Friday, May 6, 2016

Some Bloggers Talking Utter BS About Socialism, Bernie Sanders and JFK

JFK - still misrepresented by too many clueless bloggers on the Right

There comes a time when one must respond to bullshit wherever it emanates from and in this election year a ton of it is being spouted from sundry conservative blogs. One such that I came across  dismissed Socialism (Democratic Socialism), Bernie Sanders (pinning him as "wealthy" with $436,000 net worth - are you fucking kidding me?) and painting JFK as a diehard conservative.  The depth of horse shit and combined bull shit in just plowing through this uninformed screed was almost enough to give me a freakin' headache - since one must not imbibe too much of this crap at one time.

Let's take his rant about Bernie's net worth first, dispelling any notion that $436,000 - especially for a pol (think  BILLIONAIRE  Donald Trump, who this person supports for god's sake) is any kind of "king's ransom". NO it is not! Anyone who has ever read the financial advice press will tell you that for an older couple that sum is barely enough to cover expenses in old age, especially if one faces a catastrophic illness, or suffers a paralyzing injury (e.g. fall) requiring 24/7 care.

Indeed, AARP Bulletin articles repeatedly warn senior couples to have on hand at least $250,000 just for medical issues. Granted Bernie has some congressional benefits, but even those would only go so far, say if he ended up in a nursing home. It is as I said ludicrous to bitch and moan about his net worth (which is idiotic to compare to an ordinary citizens' given his distinct lawmaker career trajectory). But he obviously doesn't think 24 years of congressional service adds up to Trump's finagling financial deals that only enriched his sorry ass. It IS in fact MORE a "real job" than Trump building casinos then going under repeatedly and just making money off bankruptcy filings and branding tricks. HAS' the Donna' done a day's REAL work in his silver spoon- fed life, I doubt it.

Prof. David Cay Johnston on Chris Hayes' All In tonight reminded one and all that back in 1990, the deadbeat Donald Trump couldn't even pay his damned bills- even though he claimed to be a billionaire. But he got bailed out then because the state of New Jersey Casino Control Division took his side against his bankers - to whom he owed tons of money. In Prof. Johnston's words:

"It was government intervention in the market that saved him."

If you want an example of a pseudo-capitalist invoking socialism there it is. Yet his blind supporters caterwaul day in and day out that it's socialists like Bernie who are the threat. Yet as Johnston pointed out, it's "Trumponomics" - paying back a deadbeat's cents on the dollar for debt that could truly wreck this country.

As for Democratic Socialism, our friend still has it mixed up with Marxism, and communism which - I suppose-  is to be expected in the States where the education system is so inferior to just about everywhere else. But let's make it clear once more for his benefit and others, democratic socialism absolutely does NOT seize the means of production or nationalize banks as allowed under full socialism. This is a total misreading. This is why, as a democratic socialist, Bernie proposed breaking up the big banks and holding them to account, i.e. by not providing taxpayer bailouts.

At its root, democratic socialism is a take off on Rhine capitalism such as practiced in assorted European states and means using the tax commons to assist and support the most vulnerable as well as provide basic benefits via social insurance programs - INCLUDING VETERANS BENEFITS. He may not wish to accept it or believe it, but his VA and SS disability are as much offshoots of this as are my Social Security and Medicare. To dispute that is not to grasp that ANY government unearned benefit amounts to a socialist extension, And no, sorry to disabuse him but you don't "earn" those benefits just for being in the military or even fighting in a war - just or unjust.

Even Rush Limbaugh recognized that fact when he reamed out one caller 4 years ago about receiving VA and Social Security benefits. The guy made the mistake of calling up and asking EL Rushbo  how he could really be "free" in a nation "ruled by a dictator like Obama". Limbaugh wasted no time telling him the first step was to STOP accepting any and all benefits coming from Obama and Obama's gubmint, NO EXCUSES! Evidently, the message never was received by some.

Now, he cites this piece of codswallop off some right wing site concerning JFK.

"I also find it interesting that the vast majority of “Democratic Socialists” admire the late prez JFK! And, hey…he was an okay prez – even for a Dem.

Ahhh…however, As Ira Stoll put it in 2013, “Kennedy’s tax cuts, his domestic spending restraint, his military buildup, his pro-growth economic policy, his emphasis on free trade and a strong dollar, and his foreign policy driven by the idea that America had a God-given mission to defend freedom all make him by the standards of both his time and our own, a conservative.” Nor should we forget JFK’s statement in his inaugural address that “we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and success of liberty.”

Completely missing the point that Kennedy - in order to prevail - had to pose as a Cold Warrior in order to best Tricky Dick Nixon in the 1960 election. (That included inflating the notion of a "missile gap" where there was none - the U.S. at the time had more ICBMS than the Russkies by nearly 5: 1.)  The extensive documentation of JFK turning from his cold warrior pose is given in Chapters 1-3 of James Douglass' book, 'JFK and the Unspeakable', (Section header: 'A Cold Warrior Turns') which I suggest my blogger pal read if he's interested in facts and not empty horse manure.

Indeed, if JFK was this purported cold warrior, WHY:

- Did he prepare for a pullout of all personnel from Vietnam (under National Security Action Memorandum 263) by 1965?

- Did he pull all of the U.S. Jupiter missiles out of Turkey 6 months after the Russians pulled theirs out of Cuba following the Cuban Missile Crisis?  Does anyone seriously believe a REAL cold warrior would do that?

- Why - in the same  Missile crisis - did he refuse the advice of his Joint Chiefs,  including Gen. Curtis Lemay -  to bomb and invade Cuba? (Afterward, Lemay compared Kennedy to "Neville Chamberlain". Would he have done that to a genuine cold warrior? Come on!)

- Why did he sign a Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (including barring all anti-missile systems) with Khrushchev in August, 1963?

- Oh, while we're at it, why didn't he provide the promised air support for the 2506 Brigade in 1961 at the Bay of Pigs? (A failure for which many enraged Cubans held him responsible.)

- Finally, why did he embark on a secret rapprochement with Castro starting in late 1962? Would a real cold warrior do that?

None of the above cited actions - never mind Kennedy's early words - makes any sense, IF Kennedy was indeed the cold warrior claimed.

Finally, the Ira Stoll-confected tax idiocy (conservative "pro growth", supply side tax attitude) I skewered 2 months ago in a previous blog post, which any interested person can read (if they are invested in facts and not poppycock)

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