Saturday, October 12, 2019

Deficits Aren't Bad, Capitalism Is

Earlier this week CNN announced that the federal budget deficit was nearly a trillion dollars a year, an all-time record. Puzzlement was expressed at the relative lack of public concern about this alarming matter.

There is no need for puzzlement. Deficits are fine if they are incurred to improve our economic position over time. Virtually everyone goes into debt, for example, to purchase a house rather than pay rent in an apartment forever, and this is only sensible. Of course, one must make sure that one's mortgage does not exceed one's reasonable capacity to pay it, but there is no issue of principle at stake. 

With the U.S. government, debt is even less problematic. As Adam Smith noted in Wealth of Nations, no nation in history has ever paid off its debt, for there is no need to. As long as deficits are used to keep employment and production sufficiently high, they are a necessary stimulus to economic health.

On the other hand, going into debt to rich bankers who make profits by selling worthless paper is obviously a prescription for disaster. (See Frank Scott's wonderful "Variation on a 2008 Theme," published on this blog July 11, 2012, for a hilarious summary of this madness.) And we should take notice that the corporate media does not oppose such looting operations by "too big to fail" banks, only raising the issue of "excessive" budget deficits when there's a threat that government spending may benefit ordinary people (Social Security, Medicare, etc.)  But when we're going into massive debt to benefit the already obscenely wealthy, whose profitability is directly tied to taxpayer guaranteed bailouts, our media lapdogs are as silent as the proverbial lamb.

There is nothing the least "puzzling" in this. The rich stick us with unpayable debts to force us to keep giving them our working lives. That's teamwork under capitalism. 

Source:

Chris Cillizza, "The 2019 federal deficit is almost $1 trillion. No one seems to care." CNN Online, October 9, 2019

Thursday, September 26, 2019

How to Re-Elect Trump and/or Start a Civil War


How to Re-Elect Trump and/or Start a Civil War

 



The moment this rich, arrogant, egotistical fool – meaning he’s over qualified for the job – moved into the white house, the ruling class began plans to get rid of him. Much too blatantly indicative of what America really is to possibly be allowed to serve as chief executive, they supported impeachment rather than assassination, since even in their nearly comatose mental condition the rulers saw the possibilities of murders of Americans by Americans taking on far more massive than usual numbers if Trump were offed that way. And their employees in the democratic wing of the party of capital have not only served their owner-master but tried to go beyond, in the best house Negro fashion of past slaves with “We’ll get him for you, boss man, just watch us!” servitude. And after the incredible fiasco of trying to get him on a spy rap for colluding with Putin, we now have an alleged relationship of traitorous meaning with a Ukrainian leader, with all manner of alleged-liberal pseudo-progressive excitable bed wetting threatening DC and its suburbs with flooding dangers not attributable to climate change.

Trump is supposed to have urged the Ukraines to investigate Joe Biden, his son, his wife, or some other members of his family in this fantasy that threatens to make 911 truthers look like masters of logic. Somehow, Trump anticipated long before any votes were cast that Biden would be his opponent in 2020 – wow, what a great democracy the party nurtures with the presidential pinhead already knowing the outcome of the fierce, passionate, dedicated and sacred democratic process by which all candidates are nominated! – and so urged the Ukrainians to destroy his candidacy, as only they can. I mean hey, aren’t Americans aware of the power of that nation right on Russia’s borders and many of whose people speak Russian and stuff like that? Anyone not aware of the overwhelming power over our great democracy enjoyed by Russian speaking truck drivers and housewives in the Ukraine has probably never studied political science in an American college and then become an advisor to Wall street, Madison avenue, and the Cartoon Channel.

So the party faithful previously playing it cool when urged to move for impeachment by applying some small bit of logic, like; you want the other schmuck to be president? , have now come out from under their political beds and joined the chorus calling for an investigation of the lack of evidence for the charge of alleging traitorous treasonous really bad behavior, again, just like with Russians before and now with Ukrainians, and the rest of the world collapses in laughter at the crumbling of what passes for leadership in America while also cringing in fear of what our empire in deterioration might spell for the future of the planet, let alone Americans. Our citizens chained to their jobs, traffic and TV sets with little time or energy to notice the first vanishing to part time if at all, the second getting worse by the minute with more gig workers speeding about to more part time gigs offering lower pay and no benefits, and the TV sets gifting them with momentary escape into the dumbest reality shows and sitcoms to promote shopping for more useless commodities only affordable to a population dining on steak and salmon on a rice and beans budget with plastic payments nearing 900 billion and panhandlers begging for visa, amex, discover and master cards rather than money. Money? What the hell is that? Just charge it and move on, like the government does to support the military industrial complex, the Israeli lobby’s desires, and our minority billionaire owners, their millionaire servants, and global capital. Is this a great democracy or what?

Meanwhile, humanity’s most Important Identity Group, that ruling class more recently dubbed a Deep State by newer critics, has arranged a market approach to the climate crisis that urges newer and cleaner profiteering to save the planet from older and dirtier profiteering. And in future all wars will be fought by a gender, ethnic and philosophically diverse military wearing white gloves while committing mass murder. Yay. But wait. More attention is being paid the Climate Change Crisis while global capital, its cause, still remains mostly unquestioned as humanity is falsely held responsible for creation of the problem while the RC/DS works to suppresses its solution – democracy - wherever and whenever it rears its dangerous head.

As in every other case of a problem needing solution, including this deemed the most serious ever, there must be private profits available to truly solve it with even children entrusted to lead as a market force to upbraid their elders and innocently promote greater investment – private, of course - in the necessary transformation that will replace some fossil fuel with more renewable energy but use that energy to create more mostly useless products for consumption in the private profit creating market which is the bottom line factor in creation of the problem. This while Trump leads the forces of fundamentalist capital against the social democratic capital favoring the sanitized version of poverty and war. But there is now a small but growing group of actual socialists who need to move quickly and end the faรงade of cosmetic change that works to return to a dead past instead of creating a future of democracy that not only extends to politics but the economics at their foundation.

While we are manipulated to support laws that impeach individuals and leave a system intact, or more commonly charge individuals with something called hate crimes, we are kept oblivious to a global economy that is one horrendous hate crime, a malevolent social disease that threatens the future of all humanity. The borrowing of more artificially inflated money that is then used to purchase goods and services of materially deflated value can only continue us on the path towards a fate much worse than financial failure. 


Americans reduced to identity-by-hyphenation need to focus on what follows the hyphen with far more intensity than what precedes it. Divide and conquer politics distract us from understanding the minority group at the commanding heights of the political economy, the one which is being bailed out by all the minorities which compose an unrepresented majority. The now at least partly multicultural minority at the top, thanks to affirmative action, should demand all our attention. They amount to a gang of political servants to capital who wear sombreros while eating lasagna at a gay synagogue in Harlem. And rest assured, they will join in this impeachment fiasco which could lead to an even worse crisis than the dangerous one we already experience.

We need to become a democratic majority to insure our survival, not as cultural minorities, hyphenated ethnicities or racist subdivisions, but as members of the only scientifically verifiable identity group in which we all hold membership: The human race.






Friday, September 20, 2019

Penis Story Collapses In Flaccid Hearsay

Ann Coulter
September 18, 2019
 

If I can produce someone who saw John Roberts’ penis in college, can we get the Obamacare opinion overturned?

As all MSNBC viewers are well aware, last Sunday’s edition of The New York Times ran an excerpt of the book “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation,” by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, which revives Debbie Ramirez's accusations against the Supreme Court nominee.

Quick reminder: This is NOT the Kavanaugh accuser with two front doors. It is NOT the Kavanaugh accuser whose own father warned that she had psychological problems.

This is the one who didn’t remember what Kavanaugh did to her for more than 30 years, until a few lefty friends helpfully reminded her that they’d heard something about it from a guy, who heard it from a guy, whereupon she spent six days “assessing her memories” during the nomination hearings -- and darned if it didn’t all come back to her!

What the guy who heard it from a guy heard was that, at a drunken party in a freshman dorm, Kavanaugh unzipped his pants and stuck his penis in Ramirez’s face.

Contrary to Pogrebin and Kelly’s claim that “at least” seven people “heard about the Yale incident long before Mr. Kavanaugh was a federal judge," this vast array of witnesses includes only one person whose secondhand, rumor-mill story includes both Kavanaugh and Ramirez: Kenneth Appold.

(All we know about Appold is that he is a professor at the Princeton Theological Seminary, meaning that he is less likely to believe in God than any person not a professor at the Princeton Theological Seminary.)

The guy Appold claims he heard it from doesn’t remember it.

Are you following how absurd this is?

This is not merely hearsay; it’s double hearsay offered by only one person, and he wasn’t there, but he heard about it from another person, who denies knowledge of it. And the corpus delecti is something that happened with a group of drunk teenagers 35 years ago.


The main point made by the excerpt is to remind us that truth means nothing to liberals.

Here’s the book’s big new scoop:

“We also uncovered a previously unreported story about Mr. Kavanaugh in his freshman year that echoes Ms.Ramirez’s allegation. A classmate, Max Stier, saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student.”

This story was on the Times’ website for more than 24 hours when -- at close to midnight on Sunday -- the paper issued an “Editors’ Note” admitting that the victim does not remember it.

I’m not even going to mention that Stier was a lawyer for Bill Clinton, defending him for whipping it out in front of Paula Jones, as governor of Arkansas. Obviously, that’s not as serious as doing it as a college freshman.

But could some good reporter -- which excludes anyone in the mainstream media -- look into Stier’s undergraduate years? Any embarrassing incidents when he was a freshman? Any rumors or third-hand accounts? While we’re at it, can we get Stier’s tax returns for the last 30 years? Where’s Chuck Johnson when we need him?

Let’s consider just the physics of Stier’s story.

How can anyone, let alone two or more people, "push" a man's penis into another person's hand? Just how big is Brett Kavanaugh's penis, anyway? Wouldn't a man's penis, if it were able to be "pushed" by one's friends into third parties, need to be erect and at least 3 feet long? Don't push my penis, bro!

The best part of the Times excerpt is the Women’s Temperance League tone of the piece.

“(Ramirez’s Yale classmates) also had experience with drinking and sexual behavior that Ms. Ramirez -- who had not intended to be intimate with a man until her wedding night -- lacked. ... ‘I had gone through high school, I’m the good girl, and now, in one evening, it was all ripped away,' she said in an interview. ...”

If someone from Bob Jones University said that her dreams of marital purity were “ripped away” because she saw a man’s penis in college, liberals would never stop laughing.

“(Kavanaugh) was ... known to attend an annual teenage bacchanal called ‘Beach Week,’ where the hookups and drinking were more important than the sand and swimming.”

It wasn’t much of a “beach party” -- if you want to call it that. Instead of wholesome fun, the young people consumed alcoholic beverages and engaged in inappropriate flirting. Everyone said it was inappropriate -- not just us.

Most shocking, from a “Little House on the Prairie” perspective, was this:

“People ... would start to say ‘Debbie does ...’ playing on the 1978 porn movie ‘Debbie Does Dallas.’ But Ms. Ramirez didn’t understand the reference.”

Remind me: Aren't these the same people demanding that we teach kindergartners about “fisting”?

But the “Debbie Does Defamation” authors weren’t finished.

“(Kavanaugh) came of age during the era of ‘Porky’s’ and ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High.’”

Ha! What do you say, NOW, Trumpsters?

Ruth Bader Ginsburg “came of age during the era of” the Bay of Pigs and the Vietnam War. Can we impeach her?

I’m beginning to suspect that, instead of writing the book, Pogrebin and Kelly screwed around for six months, then pulled an all-nighter the day before it was due. Also, “American Pie” was big!

But half the Democratic candidates for president are demanding Kavanaugh’s impeachment on the basis of this sublime idiocy. Trump touched their SCOTUS!

COPYRIGHT 2019 ANN COULTER

The Suffocation of Justice By Charity

"When you look around and see how many NGOs are on, say, the Gates Rockefeller, or Ford Foundation's handout list, there has to be something wrong, right? They turn potential radicals into receivers of their largesse - and then, very subtly, without appearing to - they circumscribe the boundaries of radical politics. And you're sacked if you disobey . . .. sacked, unfunded, whatever. And then there's always the game of pitting the 'funded' against the 'unfunded,' in which the funder takes center stage. So I mean, I'm not against people being funded - because we're running out of options - but we have to understand - are you walking the dog or is the dog walking you?  . .. . Everywhere - not just in America . . . . repress, beat up, shoot, jail those you can, and throw money at those whom you can't - and gradually sandpaper the edge off them. They're in the business of what we in India call Paaltu Sher, which means Tamed Tigers. Like a pretend resistance . . . so you can let off steam without damaging anything. . . . So many activists [have] turned into travel agents, just having to organize tickets and money, flying people up and down. The [World Social] forum suddenly declared 'Only nonviolence, no armed struggles' ...  They . . . turned Gandhian.

"Many of the radical struggles were out. And I thought, fuck this. My question is, if, let's say, there are people who live in villages deep in the forest, four days' walk from anywhere, and a thousand soldiers arrive and burn their villages and kill and rape people to scare them off their land because mining companies want it - what brand of nonviolence would the stalwarts of the establishment recommend?  . . . Nonviolence should be a tactic - not an ideology preached from the sidelines to victims of massive violence . . . 

"It's not the imagination of trusts and foundations that's going to bring real change . . . .The bigger game is keeping the world safe for the Free Market. Structural Adjustment. Privatization, Free Market fundamentalism - all masquerading as Democracy and the Rule of Law. Many corporate-foundation-funded NGOs - not all, but many - become the missionaries of the 'new economy.' They tinker with your imagination, with language. The idea of 'human rights,' for example - sometimes it bothers me. Not in itself, but because the concept of human rights has replaced the much grander idea of justice. Human rights are fundamental rights, they are the minimum, the very least we demand. Too often, they become the goal itself. What should be the minimum becomes the maximum - all we are supposed to expect - but human rights aren't enough. The goal is, and must always be, justice.

"But this discourse of human rights, it's a very good format for TV - the great atrocity analysis and condemnation industry (laughs). Who comes out smelling sweet in the atrocity analysis? States have invested themselves with the right to legitimate violence - so who gets criminalized and delegitimized? . . . usually the resistance.

"I sound as though I'm trashing human rights. . . . I'm not.  All I'm saying is that the idea of justice - even just dreaming of justice - is revolutionary. The language of human rights tends to accept a status quo that is intrinsically unjust - and then tries to make it more accountable. But then, of course the catch-22 is that violating human rights is integral to the project of neoliberalism and global hegemony.

". . . talk loud enough about human rights and it gives the impression of democracy at work, justice at work. There was a time when the United States waged war to topple democracies, because back then democracy was a threat to the Free Market. Countries were nationalizing their resources, protecting their markets . . . Now we're in a situation where democracy has been taken into the workshop and fixed, remodeled to be market friendly. So now the United States is fighting wars to install democracies. First it was topple them, now it's install them . . .. And this whole rise of corporate-funded NGOs in the modern world, this notion of CSR, corporate social responsibility - it's all part of a New Managed Democracy. . . .

"They moved in to the spaces that were left when 'structural adjustment' forced states to pull back on public spending - on health, education, infrastructure, water supply - turning what ought to be people's rights, to education, to health care, and so on, into charitable activity available to a few. Peace, Inc. is sometimes as worrying as War, Inc. It's a way of managing public anger. We're all being managed and we don't even know it. . . . The IMF and the World Bank, the most opaque and secretive entities, put millions into NGOs who fight against 'corruption' and for 'transparency.' They want the Rule of Law - as long as they make the laws. They want transparency in order to standardize a situation, so that global capital can flow without any impediment. Cage the People, Free the Money. The only thing that is allowed to move freely - unimpeded - around the world today is money . . . capital. . . . 

"Stable markets, unstable world."

-----Arundhati Roy, Things That Can And Cannot Be Said

Monday, September 16, 2019

Fox T.V. Host Says Revolution Is Coming In The U.S.

"Trump might be vulgar and ignorant, but he wasn't responsible for the many disasters America's leaders created. Trump didn't invade Iraq or bail out Wall Street. He didn't lower interest rates to zero, or open the borders, or sit silently by as the manufacturing sector collapsed and the middle class died. You couldn't really know what Trump might do as president, but he didn't do any of that". . . . . 

"Trump's election wasn't about Trump. It was a throbbing middle finger in the face of America's ruling class. It was a gesture of contempt, a howl of rage, the end result of decades of selfish and unwise decisions made by selfish and unwise leaders. Happy countries don't elect Donald Trump president. Desperate ones do."

"Trump won the Republican primaries, and Republican leaders immediately began plotting to take his nomination at the convention. Trump won the general election, and elites schemed to have the results nullified by electors. Trump assumed office in Washington, and the permanent class in Washington worked to sabotage his administration."

"In retrospect, the lesson seemed obvious: Ignore voters for long enough and you get Donald Trump. Yet the people at whom the message was aimed never received it. Instead of pausing, listening, thinking, and changing, America's ruling class withdrew into a defensive crouch. Beginning on election night, they explained away their loss with theories as pat and implausible as a summer action movie:

Trump won because fake news tricked simple minded voters."

"Trump won because Russian agents 'hacked' the election."

"Trump won because mouth-breathers in the province were mesmerized by his gold jet and shiny cuff links."

"Trump won because he's a racist, and that's what voters secretly wanted all along. . . . "

"What message do voters take from all of this? All your fears are real. You may have suspected our democracy was actually an oligarchy. Now you know for sure. You can vote all you want, but voting is a charade. Your leaders don't care what you think. Shut up and obey."

-----Tucker Carlson, Ship of Fools - How A Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America To The Brink Of Revolution



Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Shed Your Unwanted Brains - Embrace Imperial Feminism!

"There was a time when the women of Afghanistan - at least in Kabul - were  out there. They were allowed to study; they were doctors and surgeons, walking free, wearing what they wanted. That was when it was under Soviet occupation. Then the United States starts funding the mujahideen. Reagan called them Afghanistan's 'founding fathers.' It reincarnates the idea of 'jihad,' virtually creates the Taliban. And what happens to the women? In Iraq, until before the war, the women were scientists, museum directors, doctors. I'm not valorizing Saddam Hussein or the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, which was brutal and killed hundreds of thousands of people - it was the Soviet Union's Vietnam. I'm just saying that now, in these new wars, whole countries have slipped into mayhem - the women have just been pushed back into their burqas - and not by choice.  I mean, to me, one thing is a culture in which women have not broken out of their subservience, but the horror of tomorrow, somebody turning around and telling me: 'Arundhati, just go back into your veil, and sit in your kitchen and don't come out.' Can you imagine the violence of that? That's what has happened to these women. In 2001, we were told that the war in Afghanistan was a feminist mission. The marines were liberating Afghan women from the Taliban. Can you really bomb feminism into a country? And now, after twenty-five years of brutal war - ten years against the Soviet occupation, fifteen years of US occupation - the Taliban is riding back to Kabul and will soon be back to doing business with the United States. I don't live in the United States, but when I'm here (in the U.S.- ed) I begin to feel like my head is in a grinder - my brains are being scrambled by this language that they're using. Outside the United States it's not so hard to understand because people know the score. But here, so many seem to swallow the propaganda so obediently."

------Arundhati Roy, Things That Can And Cannot Be Said, p. 21-22