The Republican “betrayal”

Republicans only demand austerity and a balanced federal budget (and only indulge in their “debt ceiling” antics) when a Democrat is in the White House, or when Democrats control Congress.

For example, austerity mania raged in Washington from late 2010 to 2012, because a Democrat (Obama) was in the White House. Perhaps you remember Obama’s “cat-food commission,” and “grand bargain,” plus all the chatter about “sequesters.”

Before that, there were the disastrous four years of Bill Clinton’s budget surplus (1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001).

Republicans talk about austerity, but only Democrats put it into action.

When a Republican is in the White House, “deficits don’t matter,” as Republican Vice President Dick Cheney told Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill.

Indeed, on 31 Dec 2002 President Bush fired Secretary O’Neill for opposing Bush’s spending spree for the invasion of Afghanistan and (in March 2003) Iraq.

This pattern never changes. Therefore it amuses me to see “fiscal conservatives” whining about Republican “betrayals.”

Let me quote from a recent article in Forbes. My comments are in red.

The Republican Party is a deficit fraud

Let it be shouted from every mountaintop in the United States: Today’s Republican Party is a federal budget deficit and national debt fraud.

It has always been this way. Did you just now figure it out?

Contrary to what the GOP still wants you to believe, the GOP — the political party that once supported “pay-as-you” go rules and balanced budget amendments to the U.S. Constitution and still routinely excoriates Democrats for what it says is their profligate ways — today is not the political party of fiscal responsibility and reduced deficits.

It never has been. Deficit reduction (austerity) only applies to programs that help average people. And as I noted above, Republicans always say “deficits don’t matter” when they have the White House. Meanwhile spending increases every year for wars and weapons, regardless of who is in the White House.

More than three decades ago, former Representative Jack Kemp (NY), who at the time was one of the GOP’s budget gurus, was widely quoted saying the Republican Party “no longer worship(s) at the shrine the balanced budget.”

They never did. “Balanced budget” means cutting spending on social programs, while increasing spending for wars and weapons.

And the budget surpluses during the last 4 years of the Clinton administration were turned into 7 consecutive years of deficits ($2.1 trillion in total) by George W. Bush when he passed up a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pay-off most of the national debt and instead used an imaginary projected surplus for a huge and very real tax cut.

Obviously this writer has no understanding of how T-securities work. He thinks the U.S. government borrows its spending money from private investors. In reality the so-called “national debt” never needs to be “paid off.” Each T-security is paid off as it matures.

But it’s hard not to look at the past as the warm-up to the enormous budget deficit and national debt increasing efforts Republicans are willfully and joyously doing now.

The sad thing is that even when the masses see that Republicans are deficit frauds, the masses believe Republicans every time they go back to lying about the deicit and the (fake) “national debt crisis.”

GOP President Donald Trump and his House and Senate Republican allies have proposed a multi-trillion dollar tax cut that isn’t needed to stimulate the U.S. economy and will increase the deficit by an average of at least $200 billion a year.

So what? The U.S. government creates its spending money out of thin air, simply by crediting bank accounts.

Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, who claimed to be an uber fiscal conservative when he helped found the House Freedom Caucus to force deficit reductions at every opportunity, is now demanding trillions of dollars in additional deficits and unbelievable increases in government borrowing.

Again the writer has zero understanding of the “national debt” and federal finances. He’s like this guy below…


Trump has proposed significant increases for military spending that will not be offset by other spending reductions. Instead, the existing caps will either be raised, ignored or gotten around with gimmicks and the result will be higher deficits and more debt.

There will be higher deficits, but not necessarily more “debt” (i.e. more money deposited in Federal Reserve savings accounts). The value of deposits will depend on how many T-securities the Fed wants to sell, and how many T-securities investors want to buy.

The budget resolution passed last week by the GOP-controlled Senate Budget Committee provides for a $1.5 trillion increase in the deficit and debt. (Over ten years.)  That will very likely become more than $2 trillion when the final version of the fiscal 2018 budget is developed jointly with the Republican majority in the House. There’s also billions for the wall between the United States and Mexico and a still-unspecified $1 trillion infrastructure program.

The article continues, but it’s more of the same nonsense.

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11 Oct 2017

Reader “Steve” feels that YouTube should not censor anyone. I agree, and so does British Home Secretary Amber Rudd.

Instead of censoring YouTube, Ms. Rudd plans to impose 15-year prison sentences on Britons who “repeatedly” watch “far right” propaganda on YouTube.

Fifteen years. Not for uploading, downloading, or sharing, but for watching YouTube.

Amber Rudd will decide what constitutes “far right propaganda” and how many online views constitute “repeated viewings.” Ms. Rudd is herself a member of the far-right Conservative Party (i.e. the Tories). She announced the new measures at the Conservative Party Conference on 3 Oct 2017.

Source: UK Guardian

There is no word yet on whether Ms. Rudd will have “far right” videos planted in YouTube, and then encourage Britons to watch them, so she can send them to prison for 15 years.

Also in England, Alison Chabloz, 53, of Derbyshire, is accused of writing the song below, which describes Auschwitz as “a theme park.” The song caused the Crown Prosecution Service to charge her with “anti-Semitism,” plus two counts of sending by a public communications network an offensive, indecent or menacing message or material. “Menacing” material includes lyrics such as: “Did the holocaust ever happen? Was it just a bunch of lies? Seems that some intend to pull the wool over our eyes. Now Auschwitz, holy temple, is a theme park just for fools, the gassing zone a proven hoax, indoctrination rules.”

Ms. Chabloz’ “trial” will begin on 10 Jan 2018.

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The FBI is continuing its investigation of Sputnik and RT for spreading “fake news” that is “intended to discredit the United States government” (as though the U.S. government had any credibility to begin with). The DOJ says that U.S. propaganda is “journalism,” and that Russian journalism is “propaganda.”

Sputnik and RT are owned by the Russian government, and are accused of having ties to the Russian government.

 

The U.S. government wants Sputnik and RT to be subject to Department of the Treasury oversight under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938. News organizations are normally exempt from FARA requirements. Even Qatar-owned al-Jazeera, which was so vilified during the early stages of the Afghan War that the USA bombed its Kabul offices, did not have to register under FARA, and is permitted to operate freely.

However this is the Age of Russia-gate, where everyone dispenses “fake news,” and all roads lead nowhere.

Today NBC News claimed that Trump wants a ten-fold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

Trump called it “fake news.”

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Last night at Castleton University in Vermont, Sen. Bernie Sanders gave a speech in which he declared that the time is now “to make public colleges and universities tuition free” in the United States.

“We must reduce the outrageously heavy burden of student debt that is weighing down the lives of millions of college graduates.”

Sanders said this because he knew that no such measure has any chance of ever passing.

This brings me to three reasons why Americans can never have things like Universal Medicare or free college tuition.

[1] The big banks and insurance companies will never surrender their profits

[2] The masses refuse to understand how money works. Therefore every progressive idea is easily destroyed with the line, “How will you pay for it?”

[3] In a society where money equals power, it is necessary to keep the peasants penniless so they remain powerless. Things like Universal Medicare, or free college tuition, would give the peasants too much power and freedom. And since Democrats and Republicans work for the plutocratic donor class, both sides oppose things like Universal Medicare or free college tuition.

American peasants are kept powerless in three ways…

[1] They are kept impoverished. Right now two-thirds of Americans would struggle to cover a crisis that costs a mere $1,000.

[2] They are kept distracted by trivia such as identity politics, political correctness, Nazis-vs-Antifa, the “war on terror,” debates about abortion and gun control, Cuban “death rays,” phantom viral epidemics, wars, rumors of wars, Trump vs. the media, etc etc etc. For example, if the peasants ask for Universal Medicare, Trump distracts them by threatening to nuke North Korea, or threatening to abrogate the nuclear agreement with Iran.

[3] The peasants are seduced into having faith in people who despise them. This is why, for example, Bernie Sanders gives speeches calling for free college. Such speeches make the peasants see Sanders as a savior, when in fact he is their jailer. Sanders has no intention of every truly pushing for free college. Even if every Republican suddenly voted for things like Universal Medicare or free college tuition, the Democrats themselves would kill it. We know this because even when Democrats have had the White House, plus a majority in Congress, they still opposed things like Universal Medicare or free college tuition. Democrats must do this, since they work strictly for the rich, and the rich can only have power as long as the peasants are powerless.

Of course, the peasants are complicit in their powerlessness. They freely choose it. That’s why they are peasants. They claim to be victims, since they like to blame their misfortunes entirely on things outside them — and to some extent they are victims. At least half of our misfortunes can be blamed on things outside us, but we only become powerless slaves when we blame all of our misfortunes on things outside us.  It is legitimate to call ourselves victims up to a point. When we take it too far, we keep ourselves in chains.

This habit of  “victimhood” (i.e. this blame game) is so strong that people become angry if you assert that the reason why we don’t have a better world is that most people don’t really want one.

Let’s repeat those three ways that Americans peasants are kept powerless…

[1] They are kept impoverished. Complicity factor: the peasants choose to believe the lie that money is physical and limited, that the U.S. government runs on loans and tax revenue, and that the U.S. government “has no money” for expanded social programs.

[2] They are kept distracted. Complicity factor: the peasants choose to remain obsessed with things like liberals vs. “Nazis.”

[3] They are seduced into having faith in people who despise them. Complicity factor: the peasants choose to support this politician or that, no matter how many times the politician lies to them, betrays them, and sells them out.  (“Go Bernie!” “I’m with Hillary!” “Make America fake again!”)

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House Republicans last night unveiled a $36.5 billion disaster relief package for Puerto Rico, $5 billion of which is a loan, which means that Puerto Rico will go further than ever into debt.

$16 billion of it will be paid to the U.S. government’s National Flood Insurance Program, which has had to pay on flood claims from hurricanes, particularly in Houston.

The way the flood insurance program works is that homeowners pay premiums to the U.S. government and file claims when homeowners have flood damage. Because premiums are too low and people build in flood plains over and over, the flood insurance program has not been able to keep up. So the U.S. government’s National Flood Insurance Program secured a loan from the Treasury Department which was capped by law at $30.4 billion. That is, the U.S. government borrowed from itself.

Last month the NFIP reached that borrowing ceiling of $30.4 billion. Funds to pay claims are expected to run out this month, so the House bill cancels $16 billion of NFIP’s debt. That is, the bill  will cancel $16 billion of the U.S. government’s debt to itself.

Puerto Rico can never repay its debt in money. There are no tax receipts, since everything has been destroyed. And Puerto Rico will not be able to borrow any more money from private creditors.

Therefore Puerto Rico will repay its debt by allowing everything to be privatized — i.e. given to creditors, who will build resorts, casinos, and factories on the island. When those things are damaged by hurricanes, the rich owners will get full and complete bailouts from the U.S. government so they can resume operations. Puerto Rico will become a sewer of vice, corruption, and money laundering, like Cuba was before the socialist revolution.

The island’s population is about 3.5 million. Within five years I predict it will be down to 100,000.

At present the creditors vultures are waiting until the U.S. government finishes putting the island back together. (“Let the U.S. government pay for it!”) Then, because of the unpayable debt, the vultures will take ownership.

The regular people of Puerto Rico cannot get any debt bailout, since the U.S. government “has no money.” Debt bailouts are strictly for the rich.

Besides, if the regular people of Puerto Rico were given debt relief, the poor little creditor-vultures would go hungry. They’d get back all the money they had gambled (plus interest) but they would not take ownership of the island.

 

 

 

 

The need for balance

Before I get going, I note that nearly half of Puerto Rico’s 3.4 million people are still without drinking water, and 85 percent have no electricity. 42 of Puerto Rico’s 67 hospitals (63%) have no electricity. The death toll from Hurricane Maria has reached 39, and continues to climb as more people die and more bodies are found.

Even before Hurricanes Maria and Irma hit, Puerto Rico had been devastated by debt and austerity.

The Jones Act of 1920 requires that all goods transported to Puerto Rico be carried on U.S.-flag ships, constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and crewed by U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents. The Act grants a highly profitable and parasitic monopoly to U.S.-owned shipping companies, thereby forcing Puerto Ricans to pay double the shipping costs for food and supplies.

On 28 Sep 2017, eight days after Hurricane Maria destroyed Puerto Rico, Trump ordered the Jones Act rescinded for ten days so that Puerto Rico could import food, fuel and supplies more quickly and cheaply.

Last Sunday (8 Oct 2017) the ten-day waiver period expired. Trump will not renew it. Puerto Ricans will go back to paying double the shipping costs for food and supplies.  Ain’t capitalism great?

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Anyway I want to say something about people who blog by making YouTube videos. Such videos are okay as long as they are short, focused, and concise. But when they stretch out for an hour or more, and they consist of rambling gibberish, they are exercises in vanity. “I have nothing to say, but I enjoy it when people give me their attention. Pay attention!”

The idiot below is notorious for this. He calls himself a “philosopher,” and most of his videos stretch out for an hour, during which time he babbles incoherently about nothing. A different idiot below him does the same thing. These clowns love to hear themselves talk.

No monologue on YouTube should ever be longer than three to five minutes. (I’m talking  about monologues, not videos.)

A good example is the guy below. Many of his views are too right-wing for my taste, but this one video got 267,000 views in its first day because…

  1. His videos are never more than five or six minutes long
  2. He stays focused, with no pauses or repetitions.
  3. He uses visual aids
  4. He injects humor where possible

In short, he entertains. He keeps his videos concise, because he knows that viewers want to be informed, or at least entertained.

By contrast, the non-stop babblers have nothing to offer. They want you to give them your attention, while they give you nothing in return.  They want the exchange to go one way.  Screw them.

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Now, if I may change gears, one of the babblers above has made a number of videos attacking socialism. He says socialism is “wrong” because…well…it just is.

Presumably he would like to eliminate all forms of socialism, such that everything is privately owned: the police, the prisons, the fire departments, the military, the utilities, the government, the water, land, and sky – everything.

Of course, when everything is privately owned, everything gravitates to the rich, who end up owning everything and everyone.

People who attack socialism are hateful and selfish. To one extent or another they are sociopaths. Their pathology always manifests as two false claims…

[1] They falsely claim that everything (especially money) is in limited supply, which means that life is necessarily a zero-sum game. In order to give to one person, we must take from some other person. This is supposedly a “law of nature.” It is “God’s will.”

[2] They falsely claim that there is no such thing as balance and moderation. There is only one extreme or the other. Therefore our only choice is between feudalism  and communism.

Error #1 is absurd, since money, for example, is infinite. Money is not physical.  Money is like points on a scoreboard. Meanwhile food, air, and water can be recycled. The amount of water on earth has not increased or decreased by one drop since the paleoproterozoic era, 1.6 billion years ago. (Countless molecules of water that have passed through your body have also passed through dinosaurs’ bodies.)

In reality the problem is not shortages, but mal-distribution. The rich cannot rule the masses unless the rich keeps the masses in poverty.

Error #2 is equally childish. It contends that our choice is between total private ownership (by the rich) or zero private ownership (i.e. communism). In this view there can be no compromises between the two. No balance.

Nonsense of course. The ideal situation is a balance between the extremes, in which some things are privately owned, and other things are collectively owned. A perfect balance can never be achieved, but it is a worthy goal to continually aim for.

Humans are social beings, with a need for company and cooperation.

Humans are also individuals, with a need for liberty and privacy.

If we go too far toward one extreme or the other, we have problems. Again, the ideal situation is a balance between extremes. That is nature’s way.

Smug little creeps like that Stefan Molyneux worm (seen above) deny this. They claim that poor people are “lazy.”

I repeat again that the ideal situation is a balance between socialism and capitalism. Between private ownership and collective ownership. Between selfishness and altruism.

We can never achieve this balance completely, but we can keep trying.  When civilizations collapse for reasons other than natural disasters, it is always because they became imbalanced.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BY THE WAY:  I just re-read this entire post while using a stop-watch. I read the whole thing in two minutes and twenty-five seconds, which included a three-second glance at each image. Those hour-long monologues on YouTube  are pathetic.

For the children

Perhaps you heard about the fake  “memoir” at right, supposedly written in English by a seven-year-old Syrian girl (who speaks no English, as proven by videos of her). The book calls for “peace” in Syria, meaning submission to the Empire.

It is being promoted by The Blair Partnership, a British PR agency that also markets the Harry Potter books by Joanne Rowling, the notorious warmonger and Israel-firster who is helping to promote this “memoir.”

As I said, little Bana al-Abed (now aged 8) speaks no English at all, yet she supposedly “Tweets” in English. In a now deleted tweet, she said it is “better to start 3rd world war instead of letting Russia & Assad commit #HolocaustAleppo.”

On 7 April 2017 her Twitter account cheered Trump’s cruise missile strike as a reaction to a (fictitious) “chemical weapons attack.”

Bana al-Abed is said to be in Aleppo, but she has often been photographed in the USA. Her Twitter account (which began in Sep 2016) is registered in England, and it claims to have 364,000 followers. It blocks anyone who questions the fraud.

To strengthen the hoax, little Bana al-Abed has been photographed in New York City with people like Colin Kaepernick.

Not everyone believes the hoax. Here’s a typical reader review at Amazon…

This book is proof that our leaders are psychopaths. No human being with a conscience could so aggressively exploit compassion for suffering children to advance a sinister regime change agenda, one that would bring head-chopping heart-eating ISIS terrorists to power in Syria and soak the country in blood.

Agreed, but children have always been used for propaganda purposes. During the Punic Wars (264 BC to 146 BC) the Romans claimed that the Carthaginians sacrificed to their god by throwing live infants into bonfires.

Incidentally some people are calling Bana al-Abed the “Anne Frank” of Syria, which is quite appropriate. 🙂

The video below purports to show a Syrian boy saving his sister from Syrian Army sniper fire. It was actually produced by Norwegian filmmakers in Malta.

The Bana al-Abed hoax continues to unravel, despite the corporate media outlets’ desperate campaign to keep it alive.  If you question the hoax, you are guilty of dispensing “fake news.” If you condemn the cynical exploitation of children, you are guilty of “child abuse.” You are a “pro-Russian troll” who claims that Bana al-Abed does not exist. (No one claims this.)

We can’t know

People are more interested in confirming their beliefs and prejudices than they are in the truth. If the alleged Las Vegas shooter had been a Muslim, then Islamophobic people would cling to the official account.

Truth requires that people believe in truth more than they believe in their own biases. In the United States, such people are increasingly rare. ~ Paul Craig Roberts

Indeed. We love our delusions so much that we become angry if anyone questions them. We regard skeptricism as a personal attack.

Inside our little dream world, we are “brilliant.”  Outside, everyone is a “moron.” Our dream-world is an airtight bubble of lies and fairy tales, some of which we cling to personally and individually, and some of which we share collectively.

Each society is built on a foundation of lies – i.e. built on a network of official narratives and collective fairy tales that range from partly true (at best) to completely false.

It is taboo to publicly question the lies and the fairy tales. Penalties for violating this taboo vary in severity, depending on [1] how much damage is done to the lie by questioning it, [2] how much society is dependent upon the lie, and [3] how fragile is the lie.

For example, if you publicly question the lie that the U.S. government is “bankrupt,” you will be ridiculed. If you question the official Sandy Hook narrative, you will be “de-friended.” If you question the official 9-11 narrative, you will be fired from your job. If you question the official “holocaust”® narrative you will be imprisoned in some nations.

Often we know that our dream-world is bullshit, but we defend it anyway. We know that our lies are false, but we cling to them anyway for political reasons. For example, politicians know that the U.S. government can create limitless money out of thin air, but they pretend that this is not true, in order to make people grovel before them.

I mention all this in the context of the alleged “shooting” in Las Vegas. Many people jumped on this event (especially the gun grabbers) and used it as a rallying cry. And yet the more we look at the official narrative, the more suspicious it becomes.

(How are those other two wars workin’ out for ya?)

For instance, in a previous post I noted that it is not possible to silence rifle bullets. The sound of bullets piercing the air, whizzing past you, and hitting near you, is unmistakable. It is so loud that it drowns out the muzzle fire. Yet we hear none of these sounds in any recording of the Las Vegas “shooting.” All we hear is the put-put-put of supposed guns, which could have been broadcast from a loudspeaker.

And why does no video show any bodies except that of Stephen Paddock (supposedly)? Where are the ballistics reports? There are supposedly sixty people dead, plus 500 others wounded, and no videos or photos of blood anywhere? This is Sandy Hook all over again. It’s Osama Bin Laden “buried at sea.” It’s airliners hitting two skyscrapers in New York City, and causing three skyscrapers to collapse.

The victims allegedly killed and wounded total 573, which is the size of a military battalion. It is very difficult to turn an entire battalion into casualties with small arms fire, even in a fierce combat situation. I doubt it has ever happened. Can one person with no military training shooting down from 32 stories, which requires special sighting knowledge, at a distance of 390 yards—the length of 4 football fields—hit 573 people in a few minutes of firing? ~ Paul Craig Roberts

I always use the analogy of a video game with a “kill counter.” You think you have mowed down thousands of enemies, but the kill counter always shows that you killed far fewer than you thought. And the kill counter doesn’t lie.

We don’t know what happened in Las Vegas, and we never will. The alleged shooter, Stephen Paddock, had no motive. The whole narrative stinks of lies, but that’s what makes the narrative effective. If you believe that a happy, well-adjusted millionaire can suddenly commit mass murder for no reason, then you will believe that anyone can commit mass murder at any time for no reason. Therefore we must outlaw all guns in civilian hands.

With events like this, the authorities and the media never tell the truth. With war, federal finances, supposed epidemics, and “terrorist events,” they never tell the truth. NEVER. They only say that which maintains the gap between the rich and the rest.

And yet we righteously snap at whatever fish hook they dangle before us. Especially if the hook confirms our biases and prejudices – i.e. if it “justifies” our self-righteous dream world.

At right, person ‘A’ is typical, while person ‘B’ gives the most intelligent answer possible.

“We are lied to and deceived so much that we can never know when we are told the truth, if ever. Whatever message Washington and Western mass media are trying to push, let us always note that they have continually lied in the past. Let us pose a simple question: When did they stop lying?”

The Mandalay Bay Hotel has a casino with security cameras are everywhere. Why no videos of Stephen Paddock carrying in the many cases of 23 firearms and ammunition? How could maid service clean the room for three days and not see 23 firearms and their ammunition? Why 23 guns? The large number almost suggests that the entire event is concocted as a gun control incident. A huge number of guns, plus a huge number of casualties – finally there is enough “gun violence” to get gun control. ~ Paul Craig Roberts

Maybe the media is telling the truth, but probably not. In any case, we will never know.

This is what we must keep in mind whenever an event like this occurs.

ADDENDUM: How do I know that bullets make very loud sounds as they pierce the air? I know from personal experience. Years ago I had many firearms. (I don’t have any now.) One time I was with a friend in the desert, shooting the guns. We came upon a large sand pile in a gully. Out of curiosity, I told my friend to shoot several bullets into the sand pile while I went down and stood next to it. I wanted to see if there was any sound. He stood a quarter mile way. I chose the sand pile to preclude any possibility of ricochets. The bullets impacted the sand about ten feet away from me, and I was amazed at how incredibly loud they were as they flew through the air. They were so loud that I didn’t even hear the rifle shot. Just a SHEEEE-OT! There was no sound of impact, since the bullets were penetrating soft sand.

Trust me: if you are being shot at, you know it, even if it’s as small as a .22 caliber bullet. (I had a 30-30, a 30-06, a 7mm Remington magnum, and a .270 Winchester. Plus some handguns. I have no firearms now.)

What’s in a word?

Make it stop before my head…

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I lived in India 2 ½ years. The Taj Mahal (which translates as “Crown of the Palace“) is fabulous to behold in person, but some people now want to tear it down.

In India there has been tension between Muslims and Hindus for fourteen centuries. The Mughal Empire (Muslim) ruled India from 1526 to 1540, when it was supplanted by the Sur Empire from Afghanistan (also Muslim). In 1555 the Mughals regained supremacy, and held it until the early 1800s when the British rose to prominence in India, along with the Maratha Empire (Hindu), the Sikh Confederacy (Sikh) the Durani Empire (Muslim), the Bengal Subah (Muslim) and others.

Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (reigned 1628–1658) commissioned the Taj Mahal in 1632 to house the tomb of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The mausoleum took 21 years to build, and now receives millions of tourists per year, bringing millions in tourist money. (Actually the Mughals in India built several mausoleums like the Taj Mahal, but this one is the most famous. I personally visited them all.)

From 1947 to the fall of the USSR, India was non-aligned, although its socialist government leaned more toward the USSR than the USA. In those days the Indian government supported the cause of Palestinian freedom and Arab nationalism.

In the late 1980s the BJP Party (militant Hindu) started gaining power. By 1991 when the USSR collapsed, the BJP Party rose to predominance, and it has been on the warpath against Muslims ever since.

Since the Taj Mahal is a relic from the Muslim Moghul days, there is increasing talk among militant Hindus that the 400-year-old Taj should be demolished, just as Hindus demolished the 500-year-old Babri Mosque in 1992.

From a Counterpunch article…

Despite its historical, architectural and monetary value, the Taj Mahal was recently removed from an official booklet on the State of Uttar Pradesh’s tourist destinations. The State’s Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath, declared that the Taj Mahal does not “reflect Indian culture.” His government also released a budget that does not fund the mausoleum’s maintenance in the coming year.

The Taj Mahal does not reflect Indian culture? Countless Indian restaurants around the globe are named the “Taj Mahal.” The world recognizes the Taj as “Indian,” just as it recognizes the Eiffel Tower as French, the Statue of Liberty as American, the Great Wall as Chinese, the Parthenon as Greek, and “Big Ben” as British.

The Taj is now being eroded by acid rain.

The state government of Uttar Pradesh says it wants to promote Hindu (not Muslim) jmonuments. This is silly, because the greatest monuments of all in India are Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain (e.g. the Ellora Caves, which you must see in person to appreciate, and which I personally regard as India’s greatest wonder).

MY POINT is that it seems that when people get into a self-righteous mood, the first thing they want to do is tear down statues and monuments.

Sometimes people want to change words too. In 2003 the French government declined to support the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Therefore congressman Bob Ney (R-Ohio) ordered“french fries” in Congressional cafeterias renamed to “freedom fries.” (In 2007 Ney was sentenced to 30 months in jail for corruption.)

I’m surprised that Ney didn’t demand the tearing down of the Statue of Liberty, which was a gift from France.

Regarding the change of names, this is not new, but it is as silly as ever. During World War One the breakfast plate known as “German toast” was renamed to “French toast,” and in 2003 was renamed “freedom toast.”

Also during World War One, frankfurters were renamed “hot dogs” and “liberty sausages.”Sauerkraut became “liberty cabbage,” German measles became “liberty measles,” dachshunds dogs became  “liberty pups,” and German chocolate cake became “liberty chocolate cake.”

The purpose of this childishness is to foment the herd instinct. If you don’t use the “proper” terminology, then you are an evil traitor. You are outside, a disease. You are a “threat.”

They even use their pets

Two quick thoughts:

[1] Police have not formally labeled the Las Vegas shooter  a terrorist because police still don’t know the shooter’s motive.

Liberals say the reason why the police have not labeled the shooter a terrorist is that he was white.

Actually most of the killers formally labeled “terrorists” have been white. Timothy McVeigh killed 168 people and wounded 680. There was Ted Kaczynski, Byron Williams, Daniel Cowart, Jared Loughner, Andrew Joseph Stack, John Patrick Bedell, James Von Brunn, Dylan Roof, and Richard Poplawski. In Norway, Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people.

[2] Whenever there is a mass killing, many people say we must outlaw all guns. I say that a “war on guns” will simply expand the police state, like the “war on drugs.” Drugs are more plentiful than ever. Guns will be too.

Even if we could eliminate all guns from civilian hands, police would continue to shoot people.

Furthermore many mass killings are done with bombs. On 14 July 2016 a truck was used to kill 86 people in Nice France, and wound 458 others.

American violence is caused by the American Way, which is to “shoot it, nuke it, or outlaw it.”   Calling for more gun control is a way to continue worshipping violence while we pretend to be “doing something” about violence. 

CHANGE OF TOPIC

The latest “news” about Russia-gate is the claim that “Russian-linked” ad buyers purchased $100,000 worth of targeted Facebook ads during the 2016 presidential election.

The ads did not urge support for any particular candidate, but they were nonetheless “divisive” and “controversial.”

How? That’s classified.

What did the ads say? That’s classified.

How were they part of a “Russian plot”? That’s classified.

Who paid for them? That’s classified — but the name of an alleged Russian organization keeps coming up: the “Internet Research Agency.”

Facebook is refusing to release the alleged ads, and the congressional committee that’s investigating them refuses to say what the ads said. They’re using fake news to claim that Russians are spreading fake news.

It reminds me of the “death ray” nonsense in Cuba.

The Russia-gate twits claim that Russia is using a mysterious organization called the “Internet Research Agency” to attack the USA by Tweeting messages, leaving reader comments, and purchasing advertising, This elusive “Agency” is said to have many names, and to keep moving its headquarters and its “troll farms.”

Wikipedia presents all this garbage as fact.

“The Russia-gate hoax has many uses: providing cover for a politically bankrupt and corrupt Democratic party; restarting the cold war; and paving the way for ever-increasing Internet censorship.” ~ Justin Raimondo of Antiwar.com