Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Post 9: Two Choices?

Two Choices?
As Americans, we can choose to be screwed by a red, white and blue elephant. Or we can choose to be screwed by a red, white and blue donkey.
Roughly half of Americans prefer the donkey - because they feel that the elephant just screws them too hard. Whereas roughly the other half of Americans actually prefer the elephant - because, well, the donkey is a little squirrelly, if you know what I mean.
But, one way or another, we’re all getting screwed.
We are stuck within a strange, twisted game of Good Cop/ Bad Cop. Where roughly half of Americans actually believe the Democrats are the Good Cops. And the other half of Americans actually believe the Republicans are the Good Cops.
Hmmm.
Despite all of the hullabaloo around this dangerous game of Good Cop/ Bad Cop Screwing, certain trends always continue. Certain realities never get mentioned. Certain questions never get asked.
I’m done with this game.

We know our political system is like a drinking water system contaminated with shit. And we know it’s going to take a lot to clean it up. Voting for politicians is, at best, an attempt to clean some pipes here and there. But all our efforts to clean some pipes are in vain if, each and every day, more shit gets dumped into our drinking water system as a whole. 
What is the water that flows through this system? Wealth, power, and human interests. This is the flow of politics.
What is the shit we dump into our drinking water day after day? Our confusion of debt for wealth.  We all spend money every day. This is without a doubt the most political thing we do – it is dramatically more impactful than voting.
When we spend money, we assume that our money is a symbol for wealth. When in actuality, our money is not a symbol for wealth. It is a symbol for debt. Every dollar is a symbol of a debt – payable with interest – to a private bank. Literally.
What is wealth? Wealth is not a thing. Instead, I assert that wealth is an integrated ecology of:  happiness, healthy communities and ecosystems, fertile soil, clean air and water, wild and domestic diversity, knowledge of one’s place and of one's past, healthy integration of generations so a culture can remember itself, exquisite adaptations to natural and cultural landscapes, the energy and skills required to take care of ourselves without poisoning or exploiting other people and places, and the time and space necessary to adequately gawk at the mystery of existence.
What is debt? Please, check out  http://www.usdebtclock.org/index.html
Note that Donald Trump was correct in saying that under Obama, the US almost added as much National Debt (Federal Government) as all previous presidents combined. What he didn’t say was that the same was true under Bush II. In fact, just before Reagan, the National Debt was under $1 Trillion. It is now over $20 Trillion.  
Folks, there are no Good Cops in this strange, twisted political game.

Why do I think this matters? Because the primary requirement for a debt-based economy is affordable concentrated energy. For example – “You want a loan for a machine that will replace lots of expensive workers? No problem. That debt will pay for itself over time - as long as there is affordable energy to make, run, and service that machine”. Well, we stumbled upon huge amounts of affordable concentrated energy over a century ago. We call them fossil fuels.
Well, we’ve now picked the lowest hanging fruit of the fossil fuels, and we are increasingly left with harder to get to, and harder to drill for, fuels. Oil and Natural Gas may be mostly affordable to U.S. consumers right now, but it is continually less affordable at present prices to those producers trying to get loans for Arctic or deep sea or fracked energy exploration.
As the exploration budgets of big energy producers slowly disappear, we head into a future of energy price volatility, where the price will fluctuate between being unaffordable to consumers and then again being unaffordable to producers. One day, it will be unaffordable to both consumers and producers.
But likely, long before that day, the debt-based economy will have imploded by simply being unable to service its debts without the steady input of affordable energy.
Our debts are going through the roof while the true wealth of the world is increasingly disappearing. Wow, who would have guessed? When every dollar we use is a symbol for an actual debt - payable with interest - to a private bank? Go figure.
Let’s use money as a symbol for wealth, and stop using it as a symbol for debt. Let’s stop shitting in our drinking water.
I do know this won’t fix all of our problems. Parts of our political plumbing will remain contaminated for quite some time, and other parts will surely be contaminated by other sources over time. But why continue to knowingly shit in our drinking water each and every day?
What do we want? Money as a representation of debt? Or money as a representation of wealth?
In the meantime, you can vote for whoever you want. I do really mean that.
I, for one, am going to vote for the one political party that has as part of its platform:
 "Democratize monetary policy to bring about public control of the money supply and credit creation. This means nationalizing the private bank-dominated Federal Reserve Banks and placing them under a Federal Monetary Authority within the Treasury Department. Prohibit private banks from creating money, thus restoring government's Constitutional authority."  

That’s from the Green Party Platform.                 http://www.jill2016.com/platform 
So, personally, I’m voting for the first woman president of the United States – Jill Stein.

Are you new to the issue of debt-based currency? I recommend Bill Still’s great documentary The Secret of Oz as a good place to start:        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sboh-_w43W8



Deplorables
I likened both Trump and Clinton as Bad Cops out to screw us. And I then only brought up one political issue – monetary policy – that usually doesn’t even see the light of day. So I fully expect a backlash from folks along the lines of “how in the world could you not vote for so-and-so? Can’t you see how deplorable the other so-and-so is?”, which would, of course, have missed the entire point of my last post. But I’m expecting it nonetheless.
So I might as well go ahead and begin to explain why I think Clinton is deplorable as well.
Why only Clinton? I am going to assume that if you made it this far in this writing, you probably already understand what makes Trump deplorable. If I’m wrong on that account, I’d be fascinated to know what makes you tick politically. Really. But I’m assuming that most readers are already on that page, so let me flip that page over.
For now, I’ll focus on Clinton’s foreign policy, which is virtually indistinguishable from Bush II’s. There are more refugees in the world today than at anytime since WWII. And no small part of that fact is because we keep reducing to rubble large sections of what were otherwise relatively modern and relatively wealthy countries – Iraq, Syria, and Libya – in the name of regime change.
I didn’t appreciate it when we were fed a pack of lies by Bush II about how brutal a dictator Saddam Hussein was and about his theoretical weapons of mass destruction, and that this was why we had to invade Iraq. Sure, Hussein was a bastard. Nobody disputes that. But does anybody doubt that invading a relatively modern country that had incredible amounts of just-below-the-surface ethnic, tribal and religious tensions was a complete disaster?
The answer to that question is that yes, there are those that actually think the invasion of Iraq was a great idea. You should know that they are very strong supporters of Clinton -     https://theintercept.com/2016/07/25/robert-kagan-and-other-neocons-back-hillary-clinton/
I surely thought most Democrats thought these kinds of policies were disastrous in 2008. But I guess that was then and this is now. It somehow was wrong for the Republicans to enact regime change, turn cities to rubble, unleash civil wars and destroy other people’s lives, but it is just fine for Democrats to do it. (Think Syria, Libya, and Ukraine here.)
As far as Syria and Libya go - sure, Assad and Gaddafi are/were bastards. Once again, nobody disputes that. But also, once again, we’re talking about relatively modern countries with incredible amounts of just-below-the-surface ethnic, tribal, and religious tensions. You can’t just depose a strong leader and pretend everything is going to go all right.
Mind you, these are policies in which Clinton finds no remorse, but, on the contrary, brags about. “We came, we saw, he died” is her line about Gaddafi in Libya.

And then there is Syria, which of course brings us to their primary ally, Russia, with whom Clinton seems excited to start a war, ignoring that Russia is a nuclear and military powerhouse. Democrats used to ridicule Bush II for not having an “exit strategy” in our invasion of Iraq. But who in the hell is asking what the “exit strategy” is for a potential real (not cold) war with Russia? Have we gone crazy? Maybe somebody should exhume both Napoleon and Hitler and ask those otherwise highly effective conquerors how that might turn out.
We backed a coup in the Ukraine against an elected government, and installed a NATO friendly government, and began involving NATO forces there. Once again, are we crazy? Napoleon’s and Hitler’s armies marched through the Ukraine on their way into Russia. Of course Russia is not going to put up with that.
All right, let’s step back a second. So you say that Putin too is a bastard, and look, he took over Crimea. Yes, that’s all true, but consider this – Crimea is a majority Russian ethnic land, that voted by overwhelming majority to return to Russian governance. Crimea was “given away” by former Soviet leader Kruschev to the Ukraine decades ago. This would be as meaningful as a US president “giving away” Washington D.C. to Maryland. Heck, the Ukraine was a Republic within the United Soviet Socialist Republics at that time. Kruschev never envisioned the USSR collapsing and Russia losing its influence over Crimea.
Look at the whole Ukraine thing this way:  imagine that the Russian Intelligence service was behind a coup of an elected government in Canada. Russia then installed a Russia-friendly regime in Canada, and began making military pacts with the new regime and sending in “military advisors”, and amassing tanks along our northern border.  How would you feel about that?
Think what you want. But at the absolute very least, ask yourself, why are these questions not being asked more within our government and mainstream media? Why is it that it’s mostly the fringe (both right and left) online media that usually bring up these very valid questions and concerns?
But before you rush to answer that, please go back eight years in time, two presidential election cycles, and ask yourself the exact same question – why was there not more questioning about our invasion of Iraq? Why did our entire mainstream media take at face value all of the lies about Hussein and his WMD?
OK. Now come back to present time, and answer those same questions about Russia, Ukraine, Syria, and Libya.
Our government and our mainstream media often act as if they are in collusion, that they have a set agenda, and that they will push their agenda regardless of any issues of morality or sanity, regardless of what people think, and most certainly, regardless of who people vote for.
There are so many reasons I find Hillary deplorable. A foreign policy that justifies and brags about destructive regime change and that flirts with world war is just my first reason.