Friday, August 18, 2017


There are lots of places in the country where the highways are relatively free of traffic and one is the Great Plains. US 160 is a little highway that leaves Dodge City in southwest Kansas in a southwesterly direction and passes through a corner of Colorado ending up at the northeast corner of New Mexico. It's 300 miles of plains farmland transitioning into dryer and dryer rangeland. The few towns are far apart and the last one is Pritchett, CO, where I took the above picture. The last 200 miles you're all alone. The car or pickup that passes every half hour barely puts a ripple in the serenity.

That corner of the Great Plains is pretty much all magnificent to drive through. Before you get to the mountains you begin descending, toward the fault line that runs up and down the east side of the Rockies, such that mile high cities like Denver and Albuquerque that are on the fault line are actually at a lower elevation than the far edge of the Great Plains you're coming out of.

As you come down US 160 you're coming down to the dark, far off Sangre de Christos of northern New Mexico. Sometimes they really appear to be moving further away.

On my last trip through there I had a hundred miles of grassland to go when a couple of bears crossed the road a couple hundred feet ahead. By the time I got up to them they were far back in the junipers and then they were flat out gone as if they never saw a mini pickup before.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Democrats And A Healthy Economy



My brother posted this on Facebook. Note what Perkins says about the importance of maintaining the standard of living for the working class to the maintenance of a healthy economy. They tell us that the US economy is growing. Obama was the first president in our history to never oversee a single year of more than three percent growth. That growth rate has been largely the result of printed money the federal reserve and treasury department have been pumping into the economy to prop up the stock market -- the so-called "quantitative easing" they talk about where the government buys up the bad assets on big banks' books and pays for it with new debt that we pay the interest on -- the gains of which go almost entirely to the one percent.

The new jobs added during the Obama administration and now are almost all part time or "contract" and for both kinds the employer doesn't have to pay for the employees' Workmen's Comp, Social Security or Unemployment Insurance so new workers no longer get those befits. Today's Democrats are promoting this type of economy as needed to make the US "competitive." Which only means that they want us to be down on the level or workers in places like China, Bangladesh, India and Indonesia. Democrats also do no want us to be guaranteed health care and more of us die as a result or if we live lead more miserable and insecure lives, while they do fine and can see a doctor any time they want to.

Democrats policies not only hurt Americans living standards but they hurt the overall economy. Frances Perkins knew this way back then, but these Democrats now know exactly what they're doing. They're intentionally hurting us. Whatever their excuse is, they are intentionally hurting Americans and America, and if you support them, you are, too.

Note; Democrats are now slightly modifying their propaganda output to try to head off the growing anger at them. This is after they've lost the presidency, both houses of congress, the balance on the courts and more than 2/3 of all state governments and governorships. When and if they do co-opt that anger and the growing Socialist sentiment in the country it will be back to business as usual for them. Back to photo ops in front of mountains and at local businesses and back to paying homage to the local Chamber of Commerce with the little private speech followed by the nice free banquet and handshakes all around.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Cannibal From The Amazon

Online behemoth Amazon (and now Washington Post) owner Jeff Bezos has become so rich that cabinet members come to his office, but he won't give the people who work for him at low wages in Amazon's warehouses -- where they spend long, hot days being driven hard to keep up with their order fulfillment quotas -- enough hours to qualify for Workmen's Comp, Social Security or health care, which means he doesn't have to pay for those benefits. Like most new jobs being created now, most Amazon workers are part time.

US secretary of defense visits Jeff Bezos this week

Forbes has just done a story about the "China-like wages" Bezos pays, but  the World Socialist Web Site has been covering this for a long time. The WSWS regularly interviews Amazon workers around the country who talk about what it's like to be treated like dogs while they barely get by and in some cases have to sign up for food stamps.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The North Korean Threat

Cable news presenters giddy with war hysteria are on a 24/7 mission to convince Americans that North Korea poses some kind of threat to them and so prepare them for the US government to wage war against that tiny impoverished nation, which poses no threat to the US whatsoever.

The only consolation is that cable news viewers are enjoying a break from 24/7 Russia-Putin hysteria and the endless repetition of evidence free claims leveled against Putin and Russia. That doesn't mean there's no reason to be concerned however as the US is also in the process of flooding eastern Europe with soldiers and military equipment, a summary of which provocations can be found here.

When I say North Korean threat I mean that in this instance the US media/governing elite is using North Korea as the bogeyman to excuse US global imperialism and its endless and expanding bipartisan Neocon wars. We are the threat.

Congress is doing its part to whip up war hysteria, overwhelmingly passing a bill that imposes new sanctions on North Korea, Russia and Iran. (Vote tallies here and here. The only two senators to vote against the bill were Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders.)

New Mexico's federal delegation all voted for the sanctions and is of course doing its part to bring the world closer to war. When it comes to waging war and spending our money on spying, so-called homeland security and the military, congress acts with bipartisan unity and the two parties are exactly the same.

As to how many Americans have forgotten how the media and political elites lied to them in the lead-ups to the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria and are gullible enough to believe what their government and the media tell them when it comes to war, I can't say.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Class Consciousness Intensifies

While the Democratic Socialists of America are holding their annual convention in Chicago this weekend after passing the 25,000 member mark this week (compared to 8,000 and some a year ago) I came across a recent survey that shows that 37 percent of Americans now favor Socialism over Capitalism. The survey was conducted by the conservative Christian oriented American Culture & Faith Institute.

I've reported before (and often) that in repeated polling majorities of young people favor Socialism over Capitalism. That's startling enough but this latest survey is a real shocker in a country where a few short years ago you couldn't use the word Socialism in a sentence if you wanted to be taken seriously. Socialist was used as an epithet and an invective but the conservatives I interact with on social media these days don't ever mention the fact that my profile says I'm a retired Socialist truck driver.

A huge change has taken place already and things are still in a great deal of flux. The powers that be aren't prepared to counteract it, although the rising tide of anti Capitalist sentiment has led the corporate owned Democratic Party to quickly try to re-brand itself as something other than neocon corporate shills. They're out with a new PR campaign that talks about things like raising the minimum wage to $15 and doing something about the nation's vast and rapidly growing inequality in wealth and income although they don't say what because that might unsettle a few billionaire donors or lead to unreasonable expectations by us. Katrina Vanden Huevel, the editor at The Nation, the voice of the Democratic Party's left wing, has written a column in the Washington Post pointing out the good and bad pointsof the Democrats' scheme. Recall that as late as this fall Hillary Clinton wouldn't endorse a $15 minimum wage. We didn't deserve it. Remember?

Of course no one I know is fooled by this naked attempt to co-opt the increasing anger of the working class, and actual Democrat politicians like the ones we have here in New Mexico aren't talking about improving the lot of their working constituents at all and none of them has ever said anything leads me to think they'd ever endorse any of it. These corporate toadies endless campaign donation solicitations still pump out consultant driven messages that try to pump up fear of President Trump and the Koch Bothers and never say one word that would ever commit any of them to doing anything that might improve the plight of working Americans. The class war is heating up but they've already chosen sides and it's not ours.