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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Putin's Puppet

It takes a lot of effort to ...

...to engineer a disaster.

Money Launderer Trump -- Literature

My friends who have been studying the Russian Mob and Trump, since before Trump was a TV actor, traced out relations also documented in books. The Trump Family have been "alleged" money launderer and mob assets since before Donald Trump joined the family business. Books on this subject include:

Ironically Andrew McCabe touches on the Russian Mob in his book The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump, touched on the origins of the Russian mob in his chapter on his experience with the Russian Mob near the beginning of his FBI career.

more to come...

Friday, October 11, 2019

When The Commons is in the hands of Pirates

I've been studying, talking to people and blogging about infrastructure for a number of years now. What is happening in California is a stark example of the inevitable result of our tradition of privateering with infrastructure. It's an old cycle:

Privateering in Infrastructure

Promise something for nothing; "cheaper, better, faster."
Take over ownership, control of a vital public commodity.
Promise maintenance, refresh and updating of said infrastructure.
Collect payments from consumers who have little choice but to pay or suffer.
Pocket those payments instead of maintaining, refreshing, updating or protecting the public capital goods they now own.
Neglect updates, maintenance, refesh of said infrastructure.
Eventually the infrastructure degrades to the point of failure.
Declare bankruptcy and make the state pay for refreshing public capital.

Why?!!!

Back in the 19th century, the pioneer economist, Henry George divided the properties necessary for production into 3 categories:

  1. Natures Bounty, land and natural resources
  2. Capital Goods, “wealth in the course of production”
  3. Labor

Capital is defined as that wealth that is used as input into making more wealth. In Henry George's world Capital is not the money itself, unless that money is spent on capital goods;

Capital Goods:
  • Tools, Factories, Equipment
  • Fuel, water, raw materials,
  • But NOT bank accounts or land.

Privateering Versus Actual Investment

In Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations" Capital Stock were things like Sheep or Goats kept to breed to produce more sheep and goats. With material goods one can tell a capital good from something more abstract because a capital good depreciates unless additional resources are put into maintaining, updating, refreshing it. Capital Goods cost money. We protect income from capital goods because it will be consumed by the use of those goods. In

Henry George did a good job of explaining all those things and his ideas informed the early stages of industrialization in the United States, with common sense definitions and clarity. See:

Borrowing the Virtue of Capital for Loot

Henry George was soon shoved aside by others, including some people who had initially been his disciples and who hijacked his movement. They wanted land property, natural resources, and simple wealth to be treated as capital and borrowing its virtues, taxed as if it were productive wealth. Actual capital, needs constant refresh. But corporations need guaranteed income. Investing in capital or wages is a cost. For a corporation profit is defined as wealth minus those costs. The course of investment in capital is a fine one, but the temptation to live on rents and coast is ever-present. At one time policy makers understood this. They exempted ONLY capital type expensing. But by lumping all wealth, including financial wealth and rents from property or hijacking wages, as "capital", wealthy people can make money by renting their wealth. They no longer have to invest their money in the constant refreshing and updating that is needed to keep a property up. They can live on depreciating investments and by even junking them, instead.

We've seen this with leveraged buyouts. A company is bought, loaded with debt, the debt is backed by depreciating assets, but purchased premised on the notion that it will be invested in capital goods. The people doing leveraged buyouts lend money, get their money back with interest, pay themselves godawful salaries and then junk or bankrupt the companies they purchased with investor money. This is not capitalism, this is privateering.

California

The latest example of this is Pacific Gas and Electric and their power outages. It has been easier for the owners of PG&E to use decades old infrastructure and put bandaids on it, than to refresh or modernize it. Their mandate is to make as much short term money as possible. Long term profit in the old sense, as a strong, modern, vital, robust system, was secondary to maximizing payments to top executives and stockholders. When that failure combined with climate change to disastrous consequences, they declared bankruptcy. Like the Turnpikes of old, revenues were diverted to pockets not maintenance because they see a monopoly situation

I would suggest that folks in California invest, big time, in solar, wind and stored water energy. We also need to stop pretending that privateering works. Although that is not the line pedaled by Cato and such. Champions of privateering will tell you that public and private partnerships "Work better" because they mix investor money with government money. The downside of that is that in cases where there is an underlying monopoly they also profiteer with tolls and fees. There is also no incentive to continue investing in refresh and update once the monopoly is established. The worst effect of privateering with public goods is that they become private goods available to an elite and excluding others. In the end that usually has led to alternative technologies coming along. But that doesn't make it an optimal solution.

And PG&E illustrates what happens when a public good is privatized. Just as Enron did. Just as we are seeing with internet platforms like facebook or twitter.

Cato article (which spins like a Tazmanian Devil):

I'm in the process of disambiguating older posts. This is part of a series, I'll come back to it later.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Oversight including Impeachment

Impeachment Process is Oversight Process

I started this Post around June. I was listening to Representative Jerry Nadler, who heads the Judiciary Committee that would become an impeachment inquiry, and he was talking about "time constraints" and the difficulty of impeaching the President. It made me think, it really is difficult to impeach anyone. And that degrades the power of impeachment and attenuates its potential effectiveness. But:

Is that a real problem or an example of bad process? In this era of gigantic government, where too much power is already delegated to the executive, aren't these matters of "bad constitution" rather than things we can't address? If so then they reflect antiquated process and that should be dealt with. In this post I include a few suggestions on how to modernize that process without a new constitutional amendment.
What are the benefits if the House impeaches anyway?

What Would Impeachment Accomplish Now?

The benefits of the House impeaching the President anyway are:

  1. Doing so will Document Trump's crimes.
  2. This will provide input evidence for prosecutions once he's out of office.
  3. Doing this will hammer home to the general public the depth of Trump's perfidy.
  4. This will rebuke and may even shame the shameless Republicans in the House and Senate.
  5. This may help us defeat him electorally.

For this reason, impeachment articles are worth doing, even with the knowledge that they'll get to the Senate and be ignored or tabled. It is my belief that each Article should focus on one set of infractions, document the criminality and abuse of power and why they are reason for impeachment. The reason for separate articles is that they should result in separate prosecutions, changes in law and impeachment/prosecution of co-conspirators. I personally like the "Drip Drip of investigations" idea. There are at least 8 or 9 articles needed, by my count, and each of them embraces several to hundreds of counts. For more on this see:

Impeachment Articles

Meanwhile this post addresses ideas for improving our antiquated process:

Saturday, September 14, 2019

The Insanity of Trumpism

Orange is the New Moron

Trumpism isn't even an ism

Trumpism, isn't even an ism. It is the completely arbitrary ravings of a demented old man with power he never trained for and ideas that never made sense. This latest thing, regulating light bulbs to protect incandescent technology, is case in point. The new technology is finally becoming relatively cheap to buy, and was already saving people money by being much more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs, and he puts out an executive order that nixes the effort. Why? Is it to please the light bulb manufacturers? No! it is because:

“I always look orange!”

This is the ravings of a mad man.

Stupid Tariffs

Tariffs can be useful when dealing with countries that are breaking the rules. The idea is to counter bad behavior with punishing behavior and reward good behavior. But Trump's take on tariffs has always been backward. Again the term is arbitrary. He rages against China, principally, it seems because he wants his companies and copy rights there, for himself and Ivanka. He manufactures in China, so I suspect he tries to exempt his products from the tariffs, and he puts them off until after the winter so they won't affect some of his constituents, but the Chinese have already retaliated. They decided to buy their soy beans in Brazil and cut off our farmers. So rather than bringing businesses home from China, he's mostly bankrupting small farmers. He subsidizes the big landlords so they aren't feeling the pain as much. They never really farmed much in the first place. They run the Government, house and Senate in farm states instead.

There are intelligent policies that could help bring back manufacturing. The first one would be to require manufacturers to pay their workers in China commensurate with what workers in the US are paid so that they didn't go their for the cheap labor. Trump goes there for the cheap labor himself. So he won't do that.

Lying Speaches

Rural folks and Red State Folks support Trump because most of them don't have 50 years of experience with Trump's Cons. He was a New York Grifter before he was a Florida Grifter. And eventually we all will pay for his completely moronic policies. Some hope they will work as promised, but Trump never makes promises he actually keeps so that is a fools errand. The real victim of Trump are the folks who think the Moron will make America Great Again.

And all so he can get laughs at rallies.

Fixed it

Grover says my meme is inaccurate
I corrected the meme to make it accurate (it was accurate as a paraphrase):
"We don't need someone to think it up or design it."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wYYX0mZsQA

Friday, September 13, 2019

Capitalism has a lane, Socialism has a lane

And Healthcare

There is a lane for social goods and there is a lane for private goods. Henry George made the distinction based on whether the goods can be sensibly sold in markets.

Excludable and Rivalrous

Modern theorists insist that the distinction between market capitalism and socialism is in whether the goods involved are "rivalrous" or "excludable." That definition involves the behavior of consumers and sellers and power.

Excludable refers to governing powers

Excludable means that someone with power, a governor, can say "you can't enter here." It refers to the ability of people with power, government, to put gates on a resource, service or product. The natural commons is non-excludable. Yet historically westerners have seized, marked boundaries, claimed and fenced land and tried to do the same with oceans and even clouds. Rivalrous means that the good is limited in availability.

Vital Goods, food, medicine, shelter, are by definition rivalrous, but rationing them via markets is barbarous. If a good is vital and someone can exclude people from using it, then by George's version that is a natural monopoly. Excluding goods from markets is a means to make them more "rivalrous". His definition of monopoly is based on the moral effects, the natural rights of those who "should" have access to them. The Rivalrous and Excludable argument has more to do with power.

Purpose of Capital is to make Goods less rivalrous

The purpose of capital, historically, has been to make the formerly unavailable more available. Our ancestors found their health and life-spans limited by access to resources. Capital is about marshaling resources for both public and private benefit. There is little to share socially without the use of capital to make production, goods and services more efficient and/or better quality.

Capital

To Henry George and other early modern writers, capital was something very specific, it was wealth reused "in the course of production." Such wealth, like;

  • Seed Corn,
  • Tools of production like tractors, factory equipment, hammers and drills,
  • Ingredients of production such as livestock, nails, raw materials pulled out of the ground,
  • Those are “capital

Capital is the wealth, tools and equipment that go into production.

the Governance of Capital

The governorship of capital is either in the hands of the folks using those tools themselves, or in the hands of managers. Those managers can work for a government, or work for some private owner. Private owners call themselves "capitalists" but they really are property owners who are renting and managing capital. Capitalism is simply a term for a system where the ownership and governorship of capital is in private hands. Capitalists employ people and manage them. Private government versus public government. Is private government necessarily better? That is problematic.

Certainly not Collective Versus Free Enterprise

A Collective is a "group of people acting as a group." By that definition the only time one is not dealing with a collective is when a single person is running an owner operator business where he/she does everything him/herself. Therefore there is no "collectivism versus capitalism." The battle is between private governorship of collectives or some kind of republican and democratic forms. There is a range of involvement from pure democracy where nothing gets done unless everyone agrees, to some kind of hierarchy.

Republican and Democratic principles versus Tyranny

Businesses work best when they pay attention to republican and democratic principles. It is probably right to disparage purely collective decision making because that only works on a very very small scale. When scaling up to a Republic or some kind of federation you need a certain amount of hierarchy. But in any case large organizations are collective organization. This is definitional

Governing Collectives

A collective organization is can be governed democratically, oligarchically, or as a tyranny. We get sold "individual" enterprise as free enterprise. But unless Zuckerberg is the only run involved in facebook, he's managing a collective. An enterprise solely owned it is solely owned by a single person backed by a hierarchy is "monarchy" or "tyranny," by definition. If someone has a hundred or 100,000 employees, it doesn't matter. Ownership is government, enabled by legal documents registered with a court. If government turns into simple arbitrary ownership, that is usually bad government. Dictators make themselves extremely wealthy. In some cases they own their country and make themselves monarchs. "Capitalism" is often a problematical term that confuses the organization of productive property with some kind of governing system.

Privateering Versus Capitalism

For those reasons I no longer refer to predatory "capitalism" as capitalism. I call it privateering. Privateering is the conversion of government into private hands. Profiteering, legal piracy, Private warfare, modern corporate raiders, grifting and grafting, are all modern forms of privateering. Thus the issue is not capitalism versus democracy or socialism, but pirates versus common good, using propaganda and legal tricks to make their thefts perfectly legal. Privateers seek private separate power and advantage. That is tyranny, not a virtue.

What Capital is not

Not all wealth is capital.

  • Loot is not capital. It was stolen from someone and not produced by the person who stole it.
  • Coal, oil, gas, while still in the ground, is not yet capital. It is nature's bounty. The product of long dead trees and plants, and belongs to God, or nature. Claims on it are more like to loot than to capital.
  • Solar panels are capital. The tunnels dug or pipes put in the ground to get at coal or gas are capital.
  • Money invested in capital is working. Money to purchase property is derivative of capital.

The “Proper Social Function” Lane

When we are talking about nature's bounty or of goods and services that don't fit into a market mold, we are talking about goods and services that don't fit a pure capital mode. We call such goods “social Goods” because they are a “proper social function,” this is a social lane. In modern times it gets labeled socialism, but they are social goods whether or not they are controlled by the people as a whole or governed by rich people.

Public and Private Goods

When public goods, like parks, farms, and similar are handed over to private hands they are usually turned into gated club goods. A formerly non-rival good, by excluding people from using it becomes a gated good. Those with the resources to trade for the good get access to it, others are excluded. This creates market failure. Markets only work when the goods sold are non-rival (nobody hurt by purchase, plenty of hamburgers or cookies for example) and non-exclusive (meaning anyone can buy and sell in the market). Monopoly puts vital goods in the hands one one or a small number more people, who then can extract tolls from their access.

Public versus Private good

Vital social goods; food, medicine, health care, communications, transport, can be distributed through markets, but unless the markets enforce access, transparent information and resourcing for all actors, monopolists will turn them into gated goods, forcing artificial rivalries and excluding access arbitrarily. A free market is a creation not an accident. Some markets are never free. Hospitals, emergency services, and infrastructure, either belong to all the people or they risk being artificially gated or rivalrous goods where competition is life or death and resources extracted in the exchange. Example is when companies can buy drug patents and then raise prices to insane levels. Those are not free markets.

More:

The “Capitalism” Lane

The capitalism lane is what can be bought or sold in a market, justly. A good is in the lane of markets if:

  • The buyer and seller can refuse individual sales [no coercion]
  • There are real alternative buyers and sellers
  • There aren't significant barriers to others entering the market as buyers and sellers

Things that have those three attributes are in the capitalist lane. The social goods lane can also have capitalists involved and use markets, but if they do:

  • The presence of coercion means that either buyer or seller is denied a fair price for their goods or even unjustly denied access.
  • The presence of monopoly (complete or partial) means power of coercion due to lack of alternative buyers and sellers.
  • Barriers to becoming buyers or sellers means that the market is failing to reach or serve all persons in a society or collection of societies.

The kinds of goods described in Henry George's comments in 1890 were very profitable, because they could be governed by monopolists and denied to those not willing or able to pay an obviously inflated price, or in the case of monopsony, not sellers denied sales unless they pay an artificially low price. HG was describing market failure and social goods. It is not socialism when social goods are under governorship or at least control of the people as a whole through their representatives. It is monopoly capitalism, and privateering.

More information

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Election Judges should be Judicial Officials

The key to improving democratic systems world wide is the realization that elections are such a vital function in any democracy with parliamentary, republican and democratic features; that the following republican principles need to be applied:

Separation of Powers
Fair Judicial process requires separate Judge, Jury and executive functions
These functions are needed to ensure fairness
Neutral Judges
  • Elections require a neutral election judge.
  • Electing Partisan hacks by misapplying the principle of majority rule fails with judges.
  • Judges must be non-partisan, neutral, and ensure the process is administered justly.
  • Therefore, Judges should be appointed for long terms (life works),
  • Judges should be barred from outside income except teaching, and lectures to non-partisan groups
  • And Election Judges should be Judges, barred from running for partisan office.
  • Election Judges should have Juries!
  • Jury like structures should be responsible for overseeing the election along with the Judge and representatives of the election factions.
  • Jury like panel structures are necessary to vett candidates and elected officers.
  • Elected Officers should be subject to performance reviews at the end of term!
  • Investigators should be empowered and required to compel document discovery, testimony and perform accounting reviews of the officers performance.
  • The Sessions should be carried live unless a matter is determined sensitive and out of scope.
  • That material should then be provided to a review panel, reporters and made available to voters.
  • Separate panels should moderate forums, debates and review sessions of candidates.
  • Imagine if candidate promises were under oath? Do you think they'd break them so easy?

    Discussion

    If there is one thing that current events show is that there is severe risk in vesting control over justice in the Political Executive. Donald Trump is not the first executive to abuse his powers with the judiciary. On a process level no person should ever have judicial, executive or legislative powers over their own case. It is appropriate that officials have "informal" adjudication powers, but not when it is a case that concerns themselves. It is never appropriate that formal adjudication should ever effectively involve interested parties except as defendants or plaintiffs. Some of these principles were written into law, though we are seeing the laws involved are inadequate.

    Juries ARE Democracy

    Judges are an elite role. The reason US elections require juries, is that without them, judges are tempted to make themselves nobility, behave in a self interested fashion. Juries are there to ensure non-partisan, justice. They have the power to resist venal, partisan or corrupt judges.

    Judicial judges aren't always non-partisan or just. They can apply the law using sophistry or worse, if they are getting outside income or are part of a faction by wealth or interest. When that happens Justice remains the subject but the product is injustice. Juries are genuine democracy. Ordinary people are drafted to step up and speak for the people of the community. They can check such judges.

    Even Worse with Election Judges

    On those principles, it is absurdly bad process, not to mention corrupt, that election judges should ever be the election judge while they are in the running for office. It is like the town Sheriff being also the town judge and being also the only defense lawyer. It is a travesty of justice, unjust, for election officials to represent a political party as election judge, run for office while working as election judge, or seeking any elected post other than election judge while or after serving as election judge in the same jurisdiction. This is such an obvious bit of corruption that the remedy should have been in law long ago.

    And like with jury trials, all the factions in the election should have a say in picking the members of the Election Jury.

    But there is an even Deeper Level

    In elections, we rely on investigative reporters and the partisan system to vett candidates. This rarely works as intended. Candidates don't always tell the truth. Candidates can use money and influence to hide information from the electorate, or to push out false information that blocks people from voting for their opponents. When any one party has a monopoly over the election, the temptation to cheat is going to be there. Changing the officers doesn't change the temptations. Making elections a Judicial function opens elections to checks and balances that a purely bureaucratic or partisan process can't supply.

    Better Vetting

    The usual remedies for that involve transparency, competition, open access to both the ruling party and the loyal opposition as vehicles for getting out information. During elections debates, town halls, etc... allow some proper vetting. But they don't always work. With a formal process both parties have a voice, a judge is expected to enforce "truth and nothing but the truth" and a Jury, made up of neutral people from all factions, can keep an eye on reporters, activists, Judge and other officials!

    Election Judging requires Judge, Jury, prosecutor and defense

    When I discovered the ancient principles of Euthenia and Dokimasia (vetting and scrutiny) were used by the Athenians, I saw they were using a judicial process. The exact methods they used, don't apply in our day. But the principles do. We need two structures to protect our system. It turns out that we need precisely a judicial process to manage elections.

    • End of Term Accounting
    • Election Vetting

    End of Term Accounting Scrutiny

    Every Elected Officer should face an end of term accounting Scrutiny. If a private person works for a private company, the owners do a performance review, periodically. We the people should do an end of term accounting review of every officer. This should be mandatory, not voluntary, and run in a quasi Judicial manner. A Kind of Jury should be assembled, more like a Grand Jury than a trial Jury. Professional investigators, preferably a mix of police type investigators and journalists should have the right to pour through their records under the supervision of an election judge, who is more a Judge than simply running an election. The results would get presented to a panel selected from the jury pool. Representatives of the person would defend or direct prosecution of the information. All would be sworn to secrecy, but the result of the investigation would be a public report of the relevant facts, not an indictment. The panel would be able to take testimony under oath and if it were found that the people testifying lied they could be referred to a grand jury. The results would be available to the public. The officer would be judged based on his/her job description, promises made and promises kept.

    Election Vetting Scrutiny

    Similar panels would be convened for elections. Again the panels would have ordinary citizens, journalists and investigators, led by a Judge and representatives of the candidates. Accounting Vetting material would be available to them. This time they would manage debates, ask questions, get candidates on the record, and oversee the election. The panel in this case would have the duty to make sure voters are informed, are enabled to vote and that their votes are cast and counted. They would have a duty to be as neutral and factual as possible.

    Power of the People

    Scrutiny is important. Too many people think their power in their office is only tangentally derived from the people who elect them. Making Elections governed by people forced to act like they are on a jury would fulfil the promise of why we call election official "election judges."

    Empowering and Resourcing the Press

    The interface between elections and the people should be a press, with cameras (including video), recordings and on hand listening and participating in the vetting and scrutiny. Establishing a process such as that should provide jobs for reporters and ensure that local government has a free press.

    Tuesday, September 10, 2019

    Arms Reform And Militia

    We are seeing mass murder, almost on daily basis. Much of it perpetrated by ideologues or angry men. What to do about it? Establishment Alternatives include:
    • Bring back the Brady bill, adding a prohibition on oversized magazines and “converter kits”.
    • Red Flag laws –> beef up the background check system and authorize courts to issue orders allowing police to temporarily confiscate firearms from a person deemed by a judge as posing a risk of violence.
    • Improve and fund the background check system.
    I think a further, and common sense regulation would segue off Article 2 Section 8 of the Constitution and the Second Amendment directly. That would be a programic change to expand the National Guard to provide community reserve armories to arm people for emergencies, not with guns alone but with reserve medical, rescue and relief supplies. Those armories would be tied to local police, adult training, would have gun ranges for fire-arms training and practice, and train people in emergency response. They would be run by US Reservists in collaboration with the State and local PDs and SDs.
    I think our problem as a society is that people feel left out of the political discourse. The purpose of the Second Amendment wasn’t an individual right to carry around weapons, but a right of individuals to participate in defending their homes from threats and emergencies. Fire Departments, Rescue and Emergency Response personnel, all are as much “militia” as police and troopers, as all of those capabilities developed from jobs that were originally those of volunteer militia. If police and fire come from the neighborhoods they serve they can do their jobs as intended without being perceived as invaders or “standing armies.”

    If people want to own and use military grade weapons, the regulation can require them to keep those weapons with the local armory. If they want to keep a weapon for self defense they should be required to check that weapon out of the armory and provide sufficient security to prevent it falling into the wrong hands.

    Monday, September 9, 2019

    Article 9 – Misappropriation of Funds

    Donald J. Trump, in his perfidious effort to build a vanity wall along the border, and in pursuit of goals not justified in legislation has misused his emergency powers and misappropriated funds in order to fund and build detention camps and his wall and fund his concentration camps. [Draft]

    Violations of Statutes

    31 U.S. Code § 1301. Application

    1. Appropriations shall be applied only to the objects for which the appropriations were made except as otherwise provided by law.
    2. The reappropriation and diversion of the unexpended balance of an appropriation for a purpose other than that for which the appropriation originally was made shall be construed and accounted for as a new appropriation. The unexpended balance shall be reduced by the amount to be diverted.
    3. An appropriation in a regular, annual appropriation law may be construed to be permanent or available continuously only if the appropriation—
    1. is for rivers and harbors, lighthouses, public buildings, or the pay of the Navy and Marine Corps; or
    2. expressly provides that it is available after the fiscal year covered by the law in which it appears.
    1. A law may be construed to make an appropriation out of the Treasury or to authorize making a contract for the payment of money in excess of an appropriation only if the law specifically states that an appropriation is made or that such a contract may be made.

    The Donald J Trump Admin have claimed that they are authorized to misapply these funds based on their invocation of Emergency powers:

    Sec. 601. Declaration of policy (42 U.S.C. 5195)

    The purpose of this title is to provide a system of emergency preparedness for the protection of life and property in the United States from hazards and to vest responsibility for emergency preparedness jointly in the Federal Government and the States and their political subdivisions. The Congress recognizes that the organizational structure established jointly by the Federal Government and the States and their political subdivisions for emergency preparedness purposes can be effectively utilized to provide relief and assistance to people in areas of the United States struck by a hazard. The Federal Government shall provide necessary direction, coordination, and guidance, and shall provide necessary assistance, as authorized in this title so that a comprehensive emergency preparedness system exists for all hazards.

    Sec. 626. Authorization of Appropriation and Transfers of Funds (42 U.S.C. 5197e) (a) Authorization of Appropriations - There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this title. (b) Transfer Authority - Funds made available for the purposes of this title may be allocated or transferred for any of the purposes of this title, with the approval of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, to any agency or government corporation designated to assist in carrying out this title. Each such allocation or transfer shall be reported in full detail to the Congress within 30 days after such allocation or transfer. [page 80]
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/31/1301
    https:/c/www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1519395888776-af5f95a1a9237302af7e3fd5b0d07d71/StaffordAct.pdf
    https://www.scotusblog.com/2019/07/justices-allow-government-to-go-ahead-with-funding-for-border-wall/

    Tuesday, September 3, 2019

    Article 6 – Corruption and Bringing corrupt officers into his administration

    Article 6 – Corruption; Bringing a corrupt regime to government with corrupt officers.

    Donald J trump has used his Corrupt Trump Organization to enrich himself once in office, using extortion and blackmail to silence critics, lying to Congress to cover up those violations and hiring corrupt lieutenants and officers to protect him or to help him engage in corrupt practices. These are the kinds of crimes that call into question the very continuation of our republic as a well run Federation with Democratic controls on the three branches. The president has abused his power, violated the emoluments clause, in order to engage in corrupt behavior himself. He also has brought in a corrupt organization of lieutenants who have likewise abused their power.

    Article 7 – Systematic Obstruction of Justice

    *note someone else created this meme. I'm using it without permission only because I don't know who created it. It cites where they got it from. I use it because it summarizes what is in the report.

    This is a mock up of how, if I were a congressperson, I'd word an article of Impeachment.

    Article 3 – Fraud: Abused his Trust as President by continual lies and frauds

    Article 3: – Fraud: Abused his Trust as President by continual lies and frauds

    [Draft]

    Trump, since before assuming his office, has shown continual contempt for the laws and traditions of the United States, which he has expressed by continual lies and misrepresentations. Vanity Fair counted at least 9,179 (Vanity Fair) by March 2019, the current count is over 10,000+ whoppers since taking the oath of office. While many of these lies are legal, some of them are illegal, many misdemeanors, some point to felonies.

    We hold him in contempt of Congress for the lies, but the ones that are crimes represent potential for corruption, a corrupting influence on the rest of the country and unless he is held to account he and others will continue to violate law and standards of proof.

    Summary

    • Lying about the path of Hurricane Dorian. On September 1st he claimed that Dorian might hit Alabama, which was erroneous. When confronted with that lie, he doubled down and on September 4th he presented a doctored weather map showing a sharpied in circle over Alabama, which was added. The mistake was something anyone can make, but he insists he never made a mistake. This is a misdemeanor. 18 U.S. Code § 2074. False weather reports
    • “Whoever knowingly issues or publishes any counterfeit weather forecast or warning of weather conditions falsely representing such forecast or warning to have been issued or published by the Weather Bureau, United States Signal Service, or other branch of the Government service, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ninety days, or both.”
    • Financial Fraud lies

    Article 4 – USC30121: Election Campaign Violations

    Article 4 – USC30121: Illegal Election campaign contributions and working with foreign powers to win election

    Statement of Offense

    Donald J. Trump, even before becoming President of the United States operating as a criminal enterprise and committed election law violations and corrupt actions in contempt of law and ethical standards. He has solicited, taken and profited from aid, "things of value", from foreign governments. He has sought and taken contributions to his campaigns from foreign powers since he was candidate Donald Trump.

    Sought and accepted assistance from the Russians in getting "dirt on Hillary Clinton"
    Has purged counter-intelligence, law enforcement and other personnel from the office to protect foreign powers.

    Article 8 – Stonewalling and Misuse of Executive Privilege

    Donald J. Trump in his role as President, his Attorney General William P. Barr, are asserting dictatorial powers by asserting the doctrine of "unitary executive", by their misuse of executive privileges and emergency powers.

    Complaint

    This administration has refused to cooperate with Congress, respect the laws of the United States or the separation of powers, specifically, congresses power over the purse. Trump has stonewalled Congressional efforts to get information from his officers, barred his lieutenants from testifying on matters within the scope of the House's oversight functions, and claimed a fictitious version of Executive privilege to justify this stonewalling and lack of cooperation. As a consequence he has obstructed justice, diverted funds from their intended use, and broken a number of laws. More importantly he is usurping powers reserved to the legislature and asserting dictatorial powers by doing these things.

    Thursday, August 8, 2019

    Article 1 – Willful failure to respect the Constitution and rule of law

    Article 1 – Willful failure to respect the Constitution and rule of Law

    Executive Summary

    We hold that Donald J. Trump, his principle officers and supporters have not only failed to faithfully execute the laws of the country and the strictures and requirements of the Constitution but they have used their offices to commit the high misdemeanor of promoting bigotry and hate against immigrants, muslims, people from our southern neighbors and other countries. We hold that, as stated in an article of impeachment introduced in 2018 that:

    “In his capacity as President of the United States, unmindful of the high duties of his high office, of the dignity and proprieties thereof, and of the harmony, and respect necessary for stability within the society of the United States, Donald John Trump has with his bigoted statements done more than simply insult individuals and groups of Americans, he has harmed the American society by attempting to convert, or converting, his bigoted statements into United States policy and by associating the presidency and the people of the United States with bigotry, violence and abuses of power, on one or more of the following occasions:”

    Wednesday, August 7, 2019

    Pirates Versus the Commons

    Privateering Versus the Commons

    An essay in Scientific American titled: The tragedy of the tragedy of the commons, debunks a seminal article that claimed that the obstacle to progress was “the tragedy of the commons” Unfortunately, as the article by By Matto Mildenberger on April 23, 2019 explains:

    “The man who wrote one of environmentalism’s most-cited essays was a racist, eugenicist, nativist and Islamaphobe—plus his argument was wrong.” [Scientific American Article]

    Monday, August 5, 2019

    Article 2: – Perfidy:Donald Trump's cruel abuse of Power, engaging in Cruel and Genocidal Actions

    Article 2: – Perfidy:Donald Trump's cruel abuse of Power, engaging in Cruel and Genocidal Actions

    Donald J. Trump, in his capacity as President of the United States, unmindful of his duties and responsibilities has engaged in illegal, extra-legal and genocidal behavior. This behavior violates international law and norms, US law, and has resulted in numerous deaths and harm to persons in his trust. Donald John Trump has escalated from the racist and bigoted speech, threats and incitement of his first few years into efforts to build concentration camps for immigrants, asylum seekers and to begin to build the infrastructure needed to commit genocide and ethnic cleansing.

    Criminal and Unconstitutional Actions

    In his efforts to end what he calls “chain migration”

    • separated parents from children,
    • indefinitely detained people not even charged yet, with misdemeanor border crossing.
    • indefinitely detained asylum seekers who previously would have been released to family.
    • separated children from their parents in order to deem their children as abandoned.
    • Closed legal crossings thereby causing the death of migrants forced to either wait at the border or to perilously cross deserts and rivers.
    • Endangered people in his custody via over-crowding, indefinite detention and cruel treatment.
    • Caused the unnecessary deaths of migrants and children of migrants.
    • Detained US Citizens refusing to accept their proof of identification.
    • By these means he has violated laws requiring humane treatment of people in the custody of the United States.
    • Imposed a ban on Immigration from Muslim, African and other non-European countries.
    • Sought to revise general immigration law to deny green cards to legitimate applicants.

    Tuesday, July 30, 2019

    Article 5 – Emoluments; Soliciting and Taking Emoluments in defiance of the Constitution.

    Article 5 – Emoluments; Soliciting and Taking Emoluments in defiance of the Constitution.

    https://www.citizensforethics.org/2000-trump-conflicts-of-interest-counting/

    Donald J. Trump and his family have displayed a contempt for his office by his actions and inactions. He has shown a flagrant disregard for the emoluments clause and and the rules and laws that Presidents are supposed to abide by.

    Tuesday, July 23, 2019

    Privateering Versus Pirates

    Introduction – Privateers vs Pirates

    When we think of pirates we picture them with eye patches, bandanas or fancy head-dresses, but pirates are anyone who uses property without the permission of its rightful owners. Privateers are pirates who use war and the political system to make their thefts, usurpations and conversions legal. That broader definition has been used since the beginning. Piracy is in the eye of the Beholder.

    When we think of pirates we picture them with eye patches, bandanas and at sea. But the word buccaneer comes from people raising cattle and making leather. While a pirate is a thief who sails the seas. Brigand is a pirate but also a generic term for a thief who can be on land. Pirates and thieves are outlaws -- unless they have a permit to steal. Then they are called privateers.

    Pirates and privateers have operated in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, the black sea, the Caspian, the Baltic Sea, the Atlantic, Pacific, every ocean and many lakes around the world.

    Pirates and privateers engage in private warfare. The term when that private warfare is conducted on land is "filibustering." A Filibusterer was a soldier in a private army operating on land. Sometimes they were also mercenaries -- who are soldiers who work for a private force. Piracy and privateering have always been a feature of war and conflict. From:

    • the Ancient Trojans, who waged piracy in the Mediterranean, to the Greeks, who were rival pirates who destroyed Troy
    • From Rome and the Carthagians to the Vandals and other German invaders,
    • From the Angles, Saxons and Jutes who plagued both sides of the English Channel til they settled in Britain,
    • From the Vikings who waged war with the Christian Kingdoms who had attacked them
    • To the Normans who once again sailed the Mediterranean as well as conquering Britain -- as Christians
    • And of course the Barbary Pirates, Arabs, Malays, Japanese, Chinese and other coastal people -- all pirates
    • And now the Americans.

    Pirates in Fiction and Reality

    In Pirates of the Caribbean, it looks like the Pirates are fighting the British Navy, but they really were fighting the East India Company, which was a rival pirate gang, but perfectly legal. Ironically, our revolution started as a fight against the East India Company too. The "Tea Parties" were about a Government sanctioned effort to take over and monopolize the tea trade by putting competitors out of business with artificially low prices on British carried tea, and taxes on American Ships. There is some evidence that the first American colonies were founded as pirate refuges.

    Piracy and land hunger go together. The Saxons who invaded in Britain were hungry for farms. The Vikings were hungry for land. The settlers of the Americas from Eurasia, were property hungry; land, loot, slaves, wealth, likewise. Privateering is about acquiring property.

    No real distinction between pirate and privateer

    The distinction between privateers and pirates has always been a parsed legal one. American "filibusters", like the Walkers, Texans, Jacksons, etc.... were considered pirates by the Spanish speaking people they plagued. The privateer may have a legal permit from his own country --> but he is waging war and war is violent and illegal in the fundamental moral sense. from the Point of view of the people we were attacking.

    Pirates, profiteers, and the industries who inherit their traditions, may be perfectly legal, but they are amoral to immoral buzzards who violate norms and do things that ought to be illegal

    Privateering companies are no better than pirate fleets, except they are somewhat constrained by laws. When they engage in theft, smuggling, private warfare, as part of a war or under some legal permit. So when the Government says that theft is legal, it is privateering. When people don't bother to get "clothed in the law" and engage in naked robbery of some kind, it is piracy. Privateers get to hang pirates.

    Modern Pirates

    I see Privateering as an ideology. I explained in a post first written in 2014:

    An Ideology of Privateering

    Thus, modern pirates are people who sell copies of movies or songs without paying royalties to their legal owners. Modern privateers setup abusive contracts to acquire such ownership. Thus modern pirates are usually dressed in fancy Armani or other well tailored suites, carry portfolios and have degrees from classy law schools, and are legally privateers not pirates. The victims, on the other hand, may have actually written the song they are charged with piracy for using. An abusive contract can take ownership of things like authorship, that no person can really sell, since selling the rights to a work doesn't change who wrote it. But modern pirates don't usually have peg legs anymore. It is much safer to bribe a judge or pay a legislator to change the law.

    The Pirates and the Privateers of Music

    For example in our system if one reproduces music without the permission of the corporate owner, even if you were the author. You are a pirate. The USA constitution gives people rights to inventions and writings for limited times for the purpose of stimulating commerce. Privateers lobbied to expand the time patents and copyrights operate long enough so they become virtual titles of nobility. Intellectual property, if it existed, should be the property of the inventor. Under the power of corrupt lobbying and influence pedaling, intellectual property becomes a rental property of giant conglomerates and wealthy individuals. No longer a connection to invention and no longer a limited right with a limited term. That is who privateering works.

    Most of us are used to them the way someone gets used to living in a pig-sty. This post is about some alternatives. But first we have to identify the real pirates.

    The biggest pirates have usually dressed better than the drifters and thieves that get labeled as pirates. If they aren't lawyers they can afford them. Worse, they can usually afford (or are) politicians. They can write the law. The term for this was "privateer" in the past. Modern Letter of Marquees come in the form of Corporate Charters or their ability to acquire patents, trade-marks, copyrights, from the creators. Modern pirates hang the hapless as pirates. They are known to sue and take the money of artists who made the mistake of selling their original work to them. That the original work belongs to them by basic right and can't be sold legitimately, doesn't matter to the pirates. They write the laws. They are privateers.

    Privateering is the right word because it is when the government grants a right of private government to an individual or hierarchy bound by contract [corporation]. Privateering is based on privatizing basic public function and enables profiteering, private warfare, smuggling, swindle and theft, all perfectly legal because the law has been modified to make it so.

    This post is about privateering and the money power. The subject is frequently distorted by cultlike arguments, but the reality is that our system of inequality, of periodic economic failure, is based on grifting and cons that depend on privatized money.

    Of course the most lucrative way to loot everyone, is to issue privatized money. Whether it is bit coin or fly by night banks, the goal is the same, to legally counterfeit money! Letting Wall street or private Pirates using banks to coin money as debt is an economy wrecker and that is the subject of this post.

    This follows the historical introduction in:
    An Ideology of Private Banking
    And:
    Privateering Smuggling and Piracy

    Thursday, July 18, 2019

    Trump, Epstein, Pedophiles and RICO

    I Expect [Personal] Loyalty

    If you haven't read the Mueller Report. Read it here. This is Comic Book format and easy on the eyes:

    The kind of loyalty Trump expects, demands and punishes if not given, is personal loyalty. And this is is the behavior of a mob boss. Read the report here:

    https://www.insider.com/mueller-report-rewritten-trump-russia-mark-bowden-archer-2019-7

    Saturday, July 13, 2019

    Ending Gerrymandering

    Gerrymandering is wrong. This year, SCOTUS, decided to chicken out on dealing with the problem. They acknowledge that Gerrymandering is bad politics, unjust politics and a terrible thing. But they tell society they can't fix it. Justice Kagan wrote a powerful dissent on the subject:

    “For the first time ever, this Court refuses to remedy a constitutional violation because it thinks the task beyond judicial capabilities,” [SCOTUS]

    If a problem is beyond judicial solution, that indicates bad design.

    “And not just any constitutional violation. The partisan gerrymanders in these cases deprived citizens of the most fundamental of their constitutional rights: the rights to participate equally in the political process, to join with others to advance political beliefs, and to choose their political representatives.” [SCOTUS]

    Gerrymandering is also corruption.

    “These gerrymanders enabled politicians to entrench themselves in office as against voters’ preferences.” [SCOTUS]

    Thursday, June 27, 2019

    15 years of perversity

    It's hard to believe it's been 15 years! 15 years ago I was blogging about Abu Gharaib and Torture. 15 years later and none of the perps, except the useful idiot reservists who were caught on camera, and a Reservist General who had been frozen out of supervision, have been punished. On the contrary, the perps from them are in the Trump admin! Anyway what I was writing then is as true then as now. And the fact that nobody was punished is part of the lead in for why this is an issue now. Indeed the David Cole article I cited then contains a warning for now:

    “history suggests that what the government does to foreigners in the name of national security it will ultimately do to citizens as well. The Palmer Raids were directed at foreigners, but their architect, a young Justice Department lawyer named J. Edgar Hoover, was not content to stop there. He devoted his career to seeking out ways to extend those tactics to citizens, and in the McCarthy era, he succeeded. In fact, every significant form of political repression that the government has used against citizens began as an anti-alien measure.” [No More Roundups/WaPo]

    In this day of Donald Trump, where we still haven't even rectified the abuses we committed against Muslim immigrants 15 years ago, this is a current issue and real threat to all of us.

    Torture I
    Torture II
    Humility and Pervisity

    Good Bye Ray Charles

    Written June 11, 2004

    Goodbye Ray Charles, I hear your sound,
    it is a a sad day, that you re not around.
    Your music moved me, your vision spoke to me,
    I’ll play your tunes, and sing a prayer for you,
    No dirge will it be, though into the night.
     
    I hear your vision, I see your sound,
    It will be sad, when you are not around,
    But your spirit endures, and may it continue,
    rolling down the keyboard, belting out tunes,
    for many more years, deathless and bright.
     
    Goodbye Ray Charles, I sing you farewell,
    No blind man died, no vision was lost,
    I shed no tears, I heard your vision.
    You touched the keys to my heart,
    I’m privileged to have known you,
    Your piano rocking on in the endless night.
     
    Chris

    Note: I had to add a little

    From: https://fraughtwithperil.com/cholte/2004/06/11/goodbye-ray-charles/

    Wednesday, June 26, 2019

    Impeachment Articles

    The Trump administration is accused of many crimes.

    List of Article Subjects

    Each of these articles should have multiple counts when completed, along with a statement of why those are criminal and/or impeachable. Each Article should describe:

    A. Criminal or constitutionally abusive Actions.
    B. Evidence of Criminal, lawless or abusive ongoing Intent.
    C. Evidence of abuse of power and harm to individuals or country.
    D. Description of the laws or constitutional requirements violated.
    E. Remedy for these violations.
    Each Article should provide:

    Summary list

    1. Trump Organization Criminal Behavior in using the Corrupt Trump Organization to commit Campaign Violations, using extortion and blackmail to silence critics, and lying to Congress to cover up those violations.
    2. Incapacity/Negligence: He has failed to execute faithfully the laws of the country.
    3. Perfidy: Abused his power in cruel and Genocidal manner.
    4. Fraud: Abused the Trust of his Voters by continual lies and frauds.
    5. Violating Spirit of USC 30121: Solicited illegal contributions of propaganda and interference from foreign nationals and governments alike. Defending and encouraging these purveyors of propaganda and their assaults on our system of elections.
    6. Emoluments: Sought emoluments from Citizens, Foreign persons and Citizens and engaged in policies that reflect those emoluments and not the best interests of the Country.
    7. Corruption: Created a culture of corruption and abuse of power in his administration.
    8. Obstructing of Justice detailed in the Mueller Report
    9. Continual Obstruction of Justice via stonewalling and misuse of Executive Privilege to obstruct congress.

    I'm going to move the individual articles to separate posts. and then this page will have references to them. This is too much for a single post.

    Saturday, June 15, 2019

    Worst US-AGs

    Worst Attorney Generals

    We've had a lot of bad attorney Generals. From the very beginning of the Country there have been rotten eggs in the white-house. Not usually the President himself but none of our Presidents have been saints and some of them were real sinners.

    1. John Mitchell
    2. Barr
    3. Edwin Meese
    4. Gonzales
    5. Taney
    6. Alexander Mitchell Palmer
    7. Harry M. Daugherty
    8. McReynolds
    9. The Hapless and the good ones:
    10. Kleindienst

    I created this post a while ago and it's been draft too long. So I'm putting this out. It is still in draft form and I may add and remove names, and definitely will add references and pictures.

    Tuesday, June 4, 2019

    Trump Got His Chaika!

    Separated At Birth?

    Trump, in Bill Barr, got his "Chaika"/Roy Cohn type of prosecutor general to replace the role of Attorney General. He wants this because it is who trump is. Anyone who knows him knows that Trump habitually abuses power using the law. He is famous for three things:

    “First he flatters you;”
    “then he bullies you;”
    “then he sues you;” – Only now he can do what he really wants to do, he investigates you and tries to put you on trial!

    Which is why he wanted his own Chaika

    AND HE GOT HIM in William P. Barr!

    Corruption at the Center fails

    Anthony Kennedy “retired” under suspicious circumstances. He was replaced with Justice Brett Kavanaugh, despite credible “partisan” labeled opposition, that he had sexually assaulted women at least 2 women during his “youth” and had at least “83 ethics complaints” filed against him during his his time as lower court judge. The evidence suggests that "Bart" Kavanaugh was appointed, in part, due to his RW Catholic Conservatism, anti-abortion stances, but also due to his personal relationship with Anthony Kennedy! Like other so-called “moderates” Kennedy proved to not really care about stare decisis or noble principles of law as much as emoluments and social influence. This was underlined recently in an appearance the two gave jointly at a Seventh Circuit judicial conference in a question-and-answer format moderated by Chief Judge Diane Wood, reported on by "Above the Law." They report him saying:

    “I see technology straining our traditional understandings of speech, of privacy and of war in a way that’s going to be a huge challenge for our system of separation of powers, and a huge challenge for all of us as judges and as citizens”["ATL"]

    When Kavanaugh says that "modern technology" is at fault for an assault on “privacy” he seems to be thinking of the privacy with which privileged people can make decisions to rob workers or engage in unethical behavior with impunity. That is why Mystal says' he probably is not on the side of the issue that he implies he is.

    Elie Mystal, reports that that “creeps him out.” It creeps me out too. The reason is that tyrants always blame some strawman for their decisions to exercise arbitrary power and censor critics and Kavanaugh was blaming modern technology for giving the President powers to “wage cyber war” online. If the Congress and Courts cede power to the executive, as RW conservative activists like Kavanaugh and Barr have done, then a ruthless and unethical President will use that power ruthlessly. He is right to be concerned about such power. Elie Mystal is right to be concerned about whether he is will be any check on a President who shares his corruption and ideological view.

    Kennedy

    Anthony Kennedy, on the other hand, is obtusely in denial about what is wrong. At the conference Judge Gary Feinerman, an Obama appointee who clerked for Justice Kennedy alongside Justice Kavanaugh. asked him:

    “What do you see as the source of what’s currently plaguing our society” ["ATL"]

    Kennedy is in denial because he specifically denied the role of money, access, emoluments, job offers and the improper access and influence they buy in his Citizens United Case. And he compounded that error in rejecting a 100 year body of evidence in the Montana Case:

    So when Feinerman asked him:

    “what do you see as the solution?” asked U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman, ["ATL"]

    That obtuse blindness reared its head. Kennedy has no solution. Because he already sabotaged one solution, reasonable restrictions on bribery and corruption.

    When Kennedy talks about "civility" he is missing the point that civility requires a virtuous civil system that involves self moderation by officers of the law, officials and leaders of all kinds. Loss of civility is a symptom not an underlying issue. When people no longer believe that their civil servants serve them, they lose respect for the system. When someone uses his position to influence where his children work so they can become filthy rich, that is what damages "civility." People see that and are offended. People who would respect the courts, lose that respect. Raw power can't restore that respect. Only justice can.

    “I don’t know, Gary,” Justice Kennedy said. ["ATL"]

    Of course Justice Kennedy doesn't have an answer. His citizens United decision denied the problem and thus exacerbated it. If you can't diagnose the problem you focus on symptoms. Our democracy is in trouble due to the corrupt influence of money and power over resources and access to those resources. If you don't have a virtuous government, then raw power rules. When raw power rules elites manipulate mobs and republican democratic forms are replaced with their corrupt counterfeits. So he blames democracy:

    “We’re still too overconfident that democracy can survive without conscious effort. But that’s not true.” ["ATL"]

    Democracy won't survive with corrupt judges and concentrated raw power. It won't survive if officials aren't held accountable for their deeds and judges label bribes as free speech. Elie's article drips with a certain amount of justified contempt. He ends his post in a rant, which deflects from a valid central point. Those two are blind to the actual causality of what is going wrong. Looking to them for wisdom is a waste of time. At it's heart the problem is a three fingered thing, and the tyranny of courts and tyrants was defined by John Locke in his two treatises:

    I'm looking at them for lessons to learn about what not to do, in order to give some ideas about what we can do.

    Above the law:
    https://abovethelaw.com/2019/05/brett-kavanaugh-anthony-kennedy-rehabilitation-insult/

    Monday, June 3, 2019

    Commitment

    Today we committed my mom to the Columbarium at the Naval Academy. As the Chaplain said "she may not have served in the service directly, but as “wife of” she served her country. My mom now has her ashes box sitting on top of my Dad's ashes. A milestone in the lives of all her family, who are my family, has been reached. We had most of the various sub-clans of my family represented. My Sister Kathy, her son and her grandchildren & great grans. My sister Susan and her two daughters and also people she had helped. My Daughter, my Ex Wife and her husband. My Brother Carl and a representation of all his relatives. We are missing Andy, whose untimely death precipitated all this. We are missing her Sister Aunt Patty, Patricia Winters ne Carpenter. But we have my cousin Mike and his companion Robert. It was a bitter sweet moment. My Grandfather Truman E Carpenter is in the memorial to lost Naval Officers. He was class of 1932. He died in 1939 when my mom was 2. A part of my mom, my grandma, is connected to him and his loss at sea somewhere off the coast of California. My Dad was class of '55. My Mom married my Dad, today, in 1955.

    Good bye Mom And Dad

    For more see:
    https://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2019/03/sally-ann-holte-mom.html

    Saturday, June 1, 2019

    An Inquiry into Donald Trump

    Dear Speaker Pelosi and the House:

    You need a coordinated messaging strategy if you really want to hold Trump to Account. It is a fantasy that anything other than a well coordinated communications effort, will produce the desired results. There needs to be one message, per day, every day, that hammers out to the press the reality of this President.

    Congress needs to put someone in charge of, in lieu of “impeachment,” a “Trump Accountability Inquiry,” preferably under Jerry Nadler, to make sure that every day this effort produces testimony, evidence and information that can show up on nightly news and be broadcast nationwide. All your committee chairs can contribute to this, but it needs to be coordinated. I think that is what the TV pundits really need.

    When sufficient support is finally gained to have a formal Impeachment Inquiry that person can be chief clerk of the effort. I suggest it not be a member of congress but an intern under Representative Jerry Nadler's, yours, & maybe Clyburn's, supervision.

    Also, it would be worthwhile to impeach, or at least reprimand, Trump's criminal cabinet members and officers like Jared Kushner, William Barr, Mnuchin, etc.... Also we need to be investigating Trump's Judicial appointees.

    Details

    The House needs to consolidate it's hearings into Donald Trump and his administration. I can understand why they don't want to call it an impeachment inquiry, but the reality is that unless they package their hearings and messaging that messaging won't reach the general public. The real bar to impeachment is not the Republicans, but Fox news, Sinclair and short attention spans.

    Unless, the hearings can be productive, factual and easily understood, they will be less than fully effective. So, the suggestion? One person should keep a schedule, work with all the committees to arrange testimony and provide press releases and taped interviews/summaries, with the goal of a new summary message every day til January 2021 or Trump is impeached. Keep the messages to the facts.

    Get someone, each day, to give a speech summarizing the days allegations. Periodically, weekly?, get a member of congress to give a speech on Trump's criminality placing those allegations into the overall framework. Make sure every member of congress (House and Senates) gets these summaries and that they are sent to constituents. Make it like a newsletter. There are a lot of bloggers and journalists who could submit material. Some might want to be paid, but that is up to you.

    Just an idea.

    Suggested titles:
    Latest administration Impeachable Offenses ###
    Trump's Abuses of Power this Week ###
    Trump's latest Emoluments Crimes ###
    Latest evidence of Trump's Abuse of Power ###
    Russian Contacts, Business, Statements ###
    Trump's latest Border Outrages ###
    Trump's disregard for the law this week ###
    Progress in investigating Trump's Money Laundering
    Progress in Investigating Jered Kushner, Barr, others.

    Capital Goods – Capital yield

    Nearly everyone implicitly understands that money needs to be backed by something. Most Conservatives and cons feel that money should be backed by (or be) loot (tangible valuable portable goods). But in actual fact, due to a combination of factors, what they think of as "good money" is actually terribly poor quality money because of Gresham's law. [For more on this read my post: Gresham Law as a Tool of Regulation] People tend to hoard loot. The best money stimulates economic activity and supports economic exchange. But money has to be backed by something. It is credit. It is the credit of the entire country as a whole. Letting pirates privateer with that money is barbarous and piratical.

    Don't tax Capital Goods, Gains and Labor compensation

    More importantly, our tax system is backwards because the wealthy use sleight of hand language to confuse people and get laws passed that sound plausible but are harmful. Labor compensation is compensation for productive work. It is thus earned income and should not be taxed at all except perhaps to pay for general compensation (such as social security or Medicare/medicaid) that workers receive. Likewise actual capital goods and their yields should be deferred from taxation as long as they are in production.

    Don't eat the Seeds, Do eat the Fruit.

    Taxing labor compensation reduces people to poverty and can drive people out of the economy. Taxing capital goods and gains from them is like eating the seed corn just before planting time. Both taxes make everyone poorer. But taxing economic rent marginally makes everyone better off, including the rentiers as it stabilizes the economy and people's lives.

    Do Tax Unearned Economic Rent

    At the same time, economic rent derived from stocks, corporate ownership, land or privatized money, should be taxed progressively on marginal principles. In the case of money, taxing excessive unearned money income [usury or economic rent], is for the sake of regulating money.

    That things are backwards reflects propaganda and sloppy language. With clear logic we'd see how to protect family farms, small business and reduce the power of monopolies and incipient oligarchs.

    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.

    In Power

    Once in power, influence acquires force of law. Expect Trump to prosecute democrats and critics and to use such prosecutions to defame and tarnish the credibility of critics.

    • Political Prosecutions
    • "leaks" of dirt, lies, deep fakes and misinformation about opponents.
    • Funding, instigating and encouraging refocusing of criticism onto leading opponents. [Now happening with Pelosi].

    Most of this I heard in my head as I woke up as a kind of "lecture dream" [My subconscious talking to me] on 5/18/2019. I woke up hearing the rest today. 6/15/2019

    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.