Category Archives: rich folk

Are we on the verge of World War III?

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By Joseph Ballin 6/7/2017 5:51 PM EST

The tension in the Middle East is becoming unbearable. As the battle of Raqqa begins in Syria for the de facto capital of the so called Islamic State, US forces bomb pro-Assad forces in Syria. Qatar is being economically and diplomatically boycotted by the Saudis and other gulf nations, while Turkey approves sending troops to Qatar. Iran’s parliament and Khomeini mausoleum was blown up by Saudi Arabia posing as IS. Russia is being accused of hacking Qatar state media. Now the lieutenant general of the US is saying we don’t recognize any specific zone in Syria as being off limits to the United States.

At this point, the only news I watch anymore is RT America, the only legit news source left on TV. I got it blazing 24/7 in my room as I watch this in the background. I don’t even know what normies are watching on fake news MSNBC, CNN, or Fox, probably something about Russia or something, but anyway back to the topic at hand. The Trump administrations number one target is Iran. If you took a look at Trump’s cabinet, you will notice two things. One, they are anti-Islam, and two, they hate Iran.

And the two countries that hate Iran is Saudi Arabia and Israel. It comes to no surprise that these two countries have total control over the Trump administration. As Lawrence Wilkerson, retired United States Army Colonel and former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, pointed out on the Real News, that the reason Trump has so much Goldman Sachs in his cabinet isn’t just a business reasons, but it’s because of Israel. Another great source on neocons and foreign policy in general is Abby and Robbie Martin. Robbie has create a film series on the necons called A Very Heavy Agenda that you can buy online.

Now to move on to Syria, what most Americans don’t know is the Syrian Civil War didn’t start in 2011, it started in 2005, when Syria stop cooperating with US forces and the CIA began funding terrorists to disrupt the region. So just so you know, this war started under Bush, continued under Obama and Trump. Now we began having US ground forces in Syria since 2015, however we’ve had CIA in the ground there since who knows what. Since 2017, just prior to April bombing of Assad, Trump doubled the US troops in Syria to 2,000 and US troop deployments have ceased for Iraq and Syria.

What I believe is happening is a ramping up of US forces in Syria. The neocons for a while have always had conflicting views within the neocons. Some extreme neocons like Frank Gaffeny think we should just ignore Syria because it distracts from invading Iran. Others want to see the Syria conflict go on forever to bob them down in fighting, a favorable view that Israeli government has. I do not know what the deep state is planning, but I do know that once ISIS falls it will make America’s troop presence in Syria null and void. So regime change in Syria would be the next goal.

The Qatar situation could blow out into full scale war in Turkish troops do arrive in Qatar, it will be interesting to see how America will respond, with the largest military base in the middle east being in Qatar. Trump at first cheered on Saudi Arabia and after his staff informed him the facts he said he wanted to negotiate with all sides. With the recent Iran bombings by the Saudis I don’t see any negotiations.

How about instead of having marches for Trump’s taxes we have marches for peace? But that’s not what the neocons want, they want use talking about Russia or taxes or whatever because it distracts us from the real issues. Trump is the ultimate distraction. All he does is tweet something and his tweets become headline news for the day. I say it’s time to start a campaign to boycott all Saudi goods by getting this country off fossil fuels.

Links:

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=18990

https://sputniknews.com/politics/201706011054192507-qatar-iran-olive-branch/

Julian Assange: US & Israel Planned To Overthrow Assad In 2006

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2017/03/15/u-s-military-probably-sending-as-many-as-1000-more-ground-troops-into-syria-ahead-of-raqqa-offensive-officials-say/

Time For Regime Change In Saudi Arabia

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By Joseph Ballin 5/21/2017 10:37 AM EST

Make no mistake, it is not a coincidence that the same day Trump went off to Saudi Arabia to sign a 110 billion dollar arms deal with them, along with talks about establishing a Sunni “NATO”, he bombed Assad’s forces in Syria. You could say in a lot of ways David Frum was right about the axis of evil, except for the part of the axis being Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. The axis of evil is the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, with the United Kingdom acting as America’s lieutenant.

In order to understand America’s slavish relationship with Saudi Arabia you need to know the history behind it. One of the most interesting facts about Saudi Arabia’s history is that of all of the lands conquered by European, American, Turkish, and Japanese colonialists, the middle part of Saudi Arabia was never colonized. So this area of Saudi Arabia, called Nejd, which avoided largely falling under foreign control, saw the birth in the 18th century of a revivalist movement called Wahhabism.

Flash forward to the 20th century. Starting in 1902, the House of Saud is waging a war to throw the Ottomans out of Arabia. The House of Saud and British struck a deal with each other. Saudis would get control of the holy cities from the Ottomans, in exchange the British would colonize the rest of the middle east. The foreign policy goal of the British and later Americans in the middle east is crushing secular Arab nationalism and socialism in favor of supporting conservative Islamists. The only exception to this rule was Islamic Republic of Iran, only because their country is Shia Islam. The reason for this was because America, the British, and Saudis knew that if the entire Arab world united under into a single giant super state that nationalized the oil for themselves, threw out the imperialists, and united all Arabs regardless of religious belief would mean that they couldn’t exploit the middle east anymore.

Fast forward to 2017, Trump is giving a massive speech today in Saudi Arabia about unavailing a Sunni “NATO” for the middle east. The one core thing connecting all of Trump’s cabinet picks was their hate of Islam and Iran. My predictions about Trump’s foreign policy was that he would largely continue Obama’s foreign policy of Syria, bogging down Syrian, Russia, Hezbollah and others fighting in Syria while America finds ways of undermining, but not ripping up the Iran deal. The one thing in Syria he has done that Obama didn’t was attacking Assad, showing he is even more in bed with the neocons than even Obama. You see this already with the recent sanctions on Iran, along with the travel ban. Fascist Trump is clearly preparing for a war with Iran and for good reason. He’s facing impeachment and his approval ratings are the lowest of any president ever polled.

However I still think the same events happening now would have also happened under a Hillary Clinton presidency, at least in foreign policy. The one key factor about US presidencies is that no matter what changes, relations with Israel and Saudi Arabia never change. That is the true deep state. Until the Saudi AIPAC control over US foreign policy is crushed forever we can never hope of any real change.

Links:

https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/3774

https://www.jihadwatch.org/2016/12/saudi-arabia-caught-funding-taliban-in-afghanistan

The Crimes of Donald Trump

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By Joseph Ballin

5/13/2017 7:10 PM EST

The one thing I hate most about being American is the hypocrisy of our views towards life and rule of law. This brings me to Donald Jay Trump, a guy you may have heard of. So Trump paints himself as his good moral god fearing Christian man who cares about muh fetuses, while on the side grabbing pussy. However, Trump has no problem dropping drones on innocent people while the orange cunt eats chocolate cake in Mar-a-Lago. I do not know the exact numbers of innocents murdered under the fascist Trump regime. The Obama regime considered any male 16 years or older killed as “terrorists”. It is hard to tell when the US is propping up proxy regimes like Egyptian General Sisi and funding secret covert terrorists in Syria since 2005. If I had to estimate he’s killed at least a couple thousand if not ten thousand innocent people since January 20.

For all the Trump voters out there who thought he was the peacenik to Hillary’s war mongering, where are you now? He’s given the CIA and generals the power to kill anyone at any time and deploy US ground troops to any country at any time. We’ve seen an massive escalation in drone strikes under the Trump regime, along with a $100 billion arms deal for Saudi Arabia. There is a build up of US ground troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, along with deployment of US ground troops in Syria and Somalia. He allowed his generals to drop MOAB on Afghanistan and we still do not know how many people were killed from that strike because nobody has been allowed anywhere near the blast. And he is pushing us towards war with North Korea and Iran, all while striking the Syrian government over a chemical attack committed by the al-Qaeda white helmets. Relations with Russia are at the worst they have ever been and we are already probably in a new cold war with them. Trump’s foreign policy is basically a return back to the times of the Golden Horde.

Again all of this doesn’t mean Hillary was the peace candidate, far from it, but we didn’t have people like Trump supporters out right lying saying she was. If I had it my way I would have Trump, Hillary, Obama, Bush, Bill Clinton, GWB, GHWB, Jimmy Carter, and pretty much almost the entire US government on trial for war crimes against humanity and a sentence of life imprisonment without parole, since I don’t believe in the death penalty. I think Dr. Cornel West summed it up best when he said “That means that a child in Yemen, Somalia, and a child in Pakistan has the same value as a child in Newtown, Connecticut, Southside Chicago, Chinatown, barrio and an Indian reservation. A child is a precious child, no matter what. Somebody’s got to be accountable for that.”

Everyone being treated the same aka equality right? You would think in the good old US of A that would be the case, but equality under the law in US is bullshit. If I kill someone I go to jail, if someone in the US government kills someone they get medals. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, the near dead fossil and AG for the US, is rebooting the War on Drugs (that never ended since it’s declaration by Richard Nixon), telling prosecutors to seek the “most serious” charges and stricter sentences on the issue of drugs. So smoking a plant winds your ass in jail for life because private prisons demand cheap slave wage labor. Meanwhile wallstreet can steal from us and get tax payer bail out in order to keep the gravy train of capitalism going for another 10 years till the next crash.

“If voting made a difference, they wouldn’t let us do it” said Mark Twain, a man who was centuries ahead of his time. Until we call out the hypocrisy of both Republicans and Democrats we will never been free of this unless cycle of the War on so called “Terror” and War on so called “Drugs.” These wars are actually wars on the poor and non-white people. A lot of so called liberals hated Bush, but where ok with Obama putting a nice face on Bush’s policies. Now with Trump, the nice face has been replaced with an ugly orange turd, which is good for the left in the sense it wakes people up to just how fucked our government is. We need to move past this D vs R bullshit, end all these bullshit wars for profit, and move together as horizontally organized global workers party.

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Links:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-saudi-idUSKBN18832N

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/05/12/528086525/sessions-tells-prosecutors-to-seek-most-serious-charges-stricter-sentences

Ronald Reagan’s Golden Shower

Ronald Reagan’s Golden Shower w special message

The legislative body sure could use some curing,
They’ve served up a poo sandwich with a steamy cup of urine,
on the recieving end of it, we, the 99 percent,
Who beg these Reagan Pagans, will you please repent?

they’ve formed a new religion, a right wing sect of pagans,
they’ll sacrifice our future to the ghost of Ronald Reagan,
they say that if you bring their taxes, just a nickel down,
they’ll be showering the nation with their steamy trickle down.

the working class is carrying this country on our backs,
we suffer from inflation, yet we pay the highest tax,
They provide the golden shower, and they refine the gas,
they make sure at

the gas pump we all take it in the ass,

low taxes on the wealthy, who seek to keep their power,
in exchange they give you a steaming golden shower,
the truth is, if we raise their taxes, just a nickel up,
we’ll be job creating, building brdges, really fix things up,

Poor little rich boys

We can't let the people who've been hit the hardest by this recession, and who need to create the jobs that will get us out of it, foot the bill for the Democrats' two-year adventure in expanded government.” – Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Can't go to bed without pointing out the jackassedness of this comment by the ranking GOP Senator.  He is of course referring to the expiration of the Bush tax cuts for fools earning over $250,000 a year.  Just let that sink in… “the people who've been hit the hardest by this recession“…

That's right, asshole.  Them rich folk done been hit so hard they can barely afford to pay the MARGINAL TAX ON ALL DOLLARS EARNED OVER $250,000.  Meanwhile, in the real world

Forty-four million people in the United States, or one in seven residents, lived in poverty in 2009, an increase of 4 million from the year before, the Census Bureau reported on Thursday.

The poverty rate climbed to 14.3 percent — the highest since 1994 — from 13.2 percent in 2008.

Over the past two years these scumbag Senators have managed to thoroughly crush any delusions I once had about the possibility of national crisis giving birth to transformative change in this country. And I mean the good kind of change, not the teabag variety that is currently suffocating the last vestiges of moderation in the Republican party.  [Note to you Mainers – Olympia is next].

What I'm trying to say is, the expiration of the Bush tax cuts are the only thing I care about politically these days.  There's really nothing else on the horizon that's going to elicit more than indifference or disgust out of me.  The class divide gets greater every day and it's completely unsustainable for a healthy society.  I'll have to dazzle you with charts and graphs some other time, but for now I'll just say, NO MORE TAX CUTS FOR YOU RICH MOTHERFUCKERS.

Who am I kidding, here's a chart

What this says to me is, if the Democrats really feel the need to be total pussies about this, then they better at least give me a new marginal tax bracket at $500,000, which is where the real highway robbery begins to kick in.  Otherwise I don't want to hear any more bullshit about “deficit reduction”.

More Class Warfare Please

Oregon voters pass tax increasing measures by big margin

Oregon voters bucked decades of anti-tax and anti-Salem sentiment Tuesday, raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy to prevent further erosion of public schools and other state services.

The tax measures passed easily, with late returns showing a 54 percent to 46 percent ratio. Measure 66 raises taxes on households with taxable income above $250,000, and Measure 67 sets higher minimum taxes on corporations and increases the tax rate on upper-level profits.

This kind of thing needs more attention.  It’s true, after all, that some people are a drain on society.  And those people are called “fat cats”, draining the average citizen of their hard-earned dollars.  We’re long past due as a society to level the playing field.  It’s shocking how much more responsible Oregon is compared to their dysfunctional neighbors, California, where they require 2/3 majority in the state legislature to approve tax increases (making the senate filibuster rules seem sane by comparison).  Guess who bears the brunt there?

Then of course there is South Carolina, where the Lt. Governor recently said this:

My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don’t think too much further than that. And so what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to curtail that type of behavior. They don’t know any better

You stay classy, South Carolina!

Blame it on Bubba

The tire iron wielding Bubba isn’t alone in his hatred, ignorance and xenophobia…the folks over at Wall Street feel the same way toward the poor masses. How else could one explain their continued adherence to the notion that the nations poor are to blame for the worst global financial meltdown in 100 years? This quote from the WSJ Op-Ed pages is patently ridiculous to anyone with even a basic understanding of what caused the meltdown:

Fifty percent of the high-risk loans are estimated to be CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) loans, with much of the remainder useful to the GSEs (Government Sponsored Enterprises) in meeting their affordable-housing goals.

The flood of CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) and affordable-housing loans with loosened underwriting standards, combined with declining mortgage interest rates-to 5% in 2003 from 10% in early 1991-resulted in a massive increase in borrowing capacity and fueled a house price bubble of unprecedented magnitude over the period 1997-2006.

So the government is to blame for the crisis because they made it so much easier for poor people to buy a home…right.

The reality of what happened is pretty well summarized in “Fool’s Gold”…I think this review of the book is spot on. The only way bad mortgages take down the entire financial system is when they are used as the ‘raw material’ for speculation by the investment community, whose insatiable appetite for risk, for betting on just about anything, and unfettered greed will always destroy any sane conventional system of banking. History has shown us this several times…Greenspan’s now infamous ‘shocked disbelief’ is laughable when you consider a historical perspective. Or maybe it was those irresponsible poor people who didn’t read the fine fine fine print on the terms of their sub-prime mortgage, right Wall Street?

Rich Man Step On My Poor Head

Professor Krugles brings us this nice graph chronicling the rise of our corporate masters:

What you’re seeing is the percentage of total income as earned captured by the richest 0.01% of the population.  The ridiculous jumps in income inquality of recent years have clear parallels with the run up to the Great Depression.  Interestingly, the data only runs through 2007, so does not yet reflect last year’s market crash.

Unlike the correction that happened in the 30’s, I have absolutely zero expectation that the astronomical earnings percentages of recent years will collapse back down to reasonable levels.  So far the government has shown no willingness to rein in the bankers, having spent trillions of dollars propping up their criminal enterprise, while the bankers rub our collective noses in it for the trouble. Meanwhile, the bankers are able to pocket all that loot, because the top marginal tax bracket is pathetically low by historical standards.  (Not just the tax rate itself, but, more importantly, the income threshold).  Check this graph out:

Note that all dollar amounts have been adjusted for inflation.  And yes, the spread from the highs of the 1940’s (upwards of $70 million!) to today’s threshold ($372,951+) is so outlandish that the y-axis has to be represented in logarithmic form in order that the graph be legible.  The top marginal tax rates in those days were nothing to sneeze at either:

Make no mistake, these were taxes on the super-wealthy.  We haven’t had a proper tax on millionaires since roughly 1970, at which point those marginal millions were being taxed at a 70% rate. (Bear in mind, the marginal rate means that only those dollars over and above the threshold are being taxed at the highest rate.  That first $50 grand, etc, is being taxed at the same rate as everyone else.  Not everyone understands this.)

Getting back to the present reality, the failure to obtain proper warrants for all the bailout money, or even to enact the most minimal of financial reforms (much less tax reform), is truly enfuriating. The one big reform so far has actually been a step backward: relaxing shitcanning mark-to-market accounting rules that previously forced an honest valuation of company assets.  Suddenly – magically! – toxic assets are not so toxic, the stock market is up, and the crisis is over!  (Oh, wait…)

I obviously know nothing about high finance.  But all the financial regulation in the world means precisely squat if no one enforces it.

Most former and current SEC officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were discussing confidential legal matters or were not authorized by the agency to comment. But in a report last month, the Government Accountability Office, after interviewing many enforcement lawyers, concluded that the SEC penalty policies in 2006 and 2007 “led to less vigorous pursuit of corporate penalties, may have made penalties less punitive in nature and could have compromised the quality of settlements.”

During Cox’s tenure, penalties imposed on companies fell 84 percent, from $1.59 billion in 2005 to $256 million in 2008.

For a long time now, rich folks have been wringing money out of this country like sweat from ONE’s teeshirt after hoops in the summer.  (Or hoops in the winter…  Or a brisk walk…  Or a short nap…) And just like ONE’s sweat, by the time everything is over, it’s all on our backs.  (Ugh, this metaphor is making me ill, wrap it up…)

I have no faith that government regulators can ever truly curtail Wall Street shenanigans, which is why the only practical solution is to re-institute some new top marginal tax brackets.  Currently the cutoff for the top bracket is $372,951, with a rate of 35% (set to revert to 39.6% when the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of this year).  I hereby propose an additional tax of 50% on all dollars earned annually over and above… (cue Dr. Evil)… one million dollars.  By historic standards, that’s downright modest.