Friday, October 23, 2020

The Childish Mania of Hope

CHRIS HEDGES: The Childish Mania of Hope

Corporate oligarchies throughout the world are destroying the natural world for profit. That humanity is part of the global ecosystem doesn't seem to have occurred to them.

We don't have to look up the term omnicide in a dictionary, all we have to do is look around us.

______________________

Chris Hedges on 'The Childish Mania of Hope'

(The Katie Halper Show on YouTube)

"Journalist Chris Hedges talks to me, Professor Gerald Horne and Nando Vila about "the childish mania mania of hope which is crippling and disempowering. Part of the problem is we're not adult enough to face what's in front of us and if we can't face what's in front of us then we can't respond in an effective and meaningful way." Hedges then reviews what's in front of us: "we're heading towards the collapse of civilization except for this time, because of the climate,  when go down the whole planet's going with us." On a lighter note, Hedges talk being a war correspondent, Gramsci, Aristotle and what James Baldwin teaches us about hate groups."

* * * * * 

Chris Hedges "The Politics of Cultural Despair"

(Media Sanctuary on YouTube)

"Author, activist and dissident Chris Hedges spoke at The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy NY on October 16, 2020.  In this talk he examines the cultural and social forces that have given rise to extremism in the United States. He explores the myriad of factors that led to the proliferation of neo-fascist militias, extremist organizations, demagogic leaders, vast social divides defined by hate, a hyper nationalism and virulent racism as well as a mass media that has descended into burlesque and fans the flames of social disintegration.  Meghan Marohn moderates a Q&A following the talk."

 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

MATCH GAME

MATCH GAME

I’m an old human who feels tremendous remorse that we, as a species, possess such a profound and suicidal lust to destroy the planet and ourselves. Comfort may still exist for many millions of the most well-off denizens of planet Earth, but the signs are there that this condition is evaporating.

The following gentleman, much older than me, express their remorse over what we have wrought with enviable eloquence. Check them out and wonder how so many old farts are blind to, or uncaring of, their contribution to The End Times.

"If We Don't Protect Nature We Can't Protect Ourselves"

 (Harrison Ford | Extinction Rebellion)

“The Last and Most Important Advice I Will Ever Give”

(Dr. Meyer Hillman | Extinction Rebellion UK)

 David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet

(Attenborough Film.com)

"Celebrated British naturalist Sir David Attenborough has a broadcasting career spanning over six decades. He has visited every continent on the globe, exploring the wild places of our planet and bringing the wonders of the living world to audiences worldwide through ground-breaking natural history series. His work includes: Life on Earth, Planet Earth and more recently the Netflix original documentary series Our Planet.

During his lifetime, Sir David Attenborough has seen first-hand the monumental scale of environmental change caused by human actions. Now for the first time, he reflects on the devastating changes he’s witnessed and reveals how together we can address the biggest challenges facing life on our planet.

Produced by Silverback Films and WWF, David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet shares Sir David Attenborough’s greatest story yet – his witness statement for the natural world and vision for the future."


Monday, September 28, 2020

HOME OF THE BRAVE NEW WORLD

 HOME OF THE BRAVE NEW WORLD

 The Rolling Constitutional-Fascist Coup in the World’s Most Dangerous Nation
(Paul Street at Counter Punch.org)

"Let us not pretend that the Constitution is our great people’s trump card in the struggle against Trump’s rolling white-nationalist coup or that Trump is not relying on it to stay in power. Or that Trump and his allies aren’t using the constitutional framework inherited from the profoundly anti-democratic 18th Century U.S. Founders to their authoritarian advantage.

In his haunting 1958 book Brave New World revisited, Aldous Huxley warned of a kind of fascism wherein “the quaint old forms – elections, parliaments, Supreme Courts, and all the rest – will remain” while “the ruling oligarchy and its highly trained elite of soldiers, policemen, and mind manipulators will quietly run the show as they see fit.” It was a poignant alarm to raise, but we should not underestimate the significant extent to which America’s “quaint old forms” – so quaint as to date from the time of horse-drawn buggies and Black chattel slavery before the cotton gin – are actively enlisted in the authoritarian project today."


* * * * *

Enough with the Holy Founders' Undemocratic Constitution
(Paul Street at Telesur English.net)

"Jefferson, Madison, Adams and other U.S. founders (including even the state-capitalist Alexander Hamilton) would be revolted by the crass commercialism and mass-marketed manipulation that lay at the heart of contemporary major-party U.S. politics.

Still, we should not imagine that the founders were champions of anything remotely like popular self-rule. Democracy was the last thing they intended.  Drawn from the elite propertied segments of late British colonial North America, the delegates to the U.S. Constitutional Convention shared their compatriot John Jay’s view that “the people who own the country ought to govern it."

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

A CONSERVATIVE ICON/MORON

 
William %uckley Jr.
A Conservative Icon/Moron

William Buckley Jr. was arguably the most articulate conservative commentator ever to appear on the boob tube. That he was an insufferable ignoramus makes watching him lose every debate a pleasure akin to watching the witch melt in The Wizard of Oz.

 
 
 
 
BONUS COMEDY VIDEOS!
 
Brilliant SCTV parodies of William F. Buckley, Jr.
 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

INVERTED TOTALITARIANISM

Sheldon Wolin
 
 
(Semantic Scholar.org)
 
"Democracy is struggling in America--by now this statement is almost cliche. But what if the country is no longer a democracy at all? In Democracy Incorporated, Sheldon Wolin considers the unthinkable: has America unwittingly morphed into a new and strange kind of political hybrid, one where economic and state powers are conjoined and virtually unbridled? Can the nation check its descent into what the author terms "inverted totalitarianism"? Wolin portrays a country where citizens are politically uninterested and submissive--and where elites are eager to keep them that way. At best the nation has become a "managed democracy" where the public is shepherded, not sovereign. At worst it is a place where corporate power no longer answers to state controls. Wolin makes clear that today's America is in no way morally or politically comparable to totalitarian states like Nazi Germany, yet he warns that unchecked economic power risks verging on total power and has its own unnerving pathologies. Wolin examines the myths and mythmaking that justify today's politics, the quest for an ever-expanding economy, and the perverse attractions of an endless war on terror. He argues passionately that democracy's best hope lies in citizens themselves learning anew to exercise power at the local level. Democracy Incorporated is one of the most worrying diagnoses of America's political ills to emerge in decades. It is sure to be a lightning rod for political debate for years to come. In a new preface, Wolin describes how the Obama administration, despite promises of change, has left the underlying dynamics of managed democracy intact." 
 
A Bill Moyers interview with Sheldon Wolin.
 
(Sheldon Wolin - YouTube short video)
 
* * * * *

(Bill Moyers interviews Sheldon Wolin - YouTube long video) 

__________________________

Paul Krugman unwittingly pulls the mask off modern fascistic imperialism.

Anti-Muslim hate crimes soared after 9/11, and thousands of Muslims in the U.S. were detained—and some tortured—in George W. Bush's futile anti-terror dragnet.
(Brett Wilkins, staff writer, Common Dreams.org)

"New York Times columnist Paul Krugman faced withering criticism Friday after he claimed that there was no "mass outbreak of anti-Muslim sentiment and violence" following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.

"Overall, Americans took 9/11 pretty calmly," Krugman tweeted on the 19th anniversary of the attacks that left nearly 3,000 people dead in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, and led to U.S. wars of choice in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere in which at least hundreds of thousands—and perhaps as many as 2 million—people have died in predominantly Muslim countries."


* * * * *

David Vine - author
 "The United States of War"
on Democracy Now! 
September 11, 2020
(YouTube)

"American University professor David Vine is the co-author of a new report that found at least 37 million people in eight countries have been forced to flee their homes since the start of the U.S.-led, so-called Global War on Terrorism in 2001. "I think most people in the United States, myself included, have not really reckoned with the total damage that these wars have caused," says Vine. The U.S. currently has 800 military bases around the world, "more bases than any nation in world history," he notes. "These bases have not only enabled war, not only made war possible, but they've actually made war more likely — made war a far too-easy-policy choice."
__________________________

It's a myth that following 9/11 everyone supported a war waged against a vaguely defined noun.

I know I didn't and I remember I wasn't alone.

(hyperleap.com)
 
We shouldn't be fighting people. 
We should be fighting against poverty and pollution.
We should fight to ameliorate the effects of climate change.
 
We should be fighting for a future. 

Thursday, September 10, 2020

THE DOOMSDAY CLOCK IS TICKING


 Time is running out. The human experiment is being driven rapidly off a geopolitical cliff. The worldwide levers of power are consistently manipulated to increase the wealth and influence of a sociopathic ruling class. These systems make all people and living things subordinate to their lusts for luxury and lawless excess.

The only question that should concern us all is whether we’ll destroy ourselves before or after climate catastrophe makes our actions moot. If we ignore our impact on the environment, it won’t matter if we survive World War III. Mother Earth won’t care how we commit suicide.

Our rulers don’t appear to understand the existential threats facing the human race, or perhaps more alarmingly they don’t appear to care. Behind the wheel of the doomsday car is the United States of America, the most rapacious nation in human history, and arguably the most violent.

The USA was founded and made strong by destroying peoples and stealing resources. Its history is one of global military and economic violence, increasingly for the benefit of a tiny minority. The myth that we are the good guys can only be maintained by ignoring our history.

Some history.

 * * * * *

Native American Genocide

 "American Holocaust: D. Stannard (Oxford Press, 1992) – “over 100 million killed” “[Christopher] Columbus personally murdered half a million Natives”

“Hitler’s concept of concentration camps as well as the practicality of genocide owed much, so he claimed, to his studies of English and United States history. He admired the camps for Boer prisoners in South Africa and for the Indians in the wild west; and often praised to his inner circle the efficiency of America’s extermination – by starvation and uneven combat – of the red savages who could not be tamed by captivity.”

— P. 202, “Adolph Hitler” by John Toland

* * * * *

Slavery, by the Numbers

The Middle Passage

1. In the history of the trans-Atlantic slave trade (1525-1866), 12.5 million Africans were shipped to the New World. Of them, 10.7 million survived the dreaded Middle Passage, disembarking in North America, the Caribbean and South America. Only about 388,000 were transported directly from Africa to North America, as David Eltis, David Richardson and their colleagues have definitively established in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database.

2. Children typically comprised 26 percent or more of a slave ship’s human cargo, David Eltis writes in his “Brief Overview of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.” On average, the voyage took “just over two months,” and because of “filthy conditions,” “a range of epidemic pathogens” and “periodic breakouts of violent resistance,” “between 12 and 13 percent of those embarked did not survive the voyage.”

American-Style Slavery

3. The importation of slaves into the United States was banned by Congress (under Constitutional command) in 1808, yet by 1860, the nation’s black population had jumped from 400,000 to 4.4 million, of which 3.9 million were slaves. The primary reason was natural increase, a distinguishing feature of American-style slavery. Between 1790 and 1860, reports Ronald Bailey, author of “The Other Side of Slavery: Black Labor, Cotton, and Textile Industrialization in Great Britain and the United States,” in the spring 1994 issue of Agricultural History, the U.S. slave population increased between 25 percent and 33 percent per year—an average of 28.7 percent over the period.

4. In the U.S., on average, a slave mother gave birth to between nine and 10 children, “twice as many in the West Indies,” according to the Gilder Institute of American History. Yet, in 1860, “less than 10 percent of the slave population was over 50 and only 3.5 percent was over 60.”

Etc. Etc. Etc.
 

About 120 military conflicts are listed on the horribly-slanted Wikipedia website. This list obviously doesn't include clandestine interventions, coups, and weapons-fueled mayhem that regularly occurs without our consent.

List of wars involving the United States
(
Wikipedia.org)

Here's what you might call a short summary of that list:

War is a Racket
(by Major General Smedley Butler)

Here's some more uncomfortable history.

How the Fascists Won World War II
(H. Bruce Franklin at Counter Punch.org)

"This is a mystery story. It revolves around a building that—as you will all come to agree—should have been bombed.

Before construction of the Pentagon during World War II, the two largest and most famous office buildings on planet Earth were the Empire State Building and the headquarters of German industrial behemoth IG Farben. Building these palaces of capitalism was a frantic race run in 1930-1931, at the opening of the Great Depression. Both edifices were designed to inspire awe, by “skyscraper” height in New York, by overwhelming grandiosity in Frankfurt. Unlike the original World Trade Center, both buildings still stand. There is no mystery about how the rugged steel frame of the Empire State Building survived the 1945 direct crash into its 79th floor by a twin-engine B-25 bomber, lost in fog over the city. How the IG Farben HQ survived World War II, however, is a mystery whose dark depths hold secret links between the past and the present."

Top 10 American Companies that Aided the Nazis

 "War profiteers are such a loathsome notion. The idea that while people are struggling for causes while others use the confused nature of military logistics to make dishonest money is appalling. The thought that these companies supported the most deadly regime in the world and went on to become fixtures in our daily lives is loathsome, even well over half a century later, yet it remains a bitter reality.”

 The secret history of US interventions in Latin America

 “The United States has intervened hundreds of times in the affairs of Latin American countries—from spying and proxy wars to major military invasions. Here are the top 8.”

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Vivid accounts of human suffering and the long-term detrimental effects of ongoing ecological tragedies have been recorded by historians, can be found in vast and varied personal records and official documents, and in pictures or on film. But history can show both good and evil. It can be a source of beauty as well as ugliness. In history we can discover viable methods to mitigate outcomes. Individuals and organizations currently exist that are trying to wrest control of the doomsday car from the oligarchs, they are trying to steer us in the right direction, away from the cliff. I've listed a couple below; there are many others. Find out what went on in the past, what's going on right now, and discover ways you can support those fighting for a better future.


Code Pink:

"CODEPINK is a women-led grassroots organization working to end U.S. wars and militarism, support peace and human rights initiatives, and redirect our tax dollars into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming programs."
Extinction Rebellion

THE D'OH! HEARD 'ROUND THE WORLD (REPOST)

 

THE D'OH! HEARD 'ROUND THE WORLD
(Originally posted November 13, 2016.)

Using manufactured hysteria following 9/11 Congress began an insidious expansion of Executive Branch powers. Add that to the very long list of horribleness resulting from the fanciful Pogrom Against Bad People begun under W.

 Trump now has more power than any one man has ever had or should have.

(The Intercept.com)

There was only one voice of reason among our "representatives" following 9/11. I find it amusing when I hear things like, "well, everyone agreed, was afraid, believed the intelligence, etc." Many on the left, in the streets, and on progressive websites knew the military response to 9/11 was bullshit and only served the Military Industrial Complex, and all those who profit from it. I remember being against a military response even in Afghanistan. Without knowing anything specific I knew 9/11 was a crime not an act of war. And even in 2003 it was obvious Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.

'We were ignored': anti-war protesters remember the Iraq war marches
(The Guardian.com)

The voices for reason after 9/11 were not simply marginalized but demonized outright. The sad thing is there are still so many who don't acknowledge, or refuse to see how right the dissenters were then and now.

Hear how right she was.

(Youtube video)

Read this and weep.

(Truthdig.com)