Monday, January 30, 2017

The veil of hypocrisy is best seen when one looks in the mirror.  It is opaque and empty until we accidentally see it while we are putting on our makeup, or a tie to adorn our image. Our hypocrisy is so consistent, especially here in America that it should be used like a scientific constant similar to Planck’s or Avogadro’s number.

It seems as that President Trump’s recent announcement of a temporary ban on immigration from several specific countries got a lot of folk upset, 99 percent of them who presented no real outrage to the policy or even the ban, but rather the man who implemented it.  They are out in mass protesting at airports on behalf of these individuals as if their life depended on it.  Now I too disagree with Trump’s implementation but not the policy. But unlike most, I am rational and have been consistent, in my views from president to president, but I will never evince the fake and cosmetically contrived outrage band wagon revolutionaries show whenever they get their feelings hurt or do not get their way.

It is comedy at its best and more life-like than anything Hermippus or Eupolis could have ever written.  And I say this honestly, because although I have been pained by the refugee crisis for more than six years now, I was more upset at the Obama administration for its continuous bombing and destruction of these humans homes and murdering their families, for creating this outcome from Libya to the South Sudan and equally the lack of concern partisan progressive neoliberals, allowed him to carry out his inhuman slaughter without protest.

You see, when Obama was droning weddings in Afghanistan, or providing Saudi Air force with targeting direction to drop US supplied cluster bombs and White Phosphorus on schools, hospitals and Yemeni markets using US F-15s, few of the many at the airports across American cities currently said a single world.  Since it was Obama, it was “all good.” Even still, there was nothing said when in 2011, then President Barack Obama and the Clinton state department stopped processing Iraq refugee requests for six months imposing a similar ban as Trump’s. I say similar because if you take the time to read the EO (as I have) it is nothing like these idiot pundit talking heads describes it as being.  Instead, they play the herd-like public, so distraught with emotional indignity and desecration so eager to accept what they see from TV without question.  A more accurate representation of the EO is that it specifically focuses in on Syrians (Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen are not even declared, stated, cited or listed in the EO specifically). If they were, we can thank the past administration for this policy shift for these visa restrictions for these seven nations exactly, which was put in place by the Obama administration in 2015 for cats who had been in said nations after 2011 (ironically it was in March 2011 when a multi-state NATO-led coalition began a military intervention in Libya and at the same time the Obama administration instigated the civil war in Syria).

In all accuracy, if one read it, the only mention of the other nations are as follows: “For the next 90 days, nearly all travelers, except U.S. citizens,traveling on passports from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen will be temporarily suspended from entry to the United States.“  It also goes on to state: “I hereby proclaim that the entry of nationals of Syria as refugees is detrimental to the interests of the United States and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I have determined that sufficient changes have been made to the USRAP to ensure that admission of Syrian refugees is consistent with the national interest.”

If you read the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington post (and I can only imagine mainstream TV/cable  news), all I am seeing is messaging pushing the narrative that seven mostly Muslim nations are targeted from entering the US over the ninety day period.  But this isn’t true.  Don’t believe me, again read the EO yourself.

So when Democrats like Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth “full-blooded Indian” Warren, or media pundits whom proclaim to be objective journalist yet clearly do not know how to read or either comprehend processes that allow for the extraction of semantic meaning from words, express their OFFENDEDNESS at President Trump's action, I have to question their sincerity, as I do with all these protestors.

I question if they care so much, then where have they been and why have they been silent.  As I noted earlier, they didn’t mind when Obama did it for a period of 120 days, nor complained when upon leaving office ending a privilege bestowed among Cuban migrants and immigrants of being allowed to enter the U.S. without a visa—and to remain with benefits. They were uncommunicative and closed-mouth even prior to this for when Obama  approved policy designed to destabilize governments (neoliberal interventionism’s), allow for the bombing countries (undeclared wars of aggression),  and arming  jihadist extremists , no one complained then even when we saw the massive outflow of people from Niger, Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria among others. If you never complained about the Obama administration accelerated/enhanced drone policy, you are really in no moral or ethical position to complain about Trump's refugee policy. Look in that mirror and ask yourself, what's worse: Trump not allowing refugees to enter the US or Obama droning and bombing  these peoples’ into oblivion and creating an environment for fundamentalist cats that cut off heads, enslave women and girls, and burn people alive in an effort to control their communities? But no now we have a responsibility to refugees.

It is nothing wrong with caring and having compassion for others, but when it is phony and falls along partisan lines it borders on fascism.  Such hypocrisy has no moral footing to stand unless you are willing to take these migrants in your home or have refugee camps built across from where you live, but I doubt you have that much care and sincere interest to go that far. I mean we have homeless people right here in America who many of the anti-Trump EO protestors drive past, don’t help and even lock their doors and roll up their windows when they approach their car. Take San Francisco for example.  Liberal democrats all over the city protesting for affordable houses but when plans were made to put that housing in their liberal democratic neighborhood they fought and still are fighting against it. I guess it is okay to protest for affordable housing for the poor and homeless as long as it isn’t put next door to me

Clearly these protesters like to say it is an all-out Muslim ban when fact dictates these nations only account for 12 percent of all Muslims in the world – nations that have had similar bans against Israel but proffered no protest.  But this is cool, but some aspects are not.  For example, Starbucks announced it plans to hire 10,000 refuges but when it comes to former inmates or young black youth in America, they are content with them remaining unemployed. But like I said before, where was this activism when Obama & Hillary were creating refugees by dropping bombs on the homes they once owned in the places in which they hail from? And don’t forget about the celebrity Hollywood cats that politicize the #Muslimban yet never mentioning that in the majority of their movies they portray Muslims as terrorist (which can be interpreted as progressives protesting under the claim that they are tolerant, but they are not).  Tolerance for them only means accepting views comparable to theirs for reason and compassion is thrown out the window when you disagree with them. One can only speak your mind if you tow the same ideological line.

Something must change, it is as if you don’t agree with someone, instead of listening and using reason and pragmatism, folks would rather just yell, call names and argue.  This isn’t productive. I will not point fingers but there is enough hypocrisy to go around feed the world indefinitely.  Strange there's so much outrage over Trump's refugee ban compared to Obama's disastrous regime-change policies in Libya, Syria and Yemen. I know what trump did was idiotic, stupid and in American but for you fake outrage and not put in work in your back yard is equally stupid. This is what I meant by such being comical for the hilarity of the herd mentality cannot be ignored.  And this is sad because as one writer pointed out describing all of the anti-Trump protest: “…marchers aren’t waiting for the policy fog to lift. Their anger is directed at people, not policies. [These] protests [are] intended,above all, to express the protesters’ moral superiority to the president and those who voted for him…. Why complain now, when no decision has been made? It delegitimizes the future protests and exposes the bias of the opposition. . . .An opposition focused on personality.”

I just ask, is this you? Are you as loud when Israel already has a wall?

Thursday, January 26, 2017

I would love to be a fly on the wall at Davos. I can only imagine the panic filled discussions being had over not just Brexit, but also the defeat of Hillary Clinton.  All of their plutocratic wealth accumulation schemes at the expense of the common person, and neoliberal plans of incessant domination as of now, look for them to be a giant ice cream cone that is melting before their eyes and in their hands due to the heat of populism. Even when they leave their luxurious surroundings in the snow-peaked Swiss Alps at the annual World Economic Forum, they will continue to have nightmares and dreams of what could have been because of what is up next at the plate.

Within the next 8 weeks the Dutch general election will happen on March 15. As it stands, the current front runner and favorite is the leader and founder of the Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV) Geert Wilders. The PVV has been described as being far-right and anti-Islam with Wilder himself recently being tried (for hate speech) in court, accused of inciting hatred against Moroccans. His crime was asking a crowed at a rally in 2014 if they wanted “fewer or more Moroccans in your city and in the Netherlands”. After the throng began to shout “fewer, fewer,” he responded: “We’re going to organize that.” Although the resulting verdict found Wilders guilty of inciting discrimination, his views and support has only grown. Like Trump, he is seen as an anti-establishment firebrand who speaks the language of the people and tells it like it is.

Pundits have projected that the PVV could win as many as 35 seats this year which would make it the majority power in the 150-seat Dutch parliament. Present policy positions presented by the PVV include but are not limited to closing down all Islamic schools and mosques, shutting down the borders, a complete ban on migrants from Islamic nation states, banning the Koran and calling for a referendum on Dutch EU membership in a hope to pull the Netherlands out of the 28-nation institute, should he become prime minister. Thus it is not improbable that the Christian Wilders, with his promise to start a complete "de-Islamification" of the Netherlands, could become the country's next Prime Minister.

After the Dutch elections, in April and May the first and second rounds of the French presidential elections will take place, and like the Netherlands, the far-right has a strong chance of winning. As it stands, Marine Le Pen of the National Front is just a few points ahead of her conservative rival and former front-runner François Fillon of Les Républicains party based on recent surveys conducted by Ipsos Sopra Steria for Sciences Po University Research Centre (Cevipof) and Le Monde. In the past French voters have supported the National Front to the runoff stage of elections; however this was when the current candidate’s father was running. This time it will be after both the election of Donald Trump and the Brexit vote. Like Obama, the French reflect a similar level of disappointment for both François Hollande and his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy. Trump’s anti-NAFTA rhetoric is similar to the position of Le Pen regarding the European Union trying to establish a free-trade zone across Europe and North America that would be called the Transatlantic Free Trade Area (TAFTA).

Like Trump and Wilders, Le Pen boasts a similar form of political nationalism. She has been extremely critical of the migration policy of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and has ceaselessly indicated her desire, being labeled a Eurosceptic, to take France out of the EU and/or euro seeing she has pledged to hold a referendum on France’s membership in the organization. In addition she holds views some have described as being anti-Islam. For example, she believes that the children of illegal immigrants should not have access to French public schools. In concert with president Trump, she is for working closer with Russian President Putin and sees the utility of NATO as being questionable. In one recent interview with the BBC she was quoted as stating, “NATO continues to exist even though the danger for which it was created no longer exists.”

Whatever the result, a Le Pen win is set to usher in a new age of right-wing politics for France after decades of centrism. With the UK removed, along with Germany there remains only France to hold the top positions of power in the EU as nation states. And for this to continue, Le Pen and her far-right party would have to fall in defeat to her center-right opponent. If not a Le Pen victory could mean the end of Europe as we know it.

If France’s Marine Le Pen and the Netherlands’ Geert Wilders were to become president and Prime Minister of their respective nations, the impact of their victories would likely be felt far beyond Europe, especially with elections on the horizon in Germany. Not only could it result in a domino-effect of Brexit-style referendums in other member nations, it may entrench the observation that globally in the west, the mistrust of established corporate, media and political elites will continue to display itself in a tug of war between populist and establishment forces. Also, it will signal that more policies that are anti mass immigration, anti-austerity and anti-EU may not be too far behind.

Neoliberal detractors may say that politicians like Trump, Le Pen and Wilders are exploiting a populist agenda by capitalizing on irrational beliefs and views. Unfortunately the reality is that people are sick and tired of not having their political, or any interest represented by the contemporary status quo and feel they are not being represented by, or benefiting from current dysfunctional,neoliberal or neoconservative mainstream policies.  They have seen what has happened in Greece and the impact that mass immigration and migration policies can have on a nation’s security and serenity.  They are seeing increasing levels of terrorism once where they had not and are experiencing little and little less in their wallets and purses to even meet their basic needs. Even more sad and offensive is that mainstream politicians and most journalist not only are not trying to understand these phenomena but rather ignoring them as if a passing fad.

So if the Netherlands and France are next to follow Trump and Brexit, it could significantly damage the dream of a single unified shared economy for the Eurozone and significantly weaken the European Union as a world power and more importantly, signal that populist movements will continue to cultivate in Europe and the progressive left and other traditional supporters of neoliberalism will remain behind the curve or on the outside looking in.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

While many of us on this side of the pond have either been crying and complaining, or celebrating and enthusiastic due to the election of Donald Trump, there's one thing we can all count on – the lack of mainstream media coverage on what is happening in Libya, Yemen and Iraq. I would add Syria, but the mere mention of Aleppo given the incessant repetition it is written and orally stated daily, may make me want to throw-up. 

It seems that the Iraqi security forces, elements of the Iranian Republican Guard, Shia militias and Kurdish Peshmerga, after more than three months, have ISIS jihadist on the ropes and are finally entering Eastern Mosul, closing in on ISIL/ISIS last positions. To be succinct, the battle has been more of an effort and struggle than the Obama Administration said it would be since the Mosul offensive began October 17. At one point the United Nations had reported that more than 2,000 Iraqi troops had been killed by November (a figure disputed by the Iraqi government and Iraq Joint Operation Command). According to the UN, this includes the army, police, Kurdish Peshmerga, interior ministry forces and pro-government paramilitaries.

At that time, it was reported that Iraqi troops had been the target of 630 suicide car bomb attacks in the first 45 days of the operation alone. The last report of US troop deaths was in November with 16 killed and 27 wounded. Although during that period the US Department of Defense only admitted to there being just a single casualty. Needless to say, both have ended reporting on military causalities as a result of the Mosul offensive.

It is hard to fathom that the Obama administration or the Pentagon did not conceive that recapturing Mosul would not be an easy task in particular given waiting more than two years of ISIL rule to do so and offering advanced notice of the operation. With the unexpected difficulty of uprooting ISIL/ISIS/Daesh fighters, and the more than anticipated length of time it has consumed thus far to do such, another problem has arisen that was not projected – a riff developing between Iraq and Turkey.

The Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi is firmly and openly demanding that Turkish forces leave Bashiqa camp near Mosul. Turkey on the other hand has stated that they will not withdraw its troops from its Bashiqa military camp in northern Iraq until the Mosul offensive against ISIL/ISIS/Daesh is complete. To make their intentions even more clear, Turkey's defense minister Fikri Isik, in November said that their military participation was part of its groundwork for other and more "important developments in the region." This is a moot point for the Iraqi PM who indicated that any efforts of diplomacy with Turkey could "not move forward one step" unless all Turkish forces in northern Iraq withdrew.

I am not certain but it would not surprise me that if Turkey, after the attempted Coup and still in the process of culling members of the military andgovernment, was really interested in preventing the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) from establishing a solid link in the region in which they already have large population of Kurds in Turkey and Iraq. Erdogan May also be concerned that this might result in to a stronger diplomatic relationship with the PKK and Iraqi Shia Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF).  This is something he cannot allow.  

The Kurdistan Workers' Party is based in Turkey and Iraq. Since 1984 the PKK has waged an armed struggle against the Turkish state for equal rights and self-determination for the purpose of forming their own independent nation state. From this point of view, if I were Erdogan, this would be a tactic that could be employed to prevent the PKK elements from gaining a foot print in Tal Afar, an invalid fear according to according to the Iraqi’s since they have guaranteed that PMF fighters will not get involved in the Mosul and Tel Afar campaigns.

Tel Afar, is a city and district in the Nineveh Governorate of northwestern Iraq. The leadership in Baghdad has vowed to defeat all “foreign troops” in and around Sinjar, PKK and ISIL included. However, a senior representative of one of the many the Shia militias fighting ISIL in concert with the Iraqi government has warned that they are willing to use force against Turkish troops in Nineveh if the Turkish government refuses to withdraw from the area. Jawadal-Tleibawi, a high-ranking leader of the al-Hashd al-Shaabi militia said in press statements said that if diplomacy fail, his fighters are “capable of forcing out the Turkish occupiers” and called the actions of Ankara as “a flagrant intervention in Iraq’s domestic affairs”.

Baghdad has described Turkish military presence in Iraq as a violation of its sovereignty, yet both openly indicate they a committed to meeting in the future to discuss a yet to come withdrawal plan pertaining to Turkish troops in the country. Although Turkey has retained the importance of their troop deployment in the area, they equally prioritize both the importance of training local militias to combat Islamic State militants and reducing the influence of Kurdish PKK militia operating in Iraq. Moreover, Ankara is openly precarious of al-Hashd al-Shaabi’s involvement in Mosul battles, worrying that the predominantly-Shia forces could commit human rights violations against Sunni inhabitants (a concern that has been documented by Amnesty International and Human RightsWatch).

What has been made clear by Baghdad is that the Bashiqa camp is an Iraqi camp has to and will be run and controlled by Iraqi administrative authorities. However a recent visit by a visit to meet Turkish troops by Turkish Health Minister Recep Akdağ and Energy Minister Berat Albayrak to Bashiqa has stirred the pot even more and has troubled the Iraqi government. Iraq and Turkey have agreed that the Turkish military will withdraw from the Bashiqa camp when the Mosul offensive is complete, but until then, Baghdad wants the camp to immediately be turned over to Iraq control. Then there is Turkey’s ultimatum that Baghdad end any and all financial support to local groups in the Sinjar region which they state are affiliated with the PKK.

Whatever the case is, even if ISIL is defeated and removed from Mosul, there will remain a major issue to be settled between the leadership in Ankara and Baghdad.  Will it be settled peacefully with diplomacy or violently taking these two nations to the precipice of war is the query.

Monday, January 16, 2017

As the Obama Administration prepares to leave the Whitehouse, a major contradiction in his policy approach when comparing Russia with China exist. From hacking to perceived military threats it appears that there are two standards involved in President Barack Obama’s decision making.

Although with respect to China and the sparing pertaining to who will control the waterways of the South China Sea (a waterway through which trillions of dollars in oil, gas and other trade go through annually) or the massive Office of Personnel Management (OBM) hack, we as a nation have taken no actions similar in magnitude as we have with Russia based on opinions and beliefs regarding alleged hacking of private individuals and corporations when compared to China. Why?

Unlike with Russia and their moves around the Balkans and with the Ukraine, in which the U.S. has engaged in war games and recently amassed hundreds of military vehicles and thousands of troops, the Obama administration has softened the drama of the Navy missions through the South China Sea by insisting that the U.S. is just traveling through international waters.

Like China, Russia actively seeks to avoid a direct conflict with the United States.  However unlike Russia, China’s saber rattling is loud, very loud and Beijing is sending its messages, brash messages for the Obama administration in many forms, rather it be building up military installations in the Spratly Islands or the Scarborough Shoal in the South China sea, expanding their strategic footprint in the Asia-Pacific region, or their growing investment in expanding and modernizing their military. But what did the Obama Administration do? Nothing. At least when compared to the ephemeral threat that Russia fosters, they required war game maneuvers on the edge of its borders.

The U.S. sees the South China Sea as international waters. However from President Obama to National Security Advisor Susan Rice, given the importance the administration states, it merits no response at all. But it can only be expected for their response to the massive hacking into the OBM by China engendered a similar lack of response. When the Obama administration openly acknowledged that the Chinese frequently attempts to steal American trade secrets and considers such actions as acts “of aggression” no diplomats were expelled. This although we know that the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of the Interior have evidence that indicates several networks were compromised by hackers in the OPM's and Interior's networks by state sponsored Chinese actors. More than 20 million federal employees were exposed including military and intelligence personnel by simple "doxing” by allegedly a cyber-espionage group including but not limited to data on retirement plans, work schedule, finger prints and personal identifying data.  Sadly from networks with problems in security and weaknesses that were known of and had existed for the tenure of the Obama Administration. Especially given that these older systems (that are written in COBOL) couldn't be updated to support encryption. Even more comical is that the Chinese use simple Windows Power Shell attacks to insert remote access tools (RATs) on Windows desktops and servers .

But even with evidence, the current Administration did not expel Chinese diplomates nor retaliate on the record openly as was the case with Russia. It seems (as illogical as it is) that the administration of President Barack Obama is both hesitant and wary to do anything that might instigate an armed conflict with China. Although we know that  doxing (sending out private or identifiable information about an individual or organization via malware) is more severe than spear-phishing ( trying to get dumb fcks to volunteer by clicking on an unknowing malicious link to extract sensitive info like usernames, passwords, and/or credit card  particulars), the Obama Administration did zilch.

All we do with respect to Beijing is to allow them to operate in the South China Sea while we just talk shit. When the Navy or the Pacific Command say check them Chinese tricks Obama be like naw, don’t be tripping. Even when China scrambled fighter jets to track U.S. ships in the South China Sea Obama say it ain’t no biggie - and don’t mention or add them Chinese ICBM test.

Honestly, I feel a war with Beijing is more a likely outcome than one with Russia. But instead of making preemptive military moves against China, we send tanks and other equipment to Germany to move them deeper into Eastern Europe, including more than 3,000 US soldiers in Poland and additional troops in Norway. Obama states that his actions are in response to Russia's intervention in Ukraine and to comfort NATO allies. This is questionable given President Obama's decision to waive legal restrictions on US provision ofdefense articles to allies in Syria by sending MANPADS to Syrian opposition forces.  

Obama’s deployment of troops in Europe is the largest US military fortification we have seen likely since the Reagan Administration.  His position is that he needs to show a position of strength against Putin, as well as respond to unproved tampering in US elections.  The problem is that there was no hacking in U.S. elections, rather hacking if it happened at all, into the email account of a private citizen whom emailed his password which was “password” and a private corporation – the Democratic National Committee. More importantly, the argument seems to be giving the American people more information about Hilary Clinton, her campaign and the DNC, is a threat to our democracy when I would assert otherwise.  Is the administration suggesting that the American people didn’t need to know as much as possible about the Clinton machine and that we would be better served know less? I hope not, for that, in addition to Obama’s foreign policy inconsistency is a much greater threat, especially seeing that he is doing such on his way out of office.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

After the recent election, I started to wonder about how we actually got to where we are.  In this process I was reminded of two individuals in particular, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. These came to mind because there seems to be either a sentiment or Marxism or socialism arise in the U.S. that in my life time I have never experiences or noticed. I say both because I am not sure as to which one it is: social conflicts in relationships between different classes of people as an impetus for future egalitarian social transformation (Marxism), or questions regarding whether or not all means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the collective members of the U.S. as a whole (Socialism). This is not a holistic interpretation, but rather singularly relegated to political objectives of theAmerican progressive left.

Marx and Engels met in the 1840s if my history is correct, in industrial Germany.  Back then it was either called Prussia or Bavaria.  They connected due to their mutual appreciation for the philosophical writing of Hegel. For the laymen, Hegel, although known for many contributions to philosophy, one of his most interesting propositions he introduced was the Hegelian dialectic. The Hegelian dialectic was how in his view, all of human history unfolds; specifically that history progresses as a dialectical in the form of thesis, antithesis, synthesis.

Now I won’t go into dialectical materialism, but to put in basic terms, Marx and Engel used the Hegelian dialectic to describe their philosophical views of social systems in terms of the capitalist economy as a function of man’s progression to an eventual socialist/communist state. Their argument was that in the future, capitalism would become obsolete and end (be destroyed by the worker class). They detailed this concept in the Communist Manifesto. They believed that with the introduction of industry, and the business owners’ desire for more and more wealth accumulation (capital), the only outcome left would be that the worker would never benefit, would only grow greater in number and be more concentrated in mass in industrial areas of production. This would be the new and final stage of social existence and an end to the unequal relationships between different social classes (for the worker class would link together and eventually revolt against the owner class to address what they perceive as unfair with the manner in which our international economic system operates and correct the dysfunctional social order).

Honestly, don’t see too much Hegel in their economic philosophy.  After all, they seem to have one supposition and stuck with it whereas Hegel postulated that there are gradations of reality within various phenomena, meaning his original commentary endorsed that there can be degrees of truth in proposals. Hegel specifically indicated in POM that there exist both material and mental phenomena.

Although the Communist Manifesto seems to be an attempt to explain the goals of the theory behind Communism, by speculating that the exploitation of one class by another is the motivating force behind all historical developments, they fail to integrate aspects of the human condition, or of those intangible activities of the basal ganglia and prefrontal cortex of each human that make us the unique species we are. Marx and Engels assert that capitalism will be transformed in the direction of socialism, yet they ignore the human effects of cognition. They obviate differences in races and gender in their outcomes albeit biology dictates distinctions in cognitive function based on gender for example.  They fail to include that the collective unconscious (and for the record I despise Jung) of man may or may not forget their past, if it was historically filled with events of trauma based on race.  This is consistent with language also, for we define and see our world according to how we understand our environment via language.  These distinctions are important and may reflect what Hegel described as the “lacerated consciousness.”

I say this because one of the goals of Marxism is cultural – cultural Marxism being a form of social engineering that through political correctness (for lack of a better term), seeks to obviate capitalism and class structure because it is oppressive, by destroying traditional the concepts of family, morality, race, gender and sexual identity. This is achieved by cultivating a single victimized group solidified to fight the capitalist oppressors. For Marxists/socialist, this is mandatory to fulfill their societal goals.

If this is the objective, then Marx and Engels have failed.  The failure is because they never consider that all groups, albeit they adopt standards of political correctness and promote their status a victims openly as a collective, will eventually lean towards expressing their human condition in terms of their mental phenomenological experience more so than their collective material phenomenological experience. No clearer can this (to bring me back to my original reflection) be observed on this eve of the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States of America.  Plans are inthe works for thousands of journalists, academics, intellectuals, entertainers,and other leftist progressives to protest and make lucid their objection and rejection of the President Elect in the name of preventing America from becoming fascist.  If they succeed they will be happy but it will be the end of Marxist/socialist ideology in America, for they will fall back into their personal ascribed states of victimhood, rather based on gender identity, race, ethnicity or ethnic affiliation. And when this happens the conditions of man that Marx and Engels excluded from their theory – the nature of man, will bring them back to man’s primal class system, one of good versus evil.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The hissy fits of the Democratic Party over the election victory of Donald Trump continue. If one pays strict attention to their whining, it all seems to be a cloak for inherent and clandestine fears based on emotion more so than pragmatism and reason.  It reminds me of how one of my uncle friends described being in Vietnam when I was between 11 and 12 years old (1973-74). He told me about how what he would never forget outside of the sounds of war, were the marshy fields he and his company would be dropped off in, feet tall above the head of Elephant grass.  He said these fields were packed with booby traps but what scared him most was not being able to see around him.  The tall grass in addition to the grown-man high ant mounds, concealed the unexpected, seeing that the Elephant grass was tall enough to hide an entire military detail ready for ambush.

I suspect that this is how the democrats feel.  As if they were dropped off in a field of Elephant grass, not know what the future holds in store for them.  Could it be they expect to be invalidated by Trump and the GOP? Could it be that they fear Trump will make good on his campaign promises and lead to the destruction of the Democratic Party for years to come? Or could it be it will show the US citizenry how democratic policy has placed America in its current predicament?

All are possibilities.  Let’s face it, no matter how democrats and the media try to paint Obama’s eight years as a success, math shows the opposite. The math, as pure science reveals the truth that politically the democrats are powerless and stuck in a destitute defensive posture. Thus their primary weapon is crying and/or attacking the incoming administration through mere emotional displacement. Jamil Smith attacks Trump on his “intellectual laziness” suggesting that this “may be the most dangerous thing about him,” and that “Vladimir Putin wanted Donald Trump to be presidentof the United States, and the Russian government deliberately tried to help him win the election.” Jamile Bouie suggest that “Trump is defined by his shameless disregard, and even disdain, for the bonds that hold political life together.” Or in the case of some, they simply stick to praise of Putin as being evidence of incompetence and dishonesty.  All unfounded and groundless allegations pure in rhetoric singularly.

All of these are just emotional invective.  These writers will never back up their words with tangible accomplishments of President Obama to compare these statements of rhetorical grandiose to purport the accuracy of their assertions. Never will they objectively examine real life measure of American success and economic improvement like the Housing Affordability Index for example. The Housing Affordability Index measures whether or not a typical U.S. family makes enough money to just to qualify for a mortgage loan on a typical home let alone buy one. But this will never be included in their writings because data indicates that US housing affordability is at its lowest point since the fourth quarter of 2008. This most likely is a consequence of stagnate wage growth that cannot keep up with increasing home prices.  

They may cite job creation as an indicator of Obama’s success but will go no further than the Whitehouse press statement to examine the fine details of the data, for if they did, as a new study by economists from Harvard and Princeton note, nearly 95%of the 10 million new jobs created during the Obama era were part-time or temporary positions. I won’t even include that additional analysis of liberal media pundits will not note or question how many of these new jobs are being taken by people that already have a job or even two. In all accuracy, since Obama took office, there remains 1 million fewer workers, overall, working than before he took office (Another actor to consider when attempting to comprehend why US housing affordability is so low and wage growth so paralyzed).

In simple terms, although Obama did inherit an economic mess, his policies have led to deteriorating affordability in home ownership, a segment of the U.S. economy that traditionally has proffered parents with the best opportunity to safeguard a better future for their children. Instead, his Keynesian economic approach has added another obstacle for lower-income Americans regardless of race. I mean, the housing market bubble burst almost 10 years ago, yet sales and construction in this sector are well below their peaks in the early 2000s meaning the housing sector is stagnate along with wage growth.

Thus to abrogate the use of data, anything is not only open to vapid complaints by democrats but is also the fault of the man who has not even been sworn in as president yet.    This is the ultimate profile of the traumatized individual. This can be made even worse for progressive peace-loving democrats when we include Obama’s foreign policy record.

When Obama took office he vowed to end the war in Afghanistan.  This too has not happened and to use the same language pundits use to describe the statements of Trump, was a lie.  Not only has he increased military operations in Afghanistan, he has dropped more bombs, employed more drone killings than Bush, and has killed inordinate more innocent civilian in the country when compared to his predecessor. Then there is Libya and Yemen. The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winning PresidentAdministration has sold more weapons than any other American president since World War II, totaling plus $200 billion from 2008 to 2015. Sales to Saudi Arabia alone has swollen to $115 billion. Now he has sent US Special Forces to Lithuania to saber rattle on the Russian border.

Democrats and in particular Obama, really do see Donald Trump’s election victory as a personal repudiation of his pluralistic and globalist agenda and legacy. Add to this that democrats need to not only figure out how to have policy messages that include all instead of dividing the nation in to mutually exclusive voting blocs based on labels and message of race, gender and sexuality, they also have to figure out how to formulate new integrative domestic policies with how to communicates those policies with a single unified message for all (and this can’t be done by just speaking at colleges, universities, unions and big cities).

The democrats understand that what they have to stand on are Obama’s past eight years and the political agenda of the democratic elite.  While murder rates in traditionally democratic cities like Chicago, Memphis, Baltimore and DC are out of the atmosphere, they are doubling down. By some estimates, the Obama Administration and sanctuary cities and their mayor including in NYC, San Francisco and Chicago spend around $113 billion on illegal aliens annually but they ignore that there are U.S. citizens that can use these funds including but not limited to homeless veterans, our inner cities, our youth and/or rural areas, all being poor black and white folk alike.

Yes the Democrats have their own battle of Ia Drang Valley and they cannot see for the Elephant grass and are taking fire from all sides yet responding by shooting in all directions and at anything that moves from a Simon & Schuster book deal for Milo Yiannopoulos, to theHBCU band from Talladega College performing at the inauguration to GM CEO Mary Barra being appointed to Trump’s business Advisory council (yet don't mention how Obama pimped US tax payers for GM), to Putin, WikiLeaks and so-called ‘fake news’. They have been dropped off in the middle of their own Landing Zone (LZ) X-ray and do not know what to do. They never look at themselves to determine if their battle plan was defective yet instead blame everything else. But now they have run out of replacement parts for the Iroquois “Huey” helicopters that carried them into battle and are running out of ammunition and have few if any reinforcements arriving for some time. The Battle of the Ia Drang Valley was one of the most noteworthy battles of the Vietnam war, likewise, the battle the Democrats have on their hands after the 2016 presidential election loss, will be just as significant.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Just one day after President Barack Obama moved to expel thirty-five Russian expatriates, Russian President Vladimir Putin took the high road and turned the other cheek – an action that the Obama Administration surely did not anticipate and likely considered equally embarrassing.  I suspect as others have also noted, that this was an attempt on Obama’s behalf to close down the warming of relations with Russia that the incoming President Elect has signaled he was willing to attempt.  Yes, this was indeed the ultimate F### you to the outgoing President. I am sure they will try to spin this in a positive.  Maybe they will say Putin was wrong so he had no reason to capitulate in response, that there is no way he can retaliate (both of which are false) or make up new evidence of Russian hacking the U.S. to gather more anti-Russian sentiment.

Anyone with common sense can conclude that this isn’t about Russia or even the election, but rather Obama and the failed policy purported by the Democratic left in America. As a lame duck, President Obama has placed the interest of the failing Democratic Party over the national security interest of the American people.  His aversion for Donald Trump has led him to project and use the historical trained fear produced in the American people for decades to hate Russia – like the name of one of my favorite musical groups, a Cheap Trick. In a few months the Democratic Party and mainstream East coast media has turned liberal progressives into neocon war hawks.

Hilarity right? This re-invigorated blame-Russia ruse seemed to start a few years ago when Putin got hip to Obama’s game after the February 2014 coup to overthrow the democratically elected President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych. For some reason or another, the cat folk though was smart as sh## (Obama) didn’t seem to recall that this was not the Yeltsin era, or that since then, Putin has managed to beat Obama to the punch in all of his foreign policy efforts like a chess grand master playing a beginner.

It was a foreign policy coup.  Especially when you add to the calculus the just negotiated Turkey-Russia cease-fire agreement in Syria which can be stated is a consequence of Putin’s leadership and involvement in the nation over the past year (an act that has successfully neutered American neo-liberal policy goals in their call for Assad to leave office). This is amazing seeing all of this has occurred after Erdogan’s government shot down a Russian jet and years after Obama telling Medvedev on an open mic in 2012 that he would work more openly with Russia as a partner rather than a nemesis. Add to this Russia’s improved relationship with Turkey, questions now come to the forefront regarding NATO’s second largest Army coming under a significant level of influence under Putin and concerns about deteriorating relations between Turkey and the U.S. One could go further and even include this past December when Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, while in Bahrain stating that the U.S. had reached an agreement for Qatar to purchase a 5,000-kilometer early-warning radar to enhance its missile defenses (you can see a lot of Russia with this).

It is strange that Obama is doing all of this as he prepares to leave the Whitehouse. The Obama administration on the surface seems to be trying to provoke a direct confrontation with Putin while at the same time create a new cold-war foreign policy crisis for President-elect Donald Trump to deal with the minute he assumes the office of presidency. Among other things, he has also stepped up arming and funding jihadist in Syria and has ratchetted up tensions with Putin not only in Syria, but also on his boarders by installing anti-ballistic missiles in Romania, Poland, and other nations (supposedly to protect Europe against Iranian missiles). Now to top it off, he has contrived fake Russian hacking. One sad consequence is that the Obama Administrations failure to find any solution to what is happening in Syria, diplomatic or otherwise, and how to defeat the Islamic State has resulted in historic U.S. allies in the region scratching their heads in confusion. Namely what is the position of the U.S.? What leverage if any do they have in the region and will they protect their interests in the region and how?

Even with these actions, the report the administration released detailing how the alleged hack occurred was not detailed at all. There was no mention of the fact that John Podesta was his own worse cyber enemy. It doesn’t really fall into the category of hacking when you email your passwords around, lose a cell phone or respond to a password phishing email even a 6th graders known not to open. From what I read, most of the “detailed” report produced by the FBI/DHS talked about how cats can protect themselves from malware but little if anything about proving that the Russians were the source of the DNC or Podesta email leaks. Really it was replete of circumstantial evidence and oblique hints (innuendo).

Although the President promised to consult and work with Congress on this issue, he has not nor did he present them with a detailed report PROVIDING PROOF that the Russians did it or that the motive was to elect Donald Trump. It is easy to say that a car jacker stole your car for money, but to say why he needed the money and what the money would have been used for is another matter. Thus to state unequivocally that this Russian cyber hacking attempt was aimed at the U.S. presidential election to elect Trump by talking about hacking infrastructure in an effort to help prevent more hacking in the future does not suffice as PROOF.

Jerry Gamblin said“the Grizzly Steppe data it is disjointed, ambiguous and really doesn’t provide any actionable data for most companies.” Cybersecurity expert Jeffrey Carr wrote: “It merely listed every threat group ever reported on by a commercialcybersecurity company that is suspected of being Russian-made and lumped them under the heading of Russian Intelligence Services (RIS) without providing any supporting evidence that such a connection exists.” Errata Security CEO RobGraham pointed out that, one of the signatures detects the presence of "PAS TOOL WEB KIT," a tool that's widely used by literally hundreds, and possibly thousands, of hackers in Russia and Ukraine, most of whom are otherwise unaffiliated and have no connection to the Russian government. Lastly to quote Robert M. Lee, CEO and Founder of the critical infrastructure cyber security company Dragos stated “There is no mention of the focus of attribution in any of the White House’s statements.” In simple terms, the white house is guessing and giving an opinion that can’t even point directly to the Russian government.

Some have suggested (which I agree with) that Obama is trying to embarrass Trump and that he is trying to provoke the President elect into a cyber war with Russia (which I disagree with). However, Putin’s response demonstrates that Obama's new sanctions and expulsions is a reflection of his weakness in foreign policy. This sentiment was echoed in the comments made by Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman  Maria Zakharova when she said, “Obama and his illiterate foreign policy team” was just a bunch of “losers, angry and shallow-brained.”

Democrats are now in unfamiliar water – taking the same policy positions regarding Russia as their alter-ego Republicans. This is comical by itself, complaining about authoritarian executive leadership abroad when they sponsor and support similar leadership in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.  Plus there is the added discord at home post-election which demonstrated how the Democrats incessant use and presentation of identity politics obviated the largest voting bloc in America from its constituency - working-class whites. Yes Obama can see the writing on the wall and has decided to resort to past lessons of history using the example of General William Tecumseh Sherman scorched earth/slash and burn approach. Yep, Obama trying to hem in Trump, and burn all of America in the process just to throw shade.
Torrance T. Stephens. Powered by Blogger.

I am Author, Writer and Infectious Disease Scientist. Originally from Memphis, Tennessee.

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