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Total number of comments: 3105 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:37)

super390

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  • Sexual Predator Trump backs Sexual Predator Roy Moore (TYT Video)
    • This is what tribal warfare looks like until the shooting starts. You hear about all those countries in Africa where the governments are so awful. But when you read up on them, you find that the ruling "party" is a tribal power front that often is the same tribe that dominates the upper ranks of the military. And it has subjugated its rivals of other tribes, and holds fraudulent elections to ratify its kleptocracy and oppression. The rank & file, presumably, believe that any theft by their tribal leaders will trickle down to their own businesses and government jobs at the expense of everyone else, whom they hate murderously.

      Now it's our chance to see it up close.

  • Israeli Minister Confirms Secret Contacts with Saudi Arabia
    • Israel and Saudi Arabia share a common goal: to reduce the ordinary Arabs to the status of animals and rule them, and more importantly, their lands, forever. Eliminating the people and keeping the land would be preferable, but so far impracticable.

  • Trump's attack on UCLA Athletes' right to Dissent an Attack on America
    • This wasn't even exercising the right to dissent. This was exercising the right to not be an obsequious ass-kissing toady. You can't order me to praise you.

  • MbS a la Trump: "Making Saudi Arabia Great Again"!
    • Well, only the ordinary residents who aren't the right kind of Moslem. Which means not Wahhabis, meaning not subservient to his family.

      Which calls bullshit on the claim that he represents a more tolerant Islam. Mass airstrikes are very intolerant.

  • Republicans Admit Their Tax Plan Is All About Rich Donors
    • But that begs the question: why is the money of the rich needed to win elections more than popular policies?

      Logically, it means the voters, or at least the voters they need, do not vote based on objective policy effects, but on something that money can buy.

      The money buys advertising. Not just the campaign ads, but the false think tanks and Astroturf groups, and advertising that keeps countless right-wing radio shows and Christian-right tv channels and Fox News on the air doing their thing.

      What the ads and the ideological media have in common is that they don't talk issues. They talk threats and enemies and mistrust. With a big enough pile of money, you can make any Congressional election about anything but issues. And the unfortunate opponents have no choice but to fight back on that same subjective battleground. There's no better way to sow mistrust in the absence of hard facts than to paint someone as a hypocrite.

      Technically, Roy Moore's apparent horrendous past behavior is not an issue in his being in the Senate, other than that it absolutely exemplifies his general theocratic patriarchic view of the American "way of life". But that's too complicated to get across to low-info unaligned voters who are the only thing that can stop him, so we call him a hypocrite instead. He's already gotten as far as he has by making elections into a stark choice between his neo-Confederate fantasy world and a modern reality that voters hate but can't articulate objective solutions for.

      But calling people hypocrites is exactly what the Right wants in the long run, because its opposition research can always prove that we're all hypocrites. They can trust their base to vote for hypocrites on the grounds that they're in a crusade for "survival" and their radio/Christian/Fox trusted wise men reassure them that this hypocrite will do the awful things that must be done. But making a Democrat out to be a hypocrite leaves all his/her potential voters unsure of what he/she will do in office.

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  • Militant Buddhism is on the march in South-East Asia; Why Now?
    • "...not buying from Muslims, not selling to Muslims, not fraternising with Muslims, not allowing one’s children to marry Muslims. They leave it to their followers, especially those organised in pro-state vigilante groups or Buddhist militias, to draw the right conclusions."

      A superb capsule summary of how racism operated in a "free-market" regime like the USA. Only the group with the numbers and money has the power to successfully ostracize via its ordinary choices, ruining the lives of the Other, signalling it's fair game for a KKK to terrorize.

      The same mechanism is what American Evangelicals are demanding with the legal right to discriminate against LGBTQ and in fact anyone else they please based on a "sincerely held religious belief." It's also the dream of the anti-immigrant movements all over the world. Ostracize, put at a market disadvantage, ghettoize. Then it turns out the wealthy patrons of all these movements are the real winners, because the deformed labor market thus produced by bigotry drives down the wages of workers who can't unite for leverage. As long as Group A is in a bit less misery than Group B and has the right to bully it without consequence, the system endures for generations and wealth flows upwards.

  • Lebanese PM Hariri arrives in or Escapes to France
  • World, horrified at Trump, sends US Ranking Plummeting
    • America was the first country founded by capitalists. They allowed it to become the first country run by salesmen. Bush Junior and Trump are nothing but salesmen; there is nothing else inside their heads. But even the great liberal presidents were salesmen who did have something inside their heads. Those are your only choices in our social order. It is our national characteristic to only recognize a salesman as a leader and only respond to the techniques of salesmanship.

    • They should have abandoned us during Bush 1 or Bush 2. But the global corporations find America useful as a model for how they want the world run, i.e., Greed Is Good.

      When will the people of the world finally realize that the American corporations used their nation's once-good name to impose their worthless oligopolies on the world through the sheer weight of its almighty dollar: everything from banking to Microsoft Windows? When will the world finally Boycott, Disinvest and Sanction the USA like it once did South Africa? The answer: when it's willing to undergo real pain to stop our madness.

    • Trump prototype Pat Buchanan actually put out an editorial praising AIDS as a good thing because it would remove the scourge of homosexuality from our land. So for right-wingers, Trump and the HIV virus might be very popular for the same reason: they want their enemies exterminated the fastest way possible.

  • 50% of World's Wealth Is Controlled by Wealthy 1%
    • One day historians will say the real war of the 21st Century was the one between the billionaires and the ordinary people they manipulated. And the latter lost, and civilization fell, not that those barons in their castles minded.

  • Just a reminder that Trump has the Nuclear Codes
    • What's most bizarre is Trump's occasional statements that everybody should get nukes to "defend" themselves instead of sponging off the USA or whatever. But of course "everybody" doesn't include any countries that officially oppose the US. So he wants Japan and South Korea to get nukes, and presumably Germany, as if that won't have repercussions.

  • Saudi failures, from Qatar to Yemen, bode ill for its Success in Lebanon
    • Hezbollah again shows it is the regional master of coalition politics - meaning the building of local coalitions between Lebanese factions, not one monarchy pushing around other monarchies - in flipping the narrative by proclaiming its rival Hariri to be a kidnapped patriot. Suddenly everyone locally seems to be seizing on that storyline to avoid the civil war that Saudi Arabia is trying to force upon them. Maybe the Lebanese haven't forgotten what civil war is actually like.

  • Nasrullah: Saudi has declared war on Lebanon
    • Think of the Saudi Crown Prince as a neoconservative like the Bush/Cheney gang. They thought they could rule America and the world by being "assertive" with their military, using this to silence opposition to domestic "reforms" favoring corporatization of all life.

      The only remaining question is whether this particular neocon has already set his heart on war, or just on bluffing for profit.

  • Breitbart Goes to Bat for Roy Moore Amid Sex Scandal w/ Teenage Girl
    • All that is true. But what Breitbart accomplished is to show tens of millions of Americans who might have been willing to set their prejudices aside and try to build some kind of workable future with Blacks, Latinos, etc. that they could still bring back the old opiate of White Patriarchy. How? By having them all rebel-yell at once and realize their numbers.

      That's been done. It can't be undone, only countered by an opposing yell. Which is exactly what the factionalist plotter Bannon wants; the tit-for-tat escalation towards civil war until our essentially right-wing establishment realizes that it prefers the devil it has long known, and throws in with fascism and a crackdown in the middle of the night.

  • Top 5 reasons Roy Moore could still Win, despite Sex Scandals
    • Mary Chesnut, a Confederate diarist:

      "like the patriarchs of old, our men live all in one house with their wives & their concubines, & the Mulattos one sees in every family exactly resemble the white children-& every lady tells you who is the father of all the Mulatto children in everybody's household, but those in her own, she seems to think drop from the clouds or pretends so to think-.

      My mother-in-law told me when I was first married not to send my female servants in the street on errands. They were there tempted, led astray-& then she said placidly, "So they told me when I came here-& I was very particular, but you see with what result." Mr. Harris said it was so patriarchal. So it is-flocks & herds & slaves-& wife Leah does not suffice. Rachel must be added, if not married & all the time they seem to think themselves patterns-models of husbands & fathers."

    • The true religion has always been power.

  • Trumpism Didn’t Just Lose—Progressives Won
    • America was built as much by centrists as by us progressives. The greatest eras of political change in America - the Revolution, the Civil War, the New Deal - all were determined by alliances between centrists and progressives, and the latter gritted their teeth at the compromises necessary to win.

  • Trump only president not invited to Paris Climate Summit
    • His election was meant to insult the whole world continually for as long as his followers can hold onto power.

  • Can we survive Trump's Rage-Based Iran Policy?
    • Ten thousand nukes owned by a bankrupt man scare me more than ten thousand nukes owned by a wealthy man.

  • Robots & Autocrats: Saudi Arabia's Brave New World
    • Also, recall that Cheney reputedly was blocked from his own run at the White House before becoming Bush's puppetmaster because his own party's Christian Wahhabists considered him insufficiently anti-abortion enough. So he was aware of the problem of needing religious extremists in order to rule. As long as he gave them holy war, they completely forgot their previous qualms with him.

    • The Prince is the ultimate neoconservative.

      Dick Cheney and his murderous Israel-colluding gang of social engineers thought they could hold together the Republican coalition - libertarian greedbags, corporate cynics, and the Christian Right/neo-Confederate spectrum - with a glorious military empire. Vaguely like Bismarck buying off his feudal Von Neanderthals with a pretty state-of-the-art military machine to steer them into the advanced capitalism needed to support it. Except Bush's advanced capitalism was entirely a speculative bubble built on real estate and consumption and clever new ways to package debt, not real industry.

      Now here we are, with Bush and Cheney consigned to the right-wing memory hole for not being extreme enough. What went wrong? And what applies to Saudi Arabia today?

  • Saudi Saturday Night Massacre: Billionaire Bin Talal, dozens of others Arrested
  • Lebanon PM Hariri Resigns in fear for Life, Slamming Iran
    • Dr. Cole posts articles from many sources; obviously Middle Eastern sources have their agendas. People who frequent this site know that Hariri is a Saudi stooge who smears Hezbollah upon command.

      I agree that Hezbollah might have cause for confidence. It depends on how its internal defenses are deployed. During the last Israeli invasion, the Israelis never even got to see the Hezbollah forces operating out of air-conditioned bunkers. If it has made similar ingenious preparations against a coup from the other direction, it doesn't have to have its best troops at home to stave off a half-hearted "Lebanese Army." No, the Saudis and Sunnis were counting on ISIS crossing the border to do their dirty work last year, but it is no more.

      If an actual Saudi army flies into Beirut to intervene, all bets are off, and the Big One between Saudi and Iran is as certain as the events of August 1914.

  • Does Religion Cause Violence?
    • Religion is not a scapegoat, it is a co-defendant on trial for murder along with wealth, patriarchy, and many forms of nationalism. Remember the Nuremberg tribunals? We get to have this out when our capability for mass murder threatens to overwhelm civilization.

      I argue that the very idea of a Master Race is a religion, under which local religions can crowd for a chance to wipe out their rivals. But a Master Race can be something other than skin color. It can even choose to disguise its threat by dividing into parallel, cross-financing movements for inequality based on different myths, just as the Evangelical Far Right has spent its modern history integrated with seemingly separate movements for "limited government", "property rights," "States' Rights", and White Supremacy. These hydra heads hypnotize us while we ignore the body, the beating heart that sends sustenance to them all and plots their ability to suddenly strike together and impose tyranny.

      But to ignore the role of "sincerely-held faith" in this monstrous system is disingenuous. Those are the very word at this very moment being used to drive legislation across the US giving some citizens the right to discriminate against LGBTQ, and potentially anyone else, and distort markets to place the latter at an ever-growing disadvantage.

  • Rick Perry has it Backwards: Oil causes Mass Rape
    • As I pointed out at another blog, the Western nations have been sucking oil out of the African continent for most of a century. Where was the goddamn electricity for the Africans then, Governor Goodhair? Why didn't the oil money get converted into gigantic, expensive grids that reached all the way into the countryside? Because the oil money all went to foreign investors, the ruling tribal "parties" or juntas, and the building of infrastructure for the port cities where those foreign and domestic elites hobnobbed while the interior rotted. Not a damn thing has changed that would now all of a sudden cause the money to be used differently. They don't invest in their villagers because they see no gain in it. More cost-effective to let hunger drive the villagers into the cities where they can be be herded into ghettos and work in sweatshops - of which only the sweatshops need to be connected to a generator.

  • Iran's Khamenei to Putin: Isolate US by dumping the Dollar
    • The 500 years of Euro-Causasian dominance were also the years when shipping was the cheapest, most convenient way to move goods intercontinentally. Can internal land routes take over as the best option again? Note that rail lines can be entirely electrified. Shipping now is a black sheep in the global environmental crisis because of the lack of national jurisdictions, fueled by bunker oil, the worst oil that comes out of refineries.

    • They say that if you must strike the king, strike to kill. They may not be ready to deal with those consequences yet. The creation of Bretton Woods required a world war and an unprecedented concentration of power in the hands of one country; its collapse required the backup of OPEC making US $ convertible to its oil. It's like everyone's been holding their breath since 1971, fearing where their own complex interests are interconnected if the $ finally falls.

  • Was Democratic Nomination rigged for Clinton against Sanders?
    • Each side is so sure that Trump will collapse that they're already fighting over the spoils, represented by who gets to own the label of the opposition party.

      This is very dangerous, another reminder of the failure of Germans to unite against Hitler.

      Both sides must understand that they can't win elections without the other. The neoliberals can't believe that the leftists will walk away and allow the Fourth Reich, while the leftists utterly refuse to accept that Clinton has any real supporters, many non-White; that the whole lot of them are the actual Nazis. It's mind-boggling.

  • Dear John Kelly: Yes, Slavery was wrong in 1860s & Muslims helped Convince Americans to end It
    • Neo-Confederates on the Internet are driving me crazy playing musicals chairs with history. All arguments lead back to slavery; these monsters rely on the rodent-like attention span of Internet users to keep any argument from ever going that far.

      Kelly's essential argument is, "How dare you accuse a White Christian man of plotting to restore White Supremacy by praising his racist ancestors as being 'real' Americans?" Because if we can't question the honor and sincerity of a White Christian man in particular, there really isn't much restoring that needs to be done, is there?

  • No Compromise: Let's not forget Kelly's 'Empty Barrel' Smear
    • Now, since when has it been proper for a military officer to perform the function of smearing a Congressperson on NON-military matters?

      This is the chilling effect prophesied by some when Trump appointed all these generals to positions in the civilian government. Under the old rules, even the mightiest generals had to operate under their service's tradition of deference to the ENTIRE civilian government, regardless of position or party. Which put at least a thin barrier between the military and partisan politics.

      But now, those generals designated as Trump's henchmen have dual authority: to act like the racist assholes that Trump and his gang all are, but to throw their uniforms over it to silence our natural response.

    • Kind of like watching the first stages of Hitler sorting his General Staff into a lineup of compliant stooges.

  • Midnight at Mar-a-Lago: The walls close in on Genghis Con
    • The normal rules of political consideration do not apply to the Far Right. They actually want modern society destroyed, as much as Putin might. They may even want a violent civil war, but under the most favorable terms possible, meaning that they can say we were the rebels and sic the Pentagon upon us. It is the game of fascists to claim to be outsiders to leverage their way into the system, and then use the system - aided by their preexisting alliance with extremist oligarchs and security forces - to commit transformations as great as any revolutionary movement.

      So we can't be sure that any disaster is big enough to drop Trump's approval below Bush Junior's nadir of 28% that enabled that 2006 midterm. Trump appeals to these thugs in ways that Bush could never have imagined.

  • Top Six Trump Admin. Crimes that ought to bring Indictments
    • In effect, it comes down to the essential fascism of Trump's support base - which allows Trump to not have to carry out the overt imposition of emergency rule and dictatorship. The Founding Fathers knew they couldn't proof their Constitution against factionalism, because since ancient times factions have rejected their normal role as voting citizens in safeguarding against abuses of power on the principle that "the worst of us is better than the best of them". They have, and will, tolerate the most monstrous acts and even join in, which renders formal tyranny unnecessary.

      This would be like a nationalized version of 1876, when a regional faction wore out the nation's willingness to stop their crimes and let them impose tyranny over their section of America with a secret government and rigged laws. But this time, the secret tyranny will not stop at the Mason-Dixon line.

      At some point, this was doomed to become a conflict between ordinary citizens and their will for power.

  • Scotland Wind Revolution: First Offshore floating Turbines power 20,000 Homes
    • The gasoline-fueled transportation may be on the way out too. Scotland is not likely to lag far behind the English cities threatening to ban petroleum-engined cars from their jurisdictions. And gas is awfully expensive over there. Individuals buying electric cars seem more comfortable committing when they know renewable electricity is in place, either commercially or from their own devices.

  • "Secret" JFK Assassination Files Reveal Bizarre Allegations
    • This looks like a bungled attempt by Trump to show he's an enemy of the "Deep State". The problem is, anyone who's familiar with these theories knows that the CIA's supposed motive for killing Kennedy was that he betrayed Diem in South Vietnam. Proof of that tie to the Vietnam War would hardly make the public warm up to Trump's growing militarism abroad. But worse, the favorite suspects as the CIA's operatives, the Mob and the Cuban exiles, get us into a dark realm of far-right American politics, going through the founding luminaries of the subsequent "conservative" movement and their dirtiest henchmen... which leads to Roger Stone, which leads to Donald Trump.

  • Solar: Elon Musk already got a San Juan Hospital running & more to Come
    • Well, it will be crippled in the USA. Rest Of World has already made its choice.

      This is not an unforeseen development. Kevin Phillips' 2007 book American Theocracy concludes with a section on energy and imperial decline. He notes that America's predecessors as trade-driven hegemons, the Dutch and British, have a nostalgic fetish for the forms of energy that had put them on top, wind and coal respectively. The implication is that, back when they had to make the tough decisions to retain their dominance, they hesitated to keep up with their rival on exploiting new energy sources. I am more knowledgeable about the British side of that contention; it is complicated because Britain's main motive to transition from coal to oil was not improving the domestic economy, but improving the range and speed of its warships attempting to dominate world trade routes. So sort of like today's Pentagon pushing for renewable energy for its forces to deal with its intractable fuel supply chain issues in the middle of nowhere.

      But Phillips' description of the growing nostalgia in America's (Republican) heartland for the Good Old Days of cheap driving does presage the current obsession of the Trump gang in pushing a cult of fossil fuels that, like the Ghost Dancers, will magically restore the old prosperity.

      Now how long will it take for America to finally pay an undeniable price? The Dutch were probably as ruined by having to share a continent with the upheavals of the French Revolution as by any hesitation to adopt steam power; sometimes larger events overwhelm you. The British got bailed out from two disastrous World Wars by its replacement hegemon, thus hiding the price of its lagging technology and preventing a clean-sheet rebuild like what the Continent got.

      Well, no one's going to bail us out; technically we've already been bailed out by the Saudis, Japanese and Chinese for 40 years and used that money to get into our current mess.

    • Simply reconnecting the vulnerable power lines to the obsolete oil-fired generators would have been cheaper than converting the whole island to solar and batteries...

      But not when the Trump Administration gets through with it. The same gang that made all your tax $ disappear in Iraqi reconstruction will always be tied to fossil fuels.

  • Scrutiny as $300 mn Puerto Rico bid goes to Trump-linked Firm w/ 2 Employees
    • ..."because “everybody knows everybody” in the small town."

      The Flyover States' eternal excuse for crony-state capitalism. Now imposed on the whole country in time for the giant privatization scam.

      Looking for an appearance by Erik "Everybody's Related To The Secretary Of Education" Prince in a jackbooted sequel to Katrina.

  • The Break-Up of America: Donald Trump and the Fourth Great Shattering
    • On the prison part: I think that it was crucial to the old White Supremacy that all-White juries were part of the social contract. Thus the prison-slavery system used by local police under Jim Crow was acceptable to the White population because they controlled who would actually get sentenced. Some Whites might get convicted, but Blacks damn sure were going to get convicted.

      So look out for moves to restore the all-White jury.

    • Ah, but there's the catch. The poor Whites putatively want ethnic cleansing. The rich Whites want slavery. This is a contradiction that could be exploited by a dirty op if only there was anyone on the Left who had the balls and money to carry it out. It means empowering the cleansers to turn their destructive energies against the enslavers. Yes, that could mean instigating a civil war between right-wing Whites before they are finally ready to pull an Indonesia or Rwanda on us.

      But short of that, there's another option. The rich ones understand that they must disenfranchise minorities without letting them leave. Then they can breed them to keep labor cheap forever (or until human labor simply becomes obsolete). They really don't want Blacks and Latinos to obtain greater representation in Congress, which slowly turns the tide against the extremists.

      So the alternative is to lure the poor Whites into supporting the "purification" of their states by letting their large, minority-majority cities form new states, each with two senators and many representatives. I don't know how you could fool them into a blunder that huge, and in the past I assumed they were hypocrites about States' Rights, that they only love states when they're in their favor. But the victory of Trump with relatively little campaign spending against the states' GOP establishments show that such a bizarre rebellion can occur.

      The trick is in the framing. We now know that Trump's supporters are indeed too stupid to do Congressional math; they just want minorities to disappear from their sight as soon as possible.

  • Game over for Coal: Solar Power costs to plummet by 60% in coming Years
    • There's still a danger to US solar. A bankrupt American solar panel maker, Suniva, sued to demand tariffs and reparations against Chinese panels, which are the only ones cheap and plentiful enough to put America on a fast track. Suniva is now owned by a Hong Kong company. Clearly, these are scammers who only bought Suniva to carry out this blackmail. But Trump's government now has the excuse to wreck all the delicate planning for solar installations currently underway.

  • No, Trump, British Crime isn't going up because of Muslims
    • "See, Their Kind are violent by nature. Our Kind are only using violence in self-defense. When Their Kind submit to our superiority, things will be wonderful again."
      -The Gospel According to the NRA, the UKIP, the BJP, etc., etc.

  • George W. Bush & GOP lack standing to bash Trump for Racism
    • The old plantation owners evolved the strategy of manufacturing White Supremacy to control their rebellious European peasant class. Did the plantation owners actually believe the hateful venom that they bankrolled?

      I think that they began as cynics. It is said that Jefferson's fellow Founding Fathers of the South all told themselves that slavery was a necessary financial expediency and would die out soon if they just kept their mouths shut (unlike Jefferson, who was all over the map about what the solution should be, but knew an actual effort had to be made).

      The horrible thing to explore is the mental self-lobotomization of the Southern intelligentsia in only a few short decades as the sons of the Founding Fathers decided that they were going to hold onto their slaves by any means necessary. The cynical gap between the rich Whites and poor Whites closed into a solid wall of hysterical dogma.

      I think what happened was that the ideology the plantation owners pimped to the poor simply contaminated all minds, including their own children. There was soon no one left who understood it was just an economic scam. It became a Sacred Way of Life that they were willing to die and kill for.

      Which brings us right to the Republican Party and its attempt to appease its new Southern partisans, doesn't it? It happened all over again. The GOP leaders knew what lies they had to tell (since many were defecting Jim Crow Democrats). But they could not deliver on the logical implication of their dogma: that Blacks are so reprehensibly inferior that they have to be stripped of all rights as citizens again.

      So the monsters they cultivated with this vile, cynical manipulation went shopping for a Republican presidential candidate who would say the lies and act on them too. Ted Cruz would have been enough if they just wanted to hear the words. They hungered for someone who would actually tear the country apart to implement the Final Solution, unlike the corporatist establishment.

      They looked for a vicious sadist who destroyed everything he touched. And they elected him.

  • Are China and N. Korea biggest Winners from Trump dissing Iran Deal?
    • I felt years ago that if China really wanted to piss us off, they'd go to Fidel and make him a deal he couldn't refuse. Turn Cuba into a manufacturing powerhouse as China's forward economic base, and unleash Chinese infrastructure companies to line the shores with Shanghai-grade hotels. Oh yeah, and a Chinese naval base.

      It's looking pretty good to me right now.

    • America HATES it when any country besides our own declares linkage between issues in different parts of the world. Only the hegemon gets to do that, because only the hegemon is supposed to be big enough to even have interests in different parts of the world.

  • Is racial bias driving Trump's neglect of Puerto Rico?
    • I think Trump and his supporters love having a colony, but they hate having the people who were already living there.

      The problem is, if the Puerto Ricans tried to declare independence, said deplorables would freak out because that would mean losing land, which they worship. But they can't let Puerto Rico become a state because that gives it Congressmen.

      Commonwealth status suddenly is revealed as a limbo.

  • No, It Wasn't Iran: Top 7 Reasons Baghdad took Kirkuk
    • Second chances are historically unlikely for collapsed empires. The British, French and Dutch only got bailed out because the Marshall Plan shielded them. Nobody's going to go that far for our sorry asses.

      But there are degrees of collapse.

  • France's Macron slams Trump 'Bad Policy' by Mulling Iran Visit, Seeking Trade
    • Remember, Macron is a neoliberal, and radicals keep telling us all neoliberals are exactly the same. So Macron is exactly like Hillary Clinton, right?

  • Legal weed: An accidental solution to the opioid crisis?
    • I have theorized that a new Mason-Dixon line will spring up over legalization; it will be made to appear to be about "values", but it will be more true to say that it is a line between the states that still aspire to democracy and the states that are run by a rising prison-labor oligarchy that indeed needs to keep the "Negro" drug illegal as part of its racist narrative. Note that Prohibition was foisted by Protestants on America under fearmongering that alcohol was the Catholic/immigrant drug, that to criminalize the drug was to pressure "those people" into assimilation. When those Protestants drove America into the ditch in 1929 and opened the way for FDR's heavily Catholic & immigrant coalition to storm into power, Prohibition was immediately repealed... yet only three years later, the Federal government outlawed marijuana. It's as if we can't function without an ethnically-coded drug threat to tie different forms of oppression into a single narrative.

  • In Absence of US Leadership, War Breaks out between Kurds and Baghdad
    • The problem with saying that we're better off with a hegemon to hold bad situations together and hold off the outbreak of war is that everyone can use that argument at different scales. Assad can use that excuse for holding together the bad situation that he inherited in Syria.

      The reason Roosevelt pushed for the UN when America seemed to have the greatest hegemonic advantage the world had ever seen is that he knew it would lead to something bad. He told his son Elliott that one day American boys would die fighting a war to keep one of the European colonial empires together.

      But now we have no effective UN and no effective hegemon, and worst of all, no one deserving to be the hegemon. There are possible major multistate wars brewing in Korea, the island disputes of East Asia, India-Pakistan, Saudi Arabia-Iran, and Kurdistan. Nuclear weapons may be involved. No one prepared for all the possible wars that could break out if American hegemony stopped holding them back because most of us found it unimaginable, and a few of us found it wonderful.

    • My God, who hasn't betrayed them in the last 40 years?

  • Yes, White Supremacists, some Vikings were Muslims & Thor was Brown
    • Don't check your DNA too closely. You might find some nasty surprises.

    • The British, certainly, conquered much of the world in Victorian times while believing in all sorts of falsehoods. Ditto the Spaniards before them. All the Master Races are eventually discredited, but only after they exercised their ability to destroy anyone who got in their way, leaving the hunger for revenge that gets built into the next conquering behemoth.

      Apparently, the evolutionary rewards for understanding the truth are swamped by the evolutionary rewards for coming up with a lie that unites people into an unstoppable army. A significant faction of White Americans understand that, and they want it back by any means necessary.

    • It's had to prove whether Bannon or any intelligent schemer believes the dogma or merely finds it useful for supposedly justifiable ends. But then the same can be said for Cecil Rhodes or Albert Speer.

      Which is why our understanding of the word "racist" lacks subtlety. We need to make it clear that anyone who helps actual White Supremacists come to power because they think they can profit deserve a term of opprobium whether they actually believe in White Supremacy or not.

      Years ago, right-wing columnist Cal Thomas inadvertently spilled the truth while writing about why we must tolerate our systemic injustices. He said that we have a successful social order, that it's too disruptive to replace our old prejudices with political correctness, that the benefits of tolerating intolerance were a net utilitarian plus over ending White dominance, implicitly even if it's based on false premises.

  • Elbaradei: Trump Propaganda on Iran Nuclear Deal like Run-up to Iraq War
    • I think that Putin's best gambit in case of a US war on Iran is not to send troops to help the latter. Ironically, Russia's interests are best served by doing exactly the same to Iran that Iran did to Iraq during the US invasion and occupation. It did as little as possible. It was able to sit back and pick and choose factions to aid. And it was able to profit from a runup in oil prices due to the unrest.

      The difference this time is that the US simply lacks the means to actually occupy Iran, which clearly would not be in Russia's interest. The problem is, what if Trump orders a nuclear strike instead?

    • The sad lesson I have found is that declining empires are incapable of reform before disaster in war. Usually they are incapable even after. Sweden seems to be the exception, after its catastrophic invasion of Russia in the Great Northern War.

      But it pretty much isn't reform unless you surrender your position as a hegemonic empire and demote yourself to a mere Great Power. I've been jumping up and down and screaming for years that the USA has to make that move before it's pushed under unfavorable circumstances. But too big a gap opened up between the American public and the American antiwar movement; the former believing that hegemony was necessary and inevitable, and the latter believing that the world would become a paradise once American power was utterly extinguished. Now we're really tumbling into Hell, a multipolarity of fascists and racists, all nuclear-capable.

  • More civilian Airstrike Deaths under Trump than in 8 years of Obama
    • Wow, you must still believe that the South Vietnamese Air Force was a sovereign operation wholly autonomous from the Pentagon... even though they literally took American warplanes and painted the white bars yellow, loaded up with American bombs, carried out American target lists, and then collected paychecks composed of US tax dollars.

      Every civilian killed by the Saigon air force was killed by the United States of America, because the very existence of the country of South Vietnam was a CIA concoction and a violation of the Geneva Accords. We own it. We killed over a million Vietnamese.

  • Baghdadified: The Militarization of US Cities and Police
    • Since I cannot reply to your response to my comment, I will post it here.

      Stop slinging that Trumpian "Republicans are your friends" crap on me. You STILL haven't addressed my comments about the Redcoats, or the author's experiences with hostile occupying armies. The Redcoats were legally the "brothers" of the colonists too, but that doesn't make the Revolutionary War invalid.

      And your claim that anti-police rhetoric scares the police into "withholding" protection from Blacks is bullshit because you refuse to accept the role of the police in carrying out violence against Blacks since the Civil War. Many Klansmen WERE policemen. The great destruction of Black Tulsa carried out by White citizens was done with the authorities by their side, not watching innocently.

      The police were integral to one of the greatest racist acts of the Jim Crow era; the use of vagrancy laws against innocent people as a matter of policy to produce temporary slave labor, which local governments then rented to favored private interests. This is now recognized by historians as an essential part of the Southern economy for decades. Why didn't the population rebel against such a grotesque miscarriage of justice? Because Whites understood that the law was overwhelmingly enforced against Blacks. I don't see how that would have been efficient unless the police forces acted as the first filter.

      You're not addressing the article or my arguments because you want the Blacks to be broken to "goodness" under a society that just proved its evil foundation by letting a White Supremacist get in the White House. You're using arguments to smear White liberals, obviously, thus providing cover for the monsters who think there are good White Supremacists.

      And over and over again, you refuse to admit that millions of Black people perceive harassment by cops in every area of their lives. You evade it relentlessly, and conspicuously, just as the apologists for our crimes in Iraq refused to address the petty cruelties of our Occupation forces. I will not post further replies until you explain that.

    • GOD is an abbreviation for "Good Ol' Donald."

    • Ally with the police, like they're already an autonomous foreign power - or occupier? One that we as taxpayers already shower with military aid?

      You are discounting the broad knowledge of African Americans of everyday police harassment as a sign that the police consider them to be the enemy. You can say they're lying, but they believe it and they are Americans.

      In fact, you ignored the entire premise of the above article; that none of this abuse happens by accident, but by ideology. And that ideology is a far greater threat to democracy than all the criminals put together - at least the ones outside of Wall Street and the pollution industries.

      And the explanation for all this is very simple. We have low-turnout elections where hateful trolls can dominate. You can find elected mayors, district attorneys, police chiefs, sheriffs and judges in various combinations. All they do when pimping for votes is talk about being tough on crime, using exactly the kill-the-enemy rhetoric that I and Mr. Sjursen talk about - he from first-hand experience.

      And God help us, that's the only kind of voter who shows up for those elections. People who in their crude bigotry are a thousand times more honest than you ever will be.

      If that changed, you would be the first to attack the people who got elected for being "soft" on the "enemy." As if our side could run up enough of a body count to make them go away, the NRA fantasy that always ends in another kind of body count.

    • Our ancestors claimed the right to armed revolution against King George partly on the depredations of his Redcoats. There's no way the total number of unarmed American colonists killed by Redcoats before that rebellion in 1775 approaches the number of unarmed African-Americans and Latino Americans and other Americans of Color killed by the police in the last generation.

      At what point does the Declaration of Independence finally apply to Americans who aren't Founding Father-colored? Did Crispus Attucks die in vain?

  • Trump wants 10-fold increase in Atom Bombs but is after Iran, which has none
    • Consider the view of a small-minded small property owner, who gets off on his power to bully his underlings and threaten them with economic ruin. Or the clergyman who uses the despair of his congregation to keep their eyes on the next world instead of reforming this world. Or all the cops and all the prison guards.

      There are many, many people whose identity is founded upon the nation NOT being a paradise. Economically, America was well on its way to solving its greatest problems just when it threw away its budget surplus to go into Vietnam. The better things objectively got, the more the traditionally oppressed came out of the shadows with the hope that their grievances would be recognized. The oligarchs were angered and scared by this, and some decided that the solution was to turn back the clock and restore hierarchical terror under the cover of "free enterprise" and "traditional values".

      link to msuweb.montclair.edu

      There are those who would rather reign in Hell than share power in a republic.

    • Multiplied by ten?

  • As Trump & Pruitt unleash Climate Demons, Scientists dream of Atlantic Wind Farm
    • Well, you might recall how we ended up dealing with the owners of slaves. Investors will commit monstrous crimes to force society to do their bidding, and they might reap the whirlwind.

    • Florida is already doomed by CO2. The ocean will rise, the porous rock under Florida will let salt contaminate the fresh water supply, the Everglades will die off, and the value of real estate will collapse as the cost of water and insurance rises.

      The folks in charge there are just trying to make as much money as possible before they flee to a new host body. They really don't care if it looks like Puerto Rico when they split.

  • Can Coffee survive Climate Change?
    • I wonder if our ancestors could have endured the unnatural deformation of their lives by industrialization if not for access to nicotine and caffeine.

  • Trump and the Faustian Bargain of Corker and the GOP
    • Trump will become the face of their American fascism for a generation, whether they are in power or finally overthrown.

    • My suspicion for some years has been that the "moderate" oligarchs will simply flee the US ahead of the reckoning to reunite with all that capital they've already sent overseas. They will transfer to a new host body and continue to talk as reasonably as they do now. The ones I'm scared of are the modern-day plantation owners, the far-right family fortunes who funded the rise of extremism and are disproportionately involved in natural resource extraction industries (except for the Amway-owning DeVoses, who extract the resource of stupidity). They have to stick it out, because their fortunes are tied to this land. They wanted to turn the clock back to restore the power of the landowners of past centuries. They intend to dominate local government and religion in a similar fashion, with perhaps Klansmen and lynch mobs as fallbacks. Education and intellect are their enemies. They do not care if 90% of the value of the country is destroyed as long as they own the remaining 10%.

    • And yet the markets keep rewarding Trump.

      Of course, they kept rewarding Bush Junior -- until things started collapsing.

  • Former US Allies peeling off under Trump: Turkey halts US Visas
    • What you say about lesser military powers being stuck with the US is just part of the problem. Lesser financial powers seem to be propping it up too. Saudi Arabia was sucked into that role by using its OPEC votes to create the petrodollar; Japan came following with its boom money; now China is getting in far too deep. Why do they invest in a dollar that has been losing value since 1971?

      Between the countries that tolerate American power for military hegemony and ones that tolerate it for financial hegemony, we Americans can get away with infinite stupidity. No one can form a coalition to teach us a really deep lesson. Losing wars is not enough, it seems. Breaking the global financial markets in 2008 was not enough.

      It's as if we're holding the world hostage, and we've just now realized that we can thus indulge our worst delusions by electing a Caligula. Neither people within or outside America can put a stop to this madness unless they're willing to bite the bullet and make real sacrifices for the struggle.

  • VP Pence pulls NFL Political Stunt at Taxpayer Expense
    • However, the nature of modern warfare (and costs) have delivered most of America's combat action to the Special Forces. Their demographics are just slightly less White than the Confederate Army, and their veterans are heavily recruited by monsters like Erik Prince for the private mercenary armies that lurk on our soil, already past the Rubicon.

      The rest of the Army is that part that has most spectacularly failed to make its hypercomplex machinery work in foreign wars once they bogged down into insurgency. If soldiers of color remain loyal to democracy after some sort of Franco-style putsch, they will bring only bits and pieces of a functional military with them to our defense.

    • Meanwhile, must I be the first to point out the incredibly sinister implication of Pence and every other right-winger on this matter who morphs a protest against police into a protest against soldiers?

      Is there a difference anymore? Are the police the special military used to wage war on Blacks and Latinos? Like the special army the British used to wage war against the Irish, the Black and Tans, named for combining Police and Army uniforms?

    • Apparently Trump thinks Black people must honor the flags of both the United States and Confederate States. And White people who wave the Confederate flag don't dishonor the flag it was meant to expunge from Norfolk to El Paso.

      Huh.

  • What’s Stopping Media From Calling Las Vegas Killer a “Terrorist”? His Whiteness
    • I slightly disagree in this case, though I absolutely agree about other cases where the Whites who committed violence clearly were attempting to coerce society thereby in a certain ideological direction, which is my definition of terrorism. The sheer blankness of Paddock, as opposed to the Oregon terrorists or Dylann Roof, is an interesting development. They were stochastic terrorists, who could figure out their marching orders without a chain of command. But Paddock just had a compulsion to slaughter a bunch of people, and apparently stalked concerts around the country to consider it before he finally went ahead and did it. That's not an ideology, or a form of coercion; there's nothing you could concede to him that would make him stop committing such acts.

      However, the growth of these pathologies may be related to political issues, because of the loss of connection to a shared humanity. And the politics that choose to sever those connections in order to proclaim a Master Race must be seen as a road to many more misanthropic horrors. When regimes founded on such principles come to power, they need people who have the mental makeup to do their dirty work, regardless of their prior politics. We don't want to believe such a force of blank henchmen could exist among us, causing us to downgrade the threat of extremist rule. We should know better.

  • Plummeting in Polls, will Trump 'Wag the Dog' with Iran, N. Korea?
    • We know this scam will work, for a while. It always works. The Presidents who end wars get punished.

      Nixon used the war both to get into power by promising to end it (while secretly promising Thieu the opposite), and by keeping it going so that he would get the boost in power and loyalty received by every war president. Is it a coincidence that when he finally settled the war in 1973, his routine criminality in the White House suddenly began to be viewed by the media and the public in a completely different light? As though doing it in wartime was for the national good, but doing it without a war was now suddenly about personal gain?

      Under those circumstances, it's hard to deny that if George H. W. Bush had kept the war against Iraq going in 2004, he would have avoided his electoral fate. It's actually amazing that every president hasn't begun Vietnam-sized wars and kept them going until re-election time.

  • Buzzfeed Exposes Breitbart's Neo-Nazi Roots (TYT Video)
    • White Supremacy is itself a cover story, but one so ancient that its followers have long since made it into a hallowed tradition whose intent can't be disputed - even as it cynically makes tactical shifts to "religious freedom" or "White separatism". We're stuck with it because it was the basis under which the inherent poverty of Southern resource-extraction economics was made viable for capitalist profits without collapsing into rebellion. That in turn makes the South a low-wage anomaly that capitalists from sea to shining sea can use to distort labor markets by threatening to move there.

      And the essence of it is: we underpay everybody, but half of them get a special bonus of getting to beat and abuse and scapegoat the other half and the latter aren't allowed to fight back. It is institutionalized sadism.

      For the Far Right, the restoration of that order nationwide means an financial incentive they can use to lure the capitalists into a fascist alliance. But it also connects these mostly-Northern, anti-immigrant racists with the existing pool of anti-Black and anti-Latino racists as their natural leaders.

      So where do you break the chains tying this alliance together, or is it too late? One of the oldest cover stories White Supremacists have used is fealty to localized government, which has served them well when they needed to lie low, but not when they tried to create a country reaching from Norfolk to El Paso. I think you can make them choke on this secessionist contradiction. Start movements not to secede from America, but to secede from the particular Red State that oppresses its cities and minorities. The "alt-Right" leaders and corporations will try to fight that because they can do the Congressional math. But you go for their base - tell them that if their racist propaganda is true, then their states (which impose substantial tax burdens too) will be better off without the contaminated cities. Those cities create jobs from which suburban bigots cart away their paychecks to evade responsibilities in the sticks. Make them fight each other over where the borders are to be redrawn.

  • Was Ayatollah Khamenei right about Washington? Trump Reneges
    • The way things are rapidly going, "unsavoury regimes" would include the United States of America. Including the North Korean path.

  • Top 5 signs Donald Trump might be an effing moron
    • Oh, I believe he read that book of Hitler speeches that was sitting by his bed. I definitely believe that.

    • Voters chose the moron who most closely sounded like their own prejudices, but the clincher was that, unlike all the other Reagan-spawn Republican leaders who have used myths and codewords to imply that they have been persecuted by tens of millions of Americans who now deserve to be punished and degraded, this moron looked to be sadistic enough and reckless enough to actually risk our future carrying out the punishment. They wanted a destroyer, and they got one.

  • How dangerous people get their weapons in America
    • We're all dangerous. That's what the NRA/GOP ideology wants to hide by putting a racial line between "good" and "bad" Americans. That puts us on the road to endless escalation of violence to civil war, which strengthens their hold on their followers.

  • The Gasoline Car will be History before you Know it
    • You can do the math on the limitations of solar powered vehicles yourself. Find out the mean insolation (average solar energy that falls on the ground) in your part of the world, then divide by 5, because solar cells are at most 20% efficient. Then figure out the surface area of your roof, hood and trunk lid, because cells mounted on the side of your car won't be worth the trouble.

      What you will find is that it is hard to generate more than maybe 800-1000 watts this way when it's parked. If you collect 8 kw/hours in a day, that can get you around in normal daily driving, but not very far on a highway. And you have to park in the sun, which is hard on the car. Now there are circumstances where that is useful. If you're getting that much sunlight, you need power to run the car's air conditioner to be able to live with the car.

  • Six things to know about mass shootings in America
    • The NRA has found its calling in the last generation by marketing the myth that there is a "criminal" race (which is implied to be overwhelmingly Black and leftist) and a "real American" race (which is overwhelmingly White and conservative). Thus the NRA can sell the idea of ever escalating arms purchases by the White "victims" because, gee whillikers, the criminal race will always get guns one way or another and the only alternative would be... I don't know... ethnic cleansing? Extermination? And of course we White people are too righteous to do such a thing although we'd be WITHIN OUR RIGHTS if we did...

      So the NRA drives us up right to the cliff-edge of Rwanda, Indonesia, and the USA's annihilation of its native peoples, collects its fees from the gunmakers, and then leaves the car there with the keys in the ignition and walks away from its crazed passengers.

      We have to destroy the idea that there is a criminal race. We have to accept that we Americans are not so exceptional; that any one of us can go over the edge for one of a million reasons, that we are all capable of turning off our inhibitions under the right combination of circumstances, and commit unthinkable acts amplified by technology. That is how America's ordinary, everyday, undeterrable carnage happens in countless typical neighborhoods.

  • Fake News: Fascist Media try to blame Las Vegas Shooting on Left
    • Except, ironically, that he seems to have been less of an ideological maniac than the modern NRA. He was a sociopath without dogma; maybe the organized sociopaths only turned to dogma because they knew they needed it to pose as an oppressed minority. Once they became a faction, they rapidly adopted all the evils of factionalism. treating their demands as a zero-sum game whose victims in every area of American life (everyone hurt by the President the NRA demanded, etc.) were as disregarded as the people Paddock slaughtered.

  • Trump's Billionaire Cronies feed at Public Trough as he disses Puerto Rico
    • I already referred Bush Junior as Caligula long before Katrina. What's left to call Trump worse than that?

    • They might get a more productive response phoning Beijing. Rebuilding a small island with only 3.5 million people is not a big deal for modern China... as long as China has uses for the result, like a beachhead in the Caribbean.

    • Wait'll he hands Puerto Rico over to those billionaires to "fix".

      But the Puerto Ricans still have the right to vote for statehood or independence. It's hardly likely they will support the status quo after this treatment. Here's the trap: Republicans have been indoctrinated to so hate Latinos as a Democratic threat that they can't allow statehood, but their pride as the Master Race makes it hard for them to accept losing the territory to independence.

  • EV Game-Changer: China dumping Gasoline Cars even Sooner
    • . . . What we're looking for is a proper EV platform as it's begun to emerge in the West: a large Li-ion battery pack that forms the vehicle's floor, use of lightweight materials, and advanced aerodynamics. No Chinese maker has put all of these together into a competitive package yet. But the government is using this quota to pressure Western firms to share their technology with their Chinese partners. There's already a Chinese-built Chevy Volt, sold as the Buick Velite, and I expect a Bolt clone will follow.

      After that, I'm looking for the Chinese electric Model T, the breakthrough cheap car that will exploit increasing government requirements that apartment buildings have charging capability. This will be the one that pours off the freighters into Southeast Asia and Europe and Latin America. I hope this will also become the default vehicle of Chinese car-sharing enterprises, which will begin to replace personal ownership and thus alleviate my aforementioned fears of sprawl.

  • Trump's national anthem outrage ignores decades of Supreme Court rulings
    • In the eyes of ordinary White people, it's an "affront" for a Black man to remind us that he's not equal under the law - or at least under the boot of the lawman - but it's okay for a bunch of White Nationalist militiamen to commit an armed invasion of a Federal facility and then hold out under siege. I mean, that's what an Oregon jury found last year.

      But there's a clever hypocrisy going on here about the flag. When these same Master Racers wave the Confederate flag, they're deliberately dishonoring the US flag as a symbol of the hated Federal government that defeated the Confederacy. Yet the instant that Black people protest against the US flag, it magically becomes a symbol not of government but of White society, whom they are threatening with their insubordination. Blacks are getting to the truth: the Confederate flag is the demand for the restoration of absolute tribal injustice by White Supremacist militias, while the US flag is the present reality of convenient bourgeois injustice defended by the police.

      "Freedom" is now nothing but the license of the Master Race to disobey the government for not being racist enough, while forbidding the victims of racism to protest against the White society whose evils the government is Constitutionally bound to resist.

  • Iraqi Kurdistan defiant in face of Baghdad sanctions, threats
    • So, from looking at the comments here from around the world praising tribalism and bashing government, I guess we can now say that all that's left of (big-government socialist egalitarian) Martin Luther King is his holiday.

    • The worst control freaks are those who demand purity (as opposed to recognition) of identity, because they're never satisfied. You secede today, only to find "contamination" seeping across your borders tomorrow. The ultimate solutions are always enslavement, ethnic cleansing and extermination.

    • How does tribalism work out for Afghanistan, with or without a functioning government?

      Tribalism in America is a construct created by modern interests - the English corporate investors who paid to create the colonial plantation economy only to find their motley indentured crew of English convicts and defeated Scots and Irish and even some African captives were plotting against them. Race was invented to divide them against each other in a way that chillingly resembled the Stanford Prison Experiment. The White race was manufactured for the purposes of capitalist conquest, enslavement and genocide of North America. Thus its "tribal identity" by definition cannot recognize the human rights or autonomy of other tribes, which is why it falls back into the same evils century after century without liberal nation-state ideology to keep it from backsliding.

      I argue that tribalism is now so contaminated by such artificiality via modern class interests that no one is safe, or honest. Wasn't fascism a cartoon version of tribalism that proved wildly popular? It gave "low-information" bigots the chance to throw off the shackles of civilization when it came to dealing with neighbors while preserving the military-bureaucratic state needed to organize modern armies.

      Explain to me how tribalism works without an organized, enforceable recognition of universal human rights. You Europeans will be butchering each other again within a generation, because in a tribalist anarchy, the one tribe most organized for conquest becomes the model for all the others and no international organization exists to counter it.

      So to get ready, watch us Americans as we start to kill each other in the streets again over the idea of a Master Race infinitely coded in crosses and American and Confederate flags. That's what the Patriarchy means by freedom.

  • UK: Is Corbyn's call to Nationalize Utilities the end of Neoliberalism?
    • The fascists always arise when the threat of socialism forces the ordinary bullies of the class system to unite around a right-wing critique of capitalism - one that basically says, "you're living badly because capitalism isn't brutal and unjust enough to your inferiors." The capitalists can then dig in and make it clear with its overt and covert support for the fascists that the public will never be allowed to get the choice of its heart... so it predictably turns in frustration to the choice of its rage.

      Eventually, all the capitalists will bend at the knee to the new Fuhrer to cement the new state-capitalist tyranny, and then each have their I. G. Farben moment when they are ordered to sacrifice their Jews or their Blacks to honor the deal. The NFL is having its I. G. Farben moment right now.

  • After Hurricane, Trump Reminds Puerto Rico of 'Massive Debt'
    • Logic says the majority will go to New York and Florida. Only one of those is relevant in 2018. Maybe New Jersey will be significant, if only because Democrats have a mess on their hands there and need reinforcements.

    • Well gee, if the Karl Rove plan for New Orleans was to drive Democrats out and break it up as an enemy stronghold, how does the Trump gang make that a win with Puerto Rico? The more of them leave, the more they tilt states that actually have a significant number of electoral votes unlike Puerto Rico. Unless we suddenly see Red States start passing bills to make it impossible for arrivals from other states to obtain residency. Which violates their entire White-Flight growth model.

  • If Trump were really President, he'd Forgive Puerto Rico's Debts and Rescue it
    • Ask the Republicans in Congress.

    • Trump's tweet was classic Shock Doctrine, as explained by Naomi Klein: use a disaster to claim that only a massive privatization can cover the costs of recovery. Look out.

  • Trump Casino and White House, Inc.
    • America is getting a terrible, terrible lesson on how its businessmen operate in advanced capitalism, with this spotlight on one man. What immorality we ignore in normal business activity is now empowered by the Executive Branch, so that we can't avoid the consequences.

      Now, this article's explanation of how these conflicts of interest work would be easier for us to understand if it were all defined using the terminology of a European monarchy of a thousand years ago. Clearly, the king was the chief aristocrat, all of them property owners, all of them mingling their private interest with their governance of the unfortunate peasantry. The king was the tycoon of tycoons. He hired other aristocrat-tycoons to run his government. He handed over public goods to his lesser brethren when he needed favors from them. If he were sufficiently awful, the other aristocrats might unite to topple him, but the common mortals could not.

      So not at all different from Game of Thrones or the government of Saudi Arabia. There we are.

  • "Those People:" Trump plays to White nat'lism from N. Korea to NFL
    • To criticize Trump is to attack his followers, who know that they are the only Real Americans. Therefore, that's treason.

      Maybe they are the only real Americans, given the foundations of our country. How far are we willing to go to overthrow that unjust foundation, finally? When do we get our Declaration of Independence?

    • We would better spend our energy trying to figure out why the complete encyclopedia of human failings was so attractive to "real Americans" afraid of losing their monopoly on power to demographic democracy.

      Can you say "The Samson Option"?

    • As they might say in rural Afghanistan, who needs sports when you have a country divided between warlords in permanent war against each other?

    • We have an order of succession in our Constitution. It's not hard to find online. First in line is theocratic schemer Mike Pence, who raised his position in GOP politics by signing an anti-gay bill only to get hit with a boycott threat from Indiana's favorite sport, college basketball. He also attempted to prosecute an organization registering minority voters on trumped-up charges, and his state recently sentenced a woman to over 40 years in prison for taking an abortion pill too late in her pregnancy. Many think Pence is more dangerous than Trump because he already is a total servant of the theocratic right but knows how to lie more convincingly.

      You wanna hear what the next guy in line is like? They're dicks all the way down.

    • Trump has disinvited the captain of the NBA champions, thus guaranteeing that they will not visit him, while the NHL champions are loudly tweeting their audience with him and NASCAR owners talk about what they'd do to protesting drivers (of course, none are Black so things work out neatly for them).

      This is the future we face. Everything that we think of as being part of America is being forced over to one side or the other of a Mason-Dixon Line across our national conscience. Hockey and stock cars are White, football and basketball are multi-racial. Soon every branch of the military, every hobby, every tv station will have to adopt a tribal identity and then fight the enemy tribe. The police? Well, you already know where they stand.

      Then these two Americas will have to fight it out (again) to see which one gets to say it's the real America that makes the laws for all Americans. I've known for 35 years that it was going to get there eventually, because a dying empire is at the point where its past begins to carry more weight than its future, and our past is irrevocably racist.

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