Tag Archives: trump

Should the US Ban Muslim Immigrants?

By Dom Nozzi

January 31, 2017

In January of 2017, Donald Trump was blasted for proposing a ban on Muslim immigration into the US.

I believe I am about the only person on the political left who is not attacking Trump for his Muslim ban.

I’m sorry, but the ban (or some form of aggressive vetting at points of entry) seems reasonable to me.

The US has been bombing Syria back to the stone age for several years, and as a consequence has 05996fc52c8bc14d89e2f515678638f1killed many thousands of innocent people.

Is it not reasonable to conclude that there are a LOT of Syrians who have now dedicated their lives to exact violent retribution against the US. That many of those understandably enraged people are now motivated to travel to the US and kill as many Americans as possible?

I for one would be FURIOUS if my family had been killed by a bombing raid. I can easily see myself wanting to travel to the nation responsible for the bombing to kill people in that nation.

Where has the outrage been with regard to the US bombing of places such as Syria (and many other nations in the Middle East)? THAT is where the protests should have been directed.

The US has murdered so many hundreds of thousands of innocent people in the Middle East (and elsewhere) over the past 40-50 years that we will have to be afraid of attacks on us by Middle Easterners for the rest of our lives.

The US needs to immediately get the hell out of the Middle East.

Why are we attacking a proposed immigration ban when we should be loudly protesting against our government (both Trump now and Obama over the past eight years) for our many wars of aggression? Aggression which continues, to this day, to kill so many innocent people in seven Middle Eastern nations?

Yes, prohibiting immigration based on country of origin is, in normal times, inexcusable. But the US has blood on its hands for our bombing outrages, and immigration bans (or aggressive vetting at points of entry) are a terrible price we – as a Warrior Nation — may have to pay for the remainder of our lives.

So much for our admirable reputation of being a melting pot…

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2016 Elections and the Politics of Friendships

 

By Dom Nozzi

January 23, 2017

I am increasingly of the view that extreme partisan politics is an enormous problem in our society. I think that problem is increasingly on steroids due to such things as Facebook, the Internet, and the huge array of media sources now available to us.

Due mostly to those tools, people are much more likely to only hear or read things they fully agree with and hear nothing that strays from it – a phenomenon that leads to the “echo chamber” effect. This monochromatic look at the world of course breeds a lot of hostility toward other views (or the other political party).

An irony is that in the early days of the Internet, many of us expected that the HUGE increase in information would allow people to be more aware and tolerant of different views. Many of us did not anticipate that such a world would, instead, allow us to ONLY get info we agreed with.

One thing I notice on Facebook, however, is that the very few Republican friends I have will sometimes post contrary views on topics that we on the left are inundated with, and it is fascinating to me because much of those Republican posts seem believable and persuasive. And are views I never hear at all from my friends on the left.

I am bothered by how easily those on the left these days engage in double standards. Attacking Republicans for things back in the Obama years. And now DOING THOSE VERY SAME THINGS now that Trump is president (such as character assassination, caricature, extreme anger, vowing to always oppose anything he proposes, making fun of him, and screaming that HE IS NOT MY PRESIDENT!!).

An excellent example of extreme partisanship.partisan_voters

Didn’t the Founding Fathers warn against the creation of political parties? If so, it is now more clear than ever why they did so.

The best one can do these days with certain people who are friends is to just tolerate their thoughts and try not to discuss the hot button issues. One thing I have learned in my professional town and transportation planning work is that even if the person is very intelligent, when emotions are involved (traffic congestion and road rage, for example), I need to steer clear of the topic.

This is true even though I am VERY passionate and informed about these topics.

Strong emotions tend to turn off a person’s mind. Evidence and logic are often thrown out the window when strong emotions emerge.

I think this also applies to politics.

When strong emotions come into play, I need to remind myself that people with other views will need to learn on their own…

Something else that has driven much of the divisive hostility we are seeing during this presidential elections time: EXTREME, unvarying hostility by the media towards Trump. I really dislike a great deal about Trump and his views and actions. But I have NEVER seen so much negative media attention. Nothing in the past has been even close to this. One result of the extreme 24/7 media attacks against Trump is that even well-informed people have lost their minds about him. The media has convinced them that he is evil incarnate. The world will end tomorrow! Everything wrong in the world is due to Trump! Trump is the most awful person who ever lived!

It is almost comical if it were not tragic and dangerous. I think that there is a decent chance Trump will be assassinated. If so, the media will largely be to blame.

The left needs to come to terms with the following: Given the EXTREME 24/7 media negativity toward Trump over the past year, how was it possible that over 62 million people voted for him? I’m not saying that Trump must be a good guy despite the media bombardment. He is in many ways an undesirable president. But can the left simply say that there are 62 million morons in America? I don’t think so. I think many on the left are out of touch with what many Americans are looking for. Like with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura, a lot of voters decided that America needed to elect a muscular superhero who would be strong enough to not cave in to many of the economic troubles we are facing: NAFTA, TPP, loss of jobs, immigration, etc. Trump created the persona of a strong superman who would stand up and fight for blue collar jobs.

Much of his tactics to do that are inappropriate or ineffective, but I think his overall message appealed to people. Democrats (except folks like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren) have mostly turned their back to that concern. And decided that instead of reaching out to the lower and middle class, Democrats could win with HUGE amounts of corporate cash, identity politics, being tough on crime and “terrorists,” and relentlessly attacking Trump as a racist, sexist asshole. The result is that the Democrats lost the presidency, the House, the Senate, and many state governorships.

Yet the DNC now opts to blame the Russians…

With regard to the massive worldwide marches we saw yesterday, I find myself asking where those marches and protests and energy were during the presidential race? During the eight years of Obama?

Our nation has enormous existing problems (war, transportation, economic suffering, pollution, political corruption, the health industry, etc.). We should have had millions marching every week for decades. If Hillary was elected, I’m convinced we would have seen another four or eight years of no marches or protests despite those several huge EXISTING problems – many of which were made worse during Obama’s years in office.

I think many people have concluded that the Democrats have become too much like Republicans (for example, having a lot of corrupt politicians who were bought by lobbyists), and Trump’s campaign pushed the idea that he was an outsider who was not corrupted by lobbyists.

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A Reason Why the Left Should Celebrate the Trump Presidency

 

By Dom Nozzi

January 21, 2017

Worldwide marching and protesting against the Donald Trump election in January 2017…is what I am seeing all over my Facebook wall today.trump-protest-los-angeles-macarthur-park-saturday

For the record, this should be a very clear confirmation of what many of us have been saying for a few months now: The protesting and opposition is a reason why those of us on the left should be HAPPY that Trump is president.

We had EIGHT YEARS of silence from the left while Obama was implementing a neoliberal agenda. Where were the protests from the left while Obama significantly increased the number of wars in the Middle East over and above wars Bush had started? Where was the left while Obama was substantially ramping up the criminal drone assassination campaign? Where were the marches due to Obama being in bed with Wall Street and Big Pharma and Big Oil? Where was the resistance when Obama was giving the Pentagon a blank check? Where were the objections to Obama taking actions that Republicans are known for, such as being a cheerleader for a Cold War by being bellicose and engaging in fear-mongering toward the Russians? Why was the left silent about demanding that Obama spent trillions to build, say, a national US rail system rather than build bombs to kill civilians (and create more terrorists)?

I will tell you where they were.

They were pretending such inexcusable actions were okay because they were being done by a Democrat, and extreme partisanship means Democrats must not speak ill of “their own” for political reasons.

Had Hillary won, we would have had four or eight more years of people NOT marching or protesting or resisting or scrutinizing appointments or Supreme Court nominees. This shameful silence would have occurred even though Hillary was apparently going to be going even MORE to the right than Obama had gone.

Four or eight more years of the left being asleep while the corporate war and exploitation machine keeps chugging along doing things that the left should be enraged about.

With Trump, the left will be hopefully back to what it should have been doing since 2008: protesting.

I do have a big concern, however, despite the good news of the return of protesting from the left.

Due to extreme partisanship, I worry that no matter how progressive various Trump initiatives might be during his turn (and I believe there will be some), many will knee jerk oppose it BECAUSE it is not being proposed by a Democrat. I am already starting to see signs of this counterproductive, paralyzing partisanship.

Extreme partisanship is very bad. Shame on Democrats (and Republicans) for becoming so extreme these days. Extreme at least in part because of the Internet/Facebook/social media echo chamber.

Don’t get me wrong.

I would much prefer to see a political progressive as president right now and not a clown like Trump. But only if the left (and the media) did their job and vigorously demanded that action be taken to address existing problems, and objected to ruinous actions a progressive president opted to take. Sadly, the left has a terrible track record in “holding the Democrat’s feet to the fire,” so to speak.

This is not to say that we have EVER elected a progressive president – because we have not.

Overall, I have been disgusted by how many on the left have been in love with moderate Republicans such as Obama and Hillary.

 

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Why Did Trump Win?

 

By Dom Nozzi

January 27, 2017

For the entire 2016 US Presidential election season, a great many folks on the Left (and Right) who were understandably disgusted by Donald Trump thought – wrongly – that the way to stop him from being elected was to constantly attack him as a horrible person. He’s a liar! A misogynist! A racist! A moron! An egotist! An unstable person! A fascist! The worst presidential candidate ever! An out-of-touch billionaire!

But with all due respect, it turns out that many of those who screamed those things – and CONTINUE to scream those things after he was elected – are the ones who are out of touch.

Both the Republican Party AND the Democratic Party have become so corrupted by Wall Street, Corporations, the Military-Industrial Complex, and Big Pharma that they have turned their backs on the many people in America who are hurting for jobs (both the unemployed and underemployed) and income.2aaa

The Republicans have a long tradition of engaging in this sort of corruption. But now the neo-liberals – lead by such folks as Bill Clinton — have convinced the Democrats to take the same path. The neo-liberals decided that they would be better Repubs than the Repubs. Neo-liberals would adopt the same economic, criminal justice, and military objectives as Repubs, but would be more supportive of women’s rights and environmental protection.

The neo-liberals (which includes Hillary Clinton and those who supported her in the primaries) took the working class for granted, and assumed such voters would be trapped into voting for the Democrat. All they had to do was point out how HORRIBLE Trump was as a person. Identity politics would lock in a victory.

But the strategy utterly failed.

Trump realized that the key to being elected was to appeal to the working class. To speak to them in ways that appealed to the pain they are feeling.

Trump attacked NAFTA and TPP (while Dems such as Hillary and Obama supported such agreements). The working class HATES those agreements. Trump promised to bring jobs back to America and impose punishing rules and tariffs on nations taking American jobs and importing foreign goods to America. That is music to the ears of the working class. Trump promised to be an “outsider.” A tough-guy superhero (like Arnold Schwarzenegger) who would be strong enough to stand up to the people and nations who were taking American jobs and income.

As much as the Left dislikes this, calls by Trump to build a wall on the Mexican border and deport immigrants and weaken environmental regulations all can sound appealing to people looking for a job.

In the end, the fact that Trump is a horrible racist or sexist or liar or moron matters far less for a huge number of Americans than the fact that it appears he cares about bringing back American jobs and income, and appears to be tough enough and savvy enough to do it. Privileged Dems who have jobs and income, by contrast, cannot even imagine how ANYONE could vote for a racist, sexist moron.

Because they are out of touch with the working class.

Do the self-righteous neo-liberals realize the extreme income and wealth disparities that now exist in the US? Do they know that about half of all Americans are suffering economically? Are neo-liberals even paying lip service to these America-is-not-great conditions?

Such an out-of-touch attitude fails to recognize that needing a job and an income are far more important than the fact that a candidate is an asshole. Or the opponent is a woman.

This helps explain why Trump – the biggest clown to ever run for president – won the election. Why the Repubs won the House, the Senate, the statehouses, and many governorships.

If the Dems don’t discard the corrupt, warmongering, neo-liberal wing of their party, they will continue to experience defeats in future elections – elections they should be winning (or the Left should be winning).

Pointing out that the Repub candidate an asshole is not enough. Running a Right Wing woman won’t work in 2016.

While I support the protesting against bad Trump appointments and bad Trump policies, I do not support the Dems acting like Repubs by opposing EVERYTHING Trump proposes (such extreme partisanship ignores the fact that Trump/Repubs occasionally propose things the Left should support – such as dumping TPP and NAFTA). The Left needs to realize that it is particularly likely that Trump will occasionally support Left Wing causes because he has not been as corrupted by lobbyist dollars as have the Dems and Repubs. This is a golden opportunity, therefore, for long-standing Leftist policies to be adopted.

It is time for the Left to stop screaming about what an asshole Trump is, and get to work on either creating a new party or reforming the corrupt Dem Party.

Neoliberals need to look in the mirror and stop pointing fingers at others.

The blame for the Trump election resides with corrupt neoliberalism. Not the oft-stated claim that a huge number of Americans are racist morons. Or the Russians. Or Leftists who didn’t vote for Hillary.

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Facebook Comments Directed at Me in the Fall of 2016 Regarding My Presidential Election Views

 

Rob Brinkman [a friend of mine for several years]: Fuck you, Dom. [In response to my FB comment to a Mark Sexton post comparing Bernie Sanders to Hillary Clinton. I said “Shame on those on the political left who would vote for a DINO [Clinton].”

Colin Whitworth [a friend of mine for several years]: You’ve lost your fucking mind, Dom. [He then unfriended me on Facebook.]

Kathie J Smith: Dom Nozzi well you could start by maybe getting your head out of your ass.

Gina Hawkins [a friend of mine for several years]: I can’t believe you are being such an idiot. I have some land to sell you in south Florida…

Gina Hawkins [in reference to my traumatic brain injury in 1996]: That knock to your head was worse than I thought.

Dave Newport [a friend of mine for several years]: You’re truly an idiot. You should write in Trump and make America stupid again.

Joe Courter [a friend of mine for several years]: You know Dom, for being a rational free-thinker, you are taking a huge leap of faith in your self righteous vote your conscience advocacy… get real.

Mary Del Balzo (my sister): I won’t bother to respond. I know from previous elections that you are beyond help. [She then unfriended me on Facebook.]

Jane D Myers: You can’t changed closed minds.

Francoise Poinsatte [a good friend of mine]: : What is wrong with you, Dom?? I can’t stand to see you bad mouthing Hillary on everything, and hardly even mentioning Trump. … In the meantime, you may get your fervent wish, as Trump appears to be gaining in the polls, and we may have to contend with the nightmare of his presidency. I highly disrespect all I have seen you post on facebook recently. I believe you have lost a lot of respect with your constant diatribes against Hillary Clinton. [She then unfriended me on Facebook.]

Grant Thrall [a good friend and colleague for several years]: : Dom’s way is “my way or the highway.” No compromise. Just like the t-party Republicans. That can bring an end to the nation.

Steve Manning [a friend of mine for several years]: Which means you didn’t care who won. Noted. You stood by. Easy to do when you don’t have kids. you stood by. Good bye. [He immediately unfriended me on Facebook. This was after more than 40 years of our being good friends.]

Betsy MacWhinney [a friend from high school]: I’m so fucking tired of people call themselves “Progressive” but are fine with the country heading back to 1952.

In all, 11 Facebook friends unfriended me during the 2016 presidential campaign. I blame much of the above hostility to the extreme, 24/7 attacking from the US corporate media, which has continued since Trump’s election. Even relatively educated people have, at least partly as a result, lost their minds in their fury over Trump. “HE IS THE MOST EVIL, STUPID, AWFUL HUMAN IN HISTORY!!! THE WORLD WILL END THE DAY HE IS ELECTED!!! I’M TERRIFIED AND WILL HIDE UNDER MY BED!!!”

I am certain that the media hostility toward Trump has destroyed a great many friendships and family relationships. I am firmly on the political left and have very little sympathy for Trump, but the media opposition to Trump was shockingly one-sided.  trump-as-hitler-2

I’ve never seen anything like it. Almost like living in the former Soviet Union with Pravda as the media.

 

 

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Hillary Clinton is a Republican

 

By Dom Nozzi

October 15, 2016

Hillary Clinton is a DINO (Democrat In Name Only).1x-1

  • She supported the Iraq war (and likely has no desire to end the endless Afghan war, or the many other Middle East forever wars the US has gotten involved in). As Secretary of State Hillary used Bush/Cheney-style false intelligence as justification for levying of militarist aggression on Libya. In other words, she fully supports the ruinous “War on Terror,” which would more accurately be called the “War to Endlessly Fund the Pentagon & Create More People Who Hate the US.”
  • She supported the Patriot Act in 2001, and regularly supports other domestic spying proposals and civil liberties violations.
  • She was, according to the NYT, by far the biggest militarist and interventionist of all presidential candidates in 2016 (she is, unsurprisingly, supported by many nationally prominent Republican hawks, including Kissinger).
  • She was instrumental in fomenting a right wing coup in Honduras. Now, indigenous rights activists are being murdered by the regime.
  • She claims to be in support of immigration but as Secretary of State called for the deportation of children who were refugees from the murderous unrest in central and south America.
  • She supported NAFTA; the Clinton’s “Two-For-The-Price-Of-One” presidency’s so-called Welfare reform act — The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) — an act that cast more women and children into poverty than any event since the Great Depression.
  • She has been corrupted by huge sums of money from military contractors. Combined with her militaristic views, she is highly likely to pour even MORE money into the obscenely bloated Pentagon than Obama did (Obama set all-time US records for money going to the Pentagon). The US ALREADY spends more on the military than the next 8 nations in the world, combined, who spend the most on the military).
  • She supports the death penalty. She termed minority youth “super predators” while shilling for the Clinton administration’s Jim Crow 2.0 omnibus crime bill i.e., Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 — a racist piece of legislation that was the origin of the U.S. prison industrial complex. She reaped rewards for that years later when the largest private prison industry financed her senate campaign and both her presidential runs.
  • She served as a shill, lawyer and lobbyist for Walmart, Tyson foods, and the environmental destructive practices of the Arkansas timber industry. As a reward she was given a cushy spot on Walmart’s board, a paid position that requires no work, just the use of her name on letterheads.
  • She unconditionally supports the Israeli government.
  • She supports the US continuing to spend a disproportionate amount of funding on NATO (way more than other members of NATO).
  • She is a strong supporter of the utterly failed, ruinous war on drugs.
  • She is silent on the pressing need to revitalize passenger rail in the US.
  • She supports the Keystone XL pipeline.
  • As Secretary of State she organized the multinational corporate engineers for TPP, the trade deal that will kill the environment when combined with TiSA and TTiP and CETA, all of which Clinton helped organize, even though she is dodging it for campaign purposes.
  • She supports offshore oil drilling.
  • She supported the 2006 border fence legislation.
  • In the primaries in 2016, she raised over $20.3 million in Super PAC dollars, and $38.8 million in large donor contributions, including from Big Pharma, Big Insurance, and the for-profit medical lobby.
  • Her personal net worth is $21.5 million. The Clinton family now has something on the order of $200 million. She is, in other words, clearly a 1 percenter.
  • When she ran for president in 2008, she supported the second amendment, stood by her vote in support of the Iraq war, and opposed same sex marriage.
  • As a Young Republican, she worked for Barry Goldwater’s 1964 presidential campaign.
  • When the minimum wage was raised in Haiti to 61 cents an hour, the U.S. Department of State, under Madame Clinton, intervened on behalf of the corporate garment industry exploiting defacto slave labor and had the rate changed back to 31 cents.
  • She supports fracking.
  • She opposes reinstating Glass Steagall (or other Wall St regulations). She supported much banking deregulation that crashed the global economy in 08; moreover, the Clinton family has grown wealthy due to the quid quo pro involved.
  • Hillary is a great example of a “Rockefeller Republican” from the 70s. http://www.salon.com/2016/08/21/clinton-isnt-the-perfect-gop-nominee-but-she-is-the-conservative-option-for-2016/?source=newsletter

During the 2016 campaign, I have not had a single lesser evil voter take the time to respond to any points on the above list (makes me wonder if it matters to lesser evil voters that Clinton is a right-winger, as not responding implies agreement with the accuracy of the list).

One problem with the above list is that Clinton is infamous for changing her position on issues regularly to suit political or monetary interests. Therefore, it is relatively difficult to know where she stands from day to day. When one looks up “flipflopper” in the dictionary, there should be a drawing of her.

One person told me it was unfair to refer to Clinton supporting Goldwater, as views change over the course of 50 or 60 years. But where Clinton stood in 1964 is of possible importance, as most of us don’t change our political views radically from our teen years to our adult years (and when views change from teen to senior years, they tend to move toward more conservative). Sure, it is possible Clinton no longer harbors Goldwater views, but it is unlikely that she has utterly rejected all of them (for example, she seems to be a Goldwater person when it comes to warfare). Another reason to consider her Goldwater support in 1964 is that it would dovetail with many of her current Repub views, and help explain her often Repub value system.

Hillary Clinton, in sum, is the consummate neo-liberal, which I define as someone who is a Republican when it comes to economics, the military, and criminal justice, while being more of a Democrat when it comes to social issues such as women’s rights and education.

Postscript January 2017: I am convinced that neo-liberals such as Hillary and her supporters were largely responsible for Trump’s election, as neo-liberals largely turned their back on the Democratic base. Trump showed far more sympathy for the financially hurting working class, and said enough in support of military isolationism that a number of hawks opted to support Hillary. As a result, Hillary lost many blue-collar states won by Obama.

 

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