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Bernardo de La Paz

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Member since: Fri Jul 16, 2004, 11:36 PM
Number of posts: 31,531

About Me

Canadian who lived for many years in Northern California and left a bit of my heart there.

Journal Archives

Yes, prepare yourself, there will lots of sturm &drang & some violence, but we will emerge stronger

There is a big boil on the American body politic and Mueller along with journalists is working hard to lance it. The first aid, remediation and long term healing will be difficult but ultimately confidence in the system will be restored. I think that will happen by the 2030s and in time for the US to provide a stable counterbalance to China or with China.

I expect Mueller will make a report presenting Obstruction of Justice against tRump in the next few months. I'm sure he will release a second report, perhaps a few months later, detailing the Conspiracy against the USA (commonly called "collusion" ). I think both reports have already been written more or less and are being constantly updated and refined as more details accumulate and are discovered. I think Mueller probably has a "dead-hand" switch in place so that if he is fired then both reports will be released and all the sealed indictments will be unsealed.

As Davidson says, the information will come out. The corruption is so large it can't be hidden. It won't be pretty.

It could lead to the collapse of the Republicon Party. Certainly Democrats have an opportunity and duty to keep the Trump and Republican/GOP brands glued and welded together as they actually are. Ryan is leaving now for good reason. He would be smart to hand over the Speaker's gavel now and go silent and fade away, unless or until he is hauled into court, which he may be.

McCONnell is probably guilty as sin of heavy duty crimes because he knew the fix was in when he blocked Merrick Garland from the SCotUS, AND when he refused to warn the states' electoral commissions by telling Obama he would lie if Obama did so himself.

Participants like Sessions, Priebus, Cohen, Manafort, and probably Pence will be completely and utterly disgraced and should get jail time if there is justice, though they will always have believers who to proclaim they are pure as the driven snow.

People like Pruitt, Mnuchin, and Carson are trying to make their ride as cushy as they can for as long as they can. They won't be implicated so much but won't have much of a career afterwards. Ideologues like deVos and Perry will end up being judged stupid.

Mueller will probably increasingly hand off to District offices side crimes that are discovered, particularly business crimes like Michael Cohen's taxi business and Trump's business mess. There will be economic repercussions when tRump's empire crumbles, but the direct effects are likely to be small. Of larger consequence is the stock market which I think has begun a major correction that has a substantial way to go down yet. Trump's family will never be poor but will not be in the 0.01% they think they are entitled to be in.

The most committed ignorant Trump supporters will resort to some violence which may ripple out for a few years after. Part of this may be as a consequence of anger against damage to the NRA gun runners and part will be racism and bigotry that they will be unable to suppress any longer.

This is no time to be complacent, of course.

Prepare yourselves. Winning the Blue Wave of 2018 is top priority for the foreseeable near and medium term. Higher priorities could take center stage for periods on the road to Nov. 2018.

Maintain a calm poised stance and work to advance Democratic power and American democracy whenever possible.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sat Apr 14, 2018, 06:28 PM (1 replies)

Trump better watch out. He'll end up like Senator Brazeau who got PULPED

Six years ago, March 2012, Justin Trudeau handily defeated Senator Brazeau in a boxing match.

Five Years Ago Today, Justin Trudeau Beat the Shit Out of a Senator
March 31, 2017

That's right, non-Canadian readership, five years ago today, then-Liberal MP Justin Trudeau clobbered Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau in a charity boxing match that put the victor on the path to the prime minister's office and left the loser's career in tatters.

At the time, the perception of Trudeau, the eldest son of Canada's most charismatic but divisive prime minister, was that he was a bit of a lightweight. OK, that perception still largely exists in some circles, but dude was really just a famous mid-level player in Canada's third-ranking political party in early 2012. Compared to the solidly entrenched then-prime minister Stephen Harper or the recently-deceased Jack Layton, Trudeau was neither nationally beloved nor taken seriously as a political player.


Trudeau, basically a 6'2 beanpole, wasn't given much of a puncher's shot at beating Brazeau, who was a couple inches shorter, but heavier, barrel-chested and as the Sun News commentary team pointed out, more "tatted."

"I think he's been in more fights in a month than Trudeau has been in a life," future Rebel Commander Ezra Levant (who draws heavily from the Jerry Lawler school of commentary) said as Brazeau made his way to the ring. (Surely, I don't need to make mention that there's a problematic assumption there from Mr. Levant, whose co-commenter also adds the Algonquin senator comes from a "tougher neighbourhood" than Trudeau.)


The fight ended moments later, with the ref calling it as Brazeau—nose bleeding/legs weak/mom's spaghetti—was completely unable to defend himself any longer. "Not even close," a clearly bummed out Levant said.

So, that's the time Justin Trudeau beat the shit out of a senator. Six months later, Trudeau announced he was running for Liberal leadership, and three and-a-half years later, he beat the shit out of Stephen Harper at the polls, took over the prime minister's office, and stole the world's heart with his mighty handshake.


The car door opens. This is it. It's go time. Trudeau steps out of the car and glides into Trump's outstretched hand. He quickly braces himself on the president's shoulder, establishing an indomitable centre of gravity. He is going fucking Super Saiyan on this handshake. But Trump will not be deterred. He ratchets up the pressure and tries to pull this punk kid in. There is a tug of war. Trudeau is not moving. His hand is too strong. Their forearms are jerking around with electrical power and neither of them were ready for this to happen.

He can barely believe it himself and he has to look down at his own hands to make sure that this is really happening that, yes, he is not broken. He raises his head again to meet Trump's gaze with blazing eyes that scream SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS but also AINSI TOUJOURS AUX TYRANS because bilingualism. Utterly destroyed but wanting to be cool about it, Trump gestures at the cameras before leading Justin into his den of lies. He cannot hide the look of absolute mystification on his face.


Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Thu Mar 22, 2018, 08:15 AM (2 replies)

Wrong wrong wrong.

The most charitable view of your statement is that it suffers from binary thinking tunnel vision.

It is a narrow-minded fallacy to think that capitalism can only be parasitical. Robber baron capitalism is parasitical. The tremendous wealth & income inequality we have in the US and some other countries now (getting worse) is parasitical and unsustainable. The US system is not the only system of capitalism in the world.

Capitalism is very efficient at creating jobs and employing people and advancing many aspects of society. Capitalism is very efficient at distributing goods and resources to where they are needed. Command economies fail. Communism fails since "from each according to ability and to each according to need" fails to provide adequate incentives for advancement.

DU is capitalist (private and owned) and employs several people. It is good.

The problem with capitalism-on-steroids is that it over-rewards the top 1% and 0.01%, people who don't need extra incentive, at the expense of the bottom 47% who are people who need support and incentives. Therefore capitalism must be well-regulated, well-monitored, subject to progressive social goals, and operating under progressive tax regimes. Byzantine tax systems need to be truly simplified by turning amorphous invisible tax breaks into publicly visible subsidies.

On the side of socialism, more and more studies are showing that if you provide people with guaranteed housing, guaranteed basic income, and guaranteed health care, then the outcome actually saves money and makes the society much more productive and harmonious. People with an address (not homeless) are much more likely to find work. People use less emergency services. There is a reduction in the cost of policy and a reduction in crime (poor/homeless people are also likely to be victims of crime). People have better health and that means there is less drag on the economy for health care and they are more productive and more able to help each other (the elderly and disabled for example). Note: guaranteed basic income subsumes social security and welfare.

Pure systems of any kind are bad, be it capitalism (robber baron capitalism), socialism (communism when purest), fascism (corporate-statist-bureaucratic elitism), dictatorship (of despots or proletariat or peasants or monarchs or whatever) or anarchism (dog eat dog).

A hybrid of capitalism and socialism is the only way to go. At least until humanity is so highly developed that something approaching nearly pure enlightened self-interest is feasible (community and socially and globally connected).

When all is said, Stephen Hawking's point about the distribution of benefits is very much correct.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Fri Mar 16, 2018, 10:09 AM (1 replies)

Wilbur Ross used deceitful deceptive argument to defend Trump Tariff

CommSec Ross said there are 2/10 cent steel in a soup can and 3/10 cent aluminum in a coke can.

“All this hysteria is a lot to do about nothing,” he said. The cost of items such as Campbell’s Soup cans and Coke cans will increase by less than a cent, he added.

The cost of the can won't change much, but the PRICE on the shelf will go up noticeably.

The machinery that makes the cans and fills them will cost more. The machinery that prints the labels will cost more.

The farm machinery that plants and harvests the food materials will cost more.

The trucks that move the cans will cost more because of steel costs.

The tools that fix all that machinery will cost more.

The steel shelves will cost more.

The steel in the construction of the packing houses, the food factories, the distribution warehouses, and the supermarkets will cost more.

By time you dial in all the costs going into the products and getting them through the manufacturing and supply chains, the PRICE will add up because it is multiplicative, not merely additive. When the food is more expensive to produce, the food cost goes up which raises the cost from the food factory to the distributor by a percentage because it costs and prices and profits are calculated on dollar volumes, not unit counts. The cost to the retailer goes up when the distributor raises prices.

Until proven otherwise, we have to take the position that Ross knows this and was deceiving the public and using the taxpayers' dimes to do so while being paid salary.

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Fri Mar 2, 2018, 10:44 PM (1 replies)

RepubliCONs are Borrow-and-Spend. Defense money is dead money. Rich park tax cuts in real estate/art

The old canard that Republicons use against Democrats is that they are "tax-and-spend". Republicons are of course borrow-and-spend, which is hypocritical.

You also have to factor in business cycles. Democrats tend to grow the economy and fix up deficits with a mix of fiscal prudence and some raised taxes. If they inherit a big economic problem like Obama did, they will stimulate the economy.

This is basic economics: Stimulate with government spending and some broad tax cuts during hard times, and pay down the debt during good times with raised taxes and fiscal prudence.

But there's another aspect to what the RepubliCONs did that make their willful mistake worse: Bombs and tanks do not produce more money (production). Machine tools and computers do. Building a jet fighter puts money in motion for a very limited time. Once the fighter is produced, it consumes money and doesn't make anything. Yes, defense is needed for national security, within limits.

However, it gets worse. By giving tax cuts to the rich, they do not invest in production. They are already fully invested; they need more investment opportunities. They park the money in real estate and art which inflates the prices of those two elements.

Tax cuts to the middle class and especially to the poor put money in motion. The money is quickly spend on food and housing and transportation and education. All of those are productive. Healthy people work longer hours. People with good housing are able to provide their children with better parenting and upbringing. People with cars or money to spend on public transit hold more jobs more securely and that makes the economy grow.

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Fri Feb 9, 2018, 10:16 AM (0 replies)

Easier to fire Mueller if tRump can get the RepubliCONgress to declare "nothingburger".

It's not going to work, though. Trump-Russia is too big, too massive.

The worst thing RepubliCons could do is shut down their investigations and/or absolve the Trump gang. Democrats (if they are active and efficient) can increase the toxicity levels for 2018 so that the RepubliCons are in a lose-lose-maybe_so_so triple bind: Lose if they clear tRump, lose if they don't impeach him, maybe do so-so if they do impeach / 25th him. And Pence too, while they are at it.

Trump-Russia is proof by example of why the larger the conspiracy the harder it is to hide it. Something that 9-11 "truthers" need to be reminded of.

But the Cover-up conspiracy between the WH and Nunes and Fox "News" seeks to discredit Mueller.

So the Trumpster WH are hoping they can get a double-whammy knockout punch: 1) RepubliCONgress absolution and "complete" discrediting of Mueller as staging a "coup", then they fire him and anyone who dares appoint a successor.

But it won't work. At the very least, the Democratic members will issue a dissenting report. The free media will second it and cement it with leaks of facts and information from the Intelligence Community and foreign Intelligence services.

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sat Dec 16, 2017, 03:23 PM (0 replies)

That's what RAISES THE ECONOMY! NOT jacking up real estate & art prices!

When the 1% get tax cuts they don't create new companies. They already have money working on all the opportunities they can find. They can't find any more opportunities.

But the little people start lots of small companies and that's where you find the innovation. Not from the safe money.

The 1% spend tax cuts on real estate and art investments, which is (pardon the expression) a circle jerk raising prices for those kind of items without increasing any productivity!

When people buy more booze, there have to be more trucks and truck drivers to move that. More farmers to grow hops and malt. More baristas to serve it. All that creates jobs and puts money in motion.

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sun Dec 3, 2017, 11:35 PM (1 replies)

NO. Started with Birchers & fluoridation & Nixon & tanks & Gingrich & Fox & W & Palin. In other

In other words, it is the culmination of a long effort by Republicons.

John Birch Society members had that same crazed conspiracy anti-gubmnt gleam founded on some racism and a lot of nonsense. They overlapped with the fear-mongering anti-fluoridation nuts.

Nixon brought in the Southern Strategy because he agreed with Johnson's assessment of the costs of his Civil Rights legislation.
Johnson reportedly told associates of his concern that signing the bill had lost the white South as voters for the Democratic Party for the foreseeable future. -- Wikipedia

How Conservative Think Tanks Helped Create the Age of Trump
Fri Aug 12, 2016 by Jason Stahl, Ph.D.
The Heritage Foundation was founded in 1973 by Paul Weyrich, Edwin Feulner, and Joseph Coors.[6] Growing out of the new business activist movement inspired by the Powell Memorandum,[7][8] discontent with Richard Nixon's embrace of the "liberal consensus" and the nonpolemical, cautious nature of existing think tanks,[9] Weyrich and Feulner sought to create an organization that would supply policymakers with concise, timely position papers. With $200,000 from Coors, the Analysis and Research Association was created in 1970. New supporters and board members joined, including petroleum executive Edward Noble and Richard Mellon Scaife. Eventually, the organization split into a public interest law center and a separate public policy foundation, the latter of which was incorporated as The Heritage Foundation on February 16, 1973. Weyrich was its first president. -- Wikipedia

Think tanks developed the idea of framing the language, a way to dumb down political debate. Gingrich embraced this. Republicons started talking about "death taxes" instead of estate taxes and "pro-life" instead of anti-abortion rights.

George Lakoff: https://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2003/10/27_lakoff.shtml

Karl Rove very explicitly preferred to win by a more secured slim majority than going for a possible larger majority. This greatly increased polarization in the country which reduces debates to shouts of "commie" and "fascist".

Fox News pushed a faux viewpoint and the rest of the mass media generally obliged because they like horse races for increased viewership leading to increased advertising sales leading to increased profits.

Palin was the "dumb as rocks" flint arrowhead, not the wood behind the arrowhead. A wedge and a "Caribou Barbie" to appeal emotionally.

So, no, Palin & Schmidt were not the cause or the first.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Tue Nov 28, 2017, 07:10 PM (1 replies)

Reparations not a solution. 1) Reconciliation, 2) Truly equal justice, 3) Economic support

There is a historic wrong that needs to be corrected due to harms done to African-Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanic Americans.

Reparations is the wrong thing to do. It will not work and will not correct the ongoing fundamental problems.

The ongoing problems are fundamentally a lack of justice and a lack of economic support. Fix those and American society will become an even stronger society than it already is.

1) Reconciliation is completely overlooked but very important as the experience in South Africa and Canada shows.

1a) People have to be heard in official public hearings around the country, extensively and widely held.

1b) "The powers that be" (essentially elected government) have to apologize publicly and on the record for past wrongs, sincerely and meaningfully. Meaningfully means putting real legal power and real money behind points 2 and 3.

2) Truly equal justice means access to the courts by real legal subsidies, real justice for people shot by police, equal enforcement across all districts, federal true oversight, civic education for all students, and much more.

It also means elimination of voter suppression and a permanent end to gerrymandering by placing redistricting in the hands of independent impartial commissions permanently taking it out of the hands of partial legislatures.

3) Economic support is much more effective and much more just than reparations.

It helps people directly.
It is not a one time lump sum, so it is not frittered away and gone.
It is provided for as long as is necessary.
It does not perpetuate a racial divide.
It helps all who need it: poor blacks, native Americans, hispanics, unemployed coal miners, etc.
It does not go to people who don't need it as reparations would be given to.
It does not take from other people who would carry it as a racial grievance.
It does not leave an unresolved reverse grievance used to hammer disadvantaged people.
It levels the playing field by raising the low sections.
It can be organized to largely benefit children rather than adults who are less likely to see much change from money.

To be blunt, if reparations are given out on the basis of race, then many whites would forever after say "We fixed it. You poor blacks have no excuse for lagging behind and you aren't getting another penny from us." It would be used as an excuse to strangle welfare. It would perpetuate racial divisions, not solve them.

By creating national economic support for school districts, for example, the effects of income disparity on children would be much reduced, regardless of race or class.

Ultimately the USA has a class problem, which has been in part created by racism but not entirely. Attacking the economic problem on a color blind class basis almost entirely eliminates the racial excuses the upper classes (predominantly white) use to perpetuate their inherited greater opportunities. Attacking the social justice problem will require a more direct address of the racial biases and must be done.

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sat Nov 11, 2017, 09:09 AM (2 replies)

Space Age began 60 years ago today

Sputnik 1 (/ˈspʊtnɪk/ or /ˈspʌtnɪk/; "Satellite-1", or "PS-1", Простейший Спутник-1 or Prosteyshiy Sputnik-1, "Elementary Satellite 1" )[5] was the first artificial Earth satellite. The Soviet Union launched it into an elliptical low Earth orbit on 4 October 1957. It was a 58 cm (23 in) diameter polished metal sphere, with four external radio antennas to broadcast radio pulses. Its radio signal was easily detectable even by amateurs, and the 65° inclination and duration of its orbit made its flight path cover virtually the entire inhabited Earth. This surprise success precipitated the American Sputnik crisis and triggered the Space Race, a part of the Cold War. The launch ushered in new political, military, technological, and scientific developments.[6][7]

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Wed Oct 4, 2017, 06:15 PM (1 replies)
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