Election Prediction: Trump beats Clinton

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{{I put this up in March but took it down two weeks later because I was too fed up and disgusted with this never-ending election cycle.  But I’ll leave it up…for now.}}

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If you’ve read anything on this site, you know I despise both political parties.  I vowed long ago to never vote for either party in federal or state elections.

However, this doesn’t mean I don’t know to read the tea leaves to see which way things are going.

Now this Donald Trump thing has happened and everyone says the world is falling apart. Early on, I admit I wasn’t paying too much attention to Mr. Trump. I thought he was an egoist on an absurd adventure that couldn’t go anywhere. Among the GOP candidates, I actually thought Jeb probably had the best chance to become POTUS only because I believed him to be the most palatable to the broader public in a general election against any Dem. Especially against Hillary since she can’t use the term “dynasty” or “corrupt” against anyone as they apply too well to her.

As Donald began to rise, I began rooting against him. I vehemently disagree about that wall and travel moratorium and still do…but I really enjoy him talking about corrupt politicians, giving out Lindsey Graham’s phone number (which I definitely called to tell him he sucks at his job – Thanks, Donald!), and now blatantly using Chris Christie like an obedient tool. How can you not enjoy someone treating politicians with the contempt they deserve?

Like many others, I’m ready to make my prediction for November:

Donald Trump will win the election and become President of The Unites States of America.

The  reason is simple: all things considered, the American people will think he is the best candidate and thus will deserve to win.

Donald will not be running against Nelson Mandela, Ronald Reagan, or even 1992’s feel-good Bill Clinton. He is running against the 2016 version of Hillary Clinton.

People get very upset about the various offensive things Donald has said about whatever group. I know I have several times.  Cursed him aloud, wished ill upon his fortunes and mocked his hair. But let’s not be naive. Donald is a salesman and he has been successfully selling a message to a particular audience. Back when no one would take him seriously, he pitched loudly to the more extreme yet largely-shoved-aside portion of the republican base in order to gain some steam. He could have pitched to the same brands of Republicans that Jeb did but there was always a plethora of the same-as-usual GOP candidates doing the same thing. Wasn’t there more than ten to start? By taking his rhetoric to a slightly more extreme than his opponents, he was able to harness the frustration that exists in the large portion of the GOP base that always feels they are being taken for granted by their leaders.

But that’s all he’s done. Sold a message better than his opponents. With more zing and passion, he says what the audience wants to hear. Does anyone actually think Donald Trump is truly a racist? Or that he truly hates immigrants? Look at his lifestyle and history. I believe Donald will say what he needs to win that GOP nomination. I believe Donald would make a profitable deal with anyone, no matter of their race, creed, religion, or sexual orientation. I believe he has essentially one question for everything: “is it good for what I’m doing now?”

Beware when this talented salesman starts selling a broader message with all that zing but to a broader electorate. The anti-establishment sentiment he captured on the right also exists on the left. The left just currently views him as an odious racist and loon. But again, he hasn’t been selling to them…yet.

Soon, the message will shift. He won’t need to make the race-baiting or anti-immigrant statements to get ahead. Or at least he will not need to make them as strongly. We Americans have short memory spans and the rhetoric in the coming months will be very different than what we’ve heard. The large undecided portion of our electorate will make their choice in November based on what they heard in August, September and October of 2016, not 2015.

When I take an objective look at what I think will happen over the next eight months, I must be honest with myself and state that Donald Trump will beat Hillary Clinton. It won’t be a fluke. He will have earned it.

Here’s why:

1) The economy.

In the general election, it’s the economy, stupid. The Clintons know this all too well. While Obama, who kept greasing GWB’s QE debt machine, has seen high stock prices and low gas prices, meaningful jobs is the number one thing people in this country want.

Attacking free trade policies is a winner on both the left and right and Donald knows this. In the general, he will drive this one home over and over again. Hillary on the other hand is weighted down by a terrible legislative record supporting free trade back to its beginning with NAFTA, done by her husband. With her legislative baggage and well-known wealthy corporate backers, she cannot counter this argument. Even Bernie Sanders has used her record against to great effect.

Attacking free trade resonates with Americans and Donald is the only one in the general that gets to support its deconstruction.

2) Foreign policy.

Immigration aside, his foreign policy will be more appealing to a unique yet vast cross section of people.

Donald has said he’d make a deal with anyone if its in America’s interest, including Iran, Assad, Russia, whomever. Does anyone doubt this? The only group he’s said he’d kill is ISIS and everyone is trying to do that already.

Donald said the Iraq war was a mistake and only a moron or liar cannot see this. Meanwhile Hillary voted for the authorization of the use of force in Iraq.  I am 100% certain that before Donald’s rise, Hillary was 100% certain that her Republican opponent would not be able to use Iraq against her.  How unlucky is she!  And no matter what back and forth statements Donald made pre-2003, he was not a public official and did not cast a vote to obliterate an innocent nation and help spawn groups like ISIS…as Hillary did.

 

3) Donald has eschewed all monies from all usual suspects: the lobbies, corporations, rich jerks and special interest groups that always twist our foreign and domestic policies to their desire at the public expense. Donald will continue to state this against Hillary, who is one the most elite-money entrenched candidates in American history.

I have never seen anyone piss off Wall Street, The Kochs, Liberals, and Establishment Media at the same time and succeed at doing it. The more his message of financial independence is spread, the more people will gravitate to him in the general. He gets to appear as the first legitimate anti-establishment candidate in a long time while Hillary appears as THE MOST establishment candidate available. No billionaire could ever be so lucky.

4) Donald does not have Hillary’s baggage. He is a business man and no matter what statements he made in the past, he can always explain them somehow. He has no voting record unlike Hillary and can trot out decades of records from both Hillary and Bill. I bet NAFTA and free trade gets talked about a lot in the coming months. All Hillary can do is complain and say he has no experience in government affairs or mock him.

It is kind of like Obama in 08 – Barack had been around for such a short period that there wasn’t a record to throw against him and the whole “no experience” complaint does not hold water against a charismatic speaker, which both Obama and Trump are.

5)Pro-choice/Pro Gay Rights – I don’t know if Donald has said anything about these issues during this campaign but I don’t care if he has. Donald Trump is not against abortion or gay rights. I would not believe that he has ever cared to be against those positions.

He will be the first GOP candidate that gets to appeal to the broad section of the left for which pro-choice/pro-gays is non-negotiable. The GOP base is not voting for a Clinton so Donald loses nothing with a socially liberal position and gains everything. His socially liberal lifestyle gives him an ability to siphon away alot of voters in the middle or on the left who may like his business background. I know women who like many things about the GOP but would never vote Republican because of their pro-life or anti-gay positions. Trump is not making this mistake and it will undercut a longstanding loyal portion of the Democratic base.

6) Melania Trump. We Americans don’t often base our opinions on real substance after having analyzed both candidates and creating pro/con lists. No, it is more a beauty pageant or popularity contest for many Americans.

One of the most appealing stories about a potential Trump presidency is his wife. They will trot her out as often as possible during the general election. Melania is an immigrant who grew up poor in Soviet-era housing in Eastern Europe. She appears to be sufficiently nice and sweet yet able to defend herself. And she is knock-down beautiful.

The story of a girl going from such humble beginnings to First Lady of White House is pretty darn cool to anyone with an immigrant background. In this country, this is ALOT of people. Inspiring even if its only through marriage and not just inspiring to Americans. It would be inspiring to many people around the world. In a way, her life story and career success along with this enforces a notion that in America, dreams can come true. That we are a nation of built from all kinds of people, that we love all kinds of people, and that any kind of person may one day find themselves in the highest of echelons in America. At least this is what will be sold by Team Trump.

With Hillary, it’s slick Willy Clinton and no matter what message Team Clinton sells, everyone knows or thinks that he will use every free moment to hit on any woman he meets.

The beauty pageant portion of his contest goes hands down to Mr. Trump and his beauty pageant-winning wife with humble immigrant roots.

Team Trump has a lot going for them right now. I am kind of stunned that what I thought impossible just a few months ago appears inevitable.

When I add up all the factors…even subjectively for this socially liberal atheist from a muslim country who is married to a hispanic woman and has many muslims in his family, I think Donald will win.

In November, I believe the perceptions of the electorate will be:

Donald is better than Hillary on the economy.

Donald will make foreign policy deals in America’s interest and Hillary is more of the same foreign policy.

Donald would tell any portion of the establishment to shove it up their ass. Hillary is the establishment.

Hillary has too many scandals.

Donald will not waste time on an abortion/gay culture war so nothing is gained by voting Democrat.

Donald’s wife is much more enjoyable to listen to and look at than Bill Clinton…x 10000

President Trump is coming. Hold on to your britches and get ready.

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Candidate X

 

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Hi, My name is _______ {Fill in a name. Preferably a classic American name that sounds like a guy you’d meet at a BBQ in Iowa. Something like Blaine Christopher.} and I am running for ________.{Fill in federal office – aim for the sky!}  Let me tell you about myself: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ {Make statements about how you love your family and show an endearing picture of the wife and children. If you have no family, show a picture of you helping impoverished kids and them smiling. Relate any personable or motivational stories from your past, discussing/making up obstacles you’ve overcome. If applicable, harp incessantly on prior experience in the military, law enforcement, as a prosecutor or with prior office.}

Campaign Platform Focus:

The focus of my campaign is strengthening our economy and creating meaningful jobs, reining in the wasteful government spending and bailouts ballooning the national debt, education reform and a return to competency, the restoration of civil liberties and reform of police practices, a return to accountability and the prosecution of past crimes, utilizing a sound foreign policy that creates allies rather than strengthens enemies, reform of the NCAA and American sports and protecting the environment.

Contents:

  1. The Economy
  2. Immigration
  3. Education Reform
  4. The War on Terror
  5. The Patriot Act and Civil Liberties
  6. Investigation into and Prosecution of Past Crimes
  7. Decriminilization of Marijuana
  8. NCAA and Sports Reform
  9. The Environment

The long version…

1) The Economy

A) The Deconstruction Of Free Trade

The methodical and tempered deconstruction of free trade with many nations is the only thing that will bring jobs back. Free trade, or rather “labor for the lowest bidder” has been the largest destroyer of American jobs since 1995, and has had a direct impact on immigration.

Acts like NAFTA were sold to the American public as opening up further markets for American workers to sell their products while also creating price competition and product diversity within America, benefitting the American consumer. We were told these acts would help nations like Mexico grow their middle class, in turn creating more buyers for American goods.

But the exact opposite occurred.  Free trade became a mechanism for American corporations to move their workforce to any foreign nation for which the costs of labor, and regulatory costs, were minimal compared to the costs of operating in America.  As more and more nations were given free trade agreements, corporations across various industries had more and more low-cost labor options to choose.

Worse, corporations who may have desired to keep an expensive, skilled American workforce were put at a major disadvantage against the companies that maximized profits by taking their labor costs abroad.  By creating a vehicle by which corporate executives were faced with a choice of maximizing profits dramatically by moving their factory to China or being at a financial disadvantage against competitors who did so, our free trade policies incentivize the erosion of the American workforce.

Free trade has also failed to benefit the nations with which the agreement were made. In the case of Mexico and Central America, it has been met with disastrous effects.  Rather than grow the middle class of these nations or assist in providing political or economic stability, it destroyed their middle classes and wrecked their economies.

Without the regulatory infrastructure or evolution of worker’s rights available in America, they became societies of low-income workers making products that were once made here.  But without the means to demand a wage increase or demand further rights.  And without those means, they are ensured to be a preferable choice to American, or foreign, corporations as a location to place their labor costs rather than within the United States.

American labor should have never been forced to compete to make American products against workers from nations where they are barely more than indentured servants. But don’t blame corporations for this. Blame Congress for continuously passing these legislations.

Free trade also puts small business and newly created businesses at an incredible financial disadvantage against big business. Whereas a large multi-national has the means to transplant their labor costs to a third-world country and ship their product to the US, small and new businesses cannot do the same. They are left having to pay more per person to do effectively the same work, sticking them with much higher marginal costs than their foreign labor competitors.

However, while free trade is harmful to the American workforce, it cannot be dissolved completely nor should it be. In fact, there are many nations for which free trade is wholly appropriate.

I propose that free trade agreements be limited to nations which possess a stable political and legal system, large middle class and sufficient worker protections. Somewhat a free trade union of worker’s rights abiding nations. Nations like Germany, France, Japan, Canada, etc.  Free trade agreements should only be given to those nations for which there are no incentives for domestic corporations for either nation to supplant their labor costs by jumping to other markets. There would be no costs savings or maximizing profit for an American corporation to fire its workforce and move to Munich because the German workers would costs the same if not more.  Further, the German middle class is strong and wealthy enough to buy American products and vice versa. This is where free trade works.  And for these nations, there should be no change in our free trade policies.

But not with nations whose economies and governments have not yet evolved to the point where they have a strong and stable middle class, government, and legal system. Methodically and over a period of many years, the free trade agreements with these nations, particularly Mexico, China, those in Central America, should be deconstructed, piece by piece, industry by industry, with the introduction of targeted tariffs that will protect products in made in America and protect American workers.

We must do this slowly because the introduction of tariffs into business structures would result in near-term increases in prices. Too many tariffs at once or too near in time could have sharply negative results for consumers and the broader economy.

B) The Restoration Of Capitalism And Curtailing Over-Regulations That Serve To Protect Big Business

Although we blame capitalism for many things, the United States has not been a capitalist country for a long time. Capitalism is designed to be a meritocracy predicated on fair competition. In too many areas, we allowed overregulation to limit competition and hinder only small businesses by creating arduous barriers to entry within too many industries. Many regulations designed to provide a sense of safety only turned into extremely costly regulatory compliance with the bureaucracies created to regulate the industries. There are too many layers of burdens upon regular Americans attempting to start a business. Many of these layers, not all, must be rolled back to allow the creation of more small businesses by average Americans.

For example, there was a time where if you wanted to start a Taxi service, you could write the word taxi on the side of a vehicle and start. Whether your company thrived or failed depended on your abilities as a business manager. But this pure capitalism came with pitfalls. Eventually, somewhere, some un-regulated taxi driver committed a crime or negligently caused the death of someone. In response, we created licensing services to ensure that a person was qualified to enter the market place and help prevent these kinds of tragedies.

The intent was right, but along the way, it became more and more costly to obtain a taxi license, or medallion, as subsequent politicians added more layers of regulation. Today, the cost of a medallion authorizing one taxi  in New York City is over $1 Million. In nearly all of America’s major cities, the costs are several hundred thousand. These costs are simply unreachable for average Americans. The only entities who can afford this are large investors and corporations who purchase the medallions and hire drivers as minimum wage employees.

While the driver has a minimum wage job, he has no chance of creating a company within his skill set because he will never be able to afford the medallion.  No matter his skills or adeptness at running a taxi service, we created a system where he can never be more than a common employee.

The over-regulation of many industries serves only to protect those currently with wealth and power because it eliminates competition by never allowing the competition to be created. Throughout American industries, we must examine where our over-burdensome regulatory schemes have worked to prevent competition and either repeal/rollback these regulations or provide exceptions that encourage the creation of small businesses.

We must give small businesses an opportunity to grow and compete on the merits of their product and services and not based on whether they can afford the lawyers to comply with 2000 pages of federal, state, and local regulations. In many cases, simply more freedom will be enough to create more jobs. We must not continue with a mentality that has resulted in police officers stopping children from selling lemonade on the side of the road.

C) An End To Corporate Socialism/Protectionism And An End To Corporate Bailouts

No corporation should ever be deemed too big to fail. The U.S government must stop subsidizing the bad transactions of its largest financial institutions. We disregarded moral hazard by opening the public checkbook to crooks and stifled the spending power of the average American, creating the largest wealth gaps in history.

By bailing out major banks, airlines, or automakers, we incentivize and protect their bad behavior. But worse, particularly in the case of the banks, we ordained them kings of the court forever. Had the major banks failed, there would have indeed been a large negative impact on our economy in the short term. But not the long term. By preventing them from failing, we stopped hundreds of smaller and mid-sized investment firms that had not engaged in these practices from capturing the market share left over. We stopped any who were wiser or more adept at their trade from taking their rightful places at the top.

Instead of allowing capitalism to reward those who do well, we decided to publicly subsidize the ineptitude of their failing competitors, giving them a blank check. Now, it is those small firms who are at a more extreme financial disadvantage. Their large-firm competitors have free money to use and no risk of loss while they must operate by the normal rules of risk and reward. In the investment world, it is the equivalent of making some gods and telling them they get to compete against ants.

Rather, capitalism should be allowed to do its job. When a major corporation engages in terrible business practices and fails, it will be broken up. Its pieces will be sold to its competitors for them to integrate into their structures as they fill the market void left by the failing entity. I stand against publicly subsidizing private corporate losses, against corporate socialism and against corporate protectionism.

D) Miscellaneous

I support maintaining a strong dollar against foreign currencies and against quantitative easing programs.

I support the re-establishment of the Glass-Steagall Act and/or similar restrictions regarding the commingling of commercial and investment banks.

I support legislation requiring high-risk home loan, auto, and credit providers to maintain ownership, or a percentage of ownership, of loans issued beyond certain high rates, thus ensuring the risk of loss, to an extent, remains with the original creditor and thus discouraging predatory lending.

I support repealing the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and re-instituting restrictions on cross-ownership of media companies.

I support legislations that restrict or ban high-frequency trading within many exchanges and markets.

I support auditing the Federal Reserve.

I support the repeal of Obamacare and the introduction of a single payer and private insurance system similar to Canada, France, Germany, and many others.

To assist the financial growth of American families, I support increasing the limits on several taxable deductions, including the student loan interest and annual child-care deductions.

 

2) Immigration

We must take a more sensible approach when it comes to immigration.

We must always remember America is nation of immigrants and I continue to support the many lawful immigration entry policies available. All immigrants to America, whether they be unregulated or not, must be afforded appropriate rights and the respect deserving of all humans.

But we cannot deny that the massive unregulated movements of peoples across borders does not have an adverse impact on a nation’s economy, from labor pressures to the increased costs of providing government services to every person within a jurisdiction.

However, walls and increased deportations will never solve America’s unregulated immigration problems. Nor will policies that callously separate parents from their children. These only address the symptoms of illegal immigration and do it in costly and ineffectual ways.

We will not see a substantial decrease in the number of unregulated immigrants until we address the problem at the source. People do not make the perilous journeys across the seas or deserts in rickety transportation, often with a variety of criminal elements preying upon them, because they want to run away from a good situation. They do it because the nation they are leaving cannot provide them or their children with a prosperous future. They do it because they seek security and because that deadly journey and a chance at a life in America is worth the risk.

This dynamic will never change until the source nations of America’s unregulated immigrants are able to stabilize themselves, particularly Mexico and those in Central America.

We must be more direct, yet also more honest, with these nations and ourselves about the causes of the decline in their stability.

One of those causes is the same that has devastated America’s work force: free trade and broader economic policies that allow American capital to place its workforce abroad to avoid labor costs. While free trade stabbed the American worker in the back, it also devastated the economies of many nations from which we now see large waves of unregulated immigration. Their locally owned small business, like ours, and even nationally-owned business were suddenly made to compete against foreign giants. Their political structures became flooded with money representing foreign interests, which almost always wins over the demands of a local population seeking more rights.

More so, free trade created a race to the bottom for many nations. Often, the political and business elites of poorer nations lure foreign capital by advertising that their people lack labor rights and can be employed for minimal amounts. They advertise that foreign capital can be assured the government will never enact any legislations or take any steps to change this dynamic. Neither American workers nor their counterparts in foreign nations should be forced to engage in a race to the bottom when it comes to wages.

Free trade has been devastating on all ends. Its negative consequences to the economies of the poorer nations have only exacerbated America’s problem of unregulated immigration. We must deconstruct free trade to allow the economies of poorer nations to evolve without the unduly interference of foreign capital and the political power it can afford to buy within their societies.

We must be honest about how our broader foreign policy also directly affects immigration. We must ensure that our policy is not to engage in endless meddling to protect private financial interests that are counter to the needs and development of local populations. Just as deconstructing free trade would allow poorer nations to evolve their economies and strengthen their middle classes, we must allow those same nations to evolve politically without US interference, either covert or overt. We must limit ourselves to providing honest guidance and assistance based on a mutual respect and never by engaging in policies that usurp their local interests for the benefit of private money.

Miscellaneous: I support fulfilling the promises of the Dream Act. I support the continued acceptance of war refugees into America pursuant to longstanding UN and US placement programs.

 

3) Education Reform

Our centralized education system is failing America’s youth. I support the termination of federal standardized testing and a restructuring of the Department of Education. While maintaining a reduced supervisory role over curriculum, I support changing the primary function of the Department of Education away from drafting standardized curriculums to providing local jurisdictions with assistance on capital projects and funds on a per-student basis.

We must allow the states and local communities to have more authority and control over the curriculum of America’s children. The centralized system has only helped America’s youth fall behind their foreign competitors. By requiring total commonality and not allowing for any independence of curriculum, we are anchoring our best and brightest to a lowest common denominator rather than allowing them to develop at their own pace with support from their schools.

With every change in the White House, the centralized system shifts to help achieve the political goals of the incoming party. This leaves America with a fractured education system that has only gotten worse over time. For decades, the administering and development of America’s educations programs by DC bureaucrats has been a race to the bottom.

We must allow the States and local jurisdictions to take more control over the education of their youths while also providing the funding assistance needed.

We must provide more trust in local communities to provide education programs designed to uniquely fit their communities and enhance the educational experience of their students.

We must allow local communities to engage in teaching and use their discretion rather than require a nation of kids to memorize pamphlets and standardized test questions.

We must enable schools and communities to devote resources to music programs, art programs, PE, drama programs, etc., rather than devote all resources to complying with an unbending common curriculum.

Allowing each state to develop its own curriculum, as they once did, will also result in a laboratory effect of teaching methods, education practices, and curriculum structures. In time, this will show us which methods are more successful and less successful, enabling struggling jurisdictions to seek out examples of successful structures. We must allow those who can do better than the federal government to do so. We must not hold them back.

With a central system, it is one-size-fails-all. Changing the structure of the Department of Education, terminating the standardized tests and limiting its power over curriculum will help restore America’s education system as a world leader.

Miscellaneous: I do not support zero-tolerance policies. I support teachers and administrators exercising sound judgment in determining whether an act should be reprimanded or merely ignored. I do not support punishing students if they do something otherwise innocuous, like playing cowboys and Indians or shooting someone with an imaginary gun.

Regarding college financing programs, I support limiting the re-sale of debtor notes among private creditors and capping student loan interest rates.

 

4) The War On Terror

While there have been many errors and crimes committed in the execution of the War on Terror, against both American citizens and foreign nationals, time machines do not exist and we must determine how to go forward from the present.

Within the War on Terror, we must win an ideological battle. Not with words espousing a superficial devotion to the rule of law and rights of man but with actual actions and practice in the face of adversity.

Not killing innocent civilians while hunting terrorists, either as a result of collateral damage, erroneous targeting, or callous and loose operating procedures must become a real objective in this conflict. Not violating the human rights of prisoners and treatment of all in accordance with honorable principles must become paramount to our methods of operation.

For every innocent person killed by an American drone or bomb, we create multiple (the amounts of) enemies from their family, friends and communities. For every person imprisoned and tortured within an American facility, or by a government propped up and supported by us, we lend credence to the words of our enemies that we only intend harm. We must defend ourselves while applying our principles and not merely pay lip service to them.

To achieve these objectives, I support greatly restricting and restructuring America’s armed drone program to prevent the deaths of non-combatants.

I support ending American’s extra-judicial assassination programs, closing Guantanamo Bay and America’s many black-site prisons.

I support restructuring our overly-supportive relationships with several nations within the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Qatar, among others.

I support greatly limiting the amount of military aid provided to several regimes throughout the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa, though not its full termination. We cannot achieve our global objectives of peace and stability by funding and arming regimes and governments that routinely violate the human rights of their constituents or those around them.

I support continued negotiations, nuclear agreements with monitoring, and peace with Iran.

 

5) The Patriot Act And Civil Liberties

I support the repeal of the Patriot Act, a total restoration of constitutional rights taken since 9/11 and an end to warrantless surveillance and detentions.

While police reform is generally an issue controlled by the states, there are many ways the federal government can help ensure proper police practices. I support buying body cameras for law enforcement officers or providing jurisdictions with financial incentives for their use. The use of body cameras not only helps prevent bad policing but they also help save administrative and judicial costs. Many cases are dismissed outright or resolved via plea, and without costly trials, solely because of the power of video evidence. This is also true if a civil case evolves from the matter.

I support increased funding and expansion of the Department of Justice to investigate more cases of civil rights violations by police. I support the termination of military training to police jurisdictions where abuses are prevalent and provision of civil rights trainings to all police jurisdictions.

 

6) Investigations Into And Prosecution For Past Crimes Of Government, Business, And Various American Individuals And Foreign Citizens And Entities Within US Jurisdictions

We have seemingly lost any ability to hold many people, whether they be wealthy private citizens or powerful government officials, to any measure of criminal accountability. We cannot rely on or expect partisans to do anything more than grandstand when it comes to applying the law because they themselves must worry about covering their own crimes or the crimes of their allies.

We must find a way to restore accountability to all levels of government and start afresh.  We cannot allow the criminal and hidden baggage of the past to continue to weigh down our future. Yet this is no simple task and the breadth of such an endeavor requires more than recycled promises from elected officials to behave better.

There are too many scandals and crimes for any individual or agency to investigate. And the lack of transparency in government makes it impossible for us to perceive the true scope of crimes committed by powerful people.

I support the creation of an open Truth and Reconciliation Commission. While broader in scope and power, this commission would be similar to the mechanism used by South Africa after the fall of apartheid and would investigate past crimes, including war crimes, discover victims and identify perpetrators, and establish a method of reconciliation on a morally accepted basis that allows the country to more forward once and for all.

To protect as best as possible from conflicts of interests, I support empaneling such a commission with elected members of the citizenry but excepting any person who has held or holds elected office (or their spouses), any lobbyist (current or former or their spouses), and current members of government, either federal or state (or their spouses). I support empowering this commission with the full subpoena, investigatory and charging authority of the federal government.

The creation of such a commission or investigative body, free from the leveraged interests of Congress and big business, is the only method by which people will be held accountable for past crimes. It is the only method by which the American public can restore accountability to Washington and the elite…or for Americans to know what is being and has been done in their name while finding a way forward. Otherwise, we are left to the empty promises of corrupt partisans or the law enforcement officials under their thumbs.

 

7) Decriminalization Of Marijuana

We know the economic and health benefits associated with the legalization of marijuana. But further, criminalizing it comes with unbearable societal costs that we aren’t measuring. Every time a youth, most often a minority, is arrested and convicted of a marijuana charge, we stifle the progress of their lives. This does not take into account the actual financial costs to government regarding the amounts spent on arresting, processing, jailing, adjudicating, paroling, and monitoring non-violent marijuana users.

Beyond those measurable costs, the long-term societal costs may be worse. Arrests and criminal records make obtaining a college education or job more difficult, sometimes impossible. By criminalizing marijuana, the state is sandbagging the futures of too many Americans, making it more likely that they will end up a part of the growing welfare state. Along with the front-end costs of policing marijuana, we are swelling our budgets on the back end as well.

We should not be placing unnecessary barriers on the progress of the lives of so many Americans. Especially when a system of regulation and taxation has been shown to work in several jurisdictions throughout the world and USA. I support the federal decriminalization of marijuana.

 

8) NCAA Reform And The Expansion Of Professional Sports

It is time that Congress addresses the gross inequities that pervade within the economies of sports. We generally avoid thinking about the structures of American sports because we view them as mere games. But these sports have developed into billion dollar industries that affect a lot of lives, especially America’s youth.

A) NCAA Reform

The NCAA, in many regards, has created a system of lawful generational theft. They own a monopoly on the path to professional sports and use it to profit in every way possible from young Americans. Doing so while exercising draconian rules against their behavior, holding their career hopes hostage. I do not believe that major universities give scholarships to athletes because they care about providing an education to them. Or that these athletic programs are truly done to enhance the educational experience of college. They are profit making schemes.

We cannot pretend that handing a kid a scholarship and a dorm room is equitable compensation for what the athlete brings to the school. For a university, a scholarship or simply not charging a student is cheap currency. For the athlete, he must take an uncompensated gamble on his future while at the same time actively doing an activity that is generating millions in profits. Yet by rule, they are prevented from demanding any further compensation. Or rather nothing more than the cheap currency of a scholarship, often coupled with a cookie major that cannot prepare them for the future but allows plenty of time to practice. I do not believe being a student athlete means you must yield all economic rights to administrators. We must stop treating young Americans, often minorities, as profitable athletic fodder for old men.

I believe in individual rights and protecting those who have the least bargaining power, like Americas young athletes, from unjust exploitation.  I support allowing negotiated compensation to students athletes when engaged in profit-making activities, including allowing them the full use and control of their likeness for individual profit. We must not let fears of individual cases of financial malfeasance justify an oppressive system that harms tens of thousands of normal Americans each year.

B) Expansion of Professional Sports

Not only should NCAA be reformed, the federal government should not protect the monopolies of America’s professional sports leagues. Congress should remove all anti-trust exemptions given to professional sports leagues and pass legislation empowering the FTC to ensure that new entrants are permitted based on an objective standard and identifiable criteria.

There is no modern justifiable reason that leagues like the NFL or NBA should enjoy a monopoly and be permitted to prevent new businesses from joining the competition, even if the new business seeks entry within an already saturated market. The closed-system leagues must not be allowed to construct subjective and shifting barriers to entry into a marketplace. And fandom alone should never trump the public benefits of economic competition.

If an investment group or an individual desires to start a sports team, and can meet a pre-determine standard with reasonable threshold requirements for capital funding, business structure, etc, then they should not be required to seek the permission of already established entities to compete. The leagues can adjust their structures accordingly to their desire to meet an influx of new entrants.

Every team created, like any business, means jobs and tax income based off of those jobs. As an example, the NBA has thirty teams, thirty administrative staffs, thirty coaching staffs and player rosters. In total, a few thousand people involved in the sport, deriving incomes they spend in their communities and taxable to local, state, and federal authorities. Along with the direct employees, many thousands more rely on the income the sport create,s including support staff, stadium vendors, merchandise manufacturers, hotels workers, security staffs, local law enforcement agencies and so forth.

With an open system allowing competition, there would not be only 30 professional teams across each sport. The amount would be determined by how many teams the American sports market could handle. It would not be limited to protect billionaires from facing increased competition. For many cities or states like Iowa or West Virginia, such a system is only the method by which they ever likely to have a pro-sports team.

Accordingly, there would be multiple the amount of executives, managers, trainers, vendors, manufacturers and athletes. While deconstructing free trade would take many years, if not a decade or more, the expansion of professional sports may be the largest short-term job creation vehicle available to our nation. Job creation that would also benefit the many minority groups that represent a large percentage of the labor within the sports industry. And unlike other industries and despite our current free trade policies, these jobs cannot be exported.

Creating objective standards to entry and enforcing capitalistic principles of fair competition would also eliminate long-standing concerns regarding minority ownership of sports franchises. In order to compete and start a franchise, minority-controlled ownership groups would no longer need permission from rich men hoping to maintain their monopoly.

Beyond job creation or concerns regarding minority ownership , ending this system of corporate protectionism would end the game of exploitation teams routinely play with local governments when asking for handouts to build new stadiums. We allow these leagues to limit the number of entrants and their individual teams are able to hold towns hostage with the threat of departure. As there can only be so many teams in the leagues, the threat of a team leaving leaves local populations with the tough choice of coughing up millions or saying goodbye to professional sports with little hope of its return.

This scheme of public exploitation would not exist if these protected businesses knew that a new entrant could immediately fill the market they left. Cities and towns would not feel as compelled to hand over money, often previously allocated to schools and social services, to a private business. Rather than be able to dangle the threat that a town would be permanently left without a sports franchise, the towns would know that if their market can support a franchise, another ownership group will come along.

The current system places all the negotiating leverage with private businesses and they use their leverage to extort local politicians. Requiring objective standards to entry within the sports marketplace would switch the dynamic and place the leverage with public officials and save billions for cities and towns across America.

The potential benefits of reforming the economies of sport would be far reaching for many Americans. Unfortunately, the potential economic impact and benefit to us all through direct or indirect employment, tax revenues, or public finances, is prevented to preserve the status quo of current monopolies and billionaires. I support reforming the economies and structures of American sports, both collegiate and professional.

 

9) The Environment

I support strengthening our environmental protections regarding the release of harmful pollutants and metals by heavy industry. Including, by example, in the case of the BP oil spill, levying criminal charges for dangerous, reckless or negligent business practices.

I support further funding and regulation to ensure clean sources of a freshwater for future generations, including further anti-fracking regulations.

I support further protections and conservation of wetlands, forests and natural habitats from unregulated development.

I support expanding the National Parks system to conserve more land for its natural purpose.

I do not support global warming alarmism. I do not support carbon taxes on greenhouse gases. For over twenty years, too much federal funding and too many resources have been devoted to promoting and advertising global warming as tomorrow’s disaster. This alarmism has been largely based on movie-like hysteria, consistently failing weather models or shifting standards.

This devotion has come with a large opportunity cost in that the billions spent promoting these fears could have been spent on more legitimate environmental causes. Rather than continue to devote federal funding in its current amount to global warming initiatives, I support re-directing much of that funding to more traditional environmental issues, such as those mentioned above, or scientific research, including NASA.

I support more vigorous regulation and oversight of the American nuclear industry. Nuclear power is vital to our nation’s infrastructure. But ensuring against negative events within our nuclear industry is an activity for which we must be proactive and not reactive. Nuclear power is relatively young and in its short life, we have seen two catastrophes occur in Chernobyl and Fukushima. We must be certain that even in the case of an unexpected weather event, we are protected from such a calamity occurring on American soil. We must be certain that America’s nuclear power plants do not operate with sub-standard protocols and that violators are brought into compliance. Including, if necessary, the federal takeover of facilities and accompanying civil or criminal liability to violators.

Further, as nuclear disasters affect the global environment and oceans, we must be proactive, independently and in coordination with the IAEA, to ensure that all nuclear nations implement and utilize adequate safety protocols in the construction and operation of their facilities.

 

Conclusion

Thank you for your time. I’d like you to know ________________________________

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{Explain your reasons for running in selfless terms so it is inferred that personal gain and success are not motivations. Employ overdone political slogans such as “we need to clean up Washington”, “I’ll fight for you”, and “I stand against big business.” Provide a final description of yourself using positive resume words like ‘trustworthy’ or ‘hardworking’ as often as possible. Never forget to harp incessantly on prior experience in the military, law enforcement, as a prosecutor or with prior office. Repeat the last sentence. At the very end, no matter what is your opinion of religion, state “God Bless The United States of America.” Good luck.}

 

Putin’s Pounds of Flesh

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Russians play chess. A lot. It is reflected in their foreign policy. On the grand scale, they rarely make an unnecessary move. No pawn is budged solely because it is their turn. And when they make a necessary move it is decisive and quick. Then they hold firm, adapt to the new dynamic and repeat the method.

At least this has been the strategy since Putin has been in charge. We are not talking about Russian domestic policy, day to day foreign manipulations or trade agreements with neighbors. We are talking about the great and slow game Russia plays with NATO. Global hegemony and long term survival. Organic war.

In the past few years there are a couple of conflicts which reflect what we call ‘Putin’s Pounds of Flesh’.

In 2008, there was an irrelevant-to-us kerfuffle occurring in a small autonomous region called South Ossetia. South Ossetia is located within Georgia but had remained autonomous since the fall of the Soviet Union with the assistance of Russia and their counterparts in North Ossetia, located in Russia.

To the ire of Russia, NATO had been cozying up to Georgia for years by providing training and arms to the pro-western government installed via a revolution/coup in 2003. When Georgia brazenly bombed and sent in heavily armed troops to quell unrest in South Ossetia against the wishes of Russia, crap hit the fan fast. For Georgians.

We can only presume NATO and Georgia were confident of success in South Ossetia because Russia had not militarily asserted itself outside of its borders against a NATO-backed operation for twenty years. However, the end result of this campaign was a change in global dynamics to NATO’s detriment and the beginning of further aggressions which continue to escalate.

Supposedly, the plan was the Georgians would occupy South Ossetia without a significant Russian response. Most likely, the West would then use media and friendly regional governments to bolster a supporting narrative to maintain this new status quo, delivering a direct blow to Russia’s ability to exert influence on its borders.  Hopefully, further emboldening nations to attempt similar maneuvers or more loudly assert interests counter to Russia.

We say ‘would’ because this plan never got very far. Instead of accept the bombing of South Ossetia and deaths of Russian peacekeepers, Russia promptly invaded the next morning. Not just South Ossetia but Georgia itself. Even from the perspective of those not privy to superior information, it was clear the Russian army was wiping the floor with their Georgian counterparts. Within five days, Russia effectively conquered Georgia as if it were a movie only stopping 60KM outside of the capital Tbilisi. This was a statement to Georgia and the world that Georgia exists because Russia allows it to exist. And a larger statement that a bear has awoken.

Then attempting to appear magnanimous, Russia pulled back rather than destroy any more of Georgia. Yet they decided to keep South Ossetia and another region, Abkhazia, because really what could Georgia or anyone do about it.

This was the first pound of flesh taken by Putin’s Russia (at least which these simple observers noticed). Somebody messed with them beyond a determined threshhold so they made a quick and decisive move, changing their borders to their benefit before pulling back and allowing themselves and everyone to digest the new status quo. This has been their strategy since and so far without failure.

As an aside, we do wonder about the origins of the 2008 Georgian conflict. A plausible belief is NATO urged Georgia into the conflict at that time because they feared Russia’s long-term ability to re-assert itself after the rise in the price of oil since 2000. Back then, anyone could tell the next fifteen years looked brighter for Russia than the past fifteen years. NATO most likely wanted to maintain a weakened Russia before high commodity prices would allow Russia to strengthen further. In the 1990’s, NATO may have incorrectly assumed Russia would remain broke and indebted to western institutions for the next 30 years, providing ample time to slowly destroy Russia from within by various means.

However, it worked almost too perfectly for Russia. This conflict became the symbol of Russia’s resurgence on the global stage. Could Russia have duped Georgia or NATO into thinking Georgian action would be successful in South Ossetia and Russia would only bluff a response? Then when the bait was taken, Russia could respond swiftly, looking like a dominant military force and counter-weight to NATO and putting the skids on further near-term plans by any neighboring states.

Regardless of the true cause of the Georgian conflict, the result was a clear victory for Moscow. Further, the reasons for the Russian victory were not lost on NATO. A surplus country, Russia was able to re-invest into armed forces as well as re-establish itself as a major economic player. After Georgia, it must have been clear within the Pentagon that Russia’s ability to profit from its natural resource wealth had to be disrupted in order for smaller sovereigns to be able to chip away at the Russian bear.

But since attacking Russia directly and occupying its oil fields and Siberia are not a feasible or sane option, the only way to successfully send Russia back to the poor house is to take away buyers of Russian oil and gas: Eastern and Central Europe. Most of Europe would like independence of Russian energy but do not have a choice. The map of the world is the only map the world. At least for now.

So in examining the map, it is clear one country stands in the way of pipelines from the gulf to eastern and central Europe: Syria.

Forget what is said about chemical weapons or the evil-madman Assad. Forget whatever contrived reason will all-the-sudden become urgent to act upon. What matters is Syria stands in the way of a NATO victory in an organic war. Long a target for regime change, the attempts against Syria began heating up and eventually so began with what we will glibly refer to as Plan A: Syrian Arab spring. Of course, an Arab Spring covertly supported by the West which would topple Assad and place in power a pro-western government. A new and fledgling government which would need assistance and be willing to barter easements for pipelines. But the Syrian Arab Spring did not happen.

So then it was plan B: pay and arm violent opposition groups of any variety under the guise of humanitarian or good-guy rebel resistance against an evil regime. U.S. politicians went all in like fools on this one trying to arm these groups at every opportunity even though many of them were anti-American jihadi-style nutballs. Senator John McCain actually and stupidly went out there to meet a bunch of rag tag idiots masquerading in suits to help craft this image. What a joke. McCain needs a better handler. Plan B failed as well but not totally. The Syrian resistance groups like Al-Nusra sprang up and did manage to take over regions of the country, creating humanitarian nightmares for ordinary people and crippling the Syrian economy and its ability to support Assad in perpetuity. However, without more direct NATO assistance the rebels were losing the war with Assad and it was clear Plan B would never achieve the desired result.

Even if Assad’s forces are limited to western portions of the country indefinitely, they will still be able to indefinitely prevent any pipelines from crossing any portion of the country with their superior air force. Further, since a weakened Assad will always need the support of Russia to survive, it is assured destruction of any pipelines throughout the country will be as paramount an objective to Assad’s regime as holding Damascus. A weakened and diminutive Assad does nothing to further the ultimate objective. He and any threat to a future NATO-backed power within Syria had to go.

If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. On to Plan C. As it became apparent the rag tag numbskull murderous rebels would not get the job done on their own, NATO looked for way to get directly active in the conflict but needed a nice, juicy and salacious piece of news to go their way. Lo’ and behold as Assad’s forces were finally starting to win the Syrian civil war, Assad’s regime attacked civilians with chemical weapons….because…you know…this is exactly what people do when victory seems close at hand. At least this is what the always-honest American media reported.

Either way, the fortuitously timed reason was provided and every grandstanding politician and news-actor talked about red lines being crossed and the need to do something now. Like an Iraq-redux horror show, the war machine kicked off with lightening bi-partisan speed. Ships and war planes were being maneuvered and it appeared another major war and soulless disaster was upon us.

Now if you understand how much effort NATO is exerting to get rid of Syria, imagine how much Russia values Syria. They are looking at the same maps we are and know more than anyone what happens if Europe were able to ignore Russian gas in favor of NATO-backed Qatari and gulf oil. Syria is for all the marbles. Russia did not give much of a shit when the US attacked Iraq other than the usual diplomatic back and forth. They do not give too much of a shit about the US bombing everyone in East Africa and Central Asia. But Syria they care about.

So when NATO was arming up, Putin did what he believed was necessary to protect Russia’s future sovereignty. Russia literally anchored half its navy off the coast of Syria and declared Syria would give up any weapons. He essentially dared the US to risk a REAL-MOFO war over Assad and over some chemical attack which half of American suspected was done by their own government or the jihadis we sponsor. We did not live during the Cuban missile crisis but this was as nerve racking as we are willing to put up with.

Sadly, we did not worry Russia would dare pull a trigger to start something. We were petrified we would and so were many Americans. This trepidation led to an all out bi-partisan outcry from normal Americans shouting about how no one wanted this war. This was public pressure not experienced before any past American war run-up. Allies dropped like flies saying they would take no part. Putin ran a piece in Time Magazine pitching Americans to stop their leaders. Think about this for a second. At no point did it ever seem possible the president of Russia would appear far more sane to our public than any American leader. Shocking. The U.S. government stood alone in its desire to attack Assad. No one wanted to risk a war with Russia for this and Putin’s gambit worked to perfection.

This was a bold, dangerous and smart gamble. Putin read the psyche of the American people and the allies well. He knew there would be too much static refuting evidence about the chemical attack to garner enough support among the allies or public. And by having all those warships in between NATO and its objective, Russia and Putin showed they were willing to risk starting World War III, even if by accident, to protect their interests. This is the statement to learn: Russia will fight a world war against NATO to protect Syria, which is an important piece to victory and the survival of the power structures on each side.

Welcome to Plan D.  After NATO’s attempt to topple Syria was thwarted by the trump card which is the Black Sea Fleet, the objective became to neutralize the reach and effect of Russia’s navy to prevent a re-occurrence of what happened. There can always be another chemical attack or crossed red line to throw at Assad and restart the war machine on a moment’s notice. Therefore and since direct military action against Russia is not on the table, the Black Sea Fleet must be neutralized without direct action so the next opportunity against Assad can be capitalized upon.

Almost immediately after the flop in Syria, a “natural and grassroots’ uprising manifested in Ukraine. Very conveniently timed to serve NATO’s interest, Russia was left with a dilemma regarding the Crimean Peninsula, which hosted Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.

For a brief period, it looked as if NATO would be able to dislodge the Black Sea Fleet from its base, forcing it farther East into the Black Sea. Further, had Ukraine swiftly become a solidified NATO ally, NATO warships could at some future point dock at what would have been the former Russian base at Sevastopol. Had this occurred, it would have been unlikely Putin would be able to position half his navy off the coast of Syria to prevent a future attack. Rather the Black Sea Fleet would be bogged down in the Black Sea concerned about proximity of NATO warships to the Russian heartlands.

This was the plan. Take Ukraine and limit the reach of Russia’s military so the bear cannot thwart the creation of a pipeline from the middle east to Europe. After Georgia and Plan C, NATO understood Russia may always be able to threaten or call the bluff of the West with troops since Western citizenries, no matter how brainwashed, are not keen on potentially nuclear wars over middle eastern or central asian states. Joe Schmoe does not give a shit about organic warfare, only his immediate welfare.

Plan D was ambitious but as Mike Tyson said, everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. The Russian response to the developments in Ukraine was incredibly swift. Putin took another pound of flesh, holding up a middle finger to the world and topping his party off with a Winter Olympics.  And this pound weighed a lot more than an Ossetia and Abkhazia combined. They took the Crimean peninsula immediately. Regardless of statements about future elections, Crimea was Russian territory permanently upon its seizure. The future elections were processing stamps for bureaucrats. (During the opening ceremonies at Sochi, Team Russia walked in playing Tatu’s Not Gonna Get Us. Cheeky.)

It should have been no surprise Russia would not yield control over Crimea or accept the loss of its base at Sevastopol. Doing so would be accepting the neutralization of the Black Sea fleet, accepting the toppling of Syria and creation of a pipeline. And ultimately accepting of the loss of revenues from natural resources and a return to indebtedness a la the days of always-drunk Boris Yeltsin.

Rather, what was surprising was NATO’s tepid non-response to this obvious maneuver. We are not sure if Plan D, similar to Georgia, included merely hoping Russia would go along or if there was a plan to assert some military control over Crimea. Either way, Russia’s swift and decisive action created a new status quo before NATO could change the dynamic. Russia took back the land Kruschev gave to Ukraine and the Black Sea fleet maintained its uninterrupted reign throughout the Black Sea with easy access to the Eastern Mediterranean.

While NATO would love to create a land dilemma along the massive and flat border between these two nations, this consolation prize seems unlikely. In the East, Russia asserts enough influence quietly it can be sure to maintain an appropriate land buffer for some time and would likely invade eastern Ukrainian provinces if they felt it necessary. With the NATO government in Kiev broke and barely able to function, blame for current and future problems are falling at the feet of the newly elected ‘pro-democracy’ leaders. Russia seems quite capable and willing to keep Ukraine a mess for as long as it needs. So far, it appears unlikely NATO can establish a long-term or stable government without Russia’s agreement and involvement, which would negate any benefits to Plan D.

But after Plans A, B, and C, Plan D was not the only plan in action. Making a go at the Black Sea Fleet’s base is not the ultimate goal since direct confrontation is not on the table. A pipeline through Syria is the goal and NATO will seek it regardless of whether it can succesfully limit Russia’s military influence. It will simply adjust tactics and try new strategies.

Plan E is concurrent with Plan D. In fact, to these casual observers, we are not sure which started first. After the failures of Plan B and Plan C, NATO realized they would not be able to topple Assad by providing direct support to abhorrent militant groups. By being allies to such groups, NATO invites public and private opposition and can not generate sufficient support for the broad military assistance/action required to topple Assad’s regime. Especially when backed by Russia. No ally good enough could be created for which Western citizens would be willing to sacrifice.

Unable to find an ally to topple Assad, NATO needed an enemy to be an enemy of Assad. An enemy powerful and fluid enough to get the job done but vile enough Western peoples and leaders would never tolerate such a group running a country like Syria. A group so hideous and evil whom if they did obtain power, NATO would be cheered as heroes for changing the regime even if it meant full scale war. At least this is what Western peoples would be told while pipelines would be built. But who could conveniently do such a job? There is no Saddam to convince to invade neighbors. Al-Nusra and the other groups were allies and could not do it. So who?

Abracadabra ISIS. Again, perfectly timed. A mysteriously powerful and ambitious group spawned in the vast expanse of Western Iraq and Eastern Syria. Armed to the teeth with weapons ‘stolen’ from allied hands, they will do the most evil made-for-tv actions. Mass murder of innocents? Check. Raping women and children? Check. Beheading people and sticking skulls on posts outside of cities like it were the middle ages? Check. Every evil and nightmarish stereotype of the worst humans imaginable? Check. Check. Check.

Yet fortunately for us, they want to topple Assad and sell oil in a conveniently located area. Granted, they want to topple many but we casual observers know who is first on their list. And it does not take a genius to figure out should they be successful, the West will not wait long before fully invading Syria to replace the ISIS regime and control the vacuum thus created. Imagine terrifying and heart-wrenching scenes on the streets of ancient Damascus. Pundits will talk about how the most evilly vile and backwards regime conceivable (literally) is inflicting horrible crimes on the Syrian people who the West will, again, all the sudden give a massive shit about. ISIS is a venomously insidious and useful tool. If they were to take uncontested power in Syria or a major portion thereof, no one could argue against taking them out without sounding like an immoral coward. There could be no letter from Putin urging the American people. ISIS provides the perfect excuse for intervention wherever they go.

Plan E has been viciously productive. Mindless Western masses are eating it up. But it has not been successful or neared ultimate success and Assad remains despite ISIS. Further, Russia has not yet thrown a punch in Plan E. They are unlikely to do so unless Assad is truly threatened with losing power. Russia does not care whether Assad rules from a bunker while all of Syria burns. Russia only cares to assure the current dynamic does not allow the construction of pipelines.

Should ISIS appear close to success against Assad or should the West be close to taking control of Syria either through Assad or through ISIS post-Assad, recent history shows Russia will take quick and decisive action to alter the status quo to their advantage. Then they will hold firm not caring about Western noise or mis-guided sanctions which hurt Western economies more than Russia. Putin will try to take another and probably larger pound of flesh from the West and not look back.

Perhaps it will be a coup in Turkey, a revolution in Greece or war in the Balkans. Perhaps the announcement of a gold-backed Asian currency to combat the dollar or the sudden unannounced arrival of heavily-armed Russian “peace keepers” in Damascus.  From our un-illuminated perspective, this is impossible to predict. But it will come and there will be a new dynamic for which everyone must adapt. Then it will be on to Plan F and G and so on and so forth and yadda yadda yadda.

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Organic War

Humans have been killing each other for a long time. Forget what they say about prostitution, murder for self-interest is the oldest profession. It predates humanity since cro-magnum men and neanderthals were clobbering the crap out of each other.  Rest assured, it will continue. The universe demands this.

Like Judgment Day in the Terminator movies, some wars cannot be avoided. They can only be delayed or prevented for a time. And as hopeful or delusional as we may be, no war will ever be the last unless it ends all of humanity.

It has nothing to do with the reasons we learn in school. It is not a battle of cultures or religions or economic ideologies. Capitalism versus communism is irrelevant here. It is never about the  fabricated threats spouted by governments to fool their peoples. People are dumb anyways. It is easier to sell a moral lie than explain a horrific reality.

It is not some failure of humanity or human reasoning. Humanity is doing what it is designed to do.

War is organic and natural. Not all wars but certainly the most important. It is survival of the fittest type stuff. An inescapable consequence of the existence of multiple civilizations on the same planet.

I am not advocating we kill anyone. I have never viewed any war in my lifetime as just. Rather, I watch politicians, those self-proclaimed moral leaders, pursue conflicts for disingenuous reasons which are exaggerated to achieve obvious but unstated geo-political objectives.

Nevertheless, I have come to understand direct conflict and war with Russia and China are inevitable at some point in our future. Either war or the total collapse, dissolution, and break up of the United States, or Russia and China, through economic failure without war. Yet considering the lessons of history, it is unlikely there can be an ultimate victory without someone’s total military defeat.

The Soviet economy collapsed and Russia reasserted itself within twenty years. Had NATO invaded Russia in some manner immediately after the collapse, the geo-political map of the world would be drastically different today. It was at only at this juncture such a maneuver could have been executed with minimal carnage. Orwell would be sadly proud of the term ‘minimal carnage’.

NATO would control essentially all oil reserves and routes to the West. It would have the ability to limit Chinese supply to only Iran, IF Iran were even able to survive as a sovereign without the assistance and protection of a sovereign Russia. I bet hawks in Pentagon regret this one. Again, I am not advocating war with anyone. I am just running a hypothetical.

And forget the cat and mouse proxy game of war and sanctions NATO and Russia/China play within the Middle East and around the World. This is merely boxers throwing snow balls at each other before they step in a ring. Just trying to prevent the other guy from warming up too much. Gotta keep him cold.

And this does not have to occur soon. It might or it might be in 100 or 200 years. I do not know when. I only know it cannot be avoided forever. War and someone’s ensuing defeat or someone’s total collapse without a war will happen. Guaranteed.

And no need for it to be an all out nuclear war which destroys the Earth or even dissolves either nation geographically. History shows it often results only in the chaotic collapse of one power structure with the winner absorbing the defeated into their power structure. Only the defeated nation’s ability to rule over itself must be permanently destroyed.

Germany and Japan lost World War II and lived on…albeit under complete political, military, and economic control of the Allies. In terms of personal and national wealth, they were far worse off than if they had won but they still continued as nations even if Germany was split for a time.

World War II provides a great lesson. We remember with great pride how America defeated Germany and saved Europe. But America’s victory over Japan was far more important. The Japanese Empire was the most formidable opponent of the United States since the War of 1812, which we resoundingly lost. Not Germany who also had Britain, France, and Russia to combat among others.

The reasons for the war with Japan show why war is inevitable. In all successful nations, the economy and population grow over time. It does not matter what economic ideology or system of government is present. If it is at all successful, at some juncture the needs of the population and economy will reach and surpass the internal capacity of the region under that nations’ rule. This is similar to animal populations reaching an environment’s carrying capacity.

At this juncture, society has a choice: civil unrest and economic disruption if not outright collapse and political turnover, or;  you find resources from somewhere you haven’t already taken from prior. Since no ruler wants to get bounced from power or worse lose their heads, they will always find a reason to take resources from someone else even if it means fabricating causes to go to war. To those in power, the alternative is much worse. See Marie Antionette and Louis XVI.

So after industrial growth in the 1800’s, Japan became an empire (again), invading China, Korea, and many portions of East Asia and Western Pacific. Same concept as the British Empire, Ottomans, Mongols, Magyars, Romans, and so on. Empire is the only way to go when you hit the big time.

However, as any empire grows and further absorbs new territories into its structure, it will either reach its zenith and inevitably collapse or bump into an entity or other empire which cannot be dislodged so easily. And more so, the other empire may have the same need for growth and space. When this happens, all the righteous and holy jibber jabber, kumbaya circles and peace signs in the world cannot stop a war.

Japan’s empire was no where near its zenith and they were longing for more. But it had grown to the extent its need for resources and oil directly conflicted with the interest of another empire which could not be dislodged easily. Namely the United States of America. Constrained by geography and without the resources to feed its empire, Japan went to war with the United States in hopes of ruling the Pacific and giving their empire room to grow for a generation.

Never forget the United States prodded Japan into war by limiting Japan’s access to oil and the United States knew an attack was coming but did not make serious efforts to prepare for defense. The United States was fine with being able to tell the American people Japan started it by bombing Pearl Harbor. They, like Japan, knew this war was inevitable or rather an organic war. It was a matter of when, not if.

There are only so many resources to go around and while moral or wise leaders are able to prevent inorganic or needless wars, they can only delay organic wars. But depending of the circumstances, delaying an organic war may be to your detriment and contribute to an eventual defeat in the future.

Even if leaders were to adopt a stance of pacifism or neutrality and successfully grow their economy without war, they would eventually face economic contraction, collapse and potential internal chaos when they no longer had the ability to seek out new resources to sustain growth. Or worse, they would face an invasion from a foreign empire which itself had grown large enough to desire the pacifists’ or neutral’s resources. I imagine a bunch of pacifists would be an appetizing target for an resource-needy empire, too.

This is why I never hope to see Utopia. I hope my children or grandkids or even their children and grandchildren will never see it. To get there, every independent and self-serving power structure in the world, whether they be just, unjust, democratic or dictatorial would have to be defeated and destroyed. Many of the well-armed ones would not go so easily. While pleasant, the premise of the song Imagine petrifies me. Getting there would require a lot of warfare, destruction, indiscriminate killing and unimaginable human suffering. No thanks, Mr. Lennon. I’ll pass.

Hopefully, we will not be forced to see the horrors of a Utopia’s birth. But we will see war. And it does not matter who the enemy is or what they have done. What matters is they exist beyond our power structure. Even if the independent sovereign is your ally and will be for another hundred years, they are also an inevitable future enemy should your power structure and theirs survive long enough.

So we must be the direct geo-political enemy of Russia and vice versa…and then China…and if we continue to succeed, eventually probably India…and then whoever may rise in South America…and then probably someone in Europe or some portion thereof again…and then finally whatever independent power is left in the World until there can be only one…Highlander style.

It is survival of the fittest and winner takes all. A battle to create and control a final unified order after many thousands of years of human division. Or at least until the winning power structure’s economy inevitably collapses, society falls apart and the first planetary empire splinters or dissolves into numerous entities and states, each acting in their own interest. Just like before.

Then wash, rinse and repeat. For eternity.

—————

 

Mrs. Robinson – The Great American Poem

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel in 1968

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel in 1968

I have squandered my resistance for a pocketful of mumbles, such are promises

The Boxer  – 1968

Every one has heard Mrs. Robinson by Simon & Garfunkel. They released it as a single in 1968 having released a slightly different version in the film The Graduate. If you are a fan of Simon & Garfunkel, you are a fan of musical poetry delving into topics regarding the nature of our society and of ourselves. They were a thinking man’s band.

Those are the overarching tones and themes of their most famous songs. It does not take a poetry degree for the listener to recognize this when playing songs like the Sound of Silence and The Boxer. If asked to describe their music succinctly, I would say something along the lines of the lyric atop this post. Great lyric. Always remember it.

Their best work in accordance with this theme is undoubtedly Mrs. Robinson. In my humble opinion, Mrs. Robinson is their best poem. A tragedy and American classic.

Here are the lyrics:

And here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson,
Jesus loves you more than you will know.
God bless you, please Mrs. Robinson.
Heaven holds a place for those who pray,
Hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey

We’d like to know a little bit about you for our files
We’d like to help you learn to help yourself.
Look around you all you see are sympathetic eyes,
Stroll around the grounds until you feel at home.

And here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson,
Jesus loves you more than you will know.
God bless you, please, Mrs. Robinson.
Heaven holds a place for those who pray,
Hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey

Hide it in the hiding place where no one ever goes.
Put it in your pantry with your cupcakes.
It’s a little secret just the Robinson’s affair.
Most of all you’ve got to hide it from the kids.

Koo-koo-ka-choo, Mrs. Robinson,
Jesus loves you more than you will know.
God bless you, please, Mrs. Robinson.
Heaven holds a place for those who pray,
Hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey

Sitting on a sofa on a Sunday afternoon.
Going to the candidates’ debate.
Laugh about it, shout about it
When you’ve got to choose
Every way you look at this you lose.

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio,
Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.
What’s that you say, Mrs. Robinson.
Jolting Joe has left and gone away,
Hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey

Chorus, stanza, chorus, stanza, chorus, stanza, conclusion. Other than a koo-koo-ka-choo, the three choruses are identical.

When solving a puzzle we need a starting point. The most important question is ‘who is Mrs. Robinson?’. The song is not about a lady being reminded of church, debates, and baseball. It is not about Jesus or religion. They are only tools within the song’s constructs. And it is not about The Graduate. 

Allow me to state what Mrs. Robinson represents before explaining. It is easier this way. Simply put, Mrs. Robinson is the American people, us, or in a more vague sense the story of us. The story of how America abandoned long-standing principles and replaced them with something less and superficial. And a song of personal accountability. The best clues are provided in the conclusion but we will start with the beginning.

The message of the chorus is faith. Not religious faith but personal faith. Life has a way of testing us and making us think black is white or up is down. But Mrs. Robinson knows how to remain steadfast in the face of temptation because she has a conscience to remind her:

And here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson,
Jesus loves you more than you will know.
God bless you, please Mrs. Robinson.
Heaven holds a place for those who pray,

The chorus is rooting for Mrs. Robinson to persevere and telling her how. Broadly, the chorus is rooting for America to remain as a moral beacon of light atop the hill. Using Jesus and Christianity as the method of conveying the good message, the chorus reminds Mrs. Robinson not to give up her principles or doubt what she knows in her heart to be right. To remain faithful to herself. Jesus loves you more than you will know. And to always remember heaven holds a place for those who pray. It reminds the salvation Mrs. Robinson seeks comes only at the end and is not given to those who abandon their faith along the way.

Further, the song’s original chorus in The Graduate was:

Stand up tall, Mrs. Robinson.
 God in heaven smiles on those who pray,

Simon & Garfunkel use the chorus to encourage Mrs. Robinson to be steadfast in her principles. It is her conscience and with it she knows the right path.

But along comes the temptation.

The three stanzas are where Mrs. Robinson loses her way. They describe how Mrs. Robinson has been duped into choosing to abandon her principles. She is being courted by the snake oil salesman…the politicians and those who support them.  For the purpose of interpreting the stanzas, view them as a salesman. After all, politicians are salesmen selling a message.

We’d like to know a little bit about you for our files
We’d like to help you learn to help yourself.
Look around you all you see are sympathetic eyes,
Stroll around the grounds until you feel at home.

Mrs. Robinson is speaking to the salesman for the first time. This is not your average salesman. He is skilled in Orwellian double speak. The fist two lines:

We’d like to know a little bit about you for our files
We’d like to help you learn to help yourself.

To earn her trust, the salesman pretends he wants to know about Mrs. Robinson’s personal situation. By saying he wants to help Mrs. Robinson learn to help herself, he infers he cares deeply about her future welfare and he is selling his message for her benefit and not his. Of course only the exact opposite is true. The salesman seeks only personal gain at Mrs. Robinson’s expense and could not care less of her future welfare.

The salesman continues….

Look around you all you see are sympathetic eyes,
Stroll around the grounds until you feel at home.

He wants Mrs. Robinson to believe she is among friends and like-minded people who understand her circumstances and whom genuinely care about her. He invites her to have a look around until she realizes she would be as comfortable with them as she is with her family. And that he has nothing to hide. Of course, the salesman knows and so should Mrs. Robinson that he does not keep on the sales floor the evidence of his true intentions.

The salesman has passed the first test. He tricked Mrs. Robinson into not seeing his true nature. She is intrigued with his message even if it may be too good to be true.

The chorus repeats reminding Mrs. Robinson of the real truth.

Ms. Robinson is hesitant. Accepting the salesman’s message is counter to the principles she has known all her life.   However, the salesman does not waiver. He presses on:

Hide it in the hiding place where no one ever goes.
Put it in your pantry with your cupcakes.
It’s a little secret just the Robinson’s affair.
Most of all you’ve got to hide it from the kids.

If a salesman is doing his job, it is your resolve that breaks.

Since the salesman is in this business, he has seen Mrs. Robinson’s apprehension many times and knows what to do with those pesky principles. He tells Mrs. Robinson not to worry about her principles because they will only get in her way. She is told to tuck them away in a hiding place where someone would keep away from the world all the things of which they are ashamed.

The salesman is cunning. If Mrs. Robinson is the type of person who doesn’t have a hiding place because she does not have anything to hide, he suggests a place for her.

Put it in your pantry with your cupcakes.
It’s a little secret just the Robinson’s affair.

The salesman knows in order to convince someone to go against their principles and do something they know is wrong but have convinced themselves might not be wrong, you also have to show them how. By telling her where to hide her principles, the salesman is kindly saying that if Mrs. Robinson does not know how to corrupt herself, he will teach her. By calling it “just the Robinson affair” he minimizes her concerns and moral quandary. The salesman reassures Mrs. Robinson and tells her not to worry…no one will ever know or care.

But the last tactic is the salesman’s most effective. Having convinced Mrs. Robinson her principles are something to be ashamed of and hidden, the salesman ensures his future wealth at the expense of her children.

Most of all you’ve got to hide it from the kids.

Unlike any other line, this is a directive. A pure command. The salesman has put in considerable effort to draw in Mrs. Robinson. This was not a small task. The salesman does not want to contend with those same principles in the next generation.

The salesman is wise. He knows children often rebel against the hypocrisies of the establishment while using as ammunition principles they learn from their parents. He knows the rebellions of the young are most often self-righteous and brave because the cold world has not yet convinced them to abandon what they know is right. The young also believe they are invincible. And whether their perceived invincibility is derived from naivety or valor, the salesman knows they will use it to rebel against his established order. Do not forget when Simon & Garfunkel wrote this song, they too were part of a youth movement rebelling against the established order.

This is what the salesman most fears so this must be his strongest statement. He uses superlative phrasing like “most of all” to stress importance. He states “you’ve got to” so Mrs. Robinson understands this is not a suggestion. If the salesman can convince Mrs. Robinson to hide her principles, he has done his job to perfection. The children will not learn what is right and just. Only his message. And most importantly, if the children never learn what is righteous there can never be a righteous rebellion. The salesman would win forever. This should alarm Mrs. Robinson.

Futile, the chorus repeats with a desperate koo-koo-ka-choo. The exasperated chorus has nothing further it can say to get Mrs. Robinson’s attention and heed the words of her own conscience.

Sitting on a sofa on a Sunday afternoon.
Going to the candidates’ debate.
Laugh about it, shout about it
When you’ve got to choose
Every way you look at this you lose.

The salesman wins completely. On the sacred day reserved for faith, Mrs. Robinson chooses to buy a salesman’s message. Rather than do what she has always known to be right, she takes part in the salesman’s charade only realizing the truth when it is too late…the salesman lied.

The message of the chorus and stanzas are opposite. The chorus is a message of perseverance of principles to achieve something real and the stanzas urge the abandonment of principles for something illusory. Imagine them as a tiny angel and devil standing on Mrs. Robinson’s shoulders urging her down different paths at the crucial moment. They show that no matter whether the choice between right and wrong is easy or not, it is irrevocable.

It is natural to blame the salesmen for what happened to Mrs. Robinson. But wrong. Fortunately, the real culprit is exposed in the conclusion. When I first thought about this song growing up, I did not first think to wonder whom Mrs. Robinson might represent. I first wondered why is Joe DiMaggio in this song?

To answer the question we first have to know who Joe DiMaggio is to the writer. Simon & Garfunkel are part of the baby boomer generation, which went through childhood in the 50’s and came of age during the Vietnam War and the social movements of the 60’s. While the 60’s provided the disillusionment which inspired their music, the 50’s were a golden decade for many Americans. Still the heroes of World War II, the American psyche was confident about the nation’s future and standing as a moral compass in the world and it was through this prism that Americans admired their national heroes.

New York Yankee Joe DiMaggio was a hero to every 50’s kid and the representation of success and class through good times and bad. Justified or not, he represented everything right and great with America. A brave hero….a fair and honest leader….and a winner.

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio,
Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you..

So when this song asks where has he gone, it asks where have America’s moral leaders gone. The heroes who made us believe in America when we were children. The heroes we relied upon. This is why the question is asked. But importantly, who is asking?

According to the song’s pattern, the conclusion sits in place of the chorus and therefore the question is being asked by the chorus or rather Mrs. Robinson’s conscience. The chorus knew from the beginning the salesman is a liar and rues it could not do enough to protect Mrs. Robinson. The chorus regrets if only a great American hero were here it might have been different. In the end, not only has the conscience failed to protect Mrs. Robinson but so have her heroes.

At the beginning, I explained this song is a tragedy. Indeed it is somewhat Shakespearean. The song flows with a pleasant beat and we want to happily sing along. On its surface, it sells a good time the same way the salesman sells his message…the same way superficial politicians promise prosperity to voters. Having baited the listener this far the song only reveals the worst truths at the very end. Unlike its happy beat, it is not a happy song.

The last lines: (ignoring the hey hey hey’s)

What’s that you say, Mrs. Robinson.
Jolting Joe has left and gone away

The heroes did not protect Mrs. Robinson because they do not exist. Mrs. Robinson has lost all hope. Her heroes or rather her belief in them exist only in past memories. We have no heroes. This is the first truth.

It is no coincidence the reply to the chorus’ question is Mrs. Robinson’s only statement. A statement which the surprised chorus repeats and which ends her story. Every line is directed to or about Ms. Robinson, whether it is the chorus reminding her to remain true to her principles or the tale of the salesman fooling her into trusting him. Simon & Garfunkel are telling the listener Mrs. Robinson knows what happened well enough she would interrupt her own conscience to dispel any hope.

In the final lines Mrs. Robinson reveals her role. Never forget Mrs. Robinson knew the truth from the beginning. Before the salesman appeared the chorus sang the good message. Even as the salesman made his pitch the chorus reminded her of the truths by which she had always lived. Mrs. Robinson never needed the salesman to tell her what was right or a hero to protect her. She did not need to learn to help herself. She already knew the right path…staying true to her principles was the righteous path to salvation.

Simon & Garfunkel are saying America abandoned its principles and lost its way because of the choices we made as a people. Not because of the lies of politicians or the failures of our heroes. It was always up to us to protect ourselves and we have only ourselves to blame. It is our fault. Or rather the final truth to the individual listener is: it is my fault.

This is the message described in a poem of less than 170 words, excluding the chorus repetitions yet counting one koo-koo-ka-choo. It would be hard to beat their word count. But if you always remember, you could do it with one sentence. Like much of the music of Simon & Garfunkel, Mrs. Robinson is just a sad tale of how ‘have squandered my resistance for a pocketful of mumbles, such are promises’.

END

AFTERTHOUGHT:  Let me confess I have never seen The Graduate. It has had no influence on my interpretation. Since this song first appeared in the film and Mrs. Robinson is a main character of the movie, I know most interpretations are in accordance with the themes in the movie. Perhaps Simon & Garfunkel only meant to convey those themes and nothing more. Perhaps it is better I have not seen the movie before interpreting Mrs. Robinson. I don’t know. Whereas beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the meaning of poetry is in the mind of the reader.

If you have enjoyed this interpretation, I suggest you listen to the song Hook by Blues Traveler. Whereas Mrs. Robinson is the tragic anthem of America, Hook is the arrogant anthem of its salesman and a darn good song.