On the Nature of Incrementalization

Without economic equality there can be no political equality and until we have democracy in the workplace we will never have actual democracy in the political sphere.

By the 1950s, many will say as early as the 1930s, the “conservative Republicans” started calling New Deal programs “socialism”. While the programs that constituted the New Deal did originate in socialist thought, the core idea of “The New Deal” itself was to save and preserve the “capitalism”. This mix of some socialist-type programs overlaid on a superstructure of capitalism describes a system of economics often referred to as Keynesianism. These were the economic programs that produced such a large and thriving middle class in the US and after the war in Europe as well. These socialist ideas overlaid on a capitalist superstructure were created to “save capitalism” from being overturned by a revolution either from the left (communism) or from the right (fascism).

The development of this form of what some have come to call “state capitalism” was filtered through the experience of years of economic depression. An economic depression which followed a century or more of a consistent, nearly continuous process of what is called the “business cycle” (aka, bust, boom, bust again and again). This was a continual shifting between depression (often called an “economic panic” or “boom/bust cycles”) followed by THE GOOD TIMES followed by yet another depression ad nauseam until the great depression beginning in 1929 when lasted for over a decade. This process was a constant strain on the working class as they had no means of survival in the lean times except to sell their labor for starvation wages if they were lucky enough to find work at all.

The English economist, John Maynard Keynes, was developing his system of wealth redistribution at about the same time that FDR and his body of devoteès were working out the programs of The New Deal. John Maynard Keynes literally wrote the book, The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money, which defined how much of the Free World (read capitalist countries) would operate for the next 70 odd years economically.

Banking Crises

After the Capitalist’s War v2.0, the capitalists in the US began to scheme on how to recoup “their losses” which they had suffered at their own hands in 1929 and then politically at FDR’s hands in 1933 with the beginnings of The New Deal. Foremost in their scheme, was to disassociate organized labor from their best, most natural and ultimately their only allies, the socialists and the communists. This was pretty much accomplished by the election of Eisenhower by a combination of the “House UnAmerican Activities Committee” and the McCarthy Hearings. The later ended little more than a year after a Republican President took office, but as long as a Democrat was in office he was backed by the Republicans in congress as a means of smearing the Democrats as communists.

McCarthy Hearings

Then the young upstart JFK stepped in. Jack was supposed to be one of them, the rich, but like FDR he was proving to be something of a… well may I term it, “a canker on their rump” of those who viewed themselves as his superiors since they nor their Dads had not been caught rumrunning nor smugglers of opium [the Fitzgeralds (whom John was named after) made their fortunes dealing opium to the Chinese)]. Well, Jack was proving as intransigent as Franklin had and that could not be tolerated long at all.

Hell, Jack was even doing deals with Nikta Khrushchev which was diminishing their likelihood of profiting from a nuclear conflict or, perhaps better yet, the threat of a nuclear conflict. This was threatening the Military/Industrial Complex’s ability to bilk fortunes from the American taxpayer. Fortunes which they had come to be addicted to during the Great War v2.0 and the little war (Korea) that soon followed on its heels with the attendant fear of the “Russkies” that had developed after the WW II. By the mid to late 1950s there was no “left” left in this country.

But Jack was being a little too accommodating with those “pinko commie-fascist pigs” and not really as friendly toward corporations as he had been hoped for during his campaign for president. Then the corporate Democrats (who had always been in the background and were still there) began to sell out the “working American”. (Capitalists have to live by the “golden rule”-“He who has the Gold Makes the Rules” or they will cease to be-you can read that as “the profit motive.”) The point here is that there is no “political left” in this country despite what FOX and MSNBC tell us.

We have people whose politics are presented as being somewhat “left” of another person’s politics but Prince was taller than Danny Devito, however, no one is likely to call either of them tall so why do we accept the idea that Neo-liberals are leftists just because they are not full fledged Nazis? What passes for a “political left” in this country today is what was once thought to be “center right” in the 1970s or the 1960s or the… 1890s. Some people will dispute these dates, but my prime point is not when it occurred but that the political spectrum in the US has for a long time been truncated to exclude what is the actual left politically speaking, thus center right feels to many like political center or “middle of the road.”

Consider that as recently as 2009 Senator Arlen Specter R-PA (once a poster child for the so-called “conservative movement”) switched parties to become a Democratic. Considering the hard shift the Democratic Party had taken since 1972 his changing political parties to become a Democrat should have come as a surprise to no one, but the fact that he was readily accepted as a Democrat should have been a huge wakeup call to the rank and file. Sadly, it did not serve as a wake up call for hardly anyone. But, why not? Was it because the rank and file had long since felt disconnected from the party apparatus? It is this break, this disconnect that you (the democrats who claim to be interested in regaining the working class vote) will have to mend, nay you will have to re-construct it (there is no mending what has been so broken for so long). To this we could add that after the 2000 Supreme Court appointment of George W. Bush as president the Democratic VP candidate switched from the DNC to the RNC demonstrating that even at the highest levels there was so little difference betwixt the two parties that the Democrats VP pick was really a Republican.

Since I am sufficiently aware of the state of politics and economics that I know there is no left left… when I hear people tout Neo-liberal programs, as the DNC has done since 1973, and call themselves “the left” my brain goes into convulsions. At such times I seem to suffer this “wild, unimaginable” psychic form of epilepsy. I’m not sure how else to describe what happens in me during these spells. It recalls to my mind a big, round tin man wildly waving his upper appendages emphatically uttering, “Danger! Will Robinson, Danger! Will Robinson.”

Danger Will Robinson

As long as the means of production (that is the means of wealth creation, such as factories, farms, service providers, etc.) are left in the control of the “1%” (much less the real figure of the “1/10 of 1%”) the means of undoing any gains the working class, and marginalized communities might gain, regain or, even, hope to gain will ultimately be taken from them… to reiterate: as long as this, the means of producing wealth remains in the control of those who have the incentive to undo those gains then those gains will be undone. Only when the people, the working people of this nation, nay the world, have control of their own means of producing the goods and services that actually produce the wealth which their manual labor creates will any gains to benefit all humanity be secure.

As long as we do not tackle this inconsistency in who profits from this wealth creating labor remains in the control of those whose only means of accumulating wealth is to exploit those who actually create it then there will never be an equitable distribution of wealth and there will always be artificially created scarcity. The changing of this system to an equitable system cannot, I repeat, it cannot be accomplished incrementally. I do not care if the right did it that way… in other words, what the right has done to us cannot be undone piecemeal. It will have to be done, as it were, “whole hog”.

Besides if we study what they, the REGRESSIVES who call themselves “conservatives”, did we will learn that they did not do it incrementally. Once they took over the political stage in 1980 they have never looked back. They have had no need to look back because every step to the right they took followed a step to the right by the DNC. This all occurred a mere eight years after the DNC made the decision to sell out the working men and women of America and by openly courting the billionaire class on Wall Street.

Yes, I am accusing the Democrats of leading the shift to the right in American politics.

The development of a Leftist Politics or even an actual Centrist Politics in America will have to be accomplished boldly not timidly. It cannot be accomplished by appealing to the working class and the marginalized classes as some incremental accomplishment meant to benefit them “Some Sweet Day” in the “Sweet Bye-and-Bye” “On the Other Side of That River” in some “Perennial Garden,” somewhere, sometime and not to be achieved until their children’s children’s lifetime.

Garden of Eden

We, the Americans who claim to care for a just and equitable society will have to do this in big, strong, bold demonstrable steps that the working class and the marginalized of our society can see will occur in their lifetimes. Else all is already lost. This incrementalist plan has only gotten us a full fledged Nazi in the White House and a congress full of Neo-liberal politicians mixed with out right fascists whose only real difference is in which group will get to financially rape the American people of what little wealth we have left.

If we are to gain control of our lives and our political system such that we have a just and equitable land we MUST offer the American people a viable alternative, that is, a person who believes in a “quantum level change”. And a person who has, what I call, “people talents”* (aka political skill) else we are already lost. In which case we will have already been lost–even should we win. This is because if we cannot offer this to the people of America all we are offering is more of what got us in this present situation and that is no way out of this sad, demented and delusional political situation.

Without Economic Equality…

*    [The reason I like using the phrase “people talents” is that puts the emphasis where it belongs––on the people not on the politicians nor their politics.]

Your friend,
Esiódoxos

 

Roger Willis Mills, II

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Why the US has a Nazi in the Big House

If you are a Democrat or just a supporter of Obama, Clinton (Hillary and/or Bill) or what I have come to call a “self-proclaimed progressive” then you probably believe the reason we have a Nazi in the Big House is due to Russian interference in our last election. While I’m not going to tell you that the Russians/Putin didn’t try to interfere [after all that is a practice the US of A has perfected over many decades and they could have learned much from our interference in their elections], but I will say that is not why we have The Don now. If you are really interested in why the following transcript of the afterword from The Assassination Complex: Inside the Government’s Secret Drone Warfare Program by Jeremy Scahill, The Staff of The Intercept should give you reason to question much of what you have come to hold nearly sacred. Read at your own risk:

 

Afterword

War without end– Glenn Greenwald

Barak Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign is for many a distant memory. For that reason it is easy to forget that his vows to reverse the core strategies of the Bush/Cheney “War on Terror” central, not ancillary, to his electoral victory. Particularly when he was seeking the Democratic Nomination, but even during the general election candidate Obama railed with particular vehemence against the lawlessness that drove America’s war policies since 9/11. “No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient–that is not who we are,” he thundered during a 2007 speech, “We will again set an example for the world that justice is not arbitrary,” The animating principle of Obama’s promised new war fighting approach would be the restoration of international and constitutional law. A November 2010 profile of Attorney General Eric Holder in GQ (Gentleman’s Quarterly) emphasized it’s centrality not only to his 2008 campaign but overall to the “Obama’s Brand of Change”. QUOTE. “No other issue defined Barak Obama like his promise to restore America’s commitment to international law. Other items may have topped his domestic agenda, but as a symbol of what Obama’s candidacy meant… of what his election signified to the world nothing conveyed his message of change like the pledge to repair American justice.” END QUOTE. As PolitiFact put it in 2013 in the years leading up to the 2008 campaign and in the early stages of the campaign itself Obama regularly emphasized the importance of “Civil Liberties” and the “Sanctity of the Constitution”. As is typical for Obama much of his rhetoric in these areas was long on pretty language and short on specific and substance. But there was one specific concrete position on which he was particularly insistent: that it is inherently unjust for the US to treat individuals as terrorists and worse to punish them as terrorists without first providing them due process in the form of judicial review.

In September 2006 the Senate voted to pass the Military Commissions Act which legalizes the Military Commissions created by the Bush Administration at Guantanamo. Those commissions were empowered to punish detainees accused of terrorism. What made them so controversial, so radical from the perspective of American Justice was the full scale denial of detainees access to actual American Courts. As a result, those accused of terrorism offenses could be subjected to the harshest punishments including long term prison sentences without any opportunity whatsoever to have a court review their claims of innocence. Prior to the Senate vote an amendment was proposed that would have vested the accused to have their case reviewed by a federal court. Senator Obama went to the Senate floor and spoke in passionate and deeply personal terms in support of this amendment insisting that it was vital to force the government to prove a person’s guilt before treating him or her as a terrorist. QUOTE. “The bottom line is this current procedures are such that a perfectly innocent individual could held and could not rebut the government’s case and has no way of proving his innocence. I would like somebody in this chamber, somebody in this government to tell me why this is necessary. I do not want to hear that this is a new world and we face a new kind of enemy. I know that. As a parent I can also imagine the terror I would feel if one of my family members were rounded up in the middle of the night and sent to Guantanamo without even getting one chance to ask why they were being held and being able to prove their innocence. This is not just an entirely fictional scenario, by the way, we have already had reports by the CIA and various generals over the last few years saying that many of the detainees at Guantanamo should not have been there. This is an extraordinary difficult war we are prosecuting against terrorists. There are going to be situations in which we cast too wide a net and capture the wrong person, but what is avoidable is refusing to ever allow our legal system to correct these mistakes. By giving suspects a chance, even one chance to challenge the terms of their detention in court… to have a judge confirm that the right person for the right suspicions we could solve this problem without harming our efforts in the “War On Terror” one bit. For people who are guilty we have procedures in place to lock them up. That is who we are as a people. We do things right and we do things fair. Mr. President, this should not be a difficult vote. I hope we pass this amendment because I think it is the only way to ensure this underlying bill preserves all the great traditions of our legal system and our way of life. END QUOTE.

Senator Obama repeatedly applied the same principles to Bush’s surveillance policies. In 2006 he announced his opposition to Bush’s appointment of the former NSA chief General Michael Hayden to lead the CIA. Obama’s opposition was based on Hayden’s 2002 implementation of Bush’s warrantless surveillance program which Obama viewed as both illegal and unethical. Obama was particularly offended, as he put it, that QUOTE “The national security agency has been spying on American’s without judicial approval.” END QUOTE. Justifying his vote against Hayden’s conformation he inveighed QUOTE “What protects us and what distinguishes us are the procedures we put in place to protect that balance, namely, judicial warrants and congressional review. We must,” said Obama QUOTE, “allow members of the other two co-equal branches of government, congress and the judiciary, to have the ability to monitor and oversee such a program.” END QUOTE.

That was Obama’s explaining why mere eavesdropping on and imprisonment of suspected terrorists without due process were inherently abusive, as well as, violations of QUOTE “All the great traditions of our legal system and our way of life.’ END QUOTE.

Back in 2006 as a Senator he understood that judicial procedures were necessary before treating someone as a terrorist because otherwise QUOTE “We cast too wide a net,” END QUOTE and end up accusing QUOTE “the wrong person” END QUOTE. Yet as president Obama not only ignored these lofty statements, but trampled all over them.

The centerpiece of his “Drone Assassination Program” is that he and he alone has the power to target people, including American citizens anywhere they are found in the world in order, then executed on his unilateral command based on his determination that the person to be killed is a terrorist. Somehow it was hideously wrong for George W. Bush to eavesdrop on and imprison suspected terrorists without judicial review yet it was perfectly permissible for Obama to assassinate them without due process of any kind.

It is hard to overstate the conflict between Obama’s statements before he became President and his Presidential actions. Bush’s CIA and NSA chief Hayden said about Obama’s Drone Assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, QUOTE “We needed a court order to eavesdrop on him, but we didn’t need a court order to kill him. Isn’t that something.” END QUOTE. It is indeed something. What it is in particular is a continuation and in many cases an aggressive expansion of the core principles of the Bush/Cheney mentality that Obama repeatedly vowed to overturn. That Obama would embrace rather than repudiate these Bush/Cheney “War On Terror” principles became evident almost immediately after he was inaugurated. Within the first several weeks of his Presidency his top legal officials explicitly advocated several of the most extremist and controversial theories of power that defined the Bush Administration’s approach to terrorism.

In February 2009, Obama’s lawyers argued that detainees held in Bagram, Afghanistan have no legal right to challenge their detention; thus, as characterized by the New York Times QUOTE “Embracing a key argument of former President Bush’s legal team.” END QOUTE. When a Bush appointed judge rejected that claim and held that as Obama had once argued detainees captured away from the battlefield deserve access to a court. The Obama Justice Department appealed the ruling, thus demonstrating that the administration QUOTE “was not backing down on its effort to maintain the power to imprison terrorism suspects for extended periods without judicial approval.” END QUOTE. This time the Obama Administration won the right to imprison without charges under the “War On Terror” banner. By 2010 that theory was fully extended to Guantanamo. In May 2009, President Obama delivered a speech at the National Archives in front of the U.S. Constitution proposing a system of preventative, prolonged detention without trail inside the United States. In an article entitled “President’s detention plan tests American legal tradition”, the New York Times called Obama’s plan QOUTE “A departure from the way this country sees itself as a place where people in the grip of the government either face criminal charges or walk free.” END QUOTE. In January 2010 the Obama Administration announced it would continue to imprison several dozen Guantanamo detainees without charge or trail including even a military commission on the ground that these prisoners were QUOTE “too difficult to prosecute, but to dangerous to release.” END QUOTE. In other words longterm detention without due process would now be acceptable for accused terrorists under President Obama.

Also in the first two months after Obama’s inauguration, his administration invoked one of the most controversial Bush/Cheney legal weapon: The State’s Secrets Privilege. Conceived as a tool to allow the government in the rarest of cases to prevent the use of particularly sensitive documents in litigation, the Bush Administration had embraced a version of this privilege that was wrapped beyond recognition. Not only could specific documents be suppressed if they were sufficiently secret but entire lawsuits alleging illegal government conduct could be dismissed at the start if the subject matter was a state secret. When Bush Administration lawyers used this doctrine to shield its torture, rendition and surveillance programs from judicial review Democrats, including Obama, vehemently denounced it. Indeed Obama’s campaign website “Plan To Change Washington” contended in a section titled “The Problem” that the Bush Administration has QUOTE “has invoked a legal tool known as the ‘State’s Secrets Privilege’ more than any other previous administration to get cases thrown out of civil court.” Yet in February 2009 the Obama Justice Department itself used this privilege to demand that a federal court dismiss a lawsuit brought by a victim of the U.S. extraordinary rendition program. The New York Times reported in an article entitled, “On State Secrets Obama Is Sounding Like Bush” that a justice department lawyer QUOTE “seemed to surprise a panel of federal appeals judges on Monday by pressing ahead with an argument for preserving State’s Secrets originally developed by the Bush Administration.” END QUOTE.

Two months later Obama lawyers were back in court raising the same argument. This time to demand dismissal of a lawsuit challenging the legality and constitutionality of the NSA’s warrantless eavesdropping program. In 2010, the Obama Justice Department used the doctrine in the most extreme way possible to demand dismissal of a lawsuit brought by Awliki’s father that requested that a federal judge enjoin the President from killing his son without a trail. Rather than contest the lawsuits on the merits by, for instance, showing evidence of Awliki’s guilt Obama lawyers insisted that the courts have no role to play in reviewing the President’s “War On Terror” killings. Early developments like these lead the New York Times Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Charlie Savage to observe that on February 17, 2009 less than a month after Obama’s inauguration that QOUTE “The Obama Administration is quietly signaling continued support for major elements of its predecessor’s approach to fighting al Qaeda.” END QOUTE. Which was QOUTE “promoting growing worry among civil liberties groups and a sense of vindication among supporters of Bush era policies.” END QUOTE. The headline said it all OBAMA’S WAR ON TERROR MAY RESEMBLE BUSH’S IN SOME AREAS.

So unthinkable was this development that Obama fresh off a campaign railing against the Bush/Cheney’s War On Terror would then adopt and extend its defining provisions that many refused to believe it was happening despite the mounting proof. I was one such person. In February, I mildly objected of Savage’s comparison of Bush and Obama to QOUTE “premature.” But by July the evidence was indisputable and I wrote that I had been wrong and Savage’s article was QUOTE “more prescient than premature.” By that point the realization that Obama’s “War On Terror” theories would largely track Bush’s grew rapidly. Even rightwing Republicans who had anticipated attacking Obama for abandoning the Bush/Cheney approach were instead acknowledging and praising the continuity. General Hayden, whose conformation as CIA chief Obama opposed gushed with praise for Obama QUOTE “There’s been a powerful continuity between the 43th and the 44th presidents.” END QUOTE.

James Jay Carafano a “homeland security expert” of the conservative Heritage Foundation told the New York Times reporter, Peter Baker, QUOTE “I don’t think it is even fair to call it Bush-like: IT’S BUSH. It’s really, really hard to find a difference that’s meaningful and not atmospheric.” END QUOTE.

In a 2011 interview with NBC news Dick Cheney, himself, observed QUOTE “He obviously has been through the fires of becoming President and having to make decisions and live with consequences. And it’s different than being a candidate. When he was a candidate he was all for closing ‘Gitmo. He was very critical what we’d done in the counterterrorism area to protect America from further attack and so on. I think he’s… in terms of a lot of the terrorism policies… the early talk, for example, about prosecuting people in the CIA who have been carrying out our policies… all of that’s fallen by the wayside. I think he’s learned that what we did was far more appropriate than he ever gave us credit for while he was a candidate, so I think he’s learned from experience.” END QUOTE.

Obama did not navigate this transformation alone. As it is to be expected in the highly partisan polarized climate that prevails in the United States large numbers of Democrats and Progressives transformed with him: from virulent critics of these policies to vocal supporters once they became Obama policies rather than Bush policies. A 2012 poll from the Washington Post/ABC News found that QUOTE “The sharpest edges of President Obama’s CounterTerrorism Policy, including the use of Drone Aircraft to kill suspected terrorists abroad and keeping open the Military Prison at Guantanamo Bay have broad public support including from the leftwing of the Democratic Party.” END QUOTE. Indeed, QUOTE “53% of self-identified Democrats and 67% of moderate or conservative Democrats support keeping Guantanamo Bay open even though it emerged as a symbol of the post 9/11 National Security Policies of George W. Bush which many liberals bitterly opposed.” END QUOTE. More amazingly still QUOTE “Fully 77% of liberal Democrats endorse the use of drones.” END QUOTE. And QUOTE “Support for drone strikes against suspected terrorists stays high dropping only somewhat when respondents are asked specifically asked about targeting American citizens living overseas as was the case with Anwar al-Awliki. A former Bush Justice Department lawyer and current Harvard law professor Jack Goldsmith wrote in The New Republic QUOTE “The new administration has copied most of the Bush program, has expanded some of it, and has narrowed only a bit of it.” END QUOTE. He highlighted the critical point that Obama made those policies bipartisan and thus strengthened them beyond what Bush and Cheney could ever have achieved on their own. Goldsmith argued that Obama’s decision to continue the core Bush terrorism policies is like Nixon going to China.” END QUOTE. In other words only a liberal, a self-proclaimed civil libertarian President like Obama had the ability to institutionalize these once controversial and radical powers into mainstream bipartisan powers.

Obama’s aggressive, expansive use of drones over the course of seven years in multiple predominately Muslim countries embodies the worst of what made the Bush/Cheney “War On Terror” so destructive. Obama arrogated unto himself the unilateral, unrestrained, unchecked power to decide without a whiff of due process who was a terrorist and who should die. The extension of this claimed authority to an American was a serious escalation of what even Bush and Cheney dared to do. Indeed, Bush officials remarked almost certainly accurately that they would never have gotten away with killing Awliki the way Obama did.

There were, of course, a couple of “War On Terror” changes as a result of Obama’s election. The “Torture Program” which had already been deactivated before the 2008 election formally ended and special forces and drones replaced the type of large scale ground invasion that destroyed Iraq. But the defining essence of the Bush/Cheney template: that the United States is fighting an endless war against terrorist suspects who have no due process rights of any kind is very much alive and in many cases stronger than ever.

The Assassination Complex provides the most in-depth look into how these powers have been used and abused. It powerfully validates Obama’s pre-presidency concern about unchecked action against terrorists. That quote that “there are going to be situations in which we cast too wide a net and target the wrong person,” END QUOTE. Most of all the revelations in this book signify one of the most enduring and consequential aspects of the Obama Legacy: the continuation of ENDLESS WAR fueled by the very powers he was elected to vowing to end.

On the Reformation of the Democratic Party

In a comment to a recent FB post I made about a video from The Real News Network: Campaign Calls on Bernie Sanders to Lead a New Party(1):

I was asked about my position on “DemEnter” which I have not personally heard of, but I suspect it is an effort to re-align the DNC to the needs and hopes of the bulk of their base membership and the needs and hopes of those they would like to see become part of that base. 

Assuming this definition is reasonably accurate my comments were as follows:

Viewing American Politics from an historical perspective the only thing that has ever moved either of the Major Political Parties toward the needs and hopes of the Average American has been a semi-viable or in the case of the 1850’s New Republican Party (the Old Republican Party was considered at that time to be the party of Thomas Jefferson,) a viable third party.(2)

Then in the 1890s the PEOPLE’S PARTY, a.k.a., the Populist Party, pushed the Democratic party leftward and when the Dems adopted their more progressive stance after which co-optation the People’s Party disintegrated. After that disintegration the Democratic Party shifted back toward the moneyed interests they had long represented. 

Then in the 1930s the threat posed by the massive unemployment of approximately 25% for years on end provided Leftist Parties (including various communist parties as well as numerous Socialist Parties) pushed FDR (who, incidentally, ran on a somewhat rightist balanced budget platform) was forced to adopt a fully Keynesian economic policy. 

But in 1944 the DNC forced FDR, against his desires, to accept Harry Truman instead of his choice of Henry Wallace who was a stalwart of PROGRESSIVE policies. In contrast Truman was a little known and somewhat right of center senator from the backwater state of Missouri, but he was a favorite among the financial elites of the Democratic Party leadership.

“The Democratic Partys 1944 nomination for Vice President of the United States was determined at the 1944 Democratic National Convention, on July 21, 1944. United States Senator Harry S. Truman was nominated to be President Franklin D. Roosevelts running-mate in his bid to be re-elected for a fourth term.

“How the nomination went to Harry S. Truman, who did not actively seek it, is, in the words of his biographer Robert H. Ferrell, ‘one of the great political stories of our century’. The fundamental issue was that Roosevelt’s health was seriously declining, and everyone who saw Roosevelt, including the leaders of the Democratic Party, realized it. If he died during his next term, the Vice President would become President, making the vice presidential nomination very important. Truman’s predecessor as Vice President, the incumbent Henry A. Wallace, was unpopular with some of the leaders of the Democratic Party, who disliked his liberal politics and considered him unreliable and eccentric in general. Wallace was, however, the popular candidate, and favored by the Convention delegates. As the Convention began, Wallace had more than half the votes necessary to secure his re-nomination. By contrast, the Gallup poll said that 2% of those surveyed wanted then-Senator Truman to become the Vice President. To overcome this initial deficit, the leaders of the Democratic Party worked to influence the Convention delegates, such that Truman received the nomination.”(3)

In other words, the Democratic Party elites were not interested in what the people wanted and were willing to resort to whatever means they deemed necessary to subvert the people’s will to serve their personal agendas.

However, it was impossible for the DNC elites to fully implement their wishes to remarry the party to the agenda of The Monied Interests until the death of nearly all who remembered the Depression of the 1930s and the success of The New Deal in dealing with it and the needs of the general populace, aka The FDR New Deal Democrats

This process of dismantling the New Deal Coalition began in earnest in the late 1960s with the dwindling numbers of “elected officials” who were old enough to clearly recall the Great Depression.

This was given a huge impetus when Nixon’s rigging of the election of 1972 ended in the abject defeat of George McGovern. However, it was not McGovern’s policies that had been rejected it was the corruption of Nixon that brought about that defeat and only George Wallace (with his ultra-nationalist and clearly racist stances–now a stalwart of Trumpism) might have stood a chance against Nixon that year. 

The following quote seems rather curious in several ways but the one really sticks out to me rather like the proverbial sore thumb is the reference of a rather strange name supporting certain types of Democrats, i.e., Koch, as in Charles and David… but Morgan Stanley, Dow Chemical, Citigroup also stand out in a significant way for a supposedly party of the ‘people’:

“Whatever the Reagan Revolution’s deleterious effects on Democrats’ fortunes at the ballot box, the party’s time in the presidential wilderness provided neoliberals with the perfect opportunity to stage a bloodless coup in the Democratic Party. In the mid-1980s, Alvin From, a staffer for a series of moderate Democrats, recruited Al Gore and other neolibs to form the Democratic Leadership Council. The nascent DLC argued that the defeat of Carter’s former vice president, Walter Mondale, in 1984 further demonstrated the failure of McGovernism, despite the fact that Mondale’s platform of deficit-slashing “New Realism” actually marked the party’s continued shift to the right.
“Emboldened by Reagan’s reelection, the DLC quickly attracted dozens of almost exclusively white male elected Democrats to its ranks, as well as buckets of seed money from some of the largest corporations in the country, including Morgan Stanley, Dow Chemical, Citigroup, and KOCH INDUSTRIES. Preferring the term New Democrats’ to ‘neoliberals,’ the DLC’s adherents kept the neolibs’ pro-business orientation and appended an even more reactionary stance on social and cultural issues. The New Democrats, as the DLC’s Chair Chuck Robb said, were no longer afraid to speak ‘uncomfortable truths’ about black poverty, ‘[I]t’s time to shift the primary focus from racism—the traditional enemy without—to self-defeating patterns of behavior—the new enemy within.’(4)

Now consider that this is the same coalition that brought us the Clintons, NAFTA, the end of welfare as we have come to know it,(5) and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which provided funding for tens of thousands of community police officers, the Defense of Marriage Act, financial deregulation, and yet another top-heavy capital gains tax cut and mandated life sentences for criminals convicted of a violent felony after two or more prior convictions, including drug crimes. Thus giving us the school to prison pipeline and a major impetus to the prison/industrial complex of private prisons. You might note that these programs had long been and still remain major Republican agenda items. But that should surprise no one who is aware of the history of the DNC’s actual elite leadership instead of the faux elites complained about by the Republican and Libertarian in their bit to more the entire American Political Spectrum steadily rightward.

If your political leanings are to REFORM the Democratic Party, I truly wish you well in your attempts to bring the DNC to heel but I don’t believe that that can be accomplished without the threat of some (at least semi-) viable third party. Thus I urge you to assist the Democratic Party to a return to a politics of sanity in the only way that has ever achieved any success in pursuing this goal.

Some commentary I am hearing is that:

the democratsdon’t need to be reformed. That they just need to get out and vote.” 

What I see in this type of comment is that what they are inferring that the voting public; is somehow shirking their duty as if the voting public in some manner OWES an obligation to a political party, in this case the Democratic Party; however, it is in my opinion that the political party owes an allegiance to the the voting public; that they hope will vote for them. It is not the voting public; that has abandoned the DNC: it is the DNC that has abandoned the the voting public. It is to the leadership of this party that I allude in the title of this post not to the the voting public.

Ideologically there are almost no 1960s or 1970s style Democrats left in congress and none whatsoever in Leadership Positions of the Party Apparatus itself. If you think of Sanders or Warren.(6) Yes, they are prominent in the public eye and even hold positions that give them some influence in the senatorial chamber. This, in the final analysis only makes them useful “thorns in the side” of that very Party Power Structure that has ruled since the defeat of George McGovern in 1972(3); notwithstanding, this leaves them on the periphery of actual power within the Party Apparatus. 

The ideology of the New Democrats(7) is straight out of the playbook of Charles Murray who is as anti-New Deal, or anti-traditional Democrat, as anyone there is including the likes of Barry Goldwater(8). This makes what is now the Democratic Party Power Structure solidly Republican in the 1980s sense of that institution.

So, YES, I agree that the voting public does not need to be REFORMED. It is not at, but to, the voting public that I aim my commentary. Thus, it is The Democratic Party Power Apparatus that I suggest, nay definitively declare needs reformation for the very simple reason that it does not represent, much less, work for the interests of those whose votes they require to remain a viable political entity in the American Political Theater.

In an effort to be clear allow me the opportunity to say a few words concerning people who wish to reform the Democratic Party:

I truly wish those who wish to try their best to reform the Democratic Party; that would be a wonderful and welcome outcome if they can achieve it. But I fear that I personally have absolutely no faith in that eventuality. It was the Democratic Party that laid the ground for what we are presently experiencing with the extreme rightist government of Donald Trump and the Republican Congress. Beginning in 1972 the regressive forces, who called themselves conservative Democrats, within the Democratic Party began a concerted effort to take over the party(9) and they, along with their corporate masters on Wall Street, will die before they allow you to retake the party as it is the Democrats meal-ticket to the Millionaire Club and their Corporate Master’s assurance to Billions at the expense of folk like those that wish to reform the Democratic Party.

Beginning in 1973 those regressive forces within the Democratic Party continually moved the party to the right (claiming this to be moving toward the center). And with every step they took to the right the Republican Party moved yet further toward the extreme right. If you care to really look at the policies of Bill Clinton’s administration, he was far to the right of Richard Nixon and even right of Ronald Reagan on many issues and no one I have ever know accused either if them of being liberal or progressive.
Add to this the leadership the Democratic Party has chosen since the fiasco of Hillary’s defeat being the most rightist members of the Democratic Congressional Delegation they had to choose from and you have the makings of further moves to the political right by, first, the Democratic Party followed by the consistent rightward shift of the Republican Party in response thereto. A process that has invariably been the result of the rightward shift of the regressives who from 1973 through the 1990s took over the Democratic Party.

I sometimes wonder how far back some members of the Democratic Party’s knowledge of the history of party’s policies go? I have come to wonder this because I have been told in no uncertain terms that it was not the Democratic Party that has moved to the right, but that comment simply demonstrates a lack of historical perspective of the policies of the Democratic Party. Plus, I have had my right to belong to progressive FB pages challenged which, to me, demonstrates a lack of understanding of what constitutes Progressive Policies and the contrast between them and what is sometimes referred to the Neo-Liberal Policies of Laissez Faire (10) (hands off business) and Caveat Emptor (11) (buyer beware) economics which are extremely regressive policies that the Democratic Party began to adopt after 1972.

 To reiterate: The Democratic Party has most definitely moved to the right politically speaking in a number of ways. I will deal with only one here: the one I believe to the of the greatest significance. The shift to Neo-Liberal Economic Policies began with Jimmie Carter, who was hand picked by David Rockefeller, chairman and chief executive of Chase Manhattan Corporation and the founding Chairman of the Trilateral Commission along with Carter’s National Security Advisor (Zbigniew Brzezinski, director of the commission). This Neo-Liberal takeover of the Democratic Party was put in “high gear” in 1977 when “Jimmy Carter picked no less than twenty-five trilateralists to serve in the highest posts of his administration. Besides Brzezinski, founding director of the Trilateral Commission, we find: Vice-President Walter Mondale, (former) Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, (former) Ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young, Secretary of Defense Harold Brown, and Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board Paul Volcker.” (12)

 Incidentally, while I am not a Trilateral Commission Conspiracy Theorist as most of those “theories” are more than just absurd. However, the Trilateral Commission has constantly been a strong supporter of Free Trade Policies, Laissez Faire and Caveat Emptor economic policies which the Democratic Party implemented during the Carter and Clinton Administrations and continued to do so during the Obama Administration. (13)

However, if all one concerns one’s self with is social issues I can understand how that individual might have missed this rightward shift because the ruling class are most happy (for the time being) to offer Personal Freedoms (14) in order to gain essential control over the economic and political aspects of policy agendas.

A report to the Tri-Lateral Commission entitled THE CRISIS OF DEMOCRACY argues:

“that what is needed in the industrial democracies ‘is a greater degree of moderation in democracy’ to overcome the ‘excess of democracy’ of the [1960s] decade. ‘The effective operation of a democratic political system usually requires some measure of apathy and noninvolvement on the part of some individuals and groups’ [read the underclasses including the working class and all marginalized classes, for example, Native Americans and African Americans] and that ‘order depends on somehow compelling newly mobilized strata to return to a measure of passivity and defeatism… At least temporarily the maintenance of order requires a lowering of newly acquired aspirations and levels of political activity.’ The Trilateral recommendations for the capitalist democracies are an application at home of the theories of ‘order’ developed for subject societies….” (15)

In essence in time, what the ruling class’ offer should prove to be is meaningless rights for if someone has not the economic freedom to enjoy their rights and freedoms then those rights and freedoms essentially have no objective existence. For instance, I have the right and freedom to buy an apartment on the top floor of a Manhattan Skyscraper, but this right and freedom means absolutely nothing for me as I have not the money to make that illusion a reality.

What must be done to counter the media and the intellectuals, who, by exposing some ugly facts, contribute to the dangerous “shift in the institutional balance between government and opposition”? How do we control the “more politically active citizenry” who convert democratic politics into “more an arena for the assertion of conflicting interests than a process for the building of common purposes”? How do we return to the good old days when… could unite on a policy of global intervention and domestic militarism as our “common purpose,” with no interference from the undisciplined rabble?
The crucial task is “to restore the prestige and authority of central government institutions, and to grapple with the immediate economic challenges.” The demands on government must be reduced and we must “restore a more equitable relationship between government authority and popular control.” No challenge to capitalist institutions can be considered, but measures should be taken to improve working conditions and work organization so that workers will not resort to “irresponsible blackmailing tactics.” In general, the prerogatives of the nobility must be restored and the peasants reduced to the apathy that becomes them.
This is the ideology of the liberal wing of the state capitalist ruling elite…. (15)

The answer to the individual’s question, “Are you sure that you belong on a progressive page” is a resounding YES, I DO BELONG ON A PROGRESSIVE PAGE unless that page is solely about the promotion of a single political party at the expense of the privilege to hold differing opinions to that individual or those of like mind to her/him. 

If that party happens to be the Democratic Party it has, in the last 40+ years, become in nearly every way the Democratic Party of the Gilded Age. It has left the economic policies of FDR and Keynesianism, upon which FDR’s policies were based, in the dust bin of time. In other words the Democratic Party policies of today are those of Laissez Faire (hands off business) and Caveat Emptor (buyer beware) economics which are extremely regressive policies that have largely undone the positive gains of the Democratic Party of FDR and LBJ. But then LBJ was far too much of a hawk for his or the country’s good.

Essentially what I am interested in IS PROGRESSIVE POLITICS AND THE POLICIES OF PROGRESSIVISM.

NOT THE PROTECTION OF THE STATUS QUO AND OBSEQUIOUS OBEISANCE TO WALL STREET BANKERS WHO FINANCE BOTH MAJOR PARTIES.




 HTTP://THEREALNEWS.COM/T2/INDEX.PHP?OPTION=COM_CONTENT&TASK=VIEW&ID=31&ITEMID=74&JUMIVAL=18629#.WMQONPQXSEE.FACEBOOK

2  OF COURSE, IN THAT CASE THEY WERE REALLY ONLY A SECOND PARTY AS THERE WAS ONLY ONE MAJOR POLITICAL PARTY IN THE US OF A AT THAT TIME: THAT BEING THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF ANDREW JACKSON.

3  WHILE THIS QUOTE IS FROM WIKIPEDIA I HAVE SEEN A CONSIDERABLE NUMBER OF REFERENCES TO THIS IF YOU DESIRE IT SHOULDN’T BE HARD TO CONFIRM.

HTTPS://EN.WIKIPEDIA.ORG/WIKI/DEMOCRATIC_VICE_PRESIDENTIAL_NOMINATION_OF_1944

4  HTTPS://NEWREPUBLIC.COM/ARTICLE/130737/DEMOCRATS-STILL-DONT-GET-GEORGE-MCGOVERN

5 “WE CAN SEE HOW THAT MIGHT PLAY OUT BY LOOKING TO THE PAST. IN 1996, CONGRESS REFORMED OUR EXISTING WELFARE SYSTEM IN MUCH THE SAME WAY REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI) WANTS TO REFORM MEDICAID AND OTHER ANTI-POVERTY PROGRAMS: THEY KILLED OFF THE FEDERAL ENTITLEMENT AND TURNED THE MONEY OVER TO THE STATES TO IMPLEMENT NEW MODELS OF WELFARE AS THEY SAW FIT. IT WAS A CENTRAL PLANK IN NEWT GINGRICH’S CONTRACT WITH AMERICA 20 YEARS AGO AND ALSO CONSIDERED ONE OF BILL CLINTON’S SIGNATURE ACHIEVEMENTS.”

HTTP://BILLMOYERS.COM/2014/05/12/HOW-BILL-CLINTONS-WELFARE-REFORM-CREATED-A-SYSTEM-RIFE-WITH-RACIAL-BIASES/

6 OR A VERY SMALL CONTINGENT OF MODERATE DEMOCRATS IN CONGRESS UPON CLOSE INSPECTION THESE INDIVIVUALS NEARLY ALWAYS ARE FOUND TO BE WHAT IN THE 1960s AND EVEN IN THE 1970s WOULD HAVE BEEN IN PERFECT ALIGNMENT WITH THE “MODERATE TO PROGRESSIVE REPUBLICANS” OF THAT DAY. THESE HAVE HISTORICALLY BEEN REFERRED TO AS EISENHOWER REPUBLICAN’s WHOM BARRY GOLDWATER CALLED WATERED DOWN NEW DEALERS. BUT THEN… NO ONE EVER REFERRED TO GOLDWATER AS MODERATE MUCH LESS PROGRESSIVE.

7 AS BILL CLINTON STYLED THE REGRESSIVE WING OF THE DEMOCRATED PARTY WHICH HE AND HILLARY COME TO DOMINATE.

8 I MAY BE ALONE BUT I FIND IT RATHER CURIOUS THAT HILLARY WAS A GOLDWATER GIRL with cowgirl outfit and all AND THE HEAD OF HER COLLEGE YOUNG REPUBLICANS BEFORE SHE SAW THE LIGHT AND DEFECTED TO THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. HILLARYs CONVERSION MIGHT HAVE SEEMED MORE SINCERE IF SHE HAD ACTUALLY ABANDONED THE ECONOMIC IDEOLOGIES OF BARRY GOLDWATER, RONALD REAGAN, CHARLES MURRY, MILTON FREEDMAN AND THE BIRCHER BABIES CHARLES AND DAVIED KOCH (who as it turned out was tow of the funders of the rise of Bill Clinton to political prominence within the NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY.)

9 I BELIEVE I HAVE ADEQUATELY DEALTH WITH THE PROCESS OF THE REPUBLICAZATION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY EARLIER IN THIS POST.

10 Laissezfaire, (French: “allow to do”), policy of minimum governmental interference in the economic affairs of individuals and society…. The policy of laissez-faire received strong support in classical economics as it developed in Great Britain under the influence of economist and philosopher Adam Smith.

Laissez-faire was a political as well as an economic doctrine. The pervading theory of the 19th century was that the individual, pursuing his own desired ends, would thereby achieve the best results for the society of which he was a part. The function of the state was to maintain order and security and to avoid interference with the initiative of the individual in pursuit of his own desired goals. But laissez-faire advocates nonetheless argued that government had an essential role in enforcing contracts as well as ensuring civil order.

The philosophy’s popularity reached its peak around 1870. In the late 19th century the acute changes caused by industrial growth and the adoption of mass-production techniques proved the laissez-faire doctrine insufficient as a guiding philosophy.

https://www.britannica.com/topic/laissez-faire

But in practice Laissez-faire policies allow those with more money and position to control the market such that those who are in need have a distinct disadvantages. This, thus, forces the disadvantaged individual to suffer the effects of Caveat Emptor (buyer beware) policies that Laissez-faire permit. This is so because of the policy of governmental non-interference in business dealings permits the harmed individual no recourse for redress of the wrongs done him/her as he/she has not enough money to adequately seek redress.

11 Caveat Emptor is Latin for “let the buyer beware.” And is a warning that notifies a buyer that the goods he or she is buying are “as is,” or subject to all defects.

12 http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Trilateralism/Trilateralism_overview.html

13 Consider the FREE TRADE policies pushed by the George H. W. Bush Administration and which were pushed through congress and implemented by the Bill Clinton Administration. And which the Barak Obama Administration tried to put not only on steroids but Human Growth Hormones as well with his attempted FREE TRADE deals of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). Each of these programs would have taken away individual rights to seek redress of wrongs done them by Multi-National Corporations, but more than that some of them would have actually taken sovereignty from state and local governments about how best to serve and protect their citizens.

14 Please do not take this to mean that I don’t believe in “Personal Freedoms or Personal Rights because I most certainly do, but I do not believe that Personal Freedoms and Rights have much, if any, meaning if the individual enjoying those rights and freedoms do not have an economic status which enables them to enjoy those rights and freedoms in fact as well as in theory.

15 https://chomsky.info/priorities01/

 

To Tolerate or Not… To Tolerate

we-do-not-have-to-accept-hate

It is often said that we should tolerate other people’s opinions and I agree that should be so; however, I question whether that tolerance can be extended to open and public expressions of hate and intolerance. I guess what I am asking here is

“Is tolerant to tolerate the intolerant?”

In an effort to illustrate let me use what I hope is a wildly insane scenario:

Would it be acceptable to stand idly by and watch a large strong man dominate and intimidate a weak person? Perhaps, a woman? a child? or, a disabled person? And if we do stand idly by watching this are we simply being tolerant? And if that is tolerance then where will the abuse of the vulnerable by intolerant persons end?

More specifically, should we as a society tolerate the public display, even on private property but still a public display for all to see of symbols of absolute hate: say the NAZI Swastika♠︎. That is, should displays that are clearly intended to intimidate others and promote the emboldening of those who would like to become openly intolerant of their neighbors… should this be passively tolerated because “We are a tolerant people,” or because “We have to allow others to have the same rights as we do.”

While I agree that we should respect the rights of others that should not be extended to granting them rights to intimidate others because such intimidation is prima facie-on he face of it-an outright attempt to take away the rights from others through fear and intimidation: rights that they demand for themselves at the expense of others. I decidedly do not believe that tolerating the intolerant is tolerant. I believe it is a form of complicity with their intolerance.

Is there a danger of becoming that which we fight if we resist intolerance? Sure, of course there is always dangers in any action of conscience. We must always act out of love and concern for the vulnerable for they cannot act for themselves. This resisting without becoming that which we resist is always a struggle we must ever fight. But in cases of tolerating the open display of pure symbols of hate and intolerance such as the NAZI Swastika displayed in a fully public forum (whether that forum is one’s own front yard) I contend that not to openly struggle to counter this open display of hate and intimidation is to become complicit with it. 

Martin Niemöller is famous for having said: 

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

It is my contention that to tolerate such symbols of hate as the NAZI flag is to assist in laying the ground for “Their coming for…” whomever. Today in America it is the “Mexicans” and the “Muslims” who will it be next? You? or maybe even me? And where will we be if we tolerate their open displays of intolerance? Could that end up being an American Auschwitz or a Treblinka perhaps? Yes, I do believe these are real, very real threats to what has become the “ideal” of America.

In the 1987 (some 30 years ago) the Fairness Doctrine (which guaranteed that if a broadcast medium presented a controversial opinion then they would have to provide, cost-free, time to an opponent of that controversial opinion.) An entire generation has now been birthed and matured into the fullness of adulthood (many who now have teenagers of their own) who were not even alive when hate speech, á la Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Andrew Breitbart/Steve Bannon, The Drudge Report and many others, became tacitly legalized in this “land of the free and home of the brave.” This type of speech, that those of this ilk, could never have become the rule instead of the exception except for the doctrine that “we must tolerate the opinions of others” except for the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine which had served this nation well for some 50+ years prior to that repeal by inhibiting open displays of hate and intolerance. Now within 30 years after removing the constraints on such hate speech and displays of intolerance we have an administration that is clearly molesting large segments of our society with impunity.

This level of tolerance has gotten us the Donald J. Trump presidency and people openly displaying NAZI hate symbols in the full view of all to see.

When, I ask, does tolerance of the intolerant become intolerant itself? I submit that it is as soon as we begin to tolerate the open displays of intolerance.

♠︎      If you are not sure of what this symbol represents check out such
works as:

      Hannah Arendt’s
               The Origins of Totalitarianism
      available online at: 

      http://www.cscd.osaka-u.ac.jp/user/rosaldo/101010OTHA.htm
      George L. Mosse’s
               The Nationalization of the Masses
               Nazism: A History and Comparative of National Socialism

Roger Willis Mills II

Empathy: The Ultimate Art Form

Can we help drive social change by stepping outside ourselves? Give a look see and see what you think.

Victoria NeuroNotes

minds connectionHello everyone.  Hope you are skiing through the holidays without too many mishaps.   I thought I’d share one of my favorite RSA Animate videos.

The RSA Action and Research Center is a 258 year-old charity devoted to creating social progress and spreading world-changing ideas.  Enriching society through ideas and action

Roman Krznaric explains how we can help drive social change by stepping outside ourselves.

lightbulb_a  Check out George Orwell’s empathy experiment (see below).

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How I Overcame Fear Using Mental Training Techniques

Approximately 56% of Americans surveyed believe in the devil, 53% believe in hell and 43% believe in hell as a place of suffering and punishment. In an interview in New York Magazine, with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, he stated that he believed in the devil (Satan).
“You do?”
“Of course! Yeah, he’s a real person. Hey, c’mon, that’s standard Catholic doctrine! Every Catholic believes that.”
“Every Catholic believes this? There’s a wide variety of Catholics out there …”
“If you are faithful to Catholic dogma, that is certainly a large part of it.”
“Isn’t it terribly frightening to believe in the Devil?”
Scalia’s reply:
“You’re looking at me as though I’m weird. My God! Are you so out of touch with most of America, most of which believes in the Devil? I mean, Jesus Christ believed in the Devil! It’s in the Gospels! You travel in circles that are so, so removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the Devil!”

Victoria NeuroNotes

These Neuroscience Techniques Are Also Used In Navy Seals Training

Warning:  Explicit Content — Suicide

Amygdala_smallI spend a lot of time reading blogs where believers are becoming aware of the lack of credibility in their holy books but have an extremely difficult time with fear because of their indoctrinated beliefs about eternal hell.

View original post 2,806 more words

On Moderate Republicans

In relation to a post I made on FB Ravitch: Democrats Helped Pave the Way for Privatization Crusader Betsy DeVos from The Real News Network a my friend, Mr. “A”, responded to thusly:

Mr. A: There are a tiny number of historically traditional Dimocraps left (definitely not left). Now there are, only neo-lib and neo-con fascists and fascists don’t need no damn educations!!! Fascists need big military machines and high tech weaponry, in the hands of emotionally abused high school grads. These soldiers only need 40k per year, decent benefits and amphetamines and statutory permission to maim and kill.
Me: Catchy, Mr “A”, catchy. In support consider that before he finally retired Arlen Specter of Penn. (once as anti-a-democrat as could be) not only appealed to the DNC for acceptance he was fully embraced by them.
Mr. A: Arlen Specter was a decent moderate, that got chewed up and spit out by the neo-machine.
Me: At what point did Specter become a moderate? After the Neo-conservatives took over the right wing of the party?
Mr. A: Bout then — compared to those around him — he always worked at being bi-partisan and he was considered to be a moderate Repugnican by fellow legislators.
Me: The Democrats with whom he worked thus allowing him to be considered “bi-partisan” were by that time looking almost identical to the so-called “moderate Republicans of just one generation earlier. This would seem to indicate that the political spectrum had already shifted so far rightward that this shift allowed formerly “high reactionaries” like Specter to be viewed as moderates.
Mr. A: True enough but I witnessed Specter during committee proceeding exhibit reason and moderation but you are right: in the world I was born in Specter’s political sensibilities fall right around Goldwater, or in some telling respects, Hillary Clinton —-
Me: Excellent insight, Mr. A, not many I deal with ever arrive at that understanding. They are so caught up in the false dichotomy of Democrat vs. Republican that I sometimes wonder if they can see the nose on their faces. And I’m not sure exactly how much hyperbole is involved in this statement.

My final reply is as follows if Mr. A will forgive my presumption to use this conversation for this purpose.

So true. Isn’t truly telling that the political sensibilities of Barry Goldwater mesh with those of Hillary Clinton? That seems almost incongruous, doesn’t it? But, that is just how far the Democratic Party has shifted politically rightward in abandoning the American working class, and (for those interested) the American Middle Class. The Democratic Party of the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s are so far right on the total political spectrum that they make Richard Nixon the last LIBERAL President the US of A has had.

And nearly all my Democratic friends sit around shaking their collective heads wondering how a Trump presidency could have ever even been possible.

This is so much so that I can’t even blame the people who voted for Mr. T for what he is doing. It is the New Democrats of the “Democratic Leadership Council” (which by the way was funded by the Koch Brothers: that’s right, those Koch Brothers, Charles and David Koch) who brought Bill Clinton to the fore in the early 1990s who I blame and, that’s right, all the Democrats of that and surrounding decades who SOLD OUT the America I grew up in. Those Democrats who because they hated African Americans enough they were willing to turn the FDR New Deal Democratic Party into the Al Smith Democratic Party and abandoned the “Solid South” into Nixon’s “Southern Strategy.” Al Smith, who would have been right at home in Reagan’s White House, was a “fiscal conservative” who would have continued the same economic policies as Harding, Coolidge and Hoover which had brought the US and the entire world to its knees and set the stage for the ultra nationalistic fascist dictatorships that a decade later virtually destroyed the entire world in their global conflagration of territorial conquest, national and racial genocide.

Now imagine this: Bill did the bidding of his Koch masters (I’m not real sure that the pun is not intended) and repealed the last vestiges of the Banking Act of 1933, aka, The Glass-Steagall Act which had protected the average American from the worst excesses of Wall Street abuses and within 10 years guess what happened? yet again?

Yes, a global financial crisis and guess what is accompanying this glorious feat, yet again? I have a feeling you know at least the rudiments of this.

  • Golden Dawn (Greek Nazis, not Neo nazis, but actual nazis as they openly use Nazi insignia, salutes etc.) secured 7% of the vote in the September 2015 election, and it now has 18 MPs, making it the third biggest force in Greek politics. BTW, there is an interesting history with Nazi/fascist rule in post war Greece, for instance the first battle of the “Cold War” was in Athens 1944 not Berlin with the active support Great Britain and Winston Churchill.
  • Far-right party ELAM entered parliament for the first time in May 2016 elections, securing two seats from voters stung by the island’s acute financial crisis in 2013. Affiliated to Golden Dawn,
  • Marine Le Pen’s National Front, The FN has two seats in the French National Assembly (parliament) and in 2014 won the French European Parliament election, taking 25% of the vote.
  • VMRO-DPMNE (Macedonia)
  • Freedom Party-FPOe Party (Austria)
  • Danish People’s Party, Its 21% of the vote was a record for the party, and now the ruling coalition depends on DPP support in parliament.
  • the Finns Party (previously the “True Finns”)
  • the Alternative for Germany (AfD) Party
  • Far-right Jobbik is the third strongest party in Hungary
  • The ultra-nationalist People’s Party-Our Slovakia of Marian Kotleba entered parliament for the first time this year, winning 14 seats. Mr Kotleba has previously dressed in a uniform modelled on the Hlinka Guard, the militia of the 1939-45 Nazi-sponsored Slovak State.
  • The nationalist Sweden Democrats (SD) have challenged the traditional dominance of Sweden’s Social Democrats, a party associated with generous social welfare and tolerance of minorities.
  • The SD argues for strict immigration controls, opposing multiculturalism.
  • In 2014 the SD became the third-largest party, winning 13% in the general election. But they are shunned by other parties in parliament.
  • This of course does not mention the Neo-nazis of the Ukraine or the Nationalists of Nigel Farage’s National Front in the UK.

Nor have I mentioned the personality of the day Donald John Trump.

Nearly all of which parties have surged in popularity since the crisis of 2007/8 which hit Europe more like 2010.

Now none of this requires a financial crisis to occur but it nearly always seems to be preceded by one unless the economic crisis follows the coup t’etat of a fascist dictatorship like what followed Iran after the CIA coup in 1953, the CIA’s Guatemalan coup in 1954, the CIA orchestrated Chilean coup on “9/11” 1973 or in Argentina, Brazil, El Salvador, etc, etc.

One might argue that the US economic policy of financialization began under Mr. Reagan, or Mr. Carter or even under Mr. Nixon when he took the US off the Gold Standard Aug. 13 1971, but  there can be no doubt that the seeds of the current crisis were if not sown under Bill Clinton they certainly were watered and richly fertilized under his Wall Street tutelage.