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Total number of comments: 2038 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:37)


Showing comments 2038 - 2001

  • Defending Natalie Portman on Holocaust: Sometimes it can be subverted to fear-mongering
    • All Americans are raised with the myth that racism was a misunderstanding, an accident, and had nothing to do with the Founding Fathers and the founding principles of our society (limited govt, states' rights, property rights). Therefore, there's no danger that restoring those principles will be used to bring back the horrors of our past.

      Yet the Right keeps trying to undermine the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments. They seem to have a plan that requires this. I wonder what it is.

    • Let's not forget the Indonesian genocide, which the US tacitly supported. That was done with knives too, and the Army behind it is still the Army of Indonesia.

  • Coal Industry Collapsing in Appalachia, leaving behind Blighted Landscape
    • Now that the earthquakes are spreading through the fracking boomtowns, I expect the new energy mirage will collapse much more quickly. Yet we will still learn nothing, except that we must sacrifice each other to survive one more day.

  • President of Israel declares Israeli Squatting in Palestinian West Bank a "Right", key to Zionism
    • Israeli citizenship for Palestinians guarantees nothing. Blacks were citizens under Apartheid and Jim Crow. Hell, Black citizens are gunned down with impunity in the United States today. The famous genocides of the 20th century were primarily of fellow citizens with the exception of the Third Reich.

  • Huckabee's virtual Genocide: erases Palestinians from West Bank, declares it "Israel"
    • The problem is, international law forbids colonization of inhabited lands. If Huckabee is forced to explain his position, does he say that Israel (& America) have a special, Hobby Lobby-esque license from God to conquest that no one else gets to exploit, or does he say that international law is generally null and void and any country can do whatever it can get away with?

      In fact, why doesn't the media ask all Zionists to make that exact same choice?

  • Hard to get Good Help: Are US Generals just Incompetent?
    • Some useful books for understanding the macro problem of imperial incompetence and decline:
      The Rise of the Trading State by Richard Rosecrance implies that when a nation empowered by trade tries to control its trading partners, it embarks on a road to an empire that betrays its original strengths, and bankrupts it with multiplying commitments.

      American Theocracy by Kevin Phillips comes right out and says America is entering imperial senility, characterized by religiosity, wacky revival schemes and a hollowed-out economy of speculative bubbles. In other words, insane acts of faith.

      I probably ought to read Mancur Olson's book on why war victors perpetuate their bad habits and losers enact tough reforms that allow them to leap ahead in peacetime.

    • The system's need to justify war and infinite spending dominates its definition of war - every war is World War 2, every enemy is Hitler, with dirty bombs and germs added to make it all personal to the taxpayers. Meanwhile, outside our bubble, people analyze our global financial rackets and rickety alliances and carry out very cheap ways to disrupt them as a way to convince other people that they are fit to rule them. Our concepts of victory are now absurd.

    • The problem is, someone is responsible for the accumulation of overseas commitments that thus require the military to magically learn to control every situation in every country. The military had a responsibility to say "It can't be done", or "It can't be done well." Instead, these expansions were viewed as career opportunities, because thanks to the revolving door, they are. We are a long way from Gen. Smedley "War Is A Racket" Butler.

  • How Black Lives Matter is making Bernie Sanders a better candidate
    • I've been telling everyone for decades that racism is the foundation of capitalist injustice, that it must be dealt with now. This morning we see headlines that Donald Trump has begun a bidding war among GOP candidates in calling for the repeal of the 14th Amendment. The liars will say it's just against the Mexicans, but in their extremist gatherings they will start talking about a final solution to the Black problem.

      The far right has had a fringe movement attacking the 13th Amendment for years. Once those two amendments are gone, there will be nothing left standing from the Civil War. MLK needed the de jure existence of those amendments to win his struggle. Now we're looking at the law of the land regressing all the way back to Dred Scott. It means every accomplishment of progressives is written on sand, that they will not fight to make anything permanent, that there is no such thing as progress.

      THAT'S why Blacks must scream at Democrats. Why can't Democrats get White people to MIND such an atrocity? The political system that lets cops gun down Blacks with impunity and lets millions of Whites literally say that Blacks collectively deserve it shows that we do not have progress in America. We simply alternate periods where things get better with periods where things get worse. Once there was a Black senator in Mississippi; a few years later his voters were disenfranchised, and it was all business as usual. THAT'S HAPPENING NOW! Obama will just become another forgotten Hiram Revels and all you White leftists will never elect a president again because this police terror will keep minorities voiceless.

      If you can't see that another Jim Crow is being constructed that will mandate corporate rule under the guise of White minority rule, then the victims must do what others have done from Ireland to Vietnam.

    • All they need to know is how far you are willing to go to create equality. If you tell them to wait another 100 years for your progressive agenda to improve their great-great-great grandchildren's lives, you're just as bad as the White racist progressives who told the Civil Rights movement to be patient - and ended up having to deal with Malcolm X and the Panthers. And yes, by our standards those 1960s progressives are racists - how do you know how future generations in a mostly-nonwhite America will judge us?

    • You refuted none of my examples because you can't deal with the necessary ugliness and dirtiness of wars by the weak against the strong. The destruction of the colonial empires after WW2 was all about blackmail:
      1. the US using its Marshall Plan aid to force Europeans to shut down their racist empires
      2. the fear that Communists would exploit the sins of these empires to create a global race war
      3. and of course the threat of the indigenous themselves to commit armed revolution against war-ruined governments.

      Further examples of blackmail succeeding in a good cause: the fall of apartheid, the independence of Ireland thanks to a brutal assassination campaign, the US threat of a cutoff of Marshall Plan aid to force the UK and France to abandon their alliance with Israel in 1956, Gen. Grant's forcing the Confederates to abandon their plan to execute all captured white officers who commanded black troops by threatening tit-for-tat. And finally, the reality that FDR and the New Deal were enabled by a real fear among the oligarchy of a workers' revolution in 1932.

      It used to happen all the time. It's beginning to look long overdue when I see all the crimes of inequality tearing down all the good that past revolutionaries and radicals have accomplished.

    • Where would Dr. King have been without the threat of Malcolm X? How far did Gandhi get before the British confronted the danger that Indians would side with the Japanese invaders? Where did any nonwhite radicals anywhere get with the White capitalist powers until they could threaten to go over to the Communists? And look at how bad things have gone since that ultimate blackmail threat has ceased to exist.

    • Though it is certainly better to have all this happen now than next year, the views I've seen expressed by "color-blind" leftists at, say, Daily Kos has made me angry. Describing BLM protestors as "shrieking", "lazy", "dependent on others", and generally threatening. Have I missed any of the major racist memes? I even saw the divide-and-conquer trick, calling Blacks racist on the grounds that police proportionately murder even more Native Americans.

      My response is, the American Revolution was triggered by a tiny fraction of the violence that our police commit against African-Americans and other minorities. The anger of those persons in being treated as enemy aliens by a police force that clearly regards Whites as the only real Americans (and the only ones who pay enough in taxes to treat as their bosses) should be enormous.

      The solution for healing this breach is in looking at why American capitalism needs ni**ers. But to do that, you have to move so far to the left of where Sanders is now as to truly alienate 60% of the American population.

      During eight years of watching White radicals piss on Obama, while refusing to acknowledge the people who vote for him, I have concluded:

      1. said radicals have failed to convince their fellow Whites to embrace their ideals, and can't accept that this makes them failures

      2. they really, really hate the idea of sharing power with poor people who still have allegiance, rightly or wrongly, to ideas like patriotism, economic growth, upward mobility, and personal consumption

      3. they refuse to pass the baton to the new, mostly-nonwhite proletariat who genuinely need class struggle defined on their own terms

      4. Occupy and BLM are both uprisings against the system and against the dogmatic Marxist position of how we are supposed to replace it. We are at ground zero, trying to replace Das Kapital with something based on the 21st century multicultural world.

    • Where would radicals have ever gotten without rude behavior, impossible demands, impudent upstagings of the last generation of progressives... or even the implicit possibility of armed revolution?

  • New Poll: only 1 in 4 in US want more American involvement abroad; Cuba & Iran lower on List
    • Those same low-info Americans who are sick of foreign involvement in general will be the very first ones to freak out when they're bombarded by propaganda about a specific threat from a specific foreign state that fits the right stereotypes. Which is why those pre-agreement poll numbers from Prof. Cole look very different than the ever-declining support for the agreement now that the warmongerers have a target to aim at.

    • The problem is that the Republicans have cleverly encouraged the conversion of bipartisan military largesse into a form of welfare for Republican constituencies based on their bullying dogma that they are better Americans than everyone else. Now that this belief is part of the Red State "culture" it will be violently defended no matter if we overthrow the elite lobbyists who helped create it. Gun ownership and militarism are so tied together that the only alternative is a gun culture so extreme it even rejects the central government in favor of a neo-Confederate militia fantasy.

    • Well, I think that people believe that the defeat of fascism in 1945 promoted democracy, but there were unusual circumstances and it was a side effect of many countries fighting for their survival against a particular anti-democratic ideology that failed to deliver on its promises to conquer the world.

  • ISIL: What nonviolent steps could the US take to defeat it?
    • At least Dr. Shamoo is willing to argue that ISIS is an unacceptable creature, like the Khmer Rouge (whom the world was happy to let Communist Vietnam fight). If you're serious about alternatives to that, then let's consider all the things that could happen if ISIS just keeps growing as a sort of collective insanity of the victims of the West. I mean, it's unlikely, but it's also unlikely that it's lasted this long. We don't want to imagine it happening, because we know the racists and Zionists will seize on it as proof that Moslems are animals and have no rights that White Christians are obliged to respect. But that doesn't mean it won't happen.

      I mean, relative to the conditions in which they find themselves, Moslems turning to ISIS so they can die fighting instead of just starving makes more sense than White middle-class Americans turning to a bullying maniac billionaire to get revenge on everyone they absurdly blame for their not being millionaires. The world has a dangerous problem in both cases.

    • You talk as though the Taliban was not the creation and puppet of the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence. Pashtun independence via the Taliban is as much a lie as Kashmir independence via Pakistani Army front terror groups. Pakistan will attack anyone who advocates genuine independence for either region. It demands them as part of a sphere of influence at the expense of its neighbors. The Pakistani Army has always been the great devil in the region down to its atomic bomb program and Americans have been fools for helping it and refusing it to see as the force it was really fighting in Afghanistan. The Northern Alliance consisted of ethnicities who refused to live under Taliban rule and unless you are advocating their right to partition the country then you're a hypocrite.

      And we're just as much fools now for refusing to understand that it's really Saudi Arabia that we're fighting in Iraq and Syria. Once we pull out of both wars, other countries will rush in to replace us; Russia, much of the rest of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Iran and maybe India. Maybe that is for the best, but it could also be catastrophic.

  • Why is the GOP listening to Netanyahu on Iran? They just hate Obama & anything he does
    • Americans have never accepted the legitimacy of spheres of influence. They went straight from total isolationism to superpower, leaping over the messy zone in-between where they would have had to accept dividing up the globe with other Great Powers, because that would mean we were not Exceptional and that there is not an indivisible moral standard imposed by God and enforced by His favorite country. So fat chance that they will ever accept Iran's normal condition as a regional hegemon.

  • The Nuclear Deal has turned Tehran into Diplomatic Capital of Mideast
    • The Saudis have a lot more money than Iran, but it's stuck in the USA and US debt. The Israelis have the most advanced Orwell-ware and kill-ware on Earth, which is all that anyone seems to value. But Iran has a future and those other regimes do not, because Iran is sitting right where China is trying to restore the historical center of the world economy. We've lived for 500 years in an abnormal economic world where big capitalists and their expensive ships and obedient navies have overshadowed the land-based trade of the Asian interior.

  • Game of Groans: How focus on Trump Taunts hides GOP war on Middle Class, Workers
    • The subtext is that some evil Other is responsible for all our problems, and it must be punished, but us helpless white Christians know the Other are an army of drug-crazed rapists who will damage our economy if we try to give them the punishment they deserve, so we must exercise our birthright as the Master Race to trick them into surrendering all their rights. Once you've bought into that, the implication is that the rich are the leaders of your tribe and they must be strengthened by allowing them to commit economic crimes, and the victims of the rich are the Other, and you don't want your fellow tribesmen thinking that you're soft on Otherism.

  • Obama Says Netanyahu’s Interference in American Politics “Unprecedented”
    • Have you ever heard about the Lavon Affair? If not, you are unqualified to comment on whether Israel is a friend of the United States or not.

  • Top Cringe Worthy Foreign Policy Moments in GOP Debate
    • Good. Tell your neighbors and relatives. It's time for America to be stripped of its status and influence. American brand names should gather dust on your store shelves. Entire types of product and retail enslavement like Walmart should be driven out of the civilized world. Just as the 1% must not be able to brainwash Americans with infinite commercials into buying their pet politicians, but Wall Street corporations must not be able to brainwash the rest of humanity into buying American cultural imperialism. It's the only way for my fellow Americans to learn reality.

    • The key problem is that the public is willing to lie to itself that destroying the Iran deal will not lead to war, but to sanctions that will cause Iran to come crawling to us without any shots getting fired. If you ask often enough what we will do if that doesn't work, then maybe the hawks will screw up the script and say the fatal words, "regime change". See, the public doesn't recall all the lies from 2002, but it does recall the words "regime change". It senses that this is the point where it might get dragged into making real sacrifices.

      At the very least, we need to demand Chuck Schumer's position on regime change, because Democrats definitely are afraid of those words, and he doesn't want to mention them. The more they're mentioned, the more Democrats who won't override Obama's veto.

  • Hiroshima and Nagasaki: the single greatest acts of terrorism in human history?
    • The idea that Japan was about to surrender is what needs to be put to rest. There was no peace faction in the Army, and the Army controlled everything. Army hardliners were still trying to keep the war going after the atomic bombs. Fanatic officers even tried to seize Hirohito's surrender announcement, showing that even the surrender was a fragile thing.

      But the main hypocrisy in all this is that the leftist alternative to either nukes or invasion is a blockade. This from the very leftists who now denounce the economic sanctions that the US slaps on everybody as barbaric. If our sanctions killed 400,000 Iraqis without Saddam Hussein surrendering, then how many Japanese would have died during the winter of 1945-46?

      Meanwhile, North Korea stands as mute testimony as to how determined a country can be with the world against it. 62 years and counting. Mass starvation (supposedly), endless terrorism, a nuclear weapons program. No signs that they're about to surrender. No one ever brings that up in these Hiroshima arguments.

  • Obama: Opponents of Iran Deal are Warmongers
    • I'm getting scared. I see no evidence that the supporters of peace have any willingness to hurt the supporters of war, which is what we're down to. Instead, the supporters of peace attack other supporters of peace for not being absolute pacifists in the past, as if that was the position of the American people. The poll numbers show that the American people have learned nothing, and fear everything but their own military's violent incompetence.

      The supporters of war will march, and pour money into campaign coffers, and create an illusion of consensus that will attract low-information voters, while the supporters of peace will sit at home and bemoan the way things are.

      Schumer should be treated by the peace movement exactly as though he were George W. Bush himself. His office should be barricaded by human chains. He should have no peace anywhere he goes, since he wants no peace for anyone else. But you know that won't happen. He won't even admit that war will result from his actions, and no one will take him to task.

    • From what I've heard about the GOP debate, the candidates are still promoting the delusion that Iran will cave in and there won't be a war. They know the public can't recall all the way back to the years before 2003 when this same scam was being sold.

      Even the GOP is afraid of admitting to the public that America can't win World War 3. The question is, can the Zionists, Saudis and GOP sabotage peace in such a way that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization further delays Iran's membership, which will make official that we are threatening war with all the countries in Central Asia plus Russia and China.

  • Top 5 Ways Obama's 'All of the Above' Politics led to Sanders & Trump
    • I would add FDR's gigantic betrayal of Upton Sinclair when he ran as a radical Democrat for the CA governorship in '34, in order to save the party.

      I think the big change since FDR's time is the collapse of a Left organized outside of electoral politics. In his time, the unions were the big progressive power, which meant progressivism had to include economic equality. The fact that unions existed independently of the Democratic Party and spread across the spectrum all the way to Communism meant that FDR could play good cop and scare the capitalists into compromise with him, instead of the other way around as we see with Obama.

      An example of this is that when Obama or any other Democrat finally does something that the activist left agrees with, they do nothing to reward him, so he's exposed to the full fury of a highly organized, ideological and dogmatic right-wing army. Our side only knows how to punish, not reward. Will you see anyone, I mean anyone, marching to support Obama's peace treaty with Iran? Nope, we'll wait to march until the bad guys get back in and declare war and the bombers are waiting on the runways. The unions were always marching for FDR when he was moving in their direction.

    • The Democratic Party stands for not being Republican. I'm not kidding. If one party moves towards a particular position, as long as it's not an oligarchy priority, the other party will move towards the opposite position because it's what happens when you have two a market duopoly. The Republican Party came to be defined by the winners of the Civil War, and those who felt victimized by those ascendant elites became Democrats, from Southern racists to Northern immigrants, proletarians, and intellectuals. It's always been a catchall, because that's how you put together big numbers against the currently-defined "Establishment". But it's impossible to discipline or direct or unify, and as we've seen it has no natural immunity to bribery by the oligarchs.

  • Ted Cruz: "Obama Is Funding Terrorists via Iran Deal!" (Forgets Reagan, Cheney)
    • Well, it's not like they're going to admit that our ally and financier, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is actually the world's leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism.

  • Bernie Sanders launches "Political Revolution" w/ 100K Virtual House Partiers
    • There will be no money for anything good until the military budget is cut. Which is exactly why right-wing voters ultimately all fall into line with the war machine. They want trillions to be spent on war so that not one penny will be available to redistribute to "inferior" Americans.

      If Sanders is willing to talk specifics about what missions the military must jettison, then we can start talking about major cuts. This, however, is where right-wingers rally in collective outrage, while everyone else tears each other down arguing about what should be cut first.

  • Has Iran cut off Hamas? Is Hamas turning to Saudi Arabia?
    • Reconsider loyalties in terms of capitalism and not ethnic and religious loyalty, and it makes more sense. Saudi Arabia committed itself to turning its oil into US $, which trapped it in US/Wall Street investments. Israel has moved further and further to the right. Both countries have acted to crush leftism in the Middle East. The former Arab socialist states have all sold out or been overthrown, and their new leaders want Saudi and US/Israeli money.

      And the people who are left in the lurch? Arabs without money. The proletariat of the Middle East. They have the misfortune that like in Orwell's 1984, their oppressors pretend to be sovereign states engaged in a permanent war with each other as an excuse for their tyranny.

    • Well, why should the army be different than any other part of Saudi society?

  • New Poll: Bernie Sanders Leads All Republican Front Runners including Trump
    • I remember when it was Howard Dean doing this, and I was cheering for him. The oligarchy laid many traps in his path, and it never even broke a sweat.

      Now those traps only work if we choose to buy their underlying premises. Maybe something has changed. Maybe people have gotten to the point where they want to wreck everything as the only way to remove the civilized barriers between themselves and the necks of their enemies. Maybe the time has come for us to stop using the other side's leaders as supervillains and admit that we are as divided a people as in 1860, that in truth we hate each other and their vision of America.

  • Ban real-life Terminator Robots! So say Hawking, Wozniak, Musk, Chomsky
    • I wonder how enforceable a ban on autonomous activation will be. It's one thing to tell that it's carrying a bomb, another thing to tell who is pulling the trigger.

      Of course, you could use AI to find a target and then ring up a human operator in a bunker in New Mexico to get some blood on his hands. The problem is that the US has made such a expensive mess of its drone communications network that it now costs more to talk to a drone than the drone itself. An autonomous unit with no communications will be a pain to detect.
      Check on Youtube for videos of two big radio controlled helicopters picking up a woman. Now that a store-bought helicopter (about $1000) can carry 50 pounds, the weapons options are pretty extensive.

  • Top Six Signs ISIL/ Daesh is Doomed
    • ISIS has always had enough enemies to defeat it, just as the Taliban has always had enough enemies to defeat it. The problem is the insistence of the USA that only it and its allies get to defeat these death cults and then dictate what replaces them. Before 9/11, the Taliban was in a struggle with the Northern Alliance, which was backed by India, Iran, and Russia. What a coalition! But Washington didn't like that. Iran and Russia would surely send whatever was needed to finish off ISIS, but they would demand the salvation of the Assad regime as their price.

      Our larger problem is, we never even found out the true story of ISIS; who their leaders were, who was paying their bills, what they really intended to accomplish. This is important, because every defeat of an al-Qaeda or ISIS creates new movements led by opportunists preying on the unmet demand of some Moslems for a struggle against those who own the world.

      When ISIS first had success, and Saudi Arabia was being cagey about its relationship to it, I argued that this was a classic Machiavellian move by the Saudis. Machiavelli said that the Prince must send a governor to do all the dirty work of Occupation, and then after the killings have been done, rush in and blame the governor and execute him and restore civilized rule to a grateful populace. How do we know ISIS wasn't a patsy all along, created to partition Iraq and then self-destruct, to be replaced by a very slightly less monstrous new movement that the Saudis could openly support as they built a new Iron Curtain across Iraq?

  • Turkey's new "war on terror" mainly targeting Kurds
    • In order to have a legitimate case against the right of Kurds to form a sovereign state, the governments that rule over the pieces of Kurdistan, at a very minimum, must prove they will defend the lives of Kurds equally to their own dominant ethnicities. Correct? Then the willingness of those governments to actually protect Kurds from being conquered by ISIS is therefore a test of their legitimate rule. The Iraqi Army will not fight for anyone. The Syrian government has disqualified itself as an unbiased defender of its citizens. Now I must regretfully question whether Turkey actually considers itself an enemy of the Caliphate. Though I've been loath to admit it, maybe Greater Kurdistan is the only safe bet for the Kurdish people.

    • Page: 20
    • If you hardly bother to attack ISIS at all, folks might come to the conclusion that you are secretly on its side. Especially if ISIS is secretly funded by right-wing Moslems in the Arab monarchies that your party is close to. And throwing all the Kurds in Turkey into prison while claiming to oppose ISIS doesn't denounce violence or terrorism - it nationalizes them.

  • White non-terrorist La. Cinema Shooter Loved Hitler, Hated Liberals
    • "Terrorism" = collective guilt = centralized state response against an entire ethnicity.

      "Hate crime" = lone wolf = local police problem, token consciousness-raising sessions, etc until it's forgotten and white men reset the clock.

      The key, like it or not, is the question of which murder is part of a larger movement that has the power to take over a country. Naturally, we always accuse the weaker ethnicity of this when it's the stronger one that has the means to pull it off.

  • As GOP fumes re: Iran, Russia & China are outflanking West with New Eurasia Silk Road
    • Back in 2000, I read an article saying that Israel was poking around at the idea of dealing with Putin for energy. Boy, just about everything would have been different in our lives if that had gone through.

    • Depends on who dominates the Eurasian hegemony. China is the only one of the revisionist powers mentioned that has really been forced to accept that there must be limits to pollution. Long ago, Mao pushed the export of "appropriate technology" to the nations he wanted to influence. Today, appropriate technology needs to be an issue again. Localized renewable power instead of big, bank-rewarding centralized power. A lifestyle for the upwardly mobile that doesn't ape archaic Euro-American forms, built on extremely efficient communication instead of physical goods and appliances. Maybe even cities with no cars.

      China is on board with some of this but not all. It wants to sell you wind turbines, but it also wants to sell you cars. The Party will have to enforce a strategic vision instead of going for yet another short-term export boom.

      And in the long run, does the Party really want a continent of people free to say whatever they want to each other? Because that's the only ecologically sound alternative to bribing people with gross material goods to keep them quiet.

  • 15 Feet within 50 Yrs? Study finds alarming acceleration in sea level rise
    • We're too scared to go there. If methane releases are coming from the ocean this soon, we are absolutely doomed already.

  • Requiem for the Home Front: Before War was Covert & Elite
    • There are a couple of ways I look at this phenomenon of elitism in war.

      The technological argument is that our destructive power has grown so much that fewer and fewer of us need to actually be involved, and less and less of it can be efficiently used. The military share of US GNP in 1945 was 50%; now it's well under 10%. Yet it cost $50,000 in wartime $ to build a P-51, which bought you supremacy over any other fighters and ground attack capabilities besides. Now we expect to pay $100,000,000 for the former, and a different plane for the latter.

      However, there is also a cyclical way of looking at it. Western history had 3 major eras of war, the 30 Years' War, the Wars of the French Revolution, and the World Wars. After each, the victors attempted to unite to constrain war, so that bigger, shorter, more decisive war was replaced by endless, pointless conflicts that dragged out. (Although in the post-1815 case the wars were waged against outside societies and Europeans felt no costs.)

      From this perspective, what is the proper level of social involvement in war? To the leaders, the eras of Big War were scary, because only those could cause countries to cease to exist and put their own heads on chopping blocks. The characteristics of the eras of Little War tended to be:
      1. small, professional, apolitical armies that treated civilians with contempt and vice versa
      2. primary use of those armies against their own civilians
      3. lack of ideological struggles within the public
      4. stagnant military tactics designed to support the existing army establishments, not win.
      5. an understanding that no states (or white states, at least) were to be wiped off the board.

      The eras of Big War happened when some matter of ideology polarized European populations and challenged the very notion of sovereignty and legitimate leadership. People were willing to volunteer and fight over these matters. The peace settlements often were designed to remove the matter that provoked the last war (Treaty of Westphalia > monarchs must represent the predominant religion of their people, etc.) and turn the public back into passive spectators.

      The atomic bomb amplified all the usual postwar revulsion over all-out struggle, but made ideological conflict MORE intense because of the fear that one side gaining an advantage thereby could launch a successful strike to annihilate its rival. It took decades more for the elites to obtain the ideological exhaustion they desire. So we're having a long and belated Little War era, already out of sync with a growing dissatisfaction among ordinary people with their stagnant, unyielding institutions. We are told that all rational people are capitalists and our own greed brainwashes us into believing it. What does that leave for the aggrieved and alienated to fight for? Why do people, even non-Moslems, drop everything they're doing and cross continents to fight for ISIS, certain that they can remake the world? Or gun down or blow up people of the wrong color or politics?

      We're miserable, and we're not allowed to have new ideas to fight for, and if we ever did fight we'd destroy civilization.

  • Trump Swiftboats McCain the Way W. Swiftboated John Kerry
    • Thucydides would say that Trump is part of a larger degeneration:

      “Words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them. Reckless audacity came to be considered the courage of a loyal supporter; prudent hesitation, specious cowardice; moderation was held to be a cloak for unmanliness; ability to see all sides of a question incapacity to act on any. Frantic violence became the attribute of manliness; cautious plotting a justifiable means of self-defense. The advocate of extreme measures was always trustworthy; his opponent a man to be suspected. To succeed in a plot was to have a shrewd head, to divine a plot a still shrewder; but to try to provide against having to do either was to break up your party and to be afraid of your adversaries. In short, to forestall an intending criminal, or to suggest the idea of a crime where it was lacking was equally commended, until even blood became a weaker tie than party, from the superior readiness of those united by the latter to dare everything without reserve; for such associations sought not the blessings derivable from established institutions but were formed by ambition to overthrow them; and the confidence of their members in each other rested less on any religious sanction than upon complicity in crime.”

    • Well, now let's wait and see. The psychology of the new American warrior cult still holds mysteries. What happened to Kerry shows it's not really about service or heroism. It's about bloody tribal loyalty. No Democrat is a good American in this view. No one who avoids war is a good American.

      Most of all, the right-wing movement judges military duty as merely one of the ways to determine which rich White male Christian is worthy to be the warrior chieftain. And the job of the chieftain is to argue moral justification for the tribe's aggression and greed.

      So this is like an elimination tournament where a veteran who doesn't recklessly justify those things is inferior than a veteran who does, and the details of their service are rewritten to fit the narrative. But a non-veteran who justifies those things can make himself more "American" than a veteran who justifies them less recklessly.

      Goldwater, a bomber pilot, cast the fatal spell with his words: "Extremism in the name of liberty is no vice." Somehow, all these absurd criteria are measures of how far our war chieftain is willing to go to conquer us some goodies... which is all liberty means to a creature who only values property. Whoever escalates the most is proclaimed the greatest warrior.

  • US Right needs to get over Self: Iran Deal is International
    • I agree that the CSA was doomed to become imperialist. But as a slaveowning region of the antebellum US, Southerners were part of the consensus of US non-involvement in European affairs that dated back to George Washington. Europeans were White; anyone south of the Rio Grande was subhuman and had no sovereign rights Whites were bound to respect.

      But that IS isolationism; it remained hypocritical about occupying Latin America thru the 1930s while letting Europe fall to fascism. Establishing official relations and commerce with Europe was not ruled out by traditional American isolationism, so what the CSA did towards that end was not what we consider the negation of isolationism, internationalism.

      With the new right-wing gang, we're dealing with crazy nostalgia for all the worst, contradictory parts of our past, which now includes our era as a superpower. A patchwork chimera, that says that America can violate international law in the name of enforcing it, that it can murder blacks at home while punishing (certain) bigots abroad, that we can revert at home to an Old Testament barbarism of decentralized theo-tyranny yet unite to support the world's most technologically advanced war machine in over 130 countries.

    • Why should racists who worship "states' rights" and nullification bow to international law?

      That's the problem with the current GOP combining neo-Confederacy with the US global hegemony. The former was an ideology of an isolationist era when it seemed that nothing that happened overseas could or should affect our behavior. The latter is built on America's relationship with fellow capitalists overseas, but also on foreigners' willingness to buy American brands and tolerate our troops in their midst. It is a senile fantasy to imagine restoring both Jim Crow and our declining dominance over the world at the same time, with the same brute force applied by the same armed rednecks in different uniforms.

  • Donald Trump's Secret Weapon in GOP Contest: Fox Cable "News"
    • Real movement candidates understand they must obey a larger role to advance the far-right ideology - by mainstreaming and exposing their true agenda carefully over the years. Cruz is scary because he knows the theocratic right from inside, yet he's gone to the Ivy League schools of the oligarchic right. He should know how to calibrate rolling out his product to appeal to the base while carefully seducing others.

      Trump just doesn't care. Every time the base cheers his horrible ravings, the base defines itself as the enemy of the rest of Americans. Reporters will find it tempting to ask him an endless list of questions about a laundry list of hateable groups; Asians, gays, Blacks who mind being hunted by police, etc. He will say the wrong thing every time, because even his compliments are poisonous. As a Yankee and a non-Evangelical he can't hide behind the usual tribal protections that Red State bigots claim. But if they embrace his remarks outside of those protections, are they finally exposed themselves as self-serving bigots?

      Finally we get to see who is the organ-grinder and who the monkey in the FOX-GOP relationship.

  • Iran Deal: Winners & Losers in the Greater Middle East
    • Iran seems to have more potential to diversity its economy away from oil than Saudi Arabia:

      a. lower labor costs
      b. a more serious culture of scholarship
      c. proximity to Russia and China
      We all know the Saudis' reputation as a bunch of self-entitled, servant-exploiting parasites. Whether that's the fault of the oil or the monarchy, they're not getting better as their population explosion dilutes their oil revenue. This is not a society capable of grasping the modern world on its own initiative. Whereas Iranians are trying to do that and are being held back.

  • Did rise of Daesh/ ISIL ensure Iran Nuclear Deal?
    • Are we finally going to learn the actual lesson of Pax Britannica? No permanent alliances? Side with the country that becomes the lesser threat and abandon your warlike allies without sentiment?

    • It's like Global Warming - the villains don't have to convince the world of their story, they just have to convince one faction in one political party in the USA, and all the rest of humanity is held hostage.

    • Bretton Woods was ruined a long time ago.

      To me, Bretton Woods and the original forms of the postwar intl institutions championed by FDR fit with his actions in removing troops from Central America and scheduling the independence of the Philippines. I think his overarching goal was to make armed conquest a non-optimal solution for economic survival. The rehabilitation of Germany & Japan was the textbook example of how it was supposed to work. You can be cynical about the details of that, but the result was that for a brief interlude countries in the 3rd World had the means to get ahead economically without kowtowing to Wall Street. For instance, under Bretton Woods, currencies didn't float. Under the post-1971 system, if any government attempts economic policies opposed by currency traders (who presumably trend well right of center), they can punish it by dumping its currency out of a "sincere" fear. Thus the tyranny of austerity.

      The financial institutions created back then (World Bank, IMF, GATT) have been perverted to serve the rich and crush wages worldwide. The UN, conversely, got out of the control of the Great Powers when decolonization created new members, and they have retaliated by using vetoes to paralyze it.

      The only indispensable role of the whole lot of them was preventing the sequential dangers of depression, fascism and world war. They've betrayed that role, and the danger is back - not just from the US.

  • Video: Israeli Officer shoots protesting Palestinian Teen, Leaves him to Bleed Out
    • I think pointing out the similarity between what white Americans allow their police to justify and what Israelis allow their police to justify might get us thinking about where our two countries are going together. The collective branding of an entire disadvantaged race as a threat - to be followed by a call for a final solution?

  • No, Mr. Netanyahu, Iran isn't trying to Take over the world & it isn't ISIL
    • A big war to maintain the status quo. Remind them of how that turned out for the Hohenzollerns, the Romanovs and the Hapsburgs.

  • The Unbearable Heaviness of the Drone Cowboy
  • The Confederate Flag flew in Iraq as Symbol of Empire and Militarism ("Valor")
    • But it must be noted that the Mexican-American War became cast as a conflict over Western expansion of slavery. Texas had been taken from Mexico by Southern colonists who always intended to legalize slavery, and their desire to join with the US made it a Missouri Compromise issue. Young Lincoln and Grant both thought the war was evil. The officers who became famous there were almost all Southerners, though not all joined the Confederacy.

  • Is Greece's "No" on Debt Referendum another Youth Revolution?
    • Check out "The Shock Doctrine" by Naomi Klein. Is austerity about recovering debt, or a deliberate political conspiracy to destroy institutions of the poor to create a belt of sweatshop states with 3rd world wages, as was done to Latin America and Eastern Europe?

    • I'm not sure youth is enough. But it definitely hurts the US that its population is rapidly aging, and its aging whites in particular seem to be falling prey to paranoia about losing power to young non-whites, and support any measure that just happens to disenfranchise or imprison or even kill them.

      I think that not all movements for change are progressive, and we don't clearly understand why populations go one way or the other. The classic analogy must be Germany and the USA in 1933. Many young Germans embraced romantic notions of the primitive past; few young Americans did. We don't know why some young populations embrace religious revolutions and others secular.

  • The Ghost of Soviet Collapse haunts the West: Military Hegemony isn't what it Used to Be
    • I'd like to see what others have to say about this article, but I would point out that "policy" is action directed towards someone else. In our time that someone else has been nation-states or rebels against nation-states.

      Nation-states matter as an organizing principle, the basic legal unit of the human race since the destruction of autonomous tribes, nomadic hordes, etc. But they have not always been the format in which sovereignty is expressed. Meaning, that entity which most people are willing to kill for.

      We have had the age of monarchy, but within that was also the age of multi-ethnic dynastic empires, and the age of great religious movements under which many princes pledged to limit warfare with each other and unite if holy wars against rival faiths were necessary.

      We even have the spectacle of the Catholics and Protestants of 17th century at each other's throats in a Thirty Years' War, only for their descendants 150 years latter form completely different divisions over feudal monarchy versus republics and the Napoleonic system. What changed is what was sovereign.

      If the age of the nation-state is ending, I fear that the Age of Reason is also ending. We have no progressive organizing principle to replace the nation-state. Instead, the old monsters of religion and aristocracy are maneuvering to be the only options for ordinary people to return to. Every day it seems that extremist minorities and the oligarchs who finance them from Arabia to Arkansas are abrogating democracy and the social contract while citizens are sidelined by doubt, fear, and apathy.

      That is why "policy" doesn't work. It needs citizens to work against. Few questioned in 1945 holding the people of Germany collectively guilty for the acts of their nation-state even if not all of them ever voted for Hitler. If people stop believing in citizenship as a legal (vs racial or religious) responsibility, then they will freely give their loyalties and capacity for violence to anything that comes along, falling under the command of those fellow humans whose wills are as strong as their consciences are weak. At that point, there's no one to negotiate with because there's no list of relevant representatives. Warlords come and go, and if you don't know who controls a particular piece of land for the foreseeable future you can't sign a treaty about what happens there.

  • If ISIL had burned down 4 Churches, it would have been Headline News
    • The "war on Christians" narrative is successfully used to stifle recognition of White Conservative Christian race war. Why does this work?

      Firstly, both White and Black Christian clergy seem to have an interest in denying that there is a racial schism within US Christianity. Why? If you took an opinion poll you'd likely find Black Christians are far to the left of both their own clergy and White Christians on economic issues and well to the left on social issues. The Black clergy has returned to its pre-MLK role as the enforcer of inequality, the worshiper of accumulation of private wealth as a solution, and the champion of patriarchy and misogyny. And I'm sure that as in the past, White conservative money is funneled to these preachers so that they can stamp out progressive elements in their number. Thus, when the media does their usual shallow thing and ask Black clergy about these incidents, they get pablum about forgiveness, not finger-pointing at the right-wing hate machine.

      Since the moderately-religious majority in America don't want to look too closely at these matters they accept that Christianity is united and conservative. So a war on any Christians is a war on Christianity, and a conservative Christian is a better Christian. The Christian Right has worked for decades to destroy liberal mainstream Christianity, and worse, to erase any memory of its existence. This allows it to claim to represent all Christians when it demands special rights to discriminate, which only its own reactionary minority is organized to use systematically to oppress others and re-establish America's caste system.

      Now they're at the stage of claiming the right to discriminate based on a "sincerely held belief". Do you really think that they won't pass more laws to define what's "sincere" so that Blacks can't claim a right to discriminate against Whites, or liberal Christians against fundamentalists? The people who currently burn churches will be satisfied that their own church is now safely on top. And the media will call that "peace".

    • This is why smart terrorists don't take credit for their acts. The smart strategy is one where you can win just by creating chaos instead of taking responsibility for power.

  • Demonizing as Policy: Washington Elites divided over which state to declare Enemy No. 1
    • Russia exports oil, China imports it. That tells you something about why the party of Big Oil views Russia as an enemy and China as an ally. But the only sense I found in the Administration's remarks about Asia is the need to "secure" US investment in the region. In other words, to keep our bankers happy by using force and rigged rules to erect barriers to China's rising monster banks. The banks can't make enough money exploiting White people anymore.

  • Israeli naval forces intercept Gaza Aid flotilla
    • At least Syrians still have a country; the "Welcome to Israel" letter emphasizes that in Israeli eyes, Palestine has been eradicated.

  • No, GOP, biblical Marriage was not between one man and one woman
    • Will this be the first time that a major-party nominee has publicly committed to violating a Supreme Court ruling? This could get to a Constitutional crisis in a hurry.

  • In first, Court orders Dutch gov't to protect citizens from climate change
    • Financial liability is the nightmare scenario of the fossil-fuel barons and those whose industries are tied to fossil energy. They manipulated a minority of Americans knowing this country could single-handedly behave as King Log and stop action for a while. In the next phase, they will have their pet politicians demanding that the US abrogate all treaties and recognition of international law, which will invite retaliation against our commercial and even military hegemony. They must transition our public to a war mentality against the entire rest of the world. The phase after that? Either isolation, or Fourth Reich on the march.

      Ironically, the resulting collapse of the global economy may do more to stop the burning of fossil fuels than anything rational people would have done, because this collapse will lead to the deaths of hundreds of millions of people and the extinction of the American Way of Life.

  • Lone Wolves and Soft Targets: Or how our Press, Politicians are being Played by ISIL
    • It depends on the significance of their money trail to the oil sheikhs. In the same way that Dylann Storm Roof depends on the money trail that finances a broad spectrum of hate media from CCC to Fox News. The sheikhs and the families who bankrolled the American Right have end games that differ from their patsies, but the patsies must be creating the conditions that they consider favorable.

  • As Love wins out at Supreme Court, did Justices in Minority encourage States, Fundamentalists to Defy Ruling?
    • The combination of the Charleston shootings and the decisions on marriage and healthcare have put the American Right at a critical point. Will they obey their oligarchs who have manipulated them all along to move the Overton Window rightward to rape the economy and intend to keep things quiet? Or will Frankenstein's monster strike down his master and go on a terrorist rampage?

    • The right-wing definition of "people" has always meant "those defined by State governments as people". The rich have always controlled America via State and non-urban local governments. In truth, the theorists among Tea Partiers do not recognize the validity of the 13th & 14th Amendments, but they know better than to say that in front of a news camera.

  • Why Boycotting Israel will Backfire, just as Netanyahu's Blockade of Gaza Has
    • We must use the boycott to build up the public acceptance for a need for sanctions, as was done with South Africa. The boycott did not bring down apartheid, but it taught a generation of Westerners what their colonial cousins were still doing to people of color. South Africa was not starved, but its businessmen were deprived of their own greedy global ambitions, so they were more willing to sue for peace as the ANC's power grew.

      And the first sanctions we must demand are an end to Israeli military exports, which are the heart of the whole machinery of permanent war on Palestinians.

  • As Kobane comes under ISIL attack, Kurds Encircle, cut off "caliphate"
    • There's no way to grant the Kurds their ambitions without screwing non-Kurdish communities that are in the way in four countries. Those communities will not recognize the world's right to reward the Kurds, and will fight. If we punish them, they will find covert allies in the governments whose land we are redistributing. You will get a larger war that will drag in the state sponsors. But then, that's already happening between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and those wars will become entangled like the disputes that preceded World War One. See how that works?

  • If Southerners want a Symbol, Why not the Moultrie Liberty Flag?
    • There's always been something dark hidden in the word "liberty". The Romans did not view liberty as something everyone had or should have. It was a status one group possessed at the expense of another. That was exactly how America's early slavery apologists described liberty.

    • People are looking at the arc of American racism in the wrong way. White supremacy was manufactured by the joint-stock corporations who financed Southern colonies and plantations to create cultural support for the legal imposition of slavery. The economy was being built by keeping the workers in absolute destitution, and giving the whites absurd privileges over the blacks made them unpaid volunteers in enforcing economic injustice.

      But if that's true of an economy on the way up, why not an economy on the way down? The rich have been strip-mining the society they once built up, destroying its jobs, infrastructure and public institutions, and making obscene profits. At some point, they will drive wages down so low that once again one group of workers must be pitted against others to stave off rebellion. How do we know that some of the rich didn't recognize that decades ago and begin preparations?

      The libertarians refuse to acknowledge that there is a market for sadism, which makes it a commodity that can be exchanged for the right to decent wages and living conditions. This is the secret history of American capitalism.

  • Is the Confederate flag unconstitutional?
    • If the White race was merely a socio/legal construct whipped up to unite European colonist-laborers with their masters in carrying out the importation and oppression of millions of African slaves, then the problem is inherent in White pride. That construct was used to brainwash poor English, Scottish and Irish indentured servants into thinking of the plantation owners as their tribal rulers in a war of conquest against all other "races". Everything that was built on that construct is contaminated by evil, no matter how much liberals like Thomas Jefferson tried to revise it. Including American identity itself.

      Problem is, right-wingers have already cut us off at the pass. They're the ones lying about a "color-blind" society - meaning the people on the bottom must not complain. They're the ones who claim a complete embrace of capitalism will instantly create meritocracy because that's the only way to achieve efficient markets. No one in America dares say that (a) our society is founded upon sadism, and (b) that sadism is a resource, a privilege that the oligarchy grants poor Whites in lieu of decent wages, producing greater surplus capital that has advantaged American economics.

      Now if we taught our kids about all that, the Confederate flag would disappear... after a second civil war.

  • Dear GOP: Play the Angry White Man card Enough & you might attract Racist Donors
    • One of the things you are no longer allowed to say in America is that White people, having inherited favorable financial positions from their racist forebears, will naturally hire, promote and contract with those who look and act most like themselves. Our notion of private property rights guarantees that inequality can only get worse.

    • Well, Rand Paul's family business has been playing the neo-Confederate game for decades. I don't know why the media never asks him about his father calling Lincoln a tyrant.

      link to

      Look around that site, and you will see the larger White Christian supremacist context of every movement to take America back to its past "liberty".

  • What South Carolina needs to do for Racial equality (taking down the flag is just symbolic)
    • It would help if "equality" wasn't a dirty word now.

    • According to the book "Nixon's Piano", the GOP leadership always wanted to ditch Southern blacks and go after the white conservative vote, but they were hampered by an organizational peculiarity: as a "national" party, the GOP had to have all states represented as delegates at the once-important national convention. Even though Southern blacks couldn't vote in real elections, as delegates they still were needed to win nominations. The GOP was trapped unless the Democrats did something so offensive to Southern whites that they defected en masse and took over their own state parties overnight.

      Which happened, finally.

  • Patterns of Racial Violence in the US: Charleston Shooting wasn't a "One-Off" Event
    • Holt is small fry. He's part of a much bigger network of inequality-worshippers assembled by wealthy extremists via so many fronts that those rich pigs can claim not to know that the "Ludwig von Mises Institute" was not just a libertarian propaganda mill but was actually run by R. J. Rushdoony, a tyrannical theocrat who set the direction of the Christian Right. This game is going on everywhere, producing and reinforcing the "common knowledge" that Mr. Storm Roof acted upon.

  • How Lindsey Graham & GOP lost the Chance to be Presidential over Charleston
    • Mr. Storm Roof's manifesto apparently was found on his website,

      link to

      It's an amazing body of self-serving lies. Like he accomplished the feat of using the fewest possible brain cells to justify slavery and genocide via self-pity, Internet myths and cut & paste "facts". Without the carefully lawyered provisos that Overton-sliding Fox racists use to say they only want to discipline blacks, not oppress them, Mr. Storm Roof follows the logic of his hatred to where he really intends to end up: that blacks can only live among us as slaves or not at all.

      Too bad he's just a cowardly as Anders Breivik, who also chickened out after writing a manifesto for his glorious "suicide" mission.

    • Pose this question to each and every Republican candidate:

      Do blacks, Latinos, gays, Moslems, and Socialists have the exact same right to form and operate armed militias as white Christian conservatives?

      Any answer to this question will cost you delegates, or destroy you in the general election. Make the bastards own the logical basis of the racist past they romanticize.

  • Rhodesian Flag, Confederate Flag: Roof & the Legacies of Racial Hate
  • Our reply to Dylann Roof's Hate: Donate to "Mother Emanuel" AME Church
    • The media swept Anders Breivik under the rug after his unprecedented massacre in Norway, instead of subjecting his Internet heroes to the same scrutiny that they would a Moslem terrorist. The Right is already forming ranks behind the lie that he was anti-Christian, not a right-wing white supremacist. It will not matter how much he expounds upon his motives at his trial, the rest of the mob that spawned him will claim it's all liberal lies.

      You cannot negotiate with people whose minimum demand is a monopoly of power. Nor can you reason with people who think you are an inferior race.

  • Another White non-Terrorist Kills 9, Makes Bomb Threats
    • When the Birmingham church bombing occurred in 1964, no one was stupid enough to believe that the bomber was an atheist. It was no secret who the murderers in the South were, and how they were the agents of a ideology that permeated the socioeconomic power structure. Now everyone has learned to lie to themselves.

    • The right wing has organized a circle-jerk where its followers try to terrrorize each other with lies about blacks. The leaders do this to ensure that they will all march together and swamp state and midterm elections and gain the means to disenfranchise everyone different than themselves. But the understood risk is that one or two of the followers will actually take the dare to go on a violent offensive against the un-Americans. So the corporate media brands them as lone wolves to keep the game going, the rest of the circle lies about their own responsibility for creating this environment, and the country keeps lurching further rightward. As long as the ratio of evil voters to evil shooters is high enough, the former will get far more black people starved to death, shot by cops, or given cancer by polluters than all the lone wolves ever could.

      Hey, it worked on abortion.

    • When Homeland Security's experts issue warnings about white right-wing terror, they are immediately attacked by the GOP in Congress. The GOP is the Sinn Fein of white terror.

  • Why Conservatives fear Pope's Climate Letter: A Radical Attack on the Logic of the Market
    • And if those programs interfere with his business, he will be obligated by his investors to undermine those social programs and any elected government that attempts them, right? Like the corporations have done all over the world to push down wages. Like the manufacturing of an ideology that says that all redistribution of wealth is Communism and its supporters must be terrorized and executed.

      Power-sharing with billionaires is impossible.

    • Francis has whiplashed the extreme US Catholic Right, which under his predecessor openly embraced the worst aspects of Protestant greed-worship via liars like Tim Pawlenty and Paul Ryan. But as usual with the Right, there was far worse brewing under the media's gatekeeping. Catholic demagogues calling for secession from the USA to overturn abortion and gay rights - certainly in conjunction with the evangelical Protestant crazies and Tea Partiers. Examples in this list of articles at

      link to

      My guess? They will switch from seceding from the US to seceding from Rome, especially once they regain the White House. Catholic and Protestant jihadis will unite in a new heresy, Americanism, disguised as patriotic ecumenism. The religious right to discriminate will quickly be restricted to those who adhere to this self-serving faith, and used against all the rest of us.

    • Pope Francis is not a radical. He's a reversion to what conservatism was before the Reagan/Thatcher/neoliberal revolution. He's Paul VI. He's Dwight Eisenhower. The corporate media have brainwashed us into forgetting.

  • Can Big Coal, Oil be Put on Trial for Global Warming Damage by Victims?
    • The title of this hits exactly on what I think was the entire point of Wall Street organizing the climate-denial conspiracy, with tentacles reaching to every faction of the right wing, to the media, to the ordinary angry white man in your neighborhood. Liability.

      They knew the lawsuits were coming. They knew demands for reparations would be made. They realized the more paranoid and racist ordinary Americans could be made, the much more likely it would be that they would react to those demands with violent anger. Which would buy our oligarchs more time to commit more crimes. Until one day climate catastrophes could no longer be denied and the oligarchs could afford to come clean: "Yes, we fooled you, but now you're facing reparations demands so vast that the country will be bankrupted like Germany in 1919 - so you have no choice but to follow us as we declare war on the world and use the threat of nuclear attack to order everyone but us to bear the costs of climate change for as long as we can hang onto power."

  • Can the GOP live down Donald Trump's Middle East "Policy"?
    • My God. He can't even understand that China props up the US $ by buying our questionable securities and bonds! He can't understand that Saudi Arabia has been doing the same since 1971, aided later by Japan.

      He talks about stealing jobs, but how can the US stop that without "Big Government" interfering with "Free Enterprise"? And how can it do that without shutting down "Free Trade" - which must include labor? Where's his opposition to to the TPP?

      And why would we send military equipment at all if it was no good? What purpose would that serve?


    • You're right, but I'm going to say it again; the bad guys get away with it until someone hurts them badly enough to teach them a lesson. When is the rest of the world ready to make real sacrifices to punish America?

    • American exceptionalism is founded on a sense of invulnerability - yet demagogues can juggle that with a sense that everyone is out to get us. Thus, THEY threaten us with destruction, but magically if we come up with a monstrous crime to exterminate them, our leaders must have a plan to get away with it.

      Whereas, even the worst people in Europe know how risky war is from their own history.

    • No, but Herbert Hoover got the GOP nomination and the presidency after this immortal utterance: "If you haven't made a million dollars by the time you're 30, you're not much of a man." I see a pattern here.

  • Climate Denial as a Corporate Criminal Conspiracy
    • Prof. Oreskes is still giving the right-wing movement too much of the benefit of a doubt.

      What she is not saying is that the movement intends not to stop the wheel of democracy, but to break it. As always, I point to the position the ideological high priests of every faction of the American Right share: "America is a republic, not a democracy." Most people cannot decode this statement because they do not understand what "restoring" the laws and culture of 200 years ago would mean. The Right means that the right to vote must be again restricted to large property owners. No other interests matter. Therefore the government only serves property owners - the more property, the better a citizen you are.

      Therefore, even if climate disasters destroy ever more lives, the government will not act to save the poor ones. The rich will protect themselves. In fact, it may be the intent to let these disasters reduce America and the world to a primitive state, in which the natural (racial) superiority of America's property owners will be unleashed to re-enslave vast lands and finally institute the right-wing idea of justice: near-infinite inequality between the Master Race and the subhumans. If the damage abroad is too great, then our new barons will seal up our borders and focus on exploiting us for a living. If the world's richest man got his billions selling tabloids to Mexicans, then the rich no longer need any of us to live well to get what they want, which is to grab all the money on a burning, collapsing table.

      This may be insane, but it is not inconsistent with the actions of the Founding Fathers and the economic barons of America's past. They think they can get away with it because none of the rest of the human race are willing to make real sacrifices to punish them for their crimes.

  • 5,000 Hanging Skirts: How Women Remember War Rape in Kosova
    • Yeah, because we've really done a great job finding the names of the Imperial Japanese soldiers who raped untold numbers of women in China, Korea, and Southeast Asia. Or Soviet soldiers who did the same to Germans. Or really any soldiers in any war to the present day.

      Rape is the norm in war. Prosecution is a facade.

  • Young Middle East Millennials' Digital Split From Fundamentalism (Cole Interview)
    • So future cultural historians might look back on our era and debate its most alarming feature: the explosion of reactionary religious fundamentalism in two places, the Middle East and the white United States. What did those places have in common? The language of extremists in both lands is full of grievance, birthrights, hatred of women's rights. Certainly a fear by the old of the young.

      Yet in the US experience it always seems that the minority of young who support reactionary fundamentalism inexorably grow into something bigger. That minority knows it, too; it's willing to curtail the voting rights and voices of other young people to protect that damn birthright that they expect to inherit when the old haters croak. It may even be the portion of the American right that is willing to take up arms and butcher gays and minorities while the elders cheer from their keyboards.

      But then, ISIS came along and we are seeing it worldwide. It does no good for a majority of the young to be progressives when the minority is willing to kill to defend patriarchy and seniority.

  • Wind Power rapidly bringing Clean Electricity to masses in Global South
    • The replies in that thread are terrifying. Even Tea Partiers would feel silly saying that wind turbines are mass murder. They claim that everyone who supports wind is a socialist who has been bribed by wind corporations - logically wouldn't right-wingers be just as happy to lie for the vastly wealthier coal corporations?

  • Jon Stewart on Iran, Israel and Directing Rosewater: "It Turns out the Middle East is Somewhat of a Hotbed"
    • I think that liberal Jews and their allies must break out of the mindset that the rulers of Israel ever intended to do anything but steal everything the Palestinians had. The Palestinians committed the thoughtcrime of realizing that even before 1948.

  • Did Jeb Bush's brother "Create ISIL" in Iraq?
    • Naomi Klein's "The Shock Doctrine" adds to the right-wing ideological context of Bremer's disastrous action: we must ban Baathism because it's socialism! Markets and entrepreneurs will arise to fill the power vacuum! And markets and entrepreneurs always love the USA!

  • US Air Force Absent as Daesh/ ISIL advances on North Aleppo against Sunni Rebels
    • The US Congress only knows what Israel tells it. So it wants our military to carry out Operation Passover: kill everyone in the Middle East who's not Jewish. Thank God that only He has that technology and He's not getting involved this time.

  • Are there Echoes of the old Anti-Semitism in today's Islam-Hatred?
    • My observation on this is that Europe's bigotry was in defense of its feudal form of conservatism, while America's bigotry is in defense of its capitalist form of conservatism. Thus anti-Semitism is marked by the prejudices of landowners and peasants towards "city folk", merchants, proletarians, and intellectuals. Fascism went further by distinguishing between "good" capitalists who were predominantly Gentile (landowners, heavy industrialists, weapons makers) and "bad" capitalists who were likely to be Jewish due to earlier anti-Semitic restrictions on Jewish property ownership: bankers, lawyers, even the entertainment industry. The old, Catholic-allied landowner elites were the sugar daddies of anti-Semitism and Fascism in most of Europe.

      In America, the class/racism game was more direct because nearly all rich people were white and nearly all blacks were poor. Defending economic inequality simply became implying that the "whiter" you act, the richer you deserve to be. Democracy was equally a threat to landowners and industrialists. Hatred of bankers among Midwestern farmers did devolve thru Populism into anti-Semitic movements (H. Ford, et al), but did not create deep enough roots before Hitler discredited their ilk.

      Basically, America's oligarchs still benefit from dividing poorer whites from blacks, and exploiting myths of "white" virtues like unquestioning hard work by indoctrinating hatred of blacks. Europe's oligarchs are enmeshed in the global capitalism America created - which in turn is allied with Israel. So anti-Semitic populism is an embarrassment that few of them support. Moslem immigrants have arrived to create a simple class/race hierarchy and a classic threat. But a fascist can easily convince himself that Moslems and Jews are both plotting against him, and the oligarchs can't stamp out such paranoia while trying to impose austerity, destroy the social safety net and push down wages.

    • That's a good observation.

  • Thank you, Edward Snowden: An End to General Warrants as so-called PATRIOT Act expires
    • While many individual conservatives support decriminalization, the traditions that conservatives swear to uphold paint an ugly picture:

      1865-1933: The rise of the Prohibition movement in the US was strikingly entangled with bigotry towards Catholics and Jews. Perhaps Protestants were even attracted to the cause as a way to claim moral superiority towards those whose immigration they wanted to restrict. Racist stereotypes of the Irish corresponded to stereotypes of drinkers. Federal Prohibition arrived and became like a war of rural/small town Republicans and Southern Democrats against big city ethnic Democrats. The collapse of the laissez-faire ideology of the former in the Depression thus heralded the acceptance of the ethnics as "real" Americans and the demise of Prohibition.

      1935-present: Yup, it took 2 years for "Irish" alcohol to be replaced by "Negro" marijuana as the country's new archvillain. Replace "black" for "ethnic" in the previous paragraph, and you've largely described the Drug War ever since.

      Which is why I think the Drug War will continue and loyal Republicans will keep supporting it even though they don't like it. It isn't the drug they're fighting, it's the invasion of their children by outside cultures that they stereotype as drug culture.

  • Why Rand Paul is right to Kill the So-Called PATRIOT Act: It was never about Terrorism
    • James Madison believed in a strong republic. He wrote that the oppressive power of state-level factions (clearly the rich in his context) could be overcome by the broader interests of a large republic. Many of Paul's supporters are claiming things about the Constitution that really apply to the Articles of Confederation, which Madison was criticizing.

      And Ron Paul said that Lincoln was a tyrant. Basically these bastards think the wrong side won the Civil War and want to go back to the legal system that existed before that. Because we all know that whites aren't racist anymore, right?

    • One does not have to be a communist to believe that a democratic society can have economic democracy and reasonable security - in fact, that this is the only way it can happen. Libertarians want us to go back to the Gilded Age, when lynchings, terrorist attacks, butchery of workers by Pinkerton mercenaries and National Guardsmen, workplace fatalities, as well as starvation and widespread suffering were all supported by "entrepreneurs". People like Paul spend climate-denier level amounts of time lying about all of that.

      I see Paul's agenda as restoring our old tyranny of culture and morality naturally controlled by the rich. I would rather burn this country to radioactive ashes, never to be rebuilt, rather than accept that as our future.

    • and have been reporting ugly stories about Ron Paul for many years, with documentation going back to the early 1970s; the Paul Family's interpretation of libertarianism picked up the baton from the John Birch Society and fellow Texan R. J. Rushdoony.

  • Why ISIL's Attacks on Shiites of Saudi Arabia Threaten World Economy
    • They are trying to bankrupt their enemies, Iran and Russia. In the mid 1980s Reagan and the Saudi King made a secret deal to overproduce oil and collapse prices to ruin the USSR's export revenue - successfully.

  • Armed Bikers Protest at Arizona Mosque
    • The entire game plan is based on our double standards; if a white militia's crimes provoke Moslems into forming a militia, the latter will inevitably be perceived as far more of a threat than the former, and the resulting cycle of retaliation favors the reactionary appeal to "purify" America.

    • I think you're too optimistic. There are many Tea Party ties to the old militia movement of the 1990s that in turn grew out of the crushing of the old white supremacist movements of the 1980s. They're simply learning more sophisticated lies to hide their mechanism to restore Jim Crow and worse. They do not recognize the Constitutionality of the 13th and 14th Amendments. They basically tell their new fans that the Feds cannot give blacks the rights of citizenship, but we can trust them to take care of that at the state level.

      Of course people like that may WANT blacks to be seen as Muslims in order to more easily claim a threat to white Christian Americans that requires disenfranchisement.

  • Kaplan's Fantasies of Empire and the Myth of the Arab Strongman
    • A larger perspective than Kaplan's, taken by a few, is that governance is getting more and more impossible all over the world due to everyone's awareness of other cultures, both hostile and friendly, and the resulting breakdown of the concept of a "public" that can protect its members against the private power of wealth, which destroys communities while pandering to the lowest common appetites.

    • Idiots throw around the word "totalitarian" like confetti. A truly totalitarian state would truly have no dissent, no factions, no special interests, and no corruption, because everyone would be a true believer. It appears that some group of people in North Korea is making a lot of outside money out of the current state of affairs. That's a special interest. Hitler's regime was riddled with special interests.

      Totalitarianism is an aspiration, never achieved. No one is competent enough to get close. Tyranny is a more meaningful word, but it's less useful for scaring Americans. Totalitarianism carries implications of brainwashing (from Mao's time) that could somehow transform us against our will into Moslems, etc.

  • How Mainstream is Bernie Sanders?
    • I recently read a preview of the book "Don't Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired To Ignore Climate Change", by George Marshall. The part that got my attention was a description of it being "common knowledge" among conservatives that all liberal leaders were using Global Warming as a weapon to destroy conservatives and all they hold dear. Thus, even though they may be worried about AGW, they place a far higher priority on tribal loyalty and the war of their tribe against liberals/socialists/blacks/gays/Moslems. There's also been a study that shows that conservatives become bigger climate deniers after they see famous liberals warning about AGW.

      Pretty much their attitude is that in a vacuum, it would be fine to save lives from AGW, but if those lives must be sacrificed to defeat the greater evil (us) then it's worth it. And if they have to believe a lie or claim to do so to accomplish that, then it's worth it.

      I would argue that many, many things we find insane about American politics are due to exactly this zero-sum culture war mentality. What's the matter with Kansas? They're willing to be poor, polluted and backward if that's the price of defending their monopoly on Americanness from us evil usurpers. Somehow they will be rewarded after they eradicate us.

  • Hawks think the US alone can Still Garrison the Planet: How's that Working Out?
    • The key is the realization of conservatives that they could use war spending as an excuse to destroy the social and environmental programs they so despise - even better, making the supporters of those programs "traitors". One of Reagan's staffers wrote a book where he admitted that his people rigged the Federal budget to create a fiscal crisis that they expected would be used to slash social programs. That's exactly the spirit of what's happening now. But it's metastatized into an entire way of life - infinite tax dollars supporting a white welfare state of heavily-Southern defense corporations and right-wing veterans-turned-armed contractors and their sycophants. No matter how much they hate the outside world and want to isolate from it, they need the paranoia of global war to create an environment of racism to carry out their restoration of white patriarchy.

      As for all our country's other public goods needs, this movement rejects the idea that there ARE any public goods - National Security to them is a racial-tribal obligation; there is no public, just the Master race and the subhuman "takers". So why not strangle infrastructure spending until the voters finally throw up their hands and sell off all our public resources to the rich? Which will turn out to be the very guys financing the far right ideology. They will control our schools, our doctors, our roads, our water. They will be a new plantation elite, and the gun nuts will become their enforcers.

  • Kaplan: An Impish Desire for Imperial Déjà Vu
    • Well then, I'm sure Mr. Kaplan will have absolutely no problem with China extending its empire of bribery entirely across Eurasia and restoring order using a tiny fraction of its population of 1.5 billion as boots on the ground. Whom better to impose "the most suffocating forms of authoritarianism"? Especially since, unlike our Wall Street empire, China can actually create jobs for poor people.

      Oh wait, that's not who he really meant? Huh. Who else could it be?

  • Iranian-Americans demand apology from Lindsey Graham for "Liar" Racism
    • A horrifying number of Americans define reputation as terror. They want everyone different than themselves at home and abroad to cower at their feet. Their culture was manufactured over the last 350 years to produce this mindset, binding them to America's real masters. So they will absolutely celebrate if most foreign governments have the crap scared out of them.

  • US Kneejerk support for Israeli Nukes Torpedoes UN Disarmament Talks
    • See Richard Clarke's book, "Your Country Failed You", about his department's 1986 spy satellite discovery that an exact copy of a Chinese IRBM missile base was being built inside Saudi Arabia. Washington shut that down. But the intent has been there all along, waiting for a moment like this.

  • Daesh/ ISIL blows up Shiite Mosque in Saudi Arabia, seeking Sectarian Civil War
    • Supposedly, Chou En-Lai was asked, "Was the French Revolution a good thing or a bad thing?"

      His answer: "It is too soon to tell."

    • Yep. What they will do to themselves to maintain security will do far more damage than simply giving their citizens what they want. The problem is, before they give up they will try to repatriate all their US $ investments to pay for this war, which will flood the world economy with falling dollars. The chickens coming home to roost here have green backs.

    • It's more like blowback than intent. The key to your question is what happened at the end of the '70s in Iran and Saudi Arabia, both tyrannical monarchies backed by the US. Due perhaps to the Shia belief (I guess specific to the Twelvers) that they are only to be governed by the Imams, and none currently exist on Earth, they have rarely been rulers of their own countries. Thus the Shah was a Sunni descended from foreign conquerers. Khomeini's movement provided a theological breakthrough to make a Shia theocracy feasible, and it exploded to power alongside a coalition of anti-Shah forces in 1979. You can imagine from the above article how the Saudis felt about this, but at this same moment the Saudis chose to get involved in nearby Afghanistan alongside the CIA.

      Generally, this is the story of how anti-Soviet paranoia made the US leadership paralyzed in dealing with the Shah and his successor, who at least had the virtue of being anti-Marxist, while at the same time it chose whatever allies it could to win in Afghanistan.

      Thus Iran produced Shia militancy, and Afghanistan produced the jihadi network that turned like Frankenstein's monster on its creators... or at least that's what we are led to believe. The Arab and Persian oil giants might not have pitted their proxies against each other in "sectarian conflict" if Saddam Hussein had not gotten US/Saudi backing in his war of aggression on Iran the next year. Maybe that was the last moment when all of this could have been avoided.

  • Now Jeb Bush thinks Scientists are Arrogant for Discovering Climate Change
    • If it's necessary for him, again and again, to make a remark and then have to take it back because it either angers Tea Partiers or sane people, he's going to look like a piece of Swiss cheese by convention time.

  • ISIL beheaded Dozens in Palmyra, but how Strategic is the City?
    • I think the exile option would have been offered years ago. The problem is that the Baath's constituency would still be stuck in Syria getting slaughtered. The anti-Baath Sunnis would still be stuck in Syria getting slaughtered. You can't stop the fighting unless each ethnic group has its safety guaranteed against even a few bloodthirsty adventurers from one of the other groups. There are no honest brokers left willing to provide the troops necessary to do this.

  • As Palmyra Falls, Who Supports Bashar al-Assad in Syria? (Charles Glass)
  • Washington asks, "Who lost Ramadi?" But Washington never had Ramadi
    • And then what will that President do when the Shiite regime we okayed in Baghdad decides to invite in ten divisions of Iranian Revolutionary Guards instead? That's an option that Diem did not have on the table in 1964.

    • Or maybe because there's a subtext in the GOP messaging that only bigots are meant to hear:

      "If we had stayed the world would have grown to accept it by the time we finally carried out systematic mass extermination... like we would have done in Vietnam if we could."

      They don't believe in rehabilitation, they don't believe in reform, they don't believe in persuasion, they don't believe in negotiation, they don't believe in assimilation. Here or abroad. They believe in punishment, specifically the death penalty. Worse, they believe they have a special right over all other peoples on earth to administer punishment - so that becomes the point of the exercise, even if compromise would more logically achieve some useful gain. Thus, the sort of police behavior they defend in our own cities.

    • Not their own. There's a composer and an orchestra; lobbying groups, think tanks and other propaganda organizations in Washington that consume vast sums and brainpower to come up with lies that they know will fit the media's agenda.

    • Thanks for giving us your experiences in the Occupation. I don't think many of its administrators will ever be willing to talk so frankly.

  • Why does the Iraqi Army Keep Running Away from ISIL?
    • But any arrangement in Iraq has effects on the Shia-Sunni rivalry that has grown all over the Middle East. Iran needs Iraq as a bridge to protect Syria and Lebanon. Saudi Arabia clearly does not respect the rights of non-Sunnis to have any self-government anywhere. It previously tried to seize control of Lebanon by using a corrupt Sunni billionaire as a puppet. Hezbollah made it clear that the Shia would never accept this.

      So how do you get a regional settlement protecting EVERY Sunni and non-Sunni enclave from their limitless willingness to oppress each other?

    • Okay, so now let's apply our same blowback criteria to the Kurds. How do we know our weapons won't be used by the Kurds to create a greater Kurdistan by seizing territory in Syria, Turkey and Iran? We can't really trust anyone.

    • And what if Iran refuses to accept the partition of Iraq and gets its prime minister to accept a massive intervention? Saudi Arabia will retaliate, and Saudi Arabia owns our asses in several ways - as we've seen in Yemen. Breaking with Saudi Arabia to stay out of the war will affect everything from the value of the US dollar to the global flow of energy supplies. I mean, I'm ready for those effects, but our citizens have a right to know what's coming.

    • But what if the strategy of the puppetmasters behind ISIS is to EXPECT that only the most vicious, murderous Shia militiamen will be able to dislodge ISIS from each city in turn? They know those militiamen will destroy everything and commit atrocities.

      Maybe the purpose of ISIS is to be sacrificed as part of a strategy to make it impossible to ever put Iraq back together again. It has been pointed out by others here that Saudi Arabia wants to break the land bridge between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, and Iran wants to maintain it. So ISIS ruining Iraq fits Saudi Arabia's goal. If Iran retaliates too dramatically, Saudi Arabia will go to all-out war and ISIS will quickly be forgotten.

  • After fall of Ramadi to ISIL, does Iraq have a future?
    • If ideology motivated the decision, I think it was because these bastards see everything in the world as evil socialism vs good capitalism, and all Iraqi institutions fell into the former category. Since the neocons assumed Iraq faced no outside threats while under US occupation, they expected that all internal order would be automagically provided by free markets and thus the rise of a naturally superior entrepreneurial class - which we Americans are always told is the only kind of people who should be elected to office, run our roads and schools, etc. The religious thing was completely over their heads.

      After things went wrong, the Occupation was forced to allow elections, meaning it desperately had to turn to each Iraqi prime minister in turn to get cooperation with its schemes - which meant we had to arm his pet death squads and let them run wild until the rival faction replaced it and we started all over again. We could never find a faction leader that was crazy enough to give us what we wanted, and the voters have literally voted to see which of them will be next year's killers and next year's victims, back and forth, until the present crisis.

  • Obama: No Mideast NATO, but US committed to Security of Arab Gulf States
    • What's terrifying is the utter, total autism these princes display towards Western horror at the method they've used to preempt Iran and (really) the Arab Spring - the unleashing of groups like ISIS. They just don't get it. Which means that even if they don't personally prefer ISIS as a means of governance, its sick ideology resides within the realm of what they are willing to do to their own peoples to maintain power.

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