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FTR #944 Fireside Rant: WTF Is Going On? The Caligulization of America and the End of the American Century

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained HERE [1]. The new dri­ve is a 32-giga­byte dri­ve that is cur­rent as of the pro­grams and arti­cles post­ed by ear­ly win­ter of 2016. The new dri­ve (avail­able for a tax-deductible con­tri­bu­tion of $65.00 or more.) (The pre­vi­ous flash dri­ve was cur­rent through the end of May of 2012.)

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This broad­cast was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment [5].

NB: This pro­gram con­tains infor­ma­tion that was not con­tained in the orig­i­nal pro­gram.

Trump kept a copy of this by his bedside. [6]

Trump kept a copy of this by his bed­side.

Intro­duc­tion: This broad­cast is a (prob­a­bly part­ly unsuc­cess­ful) sum­ma­ry attempt at explain­ing what will be the results of the ascen­dance of the Trumpenkampfver­bande in the U.S.

It is to be hoped that this descrip­tion will go fur­ther toward explain­ing what is going on than the orig­i­nal pro­gram.

In addi­tion to the excerpts of arti­cles pre­sent­ed in the pro­gram, we will sum­ma­rize some of the cen­tral argu­ments in the broad­cast, with links to oth­er pro­grams and lec­tures, where pos­si­ble.

In AFA #37 [7], we dis­cussed the Gehlen “Org” and relat­ed ele­ments as a Tro­jan Horse, using anti-com­mu­nism to infil­trate the Unit­ed States and, ulti­mate­ly, destroy it from with­in. In this pro­gram we devel­op that analy­sis fur­ther, adding the role of the House of Hab­s­burg and asso­ciates to the Tro­jan Horse metaphor.

When the U.S. frus­trat­ed the de-Naz­i­fi­ca­tion of Ger­many [8], opt­ed to ally with the remark­able and dead­ly Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work [9] and the asso­ci­at­ed Hab­s­burg roy­al fam­i­ly, and returned the Japan­ese [10] and Ital­ian fas­cists to pow­er (with a civil­ian facade), this coun­try signed its own death war­rant.

Amer­i­ca’s entry into two World Wars, after the com­bat had pro­ceed­ed for years, decid­ed both con­flicts against Ger­many. The Amer­i­can rev­o­lu­tion was the first suc­cess­ful revolt of a Euro­pean colo­nial pow­er against its colo­nial mas­ter.

Both Ger­many and the House of Hab­s­burg vowed nev­er again! Nev­er! 

In this con­text, we observe that the Hab­s­burgs (roy­al house of the Aus­tro-Hun­gar­i­an Empire) ruled for six hun­dred years. Six hun­dred years ago–1417–was three quar­ters of a cen­tu­ry before Colum­bus sailed.

To the Hab­s­burgs, Amer­i­ca is a blip. Democ­ra­cy is a blip. They see things in an entire­ly dif­fer­ent way. Because the U.S. was an unas­sail­able mil­i­tary pow­er and the most pow­er­ful econ­o­my on earth, the coun­try could only be brought down by sub­ver­sion from with­in.

We gave the Under­ground Reich and the Hab­s­burgs the keys to the king­dom, not unlike the Prae­to­ri­an Guard–Germanic mer­ce­nary troops appoint­ed to guard the Roman Emper­or. Even­tu­al­ly they con­trolled the throne and pre­served the Roman Empire for as long as it could make lucra­tive pay­ments to the Ger­man­ic tribes who even­tu­al­ly defeat­ed and sacked Rome.

The thrust of the broad­cast is that the ascen­sion of Trump–an Amer­i­can Caligula–is indeed the end of what Hen­ry Luce called “The Amer­i­can Cen­tu­ry.”

The author of our first arti­cle [11] is a for­mer edi­tor for Time mag­a­zine and a for­mer State Depart­ment offi­cer, so his lit­er­al take on Luce’s pro­nounce­ment is not sur­pris­ing.

What Sten­gel is talk­ing about is the end of “Brand Amer­i­ca,” to coin a phrase–the suc­cess­ful PR mar­ket­ing of this coun­try as the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave, etc.

That polit­i­cal mythol­o­gy, which com­pelled much of Mr. Emory’s ini­tial involve­ment in this research when he began in the ear­ly ’70s, will evap­o­rate. That dis­si­pa­tion, how­ev­er, will be eclipsed by the dev­as­tat­ing eco­nom­ic, envi­ron­men­tal, social and polit­i­cal dev­as­ta­tion that will sure­ly fol­low Trump’s poli­cies.

As Mr. Emory fore­cast in FTR #‘s 918 [12] and 919 [13], among oth­er pro­grams in the “Trumpenkampfver­bande” series, Trump’s anti-NATO rhetoric and gen­er­al dis­parag­ing of the Atlanti­cist alliances that have held sway dur­ing the bet­ter part of “The Amer­i­can Cen­tu­ry” are focused on pre­cip­i­tat­ing the Under­ground Reich goals of: an all-EU army replac­ing NATO, a Ger­man-dom­i­nate Europe  assum­ing cen­ter stage in world affairs, and the forg­ing of an eco­nom­ic alliance with Rus­sia (fol­low­ing Russ­ian con­ces­sions on Ukraine) that will give “Cor­po­rate Ger­many” eco­nom­ic dom­i­na­tion over the Earth Island.

Our next arti­cle [14] her­alds Mr. Emory’s prog­nos­ti­ca­tions. We do not feel Trump is nec­es­sar­i­ly con­scious of his role. In the age of mind con­trol, what goes on between a giv­en indi­vid­u­al’s ears is impos­si­ble to gauge, past a point.

Among the var­i­ous and sundry dis­as­trous out­comes of Trump’s poli­cies may well be a cyber-ter­ror­ist inci­dent [15] from a nation-state actor or a lone male­fac­tor, this the result of a fed­er­al hir­ing freeze.

” . . . On his first offi­cial day in office after inau­gu­ra­tion, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has made good on his plan to insti­tute a fed­er­al hir­ing freeze—part of his effort to slash the fed­er­al work­force. Details are sparse: Trump has said there would be excep­tions for the mil­i­tary, and a White House memo [16] notes the freeze would be waived “when nec­es­sary to meet nation­al or pub­lic safe­ty respon­si­bil­i­ties.” Some experts fear a tem­po­rary hir­ing freeze could exac­er­bate a chron­ic prob­lem in the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment: a wide­spread short­age of cyber­se­cu­ri­ty tal­ent. A hir­ing freeze could sig­nal to essen­tial cyber­se­cu­ri­ty talent—especially those who might con­sid­er join­ing the pub­lic sec­tor from high­er-pay­ing indus­try jobs—that there’s no need or desire for them in the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment, Alan Chvotkin, exec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of the Pro­fes­sion­al Ser­vices Coun­cil, told Nextgov. . . .”

Exem­pli­fy­ing a dis­con­nect that is sure to help bring our econ­o­my down, Labor Sec­re­tary Puzder lauds the val­ue [17] of machines over humans. While he is cor­rect that machines do not do many things that he sees as counter-pro­duc­tive, he ignores the fact that machines don’t by food at Car­l’s Junior or Hard­ees, the food chains for which he is chief exec­u­tive. No machine has ever bought any­thing.

” . . . Fast food exec­u­tive Andrew Puzder, who Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump is expect­ed to tap as labor sec­re­tary [18], has advo­cat­ed replac­ing some human work­ers with machines as a way for busi­ness­es to reduce costs asso­ci­at­ed with ris­ing wages and health-care expens­es. While machines require reg­u­lar main­te­nance and can some­times mal­func­tion, Puzder said, they are also eas­i­er to man­age than humans and don’t pose the same legal risks. “They’re always polite, they always upsell, they nev­er take a vaca­tion, they nev­er show up late, there’s nev­er a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race dis­crim­i­na­tion case,” Puzder told Busi­ness Insid­er in March [19]. Puzder serves as the chief exec­u­tive of CKE Restau­rants, the cor­po­rate par­ent behind fast food chains Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. . . .”

When automa­tion, infla­tion of the price of con­sumer goods that are import­ed and have had tar­iffs slapped on them by “The Don­ald,” lack of health care forc­ing work­ing peo­ple to devote increas­ing­ly scarce resources toward main­tain­ing their and/or their fam­i­lies’ health, the sub­ver­sion of min­i­mum wage, over­time and union­iza­tion laws and statutes and increas­ing con­cen­tra­tion of eco­nom­ic own­er­ship have brought Amer­i­can con­sumers to their knees, our con­sumer-based econ­o­my will col­lapse.

Last­ly, we note some­thing that her­alds poor­ly [20] for the response of the Amer­i­can peo­ple to the chaos that is sure to enve­lope this coun­try after the envi­ron­men­tal, eco­nom­ic and social chaos that will inevitably result from Trump’s roll­back of decades of nec­es­sary reg­u­la­tion, enor­mous bud­get deficits from the GOP’s tax cuts, neu­tral­iza­tion of decades of progress on health care and roll­back of the New Deal.

With Bet­sy De Vos appoint­ed as Sec­re­tary of Edu­ca­tion, the already dis­mal, fright­en­ing civic aware­ness of our pub­lic school stu­dents fig­ures to get worse. In and of itself, that is cause for extreme pes­simism.

As our soci­ety dis­in­te­grates from the inter­play of var­i­ous eco­nom­ic, polit­i­cal and mil­i­tary fac­tors, the calls for “some­one to do some­thing” to repair our dys­func­tion­al soci­ety are like­ly to increase expo­nen­tial­ly.

“. . . . When, 2011, the World Val­ues Sur­vey asked US cit­i­zens in their late teens and ear­ly 20s whether democ­ra­cy was a good way to run a coun­try, about a quar­ter said it was ‘bad’ or ‘very bad,’ an increase of one-third since the late 1990s. Among cit­i­zens of all ages, 1 in 6 now say in would be fine for the ‘army to rule,’ up from 1 in 16 in 1995. In a dif­fer­ent nation­al sur­vey, about two-thirds of Amer­i­cans could not name all three branch­es of the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment or which par­ty con­trolled the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives. In a third study, almost half of the respon­dents said the gov­ern­ment should be per­mit­ted to pro­hib­it a peace­ful march. . . .”

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

1. The thrust of the broad­cast is that the ascen­sion of Trump–an Amer­i­can Caligula–is indeed the end of what Hen­ry Luce called “The Amer­i­can Cen­tu­ry.” The author is a for­mer edi­tor for Time mag­a­zine and a for­mer State Depart­ment offi­cer, so his lit­er­al take on Luce’s pro­nounce­ment is not sur­pris­ing.

What Sten­gel is talk­ing about is the end of “Brand Amer­i­ca,” to coin a phrase–the suc­cess­ful PR mar­ket­ing of this coun­try as the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave, etc.

That polit­i­cal mythol­o­gy, which com­pelled much of Mr. Emory’s ini­tial involve­ment in this research when he began in the ear­ly ’70s, will evap­o­rate. That dis­si­pa­tion, how­ev­er, will be eclipsed by the dev­as­tat­ing eco­nom­ic, envi­ron­men­tal, social and polit­i­cal dev­as­ta­tion that will sure­ly fol­low Trump’s poli­cies.

“The End of the Amer­i­can Cen­tu­ry” by Richard Sten­gel; The Atlantic; 1/26/2017. [11]

The inau­gur­al address of Don­ald Trump did not con­tain the word jus­tice or coop­er­a­tion or ideals or morals or truth or char­i­ty. It has only one ref­er­ence to free­dom. It did men­tion car­nage and crime and tomb­stones and a vari­ety of words nev­er uttered before in a pres­i­den­tial inau­gur­al. Since then, the pres­i­dent has dou­bled-down on his desire to build a wall on America’s South­ern bor­der and has said his admin­is­tra­tion will re-eval­u­ate accept­ing refugees from des­ig­nat­ed Mus­lim coun­tries and cut back by half the rel­a­tive­ly small num­ber of refugees accept­ed by the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion. I spent sev­en years as edi­tor of Time before I worked in the State Depart­ment as under sec­re­tary for pub­lic diplo­ma­cy and pub­lic affairs. While I was edi­tor of Time, I nev­er want­ed to be the first of Luce’s suc­ces­sors to pro­nounce the end of the Amer­i­can Cen­tu­ry. In part, this was because of a mis­un­der­stand­ing of the term. Most peo­ple thought it meant Amer­i­can pow­er or hege­mo­ny and there was not much diminu­tion in America’s glob­al pow­er. What it real­ly means is Amer­i­ca as a glob­al mod­el and guar­an­tor of free­dom and rule of law and fair­ness.

Trump ’s admin­is­tra­tion is the death knell of the Amer­i­can Cen­tu­ry. . . .

2. As Mr. Emory fore­cast in FTR #‘s 918 [12] and 919 [13], among oth­er pro­grams in the “Trumpenkampfver­bande” series, Trump’s anti-NATO rhetoric and gen­er­al dis­parag­ing of the Atlanti­cist alliances that have held sway dur­ing the bet­ter part of “The Amer­i­can Cen­tu­ry” are focused on pre­cip­i­tat­ing the Under­ground Reich goals of: an all-EU army replac­ing NATO, a Ger­man-dom­i­nate Europe  assum­ing cen­ter stage in world affairs, and the forg­ing of an eco­nom­ic alliance with Rus­sia (fol­low­ing Russ­ian con­ces­sions on Ukraine) that will give “Cor­po­rate Ger­many” eco­nom­ic dom­i­na­tion over the Earth Island.

This arti­cle her­alds Mr. Emory’s prog­nos­ti­ca­tions. We do not feel Trump is nec­es­sar­i­ly con­scious of his role. In the age of mind con­trol, what goes on between a giv­en indi­vid­u­al’s ears is impos­si­ble to gauge, past a point.

“The Moment of the Euro­peans;” german-foreign-policy.com; 1/18/2017. [14]

Ger­many’s top politi­cians are call­ing on the EU to close ranks behind Europe’s “cen­tral pow­er,” Ger­many, fol­low­ing Pres­i­dent-Elect Don­ald Trump’s recent dec­la­ra­tions in an inter­view. Trump sug­gest­ed the pos­si­bil­i­ty of “deals” with Rus­sia, pre­dict­ed the fur­ther dis­in­te­gra­tion of the EU and point­ed to Ger­many’s dom­i­nant role with­in the EU. A new Russ­ian-Amer­i­can world order is loom­ing, accord­ing to Elmar Brok (CDU), Chair­man of the Euro­pean Par­lia­men­t’s Com­mit­tee on For­eign Affairs, it is there­fore imper­a­tive that the EU “close ranks.” Ger­many’s For­eign Min­is­ter Frank-Wal­ter Stein­meier expressed a sim­i­lar opin­ion. Wolf­gang Ischinger, Chair­man of the Munich Secu­ri­ty Con­fer­ence, called for Russ­ian and US dis­ar­ma­ment and for enhanc­ing the EU’s mil­i­ta­riza­tion. He rec­om­mend­ed that “Ger­man nuclear arma­ment” not be dis­cussed — at least “at the moment.”

“Vehi­cle for Ger­many”

Don­ald Trump’s dec­la­ra­tions in a recent inter­view have pro­voked Berlin’s call for the EU to close ranks. In his inter­view with the Ger­man “Bild” and the British “Times,” Trump called NATO “obso­lete,” because only five mem­ber coun­tries are invest­ing the gen­er­al­ly agreed two per­cent of their respec­tive GDPs in their armed forces. He also sug­gest­ed the pos­si­bil­i­ty of “some good deals” with Rus­sia, hailed the Brex­it and pre­dict­ed that oth­er mem­bers would leave the EU. He also point­ed to Berlin’s dom­i­nant role in the EU — a fact that is no longer denied in Europe’s for­eign pol­i­cy estab­lish­ment. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[1]) “You look at the Euro­pean Union, and it is Ger­many; basi­cal­ly, a vehi­cle for Ger­many,” Trump was quoted.[2]

Close Ranks on Mil­i­tary Pol­i­cy

The prospect that Wash­ing­ton under Trump could reach agree­ments with Moscow on inter­na­tion­al pol­i­cy issues with­out the EU — which, for years, has been crip­pled with cri­sis and actu­al­ly is fac­ing dis­in­te­gra­tion — has pro­voked indig­nant reac­tions from Ger­man for­eign pol­i­cy mak­ers and appeals to close ranks. “If we fail now to close ranks in the field of secu­ri­ty and for­eign pol­i­cy, we will be faced with a new world order under Rus­si­a’s Pres­i­dent Putin and the new US Pres­i­dent Trump,” Elmar Brok, Chair­man of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment Com­mit­tee on For­eign Affairs con­tend­ed on Monday.[3] Already at the begin­ning of the year, Wolf­gang Ischinger, Chair of the Munich Secu­ri­ty Con­fer­ence had called for the EU to “speak more in uni­son in the future” and cer­tain­ly not in the “cacoph­o­ny of 27 or 28 Euro­pean heads of states and governments.”[4] Ger­many’s For­eign Min­is­ter — who will soon become Ger­many’s Pres­i­dent — Frank-Wal­ter Stein­meier declared, fol­low­ing a meet­ing with his EU coun­ter­parts last Mon­day that it has “per­haps become again clear­er to one or the oth­er, just how impor­tant it is that Europe stands togeth­er and assumes com­mon positions.”[5] Brok pack­aged his plea for a pan-EU clos­ing of ranks into an appeal: “This is now the moment of the Europeans.”[6]

Dis­arm the Rivals

In Berlin, the con­tention is mak­ing the rounds that an even­tu­al rap­proche­ment between Wash­ing­ton and Moscow could be polit­i­cal­ly advan­ta­geous — not least of all to put the pow­er strug­gle over Ukraine on ice. This would per­mit a roll back of sanc­tions on Rus­sia and cre­ate new room for Ger­man com­pa­nies to make lucra­tive busi­ness deals with the East — with­out relin­quish­ing one’s own positions.[7] Thus, Ischinger alleges to have heard “coura­geous voic­es” in Kiev, who are pre­pared to forego mem­ber­ship in NATO. “A new US Pres­i­dent Trump could talk to Pres­i­dent Poroshenko in Kiev and Putin in Moscow and offer Ukraine secu­ri­ty guar­an­tees in exchange for renun­ci­a­tion of NATO mem­ber­ship,” explained the promi­nent diplomat.[8] It is also impor­tant that US-Russ­ian nego­ti­a­tions reach an agree­ment on a new round in arms con­trol. Dis­ar­ma­ment must be sought. “More trust must be estab­lished again between the mil­i­taries, between NATO and Rus­sia.” “I would make a plea for a round-the-clock joint­ly run cri­sis con­trol cen­ter on neu­tral ter­ri­to­ry.” Ischinger did not men­tion whether he would con­sid­er Ger­many a suit­able site.

Nev­er Again “No War!”

While call­ing for US and Russ­ian dis­ar­ma­ment, Ischinger speaks out also for the fur­ther mil­i­ta­riza­tion of Ger­man and EU pol­i­cy. “Putin” — mean­ing the con­flicts con­cern­ing Ukraine and Syr­ia — has clear­ly “demon­strat­ed, how absolute­ly wrong it is to con­tend that there can be no mil­i­tary solu­tions,” he explained. Because the EU did not open­ly inter­vene mil­i­tar­i­ly, “we, Euro­peans, ... have once again been banned to the side­lines — a spec­ta­tor posi­tion — which is not the appro­pri­ate role for the EU, the world’s largest trad­ing and eco­nom­ic pow­er, with a pop­u­la­tion of 500 million.”[9] He “would like to see” that “no respon­si­ble Ger­man politi­cian” will repeat the sen­tence, “there can be no mil­i­tary solu­tions.” In fact, the EU is prepar­ing — under Ger­man pres­sure — a con­sid­er­able expan­sion of its for­eign pol­i­cy and mil­i­tary activ­i­ties. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[10]) Even in transat­lantic rela­tions, there is “no guar­an­tee of coop­er­a­tion for eter­ni­ty with us Euro­peans,” declared Chan­cel­lor Merkel, last week.[11] That is why “Europe” must con­sid­er­ably expand it radius of polit­i­cal and mil­i­tary action.

The Ques­tion of the Bomb

Wolf­gang Ischinger has begun to take the ques­tion of “Ger­man nuclear arma­ment” into con­sid­er­a­tion. Cur­rent­ly, it is bet­ter to avoid a debate on the EU’s “own nuclear arse­nal,” the Ger­man diplo­mat declared. The nuclear pow­er Great Britain is leav­ing the EU, while the nuclear pow­er France is not “will­ing and capa­ble” of “Euro­peaniz­ing its nuclear poten­tial.” How­ev­er, “at the moment,” it would be “a polit­i­cal mis­take to debate an alter­na­tive of arm­ing Ger­many with nuclear weapons,” also “because we would pro­vide an argu­ment to crit­ics in Moscow and in Europe that the cen­tral pow­er Ger­many not only seeks to dom­i­nate Europe with finan­cial pol­i­cy, but also — in vio­la­tion of all treaties — joint con­trol over nuclear weapons.”[12] Ischinger did not elab­o­rate on what con­di­tions could inval­i­date his argu­ment of tem­po­ral lim­i­ta­tion (“at the moment”), nor did he express con­clu­sive argu­ments against Ger­many’s acquir­ing nuclear weapons.

[1] See Lead­ing from the Cen­ter [26].
[2] Trump: “Merkel-Asylpoli­tik ein schlim­mer Fehler”. www.krone.at 16.01.2017.
[3] “Wir müssen auf das Schlimm­ste gefasst sein”. www.welt.de 17.01.2017.
[4] “Max­i­male Unberechen­barkeit”. www.swr.de 03.01.2016.
[5] Außen­min­is­ter Stein­meier nach dem EU-Außen­rat. Pressemit­teilung des Auswär­ti­gen Amts. Berlin, 16.01.2017.
[6] “Wir müssen auf das Schlimm­ste gefasst sein”. www.welt.de 17.01.2017.
[7] See Ost­geschäfte [27] and Rever­sal of Busi­ness Trend with Rus­sia [28].
[8], [9] Daniel-Dylan Böh­mer, Thorsten Jung­holt: “Frau Merkel muss sich warm anziehen”. www.welt.de 13.01.2017.
[10] See The Euro­pean War Union [29], Strate­gis­che Autonomie [30] and Shock as Oppor­tu­ni­ty [31].
[11] Merkel: Keine “Ewigkeits­garantie” für Unter­stützung Europas durch die USA. www.welt.de 12.01.2017.
[12] Daniel-Dylan Böh­mer, Thorsten Jung­holt: “Frau Merkel muss sich warm anziehen”. www.welt.de 13.01.2017.

3. Among the var­i­ous and sundry dis­as­trous out­comes of Trump’s poli­cies may well be a cyber-ter­ror­ist inci­dent from a nation-state actor or a lone male­fac­tor, this the result of a fed­er­al hir­ing freeze.

“What Does Trump’s Hir­ing Freeze Mean for Fed­er­al Cyber Short­age?” by Mohana Ravin­dranath; Nextgov; 1/24/2017. [15]

On his first offi­cial day in office after inau­gu­ra­tion, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has made good on his plan to insti­tute a fed­er­al hir­ing freeze—part of his effort to slash the fed­er­al work­force. 

Details are sparse: Trump has said there would be excep­tions for the mil­i­tary, and a White House memo [16] notes the freeze would be waived “when nec­es­sary to meet nation­al or pub­lic safe­ty respon­si­bil­i­ties.”

Some experts fear a tem­po­rary hir­ing freeze could exac­er­bate a chron­ic prob­lem in the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment: a wide­spread short­age of cyber­se­cu­ri­ty tal­ent.

A hir­ing freeze could sig­nal to essen­tial cyber­se­cu­ri­ty talent—especially those who might con­sid­er join­ing the pub­lic sec­tor from high­er-pay­ing indus­try jobs—that there’s no need or desire for them in the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment, Alan Chvotkin, exec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of the Pro­fes­sion­al Ser­vices Coun­cil, told Nextgov. . . .

5. Exem­pli­fy­ing a dis­con­nect that is sure to help bring our econ­o­my down, Labor Sec­re­tary Puzder lauds the val­ue of machines over humans. While he is cor­rect that machines do not do many things that he sees as counter-pro­duc­tive, he ignores the fact that machines don’t by food at Car­l’s Junior or Hard­ees, the food chains for which he is chief exec­u­tive. No machine has ever bought any­thing.

When automa­tion, infla­tion of the price of con­sumer goods that are import­ed and have had tar­iffs slapped on them by “The Don­ald,” lack of health care forc­ing work­ing peo­ple to devote increas­ing­ly scarce resources toward main­tain­ing their and/or their fam­i­lies’ health, the sub­ver­sion of min­i­mum wage, over­time and union­iza­tion laws and statutes and increas­ing con­cen­tra­tion of eco­nom­ic own­er­ship have brought Amer­i­can con­sumers to their knees, our con­sumer-based econ­o­my will col­lapse.

“Don­ald Trump’s Pick for Labor Sec­re­tary Has Said Machines Are Cheap­er, Eas­i­er to Man­age than Humans” by Steven Over­ly; The Wash­ing­ton Post ; 12/8/2016. [17]

Fast food exec­u­tive Andrew Puzder, who Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump is expect­ed to tap as labor sec­re­tary [18], has advo­cat­ed replac­ing some human work­ers with machines as a way for busi­ness­es to reduce costs asso­ci­at­ed with ris­ing wages and health-care expens­es.

While machines require reg­u­lar main­te­nance and can some­times mal­func­tion, Puzder said, they are also eas­i­er to man­age than humans and don’t pose the same legal risks. “They’re always polite, they always upsell, they nev­er take a vaca­tion, they nev­er show up late, there’s nev­er a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race dis­crim­i­na­tion case,” Puzder told Busi­ness Insid­er in March [19].

Puzder serves as the chief exec­u­tive of CKE Restau­rants, the cor­po­rate par­ent behind fast food chains Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. . . .

6. With Bet­sy De Vos appoint­ed as Sec­re­tary of Edu­ca­tion, the already dis­mal, fright­en­ing civic aware­ness of our pub­lic school stu­dents fig­ures to get worse. In and of itself, that is cause for extreme pes­simism.

As our soci­ety dis­in­te­grates from the inter­play of var­i­ous eco­nom­ic, polit­i­cal and mil­i­tary fac­tors, the calls for “some­one to do some­thing” to repair our dys­func­tion­al soci­ety are like­ly to increase expo­nen­tial­ly.

“Bul­ly Pul­pit” by Kristi­na Riz­ca; Moth­er Jones; January/February 2017. [20]

. . . . When, 2011, the World Val­ues Sur­vey asked US cit­i­zens in their late teens and ear­ly 20s whether democ­ra­cy was a good way to run a coun­try, about a quar­ter said it was “bad” or “very bad,” an increase of one-third since the late 1990s. Among cit­i­zens of all ages, 1 in 6 now say in would be fine for the “army to rule,” up from 1 in 16 in 1995. In a dif­fer­ent nation­al sur­vey, about two-thirds of Amer­i­cans could not name all three branch­es of the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment or which par­ty con­trolled the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives. In a third study, almost half of the respon­dents said the gov­ern­ment should be per­mit­ted to pro­hib­it a peace­ful march. . . .