Friday, August 12, 2016

Election 2016 As A Turning Point

Update 11-15-16:

Well,  it's over,  and what I had considered the slightly-greater evil won.  Now the GOP has to put up or shut up.  I rather doubt they have any viable replacements yet,  for the things they want to repeal,  they've been barely competent just being obstructive.

You can always tell when a politician of either party is lying to you:  their lips are moving.  They do not work for us,  they work for whoever bought their jobs for them.  And that's the real root of all this evil.  Political agendas are largely irrelevant in the face of that ugly fact.

Meanwhile,  it does finally seem to be dawning on some other folks that I was right about angry folks left behind economically.  My prescription for how to fix that still stands,  no matter who is in the White House or controls the houses of Congress.

It's "find a way to end the giant corporate welfare state" or get voted out next election.  Now get on with it.  --  GW


There are other related articles on this site,  as listed.  In particular,  see the trade study matrix I did on Clinton versus Trump in “Evaluation of Choices for 2016”,  and the descriptions of where the corporate welfare state comes from in “Stuff You Do Not Normally Think About”.   All share the search keyword “idiocy in politics”.  Here’s the list:

8-4-16….Evaluation of Choices for 2016
7-29-16…..Stuff You Normally Do Not Think About
6-5-16…….Trump?  NO!!
4-24-16….Better Choices in November
12-21-15..Facts Must Trump Politics

The Candidates
Donald Trump has proven over and over that he cannot control himself when he talks.  The very serious risk here is that he cannot control himself when he acts,  especially in a pressure situation.  Many who cannot control their speech also cannot control their actions.  We’ve all seen this.

Therefore,  that risk is completely intolerable for a commander-in-chief with his finger on the nuclear trigger.  So,  in my opinion,  no one with two working brain cells to rub together can vote for Trump for president,  regardless of their politics.  The nuclear extinction risk precludes it.  Extremist politics does have a way of killing brain cells,  doesn’t it?

Hillary Clinton may well be an un-indicted felon.  If 30-40 years ago I had done with classified information what she did at the State Department,  I would still be in jail today,  in a windowless cell.  Which also proves that there really is a double standard of justice,  one for the rich and powerful versus another for the rest of us.   Remember that point about two standards of justice,  I’ll get back to it further below.

She is an integral part of the “political establishment” that has left behind us ordinary folks for 6 decades now.  Given a better choice,  I would not vote for her,  either.

But there is not a better choice.  In her favor,  she knows well the job and all the background associated with it.  And she is stable and well-adjusted and (most importantly) self-controlled enough,  not to go off half-cocked on the nuclear trigger.  She is therefore just barely minimally acceptable to vote for,  as the lesser of the two evils.

The Parties

When I was young,  I tended to vote more Republican than Democrat,  although I am actually a fierce independent.  In those days,  both parties were more “mainstream” in their proposals.  I thought that the Democrats gave away too many tax dollars too easily,  and I did not then know that the Republican approach of “trickle-down economics” was a lie (and well-proven to be so,  ever since Reagan’s time). 

Since then,  the Republicans have extremized their economics and their social policies,  driven there by the “right wing” extremists among them,  and the religious extremists with which they allied.  I personally detest extremism,  whether political or religious.  That way lies the path that has led to war and suffering all these centuries. 

“Detest” may be too weak a word:  such deserve death upon detection.

With Trump bringing in the very-numerous blue-collar “left-behinds”,  there has also been a huge recent influx of racism and bigotry within the party,  although this actually started some years earlier.  Most of the email hit-piece forwards I get are sourced from Republican operatives,  not Democrat operatives,  at least since Bill Clinton’s time.  In some of these,  the racism and bigotry are quite overt,  and I find it very disturbing that friends and neighbors forward this crap to me as if it were true. 

The Democrats have drifted toward the center during those same years.  There are very few “flaming liberals” left in that party,  although there are still some notable exceptions,  such as Bernie Sanders.  Their social agenda is generally more to my liking,  except for their gun control ideas (more on that below).

Historically,  Democrats have been viewed as weak in foreign policy,  but I no longer believe that propaganda.  Democrat President Obama has killed more people with drone strikes than his Republican predecessor ever thought about.  That’s not exactly being “weak”.  FDR and Truman were Democrats,  and so was Teddy Roosevelt,  so that record speaks for itself. 

Actually,  when you get right down to it,  what my grandparents used to say about Republicans is still true:  they favor the rich big businesses over the common man.  It’s just worse now than it was then (more about that below).  What my grandparents used to say about Democrats is no longer true:  instead of favoring the common man,  they,  too,  are now also minions of the giant corporations. 

Libertarians?  Nope.  They want to out-Republican the extremist-Republicans economically.  Which means privatizing or destroying things we really need,  like the public schools.  They want to out-Democrat the Democrats socially,  which is no longer hard to do,  since the Democrats have mostly drifted centrist.  As I said,  I detest extremism.  That is not an agenda I can stomach.

Greens?  No way in hell would I vote for a crackpot anti-vacciner.  With a belief like that,  all other initiatives are also equally suspect.  That’s not “green”,  that’s simply insane.

In summary,  there is little today to recommend any of the parties,  including the two big ones.  Although they are still sort-of better than the two little ones.

Bread and Circuses

Back to two standards of justice.  Or two standards of just about anything.  There’s the rich giants,  and then there’s the rest of us.  Didn’t you ever notice that?  Most of us have been left behind,  as the giants prospered.  And you cannot fight them one-on-one:  they can hire lawyers we cannot afford. 

I’m sorry,  but you no longer live free in a representative democracy anymore.  You haven’t in quite a while.  You are living in a giant corporate welfare state,  in which government now does little but pick your pockets to keep the giants rich.  Your politicians do not work for you who elected them,  they work for these giants who bought their jobs for them.  That’s true for a lot of key appointed officials,  too. 

This has been creeping upon us,  step by slow step,  since World War 2.  The takeover became complete only 20 or 30 years ago,  about the time our party politics extremized into the comic-opera buffoonery we have today.  Take a good hard look at the officials you elect:  are they not clownish buffoons,  by and large?  Did you never wonder why?

My friends and neighbors,  these buffoons and idiotic politics are the bread-and-circuses by which those who rule us hope to keep our attentions diverted,  away from what they have actually done to us.  They have no interest in how badly these clowns govern,  they only care about getting lots of tax money fed to them as this-or-that contract,  while not paying any taxes. 

Have you not noticed that the last air force bomber that actually worked right was the B-52,  first flown in 1952,  and whose very last production example rolled off the assembly line in 1961?  That we now build warships without any guns on them?  That none of the high dollar defense programs produces anything that works right anymore?  And hasn’t for some decades now? 

So where did all your federal gasoline tax dollars go?  Certainly not into keeping the highways and bridges up to par!  Somebody’s pockets somewhere,  that’s for sure!  And not any of us common folk. 

It got this way because of an uncorrected mistake made by the writers of our Constitution:  they allowed lobbyists and their money to roam the halls of government,  without making it the crime of bribery that it actually is.  I guess for them our experiment-in-democracy was experimental enough,  without trying to correct that evil,  too.  They didn’t correct slavery either.  Fallible,  like all of us.

Correcting evils is precisely what the amendment process was for.  At least they got that part right. 

You have to take private money out of the campaigns,  too,  or you never will get anyone worth voting “for”,  only “against”.  That’s even true at the primary level.  This will have to be a sweeping change to be effective. 

It’s way past time to fix all this. 

Making Changes

To me,  it appears there are only 3 options:  (1) voting out all the corrupt officeholders,  so that all lobbyist monies actually can be outlawed by new officials,  at all levels and phases of government,  (2) a grassroots Constitutional amendment to outlaw all lobbyist monies anywhere in any governmental process,  or (3) do armed revolution in the streets and just start over. 

Item (1) voting the crooks out doesn’t seem very feasible,  because a majority of the electorate seems to actually believe the idiotic political propaganda.  I guess they’ve heard it too many times,  and so believe it to be true.  Which is exactly how the Nazis and Communists obtained and retained power.  And how the jihadists do it today.  It’s called the “big lie” technique;  somewhere you’ve heard of that!

There’s enough Trump supporters and Bernie Sanders supporters to actually do this,  if they could but get together.  But they will not.  Idiotic politics gets in the way.  They believe the “big lies”.

Item (2) amending the Constitution to make buying politicians and appointed officials a crime would indeed throw the giant corporations out of power.  But getting everyone to actually agree on one (or more)specific amendment(s) will be more difficult than it would seem at first sight.  This is for precisely the very same reason that we can’t just throw the crooked bums out at the ballot box:  people actually believe in the idiocies that are their politics. 

Item (3) armed revolution is the only one the giant corporations actually fear could really happen.  That is why they have made gun control / creeping gun confiscation a part of the Democratic platform agenda.  So they can use the Democrats to disarm us.  Unarmed populations are easy to dominate:  just ask the Germans and the Russians.  Or many of the peoples of the third world. 

Never forget that the purpose of the Second Amendment was to make the threat of armed revolution credible,  so that government would behave itself.  The Founding Fathers did a pretty good job with that one,  because it could still work today,  even with the de facto takeover by the giant corporations already in place! 

The federal government has been quietly equipping all sorts of non-military,  non-police agencies with machine guns,  body armor,  tactical vehicles,  and immense quantities of ammunition.  Agencies like the EPA and IRS.  What do they need such battle equipment for?  Not for their jobs.  Unless,  they are to be employed as adjunct troops to help quell the armed rebellion.  Think about that!

Don’t get me wrong:  I’d much rather do this at the ballot box in one way or another.  There’s a whole lot less mess to clean up afterwards.  But the prudent and patriotic person simply must be prepared to face the possibility that revolution becomes the only option.

Why Do Anything At All?

What if we do nothing?  Well,  the giant corporations’ policies will eventually lead to the destruction of the middle class.  That’s where the bulk of the tax revenues are coming from.  Certainly not the poor,  they pay none,  and could not pay even if levied.  As for the giants,  paying nothing is exactly why they own the politicians and officials.  The smaller corporations and small businesses are less of a revenue source than the middle class. 

Point is,  the money gravy train ends when the middle class dies.

So,  long term,  this system is not sustainable,  and it will fall.  And utter chaos will result.  We may not recover before getting opportunistically invaded by some other country.  Just like Rome.

Why am I certain this will eventually happen if we do not correct it?  Because money is more addictive than heroin.  All addicts become self-destructive.  Even giant corporations. 

It is in your best self-interest to put an end to this giant corporate welfare state,  before its ultimate fall puts an end to you. 

I recommend we try the two ballot box options before resorting to revolution.  But we need to be prepared,  even for revolution.  Keep your guns and ammo hidden.   We who still own guns still outnumber “them”,  and in city-street fighting house-to-house,  that’s all that really matters. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Evaluation of Choices for 2016

Update 10-13-16 is the image just above.  It's perfect!!!

I have been voicing opinions for some months now regarding the 2016 election.  There are some related articles elsewhere on this site,  one of which seems to be modestly popular with readers (the 7-29-16 article).  Another one is just a funny (the 4-24-16 article).  All share the search keyword “idiocy in politics”.  Here’s the list:

8-4-16....Evaluation of Choices for 2016  (this one)
7-29-16…..Stuff You Normally Do Not Think About
6-5-16…….Trump?  NO!!
4-24-16….Better Choices in November
12-21-15..Facts Must Trump Politics

Those of you who know me are aware that I have often said this:  I haven’t been voting “for” anybody for president in a great many years,  I have been voting “against” the ones I consider to be greater evils.  And that’s true “in spades” for 2016. 

Trade Study Evaluation

Long ago,  I learned how to use the “trade matrix” as an analysis tool for making hard choices.  I’ve done it again:  evaluating Clinton vs Trump.  This did not extend to the third/fourth party candidates.

The Libertarians have some really odd policy proposals,  to my way of thinking,  claiming to be socially more liberal than the Democrats,  but economically more conservative than the Republicans.  They want to dismantle too many institutions that we actually need.  

The Greens are led by an anti-vacciner,  in spite of all the science discrediting her notions.  That’s entirely too crackpot to believe.  

So,  it’s just the Democrats vs the Republicans. 

What I did was phrase a bunch of items,  all as negative statements.  A ”yes” means the negative applies to the candidate,  color-coded coded red.  Otherwise,  it does not apply,  color-coded blue.  I did not rank how severely a negative applies,  only that it applies at all.  The only thing I did with the data was to re-order the items,  so that the color coding is much clearer.  The rationale for assigning "yes" vs "no" is given further below,  for those who love details.  Here is the trade study matrix data:

Results and Recommendations

Quite frankly,  there are two conclusions to draw from this pattern of data:  (1) both candidates are “evil” (severely flawed) as indicated by majority red,  and (2),  Trump is the greater evil,  having no blue at all.  I will be voting for the lesser evil (Clinton),  and encourage all of you to do the same.  My best estimate is that Trump,  the greater evil,  would cause chaos-at-the-very-minimum,  if elected. 

Estimates of the Political Landscape

My best guess is that we are seeing the destruction of the Republican party as we have known it.  It hasn’t been the “party of Lincoln” since the coalition of religious and political extremists gained control of it back in Reagan’s time.  This got worse a few years ago with the national Tea Party extremists,  who do not govern,  only obstruct.  And now there is Trump,  whose supporters overwhelmed all the rest in the primary just concluded. 

We actually do need a “party of Lincoln”.  I can do without the rest.

All the time this was happening,  the Democrats morphed into a very centrist party,  with few of the “flaming liberals” that they used to have in spades.  Not all these flaming liberals were bad:  I rather thought well of Hubert Humphrey,  for one.  This year,  there is a leftward lurch to some small extent,  brought about by Bernie Sanders and his supporters. Actually,  that’s a good thing,  we do not need two conservative parties.  Sameness begets no new ideas in debate.

If it were not so pathetic,  this next would actually be funny:  the Trump and Sanders supporters are largely working class / middle class folks left behind by both parties for about 60 years now.  They do not share politics,  but they share a common problem with a common solution:  end the giant corporate welfare state that has replaced our republic.  There’s enough of them together to vote in the changes needed,  but they will not get together,  because of the irrelevant party politics.  Sad.

Both parties have favored the rich giants with tax breaks and government contract money,  to the extent that these left-behind folks are worse off now than they have ever been in history.  And it’s getting even worse:  the rest of the middle class is now also facing destruction.  That’ll be the end of our country,  because that’s where most of the tax money comes from. 

The giants know this,  but persist in taking all the loot anyway,  because greed overwhelms all common sense.  And that is why we are headed to hell in a handbasket.  So many agree with me,  but cannot say why,  really. 

But  I just told you exactly why.  

Explanation of Items (the promised details)

Chronic Liar

According to the fact checkers I can find on-line,  at least about 70% of what DJT says at any given time is untrue.  Some claim near 100%.  Around 30% of what HRC says is untrue,  same sources.  My trade study does not rank more vs less lies,  only that there are lies. 

Demonstrated Cheat

The DNC has been found out to have favored Clinton over Sanders.  I infer that HRC knew this was going on,  and said nothing,  which qualifies as cheating.  DJT used bankruptcies 6 times to “take the money and run”,  stiffing his investors,  his vendors,  and his contractors.  While legal,  most Americans would consider that cheating (abuse of the bankruptcy process for personal gain).  Severity and number of incidents do not factor into my trade study,  only that cheating occurred. 

Slow to Recognize Bad Decisions

Clinton:  support for a trumped-up Iraq invasion,  still not recognized as incorrect;  and telling lies / obstructing the investigation about the Benghazi embassy disaster.  Trump:  chronic use of bankruptcy laws to enrich himself not recognized as morally repugnant for an elected officeholder,  chronic lying not recognized as wrong in any venue, mishandled campaign not recognized as a whole series of bad decisions,  which are destroying the Republican party.

Connected to Rich Elites

Clinton:  politically connected closely to the giant corporations as election funding sources,  same ones who have taken over our government;  she is intimately connected to the immensely powerful Clinton Foundation business enterprise.  Trump:  connected to the rich business community by being part of it.  This is a bad thing because those elites have taken over our government.  Being connected implies the status quo (giant corporate welfare state) will be supported. 

Connected to Overseas Rich

Clinton:  Clinton Foundation receives large amounts of money from foreign contributors.  Trump:  has connections to Russian elites who have invested heavily in him,  who are a Russian version of organized crime.  These issues inherently affect foreign policy. 

Hides Information

Clinton:  long history – Whitewater,  Vince Foster,  Benghazi,  and the unsecured classified emails are the most infamous.  Trump:  will not release tax returns like all other politicians (presumably because they would show he pays no taxes,  and also that he is financially connected to the Russians).  These issues inherently affect foreign and domestic policy,  and undermine credibility.  The relative egregiousness did not figure in to the evaluation,  only that any information was improperly hidden at all. 

Hurts Others

Clinton:  Whitewater was a real estate scam that bilked oldsters out of their savings,  Vince Foster died,  inattention to embassy security got 4 killed in Benghazi,  and she voted for the trumped-up Iraq war that got hundreds of thousands killed for no useful purpose.  Trump:  6 documented bankruptcies that enriched him at the expense of his creditors,  completely stiffed many vendors and contractors,  and sold worthless degrees for lots of money via Trump University.  The relative egregiousness did not figure in,  only that other people got hurt at all. 

Supports Bad Policy Ideas

Clinton:  supports unworkable ideas for more gun control at a time when the public needs to be better armed to retake their country from the giant corporations,  free/cheap college ideas not well thought-out and probably have side effects worse than what is to be “fixed”.  Trump (to the extent that he has any policy ideas at all):  completely unworkable ideas for border control (wall to be paid for by Mexico,  when cheap ladders and shovels easily defeat a very expensive wall),  and immigration security (denying all Muslim immigrants entry is both illegal and immoral). 

Purveyor of Division and Hate

Trump says all Hispanic immigrants are rapists and criminals,  says all Muslim immigrants are terrorists.  Has chronically made atrocious and denigrating remarks about political rivals.  Encourages supporters to get violent with opposition at his rallies,  sometimes directly.  Clinton at least talks inclusive.

Unaware of/Disregards Constitution/Law

Trump wants to temporarily (?) ban Muslim and Mexican immigration in violation of the equal protection guarantees of the Constitution.  He wants to do this with or without Congress,  in violation of the separation of powers in the Constitution.  He wants to abrogate the NATO treaty collective protection if the nation involved hasn’t paid enough.  Clinton has said nothing like those things. 

Ignorant of Foreign Affairs

Trump chronically says egregiously incorrect things,  such as:  Russia isn’t in Ukraine,  Crimea wants to be in Russia,  and many more.  Clinton lied by omission,  not about the facts,  with regard to Benghazi. 

Manipulatable:  Cannot Control Self

Trump is a verbal counterpuncher,  and quite evidently cannot not respond.  If Putin crosses him (and he will,  because that’s his nature),  Trump will respond,  and if commander-in-chief,  could order a nuclear attack.  Putin will manipulate him by this mechanism to bog us down in more foreign wars that we don’t need to fight.  Clinton may be a shyster lawyer and a bitch,  but she isn’t manipulatable in that way by our enemies.