Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Follow The Money

Follow the Money
by Cindy A. Matthews
When things don't make sense
And the world isn't as sweet as honey
I've found the fastest way to find life's answers
Is to simply follow the money.

All Americans need basic health care
To think otherwise really isn't funny
What good reason is there to deny folks such vital help?
Three short words: Follow the money. 

Our precious planet needs tender care
In extreme heat, glaciers become runny
Can't we save flora, fauna, land, water and air?
Ha, ha! Just follow the money.

Eternal wars for non-endless oil
While the sun shines free on days when it's sunny
Why sacrifice sons and daughters for dead end fossil fuels?
You got it--follow the money.
Things can't be all that simple, or so you say
I must have the brains of a daft bunny
But to connect the dots on what's going wrong in our world
Is easy--I just follow the money.

Click here to read about this outrageous price gouging for Muscular Dystrophy medication.
I didn't know what topic to cover this week--there are so many--but a thread that seemed to tie everything together came to me in a dream. Our world isn't  all that complicated when you look at people's motivations and you realize what is driving their decision-making. Once that's exposed, everything falls into place

It's not a million things going wrong in our economy, it's only one--and it's a pretty basic one. A  small handful of people are hoarding all the resources and money for themselves. If we can prevent them from behaving so selfishly with our resources and redistribute their unimaginably large stashes of wealth (primarily in non-taxable offshore accounts) back into our economy, things would improve immeasurably for all of humanity. 

Yes, this is a progressive democratic socialist idea, but then this is a blog created by supporters of a progressive democratic socialist. What did you expect? We like government of the people, by the people and for the people. (And we mean people not corporations.) We want to create a welcoming, compassionate society where all are cared for and wanted just because they're our fellow human beings, and it's the right thing to do. The idea of making money off of the sick and dying like Mr. Aronin does (see article link above) is anathema to us. Our philosophy isn't, "He who dies with the most toys wins!" It's along the lines of, "He who shares the most toys with his playmates wins because everyone wins."

My fellow blogger, Dirk Droll, takes a look at a controversial recent event and spots this underlying thread. By following the money, the DNC's choice of Tom Perez makes sense, doesn't it? Progressives leaving the Democratic Party in droves makes sense, too, doesn't it? (#DemExit is trending as well as #GreenEnter). Many Americans are following their hearts and working to build a better world for all. That way everyone wins!


The Bankster Bundle: Trump-Perez
by Dirk Droll

Back in November, I wrote the establishment had won the election. It’s nothing new, of course. The oligarchs have owned our politicians for decades and will continue to do so if we – the people – don’t start fighting back effectively. Rubber-stamping the establishment’s candidates on election day isn’t the way to fight back. Neither is losing ourselves in their dog-and-pony shows such as the current anti-Trump hysteria, which deflects us from the anti-establishment war we should be waging. Not that there aren’t terrible Trump deeds that need opposition, mind you; we just shouldn’t lose sight of the main target or let neo-liberal sell-outs place themselves at the front of our protests and marches to co-opt us.

Naturally, where the presidency was concerned, the establishment had already won the election back on July 26th when the cheating DNC installed the vastly unpopular establishment candidate Hillary Clinton
as the “Democratic” nominee over the very popular people’s candidate Bernie Sanders. From that moment onward our country’s course was set for yet another establishment president (Clinton or Trump). Only a massive voter shift to the Green Party’s Jill Stein could have turned that ship around. 

But we voters apparently aren’t yet smart enough to break out of the Dem-Publican voter jail without a popular leader showing us the way. It’s time  we grew some brains — for example to build a third party for Bernie Sanders (or his close associates) to pull in millions of awakened voters who used to be part of the “Democratic” base but now know that the “Democratic” party has abandoned them. On the down-ballot ticket, we could still have accomplished a great deal in November by, for example, using the Berniecrats List for informed voting, a list I recommended repeatedly. It didn’t happen. 

Bloggers like Cindy and me, we spend our nightly hours trying to inform our fellow Americans, to share knowledge the corporate mainstream media denies us. Yet, so many people who could subscribe to our blogs and recommend them to their friends just don’t. Imagine if more people did, creating a chain reaction which would make all of us so much better informed... But I digress.

With the establishment winning our elections, the question arises if there are parts of the establishment rising above others. It's a question also instrumental in understanding the trends of change in our economy where traditional capitalism has moved on not only to crony capitalism (which buys up our government and uses it as a cash cow) but also casino capitalism. Rather than profiting from the building and running of productive industries, the biggest capitalists – who are top investment bankers – merely shift investments around, gamble with them on the stock markets, and manipulate commodity markets. The result is it sucks ever more prosperity and wealth out of every aspect of people’s lives until life itself becomes unaffordable to more and more of us. (There is a short article which illuminates one of the many dirty tricks they use. It’s a good entry into the subject to help open people’s eyes: Parasite Capitalism: The Economic Model of the 21st Century.)

So, in the economy banksters have risen to the top. The point I wish to make in

this article is  the same is true in our politics. Trump, the “swamp drainer,” has not only appointed so many billionaires that their combined net worth exceeds that of the bottom two-thirds of Americans, but he has literally stuffed cabinet positions and other appointments with banksters, especially from the one of the most criminal of investment banks, Goldman Sachs, whose Wikipedia entry looks like an FBI rap sheet.

Trump is clearly a close friend of the big banks or their straw man or even their puppet. That’s bad enough. But what about the alleged opposition, the “Democratic” Party? Well, we just had a new DNC chair elected for the “Democratic” Party
not democratically elected by the party’s base, of course— don’t ever expect democracy from the “Democratic” party or the GOPthe little known Tom Perez. 

What do we know about Perez and the banks? Personally, I haven’t been following his career, but there are some red flags. For example, ex-president Obama threw his weight around to shoe him into the contest when it looked that the Sanders-friendly Keith Ellison would get the position in spite of the fact  our oligarchy prefers Clinton-friendly, establishment operatives like Perez for the last three decades. That, if you recall Obama’s relationship with the big banks, is a clear link to the banksters. 

Remember how Obama adopted and continued George W. Bush’s bailout of the big banks (rather than bailing out the people) after they tanked the world’s economy? And how he used our (the people’s!) hard-earned tax dollars to do so? So  many of us lost our homes, jobs, pensions, and careers and he did next to nothing for us--and that wasn’t all! Unlike in prior bubble bursts, none of the culprits went to jail. Obama’s administration saw to that. Indictments were not even attempted. 

Obama, who had received massive campaign contributions from the banksters in 2008 as the banking crisis was brewing, and who – just like Trump – made many bankster appointments, and who gave Goldman Sachs a $20 billion tax dollar gift (a handsome return on their 2008 campaign investment of $994,795 wouldn’t you say?), was a straw man of the big banks in the Oval Office just like Trump is now. The banksters are holding the new administration and the DNC’s chairmanship in their hands. Winners across the board. And we, the people, have once again lost across the board.

Oh, and if you think that the link I just described is weak, a brief internet search quickly reveals more links of Tom Perez to the banks. He has an established record of not taking on the banks, both at the Department of Justice and the Department of Labor. An article in The Intercept goes over Perez’ record and concludes: “Both Perez and Ellison support pro-labor policies. But Ellison shows that he also wants to oppose concentrated financial power. Perez represents the finance-friendly status quo that has relegated Democrats to minority status.”

 I hope you will keep the fire in you burning to fight our corrupt establishment, and that you will share information like this with your friends and family and anyone else you have political conversations with. Let them know what is happening behind the scenes. This blog, and mine, are regular sources for information and analysis which can keep us all informed and shape our strategy for pushback as well as a vision for a better world. I urge you to revisit (better, yet subscribe or follow by email) and refer your friends and family as well.

Bio: Dirk Droll blogs for a better world on his own Beanstock’s World and other sites.


The Cynical Optimist -- Lee Camp Live!
wobbly words and photos by C. A. Matthews

If you ever get a chance to see comedian Lee Camp perform in person, I highly recommend you take it and go. Raise money by selling your comic book collection or recycle metal car bumpers thrown away because their owners couldn't get the Trump stickers off them, but do anything you have to in order to get there. Better yet, go to Lee's web site, LeeCamp.net, and vote for Lee to come to your city and perform for you and your friends. (This is the direct link: LeeCamp.net/schedule. )Be sure to tell a few dozen of your friends to vote for your city as well. (If you can't think of a particular city to vote for, vote for Toledo. We'll be eternally grateful if you do.)

Most progressives know Lee from his TV show Redacted Tonight and his podcast, Moment of Clarity. If you've never experienced his humor before, you are in for a treat. Lee and company's weekly compendium of news and views is hysterically funny and extremely informative. In other words, you can laugh and cry at the same time and feel great afterward in spite of the fact an idiotic, Cheeto-faced, tiny-handed Twitterer currently resides in the White House (when not in Florida).

We saw Lee perform in Cleveland, and his opening act was a fantastic young comedian named Krish Mohan. I have to say I really relate to Krish's experiences as an immigrant on a playground at age eight. I was an immigrant of sorts myself at that age, having moved to the North from the South, complete with Southern accent, cross-eyes and lisp. (At least I didn't have the beard.) Kids can be so cruel at times. 

Lee took command of the stage after Krish and didn't let up on the hilarity for over an hour. Nothing is sacred. Things might sound bleak, yet Lee is a self-professed "cynical optimist." He points out the insanity in our world in order to to help us all become just a bit more sane. After going through an intensely personal pat down by T.S.A. security at the airport, Lee wonders why they can't at least trade emails. Also, why don't politicians discuss "hamster wheels"And what really was in that Elmer's glue in art class we as kids enjoyed consuming? Does eating paste and our manipulative corporate media explain the dumbing down of Americans?

 Progressives need to share Lee's insights with others to help them remain awake and aware of what is going on in our country and on our planet. We need more commentators like Lee and company to keep us all on our toes, so be sure to like and subscribe to Redacted Tonight at You Tube and vote for him to come and perform in your city at LeeCamp.net/schedule

To quote Lee: Keep fighting! 

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