Fresh Examples of Inverted Totalitarianism

It’s uncanny, but it’s very difficult to keep up with the numerous examples of inverted totalitarianism appearing daily in our popular media. That these events are routinely covered by the popular media without question and concern should give us pause.

Yesterday, in Nothing Will Change: the 2012 Presidential Election,  I gave the following example:

The NRC (US Nuclear Regulatory Commission), that boasts it’s “protecting people and the environment,” in an unprecedented move, voted 3 – 2 to advise the Obama Justice Department to intervene on behalf of Entergy Nuclear in the company’s lawsuit against the state of Vermont. Vermont wants to shut down Vermont Yankee, the aged nuclear power plant.  A government agency that is solely responsible for the nuclear safety is extending its sphere of influence and advising the Federal Government to intervene in a state’s negotiations with a private entity.

Today, we learn that the US Supreme Court has given pharmaceuticals twin wins:

In one case, a First Amendment decision, the court, by a 6-to-3 vote, struck down a Vermont law that barred the buying, selling and profiling of doctors’ prescription records — records that pharmaceutical companies use to target doctors for particular pitches. And in a second, the court ruled 5 to 4 that the makers of generic drugs are immune from state lawsuits for failure to warn consumers about possible side effects as long as they copy the warnings on brand-name drugs.

The US Supreme court ruled that the State of Vermont was infringing on the pharmaceutical’s first amendment rights. “The amendment prohibits the making of any law “respecting an establishment of religion“, impeding the free exercise of religion, infringing on the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.”  This is untrue, the State of Vermont is not trying to restrict the first amendment, rather they are trying to restrict pharmaceuticals from getting private information concerning different drug protocols doctors use for specific patients.

“Basically, it’s going to allow the drug companies to have more influence on doctors’ prescribing practices, to manipulate their prescribing practices, and to promote the use of more expensive drugs. Almost certainly, health care costs are going to be driven up,” said Dr. Gregory D. Curfman, executive editor of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Information privacy experts also criticized Thursday’s ruling. “One of the practical consequences of the court’s decision will be to make it easier for pharmaceutical companies and data-mining firms and marketing firms to get access to this very sensitive information,” said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. “The states are going to have to go back to the drawing board.

Ever since the Bush v Gore election, we’ve learned quite a a bit about where the US Supreme Court stands. The Court is aligned with right – wing conservative government and big business, this we know. The appointment of Justice Roberts, adding to the Court’s extreme conservatism, demonstrated a move to activist justices for the right.  The Court thus becomes the legal thread essential for big business to control government.  The  Court is the “bag man,” if you will.

In Eduction a story from the mainstream, Republican Challenges Administration on Plans to Override Education Law.  I’m no fan of Arne Duncan and Obama’s education policy, but what we find when we look under the hood of Representative John Kline’s, the Republican chairman of the House education committee, forceful attack on Duncan policies and maneuvers is an attempt to move closer to the privatization of education.

“He’s not the nation’s superintendent,” Mr. Kline said of Mr. Duncan, who assumed powers greater than any of his predecessors when, in 2009, Congress voted $100 billion in economic stimulus money for the nation’s school systems and allowed the secretary to decide how much of it should be spent.

Kline wants control of outcomes and we know that the outcome sought by the right is privatization. This move, by conservatives, is linked to a greater effort for student vouchers, creationism and an anti-gay agenda.

Imagine if all these efforts are also supported by the US Supreme Court.

And now we can look at the Obama withdrawal from Afghanistan proposal — 10,000 soldiers this year (roughly 7 percent of the occupation force) by the end of the year.  No one in the main stream press is covering what’s likely to happen:

“There’s going to have to be an accompanying increase in private security for all the activities of the new soldiers going in,” says Jake Sherman, a former United Nations official in Afghanistan who is now the associate director for Peacekeeping and Security Sector Reform at New York University’s Center for International Cooperation.  “It’s ludicrous. It’s completely implausible.”

The mainstream media is stuck wondering why the usually war hungry Republicans — except for McCain — is going along with the withdrawal. The real story is that as we withdraw — and as the French and the British withdraw as well — there will be a void.  Private sector security companies will fill this need — and they’re the darling of the right, a pay for service military force.

Up and down the economy and culture — pharmaceuticals, energy, education and defense — we see the big reach of business; more importantly, though, we can readily see how government is stepping in and doing the bidding for this new world order. That it’s happening right in front of our eyes and that the mainstream media is simply going along suggests that the media is yet another arm of this move.  The media is not, as pundits would argue, a liberal enterprise; it’s just the opposite and simply looking at who owns the media should tell anyone that story.

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The Economics of Legalized Corruption and the Consolidation of Power: Some Historical and Critical Realities Behind the Bail-Out

for Adeeb and his fellow classmates, and others who live these ideas and topics in our troubled times

I often cite Napoleon’s famous words to my students, “Dress me slowly I’m in a hurry.” Students, particularly American students, often look puzzled. What does that mean? How can you go fast by moving slowly? How does approaching the world by proceeding with little or less than usual speed or velocity, requiring a comparatively long time for completion and contemplation, enable better solutions to immediate problems?

American culture is addicted to many things but mainly to sugar and speed, anything labeled “new” and deception. William Burrough’s Naked Lunch was viewed as obscene and censored not because of wild pictures of dark characters shooting up but because it demonstrated American’s obsessive compulsive addiction to anything. Power, sugar, horror, violence and destruction, speed, the “new” as well as the decadent, and corruption.

The current attempts by the US Government to bail-out our banking system have all the markings of an addicted culture that in fact enables corruption through laws meant to protect only the wealthiest–the property of the wealthiest. “Corruption is why we win.

We are now rushing into yet another scheme laid out by those that raced into Iraq and who left Afghanistan in the dust; these are the same folks that can’t work to make our education and healthcare systems stronger and better for all Americans; the same people that can’t run Amtrak.

This is perhaps the reason why the Paulson and Bernanke proposal to stem the financial crisis is a plan “that everyone can find something in it to dislike. The left accuses it of ripping off taxpayers to save Well Street, the right damns it as socialism; economists disparage its technicalities, political scientists its sweeping powers” (The Economist, Sept 27th, 2008; 17).

The truth of the matter is that it’s none of the above. We have to add another condition: The human condition has entered into the mix and no one, but no one trusts “the other.” “In economics and in the remainder of the social sciences as well, the translation from individual aggregate behavior is the key analytic problem. Yet in these disciplines the exact nature and sources of individual behavior are rarely considered. Instead, the knowledge used by the modelers is that of folk psychology, based mostly on common perception and unaided intuition, and folk psychology has already been pushed way past its limits” (Edward O. Wilson, Consilience, 1998; 202).

Money is not the root of all evil, but our perception of money is. When wealth is involved, we Americans are addicted to outdoing “the other” by any means necessary. Long term repercussions are not in our plans. Immediate short term and costly gain–derivatives and predatory lending–is all we see. The devastation and suffering we leave behind is for others. Even when Paulson and Bernanke unveiled their plan before Congress, callous indifference reared its ugly head when they never even mentioned a word about the middle class, the working class that’s going to carry the burden imposed on it by greed.

Working Americans are going to pay more for greed and corruption because it’s permissible.

Globally there is money. Markets are not standing still–it’s the law of survival. Stand still and you die. Warren Buffett and Japan’s Mitsubishi-UFJ agreed to buy stakes in Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. There are more enterprises–and governments–with money to bail-out corruption in Wall Street. We can’t be nervous that foreign capital is buying up America. This has been going on for quite some time since foreign capital knows that when push comes to shove, we will make the mistake of rushing towards immediate gratification. America is fat and now we got caught, one too many times, with our hand in the cookie jar. One bad apple can spoil the bunch. Many rotten apples, supported by laws that enable graft, deceit and corruption, have brought us to where we now are.

But where are we?

Historically, we can argue that this is the culmination of vituperative actions that began at the dawn of World War I, the War to End All Wars, which was the sure sign that it was the war to begin all notions of modern warfare. This is the war that was dominated by an aggressive attempt to control power, which is another way of saying that we sought to control wealth by a very few. There are many obvious reasons why we went to war–Mexico potentially allying with Germany, sabotage, and more–but none is more poignant than “a movement on behalf of Big Government in all walks of the economy and society, in a fusion or coalition between various groups of big businessmen, led by the House of Morgan, and rising groups of technocratic and statist intellectuals. In this fusion, the values and interests of both groups would be pursued through government” (World War I as Fulfillment: Power and the Intellectuals).

Since WWI, the agenda has been the consolidation of power. Government’s role is to protect the few with the most power–the extreme form of John Locke’s economic theories. It’s not surprising that Goldman Sachs, as it becomes “a bank,” will be one of the two firms who will benefit most from the bail-out. Hank Paulson, “the hammer,” as he was called at Dartmouth College, was Staff Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense at The Pentagon from 1970 to 1972. He then worked for the administration of U.S. President Richard Nixon, serving as assistant to John Ehrlichman from 1972 to 1973. Finally he became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs. Is this former eagle scout operating with our best interests in mind, given his uncanny allegiance to the most powerful in society? Or is Paulson finalizing the work that began during WWI, the complete consolidation of all power in the hands of the smallest number of powerful men? Our laws show the history and evolution of this crisis to these ends.

Much as we did in WWI, we could be headed towards the illusion of victory (illusion is the prodigal son of avarice, greed and corruption; we can’t see these and live these as real solutions unless we believe illusions as truth). But if we don’t want to go as far back as WWI, we can look at more recent events.

John Kenneth Galbraith pointed out one of the causes of the Great Depression was “The large-scale corporate thimblerigging that was going on. This took a variety of forms, of which by far the most common was the organization of corporations to hold stock in yet other corporations, which in turn held stock in yet other corporations.” Galbraith tells us that, “during 1929 one investment house, Goldman, Sachs & Company, organized and sold nearly a billion dollars’ worth of securities in three interconnected investment trusts—Goldman Sachs Trading Corporation; Shenandoah Corporation; and Blue Ridge Corporation. All eventually depreciated virtually to nothing.”

When Franklin Roosevelt took office, both the President and Congress knew the banking crisis demanded immediate action. The result was one of the crown jewels of the New Deal: the Glass-Steagall Act, officially known as the Banking Act of 1933.

A Frontline report on the repeal of Glass-Steagall shows how those with money end up with pens from the President of the United States on their walls:

Sandy Weill calls President Clinton in the evening to try to break the deadlock after Senator Phil Gramm, chairman of the Banking Committee, warned Citigroup lobbyist Roger Levy that Weill has to get White House moving on the bill or he would shut down the House-Senate conference. Serious negotiations resume, and a deal is announced at 2:45 a.m. on Oct. 22. Whether Weill made any difference in precipitating a deal is unclear.

Just days after the administration (including the Treasury Department) agrees to support the repeal, Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, the former co-chairman of a major Wall Street investment bank, Goldman Sachs, raises eyebrows by accepting a top job at Citigroup as Weill’s chief lieutenant. The previous year, Weill had called Secretary Rubin to give him advance notice of the upcoming merger announcement. When Weill told Rubin he had some important news, the secretary reportedly quipped, “You’re buying the government?”

When Bill Clinton gave that pen to Sanford Weill, it symbolized the ending of the twentieth century Democratic Party that had created the New Deal. Although the 1999 law did not repeal all of the banking Act of 1933, retaining the FDIC, it did once again allow banks to enter the securities business, becoming what some term “whole banks” (Bill Clinton’s Role in the Mortgage Crisis).

The house of cards begins to topple, the inevitable fate of coalitions fused by greed and avarice.

In “Experts Predict Money Crisis,” Christopher Ruddy (August 2007) writes that “there is evidence that this global boom is anything but natural and sustainable, but is really the artificial result of a global liquidity bubble, a bubble that could now be on the verge of bursting. In this global bubble, literally hundreds of trillions of dollars in leveraged debt are at risk. It’s no secret that in today’s society, everyone from the family next door, to major corporations, to the U.S. government is deeply in debt. But while some debt statistics are widely reported, such as our $8 trillion national debt, other debt figures are never mentioned.”

Everyone knew. The US Government–and the White House–knew. The candidates knew. Banks knew. And, most importantly, media knew. Why didn’t anyone act? When silence of this magnitude ensues, something is indeed rotten somewhere.

The role of modern day government is to ensure enough instability to maintain levels of power in the hands of few. This is how it works. (See also: The Conservative Origins of the Sub-Prime Mortgage Crisis: Everything you ever wanted to know about the mortgage meltdown but were afraid to ask.) We can see evidence of this in Dick Cheney who, we can argue, has moved vice-presidential powers beyond what we have known in the past.

In journalist Barton Gellman’s Angler, (Cheney’s CIA cover name is “Angler”) we learn the details of Cheney’s forty-year political career that gives evidence of subterfuge for the sake of power and mission. His first act, according to Gellman, is Cheney’s self-selection to vice-president. Prior, Cheney, from 1979 to 1982, voted “yes” on all bills for oil tax breaks and for indexing income tax (H.R. 1176, H.R. 2225, H.R. 5318); between 1984 to 1986, he voted to keep mortgage bonds and loosen capital gains rules; he brought in Paul O’Neill, for instance; he mislead Congress and the American people about Iraq; and, to support our discussion, here, Cheney was behind tax cuts for the rich and the reduction of capital gains (see more about Cheney the economist). Cheney believed very strongly that there should be a capital gains cut to unleash producers, which has never worked but has indeed made the wealthy wealthier.

Furthering the irony that by enabling a loosening of rules and regulations–and taxes–for the rich is healthy for the economy, we learned that McCain, for instance, defended the “Enron loophole” and “oppose(d) the $307 billion farm bill because it would dole out wasteful subsidies, but his chief economic adviser Phil Gramm also want(ed) to stop its proposed regulation of energy futures trading, a market that was famously abused when Enron Corp. manipulated California’s electricity prices in 2001.” In fact, “Gramm, as a powerful Texas senator in 2000, slipped an Enron-backed provision into the Commodities Futures Modernization Act that exempted from regulation energy trading on electronic platforms.”

We can see, therefore, how carefully and in ways that may seem complex to the general public, we have politicians as front men for powerful corporations that are looking to consolidate power. The fusion of power at the highest levels is the aim. In September, for instance, McCain said that he thought “deregulation in banking worked well (what is he smoking?) and wants to borrow from Wall Street’s brilliant success to help reform healthcare.” (more on how the Wall Street crisis has been helped by the McCain – Gramm team, here) Any changes in McCain’s rhetoric are merely means by which to soften his image to voters; he is beholding to the most powerful men and their corporations and he’s evolved his political life, not as a maverick, but as a bold advocate–and mouthpiece–for the extraordinarily wealthy. John McCain is a scam artist, applying media-rich extravaganza, like parachuting into Washington the other day to save the day and to continue the pursuit of the fusion of power that began long ago. In fact, John McCain is the most influential supporter of gambling, as reported by The New York Times.

What are we then to expect from Obama? He has not been tested on this yet given his short term in the Senate; however, real estate, Wall Street financiers, and lawyers, all support Obama. In their first debate, when Obama had ample room to really attack–and address–McCain on this, he did not, which raises suspicions, of course. Or is it the continued Obama problem that he may be too cerebral for the American public?

I also often say to some of my “econ majors” to practice the following: “Would you like french fries with that?” They laugh nervously. But suffice to say that “the econ major” is such, not because s/he is trying to work out strange and interesting theories about future markets, but rather, s/he studies economics in a rush to gain a foothold, to have “the good life,” which more often than not means luxury and enough money to buy leisure–the most expensive commodity today.

The only hope I have in Obama is that, perhaps, given that he seems to enjoy deliberation, he’ll be able to speak across differences–our own and those we have with aggressive nations; that he might be able to begin to quell our thirst for more and more and more; and that he may begin to at least entertain a dialog, among us, about who we might want to be when we grow up. This is romantic, of course, but given the signs of the times–the aggressive push to consolidate and fuse centers of power–it’s the only thing I have left. Can you imagine Sarah Palin in this world?

Visualizing the Future: America’s Future After a McCain Victory

When we cast a vote, we are in fact saying that, based on what candidates have said during the campaign, we believe a particular vision for the country. I took it upon myself, then, to try and imagine this vision based on positions and policy statements made by John McCain and Barack Obama. If one or the other candidate were to be elected–a sure thing–what would America look like in the coming years? What are we facing?

Below is my first prognostication, a John McCain victory. In the coming week or so, I will do the same for Barack Obama.

In each case, I had no pre-conceived notion of what I would say–or should. I am an independent voter, beholding to no political group. I don’t join political action groups or lobby for one person or another. I do, however, take positions based on my understanding of the issues, the concerns of my family, community and students, and my sense of where America should be in the not so distant future. I read a lot, study the issues, and think. The cause or issue I feel strongest about is education. And I can say unequivocally that neither candidate is even remotely close to understanding what’s happening in our schools. Of course, this issue is secondary to the devastation our move into Iraq and our disregard for Afghanistan has cost thousands upon thousands of people here and there.

As a theme, I took it upon myself to try and see how each candidate is going to try and move us away from the politics of destruction. This is the outcome.


America’s Future After a McCain Victory: Descent Into Darkness

Disorder and uncertainty are the guiding principles of our world today. This is what gets John McCain elected by a narrow margin. Somehow he convinces the electorate–including the intellectual class–that the sense of being adrift can be pushed back with his approach to the future, a conservatism based on letting market forces dictate everything from the welfare of veterans to the running of schools to the environment, and the continuation of a Machiavellian foreign policy.

Energy Policy:

Moments after his inaugural address, oil drilling in Alaska begins–as does a huge transformation in the area, socially, politically and environmentally.

Contradicting his promise during the summer campaign, McCain continues (quietly) filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). And since oil consumption in America dropped as Americans reacted accordingly to the high cost of their consumption, and gasoline prices at the pump leveled at just below $4 a gallon, McCain sees this as a sign of change, a sign that we have somehow turned the corner on our reliance on oil and we’re moving in the right direction. America is changing for the better, assumes McCain.

So John McCain proposes A National Strategy For Energy Security. But this does not include any incentives for alternative energy development, putting him at odds with Al Gore and the science of global warming. (see also What is Global Warming?)

John McCain is a proven conservative, and his strategy will not rely on subsidies, rifle-shot tax breaks, line-items for lobbyists, or big-government debacles. It will rely on the genius and technological prowess of American industry and science. McCain thus relies on outdated rhetoric that will continue to effectively build on the policies of the previous administration. But since gasoline prices dropped, the complacent (unconscious?) electorate believes him and goes along with his plan since it’s no strain on Americans–not for now, the immediate.

McCain appeals to American’s propensity to think short term.

The oil industry, in the quarter following McCain’s election, reports even greater profits than the year before. The Bush-Cheney presidency, therefore, is defined as extremely successful by the oil company CEOs–as well as by conservative think tanks–because the mantel has been effectively handed over to “the right person,” John McCain. He will continue the Bush-Cheney agenda in energy and the environment.

And just to make sure, McCain promises that should Americans be worried about the upcoming summer fun, since disorder and uncertainty are of primary concern, he will once again ask Congress to suspend the 18.4 cent federal gas tax and 24.4 cent diesel tax from Memorial Day to Labor Day in 2009.

Americans flock back to their vehicles, some to their outdated S.U.V.’s, but others to new hybrids and more efficient models. Consumption increases and McCain points to this as positive because there is an increase in revenues for rebuilding the highways and bridges across America–a sign of hope, a sign that America is back to where it once was. We’re rebuilding America! America is moving again!

But suddenly, before the first one hundred days are up, the stock market, which has been fluctuating up and down, eventually declines and oil prices tick upward again and reach unprecedented levels.

Terrorism affects diversification strategies in the market. Political volatility in the Middle East keeps energy traders on edge. Climate chaos, including weather swings, increasingly becomes a major element in evaluating the outlook for everything from agricultural crops to energy use, and even to energy production in offshore oil rigs (puts a damper on drilling in Alaska, which becomes more costly than anticipated and doesn’t affect the price Americans pay at the pump or for fuel for their homes–a tragic irony!) and refineries located by seaports. Matters darken. Nature’s whims affect financial markets, the ups and downs of our understanding of wealth. No stability is apparent. The poor in the cold regions of the United States suffer in unprecedented ways.

Our collective belief is that we are vulnerable, more so now then ever before in history. At one hundred days, McCain’s approval ratings are way down. Congress, dominated by the Democrats, is in a frenzy. Stalemate. Nothing is moving forward.

A slow but definitive brain drain, for the first time in American history, is noticeable: those Americans who can afford it, leave the U.S. for other lands–some for Europe, others for developing countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia, believing that the future is elsewhere and since globalization is built on the “knowledge industry” coupled to technology, their work–engineering, science and medicine, the arts and education–can be done from anywhere, and at lower human and environmental costs.

Education and Healthcare:

Education: John McCain issues his premise that Excellence, Choice, and Competition in American Education is what’s necessary to stop the increase in drop out rates, particularly among minorities, and make American children more competitive in the future. To accomplish this, McCain says that public support for a child’s education should follow that child throughout the education chosen by the parents.

On the one hand, McCain increases the demands placed on schools by No Child Left Behind and, on the other, he manages to get through Congress a bill supporting the movement of children from the less competitive schools to the more flexible, student-centered schools, free of violence and that are focused on character-building. The education double bind that spells disaster for learning is strengthened.

The poorest of American neighborhoods become even poorer, their schools even more deplorable. Those that can afford to leave for better schools do, for others, much like school busing in the ’60s, going to another school means tremendous sacrifice. Drop out rates increase, as does crime among kids 11 to 21.

John McCain persists and says that the cultural problems in our education system – is a system that still seeks to avoid genuine accountability and responsibility for producing well-educated children. He blames the administrators and teachers, and the parents for lack of involvement, failing to understand the socioeconomic-familial make up of the communities he’s addressing. The promises of education are now a distant, unreachable dream for many–the unreality of many poor.

Advocates of education criticize McCain for being totally out of touch with the poor in urban centers whose unemployment is 6 to 8% higher than in other parts of the country

Educationally, the gap between the haves and the have nots widens. Some of the most challenged urban centers in America deteriorate further. On the other end of the spectrum, competition for elite colleges and universities increases, particularly given the new financial aid policies of these schools, enabling them to pick from the cream of the crop. The rest are left for the second and third tier schools.

There is an increase in online schooling; likewise, some students learn that Europe offers a competitive higher education model and go there where they are welcomed with open arms.

A more stringent–and obvious–demarcation between the classes ensues. Status reigns supreme; it is the calling card. Class, not race (though this is still the unspoken problem in America, especially after the election), becomes the central issue separating Americans.

John McCain argues for standards based education on a massive scale and points to his success in getting Congress to approve the “let the money follow the child ” model of competition in education  as beginning to move children–and America–in the right direction.

Mayors from urban centers gather and complain even more forcefully that the Federal Government has totally forgotten them. Governors of states with large urban centers follow suit. Cities have lost Federal grants for infrastructure needs, the money being channeled to Iraq and the chaos in Afghanistan.

Healthcare: Healthcare and Education run side-by-side. The way of healthcare is the way of education.

John McCain pursues a policy that is similar to his education policy–let competition settle the problem. This is seen as the right direction by the pharmaceuticals since they are really the managers of America’s healthcare system.

Since 2000, the number of Americans without healthcare has increased by almost 9 million–16% of the population without healthcare. Given the economy, the loss of jobs and the increase in unemployment, coupled to the gutting of inner city neighborhoods, under McCain’s watch, the number of uninsured rises.

Following this “competitive model”, even those who are employed lose healthcare coverage. In 2006, 37.7 million workers were uninsured because not all businesses offer health benefits, not all workers qualify for coverage and many employees cannot afford their share of the health insurance premium even when coverage is at their fingertips. By the start of 2010, McCain’s second year in office, this number increases by 2.5 million workers.

Americans that can afford it seek healthcare services abroad, where it’s cheaper and increasingly just as good. Why put up with expensive, run-of-the-mill health care at home when you can be treated just as well abroad?

McCain’s healthcare policies exacerbate America’s brain drain, on the one hand, and more so than ever before, globalization begins to affect the cash flow in the U.S.: investors place their money in foreign companies in developing countries. More investment capital leaves the U.S..

Veterans hospitals across the country suffer along with large teaching hospitals because external competition means a loss of patients. Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, still increasing, are forced to seek help from non-governmental sources, even non-American sources, because the U.S. medical system’s infrastructure is chaotic, at best, and inadequate for their complex needs.

John McCain insists on pursuing this approach to healthcare since it’s the method he promised to follow during his campaign for office. In two years, the American medical system is the shame of the industrialized world.

Foreign Policy:

In difficult times, Americans chose John McCain for what he said was his “foreign policy expertise.”

But increasingly, Americans realize that McCain’s understanding of foreign policy is merely the continuation of Machiavellian policies as old as the conquest of the Americas. Americans see that McCain’s foreign policy is based on the fundamental themes of conquest, retaining the strength and vitality of the causes of “savage injustice” for those who fail to go along with America.

For John McCain, putting America first, we learn, defines a predatory foreign policy that in reality puts America at further risk, alienating us from the rest of the world that seeks a more hospitable future.

McCain goes against the wisdom outlined by experts and journalists from the left and the right, suggesting that unbridled Bush-style aggression is perceived by adversaries as a justification to wield weapons of terror. Thus McCain calls for the transformation of the military to a more pliable machine and argues for the first use of nuclear weapons and the right for unilateral use of military power, particularly against Iran. American aggression increases.

Iraq is at odds with McCain because he extends pull-out dates into a nebulous future, which is consistent with Bush-style aggression designed to ensure the U.S. maintain military bases in the Middle East. (US Military Facilities in Iraq)

Afghanistan further deteriorates, particularly since U.S. Special Forces increase clandestine operations into Iran. Brutal violence and devastation increases in Afghanistan because McCain follows the Bush-Cheney model of not going after Osama bin Laden. McCain does not heed the advise given to Bush by senior CIA analyst Michael Scheurer, responsible for tracking bin Laden, that “US forces and policies are completing the radicalization of the Islamic world, something Osama bin Laden has been trying to do with substantial but incomplete success since the early 1990s. As a result…it is fair to conclude that the United States of America remains bin Laden’s only indispensable ally”(qtd in Failed States, 23). Indeed.

Afghanistan is in chaos after Karzai loses the election. Attacks by the Taliban on all foreigners, whether military or non-governmental workers, increase.

Pakistan, too, is in chaos, pursuing the Musharraf impeachment. McCain maintains that the military dictator Musharraf is an ally of the U.S. and that he’s been honorable in his pursuit of terrorism; however, Al Qaeda gains unprecedented influence over the Pakistani parliament, finally infiltrating it with political forces sympathetic to their radicalization of Islam.

India gets nervous because Al Qaeda control of Pakistani politics is a threat to their sovereignty. McCain, of course, sees this as a common pattern and he calls forth an alert of strained American military forces.

Israel practices bombing Iran over Iraqui airspace further escalating tensions throughout the Middle East. McCain, like Bush before him, backs Israel’s plans to bomb Iran, though publicly he asks Israel to “cool” their mock military maneuvers.

Throughout the Middle East, even among American supporting moneyed Muslims, there is dismay, an outcry condemning U.S. force , labeling it imperialism.

Europe supports the Middle Eastern outcry and backs away from the U.S.. Even the European wanna be cowboy, Sarkozy, finally pulls French troops from Afghanistan saying that his country had suffered too many causalities amidst NATO chaos.

Meanwhile, in Latin America, an alliance–Chile, Mexico, Columbia and Brazil–manage to isolate Chavez. They pull in the new leftist leader, Fernando Lugo of Paraguay. Likewise, these same countries increase their investments in Cuba while the U.S. maintains its current anti-Cuba policies, though countless Americans travel to the Caribbean country via Canada and Mexico.

In Africa, the U.S. builds more military bases while China and the EU make huge monetary investments. Throughout Africa, the attitude is to turn from the U.S. and towards a future that promises creative engagement with those partners willing to invest in infrastructure building, education and science.

Russia laughs at the U.S., extending its control over oil and gas meant for Europe; in a sense, tension rises because the Russian bear is seen as aggressive as the U.S. There is nothing the U.S. can do since it needs Russia.

China grows, increasing its military strength as well; the country’s demands for natural resources are extensive, compelling it to move wide and far across the globe, becoming partner to many regimes, good and bad.

Within two years, McCain’s America is effectively isolated.

Summary:

I had no idea I would come up with these conclusions; however, following what the senator has been saying, laying out a grid of potential results, leads me to these conclusions. History tells us so; we have no reason to believe otherwise since, as McCain tells us as often as possible, he has experience. This is his experience. Facts are facts.

A McCain victory is a descent into darkness. America finds itself in a state more confusing then it is now.

McCain is not an independent person at all, but someone who is deeply entrenched in vituperative politics. How can he be independent when he is beholding to oil barons, the military and military providers, big business–and the list is endless. John McCain is the extreme opposite; he is a product of the elite system that first pushed him into Annapolis, since he was inadequate intellectually (the same as Bush at Yale), and then enabled his rise through the political structure that rewards those of similar make-up.* McCain is just like everyone else; he’s the same product we’ve had for 8 years.

What is most frightening is that the press doesn’t pick up on this, nor follow the obvious. Mainstream media covers only process, highlighting the “ad” tendencies of each candidate, rather than being responsible–and doing what democracy asks–and putting the candidates’ feet to the fire, asking them relevant questions about how to solve America’s challenges.

Essentially, a McCain victory will lead to a further disenfranchisement of America from the rest of the world. McCain’s narrow vision–held together only by aggression and a shallow open market idealism–leaves America vulnerable to those that are ideologically opposed to this, while then enabling narrow self-interest to manage our affairs of state.

I therefore predict, as I said earlier, the beginnings of an American brain drain. Why stay where reason, humanitarian interests and creativity are not wanted? In a global economy, even Americans can work and study anywhere.