As the World Turns, the Big Picture gets Lost in the Haze

"Purple haze all in my eyes
Don't know if it's day or night
You got me blowin', blowin' my mind
Is it tomorrow, or just the end of time?"
Jimi

"Two top former U.S. intelligence officials said Sunday that President Trump is being “played” by President Vladi­mir Putin on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and accused him of being susceptible to foreign leaders who stroke his ego."

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Former-U-S-intelligence-officials-say...

No, we're all being played.

If you're old enough you've seen this movie before, at least since the end of WWII and the start of the Cold War. Back and forth, threats and praises, tension and détente, the threat of nuclear war. Now we've got Trump wanting to ride horses bare back with Putin while the republican and democratic WAR parties are pushing for WWIII, and most of the rest of us wondering what the hell is wrong with these people. What is going on?

"I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul; a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country."
George W. Bush, 2001

"He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did." . . "Every time he sees me, he said: 'I didn't do that."
Donald Trump, 2017

Oh wait, oops.

“As to whether I believe it or not, I’m with our agencies, especially as currently constituted" . . “As currently led, by fine people, I believe very much in our intelligence agencies.”
Donald Trump, 2017

Ever get the feeling that we're all being led by the nose like trained pigs?

That's cuz we are.

animal farm.png

Think about what's happened in this country and the world since 2001 when idiot man boy Bush said he looked into Putin's soul. The wars and the deaths and the quest for the New World Order, the New American Century and the new Middle East/Greater Israel project, the new Cold War (remember the 2014 Winter Olympics), another Nobel Peace prize War Criminal in Obama, the 2016 presidential election, and now this.

Sixteen years of unprecedented crimes against humanity later and now Trump is saying the same damn thing Bush did. What does that portend for the next sixteen years? I'll give you three guesses and the first two don't count.

Full circle and the rich are more rich. Wait, WAY MORE RICH. The rest of us are more poor. Wait, WAY MORE POOR. The military has grown by leaps and bounds and the police, well, they aren't even the police anymore, it's an occupied fucking army, part of a military/police/Homeland security fascist state that will fuck you up in a New York minute if you don't OBEY. Shit, this century has been one morbid laugh a minute and the joke has been on us.

Talk about the election and foreign "meddling", the choice between Clinton and Trump fully illustrated what a farce the American presidential election is regardless what any country might have done to sway American voters. 2020 promises to bring us more of the same, probably worse as it appears now that the billionaires have been let loose and only they will be able to afford to play. This systemic problem that will not go away is not being discussed and very few are even bringing it up.

Ya, everybody can read all they want into this Putin/Trump/Democratic party crap but in the end it's just the same old shit and none of it is has anything to do with you or me, we're just pawns in the game of life. The only thing we need to worry about is how to stop these psychos from continuing their insane power games before the real Hunger Games start.

Check that, they've already started. Look at Yemen. Look at Iraq, Somalia, Venezuela, and Ethiopia. Look everywhere our vaunted military machine is and you'll see death and destruction. Hunger Games, kids are dying, starving. Look what's happening now with Lebanon and Iran and Saudi Arabia, all orchestrated by the big eye in the sky, the Great Oz, the Grand Trumpster and his merry band of War Pigs. More war, more weapons, more death.

Look at the United State of America where three asshole billionaires have more wealth than the bottom 170 million people. The exact same 170 million people who have trouble paying their bills in this corrupt capitalist society, or getting decent health care and a place to live that doesn't cost them their entire paycheck or social security check. The same 170 million of which fifty million kids are on food stamps. The same 170 million that has trouble scraping up seven hundred bucks for an emergency. THREE FUCKING PEOPLE!! Doesn't that indicate something is wrong, very fucking wrong? Is anyone doing anything about it? Are any of our so called representatives stepping up and saying it has to stop NOW, that something has to be done NOW? Is the body politic of Congress and Senate, not to mention our President, doing something about this?

No, they're just going to bring us more war, more militarism, more inequality, and more injustice while they force the sheeple to focus on whether Russia interfered in an election that was illegitimate before it started.

Are WE THE PEOPLE going to do anything about it, that's the question.

Same as it ever was.

"And you may ask yourself
Am I right? Am I wrong?
And you may say to yourself, "My God! What have I done?"

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Comments

Big Al's picture

president, it keeps too many people on the shelf thinking somehow that one person is going to solve the problems. You see that with Trump supporters now still clinging to the idea that he is cleaning the swamp and fighting the deep state and republicans in general. You'll see that with this bullshit with Putin where they'll use that to obfuscate everything else he's done and said. Trumps approval rating among republicans is around 80%.
Funny thing is as I've said many times, Obama maintained an 80% approval rating his entire two terms, as per Gallup polls and continue to enjoy that level, among democrats.
Talk about tribal.
On the other hand when you look at congressional approval numbers for congress as a whole, they're way, way low. The last decade has seen historically low approval ratings including down into the single digits.
It's a good reason to abolish the presidency, it's probably the most divisive aspect of the entire system.

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20 users have voted.
Alligator Ed's picture

@Big Al to correct many ills. But getting money out of politics is key. No reform of this dooms any true reform of the whole.

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12 users have voted.
Big Al's picture

@Alligator Ed @Alligator Ed Maybe we could get some robots to design it for us.
I do think there are structural problems and philosophical issues (direct democracy vs representative) that have to be addressed as well as finding a way to prevent greed and power from controlling the system. That would go straight to the constitution.

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8 users have voted.
QMS's picture

@Alligator Ed An example of a working republic in action. Rather messy, but right and left are balanced. Wonder if it only works in smaller nation states? Not so much here.

A republic (Latin: res publica) is a form of government in which the country is considered a "public matter", not the private concern or property of the rulers.

In American English, the definition of a republic can also refer specifically to a government in which elected individuals represent the citizen body, known elsewhere as a representative democracy (a democratic republic)[4] and exercise power according to the rule of law (a constitutional republic).[5][6][2]

Not so much here.

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11 users have voted.

Send the military madness to the shrink. Sanity is peace.

snoopydawg's picture

Ever get the feeling that we're all being led by the nose like trained pigs?

The PTB were showing their contempt for us during Obama's presidency and now they have brought it fully out in the open.
Two republicans have admitted that they are cutting taxes on the rich because they were told if they didn't, their donations would dry up. They know that there is nothing we can do about this and that we can't stop them.

The police, well, they aren't even the police anymore, it's an occupied fucking army, part of a military/police/Homeland security fascist state that will fuck you up in a New York minute if you don't OBEY.

The police started their brutal crackdowns on "those libtards" who should just get jobs, the BLM because "those people just need to do what they are told by the police and not try to shoot them and quit committing crimes. Besides, why aren't they upset with the black on black murders?"
Then they moved on to "those Indians" who are hypocrites because when they protested against the DAPL, "they drove their cars and trucks to get there."
So in too many people's minds, it was okay for the Israeli trained militarized police to break up those protests. But what they don't understand is that one day they are going to be met with this police action too.

I should have started with the creation of the TSA after 9/11 when people instead of refusing to give up their 4th amendment, went along with the ever increasing restrictions on what they could bring on planes. Seeing that people were willing to accept that, the PTB then moved their false security screenings to ballgames, concerts and other events where people gather. But there are no security screenings at places where the elite gather like operas and other events they attend. Why not? Because it's kabuki theater and we are paying for it.

The same people who refused to believe the intelligence agencies that Saddam had WMDs and other things we knew they were lying about are now believing that Mueller is going to put Trump in prison because he colluded with Putin to win.
And while people are being distracted by this Russian propaganda bullshit and everything that Trump says, the republicans are busy dismantling the regulations that were put in place for our protection.

Meanwhile across the pond, 20 million people in Yemen could die next week because Saudi Arabia has blocked every means for bringing food into their country. 20 million is 3x the number of people who were murdered by Hitler and his goons and the world said "Never Again", yet here we are watching this happen AGAIN.

3,000 Americans lost their lives on 9/11. Millions of people are experiencing their own 9/11 everyday, yet......
Libya has a strong slavery system again after Herheinous and Obomber destroyed the country. Iraq, Honduras, Ukraine, Nigeria and countless other countries were Millions upon millions of people are dead across the Middle East because of the bogus war of terror.

9/11 is going to be milked for all it can and it's going to be used as an excuse for the never ending illegal invasions. We should stop calling it war. War is when another country threatens us, not when we do it so that corporations can steal country's resources.

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20 users have voted.

I’m betting billionaires taste like chicken. More research required…
Someone should put together a new cookbook with this in mind.

snoopydawg's picture

and the one you wrote yesterday about veteran's day.

The Danger of the Sacred Soldier

The formula is as old as "Why do you hate the troops?" Donald Trump, surrounded by a series of ever-escalating scandals, pulled a classic "Look over here!" move and made Kaepernick's protest his hate cause of the week. His core argument: By taking a knee, Kaepernick was spitting not only on the anthem and the flag, but on US soldiers as well. This type of red-meat mob baiting is nothing new for Trump; during his presidential campaign, he declared that anyone caught burning the American flag should be stripped of their citizenship, despite the fact that such an action is expressly forbidden by the Constitution.

There it is, though, as always: the Sacred Soldier, nameless and faceless, used as both sword and shield against the enemies of power and the status quo. The genuinely grim part of this is not the fact that a sitting president would steal the valor of soldiers to save himself from criticism and scrutiny -- that number is older than rocks -- but is the astonishing number of otherwise-intelligent people who either can't or won't see this facile sham for what it is. Invoke the Sacred Soldier, and simple logic falls to dust.

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17 users have voted.

I’m betting billionaires taste like chicken. More research required…
Someone should put together a new cookbook with this in mind.

Big Al's picture

@snoopydawg It's become so over the top I can't believe anyone still believes it. It's almost childish in how it's presented now, robotic, Orwellian, and so obviously designed to promote nationalist pride for more war.
What a problem it's become now. We've become a nation of complete idiots.

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10 users have voted.
k9disc's picture

as the corporate media and the political Establishment makes it out to be, @Big Al .

Even the full throated party people don’t believe anything but what their tribal loyalty demands.

It is a tottering Potemkin reality; A Leaning Tower of Bullshit.

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11 users have voted.

“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

Strife Delivery's picture

The military has grown by leaps and bounds and the police, well, they aren't even the police anymore, it's an occupied fucking army, part of a military/police/Homeland security fascist state that will fuck you up in a New York minute if you don't OBEY. Shit, this century has been one morbid laugh a minute and the joke has been on us.

At times we have to wonder if people in this country actually want freedom and liberty.

Oh sure, they say they do but their actions speak louder than words. For whatever reason, Americans believe any lie that comes from up high.

ISIS has never taken any rights from us.
Al-Qaeda and the Taliban have never taken any rights from us.
Vietnam never took our rights.
Korea never took our rights.

There has only been one entity that has taken our rights away: our government. And yet people just accept that.

Look at the United State of America where three asshole billionaires have more wealth than the bottom 170 million people.

3 billionaires equal 50% of the population, jeez. I feel like a site should exist that tabulates the following idea:
Start at X number of billionaires required to equal 50% of population.
Then keep adding billionaires to see what percentage of the population they equal.
Example: 4 billionaires equal X% of population.
And so on.
3 billionaires equaling 50% is horrific. But what are 4 equal to? 5? 6?

Are any of our so called representatives stepping up and saying it has to stop NOW, that something has to be done NOW? Is the body politic of Congress and Senate, not to mention our President, doing something about this?

This almost feels chicken and egg. Do people inherently elect these type of politicians into power or do these type of people shape the population into what it wants it to be? I mean every person in Congress is the 1%. How many lawyers, business owners, doctors, etc. are elected into office there? What do these folk know about the problems in this country? The only time they mingle with the masses is for a photo op. Then they grab some hand sanitizer and douse themselves in their limo. In the end, if we still deal with a republic style of government, would be neat to elect a plumber, a fry cook, hell even an engineer over another CEO or lawyer.

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12 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

@Strife Delivery

Empire is certainly crashing in a colorful way. Certainly no surprise here. It's long been known that democracies and capitalism are incompatible — we've just never see it play out until now.

They say it's not really a failure if there is still something that can be learned from it.

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13 users have voted.
k9disc's picture

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2013/07/28/united-states-class-war-ine...


@Strife Delivery

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8 users have voted.

“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Strife Delivery

In the end, if we still deal with a republic style of government, would be neat to elect a plumber, a fry cook, hell even an engineer over another CEO or lawyer.

Don't forget to say "billionaire". The boss classes don't want you to, which is an ideal reason to use it as often as possible!

And we need a working-class Congress. Enough Members, in both houses, to over-ride a Presidential Veto should have received a significant pay raise upon election to Congress or the Senate. And any such Member should be immune to term limits, too.

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5 users have voted.

"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

@Strife Delivery

Great comment!

One caveat, though. The American people are presented with Party/donor/PTB-selected candidates to choose between, in a Two-Faced Corporate Party Trade-Off scam where citizen's votes are claimed to belong by right to one or the other of the two corporate parties, it being propagandized as being 'unpatriotic' to vote outside of these and in their own/public interest, no matter how obviously corrupt and destructive both Parties may be.

Elections are progressively more blatantly rigged by both parties, with massive gerrymandering and voter suppression long routine in the 'bad cop' party and now in the 'good cop' party as well - which States have no right to do to their residents, since the inalienable rights of American citizens are Constitutionally guaranteed in every State of the Union, but which is never addressed by the 'good cop' party even when in Federal government, with 'State's Rights' claimed to take precedent over those inalienable, guaranteed Constitutional rights of American citizens which supersede all else.

The States exist for the American people; the American people do not exist for the State. And the same goes for government, at all levels, with powers delegated by the people to public offices - not to individuals within, except as used for the public good.

Yet the corruption set in so early and was lately advanced so incrementally, that the people accept these abuses almost as though legitimate, especially when unconstitutional 'law' to their detriment is made by self-serving officials.

I strongly believe that people have to stop accepting culpability for corrupt officials and those behind the scenes pulling strings around the throat of the very concept of democracy when they have been used only to lend verisimilitude to electoral pretenses - and stop providing that cover by no longer voting for evil of any kind but instead for a party/candidates truly of, by and for the people and by no longer accepting the results of evident cheating or suspicious circumstances.

As Bernie has always said, change must come from the people, en masse. Otherwise, we're all fucked, and so is life on the planet.

Nation-wide strategic voting needs to be organized well in advance, if this is to be attempted, as must be citizen oversight of all electoral proceedings, especially with the electoral infrastructure having been captured by Homeland Security - with what seems to be remarkably little outcry by the States, or at least publicized. (Granted, I miss a lot, lol.)

But the default option is, of course, Americans passively letting themselves be ever more rapidly drained of what little remains to them, while the living world forming the global life support system is unrestrainedly industrially poisoned, strip-mined and bombed to death in this final looting phase.

It's stand and pacifically fight, or lie down and be steamrollered flat, as far as I can see.

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5 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Pluto's Republic's picture

@Ellen North

…in the US Constitution. There are a few half-baked rights in the Bill of Rights, but looking at the first four, for example, you can see that they can be regulated, distorted, revoked, or ignored at will. The people are intellectually lazy about this antique piece of paper and have allowed it to rule over them. It was written with slave owners (and corporations) in mind, and that's who it works for.

As Bernie has always said, change must come from the people, en masse. Otherwise, we're all fucked, and so is life on the planet.


The unfettered and uncontrolled population explosion has worked against the people, diluting their will and their ability to harmonize their thoughts. Stressing the planet and all of life. They are lost in their own bubbles in a giant pile of foam, and can no longer see the essential picture to "act." They can only "react" — so they are stuck with designated leaders. The real struggle is the war of the leaders and the systems they swim in.

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@Pluto's Republic

The propaganda implies that it applies, even if it is false advertising. Make the buggers at least admit that they've been pushing a falsehood when they talk about bombing people in multiple other countries into some great democracies for their own good - just as soon as the right corporations are installed to profiteer amid their disaster - and make at least some American's, despite the stripping of their rights, blatant corporate and political predation and militarized police with freaking tanks beating, stealing from, brutalizing and killing citizens without consequence, believe that they live in 'the world's greatest democracy' when people in other countries have been worried ever since Bush 2 about the citizens in the fascist state many don't realize they're in...

I'd be nervous about 'touristing' there, if I could afford to go.

Silly me, they'll never admit anything, even if they've already said it out loud in public...

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2 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Pluto's Republic's picture

[This comment relocated to a new essay]

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Strife Delivery A fair question, but another fair question would be: how do you expect the people of this country to overcome the largest and best-funded military in the world when our homes reside in their arsenal--which is all this country is, at this point. How are the 300 million in this country going to beat the best-funded and second-best equipped military in the world, a military which also has the help of 17 agencies of secret police, excuse me, intelligence agencies, who collect data on everything that's said and done, (although admittedly, after they collect it, they often don't have any idea how to find what would be useful to them in the big pile they've created. Still, as soon as anyone steps into the light and takes action, they know exactly where to look.) Add in the cute fact that this is a military with weaponry that can kill, in fact is designed to kill, at a great distance, large numbers of people with lesser weaponry, or no weaponry at all, and the idea of some kind of populist rebellion with Americans banging away at the government with guns they bought at the gun show, even if those guns are military weaponry, reveals itself as the farce that it is.

Your AK-47 isn't going to do shit against some government operative walking into your city with a suitcase of drones, which people in a basement in North Virginia or Southern Maryland will then pilot into various locations and blow you and possibly anybody unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time to smithereens. Nor will your shotgun help you when they turn on the LRAD and you're writhing around on the ground bleeding from the eardrums. Or when they use weaponized microwave, or any of a dozen other shitty things they have. And that's if they're interested in preserving some of the buildings and physical infrastructure. And it's ignoring the other army that's quartered upon us, the artists formerly known as the police.

Talk about how Americans "don't want to be free" might have been applicable in 1968, when I was born, or in the early 70s when they re-elected Nixon, or in the 80s when they elected Reagan twice. That's a long, long time ago. For at least twenty-five years, it hasn't mattered whether we want to be free or not. For those of us 50 or under, that means that by the time we turned 25, it was all over. The oldest of us had seven, maybe eight years to stop this shit from happening. Blame us for the crap if you want, I suppose, but it's a hell of a thing at 18 years old to have seven or eight years to stop a bunch of already-entrenched global tyrants with a well-defined plan that they made when you were a toddler, seemingly endless resources, and all the advantages over you. Yeah, just hand me my high-school diploma and I'll get right on that.

What it comes down to is that the shittiest people in the Greatest Generation, Silent Generation, and Boomer generation defeated the people in those generations who had a moral compass. Those of you from those generations who are among the defeated really should stop blaming yourselves. You fought the good fight against J Edgar Fucking Hoover and J Gordon Liddy and Lee Atwater and Nixon and the people worse than Nixon who cut their teeth in his administration, and eventually turned into the Reagan and Bush administrations (both of them)--essentially American fascists with the aim of creating a police state who had most of the richest people in America on their side because boo hoo, the majority of the American people decided to have a policy of paying Black people the same amount as white people, and also thought that maybe big business should clean up the poison it regularly dumps into the water and the air. The government went along with those aims (watered down, admittedly) and didn't give Big Business everything it wanted. Dear God! The world is coming to an end! The Commies are winning! The American business world as we know it is finished! Clearly this representative government idea needs to be shot in the head, tout suite.

So they shot it in the head, and replaced it with this farce.

There was a time when the American people could have stopped them. That time is called 1968-1994, and I'm being generous in my estimate of that window for action (it may have been over by the time the Clinton wing consolidated their control over the Democratic party between 1984 and 1992.) Since then, there's been nothing we can do politically or legally, because they control politics and the courts (they also control most of the media, which is a great help in controlling politics). Like a lot of people, the fact that I couldn't do anything didn't begin to dawn on me until 2010. By 2011, it was obvious, not only to me, but to a lot of other people, which was why Occupy happened. It's also why Standing Rock happened. The system cheerfully showed us what would happen to movements who tried those tactics, and here we are.

At this point, people blame the American people or American culture because it hurts too much to accept the fact that we're trapped and American culture is, for the most part dead, having served as host to a terrible parasite that's going to destroy human life on this planet (it's fair to say that American culture has sins and flaws that made it particularly susceptible to that parasite, but that is not the same as saying American culture and the parasite are identical. Obviously, they aren't, since American culture is dying everywhere one looks.) Unfortunately, accepting that we're trapped is the necessary precondition for taking any meaningful action, however contradictory that sounds, because you can't base meaningful action on a lie. So people keep blaming "the American people," or "America" (which hardly even exists anymore--who the hell thinks nation-states are the major players anymore?)or "American culture," because that's easier than dealing with this murderous puppet show we're living in.

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12 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Strife Delivery's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

A fair question, but another fair question would be: how do you expect the people of this country to overcome the largest and best-funded military in the world when our homes reside in their arsenal--which is all this country is, at this point.

I guess I didn't know where these two paragraphs (took out the chunk I'm going to discuss for brevity) came from in regards to my post but I'll still give it a go.

I mean violence would definitely be...well problematic to say the least. The only hope would be that military personnel would defect (some percentage) in realizing what is happening to the nation. Some would stay...somehow defending the nation? from its own citizens. Then of course we would probably have mercenaries coming in to replace the soldiers who defect.

But there is also economic means, such as nationwide strike or nationwide halting of consumerism which well in this country probably won't happen.

Talk about how Americans "don't want to be free" might have been applicable in 1968, when I was born, or in the early 70s when they re-elected Nixon, or in the 80s when they elected Reagan twice. That's a long, long time ago. For at least twenty-five years, it hasn't mattered whether we want to be free or not. For those of us 50 or under, that means that by the time we turned 25, it was all over. The oldest of us had seven, maybe eight years to stop this shit from happening. Blame us for the crap if you want, I suppose, but it's a hell of a thing at 18 years old to have seven or eight years to stop a bunch of already-entrenched global tyrants with a well-defined plan that they made when you were a toddler, seemingly endless resources, and all the advantages over you. Yeah, just hand me my high-school diploma and I'll get right on that.

This issue isn't whether or not we want to be free, the reality is that we don't. I mean I'm not blaming you specifically? I mean this has roots decades before either of us were born (such as with Eugene Debs long ago). Look after 9/11. I was like 11 so I wasn't following politics, but there didn't seem to be this huge contingent of people who were trying to stop the gutting of our rights. People gladly nodded and said "take our rights away to keep us 'safe'". Again the issue isn't whether or not we want -- from my view people just don't. I mean this was the commies in the 30's and 40's, the Cold War commies, then terrorists, then more terrorists, and now terrorists mixed with Russia/China/Iran/North Korea. There is a pattern here. But, again, I'm not saying that out of high school you should have had a plan or something.

What it comes down to is that the shittiest people in the Greatest Generation, Silent Generation, and Boomer generation defeated the people in those generations who had a moral compass. Those of you from those generations who are among the defeated really should stop blaming yourselves.

Yeah there definitely is significant merit to this. A lot of our problems of today gained roots during the power moments of the aforementioned generations. Those people (not everyone in the generation) but those people truly doomed us all. They gutted not only our government programs but also the concept regarding the institution of government. They gut so much but as they got older they demanded everything stay the same for them. Keep Medicare the same now but you can gut it after I'm dead phenomenon (too lazy to go and hyphen each word for grammatical accuracy).

There was a time when the American people could have stopped them. That time is called 1968-1994, and I'm being generous in my estimate of that window for action (it may have been over by the time the Clinton wing consolidated their control over the Democratic party between 1984 and 1992.)

I might shift the 68 a few decades back there, perhaps even more so. I say that because that was one of the strongest currents for change. It was the fork in the road for the country. FDR's reign was similar to how Obama did his reign with facing a fork in the road. What they inevitably chose was quite different.

Our country had 3 choices: Do nothing, save capitalism, or change the system. FDR saved capitalism and Obama did nothing. The reason FDR saved capitalism was because of the rising discontent from the masses who had the dreaded "s" word on their lips: socialism. I do wonder how the next 70 something years might have looked if we didn't save capitalism and tried something else back then.

At this point, people blame the American people or American culture because it hurts too much to accept the fact that we're trapped and American culture is, for the most part dead, having served as host to a terrible parasite that's going to destroy human life on this planet (it's fair to say that American culture has sins and flaws that made it particularly susceptible to that parasite, but that is not the same as saying American culture and the parasite are identical. Obviously, they aren't, since American culture is dying everywhere one looks.) Unfortunately, accepting that we're trapped is the necessary precondition for taking any meaningful action, however contradictory that sounds, because you can't base meaningful action on a lie. So people keep blaming "the American people," or "America" (which hardly even exists anymore--who the hell thinks nation-states are the major players anymore?)or "American culture," because that's easier than dealing with this murderous puppet show we're living in.

I often go after our culture and the people because it has been what has bred our current predicament. I mean, how many people would even acknowledge that we are trapped? Yes, they feel a squeeze but do they know why? No, they say it is because of Muslims, or Mexicans, or the gays, or kneeling at football games, or cultural appropriation, or on and on and on. Murderous puppet show, absolutely. But Americans refuse to acknowledge that America is the greatest threat not only to peace but to the survival of the human race. Americans keep seeing their country as the good guys, spreading democracy and God and hot dogs. Every monstrous act is justified by its people. They aren't outraged. You can make the claim regarding Vietnam, but the case I would make after it isn't so much regarding the atrocities of Vietnam it is because they forced people to go. Considering now how people shrug at what we do in the Middle East and I believe there is some merit to it. In one sense, the anti-war movement wasn't as much as protesting the atrocities, it was just don't make ME go do it. You have people like Ted Cruz who say turn the Middle East radioactive and the desert glass and folks either shrug or cheer. Not outrage or "holy shit that guy is crazy get him off stage". How many times do we hear "just nuke North Korea" or "just nuke the Middle East and be done with it." Just a complete and utter disregard for human life. And people shrug or cheer. This isn't a nation of terrified people living under an oppressive government, of people who understand and are disgusted with the atrocities. This is a nation of people each on their own "high" under an oppressive government, of people who either don't care or cheer at our atrocities. That high can be booze, drugs, mindless and endless consumerism, food, spectator entertainment,and on and on.

In the end, our nation is one part Brave New World, one part 1984, and one part Kafka. Shaken, not stirred. Pour into a nice glass and slowly sip.

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7 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

That's a great comment, @Strife Delivery

I thought I had this one nailed, but you carve even closer to the bone and reveal more of what should be seen.

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1 user has voted.
lotlizard's picture

@Strife Delivery  
Our would-be leaders talk about how things would be better if only there were more and better democrats in the Knesset, or if only the Likud had more enlightened leaders, or if only some rhetorically more leftish party would gain ground.

In reality, of course, for the 99% just as with the folks in Gaza and the West Bank, the whole system and its founding ideas were rigged against them and designed to dispossess them from Day One.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@lotlizard

The US Slaver's Constitution is a doomsday device.

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1 user has voted.
Lookout's picture

The culture of war is a celebration of death, which is what President Trump is promoting and which we must confront, argues Vijay Prashad at the Code Pink Summit (video and text)
http://therealnews.com/t2/story:20321:Vijay-Prashad%3A-%27The-Only-Way-t...

Yesterday Mark from queens recommended a documentary about NSA technical director Bill Binney, A Good American (it's on Netflix). After watching it I realized this guy is a technical whiz. That gives even greater credibility to his claim the DNC was not hacked...it had to be a leak.
CIA Director Pompeo met with William Binney, a former National Security Agency official-turned-whistleblower. Binney and the other former officials argue that the DNC data was “leaked,” not hacked, “by a person with physical access” to the DNC’s computer system.
https://theintercept.com/2017/11/07/dnc-hack-trump-cia-director-william-...
Binney speaks for himself (15 min)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7J2DdiXM9Q

So to my mind we have essentially proof positive there was no hack it was a leak...but there is still this push that "Russia did it!". So much so that we sanction the country and require their news outlet to register as a foreign agent. We are blind fools herded by a corrupt corporate media which constantly beats the war drum.

Our ignorance may deliver someone bliss, but it ain't me.

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13 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

CS in AZ's picture

and speaks to exactly what has been on my mind.

Excellent music choices and quotes too. Thanks for being here.

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10 users have voted.
mimi's picture

has signed a policy document for EU Defense Union. The EU has taken a first step towards defense union. Many states approved a policy document setting out conditions and obligations.
Grundsatzdokument für EU-Verteidigungsunion ist unterzeichnet

A number of member states of the European Union (EU) have committed themselves to a far-reaching common European defense policy. Foreign and Defense Ministers from a majority of the 28 EU countries signed a statement during a ceremony at their meeting in Brussels, expressing their commitment to continued cooperation in this area. The objectives are joint arms projects and the development of EU-wide available units and capacities.

The statement includes the so-called Pesco Notification Note - the abbreviation stands for "Permanent Structured Cooperation", under which the new military pact is summarized. It contains 20 conditions for participation, including a commitment to regularly increasing defense spending. 20 percent of this is to flow into new acquisitions to fill capacity gaps. In addition, Pesco members undertake to provide "substantial support" in the form of troops and materials for EU missions abroad.

The notification document has signed 23 of the 28 Member States. Definitely not included are Denmark and Great Britain, Ireland, Poland and Portugal have not yet decided definitively. On the other hand, it was said from Vienna that now also the government of the actually neutral Austria wants to participate in the defense union. Any laggards within the EU may also follow beyond the official decision-making date in mid-December. Third countries can also be involved on a case-by-case basis.

"A historical step"

The first joint projects will be selected for the official pesco launch in December. To date, 15 Member States have made 47 proposals. Germany is calling for a medical task force, a network of logistics hubs and a joint officer training. Participation in Pesco had already been decided by the Federal Government in October.

Federal Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel called the agreement a "historic step" and a "milestone in European development". The SPD politician expects savings on armaments projects, which would then be implemented jointly and not nationally. The reduction and consolidation of currently almost 180 different weapons systems is "a contribution to more efficiency and a sensible spending policy". After all, European military spending was 50 percent of the US - with only 15 percent of the effect.

Europe's answer to Donald Trump:

The plans for a common defense policy date back to 1954 and the foundation of the European Defense Community (ECG). However, the former members were unable to achieve a common army - also out of consideration for NATO. Until the millennium, such a project was no longer an issue. Thereafter, however, there were always new, if not very powerful attempts. Although already in 2005 joint EU combat groups with up to 3,000 soldiers were founded - they came from the dispute over financing but never before. In the spring, the EU got a military headquarters for the first time, but so far only for training assignments abroad.

Pesco is one of three new approaches, alongside the European Defense Fund for Joint Armaments projects and systematic coordination of national spending plans. The member states are a long way from a genuine defense union or even an EU army. Defense remains national competence. The EU also emphasizes that it only wants to be complementary to NATO and in no way replace it.

But the main thing is the close cooperation in response to Donald Trump. The EU member states fear that the US is increasingly turning away from Europe under its new president. Federal Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) said on the sidelines of the meeting in Brussels: "It was important for us, just after the election of the American president, to establish ourselves as Europeans." Europe itself must be in a position to solve possible security problems with neighboring regions themselves, demanded by the Leyen.

Hmm, I am a know-nothing, but if that European Defense Union will take off and have some meaning, how can there not be a competition between them and the NATO? I hope the EU has the guts to be anti-war and peace promoting and not become a lackey to the NATO.

Someone tell me what all this means. Thanks. And yes, Big Al, a righteous rant well done.

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5 users have voted.

"History is what the present chooses to remember" - Carl Becker

@mimi @mimi

I'm kinda wondering if they're worried about defending themselves from the US in the future, since once the still-corporate-independent countries are captured, the self-interests running the US will start eyeing the countries controlled by EU self-interests and which countries are required to complete the full set for Global Dominance by specifically the US PTB.

We know that's coming, as global full dominance by US PTB has always been the aim, it just hasn't been advertised yet, as those controlled by international banksters and the like can wait until the rest of us have been utterly subjugated.

Edit: drat, saw a letter typo while still 'waiting for' the site and thought I'd caught it in time to fix it first. Still had to wait, too, lol.

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4 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

mimi's picture

@Ellen North

I'm kinda wondering if they're worried about defending themselves from the US in the future,

On the one side, I would be happy to see the EU standing up against the US PTB and their global military dominance to feed their corporate profits, on the other hand I fear the consequences of such imagined anti-US revolt by the EU. Who wants that kind of wwIII. Then it looks like as if the EU just wants to "help" the US PTB to be more efficient and the EU joining in US foreign policy and its military actions. Which one is it?

I can't keep up with it and am confused and can't sleep.

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2 users have voted.

"History is what the present chooses to remember" - Carl Becker

@mimi

If all countries stood up in unison to the US PTB as not being a legitimate democratic government but a fascist threat, refused to trade with them and retaliated in unison the next time any country was attacked, with sneaky, non-violent US regime change for independent international trials of all guilty officials for war and other crimes and supervised legitimately fair elections for a bit, we could all have a happy ending beginning.

OK, I'm dreaming unicorn fantasies again...

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3 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

@mimi

I'm kinda wondering if they're worried about defending themselves from the US in the future, since once the still-corporate-independent countries are captured, the self-interests running the US will start eyeing the countries controlled by EU self-interests and which countries are required to complete the full set for Global Dominance by specifically the US PTB.

We know that's coming, as global full dominance by US PTB has always been the aim, it just hasn't been advertised yet, as those controlled by international banksters and the like can wait until the rest of us have been utterly subjugated.

up
4 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.