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The Purple Muse

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Welcome to the web site of The Purple Muse.  We offer commentary and opinion on the major issues being debated in our world today.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

What Road Are We On?

We are six days away from the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States.  Trump has redefined communication between a senior political leader and the people by significantly reducing the impact of the mainstream media through his use of social media.  Trump's nominees for his Cabinet have begun their confirmation process.  Leading Democrats continue to attack Trump and Trump attacks back.  The Congress is preparing to take action on Trump's policy agenda.  The outcome of any action remains to be seen.  The US is about to undergo a major change in government leadership that will have a significant impact on our country.  Does it really matter from an intermediate and long term perspective? 

During recent days I have been reading James Rickards' new book, The Road To Ruin - The Global Elites' Secret Plan For The Next Financial Crisis.  I have been watching the news on TV, reading news on-line and reading a lot of liberal progressive propaganda in my daily newspaper, The Washington Post.  I ask myself a simple question "What is really happening here?" 

The Road to Ruin is Rickards' fourth book.  I have commented on the first three on this site.  This book is different.  It is darker, much darker.  There is much discussion about what the financial leaders of the world are doing.  We should all know that the world is drowning in unsupportable debt now with massive increases of debt expected in the years ahead.  There are trillions of dollars of derivatives that create massive potential for instability if a major problem occurs.  The global financial system is a massively complex system that our leading economists don't fully understand and are unable to control.  Rickards discusses the history of economic/financial crises that provides context as to "How we got here?"  He provides an updated analysis of the situation and predicts we will experience a more powerful economic/financial crisis in 2018. 

Rickards writes "The elite worldview rests on the intellectual pillars of equilibrium models, monetarism, Keynesiansism, floating exchange rates, free trade, globalization and fiat money.  Meanwhile, the real world is best understood through the lens of complexity theory, conditional probability, behavioral psychology, currency wars, neomercantilism, and gold.  Cognitive dissonance between the elite worldview and real-world economics is taking its toll on elite self-confidence and control.  The elites now divide into two types: those that are confused by lost credibility, and those that are quietly panicked because they understand their intellectual failure and its consequences." 

Rickards also writes "Debt, deflation, demographics, and depression are demolishing elite dreams of free trade, free markets, and free capital flows.  Elites hope for the turn of a friendly card but the deck is stacked by decades of denial about income inequality and lost jobs."  I would have thought that Rickards would end the book with a statement like this, but there is more, a much darker more. 

Rickards makes the case that the US has been evolving into a fascist state for a century.  Rickards states "Fascism is not in our future, it is here now." and "What matters to fascists is continuous action and state control of civic life."  Rickards states that fascists can come from the left or the right.  "What unites them is a shared view that the state is the exclusive mediator of human activity, and ends justify means."    Rickards also explains why Woodrow Wilson was the first fascist US President and why Herbert Hoover, FDR, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, George W. Bush and Barack Obama should be described as fascists.

Rickards gives a number of examples to support his point that the US has become more fascist.  Militarized police have attacked and abused innocent people.  Police have confiscated the assets of innocent people and not returned those assets.  Rickards final example is dramatic.  New York City's stop and frisk program which began as a positive contribution to improving public safety and reducing crime has evolved into a revenue generating program to support the cost of the police force.  In the poor neighborhoods of New York City, people are given a summons for no justified reason for the purpose of collecting fines, effectively a tax on the poor.  Contrast this with the fact that no financial industry executive was charged with a crime after the 2007/2008 financial crisis in the same city. 

So what does it all mean?  Rickards believes we are on The Road to Ruin.  Trump has been fighting the establishment from the day he first announced his candidacy.  It appears he wants to reverse many of the actions of the globalist elites within the US.  Can he actually make real progress?  Or is the battle we see on TV and read about just a side show while the real action takes place out of sight?  Is there a way to avoid what appears to be an unavoidable economic/financial crisis in the years ahead?  I don't know.  All we can do is attempt to protect ourselves and try to help Trump - Make American Great Again. 

TPM

1:09 pm          Comments

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Israel - Palestinian Solution?

In the past few days the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has hit the head lines of the world news.  A vote in the United Nations regarding Israeli settlements in the West Bank passed, the US government abstained allowing it to pass, which infuriated the Israelis.  President Obama is accused of being pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel.  The Obama Administration is accused of working to get the documents prepared and voted upon before the end of President Obama's term.  Today, Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a speech justifying the vote.  Kerry's speech was panned by the Israelis and American supporters of Israel.  In the meantime Donald Trump sent a clear message to the Israelis that they shouldn't worry too much because when he takes office on January 20, 2017, his administration will fully support Israel.  Talking heads and "experts" are all over the news media supporting and criticizing all sides of the settlement issue and the overall conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. 

From my perspective the entire discussion and debate is pure nonsense.  I have had the good fortune and privilege to spend a total of five days of my life on two visits to Israel.  I had the opportunity to see with my own eyes a decent percentage of the country and including a visit to the West Bank.  I have also had the opportunity to read what I believe to be honest histories of the region.  I believe I have a fairly reasoned understanding of the situation and the ability to judge it rationally, which most of the people I see on the various news programs don't seem to be able to do. 

The first question one must ask is: Who is entitled to what land and resources of Israel?  This is an extremely hard question to answer and is likely never to be fully answered without armed conflict where one side destroys the other.  That is the history of the region and there is no reason to suspect the future will be any different than the past.  There is no "logical" answer to my question.  One could make the case that the Canaanites and other tribes that lived in the Levant that were conquered by the Jews upon their exodus from Egypt might be the most entitled to inherit the land of Israel since the Jews took their land from them by force.  However, I don't believe there are many people around today that claim to be descended from the Canaanites.  Since the Jewish population of the region was reduced significantly during the diaspora which began about 70 CE and was fully complete about 135 CE, one can make the case that the Jews effectively abandoned the Levant and others came in and took their place.  The decision to support the creation of the nation of Israel in 1948, after the Arab-Israeli War of Independence and in the aftermath of the Holocaust in Europe, was a no win situation for decision makers in the US and Europe.  There was no great or easy solution.  There was only a somewhat workable solution that has sparked conflict in the region for the past 70 years. 

Beginning in the early 1900s and continuing through today, both sides of the conflict have committed war crimes on the other side from time to time.  Both sides have inflicted incredible horrors on the other.  Both sides have been intolerant of the others perspective.  Both sides have failed to tell the entire truth about the their actions to the rest of the world. 

As one drives around Israel and observes the borders of the West Bank and Israel the impression is not one of permanence and stability, it is exactly the opposite.  It looks and feels unstable.  Even though there is no major military actions happening it has the feel as if war could break out at any moment.  The status quo doesn't really work in its totality despite the incredible success the Israelis have had in developing the land and their nation and its economy. 

The ultimate goals of the Israel's leaders and the Palestinian leaders are not compatible at a fundamental level.  Israel has made a number of attempts to make a deal with the Palestinians but the events of the War of Independence and the numerous conflicts large and small since then are a huge burden for the Palestinians to overcome.  The Palestinians refusal to recognize that the Jewish people have a right to exist as a sovereign nation in the Levant, with Jerusalem as part of that nation, is a fundamental barrier to any permanent peace agreement. 

The US has the largest number of Jews within its population than any other nation in the world other than Israel.  Jews have made incredible contributions to the development of the US as a nation.  The US has more in common with Israel than any other nation in the Middle East including shared culture and a fundamental system of values.  The US was responsible more than any other naton in supporting the developement of Israel as an independent nation. 

So what do we, the US, do?  There is nothing we can do.  We can't change the current circumstances.  We can't change the history.  We can't change the fundamental beliefs of either side.  All we can really hope to accomplish is to maintain the current unstable system.  This is really hard to do. 

Donald Trump was asked about the possibility of peace in the Middle East during an interview a number of months ago.  He said it is probably too hard to accomplish based on his conversations with people that understand the situation extremely well.   He said he would give it a shot but the world can't expect to be successful.  I believe Trump was correct then and he shouldn't make the situation worse in an attempt to smooth over the recent problems created by the Obama Administration. 

At some point the time will come for the final battle between the Israelis and Palestinians to determine which is the ultimate victor and has earned the right to fully control the disputed land and Jerusalem.  This is truly unfortunate but it is the way the world has worked for its entire recorded history.  There is no reason to expect any fundamental changes now.

TPM

1:09 am          Comments

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

What Is True?

What is true? That is the fundamental issue that many Americans face when they try to evaluate what is happening in the US and around the world. Is the information I am watching or reading completely true, partially true or completely fabricated for the benefit of someone or a group. We know that the mainstream media reports information that ranges from sometimes factual to completely false. Most of us have caught the mainstream media fabricating news because we saw the actual event happen; or we happen to know the exact circumstances that are being reported; or we have tracked stories over time and have seen that the original reporting was completely wrong. It is very easy to see political bias in reports from people that we used to think were simply reporters.


Many of us are looking for information by researching alternative media. Typically, these are online sources run by people that aren't well known by the bulk of the population. We know that many of these people are only in business for the purpose of supporting some type of agenda that may or may not true, or have some truth within the totality of the information being presented.


The bottom line is that there is almost no such thing today as pure news or pure information. Everyone presenting anything has an agenda or a political bias. In order to evaluate any topic requires time and effort to research the issue or the person needs a lot of direct knowledge of the topic. It is very hard to trust any organization or any person that presents themselves as the purveyor of truth.


All we can do is our best. What do we think is right or best or most optimal based on the options presented to us? All of us are different people. We have different lives in different places with different values. We have different goals and plans for the future. We are attempting to optimize different things.


What we can all do is listen to what people are saying and attempt to reconcile their views with our own and decide if we need to make any adjustments in how we look at life or if we should change direction or our views in some way. I know that during my life I have changed my views on a number of issues that are important to me from time to time. Only those people that are willing to continue learning throughout their lives can continue to progress, otherwise they are lost somewhere in the past, overcome by events and new information. 

TPM

1:28 am          Comments

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Is the Birther Movement Finally Over?

On December 15 Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, held a press conference to announce to the world that President Barack Obama's birth certificate that was installed on the White House web site in 2011 is fake.  If you missed it you can watch the press conference on You Tube.  In about a month, President Obama's second term will end.  Tomorrow the electors of the electoral college will vote and confirm that Donald J. Trump will be our next President.  Trump and his Executive Branch team in conjunction with the new Congress will pick up the government ball in January and lead the country forward. 

So why does Barack Obama's birth certificate still matter?  I watched the You Tube video of Arpaio's press conference and didn't learn much that was new.  It is been understood for a number of years that the birth certificate on the White House web site is a fake.  Analysis has shown it to be an electronically constructed document produced in recent years, not in 1961.  However, no person has proved that Barack Obama wasn't born in Hawaii and wasn't eligible to become President. 

Many people have stated that the whole birther movement was about racism.  I am sure there was and is an element of racism but I believe that most of the discomfort with the Obama presidency was his life long commitment to socialism and his radical leftist views.  People were desperate to prove that Obama should have never been allowed to become President due to his political ideology.

After finding some new information and doing some research myself I think people should step back and take a look at the Obama birth certificate issue differently.  In 2012 Mr. Joel Gilbert produced a movie about the life of Barack Obama and his family, Dreams from My Real Father.  Mr. Gilbert has done an extensive amount of research into the life of Barack Obama, his mother and her parents (his grandparents).  Needless to say there are major differences between the standard narrative of Obama's life, such as the one presented in Wikipedia, and the one presented in Gilbert's movie.  Recently, Gilbert appeared on infowars.com and presented an update to his earlier work. 

When Barack Obama refused to release any of his college records during his first presidential campaign and researchers couldn't verify a lot of his background he created a lot of questions about what he was hiding.  If Gilbert's movie and the results of his recent work are close to being accurate, I think we know why Obama didn't want to tell the world the whole truth about his life.  It is a very tough story to tell.  As I thought about writing this blog I considered providing the links to the information I reviewed.  I decided not to do it.  If people want to read the same information I did it is easy to find.

I don't think there is any question that Barack Obama was an eligible American citizen when he was a candidate for President.  He was born in Hawaii to an American mother.  He won the two Presidential elections fair and square.  Obama and his leftist supporters, including David Axelrod, David Plouffe, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, outsmarted their competitors.  The far left found a candidate they could manufacture into a viable mainstream candidate. The American people didn't listen carefully enough to those that saw through the smoke screen that the Obama team created.  The mainstream media helped create and fuel the smoke screen by failing to vet Obama as a candidate.  The Left's plan worked.  The Obama team won.  But they only won for awhile.  The American people quickly gave control of the Congress to Obama's opponents to limit his power.  The people didn't elect his philosophical successor, Hillary Clinton, last month.  The Obama era is over or will be in about a month. 

In some ways I feel sorry for Barack Obama.  In many respects his childhood was terrible.  It appears it was even worse then we were originally been led to believe.  He had to overcome incredible personal issues to create a life for himself.  He has had to hide a lot of his past from public scrutiny to protect himself when he became a national political figure.  Once he leaves office perhaps some of the very long term pressures on him will be relieved.  Maybe he will finally tell the world the whole truth to remove the cloud that continues to exist.  Hopefully the birther movement will finally come to an end. 

TPM

12:54 pm          Comments

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Rock Star - Reg Sprigg

The second book I purchased at the Red Kangaroo Books store in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia was Rock Star - The story of Reg Sprigg - an outback legend by Kristin Weidenbach.  I had no knowledge of Reg Sprigg before I read Ms. Weidenbach's book.  He was an amazing man who lived from 1919 to 1994.  He was a geologist, petroleum prospector, mapper of ocean floors, corporate executive and deal-maker and conservationist.  He is recognized as one of Australia's greatest geologists. 

Since the development of Australia's mineral wealth is essential to the growth of its economy, geologists have been critical to the expansion of Australia's national wealth.  Reg Sprigg played a major role in the exploration and development of Australia's oil and gas resources in addition to his ground breaking scientific works.  As he evolved as a person through his life he became a renowned conservationist, establishing a massive nature reserve in the South Australia Outback now known as the Arkaroola Wildlife Sanctuary, one of Australia's first eco-tourism resorts.  Ms. Weidenbach does a great job of describing the difficulty of exploring and developing any natural resources in the Outback in the 1940s through the 1970s due to lack of water and support infrastructure, intense summer heat and long distance from population centers. 

Reg Sprigg was a man that was away from his wife and family for extended periods of time throughout his professional life.  His work life destroyed his first marriage after a few years.  He was extremely fortunate to find a second wife that was able to adapt her life to his, raise their children under very difficult circumstances and support his endeavors to the end.  Reg Sprigg was an extremely lucky man to find a wife like Griselda.  How many of us have put our spouses in a similar position?  Hopefully, Reg Sprigg was a really extreme case! 

Ms. Weidenbach is the mother of Reg Sprigg's granddaughter.  She doesn't discuss her relationship with Reg Sprigg's only son, Douglas, in the book.  I did a little research and found that she is Douglas's partner.  What is clear is that Ms. Weidenbach had full access to the Sprigg family and its records to tell the story.  It is a very interesting story that has something for everyone interested in aspects of Australia's modern history. 

There aren't many people on the planet like Reg Sprigg.  He was truly a Rock Star.

TPM

11:51 am          Comments

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