What Trump’s Faithful Hear


As the Mueller probe digs up increasingly incriminating dirt on Trump and his minions, the right-wing media concoct ever-more fantastic fantasies to feed his faithful followers.

Here’s a sample from an article my nephew Chris sent me this morning:

This year could turn out to be the defining year for the United States. It is clear that the US military/security complex and the Democratic Party aided by their media vassals intend to purge Donald Trump from the presidency. One of the open conspirators declared the other day that we have to get rid of Trump now before he wins reelection in a landslide.

It is now a known fact that Russiagate is a conspiracy of the military/security complex, Obama regime, Democratic National Committee and presstitute media to destroy President Trump.

I know, you probably  think this is somebody’s sophomoric attempt at satire. Or the work of a Russian bot.

But it is attributed to Paul Craig Roberts of the Institute for Political Economy, and he is described in Wikipedia as an “American economist, journalist, blogger, conspiracy theorist and former civil servant.”

Wikipedia says he was Reagan’s assistant secretary pf the treasury. And he is sometimes refered to as “the father of Reaganomics.”

Reaganomics has turned out to be wrong, but it isn’t lunacy.

So what happened to this guy? Did he lose his mind? He sounds dangerously paranoid to me. Or is it just old age?

But he is not alone. Far from it. Conspiracy theorists abound. And they attract legions of followers.

What’s with these people? Are they so bored by reality that they yearn for something – anything –  more diverting? Do they prefer palatable lies to the unpleasant taste of reality?

Beats me. But as long as they exist, we will get the likes of Paul Craig Roberts.

Read the article

More from Paul Craig Roberts


Listening to the Angels


Democrats have an opportunity to boldly go where no political party in America has gone before – the right way.

No American political party has had the guts to stand for what is right against what is wrong – cost it what it may.

Democrats have done a better job than Republicans of course.  A far, far better job. But to a greater or lesser extent, both major parties have pandered to special interests at the “people’s” expense.

When the late Ted Kennedy endorsed Barack Obama, he explained it  was because Obama “listens to his better angels.” But some elected Democrats still listened to their big-money donors. And some lived in fear of losing the next election. And they sometimes hampered Obama’s best efforts.

Now, progressives are showing some muscle, despite opposition from “moderates,” who advocate compromise.

There can be no compromise between right and wrong.

  • It’s wrong to deny people health care.
  • It’s wrong to let children go hungry.
  • It’s wrong to neglect the old and infirm.
  • It’s wrong to let lenders charge usurious interest rates.
  • It’s wrong to deny kids a good education.
  • It’s wrong to trash the environment.
  • It’s wrong to shut out immigrants because of their ethnicity.
  • It’s wrong to put people in prison – and even shoot them – because of their color.
  • It’s wrong to let mass murderers get their hands on military-grade weapons.

I’m sure you can think of other practices in American society that are just plain wrong.

It’s time for all Democrats to stand up for what’s right. Even if some donors don’t like it. Even if some constituents don’t like it. Even if some family members and friends don’t like it.

Politicians are supposed to lead, not pander.  And good leaders listen to their better angels.

The progressive insurgency


Talk is Cheap. War is Not.


What would it cost the US to sit down with Kim Jong-un and see what he wants? I know, you’ll say he wants to unite the two Korea’s under his rule. But how do you know that? When did you talk with him last?

One thing he might want is an end to the Korean War. It has never formally ended and it’s high time it did. And relief from sanctions. And food for his starving people perhaps?

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has made surprising progress in talking sense to the North Korean despot. Apparently, the warm feelings from the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics last month made these talks possible.

Now, Kim is reportedly offering to halt his nuclear arms program in exchange for talks with the US. What’s not to like about that?

Of course Trump might not really want peace with North Korea. He might want to use hostilities with Kim to create a diversion as the Mueller investigation and the media dig up potentially disastrous dirt on him and his Russian pals.

But the whole world can see that the door to peace has opened a crack. And even Trump must realize how self destructive it would be to ignore this opportunity.

Also, as a self-professed deal maker, he must know that a good deal is based on the carrot as well as the stick.

The American president should find out what incentives Kim would find attractive. He has already used the stick of threatened nuclear annihilation.

I know, I know, what the Koreans – north and south – want is One Korea. But that doesn’t seem realistic at this stage. If lifting sanctions isn’t enough of an incentive, would some kind of trade alliance be possible? One that would let North Koreans enjoy some of the prosperity their neighbors have achieved?

It’s worth talking about. As Winston Churchill observed, “to jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war.”

Trump on Kim’s offer 

More on North Korea


Where Guns Rule


In the part of Florida where Sandra and I live, politics is quite simple. White people vote Republican, others vote Democrat.

I know it sounds crazy, but that’s what I’ve noticed in my 20 years here.

And since there are a lot more white people than others  in our neighborhood, our votes are just symbolic. Republicans rule.

So do guns. Florida is one of the NRA’s favorite states.

There are exceptions of course, but generally speaking, white people love guns. And old people love guns. Old, white people really, really love guns. Especially out here in the boondocks.

What are they afraid of? Marauding non-white hordes?

Our sheriff is floating a plan to turn local schoolteachers into sharpshooters (photo), and it looks like a winner. The Florida Senate just voted to arm teachers across the state.

At the same time, the Senate rejected a proposal to curb the sale of automatic firearms. And the House is sure to follow suit. It’s ruled by Republicans, too.

So here in the sunshine state, the stage is set for Wild West shootouts in the schools as crazies with AR-15s come up against teachers with hand guns.

I thank my lucky stars that Sandra is no longer teaching and we don’t have kids in a local school. It isn’t hard to imagine what could happen.

The Florida Senate’s gun vote

The sheriff’s plan

Who buys all those guns?

Racism and gun ownership


Like a Bull in a China Shop

Steelworkers union President Leo Gerard was on TV recently praising Trump for imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum. He said it would punish China for cheating on trade agreements.

Does the head of one of the world’s largest labor organizations not know most of America’s steel and aluminum imports iare from Canada – not China?

China ranks 11th on the list of US steel imports, fourth in aluminum imports. Indeed steel and aluminum sales to the US are a relatively small part of China’s exports.

World trade today is extremely complex. Trump’s mind is not. Like the proverbial bull in a china shop, he randomly unleashes havoc as he thrashes about.

By striking at China’s steel and aluminum exports, he inadvertently hits not only Canada and other exporters but also countries like Australia that produce raw materials for China’s factories.

Of course, Canada’s  plants use raw materials from other countries, too –  Jamaican bauxite, for example.

Nobody is accusing Canada and Australia – or Jamaica – of violating trading pacts with the US.

But they stand to get hit by Trump’s broad-brush “punishment.”

So do  American exporters, who will surely suffer as Trump’s tariffs bring retaliation from America’s trading partners.

American consumers will be the hardest hit of all. Tariffs on major imports will raise prices on a broad range of goods.

Almost unanimously, economists are predicting massive job losses in the US. And the stock market is reflecting widespread investor concern. The entire US economy is being threatened.

There’s an old saying that it’s better to trust a knave than a fool. Sadly, Trump is both.

Where US buys steel, aluminum

Tariffs’ impact on Canada

Financial mpact of Trump’s tariffs

More implications of the tariffs


Panderers and Manipulators

Who does today’s Republican Party represent?  They give Big Business massive tax cuts while stiffing the working guy. And their Dear Leader announces devastating tariffs on imported steel and aluminum – just as Big Labor would have him do.

Then we hear that Georgia’s Republican legislature quashed a tax break on airline fuel to punish Delta Airlines for canceling NRA discounts.

Obviously, there’s no coherent political philosophy at work here.  No concept of the common good. The party seems to do whatever some special interest group demands – as long as they get something in return.

And since we the people have nothing to offer but our votes, we can expect to be left out as the goodies are distributed.

The poor and minorities are especially at risk.  Social programs like Medicare and food stamps are being hammered.  Congress is fixing to pass legislation that would shut down non-white immigration and favor English-speaking elites.

You might be wondering how the Republicans stay in power. After all, we the people do have our votes.

But, apparently, we the people haven’t had the will. We have been distracted by our day-to-day concerns and brainwashed by PR pros who use psychological tricks to manipulate us.

With the huge payoffs they get from pandering to the rich and powerful, the Republicans buy massive media blitzes scientifically designed to sway public opinion. And they flood social media with fake populism.

Meanwhile, a ferocious right-wing echo chamber spreads often-fictitious propaganda in return for the party’s support of pet issues like anti-abortion, gun rights and white privilege.

With pitifully inadequate campaign finance regulations, this psychological assault on our consciousness has left us at the mercy of the panderers and their special-interest donors.

But there are signs the public is catching on. The horrific school shooting tragedies, for example, have triggered a vigorous protest movement fueled by young voters and soon-to-be voters. Trump’s crazy tweeting and blatant vulgarity have antagonized respectable Americans. And the myriad abuses of privilege by his family and cabinet have raised widespread resentment.

Perhaps we the people are finally gotting the message. We’ll see in November.

Tax cuts for the rich

Trump’s tariffs

Georgia’s attack on Delta

Manipulating public opinion


Nuclear War or Sanctions?


So Russia has developed a new, improved nuclear missile and Putin is threatening the rest of the world with it.

He’ must be a bigger fool than I thought he was.

Unless its warhead is so devastating that no response is possible, using a nuclear missile would provoke retaliation in kind. And the end result would surely be destruction of the entire earth.

Putin would be crazy to provoke an exchange of missiles with any nuclear power, let alone America, which possesses an  arsenal capable of destroying the world many times over.

And, while he is a bombastic bully with homicidal instincts, Putin is not crazy.

He must know that talk of nuclear conflict is fantasy.

 In the real world, the most effective weapons are not military but financial.  And the US has the power to inflict severe damage on Russia through sanctions.

But so far, Trump is balking at implementing the sanctions against Russia that were overwhelmingly approved by Congress.

So it seems to me that Putin’s most potent weapon against America is not some supersonic nuclear missile but his surrogate in the White House.

More on Putin’s boast

More on Trump and sanctions


Who Lurks in the Shadows?


The days when organized crime figures robbed banks and gunned down one another are long gone. Now, that kind of thing is left to lone strays, street gangs and the like.

Today’s organized criminals are more likely to be involved in white-collar heists. They manipulate stock futures and cook the books of multibillion-dollar corporations for example.

And, I suspect, they loot government funds.

According to legend, when a gangster named Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, he said:

Because that’s where the money is.

Now, I bet criminals have figured out that there’s a lot more money in government treasuries than in any bank.

Russian thugs don’t rob banks. They own banks.

Russian “oligarchs” get their money from the government. Publicly owned resources were channeled into their hands after the soviet empire collapsed. And the state’s riches are routinely plundered by Putin and his pals.

So, I wonder, could these international mobsters be operating in America?

As I hear MSNBC TV’s Rachel Maddow examine the complex financial dealings of Paul Manafort, for instance, I seem to detect shadowy figures lurking in the background. Where did all that money go? Why is Manafort desperate for cash when he is supposed to have pocketed so many millions?

Did he blow it all – and more – on fancy homes, oriental rugs, fine art and high living? Or was he merely a pass-through for others who remain nameless?

And how many of America’s politicians have links to organized crime figures?

Trump’s dealings with members of the American Mafia and Russian mobsters are publicly documented. Senator Marco Rubio has relatives linked to the infamous “cocaine cowboys.”

I wonder how many “representatives of the people” have similar associations.

It’s apparent that international mobsters have infiltrated America’s financial system. Have they also infiltrated America’s government?

I don’t suppose I will ever know. And perhaps I am better off not knowing.

Paul Manafort’s tale

Manafort and the Russian mob

Trump and the Russian mob

Rubio and “cocaine cowboys”

Russian mob and the Mafia

How oligarchs got rich

How the Maffia operates

The evolution of organized crime


Gun Debate Turns Ugly


Some people are too emotionally damaged to be capable of human feeling. Some are  too brainless to be capable of  human thought. And some are just evil.

These must be the kinds of people who would threaten to kill others for disagreeing with them. And it must be the worst of that breed who would  threaten the life of a school massacre survivor.

Seventeen-year-old David Hogg  (photo at right),dared to speak out against uncontrolled gun ownership.  He was understandably concerned when his classmates at a Florida high school were gunned down by a lunatic with a submachine gun.

Gun rights zealots targeted the kid after he showed up on TV to plead his case. They said he was a shill for subversive political forces. They flooded social media with conspiracy theories featuring him. Even the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., joined the fray by retweeting one of the slurs.

I guess you could call that kind of scurrilous attack “free speech.” But what do you call death threats?

For, now, NRA supporters are threatening to kill the kid and his family.

And he’s not the only survivor of the massacre to be targeted. Another 17-year-old survivor, Cameron Kasky (photo at right), said he was driven off Facebook by death threats from NRA supporters.

Is this how perverted political debate has become in America? Have the lunatics really taken over the asylum?

And how far do NRA crazies have to go before they’re recognized as a hate group?

Read the news story

Students and the gun debate

The case against the NRA


Who on Earth Likes Trump?


Who are those people who cheered for Trump at the CPAC conference? Who are those “likely voters” who gave him a 50 percent approval rating in the latest Rasmussen poll? Are they really Americans? Or Russians who infiltrated our political system?

Actually, they must be from outer space, as even Russians should know by now what a rascal Trump is. Even Melania won’t hold his hand (photo).

I am isolated here on Post Lane in the wilds of Florida, but surely I would have met one of those Trump loving Americans if they exist? Of course, if I knew anyone like that, I would avoid them as much as possible.  I don’t need the aggravation.

I try to be a reasonable human being who tolerates, even encourages, disagreement. Like Voltaire, while I might not like someone’s opinion, I would defend their right to express it.

I deplore quarrelsome and contentious situations and I try very hard to heed King Solomon’s advice that “a soft answer turneth away wrath.”

But when it somes to Trump and his ilk, I’m afraid it’s impossible to stay calm.

Vulgar, lying, cheating , racist Trump and sanctimonious, intolerant, racist Mike Pence. What a duo!

They stand for everything on earth that I despise.

If half of the people in America really approve of them, I fear for the nation’s future.

Trump lovers at CPAC

The Rasmussen poll

No hand holding for Melania