Saturday, December 8, 2018

Caitlin Johnstone on Russia Hysteria

Five Things That Would Make The CIA/CNN Russia Narrative More Believable

July 14

This is not because I believe Vladimir Putin is some kind of blueberry-picking girl scout, and it certainly isn’t because I think the Russian government is unwilling or incapable of meddling in the affairs of other nations to some extent when it suits them. It is simply because I am aware that the US intelligence community lies constantly as a matter of policy, and because I understand how the burden of proof works.

At this time, I see no reason to espouse any belief system which embraces as true the assertion that Russia meddled in the 2016 elections in any meaningful way, or that it presents a unique and urgent threat to the world which must be aggressively dealt with. But all the establishment mouthpieces tell me that I must necessarily embrace these assertions as known, irrefutable fact. Here are five things that would have to change in order for that to happen:

1. Proof of a hacking conspiracy to elect Trump.



The first step to getting a heretic like myself aboard the Russia hysteria train would be the existence of publicly available evidence of the claims made about election meddling in 2016, which rises to the level required in a post-Iraq invasion world. So far, that burden of proof for Russian hacking allegations has not come anywhere remotely close to being met.

How much proof would I need to lend my voice to the escalation of tensions between two nuclear superpowers? Mountains. I personally would settle for nothing less than hard proof which can be independently verified by trusted experts like the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.
Is that a big ask? Yes. Yes it is. That’s what happens when government institutions completely discredit themselves as they did with the false narratives advanced in the manufacturing of support for the Iraq invasion. You don’t get to butcher a million Iraqis in a war based on lies, turn around a few years later and say “We need new cold war escalations with a nuclear superpower but we can’t prove it because the evidence is secret.” That’s not a thing. Copious amounts of hard, verifiable proof or GTFO. So far we have no evidence besides the confident-sounding assertions of government insiders and their mass media mouthpieces, which is the same as no evidence.

2. Proof that election meddling actually influenced the election in a meaningful way.

Even if Russian hackers did exfiltrate Democratic party emails and give them to WikiLeaks, if it didn’t affect the election, who cares? That’s a single-day, second-page story at best, meriting nothing beyond a “Hmm, interesting, turns out Russia tried and failed to influence the US election,” followed by a shrug and moving on to something that actually matters.

After it has been thoroughly proven that Russia meddled in the elections in a meaningful way, it must then be established that that meddling had an actual impact on the election results.

3. Some reason to believe Russian election meddling was unwarranted and unacceptable. 


The US government, by a very wide margin, interferes in the elections of other countries far, far more than any other government on earth does. The US government’s own data shows that it has deliberately meddled in the elections of 81 foreign governments between 1946 and 2000, including Russia in the nineties. This is public knowledge. A former CIA Director cracked jokes about it on Fox News earlier this year.

If I’m going to abandon my skepticism and accept the Gospel According to Maddow, after meaningful, concrete election interference has been clearly established I’m going to need a very convincing reason to believe that it is somehow wrong or improper for a government to attempt to respond in kind to the undisputed single worst offender of this exact offense. It makes no sense for the United States to actively create an environment in which election interference is something that governments do to one another, and then cry like a spanked child when its election is interfered with by one of the very governments whose elections the US recently meddled in.

This is nonsense. America being far and away the worst election meddler on the planet makes it a fair target for election meddling by not just Russia, but every country in the world. It is very obviously moral and acceptable for any government on earth to interfere in America’s elections as long as it remains the world’s worst offender in that area. In order for Russia to be in the wrong if it interfered in America’s elections, some very convincing argument I’ve not yet heard will have to be made to support that case.

4. Proof that the election meddling went beyond simply giving Americans access to information about their government.

If all the Russians did was simply show Americans emails of Democratic Party officials talking to one another and circulate some MSM articles as claimed in the ridiculous Russian troll farm allegations, that’s nothing to get upset about. If anything, Americans should be upset that they had to hear about Democratic Party corruption through the grapevine instead of having light shed on it by the American officials whose job it is to do so. Complaints about election meddling is only valid if that election meddling isn’t comprised of truth and facts.

5. A valid reason to believe escalated tensions between two nuclear superpowers are worthwhile.



After it has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Russia did indeed meddle in the US elections in a meaningful way, and after it has then been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Russia actually influenced election results in a significant way, and after the case has been clearly made that it was bad and wrong for Russia to do this instead of fair and reasonable, and after it has been clearly proven that the election meddling went beyond simply telling Americans the truth about their government, the question then becomes what, if anything, should be done about it?

If you look at the actions that this administration has taken over the last year and a half, the answer to that question appears to be harsh sanctions, NATO expansionism, selling arms to Ukraine, throwing out diplomats, increasing military presence along Russia’s border, a Nuclear Posture Review which is much more aggressive toward Russia, repeatedly bombing Syria, and just generally creating more and more opportunities for something to go catastrophically wrong with one of the two nations’ aging, outdated nuclear arsenals, setting off a chain of events from which there is no turning back and no surviving.

And the pundits and politicians keep pushing for more and more escalations, at this very moment braying with one voice that Trump must aggressively confront Putin about Mueller’s indictments or withdraw from the peace talks. But is it worth it? Is it worth risking the life of every terrestrial organism to, what? What specifically would be gained that makes increasing the risk of nuclear catastrophe worthwhile? Making sure nobody interferes in America’s fake elections? I’d need to see a very clear and specific case made, with a ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ list and “THE POTENTIAL DEATH OF LITERALLY EVERYTHING” written in big red letters at the top of the ‘cons’ column.

Rallying the world to cut off Russia from the world stage and cripple its economy has been been a goal of the US power establishment since the collapse of the Soviet Union, so there’s no reason to believe that even the people who are making the claims against Russia actually believe them. The goal is crippling Russia to handicap China, and ultimately to shore up global hegemony for the US-centralized empire by preventing the rise of any rival superpowers. The sociopathic alliance of plutocrats and intelligence/defense agencies who control that empire are willing to threaten nuclear confrontation in order to ensure their continued dominance. All of their actions against Russia since 2016 have had everything to do with establishing long-term planetary dominance and nothing whatsoever to do with election meddling.

Those five things would need to happen before I’d be willing to jump aboard the “Russia! Russia!” train. Until then I’ll just keep pointing to the total lack of evidence and how very, very far the CIA/CNN Russia narrative is from credibility.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

From Jobs to "Gigs"

" . . . most of the young, educated people  . . . . in the 1970s and '80s had never expected, much less worked to bring about, a political and cultural revolution. But they had hoped for stable employment, preferable in jobs they found meaningful and creative, and in an age when the entire sociological map was being redrawn, there was little chance of that. First, the traditional blue-collar working class gave way to 'deindustrialization,' meaning plant closings and layoffs. As the downsizing fervor spread to the nonprofit sector, whole sections of the professional middle class crumbled off like calves from a melting iceberg. Human service agencies began to shed their social workers, psychologists, and public-interest lawyers. Universities shuttered departments, like philosophy and foreign languages, that were failing to generate sufficient revenue. An alarming new phenomenon appeared - the taxi-driving PhD, predecessor of today's avatar of educational disutility, the PhD on food stamps.

"In the face of so much class turmoil, young people rapidly rolled back their expectations to fit the narrowing career possibilities. UCLA's annual survey of undergraduate attitudes found a sharp decline in 'altruism and social concerns,' with a record 73 percent in 1987 reporting that their top goal was 'being very well-off financially,' compared with 39 percent in 1970.  . . .  students who had started out with an interest in social work or environmentalism decid[ed] regretfully to settle for majors in business or economics. But there was not much security even for the most practical-minded, because in the 1980s corporations also began to downsize (or 'right-size') their white-collar workforces. GE was routinely culling out its bottom 15 percent of performers decades before Amazon got the idea. There were no more 'jobs for life,' no automatic promotions leading to a gold watch at retirement. Business gurus advised corporate employees to stop worrying about 'who stole their cheese' and focus instead on 'surfing the chaos.'"

------Barbara Ehrenreich, Natural Causes - An Epidemic of Wellness, The Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer, pps. 55-6

How The "Information Superhighway" Led Us to Digital Socialism

"Flexible workforces and flexible firms had been growing for forty years, but computers and other technologies reinforced these changes, just as the steam engine accelerated the industrious revolution. Reorganizing people made industrialization possible. The first factories were just buildings. The first assembly lines were just slides. Businesses then developed technology to take full advantage of these new ways of organizing people. Technology, in turn, became intertwined with this reorganization, becoming the most visible part of the epochal change. Observers confused cause and effect.

"The application of the internet to the flexible workforce was no different. The digital platforms developed over the last twenty years provide flexible workforces, now catchily called 'liquid workforces,' to employers with a click. At the same time, however, these platforms might contain the seeds of an alternative to the corporation, which, if realized, would be a truly radical break in the economy. It is unclear that any of the platforms . . . .will exist in a few years, but what is apparent is that the digital platform, as a way to coordinate work, is unlike anything ever before.

"Flexible workforces are nothing new. But that workers might truly be able to be independent from employers, without temp agencies or consulting firms - that is what has become possible with the new platforms. Workers can now do on their own that just a few years ago required participation in a corporation: manufacturing globally, selling globally, shopping globally, working globally. The corporation might no longer be necessary. (emphasis added) The office certainly will not be, as the remote work revolution is finally here. Today, the same information technologies that allow capital to manage labor in new ways might also enable labor to collaborate in new ways. With the death of the employer-employee relationship - and the industrial economy - workers certainly need an alternative.

"The platform cooperativist movement is pushing for worker-owned cooperatives as an alternative to the privately owned platforms. Digital labor and selling platforms make their profits from a cut of sales or wages, just like Manpower, Upwork, Uber, and Etsy all take a percentage or a fee from every sale. Worker-owned platforms, instead, could return those fees to those who labor or sell through the platform. Imagine a temp agency owned by the temps. 

"Where digital cooperatives might be different from temp agencies is in the ability to start cheaply and to coordinate decision making. Open-source platform software makes it easier than ever to set up a platform. In the past, the challenge for all co-ops was capital. Most businesses require capital to start and capital to grow. Marketing cooperatives, like orange growers, or procurement cooperatives, like grocery stores, don't actually make operational decisions. They make selling and purchasing decisions. For drivers, sellers, and laborers, different kinds of platforms could help them find customers - without extracting a stiff toll like the current platforms (or temporary agencies). Running a cooperative is a challenge, because no one, in many cases, is in charge. And that is part of the point. New technology, developed for other purposes, might be able to solve the governance issues.

"Everyone has something to offer. We just need to find a way to reach everyone. In the digital era, connecting people is easier than ever before. While the flexible workforce and the flexible firm brought insecurity in the last forty years, we can turn them around now and make them work for us. Technology will make it possible, but what will make it happen is collective will to finally achieve the real American dream."

-----------Louis Hyman, Temp - How American Work, American Business, and the American Dream Became Temporary, pps. 292-3, 309, 322

Friday, November 30, 2018

Oppressed White People

"Sometime in the first decade of the twenty-first century, demographers began to notice an unexpected uptick in the death rates of poor white Americans. This was not supposed to happen. For almost a century, the comforting American narrative was that better nutrition and medical care would guarantee longer lives for all. It was especially not supposed to happen to whites who, in relation to people of color, have long had the advantage of higher earnings, better access to health care, safer neighborhoods, and of course freedom from the daily insults and harms inflicted on the darker-skinned. But the gap between the life expectancies of blacks and whites has been narrowing.. . . 

"In late 2015, the British economist Angus Deaton won the Nobel Prize for work he had done with fellow economist Anne Case, showing that the mortality gap between wealthy white men and poor ones was widening at a rate of one year each year, and slightly less for women. A couple of months later, 'economists at the Brookings Institution found that for men born in 1920, there was a six-year difference in life expectancy between the top 10 percent of earners and the bottom 10 percent. For men born in 1950, that difference more than doubled, to 14 years.' Smoking could account for only one-fifth to one-third of the excess deaths. The rest were apparently attributable to alcoholism, opioid addiction, and actual suicide . . . 

"But why the excess mortality among poor white Americans? In the last few decades, things have not been going well for working-class people of any color. . . . [Previously in the U.S.] . . . a man with a strong back - and better yet, a strong union - could reasonably expect to support a family on his own without a college degree. By 2015, those jobs were long gone, leaving only the kind of work once relegated to women and people of color, in areas like retail, landscaping, and delivery-truck driving. This means that those in the bottom 20 percent of the white income distribution face material circumstances similar to those long familiar to poor blacks, including erratic employment and crowded, hazardous living spaces. . . . 

"There are some practical reasons too why whites are likely to be more efficient than blacks at killing themselves. For one thing, they are more likely to be gun owners, and white men favor gunshots as a means of suicide. For another, doctors, undoubtedly acting in part on stereotypes of nonwhites as drug addicts, are more likely to prescribe powerful opioid painkillers to whites than to people of color. Pain is endemic among the blue-collar working class, from waitresses to construction workers, and few people make it past fifty without palpable damage to their knees, back, or rotator cuffs. In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared an 'epidemic' of opioid use, in which the victims are mostly white. As opioids became more expensive and closely regulated, users often make the switch to heroin, which varies in strength and can easily lead to accidental overdoses.

"It's hard to find historical analogies to the current white collar die-off in the United States . . ." [It's a blue-collar die off - ed.)]

-----Barbara Ehrenreich, Natural Causes - An Epidemic of Wellness, The Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer, pps. 104-7

Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Blue Wave: A New Shampoo?




The recent five billion dollar exercise in market democracy we call mid-term elections in the USA got rid of a few brain dead conservatives and brought in a handful of decent new faces but any notion of real victory for the people is a product of political mind management. This commercial process given a name that sounds more like a hair product than any exercise of the power of the people changed the identity group and possible toilet use balance in congress which, however heralded as a loss for the current president, saw less seats changed than in the midterm after the last president’s first two years. As important issues like staggering debt and Israel remained mostly unmentioned, this was a political mall serving consumers the usual product of mostly regressive forces but with a progressive rhetorical brand name.

 None of the candidates spoke to the radical changes needed to end the menace of wars now threatening to become nuclear, or what has become another monetized brand called Climate Change. America is still left with active minorities of mostly well meaning, relatively privileged and supposed resistance types fearing hordes of goose-stepping Nazi skin heads armed with mini death-camp gas-ovens to kill them before they visit their therapists, posed in valiant opposition to mostly well meaning if privileged supposed nationalist types who fear tyrannical socialist genocide from mobs of free market denying monsters bringing food to hungry people, and you’ve got all too many of the alarmed masses who’ve been forced into such idiocy by an over-privileged stenographers class that calls itself our democratic representation and our free press.


Trumpophobia is a national disorder favoring twits who live by tweets, financial hustlers in the elections business, and lawyers who live by court cases initiated against individuals but remaining blind to a system that continues mass slaughters in wars and making homeless hundreds of thousands in the usa, so long as lip service is paid to peace and ending poverty by other lawyers suing for such at the court owned by the profitable war and poverty business. It has also strengthened the divide and conquer business in democracy prevention: identity politics.

Having a gay-jewish-latino with testicles or a straight-person of color-asian with vagina as CEO of an oil company makes no difference at all to the fossil fuel production that is the foundation of the business and the menace to humanity. Citizens are supposedly served by electing shills for capital who share their genitals, religions, skin tones or sexual fluidity, as we’re manipulated to support persons of color, no color, tricolor, ableness, disabledness and more, with little or no consideration of what that means to the need to radically change the system of political economics at the root of civilization’s deadliest problems. Most prevalent among those are the need for food, clothing and shelter for humanity, the identity we collectively share, quiet as that fact is kept by our master race of the self-chosen:  the billionaire class of capital’s ruling corporadoes.

Are we really against hate, as idealistic if simplistic slogans would have it? Then shouldn’t we  stop killing hundreds of thousands in the Middle East, dumping millions of Americans into poverty and homelessness, and start acting with love? At least close to home before allegedly extending it to those we have reduced to desperate measures with our foreign policy? While we fill our stomachs, feed our pets, drink our booze, take our drugs, see our therapists and down our meds to join “the resistance” to one or another fiendish villain of the moment and remain in a near comatose state about the system that creates those villains, and us?

Whether labeled social democratic, fascist, liberal, conservative, progressive, regressive, nationalist or internationalist, we are all objective subjects of minority capital. Their market forces of private profit before public good, if any, are anti-democratic and the longer they sidetrack us into calling it change when workers with different skin tones or genitals take up the continuity of the system destroying life and its planetary support system, the shorter the time until system collapse won’t just mean one or another nation but much if not all human life itself.

The perversion we call democracy, in which overwhelming numbers do not vote for the winners of every national election, suffers from the wealth poured into buying candidates too often left pimping for wealth, and reducing voters to lesser evil politics in the “realistic-pragmatic” pursuit of progress that would still have chattel slavery and not its more cosmetic modern forms of low paid cheap labor, foreign or national. This continues to prop up a shrinking upper servant class to wealth and more important, a ruling nobility of billionaires who own more land, people and dollars than any imperial class of rich royalty of the ancient past who were supposed gods. What do we call these “democracy” produced multi-billionaires? Russian meddlers? Chinese marketeers? American despots would be much closer to the truth.

Just as in our pretense to democracy on election days, military power is glorified on special holidays that defame humanity in worship of forces that transform decent people into killers, performers of duty to nation taught them by forces of malevolence in the employ of investors who profit from the bombs, bullets, missiles, drones and more in the same way they do in selling guns to American individuals. Too many of these are driven to madness and suicide that includes the murder of their neighbors for which they are justifiably called insane while leaving those responsible for their madness as blameless as we leave banks which force homeowners into the street and then collect payments from the rest of us while we watch our former neighbors reduced to the dreadful status we often scorn as “homelessness”. Then we are made to open our arms, souls and pocket books for complete strangers who have suffered our unknowing wrath and come here for support. This is like a rape victim rushing to her rapist’s home for help as his innocent family says, “of course we’ll help you, we’re against hate”.

Our welfare state for warfare was unaffected by the “blue wave”, which sounds like a beauty product for upper class women or a washday product for their maids, just as it has remained the same for every president of the present epic, most especially the last alleged prince-of –peace whose murder rap sheet rivals that of his alleged war criminal predecessor among people who are led to believe that it makes a difference among the slaughtered foreigners if the CEO of Murder inc. has testicles, a vagina, is of color or no color. They supposedly die happier if our chief exec is from an identity group other than the human race.


The market forces of minority capital must be replaced by the democratic forces of majority humanity to represent real change, not sincere wishes for one world while we destroy much of it and act kindly to a relative handful of survivors of our mass murders. This so-called blue wave is hardly the tide we need but its trickle can become a flood once we stop listening to them and start acting like us. All of us.






Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Rugged Individualists Go Down On Their Knees To Fellate Big Business


“We like to think of ourselves as a people of untamed independence, but any observer not steeped in our culture would quickly conclude that we are a nation of footmen. We cater to the wealthy in our work lives and we glorify them in our leisure time. Our dueling political parties are dedicated to the principle of serving them, and even our seething anti-elitist movements, such as the Tea Party, are designed to build even further the affluence of the affluent. We elect politicians who slice away at the estate tax because we feel the fortunes of the rich ought to go unencumbered by that burden. Our leaders in Washington are perennially considering cutting Social Security because retaining it might require the rich to chip in more than their current percentage.”  

-----Thomas Frank, Rendezvous With Oblivion, 2018
-->

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Summary of White House Post-Election Press Conference With President Trump

Press Corps: What are you going to do about our hopelessly divided country, you racist, misogynist, xenophobic, neo-Nazi ignoramus?

President Trump: My relations with ____________ (insert minority group name) are absolutely fantastic. They love me, I love them. Next question.

Monday, November 5, 2018

The Trump "Resistance" - Of the Triggered, by the Triggered, and For the Triggered

With election day looming (November 6) Trump "resistance" hysteria is at its shrieking worst. Yet again we face "the most important election of our lifetimes," or as some prefer to put it, "the second most important," the first being the election of 2016, when "deplorables" put Donald Trump in the White House.  Now, say the Trump haters, these scarcely human degenerates will have a chance to redeem themselves by voting "responsibly," i.e., according to how their self-appointed betters tell them to vote. The persistence of this incredibly arrogant attitude is a good way to deliver a permanent Trump majority. Just ask Steve Bannon.

Even the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting has been made Trump's fault, though the shooter was clearly anti-Trump. (Thank God there were no mass shootings in the Obama era!) The toxic brew of Trump "xenophobia," "racism," "misogyny" and "Islamophobia" somehow made the shooter a raving anti-Semite. It couldn't be that decades of Identarian Politics rendering "white male" a dirty word paved the way for Trump's nationalism, could it? Of course not. It's that Trump is stained with original sin and must be removed to make way for . . . utopia?

In short, we are to understand that Trump-the-Monster (Trumpenstein?) single-handedly bred a political climate that produces everything bad directly out of his evil mind while exonerating establishment politicians of both parties whose political wreckage Trump only coincidentally rose out of. But it should be obvious that this makes history entirely irrelevant, since the Devil himself has triumphed. What's the point of engaging in political action at all?

Liberals and fake radicals are so triggered by Trump that they don't even notice their descent into madness, much to the delight of a vast swath of middle America that is willing to re-elect Trump on that basis alone. The incredibly misguided "resistance" has somehow convinced itself that boundless indignation over Trump will lead them to victory. They do not see, apparently cannot see, that their indignation is Trump's rocket fuel: the more they hate him, the higher and farther he flies. Until they can stop being triggered by him, they have no chance of making him go away.

Investigative journalist Allan Nairn, a longstanding critic of the Democratic party, voices the thoughts of many progressives on this election eve:

"Democrats are arguably war criminals - not as big as the war criminals on the Republican side, but still war criminals. And they belong in prison. But we are facing such a crisis in this country at this moment that you have to use your head. You have to be tactical. You have to, at this moment, vote in the warmongers who will preserve democracy to block the warmongers who would abolish it - and then, the day after the election, go back to the deeper work of creating real, better, more constructive political alternatives and also helping the base of the Democratic Party take back the party from the consultants, from the rich donors. But that's for the day after the election is completed . . . Right now, the task is to stop the incipient fascism that Trump and the rightist revolution represents. And you can't really say that you were working toward an anti-fascist goal if you're not mobilizing for the Democrats right now. That's the urgent reality that we're living."

   

It is sad to see Nairn falling for the one-sided "fascist" caricature, which we hear practically every five minutes is taking over the country. Nairn's view of fascism does not include Antifa thugs beating people senseless, "social justice" crusaders rioting to shut down speaking events for views they consider heretical, Me Too rage brigades jettisoning the presumption of innocence and rules of evidence painfully acquired over centuries of struggle etc. etc. In a gesture to broad-mindedness Nairn concedes that Democrats are warmongers, but wants us to believe that fascist evil is a Republican monopoly. But it's just not so: the totalitarian impulse runs along the entire political spectrum.

Maybe Juliet Hoffman, presiding judge at the 1969 Chicago conspiracy trial, summed up this totalitarian attitude best: "The substance of the crime is a state of mind," he said. That's it. Trump's mind is criminal. Therefore, our own unethical and criminal conduct just doesn't matter, since we are acting in heroic "resistance" to evil incarnate. Nor does it matter whether Robert Mueller turns up anything impeachable, since Trump's very existence is a crime. Tens of millions of Americans are in lockstep with this view, which the late Harry Elmer Barnes would call "totalitarian liberalism."

Totalitarian liberals seem to have forgotten that we already fell prey to "fascism" under GW Bush. We heard the claim repeatedly in relation to the draconian Patriot Act, the illegal invasion of Iraq, the suspension of habeas corpus, the revival and expansion of administrative torture, and on and on.  We even heard talk of American fascism when Arnold Scharzenegger won the recall election for governor in California. (It must have been the Austrian accent.) In any event, Nairn says nothing about the threat to democracy emanating from "resistance" mobs, screeching anti-Trump media (whose removal of Steve Bannon was achieved via pure hysteria), or Robert Mueller's show-trial-in-the-making, if he can keep people awake long enough to make intermission. 

It is ironic that Nairn urges us to be tactical and "use [our] head," since he himself fails to do so. If we continue to let Trump trigger us into thinking he is an unprecedented evil, we give power to his blue collar base, which loves to stick it to us for having forsaken their interests for so long while sneering at their "unsophisticated" ways. Using our head means recognizing that tens millions of working class Americans hate our guts, and have every reason to do so.

What's not to loathe in the political messaging on what passes for an American left? If you don't "always believe the woman," you're a MISOGYNIST. If you have a belief in traditional marriage, you're a HOMOPHOBE. If you think a fetus is alive and abortion is the taking of a human life, you're waging a WAR ON WOMEN. If you question whether an asthma inhaler can alter the world's climate, you're a GLOBAL WARMING DENIER. If you think gender apartheid is as bad as racial apartheid you're an ISLAMOPHOBE. If you think resources are finite and inviting tens of millions of economic and political refugees from the Third World to live here is harmful, you're a RACIST XENOPHOBE. Contrast this with Trump's changed rhetoric towards Kim Jon Un: He now says he's "in love" with the man he originally denounced as "little Rocket Man." Such an abrupt transformation is evidence not of a hate-monger, but of a salesman: his rhetoric shifts to fit an opportunistic agenda. Meanwhile, the contemptuous political commentary coming from the supposedly tolerant "left" never changes.

Nairn urges us to vote against our interests today then "go back" to creating better, constructive political alternatives tomorrow. But that's not how things work. Voting for our castration today so we can have great sex tomorrow cannot possibly produce healthy political offspring. We have done this election after election for decades and have only mushrooming cynicism and self-contempt to show for it. And cynical people don't act. 

We're in the political dead-end we're in because of decades of voting for a Democratic Party that eagerly collaborates with the likes of Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and now Donald Trump to make any renewal and expansion of still immensely popular New Deal programs impossible. In short, we have surrendered our initiative to ideological traitors, and no longer determine our politics. Why shouldn't Trump take advantage?

By all means, go out and vote, just not for Trump's enablers in the Democratic Party. Vote instead for candidates calling for meeting the most pressing needs of working families: Medicare for all, tuition free college, higher wages, and lower housing costs.

It's not hard to understand why Malcolm X, that sly fox, always used to ask: who's the bigger fool, he who brings the noose, or the guy who sticks his head in it?




Sunday, November 4, 2018

THE TRUE HISTORY OF MILLSTONE BABIES

October 31, 2018
www.anncoulter.com

Having mastered fake news, now the media are trying out a little fake history.

In the news business, new topics are always popping up, from the Logan Act and the emoluments clause to North Korea. The all-star panels rush to Wikipedia, so they can pretend to be experts on things they knew nothing about an hour earlier.

Such is the case today with "anchor babies" and "birthright citizenship." People who know zilch about the history of the 14th Amendment are pontificating magnificently and completely falsely on the issue du jour.

If you'd like to be the smartest person at your next cocktail party by knowing the truth about the 14th Amendment, this is the column for you!

Of course, the president can end the citizenship of "anchor babies" by executive order - - for the simple reason that no Supreme Court or U.S. Congress has ever conferred such a right.

It's just something everyone believes to be true.

How could anyone - - even a not-very-bright person - - imagine that granting citizenship to the children of illegal aliens is actually in our Constitution?

The first question would be: Why would they do that? It's like being accused of robbing a homeless person. WHY WOULD I?

The Supreme Court has stated - - repeatedly - - that the "main object" of the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment "was to settle the question . . . as to the citizenship of free negroes," making them "citizens of the United States, and of the state in which they reside."

Democrats, the entire media and House Speaker Paul Ryan seem to have forgotten the Civil War. They believe that, immediately after a war that ended slavery, Americans rose up as one and demanded that the children of illegals be granted citizenship!

You know what's really bothering me? If someone comes into the country illegally and has a kid, that kid should be an American citizen!

YOU MEAN THAT'S NOT ALREADY IN THE CONSTITUTION?

Give me a scenario - - just one scenario - - where the post-Civil War amendments would be intended to grant citizenship to the kids of Chinese ladies flying to birthing hospitals in California, or pregnant Latin Americans sneaking across the border in the back of flatbed trucks.

You can make it up. It doesn't have to be a true scenario. Any scenario.  

As the court has explained again and again and again:

"(N)o one can fail to be impressed by the one pervading purpose found in (the 13th, 14th and 15th) amendments, lying at the foundation of each, and without which none of them would have even been suggested; we mean the freedom of the slave race, the security and firm establishment of that freedom, and the protection of the newly made freeman and citizen from the oppressions of those who had formerly exercised unlimited dominion over him."

That's why the amendment refers to people who are "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States, "and of the state wherein they reside." For generations, African Americans were domiciled in this country. The only reason they weren't citizens was because of slavery, which the country had just fought a civil war to end.

The 14th Amendment fixed that.

The amendment didn't even make Indians citizens. Why? Because it was about freed slaves. Sixteen years after the 14th Amendment was ratified, the Supreme Court held that an American Indian, John Elk, was not a citizen, despite having been born here.

Instead, Congress had to pass a separate law, making Indians citizens, which it did, more than half a century after the adoption of the 14th Amendment. (It's easy to miss - - the law is titled: THE INDIAN CITIZENSHIP ACT OF 1924.") Why would such a law be necessary if simply being born in the U.S. was enough to confer citizenship?

Even today, the children of diplomats and foreign ministers are not granted citizenship on the basis of being born here.

President Trump, unlike his critics, honors black history by recognizing that the whole purpose of the Civil War amendments was to guarantee the rights of freed slaves.

But the left has always been bored with black people. If they start gassing on about "civil rights," you can be sure it will be about transgenders, abortion ladies or illegal aliens. Liberals can never seem to remember the people whose ancestors were brought here as slaves, i.e., the only reason we even have civil rights laws.

Still, it requires breathtaking audacity to use the Civil War amendments to bring in cheap foreign labor, which drives down the wages of African Americans -- the very people the amendments were written to protect!

Whether the children born to legal immigrants is controversial enough. But at least there's a Supreme Court decision claiming that they are -- U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark. That's "birthright citizenship."

It's something else entirely to claim that an illegal alien, subject to deportation, can drop a baby and suddenly claim to be a parent of a "citizen."

This crackpot notion was concocted by liberal zealot Justice William Brennan and slipped into a footnote as dicta in a 1982 case. "Dicta" means it was not the ruling of the court, just a random aside, with zero legal significance.

Left wing activists seized on Brennan's aside and browbeat everyone into believing that anchor babies are part of our great constitutional heritage, emerging straight from the pen of James Madison.

No Supreme Court has ever held that children born to illegal aliens are citizens. No Congress has deliberated and decided to grant that right. It's a made-up right, grounded only in the smoke and mirrors around Justice Brennan's 1982 footnote. 

Obviously it would be better if Congress passed a law clearly stating that children born to illegals are not citizens. (Trump won't be president forever!) But until that happens, the president of the United States is not required to continue a ridiculous practice that has absolutely no basis in law.

It's often said that journalism is the first draft of history. As we now see, fake news is the first draft of fake history.



Saturday, October 20, 2018

FAKE NEWS AUTOPSY

October 17, 2018
by Ann Coulter
www.anncoulter.com

Whenever Donald Trump talks about fake news, there are howls of indignation from the establishment media. We're told that the very mention of "fake news" is a direct attack on our democracy, that the alternative is "darkness," that it led to the dismemberment and murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and that, yes, every once in a while there might be a typo, but if you mean the media intentionally report false information, that is dangerous demagoguery.

I present CNN's Ana Cabrera.

On Sunday night, Cabrera launched a premeditated, vicious, racist lie about President Trump, then proceeded to discuss the false story with a black guest, primed to analyze the fake news.

We'll slow down the replay in order to follow the ball, so you can see every handoff in the creation of fake news.

A few weeks ago, when Judge Brett Kavanaugh was facing 30-year-old completely uncorroborated accusations of sexual assault based on recovered memories in order to block his Supreme Court appointment, Trump said, "It's a very scary time for young men in America when you can be guilty of something that you may not be guilty of."

This statement was quoted by numerous news outlets, including CNN: "Trump says it's 'a very scary time for young men in America,'" Jeremy Diamond, Oct. 2.

Cabrera rewrote the president's quote, telling CNN viewers that Trump had said: "WHITE men have a lot to fear right now."

How did "white" get slipped in there?

If this were merely a mistake, there are lots of words in the English language that might have been inserted instead of "white." Why not "radical tire"? Why not "hangnail"? Why not the words "virtuoso" or "champagne"?

Dictionaries are heavy with all of the words that might have been inserted if this were an accident. How could the world "white" inadvertently get slipped into the Trump quote?

CNN intentionally told an ugly lie about the most incendiary issue roiling the nation: race. It wasn't a lie about Trump's position on tax policy, North Korea or school vouchers. The network deliberately pushed a racism narrative calculated to incite racial hatred that could get someone killed.

Like a professional jewel thief swiping a Cartier watch so deftly that the guard doesn't notice, Cabrera launched the lie during a segment that began: "People are talking about a string of recent incidents with racial undertones."

"People are talking about" is how opinion journalism masquerades as news. What topics aren't "people talking about"?

People are talking about CNN head Jeff Zucker's split from his wife after 21 years.

People are talking about Chris Cuomo's behavior at the CNN Christmas party.

People are talking about how Ana Cabrera got her job.

Cabrera then presented two stories about white people falsely accusing black people of doing things they hadn't done - which was ironic, inasmuch as Cabrera was about to falsely accuse Trump of doing something he hadn't done.

After a brief word from a black guest, professor Marc Lamont Hill, who said our world is "still shot through with white supremacy," Cabrera told the lie about Trump: 

"President Trump and his son, Don Jr., said this week, white men have a lot to fear right now."

(His son said no such thing either.)

Cabrera then ran a clip of "Saturday Night Live" comedian Michael Che's "take" on the nonexistent quote, in which he injected race into the president's remarks, calling Trump a "white dude."

Che:  "Come on. Old, rich white dude telling us it's a scary time in America? That is pure comedy."

(The absence of a punchline was covered with: "That is pure comedy," meaning, "Please laugh now!")

At this point in the program, the lie about Trump transformed into actual presidential policy. Cabrera asked Hill, "Why do you think that is Trump's strategy?"

Hill went off on the fictional Trump quote, talking about the president's "racial tribalism." Again, this was about a Trump statement that had absolutely nothing to do with race - until CNN made it so.

"It stokes white fear, Hill continued, "saying that it's a scary time to be a white man because you get accused of something you didn't do.

Goebbels would be proud!

If this were an error, it would have been quickly corrected before the first commercial break. It was not corrected because it's not a mistake; it's a political strategy. CNN invents fake news to push an ugly narrative about the president's "racial tribalism."

That's why an entire news segment was prepared around the fake quote, with an invited guest asked to comment on something Trump never said.

To those of you with jobs and busy lives, clip this column and keep it in your wallet so you are prepared the next time someone scoffs at Trump's denunciation of fake news.





Friday, October 19, 2018

OMG! OH MY GOD! OMG! etc

BREAKING NEWS
The Justice Dept. accused Russians of interfering in the midterms, charging an employee of a Putin ally in an elaborate social media plot.

Friday, October 19, 2018 2:51 PM EST


Federal prosecutors said the woman, Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova, 44, of St. Petersburg, was involved in an effort “to spread distrust towards candidates for U.S. political office and the U.S. political system.”
The conspirators seized on divisions in American politics, prosecutors said, including immigration, guns, race relations, women and even the debate over the protests by National Football League players during the national anthem. No one was named in court papers besides Ms. Khusyaynova.

All americans and immigrants of all minority-majority-identity-misidentified-species confused-molested by priests/rabbis/atheists/pundit-nit-wits and political leaders who have been breast fed well into middle age are strongly urged to believe this story .

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Whatever It Takes

by Ann Coulter
www.anncoulter.com

The Democrats' current position on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh is: We cannot have someone addicted to beer on our highest court! What if a foreign power were to ply him with this nectar in a can? Talk about taking control of our government! Suppose they throw in a case of Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier?

A bitter college roommate is going whole hog, wailing, He lied about being a beeraholic.

By the media's account, Kavanaugh was a bounder, a brawler and a drunk. And yet he still managed to graduate at the top of his class, go to Yale, then to Yale Law and work in the highest positions in government.

I am in awe of his manliness. Hemingway has nothing on this guy! He should be our president. To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln after being told Ulysses S. Grant was a drunk, let's find out what Kavanaugh drank and send a barrel of it to every college student. At least the Democrats have moved on from Crazy Ladies Who Must Be Believed.

Kavanaugh's first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, doesn't remember the time or place of the alleged high school groping, and all four witnesses she named deny any memory of such a party. (They don't deny anything; they simply don't remember the event Ford alleges occurred - ed.)

Forcing our first one-week delay, we were told that the poor lady was so traumatized by being groped in high school that she couldn't fly. It was the worst thing that ever happened to her, compelling her to do what any reasonable person would under the circumstances: Add a second front door to her house. She was supposedly terrified of small spaces, and an airplane, one of her friends told CNN, "was the ultimate closed space where you cannot get away."

Then we found out that Ford regularly jets off to Hawaii, Costa Rica, the South Pacific islands and French Polynesia . . . to go surfing, one of the most terrifying activities around.

It sounded like a joke. I was so shattered and broken, I could only go rock climbing in the Grand Tetons. After that, I'd repair to my room and curl up in a fetal position. Then I'd go rock climbing again. 

An ex-boyfriend has come forward to say that in six years of dating Ford, she never mentioned a sexual assault, had no fear of flying, lived comfortably in a tiny home with only one front door, once coached a friend on how to take a polygraph, contrary to her sworn testimony - and also lied about stealing $600 from him.

Kavanaugh's second accuser, Deborah Ramirez, jumped in to help, dusting off a memory of the nominee pulling a Bill Clinton on her (pulling out his penis and putting it in her face - ed.) as a freshman in college - but only after she spent a week huddled with her attorney, "assessing her memories" and calling classmates to ask if they thought it was true.

And did she have corroboration? She doesn't need any! She's a 'survivor.' Even the New York Times - the newspaper that believed the Duke lacrosse rape case until about five minutes before the prosecutor was disbarred - said Ramirez didn't have enough evidence to meet its standards.

His third accuser, our heroine Julie Swetnik, is the woman produced by porn lawyer Michael Avenatti. She claims that she repeatedly attended gang rape parties in the 1980s - and she saw Brett Kavanaugh there!

An ex-boyfriend says Swetnik once threatened to kill him and his unborn child; she had a restraining order taken out against her; was sued by an employer for engaging in 'sexually offensive conduct,' making 'false and retaliatory allegations' against co-workers and also lying about her educational background and work history.

A Democrat and Emmy-winning meteorologist wrote a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee stating that, soon after he met Swetnik in the 1990s, she proposed group sex to him. Some years later her own father told him to stay away, citing Swetnik's psychological problems.

She is now the Democrats' leading contender for 2020.

Poor Kate Snow of NBC News thought she had landed the interview of a lifetime with Swetnik. Within about three questions, it became clear that she was talking to a lunatic. At that point, most of Snow's energy went into hoping for a building-wide power failure to shut down the cameras.

Of the four witnesses Swetnik provided to NBC, whom she claimed would confirm her story, one denied knowing any Julie Swetnik, one was dead, and two did not respond to the network, perhaps wishing they were dead, too.

By the end of the interview, Snow's purse was missing.

But the Democrats are energetic devils. They've been poring over Kavanaugh's high school yearbook and exclaiming, He's a beeraholic!

With grim passion, they say, how dare you laugh at this? If he were a teetotaler, they'd say, We can't have someone on the court who's so nerdy. How can this weird aesthete sympathize with murderers and insider traders?

They've already won a second week's delay by having two deranged women scream at Sen. Jeff Flake in an elevator.

After wetting himself, Flake insisted on a seventh FBI investigation. For weeks, the Democrats have been demanding an investigation - of an incident without witnesses, on a date unknown at a place unknown - by saying, Oh, you big babies, the FBI investigation of Anita Hill only took three days!

The FBI wrapped up its investigation of Kavanaugh in a few days and then sat around wondering how long it had to wait before producing the report. So now the "it will only take three days crowd" are saying, Keep investigating! We don't know how long the probe should be, but the minimum standards of decency require that it last at least until there's a new president.

Whatever they find, they will argue in the alternative and just keep doing it and doing it. If Kavanaugh stepped on a bug, PETA activists would be screaming at Flake in an elevator.

The Democrats have a pair of twos, but they expect Republicans to fold. Why? Because that's what Republicans always do!

Unfortunately, this time, Kavanaugh's supporters are not accepting surrender.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Donald Trump, Ann Coulter, and the Culture of Hysteria

 As the establishment's coup d'etat against the democratically elected government of Donald Trump gathers momentum, readers are invited to read Ann Coulter's latest book (Resistance Is Futile: How The Trump-Hating Left Lost Its Collective Mind), which the author says is a "self-help book for liberals," though their hysteria about Trump will insure that few of them read it.

Psychologists have been treating "Trump anxiety" for some time now, and judging by the reaction of liberals to Coulter, they may soon have to treat Trump Tantrum Disorder as well. As Coulter points out, liberals have grown furiously unhinged by isolating themselves in self-righteous bubbles of Trump haters that exchange indignant comments about his latest outrages, most of which are simply imaginary.

For example, whenever the specter of American fascism is raised (every five minutes) we are told that Trump is a virtual Hitler clone. Uh, right. We all remember from our history books how Hitler went around boasting of his opportunities to grab women by the pussy, promising to replace the Treaty of Versailles with "something terrific," and engaging in fawning adulation of anyone he hoped to get something from. As Coulter puts it, "I don't remember Hitler or Stalin going around saying, 'These people are great. Incredible, outstanding, quality people.' And who in the WWII era would have described Hitler as Coulter describes Trump:  '[He's] utterly undisciplined, runs his mouth, flatters everyone, and agrees with the last person he spoke to. Why, it's right out of the Mein Kampf playbook!" 
 
The rage against Trump is proof that the election of 2016 never really ended. In her first post-election interview Hillary Clinton declared herself "part of the resistance," rather than the customary "loyal opposition." If Trump had lost and declared himself part of the anti-Clinton "resistance", Coulter notes, there would have been demands to put him in jail. "He's issuing a call to violence! 'Resistance' is a military term! It's a 'dog whistle' to the militias and the KKK!" Touché.

This attitude is simply a continuation of liberal hysteria during the campaign. Remember the Access Hollywood tape, somehow not a sleazy "October surprise" by the partisan media, which made no secret of its loathing of Trump? In spite of what was repeatedly claimed, there was no endorsement of sexual assault on the tape. Unless you are using a weapon, "they let you do it" means consent. Trump was simply uttering truisms about celebrity culture, not glorifying rape. Notes Coulter: "His whole point was to cite something axiomatically unacceptable - grabbing women by the P-word - in order to say that celebrity culture was so out of whack that a celebrity could get away with it." One could quibble with the "out of whack" part of the comment, as on the tape it appears that Trump in fact found this benefit of fame both natural and desirable. What needed to be explained was not this reaction of a life-long egomaniac, but the shocked indignation of the corporate media: after all, who knew that billionaires and other mega-stars enjoy sex on demand from beautiful women? Right, everyone. And as Coulter points out, Trump used the identical approach in saying his popularity was so great that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue without losing voter support. "That's not a confession, notes Coulter, "it's hyperbole." Nevertheless, she goes on, "Nexis can't perform a search for all the publications that have accused Trump of admitting to 'sexual assault,' because it retrieves too many documents." Long live fake news.

And while we're on the subject of fake news, how long has it been since Trump was last accused of being a racist? Five minutes? Surely we can do better than that. Don't let up for a minute on claims that he's giving aid and comfort to "white nationalists" and therefore obligated to condemn David Duke every three minutes and defend himself against the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has warned of an imminent neo-Nazi-KKK take-over of the U.S. on a more or less constant basis for nearly four decades.

The Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville a year ago has been regarded as the definitive proof of Trump's racism, though a New York Times reporter tweeted direct from the melee that left-wing Antifa protestors were just as aggressively violent as the racist right. Nevertheless, Trump's observation that there was violence (and "good people") "on both sides" has been used as confirmation of his alleged white supremacist sensibilities. By now, official memory has it that Antifa violence wasn't violence, and only "Nazis" were guilty of such.  In one of her book's best lines, Coulter notes, "The more the rally recedes in time, the fresher a memory it becomes," which is an excellent description of all kinds of propaganda induced "memory." With all due regret for the death of Heather Heyer, we still don't know anything about the state of mind of the man who ran over her, who may have been in fear for his life, and few "journalists" are even curious about the matter.

But on to the alleged Trump-Russia collusion in the 2016 elections that is the main focus of Coulter's book. The basic allegation is that Trump, according to liberals a boundlessly incompetent buffoon, somehow managed to engage in a byzantine international conspiracy with Russian intelligence to steal the 2016 presidential election from Hillary Clinton. The original claim was that Russia hacked the e-mails of the DNC (after allegedly being invited to do so by Trump in a presidential debate with Clinton) and Hillary's aide John Podesta, then gave them to WikiLeaks, and that this somehow predictably benefited Trump. But why the Russians would have hacked the DNC to retrieve "lost" e-mails that were no longer on their server is difficult to explain. Furthermore, how could the Russians have had any assurance that the Podesta e-mails would end up helping Trump? That leak mostly hurt the DNC chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was forced to resign.

More to the point, the Russian election meddling theme is simply a joke. The U.S. meddles in elections all the time, and when that fails, overthrows unwanted governments by force, often assassinating their democratic leaders as well.  At William Blum's excellent archive at www.killinghope.org, you can read until your eyes bleed about the C.I.A. undermining democratic elections around the world going back seventy years. In recent years George Soros alone has repeatedly manipulated election outcomes in Georgia, the Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan, variously called the Orange revolution, the Tulip revolution, and the Rose revolution. And while we like to wax self-righteous about Russia interfering in our elections, we tend to forget that Boris Yeltsin would not likely have become president of Russia without a major intervention by the U.S. But perhaps the most ludicrous notion of all is that a relative handful of Russian bots posting on Facebook handed the election to Trump, which is like saying that a coke poured in the water supply prevented us from curing our diabetes epidemic.

The origin of the story alone should make us extremely skeptical about any Trump-Russia collusion, even apart from the absurd pretense that the U.S. has the moral standing to accuse others of such anti-democratic practices. Hillary Clinton invented the Russian collusion story in the summer of 2016 because she needed to neutralize the DNC's e-mails having shown up on WikiLeaks. This was a classic Clinton maneuver: whenever she is caught in a scandal she diverts attention to all-pervading imaginary enemies -  misogynists, unscrupulous political opponents, racists, a vast right-wing conspiracy, and now, Russia and Donald Trump.

So Clinton campaign chairman Robby Mook went on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos to tell the world about the Russian conspiracy on July 24, 2016, the eve of the Democratic National Convention. "Experts are telling us that Russian state actors broke into the DNC, took all these emails and now are leaking them out through these Web sites . . .. And it's troubling that some experts are now telling us that this was done by - by the Russians for the purpose of helping Donald Trump." The anonymous reference to "some experts" has not been cleared up to this day. 

Of course, Hillary Clinton would have preferred to spin a web of conspiracy around Trump and ISIS or Trump and North Korea, but Trump didn't have business interests with either of them, so she revved up a new Cold War instead. She somehow managed to convince herself that the press was dead set against her and her Russia-connection conspiracy, even though only two of the fifty-nine largest newspapers in the country had failed to endorse her.  Matt Taibbi and Glenn Greenwald were among the few liberal skeptics of the fantastic story.

In any event, by September 2016 The New York Times conceded that the consensus among government intelligence agencies was that WikiLeaks had no ties to Russian intelligence.

 Two years and dozens of breathless claims later we still have zero evidence for the alleged Trump-Russia collusion. The FBI never investigated for the simple reason that the DNC wouldn't allow the Bureau to examine its computers.  As Glenn Greenwald noted in The Intercept, "there is no evidence . . .  just CIA assertions over and over . . . " 

Initial media response found the claim of a Russian conspiracy "remarkable," and this held true until Hillary lost the election. Then it suddenly became a news story worthy of Watergate, replete with Congressional investigations, saturation media coverage, and an "independent" counsel.  Obama reacted by meekly telling Putin to "cut it out," but he imposed no sanctions, issued no major rebuke, and refrained from retaliation. This for something Thomas Friedman compared to Pearl Harbor and 911. In other words, after mild initial reaction, two years of intensive searching by the nation's top investigative journalists and up to 100 FBI agents has yielded nothing like collusion.

What has passed for evidence in the case is a dossier authored by Christopher Steele, a British spy who offered Hillary Clinton and the Democratic national Committee dirt on Trump from the Russians. Did Hillary recoil in shocked outrage at this treasonous plot? Of course not. She paid Steele for the information. Yes, that's right. Hillary Clinton colluded with the Russians to discredit Trump, but Robert Mueller isn't interested in that collusion. He's looking for collusion between Russia and the victim of the plot.

Explains Coulter: "Hillary's campaign and the DNC hired Steele, using a Seattle law firm as a cutout. The law firm hired Fusion GPS, which in turn hired the British spy, who paid current and former Russian government officials for incriminating information on Trump." 

Steele revealed his motive to Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr, saying he was "desperate that Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president." OK, but motives aside, did he come up with anything? Not if you believe the New York Times, which says that the information in the Steele dossier "was not corroborated, and the New York Times has not been able to confirm the claims." And remember that The New York Times, like the press in general, loathes Trump, and would gladly have reported substantiation of the claims in the Steele dossier had they found any. 

In fact, so eager was The Times to discredit Trump that it flat-out stated that his firing of F.B.I. director James Comey had "echoes of Watergate,"when in fact it did not. For Comey himself admitted under oath to Senator James Risch (R-Ohio) that the FBI hadn't been investigating Trump at the time he was fired, so Trump couldn't have been "obstructing justice" in an ongoing case against him. In point of fact, Trump fired Comey precisely because he wouldn't stop publicly insinuating that Trump was under investigation when in fact he wasn't. Meanwhile, journalists simply assumed that Trump was guilty of colluding with Russia, and that firing Comey was a transparent attempt to cover up criminal activity. 

In short, the mountain keeps laboring, but brings forth but a mouse. The charges to date are a complete farce. Here's a partial list:

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn: He talked to Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition period between the Obama and Trump administrations, and then didn't disclose it on security clearance paperwork, which is not customary because such meetings are routine.  

Paul Manafort - Briefly Trump's "campaign" chairman, he was originally accused of violating the same (unenforced) lobbying registration law that ensnared Michael Flynn, but has since been charged with setting up offshore accounts to avoid taxes, which could make him guilty of practicing capitalism. In October 2017, journalist Ken Silverstein wrote that "I can say with certainty that the law, which Manafort is accused of violating, known as the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, is a complete joke." The article in which this comment appeared was entitled, "I've Covered Foreign Lobbying for 20 Years and I'm Amazed Manafort Got Busted." In any event, Manafort's guilt or innocence hasn't been demonstrated to have anything to do with Trump. 

Carter Page - a non-entity whose name Trump appears to have lifted out of a hat when confronted by media claims that he didn't have any establishment certified national security advisers on his team. Page was subsequently slapped with a FISA warrant, which proves he is appallingly guilty of something. For as Ronald Reagan's former Attorney General Ed Meese memorably informed us, "If a person is innocent of a crime, then he is not a suspect." What could be clearer?

Attorney General Jeff Sessions: He also met with Russian ambassador Kislyak, when he was a senator, and then didn't record the dastardly deed on security clearance forms, which the FBI doesn't want because such meetings are routine.

But wait! Didn't former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pay Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about her affair with Trump? That's a violation of campaign finance laws! Possibly, but such violations are a dime a dozen, and if we run every politician who has paid off a mistress out of office Washington will be a ghost town.

There is much, much more in Coulter's book, but check it out of the library rather than buy it, since Coulter herself is equally prone to slipping into political hysteria when the topic is Communism or Islam. She insists, for example, that Martin Luther King was under the control of Moscow when he made his (accurate) claim that the "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world [is] my own government." And, of course, many of us remember her advice for dealing with the Islamic world following the 911 attacks, when she said, quite subtly, that "we should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." 

American politics is a tale of two hysterias. Rationality has been driven from the stage.






Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Thought Control Back in the USA: Far More Effective than Communist Censorship

"You can think about censorship as a pyramid. This pyramid only has its tip sticking out of the sand, and that is by intention. The tip is public - libel suits, murders of journalists, cameras being snatched by the military, and so on - publicly declared censorship. But that is the smallest component. Under the tip, the next layer is all those people who don't want to be at the tip, who engage in self-censorship to not end up there. Then the next layer is all the forms of economic inducement or patronage inducement that are given to people to write about one thing or another. The next layer down is raw economy - what it is economic to write about, even if you don't include the economic factors from higher up the pyramid. Then the next layer is the prejudice of readers who only have a certain level of education, so therefore on one hand they are easy to manipulate with false information, and on the other hand you can't even tell them something sophisticated that is true. The last layer is distribution - for example, some people just don't have access to information in a particular language. So that is the censorship pyramid. . . . 

"Now such censorship is deniable because it either takes place out of the light, or because there is no instruction to censor a particular claim. Journalists are rarely instructed, 'Don't print anything about that,' or, 'Don't print that fact.' Rather they understand that they are expected to because they understand the interest of those they wish to placate or grow close to. If you behave you'll be patted on the head and rewarded, and if you don't behave then you won't. It's that simple. I'm often fond of making this example:  the obvious censorship that occurred in the Soviet Union, the censorship that was propagandized about so much in the West - jackboots coming for journalists in the middle of the night to take them from their homes - has just been shifted by twelve hours. Now we wait for the day and take homes from journalists, as they fall out of patronage and are unable to service their debts. Journalists are taken from their homes by taking homes from the journalists. Western societies specialize in laundering censorship and structuring the affairs of the powerful such that any remaining public speech that gets through has a hard time affecting the true power relationships of a highly fiscalized society, because such relationships are hidden in layers of complexity and secrecy."

-----Julian Assange, Cypherpunks - Freedom and the Future of the Internet 



" . . . in nations that our textbooks call totalitarian, strict controls obtain concerning press, T.V., public debate. These societies are like bad gardeners who spend whole days out in the sun pruning bushes, doing their best to cut down hopeless growths of undesired ideologies, because they do not yet have skillful means for poisoning the soil. Because they are old-fashioned, and are forced to strike with crude utensils at the full-grown foliage they did not know enough to poison in its bed, we are entitled to decree that they are brutal and undemocratic. By implication, we discern ourselves to be more civilized. The truth is that we simply know a better way to tend the garden.

"Professors at our universities, with rare exceptions, are granted the theoretical right to advocate rebellion, to develop and reflect on Marxist ideologies, to argue for an end to private ownership of land, homes, factories and means of transportation. In the same sense, editors at Newsweek or The New York Times are free to view the Cuban Revolution as a positive step forward for humanity. It is a clever North American deception to allow professor, scholar, editor alike, to say what they please when we know well that what they please is what we like. When wishes, ideas and dreams themselves can be confined like this, words can be free. The bulls, once surgically restrained, receive all barnyard privileges."

-----Jonathan Kozol, The Night Is Dark and I Am Far from Home