Childless by choice

Last month, my niece (27) asked me why I never had children of my own, since I obviously love kids and have made a priority of involving myself in the lives of my sisters’ children.

Aside from dumb luck — and a lot of birth control — in the early goings, I’ve allowed my fears about the future, ultimately, to make my decision for me.

(And, yes, I feel a tiny bit cheated and sad, but I could not, in good conscience, bring human beings into the world that’s coming.)

In short, this is the latest dire bulletin from the collapsing natural world to keep me up at night: https://www.counterpunch.org/…/global-warming-stirs-the-me…/

Is the end nigh? Obviously, no one knows for certain, but my god, this doesn’t look good!

(It’s enough to make a person wish we had some sort of society or government, willing to take its most grave responsibilities the least bit seriously. Instead, I have to reconcile myself to the sad fact that it’s primarily my nation’s government and institutions that have brought the species to the precipice of an Earthbound hell.)

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The Caterpillar from “Alice in Wonderland” Confronts America

WHO ARE YOU, AMERICA?

Over the three presidencies before Trump’s (two of them Democratic) MILLIONS of Arab Muslims — and millions of mostly unmentioned others — were wittingly sacrificed on the altar of Shock Doctrine (neo-fascist) economics, led aggressively (and largely unilaterally) by the United States of America, which has been swinging its muscular arms at the world like an enraged silverback gorilla since the fall of the Soviet Union… and acting like a chainsaw-wielding maniac at an outdoor slumber party since 9/11.

Washington’s cynical exploitation of that monstrous terrorist act gave some of history’s greatest criminals and profiteers – still in business today — license to torture, listen-in, assassinate, and commit mass-murder anywhere, with no declaration of war or pretense of legality (nothing that would pass the laugh test, anyway, back when America’s leadership thought it was important to distinguish themselves from the Third Reich, Stalin, or the Stasi; back when they at least pretended to respect habeas corpus, the Nuremberg Principles, the Magna Carta, and our Constitution).

Today, the war machine that President Eisenhower tried to warn us about IS the government, every bit as much as Exxon and Goldman Sachs IS the government (it sure as hell isn’t us, We the SHEEPLE…).

The genocidal war machine that’s replaced the U.S. government — and extinguished anything resembling democracy, here — does whatever it wants, while Americans argue about which duopoly party’s candidate is more corrupt and generally revolting:

“Yours is an ignorant, sexist racist, who’s said and done a TON of bigoted things!”

“Are you kidding me?! Yours has made a career out of incarcerating minorities and making offensive and dishonest racial slurs — including against your party’s last president!”

(Two scummy, racist, obviously criminal elites, neither with any principles — and in 2016 the whole nation was wetting itself that its Darth Sidious might not be the one to take the helm of the empire, delivering us, personally, to the next level of hell. “It should be a woman! Darth Sidi-ess!”)

Meanwhile, bee colonies and other pollinators disappear, the Great Barrier Reef perishes, and, as ever, the genocide train rolls on: in Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Somalia, Libya, Yemen, and beyond (wherever there are brown people, wherever there’s oil, wherever a political leader won’t allow their nation to be enslaved by Western corporations; wherever it helps Washington outmaneuver its geopolitical rivals — with over 1,000 military bases in the world, dozens of dictators, and millions of myrmidons at DC’s disposal, the genocide train rolls on and on.).

WHO ARE YOU, AMERICA?

Most of us have been grappling with our friends and families on the other side of the (largely imaginary) aisle, with great vehemence – LONG BEFORE TRUMP WAS PIED PIPER’d INTO OFFICE – for not agreeing with us about the alleged chasm of difference between death by arsenic and death by cyanide.

Meanwhile, in lock-step behind the curtain (despite all the noisy bickering on the front pages) the political and institutional leadership of the United States has:

1) radically increased the exploitation of fossil-fuels (including tar sands, deep-water and Arctic drilling, fracking, mountaintop removal for coal, etc.) — even as the world’s climatological systems are in unprecedented jeopardy, with the Sixth Mass Extinction event underway (50% of living things gone in 40 years; the oceans signaling collapse; glaciers, ice caps, and permafrost melting; events fast outpacing the most dire computer modelling);

2) created a world with more refugees than at any time in recorded history;

3) eviscerated the Bill of Rights, nullifying one Amendment after another;

4) hunted like an animal every journalist and whistleblower who dared to expose the criminality of our government — which has given itself, with the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act, signed by Barack Obama, the right to propagandize citizens of the United States, on U.S. soil;

5) created a cruelly oppressive global economic system that utilizes more SLAVES than at any point in recorded history; and

6) allowed our elections to be turned into opaque, easily manipulated, unverifiable farces, where millions of voters are routinely disenfranchised (with the blatantly stolen presidential elections of 2000 and 2004, and the brazenly rigged Democratic Primary of 2016, the entire world has seen the “Emperor’s New Clothes” attire of Uncle Sam — who generally SELECTS, rather than ELECTS, these days… even if fluky things, like Bernie Sanders filling stadiums or Donald J. Drumpfuck beating Secretary Blood-n-Guts, occasionally happen).

AMERICA, WHO ARE YOU?

Your children are growing up and growing old in an increasingly violent, water-scarce cauldron that generations of Americans cultivated and ignored: fat, smug, and comfortable (we apparently enjoyed arguing and being entertained more than working together to confront EXISTENTIAL THREATS TO OUR SPECIES).

You call yourselves Christians? You call yourselves Liberals?

You’ve let your elections and government become utterly defiled.

You’ve let corporate P.T. Barnums distract and divide you, lying to you again and again and again… and yet you stick to them like Othello to Iago. (Is Putin also responsible for your blinkered devotion to inveterate propagandists? That would be a convenient — and trendy – excuse.).

You’re World Wrestling Federation fans. You’re Nero, fiddling with personality politics while modern day Rome — THE WORLD — burns; while your nation becomes the most hated and feared entity in the world, regardless of which party holds the White House.

You refuse to question your masters, swallowing their nonsensical, ahistorical framing of issues and their bogus, xenophobic, self-flattering narratives.

You are told that you have only two options come Election Day.

You obey. You obey. You obey.

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A forgotten “Me, Too” tale of the 1990s…

When Prof. Anita Hill was slandered with misogynist, racially loaded slurs for coming forward with her story — involving years of sexual harassment and unwelcome advances from Judge Clarence Thomas — three other women bravely stepped forward and said “ME, TOO!”

Only that’s when Joe Biden stepped in.

In a lesser known chapter of the former VP’s sordid political history, Delaware Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr, made sure that the trio of other women saying “Me, too!” about Judge Thomas never got to share their stories.

Sen. Biden ensured that Prof. Anita Hill stood alone.

Did those three other women’s stories also involve years of unrelenting sexual harassment? Were they also subjected to Judge Thomas’s frequent lewd suggestions involving porno movies, orgies, and bestiality? Were there more strategically placed pubic hairs on these underlings’ beverages?

Thanks to Sen. Joe Biden, we’ll never know.

As Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, “Cup of Joe” Biden acted with ruthless zeal and efficiency to seat Clarence Thomas, ideological radical and alleged serial workplace harasser, on the bench of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Because Joe Biden didn’t just run with David Brock’s “a little bit nutty, a little bit slutty” character-assassination of Prof. Hill, grilling her like the rest of the Republicans. He made sure that the stories of those three other victims — corroborating Hill’s grim experience with predatory Clarence Thomas — would never see the light of day, so far as that confirmation process was concerned.

With Biden running the show, Prof. Anita Hill was hung out to dry.

Thanks to Joe’s tireless efforts, Clarence Thomas was elevated to the highest court in the land, where he would proceed to give us “President” George W. Bush (in a 5-4 affair which makes the 2016 general election result look like an immaculate exercise in democracy).

“Justice” Thomas also helped give us the dark money bonanza that is Citizens United — and a host of other really swell jurisprudential developments, leading to the situation we Americans enjoy today.

Thanks heaps, Joe. (Please go away now.)

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“The West might hardly believe it, but it now seems the Syrian war is ending – and Assad is the victor.”

So reads the headline of John Pilger’s recent article in The Independent of the U.K.

Foreign aggression, al Qaeda, and ISIS have been dealt a considerable setback in the Middle East, following several years of neoconservative bloodletting and ethno-sectarian cleansing (primarily the handiwork of Washington, DC, London, Tel Aviv, and the Saudis… primarily through radical Salafist proxies).

For Syrians, for the region, for the international community, and ultimately, for global stability — during a time of mass-insanity in Western governments and institutions — this is a remarkably good outcome.

This peace brings long-awaited relief to millions, following years of horrific suffering which the Syrian people never asked for and in no way deserved.

This resolution also represents a *second* black eye for the imperialist bully in the region (following Washington’s self-inflicted “shiner” in Iraq — which likely cost over a million Iraqis their lives, per a peer-reviewed study conducted by the Johns Hopkins Medical School and published in the respected British medical journal, The Lancet).

I hope my friends, here, won’t simply take my word for it. Read Fisk’s article and familiarize yourself with the outstanding journalism of Eva Bartlett, Consortium News, Jeffrey Sachs, and the handful of other brave souls who’ve reported this invasion (and multi-front proxy war) honestly, cutting through a sea of propaganda.

The end of this campaign of Western-initiated atrocities is a *very* good thing, and I’m happy for the Syrian people. They have weathered a brutal and prolonged assault, but now have their country back and can begin rebuilding their lives.

That this monstrously ill-conceived and destructive regime-change op ended the way it did was the best outcome anyone could have hoped for.

And the neocons’ preferred next step — a “No-fly Zone” in Syria — would have only prolonged the nightmare for most Syrians and risked plunging the globe into a third World War that humanity can ill afford.

(Though the politicians, MSM, MIC, and neocons will gnash teeth and pull hair, this outcome is truly best: self-determination under imperfect rulers is far better than going the way of post-Qaddafi Libya.)

JO’D – 9/30/17

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The #McResistance is Real.

“Trump the next Hitler! Stop the Trump! Stop the war-devil, nuke-world monster…” …by giving him an additional $700 billion to wage war.

No debate, just give Donald Trump (and the Bush-Obama engorged MIC) hundreds of billions of additional Pentagon dollars — nearly 150% more than the $55 billion annual increase Trump requested — after decades of reducing millions of Americans to poverty and leaving us to drink lead-tainted, carcinogenic “water” in one sacrifice zone after another (Flint, MI, is only the tip of this appalling iceberg)..

Because Donald J. Pussygrabber is simply the captain of an “intramural” squad: “We’re actually all on one team” (the Spend the U.S. Into Oblivion Making Enemies and Slaughtering Millions team, apparently) — President Barack Obama

…STILL waiting for the average “liberal” to recognize that Democrats (every bit as much as Republicans) are pushing a dangerously unpredictable president toward war. That neoconservative foreign policy and endless war is what they are all about, in fact… aside from containing the left.

…STILL waiting for Americans of good conscience to demand an end to the carnage that Washington, DC, has unleashed in the world, especially in the post-9/11 era: in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Georgia, Ukraine, Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt, Somalia, and Yemen, where the latest genocide is underway.

#McResistance is not enough.

(Nor is voting for the “anti-establishment” charlatan Trump enough, conservatives.)

If millions of Americans don’t register Green or Democratic Socialist or something other than GOP/Dem — ASAFP – we can expect more neo-fascist drift, several more “President Trumps,” more demagoguery and division, and gobs more WAR, WAR, WAR, WAR, WAR, WAR, WAR, WAR… until what we’ve been cruelly inflicting on other nations comes barreling back at us, literally exploding onto our shores.

Here’s a tip: Instead of rooting for one intramural squad over another –
when they all work for the same omnicidal, world-fracking oligarchs — try resisting fascism. Like, with reason and liberal, humanist values, rather than slogans, partisanship, and unbridled hate.

Just for a change.

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The catharsis we’ve been waiting for (next stop, UNITY!)…

UPDATED 9/27/17

First they told us that unity is absolutely critical in the age of Trump, so we must never question our corrupt, incompetent, neo-McCarthyite leaders.

Then they plunged a series of poisoned daggers into the heart of the base — and the future of the Democratic Party, if polls and demographics mean anything.

When they said “unity,” it’s clear they meant silence and unquestioning subservience to authority. And even though most of the left acquiesced and submitted – including the vast majority of Bernie-crats (88% of whom* voted for Sec. Clinton on Election Day, even after the rigged primary) — the establishment kept kicking the progressive base in the ribs, administering one bone-crushing blow after another.

And continues doing so to this day.

Funny that. It’s almost as if the Democratic establishment exists only to crush the left.

———————————————————————————————

*(versus just 75% of Clinton’s primary voters voting Democratic in 2008′s GE; because 25% of Hillary’s “PUMAs” actually voted for John McCain and Sarah Palin over Barack Obama in 2008 — back when PUMA meant “Party Unity My Ass!”)

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Trump’s other value, besides… I forget (doorstop?)

TRUMPLOMACY: DONNY GOES TO THE U.N.

Finally, a U.S. president who makes it easier for sane nations around the world to distance themselves from our establishment’s genocidal, warmongering agenda – the neocon agenda, which has killed millions of innocent, mostly Arab/Muslim, civilians over the last two decades!

This is the other, usually overlooked, VALUE of Trump in the White House: his deplorable reputation lets other nations off the hook when they defy Washington’s imperial dictates. (Mind you, Trump’s scumbag image is earned many times over, but it is greatly enhanced by the neocon-dominated corporate MSM that despises and attacks him… except when he’s dropping bombs, when he suddenly becomes presidential.”)

Trump offers us real hope that the next time our neo-fascist establishment tries to lead the world into some lunatic invasion or war – with Iran, with Venezuela, with DPRK, with Russia, etc. – many responsible world leaders will simply be able to point to the Orange Imbecile in the White House and demur.

No f’ing thank you. Not this time. Not today…

Whereas President Clinton II and her cadre of neocons (ably assisted by the “Right to Protect” mob) would’ve set the table for WWIII by now – with the corporate media cheering, the American left sitting on its hands, and reasonable leaders across the world feeling that their hands were tied.

It’s not about liking the Sexual Assaulting Demagogue in Chief; it’s about understanding our history, the extent of the corruption of our political system, and the precarious world in which we live. Without question, the neo-fascists have dominated U.S. power circles for decades and brought the world to the brink of collapse. Something needs to halt, or at least slow, their omnicidal progress.

President Obama, while occasionally offering some small resistance, actually cemented the neo-fascists’ hold on power, improbably resuscitating them after they’d utterly crashed and burned under Bush, Jr. – http://invitation2artivism.com/?p=14911

Trump, however, weakens their tyrannical grip and threatens their entire project – like “Dubya,” by merit of his own lack of merit!

What’s next, the end of the Petrodollar? The emergence of an international climate accord that actually has legally binding emissions targets (just to spite The Orange One)? At the very least, the neocons bloody march across the Middle East has suddenly run out of gas.

When no one wants to be seen associating with this atrocious President, how can he bully the world into accepting more of the carnage, lawlessness, assassinations, and genocide normalized under Clinton, Bush, and Obama (in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, at least)?

He can’t.

And that’s a big win for the world and all the sane people in it.

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OUR PRESENT NIGHTMARE IS SELF-INFLICTED…

Our present nightmare arises from the sad circumstance that we lefties, following the disappointing 2016 election result, failed to champion a progressive agenda in any meaningful way.

We failed to see any good in an anti-establishment, anti-authoritarian, anti-war election result, choosing only to see racism, ignorance, and hate (much of which was sheer projection, coming from the most conservative and bigoted sectors of our own party — the ones who didn’t blink when the Clintons spent the 2008 primary race-baiting Barack Obama and trafficking in a little Birtherism; the ones oblivious to The New Jim Crow and President Obama’s expansion of the neocon agenda).

We failed to congratulate our anti-establishment counterparts on the right, and thank them for defeating two extraordinarily destructive and toxic political dynasties, the Bushes and Clintons, who together had ushered in an age of corporatized American neo-fascism (or “Inverted Totalitarianism,” as the late, acclaimed political theorist, Sheldon Wolin, termed it).

We failed to use the resulting goodwill to rally Trump’s base and the sensible center to push our new president to make good on the few excellent promises he made, which put him consistently to Sec. Clinton’s left: repealing NAFTA, rapprochement with Russia, and restoring Glass-Steagall (and Clinton’s favored/“gold standard” TPP promised to subvert not just banking regulations, but virtually all government regulations).

Instead, we lefties had a self-indulgent, hypocritical, Identity Politics-laden meltdown and comported ourselves like a rabble of Tea Party maniacs, upset with a legitimate election result — and spouting evidence-free claims about “Russian hacking.”

That was hugely gullible of us, not seeing that blaming a cartoonishly vilified Vladimir Putin was the best way to not examine the rigged primary… and push Donald Trump further to the right, on matters of war. (The neocons had bet big on Hillary Clinton, only to find themselves scrambling to co-opt Trump’s presidency in the ensuing months.)

Today’s left is teeth-gnashing, hair-rending miserable because we have failed to stand up for our purported values. Yet again. And the right is reaping the dividends. Yet again.

By and large, we have let the usual suspects in the corporate MSM talk us into accepting a voter-disenfranchising, neoconservative, neo-McCarthyist “Democratic Party” — consumed with conspiracy theories, impeachment fantasies, and war, war, war — just as progressive politics has reached unprecedented popularity across the country.

Bernie’s democratic socialist agenda has been embraced by strong majorities of Americans, giving any liberal party an easy path to defeating Trump and the GOP in 2018 and 2020 — yet the Democrats continue to spurn that path and marginalize Sen. Sanders, the most popular politician in the country. They denounce the progressive policy wish list, including Medicare-for-All, using classic right-wing talking points (“government takeover”).

Imagine how miserable we’re going to be after the 2018 “Democratic sweep” turns out to be just another hollow fantasy spun by politicians, pundits, and infotainers whose only purpose is to contain the left.

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Mommy, where do “the terrorists” come from? (From our allies, dear…)

Who is responsible for the vast majority of the world’s Wahhabist/Salafist, globalized “Islamic” terrorism?

Here’s a good primer for those willing to do a little reading:

According to a leaked State Department memo sent by Sec. Hillary Clinton herself, the answer is crystal clear: It’s Washington’s despotic Gulf allies, especially Saudi Arabia and Qatar (but also UAE, Kuwait, and others): http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/06/world/middleeast/06wikileaks-financing.html

Here’s another noteworthy recent story from The Grey Lady, concerning what those terrorists have been up to with chemical weapons, using them “at least 52 times” in Syria and Iraq: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/21/world/middleeast/isis-chemical-weapons-syria-iraq-mosul.html?_r=0

And here are two indispensable and truly stunning pieces by Pulitzer winning journalist, Seymour Hersh (illuminating the fact that many of these terrorists are actually part of a second, CIA-coordinated Mujaheddin): http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/03/05/the-redirection

And https://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n08/seymour-m-hersh/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line

Shameless self-promoter that I am, I’ll also recommend my own stupendous primer on the origins of the conflict in Syria and my recent, very special, blog quoting a bona fide neocon to demonstrate that Washington has, in fact, been “subcontracting foreign policy to Gulf countries” over the last several years… with catastrophic results for millions of Arab and Muslim civilians.

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Let’s play a game…

Imagine it’s the 1970s and you’re a very confused Lincoln/Eisenhower Republican, upset that “purists” are leaving the party in droves. You argue that the sensible, tolerant right needs to be “united,” because you believe that the GOP is still the party of Emancipation and federalizing the Arkansas National Guard in order to protect black schoolchildren… when, in truth, the GOP has become the party of the Southern Strategy. Racist “Dixiecrats” have flooded into the party, which no longer stands for civil rights.

You were fighting for something that no longer existed. You were actually fighting for the opposite of your values.

The point is, political parties can change. (Not that the GOP recently has: they remain a mob of dangerous demagogues and corporate tools, with the Southern Strategy having metastasized into something truly terrifying.)

The lesson for 2017: Because today’s progressives desperately want to see the left “united,” some liberals are arguing that we ignore the fact that Wall Street and the genocidal neocons have taken over the leadership of the Democratic Party.

BUT IGNORING THAT REALITY WON’T RESTORE OR “UNITE” THE LEFT. (In fact, there’s a good chance that it will finish us off.)

If #DemEnter fails because authoritarian Democratic Party officials continue to shut down democracy at the state and national level, rigging one election after another for unbridled corporatists — 2016 primary, DNC Chair, CADEM Chair — then progressives will have no choice but to #DemExit, en masse. (And make no mistake, that’s just what we’ll do.)

Because the alternative will be to continue offering our support to a formerly liberal party comprised of climate-fracking, ocean-drilling, bloody Wall Street neocons who have demonstrated, time and again, that they are utterly hostile to democracy, the environment, and human rights.

And unconditionally supporting the far-right, Brand D (whatever they’re masquerading as, with their hollow Identity Politics) isn’t exactly the best way to revive the left.

Only reforming the party will do that.

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