Insight BC

Insight and Discussion Concerning What’s Important in BC

Month: August 2016

The (Not So Magic) Accountability Mirror

It’s time that I, along with the vast majority of us, stop asking the question ‘What is wrong with them?’ and instead ask the fundamental question ‘What is wrong with me?’

We read or listen to the news, we watch multimedia (I am now officially relegating television to the more generic category of ‘Video’ or ‘Multimedia’ since the expansion of broadband internet has changed the game – forever).

Note: We are no longer stuck in front of a major network broadcast (funded by huge advertising dollars) on a monolithic device that must remain stationary and plugged in to a wall outlet.

We receive more information, on a more timely basis, and with less filtering (comparatively) than ever before. Witness the recent, and horrific, example of a young woman with a child, calmly broadcasting a live accounting of a police officer who has just fatally shot her boyfriend beside her – while the badge-sanctioned panic-stricken killer is continuing to babble hysterically from the other side of the vehicle door window.

Filtering of the event, of course, did (and will continue to) take place as the police union, state and federal officials and the ‘establishment’ find ways to unjustly paint the policeman’s actions as ‘justified use of lethal force’.

The original documenting of this event can be found through the following link(s).

But I digress. I provided one horrific (and undeniable) example that illustrates that the role of ‘after the fact’ media broadcasting, after filtering, evaluation of ‘political correctness’ and the inherent bias of the broadcaster itself, has sometimes subtly, sometimes flagrantly, altered the facts and the subsequent social, political or economic impact of the actual event itself.

More and more of us are coming to the realization that the ‘system is broken’ far more than we wanted to believe – and therein rests the Elephant In The Room. We can no longer profess that we are individually, and collectively, unaware and thereby ignorant.

Humorous (slightly) aside:  Question: How do you eat an elephant?                                                                                   Answer:  One bite at a time.

How do we solve problems that seem too massive to tackle?  Same principle.  One bite (step) at a time.  The solution is to take that first step.

There is a huge difference between ignorance and stupidity – as we should often remind ourselves.  I see the difference this way.  Ignorance is doing something unacceptable without full knowledge and insight into what is being done – and the consequences thereof.  Stupidity is doing something unacceptable  with full knowledge and insight – and doing it anyway.

We, collectively, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, have become part of a stupid society.  Stupid, not ignorant.  The fact of the matter is that we know better – and yet we allow unacceptable actions (with sometimes tragic consequences) to continue all around us on virtually a daily basis.

Part of our stupidity is that we talk ourselves into believing that ‘there is nothing I can do.  After all, I am only a single entity’.  Part of the stupidity is that we are just lazy and apathetic.

We can, and should, be making a difference.  There is a concept known in physics as inertia.  ‘A property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force’.

There is another principle of physics referred to as ‘critical mass’.  ‘The minimum size or amount of something required to start or maintain an outcome’.

Historically, revolutions take place because a sufficient group of individuals finally recognize that they, collectively, can overcome inertia, create critical mass and ultimately effect change – meaningful change, albeit sometimes for good and sometimes for prurient, self-serving reasons.

All revolutions are not good – just as all change is not good.  However, it can be argued that change, a revision of the status quo, a revisiting and reexamination of the status quo, is an opportunity to refocus and modify things, events, policies, procedures, institutions – that require constant evaluation, monitoring and oversight.

Accountability, in short, is the mechanism by which we, individually and collectively, can monitor and force change, if change is indeed required.

Transparency is the lens with which we are able to enforce our commitment to accountability.

I, together with you, no longer have the excuse that ‘I didn’t know’ and ‘I was ignorant’ therefore I cannot be held complicit and responsible.

Instead, I, together with you, have allowed myself personally and collectively, to become lulled into a lazy stupidity wherein we collectively know that some things, some actions, some policies, some institutions – are not right and yet we choose to do nothing, to maintain a deeply flawed status quo.

I, together with you, have either consciously or subconsciously allowed a growing ‘nanny state’ mentality to persist and thrive, as we collectively abrogate individual responsibilities and actions in deference to an external deity, whether it be political, economic or theologic.

We get what we deserve.  Here in British Columbia, in the United States, in Syria and indeed, in countless jurisdictions throughout the world, we are facing decisions – and opportunities that can truly make a difference – if we so choose.  If we accept our responsibilities.  If we insist on accountability.  If we demand transparency.

If you really want to make a difference, you can.  Through education.  Through familiarity with issues that matter.  Through a recognition that only we, individually and collectively, can hold politicians’ and bureaucrats’ ‘feet to the fire’ and demand accountability and transparency.  Through acceptance of our responsibility.

Through action, not inaction.  Inertia exists only because we choose to not provide the ‘external force’ that is requisite.  Critical mass does not exist only because we choose to not actively become a voice in an action that can truly make a difference.

It can be statistically argued that a single snowflake can start an avalanche and that a single pebble can cause a landslide – but only when the conditions and the collective critical mass of others has already created the right environment for a change of state.

Ignorance is no longer a valid excuse.  Stupidity has never been an acceptable excuse.  We can no longer blame others for the injustices and the shortcomings of our systems, whether they be political, social or economic.

We are responsible.  We have the ability to effect positive change.

If you are not happy with an outcome, at least accept that you have individual, as well as collective, responsibility for at least attempting to change that outcome.

If you don’t do that?  You are sheep – and you deserve to be preyed on by wolves.

Will the U.S. survive Obama – and possibly (horrifically) another Clinton?

As frustrating as the Canadian parliamentary system appears to be (and certainly is, on occasion), it cannot parallel the horrific slow motion train wreck that is taking place in the USA.

Three months from the election of a new President (with significant and exclusive executive powers and responsibilities), the frustrated and disillusioned US voter has to choose between a bombastic ego-maniacal media prima donna in Donald Trump and a seemingly corrupt pathological liar in Hillary Clinton.

Quite the choice for American voters in November. Perhaps their best option is to all stay home and allow the most insipid, indecisive and ineffective President in recent memory to continue his banal Pollyannish monotones asserting that all is well with America – and its policies, both domestic and foreign. (Not constitutionally possible, of course.  Many thanks to the foresight of the founding forefathers).

The fact of the matter is that there is significantly much wrong with the U.S. under the distracted paralysis of Barry Obama. (I recall an interview with one of Obama’s school acquaintances who clearly remembers that Obama went by Barry (not Barack) before he had his delusions of grandeur).

History will remember Obama primarily for his indecision – his stubborn refusal to admit that inaction is not the best way to create a legacy – or a healthy, prosperous, stable United States of America.

Let’s reprise some of Obama’s obvious failures:

1. Refusal to prosecute and punish the Wall Street nabobs responsible for the horrific collapse of the US economy in 2007.  (Instead, Obama hired some of them as advisors in order to attempt to clean up their own devastation).

2. Negotiating a naive deal with Iran that allows a country that paints ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel’ on its missiles to continue it’s nuclear agenda by removing embargoes and allowing a free flow of capital that will benefit the extremist religious Jihadists far more than the average Iranian – to the detriment of preservation of peace in the Middle East.

3. Essentially creating ISIS (Obama even refuses to call ISIS by it’s common name – instead referring to ISIL as though Obama is single handedly capable of changing the lexicon of reality) by training, arming and funding the very core of the extreme radicals who are now committed to the destruction and elimination of the West and our values and systems. Obama further naively exacerbated the problem by withdrawing the bulk of the U.S. military presence that might have at least slowed down, if not stopped entirely, the creation of ISIS.

4. Standing by idly and ineffectually as Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine, then did even less as Russia clearly crossed into Ukraine’s east border to further destabilize the region.

5. Promoting and supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement that will cause the loss of even more US manufacturing  jobs and further skew the tilted unfavorable balance of payments.  ( 7. below helps reveal the mitigating factors).

6. On January 20, 2009, when he was sworn in, the US national debt was $10.626 trillion dollars.  Now, it is approaching $20 Trillion dollars.  Yes, the US national debt has doubled under Obama’s tutelage and Obama continues to have to go to Congress hat in hand to demand an escalating debt ceiling so that he can print more money to keep the US economy afloat – and fund civil servant salaries and social programs, including Obamacare.  Only a delusional fool believes that this is sustainable.

7.  Foreign governments and investors hold nearly half of the US’s public debt.  China and Japan are each owed well in excess of a Trillion dollars (Chinese is owed $1.243 Trillion (and escalating) and Japan is owed $1.143 Trillion (and escalating).  As a result, what do you think is going to happen if Obama makes idle threats to China concerning expansion in the South China Sea and possible trade embargoes to protect US jobs and the US economy?  Obama’s legacy?  No economic leadership.

8. Black Lives Matter.  The first President of color (the latest euphemism) has done virtually nothing to curtail the growing body of evidence revealing racial bias, excessive police brutality and impunity concerning racial prejudices and systemic racial discrimination. I’m sure we are all getting weary of Obama’s tight-lipped, parroted repetitive expressions of regret and condolence.  It’s too late now for Obama to show any leadership even in this critical area that  might have helped define his Presidency.

We could go on, but this essay is really not about Barry Obama.  (I’ll throw undrinkable water in Flint, Michigan into the mix – before I forget).

Instead, it’s about how the system (with Obama at it’s helm), is promoting a continuation of failed policies and initiatives that are crippling the US economy and disenfranchising a growing number of US residents and the shrinking middle class.

Obama’s latest folly?

Barry Obama is actively campaigning for Hillary Clinton, his Democratic foe in 2008 and a woman who currently is distrusted by the vast majority of Americans (Hilary has a 34% trust rating at latest report).  Clinton appears to be a pathological liar incapable of admitting, even now, that the Director of the FBI confirmed that she lied to the public and Congress concerning her illegal private email server.

Obama’s justification?  Clinton will continue the wonderful Democrat policies and programs that Obama has implemented over the course of his 8 year term.  Clinton is being touted as providing more of the same.  ‘America is already great’ is the mantra that both Obama and Clinton are delusionally espousing.

It is now becoming apparent that Clinton’s flagrant, deliberate arrogance and sense of entitlement will have ongoing and deleterious consequences, – including the identification of an Iranian nuclear scientist who was summarily executed this week in Iran by his government after his complicity with the US State Department was revealed through Clinton’s indiscriminate, callous disclosures in unsecured emails.

Similarly, Clinton’s refusal of appropriate security measures clearly contributed to the death’s of a number of desperate embassy staffers in Benghazi.  The latest sad development is that Hillary Clinton is now being personally sued by two of the families involved claiming gross negligence and asserting a direct correlation between Clinton’s inactions and the death of their loved ones.

Clinton’s husband, himself a President who faced impeachment proceedings, met secretly with Obama’s Attorney General Loretta Lynch immediately before the FBI interviewed Hillary Clinton (not under oath) and supposedly established that Hillary Clinton was negligent, but not criminally liable, concerning the establishment and use of her private, unauthorized email server.  Uh huh.

We note that Wikileaks  advises that there is still more to come concerning the potential destruction of, and potential hacking of (by unfriendly foreign interests), classified emails

Mysteriously, and inappropriately, the Justice Department did not see fit to act on the FBI’s request to investigate the Clinton Foundation, a secretive and little understood arm of the Clinton machine.

Most recently, a Freedom of Information request by Judicial Watch clearly indicates that Hillary Clinton continues to lie about the existence of emails that were never turned over to the State Department, contrary to her express assertions.  These emails, while heavily redacted, appear to indicate that Clinton actively lobbied for positions of power for chosen Clinton employees and supporters and that the Clinton Foundation exerted pressure and influence to further confirm the sense of entitlement and preferred status by the Clinton legacy.

It is time that Obama and the Justice Department do the right thing and open the Clinton Foundation files to the FBI for examination and review.  There has been speculation that the Clinton Foundation has benefited from significant contributions from foreign interests and special interest groups.  If the Clinton Foundation has nothing to hide, it should welcome such a review.  In my cynical view, Obama and Lynch will resist unless the pressure becomes unbearable.  This is probably another instance of politics trumping (pun intended) transparency and full disclosure.

It seems that, in Hillary Clinton’s mind, there is one law for the rest of the U.S. and a different law for her – and her inner cadre.

It is clear that the recent Democratic Nomination was rigged in Clinton’s favor, to the detriment of the starry-eyed idealist Bernie Sanders, and the resignation of the Chair of the National Committee and the subsequent firing of key employees further confirms that reality.

In spite of a growing body of evidence that Hillary Clinton is a wholly inappropriate choice for the American people in November, the mainstream media and self-serving Democrats appear blind to the very real danger that the election of Hillary Clinton will create, if she in fact prevails in November.

There is little doubt that it would be a significant and historically important milestone if a woman breaks through the glass ceiling and assumes the very real power and prestige of the the position of President of the United States.

It is a travesty that this first woman may well be Hillary Clinton. Clinton does not engender the character and the integrity that the position deserves and it would be far better for women to have a legitimate, supportable role model for daughters and future generations to emulate – instead of a seemingly corrupt, pathological liar who has already exercised incredibly poor judgement and a sense of personal entitlement far beyond what the US voter expects and deserves.

Time will tell if even more alarming facts emerge that further confirm Clinton’s unsuitability to hold the U.S’s highest office.  This is a deluded, self-serving dangerous woman who can bode little good for the U.S. going forward if she is elected.  Clinton has openly, and unabashedly, allowed millions of dollars to flow into her campaign and her personal bank account from special interest groups, some disclosed and some still nebulous (depending on whether the Clinton Foundation is opened up to FBI investigation) including  millions from Wall Street and the deeply entrenched establishment.  Only a fool would believe that there are no strings attached.

Opposing Clint0n is the egomaniacal, loose cannon Donald Trump who appears unable to carry even grudging support from the country club Republicans who don’t want to rock the establishment boat too much.

The American people have a tough choice to make.  Perhaps it is time to break away from the traditional two party system and actually explore alternatives, including the Libertarians and other long-shot hopefuls.  The chances of that happening, barring catastrophic revelations that clearly make Clinton and Trump unsuitable for office, is statistically negligible.

One wonders how it is possible that the self-proclaimed ‘greatest nation on earth’ could ever have found itself in this predicament.  Millions of Americans have already declared themselves frustrated and disillusioned with the status quo.  That unhappiness has contributed to the rise of Donald Trump.  We will examine Trump in greater detail in a further essay.

The November 2017 US election will not only set a new low standard for Americans – a contest between two front runners who are deemed almost equally untrustworthy and unpopular among polled voters, but also an election that may well send a disturbing message to the rest of the world.  Is the United States of America a nation in unrecoverable freefall?

 

 

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