Yemen is the most populous of the countries in the Saudi Arabian peninsula. The bin Laden family moved from Yemen to Saudi Arabia where Osama’s father got rich as a builder. Now there is a war in Yemen between various tribes and the government of Yemen. In some ways, it is a religious war between Sunnis and Shia, with Saudi Arabia supporting the Sunnis and Iran supporting the Shia. It is another war in the Middle East that the US should stay out of, no matter how many missiles are allegedly fired at US ships. For that matter, we should stay out of the war in Syria too.
Saddam Hussein was toppled three years after he replaced the US dollar in oil sales with the Euro. Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown shortly after he replaced the US dollar in oil sales with the dinar and urged other African nations to do the same. Saudi Arabia supports the dollar denomination of oil sales and dutifully recycles the dollars it earns from oil sales into purchases of US weapons and US debt. That is probably why President Obama will veto a bill to allow the Saudi government to be sued by 9/11 victims.
I have visited New Zealand three times and I know North Island fairly well. I have never travelled to South Island. New Zealand is a wonderful place to visit and probably also to live. However, Americans should not expect to settle there en masse if America ceases to function to their liking. There is not enough room in New Zealand for a large number of Americans and the people of New Zealand would not accept a lot of Americans driving up prices for the residents who were there first. Americans looking for a new home should consider the cold, open spaces of Canada before New Zealand, and Canada might not be so welcoming to a horde from south of the border either.
Americans should first stay at home and work to fix our problems before considering fleeing to more hospitable shores. Bill O’Reilly plans to flee to Ireland if his taxes are raised and Rush Limbaugh promised to emigrate to Costa Rica, but he is still here.
During the Bush/Kerry campaign of 2004, I became dissatisfied with the political process and decided that I needed to take a more active part. In order to do that with sufficient knowledge, I decided that I needed to know more about American history. After 12 years of intense study, this is what I now know or think I know:
- Lee Harvey Oswald was innocent of JFK’s assassination. Then present or past CIA officials had a hand in the assassination.
- The Vietnam and the Iraq Wars were unnecessary. We were lied into both.
- The Bush administration permitted or helped bin Laden to escape from Tora Bora in Afghanistan in late 2001. Why? So that he would be alive and a threat to scare the American people in supporting the Global War on Terror and the invasion of Iraq.
- The US economy is a mixed economy of socialism and capitalism, socialism for the 1% and capitalism for the rest of us.
- Predatory lending by banks is not new. Banks lend other people’s money at high rates of interest making large profits and making many of us wage slaves. Too big to fail is too big to jail or to regulate properly.
- The purpose of insurance is to take in as much money as possible and pay out as little as possible.
- Globalization, outsourcing and offshoring are not inevitable. They are the result of how we compensate top management with stock options. Wall Street rewards downsizing and offshoring with higher stock prices. Thus there is a financial incentive for globalization.
- Racism is part of our DNA. We inherited some of it from our British ancestors.
- We reap what we sow. We supply the world with weapons and some of those weapons will be used against us.
- Unions made the middle class
The middle class makes democracy work
Therefore, unions are necessary for democracy.
- The media has always deferred to the 1%, with a few exceptions. Now with the ownership of media in fewer hands, there are fewer exceptions. Democracy requires better information than we are now receiving.
- Democracy cannot function with the huge disparities in wealth that now exist in the US. The solution is much higher taxes on the very wealthy.
- Congress is corrupt. Campaign cash and other forms of bribery, such as future jobs, must be removed from the political process.
Blond Ambition: The Rise and Rise of Boris Johnson by Nigel Cawthorne. Boris Johnson, who is a dual UK and US citizen and former mayor of London, is likely to be the next Prime Minister of a shrinking Great Britain. Compared to Donald Trump, they are nothing alike. They do have similar hair. Johnson’s hair is real and unruly while Trump’s is ruly and unreal. Born deaf which was corrected by surgery when he eight years old, Johnson is an educated man. Author of several books and an enthusiast of history, particularly Roman history. He is funny and Trump is not. He is an admirer of Churchill; Trump admires himself. He recognizes the importance of immigrants while Trump does not.
Johnson once said, “My chances of being PM* are about as good as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars, or my being reincarnated as an olive.”
If Johnson is not elected Prime Minister, the likely successful candidate is Home Secretary Theresa May.