#WAR, #ECONOMICS & #AMERICA

There are few things that anger the disenfranchised, dispossessed or the marginalized more than those who hold great power, fail to exercise it, yet reap massive rewards. It’s been said that the people will tolerate a despot, fight for a king, crush a parasite. This proven fact of human nature goes against most of what we, as Americans, are taught and believe to be true. How else can we explain the reverence of a Napoleon, a Hitler or the brutal 50 year reign of a murderous Joseph Stalin? Not one of these characters ruled their states with the interest of the ordinary citizen a priority, to the contrary, yet they ruled, long after their true nature was exposed. The final Tzar of the Russian Romanov dynasty, Nicholas, was cloaked in immense generational power, yet in the dark hours of World War I, was largely coupe up in his great palaces, steeped in mystical ritual, his great wealth flaunted in the face of a people gripped in fear and increasing poverty. In theory, his power was far beyond anything Lenin or Stalin could ever attain, yet within a year his entire family was exterminated after several hundred years of rule. Erased.

I’ve seen war from the perch of a proud American. I’ve seen war through the eyes of a related witness. And I’ve seen war up close, the smell, the exhaustion, confusion and taste of it. I use the word “war” in each instance, yet in neither is the word applied the same. If you’ve encountered it in the form of a verb, it continues, forever, to remain so. War as entertainment has a purpose in culture, albeit it a nefarious one. Those in the business of making war must promote the fiction of it or face the elimination of it as business. Marching off for Boeing or Lockheed Martin doesn’t have the same patriotic ring as marching off to save democracy or vanquish evil. How many young men would sign up voluntarily to fight a war the Politicians and Generals have secretly come to realize is unwinnable? Who’s gonna volunteer for combat against an enemy that is only fighting you because you’re trespassing on their property?

I watched a decent documentary on YouTube last night called “The Fall of Mosul.” It does tend to oversimplify some of the relevant facts, however, in broad strokes, the filmmaker does a good job historically documenting the City of Mosul from ancient times to roughly six months ago. So much of human history is a part of the region, revealing, I think, much of the folly our current policies never seem to acknowledge, learn from or even truly comprehend?

For now I must leave it at that. My next column I hope to explain my assessment of our current state of undeclared war and how our current politics seems to either dismiss any discussion that’s “out-of-bounds,” so to speak, or betray a shockingly little breadth of historical truth.

Any and all comments are welcome and appreciated. Thanks

EARN MY VOTE: AMERICAN RADICAL

The older I get, the less ideological my positions become. I suppose this is the case with many American’s, I just never believed the rule would include me? Of course, it’s not 100% true. Gay marriage for example, was beyond my scope of liberal thinking 20 years ago. An ex-girlfriend who I still have immense respect for, argued the point with me. I was all for “civil unions,” but marriage, that seemed more in the realm of the Church. I was wrong, of course, and can only laugh at my innocent ignorance and unconscious bigotry. I thought at the time, I’m cool with gay, civil unions proves my progressive cred, right? And so it goes; at least I’m able to modify my core beliefs when they are in direct conflict with my sense of morality.

If I have a pet peeve associated with Presidential Election cycles it has to be this knee-jerk argument: “A vote for a 3rd party candidate is a vote for….X. Usually a Republican it seems? The reason being, the GOP has an entirely different, more in your face strategy, for influencing elections. Liberals use shame; Conservatives use the law. Get over it Liberal’s, I’m not voting for Hillary Clinton…and I’m sure as fuck not voting for Donald Trump. I might not vote at all, so there. My so-called “protest vote” is exactly that, whether I file a 2016 ballot or not. If Donald Trump gets elected, it won’t be because of me, or fellow voters like me. It will be because Hillary Clinton was a terrible candidate that didn’t earn our votes. Period.

The same failed logic is used to blame Ralph Nader voters in Florida for the George W. Bush disaster. Of all the data points you could reference to make a case for Al Gore’s loss, the Ralph Nader is the laziest, least democratic and poorly thought out. Another words, the perfect excuse for Liberal pundits like Bill Maher and Joan Walsh. I’d start out with Al Gore’s shitty campaign that ran away from the most popular Democratic President in a generation for one. Or how about the fact that if Gore would have won his home State of Tennessee, Bush would have lost, even with Florida? Or how about the fact that the one State that became a controversy, Florida, just happened to have as Governor, Jeb Bush, the President Elect’s brother, as well as his Florida campaign chairperson, who just happened to be in charge of elections in the State? Combine any or all of these factors with the fact that Democrats are whiny weaklings, and sure…let’s blame Ralph Nader.

I say; if you are stupid, please don’t vote. If you are voting just because some celebrity urged you to do your duty, please stay home. If Donald Trump gets elected because a plurality of our fellow citizens actually believe he has their best interest at heart, will fix Washington DC or will “Make America McGreat Again,” maybe we deserve the thump on the head? Maybe the shock of a Trump Administration -I cannot believe it’s actually even possible- is just the sort of sour milk we need to clean out the intestinal crud that is our current system of governing? Maybe a Clinton Administration simply continues this drip, drip, drip of increasingly out of touch, Aristocratic, beltway governing, that is becoming more and more based on legalized bribery and out of control Executive power based on the theory of Constitutional War Power’s, despite the fact that Congress hasn’t declared War since December 11th, 1941.

Okay, that was a lot of commentary for one single sentence. I could be completely wrong and Hillary Clinton might end up in the same conversation as an FDR or JFK? And maybe a Trump win could end in more of a fatal blow than a severe concussion? Or it might be that the Presidency is more rhetorical power than it is transformational power, and little will change no matter the outcome November 9th? What do I mean? I look at President Obama and I have to wonder: Is it possible that he actually does want to close GITMO and reduce nuclear arms and simply cannot, despite being the POTUS? Maybe there is an underlying power structure, -The Deep State- that limits certain policy goals? Or at least there are forces so strong only the boldest and brashest of President could effectively overcome their resistance? It’s possible, maybe even likely?

What does all this mean for me? Maybe I’m not a Liberal or Progressive? Maybe these counter current positions I gravitate towards make me a Radical? Does that make me dangerous? I’d like to think it represents an open-minded, historically adept, position? Maybe though, in this climate, it’ll simply get me put on a “watch list?”

Then I’ll know for sure that I’m right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

War for Peace? #ISIS #SYRIA #IRAQ

Let’s get one thing out of the way regarding ISIS: There would be no ISIS if we -United States- didn’t invade, occupy and remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq in 2003. Period. Furthermore, if we -NATO- hadn’t intervened in Libya, helping overthrow the Qaddafi regime, containing and combating ISIS would be far simpler. Period. Again, and I will type slowly if anyone is having trouble keeping up: No 2003 Iraq War, No ISIS.

With that caveat out of the way, I’d like to expand upon the impressive PBS Frontline special last night regarding ISIS. I think there is great irony in the fact no single name for the group can be agreed upon. ISIS, ISIL, Islamic State, the Caliphate, “so-called” Islamic State, and Daesh are a sampling of the monikers, a lack of coherence emblematic of the ongoing engagement with the terror state. For the purposes of this discussion I will use the term I feel best informs: IS, short for Islamic State.

The Frontline piece did an outstanding job laying bare the convoluted nature of the operation to “degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL.” Letting its viewers take a peek behind the bureaucratic curtain for a moment where the propaganda machine churns, eventually spitting out the aforementioned “taste tested” language so important in a battle of such epic proportions as this. I’m joking, obviously. But it is such a good example of PR officials hard at work to win the war of words, as if that actually matters beyond the political front? Alas, once the language is loaded in the prompter, it’s time to get this “arsenal of democracy” in gear; “let’s roll merica!”

As a strategy isn’t it obvious that we should reach back in our illustrious past for winning game like say, Vietnam, Cuba, Iran or Honduras? Yea chief, you see, we’ll bomb the shit out of them, train up some moderate jihadists, and finally put these sand castles back in the win column! Sounds great General, how’s 500 million, a couple Aircraft Carrier groups and a few hundred armed robot drones to get this party started? Roger that Barry, bring on those moderate Muslims.

It’d be a funny movie if it weren’t an accurate, albeit simplified version of a portrayal of events, only days following the murder -beheading- of a brave American journalist and aid workers kidnapped in Syria. Take a guess how this master stroke of Cold War flavor vomit turned out, in a tactical or political sense? As a former grunt who served in the Middle East within a not dissimilar clusterfuck for a mission, it comes as no shock that a bunch of chair-borne, twiddle-dees & tweedle-dumbs hatched this plan from some moldy bunker within The Pentagon, ultimately selling it to the White House for action. Neither does it shock me that the Obama Administration set-forth with the bloody charade. What I do find puzzling is the country’s and Congresses’ feigned shock at its utter failure?

Sometimes I think I can look into the President’s mind and understand his decision making process? With most propositions he’s offered, it seems his larger question is always: “what happens next?” A quality of reasoning the predeceasing administration lacked to its own glorious demise. For instance, a no fly zone? So what happens when Russia violates that no-fly zone? Or, take al-Assad out of power? Who fills the void if not IS? The human suffering in the region is on a level rarely seen since WWII. Something must be done to mitigate the damage, but what?

Let’s say our bombing campaign costs us roughly a billion dollars a week roughly? How would the country, the world and/or Congress react if we paused the bombing for a month and instead, use the 4 billion dollars to increase the health and safety for the millions of refugee’s living in camps, from Jordan to Egypt to Turkey and Iraq? That would be bold. That would shake things up and possibly even reduce a little of the shade the United States has earned from citizens all over the Greater Middle East. Call it: Killing them with kindness? Yeah right? The reaction from Congress and the Pentagon would be fierce and overwhelming.

And so…we get to the point I’ve been trying to make for years. The evidence seems clear and unassailable; on some level, oozing up through the cracks, chaos is what we want in the Middle East, not stability. War is a business. Homeland security is a business. Espionage is a business. War is a racket, and America is the Gordon Gecko of Weapons Street. There is compassion in food, water and medical supplies. There’s no money in it though, sadly.

These terrible policies that perpetuate conflict and empirically have never worked as advertised are implemented intentionally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#MoreElectableThanTrump?

The shock and awe; is it different this time? Please don’t try to tell us you didn’t already know Donald Trump spoke of women like this. Your indignation is pathetic, really. It seems this errant comment was the proverbial straw that broke the otherwise robotic support of our elected leaders in Congress? Not the vulgarity recorded in heaps on the Howard Stern Show? Not the phoning in to act as his own publicist under the cover of “John Barron,” trumpeting his alter ego’s prowess when it comes to random models or specific celebrities who, in his own words, “cannot resist the huge celebrity of Mr. Trump?” Give me a break! This all feels scripted in the way a so-called “reality” show or professional wrestling match actually isn’t, fake pretending to be real rather than real acting to be fake. And like the worst genre of B-roll horror films, there’s no surprise on what’s in the closet or hiding under the bed. Anyone paying attention could have predicted this a year ago: The Donald thrown out of the ring, hit over the head with a folding chair by Hillary Clinton, leaving the “true conservative” standing within the ropes, on the mat, to tussle with Clinton, or at least her alter ego…. The Inevitable vs. The Establishment.

The worst part of it all is the way the American people are treated, as if they are all stupid. There will be a fallout, a reckoning I suppose for all these theatrics. Whatever it is, or will be, is beyond my ability to forecast accurately. Politics in America is due for a massive shakeup. The question today is, in what form will change take hold? It would be simple to say a Revolution, however, I find this prediction out of date and lacking specificity. The problem with the theory is the Deep State and the firm grip these agencies have upon modern society. The tactics of Revolution as we’ve seen it historically can be utterly upended by a system that has the ability to exercise complete dominance over people’s movement, finances, communication, even the tactical ability to forecast trends with powerful analytics using data compiled in heaps till now.

Back to the point though. The media that has finally turned on Trump, along with the members of Congress dropping like flies today, do not have much effect on those out in America bitterly supporting the man. It’s the establishment in Washington DC, New York and LA that are the perceived enemy and their position on Donald is irrelevant, if not further reason to support him? And of course he cannot win. He never stood a chance to begin with looking at the electoral math and map. For the GOP to win the Presidency, the stars would need to align. In opposition you’d need an unpopular candidate, check Hillary Clinton, but you’d also need a candidate on your side that can appeal cross culturally with Hispanics and black voter’s. Unchecked, Trump!

It’s gotta be irritating to the ordinary American who is actually looking for a candidate they can wholeheartedly get behind? I think the younger voters unwilling to line up behind Clinton are the most honest, realistic, well-informed out there in the country. We all know Hillary is putting on a mask to win their votes, a little like Obama, just with about 5% of the charisma and 2% of the marketing strategy. “Stronger together?” Sounds like a corporate logo inspired by the healthcare industry which is appropriate considering her logo looks like a sign directing you to the Emergency Department?

Can’t wait for Meet the Press tomorrow morning. My chance to finally throw a television set off a hotel balcony. I’ve always wanted to do that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WELCOME TO THE SHOW

The 2016 Election just went from Plum, to Batshit cRAZY. Fresh audio of Donald Trump circa 2005 speaking with Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush bragging, “being a celebrity you can do anything….anything; grab a girls pussy..anything.” There’s some kind of humorous irony in the fact that it was with a Bush…Billy “Bush,” but yeah, so what? It’s not a religious test to qualify for citizenship that’ll supposedly sink The Donald, but some off the record banter that could’ve been hurled from the mouth of almost any dickhead, reality TV douche. But seriously, the shocked indignation from NPR to CNN -who actually bleeps out “pussy,” describing the word as “between a woman’s legs starting with a, I shit you not: P” after playing the clip. It’s the sort of wimpy, cringe-worthy reporting that only tends to buttress my belief in the doom of our Democracy. I would never vote for Donald Trump as President of the United States, nevertheless, his candidacy has done more to expose the corrupt, incestuous, media/government marriage than anyone or anything since the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

In a distant 3rd place among the headlines today, behind the latest Trump gaff and the Hurricane threatening the Southeastern US, was the governments assertion that Russia has been meddling in our electoral system by hacking political organizations and then dumping the data by way of Wikileaks and Julian Assange. The latest of which reveals a trove of Clinton associate emails discussing, among many other things, the substance of her paid speeches to Goldman Sachs and Wall Street.

If Hillary Clinton were facing almost any other GOP candidate she’d be toast. I’d say, concerning these fresh leaks involving both candidates, that they only shed a kind of credibility to what we already know about them. Anyone acting truly surprised that The Donald used language like this concerning women is either lying or willfully ignorant. And likewise, if you believe Hillary Clinton truly intends on reigning in the corrupt practices of Wall Street and Corporate America, you’re just incredibly gullible or too young to have experienced the shady character of establishment Democrats.

The election is a month out now. There’s still time for the GOP to try to dump Trump for their authentic choice, Mike Pence. Count on the media to direct the narrative in this direction. They cannot wrap their heads around Donald Trump surviving the establishment until November and will begin pushing hard to have him step down. It’s a scenario like this playing out that excites me as a spectator. Imagine the blowback from Trump diehards throughout middle America? The GOP leadership might talk themselves into the notion that Pence is a “true” conservative, thus softening the blow from the anti-establishment, Trump crowd, but it wont. That’s the part of this that The Beltway cannot get their heads wrapped around. They see Mike Pence as just another Washington insider, which he actually is. Trump, above all other reasoning, is their “fuck you” to DC. If he is somehow convinced to step down, or even the impression is left that he is left out to dry, the GOP is probably finished?

As for Russia? I guess I was wrong back in June in making the case that the Russian State wouldn’t be behind these leaks? It could still be a red herring from the DCCC and the Obama Administration to lessen the damage, but that is becoming less likely. Still though, most of the media is focusing primarily on the Russian connection to the material, the substance of the leaks less importantly. In any other cycle, considering her penchant for security and her private server which exposed classified material in a grossly negligent -I say clearly illegal- manner, these tidbits revealing her true identity would be catastrophic. Luckily for her and unlucky for the country, her main opponent has disparaged parents of a Veteran killed in action, has called for a religious test to be American, hasn’t paid taxes for +/- 20 years, has called Mexican’s rapists, has called for punishing women choosing to have a legal abortion, on and on and on. Oh yeah, has a 65% dislikability score to her…eh hum, 55% unlikability.

So what does all this mean for the future? Probably very little besides excellent television ratings. As I’ve believed for years now, especially after serving in the US Army in both Afghanistan and Iraq, is that most Presidents are not strong enough in character to bend the will of established government bureaucrats in the Nation Security institutions and The Pentagon. Sure, Presidents have power, nevertheless, they typically modify their positions once sworn in to the preconceived paths of the Deep State. They talk about change, transparency and the rule of law, however, as best exemplified by Barack Obama, these positions are little more than “lip service.” Two examples off the top of my head are his intention to close Guantanamo Bay Cuba Detention Center and his wanting to clean up the so-called Enhanced Interrogation Techniques – Extraordinary Rendition – Black-sites programs. To say he didn’t have the authority to close GITMO within months as Commander-in-Chief is ridiculous. It’s exactly the sort of thing he could do as the Executive, but didn’t and wont because the Deep State opposes the action. To the torture regime, he could and should have directed his Attorney General to criminally prosecute those within the CIA and NSA that administrated that mess, but didn’t. Why? The simple fact that many of those involved continued to serve his administration, some even today, tells you almost everything you need to know. That the Deep State has power, if only implicitly, greater than that of a weak President.

Finally, the corruption endemic to Wall Street and high finance plays out even today without criminal ramifications of any kind. That is by choice, not by accident. Why? Weakness. Period. With Clinton and Trump you have two birds of the same feather, only myth and flock distinguish them from each other. In practice however, they both represent weakness and status quo. All the static we hear, all the sparks we see, they are little more than political showbiz. It’s all just one big game.

May the odds forever be in your favor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SAME AS IT EVER WAS

Has anyone else watched this clip of Mrs. Clinton react to the assassination of former Libyan President Muammar Qaddafi? In the clip Secretary Clinton had just received the news of his overthrow to which she quips, “we came, we saw, we killed him” with a sinister laugh better suited to a Mafia Don. Does anyone honestly question our legal authority in participating in the coup d’état? Do we hear any serious media inquiry challenging the narrative coming from NATO by way of The Pentagon, The State Department and the White House? Even today the story goes largely unchallenged by the mainstream media and often parroted by even more liberal leaning publications such as The Nation magazine, which was that Qaddafi had imminent plans to “massacre” the people of Benghazi for their public assembly and protests. Sounds like bullshit to me? The more salient question in my opinion would be: Even if Benghazi was soon to be confronted by Qaddafi’s forces, what does this have to do with NATO intelligence, surveillance and air-power?

It seems to me that this incident flies in the face of two held beliefs post Iraq War? One, that the media learned its lesson after its complete collapse during the build up to war in Iraq, and two, the our government had learned its lesson after deposing a dictator in Iraq without adequate plans to fill the remaining power vacuum. So I call bullshit again.

And now we are plowing ahead with the same tired, old, disastrous strategy in Syria. For the life of me I cannot find the logic in the plan? The only answer, from my perspective, is that the chaos is what those pulling the trigger wanted all along? If you consider the benefits of such as policy it’s not very difficult to make the leap to my conclusions. My conclusion is as simple as it is disgusting. The chaos and madness taking place halfway around the world benefits the military, the intelligence community, and those who provide arms and services to those political establishments. As the scholar Noam Chomsky has pointed out on several occasions the past 15 years: “when war is this profitable, we are going to see a lot more of it.”

The last thing I’ll point out as I wrap this ultimately meaningless conversation up is the drift towards a new Cold War 2.0 with Russia. Beginning with the expansion of NATO up to the borders of Russian territory, breaking assurances made to the Russian Government in the early 90’s, to the diplomatic support of forces within the Ukrainian government to overthrow the democratically elected, Russia friendly administration of Yanakovich in 2013, to the economic sanctions and saber nuclear saber-rattling continuing today, there are forces at work intently “poking the bear,” a Russian State capable of our destruction. These things are interrelated and should be scary as hell.

Yet, here we are. The media seemingly clueless to the broader political goals and there possible consequences. A media wagged with ease by the Pentagon and Executive, producing single sided journalism the envy of most any other country with state-run media services. “Russia bad…America exceptional,” never considering the mood or consternation of foreign populations in response to American hypocrisy. All this static produces an American public that’s ill-informed and frightened by what might be under the bed instead of confronting the intruder at the unlocked front door. A public with a completely irrational fear of “terrorists,” yet seemingly oblivious to Nation State Nuclear War?

In 1913 the citizens of Europe could not even dream of a new, Nation State, World War until the canons began firing across the countryside of Belgium and France. In 1920 the world had emerged from the war to end all wars only to once again burn 19 years later. Ask the ordinary man or woman on a street in America about World War III and they’d laugh. That’s a thing of the past…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#WellsFargo vs. John Q. Public

The biggest blight on the Obama administration has to be its reticence to prosecute crimes within the financial industry, as well as those committed under the auspices of National Security, specifically both Wall Street and the CIA. The failure to act in both realms will undoubtedly lead to future crimes and further weaken the foundation of our legal system. Society will grow accustomed to ideas like “too big to fail” and “bad things happen in war,” thereby codifying injurious precedents, emboldening future criminal behavior by those in power while concurrently amplifying the meeting out of justice upon the poor, less fortunate and powerless across society.

For example, the current investigation into nefarious practices at Wells Fargo Bank, obviously criminal in nature, revealing heavy consequences -though not criminal consequences?- to low-level employees, while execs, shareholders and Wall Street reap significant financial rewards. In a sane and healthy legal environment, the executives and upper management who promoted, permitted and were financially rewarded for these fraudulent practices would not only face forfeiture of profits, additionally, they would face prosecution. The current environment in banking is absurd and will eventually lead to cataclysmic failure, once again leading to great suffering by a public too uninformed to demand appropriate change, resetting the mad cycle once again, until some point, like a financial “event horizon,” after which the entire system imploded.

But what really infuriates me is the lacking sense of incredibility by the mainstream media in reporting these crimes. Sure, programs like PBS Frontline and newspapers like the New York Times continue to do impeccable work exposing the corruption, nevertheless, John Q Public generally requires a more loquacious accounting. Nightly news programs for instance, should produce condensed versions of the stories including, most importantly, how the malfeasance and/or criminal behavior will, or has, affected their lives. It’s not that most American’s are lacking the intelligence to consume an hour of Frontline, rather, in most cases, American’s most affected don’t have the time with all the external pressures modern life continues to exert.

When it comes to corruption in government, from the Executive Branch interpreting law to increase its power, the Deep State covertly making a mockery of our 4th Amendment rights or the CIA extra-judiciously operating “Black Site” prisons within which they can operate far from Constitutional Law, using so-called Enhanced Interrogation Techniques, otherwise known as medieval torture, not dissimilar to a petty criminal who evades prosecution, these powerful agencies and the employees within, will reengaged in these despicable practices without fear of reprisal upon the next emergency, value or not. The cost to the general public goes unnoticed for a time. Eventually though, the bill comes due in the form of “blowback,” to which the public cannot ascribe cause and effect. Examples include the death of American Diplomats in Benghazi Libya, to suicide bombings killing hundreds of Marines in Beirut, to the mass shooting at Ft. Hood, to the Boston Bombings, to even the 9/11 attacks themselves, all the result of “blowback” [payback] for United States foreign policy that in many cases included torture, rendition, or occupying sovereign lands, not to mention support validating Israeli treatment of the Palestinian people. These policies, some deemed legal, many not, whether you agree or not, are carried out in the name of all American’s.

My point being: How much and for how long will the greater American public continue to accept the indemnified behavior and actions by Wall Street bankers and public servants operating within the National Security State before we/they have had enough? Will it take a “Great Depression,” a wider war requiring the reconstituting of the Military Draft, or some other epic event to awaken the masses to the wanton criminality that caused it?

There has always been 2 Americas. It’s been a long time, however, since the gulf in the divide has been so wide, or so deep. How far will it stretch before finally fracturing and snapping back together?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

@CBS #60MINUTES &DR STRANGELOVE

Isn’t it frustrating that the 2003 Iraq War has come down to petty squabbles over who did, or didn’t, support the initial invasion? It’s relevant sure, but more important to American’s is, what have you learned from what is quite possibly the worst foreign policy blunder in United States history? What did you learn Mrs. Clinton, from both the initial mistake of regime change to the disastrous policy of occupation? Same for Mr. Trump. Instead of speaking broadly with terms like “huge mistake,” and “failure,” tell us what you’ve learned from the debacle? But no, that’s not what Presidential politics is all about. It’s easy for me to picture both Clinton and Trump at their lecterns, with their thumbs in their ears, whaling, nananananananana.

I’m bored with them for now. The real heat under my collar these days stems from our eroding rule of law in America. My new favorite poster boy for the gilded court room award is billionaire Jeff Epstein. A man with powerful friends no doubt. From the British Royal’s to the American Royal’s, this pedophile travels the globe in his private jet; The Lolita. It seems President Clinton has earned plenty of mileage plan perks since 2001, some 30 times at minimum aboard the Lolita. What’s the chances that another creepy billionaire in the news is good pals with Pedophile Jeff who goes by The Donald? Oh yes, the cream certainly does congeal at the top of that evil circus troupe. It seems nothing touches old Jeffrey, especially not the pitiful local Sheriff who investigated him for a year, identifying scores of pre-teens inhabiting the scumbag palatial mansion, only to have the rug pulled out from under the investigation by the DA. For serial rape and trafficking children, 18 months in the local jail seems appropriate? Especially nice considering his spending a few days in the joint, a few at home, repeat. But we pretend that justice is blind. The truth is America has no rule of law. What we have is a police state that uses the threat of prison to control the less powerful. How else can you explain the fact that one of these young ladies ended up doing three years hard time for stealing a gold necklace from mister pedophile and friends, the same duckweed who repeatedly sexually abused her from age 13 to 15. Justice!

And if you thought it couldn’t get any more sleazy; consider the fact that both Donald Trump and Bill Clinton consider the douche a “good friend.” I wonder what kind of blackmail material Mr. Epstein has on these fine gentlemen?

In other news: Watching this weeks edition of 60 Minutes calmed my nerves a bit, not really. So apparently we are once again flying Nuclear armed B-52s around Russia’s borders like the good old days of the Cold War. Some Air Force General the likes of Curtis Le-may calmly described the fire power aboard each bomber: They carry four, six-cylinder cruise missile launchers, each armed with thermonuclear munitions some 25 times the power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. These missiles can travel 1500 miles -a handy map was provided clearly showing the flight paths to major Russian cities- so with aircraft flying missions from the North Pole to Southeast Asia, we got them Roosky’s covered. WTF!

Have these clowns ever watched Dr. Strangelove? If not, they have replicated much of the subplot with uncanny, terrifying accuracy. This ‘ol General assured the American public that these exercises are now necessary due to ultra-provocative Russian behavior. Anyone else sense something approaching Kafka in rationality and Orwellian logic? Right! ISIS is our biggest threat?

I am making jokes here, but seriously, this bullshit is approaching insanity. Our political leadership is going to sit idly by while the Pentagon and CIA provoke Russia into Cold War 2.0? The amount of hubris dripping from that 60 Minutes feature was stunning. It was propaganda worthy of our bloated, unruly, cooked Deep State, no doubt. I ask this: If we had State sponsored media here in a supposed Democracy, would it look any different from that 60 Minutes piece? Look, the so-called journalists at CBS let our military command speak ill will of Russia and Syria for bombing indiscriminately, including a hospital. That’s appropriate, true, and accurate as far as we know? But to not ask anyone at the Pentagon about the Doctor’s Without Borders Hospital we recently destroyed in Afghanistan by “accident,” or the “accidental” bombing of Syrian troops in their own country last week, is worse than malpractice; it’s subservient and destructive to our Democratic process that requires our citizens learning the truth, so they can act appropriately and agree with, or disagree with, the policies playing out in our names.

Someone asked me today, a fellow Vet; “are you even on our side brother?” The whimsical nature of the question, asked so nonchalantly, depressed me profoundly.  “Am I on your side?” Wow! “Yes, I am brother!” “It’s some of these fools in command, making the policy, cavalierly toying with a country that’s capable of wiping our nation literally off the map, that should be asked that question.” Beginning with our addiction to meddling in what should be Russia’s sphere of influence. Pushing NATO right up to their border after committing to the opposite policy upon a reunited Germany. Even going so far as to help overthrow the Russia friendly Ukrainian Government, a piece of geography analogous to the United States and Mexico. These crimped and pressed desk jockeys have calculated that the best policy in regards to Russia is “poke the bear.” So yea, I’d ask them whose side are you on? The American public or the Boards of corporate raiders the likes of Raytheon and General Atomics, who would profit quite handsomely supplying the tools of Cold War 2.0.

What good is all that money sir, that paper currency and 1’s and zeros on a network after your freshman pranks cause the cold to boil?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#PRESIDENTIALDEBATE b.s.

So my last post was just all out word storm…and it felt good. Maybe I’ve discovered something vital to my mental health; unabridged political word vomit? Speaking of stomach and gut excrement, I just finished watching the 1st Presidential Debate of 2016. I was hoping to walk away from the 90 minutes with a better impression of Hillary Clinton, a hope that seemed within possibility considering the adjacent candidate sharing the stage with her. First thoughts are most important I think and the truth is, neither candidate said or acted in any way unexpected. My assessment of the two stands: I intensely dislike both Clinton and Trump as POTUS. Trump is simply a fool who might actually change Washington. The change might be for the worse, if that’s even possible? And Clinton represents the established “status quo.” Yes, I know both descriptors mean the same thing. Watching the show on my laptop I yearned for a West Wing President Bartlett smack down from Hillary that, despite the many moments of unguarded Trump, if you will, never materialized. Was that the strategy, to simply chuckle at his ranting madness? The one canned response I noticed was the “beauty queen” line that didn’t really emphasize the larger point..my opinion at least. But Lester Holt did a solid job. If anything, he leaned on The Donald with tough questions a couple more times than he did Clinton. Last thing I’ll mention: Clinton only addressed or referred to Trump as Donald the entire debate. Doubt he noticed.

The bigger theme is: From a Nation of 330 million, these two, somehow, have been lifted to such prominence, despite their flaws, despite their unlike-ability, despite their histories? What does this say about our democratic system? In my opinion, these national elections expose the truth, rather than perpetuate the myth, of our society. We like to prance around the world extolling our moral superiority and advanced justice systems. The nomination of Trump, a man connected both fundamentally and tangentially to bias and racism, exposes the entrenched social divides that continue to hound our culture. If social media could be attributed to a single benefit, I believe that would have to be the way in which these isolated, yet not infrequent acts of racial injustices, ie, unarmed black persons killed by law enforcement- are readily exposed to the masses, where as in past times only the most egregious acts like the Rodney King beatings went viral. This combination of ubiquitous recording and multi dimensional sharing is mainstreaming a social cause that’s been brewing for decades, yet heavily exposed today with the tools of modern technology.

Going back to these police killings for a minute. Just imagine how many unjustified homicides occurred prior to these technological advances? I mean look, many time today, even when captured on video, law enforcement will dance around the truth as in the case of Tamir Rice in Cleveland. A straight up murder by the way. Many of these incidents are buffeted with phrases like; “I saw a gun” or, “he looked like a madman on PCP.” Without video to contradict these accounts and the willingness of other police witnesses to falsify reports, the victims have been “up shit creek,” so to speak. Your word against theirs and you might be dead anyway right? So you can feel this storm brewing as regular citizens now have the opposing ammunition to contradict what otherwise would have likely been covered up with false reporting. Shit’s gotta change and the shock and confusion gripping police departments is palpable. Hopefully modern technology will help bridge this long running divide….but consider me skeptical.

No surprise Veteran’s issues of any kind were absent from the debate! After the forum last week I had many questions regarding both candidates comprehension of the wider issues. Actually, I don’t even want to know what these two think. Fuck ’em. They could say something sensible and be a lie or something outrageous that comes true. It’s all talk from them. It’s the moderator who asks the question…or doesn’t, as it were, that bears importance. Is that the correct “bears?” Or “bares?” At this point though, even I would be incredibly shocked if Trump even ends up winning more than 150 electoral votes. We are collectively a stupid nation, but not morons, right?

Hasn’t supply side -trickle down- economics been proven a sham? Isn’t it fucking obvious that Republicans spew this “voodoo” economic theory as a convenient way to slash taxes, most of all for the wealthy and corporate America? After all these years though it’s still trotted out by GOP candidates like some kind of paramnesia. Such bullshit. In fact, that’s a better metaphor than “trickle down.” It should be, “let the bull eat more so that even more shit trickles down on the rest of us.” The more gluttony, the more shit for all theory of economics. It’s about as believable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POST #JUSTICE #SOCIETY

Before I dig into the outrageous matter that is our never-ending 15 year state of war, I’d like to ask a simple question…Is there no limit to the lawlessness permeating the elite stratus of post 20th Century America?  From Wall Street to Washington DC, it’s become a simple rule of fact that the rich and powerful among us ascribe to a separate book of laws; invisible, classified or secret laws that shield those with wealth and status from criminal indictment and prosecution, and if the law is brought to bear at all, civil judgments are rendered as tax deductable fines, without admission of guilt. Look no further than the Hillary Clinton private server investigation. With regular folk, they’d make you prove your innocense rather than the other way around. Don’t believe me? Look into the Bill Binny case and the NSA. All they found was a single page on his personal computer that was classified AFTER he left the agency and was charged because they thought he was leaking to the press. Binny, although a dutiful long term employee and Veteran never got the due dillegence Clinton received. Or when Trump is looking at a major lawsuit in Florida, the case is not picked up after an illegal contribution to the AG’s campaign comittee. No problem on either front I guess? Over the course of 15 years, admitted war crimes such as torture and massive financial crimes that continue today, are somehow blanketed in indemnity by those in power without even the slightest sense of caution for precedent and the future it portends. If no punishment results from blatant criminality, the chances of repeated behavior is compulsory. There was a time in this country when there was at least the illusion of justice. Today what we see is a nation that punishes the poor and indigent to the extreme while simultaneously kissing the ring of those “too big to fail -jail-.” How long can this charade go on before the peasants recall their ante? How long can the mystical illusion of freedom and equality keep hold of the masses? In my opinion, the levee will breach the moment those who considered themselves part of the middle class, deserved of the “American Dream,” discover that they too have been swallowed by the invisible power. The dam will break the day white privilege no longer has the strength to compete with those who own the state. That time when those who looked upon the ghetto’s and inner city populations realize that they’ve been manipulated into their own newer, modern, yet similar ghetto, stripped of the rights we all take for granted. We’re accustomed to the plight of minorities in the justice system. A system that treats you better if you are guilty and wealthy than it does if you’re poor and innocent. Bit by bit, Democracy in the United States is being neutered by the influence of dark money in massive quantities.

You may think I am some kind of nut-job after reading this? That I’m making a mountain out of a molehill? I just ask you to think about what I’m saying. Think about the 2008 financial crisis and the complete lack of accountability involved. Something like 14 trillion dollars all told and not even a single Wall Street banker was indicted, let alone go to jail. How is this the case unless they have become bigger than the law? And if that is the case, indeed, we have no rule of law. This isn’t conspiracy, secret squirrel stuff. It’s the facts only.

We have a prison without any due process on an island country that doesn’t recognize our claim to the land. In this prison we’ve “tortured some folks,” not to mention the many secret prisons we ran around the globe where torture was a regular tool used despite many, many laws and treaties that make these actions criminal. Period. In addition, we invaded a sovereign nation on the grounds of preemptive war. A move that’s been rightly deemed criminal throughout history by us and others until we decided to do so. I could go on, but my point is this: In the face of these facts, not one person has been held accountable, either criminally or otherwise, set aside some low ranking enlisted soldiers who were “just following orders.”

We are in a post justice world. How long will us “regular folk” accept these conditions? There will be a time, an event horizon if you will. Two simple ideas are slowing tearing us apart. 1) The rich can plunder and steal with impunity as long as they don’t steal from other rich people. 2) When our government bombs or “tortures some folks,” it is done in each and every citizens name.