WHY I GADFLY — Science Edition

I ASK YOU: Don’t you think I’d rather spend all of my days painting (for more than a few hours/day, a few days/week), and reading LITERATURE every day (instead of news, history, and political theory, 90% of the time), and writing fantasy yarns and humorous anecdotes (rather than heart-on-sleeve, indignation-fueled polemics)?

Don’t you imagine I’d rather be reading Shakespeare and Dostoevsky, and bowling and body-surfing, and pestering all the people I love with trivial nonsense – any number of pursuits, glorious and mundane — instead of devoting the bulk of my adult life to obsessively informing myself and subsequently hyperventilating to the World Wide Void (and occasionally, to my friends and loved ones) about the dangers of unquestioning partisanship and placing one’s trust in the corporate media?

(That would be the same corporate MSM that’s been keeping us divided and conquered while the oceans turn to acid.)

But check this shit out: http://www.salon.com/2017/04/30/its-the-end-of-the-world-and-we-know-it-scientists-in-many-disciplines-see-apocalypse-soon

Conceding that I can be overly strident, at times, the above-linked Salon.com article offers a glimpse into that which has motivated my activism for many years: the scientifically valid proposition that humanity could be facing an imminent cataclysm, including, potentially, the end of our civilization (if not in our own lifetimes, then in our children’s or grandchildren’s — who knows precisely when?).

But after 20 years of voracious news consumption, the concept that has become inescapable to me is that of the TIPPING POINT. On many fronts, from matters of democracy and the rule of law to the future habitability of the planet, the ever-ignored experts — including our most noted scholars, scientists, and academics (virtually disappeared from the corporate media) — have been describing system after system at risk of collapse… or in the process of collapsing. Some quite precipitously, fast outstripping what were previously considered “worst-case” scenarios.

The tipping points are all around us.

At the very least, it is certain that our country’s prospects are swirling down the drain, faster with each passing president since Nixon, ironically. Whatever happens with the climate, our nation’s crack-up, including the collapse of most sectors of our economy, can’t be far off. A matter of years, rather than decades.

Although it shouldn’t need saying, making observations about the rotted foundations of our hollowed-out economy is not akin to succumbing to the manufactured hysteria about our national debt. The public sphere — from schools and libraries to voting systems to the U.S. Postal Service — is withering after a bipartisan assault of several decades. Our infrastructure is decrepit and largely failing. Now that the middle class has been decimated, the majority of Americans are just one medical emergency away from bankruptcy, with less than $500 in savings. Much of our farmland and soil have been devastated, as have small farms, thanks to monopolistic and ecologically reckless corporate agribusinesses. They’re wiping out our pollinators (bees and butterflies) — as other corporate profiteers empty our groundwater… while whole communities drink carcinogenic and lead-tainted water, thanks to the utter corruption of our government.

Our last two presidents, Bush and Obama, effectively repealed habeas corpus and “legalized” assassination, indefinite detention, torture, and the hunting of whistleblowers and journalists like enemies of the state. Today, Donald Trump promises to further expand this terrifying trend.

But if we can restore to the U.S.A. some semblance of a law-respecting, reasonably democratic republic, we might still have a chance to mitigate some potentially horrific futures. We might even avert the worst potential outcomes and save billions of lives… if only by averting World War III.

If it weren’t for the scope of the peril we’re all in, I’M SURE I WOULD STOP PLAYING THE GADFLY WITH “POLITICS” SO RELENTLESSLY (and would call my friends on the phone, more often, frequently suggesting get-togethers over: libations, victuals, entertainment, hikes, kite-flying, dog-walking, bowling, Dostoevsky…).

But we all do what we must. I just hope someone’s listening, out there. Because this is one “Cassandra” who’s getting sick and tired of making the right calls, years in advance, while my people get herded like doomed lemmings, divided and conquered by politicians and media hacks with the ethics and morals of Nazis.

Yes, THE END IS NIGH! But maybe it doesn’t have to be… which is why I continue to bother with this kind of writing. Perhaps all we have to do is stop listening to the hucksters who brought us here. That would at least represent a step in the right direction.

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Obama and Trump: The Tragedy of the First 100 Days

This is what tragedy looks like: A bellicose, belligerent idiot-naif of a president getting cowed and broken in his First 100 Days in office — outflanked and absorbed by the machinery of fascism — with his base singing his praises, as if he were still the anti-establishment person he campaigned as. Only he’s not (aside from the demagoguery). And whaddaya’ know, not only has he NOT “drained the swamp” of Washington, DC, he’s actually elevated some of the worst bloodsuckers and gators the damn swamp held!

To what effect?

– He’s not talking about detente with Russia anymore.

– Or restoring Glass-Steagall, a major pillar of how the United States prevented bank panics for nearly half a century.

– He’s no longer promising to keep the parts of the Affordable Care Act (aka, Obama/RomneyCare) that actually help people, such as the provisions that track what was once known as the “Patient’s Bill of Rights.”

– He’s done saying nice things about Planned Parenthood and the vital healthcare it provides to “millions of millions of women.”

– He’s retreated from his major campaign plank of repealing NAFTA (after capitalizing on the political “gimme” Obama bequeathed him as he exited, allowing Trump to take credit for clobbering the morally atrocious, economically inimical, and politically unpopular TPP).

– And now he’s attacking net neutrality (what an ‘effing jerk, am I right?).

But most significant of all, Trump has gone from the genocidal neocons’ most feared and hated politician to their increasingly obedient minion. First, the MIC eliminated Gen. Flynn (a flawed man who had grown sick of providing al Qaeda with an air force), then they threatened Sessions’ job and warned Tillerson, too, and they have since proceeded to point the Orange Dummy in the directions of Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, and beyond…

Mother of All Bombs away! “WMD” claims (sans evidence) away! Rattle the sabers! Needlessly provoke North Korea and China!

*               *               *

And the worst part of this tragedy, from my perspective, is what has happened to the former left. Millions of good-hearted, left-leaning, intelligent, and educated Americans have failed to see that what is happening to Trump also happened to “the best president in (their) lifetimes,” Barack Hussein Obama.

But it’s been like watching an instant replay. Deja vu, all over again…

Although 2008 Obama was no Bernie Sanders, his “Hopey/Changey” rhetoric (like Trump’s) did make some in the establishment squirm. Neither Wall Street nor the neocons hoped for the Bush/Cheney policies to change – they simply required a new Charlatan in Chief for those policies to flourish under.

The oligarchs needed a reliable myrmidon and hoped that Obama would be up to the job, but they didn’t completely trust him. Because even though he let Citigroup select his first cabinet (a parade of scumbags), it seemed possible back in 2008-09 that President Obama actually had an iota of interest in real change. (And for my money, they weren’t wrong: Obama did have that iota of interest… it just never amounted to anything, because he never fought for it. By the time he left office, America’s most vulnerable communities had been devastated, and 95% of economic gains had been sucked up by the vampiric top 1% — the plunder was complete.)

But that’s getting into the minutiae.

Mostly, what close observers witnessed in Obama’s First 100 Days as president is astonishingly similar to what has happened with Donald Trump: The establishment has co-opted our new president completely.

Under Barack, the far-right’s corporatist coup would be consummated. He would succeed where “Dubya” had failed: cutting Medicare and Social Security (making him the first to successfully breach the legendary “Third Rail of American Politics”); transferring $16 trillion to the crooks who’d crashed the world’s economy; normalizing assassination; ending habeas corpus; and all but extinguishing press freedom (prosecuting more whistleblowers and journalists under The Espionage Act than all previous presidents combined).

Today, the same thing has happened to President Trump, a patently irresponsible nitwit, with a “tiny hands” complex, drenched in imaginary Russian whiz. They’ve even got the bozo attacking the journalists at WikiLeaks, an indispensable news organization which he was praising not long ago.

[Since 9/11, our rapaciously corrupt establishment has been courting a new world war, acting with extraordinary aggression, on virtually every front. And now the nominal left is relentlessly prodding Trump to get with that program (like Obama before him), haranguing him to reverse himself on what Noam Chomsky has called the one ray of light” Trump offered -- rapprochement with Russia.]

And because the left has been so ugly and reactionary in its response to Trump’s election — desperate for any way to delegitimize him — we’ve actually managed to get his base to rally around him, just as he is breaking his best promises to them. (Just as the right’s irrational Obama-hatred in 2009 compelled us to rally around our new president, just as he was breaking all of his best promises to us.)

And that’s how we came to be in the political wilderness, my fellow lefties. We’ve been gullibly following the deep state’s playbook, for partisan reasons, filling the warmongering space to Trump’s right, demanding that he succumb to the whims of the Military Industrial Complex. And now he’s buckled, threatening to live up to our worst fears about his presidency (which means he’s finally become “presidential,” in the eyes of our lunatic establishment).

And we “liberals” — including some damn fine progressive organizations and individuals – helped that happen.

This is exactly what TRAGEDY looks like.

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INVITATION TO ARTIVISM: This time it’s PERSONAL…

Fart 1

A very long time ago, taking a one-year leave of absence from college, I found myself living with my slightly younger sister (“Bunky” from here on) in her very first house, which she shared with two other single mothers. (Happily, there was a fourth bedroom for me to inhabit… which I shared with Rosie, my sister’s Great Dane-Rottweiler mix… who was also my sweetie. And, yes, it was quite “serious.”)

You might think I felt entitled to stay under Bunky’s roof, since her dog was in love with me and since I’d lent her the money for the down payment on that house. But in truth, I did not feel thusly entitled. Bunky, my close sibling and pal, had paid me back lickety-split and had not left me in the lurch (for that little nest-egg was my Future College Moolah, the result of three years of scrapin’ and slavin’ in banks, offices, and restaurants in Arizona, California, and Chicago, Illinois).

The real reason I stayed with Bunky and her charming barely-toddler, my fantastic nephew (“Scrappy-Doo,” from this point forward), was because there was no place, in the whole, wide world, I would rather have been (as long as school was on hold, anyway).

Bunky and I had always been close, and I absolutely loved her kiddo — and the truth is, “Scrappy” loved the heck out of his goofy, clearly artistic uncle (“Spazmodius Rex” from here on in, for narrative purposes). What fun we had, the wee lad and I, playing “King Kong” and “Hoo-Ah!” — and going on “Poo-poo Expeditions” in the back yard (the kid was an enthusiastic and superb “spotter” during clean-up ops… Oh, dogs!).

As housemate to three sets of single moms and wee ones, I tried to make myself useful: I bought groceries, cooked meals, and cleaned on a regular basis… like the damn maid, if you must know (Bunky has always left a pile of dirty dishes in her wake). Working opposite shifts from my kid sis (6-8 years older than I, in Maturity Years), I managed to take on much of Scrappy’s daily care, changing his cloth diapers, feeding him nutriments, and often putting him down for the night (it never took more than three tranquilizer darts and a lullaby).

But mostly I spent all that time with Scrappy because I was having the time of my life with the kid. And with my sis. And her best friend, “Banana” (hi, Banana).

By Jiminy, those were good times!

End Part 1

SNEAK PREVIEW: In Fart 2, “Rex” (your not all that humble narrator) learns that not everyone shares his political/philosophical convictions!

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The “F-word” is back! (This one is not for the faint of heart… or Obama idolaters.)

Let me tell you about fucking fascism… friend. For a long time in my country it was considered very bad form indeed to drop the “F-bomb” in discussions of our nation’s politics. “Fascism” was bloody serious business, and we were never to make such comparisons lightly.

Of course, George W. Bush made America’s fascist tendencies obvious. The entire world saw it: election-rigging, torturing, civilian-raping, nation-invading, journalist-murdering, systemically racist, corporation-exalting fascism. But here, in America, we kept to the old rule: mum was the word (not “fascism”). No matter what Bush or any of his predecessors did, it was still verboten to call it by its true name.

So we politely refrained.

Only today, the old prohibition is off! We now have an oafish, orange galoot of a president who many Americans feel comfortable calling a “FASCIST.” After a year-plus of our warmongering corporate media equating Donald Trump with fascism, the etiquette of using the “F-word” has apparently changed.

Our relentlessly propagandistic press also calls Donald Trump the dupe of Russia — “Putin’s puppet” — ironically, for NOT wanting another conflict based on a bunch of evidence-free CIA claptrap. (He’s apparently a “dangerous fascist” for resisting the neo-McCarthyite establishment’s push for World War III — or, at the very least, a new Cold War.)

We denigrate Trump relentlessly — pushing him toward his most fascist potential, ironically — but here’s the unvarnished truth about the political reality of today’s America: AMERICAN FASCISM WAS ON ITS KNEES when President Obama came into office… and he gave it a lifeline, with few conditions or restraints.

Barack Obama simply used the dwindling immensity of our nation’s wealth, created by our labor, to needlessly prop up our mortal enemies, the fascist oligarchs and their predatory, infinitely destructive corporatocracy. Allowing them to rob the most vulnerable among us, especially people of color, President Obama put the “savvy businessmen” who promise to be History’s Worst Fascists back in charge, while committing a trillion dollars to the development of NEW NUCLEAR WEAPONS and further militarizing our institutionally racist police… while repealing Posse Comitatus (with the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act). And also repealing the law prohibiting government psy-ops against Americans at home (the Smith-Mundt Act). And he effectively retired habeas corpus… a HUMONGOUS betrayal of the “Hope and Change” he ran on.

Obama elevated several of the worst (if not the most renowned) Bush-era TORTURE proponents and empowered “Dubya’s” bloodiest, most ruthless generals, Stanley McChrystal and David Petraeus: responsible for extraordinary crimes against humanity, including the torture of thousands of innocent Iraqis and the ETHNOSECTARIAN CLEANSING of the vast majority of Baghdad’s Sunnis (a result of Bush’s 2007 “Troop Surge”). Ultimately, President Obama would allow the neocon agenda — discredited and adrift when he became president — to expand to several countries, butchering hundreds of thousands of people in the Middle East and beyond, and creating over 65 million refugees. A new world record.

But what else should we have expected? President Obama let a Citigroup executive, implicated in the massive fraud that collapsed the U.S. economy (Michael Froman), select his first cabinet. This rather sizable betrayal of the American people explains why Obama elevated his appalling predecessors’ top people, some of the rottenest apples from the administrations of both Clinton and Bush, to senior-level positions in his administration.

Finally, putting the icing on the democracy-poisoning cake, Obama helped Wall Street’s favorite world-fracking warmongers RIG the 2016 Democratic Primary* against the best people’s candidate in generations, on behalf of an enormously unpopular and deeply corrupt candidate — ensuring that the left would not be able to rise again in America.

And that’s why I think Barack Obama was such a monumental failure, in terms of his presidency. He had the entire country behind him in 2009, and a mandate like no other, to reverse the country’s fascist plunge — and a filibuster-proof DEMOCRATIC SUPER-MAJORITY in Congress to make it happen! And all the evidence showed that if he didn’t act, we were basically screwed, along with the oceans, bees, and Great Barrier Reef.

But he sided with the fascists instead, on every issue, right down the line, under no public pressure from the opposition (aggressively pushing for the dreadful and extremely unpopular Trans-Pacific Partnership “trade” pact, for instance). In doing so, he made it possible in 2016 for the GOP and Donald Trump to capitalize on the country’s anti-war, anti-Wall Street sentiment and re-take the White House.

And the 21st-century Democratic Party now stands with the neocons, pushing Trump toward WAR. (Mostly because they’ve become a party of MIC corporatists, but also because they desperately needed a distraction from the stolen primary* and an excuse for losing the most winnable election in modern memory: “Vladimir Putin Hacked the Election!” has turned out to be as credible as “The Dog Ate My Homework!”)

This is our history: After accumulating more power every decade, the democracy-loathing, climate-destroying, Arab/Muslim-slaughtering, humanity-enslaving fascists had finally cracked up under Bush – dashed upon the rocks by their own hubris. They were lying on the ground, convulsing to death, when Barack Obama performed a miracle of triage, stealthily handing them $16 trillion of our wealth and zealously championing their agenda, putting their boots back on our throats: crushing Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, Flint, MI, Wisconsin unions, and the Standing Rock Sioux; mounting one foreign coup after another; and prosecuting more whistleblowers and journalists under the Espionage Act than all previous presidents combined… ultimately giving us President Trump.

And if hadn’t been Trump, it would’ve been someone worse… like Ted Cruz. (In truth, Donald Trump, despite his shameful demagoguery and frequently boorish behavior, was the clear liberal in the 2016 GOP primary, vigorously denouncing slavery-permitting, corporation-exalting “trade” pacts and the neocons’ insane, warmongering agenda — and defending not just “New York values” but also entitlements, Glass-Steagall, and Planned Parenthood!)

But neoliberalism is virtually guaranteed to bring pure, unadulterated fascism to America, sooner or later. (Turns out to be sooner, because with the Democrats’ help, the MIC’s fascists are co-opting Trump’s presidency more, every day: ATTACK SYRIA, PROVOKE RUSSIA, CONFRONT CHINA — NOW, NOW, NOW!!!)

But in order for America to work, we need conservatives and actual liberals in positions of power — not conservatives and “neo-” liberals (soulless technocrats, like Presidents Clinton and Obama, who simply do the dirty work of mass-murdering tyrants, without so much as a second thought).

We need actual fucking LIBERALS. (Now, there’s a word that needs reclaiming!)

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* RE: The massive evidence of election fraud determining the “winner” of the 2016 “Democratic” Primary:

If you have any doubts about the evidence of election fraud in the Democratic Primary, I would point you to months of excellent coverage from The Young Turks and Debbie Lusignan, the Sane Progressive, which — along with the Des Moines Register (the conservative daily that endorsed Clinton) and other news sites that detailed, blow by blow, evidence that one state after another was rigged and hijacked in a very opaque and dirty tricks-marred process. Also, the excellent journalist Greg Palast was recently interviewed by TYT’s Jordan Chariton, and he was unequivocal about evidence of election fraud in the primary.

Beyond these few sources I’ve mentioned, I can give you chapter and verse of what went wrong in Iowa, Nevada, Massachusetts, Arizona, New York, Illinois, and Rhode Island, to name just a few places where the rigging was so blatant that hearings were held because citizens protested in droves, and election officials ended up being fired.

We should also take note of the frequent conspicuous disparities in the exit polls. In other countries when exit polls are this far off (between five and thirteen points in about a dozen states), the laws in those countries trigger automatic hand recounts. In other nations, when results are this fishy, the international community (including the U.S.) has demanded hand recounts under international monitors.

FYI, I don’t fault most Americans for not knowing all of this; I follow news like some people follow sports. I have archives of hundreds of hours of video and literally thousands of articles — and I’ve read (and heavily annotated) a great many of the most critically acclaimed books on the subject. From where I’m standing, I have no doubt whatsoever that the Florida 2000 presidential election was rigged and stolen for George Bush. I am equally certain that the Democratic Primary was rigged and stolen for Sec. Clinton, because I watched it happen in real-time. In short, I would bet my life and soul that the case I’m making is absolutely true: millions of Americans were disenfranchised, hundreds of thousands saw their registrations flipped, hundreds of thousands were purged from the rolls, and untold numbers were simply barred from voting because 66-75% of precincts were arbitrarily closed, disproportionately in college towns and areas were Sen. Sanders was expected to clobber Clinton. Amid great mainstream criticism, states like Iowa have refused to release raw vote totals, making opacity the rule of the day.

Please trust that I’ve taken the time to watch the hearings that took place in Maricopa County (AZ) and Chicago, IL. I’ve heard the citizens’ first-hand accounts of how they personally witnessed the outcome-changing actions of corrupt officials; these stories are stunning and extremely compelling. These everyday Americans are reasonable, credible, and obviously intelligent and principled.

Finally, don’t YOU find it extremely suspicious that all of Clinton’s must-win states were marred with controversy? How obvious does it have to be, aside from all that’s been documented, when elections officials have been fired in case after case (scapegoats/sacrificial lambs, protecting the system itself). How much more do you need than the fact that in Bernie’s home state (NY), hundreds of thousands of voters were simply purged from the rolls, just prior to the primary, including over 125,000 in Bernie’s home borough, Brooklyn, where he was born and raised? (And then there’s the documented, widely reported, money laundering of the DNC and efforts made by DNC Chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, and her staff, to do everything possible, legal or not, to advantage Clinton and hamstring Sanders, including with smears and rat-f’g lies, dirty, dirty tricks. There’s a reason Ms. Wasserman-Schultz was forced to resign from her job and left her position scandalized and despised.)

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“Subcontracting foreign policy to Gulf countries is never a good idea.”

The video clip (above) features Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) telling the truth about the destruction of Syria from the perspective of a strong critic of America’s policy of regime-change in the Middle East. A military veteran who has seen war, having served two tours in Iraq — and who has visited Syria in the aftermath of our covert invasion — Rep. Gabbard’s unflinching stance has made her the target of a host of vicious and slanderous attacks.

But setting aside Rep. Gabbard’s anti-war views for a moment, we find that even an unwavering pro-war perspective can help us get at that truth. Here (below) is quite a different perspective, coming from Danielle Pletka, arguably the most prominent public face of The American Enterprise Institute (AEI). For those unfamiliar with the AEI, it’s the neoconservative foreign policy think tank that has authored much of America’s Middle East policy in the post-9/11 period. The AEI is one of the primary architects, for instance, of Bush’s invasion of Iraq — and the “Troop Surge” policy of 2007, which featured, among other atrocities, the ethnosectarian cleansing of most of Baghdad’s Sunnis (making 2007 the deadliest year of the war, by far, for Iraqi civilians). AEI is also responsible, in large part, for Washington’s decision (Bush through Obama) to flood Syria with radical Salafist militants, armed, trained, and coordinated by the CIA and JSOC, working toward regime-change in Damascus. The following quote from Ms. Pletka — an enthusiastic proponent of Washington’s regime-change agenda — is from her appearance, in September of 2013, on C-Span’s Washington Journal.

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“There’s always going to be a slippery slope. It’s always dangerous. I think that the argument that is important to understand is that there are people arming some among the rebels. The Qatari government, the Saudi government, were arming the rebels for quite some time. The problem is, who were they arming? I would say the Saudis, less so, and the Qataris, more so, were arming the most extremist Islamists among the rebels, those who are most closely affiliated with al Qaeda. So, they were getting all the help. Meanwhile, those who are more aligned with our values — those who want a democratic future for Syria, those who support secularism, those who support minorities in Syria (which there are a significant number) who want to protect them — they have been getting the short end of the stick, because it’s only Western powers who would support them. SUBCONTRACTING FOREIGN POLICY TO GULF COUNTRIES IS NEVER A GOOD IDEA.

[Only that's precisely what we've done. Because partnering with Gulf despots in order to finance and arm Mujaheddin warriors, serving as the West's covert partners and proxies, always ends well... right?]

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ADDENDUM (4/12/17) – #ResistTrumpsWar

With regard to the notion that “Assad gassed his own people…”

The conventional “wisdom” is very likely wrong (as usual). The official narrative repeated endlessly by the corporate media is actually contradicted in the fine print of those same media organs. But here’s a truth you can bank on: In the absence of solid evidence supporting the claim that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons during this yearslong conflict, we have reams of evidence that the Washington-backed Salafist militants trying to overthrow Assad and create a Sunni-dominated Caliphate have done so… repeatedly.

From the New York Times article of just a few months ago, entitled “ISIS Used Chemical Arms at Least 52 Times in Syria and Iraq, Report Says:”

“The coalition is concerned about ISIL’s use of chemical weapons,” Col. John Dorrian, a military spokesman in Iraq, said in an email on Monday, using another name for the Islamic State. “ISIL has used them in Iraq and Syria in the past, and we expect them to continue employing these types of weapons.”

Now, move along. There’s nothing to see here — just Washington’s terrorist proxies for regime-change repeatedly caught using chemical weapons.

[I don't mean to distract from the "Putin's Pee Pee Puppet" and "Russian hacking" campaigns... but there are millions of lives at stake and the future credibility and security of our country, too.]

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Reflections on Skull Island: The Catastrophic Calamities of “Col. Kong”

I enjoyed the new King Kong movie more than I expected to, mostly for the film’s terrific special effects, imaginative creature design, and exhilarating action scenes. But surprisingly, it had more going for it than that. Set in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. war on Vietnam (plus Cambodia and Laos), “Kong: Skull Island” has a tiny wisp of an anti-war philosophy and even a moment of eloquence masquerading as a central theme (when the film’s actual central theme is “Smashy-smashy fun, big monsters and fighty soldiers, yay!”).

Battling Kong — futile, unjust, extremely costly, and risking a far greater calamity for all humanity — becomes a metaphor for the MIC’s foreign misadventures… now a permanent feature of the ruthless empire that was once the semi-democratic, somewhat law-adherent USA. Vietnam/Iraq/Syria-level catastrophes — with Kong-sized blowback to last generations — are uniformly the result when our military goes into foreign lands and *makes enemies* of the indigenous population, even when they pose no threat.

Even while serving under that gleeful, unquestioning idiot, George W. Bush, war-cheerleader Donald Rumsfeld privately questioned whether or not Washington was *creating* more terrorists than it was killing (years before President Obama and his hawkish Secretary of State would double down on the neocon agenda, dooming hundreds of thousands of Syrians to death and millions to exile… to say nothing of the fates of scores of thousands of Libyans, Yemenis, Somalis, Egyptians, Hondurans, Bahrainis, Greeks, Brazilians, and others assaulted by the U.S.-led corporate regime over the last two presidencies).

I realize that not-one-in-a-million Americans wants to hear the truth about our nation, our history, or the position we find ourselves in: an empire in decline, with the homeland tearing itself into zealously partisan pieces while we neglect nearly everything that matters: clean water, diplomacy, massively disappearing pollinators, deeply corrupt and undemocratic institutions, an eviscerated Constitution, the world’s oceans in systemic collapse, the Sixth Mass-Extinction event well underway, thanks to human activities… and more.

In a number of gatherings, in states both “Red” and “Blue,” I have been shouted down with the cry of “NO POLITICS!” by conservatives and liberals, alike — with people I deeply respect and love demonstrating the culture-wide aversion to civil discourse (in group settings) regarding controversial/forbidden topics, unapproved by unofficial state media, the corporate MSM.

So, I shall now attempt to tell OUR STORY in a different way, in Hollywood terms — in terms of “Col. Kong” (a fusion of Samuel L. Jackson’s Ahab-like Army colonel — Kong’s nemesis, the film’s tragic, sympathetic villain, who simply hated to leave Vietnam unfinished — and Kong himself, the warrior supreme, the film’s star and hero).

Picking up from where the movie leaves off:

Decades have passed since the defeat of the Lizard King (Kong’s “natural” adversary in the ecosystem of Skull Island). Col. “King” Kong, the last survivor of his family line, knows he is nearing the end of his reign — the end of his species. Dozens of the Lizard “Skull Crawler” King’s little ones have grown as big as their progenitor ever got, some bigger. They know they are poised to inherit Skull Island, and they are biding their time (the “Skull Crawlers” are China and Russia, I suppose, in this allegory, consistent with the MSM’s xenophobia and fearmongering; while “Col. Kong” is obviously the modern, suidical-ecocidal USA).

After Island War II (IWII — the *first* Island War being the one that claimed his family), Kong determined that “Never again!” meant “Never again, by anyone but me!” and proceeded to bring great violence to all corners of Skull Island in the name of “spreading democracy” (okay, in the name of “Eliminating the Lizard Threat” — like the Red Menace; only, like the US of A, Col. Kong found himself going to all corners of his world, occasionally plundering and killing liberally, whether the Lizard Things were present or not; after all, those corners of the island were often rich with resources Kong could use to shore himself up for The Long Battle; and he could always compel the allegiance of those he conquered, future “allies” for the Great War to End All… um, Wars!).

Only that strategy turned out to be shortsighted. The other denizens of the island came to see Kong as a hypocritical, bloodthirsty bully, far more apt to terrorize the island’s residents than his adversaries, the Lizard Things, who at least kept to their little corner of their world. Whereas Kong is everywhere — and no longer a protector of the little musk oxen and face-painted primates, both of which he frequently *trades* to the Lizardos, nowadays, in exchange for his own safe passage, an obeisance, or a particularly shiny rock.

And now, the Kong Empire is clearly coming to a close. All that Kong once dominated is rapidly slipping from his frantically tyrannical grasp: The Razor-dactyls are allied with the Lizard Things, as are the Giant Octopi (who apparently are intelligent enough to hold a grudge, after all); and the Mighty Musk Oxen and Giant Walking-Stick Insects and Impaling Spiders refuse to honor their past commitments and simply avoid Kong (who trashes their homes upon finding them unoccupied; “They said they’d be here! Some treaties aren’t worth the papyrus they’re written on!” — this, coming from the ultimate shredder of treaties).

Facing ultimate defeat, Col. “Never say die” Kong says “HELL NO!” (and “Hold onto your butts!”), declaring war on everything, flailing and beating his breast (with BOTH arms, neo-McCarthyist left and xenophobic right) to insist that he is still the undisputed lord and ruler of his storm-enshrouded isle.

A fraction of his war (IWIII: The Global War on Horrific Things) is waged on a *few* of the Lizard Things (the smaller ones), but the “strategery”-employing Col. Kong actually spares his major rivals, preferring to cut deals with them instead. In fact, he turns several of the Lizardos loose on the secluded native human population (his “false flag” attack is intended to drive the tiny primates to support him more vigorously against their common foe — instead it completely wipes out the humans: oop oops).

And now, ancient, bloodied, nearly-broken, no longer worshipped, and with failing internal systems (zero integrity), the deranged yet highly dangerous Col. Kong is manifesting his most aggressively terrifying face: The ORANGE-HAIRED, PUSSY-GRABBING APE. He vows to build an “Anti-Lizard” WALL out of the corpses of every remaining organism on the Island. He pledges that he is willing to destroy the Island in order to “save” it. Like his predecessors, he will continue ignoring the way his wars have set off cataclysmic changes in Skull Island’s very stability (Kong’s best scientists have told him for years that the reckless way he’s been using the island’s resources promises to collapse the island, probably sinking it outright — but he’s too busy fighting everything under the sun to heed their urgent declarations).

And it will all end like the Vietnam War ended, with more losers, by far, than “winners.” And human tragedy on a massive scale, that much is certain. And Kong’s line, the vicious, myopic warmongers, clearly cannot go on. Regardless of the outcome of this generation’s war, Col. Kong’s time is over.

Were there other possibilities? Could the island have been saved? Was all that fighting and killing really necessary?

These are questions Col. Kong never asks himself. Because when it’s all said and done, he’s really not much of a king — he’s just a big, dumb, pride-driven, psychotically violent ape (Patton, Dulles, or J. Edgar Hoover, without the smooth faces). And he’s dangerously delusional — hooked on his own fabricated smack — with “WMD” tales to spin, imaginary “Election Hacking” Reds to target, and a weekly “Kill List” to fulfill (we’re coming for you, Assad! Plus any surviving children of Anwar al-Awlaki, wherever you are, you radical Colorado fucks!).

Like his business wing, Skull Island Corporation-Kong (SICK, Inc.), Col. Kong’s war-making activities must always show gains, gains, and more gains. Even while — beyond the boardrooms and Kong’s delusional, “Mission Accomplished” battlefields — everyone else is LOSING. Kong must keep bludgeoning, crushing, and smashing — even while the war, itself, is patently hopeless, undeniably metastasizing the Horror it once promised to eradicate… literally posing a threat to all living things.

If President Obama was “Bush on Steroids” — and in many ways, he was — then President Trump/KONG promises to be Obama on Steroids. Pity the wee Musk Oxen. Pity the little ones. “When the elephants battle, it is the grass that suffers.”

Because in America of 2017, “Col. Kong” is still King. Now more than ever. Oop oop. And hold onto your butts.

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All it takes to make an irascible, orange ape “PRESIDENTIAL”…

Now that the Tomahawk missiles are flying, the “liberal” media suddenly sees Trump as “PRESIDENTIAL.” Go figure. Of course, this escalation with Russia is what the establishment has been clamoring for all along, why they preferred Sec. Clinton over that “isolationist” Donald Trump, to begin with. And why they kept pushing the “Russian hacking” blather, to put Trump on his heels and force him to prove otherwise.

And now that the major impediments, like Gen. Flynn, have been removed and replaced with establishment-approved hawks, HERE WE GO!!!

Are there any genuine liberals left in America? Am I the only one who has a problem with this? Or does everyone simply swallow the CIA-MSM shyte-crock that Assad, the most popular political leader in Syria and the most conspicuous protector of Syrian minorities, “gassed his own people” — even though the evidence far more clearly implicates the Washington-backed Salafist militants that Assad’s been fighting over the last six years? (Even President Obama in 2013 had his doubts about the “Assad used chemical weapons” claim, after his National Security Adviser, Tom Donilon, told him that the case was not remotely a “slam dunk.” And, unlike today, Assad’s chemical weapons stocks in 2013 hadn’t been completely dismantled by the international community…)

My memory must be fading (someone help me out, here): Where have we heard this type of warmongering “WMD” claim before? Only with more evidence supporting it… (because, unlike Bashar al-Assad, Saddam actually had, at one point, “gassed his own people” — only that was back in the 1980s, with Washington’s unwavering support, with Hussein using the WMD the West had supplied him… before the 1990s inspections regime left him toothless enough to invade and lynch…)

In 2017, have Americans not had enough bloodshed, lynch-mob executions, and mass-murder of Muslims? Should we simply make the new motto of the U.S. “We came, we saw, he died”? (Why not? That kind of thing never blows back at the source… right? What’s blowback? Or karma? Or the law of reciprocity? Or the principle stating that every action has an equal and opposite reaction?)

Some of our very best, most highly acclaimed, and consistently brilliant journalists have been reporting on the REALITY in Syria for years, where the U.S. and its GCC allies have been flooding a sovereign nation — at peace, before we started all this — with legions of al Qaeda and countless weapons. I know that many of you are fairly invested in the establishment’s version of events, but why not give Pulitzer-winner Seymour Hersh’s reporting a glance? Unlike the MSM, Hersh hasn’t been feeding you a steady diet of propaganda for the last few decades, the vast majority of which has turned out to be 100% false.

And unlike the MSM, Hersh is no fan of war. He’s covered too many of them. Honestly.

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NO, I NEVER THOUGHT DONALD TRUMP WAS THE “PEACE CANDIDATE” (a clarification).

Two Sundays ago, Glenn Greenwald aimed a corrective at some 2016 political commentators who, near as he could tell, had mistaken Donald Trump for a “pacifist” in all the shit-stormy chaos and Fake News furor of a nightmarish election year. And I found myself wondering if maybe, just maybe, Mr. Greenwald was talking to me. So I thought it over… and I decided that I was implicated enough in the general charge to feel compelled to respond.

Here’s how it breaks down:

Trump unambiguously promised more war, specifically vowing to wage an actual war on ISIS and al Qaeda — as opposed to the half-hearted, contradictory, and self-defeating efforts under Bush-Obama. Candidate Trump even made reference to a horrible truth about U.S. foreign policy: In the wake of the Nuremberg-worthy catastrophe in Iraq (which had inadvertently benefited Iran, and handsomely), Washington has consistently supported various branches of ISIS and al Qaeda with arms, logistics, air support, finances, and more.

With its partners in Riyadh, Doha, the UAE, Bahrain, and Kuwait (per the New York Times, reporting a leaked State Dept. memo, signed by Sec. Clinton, herself), Washington has, in effect, birthed a second Mujaheddin — like the first Mujaheddin, in the interest of U.S. geopolitical dominance, predicated on taking Russia down a peg or two. This is the barely reported neoconservative agenda, as waged by Bush, first, and subsequently, President Obama, who let the neocons run wild nearly as much as “Dubya” did. Pulitzer winner Seymour Hersh has done some essential reporting on this policy (read his article in The New Yorker, “The Redirection,” for some of the gory details).

In short, for many years now, a host of official terrorist groups have acted as covert CIA/JSOC partners and proxies, particularly in places where Washington has preferred a “light footprint” (that’s why there are only 400,000 dead in Syria, instead of more than double that figure, as in Iraq). With their suicide bombings and targeting of entire (non-Sunni) communities, radical/mercenary Salafist militants have helped Washington foment civil wars and ethnosectarian conflict/cleansing in the Middle East, especially with regard to Washington’s regime-change operations in Libya and Syria.

(And yes, for what it’s worth, Candidate Trump repeatedly — and with an undeniable air of sincerity — promised to shut down the neocons and their Salafist-supporting agenda.)

Crud that he is, though, Candidate Trump also promised that he would continue some of the more grotesque post-9/11 U.S. policies, including torture and the targeted killing of even family members of suspected terrorists — practices that George Bush implemented and President Obama normalized (the story of Barack’s presidency — along with the part where he needlessly consummated Wall Street’s $16 trillion coup, wiping out the post-Civil Rights Era economic gains of black households and permanently contracting the middle class).

Also on the negative side, Trump promised to escalate tensions with Iran, his bellicosity matching even Clinton’s.

All that being said, Trump was clearly serious (as serious as he gets) about trying to work with Russia, where possible, and moving us away from our dalliance with World War III — whereas Clinton unambiguously promised the opposite. Candidate Clinton vociferously advocated for a “No Fly” zone in Syria — and for increasing Washington’s shameful support for the neo-Nazi (Svoboda)-led coup in Ukraine (another ethnic cleansing campaign Washington has backed in recent years!).

Sec. Clinton clearly promised greater provocations on the Russian front — where U.S. aggression has already backed Russia into a corner. Russian president Putin has said as much, in an important speech that the U.S. media virtually ignored. As non-belligerently as possible, Putin made it explicit that Moscow will have no choice but to respond forcefully if the U.S. keeps threatening its borders with neo-Nazis, freshly-minted NATO countries, troops, bases, and missiles, missiles, missiles. (Imagine if Moscow were lining up troops and missiles on OUR borders… after launching a preventive war against a defenseless nation, killing over a million human beings, as we did in Iraq… and then doubling down on that agenda, as we have in Libya, Syria, Yemen…!)

But here’s the crucially important thing to note about the political reality that America is in right now: It’s been obvious for quite some time that the neoconservatives behind the atrocious policies enumerated above positively HATE Donald Trump — and he doesn’t care much for them, either.

That mutual enmity is neither ambiguous nor insignificant, so let’s consider its implications. WHO ARE THE NEOCONS? They’re only the ones who’ve been committing genocide over the course of the last few American presidencies, in one country after another. The neocons are simply the radicals (dubbed “The Crazies” by their Pentagon predecessors in the 1980s) who have destabilized the globe and taken us to a dangerous place — where serious people need to admit the possibility that we might actually be on the brink of a third world war, if we continue in this direction (as Sec. Clinton promised). The neocons (Kagan, Kristol, etc.) are the ones with the blood of millions of Muslims on their hands… and plenty of other people’s blood, too.

If I lived in a swing state, would I have voted for Trump on that basis? Absolutely not. (No more than I could have ever brought myself to vote for his opponent, the neocons’ darling. Both were utter trash.)

So, to make matters perfectly clear: I never saw Trump as anti-war; just anti-WWIII. And I found it most eloquent of our political reality that the bloodiest militarists of the 21st century, bar none (the closest thing, in today’s world, to Nazis, with millions of corpses in their wake) relentlessly attacked — and clearly hated — Candidate Trump.

Sure, the neocons have already made great strides in commandeering Trump’s foreign policy (with the Democrats’ demagogic, neo-McCarthyite assistance, pushing him further to the right). And, yes, President Trump will probably end up giving us the worst of the neo-fascist establishment combined with the worst of Donald Trump (I shudder at the thought). But in the meantime, he’s feebly resisting the WWIII crowd — and he did put the kibosh on the slavery-overlooking/sovereignty-effacing TPP (which would’ve passed, very likely, under President Clinton II, precluding even the possibility of regulating emissions, food safety, pharmaceuticals…)

And for the first time in eight years the center-left is resisting these neo-fascist policies — in addition to school privatization, ICE raids, entitlement-slashing, and such — which they didn’t even register under President Obama, who deported more immigrants than all 20th-century presidents combined. With Trump, the establishment-friendly left has reawakened. Once again, they’re resisting our monstrously right-wing establishment, now that an orange man is in the Oval Office (thank goodness for the bigotry of the left!).

That’s Trump’s one actual value (beyond his value as a tasteless, bad, and ultimately sickening joke): he mobilizes the left. And we can always use more of that.

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Religion nerd’s thought for the day…

“As to the Apocryphal books, I omit them because I am no papist.” (King James… allegedly)

Midday reading got me pondering the notion of the Bible as a form of “graven image,” ultimately, with temporal bounds and such (leaving aside the question of whether the book was divinely inspired). I found myself contemplating how political considerations have inevitably played a role in the book’s many translations and redactions, over the centuries; and how, even within the faith, there are different preferred versions of “The Bible,” from one sect to the next. (In the 21st century, leading Christian institutions still haven’t managed to agree on a single, unifying Bible… although leading Western-Christian institutions have largely coalesced, it would seem, behind America’s three-decade embrace of neo-fascism, even as Muslims have been slaughtered by the millions and as the planet’s life-sustaining systems are clearly foundering… hooray for blessed corporatism!)

And then the post-apocalyptic film “THE BOOK OF ELI” popped into my head (go figure)… and I realized an unintended irony of the film. Eli’s quest is to deliver a King James Bible, specifically, to those who will properly value and preserve it… faithfully, as he has. But even if Eli’s faith is indeed founded in some cosmic truth, and the book he carries was originally handed down by God Hirself*, the bowdlerized version of the text that Eli is carrying would seem to represent the sort of distortion of The Word of God that CARNEGIE (Gary Oldman’s pathetic, power-crazed villain) has in mind!

In Carnegie’s mind, this book is for crowd control; this book serves the crown; this book is about POWER. This is the Bible Carnegie knows… and desperately wants to possess. With the Apocrypha all but expurgated and Adam’s first partner, Lilith, effectively banished (transformed into a banshee-like spirit of the deep, dark woods) much of the “original” text’s richness is lost in the old King Me version. But something tells me that more than poetry has been lost. I suspect that the book’s more Hellenistic notions — expressionist, empathetic, imaginative, feminine — have been pared down in favor of Christendom’s more Hellenic, militaristic, “heroic,” and patriarchal predilections.

Who benefits? Cui bono? (Sonny Bono? I don’t know, I’m just asking questions…) I’d wager that Mr. Oldman’s villain, Carnegie, would have some excellent insights on this matter.

_____________________________________________________

* a nod to the dual-sexed Shekala aspect of God (referenced in our Oxford/NRSV Bibles, in the Book of Genesis)

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MY State of the Union address…

It’s entirely safe to say in March of 2017 that our country, the United States of America, has gone completely off the deep end. Our institutions, public and private, from Washington, DC, to Wall Street, are deeply corrupt and mostly failing, at home and abroad. The Fourth Estate (aka, the “free press”) is dominated by just five companies, following the last two decades of mergers and acquisitions (thanks to Bill Clinton), meaning that we have a monopoly of media control under a handful of Rupert Murdochs: bigoted, right-wing, law-flouting war profiteers, far more concerned with manufacturing consent among the proles than informing anyone. Twenty-one years after the passage of the Telecom Act, hundreds of small-medium media outlets, disproportionately minority-owned, have disappeared entirely, crushed by the few remaining giants… again, thanks to Bill Clinton. As a result, most Americans, including the politicians, can no longer tell the difference between propaganda and news. Ignorance, cultural division, and jingoism in America are at record levels, with respect to the modern/post-WWII period, as we coast on the achievements of previous, freer generations of Americans (the ones who ushered in regulation of banks and businesses, democratic socialism, and taxation of the wealthy — all endangered or extinct policies today).

Our infrastructure is crumbling. Our schools and the U.S. Postal Service are under assault by profiteering privatizers (from Arne Duncan to Betsy DeVos) who couldn’t care less about the education of our children or the constitutional imperative of the USPS, keeping people connected. Our drinking water is less safe than ever, much like our bridges and dams. After over three consecutive decades of unflinching Reaganomics and neoliberalism, the country’s economic foundations and institutions have been badly eroded while its treasures have been plundered. We’ve allowed ourselves to be transformed from a nation of producers to a nation of consumers. The economy has been 66% financialized, producing nothing but titanic wealth for the top “earning” .01% (the investor class), and leaving most workers and society behind. Agriculture and industry have been decimated, along with the middle class, sped by globalization, monopolies/cartels, and “free trade” pacts, which have done nothing but impoverish the country while normalizing working conditions akin to slavery and placing ruthless corporations over elected governments (in case those governments ever get it into their heads to help their own people rather than the sociopathic corporations that prey on them).

As Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges has observed, the corporate coup de tat is complete. All illusions and empty rituals aside, representative government in America is largely a thing of the past, just like upward mobility in our false meritocracy, as the data makes crystal clear (recent studies have shown that the will of the American people, unlike the will of major political donors and lobbies, makes no difference in public policy; and that Europe, even with its entrenched aristocracies, enjoys far greater class mobility than the U.S., where the circumstances of one’s birth determine so much).

And then there’s the imperialism/neo-fascism that America has spent the past decades embracing and normalizing. In 1992, the entire world (and much of America) reacted in horror to Bush Sr.’s Defense Planning Guidance, authored by Paul Wolfowitz (who would go on to become one of the principle architects of the illegal 2003 invasion of Iraq, which in all likelihood left over a million Iraqis dead). This announcement of hegemonic intent was called the Wolfowitz Doctrine, and it made explicit Washington’s ambition to administer all global affairs, with no challengers or dissenters permitted, from 1992 until, presumably, the end of time (since the Cold War was over and we’d “won” it, we would tolerate no independent nations: the world was OURS FOREVER). Yes, America’s policy, articulated by Wolfowitz, was that ridiculous… and that terrifying, as Bush’s government merely pretended to rescind it after the nations of the world balked, shouting “Never again!”

Only nothing was truly rescinded — because Wolfowitz represented the vanguard of those the Pentagon’s old guard had dubbed “The Crazies” — radical military extremists who were then taking over U.S. foreign policy… and who’ve run it ever since. They were keen to move past the moral atrocity of the Vietnam War, and make the world safe, once again, for imperial aggression in the wake of 3-4 million dead Southeast Asians and nearly 60,000 dead American soldiers (not to mention all of the psychologically and physically maimed human beings that monstrously stupid war created).

Although The Crazies had flourished under Bill Clinton’s nation-bombing presidency, most of us first came to know them under Bush, Jr. — as the warmongering neocons, who owned outright the first six years of Dubya’s foreign policy. They were the conservative hawks responsible for the butchery in Iraq, the scumbags behind the “WMD” lies (a narrative that conveniently spares all of the neocons’ Democratic enablers, especially Sec. Clinton, who has spent her entire career just as pliant to the neocons’ will as GWB ever was). But the truth is that the neocons have held sway under Democratic and Republican administrations alike. Neocon imperatives killed over a million Iraqis during the Clinton years, too, only most Americans are ignorant of that effect of the U.S.-tailored sanction regime (which, among other cruelties, denied potable water to countless Iraqi civilians).

“The era of big government is over!” Bill Clinton had jubilantly declared, introducing a “new” Democratic Party and a “new” liberalism… but neoliberalism wasn’t liberal at all, in the traditional sense. From that point forward, the United States would have just one political party, with two wings: the “Property Party” representing plutocrats only. And just as the Democrats under Clinton had signaled the demise of the Party of FDR on the economic front (killing the party of workers and organized labor, the party of regulated capitalism and the New Deal), they had also signaled complete surrender on issues of systemically racist mass-incarceration, police-militarization, mass-surveillance, and endless war, which entailed an all-out assault on civil liberties and the Constitution. With regard to such radical right-wing policies, the New (corporatist) Democrats would become just as committed as Republicans to America’s racially-divided, extraordinarily unequal, and societally devastated neo-fascist future. And they were arguably far more effective at ushering in that future than their GOP counterparts.

With the ascent of the Clinton/DLC wing in the Democratic Party, the era of two-party government, with competing agendas and interests, was over. Average people no longer had a champion in Washington, just two different brands of bullshit to choose from, while both parties conspired to rob us blind — and unravel the rule of law — on behalf of corporations. That’s when America began courting fascism in earnest. As the 20th century made clear, fascism is birthed in the fires of broken liberalism — “liberalism” that caters to the conservative/wealthy class while betraying everyone else: warmongering, bankster-abetting, worker-betraying PSEUDO-liberalism (like that offered by post-1980s Democrats, who joined the GOP in every meaningful way possible… when they weren’t outdoing the deplorable, knuckle-dragging Republicans.)

When the Democrats under Clinton embraced the conservative (neocon) agenda, killing millions in the Middle East and beyond — including more than half-a-million babies in Iraq, during Bill Clinton’s tenure — it truly signaled the end of the American experiment in democracy. At home and abroad, there was no longer an opposition to the vampiric oligarchs and Nazi neocons. Unsurprisingly, torture was normalized. Murder of journalists and human rights workers has also become standard operating procedure for the Washington boys, over the past two presidencies. Freedom of speech has become a laughable notion, with the assassination of dissenting Americans (and their children) official policy in the post-9/11 environment, thanks to Bush-Obama, and now Trump. Mass-surveillance to crush dissent was also ushered in, making Orwell’s “Big Brother” look like an amateur, compared to us. And practically every meaningful law and regulation that once gave Americans prosperity, health, and some semblance of liberty has been eviscerated. Posse Comitatus, habeas corpus, and the heart of the Civil Rights Act have been undone, along with most of the Bill of Rights. Cruel and unusual punishments have become commonplace in America. Only the rich retain the rights to a speedy trial and representation… but then we don’t ever charge the rich for their crimes anymore, so it’s kind of a moot point.

The rise of the neoconservatives and the normalization of permanent war are among the more stark signs that America the Beautiful has perished, replaced by something like AmeriKKKa or the Fourth Reich. Although it’s hard to argue against the notion that America was forged in white supremacy and has been imperialist and warmongering for most of our history, America did enjoy a period of around a century, roughly — between the Civil War and the 1970s — during which our institutions were frequently willing to challenge the would be oligarchs and racist rulers, exposing and resisting their worst crimes. Only now, with the passing of the 1980s and the success of the Reagan “Revolution” (a “revolution” of the rich, blessed by Democrats), the oligarchs have won. They’ve run the table, and all the power is theirs, along with most of the wealth, in our once democratic republic.

NEOCONS: The simplest way to understand the neocons is to see them as picking up where the Third Reich left off. They want nothing short of world domination by unrestrained corporate giants (not even American companies, but international predators), and they’re willing to butcher millions to get their way. Sure, they’ve swapped Muslims for Jews, demonizing Islam the way Hitler demonized Judaism, but otherwise they’re cut from entirely the same cloth. They want the end of the Enlightenment and a return to might makes right and the medievalism of the Crusades, only with industrialized methods, like the Nazis had… which explains why the oceans and climate are collapsing. Industrialized mass-destruction, with no checks or balances, is more powerful than an Old Testament god having a hissy fit. Our leaders are the real harbingers of doom, whether modern conservatives and liberals want to acknowledge that reality or not.

And none of this is surprising, as our leaders have been flirting with fascism since the end of WWII. Operation Paperclip, which brought over 1,600 Nazi scientists, engineers, and doctors into the U.S., was only the tip of the iceberg. Top SS and Gestapo figures — with no technical knowledge or value beyond their hatred of Russia and the left — were shielded at the highest levels of our government. Many of them were given beautiful homes and cushy lives in the USA. Others were too hot to handle, so we placed them in South America (Argentina and Bolivia, mostly). Virtually all of them were guilty of appalling massacres and outrages against human decency, but Washington’s shadow operators saved them from ever facing justice for their crimes, because they saw them as useful allies in America’s own bid for world domination. This is why so few top Nazis were ever tried for their crimes: they were Americanized instead and deployed in various theaters across the world, making the world safe for U.S. imperialism.

Washington’s premier power brokers, including the all-powerful Dulles brothers (especially Allen, the CIA spook very likely behind JFK’s assassination), fundamentally shared the Nazis’ ideology and rescued thousands upon thousands of butchering sadists, folding them into Washington’s efforts to launch and prosecute the Cold War. They made a liar out of FDR, who’d promised Stalin we would join the USSR in prosecuting the Nazis, and spiked America’s relationship with Russia for decades to come. Since the USSR’s demise, our senior power brokers no longer feel it entirely necessary to hide their admiration for Hitler and his Reich, as has been documented by the journalist, Jeff Sharlet, in his essential book, “The Family.” Sharlet details his experiences infiltrating the highest levels of “The Family,” the highly secretive, pseudo-Christian, Caucasian-dominated organization that effectively runs the U.S. government, regardless of who the American people elect to office. They are the ultra-rich descendants of the robber barons and the ideological doppelgangers of the Nazis, whom they openly admire. There is nothing they hate more than liberalism, populism, and democracy — which is why they’ve done all in their considerable power to squelch the left at home and abroad.

And not only are the Nazis back (or at least their inheritors), but the robber barons are back, too. Usury is back in a big way, at rates that have been historically criminalized. Keeping individuals and entire nations in massive amounts of debt (where they can never get to paying down the principle) has become the pillar of the global banking regime, what modern economics is all about… in addition to speculation. Rampant speculation is back, crashing whole economies to the ground — which is why such speculation was punishable by death in the 17th century. After learning the hard lessons of the Great Depression, speculation in America was restricted to investment banks — gambling with their own money, rather than the taxpayers’ money — from the time of FDR to the age of Clintonian “Democrats” (conservatives in liberals’ clothing). Only those days are gone. Today, thanks to the modern Democrats’ complete abdication of their historic role, there is no liberal party in Washington advocating a return to regulation of banks and other destructive juggernauts.

And that is the true story of 21st-century America. It’s why the vast majority of employment opportunities have disappeared; why even two incomes barely suffice when just one used to carry an entire family; why education has become corporatized and unaffordable, for most; why unions have all but disappeared; why healthcare is woefully inadequate for all but the wealthy; why our elections are no longer transparent, auditable, or democratic; why being black, Muslim, or Hispanic has been all but openly criminalized; why the most venerable and respected of our “news” organizations have been reduced to nonstop propaganda-appendages of the deep state; why our natural resources are being despoiled and plundered at unprecedented rates; why our institutions refuse to do anything meaningful to combat climate change, even as it is clearly dooming the planet; why fracking has gone gangbusters, even though it apparently causes earthquakes and unquestionably befouls the water supply; why an unqualified, extraordinarily ignorant, and reckless boob is the new president of the United States… rather than an unconscionably evil warmonger who worked only for the MIC and Wall Street (the fix was in, but it wasn’t quite enough to stop the populist backlash that put Trump in the Oval Office).

Not that we’ve anything to celebrate in the establishment’s 2016 defeat, because it’s only a temporary setback for these imperialist goons. They’re co-opting Trump’s presidency as I type these words, forcing out anyone not on board with World War III. In a functioning democracy, Bernie Sanders would be our president, right now, and the nation would be experiencing the kind of course-correction the people have been demanding for over a decade. Only the powers that be absolutely refuse to let anything like that happen. Our owners despise the left every bit as much as Paul Ryan and Hillary Clinton do… which does not bode well for the future.

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