"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up."

Arthur Koestler 

Entries in Politics (393)


The New "N" Word

You may have heard the new controversy that President Trump has declared himself a Nationalist. That of course means he is racist. He recently contrasted nationalism with globalism, so that mean he is anti-semitic. Sometimes it is hard to keep track of the memes. 

The goal is to take the average person and change the way they use words. What the desired outcome is that when one hears the word "nationalist," that the listener thinks "white nationalist." Or when one hears the term "globalist," to think the person saying it is anti-semitic. 

This is a weird conformation of George Orwell vision of the future in his novel 1984. The meaning of words changes until you no longer know what a word means. 

Here is what the president of France said: 

“Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism.” 

So being a nationalist is not being a patriot? He said this recently at the 100 anniversary of the end of WWI. Trump attended this event. So why does anyone wonder about Trump's lack of respect for Macron? This was a direct insult to Trump. 

Humpty Dumpty had it right. 

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that's all.”


War is Peace

Freedom is Slavery

Ignorance is Strength 

Yes, one can be a nationalist and not be a racist, and against globalism and not be an anti-semite.


It Is Just Wrong

If some right wing idiot commits terrorist acts, one should not critique all people on the right. In the same way, if some left wing idiot Commits terrorist acts, one should not critique all people on the left. 


When I'm 64

The Republican repeal and replace is now available. Read it if you want, I won't bother, but I will give an overview. Naturally I will begin with how it will impact older Americans who are too young for Medicare. As I am 62 that is me. The New York Times tells us:

If the law is repealed, the groups say, people in their 50s and 60s could see premiums rise by $2,000 to $3,000 a year or more: increases of 20 percent to 25 percent or higher.

Under current rules, insurers cannot charge older adults more than three times what they charge young adults for the same coverage. House Republican leaders would allow a ratio of five to one — or more, if states choose.

A 20% increase! I really like the "or higher" part. For me this means a quite different health insurance plan for 2018. I have no choice. Later in the article there is one estimate that rates will double for someone my age. Where do they expect people to get this money?

There is also a reasonable chance that another change will lead to many more insurance companies to abandon the business. There will no longer be a penalty if someone does not buy insurance. Then if they get ill they can then buy insurance and only pay 30% in additional costs for that year.  People are going to game the system and this will result in a lot higher costs for insurance companies, which will be passed on. 

The first is more of a personal issue, one that I share with anyone over 55 or so. But the second undermines the whole concept of insurance and the whole financial stability of insurance companies. The proposed bill will make things worse. 

There will be no reform of the basic health care problems we have. This pseudo-reform will makes things worse. 


International Women's Strike Day

In honor of all the woman who, in celebration of International Women's Day, are not working today to protest Trump, I will not post a blog post today.




The Powers That Be

Fred is always interesting. 

The silliness over Russia is, obviously, part of the Establishment’s drive to get rid of Trump. Yes, the man is erratic, contradictory, shoots before he aims, backs off much of what he has promised, and may be unqualified as President–but that is not why Washington and New York want to get rid of him. It is about money and power, as is everything in the United States. Wall Street, the Pentagon, the Neocons, and the Empire run America. Trump has threatened their rice bowls.

There is an important distinction here. America is not looking for an Empire, hegemony or anything else like that, but the elites who run America do want these things, it is literally their "bread and butter." I know that some of those who read this blog think I am pro-Trump. This would be wrong. I tend to agree with what I think is his foreign policy, but I am fearful of what I think his domestic policy is—increased spending and tax cuts. With deficits as far as the eye can see, this is not wise. But I am not actually sure what his policies are. Time will tell. 

If you find Fred as interesting as I do, read the whole article, it is not long.