RANGER AGAINST WAR: In the Beginning <

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

In the Beginning

--Alice in Wonderland, 
John Tenniel

And we'll never be royals
It don't run in our blood
That kind of lux just ain't for us,
we crave a different kind of buzz 
--Royals, Lorde   

Then with the boiler about to explode
from eight years of blather and neglect,
Humphery's cold-war liberals could have
fled down the ratlines and left the disaster
to whoever inherited it 
--The Great Shark Hunt,
Hunter S. Thompson 

Television is not the truth!
Television is a God-damned amusement park!
We're in the boredom-killing business! 
--Network (1976)
______________________

After a year of malignant hauteur vis-a-vis candidate Trump the talking heads ask in play-befuddlement of the Republican Presidential candidate: “How did HE happen?”

In their arrogance, the press created a simplistic constituent of angry and bigoted American bumpkins wielding pitchforks across the land who supposedly comprise the majority of Trump’s supporters.  Presumably feeble-minded and easily suckered, their sad domain is the “flyover states”.

Surely fools all, they will fall in embarrassment when we knock their candidate around a bit. Surely he cannot stand up to a "real" candidate, like Mrs. Clinton -- "real" today meaning a lawyer, someone who has earned his bona fides by treading the muck of Foggy Bottom.

That is the sort you may vote for, because, well, they are practiced in the sleazy craft of treading muck, and politics is a dirty business. Not for the likes of you and I. It is heresy to think it might be otherwise . . . and yet, here it is.

The press would have you think the poor sots who think otherwise are the people candidate Obama disdained in 2008 as the “guns and Religion crowd”. (Ironically, then-candidate Clinton called Mr. Obama, "elitist and out of touch" for his disdain.) And those who would feign shock at Mr. Trump’s success? 

They would do well to look to Mr. Obama for the germ of candidate Trump's success.

At a 2011 White House Correspondents’ Association Press Dinner, President Obama slapped candidate Trump down in front of a televised world audience. Lauded as "cool" by the cognoscenti, it was actually an evisceration.

President Obama did not deliver his remarks in the spirit of peer-to-peer bonhomie which such occasions demand. Obama dismissed Mr. Trump in his entirety. 

It seemed Mr. Obama (to paraphrase the man's own words) held "antipathy to folks who aren't like him."

This additional moment of un-Presidential hubris consolidated the phenomenon that would deny the nomination to 16 party-sponsored GOP candidates. Trump was supposed to be the provocateur; he was not a favored party son.

So what else has enabled Mr. Trump’s very credible bid for the White House -- aside from the very real sense of deracination among a large contingent of U.S. citizens? 

Hatred bit the Good Liberals on the ass. Personal animosity has no place in national discourse, yet the press's covered has been deeply personal and mean-spirited, often malicious and contemptible.

Further, the attacks have been relentless, fairly toothless, and a sort of “vile fatigue” has set in for many who resent their arms being twisted into voting for what they are told is the only one viable candidate.

Much as bombs and terrorist attacks have become background noise to our daily life, so the single-minded disdain of Mr. Trump is a simmering constant in the media. For a thinking person, this enforced press agenda rankles.

The harridans of the press may talk good, but their bought-and-paid for agenda is transparent to a disillusioned populace. The only ones who follow the bait without suspicion are those inclined to believe as they do a priori – the Party Men.

The President (a haughty skinny Boss Tweed), Mrs. Obama (an angry disparaging one) and Joe Biden (who does what he’s told) have joined in swinging at the Trump piñata on candidate Clinton’s behalf. None convince because we know they have not done what they said they would. The “hopey-changy” thing lies lifeless, like roadkill on the MSR.

(Noteworthy: former President Bill Clinton is in hull defilade, improving his overhead cover, just enjoying life from his Harlem offices.)

And in a sense, perhaps the essential difference between the candidates is expressed in Mr. Clinton’s demeanor: Mr. Trump exudes an enthusiasm born of his success. Contrast that with Mrs. Clinton’s sour, entitled didacticism.

Who feels more like America 2016? Mrs. Clinton, the 1910 school marm hypocritically dispensing recitations from her McGuffey reader ("Do as I say, not as I do"), or Donald Trump, the reality show Boss in a world lived in the simulacra of the hyperreal. You decide.

We are 14 years into a war that leads nowhere, and bodes no good for the U.S. (aside from padding the pockets of military contractors.)

The U.S. supports Iraqi militias and calls them an Army. It fights and Army (ISIS) and calls them terrorists. Our foreign policy understands only war – its continuance and expansion.

We have a Homeland Security apparatus that secures nothing, and we have a Homeland devoid of democratic principles.

Is it any wonder the people want something different?

--written by Lisa

[cross-posted @ milpub.]

Labels: , , , , ,

55 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nobody likes the guy who declares, "The Emperor has no clothes!" and then proves it.

You'd think such a guy would be a hero, but it seems at least half the people always hate him. They'd rather live the lie. Maybe that is more comfortable, somehow.

avedis

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 10:21:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Except that they are not getting "something different" in any way that will be positive.

At the time you speak of, Trump was a leading member of a paranoid conspiracy cult advancing the claim that the President had scammed his way into office. Some slapping down seems, if not polite, hardly unpredictable.

One wonders what he was doing at this event in the first place, unless, of course, he has been a card-carrying member of the elite class all along.

One might further wonder whether the ease with which such transparent flimflam can gain a cult following precisely confirms the dim view of southern and working-class intellects already taken by those very same elites.

I doubt most of the talking heads mind too much. The Trump administration does not threaten the mainstream media. If anything, it will save it by boosting their page view counts. The only people in the mainstream media who have faced any threat so far are the reporters on the ground who get a bit rougher treatment at Trump rallies than they are used to, but when has a large conglomerate minded whether the working conditions of its lower ranks slipped a tad?

Some people evidently are upset that Washington is populated by politicians bought and paid for by wealthy corporate interests. I'm not sure how placing a wealthy corporate man in the White House is likely to change that except by cutting out a few obviously unnecessary middlemen.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 11:51:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David, Was Obama born in the USA? Who really knows? And it doesn't really matter as far as this discussion goes because what Trump (and the Clinton camp, simultaneously) were *really* saying is, "Hey, this guy is weird and hardly able to relate to regular Americans. His mother and mother were weird, atypical characters with anti-US sentiments in evidence. Barry/Barrack grew up in foreign countries under Muslim tutelage. His past and achievements are pretty sketchy and then one day he just emerges on the political scene, briefly becomes a US Senator and now thinks he can represent all of us as President. IS HE REALLY AMERICAN?".

I happen to think that those concerns - which were expressed more simply as "He's DQ'ed for not being born here" - are not without merit.

The diversity uber alles crowd objects, of course because they loves them some spicy foreign-ness.

avedis

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 3:09:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

I've also never seen Donald Trump's long-form birth certificate. In both cases, there was ample evidence for any reasonable person to realize that they were born in the United States. Having parents with anti-American sentiments doesn't disqualify you from being President. Living abroad doesn't disqualify you from being President. For that matter, for better or worse, having anti-American sentiments yourself doesn't disqualify you from being president.

You may, of course, engage in whatever paranoid fantasies you wish, but do try to come down to Earth once in a while, if only to breathe.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 3:27:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Updating with an apology for double posting: before we wander into the reeds on that (and incidentally, I have also not seen either Clinton's birth certificate), I think I might have written my first part wrong. It wasn't the birth certificate controversy that I was saying was flimflam. It's the entire Trump campaign "movement." It saddens me to see it take shape just like it saddened me to see the "hope and change" movement of the left behind Obama eight years ago.

There isn't one single circle of elites, here or in the Americas or in the world or wherever. There are power blocs. Some rise, some fall. When they do, conflicts happen. Rival elites look for non-elite supporters to cement their power blocs. This is what is happening now.

Trump is, of course, a member of the elite, which is why he was at that idiotic dinner in the first place in order to be insulted. He's from a wealthy family. He went to upper-class private schools. He made his fortune in business indulging in exactly the kind of tax cheating, petty corruption, and exploitation of the working class that he rightly condemns the Clintons for. It's just that where the Clintons made their lives at the beck and call of elites like Trump, now Trump will simply take their place directly.

Naturally this makes the professional political class very nervous. What use is Hillary Clinton or Paul Ryan or Ted Cruz or any of the rest of them if not to play the role of the political shield for elite interests? Who needs tools when the tool-makers can just take charge directly?

So they resort to their usual playbook. Trump is an enemy of civilization. Vote for us, because a vote for him is a vote for Hitler. Hillary is the "moderate," the "centrist," etc., etc. This election it looks like that bag of tricks has become too discredited to work, and they can stew in their juices on that score until eternity for all I care.

What will that mean going forward, though? Trump's lack of political knowledge and skills, coupled with his obvious personal flaws, will translate into the most inept presidency in recent times. It's absurd to imagine that someone of his class and standing will abandon his background, his fortune, his business practices, everything, to follow through on the promises he has made to the working class. In 2020, a coalition of progressives and "centrist" neoliberal globalists will find someone slightly less tainted than Hillary and run Trump out of the White House on a rail, much as they could easily have done this election had they not been so complacent. Any talk of challenging the elite consensus will then be dismissed as a return to "Trumpism," which is what I'm sure it will be called.

The one thing Trump's campaign will prove is that someone intent on upsetting the power structure and using what is normally considered socialist-style economic controls to redistribute wealth can command a political following in America. It's hilarious that it took the right wing to remind the left wing of this. In the end, however, no elites on this continent, including Trump himself, would actually let that scenario play out if they could prevent it. Instead, they will let right and left play their incessant "culture wars" while the real business continues on.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 3:55:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David, You're contradicting yourself. If Trump is a member of the elites, then nothing will change and his lack of political experience won't matter. He'll just be doing the bidding of his fellow club members.

I say he's not an elite. Being a club member means you have all of the allied global political power and wealth centers with you. You're networked with them. Trump is not. He has $, but its center is NYC based. Period.

And I can't believe that you don't get that an anti-American Muslim background is a disqualifier for the office. Perhaps not technically, but a disqualifier nonetheless....oh I get it...you're one of those believers that we're all the same all over the world, America sucks and diversity is the key to the coming utopia types.

Well, I disagree. Strongly.

avedis

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 4:18:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

I'm not contradicting myself. "The elites" are not a single group. There are multiple factions. That Trump and Clinton now belong to rival factions should be obvious to anyone.

You say Trump is not an elite because the center of elite power is in New York? That's an interesting read on things. You do know Trump is based out of New York, right?

Of course he's "networked" with them. He used to be a Clinton supporter, for goodness sake. Elite politics is a bit like Game of Thrones only with less swords and more newspapers. There is a club, and you and I are not in it. We are, as you pointed out a while back, all deplorables in their eyes, and always will be. But from time to time, they will need our support to climb the ladder, and then they will make whatever speeches and promises they think are necessary, much as Trump is doing now. Sometimes you come from a less powerful background and so you have to put in the hard work of greasing palms and currying favor as a career politician. Trump will render some of that unnecessary at least, I suppose.

I've read the Constitution. Being anti-American doesn't disqualify you from office, although I would hope that voters would reject it, just as I would hope that they would resist being taken for a ride by yet another in a long succession of elite con men.

Neither would being a Muslim, although Obama was a member of Reformed churches for many, many years before becoming president. Perhaps you think this conspiracy really did begin that long ago?

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 4:30:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David,
I said the elites are global and Trump is NYC. I repeat that having $ does not make one an elite. Nor does attending a party and rubbing elbows and writing a donation check.

Rather, it is solid connections, membership in the club, the hive mind, the organizational structure, that shapes policy and public opinion. Trump does not have that. He is on his own. The elites (my definition) fear him b/c he is not beholden to them and he will defy their plans. That is not merely my fantasy. It is fact. Witness how Trump seeks to work with Russia, whereas the elites seek to confront Russia and diminish her. That is but one example.

Obama was a member of a black activist, communist, white race hating "church". It was a social revolutionary club more than a church. That is exactly in line with what I was saying about him.

avedis

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 8:17:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

I apologize for misreading you. The center of global financial power is New York. Trump is based in New York. He has global financial and commercial interests, financed by international partners like Deutsche Bank.

If your circle of elite is drawn so narrowly that it doesn't include someone born into a wealthy family who attended elite-focused private schools, built a multi-billion-dollar business enterprise with extensive domestic and international holdings, attended all the right parties in all the right clubs, and used to be friends with the Clintons, with respect, I think you're drawing your lines in the wrong places. In what way, precisely, is such a person not elite? Simply because he descended on a gold-plated escalator to announce to the masses that he's one of us now?

Sorry. I'm not quite the leftist I once was, but there's just enough old left in me not to be that easily fooled by the latest wealthy charlatan to try his luck buying off the people with shiny trinkets and empty promises.

Interestingly, I read this summer that Bill Clinton still has his membership at Trump's golf course.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 10:19:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

TO all.
i believe that we are all drawn into the smoke screen. in my day we had smoke generators to cover us from observation. now the political parties do the same. they smoke the objective and we ants run around like we can cut thru the smoke.
IMO THE PWOT has come home to roost.we invade countries and impose political systems that they will never accept or swallow and we call this democracy because we run orchestrated elections that mean squat to the countries and people involved.
same here in the homeland. we have smoke screen elections that are worthless. elections are not democracy but only a part of the equation. no matter who we elect the rust belt will remain and the middle class will wither whilst the security apparatus prospers. no matter who wins nato will remain and it will lead us into our next war. a war that we have already lost. it will be a war that we cannot win , as was the pwot and rvn.
the only thing missing in my analysis is that we don't dip our fingers in purple ink and smile at the cameras.
if hill is elected feminism will not prosper as race relations did not improve under bho.
health care under either will remain a swamp that swallows dollars.
our industry will continue to slip slide away and our leaders will remain aloof and fat cat.
tbc
jim hruska

Thursday, November 3, 2016 at 8:59:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

to all,
when was the last time that an election actually expressed the will or intent of the electorate?why would this one be any different? we elect our predators and call them politicians.
the system is not gonna change or improve.
if anything it'll deteriorate. we elect people incapable of real leadership.
leadership has become the road to immense wealth, and here i am still remembering when leadership meant that an officer didn't eat until the troops were fed.now leadership means sitting on boards and having foundations after you get done pillaging the system.
well thats all the happiness that i'm allocated for the day.
jim hruska

Thursday, November 3, 2016 at 9:42:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

Niko here. Lurking as per usual but not entirely absent.

CBS CEO Les Moonves, "For us, economically, Donald’s place in this election is a good thing. They’re not even talking about issues. They’re throwing bombs at each other and I think the advertising reflects that. I’ve never seen anything like this and this is going to be a very good year for us. It’s a terrible thing to say, but bring it on, Donald, go ahead, keep going. The money’s rolling in, this is fun. It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS, that’s all I got to say."

Speech at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference
Febuary 29, 2016.

And this is the fundamental issue here. Before he was an elite, he was a showman and given his many bankrupt and failed businesses his ability to grab headlines and manipulate image is the only reason he has gotten this far-scandals included. Of course in America's anti-politics today, this turned out to be the only way to get around panhandling money from oligarchs just to keep your presidential campaign competitive. This says a lot more about Late-Capitalism's enculturation of a Guy Deborian spectacle-based "reality" into a society of already gestating Neoliberal idiocy than any subversion of black or sexually unconventional untermenschen, as the great independent scholar Paul Street puts it.

Pulitzer Prize-winning Chris Hedges, one of the handful of journalists who stood up to the predetermined media line of aggression towards Iraq and paid for it with their careers (in his case the infamous "Paper of Record" the NY Times) is occasionally quoted here but never expounded upon. He has an excellent analysis of not only Trump but his phenomenon uniquely placed in a New-Democrat Clintonite Neoliberal Capitalist world which much prefers a fourth count that, fourth, term of the corporate conglomerate courier family that started it all even if it doesn't entirely lose with a Trump coronation. Professor Mark Crispin Miller's discussion with Eric Draitser of Counterpunch is valuable here. The entire talk and Miller's Forbidden Bookshelf series is a must-see to understanding the censored and repressed realities of American Empire covered up even before this post-Cold War era. The hour and 21st minute mark is the especially valuable part in question for explaining Trump's lesser known connections to the Neo-Conservatives of the Project for a New American Century type but counter-intuitively also why his faction of the Capitalist Class may have differences in opinion of how to carve up the world with the Neo-Liberals and perhaps somewhat with the Neo-Conservatives but not in the overall maintenance of their class relations- namely the growingly unequal game of more for them and less for everybody else. Thats really the crux of it and here David might be unto something.

I think Miller's theory on why hes really such a liability- and not necessarily a threat- is pertinent though and its not for the bogus reasons disseminated in the apparatuses of the Capitalist Mass Media. While the previous paragraphs might not endear you to another pint with yours truly (its long story David), perhaps you'll reconsider when you know its the only reason this radical leftist would prefer the sentient circus peanut over the banker whore. As Nixon learned the hard way, an occasional molotov cocktail or two at your motorcade will by circumstance cause you to put aside your promises to your class and donors now and then and actually pretend to be a genuine civil servant... for a time. I'll have to see if they won't steal it all away anyway if that can ever come true.

Thursday, November 3, 2016 at 10:02:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim, That's pretty good thinking and you're probably correct. I'm just not ready to totally give up. I keep hoping that somehow a Trump election will shake something lose in the pattern and the elites will have to be more responsive as a result. Call me silly if you will, but I'd like to take one more crack at it.

avedis

Thursday, November 3, 2016 at 11:11:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

As usual Jim has put the point much more clearly than I did.

Niko, and also in passing Avedis - I don't begrudge anyone their preferences and I don't think it's ever silly to have some amount of hope. I only wish that this time around I could share in it. Perhaps in a couple years' time you can remind me I was unnecessarily cynical. Believe me, I wouldn't be overly disappointed. I think, however, that Trump's election will vindicate me and that we will have to have this conversation again in a few years' time.

Moonves could be wrong, of course. The fact that his class expects their party to continue no matter who occupies the White House does not necessarily make it so. It does, however, seem like the most plausible scenario. I suppose if the institutional left can lose its mind over a pipe dream of hope and change, the right is fully entitled to do the same.

Thursday, November 3, 2016 at 2:46:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

I have no illusions that the Groper (In Chief?) will provide on any of his slogans- except annexing Iraqi oil and killing terrorists' families of course. Its not like the Hope-A-Dope Black Messiah didn't do that already with fatal drone strikes of Americans (a teenager for Christ sakes) in Yemen or cemented his control over Iraqi Kurdistan's oil fields whose besmirching moved his oh-so ironclad conscience to act when terrorists were threatening to advance on the local petrocarbon capital Erbil (and not when they were slaughtering Alawites and Christians in Syria just across the border, naturally).

David, I feel we agree more than we disagree.

This pipe dream is not my own. Please read my last paragraph again or perhaps Chris Hedges at the 6:00 minute mark in this speech can clarify.

It will be well worth your time to hear out his entire speech in its entirety. He talks extensively about the WWII veteran and blacklisted scholar Howard Zinn. The facade of official power has always been a circus. The real power in history obfuscated by the corporate textbooks of today's Western societies and the mass media has always been in the streets no matter who was in charge. Bet on that fact no matter who wins the quadrennial carnival extravaganza. His famous quotes are worth quoting at length.

"There's hardly anything more important that people can learn than the fact that the really critical thing isn't who is sitting in the White House, but who is sitting in--in the streets, in the cafeterias, in the halls of government, in the factories. Who is protesting, who is occupying offices and demonstrating--those are the things that determine what happens.

...the election frenzy…seizes the country every four years because we have all been brought up to believe that voting is crucial in determining our destiny, that the most important act a citizen can engage in is to go to the polls and choose one of the two mediocrities who have already been chosen for us. It is a multiple choice test so narrow, so specious, that no self-respecting teacher would give it to students. And sad to say, the Presidential contest has mesmerized liberals and radicals alike. … But before and after those two minutes [in a voting booth], our time, our energy, should be spent in educating, agitating, organizing our fellow citizens in the workplace, in the neighborhood, in the schools. Our objective should be to build, painstakingly, patiently but energetically, a movement that, when it reaches a certain critical mass, would shake whoever is in the White House, in Congress, into changing national policy on matters of war and social justice…Historically, government, whether in the hands of Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals, has failed its responsibilities, until forced to by direct action: sit-ins and Freedom Rides for the rights of black people, strikes and boycotts for the rights of workers, mutinies and desertions of soldiers in order to stop a war.”

If you look at the Millennial generation, of which I can say I am part, I think I speak for them that we understand this more than anyone, which I might just explain more in the post just released above. In the end the burden of changing this whole clusterfuck is mostly on our shoulder anyway given the horror of what we're inheriting. We've got a lot of work to do- thats for certain.

Friday, November 4, 2016 at 3:10:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Niko - I know Zinn's work well. It's sitting on my bookshelf as we speak.

Maybe I misread that paragraph of yours, sorry.

You say that one of the few things Trump is likely to follow through on is re-invading and re-occupying Iraq, which is what would have to happen if you really meant "annexation" there. Lisa, on this blog, argues that Trump will be less hawkish than Clinton. Frankly I don't know which is the better read of him. There's a lot of uncertainty when it comes to nailing down what Trump would actually do with political power. That is obviously part of the appeal for many of his supporters, just as it was for Obama's supporters in 2008.

Avedis being the most vocal Trump supporter here, in the past I've tried to pin him down on policy questions, and I feel a bit bad for it because he's certainly not to be held responsible personally. However, I did have my reasons.

There are only 24 hours in a day, no matter how plugged into any supposed elite circles you may be. Even in Washington, there are still only 24 hours in a day. Most of that time will be eaten up by a combination of public appearances, routine briefings, and presumably sleep. From the moment he arrives he will be thrust into making decisions on policy and personnel matters almost exclusively.

A couple of things follow from this. First, despite the transparently authoritarian rhetoric from Mr. "I Alone Can Fix It," no government is small enough for a single man to "fix." This rhetoric got the left in a tizzy, predictably, but all of the people who followed through on such rhetoric historically had massive, established movements to help them do it. Trump doesn't, which is why, at the end of the day, the rhetoric doesn't worry me.

Second, if you don't have that movement, then instead of you taking over government, government will take over you. Gradually you will be absorbed by the inertia of bureaucracy on the one hand and your ever-so-helpful advisors on the other. Because he doesn't have a movement to bring with him, most of them will have to be drawn from the very same classes of professional policy wonks and establishment/elite types that Trump's supporters despise.

And all of that is predicated on the assumption that Trump intends to change Washington to the detriment of his own class, which, as I've argued on here repeatedly, is a pipe dream. I think it is vastly more likely that it will be much more of the same, just more inept, more high-strung, and more paranoid than usual.

The first steps of a revolution, before any opposition can consolidate, are always the easiest. You can see this with Obama, for that matter. I doubt he got elected thinking that part of his legacy would, for instance, be to make America the world's first drone superpower and then to direct one against an American citizen. But that's what happens. The system can eat you alive, even if you're the President.

Friday, November 4, 2016 at 9:40:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

No apology needed. The humility is appreciated of course.

The point being that where the Western Seven (or is it even less now?) sister oil cartels lost the rich oil fields in southern Shia Iraq to Russian and Chinese firms, they made sure to hold onto the fields in northern Kurdistan. This after all, was the reason fighting has been reported over the years between Kurds and the mostly Shiite Iraqi Army; even to the point of abandoning the fight against common Sunni foe ISIS. Obama made sure to hold onto this real estate at least- conquered fair and square of course- as some consolation for the disastrous invasion. Both candidates will attempt the same.

It does appear I will have to spell out Chris Hedge's assertion in question as I think you still missed it. "The question Karl Popper says is not how you get good people to rule but how to make sure that those in power are frightened of you. Theres a scene in Henry Kissingers memoirs where Kissinger and Nixon are barricaded inside the White House by city buses lined up end-to-end to deter a massive anti-war protest englufing Washington D.C.'s streets. And Henry noticed Nixon wringing his hands before saying 'Henry, they're going to break through! They're going to break through and get us', and that's exactly where you want people in power to be".

As Mark Crispin Miller explained, there is no polarizing presidential candidate in recent memory that combines the dirty hands of Nixon and the buffoonery of Bush in quite such a disastrous way to threaten to make even those Tumultuous 60s look like a picnic. Thats the real reason Avedis should be supporting Donny Drumpf. The elites have realized an elephant in the circus tent has broken out of its cage and its confused, reckless stampede through the clowns threatens to trample the show itself and them along with it. Thats the primary reason they're trying to put some dampers on this charade gone out-of-control and prematurely anoint the Neo-Liberal Countess Empress of the New World Order. Even the elite rivalry that punctuated the humble beginnings of this whole affair has lost priority.

Any left-wing street fighter would relish the chance of the riots erupting at his rallies getting the chance to spread all the way to the White House and the Powers-That-Be know it. Thats the key liablity... and why Trump must be retired early- if the whole thing hasn't gone to his head.

But thats Captalist "Representative" Anti-Politics for you. As Karl Marx famously said: First as tragedy, then as farce.

Friday, November 4, 2016 at 2:44:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Dave said...

Riots? City buses lined up end to end? You are talking of another century.

I buy into Hedge's theory in general but I disagree with what I think is the application to the present case (but maybe I'm wrong on that). Let me explain what I mean.

"Protests" occur in the form of Twitter "wars" nowadays. Notwithstanding unprecedented public unrest, elite interests are in many ways safer than ever, if only because even as public unrest rises the outlets for it have been systematically undermined by the digital age of social media.

As evidence of this, I need only offer you the ridiculous spectacle of the present day -- which I'm sure you already agree with me on, but it bears repeating: a "debate" about whether a corrupt New York billionaire with extensive ties to global capital is remotely likely to lead a popular revolution against the economic interests of his own class. It's preposterous. (So, by the way, is the idea that blacks and Hispanics should naturally vote for Democrats, and we could analyze this same problem from the Democratic side too.)

Trump doesn't get along well with his fellow elites because he's badly behaved and narcissistic, not because he actually threatens their survival. Assuming he wins next week, there will probably be a massive hit to world stock markets. This will be followed breathlessly in the media by "pressure" to demonstrate that he is a "moderate" so as to "reassure the markets," which he will do between November and the first 100 days of his administration, to the joy of anyone who happens to buy and sell at the right time.

Hedges, in the Truthdig article, says that we are at a breakdown point because traditional control systems like the culture wars have lost their power. I can't agree with that. I make it a rule never to follow polls in a horse-race sense, but I do read them occasionally for the deeper currents. Right now the best predictors of how someone will vote are their race and their gender. As long as that's the case, culture remains in the foreground and class in the background, and as long as we are fighting over culture instead of class, the elites -- including Trump -- will always prosper.

In the long run, Hedges is almost surely correct. We're nowhere near there yet, however, at least in my view.

Friday, November 4, 2016 at 3:45:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nikolay, I support Trump primarily b/c he is giving the finger to the elite power centers in DC. Yes, they need to fear us and, up until recently, they are too smug and do not.

David, I do not have a twitter account. I don't even have a cell phone. I do have a mini 14 and 1,000 rounds of 5.56mm, a twelve gauge and an old bolt action that shoots real straight at 300 yards. You'd be surprised at how many people around here have a similar arsenal. Out West they're even more serious about their 2A rights and why we have them.

In my estimation - one hot precipitating event and we will have a civil war in this country. That's a real civil war with shooting live ammo and blood and dead people all over the place. The coastal dwellers will try to avoid participation with the war originating in the interior; they being all enlightened and civilized and all. But war will come them anyhow, if it happens.

"Trump doesn't get along well with his fellow elites because he's badly behaved and narcissistic" Seriously? That's why? Bad behavior with these people is deviating from the hive mind and threatening to rock the structure that keeps these people elite. I must find a way to express better to you so as to help you understand, money itself does not = elite. It being invited into and swearing and maintaining adherence to a structure that has self reinforcing rules, norms, beliefs and attitudes and a blinding faith - No! Knowledge - that unwavering adherence conveys true superiority. Being superior one then rules and seeks to make the plebs understand reality correctly. Trump is not that.

avedis

Friday, November 4, 2016 at 8:02:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

And exactly who will be starting this war of yours?

Trump supporters unhappy that they lost the election?

I sincerely doubt it, but I'm not sure you could point to another group that has the numbers, and nobody outside of the government, on any side, has either the organization or the infrastructure.

Friday, November 4, 2016 at 8:16:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

On your final point, as I have mentioned numerous times before, Donald Trump is a corrupt urban elite with extensive ties to global capital. If you want to strike a blow against a corrupt urban elite that has extensive ties to global capital, picking one of their own members seems like a weird way to do it.

There are only a few hundred people in the entire world who are wealthier than Trump. It's absurd for you to pretend that he is not a member of the elite class.

How many times in history have elites made wild promises that they will be different from the others in order to gain a following from the rabble, i.e., you and me? Countless times.

How many times have these promises been genuine?

Friday, November 4, 2016 at 8:21:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David, some wars are planned well ahead of time and some just kind of start as a possible stream of events culminates into a terrible reality; so terrible a potential is was unthinkable until it happened.

Who would start it? Why the elite bastards and bitches, by their attitudes and actions. How? could be anything. Hillary starts a war with Russia and asks that everyone else's sons (and I suppose daughters) go die in it. Hillary attempts some severe gun control. TPP sends more jobs overseas and we experience a depression. Hillary has obviously committed serious crimes and pay for play and nothing happens to her for it and she tries to boss us around. Anything at the right conflux of events and emotions. There's a smoldering fire already.

Are you one of those people that thinks "history" has a direction and that the direction is toward constant "improvement" of humanity and society until utopia is achieved? I am not. I say nothing changes. The American and French revolutions weren't that far back. It's only been 100 years since the Russian revolution. Do you really believe that these kinds of events are something of the past? The "wrong side of history"? That people are no longer capable of such things? Why not? Have we somehow evolved into what you would call a superior more rational species? I would say that if your perspective is true, which it isn't, that it would be a de-evolution into a species of neutered worms.

Who do you think comprises the combat arms of the US military? Social justice warriors with twitter accounts, safe spaces and sensitivity triggers? Men and women in the mold of the Clintons? or more in the mold of Trump supporters? Do you really think they would fight their neighbors and family for the Clintons? Ditto cops. ...Against all enemies foreign AND DOMESTIC.

I give up trying to explain to you that elite culture /= having money. You're really fixated on the $ thing. If a better way of helping you understand crosses my mind, I'll post it.

avedis



Friday, November 4, 2016 at 10:14:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

By your definition of elite, a homeless man could be an elite provided that his voting intentions and political philosophy is right, but a billionaire dependent on the global financial system for his wealth and status can just decide not to be an elite by declaring that he stands with the people.

Trump is a billionaire businessman with global financial interests. Until deciding to run for President, he went to the same parties as Clinton. She came to his most recent wedding. Bill is a member of Trump's golf club. Why do you suppose he was at that snobbish press dinner to be insulted in the first place? You're not going to come up with a definition of elite that actually means something yet somehow excludes one of the world's wealthiest men. Where do you think that wealth comes from?

If Clinton is duly elected and sworn into office, and some disorganized far-right anti-government band decides to revolt, then they would be the domestic enemy, not Clinton. I'm still as unconcerned about Trump as I was yesterday or last month, but frankly, if your understanding is representative of the Trump movement, perhaps it is time I re-evaluated that assessment. I took Trump's gleeful refusal to say whether he would accept the results of the election as nothing more than crass rhetoric. Was I wrong?

Friday, November 4, 2016 at 10:59:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"By your definition of elite, a homeless man could be an elite provided that his voting intentions and political philosophy is right.."

David, Now you're being deliberately obtuse.

"but a billionaire dependent on the global financial system for his wealth and status ..."

I don't know about you, but I am dependent on that same system for my wealth (such that it is). I work for a fortune 500 company. I've owned investment properties. I own racehorses. I am not an elite. I would be thrown out of any ivory tower that I somehow entered. In fact, I kind of have been rejected by elitists that I have known. Which is ok. I think they're assholes.

My father was a lawyer. He had a client that was also a close friend. This guy was an extremely talented tool and die man. This was in the Detroit area back when Detroit was an industrial powerhouse. He got in on some good contracts during WW2, branched out to own his own company and made $millions. His success continued after the war ended and right up through the 70s. He retired very very wealthy. Things his companies made were sold all over the world. Yet he was always a salt of the earth tool and die maker. Blue collar to the bone. Not an elitist in the least bit.

I also knew many people, many my peers, who grew up with big trust funds behind them. Real play boys. They went to private schools and Ivy league colleges and never really worked a day in their lives. Their share of the family wealth was not up to the level of the aforementioned client/family friend - yet these people were, for the most part, elitists. They networked with other elitists, married other elitists. Got involved in elitist politics, etc, etc. It's a life style.

avedis

Saturday, November 5, 2016 at 12:38:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

To all,
i'm on my way to ohio to celebrate veterans day with my childhood friends all of which served voluntarily in the vn war.so i haven't written much lately , nor am i so inclined.
i've learned not to spit into the wind.however no matter who wins there will be a draft dodger and /or a serial gropper living in the white house.
if any of these people were on fire i wouldn't stop to fight the fire.
i have no use for any ass hole who wants to be chief, but never was an indian. hillary is not off the hook because her daughter never served the country in any capacity. with out skin in the game i have little respect for the players.
now with that said i have a gut feeling that Trump is gonna cut the muster, and Avedis touches the fringe of my thinking.just like old europe we are now into politics of hatred. hate is more important than anything. this may be the pwot coming home to roost, but whatever the cause it's been brewing my entire life. we call it interest groups in polite society , but in reality it's seething sub-rosa hatred.just a little example-veterans serve but can't get VA treatment because we have categories of vets. this is because we're suckers for having served. now the flip side-20 million people get free health insurance((subsidized)for doing absolutely nothing.
in my world this means that veterans lives don't matter.
that inspires hatred.
ok, hatred can't be noted on a national poll or exit interview, but it's there and is alive and well.a great portion of our society is eaten up by hatred and folks like hrc and obama exploit this, but along comes trump and he's attacked for doing so.
so i'm out on a limb here, but i see him as a reflection of the angst and suffering of the middle and lower white classes.
so forget the polls- read the faces of the people.
try driving thru the WV bi ways off of the interstates.go to rural areas and look at the poverty.now having that said, i do not believe that our society is capable of dealing with the issue since we are more interested in useless and meaningless wars fought by throw away soldiers.
in case u missed my point theres a great hatred of obama and the clintons that is not covered by the polls.even if hrc wins this will not disappear
jim hruska

Saturday, November 5, 2016 at 12:50:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

avedis -- This is what at the end of the day makes "elite" a problematic idea unless it's properly connected to the context of class conflict. You're correct that class is about more that money, strictly speaking, which is why I went to some lengths to point out why Trump is not an elite purely because he has a very large bank account. He grew up in a wealthy home. He went to elite private schools. Until deciding to run for president, he went to the same parties as the Clintons. The Clintons were members of his golf club. This class has benefited exorbitantly from global trade agreements, the dismantling of nation-states, and the rigging of tax laws. Trump benefited along with the others.

So far as I can tell, the only thing that could possibly separate Trump from the rest of his class is that he decided to run for president on a populist platform, which again brings me back to my initial observation, which is that like any other elite who runs on a populist platform, he is going to turn out to be a fraud and a phony. Look, if I'm wrong, then in a year from now I'll happily come back on here and take my lumps. If I were you, though, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

I think Jim's assessment is correct. At the end of the day, it's not the legitimacy of the grievances that I question. I share those grievances. It's just the usefulness of investing a single penny or drop of sweat into the latest edition of the electoral confidence game. You want to give the elites the finger? I get that. I think Trump is probably going to win because of that sentiment, and I'm not crying over it. However, once it is revealed to have been a meaningless symbolic gesture, a lot of very well-intentioned people will have wasted a lot of very valuable time. Progressives went through this in 2008 when they thought that Obama was going to renegotiate trade agreements and end foreign wars. Now it is conservatives' turn. Call me foolish, but I sense a pattern.

On the issue of skin in the game, I can't say that Clinton dodged the draft the way Trump did, but her husband certainly attempted to do so. The closest to serving in Vietnam, Trump once joked, was that he had slept around so much he was at a very high risk of getting venereal disease. If you're looking for something a spoiled elite brat might say, I'm having a hard time thinking of a better quote.

Good travels, Jim, and thank you for your service.

Saturday, November 5, 2016 at 1:44:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

Heres the double whammy.

Two issues here.

Avedis, David has a point. If he ends up as influential and independent as ol' Berlusconi he'll just be immediately replaced by a banker technocrat like Silvio was. The Imperial Presidency today commits a felony or war crime almost every other day as a matter of normal day-to-day functioning. If the Central Bankers want to impeach Trump successfully they will. If he somehow squeezes in at least you'll get a necessary lesson in the way power works. There's a reason Western professors fetishize the Man-Ff-History theories. Obscuring the hidden power of the common working class is just a side objective. Primarily, it covers up the fact that no one elite has ever defied the will of ruling class. Never. The power rivalries are settled and set in stone before these quadrennial dog and pony shows even begin. Still, this same group of oligarchs have been ruling the roost for a long time. No president has ever unseated them. That is of course, the point. The last one who tried was assassinated in official "circumstances" that close to half of Americans refuse to believe in polling done since the beginning of the 21st century and his bedroom shenanigans make Trump look like a monk. They won't let it get that far again. Please keep this in mind.

Most importantly, David; Avedis is right. Look at the polling of current U.S. military servicemen- including a certain right-wing third party candidate- and then take a gander at Clinton. Please tell me it doesn't astound you. This is just like the October Revolution, amazingly, where no matter how many candy-ass upper-class officers were loyal to the Czar, the multitude of rank-and-file hardened ground pounders insisted on the Bolsheviks. WE ALL KNOW how that ended. This makes no mention of the massive spike of militias- mostly white- that took their "inspiration" from the Obama years. Hundreds upon hundreds just in the last few years alone, many made up of veterans who having fought so hard for flag and country are coming back home to see exactly how Neoliberal Capitalism has repaid them and their communities. The Veteran-only "Oathkeepers" taken by themselves are in the tens of thousands. Read the Homeland Security Reports David and keep in mind they're only acknowledging the ones they know about.

David considering the amount of time you've demonstrated in being able to respond here I assume you have a relatively comfortable (upper) middle-class lifestyle residing in a typical upper middle-class community. Unequal societies tend to establish such deceiving walls and blind spots even among the most enlightened. As they move onto the logical conclusion of this state of affairs it becomes very hard to witness from within these enclaves the degradation, despair and fury of the underclass around them. And that is dangerous. The elites in the Versailles and the Forbidden Palaces have shut themselves out from the reality that is underneath their noses and they have no idea how many of the increasingly desperate underclasses have begun to plot their extinction.

Chris Hedges is right. This is Yugoslavia in slow-motion. As the population loses faith in the liberal elites so they tragically then lose faith in the very valuable liberal values they espouse. Slavic women in their mostly Communist (and in Yugoslavia's case Democratic Communist) countries had the most left-wing sentiments in Europe. We saw how quickly big men with guns upended that equation and quickly.

Can't happen here right???

Famous last words.

Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 9:10:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

While I would appreciate some consequences of what a mass-mutiny or sustained armed rebellion would accomplish- all available battlegroups and fortresses in the Frontiers of Empire would be re-called to the mainland for immediate redeployment... and out of the backyard of brutally occupied nations- it would set back the clock on America forever, no matter how the dust settles. Even if we convince one Avedis to take it easy on such ideas, I'm not sure how long this can last. The numbers of these groups aren't falling, I have no idea how far they would go under a Drumpf presidency; but I know how fast they'd rise under the alternative.

I'm so glad Black Lives Matters made it a point to endorse no one in the presidential race. Permanent change doesn't come by the ballot box. I'm so glad these kids are understanding that. Ditto the DAPL protestors. But how do we implement Chris Hedges posited solution? How do we create an all-inclusive radical authentic Socialist left? One that exposes frauds like Bernie Sanders, that displaces these Liberal Bourgeois Capitalist Hipster *phew* "Social Justice Warriors" many of whom are of the same class refusing to face the mortality of their economic system? How do we endeavor to include once again the disillusioned and left behind to believe in real change and hope rather than fatal nihilism, no matter the skin color? Is the American Empire worth saving? Must we be resigned to its collapse in civil war so that the rise of Socialism can finally find a safe vacuum to be pursued by the will of the people safely, across the world? Some jumbled thoughts on an early Sunday morning.

I don't know about you two but I have an insecure underemployed job that's going to eat up my next few days. I'll probably end up returning on the other side of this disgrace of an electoral process when everything will become clearer one way or another. It might be a good thing that I didn't have time to link today. I think you're both in need of doing your own research if only for the possibility that you could prove to me that this nightmare isn't happening. Perhaps I'll be seeing what wondrous joys of this Brave New Age I had missed.

Until then, I gather.

Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 9:12:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

The ONLY P.S.- If you want to have fun, well... if you're morbid anyway; align the epicenters of the opiod epidemic and the turnout for Trump in the primaries. Yes, people have done that for you. The Google search shouldn't take too long.

This is officially; a crisis. Something should of been done about this today, yesterday. No. The day before yesterday.

The election however, as Julian Assange of Wikileaks mentioned to John Pilger this week will probably be stolen. Just a word of caution.

So what to do? I'll be organizing. Organizing. Organizing on the streets gentlemen. Where it counts. David and Avedis, if you want to be part of the solution and not the problem now is never too late. Time is short. The warnings have been given.

You're fate is now your own.

Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 9:41:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nikolay,
To be clear, I am not itching for a civil war. I am just reporting the pulse I get when I talk to people that would be potential participants. No one wants its - well, mostly no one, but many sense it may be inevitable. Would I participate? Assuming I even would have a choice, the answer is, "it depends". If the cause is righteous enough, then I guess I would.

The day whites do what blacks are doing with riots, etc. will be the day the elites shit their pants. They sort of expect that kind of thing from blacks, who they really don't take seriously despite much rhetoric of caring.

Working class whites and blacks have a lot in common and, if they could see past the divides that the elites have planted in their heads and join together, that will be the day the revolution that can't be stopped, starts. Black Lives Matter refusing to endorse Clinton is a sign that the times are changing and that just maybe this combining of forces could happen. All it would take is a charismatic leader or two conveying the message "Niggers of the world unite" (working class whites accepting the label as well) and it would be on. I find it ironic that if the progressives ever did erase "racism" as they claim to seek to do, that it would spell their downfall.

avedis

Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 9:58:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Avedis - I could not agree more that once we get past race to talk about class things can be clearer. This year, both campaigns ran by stoking racial tensions. There's a reason for that. Elites, including Trump, benefit by keeping the population divided along lines that at the end of the day don't really amount to anything.

Civil wars don't come out of nothing. Oregon standoffs come out of nothing. And that didn't threaten the state. A bunch of people grabbing their guns in reaction to some crisis is, at best, just going to be a rabble easily suppressed by the state. At worst, it would "succeed" only because the state had already collapsed. Every successful revolution, and even most failed ones, had large-scale organization and political infrastructure. Your scenario doesn't have that.

I'm also not sure what these theatrics are intended to accomplish, especially the threats in advance. Do you think Clinton supporters are going to be swayed by threats of violence? Do they think they SHOULD be swayed? It seems more likely to me that they will be scared into supporting any repressive measures taken by the state and determined to keep the rural working and middle classes as far from power as possible, even though, at the end of the day, they share the same class interests. Guess who benefits from that?

Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 12:35:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Niko -- First, your reference to "these groups" is a bit like Trump's reference to "certain communities." Yes, it's probably not a good thing when people are planning to achieve political ends through violence, but when I speak to Trump supporters, I've heard many, many, many people say they worry that the next step will be armed violence. I have yet to hear one say, "And I'm putting together the group that's going to make that happen, and here's our arsenal, and this is our plan." Perhaps there will be more standoffs, but unless the state has already collapsed, any private use of force would be met with overwhelming state force. I'm not sure whether that is supposed to cheer you up or depress you.

I wish you luck in whatever organizing you are doing, and I wish Avedis luck in his hope that the Trump presidency will pan out as he seems to think it will. I know those two wishes probably aren't compatible, but that's how it is. At the moment, there's far too much smoke to see clearly, at least from my perspective, except in terms of the large structures at work.

Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 12:54:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David, "This year, both campaigns ran by stoking racial tensions. There's a reason for that. Elites, including Trump..."

That dog is just not going to let go of that bone is he? How did Trump stoke racial tensions? That is the left accusing Trump of what they, themselves, do and doing in the process of accusing Trump. Sheesh! How is enforcing immigration laws stoking racial tensions? How? Last I checked "Mexican" is not a race. It's a nationality and "Muslim" is a religion, not a race. How did Trump offend blacks or Hispanics of any stripe here legally? He didn't. He says he wants to make America great for them as well. He has been explicit about that.

" I've heard many, many, many people say they worry that the next step will be armed violence. I have yet to hear one say, "And I'm putting together the group that's going to make that happen..."

Opsec is key.

avedis

Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 1:17:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

How many examples do you need for that question? I'll give you one, for starters: I suspect many Hispanic took offence when Trump said that a judge should recuse himself from a lawsuit because he had Mexican ancestry. Kind of hard to believe he'll make America great for you if he thinks that your ancestry bars you from important professions.

You are more than welcome to respond that some Hispanic people are racist, too, as you did the last time we had this particular discussion. That's fine: I'll agree with that. But that's exactly my point: both the Republicans and Democrats are insistent on making this about race, and as long as the discussion is about race, it won't be about class, which is the root cause of the problems.

On your final point, by all means, say that as loudly and widely as you want. But be aware that it amounts to an attempt to intimidate people through the threat of future violence. Is that what the Trump movement wishes to be known for?

And exactly what response do they imagine they'll provoke?

Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 3:48:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David,
I'm not trying to intimidate anyone. I'm just reporting what I see and hear.

Of course Hispanics took offense. They're tribal - as is anyone who has a tribe.

avedis

Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 7:25:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Your question to me was: "How did Trump offend blacks or Hispanics of any stripe here legally?" I answered it. If the answer was that obvious to you, I'm not sure why you bothered to ask the question in the first place.

This ludicrously passive-aggressive "I'm not doing anything, I'm just hearing stuff" schtick is exactly, you will recall, what my first description of this would-be rebellion amounted to. This is a bad corner for people to back themselves into. Either it's just empty talk, in which case it can be simply dismissed, as I do, or it is serious talk, in which case the enemies of democracy aren't the Clinton cult, they're the people who are planning a rebellion against the government in the event that their candidate loses the election, and the rest of us certainly should not appease them by altering our views or our actions in any way whatsoever in response to such threats.

So my question to you is: in which way should we interpret these grumblings? I'm opting for impotent rage, myself.

Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 8:09:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

David,
and all,
avedis,
i watched Chosin on public TV the other nite.it's incredible what we ask of our fighting men.
imagine women being thrown into a situation like that.
whats this got to do with anything? well our leaders if u want to consider our elected officials as leaders then we are indeed sucking a big one.
where are family values in our national life?.the values that we call family should guide the nation,but they don't.if it's good for the family then ipso facto....!
where is morality in our wars? when did elective wars become democratic?why do we remain the worlds police men?
why do our leaders always have excuses why they or their offspring were too good to wear combat boots?
how has our potuus become imperial? how did clinton get an airplane, she's not jay z.
there are 2 americas and this election has only broadened that rift.
we cannot distinguish fact from fiction , nor do we see reality when our faces are stuck in electronic devices and phony friendships like face book.
and we get played for suckers. the only thing we have is a crummy vote and it's wasted on layers of bull shit.
heres a little thought.the republican party didn't support trump because theres no one in the republican party that is forth a plugged nickel. the party couldn't use W or cheney or any of the others for endorsements because we know they are shit birds.yeah, imagine Rumsfeld/wolfie/powell or condi giving a high profile endorsement.
hell they're too busy rolling in the bucks.
well forgive me , but i've had a belly full and the problem is that it isn't going to get better.
neither party is anti war and we're not gonna stop our military march around the world.
this election is a tempest in the littlest of cups.
jim hruska

Monday, November 7, 2016 at 6:03:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim,
Actually, Wolfie did come out and endorse Clinton. Saw it myself on the teevee. No shame. Worse, he's part of her foreign policy team. Talk about us sucking a big one.

David, If I tell you, "you might not want to drive across that bridge because it's support girders are all rusted out and there's important bolts missing and the damn thing might collapse", that is not a threat. Nor is it passive aggression. It's a statement of facts as I see them; for your benefit, nonetheless. Sorry you see it as a threat.

If the country elected the equivalent of Idi Amin or Adolf Hitler would you still see citizens who took up arms against the govt as enemies?

It sounds to me like you just get easily upset when contemplating business as usual being disrupted and lash out at whoever it is rocking your tranquility.

avedis

Monday, November 7, 2016 at 11:40:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Yup. Maybe it wasn't publicized heavily but didn't ALL of those characters come out for Clinton, except maybe for Rumsfeld? Sometimes the elite game of musical chairs is comical indeed.

The thing is, Avedis, all I hear right now is some Trump supporters saying that some other Trump supporters might take up arms against the government should Clinton win the election. One must wonder at the motivations behind such remarks. One must ponder the intentions behind such warnings and the sides to which those giving the warning believe they belong.

Clinton is neither Hitler nor Idi Amin. Such comparisons cheapen and discredit the person making them in exactly the same way as the people on the other side who claim that Trump is Hitler. There seem to be more than the historical number of Hitlers involved in this election. In any event, Hitler was elected on a promise of making Germany great again, not of preserving an unjust status quo. I do not think you really want to play this particular game.

I have no problem disrupting business as usual when business as usual is fundamentally unjust. However, disruption for the sake of disruption is not an answer. Neither is a descent into anarchy in the vague hope that something better might rise, unplanned, from the ashes. We would find, I think, that despite how angry tens of millions of people may be, no more than a tiny handful were willing to take up arms, and the moment they do so, the rest of the populace would be scared into supporting a government crackdown.

Monday, November 7, 2016 at 1:08:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

Don't worry Avedis. You're chill. I know that. Infact, if I may, I'll concede just a little Opsec here.

David. Introducing: My one-time drinking buddy. As Avedis learned the hard way; don't be fooled by my prose. I'm a lot more younger and socially awkward than you think I am.

Now. Its because of this type of shit that I left liberalism a long time ago. Despite the fact that we don't see eye to eye on some things, maybe even perhaps most things; Avedis is trying to be perfectly reasonable here. Have a pint with him and you'll find hes a perfectly cool guy. If there's any passive aggression here I'm hearing it from you. Hes not saying anything outrageous (well if you don't count the Trump defending I guess) hes describing a reality I would rather not see- let alone you.

Lets take Portugal's "Second Republic" a democracy of course, right? Except you know, the endless wars defending its shrinking empire, domination of the economy by a handful of self-aggrandizing corporations, and a ruthless police state that regularly arbitrarily jailed opponents and murdered dissidents while putting up institutional hurdles for opposing parties (sound familiar?). Then, sometime in 1974, a couple of secretly Communist generals appeared and declared a revolution. Nobody knew what was going on well after main battle tanks started rolling through Lisbon's streets, neither did anyone see it coming. No grand organization that. The population, much like the end of the First Republic was so beaten down and disillusioned that the panic erupting among General Staff at NATO HQ was quite the contrast to the resigned, sometimes elated sentiment as the unpopular Prime Minister Marcelo Caetano and his parliament was deposed.

That would be a best-case scenario. I'm pretty sure any general in America would have the opposite problem as they're probably not going to be democratic socialist let alone Communist. Still what about a generalized uprising?

Monday, November 7, 2016 at 1:47:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

Let me explain something to you. I was reading an article on Brazilian art before and after its military coup and I was struck by a certain passage. Art like criminal noir was rediscovered only after the military junta because it dealt with problems the poorer working classes could relate to. The dramas of finding true love away from a loveless marriage or the meaning of life were of course "problems of the full stomach". It didn't deal with a boy who had to join a gang in the favela to survive and then choosing between shooting one toddler over another to be initiated. It seems crazy to start a war to overthrow the government almost anywhere but in the end the one logic you can't argue with is the logic of the empty stomach. A continually spreading addiction to opiods, the loss of meaningful employment and dignity yes... but mostly the empty stomach. The elites open and close the capacities of revolt whether they realize it or not. If it goes far enough down that path of course desperate people will do what desperate people do everywhere and multitudes of soldiers sent to put them down will defect to them because they would simply be sent back to their communities, taking with them high-tech firepower to boot. In the end it won't matter which silly sword of privileged liberalism you wave at them and with what indignation. Liberals don't join the all-volunteer military and if the hillbillies that do are sent to destroy their own neighborhoods they would much rather turn their weapons on the people they've long had a grudge with. Its "ludicrous" to believe otherwise. Perhaps your experience of your time in the military tells you otherwise? There are liberals in the military sure, and they can hold out for a while maybe. But do you really want to test for how long? The military interestingly enough, has had military drills with soldiers going house-to-house and lobbing explosive shells at entire blocks of foreclosed real-estate people in Detroit and Flint Michigan long left behind and will never return to. Seems like a good time to challenge fate and try to accomplish in vain now what elites in the past have never succeeded suppressing... at least for too long. Felt the need to at least sharpen what the military was apparently before unprepared in doing this late in the game.

Avedis says he'll sit it out until he thinks joining battle would be just and useful, but he commands a six-figure salary. The percentage of patriots who are willing to bide their time against the percentage of more armed and desperate men will shrink. Anything changing positively to refute it? It will be irrational perhaps in terms of the best path forward but nothing compared to the irrationality of the increasingly money-grubbing elites that's letting this continue. If the rise of Trump is showing you anything, even the Christian culture wars are losing their legitimacy. If a man like him can trail so close to Clinton that's a very bad sign.

Monday, November 7, 2016 at 1:49:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

Trump isn't the phenomena, hes the symptom. Thats whats I've been trying to explain to you all along. From my own experience, many are just as suspicious of Trump as they are Hillary. Infact, the smarter militia recruiters are recruiting by showing that both are globalists and charlatans and that they're the only ones they should trust. I don't think you understand what little time we have. It could only take an ecological catastrophe or another more serious economic crisis to set off unrest or take away legitimacy from the government. Who knows? Maybe a military coup could be set in motion by a rival sector of the ruling class to push reset and create a totalitarian government to put capital accumulation matters under new management. The point is, the growing ecological crisis and the certain to collapse economic model will create a perfect storm. This is unavoidable. Even ages before, elites everywhere believed that they were the "center" of the planet, that the sun never set on their empires, that they were the "indispensable" nation. Enlightened Elite Liberals believed that people would continue to banter on about race and sex even while people were increasingly starving in their richest of kingdoms. Unbeknownst to them, but later beknownest to historians, their reality was an uprising or shock away from crashing down. The military will always defend the decaying oligarchic order? History doesn't repeat but it does rhyme. Hundreds of thousands of years of civilization are going up against your assumption David. Do you really trust those odds?

Monday, November 7, 2016 at 1:50:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Niko - Maybe I didn't phrase that right, in which case it's Avedis to who I owe the apology not you. So I'll say that: I apologize, Avedis.

The thing is, though, I just do not find this talk of uprising credible unless it is some sort of attempt at political manipulation through the threat of violence, and that is what I intended to convey. There will always be some fringe movements who imagine that some token violence can incite a broader revolution. Historically, these groups were usually on the left. Today, at least in America, they are on the right. Right or left, the judgement of history is the same: these movements almost never accomplish anything meaningful. There are three big caveats, which I will address:

1. We should consider what you accurately call the problem of full stomachs. No matter how much people may hate political parties, I am simply not persuaded that as of now a great number of them would be prepared to do anything about it. The vast majority are either tuned out of politics entirely, or still believe in the political system at least enough to cast their votes for candidates from just two parties drawn from the same socioeconomic establishment while they work at progressively poorer jobs to eke out a living.

That's a judgement call, but for every example you can find of a street protest or occupation that suddenly spiralled into the downfall of a government, I can give you a thousand where radicals imagined that a sudden, symbolic conflict with the regime could provoke a general uprising -- only the uprising never came.

2. You can find weak and declining dictatorships that were toppled by unexpected street protests. America isn't that, and won't be regardless of who is elected tomorrow. There aren't many examples where large, stable democracies were overthrown through violence started by small protest movements.

3. That leads us to the crux of your scenario, which is what would happen if the government ordered the military to suppress the uprising. An even mildly competent administration would pay attention to its weaknesses and not push them.

I think their first move wouldn't be to start firing on American citizens. It would be to cordon off whatever area had been occupied and attempt to wait it out -- see, for instance, the recent Oregon affair. At that point you will need something to persuade the vast bulk of the population outside of the cordon not just that you weren't scary but that they should actively support you. In short, you will need a large political organization and solid political agenda.

This is where all my boring talk about organization and infrastructure and political agenda-setting comes into play. In the long term, I think these groups can have an important impact. It would take years of organizing work. Many militia groups have already started off doing that. The United States is a very large country, though. The logistics of an uprising in a large country are going to be different than in a small one like Portugal.

4. All of this is to some extent based on my core assumption, which is that whoever wins tomorrow is unlikely to instigate more than incremental change because they are part of the same corrupt elite. That part of my disagreement with Avedis is unresolved. He believes, and I hope I'm being fair to his position here, that despite his background and his upbringing Trump might be serious about leading a revolt against the elite class. He also thinks there's a chance Clinton will do something nakedly tyrannical, which is what would incite the uprising. I give much lower probabilities to either of those scenarios.

People who believe they're living in the last days of their society are, historically, just about as common as elites who think their reign will last forever.

Monday, November 7, 2016 at 3:06:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

Godamnit and here I was just trying to drop a link. Ladies and gentlemen, Professor Mark Crispin Miller on voter fraud, committed by Democrats and Republicans alike.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45799.htm

The part about basic reforms is really the kicker. I've read statistics that half of Americans that are eligible aren't registered and half of those who are registered won't vote. This is how the system is designed unfortunately. If this goes on, its obvious that its going to lead people to take more unapproved measures to right wrongs. My vote is for a revolution of non-compliance with the Empire like Nicaragua with Somoza, but the insistence on elites commodifying the last things of value on the planet and sucking the marrow out of their own societies with the same pace they used to the third-world makes everything unpredictable, whatever the case.
People forget the Bundys kicked out protestors and militiamen from organizations deemed too far-right and anti-government and barred most from staying at Malheur. One of them ended up assassinating several police officers and dropping a Revolutionary War era flag in the same state. Bundy's Ranch was just the tip of the iceberg. How many of these people are being created every day? God (if you believe in that kind of thing) only knows.

That didn't stop Special Forces veterans from facing off each other at their Nevada ranch from both sides of the line... before the government blinked and fled. Maybe the commanders of Obamas goon squads made it clear what they could and could not be ordered to do. Even by him.

No reassurance that anyway. Far-right parties are taking power all over Europe because their elections are more legitimate with the exception of old Portugal of course. They are bucking the trend by becoming...

Ruled by Communists. Again. By voting in a Socialist (social democrat really), Trotskyist Communist, and Marxist-Leninist parliamentary coalition into power. Toppling the fourty-year rule of their establishment right party.

History repeats itself?

Monday, November 7, 2016 at 3:16:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nikolay, Now that our covert meeting at the Dino has become public knowledge, how the heck are you? Back in town? How are the studies going?

I meet you for another pint or two, but I have become, largely, a non-drinker these days. But if you want to talk this stuff over a cup of joe, let me know.

Regards,
avedis

Monday, November 7, 2016 at 3:43:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

There isn't an international standard for using exit polls as a check on election results. Exit polls, like any polls, are subject to error. In many countries, there is a check insofar as elections are administered by an independent apolitical bureaucracy. I doubt you could sell many Americans on the viability of such a system.

On your recommendation, I've watched Miller's video. I'm familiar with the general theory from more than him. Characteristic of most conspiracy theories, and I mean that just as a description (it's a theory about a conspiracy), it is sadly short of actual evidence.

Miller says it's a 2-step process. If so, Trump's supporters should be very happy. Much of the doubtful purging of voter rolls that I'm aware of, at least for the moment, is being done by Republican officials in a way that will disadvantage Democrats. This will assist Trump. Does this mean there is an elite conspiracy to elect Trump? Is this the same conspiracy that helped Clinton defeat Sanders, or a different one? Why did this conspiracy pick Clinton and Trump to run?

It doesn't take long before conspiracies grow to involve thousands of participants, none of whom ever leak anything to the press or leave incriminating documents lying around on an unprotected server. Except, as we can see from the ongoing Democratic email "scandal," when they do exactly that.

Contrary to what Miller claims, there is no international standard by which exit polls are used as a check on the outcome. Presumably anyone capable of rigging the election is also capable of rigging exit polls, in any event. Perhaps the exit polls showing a discrepancy between Clinton and Sanders were rigged by a group that wanted Sanders to beat Clinton.

Monday, November 7, 2016 at 5:33:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

To all,
i think there was a military attempt to support Nixon should the system can him ,in any legal manner.
that obviously ,if true went over like a ledd zeppelin.
a few weeks ago i was caught in the Jacksonville fl evacuation.prior to that i saw tallahassee in a major tizzy over minor storm.
now remember new orleans after the storm.things got pretty sticky.the paramilitary contractors and police confiscating legally owned and acquired firearms.
thats my lead in.
if things turned bad you'd be sucked into the fray.if u don't have a platoon plus then good luck to you.individuals would not survive.while driving thru atlanta/knoxville and cleveland i tried to imagine a general evacuation of these cities on a required movement.
it would be abysmally violent, hence no sane person would attempt opening that door.
as a sf guy trained in these topics it would be fool hardy to think that anything that we could do would be effective. as noted hillbillies would be killing citizens and the opposite. this is not functional and improves nothing.think rwanda/darfour.maybe libya and syria.
its a no go.
talking about it is not even optional in my mind because it lends legitimacy to the topic.
look at the euro terror groups of the 70/80's.the people were too fat,dumb and happy to comply.thats why we have wic/ssdi/,subsidized insurance and housing,free cell phones and yadi,yadi. people will not fight unless they are defriended on facebook.
it ain't gonna happen.
not this week.
jim hruska
'

Monday, November 7, 2016 at 6:03:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim, Platoon? I would need to at least a division, well organized, supplied and with good leadership before I considered it.

Seriously, I'm not advocating it, not do I think it's a good thing. But the first time in my life I hear people talking about it. Real people that I know in real life.

Hope you're having a good visit with your Dad.

Regards,
avedis

Monday, November 7, 2016 at 8:27:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

My main lesson from reading this blog was about military issues but increasingly is that I should bite my tongue and let Jim say it shorter and more accurately that I could, and with the benefit of relevant experience. Yes, I agree that it is a no-go. I was trying to react to the raising of it as an issue anyways but obviously failing.

With sincere apologies to Avedis for implying you were somehow disloyal or conspiring or whatever my initial wording came across as.

Monday, November 7, 2016 at 9:14:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Avedis,
i see my Dad on 10 nov for a visit.
he's now too frail to go to the veterans dinner, but i'll see all my child hood friends..
this will probably be one of my last trips north.
i did a few articles on carlos marighella -the urban geurilla a few years ago.
he's worth reading.
when i was a kid we bought a house in a italian neighborhood. all the houses on the street were connected with underground access. if police raided a certain address the folks simply escaped down the under ground passages. i found this interesting at the time, and still think of it.
David,
as a professional courtesy i will answer any questions that u may have , if within my knowledge set.i think my strength is not being military, but explaining the topic in context.
that's our goal. if Lisa doesn't understand my point we rewrite and edit til she does.
these events are never stress free. as u can tell she's rather head strong.
one key point for u , or anybody to understand is
-we are trained to react , often preferring this mode to thinking first. if we stopped to think we'd freeze.
-we also are taught to react ,even if its wrong. we prefer ant action to no action.
these 2 things are essential to milops, but we seldom recognize this fact.
its a weakness and a strength.
i'm still a very reactive dude.
jim hruska

Tuesday, November 8, 2016 at 9:57:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim,
I do confess re; civil war that I have been reacting to what I see as a testing of those waters. The Bundy Ranch and the black lives/panthers riots, shooting of LEOs.

When there was a series of mass shooting of LEOs last summer I took all my guns out to the range and found out my eyesight had deteriorated to where I was embarrassed by my shot placement at anything beyond a hundred yards or so. I had to stop and ask myself what the hell I was doing.

An old friend of mine who I have reconnected with via FB now that we are separated by many miles and years is more of your generation. He volunteered for two combat tours in VN at the tail end of the war. Bronze star with V, PH.... How many stripes he had depended on what week it was and how much access to booze, whores, etc. Anyhow, he reminds me that the 60s and early 70s were far more turbulent than what we are seeing today (I was just getting used to walking on two feet in the 60s) and that no civil war occurred then, though at time he thought one might. Recall that the 101st Airborne was brought into Detroit to quell the civil unrest there.

David, no need to apologize. No offense taken, We're talking about topics that we feel passionately about. We're bound to butt heads, misinterpret each other and all that stuff.

avedis

Tuesday, November 8, 2016 at 10:58:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Jim - I don't have any specific questions at the moment, but I read this blog because I greatly respect both your posts and your comments. Even when I'm not sure I agree, I weight them heavily because they're usually on topics you have a lot of experience on that I do not. Your comments on the threats of violence in this case, for instance.

I think I get what you're saying about learned reactions although I would add, as a civilian, that it strikes me that for people from my background it isn't just freezing that is the problem -- it is also mass panic and all manner of other unhelpful and hard-to-predict reactions.

Avedis - Good luck with your guy today. I mean that, even though I'm not hopeful or optimistic. I try not to watch the horse-race polling nonsense but my sense from talking to people is that your movement has a real chance here. Of accomplishing what, I'm still not sure, but there it is.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016 at 12:29:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

David,
if the eastern suburbs of cleveland are an indicator then i think trump has a good chance in ohio.
we know the city and white flight areas are diametrically opposed.
it also appears that the older voters hate hrc.
my offer was for the long haul.

jim

Tuesday, November 8, 2016 at 4:29:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

I'm going to see a movie with friends for needed de-stress after this campaign, let alone voting, but I will elaborate later why it probably didn't matter and Clinton had this rigged from the beginning.

You bet I'm already calling it.

Julian Assange hasn't been wrong yet. Thats why the Empire still has him holed up in that Ecudaorian Embassy, no?

Avedis, your on, although my e-mail was canned when I transferred from MCC and I forgot yours.

Its gonna be a long night. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016 at 4:48:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

I imagine if Clinton was rigging the polls she would have rigged them to win.

See you all on the other side.

Thanks for the standing offer, Jim.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016 at 9:29:00 PM GMT-5  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home