Today I have this feeling of contentment, of peace in a way. It occurs to me that my exercise in LiveJournal these past couple weeks may have contributed? Or not, who knows? All I can say for sure is that I don’t feel pathologically suicidal tonight which is significant in a sort of way in-explainable on paper…or online, as it were. So, as tradition now justifies, I must complain; on the course of modernity, or, of the pain of our past.

My property is located in an area of the North Country quite susceptible to the beauties of autumn. The death of summer foliage set against the lateral sunsets of late nights is as striking to the natural eye as any earthly scenes I’ve had the pleasure to witness. There is no justice in the casual photos captured by smartphone lenses or Handy-cam digital composites. That is to say; people might tend to miss out on the actual beauty as they fumble with devices, with careless driving manners, and/or the hope children present might relieve themselves from any of the countless distractions present in our modern, hyper-technological, Virtual Reality exposed field of vision’s? 

What I’m trying to say is: put the phones down, stop the RV in a safe place out of traffic and just enjoy the moment. It’s what you came for is it not? Did you travel the thousands of miles only to attempt to prove you did by dropping a “pin” or exposing your Facebook family and friends to a shitty pic of the horizon, or shaky video of a moose? Buy a postcard or some professionally done video for the purpose of sharing. Relax, slow down, be safe(r) and go in peace. I don’t want to seem like the crotchety old man who finds fault in everything, everyone else might enjoy. I only speak from experience as a fellow wanderer and novice photographer that wishes he would have found more time to relax and spent less time looking for the next stop. That’s all. I just mean, do you really need to record the concert one the phone when professional recordings are available? Or recording Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton at every opportunity -not to mention any other pseudo celebrity- with 50 other media organizations doing the same, but much, much  better? Or selfies? Maybe it’s because I have never looked worse than in close up pics of my mug, but really? Okay, you get my point. Is it a passing fad, this hyper recording of ourselves, or is it only the beginning, God help us?

After the fire last winter that destroyed my first cabin I was left with precious few photographs or videos. Other than some low quality pics I had online and a thumb drive that escaped unharmed, my digital and physical past was 90% extinguished. There’s nothing like the unexpected to reveal the importance, or unimportance, as it was, of physical property, treasure or trinkets and tokens from the past. So I understand the desire to capture everything and anything. I understand the parents at baseball games not actually watching, but rather, recording. Those flicks could be treasured 30 or 40 years from now.

So why not get several Go Pro’s and set them up to record games for all the parents? Privacy. Or could the Little League’s themselves do it as a part of the field? Who knows? But either something is done soon or we might lose the present altogether, living only for a possible future? Just thinking.

Okay, have a beautiful day anyone who might read this, in the present…or the future.








Clinton & Legalese Double Speak

There’s little more to say about The Donald. It’s clear: As a confidence man, or con man if you’d rather; the man is top shelf. As a world leader with the breadth and might of our mammoth military and massive economy; the man would be an apothalyptic -a word I just made up for the occasion- disaster. So what about Hillary Clinton? Maybe no one will ever read my opinions on the matter, nevertheless, I tend to best find my feelings upon jotting them down. And so…

I’ll start with a quote from today, a quote so indicative of her political doublespeak so many find repulsive; or at least I do. When asked AGAIN about the private server bullshit she spews this legalese:

The FBI director said my answers were truthful, and what I’ve said is consistent with what I have told the American people”

What the focker does this even mean? And to imagine her in some room with her advisors and lawyers coming up with this after all that’s taken place, I just cannot get my head wrapped around the logic involved? Isn’t there anyone with clout on her staff that can straighten this out? Just tell the voters the obvious: After 30 years in the public eye, my poor decision to hide my personal business was a reactionary move that I’ll do my best to not repeat. If classified material was compromised in any way, it was wrong. I’ve learned from this and hope it will make me a better, more informed leader. The end!

But hell no! It’s this dribble dribble that falls out of her mouth among the constant pauses of, um, uh, um, uh, uh, that only solidifies voters assessment of her honesty, or dishonesty, as it were. You have to wonder how she interprets the public’s perception of her in general? Is she unable to distinguish independent voters from the 24/7 media and how substantively they are different? Or maybe I am way off base here and her unsuitability and dishonesty stems from other cues? Sure, conservative voters latched to the GOP come hell or high water will likely never find her agreeable, no matter her polish. The bloc I speak of is made up of Sander’s ardent supporters, centrist older white voters and those who typically do not vote. These are the subsets that in many ways elected Obama in 2012, Clinton in 1992 and Carter in 1976, and are the voters Hillary would need to win up against most establishment Republicans. Against Trump however, she will likely skate by either way. But look out for 2020….unless the GOP is foolish enough to go with Ted Cruz, another fringe lunatic.

I’ve come to really like the WNYC podcast, On The Media. Of course the show this week started with a Trump themed piece: Has he finally gone too far, this time, this time, this time, the shameful ticky-tac with the Khan family the latest. The host interviewed a reporter from The Daily Caller, a conservative site that’s posted articles recently calling into question the patriotism of the Khan family. Listen to it if you get the chance and you care about Veteran’s issues. The lengths to which some in the right-wing media will go to defend Trump is quite despicable, however, it reveals the politicization of Vets and the Military by some in both wings of the media. The lip-service is usually just that. Vets are little more than a ladder to power and ideological purity, and little else. It sickens me. Thanks to Bob Garfield at On The Media for the great unveiling! Listen here.

Too many days for me away from the cabin this week. Dealing with the VA where I am at is a chore. I suppose it is anywhere? It’s good to talk with Vets waiting at the offices. It’s the one place I cannot hide the fact that I am one of them, yet it’s the one place that I wouldn’t want to. It occurs to me that our soldiers, especially the ones who served post-9/11, have been to psychologically damaged due to the abuse of our patriotism among other aspects of America 2016, many of my fellow Vets are willing to support Trump in the face of his careless psychopathy. Another words: the establishment -lead by the likes of Clinton, W. Bush and Obama- has caused such harm that anyone challenging their control of government, is thereby necessary? I could argue the public writ large, especially the middle class who’ve been so disrespected, lied to, sent to war, and ever falling behind the elite, see Mr. Trump as a kind of fire breathing monster, capable of crushing the DC oligarchy?

So yeah, that might have been the closest I’ve come to the ramblings of a madman? I do have other interests beyond politics, as unlikely as it may seem?

What about the Rio Olympics? Has anyone else noticed -the Sochi winter games were similar- the press coverage leading up to the actual events? How many stories have we heard relating to athletes, their story, their sport, personal pieces meant to give us individuals to root for? Yes, there was the millionaire golfer who publicly refused to attend due to Zika, but otherwise? I read a nice piece on a female boxing phenom from Flint Michigan. What we have been fed is Zika, open sewers, political corruption, zika and zika. I tend to agree that the IOC, like FIFA, has lost sight of the games as competition, to the games as revenue. And of course, terrorism. We don’t hear that it is winter in Rio, a time of relatively few Mosquitoes. I hope the games go off peacefully? But why not? Brazil seems like a strange place for ISIS or Al Qaeda to target?

Gotta run.






Trump, Clinton, Libya & Addiction

This opinion may no longer be unique? Nevertheless, after reading the Washington Post, Donald Trump interview transcript today, –I will try later to link here if I can figure out how– it occurs to me that the man is, in fact, seriously psychologically damaged. I’ll refrain from elaborating in detail. The transcript speaks for itself. I have little doubt he will crumble prior to November. The pressures are tremendous and even the most disciplined politicians find the process so taxing they avoid beginning the race altogether. What seems most fascinating to me is how he will manage the destruction, or how the GOP as a party will play the circus?

As a former drug counselor and recovering addict, my first reaction to his instability is to assume he is on drugs, particularly some type of amphetamine / sedative combination. I write this off almost unconsciously, yet maybe we/I shouldn’t? The abuse or dependence on substances typically evolves from a co-occurring disorder related to a mental health condition. Self medicating is the loose terminology. I might be off base, perhaps, or as Trump might say: ‘many people have written this, I’m not saying but, you know?” His ever increasing seemingly uncontrollable behavior and his increasing need to be affirmed by polls and ratings, might suggest an addict slowly losing control? His behavior is consistent in process, but increasing in lack of control.

Wednesday August 3rd, 2016

After an appointment with the VA this afternoon, I have to consider the fact that many folks in this country support The Donald, come hell or high water. Just today I had brief conversations with strangers who all supported Trump. My question in all cases was, why and how? Little was learned despite my openness. I just cannot imagine a future with this man anywhere near the Oval Office. Call it hypothetical cognitive dissonance if you’d like?

Another tidbit I came across was an interview Hillary Clinton did in the immediate aftermath of Qaddafi’s execution by NATO supported rebels in Libya. It was cringe worthy and revealing unlike most of the sanitized views of Clinton. Her maniacal laugh and obvious joy with the killing of a head of state, had it been a leader of another country, would’ve been rightly condemned. She obviously learned NOTHING from the lessons of Iraq. Anyone with a brain and accurate information could have easily predicted the future of Libya, yet she seemed blind? Either she truly is ignorant, or more likely, a Libya lawless with nonstop civil war is the policy of our government? Either way, how can we support her for POTUS? A question I will continue asking myself as the campaigns come to a close.

It makes me glad that some actually read some of my rambling thoughts. Thank you, and I appreciate any feedback, positive or negative.













Mark Cuban, REALLY?

The Clinton campaign seems over the moon, sending out a press release; “great to have Mr. Cuban’s endorsement.” This kind of shit, to my mind at least, is exactly the sort of retrograde celebrity bullshit that turns off undecided voters. His endorsement is critical and worth advertising why? Because he’s rich, so he must be some sort of populist oracle who knows best? Here’s a little advice for the Democrats, -or “Democrat Party,” as the GOP refers to it [them] with deliberate precision- Why not try: Sister of Afghanistan War Vet endorses Hillary, or, Father of New Hampshire Teacher of the Year endorses Clinton? Instead, the Saturday night political news cycle consists of 3 fresh Trump “this will do him in for sure” stories and, “immature Texas billionaire -who 98 out of a 100 people couldn’t say exactly how he made all that money- proves his billion-brain true by endorsing the generic candidate over the madman.”

Even though I have access to current news only once a week, maybe twice, I believe even less saturation might be necessary to ease my already fucked up mind? I almost never bring up my service in the Army beyond the confines of this blog and my sporadic work towards completing a book on the subject. Contact with men I served with over 10 years ago has also become rare for reasons I understand but cannot seem to explain. For some reason this election cycle tends to expose that pain I work so hard to suppress, prodding me to hate the political process and those reporting on it. It feels like in my mind, 15 years of continual war should be reflected more seriously in the coverage and by the candidates. Why does the country seem to dis the topic altogether, from Congressional irresponsibility, failed tactics, Veteran’s issues, extrajudicial use of the Predator Drone -U AV-, Presidential executive power, the ongoing travesty at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and other ancillary issues?

The two subjects most often breached, from my perspective at least, are bureaucratic red tape within the VA, and should we send more troops to the Middle East… or just ramp up the bombing and UAV campaigns? Most disturbingly, Obama seems to have codified many of these practices in the minds of most liberals. It is easy to predict their reaction once -if- Donald Trump continues to employ the exact same practices: outrage! Too bad, just think of the ways The Donald could punish Muslims for crimes, guilty or not, in even more of the poorest countries throughout the Muslim world? Or what are we going to say once countries the likes of China, Russia and Iran deploy these RC weapons against their stated enemies beyond their borders? This is not an if, but a when? Instead the modern machine twists and turns, fact checking a serial liar, analyzing polls upon polls, pitting one side against the other and arguing about bathroom etiquette or “how the VP pick helps” with some other wing of the party. 

The absurdity that is the dissemination of the candidates stated positions on issues like the TPP, tax rates or reproductive rights is a joke. Since when has virtually any national level politician actually held true to their word on the stump? Beyond the fact that most voters couldn’t even describe the TPP and its possible ramifications, Trump and Clinton’s stated positions opposing the trade deal is laughable. A policy decision like this, which directly affects the only constituency that REALLY matters,-the rich and powerful multinational’s and financial institutions-, to believe any mainstream candidate will oppose it once in office is a real hoot. If there’s one policy above all others, deregulation and trade deals maximizing corporate profits, the TPP is it. It’s going to happen. Period.

I learned by way of a very liberal news program that only 18 of the GOP delegates were African-American. Turns out it’s true. Shouldn’t that be mentioned by the mainstream news? Yet like much of the coverage I went back and watched, most of the media went along with the loonytoon Kabuki theater as if things were heavy, but not completely insane, as it appeared to me. The black speakers there, quite a few considering the demographic, were especially difficult to endure. The Milwaukee police chief actually said, “it’s about time someone with a good tan said, ‘all lives matter!” Wow, “a good tan?” CNN had the recently fired campaign manager for Trump working as color commentary! It is so pernicious, this lack of journalistic integrity. It wouldn’t surprise me if this ex-Trump staffer was sent out as a mole to actually work towards their advantage? Either way, what kind of reporter is limited of speech by a nondisclosure clause of the very subject of discussion? It all combines and mixes to become a national disgrace. A full on shit show on the global stage.

I have been lucky enough to travel the world, much of which was prior to military service, so I am aware to the degree foreigners keep abreast of American news and culture. The United States is involved by way of military forces garrisoned there, corporate interests, common currency and markets, as well as pop culture throughout much of the world. So many people watch us with a wariness, a skepticism, with some respect, depending on their particular affinity. Just the fact Donald Trump is 1 of 2 likely to become the next POTUS has possible ramifications impossible to quantify. By proxy, the world realizes now, that many American’s share many of his views; bigotry, hostility, masochism, misogyny, these are more than fringe beliefs and the man may soon wield immense military, clandestine, and economic powers that could -will- affect them in disastrous ways? Quite literally, just the possibility of his election puts American citizens and military in undo, unpredictable danger. If I were an Iranian, or an Qatari Muslim, or Syrian refugee, the man would exacerbate any fears I might already endure. This is Ronald Reagan on steroids. 

Could it all be one massive PR stunt that was never intended to accomplish more than Trump publicity? It’s possible. Maybe Trump, a dog with no more tricks, says to himself “I’ll be President Trump for the year. Think about the attention I’ll mainline into the jugular? Then, when I eventually lose, I can invent more conspiracies, even more attention? Win win!” Two things stand out in this scenario: 1) The joke is on us. The country is truly a decaying celebrity worshiping ignorance as cool superpower. 2) We end up with only one choice; the true Republican: Hillary Clinton!

The rational election should have been Bernie Sander’s (D) the liberal vs Hillary Clinton (R) the progressive conservative in the tradition of Theodore Roosevelt or Dwight Eisenhower. -No, I am not saying Clinton is of that level of politician- The problem with this binary choice is that the underbelly of white America stays largely hidden. If Trump has done any good, it’s this exposure of the irritated white Christians who actually believe we are the ones being discriminated against today?! That pain is real, it’s just that the perpetrator is misidentified. The true villain of the middle class is the ever greedy wealthy who promote ever lower taxes, less government service -for the poor and needy, not the banks and business class who’ve, you know, earned that shit!- and fewer regulations. They cleverly packaged these principals within organizations like the Tea Party and ALEC. The most genius move was to get the middle and lower class to vote against their own interest in order to punish the “takers” and “criminals.” Maybe this is coming undone for the elite? Or maybe they’ve fooled everyone once again by switching to the Democrats, Hillary Clinton their new vessel of confusion.  

Just some thoughts.




























Dear Vlad

preface: The idea that the Russian government would prefer The Donald to Hillary Clinton is simply illogical. Would they, or any other government with an adversarial relationship, like to gum up the political process if possible? Of course! But this story of KGB spies copying and leaking DNC crypto information is, as Russian PR guy says; absurdity bordering on stupidity. Simply put, the DNC and their IT department has done a masterful job deflecting the media, using Trump and Putin as props. Yes, Trump would be a disaster for American Diplomacy, and possibly could be helpful to the Russian Government, but this leak through Wiki Leaks? Stupidity.

I cannot seem to let this go. Once again, upon returning to the signal from the ruralness of my little cabin in Alaska, I find myself obsessing over the political coverage post RNC and DNC. This must be how The Donald feels each morning as he reads through the litany of press coverage his assistant reportedly assembles? It’s an addiction, no question. A drug alchemized with Trump’s media stamped Philosophers Stone, his profile creates a familiar dependency.

First of all, am I the only rational person who see’s the DNC’s effective deflection from the so-called “Russian Cyber-crime” meant to influence our election? Rarely do I agree with a Kremlin PR Ivan saying, “the absurdity of this charge is pure stupidity,” or something along those lines? Who ever came up with that strategy tapped into a vein of pure brilliance. The premise that Russia would want Donald Trump as the POTUS appears ridiculous to me. This is the sort of thin skinned tyrant so unpredictable, no rational regime would peg as a friend. Julian Assange must be quite proud of himself considering the fact that his 5+ years living in a London embassy was born of Clinton’s embarrassment following Cablegate. I’m sure there’s more to come, possibly even, relating to the GOP and/or Mr. Trump?

About Trump. The “pivot” -a word overused and often improperly- everyone in the media predicted seems out of the question? What happened to the tax return inquiries, the Trump University questions, and on and on? He seems to largely be covered as a typical candidate would be, despite the fact his campaign is so far from normal it’s ridiculous? I admit though, there is a small ember of curiosity I feel, wondering what would happen if he did get elected? Could it actually be good for the country in the long haul? That his term would so shake up DC, American’s might finally move en mass to redesign our Democracy, to make the massive systematic modifications necessary to align our off course Republic?

It’s important to question so-called common sense assessments by the majority. How many times over the course of mankind’s existence have obvious policies ended up being completely wrong? For example, when I was a kid, we had 1% milk and margarine to substitute for butter. The “obvious” conclusion was that less fat as a percentage of milk and butter was better for our diet as children. Turns out, these assumptions may have been completely wrong headed and not based in legitimate science. You get the idea, right?

Listening to Hillary on Meet the Press, I might have put my finger finally on one of the reasons she makes me uncomfortable? Questioned on both the Benghazi and personal server investigations, instead of simply saying it was a mistake or I could have done better, she couched both answers with justifications like, “other Secretary of State’s used personal email” and “the investigations did prove I wasn’t personally at fault for Benghazi.” For me, it’s these unnecessary rationalizations that just rub me the wrong way. Just fucking say the truth: “I don’t like people in my personal business” -the server- and, “I learned from Benghazi, I’ll do better in the future.” Instead it’s; apology, not apology.












How much systemic corruption and muddled ineffectiveness will it take to blow up our top down,  bureaucratic, corporate system that requires looking good over doing good, profit over progress? Take a look around and you’ll see this virus attacking from all directions. From government to non-profit to NGO’s to insurance to manufacturing and global finance, the power centered DC model is woven throughout, a molecular level sickness that can only be rooted out by means of total destruction. It’s really that bad I’m afraid? The question now is: what will the proverbial “straw” be that ignites this kindling?

I’m not one of these doomsday prepper’s or conspiracy nuts. I don’t subscribe to the “lizard people” theories, the Bilderberg Group nonsense or any number of false flag operations Obama has supposedly carried out in order to secure a 3rd term, or whatever else the elite supposedly want? Truth is, I’ve known some of these people that travel in these circles and they’re just not that clever. Sure, the government lies all the time. From the Gulf of Ton-kin bullshit to W MD’s in Iraq, groups within the halls of power will inflate certain information through sophisticated PR schemes in order to get what they want. The difference being, it never takes too long for the truth to come out. The government is horrible at keeping secrets. 20th Century history has proven this true more times than I care to describe, from the Pentagon Papers, to MK-ULTRA, to Bush’s secret wiretapping order post-9/11, nothing remains buried for long. Do anyone truly believe we could capture and hold some “aliens” at Area 51 for more than 10 minutes without proof leaking out? In fact, the only example of a secret being pretty well under wraps for long was the Manhattan Project. But is it really a secret if 50,000 people are working on it and both the Russians and the Germans had up to date specifics on progress?

I say all that to say this: People will eventually demand change in regards to corporate greed and power. Banks avoiding punishment for mobster style behavior, the Red Cross accepting Billions in donations with only a small percentage making it out of the administrative bureaucracy, the Pentagon spending 2.5 trillion on a new fighter system that is plagued with flaws, Congress seized up with raising money 80% of the time, unable to pass even the most basic and necessary legislation, 20 to 30 year long wars in the Middle East that are unwinnable, public school systems colluding with the EPA to manipulate testing for PC-B’s causing severe health problems in teachers and students, -you know things are getting blatantly foul when it’s occurring not just in poor urban schools, but in affluent districts like Malibu California- insurance companies -life, health, property- actively participating in schemes to defraud customers as regular business models, corporations that use a post office box in Ireland or the Bahamas claiming it their headquarters, depriving the US Treasury hundreds of billions in tax revenue, investment bankers and hedge fund brokers paying almost zero tax on income through a loophole that’s basically legalized fraud, in fact, a financial system that provides less than nothing to the macro economy outside of Washington and Manhattan immune to law enforcement, the IRS, and the SEC.

There is a breaking point. There is a moment that the pitchforks come out. This year, next, in ten, who knows. but people will reach a red line and break. Cable TV and $7 Lattes will not be enough to keep them happy any longer. There will be a moment when Reality TV, once a portal to look down upon the idiots and ignorant, will reveal something of truth. I say all this knowing that few people will ever read this, or care. It’s more like thinking out loud. Looking around at the world we occupy and combining all the nefarious practices so easy see, it occurs to me that it’s all likely a multi-story house made of cards? Or maybe more apropos, our society encapsulated within a stack of Jenga? The most important structural framing within the tower is represented by the middle class empowered throughout the late 20th Century; the Baby Boomers if you’d like? They enjoyed a standard of living and a sense of economic security previously unknown in modern history. The idea of a livable wage, healthcare and a pension was all but taken for granted among those who lived within their means. This is no longer the case. That former generation cannot be compared to that of their children and grandchildren. No longer is retirement feasible for the majority. Or a single income. Or healthcare generous enough to avoid financial ruin in the face of cancer or even a normal hospitalization. Why is this?

The answer is as simple as it is maddeningly unattainable through modern levers of societal power structures. Politicians no longer look out for their voters en mass, rather, they look out for their donors, i.e., their golden geese allowing them to fund their campaigns and provide golden parachutes should they fall. The maddening quality within this truth is the pure impotence of ordinary, voting Americans. The media, the local governments, and the top-down nature of governmental agencies stack the deck against them, -us- effectively promoting a culture of acrimonious hate. Its effect being simple but obvious: most voters ultimately cast ballots for candidates who are anathema to their constituents well being.

How so?  For example, white working class voters overwhelmingly choose GOP candidates despite easy to see proof that they end up governing beset of those voters best interest. Cutting services while lowering the tax rates for wealthy individuals and corporations is the first example that comes to mind, however, several other, less obvious positions are present. To say Democrats are much better is also quite impervious to empirical evidence. From devastating trade deals, -NAFTA- to stripping long held Wall Street regulations bare, -many put in place almost a 100 years ago following the crash of 1929, causing the Great Depression not only in the US, but worldwide- to welfare reform and the perpetuation of the Drug War, -both policies targeted at the poorest among us- these Neo-Liberal types codify republican narratives like Paul Ryan’s, “we don’t want the safety net becoming a hammock.” Evidence and truth are of no consequential value in DC. If they were, the Democrats would have legislated law in 2009, while in absolute power, like single payer health care, increasing Social Security benefits and raising a stagnant minimum wage. All of which are policies shown to not only lift the bottom 80% of the citizenry’s standard of living, in addition to a financially sound central government. Instead, this mandate from the people was squandered, leading to, I believe, the historic losses in 2010. -it wasn’t that the voters thought Obama went too far, but not far enough- I could be wrong, but in my case, the gulf between what I imagined Obama to be and his actual governance, was quite wide. I wasn’t the only voter who felt this way, that we felt duped by the process once again, sucked the wind out of our idealism and trust in public figures. Combine this sense of apathy with an equal dose of hate simmering on the right and the drastic swing in 2010 looks, in hindsight, inevitable?

Like 2008, Bernie Sanders captured a sense of optimism, riding this wave out of obscurity, and into mainstream prominence. A new/old face promising change with a historical record of integrity to assuage skeptical voters, Senator Sanders gave it a run, yet ultimately fell short of the nomination. Now, do I believe a Sanders president could’ve lived up to his idealistic pandering? I cannot say. What is clear is the thick cloud of cynicism the country has for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. A win for either will only amplify the derision countrywide. Neither will win over the other side, that’s almost as sure a bet as one can place. Their disapproval numbers are historic, to put it mildly. And as such, our modern machine will continue on down the line, fanning the embers.

Ordinary folks will eventually be pushed too far. The open questions only history will be able to answer are: Will we choose a Constitutional Convention or Civil War, rebuilding or burning it all down, an FDR or a Mussolini?