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Tag: Philip Drucker (page 1 of 11)

Phil Drucker’s Rant for 12-9-19: “Anyone Know Where I can buy a Good, Hardly Used Guillotine?”


Today, I start with a somewhat not terribly simple concept, but a comparison of the reasons for the French Revolution and today’s social and political climate in America. First, a little history, a short list of facts worth noting.

The French Revolution began in 1789 when the united people of the Third Estate aka Revolutionaries (more on this below) stormed the infamous Bastille prison. After the New Republic/People’s unexpected victory against a bunch of Prussian mercenaries (the best money could buy back then, kind of like Blackwater today but without all of the messy and unnecessary war crimes and human rights violations) at the Battle of Valmy, named after the small French village where the battle took place, the Revolutionaries were newly emboldened to formally end the monarchy and establish the First French Republic. In January of 1793 the now former monarch, Louis XVI was executed. The end.

But what led to this uprising in a seemingly stable country that had lived for centuries in a kingdom and under a crown that sat on a most likely golden throne? The best answer is Social Inequality.

In the 1780s, the French population was divided into three estates. The First Estate was the Roman Catholic clergy (religion). The Second Estate embodied the French nobility (the rich and powerful). The Third estate was everybody else. Doctors, lawyers, merchants, laborers, you know, everybody that actually worked for a living. At the time of the Revolution, it is estimated Estate #3 contained 98% of the population. That leaves 2% for First and Second Estate. The Estates that cast shame and ridicule down upon the 98% every chance they got. Just like the 1% today, but without the wigs and fancy clothing.

The next best reason (and comparison) is the unfair Tax Burden placed upon the Third Estate, the Estate that had too little money. The class living paycheck to paycheck, if they had had paychecks back then. But you get the idea. In an almost eerie resemblance to modern day America, the wealthy First Estate (Church) paid, you guessed it, no taxes. Seems they’ve been pulling this scam for a long time. The Second and well-fed rich Estate, you guessed it again, were exempted from paying most taxes due to their position as landowners, or in those days, as the employers. And, were, in fact, able to directly tax the peasants who worked/lived on their land.

Now, I’m sure, you are three for three. In short, while the first two Estates were for all intents and purposes exempt from paying taxes (aka their fair share), the burden to replace the lost funds were placed upon the Third Estate. The Estate that was already deciding whether to pay for life-saving medications or food, just as if they had Big Pharma back then.

Throw in the ineffective leadership at the top, as in Louis XV and Louis XVI and Donald I, the inability of French Parliament to enact reforms favorable to the Third Estates, think Congress, the Senate and Moscow, or if you prefer Paris Mitch, and voila! Revolution is in the air. In France, not here, but maybe here. Soon.

The last and I believe best reason for the French Revolution is the price (or scarcity) of Bread. It’s one thing to be shut out of positions of power and looked down upon by the other estates, but it’s quite another to be starved to death at the same time. Have you checked the price of bread lately? It seems to be rising and “Let them eat coal.” isn’t going to work.

 

Did you get your fill of Phil?

 

Druckerreport.com/blog

@DruckerPhilip

Instagram: Philip_Drucker

 

Phil Drucker’s Rant for 12-3-19: “How the Oil and Mineral Grinch Stole Christmas”


Today, I was thinking about the Fifth Amendment. The Takings Clause. It’s a clause that doesn’t normally get a lot of play. Recently, we’ve been hearing about it in cases involving oil and natural gas pipelines we no longer need and, of course, over a border wall on sovereign Texas soil that is never going to be built.

“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” (emphasis added)

Not a terribly difficult clause to understand. If the government has a legitimate public “use” (now “purpose”; see Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005) for a decision I imagine the Supreme Court would now like to take back) for privately held property it must offer to the owner in exchange for the land just compensation. Modernly, “just compensation” usually means fair market value. Other words we hear in connection with the Takings Clause are eminent domain and/or condemnation.

https://www.oyez.org/cases/2004/04-108

I started to ask myself a simple, theoretical question. Why did the Founding Fathers put a clause limiting government acquisition of private property at the end of an Amendment mostly recognized for its effect on government conduct and individual rights in connection with criminal trials? Followed by the Due Process Clause? Life, liberty and oh, there it is. Property. Property standing in for the Pursuit of Happiness. So there you have it. Happiness is dirt. The ownership of dirt. It’s all about the dirt. Is that really so crazy? Let’s expand our horizons.

The right to own, work and profit from the land. To own the entirety of the natural bounty of riches available from the ownership of Earth. At common law, to own land was to own the sky above, and the riches below, if any. Infra Coelum supra infernum.

Land meant water and water meant (and still means) life. So you got the agua standing, or running through, above and below, too. You got the grass and the trees. Plant crops, eat them or sell them. All considered part of the rights inherent in real estate. You could put up a fence and raise animals. You could build a home and raise a family. There were no federal taxes for individuals to pay, so the chances of interacting with your federal government were few and far between. Until the late 1800s America was an agrarian nation of happy, contented farmers. Except for the various incurable illnesses, viruses and plagues, lack of proper medical care in general, and the promise of a fairly short lifespan, and if you were a woman, a very good chance you would die during childbirth, life was good. What changed? Commodities.

With the discovery of gold came the various gold rushes, the most famous being the discovery of gold at Fort Sutter and the California Gold Rush of 1849. Then in 1859, oil was discovered at Oil Creek Pennsylvania. A frenzied oil rush shortly followed. All of a sudden came trains and planes and, well, not automobiles just yet, and all of a sudden “heaven to hell” started giving way to the realities of industrialization and, greed.
“The meek shall inherit the Earth, but not its mineral rights.” –J. Paul Getty.
Today, the land on which the Little Pink House that is the subject matter of the Kelo stood is a vacant lot inhabited by feral cats. Today, there is a serious shortage of low cost affordable housing. People are living on the streets in number starting to look like the 1920s or unlike the depression era, if lucky, in their cars or RV. Nobody seems to know what to do.
May I take the opportunity to make a suggestion? How about we give everyone some dirt with a tax holiday? You know, 50 acres and a mule with a tax exemption. Then let’s and see what happens. Happy Holidays by the fire if you are fortunate enough to live in a home with a fireplace, or, at least, running water. Ho! Ho! Ho! Here’s to coal, your own coal mine in your stocking.

Did you get your fill of Phil?

Druckerreport.com/blog
@DruckerPhilip
Instagram: Philip_Drucker

Phil Drucker’s Rant for 11-26-19: “The Beginning of the End”



On November 23, 2019, I gave a speech at the Democrats of the Desert’s monthly meeting to a crowd of more than 100 persons. The pre-arranged topic was “An Impeachment Update.” This for a week when Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, Gordon Sondland and Fiona Hill had all testified before the House of Representatives. A week of history, infamy, or both. Below is an after-the-fact close but not perfect recreation of the speech from my notes, for posterity, and doing double duty as this week’s Rant.

As I was walking up a few people asked me what I had written. I was, as is my custom, holding a clipboard. I reached the lectern, adjusted my glasses, checked my water supply, and…

“At the top, it says “I WANT NOTHING” “I WANT NOTHING” and “NO QUID PRO QUO” in big letters. Just so I don’t forget my talking points, you know. (NOTE: It didn’t say that but I thought it was funny.) Now, as I was saying, Good Afternoon. I’m so glad to be back at the Democrats of the Desert. One of my favorite groups for sure. Makes me proud to be a democrat, you all do.

Good afternoon. As some of you may already know, I am not a morning person but on the morning of Wednesday, November 20th, 2019, I decided to get up at the ungodly hour of 6:00am AM to watch the testimony of Gordon Sondland. Now let me make myself clear, I did not expect our ambassador to the EU to be a beacon or perhaps even bacon of truth, but seeing as he donated a million dollars to the Trump campaign in exchange for a position he is in no way qualified for, I figured he would know a thing or two about quid pro quo, and that he likely was not the type who would take the spear for Trump.

I was not disappointed. In fact, his testimony was far beyond my bleary-eyed expectations when Sondland, did in fact, throw everyone, and I mean everyone, including Trump, Pence, Pompeo, Mulvaney and so many more guilty as sin members of the Trump Crime Syndicate under the bus, leaving no doubt in any sane person’s mind, other than apparently Will Hurd, the good soldier congressman from Texas, that our 45th president would surely be and rightfully so, impeached for his role in the now historical, or at least infamous, coming to a text book near you soon “Ukraine” for imaginary dirt on the Biden scandal.

Since we are talking about politics, the word “surely” as used above means I’m 99.999% positive Trump will be impeached by the House, the articles of impeachment drafted and delivered to the Senate for the quasi-judicial removal trial Moscow Mitch McConnell will be constitutionally bound to conduct. At the end of his trial, our 45th President will either be acquitted or convicted of all or some of the articles charged, and if convicted, most likely removed from office. The very first president to suffer such a fate. Like I said, historical.

But know this, whether Trump is removed from office or not, he will forever bear the asterisk of impeachment by his name as both a shame to himself, if he has any, and a warning to future generations of what happens when you elect as your leader, a man with such low moral standards as to require an inquiry into whether his physical removal from the highest office of the land before the end of his term was warranted, lest he do yet more harm to our democratic way of life.

Having been pleased with my decision to try to catch the early EU Ambassador who got dragged into the wonderful world of Rudy G. worm, the next early morning brought yet more damning, and I might add chilling, testimony from Fiona Hill. If there was anything left to say, she said it, involving both members of the House and Senate to stop spreading soviet propaganda as if it were truthful, legitimate and factually accurate “news” for discussion on any station other than Faux or perhaps RT. Will they? That I do not know, for within 24-hours Comrade Trumpski was again at it tweeting the Putin line, accusing Ukraine and the Bidens of corruption. And of course, that he wanted nothing, nothing, no quid pro quo, and just for Zelenski to do the right thing.

My advice Mr. President? Is stop worrying about supposed corruption in Ukraine, and to start rooting out the corruption right here, at home, right under your nose. In fact, it is your nose. So why don’t you and your coked-up nose (NOTE: Got booed for this one. I guess some people just can’t handle the truth.) just resign already and for once in your life save us tax-payers the cost of paying for your incompetence. Haven’t you had enough free golf on our dime? I mean really…

Fortunately, one way or the other, you will be gone soon. Yet once you’re gone we will still have a big problem to fix. Our two-party system is broken. We currently have but one functioning party. One party wanting to govern, and one party made up of greedy, self-interested politicians whose only agenda is to gain and maintain power for nothing worthier than power’s own sake, and perhaps engage in a doomed attempt to keep white male privilege as part of our glorious “culture.” Sadly, our “representatives” are willing to go so far as to enlist the help of and invite our adversaries, the Russians, to meddle in our elections rather than work with their American counterparts across the aisle.

And then, as always, there is “we.” We the people, the people in this room and across America. What are we to do with half of a country of our fellow citizens who prefer belonging to a cult of personality? Being told what to do and say and not think for themselves. To not only drink the Kool-Aid, but like it.

Who should we fear most? Is it the monster with the savior complex? Or those who want, or need to be saved by that monster we should fear? I for one, do not fear the Pied Piper or the rats that follow him. I do fear the same cannot be said of your average Trump supporter.

Ask yourself, what do they want or think they need to be saved from? Not only what, but from who? Who?

Saved from those of a different race or color? From a different country? Of a different gender or sexual orientation? A different faith or religion?

Might we ask them, what are you afraid of? Of shoeless men, women and children asking for a better life through asylum at our border? So afraid you would put children in cages?

Are you, afraid of us? Of the democrats in this room? Of me?

Do you really believe the Russians need to save you from your fellow countrymen in this room? Better red than in this room, here with us? Talking about a better future of racial harmony, equality, kindness and caring for all in our great nation?

Really?

Or, can we come together? Perhaps we could begin at the point of the original Republican, now Ddemocratic icon, Abraham Lincoln. Strangely, this week is also the 155th Anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. If you don’t mind, I’d like to read this somewhat short but memorable moment in our nation’s history.

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.”

“But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate—we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.”

“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under g-d, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government…

”And I will end here.”

“…of the people,
by the people,
for the people,
shall not perish from the earth.” –Abraham Lincoln

Thank you.

Did you get your fill of Phil?

Druckerreport.com/blog
@DruckerPhilip
Instagram: Philip_Drucker

Phil Drucker’s Rant for 11-19-19: “Can a Zionist Rely on Thist?”


Today, I begin with an oft-quoted passage from the Federalist Papers No. 51 generally attributed to James Madison but, possibly, written by Alexander Hamilton.
“If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” –Federalist Papers No. 51

https://www.congress.gov/resources/display/content/The+Federalist+Papers

America. A socio/political experiment in the defeat of tyranny. With the Age of Enlightenment came the radical belief that when left to think and act for themselves without interference, mostly from Church and State, and certainly not the two working in tandem, persons would generally make the best decisions for, well, themselves. This is not to say the Founding Fathers were best described as anarchists, certainly not Godless or even libertarian. They were, for the most part, Deists who believed that the advanced science inherent in the obvious order of nature was the best indication of “intelligent design” and, hence, the existence of G-d. In short, someone smarter than us built the (As above) so-below part. But the question remained, how to best use it?

What was the best way to set up a society bent on individuals deciding for themselves? You separate those who would decide for you. From the lessons of Henry VIII and the Anglican Church, first, you separate Church and State, guaranteeing freedom of religious exercise and the establishment of an official, government sanctioned religion. Next and again based on the lessons of history, foremost the Roman Empire and English Parliament, you break the three core functions of government into three separate but equal branches. The Legislative, the Executive and the Judicial. Then, by implementing a system of checks and balances, you do your best to ensure no one person, aka a despot, tyrant, take your pick, may unilaterally designate, divine or decide that his will Trumps (coming soon to a dictionary near you) the will of the people to think and then act in their own best interests, as G-d so intended.

One of the grayer areas of constitutional separation, checks and balances, is American foreign policy. The Constitution itself grants, let’s call them duties and obligations that are related to foreign affairs to both the Executive and Legislative branches.

In addition to the War Powers (we usually (but not always) make war on foreigners) in Article II Section 2, the President is expressly enabled as follows:

“He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the Supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.”
https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/constitution-transcript
It is also generally assumed through case law and practice that in matters of foreign policy the President “speaks as one voice” (One Voice Doctrine) for the people and thereby takes the initiative in matters related to external affairs.
Congress also has an explicit role in foreign affairs. In addition to its own War Powers, and the Senate’s right to Advise and Consent the President, Article I section 8 Clause 3 includes the right to regulate foreign commerce under the Commerce Clause:
“To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.” (Emphasis added).

Recently, a great deal of attention has been placed upon foreign relations between the United States and Israel. For the record, the President acting unilaterally has, against literally decades of foreign policy to the contrary, reversed longstanding US policy on Israeli settlements. In fact, calling it “Obama’s Policy” although it was, in fact, Jimmy Carter’s administration that ruled in 1978, that’s 40 years ago for those who are counting, that ruled that civilian Israeli settlements were illegal under international law.

Now, it is true, Ronald Reagan, “changed” the word “illegal” to “illegitimate” in an action to downplay the international significance of the West Bank settlement, but it is there we have stood, till now. Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with a President supporting an ally, more or less, fervently than his predecessors, but officially acknowledging Jerusalem as Israel’s capital? A move certain to throw more fuel on the Israel-Palestinian two separate states fire? This is also on top of his unusually cozy relationship with fellow fascist Netanyahu. Is influencing Israel, not an enemy but a friendly nation’s elections to stay committed to the “right” a legitimate foreign interest? And yes, I will say it, is promoting the “Rapture” a legitimate function of state or religion?
Is this your voice? It’s not mine and I condemn it. Oh, and BTW, Jared, if you are listening, still working on that Middle East Peace Plan that nobody has ever seen? Khashoggi’s ghost must be turning in his dismembered grave.

Did you get your fill of Phil?
druckerreport.com//blog
@DruckerPhilip
Instagram: Philip_Drucker

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