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Skepticism and critical thinking is not panacea, but can help to understand the world better
|News||Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few||Recommended Links||Diplomacy by deception||Neoliberal war on reality or the importance of controlling the narrative||Bait and Switch|
|Very Serious People||Leo Straus as the godfather of neocons||Mayberry Machiavellians||Machiavellism||False flag operations as an important part of demonization of the enemy strategy||Noble Lie|
|Pollyanna creep||Machiavellians Manipulators Tricks||Love bombing||Groupthink||Belief-coercion in high demand cults||Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair|
|"Fight with Corruption" as a smoke screen for neoliberal penetration into host countries||Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime||Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism||Corruption of Regulators||Cognitive Regulatory Capture||Revolving Doors as Corruption|
|Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA||Lesser evil trick of legitimizing a disastrous, corrupt neoliberal politicians in US elections||Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite||Pluralism as a myth||Terrorism as a smokesreen for National Security State implementation||Charlie Hebdo - more questions then answers|
|In Foreign Events Coverage Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment||Luke Harding: a pathetic author of book that rehash Steele Dossier||Freedom of speech played by Western MSM as three card monte||MSM as fake news industry||Bullshit as MSM communication method|
|American Exceptionalism as Civil Religion||Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite||Anatol Leiven on American Messianism||New American Militarism||Humor||Etc|
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
"Hollywood no longer depicts reporters
in ruthless pursuit of criminals, high and low.
Now they are the criminals."
Frank Rich So Much for ’The Front Page’
NYT, November 2, 2003
"Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one."
--A. J. Liebling, writer (1904 - 1963)
Truth is the most precious thing. That's why we should ration it.
“Gentlemen, I am ready for the questions to my answers.”
- Charles de Gaulle,
at the beginning of the press conference,
wryly alluding to the staged nature of such events.
"The truth is that the newspaper is not a place for information to be given,
rather it is just hollow content, or more than that, a provoker of content.
If it prints lies about atrocities, real atrocities are the result."
Karl Kraus, 1914
“You can fool some of the people all of the time
and those are the ones you want to concentrate on.”
George W. Bush, joking at a Gridiron Club dinner,
Washington, D.C., March 2001
Lately I’ve been amazed at the extent to which our entire public discourse now rests on disinformation and lies. First of all the concept of "bread and circuses" is now used more widely then in Rome:
“What’s necessary for the state is the illusion of normality, of regularity,” America’s best-known political prisoner, Mumia Abu-Jamal, told me last week by phone from the prison where he is incarcerated in Frackville, Pa. “… In Rome, what the emperors needed was bread and circuses. In America, what we need is ‘Housewives of Atlanta.’ We need sports. The moral stories of good cops and evil people. Because you have that …. there is no critical thinking in America during this period...
... ... ...
Trump, an acute embarrassment to the corporate state and the organs of internal security, may be removed from the presidency, but such a palace coup would only further consolidate the power of the deep state and intensify internal measures of repression.
When "bread and circuses" no longer work and people start asking themselves unpleasant question like "What is the deep state?", "Why we are finding all those wars in Me?" heavy artillery of propaganda comes into play.
It starts with setting the proper narrative. The facts don't matter once the narrative is set. In typical large scale disinformation cases like "Russian hacking" story (aka Russiagate), half of the country will go on thinking there's no way the story is totally made up, if MSM report if: there is no smoke without fire. Chris Hedges assumes that this idea of "injective proper narrative" started during Nixon's presidency with his idea of silent majority (Trump Is the Symptom, Not the Disease), but in reality it predates JFK assassination:
It began when big money was employed by political operatives such as Roger Stone, a close Trump adviser, to create negative political advertisements and false narratives to deceive the public, turning political debate into burlesque.
Dialectics suggest that each notion develops into its opposite. It might already happened with the US MSM. they are now all fake news distribution ("fake news" are officially sanctioned rumors) XXI century can probably be called "the age of disinformation", although the process started long ago with the first totalitarian regimes in Russia, Italy and Germany. In this sense cold war was won by the USSR, because one of the most despicable features of the regime -- totalitarian control of media -- is now almost completely replicated in western countries. As Daniel Schorr aptly observed in his csmonitor article A spin cycle out of control
Washington these days feels a little like Moscow in Soviet times when the government routinely dispensed information to the public and the public routinely didn't believe it. The two main newspapers were the Communist Party organ, Pravda, (Truth) and the Soviet government organ, Izvestiya (News). People used to say, "There is no Izvestiya in Pravda and no Pravda in Izvestiya."
Only a complete idiot now can believe mainstream press. Moreover at least Communists were honest about it and accepted it as a necessary evil, a byproduct of a one-party state surrounded by hostile capitalist states, which resort to all kind of dirty tricks to undermine it.
Under neoliberalism the net result is the same, but the dealing with media is based not of Party diktat (journalists are fighters of the Party"), but more subtle bets on greed, corruption and population stupidity and passivity. And communists view of "capitalist press" was simple, straightforward and is rather attractive, while in general being false, as many other communist ideas -- all professional journalists should be considered to be a special kind of prostitutes aka presstitutes :-). Anyway, even if you rightly think that communist's approach is too extreme or simplistic or both, it still make perfect sense always ask who stands to profit and try to find and compare information form the opposition be it internal opposition press of other states.
It is extremely naive to assume that free flow of information can exist in a any advanced Western state. But if you take several states then this assumption looks a little bit more realistic. Contradictions between state facilitates the flow of information, that would be suppressed by domestic press. that's why British press is generally preferable source of information about the US events ;-) Which they follow very closely. Of course, the level of disinformation is highly dependent on the importance of the event and generally reaches maximum in the atmosphere of McCarthyism-style witch hunt of war hysteria ("Truth is the first casualty of war"). As Stephen Gowans wrote in Media Monitors Network
Every war proceeds along this path. Those who stand to be killed, dismembered, and dispossessed, are demonized, turned into the hobgoblins the American journalist H.L. Menken accused practical politicians of using to menace the population into consenting to what would otherwise not be consented to. Few are going to consent to the killing of innocents. So you turn the innocent into the guilty. Butchers. Murderers. Genocidists. Only later are the stories revealed to be gross exaggerations, often outright fabrications.
That's why English is so important. It is the only language that has critical mass of foreign press (most countries provide English language periodicals and Web sites) and as such English (along with Internet) is the main bastion of democracy in a modern world. Of course pro-state bias is also more pronounced in coverage of international events as foreign correspondents, who while not always are on a direct payroll of three letter agencies are often directly or indirectly influenced by them. If you are already thinking along this path you might also enjoy a book by John Ralston Saul called "Unconscious Civilization." Another his book that is worth reading (and written along the same lines) is "Voltaire's Bastards" in which he examines the appropriation of our government/corporations by an unaccountable elite which has co-opted the real power in our society (skip the Canadian identity-related staff) http://www.nlc-bnc.ca/events/readings/ejohn.htm
While in most cases Canadian and UK newspapers give more truthful picture of events in the USA, this is not true for foreign policy US and the USA are often in the same bed as for foreign policy and British press repeats (often in a slightly more sophisticated form then the USA counterparts ;-) the State Department talking points. The same is true for Russian press about Ukraine.
Traditionally UK press was the standard of independent thinking. This clearly now belongs to the past (with Times controlled by Murdock family and Guardian being a neoliberal mouthpiece ) by still, in my experience, there are some remnants of this honorable tradition. You can more often to fight insightful articles in Guardian then iether in NYT or WaPo. But you need to be aware of those few brave soils, dinosaurs journalists who still try to inform public, not to misinform it. Another important factor is the level of monopolization of the press. In any case in British press discussions are always worth reading and typically this is were real information can be uncovered.
This symbiosis of press and government is nothing new. It existed in the USSR and now exists in the West. Famous economist John Kenneth Galbraith in his latest book The Economics of Innocent Fraud noted that politicians and the media moguls actually form shadow "Ministry of Truth" in best Orwellian traditions, propagating, for example myth about:
..a benign "market" that big business always knows best, that minimal intervention stimulates the economy, that obscene pay gaps and unrestrained self-enrichment are an inevitable by-product of the system.
The other typical Soviet phenomena is blatant twisting of the language. For example the word "democracy" now usually means "our bastards" (as in famous quote “he may be a bastard, but he’s our bastard" ;-). And what is really sad, is that in case of war, or major terrorist events, extreme, Soviet style disinformation is not limited to channels like Fox or Rupert Murdock controlled newspapers. It can be found all over the political spectrum. For example the level of distortion of wars in Kosovo and Beslan tragedy was actually greater in left press. BBS and NYT, Newsweek, Guardian, Independent, etc really managed to outdid Fox in the art of disinformation in those cases. After that you feel nothing but disgust reading them.
And it is so called "left press" (or more correctly soft neoliberal press) which supported and continue to mix Wahhabi fanatics with freedom fighters. Like Talleyrand used to say "It is worse than a crime, -- it is a blunder" as Wahhabism is a direct threat to the civilized world. Moreover the story of Osama Bin Laden (Osama is essentially a byproduct of the Saudi regime, in particular the hardliners in the regime, and the CIA; Soviet invasion of Afghanistan provided the necessary but not sufficient condition for the creation of this movement; two other important components were Saudis and CIA) had shown quite convincingly that due to the internal logic of the movement they always turn against the very people who were providing them money and PR support. As MSNBC author By Michael Moran stated in his Aug. 24, 1998 article "Bin Laden comes home to roost":
At the CIA, it happens often enough to have a code name: Blowback. Simply defined, this is the term that describes an agent, an operative or an operation that has turned on its creators. Osama bin Laden, our new public enemy Number 1, is the personification of blowback. And the fact that he is viewed as a hero by millions in the Islamic world proves again the old adage: Reap what you sow.
In case of important events, nobody now generally expects the government to tell the truth rather than to resort to propaganda. So in a way we all live in post-USSR world. But there is some level in which quantity turns into quality. And "war time coverage" now is gradually extended to less and less important cases that should not involve "war time" restrictions and mobilization priorities. So the situation is gradually sliding to the level of Orvell's dystopian novell 1984. If powerful interests are involved, then trying to tell the truth is a direct threat to the employment of the particular journalist (and in some countries even life); in the case of the broadcasters can lead to direct or subtle forms of censorship (removal from the air) and/or economic retribution. That means that for most journalists the loyalty to one's boss (and by extension his handlers) overwhelmingly took precedent over personal honesty and integrity. Also journalists, especially in national capitals, are regularly bribed by the establishment. Some of the are connected with the establishment by family and other ties.
For that reason, we, as citizens, have to learn to recognize propaganda and media disinformation and within our limited means fight it. The ability to withstand massive "brainwashing" now become an important dimension of non-conformism. Those skills are especially important due to an extremely dangerous development in mass communication -- complete loss of independence (sovietization) of mass media, the phenomenon that is also connected with the creation of military-media-industrial complex (MMIC). Here is a relevant quote from The 50, 26, 20... Corporations That Own Our Media
Of the 1,700 daily papers, 98 percent are local monopolies and fewer than 15 corporations control most of the country's daily circulation. A handful of firms have most of the magazine business, with Time, Inc. alone accounting for about 40 percent of that industry's revenues.
Actually this kind of control of media by powerful interests (connected with the state, but necessary directly manipulated by the state) is the essence of the totalitarian state. This is a bad thing. I think, that in such circumstances anybody who has IQ to speak about, should not blindly believe any newspaper or TV station. Any news coverage should be considered more like a question than like an answer. This is especially true for international events. Only by comparing sources from different countries (for example Australian coverage, Asian coverage, GB and Canada coverage) one can get some idea about what's really is going on. In this sense Internet is really the last citadel of democracy. In addition to the internet there is still a couple of good things:
While each and every newspaper or TV channel is distorting truth, that does not mean that they are distorting truth in the same way. The level of distortion particular events depends of to what extent the truth is acceptable to a particular channel/media owners and the level of distortion, while always present, can still slightly vary between different newspapers and channels.
Sometimes truth can benefit from the sloppiness of controls that permit some brave correspondents to reveal it despite censure. So on certain issues Fox channel is be more accurate then CNN, while usually the situation is quite opposite. For example Fox was more reliable then CNN in covering Beslan tragedy.
The history the media cowardice, prejudice and gross over-simplification needs to be studied much more completely and materials presented below are far from being such a study. And while I would like to repeat it again: Internet is last bastion of democracy, media conglomerates actually controls a large part of Internet too, so crossing the national borders is extremely important. Portals like Yahoo are just puppets in a big game. Just ask yourself who provides news for Yahoo and similar portals. One should always ask the question, "Who and why put this here?".
Another problem is that it's rather difficult to counter disinformation especially if the message falls within the bounds of your cultural belief systems. That's true for both light and left propaganda. The Internet offers certain advantages in conveying false information because the well known issues of conformity, persuasion and self-justification are amplified by the Net. Here are some relevant quotes:
It's all staged, so we can all laugh at its Bush-licking rendition of the news, its ridiculous "fair and balanced" slogan and this man Bill O'Reilly, whose talk show is really more of a spitting contest gone off track. The Globe and Mail
What the mainstream media is doing with facts is often wrong. Sometimes it's plain, undisguised lie. And they don't really care if I know it, or you know it, or if millions know it. Again, they don't care -- they are doing their paid job of manipulation of public opinion in the interests of powerful groups. It is definitely not anything like what it is supposed to be, which is a reliable and independent information helping us to understand this complex world. Let's face it: political commentators are often a special kind of trained crocodiles, they are just animals trained to maim the prey. The art of disinformation now reached such level that you can suspect anything including the direct transmission from the place of the event to be staged, sanitized or outright manipulated:
If you're reading this, we trust that you're painfully aware of the stranglehold that corporations have on the flow of "news" the world over. In this self-referential hyper-aware media-saturated environment, it's hardly incendiary or revolutionary at this point to imply that most news these days is manipulative moronic crap manufactured to simultaneously subdue and incite The Masses into their ongoing cycle of complacent apathy and egomaniacal patriotism. Or is it?
We won't insult your intelligence by waxing poetic about the self-preserving, dull-witted conspiracy of fools that we conveniently categorize as The Media Elite. You know the ones we're talking about. And in case you're not familiar with exactly how influenced the information that filters down to your front door, car radio or boob tube by The Military Entertainment Complex, have a looksie at who owns what. Yeah, that's right. Show us the money.
And while Internet is the last bastion of democracy, it is extremely important to be aware of the nature of the Internet. Information exists on the Net outside of existing scholarly structures. Sometimes respectable Internet sites are using all the dirty tricks of of yellow press journalism. See Open Directory - Science Social Sciences Psychology Persuasion and Social Influence. Here is an relevant quote from the paper: In Seattle's Aftermath Linux, Independent Media, and the Survival of Democracy:
Why Mainstream Media Won't Tell You the Truth
You don't have to be a genius or a conspiracy theorist to figure this one out. A few global media giants dominate the market; they have huge and growing holdings in virtually every means by which information is disseminated--films, books, TV channels, radio stations, newspapers, and magazines (Herman and McChesney, 1998). And they pressure, whether overtly or not, authors and reporters to put a slant on the news--specifically, a centrist to right-wing slant that favors the interests of the media's corporate owners. That's the reason you hear, over and over, why development matters more than preserving the environment, why free trade matters more than worker's rights, and why the U.S. has the right to impose its military power wherever it pleases.
Apart from the general pressure to slant the news to the center and right, industry associations overtly pressure media outlets to censor certain types of news reporting by threatening to withdraw advertising. For example, thanks to pressure from restaurant associations, newspapers are reluctant to specify local restaurants which violate health department regulations. Even so, overt pressure isn't often needed. When you're in the media business, you know darned well you'd better not run stories that businesses won't like. You tone it down. You run it by them. And if they're not comfortable and you're not comfortable, you don't run it.
In sum, you don't hear the truth because corporations don't want you to hear it and mainstream media are too cowardly to report it. Had you known the truth about Seattle (including substantive discussion of the specific issues concerning WTO policies), you might have thought more deeply about what's at stake. But that doesn't sell beer; why ask why, after all, when doing so is virtually unmarketable? Instead of providing the tools needed to think seriously about national policies, the media would much prefer to socialize viewers into becoming "neurotic in their need to buy advertised commodities", generating "mass spending on goods such as cosmetics, cigarettes, beer, soft drinks, and patent medicines completely out of proportion to the rational use of national income..." and diverting attention from "society's central needs, including public education, health care, [and] democratic economics" (Bagdikian, 1996:10).
At the same time for a thinking person Internet provides a unique possibility to resist this brain-washing campaign by comparing several sources. With some training you can read between the lines in mainstream media reports (people from former "socialist" countries usually have high score in those skills ;-):
The Internet is "dangerous" because it is a medium for the instantaneous and uncontrolled transmission of ideas.
We think of free speech as being a given--almost an absolute--in the United States and much of the Western world. Though everyone knows that certain kinds of speech, such as pornography, are against the law, most of us don't think about the web of social, nongovernmental constraints on legal but disfavored speech.
Unpopular ideas are marginalized in our society, restricted to the fringes of public discourse even without the need for any governmental action. Broadcast television and radio, cable, newsmagazines and book publishers all are--or are owned by--large conglomerates. Many rely on advertising, or own other businesses that do, or are simply owned or controlled by people whose personal involvement in the social web of contacts and constraints guarantees moderation in ideas. No idea sees the light of day until it has been turned over, examined from every angle, and pronounced fit for human consumption. Editors approve articles and books, and are managed by publishers who sometimes intervene in content. Committees decide what news stories to cover and which to ignore.
Let's don't miss this possibility, while it's still exists !!!
"To successfully uncover the lies of someone you first must know how to lie yourself. Now, some people just don't know how to lie because they've never been around someone who was good at it. I'm going to give you some pointers — never ever exaggerate within the lie. Details are key and remembering those details is what will keep the lie alive."
"One of the ways that deal with co-workers who I think have lied to me is to ask them the most obvious question: 'Did you lie to me when…?'"
"In a group of people, ask the person the question you need answered and when they lie to you, I just say — 'You lying &*#^, you never said that in your whole life.' Everybody breaks up laughing and the person obviously is caught. We all make a joke of it and it is much harder for them to be dishonest the next time."
"When it is obvious that someone's story has little connection to reality, I say 'Oh my gosh, almost the exact same thing happened to me.' This achieves the objective of 1) pointing out to the tall tale teller that you are on to him; and 2) makes everyone else realize how ridiculous this co-worker's stories are getting, and forces everyone to evaluate the veracity of all future tall tales.
"When trying to detect a liar, I act absent-minded and pause with unfinished sentences. The liar tends to fill these spaces. I have caught liars this way."
"I give them my biggest smile and usually say something like, 'Come on Pinocchio, your nose is growing.' Then I laugh gently. If they seem embarrassed or avoid eye contact and smile and say nothing, then I have confirmation that they have lied. They know it and I know it. Reading their body language is extremely important. Once word gets around that you are not a fool who will believe anything, most people won't try it with you."
"If you must interact with this person, try to have a third party present to be a neutral witness to any conversation that takes place. Also, if possible, interact via e-mail and be professional. We all know e-mails are a nice time-stamped paper trail of the facts."
"There are different ways to deal with lies, depending on the reason and the frequency. The solutions range from ignoring the lies, to training, to confrontation, to verbal and written warnings, and perhaps, as a last resort if the damage by the lies is substantial, termination."
"Of course he is lying. Everyone is lying. It's part of the human condition. Bosses lie all the time. Workers give them lies in reply and to each other."
This systematic distortion of information makes human societies characteristically self-deceptive, with people disposed to believe they are living up to their ideals, particularly when they are not. The existing schematic dissonance is usually subconscious, due to the misleading nature of words, so society stumbles smugly along while at odds with itself, its environment and its equally stupid neighbors. In fact, the only really effective control of development comes not from inside but from physical limitations (what cannot be done) and competition with other groups which are also out of touch with themselves.
In general, internal criticism is of limited value as a control mechanism for growth and development of a social system. There usually tend to be few, if any, effective critics within any organization. When not dismissed out of hand as a crank or an outsider, anyone with valid criticism is made an outsider, as ostracism is a common reward for honesty, accuracy and integrity. Thus, criticism without power is largely wasted, producing little but woe for the bewildered critic himself.
Perhaps there are so few effective critics because anyone with any brains at all quickly finds that most human organizations just are not set up for effective criticism. The basic working assumption is that everything is just fine. Outside criticism is deflected and internal feedback is supposed to be positive reinforcement from "Yes men" promoting their careers by corrupting the mighty. At best, criticism has a place on the fringe, where cranks and comics can be tolerated as amusing diversions.
Business marketing and politics often overlap in election campaigns. Someone vying for office is essentially trying to sell himself to voters. "When you are campaigning, you're like the businessman who has a limited responsibility, a limited set of people to whom you owe something," said Alan Wolfe, director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College and author of "Moral Freedom: The Search for Virtue in a World of Choice" (W. W. Norton).
But, increasingly, because of the fund-raising involved in running for national office, "you have to be in an almost permanent campaign mode," said David Gergen, now a professor of public service at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, who was an adviser to four presidents. "In politics, you fall into the trap of short-termism. You do whatever it takes to keep the headlines up today." This short-term thinking is not dissimilar to what causes some businesses to make poor decisions in trying to bolster stock prices or earnings reports.
"The trap of the permanent campaign is that you diminish statesmanship," Professor Gergen said. "Statesmen rise above the daily concern and look to the long haul."
BUT it's difficult to affect the long haul if you find yourself voted out of office. For that reason, Dick Morris, a former adviser to Mr. Clinton and the author of "Off with Their Heads: Traitors, Crooks and Obstructionists in American Politics, Media and Business" (Regan Books, 2003), said he thinks that "using polling and all of the tools of an election to help you govern is a good thing."
"It gets the president to be very aggressive in figuring out what he can do in an active way really to help the country," he added. "The motivation is to govern well so he can get elected."
Even if President Bush has to campaign constantly and, as a result, selectively uses information to sell his message, we still expect him to tell the truth. "If they decided to lie to make the case stronger that's simply unethical," said Mr. Gilman, who was a senior official at the United States Office of Government Ethics from 1988 to 2001. Mr. Gilman said he hopes that the president "got one bad piece of intelligence and the rest was correct."
Some political analysts say President Bush crossed a line in selectively using information by pointing to British intelligence to make an argument, when American intelligence doubted the claim. "As in all marketing, when you go too far, it creates a small cloud over you about credibility," Professor Gergen said.
There's more at stake when President Bush selectively uses information than when a business executive tries to move a product. The president's role clearly distinguishes his unique moral responsibility. As an executive, you don't order young men and women to give up their lives for a cause.
For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section
"It tends to be all accurate,
but not in an over-all context."
Jan 18, 2021 | www.unz.com
Squarebeard , says: Next New Comment January 13, 2021 at 11:38 pm GMT • 4.7 days ago
...Fact is, Trump was never the savior you wanted him to be. Had president Trump respected candidate Trump's promises he'd at least be a man of his word. But he didn't do that of course. Trump is a rhetorician (or a windbag, take your pick) and if you focus intently on his words only while downplaying his actions, you might be able to convince yourself into believing he is more than a prolific bullshitter.
Fox News is the "conservative" MSNBC. It swings from the GOP's nutsack (as you have apparently just discovered) and in fact pioneered that style of outrage "journalism." The American elite need to keep people believing in the two-party duopoly. Fox plays its roll by keeping its viewers in the Republican fold. Hate the Democrats? Vote GOP! is the message. If you think MSNBC is trash, why would you cut Fox News any slack? They perform the same function.
Here's a conspiracy theory for you. What if Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are both controlled opposition? Start with their affiliation. The supposedly "independent" Sanders is effectively a Democrat and the supposedly "insurgent" Trump is effectively a Republican. The media has been in TDS mode for four years and when it looked like Sanders might have some bipartisan appeal he was quickly slapped down by liberal pundits and commentators.
But what if all that outage is mostly theater designed to get voters believing that Trump/Sanders are antiestablishment insurgents who present a "real difference" from stale Democrat/Republican politics? The outrage and slap downs gives the impression that the establishment really really hates these guys and lets the people who support them think that they are supporting principled antiestablishmentarians.
The establishment may not like Trump or Sanders very much but as long as they are controllable they are preferable to a strong third party candidate or a mass revolt against the duopoly. After winning the 2016 election Trump caved early and caved often and governed like a neocon, while Sanders let himself get cucked by the DNC in 2016 and folded like a cheap suit during his 2020 campaign.
So both of these clowns proved they are no threat to the establishment but it's in the establishment's interest to portray them as dangerous interlopers who threaten the stability of the nation. Why? Because it keeps the "rebellion" in house. As long as the electorate believes a Democrat or Republican POTUS can address their grievances the establishment can sigh in relief knowing that they are still in control.
I don't know if Trump and Sanders are deliberately controlled opposition. But as a theory it's more plausible than The Saker's undying trust in Trump as a principled POTUS who was derailed by crafty internal and liberal opposition. If only Trump had been left alone to govern without undue interference he would be a real hero and America would be saved. Give me a break, The Saker, you can't have it both ways. Either the Empire and everything it stands for is rotten, in which case supporting anyone running on a GOP/Democrat ticket is a fool's errand, or it's not, in which case you can trust the system, roll up your blog and find a new hobby.
What The Saker and other commentators that serve up predictable and unchallenging opinions tailored for a specific audience do is provide entertainment. It's stuff for the faithful to read and collectively reaffirm their beliefs while tsk-tsking at all the fools who "just don't get it." Occasionally they provide comedic interludes like this piece where The Saker discovers that Fox News is actually a corporate outlet that supports an established political party and promotes the sanctity of the American duopoly. lol Thanks for the midweek chuckle, my dude.
The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagence, they have two of them.
– Julius Nyerere (former socialist president of Tanzania)
Jan 14, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Passer by , Jan 13 2021 19:49 utc | 5
There will be a wipe out of Trumpists and one party Dem state ala California. The Rep party will divide itself into Trumpists and establishment fighting each other.
The clear changes in the culture of the US population, which is found by numerous surveys, back up this assessment of the situation.
Trump's biggest fault is that he managed to corrupt many naturally isolationist rank and file republicans into "I have the biggest dick" imperialism and China/Iran hysteria. He tried to save the US Empire, corrupted MAGA into Make America Rule the World Again, and for that he paid the price.
He was triggered by the US decline in the world (Murica is no longer number 1, how can this be!) and tried to prop up the Empire that will eat him later.
If he tried to run on anti-imperial isolationit platform he still had a chance. But that required better relations with China, Russia, Iran and others, something impossible for a US rightoid massively triggered about Murica not being "number 1".
Jan 09, 2021 | www.unz.com
says:January 8, 2021 at 5:13 pm GMT • 6.2 hours ago
I first became aware of Paul Craig Roberts (PCR) during the depression of 2008 when events led to my armchair education in economics. PCR contributed to my education along with Michael Hudson, Steven Keen, Jospeph Stiglitz and others. I learned that economics is an inexact science full of falsehoods that serve the ruling class in their war against the working class. A primary falsehood promoted by the Nobel prize winning economist Milton Friedman is that unregulated free markets produce the greatest prosperity for the greatest number of people. Friedman's Chicago School of economics, which dominates US policy under the guise of freedom and democracy, has actually spread poverty, death and destruction for hundreds of millions of people throughout the world. Friedman's logic seemingly justifies exploitation of the working class by the ruling class in the great class war defined by Marx. Most Americans have benefited from these policies in so far as they were imposed on third world countries even though they are currently suffering as they have been incrementally imposed on our domestic population, leading to a growing popularity for political outliers like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.
Unlike most democracies, the USA is dominated by just two parties that use propaganda to fight for control of the power that Government provides. Republicans stand firmly by Milton Friedman, openly and honestly promoting the best interests of the ruling class and against FDR's New Deal that had transformed the quality of life for hundreds of millions of workers. Republicans are a minority but well organized, well funded and speak with a disciplined message.
The Democrat Party leadership has the same agenda because both parties operate in a completely privatized communication system which demands enormous sums of cash to participate. Like everything else in America the two parties can be characterized as businesses that use BS to collect money to give to the mass media, in their endless struggle for political power. Although there are many regional variations across time and geographic regions, Democrats tend to hold a 5% advantage over Republicans, but both parties are rightly held in distain by the 40% of voters who consider themselves to be "independent". Independent or not most elections force American voters back into a choice between Democrat or Republican.
Trump is not a leader, populist or intellectual thinker. His only concern is himself and his immediate family. He spends his time tweeting, golfing while eating and promoting junk food. He seeks immediate profits for himself and his donors in a political system which pays out 10:1 on investments in successful political candidates, where pay back is realized in tax benefits. Trump is a successful self promoter who has a few good ideas and the most substantial following of any Republican politician. But his behavior is too erratic to ever bring his good ideas to fruition, or you could simply say ge is too lazy to bother.
ump used populist issues, Republican gerrymandering, Republican voter caging and purging to overcome popular vote losses in 2016 but not 2020. Since 2000 American democratic voting systems have rightly suffered a credibility gap, which Greg Pallast has documented but is largely ignored by the mass media and Government which prefers to imagine us as the greatest democracy ever. Trump has been able to use these problems to sow doubts about the credibility of the 2020 outcome, even though our voting systems have been much improved on since 2000.
A Princeton Study documented that the USA operates more like an Oligarchy than a Democracy by studying who benefited from 2000 pieces of legislation. The exclusive beneficiaries of all that legislation by Democrats and Republicans are the wealthiest Americans that fund the majority of duopoly activity. This fact helps to explain how wealth is being concentrated into fewer and fewer hands..
You have to look back as far as Eisenhower and Kennedy to find Presidents dedicated to promoting the general welfare, one of our constitutional mandates. Since that period, election results have trapped the US population in a neoliberal economic system where the vast majority of elected officials are mere figureheads. Biden and Harriss's record is no exception to that rule. The "establishment" can be characterized as the military industrial complex, ruling class, .001% or in a variety of other ways. I am not sure how PCR defines that term, but they write and enforce the laws we all live by:
The use of money, the mass media and propaganda to vilify individuals and wage class war is a great American past time. That is how Johnson attacked Goldwater and Bush 41 attacked Dukakis. It is hardly unique to Trump's situation and if anything Trump is a master media manipulator and name caller.
The history of man is the history of man's enslavement of other men usually under some form of capitalism. When white people gained certain technological advantages over other people, they used that technology ruthlessly to gain wealth. This is not unique to white western culture, but it is an undeniable aprt of human history. Abraham Lincoln said that capital cannot be accumulated without the contribution of labor, and therefore labor deserves the first consideration. But we live in a world controlled by capitalists and the only thing worse than being exploited by capitalists is not being exploited by them
Since the New Deal, the US has been on a path determined by the Friedman school of economics. This has included the shuttering of mental health hospitals. As a result there are many white psychotic males running around in a country with more individual guns than the Chinese Army possesses. There is a real need to control access to these weapons, regardless of the meaning of the original intent of the second amendment. One legitimate interpretation of the term "militia" was white armed conscripts used to persistently intimidate and lynch black slaves which far outnumber wealthy plantation owners. That said hunting is a legitimate use of firearms even if slavery and war are impossible to justify.
Like Reagan, Trump has fomented racial and gender conflict as a successful political strategy in a country which still is largely white, even though that proportion is unsustainable. Whether the Covid-19 epidemic serves a similar political function can be debated. However, as long as the US and other major powers operate bio-weapons and nuclear weapons labs life on earth faces unnecessary risks. This website has documented that the 1918 "Spanish Flu" epidemic was most likely started in Kansas from a Rockefeller funded biological research lab. The post 9-11 anthrax attack through the SU mail was almost certainly a deliberate attack by a misguided rogue scientist in one of our labs. Bio-weapons and Nuclear labs should be shut down through international agreements, the initiation of which began during the Kennedy Presidency. But, unfortunately, the reverse is happening. Trump has even suggested we should be more willing to use nuclear weapons to get our way, as long as we are building them.
Overpopulation of the world is a serious problem. Global warming and US war mongering has created tens of millions of refugees which must immigrate or die. Increases in population densities everywhere decreases the quality of our lives and needs to be controlled. But to do so effectively we must attempt to address the underlying causes of mass immigration. Most people would prefer to live in te culture they were raised in as long as they can make a decent living.
Under J Edgar Hoover, blacks, liberals, socialists and communists were enemy number one. Our country has a long history of using the police to contain unrest in the working class. While Hoover was the most extreme, you are still far more likely to suffer death or other injury promulgated by the State if you are poor and considered to be part of any of the groups Hoover vilified. Occupy Wall Street and Black lives Matter protestors were treated much more brutally than any right wing extremists in support of Trump. Compare the caution exercised by police during the Ted Bundy grazing conflict standoff and its aftermath with the Black Panthers and PCR's assertions do not hold up.
Dec 30, 2020 | getpocket.com
Why aren't there more people studying the science behind stupidity? Nautilus
On this past International Holocaust Remembrance Day, I reread a bit of Bertrand Russell. In 1933, dismayed at the Nazification of Germany, the philosopher wrote "The Triumph of Stupidity," attributing the rise of Adolf Hitler to the organized fervor of stupid and brutal people -- two qualities, he noted, that "usually go together."
He went on to make one of his most famous observations, that the "fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt." Russell's quip prefigured the scientific discovery of a cognitive bias -- the Dunning -- Kruger effect -- that has been so resonant that it has penetrated popular culture, inspiring, for example, Russell's quip
"Some people's own incompetence somehow gives them a stupid sense that anything they do is first rate. They think it's great."
No surprise, then, that psychologist Joyce Ehrlinger prefaced a 2008 paper she wrote with David Dunning and Justin Kruger, among others, with Russell's comment -- the one he later made in his 1951 book, New Hopes for a Changing World :Stupidity is not simply the opposite of intelligence.
"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision." "By now," Ehrlinger noted in that paper, "this phenomenon has been demonstrated even for everyday tasks, about which individuals have likely received substantial feedback regarding their level of knowledge and skill." Humans have shown a tendency, in other words, to be a bit thick about even the most mundane things, like how well they drive.
Russell, who died in 1970 at 97 years of age, probably would not be surprised to hear news of this new study , published in Nature Human Behaviour : "Extreme opponents of genetically modified foods know the least but think they know the most." The researchers, led by Philip Fernbach, cognitive scientist and co-author of The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone , analyzed survey responses from a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults.
They obtained similar results, they write, "in a parallel study with representative samples from the United States, France and Germany, and in a study testing attitudes about a medical application of genetic engineering technology (gene therapy)."
It was nevertheless consistent with prior work exploring the Dunning -- Kruger effect and the psychology of extremism, he Fernbach called their result "perverse." It was nevertheless consistent with prior work exploring the Dunning -- Kruger effect and the psychology of extremism, he said . " Extreme views often stem from people feeling they understand complex topics better than they do. " Now as ever, societies need to know how to combat this. But what exactly is stupidity?
David Krakauer, the President of the Santa Fe Institute, told interviewer Steve Paulson, for Nautilus , stupidity is not simply the opposite of intelligence. "Stupidity is ... where adding more data doesn't improve your chances of getting [a problem] right," Krakauer said. "In fact, it makes it more likely you'll get it wrong."
Intelligence, on the other hand ... allows you to solve complex problems with simple, elegant solutions. "Stupidity is a very interesting class of phenomena in human history, and it has to do with rule systems that have made it harder for us to arrive at the truth," he said.
... ... ...
Brian Gallagher is the editor of Facts So Romantic, the Nautilus blog.
Dec 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
uncle tungsten , Dec 24 2020 21:57 utc | 30
Yasha Levine offer some sober end of year clarification. Always a good writer and thinker.
An extract:It might have been easy for people to believe that there was surging leftwing movement in American politics while Bernie Sanders' star was rising in 2016 and 2020. I had always been skeptical about how deeply that left movement actually went, but even I -- cynical as I am -- started believing in it a bit last winter. Shit. Bernie has a chance, I thought. Maybe there is something real happening here. But then he got crushed, endorsed drooling Joe Biden, licked the "we can move him left" boot, ducked out of the fight, and exposed a totally barren political left landscape. Turns out that Bernie's "revolution" was really nothing other than an electoral campaign, after all -- and that campaign and all the organizational energy it harnessed dissolved immediately with his candidacy. What did it leave behind? Not much, other than huge platforms for a few top influencers and political operatives who leveraged the Bern into lucrative Patreon and Substack careers.
Who am I talking about? Well, people like David Sirota, who seems to have taken his official Bernie campaign Substack newsletter and privatized its massive email list post-election for personal profit. Or his comrade Briahna Joy Gray, who just launched a podcast with a Chapo cohost that's already raking in more than $35,000 a month. Meanwhile, the people whose interests these two Bernie operatives had represented -- the millions who gave Bernie a few bucks -- are being immiserated more and more. David and Briahna are now on different sides of the Force the Vote fight, arguing endlessly on platforms with multi-tiered subscription offers. And what service do these leftwing influencers provide to the people? As far as I can tell, not much other than distraction and politics-as-entertainment. It's all very fucking grim.
Good luck to all for the year ahead and particularly good luck to Yemen, Iran and Venezuela and all those nations being jackbooted by the USAi. PEACE please.
Dec 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
vk , Dec 24 2020 16:05 utc | 10
Sorry, Americans: no candies for you this Christmas:
Congress Blocks Trump's Request to Increase COVID Relief Aid Amid Looming Government Shutdown
Joke of the week: this time, we have a double-header, from the same newspaper:
Dec 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
uncle tungsten , Dec 24 2020 23:37 utc | 33
The narcissistic sociopaths and their parsimonious $600 offer get totally played by Trump.
Joe Biden at the centre of the insult to the USA citizens and Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi fawning all over his discounted compassion.
Scumbags like these top four are the sign that the US citizens have ZERO champions in their national leadership.
Dec 24, 2020 | www.unz.com
Johnny Smoggins , says: December 22, 2020 at 1:50 pm GMT • 13.6 hours ago@A123AKINDLE , says: December 22, 2020 at 1:58 pm GMT • 13.4 hours ago
Trump is organizing Washington DC rally also for January 6.
Do you think he'll actually turn up this time, or just drive by on the way to the golf course like last time?@knarf base under the bus to embrace blacks and hispanics, and they didn't even turn out to vote for him. If back in 2015, Republican primary, Trump campaigned on a platinum plan for the negro and a Hispanic plan, said he would keep daca, chain/visa lottery, anchor baby. Trump would never have won the Republican primary. Utterly shameless pandering to blacks, whilst entirely ignoring his blue-collar base. His Presidency will go down as a failure. Now he is Persona non Grata on both sides. Maybe the lame do nothing negro worshipping flake can "Tweet" himself a win. Smart Whites stayed home than rather vote for a con. Trump's ego got thumped.Realist , says: December 22, 2020 at 2:23 pm GMT • 13.0 hours ago@GomezAdddams
Trump was and is a Deep State minion that is why he hired the very denizens, of the swamp he promised to drain. Trump is a sham.
Dec 24, 2020 | www.unz.com
Greta Handel , says: December 22, 2020 at 8:01 am GMT • 19.4 hours agoSick of Orcs , says: December 22, 2020 at 11:04 am GMT • 16.3 hours ago
Well, we'll see.
But in the meantime, how does this already cooling rhetoric differ from Mr. Trump's campaign pledges to "drain the swamp" that preceded his appointment of people like Abrams, Bolton, Haspel, et al. ?
Or the hilarious September 30, 2008, assurances of Mr. Obama in his endorsement of that year's bailout of Wall Street that
There will be time to punish those who set this fire , but now is the moment for us to come together and put the fire out.
Finally, I will modernize our outdated financial regulations and put in the place the common-sense rules of the road I've been calling for since March – rules that will keep our market free, fair, and honest; rules that will make sure Wall Street can never get away with the stunts that caused this crisis again. And I will take power away from the corporate lobbyists who think they can stand in the way of these reforms. I've done it in Illinois, I've done it [in] Washington, and I will do it again as President.
before allowing that same Wall Street to make his roster picks, including an Attorney General who eventually announced that some of "those who set this fire" were too big to jail?
People need to reconcile themselves to the truth that everything they're allowed to see is a Red+Blue puppet show. Only those who effectively interfere -- Assange, Manning, and others not up there on the stage -- have much to worry about.BannedHipster , says: Website December 22, 2020 at 12:47 pm GMT • 14.6 hours ago
Donald Trump entered office with a pledge to "drain the swamp," something that he found more difficult to actually do rather than just talk about doing.
Especially when Trump himself hired nothing but nevertrumpers and swamp rats and listened to his know-nothing rat-in-law.
(Didn't this guy have a tv show for 13 years about hiring the best people?)
It's secession time, has been for years before Orange Golfbag. Don't worry about whether the federal mafia approves of the parting of ways, their new scamulus includes $300,000,000 to bring in more rapefugees aka your replacements.
Does anyone remember 9/11?
The administration was locking up witnesses like Susan Lindauer. Various people, we were told were Muslims, would having bags thrown over their heads and locked into "black sites." They were saying "you're either with us or with the President." They were holding mass rallies to burn Dixie Chicks CDs because they had "disrespected" the President.
Plus, of course, they refused to actually investigate 9/11 and gave us a cockamamie made-for-TV movie explanation with more plot holes than a D-rated Hollywood film.
All Democrats are going to do is call people "racists" and "anti-semites."
These people lecturing anyone about "racism" or "democracy" is of course simply Jewish "chutzpuh" considering they are all open, apartheid-supporting Zionists – just like Trump. And Biden.
Dec 23, 2020 | www.unz.com
Defcon , says: December 22, 2020 at 4:48 pm GMT • 10.6 hours ago@AKINDLE mment-text">Rurik , says: December 22, 2020 at 5:05 pm GMT • 10.3 hours ago
The white turnout in 2016 that overturned the voter fraud did not happen this election. Who thought promising 500 billion to the %13 a month before the election was a good idea? Nonstop tweets about black unemployment? As if I give a fuck about blacks, what about all the underemployed and unemployed whites? What did he actually accomplish?
None of his campaign promises, we got a ban on a toy though, something even Obama didn't deem worth outlawing.
His entire presidency was a disaster, martial law January 21st 2017 was our only hope, that is long gone. At this point I'm not sure it matters...@AKINDLE ation, as Biden and wokeness are about to. Trump was trying to slow down the horrors looming ahead, and a smart person (white or whatever) should have voted for him regardless of his Negro and Jewish pandering.HeebHunter , says: December 22, 2020 at 5:10 pm GMT • 10.2 hours ago
Crying that 'he didn't do enough for me, so let's teach him a lesson, is puerile idiocy, and 'cutting off one's nose to spite one's face'. Because now they're really going to get anti-White hatred- on acid.
So, you're wrong about him being 'soundly defeated', and you're wrong about the 'smart white' staying home, so that Kamala and her Deep State crew can get back to sending humanity spiraling into the abyss.@Defcon Who would have thought, a kike lover and a puppet is a scumbag. Truly a master move by the establishment and the deep state. The Orange kike never did even address his huwhite base. Not once.Oemiktlob , says: December 22, 2020 at 5:22 pm GMT • 10.0 hours ago
Muttmerica deserves this though. No debate. 200 years of serving kike interests will never end well. Same as the island monkeys of the UK. The trump situation is the same as (((brexit))). Fractured any hope of solidarity with mainland while the (((EU))) pulls their pants down and do it raw.
I will never cease laughing at the anglos. They wanted this situation, they fought for it.
Google Jim RATcliffe and laugh.@RurikBannedHipster , says: Website December 22, 2020 at 5:51 pm GMT • 9.5 hours ago
Thank you for using the word "coup" here because I believe it is imperative that every concerned person realizes that this is what has happened/is happening.@Rurik p>Dr. Charles Fhandrich , says: December 22, 2020 at 5:57 pm GMT • 9.4 hours ago
Voting for a guy that spent his entire term in office working for the foreign state of Israel, while not lifting a finger for Americans – is puerile idiocy.
If a politician won't do anything for ME – why would I vote for him? I'd vote for the other guy who will do something FOR ME.
But no – you people are like, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for Israel."
Are you also going to tell us how CIA Director Gina Haspel was killed in a Deep State shootout in front of the secret Dominion Voting Machines in Frankfurt Germany as part of Operation Hammer to steal the election from Trump?
What's the latest from QAnon?
God you people are f -- ing hopeless.Rev. Spooner , says: December 22, 2020 at 6:15 pm GMT • 9.1 hours ago
The political left will not succeed with their revenge agenda, simply because President Donald Trump has had the effect of alerting the American public to the utter corruption of their politicians, ON BOTH THE LEFT AND THE RIGHT. Notice, Trump was not a Republican president and in fact, received little support from establishment Republicans during his four years and even now. Trump was a grass roots elected president, elected by millions of people who simply have had it with the status quo.
In fact, Trump is not unique. The older generations remember a certain Ross Perot, also a businessman and grass roots candidate who ran for President along with Clinton and Bush the elder. He received over 20 million votes and counting when he suddenly withdrew from the election and tried to re-enter it later. Why did he withdraw? He might have won and instead took away enough votes from Bush to cause the abominable Bill Clinton and his wife to enter the White House. Even then, Americans had enough of the "status quo".
Biden is a complete as can be swamp creature and will continue to, along with Harris, bring this country to its knees. With Trump there was hope of change and a renewed commitment to focusing on the U.S., instead of on every other country in the world, as the democrats plan to do. GOOD LUCK AMERICANS@Greta Handel m was demonstrated for four long years. Not once did he try to reign in the corporations (pharmaceuticals, energy, banking etc., preying on the American people.Cauchemar du Singe , says: December 22, 2020 at 6:22 pm GMT • 9.0 hours ago
He really is an obnoxious person. He hasn't pardoned Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and murdered Solamani and let the Israelis murder an Iranian scientist.
His four years were spent pandering to Zionists and he followed their every diktat. Swamp creatures were given a second chance, while he again and again bent forward with his rump in the air for John Bolton, William Barr, AIPAC, etc, etc.
American patriots should have some pride along with rudimentary intelligence.@BuelahManJust another serf , says: December 22, 2020 at 7:17 pm GMT • 8.1 hours ago
Is Trump now questioning his servitude to all things Zionist, now that Bibi the Noo Joisey furniture salesman stabbed him in the back by congratulating Zio Boi Biden immediately after the sElection ?
If Trump has a Christian epiphany (ref. recent Christmas message directed to just Christians) wherein things become clarified and resolve strengthened, The New Year could start with a BANG.@AKINDLECommentator Mike , says: December 23, 2020 at 3:02 am GMT • 21 minutes ago
Gawd, you are delusional.
We are given two choices in these elections. That's the way it works. No where in my comment did I laud Donald Trump. However, I am certain Trump would do less direct damage to middle class Americans than those who control Biden/Harris will inflict upon that group of citizens.
And I'm just old fashioned. The idea that a US Presidential election can be so thoroughly riddled with election fraud is just not acceptable.@BannedHipster
"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for Israel."
Brilliant! Sums up any US government, and many others in the West, and not just Trump's.
Dec 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
@William Gruff | Nov 30 2020 21:13 utc | 138
Bemildred , Dec 1 2020 11:06 utc | 160When left becomes right, progressive become regressive, and fascist becomes anti-fascist, then we have to invent whole new vocabularies just to discuss the problems that humanity is facing. What is worse though is that upending the language of political society in this manner makes the amassed knowledge from the past less accessible to the present. I suppose that is the point though.This is pretty interesting thought, thank you very much. Kind of Orwellian ""War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength," on a new, more sinister level as in "this manner makes the amassed knowledge from the past less accessible to the present."
But is reality Henry Ford quote "Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black." is perfectly applicable to any US elections and political life in general.
Some commentators here for some reason think that Biden (yes, this semi-senile Biden, a marionette from the very beginning; senator from credit card companies; the worst enemy of working class in Congress ) is somehow preferable to Trump (yes, this Trump, a marionette of Zionists, the President who completely betrayed his electorate, best friend of billionaires and Pentagon; kind of Bush III replicating both intellectual level of Bush II and his policies, including a tax cut for the rich).
I don't disagree with the idea that Trump should go (he is clearly incompetent for this position), but to think that Biden (personally also completely incompetent due to his health condition, and even before that; can you imagine this second rate politician summit with Macron, Merkel, or Putin even if we ignore his current health problems ), in some ways, will be an improvement is pretty optimistic.
Biden administration will be especially dangerous in foreign policy where Russiagaters mafia clearly returned to power, (and chickenhawks like Nuland are in demand again; as well several other flavors of "national security parasites".)
Both are puppets of approximately the same social force -- the union on neoliberal oligarchy and MIC (aka Uniparty.) Biden mafia simply will be slightly more polished, and less "in your face." But both are brutal gangsters, both domestically and on foreign arena. And that's pretty depressing. And one great service of Trump administration was that it exposed what is behind the fake facade. Biden will try to rebuild this fake facade, this Potemkin village again. that's all the difference.
Posted by: likbez | December 01, 2020 at 07:04
"When left becomes right, progressive become regressive, and fascist becomes anti-fascist, then we have to invent whole new vocabularies just to discuss the problems that humanity is facing. What is worse though is that upending the language of political society in this manner makes the amassed knowledge from the past less accessible to the present. I suppose that is the point though."
Yes, that's what the gaslighing is all about, but the problem - as our self-designated betters are finding out now - is that you cannot run a sucessful competitive modern society that way, banana republics do not get to rule the world.
Even ... Henry Ford understood he had to take good care of his employees.
Biden is going to have his hands full without looking for any more trouble.
Nov 14, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Tim Kirby via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
Right now, the entire world sits in waiting for the final declaration of the victor in the 2020 U.S. Presidential race even if they have already officially congratulated Biden. This still technically ongoing electoral process has exposed many truths and confirmed a wide range of suspicions about what is actually going on inside American politics. How "the game is to be played" going further down the road will be determined by who wins or maybe better yet how they win. Let's break down everything we should have learned from this very unusual voting year during this brief window of uncertainty.Democratic calls for "Healing and Unity" prove Trump has a strong case
The American Left is now crying out for " Healing and Unity " across the country which is an obvious middle school ploy to make any attempts by Trump to get fair final election results look pathetic and divisive. On the surface one would think that this is an offensive strategy from the dominant side to get the other to break, but calls for peace generally come from the one with the weaker hand.
If the Democrats were sure that Trump lost, then there would be no need to call for peace after years of demonizing anyone who doesn't agree with them. This rhetorical change is not one of triumph, but of fear. When the first partially Black President of the United States came to power the Left boldly rode this wave of political inertia starting their transformation into hardcore Progressives and while showing zero concern for the losers and "unity". For them this was a smug moment of victory, much like Trump's 2016 victory was for the right. So why would they choose to become so much more friendly all of a sudden this time?
Image: After years of hateful rhetoric why call for healing and unity now?
It seems more likely than not that this guilt tactic is being used because Trump may actually have a case and be able to get the votes counted accurately, i.e. in his favour. Moral high ground attacks from the Dems are unlikely to work as Trump has been compared to Hitler since the start of his previous electoral campaign. Appeasement for the POTUS has thus far completely failed, why would it start working now?A Color Revolution in America is possible and may have occurred
The Old Russian joke that a revolution could "never happen in America because there are no U.S. Embassies in Washington" has now become obsolete. The media, including even the supposedly conservative Fox News, has completely and totally given the election to Biden despite many irregularities. Not to mention, the fact that as these words are being typed – the election is not officially over.
Image: High journalistic standards in practice in the EU.
If there is one key element to a Color Revolution that must be in place for success it is control of the media. If every TV channel and news site says candidate X is the winner, then he has won regardless of votes and regardless of how many people still use said dinosaur media. They ultimately cast the big final ballot.
The rampant tampering and falsification witnessed (and often self filmed by the perpetrators) during the election looked like something you would expect to see in a "backwards third world hellhole" type of country. The manipulation was rampant, blatant and primitive.
This fact can and should be used by the nations at odds with America (Russia, China, Iran, Cuba, Syria, etc.) in perpetuity as proof that the U.S. never had, nor should have, some sort of democracy-based moral authority over anyone else. America's own Color Revolution delegitimizes any attempts to spread regime change via media elsewhere across the globe .
The Dynamic between the Republicans and Democrats has changed forever.
Donald Trump has changed the Republican Party, from the party of Businessmen and a defensive Upper Middleclass with a sprinkling of Social Conservatism speaking almost exclusively to a White audience into a populist party that offers a Right Wing emotional vision to the multi-ethnic America that we live in today.
The shift in concept of the Republican Party is so severe that Trump's influence has had the same or maybe even a greater effect that "The Southern Strategy" ever did. Around ten or fifteen years ago it looked like America would evolve into a one-party state due to demographics and the inability of Republicans to appeal to non-Whites. If polls can be trusted, at the very least Trump has doubled the amount of Black Americans who voted for him last time and was able to persuade ⅓ of Latinos to vote for him despite building "The Wall". Looking back on the 2016 election it is easy to see these huge gains, in groups that the Democrats took for granted as "theirs".
In contrast to Trump's vision of a pro-Consitution, somewhat Libertarian populous party the Democrats have doubled down on hardcore Progressive positions. If the Dems used to represent the working man in a White vs. Blue collar America battle, they have now shifted over to being a Postmodernist circus of race, gender and sexual orientation baiting with a sprinkle of environmentalism via taxation as icing on the cake.
These are two radically different messages in direct opposition to each other, and the parties are no longer "two sides of the same coin", being two slightly different takes on the Liberalism laid down by the Founding Fathers. This is probably why things have gotten so unusually ugly, American politics may have become truly "winner take all" .Enemy Lists are Proof of Extremism
When Richard Nixon's enemy list was discovered it shocked America. How could such an important politician try to crush those who disagreed with him? Those are the actions of a monsterous dictator, how horribly unamerican! Well the Overton Window has certainly shifted since the 1970's and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's call to create the same type of political repression of her enemies was met with mostly applause over Twitter.
Image: The Enlightenment is dead and we killed it.
Now a " Trump Accountability Project " has already sprung up based on her words to make sure that everyone who supported Trump will be somehow punished. From having their noses rubbed in it, to having their lives ruined by being doxed, harassed, etc.
This idea of creating a Black List of people to punish, is the line where passion for an ideology turns into a form of Extremism. This along with the intimidation tactics used by Antifa are proof that the Democratic Left now has demonstrably Extremist views .
The key issue with Extremists is that you cannot make any agreement with them as they see their opponents as subhuman and/or evil. Trump over the last 4 years has made the massive mistake of trying to "playball". The problem is that one cannot do so with people who have fanatical views. Making concessions to those with Extremist views is basically just tightening the noose around your own neck. Trump, if he survives this needs to understand that this is political war not political games.
Image: The election results are "counted" by those with the money to broadcast the results. Trump needs to break the monopoly.Trump & The Right need to invest in a Media Empire
The homogeneity of the American news media has become Orwellian. Trump and other like-minded billionaires need to put together a countervoice on their own dime. The Trump Presidency would be doing much better if a billion dollar news outlet was on his side fighting back. There are many media experts with the experience needed (including and especially the author of this piece) who could get this done quickly and effectively.NEVER MISS THE NEWS THAT MATTERS MOST
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The Million MAGA March will surely turn violent and that violence will be exploited for political gains.
Image: The big march is coming, but who would honestly expect it to go peacefully?
Leaders that have survived Color Revolution attempts like Venezuela's Maduro and Belarus's Lukashenko have one thing in common – massive public support. At the very least a massive public showing for the Dear Orange Leader wouldn't hurt but if Antifa were to show up to fight, the event could be exploited by the Right for all sorts of political action. Just because Trump's views seem much more human and reasonable compared to SJWs does not make him a saint. This event will be manipulated to the utmost.
Congratulating Biden is proof of approval of or submission to Washington.
Image: Weaker and more loyal "allies" jumped at the chance to acknowledge Biden's victory.
Some nations have already congratulated Biden, whereas America's two "big dog" enemies, Russia and China, and many other disgruntled parties have not [ZH: China has since congratulated Biden]. This willingness to congratulate Biden, supporting the legitimacy of the elections as the Mainstream Media reported them is very telling to say the least.
_arrow 6 Thinking123 , 9 hours agoAncient Handicapper , 2 hours ago
I do believe that there was a lot of fraud and cheating. Because Biden was as dumb as hell and didn't he talk in empty places.
A recount is definitely necessary, to expose the corrupt voting system and software that were used. Because if they are not exposed, they will do it again and again. Just like they did it to Bernie votes in 2016 primaries.
I don't think that he is the greatest President in US history, he has been Israel first and has given everything to them. He Made Israel Great Again.moonshadow , 1 hour ago
Thinking, I would not be the least surprised to discover the Republicans committed some of that "fraud" voting you refer to. Republicans are famous for their "Dirty Tricks," and voting tricks are not beyond their ken. Why are so many people seeing only the Dems as having possibly cheated?rphb , 7 hours ago
Republicans cheated Ron Paul. So what you say may be true. More likely Democrats, but...no problem, no prejudice, let's expose it ALLXanII , 7 hours ago
The problem is, even IF he still can expose this fraud and get 4 more years, the US is done. The fact that so many thousands of Democrats, from normal postal workers, to governors and anything in between have felt perfectly justified in cheating to get their way is proof that the US is broken beyond repair.
...America have long since passed the point of no return. There is only controlled default or hyperinflation left, and the former requires a fidget of responsibility so the US is sure to choose the later.
The industrial base is gone, and what made America great, its freedoms, its ethics and its proud men and women, no longer existdont stare at the beam , 6 hours ago
Called super trends. The youth is corrupted beyond repair and newcomers will come with specific goals in mind. The ammo box will be the last one remaining unless seccessions succeed better. i doubt that.
The problem is not whether he can expose the fraud or not. The problem is that he is part of the fraud.
He never fought for the people.
2 play_arrow 2
Nov 08, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Frozen BlueScreen , 2 hours agoTBT or not TBT , 1 hour ago
NONSENSE. Are you sleeping? Trump gained black and hispanic voters. He lost whites.
Why? Not one promise was kept. No wall. No Hillary in jail. No treasonous FBI/prosecutors arrested. Nobody prosecuted for hiring illegals. H1Bs still here. No repeal/replace O-care. No lockdown of nursing homes/hospitals, but every other business forced to shut down. Big payday for companies making useless vaccines and ventilators, but no HCQ for those who want it.
If Trump did what he promised he would have won easily. He is a terrible manager, so now we are stuck with a drooling hair sniffer. Thanks again and bye bye Don.not dead yet , 1 hour ago
He lost white males. The rest of his base grew.
Ignorant people need to bone up on there are 3 branches of Fed government all with their own delegated powers and all powers not specifically delegated to the Fed's are the province of the states. The ignorant want to believe any president can just wave his hand and anything he wants is done.
The House, which controls all spending, even under the Repubs gave Trump little or no money for his wall and infrastructure. Trump got as much wall as he could by stealing money from the War department and the Dems fought him in the courts all the way to the Supreme for this. It's a big country so how do you know no one was prosecuted for hiring illegals. As O-care was passed into law by Congress the president can't can it like he can an administrative order from one of the government departments. It's up to Congress and the courts. Nursing homes, hospitals, and healthcare are under the control of the states not the Fed's or Trump as was the orders for shutting down businesses. If they are here legally you can't legally deport all H1b's. Even if Trump issued an order the courts would toss it out. Same with putting Hillary and others in jail. It's up to the courts not Trump. As far getting them into court you are dealing with crooks who know every trick in the book, unlike the Bidoons, to cover their backsides and can hire the best crooked lawyers in the business so you can't go into court with a half a$$ case or it gets tossed and can't be prosecuted again. In real life not every bad person gets what due him unlike a fiction TV show, where it seems most people get "educated", where the good guys triumph all the time.
The US is one of the largest landmasses on the planet with 330 million people and operations world wide. The Fed government is over 40 agencies and 2.1 million people. Yet people who don't even know what their kids are doing in the next room expect one man to know everything that goes on on the planet. The presidents daily briefing book is in the thousands of pages and that's just the major stuff and could be full of lies and half truths by those who write their section. You ill educated brain dead's are the ones who cost Trump the election by not doing your homework and getting your info from the lying a$$ media. Trumps accomplishments are considerable but the media buries them to make him look bad which they have done 24/7 for over 4 years. Many of those "promises" need the cooperation of others especially in his party and he didn't get it as they wanted him gone and good party man like Pence in charge who they could control. No matter how good a manager or leader you are "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink" is the case here. Both sides of the aisle fought him from day one which is why outsider Trump had to listen to their recommendations and got saddled with so many traitors on his staff and cabinet and is only now finally getting them weeded out.
Nov 08, 2020 | disqus.com
• 3 hours ago
Don't you get it yet? The MIC and Wall St choose their guy. That's why we're watching Biden give his acceptance speech right now. Sure Wall St liked the trillions Trump dumped on them but they like stability more than the quick payday. They know they'll make more money with Biden without all of the negative attention that Trump brought them. President's aren't elected, they're selected and if they don't pass muster with Wall St and the MIC they aren't selected. If you want to see this change, we need to unite to get money out of politics. It's our only path forward out this BS we call our political system.
sdkeller72 Charles • 2 hours ago ,
"Sure Wall St liked the trillions Trump dumped on them"
No, it's the Fed that "dumps" money in the form of low interest rates, bond rates, the various forms of loan programs for financial institutions which creates money. They have been doing this big time since 2008.
Nor can trump take credit for the tax cut, that was Ryan's and the republican Congress's doing.Charles sdkeller72 • 2 hours ago • edited ,
Fine it was the FED, but the FED was Trump's administration so I'm not sure what's the difference. Do we credit the ACA to Pelosi or to Obama? Can't have it both ways.sdkeller72 Charles • 2 hours ago • edited ,
"the FED was Trump's administration"
Again no. The Fed is an independent agency which overlaps administrations. Oher than the chairman, its members are appointed by the Fed's board of governors, each of whom have a great deal of leeway in each fed district. The Chairman is first among equals as it were and is the public face of the Fed.
It was in the Carter admin that Paul Volker and the Fed raised interest rates, thereby almost insuring Carter's re-election defeat. Presidents get way too much credit or blame on the economy.
"Do we credit the ACA to Pelosi or to Obama?"
Hard to tell, but Pelosi was the force behind it. It was the republicans after all that labeled ACA Obama care.Charles sdkeller72 • an hour ago • edited ,
OMG, and who is the head of the FED? Steve Mnuchin, a man appointed by who? A man that should be in prison but thanks to our new elected VP he isn't.
Edit: and you're delusional if you think the FED is independent, they are a wholly owned subsidiary of Wall St banks and the monied interests, the same monied interests that OWN BOTH PARTIES.sdkeller72 Charles • an hour ago • edited ,
The Fed chairman is Jerome Powell.
Steve Mnuchin is trump's Secretary of the Treasury.
"A man that should be in prison but thanks to our new elected VP he isn't."
Please explain that instead of throwing it out there.Charles sdkeller72 • 9 minutes ago ,
thank you had that backwards. I'm tired.
Edit: Treeasury/FED same thing to me. They're both just government institutions run by lackey's appointed with the approval of Wall St.Viking sdkeller72 • an hour ago • edited ,
OK, so why should Powell be in jail? After all it's the Fed that made possible the "Great" trump economy.
"and you're delusional if you think the FED is independent, they are a wholly owned subsidiary of Wall St banks and the monied interests, the same monied interests that OWN BOTH PARTIES."
I hope you've included trump in that group. He brags about how rich he is and was born into money.Blood Alcohol Viking • an hour ago ,
I tend to get confused by the abbreviations many people use when there's no antecedent explanation. Who's this MIC who you allege chooses, along with Wall Street, "their guy"?sdkeller72 Viking • 40 minutes ago ,
The Military-Industrial-Complex (MIC)
Military industrial complex, our defense contractors. Those that have made trillions keeping us at war since WW2 and assassinated the only president that dared to undermine them.
Nov 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Zanon , Nov 6 2020 15:37 utc | 52
But this is what left are about today, silencing people that dont agree with them on every topic.
This is also how absurd the left have become, look back past years since Trump was elected they are now OK with having a neocon foreign policy president Biden to be elected - just because they hate Trump so much. Have you guys already forgotten 4 years of Russiagate?
Or are you guys watching Rachel Maddow for your foreign policy knowledge?
You havent learned one thing past years.
Why Bush-Era Neocons Are Getting Behind Biden
Joe , Nov 6 2020 15:45 utc | 58Et Tu , Nov 6 2020 16:18 utc | 67
"If Biden wins, the best-case scenario is that we'll be forced to deal with a Democratic Party of resurgent centrism, convinced that their path to victory is through vacuous messaging calibrated to cause the least offense to the maximum number of people. They'll insist that their future dominance is assured, normalcy has been restored, and that the nightmare is over. With eyes fixed on a seemingly winning formula, they won't see who's getting left behind again, or history repeating itself before their very eyes."
Everyone falsely assumes that 'winning' actually involves getting elected. If the term 'winning' is viewed as maintaining the status quo, propping up the rich at the expense of the poor while robbing the State, then regardless of who is carrying out the agenda, the Dems leadership and fundraisers are still 'winning'.
Many big corporations have an each way bet in elections and can rest comfortably knowing that whomever is elected, be they Red or Blue, will always join the ranks of weak and corrupt politicians, seeking corporate approval for reelection, chasing profits or a board seat once retired, while regularly selling their voters out. That's how the game is played to 'win'. Politicians are just pawns on the chessboard, racing to get to the other end with the promise of being turned into a queen.
Nov 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
ptb , Nov 6 2020 16:22 utc | 69
The state of Georgia has a runoff system, so there will be another election in January. Without the presidential election, turnout would presumably be lower. I'm not sure who that would benefit in this case.
Even with both of the GA Senate seats, the Dem control would be the bare minimum. If you need only 1 Senator to kill a piece of legislation, then doing so becomes affordable to a much larger group of donors.
2022 Will have 20 Republican and 12 Democrat Senators up for re-election, and in this case at most 2 of those Dem Senators will be in competitive races (AZ again, and GA again) - so any political pressure will almost entirely on Republican Senators. Unless their game is focused on obstructing their own party (in some places voters like that, and if so it is a lucrative tactic to extract more federal $$$ for their state), Senators facing a close re-election race would generally be more inclined to follow the party line.
Anyway, even when most people thought Dems would have 52-53 Senators, Biden already started backing away from nominal Dem positions on reduction of oil/gas, police reform, reversing tax cuts. On immigration, the Obama administration's was de-facto anti-immigration by virtue of the mass deportation policies, only without the Trump DHS's sadistic touch. Regulation of the internet companies is a big modern issue, and it's hard to see Biden any different from Republicans on that. With a split Senate, it will certainly go nowhere.
I would maybe dare hope for repairing the disaster-response parts of the government, and some infrastructure investment, while the extent of economic damage from covid plays out.
Sick of Orcs , says: November 4, 2020 at 11:26 am GMT • 16.9 hours ago
Nov 05, 2020 | www.unz.com
Many nationalists plan to vote for Trump, not due to a positive assessment of his first term, but for the same reason people line up for terrible movie sequels: warm and fuzzy nostalgia, sometimes inexplicable. Once upon a time the prospect of electing this man made the people we all hate but who rule us anyway visibly afraid.
Spite for the "coastal elites" in tortoiseshell glasses will likely save the day.
But don't expect the same flood of libtard tears this time around outside of maybe low level MSNBC watchers. The real elite, the Jews, now realize that Trump's gun had an orange tip spray painted black the whole time.
Trump began betraying his voters almost as soon as he was sworn into office. The only figures in Trump's populist campaign who survived the 2016 election were Steve Bannon, who was banished after Charlottesville and is now facing federal charges at the hands of Trump's own Department of Justice, and Jeff Sessions, whose political career was destroyed by Trump's calculated malice.
A victory in 2016 by any of the generic GOP hacks who lost during the primary would've been indistinguishable from the last four years of Trump, policy-wise.
Draining the swamp and transforming the Republicans into a worker's party? No. Instead, his cabinet positions were staffed by the swamp scum at the Heritage Foundation.
Deportation force and a wall? He trots out Stephen Miller before any big vote , but nothing was accomplished on this front. Barack Obama removed 50% more illegal aliens in his first term than Trump has. In his first two years of holding the Presidency and Congress, Trump made no effort to present legislation to combat illegal immigration or even increase border security. There are more Asian and Central American illegal aliens in the United States right now than before he took office.
Punishing "LIBERAL DONORS"? Heritage's appointments have helped enable a corporate crime wave not seen in recent memory, with laughable cases of naked insider trading like the "paused" loan to Kodak personally protected by Trump's inner circle. Every multi-national and NGO has been scamming the PPP system, Trump's promise to crack down on this will never materialized . White collar crime prosecutions have fallen to a 33-year low during this administration.
Is it any wonder these "donors" have so much money laying around they can use it to fund Black Lives Matter?
This round of American populism has been defeated by the Swamp conservatives, many who were originally Trump foes and but now gleefully wear MAGA hats and have shoved aside relatively independent alt-light con artists and the organic ethno-nationalist movement. The conservatives we thought we canceled, like the Jews Ben Shapiro, Mark Levine, and Dennis Prager have come back from the dead thanks to Big Tech's massive crackdown on independent media.
The problem for Trump is that conservatism is widely hated, especially by his voters. Trump's tax cut for billionaires is one of his administration's only policy achievements, and it is the most unpopular thing he has ever done.
What will carry Trump over the finish line is the understandable desire to trigger the libs just one last time, in a way that won't get you fired from your job or antagonized by the FBI . The immense power the Judeo-left has amassed by uniting suburban liberals, big capitalists, permanent bureaucrats and antifa under Trump has contributed to white working people becoming atomized, thus demoralized, thus susceptible to Trump's campaign year presentation as The Last White Man .
Seeing the conservative movement peering out from under the mountains of shit we shoveled on them to dominate the Trump-era is testament to the flexibility and tenacity -- thanks to Jewish "philanthropy" -- of the phony right. The time-sink, money-sink non-issues of abortion, the supposed justification for confirming Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, has re-emerged as a supposedly important issue. Last year the abortion rate fell to the lowest levels ever, largely due to low rates of sex between young people and the widespread adoption of contraceptives.
But the Koch brothers know what we're really getting in ACB. The notorious "Americans for Prosperity" spent millions to push her through because she will be the most pro-big business justice on the court (she sided with big business 85% of the time during her judgeship), which explains the complete lack of a fight from the Democrats. 15 of the last 19 SCOTUS judges have been appointed by the Republican Party, yet the court has become more pro-business and socially "liberal" anyway.
As Ted Cruz has recently stated, once the election is over and they're no longer under pressure from voters, Trump and the GOP will be returning to business as usual : imposing austerity during an unprecedented unemployment crisis, ratcheting up military tensions with enemies of Israel, and as the Heritage Foundation predicts in its conclusion of Trump v. Biden on immigration, a massive amnesty bill that will introduce a new "merit-based immigration system" -- the H1-B program on steroids.
While nobody thinks Trump's "platinum plan for black America" will ever come to be, the mere suggestion will be opening up a debate we should not be having. Explicit no-whites-need-apply social policies are another cultural artifact of the Trump era bound to become acceptable in his second term.
For establishment Democrats, their second defeat at the hands of Trump will be enormously discrediting, but they will profit in the short term from their comfortable position as the opposition party. By running a candidate like Joe Biden, one can only assume they want to lose.
But the Clinton-Biden-Obama-Pelosi nexus, who planned to fill "Sleepy Joe's" spayed cabinet with people like John Kasich, Jeff Flake , and various in-house neo-liberals, will be pressured by actual communists in their party to step aside. The Republican Party will never be able to meet this challenge, instead Trump and Charlie Kirk will be riding a helicopter to Botswana to cut the ribbon on a new bathhouse and dance to the Village People when the next incident occurs and the nation is once again on fire.
The New York Times has turned this election into a referendum on Woke + Wall Street. The majority, even many non-whites, will be rejecting America's new official ideology today.
Anon  Disclaimer , says: November 4, 2020 at 1:46 am GMT • 1.1 days agoMike Zwick , says: November 4, 2020 at 2:31 am GMT • 1.1 days ago
From the beginning, one side of me has always thought Trump to be too good to be true. My first doubts about him came when I learned his daughter was married to a powerful Jew and she's adopted his religion. Trump has turned out to be the most pro-Zionist president ever and has even moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem...Achilles Wannabe , says: November 4, 2020 at 7:33 am GMT • 20.8 hours ago
Woke is Wall Street.GMC , says: November 4, 2020 at 7:54 am GMT • 20.4 hours ago
Best thing I have read on Trump. Here is my one reservation
"The real elite, the Jews, now realize that Trump's gun had an orange tip spray painted black the whole time."
Forget "now realize". At least Trump's Jews – the ones anti Jewish Power Trump supporters never report on – have ALWAYS realized that Trump is shabbos goy to the bone. I am talking about Jews like:
Lew Eisenberg, Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, Mel Sembler, Ron Weiser, Steve Wynn, Elliott Brody, Laurie Perlmutter, and Carl Icahn, not to mention Bernie Marcus. Then we have his many Jewish personal and professional associates, who include, among others, Avi Berkowitz, Michael Cohen, Gary Cohn, Reed Cordish, Boris Epshteyn, David Friedman, Jason Greenblatt, Larry Kudlow, Stephen Miller, Steven Mnuchin, Jay Sekulow, David Shulkin, and Allen Weisselberg. All those Trump-defenders out there in America should be dismayed at his vast linkage to the people of Israel(See Thomas Dalton, True Q)
These are the big Business Republican Jews and their apparatchiks as opposed to the new class professionals, academics, intellectuals, mediaist, journalists, and policy wonks who comprise the neo liberal – liberal and neocon Jews of the Democrat Party. Unlike the Democrat Jews who don't know Trump existentially – he's too vulgar and undereducated – and really do think, or perhaps at least thought, that Trump could be the coming of a new Hitler, the Business Jews have had long actual existential relations with Trump or know Jews who have. Trump has been up to his ears in Jews of the Big Business type his whole life and they know he is firmly in the Semophile bag. As Jews , Trump's Jews want Zionism and have always known he is good for it. But they also want every break they can get for Big Business because what could be better for Jews who prosper from neoliberalism right across their higher class status? As Striker argues , Trump will give Jews another round of business breaks like those he had already given in his first term. And there will go his populist image but it will have served its purpose
All this could have been easily predicted if someone in our ethnic realism community had taken a good look at Trump's Jews. Instead Trump was allowed to pose as "the last white man"
Actually E Michael Jones sort of tried it but he didn't get any support. Why is that?freedom-cat , says: November 4, 2020 at 8:13 am GMT • 20.1 hours ago
Well, I don't know who won yet and I doubt that anyone will ever know since everything is rigged, but Old Joe has most of the alphabet agencies in his pocket, the MSM in his corner and a whole lot of Obama, Clinton trotskyites lookin after him. That should mean that he should win by a landslide, unless he lets the popular vote for Trump – into the election process – which would be shrewd .. lol As far as America goes – SNAFU d again.Bardon Kaldian , says: November 4, 2020 at 9:36 am GMT • 18.7 hours ago
I've been sitting here watching the election maps all night.
The counting stopped around 8:30 – 9:00 Pacific time. It hasn't moved since.
If you go into the counties on the particular states that have stalled, you can do the math.
Clearly Trump was winning and if counts allowed, they should be able to call it.
Amazingly, they called Arizona when it was only something like 68% complete.
NV was going red but it shows it is swaying blue now it is the only state that has updated in last 3 hours besides Arizona.
It looks like they might be trying to pull something (the Democrats/Deep state).
I've never seen this happen. There is no reason for it to have happened.
WI, MI, PA, NC and GA are all pending red, along with the 1 electoral vote in ME.
Go to bed. In morning we'll get up and Biden will be declared winner with most of the above states declared blue (sometime during the night when most people are sleeping).
https://www.foxnews.com/elections/2020/general-resultsBronze Age Persecutor , says: November 4, 2020 at 10:46 am GMT • 17.6 hours ago
Superficial article. The author did write a few good sentences, but seems to have missed that Trump is at most a potential catalyst for white awakening. If that does not happen, you can't blame him. You can only blame yourself for a combination of spinelessness, stupidity, cowardice & naivety.
If the central pillar of America, whites, are so immature or so divided, US cannot last. No empire which was not a nation-state too, did survive in history. It disintegrated & collapsed.Mefobills , says: November 4, 2020 at 11:17 am GMT • 17.1 hours ago
Too bad Trump is jewish and fully cooperated with his shitty ethnic group and their endless treasonous schemes many times. The alt-right/Q/MAGA jewish psyop (the real Russiagate), HARPA, Barr covering up many crimes of the tribe (Epstein, Trump's crimes, big tech, fake BLM/ANTIFA protests, ), treasonous cooperation with Israel, the coronavirus flu scam, close ties to illegal mass surveillance contractors and Chabad Lubavich, shady deals with banks, handing money over to his fellows in "coronavirus aid packages", engaging in trade wars that seemed to be stupid, but had the objective of imploding the US economy to pave way for China (same for the flu scam and 2008 crisis)
Biden isn't that different either.@Anon out civilization and barbarism that Hudson quite matter-of-factly agreed with me that the book is, to the extent that it will be understood, " earth-shattering" in both intent and effect .
The movement that Striker is referring to, has have a moral component, otherwise the agents of Mammon win again. Our (((friends))) have been winning for centuries, because they have redefined reality using their ill-gotten gains. Clown world is funded.
But whether we get Trump or Biden, we need to organize our own political movement or we will be getting it anyway.
RoatanBill , says: November 4, 2020 at 11:34 am GMT • 16.8 hours ago
Barack Obama removed 50% more illegal aliens in his first term than Trump has.
And illegally gave us DACA, canceling out the numbers deported (who probably are here again.)
@GrundleRosie , says: November 4, 2020 at 11:52 am GMT • 16.5 hours ago
The point is that there's not a dimes worth of difference between the Democrats and Republicans and their candidates and therefore voting is a waste of time.
@freedom-catJohnny Walker Read , says: November 4, 2020 at 1:30 pm GMT • 14.8 hours ago
It looks like they might be trying to pull something (the Democrats/Deep state).
Yes, they're trying to cheat, no doubt. Of course, nobody will care enough to do anything about it. Had Trump actually done something for White people, the erstwhile alt-right might have organized Charlottesville-style rallies in support of Trump, but he didn't, so they won't. That's what he gets for being a cuck and throwing his most committed supporters under the bus.
pecosbill , says: November 4, 2020 at 1:38 pm GMT • 14.7 hours ago
Trump is like the abusive alcoholic husband and American conservatives(mostly Whites)are like the battered wife. Deep down we know the beatings will never stop, but we continue to give our love and support to him. We know we should leave him, perhaps find a new man to share our love with and help raise our kids. The problem is we are stuck in a neighborhood of crack heads and heroine addicts, and the new husband would turn out worse than the last...
TG , says: November 4, 2020 at 1:47 pm GMT • 14.6 hours ago
The old saw that Obama deported more illegals than did Trump in the first term is a lie exposed many times over. At the border under Bush II, Mexicans caught coming across were simply sent back on their own recognizance (ORed) and not counted as a deportation. There were thousands and thousands treated this way by the Border Patrol and Immigration. To get the deportation numbers up, Obama ordered that ORs be counted as deportations, so therein is the lie.
anon  Disclaimer , says: November 4, 2020 at 2:50 pm GMT • 13.5 hours ago
I must agree with this article. Trump has largely betrayed his base, and is no more likely to do better for the average working class American in his second term than he has in his first. It's painful, I don't want to admit this either, but as they say, optimism is cowardice.
I must however object to the notion that the Democrats are in any way "communist." Do communists throw tens of trillions of dollars at Wall Street while starving the real economy of investment? Do communists support "surprise medical billing?" Do communists allow all important financial decisions to be made by private corporations? Oh sure, the Democrats will come up with all sorts of confiscatory taxes and regulations on the middle class, no doubt, and they will subsidize illegal immigrants – which is to say, they will subsidize cheap labor for the elites. And yes they will be for transgender bathrooms. But communists? No way no how, the Democrats are Neoliberal scum just like the Republicans.
Make a new political movement? It would be nice, but I can't see any way that such a thing will not be suppressed or co-opted or the leadership bought out etc.etc. Look what happened to "Golden Dawn" in Greece
Yukon Jack , says: November 4, 2020 at 2:52 pm GMT • 13.5 hours ago
Sadly I think the last white man is going to lose. The election has been stolen from him with mass voting fraud, both in vote counting and mass voting by illegal voters. He has also shot himself in the foot over the last four years with several major blunders, which did not help, for e.g.:
1) Calling off the voting fraud investigation and disbanded the investigative team soon after his inauguration in 2016.
2) Too thin skin and incendiary in his tweets, not very Presidential and made unnecessary enemies.
3) Didn't do enough to reduce legal immigration incl. H1B and OPTs right from the get go, which lost him a lot of enthusiasm from college educated voters. He only finally began to do something about it last month, too little too late. Stephen Miller turned out to be a fake patriot after all, who kept out true patriots like Kris Kobach from running the DHS.
4) Kept/promoted his enemies like Paul Ryan, John Kelly, Rod Rosenstein, James Comey, HR McMaster, Gina Haspel, Christopher Wray et. al, which came back to haunt him very quickly.
5) Letting wormtongue (Jared Kushner) into the WH and giving him far too much power, including freeing all the drug dealers.
6) At times it seemed like the only thing he cares about is the stock market, he made lots of people way richer than they were in 2016, and these are all the people who are now voting against him, from Wall Street to Silicon Valley.
7) Too many Jews and Ziocons in his cabinet. Pandered too much to Israel, making his real slogan more like MIGA than MAGA.
Come to think of it, Trump is not the last white man. He is the last Ziocon Jew to become president.
anastasia , says: November 4, 2020 at 2:57 pm GMT • 13.4 hours ago
Trump is going to win.
That is a positive statement based on wishful thinking as the electoral maps show Biden ahead and there is probable vote fraud
Trump did not win by a landslide as so many hoped. There is a reason for the red wave fail, and it is Trump himself and his policies.
Trump's biggest enemy is himself, he spent the entire administration making threats and filling his administration with swamp criminals, he is slavishly whored to Netanyahu and Israel, he even murdered Soleimani. He didn't remove the troops from a single occupied nation. Trump's failure as a good administrator is glaring obvious and of no surprise because he had no previous governmental experience. He just winged it based on being the Donald. What a joke. A nation ruled by one ego that thinks it is god.
He never went on the offensive with 911 truth, which would put the entire swamp under investigation and in a fight to stay out of prison. With 911 investigation Israel would be put on a leash, and the Neocons would ALL be indicted, along with the Jewish newspapers and lobbies. Because Trump REFUSED to investigate the biggest crime in history because of his god damned loyalty to Jews and Israel, it is Trump who spent his entire presidency in a defensive mode.
When asked if he condemns white supremacy Trump did not condemn the interviewer or defend white people. Pathetic. He's cucked to the Jewish media narrative. And why doesn't he take legal or military action against the Jewish media? Because he is bed with Kushners and the Adelsons.
As a result of his own actions Trump who could of won by a landslide is now in a stalemate with creeper senile Biden, one of the most pathetic candidates ever. Trump failures all center around his loyalties to Jews and Israel.
So this election is looking more and more like a stalemate and I would like to bring to everyone's attention that there is a "prophecy" of how this ends:
"The presidents of the U.S., a supposedly free country, have been abusing their power to an increasingly greater extent. During a time of social unrest even more so than the period of Viet Nam and Watergate, the electoral college will be evenly split over the election of the new president. The process will stalemate, with many people clamoring for whichever candidate they voted for, causing enormous tension in the country. Internationally it will be a sensitive situation.
Because of the split, and the extremely volatile and explosive social unrest, putting either candidate in office instead of the other could start a civil war or a revolution. After a long time of impassioned speeches invoking patriotism and the founding fathers, a compromise solution of holding another election will be taken, and a candidate will be installed without disaster."
PS I have no dog in the fight and I don't vote, I will never vote for a lesser of two evils, if the two pedo candidates is the best the nation can do when we have 337 million people to pick from then maybe the nation needs to fall.
AndrewR , says: November 4, 2020 at 3:00 pm GMT • 13.3 hours ago
Trump ran against a man who would qualify as retarded.
I had to laugh when he said, "Look at what I am running against. It could only happen to me."
.and the rest of us. Clearly, we are on the losing side.
@Despairc matt , says: November 4, 2020 at 3:18 pm GMT • 13.0 hours ago
Antifa and Wall Street are the same now. It's them vs law-abiding, productive Americans.
@HojerAgent76 , says: November 4, 2020 at 5:24 pm GMT • 10.9 hours ago
persistence and evolution of the US two/uni party system is interesting.
It is due to the "winner take all" election rules rather than a proportional system. For the most part, US voters vote straight party anyway, so I don't see why we can't just go to a proportional system where you vote for a party, and based upon that party's percentage of vote, they get to fill X seats. Perhaps that would not work with the Presidential or Senate elections, but would at least work for the House.
Yukon Jack , says: November 4, 2020 at 6:04 pm GMT • 10.3 hours ago aandrews , says: November 4, 2020 at 7:49 pm GMT • 8.5 hours ago
Oct 29, 2020 Robert O'Brien – Trump's Foreign Policy
Donald Trump is the first American president since Ronald Reagan not to initiate a foreign war.
Zarathustra , says: November 4, 2020 at 7:54 pm GMT • 8.4 hours ago
"This round of American populism has been defeated by the Swamp ."
LEVIATHAN AND ITS ENEMIES: Anonymous Elites in Power | with F. Roger Devlin
24:30 -- 27:00
The Machiavellians, by James Burnham
The Managerial Revolution, by Burnham James
Archive | F. Roger Devlin
aandrews , says: November 4, 2020 at 8:01 pm GMT • 8.3 hours ago
It looks like Republicans will be keeping the Senate. They almost did win House also.
So Biden cannot do too much, except to make some wars, regulate the international trade and give some money to freeloaders residing in the cities.
In the mean time the rate of debt will significantly increase.
I do not think there could be any negotiations with Russians because Biden is unreliable.
@aandrewsJames Forrestal , says: November 4, 2020 at 10:10 pm GMT • 6.2 hours ago
Sam Francis on the Roots of Liberal Hegemony
Robjil , says: November 4, 2020 at 10:11 pm GMT • 6.2 hours ago
Trump began betraying his voters almost as soon as he was sworn into office. The only figures in Trump's populist campaign who survived the 2016 election were Steve Bannon, who was banished after Charlottesville and is now facing federal charges at the hands of Trump's own Department of Justice, and Jeff Sessions, whose political career was destroyed by Trump's calculated malice.
Remember Kris Kobach and how he was going to investigate widespread election fraud? that's something that might have been useful. Whatever happened to him, anyway? Just kind of faded away. No support from Drumpf. Last I heard, Kobach was held in contempt of court for failing to adequately advise noncitizens of their "right" to vote:
And Steve King -- sure, he was initially a Cruz supporter, but backed Trump enthusiastically later on. King's mild civic nationalism and strong support for common sense, patriotic immigration reform are exactly the agenda that Trump claimed to support. But when the corporate "news" media and the entire Uniparty attacked Steve King as "inadequately anti-White" -- Trump did <a href+' https://www.timesofisrael.com/white-house-distances-itself-from-king-comments/"was quick to disavow. King's longstanding fanatical Israel Firstism did nothing to save him. It's not enough to support semitic supremacism in the current year; you have to be actively anti-White as well, goy.
@TKK d-multitudes/sam-the-banana-man/geokat62 , says: November 4, 2020 at 10:29 pm GMT • 5.9 hours ago
Zemurray's original name was Schmuel Zmurri. He was born in Kishinev, Bessarabia, Russia (present-day ChiÅŸinÄƒu, Moldova) to a poor Jewish family that emigrated to America when he was fourteen years old.
In early 20th century, he went to Honduras to take over the banana crop business. He hired pe0ple to do a coup for his business interests in 1910.
@SuluThe Real World , says: November 4, 2020 at 11:09 pm GMT • 5.2 hours ago
Well, it official folks. U.S.A. is a Jew run banana republic.
They've even designed a new flag
@Rufus Clyde Too group has been around for more than a decade. It was very clever to imply they were deeply involved and have them seem to be the originators of the predator exposures and firings.nsa , says: November 4, 2020 at 11:21 pm GMT • 5.0 hours ago
Also, think it a coincidence that so many Repubs in Congress either "retired", decided to do something else or whose campaigns weren't going to be funded by the RNC in 2018? NO. They were forced out because they were corrupt.
Think Guliani bothered to go spend weeks in Ukraine just for vacation? NO, he went to get firsthand evidence of the Biden corruption. Etc, etc ..
@Zarathustra "Trump did for the jew as much as he could."Sulu , says: November 4, 2020 at 11:43 pm GMT • 4.6 hours ago
How does the cliche go? Live by the jew, die by the jew? Parasites are not known for their loyalty. The tribe squeezed all it could out of their useful idiot, Donnie the Dummy, and then deftly jumped to a new host, Joey Depends, who will willingly advance the tribe's self-serving agenda in ways yet undreamed of even by the political cognoscenti. Donnie appears to be a vindictive old bitch and might just form a populist third party along the lines of Teddy Roosevelt's moronic Bull Moose now that the tribe has discarded him like a wad of used stained toilet paper.
@Zarathustra he Jews and being vetted by them. He was a loose cannon and had to go.Sin City Milla , says: November 5, 2020 at 12:25 am GMT • 3.9 hours ago
I further believe that war with China is more likely under Biden than Trump. The U.S. dollar has been the reserve currency since right after WWII. The rise of China threatens that so China will eventually have to be dealt with militarily. The Jews must maintain the U.S. dollar as reserve currency else much of their ill gotten gains tend to evaporate over time.
I am positive that local Jews have large investments in China.
That one I have no information on. It could well be true.
@Bardon Kaldianshylockcracy , says: November 5, 2020 at 12:59 am GMT • 3.4 hours ago
Multiculturalism has always been a stopgap, a temporary pause on the way to disintegration for empires. The elites always put their hopes in it imagining they will satisfy angry minorities with minor adjustments. It never works. Just look at the Black armed militias. Not even systematic Black privilege n Supremacism is enough for them. They won't stop even for Biden until they ethnically cleanse whites completely from large parts of the country dominate the rest. We are past elections now. The war has begun.
anon  Disclaimer , says: November 5, 2020 at 1:50 am GMT • 2.5 hours ago
The stage is set for another false flag with everyone distracted and caught up with the plandemic and/or political unrest, and regardless of which puppet gets selected, the Ziocorporate regime is certain to be rolling out more AI and tech to manipulate, control and frame the masses. The "anti-semitic terrorism" angle of Islamism now colluding with neo-Nazi white supremacism is as hilarious as it is scary, considering the US/EU Ziocorporate terrorist regimes' recent interventions in Libya, Syria and Ukraine and the sudden rise in ISlamist events in NATO/EU countries. This late stage fusion of imperial capitalism with communism in the West is looking like a complete disaster for mankind.
"Extremism Building to the 'Doorstep of Another 9/11,' DHS Official Tells Anti-Semitism Hearing"
@Katrinka in droves, but there is massive fraud going on in GA, NC, NV, AZ, PA, WI and MI, as well as all the blue states. Not only are votes miscounted, ballots conjured out of thin air for Biden, I suspect many are also voting illegally since the DMV that registers voters in these states have no capacity to check their citizenship status. The GOP needs to form an election integrity committee and conduct a thorough audit of every state to verify their voters' eligibility. It is a massive undertaking, but it must be done. There is no integrity left in our election system.Clay Alexander , says: November 5, 2020 at 1:54 am GMT • 2.4 hours ago
The DNC should rename themselves the EJM, the End Justifies Means party. Democrats are a bunch of shameless frauds.
Robert Dolan , says: November 5, 2020 at 2:46 am GMT • 1.6 hours ago
It's so simple most don't even see it. American Jews are Trotskyites and Israeli Jews are Stalinists. That's it Bolshevism 101, come to think of it there is no 102. It seems Mr. Trump did not choose wisely.
Oct 26, 2020 | www.unz.com
Everybody and his goat has weighed in on the election, so I will too. This will make no difference to Trump's core followers, for whom he is a cult figure, or to those who detest him. The undecided may be interested.
Note how insubstantial Trump has been, pretending to be what he isn't and claiming to have done what he hasn't. Does no one notice? He has heavy support from Evangelicals. Ask him to name the books of the Pentateuch, or the second book, or what church he regularly attended, or ever attended, in New York. He was going to end the wars, but what war has he ended? To reduce the trade deficit, but it has grown . To get rid of all illegal aliens withing two years, but have they gone? To bring back factories from China and Mexico, but how many have returned? He is called a law-and-order President. Yet he hid, besieged, in the White House during the greatest eruption of lawlessness the country has ever seen, with a statue being pulled down across the street from his house. His handling of the virus? America remains hardest hit in the world, and it worsens by the day.
Trump, like all Presidents, has fulfilled the two critical jobs expected of him, protecting Wall Street and the military budget. What else has he done?
Almost nothing. All in good fun. But in the crucial field of international relations, he has been a disaster. I suspect that few of his followers in Flint and Gary study things beyond the borders. They should.
Here context matters. The US, or those who control the US, are trying to maintain American hegemony, or near hegemony, over the world. America has 600-800 military bases around the globe depending on what you regard as a military base. While many tens of thousands of America sleep on the sidewalks, while infrastructure crumbles, while standards of living fall and medical care is pricey but poor, the Pentagon always gets its budget. At the level of the White House, the Five-Sided Wind Tunnel, the arms industry, the important thing is to maintain the flow of money. And dominate the world.
Trump is the embodiment of this looking-for-a-fight attitude. Not good. He has surrounded himself with over-age Cold Warriors, with generals, with the pathologically aggressive hangers-on from think-tank Washington: John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, Nikki Haley, Steve Bannon, and minor squibs of like outlook. He has pulled the US out of the arms-control treaties, START, INF, Open Skies. He has pushed NATO against Russian borders. In the Legion halls of Idaho, this may seem virile, the sort of thing that John Wayne would do. Back the commies down. Show them who is boss. No. It is just pointless and dangerous.
Worse, there is a new kid on the block. China is growing. It behaves no worse than other countries, does not inflict on the world nearly the destruction and horror that the United States does, but it is growing. For Washington, this makes it not a competitor but an enemy. This is very much Trump's policy. Don't negotiate. Threaten. "Do as I say, or I will break you."
Those favoring the continuance of Empire might note that, even at this, Trump has been a disaster. The First Rule of Empire is Don't let your enemies unite. Trump, having made Russia and China into enemies (why?) has forced them to unite. This is -- how shall I put it? -- stupid. Russia and China are not natural allies. China is a crowded country with 1.4 billion smart, industrious people, rapidly growing influence, and a very long indefensible border with Russia. Russia has barely 146 million people, a comparatively static economy, vast empty lands with rich resources. The Russians may have noticed this. The two have had territorial disputes. This is not a marriage made, as we say, in heaven. Instead of playing them against each other, allying with one against the other, or leaving them the hell alone, Trump has forced them into close alliance.
This is Trump's policy, in the sense that if it happens during his presidency, it is his baby, though it is fairly evident that Pompeo is Trumps brains and Trump is Pompeo's enabler.
Then there is Iran, a geopolitical linchpin, having eighty million people, a large and competent military, and lots and lots of oil. Under the JCPOA, the nuke deal, the Iranians were posed happily to integrate themselves into the Western economy -- buy hundreds of airliners from Boeing and Airbus, telecommunications gear, sell oil, have western companies develop its huge hydrocarbon reserves.
Then Trump pulled out of the treaty and, led by the egregious Pompeo, tries to starve the Iranians into installing a puppet government. Iran, seeing that the West is not friendly, turns to the East, allies itself tightly with Russia and China. Tehran and Beijing are about to sign a twenty-five year, multimanymuchoslotsa billion dollar development deal.
Three enemies, united, where none was before. Fucking brilliant, Mike. Just fucking brilliant.
Then Trump had Soleimani, an Iranian hero, murdered. This doubtless played well with his partisans in Joe's Bar in Chicago, being manly and decisive and making America great again. It was also idiotic, making Iranians even less likely to cave to American pressure.
The same counterproductiveness appears in his "trade war" with China, in fact an attempt to wreck China commercially and technologically. This is packaged by Trump as "standing up to China," "deterring China," "containing China," but it might as accurately be called "encouraging the genie to leave the bottle," or "asking for it."
A quick example: Huawei was contentedly using Google's Android operating system on its smartphones. Android and iOS, both American, dominated the world market for operating systems. Huawei, with the predictability of sunrise, responded by crash-developing its own OS, Harmony . With equal predictability and suddenness it will improve it, further grow its app store (HMS, Huawei Mobile Services) and, on a guess, encourage other companies to use it. It will be said that a new OS won't work, can't compete, will take decades, and all the things that are customarily said of things China does. Wait.
Trump's result: A new and, likely, serious competitor to Google. Good job, Don.
There is more to come. Precisely because of Trump's technology-denial policy, China has launched a massive program to make itself tech-independent. It will take time, but it will happen. Every time China develops a replacement for an American product, US companies will lose the Chinese market for it -- and shortly face a competitor.
The root of the matter? With Trump the country elected an attitude, not a President. Truculence, bravado, and an in-your-face aggressiveness are no substitute for competence. Trump has demonstrated repeatedly that he is blankly ignorant of history, geography, technology, the military. In Hawaii, when taken to the USS Arizona memorial, he didn't know what it was. He has opined that the Spanish flu of 1917 (his date) influenced the end of WWII . It would be instructive for a reporter to ask him what countries border Iran, where one finds the Strait of Malacca, and why it matters.
The more enthusiastic of his followers seem to be equally ignorant and, worse, have no idea why a President should know such things. Is this how we choose Presidents, and the sort of Presidents we choose?
Write Fred at firstname.lastname@example.org Put the letters pdq anywhere in the subject line to avoid heartless autodeletion.
Check out Fred's splendid books ! Sedition, outrage, distortion, treason and other amusements. Enjoy accounts of America, not the disaster by the same name now peddled as the real thing. Cheap at the price.
Bragadocious , says: October 25, 2020 at 1:31 am GMTAchmed E. Newman , says: Website October 25, 2020 at 2:59 am GMT
This chart is a good reminder why Trump should be re-elected.
Suck it, Fred.
Oh and Mexico's doing worse on Covid when you account for their criminal undercounting of Covid deaths. When you have one of the lowest testing rates of any large country, then it's easy to undercount.gay troll , says: October 25, 2020 at 3:32 am GMT
This article would read fairly well if you would just replace all instances of "Trump" with "the US Feral Government". You're gonna blame the continuing stupidity of this huge Beast of a Government on the one man? Do you think he is King of America? He can hardly get anything done, which IS, BTW, partly his problem – the one thing you are quite right about is the stupidity in the President's hiring of swamp creatures to drain the swamp. I don't understand this myself but chalk it up to a lack of confidence in his own instincts.
Commenter Bragadocious has already brought up the very encouraging numbers of admitted "refugees" that I have read on VDare, but there are other below-the-radar good efforts by the President regarding immigration. Of course, most of us have been disappointed quite a bit, but lately I've been more gung-ho – anyone interested, please read VDare's "NYT Delivers Unintentional Endorsement Of Trump's Immigration Triumph" . (Hey, didn't you use to work there, Fred? You ought to at least keep up a bit.)
Peak Stupidity points out "The Bad, the Good, and the Ugly" regarding the President and this election – see "The Bad" , "The Good" , and "The Ugly" .
I honestly don't understand why you're so concerned with what happens to America anyway, Fred. You live in the great country of Mexico. Is it that everything disparaging you write makes you feel better about your decision to high-tail it down there?another fred , says: October 25, 2020 at 3:38 am GMT
COVID came from Fort Detrick and Trump knows it.Carlton Meyer , says: Website October 25, 2020 at 4:23 am GMT
Presidentially and socially we face two alternatives: an easy anesthetized slide into certain doom or a panicked descent kicking against the looming walls of our trap. Of course, that is not what either pretends to be, nor what the masses think they are.
In the end I can't tell a nickel's worth of difference. If someone could guarantee that one alternative was more likely than another to end in nuclear holocaust than the other I would allow a difference, but I don't see it. Which ever we "choose" this time, the pendulum will swing until a tipping point is reached.
It would be nice to have a serious realist in the White House, but I don't see the people voting for one. Maybe one will ride in on a white horse.Weston Waroda , says: October 25, 2020 at 4:27 am GMT
An excellent and accurate article. However, it should note that Biden's history shows he will probably be worse. Despite his tough talk, Trump never started a new war, which is why the Deep State hates him. They teed up four excuses to attack Iran: the strange drone attack on a Saudi oil facility, the strange mines placed on a tanker, flying a drone over Iran that was shot down, and doing nothing when Iran fired missiles at American bases in Iraq.GreatSocialist , says: October 25, 2020 at 4:51 am GMT
Those favoring the continuance of Empire might note that, even at this, Trump has been a disaster. The First Rule of Empire is Don't let your enemies unite. Trump, having made Russia and China into enemies (why?) has forced them to unite. This is -- how shall I put it? -- stupid.
This isn't accurate, letting Russia and China unite was a notable feature of the Obama administration and probably goes back further than that. Remember the pivot to Asia? Remember Victoria Nuland handing out cookies at the Maidan? But you are absolutely right about Trump solely pushing Iran into the arms of Russia and China.Ghali , says: October 25, 2020 at 5:30 am GMT
Fred is right, Trump is a hee-haw Jackass who takes the prize for the dumbest, most delusional, most corrupt and most incompetent POTUS in all history.
He's run America into the ground with his failed trade war, his delusional (un)management of Covid-19 and all his damn fool gross stupidity. Just like his 6 failed casinos, his Trump University and his bankrupt listed company DJT.
Everything just fail, fail, and fail. Even an Orangutan taken from the zoo would have done better as POTUS than him.David J , says: October 25, 2020 at 8:16 am GMT
Sorry, but to rewrite your comment, Trump, just like all his predecessors, has fulfilled the Three critical jobs expected of him: 1. Armed and expanded Jewish colonial fascism in Palestine, 2. Continue to protect the 1% (Wall Street) and 3. Increased U.S. military budget by continuing to sale arms to fascist regimes.Ilya G Poimandres , says: October 25, 2020 at 8:25 am GMT
Yes, he is a blathering, bullshitting salesman who built hotels and had a reality TV show. But he didn't start any wars. Bombed the odd airstrip, but that was about it. Who was the last President you could say that about? If he loses, strap in for more wars, possibly even the Big One. And as for China, before we get too awestruck about their economic 'miracle' -- which was remarkable -- note that their money supply (M2) is 2.5 times their GDP. $2.50 for every $1 they need for their economy. Why? To prop up a banking system that is a total Ponzi scheme. To say they have an internal debt problem doesn't begin to cover it. Sure, it allowed them to build super fast trains and cities with no-one in them, but they can't get Chinese people to consume because they are all desperately saving for health care. The public health care is dreadful. It was a miracle, sure, but full of holes (which makes it no less impressive).Jon Halpenny , says: October 25, 2020 at 8:51 am GMT
Fred highlights lots of problems, but I don't see why the other two Presidents will be better at solving them. They certainly won't be, because they don't see them as problems.
They will start more wars, they will ignore the trade deficit, they will bring in millions of immigrants, they will keep selling off manufacturing to cheaper places indifferently, and they will be indebted to their BLM fascists when in power, meaning violence will increase either way.
They are for Empire, and they don't keep to the treaties anyways – at least Trump is honest when he tears them up. It is, according to Al-Anfal 55-63 at least, up to those who get betrayed to tear up the treaties, and they should have long done so anyways.
Killing Suleimani? Is there a bigger misstep that could have been done by the Empire, that cost so little in terms of human life to the ME, and actually improved the reputation of Trump with the crazies whilst making the wind down accelerate?!
They will be for NATO, which will stop being an NA and will become a World Treaty Organisation.
He sure ain't perfect – he is a very weak or trusting manager, it seems – but he tries to move in the right direction often, even if he is prevented from taking even more than baby steps. The other two Presidents will march into the abyss whilst laughing at their awesome brilliance!OilcanFloyd , says: October 25, 2020 at 9:35 am GMT
The reason Trump forced Russia, China, and Iran into alliance is because America conducts its foreign policy for the benefit of Israel.GMC , says: October 25, 2020 at 10:52 am GMT
Why was Trump elected in the first place, Fred? In a well-run country with real options, Trump would have been laughed at. When your rulers actively sell you out, hate you, and are in the process of replacing you, a Donald Trump is a realistic option. That is sad. What's worse is that even after Trump's election, the PTBs are doubling down on the treason and hatred of Americans. As bad as Trump is, what is the option? And what can one man really do?
It's too easy to just blame the situation on stupid Trump supporters, as if their votes created America's problems.@Weston Waroda rm the Ukraine military. Ukies don't just take their kalashnikovs and send them to the metal cutters – their corrupt generals sold all the rifles, motors, and assorted other arms and kept the 35 million. This makes Neo Nazi's much more stronger at the Maidan, which was delayed because of Yanukovych and his kleptocrazy regime. Thanks to the African born Obama and Joe the War lover – Ukraine to day is totally CIA,Mossad, Nato etc. We could dissect Libya and Syria but we would find the same Satanic World Order boys – Barrack and Joe – doing their thing for the Cabal. Oh – I lived in Ukraine 08 – 2014 and then had to switch residency – for obvious reasons. SpaciboAnon  Disclaimer , says: October 25, 2020 at 10:54 am GMTUnder The Bridge , says: October 25, 2020 at 11:21 am GMT
You have to give credit to Trump for stopping the anti white brainwashing AKA
as 'diversity training' which was based on the white hating manifesto AKA 'critical
race theory.' It turned out that under the radar big business and many parts of the
government were forcing whites to repent for their racist attitudes and write forced
confessions. President Trump gave the middle finger to that with much deconstructing
still to come.
I can't fathom how a descendant of the illustrious Tidewater Reeds can
turn his back on the accomplishments of his Anglo Saxon people.
America began as a Protestant project which is why we are fortunate to have
the most enlightened system of jurisprudence in the world. Say what you will about
Trump's brash New York City manner but at least he is a defender of Western
Civilization. I most look forward to cleaning house at the DOJ & CIA if he wins.
That and smashing Big Tech into a thousand pieces.@BragadociousMikael_ , says: October 25, 2020 at 11:32 am GMT
"Oh and Mexico's doing worse on Covid when you account for their criminal undercounting of Covid deaths."
Indeed! Anything less than American-style overcounting is undercounting! It's CRIMINAL! They should be put in jail! Or quarantined! I repeat myself!
"When you have one of the lowest testing rates of any large country, then it's easy to undercount."
When you test for the ubiquitous presence of viral fragments in people who are not sick, it's easy to overcount. FTFY.Achmed E. Newman , says: Website October 25, 2020 at 11:33 am GMT
I'm not sure I want someone like you lecturing us on morality, Fred.
You're basically stating over and over, that the US should strive to maintain its 'Only Empire in the World' approach (which it did since at least Clinton),
but Trump is just doing it wrong.@Craig Nelsen f stupidity is Mr. Reed's part about Trump causing Russia and China to be allied. WTH? Trump wanted to ignore the pretension by the Neocons (if they are serious it be even stupider) that Russia is still the USSR, our arch enemy. The MIC and Neocons blocked his rapprochement with Russia. President Trump's attempt to end the completely unfair trade deal the sell-outs handed to China in the mid-1990s is one of his admirable efforts. Relations have become bad mostly due to that the Chinese don't want a fair deal with trade. They are used to taking advantage of us in every way possible – even the Great Chinese Visiting Scholar Scam .antibeast , says: October 25, 2020 at 11:59 am GMTMichael888 , says: October 25, 2020 at 12:01 pm GMT
Trump is a symptom of the disease which the author mistakes for the disease itself. That's why Trump won in 2016 because the white masses who elected him needed to vomit their own existential angst against the System. The more petulant Trump became, the more love the white masses have for him because that's how they feel against the System which has betrayed their own white interests.
The author correctly points out that Trump does exactly what other US Presidents before him have done which is to promote the economic interests of the US Capitalist Class and the US Military-Industrial Complex, by cutting income taxes and increasing the defense budget, respectively. He also mentions Trump's trade war and technology bans against China which has served more as a "canary in a coal mine" than anything else, hastening the pace by which Chinese companies have been diversifying away from the USA, since the GFC in 2008, including developing their own indigenous technologies which have given rise to homegrown tech giants like Huawei and TikTok. While Trump's anti-China moves were driven by political self-aggrandizement, China's response was driven by its economic self-interest, which explains its low-key approach to resolving its trade disputes with the USA.
But the author missed something else which is Trump's hostility to Globalist causes such as unrestricted immigration, outsourcing of manufacturing and services jobs, foreign wars, multilateral treaties such as the Paris Climate Accord, international institutions such as the WHO, trade deals such as the TPP and NAFTA, among others. His most glaring omission is to avoid any mention of Trump's decision to withdraw US troops out of Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany as well as preventing another regime-change war against Iran.
While his economic policies range from the patently mediocre (promoting "fracking") to outright stupid (imposing tariffs), Trump's biggest successes are in fact in the areas of US foreign policy in which he DID carry out his "America First" strategy which has endeared him to his white supporters but which has disheartened his enemies in the US Deep State.
Of course, that's exactly why his white supporters elected him in 2016 and why the US Deep State is doing everything it can to defeat him in 2020 because a second term of Trump would hasten the decline and fall of the US Empire.aspnaz , says: October 25, 2020 at 12:10 pm GMT
"He has pushed NATO against Russian borders." No, after Reagan assured Gorbachev that NATO would not move an inch closer to Russia with the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Bill Clinton moved NATO to Russia's borders as a provocation, along with slaughtering Slavs and proving the inability of Russia to continue its traditional role as protector of the Slavs. This was followed by BUSH's and OBAMA's continuation of Color Revolutions to establish US puppets in former Soviets (and more NATO bases).
The Biden/ Nuland-led Maidan Revolution in Ukraine meant that the per capita GDP dropped over half by deflecting the internal corruption into external Americans' and American Ukrainians' pockets. For calling out that US corruption and briefly holding up more weapons, money and provocation with Russia, Trump was impeached. Ukraine lost Crimea BEFORE Trump, and he was stymied from removing troops by a Congress who refused to accept him as an Elected President and Commander-in-Chief.
While Trump has lots of issues, calling him out for doing exactly what the last three Presidents before him did, really undercuts the article's message. Scapegoating Trump doesn't change reality.KenH , says: October 25, 2020 at 12:17 pm GMT
Trump is the embodiment of this looking-for-a-fight attitude.
Wow, you have been asleep for the last four years? The antics of the Democrats and their female goddess seem to have completely passed you by. Just to fill you in on some basic detail, the Democrats (what an ironic name) have been waging battle after battle, you could call it a war, against the President because they just couldn't accept the result of the last election. They felt they were entitled to the presidency. You say Trump is looking for a fight, the Democrats didn't just look, they launched the war and lost.VinnyVette , says: October 25, 2020 at 12:28 pm GMT
We all know that Trump is bellicose and a blowhard but he said all the right things in 2015-16. My issue with Trump is his betrayals. He threatened to end birthright citizenship but never followed through. He was working with Tom Cotton to reduce legal immigration and end chain migration but gave up after less than a year. He should have ended AFFH shortly after taking office but didn't do so until just two months ago. The list goes on.
Another reason his administration wasn't as successful as we all hoped is that he didn't know how to staff a government as PCR feared and predicted. He thought he could just ride in to Washington and wing it and start barking orders it doesn't work that way.
Trump is not a visionary like Obama was. In order to qualify for Obama's administration you had to think and see the world exactly like he did. Trump seems to get his jollies from hiring people who disagree with him and work to undermine his agenda.
Now Trump is courting black nationalists like rapper Ice Cube while condemning white nationalists. This would be like Obama courting David Duke on a plan to help poor and working class white Americans.Old and Grumpy , says: October 25, 2020 at 12:35 pm GMT
Trump has given us three conservative SCOTUS's justices. He has also exposed the deep state, the alphabet agencies, and the MSM for what they are. Evil anti American forces.
And all the while, staving off three bullshit coup attempts and constant personal and political assault!
And what better would we get from proven corrupt and dementia laden career politician Joe Biden Fred?
Fuck you!@another fredOld and Grumpy , says: October 25, 2020 at 12:41 pm GMT
I'm voting for the entertaining one. Politics is interactive theater. Was it George Carlin who said that if voting mattered they wouldn't let us do it? No truer words. Plus I like the Melania fashion watch on Breitbart....@Jon HalpennyTrinity , says: October 25, 2020 at 1:08 pm GMT
BRICS began back in Obama days. More importantly its inception was due to crippling Russian sanctions due to the bogus Magnitsky Act, which was passed during the W. Bush reign. BTW do you know who sponsored the act in Congress? McCain, Biden, and Obama. All are/were Zionists and Necon approved.John Achterhof , says: October 25, 2020 at 1:55 pm GMT
Hmm, as disappointing as Trump has been, and believe me, he has been a disappointment, he is the best President in my lifetime of 59 years. Of course, given the list of empty suits that we have been given as our leaders over the last 59 years, saying Trump is the best of the lot is not saying much. Honestly has America elected a decent man to hold the office of POTUS in the last 120 years?
At the very minimum Trump has exposed the FAKE MEDIA, hell, that is more than the others ever did while in office because as we all know the American people have been lied to by the Jew Media for over 100 years and counting. IF anyone can come up with reasons why anyone from JFK to Obama were better for America than Trump, I am all ears. Personally, I give Trump an overall D on his report card while the others I give a flat F. Do Whites really want a Biden/Harris Presidency? I voted Trump, again. No REAL choice as usual.Desert Fox , says: October 25, 2020 at 2:37 pm GMT
The root of the matter? With Trump the country elected an attitude, not a President.
Outstanding essay, Fred, and much of the reaction to it confirms it's validity.
I only have a petty disagreement with this one observation:
Russia and China are not natural allies.
All countries, in civilization and decency, are natural allies. It's only predatorial interests of states that upset this natural human alliance.God's Fool , says: October 25, 2020 at 2:48 pm GMT
All the potus have been under zionist control since they had JFK assassinated and then came the zionist/Israeli and traitors in the ZUS government attack on the WTC on 911 and this was blamed on the Arabs and gave the zionists the excuse to destroy the middle east for Israels greater Israel agenda, using the ZUS military and AL CIADA and MOSSAD and MI6 created mercenaries to to the destruction and the killing.
Trump is just another in a long line of zionist puppets and Biden is the same and the one ie the libertarian Joanne Jorgensen who is against these wars, is ignored, and the beat goes on.Wally , says: October 25, 2020 at 4:02 pm GMT
Nobody gives a shit in Joe's Bar in Chicago about the killing of the Iranian general but you may want to check the bars in Tel Aviv to see if they're rejoicing
Now enough about China there are plenty of other sycophants on unz.com without you joining in. Stick to defending wetbacks which suits you naturally and it's more palatable.
As to Russia and China: first, you outline Chinese population treat to Russia and then second, you breathlessly claim they're boon companions so, which is it?
Lastly, I noticed that the one group which has most benefited from the orange man presidency while undercutting his nationalist credentials which would help traditional Americans isn't even mentioned in the article no names or hints. What gives?@GreatSocialist nbsp;
50 Things Neo-Marxists Don't Want You to Know About Trump:
Oct 25, 2020 | valdaiclub.com
Genuine democracy and civil society cannot be "imported." I have said so many times. They cannot be a product of the activities of foreign "well-wishers," even if they "want the best for us." In theory, this is probably possible. But, frankly, I have not yet seen such a thing and do not believe much in it. We see how such imported democracy models function. They are nothing more than a shell or a front with nothing behind them, even a semblance of sovereignty. People in the countries where such schemes have been implemented were never asked for their opinion, and their respective leaders are mere vassals. As is known, the overlord decides everything for the vassal. To reiterate, only the citizens of a particular country can determine their public interest.
We, in Russia, went through a fairly long period where foreign funds were very much the main source for creating and financing non-governmental organisations. Of course, not all of them pursued self-serving or bad goals, or wanted to destabilise the situation in our country, interfere in our domestic affairs, or influence Russia's domestic and, sometimes, foreign policy in their own interests. Of course not.
There were sincere enthusiasts among independent civic organisations (they do exist), to whom we are undoubtedly grateful. But even so, they mostly remained strangers and ultimately reflected the views and interests of their foreign trustees rather than the Russian citizens. In a word, they were a tool with all the ensuing consequences.
A strong, free and independent civil society is nationally oriented and sovereign by definition. It grows from the depth of people's lives and can take different forms and directions. But it is a cultural phenomenon, a tradition of a particular country, not the product of some abstract "transnational mind" with other people's interests behind it.
Sep 29, 2020 | www.unz.com
For many years the security framework in the Middle East has been described as a bilateral arrangement whereby Washington gained access to sufficient Saudi Arabian oil to keep the energy market stable while the United States provided an armed physical presence through its bases in the region and its ability to project power if anyone should seek to threaten the Saudi Kingdom. The agreement was reportedly worked out in a February 1945 meeting between President Franklin D. Roosevelt and King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud, just as World War 2 was drawing to a close. That role as protector of Saudi Arabia and guarantor of stable energy markets in the region later served as part of the justification for the U.S. ouster of the Iraqi Army from Kuwait in 1991.
After 9/11, the rationale became somewhat less focused. The United States invaded Afghanistan, did not capture or kill Osama bin Laden due to its own incompetence, and, rather than setting up a puppet regime and leaving, settled down to a nineteen-years long and still running counter-insurgency plus training mission. Fake intelligence produced by the neocons in the White House and Defense Department subsequently implicated Iraq in 9/11 and led to the political and military disaster known as the Iraq War.
During the 75 years since the end of the Second World War the Middle East has experienced dramatic change, to include the withdrawal of the imperial European powers from the region and the creation of the State of Israel. And the growth and diversification of energy resources mean that it is no longer as necessary to secure the petroleum that moves in tankers through the Persian Gulf. Lest there be any confusion over why the United States continues to be involved in Syria, Iraq, the Emirates and Saudi Arabia, President Donald Trump remarkably provided some clarity relating to the issue when on September 8 th he declared that the U.S. isn't any longer in the Middle East to secure oil supplies, but rather because we "want to protect Israel."
The comment was made by Trump during a rally in Winston-Salem, N.C . as part of a boast about his having reduced energy costs for consumers. He said " I like being energy independent, don't you? I'm sure that most of you noticed when you go to fill up your tank in your car, oftentimes it's below two dollars. You say how the hell did this happen? While I'm president, America will remain the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world. We will remain energy independent. It should be for many many years to come. The fact is, we don't have to be in the Middle East, other than we want to protect Israel. We've been very good to Israel. Other than that, we don't have to be in the Middle East."
The reality is, of course, that U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East has been all about Israel for a very long time, at least since the presidency of Bill Clinton, who has been sometimes dubbed the first Jewish president for his deference to Israeli interests. The Iraq War is a prime example of how neoconservatives and Israel Firsters inside the United States government conspired to go to war to protect the Jewish State. In key positions at the Pentagon were Zionists Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith. Feith's Office of Special Plans developed the "alternative intelligence" linking Saddam Hussein to al-Qaeda and also to a mythical nuclear program that was used to justify war. Feith was so close to Israel that he partnered in a law firm that had an office in Jerusalem. The fake intelligence was then stove-piped to the White House by fellow neocon "Scooter" Libby who worked in the office of Vice President Dick Cheney.
After the fact, former Secretary of State Colin Powell also had something to say about the origins of the war, commenting that the United States had gone into Iraq because Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld bought into the neoconservative case made for doing so by "the JINSA crowd," by which he meant the Israel Lobby organization the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.
And if any more confirmation about the origins of the Iraq War were needed, one might turn to Philip Zelikow, who was involved in the planning process while working on the staff of Condoleezza Rice. He said "The unstated threat. And here I criticize the [Bush] administration a little, because the argument that they make over and over again is that this is about a threat to the United States. And then everybody says: 'Show me an imminent threat from Iraq to America. Show me, why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us?' So I'll tell you what I think the real threat is, and actually has been since 1990. It's the threat against Israel. And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the Europeans don't care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the American government doesn't want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it's not a popular sell."
So here is the point that resonates: even in 2002-3, when the Israel Lobby was not as powerful as it is now, the fact that the U.S. was going to war on a lie and was actually acting on behalf of the Jewish State was never presented in any way to the public, even though America's children would be dying in the conflict and American taxpayers would be footing the bill. The media, if it knew about the false intelligence, was reliably pro-Israel and helped enable the deception.
And that same deception continued to this day until Trump spilled the beans earlier this month. And now, with the special security arrangement that the U.S. has entered into with Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, the ability to exit from a troublesome region that does not actually threaten American interests has become very limited. As guarantor of the agreement, Washington now has an obligation to intervene on the behalf of the parties involved. Think about that, a no-win arrangement that will almost certainly lead to war with Iran, possibly to include countries like Russia and China that will be selling it military equipment contrary to U.S. "sanctions."
Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is email@example.com .
geokat62 , says: September 29, 2020 at 4:10 am GMTJWalters , says: September 29, 2020 at 4:28 am GMT
Trump Confirms U.S. Is Israel's "Protector"
Protector? Is that a fancy word for "Bitch"?JWalters , says: September 29, 2020 at 4:32 am GMT
Excellent synopsis of the situation. And if we look into the founding of Israel, we find it was founded by war profiteers. This would explain why peace has been so "elusive". It has been relentlessly dodged. "War Profiteers and the Roots of the 'War on Terror'"
https://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com/p/war-profiteers-and-roots-of-war-on.html@geokat62Derer , says: September 29, 2020 at 5:13 am GMT
It means Netanyahu is the de facto president of the US.sethster , says: September 29, 2020 at 6:07 am GMT
Trump Confirms U.S. Is Israel's "Protector"
This declaration is against the will of the American people. Hawkish policies of this nature, that endanger the American lives should be confirmed by a referendum of the people. Of course that would be logical step in a democracy but USA is not a democracy but a diktat of backroom unellected ruling clique.Talha , says: September 29, 2020 at 6:46 am GMT
990. Jews are the scapegoats for all the deficiencies of low-IQ whites just as whites are the scapegoats for all the deficiencies of low-IQ non-whites. Let me explain how that works.
Why do we observe Jews at the forefront of many cutting-edge industries? (for example the media/arts and financial industries are indeed rife with them). The low-IQ answer is, of course, a simplistic conspiracy theory: Jews form an evil cabal that created all these industries from scratch to "destroy culture" (or at least what low-IQ people think is culture, i.e. some previous, obsolete state of culture, i.e. older, lower culture, i.e. non-culture). And, to be sure, there is a lot of decadence in these industries. But, in an advanced civilization, there is a lot of decadence everywhere anyway! It's an essential prerequisite even! So it makes perfect sense that the most capable people in such a civilization will also be the most decadent! The stereotype of the degenerate cocaine-sniffing whoremonging or homosexual Hollywood or Wall Street operative belongs here. Well, buddy, if YOU were subjected to the stresses and temptations of the Hollywood or Wall Street lifestyles, maybe you'd be a "degenerate" too! But you lack the IQ for that, so of course you'll reduce the whole enterprise to a simplistic resentful fairy tale that seems laughable even to children: a bunch of old bearded Jews gathered round a large table planning the destruction of civilization! Well I say enough with this childish nonsense! The Jews are simply some of the smartest and most industrious people around, ergo it makes sense that they'll be encountered at or near all the peaks of the dominant culture, being overrepresented everywhere in it, including therefore in its failings and excesses! This is what it means to be the best! It doesn't mean that you are faultless little angels who can do no wrong, you brainless corn-fed nitwits! There's a moving passage somewhere in Nietzsche where he relates that Europe owes the Jews for the highest sage (Spinoza), and the highest saint (Jesus), and he'd never even heard of Freud or Einstein! In view of all the immeasurable gifts the Jewish spirit has lavished on humanity, anti-semitism in the coming world order will be a capital offense, if I have anything to say on the matter. The slightest word against the Jews, and you're a marked man: I would have not only you, but your entire extended family wiped out, just to be sure. You think you know what the Devil is, but he's just the lackey taking my orders. Entire cities razed to the ground (including the entire Middle East), simply because one person there said something bad about "the Jews", that's how I would have the future! Enough with this stupid meme! To hell with all of you brainless subhumans! You've wasted enough of our nervous energy on this stupid shit! And the same goes to low-IQ non-whites who blame all their troubles on whites! And it's all true: Jews and whites upped the stakes for everybody by bringing into the world a whole torrent of new possibilities which your IQ is too low to handle! So whatcha gonna do about it? Are you all bark, or are you prepared to bite? Come on, let's see what you can do! Any of you fucking pricks bark, and we'll execute every motherfucking last one of you!
From http://orgyofthewill.netGMC , says: September 29, 2020 at 9:59 am GMT
Honestly, I like way better out in the open like this. Now there is no reason to worry about all the other BS excuses, it's all on the table.
So now, as a public, we have been informed; so what are we going to do about it? Or are they so confident about their position that they know they can announce it to he world openly and be sure that there will be zero consequences?Oracle , says: September 29, 2020 at 10:22 am GMT
Protector, personal armies, saboteurs, financiers, assassin's, propagandists, liars, thieves, rapists, slavers, and that is just for starters – which includes inside and outside of the former country called the USA.@sethsterTalha , says: September 29, 2020 at 10:58 am GMT
No, you are wrong. The problem with the 'industriousness' is that it is characterized by the principle of profit before all, no matter how immoral the activity. People who do that don't care about a civilized society and should not be able to reap the benefits of one.
Also high IQ isn't exemplified by trickery, lying, subverting and eroding the morals of the host society.Realist@Hess of Germans, what are those homeboys up to lately ?Ugetit , says: September 29, 2020 at 10:59 am GMT
Tommy Thompson , says: September 29, 2020 at 11:23 am GMT
The US is not only the protector, but has been the enabler of the mafia from the start.
Chaim.Weizman and Nathan Sokolow approach the British with a dirty deal. The Zionists offer to use their international influence to bring the US into the war on Britain's side, while undermining Germany from within. The price that Britain must pay for U.S. entry is to steal Palestine from Ottoman Turkey (Germany's ally) and allow the Jews to settle there. Zionist agitated anti-German propaganda was unleashed in the US while the Zionists and Marxists of Germany begin to undermine Germany's war effort from within. Wilson establishes the Committee on Public Information (CPI) for the purpose of manipulating public opinion in support of the war.
-M.S. King, The Bad War, p 50.
Similar scenario for "WW2" which was little more than a continuation of the previous biggie. They really ought to be known as the One World Wars since they were obviously part of the plan for the world to be dominated by the International mafia through such creations as the League of Subjects and the United Slave Nations with the capitol at Tel Aviv.lavoisier , says: Website September 29, 2020 at 11:29 am GMT
Yes, Dr. Giraldi, you hit the nail on the head again.
However, the problem is that most White Middle Class Americans, are satisfied and fully compliant with this situation where the USA is a Megalethon Vassal and Servile State for the poor little Israeli state .
Also, let us be honest with ourselves, Blacks and other minorities on more occasions do dare to speak out on this issue, only to get trounced upon by the MSM and silence and snickers by the stay safe White American Middle Class. Do you ever find a Main Line White Politician speaking up for America's interests and placing them first vis a vis our best little ally ??? Only when it comes to Afro or the Hispanic – Americans sticking their heads up a little does Middle White Americana get all worked up and emotionally charged.
The White Middle Class and most certainly the well moneyed Corporate Class of America, does not mind giving away huge transfers of their tax dollars, national debt, high technologies, military hardware, and even their uniformed sons and daughter, upon command from the likes of Trump and their political opportunists managing the country (Rep and Dem alike). Serving and making America serve the Greater Zio Agenda for their ME and Global domination has become the norm and unquestionable. Try raising this issue at a dinner party and see how many people role their eyes and turn their heads away.
I doubt that the RU followers here, who seem more bent on street brawling with the false bogeymen like BLM and ANTIFA, are the ones that will stand up to the in your face take over of WDC by AIPAC and the Israel First Crowd, including front man Trump for the Kushner-Bibi WH.
Let us not forget the thieving and scamming Sunday preachers who tell them it is great to be in full service of the Zio (Jewish Talmudic based) domination agenda– as it has become a direct ticket to a Raptured Heaven . Jesus for them was been thrown under the bus long ago or strangely converted into a gun machine toting Israeli nut case extremist settler, clearing the land and villages of the indignies children and all.
Let us be frank, some elements of the America First Jewish intelligentsia are more likely to call out and the whorishness ( extremes only) of the Washington's ZOG policies than Middle Americana, who dare not risk their creature comforts, Game Time or corporate positions.
As the old adage goes, you get the Government That You Deserve .@sethsterlavoisier , says: Website September 29, 2020 at 11:36 am GMT
Are you all bark, or are you prepared to bite? Come on, let's see what you can do! Any of you fucking pricks bark, and we'll execute every motherfucking last one of you!
Well your tribe has been incredibly effective at genocide and mass murder on an unprecedented scale of barbarism in the past, and I have no doubt you remain just as capable of such barbarity and cruelty today. Your rant makes that very clear.
Too bad the high IQ does not seem to correlate in a positive way with morality.
But thanks for the warning! Trust me, many of us are quite aware of your capabilities.@Talhalavoisier , says: Website September 29, 2020 at 11:43 am GMT
Germans are a totally deracinated and brainwashed people.
Germany sold Israel submarines capable of launching nuclear missiles!
A more cucked-up people are impossible to find!
It should be no mystery how Jews have gained such control over the Gentile.
It was granted to them, willingly.@TalhaGod's Fool , says: September 29, 2020 at 12:11 pm GMT
Most Americans do not care that their country serves the unethical territorial ambitions of the Jews.
Most Americans believe Israel is a noble country filled with noble people that would never do anything unjust or immoral.
Most Americans believe Israel is our greatest ally.
This is sad, but it is true.
Hence the predicament and the peril of our fealty to Israel.
And the predicament and peril of all those who come into conflict with this rogue nation and people.HallParvey , says: September 29, 2020 at 12:30 pm GMT
The only reason Trump "spilled the beans" about how we are in the Middle East to protect Israel and not to keep oil flowing is to get himself reelected and nothing else. As to war with China, Zuckerberg alone would be able to bribe the administration in particular, and both the parties in general, with his extra billions to keep them out of the war being that he has married a chink, er, Chan. All will be back to business as usual after the election at least, for four more years.@JWaltersMalla , says: September 29, 2020 at 12:32 pm GMT
It means Netanyahu is the de facto president of the US.
Not quite. He is much more powerful than that. The entire Congress of the United States stands and applauds when he arrives to speak. They would never do that for Trump, or any president. The fear of being unpersoned keeps them in line.@Ugetit endence and freedom but things actually became more messy. Also the "hated" Russian Romanovs were got rid off, Russia pushed under Communist Jewish dictatorship. Also the destruction of the Caliph, imagine a united Turko-Arab Empire, no way Israel would have survived that. Even T.E. Lawrence who helped the Arabs fight the Turks was totally disappointed with the behaviour of his own Zionist controlled government. He was going to speak to the British people about the great betrayal to the Arabs and being a war hero they would have listened to him. But before he could do so he met with an "accident" while riding his motorcycle. Yeah, very convenient.Miville , says: September 29, 2020 at 12:35 pm GMT@sethster re good at gathering Nobel Prizes, which is best arranged by jury-rigging and string-pulling thanks to their talent for networking, but no so good as making real inventions. In Israel proper the mean Jewish IQ, 94, is not only disappointing but a few points below even the Palestinian one. Spiritually the Jews have no longer been a chosen people for ages and most of the intellectual development they knew from about 1850 onwards was due to their being emancipated en masse from rabbinical authority, not by conforming to it : now that are falling back under an even worse collective authority with Zionism they are reversing the intellectual gains they once made.Z-man , says: September 29, 2020 at 12:55 pm GMTanon  Disclaimer , says: September 29, 2020 at 1:14 pm GMT
A bit off topic but RIP Steven F. Cohen.Realist , says: September 29, 2020 at 1:19 pm GMT
Back in the second half of the 80s the big war games were all IRAQ IRAQ IRAQ!!1! There was a strong push from all the interagency pukes with their dotted-lines reports to Langley – to aim at Iraq, and to suppress any practical considerations that might interfere with this very lucrative debacle. We watched these moles countering evidence and analysis with declamatory bullshit they made up. Way back then CIA had decided. April Glaspie's headfake sprung a trap set in Kuwait by the NOCs infesting Bechtel. That horizontal-drilling rhubarb was years in preparation.
Iraq was one big war with three phases: beating up on the Iraqi armed forces; ten years of blowing shit up; the occupation.
It turned out great. CIA got money-laundering nirvana, a chaotic zone where they could ship pallets of money around. They got an arms entrepot that lasted 20 years.They got a great network of sites for the torture gulag, with secure impunity – when Iraq tried to accede to the Rome Statute in 05, the CIA torturers were on the spot to nip it in the bud. The tame jihadi boogeymen the torture camps produced were invaluable in creating Rumsfeld's "terrorist corridor" in the Sahel and justifying the P2OG and the Pan-Sahel Initiative. That put AFRICOM garrisons, US-trained warlords, and CIA torture sites in one of the most diplomatically recalcitrant regions of the world:
So turn that frown upside down! Your old bosses got a lot out of that charlie foxtrot.@sethster re all conceived and started by Gentiles Henry Ford is a great example and he knew Jews quite well. The only industries , as you call them, that Jews are involved in are leech enterprises financial corporations are excellent examples of leech enterprises. The financial products they contrive are methods to extract value from productive industries.Moi , says: September 29, 2020 at 1:29 pm GMT
A large percent of Jews are devoted obsessed with gaining wealth and power from the efforts of others which is the reason for their inordinate involvement in the Deep State and also for the abject loathing by many Gentiles throughout the ages.@geokat62Moi , says: September 29, 2020 at 1:39 pm GMT
Fact is you can fool all Americans all the time. We are a nation of ignorant people.@TalhaAnonymous  Disclaimer , says: September 29, 2020 at 1:45 pm GMT
Whether the truth is hidden or now out in the open doesn't matter to a people so stupid as to believe the Creator's offspring walked, eat and crapped on this little planet 2k years ago.
Exhibit B of their stupidity: Electing Trump (and more than a few of his predecessors).Old and Grumpy , says: September 29, 2020 at 2:01 pm GMT
The NWO won't come to America as Greta Thunberg marching ahead of the Democrats in Mao suits under LGBTQ and GND banners and tumbrels of Christians headed for the guillotine, but as one transnational compliance regime after the other enacted by treaty, such as mandatory bi-annual vaccinations with largely inefficacious vaccines carrying not just behavior modifying chemicals and sterilants as adjuvants, but DNA-altering horrors. Anyone want to argue the threats posed by these DNA- or mRNA-modifying vaccines made from, among other things, insect DNA?
Some think it's over the top to talk about the NWO that's on the horizon as a Sino-Judaic, world-hegemonic NWO, but the United States government is itself already little more than a collection of compliance regimes in service to International Jewry. The 29 standing ovations from a Congress afraid to be the first to stop clapping for a kitchen cabinet salesman-turned-Caesar made that clear enough. The rest of the story, like the nonsense that Congress and DJT are voluntarily protecting Israel, is eyewash for fools when International Jewry owns them all like the trained seals who perform in the Central Park Zoo.@God's FoolOld and Grumpy , says: September 29, 2020 at 2:04 pm GMT
The Holy Rollers were never going to bail from Trump after the embassy move to Jerusalem. Jews on the other hand are likely not amused about such a revelation. So his words were unlikely about the election.The Spirit of Enoch Powell , says: September 29, 2020 at 2:17 pm GMT
How is this foreign policy now not a violation of the church-state separation? Especially since Israel describes itself as a Jewish state.@lavoisier nd stern conversation, "For me, the new Germany exists only in order to ensure the existence of the State of Israel and the Jewish people." He's a brilliant intellectual and a thoughtful politician, and we don't need to worry – he won't give up his existential friendship so easily. And certainly not because of Bennett or his colleague Orit Strock, the party whip.
A very symbolic photo posted by the Israel Defence Forces' Twitter account, in the tweet linked to by user Talha
Realist , says: September 29, 2020 at 2:19 pm GMT@lavoisierGidoutahere , says: September 29, 2020 at 2:49 pm GMT
Too bad the high IQ does not seem to correlate in a positive way with morality.
Exactly.@sethsteranon  Disclaimer , says: September 29, 2020 at 2:56 pm GMT
Weinstein, Epstein, Maxwell, Maddof, –cking geniuses. I thought your principal asset was "God's chosen people". Now I see it's your penetrating mind.The Spirit of Enoch Powell , says: September 29, 2020 at 3:24 pm GMT
It is time to be more honest. A foreign war that the US loses may be the only way out of the political, moral and social impasse that currently afflicts the US. The forces that control the US government need to be removed and that seems increasingly unlikely to arise from simply domestic opposition.
It took World War II to remove Adolf Hitler from power in Germany. Why should anyone expect anything less to change the government of the United States? The US wants a war with Russia and China. Perhaps it is best that it be granted one? Let's see some articles on this proposition.@Talhaanon  Disclaimer , says: September 29, 2020 at 3:24 pm GMT
The odd thing is how so many Jews still support immigration despite the fact that a lot of the immigrants are (from the Jewish/Zionist perspective) at best indifferent to Israel and at worse outright hostile and want it gone.
Or perhaps they realise democracy is a sham and the Jewish elite have got their backs? Hence their plans to mongrelise Europeans nations don't really conflict with their Zionist ambitions.
One thing is for sure, when things start to get hairy in the West, all Jews will have a nice First World ethnocracy to move to.anon  Disclaimer , says: September 29, 2020 at 3:24 pm GMT
Trump's greatest contribution to the US/World might be exposing the naked ambition and evilness of the Ziocons. Before Trump, Ziocons lurked in the background as puppet masters, with their many plans obscured behind "diplomacy" and propaganda like "freedom" and "human rights", now thanks to Trump they are showing their true colors. Trump has managed to expose to the whole world including all our allies who is really running America and the extent they will go to destroy their perceived "enemies" to achieve world domination -- the end justifies the means. It is making our allies esp. Europe think twice about their alliance with JU.S.A.karel , says: September 29, 2020 at 4:25 pm GMT
Trump's greatest contribution to the US/World might be exposing the naked ambition and evilness of the Ziocons. Before Trump, Ziocons lurked in the background as puppet masters, with their many plans obscured behind "diplomacy" and propaganda like "freedom" and "human rights", now thanks to Trump they are showing their true colors. Trump has managed to expose to the whole world including all our allies who is really running America and the extent they will go to destroy their perceived "enemies" to achieve world domination -- the end justifies the means. It is making our allies esp. Europe think twice about their alliance with JU.S.A.@lavoisierHarold Smith , says: September 29, 2020 at 4:26 pm GMT
You must have been misinformed if you think that "Germany sold Israel submarines". Not really as you can find out from the link bellow. The first two submarines were donated and the third was "hawkered" for about half the production cost.
https://rotefahne.eu/2011/01/brd-1108-mio-steuergelder-fuer-israelische-u-boote/@anon the empire starts WW3, e.g. the "big one" at Yellowstone, which will do so much damage as to make it impossible for the evil empire to continue it's pursuit of world domination and control.Talha , says: September 29, 2020 at 4:37 pm GMT
BTW on a positive note, it looks like there is now some resistance from the private sector against the evil orange clown's self-destructive economic war against China:
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china-tariffs/some-3500-u-s-companies-sue-over-trump-imposed-chinese-tariffs-idUSKCN26G31G@The Spirit of Enoch Powell a massive forward operating base for the West declined any normalization.
I do think it is game over for quite a while in the West regarding opposition to Israel. Israel may collapse or have to come to the table or something due to some game changer in the Middle East, but I don't see it happening due to lack of support from the West anytime soon.
Note: This is a good analysis of various views:
Sep 28, 2020 | www.unz.com
Robert Dolan , says: September 26, 2020 at 7:06 pm GMT@Realist d on him and tried to remove him from office. This is actually the greatest political scandal in American history, yet nothing will be done about it. The magic negro will never face any consequences and he and his ugly wife will remain free to race bait for another 30 years unimpeded.Robert Dolan , says: September 26, 2020 at 9:23 pm GMT
Trump and the GOP allowed the covid hoax to wreck the economy and allowed massive riots to go on for many months. They allow the left to run wild while whites live under anarcho-tyranny.
If Trump wins, which is likely, he will just go right back to blabbing about how much he loves blacks and mexicans and gays and you will never hear another word about white people.@restless94110 p> Obama fired many upper level military and replaced them with leftist cucks.Realist , says: September 26, 2020 at 10:17 pm GMT
Besides Trump not getting rid of people he should have gotten rid of, he hired a shitload of scum, neocons, Goldman alums, etc., people who were obviously not going to promote his America First agenda.
From the looks of it he never intended to make good on any of his promises.
And as Ann Coulter says, immigration is really the only thing that matters. Trump didn't deport the 30 million illegals that don't belong here. He didn't do anything about birthright citizenship, E-verify, etc.
We still face the very same demographic disaster as before.@Robert DolanRealist , says: September 26, 2020 at 10:21 pm GMT
Trump doesn't even have the balls to go after the people who spied on him and tried to remove him from office.
I agree on your points
Here is a video of Tom Fitton explaining the situation to Lou Dobbs.
https://www.youtube.com/embed/A5thJyj5I7I?feature=oembed@Harold Smithrestless94110 , says: September 26, 2020 at 10:57 pm GMT
I don't think anyone was actually trying to remove him from office (they could've added his war crimes and violations of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations to the impeachment charges if they were serious about removing him). Most likely it's all political theater to fool the people who need and/or want to be fooled.
This is a charade designed by the Deep State to distract any thought that both parties are just two sides to the Deep State coin.@Robert Dolan did get rid of some military, he clearly didn't get rid of the right people.
You seem to think it's easy. It's not obviously.
I like Ann, but she is hysterical. Yet that is ok in a journalist/editorialist. Her function is to keep pushing. And she is doing that.
But Trump is moving at his own speed based on his own instincts. Meaning it might be faster for some, slower for others. Coulter is not able to understand that. But she does not have to. I still read her. And then I analyze her as a person in fear that the wall won't be built.
Looks to me like Ann is wrong. It's just not happening quickly enough for her.
Sep 28, 2020 | www.amazon.com
In the United States, a great deal of study and energy goes into promoting respect for democracy, not just to keep it alive here but also to spread it around the world. It embraces the will of the majority, whether or not its main beneficiaries have more resources than other citizens do, as shown by the election of President Obama, who promised hope and change for the suffering majority, but did not sit long in office before being subjected to an economic vote of no-confidence.
Those who claim we run a plutocracy (government for the rich by the rich) -- or that we're victims of a conspiracy contrived by a shadow government -- are right while being wrong.
Our government is beyond the reach of ordinary American citizens in terms of economic power. However, the creation of a system to keep the majority of the populace at the losing end of a structure which neither promised nor delivered a state of financial equality was a predictable extension of the economic system the U.S. government was formed to protect.
... .... ...
Forty years of Cold War and the ultimate realization that abuse of the communist system and a hierarchy of privilege proved that system to be vulnerable to selfishness -- in common with the triumphant capitalist countries.
Because any desired outcome can be written into an equation to exclude unwanted facts or inputs by holding some things constant while applying chosen variables that may not hold true under every historical circumstance, it's considered "falsifiable" and therefore "scientific." But only if it appeals to the right people and justifies a given political need will it become sacrosanct (until the next round of "progress").
.... .... ...Abusive Self- Interest
In 1764, twenty- five years before the embrace of Madame Guillotine (when heads rolled literally to put the fear of the mob into politics), contempt for the filth and poverty in which the French commoners lived while the nobility gorged on luxury goods showed how arrogant they were, not just in confidence that their offices of entitlement were beyond reproach and unassailable, but that mockery and insult in the face of deliberate deprivation would be borne with obedience and humility.
It certainly affected Smith's outlook, since he wrote The Wealth of Nations with a focus on self- interest rather than moral sentiments. And while this may be purely pragmatic, based on what
he witnessed, he also wrote about the potential for self- interest to become abusive, both in collusion with individuals and when combined with the power of government. Business interests could form cabals (groups of conspirators, plotting public harm) or monopolies (organizations with exclusive market control) to fix prices at their highest levels. A true laissez- faire economy would provide every incentive to conspire against consumers and attempt to influence budgets and legislation.
Smith's assertion that self- interest leads producers to favor domestic industry must also be understood in the context of the period. While it's true that the Enlightenment was a movement of rational philosophy radically opposed to secrecy, it's important to understand that this had to be done respectfully , insofar as all arguments were intended to impress the monarchy under circumstances where the king believed himself God- appointed and infallible, no matter his past or present policies, and matters were handled with delicacy. Yet, Smith's arguments are clear enough (and certainly courageous enough) to be understood in laymen's terms.
In an era when the very industry he's observing has been fostered by tariffs, monopolies, labor controls, and materials extracted from colonies, he did his best to balance observation with what he thought was best for society. It's not his fault we pick and choose our recipes for what we do and don't believe or where we think Smith might have gone had he been alive today.
The New Double Standard
The only practical way to resolve the contradiction between the existing beneficiaries of state favoritism in this period and Smith's aversion to it is to observe that the means to prevent competition and interference with the transition from one mode of commerce to another that enhances the strength of the favored or provides a new means to grow their wealth is to close the door of government intervention behind them and burn any bridges to it.
In psychological terms, the practice of "negative attribution" is to assume that identical behavior is justifiable for oneself but not another. It may not be inconsistent with a system of economics founded on self- interest, but it naturally begs a justification as to why it rules out everyone else's self- interest. The beauty of this system is that it will always have the same answer.
You may have guessed it.
Progress.Reallocation of Assets
It was always understood that capitalism produces winners and losers. The art of economizing is to gain maximum benefit for minimum expenditure, which generally translates to asset consolidation and does not necessarily mean there is minimum sacrifice. There's an opportunity cost for everything, whether it's human, financial, environmental, or material. But the most important tenet of free market capitalism is that asset redistribution requires the U. S. government to go to DEFCON 1, unless assets are being reallocated for "higher productivity," in which case the entire universe is saved from the indefensible sin of lost opportunity.
Private property is sacred -- up until an individual decides he can make more productive use of it and appeals to the courts for seizure under eminent domain or until the government decides it will increase national growth if owned by some other person or entity. In like manner, corporations can suffer hostile takeovers, just as deregulation facilitates predatory market behavior and cutthroat competition promotes an efficiency orientation that means fewer jobs and lower incomes, which result in private losses.
In the varying range of causes underlying the loss of assets, the common threat is progress -- the "civilized" justification for depriving some other person or entity of their right to own property, presumably earned by the sweat of their brow, except their sweat doesn't have the same champion as someone who can wring more profit from it. The official explanation is that the government manages the "scarcity" of resources to benefit the world. This is also how we justify war, aggression, and genocide, though we don't always admit to that unless we mean to avoid it.
Perfectly Rational Genocide
History cooperates with the definition of Enlightenment if we imagine that thoughtfulness has something to do with genocide. In the context of American heritage, it has meant that when someone stands in the way of progress, his or her resources are "reallocated" to serve the pursuit of maximum profit, with or without consent. The war against Native Americans was one in which Americans either sought and participated in annihilation efforts or believed this end was inevitable. In the age of rational thought, meditation on the issue could lead from gratitude for the help early settlers received from Native Americans to the observation they didn't enclose their land and had no concept of private property,
to the conviction they were unmotivated by profit and therefore irreconcilable savages. But it takes more than rational thought to mobilize one society to exterminate another.
The belief in manifest destiny -- that God put the settlers in America for preordained and glorious purposes which gave them a right to everything -- turned out to be just the ticket for a free people opposed to persecution and the tyranny of church and state.
Lest the irony elude you, economic freedom requires divorcing the state from religion, but God can be used to whip up the masses, distribute "It's Them or Us" cards, and send people out to die on behalf of intellectuals and investors who've rationalized their chosenness.CHAPTER TWO: INSTILLING THE ILLUSION OF CHOICE
Selfishness may be exalted as the root and branch of capitalism, but it doesn't make you look good to the party on the receiving end or those whose sympathy he earns. For that, you need a government prepared to do four things, which each have separate dictums based on study, theorization, and experience.
Coercion: Force is illegitimate only if you can't sell it. Persuasion: How do I market thee? Let me count the ways. Bargaining: If you won't scratch my back, then how about a piece of the pie? Indoctrination: Because I said so. (And paid for the semantics.)
Predatory capitalism is the control and expropriation of land, labor, and natural resources by a foreign government via coercion, persuasion, bargaining, and indoctrination.
At the coercive stage, we can expect military and/ or police intervention to repress the subject populace. The persuasive stage will be marked by clientelism, in which a small percentage of the populace will be rewarded for loyalty, often serving as the capitalists' administrators, tax collectors, and enforcers. At the bargaining stage, efforts will be made to include the populace, or a certain percentage of it, in the country's ruling system, and this is usually marked by steps toward democratic (or, more often, autocratic) governance.
At the fourth stage, the populace is educated by capitalists, such that they continue to maintain a relationship of dependency.
The Predatory Debt Link
In many cases, post- colonial states were forced to assume the debts of their colonizers. And where they did not, they were encouraged to become in debt to the West via loans that were issued through international institutions to ensure they did not fall prey to communism or pursue other economic policies that were inimical to the West. Debt is the tie that binds nation states to the geostrategic and economic interests of the West.
As such, the Cold War era was a time of easy credit, luring postcolonial states to undertake the construction of useless monoliths and monuments, and to even expropriate such loans through corruption and despotism, thereby making these independent rulers as predatory as colonizers. While some countries were wiser than others and did use the funds for infrastructural improvements, these were also things that benefited the West and particularly Western contractors. In his controversial work Confessions of an Economic Hit Man , John Perkins reveals that he was a consultant for an American firm (MAIN), whose job was to ensure that states became indebted beyond their means so they would remain loyal to their creditors, buying them votes within United Nations organizations, among other things.
Predatory capitalists demand export- orientations as the means to generate foreign currency with which to pay back debt. In the process, the state must privatize and drastically slash or eliminate any domestic subsidies which are aimed at helping native industry compete in the marketplace. Domestic consumption and imports must be radically contained, as shown by the exchange rate policies recommended by the IMF. The costs of obtaining domestic capital will be pushed beyond the reach of most native producers, while wages must be depressed to an absolute bare minimum. In short, the country's land, labor, and natural resources must be sold at bargain basement prices in order to make these goods competitive, in what one author has called "a spiraling race to the bottom," as countries producing predominantly the same goods engage in cutthroat competition whose benefactor is the West.
Under these circumstances, foreign investment is encouraged, but this, too, represents a loaded situation for countries that open their markets to financial liberalization. Since, in most cases, the
IMF does not allow restrictions on the conditions of capital inflows, it means that financial investors can literally dictate their terms. And since no country is invulnerable to attacks on its currency, which governments must try to keep at a favorable exchange rate, it means financial marauders can force any country to try to prop up its currency using vital reserves of foreign exchange which might have been used to pay their debt.
When such is the case, the IMF comes to the rescue with a socalled "bailout fund," that allows foreign investors to withdraw their funds intact, while the government reels from the effects of an IMF- imposed austerity plan, often resulting in severe recession the offshoot of which is bankruptcies by the thousands and plummeting employment.
In countries that experienced IMF bailouts due to attacks on their currencies, the effect was to reset the market so the only economic survivors were those who remained export- oriented and were strong enough to withstand the upheaval. This means they remained internationally competitive, which translates to low earnings of foreign exchange. At the same time that the country is being bled from the bottom up through mass unemployment, extremely low wages, and the "spiraling race to the bottom," it is in an even more unfavorable position concerning the payment of debt. The position is that debt slavery ensues, as much an engine of extraction as any colonial regime ever managed.
The Role of Indoctrination
The fact that it is sovereign governments overseeing the work of debt repression has much to do with education, which is the final phase of predatory capitalism, concluding in indoctrination. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the lesson to the world was that socialism can't work, nor were there any remaining options for countries that pursued "the third way" other than capitalism. This produced a virulent strain of neoliberalism in which most people were, and are, being educated. The most high- ranking of civil servants have either been educated in the West or directly influenced by its thinking. And this status of acceptance and adherence finally constitutes indoctrination. The system is now self- sustaining, upheld by domestic agents.
While predatory capitalism can proceed along a smooth continuum from coercion to persuasion to bargaining to formal indoctrination, the West can regress to any of these steps at any point in
time, given the perceived need to interfere with varying degrees of force in order to protect its interests.
Democracy is about having the power and flexibility to graft our system of government and predatory capitalism onto any target country, regardless of relative strength or conflicting ideologies. An entire productive industry has grown up using the tools of coercion, persuasion, bargaining, and formal indoctrination to maximize their impact in the arena of U. S. politics. Its actors know how to jerk the right strings, push the right buttons, and veer from a soft sell to a hard sell when resistance dictates war, whether it's with planes overhead and tanks on the ground or with massive capital flight that panics the whole world.
When the U. S. political economy goes into warp overdrive, its job proves far more valuable than anything ever made in the strict material sense because there's never been more at stake in terms of what it's trying to gain. It's the American idea machine made up of corporations, lobbyists, think tanks, foundations, universities, and consultants in every known discipline devoted to mass consumerism, and what they sell is illusory opportunity dressed in American principles. They embrace political candidates who'll play by elitist rules to preserve the fiction of choice, and, in this way, they maintain legitimacy, no matter what kind of "reallocation" is on the economic agenda.
The issue is not whether we'll question it, but who we'll applaud for administering it.
In the Information Age, perception management is king.
Sep 24, 2020 | en.wikipedia.org
Partially based on Wikipedia
In the early 1980s, students of color at Harvard Law School organized protests in various forms to problematize the lack of racial diversity in the curriculum, as well as among students and faculty. These students supported Professor Derrick Bell, who left Harvard Law in 1980 to become the dean at University of Oregon School of Law. During his time at Harvard, Bell had developed new courses which studied American law through a racial lens that students of color wanted faculty of color to teach in his absence. However, the university, ignoring student requests, hired two white civil rights attorneys instead. In response, numerous students, including Kimberlé Crenshaw and Mari Matsuda, boycotted and organized to develop an "Alternative Course" using Bell's Race, Racism, and American Law (1973, 1st edition) as a core text and included guest speakers Richard Delgado and Neil Gotanda.
The theory itself is a kind of Lysenkoism in this particular area. Read voodoo science. This pseudoscience includes several themes (Wikipedia)
- Critique of liberalism: CRT scholars favor a more aggressive approach to social transformation, as opposed to liberalism's more cautious approach; a race-conscious approach to transformation rejecting liberal embrace of affirmative action, color blindness, role modeling, or the merit principle; and an approach that relies more on political organizing, in contrast to liberalism's reliance on rights-based remedies.
- Storytelling, counter-storytelling, and "naming one's own reality": The use of narrative to illuminate and explore experiences of racial oppression. B
- Revisionist interpretations of American civil rights law and progress: Criticism of civil-rights scholarship and anti-discrimination law, such as Brown v. Board of Education. Derrick Bell, one of CRT's founders, argued that civil rights advances for blacks coincided with the self-interest of white elitists. Likewise, Mary L. Dudziak performed extensive archival research in the U.S. Department of State and Department of Justice, including the correspondence by U.S. ambassadors abroad, and found that U.S. civil rights legislation was not passed because people of color were discriminated against. Rather, it was enacted in order to improve the image of the United States in the eyes of third-world countries that the US needed as allies during the Cold War.
- Applying insights from social science writing on race and racism to legal problems.
- Intersectional theory: The examination of race, sex, class, national origin, and sexual orientation, and how their combination plays out in various settings, e.g., how the needs of a Latina female are different from those of a black male and whose needs are the ones promoted.
- Essentialism: Reducing the experience of a category (gender or race) to the experience of one sub-group (white women or African-Americans). In essence, all oppressed people share the commonality of oppression. However, such oppression varies by gender, class, race, etc., and therefore, the aims and strategies will differ for each of these groups.
- Non-white cultural nationalism and separatism (incl. Black nationalism): The exploration of more radical views that argue for separation and reparations as a form of foreign aid.
- Legal institutions, critical pedagogy , and minority lawyers in the bar.
- Structural determinism : Exploration of how "the structure of legal thought or culture influences its content," whereby a particular mode of thought or widely shared practice determines significant social outcomes, usually occurring without conscious knowledge. As such, theorists posit that our system cannot redress certain kinds of wrongs.
- White privilege : Belief in the notion of a myriad of social advantages, benefits, and courtesies that come with being a member of the dominant race (i.e. white people). A clerk not following you around in a store or not having people cross the street at night to avoid you, are two examples of white privilege.
- Microaggression : Belief in the notion that sudden, stunning, or dispiriting transactions have the power to mar the everyday of oppressed individuals. These include small acts of racism consciously or unconsciously perpetrated, whereby an analogy could be that of water dripping on a rock wearing away at it slowly. Microaggressions are based on the assumptions about racial matters that are absorbed from cultural heritage .
- Empathetic fallacy : Believing that one can change a narrative by offering an alternative narrative in hopes that the listener's empathy will quickly and reliably take over. Empathy is not enough to change racism as most people are not exposed to many people different from themselves and people mostly seek out information about their own culture and group.
Any rational legal scholar should reject CRT as voood science. But somehow it crioped in many federal againces. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday to stop funding to federal government contractors who hold critical race theory training sessions.
“The President signed an Executive Order to end training sessions based on race and sex stereotyping and scapegoating in the Federal workforce, the Uniformed Services, and among Federal contractors,” the White House said in an announcement.
“This order will prohibit Federal agencies and Federal contractors from conducting training that promotes race stereotyping, for example, by portraying certain races as oppressors by virtue of their birth.”
The president provided a number of examples of such critical race theory trainings, which included a seminar recently held by the Treasury Department that promoted the message that “virtually all White people, regardless of how ‘woke’ they are, contribute to racism.” The same seminar was found to have told small group leaders to encourage employees to avoid the idea that Americans should be “more color-blind” or “let people’s skills and personalities be what differentiates them.”
In another example, the Sandia National Laboratories, a research lab and a federal entity, was found to have stated in training materials for non-minority males that an emphasis on “rationality over emotionality” was a characteristic of “white male[s].” The training materials also asked the trainees to “acknowledge” their “privilege” to each other.
The Argonne National Laboratories, a research center under the U.S. Department of Energy, was found to have stated in its training materials that racism “is interwoven into every fabric of America.” It also characterized statements like “color blindness” and “meritocracy” as “action of bias.”
The executive order also pointed to the Smithsonian Institution in another example, where one of the museum’s graphics asserted that concepts such as “objective, rational linear thinking,” “hard work” being “the key to success,” the “nuclear family,” and belief in a single god are “aspects and assumptions of whiteness” and not values that would unite Americans. The museum also stated that “[f]acing your whiteness is hard and can result in feelings of guilt, sadness, confusion, defensiveness, or fear,” according to the order.
Many rational legal scholars have criticized CRT as pseudoscience and voodoo: CRT scholars' reliance on narrative and storytelling, or CRT's critique of objectivity.
Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has "labeled critical race theorists and postmodernists the 'lunatic core' of 'radical legal egalitarianism.'" He wrote:
What is most arresting about critical race theory is that it turns its back on the Western tradition of rational inquiry, forswearing analysis for narrative. Rather than marshal logical arguments and empirical data, critical race theorists tell stories – fictional, science-fictional, quasi-fictional, autobiographical, anecdotal – designed to expose the pervasive and debilitating racism of America today. By repudiating reasoned argumentation, the storytellers reinforce stereotypes about the intellectual capacities of nonwhites.
Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals wrote that critical race theorists have constructed a philosophy which makes a valid exchange of ideas between the various disciplines unattainable:
The radical multiculturalists' views raise insuperable barriers to mutual understanding. Consider the "Space Traders" story. How does one have a meaningful dialogue with Derrick Bell? Because his thesis is utterly untestable, one quickly reaches a dead end after either accepting or rejecting his assertion that white Americans would cheerfully sell all blacks to the aliens. The story is also a poke in the eye of American Jews, particularly those who risked life and limb by actively participating in the civil rights protests of the 1960s. Bell clearly implies that this was done out of tawdry self-interest. Perhaps most galling is Bell's insensitivity in making the symbol of Jewish hypocrisy the little girl who perished in the Holocaust – as close to a saint as Jews have. A Jewish professor who invoked the name of Rosa Parks so derisively would be bitterly condemned – and rightly so.
Daniel Farber and Suzanna Sherry have argued that critical race theory, along with critical feminism and critical legal studies, has anti-Semitic and anti-Asian implications, has worked to undermine notions of democratic community, and has impeded dialogue.
Jeffrey J. Pyle wrote in the Boston College Law Review:
Critical race theorists attack the very foundations of the [classical] liberal legal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism and neutral principles of constitutional law. These liberal values, they allege, have no enduring basis in principle, but are mere social constructs calculated to legitimate white supremacy. The rule of law, according to critical race theorists, is a false promise of principled government, and they have lost patience with false promises.
Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, considers CRT a "grievance ideology" and an "absurdity". He sees the central tenet of "white racism in the American legal system" to be shown false because of items such as the 14th Amendment, the Voting Rights Acts, and Brown v. Board of Education. Critics including George Will saw resonances between critical race theory's use of storytelling and insistence that race poses challenges to objective judgments in the US and the acquittal of O. J. Simpson.
In September 2020, the White House Office of Management and Budget took steps to cancel funding for training in critical race theory among federal agencies on the basis that it constituted "divisive, un-American propaganda".[
Controversies Critical race theory has stirred controversy since the 1980s over such issues as its:
- deviation from the ideal of color blindness; promotion of the use of narrative in legal studies;
- advocacy of "legal instrumentalism" as opposed to ideal-driven uses of the law;
- analysis of the U.S. Constitution and existing law as constructed according to and perpetuating racial power;
- and encouragement of legal scholars to be partial on the side of promoting racial equity.
In 2010, the Mexican American Studies Department Programs in Tucson, Arizona were effectively banned due to their connection to CRT, which was seen to be in violation of a recently-passed state law that "prohibits schools from offering courses that 'advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals'." The ban included the confiscation of books, in some cases in front of students, by the Tucson Unified School District.
Matt de la Peña's young-adult novel Mexican WhiteBoy was banned for containing CRT, However, this ban was later deemed unconstitutional on the grounds that the state showed discriminatory intent. "Both enactment and enforcement were motivated by racial animus," federal Judge A. Wallace Tashima said in the ruling.Derrick Bell as the founder of critical rase thory and black racism
Derrick Bell as the founder of critical rase thory and black racism
Derrick Albert Bell Jr. (November 6, 1930 – October 5, 2011) became the first tenured African-American professor of law at Harvard Law School, and he is often credited as one of the originators of critical race theory along with Richard Delgado, Charles Lawrence, Mari Matsuda, and Patricia Williams. He promoted quota systems for racial groups in faculty which is a racist stance in itself.
He was a visiting professor at New York University School of Law from 1991 until his death. For five years he was also a dean of the University of Oregon School of Law.
He was hired by Harvard Law School In the 1970s, with the help of protests from black Harvard Law School students for a minority faculty member. At Harvard, Bell established a new course in civil rights law, published a book, Race, Racism and American Law, and produced several law review articles.
In 1980, he started a five-year tenure as dean of the University of Oregon School of Law, interrupted by his resignation after the university refused to hire an Asian-American woman he had chosen to join the faculty.
Returning to Harvard in 1986, after a year-long stint at Stanford University, Bell staged a five-day sit-in in his office to protest the school's failure to grant tenure to two professors on staff, both of whose work promoted critical race theory. The sit-in was widely supported by students, but divided the faculty, as Harvard administrators claimed the professors were denied tenure for substandard scholarship and teaching.
In 1990, Harvard Law School had 60 tenured professors. Three of these were black men, and five of them were women, but there were no African-American women among them -- a dearth Bell decided to protest with an unpaid leave of absence. Students supported the move which critics found "counterproductive," while Harvard administrators cited a lack of qualified candidates, defending that they had taken great strides in the previous decade to bring women and black people onto the faculty. The story of his protest is detailed in his book Confronting Authority.
Bell's protest at Harvard stirred angry criticism by opposing Harvard Law faculty who called him "a media manipulator who unfairly attacked the school," noting that other people had accused him of "depriv[ing] students of an education while he makes money on the lecture circuit."
Bell took his leave of absence and accepted a visiting professorship at NYU Law, starting in 1991. After two years, Harvard had still not hired any minority women, and Bell requested an extension of his leave, which the school refused, thereby ending his tenure.
Later in 1998, Harvard Law hired civil rights attorney and U.S. assistant attorney general nominee Lani Guinier, who became the law school's first black female tenured professor.
In March 2012, five months after his death, Bell became the target of conservative media, including Breitbart and Sean Hannity, in an exposé of President Barack Obama. The controversy focused on a 1990 video of Obama praising Bell at a protest by Harvard Law School students over the perceived lack of diversity in the school's faculty. Bell's widow stated that Bell and Obama had "very little contact" after Obama's law school graduation. She said that as far as she remembered, "He never had contact with the president as president." An examination of Senior Lecturer Obama's syllabus for his course on race and law at the University of Chicago revealed significant differences between Obama's perspective and that of Derrick Bell, even as Obama drew on major writings of critical race theory.
NYU School of Law Bell's visiting professorship at New York University began in 1991. After his two-year leave of absence, his position at Harvard ended and he remained at NYU where he continued to write and lecture on issues of race and civil rights.
Bell and other legal scholars began using the phrase "critical race theory" (CRT) in the 1970s as a takeoff on "critical legal theory", a branch of legal scholarship that challenges the validity of concepts such as rationality, objective truth, and judicial neutrality. Critical legal theory was itself a takeoff on critical theory, a philosophical framework with roots in Marxist thought.
Bell continued writing about critical race theory after accepting a teaching position at Harvard University. He worked alongside lawyers, activists, and legal scholars across the country. Much of his legal scholarship was influenced by his experience both as a black man and as a civil rights attorney. Writing in a narrative style, Bell contributed to the intellectual discussions on race. According to Bell, his purpose in writing was to examine the racial issues within the context of their economic and social and political dimensions from a legal standpoint. Bell's critical race theory was eventually branched into more theories describing the hardships of other races as well, such as AsianCrit (Asian), FemCrit (Women), LatCrit (Latino), TribalCrit (American Indian), and WhiteCrit (White). His theories were based on the following propositions:
First, racism is ordinary, not aberrational. Second, white-over-color ascendancy serves important purposes, both psychic and material, for the dominant group. Third, "social construction" thesis holds that race and races are products of social thought and relations. Fourth, how a dominant society racializes different minority groups at different times, in response to shifting needs such as the labor market. Fifth, intersectionality and anti-essentialism is the idea that each race has its own origins and ever-evolving history. Sixth, voice-of-color thesis holds that because of different histories and experiences to white counterparts', matters that the whites are unlikely to know can be conveyed. CRT has also led to the study of microaggressions, Paradigmatic kinship, the historical origins and shifting paradigmatic vision of CRT, and how in depth legal studies show law serves the interests of the powerful groups in society. Microaggressions are subtle insults (verbal, nonverbal, and/or visual) directed toward people of color, often automatically or unconsciously.
For instance, in The Constitutional Contradiction, Bell argued that the framers of the Constitution chose the rewards of property over justice. With regard to the interest convergence, he maintains that "whites will promote racial advances for blacks only when they also promote white self-interest." Finally, in The Price of Racial Remedies, Bell argues that whites will not support civil rights policies that may threaten white social status. Similar themes can be found in another well-known piece entitled, "Who's Afraid of Critical Race Theory?" from 1995.
His 2002 book, Ethical Ambition, encourages a life of ethical behavior, including "a good job well done, giving credit to others, standing up for what you believe in, voluntarily returning lost valuables, choosing what feels right over what might feel good right now".
Sep 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Jackrabbit , Sep 20 2020 16:45 utc | 8
How the west lost
What I liked most about this article was the highlighting of impossible-to-counter narratives, the hypocrisy of Western democracy promotion (even as Western governments fellate domestic and foreign economic elites), and the denigration of nationalism from 1990-2016.
Sadly, the author does a disservice in suggesting that such manipulations are past. Instead, the Western power-elite has done what it does best: co-opt a 'winning' narrative (nationalism) and double-down.
- Ignores the fact that the US Deep State, caretakers of the Empire, hasn't accepted defeat. Since 2014 they have been actively trying to reverse what they see as a major set-back (not defeat).
Via economic sanctions, trade wars, propaganda, and military tensions the Empire is waging a hybrid war against what it calls the "revisionist" efforts of Russia and China.
- Plays into the propaganda narrative of Trump as populist.
- Fails to see the 1990's 'economic shock therapy' as a deliberate attempt to push Russia into total capitulation. This, darker view, was confirmed obliquely by Kissinger in his interview with ft in which he stated that no one could foresee the ability of Russia to absorb pain.
Sep 11, 2020 | www.youtube.com
September 11. 2020
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: Massive wildfires continue to sweep across huge portions of the Pacific Northwest.
In Oregon, half a million residents have been forced to evacuate -- one out of every ten people in the state.
Dozens are dead tonight, including small children. But the fires still aren't close to contained. Watch this report from Fox's Jeff Paul:
And it continues as we speak, walls of flame consuming everything in their path: homes, animals, human beings. Tragedy on a massive scale.
When something this awful happens, decent people pause. They put aside their own interests for a moment. They consider how they can help. We've seen that kind of selflessness before.
This is, remember, the anniversary of 9-11. But there are others for whom altruism is an alien concept. Self-interest is all they know. These people never pause. They relentlessly press for any advantage, under any circumstances. They see human suffering as a means to increase their power.
These are the people who turn funerals into political rallies and feel no shame for doing it.
As Americans burned to death, people like this swung into action immediately. They went on television with a partisan talking point: Climate change caused these fires, they said. They didn't explain how that happened. They just kept saying it.
In the hands of Democratic politicians, climate change is like systemic racism in the sky: you can't see it, but it's everywhere, and it's deadly. And, like systemic racism, it's your fault: The American middle class did it. They ate too many hamburgers, drove too many SUVs, had too many children.
A lot of them wear T-shirts to work and didn't finish college. That causes climate change too. And, worst of all, some of them may vote for Donald Trump in November.
If there's anything that absolutely, definitively causes climate change -- and literally over a hundred percent of scientists agree with this established fact -- it's voting for Donald Trump. You might as well start a tire fire. You're destroying the ozone layer.
Joe Biden has checked the science, and he agrees. Yesterday, the people on Biden's staff who understand the internet tweeted out an image of the wildfires, along with the message, "Climate change is already here -- and we're witnessing its devastating effects every single day. We have to get President Trump out of the White House."
Again, by voting for Donald Trump, you've made hundreds of thousands of Oregonians homeless tonight. You've killed people.
Joe Biden's closest friend in the world, a prominent Martha's Vineyard kite-surfer called Barack Obama, echoed that message with his trademark restraint. Obama declawed that your "life" depends on voting for Joe Biden.
Hold on a minute, you might say. Doesn't this very same Barack Obama own a $12 million spread right on the ocean in Massachusetts?
At a time when sea levels are rising and we're about to see killer whales in the Rockies? Honestly, it doesn't seem like Obama is overly concerned about climate change? And by the way, didn't he go to law school? When he did become a climate expert?
Those seem like good questions. But lawyers pretending to be scientists are now everywhere in the Democratic Party.
Here's the governor of Washington, Jay Inslee, a proud graduate of Willamette University law school, explaining that he's already figured out the "cause" of the fires. Watch:
INSLEE: Fires are proof we need a stronger liberal agenda Sept 8 TRT: 18 Inslee: And these are conditions that are exacerbated by the changing climate that we are suffering. And I do not believe that we should surrender these subdivisions or these houses to climate change-exacerbated fires. We should fight the cause of these fires.
This is a crock. In fact, there is not a single scientist on earth who knows whether, or by how much, these fires may have been "exacerbated" by warmer temperatures caused by "climate change," whatever that means anymore.
All we have is conjecture from a handful of scientists, none of whom have reached any definitive conclusions.
Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA, for example, has admitted that it's, quote, "hard to determine whether climate change played a role in sparking the fires."
Meanwhile, investigators have determined that the massive El Dorado fire in California, which has torched nearly 14,000 acres, was caused by morons setting off some kind of fireworks. And then on Wednesday, police announced that a criminal investigation is underway into the massive Almeda fire in Ashland, Oregon.
The sheriff there said it's too early to say what caused the fire, but he's said human remains were found at the suspected origin point. Nothing is being ruled out, including arson.
The more you know, the more complicated it is, like everything. Serious people are just beginning to gather evidence to determine what happened to cause this disaster.
But at the same time, unserious people are now everywhere on the media right now, drowning out nuance. Don't worry about the facts, they say. Just trust us -- the sky orange is orange over San Francisco because households making $40,000 a year made the mistake of voting for a Republican.
Therefore you must hand us total control of the nation's economy. Watch amateur arson detective Nancy Pelosi explain:
PELOSI: Mother Earth is angry. She's telling us, whether she's telling us with hurricanes on the Gulf Coast, fires in the west, whatever it is, the climate crisis is real and has an impact.
Mother Nature is angry. Please. When was the last time Nancy Pelosi went outside? No one asked her. All we know is what she said: climate change caused this. Of course.
No matter the natural disaster -- hurricanes, tornadoes, whatever -- climate change did it. Keep in mind, Nancy Pelosi owns two sub-zero freezers. They cost $10,000 apiece.
We know because she showed them off on national television. Those use a lot of energy. Like Barack Obama, she constantly flies private between her multi-million dollar estates all over the country.
Obviously, she doesn't care about climate change. And neither do her supporters -- otherwise, they'd be trying to destroy the mansions she owns, not the hair salons that expose her hypocrisy.
For the left, this is really about blaming and ritually humiliating the middle-class for the election of Donald Trump. Joe Biden knows that the Pennsylvanians who would be financially ruined by his fracking ban are the same Pennsylvanians who flipped the state red in 2016 for the first time in a generation.
That's the whole point. One of the reasons Joe Biden is barely allowed outside is that he has no problem showing his contempt for the middle-class he supposedly cares so much about.
In 2019, he openly mocked coal miners and suggested they just get programming jobs once they're all fired. Watch:
BIDEN: I come from a family, an area where's coal mining – in Scranton. Anybody, that can go down 300 to 3,000 feet in a mine, sure as hell can learn how to program as well.
Learn to code! Hilarious. Joe Biden should try it. But there isn't time. The world is ending. Last summer, Sandy Cortez [AOC] did the math and calculated we only have 12 years left to live .
If that sounds bad, consider this -- Just four months after that warning, Sandy Cortez tweeted that we only have 10 years to "cut carbon emissions in half."
Think about the math here. We lost two years in just four months. At that rate, we could literally all die unless Joe Biden wins in November. Which is of course what they're saying.
On Tuesday, California Gavin Newsom pretty much said it Newsom abandoned science long ago. Science is too stringent, too western, too patriarchal.
Newsom is a man of faith now. He's decided climate change caused all of this , and that's final. He's not listening to any other arguments. Watch:
NEWSOM: I have no patience. And I say this lovingly, not as an ideologue, but as someone who prides himself on being open to argument, interested in evidence. But I quite literally have no patience for climate change deniers. It simply follows completely inconsistent, that point of view, with the reality on the ground.
People like Gavin Newsom don't want to listen to any "climate change deniers." What's a "climate change denier?" Anyone who thinks our ruling class has no idea how to run their states or protect their citizens.
Are we "climate change deniers" if we point out that California has failed to implement meaningful deforestation measures that would have dramatically slowed the spread of these wildfires?
In 2018, a state oversight agency in California found that years of poor or nonexistent forest management policies in the Sierra Nevada forests had contributed to wildfires.
One of the few Republicans who still hold elected office in California, state Assemblyman Heath Flora, last year called on using the state's $22 billion budget surplus to implement vegetation management.
Fires don't spread as well without huge connected forests functioning as kindling. It's obvious, which is why it's unthinkable to mention it in some Democratic circles."
Presumably, you're also a climate-change denier if you point out that six of the Oregon National Guard's wildfire-fighting helicopters are currently in Afghanistan.
Instead of dropping water to suppress blazes, the Chinook aircraft are busy supplying a war effort that's been going on for nearly 20 years. That seems significant. Has anyone asked Gavin Newsom or Jay Inslee about that? Do any of the Democrats who control these states even care?
The answer, of course, is probably not. It was just last week that Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti admitted on-the-record that his city has become completely third-world.
Of course, Garcetti didn't blame himself for this turn of events. He blamed you. Quote: "It's almost 3 p.m," Garcetti tweeted. "Time to turn off major appliances, set the thermostat to 78 degrees (or use a fan instead, turn off excess lights and unplug any appliances you're not using. We need every Californian to help conserve energy. Please do your part."
"Please do your part." Garcetti wants his constituents to suffer to try to solve a problem that Democrats in his state created. Even now, as residents in Northern California are facing sweeping power outages in addition to wildfires.
In the meantime, Gavin Newsom has vowed that 50 percent of California's energy grid will be based on quote "renewable" energy sources within a decade.
That means sources like wind and solar power -- which can't be dialed up to meet periods of extreme demand, like California is seeing right now during its heatwave.
Newsom was asked last month whether he would consider revising this stance given the blackouts that have left millions of Californians without power.
Newsom responded, quote, "We are going to radically change the way we produce and consume energy." In other words, The blackouts will continue until morale improves. So will the wildfires. Get used to it.
In the hands of Democratic politicians, climate change is like systemic racism in the sky: You can't see it, but it's everywhere and it's deadly. #FoxNews #Tucker SUBSCRIBE
tintin3366 , 1 week ago
The fires we had here in Australia were lit by humans. They tried to say it was climate change.
Jadyyn Starlight , 1 week ago
MAGA COUNTRY , 1 week ago (edited)
I think "Climate change" is exacerbated by the hot air coming out of these politicians
This is a direct result of Gavin Newsom eliminating forestation controls. Jerry Brown kept them in place, the only thing he did correctly. Democrats are to blame for all of this.
stelpa66 , 1 day ago
Quinten Belfor , 1 week ago (edited)
When environmentalists pushed through their "leave forests alone, allow nature to be undisturbed" bs, California and other states stopped clearing underbrush, also known as fire fuel and now we see a perfect example of cause and effect.
Don't get me wrong I am a conservatist , but with common sense , we can't conserve unless we protect and nurture nature to thrive. In fact extremism in environmentalism destroys as we see. People dead, animals dead, homes destroyed, forest destroyed because of extremism.
The narrative to leave forests alone happened long before Trump, believing otherwise makes you a useful idiot. Congratulations.
You could Google this old narrative but will you find it, well it's Google, you have to find the people who heard and lived the so called natural environmental push narrative, we remember and we remember the warnings. Congratulations, your ignorance has caused harm.
They were caused by "peaceful" arsonists
Lori Taylor , 2 days ago
Tucker most always speaks the truth. I say "most" bc no one is perfect 😉 Everything he said here was the truth! Thank you Tucker!! 👏🏼
Sep 16, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
xrxs , 38 minutes ago
Sen. Chris Murphy said this the other day: "I have a real belief that democracy is unnatural. We don't run anything important in our lives by democratic vote other than our government. Democracy is so unnatural that it's illogical to think it would be permanent. It will fall apart at some point, and maybe that point isn't now, but maybe it is."
Sep 11, 2020 | nationalinterest.org
Evangelists of Democracy
Mini Teaser: Radicals of the democracy-promotion movement embody the very thing they are fighting against -- a closed-minded conviction that they represent the one true path for all societies and thus possess a monopoly on social, ethical and political truth.by Author(s): David Rieff
Jul 25, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.comA child waves the United States flag from the crown of Liberty Enlightening the World, less formally known as The Statue of Liberty, on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. | Detail of: 'Statue of Liberty' by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi.
Reactions to globalization, the Trump presidency, and the coronavirus pandemic have turned discussions of American conservatism increasingly into discussions of "nationalism." Regrettably, terminological confusion is rampant. Both "conservatism" and "nationalism" are words of many and even contradictory meanings.
The strengths of post-World War II American intellectual conservatism have been widely heralded. As for its weaknesses, one trait stands out that has greatly impeded intellectual stringency: a deep-seated impatience with the supposedly "finer points" of philosophy. Making do with loosely defined terms has made conservatism susceptible to intellectual flabbiness, contradiction, and manipulation.
This deficiency is connected to a virtual obsession with electoral politics. William F. Buckley's path-breaking National Review was an intellectual magazine, but its primary purpose was to prepare the ground for political victories, most of all for capturing the presidency. The desire to forge a political alliance among diverse groups pushed deep intellectual fissures into the background. Having a rather narrowly political understanding of what shapes the future, most conservatives thought that the election and presidency of Ronald Reagan signified the "triumph" of conservatism; but the triumph was hollow. The reason is that in the long run politicians have less power than those who shape our view of reality, our innermost hopes and fears, and our deeper sensibilities. A crucial role is here played by "the culture" -- universities, schools, churches, the arts, media, book publishing, advertising, Hollywood, and the rest of the entertainment industry -- which is why America kept moving leftward.
For post-war so-called "movement" conservatives, conservatism meant chiefly limited government, a free market, anti-communism, and a strong defense. These tenets were all focused on politics, and vastly different motives hid behind each of them. Why were these tenets called "conservatism"? Rather than point to a few policy preferences, should that term not refer to a general attitude to life, a wish to conserve something, the best of a heritage? One thinks of the moral and cultural sources of American liberty and constitutionalism. But, outside of ceremonial occasions, most movement conservatives placed their emphasis elsewhere.
A striking example of philosophical messiness and confusion is that the conservative movement even incorporated clearly anti-conservative ideas, specifically, the anti-historicism advanced by Leo Strauss and his followers. Strauss championed what he called "natural right," which he saw as sharply opposed to tradition. He called the latter "the ancestral" or "convention." To look to them for guidance was to be guilty of the great offense of "historicism," by which he meant moral relativism or nihilism. History, Strauss insisted, is irrelevant to understanding what is right. Only ahistorical, purely abstract reason is normative.
Hampered by a lack of philosophical education, many Straussians have been oblivious to the far-reaching and harmful ramifications of this anti-historicism. By blithely combining it with ideas of very different origin, they have concealed, even from themselves, its animosity to tradition.
One of Strauss's most influential disciples, Harry Jaffa, made the radical implications of Straussian anti-historicism explicit. In his view, America's Founders did not build on a heritage. They deliberately turned their backs on the past. Jaffa wrote: "To celebrate the American Founding is to celebrate revolution." America's revolution belonged among the other modern revolutions. It is mild "as compared with subsequent revolutions in France, Russia, China, Cuba, or elsewhere," he wrote, but "it nonetheless embodied the greatest attempt at innovation that human history had recorded." The U.S. Constitution did not grow out of the achievements of ancestors. On the contrary, radical innovators gave America a fresh start. What is distinctive and noble about America is that, in the name of ahistorical, abstract, universal principles, it broke with the past.
This view flies in the face of overwhelming historical evidence. The reason the Founders were upset with the British government is that it was acting in a radical, arbitrary manner that violated the old British constitution. John Adams spoke of "grievous innovation." John Dickinson protested "dreadful novelty." What the colonists wanted, Adams wrote, was "nothing new," but respect for traditional rights and the common law. The Constitution of the Framers reaffirmed and creatively developed an ancient heritage.
The Jaffaite notion that America rejected the past and was founded on revolutionary, abstract, universal ideas contributed to what this writer has termed "the new Jacobinism." According to this ideology, America is "exceptional" by virtue of its founding principles. Since these principles belong to all humanity, America must help remake societies around the world. "Moral clarity" demands uncompromising adherence to the principles. The forces of good must defeat the forces of evil. Inherently monopolistic and imperial, American principles justify foreign policy hawkishness and interventionism.
Compare this notion of America to what is implied in Benjamin Franklin's famous phrase about what the Constitutional Convention had produced -- "a republic, if you can keep it." To sustain the Constitution, Americans would have to cultivate the moral and cultural traits that had given rise to it in the first place. To be an American is to defend an historically evolved inheritance, to live up to what may be called the "constitutional personality." Only such people are capable of the kind of conduct that the Constitution values and requires. Americans must, first of all, be able to control the will to power, beginning with self. They must respect the law, rise above the passions of the moment, take the long view, deliberate, compromise, and respect minorities. Whether applied to domestic or foreign affairs, the temperament of American constitutionalism is modesty and restraint. There is no place for unilateral dictates.
These contrasting views of America entail wholly different nationalisms. The moralistic universalism of American exceptionalism, with its demand that all respect its dictates runs counter to the American constitutional spirit of compromise, deliberation, and respect for minorities. Exceptionalism does not defuse or restrain the will to power, but feeds it, justifying arrogance, assertiveness, and even belligerence.
During the presidency of Donald Trump many proponents of American exceptionalism who want preferment have recast their anti-historical universalism as "nationalism," showing that the term can mean almost anything. It is now "nationalist" to demand that American principles be everywhere respected. For example, Mike Pompeo, a person of strong appetites and great ambition, has put this belief behind his campaign of assertiveness and "maximum pressure."
In a speech in the spring of 2019, Pompeo declared that America is "exceptional." America is, he said, "a place and history apart from normal human experience." It has a mission to oppose evil in the world. America is entitled to "respect." It should dictate terms to "rogue" powers like Iran and confront countries like China and Russia that are "intent on eroding American power." This speech was given and loudly cheered at the 40th anniversary gala of the Claremont Institute in California, whose intellectual founder was -- Harry Jaffa.
What may seem to political practitioners and political intellectuals to be hair-splitting philosophical distinctions can, on the contrary, have enormous practical significance. American exceptionalism is in important ways the opposite of a conservatism or a nationalism that defends the moral and cultural heritage that generated American constitutionalism. Exceptionalism fans imperial designs. The culture of constitutionalism opposes them.
Claes G. Ryn is professor of politics and founding director of the new Center for the Study of Statesmanship at The Catholic University of America. His many books include America the Virtuous and A Common Human Ground , now in a new paperback edition.
Related: Introducing the TAC Symposium: What Is American Conservatism?
See all the articles published in the symposium, here.
FND • 10 days agobumbershoot • 10 days ago
Leo Strauss is the father of neoconservatism.kirthigdon • 10 days agoAmericans must, first of all, be able to control the will to power, beginning with self. They must respect the law, rise above the passions of the moment, take the long view, deliberate, compromise, and respect minorities.
All lovely ideas. Too bad our "conservative" president is capable of none of these.Feral Finster • 9 days ago
Great essay by Professor Ryn in exposing again, as he has done so often before, the phony opposition between nationalism and American exceptionalism on the one hand, and globalism. Any nationalism is only one step removed from globalism, but the nationalism of small countries is usually fairly harmless because the countries themselves are weak. But American nationalism and exceptionalism is in practice indistinguishable from globalism. It simply makes explicit from which location the globe will be ruled.TheSnark • 9 days ago • edited
All true, every word, but the problem with American exceptionalism isn't a matter of semantics or clever arguments but a matter of power.
This is why the definition of exceptionalism keeps shifting, because as a practical matter it means "whatever is in the interests of empire" at this particular moment in this particular case.Gaius Gracchus TheSnark • 9 days ago
The original idea behind American Exceptionalism is that we are the "Shining City on the Hill". In other words, we were a good example to others. There was nothing in there about the residents of that Shining City going out and invading its neighbors to force them to follow its good example.
These days we are trying to force others to follow good ideals and high standards that we are ourselves following less and less.Andrew Gaius Gracchus • 8 days ago
Exactly. The author twists words and creates strawmen and red herrings and argues with dead men.
Washington and Hamilton set forth an idea of country separate from all others and different. Yes, America is and was exceptional. Friend to all, ally to none, an example to all the world, based in English heritage and culture. It was founded by conservative revolutionaries, who attempted to claw back freedoms taken away by those in London, who were becoming overlords of an empire. There was "year zero", and early America could draw on all of English history, plus the Enlightenment, the Renaissance, ancient Greece and Rome, as well as religious traditions going back to antiquity.
It was always the Jeffersonian impulse towards revolution that was different. Jefferson loved the Year Zero France. But Jefferson at his core was an idealist.
The problem was that idealists like Jefferson gradually gained power a little over a hundred years ago. Their idealism was used by those who wanted to exploit America's power to further their own goals contrary to the ideals of American exceptionalism and American tradition. Greed and idealism went together and America used the cover of American exceptionalism to create an empire.
As to Buckley, his goal seems more like controlled opposition than anything else. He was a gatekeeper for the powerful, defining acceptable conservatism, keeping conservatism on the plantation. Conservativism Inc continues to try to do so.
Trump is a return to classic American traditionalism and exceptionalism. He is attempting to reshape the world along nationalistic lines, which is why AMLO in Mexico praised him so much. Globalists don't want to lose their power. Oligarchs don't want to give up their exploitation and extraction systems. Pundits don't want to give up their money train and status. Bureaucrats don't want actual democracy.
We will see how it shakes out.Disqus10021 L RNY • 9 days ago
Not so sure about the traditionalism part, but he at least represents the first real rejection of Wilsonianism in decades.Daniel Baker • 9 days ago
On Wikipedia's list of the 50 cities with the world's highest homicide rates (per 100,000 population), the US has 4, South Africa has 4 and the rest are in Latin America. It hardly makes us the shining city on a hill or exceptional, unless you think a high crime rate is good.
Mark Twain said, "The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out the conservative adopts them." Today I would modify Twain a bit; when conservatives adopt some radical idea, the radicals respond by declaring that idea worn out. Exhibit A would be the idea of "American exceptionalism."
The historical fact is that American exceptionalism is a Communist concept, devised by Stalin in 1929 to describe -- and to dismiss -- what his American agents told him about the huge differences between American society and European societies, both of which Soviet-sponsored parties were trying to control. These differences included far lesser class distinctions, greater racial animosities, a labor movement much more concerned with economic bargaining than fielding political candidates, vastly weaker political parties, much more ethnic and religious diversity, and more hostility to centralized government. Today, we would have to add far more imprisonment of criminals, more approval of the death penalty, and a jealous passion for the right to have guns, although those differences weren't nearly as wide in 1929 as now. American exceptionalism exists. You can argue about whether it is good or bad, and certainly some of the differences between America and Europe are better or worse than others, but it's pure pretense to claim that America is an ordinary, unexceptional Western country. And no one on the left made any such pretense, until people on the right started talking about and glorifying (or at least not denigrating) "American exceptionalism," which had previously been solely a term of contempt. The radicals invented the views, then declared them worn out when the conservatives adopted them.
The truth that America is an exceptional country does not, of course, mean that its foreign policy has always been wise, and certainly it does not mean that America's catastrophic blundering in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq were either morally right or good for Americans. It merely means that we can't correct those mistakes by pretending that the country we're trying to rescue is unexceptional, that it is no different from other societies, and thus that foreign policies accepted by European or Asian voters will necessarily be winners here too.
Daniel Baker Guest • 8 days agoScott McLoughlin • 9 days ago
I don't know why you think any of this is even relevant to my point: that American exceptionalism is real, and that desperately needed foreign policy reforms won't work if we ignore that fact. Worse, the points you raise all distort the real nature of America's differences from other Western countries.
American and European laws on abortion are very little different; in most of Europe, as in America, abortion is legal and accepted, Poland being one of the very few exceptions. We're probably closest to Ireland, where abortion has been recently legalized but remains socially frowned on. Again, whether you or I think that's a good thing or a bad thing doesn't matter; it's simply not one of the major points of difference between America and Europe.
Explaining the difference in imprisonment between Europe and America solely by America's greater black and Hispanic population is wrong in so many ways I hardly know where to begin. First, the difference in imprisonment is very recent, starting in the early 1990s and largely devised by a centrist Democratic US president; America's black and Hispanic population has always been much larger than Europe's, so it can't explain the difference in imprisonment. Second, America imprisons whites as well as blacks much more than Europe does. Third, poor blacks and Hispanics commit crimes at the same rate as poor whites of the same economic status; poor people of whatever race or color choose to commit crimes more often, because they have more incentive to make that choice. The higher black and Hispanic crime rate simply reflects the fact that far more of them are poor. As long ago as the 19th century, the British poor were called by the upper class "the criminal classes," and that reflected the undeniable truth that the British poor, like poor people everywhere, committed more crime than anyone else.
I thank you for the BBC link; I had long suspected that Europe's ban on the death penalty often didn't reflect popular opinion at first, but I didn't have the data proving it. But that doesn't in any way change the fact that considerably more Americans than Europeans support the death penalty, and long have, which is why European elites were able to get away with banning it without losing elections, and American elites have not.
Again, I'm not saying anything about whether any of these differences between America and the rest of the West are good or bad.. My point is that they exist, and it's no good pretending that they don't merely because America's foreign policy isn't working very well.Ray Woodcock • 9 days ago
I'll say it over and over, but GOP is Right Wing Lockean (Maritime Imperialist) "Anything Goes" Liberalism. DNC is Left Wing Lockean (Maritime Imperialist) "Anything Goes" Liberalism. We use these words wrong in our USA. Traditionalist Conservatives have NEVER enjoyed political party representation here. We are to-date completely a-historical and delusionally racist "Novum Organum" conquistadors with English accents. Good News? Better futures lie ahead of us. Start with agrarianism, potable water, and arable land. North America is underpopulated. I worked for State Dept. I witnessed the World Bank's destruction of Ukraine. Ask me a real question. I'll answer honestly. We suffer post-WW2 legacy Daddy and Mommy Warbucks here, writing checks to their own kids. We can, must and will do better. Those without pasts are without futures. To Survive is to Sur Vivre, Live Above. Hold tight. Have faith.dbriz • 8 days ago • edited
There is the wish for what definitions should do in political and religious discussion, and then there is the reality of what they actually do. The wish is that, by using the word "definition," I am referring to something like the definition of a mathematical concept. We can define precisely what addition means. The problem is, we cannot do that with terms like conservatism. Ryn's argument illustrates the failure of that attempt: we have "wholly different nationalisms"; we have something that calls itself conservatism but it's wrong, because Ryn says so.
Definitionism leads to abstruse dispute, as scholars tussle over what is really nationalistic or conservative. The rest of us look on askance. Most people are not interested in a discussion filled with labels, like, "I'm a cisgender vegetarian transsexual white socialistic vegetarian Capricorn with subclinical mental disabilities." For most people, that sort of definition-oriented declaration comes across as hostile to discussion. Like, "I'm here in my castle. I dare you to try to penetrate it." The intrepid soul who attempts to start an actual friendly conversation, in response to that sort of statement, is likely to move away from definitionism. Not "You cannot be white: your skin is brown," but rather, "Really! My sister is a Capricorn!"
Definitionism (in some ways a/k/a labeling) is more likely to destroy dialogue than to create it. "Oh, you're a [fill in the blank]: you can't be good." It is possible to be a Nazi, a Bolshevik, or anything in between -- and still, in various regards, to be smart, friendly, successful, etc. Political dialogue is like dipping a ladle into a soup kettle: you may pull out some beans, some meat, some corn -- but possibly no one knows what else lurks in there. The attempt to define is is not merely a lost cause -- it basically misses the point.Feral Finster dbriz • 8 days ago
Ah but the revolution was not based at all on nationalism. It was for liberty. The Articles, as the war, were not based on ideas of nationalism but more libertarian than not. Lest we forget, the convention was called to improve the Articles. That the federalists (nationalists) hijacked the convention required quashing liberty in favor of a cleverly designed campaign masking the future.
Patrick Henry was on to it early:
"When the American spirit was in its youth, the language of America was different: liberty, sir, was then the primary object .But now, sir, the American spirit, assisted by the ropes and chains of consolidation, is about to convert this country into a powerful and mighty empire .Such a government is incompatible with the genius of republicanism. There will be no checks, no real balances, in this government..."
In the end the anti federalists have been proven right.Peekachu dbriz • 3 days ago
Sociopaths respect no limits on their power.David Naas • 4 days ago
Actually, according to Kurt Vonnegut, it was neither nationalism nor liberty - but piracy! One group of pirates trying to break away from another. Then again, perhaps that is what you mean by the heralded "liberty"?"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
(John Adams, October 11, 1798.).
Are we still "a moral and religious people"? Well, are we?
Mayhap we are in deep trouble? Well, are we?"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free . . . it expects what never was and never will be"
(Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Colonel Charles Yancey, January 6, 1816.)
No comment."I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, that I ought to do. And what I ought to do, By the grace of God, I shall do."
(Edward Everett Hale)
Jul 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.orgPeter AU1 , Jul 18 2020 20:21 utc | 36
"The forces of illiberalism are gaining strength throughout the world and have a powerful ally in Donald Trump, who represents a real threat to democracy."
This sacred cow of illusion is being threatened from all directions it seems. Democracy is great for whoever owns it, and whoever owns the media owns democracy. A cow well worth milking.
JohnH , Jul 18 2020 21:18 utc | 48
Norman Finkelstein must be laughing out loud at the sight of so many hypocritical liberals opposing cancel. Did anyone in this crowd get 150 people to sign a letter of protest when Finkelstein got cancelled? Or when Phil Donahue got fired for opposing the Iraq war?
IOW, cancel culture is just fine, as long as it's your side doing the cancelling...or if it's Israel or the national security state doing the cancelling . CountrPunch, a victim of blacklisting themselves, has a major takedown of the screaming hypocrisy of some of the signers: https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/07/10/harpers-and-the-great-cancel-culture-panic/
Jul 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.orgPeter AU1 , Jul 19 2020 1:35 utc | 80
A section quoted by Crooke in the piece karlof1 linked to
"A social revolution that would be pushed forward by radical children of the bourgeoisie. Their leaders would have almost nothing to say about poverty or unemployment. Their demands would be centred on utopian ideals: diversity and racial justice – ideals pursued with the fervour of an abstract, millenarian ideology.
And their radicalism would be resisted, Lasch predicted, not by the upper reaches of society, or the leaders of Big Philanthropy or the Corporate Billionaires. These latter, rather, would be its facilitators and financiers."
And Crooke's thoughts..
"So, what can we make of all this? The US has suddenly exploded into, on the one hand, culture cancelation, and on the other, into silent seething at the lawlessness, and at all the statues toppled. It is a nation becoming angrier, and edging towards violence.
One segment of the country believes that America is inherently and institutionally racist, and incapable of self-correcting its flawed founding principles – absent the required chemotherapy to kill-off the deadly mutated cells of its past history, traditions and customs.
Another, affirms those principles that underlay America's 'golden age'; which made America great; and which, in their view, are precisely those qualities which can make it great again."
The link again https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/07/13/is-this-awokening-a-revolution-or-not/
Dec 28, 2019 | crookedtimber.org
likbez 12.27.19 at 10:21 pmJohn,
I've been thinking about the various versions of and critiques of identity politics that are around at the moment. In its most general form, identity politics involves (i) a claim that a particular group is not being treated fairly and (ii) a claim that members of that group should place political priority on the demand for fairer treatment. But "fairer" can mean lots of different things. I'm trying to think about this using contrasts between the set of terms in the post title. A lot of this is unoriginal, but I'm hoping I can say something new.
You missed one important line of critique -- identity politics as a dirty political strategy of soft neoliberals.
See discussion of this issue by Professor Ganesh Sitaraman in his recent article (based on his excellent book The Great Democracy ) https://newrepublic.com/article/155970/collapse-neoliberalism
To be sure, race, gender, culture, and other aspects of social life have always been important to politics. But neoliberalism's radical individualism has increasingly raised two interlocking problems. First, when taken to an extreme, social fracturing into identity groups can be used to divide people and prevent the creation of a shared civic identity. Self-government requires uniting through our commonalities and aspiring to achieve a shared future.
When individuals fall back onto clans, tribes, and us-versus-them identities, the political community gets fragmented. It becomes harder for people to see each other as part of that same shared future.
Demagogues [more correctly neoliberals -- likbez] rely on this fracturing to inflame racial, nationalist, and religious antagonism, which only further fuels the divisions within society. Neoliberalism's war on "society," by pushing toward the privatization and marketization of everything, thus indirectly facilitates a retreat into tribalism that further undermines the preconditions for a free and democratic society.
The second problem is that neoliberals on right and left sometimes use identity as a shield to protect neoliberal policies. As one commentator has argued, "Without the bedrock of class politics, identity politics has become an agenda of inclusionary neoliberalism in which individuals can be accommodated but addressing structural inequalities cannot." What this means is that some neoliberals hold high the banner of inclusiveness on gender and race and thus claim to be progressive reformers, but they then turn a blind eye to systemic changes in politics and the economy.
Critics argue that this is "neoliberal identity politics," and it gives its proponents the space to perpetuate the policies of deregulation, privatization, liberalization, and austerity.
Of course, the result is to leave in place political and economic structures that harm the very groups that inclusionary neoliberals claim to support. The foreign policy adventures of the neoconservatives and liberal internationalists haven't fared much better than economic policy or cultural politics. The U.S. and its coalition partners have been bogged down in the war in Afghanistan for 18 years and counting. Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq is a liberal democracy, nor did the attempt to establish democracy in Iraq lead to a domino effect that swept the Middle East and reformed its governments for the better. Instead, power in Iraq has shifted from American occupiers to sectarian militias, to the Iraqi government, to Islamic State terrorists, and back to the Iraqi government -- and more than 100,000 Iraqis are dead.
Or take the liberal internationalist 2011 intervention in Libya. The result was not a peaceful transition to stable democracy but instead civil war and instability, with thousands dead as the country splintered and portions were overrun by terrorist groups. On the grounds of democracy promotion, it is hard to say these interventions were a success. And for those motivated to expand human rights around the world, it is hard to justify these wars as humanitarian victories -- on the civilian death count alone.
Indeed, the central anchoring assumptions of the American foreign policy establishment have been proven wrong. Foreign policymakers largely assumed that all good things would go together -- democracy, markets, and human rights -- and so they thought opening China to trade would inexorably lead to it becoming a liberal democracy. They were wrong. They thought Russia would become liberal through swift democratization and privatization. They were wrong.
They thought globalization was inevitable and that ever-expanding trade liberalization was desirable even if the political system never corrected for trade's winners and losers. They were wrong. These aren't minor mistakes. And to be clear, Donald Trump had nothing to do with them. All of these failures were evident prior to the 2016 election.
If we assume that identity politics is, first and foremost, a dirty and shrewd political strategy developed by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ("soft neoliberals") many things became much more clear. Along with Neo-McCarthyism it represents a mechanism to compensate for the loss of their primary voting block: trade union members, who in 2016 "en mass" defected to Trump.
Initially Clinton calculation was that trade union voters has nowhere to go anyways, and it was correct for first decade or so of his betrayal. But gradually trade union members and lower middle class started to leave Dems in droves (Demexit, compare with Brexit) and that where identity politics was invented to compensate for this loss.
So in addition to issues that you mention we also need to view the role of identity politics as the political strategy of the "soft neoliberals " directed at discrediting and the suppression of nationalism.
The resurgence of nationalism is the inevitable byproduct of the dominance of neoliberalism, resurgence which I think is capable to bury neoliberalism as it lost popular support (which now is limited to financial oligarchy and high income professional groups, such as we can find in corporate and military brass, (shrinking) IT sector, upper strata of academy, upper strata of medical professionals, etc)
That means that the structure of the current system isn't just flawed which imply that most problems are relatively minor and can be fixed by making some tweaks. It is unfixable, because the "Identity wars" reflect a deep moral contradictions within neoliberal ideology. And they can't be solved within this framework.
Jun 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
A User , Jun 16 2020 3:36 utc | 87I'm always amused, nah that is a little harsh - dumbfounded is more reasonable, when Americans express dismay that 'their' constitution is not being adhered to by the elites.
The minutiae of American political history hasn't greatly concerned me after a superficial study at high school, when I realized that the political structure is corrupt and was designed to facilitate corruption.
The seeming caring & sharing soundbites pushed out by the 'framers' scum such as Thomas Jefferson was purely for show, an attempt to gather the cannon fodder to one side. This was simple as the colonial media had been harping on about 'taxation without representation' for decades.
It wasn't just taxes, in fact for the American based elites that was likely the least of it. The objective of the elites was to wrest control of resources eg land and/or timber plus so-called royal warrants that controlled who was allowed to produce, sell export products to who, grab allocation out of the control of the mobs of greedy royal favorites, then into the hands of the new American elites.
A well placed courtier would put a bagman into the regional center of a particular colony (each colony becoming a 'state' post revolution), so that if someone wanted to, I dunno, say export huge quantities of cotton, the courtier would charge that 'colonial' for getting the initial warrant, then take a hefty % of the return on the product - all collected by the on-site bagman then divvied up.
The bagmen & courtiers grew fat at the expense of the colonists and generally the bagman, who also spied on the locals for obvious reasons, would go back to England once he had made his stash.
The system was ponderous inaccurate & very expensive. Something had to be done, but selling revolutionary change to the masses on the basis of the need to enrich the already wealthy was not likely to be a winner. Consequently the high faulting blather.
The American elites wanted and, after the revolution got, the power to control economic development for themselves.Hence the birth of lobbyists simultaneous with the birth of the American nation state.
IMO the constitution was about as meaningful to the leaders of the revolution as campaign promises are to contemporary politicians.That is, something to be used as self protection without ever implementing.
Jun 16, 2020 | www.youtube.com
Krystal Ball calls out D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Dem establishment for surface level support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Crush Inverted Totalitarianism, 12 hours ago
Speaking of black faces in high places, the entire black caucus endorsed ELIOT ENGEL over a black educater (Jamaal Bowman)...this is aclass war, not a race war
Robert Quin, 12 hours ago (edited)
THERE IS NO DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF AMERICA! There is only Repugnican and Repugnican Lite. There is only hard right and soft right in American politics. There is no left in power.
akinbodeog , 7 hours ago
Bernard Brother , 6 hours ago
Electoralism is a scam. You're playing with an unplugged controller. Organise, unionize, protest, riot. If you want to vote, you should vote third party. The Democratic party isn't part of the solution. They are playing good cop, bad cop with republicans with both sides working for capital to impoverish the working class.
George H , 7 hours ago (edited)
Corporate Democrats would rather lose to a Republican than let a Progressive win. Their resistance is fake AF.
oopsieeee , 5 hours ago
Krystal forgot one "innovation" Biden has suggested.
When talking to black community leaders in Wilmington, Joe Biden said, "Instead of standing there and teaching a cop when there's an unarmed person coming at 'em with a knife or something, shoot 'em in the leg instead of in the heart."
Joe Biden: shoot [protesters] in the leg!
Paul Rubin , 1 hour ago (edited)
It is Class Warfare. There are no "Democrats" or "Republicans" .. There are the "Rich and Powerful" and then the "Rest of Us" And when we stand up, they take aim...
Zain Were , 7 hours ago (edited)
Dr. Cornel West, "We have tried Black Faces in high places ..."
Bravo Krystall!!!!! Often disagree with you but you're a sharp mind...Nailed it this time!!!!!
Sagaar does make a point in terms of the movement being reallly sustantial though..We'll have to see abou that!
Jun 16, 2020 | chuckbaldwinlive.comCFR Members And Bilderberg Attendees Appointed By Donald Trump (Taken from the CFR membership and Bilderberg participant lists)
Published: Wednesday, May 31, 2017
CFR Members And Bilderberg Attendees Appointed By Donald Trump
- John P. Abizaid, Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (Individual CFR member)
- Elliott Abrams, Special Envoy on Venezuela (Individual CFR member)
- James H. Baker, Director of the Office of Net Assessment (Bilderberg attendee)
- Barbara Barrett, Secretary of the Air Force (Individual CFR member, Bilderberg attendee)
- David Bohigian, Executive Vice President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Individual CFR member)
- John Bolton, National Security Advisor (Individual CFR member)
- Dan R. Brouillette, Secretary of Energy, Deputy Secretary of Energy (Individual CFR member)
- Elaine Chao, United States Secretary of Transportation (CFR Individual member)
- Richard Clarida, Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve (CFR Individual member)
- Jay Clayton, Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (CFR corporate member)
- Gary Cohn, Director of the National Economic Council (CFR corporate member)
- Paul Dabbar, Under Secretary of Energy for Science, (Individual CFR member)
- Jamie Dimon, Member of Strategic and Policy Forum (CFR corporate member)
- Jim Donovan, Deputy Treasury Secretary (CFR corporate member)
- Mark T. Esper, Acting Secretary of Defense, Secretary of the Army (Individual CFR member, CFR corporate member)
- Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) (CFR fellow traveler and frequent speaker)
- Larry Fink, Member of Strategic and Policy Forum (CFR corporate member)
- Christopher A. Ford, Assistant Secretary for International Security and Nonproliferation (Individual CFR member)
- James S. Gilmore III, United States Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (Individual CFR member)
- Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, National Security Advisor (Individual CFR member, Bilderberg attendee)
- Neil M. Gorsuch, Supreme Court Justice (Individual CFR member)
- Harry B. Harris Jr., Ambassador to South Korea (Individual CFR member)
- Vice Admiral Robert S. Harward, National Security Advisor (declined appointment) (CFR corporate member)
- Kevin Hassett, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers (CFR fellow traveler)
- Robert Wood "Woody" Johnson IV, United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom (Individual CFR member)
- Kenneth I. Juster, Ambassador to India (Individual CFR member)
- Robert Kadlec, Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services (Preparedness and Response), (Individual CFR member)
- Lawrence Kudlow, Director of the National Economic Council (Individual CFR member)
- Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to the President (Bilderberg attendee)
- Christopher Landau, Ambassador to Mexico (Individual CFR member)
- Robert Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative (Individual CFR member)
- David R. Malpass, World Bank (Individual CFR member)
- James Mattis, Secretary of Defense (Bilderberg attendee)
- K.T. McFarland, Deputy National Security Adviser (Individual CFR member)
- Brent McIntosh, Undersecretary for international affairs, Department of the Treasury and General Counsel of the Department of the Treasury (Individual CFR member)
- Linda McMahon, Administrator of the Small Business Administration (CFR corporate member)
- Army Lt. General Herbert Raymond "H. R." McMaster, National Security Advisor (Individual CFR member, Bilderberg attendee)
- Jim McNerney, Member of Strategic and Policy Forum (CFR corporate member)
- Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury (CFR corporate member)
- Justin G. Muzinich, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury (Individual CFR member)
- Denise Natali, Assistant Secretary of State for Conflict and Stabilization Operations (Individual CFR member)
- Indra Nooyi, Member of Strategic and Policy Forum (CFR corporate member, Bilderberg attendee)
- Rick Perry, Secretary of Energy (Bilderberg attendee)
- Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (Bilderberg attendee)
- Matthew Pottinger, Senior Director of the National Security Council (Bilderberg attendee)
- Dina Powell, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy (CFR corporate member)
- Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve (Individual CFR member)
- Mira R. Ricardel, Deputy National Security Advisor (Individual CFR member)
- Ginni Rometty, Member of Strategic and Policy Forum (CFR corporate member)
- William B. Roper Jr., Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology, Logistics (Individual CFR member)
- Jeffrey A. Rosen, Deputy Secretary of Transportation and Deputy Attorney General (Individual CFR member)
- Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce (Bilderberg attendee)
- Anthony Scaramucci, Director of Communications (Individual CFR member)
- Nadia Schadlow, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy (Bilderberg attendee)
- Stephen Schwarzman, Member of Strategic and Policy Forum (CFR corporate member)
- Patrick Shanahan, Deputy Secretary of Defense and Secretary of Defense (CFR corporate member)
- Susan A. Thornton Assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific affairs (Individual CFR member)
- Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State (CFR corporate member)
- Rick L. Waddell, National Security Advisor (Individual CFR member)
- Elizabeth E. Walsh, Director General of the United States Commercial Service and Assistant Secretary of Commerce (Global Markets) (Individual CFR member)
- Ray Washburne, President and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Individual CFR member)
- Jack Welch, Member of Strategic and Policy Forum (CFR corporate member)
- Owen West, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict (Individual CFR member)
- Robert Wilkie, Secretary of Veterans Affairs (Individual CFR member)
- Heather Ann Wilson, Secretary of the Air Force (Individual CFR member)
Jun 16, 2020 | www.unz.com
Stogumber , says: Show Comment June 13, 2020 at 12:40 pm GMTCook here represents a tradition of progressive pseudo-democracy which contradicts liberal democracy.
In progressive pseudo-democracy, men "at the side of history" have a privilege in destroying other people's values.
In liberal democracy, the defenders of the old system are recognized as a legitimate opposition with the possibility of becoming the government again. so there are no privileges for "men at the side of history". Of course there can be changes who are, in hindsight, consensually accepted by both sides. Nearly nobody sees a reason to reestablish slavery – but the acceptance of a gollywog or the acceptance of a statue is not slavery, not even similar to it. The "pain" of people who conflate these matters is self-inflicted.
Jun 16, 2020 | www.unz.com
schnellandine , says: Show Comment June 13, 2020 at 3:16 am GMTAny article discussing 'democracy' without defining it is the work of a hack.Beavertales , says: Show Comment June 12, 2020 at 9:12 pm GMT
Oh yes, it's supposed that everyone knows 'democracy'. He doesn't. It's a bullshit word meant to gloss around the writer's refusal to reason by way of first principles. It's cowardice.
We are all supposed to accept as the major premise that democracy's good, and thus desirable. Ergo, if the writer can somehow tie his conclusion to 'democratic' roots, he's carried the day.
Shameless fraud. Thousands of words of spittle.
Interesting truth: No form of the word 'democracy' is found in the US Declaration of Independence or Constitution. To the contrary, democracy is forbidden by Constitution Article IV Section 4.The Holocaust memorial museum in Washington should be stormed by Americans outraged by Israel's theft of US resources and its corruption of US politics, and for Israel's attack on the USS Liberty.
This may or may not include the defenestration of the directors, the casting of exhibits into the street, and the bulldozing of the entire structure into a landfill.
Yes, more democratic tradition, please, until justice is done and seen to be done.
Jun 10, 2020 | consortiumnews.com
It is true that there's a difference between Democrats and Republicans, in the same sense that there's a difference between the jab and the cross in boxing. The jab is often used to keep an opponent at bay and set up the more damaging cross, but they're both wielded by the same boxer, and they're both punching you in the face.
Jun 09, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
ori Schake objects to Biden's foreign policy record on the grounds that he is not hawkish enough and too skeptical of military intervention. She restates a bankrupt hawkish view of U.S. military action:
This half-in-half-out approach to military intervention also strips U.S. foreign policy of its moral element of making the world a better place. It is inadequate to the cause of advancing democracy and human rights [bold mine-DL].
The belief that military intervention is an expression of the "moral element" of U.S. foreign policy is deeply wrong, but it is unfortunately just as deeply-ingrained among many foreign policy professionals. Military intervention has typically been disastrous for the cause of advancing democracy and human rights. First, by linking this cause with armed aggression, regime change, and chaos, it tends to bring discredit on that cause in the eyes of the people that suffer during the war. Military interventions have usually worsened conditions in the targeted countries, and in the upheaval and violence that result there have been many hundreds of thousands of deaths and countless other violations of human rights.
Destabilizing other countries, displacing millions of people, and wrecking their infrastructure and economy obviously do not make anything better. As a rule, our wars of choice have not been moral or just, and they have inflicted tremendous death and destruction on other nations. When we look at the wreckage created by just the last twenty years of U.S. foreign policy, we have to reject the fantasy that military action has something to do with moral leadership. Each time that the U.S. has gone to war unnecessarily, that is a moral failure. Each time that the U.S. has attacked another country when it was not threatened, that is a moral abomination.
Biden claims that the U.S. has a moral obligation to respond with military force to genocide or chemical-weapons use, but was skeptical of intervention in Syria. The former vice president's rhetoric doesn't match his policies on American values.
If Biden's rhetoric doesn't match his policies here, we should be glad that the presumptive Democratic nominee for president isn't such an ideological zealot that he would insist on waging wars that have nothing to do with the security of the United States. If there is a mismatch, the problem lies with the expansive rhetoric and not with the skepticism about intervention. That is particularly true in the Syria debate, where interventionists kept demanding more aggressive policies without even bothering to show how escalation wouldn't make things worse. Biden's skepticism about intervention in Syria of all places is supposed to be held against him as proof of his poor judgment? That criticism speaks volumes about the discredited hawkish crowd in Washington that wanted to sink the U.S. even more deeply into that morass of conflict.
One of the chief problems with U.S. foreign policy for the last several decades is that it has been far too militarized. To justify the constant resort to the threat and use of force, supporters have insisted on portraying military action as if it were beneficent. They have managed to trick a lot of Americans into thinking that "doing something" to another country is the same thing as doing good. Interventionists emphasize the goodness of their intentions while ignoring or minimizing the horrors that result from the policies they advocate, and they have been able to co-opt the rhetoric of morality to mislead the public into thinking that attacking other countries is legitimate and even obligatory. This has had the effect of degrading and distorting our foreign policy debates by framing every argument over war in terms of righteous "action" vs. squalid "inaction." This turns everything on its head. It treats aggression as virtue and violence as salutary. Even a bog-standard hawk like Biden gets criticized for lacking moral conviction if he isn't gung-ho for every unnecessary war.
Feral Finster • a day agoThat America's wars of aggression advance the cause of human rights is a hoot.Rkramden66 Feral Finster • a day ago"Ya gotta laugh to keep from cryin.'"kouroi • 17 hours agoVery strong words Mr. Larison, kudos for them.Feral Finster kouroi • 6 hours ago
As for Mr. Biden's "but was skeptical of intervention in Syria", maybe he was aware of the actual perpetrators of the gas attacks (as several OPCW whistle-blowers testified) and was maybe uncomfortable being again the spearhead for another war, like he was with Iraq as the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee.Biden has been out of office for four years now. If I recall correctly, he didn't say jack to support Trump's two failed attempts to pull out from Syria.Carpenter E • 7 hours ago • edited
TL;DR Don't get your hopes up.Kori Schake writes for the British neocon IISS, which has been secretly funded by the Sunni dictator in Bahrain, who holds down the Shia majority with imported Pakistanis as soldiers and police. Ordinary Bahrainis are like occupied prisoners in their own country. Everything is for the small Sunni elite. Though there are also ordinary Sunnis who oppose them.Mark Thomason • 3 hours ago
Kori Schake is simply paid to promote neocon interests, which the Bahraini dictator is closely aligned with. The Sunni king dissolved parliament and took all the power, aided by Saudi tanks crushing protesters, who were tortured and had their lives destroyed. The dictator even destroyed Bahrain's famous Pearl Monument, near which the protesters had camped out, so it wouldn't be a symbol of resistance. (Forever making it a symbol of resistance.) The tower was on all the postcards from Bahrain and it appeared on the coins. It's like destroying the Eiffel Tower. Kori's Sunni paymasters want Shia Iran destroyed as it speaks up for the oppressed Shias in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Yemen and the UAE.Biden is and for over four decades always was an example of all that is worst in militarized US foreign policy. The idea that he isn't hawkish enough is itself crazy.
Jun 26, 2019 | www.unz.com
...If you bomb Syria, do not admit you did it to install your puppet regime or to lay a pipeline. Say you did it to save the Aleppo kids gassed by Assad the Butcher. If you occupy Afghanistan, do not admit you make a handsome profit smuggling heroin; say you came to protect the women. If you want to put your people under total surveillance, say you did it to prevent hate groups target the powerless and diverse.
Remember: you do not need to ask children, women or immigrants whether they want your protection. If pushed, you can always find a few suitable profiles to look at the cameras and repeat a short text. With all my dislike for R2P (Responsibility to Protect) hypocrisy, I can't possibly blame the allegedly protected for the disaster caused by the unwanted protectors.
Jun 20, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org
A way to capture this change was thinking in terms of the traditional task of journalists to interview or consult a variety of sources to determine was is truth or true. The shift gradually became one of now interviewing or consulting various sources and reporting those opinions.
Old-school journalism was like being assigned the task of finding out what "1+1 =?" and the task was to report the answer was "1."
Now the task would be to report that "Some say it is 1, some say it is 2, some say it is 3."
May 26, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
They also left worker wages stagnant and increased the deficit. Where is our more nationalist economic policy?
Much has been written about the disappointment of certain segments of the right in the apparent capitulation of Donald Trump to the agenda of the conservative establishment.
Instead of reining in the "globalist elites" he so vociferously ran against or those corporations "who have no loyalty to America," his one legislative achievement has been to award them a massive tax cut. Through it, he has maintained their favorite mix of low revenue intake and high deficits which gives Republicans a pretext to "starve the beast" and induce fiscal anorexia.
The president has granted them as well their ideal labor market through an ingenious formula: double down on mostly symbolic raids (as opposed to systemic solutions like Mandatory E-Verify) and ramp up the rhetoric about "shithole countries" to distract the media, but keep the supply of cheap, exploitable low-skill labor (legal and illegal) intact for the business lobby.
Trump ran as a populist firebrand -- a fusion of Huey Long and Ross Perot -- and while he never abandoned that style, he has governed for the most part as a milquetoast free market Republican in perfect tandem with Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, one whose solution to everything is more tax cuts and deregulation: a kind of turbo-charged "high-energy Jeb."
With the outbreak of COVID-19, many on the reformist right are hoping for the emergence of the President Trump they thought they were promised, a leader just as ready to break out of the donor-enforced "small government" straitjacket while in power as he was during the campaign.
Despite signs of progress, what's more likely is a return to business as usual. Already the GOP's impulse for austerity and parsimony is proving to be stronger than any willingness to think and act outside the box.
The heightened rhetoric against China will continue -- the one thing Trump is good at -- but it is unlikely to be matched with the required policy, such as a long-term plan to reshore U.S. industry (that doesn't just rely on blindly giving corporations the benefit of the doubt). At this point, we already know where the president's priorities lie when given a choice between the advancement of America's workers or continued labor arbitrage and carte blanche corporate handouts.
Lest they be engulfed by it like everyone else, the reformist right should ask: is there any way to stand athwart the supply-side swamp yelling Stop?
Many of these conservatives lament the Trump tax cut not just because it was a disaster that failed to spark reinvestment, left wages stagnant, needlessly blew up the deficit and served as a slush fund for stock buybacks, but more fundamentally because it betrayed the overwhelming intellectual inertia and lack of imagination that characterizes conservative policymaking.
More than in any other issue then, a distinct position on taxes would make the new conservatism truly worth distinguishing from the old: tax cuts were after all the defining policy dogma of the neoliberal Reagan era.
If neoliberalism excused inequality at home by extolling the equalization of incomes across the globe (millions of Chinese raised from poverty, while millions of American workers fall back into it!), the new position must shift emphasis back to ensuring a more equitable domestic distribution of wealth and opportunity across all classes and communities in this country.
A reformulation of fiscal policy along populist economic nationalist lines can help with that.
It is worth pondering what might have happened if the administration had gone the other way and followed the last piece of policy advice given by Steve Bannon before his ouster in August 2017. Bannon suggested raising the top marginal income tax rate to 44 percent while "arguing that it would actually hit left-wing millionaires in Silicon Valley, on Wall Street, and in Hollywood."
Such a move would have been nothing short of revolutionary: it would have been a faithful and full-blown expression of the populist economic nationalism Trump ran on; it would have presented a genuine material threat to the elite ruling class of both parties, and likely would have pre-empted the shock value of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proposing a 70 percent top marginal rate.
It might well have put Trump on the path to becoming what Daniel Patrick Moynihan once proposed as a model for Richard Nixon when he gifted the 37th president a biography of Disraeli, namely a Tory Republican who could outsmart the left by crafting broad popular coalitions based on a blending of patriotic cultural conservatism with class-conscious economic and social policy.
Not that Trump would have needed to go back to Nixon or Disraeli for instruction on the matter. In 1999, long before Elizabeth Warren came along on the national scene, a presidential candidate eyeing the Reform Party nomination contemplated the imposition of a 14.25 percent wealth tax on America's richest citizens in order to pay off the national debt: his name was Donald Trump.
What ever happened to that guy? The Trump of 1999 was onto something. Maybe this could be a way to deal with our post-pandemic deficits.
Then and even more so now, the idea resonates: a Reuters/Ipsos poll from January found that 64 percent of Americans support a wealth tax, a majority of Republicans included. Poll after poll has reaffirmed this. It seems as if there is right-wing populist support for taxing the rich more.
To the common refrain, "the rich are just going to find ways to shelter their income or relocate it offshore," I have written elsewhere about the concrete policy measures countries can and have taken to clip the wings of mobile global capital and prevent such an outcome.
I have written as well about how taxing the rich and tightening the screws on tax enforcement have implications that go beyond the merely redistributive approach to fiscal policy conventionally favored by the left; about how it can be a form of leverage against an unaccountable investor class used to shopping at home and abroad for the most opaque assets in which to hoard vast amounts of essentially idle capital.
A deft administration would use aggressive fiscal policy as an inducement for this irresponsible class to make things right by reinvesting in such priorities as the wages and well-being of workers, the vitality of communities, the strength of strategic industries and the productivity of the real economy – or else Uncle Sam will tax their wealth and do it for them.
It would also be an assertion of national sovereignty against globalization's command for countries to stay "competitive" by immiserating their citizens with ever-lower taxes on capital holders and ever more loose and "flexible" labor markets in a never-ending race to the bottom.
Mike Lofgren has penned a marvelous essay in these pages about the virtual secession of the rich from the American nation, "with their prehensile greed, their asocial cultural values, and their absence of civic responsibility."
What better way to remind them that they are still citizens of a country and members of a society -- and not just floating streams of deracinated capital -- than by making them perform that most basic of civic duties, paying one's fair share and contributing to the commonweal? America need not revert to the 70-90 percent top marginal rates of the bolshevik administrations of Truman, Eisenhower or Kennedy, but proposals for modest moves in that direction would be welcome.
There is one more thing to be said about the significance of taxing the rich. Up until very recently, there has been a prevailing tendency among the reformist right (with some important exceptions) to couch criticism of the elites primarily or even exclusively in cultural terms. There seems to have been a polite hesitation at taking the cultural critique to its logical economic conclusions. It is easy to excoriate the excesses of elite identity politics, the "woke" part of woke capitalism; it's something all conservatives -- and indeed growing numbers of liberals and socialists -- agree on. Fish in a barrel.
But to challenge the capitalism part, i.e. free market orthodoxy, not in a secondary or tertiary way, but head on and in specific policy terms as Lofgren and a few others have done, would involve confronting difficult truths, namely that the biggest beneficiaries of tax cuts and Reaganite economic policy in general, which most conservatives enthusiastically promoted for four decades, are the selfsame decadent coastal elites they claim to oppose. It is they who more than anyone else thrive on financialized globalization, arbitrage and offshoring.
In other words, it amounts to an honest recognition of the complicity of conservatism in the mess we're in, which is perhaps a psychological bridge too far for too many on the right, reformist or not. (Trigger Warning!) This separation of culture and economics has led to the farce of a self-styled nationalist president lining the pockets of his nominal enemies, the globalist ruling class.
Already, the White House is proposing yet another gigantic corporate tax cut. Using the exact same discredited logic as the last one, senior economic advisor Larry Kudlow wants Americans to trust him when he says that halving the already lowered 2017 rate to 10.5 percent will encourage these eminently reasonable multinationals to reinvest. There he goes again.
A conservative call to tax the rich would signal that the right is ready to end this charade and chart a course toward a more patriotic, public-spirited and yes, proudly hyphenated capitalism.
Michael Cuenco is a writer on politics and policy. He has also written for American Affairs.
Kent • 3 days ago"America need not revert to the 70-90 percent top marginal rates of the bolshevik administrations of Truman, Eisenhower or Kennedy, but proposals for modest moves in that direction would be welcome."Winston Nevis Kent • 3 days ago • edited
Those tax rates were offset by direct investment in the US economy. So if I invested in the stock market, I'd get a 90% tax rate because that doesn't produce actual wealth. On the other hand, if I invested in building factories that created thousands of jobs for American citizens, my tax rate may fall to 0%. And those policies created a fantastic economy that we oldsters remember as the golden age. That wasn't bolshevism, it was competitive capitalism. What we have today is libertarianism. And as long as conservatives are going to let the libertarian boogey-man's nose under the tent, we are going to have this ugly, bifurcated economy. Your choice. Man up.You ever tell hear of sarcasm, bud? I think that's what the author was going for. Don't think he was trying to say that Ike and Truman were Bolsheviks but was rather making fun of libertarians who hyperbolically associate high tax rates with socialism and Soviet Communism...K squared Winston Nevis • 3 days agoPlenty of goldwater's supporters in 1964 called President Eisenhower a communistGAguilar K squared • 2 days agoParticularly the John Birchers, including my parents!SKPeterson Kent • 3 days ago • editedWe absolutely do not have libertarianism operating in this country today. There is simply no evidence that there is any sort of libertarian economic or political system in place. Oh sure, you'll whine "but globalism without actually defining what globalism is, or what is wrong about precisely, but just that it's somehow wrong and that libertarians are to blame for it. There's a good word for such an argument: bullshit.marku52 SKPeterson • 3 days ago
We have an economy that is extraordinarily dominated by the state via mandates, regulations, and monetary interference that is most decidedly not libertarian in any way whatsoever. The current system though does create and perpetuate a system of rent-seeking cronies who conform rather nicely to the descriptions of said actors by Buchanan and Tullock. The problems of the modern economy are the result of state interference, not its absence, and Cuenco's sorry policy prescriptions do nothing to minimize the state but instead just create a different set of rent-seeking cronies for which the wealth and incomes of the nation are to be expropriated.O dear, No True Scotsman....SKPeterson marku52 • 2 days agoIf you can point to how the current situation is in any way "libertarian" without creating your own perfect little lazy straw man definition then by all means do so. Until then your retort is withoutcka2nd SKPeterson • 3 days ago
substance (you see a no true Scotsman reply doesn't work if the facts are in the favor of the person supposedly making such an argument. Here you fail to establish why what I said is such a case; saying it doesn't make it so). When Kent makes some throwaway comment that we're somehow living in some sort of libertarian era he's full of it, you know it, and all you can do is provide some weak "no true Scotsman" defense? Come on and man up, stop appealing to artificial complaints of fallacious argumentation, and give me an actual solid argument with evidence beyond "this is so libertarian" that we're living in some libertarian golden age that's driving the oppression of the masses.Busted unions, contracting out and privatization, deregulation of vast swaths of the economy since the late 1970's (Jimmy Carter has gotten kudos from libertarian writers for his de-regulatory efforts), lowered tax rates, especially on financial speculation and concentrated wealth, a blind eye or shrugged shoulder to anti-trust law and corporate consolidation. Yeah, nothing to see here, no partial victories for the libertarian wings of the ruling class or the GOP, at all. The Koch Brothers accomplished nothing, absolutely nothing, since David was the Libertarian Party's nominee for Vice President in 1980; all that money gone to waste. Sure.SKPeterson cka2nd • 2 days agoSo, now some sort of "partial victory" means we're living in some sort of libertarian era? And what exactly was so wonderful about all the things you listed being perpetuated? So, union "busting" is terrible, but union corruption was a great part of our national solidarity and should have been protected? Deregulation of vast swathes of the economy? You mean the elimination of government controlled cartels in the form of trucking and airlines? You mean the sorts of things that have enabled the working class folks you supposedly favor to travel to places that were previously out of reach for them and only accessible to the rich for their vacations? Yes, that's truly terrible. Again, you're on the side of the little guy, right? Lowered taxes? Are you seriously going to argue that the traditional conservative position has been for high tax rates? What are taxes placed upon? People and property. What do conservatives want to protect? People and property. So... arguing for higher taxes or saying that low taxes are bad or even especially, libertarian, is really going off the rails. That's just bad reasoning. And regarding financialization, those weren't especially libertarian in their enacting, but rather flow directly out of the consequences of the modern Progressive implementation of neo-Keynesian monetary and fiscal policy. Suffice it to say, I don't think you'll find too many arguments from libertarians that the policies encouraging financialization were good or followed libertarian economic policy prescriptions. Moreover, they led entirely to the repulsive "too big to fail" situation and if there's one thing that libertarians hold to is that there is no such thing (or shouldn't be) as "too big to fail." The objection to anti-trust law is that it was regularly abused and actually created government-protected firms that harmed consumers. If you think anti-trust laws are good things and should be supported by conservatives then by all means encourage Joe Biden to have Elizabeth Warren as his vice-presidential running mate and go vote Democrat this fall.Blood Alcohol SKPeterson • 3 days ago"The problems of the modern economy are the result of state interference, not its absence". That's because the "state interference" is working as proxy for the interests of vulture capitalist.DUNK Blood Alcohol • 2 days ago • edited
What we have today is vulture capitalism as opposed to free enterprise capitalism.You could also call it "crony capitalism" or "inverted totalitarianism".GAguilar DUNK • 2 days ago
Chris Hedges: "Sheldon Wolin and Inverted Totalitarianism" (November 2, 2015)Princeton professor Sheldon Wolin's excellent book is entitled, "Democracy Incorporated."SKPeterson Blood Alcohol • 2 days ago
He lays out how we're living in a totalitarian, capitalist surveillance state, as if that's not already obvious to most people around here.Exactly. The existence of a vulture capitalist or crony capitalist economy, which we have in many sectors, is evidence that "libertarianism" is nothing more than a convenient totem to invoke as a rationale for complaint against the outcomes of the existing crony capitalist state of affairs. My contention is that Cuenco, et al are simply advocating for a replacement of the cronies and vultures.1701 • 3 days agoA very similar article(but probably coming at it from a slightly different angle) wouldn't look out of place in a socialist publication.bumbershoot • 3 days ago
The culture war really is a pointless waste of time that keeps working class people from working towards a common solution to shared problems.Trump wants to "keep the supply of cheap, exploitable low-skill labor (legal and illegal) intact for the business lobby."SKPeterson • 3 days ago
Well of course he does -- otherwise how would he staff Mar-A-Lago and other Trump Organization businesses?I used to think that conservatism was about protecting private property and not, like Cuenco, in coming up with ever more excuses for expropriating it.Kent SKPeterson • 3 days agoNo, that's libertarianism (or more properly propertarianism). Conservatism is first and foremost about responsibility to God, community, family and self. Property is only of value in its utility towards a means.GAguilar Kent • 2 days ago • editedAs I see it, here are examples of how "conservatives" have actually practiced their "responsibility to God, community, family and self":AdmBenson SKPeterson • 2 days ago
The genocide of Native Americans
The slavery and murder of blacks
Their opposition to child labor laws, to womens' suffrage, etc.
Their support of Jim Crow laws
Their opposition to ending slavery and opposition to desegregation
Opposition to Civil Liberties Laws
Willingness to block, or curtail, voting rights.
Hyping the "imminent threat" of an ever more powerful communist menace bearing
down on us from the late 40s to the "unanticipated" collapse of the
USSR in '91. All of which was little more than endless "threat inflation" used
by our defense industry-corporate kleptocrats to justify monstrous increases
in deficits that have been "invested" in our meddlesome, murderous militarism all around the world, with the torture and deaths of millions from S. E. Asia, to Indonesia, to Latin America, to the Middle East, to Africa, etc.
Violations of privacy rights (conservative hero J. Edgar Hoover's illegal domestic surveillance and acts of domestic terrorism, "justified" by
his loopy paranoia about commies on every corner and under every bed.)
Toppling of democracies to install totalitarian despots in Iran
("Ike" '53), Guatemala (Ike, again, '54), Chile (Nixon '73), Brazil (LBJ, '64) and many, many more countries.
Strong support of the Vietnam War, the wars in Laos and Cambodia, and the Iraq War, which, according to conservative W. Bush, God had inspired.
The myriad "dirty wars" we've fought around the world, and not only in Latin America.
With a few, notable exceptions, conservatives have routinely been on the wrong side of these issues. For the most part, it has been the left, particularly the "hard left," that has gotten it right."conservatism was about protecting private property"SKPeterson AdmBenson • 2 days ago
You're conflating conservatism and libertarianism. Conservatives realize they are citizens of a country. Libertarians wish they weren't.So conservatism should be entirely about taking people's property "for the good of the country"? That the purpose of a country is to loot the people? That the people exist for the government and not the government for the people? Seems Edmund Burke and Russell Kirk would like to have a word with you Adm.Winston Nevis SKPeterson • 2 days ago • edited
To quote Kirk as just one example of your fundamental error:Seventh, conservatives are persuaded that freedom and property are closely linked . [Apparently, Adm. you dispute Kirk's assertion and accuse him thereby of conflating libertarianism and conservatism. Yes, I know Kirk was a hater of the idea of patriotism, but he was such a raging libertarian what else could he do?] Separate property from private possession, and Leviathan becomes master of all. Upon the foundation of private property, great civilizations are built. The more widespread is the possession of private property, the more stable and productive is a commonwealth. Economic levelling [this is the outcome of Cuenco's policy prescriptions by the way] , conservatives maintain, is not economic progress. Getting and spending are not the chief aims of human existence; but a sound economic basis for the person, the family, and the commonwealth is much to be desired.
So, either "Mr. Conservative" Russell Kirk wasn't really a conservative but a man who horribly conflated libertarianism and conservatism, or we can say that Kirk was a conservative and that he recognized the protection of private property as crucial in minimizing the control and reach of the Leviathan state. If the latter holds, then maybe what we've established is that AdmBenson isn't particularly conservative."The more widespread is the possession of private property, the more stable and productive is a commonwealth." This status quo has produced precisely the opposite of this. Wealth, assets, capital has been captured by the elite. The pitchforks are coming. See this CBO chart: View HideAdmBenson SKPeterson • 2 days agoConservatives accept taxes as a part of citizenship. Since taxes can't be avoided, a conservative insists on democratic representation and has a general desire to get maximum bang for their taxpayer buck.SKPeterson AdmBenson • 2 days ago
Libertarians, on the other hand, see everything through the lens of an individual's property rights. Taxes and regulation are infringements on those rights, so a libertarian is always at war with their own government. They're not interested in bang for their taxpayer buck, they just want the government to go away. I can't fault people for believing this way, but I can point out that it is severely faulty as the operating philosophy beyond anything but a small community.
As for me not being particularly conservative, ya got me. It really depends on time of day and the level of sunspot activity.Sunspots, eh? And here I thought it was your reliance on tinfoil.AdmBenson SKPeterson • 2 days agoThe tinfoil and the mask were scaring people. The tinfoil had to go, but that's had side effects.SKPeterson AdmBenson • 2 days agoI should have put the /s on my reply, but your response did give me a good chuckle. Besides, for that finger pointing at you, there were three more pointing back at me.JMWB • 3 days agoAnd somehow people continually fall for the Trickle Down economic theory. George HW Bush was correct when he called this VooDoo economics. Fiscal irresponsibility at it's finest.Victor_the_thinker JMWB • 3 days agoNah people don't fall for it, republicans do. The rest of us know this stuff doesn't work. We didn't need an additional datapoint to realize that. The Tax Cuts and Jobs act was the single most unpopular piece of legislation to ever pass since polling began. It never had support outside of the Republican Party which is why it's never had majority support.Blood Alcohol JMWB • 3 days ago
https://news.gallup.com/pol...John Kenneth Galbraith called Trickle Down "economics", "Oats and Horse Economics". If you feed the horse a lot of oats, eventually some be left on the road...Nelson • 3 days agoThe leader of Republicans isn't Trump. It's Mitch McConnell.J Villain Nelson • 3 days agoMitch is fully owned by Trump as is every republican that holds office except Romney. Mitch can't go to the bathroom with out asking Trumps permission.Nelson J Villain • 3 days agoMitch is owned by corporations and he likes it that way. He basically says as much whenever campaign finance reform pops up and he defends the status quo.aha! Nelson • 2 hours agoYep. The guy who declared war on the Tea Party. The guy who changed his tune entirely about China when he married into the family of a shipping magnate.SeekingTruth • 3 days agoI'm eagerly awaiting a GOP plan for economic restructuring. I've been waiting for decade(s). Surely there is someone in the entire body of think tanks, congressional staffers, and political class that can propose a genuine and comprehensive plan for how to rebalance production, education, and technology for the better of ALL Americans. Surely...Tradcon SeekingTruth • 3 days agoAmerican Affairs (the policy journal this author writes for) and The American Compass are both very good.cka2nd SeekingTruth • 3 days agoI honestly wonder if Jack Kemp might have had a "Road to Damascus" conversion away from his pseudo-libertarian and supply side economic convictions if he had lived through the decade after the Great Recession. Probably not, given his political and economic activity up until his death.Barry_II • 3 days ago"They also left worker wages stagnant and increased the deficit. Where is our more nationalist economic policy?"Name • 3 days ago
In your dreams, just like those many large projects which Trump drove into bankruptcy.
Right alongside the money owed to the many people he's stiffed.So after 30 years or more of " globalism" , the GOP is adopting Bernie Sanderism?Johnny Larue Name • 3 days agoUh, no.Name Johnny Larue • 2 days agoUh, it seems so. Did you even read?TheSnark • 3 days ago • editedTrump pushed the tax cut because it saves him at least $20 million each year in taxes, probably closer to $50 million. That's the only reason he does anything, because he benefits personally.kouroi • 3 days agoThank you very much for posting the link to the wonderful essay by Mike Lofgren. Written 8 years ago it feels even more actual than then. I have bookmarked it for future reference.Kent kouroi • 3 days ago
Looking at the US it always comes to my mind the way Rome and then Byzantium fell: a total erosion of the tax-base the rich refused to pay anything to the imperial coffers, and then some of the rich had land bigger than some modern countries... And then the barbarians came...And, by then, the population welcomed the barbarians.kouroi Kent • 3 days agoLikely true, with some exceptions... The Huns - and on that one I keep wondering if there isn't a whiff of "Yellow Peril" smell in all that outcry...Ray Woodcock kouroi • 2 days ago • editedLofgren: "What I mean by secession is a withdrawal into enclaves, an internal immigration, whereby the rich disconnect themselves from the civic life of the nation and from any concern about its well being except as a place to extract loot."kouroi Ray Woodcock • 2 days ago
That was in 2012, but that was what struck me about my well-to-do classmates when I transferred from Cal State Long Beach to Columbia University in 1977 . Suddenly I was among people who saw America, American laws, and a shared sense of civic responsibility as quaint, bothersome, rather tangential to the project of promoting oneself and/or one's special interest.Cold, eh mate? Reptiles, lizards...?Adriana Pena • 3 days agoDid you ever hope that Trump would do what you wanted? You are adorablesam • 3 days agoThe only way that factories would come back is when Americans start buying made in America. We can't wait for ANY government to bring those factories and jobs ( and technology) . Only people voting with their pocketbooks can do it.J Villain • 3 days agoStill waiting for the day the first American asks "What have WE done wrong?" Rather than just following in Trumps step and playing the victim card every step of the way and wondering why nothing gets better.Blood Alcohol J Villain • 3 days agonuffsaid. The blood is on everyone's hands.
May 24, 2020 | www.unz.com
anonymous  Disclaimer , says: Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 12:34 pm GMT
Unable to communicate in Arabic and with no relevant experience or appropriate educational training
Seems rather typical of those making policy, not knowing much about the area they're assigned to. If a person did know Arabic and had an understanding of the culture they wouldn't get hired as they'd be viewed with suspicion, suspected of being sympathetic to Middle Easterners. How and why these neocons can come back into government is puzzling and one wonders who within the establishment is backing them. Judging by the quotes her father certainly seems deranged and not someone to be allowed anywhere near any policy making positions.
Flynn also seems to be a dolt what with his 'worldwide war against radical Islam'. Someone should clue him in that much of this radical Islam has been created and stoked by the US who hyped up radical Islam, recruiting and arming them to fight the Russians in Afghanistan. Bin Laden was there, remember? Flynn, a general, is unaware of this? Islamic jihadists are America's Foreign Legion and have been used all over the Muslim world, most recently in Syria. Does this portend war with Iran? Possibly, but perhaps Trump wouldn't want to go it alone but would want the financial support of other countries. They've probably war-gamed it to death and found it to be a loser.
May 23, 2020 | discussion.theguardian.com
consumerx -> hartebeest , 10 Apr 2019 18:57Disagree,
Under Trumps tax plan, a single mother with 2 kids working fulltime at minimum wage gets 75 dollars a YEAR in childcare, about $-1.50 per week.
While the rich, those making up to 400,000 per year get 2000.00 per year child credit off their taxes.
Name a benefit for the poor, that the recent tax bill passed by Trump and GREEDY GOP.
In his first speech to a joint session of Congress, President Trump promised to deliver on his populist campaign pledges to protect Americans from globalization. "For too long," he bemoaned, "we've watched our middle class shrink as we've exported our jobs and wealth to foreign countries." But now, he asserted, the time has come to "restart the engine of the American economy" and "bring back millions of jobs." To achieve his goals, Trump proposed mixing massive tax-cuts and sweeping regulatory rollbacks with increased spending on the military, infrastructure and border control. This same messy mix of free market fundamentalism and hyper-nationalistic populism is presently taking shape in Trump's proposed budget. But the apparent contradiction there isn't likely to slow down Trump's pro-market, pro-Wall Street, pro-wealth agenda. His supporters may soon discover that his professions of care for those left behind by globalization are -- aside from some mostly symbolic moves on trade -- empty.
Just look at what has already happened with the GOP's proposed replacement for Obamacare, which if enacted would bring increased pain and suffering to the anxious voters who put their trust in Trump's populism in the first place. While these Americans might have thought their votes would win them protection from the instabilities and austerities of market-led globalization, what they are getting is a neoliberal president in populist clothing.
May 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
BM , May 20 2020 6:17 utc | 146But with regard to anecdotal/unverified [touch'e] claims of nicotine benefits in covid, one should not reflexively ignore the evidence to the contrary that conflict with one's pro-nicotine bias/belief system:}
"Smokers more likely to express ACE2 protein that SARS-COV-2 uses to enter human cells"
"Tobacco smoking increases lung entry points for COVID-19 virus"
Posted by: gm | May 19 2020 16:13 utc | 129
Touché again gm!
It is indeed desperate grasping at straws to believe that smoking will protect against Covid-19 when far higher quality research clearly indicates increased risk from smoking that the disease will be more severe (the latter also being the more plausible result).
As I commented the last time B raised this issue, there is one genuine effect of a past history of smoking that statistically reduces risk of death from Covid-19 - namely smoking significantly reduces expected lifespan, and therefore reduces the risk of living long enough to reach the highest risk age groups for severe Covid-19. Alternatively expressed - smoking kills you off first before you get a chance to be killed by Covid, if that is what you want. Post-hoc nicotine patches at a late stage deny you even that advantage.
There are some who parrot Big Pharma vested interests in ridiculing and denigrating hydroxychloroquine, despite the very notable positive results several countries such as China, Russia, Iran and Turkey have had with it, while vainly spouting the benefits of smoking despite complete lack of quality research papers supporting it and abundant quality papers against.
At this point it is worth reminding of criticism of the untrustworthiness of modern medical science from the editors of some of the top medical journals:
Skeptical of medical science reports?
"It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as editor of The New England Journal of Medicine"
Angell M. Drug Companies & Doctors: A Story of Corruption. The New York Review of Books magazine.
More recently, Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet, wrote that "The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness"
Horton R. Offline: What is medicine's 5 sigma? www.thelancet.com.The first of these two commentaries on clinical research publications appeared in 2009, the second in April of this year. These statements are being taken seriously, coming as they do from the experiences of editors of two of the world's most prestigious medical journals. The first article showed how the relationships between pharmaceutical companies and academic physicians at prestigious universities impacted certain drug-related publications and the marketing of prescription drugs. Potential conflicts of interest seemed to abound: millions of dollars in consulting and speaking fees to physicians who promoted specific drugs, public research dollars being used by a researcher to test a drug owned by a company in which the researcher held millions of dollars in shares, failure of university researchers to disclose income from drug companies, company subsidies to physician continuing education, publishing practice guidelines involving drugs in which the authors have a financial interest, using influential physicians to promote drugs for unapproved uses, bias in favor of a product coming from failure to publish negative results and repeated publication of positive results in different forms. The author, Marcia Angell, cited the case of a drug giant that had to agree to settle charges that it deliberately withheld evidence that its top-selling anti-depressant was ineffective and could be harmful to certain age groups. ...
Richard Horton's statement was part of his comments on a recent symposium on reliability and reproducibility of research in the biomedical sciences and addresses a broader area of concern. Some of the problems he identified are seen in the veterinary literature. They include inadequate number of subjects in the study, poor study design, and potential conflicts of interest. He notes that the quest for journal impact factor is fuelling competition for publication in a few high reputation journals. He warns that "our love of 'significance' pollutes the literature with many a statistical fairy-tale" ...
Research is not created equal. There is good research (some, not so much) and there is bad research (bundles of it), mostly funded by vested interests, who where necessary direct the desired results. In general, research from China and Russia arguably tends to be higher quality and more reliable because those countries place the emphasis on health for society, not on profits for the corporations.
@Flatulus @16 "sources"
Christian Drosten, chief virologist Charité Berlin in his podcast no 31. Available with transcript here.
Posted by: b | May 18 2020 16:42 utc | 32
B, have you looked into the Big Pharma vested interests of Drosten yet? I suggest you do so.
May 14, 2020 | www.unz.com
Ilya G Poimandres , says: Show Comment May 14, 2020 at 5:44 am GMT@Al Lipton He strikes me as just another leader out for his own self image, and legacy. I took this opinion given his foreign policy – the shows for his isolationist base, and his continuous almost wars for the MIC. I do say almost wars, and that says something. We're I a US citizen, and one to vote for humans, I would vote for Trump this time, but he is imperfect imo, and it's only a coincidence that on some issues what benefits him, aligns with what benefits the nation.Robert Dolan , says: Show Comment May 14, 2020 at 5:45 am GMT
The timing of ObamaGate for example – we all knew it, it would go from snail's pace to a decent speed just as the election cycle was heating up. But this is playing politics and electioneering with the most critical misdirection and criminality of US officials in a long time. A real leader who worked for the nation and its Constitution only, would bugger all that and start draining as soon as could be done.
Of course that could be coincidence, and they could have been building a strong case, but as someone else said, I will take my conspiracy theory over some coincidence theory any day.
I can't imagine that without ObamaGate, he would have even tried to drain the swamp. Made showpieces of it sure, but no thing major. But now he can do what he promised and maybe even wanted to do, without reputational damage, and he will do it.
But how he will be in his second term, through a depression that was on its way in 6 months before corona? Like FDR I'd guess – war war war.Mike Enoch calls it the "kosher sandwich" and he's right.
Trump lied his ass off, has been shabbos goy forever. He had no intention of doing anything ...
Adam Green has delved into Trump and his father. They were born shabbos goy.
The GOP says what we want to hear, then they do what the nose tells them to do.
The Dems just do whatever the nose wants without even having to ask. They anticipate what the nose wants!
... ... ...
Apr 29, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.orgPasser by , Apr 29 2020 17:32 utc | 7It is mostly, though not only, Trump related or libertarian pseudo "alt media" behind "just the flu" theories or "China unleashed virus to attack US".
There is a small military/zionist cabal at the White House that is pushing for that information war in order to prop up the dying US empire as well as US oligarhic business interests, and to secure Trump reelection prospects.
It is enough to see how Zerohedge have been turned into full blown imperialist media with many "evil China" outbursts every day.
Beware of Trumptards infiltrating alt media to prop up the dying US Empire and its business interests.
Trump is the biggest US imperialist for the last 30 years. He made a good job at deceiving many anti-system voices.
His WTO attacks are too part of US efforts to take over the organisation. His has no problem with international institutions as long as they are US empire controlled (such as OPCW, WADA, etc.)
Trump-tards and related libertarians (Zerohedge etc.) made their choice on the side of global US imperialism (driven by their hidden racism, hence the evil "chinks" making a good enemy) and are now the enemy of the multipolar world.
Trump is scum. He turned on Russia and Assange after he got into the White House and did far more against Russia than even Obama. I say that as someone who initially made the mistake to support him.
Apr 27, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
FDR Liberal , April 26, 2020 at 4:42 pm
Bernie was never accepted by the DNC establishment in 2016 and 2020. He was bought off by Schumer through committee assignments and threats of irrelevancy in the Senate after 2016. In short, Bernie became an insider because he thought HRC would be president.
In 2020 he doubled down bragging about his legislative accomplishments on the debate stage which is the quintessential insider's game.
You can't worry about your political career, if you are a true outsider. Bernie wanted to be a player more than a game changer and leader of a political movement.
The author consistently mentions The Green New Deal. What legislator in the House outlined the Green New Deal? What legislator in the Senate? AOC in the House and Markey in the Senate.
Where was Bernie in the photo opportunity? MIA.
likbez , April 26, 2020 at 5:21 pmFDR Liberal,
> You can't worry about your political career, if you are a true outsider. Bernie wanted to be a player more than a game changer and leader of a political movement.
As sad as it is for me to say that, Bernie was a sheepdog from the very beginning. Actually it was the second time he played this despicable role. The main clue was that he acted as a preacher, not as a candidate. Another is that he claimed Biden to be his friend. With such warmongering neoliberal friends as Biden, who needs enemies ;-). This is how "controlled opposition" typically behaves.
Personnel is policy -- looks at his presidential campaign staff and you will instantly understand who he is.
For example, Faiz Shakir, the campaign manager for Bernie Sanders' 2020 presidential campaign, previously worked as an aide to Congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, was an editor-in-chief of the ThinkProgress blog. Is not Nanci Pelosi a quintessential neoliberal, a staunch supporter of Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ? And I do not want even start discussing political positions of Harry Reid.
Sanders betrayed his supporters with such ease that it is clear that was not an accident -- this was a preplanned "bait and switch" operation.
Matthew Cunningham-Cook , April 26, 2020 at 4:46 pm
To all of this, I'd really suggest reading Raising Expectations and Raising Hell by Jane McAlevey. Really good on the nuts and bolts of what it takes to organize to win. Also good is "Secrets of Successful Organizer" from Labor Notes.
Jeremy Grimm , April 26, 2020 at 5:01 pm
The memo in this post seems mistaken. Much of it worries about dealing with Warren. Warren did not take Bernie down. She did a wonderful job of shooting herself in the foot multiple times. I don't believe Biden and Obama have so much power to shift the beliefs of the US public. I have trouble believing the Obama years need to be discredited -- they discredited themselves. Item #4 not sure what to say about that. Bernie presented a strong ideological contrast with Trump. Item #5 Castro, O'Rourke, Booker, and Yang, Gabbard, Williamson, and Gillibrand are they really examples of idealistic energy? How do you "rope in" idealistic energy? Is that like herding cats?
Most of the primaries that were held impressed me as part of a remarkably hamhanded but effective effort by the Democratic Party organization to shut Bernie down. I am still unconvinced by Biden's sudden revival and jump in the polls prior to Super Tuesday and I don't understand what happened to suck all the air out of Bernie's campaign after Super Tuesday. The Corona virus didn't help but I cannot accept that the Corona virus, or Warren, or Biden or Obama took Bernie down -- it just doesn't smell right to me.
And I do not agree that the Bernie organization will carry on the fight. Where are the younger leaders who might carry on fighting for the cause? Bernie's coat tails are very short and Bernie is very old. I have read many pundits proclaiming that people put too much faith in a leader -- that a movement needs more action on the ground. I disagree. A movement needs a face, a 'brand' in Marketspeak, and actually I think a movement needs many faces and a common brand to all. [AOC and the Green New Deal don't inspire my confidence and what is left?]
I felt the Berne and now I feel Berne-t. Between dropping Medicare for All and voting for the CARES Act as part of the Senate Kabuki the nicest thing I can say about Bernie right now is that he is full of surprises. But after all is said and done I will be reluctant to send my small checks to any campaign, and after Corona I may need to keep all my small checks to buy things like food and pay rent. As Susan the other says at the beginning of her comment at 3:06 pm noting how: " absurd our politics are in light of our pending extinction" -- I am not sure there will be time for many more Presidential elections before the absurdity of our politics and economics collides with more pressing matters.
Apr 17, 2020 | www.youtube.com
Bill Edley , 2 days ago (edited)greenearth , 2 days ago
Aaron makes an Excellent point that Democrats "needed a way to resist not only Trump but Bernie Sanders appeal." Bingo!!!Matthew Sano , 2 days ago
"Bernie is the lamest revolutionary ever" - Tucker Carlson, Fox news His latest lame endorsement of sleepy joe just strengthened that statementThor Crowley , 2 days ago
"He's (Bernie) a catalyst but he's not part of the solution." ~ Economist Michael Hudson (The Jimmy Dore Show published on Feb 27, 2019.)jeff murray , 2 days ago (edited)
.. to say it with a George Carlin quote : If you still think there is a solution (within the system) you are part of the problemAr Jun , 2 days ago (edited)
Bernie didn't want a revolution. He wanted the establishment to accept his candidacy. If they didn't accept it then he was not going to fight. He wasted 3+ years of my time and energy. Not to mention betraying Waffle House waitresses across the country, who repeatedly donated money they needed to Bernie's campaign.BK , 2 days ago (edited)
The US dodged a bullet with Bernie dropping out "my friend Joe" "Joe can beat Trump" & not supporting Tulsi from being smeared & erased! Bernie has no balls - the guy endorsed Hillary & now Biden - slapping Tulsi in the face for quitting, destroying her career for him!Alex Bravo , 2 days ago
v> Aaron has made a career over all the false trump hoax's and exposing them. To bad he's blinded in other ways and is can't be objective about Bernie and the dem establishment. Unfortunately he part of the problem because at the end of the day he looks the other way. And excuses those in media who lie cuz they have kids to feed. Never gonna be change with that attitude...very Bernie like.CrackOfDoom , 2 days ago (edited)
" You Don't Need To Be a Jew To be a Zionist , I am a Zionist " , J. Biden ...Dirty Dog , 2 days ago
I realised he was a con-man after what he did in 2016. Broke my heart. He didn't even defend Tulsi!The Last And First Time , 2 days ago
Sanders was never a serious candidate. For the second time in his 40ys of public service he became sort of relevant. He was the joke of the senate all these years. A complete fraud.sarahspeaks144 , 2 days ago div cla
Hard to win a campaign when you lack the spine needed to go after your opponent.Double Doink , 1 day ago
ss="comment-renderer-text-content expanded"> "The answer is there is no point," as cogently analyzed by our ever-faithful Jimmy Dore. "The Young Turks" are not progressive and neither is Bernie. In 2016, Cenk Uygar surrendered to the Hillary-Killary inevitability faster than Bernie could say, "Just let me know when it's time to quit." Here is the master conspiracy theory that resolves all of this. Bernie is paid by the DNC, Russia, and The Clinton Foundation to excite real Progressives that "the revolution will be televised." Then he caves. How effective is that plan? It channels and harnesses a critical mass of energy and momentum in order to throw it over the cliff. In two consecutive presidential elections, Bernie Sanders led the lemmings to the Pied Piper's house. How dumb are we? The establishment has framed a political strategy whereby the hopes of the people are continually and unrelentingly crushed by the smoke-and-mirrors deceptions of their elusive "leader." Eventually, the poor deluded people simply stop believing in any of it, and the establishment wins. Can anyone prove me wrong?ppm120667 , 2 days ago
The DNC is really brilliant in the way they stomp out Progressives and still get them to vote for their corporate stooges in the end.Wells , 2 days ago (edited)
Also George Carlin said "lazy selfish people elect lazy selfish politicians" .Scara Mouche , 2 days ago
"You vote for the whoever is least worst and then you push them in the direction you can." But you give up all of your leverage to move them as soon as you vote for them...Big Deeper , 2 days ago
"Their there to destroy any threat to corporate america." And Bernie a cog in that machineTorris Bin Anunnaki , 1 day ago
Bernie sold everyone out. He's a two time loser who fleeced his dumb supporters to buy houses.Jose Penuelas , 2 days ago
Aaron on Bernie's fecklessness: credulity, cowardice and careerismdarrenandkam , 1 day ago
They're still pretending buttigieg won Iowa?Jesse Anderson , 1 day ago
Bernie Sanders was a plant, just there to mislead the working class that they have someone truly fighting for they cause. While robbing us of our money and time.compassionistheway , 1 day ago
Bernie was too old in 2016. He's way too old now. He didn't want it. He didn't have the fight or the drive. He was just going through the motions. Probably for another book deal.
Sadly it seems Bernie turned out to be representative of "not so obvious establishment." Bernie has done this to us twice now. He has funneled sincere supporters who want real change towards establishment. Earlier towards Hillary and this time towards Biden.Bernie with his endorsement has lost my respect.
Apr 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.orgGoDark , Apr 13 2020 19:42 utc | 21Sanders supporting Biden just as his message had relevance suggests he was a "stalking horse" from the very beginning. If the DNC replaces Biden with Governor Cuomo (New York) or Governor Newsom (California) ... in spite of the primary elections ... it will prove beyond a doubt that democracy in the USA is a sham. The evidence suggests that federal elections are decided in back rooms and then posted on the Internet with storylines that fake elections.
No wonder neoliberals (a euphemism for globalists) hate Trump. He pulled a fast one on the establishment. Hillary rolled up a few population centers ... but they forgot about the Electoral College that abrogates "one man one vote" in Presidential elections by giving the states in the Great Flyover more votes than the coasts. Trump "out scammed the scammers" ... a cardinal sin in neoliberal politics. The neoliberals desperately want revenge to ensure this never happens again.
Jackrabbit , Apr 13 2020 19:58 utc | 26Dumbass sheeple fooled again .Stonebird , Apr 13 2020 20:00 utc | 27
Bernie, Hillary, Biden, and other Duopoly asshats are LMFAO. It never grows old.
Can we now treat the dembot trolls like the cancer they are?
!!Pindos | Apr 13 2020 18:51 utc | 5Circe , Apr 13 2020 20:18 utc | 29
"Sanders - a weak commie. His jew pals are embarrassed. 🤢"
You got it the wrong way round.
On the morning after Sanders withdrew from the race DMFI** president Mark Mellman sent out an email to supporters expressing his pleasure over the result. He also took some credit for the outcome "Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign for president. That's a big victory -- one you helped bring about."
Mellman also reminded his associates that the victory was only a first step in making sure that the Democratic Party platform continues to be pro-Israel, writing that "Extreme groups aligned with Sanders, as well as some of his top surrogates -- including Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar -- have publicly declared an effort to make the platform anti-Israel. As a career political professional, I will tell you that if Democrats adopt an anti-Israel platform this year, the vocabulary, views, and votes of politicians will shift against us dramatically. We simply can't afford to lose this battle."
**Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI) . The DMFI is a registered political action committee (PAC) that lobbies on behalf of the Jewish state. It was organized in 2019 by Democratic Party activists to counter what was perceived to be pro-Palestinian sentiment within the party's progressive wing.
Basically they did a "Corbyn" on a candidate who was considered a "socialist" and too pro-Palestinian.The following quote has been attributed to Lyndon B. Johnson by Ronald Kessler, journalist and historian.:Adrian E. , Apr 13 2020 20:42 utc | 32These Negroes, they're getting pretty uppity these days and that's a problem for us since they've got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we've got to do something about this, we've got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.
I'll have those n**gers voting Democratic for 200 years.
Looks like Johnson was right! All it took was the Civil Rights Act to get blacks to vote against their best interests for 56 years. So there's 144 years left before blacks realize they sold their soul to a blue devil that's no different from the red devil and until progressives will finally have a real democracy. Oh how I despise herd mentality.
Look, I'm not going to trash Bernie Sanders, because I know his heart, and I now see the majority of blacks will never be with him no matter what he tried to gain their confidence, so he was doomed whichever way you look at it.
That said, Biden is out of the question and I'll be damned if Democrats are going to win after what they pulled on Bernie again.
Looks like Ziofascist Trump regime is set to win again.How almost everyone dropped out after the South Carolina primary looks staged. But Sanders, the sheepdog candidate is also a part of the play, whether he is fully aware of it.Miss Lacy , Apr 13 2020 20:42 utc | 33
What reason would there be for voting for a corrupt neoliberal proponent of all illegal US wars of aggression who played a key role for mass incarceration and whose career was bankrolled by the credit card industry and other special interests? Close to none, certainly for people who are remotely progressive. There had been little reason for supporting a far-right warmonger like Biden a few years ago, and with obvious signs of mental decline, there are hardly more reasons.
But with Bernie Sanders, a center-left candidate who, in contrast to Biden, has some semblance of personal integrity, campaigning for the corrupt warmonger, there may be the hope that some people who do not share Biden's far right views will still vote for him. But I think Sanders' behavior does more for undermining his own credibility than for creating the illusion that Biden has any credibility.So there I was wreching - Bernie endorses the babbling crook Biden... and then - well full on barfing! Michelle O'Bomber!!??? What exactly is her skill set? other than the fact that she is married to the manchurian O'Bomber - who bombed at least one somebody - often without even knowing the victims name/s - Every Single Day of his Miserable Regime. Just call him Mr. Dyncorp. Really, as William Griff observed in another thread, murkans areJen , Apr 13 2020 20:47 utc | 34
completely irreparably delusional.Sad to see that whatever political legacy Bernie Sanders leaves behind, it will be tainted by his behaviour and decisions he made during his Presidential election campaigns in 2016 and 2020. Particularly inexplicable is how he failed to challenge the Super Tuesday results back in March. Surely of all people, given his career background, Sanders could have disputed the results.Covergirl , Apr 13 2020 21:12 utc | 38Makes me wonder if Bernie was an "asset" the whole time. Certain elements make more sense that way. I am both horrified and amused at the way progressives seem to be on board with the sellout. Ah well, looks like I'll actually have to vote for Trump this time. Didn't see that coming but I'll be damned if I silently consent to Biden being President.gm , Apr 13 2020 21:36 utc | 42
I'll have to start building guillotines for the spike in demand come next year.Former longtime Bernie-booster Jimmy Dore has been ripping Sanders relentlessly (and hilariously) on his YT channel for weeks, ever since Bernie rolled over and went dead during debate w/Biden.Piero Colombo , Apr 13 2020 22:59 utc | 47Sandersites here can protest all they want that they did not expect "this", it doesn't change the fact that Sanders was nothing but the sheepdog that gets out at every election season. Now that all those Sanders-supporting boobies have definitively destroyed any chance of doing anything significant in the way of third parties, it's useless to protest that they "won't vote Biden". The useless Hopium-addicted gulls already did the wrecking job, even though they had been warned. Both times. Good job... liberals.A User , Apr 14 2020 0:58 utc | 55re Josh | Apr 14 2020 0:44 utc | 54 who claimed "When he decided to run as a Democrat you have to sign a contract that you will endorse the person nominated" As you conceeded it isn't the convention yet so sanders did not have to endorse right now. That and the way it was done - not a quiet press release, he took part in creepy joe's campaign release to make his fawning pronouncement. Nowhere does that get stated in any 'contract'.
It is plain that if sanders isn't some sort of dungeon visiting masochist who enjoys the humiliation, he has to be a run of the mill greedhead prepared to do say anything that will get a cash payoff. That was probably his plan from the beginning as everything he did from the 1st caucus to the end was all about scraping and bowing to his 'betters' no mind what cheating and robbery was inflicted on his campaign.
A liar, a sellout who has created another generation of cynics - well done 'bernie'.
Jan 09, 2020 | copy-shake-paste.blogspot.comIt's 2020 and I'm still bogged down, not finished with my notes from half a year ago on the ENAI conference. What can I say? Life and all....
So let's start the new year with a discussion on predatory publishers. Deborah Poff gave a keynote speech at the ENAI conference 2019 on the topic, and as COPE chair she has now published a discussion paper on the topic. There are a number of irritating points, as Elisabeth Bik points out in a Twitter thread, but on the whole this is a good paper to get this very important discussion going in the new year.
How can we tell whether or not a journal is legitimate or not? Legitimate in the sense that rigorous peer-review is not just stated, but actually done? We are in a current world situation in which certain groups attack science because it is informing us of uncomfortable truths. Predatory publishers offer a welcome point of attack, as the weaknesses of the "science" they publish are immediately assumed for all science. The "self-regulation" of science has been shown in recent years to not actually do the work it is supposed to do, despite the efforts of so many to point out issues that need attention.
Researchers need guidance about publication venues. Beall's list was taken down for legal reasons, but there is a web site that publishes an archived copy of the list that was taken on 15 January 2017. That was soon after the 2017 list was published.
There is a checklist available at thinkchecksubmit.org that is useful, but not a list of problematic publications, probably for legal reasons.
We can't keep putting out heads in the sand about the problems of academic misconduct. If we only look away, we let people get away with bad science, and that then reflects on us all. Posted by Debora Weber-Wulff at 10:52 AM
After lunch we had the Plenary session on
Predatory publishing and other challenges of new models to share knowledge
I was really looking forward to this session and it didn't disappoint!
Deborah C. Poff , the new COPE chair and a philosopher from Ottawa titled her talk "Complexities and approaches to predatory publishing"
She spoke at lightning speed, getting faster as time began running out. It could have been at least a two-hour lecture, so jam-packed it was with really good stuff. I could barely keep up, so I hope I get the highlights right.
A definition for predatory publishing is problematic, as there is much overlap with legitimate but new or smallish publishers. She looked at necessary and sufficient conditions for a definition, but found that while deceit is necessary, sufficient conditions are vexing to try and capture.
PP cheat and deceive some authors charging publishing related fees without providing services; PP deceive academics into serving on editorial boards; PP appoint editorial board members without knowledge; no peer review; refuse to retract or withdraw problematic papers; etc.
The list goes on: Misleading reporting, language issues, lack of ethical oversight, lack of declarations of conflicts of interest, lack of corrections or retractions, lack of qualified EiC (if any), made-up rejection rates, false impact factors, false claims of being indexed in legitimate indexes, falsely claiming membership in publication ethics organization including forgery and falsifying logos of such organization. COPE apparently had to fight a forged COPE logo.
What should we call them, anyway? Arguments against the term "predatory": It is not descriptive or instructive, so some suggest using fake, rouge, questionable, parasitic, deceptive, etc.; predatory suggests victims, powerless people who are acted upon without their full knowledge, while a number of studies have shown that some scholars knowingly publish in such journals; Calling the issue "predatory" obviates or mitigates the personal responsibility for choosing where to publish.
The best argument for using the term: Since Jeffrey Beall coined the term, why not use it?
COPE is undecided on what name is best.
I particularly liked Deborah's stakeholder analysis of who or what is harmed by these publishers:
- The innocent author who is duped into paying for services without receiving them. They may lose status when peers discover that they have published in such a journal, and it can even lead to investigations. Since many such publishers refuse to retract, the damage done may be long-term.
- Legitimate Open Access Journals are easily confused with predatory Open Access Journals
- Legitimate journals which are not top ranked or may not follow best practice are also easily confused with them.
- Research and funding sources : This depends on whether the research published is legitimate or not. If the research is shoddy and gets published by a PP journal, it may be cited and thus pollutes the scholarly record. If a scandal arises, the scandal may tarnish publicly funded research.
- Universities and their role in knowledge creation.
- Citizens who pay taxes.
- She pointed out that predatory publishers make a great business ethics case. In closing, she sees only two things that can be done:
- Caveat Emptor (let the buyer beware) - use Think / Check / Submit : do you read the journal yourself? Do you cite research published there? Do your colleagues? Who is the editor-in-chief?
- Addressing and pursuing predatory publishers as businesses committing criminal acts. The USA Federal Trade Commission won a court case agains the owner of OMICS and the company itself. The courts fined OMICS $50.1 million.
... ... ...
Then Matt Hodgkinson , Head of Research Integrity @ Hindawi Ltd., London, took the stage to give "A view of predatory publishing from an open access publisher". He first gave a bit of a historical overview and told us a bit about Hindawi. It was founded in Cairo in 1997, publishing the first subscription journals in 1999. In 2007 all journals were flipped to Open Access. In 2016 they created their Research Integrity team that handles all issues that arise at their journals. The headquarters of Hindawi moved to London in 2017.
He spoke of the impact that predatory journals have on legitimate, Open Access journals: they are tarred with the same brush. They also create false impressions for authors, who now expect undue speed in legitimate publishers, and out of impatience (Matt called it "gazumping") dual submissions to see which journal publishes first. They have had so many instances of this, Matt told me over coffee, that they check for text similarity online twice: once at submission, and once more just before publication. Many times they have caught double dippers this way.
He expanded the concept of predatory publishers to what he called the " Cargo cult " publishers (ones who publish unedited theses or the Wikipedia as "books"), paper mills, the selling of authorship and faked peer-review. He also noted that the subscription model is not immune to fakery - there are subscription journals that closely mirror the titles of legitimate publishers, something called hijacking.
He closed with some scandals (publications about elephant autism or space octopi) and then listed some of the newest ideas, the various pre-print server. The question arises, however, how sustainable such initiatives are.
Although I was planning on visiting another session, Jenny Byrne insisted that the session on checking data and images would be very interesting, and she was right. I had thought that Elisabeth Bik was the only person around perusing doctored images, but it turns out there are quite a number of initiatives.
Apr 10, 2020 | www.rt.com
I was there in the arena, watching him concede in 2016 – and shortly thereafter in the media tent, where a bunch of Sanders delegates had walked out in protest. A colleague of mine was outside the perimeter fence, covering the protest by tens of thousands of Democrats outraged by the party establishment's conduct. When we interviewed them, a lot of these people vowed never to vote Democrat again.
A few months earlier in Atlanta, I heard Sanders volunteers bluntly say they'd rather vote for Trump than for Clinton. When WikiLeaks published those internal emails showing the party was behind Hillary and actively sabotaging Bernie – which party chair Donna Brazile later confirmed as true – the DNC ran damage control by blaming Russia. But the voters remembered – and Trump won.
Sanders tried again in 2020, but the script began repeating itself right from the start. In Iowa, the party establishment and their media allies desperately propped up Pete Buttigieg (anyone remember him?) and others. Biden, anointed as the front-runner for the purposes of Ukrainegate, wasn't even on the map – until he won South Carolina, and everyone suddenly fell into line behind him.
Apr 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Really?? , Apr 9 2020 18:51 utc | 114Stonebird @ 30
The Cargo Cult segment of the 1963 documentary "Mondo Cane" can be viewed here (it is the last segment of the film):
Apr 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
dave , Apr 8 2020 20:18 utc | 79Bernie was the sheepdog of the DNC that kept people from organizing outside of the two party hustle(system).
People were pointing this out to his supporters very early on in this cycle using last cycle as evidence yet no one listened.
If there is a next cycle let's hope Bernie didn't ruin them for political action and they finally figure out they need to go against the entire establishment machine instead of trying to reform one half of the mafia from within.
Trailer Trash , Apr 8 2020 19:53 utc | 72>Those bashing Bernie should understand that there was no way in hellben , Apr 8 2020 19:44 utc | 70
> the establishment (party duopoly and corporate media complex) was
> going to let him win.
People here paying attention knew he wouldn't be allowed to win. So did Bernie also know this, and went along with the charade, or did he not know, thus showing that he is a complete fool and nincompoop?
Knowing he could not win, a real radical would've been building a movement, not an electoral machine. He did earn lots of delegates but threw them all away instead of taking them to the convention and cause a ruckus.
No one will be talking about Bernie's ideas by next month, but there will be plenty of US peons desperate for food and shelter. Will Bernie's movement be there to organize them and help them get the necessities of life?
The sad part is all the effort and resources wasted on Bernie the Bozo's campaign. That campaign money could've bought a lot of groceries and tents.Rob @ 48 said;"The coming general election will feature the two least qualified candidates in U.S. history. Trump is a malignant narcissist and very stupid, while Biden is a corporatist and a hawk in addition to being senile."vk , Apr 8 2020 19:43 utc | 69
Agreed, and your comment is probably too kind to both..
Bernie is like much of the so-called left, they've forgotten how to fight, by surrounding themselves with DNC hacks. Never the less, his ideas are credible, and shouldn't be forgotten.
Don't see how DJT can lose in Nov., but stranger things have happened. Regardless, I'll never vote Biden, and if DJT wins, the U$A gets what it deserves, whatever that is.
All Bernie can do is continue to collect delegates, and hope to move Biden leftward, to at least support Medicare for all, which, given the state of healthcare in our present pandemic, might gain some traction.
Still in all, very interesting times..Let the battle for America's soul begin:Kabobyak , Apr 8 2020 20:10 utc | 76
Trump blames Warren & DNC for Sanders ending campaign, INVITES 'Bernie people' to the Republican Party
'I need to earn your votes': Biden
As I've said in this blog many times, my bet is the American working classes will choose fascism. And I'll complement my thesis: the sandernistas will be the decisive factor.Can't believe we're even still speculating or fretting over Bernie's dropping out. His supporters can be oh so sad that his ideas were the best, but the dastardly "establishment" just wouldn't go along! He lost me in 2016 with his sheepdogging; he lost me in 2019 for not attacking Biden's corruption and war-mongering, but the killer for me was Bernie embracing the moronic and dangerous Russiagate narrative. The sunlight is shining onto many areas, as Caitlin Johnstone says, if we can wake up and see it and create a real movement for sane actions and policies. Bernie's "movement" was designed to be a feel-good exercise in support of empire.
Mar 27, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Allen , Mar 27 2020 1:57 utc | 113The money-driven institutions long ago hijacked America's health agencies–the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), FDA, Health and Human Services (HHS), National Institutes of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Mental Health, and the USDA– authentic scientific inquiry of any sort is virtually impossible in this climate.
During the past two decades the lines dividing the pharmaceutical industry and the federal health agencies has become increasingly blurred to put it kindly. The revolving door between private interests and top government employees at these agencies is well documented. One example is former CDC director Julie Gerberding who left government to become president of Merck's vaccine division, a move that earned her upwards of $3 million in stock options.
Keep in mind that CDC members own more than 50 patents connected to vaccinations.
Each of the 12 members of the CDC's ACIP Committee has a significant influence on the health of nearly every member of the American population. These are the people who are responsible for adding to and/or altering the national vaccine schedule. Does anyone believe for a second that given that these CDC members have a direct financial interest in this matter that they can remain objective and unbiased in creating vaccine policy, for example.
A significant number of ACIP committee members receive direct financial returns when more vaccinations are added to the current schedule. Many own vaccination related patents.
Some examples of patents owned or shared by members of the CDC and/or ACIP committee are;
1) Nucleic acid vaccines for prevention of flavivirus infection"
2) Various vaccination testing methods
3) Adjuvant patents
4) Assays that assist vaccine development
5) Vaccine quality control
Members of the CDC also own stock shares of the pharmaceutical companies responsible for supplying new vaccines to the public. Others receive research grant money, funding for their academic departments, or payments for the oversight of vaccine safety trials.
In 2007 the WHO changed it's definition of what qualifies as a pandemic. That needs to considered in the context of how the WHO changing it's funding mechanisms in 2005- meaning they went from a member states funded entity to a "private/public" partnership (PPP's).
As you might imagine the pharmaceuticals became primary donors and began to influence and now control policy decisions that come down from the WHO. Let's also keep in mind that when a "global pandemic" (again this is now defined by a decision-making body tied to large Pharma companies) is officially declared, certain powers now become "legal" for governments.
One of THE main outcomes in these PPP's is that virtually all funding for medical research gets funneled into certain spheres- meaning towards research that is ultimately going to benefit those companies funding it- Big Pharma.
Mar 26, 2020 | www.unz.com
Kratoklastes , says: Show Comment Next New Comment March 25, 2020 at 6:16 pm GMT@thotmonger
I also remember some of early estimates of Mad Cow disease in humans in UK and they turned out to be very exaggerated.
When the political class was trying to de-gay HIV/AIDS in 1987, they had Oprah tell everyone that 20% of heterosexual people would be dead before 1990.
The first I learned of Oprah's jaw-droppingly sensationalist remarks, was in a piece a couple of days ago on AmericanThinker (which sounds like a rare bird indeed, if not an outright oxymoron – but it has good stuff from time to time).
Anyhow, it was an interesting piece – entitled " Reflections on a Century of Junk Science " by the author of " Hoodwinked: How Intellectual Hucksters Have Hijacked American Culture ", which I will acquire today. (The book's 11 years old, but sounds like it will be along the same lines as Kendrick's " Doctoring Data: How to Sort Out Medical Advice from Medical Nonsense ", which was excellent).
Mar 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
denk , Mar 22 2020 16:39 utc | 23Obama the prez for 'change',
Trump the 'lesser evil',
Tulsi the 'peacenik',
SaNder the 'progressive'....
The murkkans fall for it, every single time.
Mar 22, 2020 | www.youtube.com
MiDikGon Lapitise , 23 minutes ago
Kay Paden , 1 hour ago
Jimmy look like a boy in middle school when his girlfriend breaks up with him but she says we can still be friends
Ouu Baaa , 1 hour ago
Tulsi on mask shortage-"It's hard to imagine how this could be happening in America." Really? You're surprised the corrupt two-party that you insist we choose between got us here?
Nicolas Cooper , 2 hours ago
Andrew Yang just admitted that he endorsed Biden cause he got offered a position in his cabinet should Biden become president. Tulsi of course would never do that XD .
Kim Young , 3 hours ago
Meryl Streep should give Tulsi an award for Best Actress.
Alpa Cino , 2 hours ago
And she thinks endorsing Joe is going to help climate change?
Citizen Harrison , 2 hours ago
What a fraud 😂
Wolfking Of SI , 3 hours ago (edited)
20:13 "and that's a decision motivated by.." POVERTY. They use the poor to fight in these goddamn wars.
Remy Williams , 2 hours ago
Tulsi just admit that "your party" is corrupt horse plop. You should have left and started a 3rd party.
Guy Smiley , 1 hour ago
I wonder how strong the Progressive movement would've been if careerists like Gabbard and Warren stayed away and the front was unified from the beginning.
Alice Wonderland , 4 hours ago
When Jimmy started his live video the day she announced supporting Biden, I said to myself "I bet anything he blames Bernie for her dropping out and supporting Biden." Low and behold, he did.
Leo Fain , 1 hour ago
"How and where my best. . . (interests lay). Freudian slip.
Armand Raynal , 3 hours ago
First Yang and now Tulsi this is heartbreaking all of them are fake af
Norris Hude , 1 hour ago
6:56 "which is something I always said I would do btw, that I would support the eventual democratic nominee" Am I living in a parallel dimension? The primary is not finished yet, you can still endorse Biden when it will be over if he wins the primary but endorse Bernie for the moment. Is it that hard? Ho right, I forgot, the primary is rigged and we all know that Biden the senile kid diddler and liar will be the nominee one way or another. Fucked up, but she's not helping. She probably knows she'll be kicked out of politics if she does not endorse biden and cares more about her career than doing the right thing.
David Richardson , 1 minute ago
War is ingrained into US society, "Thankyou for your service" says it all. Heroes in America are obviously those who go to war at the behest of the zionists and the corporations.
Amparo Zarza Cardoso , 25 minutes ago
"I don't play the political game" Next sentence "I'm pragmatic"
Charles Wilson , 8 minutes ago (edited)
Two words to Gabbard: incongruent and liar
Eric Zvonchenko , 2 hours ago
"The scope of the effects of this are difficult to comprehend at this time..." This is truly amazing that someone in the government has the audacity to blame a virus for people's inability to "make rent" when it was them that created the current hysteria and panic. There is a pandemic. I agree. But so far counting all of the cases that we know about, it is no where even close to the season flue that we see every year! And the government is shutting down businesses! It is a shame that they are using the current situation to further the idea that people are dependent on the government to survive! How far we as a nation and a people have fallen from the ideals that created this nation in the first place! I am disgusted!
Hermann G Lippe , 2 hours ago
Biden is not the Democratic nominee. She is supporting Biden over Sanders not Biden over trump.
Like Bernie, Tulsi is just another TWO FACED Globalist Presstitute. Tulsi says her platform is to stop regime change and bring are troops home! Why does she then endorse Biden who supports regime change and keeping troops in the middle east? Tulsi says she does this to defeat Trump but Trump campaigned to stop regime change and bring are troops home!
Mar 20, 2020 | www.youtube.comChristo Aivalis 20.3K subscribers Earlier today, Tulsi Gabbard announced she was dropping out of the presidential primary and endorsing Joe Biden for President. Many Tulsi supporters felt betrayed by this move, but it fits the ideological similarities between Tulsi and Biden. It also shows that like with Andrew Yang, Gabbard's anti-establishment image was only superficial, and it shows that Bernie Sanders is the only one meaningfully challenging the political, social, and economic status quo It also shows that those neoliberal democrats who attacked Tulsi as a Russian Asset seem fine with her now, as long as she falls in line. I wonder how Jimmy Dore is feeling?
#Bernie2020 Support me on Patreon: https://patreon.com/ChristoAivalis Support me on PayPal: https://www.payfpal.com/paypalme2/chri... For Christo Aivalis: Twitter: https://twitter.com/christoaivalis Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christoaival... Website: https://www.christoaivalis.com Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/christoaivalis1
The Militant Vegan , 23 hours ago
Open Mind , 23 hours ago
What a sellout, shameful. So much for being anti establishment anti war endorsing Biden who has voted for regime change wars
VeryUs Mumblings , 23 hours ago
sound kinda fishy as Biden was talking about a Female VP .
Robert James , 23 hours ago
I hope Benedict Gabbard will enjoy her vacation to Mt Hypocrite.
Captain Pawpaw , 23 hours ago (edited)
Tulsi is out for herself.
Ben Reilly , 23 hours ago (edited)
I thought she was anti-war, yet she supports Biden, what a shame, I can't believe it, she was so fake all along, it's like a bad movie twist... is there even one decent politician in USA, besides Bernie?
B. Greene , 23 hours ago
It's a bummer. She really had so much potential especially after she endorsed Bernie the first time. Now Idk. Williamson is the only one who genuinely went to the most progressive candidate without hesitating. #DemocracyDiesInDarkness
Endorsing an Imperialist warmonger. Seriously, WTF???
Mar 17, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
R ussia and Saudi Arabia are engaged in an oil price war that has sent shockwaves around the world, causing the price of oil to tumble and threatening the financial stability, and even viability, of major international oil companies.
On the surface, this conflict appears to be a fight between two of the world's largest producers of oil over market share. This may, in fact, be the motive driving Saudi Arabia, which reacted to Russia's refusal to reduce its level of oil production by slashing the price it charged per barrel of oil and threatening to increase its oil production, thereby flooding the global market with cheap oil in an effort to attract customers away from competitors.
Russia's motives appear to be far different -- its target isn't Saudi Arabia, but rather American shale oil. After absorbing American sanctions that targeted the Russian energy sector, and working with global partners (including Saudi Arabia) to keep oil prices stable by reducing oil production even as the United States increased the amount of shale oil it sold on the world market, Russia had had enough. The advent of the Coronavirus global pandemic had significantly reduced the demand for oil around the world, stressing the American shale producers. Russia had been preparing for the eventuality of oil-based economic warfare with the United States. With U.S. shale producers knocked back on their heels, Russia viewed the time as being ripe to strike back. Russia's goal is simple: to make American shale oil producers " share the pain ".
The United States has been slapping sanctions on Russia for more than six years, ever since Russia took control (and later annexed) the Crimean Peninsula and threw its weight behind Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. The first sanctions were issued on March 6, 2014, through Executive Order 13660 , targeting "persons who have asserted governmental authority in the Crimean region without the authorization of the Government of Ukraine that undermine democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine; threaten its peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity; and contribute to the misappropriation of its assets."
The most recent round of sanctions was announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on February 18, 2020, by sanctioning Rosneft Trading S.A., a Swiss-incorporated, Russian-owned oil brokerage firm, for operating in Venezuela's oil sector. The U.S. also recently targeted the Russian Nord Stream 2 and Turk Stream gas pipeline projects.
Russia had been signaling its displeasure over U.S. sanctions from the very beginning. In July 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that U.S. sanctions were "driving into a corner" relations between the two countries, threatening the "the long-term national interests of the U.S. government and people." Russia opted to ride out U.S. sanctions, in hopes that there might be a change of administrations following the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections. Russian President Vladimir Putin made it clear that he hoped the U.S. might elect someone whose policies would be more friendly toward Russia, and that once the field of candidates narrowed down to a choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Putin favored Trump .
"Yes, I did," Putin remarked after the election, during a joint press conference with President Trump following a summit in Helsinki in July 2018. "Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the U.S.-Russia relationship back to normal."
Putin's comments only reinforced the opinions of those who embraced allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election as fact and concluded that Putin had some sort of hold over Trump. Trump's continuous praise of Putin's leadership style only reinforced these concerns.
Even before he was inaugurated, Trump singled out Putin's refusal to respond in kind to President Obama's levying of sanctions based upon the assessment of the U.S. intelligence community that Russia had interfered in the election. "Great move on delay (by V. Putin) – I always knew he was very smart!" Trump Tweeted . Trump viewed the Obama sanctions as an effort to sabotage any chance of a Trump administration repairing relations with Russia, and interpreted Putin's refusal to engage, despite being pressured to do so by the Russian Parliament and Foreign Ministry, as a recognition of the same.
This sense of providing political space in the face of domestic pressure worked both ways. In January 2018, Putin tried to shield his relationship with President Trump by calling the release of a list containing some 200 names of persons close to the Russian government by the U.S. Treasury Department as a hostile and "stupid" move .
"Ordinary Russian citizens, employees and entire industries are behind each of those people and companies," Putin remarked. "So all 146 million people have essentially been put on this list. What is the point of this? I don't understand."
From the Russian perspective, the list highlighted the reality that the U.S. viewed the entire Russian government as an enemy and is a byproduct of the "political paranoia" on the part of U.S. lawmakers. The consequences of this, senior Russian officials warned, "will be toxic and undermine prospects for cooperation for years ahead."
While President Trump entered office fully intending to " get along with Russia ," including the possibility of relaxing the Obama-era sanctions , the reality of U.S.-Russian relations, especially as viewed from Congress, has been the strengthening of the Obama sanctions regime. These sanctions, strengthened over time by new measures signed off by Trump, have had a negative impact on the Russian economy, slowing growth and driving away foreign investment .
While Putin continued to show constraint in the face of these mounting sanctions, the recent targeting of Russia's energy sector represented a bridge too far. When Saudi pressure to cut oil production rates coincided with a global reduction in the demand for oil brought on by the Coronavirus crisis, Russia struck.
The timing of the Russian action is curious, especially given the amount of speculation that there was some sort of personal relationship between Trump and Putin that the Russian leader sought to preserve and carry over into a potential second term. But Putin had, for some time now, been signaling that his patience with Trump had run its course. When speaking to the press in June 2019 about the state of U.S.-Russian relations, Putin noted that "They (our relations) are going downhill, they are getting worse and worse," adding that "The current [i.e., Trump] administration has approved, in my opinion, several dozen decisions on sanctions against Russia in recent years."
By launching an oil price war on the eve of the American Presidential campaign season, Putin has sent as strong a signal as possible that he no longer views Trump as an asset, if in fact he ever did. Putin had hoped Trump could usher in positive change in the trajectory of relations between the two nations; this clearly had not happened. Instead, in the words of close Putin ally Igor Sechin , the chief executive of Russian oil giant Rosneft, the U.S. was using its considerable energy resources as a political weapon, ushering in an era of "power colonialism" that sought to expand U.S. oil production and market share at the expense of other nations.
From Russia's perspective, the growth in U.S. oil production -- which doubled in output from 2011 until 2019 -- and the emergence of the U.S. as a net exporter of oil, was directly linked to the suppression of oil export capability in nations such as Venezuela and Iran through the imposition of sanctions. While this could be tolerated when the target was a third party, once the U.S. set its sanctioning practices on Russian energy, the die was cast.
If the goal of the Russian-driven price war is to make U.S. shale companies "share the pain," they have already succeeded. A similar price war, initiated by Saudi Arabia in 2014 for the express purpose of suppressing U.S. shale oil production, failed, but only because investors were willing to prop up the stricken shale producers with massive loans and infusion of capital. For shale oil producers, who use an expensive methodology of extraction known as "fracking," to be economically viable, the breakeven price of oil per barrel needs to be between $40 and $60 dollars. This was the price range the Saudi's were hoping to sustain when they proposed the cuts in oil production that Russia rejected.
The U.S. shale oil producers, saddled by massive debt and high operational expenses, will suffer greatly in any sustained oil price war. Already, with the price of oil down to below $35 per barrel, there is talk of bankruptcy and massive job layoffs -- none of which bode well for Trump in the coming election.
It's clear that Russia has no intention of backing off anytime soon. According to the Russian Finance Ministry , said on Russia could weather oil prices of $25-30 per barrel for between six and ten years. One thing is for certain -- U.S. shale oil companies cannot.
In a sign that the Trump administration might be waking up to the reality of the predicament it faces, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin quietly met with Russia's Ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov. According to a read out from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the two discussed economic sanctions, the Venezuelan economy, and the potential for "trade and investment." Mnuchin, the Russians noted, emphasized the "importance of orderly energy markets."
Russia is unlikely to fold anytime soon. As Admiral Josh Painter, a character in Tom Clancy's "The Hunt for Red October," famously said , "Russians don't take a dump without a plan."
Russia didn't enter its current course of action on a whim. Its goals are clearly stated -- to defeat U.S. shale oil -- and the costs of this effort, both economically and politically (up to and including having Trump lose the 2020 Presidential election) have all been calculated and considered in advance. The Russian Bear can only be toyed with for so long without generating a response. We now know what that response is; when the Empire strikes back, it hits hard.
Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. He is the author of several books, including his forthcoming, Scorpion King: America's Embrace of Nuclear Weapons From FDR to Trump (2020).
Mar 10, 2020 | www.unz.com
Numerous so-called "front groups" operate in the United States. A front group is very simply an organization that pretends to have a certain program while at the same time using that identity as cover to promote a hidden agenda that is something quite different, often opposed to what is being said publicly. The Global Climate Coalition is, for example, an organization funded by fossil fuel providers that works to deny climate change and other related issues. The Groundwater Protection Council does not protect water resources at all and instead receives its money from the fracking industry, which resists any regulation of water pollution it causes. The Partnership for a New American Economy has nothing to do with protecting the U.S. economy and instead seeks to replace American workers with H1B immigrant laborers. Even the benign sounding National Sleep Foundation, is in reality a Big Pharma creation intended to convince Americans that they need to regularly use sleep inducing drugs.
Front groups in a political context can be particularly dangerous as they deceive the voter into supporting candidates or promoting policies that have a hidden agenda. The Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, is, for example, uninterested in preserving democracies unless that democracy is Israel, which many observers would prefer to describe as an apartheid state. It is funded by Zionists billionaires and its leadership meets regularly with Israeli officials. The American Enterprise Institute is likewise a neocon mouthpiece for economic imperialism and regime change disguising itself as a free market advocate and the Brookings Institution is its liberal interventionist counterpart.
Front groups are sometimes largely fictional, on occasion creations of an intelligence agency to give the impression that there exists in a country a formidable opposition to policies pursued by the governing regime. Recent developments in Venezuela and Bolivia rather suggest the CIA creation of front groups in both countries while the Ukrainian regime change that took place in 2014 also benefited greatly from a U.S. created and supported opposition to the legitimate Viktor Yanukovych government.
Mar 06, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org
You've heard it so often that you may well believe it's true: Trump's second term would be a disaster. For the Democratic Party. For the United States. For democracy itself. "The reelection of Donald Trump," warns Nancy Pelosi, "would do irreparable damage to the United States."
But would it really?
Exceptions are a normal part of history but the record suggests that Trump would not be one of the few presidents who get much done during their second terms. There are three reasons for the sophomore slump:
By definition, political honeymoons expire (well) before the end of a president's first term. Elections have consequences in the form of policy changes that make good on campaign promises. But turning a pledge into reality comes at a cost. Capital gets spent, promises are broken, alliances shatter. Oftentimes, those changes prove disappointing. Recent example: Obamacare. Voters often express their displeasure by punishing the party that controls the White House with losses in Congress in midterm elections.
The permanent campaign fed by the 24-7 news cycle makes lame ducks gimpier than ever. Before a president gets to take his or her second oath of office, news media and future hopefuls are already looking four years ahead.
Scandals come usually home to roost during second terms. It's tough to push laws through a Congress that is dragging your top officials through one investigation after another.
I'm not suggesting that President Trump deserves a second term. He didn't deserve a first one. He's a terrible person and an awful president. What I'm saying is that it is more likely than not that he has already done most of the damage that he can do.
Pundits and Democratic politicians have been pushing a self-serving narrative that implies that everything Trump has done so far was merely a warm-up for the main event, that he would want and be able to go even further if given the chance if November 2020 goes his way.
That doesn't make sense. Who in their right mind thinks Trump has been holding anything back? Which president has failed to go big within a year or two?
An achievement-filled second term would be a major reversal of recent historical precedent. Things may get worse under four more years of this idiot, but not much worse as the Democratic doomsday cult warns.
President Obama didn't get much done during his second term, which began with the bungled rollout of the federal and state "health exchanges." He signed the Paris climate accord, renewed diplomatic relations with Cuba and negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran. But the ease with which his successor canceled those achievements showcased both the ephemerality of policies pushed through without thorough public propaganda and a general sense that second-term laws and treaties are easy to annul. I hope Obama enjoyed all those trips to Martha's Vineyard because that's pretty much all he has to show for term number two.
George W. Bush screwed up one thing after another during his second four years in office, which was bookended by his hapless non-response to the destruction of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina and his role in the ineffective and wasteful bailout of Wall Street megabanks during the subprime mortgage financial crisis. What began as an illegal war of aggression against Iraq became, after reelection, a catastrophic quagmire that destroyed America's international reputation.
Whatever the merits of Bill Clinton's legislative and policy agenda -- welfare reform, NAFTA and bombing Kosovo would all have happened under a Republican president -- having anything substantial or positive to point to was well in the rearview mirror by his second term, when he found himself embroiled in the Monica Lewinsky affair and impeachment.
Reagan was both senile and bogged down in Iran Contra.
Even the most productive and prolific president of the 20th century had little to show for his second term. FDR's legacy would be nearly as impressive today if he'd only served four years.
Anything could happen. Donald Trump may use his second term to push dramatic changes. If there were another terrorist attack, for example, he would probably try to exploit national shock and fear to the political advantage of the right. Another Supreme Court justice could pass away. On the other hand, Trump is old, clinically obese and out of shape. He might die. It's doubtful that Mike Pence, a veep chosen for his lack of charisma, would be able to carry on the Trump tradition as more than the head of a caretaker government.
Analysts differ on what Trump 2.0 might look like. Regardless of their perspective, however, no one expects anything big.
"If Trump wins a second term this November," James Pethokoukis writes in The Week, Trump "might propose more tax cuts, but they are more likely to be payroll tax cuts geared toward middle-class workers instead of income tax cuts for rich people and corporations. He'll look for a new Federal Reserve chair less worried about inflation than current boss Jerome Powell, who deserves at least partial credit for the surging stock market and continuing expansion. Trump will let the national debt soar rather than trimming projected Medicare and Social Security benefits. And there will be more protectionism, although it may be called 'industrial policy.'"
"The early outlines of the [second-term] agenda are starting to emerge," Andrew Restuccia reports in The Wall Street Journal. "Among the issues under consideration: continuing the administration's efforts to lower prescription drug prices, pushing for a broad infrastructure bill and taking another crack at reforming the country's immigration system, [White House] officials said." They also want to reduce the deficit.
Under Trump, immigration reform is never a good thing. But it's hard to imagine anything major happening without Democratic cooperation.
Internationally, many observers expect Trump to continue to nurture his isolationist tendencies. But President Bernie Sanders would probably have similar impulses to focus on America First.
By all means, vote against Trump. But don't freak out at the thought of a second term.
Mourn what happened under the first one instead -- and work to reverse it.
Mar 10, 2020 | www.wsws.org
The campaign of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is making a last-ditch stand in the Michigan primary Tuesday, amid mounting indications that the Democratic Party as a whole has moved decisively into the camp of his main rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. Sanders cancelled rallies in Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois -- all states where he trails Biden in the polls -- in order to concentrate all his efforts in Michigan, where he won an upset victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016.
On Sunday, Senator Kamala Harris endorsed Biden, the latest of nine former presidential contenders to announce their support for their one-time rival, joining Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Michael Bloomberg, Beto O'Rourke, John Delaney, Seth Moulton, Tim Ryan, and Deval Patrick. Harris is to join Biden for a campaign rally in Detroit Monday.
The consolidation of the Democratic Party behind Biden is a damning exposure, not merely of the politically reactionary character of this organization, but of the contemptible falsification on which the Sanders campaign has been based: that it is possible to transform the Democratic Party, the oldest American capitalist party, into the spearhead of a "political revolution" that will bring about fundamental social change.
Former Vice President Biden is the personification of the decrepit and right-wing character of the Democratic Party. In the past 10 days alone, Biden has declared himself a candidate for the US Senate, rather than president, confused his wife and his sister as they stood on either side of him, called himself an "Obiden Bama Democrat," and declared that 150 million Americans died in gun violence over the past decade. This is not just a matter of Biden's declining mental state: it is the Democratic Party, not just its presidential frontrunner, that is verging on political senility.
It is evident that the Democratic Party leadership in Congress, as well as the Biden campaign and the Democratic National Committee, aims to run the 2020 campaign on the exact model of Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2016: portraying Trump as personally unqualified to be president and as a Russian stooge, while opposing any significant social reform and delivering constant reassurances to the ruling financial aristocracy that a restored Democratic administration will follow in the footsteps of Obama, showering trillions on Wall Street and doing the bidding of the military-intelligence apparatus.
One could ask of the nine ex-candidates who have now endorsed Biden, why they were candidates in the first place? Why did they bother to run against the former vice president, clearly the preferred candidate of the party establishment? None of them voices any significant political differences with Biden. All of them hail the right-wing political record of the Obama-Biden administration, even though that administration produced the social and economic devastation that made possible the election of Donald Trump.
Even more revolting, if that is possible, is the embrace of Biden by the black Democratic politicians. The former senator from Delaware is identified with some of the most repugnant episodes in the history of race relations in America: the abusive treatment of Anita Hill, when she testified against the nomination of Clarence Thomas, before Biden's Judiciary Committee; an alliance with segregationist James Eastland on school integration in the early 1970s, highlighted at a debate by Kamala Harris, eight months before she endorsed Biden; and the passage of a series of "law-and-order" bills that disproportionately jailed hundreds of thousands of African Americans, all of them pushed through the Senate by Biden.
How did a politician who boasted of his close relationships with Eastland and Strom Thurmond become the beneficiary of a virtual racial bloc vote by African Americans in the Southern states? Because African American Democratic Party leaders, including Representative James Clyburn in South Carolina and hundreds of others, represent one of the most right-wing and politically corrupt sections of the party.
The thinking of this layer was summed up in a column Saturday in the Washington Post by Colbert King, a former State Department official and local banker, a prominent member of the African American elite in the nation's capital, who wrote in outrage, "America's black billionaires have no place in a Bernie Sanders world."
King denounced the suggestion that black CEOs and billionaires are "greedy, corrupt threats to America's working families or the cause of economic disparities and human misery." Voicing the fears of his class, he continued, "I know there are those out there who buy the notion that America consists of a small class of privileged, rapacious super-rich lording over throngs of oppressed, capitalist-exploited workers. You can see it in poll numbers showing the share of Americans who prefer socialism to capitalism inching upward."
What the Washington Post columnist reveals is what Bernie Sanders has done his best to cover up: the Democratic Party is a party of the capitalist class. It can no more be converted to socialism than the CIA can become an instrument of the struggle against American imperialism.
True, Sanders can dredge up Jesse Jackson for a last-minute endorsement, proof that demagogues engaged in diverting mass left-wing sentiment into the graveyard of the Democratic Party recognize and embrace each other across the decades. But with that exception, the entire black Democratic Party establishment has lined up behind Biden -- including, most recently, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Senator Kamala Harris.
Harris's statement is worth quoting. "I have decided that I am with great enthusiasm going to endorse Joe Biden for president of the United States," she said. "I believe in Joe. I really believe in him, and I have known him for a long time." The senator was no doubt responding to the incentives dangled in front of her by Biden after she left the race last December, when he gushed, "She is solid. She can be president someday herself. She can be the vice president. She can go on to be a Supreme Court justice. She can be an attorney general."
Sanders seeks to counter this all-out Democratic Party campaign for Biden by seeking to woo sections of the trade union bureaucracy with appeals to economic nationalism. New Sanders television ads in Michigan feature a United Auto Workers member declaring that his state "has been decimated by trade deals," while Sanders declares that Biden backed NAFTA, drawing the conclusion, "With a record like that, we can't trust him to protect American jobs or defeat Donald Trump." The Vermont senator will find that very few auto workers follow the political lead of the corrupt gangsters who head the UAW.
More than 13 million people, mainly workers and youth, voted for Sanders in 2016 in the Democratic primaries and caucuses. Millions more continue to support him this year, with the same result. Sanders will wrap up his campaign by embracing the right-wing nominee of the Democratic Party and telling his supporters that this is the only alternative to the election, and now re-election of Trump.
Indeed, in appearances on several Sunday television interview programs, Sanders went out of his way to repeat, as he said on Fox News, "Joe Biden is a friend of mine. Joe Biden is a decent guy. What Joe has said is if I win the nomination, he'll be there for me, and I have said if he wins the nomination, I'll be there for him "
Mar 06, 2020 | www.counterpunch.orgThere was this moment during the State of the Union Address that I can't stop thinking about.
When President Trump spoke to army wife Amy Wiliams during his speech and told her he'd arranged her husband's return home from Afghanistan as a "special surprise," it was difficult to watch.
Sgt. Townsend Williams then descended the stairs to reunite with his family after seven months of deployment. Congress cheered. A military family's reunion -- with its complicated feelings that are typically handled in private or on a base -- was used for an applause line.
That gimmick was the only glimpse many Americans will get of the human reality of our wars overseas. There is no such window into the lives or suffering of people in Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, or beyond.
That's unacceptable. And so is the myth that Trump is actually ending the wars.
The U.S. has reached a deal with the Taliban to remove 3,400 of the 12,000 U.S. troops currently in Afghanistan, with the pledge to withdraw more if certain conditions are met. That's a long overdue first step, as U.S. officials are finally recognizing the war is a disaster and are negotiating an exit.
But taking a step back reveals a bigger picture in which, from West Africa to Central Asia, Trump is expanding and deepening the War on Terror -- and making it deadlier.
Far from ending the wars, U.S. airstrikes in Somalia and Syria have skyrocketed under Trump, leading to more civilian casualties in both countries. In Somalia, the forces U.S. operations are supposedly targeting have not been defeated after 18 years of war. It received little coverage in the U.S., but the first week of this year saw a truck bombing in Mogadishu that killed more than 80 people.
Everywhere, ordinary people, people just like us except they happen to live in other countries, pay the price of these wars. Last year saw over 10,000 Afghan civilian casualties -- the sixth year in a row to reach those grim heights.
And don't forget, 2020 opened with Trump bringing the U.S. to the brink of a potentially catastrophic war with Iran. And he continues to escalate punishing sanctions on the country, devastating women, children, the elderly, and other vulnerable people.
Trump is not ending wars, but preparing for more war. Over the past year, he has deployed 14,000 more troops in the Middle East -- beyond the tens of thousands already there.
If this seems surprising, it's in part because the problem has been bipartisan. Indeed, many congressional Democrats have actually supported these escalations.
In December, 188 House Democrats joined Republicans in passing a nearly $740 billion military budget that continues the wars. They passed the budget after abandoning anti-war measures put forward by California Representative Barbara Lee and the precious few others trying to rein in the wars.
It's worth remembering that State of the Union visual, of Congress rising in unison and joining the president in applause for his stunt with the Williams family. Because there has been nearly that level of consensus year after year in funding, and expanding, the wars.
Ending them will not be easy. Too many powerful interests -- from weapons manufacturers to politicians -- are too invested. But ending the wars begins with rejecting the idea that real opposition will come from inside the White House.
As with so many other issues -- like when Trump first enacted the Muslim Ban and people flocked to airports nationwide in protest, or the outpouring against caging children at the border -- those of us who oppose the wars need to raise our voices, and make the leaders follow. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Khury Petersen-Smith
Mar 07, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
tempestteacup , March 6, 2020 at 2:40 pm
I'm going to take my chance while I have it and before having to say "I hate to be that old Marxist but "
I am 36 years old and therefore the same age as most of those speaking for millenials in the DSA, writing for Jacobin, and organising for Bernie or those of his satellites on their respective fool's errands in opposition to the entrenched Democratic Party panjandrums.
Half American and half British, I have also experienced some similar issues with the Corbyn/Momentum movement and its recent car crash with ruling class reality.
Just as an intro because of course I am going to say, "I hate to say this but "
The DSA and the semi-organised American left are selling their increasingly, justifiably radical followers a pig in a poke. In a sense, I except Bernie from that condemnation – running for President, it is what it is. But those who are supposed to be to his left are performing an invidious game by preventing further political education or raising consciousness in favour of peddling the myth of reforming the Democratic Party from within that have been tried, and have failed, so many times in the last 120 years.
The fact that these same groups are doing the same thing when it comes to labour struggles, endlessly shepherding wildcat momentum behind union leadership and justifying sell-out deals instead of fostering a realistic preparation for the struggles ahead, suggests that this is not an accident.
The cognitive dissonance is almost as horrible as that on offer when technocrats like Obama and Clinton accept the facts of climate change while endlessly sandbagging real responses to it. Which shouldn't be surprising, since the American and British new left is engaged in an infernal slow dance with their liberal or corporate beefcakes.
If I sound flippant, I apologise – I don't mean to. I also don't necessarily disbelieve in the potential for at least some change within existing conditions – but historically such changes have been won because there was a more radical extra-electoral/parliamentary movement of workers leveraging their strength, not because it was all within one cosy political bubble.
And that only happens when workers and students are educated about the struggles involved in forcing changes in the teeth of ruling class interests, institutions and political heft. Peddling illusions about the all-encompassing power of the electoral process, or complaining endlessly about the the latest example of back-stabbing from whichever corporate liberal stooge last wielded the shank, is increasingly not just useless but something worse – an expected part of the system itself as it reproduces its frozen dialectics of power and exploitation.
This is not (at least not entirely) a call for revolution. But I am increasingly certain that change is impossible without first preparing a broad swathe of people to fight, fight, fight instead of entrusting the struggle to this or that figurehead (Bernie, AOC), let alone their clarion-callers in an increasingly cosy upper middle class den of pseudo-leftists.
Lambert Strether Post author , March 6, 2020 at 2:52 pm
You might read that Politico article on the DSA. I found it rather encouraging but you might differ. If so, I'd like to know your opinion of the concrete details.
> peddling the myth of reforming the Democratic Party from within
If the ultimate outcome were to split the Democrats, would you change your mind?
tempestteacup , March 6, 2020 at 3:20 pm
Reading the Politico article now. You're right – it is encouraging, at least in the sense that it features articulate, radicalised individuals and their early attempts to organise. It chronicles absolutely necessary early steps in the process. I am very encouraged with the justified, even pragmatic, way they look beyond presidential politics in a dialectical way – both the wider context and the more local, direct implications.
So far, so good.
But there are problems. The sudden, total collapse of the International Socialist Organization is an example of what can happen to a seemingly lively left(ish) group when it grows on shaky ground. You have chronicled some of the contortions of the DSA in their regional elections and controversies. Growing pains – or something more fundamental?
What I'm trying to say is what are they about and how do they reconcile disparate forces and interests without tearing themselves apart? The DSA has its own particular history in the wider context of the American left and its sudden expansion doesn't make that go away. Without adequate theory your praxis will tend to fall apart when it collides with reality.
To give a concrete example that is suggested in the Politico piece, I'm not sure how they are discussing and understanding the identity politics education of the (upper)middle class students drawn to the movement with the different perspectives of the labour movement or, beyond that, the exciting, potentially revolutionary hinterland of the actual working class(!!!)
Lenin didn't know what identity politics was but he described it in a different context: haggling for privileges. I don't want to make this a diatribe on one subject or to suggest that I'm not sensitive to the discrete forms of oppression facing different groups but – and I know you write about this brilliantly – without some kind of radical reckoning with these issues, groups like the DSA are liable to sectarian disasters of exactly the kind envisioned (I suspect) by those who have most insidiously articulated identity over class as the most significant feature of our social relations.
I would say similar things about Extinction Rebellion. I have friends who are deeply involved in it and they are brilliantly committed to its cause. But they struggle when it comes to connecting the realities they rightly identify with the material pathologies that produce them. They are not interested in why, for example, the ER leaders ban socialist sub-groups as "political" while welcoming those for bosses or landlords(?!)
These are, to me, fundamental problems. If you cannot identify your enemy you cannot plan your campaign. And I worry that the DSA, or ER, dine out on identifying symptoms while studiously avoiding an uncomfortable meeting with their cause. And that doesn't mean, either, a schematic link of every social ill with capitalism, nor a demand that everyone be schooled in the dialectic. Just a plan to educate, to find other forms of solidarity, and gird ourselves for the struggle to come.
But that's probably more than enough! In answer to your last question -- - I think a serious split with the Democratic Party is an absolute necessity for anything that follows. It will come one way or another – even if Bernie wins the nomination, then the presidency, I fully expect he will be sandbagged by Democrats at every turn. At some point, it will be necessary to realise that the Democratic Party is not called the graveyard of social movements for nothing – and that American duopoly is the greatest impediment to democracy, no different really from the Congress of All-Russian Soviets in its day.
Billy , March 6, 2020 at 4:06 pm
Forget splitting the Democrats. I like the idea I first saw here, of turning to and leveraging the Republicans as the party of progressive change. Let the Democrat donors hold their bag of defeated candidates while harnessing progressive populists, like Tucker Carlson, or Josh Hawley, as an example, to change the country for the better. My vote in November is for Bernie if he's on the ballot. If not, Tulsi.
Lambert Strether Post author , March 7, 2020 at 2:37 am
> Forget splitting the Democrats
The Democrat Establishment may not split (though as I think Taibbi pointed out, Sanders might have been able to peel off some opportunists with a Texas win).
However, the Democrat base may split. Taking "Bernie Bro" and "He's not a real Democrat" as a proxies, the Democrat gerontocracy (to use the term for the Breshnev era) is systematically and openly alienating the Latin vote, youth generally, young blacks, and younger women. As for the working class, they are not even a mental category for liberals. That reduces their base to older Blacks and the PMC, especially PMC women. As 2016 showed, and as the (PMC women) Warren campaign showed, that's barely enough to win an election, and its certainly not enough to rule.
At some point, the contradictions have to break out into the open, as it becomes obvious the Democrats have failed to represent -- indeed, have disenfranchised -- too many people. As Lincoln wrote to Lyman Trumbull in 1860..
Stand firm. The tug has to come, & better now, than any time hereafter.
The Iron Law of Institutions is looking better every day.
Left in Wisconsin , March 6, 2020 at 4:15 pm
Look, no one knows the future and everyone is always flying by the seat of their pants. This is always true, only more apparent now. I would speculate that at least half of the newly motivated DSA membership couldn't really articulate a vision of socialism if you asked them to. In the future that might be a problem but it is certainly not a problem now. I am much more skeptical of those people now claiming to have "fundamental" answers.
Most of us have a clear if general sense of the enemy (capitalists) and their henchmen (politicians, "policy advocates," etc.). On the other hand, as Stoller points out, we are really bereft of people who actually understand production. I would argue that is our biggest problem, not lack of ideological clarity. Because once we gain power we need to know how to wield it.
tempestteacup , March 6, 2020 at 4:29 pm
Fair enough but I'm not really talking about ideological clarity or sectarian strife. I think we agree – I also mean a thorough understanding of how the world works. But that also means rigorous critique of where things might go wrong – and, for example when it concerns identity politics (a phrase I hate and apologise for using!) I think we have a good example. That doesn't mean class above all, by the way – just not ceding intellectual ground to liberal formulations of who we are and why we are that way!
(I didn't really mean to harp on about identity stuff but I think of it when I think of, for example, the DSA, and some of the divisive disputes that have bedevilled them)
Lost in OR , March 6, 2020 at 7:34 pm
I attended one DSA meeting. The order of business was something like this:
Each person declared how they chose to be identified.
The group overruled those who didn't want to do anything until some minorities could be recruited.
Some movers and shakers volunteer to draw up the chapter charter. As they were all men, they would recuse themselves from further action so the chapter wouldn't be dominated by men. The group was about 90% men.
The Patriarchy was soundly denounced.
I haven't been back.
Carey , March 6, 2020 at 8:43 pm
Similar experience with DSA in Central CA: so much talk about preffered pronouns and the like that I felt not getting to the point *was* the point..
divide 'n' rule is working really, really well.
Lambert Strether Post author , March 7, 2020 at 2:42 am
> divide 'n' rule is working really, really well.
Yes. I don't see this as malevolent; the impulses are good-hearted (which is exactly what makes "intersectionality" so dangerous). Kimberle Crenshaw endorsed Warren, by the way. OTOH, one of the Combahee River Collective founders endorsed Sanders. Of course, Crenshaw's a lawyer. PMC class solidarity is an impressive thing .
dearieme , March 6, 2020 at 4:55 pm
Look, no one knows the future
Marxists always did – or so they claimed.
tempestteacup , March 6, 2020 at 5:30 pm
Playing the long game -- so ask me what happens to the price of nectarines next week!
Lambert Strether Post author , March 7, 2020 at 3:02 am
> Marxists always did – or so they claimed.
What with a billionaire openly purchasing a large portion of the political class, I'd say The Bearded One is looking pretty good right now.
Deplorado , March 6, 2020 at 4:28 pm
You write forcefully and lucidly; if you write or post anywhere online, please share – I want to read it and follow it!
Also if you speak as you write, you will be a formidable leader.
Lambert Strether Post author , March 7, 2020 at 3:06 am
> Lenin didn't know what identity politics was but he described it in a different context: . I don't want to make this a diatribe on one subject or to suggest that I'm not sensitive to the discrete forms of oppression facing different groups but – and I know you write about this brilliantly – without some kind of radical reckoning with these issues, groups like the DSA are liable to sectarian disasters of exactly the kind envisioned (I suspect) by those who have most insidiously articulated identity over class as the most significant feature of our social relations.
"Brilliant" [lambert blushes modestly]. Back at ya for "haggling for privileges."
> At some point, it will be necessary to realise that the Democratic Party is not called the graveyard of social movements for nothing
History is a hard teacher. And where its lesson has been sadly confined to a small group of cadres, as it were, this lesson is now going to be taught to millions by the Democrat Establishment, and with whacks to the knuckles and expulsions, too. That's why I put up that link to Mike Duncan on the Russian Revolution of 1905 the other day .
a different chris , March 6, 2020 at 3:25 pm
And when you answer that, can you make clear which context you are steeped in? I don't know which side of the pond you live on, but our hallowed Constitution, in hindsight, pretty much leads us here. It just ratchets everything rightward.
The claim is – and I am not sophisticated enough to either support or deny it, but others I respect have made it – that our political structure via said Constitution will only support more than two parties for only an election cycle or two. Lincoln introduced himself as a Whig, but had to run as a Republican.
Yes, it goes that far back. Given today's sophisticated hold on the media levers by our Elites, I think an effective third party is less likely than ever. Sure there's things called the Working Families Party and stuff here and there, but their job is basically wrenching Dem primaries.
PS: I actually am registered Green. It's my attempt to signal where my vote is. Little good that seems to have done me.
inode_buddha , March 6, 2020 at 3:12 pm
In America at least, it's easy to be leftist when your personal well-being is not at stake -- the left in the US has always had an upper-class tint and co-opted by the professional-managerial class. BUT their well being does not depend on the outcome like it does for the working classes. The UK and other countries have stronger social safety nets and that does make a difference in people's politics.
As an older worker ( I could be your father) I know how these fights go -- it takes decades of sheer intransigence to get anywhere. In a zillion little ways, every day, for years. I don't know if Millenials understand this, its not a dress rehearsal. It's real. I do believe the movement needs solid organizers and figureheads though -- most likely AOC will be next, I hope. There needs to be a clear method of succession, among people who do *not* compromise. A single stated set of goals, for a decade. And those who get out and volunteer and vote.
Titus , March 6, 2020 at 4:12 pm
tempestteacup , March 6, 2020 at 4:25 pm
I agree with some of what you write but I have yet to see any really adequate figureheads of the sort you suggest as necessary. AOC, after her praise for John McCain is not one of them.
I know this makes me sound intransigent and sectarian but it is and has always been a problem in the left to fight beyond just nation-based working class interests. I'm not saying AOC does that but she, like so many before her, have definitely sacrificed critique of imperialism for a certain amount of mainstream coverage as far as her social democratic advocacy goes.
AOC praised John McCain, Bernie has played up to Russiagate and the enduring myths about Castro's Cuba despite making an obvious, uncontroversial point in the first place. This is how it goes. And that's what I mean – it is a standard thing for Western politicians to throw foreign affairs over the side when they are pressed – especially because the Borg is most concerned with matters of Empire and therefore will attack on that above all else (knowing, too, that the voting public cares much less about such issues than, say, Medicare for All). Corbyn did the same thing when it came to Trident renewal, then Iraq, and finally Israel.
(By the way, such capitulation got him nowhere – he was still slandered as an anti-semite and I just finished an awful book about Oleg Gordievsky in which it is suggested he was a useful idiot for the Czech intelligence services, along with Michael Foot!)
Socialism does not exist without a critique of imperialist/capitalist wars is what I mean.
But I'm sorry, I know this isn't what you were talking about. The reason I brought it up, however, is to illustrate the insidious ways in which freshly elected, occasionally 'radical' politicians are institutionalised. It doesn't happen with bread and butter domestic issues but rather foreign affairs, those distant concerns of experts and spooks.
And yet bringing this up gives a kind of window of opportunity and hope. There is no group with better understanding of the real-world consequences of Empire than the urban and rural working class. They are the ones providing sons and daughters for endless wars. The overextension of empire is always going to provide its weakest points.
Sorry, I've rambled – these are just some thoughts as I try and get to grips with what is to be done!
inode_buddha , March 6, 2020 at 5:04 pm
Well, no, actually its a good thing that you rambled -- I completely agree but from a different angle perhaps.
The fact that socialism is even in contention in the US I think is a referendum on imperialism and capitalism.
And the US way has certainly opened itself to criticism.
Frankly it amazes me that it is even happening at all, being that the Overton window has been dragged so far to the Right in my lifetime.
I remember watching Nixon on TV, stating that he was not a crook. Today, he would be considered to be an unelectable liberal, too far left.
I am not completely happy with the way that AOC and Sanders have had to toe the line with the Establishment regarding foreign policy and etc. (and I don't think McCain was any kind of saint). But I do believe that AOC and Sanders are trying to please multiple Masters. If they don't do the whole "red-baiting" routine then they lose credibility with the system they are part of -- and thereby lose influence. The voters are a different issue -- foreign affairs are just not on the radar at all for most of the working class. The sole exception is those who have family in the armed services. And yet without those voters, they wouldn't have any influence to lose.
So basically, its a chess game. Washington DC has never ran on the truth. I'm pretty sure AOC was just mouthing the words so she can accomplish some of her own left-wing goals. And maybe Sanders is too --
Grachguy , March 6, 2020 at 6:49 pm
If I might inject my two cents into this very interesting discussion, I believe tempestteacup's ultimate point still stands: the Blob/industrialists/parties will suffer no contest to their claims on power. Sure, they allow the occasional voice in the wilderness – to do otherwise would lead to more radical activity I imagine – but the power structures themselves seem quite robust to disturbances from the likes of Sanders and AOC. While I agree that they are likely mouthing the words (Sanders once discussed abolishing the CIA and one does not simply reconsider that view once one has reached that point ideologically), I question whether it even matters It seems to me that a realistic vision of socialism must be brought about independently of the existing state. After all, the social groups that dominate the state also control the media, the military, the educational institutions, and just about every other organ of power. In this framework, hijacking the state as it exists is a tall order and actually reforming it within the rules of the game is even more difficult. Isn't it worth considering the idea that left energy is better devoted to forming alternative institutions and power structures?
The circle of wagons we are seeing around Biden's husk shows that they will fight tooth and nail to keep from implementing even the most benign and basic social democratic reforms. I can only see someone like Bernie or AOC winning real power in the face of a massive economic meltdown and even then, they can win the social democratic reforms (which are desirable) but why couldn't that same opportunity + working class radicalism be channeled into actual systemic change; ie destroying the state as it currently exists and replacing it with a people's democracy? (not the Chinese type please). This would require decades of hard work, but so would replacing the democratic party with our version of Labour (and look where they are).
inode_buddha , March 6, 2020 at 10:36 pm
Isn't it worth considering the idea that left energy is better devoted to forming alternative institutions and power structures?
Very much agree -- I don't think I'm disagreeing with tempestteacup so much as looking from a different angle.
For any of it to work, I think we will have to establish parallel institutions on a far greater scale than Sander's campaign. One favorite of mine is worker co-ops, particularly in the Rust Belt and Midwest.
I dream of being able to unite and organize existing co-ops and strengthen them to the point that they could replace the old Sears Roebuck. Effectively workers would have to work two jobs and participate in two different economies, to the extent that they were able -- but having a fallback via co-op would certainly give them far more autonomy and power than any existing structure.
The only reason the existing structures have any power at all, is due to their death grip on the economy, and directly on peoples lives via economic means. Breaking that grip will also require economic means I think.
Grachguy , March 7, 2020 at 1:32 pm
I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said!
Mar 07, 2020 | getpocket.com
Stories to fuel your mind. "We rise in power and make a difference in the world due to what is best about human nature, but we fall from power due to what is worst." Brain Pickings |
- Maria Popova
Art by Shaun Tan for a special edition of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales .
Thoreau wrote as he contemplated how silence ennobles speech . In the century and a half since, we have created a culture that equates loudness with leadership, abrasiveness with authority. We mistake shouting for powerful speech much as we mistake force for power itself. And yet the real measure of power is more in the realm of Thoreau's "fine things."
So argues UC Berkeley psychologist Dacher Keltner in The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence ( public library ) -- the culmination of twenty years of research exploring what power is, what confers it upon an individual, and how it shapes the structure of a collective, a community, and a culture. Drawing on a wealth of social science studies and insights from successful teams ranging from companies like Pixar and Google to restorative justice programs in San Quentin State Prison, he demonstrates "the surprising and lasting influence of soft power (culture, ideas, art, and institutions) as compared to hard power (military might, invasion, and economic sanctions)."
Life is made up of patterns. Patterns of eating, thirst, sleep, and fight-or-flight are crucial to our individual survival; patterns of courtship, sex, attachment, conflict, play, creativity, family life, and collaboration are crucial to our collective survival. Wisdom is our ability to perceive these patterns and to shape them into coherent chapters within the longer narrative of our lives.
Power dynamics, Keltner notes, are among the central patterns that shape our experience of life, from our romantic relationships to the workplace. But at the heart of power is a troubling paradox -- a malignant feature of human psychology responsible for John Dalberg-Acton's oft-cited insight that "power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Keltner explains the psychological machinery of this malfunction and considers our recourse for resisting its workings:
The power paradox is this: we rise in power and make a difference in the world due to what is best about human nature, but we fall from power due to what is worst. We gain a capacity to make a difference in the world by enhancing the lives of others, but the very experience of having power and privilege leads us to behave, in our worst moments, like impulsive, out-of-control sociopaths.
How we handle the power paradox guides our personal and work lives and determines, ultimately, how happy we and the people we care about will be. It determines our empathy, generosity, civility, innovation, intellectual rigor, and the collaborative strength of our communities and social networks. Its ripple effects shape the patterns that make up our families, neighborhoods, and workplaces, as well as the broader patterns of social organization that define societies and our current political struggles.
Much of what is most unsettling about human nature -- stigma, greed, arrogance, racial and sexual violence, and the nonrandom distribution of depression and bad health to the poor -- follows from how we handle the power paradox.
Art by Olivier Tallec from Louis I, King of the Sheep, an illustrated parable of how power changes us .
What causes us to mishandle the power paradox, Keltner argues, is our culture's traditional understanding of power -- a sort of time-capsule that no longer serves us. Predicated on force, ruthlessness, and strategic coercion, it was shaped by Niccolò Machiavelli's sixteenth-century book The Prince -- but it is as antiquated today as the geocentric model of the universe that dominated Machiavelli's day. What governs the modern world, Keltner demonstrates through two decades of revelatory studies, is a different kind of power -- softer, more relational, predicated on reputation rather than force, measured by one's ability to affect the lives of others positively and shift the course of the world, however slightly, toward the common good. He writes:
Perhaps most critically, thinking of power as coercive force and fraud blinds us to its pervasiveness in our daily lives and the fact that it shapes our every interaction, from those between parents and children to those between work colleagues.
Power defines the waking life of every human being. It is found not only in extraordinary acts but also in quotidian acts, indeed in every interaction and every relationship, be it an attempt to get a two-year-old to eat green vegetables or to inspire a stubborn colleague to do her best work. It lies in providing an opportunity to someone, or asking a friend the right question to stir creative thought, or calming a colleague's rattled nerves, or directing resources to a young person trying to make it in society. Power dynamics, patterns of mutual influence, define the ongoing interactions between fetus and mother, infant and parent, between romantic partners, childhood friends, teens, people at work, and groups in conflict. Power is the medium through which we relate to one another. Power is about making a difference in the world by influencing others.
In a sentiment that parallels Thoreau's wisdom on silence and shouting, Keltner adds:
A new wave of thinking about power reveals that it is given to us by others rather than grabbed. We gain power by acting in ways that improve the lives of other people in our social networks.
One key consequence of the fact that power is given to us by others is its reputational nature -- an insight both disquieting to the ego and comforting to the soul, for we are inescapably social creatures. Keltner observes:
Our influence, the lasting difference that we make in the world, is ultimately only as good as what others think of us. Having enduring power is a privilege that depends on other people continuing to give it to us.
"Enduring" is an operative word in Keltner's premise. The "power paradox" is paradoxical precisely because those who manage to wrest power forcibly by the Machiavellian model may have power, or perceived power, for a certain amount of time, but that amount is finite. Its finitude springs from the attrition of the person's reputation. But the most troubling aspect of the power paradox is that even if a person rises to power by counter-Machiavellian means -- kindness, generosity, concern with the common good -- power itself will eventually warp her priorities and render her less kind, less generous, less concerned with the common good, which will in turn erode her power as her reputation for these counter-qualities grows.
Keltner cites a number of studies demonstrating these tendencies empirically -- poor people give to charity a greater portion of their income than rich people, those in positions of power exhibit more entitled behaviors, people who drive expensive cars are significantly crueler to pedestrians at crosswalks, and so forth.
But in reading these alarmingly consistent studies, I had to wonder about one crucial confound that remains unaddressed: People in positions of power also tend to be busier -- that is, they tend to have greater demands on their time. We know from the now-iconic 1970s Good Samaritan study that the single greatest predictor of uncaring, unkind, and uncompassionate behavior, even among people who have devoted their lives to the welfare of others, is a perceived lack of time -- a feeling of being rushed. The sense of urgency seems to consume all of our other concerns -- it is the razor's blade that severs our connection to anything outside ourselves, anything beyond the task at hand, and turns our laser-sharp focus of concern onto the the immediacy of the self alone.
Art from Anne Sexton's little-known children's book .
We know this empirically, and we know its anecdotal truth intimately -- I doubt I'm alone in the awareness that despite a deep commitment to kindness, I find myself most likely to, say, be impatient with a fellow cyclist when I feel pressed for time, when I know I'm running late. Even Keltner's famous and tragicomical study, which found that drivers of expensive cars are most inconsiderate to pedestrians, might suffer from the same confound -- those who can afford expensive cars are typically people we would deem "successful," who also typically have far greater demands on their time. So could it be that a scarcity of time -- that inescapable hum of consciousness -- rather than an excess of power is the true corrupting agent of the psyche?
And so another paradox lives inside the power paradox -- the more powerful a person becomes, the busier and more rushed she is, which cuts her off from the very qualities that define the truly powerful. What would the studies Keltner cites look like if we controlled not only for power, but for time -- for the perception of being rushed and demand-strained beyond capacity? (Kierkegaard condemned the corrosive effect of busyness nearly two centuries ago.)
Still, Keltner's central point -- that power in the modern world is "gained and maintained through a focus on others" -- remains valid and important. He considers the conscious considerations we can make in order to bypass the perils of the power paradox:
Handling the power paradox depends on finding a balance between the gratification of your own desires and your focus on other people. As the most social of species, we evolved several other-focused, universal social practices that bring out the good in others and that make for strong social collectives. A thoughtful practitioner of these practices will not be misled by the rush of the experience of power down the path of self-gratification and abuse, but will choose instead to enjoy the deeper delights of making a lasting difference in the world. These social practices are fourfold: empathizing, giving, expressing gratitude, and telling stories. All four of these practices dignify and delight others. They constitute the basis of strong, mutually empowered ties. You can lean on them to enhance your power at any moment of the day by stirring others to effective action.
But "power" is one of those words -- like "love" and "happiness" -- to have become grab-bag terms for a constellation of behaviors, states, emotions, and phenomena. Noting that "a critical task of science is to provide clear nomenclature -- precise terms that sharpen our understanding of patterned phenomena in the outside world and inside the mind," Keltner offers elegant and necessary definitions of the distinct notions comprising the constellation of power in modern society:
POWER your capacity to make a difference in the world by influencing the states of other people.
STATUS the respect that you enjoy from other people in your social network; the esteem they direct to you. Status goes with power often but not always.
CONTROL your capacity to determine the outcomes in your life. You can have complete control over your life -- think of the reclusive hermit -- but have no power.
SOCIAL CLASS the mixture of family wealth, educational achievement, and occupational prestige that you enjoy; alternatively, the subjective sense you have of where you stand on a class ladder in society, high, middle, or low. Both forms of social class are societal forms of power.
In the remainder of The Power Paradox , Keltner goes on to examine, through a robust body of research bridged with intelligent insight, what we can do both as individuals and as a society to cultivate the qualities that empower us by empowering others and counter those that feed the most selfish and small-spirited tendencies of human nature. Complement it with Blaise Pascal's timeless 17th-century wisdom on the art of persuasion and philosopher Martha Nussbaum on human dignity and the nuanced relationship between agency and victimhood .
HT Shankar Vedantam / Hidden Brain
Mar 04, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Supporters who were expecting a more radical agenda may feel betrayed, and that could play into the hands of the Democrats.
In its ridiculous dual endorsement of Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar, the New York Times Editorial Board divided the Democratic field into those candidates who "view President Trump as an aberration and believe that a return to a more sensible America is possible" and those who "believe that President Trump was the product of political and economic systems so rotten that they must be replaced."
I've already written about how arbitrarily the Board sorted candidates into one group or another, but the dichotomy itself is useful. Recently, I've found that it helps to make a parable of it.
Some Democratic candidates think Trump has flipped over the political table. They want to set it back up, dab at the tablecloth, enforce better manners, reheat the entrées, and put a second scoop of ice cream on the pie à la mode. Biden and Bloomberg are currently the frontrunners in this category, but even the supposedly radical Elizabeth Warren, by virtue of her moderating compromises and general palatability to the party elite, deserves (at least in part) the label of table re-setter.
For others, though, Trump never actually flipped the table. Sure, he promised to, but as soon as he sat down and dug into his well-done steak, something changed. Many of his signature dishes never materialized. And although he continued to insist that the kitchen staff were defiling the food, he seemed awfully chummy with the management. The management, for their part, obligingly looked the other way while he belched, used the wrong knife, and generally flouted the edicts of Emily Post. Those at the far end of the table where pickings were slim, many of whom had played a part in elevating Trump to his lofty position, wondered what had gone wrong. Was the table bolted invisibly to the floor? Or had Trump betrayed them? Meanwhile, the food, rotten long before Trump had sat down, continued to attract flies.
Into this category, I would place Bernie Sanders, Andrew Yang, and perhaps Tulsi Gabbard, of whom only Bernie remains standing.
Biden thinks he can still salvage dinner; Bernie wants to go full Gordon Ramsay.
To be clear, neither of these is exactly my position. My question is how Trump will respond to the latter. Sure, Biden's guy's-guy persona might be enough to take back the Rust Belt and push him over 270. It seems to me, though, that running on little more than people's fond memories of the Obama administration won't be enough in de-industrialized, opioid-ravaged Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin (Bernie outperforms Biden in all three, according to current polls). Trump won there by a combined margin of 77,744 votes precisely because of voters who, after eight years of Obama, had nearly lost hope and were hungry for change.
This feeling of being let down by Obama's messianic promises, what Sarah Palin eloquently called his "hopey-changey thing," could cut both ways, though. Trump still hasn't built his wall. Manufacturing jobs have not returned en masse; tariffs on China have squeezed farmers and failed to produce the speedy victory he promised. The wars he promised to end still rage, and we've gone to the brink with Iran. Yes, the economy is strong, and conventional wisdom has it that the incumbent only loses if the economy tanks. But Bernie makes a strong case that the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the economy are not the same thing. Six out of 10 Americans feel they're better off than they were three years ago, but I wonder whether the frustrated Midwesterners who swung the election in 2016 have gotten what they wanted out of Trump. If not, they might be willing to try something new . The distance between left-populism and right-populism is, after all, far shorter than the distance between the center-left and the center-right. If Obama let you down and Trump let you down, why not vote Sanders? You've already switched parties once.
Trump shot to the top of the Republican primary polls because he had the energy of a disruptor. The media showered l'enfant terrible with free advertising. Since the impeachment, though, it seems like the press's white-hot Trump derangement has cooled at precisely the wrong time. These days, it's Bernie drawing all the outrage, including accusations of Russian stoogery and wild speculation about anarchic brokered conventions.
Slowly, a narrative is solidifying: if you're ready to say "the hell with it," vote Sanders; if you want more of the same, vote Trump. This perception could prove fatal to the incumbent.
Trump will give Bernie both barrels with "you're a communist" and "how are we supposed to pay for that?" But those might actually work in Bernie's favor. On the campaign trail, Trump proposed a number of fanciful policies, from punishing post-abortive women to deporting 12 million people to the possibility of nuking Europe, and all it got him was more free media. He never explained how the hell he was going to get Mexico to pay for the wall, but nobody cared. Trump was bold, brash, and unconcerned with breaking rules or offending people. Now Sanders, less crass but equally brash, has usurped that brand positioning. This move could force Trump into the role of a brake-pumping Deng Xiaoping, persecuting the authentic radicals while hollowly insisting that he remains the true custodian of the populist revolution.
Badgering Bernie about his lavish Medicare-for-All plan and his lack of clarity about how to fund it could induce sticker shock in the American electorate, but it could also solidify voters' perception that Sanders is the dynamic visionary and Trump the static naysayer. Bernie seems to actively cultivate this edgy persona. Why else would he call himself a "democratic socialist" rather than a "social democrat," a term that more accurately describes his policies and leaves out the scary S-word to boot?
On the debate stage, Bernie will almost certainly castigate Trump for exploiting the anxieties of those coveted 77,744 and delivering on little of what he promised. If Trump counters that he's been stymied by the Deep State, he loses again. His die-hard supporters will buy it, but at least some voters at the end of their rope will think, "Well, if Trump couldn't hit hard enough to shatter the ossified bureaucracy, maybe Sanders can. Or maybe he'll get it rolling in the direction he wants, transforming that bureaucratic mass from an immovable object into an unstoppable force."
I worry that our politics have entered a downward spiral. Hyperpartisan polarization has ensured that everyone feels precarious all the time, and thanks to the ever-morphing values of liquid modernity, moderate candidates can no longer run fast enough to stay in place. If America is no longer great, it must be made great again by whatever means necessary. If it was never great, it must be radically transformed. As checks, balances, bureaucrats, and practicalities frustrate the sweeping aims of each successive political messiah, they prepare the way for one even more extreme to follow. If this happens enough times, the populists of whichever stripe, thwarted again and again, will finally turn against the institutions of their own society. Enter Thomas Hobbes, stage right or left.
I recognize that, for all but the most milquetoast of centrists, the status quo has plenty of problems. I even admit that my own sympathy to populism has grown since 2016. But the trend I've described in American politics is enough to make me sympathize with C.S. Lewis, who grew fed up with an electorate that demanded "such qualities as 'vision,' 'dynamism,' [and] 'creativity'" from candidates.
Lewis longed for a political leader "who will do a day's work for a day's pay, who will refuse bribes, who will not make up his facts, and who has learned his job." He even sardonically proposed founding "a Stagnation Party -- which at General Elections would boast that during its term of office no event of the least importance had taken place."
It's enough to make me miss Jeb Bush.
Grayson Quay is a freelance writer and M.A. at Georgetown University.
kouroi Kent • 13 hours agoUS is an oligarchic republic, like the good old Venetian Republic of old. As an outsider of the US polity, I just get the popcorn and beer during US elections. While the PoTUS has not that much power in the US (albeit a savvy executive, controlling all the federal agencies and appointments in various places, and having the appeal of executive power, which is direct raw), it can be crushing for the outside world. The droned people can attest to that. The starved people due to sanctions can attest to that, the sick and un-treatable people due to sanctions can attest to that power of the PoTUS.Bg • 14 hours agoBuilding the wall is itself a lie. It would be simple to reduce immigration by a lot. use e-verifyFeral Finster • 13 hours ago • edited
The wall is an expensive distraction, that would have zero impact on immigration.
It allows Trump and other elite (who want the low wage workers) to pander. They can tell their base they are being so, so harsh on immigrants, while doing nothing.What "revolution"? Trump has governed as a meaner, more dysfunctional, more reckless version of Dubya.Doug Wallis • 12 hours agoTISO_AX2 • 12 hours ago
...Make America Great is a revolt of the poor and middle class who want their share of the economy instead of giving it away to foreign countries and foreign immigrants. That revolt is not going to go away. However if you are blindly living off the largess of our nation and its big government social welfare programs then you have no connection to education, to employment and from your point of view the government provides your living and the living for your children so as long as you get your check it doesn't matter whether there is 1 person living off that social safety net or 1 thousand or 1 million or 1 billion.It was never Trump's revolution to deliver. We the people delivered the revolution in bringing in DJT to expose and (hopefully) weaken the entrenched Establishment. The former has been accomplished exceedingly well. And there is more work toward that goal to be done. I'm more than impressed with the progress that we've made. Captains can be changed quickly but this ship does not turn easily.Watchers • 10 hours agoThis is a site for GOP establishment types. They suppressed us as deplorables and lied to us with false promises. So we gave them Trump. May the never Trumper Romney types rot in hellhooly • 8 hours agowon't be enough in de-industrialized, opioid-ravaged Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin
Is this 'opioid epidemic' for real? I keep hearing about it. Or is it just like the Global Warming Hoax and people are just exaggerating this 'epidemic', like the coronavirus nonsense??
Mar 05, 2020 | dissidentvoice.org
Season of the Switch
Revising History Before It Happens
by Mark Petrakis / March 3rd, 2020As people march off to the polls today to pick their favorite political actor of the year, I hear precious few voices openly asking what seem to me to be obvious questions, like WHO produced the movie that is their candidacy? Who directed it? Who wrote the script? Who are the investors that will be expecting to see returns on their investment, if their movie and their best actor should somehow win? And how far do the networks of wealth, influence and control extend beyond those public faces inside the campaign? None of these questions strike me as tangential; rather they are all essential.
Let's imagine for a moment that one of these actors can somehow out-thespian Trump once on stage which is HIGHLY unlikely – even for folksy Bernie – UNLESS he can somehow win himself 100% DNC buy-in and 24/7 mainstream "BLUE" media support. But assuming that he (or some "brokered" candidate) wins, it will still be their production teams (along with their extended networks) who will be making their presence felt on Day One of any new presidency. These are the people who will be calling in the favors and calling the shots.
I recall how moved I was by Obama's 2008 election. I was buoyed with hope, because I did not understand then what I understand now – that NO candidate can exist as an independent entity, disconnected from the apparatus and networks that support and produce the narratives that advance them and their agendas. I also recall the day that Obama entered the White House and instantly handed the keys to the economy (and the recovery) back to Geithner, Summers and Rubin – the same trio that had helped destroy it just a year earlier. And he did this at the same moment he was filling his cabinet with the very people "suggested" in that famous leaked letter from the CEO of Citibank. My hope departed in genie smoke at that moment, to be followed by eight years of spineless smooth talk and wobbly action, except where the agendas of Wall Street and pompous Empire were concerned.
Do you see how this works? The game is essentially rigged from the start by virtue of who is allowed to enter the race, what can and what can't be said by them and by who the media is told to shine their light on, and who to avoid. Candidates can, of course, say pretty much anything they want (short of "Building 7, WTF!!" of course) in hopes it will spark a reaction that the media can seize upon.
But just based on words, we know that NONE of these happy belief clowns will forcefully oppose existing "Regime Change" plans for Venezuela, Bolivia and Syria. We know that NONE of them will stand up to Israel – or to a Congress that is, almost to a person, in the pocket of Israel. We know too that NONE of them will bring more than an angry flyswatter to the battle with Wall Street or the corporations. We further know that NONE of them will do more than make modest cuts to military spending or god forbid, call out the secret state's fiscally unaccountable black budget operations, which by now reach into at least the 30 trillions.
Personally, I'm not FOR any candidate simply because I cannot UNSEE what it has taken me 12 years to get into focus; namely, how everyone of them are compromised by a SYSTEM that talks a lot about FIXING what's broken, but which is simply INCAPABLE of delivering anything other than what has been pre-ordained and decreed by the global order of oligarchs, which exists as the "ghost in the machine" that ultimately controls every part of the political "STATE" – at high, middle, low and especially at DEEP levels.
I will say in defense of Bernie that his production team early-on made the very unique decision to crowd-source the campaign's costs. That was a PROFOUND decision, which has paid off for him and which may well buy him a certain level of lubricated control over what is to come, even though the significance of that decision is not well appreciated because the DNC and the MSM simply refuse to discuss it in any depth.
Warren was TRYING to play the populist "people's campaign" game too, until last week when she must have been startled awake by the "Ghost of Reagan's Past" and decided to take the money and run as a Hillary proxy which (big surprise) was what she was all along anyway.
Let me just say this about Joe Biden. From his initial announcement, I never felt he was in his right mind. He seems rather to be teetering on the edge of senility and fast on his way into dementia. Also, the man has openly sold his soul so many times in his career that we shouldn't at this point expect any unbought (or even lucid) thought to ever again escape his remarkably loose lips. Joe might have run with the old skool Dems when he was a big deal on the Delaware streets, but now, like Bloomberg and Romney, he's just another Republican in a pricey blue suit.
I understand how people are feeling stressed, obsessed and desperate to get rid of Donald Trump. It's just that until we take a collective step back and see things at the level from which they actually operate and NOT at the level from which we are TOLD they operate, then we will never be successful in turning our public discourse around or in beginning to identify and eliminate the fascist and anti-human agendas that we associate with Trump, but which actually lie behind the subservient to power policies and preferences of BOTH parties.
If you are holding out hope that Bernie can slay the dragon of the existing system at its belladonna roots, then be my guest. I see too many people spending their hope on Elizabeth Warren, which will only serve to suck power away from Bernie, who is the ONLY Democratic candidate movie that has the potential to actually INSPIRE voters, just as Trump does. Bernie deserves credit too for actually CHANGING the nature of the campaign conversation and who just MIGHT even begin to change it at the national level, assuming that time, tide and tyranny allow him four years safe passage to reach his pending retirement.
In any case, after a year of endless media barrage, it is rather late now for the gods to intervene. All I would hope is that a few more of us can open our eyes to see past the silly "lesser of two evils" and "#votebluenomatterwho" memes, to the reality of how every one of these candidates serve as puppets to SOME specific mix of master control forces and thus make our choice in THAT more realistic light, rather than thinking that any of them offer "real" independent solutions or that any of their "heroic" feet are NOT already embedded knee, waist or neck-deep in the Big Muddy river of our dissolute illusions of Democracy.
– Yet Another Useful Idiot.Mark Petrakis is a long-time theater, event and media producer based in San Francisco. He first broke molds with his Cobra Lounge vaudeville shows of the 90's, hosted by his alter-ego, Spoonman. Concurrently, he took to tech when the scent was still utopian, building the first official websites for Burning Man, the Residents and multiple other local arts groups of the era. He worked as a consultant to a variety of corps and orgs, including 10 years with the Institute for the Future. He is co-founder of both long-running Anon Salon monthly gatherings and Sea of Dream NYE spectacles. Read other articles by Mark .
This article was posted on Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020 at 8:34pm and is filed under Barack Obama , Bernie Sanders , Deep State , Democrats , Donald Trump , Elections , Joe Biden , Presidential Debates , United States .
Mar 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
ben , Mar 1 2020 20:19 utc | 24
As with any candidate, we can only know the truth about them AFTER they're elected.
DJT IMO, has been a complete failure in fulfilling his uttered promises on the campaign trail, as most of our recent POTUSes have been also.
We'll only know the truth of Bernie Sanders, IF he's "elected". Which, IMO, is looking unlikely, because, you must win the nomination first, and THAT, is looking doubtful, as the
DNC and their minions are lining up against him.
Feb 26, 2020 | www.unz.com
Levtraro , says: Show Comment February 25, 2020 at 6:52 pm GMTI suspect his open-borders advocacy and Russia-bashing too are lies; these are lines of defence against internal forces. It makes sense for him to take those positions while he seeks the nomination. If he gets it, he can betray those positions. A serious politician has to demonstrate a large capacity for betrayal. At the end of the day, he is a hardened politician like the rest.
Feb 26, 2020 | www.unz.com
Anon  Disclaimer , says: Show Comment February 26, 2020 at 1:05 pm GMTLmao in the end, (((Bernie))) will kneel to usury. They always do.
Feb 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
14 minutes ago
- What imperialism?
- We are spreading freedumb and dumbocracy.
- We are saving the world from socialism and communism.
- We are energy independent, with innate exceptionalism and #MAGA# will usher in a new era of American prosperity.
- Any and all accusations of USSA imperialism, are made by the "woke" and those jealous of the greatest Capitalist system in the world.
- The swamp is being drained as I speak, and therefore will continue with unwavering support for my 5x draft dodging, Zionist supporting, multiple times bankrupt, keeper of broken promises POTUS.
- Smedley Butler's book is not worthy of reading once you have the seminal work known as "The Art Of The Deal"
Feb 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Likklemore , Feb 22 2020 22:53 utc | 105it's not a lock that Trump will be re-elected. It's the great silent majority of moderates [RINOs, DINOs] and independents who fear another 4 years of Trump - The Autocratic President of the United States
a brutal assessment -
Donald Trump can be seen as some sort of a deadly "political virus", which was introduced accidently into the American body politic in 2016.
Wednesday, February 5, 2020 will come to be remembered as a date of historic significance for the United States. Indeed, this is the date when a Senate majority of 52 Republican Senators (with the notable exception of Sen. Mitt Romney), voted against convicting President Donald Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of justice, in the impeachment trial of the latter. That is also the date when Donald Trump interpreted such exoneration as a blank check to move towards a fully autocratic presidency.
Thus, in open defiance of the American Constitution and of America's checks-and-balances system, Trump's Republican enablers have placed the American people before a fait accompli and the only question now is to see if this dangerous drift toward autocracy will be condoned or reversed in the next presidential election of November 3rd.[.]
IMHO, Sanders, accused of being a 'self-identified' socialist, should be emphasizing the U.S. is shoulder-deep in socialism for the 1% who have access to free Fed funds. Free as in ZERO interest (0%) while jim and joe mainstreet struggle to pay interest on debt.
Feb 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
A User , Feb 21 2020 3:04 utc | 101Frankly some people here seem to be living in la-la-land where impossible dreams come true.
How about some realpolitik as practiced by both halves of the amerikan empire party when the VP decision time comes around. Does anyone imagine Kennedy wanted Johnson as VP or Bush I, Dan Quayle or Oblamblam the crookedest man in the senate, Joe Biden?
Of course not they were told to take these hacks as a way for 'the party' to keep the hairy eyeball on 'their' Prez.
Let's just pretend for a moment that Sanders came to conference with sufficient delegates that the hope of the DNC to override Sanders with superdelegates was simply too much for the dem party to achieve without alienating a sizable chunk of potential dem voters for life (the odds of that occurring are slimmer than a 2 year old Yemeni, but let's pretend).
Even if Sanders had sufficient delegates to obviate a brokered conference, it wouldn't matter, the DNC would still insist on a 'sit down' with the Sanders crew and insist he took a particular person as his VP. Sanders could refuse, in which case he could expect zero $$$'s for his campaign from the dems and worse the DNC would tell him that the party money, in many cases donated to the DNC by naifs who 'wanted to give Bernie a hand', was going to be spent 'down ticket' assisting all the dem pols up for re-election who were committed to opposing Bernie's favourite policies such as single payer healthcare.
Bernie would be screwed as even if he beat orange moron as he wouldn't stand a shitshow in hell of getting any of these "radical pinko policies" through, which would be justified by the rightist dem senators & congress-creeps saying "Democrat voters, voted for a democratic president not a Marxist president" over and over until the idiots among the public had been sufficiently indoctrinated to believe that tosh. There is no way Gabbard will be permitted as Sanders' running-mate unless she has totally sold out already.
Maybe Sanders should open the bidding with Gabbard, after which the DNC might offer up 'Pete the cheat' to ensure Bernie is defeated, or some other less power-hungry, more malleable dem lick-spittle.
If Sanders is smart enough to play this game, he will already have worded up one or two slightly conservative DC hacks on the qt, then make out he's making a huge compromise by selecting her/him.
He could conceivably get away with that as long as the DNC mobsters are blindsided - remember most of those DC lowlifes will leap at the chance of the veep's gig since it puts you in the inside running to be the prez after yer running 'mate'. And offering it quietly early on would give Sanders the right to insist on blind loyalty - which he prolly wouldn't get totally, but he would have something close to that
Trouble is I don't reckon Sanders has the smarts to pull a rort like that off - we shall see. Whatever he does do the odds are high of him being stymied every time if he does make it
Likklemore , Feb 21 2020 3:25 utc | 102Posted by: Krollchem | Feb 21 2020 1:55 utc | 92psychedelicatessen , Feb 21 2020 4:04 utc | 103
In reply to my comment on the process, you wrote
"Actually this is not technically correct
and then you quoted Article 2 Section 2 of the Constitution.
You ignored the process
I wrote on the process in which jim and jane mainstreet vote [the 2nd part of the process] to select the State electors to the Electoral College: from Link (Archives.gov) provided @ 24 and fully detailed below:
November 3, 2020 -- Election Day
During the general election your vote helps determine your State's electors. When you vote for a Presidential candidate, you aren't actually voting for President. You are telling your State which candidate you want your State to vote for at the meeting of the electors. The States use these general election results (also known as the popular vote) to appoint their electors. The winning candidate's State political party selects the individuals who will be the electors.[.]
Who selects the electors?
Choosing each State's electors is a two-part process. First, the political parties in each State choose slates of potential electors sometime before the general election. Second, during the general election, the voters in each State select their State's electors by casting their ballots.
The first part of the process is controlled by the political parties in each State and varies from State to State. Generally, the parties either nominate slates of potential electors at their State party conventions or they chose them by a vote of the party's central committee. This happens in each State for each party by whatever rules the State party and (sometimes) the national party have for the process. This first part of the process results in each Presidential candidate having their own unique slate of potential electors.
Political parties often choose individuals for the slate to recognize their service and dedication to that political party. They may be State elected officials, State party leaders, or people in the State who have a personal or political affiliation with their party's Presidential candidate. (For specific information about how slates of potential electors are chosen, contact the political parties in each State.)
The second part of the process happens during the general election. When the voters in each State cast votes for the Presidential candidate of their choice they are voting to select their State's electors. The potential electors' names may or may not appear on the ballot below the name of the Presidential candidates, depending on election procedures and ballot formats in each State.
The winning Presidential candidate's slate of potential electors are appointed as the State's electors -- except in Nebraska and Maine, which have proportional distribution of the electors. In Nebraska and Maine, the State winner receives two electors and the winner of each congressional district (who may be the same as the overall winner or a different candidate) receives one elector. This system permits Nebraska and Maine to award electors to more than one candidate.[.]
Rob @ 99 - I don't think evidence of this form has been archived anywhere on the Internet. I would be particularly interested in seeing how much of a favorite Clinton was in 2016. I doubt she would have been more than 2/3, and the result not as shocking an upset were Trump actually 1/1. In any event, if the favorite an hour before the books closed always won, who then would ever consider the price on an underdog as an overlay? I'm not addressing any prediction of a winner; I'm observing the changes in public opinion as expressed through those who are willing to take a money position along the way. There would be no other prominent reason for Sanders to reclaim over Bloomberg in less than a week, the Democratic candidate top spot in betting odds, than his strong showing Wednesday night.Circe , Feb 21 2020 4:33 utc | 104
All of the legal gambling outlets will tend to keep fairly close in sync with changes in odds offered. Any one of them getting significantly out of sync is taking a position, attracting layoff action from one of the others. When someone makes an investment in this type of futures, it's with an eye toward spotting an overlay. That means a current line which is offering too strong a return on the investment. The books have several ways of adjusting. They can change the odds offered, lay off action with each other to balance their money position, or offer early resolution to certain ticket holders. For example, Trump opened at 5/2 and toward the end of 2018 had been bet down to 3/2. He is currently 8/13 which represents an extreme overlay if someone is holding a ticket with 3/2 odds. When this kind of situation occurs, all of the books are likely to sustain a loss. So, they will offer early resolution. A $2000 ticket on Trump at 3/2 will return $5000, however anyone holding this ticket may be offered $2750 today for early resolution. That's an immediate $750 profit for giving back their position.
Now to illustrate just how drastic changes in the futures betting can be, a few hours ago Sanders was 7/2, he's now 10/3. Bloomberg continues to slide, from 4/1 last week to 11/2 a few hours ago to now 7/1. Perhaps Bloomberg will be attractive enough to become an overlay at 10/1? I would consider that price might be worth taking a position on, if one thinks convention shenanigans will place him as the candidate. At that point (if correct) he'll drop to say 8/5 and will return a good profit from early resolution.
The changes in the betting lines appear more discernible to me, than a shift of a few percentage point amongst pollsters. Notice Pence is back on the board, so obviously some people think there's greater than a 300/1 chance Trump is deceased during this term.Aren't you being somewhat disingenuous by selectively nitpicking a few sentences out of Bernie's speech that merely express an opinion, not a declaration of political meddling, intervention or war, while leaving out the positive 90%, like his criticism of Bolsanaro, Netanyahu and Israel's racist unjust policies and his concern for the dire situation in Gaza?Cadence calls , Feb 21 2020 5:04 utc | 105
He rails against Saudi Arabia and MBS and the war on Yemen. He's critical of Sheldon Adelson's influence, the Koch brothers and Mercer and the corruption of goverment and the greed they represent. He's critical of the massive amounts of funding spent on the military. That's great, no?
He's sympathetic to the unjust imprisonment of Lula da Silva and talks about the necessity of addressing climate change and poverty and much more. WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT??? There's a Ziofascist in the White House right now who just brought on board Richard Grenell for DNI, (ironically mentioned in Bernie's speech last October... prophetic? Yes.), yet another Iranophobe! So you can guess what direction we're headed in?
Out of all the good that Bernie spoke you gripe about that small paragraph and use it to distort as still too aggressive his entire foreign policy vision and pov on issues few in Congress have the spine to address?
You think I'm just going to let slide this perversion of his message?
Just see how so many comments reek with that same type of distortion parotting YOUR CUE. Do you not feel any responsibilty to the truth and to the power your word may have to influence others to misjudge Bernie Sanders unfairly through your distorted lens?
I am sickened reading the comments that emanated from your small paragraph and bet you NO ONE BOTHERED TO READ THE ENTIRE SPEECH IN THE LINK AND RELIED INSTEAD ON THAT DROP FROM POISON PEN TO FORM A TOTALLY IGNORANT, BIASED OPINION.
I'm glad you at least gave him credit for defending well his positions in the midst of multiple attacks in the debate.
If Bernie can withstand the onslaught of unfair, disproportionate establishment and media attacks (your's included) and win the Nomination, it won't be thanks to the majority of you, but you will all in some way benefit from an improvement in foreign policy under a Sanders administration. OR DO YOU ACTUALLY PREFER TO DISCUSS WAR AND ATROCITY AND CONSPIRACY MACHINATIONS HERE ALL DAY, EVERY DAY IN PERPETUITY? Maybe that's the problem, maybe with Bernie as President you'll be less involved as armchair generals and have to settle for criticizing boring diplomacy for a change!
I don't know about you, but I really welcome most of what Bernie talked about and his vision for the future on this planet much more than discussing war with Iran, famine and climate disaster.
Bernie will make it in spite of haters, never Sanders, maligners, and distorters of the truth.
Oh, and he'll DESTROY Trump in November.
Jared suggests Bloomberg/Gabbard.
I guess you don't really know what Bloomberg's about. And you especially don't get Gabbard! She wouldn't be caught dead working for that Neocon warmonger!
SharonM and Jackrabbit
Get a room you professional koo-koo spinbots...preferrably in another Solar System where you can't damage impressionable minds. Ugh.I feel bad for the Bernie Bros.SharonM , Feb 21 2020 5:14 utc | 106
He's gonna sell them out again.
Dude has zero pull with his "party", and is facing a steamroller in Trump.
I would be happy to have a small dinner with Circe and friends after the convention.
We can commiserate over a few wodkas and goulash.@104 CircePenelope , Feb 21 2020 5:30 utc | 107
"SharonM and Jackrabbit
Get a room you professional koo-koo spinbots...preferrably in another Solar System where you can't damage impressionable minds. Ugh."
I'm against war. You're obviously just another loser imperialist.Since medical care figures so prominently in the election, might be a good idea to know why it costs so much now:Circe , Feb 21 2020 5:45 utc | 108
The Oligarch Takeover of US Pharma and Healthcare by Jon Hellevig
"The Awara study shows https://www.awaragroup.com/blog/us-healthcare-system-in-crisis/ that in addition to the original sin of corporate greed, the exorbitant costs of the US healthcare system stem from layers upon layers of distortions with which the system is infested. Each part of the healthcare industry contributes to what is a giant monopoly scam: the pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment manufacturers, drug wholesalers, drug stores, group purchasing organizations, health insurance companies, doctors, clinics and hospitals, and even what should be impartial university research. And on top of that, there's the government as a giant enabler of monopolized corporations running roughshod over the American consumer and patient.
"But it is worse than that. All the monopolists (in official parlance, oligopolies) are in turn owned by the same set of investors in what is called horizontal shareholding. The same some 15-20. investors have the controlling stake in all the leading companies of the entire pharma and healthcare industry.
"That's not all. Two of the investors, BlackRock and Vanguard, are the biggest owners in almost every single one of the leading companies.
"Furthermore, BlackRock is owned by Vanguard, BlackRock's biggest owner being a mystical PNC Services, whose biggest owner in turn is Vanguard. Vanguard itself is recorded directly as BlackRock's second biggest owner. Moreover, BlackRock and Vanguard are the two biggest owners of almost all the other 15-20 biggest investors, which most are cross-owned and together own the entire US pharma and healthcare sector. Ultimately, then we might have the situation that the whole healthcare sector and Big Pharma are controlled by one giant oligarch clan (and the very real people who stand behind them), one single interest group of oligarch investors." -- http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/52658.htm
PS: US is now 33d in life expectancy.Yesterday some dirty dog, Bloomberg or weasel Buttigieg, brought up the fact that Bernie has 2 million, and 3 homes, one in Washington, a house in Vermont his wife inherited from her parents and a cabin by a lake! OMG! QUICK! Call the Socialist police! He's 78, has a career in politics, wrote some bestsellers and he has to live like a monk otherwise, he's a hypocrite???Blue Dotterel , Feb 21 2020 6:19 utc | 109
The hypocrites are the ones criticizing him and not Warren who appeared in Forbes cause she has two expensive homes, and 12 MILLION. But, at the debate she was coy and uncommonly silent when they attacked Bernie for what is perfectly normal given his career, success as an author and his age!
But Lizabeth, she cares so much about poor mothers and babies, and shares Bernie's platform, and yet is too chicken to call herself a democratic socialist. Yeah, with 12 Mil in the bank and different investments she's got a big stake in Capitalism! And someone mentionned that during the commercial break she was getting quite friendly yacking it up with Bloomberg, AFTER she put on the Non-disclosure artifice (watch out for hidden mics, Mike!). And she's not big on democracy either, since she would rather go to a brokered convention, than give Bernie the nomination when he gets the majority of pledged delegates. Screw her!
Oh Lizzie, you showed all your true colors!
DONE, put a fork in it!
Against war and for Trump? 🤣🤣🤣
Trust me, Bernie's not starting any war at his age, and he's from a bucolic state. If you think Bernie's for war and I'm an imperialist, then must be a real bad judge of character.
You fool no one. You hate Bernie for some other stupid reason.Really, the Oligarch party composed of the Republican and Democrat branches will not make any significant changes to the status quo, even if Sanders is voted in to the presidency. Sanders' foreign policy is the Oligarch policy; Sanders domestic policy would never get past the Oligarch house without significant watering down to be totally irrelevant. Sanders only "threat" to the Oligarchs is that the presidency would give him a 4-year platform to continue to put forth his semi-socialist domestic views, seeding the brains of the ignorant masses with dangerous thoughts.Piotr Berman , Feb 21 2020 7:26 utc | 110
Voting for either branch of the Oligarch party is to vote for the status quo. All that is guaranteed are a few cosmetic changes of zero significance. Vote, but vote anyone but the Oligarch Party!A positive assessment of the chances of Sanders to win the nomination:YnO , Feb 21 2020 7:41 utc | 111
"Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg's presidential campaign called on former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to drop out of the Democratic presidential primary race in a memo released on Thursday, warning that Bloomberg's presence in the race would propel Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to the Democratic nomination. "
Pete could be more incisive by pointing that unlike his much more financially successful colleague from the race of nomination, he has no track record on making unwanted passes on women, or jokes that cannot be revealed to the publics. More seriously, American establishment is so vast that it is internally divided into various groups or cliques that detest each other. Pete is a darling of CIA circles, Bloomberg is so rich that he nearly makes an influence group by himself., but he may be popular among Wall Street denizens who donate to Metropolitan Opera and snicker at Trump who could not tell Verdi from Barbie doll. On political positions, I wonder if there is an ounce of difference.There is a lot of criticism in these comments about Sanders not going all out against the Democratic Party and playing too nice, but a counterpoint to consider is that we have a perfect example to contrast his behavior with: Tulsi Gabbard. Tulsi was vice chair of the DNC and considered one of their "rising stars" in part because of the elites' insipid love of identity politics, and she is demonstrating the country what happens when you go nuclear against the establishment. She burned her political capital to back Bernie in 2016 and went on the attack during the debates she was able to get into. Would Sanders really get better results doing what Tulsi is doing, and if so, why would he going that course be different?Krollchem , Feb 21 2020 8:27 utc | 112Likklemore@102james , Feb 21 2020 8:29 utc | 113
What you describe is what is generally done. If the State legislature chooses to ignore the vote then your argument is not valid.
Please see the US Constitution that I linked...@95 sharon.. thanks.. that sounds reasonable.. however at present either one of the war parties is going to win.. i suppose some will think bernie i war party lite or something, but regardless if he gets the nod - which i highly doubt - the war party is still in control.. something bigger has to happen for this to change.. collapse is a popular fantasy for some.. i am not sure if or when that could happen too.. it is hard being reasonable in this atmosphere.. i am inclined to more radical thinking as the answer at this point..BM , Feb 21 2020 8:58 utc | 114"It's time to give the elites a bigger say in electing the President"Seer , Feb 21 2020 10:26 utc | 115
Under Trump Bezos lost highly profitable interests, and under a second Trump term he would likely lose still more. If any of the elites' choices get the Dem nomination, Trump is certain to win. Perhaps Bezos' reasoning was to try to provoke Dem supporters to reject the elites because that is the only chance of getting back the business interests he lost.
Bezos is a nasty piece of work indeed, but to his credit, maybe he at least sees the need of a more acceptable candidate."They" have thrown down everything against Sanders yet he continues to rise. His support base is HUGE. Competition can't touch him. His victories will put him up so much that the DNC is rendered powerless.Paco , Feb 21 2020 10:29 utc | 116
Of all the candidates, Tulsi Gabbard is far away the closest in ideology to Sanders. She entered the race with Bernie's approval, before Bernie announced. Bernie knows that Tulsi is the only one (other than Nina Turner) that would totally have his back. I actually believe that Gabbard is the best candidate that the US has had in a LONG time. If she were selected as VP she would get a lot more exposure; the more exposure the more support she gets. I don't believe that Bernie needs to pick a VP in order to garner more votes; that is, it's not as strategically necessary as other candidates have required: I repeat: Bernie's base is HUGE. Tulsi is a BIG insurance policy. VP isn't a do-nothing position: it can cast a tie-breaking vote in the senate; it can act as collaborator with POTUS. In a more correct positioning of talents it would be Gabbard as POTUS and Sanders as VP. I'd be happy to see Nina Turner as VP but am worried that the pairing with Sanders would create too stark of a picture, one open to really ugly attacks: it's hard to attack Tulsi given her military experience (I hate that this needs to be played, but it's the reality we face). AND there's the VP debates: Tulsi vs Pence would be one for the history books.Turkey closed its airspace to russian airplanes flying to Syria and slowed down the so called Syrian Express. The straights would be closed in case of declared war but the flow can be slowed down by other means. Hard to think that war will be officially declared with all the joint projects in energy, but logistics would be a real problem for Russia if things get uglier.jared , Feb 21 2020 11:21 utc | 117
The second question of the 20 series to Putin is about Ukraine, as usual he comes across as well informed and with ease of verve.
CirceWilly2 , Feb 21 2020 11:34 utc | 118
I guess you don't really know what Bloomberg's about. And you especially don't get Gabbard! She wouldn't be caught dead working for that Neocon warmonger!
Please advise - What is Bloomberg about.
In my experience he is a conservative moderate.
Do we just describe everyone we dont like as zionist?- The american writer Thomas Frank has put this way: The Democrats had every opportuniy to win the presidential election of 2016 by focussing on the people in "fly-over land", on the people who felt "left bhind" but instead they focussed on the "creative class" (laywers, the "professional class", hollywood and people from the tech sector (GOOGLE, Facebook, etc.).Willy2 , Feb 21 2020 11:38 utc | 119
- It was the presidential campaign of Trump who saw the chance to win over the people from "fly-over country".@Jared (#117):Willy2 , Feb 21 2020 11:47 utc | 120
- Yes, Bloomberg is a moderate republican but he is also an establishment figure/person. So, he won't be the one that will bring about MAJOR changes that are going to hurt that same establishment. Including the "zionists" (with or without quotation marks).- The people who are commenting on this topic should take into account one thing. Over the years the Republican party has purged the party of "moderate Republicans". As a result of that Republican party shifted more and more to the right side of the political spectrum.William Gruff , Feb 21 2020 12:18 utc | 121About Butt-gig...Willy2 , Feb 21 2020 12:43 utc | 122
If you were running a giant organized crime group with cash flow in the hundreds of $billions, with tentacles deeply penetrating all of the mass media, with connections at the top of all major western multinational corporations, and you wanted to "manage" the political system of the country that finances the military that you occasionally need, how would you do that?
Run you own candidates, of course!
So it is 2015. You've already gotten one of your candidates elected twice, and you are confident that mass media cultivated "identity politics" played a big part in getting him into the White House. Because of this you are now running another "identity politics" compliant candidate, but you have some tricks up your sleeve to guarantee she wins. Most importantly you have an utter heel running against her who cannot possibly win.
So you [big mafia don] are confident that you have the 2016 and 2020 elections sewn up, but even though it is only 2015, now is the time to be thinking about 2024. You've already used up the woman and Black man identity issues, so what next? The gay man "identity politics" angle, of course! So now you need to introduce to the public a gay candidate that is under your control so the public can start to get used to him and he can become widely known by the time campaigning starts in 2023.
Remind me now when it was that Butt-gig "came out" as gay? Oh, yeah, that's right! It was 2015. He then "married" in 2018.
"But Butt-gig is so young!"
Sure. Realize that he wasn't supposed to be running until 2024, when he would be in his forties. 2016 and 2020 were supposed to be Clinton's turn in the White House, but things went all sideways for some reason. Now you have to move up the timetable.
Butt-gig is CIA.- Bernie Sanders has promised FREE education/college and FREE Healthcare. Although I have SERIOUS doubts how he is going to pay for all that FREE stuff, the large support he enjoys shows very well how Joe Sixpack is thinking about his own economic situation.Piotr Berman , Feb 21 2020 12:50 utc | 123
- There were A LOT OF voters who voted first for Sanders in the primaries. When it became clear that Sanders wasn't going to be the Democratic candidate these voters votes for Trump in november 2016.Blue Dotterel is not satisfied: >>Sanders only "threat" to the Oligarchs is that the presidency would give him a 4-year platform to continue to put forth his semi-socialist domestic views, seeding the brains of the ignorant masses with dangerous thoughts.Clueless Joe , Feb 21 2020 13:04 utc | 124
Voting for either branch of the Oligarch party is to vote for the status quo. All that is guaranteed are a few cosmetic changes of zero significance. Vote, but vote anyone but the Oligarch Party! Sanders only "threat" to the Oligarchs is that the presidency would give him a 4-year platform to continue to put forth his semi-socialist domestic views, seeding the brains of the ignorant masses with dangerous thoughts.<<
But the oligarchy and sectors close to oligarchy are already worried exactly about that. For example, certain David Brook is almost morose. A nightmare that is at least 170 years old reappeared:
>>Bernie Sanders is also telling a successful myth: The corporate and Wall Street elites are rapacious monsters who hoard the nation's wealth and oppress working families. This is not an original myth, either. It's been around since the class-conflict agitators of 1848. It is also a very compelling us vs. them worldview that resonates with a lot of people.
When you're inside the Sanders myth, you see the world through the Bernie lens.
This brings memories... agitators of 1848, revolution spread around Europe, Hapsburgs quelling a revolution in Vienna only to watch Hungary, nearly half of the empire, raising in rebelion that lasted until Czar send help a year later, stimulating dense Romantic poetry that till today children in Central Europe are forced to learn. Final stanza translated into English (it has a very compelilng rhytm in the original)
[the funeral of an agitator of 1848 turns into a march of specters that disturb comfortable city dwellers]
And we shall drag on the funeral procession, saddening sleeping cities
Banging upon gates with urns, whistling into the notches of hatchets
Until the walls of Jericho fall like logs
Fainting hearts shall be revived; nations shall clear their musty eyes
Onward-OnwardWilliam Gruff:SharonM , Feb 21 2020 13:14 utc | 125
So, do you basically imply that the next run, after Black, Woman and Gay, would be Latino? In which case they actually planned well ahead and AOC could be their card for 2032? Or would that be too far-fetched? (she seems to go a bit too far into leftism for that after all)@108 CirceSharonM , Feb 21 2020 13:20 utc | 126
Against war and for Trump? 🤣🤣🤣
Trust me, Bernie's not starting any war at his age, and he's from a bucolic state. If you think Bernie's for war and I'm an imperialist, then must be a real bad judge of character. You fool no one. You hate Bernie for some other stupid reason."
Here are some relevant questions with Bernie's answers:
*Question: Would you consider military force to pre-empt an Iranian or North Korean nuclear or missile test?
*Question: Would you consider military force for a humanitarian intervention?
*Question: If Russia continues on its current course in Ukraine and other former Soviet states, should the United States regard it as an adversary, or even an enemy?
*Question: Should Russia be required to return Crimea to Ukraine before it is allowed back into the G-7?
Don't care about your dumb opinion, Circe. But I don't want anyone else here to think I'm some supporter of the U.S. regimes two war parties. Bernie is just like Trump, Obama, the Bush and Clinton families--warmongering assholes all of them.@113 JamesVictor , Feb 21 2020 13:49 utc | 127
I agree. An actual revolution here would probably require masses of people on the verge of starvation. But perhaps there's a trigger event that we can't foresee?As long as Sanders treats Latin America with respect, I will vote for him. He just said that he backs Evo Morales in Bolivia. That is a good sign.john , Feb 21 2020 13:59 utc | 128Willy2 @ 122 says:Jackrabbit , Feb 21 2020 14:10 utc | 129
Bernie Sanders has promised FREE education/college and FREE Healthcare. Although I have SERIOUS doubts how he is going to pay for all that FREE stuff,...
and there's the rub, or the common denominator between domestic policy and foreign policy...i.e. lucre (and hellfire missiles are so much sexier , right?).
if a candidate is not clamoring loudly that the defense budget must be cut by at least 50%, he or she is being disingenuous, if not downright deceptive, about enacting any kind of national healthcare, education, or whatnot.james @113:Circe , Feb 21 2020 14:25 utc | 130[If Bernie wins] the war party is still in control.. i am inclined to more radical thinking ... at this point.
When reasonable, level-headed people like james are "inclined to more radical thinking" then the establishment is really in trouble.
Will they take heed? Nah, they'll just send out more Circe dembots.
!!@125 SharonMclickkid , Feb 21 2020 14:40 utc | 131
If you were an anti-war candidate running for President of a militarized security state that is so easily brainwashed by half a billion dollars in ads run by a war-mongering Ziofascist and one of the highest-circulated Zionist-run propaganda rags asked trap questions to test their definition of patriotism on you, you too would go through the motions and give them what they wanna hear so they would leave you the fock alone for the rest of the campaign.
Now, if you're looking to blow in 15 minutes your years in the making efforts to win the Presidency and use your power to change that security state mentality, then you would stupidly answer what you're suggesting.
You're a Trumpbot. AND I COULD GIVE A SHET WHAT YOU THINK.
Bernie wants to restore the Iran deal, and do diplomacy with Iran, and substantially reduce military spending. Bernie is as anti-war a politicisn as I've seen in my lifetime. I'll bank on his wisdom over your intellectual dishonesty ANY DAY, ANY TIME, ANY WHERE. Unlike you, a lousy judge of character, or just plain demonizing Trumpbot on a fool's mission, I am an excellent judge of character who had Ziofascist Trump pegged from day one and took two years of flak for it! Today, I've been vindicated in every way. Ziofascist Trump is the agent provocateur in the Middle East unilaterally, repeatedly resorting to multiple acts of war against the Palestinians, Syria, Iraq and Iran. If he didn't trigger war yet, it's not for lack of trying! Everyone is wisely on hold prevailing on their cool-headedness hoping Americans elect a SANE, and more humane President, and that President will be Bernie Sanders.
When Bernie shuts the door on that lunatic's orange-cake face the entire planet will breathe A COLLECTIVE SIGH.
Now go bark your fake purist bullshet at someone stupid enough to fall for it. I'm a firewall for the truth and you're barking up the wrong tree and messing with someone berning for justice.
PRESIDENT BERNIE SANDERS
Get used to it; it's happening.@ Circe | Feb 21 2020 14:25 utc | 130clickkid , Feb 21 2020 14:43 utc | 132
If Sanders actually got into the Presidency and threatened established interests, then he would be given a non-refusable invitation to vist Dallas and drive past the Texas Shoolbook Depositary.Or even the:SharonM , Feb 21 2020 14:43 utc | 133
Texas schoolbook depository@130 CirceBlue Dotterel , Feb 21 2020 14:49 utc | 134
Oh sure, Bernie is just playing 4d chess, right? We've been hearing that for years about Trump as he bombs countries, assassinates people, and overthrows governments. We'll have to relive it all hearing about Bernie's grand scheme to undermine the MIC by doing exactly what the MIC wants. You're just another fake following a warmonger.Piotr Berman,Circe , Feb 21 2020 14:52 utc | 135
"But the oligarchy and sectors close to oligarchy are already worried exactly about that. For example, certain David Brook is almost morose. A nightmare that is at least 170 years old reappeared"
Well if Sanders does manages to get the Dem. nomination, then go ahead and vote for him. Just, do not expect anything to change during his administration.
Otherwise, if someone else gets it, Sanders will be put out to pasture, and no one will hear from him again. He was pretty quiet the past three years. For Sanders, and his domestic ideas to blossom, he needs to be able to win the presidency, not just run for it. This is why the Oligarchy will probably tank him. Right now, very few people in the US are politically active. It is only the primaries after all. They are mostly ignored by the vast majority of the electorate despite CNN's propaganda polls (which read only 52% interest anyway). In fact, US elections for pres are regularly ignored by almost half the population, anyway.
If anyone else gets the dem nomination, there is no point voting for the Oligarch Party.@117 jaredLikklemore , Feb 21 2020 14:57 utc | 136
Do you realize the damage you're doing to your credibility and reputation tooting Bloomberg's horn here?
Bloomberg is a rabid Zionist who defied a flight ban making a cruel, pompous spectacle of himself flying into Tel Aviv during Israel's massive criminal assault on Gaza while vociferously supporting Israel's shelling of children, schools and hospitals.
Bloomberg is a Ziofascist Israel shill Neocon BUSH jr REPUBLICAN. Complete Presidential disqualification in one sentence.
Now run along with your leaky can of Bloomberg whitewash.
Sheesh, how pathetic!Walter , Feb 21 2020 15:03 utc | 137
Posted by: Krollchem | Feb 21 2020 8:27 utc | 112
If the State legislature chooses to ignore the vote then your argument is not valid.
Please see the US Constitution that I linked...
And you continue to ignore Process. Well, in Constitutional Law courses that very scenario is addressed. In Law, Process matters.
if the State legislature choses to ignore the vote.."[..]
if not members of the Parties elected to the Legislature, pray tell how is the Legislature comprised?
You do know when (ahead of the general election) the Republicans and Democratic Parties appoint their respective representative slate of electors they take into account Party Loyalists who are pledged to vote the presidential ticket?
On pledges of the electors: 29 states have laws forbidding the electors to violate their pledges.
In recent history: December 2016, Trump had the required electoral votes and the Hillary Mob attempted a full-throated campaign to have some of the Republican electors switch their votes at the Electoral College!!
How did that work out?
There were 7 "Faithless electors" who ignored their pledges. Oeps of the 7: five defected Democratic-loser Clinton and two the Republican president- elect. [Cases are on appeal before the Supreme Court; to be heard in 2019-2020 term]
When the Electors' switchero campaign did not succeed, Russiagate was the lever to frustrate Trump's presidency. Russiagate will continue as long as the orangeman occupies the White House.WP > "...After a senior U.S. intelligence official told lawmakers last week that Russia wants to see President Trump reelected..."Jackrabbit , Feb 21 2020 15:08 utc | 138
UNZ> "...Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Vice President Biden are being told that if they do not get out of the race and clear the lane for the mayor, they will get a socialist as their nominee, and the party will deserve the fate November will bring -- a second term for Trump..."
Now then, when will the intel dudes claim Buttboi and Buyiden and Klob are commie agents? Why already Wally suspects Putin's on the secret Badenov Shoe-phone with his vast army of verraters... I mean, there must be Some Truth, right?
And if (mirabele dictu) Burner get's 'lected and avoids Dallas... if that, then how will they change the story and tell us Burner is a Putin controlled Putin versteher?
("We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." (CIA Director Casey)
Karlofi mooted Beard's "Republic"... A proud attempt by Beard, but, alas (!) it reads like a sad comic... Painful.
Perhaps one interesting point there though > Lincoln's first inaugural.
I'll leave that for K-Man to discuss, if he likes.I'm all for disrupting the Democratic Party by voting for Sanders in the Primary.Circe , Feb 21 2020 15:23 utc | 139
But anyone that thinks that Sanders will be allowed to actually win the Primary is smoking something. And anyone that thinks that Sanders isn't working with the Democratic establishment to accomplish their goals is snorting something.
Sanders is there as window-dressing and to lure young voters into the Democratic Party fold as a "Democracy Works!" ploy (a form of 'stay in school' PSA) .
The Democratic Party won't actually nominate him because Americans would vote for Bernie's anti-oligarch program in droves. Anyone with any sense knows that the oligarchs have too much money and too much power and that government services monied interests instead of the people.
<> <> <> <> <> <>
We are now in a new Cold War. And we are on the brink of ANOTHER major war in the Middle East. It's long-past time to see through the bullshit propaganda, fakery, and scheming.
!!Copy/paste Jackrabbit who hasn't hatched an original thought in quite some time tries to project his professional troll gig on me. Dembot? Is that all you could come up with?Walter , Feb 21 2020 15:23 utc | 140
As with Bernie, I might be more like, hmmm... how would I describe myself?
The Dems worst nightmare⁉️ 😜
...soon to become the Trump-era TERMINATOR.
or, better yet, Circe unleashed.Jackrabbit | Feb 21 2020 15:08 utc | 138Copeland , Feb 21 2020 15:55 utc | 141
"...This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it..."
Wally is a bit shocked...here's Lincoln saying the Revolution is a Right... And he wuz smokin...what?
But yes, context matters...read the entire document>
First Inaugural Address of Abraham Lincoln
MONDAY, MARCH 4, 1861
Fellow-Citizens of the United States: (avalon / yale / edu an' all of that)All the slander being heaped upon Bernie is not going to drain one jot of energy from the momentum of his campaign. The trolls desire above all for a tide of chaos to wash over the country. The energy in this movement is going play out on the convention floor and beyond; and the spirit of the people is not about to be diminished or crushed.William Gruff , Feb 21 2020 16:29 utc | 142
It is best not to give up on the struggle, especially when the stakes have been made so clear as Bloomberg plants the flag of oligharchy in this election. Only Sanders and Warren had the decency to react with moral vigor to this outrage.
This is far from over. This is just getting interesting.Clueless Joe @124fnord , Feb 21 2020 16:40 utc | 143
Correct, as I see it that would be too far-fetched. I cannot see AOC being managed opposition, even if her behavior doesn't seem very leftish sometimes. The establishment's biggest concern with their management of the political process is to make sure that some of the things that AOC discusses remain outside the scope of acceptable political discourse. See Willy2 above with his "Free stuff!" narrative for how the establishment wants people to react... the establishment wants to prevent the public from even considering reallocating resources away from the military and corporate subsidies to so-called "Free stuff!" While AOC's ideology and support for Pelosi and such might leave some leftists unimpressed, the fact that she even discusses free-at-the-point-of-use healthcare and education as well as living wages strongly suggests that she is not part of the establishment's operation.
I honestly do not think the establishment has any plans for pandering very much to Latin American identity... there is far too much revolution in that identity. My guess is that the plans post-Butt-gig are to mix things up... say a Black lesbian or Black transsexual, for instance. Keep in mind this would be planned for 2028 (previously 2030) so whoever they have in mind would only be starting to get publicly groomed for the job now. The potential individuals may not have even had their debutante unveiling to the public yet.@Copeland, 141William Gruff , Feb 21 2020 17:01 utc | 144
The trolls desire above all for a tide of chaos to wash over the country.
Well, true, but we don't need much help. The Sanders campaign has been a gift to socialists who can piggy-back off of his demolition of decades of John Birch Society indoctrination against socialism. But as far as I'm concerned, that's the only good thing he's done. Him losing will be better for socialists - who can benefit from his supporters flocking to our organizations - rather than him winning and forcing us to take him in as "our guy" or us being tarred with any failures of his presidency."[Sanders] losing will be better for socialists..." --fnord @143Circe , Feb 21 2020 17:03 utc | 145
Not good strategy. People are not ready to go for real revolution yet. They need to try half measures first and see those half measures fail or be attacked and defeated by the oligarchs. Sanders losing will cause many people to either drop out of the movement or switch to the far right. Sanders victory is needed just to show the masses that victory is possible. People pursue socialist revolution out of a sense of optimism and open possibilities, not desperation. Desperation leads to fascism.Uh-Oh, Jackrabbit just got scorched by Walter's bern brilliance.Circe , Feb 21 2020 17:28 utc | 146
I'm a lover of pithy truth, and here's one to describe Bernie's movement:
The real revolution is the evolution of consciousness.
Here's one to prepare for Trump's Bernie strategy:
When a narcissist can no longer control you, they will instead try to control how others see you.
(In other words, always keep in mind; they're coming at you from a position of weakness.)
In my words:
The key to triumph over evil is to take the fight into the light and INSPIRE ALLEGIANCE.
That's Bernie's strength, and that's why Bernie Sanders will become the 46th President of the United States.
While Trump boasts he's the master of 4D chess; he will be outplayed by Bernie Sanders, the 4D Master of CHESED .
Bernie Sanders will defeat Donald J. Trump to become President of the United States.
Feb 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Likklemore , Feb 21 2020 0:02 utc | 72@ RSH 66
[If] either are nominated - or any other of the current crop of losers - the Democrats will lose against Trump, despite Trump making all kinds of incredibly stupid statements during the campaign. Because, let's face it, Trump will do stupid stuff all during the election race - and his supporters will no doubt ignore them or praise him for them. [;]
There is that Great Silent Majority made up of Independents, RINOs, DINOs, and Moderates who are embarrassed by and are tired of Trump. Also, throw in those who will refuse to participate in the rigged system. In 2020 this time it's different.
And then there is Mike Bloomberg who told the New York Times he is open to spending up to $1 billion to defeat Trump in 2020. and that he'll put the force of his operation behind the 2020 nominee whether or not it's him.
Feb 15, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
D. , Feb 15 2020 19:42 utc | 32@farm ecologist #29
Surely he could. But the good sheepdog he is he wont!
Feb 15, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.orgCynica , Feb 15 2020 20:03 utc | 39Much noise has been made about Trump being elected due to anti-establishment sentiment. While certainly true, Trump's election is just one in a long line of seemingly anti-establishment candidates elected, after which it's more or less "business as usual".Veritas X- , Feb 15 2020 18:58 utc | 8
Clearly the establishment has long since caught on to the fact that "the masses" dislike it, hence why they concentrate on the appearance of being anti-establishment.
Sadly, "the masses" get fooled time and time again. One can only marvel at how it keeps happening.A picture is worth a 1,000 words: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2016/01/25/opinion/RFDBloomberg/RFDBloomberg-sfSpan.jpg
It's all theater for the masses. And little Mikey is just another frontman for the redshields/epstein-barr gang:
Feb 01, 2020 | www.unz.com
I never thought I'd hear myself say this, but I'm a little worried about Donald Trump. I'm worried he may be on the verge of a sudden, major heart attack, or a stroke, or a fatal golfing accident.
Food poisoning is another possibility. Or he could overdose on prescription medication. A tanning bed mishap is not out of the question.
He could accidentally hang himself during autoerotic asphyxiation, or get shot by a lone-wolf white supremacist terrorist trying to start the RaHoWa. The Russians could spray him with that Novichok perfume.
There are any number of ways he could snuff it.
I don't mean to sound alarmist, but the Resistance is running out of non-lethal options for removing Donald Trump from office. Here they are, in no particular order
TG , says: Show Comment January 27, 2020 at 6:40 pm GMTCute, but seriously: Trump has been pretty much hammered into toeing the party line. The oligarchy still doesn't like him, and it has taken a lot of effort to reign in him, but rhetoric aside he's currently governing a lot like Hilary Clinton would have. The borders are still open to illegal immigrants and the rich have their cheap labor, we're still wasting trillions on pointless winless foreign wars, our manufacturing base is pretty much hollowed out, we're still shoveling trillions of dollars in direct and indirect subsidies to Wall Street, big medicine is still busy with organized looting ('surprise medical billing', anyone?), you get the idea.Ozymandias , says: Show Comment January 27, 2020 at 6:48 pm GMT
Trump fought the swamp, and the swamp won. The 2020 election looks to be yet another heads they win/tails we lose circus. Trump is in no danger, IMHO.
Unless Bernie gets the nomination. Now there's a politician that needs to worry about his healthYou're overlooking the obvious contingency plan for the Dems: Biden will recruit Terry Crews or Tiny Lister for his VP candidate. Of course the Veep will have to dress transgender and change their name to Cornpop, but that's a small price to pay. The future of the country is at stake.WorkingClass , says: Show Comment January 27, 2020 at 7:44 pm GMTIt has become clear to Bernie's supporters that they and the Deplorables have the same enemies. The more the media demonize Bernie in the same way they demonize Trump the stronger Bernie will become. Bernie doesn't need to be in Iowa. CNN and the NYT are working for him. Fake news is also stupid news.Curmudgeon , says: Show Comment January 27, 2020 at 9:00 pm GMTAnon  Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 28, 2020 at 8:03 pm GMT
the total stranglehold the Russians now have on American democracy
I'm grateful Mr. Hopkins sorted that out for us.@Nancy O'Brien SimpsonOmegabooks , says: Show Comment January 31, 2020 at 5:52 am GMT
CJ Hopkins has to be one of the best political commentators alive today. His writing is both hilarious and profound. No easy fete.
Yes, absolutely exquisite use of the language to ridicule the ridiculous "resistance."
Clearly, Andy Kaufmann (aka Latka Gravis) did not die: he slinked away to politics and took on the mantle of Schifty the Popeyed Crackpot California Congressman.Love this Hopkins dude!eah , says: Show Comment January 31, 2020 at 8:39 am GMT
Dead President Walking .or walking contradiction? Dead or notHopkins entertainingly finds the black humor in all of this -- but none of it is funny, even darkly so -- the reason it isn't funny is that millions of decent, hard-working Americans are chained to this amoral freak show via the coercive tax system.OverCommenter , says: Show Comment January 31, 2020 at 3:13 pm GMTWell nothing of value would be lost Trump hasn't drained the swamp, locked her up, or built the wall. In fact the only people that have been arrested are Paul Manafort and Roger Stone. I was going to add a string of "lols" tied together, but this place is classier than that.
Honestly it might be a good thing, because then Pence would be president. Think about it, then the Evangelicals who the GoP relies on their vote, but have also been strung along for decades getting none of the social issues addressed while, and then also being blamed for everything from war in the Middle East to every social problem. I think it would be good for them to see the righteous avatar Pence ascend to the throne, and then completely shun and ignore them. Maybe that will finally wake them up.
Jan 31, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Trump excoriates Bolton in tweets this morning:
"For a guy who couldn't get approved for the Ambassador to the U.N. years ago, couldn't get approved for anything since, 'begged' me for a non Senate approved job, which I gave him despite many saying 'Don't do it, sir,' takes the job, mistakenly says 'Libyan Model' on T.V., and ... many more mistakes of judgement [sic], gets fired because frankly, if I listened to him, we would be in World War Six by now, and goes out and IMMEDIATELY writes a nasty & untrue book. All Classified National Security. Who would do this?"
IMO, Trump is a fantastic POTUS for this day and age, but he wasn't on his A game when he brought Bolton onboard. He should have known better and, was, apparently, warned. Maybe Trump thought he could control him and use him as a threatening pit bull. Mistake. Bolton is greedy as well as vindictive.
Posted by: Eric Newhill | 29 January 2020 at 09:30 AM
Jan 29, 2020 | off-guardian.org
Charlotte Russe ,Trump doesn't have a thing to fear he's been a huge asset to the security state, whose Russiagate theatrics provided mainstream media news with just enough bullshit to distract the public, so that Trump could never be aggressively attacked from the Left. For the last three years, all the "resistance oxygen" was sucked up by the warmongering against Russia. Meanwhile, this enabled Trump to successfully pass a slew of reactionary legislation and fasttrack numerous lifetime appointments to the federal court without barely a whimper from the phony Dems. In fact, the Democrats unanimously voted for Trump's military budget. The same idiot they called unhinged was given the power to start WWIII.
No matter how much liberals complain–the wealthy are happy with the status quo and the right-wing Evangelicals are as pleased as punch. However, there's quite a large number of disaffected Trump voters looking at Tulsi, but could eventually come Bernie's way. Especially, if Tulsi endorses Bernie. This discontented bunch includes the working-poor, the indebted young, and all the folks who are not doing economically well under Trump's fabulous stock market. It especially includes the military families who were promised an end to the miserable foreign interventions. Bernie, has some appeal to these folks. His platform certainly resonates with all those who can barely pay their health insurance
premiums, and whose salary is NOT nearly considered a living wage. But Bernie could win hands-down and steal Trump's base, if he only had the courage to UNAPOLOGETICALLY speak out against US imperialism and connect all the dots explaining how the security state plundered the treasury for decades f–king over the working-class.
Jan 27, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
EveryoneIsBiased , 26 January 2020 at 04:40 PMThank you Colonel; I have been waiting for your take on this. And thank you for opening the comments again. If there is a problem with my post, please point them out to me.
And i agree. This may well be a fatal mistake of his. And while i have thought Trump to be the lesser evil compared to Clinton, i am now at a point where i seriously fear what his ignorance and slavery to the neocon doctrine may bring the world in 4 more years.
Still, immigration is another important issue, but besides much talk and showmastery, he has not really changed anything substantial in this regard; Nothing that could seriously change the course.
So he stripped himself of any true argument to vote for him, besides for ultra neocons and ultra fundamental evangelical Christians. And even they don't seem to trust in his intentions.
And China? He may have changed some small to medium problems for the better, but nothing is changed in the overall trend of the US continuing to loose while China emerges as the next global superpower.
It may have been slowed for some years; It may even have been accelerated, now that China has been waken up to the extend of the threat posed by the US.
North Korea? They surely will never denuclearize. Even less after how Trump showed the world how he treats international law and even allies.
With Trump its all photo ops and showmanship. And while he senses what issues are important, it is worth a damn if he butchers the execution, or values photo ops more than substantial progress.
Not that i would see a democratic alternative. No. But at least now everyone who wants to know can see, that he is neither one.
4 years ago, democracy was corrupted, but at least there was someone who presented himself as an alternative to that rotten establishment.
Now, even that small ray of light is as dark as it gets.
And that is the saddest thing. What worth is democracy, when one does not even have a true alternative, besides Tulsi on endless wars, and Bernie for the socialist ;) ?
I just have watched again the Ken Burns documentary of the civil war. I know it is not perfect (Though i love Shelby Foote's parts), but the sense of the divided 2 Americas there, is still the same today. Today, America seems to break apart culturally, socially and economically on the fault lines that have sucked it into the civil war over 150 years ago.
And just like with seeing no real way out politically, i sadly can see no way to heal and unite this country, as it never was truly united after the civil war, if not ever before. As you Colonel said some weeks ago, the US were never a nation.
And looking at other countries, only a major national crisis may change this.
A most sad realization. But this hold true also for other western countries, including my own.
An even worse decade seems to be ahead.
Jan 22, 2020 | dissidentvoice.org
Class Trumps Partisan DifferencesOn January 20, Donald G. Trump completed his third year in office. My one blog that received five-digit Facebook shares predicted Trump would lose in 2016. I was spectacularly wrong but not alone. Even the Las Vegas bookies thought Clinton was a shoo-in with her unbeatable two-punch knockout of (1) I'm not Trump and (2) World War III with the Russians would be peachy at least until the bombs start falling. What could possibly have gone wrong?
More to the point, the unexpected victory of Trump was the historical reaction to the bankruptcy of Clinton-Bush-Obama neoliberalism. Now after three years of Mr. Trump, what's left?
During the George W. Bush years – he's now viewed favorably by a majority of Democrats – Democrats could wring their tied hands to the accolades of their base. My own Democrat Representative Lynn Woolsey stood up daily in the House and denounced Bush's Iraq war. For a while there was a resurgent peace movement against US military adventures in the Middle East, which was even backed by some left-leaning liberals.
But the moment that Obama ascended to the Oval Office, the Iraq War became Obama's war, Bush's secretary of war Gates was carried over to administer it, and Woolsey forgot she was for peace. No matter, Obama, the peace candidate, would fix it. Just give him a chance. For eight years, Obama was given a chance and the peace movement went quiescent.
Trump takes office
Surely a Republican president, I thought, would harken a rebirth of the peace movement given the ever-inflated war budget and the proliferation of US wars. The US is officially at war with Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and Niger. To the official list are any number of other states subject to drone attacks such as Iran, Pakistan, and Mali. And then there are some 30 countries targeted with illegal unilateral coercive measures as form of economic warfare. Yet a funny thing happened on the way to the demonstration.
With Republicans in control of both Congress and the White House, my expectation was that Democrats would safely take a giant step to the right in accordance with their Wall Street funders, while safely keeping a baby step to the left of the Republicans appeasing their liberal-leaning base. To certain extent, this is what happened with Trump's tax cut for the wealthy. The Democrats could and did claim that their hands were once again tied wink, wink to their Wall Street handlers.
Yet on many more fundamental issues, the Democrats did not take advantage of paying lip service to their base's economic priorities by attacking the Republicans on their weak left flank. No, the Democrats mounted an assault on the Republicans from the right with what The Hill called Pelosi's "fiscally hawkish pay-as-you-go rules," increasing the war budget , and launching Russiagate . Instead of appealing to working people on bread and butter issues, the Democrats gave us turbo-charged identity politics.
Bernie Sanders had raised genuine issues regarding runaway income inequality and plutocratic politics. However, Sanders was suppressed by a hostile corporate press and an antagonistic Democratic Party establishment, which arguably preferred to risk a Republican victory in 2016 than support anyone who questioned neoliberal orthodoxy.
Sanders' issues got asphyxiated in the juggernaut of Russiagate. His legacy – so far – has been to help contain a progressive insurgency within the Democratic Party, the perennial graveyard of social movements. Had Mr. Sanders not come along, the Democrats – now the full-throated party of neoliberal austerity at home and imperial war abroad – would have needed to invent a leftish Pied Piper to keep their base in the fold.
So, after three years of Trump, the more than ever needed mass movement against militarism has yet to resurrect in force, notwithstanding promising demonstrations in immediate response to Trump's assassination of Iran's Major General Soleimani on January 3 with more demonstrations to come.
Imperialism and neoliberalism
Dubya proved his imperialist mettle with the second Iraq war; Obama with the destruction of Libya. But Trump has yet to start a war of his own. Though, in the case of Iran, it was not from lack of trying. The last US president with a similar imperialist failing was the one-term Carter. But Trump has 12 and possibly 60 more months to go.
In his short time in office, Trump has packed his administration with former war industry executives, increased troops in Afghanistan, approved selling arms to the coup government of Ukraine, made the largest arms sale in US history to Saudi Arabia, supported the Saudi's war against Yemen, recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and killed more civilians in drone strikes than "Obomber." In the empire's "backyard," Trump tightened the blockade on Cuba, intensified Obama's sanctions on Venezuela to a blockade, oversaw the devastation of Puerto Rico , and backed the right wing coup in Bolivia. The Venezuelan Embassy Protectors are fighting the US government for a fair trial, while Julian Assange faces extradition to the US.
Now that Trump has declared the defeat of ISIS , the US National Defense Strategy is "interstate strategic competition" with Russia and China. This official guiding document of the US imperial state explicitly calls for "build[ing] a more lethal force" for world domination. Giving credit where it is due, back in 2011, Hillary Clinton and Obama had presciently decreed a " pivot to Asia ," targeting China.
Closer to home Trump has been busy deregulating environmental protections, dismantling the National Park system, weaponizing social media , and undoing net neutrality, while withdrawing from the Paris Agreement on global warming. What's not to despise?
Russiagate and impeachment
Russiagate – in case you have a real life and are not totally absorbed in mass media – is about a conspiracy that the Russians and not the US Electoral College are responsible for Hillary Clinton not getting her rightful turn to be President of the United States.
For the better part of the last three years under the shadow of Trump in the White House, a spook emerged from the netherworld of the deep state and has toiled mightily to expose wrongdoers. This man, former head of the FBI, Robert Mueller, we are told is only one miracle short of being canonized in blue state heaven. Yet even he failed to indict a single American for colluding with Russia, though he was able to hand out indictments to Americans for other wrongdoings not related to Russia.
Undeterred by this investigation to nowhere, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi initiated impeachment proceedings against the sitting president in the Democrat's first successful step to promote Mike Pence as the next POTUS.
When an unelected and unaccountable CIA operative in secret collusion with opposition politicians (e.g., Adam Schiff) and with backing from his agency seeks to take down a constitutionally elected president, that is cause for concern. Operating under the cloak of anonymity and with privileged access to information, national security operatives skilled in the craft of espionage have the undemocratic means to manipulate and even depose elected officials.
What has arisen is an emboldened national security state. The CIA, lest we forget, is the clandestine agency whose mission is to use any means necessary to affect "regime change" in countries that dare to buck the empire. Latin American leftists used to quip that the US has never suffered a coup because there is no US embassy in Washington. There may not be a US embassy there, but the CIA and the rest of the US security establishment are more than ever present and pose a danger to democracy.
Now Obama's former Director of National Intelligence and serial perjurer James Clapper holds the conflicted role of pundit on CNN while still retaining his top security clearance . Likewise, Obama's former CIA director, torture apologist, and fellow perjurer John Brennan holds forth on NBC News and MSNBC with his security clearance intact .
Class trumps partisan differences
The Democrats and Republicans mortally combat on the superficial, while remaining united in their bedrock class loyalty to the rule of capital and US world hegemony. The first article of the Democrat-backed impeachment is the president's "abuse of power." Yet, amidst the heat of the House impeachment hearings, the Democrats, by an overwhelming majority, helped renew the Patriot Act , which gives the president war time authority to shred the constitution.
Contrary to the utterances of the Democratic presidential candidates on the campaign trail about limiting US military spending, the latest $738 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is $22 billion over the last. The Democratic Progressive Caucus didn't even bother to whip members to oppose the bill. On December 11, in an orgy of bi-partisan love, the NDAA bill passed by a landslide vote of 377-48.
President Trump tweeted "Wow!" Democratic Party leader and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith called the bill "the most progressive defense bill we have passed in decades."
This bill gifts twelve more Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets than Trump had requested and green-lights funding of Trump's border wall with Mexico. Stripped from the bipartisan NDAA "compromise" bill were provisions to prohibit Trump from launching a war on Iran without Congressional authorization. Similarly dropped were limits to US participation in the genocidal war in Yemen.
A new Space Force is authorized to militarize the heavens. Meanwhile the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has set the doomsday clock at 2 minutes before midnight. Unfortunately, the Democrat's concern about Trump's abuse of power does not extend to such existential matters as nuclear war.
Trump's renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (i.e., USMCA), an acknowledged disaster , was renewed with bipartisan support. On the domestic front, Trump cut food stamps, Medicaid, and reproductive health services over the barely audible demurs of the supine Democrats.
Revolt of the dispossessed
Behind the façade of the impeachment spectacle – Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz are now on Trump's legal team – is a ruling class consensus that trumps partisan differences. As political economist Rob Urie perceptively observed :
The American obsession with electoral politics is odd in that 'the people' have so little say in electoral outcomes and that the outcomes only dance around the edges of most people's lives. It isn't so much that the actions of elected leaders are inconsequential as that other factors -- economic, historical, structural and institutional, do more to determine 'politics.'
In the highly contested 2016 presidential contest, nearly half the eligible US voters opted out, not finding enough difference among the contenders to leave home. 2020 may be an opportunity; an opening for an alternative to neoliberal austerity at home and imperial wars abroad lurching to an increasingly oppressive national security state. The campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbord and before them Occupy point to a popular insurgency. Mass protests of the dispossessed are rocking France , India , Colombia , Chile , and perhaps here soon.Roger D. Harris is on the state central committee of the Peace and Freedom Party , the only ballot-qualified socialist party in California. Read other articles by Roger .
This article was posted on Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020 at 9:36pm and is filed under Barack Obama , Bernie Sanders , Capitalism , CIA , Deep State , Democrats , Donald Trump , Espionage/"Intelligence" , George W. Bush , Hillary Clinton , Impeachment , Imperialism , Nancy Pelosi , Neoliberalism , Republicans , Social Movements , United States , US Foreign Policy .
Jan 06, 2020 | www.unz.com
Dumbo , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 6:46 pm GMT
Donald Trump rode to victory in 2016 on a promise to end the useless wars in the Middle East, but he has now demonstrated very clearly that he is a liar
He also promised a wall. Maybe he meant the Israeli wall?
Jan 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Trailer Trash , Jan 8 2020 16:32 utc | 105Trump is such a douchebag. He claims there were no lives lost due to their "early warning system" -- no mention that the "early warning system" was a phone call!
Now he's once again justifying assassination, etc.
pretzelattack , Jan 8 2020 16:39 utc | 110there was no "better choice" between trump and clinton. i still think clinton represented a greater danger than trump of getting into a war with russia, but they are both warmongers first class. for our next election, we may have a choice between ebola and flesh eating bacteria, or brain cancer and leprosy. if the game is rigged there's no winning it playing by the game's "rules".
Jan 06, 2020 | www.unz.com
TG , says: Show Comment January 4, 2020 at 1:07 am GMTTo some extent it is not relevant if Trump was lying during his campaign, or has been corrupted/coopted/fooled/pressured/played for a chump by the establishment. He said one thing and is doing another: that's the bottom line.Cloak And Dagger , says: Show Comment January 4, 2020 at 1:47 am GMT
However: I note that after Barack Obama got elected, he immediately fired all of his populist advisors and hired Wall Streeters even before being sworn in. Obama was clearly lying up front.
Trump, however, initially did start moving in the direction he said he would, he kept his populist/nationalist advisors, and really did make actual moves to carry out his campaign promises. And the establishment went total nut job, he was a Russian agent, his populist advisers were targeted for legal actions, they were replaced with establishment advisors who hate him Trump was strong on stage berating a political opponent, but against establishment pressure he has turned out to be weak, caving in to "the Blob" at every turn.
Though again, a secondary point.@Gleimhart Mantooso
Had she been elected, Hillary would already have started the neocon wet dream of a war with Iran.
While that may be true, I am tired of giving Trump a free pass, just because Hillary would have been worse. Being relatively less evil, or a different incarnation of evil, is still evil.
Frankly, impeachment was just a distraction to divert attention from the real play. The dagger at his throat is from far more malevolent foes who can wield both blackmail or death as the circumstances demand to get their way. The jewish mafia is far more dangerous than the Sicilian boys could ever hope to be. The latter learned from the former.
Dec 18, 2019 | nationalinterest.org
Trump's performance record as president is comprised of an unbroken string of broken promises, opportunities squandered, principles violated, and intentions abandoned.
North Korea may have been the one issue on which President Donald Trump apparently listened to his predecessor, Barack Obama, when he warned about the serious challenge facing the incoming occupant of the Oval Office. Nevertheless, Trump initially drove tensions between the two countries to a fever pitch, raising fears of war in the midst of proclamations of "fire and fury." Then he played statesman and turned toward diplomacy, meeting North Korea's supreme leader, Kim Jong-un, in Singapore.
Today that effort looks kaput. The North has declared denuclearization to be off the table. Actually, few people other than the president apparently believed that Kim was prepared to turn over his nuclear weapons to a government predisposed toward intervention and regime change.
Now that this Trump policy is formally dead, and there is no Plan B in sight, Pyongyang has begun deploying choice terms from its fabled thesaurus of insults. Democrats are sure to denounce the administration for incompetent naivete. And the bipartisan war party soon will be beating the drums for more sanctions, more florid rhetoric, additional military deployments, new plans for war. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) already has dismissed the risks since any conflict would be "over there," on the distant Korean Peninsula. At which point Trump's heroic summitry, which offered a dramatic opportunity to break decades of deadly stalemate, will be judged a failure.
If the president had racked up several successes-wars ended, peace achieved, disputes settled, relations strengthened-then one disappointment wouldn't matter much. However, his record is an unbroken string of broken promises, opportunities squandered, principles violated, and intentions abandoned.
There is no relationship more important than that between the United States and the People's Republic of China. Despite Trump's supposed friendship with China's Xi Jinping, the trade war rages to the detriment of both countries. Americans have suffered from both the president's tariffs and China's retaliation, with no end in sight. Despite hopes for a resolution, Beijing is hanging tough and obviously doubts the president's toughness, given the rapidly approaching election.
Beyond economics, the relationship is deteriorating sharply. Disagreements and confrontations over everything from geopolitics to human rights have driven the two countries apart, with the administration lacking any effective strategy to positively influence China's behavior. The president's myopic focus on trade has left him without a coherent strategy elsewhere.
Perhaps the president's most pronounced and controversial promise of the 2016 campaign was to improve relations with Russia. However, despite another supposedly positive personal relationship, the Trump administration has applied more sanctions on Moscow, provided more anti-Russian aid to Ukraine, further increased funds and troops to NATO Europe, and sent home more Russian diplomats than the Obama administration.
Worse, Washington has made no serious effort to resolve the standoff over Ukraine. No one imagines Moscow returning Crimea to Ukraine or giving in on any other issue without meaningful concessions regarding Kiev. Instead of moderating and minimizing bilateral frictions, the administration has made Russia more likely today than before to cooperate with China against Washington and contest American objectives in the Middle East, Africa, and even Latin America.
Although Trump promised to stop America's endless wars, as many - if not more - U.S. military personnel are abroad today as when he took office. He increased the number of troops in Afghanistan and is now seeking to negotiate an exit that would force Washington to remain to enforce the agreement. This war has been burning for more than eighteen years.
The administration has maintained Washington's illegal deployment in Syria, shifting one contingent away from the Turkish-Kurdish battle while inserting new forces to confiscate Syrian oil fields-a move that lacks domestic authority and violates international law. A few hundred Americans cannot achieve their many other supposed objectives, such as eliminating Russian, Iranian, and other malign influences and forcing Syria's President Bashar al-Assad to resign or inaugurate democracy. However, their presence will ensure America's continued entanglement in a conflict of great complexity but minimal security interest.
The Saudi government remains corrupt, incompetent, repressive, reckless and dependent on the United States. Only Washington's refusal to retaliate against Iran for its presumed attack on Saudi oil facilities caused Riyadh to turn to diplomacy toward Tehran, yet the president then increased U.S. military deployments, turning American military personnel into bodyguards for the Saudi royals. The recent terrorist attack by the pilot-in-training-presumably to join his colleagues in slaughtering Yemeni civilians-added to the already high cost of the bilateral relationship.
The administration's policy of "maximum pressure" has proved to be a complete bust around the world. As noted earlier, North Korea proved unwilling to disarm despite the increased financial pressure caused by U.S. sanctions. North Koreans are hurting, but their government, like Washington, places security first.
Russia, too, is no more willing to yield Crimea, which was once part of Russia and is the Black Sea naval base of Sebastopol. Several European governments also disagree with the United States, having pressed to lighten or eliminate current sanctions. The West will have to offer more than the status quo to roll back Moscow's military advances.
Before Trump became president, Iran was well contained, despite its malign regional activities. The Islamic regime was hemmed in by Israel and the Gulf States, backed by nations as diverse as Egypt and America. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, sharply curtailed Iran's nuclear activities and placed the country under an intensive oversight regime. Now Tehran has reactivated its nuclear program, expanded its regional interventions, interfered with Gulf shipping, and demonstrated its ability to devastate Saudi oil production. To America's consternation, its Persian Gulf allies now are more willing to deal with Iran than before.
Additionally, the Trump administration has largely destroyed hope for reform in Cuba by reversing the Obama administration's progress toward normalizing relations and discouraging visits by-and trade with-Americans. The entrepreneurs I spoke to when I visited Cuba two years ago made large investments in anticipation of a steadily increasing number of U.S. visitors but were devastated when Washington shut off the flow. What had been a steadily expanding private sector was knocked back and the regime, with Raoul Castro still dominant behind the scenes, again can blame America for its own failings. There is no evidence that extending the original embargo and additional sanctions, which began in 1960, will free anyone.
For a time, Venezuela appeared to be an administration priority. As usual, Trump applied economic sanctions, this time on a people whose economy essentially had collapsed. Washington threatened more sanctions and military invasion but to no avail. Then the president and his top aides breathed fire and fury, insisting that both China and Russia stay out, again without success. Eventually, the president appeared to simply lose interest and drop any mention of the once urgent crisis. The corrupt, repressive Maduro regime remains in power.
So far, the president's criticisms of America's alliances have gone for naught. Until now, his appointees, all well-disposed toward maintaining generous subsidies for America's international fan club, have implemented his policies. More recently, the administration demanded substantial increases in "host nation" support, but in almost every negotiation so far the president has given way, accepting minor, symbolic gains. He is likely to end up like his predecessor, whining a lot but gaining very little from America's security dependents.
Beyond that, there is little positive to say. Trump and India's Narendra Modi are much alike, which is no compliment to either, but institutional relations have changed little. Turkey's incipient dictator, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, receives a free pass from the president for the former's abuses and crimes. But even so Congress is thoroughly arrayed against Ankara for sins both domestic and foreign.
The president's aversion to genuine free trade and the curious belief that buying inexpensive, quality products from abroad is a negative has created problems with many close allies, including Canada, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and multiple European states. Perhaps only with Israel are Washington's relations substantially improved, and that reflects the president's abandonment of any serious attempt to promote a fair and realistic peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
This is an extraordinarily bad record after almost three years in office. Something good still might happen between now and November 3, 2020. However, more issues are likely to get worse. Imagine North Korean missile and nuclear tests, renewed Russian attempts to influence Western elections, a bloody Chinese crackdown in Hong Kong, increased U.S.-European trade friction, more U.S. pressure on Iran matched by asymmetric responses, and more. At the moment, there is no reason to believe any of the resulting confrontations would turn out well.
Most Americans vote on the economy, and the president is currently riding a wave of job creation. If that ends before the November vote, then international issues might matter more. If so, then the president may regret that he failed to follow through on his criticism of endless war and irresponsible allies. Despite his very different persona, his results don't look all that different from those achieved by Barack Obama and other leading Democrats.
Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. He is a former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan and the author of several books, including Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire.rshimizu12 • 15 hours agoPersonally I think Trumps foreign policy has had mix results. Part of the problem is that Trump has adopted a ad hoc foreign policy tactics. The US has had limited success with North Korea. While we have not seen any reductions of nuclear weapons. He probably has stopped flight testing of ICBM's. The daily back and forth threats of destroying each other countries have stopped. We should have been making more progress with N Korea, but Trump has not been firm enough. Russia on the other hand is a much tougher country to deal with. As for China we will have to keep up the pressure in trade negotiations.
Nov 08, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Jackrabbit , Nov 8 2019 17:31 utc | 8Who has Trump kept his promise to?
Tea Party foot soldiers?Repeal and replace Obamacare on day oneAmerica?Nope. Quietly dropped coverage for prior conditions.
Build a Wall - and Mexico's gonna pay for it!Not really. Building sections of a wall that USA will pay for.
Drain the swampNope - unless by "swamp" Trump means the Democratic Party.
"Lock her up!"Nope. He says they're good people who have been thru a lot. Aww . . .End the "threat" from NK "Rocket man"Nope. No follow-thru on the (sham) Summit.
End the new Cold WarNope. Increased military spending; ended treaties; militarized space.
End "forever wars", bring the troops homeNope.
Bring jobs homeUncertain: trade War with China doesn't necessarily mean jobs coming back US.
= = = = = = = =
Republican Party?Cut taxesYES!
Cut regulations on businessYES!
Israel?Move Embassy to JerusalemYES!
Recognize Golan Heights as part of IsraelYES!
End aid to PalestiniansYES!
Don't give up on Syrian regime-changeYES!
US MIC, Netanyahu, MbS?End US participation in the JCPOA!!YES!
McCain: "bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran""locked and loaded"
Oct 27, 2019 | crookedtimber.org
...what replaces it will be even worse. That's the (slightly premature) headline for my recent article in The Conversation .
The headline will become operative in December, if as expected, the Trump Administration maintains its refusal to nominate new judges to the WTO appellate panel . That will render the WTO unable to take on new cases, and bring about an effective return to the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) which preceded the WTO .
An interesting sidelight is that Brexit No-Dealers have been keen on the merits of trading "on WTO terms", but those terms will probably be unenforceable by the time No Deal happens (if it does).
likbez 10.27.19 at 11:22 pmJohn Quiggin 10.28.19 at 3:00 am ( 2 )
That's another manifestation of the ascendance of "national neoliberalism," which now is displacing "classic neoliberalism."
Attempts to remove Trump via color revolution mechanisms (Russiagate, Ukrainegate) are essentially connected with the desire of adherents of classic neoliberalism to return to the old paradigm and kick the can down the road until the cliff. I think it is impossible because the neoliberal elite lost popular support (aka support of deplorables) and now is hanging in the air. "Greed is good" mantra, and the redistribution of the wealth up at the end proved to be very destructive.
That's why probably previous attempts to remove Trump were unsuccessful. And if corrupt classic neoliberal Biden wins Neoliberal Dem Party nomination, the USA probably will get the second term of Trump. Warren might have a chance as "Better Trump then Trump" although she proved so far to be pretty inept politician, and like "original" Trump probably can be easily coerced by the establishment, if she wins.
All this weeping and gnashing of teeth by "neoliberal Intelligentsia" does not change the fact that neoliberalism entered the period of structural crisis demonstrated by "secular stagnation," and, as such, its survival is far from certain. We probably can argue only about how long it will take for the "national neoliberalism" to dismantle it and what shape or form the new social order will take.
That does not mean that replacing the classic neoliberalism the new social order will be better, or more just. Neoliberalism was actually two steps back in comparison with the New Deal Capitalism that it replaced. It clearly was a social regress.Exactly right!Matt 10.28.19 at 6:28 am ( 3 )John, I am legitimate curious what you find "exactly right" in the comment above. Other than the obvious bit in the last line about new deal vs neoliberalism, I would say it is completely wrong, band presenting an amazingly distorted view of both the last few years and recent history.reason 10.28.19 at 8:58 am ( 5 )I agree with Matt.Tim Worstall 10.28.19 at 12:39 pm (no link) 6
In fact, I see the problem as more nuanced.
Neo-liberalism is not a unified thing. Right wing parties are not following the original (the value of choice) paradigm of Milton Friedman that won the argument during the 1970s inflation panic, but have implemented a deceitful bait and switch strategy, followed by continually shifting the goalposts – claiming – it would of worked but we weren't pure enough.
But parts of what Milton Friedman said (for instance the danger of bad micro-economic design of welfare systems creating poverty traps, and the inherent problems of high tariff rates) had a kernel of truth. (Unfortunately, Friedman's macro-economics was almost all wrong and has done great damage.)Jim Harrison 10.28.19 at 5:20 pm ( 9 )
"In that context it felt free to override national governments on any issue that might affect international trade, most notably environmental policies."
Not entirely sure about that. The one case where I was informed enough to really know detail was the China and rare earths WTO case. China claimed that restrictions on exports of separated but otherwise unprocessed rare earths were being made on environmental grounds. Rare earth mining is a messy business, especially the way they do it.
Well, OK. And if such exports were being limited on environmental grounds then that would be WTO compliant. Which is why the claim presumably.
It was gently or not pointed out that exports of things made from those same rare earths were not limited in any sense. Therefore that environmental justification might not be quite the real one. Possibly, it was an attempt to suck RE using industry into China by making rare earths outside in short supply, but the availability for local processing being unrestricted? Certainly, one customer of mine at the time seriously considered packing up the US factory and moving it.
China lost the WTO case. Not because environmental reasons aren't a justification for restrictions on trade but because no one believed that was the reason, rather than the justification.
I don't know about other cases – shrimp, tuna – but there is at least the possibility that it's the argument, not the environment, which wasn't sufficient justification?Neoliberalism gets used as a generalized term of abuse these days. Not every political and institutional development of the last 40 years comes down to the worship of the free market.
In the EU, East Asia, and North America, some of what has taken place is the rationalization of bureaucratic practices and the weakening of archaic localisms. Some of these developments have been positive.
In this respect, neoliberalism in the blanket sense used by Likbez and many others is like what the the ancien regime was, a mix of regressive and progressive tendencies. In the aftermath of the on-going upheaval, it is likely that it will be reassessed and some of its features will be valued if they manage to persist.
I'm thinking of international trade agreements, transnational scientific organizations, and confederations like the European Union.
steven t johnson 10.29.19 at 12:29 amIf I may venture to translate @1?
Right-wing populism like Orban, Salvini, the Brexiteers are sweeping the globe and this is more of the same.
Trying to head off redivision of the world into nationalist trade blocks by removing Trump via dubiously democratic upheavals (like color revolutions) with more or less fictional quasi-scandals as pro-Russian treason or anti-Ukrainian treason (which is "Huh?" on the face of it,) is futile. It stems from a desire to keep on "free" trading despite the secular stagnation that has set in, hoping that the sociopolitical nowhere (major at least) doesn't collapse until God or Nature or something restores the supposedly natural order of economic growth without end/crisis.
I think efforts to keep the neoliberal international WTO/IMF/World Bank "free" trading system is futile because the lower orders are being ordered to be satisfied with a permanent, rigid class system .
If the pie is to shrink forever, all the vile masses (the deplorables) are going to hang together in their various ways, clinging to shared identity in race or religion or nationality, which will leave the international capitalists hanging, period. "Greed is good" mantra, and the redistribution of the wealth up at the end proved to be very destructive. Saying "Greed is good," then expecting selflessness from the lowers is not high-minded but self-serving. Redistribution of wealth upward has been terribly destructive to social cohesion, both domestically and in the sense of generosity towards foreigners.
The pervasive feeling that "we" are going down and drastic action has to be taken is probably why there hasn't been much traction for impeachment til now. If Biden, shown to be shady in regards to Hunter, is nominated to lead the Democratic Party into four/eight years of Obama-esque promise to continue shrinking the status quo for the lowers, Trump will probably win. Warren might have a better chance to convince voters she means to change things (despite the example of Obama,) but she's not very appealing. And she is almost certainly likely to be manipulated like Trump.
Again, despite the fury the old internationalism is collapsing under stagnation and weeping about it is irrelevant. Without any real ideas, we can only react to events as nationalist predatory capitals fight for their new world.
I'm not saying the new right wing populism is better. The New Deal/Great Society did more for America than its political successors since Nixon et al. The years since 1968 I think have been a regression and I see no reason–alas–that it can't get even worse.
I *think* that's more or less what likbez, said, though obviously it's not the way likbez wanted to express it. I disagree strenuously on some details, like Warren's problem being a schoolmarm, rather than being a believer in capitalism who shares Trump's moral values against socialism, no matter what voters say.
likbez 10.29.19 at 2:46 am 13
fausutsnotes 10.28.19 at 8:27 am @4
> What on earth is "national neoliberalism."
It is a particular mutation of the original concept similar to mutation of socialism into national socialism, when domestic policies are mostly preserved (including rampant deregulation) and supplemented by repressive measures (total surveillance) , but in foreign policy "might make right" and unilateralism with the stress on strictly bilateral regulations of trade (no WTO) somewhat modifies "Washington consensus". In other words, the foreign financial oligarchy has a demoted status under the "national neoliberalism" regime, while the national financial oligarchy and manufactures are elevated.
And the slogan of "financial oligarchy of all countries, unite" which is sine qua non of classic neoliberalism is effectively dead and is replaced by protection racket of the most political powerful players (look at Biden and Ukrainian oligarchs behavior here ;-)
> I think every sentence in that comment is either completely wrong or at least debatable. And is likbez actually John Hewson, because that comment reads like one of John Hewson's commentaries
I wish ;-). But it is true in the sense of sentiment expressed in his article A few bank scalps won't help unless they change their rotten culture That's a very similar approach to the problem.
politicalfootball 10.28.19 at 1:19 pm @8
> Most obviously, to define Warren and Trump as both being neoliberals drains the term of any meaning
You are way too fast even for a political football forward ;-).
Warren capitalizes on the same discontent and the feeling of the crisis of neoliberalism that allowed Trump to win. Yes, she is a much better candidate than Trump, and her policy proposals are better (unless she is coerced by the Deep State like Trump in the first three months of her Presidency).
Still, unlike Sanders in domestic policy and Tulsi in foreign policy, she is a neoliberal reformist at heart and a neoliberal warmonger in foreign policy. Most of her policy proposals are quite shallow, and are just a band-aid.
"Warren's "I have a plan" mantra sounds an awful lot like a dog whistle to Clinton voters" Elizabeth Warren's
Plan-itis Excessive Lobbying Case Study naked capitalism
Jim Harrison 10.28.19 at 5:20 pm @9
> Neoliberalism gets used as a generalized term of abuse these days. Not every political and institutional development of the last 40 years comes down to the worship of the free market.
This is a typical stance of neoliberal MSM, a popular line of attack on critics of neoliberalism.
Yes, of course, not everything political and institutional development of the last 40 years comes down to the worship of the "free market." But how can it be otherwise? Notions of human agency, a complex interaction of politics and economics in human affairs, technological progress since 1970th, etc., all play a role. But a historian needs to be able to somehow integrate the mass of evidence into a coherent and truthful story.
And IMHO this story for the last several decades is the ascendance and now decline of "classic neoliberalism" with its stress on the neoliberal globalization and opening of the foreign markets for transnational corporations (often via direct or indirect (financial) pressure, or subversive actions including color revolutions and military intervention) and replacement of it by "national neoliberalism" -- domestic neoliberalism without (or with a different type of) neoliberal globalization.
Defining features of national neoliberalism along with the rejection of neoliberal globalization and, in particular, multiparty treaties like WTO is massive, overwhelming propaganda including politicized witch hunts (via neoliberal MSM), total surveillance of citizens by the national security state institutions (three-letter agencies which now acquired a political role), as well as elements of classic nationalism built-in.
The dominant ideology of the last 30 years was definitely connected with "worshiping of free markets," a secular religion that displaced alternative views and, for several decades (say 1976 -2007), dominated the discourse. So worshiping (or pretense of worshiping) of "free market" (as if such market exists, and is not a theological construct -- a deity of some sort) is really defining feature here.
Dec 01, 1992 | www.moonofalabama.org
On the abandonment of Enlightenment intellectualism, and the emergence of a new form of Volksgeist.When hatred of culture becomes itself a part of culture, the life of the mind loses all meaning. -- Alain Finkielkraut, The Undoing of Thought
Today we are trying to spread knowledge everywhere. Who knows if in centuries to come there will not be universities for re-establishing our former ignorance? -- Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799)
I n 1927, the French essayist Julien Benda published his famous attack on the intellectual corruption of the age, La Trahison des clercs. I said "famous," but perhaps "once famous" would have been more accurate. For today, in the United States anyway, only the title of the book, not its argument, enjoys much currency. "La trahison des clercs": it is one of those memorable phrases that bristles with hints and associations without stating anything definite. Benda tells us that he uses the term "clerc" in "the medieval sense," i.e., to mean "scribe," someone we would now call a member of the intelligentsia. Academics and journalists, pundits, moralists, and pontificators of all varieties are in this sense clercs . The English translation, The Treason of the Intellectuals , 1 sums it up neatly.
The "treason" in question was the betrayal by the "clerks" of their vocation as intellectuals. From the time of the pre-Socratics, intellectuals, considered in their role as intellectuals, had been a breed apart. In Benda's terms, they were understood to be "all those whose activity essentially is not the pursuit of practical aims, all those who seek their joy in the practice of an art or a science or a metaphysical speculation, in short in the possession of non-material advantages." Thanks to such men, Benda wrote, "humanity did evil for two thousand years, but honored good. This contradiction was an honor to the human species, and formed the rift whereby civilization slipped into the world."
According to Benda, however, this situation was changing. More and more, intellectuals were abandoning their attachment to the traditional panoply of philosophical and scholarly ideals. One clear sign of the change was the attack on the Enlightenment ideal of universal humanity and the concomitant glorification of various particularisms. The attack on the universal went forward in social and political life as well as in the refined precincts of epistemology and metaphysics: "Those who for centuries had exhorted men, at least theoretically, to deaden the feeling of their differences have now come to praise them, according to where the sermon is given, for their 'fidelity to the French soul,' 'the immutability of their German consciousness,' for the 'fervor of their Italian hearts.'" In short, intellectuals began to immerse themselves in the unsettlingly practical and material world of political passions: precisely those passions, Benda observed, "owing to which men rise up against other men, the chief of which are racial passions, class passions and national passions." The "rift" into which civilization had been wont to slip narrowed and threatened to close altogether.
Writing at a moment when ethnic and nationalistic hatreds were beginning to tear Europe asunder, Benda's diagnosis assumed the lineaments of a prophecy -- a prophecy that continues to have deep resonance today. "Our age is indeed the age of the intellectual organization of political hatreds ," he wrote near the beginning of the book. "It will be one of its chief claims to notice in the moral history of humanity." There was no need to add that its place in moral history would be as a cautionary tale. In little more than a decade, Benda's prediction that, because of the "great betrayal" of the intellectuals, humanity was "heading for the greatest and most perfect war ever seen in the world," would achieve a terrifying corroboration.
J ulien Benda was not so naïve as to believe that intellectuals as a class had ever entirely abstained from political involvement, or, indeed, from involvement in the realm of practical affairs. Nor did he believe that intellectuals, as citizens, necessarily should abstain from political commitment or practical affairs. The "treason" or betrayal he sought to publish concerned the way that intellectuals had lately allowed political commitment to insinuate itself into their understanding of the intellectual vocation as such. Increasingly, Benda claimed, politics was "mingled with their work as artists, as men of learning, as philosophers." The ideal of disinterestedness, the universality of truth: such guiding principles were contemptuously deployed as masks when they were not jettisoned altogether. It was in this sense that he castigated the " desire to abase the values of knowledge before the values of action ."
In its crassest but perhaps also most powerful form, this desire led to that familiar phenomenon Benda dubbed "the cult of success." It is summed up, he writes, in "the teaching that says that when a will is successful that fact alone gives it a moral value, whereas the will which fails is for that reason alone deserving of contempt." In itself, this idea is hardly novel, as history from the Greek sophists on down reminds us. In Plato's Gorgias , for instance, the sophist Callicles expresses his contempt for Socrates' devotion to philosophy: "I feel toward philosophers very much as I do toward those who lisp and play the child." Callicles taunts Socrates with the idea that "the more powerful, the better, and the stronger" are simply different words for the same thing. Successfully pursued, he insists, "luxury and intemperance are virtue and happiness, and all the rest is tinsel." How contemporary Callicles sounds!
In Benda's formula, this boils down to the conviction that "politics decides morality." To be sure, the cynicism that Callicles espoused is perennial: like the poor, it will be always with us. What Benda found novel was the accreditation of such cynicism by intellectuals. "It is true indeed that these new 'clerks' declare that they do not know what is meant by justice, truth, and other 'metaphysical fogs,' that for them the true is determined by the useful, the just by circumstances," he noted. "All these things were taught by Callicles, but with this difference; he revolted all the important thinkers of his time."
In other words, the real treason of the intellectuals was not that they countenanced Callicles but that they championed him. To appreciate the force of Benda's thesis one need only think of that most influential modern Callicles, Friedrich Nietzsche. His doctrine of "the will to power," his contempt for the "slave morality" of Christianity, his plea for an ethic "beyond good and evil," his infatuation with violence -- all epitomize the disastrous "pragmatism" that marks the intellectual's "treason." The real problem was not the unattainability but the disintegration of ideals, an event that Nietzsche hailed as the "transvaluation of all values." "Formerly," Benda observed, "leaders of States practiced realism, but did not honor it; With them morality was violated but moral notions remained intact, and that is why, in spite of all their violence, they did not disturb civilization ."
Benda understood that the stakes were high: the treason of the intellectuals signaled not simply the corruption of a bunch of scribblers but a fundamental betrayal of culture. By embracing the ethic of Callicles, intellectuals had, Benda reckoned, precipitated "one of the most remarkable turning points in the moral history of the human species. It is impossible," he continued,to exaggerate the importance of a movement whereby those who for twenty centuries taught Man that the criterion of the morality of an act is its disinterestedness, that good is a decree of his reason insofar as it is universal, that his will is only moral if it seeks its law outside its objects, should begin to teach him that the moral act is the act whereby he secures his existence against an environment which disputes it, that his will is moral insofar as it is a will "to power," that the part of his soul which determines what is good is its "will to live" wherein it is most "hostile to all reason," that the morality of an act is measured by its adaptation to its end, and that the only morality is the morality of circumstances. The educators of the human mind now take sides with Callicles against Socrates, a revolution which I dare to say seems to me more important than all political upheavals.
T he Treason of the Intellectuals is an energetic hodgepodge of a book. The philosopher Jean-François Revel recently described it as "one of the fussiest pleas on behalf of the necessary independence of intellectuals." Certainly it is rich, quirky, erudite, digressive, and polemical: more an exclamation than an analysis. Partisan in its claims for disinterestedness, it is ruthless in its defense of intellectual high-mindedness. Yet given the horrific events that unfolded in the decades following its publication, Benda's unremitting attack on the politicization of the intellect and ethnic separatism cannot but strike us as prescient. And given the continuing echo in our own time of the problems he anatomized, the relevance of his observations to our situation can hardly be doubted. From the savage flowering of ethnic hatreds in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union to the mendacious demands for political correctness and multiculturalism on college campuses across America and Europe, the treason of the intellectuals continues to play out its unedifying drama. Benda spoke of "a cataclysm in the moral notions of those who educate the world." That cataclysm is erupting in every corner of cultural life today.
In 1988, the young French philosopher and cultural critic Alain Finkielkraut took up where Benda left off, producing a brief but searching inventory of our contemporary cataclysms. Entitled La Défaite de la pensée 2 ("The 'Defeat' or 'Undoing' of Thought"), his essay is in part an updated taxonomy of intellectual betrayals. In this sense, the book is a trahison des clercs for the post-Communist world, a world dominated as much by the leveling imperatives of pop culture as by resurgent nationalism and ethnic separatism. Beginning with Benda, Finkielkraut catalogues several prominent strategies that contemporary intellectuals have employed to retreat from the universal. A frequent point of reference is the eighteenth-century German Romantic philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder. "From the beginning, or to be more precise, from the time of Plato until that of Voltaire," he writes, "human diversity had come before the tribunal of universal values; with Herder the eternal values were condemned by the court of diversity."
Finkielkraut focuses especially on Herder's definitively anti-Enlightenment idea of the Volksgeist or "national spirit." Quoting the French historian Joseph Renan, he describes the idea as "the most dangerous explosive of modern times." "Nothing," he writes, "can stop a state that has become prey to the Volksgeist ." It is one of Finkielkraut's leitmotifs that today's multiculturalists are in many respects Herder's (generally unwitting) heirs.
True, Herder's emphasis on history and language did much to temper the tendency to abstraction that one finds in some expressions of the Enlightenment. Ernst Cassirer even remarked that "Herder's achievement is one of the greatest intellectual triumphs of the philosophy of the Enlightenment."
Nevertheless, the multiculturalists' obsession with "diversity" and ethnic origins is in many ways a contemporary redaction of Herder's elevation of racial particularism over the universalizing mandate of reason. Finkielkraut opposes this just as the mature Goethe once took issue with Herder's adoration of the Volksgeist. Finkielkraut concedes that we all "relate to a particular tradition" and are "shaped by our national identity." But, unlike the multiculturalists, he soberly insists that "this reality merit[s] some recognition, not idolatry."
In Goethe's words, "A generalized tolerance will be best achieved if we leave undisturbed whatever it is which constitutes the special character of particular individuals and peoples, whilst at the same time we retain the conviction that the distinctive worth of anything with true merit lies in its belonging to all humanity."
The Undoing of Thought resembles The Treason of the Intellectuals stylistically as well as thematically. Both books are sometimes breathless congeries of sources and aperçus. And Finkielkraut, like Benda (and, indeed, like Montaigne), tends to proceed more by collage than by demonstration. But he does not simply recapitulate Benda's argument.
The geography of intellectual betrayal has changed dramatically in the last sixty-odd years. In 1927, intellectuals still had something definite to betray. In today's "postmodernist" world, the terrain is far mushier: the claims of tradition are much attenuated and betrayal is often only a matter of acquiescence. Finkielkraut's distinctive contribution is to have taken the measure of the cultural swamp that surrounds us, to have delineated the links joining the politicization of the intellect and its current forms of debasement.
In the broadest terms, The Undoing of Thought is a brief for the principles of the Enlightenment. Among other things, this means that it is a brief for the idea that mankind is united by a common humanity that transcends ethnic, racial, and sexual divisions.
The humanizing "reason" that Enlightenment champions is a universal reason, sharable, in principle, by all. Such ideals have not fared well in the twentieth century: Herder's progeny have labored hard to discredit them. Granted, the belief that there is "Jewish thinking" or "Soviet science" or "Aryan art" is no longer as widespread as it once was. But the dispersal of these particular chimeras has provided no inoculation against kindred fabrications: "African knowledge," "female language," "Eurocentric science": these are among today's talismanic fetishes.
Then, too, one finds a stunning array of anti-Enlightenment phantasmagoria congregated under the banner of "anti-positivism." The idea that history is a "myth," that the truths of science are merely "fictions" dressed up in forbidding clothes, that reason and language are powerless to discover the truth -- more, that truth itself is a deceitful ideological construct: these and other absurdities are now part of the standard intellectual diet of Western intellectuals. The Frankfurt School Marxists Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno gave an exemplary but by no means uncharacteristic demonstration of one strain of this brand of anti-rational animus in the mid-1940s.
Safely ensconced in Los Angeles, these refugees from Hitler's Reich published an influential essay on the concept of Enlightenment. Among much else, they assured readers that "Enlightenment is totalitarian." Never mind that at that very moment the Nazi war machine -- what one might be forgiven for calling real totalitarianism -- was busy liquidating millions of people in order to fulfill another set of anti-Enlightenment fantasies inspired by devotion to the Volksgeist .
The diatribe that Horkheimer and Adorno mounted against the concept of Enlightenment reminds us of an important peculiarity about the history of Enlightenment: namely, that it is a movement of thought that began as a reaction against tradition and has now emerged as one of tradition's most important safeguards. Historically, the Enlightenment arose as a deeply anti-clerical and, perforce, anti-traditional movement. Its goal, in Kant's famous phrase, was to release man from his "self-imposed immaturity."
The chief enemy of Enlightenment was "superstition," an omnibus term that included all manner of religious, philosophical, and moral ideas. But as the sociologist Edward Shils has noted, although the Enlightenment was in important respects "antithetical to tradition" in its origins, its success was due in large part "to the fact that it was promulgated and pursued in a society in which substantive traditions were rather strong." "It was successful against its enemies," Shils notes in his book Tradition (1981),because the enemies were strong enough to resist its complete victory over them. Living on a soil of substantive traditionality, the ideas of the Enlightenment advanced without undoing themselves. As long as respect for authority on the one side and self-confidence in those exercising authority on the other persisted, the Enlightenment's ideal of emancipation through the exercise of reason went forward. It did not ravage society as it would have done had society lost all legitimacy.
It is this mature form of Enlightenment, championing reason but respectful of tradition, that Finkielkraut holds up as an ideal.
W hat Finkielkraut calls "the undoing of thought" flows from the widespread disintegration of a faith. At the center of that faith is the assumption that the life of thought is "the higher life" and that culture -- what the Germans call Bildung -- is its end or goal.
The process of disintegration has lately become an explicit attack on culture. This is not simply to say that there are many anti-intellectual elements in society: that has always been the case. "Non-thought," in Finkielkraut's phrase, has always co-existed with the life of the mind. The innovation of contemporary culture is to have obliterated the distinction between the two. "It is," he writes, "the first time in European history that non-thought has donned the same label and enjoyed the same status as thought itself, and the first time that those who, in the name of 'high culture,' dare to call this non-thought by its name, are dismissed as racists and reactionaries." The attack is perpetrated not from outside, by uncomprehending barbarians, but chiefly from inside, by a new class of barbarians, the self-made barbarians of the intelligentsia. This is the undoing of thought. This is the new "treason of the intellectuals."
There are many sides to this phenomenon. What Finkielkraut has given us is not a systematic dissection but a kind of pathologist's scrapbook. He reminds us, for example, that the multiculturalists' demand for "diversity" requires the eclipse of the individual in favor of the group . "Their most extraordinary feat," he observes, "is to have put forward as the ultimate individual liberty the unconditional primacy of the collective." Western rationalism and individualism are rejected in the name of a more "authentic" cult.
One example: Finkielkraut quotes a champion of multiculturalism who maintains that "to help immigrants means first of all respecting them for what they are, respecting whatever they aspire to in their national life, in their distinctive culture and in their attachment to their spiritual and religious roots." Would this, Finkielkraut asks, include "respecting" those religious codes which demanded that the barren woman be cast out and the adulteress be punished with death?
What about those cultures in which the testimony of one man counts for that of two women? In which female circumcision is practiced? In which slavery flourishes? In which mixed marriages are forbidden and polygamy encouraged? Multiculturalism, as Finkielkraut points out, requires that we respect such practices. To criticize them is to be dismissed as "racist" and "ethnocentric." In this secular age, "cultural identity" steps in where the transcendent once was: "Fanaticism is indefensible when it appeals to heaven, but beyond reproach when it is grounded in antiquity and cultural distinctiveness."
To a large extent, the abdication of reason demanded by multiculturalism has been the result of what we might call the subjection of culture to anthropology. Finkielkraut speaks in this context of a "cheerful confusion which raises everyday anthropological practices to the pinnacle of the human race's greatest achievements." This process began in the nineteenth century, but it has been greatly accelerated in our own age. One thinks, for example, of the tireless campaigning of that great anthropological leveler, Claude Lévi-Strauss. Lévi-Strauss is assuredly a brilliant writer, but he has also been an extraordinarily baneful influence. Already in the early 1950s, when he was pontificating for UNESCO , he was urging all and sundry to "fight against ranking cultural differences hierarchically." In La Pensée sauvage (1961), he warned against the "false antinomy between logical and prelogical mentality" and was careful in his descriptions of natives to refer to "so-called primitive thought." "So-called" indeed. In a famous article on race and history, Lévi-Strauss maintained that the barbarian was not the opposite of the civilized man but "first of all the man who believes there is such a thing as barbarism." That of course is good to know. It helps one to appreciate Lévi-Strauss's claim, in Tristes Tropiques (1955), that the "true purpose of civilization" is to produce "inertia." As one ruminates on the proposition that cultures should not be ranked hierarchically, it is also well to consider what Lévi-Strauss coyly refers to as "the positive forms of cannibalism." For Lévi-Strauss, cannibalism has been unfairly stigmatized in the "so-called" civilized West. In fact, he explains, cannibalism was "often observed with great discretion, the vital mouthful being made up of a small quantity of organic matter mixed, on occasion, with other forms of food." What, merely a "vital mouthful"? Not to worry! Only an ignoramus who believed that there were important distinctions, qualitative distinctions, between the barbarian and the civilized man could possibly think of objecting.
Of course, the attack on distinctions that Finkielkraut castigates takes place not only among cultures but also within a given culture. Here again, the anthropological imperative has played a major role. "Under the equalizing eye of social science," he writes,hierarchies are abolished, and all the criteria of taste are exposed as arbitrary. From now on no rigid division separates masterpieces from run-of-the mill works. The same fundamental structure, the same general and elemental traits are common to the "great" novels (whose excellence will henceforth be demystified by the accompanying quotation marks) and plebian types of narrative activity.
F or confirmation of this, one need only glance at the pronouncements of our critics. Whether working in the academy or other cultural institutions, they bring us the same news: there is "no such thing" as intrinsic merit, "quality" is an only ideological construction, aesthetic value is a distillation of social power, etc., etc.
In describing this process of leveling, Finkielkraut distinguishes between those who wish to obliterate distinctions in the name of politics and those who do so out of a kind of narcissism. The multiculturalists wave the standard of radical politics and say (in the words of a nineteenth-century Russian populist slogan that Finkielkraut quotes): "A pair of boots is worth more than Shakespeare."
Those whom Finkielkraut calls "postmodernists," waving the standard of radical chic, declare that Shakespeare