Gangsterism

A headline today in the New York Times says that North Korea calls the US statements “Gangster-like”. How could anyone familiar with both US foreign policy and gangster behavior disagree?

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Celebrate the Declaration of Independence

By Cassandra Pax and William Waugh

On this fourth of July of 2018, we read the Declaration of Independence of July 4th, 1776, where one of its more prominent complaints against the British monarch is “for depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury.” So we are wondering about, given that our founding fathers went to a war to stop this cruelty, why is it that today, that same cruelty is imposed on us through multi-billionaire corporations such as Yahoo, Google, Facebook, …, whereby they make us sign away our right to jury trial, and they enforce on us their absolute edict to accept their mediation process in any conflict of interest that we may have with them, on their pre-designed form, with no ability to negotiate.

So, Americans, rise against the cruelty of the new kings.

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“Democrats” Support War While Shedding Crocodile Tears

By Cassandra Pax and William Waugh.

The “Democrats” say Trump is a madman and that he may start a nuclear war. So how do we square that with the chair of the DNC, Tim Kaine, cosponsoring a bill to transfer the power to declare war from the Congress to Mr. Trump? Which is more dangerous and important? That the American people allow their Congress to undermine their Constitution, and more importantly, to give over the power of declaring war to a president that they consider a madman? What is more important, that one, or the details of how border security is implemented? And for the bleeding-heart liberals, does a war separate children from their families by killing, bombing, destroying homes, making them into refugees, children with dead parents and so on? Were the war and sanctions on Iraq that killed at least half a million children more dangerous to the children of the world? Or temporary separation of some children from their parents at the US border? If you can advocate about both issues, do it, but we don’t see you putting any attention on the more severe issues; the ruling class is succeeding in diverting your attention.

If you want the children not to be separated at the border, you should end the condition that makes them come to the border. You should not give the power of war to your madman president or his successors. In fact you should do everything to stop American wars and interference in other countries, undermining their communities, supporting dictators, and on and on and on.

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What Makes an American President Presidential?

Self-styled “Democrats” — Why is Mr. Trump presidential when he bombs another country but not presidential when he enforces border-control laws which may lead to temporary separation of some children from their parents, but the bombing that kills and separates families and maims and kills and makes them homeless is OK? In fact, most refugees in the world are so as a result of wars. Instead of enforcing the border laws, should he be bombing some Latin American country to get your approval, since the only time he got approval and was called “presidential” was when he bombed Yemen and bombed Syria. When he has tried to negotiate and use diplomatic means to settle the nuclear issue with North Korea in a peaceful way, the “Democrats” and their followers have yet again made fun of him and said the two madmen love each other and opposed the meeting of Trump with the leader of North Korea.

In fact, the “Democrats” so fervently judge that waging war is the most presidential character, and in the case of Mr. Trump, his only presidential action, that the chair of the DNC, Tim Kaine of Virginia, has cosponsored a bill to transfer the power to declare war from the Congress to the President.

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“Abolish ICE”?

Some members of the “Democratic” Party are now saying “abolish ICE”. When ICE was established in 2003 as a part of Homeland Security in response to the 9-11 shock, the “Democratic” Party leadership/congresscreatures did not oppose it. The Homeland Security Dept. was established through Congress. And in fact the Patriarch Act was the medium to change the American government vis-a-vis its own people, taking rights from American citizens. There was some hue and cry there, but it became the American law and continued under the implementation of the Patriarch Act domestically and internationally and ICE is a small part of the huge Homeland Security, which the organization implementing the Patriarch Act against the American people. The enforcement of border security has always been one of the duties of the American administration, whether prior to or after the Act. The “Democrats” have been involved in the various aspects of the regulations that have been passed regarding border protection. In 2003, INS (Immigration and Naturalization Services) was the agency facilitating the legal process of immigration for anyone who wanted to become an immigrant in the US on the route to naturalization. But after the passage in the wake of 9-11 of the Patriarch Act and the organization of Homeland Security, the INS was changed into ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). So it seems that the message emphasized by its name changed from facilitating legal immigration and naturalization to emphasizing enforcement of border security. Again, this was agreed upon by the “Democrats” as well as the Republicans and also was the law for eight years under President Obama. Now, if with Mr. Trump’s position that he’s going to enforce the law to the maximum with zero tolerance, some people have come to see some problems with the implementation of the law, they should logically and calmly go through the process of changing the law instead of creating hysteria. In fact, “zero tolerance” is a phrase introduced to not just the US not “justice” system but also to American society in general, where it has received acceptance. People developed “zero tolerance” for behaviors of children in schools. How can we have no compassion for our children behaving badly in school but become hysterical over a zero-tolerance policy at the border. People have been subjected to “zero tolerance” at their workplace, at their schools, and definitely in the criminal justice system. Now the “Democrats” and their followers have raised a slogan of “Abolish ICE”, which is meaningless. What’s the process of abolishing an agency in the executive branch? Why aren’t the “Democrats” coming up with a specific plan for reforming ICE, maybe changing it back into something like IRS? But it has to be an organized plan and it may or may not win votes. If you are going to “Abolish ICE”, what are you going to do with the workers? And if you are going to abolish ICE, who’s going to take care of all the legal immigrants, hundreds of thousands of them, waiting in line for the processing of their applications? And who’s going to take care of the undocumented immigrant children who cross the border unaccompanied? It’s the ICE that takes care of them. You may not like the way ICE does it — then correct it. That’s why the slogan is again empty, meaningless, and just another rhetoric in their partisan politics to get some more votes in the next congressional elections. It has no content, validity, or meaning in improving the conditions of American people or the immigrants.

“Abolish ICE”? How about “Abolish Patriarch Act”?

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The Supreme Court’s Decision Against the Unions

By guest blogger Cassandra Pax.

Today, Monday, July 2nd, 2018, the New York Times reports on the most recent Supreme Court decision “striking down mandatory union fees for government workers”. Obama, who had promised the unions, did not implement the “Card Check” (whereby the union dues and fees would be directly deducted from the workers’ paycheck and remitted to unions) and did not support any of the demands of the unions, while the unions had contributed tremendously to his campaign and the majority of the members had voted for him and other Democrats. The attack on unions has been continually increasing since 1980. And now this pro-market, anti-worker, anti-union Supreme Court has struck another blow to the survival of unions.

Why is it that the Democratic Party leaders and their supporters are not making the defense of the unions and American workers one of the most important topics of the day? Why aren’t there huge demonstrations by these bleading-heart liberals in support of the American workers? Why are all of them following the dictate of the Democratic Party leadership in defining what is the important issue of the day? Why are all the big demonstrations formed for defense of the right of undocumented immigrants, but not one word about the rights of the poor American citizens? I believe that the ruling class, whether in the Democratic Party or the Republican Party, are united in defeating the unions and reducing the rights of the American workers while supporting the 1%. The majority of the Democrats in power, for example in the Congress, belong to the 1%. So, without offering any tangible solution for the plight of the undocumented immigrants, Democrats and their apologists use the crocodile tears for the poor Latin American people crossing the American border as a smokescreen diverting the attention of the American people from all the atrocities that are happening in the Supreme Court and the American congress against the American peoples’ rights and livelihood. They are redefining the meaning of freedom of speech, granting it to the corporations and denying it to the unions. Citing freedom of religion, they have granted to corporations and other organizations a right of refusal of health services to women. And they have mounted many other attacks on the rights that the American workers, American women, and American minorities have won, sometimes at the expense of their lives, in their movements in the 20th Century. American workers were killed in the Haymarket uprising in Chicago and in the West Virginia mining towns and in the textile factories all over America to win the right to unionize. Where are the tears for the blood of the American worker?

It is an undeniable fact that since the victory of the Reagan Revolution in the 80’s and the implementation of the neoliberal economic policies, and the rise in the power of the religious right, which is economically in cahoots with the neoliberal policies, many rights won by the American people in the workplace and in their private lives (e. g. the right of women to legal abortion and coverage of their family planning by their health insurance), have been restricted. For example, the rise of the power of corporations has imposed contracts of employment that deny the workers some of their basic constitutional rights, such as their access to the courts by imposing mediation and excluding class actions. American workers are increasingly subjected to drug tests in professions where drugs are not related to their performance (public transport drivers and pilots subjected to drug testing is required for the security of the public). Many employers these days require a good credit rating for job applicants, while the unemployed may not have a good credit rating because they have been unemployed and poor. And why is it the Equifax firm, which violates the privacy of vital information of 140 million Americans, has the right to determine the creditworthiness of an American worker and affect the employment opportunity of that American worker?

The Supreme Court decision that gives the right to the American employee to choose not to pay fees for a contract that he benefits from weakens the union by reducing its revenue, which is already minuscule compared to the wealth of the corporations fighting against such employee. In an environment where a worker who accepts an employment contract gives up many of his rights, the Supreme Court says that if that same contract includes benefits negotiated by a union, the employee can refuse to pay the union fee. The Supreme Court has recently used the American constitution’s First Amendment in defense of corporations, such as in the Citizen’s United decision, while on the other hand using that same First Amendment to limit the power of unions, which represent the American workers.

Another danger that I see in this most recent Supreme Court decision is that it is another step in the process of eliminating all safety nets for the poor working-class Americans. There has been a long history of the powers on the Right to push for restricting Social Security and Medicare by privatizing them and in the final analysis, killing them. While for a long time, they warn us that Social Security may become bankrupt, yet they take absolutely no steps to prevent the bankruptcy so that the poor Americans would at least have the small Social Security benefits in their old age. Up to now, when a person accepted employment in a unionized workplace, they would accept as part of their employment contract, the payment of union fees. But the new decision has given them a right to reject that portion of their contract while benefiting from the result of it. The political Right will hold that if the constitution gives the American employee the right to not pay fees for services received under a union contract as a part of their employment contract, they will extend that logic to the imposition of payment of FICA (Social Security and Medicare). This compulsory fee is imposed by Federal law across the country on workers in private industry and those who work for states and municipalities. So what is it to prevent them from challenging that in the Supreme Court?

Despite this tremendous danger facing the majority of Americans, who depend on their day-to-day paycheck to live, and whose paycheck has been decreasing over the last forty years, I do not see an outcry or huge demonstrations by the liberals and “progressives”. And I don’t see the so-called “liberal” media (e. g. NPR) spending much time on the issues of the working Americans. Again, I want to emphasize that these so-called liberals and “progressives” always follow the agenda set by the leaders of the Democratic Party. Since the Democratic Party sees the issue of undocumented immigrants as a tool to use against the Trump administration, they raise cries and voices and demonstrations and accusations about this one topic while completely ignoring all the draconian attacks on the great majority of Americans, who are working Americans. Why do the liberals and the “progressive” activists follow the agenda of the ruling class? Why is it that they have no strategic plan in defense of the poor and the working Americans?

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Response to Paul Craig Roberts’ “Democracy Is Fighting to Survive the Rise of Western Authoritarianism”

Responding to https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/06/01/democracy-fighting-survive-rise-western-authoritarianism/.

You say that Trump was elected democratically. This is not the case, because the Electoral College distributes political power unevenly among the US citizens. Democracy requires equal power. Otherwise, “one person, one vote” is hollow. Even the Republican Party would not have nominated Trump if the pro-Trump and anti-Trump segments of the rank and file of the Republican Party had had equal political power over the nomination. FPTP voting robbed the anti-Trump faction of equal power on a per-person basis.

You say “… the recent democratic elections in Italy brought to power two anti-establishment political parties, Five-Star and Lega (League), that have solid majorities in both houses.” Please explain how two parties can have majorities in both houses. Majority means more than half. Maybe you mean one of those parties has a majority in one house and the other party has the majority in the other house.

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