Monday, March 13, 2017

Chunking & Lunking

Bits and Pieces:

Finance:  A. “Animal spirits” are back on Wall Street.  Irrational exuberance is 'justified.Which means look out.  B. Banks don't care if you can pay your debts.  They only want the interest. Look at mortgages for an example.  (The latter point by Trotskyist economist Michael Hudson.)  Islands like Puerto Rico, nations like Greece or that poor soul who just bought an over-priced house - take note.  C.  Universal basic income proposals will come in below what is already being paid out for most people, though not all.  For most it is basically a way to launder public tax monies into the coffers of corporate interests, who want their debt and rents and interest paid.  This instead of making housing or food or health care a right.

Global Warming:  Bill McKibben (350.org) describes UnDemocratic Party (UDP) climate change denial:

“In fact, one of the lowest points in my years of fighting climate change came in late June, when I sat on the commission appointed to draft the Democratic Party platform. (I was a Sanders appointee, alongside Cornel West and other luminaries.) At 11 p.m. on a Friday night, in a mostly deserted hotel ballroom in St. Louis, I was given an hour to offer nine amendments to the platform to address climate change. More bike paths passed by unanimous consent, but all the semi-hard things that might begin to make a real difference—a fracking ban, a carbon tax, a prohibition against drilling or mining fossil fuels on public lands, a climate litmus test for new developments, an end to World Bank financing of fossil fuel plants—were defeated by 7–6 tallies, with the Clinton appointees voting as a bloc. They were quite concerned about climate change, they insisted, but a “phased-down” approach would be best. There was the faintest whiff of Munich about it.”
This goes a long way in explaining how electing ‘Democrats’ to save the environment is a false hope.  A radical solution is required if you actually understand what is happening.  The ‘Democrats’ do not.

The State:  The term ‘deep state’ is now in fashion, which is an improvement over the fairy tale that ‘your’ elected representatives ran everything.  The CIA still denies it is part of this state, but then their policy is deception.  The ‘deep state’ is what Marxists have called the ‘capitalist state’ for a long time.  The existence of this state gives the lie to anyone who thinks voting is the sole panacea to implement change.

The partially hidden state and the reds that spotted it.
However, most TV definitions of the deep state only include the repressive apparatus – the CIA/FBI/Military/NSA/The Offense Department, etc.  But it also includes the legal system, laws and courts, the various federal departments like State, InJustice, Bureau of Land MisManagement, Transport, (Big) Agriculture, Big Pharma (FDA), Wall Street Commerce, etc., the state versions of these departments, the Federal Reserve, the SEC, prisons, etc.  This is the true state that exists before, during and after various politicians take office.  While its personnel may have small changes, the overall policies remain the same – responding to who rules America.

The Election:  Trump was elected by about a ¼ of the voting population, which shows that ‘democracy’ in the U.S. is about on-level with a normal high school class president campaign.   Yet Trump and the Republican Party are preparing to lay waste to all of the capitalist ‘welfare’ state.   As such, no one can be a-political anymore.  No more ranting on Facebook and never showing up at a meeting, demonstration, occupation, independent electoral campaign, union meeting, confrontation or strike or joining a real resistance group.  The question is what kind of politics will emerge as a reaction - leftist or liberal pablum?

Because the mask of civility has dropped, Trump’s election has thrown the bi-partisan ruling elite and their system into a crisis.  The UnDemocratic Party (UDP) itself is paralyzed and disoriented.  We have not seen the UDP so weak in awhile and the UnRepublicans will soon follow.  Socialists, anarcho-syndicalists, labor, community organizations and the various mass movements are the best ones able to defend immigrants, black, indigenous & Latino peoples, workers, Muslims, the elderly, the sick and women. 

The UnDemocratic Party:  The election of Perez to UDP chair and the shutout of all Sanders electors should send a message to those who think the UDP will move to the left – even at this historical juncture.  As Pelosi said:  “We’re capitalists!”  Duh!  Have a donut. 

Hillary Clinton’s favorability rating is now below Trump, according to Counterpunch. 

Russia and Warmongering:  NATO and the U.S. conducted massive military ‘war game’ maneuvers in the Baltic states and eastern areas of Europe in 2016, the biggest since the Cold War.  These involved tanks, ships and 31,000 soldiers.  Almost no coverage of this in our corrupt mass media.  Obama, the ‘peace’ president, also ordered a very expensive ‘upgrade’ of U.S. nuclear capacity.  This same strategy is now being followed up by the national UDP and their MSNBC propaganda network, but their political version goes even further, slandering anyone here at home who does not want to wage war on Russia.  Even Obama, as Glenn Greenwald pointed out early this week, did not want to send troops directly into the Ukraine, as do the UDP and the majority of the UnRepublicans. 

Multiculturalism:  An older but relevant quote from Cornel West about the last administration, who was a sponsor of the Labor Party in the late 1990s: 
“Multiculturalism, when it means nothing more than having a president who is a ‘black mascot for Wall Street,’ betrays the disenfranchised and endows the ruling elites with a false progressivism, a false humanism and a false inclusiveness.”

Love:  One of the most bizarre and de-politicized slogans of the last few months has been ‘Love Trumps Hate.”  “Love” as a slogan has been used in the past by UnDemocrats, UnRepublicans, corporate executives, swarmy religious leaders, corporations, corporate advertisers, personal life coaches, bad singers and actors and just about anyone who wants to say something by saying nothing.  Its roots are in Christian ‘love thy neighbor’ rhetoric.  Anyone who has lived with actual ‘neighbors’ knows just getting along and cooperating with most neighbors can be a challenge, let alone ‘loving’ them.  That can happen sometimes, but not in quite the way it is meant here. 

Yet the modern Democratic Party chooses this inane slogan as an expression of a vague ethical superiority, seemingly battling with the Republicans to see who is the real Christian!   Perhaps something like ‘defend Muslims and immigrants against racist policies’ is too wordy or too wonky? I’m sure you can think of a better slogan. But doing this might mean looking into the Democratic Party’s own immigration practices or actions in Arab countries.  So ‘love’ reigns supreme, to coin Coltrane.   Keep it vague, baby! 

The Environment:   Fracking releases methane, which is 10 times more of a global warming chemical than carbon.  Fracking is not a 'bridge fuel' except to oblivion.
 
Trump:  After Trump, Mike Pence is waiting in the wings, theocratic Christian that he is.  The simple ‘dump Trump’ movement will usher in another reactionary more acceptable to the power structure. While you wait, here’s a song by Woody Guthrie about Trump’s daddy, showing the apple does not fall far from the tree:  

Old Man Trump 
Words by Woody Guthrie, Music by Ryan Harvey https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmZnlGBhwKg

“I suppose that Old Man Trump knows just how much racial hate
He stirred up in that bloodpot of human hearts
When he drawed that color line
Here at his Beach Haven family project

Beach Haven ain't my home!
No, I just can't pay this rent!
My money's down the drain,
And my soul is badly bent!
Beach Haven is Trump’s Tower
Where no black folks come to roam,
No, no, Old Man Trump!
Old Beach Haven ain't my home!

I'm calling out my welcome to you and your man both
Welcoming you here to Beach Haven
To love in any way you please and to have some kind of a decent place
To have your kids raised up in.
   
Beach Haven ain't my home!
No, I just can't pay this rent!
My money's down the drain,
And my soul is badly bent!
Beach Haven is Trump’s Tower
Where no black folks come to roam,
No, no, Old Man Trump!
Old Beach Haven ain't my home!”

Prior commentary and book reviews on Love, Wall Street, the UnDemocratic Party, global warming below:  Use blog search box, upper left.
Red Frog
March 13, 2017

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