Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Economic Racism: The New Feudalism

Stormy–October 11, 2016

Open borders in the U.S or outsourcing to China, Vietnam: Is there really a difference. Cheap labor remains cheap.

Free Traders are quick to cite the dangers of protectionism and the advantage of cheap goods. Those whose jobs are lost in the process are the ignorant rabble, bigoted and uneducated, the irredeemable, the basket of deplorables. Even Noam Chomsky makes this argument against Trump and his defenders. Generalized rage…support from people who are angry at everything. “There has been no economic growth for them; there is for other people.” How about blacks, how about Mexicans, Chomsky? How easily Chomsky, likes to slide into comparisons with past immigration influxes: Germans, Irish. They are just complaining about the new workers, just as their predecessors complained about the Germans or the Irish See his talk on Truthout.

What is happening here is a different game. In this game, only the rich get richer. Good paying jobs are not available. Education has become a shut door.

I am not a champion of Trump. Far from it. I find his views on global warming dangerous in the extreme. But he is giving voice to those whose jobs are at risk–because of outsourcing and open border policies. Remember when the U.S. wanted to give trucking licenses to Mexicans? Did you not understand what was happening? Did you not understand who might scream bloody murder?

Or you who live in Westchester, NY. The street corners in places like Port Chester are crowded with brown folk looking for jobs…and they will work for almost nothing. If you lived there in the 1960’s as I did, such sights never happened. There was a middle class in Westchester.

Back to those who celebrate open borders and free trade.

Are the open border crowd or the free trade crowd anxious to strengthen collective bargaining here or abroad? I see no inspired economist–free trader–or major newspaper carrying that banner. Who complains about worker rights in China or Vietnam? Who complains about the environment being tossed aside in these trade agreements?

What is the result…the unruly mass of peons, white, brown, or black–are mere servants to the upper classes. Now, this is a form of racism…it just happens to span and include all those who are poor, uneducated, ungifted-

In short, all those who because of their government or because of their lack of talent, or because of their boxed-in poverty–all of these are slaves to the upper classes.

Meanwhile, the upper classes celebrate the low cost of such produced goods. But, anyone with an ounce of sense has to know that if you kill the middle class or do not make it grow, then the economy will ground to a halt…world wide. And it has done exactly that.

I have published on this site the U.S. trade fiasco numerous times. Frankly, I am tired to doing it. U.S. trade deficit has remained negative for around forty years. China’s entry into the WTO and NAFTA all helped cause the Great Recession. Banks and sharks were ready to “help” the consumer, to keep the purchasing game going–but the middle class was becoming tapped out.

Instructive is to read the problems the English are having with Jeremy Corbyn and the backlash of the elite towards his policies–much like Sanders. And, if truth be told, not much different that Trump’s view of trade agreements.

You have to step back and look at things. Why is every major newspaper for Clinton? Why does the Republican hierarchy–Bushes, etc–for Clinton. What do all of them have in common politically? Who are the paymasters of all of them…corporate America.

I suggest that the Russia card is a ruse, a real red herring. I suggest that Trump’s foolish ringmaster approach to politics and the crudity of his tongue…is somewhat of a red herring. By mercilessly pounding away at his misogyny, we are not seeing what is really happening. The rich are getting richer; they control the apparatus in both parties. They control the media. They use wedge issues. As in feudal days, the barons are arguing over who gets the most spoils. Just keep the peasants fighting and patriotic. They will even risk nuclear war to make sure we do not look carefully. See! The dirty Russians are subverting our democracy. What a joke.

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What is NOT Discussable in the Media

Stormy–tired, old, and pissed off–Jan 7, 2016

Jobs, Free Trade, and Globalization

  • TTIP and TTP
  • Who is keeping these important trade deals off the front page?
  • Trade deficit—where have the jobs gone? Let’s ask Obama, Hillary, et al.
  • Outsourcing and the myth of Free Trade.
  • Are we edging towards deflation?
  • Have corporations squeezed the final dollar out of globalization? Is globalization about to implode. Take a good look at China and its export machine. Did Jobs make his buck in China on the backs of the poor? Why do we celebrate the bastard?

I will be posting an update to the U.S. trade deficit fiasco–along with some comments about China.  It is a joke that this stuff and its consequences are ignored by the main street media and many so-called economists.

Israel

    • Israel–Saudi connection/love affair. According to Netanyahu:

“The dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran and the emergence of other threats in our region have led many of our Arab neighbors to recognize, finally recognize, that Israel is not their enemy. And this affords us the opportunity to overcome the historic animosities and build new relationships, new friendships, new hopes.”

  • How much influence does AIPAC have over Congress and the President?
  • Is the major media in the pocket of AIPAC–New York Times, et al
  • In discussions about Middle East chaos, why is Israel and its role and aims not included?

Feminism and other special interests

  • Who cares if the next president is black, a woman, or a dwarf? Have we NOT had enough of feminists who simply want a woman in the White House, regardless of her views? Is Hilary milking this one? Do principles count?
  • Is the DNC in the pocket of Wall Street?
  • Who is pulling the strings that keep Sanders off the major media?
  • Is media concentration on Feminism, Black Lives Matter, and Gun Control possible diversions to keep our eye off the deeper problems, which, if we faced, might address some of these issues?

Obama

  • Does Obama really care about black lives? How about jobs for the deprived, exploited, and poor? Why has he not addressed outsourcing and propose serious solutions? Why has he allowed the militarization of the police?
  • Is Obama more interested in feathering his nest–like the Clintons—with his billion dollar library
  • Why is he so interested in expanding BIG Brother–i.e., the NSA? Does he give merely lip service to democracy?
  • Why does he NOT pursue those who tortured and led this country into a war that killed hundreds of thousands?? Nixon covered-up a break-in. Slick Willy lied about adultery! And look at the flap those minor crimes created?
  • Does Obama believe that big crimes should be rewarded, but if a poor black man  or woman or child looks cross-eyed at the police, he can be shot? He should be asked.
  • Is it any accident that Rahm Emmanuel was once Obama’s chief of staff?

Media obsession with the GOP candidates

    • Is this just the ultimate diversion?

And I have not even mentioned Global Warming.   At some point this country is going to explode if we do not answer these questions.

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TTIP Deal “Break Environmental Pledge”

According to The Guardian

 

… a confidential text seen by The Guardian and filed in the sustainable development chapter of negotiations earlier this week contains only vaguely phrased and non-binding commitments to environmental safeguards.

For those who think trade deals do not matter or who think Free Trade is the cat’s meow, think carefully about what is coming down the pike. Companies will be able to sue countries if environmental regulations affect profits or even reputation. The same will be likely true of health regulations.

Free Trade is never free. Yet there are enough paid trolls and paid commentators to sing TTIP’s praises in order to drown out a serious discussion.

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Failure of Globlization and the Fourth Estate

“Free Trade,” the banner of Globalization, has not only wrecked the world’s economy, it has left Western Democracy in shambles. Europe edges ever closer to deflation.  The Fed dare not increase interest rates, now poised at barely above zero.  As China’s stock market threatened collapse, China poured billions to prop it up. It’s export machine is collapsing. Not once, but twice, it recently manipulated its currency to makes its goods cheaper on the world market. What is happening? The following two graphs tell most of the story.

First, an overview of Free Trade.
Deficit

 

Capital fled from developed countries to undeveloped countries with slave-cheap labor, countries with no environmental standards, and countries with no support for collective bargaining. Corporations, like Apple, set up shop in China and other undeveloped countries. Some, like China, manipulated its currency to make exported goods to the West even cheaper. Some, like China, gave preferential tax treatment to Western firm over indigenous firms.  Economists cheered as corporate efficiency unsurprisingly rose.  U.S. citizens became mere consumers.

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Ex-Military and the Police Force

Everywhere we look, we read about police killing black or poor citizens–and often the circumstances are more than suspect.  LAPD kills about one citizen a week.

A cursory browsing of the web reveals that police forces prefer ex-military.  Of course, we do not train our military to be local police.  Anyone who has any understanding on how the military responds should certainly understand that such responses are inappropriate in a civilian setting.  In combat zones, military often shoot first; ask questions later.

And then there is the question of undiagnosed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

With all the talk about police forces gobbling up military equipment, I am surprised no one has done a study on the ex-military personnel in local police forces.

 

The cost of America’s perpetual war affects more than its budget and its invasive spying on the general population and its slow erosion of our constitution; it affects the quality of life of most of us, especially the poor and disadvantage who have to suffer barbarous treatment.

Time to have a serious discussion of America’s involvement in the Middle East and stop the knee jerk war mongering we seem to love so much.

 

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Complicit in the Horror that is Gaza

The great Yitzhak Rabin has been long forgotten, assassinated by the Israeli ultranationalist, Yigal Amir–a forerunner of the cruel Zionist Netanyahu and the she-devil, Ayled Shaked. But the Zionist hard right would not have risen to power if it had not help from the West. Among those who blindly walk behind the Israeli tanks, the bombers, the gunships that now plow a bloody path through Gaza are The New York Times whose coverage consistently echoes Zionist talking points; the mad Christian right who proudly tour illegal settlements, praying nightly for the Second Coming; Republican and Democratic senators that simply cannot give Israel enough weaponry and take as gospel anything the crazy Zionists say.

What senator or Congressman has raised his or her voice against the settlements? What senator or Congressman objected to the latest Netanyahu claim that the Palestinians are cleverly using the telegenically dead to bulk the body count? What senator, Congressman, President, or Prime Minister or Secretary of State has called such a remark as obscene? Has The New York Times?

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Four Degrees Warming by 2100?

Until now, global warming predictions have varied significantly. A new study in Nature closes the gap in those predictions, favoring the more extreme models. Until now, climatologists did not understand how climate change would affect cloud formation. They now know that atmospheric mixing will “dry out” clouds, making cloud formation increasingly difficult as the planet warms. Fewer clouds globally means warming accelerates. By 2100, expect four degrees of warming.

For a plain language explanation of the new study and its implications, see The Guardian.

Professor Steven Sherwood, at the University of New South Wales, in Australia, who led the new work, said: “This study breaks new ground twice: first by identifying what is controlling the cloud changes and second by strongly discounting the lowest estimates of future global warming in favour of the higher and more damaging estimates.”

“4C would likely be catastrophic rather than simply dangerous,” Sherwood told the Guardian. “For example, it would make life difficult, if not impossible, in much of the tropics, and would guarantee the eventual melting of the Greenland ice sheet and some of the Antarctic ice sheet”, with sea levels rising by many metres as a result.

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NSA Spying: Who Profits?

The latest revelations have the NSA and its British counterpart spying on Unicef, Médecins  du Monde, and Joaquín Almunia,

vice-president of the European commission with responsibility for competition policy. The Spaniard is in charge of major anti-monopoly investigations, and approving mergers of companies with significant presence in the EU.

Almunia has been involved in a long-running investigation into Google over complaints about the company’s alleged stranglehold on online advertising; he has also clashed with Google and Microsoft over privacy concerns, and was prominent in the EU’s response to the global financial crisis.

Hmmmmm. Who wants to keep tabs on the European commission responsible for competition policy?

Jeez! Golly Whiz! I dunno!

Google? Microsoft? best buds with the NSA and GCHQ?  No, no….these are honorable men, so are they all, all honorable men.   Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

To these unbelievable suggestions, The NSA quietly replied,

“As we have previously said, we do not use our foreign intelligence capabilities to steal the trade secrets of foreign companies on behalf of – or give intelligence we collect to – US companies to enhance their international competitiveness or increase their bottom line.

Yet, why target the European commission responsible for competition policy?  Will the NSA please answer that question.  Maybe someone should ask Obama?  Does anyone dare?

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Five Hundred Writers Call for A Bill of Digital Rights

From Tom Stoppard to Eva Manasse writers around the world have called for an end of Internet spying. Following is their petition to the United Nations.

In recent months, the extent of mass surveillance has become common knowledge. With a few clicks of the mouse the state can access your mobile device, your email, your social networking and internet searches. It can follow your political leanings and activities and, in partnership with internet corporations, it collects and stores your data, and thus can predict your consumption and behaviour.

The basic pillar of democracy is the inviolable integrity of the individual. Human integrity extends beyond the physical body. In their thoughts and in their personal environments and communications, all humans have the right to remain unobserved and unmolested.

This fundamental human right has been rendered null and void through abuse of technological developments by states and corporations for mass surveillance purposes.

A person under surveillance is no longer free; a society under surveillance is no longer a democracy. To maintain any validity, our democratic rights must apply in virtual as in real space.

* Surveillance violates the private sphere and compromises freedom of thought and opinion.

* Mass surveillance treats every citizen as a potential suspect. It overturns one of our historical triumphs, the presumption of innocence.

* Surveillance makes the individual transparent, while the state and the corporation operate in secret. As we have seen, this power is being systemically abused.

* Surveillance is theft. This data is not public property: it belongs to us. When it is used to predict our behaviour, we are robbed of something else: the principle of free will crucial to democratic liberty.

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Dianne Feinstein Should Hire Snowden!

Apparently, Snowden knew more than Dianne Feinstein and Barrack Obama about NSA spying on friendly leaders.
Dianne and Barrack never knew that the NSA was spying on friendly leaders such as Merkel.

“Unlike NSA’s collection of phone records under a court order, it is clear to me that certain surveillance activities have been in effect for more than a decade and that the Senate Intelligence Committee was not satisfactorily informed.

“With respect to NSA collection of intelligence on leaders of US allies – including France, Spain, Mexico and Germany – let me state unequivocally: I am totally opposed,” she said..

Feinstein also provided the first official confirmation of a German report that indicated Merkel’s phone had been monitored for more than a decade. “It is my understanding that President Obama was not aware Chancellor Merkel’s communications were being collected since 2002,” Feinstein said. “That is a big problem.”

How long has Feinstein chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee? Four years?

Is she now going to give Snowden a medal for keeping her informed? Will she now set her beady, vengeful eye on those that approved spying on allied leaders? Maybe fire them? Maybe…the mind reels at the possible repercussions…bring them to justice?

Maybe we should fire Booz Allen. After all, James Clapper, our Head Spy and Director of National Intelligence, came from Booz Allen. And Clapper’s predecessor under Bush, John “Mike” McConnell, was vice President of Booz Allen.

Maybe someone at Booz Allen gave the go ahead to spy on Merkel. May Clapper; maybe McConnell. Or maybe some newbie who thought it would be fun to see what Merkel and the others were thinking?

Who is running the show here? Clapper? McConnell? Booz Allen? Certainly not Feinstein. When private entreprise and goverment get too cozy, it is hard to separate one worm from another.

Anyway, give Snowden the medal and hire him.

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