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Thu Jan 01, 2015 at 01:57 PM PST

Do Black Lives Matter?

by zoniedude

At one time I thought they did, but I was proven wrong. Watching marches about “Black Lives Matter” and police supporters chanting “Police Lives Matter” seems rather pointless to me knowing what I now know. Black activists charge that it was purely White racism behind the killings while police supporters point to the endemic violence among Black youth that results in more being killed by each other than by police. Both miss the point.

Implicit, or often explicit, in this discussion is the charge that the endemic violence among Black males made police justifiably trigger happy. The recent senseless killing of unarmed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, by a police officer who was not charged in the killing immediately reminded me of what I had learned. The police officer claimed that an irritated Brown impulsively attacked him with aggression and violence from which the officer was defending himself.

I doubted that the police officer knew that what he described were precisely the typical symptoms of lead poisoning: irritability, impulsivity, aggression and violence. I already knew that extensive medical research had shown for decades that childhood lead poisoning was associated with criminal violence and aggression. I had compiled a summary of that research during the early 2000s which revealed that endemic lead poisoning was almost exclusively found in Black neighborhoods. Plus, I had become involved with the lead poisoning prevention community that pleaded lead poisoning was a reason for this endemic violence that could be easily removed, except that nobody seemed to care because it was Black lives, and they didn’t seem to matter, not even to Black activists.

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Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 10:23 AM PDT

Wuss in Chief

by zoniedude

The congressional gantlet of government shutdown and financial default plays out with President Obama seen as somewhat powerless to thwart the impending disaster unless he caves to Republican demands. As New York Times columnist Paul Krugman writes:

Meanwhile,... reasonable people know that Mr. Obama can’t and won’t let himself be blackmailed in this way... After all, once he starts making concessions to people who threaten to blow up the world economy unless they get what they want, he might as well tear up the Constitution. But Republican radicals — and  even some leaders — still insist that Mr. Obama will cave in to their demands.
Unsaid is the reason that so many people expect President Obama to "cave" is because he has made it a regular practice in his presidency. He has been the Wuss in Chief in previous controversies to the point that even conservative pundits have complained about it.
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Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 12:54 PM PDT

Shays Republicans

by zoniedude

Republicans in this 21st century have clearly enunciated that cutting taxes is the only political game they play. But Republicans, particularly Tea Party Republicans, have announced this as part of a broader denunciation of the United States federal government in general. Indeed, the adoption of the Tea Party allusion to the 1773 Boston Tea Party is their proclamation of a rebellion against the United States federal government. But the facts belie that allusion: they are actually emulating the Shays Rebellion of 1786. The Boston Tea Party was not fundamentally a tax protest, since the Tea Act lowered the tax on tea, while the Shays Rebellion was entirely an anti-tax rebellion.

The Republican Party of today is fundamentally anti-tax. The current Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is known to have multiple overseas bank accounts to avoid paying taxes to the United States. Romney also exploited a tax loophole, designed to provide a limited tax deferral for middle-class taxpayers, to avoid paying income taxes on hundreds of millions of dollars in income. He was audit chairman of a corporation busted by the I.R.S. for a bogus tax dodge. Knowledgeable insiders have stated that Romney rarely pays any federal income taxes at all. Over and over, Republicans are staking out the position that successful individuals in the United States owe nothing to their government.

President Obama said we, all Americans, benefit from the infrastructure provided by government taxes and the Republican Party went ballistic in denial. President Obama stated that each of us succeeds in life not just from our own efforts but from the combined efforts of a society in which the government infrastructure provides a nurturing environment for success. Republicans vehemently disagree and their Presidential candidate Romney is making this a political issue defining the 2012 campaign, repeatedly employing businessman proclaiming in advertisements that the government did not “build” their business (even though in some cases those businessmen turned out to be largely federally financed). Their fundamental disagreement, however, is with paying taxes to fund that infrastructure.

Indeed the Republican Party’s longstanding anti-tax political leader, Grover Norquist, has successfully demanded that Republicans pledge to never increase taxes. He has, in fact, created an online list of Shays Republicans who have signed that pledge. That this list is more than just a tax protest, but rather a rebellion against the United States government can be seen in Norquist’s often repeated claim that their ultimate goal is to reduce the federal government to a size where they can “drown it in a bath tub.” The Republican Party is by every measure a new Shays Rebellion. They don’t call themselves Shays Republicans, but they are. Indeed, I doubt they even know the significance of the Shays Rebellion in American history but they are, in fact, Shays’ philosophical descendants.

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Wed Oct 12, 2011 at 05:50 PM PDT

The Economy Made Simple

by zoniedude

Economics can be made very complicated, but there are some fundamentally basic principles that dominate how an economy functions. We are currently in a relatively simple economic circumstance that requires a recession, which is why we are in one. Here is the reality: incomes for the very rich are soaring, incomes for the vast majority are stagnant. The stock market is struggling and nearly stagnant for a decade. Interest rates are near zero and actually negative in real terms. High unemployment, poor sales, and almost no investment. These all fit together in a simple process of understanding how an economy functions. The economy has too much savings and not enough spending and the reasons are rather easy to understand.

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Sun Mar 06, 2011 at 12:34 PM PST

The New Civil War

by zoniedude

There is a new Fort Sumter in Madison, Wisconsin, and a new Civil War is underway. The first Civil War was fought over whether a "nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. ... and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Nobel economist Paul Krugman explained "What Mr. Walker and his backers are trying to do is to make Wisconsin — and eventually, America — less of a functioning democracy and more of a third-world-style oligarchy." Representative Gwen Moore, Democrat of Wisconsin, stated “The Koch brothers are the poster children of the effort by multinational corporate America to try to redefine the rights and values of American citizens.”

The battle is now engaged between a coterie of multi-billionaires who see themselves as a global superclass of New Aryans with no devotion to any country, and who see the common people of every nation as little more than farm animals to be exploited like slaves. And the threat to civilization worldwide should be obvious.

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Sun Mar 28, 2010 at 01:14 PM PDT

Teachers Should Vote Republican

by zoniedude

It is becoming increasingly clear that the Obama administration intends to destroy the careers of dedicated teachers across America. President Obama signaled this personally by endorsing the firing of all the teachers in Rhode Island’s poorest school. A school where transient low-income minority children, two-thirds of whom were Hispanic, made education extremely difficult.

Rather than recognizing their problems and providing resources and assistance to support this school, Obama chose to attack the teachers. It is his intent, announced in his education policies, to repeat this across the country, over and over, bashing teachers.

At the same time, Obama mandates that states increase the number of charter schools despite the fact that the most credible research on charter schools using matched students found that twice as many charter schools performed worse than scored better than matched public schools, and less than half scored about the same. The true purpose of charter schools is to destroy teacher unions. But both teachers and teacher unions can fight back.

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Sun Mar 07, 2010 at 12:14 PM PST

How to Destroy the United States

by zoniedude

To destroy the United States it is first necessary to undermine the popular conception of democracy in the modern world. As long as the citizens feel they have a duty to protect democracy it will be almost impossible to destroy the United States. However, if the citizens can be convinced of the futility of democracy then there will be less opposition to its destruction. So the primary thrust of any attempt to destroy the United States must be to convince the citizenry that their democratic government is the source of their problems.

In addition, you absolutely must suppress any idealistic portrayals of democratic government. When you discredit popular democracy there must be no countervailing effort to convince citizens of the ideals of democracy. For the average citizen this is simple, but for parents of school children that are constantly reminded by their children’s schoolwork of how the struggle for democracy evolved in the United States, it can be problematic.

Thus to destroy the United States it is absolutely crucial to stop the teaching of the fundamental principles of democracy to children. At the same time, it would be helpful to destroy any knowledge of how democracy came to exist in the first place, and that would mean to stop the teaching of the American experience.

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Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 07:47 PM PST

Is Democracy Doomed? - Pt 3

by zoniedude

The activities of the New Aryans to undermine democracy are not difficult to see, particularly in public education. It is just that they learned to employ the Tobacco Institute model of propaganda to speak in code words that distort reality sufficiently for people to attribute their activities to other more benign motives. Cripple the public schools but call it higher "standards."

Despite these rather obvious efforts by the New Aryans to create the circumstances for a Straussian world where an economic elite essentially manipulates democracy to create a Laissez-faire system that enriches the rich instead of the common people, from tax cuts for the rich to corporate socialism, there is seemingly no recognition of this reality. And the Straussians taunt that reality is no longer important.

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Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 04:34 PM PST

Is Democracy Doomed? - Pt 2

by zoniedude

To completely comprehend why democracy is doomed because of the Citizens United unleashing the New Aryans, one must understand how the New Aryans embedded themselves in American society.

One really has to read the report (pdf) of the Union of Concerned Scientists about how the Tobacco Institute developed a sophisticated propaganda model used by many corporate interests to misinform the public to even begin to comprehend how embedded this effort has become.

The many books about the creation of a supra-national elite such as "The Divine Right of Capital" and "Global Capitalism" and "The Transnational Capitalist Class" and "The Global Class War" describe a reality that has existed for several years.

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Sun Jan 31, 2010 at 10:46 AM PST

Is Democracy Doomed? - pt 1

by zoniedude

The very existence of democracy worldwide may be doomed by the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United. There is a long precedent in U.S. history that will now become a global phenomenon where national politics will be manipulated to favor corporate interests over those of the common people.

Citizens United merely unleashes what has been lurking in the political background for decades. It legitimizes an effort to empower a new master class of supra-national corporate elitists who have no allegiance to any nation, and in fact consider nations to be obsolete obstacles to their own self-aggrandizement.

In essence, these New Aryans see the common people of the world as little more than commodity labor inputs, little different from farm animals to be harvested. For years they have worked to achieve this goal that is now almost certain after Citizens United. They haven't even tried to keep this secret.

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Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:15 PM PST

Tax Increases Desperately Needed

by zoniedude

The tax cuts in the stimulus package will act against the spending to thwart the economic effect. Unless Congress passes tax INCREASES the country, and possibly the world, will continue to slide into a depression. Tax INCREASES are necessary, no alternative. Stimulus spending alone won’t salvage the disaster. The reasons are simple.

What is pushing the economy into depression is the eroding consumer demand. In essence, it is the reverse of the housing bubble that stimulated consumer demand. Now, the sliding consumer wealth stifles consumer demand. As demand slides, factories close, unemployed reduce spending, everyone else worries while cutting spending and increasing saving, even selling investments to put into savings.

There is a major myth that tax increases slow an economy and tax cuts spur economic growth. Actually this is nonsense, the reverse is actually true. Perhaps the best example is the actual data about the U.S. economy before and after the Great Depression. Tax rates were actually CUT from 73 percent in 1920 to 24 percent in 1929, precipitating the Great Depression. Only when taxes were substantially raised did the economy recover.

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Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 11:21 AM PST

Sorry, but no

by zoniedude

An essay in Salon magazine titled "An open apology to boomers everywhere" has the subtitle "Your earnest, self-important prattle has gotten on Gen X nerves for decades. But now we finally get it."

Sorry, but no, you don't. The author writes "when we watched Barack Obama's victory speech on Tuesday night, we looked into the eyes of a real leader. ... Suddenly it makes sense, what you've been trying to tell us about John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr."

While your euphoria is understandable, consider the analogy. John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated. Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated. Now that Obama has defeated the conservatives, considering their worship of guns, has he just become their moose? How long will your euphoria last?

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