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Where Do They Go?

4:30 pm in Uncategorized by Daveparts

Where Do They Go?
By David Glenn Cox

All along the watchtower princes kept the view of strange days and of self-same nights.

This month’s Bureau of Labor Statistics report expresses the symptoms of a lingering stagnation that smells. Actual new job hires were 17,000 in a labor population of nearly 157 million; two million more working compared to last year, with another two million more “no longer in the labor force.” Either way, split the difference as the number of officially unemployed grew for a third consecutive month to 12,332,000.

Wages rose at the ridiculously paltry rate of 0.5 percent, seasonally adjusted for three months and for the year; compensation rose only 1.9%. A desert sheik should run such a frugal household. At 1.9% wage growth, any plans for an economic recovery should be placed well off into the far distant future. It’s true you know, you can’t stand still. You’re either getting better or you’re getting worse. The numbers all meander around so, up one month and down the next, but never improving outside of a narrow range.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics report says: “Employer costs for health benefits increased 2.8 percent over the year. In December 2011 the increase was 3.5 percent.” Who paid that increase? So the averages for Americans of all stations are falling backwards. Take heart ye of the class struggle, wages for the higher-ups are doing only proportionally better. Retail workers’ wages increased an average of ten dollars a week, while their boss made twenty. But either way it’s only McDonald’s money.

Weekly hours worked are down in every employment category year after year, save for business services and healthcare. It’s not just a slowdown in this industry or in that, it is a widespread malaise. In its January report the BLS is careful to mention in the footnotes: “Note: Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of the January data.”

Median unemployment duration in weeks:

October – 19.6

November – 18.9

December – 18.00

January – 16.00

I never would have guessed that they adjusted the population controls, would you? Such adjustments make it difficult to assess changes over time through data comparisons and what they’re saying numerically doesn’t truly express the meaning existentially. It means if you were to lose your job today, on average, in a best case scenario, you won’t find a new job until June.

Now take a look at the average length of stay on unemployment.

http://www.leftistreview.com/2013/02/17/where-do-they-go/davidcox/

Praising Money Tonight in the House of the Lord

4:21 pm in Uncategorized by Daveparts

Praising Money Tonight in the House of the Lord
By David Glenn Cox

It was a red carpet and searchlight extravaganza playing to a full house. Millionaires, multi-millionaires and even mega-multi-millionaires filled every seat. Then the star of show burst through the doors and worked the crowd no differently than a diamond studded televangelist. Smiles and glad hands for all, we’re praising money tonight in the house of the lord.

Stalinist applause filled the room, two minutes, then four minutes, then finally, the extra had his walk-on moment, banging the over-sized novelty gavel and the crowd grew quiet. John Boehner announced the President to the room and the pandemonium returned. Screams and shouts of joy completely unfettered and unencumbered, it was as if the Beatles had reunited and were suddenly appearing unannounced.

With that many rich folks all together in one room and all so orgasmic-ally delighted by the appearance of the President one must ask as a poor man, what’s this mean to me? I mean, we’re talking rich and poor here. Not just my poverty but that of all of us, if you took the combined net income of the Capital house band and Obama and his Posse, seated in the Capitol building for the State of the Union speech, it would probably exceed the net income of a mid-sized country.

Hell, if they wanted to they could start their own army and take over the country. They could, if they wanted to and were clumsy about it. Consider this; the Party room says the unemployment rate stands at 7.9% (U-3) while the more exact number is 15.4% (U-6). To the studio audience that 7.9% is gospel, it is the Lord’s truth, when even the 15.4% number is horse apples. A completely dual reality, the wealthiest one percent of the one percent are having a party at their club house tonight and they’re happy as f*ck about it.

The President – “Tonight, thanks to the grit and determination of the American people, there is much progress to report. After a decade of grinding war, our brave men and women in uniform are coming home. (Applause.) After years of grueling recession, our businesses have created over six million new jobs. We buy more American cars than we have in five years, and less foreign oil than we have in 20. (Applause.) Our housing market is healing, our stock market is rebounding, and consumers, patients, and homeowners enjoy stronger protections than ever before.” (Applause.)

A grit and determination which could also be described as American’s suffering unnecessarily. After a decade of unnecessary war, some of our troops are coming home and some more will come home next year. These troops aren’t being demobilized, but will return home to prepare for the next conflict. After years of grueling recession we have only years of grueling recession to show for it. Corporations and oil companies are more profitable than ever. The Wall Street S&P is back over 14,000 again and that’s why this crowd in the honeycomb hide out are all so f*cking happy tonight.

Outside the Capitol where over 300 million Americans are playing along at home, over 24 million of those Americans are out of work. The unemployment numbers haven’t really changed much at all this year and little from the year before, just the categories these Americans are counted in change.
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The Illusion of Freedom

1:04 pm in Uncategorized by Daveparts

The Illusion of Freedom
By David Glenn Cox

The Illusion of Freedom

“The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.” — Frank Zappa

That time is nie upon us; John Boehner can no longer control his own party. The Republicans are splintered by tea party factions, the gun lobby and Bible thumpers. Barack Obama is the new crowned King / seat warmer / tragic figure head / corporate functionary. Barack Obama is no more a Democrat than Herbert Hoover gave lap dances. It all appears so muddled, the fiscal cliff and the budget negotiations, only it isn’t muddled at all. It’s all fixed up, just the way they wanted it fixed up, just the way they like it. Let confusion reign, they like it like that. Oh yeah, sure, first there was a public option, then there wasn’t, then there was, then, presto chango abracadabra, nothing. So what does the fiscal cliff deal mean? It means watch out; the devil is in the details

Everything which has been done to the American public over the past thirty years has been done intentionally.

“Men are so simple of mind, and so much dominated by their immediate needs, that a deceitful man will always find plenty who are ready to be deceived.” — Niccolo Machiavelli

There are no more Republicans and there are no more Democrats; they are merely stage props to create the illusion of an open political system. Mitt Romney was the bad cop and Barack Obama was the good cop, but still, a cop is a cop? It is nothing but an illusion to elicit your participation.

There are no more Republicans and there are no more Democrats; they are merely stage props to create the illusion of an open political system. Mitt Romney was the bad cop and Barack Obama was the good cop, but still, a cop is a cop? It is nothing but an illusion to elicit your participation.

There are no more Republicans and there are no more Democrats; they are merely stage props to create the illusion of an open political system. Mitt Romney was the bad cop and Barack Obama was the good cop, but still, a cop is a cop? It is nothing but an illusion to elicit your participation.

http://www.leftistreview.com/2013/01/13/the-illusion-of-freedom/davidcox/

The Brick Wall

12:01 pm in Uncategorized by Daveparts

The Brick Wall
By David Glenn Cox

Brick Wall

“Everyone who wants to know what will happen ought to examine what has happened: everything in this world in any epoch has their replicas in antiquity.” — Niccolo Machiavelli

So, are you awake yet? Has the gentle coat of slumber slipped from your shoulders? Are you awake to this reality — as it really is and what it really is? Have you done your Christmas shopping yet, a time for celebrating saviors and by god, ours is long overdue. Have you hugged your kids today?

The august and esteemed members of our elected government have created a financial incident, for the purpose of debasing you, as a person, as a mother or as a father, as an individual and as a human being.

“Before I draw nearer to that stone to which you point, answer me one question. Are these the shadows of the things that Will be, or are they shadows of things that May be, only? Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must lead, but if the courses be departed from, the ends will change. Say it is thus with what you show me!” — Charles Dickens

Screw the numbers they talk about, they mean nothing. Screw the political parties they mean nothing. If you are a member of a major political party quit today, start new ones. If you would belong to a political party which would not only allow but oversee not only your own deconstruction and debasement, but that of your parents while snatching the future from your children all in one fell swoop, excuse me, but I have to ask, what is wrong with you?

Continued at: The Leftist Review

http://www.leftistreview.com/2012/12/17/the-brick-wall/davidcox/

Taken at the Flood

11:42 am in Uncategorized by Daveparts

Taken at the Flood
By David Glenn Cox

Flood

It is a sad thing how many perceive democracy as a stream, flowing gracefully through a green meadow. It was Albert Einstein who said, “God doesn’t play dice with the universe” man however does. Every inch of riverbank, every drop of water contrived and placed there and sometimes, its reflection blinds us to it.

“There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.” ~ William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

The death of democracy is no small thing; its mock replacement is but small comfort. Its death comes not by a swords gushing wound, but by paper cuts. The democracy of the locked door and the midnight gavel, but when rights earned by the blood of man, are stripped away, it prophecies that men shall die once again in regaining them.

In 1963, President Kennedy died violently by assassin’s bullets, Kennedy had told his brother Robert, the Attorney General that the CIA had tried to trick him into a war with Cuba. Later, during the Cuban missile crisis Kennedy’s administration successfully brokered a deal avoiding a third World War, a nuclear third World War. To some however, a nuclear war was preferable to a Communist State only ninety miles from our shores.

Three weeks before the President’s assassination in Dallas, Vietnamese generals with the blessing of the CIA assassinated the President of South Vietnam, Ngô Đình Diệm in a coup d’état. Diệm had been our guy, before his excesses and his incompetence made him not our guy, similar to the way Saddam Hussein was our guy before he wasn’t our guy.

“I can scarcely believe the Americans would be so stupid.” ~ Ho Chi Minh

The Gulf of Tonkin incident was a fraud; a mere vehicle to justify a war. A horrendous lie perpetrated to deceive the American public into supporting an unnecessary war.

For more than a decade Martin Luther King had worked for civil rights on behalf of African Americans. Many times he had faced death threats and yet, he still lived.

“Over the past two years, as I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart, as I have called for radical departures from the destruction of Vietnam, many persons have questioned me about the wisdom of my path. At the heart of their concerns this query has often loomed large and loud: Why are you speaking about war, Dr. King? Why are you joining the voices of dissent? Peace and civil rights don’t mix, they say. Aren’t you hurting the cause of your people, they ask? And when I hear them, though I often understand the source of their concern, I am nevertheless greatly saddened, for such questions mean that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment or my calling. Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live.” ~ Martin Luther King, April 4, 1967

In one year to the day, Martin Luther King would be shot dead.

“This misconception rests on a second illusion—the illusion that we can win a war which the South Vietnamese cannot win for themselves. You cannot expect people to risk their lives and endure hardship unless they have a stake in their own society. They must have a clear sense of identification with their own government, a belief they are participating in a cause worth fighting for.

People will not fight to line the pockets of generals or swell the bank accounts of the wealthy. They are far more likely to close their eyes and shut their doors in the face of their government—even as they did last week.

More than any election, more than any proud boast, that single fact reveals the truth. We have an ally in name only. We support a government without supporters. Without the efforts of American arms that government would not last a day.” ~ Robert F. Kennedy, February 8, 1968

In less than four months, Robert F. Kennedy would be shot dead after winning the California Democratic primary.

“In the past few days, however, it has become evident to me that I no longer have a strong enough political base in the Congress to justify continuing that effort. As long as there was such a base, I felt strongly that it was necessary to see the constitutional process through to its conclusion, that to do otherwise would be unfaithful to the spirit of that deliberately difficult process and a dangerously destabilizing precedent for the future.

But with the disappearance of that base, I now believe that the constitutional purpose has been served, and there is no longer a need for the process to be prolonged.” ~ Richard Nixon, August 4, 1974

Richard Nixon was a war criminal; if he had faced a Nuremberg docket he would have been hung. Nixon had ordered the bombings of dams and power stations inside of North Vietnam. He had violated American law by secretly bombing and invading Laos and Cambodia and we are then to believe he was removed from power over a bungled burglary?

Beginning in 1970, Nixon began ordering American troops pulled back from border areas of Vietnam. He began to replace land power with air power, but clearly, the program was a failure. In February of 1971, the South Vietnamese began a military operation attempting to cut the Ho Chi Minh trail. It ended disastrously, with South Vietnamese soldiers abandoned their vehicles and hung desperately to the skids of helicopters evacuating the wounded.

By 1971, US troop levels in Vietnam had fallen from 536,000 to less than 200,000 with a deadline to remove 45,000 more before February. A 1972, attack by North Vietnamese forces quickly overran southern provinces illustrating to all the complete ineptitude of South Vietnamese forces.Nixon had placed his bet and he had lost; Gerald Ford assumed the Presidency without popular vote or Electoral College. Richard Nixon had once famously remarked, “If the President does it, it’s not illegal.” Gerald Ford, in pardoning Richard Nixon, made that statement a truism.

Jimmy Carter had warned America of the dangers of over reliance on fossil fuels, he advocated for peace, while building America’s first alternative energy power plants. Carter was fighting a colossus with a wooden sword. During the 1980 Presidential Campaign Carter’s debate notes were stolen, eventually ending up in the hands of the Reagan Campaign. The primary suspect in this theft was an Air Force lieutenant named Robert Gates.

The election of Ronald Reagan accelerated America’s decline, a massive military build up, accompanied by aggressive military bravado which almost caused a nuclear exchange. While Reagan promised morning in America, he cut taxes for the wealthy and services for the middle class. The Reagan administration even went so far as to reclassify ketchup as a vegetable, in order to cut money spent on the school lunches of poor children.

While cutting funding for education and services to the middle class the money was misspent on billion dollar plastic airplanes and even airplanes, which could barely fly and the refitting WW2 battleships. Incursions into Grenada illustrated America’s new belligerence, along with covert wars in Central America. Are you beginning to see where this current will carry us?

“I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.” – Smedley Butler

The Reagan administration also began dismantling the bulwarks which had held the financial Pandora in her box for fifty years. In the process, the administration of Ronald Reagan left behind the largest deficit in history of that time. A deficit financed by American banks, while the standard of living for the Average American began to decline.

George H. W. Bush was the first US President ever to be a career long CIA operative. When the Cuban revolution nationalized oil wells, they belonged to George H. W. Bush. E. Howard Hunt of Watergate fame was the CIA Miami station chief during the Bay of Pigs. It was strange indeed, that after the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, on March 30, 1981 just 69 days into the Reagan Presidency, the relationship between the Bush’s and the Reagan’s strangely cooled.

“He reads much;
He is a great observer and he looks
Quite through the deeds of men: he loves no plays,
As thou dost, Antony; he hears no music;
Seldom he smiles, and smiles in such a sort
As if he mock’d himself and scorn’d his spirit
That could be moved to smile at any thing.
Such men as he be never at heart’s ease
Whiles they behold a greater than themselves,
And therefore are they very dangerous.” ~ William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

The first Gulf War to remove Saddam Hussein was ala Diệm, the invasion of Panama and the removal of Manuel Noriega who was also our guy before he wasn’t. Noriega had nationalized Panamanian banks where the CIA had considerable assets. Manuel Noriega had worked for the CIA for thirty years and had worked closely with George H. W. Bush. Noriega insists to this day that it was his refusal to meet Oliver North’s demands to assist the Nicaraguan Contras as the actual basis for the U.S. campaign to oust him. Personally, I think it had more to do with the CIA’s involvement with a white powder which flooded American streets during the 1980’s and made very wealthy people, even wealthier.

William Jefferson Clinton was a “New Democrat” Aka moderate Republican. He was elected on a poor economy and a weak Bush presidency, out of step with the public. Bush’s was an error of style rather than of substance. Future administrations learned it was better to offer meaningless platitudes and empty programs than to just say “We’re working on it.” It was the Bush administration which began negotiating the North American Free Trade Act and the Clinton administration which promoted it and signed it into law and thus made international corporations co- equals with elected governments. It was also during this administration that the Glass – Steagall Act was repealed, opening the financial floodgates and letting Pandora out of her box. In the words of William Jefferson Clinton “the Glass–Steagall law is no longer appropriate.”

“Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households. Since 1996, dividends and capital gains have grown faster than wages or any other category of after-tax income.” ~ CIA World Fact Book

US Taxes and other revenues – 15.5 % of GDP or lower tax rates than 191 other nations. Lower than Norway, Denmark, Finland, France, Sweden, Greenland, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, Austria, Ecuador, Italy, Croatia, Netherlands, Bolivia, Oman, Portugal, Germany, Iceland, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland and Japan, need I go on?

Yes, but we’re told lower taxes bring us jobs, right?

US Investment (gross fixed) 12.1% of GDP which is 144th in the world behind, China (46.2%) Morocco (30.6%) Iran (27.6%) and even Bangladesh (25.0%)

US budget deficit 8.7 % of GDP (2011 est.) in comparison to the rest of the world 192nd.

US Exports – $1.497 trillion (2011 est.)
US Imports – $2.236 trillion (2011 est.) in comparison to the rest of the world, we’re number one in the world in importing goods.

George W. Bush never won a presidential election in his life. He took office once through court manipulation and once through, out and out subversion of the electoral process. Bush was a drunken buffoon, a dancing monkey designed to keep us amused, while evil little men continued their policy of scorched Earth against American families and workers. Senseless wars and reckless economic policy with plunder as their ends. Stupendous weapons systems bringing only more war and more poverty. If ever a man needed to be loaded into a rocket ship and fired into the sun it is this one, to cleanse the face of the earth of his stain.

Barack Obama is a corporate mouthpiece, a marionette, vapid, vacant and verbose. He is a man on the clock, doing precisely what he is told to do, an overseer, doing his corporate master’s bidding.

Free Trade deals, Citizen’s United, NAFTA, the USA Patriot Act, the TSA, all small bends in the river flowing onward towards industrial barbarism, economic serfdom and ecological disaster. It is in this light we should inspect the wreckage of democracy in Michigan, where the state works for the few and ignores the many, where billionaires buy their way into the State house as black uniformed goons escort the people out. This current carries us down stream and empties us into a black sea of a new dark age.

There is a point, a fundamental understanding; to know from where we’ve come harkens to where we shall go.

“For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth,
Action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech,
To stir men’s blood: I only speak right on;
I tell you that which you yourselves do know;” ~ William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

“Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.” ~ Aristotle

Dickensian!

5:05 pm in Uncategorized by Daveparts

Dickensian

Dickensian

Dickensian!
By David Glenn Cox

Somewhere between the lies and the rage lives sanity. It lives oppressed and abused in a land which has quite literally, lost its soul. It lives in a cold dingy room; it lives on hope and food stamps. It lives on memories of the past which grow smaller in the rear view mirror as time whizzes by.

Without any further introduction, the November Bureau of labor Statistics jobs report filled with wishful fantasies resplendent with excuses, a turd polished to a fine, high gloss luster. From the commissioner’s statement;

“Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 146,000 in November,
and the unemployment rate edged down to 7.7 percent. In 2012,
job gains have averaged 151,000 per month, essentially the same
as in 2011. In November, employment rose in retail trade,
professional and business services, and health care.

Before providing the details of this month’s data, I would
like to comment on the impact of Hurricane Sandy on our November
estimates. On October 29, the storm made landfall on the
Northeast coast, causing severe damage in some states.
Nevertheless, response rates in the affected states were within
normal ranges in November. Our analysis leads us to conclude
that Hurricane Sandy did not substantively impact the national
employment and unemployment estimates for November. We will
release the November regional and state estimates on December
21st.

For weather conditions to reduce the estimate of payroll
employment, employees have to be off work for an entire pay
period and not be paid for the time missed. In our household
survey, persons with a job who miss work for weather-related
events are counted as employed whether or not they are paid for
the time off.”

Wonderful, the largest utility in New Jersey estimates damages of over 300 million dollars calling it, the largest power outage in the state’s history. The Bureau of Labor Statistics crosses its fingers declaring that storm related unemployment doesn’t count. They will of course, count all of the workers hired to repair this damage as proof positive that our economic recovery polices are working.

Civilian non institutional population – up by 191,000 new workers
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The Security State

11:38 am in Uncategorized by Daveparts

By David Glenn Cox

Coat of Arms of the Third Reich

Does the Third Reich live on in American foreign policy?

As Russian artillery shells were raining down on Berlin, even after the German Fuehrer had committed suicide, the security state continued on. Through the ruins of the Berlin streets, roving bands of S.S. officers roamed, hunting down and executing on the spot anyone suspected of desertion or cowardess. The third Reich had less than forty eight hours to live; yet, the security state was alive and well and lives on with us today.

Many people fail to understand that though the third Reich was pounded into dust long ago, many of its tenets of government live on. As the Red army rolled into Poland, the Polish underground began to rise up against the German invaders in Warsaw. It was at that moment that Joseph Stalin called a halt to the Russian push towards Warsaw. It was in Stalin we see the afterbirth of modern politics and of the security state. Flash forward to Libya and Syria; American policy has a light touch. Let the combatants bloody and eliminate the strongest and most popular and who do you suppose will be waiting in the wings to pick up the pieces?

It is much safer to be feared than loved when, of the two, one must be dispensed with. Because … love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails. – Niccolo Machiavelli

No man of prestige is without ambition. It is quaint to think of George Washington as a backwoodsman surveyor, but Washington was a blindly ambitious man. He married one of the wealthiest widows in Virginia and through those marriage vows became a wealthy man himself. Yes, it is entertaining to think of the founding fathers by their popular historical images. The French and Indian War cleared Colonial America’s borders of potential adversaries. Ambitious men asked, “What do we need a British crown for, when we might have our own?”

Read more on the Leftist Review.

Guns or Butter

10:47 am in Uncategorized by Daveparts

By David Glenn Cox

A F-35 Joint Strike Fighter on display

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

Today is Thanksgiving, a day to celebrate and to be thankful for all that we have been given; but it is not a memory wipe. It is a year which finds me living in my fourth state in a year but I am in a good place, I now have a home.

We are a good people, badly led and badly misled. We live in a beautiful and bounteous land in which millions upon millions of our own citizens can no longer earn enough to survive in it and yet, that is not considered a national crisis.

It has been 365 days which have seen no improvement in employment or in wages only a continued manipulation of the numbers. A year which has seen Barack Obama re-selected for a second term of office, but only because the alternative was so heinous as to be unthinkable. This is America’s twelfth thanksgiving at war, tens of thousands of our service people will spend this holiday overseas protecting Europe from a Soviet Union which no longer exists. Protecting corporate interests in Colombia, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Uzbekistan, United Arab Emirates and dozens of other countries, protecting America from the blow back we ourselves cause.

The United States of America has decided to build 183 F- 22 Raptor fighter planes at a projected cost of $66.7 billion. Originally, the plan was to build 750 of these state of the art aircraft which was scaled back to 381 copies in 2006 and now down to 183 aircraft. The Air Force warned that cutting back the number of aircraft produced increased the per unit cost. I suppose that is so, only, there aren’t any potential adversaries which would demand its capabilities, nor can the plane be exported like the B-2 bomber, it is a 21st century dreadnaught.

Meanwhile, funding continues of the F35 Joint Strike fighter which is expected to be the workhorse of the fighter command. Despite a down economy, despite twenty millions of Americans out of work Congress continued to allocate nearly half a billion dollars until 2010 for a second source engine program for this aircraft. How many times have you been down at the old used car lot and asked the salesman, “She’s a nice Ford pick up truck alright, but what if I need a new engine and Ford can’t supply one? Is there another engine available, from another manufacturer, off the shelf?”

Initial cost estimates of the F-35 Joint Strike fighter began at $89 million per copy in 2006 escalating to $207.6 million per copy in 2011. When the R&D is included the cost rise to $304.15 million for the 32 aircraft delivered. The Air Force estimates over the programs lifetime to cost the American tax payer to be over one trillion dollars. The old expression goes, “a camel is a horse designed by a committee” and the F-35 is an aircraft designed by a Pentagon committee. It does everything, for everybody and costs be damned, this is Buck Rogers stuff:

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Precariousness

2:13 pm in Uncategorized by Daveparts

Precariousness
By David Glenn Cox

Call it salvation or redemption, call it what you will. I have reemerged from a dark tunnel, from the streets of a faraway place once called home, once called the United States of America. I am alive, relatively sane, sure and uncertain. I’m no longer who I once was and so, I wonder, what about you? Who are you now in this world turned upside down? Who are we all, in this burgeoning Fascist state?

In a catalog of strange memories, my file folder is bulging. I’m walking the trendy streets of uptown Minneapolis in December. It’s dark and cold, but without a single flake of snow. Young couples pass by me arm in arm, segregated by love and a million miles away from me. Too distracted by their youth and affection to see either me or you; a sidewalk ad board offers a roast beef sandwich for just $12.95. I calculate my finances and estimate that I have almost enough cash in my pocket to buy one third of a sandwich.

The cafés are full this night; these people seem to have plenty of money and they are so young. It is not so much class envy, as class curiousness. Are the times really so good, to drop a hundred bucks on a date for dinner and drinks? Are they affluent or reckless? Are they careless or care free?

For nearly four years, I have been wandering the streets of America and I can fully inventory all of the possessions which I have lost. Yet now, I must now inventory the missing pieces of who I once was, leaving me uncertain about who I am now. I am unsure if these losses are permanent or if these skills can ever be reacquired. Asked, which spaghetti sauce I preferred, I answered, “I don’t know…anything.” Tacos, hamburgers, crinkle cut, home fries, pancakes or waffles I have no preference. Sometimes, it may seem my attitude is just easy to get along with, but it isn’t. My mind simply reads the problem as food, yes or no?

I have developed a near phobia about spending money. The majority of my purchases are from dollar stores or from second hand stores. There is a rationalizing of all purchases, no matter how small, armed with the implicit number of every coin in my pocket. The idea of a thirteen dollar roast beef sandwich with beverage and sides makes me laugh, openly. I was on a bus on the Pennsylvania turnpike and we’d just had our rest stop. The guy sitting on the diagonal from me didn’t get anything to eat, so I gave him my bag of potato chips. He wolfed them down hungrily and I wished I’d had more to give.

http://www.leftistreview.com/2012/11/07/precariousness/davidcox/

True Definitions

11:33 am in Uncategorized by Daveparts

True Definitions
By David Glenn Cox

I’ve been reading Conservative websites for the last day or so, curious as to how the Republicans viewed the outcome of the Presidential election. Probably the funniest or the most curious statements were made by Donald Trump. “This election is a total sham and a travesty. We are not a democracy!” quickly followed by “More votes equals a loss…revolution!” To me at least, it is a clear sign that America needs to be more careful about to whom it gives a reality television series.

Many of Trump’s minions quickly aped their leader bringing up the whole birther scenario and even Obama’s college transcript gate. Of course, the usual racist remarks were woven into the subtext along with claims of Obama being a Socialist. I guess, that is what I find most appalling in this maelstrom, the inability of millions of otherwise sane and normal individuals to discern one political philosophy from another.

Cap•i•tal•ism, from Dictionary.com
an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.

So•cial•ism, from Dictionary.com
1. A theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.

2. Procedure or practice in accordance with this theory.

These are general descriptions, but good enough for our purposes. Under these guidelines, is Barack Obama a Socialist? Obama care is called Socialist, but Obama care mandates were backed up by the Supreme Court of the United States. The decided legitimacy of a mandate on the general public declaring they must purchase a product from a private corporation under penalty of law. It doesn’t sound very Socialist to me, millions of government tax dollars being filtered from public coffers to private hands?

What’s more, Obama care places insurance corporations in full control. Provided the insurance companies stay inside the law, there is no appeal. Under Medicare, the US government is charge and private insurance companies must conform to Medicare in order to participate. So Obama care then becomes the antithesis of Socialism; maybe it was Obama’s bailout of GM and Chrysler which convinced the multitudes of Republican voters that this President was a Socialist.

During the GM bankruptcy, General Motors was allowed to pick and choose which assets to keep and which to discard. Among the discarded assets was an aluminum casting plant along the banks of the Hudson River. The State of New York and the Environmental Protection Agency had listed the plant as a superfund clean up site and estimated the minimum cost of cleaning the site was between $900 million to a billion dollars.

When the auto executives came to Capital hill hat in hand, they were excoriated by our representatives for flying to Washington on board a private jet. They received a very severe tongue lashing, then they given everything which they had asked for. Not one word was uttered during the process, about General Motors being the second largest auto manufacturer in China. Nor were GM’s profits in China exceeding $3 billion annually considered. Over ten thousand white collar employees were let go at Chrysler and GM, their pensions and benefits vanished like a mirage at the hands of these… Socialists?

Thousands of pensioners woke to find their pensions had disappeared as well, GM’s pension obligations were largely eliminated, pushing seniors over to the public trough of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation = (You & I). There were no strings attached to this agreement, GM was free to take the money and if they so chose, to lock the door on every domestic manufacturing plant and laugh about it all the way home. Clearly, if this is Socialism, Obama is not very good at it, but likewise, this isn’t really Capitalism either.

“GM now has about a $2,000-per-car manufacturing advantage over its Japanese and European rivals, a swing from a similar-sized disadvantage before the restructuring,” said David Cole, chairman emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research. I guess that’s why GM has reduced prices to reflect their more competitive stance in the market place … not! An August 2012 report to Congress from the White House stated if the US government were to sell its remaining stake in GM, it would result in a loss to tax payers of $25.1 billion dollars. This was a government beat down of workers, young, old and retired.

In Obama’s $787 billion dollar stimulus, one third of that total went in the form of tax cuts to private corporations. With approximately 30,000 firms in the US that works out to an average benefit of 8,743,000 per firm. You and I, well, let’s see, we received an estimated benefit each from the stimulus of $1,668. No one is arguing over the need for a stimulus, what I’m saying is that this was neither Socialism nor Capitalism. The original idea was to stimulate the economy, but a disproportionate amount of the money went to the top of the economy instead of where people were hurting at the bottom, kind of like fighting a forest fire by hosing down the tops of trees.

This was the same path begun by Herbert Hoover when he initiated a program with $2 billion to refinance the debts of banks and railroads. Was Hoover also a Socialist or is Obama a Republican? Cash for Clunkers was a program designed to help the big three automakers facing 30,000 leased vehicles being returned per month. With a crumbling economy this spelled disaster for all automakers, foreign and domestic. Disproportionately, the domestic lots saw returning Denali’s and Escalades, Explorers and Ram Trucks with Hemi’s, yeah cool; Hemi’s with $4.00 a gallon gasoline. The same program had been tried by Henry Ford back in the last Great Depression.

Ford’s program, bought back Model T’s and crushed them when the customer bough a new Model A. Only, there were already so many Model T’s out there and only a few people who could afford a new Model that the program was a failure. This time around, the program worked by stabilizing the price of new cars by eliminating the supply of used cars. Arguably, government intervention in an industry could be considered a sort of left handed Socialism. Except that, in Socialism the government moves to create the greatest good for the greatest number, while with this program, it did the opposite, giving tax breaks to those able to afford a new car, while punishing those who could not afford a new car by raising the price of used cars, a sort of Socialism in reverse.

Was Obama acting as a Socialist? Was Henry Ford acting as a Socialist?

Many on the political left were also greatly disenchanted by the performance of Barack Obama in his first term. To me, I fall back on the takes one to know one rule. The attacks on Obama from the left were as loud as the attacks from the right; it was Rahm Emanuel who said “Fuck the UAW” he did not say, “Fuck the UAW, comrade.” Asked in anger by Obama’s press secretary if we, (the professional Left) wanted a Canadian style health care the left answered resoundingly “Yes!” the right answered, “Oh heavens, no!”

There is a disconnection here, a jumble of political philosophies and of political rhetoric. The political right seems obsessed with chasing non-issues or serving up tired political bromides of Socialist, Communist or foreign born alien. On Election Day, I even saw NRA ads claiming Barack Obama was going to take your guns away, despite the fact that Obama couldn’t be lured into a gun debate even in the wake of the Batman massacre. The political right has attempted to paint Barack Obama’s first term as a failure and speaking as a Socialist, I have to agree. It was a failure, so much so, that Michael Moore posted an election day plea to forgive and forget Obama’s Right wing transgressions or else the sky would fall.

The left was pleading to the faithful to forgive Obama’s Right wing policies, while the Right was pleading to elect Romney. To return America to the traditional Republican values of smaller government except, Obama cut the size of government more than any president in recent history. It doesn’t seem to make sense, does it? Obama isn’t a Socialist but he isn’t a Capitalist either, he is something else entirely. A Right wing Democrat, corporate plutocrat with a license to kill in his finger tips.

We’ve see a continuation of the Bush war policies and a continuation of Bush Tax policies. We see our rights extinguished as the Supreme Court becomes openly politicized and criminalized as well. Two major political parties which agree on most matters of war and of rescue, of free trade and of monetary policy, as an insane black curtain of world turned upside down madness descends upon us. It is now a one party state, where disputes are settled along the margins.

“The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power…. Among us today a concentration of private power without equal in history is growing.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

“Still another danger is represented by those who, paying lip service to democracy and the common welfare, in their insatiable greed for money and the power which money gives, do not hesitate surreptitiously to evade the laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic extortion.

Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.

They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution.

They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead.” – Henry A. Wallace

So, what does it all mean? It means Donald Trump is correct, but for all of the wrong reasons. This country does need a revolution; there is no other means of rectification. Your taxes will continue to increase; if you have wages, they won’t keep up with inflation. The public school systems will continue to deteriorate and your children will fight endless wars of aggrandizement until the eventual collapse comes, which by the way, will be blamed upon you.

http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/fasci14chars.html