Got 99 problems and Russia ain’t one

forget-russia-wall-street-owns-the-trump-administration

 

Russia is merely a distraction, the least of our problems as working class people in the US. Our REAl problems are: how to make a living without working themselves to death, health insurance that is affordable, the high costs of living including rent / mortgage, food, education and just living. Some more than others have to be concerned about being killed or brutalized by law enforcement.

Add to that: a real lack of representation by our so-called representatives in Washington DC; failure to take global warming serious, expansion of the US nuclear capability making first strike an option by nations feeling seriously threatened by the US; failure to take seriously the heroin and opiod scourge,(which incidentally affects primarily the White middle class); and the lack of real wages and real wage increases that keep up with inflation.

Unfortunately too many workers have adopted their bosses perspective on unions, accusing them of stealing wages. But even with its shortcomings unions provides real protection for workers and better working conditions while almost always increasing the workers share of the companies’ profits.

Since Donald Trump has taken office there has been constant focus on him and his foolish behavior along with the court jesters we pretend are professionals that he brought with him. And the liberal wing of the power structure has created its own diversion in their fixation on Russia and its supposed interference in the last US election. But they are merely a ruse to keep our eyes off what’s really going on.

The elected representatives of the people of the United States could not decide on a health care bill that would provide health care for all Americans. Not only could they not come up with a fair proposal, they were actually trying to find ways to make our health care system less affordable ( as if premiums weren’t high enough) while attempting to put even more money in rich folks pocket. The conservative proposal was so preposterous that the right wing leadership couldn’t even go along with it.

Truth is the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was a conservative idea that was adopted by the liberals to put off the push for what every nation in the developed world has and that is single payer Universal health care. But the rulers in the US have convinced the majority in the US that what’s good for Big Business is good for them. In this case over-sized profits by the pharmaceutical and medical insurance industries.

So while the ACA did get more people who needed it on Medicare and helped young people just graduating from college to access health care through their parents plans, the liberals placed us at the mercy of greedy insurance companies by mandating everyone carry already overpriced insurance with overblown deductibles.

Health care isn’t complicated, the problem has been solved by all of the other developed nations in the world. Ironically our so-called representatives in Washington DC have the best healthcare the State can provide, while trying to undermine that of those they supposedly represent.

On the day after the US decided to enforce sanctions against Russia, the New York Times ran two stories reinforcing the fact that the Russian hysteria is merely a distraction. The newspaper of record, reported that the CIA had spent a billion dollars arming Syrian rebels. In other words, the US government openly admits to attempting to undermine a sovereign nation, Syria, which is a clear violation of international law. The hypocrisy is stunning. This government acts as if its actions in the world are invisible as if no one can see their blatant double standards and disregard for the rules.

The other story, “Wall Street Climbing Sharply Skips Washington’s Soap Opera ” was just as stunning. According to the article, “Despite the disorder in Washington — with a revolving door at the White House and roadblocks on Capitol Hill — Wall Street and corporate America are booming…., blue chips like Apple, Caterpillar and U.S. Steel have all reported strong earnings in recent weeks that surpassed analysts’ forecasts.
“None of the soap opera in Washington matters,” said Frank Sullivan, chief executive of RPM International, a Cleveland-based maker of specialty coatings and sealants like Rust-Oleum. “Nobody in business cares about who talked to who in Russia.”

In the meantime twitter and the Big business press and liberal pundits keep us interested in a story about Russian interference. Some are naïve and have bought the hype, but others are knowingly trying to turn public opinion against Russia, which will in turn make it easy for the warhawks and profiteers (whose mouths water when they consider the trillions of dollars of rich natural resources that country possesses) to one day try to trick us into believing that it will be in our best interest to go to war with folks who are merely trying to survive and make a living just like us.

We as working people got lots of problems but Russia isn’t one.

justice then peace

File proposed Transgender military ban under; be careful what you wish for

US army

Every time someone in authority suggests discriminating against any one or any group in this society it is detrimental and is a blow to civil rights and human progress. President Donald Trump’s proposed military ban of Transgender people is wrong and sets up that community for even more discrimination and possible victimization. However, the US military is not an organization folks should be dying to sign up for, considering its track record over the last 50 years.

Furthermore, it does strike a rather discordant tone to say, we want to be allowed to be as backwards and as hawkish as anyone else.  But the sentiment is correct, the Transgender community should be able to participate in any part of US society without fear of discrimination.

Hopefully the Transgender community and other communities will use this controversy as an opportunity to pause and consider what it really means to serve in the US military and to ask tough questions.

The US government has been at war continually for the last 15 years. As a result, hundreds of thousands of completely innocent people have been killed and thousands more have been displaced and made refugees in Iraq and Afghanistan. The US bombing and intervention in Libya and Syria have turned thousands more into refugees.

Most US citizens are oblivious to this because society encourages  self centered preoccupation  with our own lives and the time required to just make a living distracts people from knowing what their government is  doing. Add to that, corporate Big Business media  diverts our attention daily with the constant reporting  on the latest Trump/Russia distraction.

The Trump administration has been constantly bombing Syria and independent sources have revealed that just in the last few months a few thousand Syrians have been killed.

The Obama administration’ drone campaign killed thousands of Muslims in the Middle East. A large percentage of those targeted had done nothing deserving of their fate and were completely innocent. The US government even admitted that it often launched drone attacks without actually knowing who they were trying to kill.

The interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq despite all the flag waving were simply wrong. Afghanistan had not attacked. The US’s the rationale behind that invasion of Afghanistan was faulty and was the result of bullying.  Many people believe that the US intervention in Afghanistan was because the country attacked the US on 911 however the majority of those accused of that act were Saudi Arabian nationals. And the invasion of Iraq was proven to unjustified from the very beginning as the US failed to find the weapons of mass destruction that they said was justification for its aggression.

The ongoing efforts by the US military all over the world is not about US security but about US expansionism.

Whether we care about it or not the US military is carrying out a very aggressive and oppressive policy around the world.

Several studies have tried to estimate how much the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have costs so far, drawing from those it’s safe to say the US has spent between 4 and 6 trillion dollars. Imagine what can be done domestically with just a trillion dollars?

While it’s absolutely imperative to fight discrimination of all kinds  its unwise to rush to be a part of something, (in this case something immoral) just because we want to be included.

Black people ran into the same conundrum in World Wars I and II.  During World War II Blacks were still being discriminated in US society, South and North, in fact many were not allowed to work in government factories producing goods for the war effort. But Black leaders insisted that Blacks be included in the war effort.

Incredibly, when Blacks signed up they were placed in segregated units and experienced intense racism from their fellow countrymen. The vast majority were used as support units driving trucks, digging graves and delivering supplies. The Tuskegee Airmen were an exception and even they served as a segregated unit. Oddly Blacks were not rewarded for their service and they returned to find civil society as closed to them as ever. Nobody cared about their sacrifice, because frankly the society didn’t care about them.

It would represent even more progress if  while rightfully defending its right to equal opportunity and to be included in ALL of US socie, the Transgender community joined other communities in voicing opposition to these aggressive and illegal wars.

justice then peace