Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

State of the Bunion

January 21, 2015

Once a year, the “Commander In Chief” of the USA gives a “State of Union” speech, in front of the entire Congress of the USA (that’s the 500+ members of the House of Representatives plus the 100 Senators).

It is an enormous, deliberate propaganda show. It’s quite a bit like Disneyland. Selected guests and stars are in the audience. It’s set-up, Hollywood style: many are there to play a role, as if in a movie. They are actually in a movie, but it’s for real: as the President speaks, the cameras focus on the character in the “public” who he just mentioned. The character exhibits the emotion he, or she, is supposed to exhibit: a tear here, quiet satisfaction there, beaming, triumphant smile, here. The cameras pan expertly. If somedody fidgets, the camera is switched to another one, right away. Ms. Obama leaving for a second her plastic smile? The camera is switched again, until she has recovered her magazine cover plastified, happy, beaming look. Overall, everybody is supposed to exhibit astronomical pride and satisfaction in “America”.

On cue, every time the president finishes a paragraph in his discourse (known in advance and exhibited on TV screens), the audience rises, and applauds frantically. One feels as if one were in North Korea. Except, there, the “Commander In Chief” does not read his discourse off a teleprompter.

If one reads a text, one has still to understand it, enough to memorize it for the few seconds one needs to say it. No such a thing with a teleprompter. Understanding not required. If one substituted a discourse about bananas, Obama would probably go on that way for quite a while, and the audience would raise and applaud on cue, with rapt attention.

Only once in the whole show did Obama got off script, when Republicans applauded him, predictably, when he said he would not “run” again. He smirked, big time. There, for a few seconds, the President did not play the game of self-satisfied, deceptive, scripted lying. He showed his true inner self: this is all theater, and he showed more teeth than when he beamed smiles, but those teeth were in a snarl. Happily for his wealthy sponsors, he recovered his Presidential Persona, and plodded on…

Obama made the discourse he should have made 6 years ago, on wealthy individuals and corporations having to pay for the infrastructure of the USA, with more taxes. Then it was not safe to say it: We The People could have asked for more. Instead, then, under order advice from the plutocrats and their servants, Obama reduced taxes on the wealthiest, and even inverted the whole financing structure: the richest got trillions of help, as they had been stolen by their peers.

The people went back to work, as they had no choice.

Now it’s safe to propose to tax the rich, so Obama is doing so. There is not a snow ball in hell chance that the Republicans who own Congress will dare infuriate their financiers. Everybody in the know knows this, but the show is for those whose exercise routine consist into watching American football every week, on a wide screen TV.

Just yesterday, the Swiss “National”, announced that the collective presidency of Switzerland will have to be enlarged. Right now the collective presidency has seven members, with one more prominent for a year, giving a face to the Swiss presidency (as far as the rest of world is concerned). The Swiss have decided to become even more democratic.

Of course, the USA could not afford such a democratic system as a collective presidency. Who would personally order drone strikes against civilians? If seven persons were involved, one of them would be bound to disagree with collective, public assassination, and one, or actually many, would explain who was all for assassinating innocent civilians, etc.

Indeed the Swiss presidents have to explain themselves: they don’t have around them the security bubbles of French or American president. When the French president arrives somewhere, once all the security is in place, sometimes for hours, he is immediately preceded by a neatly dressed officer in magnificent uniform, with a red ribbon, carrying the case with the nuclear codes.

What’s astounding by European standards, during the State of the Union, is the ambiance, as America, the Myth, is been created for TV. Obama, the Drone in Chief, announced that “drones were constrained”. The audience rose and applauded. So far, only the USA has used drones for assassinations, and thousands of innocent civilians have been killed. That mostly happened under Obama. The naïve ones will believe that was a blunder, as the invasion of Iraq was a blunder. But neither of these two policies was a blunder, as they profited the USA Commanding Class immensely.

Invading Iraq enabled the USA to become, once again, the world number one producer of fossil fuels: fracking was profitable, only if Iraq was removed from the equation.

Killing innocent civilians at random instilled respect in the USA in goons, and plutocrats, worldwide. It also enticed the Goon In Chief in Russia to do the same, inflicting conflict in Europe, thus dividing to conquer).

The USA is an imperial power running a tight plutocratic ship. It has a tight national government doing exactly what the “deep government”, or “real government” of the USA wants (the government of plutocrats, military, and all sorts of secret agencies and the .01% conspiracy (that’s 30,000 people), and their obsequious servants want it to do. It’s all pretty much united by a spirit of greed and competition (sport scores!), a materialism, some will say, united by formalities.

This is not a grown up system: it just plays one on TV. But it works. Meanwhile, Europe, thanks to its disunion and lack of a deep government, is unable to even comprehend that it is cooperating in its own demise.

The USA maybe just a bunion for civilization. But bunions can kill, when they turn so handicapping that the predator, hobbling along, becomes prey. It’s in the best of the real interest of the USA to not destroy the civilization it came from. The Union has to be considered at a larger scale, and with a deeper vision. There was some of that in Obama’s speech.

So State of the Union, or State of the Bunion?

In any case, it’s not in the Democrats’ hands. After they gave birth to Obamacare, the ultimate smoke and mirrors of gift to the rich, presented as charity to the ditch, they lost all elections, while gaining all confusion. All Obama can do now, is to be the best president the Republicans had, since Ike. But, of course, it will not happen.

In the Republican “response”, a robotic woman read-off the teleprompter mechanically, showing even less emotion than the talking heads on North Korean TV. This “Senator” is described as a rising star of USA politics. She made George W Bush look warm and cuddly. One does not stop progress.

Patrice Ayme’

Constitutional Crisis

October 11, 2013

BEYOND THE DEBT CRISIS, A CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS:

What’s the problem with the debt of the USA? Well, it can be viewed as worse than the debt of most European countries whose debt led to confidence crises (see the second paragraph below).

This debt crisis has become a government by the fools, for the fools, and it is starting to look foolish, even to the fools. It’s also bringing up constitutional questions, namely on the constitution of the USA, which is really very different from that of other democracies.

It’s no happenstance that no country has a constitution similar to that of the USA. A situation like the present one is simply impossible in other democracies, because new elections are automatically called when a budget cannot be passed. Generally it does not even get to this stage, because a no confidence vote is called well before that (as just happened in Italy).

It’s only normal that the legislative branch would be called to execute the law. However, in the USA, the legislature does not have to govern.

A legislature that does not have to govern does not have to be realistic.

Some will say: so what? The history of the USA show an incapacity to adapt to progress. The Civil War in the USA was, by far, the most deadly civil war in the West since the religious wars of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (it killed an order of magnitude more than the French revolution, relative to population). Adjustments could not be made in Congress, until a full blown war.

After the war, it took a century to get rid of institutionalized racism. And I have advocated the point of view that, for a century, plutocracy in the USA has been gathering steam. It leveraged World War Two, and related events leading to it, and following it, that it organized. Now global, the plutocracy installed the 2007 crisis, making the People pay for it, before, during and after.

Right now, sequestration is already a disaster (say on long term scientific and medical research). The evolution of employment, and of the median income, are also disasters. All what the plutocrats want is to starve the beasts, and the beasts are us, the Public.

For the plutocrats, the Republic, as long as it exists, is only a machine to make the richest thrive. And bonds, and Quantitative Easing, are crucial that way.

***

MORE DETAILS, & A DEEPER ANALYSIS:

USA debt: The total debt of the government of the USA is 16.7 trillion dollars (more than GDP; the number can look smaller when one looks only the debt “held by the public”, but that’s obviously not the important number).

The cash deficit, under Obama, reached 12.5% of GDP. Now it’s 5% and shrinking, thanks to unsustainable “sequestration”, a sort of amputation of the brain to make the patient lose weight. That, realized the bipartisan research arm of Congress, will actually augment the deficit. Very soon, considerably, and durably.

Many take for granted that a country like the USA cannot default, because its debt is in its own currency. That statement is so absurd, so anti-factual, it’s hard to answer. Countries which defaulted in their own currencies are legions. A recent major example is Argentina, which defaulted in 2001-2002. Notice:

1) the banks of the USA operating in Argentina made like bandits from that default.

2) Argentina is still trying to recover from that shock.

The reason why a damaging default for the USA is hard to imagine are the following;

1) The USA is completely self sufficient in nearly everything. The USA is the largest fossil fuel and gas producer in the world (with 22 million barrels a day). It also has the largest sea empire (slightly larger than France’s!), and resources therein.

2) The USA has by far the most powerful, most autarkic military, perfectly capable of protecting 1)… And more.

3) The dollar is the world’s reserve currency (although a second one has appeared: the euro!) The dollar is also low relative to the euro. Thus a serious down swing in the dollar is unlikely, and anyway, irrelevant, as planet USA is totally self sufficient (see 1))

But, precisely, that makes it possible for the USA to default!

It reminds me somewhat of the relationship between Spain and… China. China needed Bolivian silver (from Potosi), to strike a currency worth something (after disastrous paper inflation under the Yuan). China had silk and many other precious goods.

The interface between the co-dependent empires, was next to Manila. The Chinese established a powerful Chinatown. Way too powerful: the Spaniards at some point took umbrage, and annihilated it, killing all. What did the Chinese do? Well, they came back, and established another mighty Chinatown, crucial to the Spanish empire. And then the Spaniards had enough, and annihilated it, killing all. And the Chinese came back.  

There always will be USA bonds, they will always come back, as long as there is a Pentagon, and it’s mightiest. But there will not necessarily be a democracy in the USA.

Examples are plenty, in history, of republics that became plutocracies. It happened to Sparta. It happened to Athens. It happened to Rome. Even the European empire of the Franks, initially successful because it was less plutocratic than Rome, became riddled with plutocracy, seven centuries later. Florence, started as a republic, also evolved, after two centuries, into a plutocracy. The people loving, enlightened monarchy of Henri III and Henri IV, turned, within a generation, into the horrendous plutocracy of Louis XIV.

Progress can definitively go backwards. History clearly show that republics are the exception, and plutocracies, the rule.

***

Patrice Ayme


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because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

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Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

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GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

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because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For The Best Thinking Possible. Morality Needs Intelligence As Will Needs Mind. Intelligence Is Humanism.

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ianmillerblog

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

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