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Total number of comments: 2239 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:37)


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  • Can Hillary Close Gender Gap? Young Women for Bernie in NH
  • Beyonce angers US Right by bringing up African-American Rights at Superbowl
    • Maybe psychological testing for police recruits should include shamelessness. Because that seems to define the police culture of the United States more broadly than violence; and potentially a greater threat to its liberties.

    • My response to this has not changed in 30 years.
      The colonists rebelled against the Redcoats for less - by the norms of their time - than what our police do to African-Americans and other racial minorities today. Should Samuel Adams and Ben Franklin have stopped polarizing the colonists by advocating violence?

  • Israel frets about "Iran as Neighbor" if Aleppo falls & al-Assad Regime Wins
    • Well, an open alliance between Saudi Arabia and Israel would conclusively expose the true nature of what the US has been trying to impose on the region: an alliance of white capitalist colonists and capitalist-sellout Arab reactionaries. Which reduces to: the rich as feudal representatives of global capital, and inherent enemy of all other people remaining in the Middle East.

      But pretty worthless as infantry, yeah.

    • Do his relations with Israel remain excellent if his troops end up facing the Golan Heights as the protectors of Assad and Iran? I think something is going to go wrong eventually.

  • 5 Worst Foreign Policy Moments of GOP New Hampshire Debate
    • If there was just some way for Trump to build his wall between his America and my America without any innocent victims being trapped on his side, it would solve the foreign policy problem, because his America would have no coastline, no Navy, no allies to provide forward bases, and eventually no embassies. Same for Ted Cruz. America would look like a doughnut, with a wall ringing its inner wasteland.

      However, it would still have oil (and earthquakes) so I'm afraid we'd still do business with it, and allow it to buy control of our politicians.

  • The ISIL Challenge: Neither WW III nor a Minor Threat
    • It's like we're living in a chickenshit version of the Great Depression, with a hundred Little Hitlers and Stalins running around creating cult followings that claim greater allegiance than the existing nation-states, in a marketplace of ideas that's degenerated into a breadline of the desperate. The right-wing conspiracies of business and government worldwide have accomplished their goal: destroying our belief in secular improvement through democratic institutions. Instead of fascist movements, we now have religious fundamentalisms, Christian, Moslem, Jewish and now Hindu, taking over countries by swearing to help only their own partisans.

  • Poll: Most Americans Want Redistribution Of Wealth
    • It would help a lot if:
      1. people weren't so easily swayed by paid political ads
      2. the poor voted in the same proportions as the affluent
      Even if we got rid of representative democracy and voted directly on legislation these would be problems. Our society used to have social organizations like unions where the non-rich developed a sense of their political interests and elevated leaders to act on them. These have been undermined not just by conspiracy, but by the replacement of communities of shared economic interest with a sort of commoditization of residency, where housing is a free market cloud of suburban subdivisions surrounding a job center, connected by cars. People once were neighbors with their co-workers, with shared resentments against a specific tyrannical boss, often all of the same ethnicity and attending the same church. Even the small businessmen who serviced them might be on their side against the big boss because of their obvious interest in higher local wages.

      Of course these communities could also be deeply conformist and oppressive.

  • Could Saudi Arabia's grip on oil prices bring Russia to its knees?
    • The problem is, cheap oil promotes CO2 emissions worldwide, and the effects are worldwide. Progress towards alternative energy and transportation can't keep up with SUV buyers.

  • Foreign Policy Winners and Losers in Iowa
    • At least there was an organized Left in Weimar. The Right always uses the threat of a seizure of power by militant Leftists to justify coups and electoral coups (Chile, Spain, Indonesia, Germany). Yet it's unnecessary for one to actually exist for that gambit to work under our corporate media. The Right is waging a one-sided civil war against democracy.

    • I was wondering when the libertarians would finally show up today to tell us that Cruz is more anti-war than Clinton because he hasn't had a chance to get blood on his hands yet. I guess in 1932 you could have said that Hindenburg had more blood on his hands than Hitler. But you should have known better.

    • Except that Obama got those Black voters away from Clinton over a period of time in 2008 after it was thought that it was impossible. If it was just about stereotypes, they would all have flocked to him instantly. I still don't know why they went back to Clinton or what they expect her to do. Detailed survey data would be nice.

  • Also-Ran Trump urges Thugs to Knock 'the Crap' out of Protesters, will cover Legal Fees
    • Maybe he's counting on a riot to excite the base.

      Man, even the Nazis didn't promise to cover legal fees. Next step, private death squads. White unemployment will vanish overnight... along with some other things.

  • The "Democracy" of Billionaires & the Most Expensive Election ever Bought (Except for Bernie Sanders)
    • The money works because the commercials work. If that changes, it means something really big has happened inside our heads.

  • Moscow's Historical Relationship with Damascus: Why it Matters Now
    • Although I am in support of America not freaking out so much about Russia's involvement in the war, I must point out things that matter to mainstream Americans.

      First, it is as historical to say that Russian rulers crave the status of a Great Power as it is to say that they have a longstanding relationship with Syria. You can't act as though that naval base doesn't matter in the larger scheme of things.

      Second, defending Russia as having a right to continuity with the Soviet Union could be argued as justification for a continuation of the Cold War. Most Americans, who know nothing about Russia except leftover stereotypes of the Soviet era, will see it that way. If we want to prevent the re-establishment of the Cold War, then we must emphasize the differences between the current strongman and the previous aspirant to world revolution. They can't just paint "Russia" over "CCCP" and then behave the same way overseas.

      It's going to be impossible to teach the American people to accept a multipolar world of Great Powers replacing the American superpower if we pretend that Putin is all flowers and unicorns. Being even a Great Power is an ugly business, but several somebodies will be doing it for the rest of our lives.

  • Zika: As temperatures rise from CO2 Emissions, epidemics spread
    • Well, we know that epidemics are on the select list of things that triggers the paranoia of modern Americans. We saw that with the Ebola outbreak last year. Our primitive brains seem to need to blame our problems on something more tangible than rising temperatures. Could the spread of a mosquito get our attention like all the killer bee hysteria of the 1970s?

  • Will Iowa's Women Dems choose Hillary or Bernie?
    • My worry is that his supporters WON'T be back in four years because we will have entirely given up on bourgeois representative democracy. Now the goal of the Right is to get people to do exactly that and stop trying to exercise their rights. But clearly representation has failed and we should be trying to build the democratic replacement - while still participating in the existing system so it isn't used to outlaw our project.

      To me, the great problem is that those classes, ethnicities and genders who want to be governed well get out-participated by that White Christian tribal patriarchy that doesn't want to be governed at all. Which is quite strange on the face of it. If the poor voted in the same numbers as the rich, non-Whites in the same numbers as Whites, the last 40 years of our history would be wildly different.

      This is why Occupy happened, and then seemed to disappear. It is necessary to be Democrats on Election Tuesdays and then become Occupy for 729 out of 730 other days. That's just too much of a strain on our loyalties. Our radical ancestors could do it because of an entire strata of private associations that united them against their higher-status oppressors: unions, fraternal orders, churches and the simple fact that under early capitalism, the workers of a particular industry all lived in the same neighborhood, often were of the same non-WASP ethnicity, and shared their lives and hatreds. All of that has been swept away.

      Now we think of ourselves firstly as consumers - beneficiaries of the capitalists, instead of workers. We share commercials and show off our purchases to our neighbors, then drive off to completely different jobs and places than they do.

      So that's where the change will have to come. Occupy was like the early labor clashes after the Civil War, events that made people aware that others were out there who were alienated from this social order. Sanders is like the early socialists who ran for president. We can't get further than this until we have permanent organizations that both benefit us (self-interest is always paramount) and require the replacement of the existing social structure.

      Self-interest means the replacement must be built around the ways we will make a living in the future. We may already have the tools to replace financialized, globalized capitalism - self-production via 3D printers, CNC machines, solar panels, mutual financing via Kickstarter and Patreon, wildly decentralized free media via YouTube. We do not yet know how these will come together into a system powerful enough to resist the retaliation of the old order.

    • The problem is, what you are describing is EXACTLY what right-wingers successfully accuse feminism of being; a front for socialism and the weakening of the superior White American to the level of the global mud races. America learns to live with equality to the extent that the people being raised make themselves useful to capitalism. The corporations want to empower Carly Fiorinas (to her former company's regret, no doubt), not Angela Davises, or even safe media liberals like Rachel Maddow.

      I guess the game is to appoint a Head Female whom other women surrender their concerns to and then shut the **** up, in the same way that the quadrennial Black GOP contender like Herman Cain and Ben Carson is the putative Head Negro - not really meant to win the presidency, but a magnanimous show of willingness to treat the Other as a junior partner in the glorious, essentially Anglo and masculine pursuit of world ownership. The position of the American people as a whole is just a tiny bit to the Left of that, which is why people who aren't Leftist activists don't have a problem with Hillary Clinton's eternal corporate pandering in both domestic and foreign policy.

  • Iowa Primary wins Predict Nothing: #Iowasowhite & doesn't look like America
    • But it's not surprising that in the increasing tribalism of White politics, the GOP is aided by the corporate media in presenting Iowa and New Hampshire as the "real" America, a signal to the Silent Majority as to where it's supposed to throw its weight. While the winners of these states often wilt in the spring thaw, the tone has been set for months of escalating rage and extremism in a monotone echo chamber.

      Except, of course, that Trump has already pre-empted that calendar. The concentration of Cruz's millions on the attentions of Iowa evangelicals may win him the caucus, but the newest surveys of evangelicals nationwide show Trump approaching a 2-to-1 chasm over Cruz. Cruz will have to go state-by-state, temporarily stunning local fundamentalists over the head long enough to drag them back on the theocratic wagon and creating the illusion of a wave of support. Maybe he is aided by party bosses to win the nomination this way, while Trump still has the overwhelming edge among actual GOP voters. Then what happens?

  • Anne Frank's Stepsister: Donald Trump Is Another Hitler
    • The language of Purification, of taking back what was stolen from Us, of saving our country from the failures of those above by persecuting those below, of throwing aside the messy details of our existing ideologies and class interests to trust entrust absolute power in the genius of a non-politician.

      Now given that America has four thousand nuclear warheads and 14 carrier task forces and spends more on its military than all the rest of the world combined, has a population of 300 million, and still has the world's 2nd biggest economy, while Hitler managed to make so much trouble starting as ruler of a country with 60 million people, an emasculated army, no nukes or navy or strategic bombers, and 30% unemployment, how close to Hitler do you want to risk? We the spoiled, entitled, violent people of the United States are the real danger, acting as if we are as bad off as the people of Weimar Germany, using their same excuses, praying for the return of the Messiah of war and victory - first at home against the untermenschen in our midst, and then abroad.

  • Rhetorical Terror: GOP Candidates Pledge War Crimes, Carpet-Bombing, Asian Land Wars
    • "We need to identify the enemy."

      Boy, Cruz finally told the truth about something. Because ever since our alliance with the Saudis to create a network of Islamist militants began, we've been completely wrong about whom our enemies and friends are. The defining of enemies has become about every agenda but the truth.

    • It's not because he's an idiot. The Right is trying to destroy all the parts of government it hates by terrifying the public into shifting spending to the parts of government it loves. But the GOP base shares that hatred. It would gladly lie and exaggerate about threats IF that kept the poor from getting any of the tax dollars of "real" Americans. Their belief is that a reign of terror against "bad" Americans will somehow do something to them that will make all the country's problems go away. The vagueness about what that something is probably should scare the hell out of us.

      Our motto: "Billions for bombing ni**er babies abroad, not one cent left for feeding ni**er babies at home."

  • 6 National Security Questions the Establishment Candidates don't want to Answer
    • The candidates and the citizens are co-conspirators here. If either group really believed that Islamist groups represented an existential crisis for the US they would behave the way they did in 1942. Like lining up to enlist by the millions, politicians, businessmen, actors, athletes, and ordinary people who aren't unemployed. This was also true of all America's wars of imperial maintenance. People are showing that they know better, but the more the war serves non-survival purposes the more loudly they scream otherwise to trick someone else into volunteering.

      Now an interesting question is, if we were having a Second Civil War, how would people react?

  • No, Donald Trump, we can't just "take their oil"
    • To all those here who have been saying that Trump is more anti-war than Hillary (because he's never held actual elected office):

      "He’s also repeatedly criticized the U.S. government for not 'taking' Iraq’s oil during Washington’s occupation, which began 13 years ago amid related oily delusions."

      Any further questions?

  • Dragon & Phoenix: Khamenei Lauds New Sino-Iranian 'Strategic Partnership'
    • I'm annoyed that China even waited for the US to drop its stupid sanctions. It should have gone in to both Iran and Cuba years ago, suitcases full of gold. But Beijing sees that moving slowly prevents the US from losing face over its hegemonic decline and doing something wacky that causes a global trade war. You know, like electing Donald Trump.

    • Putin and Xi are the dominant figures in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which could have a trade dimension as well as a military one. If Iran is now approved for full SCO membership, Russia might be doing more business with Iran even if it's an energy rival.

    • In the irrational world of the military-industrial complex, it may squeeze another carrier task force out of the taxpayers. But in real life, Xi just explained why our carriers are becoming obsolete. China is moving all trade inland to keep it from the reach of our Navy. And yes, our pundits are upset because they can't find an angle to stop it. Having Navy ships stop something in international waters is much fuzzier than having USAF bombers stop something in a sovereign state and we preferred the fuzziness.

  • Fearing the Bern, Billionaire Bloomberg Threatens to Buy Election for Establishment
    • Okay, then come up with a definition that we can agree on, because no one has so far. I think Franklin Roosevelt's definition of "takeover of government by private interests" is too broad. I also think it's too broad to say any right-wing authoritarian movement is fascist.

      However, I do believe that there's a fascist phenomenon, which begins with the usual betrayal of poorer conservatives by property-owning elites justified by market theology. Poorer conservatives, pretty much worldwide, don't really get market doctrines; they see the proper order in feudalist terms in which they, as smaller property owners, have a protected position and privileges defined by patriarchy and tribalism/racism. They see the owner class as their tribal chiefs/overlords who must act in the tribe's interests. The owners, of course, act to screw over everybody and drive all wages down to starvation levels.

      So this betrayal leads to the rise of right-wing populism, a critique of capitalism based NOT on equality, but on honoring a tradition of caste stratification. Intellectuals arise in these nations building ideologies of revenge & redemption for the offended class. In Italy & Spain it was based on Catholic nostalgia for feudalism (where the Church was a partner in the oligarchy). In Germany it became based on worship of the Army and by extension the (contradictory) warrior peoples of its past, the Teutonic knights and the pagan barbarians. Japan was even more purely an Army cult.

      But in all these countries, the bargain is that those males who fit the local roles of patriarch will have their status and wealth ensured/restored, and a nostalgic hierarchy imposed on all the Others. The capitalists embrace the movement because labor unions will be emasculated and profits guaranteed. The, shall we say "redneck" class, farmers and those forced to move to cities due to concentration of wealth, will become official enforcers of the new order, starting with their own wives & children (very important). But it's again the capitalists who benefit from the cost savings of this unpaid enforcer class.

      All this still doesn't get us all the way to fascism, because it largely describes the Jim Crow South and much of Latin America and Asia. The thing about fascism is that its ideologues want their nostalgic order to be "natural" and organic, but they whine that modern ideologies have contaminated the people so that continuity has been lost. Thus some savior figure is needed, to whom the classes surrender their conflicting political positions so he can decree that restoration by brute force - the "Fuhrer Principle". This is the alarming tendency in right-wing populism that has led to the precautionary attitude enshrined in Western liberal societies as "Never Again," the drawing of historical analogies to Hitler. I don't think that's an unreasonable precaution. But if the Fuhrer figure hasn't arrived yet, it's hard for normal citizens to be alarmed. The personality cult is what triggers our alarm, not the complexities of the preceding reactionary ideology.

      So people like me spend decades warning about the patient, grassroots-based anti-democratic factions of the Christian Right and capitalist neo-feudalists, and most normals ignore us because it's so hard for us to prove intent. But then Trump appears and millions of far-right bigots shed the burden of supporting the doctrines that the Koches and evangelicals and neocons devised to slowly lure America back into its oppressive past, in a blind hope that Il Douche will decree overnight the rather simple agenda that rednecks always wanted: their right to bully women, gays, non-Whites, non-Christians, etc. with guns or beatings or job discrimination until those groups form a permanent bottom caste. Above them the rednecks will be guaranteed jobs and status even if by non-market means. Now you could say that Trump is too incompetent to carry out the overthrow of the legal system that fascism (and Trump's own un-Constitutional promises) demands. But surely there is room in our definition for an incompetent fascist?

    • Welcome to the strange world of the shifting Overton Window.

      It's easy for someone like me to view America as having shifted far to the Right because I focus on wealth distribution and treatment of minorities. This is based on a long history of viewing Left-Right through the lens of capitalism and racist imperialism. But low-info bigots, meaning half of America, reject the label of racist because they claim to be willing to share power with "good" Negroes like Ben Carson - it's just too bad that "actual" Blacks aren't anything like him. And they have ZERO understanding of how unfair labor markets and wealth polarization are because their eyes glaze over when you show them charts. Pile on top of that the success of the gay rights movement and the growth of non-Christian populations, and they see that as signs that America has moved far to the Left, because the growth of capitalist injustice and inequality was never how they defined the political spectrum. To them Left-Right means "acting alien" vs "acting White" in the tiny world that they see through a sensationalist corporate media. To them, "acting alien" must be (a) a vast conspiracy and therefore political, and (b) the cause of all their personal difficulties.

      I suspect a lot of these people in fact supported unions and Social Security and other redistributive measures in their youths - but only because they supported them as tribal loyalty to fellow Whites. Just as Scandinavians fell out of love with their welfare state when they had to share it with immigrants.

    • Remember, the implication of this article is that Bloomberg will run as a saboteur. He'd rather throw the election to the Republicans rather than let the Socialist win. But on the Republican side, it sounds like the same sentiment may be brewing against Trump. A Trump nomination means that the oligarchy can no longer ignore the racist/anti-market/populist (fascist?) sentiments of poorer Whites. They'd rather steal his nomination, let him run as a independent, and throw the race to Hillary than have their party redefined.
      We're looking at a pretty amazing moment in US history. How long can it last?

  • No, Gov. Snyder, Flint's water wasn't poisoned by "Government": It was by your Appointee
    • Letting business pollute and then sticking the government with the duty of cleaning it up where absolutely necessary is our standard operating procedure. Probably no laws had to be violated.

    • Just because the state is a republic doesn't mean localities have any rights. As far as I can tell, there is a camp of right-wing theorists who believe that states have limitless power to crush challenges to their authority, which seems to be historically true with all the ugly stories of 19th century corporate-owned governors sending their National Guard units to gun down strikers.

      For some reason state governments have usually been the most dominated by the rich, while Federal and city government have had openings for progressive movements. I'm not surprised that this might mean there's legal precedent for the state tyrannizing cities demanding better services.

    • Your description of the Tea Party regime over enemy cities as "colonial" is what we need to wake up the people on this site who want to cripple the Federal government as punishment for its crimes overseas. The greatest crimes ever carried out by Americans were done by greedy private property owners who wanted entire races within our borders exempted from governmental protection so they could be dispossessed and exploited by market forces. There is nothing to prevent those crimes from happening again except a strong Federal government under an electorate that refuses to separate equality from freedom.

    • It's Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine finally come home to roost in America. The blame lies squarely on the capitalist global agenda that the GOP has made into a holy mandate. Welcome to Bolivia.

  • Palin for Trump: 'Political Correctness' (anti-racism) is a Suicide Bomb Vest
    • But if the Feds "allowed" giant companies to dominate the production chain, then isn't that what the Far Right wants? No interference in the infallible Free Market? How can these radical extremists worship property and laissez faire while expecting the Feds to shield them from the consequences?

      Answer: they're a cult of inequality, and they've been indoctrinated that they can hide their White supremacism under the rubrics of libertarianism, because surely as the Master Race they will triumph in a truly free market.

      The capitalists put this lie out there, and the militia is the fringe of the vast number of whites who embraced it, along with the Tea Party, the Christian theocrats, the libertarians and the neo-Confederates. They are reaping what they sowed. And they WILL NOT listen to us explaining that to them, because we've been explaining it to them since they first started losing their jobs and raises and benefits under Reagan and they keep doubling down on more inequality. They will keep doing it until all the Blacks and Latinos are in chains picking cotton and all gays and Moslems are job-discriminated into starvation because that's the only thing that will actually make them happy.

    • What happened with Trump and that Black Lives Matter protestor whose beating he egged on in Alabama is much more than silly talk. It's the equivalent of a burning cross. The number of casual racists in America waiting for someone to organize them is beyond your imagination if you don't live in a place like Texas. Minority Americans have a right to turn to civil war if White America tries to dehumanize them yet again. (1st time - after Bacon's Rebellion in 1676; 2nd time - after Reconstruction; 3rd time -ongoing since Reagan's election.)

    • In the primaries, no.
      In the general election, yes.

    • How do you know the people the reactionary right hates aren't just as mad? It's just that when we pick up guns we're automatically branded radical terrorists. You saw what they did to Occupy.

    • People will go both ways because of this. But the people Trump loses, he can afford to lose because those won't be in the key Christian Right states. The people he gains will be in the Midwest, South and Far West. In effect, he further extends the split he's already created in the Christian Right instead of Cruz reuniting it. Palin is very popular over there. Maybe most of all in the states where Christian extremism is not as blatantly racially coded, meaning Iowa, Kansas, of course the Dakotas.

      She's a mercenary. Both she and Ted's dad Rafael spout the cartoonish heresies of the New Apostolic Reformation, like the talk of a "great transfer of wealth to the righteous." The NAR got to her in Alaska, an entertaining story in itself. But she got on the celebrity gravy train and doesn't seem to take orders from them anymore, so they've been looking for new host bodies to possess.

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  • Sanders: Michigan Governor Must Resign over Flint Lead-Poisoning Crisis
    • Up to now the worst thing that has happened under this governor was the plan to declare cities, typically black-majority, bankrupt and terminate their elected governments in favor of appointed "technocratic" rulers likely to be corporate pals of the GOP. The role of the appointed receiver in this contamination disaster must be stressed, the result of a GOP strategy to silence minority voters in the most fundamental way.

  • Prince of Araby: The reckless power behind the Saudi throne
  • How We Learned to Stop Worrying About People and Love the Bombing
    • Thank you for running this article. It is important that many idealists at this site be made to understand how difficult it is to change the attitudes of human societies to violence, instead of becoming convinced that one's own society must be uniquely evil in reaction to everyone else's prejudice that it is uniquely good.

  • Jews and Arabs Kiss in Protest against Banning of Novel
    • Both are correct, but we must remember that humans evolved as social animals, and the hunter-gatherer band was our society for 99% of our past. Liberals denying the power and utility of tribalism just leaves it as a weapon to picked up off the dirt by monsters. If we understand the functions of tribalism (mutual support under scarcity, common defense), then we won't be misled by those who appropriate tribal instincts to empower an agenda alien to our ancestors: casteism, imperialism, mass extermination, and concentration of wealth.

  • Syrian Army lets food Aid into Starving Madaya
    • So all the people who rebelled against Assad's dictatorship are terrorists and deserve to be exterminated? You really are an ass-kisser for Arab "socialist" dictators, who no longer command any allegiance anywhere.

  • In Irony, Trump Trolls Ted Cruz with Birtherism; WH Amused
    • The issue is, why did so many Republicans scream about Obama's birth certificate when, even in the worst case scenario, he was as much a US citizen as Cruz. The answer is, in their eyes no liberal is really American, and the tiniest legal angle thus proves that Obama and his supporters are traitors. This is about allegiance to the religion of Americanism, by which Cruz's anti-Communist Cuban parents were okay, and Obama's hippie mom wasn't.

  • Britain's Debate over Banning Trump by the Numbers
  • Saudi Arabia Executes Top Shia Cleric Nimr Al Nimr Under “Terrorism” Charges
    • As we saw in Iraq last year, to win you must have troops willing to sacrifice their lives for their regime. I've never heard a single GI who's had any dealings with the the Saudi military express any respect for its men. They're like ARVN with Rolex watches.

      The KSA and Iran can only fight each other in the countries in-between. If actual Saudi troops try to take the offensive in Lebanon, Hezbollah will annihilate them. The Saudis could try to wipe out the non-Sunnis in Syria with airstrikes and atrocities, but Russia probably could wipe out their supply lines - unless the US is willing to sign on to this crime. Iran, conversely, has no place to march its own army to inflict a decisive offensive blow. It can't supply troops on the Arabian peninsula. So all I can see coming is a bigger version of the current Syrian stalemate, a sort of Islamic World War One on a trench line cutting across western Iraq.

      The Chinese can afford to play paymaster in such a regional conflagration as the Bank of England used to. Their agenda is always brutal stability. In the past that meant propping up dictators in place against their own people, but how does that work in a war where each faction has unconnected territories crossing official borders?

    • You're one of the very few people anywhere I've seen on the Internet who understands the obvious debt that the Saudis hold over the US. I don't know why this isn't widely known. They also own a pile of Treasury debt. The fact that the proceeds of crude oil sales are dollar denominated has chained the USA and KSA together to preserve the $ as the world's reserve currency for 44 years after that should have ended. Saudi votes in OPEC maintain that reality, so Saudi power to crash the $ is even greater than its own holdings.

      The only way out of this trap is to explain it to the citizenry and make it clear that our freedom will require the sacrifice of the $, and the construction of an export-driven, low-wage economy - low wages for EVERYBODY, not just the workers, like what happened when the US Occupation jump-started the Japanese economic miracle in 1948 by a brutal devaluation of the yen. No one has the guts to do this.

  • Turkish Pres. Erdogan cites Hitler in case for Presidential System
    • Surprisingly, tyrannies have been peacefully replaced by democracy. It's rare, but at least we have examples that might show us how to make it happen.

      I would expect that Juan Carlos steered Spain to democracy after Franco died because the king was a product of postwar European culture, and there were a lot of other affluent Spaniards who were sick of Falangism for the same reason. I know that Nelson Mandela used the threat of revolution to get the National Party to accept real elections, but he didn't have to go too far down that road.

      The problem is that you need elites who think that they are either safer or more prosperous if they share power, and masses who have the discipline to apply the correct amount of coercive force to bring that about. Most elites these days think only about stealing everything and buying private islands as quickly as possible. And the masses lack ideologies that can get them to reason out the benefits of applying that pressure in the name of democracy instead of joining up with a new would-be elite to seize control. The speed with which bad parties rise to the top after the restoration of democracy is now breathtaking. I think that markets and the merchandizing of self-serving faith have undermined the value of civil society in the eyes of people worldwide.

  • Radical Al-Shabab uses Trump in Recruiting Video & Muslim preachers denounce him along with ISIL
    • I'm still angry with the attempts by peaceniks here to embrace Trump like they tried to embrace the Tea Party 7 years ago. Dr. Martin Luther King denounced the United States for committing far worse crimes in Vietnam than anything it's done under Obama, but he didn't call for the overthrow of Lyndon Johnson in favor of George Wallace, who is Trump's closest American analogue. He didn't call for the US to surrender its empire to the USSR on the grounds that anything would be better than American power. He understood that supporting the liberal commitment to overthrow Jim Crow was a necessary first step in creating a social democratic America. He understood that annihilating big government in the name of "peace" would throw Blacks back into the tender embrace of States' Rights. He supported the Federal Great Society and wanted it to get even more money; in a 1967 sermon he said a just solution to poverty would cost a trillion dollars, but it was worth it. Yet now the hunger of the Left to destroy the American empire is so great that you want to let racist barbarians dismantle the government and restore some bullshit isolationist Walden America.

      "I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers."

      Interposition and nullification are now the words of the GOP, along with "States' Rights" and "limited government." Look them up before you sign on.

      I dare the whole worthless lot of you to refute this.

  • Israeli PM: 'Arab terror and Jewish terror' are different
    • Exactly. And we should point out to Islamophobes that the difference between Moslems and Christians is that Christian terrorism is mostly conducted by the United States Armed Forces.

  • Biggest Trump Lies 2015: 76% of what Donald Trump Says is Garbage
    • It appears the peaceniks on this site are so desperate to return to isolationism that they will vote for the Nazi instead of the crook. Now what is the historical flaw in that logic?

    • What could be more dangerous than declaring war on all the non-white people in the United States? A hundred million of us can make a much bigger mess with the tools we have at our disposal than those people Gadafi and Assad oppressed.

    • I think that Politifact disagrees with you. And you sound like the people of Weimar Germany in 1933 looking for an excuse to give up democracy.

    • But she never egged on a crowd of Southerners in person to beat up a black man protesting against police brutality. Trump did. A return to Jim Crow is the point where I justify revolutionary violence against America. You may have no problem with that, but how many of your fellow Americans will you kill to enforce Fuehrer Trump's will?

  • Poll: Bernie Sanders would beat 'Embarrassment' Trump by a Landslide
    • I am suspicious of the idea that independent voters simply fall between Democrats and Republicans on the political spectrum. I think they are people who don't like to think ideologically, but by that token they have no ideological restraints against jumping on a bandwagon regardless of the consequences in other areas. My great fear of Trump is that his talk of solving all our problems merely by treating all Latinos and Moslems as enemy aliens will actually attract a lot of independents who don't want to think this through. Once they become loyal to him personally, they will keep following him as he starts pushing for the power to use the government or even mobs of supporters to harass his critics.

      Clearly a man who intends to seize power this way will find a war with someone, anyone, to be an attractive solution.

  • ISIS and the Abuse of History
    • The competing narrative was Marxism; but Reagan and the Saudi despots were allied in crushing secular leftism everywhere in the Middle East.. Egypt's generals were bought out, Bhutto was beheaded, and the conspirators created a jihad infrastructure in Afghanistan that spread everywhere. The US sent a message to the poor of this region: adopt a socialist narrative to explain your poverty and we will kill you. Adopt an Islamist narrative, and we will send you guns.

  • Ghoul's Glossary: A Donald Trump Translation Dictionary
    • President Trump will go to war with the first people to piss him off. Including you and me.

    • I think about how the fascists won in Depression-wrecked Japan. Young radicalized Army officers murdered pro-Western politicians on the grounds that Western ideas had failed, then the public hailed them as martyrs, not their victims. As sudden as that, everything changed.

      We simply don't yet know how many Americans are ready to flip that switch.

    • In recent years I've tried to hold to a narrow definition of fascism in order to distinguish historical fascists from any number of right-wing oligarchical regimes of modern times. I think FDR's definition of fascism merely being the control of government by the rich is too broad, because it doesn't account for feudal oligarchies like those in Latin America that simply perpetuate medieval ideas of class privilege to support backwardness.

      What makes fascism distinct is that it arises from within a democratic polity, while embracing a POPULIST nostalgia for a defeated feudalist past. This contradiction happens when a large faction is able to view itself as the true and pure patriots across class boundaries, but in reality its members dream of overthrowing modern democracy and economic relations at the cost of everyone else, installing themselves as the new titled nobility. Restoring feudalism in an industrialized democracy is very different than preserving it in a 3rd world economy. The latter, from El Salvador to the American South, benefits from demobilizing voters and encouraging mass cynicism with the efficacy of secular government; its allies within the clergy and local police give their masters control over the reins of power as they always have. The fascist must selectively mobilize millions of followers in all walks of life, organizing a replacement government free of any external restraint. This is done by replacing a belief in ideology with a blind faith in the person of the leader, Hitler's fuehrer principle.

      Mapping this out over America today, I was not willing to say the Christian Right was specifically fascist, though I hate it and think it's the greatest threat to our democracy. Their nostalgia is still based on abolishing government to return to localized plantation-owner oligarchy. Their leadership caste of wealthy clergymen, private-company fortunes (Kochs), militia supremacists and neo-Confederates work together by holding down their own bailiwicks outside of elected government, with the implication that the entire white Christian people are to act as an Invisible Empire of unpaid enforcers.

      But in the fascist model, those supporters go on the warpath in an all-out effort that they intend to hand off to the government when their fuehrer has mastered it. They believe they've got limited time to restore traditional hierarchy because the untermenschen have already tasted power and are breeding like rats. Thus they believe that government must actively brainwash the public and exterminate their enemies right now.

      I think that the patient, relentless feudalist agenda is that which came out of the never-fully modernized South and lucked into our reactionary Suburbia as a growth medium. But the urgency and volatility of fascism characterize the bigots and bullies of the North, Trump's core constituents. They are uncomfortable with theocratic formulations and Byzantine Southern race codes, and now are getting impatient with the 35-year-lie of trickle-down economics propagated by the anti-government rich. They want government strong enough to carry out redistribution, but only based on loyalty/tribal membership. They want to physically beat and shoot a whole lot of Others, and then go home and bask in their new protected status.

      And the amazing thing is, the fascists are stealing Southern votes away from the feudalists before our eyes in GOP polls. There have been too many betrayals, round after round of deregulation & tax cuts that only benefited the rich, costly wars that seemed to yield less and less gain, too many real issues like pollution swept under the rug per the requirements of ideological cohesion. Even Southerners seem to be sick of trusting the collective conspiracy of their elites, when they want to trust a single tyrant who will smash status quos with no end game.

  • Did Obama Really “Surrender the Middle East to Putin?”
    • I trust Russia and Iran's agenda for the region more than I do my own country's, because my country completely depends on Israel and Saudi Arabia to tell it whom to kill or starve, and they are the true enemies of the ordinary people of the Middle East.

  • Surprise! Male Chauvinist Pig Trump gets vulgar with Hillary Clinton
    • To all:

      None of your criticisms in any way alienate Trump from the actual white illiberal American population. All that you think is bad, they go out of their way to regard as good. They're like my cousin who enjoyed buying the National Enquirer (whose covers now blare forth smears that Obama is protecting Islamic terrorist cells) because he knew it irritated me. They will not believe there are any bad consequences of their stupidity until it's far too late to save America.

  • Is Clinton right that Trump is Helping ISIL?
    • A fractured, out of step Republican Party that believes it has a Divine Right to cheat in elections, that America "is a republic, not a democracy", that passing laws to eliminate every kind of voting that African-Americans are statistically likely to engage in is not racist, that they have the right to secession and violent revolution if the country is not right-wing enough. You want to hate Hillary so much that you refuse to acknowledge a fascist movement in front of your eyes.

    • No, Trump is saying that he will carry out this policy of controlling the Middle East better. Which may mean better bombings. But it definitely means banning Moslems from entering the USA. So stop pretending that Trump is no big deal.

  • Clinton: Trump chief recruiter for ISIL; Sanders: Take out Daesh First, Assad Later
    • Well, there's a difference between "continue and worsen" and "concentration camps and right-wing lynch mobs by 2017". With Trump and Cruz you are facing leaders who want to worsen conditions in order to scapegoat entire groups of Americans, who will then be legally stripped of their right to vote, thereby making impossible any subsequent democratic change at all short of revolution. That's what the right-wing movement has been talking about for decades, via codewords that you didn't care to decipher, like "13th Amendment citizen" and "restore the Republic" and "take back our country" and "original intent". When the country started, only a few percent of Americans could vote. The GOP is lining up not just voters, but armed extremists, who would be necessary to enforce such a restoration.

  • Shin Bet: Jewish Terrorists Out to 'Violently Overthrow' Israeli Government
    • The settler movement is the creation of Zionism, and pre-dates the Israeli state. It then was turned by the state into its weapon of ethnic cleansing. The rulers need to create an ever more hateful environment to get enough enough votes to cling to power despite their incompetence and corruption, but that hatred makes their Frankenstein monster more uncontrollable. Like the KKK, it is the dark hand of the plantation owners, but the owners refuse to take responsibility for its crimes.

  • 41% of Trump Supporters want to bomb Aladdin and Jasmine
    • They were given the option of answering "not sure". It's something more than ignorant to be unwilling to admit that you don't know if a place deserves to be annihilated. And by your criteria, how can we have an electorate qualified to select the rulers who control ten thousand nuclear weapons?

  • Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God?
    • It is increasingly evident that American far-right Christians worship a different God than everyone else in the world, a tribal God that they've concocted to claim that He has transferred His covenant, and the bloody murder always associated with it, to only the "real" Americans. The rest of us are barely tolerated servant races under their Patriarchal authority. American Christianity is evolving into a heresy.

  • No, GOP, you can't win by Carpet-bombing
    • The Republicans' wars have not been proven to have accomplished anything at all. There were no Iraqi WMDs. There was no global Islamist army until REAGAN allied with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan's tyrants to create such an army to kill Commies in Afghanistan. Reagan fled from Lebanon after his blundering support for a faction in its war led to the Marine barracks bombing. We killed half a million to a million Iraqis over the years, and you can't prove that it has reduced the numbers of terrorists worldwide at all.

      You can't even articulate a solution except genocide. You can't. Your fascist candidates can't. We can't impose a non-Moslem government in the region. Thus we can only destroy people to create a power vacuum that will be filled with another Moslem regime or a new terrorist group. The regime we are helping is Saudi Arabia, the greatest supporter of Islamist terrorism in the world. America's business oligarchy is tightly allied with Saudi Arabia. You have no solution for that.

    • He looks like Joe McCarthy with a hairpiece.

  • Is Corporate Media Enabling GOP Hate Speech?
    • This is the placeholder for the first comment on there being no difference between the parties.

  • With Oil at $36/barrel, Have Democrats just Won the Presidency?
    • But on the other hand, the price drop ruins the idea that abandoning fossil fuels is a pragmatic idea because oil is bound to get expensive one day. Cheap oil will restore all the bad habits and make alternative energy seem like a punishment, not an inevitability.

  • Is Corporate Media a danger to Society? Coverage of Trump v. Sanders
    • I think the moral equivocation between Clinton and Donald Trump at sites like this is disgusting. It's like leftists in Weimar Germany complaining that the Social Democrats aren't pure enough and not bothering to vote against Hitler.

      As they said in Louisiana when Edwin Edwards beat David Duke, "Better the crook than the Nazi." But in fact Trump is both:

      link to

    • I have a theory that the corrupt aristocracy of Games of Thrones actually is how most Americans would prefer to be governed as long as they didn't have to bear the consequences of being on one of the many losing sides. They project themselves out of their miserable lives and into imagined lives as barons and knights who can get away with murder. Queen Elizabeth I knew what she was doing when she subsidized Shakespeare's patriotic plays.

    • Excuse me, but you have completely overestimated the wisdom of the American people. To them, across most of the political spectrum, wars to slaughter Moslems are JUSTIFIED by Moslem terrorist attacks. They never see it as vice versa because they see America as defending a just status quo. There was no danger that Clinton was going to be made to look bad by terrorists, except from successful right-wing fearmongering that she is not murderous enough. None. Zero. Not at all. That is the kind of country you're living in. We will always believe in Manichean struggles, and we will always believe that the side we back will prevail after sufficient violence. Even the Americans cheering for ISIS (or the USSR, or Mao, or Saddam Hussein, or Gaddafi) to destroy the American empire have fallen into that trap. But inevitably they are outnumbered by people cheering for their country, because humans are like that everywhere.

    • Not enough people are discussing this idea. At one time we had maybe one representative for every thirty thousand or so inhabitants. Now it's almost one per million. That makes for easy one-stop shopping for oligarchic interests. Not only should we have several thousand representatives, but they should all stay in their district offices and rely on teleconferencing to deal with each other.

  • Trump Cancels trip to Israel after Parliamentarians slam him as Neo-Nazi
    • Well, that answers the question of how Trump wanted to handle the Israel issue. He went from not having a clear position to trying to go so far overboard in waging war on Palestinians that he even scared the Israelis - something that our very worst Christian theocrats couldn't manage. Now it would be great if Trump's right-wing populist scapegoating of financiers as the only capitalists to blame for the '08 crash begins to add the prefix "Jewish". Hey, Hitler did business with the Zionist colonies at first because he wanted an easy place to expel his Jews. Persecuting Jewish liberals at home while arming Zionist colonists overseas is not a new formula.

  • Mark Zuckerberg Stands With Muslims & Fox goes after Him
    • Zuckerberg is a rationalist, not a saint. A resumption of old-style holy wars and nationalist crusades disrupts his plans for global market penetration the same way that WW1 destroyed the laissez-faire imperialist hegemony of 1913, where capital was remarkably mobile. Everyone goes on a Chinese-style us-against-them footing and tries to wall off their fragment of the Internet.

      But like the vast majority of US liberals (gentiles too), he's unlikely to challenge the basic act of Zionist aggression that fuels everything else; the colonial conquest of Palestinian property.

  • Global Outrage at Trump Islamophobia; French PM: "Mr feeding hatred and misinformation"
    • Possibly, but it was a mistake for him to mention the internment of Japanese-Americans. He doesn't even seem to know that Congress apologized for that and issued reparations. At the time Asians were viewed as genetically inferior and an alien threat, which is really why the Japanese-Americans were targeted but not German-Americans. Thus if we do that to Moslems now, we imply that they are genetically inferior and inherently evil - and history has proven that we were very wrong about Japanese people.

    • The internment of the Japanese was nothing?
      And what about the issue of whether Trump would even allow Moslem US citizens to return to America? In the '30s, US states didn't just round up illegal aliens, they rounded up Mexican-American citizens and trucked them deep into Mexico so they couldn't return home.
      That's ethnic cleansing, the thing our country went to war with Serbia about.

  • Trump vs. the Founding Fathers on Muslims Coming to US
    • "It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights..."

      This is absolutely critical in understanding where modern right-wingers are coming from. They DO think that they are really the Master Race and that they have only allowed any rights for blacks, Latinos, atheists, etc, etc, as an indulgence based on their endless Christian generosity. So even equality is actually proof of their superiority. But now, they imply, those groups have abused their undeserved gift and are to blame for all the country's problems, for surely the Master Race and infallible Free Enterprise and our unimpeachable boys in uniform can't possibly be to blame. So they must now restore the natural order.

      And to do that, they need a legal angle that the public will largely support that divides citizenship into first-class and second-class. Just as the racists who built Jim Crow started on the tiny crack of voter suppression via Grandfather Clauses and poll taxes, and widened it into an entire culture of apartheid. That's why they now scream so wildly for things like a religious right to discriminate against gays (but not for people of other religions to discriminate against other people). Or the right of a white man to regard a black man as a more "natural" threat than vice versa and thus have the right to shoot first. Or the right to profile-search Moslems at airports, but not good, gun-nut Christians. All of those are of value to them, but the greater value is the restoration of legal precedents for the return of massive, legal discrimination by them against everyone else. They only need one victory; they already have an organized legal cult ready to seize upon it and argue that it applies to everything else they want in more cases than normal citizens can ever keep track of.

      The American Right today is, in all its forms, a cult of inequality, worshiping the past for its injustices, not despite them.

    • The point is that right-wingers use "original intent" as coded language based on the assumption that the Founding Fathers were infallible, that the state they founded was perfect and that all revisions were heresy, and that the Founding Fathers made no provision for a more liberal future. In other words, the Right's agenda is to restore all the worst of life 250 years ago, while censoring out all the demands of intellectuals like Jefferson (who did benefit from many of those bad things) that society be set on a path to greater equality via an activist, secular government.

  • Roof, Dear and Tashfeen Malik: 'Self-Radicalized,' 'Terrorism,' 'Lone Wolf' and Double Standards
    • Our society is built on a definition of freedom that implies it is the power of right-thinking people to oppress lesser beings. Yet it is presented as freedom for everybody - because if the lesser beings want the "wrong" things then it's license, not freedom. All other double standards might emerge from that.

  • How Turkish President Erdogan went Wrong: Dividing and Not Ruling
    • And by the way, how can you possibly explain Obama intentionally re-starting the Cold War when his Republican mortal enemies (as in doing nothing for 8 years but trying to ruin him and take away the rights of blacks to vote) are the obvious beneficiaries?

    • NATO didn't have Erdogan's back when Israel shot up Turkey's Gaza convoy, so I don't see why he'd be its lackey when he's fighting for his political survival. Dig it, America is not the only country whose voters reward warmongering politicians.

    • The savagery of secularism? That sounds like bull**** coming from Ted Cruz and Ben Carson and the abortion clinic bombers and homophobes whining and terrorizing their way to power in America.

  • After 2008 Wall Street Crash, did US White Working Class Drink itself to Death?
    • "At the same time, the day-to-day task of upholding white power devolved from the federal government to the state and then local level, specifically to local police forces, which, as we know, have taken it up with such enthusiasm as to become both a national and international scandal."

      A beautiful and succinct statement of the broad political strategy of the American reactionary movement. The restoration of decentralized tyranny, under racist private institutions and the police. The soldier/police/prison guard class is put on a pedestal by conservative whites, recruited from among their number as actual productive economic opportunities are destroyed by their capitalist barons. That enforcer class is armored, well paid, and now expected to be above the common law and privileged with the assumption that their honor and truthfulness can't be questioned. They're the new knighthood, and will side with the barons. Feudalism was decentralized tyranny too. White power keeps the mass of peasants loyal to their hierarchy as did the blind Christianity of Medieval times.

    • There may be conflation between the resurgent (and in many cases traditional) racism of America's poorer white-majority regions and the class of poorer whites nationwide. However, an article I saw recently discussed survey data indicating that the VERY poorest whites support the government programs of which they are recipients - but then can't be bothered to vote. Whereas the class of whites just ahead of them - what in military culture would be considered the corporals - have the worst, most militantly hateful ideas and do vote. The implication is that they hate anything that reduces the gap between them and those below them, like Obamacare.

      So it's whether you're a poor private or a poor corporal. A huge difference to them.

  • What does ISIL/ Daesh actually want?
    • In regard to the Christians, the key distinction to regard (and Google) is between the familiar Premillenarian reading of the Book of Revelation (the Left Behind tale), and the view held by the much more secretive Postmillenarians. The Pre's tell a passive story where you just get Raptured and God does all the killing of your enemies. The Posts have a much scarier tale: the Millenium actually began a thousand years ago, presumably as Christians rose to global power and conquest, and it's when the conquest is completed - the entire world enslaved by the right kind of Christians - that Jesus returns. I think you can see where America and its massive military fit in to all this. A militant faction of the Posts has wormed its way South into evangelical churches, slowly revising their Rapture tropes into something more actively seditious.

  • Angered that EU labels Squatter W. Bank Products, Israel suspends EU from "Peace Process"
    • Problem: Israel specializes in the creepy weapons of the modern police/surveillance state. It got a lot of good Soviet engineers a few years back. It penetrated the US military-industrial complex even before 9/11. Governments of all ideologies are hungry for that Orwellware and I'm not sure they can embargo both Israel and the US.

  • Abortion Clinics, White Christian Terrorism and GOP Candidates
    • Or the mass famines caused by the Japanese in Vietnam and China that killed hundreds of thousands of people, or their killing of a million Filipinos in 1944-45? Or the mass famine the British caused in Bengal in 1943 by continuing exports during a drought? Or the internment and deaths of hundreds of Japanese and German POWs in the Gulags up to 10 years after the war ended? It just goes on and on... but a reasonable person would not want to live in the world where the other side won.

    • Everyone on your side says that, but as soon as they get enough power they immediately start attacking even the right to contraception. Attacking abortion, then conception is NOT consistent with the opinion that an unborn child is a human. It IS consistent with the patriarchal dogma that a woman exists to breed babies under bondage to men to make the tribe stronger than its enemies. The fetus-as-human myth is not in the Bible, it was created after societies began to accept that women had rights.

    • The word "dealbreaker" is the most important mystery in America's political system. It appears that far-right extremists are overrunning Congress and state government simply because their hateful, classist and racist agendas are NOT dealbreakers for most of the people who bother to vote.

      They would vote for Hitler if they could get a tax cut out of it.

    • So, beating black protesters in Birmingham while the leading GOP contender for president eggs them on, shooting black protesters in Minneapolis, shooting up and burning Planned Parenthood clinics after a completely bogus GOP smear campaign that was like Shake & Bake McCarthyism. Ready to fight back yet?

      This isn't about the leaders, after all. It's about our fellow Americans and whether we can share a country with them anymore. You won't save yourselves by letting them secede, either, because I'm in one of the prime secession zones and I deny their right to restore barbarism, racism, and theocracy on one acre of our soil. I will fight, and as we have seen in other parts of the world, you will not be able to avoid being dragged in.

    • You are missing the point of stochastic terrorism. Instead of a unified terrorist force with a unified ideology that can be identified and hated, the right wing in our capitalist media culture can simply issue fatwas in the form of smears, and violent individuals can choose the fatwa that they are willing to kill for and then carry it out with the ample weapons at everyone's disposal. The central, totalitarian ideology is not lacking, it exists as an overlap of the all the seemingly independent right-wing extremist factions. But if you dig into the furthest right prophets of extremism, like R. J. Rushdoony, you discover that they unified all these ideas into a comprehensive system of patriarchal tyranny, then disguised it by forming hundreds of foundations, think tanks, and religious pressure groups. Then they all advanced together, a sort of cloud of extremism that could maintain plausibly deniable links with elected GOP leaders.

      You will find that the rank & file soldiers of ISIS and al-Qaeda are often ignorant boys who know little about their leaders' global agenda. They care about their village or a killed relative or their own bad experiences. Hitler understood with the Fuhrer principle that the henchmen don't want to mess with the complexities of an organic, world-explaining ideology, they want faith and trust in leaders as a replacement for complex argumentation. Stochastic terrorism carries that further by a "politics of the deed" that once inspired anarchists to independently carry out the assassinations of several world leaders.

  • Top Ten differences between White Terrorists and Others
    • There's a much simpler answer. People who want to drag America back to its barbaric, racist past are called "patriots", and in reality tens of millions of Americans support that and condemn anyone who shows any signs of moderation or compromise. Therefore, terrorists who are the antithesis of moderation and compromise are the best patriots of all. And of course a patriot supports the supremacy of the race responsible for all that is good about America, so he is 99% likely to be white.

      You claim they're not part of an intentional conspiracy. The abortion clinic bombers have essentially won their war and gotten away with it. Their violence did not discredit the establishment anti-abortion movement, it strengthened it to the point where it no longer needs the bombers to legislate abortion out of existence piecemeal. We are dealing with a large faction of Americans who turn their worst males into terrorists to carry out plausibly deniable executions of dissenters. Maybe one day after they've killed off all of us they will get funding from the regime to go overseas and commit terrorism there to spread its ideology. Saudi Arabia has done exactly that.

    • In our culture, "shooter" is practically the same thing as saying "real man".

  • Armed White Shooters Scarier than Syria Refugees: Dallas Mayor
    • The problem is, white conservatives define order as the protection of their asses at the expense of all others. They deny being on the same side as white supremacists, but they know they're safe from them while even a one in a million chance of being killed by a salafi justifies the American Inquisition.

  • Why did Turkey dare shoot down a Russian Plane? The Proxy War in Syria
    • My worst-case scenario was outright war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. We're now over 50% of the way there. Someone needs to derail these converging trains.

    • Erdogan doesn't have zero allies; he has Saudi Arabia and the Arab monarchies as an ally - the ally no one who consumes oil can say no to. That gives him leverage with the US to offset the Israelis.

  • Trump's call for Spying on US Muslims recalls FBI bugging of MLK, Black Churches
    • New developments:

      "After his supporters beat up a Black Lives Matter protester on video, Donald Trump suggested that they may have done the right thing.

      The protester, a black man, reportedly started chanting Black Lives Matter at a rally in Birmingham, Alabama on Saturday. In a video captured by CNN reporter Jeremy Diamond, rally attendees swarm around the man, kicking and punching him as he curls up on the ground

      Trump was asked to weigh in on his supporters’ actions on Fox & Friends Sunday morning. “Maybe he should have been roughed up,” he said. “It was disgusting what he was doing.”"

      Any questions?

    • Trump's bombast is the conversion of that activity from a secret of professionals, to a crusade by the entire "loyal" population, like those assailants in Birmingham.

  • "For Paris" on Russian Missiles hitting Syria as ISIL Oil Facilities Targeted
    • It did not take a generation or two for Pol Pot to show the worst that a revolution by nostalgic lunatics can do. It took four years.

      I'm not saying that will happen here. I am saying that the tyrants of the Gulf monarchies CHOSE to create the ideological parameters under which ISIS must be so insanely brutal to prove its worthiness. No matter the size of the mess the US made, those monarchs and their Wahhabi agents deliberately embraced irrational faith against empirical, secular problem-solving as a way to fix that mess, because said problem-solving would eventually have condemned those monarchs to overthrow as it did in the entire rest of the world. Those monarchs chose to spend their infinite funds to NOT improve people's lives in a sustainable way. How can you trust things to ever get better until these US-propped anachronisms are all decapitated?

  • If Trump can track Muslims, close Mosques, what can he do to You?
    • There's another thing going on here. You point out that it's easier for government to collect everything on everybody due to the nature of technology. However, what is really being fought over is the idea that discrimination and double standards represent a moral good. Collecting data ONLY on Moslems is a form of stigmatization; that's exactly what movement conservatives want, a restoration of America's real tradition of caste and racial oppression. You see different issues where the Right mobilizes frenzied opposition, like Hobby Lobby, police brutality, even how people are searched at airports. But I see that all of these cases are part of a relentless crusade to create precedents to restore the right of "real" Americans to discriminate against inferiors, with the knowledge that one victory against Moslems can be twisted into precedent used against blacks, atheists, etc. Hobby Lobby was all about the right of the religious to discriminate, a right that I guarantee will be interpreted so that only the Christian Right gets to use it. Stand Your Ground says that you are reasonable in shooting anyone you consider a threat, so a fearful bigot - indoctrinated to be so by right-wing media - has more license to shoot blacks than blacks do to shoot whites.

      So to the Right, universal data collection is offensive, because it dares imply that "real" Americans have to be held to the same standard of threat as the subhuman Other. The legal recognition of inequality, once attained, will be widened and deepened all the way back to Dred Scott. This is NOT about practical enforcement or actual crime prevention at all, it is about the idea that America is the property of the rich, by the whites, for the Christians.

      The government, ironically, shares your observation and thus wants to view everyone as a threat to its administrative imperatives. Pick your poison.

    • The difference between a president and a dictator is merely what exists to stop him. Now if President Trump decides to use our incompetent military to attack a country and as usual it doesn't work, will he walk away, or will he bring out the nukes, since he proudly rejects all norms of international conduct on the grounds that only "babies" support them?

    • You act as though America was still One-Man-One-Vote. The electoral system is so perverted that Democratic votes are simply worth less than Republicans', fulfilling the latter's beliefs that they are the only real Americans. The ones who most openly and successfully assault democracy are the ones with the most say in the primaries. Now we will see if decades of extremist indoctrination have hollowed out Americans' fundamental loyalty to democratic norms, and made them frenzied enthusiasts of whichever candidate most brazenly promises to restore the "good old days" of white patriarchal monopoly by holy decree. If it's not Trump, it will be someone who promises to be worse.

      Also, if you look at the archive, you will notice that Cole has published one complimentary article after another about Sanders, whom I also support, but has little good to say about Clinton.

    • You should consider that so many suicide bombers have been followers of right-wing reactionary movements financed by billionaires. Then consider our homegrown terrorists and abortion clinic bombers, who have basically won their 40-year war to drag America far enough to the Right to make the current GOP candidates acceptable. Now, do you think the people running the Right have ruled out the option of inciting more Christian, neo-Confederate, militia sociopaths to carry out assassinations to supplement their police state? The GOP libels Planned Parenthood, and in days the arsons begin at Planned Parenthood clinics. Will it be gays next, or Moslems, or Mexican-Americans? Just as in the Jim Crow South, the police state will look the other way as the secret state of untraceable true believers enforces unwritten laws by terror.

    • Yet every time he makes a new, more fascistic statement, his approval ratings rise. If he loses, it will be because someone else won delegates from him by being even more horrible. Those Republicans will still be a danger to us and the world for the rest of their lives. At least we are being given a moment of clarity as to how numerous and powerful this barbarian horde has become, along with its analogs in Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, India, Japan, and every other place where people are angry that the "system" fails to give their lives value by sufficiently persecuting those who are different.

  • Is Daesh/ ISIL a modern Raiding Pirate state?
    • I guess as right-wingers, ISIS has no problem with private property and inequality. So it appeals to the young not as progressive, but romantic and reactionary. Sort of like the Society for Creative Anachronism for kids who aren't bourgeois whites, where everyone is somehow a nobleman and the peasants aren't acknowledged.

      What likely happens is exactly what you'd expect of something like that: they don't understand economics. People too stupid to figure out how to make goods of value in legal markets usually turn to narcotics. Narcostates are the modern equivalent of the pirate states of old, and we've done very badly battling them. But even the Taliban had to pretend to be anti-opium when it was allied with al-Qaeda and trying to bring in devout Moslem boys from around the world. A narcostate in Syria sounds like an easy drone target to me. Absent that, their economy will fall into the squalor typical of failed communes of the '70s.

  • Paris at Midnight: Attempt to push France out of anti ISIL coalition in Syria?
    • In support of your analysis, al-Qaeda is now a rival of ISIS in Syria and has a motive for a false-flag attack. If that's true, then it is NOT ISIS retaliating for Western intervention, but al-Qaeda trying to provoke Western intervention to get rid of the competition so it can take over. Note that Putin has been accused of only bombing groups like al-Qaeda and leaving ISIS alone - perhaps so that he can keep them around as an excuse for his general goal of saving Assad?

      So please, folks, let's not think that any of our options here are easy.

  • Trump's “Deportation Force” Too Nuts For Even Bill O’Reilly
    • This is why I don't get people who think that Trump is less likely to start a war as President than one of the candidates who has more experience in government. He has based his entire appeal on being the opposite of diplomatic. For a country, the alternative to negotiation is not ignoring a problem, the alternative is war.

  • Kurdish Fighters cut Road between ISIL centers of Raqqa and Mosul
    • Quite the opposite. The more you are like a real nation-state, the more vulnerable you become to conventional weapons, because states are all about machinery, infrastructure and organization, preferably competent, to meet the demands of their constituents. Guerrilla and terrorist groups evade all that tedious responsibility, and thus are invisible to tanks and airstrikes.

  • Climate Change to throw 100 mn. People into Poverty
    • Wall Street and Washington have done several things already that have thrown over 100 million people into poverty. It's easy to do. Climate change is going to throw a billion people into poverty just for starters.

  • Why EU Labeling of Israeli Squatter Goods could Affect Israeli Economy
    • India has the largest Moslem population in the world.
      Indonesia and Malaysia are also large Moslem countries.
      The Philippines has a restive Moslem minority.
      The anti-colonial narrative has power in S. Korea.
      China has huge plans underway in Moslem Central Asia, which may surge into Iran, Pakistan, and the Arab world.

  • Jeb Bush Wants A Time Machine To murder a Baby -- Hitler
    • I would go back in time and save Rosa Luxemburg and give her Communists a chance instead, creating an alternative to Lenin. The Weimar Republic and the interwar order were such a mess that I think revolution was necessary.

    • I always thought the likely alternative was Ernst Rohm, the leader of the Brownshirts and along with Hitler one of the founders of the NSDAP. His ideology was a sort of racist populism in which the bosses would be overthrown and the workers would move to communes in the countryside, while the Brownshirts would replace the Army. So kind of like a KKK Pol Pot.

      The world would have been better off with that. Such stupidity would either deindustrialized Germany into impotence, or it would have fallen to the German Communists instead.

  • GOP Candidates' Clown Car hides Deadly intent to Enrich the Rich
    • You are expecting facts to mean the same to them as to other people. If your entire identity and reason for living is based on your "race", "faith" or some other dog-whistle identity being the only ones fit to rule and judge the value of everything in existence, then all facts must be made to support that. In that case, those in your identity group who have the most money and power are seen not as your exploiters, but as your natural tribal chieftains, using their power to lead your people in a war against all the other kinds of people on Earth. The value you place on that war is greater than your short-term well-being, because you are certain that only by dominating others (by whatever mechanism your ideology worships) will you survive in the long term. You will tell yourself that everyone else is out to eradicate your culture and even your bloodline. This is a big deal with right-wingers.

  • Putin's Dilemma: How To Respond If A Bomb Caused Sinai Air Crash
    • I think it's pretty depressing that the Russian people have more power to hold their tyrant responsible for provoking a costly war with terrorists absent proper precautions - while the people of the United States never held G. W. Bush or past US policy responsible for 9/11 at all.

  • Netanyahu taps Squatter who called Obama Muslim hate sympathizer, as he demands $5 bn./yr. from U.S.
    • Besides, the US now depends on Israel for lots of military technology, so we don't even do that great with arms sales anymore. They used our past aid money to develop creepy killer robots and Orwell-ware, and that's now the hot "military" technology that all the governments of the world buy to use against their own citizens.

  • #ExxonKnew Escalates as NY Att'y Gen. Subpoenas Oil Giant Over Climate Crimes
    • The right wing is formulating their ideological attack to justify what Exxon did, or formulated it years ago. We should fear it, because it will work the same way all their ideological attacks do; by signalling to their followers that they are the only real men and everyone else on Earth is inferior, mandated by God to slave for the profits of the Patriarchs and then starve to death. What Exxon did, they all must do, it is their sacred birthright. Bit by bit they have been conditioned to wage open war against the world. However, all that is needed is for them to conquer the United States and hold us in terror.

  • Bush Sr. Blames Neocons for Ruining W.'s Presidency: Is he Warning Jeb?
    • As for saving his son Jeb's campaign, sorry, the barn door's open, the horse has fled, and then was attacked by bees, sunk in quicksand, and then chopped up for dog food.

  • Shimon Peres doubts Israel can win Permanent war or Survive Annexation of West Bank
    • What is missing from Peres' account of events is that Israel always planned for ethnic cleansing; he just now realizes that it can't be done without consequences, which the Likud ignores. Terminating democracy and creating an apartheid state is a perfectly acceptable fallback for the Likud in case its plans fail.

  • Bernie Sanders Hugs Muslim Student And Vows To Fight Racism
    • Well, I guess that will probably cost Bernie Sanders more support than all the "socialist" ideas he might propose. Since people are so ignorant about what socialism actually is, his opponents have to painstakingly frame each of his policy positions and reindoctrinate us as to why they are evil. But physically touching the Other will cause a visceral disgust that will flush out a lot of fake liberals and populists who secretly hate Moslems far more than they hate criminal banks. Of course, those people would eventually have figured it out and switched to Clinton or (if they were really confused) to Trump down the road, but we need the moment of clarity.

      This probably was the bravest act of this entire 2016 campaign.

  • From Canada as Hawk to Canada as Peacemaker in Mideast
    • And yet Harper's Americanized far-right party ruled for 9 years, because 40% of Canadians always supported him, and the rest of Canadians refused to unite their four left-leaning parties to put a stop to him. The Liberals got their landslide with 40% as well, meaning it could unravel very quickly.

      The monolithic unity of right-wingers in America and Canada forged by theocrats and corporate media exposes the degree of projection in right-wing claims that liberals are intolerant, narrow-minded, and all part of one giant monolithic conspiracy against everyone different than themselves. We "liberal bigots" are in fact defined by the fact that we can't agree on anything, which is the best argument for protecting liberty but the worst vehicle for actually doing so.

  • But are they effective? Elite US Forces Deploy to a Record-Shattering 147 Countries in 2015
    • "Effort, as measured by operations conducted, bomb tonnage dropped, or bodies counted, is taken as evidence of progress made."

      That nicely sums up both the fundamental doctrine of industrialized warfare, and the United States Army. Which is why our Army did very well in big conventional wars. Firepower delivered tends to correlate to enemy units eliminated, territory conquered, and enemy war production ground to a halt.

      So what changed about war? Here are but a few things:

      Conventional war assumes discrete, sovereign entities are attacking other discrete, sovereign entities. These entities, when battling for the highest stakes, have plans in place to mobilize their entire population, transportation network, and economic resources. However, that makes all of those known targets in advance, so each side knows what it's trying to destroy, and the supposed consequences.

      War was not always this way. In fact, it has gone in cycles of absoluteness, meaning the willingness of sovereigns to wage war to eliminate other sovereigns and their states. This is not surprising because the sovereigns had little legitimacy and ability to raise armies.

      We seem to live in a hybrid time, when organized states have little appetite to directly govern alien populations and do not give their citizens existential demands to fight for. This has created a world of opportunity for non-sovereign entities to create small armies of committed followers. It's not just happening in the Fourth World of failed states.

  • The Intifada, Viral Death, and the Facebook Fallacy
    • Why does Israel seem to want ISIS to win in Syria? Will this be the next "proof" that Arabs, and thus Palestinians, are monsters who must be eliminated? But Israel surely understands that mass-deporting Palestinians means sending them to ISIS-controlled regions where they will be far more dangerous.

      I wonder if Netanyahu has convinced himself that he's finally found a way to use his nuclear arsenal in a first strike to exterminate the Palestinians? Send them all to The Caliphate, intentionally build it up as a threat, then unleash the nukes to the world's applause?

    • This linked article was very alarming. The timing of Hitler's decision to switch to organized extermination is well known.

      1. Though he had previously concentrated on ethnic cleansing, many of those fleeing him moved to the very countries he later invaded. Jews in invaded countries were increasingly dealt with by Einsatzgruppen, mobile SS troops who sped into vast areas untouched by battle with death lists and rounded up victims before they even understood what was happening. However, the logistics of this practice bogged down; the whole point of Blitzkreig was a relatively cheap war for a resource-strapped Reich. Even Einsatzgruppen were too costly to support in the field. His officials were complaining about this in Russia during 1941, before the Mufti's visit with Hitler.

      2. Hitler had violated his own doctrine of not having a 2-front war, and by unilaterally declaring war on the US after Pearl Harbor, he now guaranteed that both fronts would be much stronger. He couldn't accept that he made an error, as usual, so he specifically blamed Franklin Roosevelt, and the Jews he had convinced himself were running the USA, for tricking him into a disastrous decision. His embrace of genocide was his idea of revenge against the Jewish conspiracy that kept outsmarting him.

  • Top Five Things Congress Should investigate instead of Benghazi
    • That's no secret. Drones don't do what the military says they will, just as smart bombs don't. The public knows that by now, but has embraced the lie because it wants our country to have power untrammeled by the regard for civilian life that we claim to profess. Our citizenry is kept scared, it believes all the Mud Races out there are plotting against its supply of goodies, it wants a tribal warlord President to crush them, and it doesn't want to pay said President the cost of a conventional world war or bring back the draft. We all privately agree that the drone deaths are regrettable but necessary, thus so is lying to cover them up.

  • Hillary Clinton finally let Benghazi Committee Have It
  • Yes, George W. Bush bears some Responsibility for US Vulnerability on 9/11
    • "The Bush group-think holds that asymmetrical organizations are not a threat in themselves, that the threat comes from the states that allegedly harbor them."

      Which was our entire premise in suddenly holding the Taliban responsible for al-Qaeda as though they were one and the same, and overthrowing it. We might as well have held Pakistan's military regime fully responsible for creating and molding the Taliban to rule Afghanistan, but that would have meant war with a nuclear power.

      This also explains why Washington pays unsuccessful lip service to nation-building, but ultimately it doesn't mind destroying governments and creating power vacuums. It believes that only governments create terrorism, not power vacuums. I think that both of them can create terrorism, but popular will also plays a role and the US has really created a vast amount of ill will over the years.

    • What happened is that before 9/11, Brzezinski told a French radio interviewer that in '79 he discussed with Carter the latter's interest in helping the CIA make trouble for the then independent but pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. He told Carter that IF he intervened, the Soviets would find out and retaliate there. But he told the interviewer that he personally desired that outcome. So he was honest with Carter, but diabolical with the rights of Afghans to be spared his desire for revenge against the USSR. Moreover, the interviewer asked him if he regretted what resulted in Afghanistan and he derided the Taliban regime's ability to make us pay for it. So in my opinion Zbiggy was also a fool who didn't get the threat of asymmetrical warfare and proxy movements to the USA.

  • Syrian Army advances under Russian air Support, al-Qaeda no. 2 Killed
    • But that wasn't a Civil War inside Britain. Going back further in history, Britain's attempts to establish Home Rule in Ireland were wrecked by the coming of WW1, the militarization of the Troubles as partisans on both sides came home from the trenches, and surplus weapons poured in. That's closer to Syria than Churchill's Britain, which was at least internally a nation of laws.

  • Al-Qaeda in Syria Leader: Kill Alawite Minority, Russians; Christians fear West Backs Him
    • I disagree. It is more logical that it is Israel that wants the entire Moslem world in chaos, since it doesn't get any oil from it anyway while Wall Street oversees a global economy that must have that oil. Have you forgotten Dick Cheney's Project for a New American Century was full of Zionist operatives, some of whom officially worked for the Likud Party on its Clean Break document before Bush was elected? That paper called for the overthrow of all the unfriendly governments in the region in the interest of Israel. Saudi Arabia also has chosen to make Iran an enemy because of its fear of its own Shia population, and perhaps a larger fear of the Arab world turning on it because of its refusal to confront Israel. Saudi Arabia and Israel may both looking to a regional war to justify the elimination of their own hostile ethnicities - knowing the US lacks the will to object. The US has actually tried to fight ISIS; Saudi Arabia and Israel both seem to feel that ISIS serves some terrifying purpose.

  • Thanks to Sanders, Democratic Party Just Debated Capitalism
    • All private property systems tend towards wealth polarization and oligarchic tyranny. You can go through history and find farmers becoming divided between unlucky ones who must borrow to survive bad years, and lucky ones who lend to them for vast interest or even in exchange for their fundamental liberties. Polarization would continue until collapse, invaders, or a new regime of redistribution. The Greeks of the Classical era were just a bunch of olive farmers, but in hundreds of city-states wealthy oligarchies became so intolerable that they were overthrown by revolutions, whose first order of business was mandated redistribution. It worked for a few centuries, but the oligarchs grew back.

      So small business capitalism is simply a few generations away from becoming oligarchy. The redistributive mechanisms to combat this are always complex, aggravating and under threat by oligarchic propaganda.

  • Bernie Sanders: Why I'm sick of Clinton's email
    • The partisan witchhunt is an essential characteristic of the Republican Party. It is too provocative to demonize the hundred million supporters of the Democratic Party directly, so their leaders must be demonized instead. From Clinton to Swiftboating to Gore-paranoia to Birtherism, the intent is to wall off an entire universe of political possibilities that working Americans need to know about by indoctrinating them with the idea that those possibilities are only a front by a conspiracy of evil socialists, scheming non-whites, Satanic gays, etc, whose leaders must be traitors: the leaders of the Democratic Party, no matter how centrist they actually are. Manichean dualism, us vs them in God's war. This murderous fantasy keeps the GOP base voting to screw themselves to make their own leaders richer and more powerful to save them all from the Devil.

      Sanders is correct in understanding the e-mail issue is simply trivial compared to the issues he's talking about, and as long as tabloid politics are the order of the day, he has no chance of changing anything about America. He can't win unless he teaches American voters a lesson about what matters, and he has to start early. It's not about personages, it's about the fundamental ends of democratic policy.

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