Archives for category: Politics

 

Even though Assad is evil, I would much prefer this evil than the one from Daesh or the FSA.  While they are running around killing people and then blaming the West for all their problem, Assad is Opening a Women’s fair in Aleppo. You tell me which would you prefer? Living under a secular dictatorship or with a bunch of bearded guys that would shop off your head for wearing a dress, or listening to music, or smoking a cigarette after iftar during Ramadan? If you picked the bearded guys then by all means move to Raqqa and I hope that you get a nice present from above with special delivery from the USAF, the Russian Aerospace Forces, or the Syrian Air Force.

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The following video from a tweet shows Russian, Syrian government, and Syrian Kurds dancing together near Manbij.  Soldiers laughing and dancing while a few miles away the Turkish army and their FSA puppets are figuring out how to attack Manbij while not getting shot at by the United States, Russia, Syria and the Kurds at the same time. Good luck Erdogan! I think your Turkey is cooked.

 


No it’s not LTG(R) Flynn, or Steve Bannon. So who might be a Russian agent? How about Louis Marinelli. Who?

Louis Marinelli is the founder of YES California, a movement to secede from the United States and become an independent country. He used to live in Russia for years as a English teacher and at one point even want to renounce his US citizenship citing disillusionment with the United States government. He now claims that he splits time living in Russia and the US.

If seceding was not American enough, how about the fact that the Yes California movement set up an embassy in?Yup Russia.  In December 2016, right after the election, Yes California opened new digs in Moscow in partnership with far right Russian nationalists allied to the Kremlin.  He also received a grant from the Kremlin to pay for flying separatist activists from all over the world to a conference held at the Ritz in Moscow back in 2016. The conference was paid for by the Kremlin.

 

Marinelli also stated that he wants to ally himself with Russia and China to support his movement and use their security council seats and power at the UN to recognize the results of a referendum that would grant California independence.

This evidence is way juicy than what the CIA has been dishing out for months about President Trump and is actually based on facts and no innuendos. Is he a Russian Spy? I don’t know but it sounds like he is not shy about taking their money and support. To those Trump haters in California, think twice about seceding. Think about it:

  • If California secedes the Union would have 2 less liberal Senators and 38 congressmen/women.
  • 55 electoral college votes would disappear virtually assuring that Republicans would win the Presidency every time.
  • The liberal federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals would be stripped of judges and power and could even be eliminated all togther.
  • The US defense industry with its high paying jobs would all move out of California
  • Your crumbling roads and infrastructure will get no more funding from DoT
  • Your farmers won’t get any more subsidies from DoA
  • California would have to pay more for water and electricity that comes from neighboring states
  • All California produce, services, goods would be subject to import taxes
  • The Tech companies would all pick up and move to Seattle in order to do business with the United States
  • The US would impose an embargo
  • The US government or maybe even Mexico would just invade lol

So before you go and sign the petition to have a referendum think about this. Even if the referendum passes it will still require a two-thirds vote in Congress and the vote of three quarters of the state legislatures. So yes after the Trump win it would be nice do get even and win and it would probably feel good but its an impossibility and the result would just be disastrous.  California would be turned to a 3rd world country with a US imposed embargo that would make Cuba look like club med.

Maybe after the referendum, a new group could be born calling itself  Si California. This group would advocate the return of California to Mexico and could have their embassy in Mexico City. Mexico would send thousands across the border that would no longer be protected by US Customs and Border Police. The wave of illegals would tip the vote toward Si California, returning California to Mexico after 169 years.

 

So go ahead waste everyone’s time and money and sign your name on the petition so can feel good about yourself for sticking it to the man for 10 minutes. Oh wait that’s exactly what Trump voters did. So basically you are the same, you just pay more for coffee thinking its better and drive Priuses.

 


Recently Amazon announced that it was going to participate in the SNAP program and is committed to making food accessible through online grocery shopping.  44 million Americans rely on food stamps and the government spends $74 billion a year on the program and now we want them to use the money on Amazon. Great if it saves them money right?

Wrong. Amazon won’t lift the delivery fees or the prime membership in order to get free shipping. So according to Amazon this is how much they will pay:

“Prime members in select cities can shop for groceries, everyday essentials, favorites from local shops and restaurants, and more with AmazonFresh. Visit Amazon.com/AmazonFresh to see if AmazonFresh delivers to your area.

As a Prime member you can now can now add AmazonFresh for $14.99 per month to your existing Prime membership.

Existing annual Prime Fresh members will be charged $99 for their annual Prime membership and $14.99 each month for Fresh upon your renewal date. Alternatively, you can switch to the monthly Fresh Add-on before the renewal date by visiting Manage Your Prime Membership, or by following the link in the email you received about the subscription update for personalized assistance.”

So in total, users of the service will pay $278.88 per year. This ends up being an idiotic waste of government money to even try a pilot program. If the recipient has to pay out of pocket the $278.88 a year then the program will make poor people.  For Amazon it makes sense to grab some of the $74 billion the government spends on food stamps but for the government it is ridiculously stupid. Amazon probably hopes that they can push the government to pay for some or all of the extra fees. I don’t blame them, they are a for profit company. So kill this program before it spends a single penny of tax payer money.


If politicians would do what is best for the country and the people then the solution is quite simple and will save the country billions. How I would do it you say?

Repeal Obamacare tomorrow and flip everyone to Medicare and have them pay what they are currently paying today for their crappy plan for access to Medicare. We can keep all the good things from Obamacare such has no preexisting conditions,  kids can stay on their parents plan, etc. without breaking the bank and giving subsidies to middle men that are only looking to make a profit.

Instead of using an insurance program that is efficient and that works, we decided to give subsidies to private insurance companies. That was the problem from the beginning. It did not nothing to curb costs and only lined the pockets of big insurance companies and the for profit health care system.

By flipping the 16+ million Americans to Medicare it will cost very little to do so and those 16+ Americans can pay what they are currently paying to the private insurance companies + US government subsidies directly to Medicare. Just by doing that we should be able to maintain the coverage of  millions of Americans without costing the US tax payer a cent. If this doesn’t pay completely for the program (wish I doubt) here are some other ideas for how to pay for the program:

  1. After a year, premiums and deductibles for people below the age of 65 could be calculated to pay for the system but also raise funds to keep it solvent in the future. So the income from premiums would fund most of the program + some. T
  2. Give access to private insurance to compete across state lines and let Medicare compete against them to reduce costs and increase their efficiency.
  3. Increase Medicare taxable wage to $500k instead of $118k.  By raising it so high we will be able to reduce the FICA tax of 12.4% to potentially to 11%-10%.  This would raise incomes for workers at the bottom with more take home pay and save companies billions. What CEO would say no to reducing their 6.2% FICA matching tax to say 5.5%. We could cap the FICA corporate mathing tax to the first $250k.
  4. Making it illegal to not accept Medicare. Some private for profit companies have been pushing out Medicare patients because they rather make a bigger profit. Saying no Medicare is like saying no the US dollar or the Government of the United States.
  5. Lifting the idiotic baring Medicare to negotiate drug prices and services. According to the WSJ, lifting this rule  “the federal government could save between $15.2 billion and $16 billion annually if it negotiated with drug makers for Medicare Part D medicines and obtained the same prices that are paid by Medicaid or the Veterans Benefits Administration”.
  6. Reforming the mortgage interest deduction to limit it to one home and only homes and capping the deduction to $50,000 in interest per year. The deduction was created to boast home ownership and help lower income household but actually gives a huge tax break to households making $200,000 or more (over 70% of those households use the deduction). This is a great deduction for middle America but it should not be abused to let the richest’s in America deduct up to $1,000,000 in interest on their first and second home.  By capping it, the system would be able to increase revenues by tens of billions a year. If you bought a home for $1 million at say 4% and financed it at 100% your annual payments (interest + principal) would be a little over $57,289 so plenty of upper middle class households could use it if capped at $50,000. By the way you can use the deduction on your yacht or if take out a HELOC on pretty much anything you want. How many middle class Americans have yachts or own a second home?
  7. Raising the capital gains tax from 15% to 20% for cumulative gains over $250,000. So if you report making over $255,000 in capital gains may it be from selling 1 stock or 500 stocks you will pay 15% on the first $250,000 and pay 20% on 5,000. You could even scale it . Say 16% from $250k-$500k, 17% for $500-1 million, 19% from $1-$5 million and then 20% for anything over $5 million. Either way, the government will be able to raise plenty of money without hurting the middle class, family farms, and small business owners.

All these tax proposals and ideas are simple, don’t hurt the middle class and still generate plenty of revenues to Medicare is more efficient and gives better quality healthcare than the private insurance companies.  A Gallup poll showed that American with government insurance and healthcare are more happy than those with private insurance.

By eliminating subsidies to the private sector (Obamacare + Medicare part D) you are giving Medicare a chance to not only stay solvent but actually reduce costs across the whole healthcare market and insure almost every American for a lower cost than in today’s system. So dear President elect Trump, before you do anything think about it.

 


The CIA is claiming that the Russians have hacked the election and interfered in the US election but should we believe them (they are the CIA so they do lie – heck its their job). So how did they influence the election? Fake news.

Yes fake news or better know as don’t always believe what you read on the internet. The media has jumped on this story with major embarrassment. The Washington Post came out with a story about fake news that turned out to be fake news itself. The Washington Post on a McCarthy which hunt used the information from a so called group of experts, PROPORNOT, that named over 200 sites and blogs Russian propaganda without showing any proof or explanation. This article was of such low journalistic integrity that the Washington Post after growing pressure and law suits was forced to add a lengthy editor’s note to the story with the following section of particular interest:

“THE POST, WHICH DID NOT NAME ANY OF THE SITES, DOES NOT ITSELF VOUCH FOR THE VALIDITY OF PROPORNOT’S FINDINGS REGARDING ANY INDIVIDUAL MEDIA OUTLET, NOR DID THE ARTICLE PURPORT TO DO SO. “

What the Post is saying is that we didn’t check anything, we didn’t call anyone to verify the information nor did we call the sites to get a quote. They basically abdicated they journalistic ethics for a fake story. There has been a widespread abandonment of press responsibilities in the United States which has been going on for decades. Gone are the days of Walter Cronkite that will tell the people the truth and present the facts no matter where it would lead. These days I never believe anything they say anymore. I verify the facts that are presented which usually  is the official narrative from the government, special interest groups, or their corporate sponsors. The official text is regurgitated and differs very little from State controlled media in many other countries that we criticize.

Fake stories are not new and this idea that Russia was behind it is just ridiculous. Since the birth of internet, wackos, conspiracy buffs, alternative viewpoints have always been there. All of a sudden, these same people that have had a voice online for years are considered FSB sleeper agents. The main press has always ignored them and ridiculed them and now jump at every word they write calling it proof of a grander Russian conspiracy.

If the CIA report is true (which very difficult to prove) than the Russian are brilliant masters of propaganda that we should just surrender to them since they got their mole into the White House.  These journalists and pundits are threatening our democracy by creating the fake news that President Trump is a Russian spy or a best a lackey.  This is in my view treason because 0 and I mean 0 evidence exists that the Russian hacked into the voting machines or bought votes or manipulated votes in anyway. By repeating this narrative day after day is only undermining the presidency of the United States. By repeating this narrative (repeat a lie enough and it becomes true) while at the same time giving credence to protesters and recount efforts is undermining the peaceful transition of power that we have enjoyed for over 200 years. If you didn’t like the outcome of the election that is understandable but to advocate for new elections line former CIA Officer turned CNN intelligence analyst Bob Baer is dangerous.

I fear the CIA is so obsessed with helping Jihadists in Syria that they are willing to undermine our democracy to the point of rebellion instead of accepting that the American people have voted for someone that will not seek idiotic adventures overseas and will pull out of Syria.  The CIA has had in the last 60 years close ties to Islamic fundamentalists and has always viewed Jihadist as tools to be used to combat communism and Arab nationalism. The entire idea was to use the Muslim populations in the southern central Asian to turn against the Soviet Union and to turn the Muslim brotherhood against Abdel Nasser of Egypt and nationalists in Syria and across the middle east. This policy has been re-purposed to overthrow regimes in Libya and in Syria but just with Afghanistan in the 80s, Jihadists are difficult to control. mutate and tend to turn against the hand that feeds them.

 

The most ironic thing is that the CIA report is basically whining about Russian hacking that revealed the interference and collusion by the DNC, large corporations, the rich, lobby groups and establishment players in trying to influence the American people in voting for Hillary Clinton. They pushed from day one that her victory was a “fait accompli” and we should all fall in line. Where are the calls for an investigation in media and DNC collusion? Where are the calls for an investigation of the DNC for doing everything possible to sabotage Bernie Sanders to include espionage a la Watergate?

At the end, if the Russians tried to influence our election I would not be surprised. We tried to influence their elections especially in 2011 (Putin was furious at Hillary Clinton) and we shouldn’t cry about it like babies when they do a better job of it. We have influenced elections, bought off dictators and overthrown regimes for over two centuries so when someone else tries to do the same to us we should be a little more sportsman like since it is all a great game.


OPEC has agreed to a cut but that is not what will trust oil prices over $100 a barrel.  A much more important and potentially devastation scenario will push oil upward if it occurs. I say if but the chances are very high. I am talking of a political event and crisis that no one is talking about but should.

I am talking about the potential downfall of the Saudi Royal family. The current situation in Saudi Arabia is getting more and more dangerous and will lead to a coup that will oust the current king and his son at best. The father and son duo have in a relatively short amount of time created:

  • The Yemen war which has been a disaster militarily as well as politically with the Houthis still holding on with no sign or weakening. Near the Saudi Yemen border, the Saudi border guards and Amy have been getting a beating with many towns abandoned instead of being defended.
  • Doubled down in Syria but Russia has decided enough is enough and is and will crush the Saudi/Qatari/Turkish backed Jihadist. With Assad still in power and potential able to retake most of Western and Central Syria it is another Saudi failure and humiliation.
  • The Saudi Economy is in shambles after the devastating policies to drive oil prices down and gain market share.
  • Accepting Iranian and Iraqi terms for an oil production curb deal was at best politically embarrassing for Saudi Arabia and an acceptance that Salman’s strategy failed.

King’s Salman reign has been nothing but one failure after another. Worse of all there has been a major internal shake up when he took power.  He named Muhammad bin Nayef the crown prince end then stripped him of most of his powers and transfered nearly everything to his son Mohammed Bin Salman. Neither by the way are the sons of Muhammad Ibn Saud the founder of the Kingdom and where all other kings that followed received legitimacy from including Salman. So we have foreign adventures that are in shambles, an oil strategy that is now recognized as a failure and a future change in succession that has never been tried. So what could go wrong?

Well how about the young deputy crown prince creating more and more enemies at home by accumulating powers and sending the Kingdom down one failed venture after another and running the economy literally into the sand. Mohammed Bin Salman basically runs (King Salman is reported to be senile) the show and he reminds of one of those young consultants out of graduate school full of text book ideas but with 0 experience and worse yet is a cocky son of a bitch. What happens? Dumb idea after dumb idea is put into place which leads to  foreign workers not being paid, unemployment for young people between ages 16 and 29 is 29%, government contractors are not getting paid and the coffers are getting empty.

His reforms are also are pushing aside religious hardliners. He recently stripped the religious police of arresting powers called for education reform and for a less strict . His new Vision 2030, a plan to change Saudi Arabia is promoting phased reduction of most subsidies to the people, increase private sector employment when the government is responsible for 70% of jobs, and calling for less bureaucratic appointments a long time bread and butter for princes.

If you want to commit suicide in Saudi Arabia is it pretty simple:

  1. go after the princes money  Check
  2. cut the peoples money Check
  3. take the power away from the religious fanatics Check

Saudi Arabia’s Royal family initially an still today gets its power from the allegiance of the tribes and the religious conservatives. The Royal family also derides allegiance in the form of a social control with the people of Saudi Arabia which is basically “You don’t work and we pay you and you let us do what we like”.

Is your stomach getting a little queasy? Well it should. The economy is failing, Russian and Iranian influence on the rise in the Middle East, reforms making many traditional power players angry, and a internal battle for succession are all creating the right situation for a coup within the palace but that would be good news. So a coup is good news so what is the bad news?

Bad news is if a coup doesn’t happen and things get worse politically and economically then the thousands of Saudi Jihadists that will be returning home from Syria and already feeling betrayed by the Royal family might decide to do something about it.  The hardliners and the tribes might just side with them and we have a major problem.  We have a powder cage that could go off at any time and no one and I mean no one is talking about it. A coup a we get oil at $100 a barrel the later and we get $150+. So when that happens don’t be shocked because I told you so and it will happen and soon.


The Syrian regime of Assad with Russian air support and his regional allies Hezbollah and Iran  have in the last week made substantial gains in the city of Aleppo. They have as of today taking back over 75% of rebel held part of the city with stunning success and speed. Using massing artillery and air support and putting pressure on multiple fronts they have overwhelmed the rebels (mostly Al Queda) and for once have decided not to agree to any ceasefires or relent in their attack.

What we have seen is thousands of civilians flee and some of their stories are coming out and they are not favorable to the rebels. They speak of rebels stealing all the food aid, shooting civilians in the back when fleeing to government controlled areas. What many forget is that despite the war, Assad has maintained payments to all Syrians even if they are located in rebel controlled areas. This has maintained the living conditions of hundreds of thousands of Syrians in besieged areas that are and lets be frank mostly hostages. They are are being used as human shields or their corpses as anti-government propaganda.

To the anti Assad groups calling this a massacre what is worse? Prolonging the war and suffering of the Syrian people or getting this over quickly and reduce the number of casualties.  The Assad regime has over and over called for the rebels to lay down their arms and be moved by bus to Idlib. For weeks they refused and called repeatedly pleaded with Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States to force a cease fire. What they don’t realize is that Russia has had it with cease fires and negotiations. For a year the Russians negotiated with the United States to get the so called FSA to distance itself from extremist groups.  The United States wanted to keep trying to topple Assad and let the Gulf states assist terrorists rather than give a political legitimacy and a win to Russia.

So as my earlier article, Russia does not need the United States to settle the problem in  Syria. What the United States, Saudi Arabia and Western Europe need is Russia to kill as many if not all the jihadist because they will go back and create havoc back home. Saudi Arabia luxurious jihadi reeducation hotels are not going to work. Europe and Saudi Arabia will face thousands of them and will have a very hard time containing them. I predict that there will be running gun battles on the street of Riyadh within the years to come and oil price at 100+.

PS Many of the fighters in  Aleppo are asking to go to the Turkish FSA controlled areas including Al Qaeda links groups rather than going to Idlib. Maybe they know the situation there will be lost as well in the near future.  The Syrian Army has cleared most of the rebels near Damascus and after Aleppo and with that will be able to concentrate men, air power and armor on the wide open areas of Idlib.


Since the fall of the Berlin wall, NATO and the United States has been undermine Russia. The United States has not missed an occasion to humiliate Russian from negotiating a troop withdraw from Eastern Europe and former republics, refusing to bail the rubble out, privatization to the Russian mob,making Yeltsin swallow losing Sevastopol, NATO’s bombing of Serbia and all those movies about with actors with tick russian accents drinking vodka and trying to sell nuclear weapons.

What people don’t understand is that this the same type of idiot behavior that lead to the Third Reich. France and to some degree the United Kingdom treatment of post WWI Germany lead to resentment and then nationalism and eventually Hitlers rise. I am not saying that President Putin is Hitler but the situation has lead to a resurgence of Russia very much like in Germany in the 30’s. Using corruption, crime and NATO’s perceived aggression as the banners to rally the people under one man. It has modernized its military, learned from its lessons in Chechnya and Georgia.

On February 9 1990, Secretary of State James Baker made a deal to with Russia not to expand into eastern Europe in exchange for Gorbachev’s backing of the reunification of Germany.  The idea that NATO would add East Germany and stop there. It didn’t.  Poland, the Baltic states, Bulgaria, Romania, Check Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania, and Croatia. 11 countries later it found itself at the doorstep of Russia with Ukraine.

Ukraine’s historical, economic, and military importance to Russia was the last straw.  After the 2008 Georgia fiasco, the Russians were in no mood to play games with the United States and a clear signal had to be sent.   All signs pointed to a high probability of direct involvement in Ukraine.  The night that Viktor Yanukovych fled his opulent presidential palace, I said to my wife watch President Putin take Crimea within weeks or months and eastern Ukraine within a year.  Crimea would be taken because Russia could not trust Ukraine or NATO to abide by the 99 year lease that Clinton made Yeltsin accept (he threatened walking out of negotiations several times over Crimea). Crimea is not just an important Naval base but a symbol of Russia.  It has major historical significance from the defeat of the Ottoman Empire and the Tatars, the Crimean War all the way to its heroic resistance to the Nazis. Crimea and Sevastopol is Russia. To lose it would mean losing Pearl Harbor for the United States. Russia would of wiped out the Ukrainian Army and gladly accepted sanctions if it was necessary. Luckily, Putin acted fast while Kiev was in disorder which resulted in no loses on either side.  An impressive feat to say the least.  President Putin had 4 objectives:

1.Take Crimea to safeguard the black sea fleet and any future the Navy would have in the Mediterranean

2. Make sure that Ukraine never joins NATO since the later would not accept a country which has a territorial dispute with Russia

3. Warn Ukraine that it could break with Russia but Russia would never break with Ukraine

4. Send a clear signal to NATO that it’s march east is over

With the Crimean situation under control, Putin could now turn to undermining the Kiev government with impunity. Seeing that NATO, the US, the UN and Ukraine was powerless to intervene it could now set about making sure the new government would be stuck in perpetual crisis and potentially collapse. In order to do that it needed to undermine the authority of the state and nothing is better for that than secession. The FSB pushed and bombarded Russian speaking Eastern Ukraine with propaganda to entice a move toward secession. Taking over a few towns was just enough to get a reaction from Kiev. Instead of calling for calm and reassuring the Russian speaking east, Kiev opted to send its underfunded,  untrained, and clueless Army to the Donetsk region to crack down. The result  was a disaster still unfolding. The current government of President Petro Poroshenko is in shambles and near collapse (corruption, economy in ruins, and Donetsk firmly under Russian control)  leaving Russia in a better position to pull the strings with the next government that will take over (a very good chance that the government collapses and new elections are called within a year).

After successes in Ukraine and hesitations from the UK and the United States to not bomb Syria after the staged WMD attack, Russia saw an opening there. The idea that the Russians were going in for a little unused naval base was embarrassing reason when brought up by some pundits and experts in the media. The Russians saw Syria as vital to protect its natural gas market, eliminate Chechen mercenaries, and use the conflict as a bargaining chip with the US and Europe for lifting sanctions.  Using ISIS as cover, Russia set about to change the situation on the ground to gain a negotiating advantage. It offer repeated proposals and offers of cease fires to get all parties at the table. The US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey repeatedly refused. Now with the Syrian regime in a offensive posture it has decided that Aleppo will fall and the so called FSA and Al-Nusra will be  defeated there and sent back to the country side. It waited until after the election to commence its offensive which they hope the city can be taken before President Elect Trump takes over. This will change the  facts on the ground and more than likely tie the hands of the next administration to cooperate with Russia and Syria.

Russia is in a good position and would welcome lifting of sanctions but is ready for the long game.  President Elect Trump will have a difficult task of reigning in the CIA, the Republican establishment and allies to accept that Russia will be able to negotiate on its term a final peace in Syria and in Ukraine. I truly believe that US-Russian ties will defrost but slowly and with much resistance from regional allies. The fact is that without arming Al-Nusra more directly and with more sophisticated weapons (MANPADS, 3rd generations ATGM) the facts on the ground look grim.  I hope that some in the new administration will be reminded that the last time we went to bed with AL-Queda it did not turn out so well.  So lets just suck it up, swallow our pride and look at our long term interests. We can negotiate with President Putin but not with Al-Queda.


In the late 90’s in my finance and accounting classes I was the odd person out that kept arguing with my peers and professors that the valuation of stocks was off and that new accounting rules and banking deregulation were going to lead to problems. I was right, but then 10 years on in 2008, I was shocked about what was happening.  I did not foresee the size and impact of the crash even thought saw that the real estate market was one big bubble and that mortgage interest loans were a bad idea. But because I didn’t want to miss out on the real estate bubble like I missed out on the tech bubble. I let myself drink the kool-aid  and jump on the band wagon.

After 2008, I was mad, angry and disappointed in myself for just accepting what analysts, the experts  and the press was saying without questioning it. I have always had a long history of questioning everything. From questioning the tech bubble to the evidence for the case for war in Iraq, I questioned the prevailing mainstream view.  But in 2008 I was caught off guard. Maybe it was because I was invested in the stock market and was a home owner. My personal interests blinded me to the fact that the data and the information were all pointing to a crash. The markets, the press, the politicians were all pushing the same story.Personal interest and very little to no descent let me sink in the BS and conform. It’s not always fun to be the odd person out. It is not always fun defending your views against the masses especially if you are going against the entire establishment. But group think is dangerous. Unfortunately we are seeing more and more group think. Schools are pumping out a bunch of clones that regurgitate the same theories and ideas. The press all spews the same propaganda either on the right or on the left. Look at the their view points on Russia. The pollsters and analysts have gotten Brexit, the Colombian Referendum, and the US election wrong.  What is the data? no it was group think and bias that made them blind to the statistics that showed that all of them were within the margin of error.

So ever since 2008, I have made it a point to question and dissect the rhetoric and the evidence. Because of that I have had a pretty good record and have predicted:

  • Trump’s victory
  • Brexit
  • Russia’s intervention in Syria
  • Saudi Arabia’s intervention in Yemen
  • Russia’s take over Crimea and the separatist movements in Eastern Ukraine
  • The move of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey to finance groups in Syria
  • The total failure of the state of Libya after Gaddafi’s death
  • Toppling of President Ben Ali in Tunisia and Hosni Mubarrak in Egypt and then the ouster of Muslim brotherhood
  • Obama’s victory in 2008 and 2012

I have been much better at seeing political events coming since starting to re-question the data and never blindly accepting anything proposed especially if everyone is on board. I have been more aware of my own biases and have worked to suppress them in order to objectivity observe and breakdown the information being sold by politicians, the press, the experts and pundits.  All the signs and information is out there. All you have to do is check and question the evidence.  All the polls in battleground states before the 2016 election were within the margin of error. The enthusiasm for Trump was evident in his rallies, the Wikileaks emails were eroding Clinton’s perception, the FBI letter made a dent, Republican turn out was up, minority registration down. the polls showed that over 70% of Americans wanted change but everyone jumped on the band wagon.

 

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