Friday, July 31, 2015

Cecil The Lion Might Just Sink Donald Trump And the GOP

This disgusting image now becomes a political litmus test in the 2016 US presidential campaign. The figures are one gorgeous, fucking DEAD, African leopard, and the poor creature's murderers: Donald Trump moral-moron sons Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump. The question American voters will ask themselves: would I be proud of these "men", as my sons, or would I demand post-natal abortion for both of them?
The political world is absurdly crazy, as we all should know by now.

Last week, all was well with some idiot gun nut named Dr. Walter Palmer (who by now should be headed to Paraguay or someplace similar to hide out with antique Nazis and other moral trash). And all was really well with Donald Trump, leading figure so far in the 2016 Republican presidential campaign. He was leading in early polls, and his popularity was rising amongst Republicans, which by itself should speak great, dismal, volumes for the perceived value of the other Republican candidates.

In 2012, we had a clown car of bad Republican candidates (in most sane people's minds, "bad Republican" is a redundancy). In 2016, i.e. the lead-up to it, it is more like a boxcar of clowns and outrageous characters that are vying for the Republican nomination. Donald Trump, who has threatened for decades to run for president, mainly on the strength of his self-promotion as a great business person, only now, in the dismal last days of the GOP, has decided to run for the Republican nomination.

One has wondered, in looking at the other, incredibly weak, candidates the Republicans are so far sifting through, how a Trump movement might be thwarted. Worse, there is the prospect of a Trump third-party candidacy, which most likely would totally sink the GOP chances in 2016. What can stop Trump?

Answer: poor, dead, Cecil the Lion.

By now, you probably know Cecil as the much-beloved Zimbabwean lion, which lived in protected status in the African nation, until recently, when an American dentist, Dr. Walter Palmer—currently the most hated man in the world—paid poachers $50,000 to lure Cecil out of his sanctuary, and into open country, where Palmer, as big a lout and idiot as one could imagine, wounded the lion with a crossbow, and then tracked the dying animal for almost two days. When the tortured lion was finally found by the murderers, it was shot, skinned, and decapitated, to provide a trophy head for Dr. Palmer.

Unfortunately for Palmer, he killed a protected, and GPS-tracked lion, which made it much easier for authorities to discover what had happened, and who the perpetrators were. In the last few days, Palmer has gone from a tooth-pulling nobody from Minnesota, to the most thoroughly despised human being on the face of the Earth. Talk about going viral—in a really bad way.  There are millions of people in the world who would gladly see Palmer treated to the same mercy he gave Cecil. Handing the dentist over to Islamic State might actually be a more merciful fate to what some people want to do to Palmer.

Global citizens, and even most Americans, have had enough with these kinds of psychopathic celebrations. Seen here, Dr. Walter Palmer, on left, poor dead lion, center, and some other asshole-accessory to murder-photos on the right. Note to GOP: it isn't the 19th century any longer, idiots, and even in the 19th century, "civilized" behavior really wasn't exemplified by this kind of revolting foolishness.
What has all this to do with Donald Trump? The general, global hatred of hunting, as a sport, has been increasing for some time. Already, quite a few individuals have been brought low by their public declaration and publicly-shared images of their murdering animals. The Cecil killing has taken the global hatred of sport hunting to a new level altogether. It turns out that Trumps's sons are hunters (i.e., murderers) of big-game trophy animals.

In 2015, there is something really, essentially, barbaric about rich (almost always white) assholes, posing triumphantly with beautiful, dead, bodies of large animals that in many cases are struggling to survive as a species. This is not killing for any other reason than the thrill of killing. These psychopathic idiots do not need the animals for food, and certainly Cecil the Lion was not threatening anyone in Minnesota.

Trump has come out saying he supports his sons and is a member of the NRA—blah, blah, blah— which implies support for the glory of killing animals. Of course the Second Amendment was not established for the sport-hunting of animals, but to guarantee an active militia would be available for the defense of the state.

It is very likely this Cecil the Lion debate will further polarize the political debate in the USA, and especially on the Republican side of the debate. If the Republicans nominate a candidate with connections to big-game hunting, that idea and that image alone might be sufficient to sink that candidate's chances of winning in a general presidential election.

That is how crazy the world of American politics is. And yet, in that madness and that chaos, a kind of wisdom surfaces, because in 2015, and 2016, maybe it really is time for rich morons to stop celebrating their torture and murder of defenseless animals. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

In Act Of War, Chinese Kill 25 Million USA Data Entities

We are all just data silhouettes, collected and managed by governments, corporations, and their teams of hackers and exploiters, anxious to profit in terms of money and power by owning our data entities. When the shit storm comes, will it be real, or digital, and will that even matter when people are so much an expression of their data, instead of the other way around?

data entity—"a person, place, thing or concept about which an organization collects and manages data"

"There's a shit storm coming like nothing you ever knew."—Norman Mailer

"Sometimes the pool-pah ["shit storm" or "wrath of God"] exceeds the power of humans to comment."—Kurt Vonnegut

Imagine for a moment that an organization, say the United States government, did a thorough background check on you, and did it with your cooperation. Basically, your whole life was collected and constructed into a comprehensive "data entity", a computational avatar of your human existence.

This is what happens, and has happened, to millions of Americans who apply for jobs with the United States government. Data is collected, sometimes at a very intimate level, involving information on health records, financial records, and data on family and friends of the applicant. And then there are the "other private details" the government keeps in the data entity, but doesn't tell anybody about.

Now, imagine that this data entity, again constructed out of the essential data of your whole life, was delivered into the hands of an enemy, such as China. This would render your data-based life so vulnerable as to be "dead" as a reliable digital avatar of your human existence.

And that is what has just happened to 25 million American citizens.

In data entity terms, the Chinese cyber attack on the US Office of Personnel Management is much worse than Pearl Harbor and 9/11 combined. The death toll in those two attacks on the USA was about 5,400 Americans. By comparison, the combined death toll of the Battle of Gettysburg was 7,800. The death toll of the Battle of the Bulge, in World War II, was about 19,000 Americans, although that battle lasted five weeks.

The cyber death toll in the OPM attack was 25 million! And the data stolen was so comprehensive, that the data lives of these 25 million victims of Chinese aggression have been rendered worthless as secure entities.

If that isn't an act of war—then what is?—Iraq not having stockpiles of WMD?

Now, of course, because we are talking about "data" and not flesh and blood and bones being hacked to pieces, Obama is not going to nuke China, even though millions of Americans have been irrevocably and disastrously harmed by the Chinese.

In fact, if you go to, you wouldn't know that a Chinese terror strike on the data heartland had occurred at all. The homepage of the White House is talking about making solar energy available to all Americans. Well, that's nice, but what about cybersecurity? If you go into "Issues" and see where data security is assessed by the US government, you will find under the heading "Rebalance Defense Capabilities for the 21st Century", a list of concerns Obama says he is focusing on to improve the US defense posture. In other words, this is all stuff the US government under Obama has not fixed yet.

At the bottom of a list of capabilities Obama says need to be retooled is "Cyberspace", which even comes in after "Space" itself, so presumably the Moon will soon be more secure than your family's data entities.

After all the hacking attacks the US has suffered for years now, it is quite startling to see on the White House website this statement regarding plans for Cyberspace:
"The United States will lead international and domestic efforts to ensure the security of the global information infrastructures."
Let's hope that works out better than those efforts have gone to ensure Libyan security (after the US-led war to make Libya and a good part of Africa thoroughly insecure), or to ensure Iraqi security (by making heroes of Islamic State as it spreads its maggot army to every inch of the civilized world)—or that wonderful POS computing job done on

But then, let's recall that "cybersecurity" concerns being a topic of defense focus for the US government is like expecting the fox to patch up the holes in your henhouse. Hell, the fox put the holes there for a purpose. And that is because the United States government presents an ongoing threat to the security of every American citizen and their public and private data entities. And the great thing about the US government's approach to rendering all its citizens utterly insecure to the government's invasions is that the government doesn't have to hack a thing. It assumes the data is its property to spy on or to render useful to it in any other fashion, because it assumes the human beings represented by the data are also its property.

Because of these assumptions, the US government has and continues to coerce companies that make private data security protection schemes—like the ones that allegedly protect your computer data and your phone data—provide open access to US government agencies wishing to explore and exploit the data of all American citizens. Warrants? Yeah, that's a quaint idea, huh.

That is just one reason American have tended not to shout "go to war" when nations such as China launch massive cyber attacks on the USA. If you really wanted to respond meaningfully to such attacks, you would need to start by arresting and prosecuting all the traitorous louts in the United States government who enable it every day.

But when you mention things like that, you tend to hear idiots on the left and the right blather about prosecuting people like Edward Snowden—as if his act of pure patriotism was the problem, instead of one really outstanding solution.

Anyway, we are, as Norman Mailer famously said a long time ago, at the brink of a shit storm like nothing we've ever known.

What can we do?

Here are some suggestions:

A. If you can't defend America, and that is actually your job, then RESIGN! And that goes for everyone in the chain of command who allowed this catastrophe to happen. So, yes, Katherine Archuleta, the government administrator of this horrible mess, should be gone—today! Instead, Archuleta told Congress she isn't going anywhere, because as she says she has more work to do. For whom? Beijing?

B. And while people are being held accountable—yeah, right—how about America's chief spy (on Americans) getting the boot? Because, last time I checked, letting 25 million American data entities be murdered by the Chinese cyber army is grounds for a President of the United States to resign. And if he won't do that, then those halfwitted monkeys in Congress need to impeach him—finally! And right afterward, they can all resign too, because let's face it, they have a responsibility and a culpability for the disastrous state of US Government data security. Where's the oversight?

C. It is time for the American people to grow up. If you can't trust your own government to care about your basic interests, especially your lives, who are you going to trust? The Chinese? The Russians? This world is hanging on the edge of a deadly precipice, with the potential for vast loss of real lives increasing every day. And the governments of this world made it that way—including the American government. Yes, you can and you should demand accountability from government on a host of issues—but obviously if they cared about that, you wouldn't have to vainly demand it.

In 2016, we have a choice to make. Supposedly, that choice has already been made. Hillary Clinton will become President. Is that really what we want and need at this moment? Most Americans don't even think she is an honest person.

On the other hand, I am certainly not arguing for the election of one of the clown-car Republicans. They hate Americans almost as much as they love money and their own insanely stupid political rhetoric.

So, if it's Hillary or a Republican lunatic as our choice, hasn't the shit storm already arrived?

What can we do?

Educate yourselves about technology. And about your intense vulnerability as a data entity.

Other than that, hope for the best, and plan for Armageddon.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Apple Store Drops Civil War History Apps Displaying Confederate Battle Flag

As the Confederate army drives up Oak Ridge on July 1st, 1863, Confederate flags mark brigades and the Confederate 3rd Corps HQ. Similarly, Union flags make the position of Federal brigades. In Apple's idea of a proper historical simulation, the flags of the "bad guys" are erased to avoid triggering knee-jerk spasms of angst amongst people who a week ago probably couldn't have distinguished a Confederate battle flag from a box of mac and cheese. Screen shot from Ultimate General: Gettysburg, a battle simulation recently pulled from Apple's App Store, because of the display in the game of the Confederate battle flag.
As concern over state-sanctioned display of the Confederate battle flag extends to loonier PC erasures of history, Apple Computer has buckled under public pressure, and dropped (nearly) all apps displaying the Confederate battle flag from its App Store.

This includes historical simulations, such as Ultimate General: Gettysburg, a much-praised, historically accurate, simulation of the battle of Gettysburg. In an announcement on the Game-Labs forum, the company that makes Ultimate General: Gettysburg said that Apple had demanded the history game be redesigned to eliminate any display of the Confederate battle flag:
“Apple has removed our game from AppStore because of usage of the Confederate Flag. Ultimate General: Gettysburg could be accepted back if the flag is removed from the game's content…We believe that all historical art forms: books, movies, or games such as ours, help to learn and understand history, depicting events as they were. True stories are more important to us than money. Therefore we are not going to amend the game's content and Ultimate General: Gettysburg will no longer be available on AppStore. We really hope that Apple’s decision will achieve the desired results.”
For the last week, a number of American corporations, including Apple, have been under pressure to eliminate selling any products that display the Confederate battle flag or any content that seemed to be supportive or insufficiently condemnatory of the Southern Confederacy. For example, this article directly challenges Tim Cook to remove all apps from the App Store displaying Confederate symbols. It encourages Cook to abide by the App Store’s guidelines, which state:
“Any App that is defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited, or likely to place the targeted individual or group in harm’s way will be rejected.”
The article writer, Zac Hall, did bother to include this exception: “I don’t believe Apple should censor historical content or remove informational material from iTunes or the App Store…”, but the problem is one person’s “historical content” is another person’s “defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited” crime against humanity. This is always the problem with censorship.

In most historical simulations, including ones enabling players to take the role of Germans (AKA "Nazis") and Japanese armies from World War II, the idea is to enable players to learn about history by simulating it, including from the perspective of the “enemy”. In military history games, of course, the main focus is on battle strategy, and not on the political conflicts that led to the battles.

This lack of political context, which mirrors a historical attitude seeking to find and assess factual data without ideological bias, has always been a vulnerable aspect of historical simulations—and especially military history simulations or wargames. Why, after all, should a person even want to play a game where the Nazis—or the Confederates—might win? Doesn't that say something very negative about the person? People who think that it does are going to be suspicious of the motives drawing people to play a game like Ultimate General: Gettysburg.

But—so what?

The point made by Game-Labs seems quite pertinent—all historical art forms, including games, should be treated equally. And unless Apple is getting ready to remove any work of art—movies, television shows, music—that has any display of something “Confederate”, it should restore apps such as Ultimate General: Gettysburg, and any other history apps, whose inclusion of the Confederate battle flag is based merely on an effort to get the facts straight.

More than this, the Confederate battle flag, whatever people may think of it, has been such a constant feature of Southern culture and a number of American subcultures too, that attempting to censor it out of existence is not merely impossible, but is counterproductive to any goal America has in addressing its ongoing problem with racism. The kind of action Apple has taken, for example, seems reminiscent of 1984—which, if you know anything about Apple's marketing of itself, is quite ironic.

Read more about the Confederate battle flag controversy here.

UPDATE! Friday, June 26th, 2015—as of this evening, Apple has restored Ultimate General: Gettysburg to the Apps Store. Game-Labs says the game was not changed and "is the way it 1863."

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

If You Want To Tear Down Flags Of Hate—Start With The American Flag

I’m writing this with my Texas accent turned on:

When it comes to history and flags—especially flags of hate—it’s a safe bet most Americans don’t know shit about a damned thing. I mean, it’s history. Americans don’t do history.

But they do hate—real good.

For example, if I told you the first Confederate flag looked pretty much like the Tea Party flag, you might be shocked (if you were a fucking idiot). Usually, some pro-Confederacy asshole will at that point say: but the Don’t-Tread-On-Me is a flag of the American Revolution!

Georgians gathered, on November 8, 1860, to get the hell out of the USA. Under a banner designed by a South Carolina slave trader, Christopher Gadsden (a hero of the American Revolution), the Georgians rallied to the slogan and idea of "Southern rights", by which they meant the Southern white right to own black human beings as livestock. Yep, the "Don't Tread On Me" flag is absolutely a pro-slavery, Confederate, flag.
Well, yeah, a flag of the American Revolution, whose mission in part was to defend the institution of slavery, in spite of what the slaveholding, child-rapist, hypocrite POS Thomas Jefferson had to say about “freedom”—whatever, white man.

Thing is—America’s first and most glorious flag of slavery was sure as hell not either the now much-hated Confederate battle flag, OR even the Don’t-Tread-On-Me flag, it was this one:

The "Betsy Ross" flag, 1777, whose ring of stars does not include, but it certainly suggests, the black people being symbolically lynched inside that circle of compromisers on slavery.
And if you really want to get technical, it was this flag:

18th-century British colonial flag. We must always remember that, but for the British, the USA would not exist, and would not have so enthusiastically embraced slavery as an economic model of labor. On the other hand, a big reason the American colonies broke away from Great Britain was to insure the sanctity of property—most especially slaves—which the somewhat more civilized British seemed on the road to eradicating in 1776.
The European monster nations, the colonizing white viruses of the world, spread out to conquer, slaughter, exploit poor brown and black peoples everywhere they could find them.

The English, who were too stupid, too poor, and too slow out of the gate, to colonize nice places like Mexico or Peru, ended up colonizing a bunch of stupid woods with bears and hostile people-who-already-lived-there in them. On the good side, no white people except the even dumber and slower French, had much interest in competing to control the vast blob of woods. So, the English had it made for a while, slowing creeping and killing westward.

Finally, these English colonists got so woodsified and “savage”, that they were not even recognizable as human beings to their evil colonial overlords back in London. And so the King and the Colonies had that little 1776 dustup which liberated the now fully-American white people to go hog-wild killing and robbing and building the “greatest nation in the history of the world!” YAY!!

And a big part of the reason that nation of natural predators had so much economic success was all the labor stolen from millions of black people for hundreds of years. So important was slavery to the USA, that when it came time to form the USA, all those allegedly anti-slavery savages up in the cold Northern states, took the word called “compromise” and wiped the nation's shitty butt with it.

Because what they did to that word was give the impression that something noble and good had happened when those Northerners compromised with their orc-like Southern cousins on the issue of slavery. Yep, the Northerners actually wanted slavery in the new USA. And they economically benefitted from it all along.

And that brings us to the question of the flags of hate. If flags that flew over, and legally institutionalized slavery, are bad things we should tear down—you had better start with the American flag itself. Because that is the first flag of slavery in the USA.

But wait! I hear you screaming like caged monkeys, wasn’t the American flag redeemed by all the blood that was shed in that Civil War thingy? Well, no. It wasn’t.

Confederate battle flag—which is the American flag without the hypocrisy.
You know why? Killing a whole bunch of people doesn’t actually make your flag better. It just means the USA was so stupid, it went out and killed and maimed millions of its own people to eradicate slavery, only to then turn the administration and fates of those freed black Americans over to their former slave masters and the now intensely hate-filled former Confederate soldiers—and their millions of hate-filled descendants.

Yeah, that’s some real good thinking going on there.

And anyway, who had time to worry whether emancipation of slaves took or not, when you had all those injuns to kill and their lands to finish stealing?

Them neegrows? Thay’s free. Thay’s on their own.

On their own in a land of white hate so fierce that white Americans took to lynching and burning black people just for good, family entertainment.

And so we went until Martin Luther King, Jr. opened his arms with Christian love and asked—cain’t we just get along like Jesus Christ said? And James Earl Ray articulated with a bullet the Southern white-people's response: “Fuck you, nigger!”

Now, that response was in part also a response to liberal white people, who are always feeling guilty (but not that guilty) about how this great nation is a pirate, terrorist state, and who went off and started passing “civil rights” laws to finally start pretending like black people were real Americans. The white liberal thinking was that if you forced regular, racist white people to act like they accepted black people, then maybe they would start feeling that way too.

But that shit never worked, because, as President Half-White said the other day—racism is as American as apple-pie and killing people just to watch 'em die (which, you know, he does a lot).

So, you can take down the Confederate battle flags—hey, Walmart can even, finally, stop selling them to the millions of its best Confederate customers—but that ain't gonna do anything other than drive the hatred into deeper, darker, recesses of the black-hearted white soul.

Now, if you want to honestly address the problem in the USA, you need to tear down every American flag and replace it with—

—and that’s what we really need to have a national debate about.

Not some stupid easy thing like hating the CBF, but we need to talk about replacing the main symbol of hate in America—the American flag itself.

We need to talk about how, and even whether, we are going forward as a nation together, or increasingly as little cultures and tribes, all fighting against but never together.

Maybe disintegration is just the natural process of a nation formed in such ignominy and hypocrisy. Eventually, the USA very well may not survive its own bullshit. So it goes (in history) with any two-bit, flash-in-the-pan, and extremely hateful empire.

UPDATE, June 24, 2015—looks like Rush Limbaugh read me yesterday. He predicts "the left" will soon articulate the very argument I made in this article. Rush writes:
"And I'll make another prediction to you. The next flag that will come under assault, and it will not be long, is the American flag...The American flag is what? It's the symbol of America. The left what? Doesn't like this country very much and never has and it's getting angrier and angrier about it seemingly every day. The American flag stands for the United States of America and, as such, everything that's wrong with it. And you wait. It isn't gonna be long before the American flag is gonna cause chills, fear, scary thoughts, it's gonna make me nervous, the American flag, when I see the American flag, it's a symbol of hate."

The jerk needs to acknowledge his sources.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Bushy Traits Of Barack Obama, War Criminal And Tyrant

In a recent picture, Barack Obama reportedly reaches for a smoke, as he talks tyranny with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. The white hair and the cigs come with the realization on the part of US presidents that if there is a Hell, they most certainly are bound there.
That Barack Obama is an awful person is not news. And I don’t mean, as the conservatives do, that he was born especially awful, i.e. Kenyan, or that his actions have been especially awful. No, the fact he is POTUS necessitates, we are told, his awful actions. 

But the ease with which Barack Obama repeatedly subverts the law, kills people (including Americans and poor, brown babies), spies on all Americans, fights and expands undeclared wars, and gripes (just like Bush did) about how it would all be easier without Congress in the way, makes me think Obama is not a better man or a better president, but quite a mediocre war criminal and tyrant.

And if you would say well that all just comes with the office, then maybe we should get rid of the office, and the awful assumptions that motivate expressions of its power.

It is difficult at this point to view Obama’s escape from Iraq, certainly on the timetable devised by the Bush regime but still, as anything other than a green light to what became Islamic State. Does that qualify as a strategic foreign policy blunder on Obama’s part? 

The Terror Wars have been such a continuous and horrible stream of blundering, it is difficult to see how this particular portion of it is much worse than any other. Yes, Islamic State seems worse, but really it is just a logical result of the dynamics that have been in play in Iraq ever since George W. Bush made the catastrophically stupid decision to take out Saddam in 2003. 

And it wasn’t just the taking out part that was stupid, it was the absolutely inane idea these neocon wonderturds promoted—and still promote—that if you broke Iraq into ethnic shards, somehow democracy would rush in to fix everything. Or, if you just spent an enormous fortune training the Iraqi military, it could defend itself when committed jihadists came calling from Syria and Anbar.

It isn’t that I forget to blame the war criminal Bush in this critique. Far from it. It is that I find quite striking how Bushy Barack Obama has become, and how I think he most likely always was. 

The campaign blather about hope and change? 

Only the most dire fools believe that shit any longer. This is an empire after all, and Barry wasn’t going to let the black guy fuck that up.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Barack Obama’s Silly DOA Anti-Austerity Budget

In Barack Obama's world, there are those who do "spectacularly well"—meaning those who exploit their circumstances and other people to become fabulously wealthy, and there are those who are working hard to be those people. Yet, Obama wonders why in such a world, where the most heinous humans, soulless monsters of greed and hatred of poor people, are counted as doing "spectacularly well", there is not more general compassion. This from a man who regularly murders children and other innocent people with drone strikes.
In his weekend address to the nation, Barack Obama asked a question:
“Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well?”
Obviously, yes, “we” will—“we” have been doing it since the beginning after all. And what does “spectacular” even mean if everybody or most people can do it?

Well, that’s just one of the problems with Barack Obama. A lot of the time, he just doesn’t make much sense, even if his proposals are not wholly misguided.

So, why is now the time to call for passing a $4 trillion budget, one that demands at least some increases in social spending for poor and working class people? Shouldn't Obama have pushed for big spending to help most Americans all along?

Of course a lot of conservatives will tell you that Obama has been doing just that, which is why Americans dumped Democrats in the fall election. And they will tell you that when Democrats controlled Congress the first two years of Obama’s administration, the huge, communistic, entitlements to poor people nearly wrecked rich people and corporations (the “job creators”).

And these same conservatives will also tell you science is the work of Satan.

But the truth is the little bit of spending Obama got through his first couple of years mainly helped rich people and corporations expand their wealth and domination over America. Poor people, working people, got a few crumbs to make the most dire economic crisis since the Great Depression seem slightly less horrible.

And what about the much-beloved “middle class” the Democrats have pledged themselves to? The dirty little secret about them is that they don’t really exist any longer. The “middle” isn’t that, but should correctly be classified as the lower wealthy class. Even talking heads on television, people making millions of dollars every year, claim that they are “middle class”. Clearly, the meaning of key words has changed.

Meanwhile, rich people, banks, corporations all said the same thing to Barack Obama—hey thanks for the bailouts, the cash incentives and tax breaks (to hire people that, you know, we didn’t do), and especially thanks for driving American labor to the brink of ruin and insanity.

Because that last bit of the Great Recession—caused by massive sustained unemployment and the corporate reaction to it of reshaping "jobs" as a privilege Americans had to work for free to (possibly) earn, turned American workers into Chinese-style slaves. It also increased the profits the rich were getting from running their businesses. After all, as any Confederate slaveowner could have told you—and as many of their descendants in the Republican Party ARE telling us today—“free” is the best price to pay for labor.

So, now, Obama tells us:

“I want to work with Congress to replace mindless austerity with smart investments that strengthen America.”

So, how did the “mindless austerity” come into effect? Oh you know, through that across-the-board budget cuts that happened when Congress refused to work with Obama and the Democrats to avoid them. Those cuts, called “Sequester” budget reductions, were initially put into place to force the Democrats and the Republicans to work out some kind of “Grand Bargain”, which basically means throwing current Americans under the bus to save a mythical future America half a century from now.

As Paul Krugman recently said, and has been saying, this kind of economics, designed to bolster the wealth of an elite minority of current Americans by making the majority of Americans, who deserve assistance (in a civilized country anyway) even more than rich people, pay the cost of saving Americans in 2065, is heinous and stupid:
“Even where the long-term [debt] issues are real, it’s truly strange that they have so often taken center stage in recent years. We are, after all, still living through the aftermath of a once-in-three-generations financial crisis. America seems, finally, to be recovering — but Bowles-Simpsonism had its greatest influence precisely when the United States economy was still mired in a deep slump. Europe has hardly recovered at all, and there’s overwhelming evidence that austerity policies are the main reason for that ongoing disaster. So why the urge to change the subject to structural reform? The answer, I’d suggest, is intellectual laziness and lack of moral courage.”
Nevertheless, one cannot look at the Obama budget proposal and not think about how great it would have been if he had been making $4 trillion budget proposals, and getting them approved by Congress, all along. Or hey—maybe bigger budget proposals than that.

All over the world, and especially in Europe, the economics of austerity has failed. Even in the USA, where the economy has come back big time for wealthy people, the deep, structural and moral damage done to most Americans through savage budget cutting has been a mortal wound for millions of Americans. They have lost careers, homes, futures, and their families in the vast, GOP-style recovery.

Why did Barack Obama allow that to happen? Because for most of his presidency he preached at people that compromise was king of American politics, that “maturity” is reaching across the aisle to make a deal with the other side.

The problem was Barack Obama started out the negotiations by giving away the house (he had already lost the House) to people whose number one goal was to compromise with him when Hell froze over. The American people stood no chance with that kind of cowardly, hatefully stupid leadership in both parties, but Obama had the obligation to stand up to the Republicans, to protect the people, and he failed to do so.

What Obama should have done was to call upon the American people to descend on Washington DC—in the tens of millions—to demand their legislators do the work for the people, and not just for the ruling class. But, again, Obama failed to do this, as his ability to inspire action on the part of Americans began and ended at the voting booth on the two election days he won the Presidency. Why did Obama so often kowtow to the demands of Wall Street, corporations, and the rich ruling class? At this point we have to admit that a big reason he failed to stand up for the American people is because Obama is also the ruling class.

And so when Obama offers up this $4 trillion budget, one that stands no chance of being passed by Republicans, it is both a reminder of what the GOP is willing to do to Americans, as well as a reminder of what Barack Obama has utterly failed to do for Americans.