Tag Archives: TheOligarchkings @Politicaldog101

Puerto Rico : Time For Statehood?

puerto rico

Puerto Rico, that small island in the Caribbean which has suffered so much in this season of hurricanes, is in ruins.

Decades of miss-management, downright greed and stupidity have undermined this unincorporated territory of the United States.

Puerto Rico was bankrupt before the hurricane, it is a basket case now.

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Americans need to see Puerto Rico as different and special, because unlike the other islands that have suffered so badly these last couple of months, Puerto Rico is American and its people are American Citizens with all the rights of their mainland cousins.

Now with no power, little clean water, food or fuel Puerto Rico is in dire straits.  There is little in the way of communications, cell or landline, and the initial calculations are that it will be at least six months before there is a return to some normalcy.

This is colossal damage.

3.4 million people are suffering now, and all of them AMERICAN citizens.

This is not some distant a third world crisis, this is America’s own we are talking about.  In her own back-yard.  Should they be placed at the back of the queue?

Maybe when he goes there in a few days’ time, Donald might offer them full statehood as the 51st state of America to go along with the massive aid that they need?

The opportunities for Trump (should he choose to take them) are outstanding…..

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Trump’s White House Tapes…

…by   @ The Oligarch Kings….

Please speak clearly

Please speak clearly into the chandelier…

In the early morning of May 12th President Trump, clearly pissed off with James Comey his FBI chief whom he had just sacked, tweeted “James Comey better hope that there are no “Tapes” of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press”.

The American Press, blinded by their endless comparisons of Trump to Nixon, charged off on a moral crusade at the suggestion this was another indication of the paranoia in Trumps administration, and that The Donald was falling back to using the dastardly low-down dirty underhand evasive dark arts of ol’ Tricky Dicky himself.  There were suggestions that these tactics were so low as to be illegal.  It certainly played well to the Press’s current obsession with impeaching Trump at the first opportunity.  If they could remind everyone of all that “expletive deleted” fun we all had back in the 70’s with chunks of tape going missing at vital moments in the Watergate scandal, then hey so much the better..

Certainly, as tweets go it was confrontational to the point of threatening, a clear shot across the bows of an opponent, and most certainly unlike the quieter arm twisting we might have expected from more subtle operators.  A vulgar man pushing his weight about.  But was it illegal or even unusual?

What most people do not realise, but which I should have hoped an educated Press would have known, is that Trump and everyone else in Washington are perfectly within their rights to tape conversations even if the other party is unaware that they are being taped.  In Washington DC (unlike where you or I might live) it is perfectly OK, and perfectly legal to make tapes as long as one of the parties (here D Trump Esq.) are aware.

Secondly it’s not even unusual for the President of the United States to record his phone conversations or meetings in the White House, and it’s been going on for decades….

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Rick Perry II : Pasting Feathers Together And Hoping For A Duck.

…from The Oligarch Kings.….

EPSON MFP image

“I have three reasons for being President, but I can only remember two… “

It looks like we are shaping up for a summer of Blockbusters and sequels. The field of Republican Presidential hopefuls for 2016 seems to grow by the day and the clown car is getting rather full.

There has been an almost endless stream of articles in newpapers and blog sites this week on how the entry of ex Gov Rick Perry to the GOP race has “energised the campaign” “lifted the Republican’s cause” and how he, Perry, sees himself as the answer to a Republican maidens prayer, what with those chiselled western looks, that outdoor Texan tan, his robust attitude to budgets and so on.

However, I just don’t think the hype is justified and there are three reasons why I come to this conclusion….

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George Prescott Bush – New Kid On Block…

…from the Oligarchkings….

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Yep it was all a bit like groundhog day down in Texas on Tuesday. They elected a Bush for office. A new bush, burning with youth and vim, albeit from that same family of oligarchical deadwood that insists on imposing itself on the nation’s political leadership.

Not content with ol’ great granpappy Senator Prescott Bush back before the war, or his son, GP’s granpa President George Herbert Walker Bush, or his non-entity uncle President George W Bush nor yet even his own father Governor Jeb Bush we see yet another bloody Bush (Bushbaby anyone?) step out blinking into the well greased glare of corporate handouts and lobby managed public appearances.

Oh yes, George Prescott Bush, 38 years old and a Fort Worth Attorney and energy consultant, is the grandson of one former president and nephew of another and son of a Governor and managed to win out against the relatively unknown former El Paso Democratic Mayor John Cook in the running of this week’s 2014 mid-term elections.

Bush baby comes with significant relevant baggage in Texas, as uncle former President George W. Bush, was also Texas governor….

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Your Tax Money and Creationism….

Dinosaur Education

by  @ The Oligarch Kings….

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Slate

The map above is from Slate where they have plotted all the thousands of schools in America which take some form of public tax payer money to teach Creationism.  Far from confirming that this hapless nonsense is just taught in some back-woods shack of rural misery the map shows that all across the country schools are taking public money to peddle anti scientific, anti intellectual nonsense.

The colour code is Green for schools in the public system in a state that permits the teaching of Creationism.  Orange is for schools that teach creationism and accept tax-funded vouchers or scholarships.  Finally Red is those Responsive Education charter schools using a creationist curricula……

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Eighty five people own half the world…The Oligarchkings….

by  @ The Oligarch Kings

Yep, they are all here…

Eighty-five people owning half the planet?  Eighty five individuals being the financial equivalent of three and a half billion?  It’s an astonishing claim.  In its own way it is far, far more inflammatory than a “We are the 99%” slogan of the Occupy movement.  These eigthy-five people would fit comfortably on that London bus above with space left over for a conjuror and a steel band.

But this is exactly the claim that Oxfam have made this week in their paper called “Working For the Few”.  It is a fairly short piece, and you can read the whole of it comfortably at a coffee break.

The central part of the report reads as below:-

“Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent ofthe population.

The wealth of the one percent richest people in the world amounts to $110 trillion. That’s 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world’s population.

The bottom half of the world’s population owns the same as the richest 85 people in the world.

Seven out of ten people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years.

The richest one percent increased their share of income in 24 out of 26 countries for which we have data between 1980 and 2012.

In the US, the wealthiest one percent captured 95 percent of post-financial crisis growth since 2009, while the bottom 90 percent became poorer……

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You Cannot Be Syrious!…The Oligrach Kings….

by  @ The Oligarch Kings…

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Library of Congress

What a mess.  Finally Obama has been hoist by his own overblown rhetoric, and caught out massively on a world-wide scale.  After strutting the diplomatic stage and making that pompous media sound bite about “red lines”, Bashir the Gasser, calls his bluff.  The Brits then get a bad dose of cold reality, and give Prime Minister Cameron the bum’s rush and Obama then ends up all cosy with, of all people, the French! “Our oldest allies” indeed!.

Then just as fast it all turns topsy-turvy and suddenly Obama decides that he doesn’t want to  take the big decisions all on his own after all.  No sir, not if that loses votes. Obama must remain popular if nothing else.  Now he will let Congress take the flak instead. As damage limitation goes it’s a good one, a bit obvious perhaps, but hey it should work if,

1.     It gets him out of not helping gassed children.

2.  It forces Congress to make a decision – any decision – thus exposing its impotence.

3.     Shows that, despite their bluster about American Exceptionalism etc, Congress will not man up and accept the role as the world’s policeman.

4.     The most likely outcome is they turn their backs, and decide not to decide.

As a historian I can see we’ve been here before.  A century ago the United States also faced a decision on the human rights in the country that is now divided into Syria, Turkey and Armenia.  America chose to stay out then too.

they shall not perish againRESIZE

Library of Congress

When Armenians were massacred by the Ottomans during World War I President Wilson urged Congress to help establish a territory to call their own but Congress refused.

No good precedents here then.

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Facebook Update…The Oligarch Kings….

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With thanks to tastefullyoffensive.com and Mr F!

 

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How Safe Is America?…The Oligarch Kings…..

by  @ The Oligarch Kings

Keep-calm-and-carry-on-scan

“How safe is America?” or a similar question, endlessly rephrased a hundred different ways, is definitely the question of the week.  The airways are thick with it, because America is undergoing one of its fits of being made to feel scared of the other, the outsider, the alien.   We have witnessed, indeed we have been treated – so lavish was the coverage, to quite the most extended period of security theatre for years, stretched out over every channel in town. Thus justifying all that tax-payer money.

Goodness they even shut the city for it.  One wounded gunman limping away and an entire city of four million is placed under military curfew.  This is a wonderfully American over-reaction designed simply to instil a sense of overwhelming fear in its people.  What other reason could there be?  They weren’t very competent bombers.  I mean seriously, a pipe bomb in a pressure cooker charged with black powder?

It doesn’t happen elsewhere.  It didn’t happen in France during the days of the OAS in 1962 when they even tried to assassinate De Gaul on several occasions.  It didn’t happen during the days of the Baader Meinhoff terrorists in 1970’s Germany who were truly murderous, and it most certainly did not happen in the 1980’s in Britain, even when the IRA managed to blow up the hotel that the Prime Minister and her cabinet were in for a party conference.  At no time in any of these dark days was Paris, Bonn, or London closed.  Grief, they never even put Belfast under a curfew and they were bombing and knee-capping people there every other night.

Whilst not taking away any of the horror of the outrage itself, or the individual tragedy for those caught up, it is an extraordinary action.

One might even suspect that far from seeking to encourage a stiff upper lip attitude, a sense of “Keep calm and carry on”  a spirit of the blitz mentality, the government positively wants people to feel endlessly afraid of their neighbours and anything that does not exactly fit their accepted norm. To be made to think that what has happened is utterly extraordinary, and they are at elevated risk.  To make them feel dependent on them the Government for their safety and above all not to ask why?

The actions this week have been called Terrorism, where elsewhere, like say Chicago or downtown Los Angeles four dead on one day would be called “Wednesday” or every-day. Five people died yesterday in a shooting in Seattle, and sadly I doubt anyone will remember it by the end of the week.

Last week I have estimated the deaths by firearms in the United States at about 85…..

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So A Bush Or Nixon Free Republican Win 2016?…The Oligarch Kings

by  @ The Oligarch Kings

Bush and Nixon

Nixon and G.H.W. Bush

Richard Osman of BBC 1′s “Pointless”show  furnishes today’s odd (but illuminating) fact.

The last time a Republican candidate won as President without there being either a Nixon or a Bush on the ticket was 1928.

Oligarchy or what?

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Romney’s World Map…The Oligarch Kings

by  @ The Oliagarch Kings….

In what was otherwise a dreadfully dull performance by both combatants one magnificent item shone out like a shaft of gold, old duffer Romney’s dreadful, dreadful grasp of geography.  Remember this was a debate on world matters – he should have this off pat.  Nope, there he was saying that Syria was the only way Iran had of accessing the sea.  Eh?  Was he thinking of IRAQ by mistake?  Gives you the shudders.

The map above should be posted on your wall Mitt.  Sea eh?  Well to the north is the Caspian, and to the south a choice no less – of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.  I dug out my crayons special.

Perhaps he should have been asked something easier like knowing where the Cayman Islands are where Ann keeps her blind trust, or maybe pointing to  plucky little Luxembourg where the Romney family trust is sitting.

Its really a little worrying that this man may actually have a chance of having his fingers on nuclear buttons.

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Map of Europe In 2022…The Oligarch Kings….

by @ The Oligarch Kings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whilst all the politicians across the world are sitting on their hands, unwilling to second guess Sunday’s crucial election in Greece, it is good to see there are some who are willing to stick their heads above water and tell us how they see it all pan out.

Regular readers will know my love of and delight in the cartographic gems that come from Yanko Tsvetkov and here above is another gem.  “A crystal ball view of Europe in 2022”.

It’s the wordless humour, with Turkey ten years on still left out as the beggar at the door, and those sly little comments that get me.

England as a “passive aggressive kingdom” indeed.

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Hopeless: Barack Obama And The Politics Of Illusion- A Review…The Oligarch Kings

by  @ The Oligarch Kings

The above book, published by AK Press, will become available as of 1stMay.  It is a large selection of essays edited by Jeffrey St.Clair and Joshua Frank, strung together to cover all aspects of the present Administration, and it works very well.  Here I have found some old friends like Ralph Nader and Tariq Ali and a host of writers doubtless well established in their own fields, but new to me. Terrier-like they sink their teeth into the lies and deceits shaking the truth out.  All come with enough biographical information at the tale of their pieces for follow-ups.

The collection may be from a fairly left of centre publisher, but it will give little comfort to those, who with tears of righteous rage in their eyes marched, knocked doors, scrimped cash and donations, campaigned and voted for Obama in the hope and trust he would be the promised instrument of change in America.  To the contributors Obama has been a chimera, his promises an illusion.  To many here he has continued Bush’s policies at home and abroad not just tacitly but enthusiastically.  Under Obama, the contributors argue, here is a President committed to advancing the interests of the corporation over those of the individual, of a lawyer riding roughshod over the Constitution and civil protections for the individual.

To a liberal, to a democrat, to the ordinary citizen it might be a depressing read, confirmation, if one is needed, of the breach of promise the Obama Administration has become to America’s left if it did not also make one quite so angry.

That said the book is not without humour albeit sour and sharp.  The essays are a page or two long, at the most several pages.  They are for the most part blog posts or newspaper articles.  They take apart Obama’s record on the environment, the military, democracy, heath care and human rights.  The compromises and sell-outs to Big Oil and Wall Street are dragged squealing and struggling into the disinfectant of sunlight.  They are without exception well argued and readable.

I would go so far as to suggest that if you intend on voting this fall then this book is required summer reading.

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Religion In The Senate…The Oligarch Kings….

by  @ The Oligarch Kings…..

Religion plays an enormous part in the political life of the USA in a way which both fascinates and astonishes us humble secular Godless Europeans.  In Britian with the exception of the politics of Northern Ireland, religion has usually run a fairly low-key background level.  Tony Blair’s press secretary Alisdair Campbell once famously saying “We don’t do God” when being asked about the possibility that Tony was a closet Catholic.

So I was delighted to find the above map, prepared and drawn up by Tom McMahon, which shows the religion of the Senate back in 2005.  The system is easy.  Two senators to a State so solid colour means they are both of whatever persuasion and striped means one of each.  It’s out of date certainly, but not enough I feel to make much difference to the general truth.  If anyone has an up to date version then please let me know.

The source is here.

And like Tom I just looove the twirly Stars of David.

As he says Internet Kitsch at its best.

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Fifty Years On America Hitches A Ride…The Oligarch Kings

by  @ The Oligarch Kings…..

The scrap of paper above is one on my proudest treasures.  On it is the signature of John Glenn, America’s first true astronaut who completed her first orbit almost a year after Gagarin had achieved the same feat for the Soviets.  It was fifty years ago today.

I managed to get the great man to sign that scrap of schoolbook paper when Glenn visited my local museum later that year, on June 4th 1962, when he did a world tour along with his scorched capsule.  I can still remember the surprise at seeing him.  He looked bald because he had a real buzz cut – then quite unknown here, and also that he was quite so short.  I had always thought he would be tall; I think I imagined a “John Wayne in Space”.  His manner though was what was most impressive, he was very quiet, seemingly rather shy and somewhat overwhelmed by the reception all us schoolboys gave him.  As you can see he took two shots at writing his name on the sheet!

It was, apart from the moon landings themselves, the high spot of America’s space program.

Now fifty years on the shine has gone somewhat from the US Space mission in a way that prefigures a host of problems that besiege the country amplifying the feeling so prevalent in this election season that America has somehow lost her way.

Senator Glenn at 90 is still alive and was speaking to current and former NASA people at the Kennedy Space Centre only last Saturday.

“the road in space is soviet”
Picture credit russiatrek.org

Nowadays it is the old foe Russia that flies America to the stars, in those clanky, riveted battered old space drays the Soyuz, all at a cost of $300 million a year whilst the US frets and waits, and  waits for the replacements for her shuttle fleet.  However she will be waiting until past 2021 nearly sixty years after her first real space flight.

NASA fondly hopes others may come by to save her from the disgrace (for it is nothing less than a disgrace) of being flown up in a Soviet taxi, and throws what little money she has left about like a slighted old drunk.

Newt tries to ginger a flagging campaign by talking of moon colonies and is derided by almost everyone.  Mars is left to her underground.  No one serious is serious about space anymore.  Except that is for Russians and Chinese and Indians.  This riding back from this final frontier is all that is wrong with so much of America today, America today lacks that special something that made me bunk off school that sunny afternoon and instead of going home, rush down and force my way through the crowd, to speak to a real hero.

It is left to one of the others from those old Mercury missions to express most pungently the parlous state of vision and enterprise in America’s space program, and by extension in America in general.

Scott Carpenter, who flew later in 1962 says “There are lots of reasons behind our current predicament…but it boils down to the simple fact that when John and I went to work for this country, the United States was recognised as a can-do nation.  We have become viewed around the planet as a cant do nation and I deplore that”.

How true, and on today of all days, how very sad.

 


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Signs From Occupy Camps Abroad…The Oligarch Kings…

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The nice thing about a blog is people pass you stuff you didnt notice.  This lovely photo was sent on to me by someone’s friend in Paris.

The Oligarch Kings…..

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