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Total number of comments: 2430 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:37)


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  • Now is the time to remember Bernie Sanders: Can a new Political Center yet Emerge?
    • Remember, if the Democrats win the Senate, Sanders becomes Chairman of the Budget Committee. Then he's the monkeywrench in everyone's plans.

  • Can America's Middle Class make a Comeback?
    • I go to green technology sites and look up cheap housing technology all the time. You have to learn to sort out the serious efforts from the stuff with no economic grounding.

      But the main way you bring down the cost of living is by getting rid of car-centric sprawl. That means more young people moving to cities, reversing the path of their forefathers. Once you eliminate $50,000 three-ton pickup trucks in your life, and learn to drive fewer miles and use mass transit, you learn to walk again. And that yields health benefits. You also have a lot more entertainment options in the city, and some of them are free.

      But what we need is a way to keep housing supplies ahead of urban real estate speculation, and that requires a different model of land use. The one virtue of Houston's lack of zoning is that it is possible to create dual-use buildings on the European model, with stores in the bottom and apartments above. But only recently has Houston had the housing density to cause such buildings to exist, and it's being done more as a fashion statement in Downtown and Midtown than a necessity. If we could safely fold more forms of economic activity into residential spaces we might open up more of a city's total acreage to housing. However, to truly stay ahead of the developers' schemes to inflate prices, we might need floating housing complexes. Buckminster Fuller worked on this idea and claimed the Federal government was interested in his work as a means of low-income housing. Most of the world's supercities are on the sea.

  • "This Parrot is no More": The 2016 Presidential Election did not Take Place
    • Although right-wingers have in fact always been hypocrites about free markets, Trump has gathered around him all the factions on the right who are most willing to use governmental power to rig markets to favor White Christian men in all things. He talks airily about banning or expelling all sorts of people.

      So at the very least, it's not just that he threatens to abolish the EPA and all forms of environmental safety. He may even designate those who reject his "wisdom" and try to push ahead with private alternative energy as enemies of the American Way of Life and punish them. He's not using market-based arguments like right-wingers have used in the past to oppose government subsidies, he's using cultural arguments that "real" Americans are those who get their hands dirty doing manly things like digging for coal, and they are owed eternal fealty because the superiority of those fuels and the culture that grew around them are an eternal truth. He's implying that the people who support alternative energy are somehow alien because they see technology as being able to obsolete a social order that his cultists will kill to defend.

      But then that's true with lots of other issues. You can't argue policy with people looking for a real, live, bloody Kulturkampf. Stop looking at Trump's wildly-flailing policy statements. Look at his followers and ask the question, "Whom do they want him to exterminate?" Because they all know that the only thing Donald Trump is good at is destroying people.

    • That's like comparing the elections of Weimar Germany that left the German people so dissatisfied... with the election that gave the German people the Fuhrer they wanted and doomed them and hundreds of millions of others to destruction.

      Ultimately, Trump's ideology and bigotry is the fault of one political party in particular that chose to embrace that long ago to attract a certain kind of voter who was leaving the other party. The two-party system accurately reflects the division of Americans into those who want to bring back the inequalities of the past for some perceived self-advantage and those who oppose that or prefer to focus on other bases for governance.

    • This is the product of assuming that "consumer choice" is the basis for legitimate government, as opposed to an informed citizenry searching for secular causality for improvements in our society.

      There was a time when calling ordinary citizens "consumers" was subversive; it appeared with Ralph Nader and the movement to ensure safe products at the end of the '60s. But the idea was co-opted by the retailers. Instead of a consumer being a citizen demanding that the government perform investigatory and regulatory tasks that he could not practically do in an increasingly bewildering world of goodies, it became a celebration of the goodies.
      The idea that we could shop for belief goes back further, to the all-important decision to disestablish state churches and allow a "free market of ideas" in religion. But by the late 20th century this hardly seemed to have political implications. Until the Evangelical movement arose and made one's choice of faith a matter of political outcomes, as in the right to demand that schools teach a fake science financed by Evangelicals. This spilled out into more and more areas of politics, abetted by fake and front advocacy groups funded by a network with an agenda of removing secular democracy from our lives.

      The sum of these manipulations is the idea that a citizen is merely a pliable consumer of goods and faith, both controlled by right-wing oligarchs who themselves collaborate in every area of politics. The American heresy of this faith is the Gospel of Prosperity, where one pleads with God for wealth in exchange for overlooking the crimes of the wealthy. The choice of goods and the choice of "facts" thus merge into one act of submission to the Patriarchy of "entrepreneurs" from whom all earthly goods flow.

  • Is Modern Israel a Right Wing Project?
    • To me the interesting distinction between Hitler's attempt at totalitarianism (since no actual state has truly attained the totalitarian wish list) and Stalin's is that Hitler's state directed all its brutality at those defined as being "enemies without," while Stalin spent so much effort at destroying "enemies within." Hitler purged internal rivals by the hundreds, but defined his primary enemies literally out of the human race by the millions before planning their fate. That meant that an ordinary, obedient German could live pretty well and pretty freely until wartime privations closed in. Hitler feared their opinions, too; when he made his deal with the USSR, party members burned their cards in protest.

      That sense of tyranny defined by tribal status, of a conqueror tribe whose members live in relative freedom and prosperity and thus consent, should scare us, because that was the norm that underlay oppression and inequality in human societies for millenia before the rise of Communism. Even when white Western populations clawed some recognition of human rights out of their rulers, they had zero problem with conquering distant lands and imposing utterly different governance there.

  • Top 5 Ways Green Energy is already Helping American Workers
    • The problem here probably is one of entrenched power; a successful industry builds up its network of political puppets and propaganda groups over the decades, which it then uses to stave off rising new industries that haven't built up their own lobbies yet.
      It's striking that in the UK, the Tory bias in energy policy is towards both nuclear and offshore wind, meaning the industries that are most capital-intensive, while penalizing the cheaper onshore wind industry and ordinary citizens putting solar panels on their roofs. I bet I know where some of that capital is going.

    • Chinese nuclear plants: safe until earthquake.
      American fracking: safe until it causes earthquake.
      No one is looking out for your safety.

    • However, the coal % is falling rapidly.
      Also it is well known that a large number of EV car buyers up to this point are in states which have made more progress towards renewables. And that those buyers are unusually likely to buy solar panels for their homes. Why condemn electric cars as a national failure when products in real life are sold individually in a country with widely varying conditions?

      And to put it bluntly, as a last resort we the people can shut down the coal plants to save our world, but we probably lack the guts to shut down cars.

  • The Other Terrorism: White Nationalist Twitter Growing Faster Than ISIL
    • Well, if you don't want to be associated with that particular faction of White nationalists, do you have a useful suggestion for what you want them to be called instead? Because I think a genuine majority of White nationalists think that Blacks have not assimilated, and that they have contributed nothing of value to America. "Assimilation" seems to be an elastic term that stretches to cover many agendas.

      What hath supposed blues fan Lee Atwater wrought?

  • Florida: Politicians in Big Oil's Pocket Beware, The People want their Solar
    • Since these artificial penalties can only punish people who actually are connected to the grid, I guess more and more people will disconnect. Which will create a real crisis for the utilities that could have been avoided. Watch the price of battery storage systems and attempts by small groups of people to create microgrids.

  • The Great Mexican Wall Deception
    • The purpose of Trump's rhetoric was never really to make illegal aliens go away. This is all about the creeping fact that Whites are losing their majority in America, which drives all the other perceived affronts in the eyes of racists. The purpose was to pursue the process of delegitimizing the rights of all immigrants, and then the rights of those citizens perceived as not being "real" Americans.

      Now, the purpose for that might be preparatory to ethnic cleansing. But our history suggests that racists have no problem with non-Whites within their borders as long as the latter clearly have lesser rights, much lesser, as in the rights of caged animals. The trick is restoring the legal recognition that White people are categorically on top over all other citizens, stretching precedents under Common Law from a single victory like Voter ID, or a religious right to discriminate, or profile searches, or a right to kill based on "reasonable fear." Such efforts exist in dark corners of the far-right fringe... but they are no longer the fringe under Trump, are they?

  • It Could Happen To You: How Trump Could Make America Less Democratic
    • Race war. That's what is most damaging to democracy. Because there is no democratic road out of a race war. If those judged the "good guys" are the majority and win the war, they will bloc vote on every issue. Rigid factions that guarantee one will win every election and issue is not democracy. If they are instead the minority but still managed to win, they truly can't risk restoring democracy. And if the faction judged the "bad guys" wins, whether majority or minority, it likely will seek a final solution through elimination rather than the costly hassle of routine oppression. Increasingly, that seems to be what happens.

      If you can't believe race war can happen in America, you haven't been paying attention to Americans at all.

  • Sanders: Aetna's Obamacare threat shows what Corporate Control Looks Like
    • More importantly, how would they FIGHT to prevent single payer? We have just begun to see in the last 8 years how many tools capitalists have to threaten our society with civil war. It works. It wears down resistance among sensible officials with liberal leanings. Don't send the government on a fools' errand to impose socialism until you're personally prepared to go all the way to revolution, with the government or against it.

  • Trump and Extreme Vetting of Muslims
    • Obviously, a real terrorist infiltrator would just lie on the exam. The point of the exam is the assumption that the "culture" of the immigrants will create terrorists after they get here and refuse to assimilate.

    • We all know the game. There's only room for one brand of intolerant fundamentalism in a society; the one that's already established there. So those bigots are the only ones who don't have to take the exam. They can even demand that the language and laws be deformed to say it's not bigotry when they alone do it. "Equality" is the degree of inequality that existed in 1950s America, which conveniently excludes alien practices.

  • How labor's decline opened door to billionaire Trump as 'savior' of American workers
    • Well, there is a sequence of methods that Hitler used to create jobs for his followers. Since his economic theory was ultimately theft, it could only be a series of stopgaps. First order the firing of Jews and leftists and the handing of their jobs to his followers. Then round up the Jews and leftists and draft more of his followers to guard them in camps. Then begin an arms buildup and hire more followers to oversee the factories. Then use the arms to seize neighbors' resources, convert those into more arms and jobs. Then use the prisoners and conquered as slave labor to support more followers in combat. After that? Well, who cares, it's the end of the world.

      As Hunter Thompson said before his death, "Of COURSE political consultants study the methods of the 3rd Reich. They worked - for a while." We should consider the possibility that Trump's followers know his methods won't create jobs for workers in general, just jobs for themselves at the expense of those they consider beneath them. All that I've seen of them indicates that they genuinely want life to get worse for non-Whites, that this sadism is the point of their sense of well-being far more than creating more jobs for everyone. Maybe the media needs to ask them tougher questions about their real priorities.

    • The psychological study referenced in this story may explain a mystery that I keep running up against: why so many American men on the Internet, presumably White, are so psychotically threatened by alternative energy, as if the preservation of oil and coal had some greater significance than real costs. From the article's abstract:

      "Putting work on the cultural theory of risk together with work on motivated cognition in social psychology suggests that individuals selectively credit and dismiss asserted dangers in a manner supportive of their preferred form of social organization. This dynamic, it is hypothesized, drives the white male effect, which reflects the risk skepticism that hierarchical and individualistic white males display when activities integral to their cultural identities are challenged as harmful."

      In other words, having grown up in a world where oil and coal-based economics put White men on top, White men who prize being on top above all other values refuse to see oil and coal as being capable of causing harm. To them risk is anything that is "different", not "familiar but lethal", because the only real risk is any shakeup in the status quo hierarchy endangering their positions.

      Now if that shakeup has already happened, as in many industries, you've got men self-servingly filled with conviction that everyone is now in danger unless the world is forced back into a mold with their place on top baked in. They'll make up the craziest stories about the new order to fill that need to see danger. How else do we explain people convinced that solar cells must be dangerous to people around them based on the idea that they're sucking up energy? It's voodoo under another name.

  • Trump threatens Sec. Clinton with Gun Nuts, imitates Tinpot 3rd World Regimes
    • Or perhaps up to 40% of Americans have the gut feelings of evil, violent people. Why are you saying we should make excuses for them? Your argument fails because Romney was a businessman who had the advantage of being sane, and there are surely many, many people better than Romney who might have gotten the nomination, but instead these bastards went out of their way to get the most proudly destructive person they could see. This is not a gamble, this is a declaration of war by one group of American citizens on other groups that, in their heart, they want to crush, perhaps up to 100,000,000 of them. You say that's crazy. I say exactly. They want a madman to do their dirty work, to make the orders official that in their heart they've always wanted to follow.

      If they were what you claim, they would have nominated Ron Paul twenty years ago. Paul never gets more than 1% of the vote because they don't want LESS government, they want WHITE government.

    • Sir, you have ignored the track record of Trump personally appearing at rallies where his cultists rough up protesters who in no way represent the War Party or "big gun users". They invariably beat up men like the Black Lives Matter protester in Birmingham, Alabama. I call it unstable and going off the deep end, and they do it at the slightest provocation. But most of all, it is a clear signal as to whom these people believe they must silence in order to make America great again. Not the cops, not the military.

    • Yes, the world is always lecturing the Germans, "How could you not have united against Hitler," or the Italians, "How could you not have united against Mussolini." No one ever asks, "Well, how bad did their bourgeois democratic opponents have to be to inspire support for fascism?" No one even remembers who those opponents were today. Because there was nothing those opponents could be that was bad enough to justify the sadistic vindictiveness that empowered fascism and its amazing ability to create tragedies on a scale beyond the sad little countries that carried them out. We think we know how bad America is because of the Clintons. We haven't scratched the surface of what we're capable of doing to each other. Trump's people have got the itch bad.

    • That inflammatory speech has been pouring out of Ted Nugent and a growing number of office-seeking Republicans since 2008. "Second Amendment solutions", Sharron Angle, remember her?

      Note that Trump didn't say "gun owners", he said "Second Amendment people." Growing numbers of gun-rights proponents are outright saying that the purpose of the 2nd Amendment was to give the "people" the weapons needed to overthrow the government if necessary. That's not the same thing as gun owners, but then just as only certain types of Christian seem compelled to organize around a demand for theocratic law, only certain types of gun owner seem to be feel that they are one people, superior to other Americans, whose craving for weapons able to overthrow the government make them fitting to exercise power over the rest of us.

    • A lot of readers here do not understand the long-term patterns in far-right rhetoric. In the 1990s, some of these extremist hucksters were pushing the idea that Blacks were only "13th Amendment citizens", implying that a mistake had been made that could be corrected by that Constitutional Convention that they still demand based on terms that would likely involve insurrection. The more recent master narrative of the Right has been to use hatred of immigrants to keep worming away on every legal front to establish a special right to discriminate: from racial profiling at airports, to police rights to regard Blacks as special threats (thus negating the militia movement's claim to support gun rights for all), to Christian rights to discriminate against LGBT persons for damn near anything. The goal is to restore the legal tradition of special rights that in practice can only be utilized by White Christian conservatives.

      Only a naive person can fail to see the connection between these schemes and the demographic decline of the schemers. Their rhetoric all aims to establish the idea that America is a Republic, not a Democracy. Meaning, it is the property of only certain kinds of people, those who look like the ones who owned it 200 years ago, White Christian property owners who were organized into militias. Small government is easy when it only represents one kind of human, who then are left free to hold their lessers at gunpoint.

      The political line that Trump has taken wanders around on many matters - but when it comes to who qualifies as "real" Americans, it inexorably narrows. Trump and his personality cult are vague about many things, but they know exactly whom to beat up at his rallies. The question of whom his supporters will allow to fully participate in our society becomes far more critical when guns are brought into the equation.

  • A Sucker is born Every Minute: Our Election From Hell
    • The big thing you're failing to see, Mr. Engelhardt, is that the sense of threat is no longer really from abroad. Our people are forming into factions, the kind that form before a civil war. One side is becoming a minority and is assembling the rhetoric to talk itself into the gamble of destroying the government to impose a restored order of tribal patriarchy that can never be amended. The other side is simply everyone else, good guys and bad guys, the entire range of what is normally found in hegemonic liberal capitalism. Yet to use the language of civil war is bad P.R., so it hides behind all the other issues of sovereign rights of force from police shootings to our superpower military.

      The factionalism will turn to eliminationism, and history says that in democracies, the Right usually lands its blow first.

  • The Decay of American Politics: Pseudo-Election 2016
    • If Clinton threatened to personally barge into the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem to berate Moslems, would you call that proof she is a proven and deadly war hawk? Yet Trump ACTUALLY DID THAT. Last year, his threat to visit so scared the psychotic Netanyahu regime that it had to talk him into canceling. Even it was afraid of what Trump might unleash with nothing more than his big mouth and tiny fingers and infinite hatred of anyone who gets in his way.

      I've been going through responses like yours to figure out the antiwar "left's" insane blindness to Trump's outright insanity. And all I can figure is, you hate the American government and everyone who's been in it. So Trump is automatically judged innocent, because he's never held a damn elected position in his life. What should disqualify him a hundred times over for the Presidency is a virtue in your eyes. You don't want to vote for someone to run the Federal government, you want to vote for someone who will magically destroy it, while your hands stay clean of the fallout. You probably call yourself an anti-Zionist, but by your reckoning Kahane and the other settler extremists are less bad than Netanyahu because they never held the executive power to commit mass killings of Palestinians. But that's bullshit, because they laid the groundwork for the conversion of Israeli Jews into a tribe of racists heavily in favor of Netanyahu's Apartheid state. Trump is playing that role in America today against all minorities. The great evil in the world today is not big government, but the forces both elite and popular grabbing at the reins of power to restore a zombie parody of our very bloody past. That sort of megalomania will not obey your simplistic notions of who is isolationist and who is interventionist.

    • We're poking into a deeper crisis here about America's role as a global status-quo power at the very moment when Americans are all feeling that under the status quo they've been cheated by other Americans or other countries out of the lifestyle to which they've become indoctrinated.

      Now you see how that works against establishment Democrats. It seems that people who have violently different grievances against the status quo can form ad hoc alliances to overthrow it, like when the Nazis and Communists destabilized the Weimar Republic each confident that they would prevail in the deluge. The hardest, least glamorous political space to occupy is that of someone who recognizes that huge changes must be carried out using the very same institutions that have suppressed those changes. The greatest practitioners of such politics in America were Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt, who in effect were gifted existential threats and the ground troops to carry out change in places where the Federal government had no past power. Each could play good cop to extort reforms from a weakened oligarch class while pointing to a very real and dangerous bad cop. Each drew on tremendous good will from a loyal public in having to experiment with radical changes, and fail, and try again.

      I'm not sure that country exists anymore. Once we succeeded the British Empire as the world's status quo power in 1945, the clock started ticking on our own sense of self-entitlement. It also started ticking on the inevitable bureaucratization of the New Deal agenda, such that Big Government can now be blamed for things that it couldn't be blamed for in 1929, even if they're the same things. This puts the defenders of liberal capitalism in an awful corner. Reagan began a 35 year demolition of such defenders by creating a nostalgia for a mythical hybrid of past tribalist America and imperialist Britain, obviating the need to invest in our workers and minorities. That cut off the funds from taxing the rich needed to pay for liberal programs. Those tax savings were used by the rich to buy further extremist indoctrination in every media. But it also meant the country chained itself to the global crimes of the rich as its only means of economic growth.

      And Democrats have caved in and adopted all that as part of the cynically-revised status quo: we now have all the financial instability of the Gilded Age plus a hated Big Government that weakens the credibility of socialist solutions. This unstable giant can now justify all the wrong acts in the name of getting past each little obstacle because now all of them are existential crises. But the giantism itself is the one obstacle that's a taboo subject.

      This is what people want blown up, for an infinitude of selfish reasons. They sense it's all going to blow anyway but they want it on their favorable terms, like the Roman landowners yanking out the last supports for their civilization because they think their little fiefdoms will come out ahead on taxes. How many died from this?

      This is why it's very difficult for a declining status-quo empire to dismantle itself without collapsing. The Democrats of today are not up to the task, including Sanders. The Republicans, God help us, are cheering for the explosion and arming to butcher the survivors.

  • Donald "Dr. Strangelove" Trump and some of the Times We almost had a Nuclear War
    • The antiwar libertarians and the Trump cult operate on basically the same premise: White Christian Americans are economically superior to all other races but evil Big Government and racially-contaminated democracy get in the way of their asserting their natural supremacy at home and abroad. Look up some of Ron Paul's newsletter smears against African-Americans in the past. Paul is now a Republican because his supporters from 1980s libertarianism are now Republicans, and God knows how many are now Trumpists. Gary Johnson is running as a sort of goulash of libertarian and Reagan Republican, but as Chomsky would likely point out Reagan's aggression was the reality of the capitalist need for eternal expansion, not the isolationist bubble that the Libertarians and Trumpists dream about. Shut down internationalism and you must completely restructure the US economy in ways no free-market absolutist could tolerate.

    • It would appear that some American "leftists" have so thoroughly refused to accept any responsibility for their own failure in getting working-class Whites to adopt socialism, that they are now being seduced by the idea of helping Trump win in the hope that he will destroy the evil American empire and the Federal government from within.

      Those of us Americans who are harmed by his cruelty, racism, and vindictiveness will not forgot who betrayed us when we crawl out of the ashes.

    • Trump asked three times about getting to use nuclear weapons because he really wants to annihilate his enemies. Which he relentlessly demonstrates with his open hatred of America's minorities.

    • How many will die in the race war that Trump's followers hunger to launch to "Take our (White) country back"? The one I'm willing to fight against, right here in your own streets with the most powerful weapons I can obtain? I guess American minorities are too patriotic and supportive of American imperialism and the evil Federal government, which must be destroyed. Tell us to stand down when the rednecks come marching down our streets, Mr. Williams, in the name of world peace. I dare you.

    • Page: 24
    • You are perfectly describing the difference between Lyndon Johnson and Barry Goldwater. Goldwater wanted to replace our aggression in Vietnam with a nuclear genocide. Which of those two alternative worlds would you rather be living in now?

    • It is exactly the people who are new to politics who think there are simple solutions to complex problems. The atomic bomb is the simplest solution of all. To say nothing of a Final Solution.

  • Dear Trumpists: Khizr Khan is not 'Muslim Brotherhood' and it wouldn't matter if he Were
    • This is the reason that I find incomprehensible the attitude of many on this site that Trump is an isolationist who will be good for peace. What is the track record for White supremacists in peaceful co-existence with other peoples?

  • 6 Signs the Big Global Switch to Solar has already Begun
    • Even molten salt is old technology. In just the last year, there's been an explosion of activity in using giant stacks of lithium-ion batteries for electricity storage at every scale from homes to major utility projects. Not because they're particularly well-suited for the role, but because the sheer staggering increase in their worldwide production has caused their price to collapse to levels comparable to lead-acid batteries. A further collapse will be possible as batteries used in electric cars are removed because they have aged to the point where their capacity has fallen to only 70-80% of specification, yet are still capable of use for stationary power storage. This may be why automakers Tesla, Mercedes and Nissan have all announced home electricity storage ventures.

      So it isn't that Prof. Cole is being churlish, it is that developments in this field are so rapid that it is hard to convey their larger implications. For instance, we are now seeing solar farms signing contracts with utility companies to provide electricity at unsubsidized rates competitive with natural gas and coal; we've seen 5 to 6 cents/kwh in Nevada and Austin, Texas, and 3 cents in Dubai. This leaves more money to pay for storage.

      Yet few Americans know that this is happening. They live in a myth world where coal, natural gas and nuclear must always be king because they were told so as children, and stubbornly resist seeking out any new information.

  • Donald Trump Knows Nothing About Muslims
    • By your standard, Hitler in 1933 was innocent and less of a criminal than, say, Hillary Clinton. He'd never started a war against anybody, nor did he say he would invade Poland or kill six million Jews, nor was he yet a tool of the German MIC or bankers. Yet we keep decrying the Germans of that time for failing to see his obvious "danger" and uniting against him in favor of the Establishment candidates who could actually win as opposed to obscure fruitcakes who think vaccines are a giant conspiracy. Can you explain this discrepancy to me?

    • Trump tried to travel to Jerusalem last year with an avowed goal to personally storm the Al-Aqsa Mosque in support of, well, anyone who's not Moslem. He was so provocative that even the grotesque Zionist Netanyahu regime pressured him into staying away.

      link to

      For decades foreign policy nerds have warned that such an incident could be the flash point for a new Middle Eastern war. So would you okay Trump to be Secretary of State and see what he could do with the resources of that office, seeing how far he's willing to go with nothing more than his own foul mouth?

    • Trump personally egged on a mob of White supporters in Birmingham, Alabama to beat up a Black protester. What the Hell more proof do you need of how much personal pleasure he takes in racist acts?

      I love how Trump is innocent of all things by virtue of having never held any government office whatsoever. By that standard, Charles Manson would have been a better president for Black people than Clinton, since he never happened to murder any despite being an avowed racist. Same for Dylann Roof, Cliven Bundy, Tom Metzger, Tim McVeigh, or any of the hosts at Fox News. "Oh, they all did less harm to Black folks than Hillary!"

      Furthermore, since all people with Federal experience are mass murderers by the judgment of the anti-Clinton crowd, all of the great defenders of Southern segregation would have been better presidents than those warmongering liberal Democrats because not one of them ever got to sit in the White House and show what they were capable of. George Wallace? Faubus? Thurmond? Maddox? All of them must be less racist and warlike than Hillary Clinton, or for that matter Lyndon Johnson.

      Have I gotten the point across how ridiculous it is to make Trump out to be a better man just because he has not yet proven his obvious and obscene monstrousness in office because he was too contemptuous of public service to run for lesser offices beforehand?

  • Are the Muslim Khans better Americans than Donald Trump?
    • So the Kahns are just animals who deserve to be ethnically cleansed by "real" Americans like yourself, right? How about 100,000,000 American citizens who you call "rats"?
      Why don't you just admit that everyone different than yourself is just a ni**er in your eyes, including myself?

  • When Dems ditched Workers for Professionals, they opened Door for Trump
    • It is forgotten that the first great wave of outsourcing was from the North to the South. The Southern workers have already been betrayed by their jobs moving further south to Mexico, and Mexican workers in turn have been betrayed by their jobs moving to China. This keeps happening until the capitalists run up against the last cheap labor pool they can utilize and it then turns to unions to reverse the process.

    • Thank you for recalling the first chapter of this sad story, which current critics of the Democrats conveniently forget. The anti-war movement had no problem hating unionized workers when the latter hated them violently.

      The rift that Frank describes exploded out into the open at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. The irony is that the respectable, well-paid hardhats who bashed dirty hippies got screwed by automation and globalization, and a portion of the dirty hippies got into the new feel-good lifestyle industries that arose on the ruins, cleaned themselves up and became the new defenders of liberal capitalism and enemies of the working class. Only to find they've embraced a free market that keeps creating too many poor people. But conversely, that White working class refused at every step to embrace the reality that their successors would be people of color, and branded the latter as categorically "lazy" even as they took their own jobs. It was a racist betrayal within the working class. Which is why the very term "Working Class" is now contaminated by racism such that now a new wave of leftists can express sympathy for White racists as an excuse for Trump while ignoring what will happen to the real, non-White, working class under Trump and his tribalist army.

      They needed each other all along, and they've sabotaged each other all along, and here we are.

  • The most Left Wing Supreme Court in a Generation? Sec. Clinton's most important Progressive Prospect
    • I'm beginning to think Clinton should have made Sanders the VP pick just to shut up his hardcore supporters. Although I wanted him to beat Clinton, my only concern now is to stop the enshrining of a White supremacist cult. I personally think the VP slot under normal presidents (instead of morons like W and Trump) is meaningless, but then meaningless gestures are what that particular group of Sanders supporters is all about.

  • Arab Street Shocked as Saudi Delegation Visits Israel
    • Now, combine this news with the release of the 28 pages hidden from the 9/11 report, and see if anyone realizes that America has no true friends in the Middle East. Prince Bandar, once nicknamed "Bandar Bush" for his ties to the a certain family, had his fingerprints all over a network supporting two of the hijackers in San Diego.

    • Your first two sentences needs to be sent to everyone in America so that they can understand the impossible position the increasingly Zionist US put Saudi Arabia in, and why the Saudis have to "prove" their devoutness by supporting terrorism against somebody. Which in turn has put the US into an impossible position of looking the other way. Monarchs derive their consent from God or His spokesmen, not the citizenry.

    • 200+ Israeli nuclear weapons = hegemony already settled.
      Israel covering it up and claiming an Iranian "threat" = needing an excuse to drive more Palestinians off their land.

    • The US made Israel and the Kingdom the suzerains of the Middle East. What united them? They all worship the one God: money.
      However, I don't doubt those two countries would betray and destroy each other in an instant. Richard Clarke claimed in his book that in the mid 1980s his office caught the Saudis building a perfect replica of a Chinese ballistic missile base in the remote desert, presumably with nuclear warheads and missiles being imported from China. Reagan dealt with it somehow. There was no need for Saudi to point nuclear missiles at Iran, the US had that covered. The target had to be Israel, and it had to be unveiled as a fait accompli so the US couldn't stop it.

  • Lieberman: Palestinian National Poet Mahmoud Darwish's Verse is ‘Mein Kampf’
    • As for Minister Lieberman comparing dissenters to Nazis, he's the one issuing Special Identification for a conquered race, forever. Would he object to a crescent and moon sewn on one's clothing?

      To use Minister Regev's own logic, Darwish was not an Israeli, therefore he must be the citizen of some country. Can Israel tell us where that country is, besides under the boots of Israeli occupiers?

  • Islamophobia Kills: German Munich shooter admired Breivik, Killed Turks
    • I'm really getting sick of my fellow Sanders supporters, anti-war people and other anti-Clinton factions claiming that Trump's supporters are motivated primarily by justified anger about free trade, when I see them spending all their time screaming for something horrible to be done to all Moslems "just 'cause." If they wanted economic justice, they would have all registered as Democrats to vote for Sanders in the primaries. They wanted the party that would create no barriers to collective punishment of Moslems in the USA. And then they would build on that legal precedent to attack other ethnicities. "First they came for the Moslems..."

  • Top 6 Graphs that Refute Donald Trump's Lies about the United States
    • When Trump is gone, his ability to extract maximum votes for minimum expenditure via cheap, cheap hatred will not be forgotten. It will be exploited again and again by younger, more charming sociopaths until the country explodes.

    • How would you feel having the war right here in the Black and Latino neighborhoods of your fellow citizens? Death squads aren't just an Iraqi or Syrian civil war feature. And we have 80,000,000 potential victims.

      When it happens, we won't forget you looked for excuses.

    • The money in that business is all in fear.
      And fear turns you against those below you in the hierarchy before it turns you against your trusted masters.

    • Maybe that's because the German police aren't felling 1000 civilians a year... at least not since the fall of Hitler.

  • Mike Pence on the “American Heartland” and the Holy Land
    • Oh no, Pence is one of those too.

      You've all probably read the story about how Trump's son Junior interviewed a representative of John Kasich to offer him the Vice-President slot. He told Gov. Kaisch's man that his father intended for his Vice-President to be the most powerful one in history, running both domestic and foreign policy.

      Sheldon Adelson paid the down payment on the Pence deal, and now perhaps the Koch Brothers get back on board to pay his balance. They paid for Pence to be the man who will run foreign and domestic policy.

  • Secret Service Investigating Trump Advisor who Wants Hillary Clinton Shot for Treason
    • As opposed to, say, Dick Cheney exposing one of his own CIA agents in order to punish her husband for refusing to manufacture consent for his WMD lies.

  • Rep. Steve King, White People and 'Civilization'
    • Mr. Hayes should have asked Gauleiter King these simple questions:
      "So do you believe that this makes Whites superior to other 'subgroups'?"
      "So do you believe that Whites are a Master race?"
      Because there's no point in deriding "contributions" to civilization unless you are making a claim on who deserves what today. The White side is arguing a superiority that is relentless in its demands, always demanding more and more, and in modern history once resistance to it fails, the roads all lead to slave plantations and ghettoes and death camps. I dare any damned right-winger to explain where a "moderate" White supremacy existed in practice.

      Meanwhile, we are all letting the GOP off the hook for Charles Pierce's noticing that its delegates this year were 99 percent non-Black, probably the highest percentage in its entire history. You know, like the 1-percenters who own everything.

    • No, because if people choose to belong to a faction and kill for it and oppress others for it, instead of recognizing legal equality, then it's real. It's as real as the Nazi Party or ISIS or the Khmer Rouge. The problem is that these particular factionalists believe a mythical origin story. Stop trying to impose moral equivalence on America's lopsided history of injustice.

    • The old also send the young to die in wars for the former's profit.

  • Turkish People Power foils attempted Coup
    • I was appalled at the number of commenters at Daily Kos supporting the coup in the hours before it collapsed.
      Then suddenly they were all saying it was a conspiracy by Erdogan to destroy his enemies. Nobody remembers the days when it seemed 90% of all coups established bloody dictatorships.
      That's what we're down to in America now. Imagine how much worse it is on the Right.

  • Nice, France, Attack: A Gandhian Response to Serial Killers
    • I think you're close to an insight as to the problem. The Marshall Plan, I believe, was meant to solve the problem of profitable imperialism by industrialized countries unable to make a peaceful living through trade. I say this because FDR's people also pushed free trade and fixed exchange rates and the revision of the International Law of military occupation. The idea of all of these is that a country poor in resources but rich in skills should always have a decent chance to export goods rather than wage war. Of course that perfect described Germany and Japan and their situation during the Depression. The Marshall Plan made great sense there and in the other destroyed industrial states.

      But does it work in a country where the oil under the citizens' feet is worth far more than the citizens? The rich and the government both will treat that oil as having more rights than the people. It's not that anything is wrong with the culture, it's that the oil will constrain the ability of that culture to adapt and the rulers don't give a damn.

    • The greatest crimes of any capitalist empire in terms of the number of people enslaved and killed would have to be those of the East India Company of Britain.

  • After Yawning Racial Divide exposed in US, Peaceful Protests Continue
    • The belief of White conservatives that they can "win" a race war needs to be challenged by making the bastards explain what their outcome would look like. Apartheid/Jim Crow? Slavery restored? If you haven't been able to break Black people after 350 years, what exactly is your new plan? Or are you going to claim that there was some point in the past where you HAD Blacks all nice and broken and then the liberals ruined everything? Yeah, give me a date and I will prove that at that time Whites were still committing horrible crimes against Blacks because they weren't sufficiently supine. Tell me that you only want Black "assimilation"? Who the Hell gets to vote on the meaning of that word? Obviously not Blacks, since you're doing everything you can to take away their right to vote.

      I've known most of my life that these bullies will never be satisfied, whether they now understand it or not, until Blacks are back in chains picking cotton - or exterminated. They will always be under a compulsion to find an objection to anything less, and they will always use the same damn myths to demand further degradation and exploitation. I can tell because there is a rage and fear in their eyes that can't be satisfied as long as any people different from themselves have the tiniest amount of power at all. I can tell because they spend all their time praising their ancestors and excusing their crimes and trying to weasel their way to getting back the monopoly on power those barbarians possessed and flat-out lying about the relationship between the "rights" they possessed and those crimes.

      America is an artificial society whose founding oligarchs created two artificial and unequal races out of the people they had under their control, like the Stanford Prison Experiment with its designated guards and prisoners. We are dealing with the "culture", "traditions", and "birthrights" of a concocted society of prison guards, and treating it as though it has some deep historical legitimacy. Well, cannibalism actually has deep historical legitimacy but I don't think it's legal under any government.

    • Nope. Just killer robots.

  • Is Iran winning their Mideast Cold War with Saudi Arabia?
    • The re-entry of Russia into the Middle East changes everything. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization will admit Iran as a member, and that will affect where China decides is the part of the region that has a future. Logically, China is looking beyond simple resource extraction to building new sweatshops that will progress into real regional production of Chinese brands. Saudis will not lower themselves to work in sweatshops. And pipelines from Iran to China can be fully located in SCO territory, but pipelines from Saudi Arabia can't.

      The poorer Sunni states are letting the Saudis lead them into barbaric Medievalism, without the imported luxury goods.

  • Kurdish Women Fighting ISIL Send Solidarity to BlackLivesMatter
  • Does Donald Trump win even if he loses?
    • We now know that the average Trump supporter is slightly more affluent than the average Sanders supporter. If Trump had deliberately built his campaign and his rhetoric around small donors, especially after it became clear that he would need money after the nomination more than before, he'd be looking at a hundred or two hundred million extra with which he could go after that 20% or so of the population that's willing to be tilted. Instead, he let the impression grow that because he's a winner and a billionaire (instead of a populist), his supporters could just join him on his giant grift bandwagon without giving him, say, $50 each. It was very much an infomercial mentality, as opposed to Sanders' sermonizing on popular participation in governance which struck a chord and opened wallets.

  • 8,124 Murders by Firearm in US vs. 29 (144 equiv.) in UK
    • We may be at the crisis point, where the authorities must decide whether to negotiate with our urban population or enter a state of permanent military occupation. They know they can't afford to keep paying blood money in lawsuits by the families of those slain by the police. But the police unions and Republicans will demand war.

      I think we need to consider a clean sheet in governance. The cities need to be restructured around greater participation in democracy. That must start with the police forces. We need forces that answer to the neighborhoods they threaten, not to the property-owning elite who control the major businesses. Since surveillance technology can no longer be banned with so much of it available to the public, the public must become part of the act of surveillance; what is to be done with the data collected must be discussed and adjudicated in public. Neighborhoods must be rewarded for policing themselves. Police can no longer reward themselves by seizing property of the convicted, or even the accused. The neighborhood should get all the money confiscated from the gangs it turned in to the law. And the emphasis of police should be deterring the ordinary everyday killings, mostly of people by their own friends and relatives, not spending disproportionate resources on media-hot anomalies like serial killers and terrorists.

  • What Would Trump Fascism Look Like? Eight Most Likely Traits
    • Americans define fascism too vaguely. People on the Left like to say it's simply the fusion of government and corporate power. But that describes every conservative government back to the East India Company. People on the Right want to hoodwink everyone into believing that fascism is just any big government that doesn't bow down to the Patriarchy.

      A useful definition must be able to say what right-wingers in history did that made them definable as fascist as opposed to normal capitalist lackeys. That zeroes in on the conditions of the Interwar era. Fascist movements were always anti-communist in intent. But they also defined a right-wing populist critique of capitalism very different than the Left's.

      1. This was not a critique of the level of inequality under capitalism, but its allocation. Fascism is an ANTI-EQUALITY movement. But it wants inequality designated by cultural agendas, meaning that market competition must be rigged so that "our kind" always ends up on top.
      2. This is implicitly a nostalgic grope at pre-market private property classism - which in Europe meant feudal aristocracy, but in America is obfuscated by our denial about our own history of inequality.

      But then, does that make the Confederate States of America fascist? No, because at that time aristocracy and racial casteism was already in place; it seemed merely a matter of seceding to defend it.

      So I argue that far-right populism happens only when a country is so industrialized and marketized that the traditional hierarchy is seen as something not to be preserved, but to be restored.

      But neither existing feudalism or nostalgia for feudalism is enough. One is an entire class, the other is a general feeling in the population. Part of the nostalgia is for the illusion of decentralization and personal relationships with local oligarchs. When it appears that traditional culture can't be restored except by a mass organized radical overthrow and transformation of a society "contaminated" by liberal democratic capitalism, the transformation to fascism begins.

      Before last year, it was my position that the Republican Party was not yet fascist in platform, because it had not yet given up on the idea of restoring aristocratic tribalism by simply turning back all legal clocks to 1900. This meant a return to rule by the American version of aristocracy, each county ruled by a big landowner or factory owner working with Protestant clergy, media owners and the police. The militias, the neo-Confederates, the libertarians and the Christian Right were close enough together in their versions of this that they could work together in the Republican Party.

      And this made sense, because all these pigs would have to share their monopoly on power with each other. That's oligarchic rule. The problem is, they promised their rank & file that the ongoing process of implementing this would benefit them too. And it's not working that way at all.

      That is the fascist moment. A populist nostalgia so desperate that it demands a national savior who will ruthlessly eliminate our modern civilization that is blamed for protecting the enemy, and then eliminate the enemy, and then redistribute the rewards from that to the entire loyal tribe.

      That is Trump's moment, if he's ready to seize it.

  • Is the Mideast disintegrating or just being Auctioned Off?
    • In the '80s when I took political science courses in college, we learned about "pluralist stagnation", where the established factions of liberal capitalism paralyzed society by preventing its rivals from taking the country in any direction at all. So the rich helped the likes of Thatcher and Reagan break the paralysis by crippling all the non-rich factions, and society moved in a direction all right, neo-Victorian boom-bust cycles.
      Now pluralist stagnation is back with guns and bombs and the demagogues who can threaten to deploy them.

  • US Elites Abandoned their Workers: Trump is their Revenge; & You ain't seen Nothin' Yet
    • I'm a bit surprised that a writer from an aggressively anti-military site like Tomdispatch failed to grasp the lack of real commitment to free markets in "America B". Like those who turned to fascism, the patriots are hooked on a fantasy in which private property designates "real Americans" - rural Whites who can afford land - but not "Jewish" capitalism. They want a militarized state capitalist economy. Since we already have one, they want it expanded to serve as the White man's welfare state. Our counterparts of I. G. Farben and Krupp get guaranteed tax dollars forever, and all the economically useless rednecks on the bottom join the military, do their time and then the most ruthless graduate to private mercenary companies to be processed into a sort of knighthood, a minor nobility with real wealth and influence over their decaying communities.

      Social Security, Medicare and veterans benefits, in their view, are not government programs (which just means Ni**er money) but sacred tribal obligations. Which conveniently cover their population but not the groups they hate. The groveling cult of "our Heroes" and "1st responders" is really self-worship working its way into position to make uniforms into caste birthrights.

      Which is why these folks are not going to be peaceful isolationists.

    • This article indicates that while both the groups you describe exist in the Red Zones, the poorer ones facing real hardship are not actually voting in elections. Their immediate supervisors and slightly better off neighbors, the corporals of capitalism, are the engine of Trump's power, and an overlapping subset of perhaps somewhat better off henchmen form the Tea Party. And those guys vote like crazy.

      link to

      The only solution, I suspect, is an intentional massive project to get those poor Whites, Blacks and Latinos to defect from Red State caste tyranny into new jobs and affordable housing in the cities, leaving the Right without its needed peons for its deflationary economic dogmas. But you're right that no party today is willing to undertake such a project. We have the technologies to radically transform our cities, crowdfunding, 3D printing/CNC, high-density agriculture, and alternative energy; this will require workers who have a guaranteed stake in the outcome. Money creation would have to be cut off from real estate based debt, which only makes urban housing more expensive, and relocated to productive debt.
      Well, maybe the Chinese will see it that way when they take over our financial system.

  • Did Trump-Style Islamophobia break up the European Union?
    • Normally I would be more sympathetic to your view. However, having this happen at this moment is alarming for two reasons:

      1. it fits into a pattern of immigrant-bashing xenophobia that is sweeping the Caucasian world, and thus it emboldens Trump's supporters to overlook the fantastic incompetence and financial corruption of his campaign (and his entire life) to imagine that they themselves are the ones seizing power over what matters in America.

      2. Kill the Kennedys - America moves to the right.
      Kill Rabin - Israel moves to the right.
      Kill Jo Cox - Britain moves to the right.
      Killing liberal politicians is fun and profitable and free of consequence. The people I described above will pretend not to advocate violence. That's as bull**** as Operation Rescue claiming it wasn't tied to anti-abortion terrorists. When they see they can get away with it, they run with it.

    • The solution to that is not to secede into deeper tribalism, it's to join forces with the poor of other tribes and demand class justice. Small, self-imagined "homogeneous" nations like Germany and Japan are the vector for the fascist plague. The entire history of America capitalism is the success of its 350-year experiment in getting poor Whites to hate poor Blacks.

    • When these kind of movements march to power, it doesn't matter if it's one ethnic group or another that they're scapegoating at the moment. Eventually they will attack everyone. First they came for the Communists...

  • Britain votes to leave the EU, what happens next?
    • Yes, and we will soon see if a Trumpized Tory Party or one in cynical Netanyahu-Lieberman style coalition with the UKIP is genuinely more peaceful than the previous neoliberal Britain, or if glorification of soldiers, violence, and xenophobia leads to what it always leads. First big drama: do you really think a bunch of racists who get marching orders from tabloids will let Scotland go peacefully? I can't imagine anything that would help Murdoch sell more papers than an invasion of Scotland.

  • Occupy Congress? House Democrats Stage Sit-In to Force Vote on Gun Control
    • One would have to be that old to remember a time when it seemed possible by moderate reforms to create a peaceful, prosperous and just American society.

  • $206 Mn. to Hate Groups to Promote anti-Muslim Sentiment
    • Yes. Actual Jewish-Americans, concentrated in non-Red States, rarely support these anti-Islam bills. Any poll numbers that prove this would be useful to throw back in the face of Red State Christians claiming their Final Solutions are justified by Islamic anti-Semitism and are no threat to "good" religions.

      link to

    • You shouldn't underestimate how much of this is American Christians seizing the opportunity to demand that the USA become a legally Christian state. They are enthusiastic allies of the Israel Lobby, but they were always looking for the right narrative of victimization to replace White Supremacy as their excuse for inequality. There were always dollars ready to join shekels to reframe race war as holy war.
      The Lobby certainly did a fantastic job teaching its own supporters to overlook the anti-Semitism of many of these Christians. This is an alliance, one of the most cynical ever seen, but both parties have their own criminal agendas.

  • Livni Slams Netanyahu, Calls for Israeli Referendum on Two-state Solution
    • That mainstream was carefully crafted by years of propaganda, manipulation, and acts calculated to ensure blowback. The question is, must this be irreversible? Which matters to me, because the same methods are being applied to the American people with some success.

      However, I agree that a 2-state solution is meaningless under the terms any Israeli ruling coalition would accept. The best chance is that the Israelis miscalculate how the global narrative shifts the terms of implementation once the Palestinians have actually won the referendum - just as it has been shifting upon the first cracks of overseas recognition for a Palestinian state. We've seen this happen before, when dictatorships try to make a token concession, and then get steamrolled by demands for far more. The USSR holding back when the Berlin Wall came down, South Africa hesitating when its puppet states suddenly fell to real people's movements.

  • After Trump bashed Brown Immigrants all Year, it's the British White Guy who tries to Kill Him
    • You are making exactly the same arguments as the "patriots" who have made American conservatism (and thus about 50% of Americans) into what it is today. How far down their road will you go, and how much will you reveal about your desires as you demand the clock be turned back further and further?

      And here's a list of non-Brown people used by a successful European politician to justify ethnic cleansing and extermination: Jews, Slavs, and Gypsies. So I guess you Europeans have quite the history of racism based on things besides pigmentation.

  • Other Acts of Terror get Media Anniversaries, but not White Terrorists like Dylann Roof
    • He was labeled a terrorist, but before he was arrested the dominant rumor on the primitive 24-hour news cycle of the time was that a Moslem did it, so it was hard to turn off the terrorist label (in my opinion). After his background was revealed, it became a game of downplaying the White Supremacist factions that fed into the anti-government ideology he adopted. I don't think the TV networks talked about "The Turner Diaries", the racist novel that inspired him to bomb a large government facility. You had to go to the print media for that story. The militia groups reduced contagious effects from McVeigh being labeled as a terrorist by denying their ties both to him and to "The Turner Diaries".
      But the media itself further provided insulation by "othering" the militia groups from the rest of conservatism instead of noting the similarity of their proclaimed end games: a restoration of America's inextricably racist past.

  • The rise and fall of Turkey's progressive opposition
    • This is what would happen to a real progressive party in America that was too identified with people of color. The worst of the oligarchs would start a race war rather than let the White poor join the rest of their class, against their race.

  • British Trumpism? Anti-Immigrant "Britain First" White Terrorist kills Member of Parliament
    • Seems like a lot of people here think Ms. Cox deserved to die for her belief in a more equal future.

      Yeah, dismantle the EU so that Wall Street can claim that its oligarchy is the only alternative to Russian and Chinese power. Dismantle the EU so that Europeans can go back to butchering each other in proper uniforms. Bring back all the mistakes of the past, as if the Great Depression and the World Wars never happened. You're on your own this time, America has its own Civil War to refight.

      Anything is easier than the workers of Europe overcoming their prejudices against each other to overthrow the bankster class imposing austerity to destroy their rights piecemeal, following the American model.

    • It would be a rebuke to neofascists. But it wouldn't solve the problem of the predatory global capitalism that plays working classes off against each other, such that immigration become the scapegoat while outsourcing gets off scot-free because you can shoot brown people coming over your border, but you musn't force a capitalist to keep paying decent wages when he can pay starvation wages somewhere else. Screw all the racists and liberal-bashers on the internet who refuse to have a problem with that... because opposing it leads inexorably to the need for global class conflict.

    • The oligarchy stumbled onto a great realization:
      Despite the use of the threat of revolution to scare them into sharing power and wealth with the workers during the liberal era, the workers often just got more demanding; the "revolution of rising expectations" meant that after White workers won rights, Blacks and women and gays and everyone else started plotting liberation. Thus the seeming chaos of the late 1960s, which galvanized the Kochs and other plutocrats into plotting to restore their elite power.

      Ah, but what if you could put the clock in reverse by driving wages DOWN? In the mid 20th century that sounded like madness. Surely that would trigger revolution.

      Yet in fact what we see is that wage pressure caused union members to turn on each other, made women in the workforce more a burden than a liberation, and unwound the democratization of American culture, with each subcaste more determined to crush the one below it as inequality ballooned. And coded nostalgia for the racist past became a boom industry, breaking out into gun mania, Fox News, gold cultism, and modern Evangelicalism.

      The price paid for such a movement built on tribal hatred and terror is that a certain number of followers will go too far and not wait for the systematic deformation of the Republican Party and our laws. The oligarchs don't seem to be much inconvenienced.

    • Trump is beginning to become the rule, not the exception.

  • Trump's response to Orlando massacre proves just how dangerous he is
    • Why is Donald Trump even here?
      Because for 350 years, the plantation owners and their capitalist successors have had a Contract With Rednecks. 90% of the time that Contract is very biased in one direction. But every now and then, the rural (in spirit if no longer in fact) White lower-to-middle class Christian tribe demands blood, and the businessmen have to decide whom to sacrifice.
      It's been a very successful system over all that time, hasn't it? The poor Whites and the minorities they gleefully persecute, between them, did all the actual work of building the country while their mutual hatred held down wages. The former were even law enforcement - since the White men's lynch mob acted as the unpaid secret police enforcing our secret laws. The businessmen collected bigger marginal profits, giving the USA an advantage over its European competitors in capital, technological R&D, and mind-boggling land acquisitions for railroads, etc.
      Maybe this is the secret history of the United States.

  • In further Move to Far Right, Israel passes Draconian Terrorism Law
    • As opposed to Trump's implied solution of ethnic cleansing? That's the Final Solution that the Zionists are really angling towards.

  • Omar Mateen and Rightwing Homophobia: Hate Crime or Domestic Terrorism?
    • I'd say the Charleston killer was a domestic terrorist because he was at war with a population, and incidentally with that part of the government that might represent that population's interests. Terrorizing a population into surrendering its political rights or even emigrating is a political act, and thus terrorism. The KKK were terrorists regardless of whether any of their acts were targeting a specific government official or policy.

  • Is Tel Aviv Mayor Right that Israel is unique in Occupation & denying Civil Rights?
    • The closest official state I can think of to this situation is Apartheid South Africa and its Bantustans; Blacks were divided between those who had official (but inferior) citizenship in South Africa proper, and those who had official (but worthless) citizenship in Bantustan puppet states (plus the illegal colony of Namibia) that had zero sovereignty. This then allowed the White authorities to act all surprised when Black anger spilled over between one group of fake citizens and another group of fake citizens, and call "those people" collectively unreasonable. And this was very much intended to be permanent - which is the truth that Zionists will not allow anyone to say about the Occupation.

  • Israel-First McCarthyism: Cuomo's vow to spy on, punish BDS Activists in long Tradition
    • There's been plenty of violence by Trump supporters against protesters, and no consequences. Your memories should be of Nelson Mandela's supporters executing traitors in horrific fashion, or our glorious Revolutionary War patriots driving loyalists out of their homes. The good guys often do bad things, but the world understands it's different when the oppressed turn on their oppressors.

  • Sufi Boxer Muhammad Ali's last fight was against Extremism & Politicians' Islamophobia
    • Okay, I'm trying the lower text box this time.
      Ali's opposition to the Vietnam War was a huge reason he was so beloved by ordinary people outside the US. I was a little boy living on Clark Air Base when Ali fought Frazier in Manila. Looking back, I think his incredible popularity there was that it was a safe way for people under the Marcos dictatorship to express their opinion of the war.

    • Americans don't understand how much people in the rest of the world revered Ali for his stand against Vietnam. I was an 11 year old in the Philippines when he fought Frazier in Manila. He was the most popular American in the world then. He was a hero because he paid a price for his position. At a time when the Marcos dictatorship was using anti-Communism to extract benefits from Washington, I think cheering for Ali was a way for Filipinos to express their opposition to America's actions in Vietnam.

  • Koch Bros. Shill Glenn Beck suspended for agreeing with Brad Thor that Trump might have to be Taken Out
    • Jesus, I'm actually hoping for a wedge to be driven between a few hundred thousand armed neo-Confederates and about fifty million normal fascist bigots so they can slaughter each other over arcane points of far-right ideology and the rest of us can wake up to the evil of all of them.

      The problem is, this starts to look like al-Nusra versus ISIS while sane people just want to force Assad to hold real elections.

  • Corruption: Israeli Police recommends prosecuting wife of PM Netanyahu
    • It's prosecuted, there are no consequences just like there's no consequences for war crimes, the right-wingers implicated in the worst of the corruption keep winning more votes as the Israelis embrace the truth greater than "democracy with Jewish characteristics": Law is the opinion of the man with the bigger gun.

  • Does billionaire-funded lawsuit against Gawker create playbook for punishing press?
    • Even the barbarous Medieval English had their Common Law. Would barons openly buying attorneys and witnesses have been tolerated all those centuries ago?
      We might as well go all the way to the Libertarian argument that all punishment be replaced with fines based on a person's "value" - thus the rich could afford to murder the poor, but not vice versa. Now that sounds medieval.

  • Not the Onion: Trump: 'No California Drought & I will Solve it'
    • Jesus. And this is the conspiracy mentality of our time that makes Trump possible.

  • Solar Surges: Renewable Energy Jobs Topped 8 Million in 2015
    • Trump says to shut it all down. Coal has always been cheaper in his long, long life, so it must always be cheaper even if he has to take your tax dollars to subsidize it. Sure, Clinton is on the take, but that means the wind & solar guys might cobble together a big enough bribe to get her. Trump is unbribeable (except by Sheldon Adelson) and coal is part of the "good old days" he keeps talking about along with beating Black people and punishing women for having abortions.

  • The Pentagon's War on Accountability: At $600 Bn a Year, Why aren't any Wars being Won?
    • I was kind of hoping this article would deal with the other end of accountability: the fact that the public accepts infinite spending on non-victory.
      Which is an interesting subject because it gets into the growing sense that the people of America are searching for an end game in their conflicts with each other, nowhere better embodied than in the figure of Donald Trump. Vote to break the government and society in a wholly unsubstantiated belief that you will get what you deserve in the meritocracy of chaos.
      I think the mainstream-to-Right White American public has reasons to throw so much money at the military, and then turn around and whine that there's no money to solve our problems.
      1. The Right came to understand that they would rather bankrupt the government than spend money on their enemies, the minorities and the poor. Flushing it down the Pentagon toilet is the most patriotic way to do it. "Trillions to bomb ni**er babies, not one cent to feed ni**er babies."
      2. The military budget is becoming a magical ritual. Right-wingers make themselves as ignorant as possible about the outside world, only believing that everyone out there is evil and pathetic and plotting against America. So they can respond to the complexity of foreign affairs by throwing their hands up in the air and saying "It's too complicated - kill them all and let God sort them out." Which of course is what should instantly disqualify America from having any say in foreign affairs. But the military gladly takes the money and then turns around and destroys only countries which the global capitalist order can live without, not Saudi Arabia, and thus nothing ever gets sorted out by God or man. Thus continuing the cycle of voter frustration.
      3. That ritual supports a tribal mentality. This is the important part in the long run. The fantasy past that White Americans yearn for is itself an artifice, the result of colonial oligarchs trying to co-opt their restless indentured servants by creating racial categories and "freeing" the servants to be their junior partners in the conquest and rape of a continent. In effect, English capitalists took recent near-barbarians like Irishmen and Scots and turned them all into a new warrior tribe, the White American, and turned them loose with guns. The capitalists made themselves the new chieftains. Just like the adult males in a warrior tribe, these people tied themselves to state militias and the regular Army as the ultimate expression of their identity even if most never served. Those who served got to push around those who hadn't, who were still better than any of us non-tribesmen.
      Now nostalgia for this is carefully embodied in unassailable institutions like religion and the military. The government is demanded to support those outside of the framework of the Constitution and rational policymaking as proof that it's the "servant" of the "people"- meaning the descendants of the redneck tribe who are actually above the law but get to enforce it on the rest of us by becoming the bulk of the cops and soldiers. (Just as they demand the military enforce international law on the world that they themselves refuse to obey.) Failure to do so is treason, which is why only White bigots get to define when Americans have the right to overthrow the government.
      You cannot negotiate with a Master Race. Our military has become that race's birthright, and its teflon-coated welfare program, and its license to kill.

  • Fruits of Perseverence: Dem Platform Committee to Feel the Bern
    • This isn't a reward for his playing hardball. It's the leadership finally looking at the poll numbers and realizing that the public mood is so angry and crazy that Trump can win. We must all become terrified together, and then unite.

  • Student Protest, Black Lives Matter, & the Corporate University
    • That's fair, but the reason you have to do something to diversity the ranks of the "achievers" is because there seems to be no other way to kill off the incredibly pernicious faith of the American heartland population that our inequality is really meritocracy because Whites are really the Master Race, males the Master Gender, Christianity the True Faith, etc. And the faith is unkillable because it makes White Christians feel good to believe it, and then feel wonderfully self-righteous and persecuted that they have to lie about it when talking to outsiders. They would rather live thinking of themselves as unjustly dispossessed Masters than share power with others.

      We're really stuck here until we take some really risky step like saying, "They're not going to change until we render their tribal hierarchy irrelevant." But the capitalists aren't going to let their pet universities aid in such an endeavor because of course capitalists have the secondary function of being the tribal chieftains. And the universities are still going to be judged by the all-important parents (consumers) by their ability to crank out big-earning children (product). No distractions allowed unless they create a chance that my kid will be the first XXXXX-American to become a head whatever at Oligarchy Inc. and set me up in a retirement mansion. Screw equality.

  • Egyptians "shocked" at Lieberman Appointment, note Barak's accusation of "fascism" in Tel Aviv
    • That's the problem for Sisi; there's a political cost for his regime to do things to help Israel which are well known in the Arab world. He can't go to his restless people and say that they were rewarded for cooperating.

    • Now that the Saudis are going rogue and the Russians are back in the region, Egypt has the advantage of getting a bidding war for potential patrons. On the other hand, would you really want Egypt for a client?

  • Israel: Netanyahu replies to Officers' charges of Fascism, makes far Right Lieberman their boss
    • The fascists are making their move on power in more and more countries.
      Back when it seemed the Great Depression would never end, the capitalist classes of the West were the ones who talked not of limited government, but strongman government that would preserve their illegitimate wealth in the midst of hunger. The current unending economic malaise, and the certainty that the rich will never release enough crumbs to restore a decent life to all their subjects, has again created a demand to push minorities out of lifeboats, and restore ancient casteism. The strongmen are on the march from India to Russia to Turkey to the many Trump Towers of America.

  • Marketing & Terrorism: Is ISIL's vaunted 'brand' actually weak and vulnerable?
    • The more the pyramids of social and economic inequality of the various nations are merged into one super-pyramid with the Wall Street oligarchy on top, the more people who recognize that they are "losers" for no good reason. ISIS is just the Moslem-based brand for the anger about that, but Trump is the US brand, and LePen the French brand, etc. These brands are doing awfully well right now.

      The reason there won't be any effort to give people a better alternative to ISIS is the same reason we're stuck with Hillary Clinton: the oligarchs are committed to bleeding us dry within the parameters of liberal capitalism. Why not? They're still using far-right demagogues as a backstop to get some of their victims to blame other victims, leaving them just enough votes to keep the game going. The catch is, once people sign on to that commitment to blame down instead of up, they can only keep doubling down on hatred and violence and stay locked on their path until they're completely ruined - the same way the German people followed Hitler even more fanatically when Hitler finally started losing, because even when they knew they'd been lied to about their supremacy, they still believed Hitler's scare stories about what would happen in defeat. People down to their last ditch are capable of incredible carnage.

  • British PM Cameron's tiff with Trump over Muslims: The Hypocrisy Factor
    • The game is, corporatists like Cameron only want adequate treatment for those groups that make themselves of use to capitalism. So they are now willing to protect gay rights but still want the cops to butcher "unproductive" Blacks now and then for the sin of threatening their property. Right-wing populists like Trump demand all minority groups accept blatant lower caste status or be ethnically cleansed.

  • Trump's Politics of Whiteness and the CIA tip that Jailed Nelson Mandela
    • I once applied for a job with the CIA, so I can explain the division you discerned. As an analyst, I was trying to be hired right out of Michigan grad school to look at data and, well, opine to an audience of clueless but prejudiced officials. The covert side of the CIA was not only completely separate, but it wasn't originally a part of the CIA, it was appended on. Different hiring criteria, different culture, different values. It's like a high school divided between nerds and jocks.

      The question is, can this actually produce responsible behavior?

    • Not that it will do any good to bring this up, but is there anybody here who is bashing people for rebelling against Assad or Gadafi who thinks that people had the right to rebel against Apartheid? Because Mandela's whole negotiating leverage was the knowledge that an all-out Black revolution was possible.

      I mean, as angry as I am about all the hypocrisy, I really want to know if I'm disagreeing with people who believe that you only have the right of revolution against right-wing dictators, or you don't have the right of revolution against anyone at all, because Violence Bad. See, we might need an armed revolution in this country next year against a massive wave of racist oppression and I want to know whom I can safely discount as being of any use.

  • Top 3 Signs Bill Clinton didn't kill himself to "give" the Palestinians a State
    • In 1956, Eisenhower forced the French and British to abandon their alliance with Israel in the joint invasion of Egypt, by threatening their Marshall Plan aid. He and his Secretary of State John Foster Dulles (a right-wing monster) were trying hard to show respect for the Arab republics that were overthrowing the monarchies we normally supported. Our oil companies wanted good relations with the monarchies, not Israel. Israel tried to trick the US into a war on Egypt via a false-front terrorist attack on a USAID library in Cairo, the Lavon Affair. Hardly necessary today.

      So you're oversimplifying history. Later Israel figured out how to game the stupidity of the American political culture. It spammed us with propaganda, much of it from liberals from New York to Hollywood. Even Martin Luther King took Israel's side, though if he had lived longer after the conquests of 1967 he might have learned better.

      But the master stroke was launching a second channel on the Right just before America swung rightward. That channel has done far more to deform our policies and morality to fit Zionist expansionism. What we don't understand is how vulnerable our political system is to lobbyists who play both sides of the aisle. Even our historical memory is falsified by backdating a manufactured consensus - about taxes, welfare, financial regulation. Whoops, the Clintons did the mindwipe on the Democrats on all those issues.

    • The myth of America as "honest broker" dies hard. Especially since it's always assumed that White countries like Israel and America mean well and can't possibly be engaging in annexation and ethnic cleansing. That puts the Palestinians in an impossible position and Clinton knows that.

    • Excuse me, where were you when Netanyahu was openly rallying Congress against Obama and encouraging sedition against the Iran negotiations? What about the Lavon Affair and the attack on the USS Liberty? Israel does bad things, and then its lobbyists and PR machine make politicians demand that the US reward it. Israel has always been the lead actor in oppressing Palestinians, and the US has always caved in and changed its official position to match.

  • Is Donald Trump at War with the Republican Party?
    • More specifically, this is about populism turning itself into a cult of personality. Both Trump and his followers are clueless about policy, but they are confident that Trump is their tribal war chieftain. What that war is should scare the Hell out of us. It's not just against rich people who offshore jobs, it's against environmentalists, feminists, critics of the police state, and most of all 100 million Americans of color who dare to expect first-class citizenship. "Classy" is reserved for the warriors of this conquering chieftain, whose miserable existences are brightened by gloating over the suffering of others. This means a restoration of all the off-the-books "laws" about what a White Christian man can do to his wife, children, servants, or just people walking down the street.

  • Sadiq Khan and Trump: Why KKK Donald's values are Unacceptable
    • There is no "us" under Trump. The word "equality" never escapes his lips. Chomsky never threatens those labeled "weak" because he believes that strength does not justify inequality between people or between societies.

    • Primitive societies are ones that are so tiny that you know everyone else in them. So outsiders are strangers.
      The problem is, the economic and military advantages of building bigger societies required forcing them to become too big to hold together merely with personal relationships. This required conformity, stereotyping, prejudice, and authority. But all of that implies that we are living a lie; our emotional bonds to those we know are systematically hijacked into loyalty to our fellow mass-produced cultural clones, who are still strangers. It was only a matter of time before the accumulation and escalation of lies would lead to condemnation of entire continents of people due to their skin color, and the conversion of slavery from local happenstance to global exploitation and war. Hitlerism is still the logical end game of this cynical utilitarianism, the violent conversion of all outsiders into your own wealth, not some Aryan Nations separatist enclave fantasy based on the myth of autarky.

    • When my mom and dad got engaged, Dad's commanders sent him to the US envoy to Okinawa to try to talk him out of it because in 1963 the official line was still that mixed marriages were frowned upon. Today, no one would think twice about a Caucasian and a Japanese getting married and producing offspring. How is America a worse country for this?

      With attitudes like yours, mixed-race persons like myself wouldn't even exist. With attitudes like yours in power, mixed-race persons like myself are stateless non-persons.
      Justify that, my new self-declared existential threat.

  • Top 4 Reasons Iran will stand by Syrian gov't despite High Casualties
    • But then, the arrival of Russia changed everything. This is the first great test of the new power bloc forming around the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Iran was not an SCO member because the membership didn't want to uselessly provoke the US while it officially imposed sanction on it. But the path for Iranian membership opened up at the very same time that both Iran and Russia needed to rescue their client in Syria. If we assume SCO members in general want to keep the US bogged down in quagmires to prevent it from molesting them, some or all might all send aid to Assad.

  • I Blame the US Media for Donald Trump
    • Running for Chief Executive by saying you'll destroy the executive branch bureaucracy, or running for Congress by fomenting hatred of Congress, has consequences.
      We now have someone running for president who says he will destroy dissent and diversity, who swears to impose his will regardless of Constitutional impediments, who actively provokes the minorities he says he will silence. He hates the media that he exploits, says that it tells only lies about him, implies that his followers will only hear good news while he is crushing all their enemies.
      So I think the media is definitely not going to enjoy what it gets by putting him in power. Something's going to get destroyed.

  • The Pundits suddenly saying Trump could win in Nov.? No. Just, No
    • Yes, but the entire point of White male culture is that they will fight harder to hold onto power than anyone else will fight to seize it. Meaning, when they're threatened, their voter turnout not only goes up, but their voters are cheering on the victors to gerrymander and Jim Crow everyone else out of the electorate. There is no group-think stronger than patriarch group-think, the tradition of multiple supremacies turning their choruses into gospel. So the rest of us let them get away with stealing elections, like in 2000.

      If Trump is too divisive to hold together the patriarchy, the question is, what voter suppression trick is next for his followers? Mass violence? Bomb threats? It is not hard to find out these days where one's enemies are concentrated.

      No, it probably won't work. But since they have no moral inhibitions against dictatorship and genocide, they won't be satisfied until they've tried every Final Solution that they have the weapons for. We have been amply warned; we must prepare to protect each other.

    • The media won't even give time to some of the groups who have grievances against Trump.

      Whatever his own personal prejudices are, it's clear that his followers take a special pleasure in attacking Black critics of our bloodthirsty police forces. Remember Birmingham. I expect that we will see more explicit hostility towards African-Americans in general. Since he's not as clever at turning bigotry into policy as the Republican dog-whistlers he overthrew, we might have to put up with fewer race-coded scams like privatized prisons and special crack laws. Instead, he will loudly embrace what we have actually done: hold the African-American people collectively responsible for all violence, and direct policing policy from Washington towards militarized occupation, even hoping for blowback and escalation and permanent martial law; Gaza USA. He has no concept of division of powers between the Federal branches, and as far as I can tell between Federal and State. His followers only loved States' Rights because the States have been more successfully rigged to monopolize White power than national elections, but under President Trump they will have the big guns and look to use them while they can to get "their" country back, way way back.

      Other presidents used wars abroad to strengthen their power. How long will it take him to send in the Army to crush a minority riot over police abuses at home? Where's America's peace movement for that?

  • Al-Qaeda Everywhere: US support for Oppressive Gov't's made Bin Laden's Killing Moot
    • In reply to both Erik and William, I would like to point out that the US has not always imposed dictatorships, and the differences between those places and the places where we did put tyrants in power could be explained by William's criteria, or by racism and ignorance amongst our policymakers.

      Starting with the US occupations of Germany, Austria and Japan, democracy definitely could not have succeeded without the hard work of the citizenry. The US was also atypically endowed with government officials in 1945 who were knowledgeable about Germany and Japan, and not in a vindictive way. I do know that many Americans involved in the Japanese occupation were sympathetic to Japan's people and culture. These officials were also a product of a long run of New Deal liberalism, which is very different than the crowd you get during the Cold War and McCarthyism.

      We can also look at South Korea, Taiwan, Spain, and Portugal as US satellites where our foreign policy establishment eventually gave way to democratic transitions. Note that these places had not had democracy for generations. However, their economic conditions were better than most of the world's, and while their stability was enforced at gunpoint their entanglement with the US hegemony made their people very aware of democracy in Europe and Japan.
      The example I use to show where I think racism was a factor in how we treated postwar authoritarians of the Left (because let's face it, Erik, there were a lot of those), is Tito versus Ho Chi Minh, both leaders of anti-fascist partisan armies with US help. Ho tried very hard to get the same deal we gave Tito, and we spurned him. Yugoslavia was the textbook example of proper treatment of unaligned states. For all the good that did. Tito would not have gotten that deal if he'd been African or Asian because he would have been too "alien" to trust.
      I think we simply consigned the non-White peoples of the world to the "other" bin because we had no cadre of genuinely knowledgeable officials who understood where to meddle or not. Since these were mostly the liberated colonies (though again S. Korea and Taiwan were too), the conditions for domestic democracy and prosperity were rare. Meaning, there were no good-guy capitalists for the US to enthrone, so we brought in the bad guys. The general US response to "other" was dominated by military policy and then the rising CIA, filling a vacuum with cynicism and obliviousness and an appalling standardization of responses. I recall reading The Pentagon Papers, looking for the key original US position on Vietnam. What I found was a circa-1948 regional policy wishlist, in which all of Southeast Asia - one free kingdom, 3 French-conquered kingdoms, 1 newly independent British colony, 1 still-British colony and 1 Dutch colony - with many different religions and cross-rivalries - were dismissed in a single paragraph as though Coca-Cola was unhappy with the regional manager and it would just keep firing guys until one of them somehow made things quiet.

  • After Obama-Salman Summit, will Saudi finally rein in Wahhabi Radicalism?
    • The problem is, what is the basis of legitimacy for an absolute monarchy today?
      All the Saud clan has is the idea that ancient Islamic ideas support a monarch. But the asterisk on that is, a monarch who is attentive to his responsibilities to Moslems suffering oppression abroad.
      So there's your problem. To be allied to the US is to be allied to Israel. So the King must throw the Palestinians under the bus. The only way to offset that in the eyes of his subjects, whom his family has done so much to make devout, is to double down on jihads everywhere else.
      The US should have seen this was happening 30 years ago. In effect the US attempt to install Saudi Arabia and Israel as its suzerains over the Middle East was insane, unless those two regimes - whose peoples have been indoctrinated to hate and oppose each other in every possible matter - found a common enemy to provoke wars against. Our neocons practically jumped up and down and told them that this common enemy must be Iran. But since we're allied to both, then their bull**** war with Iran becomes our real war with Iran, and we can't afford it.
      There's so many lies in this alliance that I see no way of saving it. Each partner is stabbing the others in the back as a matter of policy... except for the US, which can't betray Israel no matter what it does.

  • 'Monstrous' violence in Aleppo as 'Regime of Calm' begins in rest of Syria
    • Yes to everything, but I must regretfully admit I prefer 19th century Great Power games to holy wars. You can negotiate with Bismarck.

  • Ted Cruz turns away delegation of own Muslim Constituents, Smears them as 'Extremists'
    • Cruz is also the one presidential candidate loudly embracing "religious freedom" laws. He is the son of one of the leaders of the theocratic movement that has demanded that only their kind of Christians dictate the laws and values of America.

      These laws say that a "sincerely held" religious belief can justify damn near any kind of discrimination.

      Does anyone doubt that these laws being passed by state after state will be followed by other laws and court decisions that deny Moslems have "sincere beliefs"? But to say that aloud is to say these Christians are insincere, deceivers scheming to restore America's old caste system. And when we say it they scream like stuck pigs.

      So let's say it. Say it to Cruz's face.

  • Trump's Foreign Policy is just GOP Boilerplate, only more Confused
    • Okay, so what's your alternative?

    • If NATO was created for the sole purpose of defending against the Soviet Bloc, how did we justify its survival - and expansion - all the way up to Russia's borders?
      And who pushed that expansion? Bush and Cheney.
      Putin was compliant with the US after 9/11, for obvious motives. Then Cheney capped a series of provocations with his insulting of Putin and Russia at the 2005 commemoration of the victory over Nazi Germany. Well, that did the job. Putin reacted like a Russian, with armed force, and now we have to keep NATO going - as an undemocratic extension of the Pentagon Order of Battle, not really sovereign armies at all. Where was NATO for Turkey when Israel shot up its Gaza aid convoy?

      You won't accept it but America's military-industrial complex intentionally creates new enemies to ensure its own survival. All our enemies since 1945 were once our allies; after Stalin screwed us the people who benefited became our rulers.

  • Trump: Candidate of American Decline
    • The political calculus in the language of both Obama and Trump comes from the unspoken assumption, "America = White."

      So for Barack Hussein Obama, the problem is having to continually prove that he is not a traitor, that an America for the first time not led by a Caucasian is not inherently being betrayed. Thus it is in his interest to invoke "exceptional" America to stretch the definition of America to include those who were supposed to be merely its silent servants. It's not a surprise that JFK the Catholic felt he had to escalate patriotic rhetoric over his trusted predecessor to prove that Catholics were 101% loyal, thus 100% citizens. And we paid a price for that in Vietnam.

      Ah, but then that leads us to the people who believe exactly the opposite, and the man they chose to restore America's past - which is entirely attractive to them because its caste system ensured their status would be at least second from the bottom. America is not "great" now because Whites do not have a monopoly on power. That was hiding behind Reagan's words too, and increasingly made overt in the words of all the right-wing demagogues who followed in his footsteps. Reagan's revived Cold War, as a cabinet official proudly confessed in his biography, was part of a scheme with his tax cuts for the rich to create a future fiscal crisis that would lead to a slashing of social programs. Why? Because in their hearts, the poor and non-White were more truly the enemy of "real" America than the Soviet Union, whose strength they intentionally exaggerated to divert tax dollars.

      That's the thinking of those for whom America is not the property of all the people, but just the members of the conquering tribe. America's greatness is only measured by the proportion seized by the tribesmen. This makes it impossible to have a rational, empirical discussion about what would make America "better" or "stronger."

  • Reinventing Saudi Arabia after Oil: The Prince's $2 Trillion Gamble
    • I have before expressed the idea that Prince Salman is an Arab neocon, that somehow he has assimilated the predatory ideology of Cheney and Prince Bandar.

      Now, let's consider the possibility that neoconservatism is not really an ideology to restore an empire's failing fortunes, but a last giant con job, to inflate an imperial bubble knowing full well that it will pop. Just as investors rig the system to profit from their speculative bubbles.

      Privatization is the big con that we repeatedly see in neoconservative and neoliberal scams. Public services and resources are sold off to cronies here and abroad, until there's nothing left that the public can use to reverse the process when they wake up from their patriotic dreams. So first we need to get those dreams going, by war.

      War first, which enables a financial bubble, which hides the hollowing out of the economy, then the crash. What next? Bailout? Martial law? Maybe this is where the individual tricksters get to improvise. Maybe it just repeats over and over until the last cents have been extracted. The ultimate privatization scam for America will probably be when the Social Security fund is finally turned into private stocks, which will crash after the rich have gotten their insider warnings and cashed out (for the next great global currency). The ultimate Saudi privatization is obviously Aramco. There's nothing else close in value. It will be a much faster process in Saudi Arabia's undiversified economy.

      Who will really own the privatized Saudi Arabia? How quickly will they flee?

  • Do Donald Trump's 'Terrifying' Nuclear Threats endanger You?
    • Trump is against occupation because dealing with people different than himself is too complicated for him. Extermination is easier.
      This is the kind of person who singles out innocents to kill as a crude message to the world to submit, as opposed to the current bunch who kill innocents when they can't think up a convenient way to sort them out from the guilty. Which is essentially the difference between Nazi Germany and the US in World War 2. Civilization can survive the lesser of those evils, but not the greater.

  • Israeli Parliamentary committee debates racial discrimination in maternity wards
    • Because they've noticed that the perpetrators will be protected by the international power system when they're too big to fail - like Germany. There was no chance that Germany would pay a price for the Holocaust if it hadn't also invaded Poland and thus triggered Poland's big-power alliances. And even when it did, there was no way the victors could erase the German people, because they were too established, too smart, too profitable to keep around. Israel has sworn to become such a people by any means necessary.

      The Palestinians, like the Native Americans, were expendable, and the consequences for their oppression trivial. Pick the right victims. That's all normal people learn from racism.

  • Forget the Trump/Cruz Circus: Why Liberals are the Future of America
    • What's missing here is the great fact of power: the polarization of wealth that has marked all private property systems since ancient times in the absence of strong redistributive measures. The first wave of capitalists overthrew those paltry measures of the feudal era, and peasants turned into proletarians entirely dependent on an alien cash economy. Free-market liberals in countries like Britain were often enemies of the great struggle by the poor to create new redistributive mechanisms, from unions to progressive taxation. Class revolution was a successful blackmail threat for a century. The most useful bourgeois liberals were the ones like Theodore Roosevelt who used that blackmail threat to cajole their conservative brethren into concessions, more as necessity than a deep liberal commitment to equality of outcome. The distinction between liberal (Whig, laissez-faire) and progressive (social democrat) was for a moment clear.

      Things seem to have slipped considerably in the last 40 years. That faction of greedy corporate tycoons who have no conflict with social equality and freedom of lifestyle are back in charge of "liberalism" with their campaign cash, while unions no longer have comparable resources to affect elections. But the victories of these deregulatory liberals enrich their right-wing brethren too, and that money goes to empower right-wing campaigns against every imaginable form of equality. We're going to have to fight this fight all over again.

  • Do you have to be Affluent to be Democratic?
    • But as other articles at this site show, there's a problem with democracy in the USA too.

      I think the problem is inherent in the idea of "representative" democracy. It has been warned about since the early Republic, but it has grown up with capitalism and the idea that buying a product will solve your problems without you having to understand anything.

      Money has become the thing that can buy everything, including what people believe. The strong party systems and high voter turnout of other Western democracies seems to stave off the ability of wealthy special interests to rewrite political conflict as desired. Or is it that the rich destroyed strong party systems and high voter turnout by a deliberate campaign to sabotage effective government and cultivate cynicism? Either way, you get your supply of centrist voters replaced with a middle road of copouts who stand for nothing, whether they vote or or not. This slush pile leaves factions as king, polarization as their natural form of interaction, and the capitalist media selling the message that only the factions of the left are un-American. The remaining approved faction gets to bully the uncertain rest of us until many of us believe their lies even if we question their methods.

      I guess the global polarization of wealth makes it inevitable that the perpetrators of this model will spread their operations across the democratic world. Nations don't like outside criticism of their electoral problems, so no one will be able to help each other against this spreading disease.

      The rebellion against this problem is taking the wrong form, doubling down on the love of the candidate. All the effort we think we save by trusting our favorite instead of learning about issues and solutions gets replaced by the effort to hoist our personality cult over the enemy personality cult. We need to disaggregate the different issues that trouble us into activist groups that put policy demands first, and not the policies of scapegoating and persecution, which are more copouts for governance. We have to force the rich to say what they really want, and then hold them to the historical evidence of its failure. We have to become the kind of people who vote for initiatives without believing scare ads that have nothing to do with the basic issue.

      We probably can't do this top-down because that's what causes us to embody complexity in the form of a great leader. If we try to do it bottom-up, right-wing state governments might strip our cities of the very right to pass a law like North Carolina did Charlotte. There is going to be an era of civil disobedience, boycotts, and the hovering threat of violence.

  • Sanders Surges Ahead of Clinton in National Poll
    • The system dictates that candidates sell whatever positions they need to appeal to the part of the country having primaries this week, then change their stories when the needed votes are already locked down. Thus Clinton will win the nomination no matter how low her poll numbers go.

      Thus we see Bill Clinton attack Black Lives Matter because it's too late to effect the Black votes his wife needed in the South. She needs suburban White "liberals" who hide their bigotry behind support for the militarized police now, so it's Sistah Souljah time again.

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