SocSec

The strategy of the GOP is to borrow from the Social Security Trust Fund to “balance the budget” and then when Social Security has to be funded it shows up on the annual budget as an “expense.” That way they can say it adds to the deficit…

Beckys

I would suggest that the Beckys of the world certainly are oriented to women’s issues. I don’t see that as being negative since people have to start somewhere. The however is simply is that there is a plethora of issues that affect all genders. The Neoliberal mindset separates by issues rather than unite people. As long as women advocate birth control, abortion and breaking the glass ceiling they are “warriors.” Let anti-war, civil rights and economic issues of the poor into advocacy and then all of sudden people become #demexit or anti-uniters…This has been the theme of the HRC wing of the Democrats since well before the primaries and is the one big reason I could never vote for HRC. I cannot tell you how many pro-HRC called me Republican lite for advocating Bernie over HRC. Until the Democratic Party is purged of neoliberals, by exposing their pedophilia or sexual harassment or whatever, the Democrats will continue to be a one trick pony as a haven for upscale petty bourgeois willing to sell the futures of those less fortunate for “a handful of dimes” as Jim Morrison of the Doors sang years ago…

FDR

Franklin Roosevelt is considered one of America’s greatest presidents for good reason. On the surface he saved America from the worse economic failure in history and guided America’s policies during WWII. What is overlooked was his ability as the ultimate politician of his time and of America’s existence. Sure he made mistakes as anyone who is bold enough to go against the grain but ultimately he was proven right on so many policies that even his critics could only attack him personally.
Two books by the same author- “The Mantle of Command: FDR at War, 1941-1942” and “Commander in Chief: FDR at War, 1943” by Nigel Hamilton shows the depth of which the president controlled his own military, congress and the American people as well as the allies, Great Britain and Soviet Russia.
In “The Mantle of Command” Nigel Hamilton starts by documenting his first meeting with Winston Churchill and how masterful his performance with the “Bulldog.” Churchill was hell bent on getting the United States into WWII at a time when America was not ready militarily nor politically. His mandate, from the American people, was to keep the United States out of the conflict as long as possible and still supply Britain and Russia with the war supplies they needed to fight the Axis.
“Moreover, far from abandoning their hold on the Middle East— as American military observers were still advising the British to do, but the President was not— the British were holding General Erwin Rommel at bay in North Africa. British forces, in fact, had successfully driven into Iraq and Syria to deter Vichy French assistance to Hitler. As a result, neither Turkey nor Portugal, nor Spain, had moved a finger to help Hitler. Even Marshal Pétain’s egregious puppet government in Vichy had refused to alter the terms of its 1940 surrender to Hitler and permit French military cooperation with the Nazis. Hitler, the President was convinced, was not going to have things his own way.”
The United States military in fact was advising the president to cede to Germany, Italy and Japan much more of the tremendous gains the Axis had made in the earlier years of war, which would have been much more costly to eventually win back. How Roosevelt handled the sure defeatist attitude of all those who surrounded him should be a lesson to us all and all the politicians who have come and gone up to modern times.

LifeandFate

“Life and Fate” is a Mini-Russian TV series based on the novel of the same name. Although I don’t care much for subtitles this one is much easier to read as it is blacked with white lettering.
The characterizations are pretty slick Hollywood-type in what westerners would call typical Russian stereotypes and icons. Still it is an enjoyable production that could have never been done in the Soviet era. “‘Life and Fate’ is an epic tale of World War II and a reckoning with dark forces emerging, including Stalinism. With Hitler and the Nazi army looming on the Front, the series takes us deep into the hearts and minds of citizens and soldiers struggling to cope with the ravages of war” as one reviewer succinctly wrote.
Still if you want to understand more about Russia and even understand the mindset of a nation that many think is still an adversary today, this drama may shed some light on a complicated dog and pony show of modern times.

advice

If I was going to give any advice to the younger generation, I would try to save as much as you can if nothing more than a dollar a day. That doesn’t mean necessarily investing in something- I’d only do any investment if it was “safe” or the alternative would be- prepare yourself to lose it all. The fallacy of “amateurs” in investing is they get too nervous like in a Wall Street stock when it goes down- they sell off too quickly. Mutual funds with a track record of more than 20 years to me is a good safe investment. There’s plenty of funds that are either environment friendly or progressive. But you have to do some research. I would ask myself what would the future bring? I’d say solar, power companies, perhaps a few startups if they are involved in some sort of futuristic endeavor. Organic Farming would appear to me to be a pretty safe thing. Of course if you had the equity, land in the right location on the fringes of cities will pay off in 20 years or so. Even though things look bleak for many folks these days, investing and finding the right career will do more to lift one out of the lower classes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s tougher today to find a good paying job. Anything having to do with technology and the ability to learn new skills will enhance prospects. No matter how much automation the future will bring there will be a need for folks who can service the technology. Did i leave anything out of course- if you can add anything positive to this please do- save your criticism for when you get old and you know a lot more about the world…

heaven

“On their way to a justice of the peace to get married, a couple has a fatal car accident. The couple is sitting outside heaven’s gate waiting on St. Peter to do the paperwork so they can enter. While waiting, they wonder if they could possibly get married in Heaven. St. Peter finally shows up and they ask him.
St. Peter says, ‘I don’t know, this is the first time anyone has ever asked. Let me go find out,’ and he leaves.
The couple sit for a couple of months and begin to wonder if they really should get married in Heaven, what with the eternal aspect of it all. ‘What if it doesn’t work out?’ they wonder, “Are we stuck together forever?”
St. Peter returns after yet another month, looking somewhat bedraggled. ‘Yes, he informs the couple, you can get married in Heaven.’
Great,’ says the couple, ‘but what if things don’t work out? Could we also get a divorce in Heaven?’
St. Peter, red-faced, slams his clipboard onto the ground.
What’s wrong?’ exclaims the frightened couple.
Geez!’ St. Peter exclaims, ‘It took me three months to find a priest up here! Do you have any idea how long it’s going to take for me to find a lawyer?”

Comrade J

“I want to warn Americans. As a people, you are very naïve about Russia and its intentions. You believe because the Soviet Union no longer exists, Russia now is your friend. It isn’t, and I can show you how the SVR is trying to destroy the U.S. even today and even more than the KGB did during the Cold War.”

Comrade J: The Untold Secrets of Russia’s Master Spy in America After the End of the Cold War” by Pete Earley

“This book exposes secrets told by a top Russian intelligence officer who had access to information denied his countrymen. This book also describes an odyssey, a personal story about the disillusionment of a former Soviet patriot and the reasons he put his life and that of his family at risk by becoming a spy for the United States.”

Of course realizing that this book comes from someone who reportedly received nothing except asylum for defecting and was being “handled” by the FBI and CIA. I’m reading another book written in 1992 that predicts Russia would become very regressive in the years ahead. Folks make the mistake of associating communism with progressiveness when in fact it was an authoritarian dictatorship. Anybody should be able to figure that out by the number of billionaires in Russia after the fall of communism….

Much has been made of the division between the middle to the extreme left. Most folks would agree that any progressive candidate would need the majority of the middle of the road folks who no doubt voted Republican, especially in the sparsely populated states.
Now this begs the question as if candidates who garnered the votes necessary to win could lose the support of those who voted for them. Much of this is a distraction from issues since much if not most of the propaganda coming forth even from MSM is one of “personality.” The new mode of political discourse would appear to be the belligerent rantings from thoroughly unqualified candidates designed to stir the feelings of inadequacy so long part of the American electorate.
The only thing that trickles down is the consequences from voting and electing candidates who continually favor policies that enrich the elites.

bigots

This is the way the elites keep common folks at each other’s throats. Elites don’t want folks see all the things we have in common. Race and sexuality are such superficial bias that it shows the intelligence levels of most people. I do think there is an innate bias built into folks but of course we have a media and bigots ready to exploit it every step of the way- the only way obviously is to establish a dialogue and make it continually run all the time. Younger folks will be battling this for the rest of their lives so if you want change be prepared for the long run. Some joker from one of the pro-Trump groups posted a video of black folks humping each other fully clothed with a caption something like “you wonder why so many blacks get AIDS” and I commented something like “you wonder how long racists and bigots will keep posting the same old videos.” None of us can ever do an adequate job of policing bigotry because it’s all over the place except to either make fun of it or point out how silly this stuff is when we will in the now and future have more problems caused by our lack of unity. I gave up on trying to get my family to see that because it falls on deaf ears- the only person i could get any of this across to was my dad and now he’s dead. It’s a constant battle but what you can do is when you see a person of another race acknowledge them even if only to smile and say “hi.” That goes a long way to establishing some sort of sanity…

Germany

“To start with, there will be intimidation and harassment, followed by oppression and violence. This in turn will strengthen the opposition, which will answer violence with more violence. And so the spiral of violence starts and will lead, either to a bloody civil war, or to an abject cauldron of suppression and abuse of human rights and dignity. Either way, the democratic order will have perished.”
“For All It Was Worth: A Memoir of Hitler’s Germany – Before, During and After WWII” by Bernhard R. Teicher, Harald B. Teicher