Monday, September 18, 2017

A Return to Normalcy


Fake News from fringe Internet sites, abetted by Russian hacks etc. will  lead to a return of wide spread recognition of the legitimacy and reliability of established media.  

Most people will begin to recognize that you can't rely on the Internet for any credible information. Social media and fringe Internet sites are like the "Wild West". 

 In addition, foreign interference taints all but the most secure and reliable sources.

Of course, there will still be confirmation bias; but there is a big difference between political points of view from right and left, and outright phony agenda driven stories on the Internet. 

Standards, and the reliance on credible facts from reliable sources, will be viewed as important again.

People will largely return to trusting only objective, well researched articles etc. from decent widely respected credible people and organizations. 


Those sources will include: Network TV, including PBS;  Cable News such as CNN,  Fox News and MSNBC; and Major circulation Newspapers , Magazines and Periodicals.

The mania of Fake News will abate and a semblance of  Normalcy will Return. 

Eric

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Big Cleanse

If we can survive the next 3 ½ years without too much long term damage,
the Trump debacle may be just the thing this country needs to cleanse
itself of the madness released by Trump's candidacy and election. .

People will realize just how wrong and destructive Trump's behavior and
ideas are. They'll see there is a proper and important role for government
within a free and fair dynamic capitalist economic system.

The hatred, racism and anti-Semitism will be exposed for the cancer that
it is. Trump will be exposed for the fraud he is.

Maybe the Democrats will even see that the positions of the far left are
wrong headed and perhaps equally destructive.

We need trade, successful businesses and strong private sector unions to promote good paying jobs.
The tax code can be reformed without a vendetta to soak the rich in a
counterproductive way. We can provide for the poor, and better still,
provide opportunities so they don't have to remain poor and dependent
permanently.

Cultural differences don't have to devolve into culture wars. As the Pope
once said "Who am I to judge?"

Competence and integrity will once again be important criteria for
high office. An appreciation for decency will return. Policies of
divisiveness will be rejected.

The dark side of Trumpism will be exposed and rejected. This couldn't have
happen without the fever that is Donald J. Trump.

Many have said that I'm too optimistic; but while not every Trump supporter will be convinced,  enough voters may come to  understand what a disaster Trump is to change future election results.

Eric

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Voter Paradox

 In following the health care debate and reading about the proposed Trump tax cuts, among other issues, the following thought occurred to me:


 Why do so many of the very people who the Democrats care about the most-- the working class - hate them so much?

 While those same people love Trump, even though his policies don't help them, nor does he or the Republicans really care about them.


 For the Democrats to start winning over those working class voters and resume winning elections , they'll have to figure out how to over come this seeming paradox.

Monday, July 10, 2017

How to reverse a trend

I  was distressed to read about Sinclair Broadcast Group buying WGN and other Tribune local stations around the country.

This is  especially troubling since Sinclair requires that their local stations to adhere to their right wing party line propaganda.  This is unlike Fox which allowed it's local affiliates to be non-political.

That means Channel 9 here in Chicago will become a local version of Fox Cable News.

The only way out of this is for Democrats  to start winning elections.

As a good friend pointed out to me, for the Democrats to start winning ( at a minimum) they need to do the following:

1. Stop being so hostile to business ( where do they think the jobs come from).  

2. Hammer home Trump's love of tyrants and his cowardliness in defending our country from them.

I'm guessing many progressives won't agree with #1 above; but as long as we view ourselves as a capitalist country, hostility to business can only hurt the party.

Regarding the first point above, I just finished a book, The Mandibles: A Family, by Lionel Shriver. It was a near future dystopian novel set in an America in which a total financial and market meltdown had just happened. Many people were thrilled that the wealthy had lost all their money when the market and businesses collapsed.

That euphoria ended  when the government and people realized there were no incomes to tax because the rich had lost everything, and therefor there was no money to be generated from taxes for social services and the like.

 The government had to print more money, but of course, the dollar soon became worthless.

As to my second point, how can can conservatives and other patriotic Americans continue to tolerate President Trump's embrace of dictators and autocrats while insulting our democratic allies? His defense of Russian subversion of our democracy is down right cowardly. Why doesn't he have the courage to stand up to Putin, but has no trouble dumping on our allies. 

The Democrats can reverse this Trumpian trend if they can be identified as supporting the American economic system and exposing Trump's patriotism and his lack of courage in the face of our foes. 

Eric

Monday, June 19, 2017

Jobs, jobs, jobs?

Help me out here with the following :

1. Trump, as well as Sanders, and all politicians for that matter, promise
they will put Americans back to work by creating millions of new jobs.

2. The unemployment rate is at 4.3%

3. Many stories abound lamenting the number of unfilled job openings.

For example, Governor Walker, at a recent Trump rally, talked about the all
time high number of job openings in Wisconsin . Most were not high tech.

This morning I read a story in a real estate publication about a near
crisis of a labor shortage in the construction industry ( no advanced
education needed I assume). Projects may not be built due to shortage of
workers.


How do we reconcile 1 with 2 and 3 above?

Notwithstanding what we're otherwise told, apparently the jobs are already out there
and they don't all require advanced education.

I'd like to see a thoughtful, well researched analysis on this apparent
paradox.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Trump Surrenders

Donald Trump has essentially surrendered America's geopolitical,  military and economic leadership, influence and  prominence in the world; all to the detriment of our country's security and prosperity.

While this harkens back to old fashioned  "America First " and "Know Nothing" doctrines of the past, it won't work in today's global economy and geopolitical world. While some may call this "Splendid Isolationism", it seems more like "Belligerent Isolationism"; given his propensity to throw bombs and missiles around at will.

The United States will be diminished.

How can this be allowed to stand ? Where is  the traditional GOP and real Conservatives?  Sadly many Progressives may not object to certain this aspects of  Trump's strategy.

We can't allow the Trumpkins, the Greedy and the GOP job holders to harm our country unchecked.

Yes, Trump is  the "Disrupter" his supporters have longed for, but be careful what you wish for:  The climate change and health care debacles and coming tax "reform" ( with ballooning deficits and debt) will overwhelmingly benefit the rich to the real detriment of everyone else, including most true believer Trump supporters.

As I've written before, with the rejection of the TPP and our withdrawal from the world stage, Trump will have ceded world dominance to China and Russia and leadership of the "Free World " to perhaps Germany, or no one at all.

Russia will be the primary beneficiary of all this , along with China. Trump has given Russia the green light in Europe and the northern Middle East, and China a free hand in Asia and everywhere else.

As to Germany, after Trump has disparaged their country and its leader, there are hints that Germany may have no choice other than to re-arm. Do we really want that?

He has alienated both Canada and Mexico, among others. To what end?
The only allies of ours that are happy with Trump are Israel ( sadly), kings  and autocrats.
Presumably he's doing this to put America First, but in fact loss of American global dominance and free world leadership actually will make  America less prosperous and secure, and consequently not as great.

For example, every knowledgeable person I know says the US almost always gets what it wants in all international  trade agreements, and our NATO and other military presence globally underpins and sustains much of our economic dominance and prosperity.  If you don't believe me, just ask any Leftist.

America First, anti-trade and isolationism will actually hurt America, both morally and economically,  and will  make America less secure.

Unless there is an about-face after the next election or two, things will start to go in the wrong direction for our country. 
Eric

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Iran Reality

I do not believe Iran is the existential nuclear threat to Israel  that has been portrayed by the Israeli right or the other opponents of the nuclear deal with Iran for the following reasons:

  1. Does Iran hate Israel enough to set off a nuclear attack that would result in :
             a. The death of millions of Iranians when Israel retaliates.
             b.  The deaths of millions of Palestinians who live in Israel and the West Bank.
             c. Radioactive fallout and death all over the Levant, depending on which way the wind blows
             d. US attack destroying what's  left of their military arsenal and much more.

 Iranians won't tolerate it when millions of their own people die and their economy is destroyed.
             

 2. This is especially true given that  Iran: 
             a. Is not even an Arab state ,
             b. Is not Sunni Muslim , and
             c. Does not even  border Israel.

 Why does Iran hate Israel so much that it would bring about # 1 above?

The answer is, it doesn't. Iran's leaders' threats are solely for domestic consumption to deflect away from their own internal problems.

 For all of the reasons stated above, Iran would never attack Israel with nuclear weapons, even if they could.

Yes,  I know it's easy for me to say, and I understand the  genuine fear Israelis have;  but it will never happen. The  Iranians are not that stupid, no matter how fanatical some of their leaders may appear.

 Unlike the "Arab street" , in  the not too distant past, the Iranian people enjoyed warm relations with Israel. My guess is they don't really care all that much about the Palestinians;  certainly not enough to risk the catastrophic consequences of nuclear war.

 Given this reality, Israel and the US must be careful  not overplay its opposition to Iran . That could be a greater threat to peace than an Iranian nuclear program.

We should continue to pressure and oppose Iran, and hope for change in the future ,but take care not to " smoke our own opium". Keep the pressure on Iran, but don't allow the situation  to actually explode.


Eric