The Political Slant - Page 8

NATO – Frienemies at 2%

*The Rubicon was crossed on July 11 in Brussels when President Donald Trump laid bare the façade of the ambitions of the United States.

We have officially become an imperial power, exacting tribute from those whom we enfold within the protection of our magnificent arms. Acting unilaterally, against the advice and wisdom proffered by those in his administration who possess a brain, he demanded that NATO members not only meet the level of a 2% of GDP defense spending level, but feels it should be doubled to 4%. One can only assume there will be a Paypal account set up to forward delinquent accounts to US coffers.

President Trump Speaks at NATO Summit in Brussels - NATO- Frenemies at 2%
President Trump Speaks at the NATO Summit in Brussels

I can understand “shaking things up” as being a necessary step in order to bring about a change in behavior. We may agree that some sort of action was needed in order to prod reluctant allies to meet their commitment to fund the common defense. But the behavior of bullying that was on exhibit in Brussels goes far beyond what a prudent person would do in order to maintain workable relations with our allies.
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The Failure of Neoliberalism in the World

*Keynesianism is dead. 

The economic failure of liberal capitalism from the American Revolution (1776) and the French Revolution (1789) to the Great Depression with the crack on the New York Stock Exchange (1929) led to the adoption of Keynesianism based on the ideas of the English economist, John Maynard Keynes, who unlike classical economic liberals, defended state action in the economy with the objective of achieving full employment. 

Keynesian philosophy ceased to be effective by the 1970s, due to the decline in world economic growth after the so-called “glorious years” of the 1950’s and 60’s. There were two oil crises along with the debt crisis experienced by most  countries of the world that drove insolvency at international banks. 

This situation made the conservative forces of the United Kingdom and the United States, under the leadership respectively of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, carry forward neoliberalism whose economic doctrine advocated the return of liberalism now on the world stage – which meant absolute market freedom and a restriction on state intervention on the economy. Neoliberalism was adopted after the end of the Soviet Union and the Eastern European socialist system in 1989, respectively.

With neoliberalism, social inequality has reached alarming levels throughout the world.”
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Bogus Federal Commission on School Safety

*Kids are so much fun to be around. Little bundles of energy, they are overcome with curiosity; constantly information-gathering, testing and discovering new things. It’s hard to imagine a place specifically designed to feed that curiosity and offer information and present new things that some children would fake a tummy ache to avoid.

It’s equally difficult to imagine parents in the most world’s most prosperous nation who expect their children be both educated and tended to during work hours, yet balk at providing the financial support required to get the jobs done well.
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Republicans Ransacking Nature

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*Last week, along the southern border of America, refugees were separated and children were caged. Shock and outrage ricocheted around the world. Under the cover of chaos the Republicans pushed through two atrocious assaults on our mother, Nature.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order, which washed away President Barack Obama’s emphasis on ocean conservation and a plan to mitigate the climate in crisis.

Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under Obama, Dr Jane Lubchenco said, “The policy reflects a shift from ‘use it without using it up’ to a very short-sighted and cavalier ‘use it aggressively and irresponsibly’.”

Trump’s policy increases slaughtering the ocean and it greenlights more subsidized fossil fuel seismic surveys. It’s in keeping with his election promise to unlock $50 trillion of U.S. oil and gas.

In so doing, Trump is impoverishing all sea life by increasing ocean acidity and decreasing ocean oxygen.

Dissolved Shells - Article: Ransacking Nature
53 percent of free-swimming snails sampled off the west coast of the U.S. had severely dissolved shells. Photo credit: NOAA

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The Federal Fracas

*Recently, someone advocated the dissolution of the federal government of the United States, insisting that the states could manage themselves. It also suggested that the federal government has usurped power and taken away the rights of states. Let’s consider a few things.

There is no doubt that the federal government has become what Jefferson didn’t want, and that was a tyrannical central government, much akin to the monarchies and aristocracies of Europe. Unfortunately, I will accede that this has been the case, and I have never denied what my constitutional law professor claimed, that almost every decision by the Supreme Court has gone the way of the federal government.

Supreme Court - Federal Fracas

When in doubt, the federal government always wins, for the most part. The most egregious ruling was Gonzales v. Raich, which ruled that growing marijuana in one’s backyard for medical use was a federal issue. Sandra Day O’Connor bravely stated that it was not, but hers was the dissenting opinion.
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Conflicting Cultures – Righteous Capitalism

*Recently, someone in academia (no point in revealing the exact location) was criticizing the West for destroying Middle Eastern and other cultures. Academically, this instructor was teaching of the “evils” of the West, and how Middle Eastern cultures were suffering and being erased. The instructor used imperialism as the model.

The imperialists overtook the foreign lands and exploited their resources and their citizens, making the lands colonies. The colonies surrendered their wealth to the imperialists who got fat and enjoyed the bounty of the land. The indigenous people of the colonies worked hard to make the lives of the imperialists easy and prosperous. The great thing about academics is that if one theory works, it can probably explain other events, and if that theory fits your personal ideology and position, all the better.

Imperialists considered themselves monarchs who achieved their positions via merit, when in fact their rewards were simply fate, being born to certain people in certain places.
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While the North Pole Cooks, Trump Tweets

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*There is a giant gulf today between those who promote and profit from fossil fuels, including Presidents Trump and Putin, and our life support systems – Nature. In my latest book, Save Nature Now, I’ve dubbed it “Black Gold Fever,” a contagious excitement over the riches of fossil fuels.

Consider this, there has never been such an accumulation of money on our planet controlled by a handful of people. The bulk of that wealth was derived from killing Nature at the expense of the health of our biosphere, the livable space occupied by all living organisms.

Instead of prudently protecting our home, since 1997 earthlings have burned as much fossil fuel as the previous 250 years. Keep Reading

Phase Two is Necessary to Denuclearize North Korea

* Opinion: President Trump’s Maximum Pressure campaign has, as planned, become a threat to the Kim regime’s survival. Average North Koreans are now enjoying more access to outside information than ever before and their money can buy them whatever they want. Kim is unable to stop the free market, but he’s started imposing life sentences on his citizens for contacting the outside world.

In the short span of one year, Kim has changed tone from turning the U.S. and Seoul into ‘a sea of fire’ to ‘okay, we are willing to denuclearize.’ As a result, Kim has embarked on an unprecedented charm offensive.

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Investing in Education = Investing in our Future

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The bell rings and twenty-nine angelic faces look to her for guidance. In that moment she realizes that while as Governor overseeing the statistical lives of her state’s almost four million citizens is a huge responsibility – one she takes seriously, being entrusted with the actual lives of these twenty-nine cherubs is a grander burden.

Initially an eager participant in the new ‘Leaders in School’ program, the Governor is becoming increasingly dismayed as the reality of spending an entire day working as an educator in the public school system is becoming clear. It was bad enough that she had to make her own coffee and breakfast this morning and then actually drive herself to school, but facing a day without her personal assistants seems like cruel and unusual punishment.

The day is only forty seconds old, and she is already looking for a light at the end of an awfully long tunnel.

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Contemporary Colonization

Make no mistake; this is colonization under the guise of immigration.

You enter the country without permission, disrespecting the laws of that country. You settle in and establish your culture, ignoring the native culture. You don’t speak the language, and make little effort to learn the language.

You even fly the flag of your home country, instead of the flag of the country where you reside. You take advantage of the already built industries as well as the infrastructure. If fact, you stress the wealth of the country that you have taken over. You have no intention of adopting the language, and you exploit the economy, as well as the infrastructure, to your advantage.

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