Member Profile

Total number of comments: 1706 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:37)


Showing comments 1706 - 1701

  • Roots of Militancy among some Muslim Youth: What can be Done?
    • The right-wing critique of capitalism, throughout history, is not an attack on the grotesque inequality and injustice that unregulated capitalist economies naturally create. It is a complaint that the unequal rewards did not come to the "patriots", the "pure", the Good Americans, Germans, et al. In Europe it was always anger that the Jews, having been segregated from the old agrarian economy by that self-same bigotry, got in first on urban capitalism which turned out to be the wave of the future, and the bigots refused to accept their own idiocy as the culprit and turned to fascism as a holistic cure.

      The hallmark of this false critique is that the ideology usually divides the rich into two categories:

      1. the patriots, who not only are of the dominant ethnic group but have fortunes based on activities seen as virtuous and empowering for the nation: formerly landowning, later heavy industry, and war materiel.
      2. the "parasites", which usually is identical with "Jews"; they are seen as urban, decadent, and immoral. Banking, law, the entertainment industry. But now it can include blacks who make "too much" money playing football or rapping.

      I should not have to explain why this division is bull****. Recall how many manufacturers like GE and GM were selling iffy mortgage-based bonds in 2007? It's become a bizarre game of cultural stereotypes, manly versus gay, port versus heartland, "risk-taker" vs rentier, which obscures the real decadence of aging capitalism and especially the war of the rich against all of us.

      So the question the author must follow is why these disgruntled immigrants embrace right-wing exclusionary, anti-egalitarian revolution instead of the Marxism of their predecessors.

      I would argue that what's changed is the old faith that technology would produce enough wealth to end poverty if only it could be redistributed. The old fascists only flourished where despair wiped out this faith and made dominant ethnicities lust to push the Others out of the lifeboat. In our times, the capitalists have worked tirelessly to wipe out this faith everywhere. So Islamists, Tea Partiers, libertarians, ethnic cleansers and tribalists all over the world share the premise that the "deserving" rich must be allowed to pollute and rape so that the class below them, the patriots, can have their former affluence restored as their loyal henchmen. As for the Others, the subhumans who are to blame for all economic problems? Disenfranchisement, deportation... maybe even a restored slavery?

  • Cuba: Top 5 other Dictatorships with which US has Diplomatic Relations
    • You can go on all day about our vast crimes in the 3rd World, but you should remember what condition Japan and Western Europe were in back in '45, and why it only took 10 years to repair it (aided by socialists). Our country was a force for good for a brief time, and we ought to look at the reasons that time came and went instead of the wacky Ghost Dance of hoping that an endlessly good Communism will rise from the grave to wipe out an endlessly evil America. We will likely be wiped out by something worse unless we think of something genuinely new and better right now.

  • Pope Francis Backs Obama's Cuba Opening
    • This could also work as a strategic strike against the GOP, dividing the corporatists from the Tea Party, and especially vexing the Florida GOP's Jeb Bush, who must now explain whatever position he takes to either the former or the latter in his own state.

  • If Jeb Bush Is In, Who Will Win Wall Street's Money?
    • Why do you judge these political dynasties only by how many wars they were in, and not how they - and the privileged class that they all came from - treated their underlings, the ordinary citizens of the US? Only the Roosevelts associated themselves with social justice.

      No justice, no peace.

    • I know a country where the major political parties are owned by family dynasties that have no legitimacy outside their regions while the military cements a monopoly on the national identity by hogging the country's resources.


      Now all we need is for the military and the local religious extremists to...

  • China's Pivot toward Europe may Cut USA out of Deal
    • I've been reading Escobar's articles for a dozen years waiting for all these things to finally happen. Too bad that by the time they did happen, Putin has gone completely rancid and Europe has become too ruined by German banker-coerced austerity to replace America as the voice of liberty in the world. We now live in a world divided between oligarchies as bad as those of 1914. No choices here, Pepe.

    • Page: 17
  • Enter the Dragon: China offers Iraq Aerial Strikes on ISIL/ Daesh
    • This is a fulfillment of many agendas.

      But in fact, America's overextended empire may already serve China better than its own citizens. Our military is expected to "civilize" the natives of obscure corners of the world to prepare them for foreign investors, presumably American. But what if Wall Street has lost control of the process? What if it has become too lazy and cowardly to risk following the troops into these lands? The Chinese aren't afraid to get people killed making deals anywhere on Earth. We claim victory, and Chinese men come with briefcases full of gold to ensnare the local warlords by nightfall.

      This is logical. Declining empires always try to cling to their military advantages while betraying the economic virtues that originally made them powerful. Britain's empire probably made a lot of American hustlers rich in its latter days.

      But if that is true, then China must be prepared for the day it will have to take care of itself. America prepared in 1898-1900 with operations all over the world, the Spanish-American War, the Philipine Insurrection, the Boxer Rebellion. Ironic that China's Boxer Rebellion most resembles the ISIS situation, with the "mainstream" powers obligated to unite to crush a barbaric but not unjustified reactionary uprising.

      But this may also be a coming-out party for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. China is joining the Russian-Iranian regional alliance. Iran has observer status at the SCO, but has been too hot to touch up to now. The other SCO members are being passed from the old Soviet Union to the Chinese energy empire, just out of America's grasp. They all share this fear of Sunni radicalism. Maybe Uzbek and Turkmen infantry are coming next?

  • Black Lives Matter: Massive Crowds Protest Racialized Police Brutality in Cities across US
    • What's amazing is watching the psychotic self-righteousness of police spokesmen in denouncing any criticism of the killing of unarmed men and boys. I think the police are actually doubling down on the crazy out of their manufactured fear of black rebellion. They have no plan except to terrorize blacks into silence. And they are probably right to assume most white voters will follow them into the abyss. But what about all the other minorities watching their behavior in our diversifying society?

  • What Ferguson, Eric Garner, and CIA Torture Have in Common
    • Hey everybody, legal prohibitions on torture, or police murdering innocents have ALWAYS been ignored for black people. ALWAYS. They have also always been ignored for radicals, gays, and whatever religious sect is currently a threat. If we ever had a moral high ground, it was based on the effort to improve, not the results.

      The problem lies much deeper in the unwritten covenants between "good" Americans and their preferred officials - all the way back to the Founding Fathers. Freedom has always carried an asterisk in our social hierarchy.

    • Sounds like the early chapters of Naomi Klein's "The Shock Doctrine". She argues that the effect wears off eventually.

  • Top 5 Planks of 2016 GOP Platform? Torture, War, Bank Corruption, Paid-For Elections
    • Mr. Bodden, you're too fast to attack blacks and Latinos for the sin of supporting the system. As a practical matter, Gonzales will not be on a ballot, and neither will the token black creeps that the GOP allows to run in a few early primaries every 4 years.

      If you want change in the future, it won't come from people like yourself, because there just aren't many white progressives. A minority takeover of the Democratic Party is the only place the numbers can come from to supplant the corporate centrists, and a minority takeover and revival of the labor movement is the only base from which successful anti-capitalist politics has ever come. If you don't feel like it's worth trying to persuade the Others to also adopt your positions on war because they're too patriotic and greedy, then you might as well give up because either minorities will supplant white power or there will be a civil war.

    • How do you feel about the GOP promising to deliberately provoke war with Iran, Russia and China simultaneously? We can survive some crimes, but not others.

  • Pundits Blame Eric Garner For His Own Death (TYT Medley of Shame)
    • We might have to go further than this and reimagine the meaning of a police "force". Maybe each neighborhood will have to create its own squad from residents and be responsible for its actions. Maybe since our cities are already saturated with surveillance cameras we will volunteer or rotate the duty of monitoring them. Maybe drones equipped with nonlethal weapons will approach suspects and corral them until a force of (camera-equipped) officers can assess the genuine danger and carry out the arrest.

      But the problem is bigger than the police; the same sense of paranoid entitlement justifies the bombing of villages overseas, and Zimmerman's color-coded vigilantism. It is the paranoia of a comfortable master race whose order is under siege at home and abroad from a genuine increase in lethality in the hands of the Others. The police and army are an extension of that.

    • That topic has always been active on the fringes of the Christian right.

  • Police Accountability more important than Bodycams
    • No one bothers to vote for district attorneys and judges but people psychotic about crushing "those criminals". The police work for the district attorneys, who along with those judges will protect policemen who go too far.

      There's the mechanism of our problem. Do something about racist voters, or the media that trains them to believe that crime is much worse now than back in the "good old days" of the KKK, lynch mobs and police torture. Do something about the very institution of the district attorney. For God's sake, do something about elected psychopath judges.

  • Will the next Israeli Gov't be even more Far Right & Colonial?
    • In other words, the Israeli Jews and white Americans are becoming more and more alike - and completely different than everyone else. Likely to share the same ugly fate.

  • Why SecDef Hagel is Really Out: As usual, the War Party Won
    • What has been carefully cultivated among the public to support failed policies and bigotries at home and abroad is a myth that the power of white Christian men over America and the world is a birthright. Thus its inevitable erosion is seen as a betrayal that can only be fought by doubling down endlessly on brute force, using soldiers and policemen perpetually praised as heroes whose right to kill civilians is justified by their fear - really our fear of anyone different than ourselves.

  • The Beltway Beast: How two Tribes in D.C. are Destroying the Middle Class
    • Starting a new "center" party just perpetuates the myth that that the corporate Democratic Party is not centrist, which continues the corporate conspiracy to move the entire spectrum far (and profitably) to the right.

      You're not doing any good if you have nothing to say about the historical relationship between private property "rights" and the polarization of wealth.

  • ISIL, Coins, and the Caliphate: Banking on Idealism
  • Putin, Blocked by Europe, turns to Turkey for Gas Pipeline
    • The neocons' plan for US domination of the world involved Turkey. Remember their Frankenstein pipeline, the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan line? Ceyhan is in Turkey, folks. A line designed for no other purpose but to screw Russia out of European energy markets. Tblisi is in Georgia, which the Cheney Administration armed to the teeth, only to find another puppet army incapable of fighting in crunch time. And Baku is in Azerbaijan, one of the "new" Stans that US carpetbaggers descended on in the '90s to convert into future energy booms for our empire. Now, it's just another Central Asian dictatorship falling into the Chinese orbit.

      When the first signs of this disaster appeared during the Iraqi occupation, somebody noted that Turkey was also expected by the US, and Britain before that, to be the cork in the bottling up of Russian naval power, but it was being so ill-treated that it might switch sides.

      A Russian naval understanding over the Bosporous with Turkey would be a whole new disaster, making the Russian base in Syria unnecessary.

      Yet no one even understands how Russia gets stronger by no means besides exploiting American idiocy.

    • Countries intervene in other countries' passing civil wars all the time; but annexation is another order of magnitude, intended to be permanent. Consider how rare it has become since Hitler, the ultimate annexer, kind of gave territorial conquest a bad name.

      However, you are right that the US refuses to accept the ancient norm of spheres of influence. Kennan warned that the American people couldn't be trusted to accept the norms of international diplomacy. We went straight from isolationism (hypocritically ignoring our own sphere of influence in Latin America) to superpower status, which we interpreted to mean only we get to have a sphere of influence, and it is everywhere. We've never embraced any position in between these two extremes.

  • Oil Price Fall: Saudi Arabia targets US Shale Oil, Iran, Iraq, Russia
    • The appeal of aviation biofuels is probably that aircraft have lower maintenance costs when they run on very pure fuels, which biofuels tend to be. It also is a chance to steady the price fluctuations in fuel that have bankrupted so many airlines.

      However, the most likely change in shipping is the addition of sophisticated wind assist systems, basically kites, to existing freighters.

      What Tinwoman is missing is that cars are a large part of the ADDITIONS to fuel use thanks to China, et al, and that another large part comes from construction equipment, which might more easily be converted to electricity if governments recognized the pollution it creates downtown.

      However, if Asia pulls the world into another recession, this will be an excuse (like everything is in capitalism) to demand short-term thinking and shortsighted budget cuts. Oil production never stopped in the Great Depression in Texas even when the stuff was so worthless that governors sent troops into the fields to shut down the wildcatters and prop up prices. Imagine any politician having the guts to do that now.

  • Rudy Giuliani Wants To Prosecute Ferguson Witnesses
    • As Hunter Thompson said just before he died, "OF COURSE political consultants study the methods of the 3rd Reich. After all, they worked, for a while."

      A while is all Giuliani and his cohorts want. Steal everything, then get run out of power leaving behind an ever-more rigged system to prepare their sabotage campaign as a disloyal opposition.

      They see no backfire that hurts them in their vast personal wealth. They think they can take that wealth and flee to Dubai if they have to, while the redneck zombie army they've cultivated does their fighting for them. Change that, and they will change.

    • Because we don't already have tons of studies showing that witnesses often wrongly identify innocent black people as criminals, which Rudy has no problem with. Treating blacks as collectively guilty sends a message.

  • Racial Fearmongering and Ferguson: US Stereotype of "violent" African-American Men as old as Slavery
    • We need to think about what will replace the current police forces as relentless tax cuts for the rich and privatization create fiscal crises. Will police be replaced by Blackwater mercenaries who officially work for the rich, or by some new endeavor in collective security controlled by the ordinary people of a community? Because only the latter can disarm the fear>homicide cycle.

  • The Ferguson, Mo. Shooting in American History: What to Tell the Children
    • Another resource I will recommend even though I haven't finished reading it is "The Invention of the White Race", Volume 2, by Theodore Allen. His argument is that the South's sacred "traditions" are a construct, as is the very idea of a white race, implemented by the plantation oligarchy/capitalists of the colonies after a rebellion in 1676 that attracted many indentured servants of both races. The legal process turned the black ones into slaves, but elevated the white ones to a middle class with a stake in the system and a bond to the ruling elite. That co-optation is what makes racism so valuable to American capitalism to this day. I would argue further that this creation of a slave society that didn't exist in Britain was the creation of the first American identity - one utterly bound to white supremacy. All the dogmas of the modern Southernized Right were created to protect that slave society - and their restoration must inevitably create a new one.

  • Israel and Mississippi: Racist Plans for 2nd Class Citizens and Religious Legislation
    • Missouri too.

    • I told you the right-wingers in the US are using Israel as a testbed for their future plans for our own minorities. When the US rubber-stamps this declaration of apartheid, Mississippi will have a legal precedent.

  • Right-Wing Media vs. Reagan On Immigration - How GOP lost the Script
    • Republicans don't believe in actual history, they believe in symbolic myths to be filled with the cynical self-serving agenda du jour. It's not what Reagan's actual position on immigration is, it's the threat that the ever-narrowing pool of "real" Americans must share power with anyone different. The capitalists can easily make their redneck zombie hordes happy; instead of deporting this valuably cheap labor, they will keep them in slave labor camps instead and hire the rednecks to be the guards. Then the positions of Reagan and every current right-wing leader will be rewritten to support this as an entirely American thing to do.

  • Two Different American Futures: With an Iran Deal & Without
    • If we had the conscience to accept that we took over the role of the British Empire as the sword and shield of capitalism in 1945, and thus put on ourselves all Britain's past crimes from drug running in China to mass murder in countless places, we would go catatonic.

  • Top 5 Ways Obama Punked the GOP on Immigration; and the 2016 Campaign
    • Two-thirds of the electorate just did what you said, by not even showing up. What did that get them? The worst Congress in history. None of the above is an abdication. Voting for a Democrat while plotting a workers' revolution is at least a plan.

    • Any hope for progress clearly lies in the hands of people who don't bother to show up for midterm elections. They might not even bother to show up for a presidential election for a white woman.

      But these are the citizens we have. Like a lot of white liberals, they have beliefs and positions, but not the Right's maniacal greed for a monopoly on power cynically mythologized as a "birthright" worth killing for. They don't believe that their beliefs and positions are something that they must force down their fellow citizens' throats, and they do (falsely) believe that their fellow citizens and their GOP heroes are not psychopaths with ill intent. They will vote for a "real" American even if they would disagree with his positions whether or not they bothered to find out what these are. They accept that the rich and the patriots "know better" what's best for the country... and maybe they're afraid of what happens if they fight back with all the weapons that the poor once used against the rich in this country.

      Until there are a hundred more Fergusons and Zimmermans, and it becomes obvious that white men in the Red states are reclaiming their right to kill any black man (and presumably any gays or any possible illegals or Moslems) that they please, those victims will not be willing to rise up in rebellion. And when that rebellion finally happens, what will we be doing here in white liberal Netland?

      Maybe we should recognize now that all these awful things will happen, that soon the Right will threaten secession unless Washington turns its back on minorities the way it did in 1876, that soon the revolutionary anger will exist to be channeled into forms of mass civil disobedience, but only if the planning and organizing begins now.

      Meaning, knowing what we know of the far right movement and the ties between its warmongerers and religious fanatics and "libertarians", how do we direct hundreds of thousands of protestors from the easy but useless attacks on racist cops, etc, to the very machinery of white conservative power that turns war dollars into racist electoral victories, church dollars into voucher-funded theocratic indoctrination schools, consumer dollars into fossil fuel imperialism? How do we throw our bodies into the gears and bring this country to a stop in all its interconnected evils?

      Because no one will go into an election booth to vote for equality until they think there is a movement that can back them up with actions. And the cult of inequality will not negotiate until it faces punishment in the form of the destruction of its property.

    • But 70% of non-white and non-Christian Americans did not support the war. Probably nor did 70% of the poor. So the question is, why don't you fight to protect and expand their political power? The white left, the peaceniks and the treehuggers have ultimately failed to wean most of their fellow whites from love of supremacy and inequality at home and abroad. The fight can't be won there; it's over; the white Americans will not reform until faced with an absolute and final defeat.

      We have to play dirty and win with the Americans who are willing to redefine what it is to be "American". We may even have to threaten race war to stop the far greater war that a declining master race will inflict on the world; the Samson Option from Israel to our missile silos.

    • Do you think the GOP is crazy enough to get us into a war with Iran, Russia and China at the same time? I do.

  • In Iran, US Choice is a Negotiated Peace Now or the Risk of War
    • No, Israel only has a policy to annihilate the Palestinians. But it is a covert policy that is actually being carried out, piece by piece, and its nukes are the final guarantee that it will get away with it. What lesson should people without nukes draw from this?

  • Our new Climate-Change Denialist Congress and Looming Planetary Disaster
    • Because voters don't want to believe that they have to sacrifice easy wealth for the sake of the environment. No party exists that has convinced them. The poorer the rich make the masses, the more the masses will support the rich raping the environment so that they can survive on the crumbs. As in, immediately.

  • 3rd Possibility: Coming Civil War in West Bank/ Jerusalem?
    • If a high-profile country gets away with an ethnic cleansing, unlike sanctioned 1980 Vietnam, it will start to happen all over the world. It was hard to close that window in Eastern Europe until Milosevic was gone.
      And who is to say it can't happen in America?

    • I think the IDF still believes it has superiority (all militaries are in love with themselves). But it knows that any victory will be so Pyrrhic that no one will be able to survive in the rubble. Jews leave, no IDF.

    • Since these three articles seem to be quoting each other a lot, I can't tell if this is really important, but it is certainly promising. The key is that the right-winger Brog keeps trying to claim Israel has good excuses for its current crimes. But we know at this site that Israel has much bigger crimes pending, like stripping Arab Israelis of their citizenship. What Brog refuses to acknowledge is one word: race. He decries the dissenters pointing out that Palestinian Christians also suffer under the Occupation. But he can't justify it. Or the suffering of Christians in Iraq due to US imperialism. He can't say this: "Judeo-Christian" is a codeword for white capitalism and thus Arab Christians are just another bunch of sand ni**ers. It's the racism that is driving this growing disgust with Israel. But it's the same racism, justified by the same lies, that is being used by America's right to justify its war on blacks and Latinos. Because it WON'T MATTER if most of us turn against Israel or the GOP if we don't have a right to vote in the future. The narrative of the "real" Israeli or the "real" American is foreplay for electoral apartheid in both nations.

    • Just as our greater distance from the '29 Crash has allowed right-wing liars to delude the public into thinking that the crimes of the rich had nothing to do with the '08 Crash, our greater distance from WW2 allows Zionists to delude the public into thinking that there's no problem with war crimes like conquest and ethnic cleansing as long as We Do It.

      People no longer remember the principles of international law, Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Four Freedoms, and that the postwar order was meant to restrain the behavior of all sides. The very concept of equality between human beings has been so slandered by capitalism that any internet discussion of Nazism today inevitably becomes flooded with comments that Nazis were "left-wingers" because they believed in Big Government. The idea that equality or racial supremacy have anything to do with good or evil has evaporated, and WW2 and the Israeli war on Arabs will be taught to your children as two great battles in the crusade to unite the world under Judeo-Christian corporatism and put the inferior races in their proper place in the global sweatshop.

    • This will be a war of both sides terrorizing civilians into emigration. This is where decades of cultivating US sympathy can backfire: how can a Zionist Congress oppose letting in all Jewish war refugees, causing a mass stampede for the exits?

      But consider all the other nightmare possibilities:
      1. the US Christian Right redoubles efforts to put its own crazies in the illegal settlements to make Israel ever more a 51st State and create a tripwire for direct US intervention
      2. Even if Israel is depopulated by a mass exodus, the US will just keep stubbornly fighting the Arabs out of sheer spite
      3. The Russians decide to rekindle some old alliances in the region

    • That is why it is so important for the Israeli leadership to hold its followers together by creating ever more powerful enemies. Eventually they will choose external war as the more comforting way to die than civil war.

  • Child Homelessness rising in US -- Red States wonder why they're the Worst
    • Red Staters don't give a damn that they're the worst as long as the homeless kids are darker than their own. It's just more proof that "those people are animals."

  • Americans 64 times more likely to be Murdered than die in Terrorism
    • If we required ourselves to base our fears on statistical probability, we'd just be boring rational people like Canadians and Swedes. It's far more sexy to lie to ourselves that we're God's special henchmen and the rest of the world hates us for that and so we must rule the world for its own good. The bigger the fear, the greater the swagger, the less we get bogged down (and taxed) solving actual problems.

  • Top 5 Ways Daesh/ ISIL is Losing, as it lashes out like a Cornered Rat
    • We are involved in this religious war anyway because the Sunni terrorists get their blood money from the oil sheikhs, whom we owe trillions to. The sheikhs are showing by their support for ISIS that they don't mind any crime whatsoever to eliminate the Shia everywhere in the Islamic world; can you prove the same of the Shia?

  • G20 conclude "Climate Change Summit:" Obama Pressures Australia as PM presents lonely defense of Coal
    • Word is that both China and India are cutting their (Australian) coal imports for various reasons. Mr. Abbott put all his capital into a nonexistent boom.

  • Top 5 Disasters If GOP Senate derails Iran talks
    • The US has inexorably cultivated and built up its enemies for generations. Driving Iran into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization camp will cement a new Cold War and a new power in Eurasia. Yet we will continue to depend on China for cheap goods and debt purchases.

      Maybe this is the point where Europe looks at the balance of forces and decides to declare neutrality.

    • So the Senate will just demand a war on both Russia and Iran. Any war will do.

  • A Day Late & a Dollar Short: Obama & China agree on Languid Climate Goals
    • If part of the US-China deal involved bringing in massive amounts of Chinese solar panels, that would do something, but it would cause Congress to scream bloody murder. Besides, the factories themselves would produce more pollution than an American factory producing the same panels.

      In fact, much of China's emissions are the result of making cheap junk to sell to Americans that will have to be replaced in a few months by other cheap junk. But then, much of America's emissions are enabled by China buying dollars to prop up their value and keep us buying cheap junk. You have to go after the problem there, but a war would actually be the fastest way to end trade between the US and China.

    • What, so we should turn the air we breathe into someone else's private property?

  • Internet Liberty at Stake in Obama World Wide Web Policy
    • Which means other sites that allow the non-rich to do or promote business, like YouTube, Kickstarter, and Patreon, are also on someone's hit list.

    • If you look at how Democrats raised small donations on the Net before this election, it's not surprising that they suddenly realized how important it is to protect neutrality. Logically, the GOP must now throw everything it has into destroying it.

  • Ferguson & Israel? Netanyahu Calls for Stripping Palestinian-Israelis of Citizenship
    • Because Israel built its policies on racist memes that Americans essentially accept - we would do the same to blacks and Latinos if it was the only way to hold onto our goodies. So Israel had nothing to lose by making its minority more violent.

    • Well firstly, they got away with stripping Jews of citizenship before the war. That might have been their test of how far they could go as they expanded the Reich. Hitler was worried about making too many enemies too fast, and a genuine global backlash against his war on Jews might have made him hesitate on the mechanics of the Holocaust (i.e., essential trade with the remaining neutral states).

  • Can Hizbullah save Lebanon from ISIL?
    • Hezbollah is the only sensible armed force in the Middle East, and the unarmed forces are now sadly irrelevant. The Saudis tried to install a Sunni plutocracy in Lebanon to rule over what is now likely a majority of poor Shia, and failed despite Western/neocon "color revolution" deception. Now the Sunnis are showing how vicious their sense of class entitlement is. When all the Christians have to ally with Hezbollah to survive, how loudly will our Christian Ziocons lie to cover it up?

  • Why McCain & GOP are Slamming Obama for Writing Iran re: ISIL
    • So the GOP senate, according to Fox propagandists, will push for the simplest solution: go to war with everybody. Fight ISIS, fight Iran, and act aggressively against Russia and China. And they will hold up the budget and bankrupt our country to force Obama to capitulate.

      So folks, your problem with Obama was? Your alternative president Dennis Kucinich would have prevented all this how? Whoops, you let the GOP eliminate his House soapbox. We did nothing to reward ANY national politician for being less warlike than the alternative whenever a crisis occurred. We punished the Democrats who could get elected for not being pure enough, which allowed Fox to create a bullshit narrative that those Democrats were unpopular for being TOO liberal, so most voters are scared away from the midterms.

      And worst of all, we showed our contempt for the fears and patriotism for all voters, especially minority voters who still want a strong America despite everything, by refusing to propound an alternative doctrine for America's role in the world based on our objective interests as a bunch of greedy pigs. Yes, that's what we are, and if we don't want to face how our hamburger gets made overseas we better specifically spell out where a delicious alternative will come from because no one is willing to sacrifice shit for our principles.

    • Obama is right that patience wears down the lunatics of other lands. But it doesn't work when he applies it to America's lunatics. I guess people only learn by having lunatics with guns actually ruin their lives in person, and then getting angry enough to risk their lives fighting back.

    • He still won't admit to any mistakes in the four (?) Navy jets he destroyed during his career as an aviator. One on a training exercise, one on the deck of a carrier when a bomb accidentally dropped from his plane (a serious mess), the one he was shot down in, and another training jet he lost after he returned a hero from a POW camp. I think he was almost the first Communist fighter ace to run for the Presidency.

    • Well, only whites vote in midterms, and only whites are "real" Americans, so of course that was the real election.

      The problem with the logic of allying with Iran is that none of what we're fighting over right now is in any way as relevant as 1941. In their hearts, Americans know that this is not a struggle for survival - or they would be lining up around the block to enlist, or doing scrap metal drives, or demanding a return to FDR's wartime tax rates (94% marginal). All our wars since 1945 have been wars of colonial maintenance.

      So our choice is not between allying with Stalin or seeing Hitler obtain control over Europe & the USSR and all their decapitated colonies, half the planet, plus all the Nazi sympathizers multiplying in South America. It's allying with a Shiite state that its own people want to reform - an event that would discredit the Islamophobe narrative, versus sending in our own troops for the purpose of always being at war with Moslems.

      And you know the latter will not mean tax hikes on the rich, because the GOP has learned to use war to assault social programs for the poor; in fact even the benefits war used to bring to our poor like better wages and more political leverage. Wars of colonial maintenance are always the right size to not demand tax hikes on the rich, the only place left to obtain trillion $ plus increases in revenue.

      My question is what veto power will be exercised over us by Saudi Arabia, which must find both these alternatives as disgusting as we do. Maybe it's time for the Saudis themselves to stop pretending to be neutral in this war, and negotiate a practical regional settlement with Iran.

    • Using ISIS as an excuse to launch a war of aggression against its archenemy Iran makes as much sense as using al-Qaeda as an excuse to launch a war of aggression against its archenemy Saddam Hussein. So you're probably correct. Lather, rinse, repeat.

  • Can Big Oil "win ugly" in its "Endless War" on Climate Activists?
    • The goal is to stall until the costs of action are so high that Americans will simply default on their moral responsibility, and prepare to go to war with anyone who violently objects to being kicked off the lifeboat.

  • Can't We all Get Along? Sunni-Shi'a Commonalities
    • The problem is, the last great intra-Christian holy war was only 350 years ago - the Thirty Years' War. One-third of the population of Bavaria was destroyed, or so I've heard. And this happened when Europe was discovering "reason".

  • Ebola's not the First Racial Germ Panic: The Long History of Xenophobia and Scapegoating
    • This is about deeper subliminal narratives. The fantasy that a "black" disease will be imported via Mexico by Moslem suicide commandoes is really meant to train whites to fear blacks, Latinos and Moslems who are already citizens or legal residents all around them. This is essential to re-establishing the racial caste system. Recall that right-wingers erupted against the intrusiveness of airport searches ONLY because they had a simple alternative very appealing to white people: profile searching of only brown people. The message is that equality before the law is to blame for all the many, many things that older Americans fear.

      What angers me is the hypocrisy of Americans in greedily scarfing up the wealth of a globalized economy while demanding a wall around the country to keep out "parasites". They actually think that their salaries reflect their genuine value and not a giant pyramid scheme propped by dollar purchases by our desperate creditors and the labor of the global poor. What would they be paid doing the same work in most other countries?

  • The Pentagon wants to Surrender to Climate Change, not Fight It
    • Maybe the military is the only part of the oligarchy that can honestly profit from what all the parts secretly knew years ago. The rest, being capitalists, must find ways to profit from it without conceding that capitalism created the problem.

      Therefore, you should start checking what wealthy climate deniers, as opposed to their sycophantic mobs, are doing behind the scenes to ensure that they will rule the survivors in the manner of an episode of Game of Thrones.

  • Is ISIL's Ideology really Grounded in Saudi Textbooks?
    • On the other hand, why should the Saudis ever change their school indoctrination agenda if no one outside pressures them? I mean, Texas' extremism is just getting worse and worse because us liberals here lack the guts to punish our state with the only consequences its oligarchy cares about: disruption and economic losses. Until the foreign investors to whom America owes trillions take action against the capitalists who control the far-right movement, our lives will keep getting worse. Texas is teaching its children to accept a restoration of Jim Crow. That's an entire society based on terrorism. Once they succeed, we will be lucky to only have another all-out Civil War.

      It was cultural meddling to sanction South Africa too.

  • "Pilot Program" of Segregated Buses banning Palestinians in Israel
    • This is how Jim Crow will be reintroduced to America. Racist cops and laws deliberately provoking minority outrage and rioting, then the imposition of security acts based on racial profiling.

  • GOP Voter Suppression: Comedian Louis Black says F#%! it!
    • How can you not be aware that voter suppression laws are invariably written by Republicans to target people who are statistically likely to vote Democratic? If Democrats tried the same scam there would be war in the streets. You're not elevating the argument, you're intentionally diverting it to favor the GOP in the midterms - the party which doesn't need incumbents because it just keeps running whackos with demands going further and further into America's unjust past. Including the repeal of the 14th Amendment.

  • BDS Success: Israeli Firm Sodastream Leaves Palestinian West Bank after Boycott
  • Does Fox "News" cultivate Closed Minded "Right Wing Authoritarians"?
    • I think that the average conservative has core beliefs and prejudices that Fox and the right-wing movement appeal to, but in turn his emotional need to show his solidarity with that movement causes him to change his positions on various issues. I did an analysis of a 1980 Texas voters' survey in college and concluded that a lot of people supported Reagan even though their positions on the issues were very different from his. He looked more "American", a reassuring white Christian patriarch, so they had to vote for him. Then he and his sponsors went to work reversing their supporters' beliefs on long-settled matters like minimum wages, the Civil Rights Act, abortion, etc. The supporters complied over time. For instance, many conservatives were willing to consider global warming at least an issue that we make plans to deal with, until it was ordained a "Democrat" trick by their trusted patriarchs, and thus had to be attacked with kamikaze intensity.

      Now that we have a black president and a Democratic Party whose future is composed of non-whites, the fear of whites that they are losing their monopoly on power overwhelms any agreement they might have had with minorities on real issues. They must be on the other side of everything now, even the right of a white man to murder a black man for looking "threatening". Fox helps them to keep track of their constant Orwellian self-editing of their own convictions.

      Now, however, this process has reached the point where democracy itself is being maligned. Unless they face some tangible blowback, they will vote away their right to vote just to make sure we lose ours.

  • The end of National Sovereignty in the Middle East? Iraqi Kurdistan sends troops into Syria
    • National sovereignty is not just dying there. A recent poll shows secessionism growing in the USA:

      link to

      A substantial number of Americans will never accept sharing real power with people of other races, religions or gender orientations. And that implication that secession is necessary to protect "real" Americans is really the implication that the only real nation is a "pure" tribe; the rest of us are just conquered subcreatures fit only to serve.

      They, like their jihadi counterparts, are fighting to undo the Age of Reason. At least nationalism gave us a legitimate basis to evolve democracy. Without it, even the slender fantasy of equality between peoples goes down the toilet. The last time democracy failed, it took 2200 years to get it going again.

  • Why is this Man Smiling? Iranian Officials say Confidant of US Deal on Nuclear
    • Boy, this is not what the extremist Arab sheikhs had in mind when they bankrolled the jihadis in Syria to roll back the fictional Shia threat.

  • Reza Aslan, religion Ph.D. vs. Sam Harris
    • I have a theory about these cycles of seeming barbarism and civilization alternating between the Christian and Moslem world over the centuries. And it's pretty alarming.

      When the Christians were fending off the superior Islamic civilization of the Middle Ages, you could argue that the rational thing for Christians to do was surrender, since they'd likely have ended up with a higher standard of living. The superstition, bigotry and violence of the Catholic church rejected that rational argument and rallied ordinary Christians to the defense of their corrupt and incompetent elites. The Moslems, on the other hand, were confident about their march of progress, and could afford to have "liberal" things like law by precedent (which an Ottoman caliph terminated), universities, science, etc.

      Now you might see where this is going. After various blows reversed this struggle, the West began conquering the Islamic world, but at the same time gained confidence and optimism in human reason freed of the tyranny of the Church. Logic says that the conquered Moslems should have simply surrendered to, say, the attempted conversion of Algeria into a French province.

      But they didn't. They fought, and they are fighting, and the longer the fight goes on, the more the fighters look to a mythical past for inspiration, as Medieval Christians looked to Christian Rome as an inspiration. The more it's necessary to patrol the borders of thought and behavior to prevent defections, the more theocracy serves to rally and aggregate young warriors across artificial borders.

      If true, the cycle might not turn when the Moslems get better, but when us Christians get worse. Which I contend is already well under way. America is to the Christian capitalist world what Haroun al-Rashid's Baghdad was to the Islamic world, and it's already in economic and cultural decline in its heartland.

      Of course, a new civilizational player is entering the game in China, which has its own agendas for both sides and a vast pile of cash.

  • Is Baghdad next? ISIL takes Hit Base in Iraq, loots it for Weapons
    • The % of the local population that is not sick of decades of war must now be very small. That is worsened by having such wretched governments to fight for.

      But ISIS is not just getting recruits from the angriest of that %, disgruntled young men are pouring in from other places, encouraged by preachers who in turn are encouraged by kings and princes precisely to get these boys to go make trouble somewhere else. A few thousand shock troops a month to feed into the meat grinder probably goes a long way against demoralized opposition.

  • Cold as Hell: North Dakota Burns up the World with Fracked Oil
    • Writ large, welcome to the story of how right-wing sociopaths and religious fanatics took over Ann Richards' Texas in a few short years.

  • Top 5 Ways Lower oil Prices Could Change the World
    • Remember, Saudi Arabia, joined by Japan and later China, have been propping up the US $ by purchasing dollars with their export earnings for 40 years. Saudi Arabia uses its voting plurality in OPEC to maintain the US $ as the currency for all transactions. So we can't be sure what falling oil prices & a slowing Chinese economy would do to the dollar - the Saudi-Reagan engineered '86 crash preceded the '87 Wall Street crash and the recessionary Bush I era.

  • Why do Politicians spend $9 billion a year to Jail the Mentally Ill?
    • In America, it makes us feel more righteous to spend a billion to punish a category of bad person than to spend a million to reform him. "Righteous" is the illusion of being in control of one's environment by exerting brute force against it, it seems.

  • The Wider Appeal of ISIL and Sunni Grievances
    • Well, it's unwise to push local Sunni populations as long as elsewhere far-right Sunni aristocratic families control trillions of petrodollars to spend on radicals to prove that they deserve the thrones of their respective monarchies more than the current occupants, or those monarchs in turn are pressured to spend on radicals for the same reasons of credibility and to get their own young troublemakers to go fight somewhere else. The problem is not in the "unsuccessful" countries, but in the "successful" ones that we do not dare confront.

  • Iraq's Sole Yazidi Lawmaker Says 25,000 Girls Abducted By ISIL To Be Raped, Sold
    • Oil & gas riches - in the Middle East - are the reason it's profitable to simply exterminate people you don't like. The oil under their feet is more valuable than the wealth they could ever generate thru their labor. So you don't make your country poorer by throwing them overboard, and your kind keep it all for themselves.

  • Islamophobia: Is Sam Harris As Dangerous As Sarah Palin? (The Young Turks)
    • Also, isn't it amazing how a few rich extremists can rewrite the attitudes and history of their nations? Nowhere in this discussion is the effect of class mentioned. Both in the Arab world and in America, the rich made things worse for the masses, then scapegoated the Left and reaped huge benefits as egalitarian aspirations were reversed in favor of theocracy.

      The goal of the right-wing movement is to indoctrinate us to believe that secular improvement by democratic means is impossible, leaving only faith in the supernatural. I see now that this is not just an American thing. The global financial elite, led by Americans and Arabs, are foisting this learned helplessness on one continent after another.

    • There's not a single thing these bigots are saying that doesn't apply to the right-wing Christian movement in the USA. A hard core committed to violently seizing America and its weapons and dominating the world, a layer of "violence-condoning conservatives" called the Tea Party (or Promise Keepers or Oath Keepers or Moral Majority or Christians For Koch or whatever), and around them all the rest of the ordinary greedbag GOP who would vote for Satan himself to get a tax cut and make all the Negroes mysteriously disappear.

      For example. Those extremists murdering abortion providers in the '90s haven't paid any price or faced any backlash for their crimes, have they? Their hatred was mainstreamed into a "secular" Tea Party that quietly has made abortion impossible in many Red states. The terrrorists won. Their wealthy sponsors have studied the process and are preparing new targets to repeat it on, just as ISIS' sponsors in palaces in Dubai, etc, are preparing the next act.

  • Listening to Nobelist Malala Yousafzai instead of just Honoring Her
    • The game of international power goes on with us or without us. The problem is that most countries have natural limitations that force them to get involved, but limit how much they can do, which probably leads to a certain pragmatism across their political spectrums lacking in the USA where we think we can do, or not do, whatever we please. Socialists in West Germany looking at the gunbarrels of tens of thousands of Soviet tanks understood, defense good, nukes bad. Thus Sweden, having stayed out of the Cold War, still maintains a strong army to deal with all comers.

      But it all gets far too complicated when we know we're too big to play no role in global affairs, yet we're too ignorant to deal with any complex conflict overseas without blowing up stuff. We don't even have a real debate over what our self-imposed limitations should be because there is NO CONSTITUENCY for America to demote itself to simply being a Great Power state. Anyone who cares about the issue is either a total imperialist or a total pacifist, because they think such absurd positions have no negative consequences.

  • In Iraqi Classrooms, Sunni Muslim Extremists Ban Evolution, Patriotism And Literature
    • If you seriously want to study how much deeper the Christian fundamentalist plot to do exactly what you describe goes, you should research a Texan evangelist named R. J. Rushdoony. He's like a nexus for all the Dominionists and other right-wing factions in the '70s and '80s. His son-in-law Gary North is still a big figure in this movement today. Rushdoony also founded an important "libertarian" research institute named for Ludwig von Mises, helping to establish the ties between the Christians and libertarians that now bear fruit in the Tea Party.

      And yes, he was the one who started the talk about stoning sinners to death. But he had an entire theory of governance behind that, which seems to be the blueprint for what's happening.

  • Why Obama underestimated ISIL in Syria and Iraq
    • Marx called it "the commoditization of all relationships". It was only a matter of time.

    • He knows it was ill-gotten. In the past he mentioned Iran and other countries had grievances against the US and he got slagged for it by the GOP and the media, while all us on the "left" did nothing useful for him, like offset the Tea Party in the 2010 midterms. Politicians adapt to reward those who will help them stay in power, even if it's an America full of greedy lying cowards.

    • Well, it was really more of a second world country, i.e., Soviet Bloc. Which hasn't always made the masses happy either. And there was a large group of armed religious radicals, the Shia in the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution, who took Iran's side against Saddam Hussein and rebelled against him in 1991.

  • Michele Bachmann (R-MN) declares Christian Jihad on all Muslims
    • Some conservatives were willing to consider global warming as a concern 15 years ago. But the instant it was associated with liberals, the tribal mentality of the Right required it to be branded a nefarious lie. Because they're sure it will be blamed on free enterprise/private property, and if it is true that sacred private property can cause catastrophic harm, then what other harm might it be responsible for? Or even get sued or regulated for?

      They decided all that first, then embraced fake science to defend their property. They will defend their property to everyone's extinction because inequality is their only reason for being and they refuse to accept the possibility of a human race continuing without them.

    • The job of the fanatics is to rally the grass-roots deconstruction of modern America, eliminating unions, public schools, progressive churches, and the very idea of human equality out in the boondocks. One of Glenn Beck's movements-du-jour was called "We Surround You." If you know the story of the Serbian siege of Sarajevo, you know what is intended next.

    • You're defining "left-wing" completely differently than it is defined in any other democracy except maybe Colombia and Israel. The mainstream media consists of the view of unapologetically vicious plantation owners on one side and kinda guilty, wimpy plantation owners who want the peasants to kinda like them on the other side.

  • Can Iraq Convince its Sunnis to Fight Extremists?
    • Anything is better than dealing with how the entire Sunni Arab region will react to seeing a hundred thousand Iranian infantrymen marching their way to save the Shia majority and clean out ISIS - which otherwise would be the most logical solution.

  • Right Wing on Holder: al-Qaeda, Black Panther, Stalinist
    • If he'd done even one prosecution of a capitalist, I wonder how much louder - and from more respectable and powerful institutions - these smears would have been. We say the Left should have more of a say after the crimes of the Right, but the Further Right has us too cowed by its armed followers.

  • US strikes ISIL oil fields in Quest to Defund it: But will it Replace oil with Fracking?
    • Did you not read the article? 100,000 barrels a day is one-tenth of one % of world production. All Syrian production is trivial. This is about America covering its ass due to previous f***ups in places that were significant producers, and America helplessly getting screwed over by the most significant producers of all, the far-right Arab monarchies who bankroll extremism.

  • Apocalypse Now, Iraq Edition
    • Well, we could always go away and allow this to escalate into its inevitable outcome - an Islamic World War I between the Arab theo-monarchs and the Iranian bloc, with the trench lines dug all the way from the Turkish border to the Kuwaiti border. Maybe we could even profit from it. But I'm getting sick of people who proclaim that bad consequences from not getting involved are impossible, and should not be discussed and prepared for. Something that big eating up all the money and resources of countries that important will have consequences for our lives and I'd like to know what they are.

  • Student Debt Factories: The Scandal of For-Profit Colleges
    • Since the German system means making the verdict that some kids are "good enough" to track into white collar jobs and the rest only fit to be proles, it is important that the proles there have the leverage via labor unions and a Socialist party to keep their wages reasonably close to the bourgeoisie. We don't have that in America. Wealth is rapidly polarizing, schools are financed by local property taxes (property = wealth), and statistics show economic mobility is disappearing. So tracking would produce the same thing that the prison system does: only white bourgeois kids would be judged good enough for bourgeois jobs, and blacks, well, you know.

      So the problem is that we have to look at Europe as a positive example in a far more comprehensive fashion than is possible.

  • The Syrian Maelstrom: How Repression, Drought & Climate Change Drove the Civil War
    • You came to the wrong site with facts. The regulars here all think that Assad and Gadafi are saints.

      And if Arabs rebel against anti-American tyrants, then they're naive and childlike and have to be kept under strongman rule. But if they join ISIS, then they're justly reacting to American-funded injustice, so any genocides they commit are our fault. Or didn't really happen.

  • NYC Climate Demo: Top 5 Massive Rallies that had no Effect
    • And yet Nixon got the vote of 2 out of every 3 Americans in 1972.

      I have wondered if ordinary Americans hadn't already decided by '67 that Vietnam itself was a bad investment. (I'm certain the Army decided that by Feb '68 based on the death figures, before troops began voting on whether to fight) But they hung on grimly to avoid admitting defeat to a youth movement they feared far more than they did actual Communists. Crushing nonconformance was the real war they wanted Nixon to wage, and he did.

      And of course, those old bastards have been getting revenge on the left ever since.

  • How The Koch Brothers Corrupted Florida State University (+163 Other Colleges) (Young Turks)
    • The 1% is 99% white. There's no diversity in plutocracy that represents the rest of the human race.

      And the reason why the '29 Crash was inevitable was that the rich controlled every respectable institution and critiques like Keynesianism were kept out of our minds. What makes you think that today's ever-growing polarization of wealth will stop at some cozy diversity of views, instead of total mind control? Everything can be bought now.

  • The Arab Political Crisis: It isn't a Matter of Civilization and it isn't Unique
    • More support for your argument that other continents are not that far ahead of the Middle East:

      1. We forget that South America appeared to be a land of opportunity before the Great Depression; European and Japanese immigrants flocked there. In 1900 Argentina had the world's 5th highest GNP. Though much of this was ruined by Wall Street collaboration with local oligarchs, it means they had a big head start over the Middle East in building modern governments and economies.

      2. France, at times in the past the world's greatest military power and society, faced a Communist Party scheme to overthrow democracy in the late '40s, and a far-right insurgency after DeGaulle abandoned Algeria in the '60s. As late as 1968 Paris was in a protracted violent uprising.

      3. Except for the garrison state of Prussia, Germany was a fractious backwater for most of the 19th century. Well, we all know how that changed, with many ups and downs. (Ditto Japan.)

      4. According to the book "Late Victorian Holocausts" by Mike Davis, in the early 1800s China and India were still the biggest national economies in the world. China still had vast reserves of gold. Britain's evil opium racket ruined both countries. But we can say now that those countries are being restored to their natural eminence. Yet a few decades back they were regarded as basket cases. What they have that the Middle East lacks is a single state, economy and legal regime, like it or not, to pool their vast resources for various projects. As we know, powerful forces have prevented the creation of Prince Faisal's single Arab kingdom under one ideology after another, leaving kingdoms and republics illegitimate in the eyes of their own divided people.

      I wonder if the US had lost the Civil War and disintegrated into dozens of warring states, we'd be looked at today like some of these unfortunate lands. Strange that some at this site seem to think that would have made the world a better place.

    • Finland's Marshal Mannerheim was a dictator. There was a postwar understanding between the sides that made it and Austria neutral democracies. Hitler, by the way, exploited fascist movements in all the democracies to advance his conquests; these were not healthy democracies, especially France. You surely aren't going to claim moral equivalence there to Hungary 1956, Czechoslovakia 1968, etc?

      Democracy was dying out all over the world in 1939, and the Great Depression was the cause. The Marshall Plan created the economic conditions to stop the recurrence of the chaos that only aided fascists and communists. The brilliance of the Europeans was that they realized this UNPRECEDENTED prosperity must be fairly distributed via negotiation with the working class. But that was carried out under US hegemony. The Europeans saw the Marshall Plan as our New Deal taken to its necessary conclusion, social democracy, while our country failed and turned against the New Deal over time.

      Obviously, our hypocrisy towards Asian democracy was about racism. Compare our relationships with Tito and Ho Chi Minh.

Showing comments 1706 - 1701