Breaking News Archive
7/10/2018: BreakingNews: Trump nominates Kavanaugh
As “progressive” Democrats like Cory Booker (D, NJ) decry the nomination as an affront to Civil Rights (to unionize, and to seek “abortion care”, freedom from “gun violence”etc…) and “conservative” Republicans aren’t happy because his determination to overturn Rowe v. Wade isn’t zealous enough. I think abortion is a red herring, anyway- useful to the corrupt political parties to “divide and conquer” the electorate, rile women up. The Court has a lot more important issues to deal with. Nothing big is going to change about abortion, or guns. Arguing about it is only political theater, a distraction from the real issues.
In my pea brain, the purpose of the Supreme Court is to determine if a State or Federal law is Constitutional, or not. I think the U.S. Founding Documents elaborated a very progressive ideal- emphasizing liberty, first of its kind in history- which two centuries later remains unrealized. Jefferson could write “…self-evident truth that all men are created equal…” but it took centuries to evolve the definition of “men” to even begin to include black people and women in that definition. They’ve always been “men”, even before that fact was accepted. Republicans think I’m a “radical”, Democrats think I’m a “reactionary”.
I’m a Libertarian, and the Constitution is the Libertarian guidebook. I like it when a Supreme Court justice cares more about the original intent of the Constitution than the layers of corruption piled on it over years of “precedence”… because I think that’s their job. Merely following precedence, determined by centuries of corrupt party politics, isn’t- in my opinion.
BreakingNews: 7/6/2018: Trump Rallies Montana: RallyPhotos-Trump
If I hadn’t got a Media Pass, I would have been one of the thousand people turned away from Thursday’s Republican rally in Great Falls, MT to oust Jon Tester (D) and replace him with Matt Rosendale (R) as U.S. Senator from Montana. It was a happy, excited and friendly crowd, everyone was dressed in bright colors. There were lots of red hats and shirts, and the spectacle reminded me of a kid’s birthday party. The music- old feel-good favorites- put the crowd in a festive and happy frame of mind. In spite of Donald Trump, Jr, Greg Gianforte (House candidate) Steve Daines (Senate incumbent) and Matt Rosedale’s clumsy efforts to incite anger and hostility, and convince a crowd which knew better that they represented “real” Montanans- the overflowing throng insisted on having a good time, anyway. The only ugliness we saw came from the (very) few protestors, who called me (little old me) FAKE NEWS and the would-be Gestapo assigned to “keep the peace” strutting in their brand new uniforms with their shiny, black fresh-out-of-the box-guns and scowling faces trying to look menacing.
The only people of color we saw were black hucksters selling Trump shirts, hats, other paraphernalia outside. Inside that job was done by white women. I grabbed a “Drain the Swamp” sign. There were lots of women with young children brightly dressed for the party, and the crowd played along with a little “bison stomp” of the stands and mild “boos” on cue when the “Democrat Party” and their minions were derided. I throughly enjoyed myself, and took as many pictures as I could. I went there to shoot the crowd, knowing others in the professional media had far better equipment than mine and so I tried to shoot something different, not better, than they did. I’ll have some up in the next days.
President Trump was by far the best speaker- the others did themselves and the GOP no service with their “pep rally” blather and their inane attempts to appear “local”- and his recurrent themes (no Russia collusion, Mexican crime, Fake News, villainous Democrats…) were joyfully anticipated and the suspension of disbelief was adequate to guarantee everyone there had a fine time. I learned a new word, from Donald, Jr…. “gophering”. It’s a good word for what out of state hunters do when they come to Montana to eat, drink and party in hunting camp- they “gopher” elk. If they want to shoot off their magnum guns, kill something, and come home with a purple shoulder to show their wives… it’s usually at gophers. Hunting elk is too much like work for most people who don’t need the meat.
People laughed good naturally when he brought up his “fake news” inauguration crowd. He certainly had a nice crowd- more than any local venue could handle in Great Falls, or likely any other town in Montana- and would have done better to talk about that.Trump’s biggest blunder was bringing up Pocahontas … in his world it’s Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, someone he hopes will be his 2020 Democratic opponent. In Montana, her name brings to mind another Indian woman who helped white people survive and prosper, Sacajawea- who made the Lewis and Clark expedition successful- by serving as translator and diplomat with the tribes they met (and didn’t kill them…) and a big part of Montana history- especially for the white people Trump wants to represent. Trump senior, Trump Jr., Gianforte, Daines, and especially Rosendale proved only that they haven’t a clue about what it means to be a “local” in Montana.
I’d like to think he talked to somebody from Montana besides Ryan Zinke, and learned how much Montanans care about our public lands and waters… and that caused him to call up rogue Scott Pruitt and tell him, “You’re Fired!”.
I’d like to mention here that Rick Breckenridge is running for U.S. Senate from Montana, too. He’s a good man- a surveyor, with a good reputation for honesty, precision and fair prices… and a Libertarian, too. You don’t have to choose between the lesser of two evils- Twiddle Dum and Twiddle Dee. There’s a Libertarian on the ballot and you won’t go wrong voting for him this year.
BreakingNews: Obrador wins Mexico
Tired of the corruption, the murders, the drug cartels and the impotence of Mexican law to keep domestic tranquility, The People of Mexico chose to do the same thing America did when we elected Trump, Britain did when they elected May and did Brexit… they voted to “throw the bums out”. Although Obrador is promoted as a “Progressive Populist”, and Trump was promoted as a “Conservative Populist” the reasons for their election were the same- to upset the status quo, the bureaucracy, the corruption.
Nobody with a straight face can claim Mexico’s government to be anything less than completely corrupt. I feel the same way about the American system, as it was when Trump was elected – and as it still is. The difference is that there is so much money available to grease the gears in America, that fewer people can hear them grind. In Mexico it’s obvious to everybody. I hope he seizes the opportunity- as Trump has- to shake things up. Then we’ll see where the dust settles back down.
As most of you know, I’m very critical of President Trump- I’m particularly distressed about the lies and the conflicting and seemingly irrational tweets. But it could be a calculated strategy to “herd the cats”. The Facebook/Cambridge Analytica/Russian bots story unfolding in Mueller’s office points to a well thought out strategy to do exactly that. It’s hard to know where his disruptions will lead. But, I’m starting to see a pattern emerging which is very interesting to me, and it could be exactly the right thing at the right moment.
There ARE big problems in the world America should address.
China DOES steal American intellectual property- as much as they can by theft, but also often by outright robbery. Trump’s targeting ZTE was a surgical move, a strike in the right place. The Russian oligarchs who back Putin’s “kleptocracy” are getting targeted sanctions (aluminum, for example) which might actually accomplish something. North Korea now knows we (and everyone else) know their promises to “denuclearize” were simply lies- and so if more intrusive sanctions follow as the result- nobody will be surprised or be able to claim Trump didn’t give them a fair opportunity to do what they said they would.
The elections of 2018 will call for a New Congress to step in to back Trump when he’s right, oppose him when he’s wrong. One man can’t do it alone, hard as he may try. What we need is a truly independent Congress of honest representatives of their constituencies- not party partizans protecting their corruption and their Plutocrat sponsors with engineered gridlock. Progressive or conservative, male or female, black or white, Protestant, Catholic, Jew or Moslem, queer or straight… we need to throw all the bums out, put in new people with a mandate to serve the people, with the promise to throw them all out if they don’t- in 2020.
BreakingNews: 6/30/2018: Trump Rallies Montana
There’s been a lot of news in the last week, but it’s hard to say if much of it is important as some people think. Supreme Court Justice Kennedy’s retirement and Trump’s being able to appoint his successor is seen by some as a catastrophe- but I think Trump will nominate someone like Neal Gorsuch or John Roberts- who won’t be a corrupt party patsy like the rest of the Court, and (like Kennedy) will be an independent mind who’ll judge on the arguments, and the Constitution- not bound to follow the “party line” to benefit core constituencies. The “Anti-Muslim Travel Ban” isn’t going to change anything much, either. The big game is the upcoming 2018 midterm elections, something most Americans will skip for lack of interest.
President Trump, however, will be in Great Falls, Montana, on July 5 for a rally to support the Republican Senate candidate in his bid to unseat the two-term Democratic incumbent- Jon Tester. For Trump and the Republicans, this is a key race to keep control of the Senate. Trump won Montana in 2016 by a wide margin, but we have a long history of splitting our ticket. Our governor is Democrat, one U.S.Senator from each party. The State House is dominated by the Republicans, our one U.S. Representative (who represents more people than any other) is Republican. Montanans are very independent, and our political alliances shift. For Trump to come to Montana to influence the Senate race is a wise move, since we have just as many Senators as New York, California, or Texas- with a lot fewer people electing them. In this mid-term election, this rally could be crucial to Trump’s political survival- let alone his agenda. I think it will be exciting.
Montana has a proud political history. We had the first woman U.S. House Representative, Jeanette Rankin. Butte is the birthplace of America’s Labor Movement, Joe Hill’s Miners’ Local #1 is in Butte. Mike Mansfield helped LBJ push through the Voting Rights Act. Max Baucus spearheaded the Affordable Care Act. Montana passed legislation to make it difficult for the Copper Kings to buy elections, which held almost 100 years until Citizens United overturned it in (perhaps) the worst decision the most corrupt Supreme Court ever made.
Montana is roughly 1/3 Democrat, 1/3 Republican and 1/3 Libertarian. We’re the most Libertarian State in America, and where a Libertarian future for the USA has already begun. Bernie Sanders won the Democratic Primary in 2016, for Libertarian (not “socialistic”) reasons. Montanans are used to enduring and persevering in tough jobs, a tough climate, a tough economy- and tough politics. We’re not afraid of disruption, or change. We’re hard-nosed, realistic and resilient. I’ll be there in Great Falls 7/5/2018, with my camera, another photographer- and will come back with a full and colorful report.
BreakingNews, 6/21/2018: Immigration Debate
Trump is right, the Congress should do its job and address the issues of borders, immigration, migrant labor, smuggling, sanctuary, naturalization. Problem is, the Congressmen are too busy pandering to their donors, and trying to avoid controversy (which might lose them votes) to perform their function required by the Constitution. Instead, they’d rather let the President make the decisions, and then decide how they feel about it.
Libertarians have historically opposed borders which inhibit the free flow of commerce, people and money, as well as tariffs and sanctions. They also oppose prohibitions, especially ones as counterproductive as “The War on Drugs”, but also prostitution, pornography, “hate speech”- as well as coercions, like mass incarceration, curfews, vagrancy laws, “stop and frisk”, and military conscription to fight unnecessary wars between nations. Libertarians see international free and unrestricted trade as the road to world peace, liberty, human rights, democracy. Some of their beliefs seem untenable-“frisbetarian”- or at least unrealistic at the present time.
Today’s world involves borders with legal and economic systems which change at the border, prohibitions which change at the border which offer opportunities and incentives in smuggling and human trafficking, as well as millions seeking sanctuary and opportunity across those borders. Then, those borders must be defended against crime (terrorism, etc), spread of communicable disease… and the futility of it becomes increasingly apparent as the flood of moving people threatens to overwhelm all defenses.
We create and spread war worldwide- the U.S.Army is engaged in conflicts in over 100 nations, to protect the assets of the international Plutocracy. War creates refugees, and then we have to fortify our borders against this “refugee problem” which we have created. But the Plutocracy wants the working people of America to pay for it, in addition to all the rest of the taxes they pay for everything else, too- and they end up borrowing from the future of the children of American workers to be able to spend what they can’t collect in taxes. This can’t last forever- and America is starting to figure it out.
The previously strange Libertarian ideas are taking on a new sense of inevitability as our world becomes increasingly interconnected, and police and military efforts to suppress liberty and increase taxation on the poor worldwide are becoming increasingly futile. Tariffs, sanctions, and prohibitions are found to serve corrupt purposes rather than their advertised ones, and a real labor shortage in America together with cultural changes which have led to declining birth rates below replacement have made immigration an important need to the American economy, and made Libertarian ideas relevant to the debate, today.
Our goal at New Libertarians is to substitute reason for emotion, reality for ideology- in making these difficult decisions. We have to live in the world as it is- but we have to have plans for the future, too.
BreakingNews, 6/13/2018: A picture’s worth a thousand words.
The flag of the National Sheriff’s Association, before which Jeff Sessions invoked the authority of the Bible to justify his “No Tolerance” policy, wresting children from their mothers and sending them off to separate jails, depicts the Roman “fasces”- the symbol of Authority of the Emperor. Fasces is the base word of the better known word-“Fascism”- something some sheriffs may not be aware of- or they might have picked something else, lest freedom loving Americans think they do the dirty work of tyrants.
Did you ever notice when right wing “Christians” quote the Bible, it’s never the words of Jesus? I’d suggest to Jeff Sessions he reread the synoptic gospels -Matthew, Mark and Luke- the story of Jesus, told three times…and take special notice of Jesus’ words often displayed in italics. Or shut up about the Bible.
BreakingNews, 6/13/2018: The virtues of lying.
I was raised to believe that lying was a character defect. For my father, there was little trouble I could get into which was worse than lying about it- whatever it was, that I’d done. It made sense to me. If I had a good reason to cut down the cherry tree- or even if it was a stupid reason- it taught me there needs to be a reason for whatever you do- and you needed to be able to defend that reason with a rational argument. Lying about it only breaks the bond of communication with someone who might guide me to make better decisions, removes an opportunity to think about and explain why I did what I did.
But then I grew up, and learned that most people are raised differently. If a lie gets you an advantage, and that advantage helps you get what you want- then people are willing to let your lies slide. They lie, too- and like it when others let their lies slide. “Caveat Emptor”,they say- “let the buyer beware”- is the admonition to expect to be lied to, and be prepared to protect yourself.
A “good” liar can defend his lie, make an argument that it was a “white lie”, something which might be done for a good reason- like not to hurt someone else’s feelings, or as a means to a good end. In “Game Theory”, deception is part of the strategy- and anyone who is bound to the truth is at a substantial disadvantage in the game. People differ about whether there is a difference between the truth, and The Truth- some claim that a lie can actually be a “Higher Truth”.
Trump lies continually, faster than the “fact checkers” can follow and correct. For people like me, it’s excruciating to listen to Trump lie, lie and lie. I find it amazing he gets away with it- that so many of those we elect to represent us tolerate it, even try to use it to their advantage. It’s frightening, because it reminds me of another famous liar/leader who led his nation to its ruin- Adolf Hitler- and killed 70 million people and destroyed half the world in the process. Trump has at his fingertips power Hitler could only dream of.
Liars usually run out of believers, sooner or later. People quit listening, the liar loses his credibility and his influence. I think It’s time for America to demand an end to the lying, and if the only way to accomplish that is to be rid of the liar- so be it. Sadly, the second in the line of succession, Mike Pence, is also a liar- albeit a weaker one, and is neck-deep in the same scandals. The third in line-Paul Ryan- just quit, without a good explanation. Only two years ago he wanted to be President, now he wants to retire. There is a potentially dangerous leadership vacuum which ironically protects Trump from impeachment. Who’ll take over after he’s gone?.
I think Trump’s lying and Republican House acquiescence to it should determine the midterm vote of 2018. All House seats are in play. All candidates who defend Trump’s lies should be replaced by others, for that reason alone. If they don’t perform, they can be replaced in 2020. Borrowing money to go on a spending spree makes you look good- for awhile, but not for long.
BreakingNews, 6/13/2018: Voting Rights Decision
The Supreme Court made an important decision about voting rights, strictly politically divided on party lines. The Republicans, the “Party of the Rich” want to restrict voting rights because wealthy, well educated people ALWAYS vote (usually absentee, so they can vote at their leisure)- because they know how important it is. But most Americans aren’t rich and well educated- so more difficult, restricted voting favors the Republicans. Long lines at the polls in poor neighborhoods discourage poor voters, too- so they vote irregularly. The Democrats want to make it easier to include the poor, uneducated, even the undocumented- because they more often vote Democrat.
So, the Republicans got the upper hand this time. States can pass laws which create problems for infrequent voters- essentially purging them from the voting rolls if they fail to vote. It is what it is. We can wring our hands about it, or we can do something about it. Democrats should make it their business to register voters (absentee if possible) amongst their constituencies if they want to compete with the Republicans.
Both parties are really “Party of the Rich”, competing for the spoils of corruption. They just pander to different constituencies. The decision was a good one (in my opinion) for several reasons. First, it shows how politically corrupt the Supreme Court is. Second, it motivates the Democrats to encourage their constituents to vote, absentee when possible. Third, it gives marginalized groups of people a real motive to organize to agitate against the corrupt status quo. Fourth (and most important to us at NewLibertarians.com) it shows everyone there needs to be a political rearrangement which wrests loose the stranglehold the Democratic and the Republican parties have on America’s political process.
BreakingNews, 6/8/2018: Canada to Singapore
Those of you who read this column know I regard Trump with a mixture of admiration and derision. I admire how he managed to go from 5% in the first Republican primary to President, running an apparently nonsensical campaign on comparably little money, telling continuous boldface lies, offending almost everyone along the way- and then winning! I hate the lying, consider it an insult to my intelligence- and I have a hard time understanding why more Americans aren’t equally offended by it. But it’s been effective, I must admit. As the story unfolds, Trump’s election was no fluke. It was masterful use of all available resources- domestic and foreign, and especially data and the Internet- to accomplish an almost miraculous feat.
I’ve compared Trump to Adolf Hitler. His agenda was no secret. He planned his path to power for a long time, and took some big gambles with long odds along the way- and suffered setbacks but kept coming. The “Big Lie” was his trademark. Hitler could have stopped after Austria and Czechoslovakia, and maybe even Poland- and survived a national hero forever for reuniting a Greater Germany. But he kept pushing, gambling, doubling down- overreached, and fell. And took Germany down with him. Had he not persecuted the Jews, and the likes of Einstein stayed and worked for him- we might all be speaking German.
What Hitler did was huge, and his legacy is the American Century. He caused the death of 70 million people, the destruction of much of Europe, Japan, China, Russia and the aftermath of the war made America the only healthy nation left standing in a deathly ill world… Russia and China formed huge “communist” dictatorships from their ashes. What will be Trump’s legacy?
If I were Kim Jong Un I’d be terrified going into this meeting. As Trump spoke with China’s Head of State -Xi- leader of the second largest economy and rising world military power for the first time, he attacked Syria and Afghanistan as gratuitous party favors- to show what power he has and what he’s willing to do, just for effect. Neither attack accomplished anything, except to make it clear to China that Trump is a loose cannon- and it’d be wise to lay low. At G7 Trump arrived late, left early and offended all our best allies- the leaders of the seven richest nations in the world. What’s he going to do to impress the ” fat little rocket-man” from tiny, starving North Korea just to shake things up?
Trump knows his time is short. Presidents usually wait until the end is in sight to start using their Power of Pardon, and he’s using his like a child’s Magic Wand to sprinkle Pixie Dust around everywhere it seems fun. Trump’s unpredictability has become predictably gratuitous, soon America will tire of it. He’ll go down when he’s not fun to watch any more.
I think Mueller will be the party-pooper.
BreakingNews, 6/3/2018: Trump pardons himself?
Some Republicans are beginning to wonder if now is the time to abandon the sinking ship. Trump’s on-again/off-again gyrations on trade, foreign policy, immigration… attacks on his own agencies and appointments… his mounting scandals and accelerating legal problems are beginning to cause fatigue amongst his once avid supporters who never know day to day (hour to hour) what they are actually supporting, and worry that their leader might have a screw (or two) loose, and could do something REALLY unpredictable as the pressure on him builds and he becomes ever more detached from reality… like pardon himself- for what? For everything?
The Democrats seem to think this will be a landslide year, but they’re being cautious not to appear too confident. They have their own corruption to protect, and might prefer to have a lame-duck Trump willing to make a deal to keep his “dream job” over a pitched battle which could cause some casualties on their side, too.
Trump promised to disrupt. He promised to end the wars, quit trying to police the world, take care of the veterans. De-corrupt the bureaucracy. Restore meaningful work to American labor, via fair trade. Rebuild the infrastructure. Fix the health care system. Restore American prominence on the world stage… and what’s he done? The wars are widening, and we’re losing. We’ve alienated our allies, enhanced the influence of Russia, China, Iran and North Korea who’ve filled the vacuum. The bureaucracy is more corrupt than ever, the worst offenders are his appointments, his family, insiders. No infrastructure progress, no health care progress. We have “full” employment- with no wage gains, no new industry. Homebuilding, marriage, children, health and longevity on the decline. A big tax cut for the international rich, paid for with debt for working Americans- is all he has to show, so far, besides chaos.
The question is where the new equilibrium will settle. Will it just be another circus of corruption, Democrat style- with Trump still ringmaster? Or will something actually change in the 2018 election? If the past is any indication of the future, nothing will change. Looking at my absentee ballot I need to mark, and send off- I can’t see much hope for anything different.
BreakingNews, 5/30/2018: Big Day in the Supreme Court, corrected
You can read the original, below. I hate to be wrong, or do an injustice to anyone- even to someone I consider to be an enemy of all I hold dear. When Bush I put Clarence Thomas into civil rights champion Thurgood Marshall’s vacant seat it was immediately apparent that the only thing they had in common was black skin. Calling himself an “originalist”, he sided with the right wing mindlessly on every decision. Taciturn to an extreme, I’ve wondered what might be in that “black box” besides darkness.
There are two black men in high positions of government I’d love to be able to mind-read. Clarence Thomas is one of them, and the other is Colin Powell. Are they just “token negros”, given privilege in return for having black skin and doing what they’re told to do? That’s a good reason for silence. Nobody wants to admit to that. Or, are they under some kind of duress, which coerces them to knuckle under like “good” slaves. How could Thomas possibly be an “originalist”? At the time the Constitution was written, he would have been property. Does he think he should still be property? He personally benefitted from “affirmative action”, how could he be so solidly against it?
As it was originally reported on NPR (which I listen to in the night, sometimes half-asleep) the decision was 7-2, with Thomas and Alito dissenting. Today, I see it was 8-1, only Alito dissenting. There’s no hope for Alito, he’s not even worthy of comment except disparagement. Perhaps he’s just the “token Republican authoritarian”. But I’d like to know the “rest of the story” about Thomas.
Colin Powell’s book was all fluff, there was no insight into his mind. The military is known for dealing with incompetents by “kicking them upstairs”, giving them a glittery uniform, ceremonial duties, an office, a secretary and a big paycheck for keeping quiet and staying out of the way. But the Supreme Court is something altogether different…
BreakingNews, 5/30/2018: Big Day in the Supreme Court
Editor’s note: This was written on the basis of Public Radio news last night, and there was no Wall Street Journal at the coffee shop this AM to back up my story… so this might not be 100% accurate, but I’ll fix it tomorrow,,,,CC
The Constitution wasn’t written for the convenience of law enforcement. The encroaching Police State has been eroding civil rights typically, as politicians claim to be “tough on crime” and help the profits of their political donors at the same time. Most people value safety over liberty, and it’s easy to forget (or deny) realities like The Holocaust which happen when authoritarians get too much power.
7-2 the Supreme Court upheld the FourthAmendment which limits (prohibits…) warrantless searches. Alito and Thomas were the only judges who couldn’t read the plain words of the Constitution. Bravo for Gorsuch, he’s turning out to be the “originalist” I hoped he’d be. Shame on Thomas.( Note: I might be giving Clarence a bum rap on this…) Thurgood Marshall would roll over in his grave. (he’s done a lot of that since Bush I gave Thomas his seat on the Court….)
In my view, the decision didn’t go far enough. Today, with the instant communications available 24/7/365 via the internet, there is no longer any good excuse for a warrantless search of anyone’s property- not even an automobile. It’s an important safeguard to our liberty. I know it’s an uncommon view. I’m happy for what we got. (less than I thought, I’m afraid…)
BreakingNews Memorial Day, 2018
Memorial Day is a sad day for Libertarians. Devoted to liberty, peace, justice, equality, prosperity there are few (if any) parts of human experience less conducive to Libertarian ideals than war- unless it be the other Apocalyptic Horses- disease, famine, pestilence, geological, weather and other natural catastrophes which everyone would agree to prevent- if we could.
Only war is glorified as something which somehow elevates individuals and humanity. Once a year we perform solemn ceremonies to convince spouses, parents, children their loved ones were maimed and killed and lost to them forever for a purpose, and were not just as sacrificial pawns in an international power and money game engineered by people who would never consider taking that risk themselves.
When was the last president who served in a legally declared war, one authorized by Congress to defend the Nation- Bush I? Bush II was a play-flyboy. Obama never considered it. Reagan played soldier in the movies. Clinton and Trump were draft dodgers. Trump even put down John McCain as a “loser” for having been shot down in Vietnam. Bush II managed to come off as more heroic sitting safely on the sidelines than John Kerry who was wounded in combat on his swift boat. Money talks.
We should honor our war dead by ending the wars, and taking care of our wounded veterans. They sacrificed their lives, health and happiness for us, and we owe them our appreciation with action- not just ceremony.
BreakingNews 5/30/2018: Trump Cancels?
Most Americans are Democrats or Republicans, and so they assume everyone is either one or the other. It’s the same about Trump, either you like him and his agenda, or you hate him and his agenda. So, I’m pretty sure everyone reading this is trying to decide whether I’m Democrat or Republican, “Pro Trump” or “Anti Trump”- and then they can decide if I’m credible or not…depending on whether I’m one way or the other.
At the same time I predicted before he was even nominated Trump would inevitably be impeached, I’ve also said that electing him was the best thing which has happened to America since FDR. Yes, his “Make America Great Again” strategy is so uncannily (or transparently…) similar to Hitler’s “Make Germany Great Again” program ( a la Mein Kampf) from the 1930’s that there’s plenty to worry about, especially if you’re a racial or religious minority, poor, addicted to opiates, LGBTQ… but the USA of 2018 is very different from the Germany of 1933. The biggest difference is that we have a two and a half century old Constitution, which the vast majority of Americans believe in, a legal tradition to interpret it- and enough of our elected officials have (at least) read it.
What Trump’s greatest accomplishment will be (in my opinion) is that he will reawaken America to the value of our Constitution, by way of his entertaining theatrics (to get our attention) and their inevitable legal consequence- to teach us the important lessons. What is “Separation of Powers”? “Emoluments”? “Establishment clause”?”Reconciliation”?”High Crimes and Misdemeanors”? “Obstruction of Justice”? “Nuclear Option”?
Trump isn’t afraid of impeachment, because he’s certain he won’t be convicted- it’s not easy to remove the president. It will keep him in the spotlight, where he likes to be- and make everything he does seem more important. The history books will love retelling the story, because it will sell more history books.
BreakingNews: 4/4/2018 : Stormy days ahead
Before Trump was nominated, I predicted were he to be nominated, and win the election- he would be impeached and convicted before his first term was up. The only uncertainties were who would do it, when it would happen and what would be the formal “excuse” for doing it. You can find plenty to read about “Stormy Daniels” story in all the papers, but I think it would be a shame if this turns out to be the “excuse” the anti-Trump forces have been waiting for. There are so many better reasons.
Now I have to add “Stop and Frisk” Rudi Giuliani to the RoguesGallery.
BreakingNews 5/29/2018: Trump Cancels North Korea Summit
The North Koreans got one thing right. Pence is a “dummy”. Living up to his description as “ignorant” and “stupid”, Pence threatened Kim Jong Un with the same fate as Muhammar Khadaffi, who having conceded his nuclear weapons in an attempt to normalize relations the U.S. would create, finance and give military back-up to an insurgency which would ultimately end up shooting him trying to hide in a drainage culvert. Avoiding that is exactly why he felt he needed to develop nukes in the first place. Trump saw the big mistake, preempted Kim in cancelling first- but it was Pence who blew it.
The best argument for not impeaching Trump is that Pence would become president if he’s convicted. Trump, for all his faults, at least isn’t a “dummy”. JFK’s choice of LBJ as his running mate was a wise one, as was FDR’s Truman and Reagan’s Bush. Had Hillary Clinton chosen Bernie Sanders as her running mate, and welcomed him as a partner in her administration, I think she would have won the election in a landslide.
BreakingNews: 4/11/2018 : John McCain speaks
When John McCain ran for president against Barack Obama in 2008, I was still of the opinion there was a real difference between the Democrats and the Republicans. I didn’t always agree with him, but I admired him for his courage and his independence. I’d have voted for McCain had he been a Democrat, but I was concerned about his health and I didn’t want Sarah Palin to become president. I voted for Obama even though I was worried his presidency might be a failure- because of the color of his skin, not the content of his character. But, all in all, I was confident whoever won that election we’d have a good human being in the Oval Office.
In today’s Wall Street Journal, the Review section is McCain’s narrative about Vladimir Putin. It’s very good reading, I recommend it to everyone. In his final days, as his brain cancer threatens to bring his life to an abrupt end, I’m glad to hear his voice still strong. He lays his case on the table, for all America to see.
BreakingNews: 4/10/2018 : The Trump Factor
The American People elected Donald Trump because he promised to disrupt the “status quo”, and he’s delivering on that promise. I didn’t like (and still don’t like) the issues he focused on during his campaign. I think he rode a tide of hate, fear and ignorance to the White House, the same way Hitler did in 1933, focused on the same points- white supremacy, religious bigotry, xenophobia, anti-intellectualism, authoritarianism- to appeal to the masses, inspire thugs to be Brown Shirts, and they to want to be SS- but built and kept his power by pandering to the corporations and being careless of the well being of his People, and tyrannizing them.
But this is America 2018, not Germany 1933. America has a better designed political system with a longer history with The People for Trump to even imagine that the American People might vote 99.6% to give him permanent dictatorial power- as Hitler achieved. He must know that he can huff and puff, but he won’t blow the house down- no matter what he says or tries to do because the Constitution provides Separation of Powers. That gives him the liberty to bloviate as much as he wants to energize his base, knowing that the Courts will in a short time abort whatever he tries which is Unconstitutional. He has to know his time is short, that his impeachment will start in January 2019, and will reach a conclusion which will make him a one term president- maximum. I think he never planned to serve two terms, was never concerned about being re-elected.
BreakingNews: 5/19/2018: Abortion Debate
First, the facts. 40% of all children born are accidentally conceived, not planned. 2/3 of divorces are filed by the woman. Over half of children born are born out of wedlock. 90% of those who use Planned Parenthood are impoverished. 90% of those in prison come from one parent families, 95% of which are headed by women. The birth rate is declining, especially among the affluent. Young people aren’t getting married, buying homes, raising children- they’re watching porn on their cell phones. The family, as an institution, is deteriorating. The opioid epidemic, the outsourcing of jobs, the deteriorating education system, illegal immigration, corruption in all three branches of government- and in business… all contribute to the deteriorating American Dream. Few dispute the facts, or the need for change.
The Libertarians believe that free markets will solve everything, and they think government interference is the problem, and hate paying all taxes. The “Freedom Caucus”, which owes its origin to the post-schism/collapse Libertarians (when the progressives defected to the Democrats and only the “Hayek” conservatives remained and then they gave up on the Libertarians and became Republicans…) became the new face of Jim Crow and the KKK. They champion “State’s Rights”, as if The States were somehow less corrupt and oppressive than the Federal Government.
The Democrats promote the abortion debate as a “Women’s Rights” issue, pandering to women. Their main talking point is that a woman should have complete sovereignty over her own body. The Republicans couch it in “Religious Rights” language, pandering to the religious. Their main talking point is that an embryo/fetus is an innocent child whose life can and should be saved. Both are good arguments. In reality, however, the politicians don’t really care about abortion at all. Their goal is the spoils of political power, and they’re just dividing up the electorate into core constituencies devoted to “hot button non issues”. They know that “gridlock” preserves the “status quo”, and nothing big is going to change.
I personally believe that Trump would be delighted for all poor black women to abort (or contracept) all their children- in America and everywhere else, too- and Planned Parenthood is designed to enable poor people to get contraception and abortion -among other things… but his political calculus, as a Republican, requires bloviation on the other side of the abortion debate, knowing nothing is ultimately going to change. It’s all just political theatre, playing to “The Base”, most of which is southern, fundamentalist, white supremacist, fearful and resentful of blacks, Mexicans, “liberals”, Muslims, homosexuals and foreigners (which includes northerners)- which they consider to be evil…criminal. Never mind that Trump is a northerner, doesn’t give a damn about religion…that’s Mike Pence’s job. Trump does piety ineptly.
New Libertarians propose the Original Libertarian (pre-schism/collapse- 1972 style) position that the person (male and female) have sovereignty over their own bodies -and minds, too. That means The State shouldn’t have the power to require any woman to have an abortion, nor any man to go to an undeclared war- for the same reason. However, if religious people refuse to pay taxes for health care for the poor which provides access to abortion, then those who despise war and police state should refuse to pay taxes for the military, prisons and police by the same logic. The truth is, we all should pay taxes to support our government- fairly. The only fair tax is on assets. The rich own the political parties, and increasingly regressive taxation is a fundamental goal of both corrupt political parties. But they don’t want to discuss that at election time.
Religious arguments are precluded by the First Amendment’s “Establishment Clause”, which prohibits Congress from passing laws which give religion political power. The New Libertarians are concerned with the future of America, beginning with the family- the health, education, nutrition, housing, opportunity, Rights and Liberties of our Posterity, the success of the American System. More children who are planned by healthy, educated, secure parents committed to each other and to creating a successful family which are willing to sacrifice their own instant gratifications for the long term viability of the family, community and the nation are best for the long-term viability of America. How best to enable that should be the debate, and that’s what we should be talking about. Skip the political theater.
BreakingNews: 4/28/2018 Pompeo confirmed.
It’s time for me to update RoguesGallery now that “master of corruption” Rex Tillerson is moved from “rogue’s list” to the “sacrificial pawn list”, and CIA spook/torturer Pompeo is taking his place at State as USA’s lead diplomat, and Pompeo’s assistant -also complicit in the torture/secret prison scandal- steps into his shoes. At the same time, I have to add to the “rogues list” someone I forgot to mention the first time around- Scott Pruitt- quickly, before he gets sacrificed and he escapes the honor. Michael Cohen came into the spotlight and left the stage before I could list him. This job keeps me busy.
BreakingNews: 5/18/2018: Trump’s Reversal of Fortune
Most of them Democrats, but also enough Republicans to turn the tide against him are looking at each other in panic going into the 2018 elections trying to decide what to do. Trump fights fire with fire, and as problems heat up across the globe those whose fortunes ride on the preservation of the status quo are starting to worry there might not be enough fire trucks around to save their asse(t)s. Trump, for his part, is filling up the water trucks with gasoline so as to be ready. It will be interesting.
Mueller’s Russian election interference investigation faces a deadline, and soon the impending elections will demand a gag order on his progress, lest it “interfere” with the election. But Mueller knows that after the election his investigation will become irrelevant to its main purpose- to give the electorate the information it needs to make a wise choice at the polls. So, he’s going to be in a hurry to get as much of it out as he gan before the deadline, but not make any big mistakes which could cast doubt on his competence and the validity of the investigation altogether. It will be interesting, too.
Trump’s threatening Kim Jong Un with a rerun to Muhammar Khadaffi’s story, that the USA will overthrow his government and he’ll be shot hiding in a culvert, or hung like Saddam Hussein after being dragged from a “spider hole” to the gallows. Ebola is out in a city of over a million people. There’s a trade war with China. Cholera is overwhelming Yemen. Syria just gets worse, and worse. Food Stamps are in jeopardy, Gaza is a bloodbath following US Embassy plans in Jerusalem… there’s a lot to watch on Trump’s “Reality TV”.
Soon the camera will be on him, I predict.
BreakingNews: 4/3/2018 : Cambridge Analytica Folds
Newlibertarians.com aspires to be the “bright side” of data analytics, “The Force” behind political change in America and the world. The Engine of Democracy…
4/1/2018: BreakingNews: Resurrection day.
People who are fearless of death are terrifying. Whether it’s Jihadist suicide bombers, Kama Kazi pilots, or even an old man like Socrates who, when given the choice of behaving in an “acceptable” manner, or going into a comfortable exile- chose death, instead. Achilles could have sat out the Trojan War, too. He made a choice. Jesus probably could have survived, too- had he chosen to. After he fled The Temple to the wilderness- after throwing out the moneychangers- he could have just kept going. But he didn’t.
A year ago I launched newlibertarians.com. Donald Trump had just been inaugurated president, and it seemed to me he was following Hitler’s playbook, “Mein Kampf”, a book I read as a teenager. Like Hitler’s, his agenda is no secret. He wants to Make America Great Again the same way Hitler wanted to make Germany great again- with authoritarianism, focused on “The Leader”- “Der Fuhrer”. And his campaign rides the same “zeitgeist” as Hitler’s- race and religion, and has the same scorn for democracy.
Obama was a weak leader, through no fault of his own. He had black skin, and many Americans simply will not follow a black leader. After eight years of ineffective leadership, ever widening and more confusing losing wars abroad- America was hungry for a leader. Like Hitler, Trump has been seeking the presidency for decades. When he felt his moment came, he struck. The Republicans were splintered, and he stepped in to unify The Party around Republican principles. Some people are superior to others, and deserve to lead and deserve privilege. White people and Christians, especially. Jews are OK, for now. Democracy is weakness, it doesn’t work. The biggest fear of the ruling class is that the poor will unify and set up the guillotine. Use “divide and conquer”, the age old way a privileged minority rules the majority. The Army and the Police are the saviors of civilization. Women and men argue, blacks and whites argue, Judeo-Christians and Muslims argue. Keep them arguing, and confused. Do not let them understand politics, lest they see who their real friends and their real enemies are.
Both my parents were veterans of WWII, my mother taught history (and did diplomatic research at the State Department, trying to understand Pearl Harbor) and my dad was a psychologist. My first love was a Jewess, and her parents were good to me- and I loved them, too. I was made very aware of the historical, political, religious, racial and psychological origins of WWII and the Holocaust. I saw how WWI created the Bolsheviks and the genocides of Russia, and WWII created the People’s Republic of China and their millions of deaths. Authoritarianism is not the answer. It’s never been the answer, and it will never be the answer.
Yes, it seems to work for a while- but (like the “Thousand Year Reich”) it doesn’t work for very long. It always ends up with a Lost War- lost because of corruption. Eventually “the many” oppressed unite to depose “the few” oppressors.
The U.S. Constitution is the answer. The Preamble states the Purpose. The Rule of Law- not men, to which everyone agrees, and the Social Contract which binds us to it is the answer. Liberty, guaranteed by the Bill of Rights is the answer. Education is the only way Americans can inherit our precious birthright. Anyone who tells you you need not understand-only to obey- is your enemy. America has drifted away from our moorings, and the “Divine Wind” will blow us on the rocks unless we regain the helm and guide her to safety.
BreakingNews: 3/12/2018: Filing Day
Today’s the deadline to file to run for office in Montana. I got two calls asking if I was running, so that’s progress. One was a Libertarian, the other was a Democrat. At this rate I might have enough support to consider doing it again in 2030…if I’m around. I told them both I’m not going it alone any more. If somebody wants me to run, they need to let me know at least a week before the filing deadline.
The political process is kind of like the yearly fall roundup on a Montana cattle ranch. There are two big bidders at the auction.What they buy goes off to the feedlots on the same train- and there’s just one train. Unless you want to play the game the way they’ve arranged it- you’re on your own. Part of the purpose of newlibertarians.com is to offer an alternate route, the other part is to enable voters to vote wisely in their own best interest inside the system as it is.
The first thing a voter needs to know is that where the most money goes is what arguments are going to me made loudest and most often. For those who invest in elections (“the 1/2%”) it’s a great investment. Each $1 they invest in elections returns $900 in government spending, and they control it. As a bonus, they get to write all the laws -especially the tax laws- and control foreign policy. They give money to both sides of every important race- whichever candidate wins always gives them what they want. If you don’t want to be one of their puppet-politicians, you don’t get to play on their field.
Now that the election of 2018 is under way, we’ll devote our efforts to what we each can do inside the election system, corrupt as it is, to reform government with our votes.
BreakingNews 3/13/2018: The Kickoff
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson got canned with a tweet, so I’m going to have to rewrite RoguesGallery and move him from the “Rogues” list to the “Sacrificial Lambs” list and add a few more “Rogues” to the list. It’s been due a rewrite for a while, now. This job keeps me very busy.
The political political season has kicked off, all the players are on the field- and the ball is in the air. The Democrats are encouraging the Libertarians- to pick off Republican votes. The Republicans are encouraging the Greens to subvert the Democrats. The big race is that for the Senate seat held by Democrat Jon Tester.
The Libertarians are running Rick Breckenridge for that Senate seat. I know and like Rick. We don’t agree about everything-but no two people agree about everything- and I plan to vote for him, and encourage others to do the same. He won’t win, but he’s a personable, intelligent, fair-minded guy with a nice wife, a son who works with him- and good reputation. He’s a surveyor- an honorable profession. George Washington was a surveyor. Doing it right is a surveyor’s trademark.
For my part, I’m going to put up a new website… UnitedThirdParty.com… (don’t click on it, it’s not up yet) to attempt to unify the opposition to the corrupt “two party” collusion. It will link to this website, be a separate “cover page” to entice those who think they’ve made up their minds about the current Libertarians to give us another look. I’ll approach the Greens, Democrats and Republicans to see if any of them would like to embrace the New Libertarian idea, too.
4/7/2018: BreakingNews: Tariffs, Sanctions, Dow drops…
Great article today in the Wall Street Journal by Pat Buchanan, remembering the politics of 1968 from the Nixon camp. I was there, too. In 1966 I’d given a speech at my high school graduation against the Vietnam war. The local paper wouldn’t print it. In 1968 I was an East Coast college anti-war activist, but the mood of the nation was still pro-war. In 1970, after graduation, with a draft lottery draw in the low 50’s, and then being rejected at my pre-induction interview and free to choose, I decided to move to the mountains of Montana- “Back to the Earth”- as they called it, then.
In 1972, the American Libertarian Party was founded- anti-war, anti-draft, anti-police state, anti-prohibition, anti-taxes, pro-choice, pro-free trade, pro-civil rights, pro-equality.. they represented the new center of a changing America. The Democrats and the Republicans were worried they could lose their place at the feed-trough. Then came Watergate, in 1973- just before the elections.
In August, 1974 I was felling big, gnarly old-growth timber up in the granite rock piles SW Montana is famous for, trees the old timers left because they were too hard to get, too many knots, too steep, too dangerous to log… and on my truck’s radio I heard Nixon was about to resign. I climbed my truck up onto a knob where my radio got better reception to hear his speech. For the record, I was glad to see Nixon fall and for Gerald Ford to decide that Vietnam was lost. Thankfully Spiro Agnew quit first. I had a hard time understanding why it took them so long to figure it out, why they invested so much in such an obviously losing enterprise.
Pat Buchanan told the story from the Republican insider point of view, but it was amazingly evenhanded. Both sides of the “culture wars” have good people, patriots who love America- they just have different views of the same thing. Somehow the Democrats- who started it, thoughtlessly- and the Republicans- who kept it going to defeat- had to quit when America decided we couldn’t believe them any more about why they were doing it.
Here we are, 2018, in the same place America was in 1968. Fifty years ago Nixon became president, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were shot… and in 2016 America elected Donald Trump hoping he’d alter the trajectory of the nation. He didn’t. The wars are widening. The deficits are expanding. The police state is growing. Civil rights are shrinking. Drug addiction is pandemic. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer and the middle class is still being taxed into poverty. The protests are growing. We know we can’t trust the government to let us know what’s going on. Trump doesn’t even try to tell a straight story. The media is bought off. The corruption is everywhere, impossible to hide. As with Nixon, it’s just a matter of time before Trump falls. It’s obvious to me he’s becoming increasingly desperate and erratic as Mueller closes in on him, his allies quit and midterm elections loom.
I think it’s time for the Libertarians to get moving, again. Just rotating the corruption back to the Democrats isn’t good enough any more.
BreakingNews: 3/9/2018: The real issues
Today is a good time to talk about the real issues facing America, the ones the politicians don’t talk about at election time. What makes today the day to start is that Trump is doing something no other president has dared to do- he immediately and without hesitation agreed to talk face to face with Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s panicky young dictator. We’ll see how that goes and comment later. Today’s column is about the OpioidEpidemic.
BreakingNews: 3/23/2018: Facebook Problems
The problem with Facebook isn’t that they are promiscuous with people’s data. Anyone with sense knows that there’s no free lunch. People love the Wild West aspect of the internet. The Internet- like guns, drugs, sex, money- offers people a frontier to explore. Yes, it can have its dangers. But the answer isn’t to turn the primordial wilderness into Disneyland, safe and sanitized.
BreakingNews: 4/21/2018: Pregnant Stories
The Wall Street Journal had several interesting stories today. Hundreds of molested gymnasts, a sudden thaw in North Korean relations, Comey’s release of (after the fact) classified documents, DNC suing Russia, Wikileaks, others for having lost the 2016 election. Two articles about bank fraud, one about the VW emissions fraud.
What do they all have in common? They’re about hiding facts from The People because somebody is making money keeping them swept under the rug. Money, and the power of Money. How about this? If somebody “classifies” something which The People have the right to know- there should be the risk of a criminal penalty as a deterrent.
Over a million people died, and our nation’s future has been irreparably damaged by LBJ’s fraudulent “Tonkin Gulf Incident”, the facts of which were kept secret 50 years! Somebody could have and should have said something THEN, when it could have made a difference.
Justice Brandeis famously said, “Sunlight is the greatest disinfectant.” There should be immediate penalties for lying to The People, for everyone… especially presidents. The more power you have, the greater the damage you do and the greater the penalties you should face. It’s preposterous that Trump can lie on average at least once every day- and nobody can do anything about it. Trump lies faster than the truth-checkers can check him.
The biggest difficulty the impeachment process has is trying to decide which offense is worth focusing on when each new day there’s another one more outrageous than yesterday’s. Trump is toast. Pence is equally implicated. Ryan’s announced his resignation. Who’s fourth in line? The next speaker, appointed by Ryan? Pelosi? Someone needs to grab the tiller before the Ship of State crashes on the rocks.
5/10/2018:Trump factor, cont’d
Freed from concern about being reelected, something which constrains most presidents who expect to get most of their legacy accomplishments in their second term, determined to disrupt- Trump started breaking things the moment he was elected, before he was even inaugurated. He surrounded himself with some of the most radical choices of advisors bent on destruction- led by Steve Bannon- and appointed a rogues gallery cabinet, agency and bureaucracy leadership- intended to confuse, degrade and demoralize these institutions.
What Trump’s actually done (as opposed to what he appears to have tried to do and in trying to keep his core constituency entertained- and avoid the cardinal sin of entertainment- boring the audience…) isn’t that bad, in my opinion. The Supreme Court needs an “originalist” to replace the deeply missed intelligent, friendly, funny and human Antonin Scalia- and Neil Gorsuch may be that guy (grouchy old Clarence Thomas, who was supposed to similarly “replace”- a Republican joke- Thurgood Marshall, isn’t…) and Trump’s permanent corporate tax cut simply makes the U.S. competitive to be home to the world’s largest multinational corporations- most of which would like to call the U.S. home and don’t only for that reason- and their shareholders don’t object.
I think he’s right that the U.S. gets taken advantage of in world trade, but most of the reason why is because multinationals think only of their bottom line, and care little about America or the American People- so long as they can call on the U.S.Army to protect their assets whenever/wherever they might be threatened. He’s right, also, about the “cheating” on arms agreements (nuclear, chemical, biological..) with North Korea, Iran, Russia, Syria, the UN, as well as environmental, intellectual property, and other international agreements we honor, and they don’t. So, some of his arbitrary and seemingly irrational tantrums over NAFTA, Paris, AsiaPac, metals and wood tariffs, etc, could actually bear fruit in the form of better deals to replace the current defective ones. We’ll have to wait and see. It WILL be entertaining, at least.
It’s a wild ride, certainly… but we’d best enjoy it while we can- because it will soon be over.
Breaking News: People Lie
Nowhere anywhere is the use of “game theory” more applicable than in politics. The way the political game is played today, the electorate is divided almost exactly in half between the Democrats and the Republicans- and just as in the Russia/USA nuclear standoff game- the preservation of the “status quo” is the goal of the political game. If you want to change the “status quo”, they shut you out. Gridlock is the way to appear to be trying to change things, yet not.
What was then called the “Military Industrial Complex”- the collusion between the corporations and the political players to keep building the military machine even when “the war” was over- organized by the Parties- requiring perpetual military conflict (Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Libya, Syria, most of Africa, South America…we have active military operations ongoing in 132 nations at this time) to keep using up the old equipment so more needs to be developed, built and bought- as well as protecting corporate values abroad (like oil wells, copper mines, forests, rare earth minerals, diamonds, opium/coca operations…)… TODAY this includes not only the military, but also the whole economy (once “entitlements” are included)- which is increasingly under the control of bigger and bigger multinational corporations, where power is becoming increasingly concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. Why do they get so big? Because being big and wealthy they have more power to corrupt the government than their smaller competitors- and swallow them up.
They have no loyalty to America, or Americans. They’ll pay taxes to any country- so long as they’re the lowest.
If our goal is to produce representation for Americans which will reflect the “Will of the People”, and we want to be able to create political polls to learn it- then we have to design them to eliminate (as much as possible) the effect of subterfuge on the polls. That means we need to determine which results are the result of subterfuge, be able to eliminate them. At the same time, if we are seen to be disqualifying our own poll results by our own opaque standards- who will trust the results of our polls? If we’re transparent, then our methods are more easily subverted. It’s a challenging problem, even more challenging than keeping the discussions rational and polite.
So, when we ask you to do a poll, we hope you’ll be as honest as possible (the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth) about your perceived self-interests, your perceived enemies, your biases, your worries, the things which matter to you- so that together we can craft good solutions to The Nation’s problems, create a better future for all of us.
4/15/2018 Tax Day
We need to ask ourselves, “Are we getting what we’re paying for?” Do we really have Democracy- government “Of, By and For The People” the Declaration of Independence , the US Constitution , and the Bill of Rights sought to create? Are we governed with our consent? Or, do we have a corrupt government devoted to the interests of a ruling class- just like the one from which we separated ourselves in 1776?
Few Americans know what’s contained in our Founding Documents- and most of them would rather YOU didn’t know. The purpose of newlibertarians.com is to reawaken interest in this miraculous blueprint for a democratic society, and enable America to regain her footing as a Free Nation, set a shining example for the rest of the world to admire and seek to emulate. The Power of the Internet to define consensus threatens tyranny everywhere, especially here in America.
“The price of Liberty is eternal vigilance.” We’ve been sleeping for too long. We need to wake up soon, lest when we do we find ourselves in chains.
3/28/2018: Four Stories
Wendy Yang wrote an op-ed in the WSJ today about how economic success is correlated with people getting an education, a job, and getting married (1-2-3) BEFORE they have children. Duh. Who’d have guessed that? If you grow up in poverty, ignorance and disease your prospects of success are reduced! If you live in a place where schools are war-zones, there is no employment, it’s a food-desert, there are drug-dealers under every streetlight and nobody else gets married before they have sex- what are these folk to do? Be celibate?
Try telling Donald Trump he ought to be celibate. He’s being quiet in the face of the Stormy scandal because he’s respectful of his wife and their marriage, because he cares about her and their offspring. Yes, he’s always had plenty of libido, and surrounds himself with temptation. Virtually every male admires that. Contrary to politically correct propaganda, money WILL buy everything. I think those who believe Millenia isn’t happy are indulging in wishful thinking. I think she’s having the time of her life, and will enjoy it as long as she can. How many women on the planet (#metoos included) wouldn’t trade places with her? She rides a grand steed, why wouldn’t she be proud?
Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens thinks we can do away with the Second Amendment. He thinks it’s outlived its usefulness. Today we can count on the police and the military to protect us, he thinks. He thinks it was included to protect the States from the Feds, and they don’t need protection any more. His argument is interesting because it’s so absurd. We live in a police state, John…you might not be aware of that in your privileged position.
Tech stocks dive, because Wall Street thinks everyone is going to abandon Facebook and their smart phones because their data was misused to expose them to Russian propaganda! I think its a flash-panic engineered for the flash-traders to liberate panicky people from some of their money.
How do all these stories relate? People need to see the big picture. How many millennials can recite the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution? How many can tell you what’s in the Bill of Rights? How many understand the Separation of Powers? How many can see past their little daily addictions (… sex, drugs, Starbucks, Facebook…) to see the things money CAN”T buy? Like Liberty…
3/23/2018: Facebook’s problem
Facebook’s problem is that their product is highly addictive- and it appeals to children. As with all addictions, they’re easily acquired and hard to get rid of and people will sacrifice too much to support their habits. The heroin pusher will give the first shot for free, knowing you’ll soon come back looking for him with money. Children love Facebook more than they worry about their data being misused. The knee jerk response will be to persecute it- just as it is with guns, sex, drugs. But what really happens is that once the addiction takes hold, another to serve it will always arise to take its place. Like Prohibition and the War on Drugs, attempting to restrain the Internet will be a fool’s errand.
A friend of mine once told me that 70% of the traffic on the internet is pornography. I told him I didn’t believe it. I get zero pornography on the internet. In the beginning I got a few unsolicited ads for Viagra in my inbox, and I ignored them. I suggested that maybe his teenage kids might have left a trail of breadcrumbs back to his computer.
Libertarians have always been against constraints to liberty. There’s temptation to parents to expect government to sanitize the world so that their little babies won’t catch anything harmful. Better to immunize them with good parenting, and let them develop immunity of their own through childhood experiences. A good parent will council a child to learn from his mistakes, and point out big hazards he’ll encounter along his way- but what the kid does when he encounters them will be determined by what the kid chooses. The parent can’t be there hovering over all the time, forever. If the parent instills the most basic American value of Liberty deeply enough in the child’s subconscious- he’ll have the tools he needs to deal with whatever he confronts.
Sheltering youth from knowledge leaves them unprotected when the inevitable happens. Every girl should know where babies come from before she’s old enough to make one. Every child should know that nobody can be blindly trusted- not a cop, judge, doctor, teacher- because everyone is selfish- just like they are. Always discuss everything with your parents, because they’re the only people in this world who might really care about you more than themselves. Just because a doctor writes prescription for it doesn’t mean its good for you. Just because you read it in the paper (or on the internet) doesn’t make it true. Everyone has a self-serving agenda, learn to recognize it.
I see the Facebook/ Cambridge Analytica/ Trump/ Russia collusion to target vulnerable people with “Fake News” to disrupt the election as something which was inevitable. If it can be done and someone will benefit, it will be done. It might bring down the Trump presidency, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen again. The only protection we have against that is good parenting and good education. Scapegoating Facebook isn’t the answer.
3/16/2018 Russian Elections
As critical as it’s possible for us to be of our election system- what’s good about it can be demonstrated by the election of somebody like Donald Trump to be President- and then for him to be removed from office before he’s finished his first term using a due process to which we’re all agreed. The Brits, with their Parliamentary system can remove their Prime Minister even more easily, with a simple no-confidence vote. Compare that with the Chinese, whose leader is now expected to serve for life- and the Russians who will have Putin for over 25 years, with no end in sight. Trump is obviously envious, knowing his days are numbered- and might be much fewer than he wants.
But it’s what makes our system great. We get new blood from time to time, people with a new view on things. I’m not quite ready for Trump to go yet. I think America will benefit from more disruption, at least for a short while longer. But, I think Rand Paul is right about Pompeo. For Trump to choose the ex-head of the CIA, on whose watch America legalized and practiced torture, to be Secretary of State is a terrible choice. Tillerson carried the message of political/corporate corruption around the world.”If you want to know who to bribe, talk to Rex…” That was bad enough. But what message does Pompeo send to the rest of the world?
3/10/2018: The Opioid Epidemic
Having gone to college 1966-1970 I’m not naive about drugs. In 1972 my dad- a grant-writing psychologist- was out of work. Nixon had dried up Head Start research funding and his grants were run out. I told him, “You ought to get into drug addiction. That’s going to be big in the coming years.” He said he wasn’t interested. He thought addicts and alcoholics were like zombies, they had no character. He was more interested in a guy who thinks he’s Napoleon than in someone who lives for a bottle, needle or pill and thinks he’s nothing.
Many of my classmates were headed for drug problems. Some found jobs in the community surrounding the college so they wouldn’t lose their connections. Fed up with city life, I was headed for Montana. “Aren’t you worried you won’t find drugs? Girls?”, they asked. I speculated “No. Girls are everywhere, and drugs are too.” I didn’t know for sure, but it wasn’t that important to me.
When I got to Montana I couldn’t believe what I saw. The drug scene was huge, much bigger than the one in college. Plenty of girls, too. The popular drugs of the day were marijuana, hashish, LSD and speed. LSD and speed were physically exhausting, especially in cold weather- which wasn’t uncommon in Montana a mile high. Marijuana and hash were fun once in awhile, but boring when used every day. LSD and speed gave delusions of grandeur which made me pick up a pencil and paper to record these elevated thoughts- but the next day it was just gibberish. I decided drugs were a waste of time. I had better things to do. Plus, they cost money- money I had to earn and had a better use for. And, of course, there was the Law. The State was dressing up narcs (drug addicts given a free pass if they’d entrap drug users) to look like hippies and spreading them around, and I felt being busted would ruin my life.
I heard there were heroin and barbiturate addicts in Butte and Helena- but I didn’t think I knew any. Is still don’t, because even though now I know opioid addicts are everywhere- they keep to themselves. So, in trying to compare myself who quit fooling with drugs and never looked back- with opioid addicts which have become an omnipresent problem in parts of America like zombies in a horror movie I think the simple difference is that I am and always have been devoted to Liberty. Nobody owns me, or controls me- except me. I was inoculated against addiction by my parents with basic attitudes which protect me. So, in my opinion the ultimate answer to the opioid epidemic will be good parenting- or there will be no answer. More drugs isn’t the answer, in my view. Buying drugs to fight drug addiction is a fool’s errand.
It’s possible there is little which can be done for those who are already addicted. Nobody has any good answers for that problem. Trying to persecute drugs with Prohibition (and a police state to enforce it) does nothing to interrupt supply. We should have learned that from “The Noble Experiment” in the “Roaring 20’s”. Prohibition doesn’t work. All it does is put more profit in it and corrupt every institution which deals with it. Millions of lives and families are ruined by the War of Drugs- as many or more than by the drugs themselves. If parents are addicted, then public school has to be where children become protected. That means children need to go to school, and school has to be a prized resource in the community. It has to be the best it can be, attract the best talent, have the needed resources.
This is where I differ with today’s Libertarian Party, and the Republican Party which promote alternatives to good public schools- presumably to reduce government power and save taxpayer dollars. Home schooling, in my opinion, is child abuse. It deprives children of something they have a right to have- to learn more than their parents know. The Democrats are on the right side of the public education issue, in my opinion. Education needs higher priority. They’re wrong about a lot of other things, of course. Teachers unions aren’t the answer if they institutionalize mediocrity and make schools less efficient. School needs to be exciting, inspiring- and use money efficiently. They’re wrong about putting huge resources into “drug treatment” (and especially drug treatment with drugs) which doesn’t work, too. “Child Protective Services” (CPS) is a Democratic Party oxymoron when it destroys families to advance Prohibition- which is most of what it does.
What can you do? Think about it. Do the police really protect you? Is being at war all over the world of any benefit to you? Are you happy to pay for prisons which create inmates who when released can’t make it on the outside. re-offend and go right back- over 80% of the time? Do you think paying a billionaire’s taxes for him benefits America- because he’s better than you? Deserves more than you do? We Americans need to elect people who’ll make corruption dangerous to those who embrace it. We need politicians who are not only willing to claim to support the Constitution- but who have actually read it, understand it, understand that responsibility, and have the courage to stand up for it.
That takes an electorate which demands better than what we’re getting. How many of us would have chosen Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump to be our first choice for President in 2016? Doesn’t something need to be changed?
3/8/2018: Hot Button Issues
When I was a kid I used to read Outdoor Life. Living in Westchester hunting squirrels and rabbits, I dreamed of Montana…elk, moose, grizzly bears…the forests, the mountains, the wide open spaces. Jack O’Conner wrote my favorite column- his world was everything I was dreaming about. Once a year he’d produce an article about a perennial dilemma. “Which is better, the .270 Winchester or the 30/06 Springfield?” My little .22 was illegal in Westchester, my dad warned me sternly me if I ever got in trouble with it… so shooting a real big game rifle at real big game was a forbidden fantasy. I read Outdoor Life religiously. Jack liked the .270. His gun was a Winchester model 70. He used his cowboy hat for a gun rest to shoot mule deer out on the prairie. A lot of them, for the railroad. He was good with it. Winchester sponsored him, it turns out- something I didn’t notice at the time.
As we approach the 2018 elections, the perennial “hot button” campaign issues are being arranged by the political parties like the ducks in the shooting arcade at the State Fair- to entertain and manipulate the voters. The purpose for the big production is money, just like the State Fair- and the Constitution requires elections. We participate because it’s what everyone else is doing, and it’s entertaining. This year the issues are #metoo, DACA, and guns. The #metoo issue fires up the women, guns stir up the men, and DACA energizes the minorities. The “Right to Lifers” and the “Pro-Choicers” get steamed up about abortion, as always. The religious fundamentalists conjure righteous anger about Sharia vs Prayer in School, Common Core and Same Sex Marriage and all these riled up folk go for each other’s throats as they line up at the polls to vote for the Democrat, or the Republican.
When I got to Montana, I hunted elk in the lodgepole forests. My uncle, an elk hunter from Butte told me, “Get the 30/06. Sometimes you have to shoot through a tree.” My hunting partner had a Model 70, .270, he killed as many as I did. The long and the short of it is that they’re different, sure- but not enough different to really matter.
The argument of the moment is about tariffs on steel and aluminum. Like all these contentious issues- I predict nothing much is going to change. It’s just a show- a puppet show. Trump wants to be able to say he did what he could to fulfill his campaign promises to his core constituency- under and unemployed white males and their white wives who feel threatened by immigrants, outsourcing and advancing technology to counter the legions of #metoos and “dreamers” the Democrats are organizing to criticize Trump’s women-history and inarticulate political incorrectness for the mid-term elections- which will be mostly about Trump. If you’re pro-Trump, you’ll vote Republican. If you’re anti-Trump you’ll vote Democrat. The whole production serves the Plutocracy, which funds it- for the purpose of preserving the status quo. It won’t matter which team wins, so long as it’s Democrat or Republican. They own both teams. Nothing big will change.
Consider the 70+ times the Republican House voted to repeal Obamacare- knowing Obama’s veto would prevail. Once they had Trump willing to sign anything they gave him, they couldn’t muster the courage to do it- even once. Doesn’t that tell you something? Obama called the mideast wars “dumb wars” started by the Republicans, promised to end them. Did he? Nixon said the same thing about Vietnam. When Johnson ran against Goldwater- he claimed to be the “peace” candidate. The simple fact is that war is good for business, business pays for elections.
You might agree with me, but shrug and say, “What can I do about it?” Now that this election season is underway, in this column we’ll focus on that- what you CAN do. First thing, make certain you’re registered to vote. Your Constitution gives you that priceless right and privilege. If you don’t vote, you don’t matter. It’s like the lottery- you can’t win if you don’t play.
3/5/2018 “Populism” defined.
“Populism is a political philosophy supporting the rights and power of the people in their struggle against a privileged elite.” Wikipedia
What could be more “populist” than the Founding Documents? The Declaration of Independence says, “…all men are created equal, endowed with inalienable RIGHTS to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…”, and it’s the government’s responsibility to guarantee those RIGHTS- or be overturned! The Preamble to the Constitution enumerates those responsibilities. The Constitution gives Americans the RIGHT to turn their government upside down every two years- just by voting. The Bill of Rights enumerates those RIGHTS the government is obligated to guarantee.
So why did I choose “New Libertarians”? Because the Democrats and the Republicans collude to empower a “privileged elite”, which I call The Plutocracy- the Rule of Money. The Plutocracy funds elections, and uses the media to control the vote- using a “divide and conquer” strategy, getting the electorate all riled up and distracted with “hot-button non-issues” they use over and over, never do anything about. The Libertarians are the only legitimate Third Party available to put independent candidates on the ballot. It’s that simple.
Libertarians are devoted to Liberty. The first Liberty (see First Amendment) is freedom of thought- and speech, the press, to dissent, to associate, to protest. The current leadership of the Libertarian Party is corrupt- and needs to be replaced. They only represent 5% maximum in any election- and most of that is protest vote. The purpose of New Libertarians is to reform the Libertarians, by using internet polling (“plebiscite”) to fathom the “Will of The People”, and then pledging to represent it- and the Constitution which guarantees it. What could be more “populist” than that?
Breaking News: Trump supports change to gun laws.
I’m a deliberate person, and I know a lot about guns. My choice to leave Westchester County, New York and move to Montana was made in my early teens, and it was largely about guns. I’m glad I finished my B.A. in the East where I feel I had the most educational opportunity and my dad had the most employment opportunity- but once that was over my eyes were on the skyline.
Elsewhere in the website I describe guns as a “hot-button non-issue”, something which can stir up strong emotions on both sides and serves only to further the “divide and conquer” agenda of the Democrats and the Republicans. I’ve long said nothing big is going to change about gun laws. There is no political will to solve a problem which delivers such big benefits to politicians.
It looks like we’re about to try the theory- “the only answer to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”- and maybe tinker with age requirements to buy certain weapons, limit magazine capacities, outlaw “bump stocks” and strengthen background checks. I don’t think it will make any difference in how many school and church shootings occur- but the politicians can say they tried to “do something”, and Trump will be able to notch another “victory” and the zeitgeist will move to the next “hot-button non-issue”. Two weeks ago it was “#MeToo”, and this “gun thing” might serve to divide women otherwise unified and dangerous to the status quo into their respective team-loyalties and get them back to arguing again.
Our goal at newlibertarians.com is to unify the center of the American electorate to put aside the arguments about “hot-button non-issues” and focus our attention on what really ails America. Ever expanding Wars, Regressive Taxation, Police State, Deteriorating Education, Declining Health, Poor Nutrition, Housing, Discrimination, Family Law, Corruption. These (and more) are important issues which need to be dealt with, priorities determined, and decisions made. America was once the leader of the world- winning on all these fronts- but we are no longer. Today money trumps all other American values- and most of it belongs to multi-national corporations, which buy all our political puppets, and pull their strings- and we get to pay the taxes for their Army and their Police and their Courts to protect their assets.
This is why the Founding Documents are so important. Human nature was the same in 1776 as it is now, as it was at the time of Jesus and Socrates.
The corrupt corporations which England pushed on America caused us to rebel, and our Founders tried to create a new paradigm. The most basic value was LIBERTY. The Preamble to the Constitution reads:
“We The People, of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Untied States of America.”
What are the “Blessings of Liberty”? Union, Justice, Tranquility, Safety, Welfare. What guarantees them? The Founding Documents guarantee them. Don’t take my word (or anyone else’s) for what they say. Read them for yourself.
If only Americans, particularly young Americans- our “Posterity”- would take ONE hour from ONE busy day of their lives and read them…
Breaking News: Mass Protest, General Strike!
If Trump and the military are successful in their pusch to have a huge military parade in Washington D.C. on July 4, 2018- we want to be first to call for protest, and call for a General Strike in response. We’ll print a million Peace Signs, semaphore for Nuclear Disarmament- in black on white where protestors of all persuasions can write for regress of grievance, as provided in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. We invite all partners to join us. If you want to be a part of this, let us know.
Breaking News: 2/6/2018: Market rebounds
Those of you who read this column know I believe corruption runs the Government and Big Business, from the Dog Catcher to the Supreme Court. There’s nothing more corrupt than the stock market. Wall Street produces nothing except money by manipulating money. The big players (like Goldman Sachs) have a hundred strategies- at least two for every different situation- and computers to pick which one to act on at every given moment. I think they see a big collapse coming.
Everything’s roaring along fine, all the “essentials” are in line for the bull market to run on and on…and on. “Money”Mnuchin is telling everyone, “Just don’t panic. This is no big deal, just the markets working as they should.” I see something different.
From the depths of the 2007 crash when the market lost half its value caused by Wall Street/Government corruption in the U.S. housing market, aimed at ripping off foreign investors in CDO’s, insured with derivatives sold by companies (like AIG) which couldn’t back them up. This forced the U.S. Government to address the problem by printing money (“quantitative easing”, “too big to fail”- TARP) and adding it to the debt. It was a bad situation, but most of us are glad we didn’t get another Great Depression. None of the robbers spent a day in jail, the government gave them all a “get out of jail free” pass.
We slowly got our feet back under us and were making a gradual climb upwards in the longest bull market in history, unemployment decreased to record lows… and just as it started to look like there would be rising wages because of a tightening labor market, housing prices were rising and, people finally were coming up from being “underwater”… corporate profits were rising… and then the Republicans and Donald Trump gave the corporations a huge permanent tax cut…and added $1.5 trillion more to the deficit. It was like pouring gasoline on a nearly ready barbecue because you’re hungry and too impatient to wait for the fire. In economic terms, it was adding “volatility” to the situation. This fits Trump’s MO, there’s nothing like an explosion to disrupt the status quo.
Disruptions, like wars and natural disasters are very, very good for Big Business, but not so good for everyone else. Why? Because they can see it coming, have a strategy to benefit themselves. The big disruption on the horizon the insiders can see coming is in the presidency, itself. Trump has taken credit for the very long eight years of an Obama built slow recovery, and he’ll get the blame for the crash when the bubble bursts. Both political parties are in tatters, so there is no solid political footing for America’s future. It might be “emoluments”, it could be “Russian collusion”, or it could be “obstruction of justice” or it could be “insanity” or something else… “nepotism?”,”tax evasion?”,”lying?”… or simply that he’s outlived his usefulness to the Plutocracy which brings him down- but he’s coming down.
I can hear the panic in his voice.
Trump is delivering on his promise to disrupt the corruption in America, to “Drain the Swamp”. Now it’s plain that his swamp-draining project extends past America’s borders. He started the process by introducing some exotic new alligators, which specialize in catching and eating “beavers”- industrious creatures which devote themselves to swamp-building. At Davos he declared himself the Big Kahuna of the exotic new alligators, introduced himself into the world’s swamp. And Davos is where all the “beavers” gather to party and gleefully announce their plans for mankind for the next year.
At Davos, Trump announced to the world we’re done fooling around with the Palestinians. They need to recognize that Israel exists, and is a much bigger player on the world stage than they are. They lost the war. Now they should be grateful not to be vanquished- rather welcomed into the free world as a peaceful nation devoted to making a better future for its citizens. That is, if they want to fund themselves with American money.
Trump “took Jerusalem off the table”. The USA will move its embassy there, and the Palestinians are livid about it. Like a parent who takes the car keys and allowance from an errant teenager, Trump admonished the Palestinians to “Grow up!” He also told the Trans Pacific Partnership (with their Climate Change Accords) that America will play their game if the rules are fair, and recognize America’s leading role. If they don’t, fine. They can play with themselves. It’s their choice.
I’m not shy about criticizing Trump for a lot of what he says and does. Some of it is dishonest, stupid and wrong and panders to idiots, miscreants and other “deplorables”. But some of what he says and does is right on target, in my opinion.
12/30/2017: New Year’s Eve.
I don’t understand why people want to stand around in Time’s Square and risk frostbite and possible terrorist attack…for what? To watch a slow and not particularly interesting contraption do nothing new… make a big mess, get drunk…? I don’t get it. But I’m glad they’re having a good time. I wonder about the sanity of Packers and Vikings fans, too- as they brave the elements to root for their teams. I can see it well enough on TV, thanks- without the frozen eyelashes…
This “Tax Cut” will make things a little simpler, and a bit fairer (maybe) for the working poor, because it doubles the standard deduction and that means a lot of people who used to have to worry about whether they paid the right amount of taxes won’t have to worry as much. States which have income taxes might still want to link their forms to the Federal form, and with the Feds cutting back on what they pay states- State Income, sales and property taxes will probably rise, maybe even more than what is saved on the Federal taxes. That remains to be seen. Cynics like me expect that the “Tax Cut” will benefit the very rich most, or they wouldn’t have done it. If I relied on Medicaid, I’d worry.
In my view, they should get rid of the Income Tax altogether- it’s a horrible complicated corrupt mess, made worse by the current “Tax Cut”- and replace it with a FAT tax (Flat Asset Tax) and make those whose assets are protected by the system support the system to protect them- in exact proportion to how much they have to protect. It’s the only “fair tax”, i.e. not “progressive” or “regressive”, rather “flat”… and neither corrupt political party will EVER suggest it. They give their pals a totally free ride, now- in return for campaign financing.
Organizations like ours might choose to drop registered “non-profit” status (501c3, etc) as unnecessary bookkeeping expense if it offers no offsetting advantage to donors.
12/27/2017 Let’s Go!
The Plutocracy is lining up their puppets to run in the Democratic and Republican primaries. The Democrats think their best strategy is to recruit women candidates and get all the #metoo women (and that’s ALL women, who at one time or other felt they were #metoo) to vote for women candidates, reject male candidates. The Republicans, badly divided between those who love Trump and those who fear and loathe Trump- will seek to unify the male vote to counter the Democrat’s strategy with the same old “religious freedom”, “family values”, “law and order”, “military strength” slogans they always use, and abet any fear-mongering group who might serve to make people (particularly women) fearful, reject women candidates. The electorate will split 50/50, they hope- gridlock will prevail and nothing important will change. The politics of “divide and conquer” will continue, and no effective opposition to the status quo will be able to unite.
It’s always worked in the past, so why would they change their strategy now? They won’t. That gives an insurgency like ours a big opportunity- to unite centrists from both parties who want to see change to reject the fringe arguments which enable the “divide and conquer” strategy to work. Instead, we’ll seek consensus, and focus on the important issues- shelve the “hot-button culture-wars non-issues” and accept the reality that those things aren’t going to change enough to make all that conflict fruitful of anything other than division.
So, what are the “important” issues? That is what, as a group, we need to decide. I think war/ “military industrial complex”/militarized police state is the most important political problem today, just as it was when the Libertarians were founded in 1972. Others believe the environment (climate change, pollution, etc) is the most important issue. Still others think the biggest problem we face is “PID” (poverty, ignorance, disease…). Civil Rights (gender, race, religion…) has its advocates as “most important”. Unfair Taxation (the Fed, other financial/monetary policy) as traction with a lot of voters. There are more, too…
I think they’re ALL important- MORE important than the “hot-button culture-wars non-issues” we usually fight about at election time. And they’re ALL related in that they are what the Plutocracy wants us to be distracted FROM at election time. The Constitution gives the The People, by voting, the privilege of turning the government upside down every two years. The Plutocracy spends billions ($7.5 billion in the election of 2016) to make sure that doesn’t happen, lest they lose their strangle-hold on our democracy, enabled by the corrupt “two party” system.
We want to make that happen. Americans- and voters in elections all over the world, as well- deserve the opportunity to vote to benefit themselves, their families and America- and not just be manipulated by the Plutocracy, which is international and has no national “loyalty”.
I think our fighting about the host of already-decided, unlikely to change “red-herring” issues (we all know what they are…) is a distraction from the REAL problem- and that is that we have lost DEMOCRACY as our most fundamental unifying principle. Democracy is what Plutocracy fears most. They want to keep us fighting with one another to prevent us from noticing they manage our government to suit themselves- and not us.
12/26/2017: Looking to 2018
The great merchant holiday almost over, the hangover anticipated… the pundits are already pondering how Trump will deal with a Democratic majority Legislative Branch. I predict that’s when we’ll see his real deal-making talents emerge, and I’m pretty sure he anticipated that from the very beginning of his political career. He’s a successful builder, and builders know how to anticipate problems. Really smart ones use those problems to their advantage.
Trump now says he’ll get Democrats to cooperate in a bipartisan reform to Obamacare. In spite of a lot of poo-pooing from establishment Democrats, there’s a real opportunity in that which Trump isn’t missing. Confronted with a majority Democrat House and Senate, he will be able to say, “OK, boys and girls… show me what you’ve got.” Then, the Democrats will have to decide whether to put all their chips down on partisan politics- and focus all their efforts on obstruction and impeachment- or take advantage of the opportunity to cooperate.
Christmas Day, 2017
Yes, I work on Christmas. Mary labored on Christmas. Joseph likely did his share of work that day- probably a hard day for Jesus, too. My coffee shop where I usually read the Wall Street Journal and watch Fox News (close captioned) and write my column is closed, today- so I let the dogs out, fed them, jumped in my car and got my coffee at the gas station/convenience store/casino a couple of miles away. and decided to take my cup of coffee for a ride through the empty streets of Kalispell, Montana- just to see what was open at 8am on Christmas.This afternoon I’m following a Montana version of a New York Jewish Christmas tradition- I’m taking the family out to dinner at the Asian Buffet. As I drove by, I could see they were getting ready for a big day. Since there was no traffic, I drove up to the mall, and checked out the theater- just in case the grandkids might be up for a movie. Star Wars is playing… that might be fun.
The big political news of the moment (sandwiched between Tax Reform and Infrastructure) is Trump’s announcement that the USA is going to move the Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In spite of the loud opposition from many different directions- including 70 nations at the UN… I think it’s a good idea. Nothing has worked to date to unravel the GordianKnot of middle east peace and having a US Embassy in Jerusalem might just be what it takes. Yes, it seems like a radical thing to do- but Alexander’s solution, in retrospect, was obviously the right one. I think it’s worth a try.
Look at it this way. We have an embassy to Italy, and another to the Vatican. The reason for having one at the Vatican is to have diplomatic relations with all the world’s Catholics, and that’s different from having them with (secular) Italy. Nobody’s screaming about that.
I can imagine a “Trumpian” vision of an American Embassy in Jerusalem- embodying the principles he spells out in “Art of the Deal”. It will make a lot of people squeamish- but it might be a great (huge…) idea. It could even have a hotel/casino next door, “Herod’s Trump Plaza”, and it could cater to plutocrats from everywhere. Diplomats and businessmen from countries without an American Embassy could stay there, and the concierge could make them appointments at the embassy. It could take propaganda, corruption and espionage to a whole new level – beat the Russians to the punch. Then, they’d have to build one, too. Imagine a golf course where all the golf balls have tiny microphones in them, cameras everywhere. Everyone would be very polite, I expect. It’s hard to fight very hard and hit a golf ball with an over-full stomach and all your pockets (and golf-bag) overflowing with money. They could pass out free food to protesters- kosher for Jews, halal for Muslims. It could be a marketplace like Herod’s Temple two millennia ago. Maybe that’s where they should build it- right on top! Why not? Think big!!!
Then, Trump could build an even bigger and better one in Tel Aviv, telecommute between the two places. Merry Christmas! Grin and bear it. It’s just one day each year, and the kids think it’s fun.
12/22/2017: These are the times that try men’s souls.
The starting gun for the elections of 2018 is only days away, and the Democrats are recruiting candidates for their anticipated landslide win. They expect the American People will predictably flip the coin, yet again. The Plutocracy will focus on corrupting Democrats instead of Republicans, and “Happy days are here again.”
If I were a Kennedy (because Kennedy was a Democrat- if this were a Republican year I’d be a Bush) and had enough of my own money to put myself in the right places at the right times, meet the right people… this is what I’d do. I’d run for Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018. That would put me third in line for the Presidency, and if Trump and Pence were impeached and convicted I could become President.
Imagine I won the election to be one of 435 U.S. Representatives- something easy for a Kennedy, or a Bush- the next challenge would be to get elected Speaker by a closely divided House. Because I’d been running for Speaker from the beginning, and my constituents elected me knowing that- my strategy would be transparent to everyone. Simply, I would allow any bill to come to the floor which could get a 60% (bipartisan) majority to support it, no matter which Representative (or which party he belonged to) proposed it. I’d break the gridlock.
There would be a flood of bills proposed by members of both parties, as synopsis- short and sweet. Everyone (everyone..!) could read them, and each Representative’s preliminary response to each would be transparent to his constituents. Each Representative would get to propose five bills, the viable ones would get to committee.
For MY first bill, I would propose a bill that Congress be REQUIRED to declare war, something we haven’t done since 1941- but yet is required by the U.S.Constitution, IF the war is to last longer than 30 days. A real (nuclear) war won’t last 30 days, so the power of the president to deter aggression against the US is preserved. But these hundreds of “proxy wars” (killing millions of civilians, destroying cities, creating millions of refugees, bankrupting the country) we now fight would require transparent Congressional approval for EACH, by country.
I would also make it clear that if (by some WILD stretch of the imagination) I were to become president- Congress would have 30 days to do it, or I’d start withdrawing troops everywhere they didn’t. That would give Congress good reason not to impeach Trump, and it would give Trump a good excuse to put an end to these wasteful, futile wars- something I think he’d like to do anyway.
My second bill would be a 1% FAT Tax to support the U.S. military. (We all hate fat, don’t we? Let’s tax it! :)) A Flat Asset Tax, on all assets protected by the U.S. military, at home and abroad. Implementing this would be complicated, for sure, and for the FAT Tax to support MORE than just the military would be my choice- but just the military, for now.
Stay tuned for more…
12/21/2017 Return of the Sun
Here in Montana we take particular satisfaction on the longest night of the year. It’s going to get better. We’ll still have to fight snow, ice, and darkness another couple of months- but soon Old Man Winter’s back will be broken, the white world will turn green again. In a week and a couple of days it will be 2018- and when spring arrives we’ll be facing filing deadlines for American political hopefuls in this most advantageous year for change. If you ever fantasized about running for office, this year offers unusual opportunity- and newlibertarians.com wants to offer you the best way to realize that dream.
The Republicans are going to get killed over this party-line “Tax Cut” and financing the resulting debt in 2018, just as the Democrats did with party- line “Obamacare” and financing the resulting debt in 2010. Obama’s Fed printed massive “QE” money to cover it and keep interest rates down, but the Republicans won’t be able to do the same. The Democrats are riding the #metoo bandwagon and wildly recruiting female candidates- oblivious to the political reality that women don’t vote for women- and neither will men, under the circumstances. The Libertarians will still have 99% unused ballot access, free for the taking.
The long running Bull Market will stall and Bitcoin, Apple will lead the decline. The Fed will start cranking up rates, a full point at a time in trying to finance the new debt without taxing the rich, making it worse- like thrashing in quicksand. The Saudis are buying American oil… isn’t that a little like Alaskan eskimos buying Siberian ice… in winter? Why would they do that, now? Crowing about ISIS “Mission Accomplished” is a bit premature- there is no end in sight to the wars and their refugees, which now stretch from Atlantic to Pacific, the equator to the 45th parallel. 2018 is going to be a watershed year in world politics, especially in America. Stay tuned. Things are going to get really interesting.
12/15/2017 #metoo, too
I finally found a copy of Trump’s “Art of the Deal” at the Salvation Army Thrift Store- I bought it instantly and gave the store’s librarian (who keeps her eyes open for me) a hug and a kiss, which she endured gracefully. My theory on reading is that there is so much high quality literature I haven’t read, that I ought to be able to find “tried and true” worthwhile reading in the used bookstore.
She also found Gingrich’s book in the same box- “Understanding Trump”- so I guess someone with a short bookshelf decided he knew as much as needed to on that subject. I bought it, also- I’ll probably skim it. I think Gingrich is tiresome, personally- but his spin on Trump might be interesting. Gingrich claims to be a “Von Mises Libertarian”. I think he’s just a self-absorbed clown. I used to think that about Trump, too.
Trump is an important person to understand, in his current position- but as an author he’s light reading. His theme is always the same, “I’m great, all my friends are great- and even my enemies admire me- so I always get what I want.” He’s a name-dropper, too. Some of the deals he’s done are masterful, to say the least. I gained a new appreciation for the man’s intelligence at seeing where everyone (and most of them have big egos) is coming from, what their vulnerabilities are- and being able to miraculously come up with an idea which can get everyone on board long enough to make something big happen. That is a very useful skill for our president to have, and Trump has it. Never mind that most of the people he’s done deals with in the past wouldn’t do another…
Trump can brag on the record about being able to “have his way” with any woman, married or not- because he’s a “celebrity”. He can get women “foaming at the mouth” mad with what he says, thousands protesting in the streets- and still get elected president, winning the white women’s vote handily over the most qualified white woman who will ever get the opportunity to run for president. Then, the cerebral Charlie Rose can lose his PBS job instantly on an unsubstantiated #metoo accusation of something he purportedly did 20 years ago. Life isn’t fair, and Trump epitomizes that fact. The #metoo rage will go nowhere with Trump. His women are uncomplaining, they’re satisfied with the deal they made.
The “#metoo” fad will come to an end once women realize it doesn’t glorify them, give them increased opportunity or help their daughters and sisters succeed. The only true avenue upward from discrimination and oppression is meritocracy.- not entitlement The “#metoo fad” is based on a special gender entitlement women fight to preserve, which political gridlock enables- and only strengthens the glass ceiling they need to break to achieve equality.
“…all men are created equal, endowed with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It’s the duty of government to guarantee those rights…” It’s the right formula. In our current corrupt system, everyone is fighting for a special entitlement. The political parties divide up these entitlement seekers into core constituencies, they neutralize each other and nothing changes.
Money is- and always will be- the biggest entitlement. Neither political party dares to be any real threat to the status quo. Trump is no threat to the status quo, except that he so clearly exemplifies it that the electorate might get fed up with it. But then what will they do? Vote Democrat?
Net Neutrality yields to Plutocracy
Just as the invention of barbed wire forever changed the American West, the Open Range of the internet is now become a land-grab. The First Amendment is crucial to American Liberty not just because it gives everyone the right to say whatever he wants, but because it gives Americans the right to hear whatever we want, and organize for a political purpose. The Plutocracy, entirely devoted to profits, wants to control the media in order to control what Americans hear, and the “wild and wooly” internet is best for the Plutocracy as fenced- in domesticated sheep.
As increasingly internet addicted youth become ever more dependent on ever more bandwidth to get their fix, the pushers want to be able to raise the price, and the politicians have now given them the means to do it.
Predicting and anticipating this from the very beginning, newlibertarians.com is purposefully designed to be very fast- even on the oldest, slowest and most primitive equipment, and infrastructure. We’re designed to be accessible to freedom loving people world wide who want a political voice, and to be less vulnerable to this kind of suppression and oppression. Many websites of the current design will have to pay extra for their dazzling features, or see them slow down below the threshold of attention spans of future internet devotees. We intend to appeal to a relatively small, highly literate and politically sophisticated subset of internet users. We want to be a home with an open door for freedom-seeking people around the world.
We need to devote our limited resources to our purpose, which is giving the world’s people what they want from their governments- those values defined in our Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights, to which this website is devoted- not just to enrich the International Plutocracy, which see liberty as an obstacle in their way.
Democrat wins Senate seat in Alabama.
It’s a big deal for a lot of reasons, but not for the ones most of the party politicians say.
In the “Dixiecrat” days of Jim Crow, when hatred of Lincoln’s Republican Party made the south solidly Democrat for 100 years- it was said that a “yellow dog” would win if he were a Democrat. In rural hunting vocabulary, a “yellow dog” is a gun shy dog that won’t hunt- worthless. There were enough worthless politicians in the south they called them “Yellow Dog Democrats”. In 1965 the Democrats lost the south when LBJ signed the Voting Rights Act- and with it the national majority. Now the Republicans control the southern political machine, gerrymander and suppress the black vote, try to keep the blacks powerless just like the Democrats did previously. Trump and the Republicans have to be very careful not to alienate their unpredictable white supremacist constituency, because without a solid Republican south they would have no chance.
The weak “outsider” candidacy, character flaws and too little too late Party support of Roy Moore served to make the race competitive as it otherwise wouldn’t have been, since the deep south has always been inclined to put Civil War resentment first in making their voting choices. Alabama is solidly Republican, and will likely continue to be unless the Democrats wise up. Doug Jones has a unique opportunity. He could choose to represent Alabama rather than Party, Party Ideology, or the Plutocracy behind the party- or he’ll be out in 2020. That would take courage. He was willing to take on the Klan when he prosecuted the church bombing case, so he just might be the man to do it. We’ll see.
Southern identity politics has always been about race and sex- specifically keeping black hands off white women, by force if necessary. Prohibition, segregation, “Law and Order”, mass incarceration, Guns and Bibles were just means to that end- and Jeff Sessions personified it, which is why Trump chose him for Attorney General- and why this election was such big news. That’s why Obama was so deeply resented, something Trump used to defeat Hillary Clinton- he defied the racial stereotypes on which segregation was based, and made a black male disarmingly human- and he called attention to it, calling them “clingers” to old ways of thinking. Mitch McConnell devoted himself to one purpose- to make sure Obama would be a one term president, unsuccessfully. The Republicans were united by their fear and loathing of Obama, but now he’s gone. The big political story is that the post-Obama segregationist Republicans are divided and in conflict, and the more “inclusive” Democrats are united- for the moment.
Doug Jones’ win is a big win for the Democrats. That one (actually two- one more Democrat is one less Republican) vote can put the brakes on the Trump agenda, for good. They needed “reconciliation” -51 votes- as it was, getting 60 votes in the Senate for anything partisan is nearly impossible. But is it good for the American People? We’ll see about that, too.
12/6/2017: Manafort violates bail
Trump’s Campaign Manager now gets to sit in jail… impeachment is one step closer. I predicted Mueller’s case would advance quickly following Flynn’s admission of guilt and agreement to cooperate, but this is even bigger. If a man is out on bail, he and his lawyers can manipulate and delay a long time. But to sit in jail under the eyes of the Gestapo, and have your every word recorded- that can be nerve wracking even to the toughest con. Is Trump’s RoguesGallery tough enough?
Because it was likely the Republicans would retain their Legislative majority in 2016, and Trump would get to nominate Scalia’s Judiciary replacement and keep the Supreme Court Republican- in order for impeachment to happen House Republicans would have to see Trump as an immediate existential threat to themselves for them to want to impeach him. They didn’t.
Instead, House Republicans saw Trump as an opportunity to get even with the Democrats for twice electing an intelligent, reasonable, well spoken and slow to anger black president- a wholesome family man and Constitutional scholar with a strong and intelligent black wife and two well behaved and attractive black daughters…whose moral vulnerability was limited to sneaking the occasional cigarette. Obama defied all the racist stereotypes.
They’d voted to “Repeal Obamacare” over 70 times, and thought they had a mandate to destroy his legacy legislation. They thought they could do “Tax Reform”, too- and thereby gain a big campaign finance advantage for future elections. They made racial and religious fear and resentment the centerpiece of their advertising strategy to an angry electorate- and Trump could gather a crowd and was useful to advance it. Never mind he promised to “Make America Great Again” and to “Drain the Swamp”- they figured it was just campaign rhetoric. Trump was underestimated by Republican and Democrat alike. Crazy and stupid like a fox, I think he knows exactly what he’s doing.
Trump’s a builder, and the first step in building something new on valuable real estate is demolishing something old. So now the demolitions have begun. First, Trump gathered a “RoguesGallery” of cabinet appointments- with destructive intent. He started issuing executive orders obliterating Obama’s executive orders. Then, he gave the Republican House enough rope to hang themselves- he promised he’d sign any “Obamacare Repeal” they put on his desk. They could do it easily when they were sure Obama would veto it, but when dared to actually do it and take responsibility for it- they flinched. Now he’s doing the same thing with “Tax Reform”. As the elections of 2018 approach, and it looks like an upcoming bloodbath to the Republicans- they will start to wish they’d impeached him when they could. But now they can’t. Like Ahab’s hapless crew, once they engaged Moby Dick there was no going back. This is political theater at it’s very best, historic.
What’s Trump actually trying to do? Once he’s torn down the status quo, what’s he going to build in its place? Here’s another prediction. The elections of 2018 will be a bloodbath for the Republicans, as the Democrats run on an “Impeach Trump” agenda. Then, he’ll make the same deal with the Democrats he made with the Republicans. “Put the Democrats’ Obamacare Reform and Tax Reform on my desk, and I’ll sign it.” They’ll take the bait, decide they’d rather have Trump than Pence- and self destruct just as the Republicans have. In his second term, Trump might sign many bipartisan reforms- including “Medicaid for All”, “Election Reform”, “FAT tax”, “Term Limits”, “Balanced Budget”, “Anti-corruption Reform”, maybe even allow Congress to restrict some of the Executive Powers to his successor which he so adroitly abused himself. Then, maybe he’ll get what he really wants- legacy.
12/2/2017: Tax “Reform” passes Senate
Even a monkey can tell when he’s getting a bad deal. If you have two monkeys and one banana, if you break a banana unequally and give the bigger half to one, the other will reject his smaller piece. Will the voters in the elections of 2018 be equally intelligent? It’s a mid-term election. Most voters don’t even bother with it.
If I lived in Alabama, and I had to choose between two former law enforcement officials running for U.S. Senate and one of them risked his life and reputation to prosecute and convict KKK thugs, grown men who blew up a church and killed four innocent little black girls- and the other used his power to molest children… I’d want to vote in that election. Because I’d know there were a lot of other people who will vote for the other guy for their own reasons, and I’d want my vote to stand up against theirs. If I were black, living in Alabama- nobody could keep me from voting in that election. I’d get there at 5 am, and if they closed the polls before I could vote- I’d break the door down, go to jail with my head held high.
11/30/2017: #metoo faces pushback
As the Party Politicians and Media Moralists trip over themselves and each other jumping on the #metoo bandwagon, the natural contrarian in me wonders where it will end. Is this just another “divide and conquer” strategy to keep the electorate distracted from the real issues? There’s a lot of big stuff going on with health care, taxation, wars going on across the globe, famines, floods, fires… is the current frenzy of iconoclasm really going to accomplish anything, or is it just a red herring?
When someone like Roy Moore, currently running for US Senate as a Republican from the State of Alabama, from his position of power in law enforcement used that power to stalk and rape teenage girls, and police all over America coerce sex from young girls who would rather submit to it than get a ticket they have to explain to their parents- will this moral outrage extend beyond targets with deep pockets and no power to strike back? I challenge every woman or girl in America who’s been raped by a cop, prosecutor, judge to write her Congressman, expose him and agree stand up and testify against him eye to eye in a court of law- as the Constitution requires. That would take real courage. #Metoo doesn’t. A cynic might see it as just another form of “the worlds oldest profession”, albeit well paid and low risk.
Every woman who has used sex to advance her career (Hillary Clinton comes to mind…) should ask herself who is really exploiting who? How should the others who wouldn’t, couldn’t, didn’t and got passed by feel about it? How many of the Fox News “analysts” would have their jobs and salaries except for their luck of being born beautiful, and willing to use that to advantage? We live in a hyper-sexualized society, because “sex sells”. If sex gives a woman advantage in the marketplace, why wouldn’t she use it? Isn’t she partly responsible for doing so? Isn’t it just a little bit unfair that she can get the job in the first place using sex, and then get a “gold parachute” later for complaining about it?
Equality and strict meritocracy is the only real answer to the conflicts between the sexes and the races. That begins with equality of education, nutrition, healthcare and economic opportunity. Nobody should be discriminated for or against on the basis of sex, race, religion or cultural origin or having rich parents. That’s what The Constitution is all about. #Metoo takes the special entitlement of women to evade responsibility for their choices one step too far, in my opinion. The media loves it, because it sells. The politicians love it, because it distracts and divides. But it doesn’t advance the cause of Liberty, or serve to unify The People.
11/27/2017 Tax Reform, cont’d
If we must accept Income as the basis of taxation, the main challenge is to make tax evasion less appealing. As things are, the Politicians have written a massively complex code to benefit their Plutocrat patrons, and it’s so complex the People have little choice but to pay the tax while the Plutocrats have huge incentive and opportunity to evade them. So, in theory at least, simplification of the code is an advantage. Republicans claim to want to simplify the code, and Democrats seem to want to make it even more complex- to incentivize social changes they wish to enable.
The best part of the Republican plan is “lowering the rate and widening the base”, via simplification of the code. If America had competitive corporate income tax rates, companies would have less incentive to move offshore to evade them. If they are willing to pay the 20% tax, but will evade the 38% tax- you’ll collect more money (in theory) with the 20% tax, and have less need for the complexity and corruption in the code.
It’s a nice thought, extremely unlikely in reality. The Politicians will “compromise”, lower the rate and keep the code complex- a net gain for the Plutocracy, and both Parties can call it a victory! And, The People (and their posterity) will be even more regressively taxed.
10/26/2017: Tax Reform
Trump and the Republican Party tried to repeal Obamacare first, and that would reduce the Federal budget and the deficit. Obamacare, remember, is a TAX. It’s constitutionality was sustained by Supreme Court (Chief) Justice John Roberts BECAUSE it is a tax. That would make room for tax cuts and infrastructure spending (like “The Wall”), they thought. When that effort narrowly failed, thanks to John McCain and Rand Paul, their Tax Reform strategy had to change.
Now, they’re promoting a silly plan to give the rich tax breaks (and keep the Plutocracy happy) obviously at the expense of the poor and middle classes, and it will fail. They can “tweak” it all they like, and might even pass SOMETHING they can claim is “tax reform”- but nothing is going to change.
Each party will have a good cover-story going into the 2018 elections- they will blame the other for whatever happens. It’s too bad, too- because our current tax code is ridiculously inefficient and extremely regressive.
A 1% FAT tax (Flat Asset Tax) on ALL assets (at home and abroad, same rate for all assets no matter what form they take, who owns them or how much they own…) protected by the US Army could replace ALL other taxation- Federal, State and Local, and balance the budget. The result would be that the average (50th percentile) American who in 2014 had about $90,000 in NET WORTH, $60,000 in income and paid about $30,000 in taxes- would pay $900 in taxes. Everyone who owns anything would pay taxes, in proportion to how much they own. Everyone would be equally, totally invested.
Income would not be taxed, at all. The IRS would lose it’s Gestapo-like power. No need for income tax lawyers, accountants or any of the “tax mitigation” strategies businesses must currently employ to evade the income tax. Productivity would leap as the burden of all that paperwork would be lifted. Foreign assets protected by the US Army would be taxed, perhaps at an even higher rate. Why should they have their assets protected free? There would be no incentive to move assets offshore, because they’d still be taxed. Upward mobility would surge, as ordinary people get to keep their fair share of what they earn- and then could invest in their future and their children’s future.
That would be “Fair Taxation”. Those with the most to protect would pay the most to have it protected- in exact proportion to how much they have at risk should the system collapse. Is that going to happen? No. Not a chance. It’s completely impossible to enact fair taxation under the current political system. It’s designed to prevent that.
11/25/2017: Tax Reform NOW, maybe.
Many times in this column I’ve asked the question, “Why does America tolerate our ridiculous tax code?” The reason, quite simply, is that there are three interested parties in the debate- and two of them collude to defeat the third.
There is first, and foremost, the Plutocracy. They know all the ramifications of how any change which might be proposed will affect them. They buy the puppet politicians to make certain that anything they pass will make them richer and more powerful. Their political horizons are very short term, every two years they face an election and have to put on a good show. Their economic horizons are very long term, they’re in the business of creating a class system with themselves at the top, and keeping their competition under control through shrewd taxation. What matters to them is gaining, preserving, and inheriting wealth. They don’t care which party delivers it.
The second big player is the Political Class, which ultimately serves a dishonest purpose- to create the “talking points” (rather “arguing points”- we call them “hot-button non-issues”) to make it seem like they’re interested in the well being of The People, and wish to represent their constituencies and the Nation’s future. Then, with Plutocrat financing and guidance they use the “divide and conquer” strategy to corral the electorate into Democrats and Republicans, which are both owned by the same Plutocracy. The only people whose lives are actually changed by an election are the puppets. The ones which get elected get to wallow in corruption which follows success, and the losers get easy well paying jobs through the Party until the next election cycle. Their horizons are short term, too. If they win once, they get a pension for life. “Gridlock” allows each party to blame the other for no change.
The third player is the Electorate, which the Political Parties and the Media divide up and control- to benefit the Plutocracy, which writes the checks to pay the media. At New Libertarians we think if The People become aware what’s really going on, we’ll find out that we have a lot more in common than in difference. One of those common interests is Tax Reform. How can we make those who benefit most pay their fair share in taxes, when it’s so much cheaper to corrupt the elections? How would The Nation’s spending priorities change if the rich were spending their own money?
What makes a person rich? Assets. So why do we tax income, and write 100,000 pages of Tax Law to enable the Plutocrats with their armies of accountants and lawyers to evade them? If you can get income into the asset category past the tax-man, they’re tax free forever. The Military, Police, Prisons still have to be paid for, ongoing- to protect those assets. Why not tax assets? In 2014 the average American paid 1/3 of the value of his assets in taxes. That’s before the cost of taxation is figured into the cost (before tax) of the products we buy- and in that case it would be over 1/2. A tax on assets (FAT Tax, Flat Asset Tax) of 2% would balance ALL government budgets, if all other taxes were repealed. Ask your Representative, see what he says!
Sessions speaks to Federalist lawyers.
The FederalistSociety, a “conservative/libertarian” organization, sponsored a meeting for lawyers to discuss overreaching government regulations- something Libertarians, “New” and “Current” pretty much agree about. Following a very good (if a bit thick) roundtable discussion with a very bright panel of well prepared speakers on financial regulation and Federal Reserve actions in response to the 2009 financial crisis, the Attorney General gave his speech to the very receptive audience- which responded with a standing ovation.
Out of town on fraught business, I spent a restless night in a motel listening to Sessions’ speech again and again on CSPAN and I had an epiphany. I’ve struggled to define the difference between “current” Libertarians and New Libertarians in the briefest and most to-the-point terms- and Sessions’ speech did it for me. If you listened to his speech, and it made you want to stand up and cheer- you are a “Current Libertarian”. If it made you sick to your stomach, you’re a New Libertarian.
In my opinion, Jeff Sessions is the worst of Trump’s “Rogues Gallery” of cabinet appointments. If anyone wants to see his “evil twin”, all one has to do is look at the the man picked by the Alabama Republicans to replace him as their U.S. Senator – Roy Moore. The only difference between the two men is that Jeff Sessions isn’t being accused of serial child molestation, rather collusion with Russia to attack the 2016 election currently under an investigation which is just starting to bring criminal charges against top Trump campaign operatives. Wisely, the Attorney General recused himself from that investigation- to Trump’s great dismay.
Tax Reform, Republican Style.
Back in Reagan’s day they called it “trickle down economics” (AKA “voodoo economics”), and its basic idea is that if the rich pay less taxes, they will spend the money creating jobs in America. The more jobs they create, the more the economy will grow and the more jobs will need to be created- and everyone will be deliriously happy. Especially the rich.
The Democrats, with great self-righteous anger, grandstand in opposition. Nothing changes, which is the REAL agenda of the two major parties… except that the rich will get a little more advantage than they already have, and the middle class will continue to be depleted- and everyone in the political class will declare it a victory.
Not even the so-called “socialist” Bernie Sanders proposes real tax reform. Taxation which comes from Congress always is designed to tax the poor and middle classes- and subsidize the rich. Why not tax assets? The average American taxpayer in 2014 paid 30% of his net worth in taxes. The homeless man living under a bridge pays tax on his booze, food and cigarettes. The struggling minimum wage kid living in his car pays a multiple of his net worth in taxes, fees, licenses. 90% of America’s assets are owned by 10% of the people. Worldwide, 99% of the assets are owned by 1% of the people, and most of it is protected by the US Army- to be paid for by America’s future taxpayer children. The budget could be balanced with a 1 1/2% tax on assets, with ALL other taxation repealed! Want REAL tax reform which makes those who benefit most pay the most? Not a chance under the current system.
10/15/2017: Civil War at home and abroad.
Steve Bannon, architect of Trump’s win in 2016, has declared war on the “Establishment” of the Republican Party, promising to fund right-wing primary challenges to top party leaders in the 2018 election cycle. This is very interesting news to Libertarians and New Libertarians. Most of the conservative wing of the Republican Party has strong Libertarian origins- the “Freedom Caucus/Tea Party” in particular- and New Libertarians share the classic Libertarian opposition to colonial wars, oppressive taxation, government overreach and encroachment on Civil Liberties. The voters chose Trump because he promised to be disruptive, and Steve Bannon is the maestro of chaos.
The other big story, the fight between the Kurds and the Iraqi government over Kirkuk, following a referendum in which Kurdish separatists overwhelmingly prevailed, demonstrates the futility and shortsightedness of our efforts there. Trump declined to choose sides, commenting that we shouldn’t be there anyway. Since America is questioning the wisdom of our global “peacekeeping” mission, the approaching power vacuum is likely to lead to increased conflict everywhere.
What’s the future of American power? Will we try to hold on to the corporate mines, oil wells and markets from Nigeria to Indonesia, set up puppet governments, divide and conquer, fight insurgencies until we eventually overextend and collapse like Rome? Or will we broadcast a message of democracy, inclusivity, cooperation, laws, elections- like the British did, of which we’re the product? We need leaders who know something about history, recognize what’s special about America- not just how to prosper under a corrupt system.
10/3/2017: 2nd Amendment Debate
Following a mass shooting leaving almost 60 people dead and 500 injured, there will be national debate about the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. Like the Second Commandment- the Judeo-Christian prohibition against graven images- people can be tempted to consider it obsolete, more of a problem than a protection- and want to dispense with it. The recent violence over Confederacy monuments reminds us that seemingly relic issues can come back to life, and make big trouble in the here and now.
The Second Amendment was written when a gun could be fired twice in a minute, by a trained and skilled marksman. American citizens had better guns than the British army, and the Founders saw citizen ownership of guns to be a protection of our liberty. In many early conflicts, the Indian’s bow and arrow was the more effective weapon. Today’s guns can be shot 100 times in 20 seconds- by a child who never held one in his hands before.
If Germany had the 2nd Amendment in the 1930’s the Holocaust would have been a lot more difficult to engineer, and might have been prevented. Those who say genocide doesn’t happen in this day and age are blind to reality. I think the Second Amendment is as important today as it every was, but the NRA does it a disservice by insisting that it protects the right of everyone to own a WMD, a “weapon of mass destruction”, which the Las Vegas incident clearly demonstrates.
Breaking News: 10/1/2017: Puerto Rico, Corruption in Washington, Protests on the Gridiron.
As in Haiti, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh… when a large number of very poor people living “on the edge” are hit with a natural disaster, there is catastrophic suffering. Loss of life, starvation, spread of disease, rioting, looting…and the international community feels obligated to provide relief, restore law and order.
When a big storm hits New Jersey, Texas or Florida, people complain about their insurance policies. Puerto Rico is something else. These are U.S. citizens, the responsibility of the U.S.A. Current politics puts “America First”, and the international community understands this is our responsibility- not theirs.
It’s a real disaster. Imagine if you, your family, your community and your community’s government and employers were to expect no electricity or communications for the next year- at least. The utilities are bankrupt, so they have no money to rebuild the grid. What would you do? Your well pump doesn’t work, so you have no source of clean water. Your refrigerator and freezer doesn’t work, so your food supply spoils and is lost. There’s no fuel for cars or generators. You have no job, no income. You learn to live in the stone age, or you migrate. Where are you going to go?
Corruption in Washington isn’t news. It’s what they do, how they live, what determines all their decisions. Peaceful protests are protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution- the very foundation of our way of life. Corruption and protests can be ignored, and usually are. Serious folk in America should focus on Puerto Rico now, and let the news media entertain the rest with “hot-button non-issues” like OJ’s antics, football, Price, Menendez…
9/25/2017: Lots of News.
Angela Merkel won a fourth term as Germany’s chancellor, but a newly formed far-right anti-immigration (some say “neo-Nazi”) party makes startling gains, making it hard for her to form a unified government- possibly even threatening the stability of the European Union.
Republicans try one more time to get the 50 votes they need to repeal Obamacare, after Friday it will require 60- and that is entirely out of their reach. John McCain is the “man of the hour”- the one adult in a room room full of brats throwing temper tantrums, seeking candy- or both.
Black pro footballers follow the lead of Colin Kaepernick, kneel during the National Anthem in protest. Trump throws a fit on Twitter.
Kim Jong Un says for North Korea to nuke the USA is inevitable, but nobody’s listening.
9/20/2017: Trump Speaks to UN
Staying mostly on script, Trump gives good speech to the UN.
9/16/2017: Equifax fires two executives.
Like slamming the barn door after the horses got out, in a futile effort at damage control Equifax blames two sacrificial lambs, replacing them with tech nerds who were already working there…changing the name-plates on two doors. It’s hard to imagine how the company can continue now that their credibility to protect such sensitive data is completely lost.
The other big story today is about flood insurance, about a Houston homeowner who just finished rebuilding after the last flood. Why wouldn’t flood insurance require people to rebuild to a higher standard, something which might endure the next flood? LEED, the organization devoted to “green” building admits the home of today is designed to last 26 years, with a 30 year mortgage- suggests a 100 year standard, and yet offers no guidance how that might be accomplished. They’d rather sell “gadgetized” maintenance nightmare houses than durable ones- and four of them instead of one, putting three in the landfill.
Devotion to short term profits for political insiders at the expense of long term value to the average person is the fatal flaw inherent in the capitalist system- and it shows up everywhere the profit motive is the primary motive. Some things are too important to leave to the “greed machine” for their solution.
9/13/2017: Berniecare is unveiled!
From the beginning of the ACA, I thought the corruption inherent in it would inevitably lead to socialized medicine. Bernie Sanders’ plan, “Medicare for All”, advanced during his 2016 presidential primary campaign, incorporates all the corruption of the ACA, and will be impossibly expensive as the result. Like Medicare itself, the most fatal flaw in Berniecare is that it subsidizes healthcare for the wealthy, at the expense of the expanding poor and shrinking middle class.
I’ve suggested the best “single payer” (socialized medicine) plan might better (and more accurately) call itself “Medicaid for All”, and ultimately replace Medicare for those over 65. Its first mission should be to defund the corruption basic to the current crippled system.
There’s not room in this column for the long litany of complaints about the injustices of the ACA and Medicare, but I think the time has come to put an end to “for-profit medicine” subsidized by the taxpayer, with its unnecessary complexity and corrupt system of subsidies, co-pays, supplemental insurances, seven tier opaque Paymaster, impossibly expensive pharmaceuticals, etc… all of which is designed to serve the long-lived wealthy and their heirs, and the big corporate campaign corruptors- at the expense of the short-lived working poor and their deprived children.
If the rich want “super-duper” medicine with all the latest overpriced pills and space-age imaging gadgets, customized genetic therapies… they should pay for it themselves- not expect to get it subsidized by the taxpayer, while it’s denied to the poor. “Medicaid for All” could be a bare-bones system, generic drugs, proven medical technology aimed at the most benefit to the most people at efficient cost.
The government should put a massive effort in place to educate thousands of new doctors and medical paraprofessionals- because we need 10x what we have immediately- even if the AMA doesn’t like it.
Some things are too important to leave to the “greed machine” for solutions. Health care should be devoted to the health of all Americans, just as the military should be devoted to all our defense, police should be devoted to public safety and education should be devoted to our posterity- not to to the profits of greed driven corporate puppeteers who own our politicians.
Some problems are political, and their only solution is political. Newlibertarians.com is devoted to creating these political solutions, based on the Constitution and the Will of The People- not the greed of the 1/2% who own the politicians and use them to tax, exploit and oppress us. Help us, please.
Breaking News: 9/12/2017:
Some pundits think Trump would have been wiser to have approached issues with bipartisan support first- infrastructure and tax reform, for example. Give his white blue-collar core constituency a better job, and a tax break. He could have got Republican support, and established a winning trajectory for his administration.
Instead, he went after “repeal and replace” Obamacare, and launched a Constitutional conflict over immigration, and started fights inside all the agencies with his disruptive appointments. He could be certain he’d get no Democratic Party support for any of it, but he had to know that it wouldn’t be easy to corral his majority to actually accomplish anything but self-immolation of the Republican Party. Perhaps his strategy wasn’t as dumb as it might appear.
To get hurricane relief- a no-brainer- without a bunch of hassle (learning something from Bush II’s debacle following Katrina) and get past a debt-ceiling increase-at the same time sideline the Republican Right which sabotaged his healthcare initiative… it almost seems like he has a bipartisan strategy developing.
But, he could also be luring the Democrats into a trap. He knows they’re just as corrupt and dishonest as the Republicans- and maybe its their turn to take a shellacking…
Breaking News: 9/7/2017: Irma, Opioids
Harvey threw the “left hook” at Houston, and now Irma is poised to throw the “right cross” at Miami. These are the prize-fighter’s words for their most powerful punches. We’ll have more about them future columns, but two articles today in the Wall Street Journal are even more important.
On page one, a lawsuit against a Big Pharma player over a lethal Fentanyl inhaler improbably called “Subsys”, a “Freudian slip” if there ever there was one. Buried inside is another story about how the opioid epidemic affects the labor participation rate. Yesterday, there was a story about how American workers are content with low wages- thankful for a job, any job. And another about cell-phone addicted children and their docile and fearful natures, compared to past generations.
Futurists can see that as people become more docile and dependent, the weather is getting more ferocious. This is also true of geopolitics, as the wars continue to expand and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un becomes more paranoid and escalates a nuclear arms race desperate for his regime to survive- as those of Hussein’s Iraq and Khadaffi’s Libya’s didn’t. Armies are built of docile, fearful and dependent people- and the world is building armies.
Newlibertarians.com is based on the same idea as wikipedia.com. It’s the free-enterprise competition model where truth has a gravity of its own which alt-fact and propaganda lack. There is no “truth police” on the internet. If you believe a lie once, it’s the liar’s fault. If you believe it again- it’s your fault.
Once we open the blogs, we’ll have a blog-category called XHTML- “Extremist Hate Mail”. Google will recognize it as being about computer coding language, but it will actually be our garbage can. We don’t want to suppress free speech or censor the free exchange of ideas, but we don’t want to propagate fake news or hate mail either. It’s OK to believe something which isn’t true- we all do it. What’s not OK is knowingly spreading false information.
The Constitution is about The People, Union, Justice, Tranquility, Defense, Welfare and Liberty. It’s not about hate, division, injustice, criminality, fear. Newlibertarians.com is about teaching The Constitution to the Internet Generation, and mobilizing them into an informed electorate. It’s America’s only hope. Help us, please.
9/6/2017: Dreamers on the Block.
Even as he claims to “love” them, Trump is threatening to deport millions of illegal immigrant children and youth who know no other country than America, nor language other than English- to be their own. He’s challenging Congress to address a comprehensive immigration package, by threatening a “nuclear option”. I believe he has no intention to deport millions of innocent children, instead to put Congress in a corner and force them do their real job- the “People’s Business”- rather than simply lining their pockets in the typical status quo fashion.
It’s a huge problem, with powerful “stake holders” on both sides of any real change anyone might propose. It includes political and economic refugees from all over the world who immigrate for as many reasons as there are immigrants. At the same time America creates violence, corruption, exploitation and oppression all over the world, we don’t want to accept the responsibility for the human costs and suffering of our foreign policy. As more and more Americans become drug-addicted and the growing demand makes opportunities for more and more poor people all over the world to make a living serving it- our government builds more and more prisons and issues longer and longer sentences, yet refuses to address the real problem.
People with a good life, a solid family and fulfilling work don’t have time nor money for drug addiction, have too much at risk to consider crime as a life-choice.
Simple sounding solutions like “build the wall” make good political rhetoric, but won’t work. A handful of Mexicans built a mile long tunnel into the heart of a prison to enable one man to escape. What kind of “wall” would be effective to seal off a thousand mile border from millions of Mexicans yearning to be free? Especially when so many “stakeholders” make so much money exploiting their labor?
Trump promised to “drain the swamp”, and doing that is disruptive to its denizens. When he tried to repeal and replace the corrupt and impossibly expensive Affordable Care Act with something better, it was a failure. Not because he wouldn’t sign whatever they produced, either. The Republicans will be equally unable to do anything about America’s regressive, corrupt tax system. Immigration “reform” is equally unlikely to succeed, because too many “stakeholders” make too much money on both sides of the issue and benefit from the status quo.
Trump is succeeding at the one thing he promised to deliver- disruption. The biggest disruption to corruption is exposure to the light of day, and it’s hard to pass a law which changes anything without somebody exposing the corruption behind the existing system.
Newlibertarians.com proposes an entirely new approach to these problems. We will disenfranchise the corrupt money driven campaign finance model designed to elect puppet “representatives”, and give The People a better option- Direct Democracy.
Breaking News 8/25/2017: Trump Pardons “America’s toughest sheriff”.
Probably a good idea, one of Trump’s most predictable acts. Nobody’s going to give an 85 year old 23 year veteran sheriff much of a sentence anyway, and this will give people of color a good reason to show up and vote in 2018- something they didn’t do in 2016 because the Democrats fielded such a weak candidate with her own mass-incarceration record to explain. He lost his job in 2016, his corrupt department paid $146 million in fines, settlements and court awards. That’s how The People get rid of elected miscreants- we vote them out. Enabling that is the the primary purpose of newlibertarians.com.
Breaking News 8/21/2017: Trump’s “Total Eclipse” speech on Afghanistan.
All over the board, the speech announced a new policy devoted to killing terrorists, not “Nation Building”. We’re going to leave, but we won’t say when. We’re also going to attack and not say when. One thing’s for certain, this time we’re going to win! We’re going to get India to help us with Pakistan! That would be kind of like getting the JDL to help with the KKK. Exactly how one might do that without starting a nuclear war is somewhat unclear.
Breaking News 8/16/2017: Watershed Moment for the Trump Administration
Even before the election I predicted if he were elected, Trump would be impeached. The only questions were when, by whom and for what? Would it be before- or after- the 2018 election? Would the Republicans do it, or would it have to wait for the Democrats to do it? What would be the reason? Russia? Emoluments? Tax evasion? Mental disability? Insanity?
Now, we see that Trump has crossed a “Red Line”- he refused to condemn Naziism, White Supremacy, bigotry in a timely manner following a violent protest/ counter protest over a statue of Robert E. Lee. Now all the politicians can get on the “Impeach Trump Bandwagon”, and have a “clean” reason for doing so. Now the Republicans can see he’ll drag them down with his sinking ship unless they can be rid of him first, and the rats are jumping over the side one after the other.
We’ll see Mueller’s Russia investigation advance fast, now. The Republican agenda is stalled- nothing’s going to happen with immigration, tax reform, health care or infrastructure. Important hopeful would-be allies in the “military industrial complex” are heading for the exit door. The collapse is coming on, fast- simply because it will be impossible for him to get enough competent people to work with him to do the job knowing the collapse is immanent.
My question is, will the American People settle for just another flip of the political coin back to the Democrats? Or will we continue on our quest for real change? Here at newlibertarians.com we have a plan. Help us, please. CC
Breaking News 8/8/2017:
Wall Street Journal today had three articles of interest to futurists. The first was about the advance of the Police State, and the flimsy “forensic science” which is used by prosecutors to keep prisons full, even when they know it’s not reliable. The second was about the “next billion” internet users, most of whom are poor and illiterate- towards which all the big players are tailoring their new products, especially cheap smartphones. The third is about the demise of Libor, the corrupted determinate of worldwide interest rates.
A literate, thinking, questioning population is crucial to the defense of Liberty, and the internet offers the best opportunity for the world’s people to get the information needed to make wise political choices- and those choices are important to everyone’s future. I wonder how I’m to improve newlibertarians.com to expose the Declaration, Constitution, Bill of Rights to people who can’t read? How is a jury going to know if forensic science is sound, or not- if they are content to take a prosecutors word on authority without understanding? What will they replace Libor with, which isn’t equally corruptible? It all comes back to people who care about their liberty, and are willing and able to defend it against those who would use propaganda to control their votes.
How can people defend their liberty, when they can’t tell the difference between “real” news and “fake” news? It’s too easy to blame the Russians for “meddling” with our elections with “fake news”? Perhaps we should blame ourselves, instead.
Breaking News: 8/5/2017
In case the Democrats are confused about why they lost the elections of 2016, the answer is that the American People are fed up with how corrupt the two major parties are, and Hillary Clinton wasn’t going to change anything about it. Trump, on the other hand, promised to be disruptive. He never promised clean or competent government. All his appointments follow one or more of three rules.
1. Appoint someone loyal. The way you get loyalty in Trump’s world is with money. If you’re family, you’ll be loyal, because his is a family business. If you’re corrupt, you’ll be loyal. Example: The Secretary of State evaded sanctions against Russia while CEO of Exxon, paid tiny fine. Now the whole world knows how America works, and who to talk to to get in on the action.
2. Appoint someone incompetent to run an agency you don’t like. Examples: Education, Energy, Interior, Justice, EPA, Treasury…
3. Appoint ex-military because they take orders and do what they’re told without thinking, questioning or reasoning “Why?”. Top brass have no inconvenient conscience problems, feelings of responsibility, constraint by the Constitution.
Then, start smashing things.
P.S. Libertarians have always been “pro-choice” – about everything, because liberty=choice, and they’re not squishy about it. So, if “pro-choice” Democrats decide to start looking for a new home, they might consider looking towards the Libertarians.
8/2/2017 Freedom from violence and discrimination?
Have Trump and Sessions had a change of heart? Does freedom from violence extend to street violence from police? Violence in other countries from the military? Does discrimination include racial profiling, or is it just to get rid of anti-discrimination laws and affirmative action’s mission to enable people to overcome discrimination?
When, at the same time, Trump advises police it’s OK to bang a suspect’s head into the jam of a police car, and then a day later says it was only a joke -I tend to doubt there has been much repentance. In the same news cycle police were caught on a cell-phone camera planting drugs.
Every American citizen should learn to use the camera in his cell-phone, and have it ready like a gunslinger’s pistol at his fingertips for a quick-draw. Every moral soldier should do the same- record war crimes and leak them to media. The average German in 1933 didn’t think he lived in a police state heading into a world war, either. The “big lie theory” which Hitler used (and Trump admires) to control the “alt-facts” needs to be exposed to the clear light of day. Leaks should turn into rivers, internet social media should be inundated with images of corruption and authoritarianism.
The Declaration of Independence says, all men are created equal, and endowed with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness- and it’s the Nation’s responsibility to guarantee those rights. Trump and Sessions aren’t thinking about that, they’re trying to build an authoritarian police state, the prison nation, and spread war of world conquest for international capital- and get you, the “average Joe” to pay for it. A real patriot has to stand up for the basic American Ideal, it’s what makes America one-of-a-kind in world history. It’s a lot safer and easier to knuckle under to authority, endure the corruption, remain silent, believe the big lies.
New Libertarians is about reawakening a sleeping generation to America’s greatest innovation, and greatest legacy- the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and the Bill of Rights… in the Internet Age.
7/28/2017: Breaking News
When 1968 presidential candidate Barry Goldwater suggested “defoliating” Vietnam jungle with nuclear weapons, some people thought he was crazy. Folk in the mental health profession questioned his competence to be president- and created a hub-bub, but their professional organization created “The Goldwater Rule” in self-defense. They agreed to keep their mouths shut. He didn’t get elected, for better or worse, so we’ll never know what might have been- but we do know that LBJ’s Vietnam War was a disaster.
Today CNN reported 81% of Republicans think Trump is doing a good job as president, at the same time psychiatrists agree almost unanimously he has a screw loose- and now they’re arguing about “The Goldwater Rule”. At what point do they have the right or obligation to comment on the president’s sanity?
I don’t think Trump is crazy, or stupid. I think he knows exactly what he’s doing, and he’s accomplishing it. He’s assembled a team of people- they’re corrupt to the bone, incompetent at the job they’ve been given, or military and take orders without question. To be successful in America that’s what’s necessary. He’s promised to “Drain the Swamp”, something almost every American agrees would be a worthy goal. Corruption thrives on government gridlock, and he’s pushing the gridlock to the breaking point. He’s giving them all enough rope to hang themselves, and they’re taking it. I think he’s crazy like a fox.
7/28/2017 Breaking News: New Lion of the Senate awakes.
Harry Truman had a sign on his desk, “The Buck Stops Here.” John McCain refused to vote for the “Skinny Repeal” of Obamacare, opening the door to a serious bipartisan effort to address the fatal flaws of the Affordable Care Act, instead of just using it as a political football to mobilize the anti-Obama element for political gain? Wouldn’t that be amazing, to have the party politicians working together to make something better for the American People?
I think poverty in America is the consequence of political corruption, not the fault of the poor. Democrats use them for political gain- but don’t deliver on their promises. Republicans are content to tax them out, and then let them die. Diagnosed with brain cancer on the eve of the vote- now facing his Maker- John McCain is having a change of heart. Better late than never, we wish him Godspeed. Hopefully others will follow his example and this moment could mark a sea-change in American governance.
If I thought that might actually happen, newlibertarians.com could lose its relevance- but I know better. They’ll just give him a round of applause and then go back to business as usual.
7/27/2014 Breaking News: Republicans unable to govern.
It should be clear to anyone who’s paying attention that the Republicans not only have no agenda, but they don’t care- either. What matters to those in power is the spoils of corruption, not good governance. And the Democrats sit smug in their seats that in 2018 the electorate will give it back to them.
Every American should look at the pictures of Mosul, read the rosy press- and then look in the mirror and ask, “Is this my country? Is this what I’m paying for? Is this what Americans die for? Is this what I stand for?”
We should read the tweets of a bird-brain president which make as much sense as crows squawking, listen to the speeches of our lofty elected representatives… and then ask themselves “Is this what I voted for? Is this my government?
We should look at the rogues gallery of Trump appointments, and ask ourselves, “How did we come up with these yahoos?” It is as if he picked the most corrupt and incompetent choice he possible could for each position. It’s one thing to be disruptive of a corrupt system- that’s why we voted for him. But it’s quite another to simply destroy the system, with no plan for anything better.
In 2018 we should make it our plan to have a good challenger in every race, someone who will pledge to represent his constituents, not a Party, Party Ideology or the Big Money which owns both parties. We should flush out this rat’s nest of liars, cheats and thieves and replace all of them.
7/25/2017 Breaking News:
Simultaneous Constitutional Crisis closing in and leadership vacuum in Executive and Legislative Branches makes this a perilous moment in American history.
Most presidents weigh their Presidential Pardon powers in the last weeks of their tenure, but Trump is weighing all his options after only six months in office,as multiple corruption probes get ever closer to finding an impeachable offense, and the Republican House is starting to worry about a bloodbath in the upcoming 2018 elections- where all their jobs are at risk.
At the same time, the Senate is paralyzed, as Mitch McConnell is unable to get the centerpiece legislation of the Republican Party- “Repeal and Replace Obamacare” -even to the Senate floor for debate, even as his party controls House, Senate and White House and the President , desperate for a win says he’ll sign ANYTHING they can get to his desk.
Usually Presidential Pardons involve some form of corruption the outgoing president wants to dispose of during the confusion of regime-change- and they usually get away with it unscathed. The next regime is usually too busy lining up their own corruption to be overly concerned about the last regime’s foibles. Both parties play the same game anyway- it would be “the pot calling the kettle black”. But Trump is frantically hiring lawyers looking for any who will argue for his power to immediately pardon his family, and even himself! without forcing Congress to impeach him. That’s a fine needle to thread.
Every Republican in office is shaking their heads in disbelief, trying to decide what to do. Every Democrat is licking their chops in anticipation of an inevitable upcoming feast. Few saw it coming this quickly.
Except me. I decided to launch newibertarians.com ASAP once Trump won the election, in November- because this was inevitable, and it would create huge opportunity for an opposition to the corrupt status quo. Had Hillary Clinton won the election, it would have been a lot more difficult. We must “strike while the iron is hot”- and the forge is heating up fast.
I hope we can be ready. If you’ve got an extra nickel to invest in America’s future- this is the moment. Chris
7/21/2017: Breaking News: Wake up and smell the coffee.
Part of my job is to keep abreast of current events, so that I can write this column. I am instinctually “progressive” because my parents were “Roosevelt Democrats”, so I feel obligated to read the Wall Street Journal, watch Fox News as well as watch “Newshour” on public TV and listen to public radio in my car. Once in a while I get to see CNN, read National Rifleman, Economist, Time. I used to read Economist cover to cover because I thought their British view of American politics had an objectivity lacking in American media, but they have their own biases, too. I watched Al Jazeera, where “terrorists” were referred to as “martyrs”. The best way to deal with biased (“fake”) news under the current political circumstance is to is to follow all of it, sort it myself into “real” and “fake”- as best I can, and then weight it according to how accurate I judge it to be.
During the 2016 election, I got e-mail from Trump, Clinton, Sanders, Obama, Ron Paul, the Libertarians, the Republicans, Move on… for the purpose of gaining a clear a view of what was happening so I could present here an informed commentary. Trump ran the best e-campaign by far, with very good polls- most of which are reproduced or linked to this site on the “Plebiscite” page. He took that media to a whole new level- and I think it won him the election. The “internet plebiscite” was Ross Perot’s best idea, but in 1992 it was too far ahead of its time. That concept became the basis of newlibertarians.com- to create direct democracy via the internet.
I can’t resist the temptation to make predictions, even though there’s a enough of a risk doing so that most commentators won’t attempt it. I didn’t predict Trump’s election- although I felt it would be very, very close… and it was. I think even he was surprised by the outcome, because he made no preparation for eventual governance. I knew the vote would be almost entirely negative, and there would be a lot of “gaming” the vote. I thought Putin could do something disruptive to favor Trump- who promised a new approach to Russian relations, but I didn’t see the “collusion” which I now believe will sink both the Trump Presidency and the Republican Party. I thought the Libertarians would do much better than they did- because they offered the electorate the opportunity to say, “None of the above” without having to worry they might elect anyone regrettable.
The reason I’m willing to predict now that the Trump Presidency is doomed is because the Wall Street Journal, traditionally “dyed in the wool” Republican aimed at the “financial elite” has quit defending Trump as his administration’s foibles have become undeniable, too big to sweep under the rug. Even it’s corollary Fox News, aimed at the “common man” with a similar Republican bias is becoming doubtful about the future of Trump’s Presidency, fearing the loss of their own credibility if they keep defending the indefensible.
Personally, I think Trump’s election and presidency will be very good for America and very good for newlibertarians.com. Had Hillary Clinton been elected there would have been no disruption to the status quo. She had a long list of qualified bureaucrats standing in line for all her appointments, most of them already in place and ready to go on her first day. Nothing would change about health care, taxation, foreign policy, financial policy, corruption. Under Trump, the “Chronic Condition” will become an “Acute Condition”, which will require effective intervention long overdue. We hope to be instrumental in that.
7/19/2017 Breaking News: Republican Healthcare rewrite fails.
I was wrong, I must admit it. I predicted they’d pass something (anything) just to be able to say they did it. After repealing the ACA (“Obamacare”) 70+ times in the U.S. House when they could be safely assured of Obama’s veto- once they had to come up with a real proposal and take responsibility for the outcome, the adults in the room prevailed.
John McCain, someone I personally admire (and I’m not alone…) even though I disagree with him about many things, was having emergency surgery and his crucial vote had to wait for him to recover. It gave the Senate a chance to think about how nice it is for them to have instant free access to the very, very best care- and made it harder for them to deprive millions of America’s working poor of Medicaid- just to give tax breaks to the very rich.
The fact remains that “Obamacare” is deeply flawed. The Expansion of Medicaid “temporarily” funded by the Federal Government would cause an inevitable crash when that “temporary” funding was removed- kind of like what happened to the “sub-prime” mortgages with low “introductory” interest rates… which it was later decided was completely fraudulent. Millions of people lost their homes, which ended up property of the banks, at taxpayer expense- and nearly crashed the world’s financial system for good measure.
Written by and for the lobbies, at the time it passed I predicted that the ACA/Medicaid Expansion would wreak enough havoc that the only option left would be Socialized Medicine- and many others felt the same way. Republicans, in general, didn’t approve. That’s why they were so eager to unravel it, or at least claim they wanted to do so.
Democrats, in general, thought that would be OK- perhaps even the intended eventual outcome. Around the world most other developed nations have better care at half the cost, and accomplish it with one or another form of socialized medicine. But politicians under our current system need the lobbies to raise money at election time- so corruption rules the system.
My own view on the subject is that the American taxpayer already pays enough to guarantee every American decent medical care- were the medical system stripped of its waste, fraud and corruption. Some hospitals have as many billing clerks as nurses- because everyone pays a different price for the same thing and someone has to figure it all out. They do the same tests over and over because there’s no system to keep track of the results, and everybody’s afraid of being sued.
Bernie Sanders’ proposed “Medicare for All” plan is too expensive, and retains all the system’s current waste, fraud, corruption- and injustice. Medicare unfairly subsidizes the long-lived rich and their heirs at the expense of the working poor who don’t live long enough to benefit- and drives their children deeper into poverty, limits upward mobility of the society as a whole.
I’d propose the “Medicaid for All” plan, a basic standard of health care free for all Americans. That would include generic drugs, basic dentistry, immunizations, and any proven medical procedure which has been fully tested- perhaps for 20 years. I would create a “Doctor Project” to educate an army of medical professionals and paraprofessionals who can work and study at the same time, and enable these paraprofessionals with computer assistance to serve patients in ways currently limited to MD’s- of which we have a critical shortage, especially in areas of poverty.
It would be bad for the AMA, which lobbies for fewer, richer doctors. Too bad for Big Pharma and their overpriced pills, too. I’d set up free clinics in special motels right next to ER’s. Too bad for the “marble palace” hospitals. If the rich want something better for themselves, they should pay for it- not have it subsidized by the working poor. Rather than pay insurance companies profit and overhead for providing insurance for the poor, they can sell supplemental policies to the rich to pay for their “Cadillac” care- in full, without subsidy by the poor.
“Medicaid for All” might not include advanced chemotherapy, super-duper new drugs and procedures, organ transplants, gene splicing, in vitro fertilization, “reconstructive” cosmetic surgery, etc. It isn’t feasible to give everyone everything they want for free, there has to be some limit to it. It isn’t fair to limit it with co-pays and deductibles- because that unfairly favors the wealthy (and their heirs) who can afford them and can then take full advantage of all the “bells and whistles” to live to be 100 at taxpayer expense- and excludes the poor who can’t pay from the basic care they need just to survive to age 65. Call it “rationing”, “death squads”, “cost mitigation”- or just common sense.
This nation has to decide where its values lay. Is it more Important to have a healthy, well educated and prosperous society- or is it more important to make perpetual war, expand the police state and further enrich the already rich at home and abroad? I think if The People were allowed to choose they would choose wisely, and that is the purpose of our organization.