How To Fix The World

I have come to believe it is a waste of time to discuss “policy” anymore. Billionaires and corporations control the legislative and administrative branches. And that’s that. Period.

We can’t get anything through the Congress, no matter what. The Executive branch lives in a neoliberal mindset. The agencies are controlled by lobbyists. (Once in a while something can happen, but if we fix corruption, we fix all of it.)

Activists should put 100% of effort into fixing this. Fix money in politics and corruption. Nothing we advocate can happen otherwise. Everything we fight for will happen if these are fixed – because the public wants the same things. (That’s why we do what we do.)

There really is no other fight.

The Far Left

Advocating for government to do things that make people’s lives better means you are on the “far left.”

Do what scientists say is necessary to fight the climate catastrophe. “Far left.”

Teach about and fight systemic racism. “Far left.”

Raise the minimum wage. “Far left.”

Provide healthcare for all. “Far left.”

Restore democracy. “Far left.”

Fight corporate and billionaire influence over democracy. “Far left.”

Check Yourself For Confirmation Bias

I think we should all be aware that confirmation bias is a real thing.

The US has done terrible things. Bush’s invasion of Iraq was illegal aggressive warfare, with its “run up” of propaganda lies to justify what Bush did. Vietnam, wow … CIA overthrowing elected governments and installing horrific, murderous dictatorships.

And what we did with Russia after the Soviet Union fell led to Putin and the oligarchs running things.

So a lot of us trained ourselves to see through the propaganda lies that come from the DC/military/corporate-rule crowd. There really is no reason to trust anything they say

Now, remember when Russia had troops massed on Ukraine’s border, and many of us saw the US warnings about an impending invasion as the US engaging in another drumbeat for war? A lot of people were talking about this almost as if the US had troops there and was lying about it. Meanwhile Russia was assisting this view by saying they were only conducting exercises and would be pulling back soon, the US was lying to stir things up, etc, etc.

It turned out that was all wrong. Russia really was massing troops for an invasion of Ukraine.

So Be Careful

So let’s be careful and try to apply logic to what we’re seeing instead of looking for things that confirm our own US-centric view of the world. Past performance is not an indicator of future returns. Those were not US troops on Ukraine’s border and the warnings about impending invasion were correct, not US military/industrial propaganda this time. (For once.) This time it wasn’t about US politics or actions at all, even though we are so used to seeing things that way.

For all the past bad acts by Western countries, is it logical to think of NATO as “aggressive” or “expanding” when the countries joining are all applying to join? Is it logical to think of NATO as “threatening” Russia? NATO has not invaded any of these countries to force them in. It is an organization that exists for the member countries to protect each other from aggression by other countries.

And we all know that the West is not going to invade Russia. So where is the logic of thinking of NATO as threatening, or encircling, or expanding? Those are propaganda words, intending to evoke images in the brain instead of logic. Encircling? I mean, look at a map of Russia! Again, no one is going to be sending tanks into Russia. Get real.

Many of the countries -IN- NATO have done terrible things. NATO itself, as an organization, has not. Meanwhile today’s Russia is the kind of country we all despise and fear the US is becoming – a fascist, white nationalist kleptocracy subjecting its people to constant Fox-News-like nonsense distracting the public from reality and justifying how the few at the top are siphoning off all the wealth. Russia has been invading, bombing countries, Syria, Chechnya, Georgia, attacking civilians and destroying their cities. Not NATO.

I’m saying we should look at every situation fresh, and apply logic and reason. Fighting past battles can make us blind to what is happening.

Especially as US/Wall Street domination of the world recedes.

Sanctions On Russian Oligarchs Won’t Work But Sanctions On Russia’s Economy WIll

Sanctions on Russia’s oligarchs won’t work. The idea is that imposing sanctions of Putin’s oligarchs will cause them feel pain and do something about Putin. This is a US-centric view of how it works:

– In the US the oligarchs tell the government what to do. In Russia it’s the other way around. Putin tells the oligarchs what to do.

– BECAUSE this is how it works here, the US continues to allow oligarchs to hide their wealth behind anonymous “shell” corporations. So oligarch assets remain safe. Shell corporations owned by oligarchs can continue to buy real estate, art, etc.

– Also hidden assets of politicians, collected from oligarchs, remain safe.

WSJ, How Donald Trump’s Web of LLCs Obscures His Business Interests,

President-elect Donald Trump owns a helicopter in Scotland.

To be more precise, he has a revocable trust that owns 99% of a Delaware limited liability company that owns 99% of another Delaware LLC that owns a Scottish limited company that owns another Scottish company that owns the 26-year-old Sikorsky S-76B helicopter, emblazoned with a red “TRUMP” on the side of its fuselage.

Sanctions on Russia’s economy are another matter.

Biden Crack Pipes

Obama phones
IRS targeted conservative organizations
Bill Clinton got a $500 haircut while holding up LA runway traffic
Obama born in Kenya
Hillary killed Vince Foster
John Kerry didn’t deserve his medals
George McGovern is a communist
The biggest investor in Solyndra was an Obama donor
You didn’t build that
Democrats cut Medicare
Seth Rich was killed because he knew Hillary secrets
Social Security is going broke

So so many many more. Repeated endlessly until they become “truths.”

Add your favorite in the comments.

Updates –

Welfare Cadillacs
Illegal immigrants get payments from the government

Be Careful What You Type

When I worked my first post-college job at Ford (later 70s) I worked on a PDP-11 in a remote lab (working on the 1st EEC – computerized carburetor.) To access the “disk” – a huge thing they would insert in the top of a huge device – you had to contact the “operator” at the big computer. Ford had a redundant system where everything typed was echoed across all of Ford’s computers, and data was stored in several places. I can only imagine the data loss that brought this about. One Saturday I was working and had to get to my data. I typed in “Sharon, please mount Dave Johnson’s disk.” But I typed a ‘c’ instead of an ‘s’. When I came in to work Monday every single person in the building was laughing.

Another time, when I was at Gobe, up in Portland, I gave a demo to a key client, using an overhead monitor. In front of everyone I was demonstrating how text could be made larger and smaller with a slider. I didn’t look at the keyboard, typed the word ‘TEXT’ and used the slider to make it huge. Well, the ‘W’ key is just to the left of the ‘E’ key, and the ‘A’ key is just to the left of the ‘S’ key and my fingers were just to the left…

Dem “Establishment” Lucrative Losers

The Democratic party “establishment”… The elderly “centrist” leadership, the high-paid consultants, the fundraisers, the lobbying class…

For all their “practicality” about turning to the right to win elections, obviously the only winning election strategy is showing voters they’re on their side. But the “conventional wisdom” and advice to candidates is rarely to do that.

It’s all about the money. Raising enough money for candidates requires backing off from anything that smells like it might be “to the left,” which means helping actual working people. (Also known as “the voters.”)

The “practical” belief that only lots of money (showing donors whose side they are on) can win elections has cost Democrats so many local and national seats over the years. And it has cost the country & planet almost everything. But you have to admit it has been a lucrative practice for a lot of top Dems.

It is difficult to get top Dems to understand something, when their lucrative payoffs depend on their not understanding it.

Hypnotizing Us Into The Biggest Slumber Mankind Has Ever Seen

“We live in a kingdom of bullshit.”

Is the climate crisis real? Is Covid real? Is Trump’s coup attempt real? Is inequality real?

Does anyone care about and of these?

Frm Mr. Robot:

Mr. Robot | Christian Slater) "REALITY" Speech Scene (S01E10) from MAKING THE CUT on Vimeo.

Is any of it real? I mean, look at this. Look at it! A world built on fantasy. Synthetic emotions in the form of pills. Psychological warfare in the form of advertising. Mind-altering chemicals in the form of… food! Brainwashing seminars in the form of media. Controlled isolated bubbles in the form of social networks.

Real? You want to talk about reality? We haven’t lived in anything remotely close to it since the turn of the century. We turned it off, took out the batteries, snacked on a bag of GMOs while we tossed the remnants in the ever-expanding Dumpster of the human condition. We live in branded houses trademarked by corporations built on bipolar numbers jumping up and down on digital displays, hypnotizing us into the biggest slumber mankind has ever seen.

You have to dig pretty deep, kiddo, before you can find anything real. We live in a kingdom of bullshit. A kingdom you’ve lived in for far too long. So don’t tell me about not being real. I’m no less real than the fucking beef patty in your Big Mac.

Congratulations Corporations, The Next President Will Be Your Business Partner (Updated)

This post first appeared at Government Cheese – Chronicling the collapse of democracy

It hasn’t sunk in yet but yesterday’s vote to allow Republican election-rigging and keep the filibuster marks the end of democracy. From here on out the fight is over. Republican efforts to rig the next elections will now accelerate. They know they have a free hand to do what they want. The public will tune out, understanding that nothing can change.

Billionaires and corporations funded and engineered the effort to keep the filibuster. Their thinking is that they’re at the top of a system rigged in their favor, and the filibuster keeps anything from changing. The filibuster has maintained their position at the top of the pyramid, blocking all efforts by the people to use government to change the rigged system. All Republicans were part of this pay-for-play operation, of course, but so were many Senate Democrats under Obama, and now Manchin and Sinema.

The corporations and billionaires think the current system of paying politicians to keep the money flowing to them has been locked in.
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