My Blog List

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.