Archives for category: social responsibility

16 September 2017 updated article HERE

 

The entire sand-castle (a product of Obama CIA Director John Brennan’s imagination) the “Russians hacked the election” is finally washing away with an incoming tide. How this plays out is anyone’s guess.

The open question is, how the new information will be leveraged, if it were to actually break into the open widely, with the bad boy Trump essentially captured by the surreal evil that surrounds him. Other than pure evil (e.g. Pence), only a narcissist or a fool would ever desire to be president of this particular republic. In ‘The Donald’, we have both.

1 August 2017 an audio tape is leaked in which Seymour Hersh states the FBI knows it was Seth Rich leaked the DNC mails:

“What the [FBI] report says is that some time in late Spring… he makes contact with WikiLeaks, that’s in his computer. Anyway, they found what he had done is that he had submitted a series of documents — of emails, of juicy emails, from the DNC” -Seymour Hersh

On 9 August 2017 The Nation magazine publishes a column on a group of independent experts…

“Forensic investigators, intelligence analysts, system designers, program architects, and computer scientists of long experience and strongly credentialed are now producing evidence disproving the official version of key events last year”

…demonstrating the DNC mails were leaked, not hacked.

On 18 August 2017 Antiwar.com reports Congressman Dana  Rohrabacher has met with Assange concerning the DNC mails and [the article] further credibly suggests Assange is holding the DNC leak evidence hostage as a bargaining chip to possibly acquire a pardon for himself and leverage wikileaks into legitimacy with a President of the United States who at this point is owned by the USA’s intelligence agencies, a hare-brained scheme destined to fail. Assange & company waited too long.

But this would fit Julian Assange’s self-centered, persecuted-savior complex which never ceases to amaze, this guy (as well, Craig Murray) has allowed the idiots surrounding Trump to push us towards the brink with Russia, for months. All because Assange is tired of his embassy confinement in London, a circumstance that is entirely his own fault for the fact he didn’t have the self-discipline to keep his dick in his pants (whether Assange’s admitted intercourse was a case of rape or not.)

What’s more is, this blog pointed to strong circumstantial evidence it was Seth Rich leaked the DNC mails this past January, and recalling this, it still stretches the imagination a former UK ambassador would make an amateur espionage move worthy of a cub scout playing spy. But that’s what Craig Murray had done in the case of the DNC emails leaked to WikiLeaks.

Seymour Hersh states Seth Rich is the source of the DNC mails. Craig Murray states he had met with the source of the DNC mails. A + B = C:

Craig Murray met with Seth Rich

That Murray would be a high value target for American counter-intelligence to monitor for the reason of his high profile association with WikiLeaks is beyond obvious. For Murray then to state

murray_wikileaks-1

“I know who leaked them. I’ve met the person who leaked them, and they are certainly not Russian and it’s an insider. It’s a leak, not a hack; the two are different things”

…goes to the practically bizarre when coming from a former United Kingdom ambassador to Uzbekistan. The UK is little different to the USA in the case of embassies providing cover for spies; in which case Murray should at least have some rudimentary espionage understanding such as YOU DO NOT MEET YOUR SOURCE DIRECTLY WHEN YOU ARE A HIGH PROFILE TARGET OF YOUR ADVERSARY’S COUNTER-INTELLIGENCE HUNTING YOUR (in this case, WikiLeaks) SOURCE(S)

Then, we had WikiLeak’s Assange giving what amounts to a ‘Glomar’ ‘I will neither confirm or deny’ response concerning the murder (assassination) of Seth Rich after appearing to suggest Rich was the source of the DNC emails leak:

Beyond this, WikiLeaks offering a $20,000 reward for the solving of the Seth Rich murder is laughable, that’s what an American west coast upscale community would offer for the arrest of a serial killer of the neighborhood’s cats. Two million dollars might get two seconds’ attention of a corruptible counter-intelligence agent with knowledge of a professional hit on Seth Rich, twenty million might even net an inside the agency sucker willing to take the exceedingly high risk to one’s life (almost certain death) that would attend selling out an agency hit man for substantial lucre. In truth, the WikiLeaks reward offer amounted to little more than a tabloid publicity stunt.

Narcissism is a blinding thing; and a self-righteous narcissism is no exception. Ambassador Murray could have every good intention but on the face of it, he had seriously screwed up. Murray and WikiLeaks should have immediately come clean, there was little to lose. Seth Rich was the source, Murray had met with him, and much could have been gained by stating so; there would be nothing given up any intelligence agency involved did not already know. It have been the right thing to do.

Craig Murray stating ‘I had a serious lapse of professional judgement and this resulted in the death of Seth Rich’ would be the most responsible and newsworthy move WikiLeaks could have taken; to counter the CIA’s ‘the Russians hacked the DNC’ propaganda lie, in which there is much invested by the agency; and the consequent damage to relations with Russia, and growing threat to what little world peace yet exists, is immense. WikiLeaks should have done the right thing a long time ago and they have not. Why not? Because Assange and WikiLeaks believes Assange’s comfort is more important than world peace. What fucks. This is beyond inexcusable, it’s criminal. But for Murray, there’s more at stake here than just a hit to ego & image.

Murray’s likely role in the DNC leaks case? A personal meeting with Rich to confirm for WikiLeaks Seth Rich was a bona fide insider with authentic material prior to a WikiLeaks cash payment to Rich and arrangements completed for the mails transfer.

Now, it is a question of ‘damned if you do and damned if you don’t’ release the evidence because WikiLeaks waited too long, and let the criminals surrounding Trump consolidate their power while investing deeply in the myth of the Russians hacked the election; a criminal cabal that will up the ante on the world stage to any level necessary to avoid accountability. WikiLeaks Idiots. WikiLeaks Morons.

Meanwhile, Murray subsequently barred from the United States (except that he applies for a visa, typically unnecessary for a British citizen) appears to have been, in a  manner of speaking, a deep state message to Murray: ‘thank you very much for the lapse of judgement, we have taken full advantage with the assassination of Seth Rich and we won’t be requiring your services after this’ (he’d be smart to stay away.)

The really sticky problem for WikiLeaks in this scenario is, Seymour Hersh asserts in the  recorded call WikiLeaks had paid Rich for the leaked documents, damaging or reducing to element of pretense WikiLeaks claims of journalism & providing rationale for deep state prosecutors & judges to find this had been straightforward espionage. But they won’t do it if the Rich-Murray meeting stays buried, a LOT is invested in ‘the Russians did it’ for the public consumption. If it DOES break open, Murray’s ‘goose is cooked.’ It’s now not only WikiLeaks problem in a larger sense, but Murray’s, whether he does or doesn’t admit the assassinated Seth Rich had been the DNC mails source.

Murray’s reputation? C’est la mort.

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Related:

Agent Assange

Litmus Test

WikiLeaks & Spy Agencies

 

Truth is seldom pure and never simple -Oscar Wilde

I’d tacked the Oscar Wilde quote onto my preceding post on Charlottesville as an afterthought. Then, having thought about Wilde’s maxim, considering his dialect and 19th Century literary period, today he might have rather modified his short statement, in effect, ‘Truth is seldom clean and never simple.’

Since, I’ve read both; Glen Ford’s pointing to the USA founded as a racist state; Trump’s protestations of ‘where does it end’ with removing American monuments; so called ‘scholars‘ disputing Trump’s equating General Lee with General Washington; and finally, I’ve read the letter of Stonewall Jackson’s great, great grandsons, Jack and Warren Christian, natives of Richmond, Virginia.

Prior to my conclusions, allow me to inform you all; I am eligible to belong to the fraternal order “Sons of the Confederate Veterans.” In fact, if they had a ‘noble line’ of descent from the families of the old ‘southern aristocracy’, I would certainly qualify.

According to remote memory, family oral history & genealogy (I had been briefed on these in distant past, and am not intimately familiar with the material), if I recall events correctly, my own great, great grandfather was a casualty of the war, while serving in the Southern military. This orphaned my great grandfather who had been taken in by cousins; these migrated to California some years after the war, I seem to recall from the vicinity of Texarkana, Texas. As a not very interested adolescent, I may have this history transposed and it was an orphaned cousin traveled to California with my ancestor. Either way, I am informed we are somehow related to a Captain Daniel of the 9th Texas artillery or Daniel’s Battery of the Confederacy’s Trans-Mississippi Department, although this last may have no direct bearing on my ancestry, I just don’t know. What I do know is, my great grandfather’s surname was “Daniel” (no ‘s’ at the end of the family’s name) and descended from one of the ‘first’ families of Virginia, or as Wikipedia puts it “a [Virginia] family of old colonial heritage.” In any case, this last is not a distant memory’s conjecture on my part, but had been clear, I’m informed I am descended via a Confederate veteran of the Civil War who was of this ‘Daniel’ family; via my maternal line.

Now, for those unfamiliar with arcane American history, I will give example of this highly educated, southern aristocratic family’s progeny: my relative, the Virginian Peter Vivian Daniel, was author of a concurring opinion in the 1857 decision Dred Scott v Sandford in which he stated:

“the African negro race never have been acknowledged as belonging to the family of nations”

Beyond this seeming remote history (I was in Vietnam when the California branch of the Daniel family held a big reunion, drawing more than 1,000 extended family, mostly educated professionals) I can give up a couple of embarrassing family secrets, one of them pretty bad. If it weren’t bad enough one of my great uncles had been named Forrest, for Nathan Bedford Forrest, whose troops murdered en mass the captured Black Union soldiers at Ft Pillow, one of my great aunts (I had many, so her identity is not in danger) once gave me the original lyric to a certain (in)famous slave auction block ditty or southern nursery rhyme:

Enee, Meany, Miney, Moe
Catch a nigger by the toe
If he hollers
Make him pay
With fifty lashes
Every day

My-mother-told-me-to-choose-the-very-best-one

Fortunately, I was not so deeply immersed in these attitudes to prevent mental escape and, had a wider exposure to our world. Although it never crossed my mind to apply for membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans, I’d now looked and found lingering influence of a White slant to history, as later I’d read “Lee’s Lieutenants” (several large volumes), a “Robert E Lee Reader” and much more. All of this history has a White slant, regardless of whether the author was a Southern or Northern partisan. I should have read Frederick Douglass but I didn’t. My interest in those days had been primarily martial, not social. What I now understand is, for many, the war and the slave owning South are not exactly remote events. Particularly for Black people with Jim Crow only recently off their back, and, it would seem, for those many Whites who cling to White supremacy as a god-given right to White people.

Going to my amended statement of Oscar Wilde where ‘Truth is seldom clean and never simple”, my take on Trump versus Glen Ford is, both have it right but Ford’s truth is ‘cleaner.’ Trump equates General Lee with General Washington as unequivocal American heroes, whereas Glen Ford equates General Lee with General Washington as racists serving the cause of White supremacy. In the USA founding document, where a ‘negro’ is worth 3/5 of a White Man according to Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3 of the United States Constitution…

“Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons” (in effect, Black people)

…according to our founding document, Glen Ford has it right. The USA was founded as a racist state based on “White privilege”

This recalls the ‘scholars’, one of whom stated:

[the monuments] “force us to contemplate the centrality of slavery to the making of the nation,” said Gregory Downs, a history professor at the University of California, Davis who studies the impact of the Civil War on the United States. But he also said the difference between the nation’s first president, George Washington, and then [sic] man who sought to secede from the nation, Robert E. Lee, isn’t complicated.

“It is obvious that traitors in arms to the nation are not equivalent to those who created it,” he said”

Pardon me Mr Gregory Downs, but both men sought to perpetrate slavery by the willful acts of their own volition in a civic context. How is a man, General Washington, who sought to found a nation (United States of America) perpetrating slavery, any different than a man, General Lee, who sought to found a nation (Confederate States of America) perpetrating slavery? This is not a case of comparing apples to oranges.

I expect there’d be many who would join a new organization called “Dissident Sons of the Confederacy” or even “Dissident Sons of the Revolution.” Maybe there is some handful of motivated persons out there would be interested to invest in such an endeavor. Perhaps they will stumble across this blog post. Meanwhile, my hat is off to Stonewall Jackson’s great, great grandsons Jack and Warren Christian, and particularly, my hat is off to Glen Ford at Black Agenda Report.

Full text of the letter by Jack and Warren Christian:

Dear Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and members of the Monument Avenue Commission,

We are native Richmonders and also the great-great-grandsons of Stonewall Jackson. As two of the closest living relatives to Stonewall, we are writing today to ask for the removal of his statue, as well as the removal of all Confederate statues from Monument Avenue. They are overt symbols of racism and white supremacy, and the time is long overdue for them to depart from public display. Overnight, Baltimore has seen fit to take this action. Richmond should, too.

In making this request, we wish to express our respect and admiration for Mayor Stoney’s leadership while also strongly disagreeing with his claim that “removal of symbols does [nothing] for telling the actual truth [nor] changes the state and culture of racism in this country today.” In our view, the removal of the Jackson statue and others will necessarily further difficult conversations about racial justice. It will begin to tell the truth of us all coming to our senses.

Last weekend, Charlottesville showed us unequivocally that Confederate statues offer pre-existing iconography for racists. The people who descended on Charlottesville last weekend were there to make a naked show of force for white supremacy. To them, the Robert E. Lee statue is a clear symbol of their hateful ideology. The Confederate statues on Monument Avenue are, too—especially Jackson, who faces north, supposedly as if to continue the fight.

We are writing to say that we understand justice very differently from our grandfather’s grandfather, and we wish to make it clear his statue does not represent us.

Through our upbringing and education, we have learned much about Stonewall Jackson. We have learned about his reluctance to fight and his teaching of Sunday School to enslaved peoples in Lexington, Virginia, a potentially criminal activity at the time. We have learned how thoughtful and loving he was toward his family. But we cannot ignore his decision to own slaves, his decision to go to war for the Confederacy, and, ultimately, the fact that he was a white man fighting on the side of white supremacy.

While we are not ashamed of our great-great-grandfather, we are ashamed to benefit from white supremacy while our black family and friends suffer. We are ashamed of the monument.

In fact, instead of lauding Jackson’s violence, we choose to celebrate Stonewall’s sister—our great-great-grandaunt—Laura Jackson Arnold. As an adult Laura became a staunch Unionist and abolitionist. Though she and Stonewall were incredibly close through childhood, she never spoke to Stonewall after his decision to support the Confederacy. We choose to stand on the right side of history with Laura Jackson Arnold.

We are ashamed to benefit from white supremacy while our black family and friends suffer. We are ashamed of the monument.

Confederate monuments like the Jackson statue were never intended as benign symbols. Rather, they were the clearly articulated artwork of white supremacy. Among many examples, we can see this plainly if we look at the dedication of a Confederate statue at the University of North Carolina, in which a speaker proclaimed that the Confederate soldier “saved the very life of the Anglo-Saxon race in the South.” Disturbingly, he went on to recount a tale of performing the “pleasing duty” of “horse whipping” a black woman in front of federal soldiers. All over the South, this grotesque message is conveyed by similar monuments. As importantly, this message is clear to today’s avowed white supremacists.

There is also historical evidence that the statues on Monument Avenue were rejected by black Richmonders at the time of their construction. In the 1870s, John Mitchell, a black city councilman, called the monuments a tribute to “blood and treason” and voiced strong opposition to the use of public funds for building them. Speaking about the Lee Memorial, he vowed that there would come a time when African Americans would “be there to take it down.”

Ongoing racial disparities in incarceration, educational attainment, police brutality, hiring practices, access to health care, and, perhaps most starkly, wealth, make it clear that these monuments do not stand somehow outside of history. Racism and white supremacy, which undoubtedly continue today, are neither natural nor inevitable. Rather, they were created in order to justify the unjustifiable, in particular slavery.

One thing that bonds our extended family, besides our common ancestor, is that many have worked, often as clergy and as educators, for justice in their communities. While we do not purport to speak for all of Stonewall’s kin, our sense of justice leads us to believe that removing the Stonewall statue and other monuments should be part of a larger project of actively mending the racial disparities that hundreds of years of white supremacy have wrought. We hope other descendants of Confederate generals will stand with us.

As cities all over the South are realizing now, we are not in need of added context. We are in need of a new context—one in which the statues have been taken down.

Respectfully,
William Jackson Christian
Warren Edmund Christian
Great-great-grandsons of Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson

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Excellent commentary by Glen Ford at Black Agenda Report. Much of what he writes about is detailed across a spectrum of political alignments (including this f**k all politics blog.) To read the original at Black Agenda Report, click HERE

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The various organs of the Deep State, including the corporate media, work hard to convince the public that the Deep State does not exist. (Kind of like that story about the Devil.) In fact, the Deep State runs the show. “The truth is that an oligarchy rules, and makes war on whomever it chooses — internationally and domestically — for the benefit of corporate capital.” It has neutralized a sitting president, less than two months in office.

The U.S. Deep State Rules – On Behalf of the Ruling Class

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

“The U.S. Deep State is unlike any other, in that there is no other global superpower bent on world domination.”

The Deep State is busy denying that it exists, even as it savages a sitting president and brutally bitch-slaps its host society, demanding the nation embrace its role as global psycho thug and kick some Russian ass. The New York Times, always available to divert attention from the essential facts of who rules America, points to Egypt, Turkey and Pakistan as the natural habitats of Deep States. Apparently, Deep State-infected countries tend to be nations with majority Muslim populations, whose military-intelligence apparatus hovers over society and periodically seizes control of the civil government.

The Times quoted high-ranking operatives of the Deep State to prove that such structures are alien to the U.S. Michael V. Hayden, who ran the CIA under Democratic President Obama and Republican George Bush, recoiled at the term. He “would never use” the words Deep State in connection with his own country. “That’s a phrase we’ve used for Turkey and other countries like that, but not the American republic.”

Loren DeJonge Schulman, a former Obama National Security Council official, claimed to be repelled by the very idea of an American Deep State. “A deep state, when you’re talking about Turkey or Egypt or other countries, that’s part of government or people outside of government that are literally controlling the direction of the country no matter who’s actually in charge, and probably engaging in murder and other corrupt practices,” she said.

Apparently, Deep State-infected countries tend to be nations with majority Muslim populations, whose military-intelligence apparatus hovers over society and periodically seizes control of the civil government.”

Apparently, Ms. Schulman did not consider it murder when Obama and his top national security advisors met every Tuesday at the White House to decide who would be assassinated by drone or other means. But she is “shocked” to hear “that kind of [Deep State-phobic] thinking from” President Trump “or the people closest to him.”

Once the Times had located the nexus of Deep Statism in the Muslim world, the lesser lights at The New Yorker endorsed the corporate media consensus that the U.S. is Deep State-free. Staff writer David Remnick admits that U.S. presidents “have felt resistance, or worse, from elements in the federal bureaucracies,” citing Eisenhower’s warnings against the military-industrial complex, Lyndon Johnson’s “pressure from the Pentagon,” and the “rebuke” of Obama’s Syria policy through the State Department’s “dissent channel.” However, he denies that any “subterranean web of common and nefarious purpose” threatens the orderly and transparent processes of the U.S. political system.

In reality, the U.S. Deep State is by far the world’s biggest and most dangerous version of the phenomenon; a monstrous and not-so subterranean “web of common and nefarious purpose” that is, by definition, truly global, since its goal is to rule the planet. Indeed, the Deep States of Turkey, Egypt and Pakistan — all nominal U.S. allies – are midgets in comparison and must operate in a global environment dominated by Washington’s Deep State apparatus. So vast is the imperial Deep State, that its counterparts in other nations exist largely to collaborate with, resist, or keep tabs on the U.S. behemoth, the predator that seeks to devour all the rest.

“The U.S. Deep State is by far the world’s biggest and most dangerous version of the phenomenon; a monstrous and not-so subterranean ‘web of common and nefarious purpose’ that is, by definition, truly global.”

What is a Deep State? The U.S. Deep State is unlike any other, in that there is no other global superpower bent on world domination. (Washington’s political posture is also unique; no other nation claims to be “exceptional” and “indispensable” and thus not subject to the constraints of international law and custom.) Indeed, the U.S. is so proudly and publicly imperialist that much of what should be secret information about U.S. military and other capabilities is routinely fed to the world press, such as the 2011 announcement that the U.S. now has a missile that can hit any target on the planet in 30 minutes, part of the Army’s “Prompt Global Strike” program. Frightening the rest of the world into submission — a form of global terrorism — is U.S. public policy.

However, arming and training Islamic jihadist terrorists to subvert internationally recognized governments targeted by the U.S. for regime change is more than your usual variety of covert warfare: It is a policy that must forever be kept secret, because U.S. society would suffer a political breakdown if the facts of U.S. and Saudi nurturing of the international jihadist network were ever fully exposed. This is Deep State stuff of the highest order. The true nature of U.S. foreign policy in the 21st century, and the real character of the current wars in Syria and Iraq, must be hidden from the U.S. public at all cost. An alternative reality must be presented, through daily collaboration between corporate media, corporate universities, and the public and covert organs of the U.S. State.

“U.S. society would suffer a political breakdown if the facts of U.S. and Saudi nurturing of the international jihadist network were ever fully exposed.”

What part of the New York Times coverage of the war against Syria is a lie? Damn near all of it. What role does the Deep State play in crafting the lies dutifully promulgated by the corporate media? That’s impossible to answer, because the Deep State is a network of relationships, not a clearly delineated zone or space or set of organizations. The best way to describe the imperial Deep State is: those individuals and institutions that are tasked with establishing the global supremacy of the corporate ruling class. Such activities must be masked, since they clash with the ideological position of the ruling class, which is that the bourgeois electoral system of the United States is the world’s freest and fairest. The official line is that the U.S. State is a work of near-perfection, with checks and balances that prevent any class, group or section from domination over the other. The truth is that an oligarchy rules, and makes war on whomever it chooses — internationally and domestically — for the benefit of corporate capital.

The Deep State and its corporate imperatives manifestly exists when corporate lobbyists and lawyers are allowed to draw up the Trans Pacific Partnership global “trade” agreement, but the contents are kept secret from the Congresspersons whose duty is to vote on the measure. The Deep State is where corporate power achieves its class aims outside the public processes of government. It’s where the most vicious class warfare takes place, whether on a foreign killing field, or in the corporate newsroom that erases or misrepresents what happened on that battlefield.

At this stage of capitalism, the U.S. ruling class has less and less use for the conventional operations of the bourgeois state. It cannot govern in the old way. More and more, it seeks to shape events through the levers of the collaborating networks of the Deep State. It’s number one global priority is to continue the military offensive begun in 2011, and to break Russia’s resolve to resist that offensive. The ruling class and its War Party, now consolidated within the Democratic Party and regrouping among Republicans, have effectively neutralized a sitting president whose party controls both Houses of Congress, less than two months into his term.

Only a Deep State could pull that off.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com

 

^ Jack Kerouac never grew up

On the 95th anniversary of Jack’s birth, it seems a pity the iconic misogynist (closet gay) hypocrite, criminal, pedophile and compulsive liar, Kerouac, didn’t live to read my rebuttal to his ‘On the Road.’

http://www.scribd.com/document/97526088/Queer-Chicken-Dinner

The (above-linked) non-fiction work, Queer Chicken Dinner (the title is based on a prank narrated in the book), rips into Ginsberg as well. Care to discover the real Rocky Mountains character Kerouac & Company never stood a chance to discover? Read it here.

A teaser from the book:

“We had what was known as ‘the line.’ The line was the old U.S. Highway 2 from Blue Moon Tavern at Columbia Falls to Freda’s Bar at West Glacier, Montana, in the 1950s, 60s & 70s. And it was every bar and pub between. Kids from ‘up the line’ were known to be particularly wild. The line was about 16 miles and 24 bars along a strip of pavement through what was in those days ‘wild country’ in ways that defy the stereotype. That wild country produced wild young people no Denver skid row kid could ever hope to compete with.

“A related personal note on so-called ‘Beat’ writers would be, likely this is why I could never relate to the work of Gary Snyder, also I’d met Richard Brautigan when he was living in Paradise Valley in the late 1970s and found him insufferable, conceited, rudderless, empty in ways that cannot be explained by Zen (and unapproachable as soon as he realized he’d met a real Montana country boy from a mixed White/Native American community.)

“Looking back, I have to say I was impressed at the man’s lack of reality, in a sense, a fraud. Did moving to Montana in some sense confer a Dean Moriarty-like authenticity in Brautigan’s mind? I suppose that might be motivation for an outsider, in process of trying to convince their self of something they in reality cannot and never will know. I see it this way: A country kid can go to the city and have his eyes opened. A city kid can go to the country and have his mind blown. There is a nuance here I am speaking of, for instance when you go into the wild country away from the ‘noise’ .. it takes about five days for all of the reverberations and echoes to vanish and find the stillness. City kids often freak out at the silence. Country kids often find it healing. At 61 years, I’m certainly not going to write my rebuttal correcting the western ‘character’ and ‘freedom’ in Kerouac’s style of three weeks Benzedrine psychosis (warping my imagination.) So I will browse ‘On the Road’ at my favorite horseback pace, a leisurely walk. And give my impressions of the book in juxtaposition to authentic recollections of those years alcohol was interspersed with mescaline, LSD, et cetera in a wild country with wild characters who oftentimes simply and soberly loved the area we lived in because it was absolutely BEAUTIFUL…

“I was riding horseback through the forest in the Great Bear wilderness on a moonless & overcast night, you could not see your hand in front of your face. The route was from the Middle Fork of the Flathead River headwaters country, across the Continental Divide at Badger Pass and out into the foothills of the Rocky Mountain Front on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. I had total trust in my barefoot Blackfoot pony to keep its footing in the pitch dark, know the route and to stay on and make a correct decision at any fork in the trail. Relaxed in the saddle, I brought out my rolling tobacco and made a cigarette I never saw until I’d lit the match ..”

For a free e-book (pdf file) of Queer Chicken Dinner, email a request to:

penucquemspeaks@googlemail.com

! ENJOY !

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Glen Ford’s Locating Fascism on the Home Map at Black Agenda Report is well worth a read. Trump pandering to racism and Jim Crow in the under-educated and overly propagandized White blue collar class is as clear as his choice for attorney general, Jeff Sessions, whose long record of White supremacy is undeniable. After the nominally Black Obama had led America’s Black community down a fantasy lane that led to nowhere (except continuing disempowerment), now it is the White pied piper’s turn to enchant. As the ‘white right’ celebrates their hero assuming the presidency, the stark reality is, the White blue collar class is a new class of ‘black’ where under-privilege is being locked in. The stupidity of the propagandized American people, regardless of race, is priceless.

For Uncle Sam
White makes the man
As easily as trailer trash
Crushes a beer can -RTW

Indeed, taking a cue from Ford’s article, the USA’s larger populace is the meat filling for America’s psychopathic leaderships’ home cooked Satan sandwich. I expect Trump’s advisor-cretins are grateful Joe Bageant is dead. Unlike the Black Agenda Report speaking truth to America’s Black community, there is no honest voice (I am aware of) in the White, blue collar class dedicated solely to speaking truth to its’ own. What a pity the the White, blue collar working class prejudices will preclude any real understanding of the honest information presented here:

 

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

In decadence and decline, the U.S. has produced two strong strains of fascism that now vie for supremacy. The First Black President, now outgoing, represents the “cosmopolitan, global obsessed” variety of fascist. Donald Trump hails from an older fascist strain, “crude and petty, too ugly for global prime time.” At this stage in history, the two corporate parties seem incapable of producing anything other than fascists of one kind or the other.

Locating Fascism on the Home Map

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The merciless downsizing of the American worker is a central element of Obama’s legacy.”

Barack Obama was a savior – of a drowning ruling class. Under his administration, Wall Street rose from near-death to new heights of speculative frenzy, awash in capital brutally extracted from the vanishing assets and past and future earnings of the vast majority of the population, or gifted in the form of trillions in free money at corporate-only Federal Reserve windows. The Big Casino, reduced to a rubble of its own contradictions in 2008, ushered in the New Year just shy of the once-fantastical 20,000 mark. Analysts credited Donald Trump’s victory for the bankers’ bacchanal, but it was Obama who made the party possible by overseeing the restructuring of the U.S. economy to accommodate and encourage the hyper-consolidation of capital — another way to describe the deliberate deepening of economic (and political) inequality. Having accomplished the mission assigned him by Wall Street in return for record-breaking contributions to his first campaign, Obama is said to be angling for a hot-money squat in Silicon Valley, the super-rich sector that was most supportive of his presidency.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is melting quicker than the Wicked Witch of the West, principally due to the failure of traditionally Democratic working (and out of work) people of all races to turn out on November 8 — a perfectly understandable response to a party and a system that offers them absolutely nothing but grief, in ever quickening increments. The merciless downsizing of the American worker is a central element of Obama’s legacy. Real wages had been frozen or declining for decades. However, economic restructuring in the Age of Obama demanded that millions of workers be crushed all the way through the floor to a lower level of hell: temporary, contract, not-really-a-job, part-time “gig” employment. If the 1930s squatter shanty-towns called “Hoovervilles” were testaments to President Herbert Hoover’s economic policies, then the maddeningly precarious, no guaranteed hours, no benefits, zero job security, fraction of a shift, arbitrarily scheduled employment of today should be called ObamaJobs. A new study by economists at Princeton and Harvard universities shows that an astounding 94 percent of the 10 million jobs created during the First Black President’s two terms in office were ObamaJobs. This sub-sector of employment increased by almost half under Obama, from 10.7% of the working population to 15.8%.

The structural lowering of the employment floor to a precariat sub-basement makes all workers more insecure and less able to bargain with the bosses.”

According to the study, one million fewer people are working under any kind of formal employment than before the Great Recession. The researchers also calculate that Obama’s claim of creating 15 million new jobs is off by 5 million.

Low income workers, especially females, were hurt worst under the ObamaJobs regime. But, the structural lowering of the employment floor to a precariat sub-basement makes all workers more insecure and less able to bargain with the bosses — which is precisely what the new employment order is designed to do, and what Barack Obama intended. The President’s apologists claim Republican obstructionists prevented Obama from acting on his alleged progressive instincts. However, as frequent BAR contributor Pascal Robert points out, Obama “expended no political capital to push a jobs agenda at any time in his presidency.”

Republicans did not force Obama off his stride, causing him to stumble and lose his bearings on the way to a progressive agenda. From the very beginning, this consummate corporate politician had a grand social/economic strategy, beyond the overarching mission of resurrecting the Gilded Age of finance capital.

First, he would insulate the pharmaceutical and insurance industries from the threat of single payer, the world standard of health care that has been favored by 60-plus percent of Americans for at least the past three decades. Once those corporate interests were made safe — possibly for a generation — Obama immediately began attempting to forge a Grand Bargain with the Republicans to establish a bipartisan austerity regime. Core labor issues, including the “card check” bill that would have allowed unions to reverse their membership death spiral, were nowhere on his agenda.

“Obama’s assault on FDR’s New Deal and LBJ’s War on Poverty seemed to come from out of the blue.”

Obama declared war on social spending before even taking the oath of office. In early January, 2009, he informed the editorial boards of the New York Times and the Washington Post that all “entitlements” would be “on the table” for cutting under his presidency, including Medicare and Social Security. Obama’s assault on FDR’s New Deal and LBJ’s War on Poverty seemed to come from out of the blue; the battered Republicans were in no position to pressure anybody, and remembered how badly George Bush had been burned when he attempted to privatize Social Security, in his first term.

Obama seemed positively relieved when the GOP took control of the House, in 2010; he needed a stronger Republican Party on Capitol Hill to make his planned Grand Bargain look like a compromise, so that he would appear like a statesman practicing the politics of bipartisan give and take. But the GOP, the “White Man’s Party” whose organizing principle is race, could not bring itself to seal the deal, even after Obama offered a package of spending cuts approximating the Republicans’ own demands: about $4 trillion. Instead, Democrat-GOP relations calcified into gridlock. Thus, the nation was saved from Obama’s Grand Bargain, which Kansas City Black Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, then chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, called a “Satan Sandwich.”

Obama has not offered a comprehensive economic plan of any kind since the collapse of his courtship with the GOP, which was too mean, narrow and racist to accept his eagerly offered surrender.

“Barack Obama dared to push through Congress a bill authorizing the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens by the military, without trial or charge.”

One does not embark on a campaign to lower wages and savage the social safety net without simultaneously buttressing the national security state. In addition to the exponential expansion of the U.S. domestic and global surveillance regime inherited from George Bush, Barack Obama dared to push through Congress a bill authorizing the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens by the military, without trial or charge. The 2011 New Years Eve insert to the National Defense Authorization Act (NNDA) effectively demolished the principle of due process of law in the United States. Although George Bush claimed the same authority, as inherent in the powers of the commander-in-chief, he never attempted to pass legislation to that effect, knowing that Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill would fight him, tooth and nail. But, Obama’s bill sailed through both chambers of Congress.

When Donald Trump moves into the White House on January 20, he will be empowered to imprison whomever he chooses, without recourse to law as we know it, thanks to Barack Obama. Who, then, is the “fascist”?

President Obama’s greatest foreign policy challenge was to put the United States back on the global military offensive, following George Bush’s humiliation in Iraq. This required a new doctrine, to replace Bush’s discredited crusade to “spread democracy.” On March 17, 2011, Obama loosed his “humanitarian” military intervention doctrine on Libya, effectively negating centuries of international law and custom. As interpreted by Obama, national sovereignty and the inviolability of borders means nothing if the superpower, standing in for the planet, deems a government to be a threat to its own people — even if crimes against humanity have not yet occurred. Absent the principle of sovereignty, international law ceases to exist.

Obama’s methodical nullification of international law is, itself, the gravest aggression and crime against peace. The U.S. and its NATO and Gulf Arab allies deployed massive air power and foreign and Libyan jihadists to destroy the Libyan state and its leader, Muammar Gaddafi, butchered thousands of his supporters, and ethnically cleansed Black Africans from much of the country.

“Obama’s methodical nullification of international law is, itself, the gravest aggression and crime against peace.”

On a roll, Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton moved thousands of jihadists to Syria, whose largest city, Aleppo, was captured by sectarian terrorists in 2012. From the moment Obama became the protector-in-chief of jihadists in Libya and Syria, virtually all the “news” about the wars in the region has been fake, false, lies. The now indisputable fact that the U.S. has, variously, armed, financed, shielded, transported, trained, directed and otherwise nurtured Islamic jihadists, including al-Qaida, is the truth that cannot be spoken on corporate media. If widely understood and internalized by the public, such a truth would shatter U.S. ruling structures. Therefore, it must be suppressed at all costs.

The sick superpower fends off the smell of death with a daily diet of lies: mainly about Russia and China and other states that refuse to buckle under to U.S. imperialism. The U.S. rulers’ biggest secret — the one that requires many layers of lies to conceal — is that the Lords of Capital see their demise as imminent and inevitable unless they somehow alter the general scope and direction of global economic development. The U.S. share of the world economy is inexorably shrinking — which means, the only way the U.S. can sustain its superpower status is through lawless force of arms abroad, and a crackdown on dissent (truth-telling, or just being Black) at home.

If you are searching for the real meaning of fascism in the superpower under late stage capitalism, you will find it in the nexus between the presidencies of Obama and Trump. Donald Trump’s fascism is the vintage kind that held sway for 70 or 80 years in Dixie under Jim Crow. Still stuck in apartheid, it seems inflexible, crude and petty, too ugly for global prime time. In some ways, this kind of fascist’s ambitions have shrunk to U.S. territorial size, or less.

Obama’s fascism — of the same brand as the Clintons’ — is global-obsessed, because it needs to feed on the whole planet to survive. It’s a cosmopolitan, world-stealing Dracula, that cannot imagine life on Earth without itself in charge. It no longer indulges heavily in ideological justifications for its predations; whatever detracts from its hegemony is the enemy. Increasingly, it is engaged in a War Against All.  Most recently, it simultaneously attacked both Russia and Donald Trump’s apartheid branch of fascists.

One fascist is fond of race war. The other isn’t so picky.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

Why is the USA media, intelligence agencies and congress in hysteria over “Russian propaganda”? Because the Russians have,  for quite some time, had the absolute upper hand in the growing field of alternative media. How is that?

What the Russians appear to have clearly recognized is how to take advantage of the corrupt nature of the western ‘mainstream’ press, an institution which has been co-opted by western intelligence agencies for a very long time.

The Russian method? It could not be more simple; report the actual facts in the geopolitical contest and when this is inconvenient, practice lies by omission. Here is an example: Both NATO (an extension of the USA) and Russia are contesting Syria over competing energy pipelines, primarily. One from Iran transiting Syria, favored by Russia; the other from Qatar transiting Syria, favored by NATO.

The disadvantage NATO has faced in this competition is Syria controlled by a Russian ally, that is, the government of Basher al-Assad.

Because NATO sponsored Salafist militants to effect ‘regime change’ (the preferred NATO model since 1980s Afghanistan), a large number had, not surprisingly, gone out of control (e.g. Islamic State is a direct result.) Paradoxically, NATO aligned states have pitched the anti-Assad endeavor in terms of a ‘war on terror’, and there are so many NATO lies (and lies to cover lies) in the co-opted western media, the Russians only need to stick to the facts (omitting the pipeline) to ultimately win the propaganda war. What’s more is, Russia further only need stand back and allow western dissident journalists to dig up the real facts on the ground:

  1. NATO’s ‘moderate’ rebels are aligned with al-Qaida…………….. ✓
  2. NATO policy created the conditions for the rise of IS…………… ✓
  3. Western ally Saudi Arabia bankrolls the Salafist extremists……. ✓
  4. NATO member Turkey has protected & supplied IS…………….. ✓

Depending on the geopolitical reality of the day, for instance whether the paranoid ego-maniac Sultan Erdogan of Turkey is behaving well or not, the stories by western dissident journalists that will withstand a close scrutiny are run in Russian or Russia friendly media outlets. The result? Odds are 100:1 you’ll get more reliable information from Russian state TV or Russian sponsored websites than from ABC, CBS, CNN or NBC.

Shoot the messenger

 At the end of the day, the only solution NATO’s main sponsor, the USA, can come up with to protect it’s colossal efforts to deceive and manipulate the western public is to silence dissident journalists by cutting off access to alternative media. Zerohedge on the present proposal:

“On November 30, one week after the Washington Post launched its witch hunt against “Russian propaganda fake news”, with 390 votes for, the House quietly passed “H.R. 6393, Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017“, sponsored by California Republican Devin Nunes (whose third largest donor in 2016 is Google parent Alphabet, Inc), a bill which deals with a number of intelligence-related issues, including Russian propaganda, or what the government calls propaganda, and hints at a potential crackdown on “offenders.”

“A quick skim of the bill reveals “Title V—Matters relating to foreign countries”,  whose Section 501 calls for the government to “counter active measures by Russia to exert covert influence … carried out in  coordination with, or at the behest of, political leaders or the security services of the Russian Federation and the role of the Russian Federation has been hidden or not acknowledged publicly.”

“The section lists the following definitions of media manipulation:

  • Establishment or funding of a front group.
  • Covert broadcasting.
  • Media manipulation.
  • Disinformation and forgeries.
  • Funding agents of influence.
  • Incitement and offensive counterintelligence.
  • Assassinations.
  • Terrorist acts.

“As ActivistPost correctly notes, it is easy to see how this law, if passed by the Senate and signed by the president, could be used to target, threaten, or eliminate so-called “fake news” websites, a list which has been used to arbitrarily define any website, or blog, that does not share the mainstream media’s proclivity to serve as the Public Relations arm of a given administration [see the immediate preceding post, ‘On Fake News‘, at this blog]

Russian victory enhanced

The reactionary moves by the NATO/USA propagandists to having been bested in the game by Russia only sweetens the Russian victory; similar to Erdogan’s over-reaction in cracking down on anyone who doesn’t follow the ruling party line in Turkey, the USA governing elite is sowing ever deepening dissent in the psyche of those Americans actually inclined to think, understand and know for themselves what is actually going on. The sort of reactionary behavior embodied in the color of law [anti-constitutional order represented in the ‘national security state’] governing the United States and its allies destabilizes any society.

Propaganda budget

The USA media mouthpieces are not going to broadcast the American propaganda budget, so let’s turn to Russia’s Sputnik to get the facts:

“Last year, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the US federal agency responsible for Voice of America and Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe, among others, requested a substantial budget increase. Seeking a boost of $30 million, the BBG’s budget soared to $751.5 million.

“That was, evidently, not enough money. President Obama’s newly proposed budget for fiscal year 2017 proposes another massive increase in spending for the BBG. If granted, the agency will receive nearly $778 million, a roughly $27 million increase” [over the $30 million boost]

The Russians are willing to broadcast the factual news the USA’s intelligence agency co-opted media mouth-pieces will not. Point made?

Western press propagandizing Americans

How much of the USA’s propaganda budget is actually aimed at Americans?

The newest version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes an amendment that would legalize the use of propaganda on the American public, reports Michael Hastings of BuzzFeed.

The amendment — proposed by Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and passed in the House last Friday afternoon — would effectively nullify the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948, which explicitly forbids information and psychological operations aimed at influencing U.S. public opinion

Huh. And yeah, that was made into law.

Odd bedfellows

Glenn Greenwald’s related, and otherwise excellent piece ‘Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes a McCarthyite Blacklist From a New, Hidden, and Very Shady Group‘ throws a bone to one of the very worst propaganda prostitutes extant on the world-wide-web: Elliot Higgins of Bellingcat. WTF.

*

Related: On Fake News

Exile

A Ronald Thomas West assessment

Alternative title: Target Iran

Our republic went off the rails with the National Security Act of 1947 and the birth of the national security state. Since, the votes at the boards of Northrop-Grumman, DuPont, Chevron, Unocal, et al, have come to carry more weight in the direction the USA has taken than those votes of any organized political bloc. When the dust has settled, chances are Pence will be the shadow president a-la Dick Cheney and Trump the ventriloquist’s frustrated lap dummy. The national security state (read corporate boards) will keep it’s python’s squeeze on our institutions intact; what remains to be seen is what modifications will be made. The Trump ‘team’ includes some of the nastiest military-industrial and corporate personalities American has on offer in chicken hawks Rudy Giuliani whose dealings with the Mojahedin-e-Khalq has seldom been honestly exposed, and John Bolton who wants a war with Iran. And not least, former US Army intelligence officer and Bill Clinton CIA Director James ‘Bomb Iran & North Korea‘ Woolsey.

What do these personalities hold in common with a google ban on ‘fake news’?  They will never tell you the biggest fake news spigots are CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC and MSNBC, outlets that NEVER report on what this is all about; oil and gas, not terrorism as put forward by the western media. The Bush invasion of Afghanistan, where the CIA had (1980s) instigated and supported what became al-Qaida, was about a pipeline. Iraq was about oil where USA policy subsequently caused an al-Qaida branch to morph into Islamic State. The related Syria conflict is about competing pipelines, one favored by Russia, the other favored by NATO. Recalling Robert Kennedy Jr, earlier this year, penned an excellent expose on Syria and the competing pipelines behind that ‘covert’ war waged by the USA employing proxies, including radical Islamist groups aligned with al-Qaida:

“the Russians, who sell 70 percent of their gas exports to Europe, viewed the Qatar/Turkey pipeline as an existential threat. In Putin’s view, the Qatar pipeline is a NATO plot to change the status quo, deprive Russia of its only foothold in the Middle East, strangle the Russian economy and end Russian leverage in the European energy market. In 2009, Assad announced that he would refuse to sign the agreement to allow the pipeline to run through Syria “to protect the interests of our Russian ally.”

“Assad further enraged the Gulf’s Sunni monarchs by endorsing a Russian-approved “Islamic pipeline” running from Iran’s side of the gas field through Syria and to the ports of Lebanon. The Islamic pipeline would make Shiite Iran, not Sunni Qatar, the principal supplier to the European energy market and dramatically increase Tehran’s influence in the Middke [sic] East and the world. Israel also was understandably determined to derail the Islamic pipeline, which would enrich Iran and Syria and presumably strengthen their proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas.

“Secret cables and reports by the U.S., Saudi and Israeli intelligence agencies indicate that the moment Assad rejected the Qatari pipeline, military and intelligence planners quickly arrived at the consensus that fomenting a Sunni uprising in Syria to overthrow the uncooperative Bashar Assad was a feasible path to achieving the shared objective of completing the Qatar/Turkey gas link”

The full essay can be read HERE.

The RFK Jr piece clearly echoes an earlier essay by Gore Vidal and a proposed pipeline USA based multinationals coveted, requiring a war in Afghanistan:

“As it proved, the conquest of Afghanistan had nothing to do with Osama. He was simply a pretext for replacing the Taliban with a relatively stable government that would allow Union Oil of California to lay its pipeline for the profit of, among others, the Cheney-Bush junta.

“Background? All right. The headquarters of Unocal are, as might be expected, in Texas. In December 1997, Taliban representatives were invited to Sugarland, Texas. At that time, Unocal had already begun training Afghan men in pipeline construction, with US government approval. BBC News, (4 December 1997) : `A spokesman for the company Unocal said the Taliban were expected to spend several days at the company’s [Texas] headquarters . . . a BBC regional correspondent says the proposal to build a pipeline across Afghanistan is part of an international scramble to profit from developing the rich energy resources of the Caspian Sea.’ The Inter Press Service (IPS) reported: `some Western businesses are warming up to the Taliban despite the movement’s institutionalisation of terror, massacres, abductions and impoverishment.’ CNN (6 October 1996): `The United States wants good ties [with the Taliban] but can’t openly seek them while women are being oppressed.’

“The Taliban, rather better organised than rumoured, hired for PR one Leila Helms, a niece of Richard Helms, former director of the CIA. In October 1996, the Frankfurter Rundschau reported that Unocal `has been given the go-ahead from the new holders of power in Kabul to build a pipeline from Turkmenistan via Afghanistan to Pakistan . . .’ This was a real coup for Unocal as well as other candidates for pipelines, including Condoleezza’s old employer Chevron. Although the Taliban was already notorious for its imaginative crimes against the human race, the Wall Street Journal, scenting big bucks, fearlessly announced: `Like them or not, the Taliban are the players most capable of achieving peace in Afghanistan at this moment in history.’ The New York Times (26 May 1997) leapt aboard the pipeline juggernaut. `The Clinton administration has taken the view that a Taliban victory would act as counterweight to Iran . . . and would offer the possibility of new trade routes that could weaken Russian and Iranian influence in the region.’

“But by 1999, it was clear that the Taliban could not provide the security we would need to protect our fragile pipelines. The arrival of Osama as warrior for Allah on the scene refocused, as it were, the bidding.”

The full essay can be read HERE

What remains to be seen is, whether this group surrounding Trump, as responsible for the spread of terror via proxy wars abroad as anyone, has determined some dialing back is in order. Clearly the model of covertly supporting Wahabi extremism to effect regime change to benefit big oil & gas has increasingly spun out of control over the decades, since the ultimate stupidity of using religious extremists to wage proxy wars had been initiated in Afghanistan by Robert Gates under Reagan.

Just as large a question is, has Bolton’s, Woolsey’s and Giuliani’s hostility towards Russian ally Iran been tempered? Almost certainly not. Insofar as what the actuality of policy will initiate, a comment of Woolsey is particularly disturbing, as it had been made in the context of Russia and geopolitics…

“I think what Mr. Trump does is much more important than what he says”

considering:

Woolsey chairs the Leadership Council of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, an important bastion of hawkish “pro-Israel” advocacy in the United States that has served as an outpost for many well-known rightist ideologues. Among his activities at FDD has been to support the work of its Energy Security” program, which advocates for the United States to break “break the oil monopoly” that helps prop up “regimes and individuals who fund terrorist activities”

Based on open source analysis, it would appear this preceding applies to Iran as opposed to Saudi Arabia. Rabid Iran hater Bibi Netanyahu has a new best friend in Washington. Be informed; Woolsey was a top McCain advisor when McCain mimicked the Beach Boys:

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