No, Tariffs Will Not Bring Jobs Back

Talk among the right wing and some corporate media claims the opinion that tariffs will bring jobs back. That’s not going to happen. Of course, some other sources claim that tariffs are destroying jobs. That may come closer to the truth but also not entirely accurate.

China did not come first. First, let’s consider the fact that corporations have historically exported manufacturing jobs to low income countries. At varying times, jobs have been exported to Japan, India, Pakistan, Taiwan, Mexico, South American countries, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the list goes on.

What you can surmise from this is that corporations will continue exporting jobs to lower wage countries that offer tax breaks. Even if the wages were the same, corporations would export jobs to avoid environmental restrictions in the US.

No, US manufacturing is not on the rise. Of course, some sources claim that manufacturing in the US is back on the rise. Ask them for specifics and they cannot reply exactly what manufacturing jobs they are referring to. No, US Steel is not building new plants. Auto manufacturers have added a few jobs but far more have been laid off in the last few months by a negative balance of tens of thousands.

Bailing out corporate farms. Agriculture in the US is suffering because of lost trade with China thanks to trade conflict. Thing to notice most about that is that this caused an oversupply in the US market yet it did not result in decreased grocery prices. Mostly because the farmers got bailed out by the US taxpayer, so they had no need to offer their crops at lower prices to diminish their losses. They dumped many of their crops rather than selling at lower prices.

China refuses our oil sales. China stopped buying US oil back in Oct or Nov of 2018, resulting in an oversupply in the oil market. That was the reason gas and oil prices dropped for a time, as there was no way to store that much oil and no way to dispose of it. It had to be sold. Even if they could have stored it, that would impact trade with OPEC. Relations with OPEC nations, especially Saudi Arabia, are already contentious at the moment.

Where next? One question is where they will be exporting those jobs to. Workers in Mexico are rising up, demanding better pay, benefits and working conditions. No doubt US corporations were counting on further exploiting South African workers but China has beat them to the punch. China is investing billions in South Africa, to include infrastructure which benefits the communities and low interest loans. Things that the US and IMF do not offer. Meanwhile China issues no threats to the countries they work with.

Eastern Bloc? So, the most likely nations that US corporations may target for low wage labor are some former Eastern Bloc nations like Poland. Countries that have few resources of their own and have suffered since the fall of the USSR. One big problem with those countries is that the population is aging because the younger generations have left due to lack of opportunities. Other problems include social unrest and the rise of white supremacists (literal Nazis), so that may well impact the willingness of American consumers to purchase goods produced in those countries. No doubt we will see continued propaganda claiming these countries are standing up to big, evil Russia.

US consumer market. Yet even with low cost labor, that will not bring back stability to the US consumer market. That is where the conflict lies. To bring back the consumer market means the need for living wage jobs. Wages the corporations do not want to pay. Without decent wages, American consumers cannot afford to buy the items produced.

Chinese consumer market. That is why corporations are trying to make inroads to the Chinese consumer market. The Chinese consumer market is now the largest in the world. US corporations have no loyalty to the US. They are loyal only to their own profit margin. If they can make money convincing you how evil China, Russia, North Korea or any other country is, yet conduct profitable sales in those same countries, they will do exactly that.

US impact on China’s GDP. Threats and tariffs are not going to budge China. Our politicians and media try and make it seem as though the Chinese economy relies solely on US trade. Nothing could be further from the truth. US trade accounts for only 4% of China’s GDP. That number is from before China stopped buying US oil around Oct of 2018. So our trade accounts for even less of their GDP now. Basically, China could survive without any trade with the US at all.

US military empire. Trade is not the actual issue concerning China. Their concern is our militarism. We already have considerable military forces in the South China Sea. There is much made in the US media about China building up military forces yet they never mention that the only reason China is doing so is because of the threat posed to them by the US.Think about it and you realize that nobody else poses any risk or potential for risk against China. Nobody else is trying to pose a threat to them.

Weapons sales. Essentially, the only US industry that can compete with China at this point is weapons production and sales. Something the US seems to excel at above and beyond any other country. For now. Meanwhile China is advancing their military technology and offering sales of military drones at prices lower than the US. While Russia has developed aircraft and missile defense systems that are more advanced than our own, also offered at lower prices and with fewer diplomatic demands or threats. I’m sure they would each refuse to sell to nations that pose a threat to themselves or their direct interests. That’s understandable.

Chinese technology. China is building artificial islands, dams, bridges and railways spanning not just their own country but reaching into other countries , other continents as well. Their projects tend to be completed far faster and at lower cost than US corporate contractors have managed projects for decades. They built 18,000 km of high speed rail in under 11 years. Can you even imagine that happening here? They now have the largest dam in the world, the Three Gorges Dam, which incorporates the second largest hydroelectric power plant on earth and a ship lift. It took 18 years to complete but considering the scale that time frame is still a huge accomplishment. While some try to portray China as some backward country where technology is concerned, I’d say they are quite capable. China has a long history of being technologically competent. Rockets and gunpowder originated there. Take a look at the history of China and gunpowder is only one accomplishment of many.

Competition should not be war. The trade war between the US and China should not be a war. It should be nothing more than competition. I’ve written before that growth is toxic. If our economy does actually need to grow larger, it needs to be redirected toward industries and efforts that help our own people. Stop building weapons, stop creating wars, stop building bombs, start building and repairing bridges. When you create an entire segment of your economy to be dependent on war machines, you must create wars to sustain that industry. That means you must create enemies where none existed before. you must destroy things in order to build something and call that growth. That means destroying ecological environments and entire civilizations much older than our own, killing people and call it business.

They are more experienced than we are. China has survived thousands of years in spite of numerous enemies, both economic and military. They are more experienced at trade than we are, having built the original Silk Road and are now building what is dubbed the New Silk Road. Our economy is barely planned 6 months in advance, while they plan 50 years and further ahead. The Belt and Road Initiative is an indication of this. It’s highly unlikely they did not take possible US responses into account when planning. When they refuse to negotiate, that is negotiating. It’s just saying they will not bow down to US tantrums.

They hold far more, far better cards than we do. We are playing their game, they’re not playing ours. So we can play by the rules or take our ball and go home. Because if we try cheating against them, we already lost. Tariffs may bring jobs back.. just not to America.

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I am an independent writer with no corporate sponsors or backing. The only income I make from my writing comes from views. At least I have reached the point where it makes more than it costs me! lol! My writing is done in between full time (and overtime) nursing, shared custody of my brilliant daughter and mundane existence.

Please consider becoming a patron on Patreon. I try and average at least 20 articles a month, so a $1 a month donation would come down to 5¢ per article to support independent, non-corporate writing. My Patreon page is here.

If you care to share articles with those who do not have Medium or Patreon accounts, I also post most of my articles on my own website, which has no advertising and I pay for with income from writing. My website is here and all articles can be shared freely. You can always quote me, no attribution required. My goal is spreading information and awareness. The whole point is building a better, more peaceful, more equitable world for us and future generations.

Why Trump is NOT Guilty of Obstruction of Justice

The focus since the Mueller report came out is claiming Trump in some way obstructed justice. Just as the Mueller investigation was seeking “collusion”, now they are seeking “obstruction”.

Legally speaking, this will not work. If you think it will, you have been propagandized and know nothing about the law.

For a person to be guilty of obstructing a criminal investigation, the very first criteria for that charge would be that a known crime had been committed. This is not the case in the Mueller probe. The entire point of the Mueller probe was an investigation in search of a crime.

I have pointed out on numerous occasions that there was never a known crime which sparked the Mueller probe. There were claims by biased FBI agents and the DNC. There was no evidence. Since the Mueller probe began, several FBI agents were forced to resign or were fired in disgrace. Including Strzok, who was fired from the Mueller probe first and later from the FBI itself. And if you think his infantile display was in any way heroic, there’s something seriously wrong in your head. He was defending the illegal obtaining of FISA warrants under false pretenses and the right to do so. Is that really what you want our federal government to be doing? What if it were turned around and used on someone you liked? Would your view be the same?

Here I will point out something else I have repeatedly pointed out before- The DNC is not a government agency. It is a private organization. They used that defense in court when accused of fraud. The FBI never examined the DNC servers. Neither did any of three “investigations”- House, Senate and Special Counsel. All claims relied on information from Crowdstrike, a private IT firm hired and paid for by the DNC. A firm that has been discredited on numerous occasions, including for the claim that Russia hacked artillery in Ukraine. The shame was revealed when the Ukrainian government said there was no truth to it.

It has been proven that the FISA warrants relied almost entirely on the Steele Dossier, which was paid for by the DNC and then paid for more by the FBI with your tax dollars. Nothing in the dossier was ever verified and therefore is not evidence of anything except for DNC collusion with a foreign agent who was working with Russian government insiders (in other words, the Kremlin) to obtain information damaging to a presidential candidate at the time. Money changed hands. We know this. It is documented. By Mueller. The FISA warrants were falsely obtained. We know this. It is documented. By Mueller. The alleged information was intended to help one candidate, Hillary. We know this. It is documented. By Mueller.

Still want the unredacted Mueller report released? I do. I want every last scrap of evidence, every document, every interview released. Not just the 400 page summary. I want all of it.

In addition, Trump never stopped Mueller from investigating. We endured 18 months of claims that trump would fire Mueller. He never did, never said he would, never said he had any such intent. We had theatrics of numerous petitions to “save Mueller”. We had theatrics of the Democrats claiming to “defend Mueller”. Defend him from things which there was no danger of occurring.

Now the Mueller report states that there is no evidence of collusion. You would think it would end there but no.

What we have is the DNC trying to claim Trump obstructed a probe which he did not obstruct into a nonexistent crime which never happened into claims he committed acts which that very probe exonerate him of.

Basically this is the equivalent of charging a person for resisting arrest when they are being arrested for a crime which never happened, that there was no evidence for and while they were not resisting. Just because someone wants them charged with something.

Last thing I will repeat yet again. None of this means I support Trump. I do not and never have. I am not defending Trump, I am defending justice, itself. I am fully cognizant of how these tactics being used against him can be turned around and used in reverse.

I am also fully aware that this entire show is intended to distract from the fact that the DNC is just as right wing as the RNC. They are both slaves to corporate power and are not opposing anything the Republicans are doing to strip us of our rights. The Dems use nicer words while conducting the exact same atrocities.

You want to “Resist”? Then get off your tail, start getting informed and start calling elected officials, writing letters and attending protests to demand Progressive policies. Universal healthcare, increased wages, UBI, ending wars, humanistic immigration reform, increasing taxes on the rich, universal adult education, increased education funding, closing down charter schools, fighting systemic prejudice, breaking up big banks, restore Glass-Steagall, police reform and on and on and on… Those things would be defending your country. Those things would be patriotic. Those things would be rational. Those things would be enduring.

What you are doing to push this Russiagate/Obstruction BS is not going to help us. It is not going to help anyone but the power elite. If you think the media has your interests at heart, you’re dead wrong. If they win this, they have proven they can manipulate you. Turn off corporate media.

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

Trump’s Tax Returns Change Nothing

So, this week people and especially the neoliberal media have been raging about the release of Trump’s tax returns showing he did not have as much money as he claims.

Numerous problems with this.

First, the most recent of those tax returns is what? 25 years old? A lot can happen in 25 years. I’m not sure I had ever heard of Trump 25 years ago. If I did, I basically ignored what I heard. Then again, I ignored The Apprentice. I may have watched some part of that show twice and still ignored most of those episodes.

How many of you had heard of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett or Steve Jobs in 1994? Even if you heard some mention of Apple or Microsoft at that time, did you know the name of the CEO’s of those companies? Windows 93 was largely ignored. Microsoft did not seriously take off well until the release of Windows 95, leading to Bill Gates being one of the richest men on the planet today. Even that was accelerated enormously with the release of Windows 98.

Getting the point here?

In no way am I claiming Trump has anywhere near the wealth he claims. He’s an idiot who has claimed bankruptcy 3, 4, 20 times? I lost track and don’t care. Why do you?

Nothing about the release of his tax returns changes one decision he has made.

Nothing about his tax returns reverses one single policy, many of which were not opposed by “The Resistance”. The tax break for the rich? That was voted into law with a Democratic majority in favor. Remember the shutdown over DACA before that budget passed? It lasted one weekend. It ended when big money donors told the Democrats to cave and they did. In fact, the Democrats in CONgress took a long weekend and ended the shutdown on Tue or Wed after that weekend. Every one of them still got paid.

Since then the “Resistance” has confirmed at least 15 Conservatives to lifetime appointments to federal bench positions. They have not only approved of increases to the WAR Dept budget, they gave Trump more money than he asked for by tens of billions of your money per year. We have seen an increase in the “defense” budget of $10 billion one year and $20 billion the next year, totaling $30 billion in just 2 years. With another increase already planned for next year. No end or decrease in the budget increases in sight. Not mentioned at all.

Has the DNC opposed Trump’s aggression toward Venezuela, China, Russia and Iran?

Legalizing cannabis? Trump has suggested that more times than the DNC has.

Changes to our electoral process? Paper trails? The Dems make a huge show of claiming the GOP blocked their budget request for that purpose but that is something which is actually handled and budgeted at the state level, not the federal level. This is why some states have paper trails and others do not.

Yes, you are buying into this every time with no thought, no question.

Has the DNC looked at one (lame, dishonest) peace effort made by Trump and tried to alter it, make it workable, make demands which would make peace a realistic goal? No, they oppose peace itself and then increase military funding.

Has the DNC endorsed universal healthcare? Or, as a party, still continued oppressing support for Progressives and push the corporate welfare program known as the ACA? Have they suggested eliminating deductibles or even placing caps on deductibles? Placing a cap on profit margins means nothing when corporations can claim billions in advertising, executive bonuses and stock repurchases as expenses. They can keep increasing your premiums and deductibles infinitely with no limit suggested.

Has the DNC or corporate media stood to defend Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and by extension freedom of the press? In other words, your Constitutional right to be informed of what your government is doing?

Has the DNC ever stood up and admitted that the DNC itself is a private entity, not a government agency?

Has the DNC admitted that FB ads are not election interference? Or that any “Russian ads” accounted for less than 0.8% of all political ads in 2016? That when calculated honestly, any ads by Russian trolls accounted for $1 for every $4000 spent by candidates before the election? No, keep talking about Mueller and Russiagate.

Trump’s tax returns have changed nothing. Not one thing. Keep telling yourself that this is “resistance”. Keep telling yourself that you are informed, awake, aware, Progressive, peaceful, caring, or want what is best for this country.

YOU haven’t changed, either. Nothing in this country will change until YOU change. Until then, YOU are continuing the same cycle, the same system, the same reality show. You want change? Start by looking in the mirror.

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I am an independent writer with no corporate sponsors or backing. The only income I make from my writing comes from views. At least I have reached the point where it makes more than it costs me! lol! My writing is done in between full time (and overtime) nursing, shared custody of my brilliant daughter and mundane existence.

Please consider becoming a patron on Patreon. I try and average at least 20 articles a month, so a $1 a month donation would come down to 5¢ per article to support independent, non-corporate writing. My Patreon page is here.

If you care to share articles with those who do not have Medium or Patreon accounts, I also post most of my articles on my own website, which has no advertising and I pay for with income from writing. My website is here and all articles can be shared freely. You can always quote me, no attribution required. My goal is spreading information and awareness. The whole point is building a better, more peaceful, more equitable world for us and future generations.

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?

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.

17 Investigations

Now that Mueller is winding down and it’s certain his report will not result in what they want, they have announced 17 more investigations regarding the information in the Mueller probe.

So this is literally 17 investigations into the Mueller investigation which looked into the FBI investigation. As a result, Mueller fired a top FBI official from his probe. The FBI official was subsequently fired from the FBI.

The FBI official then gave a speech which was widely defended in which he literally said the FBI could act with impunity in any way they choose, including to fabricate evidence. That’s really what he said, literally interpreted.

However, 17 is just the beginning. The day after midterms, the DNC said they have planned over 80 investigations on Trump.

Now the big question is, how many investigations will result from investigating the 17 investigations which are investigating the investigation that investigated an investigation.

Trump Didn’t Lose in North Korea, The World Did

A few days ago in North Korea, talks between Trump and Kim Jong Un ended abruptly with no peace agreement reached.

None of this really comes as a surprise. The NK government has stated that they consider Trump and his crew to be nothing more than gangsters. If Trump really wanted a peace agreement, the very last person that should have been present is Bolton. Instead, rumors are Bolton made demands that went beyond what even Trump demanded. Demands that NK was not going to accede to.

Nobody can question that Trump was not trying to reach a peace agreement. He was seeking domination and subjugation. Yet the biggest mistake anyone can make is believing, apart from his brutish and uncouth behavior, that this is any form of change in US foreign policy. It’s no change at all. US foreign policy for many decades, basically the entirety of our history, has entailed the economic, political and military isolation and oppression of any country that does not submit to our imperial aspirations.

Honestly, that’s not much better than we treat our alleged allies. I’ve said before and will say again that the US government does not seek allies, they seek accomplices to our crimes against humanity. Our government seeks alliances to attack countries that have never posed a threat to us, enact sanctions that starve, deny medical treatment to civilians and cripple economies. The costs imposed on our “allies” can destroy entire industries in those countries and cause expenses they are not equipped for, causing decreased social support services for their citizens. We cause refugee crises which other nations suffer the effects from while refusing to accept refugees from the countries we have destroyed.

In the specific case of North Korea, they have not threatened any country with anything more than self defense for more than 50 years. Yet there has not been a time since 1953 that they were not portrayed as a global threat. Never mind the fact that it was basically the US that forced the country to split in two and installed a puppet government in the south after WWII. Never mind that some scholars believe the first shots of the Korean War came from the south and southern troops had been run out of the north on multiple occasions. Never mind that right now both North and South Korea want peace and denuclearization of the entire peninsula, not just the north. Never mind that it is the US impeding the peace process.

The truth is, if the Koreas find a path to peace and disarmament, then US forces will no longer have a right or justification to be there. More so when China has been far more instrumental in facilitating the peace process than the US has been.

It’s not a surprise that corporate media has been largely joyful over the fact that a 65 year ceasefire will not yet transition into a full peace process. Corporate media never supports a peace process because they are fully in bed with military contractors who make massive profits from continued international tensions. Some or all of them host advertising by military contractors. Are you going to buy something from military contractors? Your taxes do but are you going to buy a fighter jet, missile or tank in the near future for personal use?

However, with all of this the real tragedy is the fact that so many civilians are cheering for the failure of a peaceful resolution to a situation where the two parties most immediately involved want peace. A situation where we spend tens of billions every single year maintaining a military force in South Korea and conducting war games along the North Korea border to keep tensions elevated. Why? Because Trump’s name is involved.

We should not be opposed to a peace process because one name is attached to it. If anything, CONgress should be sending a delegation to assist in the process, spending time and money on that, rather than on over 80 “investigations” on Trump. If they did that, the effects of Trump and Bolton could be negated while the peace process could be smoothed and streamlined.

Not that we should in any way expect that from a CONgress who has opposed removing military forces from Syria while rages for “humanitarian intervention” (kill lots of people) in Venezuela to seize their oil. You know, the same idea Trump has but somehow they claim to be “resisting” him.

With the people we have in office on both sides of the aisle, our country will never be one step closer to peace. The wars will continue and expand endlessly. That is, until our economy implodes and we can no longer afford to wage more wars.

At which point the rest of the world will rejoice.

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.

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.