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.

 
 
 
 
 

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.”

 ____________________

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)

The Collapse of the American Empire?

 The Collapse of the American Empire?
(The Agenda with Steve Paikin)
 
"The Agenda welcomes Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges, who over the past decade and a half has made his name as a columnist, activist and author. He's been a vociferous public critic of presidents on both sides of the American political spectrum, and his latest book, 'America, the Farewell Tour,' is nothing short of a full-throated throttling of the political, social, and cultural state of his country."

Recorded a year ago, worth watching today.

* * * * *

 (ScheerPost.com)

"Those, like environmental lawyer Steven Donziger, who fight the corporate control of our society on behalf of the vulnerable find the institutions of power unite to crucify them."
 
"...Donziger, who has been fighting polluting American oil companies for nearly three decades on behalf of indigenous communities and peasant farmers in Ecuador, has been under house arrest in Manhattan for a year. He will go to trial in federal court in New York on September 9 on contempt of court charges, which could see him jailed for six months. Ever since he won a multibillion-dollar judgment in 2011 against the oil giant Chevron, the multinational has come after him personally through litigation that threatens to destroy him economically, professionally and personally...
 
#
 
"...It started when Texaco went into Ecuador in the Amazon in the 1960s and cut a sweetheart deal with the military government then ruling Ecuador,” Donziger told me. “Over the next 25 years, Texaco was the exclusive operator of a very large area of the Amazon that had several oil fields within this area, 1500 square miles. They drilled hundreds of wells. They created thousands of open-air, unlined toxic waste pits where they dumped the heavy metals and toxins that came up from the ground when they drilled. They ran pipes from the pits into rivers and streams that local people relied on for their drinking water, their fishing and their sustenance. They poisoned this pristine ecosystem, in which lived five indigenous peoples, as well as a lot of other nonindigenous rural communities. There was a mass industrial poisoning.”

“By the time I went down there in the early 1990s, many people had died, cancer rates were skyrocketing according to several independent health evaluations, people were really hurting. There was zero regard for the lives of the local people by Texaco. I was a very young lawyer back in 1993 when I first went to Ecuador. It was like looking at an apocalyptic scene. There was oil on the roads. People were living in abject poverty. They had no shoes. They would get oil on their feet when they walked along the roads. The oil pollution had permeated every aspect of daily life. It was in the food supply. It was in the water supply. It was in the air. The average person there would get exposed multiple times a day to very harmful, cancer-causing toxins, with foreseeable results.”

 “I, with other lawyers, filed a lawsuit in New York against Texaco. The reason we filed in New York was because Texaco’s headquarters were in New York in 1993. The decisions to pollute in Ecuador, to play God to the people of Ecuador, were made in New York. We sued in New York. Texaco tried to get the case back to Ecuador where they had never been held accountable, where they knew the indigenous peoples had no money or resources to find lawyers.”

_________________

BONUS VIDEO INTERVIEW

On Contact: Chevron vs. Donziger 

(On Contact with Chris Hedges - includes transcript)

"On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to Steven Donziger about the reach of corporate power. Donziger battled corporate oil giant Chevron over environmental pollution and destruction in Ecuador and won a settlement of $9.5 billion for indigenous communities. Since then, Chevron has waged a campaign against Donziger to try and destroy him economically, professionally and personally. He is on trial in federal court in New York on September 9 for contempt charges, which could send him to jail for six months."



Sunday, September 6, 2020

Monday, August 31, 2020

The Freakin' Post Office!

"In today's episode of Some More News, we try to pack in as much information as possible about the recent attacks on the post office, and the recent damage control about how the attacks on the post office are apparently no big deal."