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Total number of comments: 3224 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:37)


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  • Russian campaign Interference looks like ISIL in Polarizing Techniques
    • Your point #4 contains the breaking point, the line that cannot be crossed. If the Russians even altered voter rolls in, say, Detroit to cause Democratic registrations to be challenged and delayed, that would be the line that no Great Power can tolerate from another Great Power (though Great Powers do such things to minor states all the time). Everything short of that is just black propaganda.

      But more specifically for Americans, that would be the point where it wasn't about just Trump conniving with a foreign power, but the entire leadership of the Republican Party. Because that's not just a presidential election being affected. Nor is it then just about Clinton and the many people on the Left who seem glad that the Russians harmed her and want to deny her an excuse for losing.

      We know that Obama tried to get GOP Congressional leaders to take a joint action with him to stop the Russian activities, and they refused.

      Because they knew.

    • We are no better than our ancestors in the 1930s. Ordinary citizens never truly learned the lessons of their mistakes, they received a dumbed-down version from their leaders about how to avoid Depressions and World Wars and Fascism. We developed a thin veneer of institutional safeguards and taboos after 1945 to keep both rulers and ruled under control. Those created the construct of consensus reality via media oligopolies and peer-reviewed science, etc. Extremists couldn't just cry fire in a crowded theater and get useful results.

      Now a more sophisticated set of psychological techniques has released the beast again. Any horror committed by our forefathers is no longer unimaginable.

    • This is the thing we need to unify around. Instead of arguments over who's worse, we need to see that even the perception that Putin got something from his efforts guarantees that EVERYONE who wishes to push a marginal agenda into power, every radical group, every special interest group, every government, will adopt these methods and pour resources into them against all their enemies everywhere on Earth.

      Such a world of lies cannot long refrain from using the weapons of physical violence at its disposal. The worst will be talked into civil war against the rest.

      Representative democracy has been hacked. The 2016 election just completed the process. The database of proven methods has reached critical mass. It cannot be erased or forgotten or even made too distasteful to use. Either you patch up the old software with some sort of antivirus mechanism (legal safeguards) or you create new software (a different electoral system, even direct democracy) that cannot be swayed by these particular methods.

  • Russiagate or Deep State? What Some Progressives Get Wrong on Russia
    • Thank you for summing up and expanding on arguments I've made in many places over the last 18 months.

      The mystery of Trump-coddling on the Left is the most frustrating thing about our current situation, as it reveals the real danger that Trump can rule with only 35% support with his enemies divided. It's like watching the Weimar German Communists (Greenwald) and Social Democrats (the Clintonites) fail to unite against Hitler, because the former realize they don't have the numbers to get the kind of leftism they demand, so instead they actually try to help Hitler win to smash bourgeois tendencies, intending to then magically overthrow him and seize power without the 30 or 40% of the population that lacks their purity. Didn't work then, won't work now.

      I also considered the idea that a certain faction on the Left WANTS Trump and the Far Right to rule them. Why? Because then they can suffer nobly - but in fact they are as much Luddites as the Far Right, wanting an agrarian eco-friendly fantasy past that would require the collapse of world trade and corporate technology, which they themselves have proven pathetically incapable of bringing about via marches and "consciousness-raising". Better to let their enemies do that hard work by wrecking the very idea of materialistic rationality.

      But that seems a little harsh. Maybe instead what they want is for America to be dissolved by secession. They're sure they've got the numbers to somehow rule a few states. And at least the American military machine will be ruined, and that will make things great, right? And if the states that go Neo-Confederate round up or kill a few million blacks or gays? Well, those kind of leftists always found blacks and gays too bourgeois in their aspirations anyway.

      The ultimate abdication of responsibility for the fate of fellow citizens; now they won't be your fellow citizens. The nation will collapse into a dozen self-selected echo chambers. You won't have to deal with anyone very different than yourself at all, which is something the American radical left has proven quite terrible at.

  • Israel: Protesters call for ‘crime minister’ Netanyahu to step down
    • It would be ironic if Netanyahu were toppled for committing crimes more minor than the ones Trump has in only a year.

      But then, it would be even more ironic, though not surprising, if Israel's increasingly racist and paranoid polity replaced Netanyahu with someone known to be worse.

  • The Boomerang Effect: How Netanyahu Made Israel a Partisan US Issue, and Lost
    • It may not matter. The Likud and the American far right have been in bed together for decades. They clearly study each other's methods for spreading hatred and bigotry and authoritarianism. And I think they both clearly have long since decided that democracy has to go. Demographics give them no choice.

      So Israel has to help the Republicans make America into a one-party state by the worst means. The opinions of American Jews won't matter then. They might even be deported to Israel to provide the 51st state with reinforcements.

  • What Does Netanyahu Corruption Case tell us about Trump's Fate?
    • The worst thing is, ordinary Israelis will never see the bond between the growing corruption that they want to fix and the growing Apartheid state that they want to embrace. If the Broederbund wasn't a form of cronyism, what is? The racist aggressor who tells you that he is the sole savior of your country will always feel entitled to steal anything available.

  • Joining BDS, Israeli Gov't to Boycott Israeli Film in Paris
    • More and more, Israel will have to tyrannize Jews who speak out about the obvious facts around them. It will have to explain why so many Jews are part of the global anti-Semitic conspiracy. And more and more American Jews will start to wonder who the greatest source of oppression and intimidation in their lives actually is.

  • ‘Fake News!’: the view from Israel’s Occupation
    • But in a sense, and I mean this of the American version of this too, the person making the claim of fraud, and the colonial public he's aiming it at, are collaborators. Obviously they want Palestinians - or African-Americans - to know that they're being abused in order to terrorize them into emigrating away. That is so essentially in their self-interest that they can't deny it. So they want the truth to get out, but only in the form of word-to-mouth as a warning to their despised enemy, not something actionable against them by the outside world. These denials are just cowardly plausible deniability, in which denier and audience dance together because the audience wants these atrocities to happen but are yet still ashamed to commit them itself.

      Consider the interesting difference between lynching in America before the Depression and later. You see plenty of photos of White townsfolk gathered to celebrate lynchings, but they're from the earlier period. They were done publicly and photographed because that conveyed the maximum message of power: our united tribe rules yours and can act with impunity. The lynchings of the '30s and '40s are covert death-squad operations, just as I suspect they were in the very beginning in the 1870s. In the beginning the Whites were feeling their way to power in the unwritten dirty war of Reconstruction, at the end they were becoming uncomfortable with the act of lynching or its consequences and anonymous murder came back in vogue. But in-between was the full flowering of hatred as an act of community identity.

      So if you think the Israelis are bad now, wait until they start posing for their media in front of the corpses of the children they kill. Clearly they have politicians rising in their ranks who are eager to normalize the pure form.

  • Russia warns Israel on Syria strikes, danger to Russian Troops
    • I don't think that region can go 25 years without a war big enough to eliminate regimes and entire states. A Cold War between Saudi Arabia/Israel/US and Russia/Iran is so full of contradictory agendas and outright criminal regimes that tiny groups will keep causing incidents. One of them will escalate into the Big One because the leaders are more like the crowned buffoons of 1914 than the relatively sober bureaucrats of 1962.

  • Trump's Plan to use Fossil Fuels to dominate the Globe
    • Back during the era of $100+ oil, one topic of discussion among Peak-Oil nerds like me was that of "energy slaves." Meaning, humanity went almost straight from economies where the hard work was done by slaves, to having it done by coal and then oil-powered machinery.

      Applying this to the history of the USA has alarming implications. The Secessionists of 1860 were, in effect, the last great partisans of what Lincoln called "the slave power", meaning the powers they gained by forced extraction of labor from others, including more time to engage in politics, more time to learn to use guns and play soldier, the ability to attempt to colonize the frontier with expendable slaves, etc. There were others then and later who would use slaves, but none openly made it a virtue on which their whole moral order was based.

      Now we Americans are the last great partisans of oil power. While its immediate effects are not as heinous as human slavery, it has given us far more power to abuse. We have made it a virtue and the basis of our moral order at the cost of more and more of its substance.

      With all the signs of the world turning away from them, the Southerners doubled down, looking to create a slavery-only country, a one-party state where criticizing slavery was itself illegal. Some in the Confederacy hoped that it could turn its military talents southward, to invade and enslave Latin America. Again, such an empire would have been made possible by slave power.

      Now apply that to the USA today.

    • Do you know how long it took that exact same thing to happen to the Ottoman Empire?

    • So, first they told us we must dominate the globe because we need to take its energy at gunpoint to survive. Now they tell us we have so much energy that we must dominate the globe and force it to buy it from us to survive. Huh.

    • The fossil cronies around Trump know that; they're desperately trying to sell as much of the stuff as possible before the price gap becomes so obvious that even Americans can't help but act on it. Trump, though, doesn't do math - or change. An amazing number of trolls at electric car comment sites simply refuse to believe that renewables are becoming cheaper than fossil fuels in more and more places. You can tell them a hundred times, and they cling to prices as eternal truths.

      Why is this? Because to concede that point - which involves so many of their equally eternal enemies - is to concede the possibility of being wrong about so many other things. It is the same with global warming.

  • Pence at Olympics: "America First" is making the US the Skunk at the Party
  • A Crisis of Democracy: Trump's block of Dem Response to Nunes
    • The far right has been subverting state government for years. Do some research on how the Koch Brothers' American Legislative and Executive Council acts as a shadow government dictating "model bills" to the rubber-stamp Republican legislatures all over the US.

      Kansas, recently, tried to make a legal distinction between being a "federal" citizen and a citizen of Kansas so that its (Jim Crow) voter restrictions could stop you from voting in a KS election without disqualifying you from your right to vote for President, which would have brought down Washington's hammer.

      Jim Crow is the essence of why our oligarchy likes state government.

  • Turkish Helicopter Downed by Syrian People's Protection Units
    • Basically, everyone is united in screwing the Kurds, because a domino effect of Kurdish independence damages client states of all the puppetmasters. ISIS is expended, so the only force that stood up to ISIS is now expendable. If the inevitable replacement for ISIS arises and nothing stands in its way, well, that's next year's problem. But staving off Kurdistan is every year's problem.

  • Can American Democracy survive six Standing Wars?
    • Although I've discussed this ad nauseum, here I go again:

      White conservative Americans no longer see the "government" and the "military" as the same thing; they see the former as evil and illegitimate, BECAUSE it is democratic and thus the votes of their enemies count. They see the military as preserving the values of "real" Americans, meaning the White tribe. It is seen as taming Blacks and Latinos by temporarily forcing them to dress and act like their own sons.

      My contention is, the White tribalist sees the redistributive functions of government as evil and a handout to the non-White enemy, while the redistributive functions of the war machine are loyal to the tribe.

      So it does not matter that tax $ spent on civilian government is a more productive investment than war. The war money goes to good Americans, who really deserve everything.

      You can see from this that the soldier cult is simply a form of masturbation - I mean, self-congratulation - by those who see themselves as supplying the nation's warriors. Really, they see themselves as a warrior race, and America as a tribal domain that their forefathers conquered in the manner of the Teutons or the Vikings, etc. Everyone who is not them is a conquered person, even the immigrants, because the latter came crawling here admitting the tribe's superiority to their own failed societies. Of course, that makes the slaves a very touchy point. In a proper tribal domain, the members and those whom they let into their ranks after proper submissiveness and extracted labor (like minorities who join the military) should be able to treat everyone else like dirt. But the damn government refuses to do that at home.

      Thank God it can do it abroad.

  • Right's ban on phrase "Polish Death Camps" Backfires on Warsaw
    • So why is Ukraine bugged about this? This sounds like several countries whose past citizens collaborated with the Holocaust trying hard to shift the blame to each other. Because Ukraine was full of collaborators; they were the default death camp guards.

      And that's why I don't see Poland getting much succor from Russia - plenty of Russians collaborated with the Nazis too, and they did so under flags and symbols that were a reversion to pre-1917 models - just like the post-Soviet government. Putin is not going to let the blame get shifted onto them.

  • The Nunes Memo, Spirit Cooking and Pizzagate
    • You have to show them that their children, their friends, and their co-workers hate the insane regime they support so much that they're willing to make genuine sacrifices to wreck its everyday functioning. Which is what Dr. King's passive noncompliance meant in the context of the Jim Crow South. I am not optimistic that enough Consumer-Americans (our true ethnicity now) are willing to make those peaceful sacrifices to send the message.

    • My read of history is that in the medium term, though not the short term, people want their countries to ape the country that seems to be having real success. The kings of 19th century Europe used saber-rattling to impress their restless subjects and stroke their egos, but the latter voted with their feet to get to the USA where the pay was better. Which is no longer true.

      So eventually a rising empire better able to cope with modern technology and provide real material benefits will become manifest, and in the old empires people will demand better practices. Unfortunately, the chances that the rising empire will be a democracy are about zero right now; only that it will be an authoritarianism based on rational calculation of widespread material benefits instead of a strongman state based on sadism and myths. At least that leaves the door open for peaceful improvements.

  • Alt-Right Trolls Try to Tank ‘Black Panther’ Score on Rotten Tomatoes
    • This is the future we're facing. A cultural cult has been relentlessly denigrating Blacks and their accomplishments at every available opportunity, and its recruits will keep at it for decades until they've restored the normal racism of the 19th century. It doesn't matter that most of us don't think that way; they're after our children's minds.

      So the question left to ask is, why? Why do human societies keep generating these stubborn pathologies, and do they succeed often enough to blight our history? America is susceptible to this because it never remembers and it never learns, but also because things like racism challenge a fundamental premise relied on by the founders of this society: that irrational hatred is unproductive and will soon be weeded out by the efficient workings of the marketplace.

      I'm here to say the opposite. There is a market for hate. It is another good that can be mass-produced and sold to people as a substitute for decent wages, affordable medical care, financial security in old age, a healthy environment. To me this is the great blind spot in America's capitalist theology. We are consumers of sadism just as we are consumers of food and housing and entertainment. We can build our entire society around a form of consumption too.

  • 206 Global Companies profit from Israeli Squatting in Palestinian West Bank
    • It's not a blacklist if you factually state what the members of the list did without actually saying what should be done to them. Mr. Danon must believe that the colonization of Palestine is not a violation of international law, so how can stating that these companies assisted in it be a blacklist?

  • Saudi Prince reaps $106 bn from "Anti-Corruption" Scheme
    • And now those individuals will devote the rest of their lives looking for vengeance against the Saud dynasty, and pass that vendetta on to their sons and grandsons. How hard do you figure it will be for them to find people willing to commit violent mischief?

    • Page: 32
  • The Fascist underpinnings of Trump's State of the Union
    • The tax cut will do what all the other tax cuts have done; it will cause the investor class to pour money into speculation, temporarily boosting the economy, until they get out and the bubble bursts and the rest of us suffer.

      Until Americans stop believing that the upside of the bubble is "deserved" and can go on forever and the bursting of the bubble is an unrelated phenomenon, my explanation will not penetrate their thick skulls.

  • Yemen just got Bloodier & more Complicated: Trump Ally UAE backing Separatist Militia
    • It's horrible and hilarious how badly KSA has bungled the takeover of a ruined country on its own border. They can hardly claim ignorance of local conditions, America's perennial excuse.

      Why do rich countries always think they can conquer poor countries without paying the price to properly feed and house the people they conquered? Not the $ cost, because their local puppets will always steal most of that anyway, but the cost of actually doing the job themselves.

  • Trump declines to Sanction Russia, Spurring Speculation about Putin Hold
    • Great Power states have always interfered with satellites and unaligned small states, playing a delicate game to not trigger an event that brings in their major rivals. You Europeans have just forgotten what cynical bastards your grandfathers were like before the US and USSR simplified (and significantly improved) the infinite conflicts of the continent. We all want to believe in sovereign equality, but it was further from existing before the US hegemony than during it.

      But in Great Power conflict, what you don't do is direct a coup against another Great Power's internal government. That would have been casus belli in the Europe of 1792, or 1914, or 1939. Do you understand that Russia possibly collaborated with the Republican Party, not just Trump? That its hackers attacked voter databases of Democratic-majority cities and thus created a potential excuse for cynical Republicans to in turn interfere in counting the votes?

      The very act of putting Trump in power in the US is equivalent to the US rewarding not the hapless Yeltsin, but actually carrying out vote fraud to put in charge the evil fascist Zhirinovsky. Now you know why we wouldn't do that, Zhirinovsky was a bigoted lunatic who was bound to make a mess and upset the regional status quo. Well, what is different about Trump? What's different is that Trump is vastly more influential to legions of White supremacists and fascists around the world, and he's got his finger on the biggest button. All of that was foreseeable, and Putin decided that the chaos would be profitable.

      No matter how much you dislike America, its history as a democratic republic was crucial to legitimizing the idea of such government in the larger world, as John Stuart Mill explained about the outcome of the American Civil War. Guess what happens when you help Trump - and the KfD and Victor Orban and Marine LePen - pose strongman rule as an actual replacement for democracy worldwide?

    • You might be cheering for Russia to get away with it, but then what message does it send when the USA treats Russian businesses radically differently than Iranian businesses?

  • US general defies Turkey, says not planning Manbij troop withdrawal
    • Okay, so we know that Turkey isn't going to intentionally fire upon American troops. What will happen instead? Will Turkey link this issue to USAF access to Turkish air bases? Will this become a contagion into NATO? Doesn't Trump hate NATO anyway?

  • No, Trump, Ice isn't growing at Poles, and Yes, we are Boiling the Earth
    • He is never, ever, ever going to admit that capitalism caused a existential crisis. As a fascist, his only criticism of capitalism must be that it is not unfair enough, that it doesn't put "good" White people on top of non-Whites 100% of the time. And that is only due to capitalists not being patriotic enough to always favor their "kind." Capitalism is an extension of tribalism to him, thus non-racist market effects are actually a violation of capitalism in his twisted view. Raping the Earth and then forcing foreigners to bear most of the harm is another matter entirely.

  • Ankara warns US spec ops to Abandon Kurds or risk Turkish Attacks
    • The Trump Administration is open for bidding on its Turkey policy. I figure half his people have been bought by Turkey, the other half by its rivals. He himself has been bought by Russia and Saudi Arabia, which both have an interest in who controls the corridor between Iran and Syria. It's time for them to ante up.

  • US Pentagon will Keep fighting in Syria until they win the Vietnam War
    • Really, the whole lot of generals should just be locked in a room and forced to hear the most graphic description of the murderous shelling of Haiphong by a fascist admiral of the French Navy, intentionally sabotaging his own President DeGaulle's fragile cease-fire with Ho Chi Minh in 1946, the last moment at which the war could have been avoided, a crime that by itself justified the driving out of Western power at all costs. Then afterwards, the generals should all be asked a one-question quiz: "If someone did that to YOUR country, what would you say should be done?" If they offer the mealy-mouthed excuses of our diplomats and ideologues for all our own crimes, they flunk the test and get sent to offices in Heidelberg and Arkansas where they can do little harm.

    • Wow, it's worse than I thought. Not even one book by Bernard Fall, who at least had the decency to document how the sins of his countrymen created conditions in Indochina that could not bestow legitimacy to any Western-backed puppet.

      That's what's missing in all of this. The consideration of the possibility that rape cannot be cured by counter-rape. That sovereign legitimacy cannot be imposed or revised by beating someone with a stick. Of course the people we back are always thieves. The people who aren't thieves are the ones who decided that Western civilization was the problem and chose to drive it out and start over again, whether with Commissars or mullahs. That only leaves us with the thieves, the traitors, the Uncle Toms, who no one respects as true leaders.

    • Well, I can think of an Admiral who told Congress the truth, though it was over 40 years ago. It was Hiram Rickover, who told our legislators, "I do believe we will destroy ourselves with these weapons. But new life will evolve."

  • In blow to Trump, Syrian Kurds call on al-Assad to Save them from Turkey
    • You mean, the same Assad Dynasty that took away their citizenship and made them as stateless as Palestinians.
      It's rough having four national governments taking turns trying to annihilate your identity.

  • China surges with 52 Gigs of new Solar as Trump kneecaps US sector with 30% Tariffs
    • But by pimping conspiracy theories and UFO worship and general hatred of government and scientists, the X-Files did its part to get us to an America where the National Enquirer functions as the party organ of a fascistic president.

  • Countering Turkish Propaganda, Pentagon reports 150 ISIL Killed in Airstrikes
    • The US military is too damned stupid to even know what the New Silk Road is. But they've been trained to hate Iran, and that is sufficient to hate all its allies. And that forces Iran and everyone in the entire world who is on the US' enemies list, for whatever reason, to turn to China for survival, because only China has the means and vision to offer a plan for survival.

    • It went really well for the first decade. The previous regime was no bastion of democracy. Erdogan bowed to public pressure and refused to help US forces invade Iraq. Then despite the disruption that caused the Turkish economy did well and EU membership seemed on the horizon. Even the Kurds were part of his electoral coalition as he held back the anti-Kurdish army. But Erdogan was obsessed, more than imposing Islamic rule, with imposing himself as ruler for life. He had to get a supermajority to change the constitution, and he calculated that sacrificing the Kurds would win him more votes that it would lose him. He got the war, but nothing else in his plans have gone right since then.

      Recall the epitath for Willie Stark in All The King's Men, a promising leader turned tyrant:
      "What happened to his greatness is not the question. Perhaps he spilled it on the ground the way you spill a liquid when the bottle breaks. Perhaps he piled up his greatness and burnt it in one great blaze in the dark like a bonfire and then there wasn't anything but dark and the embers winking. Perhaps he could not tell his greatness from ungreatness and so mixed them together so that what was adulterated was lost. But he had it. I must believe that."

  • The Norwegians are Coming! The Norwegians are Coming!
    • He doesn't want them for their ideas. He wants them because they look like the fresh young warrior tribesmen in old SS propaganda posters.

  • Jordan's King Abdullah warns Pence-Trump of Major instability over Jerusalem
    • Wish he had the racist honesty to come out and say that the "good" Arabs are unelected tyrants and monarchs because actual, real, ordinary Arabs are the "evil" ones and can't be allowed to have the right to vote - in Israel or elsewhere.

  • Turkey launches Land invasion of Syria, Calls France opposition "Terrorism"
  • Trump's deeming Jerusalem Israeli Capital Portends Fiercer Mideast, Iran Conflicts
    • It's not "might make right". It's "White makes right." White conquest = (capitalist) civilization, brown conquest = terrorism. The Israelis have intentionally coded themselves White as America's 51st state in the way that European minorities who made themselves useful to the American system got rewarded with Whiteness. This was done in conjunction with 50 years of demonization of Arabs as, basically, "ni**ers."

      And the right wing in the US works with the Zionists, and studies their methods. What crimes are committed against the Palestinians and Israeli Arabs there, eventually are committed against people of color in America. Trump has now unified these twin processes.

  • Is China coming into Syria for its "One Belt, One Road"?
    • China's a member of the association of Portuguese-speaking nations via its annexation of Macao, and if the English-language version of Chinese state TV is any indication, Beijing is very interested in Angola, Brazil, and maybe Portugal itself. It's amazing to me that the Chinese didn't simply buy up Cuba years ago and turn it into an economic aircraft carrier.

      Really, the world is wide open to China because everyone else failed. The old imperialists failed, the Soviets failed, the neoliberals failed, the neoconservatives failed. Their rulers were all too greedy to grasp the lesson of the Marshall Plan - even the US has betrayed its principles over the years. That lesson is, you have to help the people in a country build a better society by their own standard, regardless of how it violates your own dogmas and agendas. This is why Europe has a social welfare state and universal health care against our doctrines.

  • The worst thing about Year One of Trump: Fascistization of Cable News
    • Humans were never meant to live in societies this complex. They were never meant to live surrounded by strangers who could only be trusted via mass conformity. However, we were handling it into the 20th Century. William Greider claimed that his prairie-populist forebears were quite sophisticated about the conflicts between farmers and monopolists because they saw the problems first-hand. What Marx called the alienation of labor was also the complication of the economy so that no worker could really see his role in the end products, only management, which reduced his confidence in challenging the latter over how society must be run in order to maintain productivity. Everything has been made too complicated on purpose, so that only a corporation with compartmentalized morality united only by profit can act effectively. The rest of us are reduced to bystanders in our own work and consumption. That can't possibly be good for our political consciousness.

  • European Parliament backs Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050
    • 2050 is too late, but it's still progress because they're breaking the mental barricade that says that government, and in this case the EU parallel government, must not take a position on such things, and we now have the means to bring it about a lot faster. If the decree is made, then it's not hard to do the math and realize how much money they save, and how much their balance of payments might be improved, by cutting out fossil fuel energy imports from outside the EU right away instead of 2050.

      There was an enormous drop in the price of offshore wind in the last couple of years in Europe as competitive suppliers matured - which hasn't happened in the US yet. This drop means that you can now run wind power from the North and ever-cheaper solar power from the South into one European grid. So the next step is making a commitment to energy storage to balance those off. There is a proposal out there to create a huge artificial loch in Scotland that could hold enough pumped storage to perform that function all by itself for all the EU, but I figure the environmental destruction that it would cause is prohibitive. Instead, many lakes in Scotland, Norway, Switzerland, etc. will be considered, pretty much any existing dam. Europe is lucky to have mountain ranges all over it from the wind power zone to the solar power zone. Batteries only need to enter into it on the level of local solar mini-grids.

      The next step after that is for the EU to commit to decarbonization of transport, which means accepting that diesel was a mistake and working to rapidly eliminate the urban health hazards it has exacerbated. Germany is the problem here. Its car companies have been shown in an expose by Der Spiegel to have formed a technological cartel, coordinating a slower pace for technological improvements to save money while presenting a joint face to the world that their technology is the best. Thus it's not surprising that their hybrid cars are kind of a joke, with electric-only range so short that they really only function as substitutes for diesel cars that they know will be banned soon. The diesel scandal has now embarrassed them into taking all-battery cars more seriously, but not in the lower price categories where a breakthrough is badly needed to wipe out diesel in the cities. A big EU push for shared self-driving car services might change everything.

  • The Rise and Fall of America’s Middle Class
    • Sometimes, a movement creates people who are the negation of the people who were in the movement. The unions created workers so wealthy that they could try to run from their class identity. The progressive critics of urban decay germinated the idea of the suburb as the solution, and created commuting Americans so racist and isolated from diversity that they were practically the footsoldiers of the Reagan revolution.

      We all recall how the generation that endured the Depression and WW2 swore their children would never have to struggle as they did - thus guaranteeing that the latter would live so differently as to have nothing in common with their parents, inaugurating the Generation Gap and the great countercultural uprising and then the great backlash under which we still live today.

  • Trumpist UK Thugs waving US Flags try to Apprehend London's Muslim Mayor
    • It appears the Stars & Stripes is headed towards becoming a more convenient replacement for the Swastika and the Stars & Bars as a worldwide symbol of White Supremacy. And it certainly sends out the right signal to the global capitalists: "We're fine with infinite inequality as long as it's the right kind of infinite inequality - like the USA's."

      Of course, the Nazis and Confederacy achieved this status as martyr heroes after being annihilated.

  • ‘Shithole countries’: Trump uses the rhetoric of dictators
    • The word "interdependence" used to be heard a lot in 1970s America. Then it seemed to vanish under Reagan. Most people today couldn't even express the idea behind it.

      I think that's when our language started moving rightward.

    • There were a lot of fascists in America before Pearl Harbor. Look up the DuPont (or Millionaire's) Plot from 1934 to see how close they got to power. They didn't repent in the face of Hitler's crimes. They recalibrated.

  • Did Trump just Paint a target on backs of US Diplomats & Businessmen?
    • The remarks about Norway should be getting far more attention, for they pinpoint the extent to which Trump is an unwashed Nordic supremacist, no matter the claim that he just prefers Norwegians as wealth-producers. Norway produces wealth because it just happens to be sitting near oil and gas and has enough of an egalitarian culture to force the earnings from same to be used to improve the entire population - hardly Trump's ideology. No, what he loves about Norwegians is exactly what Hitler and Himmler loved about them and the Danes, how much they all looked like SS recruiting poster models. Hitler thus conscripted their lands into his crusade against freedom, but found the people not generally cooperative or useful.

    • The global rich keep rewarding America's anti-egalitarian policies, and their populations just express anger in useless ways, like our population. We now live in a world dictatorship of money, and the money in our pockets - or our willingness to sacrifice future earnings to damage the fascists - are all the power we now have.

  • Is China's dominance of Green Energy Markets a path to Global Dominance?
    • We already have an example of an authoritarian green policy next door in India. The BJP is promoting itself as a progressive green state to the global investor class with great success, crowding out scrutiny of its reactionary climate of persecution of Moslems and lower castes at home. Now why this combination? Is it a product of the party's internal coalition politics (Modi's technocrats letting its rank & file run roughshod over human rights)? Or is there an economic philosophy that justifies both doctrines?

      In fact many racist and authoritarian regimes have practiced autarky, a fetish on self-reliance. But India is definitely open for exports under the BJP. This looks more like mercanitilism; we will export goods but not import coal and oil. Which is great until the WTO sanctions you. India is already in a fight with the US over government favoritism in buying solar panels.

  • Trump's 'Muslim Ban' Backfires, Improves Attitudes Toward Them
    • You mean like when half the (starving) population of Ireland fled to the USA, which had been colonized by the very people who were responsible for their oppression and hunger back home, and shared the Protestant religions that oppressed Catholics in both countries?

      Of course the Irish-Americans plotted revenge against Britain, and viewed British Canada as a target for armed plots. But so what? Of course they lived in ghettos in exactly the cities that have Black ghettos today. So what? Of course White Protestant Americans hated their guts and plotted against them in turn. They were wrong. Overall, the Irish diaspora in America did much more good than harm.

      But once they earned the caste status of Whiteness, all that history was swept under the rug so that people like you can act like this has never happened before when it's Brown people this time. We went through the same crap when it was Germans fleeing the 1848 Revolution, Jews fleeing the Czar, Italians fleeing the permanent mess of their country, and Chinese fleeing the collapse of their ancient society by British opium and Western occupiers. Not a damn thing is new.

  • The US Role in Turning Countries into Shitholes and provoking Immigration
    • If no one knows who Mark Johnson is, what the Hell would lead my conscience to vote for him? I wonder how many Germans threw away their votes in 1933 waging their interminable leftist purity pissing rivalries against each other?

    • They won't wake up. They'll double down. They'll blame scapegoats and either pledge to pick up arms and kill Trump's opponents, or call Trump a sellout and look for a purer racist to lead a war of secession from the United States. They will never give up the only idea that keeps them going; that their kind are meant by God to be the only ones fit to control life in America, meaning beating the rest of us degenerates and traitors into producing the wealth that was stolen from them by Jews and Negros.

    • I think it was always more than 30%. What was driving support for imperialism before was not what was necessary for our nation's survival, but simply what we could get away with. What's especially horrifying about the 30% you reference is that they don't care if they get away with it or not, meaning that they don't fear a global cold or hot war against the US. I suspect they see it as an opportunity for Trump to declare martial law so that they can rule over us as things go to Hell. They would rather die in a nuclear holocaust than co-exist in a world where they're not the supreme race; the so-called "Samson Option" from their Holy Bible.

    • Ms. Rose - note that being short of recruits will in no way stop the military from spending more money. Compare the Army budget from the '50 and '60s when the Army was several times larger than currently with today. The cost per man of the military skyrockets regardless. In fact, the fundamental argument the military-industrial complex uses to con the American public is that the more killer robots it buys, the fewer of "our heroes" who will be needed to occupy foreign countries.

  • Burn Pits and Toxins: Are 800 US Bases abroad Scofflaw Polluters?
    • They don't like Japan either.
      Back in the '80s, some people were honest enough to say that Europeans and Asians wanted the US bases there not to deter the Soviets, but to prevent Germany and Japan from ever having an excuse to rebuild normal great-power militaries as their wealth and technology would once have dictated. Right now we're more afraid of our own government than Germany's, but I think Japan's is becoming a concern, with or without US encouragement. Germany, well God help us if the fascists come back in Germany.

  • Take That! NYC pulls $5 bn from Big Oil, Sues Majors for Climate Damage
    • NYC thrived in the days before the private automobile, whose presence had to be shoehorned into the city that wasn't built for it. Ironically, what many people consider one of the most destructive events in city history was the reign of city planner Robert Moses, who wrecked many neighborhoods and created many ghettos by plowing freeways through the city, all in subservience to the automobile and the postwar belief that only people who drone in from the suburbs were Real Americans.

      Maybe the lawsuit should name the car companies too.

  • GOP Heroes led charge Against Nixon; Where are Counterparts Today?
    • The only thing that matters to a movement, as opposed to a political party in a democracy, is its own power to remake society. You can only be a hero in a movement by being more extreme than the last guy. A movement seized control of the Republican Party. We refused to see this, as this would require considering what it wanted to remake the country into and how much effort we were willing to make to fight back with another movement.

      We are having a great contest to determine whether people will fight harder for their essential human rights, or their "God-given" privilege over inferiors. That's a clash of movements, not political parties. Potentially, it is a clash of armies.

  • Trump Engineered Saudi Soft Coup, attack on Qatar, to Save Self
    • You've given me a lot to think about. Everyone forgot about the Aramco privatization fees story.

      Do you think with the Qatar scheme now a mess, that Saudi and Russia will be able to push for more production quotas?

  • US Cuts Aid to Pakistan As Trump Ramps Up Blackmail Tactic
    • Unfortunately, both sides are right. Pakistan's junta cynically helped America wage a stupid, murderous war, while continuing to help its pet factions in Afghanistan fight back. It blew back on subsequent Pakistani governments in the form of the Pakistani Taliban, and now ordinary Pakistanis face the problem of getting democracy back amidst a 3-way conflict on their own soil between a treacherous Army, its former jihadi stooges and whatever the Hell the USA wants this week. I see no outcomes that favor the civilian government retaining the resources it needs to survive and reform - other than massive Chinese intervention.

  • Civilized UK, rebuking Trump on Coal, now 30% Wind Powered
    • Britain might be even further along if the Tories hadn't punished onshore wind development and home solar. But it's apparent that the big-capital offshore wind industry got in the Tories' pockets.

      Which goes to show the essentially political nature of the energy industry. In order for alternative energy to advance much further, its new-money barons must engage in the same sort of corrupt politics and public indoctrination that the old-money fossil fuel barons are exploiting on the defensive. But that also means onshore wind, offshore wind, and solar lobbyists are sabotaging each other and increasing public confusion.

      The countries that make the correct energy commitment and stop dithering will rise, the rest will decline. Automation is destroying the value of labor everywhere, but the cost of energy is still embodied in the imported goods that everyone now relies on. Manufacturing will flow to the places that can get cheap electricity to factories, even when the factory is a 3-D printer in your home.

  • Has Iranian regime repression Succeeded?
    • The schemesters don't care. They know Washington can afford to cheer on the rebellion - and then when it reinstalls someone like Ahmadinejad, suddenly the rebellion is forgotten and Washington can say the new leader and his inevitable abrogation of the nuclear deal is just proof of the inherent evil of Shia "insolence" that requires US invasion. You think the US public will notice this Orwellian flip-flop?

    • Worse than that, all these years of the factional abuse of the term "human rights" has finally reached critical mass. Trump clearly ran on an anti-human rights platform, against human rights for minorities and women at home; and his supporters don't believe in universal anything. But I could say the same about large numbers of Frenchmen, Englishmen, Germans, Austrians, Hungarians, Poles, Filipinos, Russians, and Indians. Before this year, human rights was a noble concept abused by its use as a stick to beat one's enemies. Now, it's just a limp rope. It's dead.

  • Is US National Security Strategy too Important to Leave to the Generals?
    • When it comes to preserving the peace, there are good generals and bad generals, good civilians and bad civilians. What matters is the ideological camps they form themselves into, and how those camps become the darlings of the elected leaders. The camp that formed under Roosevelt included Generals George Marshall and Dwight Eisenhower, two of the best combinations of shrewdness and vision that our country has ever produced. The camp that formed under Dick Cheney 50 years later included a long list of sociopaths and war criminals, all civilians.

  • Bannon Reveals White House Riddled With Conflict, Confusion
    • I would say Bannon is the latest head on a huge boil festering on the White "race" in America. Indeed many more will rise. Better to reign in Hell than share power in a republic.

  • No Normalization: All the Fascist Highlights Trump still Hits
    • But Mussolini settled the cold war between the Italian state and the Pope, and clearly had his support. He was a (pioneering) fascist who exploited the pre-existing ideology of Catholic falangism and evolved it into his cult as a national messiah. Hitler had to rule a country that had both Catholic and Protestant populations. But his vague mishmash of Gott-talk and anti-Communism seems to have gotten him plenty of support from right-wing Christians of both stripes. So not so different from Trump. Trump didn't give one God Damn about clergymen until the minute he needed them in 2016. They chose him, and brought their Protestant Falangism with them in a desperate bid for power without principle.

    • You understand fascism better than 90% of the people who post around here. They're starting with a hatred of Western bourgeois capitalism in general, and America in particular, so they define fascism to fit that. And they often want to shield the semi-mythical "White working class" from any blame for what they hate about America, so they don't want any definition of fascism that comprehends the role of White populism. They're also totally clueless about such tribal virtues as patriotism, religion, and violent self-sacrifice. So they can't begin to grasp how fascism took the reckless bravery of young men and turned it into a cult of personality.

      They're as depressingly clueless as the German Communists who failed to stop Hitler because they were so focused on blaming everything on the capitalist class itself that they wouldn't ally with anyone more moderate.

    • That is such a broad definition of fascist as to be useless.

  • Dragon Ascendant: Green China, not Red China, increasingly Bestrides the World
    • It's not fun to face a future where you only have the alternatives of being ruled by wise tyrants or foolish tyrants. It's not even a future, it's just the past come back.

  • Can Corporate Power Be Controlled in the Age of Trump? Steps Toward a Constructive Liberal-Left Alliance
    • This author is trying to remind us of a past when progressives had to be Democrats at the ballot booth, and Communists on the picket lines, and achieved much despite the contradiction. Something has gone wrong with the national spirit since then, one which clearly strengthen regressives and demoralizes progressives.

      Part of it is that, frankly, Americans are spoiled. Nothing better illustrates that than the ghoulish spectacle of "White working-class patriots" owning road tanks and McMansions adopting the victimhood and conspiracy narratives of Germans actually facing starvation in an apocalyptic Great Depression, so that they can pull that same Fascist lever. Spoiled, armed bigots seem able to come up with simpler, more unifying answers than spoiled pacifists and liberals who hate each others' guts. Spoiled people are quick to demand purity and denounce each others' electoral compromises as hypocrisy, but on the Left that leads to chaos, and on the Right that leads to a Fuhrer. As true in 1933 Germany as today.

      As for the author's economic prescriptions, I fear it's gone beyond the point of reform for the White tribalists, for whom the reality of loss of majority and cultural hegemony exists, and obsesses, no matter the objective condition of the country. The corporatists knew this was coming half a century ago; demographics work that way. There's no way these sociopathic greedbags didn't see an opportunity to leverage race war to get back their own preferred parts of the 19th Century.

      That means we must consider harsher remedies, both for ourselves and for our rival citizens (rival because their definition of citizenship was concocted to exclude us). We need to control the economics and culture of at least the regions where our sentiments are in the majority, and then prove them superior even over the sabotage efforts of the capitalists. We must wage demographic warfare by draining our real swamp, the Red States, of young people, especially women, looking to escape the emerging Handmaiden's Tale society with their children. That means it's not enough to flee to a city; you must fight for its way of life as much as those bigots you left behind are willing to make irrational sacrifices in a jihad against cities and diversity. Worker-owned companies in the cities have to be gotten to succeed, which can't be done without alternative financing. In fact we need a political movement that wages economic warfare, not just defense but active sabotage by civil disobedience of those wealth machines used for evil.

      Which is why I am less optimistic about pacifism than this author. There will be a fight down the road; I want to use deception and stealth to delay it until it can be fought from a position of strength.

  • Top 5 Signs Trump doesn't Actually Care about Iranian Protesters
    • As the Victorian British understood, the key to being a successful bully is to use high-flown language in public, with the backroom power of your bankers. Trump really is exploding the facade, but he's also adding a healthy injection of his own personal sociopathy to what is thus exposed about American hegemony. It's as if Victoria had been succeeded on the British throne not by Edward VII, who represented much of the good and evil of the capitalist status-quo oligarchy, but somehow by Wilhelm II of Germany, a man who could not be happy unless he was blowing things up.

  • 2017 was so Gross we even had to relitigate Evils of Colonialism
    • Or for yet another counter-example: the English rule of Ireland, culminating in the Great Famine and the decimation of the population, still smaller today than in the early 1800s. But that was a White-on-White crime Whatever opinion Gilley offers on it, he either must say that imperialism is always right against "weaker" peoples regardless of skin color - rather a Germanic argument wouldn't you say? Or that it was wrong for the English to force free-market famines on White Ireland but not India.

      Come on man, show us the sort of Nazi you're made of!

    • My God, I'm not able to teach history in a university or anywhere else for that matter, but I know history better than this alt-right bastard - or he's lying. Even a casual history buff knows the Congo was such a black mark on Belgium under King Leopold that his son spent his reign trying to rehabilitate his kingdom's reputation. In other words, even the other European imperialists found Leopold's actions shameful. And the cornerstone of his crimes, making the Congo his personal property instead of the Belgian state's, is the sort of crime inherent to imperialism and thus inevitable.

      Similarly the ignorance about India - which was part of a twin rape of India and China by the world's greatest narcotics cartel, the British East India Company. Western historians have been very clever, acknowledging the crime against China while noting it remained a sovereign state, while hiding the ongoing crimes against conquered India. The implication being that it is better to be entirely conquered by Caucasians than merely exploited by them as is the norm in the current corporate world order.

      Gilley sounds like a typical White Supremacist provocateur, who intentionally provokes a firestorm and then "apologizes" to appear as a victim of a misunderstanding. Now let's test the proposition that he is a racist by posing a counterexample: what did he have to say about the Japanese enslavement of Taiwan and Korea? Or conversely, Thailand's uninterrupted happiness as a sovereign state during that era? Commissar Steve Bannon - who hates Asians - says no no no, only White Christian civilization can defy its own principles of sovereign rights because only it can be allowed to win.

  • Goodbye to 2017, the Year Trump Coarsened our World
    • It wasn't just that they allowed it. The Electoral College is celebrated by the Right for being undemocratic. Or at least the "intellectuals" of the Right celebrate it in their extremist forums when they all say "America is a republic, not a democracy," and the rank & file deliberately look the other way; it's the job of the tribe's chieftains and priests to lie and steal to make the tribe greater at all other humans' expense. It doesn't take an intellectual to realize that the Electoral College favors rural, low-population states with regressive cultures; the South counted on that once to protect slavery. Conversely, ordinary followers can figure that out and then lie about it with a straight face, memorize their leaders' messages that the lack of true one-man one-vote in America has everything to do with the magical equality of backward states with progressive ones and nothing to do with the bias of the rich towards the former as a tax haven and source of cheap labor.

  • Trump to rich Cronies at Mar-a-Lago: "You all Just got a lot Richer" (Video)
    • Okay, but the hatred of Clinton was supposed to prove that White Working Class Patriots were sick of the power behind the throne and neoliberalism. Yet Trump signs a tax bill that Democrats wouldn't touch and his redneck cult remains confident they will be rewarded.

      No, the only problem the less-rich Whites had with the power behind the throne was that it refused to be openly and categorically White Supremacist in its redistribution. Conversely, the only problem they had with social programs and redistribution was that there was no way to officially make those programs White-only. So they were easily convinced by fascists (as always with fascists) that the rich Jewish liberals and the mud-races-who-breed-like-rats were in a Big Government conspiracy to take away their God-given status in the socioeconomic order. And only by destroying Big Government could the patriotic entrepreneurs restore "freedom", in which the naturally-superior White workers would inevitably surmount their inferiors.

      Trump messed up everything by simply proclaiming himself to be that savior-entrepreneur, instead of a servant of the unending movement to prepare the way like Ted Cruz. But he in fact correctly recognized the tortured relationship between White right-wingers and Free Enterprise; they don't want Free Enterprise, they want a caste system with private property rights unlimited under law, but not under social tradition. The chieftains are supposed to protect their lesser kin so that they can together persecute their captive races. Hitler understood this too, and the need for a fuhrer above law and ideology who arbitrarily mandates capitalist or casteist outcomes case by case, whichever is more rigged to favor the Volk. Economic theory matters not at all.

  • Was Jesus a DACA Dreamer and Should he have been Deported/ Crucified?
    • Conservative Evangelicals actually found someone to "intuit" the meaning of the Bible for them: it's called the Scofield Reference Bible, published in 1909. Basically this Bible hustler Scofield from Texas created a Bible with a running commentary that served his agenda, pretty much the whole End Times excuse for holy tyranny. And yes, it promoted the idea of an incoming state of Israel. Therefore, it's entirely a literalism based on Scofield and his acolytes' interpretation of what's "literal." Really, it's the marketing of a revenge fantasy for White Southerners who were about to get steamrolled by the 20th Century after they'd failed to manage the 19th.

      Another of its sins:
      "Finally, the 1917 edition also attempted to date events of the Bible. It was in the pages of the Scofield Reference Bible that many Christians first encountered Archbishop James Ussher's calculation of the date of Creation as 4004 BC." Before then Christians were sliding through Old Earth Creationism into an acceptance of archaeological and evolutionary evidence, but the Bible schools that backed Scofield drew a line in the sand for a fanatical devotion to a literal 7-day creation 6000 years ago. You can see the implications of this rejection of science and data as the start of a long march to conspiracy theories and Dolchstoss myths.

  • How Trump could avoid another $7 trillion bill in Mideast: Back off war with Iran
    • a) Because, as Andrew Bacevich explained, the soldier cult has taken over America as more and more Americans are glad to dump their old responsibilities as citizen-soldiers onto a small elite of hardened professionals - which the military-indusrial complex then uses to guilt-trip the civilians into supporting any was as "supporting the troops."

      b) You think the Germans weren't sick of war in 1919? Yet they also saw how quickly war can turn around fortunes. To people as spoiled as Americans, especially White Protestant Americans, they now are suffering as much as Weimar suffered under Versailles and the Depression. They really think this is an unnatural low created by a giant conspiracy of everyone different than themselves. So many imagine an overseas war under martial law allows them to overthrow these alien injustices as thoroughly as the Left thought revolution could. Especially because of their personal certainty that their manhood is wildly superior to those many, many races and groups they hate and intend to slaughter, once it is finally freed from the shackles of Political Correctness and equality before the Law.

    • Several of the outcomes you mention would send the nukes flying. I don't think France and Poland would tolerate Russian conquest of Ukraine, and that would put Europe on a slightly longer path to nuclear war than the old NATO-Warsaw Pact scenario. Same for Japan and an attempt to force South Korea to surrender.

      However, there's a very comfortable position for Russia to take if the US invades Iran - exactly what Iran did when the US invaded Iraq. Cooperate up front, undermine in the shadows. Iran's proxies in Iraq could have wrecked the US as early as April 2004 by sending the SCIR's militia to ally with the Sadrist uprising and cutting off Baghdad to the south. But Iran was patient, as the US burned thru possible allies until it had to turn the country over to Dawa and the Kurds, all of whom Iran had different arrangements with. Russia can betray its alliance with the current Tehran regime and then let the US occupiers founder trying to find anyone else who has the legitimacy to rule the country intact. The chaos-induced oil price rise will more than pay the costs.

  • Nations of World at UN Humiliate Trump w/ Massive vote for Palestinians
    • Since these are the first countries that are going to cease to exist due to the global warming that Trump denies, he's going to have a hard time explaining the unanimous votes against the US that will soon be coming.

    • You're acting as though there won't be anyone fighting on the other side. People who believe that it's every man for himself - and taking the oligarch's blood money is the only solution. People who hate the objective meaning of Trump's policies but have been indoctrinated to believe that their duty is to their tribal chieftains and the extermination of the Other. People who want a civil war just for the sake of finally getting out their guns and killing the other Americans who, honestly, are more genuinely their enemies than any foreigner.

      Remember, the American Civil War started with 40,000,000 Americans, only 9,000,000 living in the seceding states, and only 5,000,000 of those actual free White citizens. Even that group was more deeply divided on secession than the media was reporting.

      Yet that war was a close-run thing, because it always came down to the willingness of everyone else to make the sacrifices to keep fighting despite years of incompetence and failure in the battlefield. The CSA, like the Nazis and Japanese afterwards, gambled and lost the bet that their enemies would get tired of fighting and go home. But no one who's made that bet against the American people since 1945 has been proven wrong.

      Bets are being placed again on who's more willing to go all the way.

    • It does fit into a pattern of the erosion of the principle that violent annexation of land is the root cause of war and must be abolished. We've all forgotten in the last 75 years that the wars of ideology and partition and proxies which we've bemoaned are quite tiny compared to the wars of empire fought directly between the world's largest and most advanced countries. Being cynical because we still have many wars, we've lost sight of the importance of the bedrock principle that nations must not profit from expanding their borders.

    • What are Palau and Nauru going to do with those F-35s Trump's sending them?

  • Will Americans finally start fighting back against tax cuts for the rich?
    • I think the caveats given by this writer do correctly explain why Americans conned themselves into tolerating previous tax cuts, but as the chart of opinion polls shows, that tolerance was backed by actual support. This is the first time on that chart that a plan viewed as a "cut" was unpopular, and it's very unpopular.

      No, we're facing a far scarier test. This time, it's not whether the public is fooled. It's whether the public actually, honest to God has any belief that its opposition matters. This is the breaking point that Naomi Klein talks about in The Shock Doctrine; the breaking of the idea that democracy is worth fighting for. That's never really been tested before. We are being personally tested right now: what sacrifices are we willing to make to rebel against our burgeoning serfdom?

  • Yes, America, there is a Class War, and you Just Lost It
    • But we each have to decide which things in our lives take priority over others. If we're trained to be scared of Moslems and gays, then we will tolerate economic injustice carried out by those who scream that they are the only ones who will punish Those People. If we're brainwashed to believe that our "race", "civlization", "faith", et al. are being eradicated by a conspiracy, we will sacrifice our material wealth, our children's future, and our freedom to destroy the conspirators. We can convince ourselves that after we "win", those other necessary sacrifices will be repaired, since our exterminated enemies were surely what was holding back our God-ordained prosperity.

    • That's called the American Legislative and Executive Council. Look it up. It already writes many of your laws, rubberstamped by state legislatures in bulk.

    • There is a system of command and control. It's called the conservative movement. Media, churches, and their little acolytes spreading their lies. It is not very different than the way that the plantation owners stayed on top of their heavily armed neighbors and even got them to march to their deaths in a civil war against hopeless odds for "state's rights" that never benefited them.

      All you need is to have the biggest armed faction and everyone else will back down... or learn guerrilla warfare.

  • Trump Nat'l Security Speech: Is he the real threat to National Security?
    • Note that Trump has announced that the words "climate change" have been excised from the National Security Statement.

      "The Federalist website apparently was privy to an advance copy of a draft of the speech and says it will oppose efforts to reduce the burning of oil, gas and coal for energy. “US leadership is indispensable to countering an anti-growth energy agenda that is detrimental to US economic and energy security interests,” the website quoted the document as saying. “Given future global energy demand, much of the developing world will require fossil fuels, as well as other forms of energy, to power their economies and lift their people out of poverty.”

      Note that this implies that it is impossible for you to improve your economy by reducing the burning of fossil fuels. A dogmatic absolute. Not letting the market decide. It also implies that national security is all about greed regardless of other consequences.

      link to

    • Don't forget India, Japan and Turkey on the "trending ethnotyranny" list.

      I wouldn't say there even is a Free World coalition as of this year. The democracies, without the US, are a bunch of sidekicks with no hero. And they were far too happy being sidekicks, looking away as our nation engaged in an increasing number of irrational acts over the last few decades.

      We are probably past the point where we can come out of this with a democracy as the world's leader. The question now is China's strategy of leadership: will it just be a more outward-looking corporate dictatorship than Russia and the US, or will it try to engage the world on a level deeper than economic domination?

  • Fascism’s return and Trump’s war on youth
    • One big problem in educating the public is the lack of a clear definition of fascism. Which is reasonable given that fascism is an ideology of deceit, which campaigns as one thing and rules as another.

      The most concise way I can put it is that fascism starts as a right-wing critique of capitalism with the grotesque contention that free markets are not unequal ENOUGH, that the capitalists must bias rewards to favor their fellow race-men, and those who advocate greater equality must be persecuted as abominations along with all those of other races whether businessman or worker. Class is replaced with the division of society into a mockery of the ancient warrior tribes of the past and the conquered peoples they exploit. The capitalists must fulfill their obligations as tribal patriarchs, but because they don't, a savior chieftain must arise to intimidate all tribesmen (and women) into their proper slots in the tribal Army-as-Race.

      This, I think, is why Americans don't get it. They have repressed the synthetic tribal/feudal nature of their history, especially that of the South.

      The fascist thus uses exclusionary populism to create a package he then presents to the capitalist elite as a solution to their greatest nemesis, egalitarianism. This begins the second phase of the fascist con job; the takeover and conversion to state capitalism. But we must understand that the oligarchs pay a price too; the point came when Krupp and I. G. Farben and the rest had to betray and cast out their Jewish executives to maintain the regime's fictions. It is characteristic of the fascist critique to divide capitalists into two stereotypes, which in the classic European model are the patriotic native industrialist, typically in war industries or resource extraction, versus the effete Jews in banking, law, and entertainment. Propaganda makes the former the source of all good, the latter of all evil and actual collaborators with the Communists. When Trump praises coal and miners he's playing that stereotype of the muscular patriot (tribal) against the supposed Eastern liberal financial elite (cosmopolitan Jew) who alone caused the '08 Crash. In fact Trump belongs to the same FIRE (finance-insurance- real estate) sector as Goldman Sachs and increasingly "industrial" firms like GM and GE, all of whom promoted the real estate bubble that led to the crash.

  • Turkey to defy Trump, open Embassy to Palestine in E. Jerusalem
    • As much as I despise these authoritarian regimes, I think their attitude is similar to Mafia bosses who want to carve up the world between them and then cash in. But as we saw in Orwell's 1984, a stable division of the world between sufficiently cynical dictators may be the worst possible outcome, since they can coordinate to manufacture any war to keep their people under control. An awful lot of horrible things have happened in eras of multipolarity.

  • Puerto Rico: On top of Everything Else, GOP Tax Bill is Racist
    • Given that the Governor's party is considered the more conservative one other than its advocacy for statehood and is therefore the GOP's natural ally, you might also say that this proves Republicans take the votes of conservative people of color for granted. But of course, these days you can be as conservative as Reagan or the Bushes and still be denounced by the President and the ideological priesthoods of all the dominant factions of the Right as a Commie.

  • Putin's talk of Draw Down in Syria isn't about Russia leaving, but staying
    • Jesus, the Russians have their own Blackwater.
      We really are living in Orwell's world of functionally identical tyrannies dividing up the planet between them.

      I'm going to end up cheering for Chinese Blackwater because those mercenaries will be working for the least corrupt empire.

  • Trump did This: Israeli Troops injure 150 Palestinian protesters in Palestine
    • America imposes its prejudices on the world.
      Consider that 100 years ago, the Arabs were the heroes of the American media, thanks to Lowell Thomas' romantic reporting of Lawrence's Arab rebel army fighting the Turks. Jews, on the other hand, were widely despised as radical conspirators and unassimilable aliens because of the flood of rural Eastern European Jews fleeing the Czar straight into US ghettoes. If you'd taken a poll, maybe people would have said the Lebanese Arabs immigrating into Michigan were better Americans than the Jews.

      Yet decades before that flood, Jews were relatively respected because that generation of Jews were middle-class Germans, such that a Jew served as Confederate Secretary of State.

      So the "race" that creates problems in the USA right now is coded terrorist and radical and impossible to assimilate, and the one that (1) contributes to our capitalism with the least hassle or (2) stays in its exotic homeland so our media can spin romantic yarns about it, is considered worthy of human rights in a very abstract sense.

      The Zionists figured this out and spent generations shaping the media narrative to seize the mantle of humanity away from Arabs. They had the choice of sharing that mantle instead as fellow Semites, but Jabotinsky admitted all those years ago that the goal was to do to the Arabs what the Americans had done to the Indians. That Civilizing Settlers vs. Barbaric Redskins narrative was a natural sell in America.

  • What's the Difference between Roy Moore and a Muslim extreme Fundamentalist? A Cowboy Hat
    • That's really true. The cowboy hat is the symbol of Good Ol' Days American identity. It might explain why so many Whites who grew up in the 1950s somehow conflate their childhood Golden Age not with New Deal policies but with the Gilded Age that coincided with the Wild West; half the shows on TV were Westerns and the suburban "pioneers" were practically living a second fantasy life as cowboys and settlers. The real Black cowboys were coded out of existence but the hats were coded White for Good, Black for Evil.

      All of which means, a White oligarch or theocrat can wear a cowboy hat, like Reagan or Bush Junior, and immediately signal that he's a tribal chauvinist who will take the side of his "people" over all others. Which is the only real problem Christian fundamentalists have with Moslem fundementalists; they are a rival tribe contending with our tribe for global control of resources and it is assumed that their version of Judeo-Christian-Moslem patriarchy is rigged to favor brown folks just as the Christian version is expected to be rigged to favor Whites.

    • And yet Moore still got over 70% of the White vote in an election where many Whites stayed home.

      We have to ask ourselves this: are we going to stay in a country with such people? And my answer is: yes, for the sake of those whom they would oppress and even enslave if they seceded or if left-wing states seceded.

      But given that, we must accept that we will spend the rest of our lives in a country with people so extreme that our lives are in danger, and our children's lives will be in danger. Act based on that, and not on a fantasy that some "White working class" will really change after it gets pissed off at betrayal by the capitalists. To quote Il Douche himself, "He knew what he was getting into." They have accepted the pleasures of institutionalized violent sadism, like their forefathers, as a permanent substitute for justice.

  • Leaving US in Dust, China starts $150 Million Floating Solar Plant Project
    • If large floating complexes can be made benign to the local wildlife, this is something that changes the rules of economics. There's an old saying that real estate is valuable because they can't manufacture more land. In fact, we do something worse; developers steal land from nature and so many of us are complicit in the economy that they've built and control through bought politicians that we act helpless when records floods destroy our cities because the water encounters only concrete.

      Real estate speculation is the foundation of the value of the American economy. The factories we've lost have been replaced by overbuilding of homes and malls with no clear future. Educated progressives flee the bigoted exurbs for cities, only to find that by doing so they've run up rents on overcrowded apartments so high that the residents, especially of color, are driven out. The fracking boom continues because every voter living on the shale fields thinks their little piece of land will get bought, and that will make up for the earthquakes.

      If we can safely live on the water and extract energy from there, we can collapse the real estate bubble and destroy the power of developers and rentiers over our politics. We can expand our cities with affordable housing and drain our real swamp - rural and suburban America - of its poor masses yearning to be free.

  • If the Trump Revolution Is Possible, So Is a Progressive One
    • Q: "Why should the far right have all the fun?"

      A: Because they have all the guns. We will know how this will go when an armed right-wing mob assaults an unarmed left-wing mob.

  • Smoking Gun: Did the Russians admit to Interference in the US Election?
    • How would you feel about a foreign country busting into the voter databases of counties favoring your own political party? Why don't you want to even know why this was done and how much your opposition party was involved?

      There's one revelation after another of Trump people meeting with Putin people before the election, which they invariably lied about. After each one you say, "that's all there is?" Why do you not want to keep following the trail and see if the $100,000 is just the tip of the iceberg?

      Remember when Watergate was just a bungled break-in, and the investigation seemed to die out? You seem to not want this to be another Watergate for some reason.

    • What if Republican knowledge of Russian aid - specifically Russian break-ins into county databases of voters in urban areas that favor Democrats - reaches down below the White House? Obama told the GOP Congressional leaders before the election about some of the things going on, and they stalled.

      In that case this isn't just a Trump problem, but an entire GOP problem. Let's keep investigating and find out.

  • Why Aren't Americans Celebrating fall of ISIL State? It is a bogeyman
    • I am so god-damned sick of so-called leftists trying to call America the bad guy in World War 2 and make arguments for isolationism during the global rampage of fascism.

      I guess the way to find out which of these Astroturfers are real leftists and not libertarian saboteurs is to ask them if they think the world would have been better off with Nazi eradication of the Soviet Union. Since the real leftists segue to making the Soviets the heroes of the Cold War.

      But what they all have in common is their desire to eradicate FDR and the New Deal and the memory of postwar America. I am grimly satisfied that many of these same bastards are lining up to make excuses for Trump and his followers, on the grounds that (a) Trump is better than Clinton because the world is so horrible and he's innocent in that, and (b) because the growing evidence of aid to Trump by their hero Putin has to be ideologically rationalized.

      Why am I grimly satisfied? Because the argument of these libertarians-in-pacifist clothing is that America could have "negotiated" with a Nazi Empire, or peaceful resistance would have defeated the Nazis from within, like the author of the linked article. They will find out the hard way that peaceful means will fail against Trump and his fascists at home, and against the rise of fascism all over the world. There will be no outside from which to organize resistance. Or maybe they will reveal themselves when the shooting does start, and they are standing with the Trumpites with guns aimed at us, justifying themselves by braying that, ultimately, world peace requires that we submit to a world divided between corrupt racist theocrats and their pet corporations.

      When the real revolution of all their allies' victims comes, they won't be able to sneak back over the line. The victims of Trump and Putin and Netanyahu and Prince Mohammed and Modi won't be moved by our 20th century historical debates; they won't be White, they won't be Marxists, they won't be capitalists. They will be hungry and murderous.

    • I disagree. Iran was always their bogeyman. That goes back even to the Neocons a dozen years ago. It goes back to the Project for a New American Century spelling out that overthrowing both the Iraqi and Iranian government would give Washington domination over the world oil industry. The right-wing agents planted all around media and government in those days are still pushing the myth derived from that agenda, but one after the other they've all capitulated to Trump's takeover of their party.

      If anything, the impression I got in the middle of the Bush Junior era was that Washington was cajoling the Saudis to hate Iran more. Maybe some young princeling back then bought in and waited to climb up the ladder of succession.

  • Massive worldwide Rallies Condemn US, Courtesy Trump Jerusalem Call
    • That popularity chart explains the dividing point between the party that believes that the ordinary people of the outside world are generally good, and the party that believes that the ordinary people of the outside world are inherently evil. Leaders are another matter; both parties believe that "our guys" must be kept in charge overseas, leading to our endless hegemonic interventions.

      But this difference matters when the Republicans intend to escalate America into an outright state of war with the rest of the world to obtain the electoral benefits of xenophobic paranoia. Because then it's no longer about the American people supposedly being threatened by a leader who can be replaced. Then it's about a "clash of civilizations", or Holy War for the less snobby. Then it's World War 2, or 3. It's about entire peoples pitted against entire other peoples for whose "way of life" gets to survive.

      Which is ironic, because that's exactly how growing numbers of indoctrinated Republicans feel about Democrats. And once there's a war with an entire world of enemy peoples, then the Republicans will have the justification to stamp out every American who is too foreign, too cosmopolitan, too different as obvious enemy sympathizers.

      I guess after that crackdown is carried out, we will helplessly find out whether they were serious about actually eliminating foreign societies.

  • How Trump's Jerusalem Move Just Helped Iran Win the Mideast
    • Based on the Republican tax plan being foisted on an unwilling public, their contempt for the American people is just as great. The belief now is that democracy is dead, human rights are dead, and truth is dead worldwide. People do not count because they can be tricked or forced into anything.

    • It will be difficult for Saudi Arabia, as the hereditary guardians of the first and second most sacred cities of Islam, to have nothing to say about the ongoing conquest of the third.

  • Far Right's Misuse of Knights Templar, Who were actually Sympathetic to Muslims
    • Like most folks, you're confusing the proper definition of prejudice and racism. Racism is an ideology of how a society should be governed, which really means economic exploitation. Before White Europe invaded the world, slavery was not race-based, and usually was something you could theoretically work your way out of. That made sense as an incentive to obey.

      White racism was literally invented after the oligarchs realized they needed to have slaves instead of indentured servants to make their economy work. Before that, there was merely prejudice. Racism provided universal principles for all "Whites" to wage war on all others. The condemnation of an entire continent to slavery, with all Whites trained to collaborate, meant that incentives were no longer necessary; it was brute force, working an entire people to death with no likely way out. The ideology that is concocted to carry out this monstrous scheme is racism, whether in colonial America or the Third Reich.

    • My key phrase is, "It was a business decision."
      So what we must consider is what the business decision will be this time for how to best profit from White supremacy, since it goes without saying that equality is Bad For Business.

      Theodore Allen's book "The Invention of the White Race" proposes that the #1 priority for the colonial oligarchy in spreading slavery to the American mainland was the need to chain down laborers. White indentured servants were no good because they could flee from one colony to another and live under an assumed name free of their obligations. Africans were easy to stigmatize and they were far from home no matter what they did. Freeing the indentured Whites made them collaborators in the persecution of the new slaves, thus providing the cornerstone for our social order to this day.

      But today, the problem the oligarchs face is that they don't need us to work; they've got machines and foreigners. They need us to spend, but in order for us to spend more while they pay us less, they've done everything to extract all our savings and get us into debt. Which leads to these inconvenient financial crashes that risk a lot of their loot. And maybe they fear that one day the consumers will unite against them.

      So they again need to co-opt Whites into being enforcers oppressing non-Whites, but enforcers of what? Our debts are only useful if they can be turned into some kind of property that the rich can again speculate on.

      I believe that the Final Solution is to bring back slavery. Not because it is productive. But because it will distract us in the same way the war machine distracts us. Instead of us building useless weapons so that our country can pointlessly push the world around and we become ever less secure and more paranoid, we will do it to each other in an isolated America.

      The key is that the public's fear of crime makes it willing to subsidize prison slave labor. From the point of view of private prison owners, that labor suddenly becomes superior to automation or outsourcing. From the macroeconomic view, it's not, because the public is pouring in tax $ to make up the difference. But the public - or at least the paranoid White part of it - is satisfied with this reduction in its standard of living because for them the point of society is placing them as Masters over the subhumans whom their all-White juries will put in prison, and some of the subsidy becomes prison jobs for Whites. The country will get poorer and poorer, but the most armed and hateful will increasingly become the phalanx protecting the prison industry, and their standard of living will be the only True American standard of living that matters. The prisoners will be rented out to private business, as was the Southern practice until the 1930s. Again, the subsidy makes this worthwhile.

      Now, here's what's really evil. The more ambitious mainstream Whites will think they can be successful entrepreneurs by exploiting this slave labor. They will be co-opted by their egos. Most of them will fail, and they will fall into debt in turn. But they're correct-colored, so they will be sentenced to be prison guards instead of prisoners.

      Wonderfully twisted, isn't it? I'm writing a novel about this premise, where of course things don't go as planned.

    • We must remember that murderous tribalism was nothing new, nor was the hatred of entire religions by their monotheistic rivals.

      What was new was the idea that European investors could turn the world into a giant slave plantation for unimaginable profit. That was why a new sort of division between humans was needed, one that safely put all the rival European nations on one side and all their potential victims on the other. Thus places like Virginia could construct a skin-based ideology to turn European colonists into "White" crusaders and warriors, engaging in conquest merely by participating in the economic machinations of the oligarchs, who were now their chieftains in "Whiteness".

      For all practical purposes, it was a business decision.

  • Trump tries to undo FDR's rescue of UK from Fascism
    • The US lent Britain 50 destroyers even before Pearl Harbor. It was allowing British spies to operate here under Nelson Rockefeller's secret network to fight Nazi infiltrators. FDR stretched US neutrality laws all out of shape to save Britain. He couldn't do anything to help Russia until Hitler declared war on the US. But we then sent Russia a lot of military equipment. And we covered up Stalin's crimes in our propaganda. It wasn't a small effort.

  • Why Redneck Revolt Says Deal With Racism First, Then Economics
    • It's always implied that White identity is baseline American identity. All other identities are defective or degraded or necessarily sacrificed for the good of national unity. Which means that teaching American history is teaching White history, that the White audience alone expects its TV and movies and comic books to revolve only around White characters and can make the major media obey, that the police will always be tempted to view themselves as protecting White full citizens from alien semi-citizens.

      That sort of identity politics is okay. Even the radical Left sees the world through 19th Century White guy Karl Marx's lens; that revolution will occur after the world follows the path of the White lands and is standardized in its image. Thus the White male American worker is always supposed to be converted as the path to victory, and we musn't offend him as we raise his consciousness. Boy, that's sure been a rousing success.

  • Will the Mideast's New Power Matrix spark Iran-Saudi War?
    • The leaders of Anglo-American capitalism literally cannot believe that the ordinary people of any country would not prefer a Westernized capitalist dictatorship fully enmeshed in Western capitalism to a state that sacrifices wealth for an austere nationalist vision. That was the mentality behind the US construction of South Vietnam, and the mentality behind the Color Revolutions. And in truth, there are many people in the more media-visible parts of Iran who would like things to be different, but they're only a part of Iran. They still have their national pride, though. I think that Americans want foreign capitalism to come down to the Man In The White Suit whom we can deal with without having to account for the emotions of his subjects and the vast contradiction between his reactionary rule and Wall Street's corporate dogma of progress. The Saudi Kings have been the ultimate Men In the White Suits, far better at hiding that contradiction than, say, Ngo Dinh Diem.

  • Saudi prince Miteb freed in $1 bln settlement agreement
  • Inequality Rising: When will Trump’s base get wise to his populist charade?
    • The matter this author needs to consider is, what if Trump's base is in on the con?

      White Americans have a history that can only be described as sadistic racism. Like many populisms elsewhere, their populism keeps degenerating from greater equality, to the right to persecute non-Whites. The oligarchs are eager to replace a grant of more wages with a grant of sadism; they have an infinite supply to give. Too many of the people are willing to agree. Our country is the Stanford Prison Experiment.

      Better to reign in Hell than share power in a republic.

  • Israel, Trump ‘working feverishly’ to block UN settlements database
    • If the truth does "reputational harm," then doesn't that mean there's something about colonization to be ashamed of?

  • Trump still wants Expensive Coal but the Market wants Cheap wind & Solar
    • We may be observing a demonstration of a historical phenomenon: is capitalism really about free markets, or is it about the power of the ownership elite?

      Every ownership elite has used its established power to force its captive society in certain directions, usually to maintain the status quo. The nature of that ownership of capital may favor certain forms of social control. There are striking similarities between the formal feudalism of Europe and Japan, both built on the militarization of local landowners and their resulting seizure of sovereign power. You can say that these were societies whose capital did not favor market transactions, but long-term contractual oaths of fealty.

      You could also look at the prioritization of stocks of wealth over commodity flows. The old slave South, we are told by capitalist apologists, was doomed by its backwardness in creating goods. Yet historians now study the incredibly inflated market value of the slaves themselves, which determined the economic and social power of one White man over another. Was the South resistant to reform because it was objectively better for the slaveowners to protect their entrenched wealth over improved output of goods?

      Of course, modern capitalism is characterized by wealth flexibility. The modern 1%er is able to shift investments quickly advantaged by insider info. He might engage in the deliberate wrecking of the companies he invests in, then shift his winnings to the foreign invaders who will supplant them. So I can't say whether this mercenary disloyalty or blind loyalty to forms of wealth is predominant today. They are probably competing factions within the oligarchy, but both are doing little good for you and me.

  • Will Trump manage to stab both Syrian Kurds and Turkey in the Back at same time?
    • Well, except for this matter that a much larger war is brewing all around these parties between Riyadh and Tehran, and Syria only exists in all minds as the location of the initial battle lines. The Kurds don't fit on either side of the coming conflagration and the US is chained to Saudi Arabia, which wants Syria paved over. Turkey doesn't seem too friendly to Saudi Arabia dominating the entire region, but it might cut a deal: you guys fight your big war, the US has no choice but to support you, and no one stops us from wiping out Kurdistan, or even particularly notices amidst all the megadeath.

  • The Falsehood of Trump's 'Precision Strikes' and 'Clean Wars'
    • I hate to say this, but Trump is the first president who doesn't need the "clean war" lie to get away with our growing history of airstrike diplomacy that kills hundreds of the wrong people. His sadistic bigotry shared with his supporters is hardly concealed; their motto is truly, "Kill them all and let God sort them out." I think when they say we're only killing terrorists, they're winking at us.

      After all, they have often said in many forums that we, liberals, feminists, Blacks, Latinos, gays, atheists, environmentalists, and of course Moslems, are the terrorists. What are their plans for our future?

  • Saudi Arabia makes it 'Terrorism' to Criticize the King
    • It doesn't have to fool the world; it just has to prove to the global/Wall Street investor class that all those lazy Saudis will now be forced to get real jobs and generate profits for it. Women weren't going to do that if they couldn't get across town.

    • Well, thank God their tyranny is now secular and not based on that evil Sharia Law.

  • The New Arab League Cold War
    • Wow, what a passive-aggressive article that was. Basically, "the Saudis are pursing a war they're completely incompetent at - let's take it over!" As opposed to, "Is there really any Iranian intention beyond protecting Shia populations at danger from the Saudi's own long history of stoking Sunni intolerance?"

  • 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.

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