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Right To Left

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Right To Left last won the day on November 25 2019

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  1. The glories of following American politics and it's increasingly fanatical/decreasingly democratic and irrelevant to most people's lives. Twenty or thirty years ago, it was just conservatives...influenced by rightwing radio rage machines like Rush Limbaugh who were using feigned outrage about liberal crimes and transgressions. Liberal political scientists like Thomas Frank, wrote "What's the Matter With Kansas" and proposed that it was a problem of inferior psychology and reasoning ability: conservatives use the brain's emotion centers in the older limbic system of the brain, rather than the higher and evolutionarily more recent cortex levels added on to the brain, where we do our reasoning and deliberative thinking........and yes, liberals being more intelligent and less emotional than fear-driven conservatives, are thinking through problems to come up with the most reasonable and best solutions. So, since conservatives are emotion-driven, they are more likely to vote against their direct economic interests because of emotional appeals to patriotism, religious faith etc.. Well, that's what Thomas Frank was saying shortly after he wrote that book back in the Bush years, and....as you might have expected, he got a lot of invites from the relatively few liberal radio talkshow hosts and in the early days of MSNBC, he was on either Keith Olberman's or Rachel Maddow's shows on a weekly basis to discuss the world of politics. BUT, something went wrong in 2008 when the Democrats got their seemingly perfect presidential candidate into the White House, along with majorities in both houses of Congress.........some liberals who may not have been quite as rich or financially secure as the typical MSNBC viewer started asking where is Obama's plan to end foreign wars started by Bush, universal public healthcare, card-check (too much to explain, it's a big deal to union members), bailing out bankrupted homeowners with fraudulent mortgages/rather than Wall Street directly, and a whole host of promises he made on the campaign trail and with 60 Dems controlling the Senate and a majority in the House, where were the programs to get the job done? That question was answered when Obama just pissed away his chances doing little more than symbolic gestures to some of the faithful, and if you were watching him closely the night those disastrous (for Dems) mid-term results started coming in in 2010, you would think it looked like he was celebrating, because he was! He was celebrating having an uncooperative Congress that would strike down everything that benefited average working people and having to act on some of the promises he made two years before. According to legendary scuttlebutt from the time, Obama and House leader- John Boehner wanted to work on a "grand bargain" that would cut or freeze Medicare and Social Security because.....well, because Iraq War debts and Quantitative Easing policies had to be paid for......nowadays debts don't matter....at least for Wall Street and the MIC. Well, when Obama's popularity waned in 2010 leading to that Republican rout, Thomas Frank decided he better get to work on a new book - telling liberals what they needed to do to get back on track and start winning elections again. So, before the 2012 re-election got started, Frank penned a new book, this time directed at liberal Democrats: "Listen Liberal." And as he told the few radio and TV hosts who bothered asking him to be interviewed, this time Maddow et al. weren't interested! Likely because they were told by their corporate bosses that liberal dreams and ideas could not be allowed to interfere with their growing profit margins from industries that liberals had previously criticized. So, no more attacking foreign wars and war-spending, never talk to Code Pink and other peace activist groups, ignore Occupy Wall Street or other left movements who were noticing increasing poverty, so by the time Barack is ready to hand off to Hillary the message is "things are pretty great in America." And anyone who didn't feel the same way was SOL! Ever since that time, the Democrats have had nothing to run on for an election campaign. So they had to create a fake scandal after Trump surprised them by winning 2016 and leaving Hillary on the unemployment line: THE RUSSIANS stole our election and put Trump in the White House. Four years later, after all of the arguing and oxygen wasted by fake intellectuals like Maddow, it's been dropped by everyone except Trump, who is going after Robert Mueller and James Comey for their roles in setting up a fraudulent case. And this time, they put an even worse candidate at the helm: Joe Biden, a kleptocrat who had to ditch two past attempts to be president because of lying and falsifying his college records and plagiarizing a speech by British Labour Party leader at the time - Neil Kinnock. All forgotten news now, but Biden literally has nothing else to inspire anyone to vote for him. He's a creepy sexual transgressor and possibly a rapist as well. He even campaigned and endorsed a Republican friend in 2018, running in a battleground state, and yet the Dems and their media were asking whether Bernie Sanders was loyal! So, for those in the US, looks like you really got a battle between losers right now! And I wonder how many of the people declaring that they will vote for 3rd party candidates this time will do it, considering how the system is rigged for Dems and publicans
  2. Why do I never see concern for younger generations when the subject is the poisoning of our environment or the increased risk of nuclear annihilation over the last 10 or 15 years? One thing for sure, Doug Ford isn't Rob Ford! I would say that's a good thing that he's not more Trump-like ..... a spoiled, self-centered baby acting on impulse. Certainly Dougie is no genius, and in many ways is a lot like Justin. But, dealing with the worst worldwide disease pandemic in a hundred years, politicians should err on the side of caution. Because, now that medicine almost never is in the public interest/but instead is just another for profit-multibillion dollar industry, scientists...including those workiing on vaccines, can be little more than spokesmodels for whatever company they're working for. The last thing we need is a sought after vaccine being rushed on the market before any lasting, longterm health effects have been studied.
  3. I never got around to the poll question back in March, and two months later it's a moot point anyway! We should have copied China's and other Far East nations' methods of fighting the spread of Covid-19 by getting more resources in to closing down non-essential businesses and travel, screening, testing, tracking the spread and isolating those who test positive, but remain asymptomatic. South Korea briefly had an uncontrolled outbreak, but got it back under control again, while Vietnam acted early and immediately went in to lockdown mode, and maybe it was pure luck, but Vietnam has been the only country that did not record any covid-related deaths. If a few got through uncounted, as many butthurt libertarians here claim, it would still be far fewer fatalities than Canada, the US, Europe or any major industrialized nation in the world today. I would have said banning air travel from China in January would have been a good idea, but on the other hand I noticed that it sure as hell didn't help the US of A manage the pandemic. And since the US has become the world's covid hotspot, maybe we should think about expanding the qualifications of what should be considered "essential travel" to and from the US now.
  4. It's already been said, but how do you define 'pro-American' these days? I would say any American leader who tries to ease the US out of its role of imperial enforcer of global capitalism would be the patriot/not Trump, who I would argue exhibits no goals or desires that don't benefit him personally. I think there is a lot more consensus of opinion on Trudeau...whether we're talking supporters or rightwing enemies: he's mostly image, rather than substance. Only difference between right and left is how much of which. JT is afraid of not being liked. He should have been running for class president/not prime minister! SNC Lavelin was a clear example of inside corruption that he could and should be prosecuted for, and he just can't do enough virtue signally to identity groups he wants to curry favour with, but like most of the commentariat on MLW I've noticed over the years, you pick out Muslims for special retribution for no reasons other than being here.
  5. I haven't decided where I stand on this covid vaccine issue, so I'll leave to everyone else with instant opinions on both sides. My concerns would be that the experts who've been talking to the public so far are of the opinion that it will take 18 months to 2 years to develop a safe and effective vaccine. And that's assuming it's even possible! One researcher I recall stating that the AIDS pandemic unleashed the search for an HIV vaccine that was never fully developed or applied. Since the 80's, AIDS has been treated with antiviral and other drugs and campaigns to prevent the spread of the lethal/but much less contagious disease. Could the same thing happen with Covid-19? The worst possible outcome would be Poindexter Gates or some other billionaire grifter sponsoring the lab that creates the covid vaccine...slaps a patent on it, and either charges 8 billion people for it directly or their governments to pay for it! The rest of the world...including Europe (and I hope Canada also) want international cooperation on this work to create a covid vaccine, while the US has already tipped their hand that they see this as just one more profit opportunity... Donald's White House attempting to work out a deal with a German pharma company to fund their work, but use the end product for America!
  6. Putin? Why not ask about how safe we are with the child clown running the empire to our south?
  7. Took a quick look at the link. It's from PopSci, and my instant verdict is that it is another slice of propaganda served up by the think tanks created by the Atlantic Council. On the contrary to the conclusions on this little blurb, I'd say that if you are somewhere in or near that comfortable center sweetspot that the author desires, it means that your life is so comfortable that you are willfully blind to the increasing suffering and concerns of growing numbers of people. I'd say 'let's apply the same tests to the happy centrists' and see if they have any better abilities to evaluate evidence and theories. My hunch....judging from what I see posted online is that they just take whatever they hear on liberal centrist media or conservative centrists like Foxnews influencers, and run with it, acting like it's their own ideas they have come up with. I may oppose theories and especially solutions concocted by the far right, but at least I know that they have noticed that we're all in a shitstorm now....especially trying to deal with a major viral pandemic along with the pre-existing economic collapse that was already underway at the end of last year. I might not want their prescription, but at least they're noticing something's wrong and they want answers. But, the message from the centrists is 'go back to sleep, we got it all under control' ..... Obama's Hillary-killing quote in the closing months of the 2016 presidential campaign come to mind:"Things are pretty great in America." Sure they were....if you were Barack Obama; but not for the majority of Americans at the time. But, that ended any chance Clinton had to win with a constantly repeated theme: 'Trump bad/I'm not Donald Trump/vote for me.' And the Dems still haven't clued in that there's not enough rich and evenly modestly prosperous Americans today left to promote their moderate centrist theories.
  8. MOre of your dumb, uninformed fact-free opinions! Health authorities found 6 covid cases in Wuhan, and are now testing up to 11 million people. If that doesn't count as beating the virus, then nothing does. And a lot of old, unhealthy farts who are right on the edge of hades already, are going to be tipped over in the quest for herd immunity or as it should be properly known 'survival of the fittest.' Capitalist law of the jungle brings back real law of the jungle.
  9. So, time to play the commie card or reds under the bed again! I don't know about eyeball, but when have I ever posted anything supporting tracking apps? Which is not communist btw, but part of the Neocon private/public partnerships that you freenterprizers love so much! But that's all that's needed for you to go on the attack and lying backstabber- rue to 2nd the opinion!
  10. NO, if socialism was against human nature as you claim, then why would we as a species be innately wired to apply socialism at the local level as anthropologists have noted about small hunter-gatherer bands of up to 200 individuals living together and sharing their food and other products made without any thought given to taking the most or accumulating personal goods. What happened in modern times...starting in the 19th century, when the first anthropologists began studying the cultural practices of 'primitive' peoples that still lived in large numbers in the tropic zone, was that they described the high levels of cooperation and sharing that were essential for the primitive tribes, leading political philosophers like Frederick Engels to correspond and meet with some of these anthropologists to learn from them. Engels described the life of the people living in rainforests, grasslands and even deserts as "primitive communism" -- a lifestyle that was adopted naturally and considered essential. When Engels collaborated with Karl Marx in the 1880's, they were trying to create a modern system of living that would mirror the ways of living by our ancestors. THAT has presented a problem, for a number of reasons. One being that creating modern farming collectives or communes by putting strangers together, was not the same as the primitive groups made up of mostly extended family groups. On a larger scale, having large groups of people sharing or earning the same wages doesn't always work if they feel their work provides more value than work done by others...so they want a greater share. When it comes to the effects on people of capitalism and competition etc., the people who thrive under this system are more likely sociopaths that tended to be ostracized by small societies of the past, because of their selfish antisocial behavior. But on Wall Street, that's the perfect environment for a sociopath or psychopath who's only focused on winning at all costs. About 10 years ago, I picked up a very important and informative book: The Spirit Level by British epidemiologists - Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson. The basic premise of Pickett and Wilkinson is that when they compare sociological data from a range of quality of life stats, they find invariably that more equal societies are both physically and mentally healthier places than less equal societies. And measuring the levels of income equality within society are greater determinants than aggregate wealth. So, the wealthiest nation per capita at the time: the United States did more poorly compared with Costa Rica...the small Central American nation where per capita income was a quarter of US average incomes. But a range of measurements: life expectancy, health, addiction, violence and self-reported studies that try to determine life satisfaction all placed Costa Rica higher than the US. Pickett and Wilkinson don't delve in to the politics nor go into detail on economic models, trying to keep the focus strictly on income equality and inequality. Too bad this book didn't get more notice 10 years ago. But how could it! Considering who runs business and mainstream media over here! But, their book trashes the notion that human nature makes us selfish, and instead shows us that our increasingly dangerous, competitive, ruthless societies are making more and more people sick..both mentally and physically. The Spirit Level The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better was published in 2009. Written by Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson, the book highlights the "pernicious effects that inequality has on societies: eroding trust, increasing anxiety and illness, (and) encouraging excessive consumption". It shows that for each of eleven different health and social problems: physical health, mental health, drug abuse, education, imprisonment, obesity, social mobility, trust and community life, violence, teenage pregnancies, and child well-being, outcomes are significantly worse in more unequal rich countries.
  11. Okay, you don't see where I'm coming from here. I'm not an academic elitist who gravitated to socialism out of concerns over fairness and utopian desires to make the world a nicer place. It's not even my concerns as a union member that the future for younger workers will provide diminishing returns no matter which industry they work in. My main concerns with maintaining capitalism is that it is at its root, an unstable system for economic management that can't function unless it is able to grow....endlessly..without end. In nature, the only creatures that live like this are cancer cells! Not much different when these principles of exponential growth are applied to human societies. This is most of the reason why the world is in an ecological crisis today! Industrial production and transportation of goods has increased faster than the rate of population growth in the 20th century by a long shot. The money supply has grown exponentially thanks to quantitative easing for the bankers to offload their debts on to suckers living in the future, and even the left has bought into the free money fountain economic theory, commonly known as MMT. So, it will likely continue until the system is changed or it just seizes up and unleashes chaos on a world where most of our political, military and business leaders are invested in this system and not willing to let it go. In a nuclear age, what are they willing to do to try to get their way?
  12. Nooooo! This has only been a very temporary uplift if anything, if we take a look back at the full expanse of the history of species on this planet. An 'uplift' that can only be temporary because it is constructed on unleashing a massive oil industry producing carbon fuels, chemical fertilizers and pesticides/while mining the last large stores of essential components - phosphates for making those fertilizers. So, the sudden huge increase in food/mostly grain production around the world is already bumping up to the limits of production at a time when the Earth's population approaches 8 billion. For a relatively short time, larger numbers of people were able to get enough to eat, But this system of growing has destroyed most of the topsoil in most of the grain belts (including in the US) and used up supplies of groundwater being used for irrigation. Crunch time is on the horizon, and there's nothing to fix or replace this 'green revolution' of 50 years ago. Aside from that, economic measurements like GDP are illusory and do not measure real wealth in poor countries. So, in the Bangladeshi example, millions have been forced off of public lands where they lived for generations by simple but sustainable farming practices. According to GDP numbers, they had almost no income, since they were growing their own food on their own land and selling a small amount of produce at a local market. After being kicked off the land to make way for multinational Big Ag producers....just like throughout Africa and Asia, they migrate to already overcrowded cities, where they are stuck taking lousy sweatshop jobs in dirty and dangerous textile mills making clothes for Walmart and other western buyers. On paper, it looks like they've taken a big leap forward from their rural past, so why don't the majority who made the move to the cities see it that way? Largely because their lives are miserable! They have to spend long hours doing lousy work for low pay, that barely provides a man and a woman enough money to buy poor quality foods at a local market, and pay the rent for some hovel that's barely enough room for a family to turn around in. And now, it's coming to an end in this decade, and even we will see higher food prices this decade because of bad effects from climate change and over-reliance on factory farming.
  13. My point was that an overwhelmed public healthcare system isn't going to perform any better than a private system that screens patients on the basis of ability to pay. So, what about the success stories! How did China beat their outbreak? What about Vietnam, which has scant few cases left and may be the only country that recorded zero fatalities from the disease. South Korea has beat back the pandemic very well also....problem now is people going crazy now that most of the restrictions have been lifted....such as earlier reports today that SK authorities feared an outbreak was underway that may have been caused by some young partiers who went out from bar to tavern on a pub crawl Thursday or Friday night. So, they might have a setback. But, it will likely only be temporary, since they are able to quickly mobilize teams to detect any infected people and trace all of their contacts for testing and quarantining if necessary. THIS seems to be the problem in the US! Even more than using a piss-poor for profit healthcare system, trying to get Americans to put community interest ahead of personal desires is almost a non-starter! So, you may be having problems for a long time to come!
  14. How about NEITHER!!! GET IT? I lived almost 10 years in the US, before returning to Canada, and as the years have passed, I have less and less reason to want to go back there....especially now. I have said for a long, long time that signing on to FTA which led to NAFTA was the biggest mistake we ever made. Canada sacrificed independence for the promise of more money, and except for the finance capitalist class, it didn't happen! Americans may whine about the outsourcing of their industries, but Canada lost more...which I can plainly see every day in a city that used to be steeltown. You obviously love America more than Canada! But that's no different than the rest of the conservatives on this forum, who just can't wait to roll out the red carpet to invading US forces...or their mercenary-guns for hire proxies. As for China, I'm not even sure exactly how communist Communist China is anymore! They still have Communist Party leadership, BUT the economy is privatized with a lot of foreign ownership of industries that produce mostly products for export. So, NO I don't want to move to China....I'd pick Cuba far sooner...maybe I'll move there as soon as I'm retired...anyway, China is overpopulated with a language I would never have enough time to learn at this stage in life. But if there's one thing I do know about China, they don't spend all of their time meddling and telling other nations what to do! They look after their own interests, and are willing to trade and do business with rightwing and theocratic dictatorships as well as leftwing and communist countries like Cuba. So, that's better than a nation which thinks they have the right to control the affairs of both continents of the Americas! So, about that NAFTA thing, maybe we didn't have a choice on it, and if the first Trudeau hadn't retired or his 2nd banana - Chretien had stuck to his promise of scrapping NAFTA, we would have been subject of a US-backed coup....likely similar to the one Australia had in 1975. Would I be wrong in assuming you are one of these Qanon conspiracists who think ....contrary to every other form of evidence, that Donald Trump is not just a very lucky grifter who's just out to cash in on his White House gig, and doesn't give a shit about anyone or anything else? As I see it: "deep state globalists" are the hundreds of highly placed personnel in US Government departments, who are in and out of government between gigs in Wall Street firms and weapons makers. They are globalists, because the empire is headquartered in the US and uses the US Dollar as its leverage to extract wealth from other nations and the US armed forces to leverage the control their banks and major corporations have over most other nations except for the renegades.
  15. No, I think there are so many connected to the Trump White House connected with this failed coup - including his puppet fake president - Juan Guiado, there's no way that Donald could have been completely out of the loop. This is something he has wanted and been working on ever since he got in the White House. How Much Did the Trump Administration Know About the Failed Venezuela Coup Attempt? US regime change operations have been outsourced to semi-private companies and NGOs for decades, giving the government a paper-thin veneer of plausible deniability. Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy described the fiasco as a “botched Bay of Pigs like paramilitary operation.” “Now, [Senators] Tim Kaine, Tom Udall and I are asking the administration a simple question: What did they know, and if they didn’t know, why not?” he added. President Nicholas Maduro, whose forces appear to have had knowledge of the attack before it took place, is certain who was behind it. “The United States government is fully and completely involved in this defeated raid,” he said, describing it as a “covert operation ordered by Donald Trump,” supported by Colombian President Ivan Duque and self-declared U.S.-backed “interim president” Juan Guaidó, outsourced to “professional American mercenaries” on a mission to assassinate him. Trump officially denied all knowledge of the weekend’s events. But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo contradicted the president’s words on Wednesday, stating only that “there was no U.S. government direct involvement,” although he did admit that he had known who bankrolled the failed project, promising to divulge the information “at an appropriate time.” However, in an interview with CNN on Wednesday, one of the coup’s organizers, Juan José Rendon, may have let slip that the Trump administration was even more heavily involved than it concedes. Referring to a $212.9 million contract they signed with Guaidó in October to overthrow the government, Rendon explained that it was above board as they were merely capturing and delivering to justice members of the Maduro regime who have an arrest warrant in the United States. The problem is that those warrants, along with the $15 million bounty placed on Maduro’s head, were only made public in March. Therefore, if Rendon spoke correctly, it indicates his team may have had months of contact and cooperation with the U.S. Department of State. The two Americans captured have been named as Airan Berry and Luke Denman. Both are ex-Special Forces and honed their skills in the U.S. wars in the Middle East. Denman’s family made an impassioned plea for his safe return. “He deserves to come home,” said his brother Mark, claiming that, “Luke’s motivation has always been to help others in any way he can… He thinks of kids who are being harmed and innocent people who are suffering and I’m sure this was his motivation to do this.” Perhaps he had not watched Denman’s interview broadcast on Venezuelan television, because the 34-year-old Texan said he participated after the promise of being paid between $50-100,000 for the job, describing himself as a “mercenary” for hire. Both Berry and Denman worked for Silvercorp USA, a private security firm set up in 2018 by another former soldier, Jordan Goudreau. The company began by trying to sell school security services, but Goudreau and his men diversified, even being directly employed as private security guards by the Trump team at their rallies.While the White House might officially deny direct involvement in the latest coup attempt, it is difficult to see what stronger evidence could come out directly implicating them. For a number of decades, U.S. regime change operations have been outsourced to semi-private companies and NGOs, rather than directly employing government officials, giving the government a paper-thin veneer of plausible deniability. The founder of the National Endowment for Democracy, Allen Weinstein noted of his organization, “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.” Thus, this is exactly the maximum extent of evidence that any modern covert regime change operation has linking it to the government.The Trump administration refuses to recognize Maduro, despite his election victories, instead, propping up deeply unpopular right-wing politician Juan Guaidó as the ruler, despite his failure to control or command anything inside the country. The U.S. has a long history of supporting coups against the socialist government. In 2002, it bankrolled a briefly-successful ouster of Hugo Chavez, only for it to be rolled back almost immediately through mass popular mobilization. Since then, it has continued to fund, train and nurture virtually every opposition politician and organization, more or less openly. Thus, the question of whether the operation was directly organized in Washington D.C. is moot, because, as with so many other botched power grabs, it would never have happened without the implicit and explicit support of the power of the U.S. empire.
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