Supreme court continues evil immigration policy

Hard working immigrants had hope that parents who are undocumented but who have children born in the United States would be able to receive a permit to work lawfully and a social security number and officially contribute to the economy just as they now do unofficially and often in fear of deportation.

In the Nineteenth century the Supreme Court would rule against native Americans because those savages did not make productive use of the land so allowed the white man to take that land away from those who had so long honored it.

In 1997, President Bill Clinton made a “compromise” deal to get NAFTA passed by drastically modifying immigration policy to make it much harder for undocumented workers to obtain a path to citizenship, requiring them to demonstrate “extreme hardship” in order to legally stay in this country. It is not considered extreme hardship to force a father or mother to be removed from their children or force the children to leave the only country they have known and go to a distant land where hardship is what prompted their parents to come to the United States to begin with.

So this Supreme Court is just following in that long march of those who dominate over those who often do the hardest and least paid work in our economy. Shame on the Supreme Court justices who voted to once again stymie human progress.

An article at Politico covers the story in some detail

Dennis G. Allard
Santa Monica, CA
June 23, 2016

The Arab Spring has turned into Winter

I feel like a fool when I look back three years to my opinion on the so-called revolution in Libya in 2011. I was somewhat cautious and realistic that the road ahead would not be easy for Arabs who seek “democracy”. But I admit I did not foresee what has happened. Libya has now descended into what amounts to tribal warfare with no new strong man for the U.S. to support.

Yet I shold have foreseen it. It’s what the U.S. always needs. It’s not democracy that helps U.S. interests, it’s power, the power of foreign oligarchies. It’s a strong man.

Like in Iraq where the criminal Maliki was and still is supported by U.S. power and where apparently naive John Kerry, crudely paraphrased, recently stated that he was surprised by how many people don’t like Maliki.

Or in Egypt, where the Egyptian military oligarchy, unhindered and, in fact, supported by the U.S. and amazingly unquestioned by the U.S. main stream media, serves as a recent lesson. The open letter to Obama from leading Arab scholars says it all. The U.S. will ignore this letter and continue to support the Egyptian dictatorship, also supported by Israel, in order to prop up Israel and prevent true democracy from taking place in Egypt. But why?

We’ve had so many lessons. I use “we” tongue in cheek. Whenever you hear someone saying “we”, that is a bad habit of referring to the United States as if it were a unified whole with unified interests. It is not. It is an oligarchy, a plutocracy, controlled by very small numbers of very wealthy people while the masses, including immigrants and foreign labor, do the work to create American wealth that gets distributed to the one per cent.

Back to our lessons of the not so distant past… Mossadegh was assassinated in 1952 with the help of MI6 and the CIA after he committed the sin of nationalizing the oil industry in Iran. We saw what that got “us”, the ruthless shah followed by religious extremists who have become our favorite foes in the region. Democratically elected Arbenz in 1954 Guatemala was ousted with direct assistance of the U.S. Guatemala to this day lives in a legacy of military oligarchy. Similarly, democratically elected Allende had to be removed, and the dictator Pinochet supported, after that socialist bastard Allende and his democratically elected government had the temerity to nationalize our copper mines. I mean just because the copper mines are in Chile does not mean “we” (Anaconda Copper) don’t own them! And after the Vietnam Holocaust where the U.S. killed two million Vietnamese, even after the U.S. lost the war to those valiant Vietnamese, the U.S.-controlled banking system kept a boycott on banking with Vietnam for a couple more decades. Let’s not forget the Sandinistas who wanted to educate the poor and give them land so had to be fought via the illegal support of the Contras, who were in fact terrorists supported by “our” tax dollars. And that list is far from complete. We’re real nice guys, us AMERICANS. We’re so damned right in everything “we” do.

Yet, in the long run, I remain optimistic. Democracies are now emerging in South America thanks to popular revolutions and elections in Bolvia, in Venezuela, in Uruguay, in Ecuador, in Argentina, and even in Chile, which recently cut ties with the apartheid state of Israel.

“They” don’t need “us”. Unlike the advice ofThom Hartmann, a liberal who I do respect, to “give more aid to the governments of Hondurus and El Salvador and Guatemala” [in order to help them help their populace and avoid the need for the recent mass exodus of children to the U.S. border], I have an alternative suggestion. Don’t disrupt the political revolutions that are taking place there. Don’t support the ouster of Zelaya in Honduras. Instead, let the democratic socialist movements alone. Where Mossadegh and Allende and Zelaya would have perhaps succeeded were it not for our interventions against them, if we let the democratic socialist forces prosper, it may end up being they that will show us the way for our own ills here at home.

The Arab Spring was real. That Arab Spring is past, but, as with the cycle of the seasons, the Winter of today will pass and the Spring will return. It is the inevitable march of history and what is right.

Dennis Allard
Santa Moncia
July 28, 2014

U.S. Military contractors engaged in de facto Human Trafficking

I find this latest report of human tafficking by U.S. military contractors in cahoots with local so-called subcontractors to obtain workers for U.S. bases to be so annoying I had to mirror the Democracy Now/Al Jazeera report here as my small part in spreading the truth.

The U.S. military industrial complex has no soul.

How to watch TV without Time Warner

Time Warner and CBS, two gargantuans of television, are bickering with the result that a few million people are not able to view CBS via Time Warner Cable. I somehow feel this is all part of the ongoing reconcentration of wealth into the hands of fewer segments of society. Just my gut feel. Whatever the ultimate reason, those few million people are denied seeing the channel 9 news and other favorites that are defacto part of our social fabric in spite of being owned by the corporatcracy. In short, since these are not truly public institutions, we don’t get to decide how they are managed. The corporates do. The “Free” Market decides.

LA Times clip on Time Warner vs. CBS - 2013-08-03

It’s not like TV in the United States has not always mostly been privately owned (even though airways are in principle a public resource). We used to have commercial-free public television. In days gone by. The Libertarian Fundamentalists long ago convinced too many that government is bad (implication, corporations are good) and that how dare “they” (the government, elected by you and me), i.e., us, use tax dollars to fund quality programming.

The good news is that, at least so far, there is still freely available channels, including CBS, thanks to the good old rabbit ear antenna.

All modern digital HD TVs can view channel 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 28, 34, etc here in Los Angeles. Without cable TV. For no charge. You just hook an antenna up to your TV using the coax connection.

I took a vacation from cable TV in recent years but recently subscribed to Verizon FIOS so I could watch the Dodgers, another defacto part of public society but, now, unlike before, NOT available most days on public air waves. Actually the real reason I subscribed to FIOS is that I work on the Internet so need high speed internet and Verizon almost gives away FIOS TV once you have FIOS internet. Ironically, I changed to FIOS internet away from Time Warner Cable Internet and am so happy to have done so. Time Warner simply did not know how to keep a router up 24×7 (it was more like 23.9 x 7) and that got real old real fast. FIOS for me has been operating for two straight years without any outage (maybe one short outage). I guess that’s a plug for Verizon FIOS (a trade name and color scheme I dislike but a technology I love that should be available to everyone as a public utility).

Let me repeat the good news about how to bypass Time Warner Cable to watch channels 2, 7, 9, 28 (KCET) etc. all in HD (High Definition) without paying a cent for a cable TV subscription…

You use a rabbit ear antenna. I would recommend setting up a long wire and moving the antenna to the attic or the roof. I did that and the HD reception of all the above channels is outstanding. I think it’s even better than what comes in on cable.

Once you do this, you might even conclude that spending $80 per month for cable (that’s about a $1000 per year), isn’t worth it. You can can still listen to the Dodgers on radio when they are not televised on the public air waves. They still haven’t figured out how to force us to pay money to listen to radio. Not yet.

Dennis Allard
Santa Monica,
August 7, 2013

ESPN Radio ads during play by play

Sunday Dec 30, 2012. Complaint posted to ESPN Radio.

I was listening to this morning’s ESPN Radio football game broadcast on AM 710 Los Angeles. On every possession during the game, while the clock was running, an irritating 5 to 10 second ad was announced by the broadcaster interspersed with play by play as if the ad were part of the play by play.

Is that what ESPN markteting weenies are coming up with now?

If this continues I will not be listening to ESPN radio game broadcasts anymore.

I will post this complaint and your reply to my blog.

Election Night 2012

It is 5PM on election night and I want to see the early results.

I try tuning in to my local PBS channel KCET (at least it used to be PBS). I see some guy with a British accent doing a really bad job of pointing to a map. I’m not in the mood to listen to a British accent right now. This is the election of the President of the Unites States of America. Give me a Latino accent or a black man or a black women or a Midwestern white truck driver. Anything but a British accent. I turn the channel.

Now it’s channel 4 NBC News. Millionaire Brian Williams is talking at me now. He’s so suave.

Out of the gate I’m in a bad mood because the red neck ignorant white folks in Kentucky and Mississippi and a bunch of the red neck states have already voted in mass numbers for Romney. What else is new. Invade a continent, kill the Indians, believe in God, kill 2 million Vietnamese, support the insane “war on drugs” that killed 30,000 Mexicans last year, and now vote for Romey. And I, a liberal, care about these people? Why? I should become a me-first Republican like them and just be an idiot like them. Then I too wouldn’t know enough to care about the dismantling of every program put in place since FDR to help people.

I turn back to PBS. Now I see a black man talking to me from a bar in Ohio. But wait. He also has a British accent. And he’s the only black person in that Ohio bar. What is going on? Ah. I notice the BBC logo in the lower right corner of my screen. The once great United States Public Broadcasting System, which has been dismantled by the anti-government Libertarian Republicans who hate government even when it saves the entire US auto industry, is now airing a BBC program on election night. We are screwed. We can’t have our own public broadcasting system paid for by tax payer dollars? Did we choose that or were we just duped into thinking that’s OK? It is not OK.

I am going to stick to NBC. Brian ain’t that bad after all.

Running commentary:

5:45 PM. Obama 78 – Romney 88 – Obama might take Florida, so things are improving for Obama.

6:10 PM Obama took New Jersey. Ohio and Florida still too close to call.

6:17 PM Obama took Pennsylvania, the state where my Mom was born to a coal miner. Yes!

8:15 PM Good. There is some sanity still. Obama wins.

9:00 PM Over on PBS, they are still showing the BBC.

9:00 AM the next morning:

PBS is showing a children’s show. Without commercials. So there is hope.

The NHL owners are cancelling the hockey season?

I have lots of friends, even male friends, who don’t watch sports much and even more female friends who don’t. They consider sports to be uninteresting, not vital to life. They read books and actually do things like going on hikes and being active instead of just passively sitting in front of the tube watching high paid athletes do stuff.

I respect those friends. But I have other friends who really follow sports, be it baseball, football or, the eventual topic of this column, hockey. I’m not football, especially college football or any college sport. I view that past time, college sports, as a massive fraud on the American psyche as a way for Nike to push the swoosh in front of more eyes and for colleges and universities and the gambling industry to rake in millions while paying the coaches insane salaries while paying faculty members who do things like study advanced molecular structures far less per year. So something is wrong. It’s no one’s fault. It’s “the system”.

Nevertheless I put economics aside and like professional sports for the love of sport. I prefer baseball since the game has no clock. But hockey is the most exciting to watch. If you take your eyes off the action for a few seconds you are going to miss something. The players are the best skaters in the world while also being endurance atheletes and phycially strong sons of bitches.

This year, the Los Angeles Kings are the Stanley Cup Champions. It is supposed to be a fun hockey season.

So this morning I wake up to read today’s Los Angeles Times article that the NHL is cancelling the first two weeks of the scheduled season. Note the term “NHL” in that title. Who is that anyway? And how can they cancel our hockey season? The reason is simple, it is not our hockey season. They own it. They are the owners. The people who make the most millions due to what they own and not what they do. The people doing the work, i.e., the hockey players and the ticket sellers and the janitors, they are what create the hockey season. The owners are smart people, they solve complicated problems such as how to put together teams and organize and promote the season. Sure, they do some work. But that is not what makes them become absurdly wealthy men (and in the Canadian culture of hockey it’s even more men than in other sectors of society that sometimes actually includes women in the power structure — my father was French Canadian so I can bash Canadian maleness if I feel like it and I feel like it right now). No, what makes these sons of bitches too wealthy and what gives them too much power, enough power to cancel our hockey season, or part thereof (they actually cancelled the whole damn thing in 2004-2005) is because the own it, i.e. they can.

It’s not just hockey that is like this. It is everything. Everything.. The way capitalism works.

I heard a funny joke this morning on KPFK I believe. The joke goes like this. Capitalism is a system where some people dominate others. Under socialism, it’s the other way around. The guy saying this joke was a Hungarian who claims to be one of only two Marxists he knows who left Europe after the Soviet breakdown. If anyone is reasding this (a dubious proposition I admit) and happens to know who this guy is, please send me a link so I can refer to him by name. He has an eastern european accent and eastern european humor. Very smart, very funny. I think we’ll be hearing more from him soon.

Why does KPFK give air time to Gary Null?

I have tired of turning on KFPK radio (90.7 FM, Los Angeles) at night only to hear the self-aggrandizing voice of Gary Null being emitted into the vacuum of the Los Angeles radio air.

At first one tends to like what Null is saying, since he is critical of the pharmaceutical industry and promotes exercise and a good diet. Those are easy targets. But then, very soon, his rants become intolerable.

Null represents the cult of the individual self-promotion of self. The self-referring radio “star”. I think that Null is a disgrace to the left, rivaled by the 911 falsers. When Null is asked a question he seems to not care about the person who asked it or have any interest in dialog. He goes on and on and on ad nauseum listening to his vitriol that often drifts to topics having nothing to do with the question asked telling people what important unique work he claims to have done. Worse, much of what he says has the feel of a snake oil salesman. (See the references at the end of this post.)

That KPFK puts Null on the air so often is testimony to the fact that the left has as many sheep amongst its ranks as the right. So Null is not going to go away. There are myriad people who want to hear his claims.

All I can do is change the channel.

In the mornings, on KPFK, there is world class reporting and news and commentary from Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, Sonali Kohatkar, Margaret Prescod, Lila Garrett, and Richard Wolff. But late at night, I turn off KPFK and search, mostly in vane, for good radio. What ever happened to good radio? I end up listening to KFI so that, at least, be entertained by Phil Hendri or George Noori, where lunacy is expected and funny.

This is, of course, just my opinion. But after once again turing on my radio to KPFK last night and hearing Null’s boring voice yet again, I had to vent. And I’m not the only one who has so vented…

Gary Null’s Goons Threaten to Sue Me: My Response

Quackwatch — A Critical Look at Gary Null’s Activities and Credentials

Doug Henwood’s article on Gary Null

Tar Sands Pipeline

Tar sand and oil shale are both boondoggles. Both extract very little usable oil. Both take huge amounts of energy to get to it. And both tar sands and oil shale tear up the landscape and damage the water supply. Most important of all, both tar sands and oil shale offer the bogus hope of avoiding political entanglement with foreign oil.  The elusive pot of black gold at the end of a make believe rainbow.

Social Security Works

Being a computer nerd, I subscribe to Slash Dot News for Nerds.

Once each morning, I receive a digest of discussions on topics that are of interest to, well, to nerds. This mornings headlines included the topic: “How Bad is the Gulf Coast Oil Spill”. The ensuing overkill exchange of comments somehow managed to morph into a discussion of social security and included this tid bit:

You mention Social Security and health care. If I could, I would opt out of Social Security entirely. I’m in my mid-20s. If I cannot figure out on my own, without assistance, that I will one day grow old and wish to retire, and that the time to start saving up and preparing for that is right now, why should somebody else be forced to pay for my lack of foresight? Morally speaking, I don’t know how to justify that one. Blah blah blah….

Dear young Libertarian Fundamentalist:

You are in your mid-twenties and you have it all figured out.

You think that 200,000,000 workers all making individual investment decisions would result in a retirement system better than social security.

So, you like the crap shoot that the market provides and are OK with a large chunk of those 200,000,000 investors getting screwed every 20 or 30 years?

Social Security is one of the best most successful government programs in U.S. history yet Libertarian Fundamentalists have been complaining about it since I was your age.

My 92 year old mom worked her entire life and saved and the market screwed her. Her social security is the one safety net she has. Her social security makes it less on hard on me to help provide for her, which I do to augment her social security. That is family helping family – the oldest kind of socialism on the planet.

I’ll be curious to see what your opinions are when you are 55. I heard your exact same arguments from the Silicon Valley crowd 30 years ago. I was at Berkeley, they were at Stanford. That’s funny, public vs private. Social Security was supposed to be broke by now. It isn’t. And the only reason it will be is if the illogic of the Libertarian Fundamentalists remain in control and the Goldman Sachs and other (overpaid) investment bankers of the world and the U.S. Oligarchy continues to transfer wealth to themselves as they have so ably done done over the past 30 years.

The facts are that since the mid 1970s, the amount of GDP (income) going to the most wealthy in our society has increased dramatically while the income going to the normal people has stayed flat or nearly flat. Does that mean that the wealthy “earned” all that extra wealth? Should only the most wealthy citizens accrue almost all of the increase in wealth in the country? Is it only the wealthy who “earned” the increase in overall wealth over the past 30 plus years? I think not. I think it is because they are in power and have kept wages low for the normal worker while increasing their own wages and ownership of property and the means of production.

There has been a redistribution of wealth by the private sector. The private sector has redistributed the new wealth of the overall economy upwards and left little of that increase in overall wealth for the hard working middle class. This has made the wealthy even more wealthy and has let the middle class stagnate and in some cases, drop in net income level. This in spite of the fact that most of the work that actually creates the wealth to start out with is done by the middle class and lower classes. This has been going on for over thirty years.

Things have gotten out of whack. Social Security is a system that allows normal working people to be assured that the upper strata of our society cannot take an undo proportion of the wealth and assures that the overall welfare of the society has a level of protection for the elderly. We, as a democratic society, should remove the cap on income level contributing to social security. That alone would more than fix the system and take back a small part of the wealth that the wealthy have accrued to themselves from via the private system of capitalism they have commandeered.

I imagine the Kings and princesses during the days of feudalism believed that they too deserved all their wealth. Marie Antionette, when informed that the peasants did not have enough bread to eat, responded: “Then let them eat cake”. She ended up having her head chopped off during the French Revolution.

This transfer of more wealth to the wealthy is well documented in Les Leopold’s well written and entertaining book:

“The Looting of America, How Wall Street’s Game of Fantasy Finance Destroyed Our Jobs, Pensions, and Prosperity and What We Can Do About It”

.

Cheers
Dennis Allard