THE BUDGET DEFICIT TIME-BOMB

When the subject of budgeting and government financial deficits comes to the forefront, most people suddenly develop a condition known as MEGO- my eyes glaze over. Yet it’s a subject well worth exploring because the growth and size of the U.S. budget deficit is such that it has become a ticking time-bomb in our midst that could explode within a few years. And when it does most people will be severely burned where it hurts the most, right in their pocketbooks.  It will especially affect younger people just starting out in new jobs and careers. A tidal wave of overwhelming deficits could sink the stock market and most American’s savings and investment accounts, leading to a severe economic crises. It could make the 2008-2010 financial downturn look like a romp in the park on a Sunday afternoon. So lets try to figure out how we’ve arrived at this unenviable point in our history.

First a little perspective. The accumulated U.S. budget deficit in the nearly 200 years from the beginning of George Washington’s presidency to the end of Jimmy Carter’s reign in January 1981, stood at just under one trillion dollars. This despite the U.S. fighting in two world wars as well as the Korean and Viet-Nam wars which were extremely costly. In the ensuing 35 years, however, from Ronald Reagan to the end of Barack Obama’s term, the deficit will have mushroomed to just under $20 trillion, with annual deficits  running at about half-a-trillion a pop. It was the the supposedly ultra-conservative Ronald Reagan that started us on the path toward major budget-busting. Under the 12 years of the Reagan and George Bush the Elder presidencies, the budget deficit grew from one to four trillion dollars, a 300% increase. Reagan accomplished this stupendous feat by hugely increasing military spending while significantly cutting income taxes, especially for the rich. Hmmnn. I wonder if it ever dawned on people within the Reagan Administration that if make large increases in expenditures while sharply cutting revenues, bad things were likely to ensue, budget-wise. Reagan believed he could make up the difference by curtailing social spending, but that turned out to be a total non-accomlishment.

The following 8 years under Bill Clinton’s presidency saw the budget-deficit monster actually being tamed. In 2 of those years, the Government surprisingly ran a budget surplus, a rarity never again seen. The period that Clinton was president, from 1992-2000, were probably the best years of peace and prosperity that the U.S. has experienced since at least the end of WWII, and perhaps in its entire history. Starting in 2001, however, when George Bush the Younger ascended to the White House, (even though Al Gore had actually won the election) we once again began to travel on the yellow brick road of financial irresponsibility. Bush began piling up large deficits the old-fashioned way, again by tax cuts for the rich and large increases in government spending. This time it was by enacting a prescription drug benefit under Medicare. The Bush presidency was further marred by an over-heated economy, especially in the housing market, which finally led to the collapse of the behemoth Wall Street investment firm known as Lehman Brothers, which further led to the collapse of the U.S. economy as a whole, and ensured the election of a rookie senator named Barack Obama to the Oval Office.

Contrary to popular belief, the large budget deficits that have accumulated under the Obama Administration have not been due to sharply increased spending; but instead were caused by a large drop in revenues due to the financial crises that lasted from 2008-20012.  All those people that were out of work were certainly not paying any income or FICA taxes. Now that we’re back to near full employment, however, we’re still running half-a-trillion in the red, annually. All the while U.S. infrastructure  is slowly but surely crumbling into disrepair. Roads are becoming alarmingly over-used with bumper-to-bumper traffic everywhere; bridges are virtually disintegrating before our eyes; water and sewer piping, some of which was built at the end of the 19th century, is rusting away to nothingness; the electrical grid is over-taxed, outdated, and highly susceptible to a terrorist attack; the list goes on and on. Just think what a joy your life would be if electricity ceased to exist. But where will we get the hundreds of billions of dollars needed to repair our aging infrastructure. Well, one solution might be to increase the revenue side of the equation.

But, you might say, we’re already being taxed nearly to death.Besides income and FICA taxes, there’s property taxes (even if you rent it’s in your monthly payment), taxes on all the utilities used, taxes at the gas pump, taxes on your cell phones and land lines, taxes in your internet provider’s fee; death taxes; the list is endless. Sort of reminds me of a song by the Beetles in the 1960s, called the “Taxman.” Some of the lyrics go as follows: “If you drive a car I’ll tax the street; If you try to sit I’ll tax your seat; If you get too cold I’ll tax the heat; If you take a walk I’ll tax your feet.” That pretty well sums up where we are on the revenue side of the balance sheet.

Over 80% of our annual 3.5 trillion dollar budget consists of only 5 items. Namely, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Defense and Homeland Security, and interest on the debt. You can’t screw with interest on the debt or no one would ever lend to us again. The likely next president of the U.S. says he want’s to sharply increase spending on defense and homeland security, not decrease it. As well as increase infrastructure spending. Both candidates regard tampering with SS or Medicare to be the third rail of politics which invites instant execution. And so the budget deficit time bomb keeps ticking away.

I used to think that the only benefit of growing old was that I didn’t have to have colonoscopies anymore. But I’ve now discovered another benefit. I likely won’t have to be around when the financial roof of this country eventually  collapses on our heads due to uncontrollable deficit spending.

Categories: Ben Franklin, The Constitution, Monarchies, Brexit, Donald Trump, Alan Greenspan, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, presidential polls,, Economics, Ronald Reagan | Leave a comment

FROM CALIGULA TO TRUMP: A TALE OF NARCISSISM

Eugene O’Neill, the famous American playwright, said that: “There is no present or future-only the past happening over and over again.” Never has the validity of this wisdom been better demonstrated than in the 2016 American political campaign unfolding before our eyes. One has to go deep into the past, back to the days shortly after the crucifixion of Jesus, to find another prominent figure whose narcissism matches that of today’s probable winner in the U.S. presidential race. I’m talking, of course, about Caligula, the emperor/tyrant that ruled the ancient Roman Empire for a brief period  before he met an untimely death.

Caligula’s bloodline was that of the Caesars that so despotically governed Rome when it was at its acme of power, around the time that Jesus was preaching his sermon on the Mount. He thus inherited the throne in 37 A.D. but only ruled for 4 years. For the first few months of his reign, Caligula was considered almost a breath of fresh air by the Roman populace because they had been treated so cruelly by previous despots. But there was one problem. Caligula was a total narcissist who could not by abide having his ego bruised. He lashed out at those that offended him. After those first few months of goodwill, he became known for his focus on cruelty, sadism, extravagance, and sexual perversity, and as a person who would kill his perceived opponents, often on a whim. He unconstitutionally further concentrated the political power of the emperor to the point where his proclamations became absolute law. He was described by scribes of that era as an insane, power hungry emperor, constantly angry and self-absorbed, who treated any criticism as treasonous that subjected the critic to execution. His despotic reign became so poisonous that even his inner circle could no longer tolerate his erratic behavior. He was finally murdered in 41 A.D. by his own guards, after 4 years of tyrannical rule.

But, if, as Eugene O’Neill said, the past keeps repeating itself, we see it happening in the U.S. 2000 years later when another total narcissist is just weeks away from becoming the most powerful figure on the planet. That Trump’s narcissism was established early on during this presidential campaign is beyond dispute. That he lashed out at Megyn Kelly, Ted Cruz, the parents of a dead soldier who died in Iraq fighting for the U.S., a sitting judge  because of his Hispanic heritage, and many, many others, is beyond dispute. That, once in office, he intends to concentrate all political power in the office of the presidency, the way Caligula did as emperor, is also quite evident. How do I know this? Just look at the people Trump has surrounded himself with.

His new campaign manager is a man named Steve Bannon who has a history of spousal abuse and anti-semitism. He was hired from an extreme right-wing fringe group known as Breitbart News. Years ago when his wife, (now his ex-wife) wanted to send their children to a certain private school, he refused saying the school had “too many fucking Jews.” She also claims he was physically abusive toward her. Trump’s second in command is a fellow named David Bossie who made his extreme right-wing chops by singularly pursuing and publicizing the extra-marital affairs that Bill Clinton supposedly had over the years. Some were true, some were pure fiction. Previously, Trump’s campaign manager was Corey Lewandowski, whose ties with Trump goes back to the 2012 campaign, when he advised Trump to seek the White House by becoming a “birther,” i.e. someone who believed that Barack Obama was born in Kenya rather than in the U.S. When that effort fizzled, Lewandowski was back in 2015 urging Trump that his path to the presidency lay in demonizing undocumented Mexicans as “rapists and murderers.” In that, he appears to have hit the nail squarely on the head. Taking the lowest possible mud-slinging road finally paid off for Trump. Although Lewandowski was ostensibly released from the Trump campaign after the primaries were over, he is said to still provide input and advice.

You think that men such as those, once they’ve acquired the taste of power inherent in the Oval Office, would ever agree to relinquish such power? Look for 2016 to be the last ostensibly democratic election to occur in the U.S. Once Trump plops his body down on the bed in the Lincoln bedroom, even the faux democracy we live under now in the U.S. will come to an end. Rather Trump will emulate his buddy, Vladimir Putin, that I’ve written about earlier in a piece called “A Fine Bromance.” As I’ve stated before, Putin rules Russia Mafia-style, where he’s the godfather or boss of bosses. He runs a system of crony capitalism, where his cronies get all the capital and the rest of the populace is left to drown their sorrows in Russian vodka. He’s responsible for the deaths of thousands in the Ukraine, and outright took the Crimea from that hapless country through military adventurism. Just last week, Putin also threw into jail a blogger that was critical of his actions. Yet, Trump, on several occasions has expressed his admiration of Putin’s leadership style. To reciprocate, Putin has also expressed his fondness for Trump.

Russia does have presidential elections, but they are so fixed that it’s a forgone conclusion that Putin will be re-elected each time. Look for that same system of phony, rigged elections to be incorporated into the American electoral process once Trump becomes president. After all, he has reserve access to the “throne” for sons Eric and Donnie Jr. when he decides to finally retire. Hence the Trump dynasty will begin.

Of course, the Democrats are making easy for Trump’s ascendency, as they seem to be coming apart at the seams. Hillary Clinton is probably the worst political campaigner of all time. Mired in a bundle of political scandals and health issues, which she has failed to properly address, she also is lackluster on the campaign trail. She totally lacks husband Bill’s easy-going facility in connecting with masses of people at political rallies. That she’s even remotely in the game thus far is a minor miracle in itself. But in the end, the total narcissist will probably win. And remember, like Caligula, he really, really hates to allow his ego to be bruised.

Categories: A malfunctioning psche, Ben Franklin, The Constitution, Monarchies, Brexit, Donald Trump, Alan Greenspan, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, presidential polls,, human affairs, Isis terrorist attack in Paris,, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

THE DICTATORS CLUB

It has come to pass that tyrannical dictatorships that have sprung up in many parts of the world have two things in common. They are all enemies of the United States and its western allies, and most of them have become more powerful militarily. To an increasingly large degree, they have become an existential threat to the world’s functioning democracies as they seek to continually expand their powers and reach. And because of a very tepid response by the U.S. and its NATO allies, the dictators club keeps increasing while democracy and decency on this planet is in a shrinkage mode.

Lets start with that giant concentration camp known as North Korea. The current, unhinged tyrant ruling that unfortunate country is Kim Jong-Un, who now represents the third generation of a dictatorship started in the early 1950s by his grandfather, and then passed on to his father. The country is in a perpetual starvation mode because it can’t produce enough food to feed its population. Thousands die each year from malnutrition or diseases that are easily preventable in more civilized societies. It relies on Communist China for virtually all its basic needs. It’s an automatic death sentence for anyone caught seeking to escape this tyranny by fleeing the country. But the one area where North Korea spends a vast amount of resources is the military and its weaponry. It has huge military force which perpetually threatens to invade South Korea and make the Korean Peninsula “whole” again. And it has developed a sizable nuclear weapons arsenal that threatens the U.S. west coast, and blatantly boasts about its ability to take out cities such as Los Angles with its nuclear missiles. Previous Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush allowed food supplies to be sent to North Korea as an humanitarian gesture, based on the dictator’s promises that nuclear weapons would not be developed. But, as they say, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, guarantees not to develop nuclear weapons evaporated with the morning mist, and the U.S. now faces a most potent nuclear armed enemy that despises western values.

For the next members in good standing in the dictators club, we have to look no further that the Americas. The Castro brothers, first Fidel, and now Raul, have destroyed the Cuban economy since the late 1950s, and have driven just about every Cuban into dire poverty. Everyone, that is, except the ruling elite. When Fidel Castro, after taking over the country, decided to ally Cuba to the old Soviet Union instead of the United States, it became the death knell for decent living conditions and freedom of expression in that unfortunate country. To this day, anyone protesting the Castro regime in Cuba, is routinely jailed, tortured or murdered outright. Moving on, slightly south is the sad plight of Venezuela, which until 2013 was ruled by another deranged dictator named Hugo Chavez. This tyrant came to power through what passed as the democratic process in Venezuela; but once in office ended any semblance of democracy that may have remained.  Chavez did the world a favor by dying of cancer in 2013, but he was succeeded by his favorite henchman named Nicolas Maduro. Like the Castro brothers, the Chavez/Maduro regime in Venezuela has managed to destroy the economy to the point where the average citizen has to cross over into Columbia to obtain life’s basic supplies such as food, drink, toilet paper, etc. because Venezuelan stores are often barren of such items. Along with empty shelves and empty promises, this dictatorship has also pretty much emptied out any semblance of a democratic promise.

Moving on to Europe, we find one of my most favorite tyrants who despotically rules Russia with all the finesse of the Godfather of Mafia fame. I’m talking, of course, about Vladimir Putin who is the boss of bosses in Russia. He also came to power thru a supposedly democratic election process which he has now done away with. He operates a system of crony capitalism, whereby his cronies get all the capital, and the rest of the populace is left to drown their sorrows in Russian-made vodka. Like a prominent figure currently on the American political stage, Putin is a bloviating bully who, in order to maintain his popularity among the Russian masses, invaded and militarily annexed the Crimea which belonged to the Ukraine. Next, he has sent Russian forces and military supplies into the Eastern Ukraine in an attempt to further carve up that luckless country. Thousands have already died in the Ukraine due to Putin’s adventurism. Next, Putin has sent Russian troops and planes into Syria in to further roil all the horrors going on in the Mid-East. Average Russians may not have enough to eat, but they can enjoy the spectacle of seeing Russia spread its military wings as they watch thru a stupor induced by cheap vodka.

And, of course, prominent membership in the dictators club would not be complete without mentioning those crazy kids that rule Iran with an iron fist-the Ayatollahs. Tens of thousands of Iranians have already been put to death for opposing the fanatical type of Islam that the Ayatollahs have imposed on the populace. Iran has now built a powerful military, and is inches away from having a nuclear weapons capability. The Ayatollahs routinely threaten, almost on a weekly basis, to wipe a despised Israel off the map, and they possess the military capabilities of achieving that goal. Their funding supports terrorist organizations, not only in the Mid-East, but all over the globe. And Iran and Russia have now entered into an unholy alliance to further damage Western interests in the Mid-East and elsewhere. All this has been allowed to flourish and expand primarily because of a weak-kneed response by the U.S. and its NATO allies.

Of course, there are dozens of other tyrannical regimes around the world, but I think I’ve covered the more prominent ones. But before we get too judgmental, bear in mind that the U.S. is just weeks away from putting another bloviating bully into the most powerful position in the world. One who will also likely do away with the democratic process and Constitutional rights once he has achieved that power. The way Hugo Chavez or Vladimir Putin did once they reached their ultimate goal. And as it occurred in North Korea, a Trump dynasty can then be formed, with eager sons ready to grab the reins of power once the old man decides to retire.

Categories: Ben Franklin, The Constitution, Monarchies, Brexit, Donald Trump, Alan Greenspan, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, presidential polls,, Economics, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

THE HATRED TOWARDS JEWS

When a friend informed the late comedian Alan King, that he had converted to Judaism, King characteristically replied-“Congratulations. You’re now entitled to 2000 years of retroactive persecution.” This was illustrated just last week by a little reported incident that occurred at the recently concluded Olympics. A weight lifting competition in the first round pitted an Israeli athlete against an Egyptian. The Israeli won, and extended his arm to shake the Egyptian’s hand, as is customary in all Olympic competitions, but the Egyptian refused to shake the hand of a Jew. Even though Israel has diplomatic relations with Egypt, and even though the professed Olympics goal is to promote peace, harmony,  goodwill and friendship among all participating nations through sports competition. It further illustrates how an all-consuming hatred toward Jews among all Arab counties and citizens in the Mid-East is virtually universal, and largely accounts for the reason that almost all Arab countries are such a basket case upon the world stage. As I’ve stated before, hate hollows out the container it’s kept in, from the inside out.

Hatred in the Mid-East, not only toward Israel, but also toward fellow Arabs through sectarian rivalries is as common as sand in Saudi Arabia. All Arab nations (with the possible exception of the Emirates and Saudi Arabia) are total economic and social disaster areas. A place where Islamic Jihadist terror groups thrive like weeds in an unkempt garden. Where economic living conditions are barely sustainable, and yet, are on an unstoppable downhill slide. Where ideological obsessions trump all standards of decency and rationality. For not only is there an all-consuming hatred toward Jews, but a similar type of bigotry exists between the Shia and Sunni factions of Islam, even though there are only minor ideological differences between the two sects. And, of course, you have Iran, a non-Arab but fanatical Moslem state whose ayatollahs routinely threaten to wipe Israel off the map. Which is a distinct possibility since Iran has supposedly armed Hezbollah, a devoutly terrorist organization located in Lebanon, with as many as 100 thousand missiles, all aimed at Israel.

And then, of course, there is the Palestinian problem. The Palestinians want their own nation consisting of the West Bank and Gaza. The problem is how to exist side-by-side with a people seeking your total destruction. The Gaza Strip is now all Palestinian, but is ruled by the terrorist organization known as Hamas. There have been at least 3 wars between Israel and Hamas, who is quite willing to sacrifice the lives of their people by the thousands, if it leads to resultant Israeli deaths. And a fourth war seems to be on the horizon. In the supposedly more moderate West Bank, Arab “martyrs” are given special places of honor in Palestinian society. “Martyrs” who have stabbed to death unarmed Israeli civilians peacefully going about their business. Who have murdered babies in their cribs, and recently stabbed to death a 13 year old Israeli girl sleeping in her bed. Whose very charter calls for the total destruction of the nation of Israel. Yes, Israeli settlements on the West Bank have dramatically complicated the task of those seeking a two state solution. My feeling is, however, that you cannot have a two-state solution when there is such huge enmity on both sides of the fence. Only a one state solution is possible, but that won’t happen until the level of hatred among both Jews and Moslems subsides. It will probably take another couple of hundred years or so through the evolutionary process for all this hate to run its course.

When Israel was first formed shortly after WWII, surrounding Arab nations immediately declared war and sought destruction of the Jewish state, but Israel prevailed. In the years after, while Israel began to thrive, while most surrounding Arab nations saw their economies and cultures go steadily downhill. In the past 70 years, the Arab world rid itself of over 900,000 of its Jewish citizens, but still held onto its hatred of them. Over that period this hatred has proved fatal to Arab society. A combination of lost human capital, ruinously expensive wars, and mis-directed ideological obsessions have taken a huge toll on most Arab nations in the Mid-East. And yet the beat goes on, unabated, with no end in sight.

Of course, the entire spectacle of anti-semitism began in Europe, shortly after the death of Jesus, when the Roman Empire drove most Jews out of their homeland, with many migrating to various European countries. It wasn’t long after, that the Catholic Church in Rome began labeling Jews as “Christ killers” thereby setting off a wave of pogroms and bigotry against a small minority of each country’s inhabitants. Never mind the irony of the fact that Jesus was a Hebrew Rabbi, and that all his disciples were Jews, and that Christianity didn’t exist when Jesus strode this planet. And it wasn’t just Catholic bigotry. Martin Luther, who launched the Protestant movement in the 15th century, was rabidly anti-semitic, and posted many writings on church doors, expressing his virulent hatred toward Jews. And, of course, the hit parade of violence against Jews would not be complete without mention of the Spanish Inquisition, during which Jews were burned at the stake in  order to purify their souls for entrance into Heaven. One could even make a cogent argument that the Holocaust could never have taken place if Europeans had not been injected with the anti-semitic virus over nearly 2000 years. After all, it took hundreds of thousands of European bureaucrats to provide the logistics, trains and bodies that enabled Nazi death camps to function so efficiently.

After WWII, anti-semitism in Europe was pretty much forced to retreat into the shadows but never really disappeared. Today, Jew haters in Europe now feel free to come out into the open, and express their enmity toward “Zionists” as if that was any different than anti-semitism. The United States is probably the only friend Israel has left in the world today. One can only wonder how long that will likely last.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

FOREIGN POLICY DISARRAY

George Washington, the first president of the United States, was also the last president to preside over a fairly unified country. Washington ruled for two complete terms during an era of general goodwill, but when he left office fierce bickering and character assassinations began occurring among the rest of our founding fathers, such as John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and others. The attacks on John Adams, our second president, became so virulent that Adams pushed through Congress a series of anti-sedition laws that were in direct violation of the freedom of speech and press provisions of the Bill of Rights. These laws made criticism of the presidency an act of treason with severe penalties attached. Thomas Jefferson, our third president,  who co-wrote the Declaration of Independence with Adams, became a fierce critic of Adams and his anti-sedition laws, and to Jefferson’s credit, he managed to have them repealed during his term in the White house. He accomplished little else after that, however. But amid all the back-biting going on among our leaders in those early days of the Republic, there was one concept that they apparently all agreed upon. And that was George Washington’s admonition that the U.S. should not become entangled in the affairs of foreign nations. In other words the U.S. should follow a policy of isolationism.

Protected by huge oceans to our east and west, and mostly friendly countries to our north and south, the U.S. with a few exceptions during the 19th and early 20th centuries adhered fairly strictly to to the Washingtonian concept of non-interference with other nations internal affairs. After all, it wasn’t as if foreign countries could launch bomber or missile attacks on U.S. soil. This policy of isolationism received a severe setback however, as the U.S. became militarily involved in WWI shortly after the election of 1916. With U.S. allies including Britain, France and Russia bogged down in a trench warfare stalemate with Germany that neither side seemed capable of breaking, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson deemed that it was necessary for U.S. intervention to break that stand-off. As a side note, more soldiers on both sides died from disease caused by the filthy, disgusting conditions of the trenches they occupied, than from the opposing side’s bullets. In any event, U.S. involvement quickly broke the stalemate, and, of course, the Allies went on to defeat Germany and end the war. To help change the American mindset from isolationism to intervention, composers such as George M. Cohan wrote patriotic songs in support of the war effort. You can still hear theses tunes, such as “Over There” on YouTube.

With WWI, “the war to end all wars” concluded, the U.S. populace believed it was safe, once again, to retreat back into a comfy, cozy state of isolationism. But the 20 year respite between the conclusion of WWI and the outbreak of WWII showed otherwise. The U.S. was so militarily unprepared for war in 1941 because of isolationist policies, that if Japan could had invaded our West Coast right after bombing Pearl Harbor, the Roosevelt Administration was prepared to cede all U.S. land west of Chicago before attempting to take a military stand. With the unbelievable horrors, atrocities and just pure evil emanating from WWII, and with new threats to world peace on the horizon from Communist Russia and China, a policy of non-intervention in world affairs seemed unthinkable to the American public. Isolationism appeared to be dead as a doornail, (as Ebenezer Scrooge might have put it.) Of course, a subsequent policy of global interventionism has not turned out to be all that terrific either.

It led to the Korean War in which we only able to save half of the Korean peninsula from tyrannical despotism, and then to that fiasco known as Viet-Nam where nearly 60 thousand American lives perished as well as hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese, in a jungle war we eventually lost anyhow. And then on to the first Gulf War which let tyrant dictator Saddam Hussein remain in power, and then to the second gulf war which removed him from power at considerable cost in lives and treasure, and which also left chaos in its place. Also along the way during the 50 years after WWII, an anti-communist, “better dead than red” mentality sprung up in the U.S which cost us needless trillions of dollars that were spent beefing up our military-industrial complex in preparation for war against the old USSR which then collapsed under the weight of its own despotism.

Hence when Barack Obama moved into the Oval office in January 2009, people were generally fed up with globalism and ready to return back to a more isolationist policy. Obama appeared to comply with these sentiments by proclaiming that “America will lead from behind” when it came to military initiatives on the world stage. In other words, the U.S. would considerably lower its profile in world events. But there were serious consequences to that position. The U.S. is apparently the one indispensable nation in world affairs, and when it retreats, evil despotism seems to move into the vacuum. And so it has, as Islamic-Jihadist barbarianism has taken hold in the Mid-East countries of Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen, as well as launching terror attacks in Europe, and even in the U.S. The token bombing raids that we’ve launched against these terrorists have hardly seemed to make a dent in their operations. And let us not forget the despotic tyrant of Russia, Vladimir Putin, who has launched unprovoked military action against the Ukraine, which has led to the deaths of thousands, while we’ve stood by and again did nothing. As far as foreign policy goes, “leading from behind” seems to be pretty much failure.

To top it all off, neither of our two presidential candidates, one of which will be in the Oval Office next January, seems to be offering up any new initiatives to offset Obama’s mostly failed foreign policy. Maybe the U.S. is just too worn out, too burdened by debt and fatigue, to launch any new meaningful action on the world stage. As I’ve written many times before, perhaps it’s the inevitable destiny of powerful empires like Rome before us, to reach the zenith of its strength, and then watch that strength slowly dissipate  into dust.

 

Categories: Ben Franklin, The Constitution, Monarchies, Brexit, Donald Trump, Alan Greenspan, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, presidential polls,, Economics, Huey Long, Franklin Roosevelt, Great Depression, The Kingfish,Donald Trump, human affairs, Isis terrorist attack in Paris,, Joe McCarthy, McCarthyism, World War II, Viet-Nam, Anti-Communist Witch Hunts, Army-McCarthy hearings, Islamic Jihadist terrorism, Soviet Union, Red China, John Kennedy, foreign policy,terrorism, lack of U.S. response to terrorism,, politics, The Monkey's Paw, Fate, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson,Megabucks,, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

WHITE PRIVILEGE

When Richard Nixon ran for presidency for the second time, 1968 had already become one of the most turbulent periods in American history. The assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy had brutally inflamed both white and minority citizens across the country. Although the walls of Jim Crow segregation had finally began to crumble, blacks and other minorities, for the most part, still found themselves confined to the rat infested ghettoes of the inner cities that were riddled with crime, drugs prostitution and other horrors. During protests over the MLK killing, these slums in most cities were set afire in protest over the horrible living conditions that blacks still had to endure after 250 years of slavery in America, followed by another 100 years of of Jim Crow semi-slavery. There were also massive marches and protests over the growing unpopularity of the Viet-Nam war which had already claimed tens of thousands of American lives in addition to the hundreds of thousands Viet-Nam dead. To say that for most Americans, the world had been turned upside down would be an understatement. But for Richard Nixon, a golden opportunity had presented itself.

During the election that year, Nixon developed two strategies that would propel him to the White House. The first was his Southern Strategy. Ever since Republican Abe Lincoln had set the slaves free during the Civil War, the South had voted solidly Democratic in election after election. Even though Southern Democrats were usually highly conservative and generally racist, especially compared to their more liberal Northern counterparts, Southerners kept pulling the levers for for the Democratic Party through Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and into the 1940s. That began to change in 1948 when a young Democratic Senator named Hubert Humphrey induced his party to begin championing the civil rights of blacks and other minorities. (Humphrey would eventually become his Party’s nominee in 1968 and lose to Nixon.) While the black population in most southern states was significant, and would generally vote Democratic, they were no match for the white majority in these states that began to vote as a bloc for Republicans. This would give Nixon and his party an assured 200 or so electoral college votes in all future presidential elections, in a system where it takes 270 to win. Today, in the 2016 election, Nixon’s Southern Strategy is still in full blossom.

Nixon’s second strategy was to appeal to the nation’s “Silent Majority” which was primarily comprised of older white people that had become fed-up with massive anti-war demonstrations and the arson being committed in most inner city slums. Sound familiar? Today at almost all the GOP rallies, you’ll see people holding signs saying “The Silent Majority Stands With Trump.” As the song goes- “everything old is new again.” And, of course, this so-called silent majority is almost exclusively white. And why shouldn’t the majority of whites favor the GOP. It’s not whites, for the most part, that have to inhabit inner-city ghettoes. It isn’t whites that still face residual racism and discrimination in housing, employment, wages, social mobility and other areas. Hence, it’s primarily older whites that are propelling the Trump candidacy and placing a highly deranged, vulgar, obnoxious snake oil salesman peddling a neo-fascist and xenophobic elixir, within hailing distance of the Oval Office. The GOP is betting that the white majority in this country is still large enough to get The Donald the 270 electoral college votes he needs to be the next president. Even with hardly any support from minorities or younger white people. And since the Democrats have such a damaged candidate in Hillary Clinton, the Republicans are probably right.

As for Richard Nixon, he won 2 landslide elections and had many accomplishments; but his volatile and narcissistic personality, similar to Trumps, eventually did him in. He did end the Viet-Nam war to a great sigh of relief from the American public. He initiated diplomatic relations with China, which was a huge foreign policy initiative. Probably one of the top five foreign policy achievements of the 20th century. He significantly raised spending levels for health, education, and welfare. He even tried to legislate for universal health care; but, ironically, it was the Democrats that foiled him in that attempt. It didn’t go far enough, they said. But like Trump, Nixon had a fragile personality disorder. He kept an “enemies list” of people he thought were out to get him or do him in. If you were on Nixon’s enemies list, you were likely to receive a visit from an IRS agent seeking to audit your tax returns. He got involved and sought to cover up a break-in by some GOP low-level thugs of of Democratic Headquarters in the Watergate apartment complex in D.C. Nixon was re-elected in 1972 in a massive landslide, winning 49 out of 50 states. However, the Watergate scandal, as it came to be known, seemed to mushroom from petty larceny by some Republican hacks to presidential felony cover-up.

Two reporters from the Washington Post, Woodward and Bernstein, gained huge reputations for themselves by uncovering the sleazy details of the Watergate cover-up, and Nixon’s involvement. The air was steadily seeping out of the Nixon presidential balloon until, one day, Congressional members of his own party came to the White House and told him he had to resign the presidency or face impeachment. Nixon thus became the first president to resign from the Oval Office and lived out the remainder of his days in disgrace and humiliation.

Today, thanks to a majority of white voters, we’re on the verge of putting into the White House, a man that has an almost exact replica of Nixon’s personality disorder. As Yogi Berra might have put it, it’s like deja vu all over again.

Categories: A malfunctioning psche, Brexit, Donald Trump, Alan Greenspan, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, presidential polls,, Economics, human affairs, Isis terrorist attack in Paris,, Joe McCarthy, McCarthyism, World War II, Viet-Nam, Anti-Communist Witch Hunts, Army-McCarthy hearings, Islamic Jihadist terrorism, Soviet Union, Red China, John Kennedy, Redstone Arsenal, NASA, Black Lives Matter, Recent Cop Killings, Ronald Reagan, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

THE LAST STAND OF HUMAN DECENCY

How many of you believe that Fox News host Megyn Kelly “had blood coming out of her whatever,” when she grilled Donald Trump during an early Republican debate. Do you further “like people that weren’t captured,” in reference to John McCain’s hellish 6 years as a POW in the notorious “Hanoi Hilton” during the Viet-Nam war. Do you believe that Rafael Cruz (Sen. Ted Cruz’s father) was complicit with Lee Harvey Oswald in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Speaking of Ted Cruz, do you believe that calling him “Lyin’ Ted” is appropriate or that maliciously maligning his wife on Twitter was the decent thing to do. Do you agree that we should torture captured terrorists “just for the fun of it.” Do you further believe that an American born Judge will be biased against Trump because of the Judge’s Spanish heritage, when ruling on the law suit against that swindle known as Trump University, which is now defunct. As defunct as Trump’s four casino fiascos in Atlantic City that also went belly up, leaving all the investors except Trump, holding the financial bag, as the case wended its way through bankruptcy court. I could go on and on, but you get the picture.

If any of you answered yes to any or all of the above questions, you’re definitely a Trump supporter. There are millions of you out there. Welcome to 2016 America, where common human decency has taken a leave of absence among the American electorate. In another time, when at least some vestiges of human decorum were still evident in the American psyche, any one of the above statements would have been a disqualifier when seeking the office of the presidency. But not this year. Instead the media has been lapping up each of Trump’s brutish pronouncements, like a thirsty puppy lapping up it’s water. Trump’s candidacy only took hold because of the tons and tons of free media exposure of his uncivil bloviating comments. And it will likely play out this way right up until election day. If this wasn’t troubling enough, lets take a look of some of the characters jumping on the Trump bandwagon.

David Duke may not be a household name, but he does have a distinct claim to fame. He used to be the Grand Master of the Ku Klux Klan, before he resigned some years ago to run for the Senate on the Republican ticket in Louisiana. He came within an eyelash of winning that election; and upon his loss he went into “talk radio.” From that vantage point, he has had the freedom of speech to not only daily castigate blacks and Jews, but all people considered as “foreigners.” Last week he announced that he would once again run for the Senate in Louisiana as a Republican. He stated that Trump’s candidacy gave him the inspiration to take this course of action. He was lavish in his praise of Trump’s run for the White House. Earlier in the campaign when Duke was out and about praising Trump, The Donald was asked by the media if he would dis-avow David Duke’s support. It took Trump two days of hemming and hawing before he finally choked out an “Okay, I dis-avow.” But that hasn’t stopped the current leadership of the KKK from formally endorsing Trump as “their kind of guy.” Also coming to Cleveland last week to protect Trump from any possible harm was an outfit called Bikers of America, which is basically a collection of motorcycle gang thugs, who also consider Trump to be their kind of guy.

Trump supporters will tell you that while The Donald may have numerous and serious flaws, it’s still better having him in the Oval Office instead of Hilary Clinton. And there is no question that Hilary has run up voluminous political baggage over the last 30 years or so. The worst being sending and receiving classified government e-mails on an unprotected server in her own home. This type of action was especially reckless in that she had presidential aspirations when the servers were set up. One could call it felony stupidity. But on the other hand, if stupidity was a felony, they couldn’t build jails fast enough to house all the inmates. My sense is that she will have to publicly deal with both the e-mail and the Benghazi fiascos if she has any hope of winning the election. She needs to point out that none of the e-mails on her server compromised U.S. security, and that the lax response to the Benghazi crises was more the result of the CIA station chief’s failure to request immediate help and support. If she can’t do that she’s finished politically.

So there you have it. The two most unpopular and disgraced people in public life have somehow made off with their party’s nomination for the presidency. One of them will be entering the Oval Office come next January. It’s somewhat understandable when one watches the mindless chanting and banner waving at the two political conventions. As if nirvana will prevail if their candidate wins the election. As if, everyday, when we get up in the morning, the sun will shine, the birds will chirp, and we’ll all go tip-toeing through the tulips in carefree abandonment, with bliss and joy in our hearts.

Dream on America. Because the reality is that 2016 may be the year that human decency in America finally expires, and what’s left in its place is a swampy wasteland.

Categories: A malfunctioning psche, Ben Franklin, The Constitution, Monarchies, Brexit, Donald Trump, Alan Greenspan, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, presidential polls,, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

THE SUMMER OF OUR DISCONTENT

When Shakespeare wrote the “Winter of Our Discontent” in 1594, he was talking about the travails of Richard III, and the royal family’s various crises at that time. Pretty small potatoes compared to to the world’s summer of discontent here in 2016 because of recent events.  Events that have shook the planet to its very foundation, and have made it appear that civilization as we know it is unraveling at a rapid rate. The latest episode being the killing of three Louisiana cops by a deranged former Marine seeking revenge for the police shooting of a non-threatening black man at a traffic stop in Baton Rouge for no good apparent reason. Preceded by the assassination of five Dallas cops and the wounding of six more, by another unhinged lone wolf. This time, in apparent retribution for another cop killing of another apparently non-threatening black man at another traffic stop, this time in Minnesota. All this while an Islamic Jihadist went berserk on the French Riviera and murdered at least 84 people and injured dozens more that were watching a fireworks display in Nice celebrating Bastille Day. Further preceded by another Jihadist nut-job that killed 50 patrons of a gay bar in Florida, all in praise of Allah. Another tragedy flying just below the radar further took place this past weekend when the military tried to overthrow Turkey’s dictator, Recep Erdogan, who is slowly turning Turkey into a fundamentalist Islamic state, not unlike the way the Ayatollahs transformed Iran after the Shah was overthrown. The coup attempt failed because Erdogan pleaded for an outpouring of religious fundamentalists into the streets of Istanbul, in protest. It worked and now there is wholesale retribution against those that attempted this coup. Just what the world needed. And all this before the hottest month of summer, August, has yet too begin.

Lets start with the police killings of what appear to be innocent black men. I wrote previously that these, apparently unjustified cop shootings of black men, are more likely the result of poor training at police academies rather than racist bigotry on the part of individual police officers. A mindset of shoot first and ask questions afterward. Knowing what a tinder box race relations are in this country at the present, I think its incumbent that a re-training program for all police be instituted across the land. Training that would focus on alternative solutions when dealing with non-leathal situations, other than blowing an individuals brains out. While police shootings of any individual, black or white, is indeed an unspeakable tragedy, especially when the situation that involves the police is non-life threatening, the fact remains that far more black men die at the hands of black criminals, rather than from any police action. If black lives truly matter, then a full court press against black gangs, drug dealers and other assorted low-life criminals should be a top priority. As well as establishing “enterprise zones” in black ghettos, that would offer decent paying jobs to unemployed young black people, affording them an opportunity to escape rat-infested slums once and for all. A concept originally put forth in the 1980s by Jack Kemp, a Republican who was also known as a “bleeding heart conservative.”

The fight against Islamic Jihadism also needs an all-court press to once and for all destroy all remnants of this terrorism wherever it may exist. A fight that unfortunately neither the United States nor Western Europe seems prepared to engage in. Whether it’s ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Boko-Haram, the Taliban, or any other cut-throat terrorist organization, the ultimate goal of the Western world should be their total annihilation. But as I’ve pointed out before, just as the mighty Roman Empire, when at the zenith of their power, grew fat and lazy, and no longer had the will to fight the barbarians at their gates, so has the western world today become complacent regarding today’s barbarians. The Roman Empire over a period of centuries, eventually fell to the terrorists of those days, and Europe entered a long era known as the dark ages. Today’s barbarians, the Islamic Jihadists, know that if they stay the course, the same fate awaits western civilization. Just as the barbarians in the Roman’s time, today’s Jihadists play the long game. They’ve got all the time in the world to establish their “caliphate.” They know that the West won’t be brought to its knees overnight; it may, in fact, take hundreds of years. No problem, as long as they keep chipping away at Western resolve through prolific murder and sabotage.

When the evil of Nazism threatened the civilized world the the 20th century, the U.S. and Briton went into full war mode. Enormous sacrifices war made in blood and treasure. The U.S. sustained a great loss of lives on European battlefields and in the Pacific. On the home front, there were basic rationing and chronic shortages of food staples such as bread, flour, sugar, and dairy products. Fruits and vegetables were virtually non-existent in American food stores. Consumer products such as kitchen appliances or car tires were off the market as every factory was retooled for the war effort. (This at a time when tires barely lasted for 5000 miles.) While the American public was not happy about this state of affairs, they understood it was necessary to totally defeat the twin evils of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. Think today’s westerners would be willing to endure similar sacrifices to totally destroy Islamic-Jihadists all over the globe. What a laugh. They wouldn’t even be willing to sacrifice acquiring the latest version of the I-Phone when it hits the markets. Meanwhile the terrorists keep playing the long game.

If you find all this troubling, plenty of diversion for your entertainment is coming this week in the form of the freak show known as the Republican Convention. Featuring maestro Donald Trump and his merry band of clowns. Soon to be followed by the Democratic Convention circus featuring Snow White, or, as she’s better known, Hillary Clinton, and her band of sycophants.

 

Categories: Ben Franklin, The Constitution, Monarchies, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, presidential polls,, Isis terrorist attack in Paris,, politics, Redstone Arsenal, NASA, Black Lives Matter, Recent Cop Killings, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

UNIVERSAL IMPERATIVES

Toward the end of 1963, more than 50 years ago, I was a civilian working for the U.S.Army and assigned to perform an audit of the U.S.Army Material Command located at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. I had just returned from a 3 year stint working overseas in Europe, also with the Army, (which I’ve previously written about) so coming to Huntsville, after I had lived in Paris for three years, was quite a shock. But Huntsville was considered quite progressive for the Deep South at the time. Besides the Army having a major presence, NASA’s Marshall Space Center was also located at Redstone Arsenal, which seemed like a small city unto itself. At least a couple of thousand personal worked at the Arsenal, many of whom were engineers or other technicians that were employed by both NASA and the Army. Many of these people had relocated from the North, which supposedly gave Huntsville its more progressive tinge.

Nevertheless,  Jim Crow segregation and racist laws were strictly enforced throughout Huntsville, which, after all, was still part of Alabama. I remember having what seemed endless arguments and discussions with local people employed by the Army in the same offices that I performed my work duties. I tried, repeatedly, to point out the sheer folly and stupidity of racism and segregation but it seemed as if I could never make a dent in their way of thinking. Their argument always came down to the same point of view. They didn’t need some Northern Yankee coming into their state and telling them how they should live their lives. It was all a matter of “states rights.” The moral injustice of Jim Crow seemed to never enter their psyches. At the time, Huntsville had one movie theater with an orchestra and balcony sections conveniently segregated. The orchestra was for whites only while blacks were confined to the balcony. I remember going to the movies one night, and to my surprise, two daring young black men came in and sat down in the orchestra, in the row in front of me. Next to them were seated two elderly white women who became shocked and chatted endlessly about this effrontery to Southern customs. Finally they quieted down and we all watched the movie in silence. This may have been the first act of willful desegregation throughout Alabama, if not the entire South.

It wasn’t long after that race riots erupted throughout most major U.S. cities, with entire city sections being set on fire and burnt to the ground. The huge turmoil and protest movements of the 1960s did have the effect of causing the Jim Crow walls of segregation to come tumbling to the ground, as well as enfranchising may blacks with the right to vote for the first time. But after all the protests, all the marches, and all the burnings, blacks for the most part, still remained confined to inner-city ghettos, where many still live today. Ghettos that are infested with crime, drugs, prostitution and gangs that are in a perpetual war with rival gangs. Not the most hospitable environment for promoting peace and tranquility. The 1960s were also a time of universal tragedy with the loss to America of  three of its most promising leaders. I remember discussing with friends about how the assassinations of John Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were a blow that no civilized society could hope to recover from. Given the nature of the leadership the U.S. has endured since then, I believe I was right on the money.

So here we are 50 years later with a large potion of the black population, along with the growing Latino populace, still confined to those same inner-city slums. With an almost steady procession of white police shootings of what appears to be unarmed and non-threatening young black men for no good reason. While race is undoubtably a factor in these shootings, I believe poor police training is the primary cause. Too many cops are too trigger happy, with an attitude of shoot first and ask questions later. This comes from a lack of decent training from when these shooters were learning to become cops in their police academies. It certainly seems to be at play in the deaths of two non-threatening black men these past weeks. Which was culminated by an attack by a black assassin that gunned down 11 Dallas policemen, 5 of whom died, that were protecting peaceful protests of the previous shootings of black men. Followed by more protests by the Black Lives Matter group, of white police gunning down black men. But if black lives matter, as they do, how about addressing black on black crime in the inner cities that takes many more black lives than cops do. Does it appear that life in the U.S. at this juncture, seems to be coming apart at the seams, at least regarding race relations.

But perhaps I’ve been looking at this all wrong. Perhaps it’s a universal imperative that civilizations are meant to rise and then fall, in order to keep the universe in a certain balance. Scientists postulate that there was an abundance of water on Mars some 3.6 billion years ago. They further postulate that where there was water, there also had to be life. So perhaps Mars, at some point, some hundreds of millions or billions of years ago, had a thriving civilization, and eventually did themselves in through their own folly. Now, all that is left is dust. Perhaps the killings of the Kennedy brothers and MLK in the 1960’s was the universe’s way of telling us that civilization on Planet Earth is also on the way out.

As I’ve repeated many times before, Pogo may have been the greatest philosopher of all time when he said-“We have met the enemy and he is us.”

 

Categories: Ben Franklin, The Constitution, Monarchies, Brexit, Donald Trump, Alan Greenspan, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, presidential polls,, human affairs, Isis terrorist attack in Paris,, politics, Redstone Arsenal, NASA, Black Lives Matter, Recent Cop Killings, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

BREXIT AND OTHER HUMAN FOLLIES

The British vote to exit the European Union this past week, only goes to show that the United States has yet to corner the market on sheer, unadulterated stupidity. By a narrow vote, the normally staid and rational British decision to leave an organization designed to enhance free trade, facilitate easier travel throughout Europe, create a single currency, and grow the economies of all member states had deep-seated ramifications for the entire planet. Alan Greenspan who was Chairman of the Federal Reserve in this country for about 20 years called the Brexit vote the greatest financial disaster in his lifetime. J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter authorship fame stated that it was a victory for all the racists and bigots in the U.K. Indeed, the backlash among many Europeans to the migration of tens of thousands of Moslems into their midst because of all the horrors of war, terrorism and killings in the Mid-East, did provide  a strong motivation among the British against continued membership in the EU.

On Friday, financial markets around the globe took a nose dive because of the Brexit vote and lost $2 trillion. Over $2 trillion of the world’s wealth evaporated like the morning mist.The Dow-Jones in this country dropped over 600 points and the bloodletting seems to be continuing as the Dow is down another 300 points today even as I write this piece. British Prime Minister David Cameron, as decent a politician and leader as exists in today’s world, was forced to submit his resignation (effective in October) because he strongly opposed the United Kingdom’s exiting the EU. Scotland, on of the 4 member states comprising the UK, (along with England, Wales and Northern Ireland) voted in favor of remaining in the EU and is now talking about leaving the UK so it can stay in the EU. Scotland had previously voted on whether to free itself from British rule, and that measure lost by a narrow margin. Now it wants another such vote which would likely succeed this time around. The British themselves are now having buyer’s remorse with over 2 million signing a petition to have a do-over vote. They’re asking for a mulligan, if you will.

As with the Trump fantasy in this country, education and economic status played a huge role in the vote’s outcome. Over 70% of those with a college education or higher voted to remain in the EU, while a similar number with only a high-school or lower education desired an exit. Similar percentages existed with those in higher income brackets favoring remain, versus lower income classes voting for exit. In the U.S., Trump’s demagogic and xenophobic candidacy and following also has its primary support  from the lower economic and poorly educated masses. So what accounts for this type of division that now seems to becoming a world-wide phenomena. The answer may lie in the opening lines of Charles Dickens “A Tale of Two Cities” written in the 19th century, which goes-“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” Dickens was describing conditions in London and Paris during that period, but a similar description can be written of the economic landscape in the U.S and Europe in today’s world.

Those British favoring exit kept dwelling on the EU’s fault-lines. Yes, the EU had a cumbersome bureaucracy which added unnecessarily to the cost of membership. Yes, it appeared that the cost burden to the UK of being a member exceeded the financial benefits being derived. Yes, there were a lot of seemingly unnecessary rules and regulations emanating from EU headquarters that people became fed up with. But those on the exit side failed to acknowledge that a ton of trade and tariff barriers among the EU states had been removed and that goods and services throughout Europe now flowed more freely, to everyone’s economic benefit. Now, Britain will have to renegotiate dozens if not hundreds of new trade agreements with its European counterparts, which could take many years. For those British that were doing well financially, it has indeed, been the best of times. But those struggling in the lower income brackets, who are also generally poorly educated, seem trapped financially with nothing but poverty to look forward to. For them it appears to be the worst of times. Or an opportunity for opportunistic politicians to move in and blame all their economic ills on that bumbling bureaucracy known as the  EU.

And so it goes in the U.S. as well. America has, by far, the most advanced economy the world has ever seen. For many Americans it’s the best of times with new innovations, new markets, new electronic gadgetry, and better living conditions seemingly advancing on a daily basis. But those on the lower end of the economic totem pole, usually lacking meaningful job skills, feel trapped by their lack of economic opportunity. Seeing how so many of their fellow citizens are living so well, while they’re engulfed in a financial quagmire, makes it, painfully, seem like the worst of times. Another opportunity for a power hungry demagogue such as Donald Trump to fill the vacuum. It’s not their fault that they’re living so poorly he tells the masses. Blame the Mexicans, the Chinese, our NATO partners in Europe, all Moslems, etc. for your economic difficulties. Peddled as skillfully as snake oil salesmen of the 19th century peddled their worthless elixirs, Trump’s neo-fascist demagogic skills now put him within hailing distance of becoming the most powerful man in the world.

So the 2 most prosperous English speaking nations in the world, have put themselves on a path toward economic and political ruin through mind-numbing irrationality. Kind of seems to me like, potentially, the worst of times.

Categories: Brexit, Donald Trump, Alan Greenspan, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, presidential polls,, Economics, human affairs, politics, Ronald Reagan, the Depression, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.