How America becomes Turkey, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia

Twitter: @rodgermitchell; Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell


This is Turkey:

TURKEY detains opposition paper’s editor and columnists, Chicago Tribune, 11/1/61

ISTANBUL — Turkish police detained the chief editor and at least 11 senior staff of Turkey’s opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper on Monday, a move that signals a widening crackdown on dissenting voices.

Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu, cartoonist Musa Kart, the newspaper’s lawyer and several columnists were detained, some following raids at their homes, Cumhuriyet reported. Police had warrants for the detentions of 16 staff members, according to the left-leaning and pro-secular paper.

The detentions involving Cumhuriyet — one of Turkey’s oldest newspapers — come amid accusations by opposition parties and human rights groups that Turkey’s government is using the state of emergency imposed after a failed military coup to clamp down not only on alleged coup plotters but on all government critics.

And this is America:

America: Washington Post: 2/26/16
Donald Trump vowed to ‘open up’ libel laws to make suing the media easier. Can he do that?

Once elected president, Donald Trump promised, he will “open up” federal libel laws to make it easier to sue news outlets like The Washington Post and New York Times.

Trump on the media: “I’m gonna open up the libel laws so that … when they write hit pieces, we can sue them, and they can lose money.”

Trump could simply use the bully pulpit to promote a culture of frivolous libel suits that ultimately wouldn’t go anywhere but would force media companies to spend precious resources on defending themselves.

If his goal is to cause news outlets to lose money, Trump could achieve that objective without changing any laws at all.

Through judicial appointments, Trump could reverse decades of legal precedent that requires a public figure like him to prove “actual malice” in a libel case.

To win a defamation case, a plaintiff must show four things: 1) a false statement purporting to be fact; 2) publication or communication of that statement to a third person; 3) fault; and 4) damages, or some harm caused to the person or entity who is the subject of the statement.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1964 decision in New York Times v. Sullivan, defamation claims have been limited by First Amendment concerns. Thus, for instance, public officials and public figures (people who are famous) must show that statements were made with actual malice to recover in an action for defamation, by “clear and convincing” evidence rather than the usual burden of proof in a civil case, preponderance of the evidence.

The key here is that the “actual malice” standard for public figures is not codified in federal law; it is merely a longstanding legal precedent.

Precedents can change in the hands of the right judges. The Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision reversed at least 20 years of legal precedent on corporate spending in politics.

This is Pakistan:

Pakistan police arrest 1,500 supporters of Imran Khan

Pakistani police have arrested at least 1,500 supporters of opposition leader Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party ahead of a massive rally planned later this week in the capital Islamabad.

Security sources said on Monday that the number of those arrested overnight during a nationwide crackdown against PTI supporters ranges between 1,500 and 1,800.

And this is America:

Trump’s Promise to Jail Clinton Is a Threat to American Democracy
A candidate who accepted the nomination to chants of “Lock her up!” crosses a dangerous line.

If I win,” Donald Trump threatened Hillary Clinton during Sunday night’s debate, “I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation.” And he left no ambiguity as to the intended result.

“You know,” Clinton later responded, “It’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.” Trump couldn’t resist. “Because you would be in jail,” he broke in.

This is Saudi Arabia:

The Saudi Arabian legal system was based on the sharia, or Islamic law.

The sharia was applied throughout the kingdom in strict accordance with the interpretation of the Hanbali school of Sunni Islam.

Because pious Muslims believed that the sharia was sacred law, they accepted as judges, only men who had spent a number of years studying the accepted sources of the sharia.

Historically, the decisions of judges were subject to review by the ruler. In effect, the judiciary was not an independent institution but an extension of the political authority.

And this is America:

Donald Trump rails against judge’s ‘Mexican heritage’

Donald Trump on Friday repeatedly defended his claims that a judge overseeing a lawsuit against Trump University is biased because of his Mexican heritage.

Trump said U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel, a federal district judge in the Southern District of California, “He’s a Mexican. We’re building a wall between here and Mexico.”

Trump first broached these waters in an interview with The Wall Street Journal published Thursday, in which he said Curiel, who was born in Indiana, had an “inherent conflict of interest” in the Trump University lawsuit.

“If he was giving me a fair ruling, I wouldn’t say that,” Trump told Tapper, pointing again to Curiel’s background. “I think that’s why he’s doing it.”

“He’s of Mexican heritage, and he’s very proud of it.” Trump again called for Curiel to recuse himself from the case.

You are an American. You stand on the precipice, looking down at the undemocratic, lawless nations “below” you.

Donald Trump stands right behind you.

You feel his hands on your back.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

The single most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the rich and the rest.

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.

Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich afford better health care than the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE AN ANNUAL ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA, AND/OR EVERY STATE, A PER CAPITA ECONOMIC BONUS (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:

Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012

Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONEFive reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefiting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
Corporations themselves exist only as legalities. They don’t pay taxes or pay for anything else. They are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the government (the later having no use for those dollars).
Any tax on corporations reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all corporate taxes come around and reappear as deductions from your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.) Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and corporate taxes would be a good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.

The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.


2 thoughts on “How America becomes Turkey, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia

  1. Paul Krugman, New York Times News Service, describes what happens when the inmates run the asylum.

    Here are some excerpts:

    Nobody can honestly claim to have learned anything new about Trump in the last few weeks.

    It was obvious from that he was a “con artist.” His racism and sexism were apparent from the beginning of his campaign; his vindictiveness and lack of self-discipline were on full display in his tirades against Judge Gonzalo Curiel and Khizr Khan.

    So any politicians who try to distance themselves from the Trump phenomenon have already failed the character test. They knew who he was all along.

    They knew that this was a man who should never, ever hold any kind of responsible position, let alone become president. Yet they refused to speak out against his candidacy.

    They feared retribution from the party’s base. They lack any moral backbone, They will do whatever it takes to guarantee their own political survival.

    The party’s base doesn’t care about what the party establishment says. Nor does the base care about supposed conservative principles like small government.

    What Republican voters wanted, instead, were candidates who channeled their anger and fear, who demonized nonwhites and played into dark conspiracy theories.

    A Bloomberg poll recently asked Republicans whose view better matched their own view of what the party should stand for: Paul Ryan or Donald Trump. The answer was Trump, by a wide margin.

    You can ignore all the efforts to portray Trump as a deviation from the GOP’s true path: Trumpism is what the party is all about.

    And the immediate consequences will be very ugly. Assuming that Hillary Clinton wins, she will face an opposing party that demonizes her and denies her legitimacy no matter how large her margin of victory.

    It may be hard to think of any way Republicans could be even more obstructionist and destructive than they were during the Obama years, but they’ll find a way.

    In fact, it’s likely to be so bad that America’s governability may hang in the balance.


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