Wednesday, November 9, 2016

In the Spirit of "Brexit"


In the spirit of Brexit where recently the UK surprisingly voted to withdraw from the controls of the European Union, the American people by a slim majority have elected to withdraw from liberal political elite doctrines of recent executive administrations of the United States government.
In an obvious reaction to the USA government's swing to liberal globalism and what many see as its obsession with global affairs versus attention to the many problems at home, the majority of voters have handed President-elect Trump the opportunity to work out his plan for "making America great again".
We see this as basically a slap in the face to the "ho-hum" liberalism of the last eight years by the Obama administration where generally the "yes we can" motto has turned into "no we can't" on a majority of Obama's platform initiatives. The focus on "Black lives matter" over the demand for law and order in our society and the continued push to include Islam into the fabric of American society and culture has obviously backfired in a big way. While many of us had great hopes for America's first "black" president, we now believe his 8 years in office will go down as one of the least effective administrations of the past 40 years. This is another case where, like the election of Jimmy Carter, another decent but inexperienced man in politics was ineffectual in uniting Americans behind their objectives. Carter nor Obama ever really got their own party behind them in a unified way and they were ineffectual in reaching across the political aisle to gain momentum behind their political objectives.  Whether Hillary Clinton would have been any better at this with the Democrats, we now will never know.  Her political life is basically over.
Like the narrow majority who voted for the UK to withdraw from an international foreign governance over their country's sovereignty, President-elect Trump now has the challenge of realigning American politics both at home and abroad.  There will surely be conflict and pushback at home if he continues his racial profiling of Latinos and Islamists. In this regard we hope he will find a softer, more inclusive rhetoric than he expressed from the extremes of his race against Clinton. We think there needs to be a middle ground between the two positions for there to be peaceful progress within the borders of the USA.
When it comes to foreign affairs, this is probably the biggest question mark as to what effect Trump will have on the tremendous insecurity currently felt around the world regarding USA foreign policy.  Will Trump be able to curb the Pentagon and corporate elite's appetite for war and meddling in the middle east and elsewhere?  Will he be able to restore strength and respect for American foreign policy including a realignment of relations with other superpowers such as Russia and China that has obviously been weakened during the Obama administration?  Will he have the power and support at home to renegotiate or even obliterate global trade agreements that he has called unfair and imbalanced?  Maybe more importantly, will he be bound by the constitutional limits to his authority and acknowledge the roles of congress and the judiciary to advise him as to what he can and cannot do in his position?
It is interesting to note today how financial and currency markets have reacted to his surprise election. Overnight futures markets were down between 3-5% almost across the board, and it will be interesting to see where the DOW and other local financial barometers end up at the end of this first post-election day. One would think that markets would be encouraged to have a "business man" finally at the helm of the executive office.  Yet, it is obvious that many of Donald Trump's statements and close examinations of his past business dealings have shown him to be less steady in business than his books might suggest.
Along with the age-old saying that "a house divided cannot stand", the biggest challenge we see for Donald Trump is pulling together a leadership team around him that can help him unite the various political and military-industrial complex entities behind his leadership. He will not have the autonomy in leadership that he has espoused during his campaign.  Even though it appears he has a Republican controlled house and senate in congress at least for the next two years, it remains to be seen whether he can get enough of his own party behind him to get changes made legitimately and legally in the legislature.  It will actually be up to the American people to pressure their representatives to work together in hammering out progressive and unified legislation. Nobody will get everything they want in today's political environment...including the President-elect.
We predict that the new Trump era of independent politics will be met with some fierce realities of pushback.  The courts and congress are still chock-full of tainted, career politicians who know more than Trump about how to hold up political progress.  Just like the UK and Europe, new agreements and alignments are going to take time and there are going to be many forces behind the scenes that want to make worse of the situation in order to foment chaos and failure for their own political gains. As usual, the liberal media will be there kicking and screaming about change like a spoiled child used to getting its own way for so long.  It will be most interesting to see if and how Trump can get some media behind him that has for so long completely hounded his person and his ideas.
As in Europe, it will be interesting to see if a return to independent sovereignty over the economy and government programs can be accomplished by a Trump administration. We predict that like the Obama win 8 years ago, Mr. Trump will have 100 days to show us what he has got.  If he does not succeed in getting the federal government behind his plans and positions...he could just as easily be relegated to an immediate "lame duck" presidency where Washington DC remains in total gridlock and the strings continue to be pulled by the dark forces in our Pentagon and Federal Reserve.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

What Would Jesus Do?



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

As we read these latest articles regarding increased military aid from the USA to Israel at $3.8 Billion per year for 10 years…I can’t help but see significant ironies in the claims of many of my fellow Americans that the USA is a “Christian nation”.

The United Nations is trying to force Israel and Palestine back to the bargaining table to iron out a peaceful resolution to this decades-old Palestinian conflict. Meantime, the USA, who has veto powers over the UN, continues to sell Israel the weapons to annihilate the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. Nice message to send the Palestinians you are preaching peace to who are basically living in small, barrier bound “reservations” in their own former country.  The average American has not seen through the media hype and controls that always side with Israel. In most cases, that is because we have been taught to believe that Israel is “God’s chosen people”…and that they are somehow entitled to repatriate land they hadn’t lived in for thousands of years.

While I disagree with many positions the  Obama administration have taken these past 8 years, I do support his putting strings attached to our continued levels of support to Israel and better yet, do not give military arms or cash.  One reason is…we can’t afford it. The main reason is the state of Israel has been the instigator in escalating apartheid against the Palestinians by literally backing them into small corners of the land that was once theirs just a few decades ago.

The reality is, Israel should at least be paying for these weapons!  They compete with the USA economically in so many areas, yet we GIVE THEM billions in arms? How stupid is this? And this is the American people’s money, not the government’s, to give. Our government has made Israel an extension of USA borders and sovereignty it appears since our constitution denies them the right to arm any other nations unilaterally.

The Palestinians have unfortunately been victims of their own leadership as well…from Arafat forward. They have allowed Hezbollah and other non-Palestinian revolutionaries to fight their battles for them…and that approach has not worked in bringing any resolution to their dire situation.

As a friend of mine recently blogged on this issue…

"AIPAC's effort (to block the UN resolution), apparently spurred by the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem and Israel's ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer, came amid fears that Obama will try and push a UNSC resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after the elections in November and before he leaves office on January 20."

Between the election and the inauguration for the last two US Presidential elections, the Israelis initiated slaughters of predominantly civilian Palestinians.

In 2008 Operation Cast Lead resulted in 1,417 Palestinian deaths and 10 Israeli.

In 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense resulted in 55 Palestinian deaths and 1 Israeli.

In 2014 Operation Protective Edge resulted in 2,310 Palestinian deaths (including more than 300 babies and children) and 73 Israelis of whom only a few were civilians.

Having put Lieberman (a far right extremist) in charge of the Israeli Defense Force, having negotiated another 10 year military aid deal and with congress pressing Obama to veto any UNSC resolution during the inter-presidential period I fully expect and predict that this year the Israelis will initiate another slaughter worse than any before destined to make the life of indigenous Palestinians even more unbearable and further the ultimate solution of complete ethnic cleansing.

As usual, the slaughter will start with some incident that may or may not have been perpetrated by a Palestinian - the Israelis are past masters at false flag attacks. It may even be a more substantial incident than previously to ostensibly justify an even greater slaughter than before.”

We will be watching Israel closely in these coming months.

While it seems obviously too late for Palestinians to reclaim all their lost lands (about as realistic as the American Indians reclaiming the USA continent or Mexicans to reclaim Texas)…it does seem to me that the UN and its major sponsor, the United States of America, have a moral obligation to force Israel and the Palestinians to a reasonable land settlement and some sovereign lands and self-governance for the Palestinians.  The past century’s empires of England and the USA are the primary sponsors of Zionism and all that has represented. Even a large portion of traditional Jews around the world do not support Israel’s Zionist positions as a state. It is now time to stand with the United Nations and push the moral responsibility of negotiation, forced if need be, between these two forever divergent political and cultural peoples.

It strikes us as very ironic that the “Christian” nation (USA) is supporting the tyranny and aggressions of Israel through military support…while President Obama and the liberals in congress seem to be the only ones in the USA government trying to hold Israel accountable for the many atrocities performed against the indigenous Palestinians. The religious right in America is leading the charge for blind support of the Israeli government at the cost of many thousands of non-militaristic, subjugated Palestinian lives.
Apparently, those religious leaders in America have conveniently forgotten the “Trail of Tears” and annihilation of Native Americans done in the name of God and country. It seems we Americans have never repented of that nor our blind racism against blacks and Hispanics.  Instead, we continue to support the domination and tyranny within the state of Israel.

The Christian bible quotes Jesus as saying…
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”
“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.”
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.”

WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?


Monday, July 4, 2016

Independence Day...bah humbug!


https://www.facebook.com/wolfgang.riebe/videos/1095116997219649/ 
I believe I have blogged previous years on this date with similar sentiments...but this year I realize the validity of my thinking more acutely than ever.

The meaning of "independence" has totally lost its significance for most individuals in the world. Even the original experiment of democracy in the USA has gone terribly wrong now that rational people understand they are not truly free and independent anymore.

While the chasm between wealth and poverty continues to expand...the governments that control us are almost all bankrupt...meaning they owe more than they own. How this happened is easy to understand if you realize that governments don't "produce" anything and survive by charging taxes on the governed...yet they execute programs, entitlements, international loans and fund armed forces with weapons... all on limited tax dollars.  Most every government in the world is "upside down" on their financial balance sheets.  The US government hasn't balanced a budget since President Eisenhower in the late 1950s and we have the highest debt of any country in the world.  The federal government had about $76.4 trillion ($76,438,000,000,000) in debts, liabilities, and unfunded obligations at the close of its 2015 fiscal year. That's $237,284 for every person living in the U.S..

Who holds all the money then you may ask?  International bankers, corporations and non-government organizations (NGOs).  Sure, ownership is with wealthy individuals and their organizations...but the money itself is supposedly held on account in international banking positions through various financial institutions such as JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and Barclays Capital (the top eight).

The prized independence of the USA, won repeatedly the last 240 years through bloodshed and revolutions against tyranny is unfortunately lost.  The USA is currently DEPENDENT on foreign powers for the oil that run our machines of war and domestic transportation, the manufacturing of cheap "things", and to export the overflow of what our country still produces.  Now that most major powers of the world are under so much debt to the bankers and corporations of the world...there is little security in any long-term financial planning internationally. There is little rhyme or reason to currency or stock valuations.  Most everything in the world is hyperinflated in value from our point of view.

This leads us to the reality that most Americans are NOT free and independent.  We are controlled by our bankers, our employers and regulations of our federal and state governments.  Most of the middle-class lives paycheck to paycheck with no more than 3 months of their overhead in savings.

Does this sound like FREE and INDEPENDENT living to you?  I have never valued money outside of its ability to afford freedom. We can work our whole lives in this country to amass a retirement...and have it all wiped out with one lawsuit or catastrophic illness in our family...especially if we don't have adequate insurance based on the mafioso healthcare system we fund. Most of us don't take care of our health and instead have multiple physicians and meds that we depend on to survive. Compared to our grandparent's generation, our elderly are in terrible shape and more dependent on various drugs, walkers and little carts than any other country in the world.

So...as everyone enjoys a short work week waving flags and celebrating "freedom"...let's not fool ourselves anymore.  We are NOT free.  Most of us work 4-6 months of the year to pay our various taxes.  What's left of the year goes to pay for our expensive toys and necessities such as $700 cell phones, car payments, mandatory insurances etc.  Recently the USA government even legislated mandatory health insurance for every citizen, and it is cheaper to pay the tax penalty for not being insured than to pay the government-mandated premiums.

I know, I know...freedom isn't free.  It comes with the responsibility to pay your share of community services and feeding the dependents you brought into this world. The problem is, you now have broken governments telling you who, where and how much to pay for such services with no option or choice to move elsewhere or use an INDEPENDENT solution.  More of your choices are taken away from you...what you can eat, what you can drink, what you can smoke, who can come visit you where you live, what drugs you can take or who you can buy them from.  Governments are more and more regulating your daily life while mounting huge deficits that somehow YOU, or your children, or THEIR children must eventually pay for.

So forgive me if I am a bit cynical this 4th of July.  I have always believed in small government, personal responsibility and freedom to believe, say and do what you want as long as you are not infringing on others rights to do the same.  Unfortunately, most people in our country and world at large are supporting and voting for representative governments who will continue these bad habits until our whole system collapses...which it must apparently do before we will relearn what freedom and independence REALLY mean.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

I am a "Humanitarian"

In these looney days of political correctness and pressures to fit into society based on defined religion, political party, race or "what you do for a living"...I have always felt uncomfortable using these labels to define who we are. While I understand the idea of wanting to understand and predict human behaviors in the most simplistic description possible, I just think many of these labels have lost their meaning.

I have studied history and comparative religions more than the average human. I have tried to do so with as open a mind as possible and the goal of being objective and unemotional about what I observe, think or feel. Emotion is a great human trait, but it definitely gets in the way of "reason" far too often.

Being in my sixth decade of existence and many people periodically challenging me to describe who I am and "what I believe in"...I think I may have found the best one word answer for now..."Humanitarian".

I have tried on many labels over my lifetime.  I grew up with some by association with my religious and cultural upbringing.  We grew up "Christian" and "Republican". Of course, I soon learned in life that being "white" had its expectations and exclusions as well. As I progressed in my lifelong education, I soon learned that all humans bleed red, most all religions believe in the same mystical fundamentals, and yesterdays Republican would be today's "Democrat". To define oneself by these institutional epitaphs has become quite limiting and confusing in my opinion.

In a recent conversation of substance, someone asked me that since I am no longer religious,does that make me a "humanist".  Once again, there's a word/label that could have many different meanings. For some people it means making "man" a "god"...at the center of all meaning and existence. I am not ready to declare homosapiens a "deity".  We do far too many evil things to our environment and each other to associate ourselves with "deity"...plus we place too many limitations on ourselves to be a "god".

Yet, the humanist label is similar to another label that I can't really find any fault with. "Humanitarian" is a word that I have never heard used with a negative connotation. Everyone likes a
humanitarian. Humanitarians are "pro-human" without placing conditions or feigning deity. Humanitarians come from all walks of life...black, white, red, democrat, republican, independent, liberal, conservative, libertarian...I have known humanitarians from all these persuasions.

Here is my Humanitarian Creed...in case someone wants to make a "religion" out of this:


  • Humanitarians are about live and let live...very accommodating of individualism.
  • Humanitarians are non-judgmental (accept in cases of violence or self defence)
  • Humanitarians don't need a "holy book" to tell them right from wrong or how to treat others.
  • Humanitarians don't rely on others for accolades or need affirmation for the meaning of their existence
  • Humanitarians don't need to be rewarded for their good works, but they do tend to believe "what goes around comes around".
  • Humanitarians live for today and are positive about the future because they believe in the best of people.
  • Humanitarians don't carry negative grudges or bitterness.  They have learned to lower their expectations of other humans.
  • Humanitarians make peace, not war
  • Humanitarians believe THIS is the life that counts. Not an afterlife or previous one...
  • Humanitarians were the originators of the motto "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"


I have decided I can think of no disagreement or conflict with this label.  The only challenge I have is living up to it...but since most people don't live up to their "religions" either, I won't let guilt stop me from trying to be...a "Humanitarian".