Category: Economics

Nothing Matters Anymore

Nothing Matters Anymore

Now we know, as if we had any doubts before: Nothing matters anymore. That might be an odd conclusion to come to for me, who has a Substack called Issues That Matter. But it’s consistent, actually. That nothing matters anymore is an issue that matters. Or should. Unfortunately, there is bloody little anyone can do about it except grin and bear it and suffer the consequences, or look for a way out of the madhouse that the United States has turned into. That’s the option I’m once more looking at.

So Jell-O Joe Biden, the Grifter in Chief, unilaterally has “forgiven” big chunks of student loan debt. Never mind that he has no legal power to do so. Even the Queen of Grift, Nancy Pelosi says so. But who needs laws any more? Laws are for the pissants, not for the Big Guy. Certainly not for the ruling elites (provided they’re of the right party). Whether it’s allowing people out of their contractual obligations to pay their debts or allowing now more than 2 million — heading toward 4 million — illegal aliens and border crashers to enter with impunity into the country, or using his official offices to further his family’s corrupt enrichment, law and the Constitution are irrelevant. If you haven’t noticed that, you haven’t been paying attention.

If you had student loans that you struggled to pay off, if you saved and scrimped so you didn’t need student loans, or maybe you never got to go to college, why would you mind paying off some rich kid’s loan? Are you really that selfish? Maybe you went in the military and risked, or even gave, your life or your limbs. Maybe you were counting on the GI Bill to pay for your education. You don’t think this was a fair deal, what Biden did? You self-serving bastard!

You pay your taxes and are distraught about our record $30 trillion-something national debt, and now you’ll be asked to contribute your share — estimated at $2,000 per taxpayer — to pay off the $300 billion (which is just a guess, no one can say how much this lawless act really will cost because no one has a clue how many people will be affected) this give-away will cost. You must not understand your role as a taxpayer, which is to support without question every mindless and insane thing your government does. Add the increase to inflation all this extra money going into the economy will bring, and the costs are likely to be even more. Who’s problem is that? Why, yours, of course!

And if recent history is any indication, fraud will take a big part of that money. Like the $100 billion-plus in pandemic relief funds that were stolen by fraudsters, only a very small percentage of which has been recovered or prosecuted. But that’s “official” fraud. Most of the funds will go to the “unofficial” fraud that lies at the basis of this whole thing. Biden’s “generosity” (at your expense) is aimed as a payoff to young voters to vote for Dems in the upcoming midterms, and an even bigger payoff to the colleges and universities that profit off the student loan program.

See those huge tuitions? $50,000, $60,000, $70,000 a year, for at best a spotty education? When the student loan program was taken over by the federal government, it was just an incentive for college administrators to really jack up tuitions, which have risen at rates far in excess of the general inflation rate. Given the huge endowments most of these institutions have — not just measured in the billions of dollars, but in the several tens of billions of dollars — why should they not be forced to bear the costs of this largesse? Because this is really a payoff for all their contributions to the Democratic Party, to which 90 percent of university contributions go. When I lived in Key West 40-some years ago, it cost a six-pack of beer to buy a vote. The stakes have gotten a whole lot higher in the current game of political corruption and vote buying.

Nothing Else Matters, Either

Beat, rape, rob, or car jack someone in some of our biggest cities and at most you might face a misdemeanor charge, if that. You’re likely going to be back on the street the same day or the next one, all set to commit your next crime. Defend yourself against this kind of rampant criminality, and you might be the one who faces real criminal charges. This is not just speculation, but has become a daily occurrence in cities ranging from New York to L.A,. Chicago to Seattle, Philadelphia to San Francisco, and many in between. Is it any wonder that crime rates are rising at the fastest rates since the 1960s, or are reaching record rates in many places? If you’re a law-abiding citizen, just STFU and pay your taxes and take it. You don’t count. You don’t matter. You’re just some freaking racist if you complain about this kind of treatment. You’re getting in the way of remaking America, so move aside or get crushed.

Remember when Trump said there was a plan to do away with single-family zoning and moving urban problems right into your neighborhood? Well, guess what. That’s exactly what is happening. Not far from where I live, the city council of the city where I went to graduate school, Gainesville, Florida — home of the University of Florida and a city mostly of single-family homes — voted to do away with single-family zoning. The future is coming to a place near you, and it’s coming fast. Don’t like the idea? Tough. You don’t matter.

I’ve already opined and lamented what has clearly become a dual standard of justice in this country, and you can read about that here and here and in lots of others of my postings. This is no longer a collection of isolated incidents but has become what is called a pattern and practice. Combined with pervasive corruption, this might be the biggest threat facing our democracy, aside from the repression of any dissenting views and the near-total silence and even complicity on the part of the nation’s mainstream media.

When Nothing Matters Anymore, It Becomes Pervasive in the Society

If you have the stomach to watch the news, you’ll often see images of people being beaten, shot, and otherwise attacked on the streets while onlookers capture the scene on their phones, hoping for their 15 seconds of fame, while doing nothing to intervene or try to protect the victim. We’ve become a nation of voyeurs and cowards.

In the 1960s we had the famous case of Kitty Genovese, a young woman raped, robbed, and murdered on the street in Queens, New York, while onlookers observed from their apartment windows and did nothing. The incident shocked the conscious of the nation at the time. Today, we can’t even muster shock when these things occur. The onlookers that don’t scurry away watch and video the events.

This tendency was brought home to me yesterday. A young man doing some work for me related how he was driving down a busy street in the next town, and there was this little 4- or 5-year-old girl skipping down the center line of the street. Cars just drove by, paying her no heed as if she wasn’t a vulnerable little human but rather some curiosity or maybe even a nuisance to speed by. To his lasting credit, this guy stopped, turned his truck sideways across the road to stop traffic, began to try to get the girl off the road, and to find what careless adults had let her slip out from their attention. Down the road were a couple of guys looking at their boat on a trailer. He shouted at them, and they suddenly “noticed” that the little girl, who belonged to one of them, had gone missing. The damned boat was more important to him then the presence and safety of the little girl. The pair hadn’t even noticed she was missing.

It’s entirely possible this young guy saved the little girl’s life. But this is what we’ve come to. People can’t take a few minutes to stop and try to save a little girl skipping down the middle of a busy street. A boat takes precedence to a life. We see kids left to die in hot cars and people are advised to put their phones or their purses in the back seat so as not to forget their kid, as if a phone or purse is more important to them than the kid. People watch and look on as criminals attack innocent people, and they and the courts and the law look the other way. You struggle to pay your debts and your bills and your money is stolen and given to those who don’t.

The Romans at least confined their barbarity, their bread and circuses intended to placate and buy off the populace, to the arena. In modern-day America, the entire country is the arena.

When nothing matters anymore, nothing matters anymore.

Featured Image, Factory, Peter Hermann/Pixabay. Used with permission.

Wires, Cottonbro/Pexels. Used with permission.

Scrap Metal, Tom Fisk/Pexels. Used with permission.

This piece also appears on my Substack, Issues That Matter. Please comment, share this piece, and subscribe here, and there.

 

 

 

It’s Time to Break Up the FBI

It’s Time to Break Up the FBI

On August 8, 2022, the FBI, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Biden Administration declared war on the principle of equal justice for all citizens, and told at least half the American population that they are persona non grata. With the unprecedented FBI raid on the home of a former President, we witnessed the most evident sign yet of the Sovietization of America that is already in advanced stages. With that declaration of war, it is time for the gloves to come off in resisting this mortal threat to our democracy and if there is to be any chance of saving what is left of what once was America.

There are numerous steps that are essential to win the war to save the country, and the first and most urgent is the dismantling of the corrupt organization known as the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI has been out of control for years, and the agency’s previous commitment to the equal administration of justice is long gone. With the raid on Mar-A-Lago by at least 30 FBI agents and DOJ attorneys, there isn’t even a pretext of that remaining. It is the single largest lawless element in the U.S. today, largely as a result of the agency’s politicization at the highest levels.

I don’t like to predict future events, but this raid and the abuse of power it represents has galvanized opposition to Biden and the Dems — already at record levels — and has further galvanized support for Donald Trump. Trump is almost certainly going to announce his candidacy for the presidency — making the raid not just on a former president, but on a future candidate for president. Even more certainly, the Dems are going to lose control of the House by a significant margin in November, and very possibly the Senate as well. While the Republicans have shown themselves on more than one occasion as capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, one hopes they will be as energetic at rooting out the very real corruption and unequal administration of justice as the Dems have been in pursuing their chimeras and bogus conspiracy theories over the past six years. All with the complete and knowing complicity of their co-conspirators in the mainstream media.

Dismantling the FBI

The first substantive post on this blog, Threading the Needle Badly, which appeared on June 9, 2017, recounted the malfeasance committed by former FBI Director James Comey. I continued to report on that malfeasance, which included commission of felonies by Comey, both before and after President Trump relieved Comey of his duties. Comey’s successor, current FBI Director Chris Wray, has further weaponized the Bureau against Trump supporters and opponents of the Biden regime (a legitimate word to use now — calling it an administration is a euphemism, at best).

The first step in rooting out the rot should be dismantling the FBI, starting at the top and working down. The organization, over the past six years and beyond, has shown itself as beyond reform and incapable of dealing with its own wrongdoers. Congress, once the Republicans gain control, needs to make reorganization of the FBI its first, but not only, priority.

This would not be without precedent. In the 1970s, the Church Committee, headed by Democratic Senator Frank Church of Idaho, investigated abuses committed by the intelligence community, the CIA, NSA, and FBI. That was a different time, when Democrats were concerned about abuses and civil liberties, a far cry from their highly politicized position today. Another case of agency reorganization was the merger of the United States Information Agency (USIA) into the State Department in 1999.

While the FBI and DOJ conduct their ongoing witch hunts against Trump and his coterie, the blatant criminality of the Biden family is blithely ignored. Just as the egregious criminal offenses committed by Hillary Clinton are ignored. It is only if your name is Trump that the heavy hand of justice is mustered against you. The concept of equal justice under the law no longer applies in this country, which should be a cause for concern for every American.

Once the FBI is dealt with, attention should be focused on cleaning out the rot in the CIA and the rest of the intel community, which has declared itself by its actions as a government unto itself. That has no place in our democracy. And yes, I am a former intel officer (in the State Department), and at that time I was always told there was a bright line between intelligence and policy. That line is now obliterated, and that merging of the two poses a mortal threat to the country on a number of fronts.

The Dems’ War on Ordinary Americans

The raid on Mar-A-Lago is not the only front in the Dems’ war on America. This week they also managed to push through, on a purely partisan vote, their fraudulently named Inflation Reduction Act. A key feature of that law is provision of $80 billion for the IRS to double in size, adding 87,000 new agents and other employees. Part of the fraud is the claim that these new agents will be to conduct audits on the uber wealthy, when in fact they’re coming after you and me. Most audits, by a wide margin, are done on people earning under $200,000 a year, and it is estimated that 60% of the audits to be conducted by the new agents will be on taxpayers earning less than $75,000 a year.

Add in skyrocketing crime rates in cities nationwide, an open border that has allowed a record number of illegal aliens, along with a flow of deadly drugs, terrorists, and human traffickers, to enter the country, and the targeting of parents unhappy with their childrens’ non-education — branded as “terrorists,” by the slimy Merrick Garland and the DOJ — and it’s clear the Democratic Party has set its sights on altering life in America as we’ve known it. And their vision is not a pretty one.

Four years ago I realized I could no longer vote for Democratic candidates, reversing what had been my voting pattern through most of my life. With the sell out of West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema on the so-called Inflation Reduction Act, we see clearly that there are no trustworthy Democrats. If you vote for someone with a D after their name, you are voting for the Sovietization of the country’s justice system and the destruction of our way of life. Sorry, there is no way to sugar coat that. That’s where we are today. We each have to pick our side — I know which side I am on — and the present and future of the country hang in the balance.

Featured Image: The American flag burns, Lukas Gojda via Shutter Stock. Used under Fair Use.

Keeping America in the dark on illegal entries, Adrees Latif/Reuters, via the New York Post. Used under Fair Use.

This piece also appears on my Substack, Issues That Matter. Subscribe here, and there, and share this piece.

Dancing With the Devil

Dancing With the Devil

Please allow me to introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and taste
I’ve been around for a long, long year
Stole many a man’s soul and faith

Sympathy For the Devil, The Rolling Stones

How is the Biden administration dancing with the Devil? Let’s take a look.

Hat in Hand to Venezuela

See that funny-looking guy up there? That’s Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela’s dictator. I can’t verify, so won’t allege, that Maduro is the actual Devil, but he’s a bad dude, for sure. And he’s one of the devils Biden and Co. are dancing with.

For some reason, the administration has decided it’s better to import oil from places like Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, and maybe even Iran, than to unleash America’s own energy resources. It’s a smoke and mirrors trick which they hope you’re too slow to see. As prices at the pump or to heat your house go through the roof, Biden wants you to believe it’s Russia’s fault, when in fact the problem and the upward climb in prices had begun long before Vladimir Putin sent his tanks and troops into Ukraine and even before the U.S. recently embargoed Russian oil.

The U.S. is down 1.4 million barrels of oil production a day since Biden took over and deliberately moved the country away from the energy independence that his predecessor worked hard to establish, the first time the U.S. had reached that point in more than 60 years. This is all in the pursuit of the Green agenda, bowing to the religious orthodoxy of Climate Change. Never mind that, regardless the source, it’s consumption that is the critical factor, not place of origin. And never mind that U.S. energy, and its extraction, is among the cleanest in the world. It’s all a charade and you’re not supposed to notice “little” facts like those.

In the interconnected world we live in, that’s not the only complication. Not only is trading Putin for Maduro exchanging one dictator for another, not to mention that Caracas is closely aligned with Moscow, there also is the fact that Roszarubezhneft, a Russian state-owned oil company, owns 40% of five joint ventures with the Venezuelan state-run oil giant PDVSA. Those ventures account for 15% of the South American country’s production. The administration sent a delegation to Caracas to chit-chat with Maduro — breaking a long standing U.S. policy not to deal with him — to discuss waiving some of the sanctions on Venezuela targeted at the country’s oil exports. So to push Biden’s Green charade, he’ll dance with the devil-figure of Maduro. And in the process, violate our own self-stated intent to hurt Russia. Oil talks, nobody walks.

Willing to play the game, Maduro released two Americans his government was holding, former Citgo executive Gustavo Cardenas, a U.S. citizen, and Jorge Fernandez, a Cuban-American, days after the Caracas visit. He also said he’d consider resuming talks, stalled for months, with the Venezuelan opposition.

High gas prices

Our Friends the Russians Negotiate for Us With Our Friend Iran

No, really. I’m not making that up. I keep saying, you can’t make this stuff up. There is no length of absurdity this administration will not go to if it furthers its agenda, no matter how misguided that agenda might be.

Devil or not with whom we’re dancing, if you think it’s not a good idea to use one’s strategic enemy to negotiate on your behalf with another of your strategic enemies, you apparently have more sense than our so-called national security establishment. That would be the case aside from how one feels about the issue under negotiation, reentry of the U.S. to the Iran nuclear deal, and whether that deal makes it easier or harder for the Iranians to develop a nuclear bomb.

Since the U.S. withdrew from the Iranian deal under President Trump, it has no standing in the agreement or negotiations over it, so depends on the kindness of strangers to represent its interests. I don’t think it’s a stretch to think that if the deal was bad before, when we were involved in its negotiation, it will be that much worse now, with the Russians looking after their issues first.

Given that reality, it’s not a huge surprise that the Russians have thrown new demands into the mix which have caused the negotiations, which had been nearing conclusion, to stall. Also not a huge surprise, the Russians demanded that Washington’s sanctions on Russia would not negatively impact its trade with Iran.

“In view of the new circumstances and wave of sanctions against Russia,” said Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s chief envoy to the negotiations, “We have the right to protect our interests in the nuclear field and wider context.”

That put Washington into a bind. Hungry for Iranian oil to replace Russian oil, does the U.S. agree to let Russia circumvent the sanctions put on it over the Ukrainian invasion, or does it pull back on the gas. It opted for the latter, with Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Victoria Nuland, saying the U.S. would not play Let’s Make a Deal with Moscow.

Russian nuclear negotiator Mikhail Ulyanov

Dancing With the Iranian Devils

But, you see, the Biden administration already has been releasing billions to the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism. Faced with rising social discontent in Iran, which was at least one of the intended affects of U.S. sanctions, last summer the administration unfroze $29 billion in Iranian assets. With conclusion of a new nuclear deal with U.S. participation, another $100 billion in Iranian assets are likely to be unfrozen.

All this is on top of the $1.7 billion that the Obama administration — of which, let’s not forget, Joe Biden was part of — paid to the Iranians, all in cash to circumvent U.S. sanctions, in 2016. This included $400 million delivered by cargo plane direct to Tehran. Ostensibly these payments were in exchange for the release of four Americans being held prisoner by the Iranians, and Iran entering the nuclear deal. So much for the idea that the U.S. does not negotiate with terrorists or pay ransoms. You see, it’s not just gangsters who pay protection money, and yet oddly we heard no calls to impeach Obama for a clear violation of properly imposed sanctions or long-standing U.S. policy.

And now, after all this dancing with the Devil, here we are. I’m in no better position than anyone else to determine how close the Iranians are to developing a nuclear bomb, but some of my sources tell me it could be a matter of weeks before Iran “breaks out” with a nuclear weapon. And still we press on with allowing the Russians to speak for us, still want into the ineffectual nuclear deal, still are helping pay for Iran’s nefarious activities. And Russian trade with Iran, as much as an issue as it is, is hardly the biggest issue at stake.

It’s not just, as the Stones’ song goes, that the Devil “stole many a man’s soul and faith.” He’s doing pretty good at stealing some countries’ soul and faith, too.

Featured Image: Nicolás Maduro caricature by DonkeyHotey. The source images for this caricature are Creative Commons licensed photos from the Congreso de la Republica del Perú’s and newsonline’s Flickr photostreams. Used with permission.

Gas prices from back when gas was under $4/gallon. Photo by AP. Used under Fair Use.

Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s Governor to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Alex Halada, AFP. Used under Fair Use.

This piece also appears on my Substack, Issues That Matter. Subscribe here, and there, and share the piece.