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You knew it would come, right?

The attempt to blame all on.... liberalism.

Of those governments, perhaps the most salient fact to the objective political scientist, tasked with anatomizing the failed system, would be that both governments have long effectively functioned as one-party systems. Baltimore last had a Republican mayor, Theodore M. McKeldin, in 1967. (A wire photograph from April 1966 captured McKeldin, a bear of a man, chatting amiably with Dr. King in Baltimore, two years before the civil rights leader’s assassination in Memphis.) Maryland elected its incumbent Republican governor, Larry Hogan, in November – but that made Hogan only the second GOP governor in the Old Line State since 1969.

Incumbent mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, a Democrat, deals with a city council comprised 100 percent of fellow Democrats. Other important power blocs in the political and civic life of Baltimore are likewise controlled by Democrats, such as educational institutions and public-sector unions.

See, that's easy.  Just blame "one party" rule, as if the Republicans have "better ideas" without demonstrating how their ideas are better or even providing examples of alleged ideas to be implemented.

Nobody, of course, wants to ask the salient question: Exactly how did these cities become one-party political machines?

That, of course, is because if you were to go there you'd expose the soft underbelly of corruption in the political process -- the making of political promises that the maker knows cannot be fulfilled but doesn't care as he or she is buying votes, not results.

In the meantime behind the scenes even more-perverse and outrageous corruption is taking place; the selling of America, literally, to the highest bidder.  And rather than perform its job as a guardian at the gate the press fawns over such people and their espousing of various programs without a single critical examination of the issues at hand or a question being raised.

Let us put reality out there for everyone: No, not everyone is exceptional.  In fact most of us are downright ordinary and even there, if we're in the middle of the bell curve somewhere instead of out on the ends, fully half of us are on the wrong side of it!

The question to ask becomes simply this: What are you going to do about that fact given that we all must somehow manage to find our way in the world?

This is a cancer that we invited into our nation with so-called "free trade" and the exporting of our manufacturing base.  It is the one we refuse to discuss and debate, yet we must.  We instead try to placate and paper over it while at the same time destroying the programs and structures that led individuals in that situation to have productive, happy lives.

We then wring our hands when despair turns to crime and rioting.

Baltimore was a thriving industrial community that produced, among other things, a huge amount of steel.

But Baltimore lost over 100,000 manufacturing jobs by 1995, all due to foreign imports produced under near or actual slave labor conditions with zero regard for environmental impact.  One third of the residents of Baltimore fled the city.  Worse, 90% of the jobs in Baltimore today are low-paying and often part-time service-sector jobs.

Did liberals promote all the so-called "free trade" that led to this manufacturing displacement?  Hardly; that charge is equally leveled against conservatives; that is, Republicans.

At the same time deficit spending, which both political parties consider sacrosanct, has destroyed the ability to accumulate wealth for anyone that is in the lower economic classes.  Adding to this was outright and documented predatory behavior by financial institutions toward city residents, especially black city residents, in the 2000s via subprime lending.

Where is the debate on these topics?  It's missing from the political sphere for a very good reason: To address this you must address facts -- such as the fact that if the "average" IQ is 100 then half of the people will be above and half below; unless you're willing to literally murder the lower half of the population you need a social, employment and political system that provides opportunity for all.  That in turn means you cannot export your lower-wage and lower-ability-required manufacturing jobs to places like Vietnam and China as they must be retained so your citizens have gainful employment available to them.

At the same time you cannot deficit spend because for the person in the lower economic and intellectual quantum there is no defensive move available to them to mitigate the damage done to their financial security by such policies.

Finally, accountability for every dollar spent is far more important when you have few dollars to contribute to government programs in the form of taxation.  In this regard both Democrat and Republicans fail; our current so-called "educational" system is an utter and complete joke when looked at in terms of return-on-investment.

Are you ready to have a debate on these topics yet, America?

Or will you wring your hands and point fingers, as is often the case, at this bogeyman or that while ignoring the elephant in the room -- the intentional destruction of working-class jobs in this nation over the last 40+ years, and our utter refusal to put a stop to the abusive and outrageous "trade policies" that enable it.

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Clinton has now weighed in on Baltimore, saying "Without the mass incarceration that we currently practice, millions fewer people would be living in poverty," she said. "It's time to end the era of mass incarceration."

Sure Hillary.  But what you haven't said, nor have any of the Republicans, is how we got here and what you actually intend to do.

"Alternative punishments" for "low-level" offenders are no more of an answer than are what we do now.  Both come about because we both destroy the hope and job base of the working class of society that labors with its hands and then at the same time both give them welfare dependence and criminalize their choice in drowning the sorrows government inflicted on them.

Cut the crap Hillary, along with Obama, Rubio, Paul, Boehner and the rest: There is no answer to be found unless you address the root of the issue.

Let's get down to the root of the issue, shall we?

  • Medical monopolies must be broken up and the participants imprisoned for their violations of the Sherman, Clayton and Robinson-Patman act along with consumer-protection statutes.  This "industry" between medical care and medical insurance takes 15%, off the top from the first dollar that it should not from everyone.  The worst part of this abuse falls on those who can least afford it; the person earning a million dollars a year doesn't care if medical insurance and care costs him $20,000 a year because he has it and it's a tiny piece of his earnings.  The person who earns $15,000 a year can't even manage to eat catfood and stay out from under the freeway overpass with that sort of expense.  Those who claim that Medicaid "insulates" the poor from the abuse are full of crap; it does no such thing as Medicaid is a last-resort option and effectively eliminates choice (never mind that a huge percentage of middle-class people get bankrupted and thus rendered poor by a medically-related event.)

  • TPP must be scrapped and all other so-called "free trade" agreements abrogated.  This does not mean that there cannot be fair trade; there both can be and should be.  But we must put a stop to the destruction of manufacturing in America; I laid forth a means to do exactly that in Leverage, where I called for wage and environmental-parity tariffs.  In short we must eliminate the ability of multinational corporations to arbitrage slave labor, jackbooted political regimes and environmental destruction as a means of lowering their labor costs.  None of this is "fair competition" and our largest corporations, including consumer darlings like Apple and even GM, are the worst offenders.  For our economy to truly grow absent the abuse of leverage we must make things, not perform "services".

  • Inflation as government policy must be scrapped.  This means an immediate end to deficit spending, period.  It means enforcement of the written Fed Mandate, which calls for stable prices.  We must enforce this mandate with prison terms for Fed Governors if necessary and One Dollar of Capital in the banking sector.   Note that if we break the medical monopolies balancing the Federal Budget becomes trivial as the amount spent on such monopolistic industries is large enough, and the 80-90% reduction in cost that would occur is also large enough, to result in an actual surplus were it to be stopped.  Those on both the left and right that say we "can't" balance the Federal Budget right here, right now are lying and they need to be run out of town on a rail as they are stealing from you twice -- first with the cost of medical care and the monopolistic practices in that sector of the economy and then again through intentional price inflation.  Price inflation means that a dollar a working person earns and saves at age 20 is worth less than 40 cents when he turns 65.  This is how your value is stolen and it is stolen from everyone; the middle class and poor are hurt the most by the very deficit spending that the politicians claim to be "helping" them with!

  • "Social laws" that criminalize consensual non-violent adult behavior must all be scrapped and all records of previous acts related to same rendered void.  There is no justification for arresting someone because they choose to consume a particular plant that grows in the wild -- as just one of many examples.  These laws are not about public safety; it is a documented fact that the original drug control act was passed at the behest of corporate interests protecting their vertical monopoly structure in the pulp, paper and newsprinting business.  The proponents lied about the effects of marijuana specifically in order to pass that legislation and framed the argument in both misogynistic and racist terms, claiming that the drug made (undesirable) Mexican men******(pure) white women who were rendered unable to resist by the power of the demon weed. These lies continue today; a common false representation sold to the public is that marijuana smoke is "much more harmful than tobacco."  This is probably true but ignores the fact that nobody can manage to smoke 20 cigarette-sized joints in a day and still reach for the Doritos bag, yet plenty of people smoke a pack of cigarettes daily.  Thus even if the pot smoke is more harmful than tobacco the dose taken is a tiny fraction of the tobacco smoker's and thus the risk commensurately less.  Further, there exist devices you can buy today that "vaporize" marijuana without burning it, reducing to near-zero the carcinogenic risks attendant with smoking, never mind the ability to make brownies and other edible confections that have no smoking risk of any sort.  These laws do one thing and one thing only -- they destroy employment opportunity for tens of millions of Americans as a felony criminal record follows you forever and they are disproportionately applied on racial grounds.  It is perfectly acceptable for a felony record to attach to someone who engages in some form of violent assault against another person or their property but it is utterly unacceptable to apply such a sanction to someone who has harmed nobody but, perhaps, themselves as a consenting adult.  Our drug laws were blatantly and intentionally racist at their inception and have continued to be so to this very day; they must all, as applies to consenting adults, be repealed immediately.

  • Welfare as we know it must end.  There is no motivating factor known to mankind that exceeds public notice and yet at the same time we have a moral obligation to prevent people from starving or freezing to death, provided they can behave like human beings.  We had a system like this before President Johnson's Great Society and we must return to it immediately.  In short we must end, right now, all welfare programs of any sort and replace them with a very inexpensive alternative -- direct assistance in the form of "three hots and, if you need it, a cot."  That is anyone may show up at centers that we establish either directly or through partnership with various public assistance organizations (yes, including churches) to distribute to people edible food for immediate consumption on premises (that is, "soup kitchens") along with buildings containing showers, toilets and cots so anyone can sleep, shower and ****.  This is very inexpensive and setting up a basic metal detector to prohibit weapons by those who come in is trivially enforced.  While this will be vastly less expensive than what we do now that's not the point of such an exercise.  No, the point is that if you have the money for an X-Box or fancy wheels on your car you do not need public assistance but if you are truly in need of a place to sleep and food in your belly, and are willing to behave as a human being while consuming both we both can and should provide it to you. At the same time having to stand in line and sleep on a cot is a humbling experience and a tremendous motivator for you to get off your ass and get a job.  Having returned manufacturing to our shores there will be plenty of jobs available for those willing to work.  Further, such a change in our so-called "welfare" will make mobility trivial for those willing to go where the work is; you will be able to travel very inexpensively to where jobs are and have both a place to sleep and enough to eat while seeking same. For those unwilling to work they can be reminded every single day that they are obtaining that given to them voluntarily by others in the hope that their mind is changed, but without penalty if it is not.

If you want to put a stop to the destruction seen in Baltimore and elsewhere, a cycle that will continue if we remain on our present course as we are destroying more and more jobs, stealing more and more money from the poor, demoting middle class people to poor every day at a rate that grossly exceeds people going the other direction and permanently destroying the job prospects of those who have committed no violence against anyone else then you must support and put into place all of the above.

There is no half way on this, and there is no picking and choosing.

There is only demanding that all of the above take place, right now, and tossing every politician who refuses out on their ear or there is more violence and more destruction of our society to come until we reach a point of critical mass at which point all of us in civil society lose.

Your choice, America, but do realize one thing: A lack of immediate action on your part to demand and enforce these changes in our political landscape means you consent, desire and confirm the destruction of our society and when, not if, the destruction evident in Baltimore and elsewhere reaches your race, class and place in our society it will be too late to implement that change by peaceful, political means.

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My comment: There is really no "debate" to have here -- if this passes you will see another million or three jobs offshored, permanently lost.  America, stand up before our entire nation turns into one gigantic Baltimore!

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2015-05-01 07:15 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 124 references
 

There's a special brand of kookiness that goes around when it comes to spying by the government or anyone else.  It's one of the hardcore conspiracy theory games played by these folks.

My general rule is that the more-outrageous and sensational the accusation the stiffer the standard of proof.  This becomes particularly true when that proof can be trivially obtained by the person making the charge.

For example, there are myriad "stories" claiming that the NSA and similar can turn on your camera and microphone (on your cellphone) when the phone is off.  This repeated bleating comes from a single case in which the FBI sought and got a warrant to physically tamper with the cellphone a mob boss had; they replaced the firmware so that the device wasn't actually "off" and that when a specific phone number called it the phone would silently answer, which of course activates the microphone!  They then used this, with a lawful warrant, to obtain evidence.  Apparently said mob boss was too stupid to realize that his battery was draining even though the device was "off."

There has been no evidence presented by anyone that any such transmission happens without the phone being on absent intentionally tampered-with firmware, and you can't evade the battery drain that doing so would cause.  Proof of such a widespread thing would be trivial as RF would be emitted by the "off" device and that can be trivially detected.  Indeed, you don't even need special equipment; just put a cellphone near most amplified computer speakers and you can hear the "beep-beep-beep" when it polls the tower.  This is occasionally heard when someone is being interviewed on TV or radio and forgets to turn off their cellphone in their pocket; the coupling of the signal happens through the IFB cable that's in their ear so they can hear the other side of the conversation.

But now McAfee, the guy who disappeared and then showed up again, has been making similar claims -- but he has not presented any evidence of this.  I therefore call smiley because the evidence is trivially easy to obtain and provide, it's missing, and you need no special equipment to prove the claim.

 Specifically, he claims among other things:

Quote:

  • Bank of America’s online banking app requires you to accept microphones and cameras. McAfee called Bank of America and asked why they require microphones and cameras. They replied that – if you emptied all of the money in your account and said “it wasn’t me”, they could check, and then say:

Well, it certainly looks like you. And it certainly sounds like you.

  • In order to do that, B of A’s app keeps your microphone and camera on for a half hour after you’ve finished your banking

Prove it.  If the app keeps the microphone and camera on the data has to go somewhere.  Where is it?  Root the phone and you can look around all you want.  If it's being transmitted then it's trivially detectable as it has to go somewhere.

So where's the data trace, John?  The data files from the phone?

Missing, that's where.

But it sure makes for sensational headlines on so-called GlobalResearch's web site...

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2015-05-01 06:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 114 references
 

Yeah, we should, as Americans, tolerate these jackasses having their headquarters in New Yawk.

After all, this is what government does -- screw people in the ass -- so it should be no surprise when they do it to young boys and then suspend those who try to put a stop to it.

A senior United Nations aid worker has been suspended for disclosing to prosecutors an internal report on the sexual abuse of children by French peacekeeping troops in the Central African Republic.

Sources close to the case said Anders Kompass passed the document to the French authorities because of the UN’s failure to take action to stop the abuse. The report documented the sexual exploitation of children as young as nine by French troops stationed in the country as part of international peacekeeping efforts.

Yes, it's an "internal report", you see, because there's something inherently wrong with treating sexual assault of young children -- as young as nine -- as a felony criminal offense.

Never mind that if you were to engage in a bit of tourism to some nation where it's not illegal to hire a prostitute of that age you'd go straight to prison, and with good cause.  That is illegal because you, see, are not one of those UN privileged few.

No, you're lesser.  It's expected (and enforced) that you won't******kids.

But if you're a UN worker, well, that's a different thing entirely.  Nor is this new; accusations of this sort of outrageous violence have swirled over so-called "UN peacekeepers" for literal decades.

We, as Americans, are responsible for this crap as we provide the largest lump of both funding and allowing this organization to continue to exist.

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