CRIMINAL ASSET FORFEITURE

 

Last night I came across a recent report generated by the US Inspector General documenting the controversial policy of “civil asset seizure.” The conclusions, though unsurprising to me, should outrage ordinary American’s. Do most people even realize the power our government has to legally forfeit anyone’s property, should the agency –DEA, FBI, DOJ, Local Sheriff, etc– have reason to suspect the owner be a part to a crime? I can say that most of the people I’ve discussed the issue with hardly believe such practices are lawful, let alone common.

Here are some of the statistics found within the IG report: DEA has seized since 2008 over 4 billion in cash, not including cars, electronics, property, homes, clothing, etc. 81% of the cash was seized despite no civil or criminal charges ever being filed. Since 2007 the Department of Justice criminal seizure fund has ballooned to more than 28 billion in cash, 5 billion of which was stolen taken in 2014 alone. 

Summarizing the findings, the IG makes a strong case for patterns of clear misuse and abuse stating, “a perverse profit motive is at play.” Essentially the program funds the budgets of many entities, providing overtime, even high end electronics and sports cars reportedly allocated for “investigatory purposes.” 

My interest stems from an incident that occurred traveling with my uncle in western Texas in 2010. Stopped at a checkpoint run by the local Sheriff, we were removed from the vehicle and separated for questioning without any probable cause. The Mexican border was about 60 miles west and we were not coming from, or traveling to Mexico. Not that it matters.

The truth was, as tourists from California visiting a friend in the area, we were simply fish caught in their “lawful” net. I was asked where we were headed and where we came from, my uncles name and address, about the two firearms in the vehicle and “where” the narcotics were. After affirming my uncles name, I refused to answer further questions without legal representation. Over the course of the following two hours I was threatened with arrest and my uncle’s supposed confessions. Even as a former soldier, the ordeal was frightening. In my mind I kept telling myself, “stay firm, keep story straight and eventually I will be released.” 

After two hours we were released. But not without consequence. They had seized my uncle’s two firearms and $2,300 in cash, implying we were drug mules. It took my family 4 years to retrieve the property and cash, but only after spending $3,500 on legal fees, plus two more trips to the Sheriff’s facility. It almost defy’s believe that this can happening America, it’s outrageous that it is not uncommon. 

It made no difference that we were both veteran’s or that we had no criminal records. It made no difference that we knew the neighboring county judge, that we were white or that we told the truth. Truth is, it shouldn’t matter had those things not been true. The government taking peoples property for any reason is wrong and shortsighted. The people stealing from the people. What does matter is that there seems to be a large group of people in our country that can justify this behavior perpetrated upon fellow countrymen and women. Who are the real criminals? Yes, I’ll say it: these fuckers hiding behind nefarious laws and dime store badges are far worse than most criminals. At least regular criminals don’t pretend to be Range Rover driving Robin Hood’s.  

There is a limit to what “the people” will take from their government before changes are necessary by any means. Maybe reports like this are the answer? Maybe not? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#WAR, #ECONOMICS & #AMERICA

There are few things that anger the disenfranchised, dispossessed or the marginalized more than those who hold great power, fail to exercise it, yet reap massive rewards. It’s been said that the people will tolerate a despot, fight for a king, crush a parasite. This proven fact of human nature goes against most of what we, as Americans, are taught and believe to be true. How else can we explain the reverence of a Napoleon, a Hitler or the brutal 50 year reign of a murderous Joseph Stalin? Not one of these characters ruled their states with the interest of the ordinary citizen a priority, to the contrary, yet they ruled, long after their true nature was exposed. The final Tzar of the Russian Romanov dynasty, Nicholas, was cloaked in immense generational power, yet in the dark hours of World War I, was largely coupe up in his great palaces, steeped in mystical ritual, his great wealth flaunted in the face of a people gripped in fear and increasing poverty. In theory, his power was far beyond anything Lenin or Stalin could ever attain, yet within a year his entire family was exterminated after several hundred years of rule. Erased.

I’ve seen war from the perch of a proud American. I’ve seen war through the eyes of a related witness. And I’ve seen war up close, the smell, the exhaustion, confusion and taste of it. I use the word “war” in each instance, yet in neither is the word applied the same. If you’ve encountered it in the form of a verb, it continues, forever, to remain so. War as entertainment has a purpose in culture, albeit it a nefarious one. Those in the business of making war must promote the fiction of it or face the elimination of it as business. Marching off for Boeing or Lockheed Martin doesn’t have the same patriotic ring as marching off to save democracy or vanquish evil. How many young men would sign up voluntarily to fight a war the Politicians and Generals have secretly come to realize is unwinnable? Who’s gonna volunteer for combat against an enemy that is only fighting you because you’re trespassing on their property?

I watched a decent documentary on YouTube last night called “The Fall of Mosul.” It does tend to oversimplify some of the relevant facts, however, in broad strokes, the filmmaker does a good job historically documenting the City of Mosul from ancient times to roughly six months ago. So much of human history is a part of the region, revealing, I think, much of the folly our current policies never seem to acknowledge, learn from or even truly comprehend?

For now I must leave it at that. My next column I hope to explain my assessment of our current state of undeclared war and how our current politics seems to either dismiss any discussion that’s “out-of-bounds,” so to speak, or betray a shockingly little breadth of historical truth.

Any and all comments are welcome and appreciated. Thanks

WELCOME TO THE SHOW

The 2016 Election just went from Plum, to Batshit cRAZY. Fresh audio of Donald Trump circa 2005 speaking with Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush bragging, “being a celebrity you can do anything….anything; grab a girls pussy..anything.” There’s some kind of humorous irony in the fact that it was with a Bush…Billy “Bush,” but yeah, so what? It’s not a religious test to qualify for citizenship that’ll supposedly sink The Donald, but some off the record banter that could’ve been hurled from the mouth of almost any dickhead, reality TV douche. But seriously, the shocked indignation from NPR to CNN -who actually bleeps out “pussy,” describing the word as “between a woman’s legs starting with a, I shit you not: P” after playing the clip. It’s the sort of wimpy, cringe-worthy reporting that only tends to buttress my belief in the doom of our Democracy. I would never vote for Donald Trump as President of the United States, nevertheless, his candidacy has done more to expose the corrupt, incestuous, media/government marriage than anyone or anything since the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

In a distant 3rd place among the headlines today, behind the latest Trump gaff and the Hurricane threatening the Southeastern US, was the governments assertion that Russia has been meddling in our electoral system by hacking political organizations and then dumping the data by way of Wikileaks and Julian Assange. The latest of which reveals a trove of Clinton associate emails discussing, among many other things, the substance of her paid speeches to Goldman Sachs and Wall Street.

If Hillary Clinton were facing almost any other GOP candidate she’d be toast. I’d say, concerning these fresh leaks involving both candidates, that they only shed a kind of credibility to what we already know about them. Anyone acting truly surprised that The Donald used language like this concerning women is either lying or willfully ignorant. And likewise, if you believe Hillary Clinton truly intends on reigning in the corrupt practices of Wall Street and Corporate America, you’re just incredibly gullible or too young to have experienced the shady character of establishment Democrats.

The election is a month out now. There’s still time for the GOP to try to dump Trump for their authentic choice, Mike Pence. Count on the media to direct the narrative in this direction. They cannot wrap their heads around Donald Trump surviving the establishment until November and will begin pushing hard to have him step down. It’s a scenario like this playing out that excites me as a spectator. Imagine the blowback from Trump diehards throughout middle America? The GOP leadership might talk themselves into the notion that Pence is a “true” conservative, thus softening the blow from the anti-establishment, Trump crowd, but it wont. That’s the part of this that The Beltway cannot get their heads wrapped around. They see Mike Pence as just another Washington insider, which he actually is. Trump, above all other reasoning, is their “fuck you” to DC. If he is somehow convinced to step down, or even the impression is left that he is left out to dry, the GOP is probably finished?

As for Russia? I guess I was wrong back in June in making the case that the Russian State wouldn’t be behind these leaks? It could still be a red herring from the DCCC and the Obama Administration to lessen the damage, but that is becoming less likely. Still though, most of the media is focusing primarily on the Russian connection to the material, the substance of the leaks less importantly. In any other cycle, considering her penchant for security and her private server which exposed classified material in a grossly negligent -I say clearly illegal- manner, these tidbits revealing her true identity would be catastrophic. Luckily for her and unlucky for the country, her main opponent has disparaged parents of a Veteran killed in action, has called for a religious test to be American, hasn’t paid taxes for +/- 20 years, has called Mexican’s rapists, has called for punishing women choosing to have a legal abortion, on and on and on. Oh yeah, has a 65% dislikability score to her…eh hum, 55% unlikability.

So what does all this mean for the future? Probably very little besides excellent television ratings. As I’ve believed for years now, especially after serving in the US Army in both Afghanistan and Iraq, is that most Presidents are not strong enough in character to bend the will of established government bureaucrats in the Nation Security institutions and The Pentagon. Sure, Presidents have power, nevertheless, they typically modify their positions once sworn in to the preconceived paths of the Deep State. They talk about change, transparency and the rule of law, however, as best exemplified by Barack Obama, these positions are little more than “lip service.” Two examples off the top of my head are his intention to close Guantanamo Bay Cuba Detention Center and his wanting to clean up the so-called Enhanced Interrogation Techniques – Extraordinary Rendition – Black-sites programs. To say he didn’t have the authority to close GITMO within months as Commander-in-Chief is ridiculous. It’s exactly the sort of thing he could do as the Executive, but didn’t and wont because the Deep State opposes the action. To the torture regime, he could and should have directed his Attorney General to criminally prosecute those within the CIA and NSA that administrated that mess, but didn’t. Why? The simple fact that many of those involved continued to serve his administration, some even today, tells you almost everything you need to know. That the Deep State has power, if only implicitly, greater than that of a weak President.

Finally, the corruption endemic to Wall Street and high finance plays out even today without criminal ramifications of any kind. That is by choice, not by accident. Why? Weakness. Period. With Clinton and Trump you have two birds of the same feather, only myth and flock distinguish them from each other. In practice however, they both represent weakness and status quo. All the static we hear, all the sparks we see, they are little more than political showbiz. It’s all just one big game.

May the odds forever be in your favor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SAME AS IT EVER WAS

Has anyone else watched this clip of Mrs. Clinton react to the assassination of former Libyan President Muammar Qaddafi? In the clip Secretary Clinton had just received the news of his overthrow to which she quips, “we came, we saw, we killed him” with a sinister laugh better suited to a Mafia Don. Does anyone honestly question our legal authority in participating in the coup d’état? Do we hear any serious media inquiry challenging the narrative coming from NATO by way of The Pentagon, The State Department and the White House? Even today the story goes largely unchallenged by the mainstream media and often parroted by even more liberal leaning publications such as The Nation magazine, which was that Qaddafi had imminent plans to “massacre” the people of Benghazi for their public assembly and protests. Sounds like bullshit to me? The more salient question in my opinion would be: Even if Benghazi was soon to be confronted by Qaddafi’s forces, what does this have to do with NATO intelligence, surveillance and air-power?

It seems to me that this incident flies in the face of two held beliefs post Iraq War? One, that the media learned its lesson after its complete collapse during the build up to war in Iraq, and two, the our government had learned its lesson after deposing a dictator in Iraq without adequate plans to fill the remaining power vacuum. So I call bullshit again.

And now we are plowing ahead with the same tired, old, disastrous strategy in Syria. For the life of me I cannot find the logic in the plan? The only answer, from my perspective, is that the chaos is what those pulling the trigger wanted all along? If you consider the benefits of such as policy it’s not very difficult to make the leap to my conclusions. My conclusion is as simple as it is disgusting. The chaos and madness taking place halfway around the world benefits the military, the intelligence community, and those who provide arms and services to those political establishments. As the scholar Noam Chomsky has pointed out on several occasions the past 15 years: “when war is this profitable, we are going to see a lot more of it.”

The last thing I’ll point out as I wrap this ultimately meaningless conversation up is the drift towards a new Cold War 2.0 with Russia. Beginning with the expansion of NATO up to the borders of Russian territory, breaking assurances made to the Russian Government in the early 90’s, to the diplomatic support of forces within the Ukrainian government to overthrow the democratically elected, Russia friendly administration of Yanakovich in 2013, to the economic sanctions and saber nuclear saber-rattling continuing today, there are forces at work intently “poking the bear,” a Russian State capable of our destruction. These things are interrelated and should be scary as hell.

Yet, here we are. The media seemingly clueless to the broader political goals and there possible consequences. A media wagged with ease by the Pentagon and Executive, producing single sided journalism the envy of most any other country with state-run media services. “Russia bad…America exceptional,” never considering the mood or consternation of foreign populations in response to American hypocrisy. All this static produces an American public that’s ill-informed and frightened by what might be under the bed instead of confronting the intruder at the unlocked front door. A public with a completely irrational fear of “terrorists,” yet seemingly oblivious to Nation State Nuclear War?

In 1913 the citizens of Europe could not even dream of a new, Nation State, World War until the canons began firing across the countryside of Belgium and France. In 1920 the world had emerged from the war to end all wars only to once again burn 19 years later. Ask the ordinary man or woman on a street in America about World War III and they’d laugh. That’s a thing of the past…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#WellsFargo vs. John Q. Public

The biggest blight on the Obama administration has to be its reticence to prosecute crimes within the financial industry, as well as those committed under the auspices of National Security, specifically both Wall Street and the CIA. The failure to act in both realms will undoubtedly lead to future crimes and further weaken the foundation of our legal system. Society will grow accustomed to ideas like “too big to fail” and “bad things happen in war,” thereby codifying injurious precedents, emboldening future criminal behavior by those in power while concurrently amplifying the meeting out of justice upon the poor, less fortunate and powerless across society.

For example, the current investigation into nefarious practices at Wells Fargo Bank, obviously criminal in nature, revealing heavy consequences -though not criminal consequences?- to low-level employees, while execs, shareholders and Wall Street reap significant financial rewards. In a sane and healthy legal environment, the executives and upper management who promoted, permitted and were financially rewarded for these fraudulent practices would not only face forfeiture of profits, additionally, they would face prosecution. The current environment in banking is absurd and will eventually lead to cataclysmic failure, once again leading to great suffering by a public too uninformed to demand appropriate change, resetting the mad cycle once again, until some point, like a financial “event horizon,” after which the entire system imploded.

But what really infuriates me is the lacking sense of incredibility by the mainstream media in reporting these crimes. Sure, programs like PBS Frontline and newspapers like the New York Times continue to do impeccable work exposing the corruption, nevertheless, John Q Public generally requires a more loquacious accounting. Nightly news programs for instance, should produce condensed versions of the stories including, most importantly, how the malfeasance and/or criminal behavior will, or has, affected their lives. It’s not that most American’s are lacking the intelligence to consume an hour of Frontline, rather, in most cases, American’s most affected don’t have the time with all the external pressures modern life continues to exert.

When it comes to corruption in government, from the Executive Branch interpreting law to increase its power, the Deep State covertly making a mockery of our 4th Amendment rights or the CIA extra-judiciously operating “Black Site” prisons within which they can operate far from Constitutional Law, using so-called Enhanced Interrogation Techniques, otherwise known as medieval torture, not dissimilar to a petty criminal who evades prosecution, these powerful agencies and the employees within, will reengaged in these despicable practices without fear of reprisal upon the next emergency, value or not. The cost to the general public goes unnoticed for a time. Eventually though, the bill comes due in the form of “blowback,” to which the public cannot ascribe cause and effect. Examples include the death of American Diplomats in Benghazi Libya, to suicide bombings killing hundreds of Marines in Beirut, to the mass shooting at Ft. Hood, to the Boston Bombings, to even the 9/11 attacks themselves, all the result of “blowback” [payback] for United States foreign policy that in many cases included torture, rendition, or occupying sovereign lands, not to mention support validating Israeli treatment of the Palestinian people. These policies, some deemed legal, many not, whether you agree or not, are carried out in the name of all American’s.

My point being: How much and for how long will the greater American public continue to accept the indemnified behavior and actions by Wall Street bankers and public servants operating within the National Security State before we/they have had enough? Will it take a “Great Depression,” a wider war requiring the reconstituting of the Military Draft, or some other epic event to awaken the masses to the wanton criminality that caused it?

There has always been 2 Americas. It’s been a long time, however, since the gulf in the divide has been so wide, or so deep. How far will it stretch before finally fracturing and snapping back together?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

@CBS #60MINUTES &DR STRANGELOVE

Isn’t it frustrating that the 2003 Iraq War has come down to petty squabbles over who did, or didn’t, support the initial invasion? It’s relevant sure, but more important to American’s is, what have you learned from what is quite possibly the worst foreign policy blunder in United States history? What did you learn Mrs. Clinton, from both the initial mistake of regime change to the disastrous policy of occupation? Same for Mr. Trump. Instead of speaking broadly with terms like “huge mistake,” and “failure,” tell us what you’ve learned from the debacle? But no, that’s not what Presidential politics is all about. It’s easy for me to picture both Clinton and Trump at their lecterns, with their thumbs in their ears, whaling, nananananananana.

I’m bored with them for now. The real heat under my collar these days stems from our eroding rule of law in America. My new favorite poster boy for the gilded court room award is billionaire Jeff Epstein. A man with powerful friends no doubt. From the British Royal’s to the American Royal’s, this pedophile travels the globe in his private jet; The Lolita. It seems President Clinton has earned plenty of mileage plan perks since 2001, some 30 times at minimum aboard the Lolita. What’s the chances that another creepy billionaire in the news is good pals with Pedophile Jeff who goes by The Donald? Oh yes, the cream certainly does congeal at the top of that evil circus troupe. It seems nothing touches old Jeffrey, especially not the pitiful local Sheriff who investigated him for a year, identifying scores of pre-teens inhabiting the scumbag palatial mansion, only to have the rug pulled out from under the investigation by the DA. For serial rape and trafficking children, 18 months in the local jail seems appropriate? Especially nice considering his spending a few days in the joint, a few at home, repeat. But we pretend that justice is blind. The truth is America has no rule of law. What we have is a police state that uses the threat of prison to control the less powerful. How else can you explain the fact that one of these young ladies ended up doing three years hard time for stealing a gold necklace from mister pedophile and friends, the same duckweed who repeatedly sexually abused her from age 13 to 15. Justice!

And if you thought it couldn’t get any more sleazy; consider the fact that both Donald Trump and Bill Clinton consider the douche a “good friend.” I wonder what kind of blackmail material Mr. Epstein has on these fine gentlemen?

In other news: Watching this weeks edition of 60 Minutes calmed my nerves a bit, not really. So apparently we are once again flying Nuclear armed B-52s around Russia’s borders like the good old days of the Cold War. Some Air Force General the likes of Curtis Le-may calmly described the fire power aboard each bomber: They carry four, six-cylinder cruise missile launchers, each armed with thermonuclear munitions some 25 times the power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. These missiles can travel 1500 miles -a handy map was provided clearly showing the flight paths to major Russian cities- so with aircraft flying missions from the North Pole to Southeast Asia, we got them Roosky’s covered. WTF!

Have these clowns ever watched Dr. Strangelove? If not, they have replicated much of the subplot with uncanny, terrifying accuracy. This ‘ol General assured the American public that these exercises are now necessary due to ultra-provocative Russian behavior. Anyone else sense something approaching Kafka in rationality and Orwellian logic? Right! ISIS is our biggest threat?

I am making jokes here, but seriously, this bullshit is approaching insanity. Our political leadership is going to sit idly by while the Pentagon and CIA provoke Russia into Cold War 2.0? The amount of hubris dripping from that 60 Minutes feature was stunning. It was propaganda worthy of our bloated, unruly, cooked Deep State, no doubt. I ask this: If we had State sponsored media here in a supposed Democracy, would it look any different from that 60 Minutes piece? Look, the so-called journalists at CBS let our military command speak ill will of Russia and Syria for bombing indiscriminately, including a hospital. That’s appropriate, true, and accurate as far as we know? But to not ask anyone at the Pentagon about the Doctor’s Without Borders Hospital we recently destroyed in Afghanistan by “accident,” or the “accidental” bombing of Syrian troops in their own country last week, is worse than malpractice; it’s subservient and destructive to our Democratic process that requires our citizens learning the truth, so they can act appropriately and agree with, or disagree with, the policies playing out in our names.

Someone asked me today, a fellow Vet; “are you even on our side brother?” The whimsical nature of the question, asked so nonchalantly, depressed me profoundly.  “Am I on your side?” Wow! “Yes, I am brother!” “It’s some of these fools in command, making the policy, cavalierly toying with a country that’s capable of wiping our nation literally off the map, that should be asked that question.” Beginning with our addiction to meddling in what should be Russia’s sphere of influence. Pushing NATO right up to their border after committing to the opposite policy upon a reunited Germany. Even going so far as to help overthrow the Russia friendly Ukrainian Government, a piece of geography analogous to the United States and Mexico. These crimped and pressed desk jockeys have calculated that the best policy in regards to Russia is “poke the bear.” So yea, I’d ask them whose side are you on? The American public or the Boards of corporate raiders the likes of Raytheon and General Atomics, who would profit quite handsomely supplying the tools of Cold War 2.0.

What good is all that money sir, that paper currency and 1’s and zeros on a network after your freshman pranks cause the cold to boil?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#PRESIDENTIALDEBATE b.s.

So my last post was just all out word storm…and it felt good. Maybe I’ve discovered something vital to my mental health; unabridged political word vomit? Speaking of stomach and gut excrement, I just finished watching the 1st Presidential Debate of 2016. I was hoping to walk away from the 90 minutes with a better impression of Hillary Clinton, a hope that seemed within possibility considering the adjacent candidate sharing the stage with her. First thoughts are most important I think and the truth is, neither candidate said or acted in any way unexpected. My assessment of the two stands: I intensely dislike both Clinton and Trump as POTUS. Trump is simply a fool who might actually change Washington. The change might be for the worse, if that’s even possible? And Clinton represents the established “status quo.” Yes, I know both descriptors mean the same thing. Watching the show on my laptop I yearned for a West Wing President Bartlett smack down from Hillary that, despite the many moments of unguarded Trump, if you will, never materialized. Was that the strategy, to simply chuckle at his ranting madness? The one canned response I noticed was the “beauty queen” line that didn’t really emphasize the larger point..my opinion at least. But Lester Holt did a solid job. If anything, he leaned on The Donald with tough questions a couple more times than he did Clinton. Last thing I’ll mention: Clinton only addressed or referred to Trump as Donald the entire debate. Doubt he noticed.

The bigger theme is: From a Nation of 330 million, these two, somehow, have been lifted to such prominence, despite their flaws, despite their unlike-ability, despite their histories? What does this say about our democratic system? In my opinion, these national elections expose the truth, rather than perpetuate the myth, of our society. We like to prance around the world extolling our moral superiority and advanced justice systems. The nomination of Trump, a man connected both fundamentally and tangentially to bias and racism, exposes the entrenched social divides that continue to hound our culture. If social media could be attributed to a single benefit, I believe that would have to be the way in which these isolated, yet not infrequent acts of racial injustices, ie, unarmed black persons killed by law enforcement- are readily exposed to the masses, where as in past times only the most egregious acts like the Rodney King beatings went viral. This combination of ubiquitous recording and multi dimensional sharing is mainstreaming a social cause that’s been brewing for decades, yet heavily exposed today with the tools of modern technology.

Going back to these police killings for a minute. Just imagine how many unjustified homicides occurred prior to these technological advances? I mean look, many time today, even when captured on video, law enforcement will dance around the truth as in the case of Tamir Rice in Cleveland. A straight up murder by the way. Many of these incidents are buffeted with phrases like; “I saw a gun” or, “he looked like a madman on PCP.” Without video to contradict these accounts and the willingness of other police witnesses to falsify reports, the victims have been “up shit creek,” so to speak. Your word against theirs and you might be dead anyway right? So you can feel this storm brewing as regular citizens now have the opposing ammunition to contradict what otherwise would have likely been covered up with false reporting. Shit’s gotta change and the shock and confusion gripping police departments is palpable. Hopefully modern technology will help bridge this long running divide….but consider me skeptical.

No surprise Veteran’s issues of any kind were absent from the debate! After the forum last week I had many questions regarding both candidates comprehension of the wider issues. Actually, I don’t even want to know what these two think. Fuck ’em. They could say something sensible and be a lie or something outrageous that comes true. It’s all talk from them. It’s the moderator who asks the question…or doesn’t, as it were, that bears importance. Is that the correct “bears?” Or “bares?” At this point though, even I would be incredibly shocked if Trump even ends up winning more than 150 electoral votes. We are collectively a stupid nation, but not morons, right?

Hasn’t supply side -trickle down- economics been proven a sham? Isn’t it fucking obvious that Republicans spew this “voodoo” economic theory as a convenient way to slash taxes, most of all for the wealthy and corporate America? After all these years though it’s still trotted out by GOP candidates like some kind of paramnesia. Such bullshit. In fact, that’s a better metaphor than “trickle down.” It should be, “let the bull eat more so that even more shit trickles down on the rest of us.” The more gluttony, the more shit for all theory of economics. It’s about as believable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POST #JUSTICE #SOCIETY

Before I dig into the outrageous matter that is our never-ending 15 year state of war, I’d like to ask a simple question…Is there no limit to the lawlessness permeating the elite stratus of post 20th Century America?  From Wall Street to Washington DC, it’s become a simple rule of fact that the rich and powerful among us ascribe to a separate book of laws; invisible, classified or secret laws that shield those with wealth and status from criminal indictment and prosecution, and if the law is brought to bear at all, civil judgments are rendered as tax deductable fines, without admission of guilt. Look no further than the Hillary Clinton private server investigation. With regular folk, they’d make you prove your innocense rather than the other way around. Don’t believe me? Look into the Bill Binny case and the NSA. All they found was a single page on his personal computer that was classified AFTER he left the agency and was charged because they thought he was leaking to the press. Binny, although a dutiful long term employee and Veteran never got the due dillegence Clinton received. Or when Trump is looking at a major lawsuit in Florida, the case is not picked up after an illegal contribution to the AG’s campaign comittee. No problem on either front I guess? Over the course of 15 years, admitted war crimes such as torture and massive financial crimes that continue today, are somehow blanketed in indemnity by those in power without even the slightest sense of caution for precedent and the future it portends. If no punishment results from blatant criminality, the chances of repeated behavior is compulsory. There was a time in this country when there was at least the illusion of justice. Today what we see is a nation that punishes the poor and indigent to the extreme while simultaneously kissing the ring of those “too big to fail -jail-.” How long can this charade go on before the peasants recall their ante? How long can the mystical illusion of freedom and equality keep hold of the masses? In my opinion, the levee will breach the moment those who considered themselves part of the middle class, deserved of the “American Dream,” discover that they too have been swallowed by the invisible power. The dam will break the day white privilege no longer has the strength to compete with those who own the state. That time when those who looked upon the ghetto’s and inner city populations realize that they’ve been manipulated into their own newer, modern, yet similar ghetto, stripped of the rights we all take for granted. We’re accustomed to the plight of minorities in the justice system. A system that treats you better if you are guilty and wealthy than it does if you’re poor and innocent. Bit by bit, Democracy in the United States is being neutered by the influence of dark money in massive quantities.

You may think I am some kind of nut-job after reading this? That I’m making a mountain out of a molehill? I just ask you to think about what I’m saying. Think about the 2008 financial crisis and the complete lack of accountability involved. Something like 14 trillion dollars all told and not even a single Wall Street banker was indicted, let alone go to jail. How is this the case unless they have become bigger than the law? And if that is the case, indeed, we have no rule of law. This isn’t conspiracy, secret squirrel stuff. It’s the facts only.

We have a prison without any due process on an island country that doesn’t recognize our claim to the land. In this prison we’ve “tortured some folks,” not to mention the many secret prisons we ran around the globe where torture was a regular tool used despite many, many laws and treaties that make these actions criminal. Period. In addition, we invaded a sovereign nation on the grounds of preemptive war. A move that’s been rightly deemed criminal throughout history by us and others until we decided to do so. I could go on, but my point is this: In the face of these facts, not one person has been held accountable, either criminally or otherwise, set aside some low ranking enlisted soldiers who were “just following orders.”

We are in a post justice world. How long will us “regular folk” accept these conditions? There will be a time, an event horizon if you will. Two simple ideas are slowing tearing us apart. 1) The rich can plunder and steal with impunity as long as they don’t steal from other rich people. 2) When our government bombs or “tortures some folks,” it is done in each and every citizens name.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conflict of Interest[ed]?

So. Mrs. Clinton’s campaign seems to have really stepped into the muck this time, an unforced error so typical of those completely ensconced in the DC beltway echo chamber, far beyond the worries of most swing voter’s, specifically, those voters still undecided for whom they will cast a vote for, if they vote at all, in this November’s Presidential race. It’s funny the lengths these operations will go just to fall in front of themselves. Apparently, the Clinton’s will suspend their foundation’s financial collection operation upon Hillary winning the election? A move that obviously -but possibly beyond the grasp of Clinton secret decoder rings in Brooklyn- will create more uncomfortable questions than it’s intended to answer, right?

For example: If appropriate to suspend as POTUS, why not as Secretary of State? Why suspend? Is it because donations are given with an implied expectation of future quid pro quo? If that can be inferred from donors perspective, how can you claim the opposite in the case of Wall Street -Goldman Sachs- paid speeches? Do you expect the electorate to believe rich hedge fund managers find what you have to say so valuable as to reflect the enormous fees? If so, as an example, why didn’t these same money managers skip Obama’s FREE speech in 2009? Do you really want to treat your constituents like they are stupid?

Beyond all this trivial incompetence, the most troubling aspect of this campaign for Liberal’s in general should be, is the left’s grooming and showcasing of lifelong Republican’s who are coming out in support of Hillary Clinton. More than anything the campaign packages and presents to the public, the idea that Clinton is courting GOP voters is a flashing red warning of things to come.

We might end up with three parties on the National level: a far right Tea Party, a leftist Social Democrat Party, and a so-called center Clinton Party that governs in the past, avoiding significant change to the ruling class, the elite and big business in the foreseeable future.

Let’s call it the Establishment Party?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fact-Check #Intercourse

Have we reached the peak of Mt. Stupidity, the apex of 360 degree ignorance? The Donald’s repeated assertion that President Obama -with Secretary Clinton proving her gangsta bona fides riding at his side- was “the founder of ISIS.” Dumb enough, sure, ridiculous even..pathetic. Where I get out of the clown car is when media organizations preface their commentary with this or that “fact” websites rating of either “Pinocchio,” or my favorite, “pants on fire.” How exactly does one fact check such a statement? No really, I’m serious, how? Do they check in with the Council on Foreign Relations, Alex Jones, Zbigniew Brzezinski? And yes, that’s spelled correctly. I fact checked it with the US Embassy in Poland.

Donald Trump is not the problem, nor Hillary Clinton. The media is not to blame for this Kabuki Theater on Democracy. It’s not the RNC or the DNC, the DEA or the FSB we should blame for our epic failures as global citizens, kin to our fellow man. You know who I think is to blame? Ronald Reagan. Just joking. The blame should be cast upon many parents of this country going back 40 to 50 years. Accepting this growing new culture of brains saturated in nonstop television, video games and social media, American families in general have willingly participated in an ever growing culture of blissful ignorance. And the slide continues to steepen with each generation, each financial crisis, each necessary second or third job necessary to support that very family in our post-modern consumer culture.

The statement “when I was a kid,” can be overused, nevertheless, the striking differences I see between norms of my childhood in the 70s and 80s with that off today must be a sign of something cultural and menacing. It’s no secret that kids back then were much more active, spending full days out of the home, sometimes far from home, playing sports, riding bikes and skateboards, doing all sorts of things. It’s not everything sure, but those experiences surely had a positive nature, learning, making mistakes, just learning about things we might otherwise never encounter at home? Somewhere in the 90s things swung the other way, rapidly, almost unnoticed. Parents are to blame, though the reasons, mostly out of their control, are, I believe, complicated?

Like a self licking ice cream cone, the echo of danger, whether actual or not, parents became fearful, the number of kids out of the house and off the property decreased, making the wild seem more dangerous, on and on. Reality TV crime docs made America seem like the wild, cable TV and video games offered more reasons to stay home, more danger, more internet and games, on and on. So now, a mom letting her 9 year old son take the subway, or 8 y.o. daughter the public bus, is met with indignation and hate. Practically child abuse. It’s actually pathological and rhetorically insane. The natural byproduct of this nannying is, by in large, young adults completely unprepared for the world outside of the familiar box that is their home for 18 years. This ignorance doesn’t cease with personal relationships or not knowing how to ride the bus, but rather, the ability to accept points of view beyond those you’re accustomed to.

I know we’ve never been completely free of ignorance in the United States. But really, in 2016, can you imagine there being enough bright, intelligent, other than nonsensical patriots around to fight a revolution, compose a Constitution, and set-up a government from scratch? I know it’s more complicated. I realize this analysis has flaws and is lacking in research. But am I wrong in saying that a man like Donald Trump couldn’t have gotten anywhere near the Presidency prior to television shows the likes of Keeping up with the Kardashian’s and Duck Dynasty reaching millions of steady viewers every week? Could you imagine what Lincoln, the first POTUS to represent the GOP, would think of a Donald Trump the standard bearer of his party?

Yes, politics in America has been nasty, even downright dirty, dating all the way back to the days of Hamilton, Adams and Jefferson. They used propaganda, the media, even sexual dalliances to get the upper hand and get elected. Not to mention the fact that at that time, the enslavement of fellow men and woman was condoned by the plurality of American’s, in and out of politics. Has there ever been a candidate so woefully small and petty, so blissfully ignorant and misogynistic to be on the final ballot, Nationwide, for President of the United States? No! And if the culture bears any witness to the future, he wont be the last.

Because why? Because ignorance has truly become bliss in America. Nobody likes a know it all, yet today, here, far too many voters for my comfort, like a knows a lot less. Politicians these days are so clueless, so dishonest, with a public that rides along in rapt silence, that fact checking them has become an actual industry.

This fact check intercourse seems stable, for now. In my opinion though, fact checking is as fleeting and possibly degrading to our National dialogue as sites like 538.com -outlets that assemble polls and other data to predict elections- are to normal voters. This is a separate conversation altogether, but is anything less useful than polls and poll aggregators to regular voters? I mean a candidate will either win or lose, right? Does it matter any more that the polls say 60-40 in one race, 90-10 in another? Especially when 99% chances have gone down -Clinton in Michigan primary, 99% of winning according to 538- Polls, like the DOW Jones and 14 day weather forecasts in nightly news casts, are little more than airtime filler. Not there for one to make a good decision, yet possibly, dubious information that could spur a regrettable one?

Now I need to boot up my pirated season six of Game of Thrones. Ha!