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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Active Measures and the Left

I wasn't surprised by the revelations of "active measures" involving Right Wing Organizations and Donald Trump [see Psyops & Trump]. What dismayed and alarmed me was that the Russian FSB directed it's active measures efforts at US reformers, liberals/progressives and "the left."

Active Measures are the agitation and propaganda, electoral, terrorism, activism and other "less lethal" efforts of a spy service, directed against its "frenemy" neighbors around the world. Active measures support rebels and undermine the legitimacy of target nations.

Friday, April 28, 2017

The Incredible Stupidity of restarting the Korean War

Trump seems determined to start a war with both North Korea and South Korea. With North Korea he's threatening to attack them and he and Tillerson are talking about North Korean Aggression.

“There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely,” Trump told Reuters. [Guardian]

Then he says:

“We’d love to solve things diplomatically but it’s very difficult,” the president added. [Guardian]

Meanwhile Trump is also threatening the South Koreans. Seems to be trying to destabilize the South and throw the election to anti-Americans. And wants South Korea to pay for the missiles we put in their to protect against North Korean Nuclear and conventional missiles.

"Trump told Reuters on Thursday that he wants South Korea to pay for the $1 billion Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system." [Reuters]

Maybe the guy thinks this brinksmanship will lead to a deal. It could also provoke another bloody war.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Beginnings of the Southern Strategy

Illustration page 466 of Book

I've kept the book "American Ulysses" by Ronald C White, longer than I should have. If I get a chance I'll buy a copy for my personal library, but in the meantime I wanted to share what I considered important about it. Grant, like all Human beings, is both a hero and a human being. White compares him to Ulysses of Homer. He was a heroic individual who did heroic things during the heroic times of the Civil War, but was nearly destroyed facing corrupt and venal Democrats on one side and corrupt and greedy Republicans on the other. The post war era after the Civil War is recognizably modern. There is something quaint about the the anti-bellum period, even in the North. But the USA is recognizable from the Civil War on. And part of what is recognizable was the shift of the South from overt traitorous rebellion to covert murderous subversion at wars end.

How the Grinches Stole the United States

After John Puffy Cheeks Grinch failed to steal Christmas,
the Whovilians elected a new Mayor and kicked the Grinches out of town
The Grinches gathered at their Fake Chinese Diner
Not being able to stand the sound
Of happy whovilians feeling hope
They sat around the table saying "nope, nope nope."
They were feeling quite dejected.
Because the Whovilians had voted
And Out they'd been ejected!
So they moped and they groused.
And scratched at the occasional louse
And they smoked and they belched
And quite stunk up the House.
Til one of them looked around
and lit up the room with a smile

Monday, April 24, 2017

Community Policing as Part of Democratic Subsidiarity

Using the requirements of the constitution to Re-constitute the Police for better Policing

There is a recurring argument between those who want "order" and suppression of crime, and those who want community policing where the police respect the right of local citizens. In community policing police are often asked to fill roles that they aren't trained for. When they operate on a purely law enforcement level they tend to act like occupying armies. The reason for this is that our society neglects to systematically apply principles of good government locally. We claim to be a democratic republic, yet our communities are often voiceless, powerless, neglected and sometimes feel oppressed. We need to apply principles of democratic subsidiarity to our policing. When we start doing that we'll get better outcomes. The answer is to restore Policing to it's relationship with the militia requirements of the Constitution, and diminish the "standing army" portion of modern policing to a general aid function called on by communities in need or the courts. All that is part of applying principles of democratic subsidiarity to local government.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Local Government and General Government

Local rule and general government are two different things. Local government is specific to neighborhoods, settlements, workplaces, small numbers of people and folks who all know each other. All other government is general Government. Direct democracy is possible at the local level. It is absurd, or impractical, when dealing with large numbers of people. Most forms of government can be made to work at the local level. Indeed the survival of a local people is contingent on how well they govern themselves. In the United States we advertise ourselves as democratic, but we don't practice functional local government well. And we suffer as a result. Other countries don't either, but that doesn't mean we can't do better.

Local government should be a right, a duty, something entitled by our national charter and integrated with general rule. And the same should be true with General Rule. The Founders did not envision States and Federal Government in constant opposition when they setup our National Charter.

Both Alexander Hamilton and James Madison in the Federalist Papers saw the relationship of the Federal Government to the States to be envisioned as analogous to that of the States to the Counties. For example Madison says in Federalist 46:

"The States will be to the latter [Federal Government] what counties and towns are to the former [State Government]." [Fed 46]

Hamilton, likewise assumed integration and collaboration as necessary for good information transmission. Hamilton Notes in Federalist 36:

"If any question is depending in a State legislature respecting one of the counties, which demands a knowledge of local details, how is it acquired? No doubt from the information of the members of the county. Cannot the like knowledge be obtained in the national legislature from the representatives of each State?" [Fed 36]

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Grant, Sound Money And Human Suffering

Learning Lessons from the Past

In my previous post on General Grant (general-grant-and-mark-twain-greenbacks.html), I was referring to a biography of Grant I had just read. There are a lot of lessons to learn from the Civil War era, and the Grant administration about what to do and what not to do to nurture and sustain an economy.

What Grant Did Right and What he did wrong

These posts are not an attack on Grant. Both I and the author of the book are sympathetic to grant. But on the issue of how to regulate and control our money supply and prevent or deal with depressions, Grant was in the wrong. The author concedes that Grant himself, in 1873, felt regret even as he took actions that were inimical to dealing with the suffering caused by the panic of 1873. In Grant's defense, the leading men of his time were "hard money" men who would have preferred that the only money available to the general public would be coins. And they were offering him advice. These men rightly distrusted private bank notes, but they also generalized that distrust to greenbacks and fiscal or monetary measures to deal with the business cycle.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

GOP & Russians worked together to defeat Democracy

British Spies First to Spot Trump Team Links to Russian Agents.

This is a follow up to the report on the arrest of Pyotr Levashov, in Spain the other day, and it's relationship to Project Alamo. I'm writing about this because there are multiple journalists pursuing multiple threads and I need a central place to keep the info and links. Also I expect Donald Trump to lash out at some country, probably North Korea, to divert attention from his treason.

Now we have a Guardian report which shows how Right Wing and Left Wing were being influenced by disinformation, stolen and massaged information and info-wars/psy-ops during or before 2015. The report details how Russian "Active Agents" directed by Russian Intelligence Disinformation experts working with Trump Campaign officials and members were picked up by allied intelligence doing their dirty work. It was those allies who relayed word on what the russians were doing back to, First CIA director Brennan and then, eventually, to James Comey.

"Britain’s spy agencies played a crucial role in alerting their counterparts in Washington to contacts between members of Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives, the Guardian has been told." [Guardian]

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

What Electronic Democracy Means

Local Democracy Necessary for Democratic Republics

Key principles:

For our system to be more democratic we need 5 mandatory things at all levels of public deliberation:

  1. Trouble Reporting and tracking of issues, complaints and commentary with follow up at periodic milestones
  2. Officer vetting Before Selection/Election
  3. Accounting for Performance at End of Term
  4. Top down, bottom up systematic deliberation
  5. Appropriate power with necessary resources in each part of Government

This post focuses on the electronic portions of these ideas.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Trumpenführer Goes to War

Wag the Dog or Insane Wannabe Dictator, or both?

Is this whole Syrian Affair "Wag the Dog" or is it a show meant to distract people from seeing that Putin owns Trump and Trump works for him, without actually bringing him down.

Randi Rhodes discusses it:

Sunday, April 2, 2017

General Grant and Mark Twain, Greenbacks versus "Solid Money"

Accounting Money and Credit Money

The General purpose of money is to enable trade by creating a currency as a common unit of account that allows agreed on measures of value so that people can more easily exchange goods and services. Where it gets tricky hinges on the question how do you regulate the value of that currency so that it measures the value of commodity and services in a stable manner. Whether a currency is based on "commodity money" (Gold, silver by weight and purity), "fiat money", or accounting money (credits and debits/ mostly debt money); this presents an issues of sovereignty. Without sovereign money, currencies fall into the hands of bankers and speculators, grifters and frauds. When sovereignty over currency is in the hands of a Privateering Central Bank; The same. The People of the world need sovereignty over their currenies in actually sound hands. When money is available in an unsound manner, it;

.... falls into the hands of privateers:

  • Money loses it's value as an accurate measure of transactions and relative value.
  • It loses connection to the commodities that are supposed to back that value.
  • Those with control over that currency speculate with their possessions.
  • When they do some get very rich, in money terms, and...
  • Suddenly part or all of the currency loses its collateral
  • And everyone else gets very poor.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Tricky Politicians Privateers and Land Value

Picture captured from Wikipedia Article

We like to think of our current governmental dysfunction as something new. But it's not. What is going on now is actually the continuation of issues and troubles that have plagued this country since it's beginning. This post refers to Henry George Junior's biography of his father [], which I was able to put a PDF version on my nook, my computer and even my cell phone, so I can read it at my leisure. The book is excellent. Henry George's son was a good son. What he writes about the electoral politics of the 1870's and 1880's could be said about today.

When I first ran into Henry George I found him captivating. But most of what was quoted from him turned out to be from highly edited derivative works, except progress and poverty which makes perfect sense.