commentary

Listen To The Voice of Reason

Sharing Why not?

 

Given today’s unending and growing friction and animosity between races, nations and the haves and have not, what is a reasonable expectation of what is to come? Certainly in a Country whose economic system is based on capitalism, things will  get worse. The way that wealth is distributed assures this outcome. Hook and crook is not necessary.   It reminds me of a lion’s kill. The lion pride eats its share. When their appetite is satisfied and bellies are filled, they slowly saunter away; find a shady spot and rest for a very long time. Meanwhile, after the lions have taken all they want, other animals move in to spar and fight over what the lions did not eat. Buzzards, Jackals, Fox, hyenas etc. jockey and fight, trying to get a little piece of what is left. No different as far as humans are concerned. Those in the middle and at the bottom are constantly fighting over the scraps left by the rich. There are times when it takes the whole carcass to satisfy the hunger needs of a lions pack and nothing is left but bones. Animals who do not have the jaw power to make a meal of bones go hungry. Some animals never get a full meal. The same thing happens under capitalism. There are those who never get a decent share of the kill.

Notice. I never mentioned the word Fair. All I am saying is why is it necessary for some folk to have so much wealth, while others go hungry? Why are some folk so unwilling to share for the good of mankind? Why put a people in a position that they feel it necessary to get access to the wealth of this nation by illegal means? Until more people of means understand and accept the notion that there is nothing wrong with sharing wealth, the gap between haves and have not will continue to grow.

It is written that the knowledge of our nature, and the circumstances which govern the character and conduct of man, are to be acquired only by attending to the facts which exist around us, and to the past history of the human species. In other words, what has taken place in the past that helped create the situation in which we find ourselves?

 

This writer Owens makes the argument that this whole individual thing is what tears a people apart, and unless it is entirely abandoned, it will be useless to expect any substantial, permanent improvement in the condition of the human race, for this system ever has been, and must ever remain directly opposed to universal charity, benevolence, and kindness; and until the means were discovered, and can be brought into practice, by which universal charity, benevolence, and kindness, can be made to pervade the heart and mind of every human being, a state of society in which “peace on earth and good will to man” shall exist, must remain unknown and unenjoyed by mankind

Finally, Owens is saying, “Folks, we had better take care of what is ailing this country. If not, what you see today will continue to grow. I.e. Donald Trump. He and his followers may have the makings a Fourth Reich.

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July 12, 2016 Posted by | Donald Trump, Economic Empowerment, Failed economic poicy, Greed, Soup kitchens, Trickle up economics, Uncategorized, wealth redistribution | Leave a comment

Enough already!

Enough already!

In his book titled The Age of Jackson, Arthur Schlesinger, JR. wrote about how American history has been marked by recurrent swings between conservatism and liberalism. Without a doubt, the period between the years 2000 and 2008 heavily favored those of the conservative persuasion. And, true to history, many social issues that needed to be addressed were ignored. Two long-lingering wars, a deep recession, high unemployment, uninsured Americans, a banking system in disarray, and a whole host of other issues that needed to be addressed were given little genuine attention

Although as history shows, the pendulum has always swung between conservatism and liberalism, the last swing to conservatism was something to behold.  The little people were all but forgotten-forgotten when it came to reaping some of the fruits of their labor. Conservative politicians and talking heads convinced many of their followers that this thing called trickle-down economics, fashioned and put into play by the Regan Administration was still applicable and adhering to this philosophy continued to be in their best interest. In its simplest definition, it says, let those at the top get most of the wealth of this nation and they will let it trickle down to the masses. Some are wondering when will the trickle-down phenomenon begin.

In 2008 Obama, a true liberal, was elected President of these United States. And, as has history clearly shows, he entered into office with the grim and unenviable task of solving the above mentioned problems as well as several new problems that surfaced on his watch. If history repeats itself, at some point, the public will feel the nation has swung too far to the left and once again, conservatism will again rule the day.

In their efforts to right the course of the ship, will the Obama Administration overcorrect and swing too far to the left?  Is America ready to be taken where the Obama Administration is trying to take it? Will his health plan crumble under its own weight? These and other lingering questions will be answered between 2013 and 2016.

The current budget impasse is a classic example of politicians letting things pile up. Some people think those in Washington charged with solving our budgetary problems are incapable of doing so. Others feel they may be capable, but are not willing to put aside their biases long enough to get anything done. Isn’t it amazing how easy it was for them to set aside their differences and put into place the mechanism to go to two wars, but will not use the same logic to craft a budget both sides can agree on?

Many of the issues the Obama Administration is dealing with have to do with the wealth of this nation. Although cloaked in something else, if one takes the time to remove the outer-garment, they will find the almighty dollar is driving the debate. A politician from Caroline had it right when he wrote the following way back in the 1800s. “Wealth, like suffrage, must be considerably distributed, to sustain a democratic republic; and hence, whatever draws a considerable proportion of either into a few hands, will destroy it. As power follows wealth, the majority must have wealth or lose power.”

Taylor saw two threats to the natural economic order. He states the following” there are two modes of invading private property; the first by which the poor plunder the rich….sudden and violent; the second, by which the rich plunder the poor, slow and legal.” He felt the poor could not become dangerous until the concentration of wealth greatly increased their number. The real peril he believed lay in the second mode; plunder from above; orderly and legalized. The secession of privileged orders through history-the priesthood, the nobility, now the banking system showed how every age has shown its own form of institutionalized robbery by a minority operating through the state.

Will the US Government ever be strong enough to wrest the power from those who have the real power in this nation. After-all, wealth equals power, and power equals control.  Have the majority  been conditioned to accept the fact that a few people with vast amounts of wealth control this nation and feel there is little that can be done to alter the situation? How does a Nation break up the mass concentration of wealth without wealth redistribution accusations obscuring and shrouding the issue?  How does one convince those controlling and owing most of the wealth of America that this situation could and probably will, eventually lead to the destruction of this thing called capitalism? This nation will eventually self-destruct if drastic action isn’t taken to insure more people share in its wealth. It is easy to see how the American way of life is being torn apart by companies and individuals seeking profit and wealth.  One of the simplest ways to get more wealth into the hands of the masses is to simply pay them a little more. After all, one can argue that without them, who would produce the wealth of this nation?

Something must change. There will be change. Will it be controlled change, or will it be forced uncontrolled change? Those elected to guide this nation must put aside their differences and make decisions based on the will of the people and/or for the good of America.

12/28/2012

December 29, 2012 Posted by | Economic Empowerment, Failed economic poicy, Greed, Soup kitchens, Trickle up economics, Uncategorized, wealth redistribution | Leave a comment

Getting rich no matter the consequences

I discovered an article by Keller dated January 5, 1916. In the article, she makes a case against America getting into World War I.  Helen Keller is well-known in most quarters for her accomplishments despite being blind. This article is a must read for all who are eager to send our young into harm’s way under false pretense.  Helen Keller realized the real reasons most nations go to war. Her analysis of who derives what from the act of war is particularly eye-opening.    Ms. Keller writes about the US excuse for sustaining a large standing army. Ms. Keller, in her writings suggests that the real motive for the US having a large army was to protect the capital of American speculators in foreign countries.

As in Ms. Keller’s lifetime, labor continues to be exploited and capital piled up.  Those who own all of this capital (wealth) are constantly looking for ways and places to invest and obtain even more wealth. Nations having resources (i.e. oil natural gas) and other minerals are prime targets for American speculators.  Let us not forget America’s love for cheap labor. Ms. Keller suggested that according to US capitalists thinking, a dollar not used to make a slave of some human being is not fulfilling its purpose in the capitalistic scheme.

Today, we have American interest all over the world. It is fondly referred to as the global economy. Fair Trade agreement is another phrase tossed around. Take a close look at the real impact of this so-called global economy. One can see who has gained and who has lost, since its implementation. China’s economy is robust and growing rapidly. Much of this growth can be directly linked to jobs once held by American workers being done by Chinese workers in China. Decent paying factory jobs, once the backbone of America’s labor force, is largely a thing of the past. Of course one industry that continues to strive in the US is the defense industry. Americans have been convinced that some nation, largely unnamed since the end of the cold war, is out to destroy this nation. Therefore a large and powerful military is necessary.  In the meantime, virtually the entire US defense apparatus (though not outwardly admitted) is to protect America’s business interest abroad.  One has to wonder how much it cost to build, supply and man the US armada of Aircraft Carriers, Submarines and other naval vessels that patrol the seaways and protect America’s shipping interest. One has to wonder how much it cost to keep US troops in South Korea.  After all, they have been there since the early fifties. What does it cost to keep troops in the Middle East?

Very little has changed in this thing called war. Motivations to go to war are the same as they have been for many centuries. The ability to make war is where the biggest difference lies America’s business interest abroad must be protected at all cost.  If anything, despite no obvious threat to the US, many people, especially those of the Conservative persuasion are easily convinced that an attack against this nation is just around the corner. Just think-today the US has these things called Drones. These aircrafts remotely control pilot-less aircraft, armed with missiles can strike targets with deadly accuracy virtually anywhere in the world.

As I researched this article, I came across an article published in the Columbus Sun on February 17, 1865.  The article titled “The Class that suffers” and reads as follows. Upon poor women and children, upon solders who are toiling and bleeding for liberty, upon salaried men who have not the time, or who desire to speculate, this whole weight of this fearful struggle falls.  Men of wealth, who are hoarding thousands, put up the piteous cry of exorbitant-rates-more bitterly than ever just after increasing the prices one thousand fold, while upon ragged blood-drenched soldiers, upon weary despairing, heart-sick women, and those whose only dependence is a pitiful yearly sum must be made to bitterly suffer…… What matters life or death, so avarice can be gratified? What is honor unattended by wealth? What is liberty unless money can be hoarded by millions? What, if the country be ruined, its women ravished, its homes desolated, its alters violated and freedom forever perished-what matters all so the almighty dollar may be massed in piles? What care men of the present day whether their county sinks so property maybe secured, and the price at which liberty can be bought rest as light as possible upon their patriotic shoulders….. That is right. Pile up wealth-no matter whether bread be drawn from the mouth of the soldier’s orphan or the one limbed hero who hungry walk your streets-take every dollar you can, pay out little as possible, deprive your noble warriors of every comfort and luxury, increase in every way the necessaries of life, make everybody but yourself and non-producers bear the taxes of the war; but be very careful to parade everything you give to the public-talk boldly on the street corners of your love for country, be a grand home general-and when the war is over point to your princely palace and its magnificent surroundings and exclaim with pompous swell “These are the results of my patriotism.”

Take note people, especially those of you who call Conservative Talk Radio and Fox News Network blowhards Great Americas. It is indeed painful to hear an accolade of the magnitude heaped on the likes of Hannity, Boortz and Limbaugh. The above paragraph describes them to a T.

When the subject of wealth distribution comes up, those of the conservative persuasion quickly interject the words-class warfare. They suggest that those wishing to get a larger share of American wealth are stricken with something called wealth envy. This daily tirade and propaganda serves to harden the hearts of those who have the majority of this nation’s wealth. Leo XIII Pope (1810-1903) suggests there is no natural divide between those who have and those who have not.  He penned the following:  a small number of the very rich have been able to lay upon the teeming masses a yoke a little better than that of slavery….The great mistake made in regard to the matter now under consideration, is the notion that class is naturally hostile to class, and the wealthy and the workmen are intended to live in mutual conflict. So irrational and so false is this view, that the direct contrary is the truth.

November 30, 2011 Posted by | Conservative Talk Radio, Economic Empowerment, Failed economic poicy, Glenn Beck, Greed, Hannity & Boortz, Limbaugh, Media, Politics, wealth redistribution | Leave a comment

Union busting at its worst

Some folks believe the new emphasis on Union Busting is a new phenomenon. Quite the contrary. One of the more notable incidents bringing light to the subject was a Douglas Fraser’s Resignation Letter to the Labor-Management Group dated July 19, 1978. Douglas Fraser became president of the United Autoworkers Union (UAW) in 1977. In 1978 he resigned from a committee of eight corporate executives and eight labor officials chaired by former Secretary of labor John T. Dunlop. This committee represented an attempt to forge cooperation between labor and management.

Fraser’s involvement and interaction with this committee gave him the impression that U.S corporations, by their actions had no real interest in working with labor, instead choosing to wage a one-sided class war against working people, the unemployed, the poor and minorities. Fraser also felt corporations were waging a war against young folks, old folks and the middle class of the United States.

Fraser stated in his resignation letter that he believed that leaders of the business community, including industry, commerce and finance, with few exceptions have broken and discarded the fragile, unwritten compact previously existing during past growth and progress.  Despite profound differences, labor and management has always managed to come to general agreements that benefitted labor and management.  Today those who control the wealth of this nation feel they no longer have to negotiate working conditions with most US workers. These same, US Corporations, operating from a position of extreme, financial, and political power, and backed by the Federal State and Local Governments, feel they can make any demands they wish on US workers.

As Fraser mentioned in his resignation, the United States Capitalistic system has always worked best for the haves in our society, rather than the have-not. Despite this well-known and indisputable fact Capitalism remains because the very foundation of this concept remained grounded on one simple concept.  Fraser surmised that in the past, when things got bad enough for a segment of society, the business elite “gave” a little bit-enabling government or interest groups to better conditions somewhat for that segment. Not so today.

The Haves of this nation are not willing to give a little more for the benefit of this nation.  It is a well-known fact that this nation is slowly but surely losing its middle class. At the same time the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.  What has brought on this out of control greed and a need for even more of this nation’s wealth? Why are business leaders willing to destroy America’s middle class for the benefit of a few at the very top of the wealth ladder?

What can be done to reverse the continued flow of America’s wealth to the people at the top of the money chain?  Corporations have a strangle-hold on the US government.  They use their enormous wealth and political persuasion to demand and get almost anything they ask of the federal government.  Many Americans, to this point, have felt there is little the common man can do to change the situation.  Two recent actions by average Americans suggests that the common man banding together can impact how our government governs. The Tea Party was the first action to get a lot of attention and persuaded many politicians to change their behavior. Later, the Wall Street Occupiers caused quite a stir.

The current meltdown of the world’s economic system, largely brought on by unscrupulous and greedy American Capitalists caused many people to say “Something must change.” “Although the powerbrokers have most of the wealth of this nation, something must change.” “Although Congress has been bought and sold, something must change.”   Today’s actions by people all around this nation and abroad, makes it plain that people are dissatisfied and fed up with the way so called capitalism is managed in the United States.  People are taking to the streets as they did in the seventies to protest the Viet Nam war.  US politicians and money handlers should not take lightly what is taking place. Those people participating in sit-ins all over this nation and abroad are not willing to sit back and do little else.

People it is time to do more than spout simple rhetoric. It is time to turn off the radio and TV and take to the streets. It is time to stop supporting businesses that support Conservative Talk Radio and Fox News Channel. These outlets programming regularly call for the destruction of labor unions.  Those of you who are not in favor of labor unions and clamor for their demise, just wait, your wages and benefits are next.  Non-supporters of organized labor-do not think for one minute that the robber-barons of this nation are only after the dollars they pay union workers. They are determined to control most of the wealth of this nation and workers and are willing to use whatever means necessary to achieve this goal.

Thus far, those of the conservative persuasion, along with Conservative Talk Radio and Fox News Network have successfully used labor Unions as wedge issues-quite successfully.  Who will be next?  Do not think for one minute, Union workers are the only ones they feel are overpaid.  Remember the hue and cry each time a vote to raise the minimum wage came up? Remember when conservatives said raising the minimum wage would bankrupt small businesses. Divide and conquer still works.

By what hook and crook has the Republican Party, with and free propagandized assistance from Conservative Talk Radio (CTR) and Fox News Network (FNN) managed to convince millions that there is nothing wrong with a few Americans having the majority of the wealth of this nation.  Despite untiring efforts by Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and other super-rich Americans, Republican lawmakers continue to beat back any attempt to get a few more bucks from the richest of this nation.

Father Ambrose Bishop of Milan made the following quote: How far, oh rich do you extend your senseless avarice? Do you intend to be the sole inhabitants of the earth? Why do you drive out the fellow sharers of nature, and claim it all for yourselves? The earth was made for all, rich and poor, in common. Why do you rich claim it as your exclusive right?

A careful observation of how wealth is distributed in the United States and abroad brings to mind something John Adams,(1735-1826) 2nd President of the United State coined. In every society where property exists there will ever be a struggle between rich and poor. Mixed in one assembly, equal laws can never be expected; they will either be made by the members to plunder the few who are rich or by the influence to fleece the many who are poor. It is quite clear who is doing who in America.

November 30, 2011 Posted by | Conservative Talk Radio, Economic Empowerment, Glenn Beck, Greed, Hannity & Boortz, Limbaugh, Trickle up economics, wealth redistribution | Leave a comment

Cheap labor no matter the cost

Americans are thoroughly frustrated and at times confused as they try to place the blame for the current economic quandary squarely where it belongs.  One thing is certain, it matters very little which party is in power when the glue which binds America’s capitalistic system fails.  What is the glue that holds it together? Someone compared our system to a three-legged stool-Capital, labor and consumer. If either fails or is shorten, the entire system suffers. According to current news outlets, there is plenty of capital available. However, job losses (those actually gainfully employed) shorten the labor leg. Shrinkage of those gainfully employed, with disposal income, shortens the consumer leg of the stool. When the consumer leg and labor legs fail, the capital leg is unable to support the stool and will collapse under its own weight.

Just listen as economists and politicians look for signs that the economy is rebounding. Two industries usually take center stage-construction and automotive.  When either product (new homes and new automobiles) sales are flat because of low demands, the US economy suffers. Why are the demands for these products so low? The answer is very simple.  Today, as in the Great Depression, entirely too many Americans have lost their purchasing power. This is one of the inherent dangers of allowing a few people to have most of this nation’s wealth.  Instead of buying power distributed among millions, it is in the hands of a few who have to reason to spend most of it.  It is a well-known fact that most middle and lower income Americans will spend if they have the money. Why do you think middle and low income Americans save very little of their earning? Simple-they love to spend money. When you take away this purchasing ability by putting the wealth of this nation in a few hands, you effectively kill the very thing that keeps the US economy energetic and growing. Pay people less and they will buy less. Create a tax system that spares the rich and disproportionally negatively impact the people whose income is modest at best, puts additional burden on those least able to pay.

US Job losses due to US companies moving operations overseas have had a devastating effect on the US economy. Jobs traditionally held by US workers (especially manufacturing) are now firmly in the hands of foreign nations.  China is a prime example.  Unemployment creates surplus workers. Surplus workers give employers incentives to lower wages and benefits.  Workers unemployed for long periods of time put undue stress on unemployment compensation programs. Social service programs designed to help the needy are hard-pressed to help all who desire or need help.  Much of this hardship is avoidable if US companies would keep manufacturing jobs in the US.  Loss of these jobs and related infrastructures also means the eventual loss of skills and a highly trained workforce vital to the needs of this nation. This nation was built on people making things. If US consumers purchase and use an item, why not make it in the US?

One sure way to stop the flow of manufacturing jobs 0verseas is to stop using US military might to protect shipments from overseas markets. It is ironic that our military men and women are protecting shipments of products from overseas markets.  These products are owned by the very companies that laid off their friends, relatives, closed plants and rebuilt them overseas. The same goes for the US taxpayers who foot the bill for our military. After all, they are the ones who pay for this military might.  Some call it, protecting US interest abroad. Stop pretending; just say “protecting US companies business interest abroad?”

November 30, 2011 Posted by | Conservative Talk Radio, Economic Empowerment, Failed economic poicy, Glenn Beck, Hannity & Boortz, Limbaugh, Soup kitchens, Taxpayer bailouts, Trickle up economics, wealth redistribution | Leave a comment

Just does not hurt bad enough

America at the mercy of oil companies and speculators!
How much longer will Americans accept oil companies and speculators imposing their will on those whose livelihood depend on affordable fuel? Those who control the price of crude oil are taking Americans to the cleaners. These parasites have no problem creating false reasons to raise the price of crude oil. Talk about wealth redistribution! Let us not forget that much of the crude pumped in the US comes from public lands.
Those who commute several miles to work each day are finding it harder to afford fuel for their automobiles. Owner/operators of semi/trucks are finding it difficult to continue doing business because of rising diesel costs. In the meantime, those who support what they call capitalism see no harm in what takes place. Listen to Conservative Talk Radio (CTR) and Fox News Network (FNN). These outlets suggests in the strongest terms that it is just the market at work and any effort by the Federal Government to regulate the speculative aspect of crude oil pricing amounts to unnecessary intervention by the government into private industry.
American taxpayers pay billions of dollars for Aircraft Carriers and supporting ships and planes. Costs to supply, train and staff these seagoing vehicles are additional costs. This equipment and support personnel constantly patrol the high seas. I wonder why some people say government should take a hands/off approach to the private market, yet do not have a problem with the government providing safe passage for crude oil supertankers carrying crude across oceans. These operations support the oil industry and those who enrich themselves by speculating and driving the price of crude and finished crude oil products to an unnecessary plateau.
The United States economy depends in a large measure on the oil industry.. Any unnecessary volatility and aggravation in this market can have devastating affect on the US economy. The US government, in a hands-off approach to the crude oil business has allowed it to be hijacked by speculators. Speculators and others who control the industry are reaping huge amounts of wealth at the expense of Americans.
Entirely too much wealth is being diverted from sorely needed areas of the US economy to the oil industry and those who derive huge amounts of wealth by simply creating false reasons for increasing the cost of crude oil. Oil companies will give a little lip service to the speculative aspect of crude oil pricing. However, they make little effort to control and rein in speculation. Why? Because speculators make them money.
Will Americans ever rise up and truly take a stand against rip-offs imposed by oil companies and speculators? Americans will complain and do little else. Why do we feel so hopeless and helpless when it comes to the oil industry? Why are we afraid to make a genuine effort to rein in this destructive behavior by the oil industry and associated speculators? What are we afraid of? Americans need to become as bold as the oil industry and associated speculators.

April 13, 2011 Posted by | Conservative Talk Radio, Crude in theGulf, Greed, Taxpayer bailouts, Trickle up economics, World Affairs | | Leave a comment

They forgot the defense budget

There were shouts of joy when the New Republicans were ushered into office in the 2010 elections. Those of the conservative persuasion felt their day had finally come and they were going to address the U.S. budget deficit problem. Sure enough, Republicans, marching to the beat of the Tea Party, came to the House with ax hand. They have been about the business with the skills of a surgeon, methodically carving up the Current year’s budget and next year’s budget as well. Of course, there are those cheering Republicans on and feel their efforts will fix what President Obama and his administration have torn up. They are very careful to make it an Obama problem-as if he has sole power over what gets in the budget.
I wonder why there is little conversation about carving up the defense budget. Why is almost every cost in the budget scrutinized, except the defense budget? What is so special, holy and untouchable about the defense budget? I guess it is because the Defense Department spends it money wisely, can account for how each dollar is spent and is not loaded down with special interest dollars-in other words, no pork at all.
People of all persuasions have questioned why the Defense Department gets a free pass during budget hearings. J. William Fulbright, Senator from Arkansas, President of the University of Arkansas, and Chairman of the powerful Senate foreign Relations Committee, and namesake of the Fulbright Educational Program made a speech titled the Myths of Foreign Policy. This speech is a must read for all who are genuinely concerned about why the US continue to pour so much money into the defense budget. Although Fulbright made the speech on April 5, 1964, his message is probably more applicable today.
J. William Fulbright hit the nail on the head when he made the following observation.
During the past 20 years, the emphasis of our public policy has been heavily weighted on the measures of common defense to the considerable neglect of the program to promote the liberty and welfare of our people. The reason for this is, of course, has been the exacting demands of two wars and an intractable cold war, which have wrought changes in the character of American life.
Of all the changes in American life brought by the cold war, the most important by far, in my opinion, has been the vast diversion of energy and resources from the creative pursuits of a civilized society to the conduct of a costly and intermediate struggle for world power.
Or to put it more precisely in our case, to negate the efforts to acquire world dominion. We have been compelled, or at least we have felt ourselves compelled, to reverse the traditional order of our national priority, relegating individual and community life to places on the scale below the expensive military and state activities that constitute our program on national security.
Senator Fulbright could very well be making the speech today. Very little has changed budget wise except the budget becomes larger almost every budget cycle. Think about the budget cuts proposed by Republicans. They are willing to sacrifice our schools, hospitals, homes, parks, and other public infrastructures vital to the happiness and welfare of US citizens, so the defense budget remains virtually unscathed.
Fulbright talked about the readiness of Americans to defer programs for their welfare and happiness in favor of costly military and extravagant space programs. He wondered what is it about the American physic that makes it so ready to sacrifice health programs, educational, programs and urban renewal programs all in the name of fully funding every need the defense department asks for.
President Eisenhower warned Americans about the dangers of the Military Industrial Complex. Fulbright had the same concerns when he made the following observation: To the extent that the American people and the Congress shrink from questioning the size and cost of our defense establishment, they are permitting military men, with their specialized viewpoint, to make political judgments of the greatest importance regarding the priorities of public policy and the allocation of public funds. The abnegation of responsibilities by the congress in this field is strikingly illustrated by debate or more actually by its non-debate on the defense budget.
In closing, Fulbright said” the first thing we must do towards raising the quality of American life is to turn some part of our thought and our creative energy away from the cold war which has engaged them for so long, back in on America itself. If we do this we may find that the most vital resources of our nation for its public happiness and security remains locked within our own frontiers, in our cities, in our countryside, in our work and in our leisure, in the hearts and minds of our people.“
What is happening today parallel what was happening when Fulbright made his speech. We are currently fighting two wars, and a cold war of a sorts-the war on terror. They are all costly endeavors and divert resources from this nation badly needed at home. It is time Americans stop letting Conservative Talk Radio, Fox News Network, slick politicians of all persuasions, defense contractors and warmongers to constantly prey on their fears. Any right-thinking people know in their hearts that there is absolutely no reason for the US to spend so much money on defense. Because of our actions toward some nations, they feel threatened; they build up their defense, which gives us excuses to spend more money for defensive purposes. It is a never-ending cycle.

March 2, 2011 Posted by | borrowing money, Economic Empowerment, Failed economic poicy, Results of war, Taxpayer bailouts, Uncategorized, World Affairs | | Leave a comment

Spreading democracy and empire building

I saw former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfield on a TV program called the View. Eventually the conservation turned to the war in Afghanistan and Iraq-particularly the Iraq war.  Mr. Rumsfield continues to defend the US decision to initiate the war in Iraq. Although the reason given for invading Iraq was based on what the Bush Administration calls flawed intelligence, Mr. Rumsfield thinks the war was worth it, because Saddam Hussein was removed from office and gotten rid of permanently.  The war also allowed the US to do what it calls, spreading democracy-make people be more like us.

The more Mr. Rumsfield talked and tried to rationalize the U.S. decision, the more he reminded me of a essay, widely read literary genius and famous humorist Mark Twain wrote lambasting U.S. imperialism in the Philippines and other parts of the world.  This essay was published in the North American Review in 1901.

He titled the essay; To the person sitting in the dark. Twain began the essay with two simple but powerful words: Shall we?  Twain continues: Shall we go on conferring our civilization upon people that sit in darkness, or shall we give the poor things a rest? Shall we bang right ahead in our old-time, loud, pious, way and commit the new century to the game, or shall we sober up, sit down, and think it over first?  Would it not be prudent to get our civilization tools together, and see how much stock is left on hand in the way of glass beads and Theology, and Maxim Guns and Hymn Books, and Trade Gin and Torches of Progress and Enlightening (patent and adjustable ones, good to fire villages on occasions) and balance the books and arrive at the profit and loss, so that we may intelligently decide whether to continue the business or sell out the property and start a new civilization Scheme on the proceeds?  Powerful words indeed!  In the above paragraph, replace the word civilization with the word democracy and it becomes clear what we are about in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Let us revisit the supposedly rational for invading Iraq.  Saddam hoarding Weapons of Mass Destruction was the reason we had to remove him from office and destroy said weapons. According to General Colin Powell, Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfield, Vice President, Chaney and of course President George Bush, there was undeniable evidence that Saddam had these weapons. Nothing Saddam said or did convinced Bush folks that the weapons did not exist.  Some questioned whether the Bush Administration altered the intelligence to support their allegations of WMD’S.

Mark Twain essay further illustrates and magnifies the U.S method of empire building.  Somewhat tongue in cheek, Twain penned the following; having laid the historical facts before the person sitting in darkness, we should bring him to again, and explain to him. We should say to him:“ They look doubtful but in reality they are not. There have been lies; yes, but they were told in good cause.  We have been treacherous; but that was only in order that real good might come out of apparent evil. True, we have crushed a deceived and confiding people; we have turned against the weak and friendless who trusted us; we have stamped out a just, intelligent, and well-ordered republic; we have stabbed an ally in the back and slapped the face of a guest.  We have bought a shadow from an enemy that hadn’t it to sell; we have robbed a trusting friend of his land and liberty. We have invited our clean young men to shoulder a discredited musket and do bandit’s work under a flag which bandits have been accustomed to fear, not to follow; we have debauched American’s honor and blacken her face before the world…”

Does some of the above paragraph remind you of the Iraq fiasco? Weren’t American people and its allies lied to? Prime Minister Blair’s and Colen Powell’s political careers were seriously damage because they bought into the Bush Administration propaganda about WMD’S.  Smack dab in the middle of spreading lies about Iraq’s WMD’S were Conservative Talk Radio (CTR) and Fox News Network (FNN.) Their 24 hour discourse about Saddam’s WMD’S helped convinced many undecided people that Saddam did in fact have WMD’S.  Both news and or propaganda outlets got a free pass as far as sharing the blame for deceiving Americans and other nations.  Today America and a few of its allies find themselves mired in a Viet Nam like situation- a war that cannot be won in a literal sense. History tells us that it is futile to go to war with Afghanistan and most who have, came away with bloody noses and hurt feelings. 

It is time our imperialistic ways came to an abrupt halt.  It is time we left other people and nations alone and start minding our own business.

February 26, 2011 Posted by | Glenn Beck, Greed, Hannity & Boortz, Limbaugh, Politics, Results of war, World Affairs | | Leave a comment

Keep your money. Send your child!

While traveling north from Stone Mountain Georgia to Akron Ohio, I happened upon the Neil Boortz show emanating from Atlanta Georgia. He was doing his usual thing-complaining about the tax burden of the rich. He is famous for selecting statistics that appear to show that the rich bears most of the burden of supplying the needs of this nation. Of course, he is careful to deliberately omit many of the important things and people that support this nation. After all, it is not totally about money. I dare Mr. Boortz to cite statistics that shows how many sons and daughters of millionaires have died in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. I dare him to cite statistics that show how many millionaires sons and daughters are permanently physically and mentally wounded due to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Mr. Boortz, cite the statistics that shows how many millionaire families will spend this Thanksgiving and Christmas without the presence of a father, mother, brother, sister, uncle or aunt because they are in far away countries fighting two wars. How many children of millionaires will never see their fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and other relatives alive again because they were killed in wars? How many millionaire mothers will have to explain to their children why their millionaire father is not coming home alive from the war? How many millionaire families will make the slow walk behind a flag draped coffin, listen to the sorrowful and moanful sound of a bugle as a love one is put to final rest? Many American are paying with something more precious than money. They are paying with their lives or the lives of their love ones. This is the ultimate sacrifice. It is possible to make more money. It is impossible to bring back a deceased love one. I say to millionaires, keep your money, and send your children off to war to protect your interests. Let your children get a taste of war. Become one of the grieving parent of a son killed in war, before he had a chance to really live. I want Mr. Boortz to explain to his listeners and dedicated followers why he spends so much time trying to protect the rich from spending more money protecting this nation, but make no effort to help protect the lives of our young men and women, by not supporting useless and non-winnable wars. The Boortzs of this nation primary concern is being rich, getting richer and passing it on to their kids. They devote little  time ascertaining what it takes besides tax dollars to support this nation. I repeat, keep your money and send your child.

November 25, 2010 Posted by | Conservative Talk Radio, Economic Empowerment, Greed, Hannity & Boortz, Limbaugh, Results of war, wealth redistribution | Leave a comment

The Newer New Deal

Shades of twenty nine

Let your mind wander back to the days of the Great depression. Are there similarities to what is taking place in the United States and the rest of the World? Was President Franklin D. Roosevelt forced to put in place programs that permanently altered the role of the Federal Government? If so, how were the Roosevelt Administration programs received by the public? Some argue that the Roosevelt intervention prolonged the depression by several years. Many people feel, especially those of the conservative persuasion that left to their own devices the private market will eventually right itself.  Given the depth of the depression and the current-some would argue depression, it is foolish to think those with capital are willing to risk it to prop up the market that have served them so well. If private capital is available to right our economic ship when it is adrift, what kept it from interceding with any success, in the current situation and in the thirties?  There were certainly halfhearted efforts to inject some private dollars during the great depression. However, the injection of private dollars quickly halted. Arguments made during the Great Depression are made today. Those on the Right say the Obama administration is interfering too much and threatens to destroy the United States Capitalistic economy system. Those on the left insist that the Obama Administration is doing too little for those most in need and have capitulated to the needs of American businesses.  Who is right? Who or what aspect of the United States society are most in need during a depression/recession. Who has the capacity to best weather the storm-and recover the quickest? Certainly not the poor and needy.  If this is a fact, why are those with the most quickest to get relief?

If one looks closely at what took place in 2009 and 2010, it is obvious who got relief the quickest. I suppose using Conservative logic, eventually, the trickle down effect will kick in. Despite those with the most getting the quickest relief, those of the Conservative persuasion continue to complain. Despite the fact that tax payer’s money was used to bail out the banks and wall street where the rich stood to lose fortunes, Conservatives continue to complain. Despite the fact that a significant portion of the American Automobile industry was saved, Conservatives continue to complain.

It takes a lot of imagination to see a time when there are no Americans Auto factories.  Who is supposed to make our fighting vehicles-China, maybe Russia?  Those who are willing to sacrifice one of the backbone industries of this Nation, in order to break organized labor, access cheap labor and make a few people rich are traitors of the worst kind.  It is especially troubling since these same folks constantly wrap themselves in Old Glory and declare their loyalty to our fighting men and women.

As with the Roosevelt Administration, the Obama Administration has one tall order to fill. It must stop the economic bleeding. It must do this before it has any hope of rebuilding the US economy. Some argue that private industry should be the one responsible for rebuilding it. The Obama Administration is fighting an up hill battle. Not only does it have to overcome our current economic situation, it also has to overcome the constant negative propaganda perpetuated by Conservative Talk Radio (CTR) and Fox News Network (FNN).  This is a tall order, since a large number of Conservatives understanding and assessment of the current economic situation is based solely on what they hear on CTR and FNN-nothing else.

CTR and FNN have convinced their listeners that the Obama Administration should have righted the economic ship in less than two years. How gullible and stupid can one be?  The current recession borders on a depression. CTR and FNN listeners do not have a clue as to how long it took this nation to recover from the great depression. These same folks do not realize that WWII finally got the US out of the great depression.  We are talking about twelve years. Any right-thinking well-informed individual of any political persuasion should realize that it is unreasonable to expect the current recession to end in less than two years. The American people must give the Obama Administration efforts a chance to succeed.

November 10, 2010 Posted by | Conservative Talk Radio, Economic Empowerment, Glenn Beck, Hannity & Boortz, Limbaugh, Politics, Taxpayer bailouts, Trickle up economics, wealth redistribution | | Leave a comment