Wednesday, December 17, 2014

How to find the best political candidate.

There are political insiders and political outsiders, and then there are those who scramble for votes by trying outdated tactics of tailoring their messages to distinctly contradictory groups, as if the Internet and the news media were still run by the Pony Express and one group wouldn't hear what was said to the other group.

Fair Weather Politics

The 2014 election for Democrats who tried to ping-pong the divide between Progressives and Conservatives, or more accurately between Wall Street and Main Street, was an utter disaster. Many Democrats were hoodwinked into believing a myth that President Obama's approval rating was "plummeting" and would be toxic to their campaigns so they ran away.
Democrats have ceded the territory of reality to Republican fantasy. Need a specific example? The media of late have been touting the story of "Obama's dropping approval ratings" noting that his "approval ratings have plunged to record lows" and have "plummeted" and are "sinking to historic lows." Only one problem with this narrative: it is factually and demonstrably false. Here is the verifiable truth: from January 1, 2014 to October 30, 2014, Obama's approval rating fell from 42.6 percent to 42 percent. The year's peak was 44 percent, and the low of the year was 41 percent. A drop of about one-half of one percent does not constitute numbers that are "plummeting" or "sinking" or even "dropping." Yet the Democrats sit by and let this nonsense flow forth with no fight.
-- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-schweitzer/the-price-of-failure-and_b_6099752.html
The result of the propaganda was best encapsulated by Jon Stewart on the Daily Show, but the publisher of this article, IJReview.com maintained the myth of Obama's waning approval ratings, but that's not the point of this post.
 Jon Stewart Compares Democrats’ Desperate Attempts Of Avoiding Questions About Obama To A Murder Deposition
http://www.ijreview.com/2014/10/194176-democrats-run-from-obama-jon-stewart/
In the end, the Democrats who tried Republican-Lite politics disenfranchised their base.

Political Insiders

Political insiders have two channels of communication. One more public with the majority of their voting base, and the other, less public, with their donors, But they too seem to be oblivious to the Internet. When the two channels of communication become dissonant, the true motivations of the candidate become suspect. Alright, it's "Two-Faced." Clear enough?
First, Clinton appeared at a private fundraiser for Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), an embattled incumbent who favors construction of the massive Keystone XL oil pipeline opposed by environmentalists.
Just two hours later, Clinton appeared on a different stage to deliver a speech to the League of Conservation Voters — a mainstream environmental group that strenuously opposes Keystone.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/clintons-noncommittal-stance-on-environment-creates-political-dilemma/2014/12/01/609d95a0-796c-11e4-9a27-6fdbc612bff8_story.html
When the public channel of communication goes entirely silent, the objectives become implicitly self-serving, most often alienating a huge swath of the public.
Where was Hillary when the Cromnibus reared its head? As Politico made clear, "Clinton has not commented on the $1.1 trillion spending bill, which Warren claims will undo (financial) reforms made under the Dodd-Frank law."
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/erik-ose/after-congress-secretly-v_b_6330644.html
Political Outsiders

The rules of deception, by the way, also include deception by omission, or silence. Silence however appears to be a standard rule for not upsetting campaign donors and potential post-political employers and high-cash speaking engagements, The rule of silence or motivated self-censorship have no appeal or intimidation for Senator Elizabeth Warren:
Elizabeth Warren was told to stay quiet, but she didn’t – and it’s paying off
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/12/14/elizabeth-warren-is-changing-washington-without-giving-up-her-outside-status/
Senator Warren's behavior indirectly shines a harsh spotlight on Insider Politics. Without naming names, her straightforwardness alone is creating a glaring example of honesty for the rest of us to compare to other political behavior.

“I’d love to see [Clinton] match [Warren’s] talking points in terms of the economy, just reforming Wall Street,” said Nick Moe, a political and environmental activist from Alaska. “She’s been absolutely silent as the Dodd-Frank legislation is being rolled back. Where was she?”
http://www.politico.com/story/2014/12/elizabeth-warren-budget-cromnibus-2016-elections-113561.html#ixzz3M85uLyvp
Some media outlets have discovered the potential for using "Guilt by Association" tactics to try an ruin a politician's future by asking questions that will inadvertently insinuate the politician into the snake pit of another politician whose behavior has proven questionable at best. I was deeply saddened when I read this:

Al Franken Realizes Mid-Sentence That He's Endorsing Hillary Clinton
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/16/al-franken-hillary-clinton_n_6336620.html
It was said that Al Franken was a straight-shooter on his campaign and didn't fear being associated with President Obama's accomplishments over the last six years. Senator Al Franken  falls into the same class of politician as Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders. His ethics held up against a deluge of false propaganda from his opponent.

Throughout his campaign, McFadden has worked hard to link Franken to the low approval ratings of President Obama, emphasizing repeatedly that Franken votes with the president 97 percent of the time. But that criticism does not appear to have hurt Franken’s job-approval rating, which has risen slightly, from 53 percent in September to 55 percent now. That’s the same approval rating Franken had in February and is far above his career low of 41 percent in September 2009.
http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/280426112.html
I hope you find this information helpful for identifying your candidate of choice for the 2016 elections. Look for those who are not afraid of speaking out against those who exploit the working people and the poor.

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Clinton-Walmart-NAFTA-TPP Connection

While progressives in the media are calling out Rand Paul and others for commenting on Hillary Clinton's age in the run up to the 2016 election cycle, more relevant information telling of Hillary's ambitions are fading into the shadows.

Hillary Clinton served on the board of directors at Walmart from 1986 to 1992. A year later Bill Clinton would be sworn in as President of the United States. On January 20, 1993, and less than a year after that, on January 1, 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) "entered into force."

The results were devastating to America as trade barriers were lifted, allowing over 700,000 jobs to evaporate. Factories shut down and fled the U.S. racing across the borders for the cheapest labor and least restrictive environmental and safety regulations possible. Walmart profits skyrocketed.

If one is ambitious enough, it's possible to see opportunity in suffering. It's even easier if you know you are going to play at least what appears to be a tertiary role in creating that suffering. Thus is born "the various projects of the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation that address economic inequality"


After the 2014 election, with a turnout of only a third of registered voters elected the Republicans for the most part, President Obama is playing out a Faustian allegory. Suddenly he's willing to take executive action on Immigration Reform. Suddenly he's in favor of Net Neutrality, despite appointing a former lobbyist for the cable industry as head of the FCC.

The Devil is breathing down his neck. President Obama must be more motivated to veto the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). If he is certain that Hillary Clinton won't win the presidency in 2016, he can sign the bill and leave public office knowing his future is filled with open doors on Wall Street for him and his family. If Hillary is without competition and is practically guaranteed a win in 2016, he can veto the bill as part of an intermediate political strategy knowing that Hillary will definitely sign the TPP into law and the delays will be forgiven.

There is no disincentive to passing the TPP. It will further destroy the environment, jobs and wages for the American middle class. Maybe the Obama Foundation will start taking donations so they can toss dimes to starving children like John Rockefeller.



------
(1) Clinton Remained Silent As Wal-Mart Fought Unions
Jan. 31, 2008
By BRIAN ROSS, MADDY SAUER and RHONDA SCHWARTZ
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=4218509&page=1

(2) NAFTA
http://www.ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements/north-american-free-trade-agreement-nafta

(3) President Bill Clinton
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Clinton

(4) NAFTA Shows the Damage Fast Track Could Bring
James P. Hoffa
General President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Posted: 01/06/2014 10:40 am EST Updated: 03/08/2014 5:59 am EST
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-p-hoffa/nafta-shows-the-damage-fa_b_4548943.html

(5) Hillary Clinton's Goldman Sachs Problem
She talks populism, but hobnobs with Wall Street.
—By David Corn | Wed Jun. 4, 2014 5:00 AM EDT
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/hillary-clintons-goldman-sachs-problem

(6) The Comcast-FCC Revolving Door
 by Robbie Feinberg on April 18, 2014
http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2014/04/the-comcast-fcc-revolving-door/

(7) Did John Rockefeller really hand out nickels and dimes to children?
http://www.thequarterroll.com/Blog/2011/May-2011/john-rockefeller-dimes-to-poor.htm

(8) NAFTA at 20: The New Spin
Nearly 20 years since NAFTA went into effect, its empty promises have been laid bare for the people of Mexico.
By Javier Rojo and Manuel Perez-Rocha, March 14, 2013.
http://fpif.org/nafta_at_20_the_new_spin/

(9) After 20 Years, NAFTA Leaves Mexico’s Economy in Ruins
Published on
Friday, January 10, 2014
by TruthDig.com
bySonali Kolhatkar
http://www.commondreams.org/views/2014/01/10/after-20-years-nafta-leaves-mexicos-economy-ruins


Monday, November 10, 2014

The Era of Dark Politics: The unintended consequence of FREE SPEECH


What is Dark Politics? Going Dark is what follows when peaceful protesters are forcibly herded by militarized police into pens far away from the venues they are protesting.

Dark Politics begins when public protests are funded by the corporations that seek to identify the dissidents so they may be dealt with later, such as getting them fired from their jobs, or being added to the Black List of the Chambers of Commerce so they will never be hired.

Dark Politics begins when tactics are used to directly suppress voting and votes are deliberately manipulated.

Dark Politics begins when the democratic process is controllable only by those with the most money.

Dark Politics begins when freedom of speech comes with the high price of being marginalized, oppressed, fired from your job, or blocked from getting a job, or blocked from getting credit, or treated poorly in various ways.

Protesters will put down their signs and pick up weapons. People will no longer protest because even signing a petition has become too dangerous.

The National Corporate Protest Petition Signature Database has your name and you will be financially ruined at the next opportunity.

If you attended a public protest with MoveOn.org, chances are that your identity has been recorded with https://www.uschamber.com/ and http://www.napo.org/ and you will find yourself never getting a call back for a job interview.

The people will go quiet and brutal.
Welcome to the era of dark politics.

Friday, November 7, 2014

The man-made acceleration of global warming to come.

Senator McCain said this to an Associated Press reporter:

The American people want us to get to work and accomplish things. We just finished the least productive congress in history. They want us to pass the XL Pipeline. They want tax reform. They want government that functions on their behalf. They also reject resoundingly the policies of the President of the United States. [...] But most disturbing to me is if he [POTUS] acts by executive order and grants amnesty to millions of people that will inflame the entire situation to the point where I think it would make it much more difficult to enact comprehensive reform. There's no reason for him to do it, I do not believe it is constitutional, and that was the most disturbing part of his press conference yesterday. 

http://youtu.be/ONYz2sP7SBM

The very first piece of legislation he said he wanted to accomplish was passing the Keystone XL Pipeline. When he was referring to "they" he wasn't referring to the millions of people who face eminent domain land seizures. When he was referring to "they" he wasn't referring to the millions of people whose homes and property will lose tremendous value because of encroaching oil pipelines and water contamination from leaking oil pipelines. He was referring to the people who are the largest lease holders of Canadian Tar Sands from which the Keystone XL pipelines will transport the oil all the way to the refineries on the Gulf of Mexico; the Koch Brothers.

According to the Washington Post, the Koch Brothers are the largest foreign lease holders of the Canadian Oil Sands. If the Keystone XL pipeline is finished, they are expected to yield hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil over the next few years. There is much higher risk of oil spills from pipelines than from using rail cars as shown in this video which shows the amount of oil spilled by other means of transportation than oil tanker railroad cars, but shown as the equivalent of oil tanker cars. I hope that's not too confusing.


http://youtu.be/Y8zoNnNLWUI

So when Senator McCain is referring to "they" is he referring to you? Not likely. Will Keystone XL free the west from depending on Middle Eastern oil? Maybe for a few years but it won't make a difference because the carbon released from consuming the fuel will have no place to be re-absorbed. This is called the "Carbon Saturation Point." European forests are already showing signs of reaching carbon saturation, and our atmosphere will eventually become unbreathable. We may all slowly suffocate, or weather patterns may cause deadly CO2 clouds or pockets in valleys that will create mass casualties, killing thousands of people at once.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

When the rivers run dry for the last time.

As climate change continues to raise the temperature of the planet, glaciers are disappearing around the world. One of the largest mountain ranges that supplies water to the largest population on the planet, the Himalayas which border Pakistan, India and China, are rapidly losing their ice.


The future of Pakistan's water supply is a growing concern, as is the long-term future of the entire region if all the rivers run dry.

There is an overwhelming consensus among climate scientists that we must do what we can to reduce greenhouse emissions from industry to mitigate the effects of global climate change, however there seems to be a crop of glacier-melt-deniers in the choir with the climate change deniers. Here's a brief list of the self-discrediting glacier-melt-deniers:

Glacier Melt Debate
Glaciers are not melting Glaciers are melting
CNSNews.com TIME.com
TheRegister.co.uk NATURE.com
ndtv.com ft.com (Financial Times)
rtcc.org blog.telegraph.co.uk
theguardian.com blogs.scientificamerican.com
livescience.com thehindu.com
dailymail.co.uk enn.com

The list is based on a Google search of "Himalayan Glacier Melting" and continues for over 37000 results. Unsurprisingly, many main-stream media outlets don't take a stand on either side of any issue because doing so would end the debate and effectively end a news story. Take NPR for example: "Melt Or Grow? Fate Of Himalayan Glaciers Unknown"

The soundbites of obfuscation are music to the ears of main-stream media outlets that fear the shrinking lists of conflict-rich topics upon which they can continue to report.

News reports shift importance of issues from what should be done to prevent glaciers from disappearing, or what should be done to prepare the billion or so people for a future with a lot less water, to trivial news reports about whether or not the glaciers are disappearing or not and who is right or wrong about it.

China has has already begun a massive water diversion project. Unencumbered by critics or the machinations of low-information voter manipulation in democratic societies, they are well on their way to preparing themselves for a much changed climate.



Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI)

A Description of the DJSI can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dow_Jones_Sustainability_Index

I created a sample portfolio at Google Finance with a list of individual shares from each company, which can be found at https://www.google.com/finance/portfolio?action=view&pid=33&ei=o2RNVPCqK8KziQLW_oCoAQ

Between October 8 and October 16, the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) dropped $830.88 from $11,599.86 to $10,768.98.

After reaching $11,905.36 on September 18, the DJSI floated up barely over one dollar the following three days then began a record decline that lasted until its October 16 low before struggling back up to $11,416.17, over $489 below the highest point.

[Speculation]
The chart from October 22 to October 24 looks like the beginning of three degree convex slope which I will hazzard to guess will peak below $11,600 points before another downturn.

The previous major downturn began after July 24 when the DJSI reached $11,884.72, then bounced off the floor at $11,310.81 on August 7 before slowly sloping back up to it's last peak a month later.

The declines seem to average around two weeks while increases take about a month. This downward pressure on stocks and commodities prices will likely continue in the absence of consumer demand due to low wages and debt from college loans.

Source
http://youtu.be/tZTuX_8dR-c?list=UUbjBOso0vpWgDht9dPIVwhQ

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/10/25/1339064/--Trickle-Up-Major-Corporations-Losing-Money-Out-the-Wazoo


Sunday, October 5, 2014

A Brazen New World Order

The game is up for the "Fifth Estate." or was it the fourth, I can't recall because its relevance is waning. The Internet continuously calls out the news media of television, radio and newspapers, discrediting the old media on near hourly basis. The cable news audience is slipping away nearly ten times faster than the newspaper audience is going extinct.

Unfortunately, most people can't seem to let go of their televisions and still fall under the influence of fear-driven propaganda that fomented the election of unscrupulous, sociopathic politicians beholden to their own interests and indentured to billionaire patrons.

Most billionaires of today are not the founders that created the brilliant financial engines of their wealth, but the flacid offspring raised by nannies with a sense of entitlement unthinkable to the nobility of the middle ages that rose to their ivory towers through the brutality of hand-to-hand combat with swords and shields.

Skip forward to present day, the media, including the Internet that engages in criticism of the billionaires has become background noise. Public shaming of corruption has crept into normality of the masses. Everyone is sick and tired of hearing about it. Everyone is avoiding the noise like a terminal pain spot on a map to avoid. There is nothing to be dome about it. Everything attempted so far has ended with dispersing crowds, wandering off to their jobs or the nearest McDonald's.

The futility of Justice Breyer of the Supreme Court of the United States best expressed the future of the United States:  http://billmoyers.com/2014/04/02/a-blistering-dissent-in-mccutcheon-conservatives-substituted-opinion-for-fact/

Nobody cares. They only want to live comfortably and fulfill their biological need for food, shelter, sex, children and distraction. Rarely do a few emerge that wish to compete for the top of the mountain, but they will attempt to gather to themselves as many minions as possible under the guise of serving them all with the spoils of their accomplishments. In the end these politicians and media pundits are exposed for wanting of their own self-interests, such as a throne for themselves in an independent state, or status above their own class, ultimately to the exclusion of their followers.

The Billionaires will drain and hoard the money and resources, but will find when they open their front doors to go grocery shopping that there is nothing for them outside but a vast wasteland of starvation. They will be trapped in their castles among their piles of money and gold, having no way to rid themselves of what has become the new chaff.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Critical Election Period

It's absolutely important that you do not ignore this year's mid-term election. Republicans are cutting off support for veterans, the jobless and poor children. They call this "tough love" but it's really genocide. If Republicans win they will send troops to war with Iran, Syria, Russia in Ukraine and Crimea, and perhaps even North Korea and Cuba.

Don't allow the Tea Party, Libertarians or Republicans back into the House and the Senate. They will hand your leash and property over to Wall Street.
Most importantly, there are also certain democrats who support agendas that are highly damaging to the 99% of Americans, so be extra-vigilant when choosing your candidate.

  • Switch to clean, renewable resources instead of carbon.
    • Support Solar, geothermal, wind, hydro-electric energy resource development.
    • Use LED lighting instead of mercury vapor florescent lights.
  • Increase the minimum wage.
    • It will take working families off of food stamps and create higher demand in the local economy.
  • Preserve reproductive rights and health care privacy for women.
    • Legislators are not medical professionals.
  • Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline.
    • It will destroy the fresh water supply along its entire length where ever it leaks.
  • Maintain separation of church and state.
    • Religion has no business interfering in science education. Keep Religious education in religious schools.
  • Repeal Corporate Person-hood.
    • Stop the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership). It's NAFTA 2.0 and will destroy jobs in the U.S. and destroy farms in Asia like NAFTA destroyed farms in Mexico.
    • Corporations are not people.
  • Repeal Citizens United.
    • Get money out of politics.
  • Close Guantanamo Bay prison
  • Repeal the USA Patriot Act.
  • Reign-in NSA Spying on American Citizens.


Monday, February 3, 2014

Slip-Sliding Awayeee...

Last month there was a report about a surge in factory orders ahead of what was assumed to be rapid growth in the economy. Reuters reported an increase in 4th quarter growth and apparently retailers, anticipating further growth loaded up their inventory. A misleading Bloomberg headline (12/05/2013) read "Economy in U.S. Grows at 3.6% Rate on Bigger Inventories" but the meat of the story was about a possible slowdown by years end because "unsold merchandise piled up at the fastest rate since 1998."

The economy was being measured by factory orders. It seems the traders were paying attention to the wholesale transactions and ignoring retail numbers. For whatever reason, Wall Street was avoiding the looming shadow of consumer sentiment.

Now it seems Bloomberg's prediction has come to fruition. The LA Times reports the Dow, S&P, and Nasdaq are dropping because factory orders are down significantly. Inventories are full. Where are the customers? Many more customers are going to the food banks because their unemployment benefits and food stamps were cut.

Russia Today (RT), A Russian news agency with an odd obsession for America, is a news source with no apparent "skin in the game" here in the U.S. RT seems to focus on what the American main-stream corporate media avoids in order to curry favor to its financiers.

RT posted two stories explaining the aggravating factors obvious to us working class folks down on the "line level." Most food stamp payments issued to working Americans for first time - report and Silent misery: Actual US unemployment 37.2%, record number of households on food stamps in 2013.

It seems plainly obvious that customers aren't magical visitors from another universe with lots of money to spend, but supply-side economists appear to have detached from the ideal image of the consumer, the bare naked facts that the majority of consumers are working class, and they are not paid well enough to spend money to stimulate the economy. Consequently, inventory fills up and factory orders go down.

Since McDonald's and Walmart are notorious for having their payroll subsidized by the very food stamps that are getting cut, they face employees with the obvious question: Is it more profitable to simply be unemployed?