Real Unemployment Information

So, how about all those new jobs you hear about on the media? Those low unemployment rates?

If you want a realistic look at unemployment, you cannot simply look at the official unemployment numbers. You have to look at that plus the Labor Participation Rate (LPR). This is a number which states a percentage of US residents over the age of 16 are employed or seeking employment.

The Labor Participation Rate is one of the few numbers which the government keeps fairly current. You can find the official rates here, updated monthly. It is current through January 2019 because February is not yet over.

If you open the page, it gives you a graph and table. What this information shows is that labor participation has declined fairly steadily since 2009, with fairly minor variations. In 2009, it reached a peak of 65.8%. The lowest rate in 10 years was 62.7% in 2016. The lowest in 2018 was also 62.7%. The current rate is 63.1%.

So, what do these numbers mean?

I could not find information about ages 16–18 which was reliable. However, percentage of the population under 18 is 22.6%. Actual US population is estimated at 327,167, 434 as of July 2018. That gives a population over 18 of 253,196,634 people. Those are the numbers I will work with, which should be fairly accurate for this purpose. For simplicity, I am using the 2018 population as a constant and am rounding numbers.

So with these numbers, we had an LPR in 2009 in total numbers of 166,603,385. In 2018, we had a low of 158,754,290. In current numbers, we have an LPR of 159,767,076.

So, between 2009, the height of the recession, we have seen a decrease in the LPR of 6,836,309 (January 2019). That many people have dropped out of the job market for one reason or another.

What is striking is that the number of people entering or re-entering the job market has increased since September 2018. The birth rate has been dropping for at least two decades, so this is an indication that retired people are re-entering the job market.

The official number of unemployed per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is currently 6.5 million. But that does not include the number of people who have dropped out of the labor market completely. When we add the 6.5 million to the decreased number stated above, that equals over 12.8 million Americans not employed. So, more than double the 8% unemployment rate being stated.

The BLS also stated that unemployment increased slightly in January.

I have explained before that the median income is complete BS. The way that works is an average, which looks like this: If a CEO makes $990,000 a year and their employee makes $10,000 a year, the total is $1 million. Averaged out, median income becomes $500,000. And that refers only to wages, not income.

Let’s go further with that. If one investor makes $100 million and 99 people are in the LPR with NO income, the median income becomes $1 million, making it appear as though all those people made $1 million each that year.

The US Census Bureau estimates that 12–13% of Americans are currently below the poverty line.

48% of Americans earn less than $30,000 a year. 69% of Americans earn less than $50,000 a year.

I have pointed out previously that the bar for being considered employed is extremely low. If you work 1 hour a week, you are considered employed. So obviously unemployment does not mean you earn a living wage or anywhere near it.

Of course, I have already written about the fact that corporations are laying people of by tens of thousands, nearly all permanently. Ford, GM, GE all announced mass layoffs in Nov and Dec. Harley-Davidson closed one plant and moved the operations to Thailand. Carrier announced layoffs in the US, with a new location in Mexico. Sears/KMart went bankrupt and is unlikely to recover this time. Toys R Us and numerous other retail chains have ceased to exist. There are more to follow as equity retail space loans come due in balloon payments.

Vehicle repossessions are rising. So are defaults on federal student loans, which carry penalties which can impact a consumer’s credit for life, even after IRS seizure of refunds, income and assets. Consumer credit debt is at the highest level in history while income remains stagnant. Home sales are on a downward slide, not just domestically but throughout the western world. The number of Americans without health insurance has increased by 7 million in 2 years.

All of this flies directly in the face of any claims that jobs are being created or that income levels are rising. When the claims are made that income levels are rising, that refers to the median income described above. When they talk about employment, it’s nothing short of a fabrication for political expediency.

The media is not going to report the truth because it would reflect badly on their corporate advertisers. Can’t have an informed audience taking to the streets to protest against their income sources, can we?

The real impetus here is on us, to be accurately informed. To confirm the information we receive rather than believe it blindly without question. To share that accurate information with others. To call out false information as it is presented.

Why Be Offended By The Term “Cult”?

A number of people have been offended by my use of the term “cult”. So, I find it somewhat necessary to delve deeper into my rationale for the use of that term. It is a term less judgmental than an honest analysis of too common behavior.

First, I want to offer a similar viewpoint by Marley K, while she refers to the same phenomenon using the term “groupthink”.In her article, she references the book by Irving L Janus, titled “Groupthink”, published in 1972. So this is not exactly a new observation. https://medium.com/@marleyk/how-social-media-encourages-groupthink-e4b4b2f2a5f8

BTW, Marley is a great writer who you should be following.

The reason for the term “cult/cult thinking/cultism” has a goal associated with it. It’s a simple goal. Spreading personal awareness. To make people examine their own behavior and attitudes critically. If a person finds the term offensive, there tends to be a reason. That they see some aspect of that term in their own behavior. I expect many people to be initially offended by the term. I probably would be, myself.

My own cultist past. The entire reason I understand this is that I have seen it in myself at times in the past on limited subjects. I was pretty much a ferocious cultist for Bernie in 2016 and truly believed. I expected him to contest the convention, which of course did not happen. never expected him to campaign for Hillary. Or do the DNC Unity Tour. Or push Russiagate.

My first use of the term. The first time I used the term “cult” was in reference to Trump supporters in 2016. Then, over time, I stepped back and realized that my own view was limited. That was when I realized that all parties are cults. Then that evolved to the understanding that all names are cultsWhich then became one of my mottoes or most often used statements.

Back to 2016 tactics. Now previous Hillbots have been using the same references they did in 2016, calling me “butthurt” and similar terms, only this time to say I should support Bernie. Because that behavior worked so well in 2016.

A candidate has to earn my vote with policies. Let me say it now. Bernie has no right to my vote. He has to earn it. Yes, you do need the true Progressive vote. So don’t start with the Hillbot behavior of saying, “We don’t need you” or “Beat Trump”. That is not enough and it’s not going to do it. That is cult thinking at it’s finest.

Definition. So let me define this. Cult thinking includes:

The conviction that “nobody is perfect” and using it as a rationale to ignore any danger involved with blindly supporting a candidate. Including such dangers as war with Russia. (Jonestown or Heaven’s Gate, anyone?)Which, as I detailed in my last article, includes the censorship of independent and social media, plus the attacks on Julian Assange. You cannot support a candidate who promotes Russiagate and support Assange, they are directly opposed to each other.

You reject any and all negative points regarding a candidate or party without reading or listening to the points being raised. You consider all negative statements to be untrue, including questions.

You consistently seek out only articles, shows and even memes which support your views.

You limit your social interactions to people that reinforce your views. Even going as far as attacking anyone with differing views. To the degree that if someone says you want to hear from all candidates, not jump into a commitment to a candidate when 2020 is still 10 months away. Not all the candidates who will be running have even announced their campaigns yet. This is a form of declaring someone a heretic for not sharing your belief system. You feel you must convert them or sacrifice them to prove your own True Faith, that you are a Believer.

When someone tries to discuss issues, you divert the subject to personal attacks on the person directly, refusing to stay on topic.

You have cognitive dissonance and may actually know it but don’t care. If someone brings up a point with documented facts, reasonable, rational questions that manage to break through, you can feel your eyes glaze over as you seek something to respond with to reaffirm your faith, not to address the evidence.

You are willing to accept “evidence” which has no proof to back it up. As long as you can quote someone who agrees with your beliefs, that is considered evidence to you and sufficient.

You will give your time, money, effort to your chosen cult without reading the fine print. You don’t need policies. Because you have been promised heaven later for your dedication today.

You quote things which the person never said, cite policies that do not exist, accomplishments which never happened. When asked to name your source, rather than provide it you tell the person asking to look it up for themselves. Because you know that will never happen again, right?

You don’t want to discuss issues. You just want to silence any and all dissent. Then call it democracy.

You are willing to harm other people or close your eyes to harm for your Faith. If someone does not Believe, they deserve what comes to them.

You criticize others for an “us versus them” or “those who are not with us are against us” mindset, yet are guilty of the same thing.

Exaggerated emotional response. Let me repeat that. Exaggerated emotionalresponse. Emotions displace critical thought. Responses from a cultist are based on emotion regarding the cult and most often include only emotion.

Summary. As you can see, people are literally turning political campaigns, parties, candidates into actual religious cults. It is too soon to even adopt a specific candidate when the primaries are over a year away, national election a full 21 months away, barely under two years!!

We already have the longest election cycle of any country on earth. That would be fine if that time were used to announce and examine policies so voters were more informed. Instead, that time is used for personal attacks by candidates and supporters. We don’t choose who is the best candidate, we choose who is the most popular. Which means some high school elections are more valid and fact-based than our official elections.

We cannot keep doing this as a nation. At ground level, this is what is destroying us as a country. If you see cult thinking in yourself, it’s okay if the statement offends you at first, that’s understandable. It’s what you do after that which matters. Watch for cult thinking in yourself and be brave enough to call it out in others when you see it. It’s difficult but necessary. If you have ever been a teacher, a leader, a manager or a parent, you know that correcting harmful behavior is unavoidable. Don’t try to be popular, don’t try to be in the “right group”. Be informed. Discuss issues and policies objectively. That is how we plan for a future.

Final note and reference. If you truly doubt my assessment above, which was written from my own knowledge of cults, then read this from an expert on cults and a former cult member. Then assess again. If you still doubt, do a web search on cult characteristics. If you find something which contradicts what I have to say, I’d be happy to hear it. http://cultresearch.org/help/characteristics-associated-with-cults/

Bern Your Progressive Card

This week Bernie Sanders announced his 2020 campaign run for president. Of course, millions of people jumped enthusiastically on board with no pause or consideration.

There is no way at this point that I can support Bernie. I know my views will be immensely unpopular but they are based on objective observation and rational thinking. I cannot base my political views or the future of this country and the planet on mere emotional response.

I give Bernie credit for his 2016 campaign and what it achieved for us. His campaign made Socialism an acceptable word for millions, after decades of indoctrination which made the word unspeakable in public. While the original ACA had suggested but never lived up to the promise of universal healthcare, Bernie’s campaign made it a dominating narrative which remains intact. He brought millions of us together who had felt isolated in our views. His campaign was the major impetus for the rise of independent media as a force to be reckoned with. New voices are being heard which would have been nearly silent otherwise.

However, it is time to move on from 2016 and face the current reality. This is a list of criticisms which cannot be denied as that reality.

Cult mindset. Of course, in true cult fashion they have since attacked anyone that does not fully support Bernie without question and if they cannot convert you, they unfriend you, block you, disown you, whatever. It doesn’t matter at all how progressive your views are, to them you are not a real Progressive unless you join the cult.

Is this sounding familiar? Is this sounding an awful lot like the Hillary campaign in 2016? Are they going to start telling us, “We don’t need you”?

Or how about, “Third parties can’t win”? That makes sense. Bernie is once again running under the DNC banner. Never mind that he is allegedly Independent. Never mind many of his claimed followers have been saying for over 2 years that we should not trust the DNC.

Donate to the DNC! Not only that but if you donate to Bernie, that donation will go through ActBlue, which is the fundraising entity of the DNC, so a percentage of each donation goes directly to the DNC and their authorized candidates. So if you give to Bernie, you are donating to Kamala Harris, Warren and maybe Biden. Have fun with that. BTW, that arrangement also means if you donate directly to his campaign and bypass ActBlue, Bernie is mandated to still pay the same percentage to the DNC. They’ve been at this a lot longer than you have and know every trick to look for.

Russiagate is being used against Bernie once again. However, that does not stop Bernie himself from pushing the Russiagate narrative still. I am making a prediction right here and now. Bernie pushing Russiagate will lose him more votes than it gains. He has pushed Russiagate to the point that he has accused his own 2016 followers of being Russian trolls or being brainwashed by Russian propaganda if they so much as questioned Hillary’s dedication to a Progressive agenda.

Danger. Russiagate comes with a long list of dangers inherent to it. Aside from the obvious risk of hot war with Russia, there is censorship. Russiagate has already been used as a rationale for corporate media to censor Progressive media. Over 600 Progressive pages were removed from Facebook and Twitter a few months ago, citing “Russia” as a rationale. Just recently, we saw In The Now blocked from Facebook and YouTube because they get part of their funding from RT.

The worst part of this is that, if Bernie does not back down from pushing Russiagate immediately, he will not be able to do so later. The fact that he has continued pushing it means he is complicit in the corporate silencing of Progressive media. The same media that hailed him in 2016 while corporate media conducted a complete blackout of his campaign unless to attack him. In other words, he has absolutely turned his back on the people who brought him to popularity and has fully embraced the Establishment narrative and corporate visibility.

At no time has Bernie broken with the Establishment narrative to suggest diplomacy with Russia and decrease tensions.

Julian Assange. The fact is, you cannot support both Bernie and Julian Assange. They are diametrically opposed. Bernie pushes Russiagate, which implicates Assange. Bernie has remained as silent on Assange as he has about election fraud in 2016. Which makes him complicit in the attacks on Assange. 

Loyalty. Some claim that in 2016 he kept a commitment. A candidate’s commitment should be to the people that supported him, that donated their money, time and effort to promote him. So yes, he kept his commitment, or rather revealed where his commitment truly resides. With the Establishment he claims to oppose.

Bernie lost no pay or benefits. Something should be noted here. Bernie never lost his job, his income or his health insurance as a result of the 2016 election. Over 7 million have lost health insurance in 2 years. Hundreds of thousands have lost jobs and/or been forced to take even lower wages than they were earning even in 2016.

Sanctions. Bernie has openly promoted sanctions on numerous occasions. I have detailed on numerous occasions that sanctions kill. Sanctions are acts of war. More so when not approved by the UNSC. Not only that but sanctions impact industries and economies of our allies. They decrease trade in those allied countries. They cause dissent with those allies which will only grow worse as long as we continue imposing unilateral sanctions on other countries. Bernie has not suggested even lifting sanctions which do not have UNSC approval, he has supported unilaterally imposed sanctions by the US Empire.

Drones. Bernie has publicly supported US drone strikes in other countries. While drone strikes reduce the physical risk to US personnel, they still cause massive loss of innocent lives and PTSD for drone pilots. Not to mention the fact that the average cost of a missile launched from a drone is $80,000, which does not include the cost of the drone, itself.

Independent media. I mentioned above that his 2016 campaign was a major impetus for the rise of independent media. However, it was not the only thing which drove that rise. Independent media was already in existence and increasing in popularity before 2016. His campaign accelerated that rise and drove the motivation for new voices, including my own to a point. On the other hand, he has not exactly been a staunch supporter on social media. Jimmy Dore is a very strong public fan of Bernie’s who has invited Bernie on his show numerous times. Bernie has not only not accepted the offer but last I heard had not even responded to the invitation. RT was the only major broadcast channel to cover his 2016 campaign yet Bernie did not accept invitations to appear on RT, either. Some shows such as TYT claim to be Progressive but are actually known neoliberal sources that support the DNC blindly and spout Russiagate as frequently as Rachel Maddow. If he appeared on those shows and not Jimmy Dore or Thom Hartmann, that says a lot in and of itself. Though Thom endorsed Hillary, which should not be forgotten.

It is not 2020. I’ve pointed this out before and do so again. It is not 2020 yet. 2020 is still 10 months away. To fervently adopt a candidate with no room allowed for questioning is not making an informed choice. It is an emotional fixation, nothing more. Too many people are turning this into nothing short of a religion. There is little or no objective, rational thinking involved in such a decision.

So, I expect a lot of hate messages over this. Do your worst. It’s really nothing I have not suffered through by Hillary or Trump supporters. You can try and tell yourself you’re different but when you support one candidate without waiting for debates, not waiting for policies to be laid out, remain blind to the dangers and even accept those dangers willingly, you are no different at all. Look in the mirror and accept that. You have become the very thing you once raged against.

Facebook Blocks “In The Now”

Facebook has blocked In The Now, a popular Progressive YouTube channel which many people in my own feed had shared videos from.

As of this writing, it appears that YouTube has also blocked the channel. The main page states, “This channel has no content”.

Funding is the only rationale. The reason for the channel being blocked is that it was partially funded by RT. That’s it. No other reason. In the reports on MSM about the channel being blocked, in no place do they mention anything about the content on the channel. That is because the rationale has nothing to do with the content. The sole rationale is who funds the channel.

Subject matters. The content on In The Now focused primarily on such subjects as anti-war, anti-regime change messaging, anti-racism, environmental protection and the Yellow Vest Movement, meant to be attractive to younger viewers and Millennials, though their content was popular with many Progressives, garnering over 2.5 billion views and over 2 million regular subscribers. So if the name of the channel is familiar, it’s because you have probably personally seen some of their content.

Compare. Now, try going on FB and YT and searching for content from any corporate MSM source. Not a single one of them is blocked. Do we hear questioning or objections to their bias or agenda while they accept funding from military contractors and oil companies? Do they divulge that bias? Their bias has been proven time and again for decades.

Not just social media. It is not only social media conducting censorship. Google and Yahoo conduct their own censorship in the form of altering algorithms to push any Progressive content far back in the rankings, even if certain Progressive sites have far more traffic than their detractors. If you search for information regarding In The Now this moment, the only things you will find several pages deep are articles and videos which proclaim In The Now and RT as “Russian propaganda”, rather than a news channel. None will mention the content of the channel in a positive way. The corporate media literally tries to make environmentalism and anti-war content sound like a negative and some form of anti-American propaganda.

This is fascism. Some people think it is okay to allow censorship to occur when it is done by a corporation. When corporations own the media, when corporations have conspired with the government, when corporations own the means of communications, then corporate censorship is government censorship.

Question yourself. Americans seriously need to ask themselves why it takes Russian funded media sources to openly discuss Progressive ideas and ideals. Ask themselves why there are no anti-war voices allowed on MSM unless they are being attacked and called unpatriotic. Why is war patriotic? (I ask this as a veteran from a long, long, long string of veterans.) Why is censorship patriotic? Why is environmentalism anti-patriotic?

Funding sources have nothing to do with it. Anti-war voices have been silenced by our media for as long as I can remember. Chris Hedges was fired from the NYT for opposing the Iraq invasion. Phil Donohue was fired from MSNBC for giving a platform to anti-war voices. Jesse Ventura had a contract for a show canceled on MSNBC and was bound by a gag order for years for opposing Iraq. In recent months, FB and Twitter have conspired to simultaneously block numerous voices, mostly anti-war. Such as the Ron Paul Liberty Report and Antiwar.com.

It does not stop with anti-war voices. Other voices have also been censored. Police The Police, which reported on domestic police abuse of power, was removed by FB. FB and Twitter have repeatedly blocked certain voices while MSM attempts to discredit Progressives as being “Russian trolls”, anti-patriotic, etc. Such lucid voices as Julian Assange, Caity Johnstone, Glen Greenwald, Chris Hedges, Jimmy Dore and anyone else who refuses to support the warmonger, corporate supremacist oligarchy.

We have no heroes. My voice has not yet been censored that I know of. That is only because I have not yet gained enough of an audience. For now, that may be best. It is up to us, the general populace, to share our message, either by using our own words or copying and pasting the words of others who oppose war and corporate rule. To raise our voices loud against censorship, against imperialist warmongering, against the US becoming a feudal state under martial law, which is what we are fast approaching.

I have written these words many times before and will repeat them:

We have no heroes. We are our own heroes. It is time to start acting like it. We cannot wait any longer.

The Real Emergency

Trump has declared a national emergency to build his wall. This after the amount he wanted to fund the wall was not approved by CONgress. I have already covered why the wall and the whole illegal immigration issue is a farce in several other articles, so not bothering with it here.

Yes, I know right wing racists who know absolutely nothing on the subject except what they’ve heard on Faux Nooz et al will respond with more racism. They sometimes try to disguise it in some other way but always fail. Go ahead. I block racists. You’re not worth my time.

We definitely have a national emergency which has existed for some years and has reached critical mass. That emergency has no connection to immigration or a wall. Many people will say we have many emergencies and they would be correct. However, there is one emergency at the root of nearly all of the others. The corporate control of our government.

Corporate control of our government is at the root of the cost of healthcare, denial of insurance to those with existing conditions, every war we are involved in, regime change, low wages, cost of education, the student loan disease, cost of rent, largely responsible for the homeless rate, the federal debt, poisoning of our environment and the way our elections are run.

Corporate control is also responsible for our ever weakening education system, leaving us behind most of the developed world. This is by design, to keep the populace dumbed down to the degree that they have no understanding of what is happening. In addition to no capability for critical thought to independently analyze what is going on in front of their own eyes. What education we do have is more indoctrination than education. Propagating children all the way into early adulthood to be a part of the same system which oppresses them and continue it.

Corporate control is media control. Media control is mind control for those incapable of questioning the narrative. Millions of Americans rely on corporate media to literally tell them what to think on a daily basis. It doesn’t matter which side of the major party divide you occupy, the same corporations are controlling the words you hear and read every day.

Now they are trying to control what you hear and read in alternative media.

We’re told that we cannot afford healthcare for all Americans. Yet we can afford 121 bombs a day at an average $80,000 each. We can afford missiles that cost millions each while not reaching their targets 70% of the time. While corporate media tells you how accurate those weapons are. We cannot afford better public education but we can afford to pay private corporations to educate our children. We cannot afford to provide clean water to citizens of Flint (among other places) but we can afford to give Israel nearly $4 billion a year. We cannot fix our infrastructure but we can give a total of nearly $90 billion a year, every year to other countries.

Our corporate media does not explain the petrodollar system, which involves the US selling oil to other countries while buying oil from different countries while propping up the value of the dollar using transactions that have nothing to do with us. They do not explain how that system is failing.

Our corporate media does not explain how the stock market is a house of cards which has contributed more than nearly anything else to the national debt. This in a cycle which has been doomed to collapse for years and that collapse is imminent and virtually imperative. In any case, it is completely unavoidable at this point.

Our corporate media does not explain that the wars we are engaged in are both a diversion from all the above and an attempt to keep the same system going.

Our corporate media does not explain that even if that continuation were successful, it will still result in the ruination of this country.

Our corporate media does not explain that we cannot afford to fight any more wars. That we are so far in debt that even the central banks will not finance the next war. They don’t need to, even for their own profit because we already owe more than we make as a nation. Why do central banks finance wars? So the country waging wars and the country being attacked will be indebted to the IMF and World Banks. However, the US already owes more debt than we make as a nation.

Corporate media does not explain that China has surpassed us as the leading consumer market in addition to being the world leading manufacturing country and the world leading oil importer. Buying that oil in yuan, notdollars.

Corporate media does not explain that China stopped buying US oil months ago. In any currency.

Corporate media does not explain that they only tell you what their advertisers want you to hear. Oil companies, drug companies, military contractors, WAR Street investment firms, banks, AIPAC, vehicle manufacturers, fast food chains, cosmetic companies..

This is our real emergency. There is no crisis at our border other than the same crises we are all facing. This is the crisis which will bring this country to its knees to a degree that it will not recover in our lifetime or our children’s lifetimes. Not as long as we refuse to see through the fog to the truth. Not until we stop allowing the ongoing corporate control of our country and by extension the planet. Though little by little, the rest of the planet is deciding they no longer want to play our game.

No, Capitalism Does Not Create Opportunity Or Drive Innovation

One of the most-oft claims of capitalists is that capitalism creates opportunities and drives innovation. This is an absolutely false statement driven by desperation or willful ignorance. Indeed, the opposite is often true.

Have you ever watched children play? Seen how their imaginations work? Children can be truly innovative. The point of education is supposed to be to guide that curiosity, that innovation using valid information which they can use through their lives, rather than “reinventing the wheel”. Learn what is already known and progress from there.

The history of mankind is a history of innovation. From first learning how to use tools to the wheel to building structures on up to electricity and computers and space flight. Let’s note right here that the first country to fly in space was not a capitalist country, it was a Communist country, the USSR.

Know any geeks and/or inventors? Inventors invent because that is their nature. Most begin as curious children who take things apart to learn how those things work. They just never get over it. It is a part of themselves they cannot deny. Yes, of course they have high hopes of creating something which will make them rich. Yet ask most of them and why do they want to get rich? Usually so they can build the workshop of their dreams and keep inventing with no monetary restraint.

All inventors and artists and writers hope to make money from their creations. For many, not because they want fame or actual fortune. Just so they don’t have to have money as a concern to limit their creativity.

Yes, I include myself in this. Of course I hope my writing takes off and becomes wildly popular. Even so I get wealthy. Of course, I would be the first to find and laugh at the irony if that happened. In my case, it isn’t likely to occur. I’m already on the radar of capitalists attempting to invalidate my work and oppress my efforts. Why do I have these hopes? First of all, I have the same concerns as everyone else. Financial security. In my own case, also so I could stop working my regular job and spend more time researching and writing. Would it be good for my self esteem? Definitely. However, it should be noted that my writing focuses on things far beyond personal accumulation or ego and that is not going to change. Yet because of the nature of my writing, it is unlikely to be published or accepted by corporate interests unless I already have gained enough of a following that I pose a profit to the capitalists. That is where the irony I mentioned comes in. Until that point, my ideas pose a threat which is easily suppressed. The subjects I and other Progressives cover are a threat to them and the capitalist system.

The history of capitalism in this country is littered with the oppression of ideas which posed a threat to the powerful and wealthy. Look at the history of Nikola Tesla versus Edison. Wind and solar energy development. Fuel efficient vehicles. Watch the documentary, “Who Killed The Electric Car?”

In many cities across the US, there were once electric streetcars. Over time, those were removed and replaced with gas and diesel burning buses. Yet electric streetcars and subways are still popular in Europe. They are efficient and less polluting than our buses. Why were they eliminated here? Why do we not have them now in more cities? Why are we the only industrialized nation to not have high speed rail systems? It’s because these things are suppressed by certain corporate interests. Car companies, oil companies, airlines. All of whom stand to lose large sums of money by the use of efficient public transportation. The lack of efficient public transportation also helps maintain the separation between affluent and poverty-stricken areas in place. When the poor have to spend huge portions of their lives or large sums of money simply getting from one place to another, they have no energy or time remaining to engage in public activism or even self improvement by anything more than basic educational needs. Which the corporations own, manipulate and use for indoctrination.

There have been legends of various inventions which have been suppressed over decades. Like a carburetor that allowed vehicles to be far more fuel efficient. That one is slightly dubious but an example. We can have no doubt that inventions which stand to limit the profits of certain corporations or industries have been suppressed, even to the point of murder. Look at the actions of our military contractors and the oil industry. They are willing to kill millions in other countries for profits. With the blessing and assistance of the highest members of our government. The same holds true for drug companies. How many medications have been approved and later removed from the market because of the harm they caused, including lives lost? If corporate and government entities are willing to do or allow things like that, why would you believe they would have qualms with taking one or a few American lives to maintain that much money and power?

How many aspiring inventors and innovators have been suppressed just by the system we have in place? Just by virtue of having to work full time jobs, pay so much for insurance, mortgage, student loans and transportation that they have too little left to invest in developing ideas and projects? How many young people who could be great innovative minds are held back by the cost of adult education and/or helping pay for medications for their parents or even their own medications? Then ask why so many young people are on antidepressants. Meaning more hours worked and more money spent for that medication.

There is no way I am suggesting that any system is without flaw. No socioeconomic system will allow every member of a society to have everything they need or want all the time. This is really a discussion of implementing a system which provides basic needs for all members of a society and interconnected systems which are most beneficial to the members of our society, creating a more level playing field.

There is nothing level in a playing field in which the rights to innovations along with the profits from those innovations consistently belong to those at the top. Where those who invent are merely subjects to the owners of capital, forced to sign away the rights to their creations and discoveries or incur crushing debt and be destroyed by lawsuits brought by oligarchs. That is not a system that creates opportunity or drives innovation.

Capitalists Be Warned

I keep having responses from capitalists trying to attack my writing and concepts. Several have PhD’s in economics. I guess I should take it as a compliment that I am having such an effect.

It would be more than arrogant to say they are envious that I am a top economics writer here on Medium. Yes, they have more education on the subject. However, if they continue promoting the status quo as they are wont to do, I do not consider it education. I consider it nothing but indoctrination.

While I am assertive in my views, in general I try to be polite in my writing and responses. On the other hand, if people actively and purposefully promote views that are harmful by intent or willful ignorance and defend that position I will become far more forceful. Neither I nor our society have any use for people that place profit over people.

These people are brave in their attacks on me, sitting behind their keyboards, still grasping their belief that the economic crash that is coming will not affect them. They are blind to the rising calls for literal revolution. Just because I am not part of that call for taking to the streets does not mean I am complacent or passive. I will not stand down when confronted by aggressive, sometimes racist. capitalists.

I find it more egregious when they claim knowledge of economic systems when they only grasp one economic system and have never even examined other economic systems other than to attempt to discredit systems which are currently outperforming our own system to an extreme degree. It demonstrates clearly that they have no understanding of economics, they only understand capitalism.

In the end, I know the truth. That they do have at least some understanding of other systems. These are the priests.

If I have not explained my view on capitalism, it is that capitalism is a religion. Money is God, bankers and CEO’s are priests, believers are sycophants. Nonbelievers are heretics who must be sacrificed to their God. Money literally does not exist. It holds value only because we agree it has value. It is numbers on paper, digital impulses. If we all agreed today that money has no value, tomorrow there would be no more wars for profit. Yet capitalists are more than willing, sometimes they are even eager to allow or directly cause suffering, destruction and death for their belief system. Some will claim to be Atheists but that’s simply not true. Money is their religion.

Capitalists genuinely subscribe to a belief system in which they, themselves have no value. Only what they possess has value. Take away their possessions and they are worth nothing at all. Because of their ethics, they hold no value to society. If they have no money, they have no value to the capitalist system because they present no profit. They can incur debt, which is of value to the system but that is still no indication of their personal value.

Don’t ask yourself, “What’s in your wallet?” Ask yourself, “What value am I to anyone without my wallet?” Be honest with the answer. If you cannot name anything, it’s time to change your world and personal views.

I will challenge capitalists to name something they have done in their lives for the benefit of others with no profit motive. Almost consistently they will claim that they have donated money to charity.

Without capitalism, the recipients of that charity would not need the donations.

Do they donate so much money that they will be forced to skip a single meal? Not take a vacation? Cancel their cable bill? Place an extra charge on their credit card? No. They donate enough to use as a tax write-off. Maybe they do it to feel better about themselves but more often it is self-promotion. They’re very fast to bring it up.

So I have no tolerance for these attacks. I’ve said before I have no problem blocking people who have no ethics. I have better things to do with my time and my brain cells. Yes, I have an agenda. My agenda is helping to promote a system which benefits all. A system that fairly distributes resources to all and recognizes the value of human and animal existence. That houses the homeless, treats the ill, feeds the hungry, educates children and adults, conserves and heals the environment. If that is not your goal as well, I have no use for you. If your mind is closed to these goals, I have no use for you. Just go away now and save me the effort of blocking you.

If you are a capitalist, I don’t need you. Does anyone?

Bernie Sanders and Alleged Progressives Need To Listen.. This Time

I will admit that the way things are shaping up, I am actually getting a bit excited for 2020 now. Not for the Establishment candidates already being pushed on us like Harris. I am excited for the growing response to them.

Socialism in various forms have taken solid hold in the political landscape. Most are Social Democrats like myself but ideologies run the gamut all the way to true Marxist Socialism. Not in the form of what happened in other countries, which is what is used as a constant hand-wringing threat. We have the advantages today of information and communication, which previous societies did not have. We also have the advantage that should Socialism take hold in America more than it has, we do not have to deal with the capitalist US government and military apparatus to sanction our own country. Of course they can try but you want a civil war? That’s how you get a civil war.

Now we have several candidates claiming various levels of Social Democracy. Though they do not go far enough and they all still subscribe to certain propaganda which holds them back. Bernie Sanders is the most obvious and has the greatest following.

Of course, the issues I am referring to are election fraud and Russiagate. Millions of his former followers will never vote for him as long as he continues to subscribe to and promote Russiagate and ignore DNC election fraud.

Maybe, just maybe this will finally start dying down. I’ve written numerous times that Russiagate was dead. At this point the House and the Senate bipartisan investigations on Russia have closed their probes with the statement that there is no evidence. Meanwhile Mueller has had to rein in press claims and none of his indictments have shown anything. His case filed against the 13 trolls resulted in him trying to deny providing evidence to the defense in discovery, which was denied by the federal judge. Since then I have not heard anything about it. Mueller was not expecting them to have representation in court. The rest of the indictments had nothing to do with Russia, only regular DC corruption. Not to mention his “investigation” has never once looked at the DNC servers, which is the scene of the alleged crime. The scene of the crime is where any true investigation begins.

Russiagate began with claims of Russia hacking the DNC servers. Somewhere along the way that simply disappeared. Funny how that happens. There were some initial claims that the DNC emails were falsified. Until people started demanding to see the originals. That’s when the DNC servers were no longer part of the equation. Then it became that Russia hacked the election. Until it was proven and stated by Obama that that was not technologically possible. Then it became collusion, which a select few people still loosely hold onto. Nobody could ever even define collusion and has not to this day. Then it became interference. The best they could come up with was what amounted to a maximum of $50,000 spent before the election, which was split between promoting Trump, Hillary, Bernie and Jill. I am making the assumption that the reader is actually informed on the real numbers. In an election process which saw at least $2 billion spent between candidates, that comes to $1 of every $40,000 spent on campaigning. Even for those that subscribe to the claim of $100,000 spent by “Russians” you’re still talking about $1 for every $20,000 of campaign spending.

Yes, those are the numbers. That’s how stupid Russiagate is.

Now, Bernie and Tulsi and other candidates who even remotely lean away from the establishment are seeing the Russian claims turn against them. Call it karma but they are once again seeing claims that they are tools being manipulated by Russia.

For what purpose? To provide us all with healthcare? Damn those Russians!!!

No alleged Progressive candidate is going to have the backing of the millions and millions of us who oppose Russiagate. Poll after poll have shown that most of us do not believe the Russian allegations, do not think Russia is any threat to us and that we have much more pressing concerns. The more informed anyone is on the subject, the less there is to be believed in the allegations. What we do know is how much risk there is in continuing this charade. The risk of war with Russia is something we do not care to allow to advance. The cost of always increasing spending for “defense” while more Americans go homeless, jobless and without medical care.

I’ve already covered how the claims of job growth are all lies, here.

So, is it time we can put this to rest yet? Can we start focusing on policies and dispense with the propaganda? Can we stop covering for blatant election fraud? I doubt it. Not as long as people continue tuning in to MSM for their daily or hourly dose of fear, offense, anger and bigotry. Not as long as our media and our elections are governed by military contractors and oil companies. As long as the media is making profits from the lies and parties can distract you from the issues with bullshit, it will continue.

Until this stops, we will still hear about “investigations” which steal time and resources that should be spent on governing, on representing us. We will continue paying money for these things. We will keep spending more on “defense” while placing the entire globe at risk. We will keep listening to how candidates are “resisting” not with policies that benefit us, our economy and our very lives but with even more “investigations”.

Turn off MSM, cancel subscriptions to WaPo, NYT, etc. Text, write, call, email, tweet to the candidates of your choice that you demand that they stop with Russiagate immediately. That they directly confront election fraud and promote ways to stop the profit motive while repairing our electoral process. Tell them to focus on policies like Medicare For All, raising wages, ending wars instead of trying to start more wars. Do it now. Don’t wait until 2020.

AIPAC and Israeli Influence in US Elections

Recently, Ilhan Omar was forced to issue an apology for her criticism of the influence of the lobbying oragnization AIPAC in US elections. There was no reason for her to issue an apology. Her criticism is valid.

Any and every time anyone even remotely suggests criticism of AIPAC, their criticism is distorted into an antisemitic message. Yet consider the name behind the definition. American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Now, do you see any mention of any religion in that name? Or only the name of two countries? Because that name has nothing to do with any religion. If you see it there, you should see a psychiatrist for your hallucinations.

For 2 1/2 years we have been inundated by unproven claims that maybe Russia influenced our election via $100,000 worth of social media ads, half of which was spent after the election was over, half of which had no directly political content, the rest of which supported Trump and Hillary and Bernie and Jill Stein. Interestingly, it seems none supported Johnson. Even Russian trolls hate Libertarians. Which I consider to their credit.

Meanwhile, AIPAC donates massive sums of money annually to politicians in both major parties. Millions of dollars. In the open. From a country to whom the US gives nearly $4 BILLION every year, which comes from US taxpayer pockets.

Many Americans support Israel and on many occasions I have asked them directly, why? I know the answer, of course. It’s not because they support Judaism. It’s not because they have any clue what Israel stands for as a nation. It’s mostly because of religious indoctrination. However, no small part of it is also because of paid marketing which takes many forms including TV shows and movies, in addition to campaign “donations” for speeches favorable to Israel and attacks on anyone not blindly obedient to Israeli support.

American citizens supportive of Israel are typically brainwashed into that support. Made to believe that all Palestinians are terrorists, yet willfully ignorant of the conditions which Palestinians are forced to live under. Forced by Israel.

Israeli forces have been shooting at peaceful, unarmed Palestinian protesters who have been wanting nothing more than reclaim lands stolen from them by Israel gradually over decades. Journalists and medical personnel have been shot, even while wearing vests labeling their roles. Children injured, permanently disabled and killed by Israeli bullets.

Those supportive of Israel are willfully blind to the fact that the UN has criticized Israel for over 50 years for illegal occupation of Palestine and the Golan Heights in Syria. The UN peacekeeping force maintains a semi-permanent presence to separate the Golan Heights from the rest of Syria in an attempt to fence Israel in.

That is completely aside from the also illegal occupation of Palestine, which is not allowed a formal military force to defend against Israeli aggression. Over decades, Israel has expanded housing colonies declared illegal under international law, encroaching ever further across Palestine. Those colonies are connected by highways on which Palestinians can be shot for simply walking across the road.

Palestinians live under trade sanctions imposed by Israel, enforced by the US government. Those trade sanctions keep all of Palestine in poverty, with over 40% unemployment. Israeli forces regularly fire upon and kill Palestinian fishermen in Palestinian waters.

Most Palestinians have no access to clean water. In some areas the water is only turned on for a few hours 1–2 times a week. Power is controlled by Israel and only turned on for 4 hours a day. Making refrigeration and climate control impossible. Keep in mind, this is in the desert.

Meanwhile, Israel has never helped America in any way that did not stand to directly benefit Israel. They have not helped in armed conflicts. Nor humanitarian relief.

Israel continually claims to be under attack or a victim in some form. Yet documents and past news reports have shown that they have instigated every single military conflict they have engaged in. They have attacked every single neighboring nation at some point, other than Saudi Arabia. They have attacked Palestine, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Cyprus, Jordan, Sinai and Lebanon. In addition, in 1967 Israel attacked the USS Liberty in a bombardment lasting over an hour, killing 34 crew members and injuring 171. Israel claimed it was a case of mistaken identity, yet the ship was displaying the US flag at the time.

In the current Syrian conflict, Israel has admitted to lending assistance to Al Qaeda members, in addition to repeatedly bombing Syria, using a Russian aircraft as cover during one attack, leading to the Russian craft being shot down and the crew killed. The Russian craft was firing on terrorists while the Israelis were openly attacking Syrian ground positions. In another instance, Israeli jets bombing ground positions in Syria used a civilian airliner as cover in a blatant attempt to trick Syrian forces into shooting down a civilian craft. Syria did not take the bait. At no time has Israel been attacked from Syrian territory during the Syrian conflict.

Now, in all of this, do you see any negative mention of any religion? Anywhere? Being against a murderous state government which has been duplicitous and murderous for generations is not an attack on a religion.

There is nothing unreasonable in not wanting proven interference in our government from another country, no matter what their lobbying and propaganda machine claims.

I Wonder

This one is a bit more pondering than anything. Questioning features of human nature which are all too common.

Most notably, I question why so many humans are prone to hate and greed.

I have explored some of this before in articles where I explain that hate, anger and fear are addictions. I explore more of it in one of the first chapters of the book I am writing when I look at indoctrination.

Still, that understanding is not enough. Of course, knowledge will never be enough to defeat emotions which are base, bestial and completely unreasoning. None of this is new to human nature, either. One look through history at segregation, the mass murder of black people, slavery, crusades, witch hunts, wars, genocide of native Americans, many other genocides in history tells us that this behavior is part and parcel of the worst of human nature.

Still, we live in an age of information. Where anything you want to know about is easily found. For some, their time is limited by the necessity of working long hours, sometimes multiple jobs, raising children, etc. I empathize with them. One would expect the older, retired people with more time on their hands to do the research and lend more truth to our discussions.

Yet the elderly are the ones most likely to be ruled by hatred, fear, greed and prejudice. The real tragedy is how elderly people are the ones most likely to claim some past of community, unity and reliance on one another, who belonged to unions, some marched against wars in Korea and Vietnam, who now rely on Social Security and Medicare yet are the exact same ones raging against Socialism. Not understanding that without these Socialist programs, their lives would have been would currently be far worse. Many would not be alive this minute.

Sadly, we must face facts that much of their history of “community” for many involved attacking minorities, burning schools and churches, eagerly fighting in senseless wars. So that sense of “community” for some is completely skewed. Their hateful views are nothing that developed over years, they were always that way. They just deny it.

Even as we live in an age of information, much of that information is owned, ruled by warmongers and profiteers who distort facts for their own benefit. Try and demonstrate this to the ones who rely on such false sources and they demonize you. Give them facts, point out that their sources only use opinion and allusion and they will stick to the fraudulent source. That is what fuels their rage because rage is their true desire, not truth. The truth carries responsibility. The ones who deny the truth are the ones who will cry loudest when that truth becomes undeniable. Louder than that if they must pay any part of the cost when the bill comes due.

How many times can the majority watch corporate media in any and all forms be discredited, proven completely not just incorrect but intentionally deceptive, yet still rely on those very same sources? Better yet, why would anyone continue listening to those sources? There is only one answer. Because even if the “information” is false, it is what they want to hear, so it does not matter that it is false. If the media reports that the economy is doing well even as they drive past homeless encampments, they think the economy is doing well. If the media reports that Saint Mueller has proof that Russia nuked their hometown, they won’t notice they are not dying of radiation poisoning, to them Russia nuked their hometown.

That is truly the extent of the cognitive dissonance endemic in this country at this time. Just as long as they have someone to blame and no personal responsibility, including learning and accepting the truth. Blame immigrants, Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, Democrats, Republicans, men, women, gay people, Muslims, Atheists, Jews, minorities or anyone else that is “different”. Just never talk, never listen to an opposing view.

What good do these people think their rage is accomplishing? Being a prison nurse, I just passed by an inmate in isolation screaming, beating on his cage. I see him as very much an analogy for these people. His rage does nothing and holds immense potential for harming himself. Nobody hears what he is saying, as it is complete nonsense that results in nothing. Some take pleasure in the idea of harming others, thinking that harm will soothe the demons ripping their own souls to shreds. They age before their time. They cause their own blood pressure to become permanently elevated. Then they cannot afford the medication, so they rage even more. Turn on corporate media and find someone to blame. Who can we wall out, place in cages or bomb this time?

It’s frustrating, depressing. To live in a country that has so many resources as we do, including for knowledge and see it all wasted, sold to the highest bidder while the general population is denied by their own choice. That lend so much support blindly, mindlessly to the system which oppress us all.

Just to feed the demons. That is a hunger which is never satisfied.