Saturday, December 26, 2009

Who Owns America and Why!

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

Always severely divided in one way or another, the U.S. has become two nations --one of the very,very rich elite on the one end and the rest of us on the other. The rich have literally waged war upon the poor since the nation's founding. The so-called 'Robber Baron Era' was notable for preceding and causing the Great Depression.

Income and wealth disparities are even worse now! As a direct result of Reagan/Bush tax cuts benefiting only the upper classes just ONE PERCENT of the U.S. population owns more than 95 percent of everyone else combined. Poverty is higher among every minority group. A 'ruling elite' of just one percent is primarily White Anglo Saxon Protestant.
...two privileged, the other America that does the work, another that reaps the reward. One America that pays the taxes, another America that gets the tax breaks.

--Sen. John Edwards
Edwards was absolutely correct and, if anything, understated the problem. It is not surprising that the ruling elites, the establishment, and the fossilized leadership of the GOP would respond with yet another label: class warfare! If 'class warfare' it be, then 'bring it on'!

The current numbers should be compared with figures from 1998 when information provided to the IRS indicated that the richest 1 percent of U.S. households owned 38 percent of all U.S. wealth. Clearly --the Bush years were disastrous for the economy and must certainly be among the factors responsible for the current 'financial crisis'.
Up until the early 1970s, the U.S. actually had lower wealth inequality than Great Britain, and even than a country like Sweden. But things have really turned around over the last 25 or 30 years. In fact, a lot of countries have experienced lessening wealth inequality over time. The U.S. is atypical in that inequality has risen so sharply over the last 25 or 30 years.

--An Interview with Edward Wolff, The Wealth Divide: The Growing Gap in the United States Between the Rich and the Rest
Please note that the figures cited for wealth distribution are accurate as of the date of the 'interview' excerpted. More current figures are stated earlier in this article.

The transfer of wealth upward is a contraction of the supply of money among those who are most likely to spend or invest monies in ways that drive the economy. Supply-side economics has never stimulated the economy. In every instance, 'supply side' economic policies have precipitated recessions/depressions. Tax windfalls --clearly --were not invested in new jobs or expansion; rather, they were 'exported' to offshore accounts. Until the current crisis, the most notable examples were the Great Depression of '29 and the two year long depression triggered by Ronald Reagan's infamous tax cut for his rich backers in 1982. It is not surprising that Reagan's supporters would opine: 'He made us feel good about ourselves'. Well, if not 'good', then 'richer'!

Appalling poverty and the declining value of currency defined ancient Rome. When the Praetorian Guard auctioned off the empire to Didius Julianus, a nobleman, the sale was transacted in greek Drachmas --not worthless Roman sesterces. The U.S. dollar, today, is propped up by China so that U.S. citizens can buy Chinese stuff at Wal-Mart. That's because the US is at the very bottom of the CIA's World Fact Book with the world's largest NEGATIVE current account balance, formerly called the balance of trade deficit.

The U.S. is already a Vassal State of China and the impending fall of 'America' will simply 'formalize' a collapse that seems already concluded. When only the ruling elite have a place to live, the more overt symptoms will become increasingly apparent.

Friday, December 25, 2009

U.S. Patriot Act: 'Tea Baggers' are Domestic Terrorists !

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

Tea Baggers and on-air personalities who have threatened President Barack Obama with death are 'Domestic Terrorists' as defined by the U.S. Patriot Act. Threats against Obama are up 400% over those against Bush and according to many sources, the Secret Service is not able to keep up.

A recent exchange on YouTube convinces me that it is time to to deal with lawless tea baggers while making a point about the rule of law. Those threatening the life of the President have, in fact, sought to '(i) intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion'. That means that threatening the life of the President is an act of terrorism.
Section 802 (Pub. L. No. 107-52) which expands the definition to cover "domestic". terrorism " ...if the act appears to be intended to: (i) intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion ..."

--U. S. Patriot Act

The Southern Poverty Law Center says that the U.S. has seen a 35 percent rise in hate groups in recent years, and few doubt that the discontent stirred up over the election of an African-American president is fueling the rise in threats. But, could the influx of modern technology also be to blame?
As the cost of computer technology has fallen (and accessibility to high-speed Internet service has spread), more and more people are spending more and more time online. Accordingly, these people are doing what people often do on the Internet: sending emails, communicating in chat rooms and on social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, watching YouTube videos, etc. According to results of a recent study by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, these activities seem to be enhancing the scope of extremist groups' reach:

--Report: Secret Service strained to protect Obama
America is as divided now as was England between Protestants and Catholics during the reign of Elizabeth I and, later, James I. James had promised a crackdown after Guy Fawkes tried to blow up Parliament, an act of terrorism. Overt threats to Obama are, in fact, acts of terrorism as defined in the U.S. Patriot Act.
True to form, just like I called it, even before the New Year could began in earnest three more Black men were lynched in America. Somehow, just saying I told you so doesn’t really do it for me. On New Year’s Eve, Johannes Mehserle a White police officer shot Oscar Grant Jr. a 22 year old Black man in his back, killing him instantly as he lay prone and unarmed on a train platform in Oakland California. The incident was caught on tape. It became just the latest public lynching of a Black man in the United States, and it sparked several days of angry rebellion.1

On that very same day, in Bellaire Texas a police officer shot the 23 year old son of Bobby Tolan, a once famous professional baseball player. Robbie Tolan ended up with a bullet lodged in his liver, only because as he stood in the driveway of his own home, a White police officer simply assumed that the car he actually owned was a stolen vehicle.2 Then, hours later on New Year’s Day, nine police officers in New Orleans discharged their weapons 48 times and put 12 bullets into the back of yet another young unarmed African American man; 22-year-old Adolph Grimes was shot dead in a hail of gunfire just a few feet away from his grandmother’s home. A total of 14 bullets pierced violently through his body. ...

All that it requires is the will and the means to take someone’s life. Now, with the election of the first Black man to the highest office in the land, it appears as if some White people across the country have simply lost their minds.

--Death Threats Against Obama - Racist Atrocities Soar As America Regurgitates Its Soul
Everyone threatening the life of President Barack Obama is a terrorist as defined clearly and unambiguously in the U.S. Patriot Act!

Anyone making threats against Obama, be they Beck, Billo or Limbaugh should be prosecuted under the provisions of the U.S. Patriot Act!

Monday, December 21, 2009

How Americans Are Enslaved by a Corrupt Right Wing Machine!

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

The name of a 'god' and a sacrifice associated with fire, the term 'Moloch' is found in Hebrew and Arabic and other Middle Eastern cultures --Ammonite, Canaanite and Phoenician as well as related cultures in North Africa and the Levant.

In American or modern English usage, the term or 'character' "Moloch" refers to any leader or person requiring costly sacrifices and/or utter enslavement. The term is thus especially applicable to a corrupt, right wing system requiring of its citizenry a virtual enslavement by virtue of diminishing or increasingly prescribed economic roles.

In the US, this is often referred to as being a "wage slave". Most recently, "Moloch" describes not just an extreme right wing establishment but the enslavement of every American who is left behind by GOP tax cuts benefiting just one percent of the population of the nation, the the ruling one percent. Moloch is all-pervasive, effectively denying to all the choice to live otherwise but for and 'in' the omni-present machine.

'Liberal' Means Free but GOP Means Slavery to Moloch

The definition of the term "liberal", muddled of late, has an honorable tradition. "Liberal" is derived from the latin "liber" which means "free". Up to the end of the eighteenth century "liberal" signified "worthy of a free man". Thus we still speak of the "liberal arts", a "liberal occupation". Despite subtle shades of meaning or various connotations, "liberalism" in general remains a "free" way of thinking and acting in private and public life. Its opposite --conservatism --connotes a top-down authoritarian mentality, a doctrinaire, restrained (retarded?) manner of thinking. Conservatism is forever to be associated with fascism, monarchy and dictatorship, i.e -- 'Moloch'!

We are enslaved in three ways:
  1. economically by an inequitable system in which 95 percent of the population works to support and enrich a ruling one percent;
  2. sociologically by dividing society by wealth, segregating society into walled-off communities, carving up cities into slum dwellers vs the privileged elites who live in gated, walled communities;
  3. ideologically with the Orwellian word games designed to facilitate (catapult?) the propaganda which maintains 'Moloch' in his/her roles as both master and devourer!
Modern debasement of the term 'liberal' may be traced to "McCarthy" types who clearly succeeded in associating "liberal" with "Stalinism", "fellow travelers" or communism. Buying into the paradigm implies a tacit agreement to the terminology. It means that we are forced to play by their rules, their definitions.

Moloch is found in various societies throughout history whenever a small number enslaves by force or economics or both a much, much larger general population. That outcome was achieved with the rise of the GOP, most recently with Ronald Reagan, George Bush Sr and, later, George W. Bush.

Never perfectly egalitarian, the US was, nevertheless, more equitable under the Democratic regimes of LBJ, Jimmy Carter, and, more recently, Bill Clinton. Clinton had begun a tentative reversal of entrenched trends that had begun with Reaganomics often called supply side' or trickle down' theory.

The Shrub regime assumed the role of Moloch, enforcing and re-energizing economic and ideological oppression by citing a mythical external enemy: Arab terrorists! There is, in fact, no admissible evidence whatsoever that any Arab ever boarded any flight nor hijacked any airliner associated with 911. There is, in fact, no admissible evidence to support any aspect of the Bush 'official' theory of 911. There is no Pentagon wreckage traceable to Fl 77, indeed, any airliner. There was, in fact, no wreckage traceable to Ft 93 recovered at Pennsylvania. Ted Olson told several versions of his 'alleged' phone call from Barbara Olson, at least two of which were mutually exclusive. Simply, Ted lied! 911 was the biggest, the most outrageous, the most venal fraud ever perpetrated upon mankind.

The Bush administration codified its dictatorship with oppressive measures --a 'Patriot' Act --which violates every article of the US Bill of Rights! It was, quite possibly, the most UN-patriotic Act passed since the Alien and Sedition Acts. The Patriot Act violates every LIBERAL, every Anti-Moloch principle that had, until Bush, defined the American republic: the presumption of innocence, due process of law, probable cause, and the separation of powers!
I am, therefore, opposed with every fiber of my being to the party of Bush, Reagan, and Bush! I am opposed to every "anti-free", "anti-liberal" measure that has been forced upon the American people by the embodiment of 'Moloch' --the tyrannical regimes of Reagan, Bush and Bush.
The idea that "people" are sovereign is "liberal". The idea that people are --in fact --born free is "liberal". "Liberalism" is the anti-thesis not only of the "divine right of kings", it is the anti-thesis of dictatorship as envisaged by either Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot or, in the US, Bush and the GOP.
The abuse of the term "liberal" is just one more Neo-Nazi lie, typical of the Orwellian political agenda behind it! Liberal is a perfectly good word, an honorable word, a word that I reclaim from a crooked right that deliberately sought to debase it.

I am liberal and, therefore, free!

Minions of the GOP are, conversely, enslaved to Moloch and the lies upon which that shaky foundation rests. No one wins who bargains with Satan.

Among the more pernicious and harmful right wing lies remains 'trickle down theory', sometimes called 'Supply Side Economics'. Clearly --wealth has never, ever trickled down. Labor is the source of value in any economic system. Every major economist from the 'conservative' Ricardo to Karl Marx recognized that fact! This is not a left v. right issue; rather truth vs lies! The exploitation of labor by capital is slavery i.e, 'Moloch'!
Census Bureau: Poverty Rate Rises, Household Income Declines
Although there was a huge increase in real income for average Americans between World War II and the 1970s the income of the average American male has gone essentially unchanged since 1970 as the figure below indicates. Income for females though has continued to rise. What is significant about this graph is that between 1980 and present (2003) the incomes of the top 2% of American wage earners has gone up dramatically despite the stagnation of the income of average Americans.
--Trickle Down” economics was a “Trojan Horse, David Stockman, Ronald Reagan's Budget Director. Also see: Atlantic Online, The Education of David Stockman
Economists quantify income inequalities with what is called the GINI Index. Take a look at Stockman's chart of GINI indices at the link. The GINIS actually moved down between 1967 and 1970, indicating that the economy was moving toward relative equality. Things remained essentially unchanged until 1982, the year of Reagan's tax cut for the wealthy. GINI indices increase, i.e. wealth trickles up steadily from that point. According to Dr. Daniel Weinberg of the Census Bureau, the trend abated briefly in Clinton's second term, but the overall trend toward greater inequality resumed with a vengeance under George W. Bush.

A Free Person's Rapid Response to Ideology and Propaganda:
  • Every Democratic President has presided over greater economic and job growth than ANY Republican President since WWII.
  • Job growth under Carter exceeded that of Ronald Reagan.
  • Reagan presided over the worst recession since Hoover's great depression of the 1930's.
  • The Reagan Recession following Reagan's improvident tax cut of 1982 was the longest and most severe since Herbert Hoover's "Great" Depression!
  • Wealth trickled up during the Reagan administration primarily as a result of his tax cuts for the rich even as the bite out of middle income checks increased! ONLY the upper quintile prospered. Every other segment of the population suffered in various ways: job losses, loss of income, loss of net worth, loss of homes. Homelessness hit new highs during Reagan's Recession.
  • Under Reagan, the incomes of the richest 20% increased 18% while the incomes of the poorest 20% declined a similar amount. Wealth "trickled-up" --NOT down as had been promised by "trickle down" and other fringe theorists!
  • Unemployment, high throughout the Reagan debacle, would have been higher had Reagan not doubled the size of the Federal Bureaucracy. Interestingly, he had promised to reduce the size of government. Reagan had to break a campaign promise in order to achieve any success at all.
  • Reagan added some two million jobs to the Federal Bureaucracy; otherwise, his numbers would have been even worse than they are. Nevertheless, his performance in this area still pales compared to Clinton who presided over a 2.4% per year increase in jobs during his administration.
  • The administration of George Bush cannot be said to have created a single net new job! Unlike Reagan, most of the jobs created during the Clinton presidency were in the private sector. Bush --following policies made famous by Ronald Reagan --was in the hole throughout his incompetent reign of idiocy.
  • Best job growth since World War II occurred under four Democratic Presidents: Johnson, Carter, Clinton, and Kennedy.
  • The worst job growth growth occurred under Reagan, Nixon, and the worst: Bush Sr at a mere 0.6% per year. See: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics Survey.