On US President Donald Trump's Speech to the United Nations General Assembly of September 19, 2017

[Extensively updated September 20, 2017 at 8 PM Pacific Time] I'm not saying I disagree with every last thing President Trump said, and I'm not defending everyone and everything mentioned below simply by pointing them out.


Tom Usher

The US economy isn't doing better because of any neoliberal/Austrian-School measures, quite the contrary. How much of the recent stock-market trend has been due to corporations buying back stocks versus raising new capital to spend on research and development? That buy-back process has slowed some, but its historical impact has been significant. We don't need measures to simply cause froth or bubbles. We need sound measures, which means sustainable and reasonably stable.

The Franklin Roosevelt administration's New Deal put in place many regulations. As a result, the frequency and depth of recessions was greatly reduced and people were not wiped out left and right by bank runs and such. It wasn't radical enough for me, but it was a vast improvement over what we had before. Beginning even in the Carter administration, but greatly ramping up under Reagan and probably climaxing under Clinton, the New Deal financial regulations were undermined and undone. The result: the Great Recession. Had the deregulation frenzy not swept through the US, the Great Recession would not have happened.

The libertarian-capitalist minded would have had us not employ any Keynesian fiscal stimulus after the crash of 2008 that was caused by inadequate financial market regulations (which came before any GSE mistakes at Fannie or Freddie following suit). Those libertarians would have allowed total liquidation of all ill-liquid and insolvent corporations. Doing that would have resulted in a depression at least twice as deep and painful. Understand that libertarians are actually fundamentally opposed to even the SEC. What we should have done instead was nationalize the insolvent corporations that were deemed at the time to be too big to simply allow to fail and close. We should have done much more stimulus, not less.

It has been clearly shown that properly timed fiscal stimulus produces more economic gain than it cost to deploy. For every dollar properly deployed, the economy can reap more or less half again as much depending upon certain variables, such as the government's borrowing rate, which was near what is termed the "zero lower bound" (extremely inexpensive).

On Ukraine, it underwent a CIA-orchestrated coup. Victoria Nuland, an avowed neocon and an Assistant Secretary of State for the US at the time, personally directed handpicking the leadership of Ukraine even before the coup was over. The whole thing was in direct violation of the Ukrainian Constitution and was designed to usher in neoliberal economics and allow open fascists to take positions of power.

The people in the Donbass region of Ukraine in particular are decidedly anti-fascist and anti-neoliberal economics. They know completely about the US-caused, illegal coup and have stood up to fight it, which is their right under real international law. The people in Crimea held a free and fair referendum to join Russia rather than stay in Ukraine and be subjected to the leadership of hyper-violent, fascistic coupsters.

As for North Korea, Kim doesn't want to be another Qaddaffi or Saddam Hussein. Both Qaddaffi and Hussein were murdered after a process of massive false propaganda (a pack of lies) spewed about each by US "intelligence." Some of the criticisms against them were legit, but most were not. Neither nation is better off now than it was. Both could have been greatly improved without wars. It's more difficult to know about North Korea, but it's not unreasonable to more than suspect that much of what has been claimed as fact against Kim is also false propaganda.

President Trump made North Korea sound like a complete economic basket case. However, North Korea's economy has actually been doing much better in recent years. That scares the capitalists, who always seek to crush all non-capitalistic systems and then claim those systems never worked (more on that below).

Turning to Syria, Assad is not a dictator. He was elected and is more than willing to stand for election again in a free, fair, open, fully monitored election. It's up to the Syrian people whom they want as their democratic leader, not the United States so-called "intelligence community."

In addition, Nobody has ever proved the Syrian military or government used chemical weapons. In fact, the allegations have been roundly debunked. Even James Clapper under Barack Obama told then President Obama that it was not a "slam dunk" that Assad used such weapons. It's the main reason President Obama did the chemical-weapons deal rather than attacking Syria under a "red line" pretext.

Furthermore, Assad turned out to be completely right that Al Qaeda and IS types were simply waiting in the wings ready to swoop in on the tailcoats of the "moderate rebels" with plenty of help from Wahhabists and others in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. IS beheads people and turns little girls into sex slaves. Who in his or her right mind thinks Assad is not actually a bulwark against that sort of thing? Who thinks the Syrians were ready to immediately transition into a Western-style democracy (whatever that really is) while being able to hold back the IS types?

The same applies to Iran. When Obama became President, it was still largely being stated that Iran "has a nuclear-weapons program." Many people, myself included, demanded any hard evidence of such. Absolutely none was ever forthcoming, and Obama and the others finally were literally forced to start using the term "alleged." That was the main reason for the nuclear deal with Iran. Iran didn't have a nuclear-weapons program, and it still made a deal to limit itself concerning nuclear energy and development. However, because people such as President Trump don't understand Iran's real position on Israel, he, Trump, calls the deal "bad."

Iran is for what the Palestinian people want. Iran is perfectly willing to accept an Israeli-Palestinian vote concerning two states or one and the right of return, etc. Iran does not seek to dictate to the Palestinians or Israelis. It just doesn't want an Apartheid Israel lording it over the Palestinians, which I don't either.

Iran isn't doing what the US tells it to do, but it isn't doing anything that US allies haven't been doing in spades. Just look at what the Saudis have done to Yemen. It's the most under-reported international tragedy and has been for some years now. President Trump has only curbed the Saudis concerning Qatar because Trump doesn't want Qatar and Iran to be at all cozy. He hasn't gone after the Saudis for clear war crimes against the Yemeni people, who have been suffering greatly simply because the Saudis think they have the right to lord it over all neighboring nation-states, save perhaps Israel.

Looking at Venezuela, we see Maduro is routinely termed a dictator. He too was elected (by a process that makes the US election system appear hugely antiquated). The US CIA has undermined the Venezuelan economy via the black market for currency exchange and has been openly supporting fascists in Venezuela. Also, the people are not starving. It's a huge lie repeated over and over Big-Lie-tactic style (which is a neocon specialty).

Venezuela was under a dictatorship propped up by the US. The US did that throughout Central and South America. It did it so US corporations could control the resources, markets, and labor in those nations. The same mentality is behind the attacks on Maduro now.

Maduro's predecessor, Chavez, overthrew the US-backed dictatorship and embarked upon transforming Venezuela slowly into a social-democratic state. It has not yet arrived at that position. It is far from socialist or communist. It's still a mixed economy.

By the way, President Trump ignorantly uses "socialist" and "communist" as if all such must be one-party dictatorships. They don't. If the Soviet Union hadn't been subverted at the barrel of guns in their parliament by the Bolsheviks, the USSR would have been a democratic-socialist endeavor instead. The people would have been able to vote in fraud-free elections for their leaders.

They went from monarchy to one-party dictatorship. They had no real experience with democracy. It matters.

Even Vladimir Putin doesn't really understand the dynamics they went through and are still going through. Even in the US, the people have a difficult time understanding the difference between freedom/liberty and anarchy.

Anarchy is not democracy. It is not freedom. It is ultimately enslaving.

As with Syria, the Venezuelan people have a right to decide without US intervention (well beyond "meddling" alleged by the US concerning Russia in the US elections).

If the US were to have kept out, then the poor of Venezuela would have benefited much, much more and the nation's economy would be doing vastly better right now even in the face of crashed oil prices that slashed the nation's profit margin because its oil is so incredibly expensive to refine, being heavy and quite sulphuric.

Socialism works quite well when it isn't under attack. The NHS in the UK still works better than the US's capitalistic medical system by far even though the NHS has been severely and deliberately undermined by the Tories in the UK. That's just one example among many throughout the world. Does President Trump really think the socialistic interstate-highway system built under President Eisenhower should all be private toll roads because those freeways don't work? They work and work well as freeways.

Think about it. The US didn't place sanctions on Cuba because Cuba was dictatorial and anti-democratic. It did so because Cuba wasn't privatized. The US hasn't been about promoting real democracy anywhere, ever! It's always been about opening and controlling the economies of other nations. The US government has typically not given a damn about democracy but rather been completely against it unless totally controlled (meaning fake "democracy") by US-controlled private elitists.

How well do you think the Cuban economy would have been doing all these decades had the US not placed one economic sanction on Cuba? Cuba has been deliberately held back not because socialism doesn't work but because it does.

Let me state emphatically that any nation practicing true democratic socialism, if left to compete internationally against any other form of government (no economic sanctions or military or other attacks), will do better than any mixed economy and certainly better than any anarcho-capitalist country.

By the way, President Trump didn't even mention the Palestinians. There's plenty else he didn't mention, but he's an Anthropogenic Global Warming denier too.

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Identity, Orientation, Change Ban: A good end requires the whole truth

If sexuality is fluid (and it is) and if there are transgendered adults who've gone through sexual-reassignment surgery and hormone treatment, etc., only to regret it and stop taking the hormones (and there are), how can anyone of good conscience deny people the full, professional, nonjudgmental help of a therapist throughout the process? How can anyone say that counseling supportive of the client/patient should only be allowed in one direction and not back again? Doesn't the exact same thing apply to both gender identity and sexual orientation? If the therapy is completely non-coercive on the part of parents and therapist(s), how can the exact same thing also not apply to children, especially those who only became same-sex attracted after suffering same-sex sexual abuse? Why are those children thrown under the bus when sexuality has clearly been proven to be fluid, particularly for youths, and able to be modified via pure talk-therapy (no force, no lies)?


Tom Usher

It strikes me as an act of extremely selfish desperation on the part of people to deny such children assistance in regaining their prior opposite-sex orientation if that's what those children want. And how in the world can such therapy bans be justifiably extended to adults? Can you imagine being an adult wanting to modify same-sex attraction only to be told that it's illegal for a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist to affirm you in that goal and help you achieve it? What kind of freedom or liberty is that? Who's gaining what stranglehold on those professions and to what ultimate end?

Why are so many people so afraid to address this issue? I'm as economically, democratically leftist as anyone I know of (well to the left of Bernie Sanders' stated economic positions). However, I do not understand the supposed leftist-ness of being opposed to the "conservative" (I say it's actually very balanced civil-libertarian) position put forth in this linked article: "Special Report: Liberalism, Transgenderism, and Gay Conversion Bans," by Dennis Saffran.

Many "conservatives" won't like this, but from a leftist international relations and foreign policy position, look at it this way. Right-wing Zionists had a lock for the longest time on their issue. Any Jew not falling into line was smeared as anti-Semitic. Attempts to do that still occur but are having less and less impact. Little by little, more and more Jews, especially young ones, have stepped forward to not only question the right-wing narrative but actually denounce it as utterly inconsistent and counter-productive.

What may have happened is that a group has developed a near lock on the issues of identity and orientation to the extent that many economic leftists have been cowed and intimidated and are afraid to even question, let alone disagree with, those self-assigned gatekeepers who appear to insist that facts showing them wrong not be allowed to even be considered.

We are never going to be free until we put truth first. Using false means is never justified by truly good ends. False means always lead to a false end. A truly good end requires truth, whole truth, as the means.

Saying all sexual orientation is a result of being born that way was a lie. Saying that sexual orientation is immutable is a lie. We're at our current state on this issue as a direct result of those massive, deliberate lies. There is no way it's good.

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On Donald Trump, Jr. and Russia, Russia, Russia

What happened concerning Donald Trump, Jr.'s meeting with a Russia lawyer was not illegal. "There is one final law to be considered. Under the Federal Election Campaign Act, soliciting and/or receiving foreign donations is prohibited (11 CFR 110.20). This includes “money or other thing of value.” Is information, by itself, a “thing of value?” One could attempt to make that argument, but it has never been interpreted that way." (http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/07/11/gregg-jarrett-donald-trump-jr-has-broken-no-law.html)


Tom Usher

If you want to make the argument that it was illegal, you'll have to face applying it, including retroactively, to all candidates. If you think Hillary Clinton did not hold any meetings with any non-US citizens/nationals where she knew she'd be hearing information (of value) to further her campaign, your crystal ball is better than mine.

You can't arbitrarily decide when to apply a standard (including a new interpretation or application) and remain credible.

Are you really willing to take down every Democrat too whose campaign included anyone who ever met during that campaign with a non-US citizen/national to obtain valuable information for the campaign? I'm not.

More importantly and not covered by Gregg Jarrett, there was no solicitation (or receipt).

See: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/11/110.20 and https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/11/300.2

I've read both and see no way to prevail using the position that either the emails or meeting was illegal.

Here's something else for you to ponder while you're at it. What if the lawyer had supplied proof positive of major law breaking by Hillary Clinton, so major and so condemnable by both sides of the aisle, that she'd not only have had to withdraw from the race but would have definitely faced criminal charges, conviction, and sentencing to a long prison term? Would you claim that the Trump campaign broke the law obtaining it in the meeting between Trump and the lawyer?

Supplying actual evidence of any important illegal activity (above the level of infrequent, minor infractions) by any candidate for public office is "meddling" I more than welcome from any nation's government.

If it is ever declared illegal for a candidate or campaign in the US to accept and disseminate such evidence, you can be sure that declaration is a criminal-protection declaration at the direct and negative expense of what little democracy we have.

How could a candidate be working to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States while knowingly concealing the important illegal dealings of that candidate's election opponent, illegal dealings that, depending upon the nature of the crimes(s), could constitute plotting the violent overthrow of the Constitution? Some laws trump others. In the secular state of the US, we start at the top (the US Constitution) as the law that trumps all others. Concealing such illegality would constitute aiding and abetting by simply keeping silent about it. That would certainly be a greater legal infraction than any violation being claimed against Trump, Jr. right now.

The above constitutes a lightly edited compilation of various social-media commentary of mine over the last several days.

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