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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

BREXIT - WHOSE REALLY TO BLAME

Who’s Really To Blame for Brexit (and Trump)
by Ted Rall | June 28, 2016 - 9:47am
At this writing, securities markets and the international community are reeling at the news that British voters have opted to leave the European Union. The “Brexit” has provoked angry reactions from the pro-Remain camp, who accuse Leave voters of stupidity, shortsighted ignoranceand, worse, thinly-disguised racism and nativism posing as nationalism.
Political analysts point out that British voters were divided geographically – Scotland wanted to stay, England wanted to leave – as well as demographically. One chart that managed to go semi-viral online displayed high support for the Brexit among older voters, opposition among the young, alongside the actuarial average years remaining that each age group would have to live with the consequences of the vote. The smartest of these pundits focus on the class divide between shiny expensive youth-oriented cities like London, where pro-European sentiments are strong, and England’s version of the Rust Belt, abandoned hellholes where citizens barely subsist in a ruined landscape of shut down factories and widespread unemployment.
“If you’ve got money, you vote in,” a voter in Manchester told The Guardian. “If you haven’t got money, you vote out,” she said.
Amid all the concern about a collapsing British pound and the possible dissolution of not only the European Union – looks like France and the Netherlands may have a similar plebiscite in the near future – but also the United Kingdom, everyone’s out to cast blame. However, no one is pointing at those who are most responsible if (and it’s far from certain) Brexit leads to an economic downturn and/or a political debacle: the West’s incompetent political class, and its idiotic enablers in the corporate media.
The postwar order began to fray during the 1970s, when business leaders and their allies in government started to push aggressively for policies that encouraged the transfer of manufacturing industries to the developing world away from what was then called the First World in preparation for what we now call the information economy. Globalization is the shorthand term for deindustrialization – some call it outsourcing, others prefer the simpler “shipping jobs overseas” – and digitalization of culture and intellectual property.
This essay isn’t about whether globalization is good or bad. It’s about the way a trend that has been consistently declared irreversible has been poorly managed. That mismanagement led to the Brexit, and may elect Donald Trump.
Even during the 1970s, globalization’s downward pressure on wages was easy to foresee. Capital was becoming increasingly fluid, crossing borders with incredible ease in search of places and people where the production of goods and services could be done as cheaply as possible. If you own a factory in Michigan, and you can figure out a way to transport your product to market at reasonable cost, doing the patriotic “made in USA” thing feels like leaving money on the table when you consider what your expenses would look like in Vietnam or Indonesia.
Workers, on the other hand, are confined by international borders, linguistic and cultural limitations, family ties, and just plain inertia, to the nations — and often the regions within those countries — where they were born. If the highest wages in the world are paid in the United Arab Emirates, you can’t just hop on a plane and expect to find a job, much less a work permit. Workers are stuck; capital moves freely. This economic imbalance between labor and management is a significant contributing factor to the decline in real median wages in countries like Great Britain and the United States since the 1970s.
Now let’s say that you’re a high-ranking member of the ruling class: a Fortune 500 CEO, a head of state, a congressman, the publisher of a big-city newspaper. You don’t need a major in history or political science in order to anticipate that subjecting tens of millions of people to long-term unemployment and underemployment is a recipe for social dysfunction and the kind of class resentment that can be exploited by a demagogue or radical populist movement.
You can do one of two things with that knowledge. You can ignore victims of economic dislocation. Or you can help them.
If you ignore them, if you greedily grab up every dollar and pound and euro you can while city after city slowly collapses into alcoholism, drug abuse and rising crime, you know you’re setting yourself up for a future of political instability. It may take a long time, but the chickens will come home to roost. When things turn ugly, it could cost you a pile of cash you amassed during your orgy of greed.
That’s what happened during the 1980s, when Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan dismantled the post-World War II social safety nets. Precisely at a time when the UK and the US needed more welfare, national healthcare and public education programs, they slashed them instead. Those austerity policies continued under Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, David Cameron, and – against reason and common sense – under Barack Obama after the 2008 economic meltdown.
The British and American political classes made a conscious decision over the last 40 to 50 years not to lift a finger to help those who lost their jobs to deindustrialization and globalization. Go back to college, they say. Get retrained. But most Americans can’t afford college tuition — the jobless least of all! We need(ed) a GI Bill for the dispossessed.
Even this week, many establishment types continue to criticize aging pensioners and unemployed workers over age 50, denigrating them as selfish, clueless, unwilling and unable to adapt themselves to the new – brutal – world in which we find ourselves.
No doubt: nativism and racism played a role in the Brexit vote. England is an island nation with an island mentality. Though only a few thousand Syriansentered the UK last year, with nary a passport check, images of refugees riding the roof of trains from France through the Chunnel felt like an invasion to some Britons. But bigotry shouldn’t let us ignore the economic factor. When jobs are plentiful and salaries are rising, no one minds immigration. Xenophobia grows in the soil of scarcity.
What did the elites think? Did they really believe it was possible to make so many people so desperate and so angry for so long without a risk of them lashing out?
Donald Trump is not a brilliant man. But the political classes could learn a lesson from him. He knows that an awful lot of people are angry. And he knows why.
Ted Rall is the author of “Bernie,” a biography written with the cooperation of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. His next book, the graphic biography “Trump,” comes out July 19th and is now available for pre-order.
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ABOUT AUTHORTed Rall is the author of "The Anti-American Manifesto." His website is tedrall.com.

Friday, June 24, 2016

BREXIT !!!!



                          52% to 48%  The UK votes to leave the EU behind and go it's own way.

What does it mean for the rest of Europe and the planet? We'll see soon enough. In the mean time, the World stock markets take a nose dive as the vote catches everyone by surprise. As for the EU it's in BIG trouble to say the least . Last yr. it was the Greek, Italian and Spanish debt crisis' and now this.

Friday, June 17, 2016

momondo – The DNA Journey

DR. STEVEN FENICHEL IS RUNNING FOR CONGRESS IN THE 2ND DISTRICT !!

Dr. Steven Fenichel is a person of the highest moral and ethical values, a tireless worker for Justice, Human Rights and the Environment. I urge anyone reading this to support Dr. Fenichel's run for Congress in  NJ's  2nd District . We need Progressives like the good Dr. to make serious runs for these positions, other wise all we'll ever have representing us are self interested people like Republican Cong. Frank Lobiondo, who started out his over 20 yr. incumbency telling everyone a lie ( that  he was for term limits) and living it ever since. 
 @ the Beach enthusiastically endorses Steve and is proud to call him a friend and an ally. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Sunday, June 12, 2016

THEY HAVEN'T LEARNED A THING

Published on
by

Democrats Will Learn All the Wrong Lessons From Brush With Bernie

Instead of a reality check for the party, it'll be smugness redoubled
Bernie Sanders at a campaign rally in Santa Monica, California, Tuesday. (Photo: Marcus Yam/Getty)
Years ago, over many beers in a D.C. bar, a congressional aide colorfully described the House of Representatives, where he worked.
It's "435 heads up 435 asses," he said.
I thought of that person yesterday, while reading the analyses of Hillary Clinton's victories Tuesday night. The arrival of the first female presidential nominee was undoubtedly a huge moment in American history and something even the supporters of Bernie Sanders should recognize as significant and to be celebrated. But the Washington media's assessment of how we got there was convoluted and self-deceiving.
This was no ordinary primary race, not a contest between warring factions within the party establishment, รก la Obama-Clinton in '08 or even Gore-Bradley in '00. This was a barely quelled revolt that ought to have sent shock waves up and down the party, especially since the Vote of No Confidence overwhelmingly came from the next generation of voters. Yet editorialists mostly drew the opposite conclusion.
The classic example was James Hohmann's piece in the Washington Post, titled, "Primary wins show Hillary Clinton needs the left less than pro-Sanders liberals think."
Hohmann's thesis was that the "scope and scale" of Clinton's wins Tuesday night meant mainstream Democrats could now safely return to their traditional We won, screw youposture of "minor concessions" toward the "liberal base."
Hohmann focused on the fact that with Bernie out of the way, Hillary now had a path to victory that would involve focusing on Trump's negatives. Such a strategy won't require much if any acquiescence toward the huge masses of Democratic voters who just tried to derail her candidacy. And not only is the primary scare over, but Clinton and the centrist Democrats in general are in better shape than ever.
"Big picture," Hohmann wrote, "Clinton is running a much better and more organized campaign than she did in 2008."  
Then there was Jonathan Capehart, also of the Post, whose "This is how Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are the same person" piece describes Sanders as a "stubborn outsider" who "shares the same DNA" as Donald Trump. Capeheart snootily seethes that both men will ultimately pay a karmic price for not knowing their places.
"In the battle of the outsider egos storming the political establishment, Trump succeeded where Sanders failed," he wrote. "But the chaos unleashed by Trump's victory could spell doom for the GOP all over the ballot in November. Pardon me while I dab that single tear trickling down my cheek."
If they had any brains, Beltway Dems and their clucky sycophants like Capeheart would not be celebrating this week. They ought to be horrified to their marrow that the all-powerful Democratic Party ended up having to dig in for a furious rally to stave off a quirky Vermont socialist almost completely lacking big-dollar donors or institutional support.
They should be freaked out, cowed and relieved, like the Golden State Warriors would be if they needed a big fourth quarter to pull out a win against Valdosta State.
But to read the papers in the last two days is to imagine that we didn't just spend a year witnessing the growth of a massive grassroots movement fueled by loathing of the party establishment, with some correspondingly severe numerical contractions in the turnout department (though she won, for instance, Clinton received 30 percent fewer votes in California this year versus 2008, and 13 percent fewer in New Jersey).
The twin insurgencies of Trump and Sanders this year were equally a blistering referendum on Beltway politics. But the major-party leaders and the media mouthpieces they hang out with can't see this, because of what that friend of mine talked about over a decade ago: Washington culture is too far up its own backside to see much of anything at all. 
In D.C., a kind of incestuous myopia very quickly becomes part of many political jobs. Congressional aides in particular work ridiculous hours for terrible pay and hang out almost exclusively with each other. About the only recreations they can afford are booze, shop-talk, and complaining about constituents, who in many offices are considered earth's lowest form of life, somewhere between lichens and nematodes.
It's somewhat understandable. In congressional offices in particular, people universally dread picking up the phone, because it's mostly only a certain kind of cable-addicted person with too much spare time who calls a politician's office.
"Have you ever called your congressman? No, because you have a job!" laughs Paul Thacker, a former Senate aide currently working on a book about life on the Hill. Thacker recounts tales of staffers rushing to turn on Fox News once the phones start ringing, because "the people" are usually only triggered to call Washington by some moronic TV news scare campaign.
In another case, Thacker remembers being in the office of the senator of a far-Northern state, watching an aide impatiently conduct half of a constituent phone call. "He was like, 'Uh huh, yes, I understand.' Then he'd pause and say, 'Yes, sir,' again. This went on for like five minutes," recounts Thacker.
Finally, the aide firmly hung up the phone, reared back and pointed accusingly at the receiver. "And you are from fucking Missouri!" he shouted. "Why are you calling me?"
These stories are funny, but they also point to a problem. Since The People is an annoying beast, young pols quickly learn to be focused entirely on each other and on their careers. They get turned on by the narrative of Beltway politics as a cool power game, and before long are way too often reaching for Game of Thrones metaphors to describe their jobs. Eventually, the only action that matters is inside the palace.
Voter concerns rapidly take a back seat to the daily grind of the job. The ideal piece of legislation in almost every case is a Frankensteinian policy concoction that allows the sponsoring pol to keep as many big-money donors in the fold as possible without offending actual human voters to the point of a ballot revolt.
This dynamic is rarely explained to the public, but voters on both sides of the aisle have lately begun guessing at the truth, and spent most of the last year letting the parties know it in the primaries. People are sick of being thought of as faraway annoyances who only get whatever policy scraps are left over after pols have finished servicing the donors they hang out with at Redskins games.
Democratic voters tried to express these frustrations through the Sanders campaign, but the party leaders have been and probably will continue to be too dense to listen. Instead, they'll convince themselves that, as Hohmann's Post article put it, Hillary's latest victories mean any "pressure" they might have felt to change has now been "ameliorated."
The maddening thing about the Democrats is that they refuse to see how easy they could have it. If the party threw its weight behind a truly populist platform, if it stood behind unions and prosecuted Wall Street criminals and stopped taking giant gobs of cash from every crooked transnational bank and job-exporting manufacturer in the world, they would win every election season in a landslide.
This is especially the case now that the Republican Party has collapsed under the weight of its own nativist lunacy. It's exactly the moment when the Democrats should feel free to become a real party of ordinary working people.
But they won't do that, because they don't see what just happened this year as a message rising up from millions of voters.
Politicians are so used to viewing the electorate as a giant thing to be manipulated that no matter what happens at the ballot, they usually can only focus on the Washington-based characters they perceive to be pulling the strings. Through this lens, the uprising among Democratic voters this year wasn't an organic expression of mass disgust, but wholly the fault of Bernie Sanders, who within the Beltway is viewed as an oddball amateur and radical who jumped the line.
Nobody saw his campaign as an honest effort to restore power to voters, because nobody in the capital even knows what that is. In the rules of palace intrigue, Sanders only made sense as a kind of self-centered huckster who made a failed play for power. And the narrative will be that with him out of the picture, the crisis is over. No person, no problem.
This inability to grasp that the problem is bigger than Bernie Sanders is a huge red flag. As Thacker puts it, the theme of this election year was widespread anger toward both parties, and both the Trump craziness and the near-miss with Sanders should have served as a warning. "The Democrats should be worried they're next," he says.
But they're not worried. Behind the palace walls, nobody ever is.
As Rolling Stone’s chief political reporter, Matt Taibbi's predecessors include the likes of journalistic giants Hunter S. Thompson and P.J. O'Rourke. Taibbi's 2004 campaign journalSpanking the Donkey cemented his status as an incisive, irreverent, zero-bullshit reporter. His books include Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American HistoryThe Great Derangement: A Terrifying True Story of War, Politics, and ReligionSmells Like Dead Elephants: Dispatches from a Rotting Empire.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

AS PREDICTED

   I'm not a soothsayer, but back in April I said that Margate's Commission would now surrender to the State and on June 2nd it did just that. So, Margate's citizens ( who voted 2 to 1 to stay out of the Beach Project)  will eventually be FORCED into it. Not this summer though, you see there is still the little matter of the nine privately owned easements to be handled before any bids can be put out and you just never know what they might mean or how long that might take?