Dear President Obama;

We have all heard your plea to move on and put what you have called torture behind us without more investigation and potential prosecution. But with all do respect Mr. President I was not aware that investigating and prosecuting a serous crime was an option. If someone goes out and commits a felony do you believe that based on their level of influence the perpetrator would not be investigated or prosecuted even if there was evidence of malfeasance or if the individual repeatedly admitted to committing a felony. Based on that logic what stops all influential people from going out and committing felonies with impunity? Let’s face it –your argument is weak. In fact it is my understanding that by both domestic and international law signed by the US, prostate the US is obligated to investigate and prosecute war crimes like torture which you, yourself have called the activities our government directed and carried out under the Bush administration. It is not optional to move on. If our government knowingly does not prosecute their war crimes by international law our government becomes an accessory to the crimes. That means you Mr. President who ironically was against much of this illegal activity from the beginning.

If the US does not prosecute war crimes than it is my understanding that other signatories to the Geneva Convention are obligated to prosecute. I believe you would have to be mighty cynical to think not one country or international body will investigate, prosecute and likely convict many of the high ranking US individuals that perpetrated war crimes if the US fails to meet it obligations. And it is also reasonable to believe that if you continue to stand your ground on this matter you might very well be on the short list of those countries like Spain and Germany or the world court that will take up this matter. It is only a matter of time. I assume you will be planning a pretty heavy schedule of speaking engagement after you leave office and it would be a shame if you couldn’t leave the country to give some of them because you failed to meet your obligations to investigate and prosecute serious war crimes.

Steven Delco, Southport CT

Right Under Our Noses

What most shocks me about the 1930s in Germany is not that a bunch of deranged criminals took power but that the average German citizen for years stood by and watched their fellow citizens ostracized, recipe persecuted and eventually rounded up in clear sight, look carted off to be tortured and executed.

I have never really understood how in a very civilized and cultured society like Germany the average citizen watched this happen right under their noses with such complete denial.

However in recent years I am afraid I am starting to understand how it can happen by living it. I see this happening here in the United States. Yes of course moderate politicians, stuff the press, and most people of polite society will deny it is happening here but so did most of the German press, moderate politicians and polite society in Germany deny it.

Let’s look at what is happening right under our own noses in the US today. Over 2,000,000 black and poor people are being jailed in mass prisons around the country in many cases for minor drug offences. We are putting insane and retarded people to death. Now we hear of killing poor black children by policeman without accountability. International laws are being broken by top US officials at all levels of our government with impunity such as torture, targeted killings without due process, rendition and sending arms to countries that are breaking international laws and many more.

True we have not recently annexed another country but our annexation is more nuisanced. We threaten other countries that displease us with withdrawing military protection because we have encouraged them not to have armies of their own. We intimidate them into submission and without threating them with invasion we threaten them with economic sanctions and economic ruin. I don’t know if we still send in CIA mobsters and thugs to threaten and assassinate leaders in South America and the middle east who don’t carry out policies that favor US interests even over the interest of its own people –but how do we know?

We are invading too, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Granada, Panama, now possibly Syria and Iran. Weren’t these the same step-by-step crimes the Nazis committed in the 1930s while every nation in Europe just watched?

If Hitler had not been so totally and absolutely insane and didn’t declare war on the USA but preformed empire building American style just think what he could have gotten away with –just Imagine.

It is incremental criminality, which is insidious because it creeps up on you before you know you are committing crimes that are so egregious that only someone looking in from the outside can see how bad it is. This is where I believe we find ourselves today. Anyone that travels to countries of friends or foe will discover that people on the outside of the US seem to know what we deny.

At all level of our society we seem to be slowly accepting this slippery slope trajectory to our own extreme criminality but because it is so incremental we don’t see it, feel it, smell it or taste it. Even our press is all too happy to comply with our wishes to deny.

Now I see how this could have happened in Germany. When I was a college student in the early 1970s studying a summer in Salzburg, Austria I asked the hausfrau I rented a room from how could people who loved flowers, opera, Mozart and Beethoven have allowed the Nazis to do what they did. She could only say “ We just didn’t know. It was too unbelievable or it was inconceivable” Maybe that is where we are now in the US. It is just too unbelievable and inconceivable to know. Because denying it makes it go away so we don’t have to deal with it. This is how it sounds when I confront friends, family, my senators aides, the press, and just about anyone I can bring it up too here in the US.

I will submit this opinion piece to the NYT opinion editor. I will assume that he or she will promptly discard it as not up to NYT writing standards or to controversial to print. He or she will say that you can’t compare German incremental criminality and US Incremental criminality. Did the German press in the 1930s allow people who were pointing out crimes in Germany to be printed –Of course not? They didn’t have a free press. But we do. So why do we not know what everyone around the world knows about us? Oh, we will argue that we are not genocidal criminals like the Germans were. But how much death, just as gruesome as the Nazi camps has the USA been responsible for in the last 70 years. After all, death is death whether you are innocent Jews that died in the Nazi gas chambers or obliterated by an atomic fireball or blown up by a laser guided missile or tortured to death in the US or US proxy torture camps or having your eyes plucked out in a Syrian torture chamber to which you were rendered by the CIA. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of unintentional deaths and displacements of people with children where we invaded or instigated into wars. It still is death and full of suffering that we in the US have become all too immune to feel. We have done this under the radar screen and very incrementally –American style with good intentions. So it is very easy for us to deflect ownership of it. How could this happen in such a civilized and cultured nation right under our noses?

Steven Delco, Southport, CT   December 13, 2014

The formation of a new party platform: THE RESTORATION PARTY

The Big Picture of the Platform in 8 points

  1. We would call for a New Constitutional Congress to update and modernize our constitution to reflect the changes in the world and to make this country stronger and more fit and competitive.  We would take the money out of politics and rebuild our country of the people, patient by the people and for the people as our founding fathers intended.  They were brilliant and foresighted people and would be shocked that we adhere to the constitution they wrote in the 18th Century as if it were the bible written by the almighty himself.
  2. We would create a national project to rebuild the public transportation system that was dissembled in the early part of the 20th century–Connecting towns and cities with trains and trolleys throughout the USA. All the manufacturing would be done here in the USA.  We would fund this by private enterprise and government funding but make it profitable by raising the cost of using cars and other forms of internal combustion engines. .  We would impose a 200% federal tax on gasoline which would be used to rebuild the public transportation system.  Cars would be taxed by weight.  Other disincentives similar to those used in Western Europe would be imposed on unnecessary car usage. There would be tax incentives to live near public transportation and for companies to locate near public transportation. The USA would move away from the current car culture.  There would be tax incentives to live in smaller houses and live smaller in general.
  3. We would levy fees on every country that we protect with our military. The USA can no longer by the army of the world.  The fees would be assessed by population.
  4. We would establish a national healthcare system that would have the highest quality and be the envy of the world.  We would lower the cost of healthcare by being healthier people.  The Food industry would be prohibited from selling food that makes us fat and unhealthy and causes us to become insulin resistant at a young age.
  5. We would nationalize many private universities and they would become free.  Many of these schools would be devoted to more practical education so we train for the skills needed to build a healthy and prosperous entrepreneurial environment.  Students would be encouraged to study engineering, seek science, ambulance technology, manufacturing and green technologies in order to develop the green products of the future.   Private college education would have some price control and not exceed $5000.00/ year
  6. The top tax rate would be 90% as it was before on people making over $1M/year unless their jobs were creating other jobs as a result of them being risk entrepreneurs.  CEO’s and hedge fund managers would not fall in that category since they take no personal risk with their own capital. Those who take risk with their own capital to create jobs, and to build or create new business will receive very strong personal tax incentives.  Banks would be brought under control and serve a build wealth for everyone not just themselves.
  7. Rich people who are retired, whose capital worth is high enough to support them for the rest of their lives will lose their social security benefits. The system was not created for them in the first place.
  8. We would create a country of less personal consumption but we would be all much happier and healthier.

If you like the country I want to build you can let me know and help me organize my campaign

Founder, Steven Delco, Southport, CT 06890

All Humans are equal but some Humans are more equal than others

Why did I feel so proud of my country after Watergate and now so ashamed of my country that is makes me cry? I remember watching the senate hearing during Watergate. I was so proud of men like Senator Sam J. Ervin, Democrat from NC and Howard H. Baker Republican from TN. They had real convictions. They didn’t speak in half trues from a place of fear, as our representatives seem to do today. Where are those souls? We need them now. During the Watergate hearings it brought tears of joy and relief to my eyes to see both Democrats and Republicans working together in acknowledging right from wrong and even though we were far from a perfect nation and there were plenty of bitter political divisions we could, in a bipartisan way recognize and call what is wrong, wrong and what is illegal, illegal. And as a nation,  repel and punish those who broke the law even if it hurt. Are we so weak a nation now we cannot hurt a little in order to heal.

Today I feel only deep sadness that we can’t even agree on right and wrong. Have we come to a time when we are so cynical we believe that the powerful cannot be held accountable for whatever they do even when deep in our hearts we know they were wrong and criminal? We break our own laws and like a child with his hand in a cookie jar lies about stealing that cookie he promised his mom not to take before dinner.

What will it take to bring us back to feel proud about our country again? In the not to distance future will it take another revolutionary group of founding fathers to overthrow what will become our new overlords and bring us back to a time of rational thinking, fairness and equality under the laws that apply to everyone and where we could again agree on facts and truth? Are we in a period of time where truth and facts are relative? Has George Orwell’s fictional future in “1984” become our reality in the present? “In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act”.

A few years ago I wrote an opinion piece about President Obama that went like this.

“Barack Obama is truly a man for the future and a marvelous example of what might be the “theory-of-everything” man!  He seems to use the electrons of his brain cells in such an advanced manner even Werner Heisenberg, a 20th century German scientist that developed the uncertainty principle would have marveled.  Obama does seem to have that uncertainty thing going for him. Since no one can figure out what he stands for, an illusion is created that he stands for everything and nothing at the same time. Has our president managed to tap his inner quantum? His very  thoughts and actions seem to be in multiple places at the same time similar to quantum theory where the sub atomic particles exist in multiple places at once.  How else could he be for repealing “The Defense of Marriage act” (DOMA) and at the same time defending it, or closing Guantanamo and keeping it open simultaneously or an offshore oil drilling opponent and supporter at the same time?  He denounces “Don’t ask don’t tell” (DADT) and protects it all at the same time.  He is a supporter of the public option yet doesn’t support it.  He has called water-boarding torture, which is illegal, but he won’t prosecute anyone.  It was Heisenberg that worked out a theory that the smallest particles of matter could not be pinpointed at any one place because the mere act of observing them would change them, often referred to as the “measurement problem”. Like the allusive dancing particles that Heisenberg describes, a single glance from a Republican seems to easily create a measurement problem in this President.  If Obama’s sub atomic brain particles exist in more then one place at one time, that could explains his mysterious behavior.  Obama is clearly not an alien to the USA, but who knows maybe from another time and space.”

Unfortunately President Obama is still acting in the same manner as I described above a few years ago. He seems to be experiencing a sort of quantum reality again. He stated, “We tortured some folks” He knows torture is a serious crime but he wants to dismiss any accountability for it. The unfortunate message Obama is sending to the world is that it is inconvenient and distasteful for him to hold some people accountable when they are very rich and powerful. While other less powerful people he has targeted to kill without due process or even banished from the country for bringing crimes of the privileged ruling elite to light.  George Orwell was a genius in predicting human behavior. How could Orwell have predicted that the first American black president could fall into the same trap that the poor animals did in Animal Farm when a few of the oppressed animals (pigs) after becoming part of the ruling class would become the oppressors.  Obama knows torture is a very serious crime and after WWII we put Japanese soldiers to death for torturing American soldiers because it is a crime by both domestic and international laws. As Obama says, “We tortured some folks” and now we know that some of those folks were innocent folks. Somehow even calling them folks seems to demean them as if they were not people but just folks. Are we Americans accepting the President’s implied premise that “folks”, the torture subjects don’t deserve justice for the crimes committed against them by the torturers because the torturers are too important, powerful and rich to inconvenience by putting them on trial? Have we as a society here in America come to accept as fact that some humans are more equal than others? I see no difference in this sort to thinking than the rule posted on the barn by the more powerful Animal characters in Orwell’s novel that eventually became the rulers of there society.  simply stated ” ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS. “

Seven Delco      December 12, 2014

“ Oh what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive”

Violations by US officials of domestic and international laws and treaties have gone under-investigated and unprosecuted since the invasion of Iraq by the USA in 2003. Laws continue to be broken by the US throughout the world. There are international bodies that have investigated US actions and have uncovered lawless behavior by the US government. Even US bodies like the congressional investigation of US Torture programs have also uncovered crimes. But these organizations and their findings are routinely squelched by the US hegemony. How long and under how many administrations will the US government remain lawless? Won’t this behavior eventually hurt us as a nation? Even now the US does not have the clout it used to in promoting international law. Is this a sign of our decline? When individuals and governments around the world look at the law breaking the US does with impunity, site does it not promote a breakdown of adhering to international laws by any state or individual. This will only get worse and have an amplifying effect.

Americans are protected from these facts because most of mainstream media with a few exceptions like, there “Amy Goodman’s “Democracy Now” and publications like Truthdig, are complicit with the government in keeping this from us. But many in the rest of the world get more information that is closer to the truth.

Short list of American law-breaking

  1. Torturing people
  2. Setting up and using Illegal secret detention centers around the world to hold people without charge
  3. Rendition of individuals to countries with known torture
  4. Setting up a hit list to target and kill people without due process
  5. Aiding and sending arms to countries that are known to violate international laws.
  6. Unlawful surveillance of American citizens as well at international people
  7. Other crimes we are unaware of because they are being done under illegal secret programs.
  8. Ignoring US and International law by failing to properly investigate and prosecute individuals who have committed any or all of the above crimes

Steven Delco, Southport, CT

December 3, 2014

Is Ignorance Bliss?

The actual wording of the statement “Ignorance is Bliss”, comes from Thomas Gray’s poem, “Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College” (1742): “Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise.” When this idea is applied to the USA in these times it raises an interesting question. Can a great nation continue to thrive or even survive in a culture where ignorance particularly in science is considered a virtue? Why do I say this? — Because being an “egghead”, smart guy or girl in science is not considered cool in the USA. After all, do we have an American Idol show for young scientists?

Most Americans including our elected representatives know very little science. It is not required in most universities and the level of science being taught in many public schools is shameful. I would even bet that you could ask a basic science question to most members of congress, for example, what is the estimated age of the earth and the universe and when did life start on the earth and you would probably get a blank stare or a reference to the bible. In fact many of our congress members believe the bible describes physical laws better than science. In other nations with whom we are in a fierce global economic competition, the study and mastery of science is venerated, promoted and empowered by the culture. It is clear that whether we consider energy, climate change, medicine, food production or any other branch of science, future jobs and industrial development will be driven by it. In the 21st century and beyond planetary survival will be dictated by how advanced the science is.

Whether one has a Law degree, an MBA or a journalism degree from Harvard, Yale or Princeton for the most part these educated Americans are ignorant in science and very few American students show much interest in putting in the growling work necessary to be accomplished in it. In fact, if you go to many of the top universities in the US most of the students studying science particularly at the advanced level are not Americans. Some noted politicians for example the mayor of New York have noted that we are educating the top scientists at our universities and than we do not permit then to stay and work here. The more our nation undervalues those non-Americans who study in our best universities and acquire advanced degrees in science, the more we will drive them back to their own countries bringing with them their industry boosting skills. So what –You say? Well remember the new technologies derived from science will drive the job creation of the future and will most likely be generated by scientists in other countries. So where will the best jobs go? As we in the USA train our best and brightest in business schools, build our creationism museums and theme parks and wallow in our entertainment society, other countries are building super colliders, green cities, and super fast trains and they will most likely become the fittest to survive and prosper into the future as Darwin’s theory might predict. But oh, we don’t believe in Darwin’s theory– do we?

Steven Delco,    February 15, 2011

 

How Safe is your Money

Most people invest their savings in large institutional mutual funds, discount pension funds, there and other funds thought to be the safest places to put their money, sale when in fact in the coming years these may be the most dangerous places to invest. Many of these larger firms invest people’s savings in primarily long only strategies. That is they invest most of your money in a way that assumes things will only go up.  We believe that these investments strategies are not adequately hedged against severe corrections likely to come as we have seen over and over in recent times i.e., 1987, 2000 and 2008.  Institutional managers are often judged on how less bad they perform with your money vis-à-vis the benchmark they peg themselves to. In other words in a stock market downturn it’s a race to the bottom. Most managers justify their salaries by reminding investors that “While everyone else has lost 40%, I only lost 38.7% of your money” We don’t think that is good enough to justify paying them.  As long as the institutional firms take in millions or billions in management fees regardless of their performance they have nothing to lose but your money. For them it is always a win-win strategy. On the other hand for you it’s usually a small win, after their fees when the market goes up and a big lose, after their fees, when the market goes down.

In a volatile and directionless market as we see for the coming years smart money will go to managers that have developed more refined hedging strategies to perverse capital.  The government for the most part will only allow rich people to directly invest their money in firms that use adequate hedging strategies. But also remember there are many firms that employ hedging strategies poorly as well. We are now seeing more pensions and larger institutions seeking out the best of these more nuanced strategy firms as sub-advisors so that retail investor’s can also be invested with safer risk management strategies.

Because there is a major shift in economic and political world power from west to east as well as rising food, energy and other basic commodity prices, we believe there will be more frequent turbulence and corrections in the market over the coming years. Hence, it is becoming even more important to protect against downturns in this volatile market environment. It is our conviction that the savings and pensions of most people will continue to erode unless more risk managed; money management firms employ capital preservation strategies.  Why do most of the firms continue to management money without good hedging and risk management strategies? Well the answer may be quite simple and surprising. They don’t know how.  As people continue to pile up their money into large institutional funds and the funds take fees based only on the amount of money under management regardless of performance, why should they particularly care about preserving your money?  They believe they are the only game in town and since they hold an overwhelmingly large amount of invested dollars for the most part they are.

Who manages your money in large institutional funds? After you put your money in the black hole of large institutional funds, chances are you don’t’ know who manages your money and probably will never know.  They will just tell you “trust us” we know what we are doing. Until the market takes a huge hit and you notice your “401 K” or pension fund is down 25% to 40%. There goes twenty years of your savings.  You’ll never know what hit you or that there may have been a way to prevent most of that lose.

Steven Delco      February 9, 2011

 

Obama and Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle!

Barack Obama is truly a man for the future and a marvelous example of what might be the “theory-of-everything” man!  He seems to use the electrons of his brain cells in such an advanced manner even Werner Heisenberg, capsule a 20th century German scientist that developed the uncertainty principle would have marveled.  Obama does seem to have that uncertainty thing going for him. Since no one can figure out what he stands for, viagra an illusion is created that he stands for everything and nothing at the same time. Has our president managed to tap his inner quantum? His very  thoughts and actions seem to be in multiple places at the same time similar to quantum theory where the sub atomic particles exist in multiple places at once.  How else could he be for repealing “The Defense of Marriage act” (DOMA) and at the same time defending it, or closing Guantanamo and keeping it open simultaneously or an offshore oil drilling opponent and supporter at the same time?  He denounces “Don’t ask don’t tell” (DADT) and protects it all at the same time.  He is a supporter of the public option yet doesn’t support it.  He has called water-boarding torture, which is illegal, but he won’t prosecute anyone.  It was Heisenberg that worked out a theory that the smallest particles of matter could not be pinpointed at any one place because the mere act of observing them would change them, often referred to as the “measurement problem”. Like the allusive dancing particles that Heisenberg describes, a single glance from a Republican seems to easily create a measurement problem in this President.  If Obama’s sub atomic brain particles exist in more then one place at one time, that could explains his mysterious behavior.  Obama is clearly not an alien to the USA, but who knows maybe from another time and space.

Steven Delco   September 2010