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Total number of comments: 2687 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:37)


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  • Forget the Tweets: The Impact on You of Trump's Deregulation, Privatization of Everything
    • By your standards, America was a one-party state in 1860. No objective person could deny that both North and South were ruled by capitalists. Yet we still had a Civil War.

    • There is a pervasive attitude from the early days of the republic that diplomatic relations between governments is a game of kings - which was pretty true 200 years ago - and that those kings (and the Pope, and the Jewish bankers, and any powerful institution that has committed the crime of not being controlled by Anglo businessmen) are plotting against America. Unfortunately, the greater diversity of government since those days has not taught Americans to spend more effort distinguishing which governments have which motives and which sorts of relationships with them are proper. For 160 years we went with isolationism as a crude catch-all, then suddenly were plunged into a hegemonic position at the very top of the international order.

      In other words, Americans have no real experience in power-sharing with other countries as equals. It sounds to them like some sort of welfare scam, especially if the country isn't as White or capitalist as America is. If we can't be giving all the orders, we want to have no relations at all.

  • Netanyahu rejected offer by Kerry & Arab Leaders of Comprehensive Peace Talks
    • I don't know if peace fosters peace. Asia has basically been at peace since the China-Vietnam war, and now everyone's trying to make claims on the oceans and rioting at any offense by their neighbors. Europe has been largely at peace since 1945, and hateful bigots are talking more and more voters into seeing immigrants as terrorists. America is full of people sniffing around for excuses to destroy all that we learned from the Civil War and the Depression and the Civil Rights struggle.

      And the aggressors in each case are comfortable, basically middle-class, certainly better off than they were during the 2008 crash.

      I think people just got bored.

  • Trump's Russia scandals could be about to get much, much worse
    • The thing to remember is, this is not about plucky Russia standing up to the evil American empire to liberate us all from Wall Street. This is about a corrupt right-wing petro-state that wants the world divided Orwell-style between several Wall Streets, each subservient to a right-wing tycoon/tyrant who runs a government as his private property supported by a populist henchman cult. There is no room for democracy in this model, or dissent, or a free press, because each tyranny is absolute within its sphere of influence.

  • Trump invents Sweden Terror Attack, Lies about Immigrant Crime
    • Well, that is consistent with plotting to undermine the Lincoln Amendments - which the far-right skulking around on the Internet has been pimping since the '90s.

      The only way to do it is the way the Virginia plantation owners did it in the 1670s. Enslave one portion of the working class under a caste label, and elevate another portion and hand them the whips. We've come full circle.

    • Someone recently pointed out that a nation of settlers is not the same as a nation of immigrants. Settlers come to conquer and impose their values on all who live there. Then they turn around and claim immigrants want to do the same, but they're wrong. The immigrants want at most a share of power. But even that is an abomination to the settler mentality of absolutism.

    • I am deeply pessimistic about this, because I think the average Trump supporter will never be satisfied by anything less than the guarantee of a White monopoly on power. Remove Trump, and this sort will search out any other means to obtain that. The trend line from Reagan to W to Trump shows that. They will support a dictator one day and secession the next. Police state one day and militia anarchy the next. Fascist economics one day and unfettered private rights to discriminate the next. Disenfranchisement one day and ethnic cleansing the next.

      You can't get to them by debunking those justifications, because they're just tools to get at something they refuse to admit they want. They want it so bad that they will absorb some unknown amount of real harm in the belief that things will magically get better one day when "those people are put back in their place."

      Now, how many out there are like this? If it's large, then we have only the options of a credible threat of race revolution, or enduring a multi-generational evil held in place by rigged elections. If it's small, then you are instead peeling off Trump supporters who care that America is clearly being impoverished by the advancement of more progressive countries. But that takes time. People soaked deeply in the cult of American exceptionalism will not be moved by comparisons to historical tyranny.

  • Tomorrow, they will say, “Donald Trump rants and raves at the press.”
    • We're running up against the refusal of extremists in America to accept that the flouting of civilized standards of behavior may be instrumental to actual acts of evil - because they've already staked their self-worth on the certainty that civilized standards of behavior are evil. And I'm not just referring to the extreme Right.

      It takes a Hitler to show us what evil truly is, as opposed to ordinary bourgeois corruption and hypocrisy. And then our grandchildren forget.

    • So what the Obama gang did was so reprehensible that an actual war of threats and whipping up of redneck anger against our national media, or ordering the Council of Economic Advisors to assume a future 3 to 3.5% growth rate instead of 2% and then filling in all other economic numbers to match, or looking for a way to use 100,000 National Guardsmen to round up aliens, doesn't strike you as crossing the line into an actual dictatorship?

      I mean, that's like saying that the Vichy Republic was morally no worse than the imperialist 3rd Republic that preceded it, because hey, that handing over Jews to Hitler stuff is offset by Vichy surrendering its empire to a foreign conqueror. You refuse to imagine what crimes Trump will attempt next based on historical models so that you can keep him morally equivalent to Obama. And then Trump commits them - and you will be back here with new excuses.

  • Trump plots to keep Palestinians Stateless forever
    • And that can be proven by genetic analysis, so it's something that can be established as fact. So that reduces differential status to purely a religious argument.

  • All of Putin's / Trump's Men
    • It comes down to what Russia's actual agenda is. Russia has persecuted the Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians for centuries, regardless of whether Moscow was ruled by right-wingers or left-wingers. The US should not have pushed NATO expansion so far. But conversely, Russia needs to get over its obsession with ruling Eastern Europe. I don't find Russia's endless use of coercion and puppet regimes to control Eastern Europe to be morally equivalent with America's shenanigans further south. You are crazy if you think Germany, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, etc., etc. have been abused by the US the way Russia abused its satellites.

      And by attempting to wreck American democracy by helping the worst person to ever run for president at a time when democracy is shaky all over the world, Putin knew he was tilting the scales against democracy everywhere. Do you accept that Putin is also helping Le Pen in France and the neo-fascists in Germany? That's a trifecta that will consign democracy to the ash heap of history... even if Putin's motives were petty and foolish.

      I mean, once democracy falls here, where will you be moving to do defend its survival? White supremacists will build walls across Europe. Canada will cave in. Latin America will be restored to the oligarchs. We literally will have to start cheering for China to win the next Cold War as the least insane tyranny in the post-American multipolar order.

    • The reason why OPEC is desperately trying to limit production is because its individual member states are all desperate for revenue and the fastest solution is to produce more - exactly the situation Russia is in. OPEC exists to enforce long-term thinking over short-term thinking, but Russia is not a member.

      And this is exactly what happened during the great oil gluts in Pennsylvania and Texas in the past. No individual actor could resist the temptation to counter falling prices with more production.

      However, Russia has to worry about the condition of its own wells, which might be getting overworked in this production frenzy. So new Arctic production gives it flexibility in choosing between more money now and more money later.

  • Has Trump quietly surrendered to Russia and China?
    • What's not to like?
      That the country that clearly will dominate the future is a very corrupt dictatorship that tries to cut a billion people off from the same Internet whose freedoms you're enjoying right now? I mean, that's still better than White Supremacist Trump, but then you think Trump is better than Clinton.

      When did people like you finally decide that state-capitalist dictatorships are the solution?

    • Well, this gets into some big things.

      I guess the lesson here is that, whether you want to tear things down from the Right or you want to tear things down from the Left, you better have a plan for what you're going to replace it with that you're willing to put as much effort into building. And you better pay attention to what others will attempt to build instead.

      That applies to the toppling of American hegemony, to the termination of globalization (which China apparently now has simply seized control of), to the energy transition.

      I told everyone for years that simply knocking over the American empire without negotiating a replacement order was going to get ugly. But this is becoming a nightmare beyond my comprehension. It's being done entirely as a Goebbelsesque Big Lie - the fuhrer who promised to revive the empire (with hints thrown in that it would magically be done without interventionism in order to seduce and confuse the Left) is now the one throwing the steering wheel out of the speeding car.

      So I guess I will be called alarmist when I note that the Right-wing mass cult is so easily deceived that when all the shit hits abroad, Trump will scapegoat all of us, and he will use his own failure to justify repressive measures at home. Failing upward is the norm for the Right/White Wing because they always impose their "narratives" about who is to blame.

      Multipolarity is an omelet best served cold. It's tyrants in smoke-filled rooms scribbling cynical deals on napkins that will become the binding of nations and peoples to different masters against their will. Sorry, America is not the sole source of evil in the world. Redistribute power, and evil comes along for the ride unless it is carefully filtered out.

      Of course the discussion of the Obama-Putin conflict will inevitably become bogged down in accusations about who caused whom to escalate, based on sophistry over where the relative lines are drawn that each side crossed in turn. If you refuse to even consider the possibility that Putin wants to do bad things to the Baltic republics or elevate fascists to the rulership of France and Germany, then there's nothing to discuss until after those things happen... because now you can't blame all that on America, not with Trump in charge.

  • Questions about Judgment: Trump appointed Flynn in the First Place
    • What's strange is the resistance of the left and the right to accept the fact that Russia is no longer Red. Putin is a right-wing dictator who exploits flat taxes and homophobia. In other words, he's very much like the sort of dictators the US has traditionally aided in the Global South. The right is, as usual, faster in being indoctrinated to embrace this strange new bedfellow. But why does the left support a Pinochet?

      Answer: they never really had a problem with the juntas except that they were pro-American. An anti-American right-winger was just a hypothetical thought problem then. Now, we have one as a test case. Putin was falsely thought a socialist like Gaddafi or Assad; no one believes that now, but it has not diminished his original fan club in the US much. A much larger, scarier fan club is now forming of all the obedient Republicans - strikingly, far more common among the rank & file than among the leadership.

    • A Pence presidency under these conditions would be as much a lame duck as Gerald Ford's. And the GOP Congress would face the immeasurable wrath of the Trump racist cult, much of which, after all, only became Republican due to the Southern Strategy.

      All of which is why they will stall and hope that the country merely falling apart in the paralysis doesn't bother their supporters too much. After all, they've voted repeatedly for the country to fall apart in every practicable way. The problem is, they don't want paralysis, they want a radical reversion to our barbaric past. If wrecking the Federal government looks like the fastest way to do that in this very nanosecond, they will grasp at that. If empowering the Federal government under a fascist looks like the fastest way, they will grasp at that.

    • The PPP poll numbers I saw last week had the public at 46% for impeachment, 46% against. I've never heard of anything like that before. It means there's hardly anyone but his supporters who don't want him impeached. I'm pretty damn sure that even when Bush Junior's approval went down to 28%, the number who wanted to impeach wasn't as much as 28%. The plurality of Americans were in the camp of disapproving but wanting to wait the bastard out.

      I don't know if the American public has been this radically polarized since the Civil War.

    • You just don't want to consider any possibility that America is not the sole source of evil in the world. Putin is anti-American, therefore he must be an angel. You know that his government has been supportive of far-right racist parties throughout Europe, that it will do what it can to help LePen and the German neo-fascists finish off two more democracies.

      An objective observer would ask, why SHOULDN'T every country attempt to use these methods to interfere with others' elections? You are yourself creating the conditions in which there is no cost for doing so by saying that it is impossible (except by the uniquely evil CIA). And in fact, it probably is slowly coming about - though Putin's striking success, mark my words, will bring the avalanche. Elections are in the process of becoming completely useless because no one can begin to tell who they're really voting for in this fake-news false-flag environment.

      You want everything to be about domestic policy because you don't give a damn about US power. But now democracy is dead. Human rights are dead. That will feed into our domestic politics, our transmutation into an Apartheid state that underlies all your areas of conflict with the capitalists. That was always the plan. We aren't allowed to know whose plan or what comes next.

    • I would submit the name of Lt. Col. Oliver North at this point, but then the American Congress and public chose to embrace the comfortable notion that Reagan was out of the loop, and nothing can change that now.

    • Trump had to promise Russia that the sanctions would be lifted before he even had time to be inaugurated. Maybe because the deadline was coming to get his payback through a secret share in that shock selloff of 19% of Russia's state oil company? Of course, I can prove nothing. That's just how things are in Oceania.

    • Kremlinology may just be masturbation by those Karl Rove derided as reality-studiers. But here's a shot.

      If Flynn REALLY lied to Pence, that implies that Pence would have given a damn about Russia. Which is not impossible. He's an old-school theocrat and those guys are just too used to seeing Russia as a rival belief system.

      That would mean that factional conflicts within this bizarre White House still matter. Even "totalitarian" regimes have factions. And internal conflicts mean leaks. And leaks drip, drip, drip.

      However, I would caution that many Evangelical fanatics have been adjusting their worldviews, embracing Putin's homophobia and war on his own Moslems. Moreover, with these guys all hatreds of foreigners are a means to an end, which is the reconstruction of America into a theocratic state. Pence may not give a damn about Flynn's coverup at all. The whole White House gang, the whole Republican Party, may be perfectly unified behind the goal of holding onto power by any means necessary, and willing to put up with whatever works this minute.

      Machiavelli would say that it's wise to sacrifice a flunky early on to scapegoat for an unpopular policy. But such an act can also put blood in the water.

    • How can those allegations ever go from being unfounded to founded when you join with the Trumpites in calling anyone qualified to determine this a biased imperialist conspirator? I mean, that may well be true, but what does that leave us with but the need to harass the administration until the large burden of creating an unbiased investigation can no longer be postponed. The right-wing media kept many, many unfounded allegations simmering against Democratic leaders, and won an election for a fascist that way. Since they're "patriots" they never had to have an unbiased investigation to get what they wanted. Are we supposed to fight with our hands tied behind our backs?

  • After Miller's Mega-Lies, time to rev back up the Reality Based Community
    • Actually, what Rove meant was something that an Athenian general told the victims of the massacre he was about to commit during the Pelopponnesian Wars:

      "The strong do what they will. The weak do what they must."

      Rove horribly misjudged who was strong enough to actually do what they will.

    • That's pretty much the standard characteristics of those White men who have spent their lives believing that they are the only beings of any value and shouldn't have to share power with anyone different. We're pretty used to them in America. And sometimes they win and cost America another half-century or more of social progress.

  • Is the answer to Alt-NeoNazism Bernie's Democratic Socialism?
    • I think the fantasy that Trump's bigot army was motivated by social and economic justice and was just salivating at the chance to vote for a pinko Jew has now been blown out of the water. They've continued to support Trump despite, in theory, being betrayed in ever possible way. Half the population are willing to support fascism and racism to feel good about themselves. People like that were never going to support democratic socialism, and Sanders understood that better than his own supporters.

      So no, Sanders did not have a chance against Trump, unfortunately.

  • Could Trump's War of Words with China turn Hot?
    • Generally I agree with you, but I think both economies are relying on speculative bubbles to put off recessions. It doesn't matter that China's real exports keep growing X% a year if its stock and real estate markets inflate 5X% a year; there still has to be a shakeout. And we know the shakeout can be triggered by a relatively tiny event compared to the size of the whole economy. That's panic. But a wartime economy gives leaders options they don't normally exercise to freeze or manipulate markets in the name of patriotism. What I can't see, ironically, is any economic boost from genuine war production, because there's nothing the US or China can mass-build to use in decisive warfare against the other, only esoteric gadgets or Special Forces to jab at soft spots.

      The USN has been teaching our submarines all sorts of new tricks. Some missile subs were converted into carriers for SEAL teams. So I guess launching mini-submarines has already happened, and that's not far from minelaying. Our attack submarines have long been able to launch naval cruise missiles from torpedo tubes to assault land targets, but with the limitations I noted.

      I expect that anything that can be fired out of a vertical or horizontal tube is ready to go. Eventually someone will finally design a drone torpedo that you can leave behind, able to identify and attack enemy shipping for weeks.

      It's all very limited warfare without nukes. But the media machines at the disposal of governments can turn small actions into heroic victories or ignored sideshows based on their needs. That doesn't mean that things aren't spinning out of control in the real world. There's too many other actors out there who might get involved.

    • It cancels any payments being made now. But it's still out there awaiting the outcome of the war. I'm pretty sure Saddam Hussein's debt to Kuwait, which was one of the reasons he had to invade it, did not go away after he was defeated.

    • To continue my remarks, we could wonder what military moves would follow the extinction of surface ships in the China Seas. I expect our submarines, having nothing better to do, would be used to launch cruise missiles against whatever these Trump fascists consider a legitimate target. They will carry conventional warheads, so it would matter as little as the V-2s sporadically raining down on London. Perfect for Beijing's propaganda needs, though. At that point the Chinese people will be in a frenzy for revenge. It would be very wise for South Korea to declare neutrality on Day One. Absent that, there's no good way for the conventional Chinese military to hurt the US. The damage will be done in the economic war.

      From a policy standpoint, this sort of pointless stalemate gives Beijing an excuse to reimpose the old Communist discipline (which is what wartime economies all pretty much resemble) on the nascent capitalist interests that are holding back much-needed reforms. That means getting capital flows under control, banning sales of gasoline-engine cars, completing the poorly-coordinated renewable energy transition underway, etc. I don't know if China ever completed its natural gas pipelines to Iran, but I'm sure it could expedite more and expand them throughout Central Asia. With Iran and Pakistan as its economic satellites, China would have some means to engage in proxy war against US forces far from home, but those forces might in turn be foolish enough to attack those countries to get at those economic flows.

    • I wouldn't say the US military has no assets in this situation. What it has accumulated from so many years of out-of-control spending is outstanding pilots and sailors and technical personnel. There's some kinds of experience that it's hard to get without expensive drills and even more expensive real wars. Part of China's wisdom is in looking for weapons that take human skill out of the equation. But even a robot needs live-fire experience for the sake of programming its successors.

      In general, it looks as though any surface warships that go near China will be annihilated by its missiles. But conversely, American submarines will have a field day returning to waters they dominated in the war against Japan. Those subs could do even better if they were used as minelayers, a tactic belatedly employed against Japanese shipping that yielded better results than simply firing torpedoes against them. The problem is that the US Navy has publicized its carrier task forces and the White House has relied on them so much for gunboat diplomacy that no one pays much attention to the growing capabilities of submarines, and there is no consensus that any ASW weapons in non-US hands could begin to be as effective as the anti-ship missiles designed to go after those task forces.

      So you're looking at mutually assured destruction of all forms of surface traffic over a huge area. All merchant ships will stay in port to avoid this madness. Trade between Asia and the Americas will break down, and what % of the world's economy is bound to that?

      Then it becomes the nightmare of a starvation contest between two horribly-inflated economies that normally need each other to prevent financial collapse. I think it will go badly on both sides, and they will drag the world into another Great Depression.

  • Can Peak Gerrymandering by GOP be Challenged by Progressives?
    • What we could do is replace single representatives with multi-member districts, like they have in Japan (not that it's a vibrant example of multiparty democracy). Each district has an open voting list. Rational-actor political parties will only run as many candidates in that district as they think they can afford to split their partisans, leaving the other slots for other parties. Thus you get a vague sort of proportional representation. It defeats the fundamental evil of gerrymandering, which is the intent to strand your enemies just out of reach of a representative in every damn district. And since we're simply multiplying the number of reps in the existing districts we avoid a lot of constitutional hassles with the other voting reform schemes.

    • I wish we could administer the sodium penthathol test to a representative sampling of American partisans from both parties to ask this one fundamental question:

      Would you really surrender an electoral system rigged in favor of your own faction?

      If the answer is still largely "no" after 241 years, then we can at least declare the American experiment a failure in producing people capable of self-government.

  • Give us your Huddled Scientists: France woos US Climate Researchers, Inventors in age of Trump
    • So, do senile societies reform, or do they just veer off into the dustbin of history while the rest of the world moves on without them?

      At this point, the dangers presented by America to the rest of the world are so great that we might have a moral obligation to help progressive countries obtain the greatest technological advantages over it in the least time, instead of fruitlessly hitting our heads against the nostalgia and reactionary denialism of our fellow citizens.

      These days would feel less horrible if there was a democratic country that was being so rewarded for doing things differently than the USA that it could replace it as an example for the world and embarrass Americans into changing course. I don't see any.

    • China's government went about this the most intelligently. It paid a lot of its bright kids to study every useful subject in the US, knowing that many would refuse to come home. Then it waited for them to prove themselves in a competitive environment. Now it is offering the winners a blank-check company of their very own if they move back to China with everything they've learned during and after college.

    • Then the scientists flee to Germany, ironically.

  • Telling the difference between Friends and Strange Bedfellows in the Age of Trump
    • Choosing allies within a country trending towards civil war over fascism is different than choosing to side with Stalin against Hitler in a world war, because your fellow victors will be trying to get their hands on the post-fascist legal system no matter how complicit they were in the rise of the fascists. We would like to think, in that all-domestic context, that our former enemies turned allies would learn a lesson, that the ideological overlap they had in common with the tyrant needs to be expunged, that their voter faction will want to treat our voter faction fairly based on the latter's definition of fairness.

      But our track record of learning from our history is so poor now, made deliberately so by psychological engineering by well-paid experts, that I think we Americans will learn nothing from this era of crisis. Nothing will really change in this country until an army of People of Color beats the crap out of a White army, on a battlefield or otherwise, and finally imposes its own definitions of politics on the survivors. It will probably take several rounds of alliances and betrayals and eliminations in this bloody tournament to get to that truly new republic. But demographics ordain that an American democracy in 2050 is going to look like this anyway. In fact, this was exactly my logic in supporting Sanders and then Clinton. Whatever keeps the country out of the hands of Jim Crow long enough for non-Whites to simply vote out these scumsuckers of all varieties of the Right. But let Jim Crow in even one single time because of qualms about lesser evils, and the inevitability of a multi-racial republic is joined by the likelihood that it will be brought about by violence.

      Well, our Jim Crow is in now, accompanied by so many other political pathologies that we can barely keep track of them.

  • Is Steven Bannon marching America toward Messianic Apocalypse?
    • On the very day I went to early-vote last year, I read a long section of a book called "The Fall of Apartheid" by Robert Harvey. But I only wanted to read the first part, which of course was about its rise as an ideology that stormed into electoral victory in 1948.

      And that is entirely the story of the Broederbund, the Afrikaner supremacist cult that swore to conquer South Africa by any and all means. It was a creepy blend of American-style racism and Nazism, as if a German racial theorist were the governor of Alabama. Its real power was not the hatred of Blacks, but of the relatively liberal English-speaking capitalist elite, who could not help but follow the rest of their Commonwealth and their world into accepting that Blacks would have to be given the right to vote after the victory against Hitler... a victory that many Afrikaners did not celebrate. The most sickening thing about these cultists was the hyperbolic self-serving Wagnerian romance they wove over the "Afrikaner spirit" needing to rule over the wilderness - while all along the #1 problem they were secretly wresting with was how to industrialize South Africa using semi-enslaved Black labor.

      So there are many parallels to the alt-Right and its usurpation of Redneck Christian America in a march to power. But when I compared the 30 years of hard work put in by the Broederbund fanatics to Bannon, I realized: He thinks he's the Broederbund. He thinks his gang of keyboard commandos have reprised the great crime of the Broederbund. He's a lazy, self-absorbed pig who doesn't understand the first thing about actual governance.

      And he completely discounts the humanity and power of everyone outside his tribe, here and abroad. The outside world is just a Nigger that will fall silent when Massah picks up the whip.

      Just like South Africa - Boycott, Disinvest, Sanction. But let's not wait 30 years this time. If the Broederbund had no answer for it in the '80s, then this piker, this Cliff Notes lightweight, this degenerate monument to intellectual masturbation, hasn't the slightest clue.

    • Yeah, he's much weirder than the neo-Confederates I expected would be the American Right's final form. Their obsession - which they lie about - is with the year 1860 as the beginning of all evil. Bannon's obsession is with the year 1914. Here are his remarks at a far-right Catholic conference in 2014.

      "It’s ironic, I think, that we’re talking today at exactly, tomorrow, 100 years ago, at the exact moment we’re talking, the assassination took place in Sarajevo of Archduke Franz Ferdinand that led to the end of the Victorian era and the beginning of the bloodiest century in mankind’s history. Just to put it in perspective, with the assassination that took place 100 years ago tomorrow in Sarajevo, the world was at total peace. There was trade, there was globalization, there was technological transfer, the High Church of England and the Catholic Church and the Christian faith was predominant throughout Europe of practicing Christians...

      One thing I want to make sure of, if you look at the leaders of capitalism at that time, when capitalism was I believe at its highest flower and spreading its benefits to most of mankind, almost all of those capitalists were strong believers in the Judeo-Christian West. They were either active participants in the Jewish faith, they were active participants in the Christians’ faith, and they took their beliefs, and the underpinnings of their beliefs was manifested in the work they did. And I think that’s incredibly important and something that would really become unmoored. I can see this on Wall Street today — I can see this with the securitization of everything is that, everything is looked at as a securitization opportunity. People are looked at as commodities. I don’t believe that our forefathers had that same belief..."

      I looked up the manuscript I wrote back in 2004, The Upture, in which a right-wing madman leads a coup to take over the Internet and launch a fake Second Coming of Christ in virtual reality, using the digitized minds of "Raptured" Republicans as the stormtroopers. This character's rationalizations for the world of 1914 are just about identical to Bannon's remarks.

      Of course this description of 1914 is bullshit. But White folks want to believe it, and it lets them put a little distance between themselves and the blatant White supremacy of their Southern allies. We should be very scared of this vision.

  • White House, Inc.: Kellyanne Con Artist Pitches Ivanka Line
    • Don't forget Melania's lawsuit against the Daily Mail for harming her ability to sell her own merchandise brand out of the White House due to all its nasty coverage.

      Do people understand yet why conflicts of public and private interest are dangerous to our liberties? Where are the right-wing Constitutional originalists to defend the Emoluments Clause now? Too busy saving up to buy Trump-branded Kalashnikovs?

  • Feature, not Bug: Trump’s Chaos Theory of Government
    • Sticking to the EU issue, since that's the least discussed at this forum.

      Bannon could find the EU threatening on several cranky fronts.

      1. despite its current corporatism, the EU has the means to be reformed if voters had the will to demand it, and that's a win for universal concepts of civil rights. I had argued in past years about the hypocrisy of American right-wingers in supporting NATO was that all our European allies were guilty of "Communism" by GOP standards - universal health care being just the tip of the iceberg. Well, that bastard Bannon took me up on that. Wreck the EU and its social safety net, and the US gets to pose as the sole major model of liberal democracy. Sorry, Canada or New Zealand won't inspire too many folks in the rest of the world. All we have to be is less bad than Russia and China.

      2. Even if the EU remains corporatist, it is a challenge to US capitalist hegemony. Cheney's neo-cons explicitly said that America must destroy any challenger to its hegemony - they didn't say anything about form of government.

      3. Now for the big one: the White Bloc. We can't yet prove this, but at the very least Bannon is a Victorian nostalgic, whose people sound like that monster Cecil Rhodes when talking about the destiny of White/Christian/English-speaking people to impose their civilization on the whole world. Well, let's say he wants his 1914 back. Anglo-American economic hegemony was real. The globe was effectively divided between White empires (except for Japan and China). Those empires were, in truth, beginning to turn on each other like predators who have run out of prey. But in Bannon's diseased mind, they may still shine as Caucasian cousins, sworn never to spill White blood, always ready to help each other in the specific case of a rebellion by dusky natives.

      In this way, you reconcile the contradictions between White nationalist/separatist isolationism and Classical liberal imperialism, meaning in modern politics, the Buchanan/Wallace racist populists versus the neocons. You see that contradiction every day when you see racists flip back and forth between loving militiamen who want to collapse government down to county-size fiefdoms and wanting Washington to enslave and annihilate the Moslem world. You can't have both, but both represent an idea of White supremacy, which is still taboo in national discourse. Taboo ideas get parceled out to surrogate ideas covered by codewords, like States' Rights on one hand or "Christian civilization" on the other.

      Bannon is laboring to revoke the taboo. He needs, if even only for himself, the old fantasy that there are homelands endowed by God unto the different races, talk once common among nationalist activists trying to secede from earlier empires. But of course, the minute these nationalists got their homeland, they began scheming to steal the lands of others.

      The Nazis even re-enacted that hypocrisy in super-speed. Their early '30s rhetoric was the same victimization spiel seen among those nationalities genuinely enslaved by empires. In only a couple of years, they'd moved to the "liberate our enclaves behind enemy lines" phase. By 1939, they were ready to toss all that national homeland for everybody crap and proclaim their right to be the enslavers.
      Of course, by then the Brownshirts' anarchistic talk of abandoning the cities and tearing down centralized institutions like the Army was long erased. No need for isolation once the masses regain their confidence they can get away with more.

      Thus it is with the far-right crank jabbering on the Internet. He's confused enough about the actual lines of authority in America that he can be an agrarian militiaman one day and a cheerleader for the Pentagon the next. The key is disguising the hated big govt. bureaucracy as something that strikes an emotional chord. That's where fascists thrive. A federation of backward, ruralized, theocratic sovereign states that just happens to spend $700 billion a year on a global military? Sure, why not? A brotherhood of the White races, each respecting the other's right to enslave a certain sector of the Global South without all those old entanglements of international law or climate treaties or human rights? As long as I trust my tribal chieftain to get me my share of the booty, I'm ready to believe that.

      So no EU, because the Italians and Croats and Hungarians don't fit in his 19th century schema. They are part of the enslaved South.

  • "This Land:" The pro-Immigrant Radicalism of Lady Gaga and Guthrie at Half-Time
    • This sort of brings up a question. Is the right way to fight a regressive "revolution" to counter it with messages that liberalism as we understand it is American and patriotic, therefore "normal"? Is this going to become a battle of rival normalizations? Are we trying to activate the non-voters who we assume to still have some humanistic values, or are we trying to convert Trump's base who now take their marching orders from a "conservative" who says he's a Leninist who wants to overthrow the existing bourgeois liberal society?

      I've had a feeling for a long time that attempts to out-patriot the Right, to claim that originalism actually supports Jeffersonian liberalism, rest on dangerous assumptions about the essential commitment to fairness of the White masses.

  • Will Trump use the Next ISIL attack to sweep away our Liberties?
    • Yes, but the velocity of events is important. A terrorist attack allows things to happen so much faster. And it can create the electoral conditions for them to go on for 4 years, or 8.

    • I recall Bush Junior's administration flailing around in its first 9 months, unable to sell an agenda far more extreme than the genial uniter image he'd sold in the election. He was becoming a national joke. Matt Stone and Trey Parker had a live-action series running called "That Darn Bush."

      He needed 9/11 by the time it happened.

  • When Germany thinks someone is Killing Democracy . . .
    • This cover truly reflects what is in the hearts of Trump's supporters, the nostalgia for their forefathers' barbarism from the forests of Germania to the Tulsa riots. They are only in denial about the sense of glee, poorly smothering it in duty and tradition. They hired Trump, over so many others, to finally be the destroyer of their enemies after all these decades of insinuation and promises.

      Funny how all the talk about offshoring and interventionism has fallen silent.

  • In Shocker, Federal Judge in Seattle Halts Trump Muslim Ban
    • Bannon's Breitbart has already put out false claims that a majority of Silicon Valley tech-firms have Asian-born CEOs - as if that were a bad thing being done against White people. Like the anti-Semites, he will never accept that immigrants succeed at some industries due to their own merits, that it has to be due to some conspiracy or an evil inherent to that industry (Jews in Hollywood, Black rappers and athletes, etc.). When he uses Breivik-like terms such as "Christian civilization", Asians don't count regardless of their faith or birthplace.

      Obviously, he's at least extended his concept of the Master Race to include Slavs, so Germans and sufficiently northern Italians should already be okay as immigrants.

      We are falling with extraordinary speed down the rabbit hole of White Supremacist theology. Weeks ago I thought Bannon was simply racism + isolationism, meaning the sort whose conviction is that there is a "proper" homeland for all the races to have for themselves but no place else... of course, certain exceptions being made for when superior races colonize inferior lands or rule them through puppets. Now he's making his foray into foreign policy and we have to wonder if there is anyplace on his dream-Earth where a Person of Color has any rights to respect.

    • It was apparent all through the campaign that Trump had no concept how power is shared between the branches of government. It wasn't just that he wanted to impose the dictatorial style of a capitalist CEO on the Federal government, he already assumed it was that way, that presidents were either not using their power or were using it for the wrong policies, but no one else ever mattered.

    • The more logical route is to whip up anger about the courts to empower Congressional action, and maybe even Constitutional amendments or a Constitutional convention enabled by GOP control of state legislatures. That would be a enormous project designed as a Final Solution to wipe out the last 200 years of law and civil rights. The excitement this would kindle among the deplorables could save the GOP in midterms, their quid pro quo for all the problems Trump is causing them in real life.

    • Erdogan also had the competence to run Turkey quite well during the '00s, managing to be the face of an economic boom while its neighbors were ruined by war. As I understand, it all came down to the moment when he started demanding constitutional changes, which required a supermajority that his reasonable policies towards the Kurds made impossible. So to civil war and endless crackdowns. Trump/Bannon may be trying to skip ahead to this part.

    • Divide and conquer. Leave the Mexicans for next month's crisis. Ramp up pressure until an individual Latino commits an act of violence, then begin the scripted cycle of escalation. Or carry out a false flag attack... another form of alternative fact.

    • There's been an article circulating widely this week that argues the purpose of the badly-written executive orders was precisely to invite a court action, and then attempt to get Federal officers to ignore it. Supposedly this has already happened to some extent with the earlier court orders, for instance in California US Marshals refused to serve an order restraining US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.

      I think this new order is so sweeping that any chance that Federal officers defy it directly is low. More likely more games with interpretation, which is normal. So Reichsfuhrer Bannon is likely to lose on this and expend some political capital. Why did he start all this unless he has some way to win? A new propaganda campaign against Federal judges to prepare for new legislation? Stage-setting for a false flag attack that will lead to the arrest of an individual who, conveniently, is exactly one of those affected by the original visa ban?

      It is very hard to think one step ahead of such bizarre people once they have power, which is why prudent nations do not let this sort have power in the first place.

  • Trumpworld Fake News: Iran attacks US Navy, Iraqis Massacre Bowling Green
    • Trump is Sonny, not Vito.

    • The lies matter because they herald the direction the movement's priests intend to direct society. Hitler told everyone his plans way back in 1923. Then he put on an act, switching stories to juggle his old followers with new ones to build an electoral party. But once he was in power, he was compelled to return to his true nature, his death list and the myths he truly believed. He had to fight another war with France, he had to eliminate the Jews, he had to invade Russia. He could not operate outside of his mental universe.

      So which of Trump's bewildering flurry of bullshit are his core beliefs? His hatred of Iran, his need to lump all ordinary Moslems together as a single behemoth that cannot co-exist with Christians, his need to cripple China just because it's so big, his view of Mexicans as having no existence but to plot against White America, his dismissal of Blacks as fit only to be criminals and servants, and most of all his contempt for women. He comes back to these things again and again. We can be more sure about those than about his beliefs on economics and the role of government.

  • Trump Counter-Terrorism Program to drop White Supremacists, focus on Islam
    • Yeah, yeah, tens of millions of you in the South who worship everything that your ancestors did, yet claim that White Supremacy was just a misunderstanding. Where was your hypocrite ancestors' belief in States' Rights when they passed the Fugitive Slave Act?

      No one goes to war over the right of their state to abrogate the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments unless they have someone in mind they intend to strip of the right to vote. Which then makes possible all the other things that have been done to Blacks.

      Dylann Roof cut through all your bullshit and expressed the heart of the matter, just as Anders Breivik expressed it for the pathetic "alt-right" who are now camped in the White House.

      Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens, March 1861:

      "Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth. This truth has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the various departments of science. It has been so even amongst us. Many who hear me, perhaps, can recollect well, that this truth was not generally admitted, even within their day. The errors of the past generation still clung to many as late as twenty years ago. Those at the North, who still cling to these errors, with a zeal above knowledge, we justly denominate fanatics. All fanaticism springs from an aberration of the mind from a defect in reasoning. It is a species of insanity. One of the most striking characteristics of insanity, in many instances, is forming correct conclusions from fancied or erroneous premises; so with the anti-slavery fanatics. Their conclusions are right if their premises were. They assume that the negro is equal, and hence conclude that he is entitled to equal privileges and rights with the white man. If their premises were correct, their conclusions would be logical and just but their premise being wrong, their whole argument fails... They were attempting to make things equal which the Creator had made unequal."

      Stephens was right in that all the other fundamental principles he praised in the rest of his speech, every one still part of your right-wing beliefs, rested on the bedrock of human inequality. He was honest. You're not.

  • Here we go Again: Trump Admin Threatens Iran
    • There's simply no use for a mass draft in modern warfare.

      However, the suppression of domestic dissent is another matter.

      We could see the logic for this forming during the campaign, where Trump was seducing gullible antiwar people with attractive crumbs, saying some particular war was stupid. But for his actual supporters, the promise was a Fortress America, a greatly enlarged military that was brought home from overseas. Of what use would these legions be? Stateside bases act as a subsidy for the dead-end towns next to them. Bases are usually in Red States because the land is cheaper there, and maybe because having them targeted by ICBMs was more acceptable there. That has helped bind rural White America to the military, which they've come to see as their special province and proof that they're better Americans than the rest of us.

      Recall that when the time came for Beijing to crush Tiananmen Square, it called in Army units from rural areas, who were expected to be loyal.

  • Trump Threatens to Send US Army to Mexico for 'Bad Hombres'
    • The story of Pershing's Mexican raid was taught quite differently to Americans like me growing up before anyone heard the terms "Chicano" or "La Raza." We weren't taught about how the US' relationship with the dictator Diaz had put us in a bad light once the revolution began. We weren't taught about the consequences of the US invasion of Veracruz. So it was confusing to see the conflicting narratives of Pershing's incursion as a last romantic fling before the horrors of WW1, versus Pancho Villa as folk hero.

      Times changed enough for the Villa narrative to become stronger. But now, no one knows or cares about the events of 1917 at all. So old Donald Trump with his old-time racist myths has a population to work with that's pretty much a blank slate.

  • Trump Can't Make America Great Again without Immigrants
    • I have this horrifying hunch that we have not yet seen the worst White people can do when it comes to having their cake and beating it too.

      It is interesting that we are seeing a plague of ethno-nationalist regimes and parties grasping at power, at this moment when we basically have the chance to lick overpopulation. This is because ethno-nationalists are usually nativists. They view women's wombs as the barracks of their future armies; it is their duty to reproduce their tribe to outnumber its enemies. What do the US, France, Germany, England, Israel and Russia have in common? Those falling (White) birthrates. But even Indian Hindus have a falling birthrate, and there again we see ethno-nationalists looking to beat down demographic challenges.

      In America the Christian Right have (as usual) been given the duty of calling for something in the name of Christian culture that otherwise would be recognized as racism: the Quiverfull movement, Biblically concocting the demand that (the right kind of) Christian women have more babies to outreproduce the Moslem threat (actually Black/Latino). However, the downfall of this scheme is the ideological unreliability of the children; the Christian Right is having a hard time reproducing itself due to defections.

      I've gone on about this before, but what I'm instead suspecting will be instituted is a restoration of debt serfdom biased to target non-Whites. This means re-establishing the Southern caste system, with the actual ownership class in their fortified villas, and the, to put it crudely, redneck class elevated to the middle caste as enforcers by cycling them thru the military & mercenary contractors. Then it won't be a problem that there's not enough of them, but a problem of finding enough people to profitably oppress to make their own standard of living higher than currently regardless of the Medievalization of our nation.

      Now this gets us into some interesting territory regarding caste systems. It's possible for a privileged someone of a higher caste to be poorer than someone from a lower caste. We know about that in India, but even in the Jim Crow South some Blacks had some wealth despite the massive disadvantages they were under. Under a rigged system (via all-White juries) debtors with the advanced skills required by the 21st century economy might be tried and sentenced to divergent paths. The White middle class would be allowed to stay in their homes, but their income would be permanently garnished in the manner of peasant rents. The non-Whites would be exiled to these abandoned wasteland communities you mentioned. Maybe like Jews in the Russian Pale. I'm thinking that while robots have won out in factories, in a resource extraction/real estate bubble economy, the vast wilderness lands now being schemed for privatization must be developed, and robots aren't going to be cost-effective in Montana in January. Nope, it's Gulag time, millions of Black & Latino laborers cared for by Indian doctors and Asian teachers, all enthusiastically condemned as debt parasites repaying the "damage" they did to Real Americans.

      So when I watch the stumbling attempts at resistance - and at justification - in the age of Trump, I'm trying to gauge how far ordinary Whites and their assault rifles will go in mind-boggling, all-time-villain mass atrocity. How many of them will really resist the bizarre nightmare I just described? Once they are cornered into an us-or-them zero-sum confrontation? And more importantly, how many will fight for it with all they've got because, all along, they've never really had any sense of identity or pride except as the Master Race?

  • Trump's Alt-Reality: White Terrorism against Mosque justifies Muslim Ban
    • The sickest part of the Trump joke is that he came to power by essentially accusing the Democrats of carrying out the Shock Doctrine - then he went ahead and actually did it himself. The key? The need of the fascist mentality to divide the capitalist elite into patriots and traitors based on ethnic stereotypes, then blame the ills of capitalism entirely on the latter.

  • German Ambassador 1933: "Hostility to Jews Aimed Mainly at 'Immigrants'"
    • I have actually spent the last 34 years (God, has it been that long?) writing stories about a 2nd American civil war along the present factional lines. Of course, I have not found a publisher, because I'm not favorable to the right-wingers like say, "The Turner Diaries" or "Victoria."

      Around 1992 I got tired of writing short stories about the aftermath of that war, which seemed a cliched cop-out in science fiction. I decided to do it the hard way. Write a book, "Warheads," about the first incident that makes war inevitable. And then have it be about a bunch of kids fighting in a schoolbus going to the last public school in northern Houston.

      Some of the things I wrote about then have already happened. We've had the catastrophic Christian-Right president who led America to failure in the Middle East, we've had the Black president who has provoked a racist backlash but refuses to support armed resistance by his followers.

      Other things I wrote about seemed off-course. Given the Southernness of the right-wing movement, the use in my story of skinhead teenage gangs secretly protected by the Christian Right looked too "European".

      Until the alt-Right spewed out of the Internet gutter.

      Anyway, the last section of the book is called Harper's Ferry, because it's about a catastrophic attempt by private mercenaries to rescue White hostages being held in a Black/Latino neighborhood, because the governments of Texas and the US are no longer on speaking terms.

      In the last few years I've finally resumed work on the next book, "Nation of Warheads," where I can work out my ideas on how a revolution of Workers of Color can succeed under the horrible conditions resulting from the end of the 1st book. I'm glad I put it aside for 14 years. The technologies that have arisen in recent years show the path to a revolutionary economy that will be necessary to overthrow the now-openly fascist regime we see forming around us. But the strategy to carry it out is really heinous.

    • The elephant in the room is the growing awareness that Whites are demographically doomed to become a minority in maybe 30 years. Of course many states will have this happen before that, and state government is the historic favorite tool for racist governance.

      The logical purpose of the current campaign of dehumanization is to rig elections permanently in favor of "real" Americans. For a decade or more that has consisted of Republican attempts to make Blacks, in particular, face burdens tailored to their historical voting patterns, and fear that any discrepancy in their voting will lead to their arrest. Judges have struck down some of these measures.

      But now the preparation is being made for these judges to be overriden and removed. The far right has long harbored the dream of openly repealing the Lincoln amendments under the cover of States' Rights. Even Jim Crow operated in the refusal of the Federal government to enforce those amendments. Eliminating them opens up a new cosmos of possibilities.

      Look out for right-wing talk about amendments or a Constitutional convention. They've gathered control of enough state legislatures to make it a possibility. The objective will at first appear to be the stripping of birthright citizenship from some Latinos. That simply culls enough from the electorate to enable the next phase: the creation of official 2nd-class citizenship in the fashion of Apartheid. This has been the Holy Grail of our far-right movement since 1964. Its poison has been extruded into every possible excuse to restore historic inequalities. It is the body whose hydra heads are the movements for not just White supremacy, but male supremacy, Christian supremacy, and the supremacy of the rich. All of these, though, lead back to the restoration of American patriarchy and its "understood" two-tiered citizenship.

  • Demonizing Muslims: White Quebec Terrorists kill 6 in attack on Mosque
    • Update. Mr. Khadir was released as a witness. Mr. Bissonnette is under arrest.

  • The Sadism of Racist Exclusion: Courts Temporarily Block Trump
    • Is it because he enjoys being arbitrary, or is it because his followers feed on the cruelty unleashed by this haste? If it's the latter, then the message is being sent out over the land: you too can participate in sadistic patriotism. To policemen, state legislatures, ordinary bullies.

    • It was obvious over a year ago that Trump intended to rule by decree. He didn't campaign for fellow Republicans in Congress, he didn't do anything to help the GOP, he created his own parallel cult organization. He showed zero understanding of how Congress, the Supreme Court and the Constitution function. He made endless promises to enact what the Executive may only propose to Congress.

      This clearly did not hurt him. What's new is the elevation of Steve Bannon to direct this new form of rule.

    • Trump is notorious for refusing to pay his bills and then grinding it all out in court as a routine business operation. Or I should say "famous", since despite all the denials among his followers, they could hardly be unaware of this behavior. They want a leader who will cheat everyone they think has cheated them.

  • Trump Is Carpet-Bombing . . . U.S. Foreign Policy
    • If that's all he does, he really does have the mind of a hillbilly. There are much bigger scams that could be run through a fully corporatized White House. Corporations in every country could simply form joint ventures with entities whose ownerships worm their complex ways to The Trump Organization. This in turn opens up Enron-level stock scams, the dilution of value through forming joint ventures being an Enron favorite. A hotel might generate tens of millions a year in revenue. Joint ventures in energy or privatization of state goods get you to billions. Favors in the privatization of Social Security, Medicare and public schools get you to the level that I like to call "Pentagon money".

  • How Trump's 'Alternative Facts' Will bite his own Supporters on the Ass
    • Peasants have supported ruling classes that objectively hurt them before. The (profitable) secret to this is that people prize not just empirical goods, but emotional rewards. Pecking orders are great at producing emotional rewards for the people who are second from the bottom - at the expense of the people at the bottom. How else could the Whites of the South have tolerated the poor economic performance of their states under Jim Crow while the rest of America forged ahead?

  • Iraqi Leaders Denounce Trump over Oil, Jerusalem; US Troops in Political Crossfire
    • ISIS appears to be far too useful an enemy for all governments to be worth destroying. Everyone sends forces there to bomb ISIS, and they instead bomb someone else's proxies. And imagine how valuable ISIS is in the long-lasting Israeli effort to prove to the world that Moslems and Arabs are inherently animals and that the Palestinians thus can be deprived of the right to exist. Sure, America is the only country where this propaganda campaign worked, but it's the only country where it needed to work. ISIS can be molded into the final justification for the cleansing of the Occupied Territories and the official elimination of Arab citizenship in Israel proper.

      If ISIS finally falls to the Kurds and Shia actually living there who understand how awful it is, the Saudis will bankroll a replacement and this all starts over again.

  • Why the Great Wall of Trump will be a Costly Failure
    • We have certainly reached the point in technology where the automation of the entire retail sector is underway. Retailing overpriced crap is now much more valuable than making it. Thus any burdens placed on imported goods will have to be offset by accelerating the conversion of retail into websites 'n' robots.

      And the potential there is vast. The resistance is simply the age of Americans unable to embrace whatever Merch-Matrix that Amazon is planning. That's why Trump has no idea that this is happening. Younger Americans will consider it perfectly natural. Right now, the hot topic in real estate is not building factories or offices, but the biggest warehouses ever seen near the major cities. Those warehouses handle the problem of turning your website orders into one-day delivery. You guessed it, that's what Amazon's drone delivery fumbles were about. It won't stop trying because it's already built the aircraft carriers near your home.

      There are actually many positive aspects of this. Electrifying the transport of goods will tend to accompany its automation. People have been using the need to go to "big box" stores to justify full-size SUVs that our forefathers got along perfectly fine without despite having twice as many kids. We could enormously reduce shopping trips. We could even build the supermarket equivalent of those super-warehouses, where you would virtually cruise the aisles from home and robots would pick out the produce you want. If we actually grew the produce hydroponically on-site, stacked among LED lights, many links in the food distribution chain would be removed. But that means lost jobs, reaching deep into the middle class. Of course, there is no plan for dealing with this.

    • What we should watch out for is a bait & switch that will initiate something far more horrific than a wall. Like this:

      1. Trump's new army & vigilantes round up several million "illegals". Most are from Honduras, Guatemala, India, and Pakistan.

      2. There is no way to physically dump these people back in their non-bordering countries.

      3. So these millions will languish in privately-operated detention camps not designed for any humane standard of long-term residence. The operators will complain that they can't make profits from just what Trump pays them.

      4. Magically, the entire right-wing complex will bombard the public with the need to legalize prison slave labor in every facility.

      In an instant, you will have created a new official class of stateless persons. You will have created a legal precedent for doing the same to your own minority citizens. You will have not just sweatshop labor in this new class, but doctors and accountants from South Asia. Maybe a gulag-style labor force to do work that robots can't, to tear down the rest of America's remote wildernesses to profit developers.

      Of course, you have also deformed labor markets to drive down wages and destroy jobs. But you will also have created jobs. The balance between the former and the latter is Donald Trump's reward to his followers. Those border vigilantes will become handsomely-paid private prison guards. Don't forget the extra police and bounty hunters now needed.

      The creation of a new, permanently resident non-citizen proletariat - guarded by otherwise unemployable gun-nut rednecks who are automatically awarded the status of the police and army "heroes", big men in their communities and big voices to influence the less fortunate Whites around them to support this process. Simply being members of the Guards' race will make them all feel better and ignore the worsening objective conditions in their lives.

      It all looks like a relatively Final Solution to me, given the short-sightedness of advanced capitalism.

  • Trump's Visa Ban is about anti-Muslim Bigotry, not Security
    • Yet the people who voted for him were shown no evidence that he had learned any of those things, and they still considered him to be preferable to the modern world. What does this tell us about what they hoped to replace it with?

    • You are correct. The Right has spent the last 4 years on a multi-pronged assault to reestablish the principle that we are not equal before the law.
      1. the enshrining of a "religious" right to discriminate in all matters
      2. the campaign for profile searches, from airports to stop & frisk
      3. Stand Your Ground laws establishing that a White man has a greater right to fear and shoot a Black man than vice versa
      4. Just about everything regarding Moslems.

      A victory in a single one of these fronts will be parlayed by legions of right-wing legal organizations into precedent for all of the other fronts.

  • Trump's 'nationalism' is just the Globalism of the 1%
    • Fascism is a right-wing populist critique of capitalism, which argues that markets aren't unequal ENOUGH, that capitalists of the dominant race have an obligation to discriminate further against all the others, to replace any vaguely objective measure of merit with a caste system that enforces patriarchal tyranny. In this conspiracy theory, the capitalists themselves are divided into Good, meaning the war industrialists, steelmakers, other heads of "manly" smokestack and extractive industries, and Bad, meaning the Jewish industries, basically, banking and entertainment and law. Then all the latter are scapegoated for all the actual sins of capitalism while the former are hailed as patriots.

      So now that we know who we are dealing with, the question is, do these racialists demand that the world be eternally walled off, race from race (a position that many anti-war people seem to be embracing and desperately reading into Trump as they fall under his spell), or are they already reviving the special exception from Jehovah to the now-unified White Man to conquer all others as he pleases? The racists of the past could easily slip from one argument to the other based on transient military advantage, as the Nazis did from their autarkic position in the early '30s to their sudden crusade to enslave all the Slavs in 1941.

  • Netanyahu vows Israeli squatter settlement expansion in Palestinian E. Jerusalem
    • I believe the answer is, the Israeli leadership is sworn to create, by provocation and by shifting regional alignments, the opportunity to carry out a sudden, devastating ethnic cleansing of the Occupied Territories. It may not be possible in reality, but the seductive dream of it keeps the increasingly bigoted Israeli electorate going from month to month.

      To carry out this final solution, Israel would need to nail down all the major actors. Saudi Arabia is clearly open to betraying all Islamic principles now, and its bizarre new neoliberal economic agenda is designed to eliminate its own servant population which includes many Palestinians. Israel must be sure that population will not be allowed to pose a threat. The Israeli-Saudi alliance against Iran seems based on the assumption that it indeed will foment Palestinian uprisings since it surely cannot launch any other useful military action from afar. I doubt the sincerity of this paranoid fantasy, but if it is sincere, then Iran must be crushed before the final cleansing occurs. We shouldn't dismiss the possibility that ordinary Iranians and Syrians themselves are willing to abandon the Palestinians to deal with their own problems.

      But now there's just getting to be too many other actors in the Middle East. Russia and China are muscling their way in, though their own fabulous cynicism means anything could happen. It's not a slam dunk that anyone will stand in Israel's way when the Palestinians have so little to bribe anyone with.

  • Trump to CIA: We now have 2nd Chance to take Iraq's Oil
    • I'm glad to see you're researching what Trump actually is, instead of reading into him what you want to see.

      Of course, we Americans are the ones who must live under this abuser.

    • Are you counting the civil war within America that is now underway?

  • All the terrible things Trump plans to do to Women (besides that one)
    • Obviously Mr. Wibberley is not your friend, Mr. Jones. Any criticism of Trump is now dissected to brand all dissenters as demagogues. But any horrible things Trump says are excused as being "just talk," even though he's the one who derides any Constitutional restraint on his power.

      Just tell us, Mr. Wibberley, which of us Americans are you willing to sacrifice in the name of "peace"?

    • It is the ideology behind the cuts that normalizes the harm that they cause. The demonstrations are ultimately against the ideology.

      We've been living with these bastards in America since Reagan took office, and they have learned nothing and opened their hearts to nothing. Their proposals grow more extreme every year, because they have had a master plan all along for dragging America back to the 19th century. This now includes racially-targeted voter suppression (the foundation of Jim Crow), the claim that gender discrimination does not exist (as Mr. Sessions claimed), and the appointment of a radical theocrat with a long history of pushing Christian supremacy over democracy (Betsy DeVos) to sabotage the public school system.

      This is not about cutting or balancing the US budget. Have you not heard? The budget just submitted to the Senate proposes an increased deficit every year for the next eight so as to give giant tax cuts to the rich. This is about Making America Victorian Again, in all the worst ways.

  • Translating Trump's inaugural Speech from the original German
    • What happens when there are two populist movements at the same time? Like say, Abolitionism and Secessionism in 1860? Each one claims to be the only one to represent the "people", because they fundamentally are at odds to who counts as people.

    • At every step of the way, Sanders said the solution was more equality. With his unprecedentedly open racism and sexism, Trump was demanding a solution of more inequality - promoting the needs of White over Black (BLM), Christians over Moslems, polluters over environmentalists, the past over the future, and relentlessly, men over women. America First did not mean all Americans, and those excluded were aware of that, but you couldn't be bothered to ask them.

      That's like Hitler. It's nothing like Sanders. You have no business judging Trump's remarks if you don't even know that he goaded a crowd into beating up a Black Lives Matter protester in that shrine to beaten protesters, Birmingham, Alabama. And if you do know and have convinced yourself that, as Trump said, "He deserved it," then you are willing to sacrifice over 100,000,000 Americans different than yourselves because you value them less than your foreign policy preferences. The rights they are losing may not be restored for generations, given our past history.

    • We do not have enough money to buy a new party. That's kind of the point of capitalist democracy.
      It's also the point of Trump: he took control of an existing party very cheaply by going straight to its worst elements and promising to promote them ahead of its sane establishment.

    • It's J. Edgar Hoover giving LBJ the dossier on Nixon's treason at the last minute in '68 all over again. Except in those days, releasing the info at the last minute was too unseemly even for a brawler like Johnson, so Hoover knew Nixon would get away with it.

      I wonder how many LBJ-hating suckers in 1969 were sure that Nixon would end the war quickly and make America great again.

    • Another critical irony played into Hitler's hands. Colonial empires were a way of life back then, along with the racial supremacy that they inevitably indoctrinated. Germany had lost its colonial empire in WW1. Japan was a latecomer prevented from conquering more lands. When US tariffs triggered global trade war in 1930, the empires turned easily into protectionist blocs to ride out the storm - even though among them the US (owning the Philippines & Hawaii and neocolonially ruling much of Latin America) and Great Britain had been the great ideologues of free trade. This debacle surely made Germans and Japanese feel they'd been sold a bill of goods by liberalism and look for their own imperial solutions. What made Hitler unusual was his racism being so exclusionary that he could advocate white-on-white enslavement.

      I really hate to think anyone in the world is falling into this trap now.

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