Trump the Tax Dodger

Al Capone was brought down over his tax dodging. The way has been cleared to investigate Trump’s financial dealings and Tax evasion!!

Time to see the crook in stripes or those little arrows behind bars!!

Lock him up!! Lock him up!!! The irony!

Cheers John Peachey!!

The Corona Diaries – Day 327

It’s bloody freezing here in Yorkshire! The snow has frozen into ice. There’s a cruel wind from the east.

I didn’t go on my usual walk up my hill. The road was too icy and treacherous. Instead I walked the back lanes. At least they were flat and there was less chance of a broken arm.

Back home I’ve been playing Roy Harper’s Work Of Heart album. Very uplifting. Through all the trials and tribulation here in mushroom valley in the cold!

Meanwhile out in Coronaland the variants are spreading. It looks as though we are in a race. Can we vaccinate faster than the virus mutates? If the variants take over and become the most dominant the vaccines become less effective.

There is a lot of positive news though. The number of new cases continues to go down slowly. 13,308 new cases with 621 deaths. Still much too high. There are hopes that the number vaccinated will soon start to have a big impact on the virus. With fourteen and a half million vaccinations already carried out it will start to have an effect. The hope is that we can get enough people vaccinated to reach herd immunity. With a projected uptake of 81% that looks likely. That would get us back to normal.

Looking around the world at the projected uptake it is quite salutary. In the UK we have 19% who say they will not take the vaccine. Are they nuts? Would they rather have Covid? Or are they expecting everybody else to take the vaccine and thus keep them safe? Sounds a bit selfish to me!!

In the States it is even worse. Despite all the deaths – 481,000 so far – with another 5,463 yesterday (Trump has so much to answer for!!) – 34% (over a third) are still saying they won’t be taking the vaccine. I think America has completely gone mad. People are arming themselves. I am hearing from American friends fear of Trumpist threats. Anyone who opposes Trump is being intimidated and threatened. They still believe what the orange fascist tells them. Half of them still believe Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos is behind it all – implanting tracking devices. They are nuts.

These conspiracy theories are going to make the whole world unsafe!!

The sooner we bring in a vaccination passport so only vaccinated people can travel, visit cinemas or restaurants the better. I certainly don’t want to share a room with people who are potentially pouring out viruses!

The other statistic that sounded a bit ominous was that 20% of covid ill people seem to suffer long covid. That’s a lot of people.

I’m so glad I’m vaccinated. If I do catch it from one of the unvaccinated fools at least I won’t get it too severely.

Johnson was optimistic about relaxing lockdown. I hope they’ve learnt from last time. They tried to do it too quickly and too irresponsibly and ended up with a second wave that has killed another 70,000 people!

We need to look at New Zealand and Vietnam – they haven’t had a single death for months!

Get the numbers down to very low numbers. Monitor borders closely. Stamp out outbreaks with stringent testing, track and trace and isolation, local lockdowns. Keep on top of it.

By all means open up hospitality – outside! Not inside. Lets have outside gigs, outside drinking, outside meals, outside meeting up, and keep all inside meeting up for the future when we have it firmly back in its box!

I notice that there is talk of new game-changing drugs to treat the disease – the arthritis drug for starters. That’s great. They say they are fast-tracking it but it is still going to take months. Why so long???

Johnson says that we’ll have to learn to live with it. That there will be booster jabs in the autumn to deal with the variants.

I can handle that. I want my life back and that means vaccination that is up to date and effective against all variants. I want to be able to meet up and travel with confidence.

Nothing that Johnson says or does fills me with confidence!! He’s a lying, incompetent clown disguised as a haystack!!

Could be worse I suppose. The impeachment of Trump is going on in the States. Any senators who look as if they might impeach their darling fascist thug of a leader are being threatened. They fear for their, and their families’ lives. At least we haven’t descended to that sad state.

We’ll see if sanity reigns of the Republicans are going to roll over and pay homage to the orange Nazi.

Stay Safe (particularly my American friends). It’s always darkest before dawn!!

Fascism – the cause and who is milking it.

Patriotism is just nationalism dressed up pretty – both despicable. One people – one world – all important.

The cause of fascism?

It’s when people start being in fear of their jobs or struggling to survive. They look for the reasons. The fascist politicians like Trump point to immigrants, blacks and Latinos. They say stupid shit like Make America Great Again, Build Walls and support outdated industry.

It’s no answer but it makes sense to some people.

The real problem is inequality. AI and automation have made ordinary workers redundant. Outsourcing to third world countries with cheap labour and terrible work conditions, no health and safety and no environmental limitations exacerbates the problem.

The rich get richer at the expense of the poor.

Trump was cynical. He played on the fears and hopes. He is a billionaire, masquerading as a friend to the poor, who was feathering his nest, stirring up division and hate and coming up with silly solutions for his own ends..

Walls and old tech are not going to solve this. The wealthy have to be taxed more leading to a greater distribution of wealth. At present, it is all being channelled to the top.

We’re only seeing the tip of this. Much worse is to come.

When driverless cars and self-stacking supermarkets happen the drivers and shelf-stackers on zero-hours will be pushed out. The majority of people will not be needed. The wealthy owners will take all the money.

We either sort it with taxation or we end up with the extreme wealthy living in walled communities protected by drones and robots while the rest of us fight it out for scraps in order to survive on nothing. That’s when it descends into Mad Max and fascism.

The people who support Trump or Bolsonaro foolishly think these macho guys will fix it.

The macho guys like Trump and Bolsonaro are conning them all. They are part of the problem. They are the billionaires siphoning off the money. They don’t want to ‘fix’ the problem. They offer short-term solutions.

Fascism breeds off fear, insecurity, inequality and dread of the future. Fascism requires scapegoats, elitism and easy solutions. Fascism is the ultimate right-wing control.

A/I will change your life!

The social models we are living in are dead.

Just as the industrial revolution swept away a way of life that had lasted centuries the A/I revolution will cause our way of life to be severed.

Back in the industrial revolution the rural way of life was swept away. The machines could do the work of many men. They were cheaper and more efficient. Millions moved off the land into the cities to get jobs in factories.

A/I will automate the factories, the mines, the car-plants, steelworks and shipyards.

It’s already happening.

The once well-paid workers are now working in supermarkets stacking shelves and serving customers or else zooming around the country delivering goods.

They have lost a career that was respected and gave their families a good standard of living for a zero-hours contract, uncertainty, low pay and no security.

But that is the tip of the ice-berg.

A/I will mean that robots become ever more sophisticated and will start taking over even the most skills jobs such as brain surgery or flying planes and they will do it with more skill than our present surgeons and pilots.

Our streets will be cleaned by machines, our planes flown by machines, our factories operated by machines.

Soon we will have driverless uber. We will have automated delivery, automated checking out, automated stacking, automated crop sowing and harvesting.

It is quite conceivable that a machine will sow seeds in a field the other side of the world. Another machine will harvest the crop. A driverless lorry will take the wheat seed to a factory where a machine will process it and package it. A driverless lorry will deliver it to a supermarket where an automatic shelf-stacker will place it on a shelf. An intelligent robot will check stock, note what is selling and order to restock as needed. You will order on line and a driverless delivery van will deliver your cereal to your door.

No human hand will be necessary in the entire operation. Even repairs and maintenance will be automated and carried out by machines.

No job will be secure. There will be even the most complex procedures carried out by machines – the money markets, health diagnostics, design, art, music, education. There is no job that will be unaffected, completely replaced or at least greatly impacted.

Even your lawn will be cut by a robot, your floors hoovered, clothes washed and windows cleaned.

Just think – we could end up with an effective government that is a machine! Some things might be a big improvement!

The Problem

The problem with this development is quite clear. The workforce will, for the first time in history, not be required. So what does society do with all these surplus people? What do the people do to ‘earn’ a living? What do we do with all our free time?

If we continue to follow our present model we end up with a gigantic inequality. The wealthy minority who own the farms, factories and retail outlets will maximise their profits and ‘earn’ a fortune. The workforce will firstly be working for peanuts and then thrown on the dole.

Countries will be thrown into chaos. Unemployment will be rife. The richer countries will try to retrain people for whatever new jobs are required – maybe in the caring professions. They will support people on the dole. The poorer countries will have mass starvation leading to mass immigration and desperate people.

The world will be divided into the super-rich and the desperate poor.

We are already beginning to see this. It has led to Brexit and Trump and a wave of fascism and populism.

It’s going to get a lot worse.

The Remedy

We have to move to a global perspective.

The wealthy have to be taxed to provide money for the rest. This would be for their own good as much as anyone else. This gross inequality is already creating much anger and hate. Soon that would be directed at the wealthy and result in violence.

There has to be a drastic shortening of working hours with job sharing.

There has to be education and training to produce a skilled workforce to carry out the jobs that will be created by A/I.

There has to be a move to moving people into the caring and leisure industries where human contact is more desirable – nursing, caring, teaching, counselling…………………

There has to be a guaranteed basic income for all people that would afford them a good standard of life. It is no good the wealthy churning out goods with few being able to afford to buy any of them.

The Future

The future could be an age of comfort and leisure where machines have taken over the drudgery and everybody has time and income to do what they want.

It could become an Orwellian future where the proles are kept in little boxes – surplus to requirements.

It could become a chaotic, violent period where anger mounts and the world’s poor wreck the machine and kill the wealthy elite who have caused their misery.

An age of plenty – An age of misery – An age of violent revolution and death.

We are at a crossroads.

What happens when the machines are intelligent enough, powerful enough and decide that we are all surplus to requirements?

Trump – I am the Swamp

Thanks Stewart!

The supreme conman has gone. Somehow this self-serving billionaire managed to convince the common man that he was on their side.

Incredible.

Despite the nepotism, the directing of funds into his ventures, the naked cronyism, the tax evasion and the huge tax breaks he gave to the wealthy, they still believed he was rooting for them.

He was always rooting for himself!

Trump’s Costly Legacy

Despite Trump’s sickening bragging on his last day he will be remembered not for his few accomplishments but more for the huge damage he has wrought. The division he has fostered, the empowerment of extremists and his assault on democracy.

He has given big tax cuts to the rich, sucked up to tyrants, sneered at allies and destroyed environmental restraints.

He has spread fake news, conspiracy, lies and undermined experts, science and the media because they did not agree with his flawed view of the world.

His arrogance and uncouth manners have brought America into disrepute.

It is going to take a long time for these wounds to heal.

The worst President in history bows out with the same lack of dignity he has displayed throughout his reign. The first President to snub the inauguration of his successor. The first President not to concede. The first time the successors were not given an escorted tour of the Whitehouse.

Donald Trump’s Costly Legacy | Council on Foreign Relations (cfr.org)

The Corona Diaries – Day 299

I’m sitting in my den listening to Leonard Cohen on a cold rainy day in Yorkshire. I’m contemplating going out for my walk this afternoon. I’m feeling a bit lazy today.

I’ll get it together!

Meanwhile, out in Coronaland I’m listening to some right-wing nutcase telling me that the storming of the Capitol was orchestrated by the left and that the election was definitely stolen.

America is pulling itself apart with conspiracy, lies and intolerance. The nutcases rule. We have armed militia, religious extremists and the north south divide. All sanity has fled.

The inauguration of Biden is going to be a quiet affair – the threats from right-wing morons is too great! What a sad state of affairs. Democracy is a casualty of Trump and the Tea Party. We’ll see what freedom means when America is in the hands of feudal warlords. It’s Mad Max for real!

I wonder what the world will be like when China is the only superpower??

Biden has a real job on his hands. Trump has left a legacy of chaos – not least of which is the terrible Covid situation. He’s inheriting a nightmare. The virus is increasing at the rate of 240,925 new cases a day with 3744 deaths. By the time Trump is finally kicked out the death toll will be over 400,000. A terrible legacy. Sooner or later someone is going to ask the question – how come a place like New Zealand has no new cases or deaths? How come they have only had 25 deaths in total? How come a poor Asian country like Vietnam, with all its poverty and crowded cities, has only had 35 deaths?

The answer is Trump.

Here in the UK Trump-light Johnson has a similar (if not worse) record of incompetence. We have another 55,000 new cases despite this partial lockdown and there were another 1280 deaths. So back to work and eat out to die. We’re world beating!

It seems to me that what we need is decisive leadership. No dithering, macho posturing or complacence. These are the attributes that kill.

Shut the bloody borders! Track Trace and Isolate! Hunt the virus and eradicate it. Then back to normal!

We’ve had world-beating incompetence.

I just hope after this virus has gone that we do something about this unequal society and start rewarding the crucial people better – the cleaners, carers, drivers, nurses, police, teachers, shelf stackers, food pickers, posties, deliverers and doctors – the ones who count.

What are our values? Who is worth more?

Perhaps we’ll plug a few of those tax loopholes and use the money to give our real workers pay rises? But we’ll probably continue to give most of the money to the same olf elite – the bankers and CEOs, the multinational companies and the elite entertainers and sportspeople!

Nothing will change. The inequality will just become greater!

Stay safe!!