Six years ago, We The People in the USA were expecting change that was not going to happen. OK, it could be worse: Bush’s behavior in 2003 was nearly in the same category as Putin: ”I invade, therefore I am.”
Fortunately, in the meantime, Americans and the British came to see the error of their ways. Cameron gave a hard time to Putin in Brisbane, Harper (whom I don’t like) told Putin to “get out of Ukraine” (this, I like).
Hollande of France, meeting with Putin, just sat down in a hurry, as if he could not stomach to stand next to Putin. Putin stayed up, brandishing his hand below Hollande’s nose. Then Putin waved his hand up and down. Hollande finally got up, and shook the hand of the Russian dictator. Maybe some Australian suggested that Putin ought to be extended some protocol.
[It’s actually worse than it looks, see below.]
In general, Putin ought not to be extended common courtesy. He is an uncommon dictator, a very dangerous one. Even the Soviet dictators, all of them, did not dare violate International Law as grossly as Putin did.
Just like the dictator of Sudan, or the president of Kenya, Putin ought to see himself prosecuted by the International Court of Justice. Meanwhile I strongly not rising to one’s feet when he shows up, except to hiss.
If Hitler had been treated as the rabid dog he was by the first part of 1939, by the USA and Britain (and not just by France), he would not just have been more careful. That, anyway, would have been no solution.
The solution was regime change, and Hitler’s top generals were willing. Now, of course, Putin knows this, so, differently from Hitler’s, Putin’s top generals are also plutocrats in their own right (only Goering was in that position, rotten and satanic, in Hitler’s armed forces; the chief of the army, Beck, and his main collaborators, were clean, strict Prussians, and they could see Hitler had put Germany on a collision course with reality).
It’s time to make Russian generals feel that Putin is threatening Russia, as Hitler did, with Germany. Better a coup than total democracy, Putin style.
Meanwhile, Paul Krugman, the most read (pseudo-)progressive in the world, went back to his habit toof praising all things “Obama”. Yet, because the simplest evocation of “Obama” makes We The People stay at home, or vote “Republican”, Krugman praises “government” in “When Government Succeeds”.
Karen Garcia, perhaps the best commenter at the New York Times, disagreed with Krugman-the-Sycophant. OK, OK, I know, there is more money in being a sycophant for the mighty. Karen wrote, contradicting Krugman where it should hurt:
“It’s not “health reform” – it’s a piecemeal reining-in of the predatory insurance cartel. And although the premiums may be holding steady, the Affordable Care Act is anything but for many people. Deductibles and co-pays are through the roof.
Health care in America is just like the lottery. It’s the luck of living in the right state and picking the right plan at the right time. You’re not a patient who gets treated. You’re a consumer who goes shopping. Some people will be “covered” and others will still go bankrupt when they get sick and can’t afford a $5,000 annual deductible on a $20,000 income.
That “fake scandal” that Paul Krugman refers is, of course, being used for nefarious political purposes by the GOP. But the fact remains that MIT economist and ACA consultant (to the tune of $400,000) Michael Gruber not only called people stupid – he admitted that the law was made deliberately opaque. Politicians were more interested in making this delayed “reform” seem deficit-neutral than in ensuring that everybody got covered. Politics trumped the public good. And that IS a scandal, no matter which side of the neoliberal duopoly you’re on.
The fact remains that least 40 million Americans remain uninsured, and will continue to needlessly sicken and die in the richest country on earth. We have the most expensive medical care in the world and still rank a shameful 51st in life expectancy.
That is the scandal.
Government will succeed when we get Single Payer.”
I support what Karen Garcia wrote: I basically said for years that it was exactly what was going on, and what would happen. And it did. Singing the praises of Obamacare is self-defeating for progressives.
Fifty-first in life expectancy, but first in bombing capability. What could go wrong?
Obama was partly undone by self-satisfaction for the little that had been already done, and the sycophants all around. Remember the Nobel Peace Prize? For what? Talking the talk? A pre-payment for future service to the reigning plutocracy?
It is true that economic activity organized by the government has its place, because not everything responds to the profit motive. An excellent example is health CARE. Care responds to care, not profit. That’s why it’s called health care, not health profit.
Only wild dogs and hyenas ought to profit from the sick. It’s a long tradition among wild humans, too, thus demonstrating health plutocrats are akin to wild beasts.
The greatest flaw of Obamacare is that it did not even try to start the transition from health profit to health care.
In general, the Obama presidency is turning into a rout for the Democratic Party. People will judge by themselves the very high deductibles of Obamacare. There is a pattern to all this, a common logic: https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2014/11/16/obamacare-to-police-state-same-logic/
A fundamental conceptual mistake greedsters and the economists supporting them (Chicago school, Harvard) have been making is not to realize that much of the economy does not respond to the profit motive. Yet, Darius and Themistocles (heads of Persia and Athens, respectively) had understood this absolutely, and put it to tremendous use.
Darius built, Eisenhower style, a freeway system so that news from all over the continent sized Persian Empire, spread on three continents, could reach the center in a week, thanks to the (Persian) Pony Express.
Themistocles built a giant Navy, thanks to a public-private set-up, wasting Attica’s forests in the process.
All this was more than 25 centuries ago.
The government can do two very important things: support education, fundamental research, and set-up giant, important, free utilities (like Darius’ freeways, and the Internet). The fundament of the foundations of all this is to pass laws: thus the Franks forced the Church to teach secularly, around 750 CE. All states have now followed, and make education mandatory.
The Obama administration has reduced government support for fundamental research. Fundamental research on basic science is where governmental support is irreplaceable. Instead many others have been financed, such as the for-profit industrial corporation Space X, while NASA is drifting aimlessly.
Krugman sang also the praises of government about Ebola. Indeed, well organized governments stopped the epidemic in its tracks: Senegal had one Ebola case, a Guinean student who had lied, when he got into Senegal. However, he was cured, and there was no other case, although Guinea and Senegal share a long border.
Speaking of borders, the main frontline organization for Ebola was the non-profit, high risk, Doctors Without Borders (initially the French Medecins Sans Frontieres, which was attributed, the Nobel Peace Prize, and rightly so!). Although, in this case, Obama acted well, although belatedly.
Speaking of Ebola, a vaccine, or two, exist (the disease was discover by the French in 1993; the vaccines use pieces of the cover of the virus).
However, those vaccines have not been fabricated, from lack of government financing. Austerity you know, so that the plutocrats can become ever richer!
Ah, but not all is bleak. Fundamental research on nuclear weapons is in the process of passing the all-time peak (established under Reagan), thanks to the Obama administration.