Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Trump Calls For U.S. Withdrawal From Syria, Corporate Media Goes Nuts

". . . while the jumble of information and speculation about Trump's possible Syria maneuverings doesn't necessarily tell us a whole lot, the reaction to it tells us why the world looks the way it looks. The most powerful military force in the history of civilization inflicts violence and domination with total impunity and total disregard for national sovereignty, demanding total respect for its own borders and total compliance from all nations outside its border. Nations which obey are absorbed into an alliance that is so tight and streamlined it can effectively be called an empire, while nations which disobey are invaded, occupied, disrupted and destroyed. 

"We've got to evolve beyond this mentality of intrusive domination which is so aggressively promoted as normal by the mass media. The idea that it's okay for a powerful nation to insert its military force into a weaker nation in order to manipulate geopolitical dynamics to its advantage is a sickness, and we need to heal it."

-----Caitlin Johnstone, Reactions To Trump's Syria Withdrawal Plan Say More Than The Plan Itself

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Wake From The Nightmare Or Eternal Sleep For Humanity

“The tradition of the dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the minds of the living.”   Karl Marx

Wake From The Nightmare Or Eternal Sleep For Humanity   

Marx offered a thought for all seasons but one that might especially ring true during what is supposed to be a season of peace, joy and humanity. Contradicted by the ever more insanely harsh reality of marketing mass murder under the guise of creating freedom, much of our race, though still too few to radically transform the totality of our reality, has begun to rise in defense of all against a system that profits only a few. France’s recent experience was part of a hopeful trend in that segments of a public which has been bought, sold and rented into near poverty showed they are tired and demanded social justice over becoming what capital sees as a loss of its private profits. Their awakening from humanity’s nightmare, however brief it may seem, is inspiring as well as overdue. The actions of a predominately working class group of citizens demonstrating with enough fervor to force the French government to at least renege on some issues is in stark contrast to Americans trooping off to the polls to “resist” a personality while their system – the same one the French are up in arms about – disintegrates all around them. If we have anything to be happy about during the annual shopping frenzy of an alleged spiritual time for humanity, in a small way it’s a few changes in our congress, but in a greater way it’s the sign of awakening we see in France which will hopefully spread to more places in the New Year.

The social democratic salvation capital arranged after the depression of the twenties and thirties has collapsed and become a renewal of the worst forms of fascist capital that preceded and soon followed that brief cosmetic safety for some made possible only by the reduction to disfigured ugliness of others. The rise in status of a new middle class for millions in the western world was only possible with the misery of greater multitudes in what was called the third, or undeveloped world, but also the poverty class in that same west. There were people sleeping on the streets of America before, during, and after the last breakdown of capital given the brand name “the great depression”. This latest collapse that began in 2008 and is very possibly the last one that will wake up more than the French is only different in that it is worse and the numbers in the street have grown so much only the intellectually and morally blind cannot see them.

The wealth accumulation of the return to market fundamentalist roots was and continues to be shared by a shrinking minority while growing majorities have seen the facade of humanity brought about by social democratic capitalism dissolve in the reality of a take-no-prisoners brand of marketing. This Artificially Intelligent farce not only prides itself on the creation of poverty and warfare but dulls the sense of many of its innocent subjects by filling heads with propaganda that passes for news, entertainment to distract consciousness further, and the combination of the two that marketers call “infotainment”.

Thus we have a perverse form of capital therapy that herds us into near frenzied lynch mobs of genuinely frustrated and set upon souls directing energy at everything but the cause of most if not all the things that plague us. Rich individuals approaching deity status with economic powers beyond those of past royal despots are relatively invisible while some of their employees in government attract enough attention to be replaced by other of their employees who appeal to one or another interest or identity group affording pleasure to some, pain to most and continued ruling power to the incredibly rich minority at the top of the modern pyramid of capital. 

Preposterous stories blaming Russia, China, Iran and possibly the Tooth Fairy for every sign of failure in what passes for a language perversion called the “free world” confuse and convince enough among the well fed and supposedly educated classes for the moment. When hardship eventually hits them in a material, rather than mental way, they will hopefully leave their identity groups and join the human race in the work necessary to transform global society.

Until the public good comes before private profit, things will get worse for all of us and any focus that continues separation of humans from potential majorities into smaller identity groups is simply the age old divide and conquer strategies always employed by minority rulers. This helps lead people with individual moral codes that find poverty and injustice intolerable to not only tolerate but to practice the most dreadful social policies imaginable. Privately, we Americans are as good, kind, compassionate, decent, and humane as any people on earth. Socially, however, we spend trillions on war, billions on pets, leave millions to live in poverty and hundreds of thousands to live on the street, and thus collectively become among the most degenerate moral perverts on the planet.

The skin tone, ethnicity, religion, sex or sexual preference of those serving capital while eating meals and flushing toilets at the white house or in slightly lesser roles in congress makes no difference to their victims reduced to cleaning the debris of death and destruction in the places where they oversee the bombing and looting. After their homes and nations are ruined we welcome some of them as migrants offering us cheap labor and a balm for our souls to maintain holiday spirit until the next slaughter we conduct. Food, clothing and shelter are basic human needs, not separate identity practices. They become so under private profit first economics that assure only some of the public will experience good, and that group is shrinking. The only way to assure a better life for all is for the ruling power to come from people who put the public good first, before any private gain is considered. Everyone has to be assured of food, clothing and shelter before anyone can aspire and work for even more by achieving private profit at the market. There is only one way to achieve that change and end society’s nightmare: the democratic forces of humanity must replace the market forces of capital. Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

2018 in Review, If You Can Stand It

The year was only hours old when a "bomb cyclone" dumped massive snowfalls across the eastern U.S., just the latest in extreme weather events that portended a harrowing if not grim human future. Nevertheless, corporate media attention continued to be riveted on Donald Trump's Tweetstorms instead of emerging climate catastrophe, highlighting the establishment's preference for indulging political hatred of a legally elected president over bringing proper attention to an issue that could destroy prospects of civilized existence. Try as one might, it was difficult to square such perverse priorities with the media's alleged public watchdog role. 

 A few weeks later in his State of the Union address, Trump reiterated his call for "a great wall along the southern border," while once again taking no action on the silly proposal. The usual accusation of "nativist" was quickly heard, but commentators neglected to point out that if anything like a Trump Wall ever does get built it will be to hold back the rising ocean, not Latin American peasants, who will benefit from the massive increase in construction jobs the mammoth barrier will create. Like so much else in the Trump political arsenal, the Wall is a distraction.

In February, Julian Assange unsuccessfully attempted to have his UK arrest warrant dropped, and once again the corporate media silence was deafening. Assange, holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for practicing journalism without a license, was doing the investigative work reporters are supposed to do but rarely manage to, especially on U.S. national security policy, which Assange has relentlessly exposed. Professional journalists did nothing to help him as he defended our freedom, human rights, and civil liberties, which was not exactly surprising since he was exposing the kind of lies they get paid to tell - like about Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction, about Qaddafi being on the verge of committing genocide, about Assad gassing his own people outside Damascus.

In March, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was sent packing after rather undiplomatically referring to President Trump as a "moron," soon to be replaced by Mike Pompeo, who moved over from his post as CIA director. Pompeo quickly demanded "complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization of North Korea," tactfully avoiding mention of massive and growing nuclear stockpiles in U.S. hands, as well as any reference to the fact that the U.S. scorched and blasted North Korea to a barren ruin with napalm and "conventional" bombs (over three million Koreans died in the "police action"), an achievement that would have been quite impossible if North Korea had possessed even one deliverable atomic bomb. Meanwhile, Gina Haspel shattered the glass ceiling at the CIA, replacing Pompeo as director of the agency, the first woman to fill that post. Prior to this victory for women everywhere Haspel ran the agency's torture unit. Will the feminist triumph lead to more or fewer testicles hooked up to car batteries? Stay tuned.

In April, the FBI raided the New York offices of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen. Cohen is alleged to have organized the payment of "hush money" to women Trump had affairs with, including porn star Stormy Daniels. The stunning violation of Cohen's privacy rights proved to be of no concern to liberals, who allegedly care about civil liberties. With Cohen's personal banking transactions dominating the airwaves, they affected shock that Cohen was trading on his relationship with Trump, influence peddling being such a rarity in Washington. Conservative author Ann Coulter eagerly bashed liberals over the head for their hypocritical failure to criticize the raid: "If, instead of being 'Michael Cohen, personal lawyer to Donald Trump,' he had been 'Mohammed Kahani, personal lawyer to Osama bin Laden,' liberals would be having die-ins across the country to protest the raid."

In May, Trump sent a U.S. delegation to dedicate a new American embassy in Jerusalem, the culmination of half a century of Jewish colonization of Arab land in the city, all supported with a nod and a wink by U.S. administrations going back to LBJ.  Liberals, deeply affected by the separation of children from their parents at the U.S. border later in the year, didn't even deign to notice thousands of Palestinian children bombed and shot with U.S. weapons (often modified and "improved" by Israel) while going about their daily activities in their own country.

In June, the Supreme Court upheld Trump's travel ban limiting entry to the U.S. by travelers from Libya, Syria, Somalia, Iran, Yemen, Venezuela, and North Korea. Not coincidentally, all of these countries had been seriously damaged or destroyed by U.S. imperial policies largely opposed by Republican and Democratic bases, but supported by both parties' elites. Immigration debate raged about who should be let in and who shut out, but little attention was given to the fact that those in desperate flight from Washington's brutal economic austerity and region-ravaging wars would have no motive to come in the first place if the American people were allowed to reject these unpopular policies at the ballot box. But thanks to corporate administered elections, policy is insulated from politics, and voters cast ballots based on the perceived personality differences of the candidates, not vital policy matters.

In July, President Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, touching off yet another round of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Kavanaugh sailed through the nomination proceedings until polling data showed the Democratic Party was within range of re-capturing the Senate in the rapidly approaching November elections. In a flash, Democrats brought forth Palo Alto university psychology professor Christine Blasey-Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of having tried to rape her at a high school party in the 1980s. But Ford proved unable to even place herself at the scene of the alleged crime, much less Kavanaugh, and none of the four alleged witnesses she cited could remember the party in question. Her allegations were left uncorroborated, and the Senate hearings quickly degenerated into a reality TV farce about sex, beer, and fart references (allegedly) in Kavanaugh's high school yearbook. With screaming mobs of always-believe-the-woman protesters swarming over the capitol, Kavanaugh was confirmed 50-48, giving Republicans a long-sought right-wing "libertarian" majority on the court. (Note: the Kavanaugh appointment was made in July, but his confirmation hearings didn't end until October.)

In August, Arizona Senator John McCain died. The best eulogy was delivered decades prematurely by Spanish psychiatrist Fernando Barral, who evaluated McCain during his captivity in North Vietnam in the 1960s: “From the moral and ideological point of view he (McCain) showed us he is an insensitive individual without human depth, who does not show the slightest concern, who does not appear to have thought about the criminal acts he committed against a population from the absolute impunity of his airplane, and that nevertheless those people saved his life, fed him, and looked after his health and he is now healthy and strong. I believe that he has bombed densely populated places for sport. I noted that he was hardened, that he spoke of banal things as if he were at a cocktail party.” 

A rabid war-monger, McCain unaccountably won the admiration of Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who joined war criminals Barack Obama and George W. Bush in praising McCain after his death, tweeting nonsensically that he "represents an unparalleled example of human decency and American service."

In September, the New York Times published an anonymous op-ed by a "senior official in the Trump administration," who assured the American people "there are adults in the room" working closely to "frustrate parts of his (Trump's) agenda" and his "anti-democratic impulses." Nevertheless, the author confessed to seeing some "bright spots" in Trump's policies, such as:

 (1) deregulation - (rolling back regulations against air, water, and soil pollution; cutting consumer protections; weakening labor law and job safety standards; and freeing banks of burdensome regulations that prevent runaway speculation leading to economic collapse). These were good moves, according to the author.

(2) tax cuts - (overwhelmingly to benefit the rich, which produce a stock market boom that makes already grotesque poverty and income inequality even worse). 

(3) a "more robust" military - (that is, one even more glutted with the technology of mass murder that produces bitter anti-Washington hatred, often culminating in retaliatory terror attacks against Americans).  

The anonymous author also expressed alarm about Trump seeking friendly relations with Vladimir Putin, as opposed to the establishment policy of insult, demonization, and nuclear brinksmanship that carries a high risk of WWIII. 

If the foregoing are the views of "the adults in the room," maybe having a childish lunatic as president isn't so bad. On the other hand. . .

In October, the United Nations issued a dire report on climate change, warning that humanity has just 12 years left to drastically limit carbon emissions in order to avoid catastrophic consequences by the end of the century. While applying to the government of Ireland for a permit to build a huge wall to protect a golf course he owns from climate-induced rise in sea levels, Trump in the U.S. had his National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommend an end to regulations on auto emissions on the grounds that by the end of the century (extrapolating from current trends and doing nothing to stop them) we'll have reached irretrievable environmental catastrophe anyway, so what's the point of not burning as much carbon as we want in the interim? 

In November, voters flocked to the polls in record numbers for a mid-term election which was widely seen as a referendum on Donald Trump. Turnout, while unusually high, still only reached 49%. In other words, even with the polarizing figure of Trump drawing record attention to politics, a majority of U.S. citizens did not see a vote worth casting. Though this attitude is customarily dismissed as reflecting lack of civic concern (by Democrats) or tacit satisfaction with the status quo (by Republicans), the attitude coincides with this fundamental reality:  non-voters are not a cross-section of Americans but the lower half of the wealth pyramid, which has no champion in an electoral system dominated by large corporations. In short, poor people won't vote for the politics of the rich.

In December, establishment media and politicians extravagantly praised recently deceased president George Herbert Walker Bush for decency, civility, and commitment to causes larger than himself, values deliberately cited to highlight a perceived contrast with Donald Trump, who witnessed the eulogies delivered at Bush's funeral in sullen silence. Among the causes "larger than himself" that Bush participated in was Indonesia's extermination of two hundred thousand simple mountain people in East Timor when he was CIA director (Bush gave the go-ahead), admiringly toasting Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos in Manila for an imaginary "adherence to democratic principle," when in fact he was guilty of "widespread and systematic" torture according to Amnesty International, and launching the 1991 Gulf War after refusing to consider any diplomatic resolution of the Kuwait crisis, killing two hundred thousand Iraqis (by Pentagon estimates) and leaving the bombed-out country in a "pre-industrial age" suffering "apocalyptic results" according to a UN mission. As for his "decency and civility," the best illustration of the absence of these qualities in Bush was his response to the U.S.S. Vincennes shooting down an Iranian civilian plane in 1988. The plane was in an ascending flight path and its transponder was clearly identifying it as a civilian plane when it was deliberately shot down, killing 290 people. Said Bush: "I don't care what the facts are. I'll never apologize for the United States of America." 

How decent, how civil. 

Out with the old, in with the new. If the interests of over half the population cannot be represented in the electoral system, let's face the fact that we have to produce a revolutionary democratic movement outside that system to challenge and overcome it. With extinction hanging over the human race, there's no time better than now to make it happen.

Happy New Year.


"The year in review," The Week - The Best of the U.S. and International Media, December 21/ December 28, 2018

John Hogan, "Noam Chomsky Calls Trump and Republican Allies 'Criminally Insane'" Scientific American, November 3, 2018 - for information on Trump and climate change

Jeffrey St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn, "The Horrors of John McCain: War Hero or War Criminal," Counterpunch, June 20, 2015

Gary Leupp, "Why Adulate This War-Monger?" Counterpunch, September 3, 2018, "Famed War Reporter Robert Fisk Reaches Syrian 'Chemical Attack' Site, Concludes "They Were Not Gassed," April 17, 2018 

Robert Fantina, "Bad to Worse:  Tillerson, Pompeo and Haspel," Counterpunch, March 16, 2018 

The Impact of the (Israel-Palestine) Conflict on Children, 

Jeremy R. Hammond, "The 'Forgotten' U.S. Shootdown of Iranian Airliner Flight 655," Foreign Policy Journal, July 3, 2017

Jon Halliday and Bruce Cumings, "Korea - The Unknown War," (Pantheon, 1988)

Ann Coulter, "Resistance Is Futile: How the Trump-Hating Left Lost Its Collective Mind" (Random House, 2018)- for information on Michael Cohen

Michael Parenti, "Democracy For The Few," (Thomson-Wadsworth, 2002) - for Pentagon estimate of deaths in the 1991 Gulf War

Michael K. Smith, "Portraits of Empire," (Common Courage, 2003) - for information on George Herbert Walker Bush.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Idiots 'R Us? - - U.S. Empire and the Road To Extinction

"The idiots take over in the final days of crumbling civilizations. Idiot generals wage endless, unwinnable wars that bankrupt the nation. Idiot economists call for reducing taxes for corporations and the rich and cutting social service programs for the poor. They project economic growth on the basis of myth. Idiot industrialists poison the water, the soil, and the air, slash jobs and depress wages.  Idiot bankers gamble on self-created financial bubbles. Idiot journalists and public intellectuals pretend despotism is democracy. Idiot intelligence operatives orchestrate the overthrow of foreign governments to create lawless enclaves that give rise to enraged fanatics. Idiot professors, 'experts," and  'specialists" busy themselves with unintelligible jargon and arcane theory that buttresses the policies of the rulers. Idiot entertainers and producers create lurid spectacles of sex, gore, and fantasy.

"There is a familiar checklist for extinction. We are ticking off every item on it.

"The idiots know only one word - 'more.'"

------Chris Hedges, America: The Farewell Tour, p. 42

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Caves, Malls and Holidays

The consumption frenzy that is the annual celebration of market religion once began after Thanksgiving but as economic problems grow the season of overspending starts even before Halloween. During this time when many seek spiritual joy through shopping but often find material sorrow through debt, we really should consider what it is we celebrate, and why.

Long before humanity invented religion or calendars our ancestors huddled in caves during the darkest cold, discovering in the process that we needed one another to survive. The winter solstice brought our primitive communist ancestors together to cope with fears but also strengthened faith that the darkness would ultimately lift, light would return and nature be reborn. And this was always the case, thereby setting a tradition for the celebration of future light, and the warm security provided by the community of kinfolk and tribes.

In the 21stcentury another darkness is descending not as a result of nature alone but of our systematic attack on that wonder. Continuous war and threats of economic and environmental breakdown present us with more crises than we’ve ever had to face, not simply as families, tribes or nations but as a race. And while we learn, all too slowly, that despite geographic and cultural differences we are one extended human family, those differences are manipulated by rulers and used to keep us in a mental darkness that threatens our future survival.

So as we wallow in the season of further increasing already unpayable debt we should consider this natural impulse to come together at special times and its perversion and transformation into a mass marketing orgy that covers evidence of a society going mad under a cloak of senseless individual consumption.

During our earliest days life was a struggle for all and not just some. But as we evolved we found that clinging together was not only the best but the only way to survive, as when the coldest, darkest nights offered no other security. That impulse is still part of us though it seems hard to find in present divisive reality of competitive and warring national organizations that corrupt healthy individual instincts by perverting the social nature of their origins.

While much of the religious impulse is toward material good for the whole human community, dualistic racial supremacists control the dominating biblical faith of judeo-christianity and menace all that is positive within any and all other faiths. Their fanatic absolutism denies our commonality by separating us into cults of competitive warriors. They rationalize violence as necessary to protect some of us from the rest of us, in support of governments, which wage war for political economic systems of profit and loss, which always mean profits for a minority and loss for everyone else. The contradiction between human ideals and spiritual dreams must be confronted at a time when it is more apparent than ever that preaching charity and togetherness for a special season makes no sense at all when we accept brutality and alienation for all seasons.

The holidays are never joyous for the billions living in poverty, nor those invaded, occupied and made refugees by a warped moral code that glorifies waste and celebrates pain. When we have reached a material level which could assure lives of decent comfort to all humanity, what allows this situation to prevail? The reason is not mythological or supernatural; it is political and economic and needs to be changed, radically, by the democratic human family which has been manipulated into being dysfunctional for far too long.

Wouldn’t it be nice to celebrate a holiday season not only with those at our dinner table or religious service but by extension with all those unable to physically join us where we huddle in greater physical comfort than our ancestors might ever have dreamed? We don’t want to return to the material status of those ancestors but it could happen if we don’t gain control of our social and natural environments, which are inseparable but at present being torn limb from limb. We might advance as a race, both materially and spiritually, by relearning our ancestors solidarity practiced in times of greatest stress and need.

Political systems use religion to keep people focused on an immaterial future and oblivious to the material present, but the best religious motivation brings people together for the betterment of all, in the here and now. Despite those thrown into fundamentalist fanaticism by conditions of oppression, a larger segment of believers are motivated to take social actions for humanitarian values not limited to only their own faith or belief systems. While some politics is helping create radical change, however slowly, it does so balanced with strong religious belief inspiring much citizen action. Whether movements for radical change are political or religious based they are portrayed as menacing by ruling forces that work to maintain the system of commercially murderous hypocrisy and call it enlightened moral democracy.

 It is no longer the natural conditions of weather or seasons that are a problem for all humanity but political economic systems of domination by minorities which threaten our race more than ever before, and even when what is dubbed “climate change” is called natural by those whose profits would end at democracy’s beginning, we are learning that the political damage inflicted by an uncontrolled economic tyranny is what needs to end for human salvation to truly begin.

Our early ancestors clung together hoping for a rebirth of nature, which always came. We live in a time when the death of nature is not a mysterious menace from collective unconsciousness but a real earthly force driven by pursuit of private benefit to be gained only at the ultimate public cost. We should exercise the spirit of the season in the communal way in which it was born and revive its past social impulse as a means of working for present social change. Rather than continue throwing money we don’t really have into the immoral mall that is a major part of our problem, if we shop for presents this season we might consider buying them from organizations, people and businesses working for another world of peace and social justice. We could further its possibilities by helping create a celebration of humanity and not simply an economic bottom line that could cause our aspiring civilization to bottom out. Let’s spend, if we must with acts of thoughtful hope for the future of all and not just our immediate families and friends, and however we choose to label them, have happier holidays in the process.

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


October 31, 2018

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!


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


October 17, 2018
by Ann Coulter

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.