It’s Not Just About Assange

The arrest and possible extradition of Assange is not just about Assange. Some people are too blind, too brainwashed, too indoctrinated to see this.

It is not just about Assange.

It is not just about election fraud.

It is not just about Trump.

It is not just about Hillary.

It is not just about Russia.

It is not just about freedom of the press.

It is not just about freedom of speech.

It is not just about honesty.

It is not just about justice.

It is about freedom in general.

It is about fighting fascism.

It is about hearing the truth, even when we do not want to.

It is about knowing what our government is doing, even when we do not want to.

It is about true journalism, which challenges power and takes risks courageously.

It is about survival.

It is about us.

It is about me.

It is about you.

It is about the future.

It is about time to wake up.

A Deeper Look At Universal Basic Income

The idea of a Universal Basic Income or UBI has been gaining wider attention, both good and bad. Of course, some claim it would be a panacea of sorts, while others claim it would destroy the job market and the economy. Not many examine it from a neutral standpoint and look at both sides. Here I will try and postulate what would happen if it were implemented, both good and bad.

Full disclosure, I am in favor of UBI. There have been limited experiments with it in other countries, with varying results depending on the interpretation by sources who have an existing bias. I would be very much in favor of a large scale experiment in the US involving an entire city or state. I don’t find it likely that would happen because of capitalists who fear the results.

Any such experiment would have to be at least a full fiscal year, though two years would be more valid to eliminate attempts to manipulate circumstances and give a more clear image of what adjustments would be needed and true end results determined.

What it is. To recap, UBI is a proposed system whereby each citizen would be provided with a basic income. While we call it universal, it would prove no benefit to offer that income to those above a certain income level, such as those earning above $100,000. Determination of benefits should include a person’s income from all sources, not just wages. Above a certain income level, that money does not benefit the individual or the economy. So it would only serve to remove money from the economy and increase the flow of wealth to the top.

It should meet basic needs to be considered a basic income. A UBI should offer an income level high enough to provide for all basic needs. Housing, food, clothing, transportation and medical care. Not entertainment.

We’ve heard these arguments before. The major criticism of UBI is that it would encourage those already at the low end of the income spectrum to stop working. This argument is something I find equivalent to the objection to ending slavery. Slaves did not object to ending slavery and it is not those living below the poverty line who object to having a secure income which provides stability.

Decreased work hours. Many people would stop working entirely or scale back hours voluntarily. Those most likely to continue working full-time would be those in positions and careers they enjoy or pay which allowed them to rise above basic subsistence.

This would lead to wage increases across the board as employers were forced to compete for employees with higher wages, a more hospitable environment and better benefits. THIS is the biggest reason that the mere mention of the term UBI sends capitalists and corporatists into shivers of terror.

Job market effects. What this would mean to the job market would be a decrease in unemployment numbers as fewer people would be seeking employment. This would be followed by a further increase in available positions as those previously employed by companies would have the opportunity to branch out on their own.

Effects on society. What this would mean for society would mean increased life satisfaction, decreased stress, lower levels of drug abuse, increased health and longer lifespans.

Effects on militarism. A society under less stress and less ruled by fear would be less prone to wage war on other countries. Another reason that capitalists loathe the idea.

Effects on general economy. For the general economy, it would be beneficial, as more people would have an increase in disposable income, spending more and investing more. Problem is, major investors don’t really want the average consumer to invest. The greater percentage of a lower number of stocks available the rich control, the greater their profits, the greater their grasp on the economy as a whole.

Effects on consumer spending. As is obvious, consumer spending would increase. Not only in purchasing but on tourism, education, entertainment, you name it. The negative? Value menus would meet their demise.

Explosive growth. If UBI were implemented, we would see a period of explosive economic growth which would level off after a short period of years but end with sustained stability. I have covered how growth is a myth, here. Growth cannot continue indefinitely, the entire idea is ludicrous and unsustainable.

Like I said, we’ve heard these arguments before. Many of the same arguments being used against UBI have been used previously against Social Security, welfare, TANF, WIC, food stamps and the minimum wage, both when it was first implemented and with every single minimum wage increase ever. In no case did these things destroy the job market or the economy. In fact, the exact opposite is true. They improved the job market and the economy.

Effects on environment. The effect on the environment would be positive in the long term. When people are not running in fear of being unable to meet their basic needs, they would have more consideration for the environment. Right now, people are fed a diet of fear leading some to place more concern for income than the future of the planet their children and grandchildren inherit to live in. Capitalists place no concern on the environment in the first place, unless they can profit from it.

Effects on inflation. Now, here we do see a negative. Perhaps. Yes, implementing UBI would result in inflation. The biggest question is whether that inflation would be a damaging level. The answer lies not in UBI itself but in how much capitalists would continue to insist on a continued unlimited increase to their profit margin above and beyond the increased profits they would experience as a direct result of UBI itself. Because capitalists are never happy with simply increasing profits, they want to increase their percentage of profit over cost. Even if they had to pay higher wages and offer more benefits, they would already experience more profits by consumer spending. So inflation would not be organic, it would be a forced component. That should be no surprise, it’s what we have been enduring for decades. So legislation would likely have to be implemented to limit profit percentages or for direct cost control. The difference between us and Venezuela on that? Nobody is going to invade us.

Effects on taxation. Some may claim that UBI would result in less income tax revenue. Any initial loss of income tax revenue would be offset in the longer term by higher wages and business profits (assuming cities and states don’t give it all away, which they probably would). Of course, sales tax revenue would skyrocket with no increase in the tax rate being charged. Federally, we all know the tax cut for the rich is a disaster and should be repealed.

The Revolution will not be televised. Of course, none of this is going to be discussed on corporate media. Look who their advertisers are. The same companies that thrive by keeping wages down, keeping people terrified. Including the MIC. How would they convince you we need more bombs or convince young people to die in foreign countries if there was nothing to fear? If there were no enemy raging at the gate “taking away your living”, you may realize there never was an enemy, other than those at the top.

Lastly, with automation expanding with no end coming, UBI is the only way that capitalism is going to survive. If people have no income, they have nothing to spend and capitalism will collapse.

Some Thoughts On the Anti-Vaccination Movement

For several years now, the antivaxx movement has gotten a lot of attention and gained converts. None of this is based on actual science.

There has been only one study which linked vaccines to autism and that study was retracted by the publication years ago.

What is really concerning is that anti-vaxxers consciously refuse to look at the morbidity and mortality related to the diseases which the most common vaccines prevent. One example-

Measles. Many people think of measles as being nothing but a short term illness, nothing more than an annoyance. Measles are dangerous. Measles can cause permanent damage to skin, lungs and brain, leading to lifelong disability. Measles can also be fatal. In regions with poor access to healthcare, the fatality rate can be as high as 24%. In the US, mortality has been 0.6% for decades. However, that has been during times when the disease has been controlled by vaccines.

More infections, more mutations. One thing most people fail to realize. The more active any infection is in the community, the more opportunity that infection has to mutate. Measles, mumps, yellow fever, polio have not been actively transmitted on a scale which has allowed this for many years. If that happens, then we could potentially see mutations which render current vaccines useless.

Don’t believe online claims. I have encountered numerous people online claiming they have a child damaged by vaccines. The interesting thing is that I have never encountered this in real life in 24+ years of nursing. Not once. Then the question arises as to how this was diagnosed. I find it extremely unlikely that any doctor made such a diagnosis. The exception being if a child were allergic to some component of the vaccine, such as eggs. An allergic reaction is not a condemnation of vaccines as a whole. It does not stop vaccines from preventing the illness and deaths of millions of people. Anyone can have an allergic reaction to any food or medicine they take or ingest for the first time. It cannot be predicted or prevented. It does not condemn the food or medication.

Autism. Most of the people claiming an increase in the rates of autism cannot state what the diagnostic criteria are for autism. Those criteria are primarily arbitrary and subjective. One doctor may state a person has autism while another doctor disagrees. The diagnostic criteria have also changed over the last 25 years. Screening for autism has increased over the last 10–15 years. Those two facts alone account for the vast majority of new cases of autism being diagnosed. Plus the fact that most people had never heard of autism before the same time frame.

Something else to consider about the rise in autism. Who makes money from it? Drug companies and therapists stand to make large sums of money from a diagnosis of autism. How much money do they make saying a child is completely normal? Now you have an answer to the rise in autism.

Drug company profits. Many anti-vaxxers claim drug companies promote vaccines because of the profits involved. Now, stop and think-

Do drug companies make more money from vaccines or from illness?

One outbreak. Endless profits. All it would take is one outbreak of one major disease for which we currently have vaccinations for drug companies to make profits far above and beyond what they make on all vaccines. How much more money would drug companies make from tens, hundreds of thousands of people hospitalized for that one major disease? How much would they make from tens of thousands rendered permanently disabled by such a disease and needing lifelong medical care as a result?

The literal fact of the matter is that if I were a drug company CEO, I would covertly support and fund the anti-vaccination movement. If I had no ethics, of course.

First world privilege. Just the idea of refraining from vaccinating your child is absolutely a first world privilege. Anti-vaxxers are under the assumption that either they/their children will not contract an infectious disease, that any disease they contract will not be deadly/disabling or that they can access treatment in a timely manner. If a large outbreak occurs, that may not be the case. Hospitals may fill up, medications could run out of stock nationally. Globally if we had a pandemic. Your money or insurance will not save you in that case. You even make the assumption that a doctor would diagnose the problem accurately when a disease has rarely been seen in this country for decades. First world privilege will mean nothing when your precious little snowflake is dead, comatose, has a brain injury or is permanently crippled because of a choice YOU made.

More research. Do I in any way suggest that more independent research is not needed regarding vaccine safety? Read back over this if you think I said that. However, until such research is done, there is no sane basis for refraining from vaccinations. Let me repeat that: No sane basis.

So, while so many people talk about vaccines as though they are a choice or which carry so many dangers, these are people who only read what confirms their own bias. They have become complacent by the fact that we have not had a major infectious disease outbreak in this country for many decades. Thanks to vaccines. It’s like saying we need no chlorine in water because nobody has died from tap water that they know of for decades. If you do not understand the subject, learn about it. Until you do, STFU and vaccinate your kids!!!

We’re All Mentally Ill

I’ve said something in the past which I want to repeat here. We are all mentally ill.

That is, according to the psychiatric field. If you listen to the psychiatric field, or at least the way it is portrayed, every human being walking the face of the planet has some form of mental “disorder” which we can be diagnosed with.

Of course, that’s not true. The truth is that the mental health field only considers something a disorder when it impacts your ability to function at a normal level. The truth is public perception, driven by media portrayal and exaggeration. Honestly, the most mentally deranged people in our society work for the media and corporate management. They will push any agenda at all, no exceptions, for profit.

Personally, I have a long string of “disorders” which could be applied to me. Bipolar disorder is one. I genuinely do have this but did not know it until I was in my 30’s, in nursing school. It was later confirmed unofficially by a psychiatrist I went to for voluntary stress management. He asked if I wanted to be treated for it. I said I was already in my 30’s and had not been treated for it up to then, so no. We agreed and it was never entered in my medical file because of the problems such a label can cause. Fact is, many overachieving people who are quite accomplished have been bipolar. One Surgeon general. Many artists like Neil Diamond and Billy Joel. Billy Joel wrote a song about it, “I Go To Extremes”. Listen to the lyrics and you’ll understand. I had someone say, “You just like the manic state.” I looked at them and said, “Yes, I do. I get a lot done when I’m manic. It helped me through nursing school.”

I’ve been called OCD. Then again, name a good nurse who does not have OCD to some level. I know I have ADD but I compensate by maintaining multiple interests at all times. It does suck when I get bored. I have made people quite fearful if I was bored because they had no idea what came next. Especially when I had access to explosives in the military. Nobody got hurt, so I have no regrets.

Only a few months ago I realized I have PTSD. Growing up in a rough neighborhood near a military base during Vietnam, having been beaten, stabbed, shot at, gone through two live shooter events, three bomb scares and being in the Army in Germany the day The Wall came down and they refused to tell us why we were issued live rounds and guarding one of the largest ammo points on the planet all have a cumulative effect over time. Imagine that. Oddly, I remain calm in a crisis. I just avoid loud environments and disorganized crowds. Oh, and never put your hand in my face, you may lose it.

Sometimes it’s not a weakness but a strength. I know many people with PTSD, usually from domestic abuse. They tend to have strong responses to certain triggers but nearly every one I’ve ever known internalized their reactions unless things escalate beyond a certain point. It is abusers who are most likely to escalate situations. Those with PTSD tend to be more rational and attempt to deescalate tensions, talk rather than argue, reason rather than fight.

I know many with bipolar disorder. They are generally highly functioning once they learn to balance.

Those with ADD are usually people most capable of multitasking without becoming overwhelmed.

Is it really a “disorder”? So, I fail to see how these things amount to disorders. They are all different normal human conditions, either by biology or conditioned response. Of course, one can take drugs for these things. Most of the time drugs are not really necessary. Like I said, I was in my 30’s when I learned of my ADD, 40’s when I was called OCD and reasoned out the PTSD at 56 years old. Oh, well. I consider them all means to understanding myself better. I’ve never considered myself “normal”. I look around at what is considered “normal” and will always reject that label.

Change your view. The real fact of the matter is that what may be considered a “disorder” is often not. It all depends on how you, yourself view a condition, whether you learn to balance and compensate for it. Be open with friends and family members. Are they supportive or judgmental? If they are judgmental, it may not be you who has a problem at all. I will be honest and say some people will use their own labels as a crutch for aberrant behavior or substance abuse. Though substance abuse is an issue and illness all on it’s own. It is rare that a psychological condition resolves one of personal responsibility, aside from schizophrenia.

Of special note. Some people use labels as a means to justify emotionally abusive behavior toward others. They try and use labels to make themselves feel superior. In reality, what they reveal is their own apathy and insecurity. Strong people do not have the need to demean others

Stop labeling. One of the biggest problems with any such “disorder” is that too many people define a person by the label. Sometimes they define others by a label, or they may define themselves by a label. I’m not “a bipolar”, I am a person with bipolar “disorder”. Likewise, a person with an anxiety disorder is not necessarily an anxious person, they are a person that has a problem with anxiety. In all cases, what comes first is that each of us is a person. We are human. We have problems, we have flaws, we have individual personalities.

Societal evolution. Over the last few decades, society has undergone an evolution. Where any form of mental problem was once a stigma, many forms of mental or emotional issues have become mainstream. In some circumstances and cohorts, a person may well be considered an outsider if they do not have certain “disorders”. Depression and anxiety disorders have become overly mainstream among young people today. Medications have become trendy. Celebrities use discussing their own “disorders” not as a means of spreading awareness but as a means of gaining more popularity.

Striving for balance. This is the biggest challenge. We all must strive to reach a balance. To accept various aspects of the human condition as exactly that, while reaching for understanding when a condition may reach a critical juncture. Which means we cannot rely on a pill bottle for all the answers. We cannot define ourselves or others by only one aspect of an individual’s personality.

Teams play to each member’s ability. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Not all baseball players are great pitchers, not all pitchers are great hitters. Teams arrange their playbooks according to the strengths and weaknesses of the players. In healthy relationships we tend to seek and accept partners with qualities which compliment our own. If both partners had the same strengths and weaknesses, the relationship becomes unbalanced. Of course, if partners or team members judge and attack one another, then the relationship and performance suffer and may lead to failure.

Medications are not enough. Psychoactive medications have become things used all too often as chronic, lifelong prescriptions leading to dependency. Those medications really should not be used in this way in many cases. Some, yes but not as much as they are. Psychoactive medications are meant to be used in conjunction with therapy. The ultimate goal for most people should be to gradually decrease or even eliminate the need for medication by increasing the coping skills and ability to adapt by the patient.

Self acceptance. The absolute best thing a person can do to maintain emotional health is to learn self acceptance. Though this does need to be in a way that does not cause harm to themselves or others. Abusers can accept themselves, that does not mean they are mentally healthy. Stop seeing yourself as flawed, stop thinking you or others have to be perfect. The day you meet someone who is perfect, let me know.

High Speed Rail, China Vs US

It is well known that the US is resistant to high speed rail (HSR), which is a mistake placing us behind other industrialized nations on many continents.

As of this moment, the highest speed rail service available in the US is 79 mph. By comparison, France has HSR which has a top speed of 357 mph. China introduced HSR in 2007 and since that time has built out 18,000 miles of HSR, with another 7000 miles to be completed by 2025.

Uzbekistan has HSR with a top speed of 160 mph!

HSR has advantages of requiring less fuel than jets, less time to departure, less infrastructure needed for individual terminals and less passenger cost.

Japan, South Korea, China, India and most of Europe make extensive use of rail service. If you’ve ever visited any of these countries, there is no denying this fact. The US is one of few countries that considers rail travel a thing of the past.

One of the biggest reasons for this is because of competition between rail service, vehicle manufacturers and airlines. Size of the country has nothing to do with it. China is proof of that. Europe is proof of that. The fact that we had many thousands of miles of rail in this country at one time which could have been largely adapted to HSR is proof of that. Airlines, vehicle manufacturers and oil companies have been resistant to HSR because of the profits involved which they would stand to lose if it were adopted on any scale.

Make no mistake, the poor state of all forms of public transportation in the US is also another form of oppression of the poor. Where the US once had extensive public transportation services in major cities including subways, railways, trolleys, buses and streetcars, over time cars and jets took their place, spurred on by corporate interests which made public transportation of other means nothing short of shameful in many cases. Public funding for public transportation has been hard fought for many decades. Even now in a time of climate change and the need to reduce carbon emissions, cities refuse to fund construction and maintenance of existing forms of public transportation. They oppose even more any transportation system which does not utilize fossil fuel. Corporate profits take precedence over transportation needs or environmental concerns.

Even taxi services in major cities have a hand in this situation. Cities would rather have hundreds of taxis, each paying licensing fees, each spewing exhaust, costing far more cumulatively than public transportation which could service more people at lower cost and with less pollution than the taxis do.

I have ridden public transportation many times in my life. In multiple cities, multiple states, multiple countries. In the 80’s I was astounded at the difference in public transportation in Europe compared to the US. In US cities, I have lived where public transportation ceased, only ran twice a day or I had to walk miles to get to a bus stop. On weekends, the nearest service was much further away. In some cases, I actually took a taxi to get to the nearest bus stop and hoped to get there before the last bus left.

Of course, states want more vehicles on the roads because of increased taxes and fees collected for them. They are apathetic to the fact that many of those paying the taxes, fees, fuel costs, fuel taxes, insurance and vehicle payments are at the low end of the income spectrum. They are apathetic to what else those people are unable to afford just to have a means of transport. Leaving some with a choice between needed medications or utilities versus a way to get to their low paying jobs, sometimes working multiple jobs and risking their health further to afford the vehicle in a never ending cycle. Just as long as the corporations make a profit which they can “donate” to future campaigns.

Just call it “freedom” and the general public sucks it up. Talk about creating jobs and you’re a hero. Just don’t talk about high speed rail or expanding public transportation.

Class And Generational Conflict Are Going To Get MUCH Worse

Many people know that the US national debt is currently at over $22 trillion. Many may not realize that this is the highest level of debt which has ever existed by any nation at any time in history. US debt accounts for 1/3 of all debts by nations globally.

Yet most people do not realize that US consumer debt has also skyrocketed. US household consumer debt has increased to $13.54 trillion as of the 4th quarter of 2018, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. This is higher than 2008, before the crash and 21% higher than 2013.

Corporate debt is reported as being $9 trillion, according the CNBC on 11/21/18.

This all comes at a time while student loan defaults are at the highest level in history, vehicle loan defaults are higher than 2009, corporations are downsizing or declaring bankruptcy and retail closures may well reach record numbers for the second year in a row. As corporations downsize or fail, that affects consumer income, leading to more debt, more defaults.

As of this moment, the only reason we are not seeing a rise in home foreclosures is because new property loans since 2009 have primarily been to equity owners. In other words, companies that buy property to rent out, rather than for direct occupancy. Those corporate owners got a reprieve via the bipartisan tax cut but that has a limited beneficial time frame. While rents have increased, so has the percentage of vacancies nationally.

Many younger Americans are staying in their parent’s homes longer than they used to for financial reasons. They are also not buying as many vehicles as previous generations, opting instead for public transportation or car pooling. They are also having children later or choosing to not have children at all. If they do leave home, they are less likely to purchase a home because they cannot be assured of employment status for any reasonable period of time. Aside from student loans, they try and avoid long-term debt for exactly that reason.

Younger generations have become the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, sharing and upcycling generations. They may buy some things new but tend to reserve their funds for things they really want instead of going on wild-eyed capitalist frenzies.

Some of this is done out of fear for very real reasons. Jobs pay too little and are not reliable. The younger a person is, the more prone they are to being laid off in a last-in, first-out scenario when mass layoffs, corporate restructuring, downsizing are announced. I saw much of the same conditions regarding job experience when I was a teenager. Employers demanding experience, yet not willing to hire a young person so they would gain that experience.

Younger people are less able to become successful entrepreneurs than previous generations. If they start a business, it is likely to be driven out of existence by corporate competition. If they have an innovative idea, it will be stolen, copied and mass produced with no credit or royalties ever offered.

The thing to realize about all of this is that nearly all of their well-based fears is that these conditions are being orchestrated by those of older generations. Older corporate executives announce layoffs and bankruptcies while claiming multi-million dollar bonuses. Older stockholders demand these conditions by insisting on stock dividends every year or even every quarter. Older workers have seniority which they insist upon, some deserving for their experience and others barely productive, just riding out the calendar. AARP lobbies for special treatment of older workers, special rates, while sometimes being the same ones causing the other conditions which younger people face.

Is it any wonder that younger people today are voicing ever-increasing support for Socialism, all the way up to Marxism? Is it any wonder at all that there is a perceived conflict between both economic class and generations?

We’ve known for years that the population is aging and there are not enough younger workers entering the workforce to provide for the elderly who are retiring. Wages are stagnant and Social Security may not exist to the time when I retire and I am about to be 57 years old. Yet the national debt keeps increasing so much that we will soon be paying so much interest that the debt will never be paid by any living generation.

Add to this the fact that younger people are more likely to come out as gay or bisexual than older generations. Yet more and more laws are introduced which target them for their orientation. Some of this is mere ideology but most of that ideology is forced upon younger generations by older generations and even employers who check social media posts and associates. Privacy is a thing of the past and employers sometimes make sexual orientation a subject and condition of employment. One of the most ironic aspects of this is that older generations claim younger people are sexually frivolous today, even though studies have shown that today’s younger people are waiting longer to have sex at all, more likely to use protection and have fewer partners by the same age as their parents did.

Younger Americans are also less likely to buy and own firearms than their parents. Which is why firearm sales have decreased over recent years. Once you’ve lived through fear of being a school shooting victim, guns seem a lot less attractive for some reason. A few months ago, the NRA claimed it is going broke and may not be able to afford to continue to exist. That’s doubtful but we can always hope.

None of the above even mentions young people fearing that a draft could be instituted, considering the number of wars the US is in and expanding for the benefit of corporate profits and unreasoning xenophobia of their older countrymen.

Millions of older Americans like myself do understand and are not blind to the predicament young people are in. That there are valid reasons for rising illicit drug use, antidepressant use and clinical depression that have become so common for younger generations.

I am not speaking for or against it but a flashpoint is coming. The lid is off the powder keg and we’re just waiting for the spark that sets it off now. It’s unlikely there have been this many calling for a true Revolutionary overthrow of the government since the Civil War. JFK said, “Those that make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.” We’ve been trying for a peaceful revolution for years. It’s not working. Patience has worn thin.

So it’s up to the young and the poor just what happens from here. You know which side I’ll be on.

Then what?

The Mueller report is completed. It is clear that it states there was no “collusion”. None of that means that MSM, Hillbots and Blew No Matter Who cultists are going to stop screaming for more investigations into investigations that investigated investigations in the hopes of finding some hidden tidbit which Mueller and a whole team of people missed in 2 years.

Of course, the whole point of this is because they want to impeach Trump. However, if you ask them what should happen after that, you can never get a clear answer. Point out that then Pence becomes president, they scream, “Get rid of him too!” Okay, let’s say that happens. Then what?

If you got rid of Trump and Pence and the entire cabinet, none of that means the next election somes any sooner. Not even MSM wants that to happen. The campaigns stand to make too much money over the next 19 months or so. MSM will make literally billions from corporate PACs and campaign ads in that time frame. You think they want to give any of that up?

So, what would happen? Who replaces them? The chain of succession says the third person in line right now would be Nancy Pelosi.

Go ahead and call yourself a Progressive and say you want Pelosi in office. I dare you. If Pelosi took office, then what? What happens with the 2020 election? What does she do while in office?

This is all aside from the fact that removing an entire administration negates any claim of any form of democracy.

In no way does this mean that I endorse, defend or support Trump. I support the truth. I support human rights. I support awareness, which Russiagate has been and remains a detriment to.

As long as MSM and the DNC are spouting inane rhetoric about Russiagate, they are using it as a smokescreen to avoid discussing real issues which affect real lives. They have been using this smokescreen since 2016. Hillary used Russia and “But Trump!” as her campaign platform. During the 2018 midterms, the Democrats used Russia and “Resistance” as their party platform. Then the day after the midterms, Pelosi started talking about pursuing a “bipartisan agenda”. Just a few weeks ago, when it became clear Mueller was wrapping up, Pelosi said she would not pursue impeachment because “It’s just not worth it”.

On that, she was correct. With Russiagate dead, the efforts to impeach Trump would have to start all over from a different angle. Even if successful, then we would have Pence as president, for whom no rationale for impeachment has begun at all. So that would take years and would distract from presidential campaigns, along with more distractions from the issues which affect us all.

The Democrats have an important opportunity here which they are not only wasting but openly opposing. Most Americans support Medicare For All, while the Dims continue pushing the ACA. Republicans are not going to even suggest Medicare For All and would fight it ferociously. Most Americans are against any more wars. Yet it is appearing as though more Republicans than Democrats want to end at least some of our wars. Both parties are in favor of invading Venezuela. A majority of Americans support legalizing cannabis. The Democrats could adopt this as part of their party platform. If they were not in the pockets of major pharmaceutical companies which oppose legalization.

I’ve read other writers who have said Russiagate and the Mueller report have been a gift to Trump. I agree. Now and through 2020, he will now be seen as an underdog who has been wrongly attacked by the very Establishment and Deep State which the 2016 election was all about opposing for many millions of Americans. He may actually gain support as what he has claimed is shown true. Now that the Mueller report is completed, the attacks continue. “Wait for the full report!” Barr already said that will be released in redacted form by mid-April, so only 2 weeks from now.

What then? When the full report says exactly what Barr said it would say, what then? Can we stop pointing fingers, stop seeking blame and start seeking solutions? Then can we start making amends with Russia? Can we talk about the issues I mention above? Can we increase wages? Can we tax the rich so they pay their fair share? Can we start building bridges and stop building bombs? Can we stop sanctioning other countries? Can we improve public transportation? Expand renewable energy?

If we cannot use this momentum to start working on positives instead of staying in a cycle of one party against another while both parties stab us in the back for their corporate, warmongering owners..

Then what?

Rebel? Revolutionary?

You are not a rebel when you need a large group to affirm you.

You are not a Revolutionary when you are willing to surrender.

You are not different when you change yourself to other’s expectations.

You are not independent when you follow some “leader” blindly into needless war.

You are not your own person when you allow corporate media to tell you what to think.

You do not seek what you want by passive-aggressively stating what you don’twant.

You do not expand love by expressing hate.

You do not increase freedom by endorsing oppression.

You do not support democracy by cheering for invasion or coup.

You do not convince me by repeating the same argument I rejected the first time.

You do not fix problems by assigning blame.

You do not gain unity through insults and attacks.

You are not innocent just because you deny your guilt.

You are not the center of the universe.

You do not learn by closing your mind.

You do not enact change by doing the same thing over and over.

What Would Russia Gain From Election Interference?

This is something I have covered before but it is worth reviewing again seeing that the Mueller investigation has ended. No Trump/Russia “collusion” was found, yet even Mueller keeps touting the story that Russia somehow interfered in the 2016 election.

Let’s remember here that Mueller is also one of those who claimed that there were WMD’s in Iraq, testifying before CONgress to that effect. It is obvious that he is a nationalist who supports the concept of the American Empire and will advance any idea which promotes that concept.

The only evidence of any Russian “interference” has involved a handful of internet trolls who were not advancing any specific candidate at all but scamming for money. Even that they did poorly. The amount of money they spent was roughly $100,000, half of which was after the election. They promoted Bernie coloring books, organized a rally for Hillary to which 8 people and a dog showed up (about on par for a Hillary rally, really) and a large percentage of their ads or posts had nothing to do with any candidate. This amount of money was spent in an election where just the top final 2 candidates spent nearly $2 billion. To put this in perspective, for every $1 spent by the internet trolls, the 2 candidates spent $2000. And that does not even count how much was spent by PACs in favor of those candidates.Plus consider that the internet trolls had no actual connection to the Russian government.

Mueller filed charges against the trolls in federal court. What he did not expect was that they had legal representation show up for the case. When the defense lawyers requested discovery of evidence, Mueller’s team attempted to refuse, claiming the information being used against the defendants was classified. The judge ruled against Mueller’s team, stating discovery was mandatory. This would be tantamount to a kangaroo court.

“How do you respond to the charges against you?”

What are the charges?

“You’re not allowed to know that! Now, how do you respond?”

I really don’t know.

“We have evidence!”

What evidence?

“You’re not allowed to know that!”

That was the last I heard of that case. It’s obvious no convictions have been obtained because it would have been front page on every MSM source the same day and still promoted today as Mueller has ended his probe.

None of that is the main point I am getting to here. The main point is that Russia has had nothing to gain by interfering in our election. Russiagaters from top to bottom use vague accusations and common arguments which hold no water at all. Such as:

Ending sanctions. No country wants sanctions which limit their trade. However, the sanctions which have been levied against Russia have done more harm to prior trading partners with Russia than they have to Russia. In the process of dealing with sanctions, Russia has developed industries which were not well developed in their country before the sanctions. They are now a leading oil and gas producer and the world’s largest grain exporter. All non-GMO.

To expand trade. Russia has been expanding trade for years. They have signed trade agreements with Japan, China, Europe and South American countries. The EU is primarily in favor of buying oil and gas from Russia, rather than paying higher prices for US oil and gas, which would be a less secure supply in certain seasons. Tankers can’t sail when there are massive storms in the Atlantic. Russia solves that problem with pipelines running directly into Germany.

To benefit their economy. Along with expanding trade, Russia has managed their economy far better than the US has in recent years. Their debt to GDP is less than 14%, our is currently 108% and rising. Think of debt to GDP as a ratio of household debt to income, the higher the number, the worse off you are. Russia has announced a budget surplus for the past two years and paid off the last of their national debt in 2017. Compare that to our $22 trillion national debt, which is the highest of any nation in history and accounts for over 1/3 of all global debt.

It is the US trying to benefit our economy by political, economic and military force. This is largely to preserve the petrodollar system which is failing as more countries continue turning away from the dollar. Other countries were once forced to convert their own currency into US dollars to purchase oil anywhere in the world. Now oil is being bought and sold in Chinese Yuan, Euros and Rubles. Other countries are also selling off US Treasury bonds but there is no way to force countries to purchase those. If it were possible, you could count on our government threatening an invasion of various countries.

For military dominance. Russia has 8 military bases outside of their own country. The US has at least 800. That’s a ratio of 100:1. Russia spends less than 6% of what the US does on military budgeting.

I have also pointed out on numerous occasions that our official military budget is an illusion. If it were accurate, it would include funding for CIA, NSA, FBI, upgrading existing nukes and VA funding. When you add those to the official US military budget, we spend more on “defense” than every other country on earth combined.

Guess which country has universal healthcare and which does not?

To sow discord. Really? Really? You’ve been watching too much reality TV. You also have not been paying any attention to what has been happening in this country for decades. Even if there were any truth to this, other countries did not create the problems in the US. Our problems have been here for years, decades, even centuries. Income inequality, poverty, racism, sexism, religious prejudice, poor public education, lack of access to healthcare and on and on. By discussing these issues, we have a chance of doing something about the problems instead of denying they exist. If you think we had unity before Trump came along, you’ve had your head up your ass so long you have no idea what sunlight looks like. Now try and explain to me exactly how it profits Russia to sow discord in our society. For them to get us to focus on our own problems and give us the opposrtunity to DO something about those problems? How the HELL does Russia benefit from that?!!!

So where does any of this go? If the Russiagate frenzy continues, where do you expect it to lead? Does it fix any of the real problems we have in this country? Does it offer any chance of world peace? Does it lead to decreased military spending by the US? Does it increase wages? Improve our economy? Fix our election system? Or does it continue on a path to warfare with multiple nuclear powers? More military spending? More conflict with allies? More resources stripped away from social support programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security?

Think for yourself. Stop thinking in terms of your addiction to hate, fear, anger and ignorance. The media does nothing but act as the advertising wing of the military industrial complex (MIC). Mueller acts as a spokesperson for the MIC. Rachel Maddow gets paid $30,000 a day to promote war, nothing else. Turn off network and cable news. Stop paying attention to all corporate news sources. Stop looking for a boogeyman under your bed and start paying attention to what is really happening.

If you are not part of the solution, then you are the problem.

Mueller Probe Is Over!! Now, Let’s Talk About Julian Assange

The Mueller probe is finally at an end. Predictably, it comes to nothing related to the special counsel powers granted to Mueller in the first place.

Contrary to the beliefs of rabid Russiagaters, no convictions have resulted from anything related to any “Russian collusion”. Every conviction has been related to regular DC corruption. Lobbying, tax fraud and lying. In some cases, the lies were told after the election. Many of the indictments were pure theater, which I pointed out at the time. Seriously? Indicting Intelligence officials of another country in US court while refusing to divulge “evidence”? How was that anything but theater?

Original authorization. If you ever actually read the authorization which enacted the special counsel, you would know it was biased in the wording from the very beginning. It specifically states authorization to investigate “any links and/or coordination bet ween the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump”. Notice that it precludes any connection to any other candidate.

I’m not going back over the whole process. It’s over and not worth it. It’s just more than a little interesting that the Clintons made money directly from Uranium One, which directly implicated Mueller and handed 20% of uranium processing to Russian interests. Uranium One was also proven to involve bribery, coercion, unaccounted for uranium shipments and more. While Mueller signed off on the intelligence approval required for Uranium One.

Nothing to see here folks, move along.

Declassification. Now the Democrats are calling for the full declassification of the Mueller report. More than a little amusing, since it was the Democrats who opposed the release and declassification of the text messages between FBI officials which revealed bias in the FBI investigation.

I am fully in favor of the declassification and release of the full report with all supporting documents and video/voice recordings. No FOIA requests necessary, release it for everyone globally to download and access. Allow independent media to examine the whole thing.

Mueller now crucified. For the last two years we have listened to MSM and centrist neoliberals screaming, “Wait for the Mueller report!” and “Protect Mueller! Don’t let Trump fire Mueller!” Now that Mueller has released his report, the cries have changed to accusing Mueller, claiming Mueller has been compromised by Russia. So Saint Mueller has now become a demon in their eyes.

More investigations. We already had a House investigation and a Senate investigation and each one came to the conclusion that there was no evidence of Trump/Russia “collusion”. Keep in mind that the Mueller investigation examined the FBI investigation into this subject. Not long ago I noted that the Democrats, before the Mueller report was even released, announced 17 investigations into the information contained in the Mueller report! So what happens when those 17 “investigations” do not come up with the results they want? Will we then accuse everyone involved in every one of those investigations? So, will we have investigations into each of the 17 investigations which investigated the Mueller investigation which investigated the FBI investigation?

Russiagate is not benign. I wrote a piece not long ago about how harmful Russiagate has been. You can read the long version here. In brief, Russiagate has led to a massive $100 billion increase in defense spending in just two years. It has led to censorship of independent media, which has been basically the only media contradicting the Russia narrative, especially on the left. In all cases, any anti-war voices have been demonized and attacked. It has led to increased US military presence on the Russian border and attempts to block Russian shipping routes. It has led to false accusations against any candidates who promote Progressive policies such as Medicare For All, decreasing military spending, ending wars or supporting Black Lives Matter as being Russian stooges/agents/trolls..

Nothing but a diversion. The effect of Russiagate on the functioning of our government has been tragic. So much effort and rhetoric has been exerted pushing Russiagate that virtually nothing else has been done. If elected officials are spending all their time on this, not talking about anything else, accusing anyone who opposes their narrative of being a Russian troll, what gets done? Or rather, what gets done that we want done?

No electoral changes. Notice that with all the accusations of Russian interference, claims of hacking, etc that we have not seen any effective changes in our electoral process as a result? No mandatory paper trails. No changes in software or processes to eliminate chances of hacking. No changes to campaign finance. The few changes we have seen have the express purpose of insuring that the DNC favorite, the Establishment candidate for president will be the DNC nominee.

Julian Assange. For all the claims put forward by the DNC about Russian “interference” in our election, nothing stands out like the attacks on Julian Assange. The claims from day one have been that Assange colluded with Russia, who hacked the DNC servers. There has been no evidence at any point to this effect. No financial ties between Wikileaks and Russia have been demonstrated. Most importantly, none of the four “investigations” have ever directly examined or subpoenaed the DNC servers. The four “investigations” include FBI, House, Senate and special counsel. Every single one of them relied on information relayed by Crowdstrike, a firm hired and paid by the DNC. Crowdstrike has also been discredited on more than one occasion, including making the claim that Russia hacked artillery in Ukraine, which was refuted by the Ukrainian military. The big question here is, when does an “investigation” not look at the alleged crime scene? When does a criminal investigation rely entirely on “evidence” obtained by a private firm paid for by the accuser?

The DNC is not a government entity. The DNC is a private organization, not a government agency. They used that fact as a defense in court in the DNC Fraud lawsuit. This means their internal emails are not subject to FOIA requests. They can keep their emails and documents private forever. They are funded privately, they operate in any way they choose. They are not required to offer a fair primary process, even though taxpayers fund the primaries. In addition, because the DNC is a private organization, an attack on the DNC is NOT a risk to national security. There was absolutely NO information in any of the DNC emails which was or could be deemed classified by the US government. Information of private entities CANNOT be deemed classified. ESPECIALLY when it is handed off for management by a private company.

Hacking debunked. The alleged hacking of the DNC has been debunked by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), a group of former government Intelligence professionals who have analyzed the data transfer rate and determined that it was too fast to have been transferred over any existing internet protocol. The data obtained in the DNC breach could only have been transferred locally to a storage device, such as a thumb drive. Which proves the DNC breach was an internal leak, not a hack.

Back to Assange. No, I did not go off on a tangent. This all comes together. The conclusion of the information above means several things.

1- Because the breach was an internal leak, not a hack, it shows Assange gained information from an American source internal to the DNC.

2- Because the DNC is a private organization, it means the government was not breached. Only an organization that considers itself not beholding to the democratic process, beyond questioning, beyond investigation, beyond criminal charges.

3- It should be obvious that Trump has no connection to Assange, as it has been revealed that it is the Trump DOJ which has a previously secret indictment of Assange, with collusion with the British government for extradition to the US for trial.

4- The internal leak information shows clearly that Wikileaks did not hack the DNC but obtained information from an external source.

5- None of the emails were debunked. The DNC tried claiming that the emails were fabricated. Tens of thousands of emails, with metadata included. Then claimed they were hacked. If someone were to fabricate emails, why would they bother to hack anything? The emails were real, they were accurate. They revealed what the DNC did to rig an election. Russia didn’t write the emails.

6- Because Obama, Hillary and Trump have all attacked Assange, it reveals that they are all on the same page. They fear transparency and will fight it by any means possible.

An attack on journalism. The attack on Assange is an attack on actual journalism. It is an attack on freedom of the press. It is an attack on whistle blowers. It is an attack on every single one of us. On our right to know what our government is doing. It is an attack on knowledge itself.

The end of the Mueller investigation should mean an end to the attacks on Assange. Though we know that is not going to happen. And we all suffer for it.