About Me

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Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable.  

I am filled with joy.  It can't be helped.  

Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired.  Filled, just filled, with Joy. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The GOP is a terrorist organization. Example: Benghazi

BANGHAZI fall-out.  We need an investigation of the role being played by the GOP terrorists  in the middle east. 

1.  INVIDIOUS VIDEO.  A covert "video" is planted on the Internet.  It is clearly cobbled together from a film shot previously -- the lead female confirms that it was shot years ago, and to her knowledge did not contain the truly invidious portions it now has.  The invidious portion is of recent insertion.  The insertion is clearly DESIGNED to cause "trouble" in the middle east. We all know what happened years ago when a Dutch newspaper printed a picture of Mohammad.

2.  VIDEO PRODUCER.  The producer of the film lives in San Diego, near Romney's La Jolla home.  He is in "hiding" -- compounding the mystery of what he was intending when he added invidious material to a film, on the eve of the US Election, and knowing of the instabilities in the Arab communities. While we know almost nothing about this producer, he is connected to the Right Wing.  The film was initially a story involving Jesus and Mary.  Initial reports, curiously, indicated a connection to Israel or Palestine, and Egyptian Copts.  Those connections may have been discredited. 

3.  ARAB REACTION.  Various Arab communities react to the film.  The invidious film is distributed, and sure enough a somewhat oddly coordinated outbreak of anti-American mobs appear in various key locations in the Arab world.  Virtually none in the greater Islamic community at that time.  The curiously selective "mobs" do not take "hostages" or kill any ambassadors. It appears to be Arab astro-turf -- not an authentically spontaneous street reaction.

4.  GOP BUSH II/ROMNEY TEAM.  Romney has already in place a team of Reagan/Bush II "advisors" and highly-paid consultants.  These are the SAME men who were learning the ropes during their mentors work with Reagan during the 1981 Hostage Crisis in Iran.  Let's be clear, this is the Oliver North perjury and arms-for-hostages collaboration with the Ayatollah team.  Although Lee Atwater is dead, the rest of his trickster trainees are still alive and working for Romney/GOP.  The highest-paid political consultants in the world are Norquist, Rove, and Reed.  For reasons of his own, Romney has hired the neo-conservatives (NOT the good old Eisenhower free market conservatives) of the Bush II era as his "advisors".

5.  ROMNEY's VIDEO PROMISES.   We discover -- play it again -- that in his 47% video, Romney expressly talks about getting another "crisis" in the middle east that he can exploit.  He thanks a man who speaks with a foreign accent for the suggestion.  Romney assures the group that if a foreign crisis erupts,  "I will take advantage of it" -- politically.  Romney expressly promises to politicize the next crisis.   This video was made BEFORE the San Diego video was distributed by the still-unknown producer.

6.  LIBYA.  There were disturbances in Libya, but apparently the Ambassador was not alarmed in any way.  He indicated before his death that the Libyans around him had responded with great support.  Ambassador Chris Stevens was a very experienced man, fluent in Arabic.  He did not ask for additional security.  He did not see what was coming -- because it did not come from Libya.


BENGHAZI.  The State Department sets up a brand new cultural facility in Libya.  Few, especially in Libya, even knew its location because it had not yet opened.  The GOP Congressional oversight committees, of course, knew its exact location in Benghazi. The concept of an Arabic/Libyan "cultural center" had outraged the GOP members of the committees.  The funding had been in place over four months ago.  The GOP was holding the purse strings, and they slashed the State Department's budget request.  When the slashing failed to end the Benghazi effort (owing to the energy of the Ambassador and the resourceful staff), the GOP committees were outraged.

8. ATTACK.  Late on the night of September 11, 2012, our Ambassador, was murdered, along with at least four others.  He was attacked at night  on the same day he had traveled to Benghazi.  The attackers were a heavily armed mobile strike force of non-Libyan Arabs. 

9. PRESIDENT'S REPORT.  Early the next morning, Our President met reporters in the Rose Garden and announced the sad news to America.  The details of the attack were still unknown by the professionals in the area -- our main assets had been murdered. 

When the FBI arrives as ordered by President Obama on the same day that the murders took place, they confirm that the outpost is remarkably secured by a large ill-equipped crowd of Libyans who are remarkably and ferociously devoted to America.  Tens of thousands of Libyans were in the streets showing and shared our grief for the fallen. 

10.  US GOP CONGRESS.  The GOP-controlled Congress (Congressman Graham and Boehner) immediately funds Congressman Issa to send an interrogation team to Libya.  This GOP investigation is not to find the murderers, but to generate charges against Our Administration.  While over there, the Issa team "outs" the undercover CIA network already in place, and permanently ruins its connections, almost certainly endangering lives.



Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tumors and Boils - the "investment bankers"

Tumors and boils.  {no pictures please!}

The society is a body.  Many cells and tissues “organized” together to compose a greater form of life.  Sometimes a portion of it becomes malignant, or is exposed to invasion.  The body must deal with that compromise of its life. 

The body has stood as metaphor to society for as long as any language has been spoken.  We cross-reference the body and society using the same words.  Both “bodies” share anatomy and physiology – ingesting, digesting, processing, cleansing, growing, dying.  The insults and afflictions, and the salutory or healing processes, can be viewed in parallel. 

The bones and arteries constitute the infrastructure. The nerves mirror the electrical grid.  The hormonal communication reflects the mood of the people in a community.  And of course, food and death, are not even metaphoric.

Most bodies die of inflammation and / or shock.  The same is true of the polity.  The Roman medical encyclopedist Celsus (ca 30 BC–38 AD) described the four cardinal signs of acute inflammation as tumor, dolor, calor, and rubor (swelling, pain, increased heat, and redness).

The blood is to the body as money is to society.  Unimpeded access and distribution of nutrients depends on a sufficient quantity, and a carrying capacity or value, of money.  Unregulated capitalism is like a tumor.  Withheld wealth is like a boil.

A tumor is a swelling in the body.  It may be caused by an overgrowth of neoplastic cells which hoard the blood supply.  Or like a sebaceous cyst it may be hoarding pus or refuse.  In both cases, the swelling is an impedence to the life of the body, and instead of contributing is now simply subtracting the vitality of the organ or organism. 

It is the blood that transports nutrients to the cells.  The vitality of the cell depends upon its access to those nutrients, and the plasmatic exchange.  In society, each individual depends on trade, and the people flourish when there is unimpeded and regular flow of goods and services.  If trade is monopolized, blocked, restricted or over-specialized, society may suffer.  In fact, the marginalization of even one person in a society, or the die-off of a single cell in the body, is a flag of caution.  If a poison kills cells in a living tissue, they can become necrotic and kill the entire organism.  If a man starves in a society, it is a danger sign to everyone in every way, a signal that the vitality of society is in danger. 

A certain number of assaults and insults to the body are expected and natural.  Every society confronts a certain number of stresses and adjustments which must constantly be made.  However, attention must be paid to the threshholds and trends.  For example, if the blood is weak, if nutrients are not going to the cells, or if tumors begin hoarding the nutrients, then the whole body suffers and weakens.  The body must protect itself from threats to its vitality, and must monitor the “growth” of tumor and boils which accumulate poison and compete for the body’s vitality.

A Society which has been attacked by predators from within is like a body which is covered with tumors and boils.    I do not use the term “capitalist” to describe someone who hoards capital – in a sense, such a person is an “anti-capitalist”.  A hoarder is not using the capital – they do not reinvest, they do not add to the growth of the organism.  They often use Debt – and they draw the nutrients out of the blood to “build” their own organism within the organism, a tumor.

A person’s body can be covered with boils inside and on the skin – accumulations of pus, or fatty sebaceous cysts.  A tumor can begin to form in any organ, and its growth can compete with the body, and its independent amalgamation of resources can destroy the integrity of the body.  Even the leakage of the fluids of a benign tumor in the body can be catastrophic, and the unrestricted growth of a malignancy can kill the body. 

When the nutrients or the blood are captured on one place, an unnatural swelling occurs.  There may also be increased pain, heat, and redness.  This “tumor, dolor, calor, and rubor” are flags of inflammation.  The healthy body will respond, or a physician will address, such signs of distress.

We have a society which is under assault.  For example, some of the most primitive tribal people on the planet have been chanting “Death to America!” for decades in groups assembled to pray for our extinction.  They teach youngsters they will go to Heaven as saviours if they die as martyrs.  After a night of drinking alcohol in topless bars, a group of pious young men from Saudi Arabia hi-jacked airliners and flew them into large buildings in 2001.  The killing of an international group of civilians, including people from all over the world, is still celebrated by many of the most primitive tribal people on the planet.

However, that assault did not cripple society.  In some ways, it made the true “society” stronger, closer, larger, and more vital.  New York became recognized as a truly international place.  All over the world, other societies declared their solidarity, and coordinated with America. 

However, the interior of America has not fared as well.  Cysts and tumors have formed.  The blood is restricted and monopolized, and wealth is being hoarded.  In the ten years since 2001, America lost its middle class, and lost its ability to circulate wealth.  By 2007, all of the Big Banks in America had become “investment bankers” dealing in investments with no known market value – “toxic” products.  All of the Big Banks were heavily leveraged in financial products which had been revived from the 1920's.  In the decade run-up to the 1929 Crash, the Congress de-regulated the banking industry and removed consumer protection which had been in place since the Progressive era. 

The free market cannot function without information, which is the hinge which enables “choice” to perform.  A market without money or valuable products is negligible.  A market without information is blind, and the “decisions” made by uninformed consumers are arbitrary.  There may be “growth”, there may be enormous volumes, but it would be like a tumor growing bigger than the body it inhabits.  This is what we saw, what we experienced in 2006-2007, when banks began dealing in huge volumes of toxic waste while claiming they were creating “investments”.

In the decade run-up to the summer of 2008, the Congress de-regulated the banking industry and removed disclosure requirements and accounting standards in the financial industry.  Banking guidelines which had been in effect since the 1930's were disregarded.  All of the largest banks in the United States became “investment” bankers, and then traded in worthless investments – forms of paper the value of which could not be calculated with any certainty.

In the summer of 2008, all of the largest banks in the United States, and their insurers, announced that they were unable to pay obligations which they had entered into.  None of the largest financial institutions could make any loans, and all of trade and all transactions depend upon credit and money.  All levels of government, and all private enterprises, depend on the circulation of money in the same way that every cell depends upon blood circulation.  The large “investment” banks destroyed themselves from the inside – they were not destroyed by the government, by any regulation or by any edict.  Their own CEOs captured them, destroyed them, and then they confronted the government with the collapse of the world, and extorted a bail-out using taxpayer funds.  Curiously, the bail-out funds had to be borrowed, from other banks. 

After receiving the bailout funds, the Large Banks did not loan money.  They suddenly made loans extremely difficult to obtain by consumers or small businesses.  The banks hoarded the capital which they had obtained from taxpayers.  Instead of making loans with the capital, they “used” the capital to buy smaller banks at fire sale prices.  The Big Banks became bigger, at the expense of the taxpayers. 

A tumor can grow and spread by drawing nutrients out of the blood stream, and independent of the functions of the other organs – contributing nothing to the body, but drawing out its vitality.  A boil is a concentration of pus or sebaceous tissue, which often interferes with bodily function and vitality, even if it is not growing or spreading.    The Large Banks of the United States functioned as tumors.  They concentrated capital in larger, and less interactive banking institutions which cut themselves off from trade, small business, or consumer credit.  They bought smaller banks, creating larger boils.  

As a society, we can treat the tumors and boils.  We can stop giving them money, and cut off the blood supply to the tumors.  And we can lance the boils, breaking them up and surgically removing them with a scalpel of anti-trust anti-monopolist free market purging. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Political Historian Clarence Swinney - re Inequality in America

CLARENCE SWINNEY , on June 27th, 2011 at 3:36 am Said:

I have been a political historian since 1991 for Lifeaholics of America. Here is my Bio to show I am no freaknut.
I was amazed to find your forum. It is awesome. It is confirmation of what I believe and write. To bad you cannot replace a Talk Show Host. You are superb and appreciated by this olduglymeanhonest historian.
Phantom Historian
Clarence Swinney is unknown in Burlington as a Political Historian.
He does not discuss politics with family or friends.
In 1991, he was apolitical until he read Haynes Johnson book on Reagan “Sleepwalking Through History”. He voted twice for Reagan and was astonished at all the criminal activities and Reagan policies promoted to cut government but did the opposite. Reagan budgets increased Spending by 80% and Debt by 183%. Reagan had 137 members of his administration investigated/charged with crimes usually about money fraud.

He had never heard the name Bill Clinton until he heard two of three speeches by Clinton at Georgetown University in 1991. He was impressed by the ability to express his views in detail without notes.
He started buying books on politics and has purchased over 500 for his library.
He can verify to have read the equivalent of 1,000(200 page) books in 19 years.
The Google has him listed (3-24-11) with over 300,000 articles. He warns that many are duplication or irrelevant to his writings. His name in your address bar gets 2700 of just his articles He has had articles printed in Business Week, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and many other publications.

His library contains over 500 books, 300 note books filled with data on budgets, debt, deficit,
plus 45,000 pages of articles in his computer file. He has each annual Global Almanac since 1980.
He once had over 200,000 pages stored on pallets in his garage.

He tried to get two books published in 1998. Publishers wanted a huge fee since he was an unknown writer. His two books were : “Clintonomics vs Reaganomics” and “Scumbag Xpress — how to waste 100 million in a failed effort to destroy a presidency”.

He had frequent communication with Gene Lyons of Arkansas Democrat Gazette
and author of “Fools For Scandal-How the press invented Whitewater ”.. Gene co-authored the Book “The Hunting Of The President” which contained information similar to his. It was a nyt best seller.

He has been writing many articles on INEQUALITY IN AMERICA and how Wall Street ultra rich, since 1980, gained control of most of our Wealth, Major Corporations, Media, Banks, Congress and White House.

He writes that today American are unaware of this redistribution of wealth and income that threatens our democracy. Many economists, including former Fed Chairman Greenspan and current chairman Bernanke, have expressed concern over it. it.

Today, 1% own 43% of Total Financial Wealth; 10% own 70%; 20% own 93%; and 80% or 120,000,000 workers own a measly 7%. Since 1980, the top 1% got an increase of 281% in Income and the middle 20% got 25% or less than inflation.

From 2001-2007, the top 1% got two thirds of Total Income Growth and 90% (139,000,000 workers) got 12%. In 2009, the top 1% got 24% of the total individual income. He calls it a third world distribution or a banana republic.

He concludes that this redistribution since 1980 occurred due to many incremental changes and government policies deliberately designed for Wall Street which permitted it to become the world’s largest gambling Casino instead of adding Jobs and Value to the middle class majority standard of living.

Mr. Swinney welcomes comments and lecture requests at: cswinney2@triad.rr.com .
Clarence Swinney Burlington NC

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Epigrams of Political Clarity - La Rochefoucauld (1613- 1680).

   The moral monstrosity of a crime is not reduced because it is bold and skillfully performed.  Nor can a fraud be made acceptable by scale: swindle one person, and you're a cheater ; swindle millions of tax payers, and you get nominated as a candidate to represent an entire political party. 

    If you use borrowed money during times of easy-money to seize one legitimate business, and immediately liquidate its parts and give yourself a huge salary, the de-jobbed employees will despise you.  If you do it to a hundred businesses, and you become a millionaire, others will call you "successful", will admire you for your aggressive self-interest, and nominate you for the Presidency.

Les crimes deviennent innocents, même glorieux, par leur nombre et par leurs qualités; de là vient que les voleries publiques sont des habiletés, et que prendre des provinces injustement s’appelle faire des conquêtes. Le crime a ses héros, ainsi que la vertu.

Crimes are made innocent, even virtuous, by their number and nature; hence public robbery becomes a skillful achievement and wrongful seizure of a province is called conquest. Crime has its heroes no less than virtue has.

Source(s):  François VI, duke de La Rochefoucauld, Reflexions ou sentences et maximmes morales (1665)

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Robert Draper Book: GOP's Anti-Obama Campaign Started Night Of Inauguration

“History will remember those who conspired against our President and the nation who elected him, with complete and utter contempt. Reps. Eric Cantor (Va.), Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), Paul Ryan (Wis.), Pete Sessions (Texas), Jeb Hensarling (Texas), Pete Hoekstra (Mich.) Dan Lungren (Calif.), Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.), Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), John Ensign (Nev.) Bob Corker (Tenn.).” The non-lawmakers present included Newt Gingrich, several years removed from his presidential campaign, and Frank Luntz, the long-time Republican wordsmith. Notably absent were Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) -- who, Draper writes, had an acrimonious relationship with Luntz. Robert Draper Book: GOP's Anti-Obama Campaign Started Night Of Inauguration

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Professor V.O. Key - used statistical methods to study politics in the South.

It clearly surprises some of us that the Southern oligarchs are thriving and have such a control over the demography of The Southern states. From Wikipedia: "In 1942 Key published the first edition of his textbook, Politics, Parties, and Pressure Groups, in which he emphasized that politics was a contest and the main players were organized interest groups. The book decisively shaped the teaching of political science by introducing realism in analysis of politics, introducing the "interest group" model, and introducing behavioral methods based on statistical analysis of election returns."

Key's opus, Southern Politics in State and Nation (1949) was a microscopic examination, state by state, of the expansion of Southern politics. This Dixiefication was documented using interviews and statistics. In Public Opinion and American Democracy (1961) he analyzed the link between the changing patterns of public opinion and the governmental system. Key found that the Michigan model (the theory that voters' preferences were determined by psychological factors) was unsupported by the data. In Key's view, that model took the politics out of political science. In his last (posthumous) work, The Responsible Electorate: Rationality in Presidential Voting 1936–60 (1966), Professor Key analyzed public opinion data and electoral returns to show that voters' choices were rational political decisions rather than responses to psychological stimuli. However, the choices in the South are manipulated by powerful and wealthy interests.

Professor Key refuted the hypothesis that "Southern backwardness" could be attributed to poor whites. Rather, he asserted that a rich oligarchy of "Southern Bourbons" manipulated working class whites. The Southern voters are unified, and dominated by, a small but wealthy class of people who deliberately act to preserve the economic and social order. They use well-entrenched techniques to inflame the race fears, and to prey upon the gullibilities of people whose education is deliberately marginalized.


Wednesday, February 01, 2012

President Reagan and the Buffet Rule

President Reagan promised the eliminate tax loop-holes for the super rich. But instead, he raised taxes on the middle class and relieved the super rich of paying their "fair share" -- his words.

To the Right Wing, if President Obama tries to reduce the loop holes, it is "class warfare". When President Reagan promised to do it but it never happened, then it is a "forgetting". Like it never happened.

President Reagan and Social Security Theft

From Cletis' Blog
Raid On Social Security

What Reagan did with the help of Alan Greenspan. Consider the following sequence of events:

1) President Reagan appointed Greenspan as chairman of the 1982 National Commission on Social Security Reform (aka The Greenspan Commission)

2) The Greenspan Commission recommended a major payroll tax hike to generate Social Security surpluses for the next 30 years, in order to build up a large reserve in the trust fund that could be drawn down during the years after Social Security began running deficits.

3) The 1983 Social Security amendments enacted hefty increases in the payroll tax in order to generate large future surpluses.

4) As soon as the first surpluses began to role in, in 1985, the money was put into the general revenue fund and spent on other government programs. None of the surplus was saved or invested in anything. The surplus Social Security revenue, that was paid by working Americans, was used to replace the lost revenue from Reagan’s big income tax cuts that went primarily to the rich.

5) In 1987, President Reagan nominated Greenspan as the successor to Paul Volker as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. Greenspan continued as Fed Chairman until January 31, 2006. (One can only speculate on whether the coveted Fed Chairmanship represented, at least in part, a payback for Greenspan’s role in initiating the Social Security surplus revenue.)

6) In 1990, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, a member of the Greenspan Commission, and one of the strongest advocates the 1983 legislation, became outraged when he learned that first Reagan, and then President George H.W. Bush used the surplus Social Security revenue to pay for other government programs instead of saving and investing it for the baby boomers. Moynihan locked horns with President Bush and proposed repealing the 1983 payroll tax hike. Moynihan’s view was that if the government could not keep its hands out of the Social Security cookie jar, the cookie jar should be emptied, so there would be no surplus Social Security revenue for the government to loot. President Bush would have no part of repealing the payroll tax hike. The “read-my-lips-no-new-taxes” president was not about to give up his huge slush fund.
The practice of using every dollar of the surplus Social Security revenue for general government spending continues to this day. The 1983 payroll tax hike has generated approximately $2.5 trillion in surplus Social Security revenue which is supposed to be in the trust fund for use in paying for the retirement benefits of the baby boomers. But the trust fund is empty! It contains no real assets. As a result, the government will soon be unable to pay full benefits without a tax increase. Money can be spent or it can be saved. But you can’t do both.
Absolutely none of the $2.5 trillion was saved or invested in anything. That is how the largest theft in the history of the world was carried out. 300M people worked and saved their whole lives to set aside $2.5Tn into a retirement system that, if it were paying a fair compounding rate of 5% interest over 40 years of labor (assuming an even $62Bn a year was contributed), would be worth $8.4Tn today - enough money to give 100M workers $84,000 each in cash! The looting of FICA hid the massive deficits of the last 30 years in the Unified Budget. Presidents and Congresses were able to reduce taxes on the wealthiest Americans without complaint from the deficit hawks, because they benefited. The money went directly from the pockets of average Americans into the pockets of the rich.
Now that it is time to repay those special bonds in the Trust Fund, we are inundated in opinion pieces in the leading newspapers and magazines complaining about Social Security and its horrible impact on the budget. Government finances have been trashed by foolish tax cuts, unpaid wars, tax loopholes for corporations and the very wealthy, the failures of economists, the greedy search for greater returns in financial markets and the collapse of moral values in giant businesses but Social Security is supposed to be the problem that needs fixing…
Social Security is not "broken" the money is in the Trust Fund. But the people who manage the finances of the United States don’t want to repay the bonds held by the Trust Fund. They want to default selectively against average people, their fellow citizens, who paid their taxes expecting to be protected in their retirement. Refusing to repay the $2.54 trillion dollars in bonds held by the Social Security Trust makes the US look like Greece, just another nation unable to govern itself coherently. The people who manage US finances come from the financial elites, the best that Wall Street and enormous corporations have to offer. Selective default exposes them as charlatans. The claims of the economics profession to expertise are puffery. Their theories about the benefits of tax cuts are proven false. Their mathematical proofs about free markets collapse in the real world.

Note from Cletis: The truth really is out there. Source: http://www.philstockworld.com/.../