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Saturday, May 18, 2019

How an Influence campaign will work

I expect massive amounts to be spent on this election. I already see outlines on how.

Friday Morning I woke up hearing a lecture on what is happening with the 2020 election, which continues what happened with the 2018 and 2016 elections. We know the Russians successfully hacked 2 Florida Counties. The FBI forced the Governor to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement. The FBI is saying that the Election officials in Florida were the victims, despite the obvious reality that it is the voters of those counties who are the real victims and the election officials involved are supposed to be proxies for we the Citizens. It seems that the FBI has absorbed Trumpian corruption. NDAs?? A Governor? [More on Florida]

The Russians are not our only enemy. Trump seems to be shutting down investigations into Russian penetration into our elections. I suspect that is because they are now subcontractors to the Republicans.

They will be playing on Fears

  • Dividing the electorate
  • Individual Feedback
  • Kompromat on both friends and enemies to paralyze enemies and ensure compliance of friends.
  • Bribes are not only a means to buy compliance and acquiescence but become material for extortion (Kompromat)
  • Defamation, propaganda doesn't need to be true to be effective. All it needs to do is to create doubt in the minds of allies and enemies alike. The goal is to get people to turn on each other. Like we did on Hillary.
  • False Flags, Wars, events, all used to distract from paying attention to what is important.
  • Controlled opposition, you can buy some opponents to attack common enemies. For example communists have regularly been used to take out Democrats for their ostensible enemies. When working through cutouts, your asset doesn't even have to know he's being used as one.

I heard a longer lecture as I was waking up, but this summarizes the material a little. We Democrats have to launch impeachment hearings, to get the word out. But expecting the Senate to impeach is a dream. We can't expect fair elections next year. We can't expect our coalition to hold together on its own. Our enemies aim to divide us. If that doesn't work, they are already cheating.

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/02/is-russia-already-meddling-in-2020-election
https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/02/is-russia-already-meddling-in-2020-election

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Benjamin Franklin Defends Paper Money

Benjamin Franklin wrote about the value of paper money in the 1740s and defended paper money in Parliament against a Hostile Parliament during is mission to Parliament.

Benjamin Franklin vigorously defended the right of the colonies to issue their own script. He may never told Parliament the following in a letter, but this probably represents what he said during hearings. Maybe away from the halls.

"In the Colonies, we issue our own paper money. It is called Colonial Scrip. We issue it to pay the government's approved expenses and charities" [Possibly Apocryphal but true]

The quote is apocryphal according to Gary North, but it is a summary of things that Benjamin Franklin had actually said in Book form during his youthful days with the Philadelphia Junto. Gary North Alleges he didn't say it to Parliament and claims it can't be verified but what can be verified is that Benjamin Franklin literally, wrote a book on the subject that explained exactly how script money can be used to promote and regulate commerce.

See:
Franklin As Modern Money Advocate
Benjamin Franklin and Paper money

A Collaborative Money System

Benjamin Franklin setup printing presses in Post Offices, setup paper money systems for an number of colonies and printed paper money. So what he did say was that the reasons for rebellion owed:

"To a concurrence of causes: the restraints lately laid on their trade, by which the bringing of foreign gold and silver into the Colonies was prevented; the prohibition of making paper money among themselves, and then demanding a new and heavy tax by stamps; taking away, at the same time, trials by juries, and refusing to receive and hear their humble petitions." [bartleby]

Franklin did his greatest work before the revolution. By the time that the constitution was being written, he was old, tired and worn out. I believe both Hamilton and Franklin sought a collaborative system where the Feds should possess the money power and share it with the states. Had they followed Franklin's ideas they would have succeeded. Franklin's ideas were amazingly similar to those of Irving Fisher, and his Postal Banking could easily have been integrated into the Federal system Franklin had built. Paper money, according to the Fisher/Franklin system is a kind of script issued against coin and taxation obligations. Fisher's schema would have required it has to be circulated or lose value and it would get retired when paid for "public debts." Franklin had already noted that such script money, when issued locally, was quite effective.

Nationalizing/Socializing Private Debt

The Authors of the Constitution started with Franklin's schema but dumped it based on their admiration for the power of the British Central Bank. Hamilton openly admired and wanted to imitate this bank. His allies: Robert Morris, Gouvernier Morris and "monied men" of the country also admired the British System. They rejected Franklin's work, Overtly based on the successful counterfeiting of it by the British, and the resulting inflation. But covertly they admired the British System and wanted banking privatized, so they could make money from banking. Robert Morris was a privateer. A Privatized money system allows the laundering of money. He would speculate with investors on land, and lose his shirt when his system collapsed.

The Risks of Privateered Money

Franklin feared making his paper money a national currency due to issues with pushing private debt onto the general public. This fear has been realized with the federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve has regularly nationalized (socialized) the private debt of irresponsible and even criminal bankers, transferring that risk to inflation or risk of economic collapse. The founders and early politicians fought between having a centralized single national bank monopoly or State banks holding State Debts. But both schemas were based on the risk of banking nominally backed by reserves of gold or silver. Both ignored Franklin's ideas. These schemes meant nationalizing private debt and the general economy assuming the risk, sometimes. Or grifting private banks where insiders would abscond as loot, with the reserves and the local bank would shut it's doors unable to pay back depositors. The result of ignoring Franklin (and moderns ignoring Fisher) was a cycle of private debt creation and economic collapse.

Franklin's original scheme was analogous to the scheme Irving Fisher would advance nearly 200 years later, see:

Irving Fisher and Stamp Script
Postal Banking Stamp Scripts and Fixing our Economic System

Even so but that early battle was used by privateers to erase that prospect and substitute land based notes with zero interest for private money and money lent into existence. The result was that the money power was privatized and put in the hands of privateers; i.e. bankers.

Then they used these early fights to strip the money power from the Federal Government. The result was so egregious that banks

Irving Fisher was a pioneer in modern money theorizing with his Stamp Script Ideas (See: Irving Fisher Post). He seems to have been the first to thoroughly do the math. Hamilton saw "bank paper" (paper money) as a necessary adjunct to coins and said:

"...it may be observed, that the inconvenience of transporting ... is sufficiently great to induce a preference of bank paper..." [Hamilton/Money]

However, if you want to find a classical writer who understood accounting money (debt based paper money) it was Benjamin Franklin. This post is a follow on to: Franklin As a Modern Money Advocate:

Hamilton and his compatriots, especially Governeur and Robert Morris, were enamored about the value of Central Banking British Style. Hamilton admired the Bank of England. Ostensibly because of the way it protected the British Economy and provided investment to the country. He valued Paper money as an expedient. He would monetize the State Debts in order to inflate the economy. This produced both a period of prosperity where the Country could balance its' books and a recession which sent Robert Morris to Debtor Prison and probably contributed to his death.

Even so, Hamilton had liked Franklin's idea at one time. Just Franklin and Hamilton were vetoed by the rest of the founders. But in 1781, Hamilton had said:

"By admitting landed security as a part of the bank stock, while we establish solid funds for the money emitted, we at the same time supply the defect of specie, and we give a strong inducement to moneyed men to advance their money" [Hamilton1781]

If they'd followed Hamilton's 1781 plan successfully (perhaps caught the British counterfeiters), things would have been very different, as one of the reasons for the crash of 1799 and the big war between State versus Federal Banking interests was him not applying Franklin's ideas in the 1790s when they actually implemented a National Bank. Like Irving Fisher the money would have been local, receivable for debts public and private, and harder to counterfeit if locally controlled.

A Stable Economy is a Matter of National Security

Franklin had warned that Parliament, by denying local sovereignty (the principle of subsidiarity) to the Colonists, were defeating their own interest in raising revenues. As Franklin said:

"The Stamp Act says we shall have no commerce, make no exchange of property with each other, neither purchase nor grant, nor recover debts; we shall neither marry nor make our wills, unless we pay such and such sums; and thus it is intended to extort our money from us or ruin us by the consequence of refusing to pay it." [bartleby]

Vacuuming Wealth

We are in an analogous situation between the States and the Federal Government in this day. Because we created the Federal Reserve and separated the public debt of the Several States united from them individually, the States have to borrow money at interest for infrastructure and other purposes. This means that much of the country is starved of wealth and forced to borrow at interest. The objection of the colonies to "taxation without representation" was also an opposition to one way flow of wealth and resources. While Quid Pro Quo relationships are rightly illegal when for Private Separate Advantage, they are necessary to exercise the principles of "commonwealth" and comity. A federation lives on mutual relationships. The fact that the Federal Reserve serves private banking is one reason behind this.

The current system vacuums wealth to central powers.

Federal principles of good government require that money not be vacuumed to a central power. The Tea Acts and Stamp acts were designed to vacuum wealth from the British Colonies. The Tea Act was designed to keep the East India Company solvent by giving it a monopoly on trade with East India (the source of Tea). The Stamp Act was designed to suck up any money the Colonies had, and was coupled with prohibitions on Paper money. If our country had not gotten sovereign power over its money supply we would look like India did after the East India Company was thru with Bengal; destroyed. Our current system isn't fair to anyone. The fact that that sovereign power is privatized to the Federal Reserve means that we are no longer sovereign over our credit money. We need to reassert control over it.

More on Franklin:
Franklin As Modern Money Advocate
http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2015/09/benjamin-franklin-and-paper-money.html
[bartleby]
Related Posts:
https://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2017/12/an-ideology-of-piratical-banking.html
https://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2017/07/greshams-law-as-tool-of-regulation.html

This continues a discussion I started a long time ago.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Kali Marching

Refrain:
Burning Burning Churning Churning
Fires rise into the night
Smoke and Flame, Dust and soot spreading
Rising into the sky!
 
I saw a vision of Kali Marching!
Marching crowds, possessed by Kali!
You see people marching.
They grow Six Arms!
You may see wild people
I see emanations of Kali!
 

He's Back! – Bernie Sanders and the Subversion of the Progressive Movement

Bernie Sanders and the subversion of the Democratic Party

Really I'd like to believe that Bernie has reformed. After all, he did sign the indivisible pledge to support the winner of the primaries. Indeed, I've signed the indivisible general pledge. But then he made the same pledge in 2015. He also appears to me to have broken it already. That time orally. This time in writing. I want to keep this post within the boundaries of Indivisible's pledge to:

“We'll make the primary election about our hopes for the future, and a robust debate of values, vision and the contest of ideas. We’ll remain grounded in our shared values, even if we support different candidates.” [Indivisible]

At this point I have to remind people that Bernie is not a Democrat, and that his idea of keeping the Indivisible pledge is to complain about his targets breaking it. Back in 2015:

Counterpunch, no friend to Democrats described Bernie's early performance:

“Bernie has no plans to humiliate Hillary. So far he has been an accidental agent of her anxiety and he intends to keep it that way. Bernie refuses to go negative and pledges to support the eventual nominee of the party, that is Hillary. This restraint has earned the senator the patronizing plaudits of Rachel Maddow and the Hipster Chorus at MS-DNC.”[Counterpunch]

Indeed in July 2015 I was still impressed by what Bernie did. He made a big deal about not making a big deal about Hillary's emails. But he didn't sustain it. Once things got rolling, Bernie and his army Russian and American Trolls went very negative, did everything they could to humiliate Hillary, lied about her, and the entire Democratic Party. So I have trouble believing the scorpion won't sting again. Indeed he's already at it. His followers are already sharing copies of videos and lies produced about her in 2015-2016, and making similar claims about most of his rivals this time around. By July 2016 I was despising him. By July 2017 I had seen all the evidence I needed to see to not want him in Congress, much less running for President.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Eros vs Agape

Eros is the kind of love that propagates the species. It is also a dangerous kind of love. The greeks had a list of types of love:

  1. Agape — Unconditional Love. First, we have agape love. ...
  2. Eros — Romanic Love. Eros is named after the Greek god of love and fertility. ...
  3. Philia — Affectionate Love. ...
  4. Philautia — Self-love. ...
  5. Storge — Familiar Love. ...
  6. Pragma — Enduring Love. ...
  7. Ludus — Playful Love. ...
  8. Mania — Obsessive Love.
  9. https://lonerwolf.com/different-types-of-love/

When Biden gives a hug, that is Philia not eros. When Trump grabs someone by the kitty cat that is eros at work.

The Empire always strikes back

The trouble with reform is that reform only endures only if the people who want reform are:

  • unanimous;
  • adamant;
  • Remain happy enough with the change that the new policies are a new norm.

Then and only then, while those attributes remain, the reforms can endure.

Unfortunately, "The Empire Always Strikes back" which is a way to say that there are always people with a criminal spirit, who see anything that benefits people as a target for grifting. And they have a panoply of ways of trying to usurp or convert resources to their own benefit.

These methods range from profiteering as subcontractors or suppliers, to privatizing the management/ownership of services and resources, to using legislation/regulation to break them so they can privatize them. If a system doesn't benefit everybody, those who want the resources it uses will demonize it. Making those who don't benefit feel jealous, while making those who benefit from the resource feel its not delivering for them.

These are tried and true tactics. And they are the reason that every progress in human history has been followed by massive effort to corrupt or even reverse that progress. Those who succumb to the darkside of human nature predate or parasitize on any services or resources they can get hold of.

Some people get their power, fame and influence from breaking things. Politicians make their careers either promising better goods and services for their constituents or by claiming their constituents are poorly served. Virtuous politicians ensure that the system delivers needed goods and services. Criminal (vicious) politicians ensure that their patrons get served at the expense of everyone else.

One thing that is certain. If something works someone will try to break it. If we as humans advance, other humans will jealously try to roll those advances back. It is an axiom, not literal, that "The Empire always strikes back." Star Wars is a modern myths. But the reality of the (figurative darkside is real.

We assume that when we work with people that they share our values and goals. Sometimes that assumption is false. It makes it hard to negotiate life and politics.

Monday, April 1, 2019

What happened with the Mueller Investigation

Barr Doing a Coverup

I've been following the Russia Investigation. It is really complicated. It is not just about Russia. It is also about Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, the countries of the former Soviet Union, Israel, China, and other countries. It involves possible espionage by high officials, kompromat (blackmail/bribes), election hacking and interference by other countries, "emoluments" and corruption.

And a massive Cover Up Conspiracy. Apparently led by William Barr! Mueller's Prosecutors kept mum and didn't leak. But Barr's outrageous summary has them protesting:

“Some of Robert S. Mueller III’s investigators have told associates that Attorney General William P. Barr failed to adequately portray the findings of their inquiry and that they were more troubling for President Trump than Mr. Barr indicated, according to government officials and others familiar with their simmering frustrations.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/03/us/politics/william-barr-mueller-report.html

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Barr Versus Mueller

Model Post

This will get edited Further

For those of you with Twitter. Seth Abramson notes about the report:

“The already-infamous "Barr Letter" is a deeply dishonest and misleading document that richly deserves methodical public evisceration by committed journalists. So I hope you'll read on and retweet this "live" dismantling of the Trump-Russia probe's worst political hitjob.”

Seth is absolutely right about this. AlexZFinley writes at The Center for Public integrity that the Barr Report on Mueller's investigation buries information in “dangerous ambiguities.” These ambiguities are dangerous to the survival of our Republic.

“did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” [Mysteries]
Seth Abramson
https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/1110266463506567168

Sunday, March 17, 2019

The Birth of Falange Fascism

Origins of Spanish Totalitarianism

The life of José Antonio Primo De Rivera teaches us that fascism doesn't appear out of a vacuum. Afterwards, usually will admit they ever were fascist, but during the buildup to Fascism, fascism grows out of little selfish decisions that involve using hate and fear to serve ambition. Spanish Fascism didn't start with José Antonio Primo De Rivera, it started with the dictatorship of his father. With the invasion of North Africa and with a gradual polarization between the left and the right. Primo de Rivera was later made into a hero. Why? Because he died at the outset of the Spanish Civil war and it was convenient to his fellow Fascists and their movement. He was no hero. Like all Fascist leaders, he was a ruthless, opportunist politician.

Miguel Primo De Rivera

In Hannah Arendt's "Origins of Totalitarianism" she profiles the relationship between European Fascism and its associated "eliminatist" rhetoric, and colonialism. José Antonio Primo De Rivera's father illustrates this role. Miguel Primo De Rivera was born to a wealthy family in Jerez, Spain, in 1870. Before he ever entered Spanish politics he served in the Spanish Colonial army and took part in the colonial wars in Morocco, Cuba and the Philippines, in the 1890s. After the First World War Miguel Primo de Rivera held several important military posts including the captain-generalship of Valencia, Madrid and Barcelona. On the death of his uncle in 1921 he became Marques de Estella.

What is Done to Others Abroad, Eventually is done at Home

One Inspiration for Fascism is in colonial warfare, which was far more brutal, especially to the people living in colonies, than what people experienced inside of Europe, that the habits of divide and rule, brutality, exploitation, and manipulation were developed and refined that contributed to the rise of chauvinistic nationalism at home.

Messy Democracy

Democracy is messy, and any corruption is usually out in the open where all can see. There is a tendency among authoritarian leaders to paint the problem with corrupt government as being with democratic forms. And Miguel De Rivera, used to authority and discipline reacted to efforts to establish Democratic forms in Spain with violence. He made friends with Prince Alfonso XIII.

Alfonso the XIII – Proto-Fascist

Alfonso the XIII was an autocratic ruler opposed to democratic forms in the nation. He had assumed bout in 1902, and by 1906 was the target of an assassination attempt on his wedding day. Spain was becoming unstable. Spanish wars in North Africa were unpopular at home. Abandonistas wanted to pull out of Morocco. Africanistas wanted to expand the Spanish Empire.

Launching a Coup, Monarch as Dictator

The imperialist "Africanistas" were a minority, but the King backed them.

“Blamed for the Spanish defeat in the Moroccan War (1921) Alfonso XIII was in constant conflict with Spanish politicians. His anti-democratic views encouraged Miguel Primo de Rivera to lead a military coup in 1923. Alfonso gave his support to Rivera's military dictatorship” [Spartacus]

Dictator from 1923-1930

From 1923-1930 Miguel De Rivera ruled Spain as a Dictator. Miguel

“promised to eliminate corruption and to regenerate Spain. In order to do this he suspended the constitution, established martial law and imposed a strict system of censorship.” [Spartacus-Rivera]

Of course he didn't eliminate corruption, or stay in office only for 90 days. Authoritarian rulers rarely do. He created the Unión Patriótica Española, and tried to outlaw other parties.

Colonialism and Fascism

He did ally with the French to prosecute the Rif War. Spain had proven too weak to take the Rif (northern part of Modern Morocco) by themselves. They needed an alliance with the French, but by 1925, with the use of chemical weapons (mustard gas) they'd subdued the Rifians enough to force their leader to surrender. It was General Dámaso Berenguer who used that Mustard Gas in the Rif. Berenguer was subsequently court marshaled for plotting an uprising before Miguel's coup. Miguel pardoned him. The warfare continued til 1927.

Fascists Fail

Miguel tried to raise taxes on the rich to pay for his wars, which alienated his base. When that didn't work he borrowed money. By 1930 the combination of ill health and increasing opposition forced him to resign. By March he died of diabetes. His Son would take up his mantle and continue his legacy.

Trying to Save a Flailing Monarchy

When Miguel died, King Alfonzo XIII first appointed General Dámaso Berenguer. When that failed he gave the government to Admiral Juan Bautista Aznar. Both attempts to save the crown failed, and King Alfonso had to go into exile, in April 1931. The Second Spanish Republic was born in April 1931.

Defending his Father

José Antonio Primo De Rivera would pick up where his father left off. His bios say he got into politics defending his father's ideas. Meanwhile he studied Fascism. He would fall in love with Mussolini and Hitler's ideas. But those ideas were already incipient in Spanish Culture Some tracing back to pre-Columbian times.

This narrative picks up in the post:

The Death of José Primo De Rivera
https://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2018/10/TheDeathOfPrimoDeRivera.html
Related Posts:
Garcia Lorca
Falangist Terror versus Garcia Lorca
Garcia Lorca and Charlie Chaplin
The Death of Garcia Lorca
Biographies
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos%C3%A9_Antonio_Primo_de_Rivera
https://spartacus-educational.com/SPantonio.htm
Miguel: https://spartacus-educational.com/SPrivera.htm
The Spanish Phalanx and Latin America
https://www.alamy.com/spanish-civil-war-el-fascio-magazine-published-by-the-spanish-falange-party-in-the-1930s-image210364277.html
Garcia Lorca, A Life, by Ian Gibson:
https://www.amazon.com/Federico-Garcia-Lorca-Ian-Gibson/dp/0571142249
https://spartacus-educational.com/SPAchronology.htm
https://spartacus-educational.com/2WWfranco.htm
http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/riseofhitler/new.htm

Friday, March 15, 2019

Sally Ann Holte -- Mom

My Mom, Sally Ann Holte, 82, of Ranson, W. Va, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Tuesday, March 12, 2019. We all knew she was a short timer, but that could have meant months or years to go. She seemed to be doing well and feeling rather healthy up til she passed in her sleep at my Sister's house.

Mom was born in Coronado, Calif. on November 12, 1936 to Truman E. and Marguerite Hyde Carpenter. She was the second child of her and my Grandfather Truman E. Carpenter who was then flying Patrol Bomber Aircraft off of San Diego. Around the beginning of January 1939 his plane vanished while it was on a routine patrol West of the Catalina Islands. My Mom was all of 2 years old, but it affected her whole life.

With Grandpa gone the family moved “home” to Annapolis, Md. Sally. Mom initially lived in the house that her Dad had bought, but the great depression was still on and then World War II started, so they grew up in WWII Annapolis. She graduated from Annapolis High School in 1954 and then attended Towson State Teachers College, briefly. She was already dating Dad. She also was:

“a talented singer with the school chorus performing both duets with her sister and as a soloist.”

She once sang Amazing Grace on the radio in Annapolis area. I do remember she had a lovely singing voice. Dad could sing well also. He didn't sing much.

She married Hartley O. Holte, Dad, on June 3, 1955 and they spent the next 60 years together. They raised 5 Kids. The first one being me. Then Kathy, a year later, then Susan Shortly after. Carl not much later. And 5 years after everyone else, Andy. All but Andy were born in California. Kathy remembers the Avocado Tree. I remember the Avocados. I also remember switches.

Wander Lust and Home

Dad left the Navy, but the wander-lust never left him. Their travels and career took them to live in California, New Mexico, New Jersey, Indiana, West Virginia, Florida, with “hometown” always being Maryland, more for mom than Dad. We were bi-coastal when we were little. But our family was centered on Annapolis. Most of my second cousins and relatives lived there. My First Cousin and my Aunt Patty were, like us, associated with the Service. Uncle Jim was in the Air Force, but had attended the Naval Academy and met my Aunt at around the same time Mom met my Dad. A lot of our travels included stops visiting our Grandparents in Seattle, my Cousin and Aunt Patty where-ever he was stationed. Or simply going to homes near where Dad Was stationed. Once he was out of the service our travels continued to Seattle and where my Cousin Lived.

Dad and the Navy

While my Dad in the Navy he was, basically, a Nuclear Engineer. His first ocean voyage was aboard the SS Navrasota, an oiler. But his second voyage was aboard the SS. Mansfield (DD 728) where the excitement was. His first voyage took him to the conflicts at Quemoy and Matsu. His second voyage took him to the Bikini Islands. It was the late 50s and the USA was testing the big Hydrogen bombs. He was heavily involved in the operation Hardtack at Eniwetok/ Bikini, and the Chinese conflict at Quemoy and Matsu Islands. During that time mom lived in a house they'd bought near the beach in Long Beach where Dad had acquired a house and some Apartment buildings. She had me, then Kathy, then Susan. Kathy remembers the house in long beach better than I do. We were walking distance from the beach. Mom managed the apartments and then when Dad was done with his sea adventures, gave birth while he was taking us to New Mexico.

New Mexico

My first clear memories of him are him trying to feed Kathy, me and a sick baby Sue, tamales out of a can. Mom flew to New Mexico with a new baby soon after she gave birth to Carl.

We lived in New Mexico 2 years, where we all took frequent trips into the deserts and mountains. We also shared both kinds of Measles, Mumps, Chicken Pox and other childhood diseases.

Maryland

In 1962 we moved to "Winchester" a small housing development right off of Route 50 and just across the (then new) Severn River Bridge, from Annapolis. Annapolis was home. Mom's Mom and Dad, my Great Grandfather and Mother, had a home there on West Street. He was a retired plumber by then. They had helped raise mom, due to the fact my Grandmother was a widow, worked full time, and had been unable to handle raising two children alone. Kathy and I both remember (she more clearly than me as usual) the Tool shed where he kept his plumbing supplies and me finding a way in. So moving to Annapolis was like a default and a refuge. Mom loved Annapolis. She thrived on her family connections during that time. She worked for Nationwide Insurance.

We were in Winchester, just across the Severn River from Annapolis for 4 years, then moved to Podickory point. Dad was working for Westinghouse and thought that the move to Podickory point would put him closer to his work. Podickory point had a swimming pool and yacht club as well as lots we built our house on. As soon as we moved there, Dad changed jobs to Vitro incorporated. He would be with Vitro for years, and Vitro made him move around almost as much as if he'd stayed in the Navy. We were in Podickory point for 4 years.

New Jersey

Then my Dad got a contract in New Jersey so we moved to Monmouth County New Jersey and a little house near new Shrewsbury. By that time Kathy and me were both Teenagers. We were only in Monmouth County for 2 years. Dad's contract got cancelled. We wound up staying with my Grandma in Annapolis while we looked for a house. I got to go to Annapolis High School for a whole 6 weeks. Mom got to deal with 5 kids and my sometimes hard to deal with Grandma.

Savage Maryland

We found a house in Savage Maryland. It was a giant house. It had been the mansion that the Factory Manager lived in, in Savage and so there was enough room for all 5 of us, Tara the Dog, Cats, Samantha, and various people my parents took in and acted as parents to. Patty and Michelle were like sisters to us. Mom became known as Me-Maw to a number of people. She was a wise counsel and cared about people. While in Savage mom worked for Schwartz Brothers Music. I never took advantage of her work at Schwartz brothers, but my sister has quite a collection of records, some of which come from that connection!

Facing the Challenges of Life

Mom had other challenges too. Besides dealing with my father, who could be a handful. She dealt with us kids. Each of whom represented unique parenting challenges. She took on those challenges with courage and rectitude. But she did develop a drinking problem for a while, which she handled by joining her Sister Patty Winters in AA. AA would be an influence on all of us. I never formally did Alanon, but its principles and mom's guidance helped me stay away from the kind of deeper trouble I might have gotten into otherwise. Dad had issues too. He had no idea how to deal with a big family, with not being the catered to center of attention, and his temper tended to have a slow burn and an anti-sociable turn to it. Mom was the kind who confronts people. They had many emotional "disussions" as they worked out their relationship. They loved each other intensely and sometimes that could be frightening to everyone.

Cobb Island

After a long time in Savage, while Dad worked near Kensington. Dad got a contract at Dahlgren. So the family moved to Cobb Island Maryland. They never were good at selling houses, but boy were they able to get deals when buying houses. The house at Cobb Island was another gigantic place. They were there a long time too. I was off on my own so I didn't get to visit that often but my brothers and sisters can tell some stories about there. Mom was able to visit with her sister and friends and they were there for a while.

Indiana

At length Dad was dreaming of retirement. So his last Contract was in Indiana. He wound up living in two houses while in Indiana. The second one had a small stable and really cool geography. Dad was soon able to retire, but mom needed to qualify for Social Security so she worked for the Monroe County courthouse in Bloomington, Ind. where she performed audits and updated the financial records for the state of Indiana.

Talents

Under other circumstances she'd have made a Great CPA, teacher, manager, carpenter or plumber. But to us she was Mom.

Mom was able to fix almost anything and was quite comfortable with a toolbox. she was good with sewing and quilting. We all loved swimming, the love of which she passed to her children. We learned to swim in a variety of places. While traveling across the country and staying in Motels. While living in places that had swimming pools and other places that had hotels. And sometimes by getting to the beach. We all loved the beach. She loved Annapolis and this country. She and my Grandma were all connected to the Naval Academy. Richard Gere in "An Officer and a Gentleman" had nothing on my Dad and my Mom, or my Granddad and my Grandma. Grandma had boyfriends who were admirals. My Mom and Dad were connected to their class of 55 right up to the end of their lives. My Dad spent his retirement gathering stories and visiting classmates. Our extended family included people we'd met along the way, people my mom had fostered, as well as classmates and relatives.

Survival

We who still survive include her two daughters, Katherine A. Spitznogle of Ranson, W. Va. and Susan M. Holte of Stafford; myself and my brother Carl T. Holte of Sprague, Conn. Mom has ten grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and five great-great-grandchildren and their families. She was preceded in death by her husband, Hartley and her son, Andrew E. Holte of Bloomington, Ind.

A funeral service wase held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 16 at Covenant Funeral Service, Stafford. Inurnment will take place at 2:30 p.m. on Monday, June 3 at the United States Naval Academy Columbarium.

Poems and other stuff to follow.

One of Mom's Favorite Songs:
The Last Farewell ~ Roger Whittaker
Like an Aging Wine
https://www.covenantfuneralservice.com/tributes/Sally-Holte

Wrote this in 2017:

Thursday, March 14, 2019

The Rainbow Bridge

Across the rainbow bridge,
Where the limitations
Of the Saha World
Need not apply.

Across the rainbow bridge,
Where my fancies fly
Propelled by imagination
To that deathless place
Where it is always
Spring or fall....

Somewhere
in that breathless space,
Where only all that matters
is matter.
Free of fear
And the mindlessness
Of the human race
Racing like rats
Trapped in a maze.
Is a place
Where our souls are free,
To experience love,
& play,
& whimsy.
Cross the rainbow bridge with me.
Be free

All that we love
Never grows old
Never is cowardly
Always just enough bold.

Across the rainbow bridge
You'll see
Imagination bloom in gardens.

This saha world is our saga.
We tell tales
That weave our worlds.
Crones warp & weft
cut and trim.
But imagination
Is beyond them.

Dogs and children
Forever play
At the rainbow bridge
At the end of the day.

This Saha world
Seems to endure.
It is an ugly place
Corrupt & impure.

But the rainbow bridge remains.
It can cross impossible rivers
& unite the sundered and sad
Into new creations
Wonderful and glad.

It is time to awake
No chains
Can chain imagination.
The same stones
They intend for walls.
Can build the rainbow bridge.

Grimm citadels
Become cathedrals
Warships, Ocean liners
Streams home for happy fish.

The world is how we build it.
So let's build it better a
rainbow bridge

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Oversight of Judges

The House Judiciary Committee needs to look at Federal Judges, as part of their oversight, starting with Justice Ellis, especially with the Senate confirming so many poorly vetted & horrible people to the bench.

There is just too much evidence of wrongdoing to ignore:
Justice Thomas and his political activities off the bench,
... these need to be looked at.
Justice Kavanaugh and the information left out of his confirmation hearings.
The entire current rapid fire & corrupt confirmation process.
Please look at these subjects and call witnesses to testify:
It may be too early to impeach, but it is never too early to do oversight!
cc:
@RepJerryNadler
@marygayscanlon
@tedlieu
@RepTedDeutch

During Good Behavior

The Constitution States:

“Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior”

Gold Standard “During Good Behavior”

Hamilton put faith in this standard:

“The standard of good behavior for the continuance in office of the judicial magistracy, is certainly one of the most valuable of the modern improvements in the practice of government. In a monarchy it is an excellent barrier to the despotism of the prince; in a republic it is a no less excellent barrier to the encroachments and oppressions of the representative body. And it is the best expedient which can be devised in any government, to secure a steady, upright, and impartial administration of the laws.” [Fed78]

Madison Agreed. In Federalist 38 he writes:

“according to the most respectable and received opinions on the subject, the members of the judiciary department are to retain their offices by the firm tenure of good behavior.” [Fed38]

Federalist 38 and 65 Defining “During Good Behavior”

Unquestioningly the Founders intended Judges to be “regulated”, implying overseen, by the legislature. Congressional oversight of the Judiciary is for the purpose of defining & enforcing "good behavior." Which means that judges aren't to be impeached for their personal opinions or private views, but for bad behavior that leads to abuse of power, law or constitution or would make them susceptible to graft, extortion or destroy their credibility.

Madison says:

“The President of the United States is impeachable at any time during his continuance in office. The tenure by which the judges are to hold their places, is, as it unquestionably ought to be, that of good behavior. The tenure of the ministerial offices generally, will be a subject of legal regulation, conformably to the reason of the case and the example of the State constitutions.” [Fed38]

Should not be an arbitrary process

Congress has a duty to look at the behavior of judges, and to remove them from office on evidence of bad behavior, through the impeachment process. Unfortunately, historically the process for doing this has tended to be arbitrary.

“Impeachment proceedings have been brought against 12 Federal officials; only four have been convicted. Only one of the 12 was a Supreme Court justice, Samuel Chase, who was acquitted by the Senate in 1805 after the House had impeached him for partisan, harsh and unfair conduct during trials.” [cqpress]

Violating the code of judicial conduct ought to be impeachable. But too many impeachment cases have been political.

John Pickering

In 1804 John Pickering was impeached on charges of “unlawful rulings” and drunkenness. The case was controversial as the Federalists claimed that the charges were political. But in the end, when it reached the Senate, the Senate ruled on the articles and convicted him.

Samuel Chase

A supreme court justice was among the first officers removed by the Early Government. Samuel Chase was impeached by Congress in 1804, by the House and acquitted by the Senate.

Arbitrary Impeachment: O'Douglas

The far right in this country was constantly trying to impeach "liberal" judges such as William O'Douglas. They also tried to blackmail or force resignations. In 1970 they succeeded in driving Abe Fortas off the bench for admittedly accepting a:

“retainer from the family foundation of Wall Street financier Louis Wolfson, a friend and former client, in January 1966.[28] Fortas had signed a contract with Wolfson's foundation. In return for unspecified advice, it was to pay Fortas $20,000 a year for the rest of Fortas's life”

This clearly violated any sane rules of ethical conduct. If he'd tried to remain on the bench he'd have been impeached in a bi-partisan fashion. Encouraged by this they want after William O'Douglas:

In 1953 the House tried to impeach O'Douglas “after he had granted a stay of execution to convicted spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.”

In 1970 they tried again with a list of charges including:

That in 1966, Douglas dissented in a 5 to 4 decision that upheld the obscenity conviction of Ralph Ginzburg, publisher of Eros.
They alleged that O'Douglas should have recused from the case due to his relationship with Ginsburg, including publishing books and articles in his publications.
They also alleged he'd engaged in legal work for the Albert Parvin Foundation and been paid for it. The RW in congress alleged that that foundation was a left wing organization as was the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions.

Gerald Ford tried to bypass the Judiciary Committee and do an exclusively Republican impeachment. In the end they found that he hadn't violated the law or Judicial ethics codes. It was pretty clear to all, but rw, observers that the O'Douglas impeachment had been partisan. This did Democrats no favor since everything they accused O'Douglas of doing has become a ceiling on even worse bad behavior by RW justices since then, such as Thomas, Scalia and Brown. They could point to O'Douglas and say "If he can take a 300$ payment then I'm entitled to my 60,000$ emolument from book sales (Scalia).

Defining Good Behavior

In order for Congress to do their oversight duties they must first clearly define what good behavior is and ensure that guidelines for what that behavior are established and that those guidelines apply to both the Supreme Court and its lesser courts. Currently the Supreme Court seems to think they are immune from the Code of Conduct for the Judiciary. This needs to change.

It is Congresses job to disabuse them of that conceit. "Good Behavior" standards apply to everyone. It is up to congress to codify and enforce that code.

Canon 1: A Judge Should Uphold the Integrity and Independence of the Judiciary
Canon 2: A Judge Should Avoid Impropriety and the Appearance of Impropriety in All Activities
Canon 3: A Judge Should Perform the Duties of the Office Fairly, Impartially and Diligently
Canon 4: A Judge May Engage in Extrajudicial Activities That are Consistent With the Obligations of Judicial Office
Canon 5: A Judge Should Refrain From Political Activity
Compliance with the Code of Conduct
Applicable Date of Compliance
https://www.uscourts.gov/rules-policies/judiciary-policies

And judges who engage in sexual harassment or violate that code should be impeached.

Sources and Related Posts

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed78.asp
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed38.asp
https://pages.wustl.edu/calvert/articles-impeachment-against-justice-chase
https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/impeachment-trial-samuel-chase
https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/GPO-HPREC-HINDS-V3/pdf/GPO-HPREC-HINDS-V3-20.pdf
https://www.jstor.org/stable/1843004?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
https://library.cqpress.com/cqalmanac/document.php?id=cqal70-1292316

When Followers are the problem!

Attributes of a Dictator's Fans

The fact is that, what makes authoritarian dictatorships so maddening and difficult to handle is not the dictator. It is the people who follow him, hold him up and enable his misdeeds who drive the awfulness of authoritarian regimes. I've written on Altemeyer's book on Authoritarianism;

Authoritarian Followers
& And EMAD Dominators

But this book formulates a simplified version of how Authoritarian Followers work. Trumptater's followers perception of his 4 attributes written down and sourced. They tend to:

  1. See their leader as superhuman.
  2. Blindly believe him.
  3. Unconditionally comply with his directives.
  4. Give him unconditional support.

Author is Dr. Bandy X. Lee. Book is called

The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health…

Lawrence O'Donnell and his late night News/Commentary Show on MS-NBC introduced this subject as part of a longer talk about Trump and Trumpism. We are in trouble. But it's not mortal yet. Headed there.

Of course Authoritarian systems actually have a hierarchy of leaders. The ones at the top are seen as infallible by the rank and file, they are treated as infallible by each other. But much of that middle tier's devotion is dishonest. They know the truth, it is just expedient to go along to get along.

Related Posts

Understanding Social Dominance Theory
Authoritarians and Totalitarians Reviewing Altemeyer's book
Fighting Authoritarianism
Authoritarian Versus Totalitarian
Note: I initially spelled Bandy Lee as Brandy Lee, sorry.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Why the House Must invoke it's impeachment Powers

Impeachment is for stopping misuse of power

Impeachment as a tool of Oversight

There is a lot of talk of impeachment among those of us in the rank and file of our country. The impeachment power is assigned to the House. Trying impeachments is assigned to the Senate. Impeachment isn't solely to punish criminality. It is meant to punish "high crimes and misdemeanors." Early uses of the impeachment power included impeaching a Federal Sea Captain for wrecking his ship. Impeachment was:

“designed as a method of NATIONAL INQUEST into the conduct of public men? If this be the design of it, who can so properly be the inquisitors for the nation as the representatives of the nation themselves?”[Fed 65]

A Well Constituted Impeachment

It wasn't intended to be a last resort, but a tool of oversight and regulation for use when dealing with naughty, corrupt, treasonous, or reckless officers. Hamilton insisted that a well constituted impeachment involve the maximum number of people:

“The necessity of a numerous court for the trial of impeachments, is equally dictated by the nature of the proceeding. This can never be tied down by such strict rules, either in the delineation of the offense by the prosecutors, or in the construction of it by the judges, as in common cases serve to limit the discretion of courts in favor of personal security. There will be no jury to stand between the judges who are to pronounce the sentence of the law, and the party who is to receive or suffer it. The awful discretion which a court of impeachments must necessarily have, to doom to honor or to infamy the most confidential and the most distinguished characters of the community, forbids the commitment of the trust to a small number of persons.”[Fed 65]

Impeachment is about Fitness for Office

Impeachment was limited, because impeachment is about the officers of the United States and their fitness for office and limited to:

“removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States:” [COTUS Article 1, Section 3, last par]

The Judiciary has a duty to indict and bring to trial

Impeachment doesn't preclude an obligation of justice to bring lawbreakers to justice, no matter how high their office. Article 1, Sec 3 last paragraph makes it clear that no one should be above the law or the "ordinary courts." Impeachment is also not a substitute for the courts except in producing evidence.

“but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.” [COTUS Article 1, Section 3, last par]

Impeachment is DESIGNED to limit the Pardon Power

The founders envisioned the impeachment power to limit the pardon power. Both impeachment and trial for crimes were explicitly envisioned to apply to the President, absurd guidelines to the contrary or not. Federalist 69 emphasized that the Pardon power applied:

EXCEPT IN CASES OF IMPEACHMENT;”[fed69]

A Check on the Executive

The Constitution gives the grounds of:

“treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

A quick look at the history of impeachment is that:

“The one common denominator in all these accusations was that the official had somehow abused the power of his office and was unfit to serve.” [crf]

Malfeasance, Recklessness and Incompetence

Misdemeanors was intended to cover things like malfeasance in office, gross recklessness or incompetence as well as abuse of power.

The President Cannot Shelter Offenders!

The author, Alexander Hamilton, elaborated that the law was designed to limit the President's ability to “shelter” offenders!

“A President of the Union, on the other hand, though he may even pardon treason, when prosecuted in the ordinary course of law, could shelter no offender, in any degree, from the effects of impeachment and conviction.”[fed69]

Dangling Impeachment Should be Impossible

It is as if the founders anticipated what Trump would try to do by dangling impeachments. Hamilton, was even referring to the chance that a President might seek to use force of arms, and that people would be hesitant to back him on the fear that such a revolt might miscarry:

“Would not the prospect of a total indemnity for all the preliminary steps be a greater temptation to undertake and persevere in an enterprise against the public liberty, than the mere prospect of an exemption from death and confiscation, if the final execution of the design, upon an actual appeal to arms, should miscarry? Would this last expectation have any influence at all, when the probability was computed, that the person who was to afford that exemption might himself be involved in the consequences of the measure, and might be incapacitated by his agency in it from affording the desired impunity?”[fed69]

Presumption of a Limited Government

Of course Federalist 69 also presumed a Country where only a small portion of the militia was in the President's hands and that we had no standing army. So our situation now is much worse than it was in the time of George Washington. Still the power to impeach the President and his offices was intended as a check on the usurpation of Article 1 and 3 powers by a venal and corrupt President. And that is born out by even a cursory reading of Federalist 69.

Use it or lose it

Of course the other two checks on the President; a limited standing army and the fact that the legislature has to declare war are no longer enforced either. The British Monarch:

“possesse[d] that of DECLARING war, and of RAISING and REGULATING fleets and armies by his own authority.”[fed69]

Now Congress has ceded the rights to wage war, given the President powerful military and police powers. Impeachment is all the people have left. We need to use it or lose it.

Related Posts:

Congress Must Impeach
Giving the President Immunity from Prosecution is unconstitutional
Iran Contra and Bill Barr's Pardons
The Southern Empire Strikes Back

Sources

Federalist 65
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed65.asp
Federalist 69:
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed69.asp
http://www.crf-usa.org/impeachment/high-crimes-and-misdemeanors.html

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Feinstein Video

Senator Feinstein was the subject of an active measure this past week.

Waleed Shaheed (_waleedshahid) who is the “Communications Director” of Justice Democrats, sent a group of young kids, accompanied by a Chaparone, under the banner of the Sunrise Movement, to Dianne Feinstein's office to attack her in the name of getting her to support their version of the Green New Deal, Or else, She resisted. Waleed then edited the video in a way that made it look like she was criticizing the kids when she was trying to dicuss things with the chaparone. This edited tape was then shared with the Media, O'Keefe Style. They were clever. They produced a short version of the interaction and one that was about 15 minutes which they claimed was the unedited version. But the actual interaction took some time.

Feinstein offered one of them a job. She also sent a letter to them that made clear what she felt.

I'm thoroughly disgusted with the so-called "justice democrats". Their terminology harkens back to the days of radical Bolshevik Marxism and it is clear that they think they can use the same strategies the hard right uses to ruthlessly drive division into the party. I see them as traitors. These are the strategies the Hard Right has adopted from playbooks written by Lenin and Mao. They are ruthless and self defeating.

Atlantic:
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/02/dianne-feinstein-video-climate-change-sunrise-movement/583501/
Democratic Underground:
https://www.democraticunderground.org/100211855238
Threaded on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/tommyxtopher/status/1099137889043140609?s=19

Friday, February 15, 2019

Democratic Principles under Assault

Democratic Principles Under Assault

I started this post on September 17, 2018. Actually I thought I'd published it back then. It talks about democracy and how we used to practice it and how Trump is subverting it. With Trump's efforts to use decree powers to build his Southern Border wall, this assault is now in the critical stage. He's declaring a National Emergency, where there is none.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Fourteen Characteristics of Tyranny

The reality of this world is that most people try to do right and try to do good. Some people think that they are doing good when they do ruthless, manipulative things, but most people justifying the ends justify the means are simply not thinking about doing good. They may justify their efforts as helping some long term good, but it is clear that they are thinking of their own fame and fortune.

For some people life is a game, an often cruel game, where all that matters is who is on top and who is not. For some people, the world is an animal place. People who see things that way live in politics and business as if they were snakes, dogs, wolves and the rest of us were sheep. Such people fit psychological profiles that sometimes are labeled as mentally ill, but in truth, spiritual illness is not something that can be treated by psychologists and is reinforced by perverse religions. People can be motivated by anger, ambition, fear. They can be motivated by an unhealable pain. They can be motivated by joy. There are people who don't feel much pain themselves, but inflict it on others. There are many terms for them;

  • Psychopaths,
  • Sociopaths,
  • Narcissists,
  • But when we give such people, power, they make others suffer.

 

Monday, February 11, 2019

The incredible Stupidity of GOP Taxes

Since the 90s we've had a cycle of the GOP running the same con over and over again. Initially some of the more sane Republicans would push back. It was George Herbert Walker Bush who called Reagan's con "Voodoo Economics" and who helped coin the term "trickle down economics." They soon knew that it didn't work. David Stockman would admit it later. The Atlantic Magazine describes it in an article titled "The Education of David Stockman" Even so it was very popular among the "donor class", so they held their noses and supported the con anyway. They adopted the Hitlerian Big Lie principle that if you repeat a lie often enough it becomes an article of faith.

Investopedia, Voodoo Economics
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1981/12/the-education-of-david-stockman/305760/

Everyone knows that GOP economics is a con, but they preach it anyway. They know it is vile, fails, increases inequality, bankrupts the middle class and small business, yet they practice it anyway. They trot out the same lies over and over and over again. What Gives?

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Actual Capital versus non-Capital Wealth

What is Actual Capital versus not

Key to successful taxation and public policy is clear crisp language and definitions.

Actual Capital as defined by Adam Smith or Henry George, was a very different concept from what is called "capitalism" currently. Thomas Piketty in his book on capital defined capital as basically all wealth. But according to Henry George, that is not actual capital unless it is used as capital.

WEALTH is:
“All material things produced by labor for the satisfaction of human desires and having exchange value.”
This means that wealth must have all of these characteristics:
  • Wealth is material. Human qualities such as skill and mental acumen are not material, hence cannot be classified as wealth.
  • Wealth is produced by labor. Land possesses all the essentials of wealth but one — it is not a product of labor, therefore it is not wealth.
  • Wealth is capable of satisfying human desire. Money is not wealth; it is a medium of exchange whereby wealth can be acquired. Nor are shares of stock, bonds or other securities classifiable as wealth. They are but the evidences of ownership. None of these satisfy desire directly; if they are destroyed, the sum total of wealth is not decreased.
  • Wealth has exchange value.
  • Source: http://www.henrygeorge.org/def2.htm

Capital

Of course most financial mavens and economists don't use this narrow definition. Thus actual capital is:

Actual Capital is that portion of produced Wealth used in the process of production or in the course of exchange.

Capital is a factor in production as is:

  • Labor
  • Land
  • Raw Materials, Georgists include "Raw Materials" under their definition of land, which causes more confusion than helpful but helps them narrow their focus on taxing "land" without modernizing it to account for all sources of economic rent.

Production of things and services are what drive the economy and keep all of us clothed, housed and well fed, when things are well run and regulated.

Actual capital deserves protection. Actual wage compensation the same. Wealth from land rents, inherited property rents, etc... should not be protected. Wages include things like savings, retirements and debt acquired to sustain life from a persons wages. But if a person deserves all the products of his own labor and inspiration. His Children do not. That is why I consider myself a heretical Georgist so I don't have to argue this point.

For More Detail:
Georgist Defintions of Labor, Capital Wealth

THE TYRANNY OF WORDS

Often the corruption of society starts with the corruption of language and George Orwell tried to explain in his writings, including "1984." The sophism of the "tyranny of words" is corrupting and leads to dysfunctional economic policy.

The retired VP of Dun and Bradstreet, Roy A. Foulke, in 1949 wrote an article in the New York Daily news called the "Tyranny of Words" about how modern business and economists. It explains the sophism of modern business language. My Friend Rick DiMar reproduced the whole of this on his facebook page.

Adam Smith On Production

“In WEALTH OF NATIONS, Adam Smith pointed out, over and over again,”

“that all production is divided into three streams:

  1. one in the form of wages to employees,
  2. one in the form of rent to landowners,
  3. and one in the form of PROFITS to suppliers of capital.” [Tyranny of Words]

He explains:

“These terms, as used by Adam Smith, carry connotations that are somewhat different from their meaning in our present-day industrial life. ” [Tyranny of Words]
  1. “In wages to employees is included payments to officers of corporations, to proprietors and to partners for their services, as well at to labor.” [Tyranny of Words]
  2. “The payment of rent represents the return to the landowner on the value of the land in its natural state without improvements of any kind, and not the payment of a monthly or yearly sum, which today has generally come to include two payments, economic rent on the value of land, and a return on capital (i.e., the improvement)” [Tyranny of Words]
  3. “Profit, according to Adam Smith, is the return to capital after the payment of all wages and the rent of the land in its natural state has been deducted from production.” [Tyranny of Words]

And then Smith carefully observed:

“‘When those three different sorts of revenue belong to three different persons, they are readily distinguished; but when they belong to the same they are sometimes confounded with one another, at least in common language.’” [Tyranny of Words]

Of course that meaning got confused, on purpose sometimes. So,

“Because of the confusion in the term ‘profit’ as used by Smith in 1776 as the return to capital, and by the general public as the excess of income over cost, Henry George in 1879 decided to substitute the word ‘interest’ in place of the word ‘profit’ as used by Smith to represent return on capital.” [Tyranny of Words]

Which of course, was in turn deliberately obfuscated as the rise of modern financial institutions pushed "interest" as a main goal:

“It is possible that substitution in terms—though carefully explained with great clarity—has been the source of steadily increasing confusion in the mind of the pragmatic businessman.” [Tyranny of Words]

So the author calls it:

The ACCOUNTING PROFIT of business, representing the excess of income over cost . . .” [Tyranny of Words]

Therefore

“has nothing to do with economics.” [Tyranny of Words]

By which he means that business profits are not the same thing as "the profit to investors" as a person. A corporation is an institution, not a person. At least til clever lawyers got involved:

“Few business corporations were in existence in 1879.” [Tyranny of Words]

He notes:

“Not until 1886 did the Supreme Court decide that a corporation was a person in the meaning of the ‘due process’ clause of the federal Constitution. That decision gave an element of unprecedented security to the existence of the large corporation, which was just becoming a dynamic power in our economic life.” [Tyranny of Words]

Sources and Citations

Citations (note you may need a facebook account to see it):
Doc #145: Accounting (unearned) profit vs. economic (earned) profit
https://www.facebook.com/notes/common-wealth-tax/doc-145-accounting-unearned-profit-vs-economic-earned-profit/1123980124381796/
http://www.henrygeorge.org/def2.htm
Further Reading
https://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2015/09/georgist-definitions-of-labor-capital.html
Disambiguating Capital from Simple Wealth
Piketty, Capital Versus Unearned wealth
The Trouble with Capitalism
Lincoln the Marxist
Confusing Capital with Rental Opportunities

Thursday, February 7, 2019

I don't know what to do

Model Post
I don't know what to do.
If I did what would it mean to you?
Last Night I dreamed of a university
Where Mozart slept and Tchaikovsky too
There was a garden across the street
With a low symbolic wall, studded with gates.
I dreamed that too.
I watched the doves fly over the wall.
 
I don't know what to do.
All I can see is a better world right next door.
Where Narcissists are treated.
And not allowed in office.
Pierce the veil,
and people are good too.
Pierce the veil another way,
And previously good people do evil
How do we get there?
I don't know what to do.
 
We can do better
Why don't we?

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

₽rivateering and Smuggling

Privateering and Smuggling Model Post

Elements of Privateering

Original Definition:
Legalized theft and warfare against commerce on the high seas.
Modern Defintion
Usurpation of Government or public functions for private profit

₽rivateers engage in the following:

  1. Filibustering
  2. Private warfare against unorganized places or countries the country the privateer is at war with.
  3. Smuggling
  4. Usually private sea captains would do legal trade with whoever they could. But often privateers would engage in illegal smuggling if it made them money.
  5. Slave Trade
  6. Privateers often combined private warfare elements with smuggling by grabbing people for sale like they were any other good for sale. The Navies would even recruit their own sailors by grabbing them from ports and "pressing them" to service. Privateer sailors were often little better than slaves.
  7. Piracy
  8. One reason that the saying "Dead men Tell no tales" is that if a privateer took a prize of a ship not at war, if nobody survived to rat them out, and no evidence could be found of a crime, the now pirate could continue to pretend to be a privateer. This led to some confusion among pirate captains. The famous Captain Kidd of the 1700s went to England to argue his case that he had been a legal privateer, not a pirate. He was hung as a pirate. Many pirate/privateers got away with that.
  9. Private government and colonization.
  10. Private government was always an element in privateering. King James granted them the East India Company charter in 1600. This was the real beginning of the Tory Party and of the movement to modern Privateering. But when Christopher Columbus got his permission to sail west, it was with the aim of establishing private government in the lands he discovered.

Privateering And Large Scale Swindles

The theme of piracy and privateering to describe our current economic system, much of our current political system, and the ideology of our modern Republican Business classes. Not that Democrats aren't sometimes pirates and privateers. It is just not their stated ideology.

Privateering is at the heart of the worst of modern capitalism; the "privateering spirit. As I've noticed before privateering is defined as using private enterprises to accomplish missions assigned to government. Initially the term was window dressing for legal piracy. As I've noted before both the British Navy and the USA navy emerged from the private navies of legal pirates like Sir Francis Drake. The successful descendants of pirates became the lords and barons of British Society, and more importantly of British foreign trade, adventurism and the admirals of the fleet.

For more Information on this history:
Origins of the East India Company

Pirate Contracts

The heart of the matter is that modern business relies on contractual relationships, and ₽rivateering relies on the inequity of contracts that involve power relationships. The difference between a pirate and a privateer is that privateers are bound by contracts that grant them license, and use those contracts to abuse law and power.

To illustrate, Pirates, were simply outlaws. For that reason pirate ships often were more democratic and the officers and crew more free, aboard ship, than the crews of privateers, who were often little more than slaves to ambitious, greedy power hungry captains. However, the ideal privateer operated his ship as if it were a pirate ship and treated their crew with respect. Thus the lines between pirate and privateer were often blurred. On land they had to follow rules. At sea "dead men tell no tales" was often practiced to avoid getting caught by officials while robbing and stealing at sea while ostensibly doing legitimate business. The result was the legal pirates were often hanging known pirates. Privateers have always tended to be pirates. But pirates rarely get to be privateers unless they can manage to avoid being caught.

Modern Privateers

Modern privateers don't need eye patches, peg legs. They wear Armani suits and carry briefcases. They enslave through contracts, loans, lawsuits and hostile takeovers. No need for cannon. They frequently own (or are) Judges and law enforcement. But when the cops are the criminals, who will enforce the law? Piracy led to privateering and privateering enabled:

  • Private Warfare, Filibustering, legalized robbery and looting.
  • Conquest and colonization
  • Vast estates for the successful Pirates
  • Layers of Oppression

Power establishes Inequitable relationships established through abusive contracts and debt. The robbed can be robbed over and over again. Privateers would do anything for trade goods and property:

  • Smuggling to acquire trade goods
  • Monopoly over vital properties
  • Rent from that property

So the irony of modern privateers is that often they are playing all sides. Robbing people, and arresting robbers. Smuggling and arresting smugglers. Bribing people and taking Bribes. Piracy attracts con artists and grifters. A Grifter is a con artist who has a plan B for avoiding getting caught. Grift + Drift to new marks. Privateering only works when the pirates can attract a crew and governments can hire them. Since it is based on looting, it hollows out any actual capital that might have been there.

Modern pirates operate through the use of contracts, courts and information and power disparity. This post is about their historic involvement in drug smuggling.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Captain America A Nazi?

Things have been in the twilight zone lately. Captain America a member of Hydra? Movies like the Man in the High Tower, where the Nazis rule America? Russians in the white house?

And a fracking Russian Agent as President of the USA!
FRACK!

Friday, January 25, 2019

Research & Journalism

This article gives wonderful insight to the importance of "reading everything" when researching a person & seeking evidence or understanding about a person. In this article he talks about Lyndon Baines Johnson origins, fictions & deeds as a politician.
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/01/28/the-secrets-of-lyndon-johnsons-archives

Monday, January 21, 2019

Selling the Country for Parts

The Russian Mob merges with the USA One

Last year I wrote about the relationship between what our Republican operatives did to the Russians after the collapse of the soviet Union and how that paved the way for them to infiltrate our own government. I titled the post.

We gave the Russians Oligarchy & now they are giving back"

Well that gift is the gift that keeps giving. There is abundant evidence now that that is exactly what Trump, combined with Trumpist Repubican Grifters, operatives and ₽rivateers, Russian and American, seem to be trying to do.

Experts on Authoritarianism, the mob, like Malcolm Nance or Sarah Kenzior
(and amateurs like me) are pretty sure that this
current shutdown is no accident!

Forget the Wall. Trump is the National Security Crisis
  1. Trump's Shutdown is a “a power-grab as a policy proposal”
  2. “insert[s] misleading statistics, grisly depictions of violence”
  3. Feigns a “fatuous humanitarian framework”
  4. Overstates grossly “the threat of Central American migrants”
  5. Deflects from the reckless, violent & criminal treatment of refugees
  6. and their children

The unsaid words of every Donald Trump demand are the most important,
for they never change: “Or else.”

“Forget the Wall Trump is the National Security Crisis”

Trump is following the rules and protocols of countless dictators to get into power and expand that power until they had total control of the government and could use that power for themselves with impunity. Trump's shutdown is not about the wall now, just as his pre-campaign propaganda strategy was not about Obama's birth certificate. It is the second act in a plot to destroy democracy. His shutdown is part of a campaign of extortion. She writes about Trump's speech Sunday:

“the speech was akin to a hostage video, and American Viewers were his captive audience.” [Sarah Kendzior]

We watch in horror as Trump tries to gin up a “national emergency” and indoctrinate people with sufficient fear and hatred that he can end Democracy in this country. He's also using Trump to destroy NATO, help destroy the European Union, and undermine the entire West, but that is for another post.

“Trump has taunted us with talk of declaring a “national emergency” – an act which gives him the power to do things like kill the internet, freeze bank accounts, and turn military troops into a domestic police force. We watched because Mr. Trump has long applauded death through his praise of dictators and criminals. We watched because the path to American autocracy was laid out upon his election, and we wanted to know which victims were next.” [Sarah Kendzior]

The playbook demands that he “ceaselessly goad” (indoctrinate) people to live in his “noxious fantasy world” with the help of a feckless and enabling media. If we don't stop him and those who actually like his authoritarian, and kleptocratic agenda –soon– we will soon be beyond the point where we can.

I have a lot more to say on this. But I think this is enough for this post.

On this day one has to think of Martin Luther King:

We gave the Russians Oligarchy & now they are giving back"
http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2017/03/we-gave-russians-oligarchs-now-they-are.html?m=0
Forget the Wall. Trump is the National Security Crisis:
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-forget-the-wall-trump-is-the-national-security-crisis/
Malcolm Nance The Plot to Destroy America: How Putin and his Spies are Undermining America, and dismantling the West
With Trump's Help
https://www.amazon.com/Plot-Destroy-Democracy-Undermining-Dismantling/dp/0316484814