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iemanja's Journal
iemanja's Journal
January 15, 2017

Witness Russian propaganda in action


Trump is standing up to "oligarchy." His cabinet doesn't please the oligarchy: 5 appointees from Goldman, at least that many billionaires, all as far right wing as exists, and they aren't the oligarchy?

He's standing in the way of war with Russia, which makes him better than Democrats. Did you know the US, and Hillary Clinton specifically, was planning war on Russia? Donald Trump, a beacon of peace amid a sea of hawks.

And then the requisite comment of how Hillary "stole" the primary, a creation of Russian propaganda, as recent investigations have determined.

And of course the rapist Assange, defender of the America's only hope for peace and democracy, the sexual predator Donald Trump. It would appear that being a sexual assailant garners particular esteem among fascists.

They claim there is a coup underway against Trump (it was put out by the Kremlin so it must be true) because of the orange one's bravery in standing up to the "establishment" and "oligarchy," you know--establishment oligarchs like John Lewis who refused to drink at the colored folks fountain like he was supposed to.

And they think their hated is justified by anger over Bernie being denied the nomination by a woman who refused to stay in the kitchen like she is supposed to. Despite my disagreements with Bernie, I have to believe he would find their deluded hate mongering and unfettered admiration for a billionaire and his despotic handler Putin every bit as repulsive as I do.

This is an example of the effect of Russian propaganda. Now granted, that propaganda would not be effective among reasonably intelligent and sane people, but the fact is too many across the political spectrum are neither. The Kremlin are masters as psy-ops, and they know whom to target. Americans may be particularly susceptible because of poor education and our news media. Whatever the explanation, this should scare the shit out of most everyone. These people vote, and we are living through the outcome of their insane choices, which they are now desperate to defend in the most bizarrely irrational ways imaginable. At least they aren't spreading their deranged ravings on this site any more.

January 8, 2017

Automation predates trade deals

By some 60 years. It's been a continual process since Fordism and Taylorization were implemented in factories (even in the 18th to 19th centuries with the process of alienation of labor described by Marx). Deindustrialization also predates deals like NAFTA. Chronology does matter. NAFTA may have well accelerated a process already underway, but it did not initiate it.

The fact is that capitalism is based on profit--the accumulation of capital. Its imperative is to find more efficient ways of accumulating more capital. The exploitation of labor is the very heart of the capitalist system, and it depends on inequality. Capitalism determines social relations, mores, and the nature of the state. Inequality and poverty are not incidental but central to the system.

There was a brief period in US history in which the white working class, men in particular, benefited from that system, based largely on the capacity of the US government to enforce labor exploitation in the Global South. The US is now far less able to enforce such economic relationships than at the height of the American empire, which correspond precisely with that period of relative prosperity for the white middle class.

Striking down trade deals won't return America to the prosperity of the 50s; it won't make America great again. They have to be replaced with something. Trump's plan is to tear down regulation and minimum wages so businesses finding moving abroad less attractive. The idea is for the US to become the Global South.

I don't know what Bernie's plan was to replace trade deals. That may be a result of my own ignorance rather than his failing, but I did look several times at his website for details on that and other issues and found very few.

For the record, I was a critic of NAFTA and opposed TPP, largely because TPP replicated chapter 11 of NAFTA, which created an extra-judicial arbitration board that national court systems have no ability to overturn. I did, however, find the discussions against TPP lacking because : 1) they attributed far too much causality to those deals; 2) there was very little discussion of what would replace them. Progressive critics seemed to echo ( other way around actually) Trump's implication that we could resurrect the economy of the 50s and 60s. That is simply not possible. Details matter, and we got few.

-- --
A post above is reflective of the kind of discourse I find frustrating. " Corporate trade" is described as caused by trade deals, as though corporations didn't dominate trade before NAFTA. United Fruit engineered the overthrow of the govt of Guatemala in 1954 (through the CIA Director and Sec of State who were major stockholders) in order to keep the Arbenz govt from expropriating their uncultivated land. yet that was 30 years before NAFTA, at the height of American prosperity. Yet "corporatism," we are told, is far more recent. With little understanding of history and no critique of capital itself, we see presentist claims that don't hold up to scrutiny. They do convey frustration at the current situation, but offer no solutions. Ultimately, if we don't understand cause, solutions are not possible.

December 31, 2016

My head is spinning

from the contradictory arguments I see around here. After being told that we need to display great understanding toward Trump-voting white men, I see many of those same people insisting Jews who object to Ellison as DNC chair should fuck off and leave the party. So why throw away the second most loyal Democratic voting block (after African Americans) while simultaneously insisting we need to expand the party? Could it be that winning elections is actually less important than following Bernie? Ellison is Bernie's pick, therefore anyone who objects to Ellison should leave the party. Bernie says the white working class is key, so we must cater to them. Or is it there some sort of preference for white male Christian voters above the rest, whether Jews who object to Ellison or disenfranchised voters of color, who have been all but ignored in the post-election analysis (except by Tom Perez).

December 14, 2016

My theory about Trump and Russia

He's badly in debt to Russian banks. Given his abysmal business credit rating (31), he was unable to get loans from US banks. He got them from Russia. Putin saw Trump's run for office as an opportunity and launched a covert operation to subvert the election in Trump's favor. Now that Trump has won, he's making one pro-Russian cabinet appointment after another and claiming the US intelligence agencies are lying about Russia's involvement in our elections.

It is possible that Trump's campaign or even Trump himself had active knowledge of Russian interference. It's hard to understand Trump's denials of US intel absent some involvement on his part.

There are reports about a server from Trump tower being in regular communication with a Russian bank. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/cover_story/2016/10/was_a_server_registered_to_the_trump_organization_communicating_with_russia.html
What was communicated through those servers? Were Trump aids on contact with the Russian government? Were they discussing the campaign, and did Russia give them information obtaining from hacking the Clinton campaign?

I don't know the answers to these questions, but my guess is that the impetus of the relationship between Trump and Putin is financial. He's badly in debt to Russia, and that gives Putin leverage over him. Putin may even have instructed the banks to give the loans in order to cultivate dependency.

That is why the investigation into the Russian covert action needs to be accompanied by a thorough review of Trump's finances to undercover vulnerabilities for our nation.

December 11, 2016

Strange Priorities

Intelligence agencies have proof that Russians interfered in our elections in order to put Trump in office. Putin is at this moment moving missiles into Eastern Europe. We have a fascist about to enter the White House who ran on plans to create a Muslim registry and since being elected has talked about how internment camps are okay since FDR did them. He's appointed five billionaires to his cabinet, a climate change denier to the EPA and a fast foot mogul who opposes any minimum wage to the head Department of Labor. Trump appeared on television today lying about the source of information about Russian interference in the election by falsely claiming it came from the Democratic party rather than intelligence agencies. We also have the rise of hate crimes and mainstreaming of Neo-Nazis and the Klu Klux Klan.

Yet despite all that, we have people on this site who have decided what really matters is that Hillary Clinton used the word deplorables and earned money giving speeches to Wall Street banks. That sin would appear to be greater than turning the Treasury Department over to a man who made billions from throwing people out of their homes or Trump's plans for enormous tax cuts for the wealthy. The enemy, it seems, is not Russia or Trump but the Democratic Party.

The country is going to hell, but the only thing they care about is making excuses for the Putin-Trump (at least attempted) coup. They insist Russia had no impact on the election, even as they continue to complain that a few DNC emails somehow compelled 3.8 million more voters to choose Clinton in the primary. So why the outrage over the DNC emails but not Russian interference in favor of Trump? The only thing I can figure out is they object to the outcome of the primary but not the general election. If that is the case, why do we have to suffer their lectures about the future direction of the Democratic Party, particularly when they show absolutely no concern about the future of the nation?

December 7, 2016

No You Cant : Why Im Still Crying Over Hillary Clintons Loss.

Many women feel this way about Hillary Clinton's defeat in the GE. The loss is not just political; it's personal.

Eirene Donohue

I am her. The words flashed through my head. And suddenly, there on the 101 freeway, I was down the hole again. Tears streaming, sobs choking, heart breaking. The realization hitting me. I am Her.

And here was the root of my pain. This wasn’t just about the disappointment that my candidate lost. Or the fear of what Trump will do to this country. It felt like my very soul hurt and I realized that it was because of what this election said to me as a woman. It said no.
No, woman, stay in your place. No, woman, you are not good enough. No, woman, no matter what you do, you will not win, you will not be the boss of me.

It crushed a part of my female core to realize that yes, the world at large really does hate women that much. And while there are other reasons to dislike Hilary Clinton and disagree with her policies, misogyny and sexism are the gas that fuels the fire they burned her with.

We are supposed to stay quiet and not ask for much. Stay in our place and say please and thank you and don’t challenge anyone. We must be perfect, ten times more perfect than the man beside us. And then we must wait for them to give us permission to follow their orders.
December 6, 2016

"substantive proposals"

We were waiting the entire primary to hear about those. Funny he didn't release them then. The NY Daily News in particular wanted Bernie to explain his "substantive proposals" on Wall Street reform but he never did. He instead said he shouldn't be expected to know how banks would be split up since he didn't run Citigroup.

Daily News: I get that point. I'm just looking at the method because, actions have reactions, right? There are pluses and minuses. So, if you push here, you may get an unintended consequence that you don't understand. So, what I'm asking is, how can we understand? If you look at JPMorgan just as an example, or you can do Citibank, or Bank of America. What would it be? What would that institution be? Would there be a consumer bank? Where would the investing go?

Sanders: I'm not running JPMorgan Chase or Citibank.

Daily News: No. But you'd be breaking it up.

Sanders: That's right. And that is their decision as to what they want to do and how they want to reconfigure themselves. That's not my decision. All I am saying is that I do not want to see this country be in a position where it was in 2008, where we have to bail them out. And, in addition, I oppose that kind of concentration of ownership entirely.


He continued to repeated his core beliefs, which are indeed heartfelt, but he never developed substantive policy proposals of HOW he was going to execute what he talked about. Nor did he have any idea of how he as president would gain the authority to enact his goals.

Daily News: Okay. Well, let's assume that you're correct on that point. How do you go about doing it?

Sanders: How you go about doing it is having legislation passed, or giving the authority to the secretary of treasury to determine, under Dodd-Frank, that these banks are a danger to the economy over the problem of too-big-to-fail.

Daily News: But do you think that the Fed, now, has that authority?


Sanders: Well, I don't know if the Fed has it. But I think the administration can have it.

Daily News: How? How does a President turn to JPMorgan Chase, or have the Treasury turn to any of those banks and say, "Now you must do X, Y and Z?"

Sanders: Well, you do have authority under the Dodd-Frank legislation to do that, make that determination.

You might recall that in the debates he was very critical of Clinton for saying that Dodd-Frank enabled the government to identity banks that were too big to fail. He insisted only reinstating Glass-Steagal would do. Yet in that interview he said he would rely on Dodd-Frank, though he was unsure about what authority it provided or how that mechanism worked.

These are ideas he has talked about for years, yet he gave little thought to how to implement them. The same with prosecuting bankers. He could not speak to the legal basis under which they would be prosecuted. He just said they should be. I found it astounding that in all the years he's been talking about locking up bankers, he didn't once think to look into the legal provisions that would make that possible.

Substantive proposals are not something he developed during his campaign. I remain doubtful that he has since done so.

I don't in any way disagree with his overall goals or his outrage at the financial sector, but a president's job is to make those goals happen and that requires serious thought and detailed policy about the precise governmental and legal mechanisms necessary.
December 4, 2016

Clinton's loss in the GE was all her fault

personally and had nothing to do with racism or sexism, yet Bernie's loss in the primary was entirely due to the DNC and the media. He bears no responsibility at all for it.

Clinton was a "flawed" candidate, too weak to win, but Bernie isn't at all flawed, despite losing to the hopelessly weak candidate by 3.75 million votes.

Is that supposed to be logical or remotely convincing?

(This isn't basing either candidate but rather pointing out a contradictory argument).

November 29, 2016

I've noticed some "progressives" seem to think Hillary owes them something

After their prolonged absence during the general election, they've appeared to attack her for not speaking out on this or that. Hillary owes you nothing. She put up her candidacy for president and lost. She was defeated, which is exactly what her detractors wanted. Not content with seeing her defeated in the GE, they stick the knife in and twist it. It would seem that decades long habit of directing their wrath toward one woman is difficult to break.

Here's the deal. She is now a private citizen. It's not her job, nor is it particularly appropriate, for her to speak out on any issue. She will never be president. She can spend the rest of her life walking her dog if she wants to. Her life is her own. She no longer has to be subject to the hatred and vitriol that the alt-"progressives" have directed at her non-stop since the GOP first told them what to think. The Trump wing of the "progressive" movement can direct their outrage toward the man they helped put in office. Maybe they can stop making excuses for fascism and ask about what he intends to do about Standing Rock, fracking, campaign financing, single payer, tuition-free education, or the other issues they claimed to care about until they decided issues really weren't important enough to keep them from supporting, either directly or through a third party vote, a fascist for president.

You vanquished the beast. Humanity has been saved from the scourge of her potential presidency. Move on to your next target while you keep making excuses for Rococo Hitler. You don't own Hillary, and she owes you exactly nothing.

Here we see the problem with a scapegoat. When she is gone, the people so invested in demonizing her are left without an outlet for the inner rage, and they find themselves flailing to cover up that emptiness.

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