Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Blue Wave Last Seen Spiraling Down The Toilet

Since Trump's election Democrats have been predicting a "blue wave" where they take back the house and senate in 2018, but for the first time since Trump's election Republicans lead Democrats in one of those generic polls that asks if you'll vote for the Republican or Democratic candidate for congress where you live. This poll was by Reuters. As recently as three weeks ago Democrats had a ten point advantage in the poll.

The Democratic Party has been focusing its 2018 election strategy on criticizing Trump and doubled down on that strategy the other day:

"Congressional Democrats on Monday debuted their campaign platform, “A Better Deal for Our Democracy,” which takes aim at the White House’s “Drain the Swamp” initiative. The minority party intends to paint the Trump administration as the “most corrupt administration in modern times,” citing ethics and corruption scandals weathered by cabinet members."

Democrats, who have lost the entire federal government and 2/3 of all state governments, are frightened of the left wing insurgency headed by Bernie Sanders that has brought millions of young people into the political process and are actively trying to stamp it out and seem incapable of considering a strategy that doesn't include their groveling before the ruling class.

Chris Hedges, the Pulitzer prize winning former New York Times reporter who has become a firebrand Leftist, wrote this about the Democrats the other day:

"Yet the party steadfastly refuses to address the social inequality that led to the election of Trump and the insurgency by Bernie Sanders. It is deaf, dumb and blind to the very real economic suffering that plagues over half the country. It will not fight to pay workers a living wage. It will not defy the pharmaceutical and insurance industries to provide Medicare for all. It will not curb the voracious appetite of the military that is disemboweling the country and promoting the prosecution of futile and costly foreign wars. It will not restore our lost civil liberties, including the right to privacy, freedom from government surveillance, and due process. It will not get corporate and dark money out of politics. It will not demilitarize our police and reform a prison system that has 25 percent of the world’s prisoners although the United States has only 5 percent of the world’s population. It plays to the margins, especially in election seasons, refusing to address substantive political and social problems and instead focusing on narrow cultural issues like gay rights, abortion and gun control in our peculiar species of anti-politics."

Incidentally, in the article the quote is from Hedges warns about the potential for an economic collapse owing largely to the fact that the rise of stock prices and earnings since the 2008 recession has been fueled entirely by government debt -- "quantitative easing" means printing money and putting it into the economy by selling it as government bonds, which we the people have to pay the interest on with our taxes -- while the broader economy and wages have gone nowhere.

Remember that Barak Obama was the first president in US history to never oversee a single year of 3 percent growth, and it's remained well under 3 percent under Trump. The increase since 2008 that's reflected in stock prices has all gone straight into rich peoples' pockets. The economy goes nowhere because we the people don't feel like spending what little we have left and that's apparently fine with Democrats. Their attitude seems to be, I'm doing well and those unimportant people who have bills to worry about can go to hell.

The whole system has got to go.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

"Democrats" Move Left

Democratic voters are moving to the left and leaving the party's conservative establishment behind. The research on this that's available to the public has been dribbling out slowly but steadily but the various attempts to deal with the phenomena by the party leaders, elected officials and consultants who constitute the party establishment indicate they've had the same data for awhile.

In many primary races around the country, for example, the party establishment has been directly intervening, clumsily at times, to try to prevent leftist candidates from winning.

Some elected officials are trying to get ahead of the trend by announcing support for things like single payer healthcare while continuing to vote with Republicans on economic issues. Some in New Mexico's federal delegation are trying this feint and dodge approach as when Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced support for Bernie Sanders single payer bill at about the same time as they voted to pad the already incredibly bloated defense budget with an additional $700 billion the president asked for. And five out of the six candidates in the 1st District congressional district Democratic primary support single payer.

Harry Enton had a story on CNN's web site this week that broke down the shifts taking place among Democratic voters. The story focuses on Israel/Palestine but Enton said the same divide applies to the other issues voters are concerned with. The divide is essentially that older voters are more conservative and younger ones are more leftist, which means the future is to the left and the party establishment, still addicted to their corporate cash, will fight the coming changes every step of the way.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Socialism Comes To New Mexico

 This is my absentee ballot for the New Mexico Democratic Party primary. Since I retired I've been dividing my time between Albuquerque and New Buffalo, MI and would have missed the June 5 primary. I voted absentee one other time. When I was in the US Army my brother Bob arranged to have an absentee ballot for the 1976 presidential election sent to me in Mainz, West Germany. Bob also urged me to vote for the "peanut farmer from Georgia," which I did.

We have a startling situation here in New Mexico. Five of the six candidates for my congressional district are in favor of Bernie Sanders style single payer health care, aka "Medicare for All." For a long time in New Mexico we've only been able to choose between conservative, business friendly Democrats who were only different from Republicans because they were in favor of gay marriage and abortion.

Unfortunately there isn't a politician in New Mexico speaking out against the ongoing massacre of Palestinians in Gaza by Israel. Their attitude: Palestinians can be murdered in cold blood as long as I get what I want.


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

What Turning Point?

Democrats are becoming pro Palestinian, according to Harry Enton at CNN's web site.

It's a pretty interesting story, but the headline should say the leaders and elected officials of the Democratic Party can do whatever they want and they want to get some money and don't care how many Palestinians get murdered in order for them to get it.
It's no surprise. We are a savage nation. Besides participating in the slaughter of civilians caged in Gaza we have 7 wars going. But let's worry about Trump.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Massacre In Gaza - Silence From Democrats

Only Bernie Sanders among senators has said anything about the Israeli snipers who are murdering Palestinians in Gaza by the dozens. The Democratic party establishment is silent, receiving cover from the news media which tries to suggest a parity between the Palestinians and the people who stole their land and now keep them imprisoned in the densely populated Gaza Strip under the Israeli system of apartheid.

In New Mexico, total silence. To Martin Heinrich, Tom Udall, Michelle Grisham and Ben Lujan, their careers are more important to them than the lives of Palestinians.

There's lot of video out there. Some news media are reporting that they have confirmation of the authenticity of this one from the Israeli army. It was taken from the perspective of an Israeli sniper.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

A Day On Route 4

I came upon a train in Kansas Wednesday that was hauling nothing but military vehicles and equipment.

When I see military equipment being moved around in our country it makes me wonder about those plans our politicians have our military draw up for suppressing domestic unrest. (If you search for it, most of the hits are from Alex Jones' ultra Libertarian Infowars site, but the actual media notes these things, too, sometimes.)

I also wondered about those old posters during World War II that warned civilians and service members about talking about troop movements or where your ship was headed. If you ever watch MSNBC you know many Americans believe the US is under attack from Russia. If you go on Twitter now and either question this or complain about Hillary or Democrats or suggest that Russiagate is a big "nothingburger," you are often accused of being a traitor. I kid you not. It's McCarthyism all over again.

But the last I knew, the rule of thumb for the constitutionality of taking pictures in the US is that if you can see it from a public place you can take a picture of it. I think most pros would agree with that assessment. Photography, being Journalism, is protected by the first amendment. So I got ahead of the train a mile or so and stopped and shot this video with my cell phone. I didn't see anyone on the train, military or civilian. There might have been armed CIA agents in the locomotive taking pictures of me and of my license plate and my pictures might go into a file somewhere.

I was driving from Michigan back to New Mexico. That trip generally takes me through IN, IL, MO, KS, TX, and OK and about 1/3 of the distance is Kansas. I'd been either on and along Kansas Rt 4 all day. It runs east and west for hundreds of miles through the center of the state. I left the highway a few times and took county roads to avoid bridge closures and things like that but Kansas roads are laid out on a NS/EW grid so you can't get lost out there, and even Kansas back roads are built for cruising at 65 to 75. For hour upon hour you fly along in straight lines through long swells and little river valleys but mainly just lush farmland and endless skies with practically zero traffic.

I had just got back on Highway 4 when I ran out of gas, coming into the town of Gypsum, KS. I run out of gas every so often. I'm used to going 1,000 miles on a semi tank and only getting fuel every other day but this little pickup truck needs gas several times a day and I carry a gas can with me. This trip I only had a one-gallon can and I had no idea when the next gas station would be so I poured what I had in the tank and putted slowly into Gypsum. It was a mile or so up a tiny mill creek valley and I didn't really expect to find a convenience store but lo, halfway down the two blocks that comprise Gypsum was an old garage with two pumps out front (mechanical, non digital), and it was open.

After I got turned around so my gas tank opening was facing the pumps a big kid with shaggy brown hair came out of the shop smiling, and while he, personally, pumped 20 gallons of (expensive) gas in the tank and one in the can he leaned on the bed of my pickup and asked me where I was from.

When I said I was originally from Michigan he shifted to the other elbow, but when I said I'd been in New Mexico for 20 years he shifted back and ruminated a little about life in Gypsum, where he had lived for 27 years, his entire life. It's quiet, for sure, he said, but there's a serious drug problem there.

"It's really..." He nodded in the direction of the creek. "They have their little places where they mix it up...."

I pictured a shaded clearing in the woods where bushy haired farm boys in baseball caps stirred smudged glass vessels while they stared blankly into their remote corner of their remote little township and saw nothing. When we went inside to do the payment I got another surprise. From under the worn wooden counter he pulled out an iPad like device that had a credit card reader on it. I signed on the screen with my finger.

Back out in the fields again flying along at 70 I thought about the legendary "intercontinental ballistic missile" nuclear bomb silos purported to be out in the middle of Kansas somewhere. About the same time I passed a little highway department sign that revealed I was on the Wizard of Oz route.

Much of Kansas and much of my trip to NM falls within what I call the Reticence Belt, a wide swath across the middle of the country taking in a lot of the Midwest and Great Plains where everybody paints their houses white, where people believe there should be no be no bragging, no standing out and no flaunting what you have. You share, of course, but as with everything it's done with prudence, i.e., with reticence.

Of the 105 counties in Kansas 103 voted for Donald Trump but in the middle of Kansas you'll see no Trump signs. You'll see excellent infrastructure. You need that when you break a gear on a combine and it's 35 miles to town and back. You see nice public schools, even in the very rural, very remote places. Every village has its public park, even some of the unincorporated wide spots where a few pole barns and house trailers grow up around a row of big grain silos. You see a few anti abortion signs coming into Kansas but then even they fade away.

(Updated below - 5/30 8:30 p.m.)

More pictures (and videos but I don't know how to do sound with a cell phone video)

Coming into Gypsum, KS, where I ran out of gas

2016 Kansas presidential election results by county

White house, barn and outbuildings, Kentland, IN

Camp Point, IL

Montezuma, KS

Clay Center, KS

I've cleaned grease stains off the concrete at places like this. You use "solvent."

Mankato, KS

Marysville, KS - quite a few brick streets left in the Reticence Belt

This is the gas station in Gypsum, KS on Google maps.

I said in the story they have two pumps. This Google street view from 2014 shows only one pump, but there are concrete pedestals for two. Maybe they put the other pump back out there, or maybe I saw two.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

You Saw It Here

A New Yorker article by Adam Davidson makes an alluringly made case for the Trump presidency being just about over. Trump's problems are getting progressively worse. It's not just the criminality that's going to get exposed now with the seizure of his lawyer's records, but people will know how base and small the Trump operation is and totally lose respect for him.

That may be. The American ruling class has always had the ability to remove Trump.

But it may not be, too. The evilness and cheapness and every otherness of the Trump crime family pales in comparison to the genocidal butchery our Capitalists masters have been committing non stop for decades. A lot of people understand this. Trump's supporters will go to the streets for him and he will get support from sectors who are eager to confront the system and who see it as more evil than him, and he could get enough support to make his removal dangerous if not impossible.

More likely, things will continue as is. The deep state has Trump cornered. He knows now that he can buy time by bombing Syria and being belligerent toward Russia - policies Hillary promised to pursue. Trump is doing their dirty work for them so they might keep him in there so he can take the blame for what they're doing, starting world war three.

Good Morning Patriots

Americans have been feeling out of sorts. Being no longer able to convince themselves that their wealth and high standard of living make them superior to everyone else they at least knew they had the biggest mlitary and could kill everybody on the planet if they wanted to.

But then Americans got a president who embarrassed them and learned that it's hard to talk about "American Exceptionalism" when the rest of the world is laughing at you.

But America is back -- for today anyway -- because some dark skinned people who talk funny and have a strange religion had their intestines strewn across the remains of a few businesses in Syria last night.

Patriotism is nationalism.

American Exceptionalism is nationalism.

Nationalism is the idea that the country you happen to have been born in is better than all the other countries.

White supremacy is the idea that the group you think you're part of is better than some other group.

You're not who you think you are, America. Have a nice day.

Sunday, April 8, 2018


For the record, the "gas attack" Syria is being blamed for never happened. Western intelligence's White Helmet propaganda arm, the only source of information about the attack, have staged these before. They always come immediately a US president makes public utterances about winding down or leaving Syria. Once when the US said regime change is no longer necessary.

The White Helmets come from the ranks of the US proxy and paid for jihadi militias, who in the media are called "moderate rebels." The White Helmets were assembled and trained by British intelligence. They stage a gas attack and take pictures of themselves at the site and the media prints them, but they're not wearing protective suits, but they are wearing those dust masks you buy at the hardware store. There's a lot of cell phone video showing White Helmets doing things like pushing a fake victim back onto the ground when he mistakenly thought they were done filming.

For all these attacks the White Helmets are the source of the information and no evidence is ever presented. One gas attack that actually did happen was traced to "rebels" funded by Pakistan. It's been a great PR job up to and including an Oscar for a documentary about the White Helmets, who only work in "rebel" held, i.e. jihadi-held, areas. There are pictures of them celeberating with ISIS.

Trump's reaction last time was to have the US armed forces kill some random dark skinned working class people. That's no better than Hillary, although, also for the record, she would advanced the conflict much further by now, and she intended to kill a lot more working class people than you can kill with a few cruise missiles. Her stated policy on her campaign web site was to invade and occupy the skies over Syria. That would have killed civilians and according to the Pentagon almost certainly led to war with Russia. Lucky for us, and the world, the Russians have some pictures of Donald Trump in a hotel room with prostitutes.

The pictures below are from social media where a huge number of people around the world get informed. Youtube is really the place the White Helmets have been documented and a quick search will bring up the best videos.

We the people should be opposing our government's imperialistic blood baths. Until we do the hucksters we send to Washington will just keep ordering and paying for them.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Rebellion In The Streets And The White House

"As rebellion grows," reads one headline as another teacher strike gets underway, this time in Oklahoma, with near 100 percent solidarity by teachers and massive public support. That bodes well for a successful strike. That's what West Virginia teachers had when they trounced the legislature and governor. Teachers in Kentucky, Arizona and several other states have taken strike votes or are holding rallies.

Teachers at the Kentucky capital - photo by Timothy D. Easley/AP

Meanwhile there's rebellion in the White House. News reports say Trump is becoming more independent of his advisers and has completely shut most of them out of the White House, including chief of staff Kelly. Since they were the only curb on his impulsiveness he might blow the world up now, the story goes.

But what's more likely to happen, based on what Trump's done so far, is pretty much directly the opposite. Trump wants to have peace talks with everyone. When he's been on his own he says things that contradict his administration's policy, which is standard US imperial foreign policy. Trump defers to any tin pan dictator who looks and acts like himself and always says what an honor it is to meet them.

Americans who grew up thinking they're superior to everyone else find it hard to fathom and impossible to accept that their president repeatedly says that getting along with Russia is a good thing. And the bloodthirsty, profit driven American foreign policy establishment, with the full backing of its Capitalist class funders, is used to doing as it pleases without any interference from politicians as long as they are given their cut.

The function of the president has primarily been to sign sanctions bills and provide political cover for the continual wars that keeps the profits flowing. An unpredictable and independent president isn't acceptable.

The savages who run our country will keep up the pressure for war. Anything can happen. Terrible things might happen. But with Trump acting like Trump the odds are in the world's favor and Americans are better off than than they would have been under warmongering, conservative Democrats who've overseen the last 30 years of stagnant wages and the long, slow, unnoticeable, insidious death of the American Dream.