Category Archives: Politics & Economics

Want to Contest Trump’s Behavior?

I don’t know about you but I would like to be associated with people who will work to closely monitor the actions of the Trump presidency and bring pressure wherever pressure is warranted. But, I don’t want to drive to WDC and march in a Million Woman March. Last evening I learned of an alternative, organizing on a local level, with like-minded people, and truly resisting at the grassroots level.

An organization has been formed called Indivisible and its goal is to learn from what the Tea Party has shown us and adapt those lessons to fit progressive needs. To facilitate this a group of former Democratic congressional workers has written a small simple guide to help provide direction and ideas. To learn more about Indivisible and get your name on their email list go to their website.

And, to download a .pdf file of their printable guide just click on the link below.

A Town Hall I Hoped You Saw

One of the best things of a political nature I’ve seen lately was a town hall meeting from Kenosha, WI moderated by Chris Hayes and featuring Bernie Sanders. The room of around 300 people was composed of Democrats, Republicans, Sanders supporters, independents, Trump voters, literally the spectrum of Americans. Much of the conversation centered on why did people vote for Trump. The answers ranged from:
 
1. He’ll bring our jobs back.
2. He listened to us.
3. He wasn’t Hillary.
4. And so much more of what he often heard during the campaign.

We Need You Gene Feldman

I’ve been thinking about a statement being made by Trump, that he wants people in his cabinet who have made a fortune. It made me think of a man I knew in CA named Gene Feldman. Gene was the VP of the company I worked for and had made his fortune from the ground up. He began life at the bottom and through education and hard work became very wealthy.

About once every other month Gene would take whoever wanted to go to a local restaurant for beer and finger food. We’d all sit there as equals and do what people do, talk sports, jobs, family, etc. The “as equals” thing was at his request. For a couple of hours he wanted to be one of the crew and not the boss. He wanted us to know each other as people and not as boss/worker. We all knew and accepted that when the evening was over Gene became, Mr. Feldman again.

Continue reading We Need You Gene Feldman

The Mouse is Staring at the Cheese

A friend posted concern that most of Trump’s nominees are very wealthy people from banking and Wall Street. Trump argues these are the people who understand the system and know how to fix it. I don’t have a problem with that. A guy who runs a 300 acre corn and bean farm probably doesn’t have what it takes to rewrite and correct the US income tax code.

But I do question whether the Wall Street insider who has the knowledge will also have the desire. It smacks of putting the mouse in charge of protecting the cheese.

Continue reading The Mouse is Staring at the Cheese

Let’s Get Ready to Duck & Cover

Here’s a short version of a very long, complicated, and dangerous story. At the end of WWII a civil war broke out in China between the communist forces of Mao Tse-tung and the established forces of Chiang Kai-shek. Chiang wasn’t a good buy but he wasn’t a communist so we supported him. The eventual winner of this conflict was the communist dictator, Mao Tse-tung.

In order to save himself and what remained of his army, Chiang Kai-shek left mainland China and occupied the island of what we know as Taiwan, which had been a province of China. The mainland Chinese government still insists that Taiwan belongs to them.

In this dispute over Taiwan the US sided with Chiang and offered military and economic assistance. For may years the US officially considered the nation of China to be Taiwan and literally ignored the presence of the mainland. We used our power to seat Taiwan in the UN’s China seat. If you looked at a world map showing only those nations the US recognized, the entire mainland of China might have been colored blue, as if it were just ocean.

Continue reading Let’s Get Ready to Duck & Cover

Thanksgivings to Come

Right after Thanksgiving we were watching the HBO nightly program, VICE News. One segment was to visit and film a family during their traditional Thanksgiving sit down dinner. It was a father, mother, couple of sons and their families.

thanksgiving-politicsThings began peaceful enough with the carving of the turkey and a toast to the present and future. Almost instantly something was said about the recent election and the father admitted he had voted for Trump. One of the sons went off like a pound of C-4 explosive and all out verbal abuse set in that on a couple of occasions came close to physical conflict between the son and his father.

Continue reading Thanksgivings to Come

A Goldman-Sachs Golden Sack

Why would anyone with a high-end sweet job at Goldman-Sachs want to give it up and go to work for the federal government? Well, one answer is pure economics.

People who have a penthouse office with a corner window at places like Goldman-Sachs are partly compensated with stock or shares of the company. If/when they sell these shares they have to pay taxes.

But, if they take an executive job with the government they get to sell those stocks and keep the proceeds, tax-free. The government essentially hands them a tax-free bag of gold.

Donald Trump has now reached out to at least two such people and that number will most likely grow.

This is yet one more way the very rich get richer at our expense. Keep this in mind next time you cash in a CD or a tax-sheltered annuity and you get a tax bill along with the funds.

Thoughts on Infrastructure

Following the great recession of 2008 the congress passed a stimulus bill that was supposed to focus on “shovel ready” infrastructure projects. In my opinion it was not as successful as it could have been because it didn’t authorize enough spending and it didn’t demand that every penny spent be spent with American contractors using American labor, American made equipment, and American made supplies.

Another major problem with big government spending programs has always been keeping them from becoming financial boondoggles and money trees for big corporations.

Continue reading Thoughts on Infrastructure

A Change Has Gotta Come

I’ve read a lot about the election and why the Democrats lost. Of all the suggestions the one that concerns me the most is the idea that the party no longer represents the working classes. I’ve known for a long time that both parties are heavily reliant on big business and the wealthy for their money and owed a debt for that support. I wrote it off by believing the GOP simply had richer and more powerful supporters so it somehow balanced out.

Given that millions of Democrats supported Bernie Sanders and his revolutionary ideas, including running without corporate and PAC money, coupled with the out-and-out rejection of so many working people, I’ve got to question just who the Democrats do support today? I’ve also got to question if I can continue associating with the Democrats.

Continue reading A Change Has Gotta Come

Sprinkle Coal Dust on my Grave

Ted Koppel did a feature on McDowell County, WV yesterday morning. I’ve been there many times having supplied the school system with computers back in the 1990s. Even then it was a place holding on by its teeth and such appears to be truer today. The entire region is tied to coal and coal has died. Coal died but not, as a couple of minors claimed, from government regulations.

Coal died because of:

  • It’s a filthy source of energy.
  • Mining it reeks havoc on the land.
  • The greed of the mine owners.
  • The mine owners having to be forced into environmental stewardship.
  • Tremendous mechanization.
  • An ever decreasing demand for it. Increasingly energy is being provided by newer, cleaner, and more sustainable sources
  • Historically coal was used to generate electricity, manufacturer iron and steel, and heat our homes. Today we make electricity with wind, solar, and natural gas. Today we don’t make iron and steel, we buy it from China. Today we heat our homes with natural gas, propane, geo thermic heat pumps, electricity and other cleaner, cheaper, and more efficient means.

Continue reading Sprinkle Coal Dust on my Grave

You’re Gonna Change or I’m Gonna Leave

Prior to the Democratic convention my son tried to convince me that the DNC was involved in a conspiracy to keep the nomination away from Bernie Sanders. I’m not much into conspiracy theories and didn’t pay much attention. I still tend to believe that Bernie wasn’t the party’s nominee because he simply didn’t get enough votes.

Whichever, he didn’t win the nomination, Clinton did, and the Democrats lost their asses. In the days after the election my son and I have talked a lot about the results and I think we agree that Sanders would have taken Trump had he been the Democrat in the race. We also agree that we’d like to see the Democratic party reform itself more along the progressive lines of Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. That it should become the true party of the working classes of Americans. That Sanders won in twenty-three states is proof enough there is a place for progressive politics in America.

Continue reading You’re Gonna Change or I’m Gonna Leave

There’s Ugly News Today!

Last week I wrote a piece about the few good things I saw following the election. The list was pretty short and really, not all that good. Today I scanned my various news feeds and was overwhelmed with headlines foretelling a tsunami sized wave of turds about to come ashore. Here’s just a few:

  • Sean Hannity thinks news media that is too friendly to the Democrats should be barred access to the White House.
  • One of the most hateful and insane creatures of recent times is back in the news. It’s being said that John Bolton may be nominated for Secretary of State. That would be akin to making Heinrich Himmler the White House greeter.
  • Jeff Sessions is being considered for Attorney General. A very conservative senator who once was denied a federal judgeship because of his racists statements.
  • Ben Carson is back in the news but this time it’s for saying he’s not interested in being part of Trump’s government. Finally something good to say about Dr. Carson.
  • Steve Bannon, an avowed racist, shares the number two seat of power in the White House even though all evidence indicates he is a domestic abuser and solid anti semitic.
  • The nation’s mayor, Rudy Giuliani, is still vying for a seat at the White House table. I used to admire Rudy but then he went crazy and refused treatment.
  • Clare Lopez, the woman who is most responsible for the idea that we’re all going to die at the hand of a Muslim assassin while asleep in our beds. Lopez is being mentions for a place in National Security. Oh, she also thinks Senator Joseph McCarthy was correct in all he said back in the 1950s.
  • Ivanka Trump may use the White House as a means to market her line of jewelry. She selling the $10k bracelet she was wearing during the 60 Minutes interview.
  • True to what has been said about Trump, it is now being rumored that he’s pissed over not having won the popular vote.
  • And finally, Paul Ryan and his friends are again talking about privatization of Social Security and Medicare. Phasing out the existing systems and letting the insurance and investment companies make a profit off us. In the end we the people will receive less coverage, at higher prices, and be subject to the whims of the stock market. Remember when millions lost their retirement accounts when the stock market tanked in 2008?

For Trump Supporters Only?

Today alone I’ve seen several newspaper reports about Trump beginning to back away from several of his key campaign promises. One of his aides even said things like the wall and banning Muslims were just “campaign devices.” Campaign devices must be another word for bullshit.

I know that nothing has been carved in stone but these hints at backpedaling beg the question, If you’ve been a strong Trump supporter and banked on him being a different kind of candidate, one who speaks to the truth regardless of the consequences, how are you going to react if Trump doesn’t begin digging a foundation along the Rio Grande on day two?

If you’d like to respond in a sincere manner please register and submit your response at the “Discus” section below this post. Or, you may do so on Facebook or @CHAPSGENSTORE on Twitter.

 

It’s Only Been Three Days

eye-for-eye
Gandhi was a liberal and I wonder if he ever had this same dilemma?

It’s three days after the election of Donald Trump to the presidency. It’s three days of wondering what the future will hold and if Trump will try to make good on the bombastic promises he made his followers. It’s three days I’ve had to think about how I and other liberals should react.

This is one of those times where it’s difficult to be a liberal because liberals are supposed to have certain problem solving approaches and remaining true to those presents a problem I don’t think conservatives have to face.

I just spent some time reviewing the literature on what makes one a liberal and the list fits me pretty well. One thing I’m having trouble with is the forgiving and cooperating parts of being a liberal. The literature says I am supposed to setaside the campaign disagree-ments, buy the world a Coke, and teach it to sing in perfect harmony.

Continue reading It’s Only Been Three Days