With all the crazy talk on Fox I would like to ask the pundits the following simple question. Is Germany a communist country? Is Holland a communist country? Is Denmark, Sweden, and other Western European countries communist? Is Japan a communist country? Is Australia a communist country? Well, the proposals put forward by President Biden yesterday would not be classed as “radicle” in any of those countries. They would be quite normal. NOT having any of those ideas would be considered radicle.
Month: April 2021
Interesting to see Republicans wanting to give credit to Trump for the speed of the vaccine creation while not mentioning at all the fact that Trump, from the very beginning (just like China) downplayed the Covid 19 pandemic and went out of his way up to this day to NOT ware a mask and make sure everyone knew he did not ware one. AND then of course encouraged everyone else to not ware a mask and made fun of those that did. And push non cures like hydroxy chloroquine. The stupidity of all this is that getting the vaccine in record time could have been followed with the President wearing a mask, pushing testing, social distancing and the like and he would have been a hero. It’s like a baseball player congratulating himself on getting to first base but then failing to get to home plate. Trump left that to Biden. One of the greatest stupid political moves of all time.
Wow! Fox is really going off the deep end. Like a chicken with its head cut off. Mixing up socialism with communism, fear mongering, lying. worrying about the deficit forgetting Trump also forgot the deficit and upped the national debt by two trillion without paying for it. Hailing the vaccine as a success when Trump has been blatant in discouraging his supporters from taking it, wearing masks etc etc. It seems that the Fox people have assumed their audience is more gullible than they originally imagined and are now pushing the envelope even further. We know from polls that the Fox audience are less educated than other news outlets but that does not mean they are stupid. But Fox must think they are. They should be careful they don’t go too crazy or their audience might wake up to their bullshit.
Lindsey Graham is right. There are no good options in Afghanistan. If we go there could be a cost, if we stay there could be a cost. Donald Trump AND Joe Biden both came to the conclusion that leaving was the only sensible thing to do. Both sides of the isle have internal opposing views on the subject. It is not a Republican vs Democrat view (even though Fox is inferring that it is Joe Biden making a mistake and seeming to forget that Trump was all about getting out by May 1).
There is a reality that I had to learn myself in backing an entertainment project for half a decade loosing money over and over again. The lesson was that if you try to win and loose, then try again and loose, then try again and loose, if you continue to do this the lesson will eventually become clear. How many times to you have to loose until you face the reality that winning is not going to happen?
In Afghanistan it is true that US departure will likely help the Taliban once again take over the country. Once again women will loose their rights; all sorts of bad things can happen. But that will be the case next year, the year after and twenty years from now. How long is the US intending to be there? It is NOT like Germany, Korea, Japan and other countries where American troops are stationed. In those countries we are welcome guests by the vast majority of the people AND the government. In Afghanistan, at best, half of the country objects to the US being present there and actively work to undermine any advances made. The US is an occupier, pure and simple. Meanwhile keeping a few thousand troops there does nothing we cant do with the usual spies and secret operatives the US has always used. CIA do your job!. Why use the Army to do it for you?
As far as the women go – one has to sympathize but then again in the US women had few rights until relatively recently. Afghani women need to stand up just as Saudi women are starting to do. It was a long process in the US and it will be a long process in Afghanistan and many other countries but the US cannot do the job women need to do for themselves.
The Republicans have always argued for small government and few hand outs to the disadvantaged. They argue that making people depending on the Government is “socialism” and a disincentive for the individual to solve his or her own problems. Why is that thinking not applied to Afghanistan? Another lesson I learned while I lived with my family in the Middle East. When the US Government funded improvements via foreign aid, USIA etc. what we Americans assumed would be welcomed were often not considered important by the local people. In one instance when an aid person saw that in one village women had to walk several miles to get fresh water and carried water back to their village with jars on their heads – the decision was make to put in pipes to bring the water to the village and save the women the need to do that long walk. After the pipes were installed and the aid people left, when they returned later to see the fruits of their contribution to the village, they were surprised to see that the pipes had been dug up and sold to give the villagers what they really wanted; a TV set. The explanation? “Why do we need pipes when we have women to go and get the water?”
The point is that if you want to win in places like Afghanistan you need to do what we did in Japan and Germany. Obliterate the status quo of the past and start anew. We bombed Germany – totally destroyed the Nazi party, reeducated the people with “politically correct” views while we occupied the country AND then rebuilt it via the Marshall plan in an image we wanted. We destroyed the religion of the Nazis. In Afghanistan we never totally defeated the Taliban nor reeducated the population overall (especially in the provinces to think like we want them to think. We did it half ass, we are always going to do it half ass, so getting out is the least of the bad options. Meanwhile we have other fish to fry. Much bigger issues exist that need full attention. Afghanistan is a diversion we can do without. And we need to do without.
For students of the media and how money making outlets that are in business to make profits look at how they frame the news, the battle between Fox News and the upstart Newsmax and One America News – all three going for the “right wing/ conspiracy theory/ Trumpian market” is interesting to watch. In trying to keep their once exclusive market, Fox has discovered that their audience is even more ignorant than they thought and the upstarts have actually drawn audiences away from them. The result is Fox seems to have further encouraged wilder notions as one can see with Tucker Carlson as a means to head off the loss of their audience.
Tucker for instance has discovered the notions of “replacement” and “dilution”, meaning his vote (and presumably the white vote) can be “diluted” by new citizens or immigrants (presumably coming across the Southern border and probably more likely to vote Democrat). It is true that an increase in the population means each individual’s vote is diluted. So given that one must assume Tucker supports the Covid 19 deaths that has reduced the population by over half a million voters. Furthermore he would presumably support a woman’s right to choose – the more abortions the fewer future voters. He might even go so far as to raise the voting age. That would also reduce the number of voters – hence increase the value of his individual vote.
Meanwhile we should look at US history. At the beginning of the Republic the common man could not vote. Only land owners could. Women couldn’t until just over 100 years ago. Slaves couldn’t vote and the black vote has been surprised even after rights were given. That means that for most of US history less than half the population was allowed to vote. Of those, voter turn out is usually half of that. So when the word “democracy” is thrown around let’s remember the facts.
Then let’s consider the Electoral College. Trump and Bush did not win the popular vote yet were elected President. In that regard the US is a “limited Democracy”. In Presidential elections the majority does NOT choose the President. Then consider the drawing up of the voting districts. Both sides of the isle try to choose the voters instead of the other way around. It’s called jerrymandering.
Worst of the all is the Senate. I live in California with a population of 40 million. The state gets two Senators. The state of North Dakota has a population of 762,000 and yet North Dakota gets two Senators just like California. Is that Democracy? My Senate vote in California is worth 1/20millionth whereas a North Dakotan is worth 1/ 381,000. Talk about dilution!!. Then there is South Dakota with a population of 884,660 and Wyoming with 574,000 (less than the city of Washington DC. who gets NO Senators. Add South and North Dakota and Wyoming and we have a population of some 2.2 million voters who get to choose 6 Senators. California gets to choose 2.
If there is dilution going on – which it is – it is California and New York that are most affected. Tucker: you want to talk “dilution” then talk the full facts not just a tiny fraction you harp about. If you are going to be pushed to be wilder by the Fox higherups then at least make it close to reality then the fringe tangent you are on now.
The hostility between Iran and Israel has always been more talk for domestic political goals than any real danger of war between the two. Iran sees Israel as a useful boogieman to be against that Iranians can get behind and Israel sees Iran’s supposed nuclear threat as a useful scare tactic to win elections.
Benjamin Netanyahu is very much like Trump in that he thinks more about staying in power by any means (lying or whatever it takes) and knows full well that even if Iran did have a nuclear weapon it would never be used against Israel. First the two countries are separated by several countries between them and second Israel has nuclear weapons and the USA is an ally so attacking Israel would be fool hardy to say the least. Besides, any nuclear explosion in Israel would kill many Muslims as well. On top of that, nuclear weapons have proved to be war preventers NOT war starters – AS LONG AS BOTH SIDES HAVE THEM.
Israel’s latest moves against Iran’s nuclear program are an effort by Netanyahu to keep the scare alive and help him maintain support even from those Israelis who do not like him. It is also aimed at making things tougher for President Biden in his bid to rejoin the Iran nuclear agreement. Netanyahu NEEDS Iran as a scare tactic and a deal between Iran and the US hurts that need.
With all the talk and concern about China – Republicans saying one thing, Dems another and both expressing concern it is interesting to note that I just learned that my memoire “Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: My Life in the Music Business” has suffered Chinese ire. It seems the book was to be printed in China (still the cheapest and most reliable printing place these days in spite of all the talk, tariffs etc).
However the Chinese censorship authorities flagged it and stopped the printing because, for one thing, I listed countries one of my artists performed in was Taiwan – oops not supposed to say Taiwan is a country apparently. Then I commented on Mao’s bullshit communism. All fairly harmless but not to the Chinese censorship people EVEN FOR and export order of books. In the UK the printing has been switched to a company in the Czech Republic and I am still waiting to see what the US Publisher will do. Yesterday I finished the Audible version which apparently will not be affected. I guess it should be considered an honor to be banned by the Chinese.
Very interesting to see Republicans rediscovering concern over the Deficit – a concern they forgot about under Trumps record breaking deficit spending and tax give aways to the rich. AND of course their concern over raising “our taxes” which means the complainers are in the 1.8 percent of the American people. In expensive and high tax states the $400,000 annual salary may not be considered rich but in most states it certainly is. As the new tax rate proposal is for money in excess of $400,000 it is not much of an increase anyway. Meanwhile the wealthy corporations have never paid the full tax rate, (no matter what it has been) nor will they now. The increase in tax is only an increase on profits not income so should not have much effect on employment as salaries to staff is tax deductible.
Meanwhile the spending on the infrastructure bill will mean hiring tons of workers to build, repair and update infrastructure which has to happen anyway if the US is to stay competitive. China is building infrastructure at a fast pace. Is the US to sit by and become increasingly a third world country? If the Republicans are serious about “make America great again” then serious infrastructure spending is long overdue.
Fox “news” states that the corporation tax rate in China is 25% forgetting of course the fact that the state, military etc own the major corporations. They cant claim China a socialist state on one hand and then pretend it is capitalist on another. But then again, Fox has always been blind to reality when it fits the Republican mantra no matter how ridiculous.
There are other realities. First, no matter who was elected President, the Covid payments mean tax MUST increase. The Government can’t give away money and pretend it doesn’t have to come from somewhere. Second, we need infrastructure expenditure NOW or we suffer in the future. Better now when interest rates are low than in the future when we are both too late AND interest rates may be higher.