RANGER AGAINST WAR: Sanctuary Cities <

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sanctuary Cities

--They've co-opted their leader's invective

You say you'll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head 
The Beatles

 Sanctuary, it said:
but only the road has meaning there. It leads
into the world's cities like a long fuse laid
Judith Wright 

You don't need a weather man
to know which way the wind blows
--Subterranean Homesick Blues,
Bob Dylan

Subtitle: The Illegal illegal fight.

Mending Fences, Pt. II:

In Iraq the Coalition Forces (i.e., the United States) built walls around cities to keep insurgents out. This implied that walls would lead to victory versus violence.

Street battles, as in Fallujah, were fought to isolate cities from the insurgents (both domestic and foreign). In our current fight against ISIS, the same winning (ahem) formula applies: fight for the cities and when the vermin have been eradicated, everything will be just fine. 

Today, our 2017 Sanctuary City warriors are insurging against their President and federal authority. We (they) are insurgents when they burn images of their President in effigy, and wear shirt proclaiming, "No My President.

Immigration has become a point of contention in the United States, and the United States insurgents wish to keep criminal illegals inside the borders, rather than outside. It is a perverse inversion of the military fight abroad.

Do these sanctuary insurgents comprehend the nonsensical illegality what they are doing? If President Obama had the authority to address immigration, then so does President Trump have that same authority. Legality transcends our personal convictions.

Mayors do not have the authority to override Constitutional imperatives. However, it is obvious they are not above sucking up to their constituents, forward-looking as they are to their next election and their meal plate.

Social workers may inhabit the "Every sperm is sacred" zone, fighting for the "rights" of illegals to remain in place. But why are the rest of us so hot to keep in people who are double criminals (i.e., illegals + run of the mill criminals)?

Our country has problems enough ministering to our own citizens and blighted cities. What purpose can the whine du jour of the Democrats have other than being a convenient distraction from the problems of the indigenous?

Ah, but since the myriad of problems that beset our own citizens has proven to be intractable and obdurate, why not just look over there and drill down some illegal Muslims and Mexicans? The illegal fight to retain illegals is a clever bit of legerdemain. 

Since the U.S. has been fighting a 14 year war to protect foreign cities from external threats, what argument can be made to not do the same for our own cities?

In the counterinsurgency (COIN) environment the concept of personnel and resource control (PRC) is that every citizen or legitimate resident must have official identification issued by a legal authority. How else can a government control its territory?

If we will not control our borders then it is obvious that the PWOT © and the War on Drugs have been farcical enterprises conducted by farceurs (i.e., politicians). 

Logical endpoint: a restive population maintains perpetual battle against their duly elected leader, who then must do something to restore order. As the U.S. insurgents glumly and gleefully (a seeming oxymoron, but a Starbuck's espresso keeps it bearable) construct their insurgent safe zones against the order of law, they begin to feel more ostracized, more convinced that they are being persecuted and that they are on the side of right.

Ensconced in their "safety zones" pitted against the rule of law, they are transmuted into "The Deplorables" -- a term once reserved for the very people they are now opposing. They hunker down and draw to themselves their fellow travelers du jour (their token illegal pets).

What next for these illegals, and the people illegally harboring them?

Why does a nation have borders if they do not intend to enforce immigration law?

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Anonymous David said...

The only thing I would quibble with here is a legal question.

Are you saying that what these mayors are doing is illegal? If so, presumably the administration could obtain court orders compelling them to obey the law, much as the administration's opponents are trying to do with respect to Trump's recent order.

However, if they aren't behaving illegally, I'm not sure it's realistic for you to claim that this is an insurgency. Our regime is the law, not the present inhabitants of the White House.

The same applies to your comments about protesters. "Not my president" is factually a silly thing to say but against what is this an insurgency?

Having vented my spleen on that, I will agree that what we are witnessing here is certainly the ongoing disintegration of American political culture.

Sunday, February 12, 2017 at 7:45:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hi David,

I added that comment to Jim's piece, without benefit of his presence.

I believe his point was, if mayor's are not complying with Consitutionally-protected orders, then we are seeing an insurgency, of sorts. I believe that disobedience would, qua disobedience, constitute an insurgency against the government.

Jim is not here, but I shall wing it: the events of Ruby Ridge and Waco (TX) by individuals in non-compliance with their government earned them their heads on a platter. We are a nation under law. When elected leaders fail to follow their sworn duties, well, we have a problem, no?

Sunday, February 12, 2017 at 10:16:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Thank you for responding Lisa.

The American regime is defined by the law, not by the person in the White House. This concept was revolutionary at one time. The wishes of anybody in executive office are a secondary consideration.

Or put another way: in the United States, an insurgency against the regime would be an insurgency against the rule of law, not the Trump administration as such.

So: are city governments required to assist Trump when he declares that his policy is to enforce immigration law as effectively as possible? My guess is no. City governments are elected bodies governed by state legislation. They don't answer directly to Trump and I doubt are required to go out of their way to do anything for him.

I do think in the long run nothing good can come from cities or states walling themselves off as fortresses against the federal government. Tell progressives the states in question were opposed to civil rights and wanted to fly Confederate flags, and you'd see progressives swap their current positions in a hurry.

To suggest that city governments, or state governments, or for that matter individuals, are "insurgents" simply because they are declining to assist the government in carrying out its policies when not legally required to do so is, in my mind, a dangerous line to cross.

Monday, February 13, 2017 at 2:54:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

when a governor or mayor protects illegals against arrest and expulsion then said person is impeding federal agents from performing their legal duties. this is obstruction of justice.
i don't care 1 iota about relating this to Trump. i'm talking pure theory.
remember that insurgencies starts with a few folks and grows from there.remember that the word bolshevic means =little.
my key point is that we with the sanctuaries are doing the same thing that the folks in fallujah did with harboring anti government fighters and we leveled that city. a few other cities pop into mind. didn't we in the USA have major riots in the 60's and the NG was brought out to suppress?
now for a bit of history. the 1st time the new US ARMY was used when GW sent them against the whisky rebellion. the federal govt confirmed in this action the right to use force to suppress dissension,whether political or economic.
now before you say it -YES this sounds a lot like gestapo tactics, but things are getting stranger and weirder by the day.
i do want to stress that i'm not anti immigrant or anti mex/muslim, but i do favor the order of law. trump is not the issue in my mind.i find it wildly entertaining that Chicago is a sanctuary for illegals, and the mayor can't keep the city safe for legal citizens.
lets get our house in order. if we implement COIN and force it on other countries then can we not expect to do the same within our vaunted homeland?
also for your info-Lisa and myself often use SF policy by operating as a split team.
jim hruska

Monday, February 13, 2017 at 10:05:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

David says,

Or put another way: in the United States, an insurgency against the regime would be an insurgency against the rule of law, not the Trump administration as such.

So: are city governments required to assist Trump when he declares that his policy is to enforce immigration law as effectively as possible?

Just so: an insurgency is against the rule of law. Mayors (and governors, and other elected officials) all must abide by the law, which ultimately issues from and is derived from the Constitution. Today, we have a certain gray area, which is the "Presidential Order". Ancillary to that are Presidential Directives, which carry the full effect of law.

So it's really not just a matter of being a mayor and saying, "I don't like what the Order says; I think I'll disobey." That is not the prerogative of an elected official.

A public servant cannot refrain from performing a duty imposed upon him by the law. This is not about Trump. We already have immigration law in place.

Monday, February 13, 2017 at 11:44:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RAW, I understand - and agree with - the points made in this piece. Nicely highlights the confusion and disarray The People have fallen into.

As far as I can see the law is on the President's side. Whoever the President is, s/he has the legal authority to set immigration quotas and sources and to enforce all related laws. The sanctuary city types have no legal peg on which to hang their hat.

It's an emotional self-righteous crusade on their part. The arguments I hear pro maintaining sanctuaries and thwarting this President's 90 day travel ban are all ill-conceived and disingenuous mantras and memes.

Bottom line, a bunch of people I do not understand want to gamble their sense of superior virtue against the odds that they will personally be impacted by a violent crime or terrorist attack. It's a fairly safe bet that hinges on the gamblers caring not a hoot for those who will be inevitable victims.

If you mention this to them, you get stupid head-in-the sand responses that assume that things remain as they have always been and that things go in straight lines + weasely qualifiers; e.g. "No one from that country ever *killed* anyone in a *US* terrorist attack." That someone from that country hacked up some people in the US that were fortunate enough to be saved by intensive emergency medical care is evaded - as well that people from that country have killed innocents in T attacks in Europe and elsewhere.


Monday, February 13, 2017 at 11:59:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

we have federal, state,and local laws.
immigration is federal. ergo federal agencies enforce the law. usually this implies arrest authority. now a state or local LE is not required to enforce federal law, although most will assist federal efforts.example , when federal agents round up parole offenders the locals are usually happy to lend locals to the effort.this is called cooperation. the mayors are no longer assisting these efforts.now they are impeding federal agents.
to my understanding this is what the sanctuary cities are doing.if they do nothing to help this is no harm no foul, but this is not what is playing out. they are espousing active support to the illegals.
jim hruska

Monday, February 13, 2017 at 12:03:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Richard Rorty speculated the advent of an iconoclastic President almost 30 years ago in his book, "Achieving Our Country":

"To make things worse, we (being a liberal, he means, "liberals") often seem more interested in the workers of the developing world than in the fate of our fellow citizens. ..."

So here's what we see: supposedly educated, informed liberals, blind to the plight of their low mid-class and falling fellows. Not "giving a rat's ass", as Ranger might say.

It's just like the church faithful who go on missions halfway 'round the world, when they could check out their own backyard. (Well, not literally.

NIMBY, y'know?

Monday, February 13, 2017 at 12:42:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Lisa -- Just to clear the air first, let me say that in my opinion the cities should where feasible assist the federal government in enforcing federal law. I'm not here to defend illegal immigration. If your real concern is that these people should be focusing on improving the economic prospects of the American working class rather than protecting the position of illegal immigrants, I'd say, yes, absolutely they should.

Are they legally required to? I'm not so sure. If the sanctuary cities are violating the law, presumably the Justice Department could obtain court orders requiring them to uphold it, and then seek to have those cities found in contempt of court if they violated those orders.

Perhaps the reason it is not doing so is because what they are doing is not clearly illegal.

Trump's executive order on this subject proves my point. The order threatens to withhold funding from sanctuary cities to punish them for not assisting with the immigration law. If the cities were actually required to carry out the President's bidding, he could simply order them to do so.

Even that order, incidentally, might be unlawful. I really have no idea, not being a lawyer, but I do know that there are legal precedents constraining the power of the federal government to issue orders to cities or to compel compliance by threatening to withhold funds. Ironically, some of these precedents were sought by conservative groups who were worried about the overreach of the Obama and Clinton White Houses.

The cities will almost certainly challenge it in court. I would hope there is a way forward here that doesn't involve the total obstruction of immigration law, but given the administration's already clearly established disregard for legal technicalities, which is also playing out in the other immigration order, I'm not entirely confident they'll have written it in a way that can withstand legal scrutiny.

Monday, February 13, 2017 at 3:41:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trump could simply send in Federal agents and round up all the illegals in the sanctuaries. Technically, he could also send in federal agents to round up all of the cannabis dealers in the states where it has been legalized. The latter would be politically stupid and thus it is not done. Do not be surprised, however, it turns up as a threat; e.g. we will destroy your cannabis business [if you don't cease harboring illegals]. It's not like the left coast was going to vote Republican anyhow.

I do not think it is clear that the state govts are required to enforce federal laws. I'm not a lawyer either. My father was and he always said that the law is whatever you can argue it to be in front of the court at the right time.It was a little heavy for a ten year old just trying to write a paper for dumb class at school. I always disliked him a little more when he said things like that, but I've have matured to appreciate some of his cynical truths and his intention to raise no fools.

What is fascinating to me is that the left demonizes the Southern Confederates for attempting to "destroy" the union and has always been in favor of a big and all mighty federal govt, but now is in favor of states rights and defying the feds. Of course the moralizing is that the South wanted evil slavery. However, they (the lefties) are on thin ice by wanting to break from the union over drugs and illegal and Muslims (some of whom are, no doubt, anti-American Ts). So, objectively, the lefties are also on thin ice morally, IMO. They just can't see it. Introspection is not a political human strong point.


Monday, February 13, 2017 at 7:07:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Avedis -- You've hit the nail on the head there, I think. It turns out that partisans are more than happy with what they see as an appropriate use of federal authority when they're the ones in charge, only to scream "Totalitarianism!" the moment it looks like the same powers might be turned against them.

It's maybe getting a bit off topic, but I have always felt that the greatest threat to a nation is usually its own government, that this is why we have checks and balances, and that the most worrying development over a good many years now is the increasing power of the White House versus Congress. Obama is actually a much better case in point here than Trump, but my concerns about executive power are what prompted my objection here, not my love of illegal immigrants.

Maybe the ship has sailed. I wonder how long the rule of law will survive if politicians are rewarded for ignoring it.

Monday, February 13, 2017 at 7:39:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

I can't resist adding, because I see it in the news:

many liberals are now excited that Flynn has been pushed out because his conversations to the Russians have leaked.

Ordinarily, if you asked a progressive whether they thought that the National Security Agency should monitor Americans' phone conversations and then leak the take from that for political reasons, they would say absolutely not. Principles are such inconvenient things.

I also imagine there's a sizeable contingent on the right that would be quite happy if Trump said he was going to continue implementing his immigration order despite the outcry to date, at least until it has had its full day in court and the courts have ruled on the merits of it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at 11:30:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

if immigration hits the courts it'll make heads spin by tying the topic to T and national security..
the 2 are distinct and separate affairs, but Trump is trying to tie it to national security.this is weak gruel.
the wot has played this stupidity to the nines. example-the real war against the Taliban.this is accepted because they are played as a T threat to America. after all these years can't we see that this isn't true. they may have the intent, but not the means.the only threat they pose is to the AFGH quisling gov't.
what threat do the mexicans entertain?regardless this card is soooo convenient to play.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at 1:59:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

the pictures of my family around the ww1 years clearly show square heads and eastern european eyes/features and dress.
they could be used by central casting for the gangs of new york.
my point-my grandfathers had sponsors who spoke for them, and they had jobs that were essential, and extremely hard. they went thru the system to gain entry to us society.
the pictures of my generation show people who have assimilated, fought wars , and have worked hard and earned our place at the dinner table.
yes we assimilated, and any one that doesn't accept our western values should not expect our forbearance.this comment is not aimed at the mexicans.
a good example is that my blood started out loyal to the russian and greek orthodox churches. my generation and partly my parents abandoned this fact and became roman catholics. we evolved to the new world.
i understand your comments.
jim hruska

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 12:52:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is interesting to me that head shape and other features change as assimilation occurs. My own family on my father's side is also testimony to this. Their story is quite similar to your family's (as I have mentioned here before).

I have nothing against Mexicans/Hispanics. I have known many fine Americans that are from that background (also mentioned many times in the past).

I do have a problem with illegal entry and, especially, illegals receiving all kinds of benefits.

In response to an email that I just saw in my inbox, I have it on good information that Iraqi, Pakistani and other non-Hispanic foreign nationals have indeed been caught attempting to cross the Mexican border in recent months. Maybe someone is pulling my leg, but I don't think so. That is worrisome, IMO.

Actually, if not for potential T infiltrators and the presence of welfare and other benefits, I really could care about the Southern border. W/o welfare benes, Mexicans (and other illegals) would come here when there was a labor demand and leave/not come here in the first place when there wasn't. Simple. Econ 101. W/ welfare they come here and enjoy a life style - work or no work - better than what they had in their country of origin. I do not believe the US should be the source of welfare to the world, especially when we have plenty of our own native borns suffering - to include veterans, children and elderly who certainly deserve better.

Then to add to the problem, we have lefties burning US flags and telling everyone that assimilation is stupid b/c the USA is an immoral corrupt unjust country.

Not good/Doesn't end well.

That's the sitrep FOB Newhill Farm


Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 2:04:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim, please allow me to add this bit too.

You were an officer in a forward area. Part of the responsibility you accepted was to, if necessary, send men into a situation where you knew some of them would be killed. Is that b/c you were mean spirited and full of hate for Es and subordinate Os? Of course not. But all Trump (and his supporters) get is incoming from bleeding heart liberals about racism, hatred, etc. b/c he accepted a tough job that requires tough decisions to be made. It's like no one can conceive that maybe he's doing what he perceives to be necessary to the mission of making America a strong secure place for its citizens first and foremost. IMO, It's like their children instead of serious men and women.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 3:27:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

I'm making (a perhaps ill-advised) break from my studies to make at least one point.

After illegals from Western Europe came here and rudely obliterated the previous border control authorities on this continent and then built a nation on the bones of theirs, do those of the United States really have a claim to demand any sort of monopoly of values on these here shores? The Spanish, on their side of the Mercantalist European colonization circuit in the southern American continent raped and pillaged sure, but if the Indians could prove their offspring was the conception of a Conquistador rape- or later- intermarriage at least these "Mesitzos" could be one class ahead of the pure-blooded Indians and African slaves. The "One-Drop Blood" rule and extermination seemed to dominate the civilization-building of their Anglo-Saxon cousins to the north. In the United States, you were either 100% white or "one of them". You can't shake off the racist contentations of the border policy with this kind of history. It casts too far a shadow. I won't even mention the treatment of Chinese workers that were remember, invited to the country.

I'd like to go to Europe or Asia to teach when I graduate. But when I think about it, where else in the world does it make less sense for a "native" to tell you to go back to where you came from? Even the First Nations arrived in the Americas in three different waves from Siberia.

And which Western values exactly should one cherish? Even the Founders disagreed. Both Thomas Jefferson and Tom Paine insisted on deism and distrusted Christianity, but it was Tom Paine who first advocated universal basic income- a plank of the Nixon re-election campaign-only after the various uprisings all across the land (white, black, Native American and feminist all) became dangerous enough to attempt to buy off. One could say todays welfare system is far removed from the ambitions of the nations creators.


Still, one should read Vietnam veteran and writer Fred Reed on just how the current illegal immigration policy actually works. An international journalist and ex-pat to Mexico, he is knowledgeable on these things. One should note that the welfare, to the extent that its given, is not really free. Thats Capitalism baby. If someone in the fields gets particularly sick or becomes infirm, suddenly the shifty agribusiness farmer who hoarded the illegal now turns them into the authorities for deportation. Its a perfect system for them. This happens all the time and primarily to refugees from El Salvador and Honduras, both nations destabilized by CIA death squads and drug trafficking. I tire of citing the statistic so I challenge anyone to prove me wrong. Whether Mexicans are coming into the United States even at the rates of previous years. There is currently a net emigration of Mexicans out of the United States- yes- even in the half of that Spanish colony the United States annexed. The economic "recovery" has even discouraged them. Its too bad the bloody Honduran coup, under Obamas watch, and the El Salvadoran genocide under Reagan's has been a problem that has been left to fester for so long. Just know that the farmers who exploit and house these illegals aren't complaining.


Even more perspective, from the usual source.

What would you people do without me?

Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 12:59:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Et tu Nikolay? A social justice warrior? Unfair treatment of the Indians means we should bow down and stretch out our necks? Screw the Indians. They lost.

IMO, if the stupid Indians had been able to stop fighting and killing each other, they could have formed a united tribes shore defense force that could have easily repulsed any foreign invaders on the beach for at least two hundred years. The "white man" simply couldn't come across the Atlantic in large enough numbers throughout the 16th, 17th and probably 18th century to defeat a well organized Indian opposition. At some point the primitives would have had to trade fur and gold for guns, so they would be bringing sticks and stones to a gun fight. But it could have been done....if the noble savages could have stopped being savages.

They would have had to have done the same thing along the west coast t protect themselves from the yellow man and along the Mexican border to protect themselves from the Spanish and the mestizos.

If anything, to my mind, the experience of the Indians teaches that immigration is bad and strong border protection is good.


Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 9:28:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

"The Indians" didn't have a state to do any of the things you claim. Much as we've hashed out about Muslims many times now, they didn't have a central command to coordinate such a thing. Europeans enjoyed the lack of border control to settle here.

Nikolay's point makes me a bit uncomfortable, though. The nations that met Europeans on the eastern seaboard weren't the original inhabitants of that area. They displaced them, too. "First Nations" always struck me as a questionable term considering the fact that almost certainly not a single one of the groups existing today were the first inhabitants of their respective territories. "Slightly older than the Europeans Nations" might be a better term although it is a mouthful.

I will point this out, too. For decades now, various flavors of globalism have been working on building a world system where goods and capital can flow freely but people can't. It's hardly surprising that there are going to be people who want to cross the border as freely as the shirts and cars they make do, and it's hardly surprising which direction most of them will want to go in (the same direction as the shirts and cars are going).

Eventually this will stop, if only because our citizenship becomes economically devalued enough that it won't be worth moving here anymore.

Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 12:54:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

Making bourgeois liberals uncomfortable is my job, David. Its the least I can do after those who were Communist or even soft on Communism were exiled, jailed or murdered in this country while the liberals cheered it on as proof that Truman and them were more American than those filthy conservatives ;-). An identity politics social justice warrior I am not.



I think I beg to differ. Infact the Founders were inspired by the governing example of the Iroquois Confederacy in creating the concept of a federal government although you don't read that a lot in corporate American textbooks. Many of those Native American nations were promised co-existince if they fought for the United States in the Revolutionary War. The fate of the Onieda and Tuscarora showed the folly of that. I'll give these Native Americans something, avedis. They were not used to the double-speak and broken promises common to the barbarian battlefields of Western Europe and especially the ruling 1% of the Anglo-Saxons who wrote and broke every single treaty they signed. Even after the Beaver Wars, the Native American societies did have a concept of trust; especially in their peace agreements.


In order not to flood this thread with links, I'd go to the "show" under the main caliphates tab on this page and name a significant time- except after the division and conquering of Western Imperial powers- when the Muslim world was NOT united. Whatever wars among Muslims certainly cannot be compared to the intercine Orthodox-Catholic-Protestant bloodletting on the European continent and I speak as someone born on Orthodox land the Protestants and Catholics NEVER let be when they weren't fighting each other. Even todays wars are related to the former. The United States and old NATO friends, despite ostensibly fighting Al-Qaeda, is on the same side as the Sunni extremist monarchs they put into power against the threat of an independent (and starving) Shia-dominated Yemen and Iran. The exception was of course, the 1980s Lebanese civil war when they counted on the bloodthirsty apartheid Zionist Jews and fascist- literally fascist- Christian Arab Phalange militiamen.

But whats the point here? I don't think you need to read Samir Aran, Franz Fanon or Maoist Third-Worldist theory to understand a fundamental aspect of world history, influenced in large part by a certain region in the world this past half-millennia.

Enter Samuel Huntington, a Harvard establishment historian and card-carrying Republican. But even the most mediocre historian must come to some conclusion having at least pretended to read the breadth of modern history. Alas, a quote from his book, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order.

“The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion […] but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact; non-Westerners never do.”

Friday, February 17, 2017 at 2:47:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

There it is folks. H.G. Wells prophesized that "We must end war, or war will end us." I think he meant capitalism. Karl Marx, even in his infamously unfinished writings, predicted capitalism will end like all economic systems. Rise, glory, decadence and then collapse. Capitalism is no different. The faster that Capitalist Imperialism is tossed on the ashheap of history the faster refugee and migrant flows will cease and a more rational economic system and thus immigration framework could be established. We could end along with Capitalsim though too. The elites who were made rich by this system had enough issues trying to resolve capitalism's perennial internal contradictions. Climate change and ecosystem collapse are proving well beyond their ability to cope, save building fallout shelters for their wealthy families and antagonzing Russia and China into nuclear winter.

In the spirit of a poster called Ghost Dansing- a primer, one on world history through an especially genius Western European blackened doom metal band, even if you don't agree with everything they say, and another on what futures await the working class in whats being called the Fourth Industrial Revolution- automation. I fear most of humanity will become the "useless eaters" that Secretary of State Henry Kissinger derided us. Illegal immigrants, factory workers, working class people everywhere were all pawns in their plan to replace us all with machines. What happens when the 1% no longer need even our wage slavery? The history of their brutality should imbue caution.



Friday, February 17, 2017 at 2:49:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

Sorry, I forgot to add this. But I couldn't help myself.

Bolshevik comes from болше, meaning more. The Bolsheviks couldn't of won the Russian Revolutionary War without numbers against the Czarist and Republican White Army, let alone their American, French, British and German financiers, advisers and ground troops. You must be talking about the Mensheviks.

I suspect the total abandonment of policing illegals in California is perfectly rational. Focus already expensive police resources on fighting actual crime by all residents, including immigrants who statistically overwhelmingly commit less crimes than the native population, not on a potential police state enabler like the arbitrary hunting of illegals. This hubub has given me a silver lining though. For the first time the secession of California is on the 2019 referendum ballot and my only cause for despair is this is too soon although I doubt it'd be the last. If theres one good thing that will come from an re-elected Trump administration than its the precipitation of a secession crisis that could give the rest of the world a breath of fresh air from further Neo-Imperialism in their countries. Remember that if California seceded tomorrow, it would be the sixth largest economy in the world.

Maybe Trump can ensure America focuses on America for once, in more ways than he ever imagined.

(Hoping this won't be a double post though)

Friday, February 17, 2017 at 3:37:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

I will cheerfully accept that criticism but the reason the term "First Nations" is uncomfortable isn't because it offends my delicate urbane sensibilities. It's because it strikes me as a term that is appealing to feelings over facts, insofar as the groups that Europeans encountered were probably neither first nor thought of themselves as nations.

I consider this Iroquois Confederacy linkage largely a product of the same modern identity politics. I have a sincerely hard time imagining that a group of proudly affluent European capitalists tired of having unelected foreign monarchs levy taxes on them would say, "Oh look, some Indians who have an enduring diplomatic alliance between traditional clans with hereditary leadership. Let's remake our society in their image."

Anyway, there were various federal-ish systems in European history they could look to for inspiration if they really wanted. I'm not an expert on the subject of 18th-century intellectual history so I won't chase this too far.

I wonder if California would still be the sixth-largest economy in the world if the U.S. imposed trade sanctions and closed the border following this secession of yours. Maybe we could build a wall and make California pay for it?

Friday, February 17, 2017 at 7:22:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...



It only takes a few seconds to peruse the history of the traditional lands of these Native peoples, but if you like these links also show how even the reservations set aside for them- meant ironically as a generosity for services rendered- were nevertheless shrunk from constant colonialist encroachment with no legal recourse given to them. This is why I even compared the Imperialist rapist Spanish colonialism favorably with the Anglo-Saxon kind. Its the Anglo-Saxon industrialist capitalist society (and the Spanish to a lesser rapid extent) that grows at the rate of cancer and engulfs every surrounding society it encounters. The Native Americans never even came close to its malignant spread, now threatening to swallow the world.

Its the anarchist Max Weber and the communist Karl Marx that noticed this about capitalism (and thus became known as the godfathers of sociology which even sociologists in capitalist academia are reluctant to mention), because they saw the effects personally before Capitalism exported its means of production and resource acquisition abroad since Germany was one of Capitalism's founders. Of course Karl Marx predicted the demon of automation too, but the Luddites probably named it first just like the Lowell Mill Girls first put wage slavery into circulation before the limousine liberals of the time attracted the working class with the siren call of rising wages for rising productivity, without mentioning this would be an impossible promise to keep as Capitalism was faced with its recurring crisises of contradictions.

While I would like for the United States to convert to Communist Cubas health system tomorrow and begin to at least put the country on par with Cuba's life expectancy again- now falling do to the rising suicides and opiate overdoses in this country (according to the World Health Organization)- perhaps a drastic shock is needed to jolt the people into doing so. A secession would be just that shock. Mutual hostility, a mutually destructive trade crisis and if Trump is stupid enough, a war, could force the United States to take a good hard look at itself across the spectrum and relearn the value of a taxpayer dollar. I would wager fighting military adventures for oil, rare earth minerals and death merchant profit would immediately fall down the list. But I have no crystal ball. I'll simply watch the developments with interest at this point in time.

Friday, February 17, 2017 at 5:40:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Both my wife and I have more shallow roots here, and my ancestors haven't been in North America really for long at all, but to take my wife's family, they settled from Ireland in New Brunswick, Canada, in the 1820s. Much of the family still lives in the same small farming community there. Everybody is buried in the same church cemetery as the first men and women off the boat. Is this not their traditional land?

I suppose you could say no it isn't, it's Micmac land unjustly occupied without treaty, which would be true enough for that particular part of Canada (you see, I do know about these things on both sides of the border, as we've now wandered close to MY job). And while I'll certainly grant that the Micmacs were there before my wife's ancestors were, the notion that the Micmac were the "first nations" there is either false or at the very least unproven. They took it from someone else. So did the Iroquois nations.

Anyway this is a digression. There will be no secession, and if there was a serious threat of one, Trump's people wouldn't say, "Gosh, we've really misjudged the promise of modern liberalism to improve America. We'd better have a good hard think about how quickly we sold away the rule of law and our integrity for a few magic beans from a trumped-up real estate broker."

No, they'd say, "I knew it. Those liberals have hated America all along. We obviously need to find better ways to stamp out this traitorous nonsense."

Someone on this forum who is known to you shared his fantasy of watching troops machine-gun pacifist protesters at Berkeley once a while back. I'm fairly certain he was just bullshitting me -- you would know better than I -- but I think if they saw Californians demanding independence because of Trump, this would simply confirm in their minds everything they always suspected about spoiled liberal brats. (And this is even leaving aside the fact that there is plenty of support for American empire on the left too, including in California.)

Friday, February 17, 2017 at 8:23:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

To all,
heres an article from the WSJ .Titled UPWARD MOBILITY by,Jason L. Riley.
"Seeking their own refuge,Sanctuary cities go to court."
since i don't know how to inbed this, it's up to you to link to it.
this is a fine summary of the situation.
jim hruska

Saturday, February 18, 2017 at 1:52:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

Jim, I'd love to read it but the freaking Journal always has a paywall. I did enjoy interrogating the mindset of the 1% from reading just the cover of the paper when I still worked at the pharmacy.

Dave, I think the primary point is the atrocious genocidal violence that displaced the Micmac was nowhere near the casualties in the various Indian border wars. Even the cannibalistic warlords of the Amazons retreat in confusion when one or two warriors are accidentally killed. Much of the Indian battles were meant as shows of force, like the North American Plains Indians touching the chest of the opposing military leader with a spear-ending the battle. Because the warrior could have killed the opposing warchief-but didn't-the battle ended honorably in their favor. Even their slaves (prisoners of war basically) could intermarry and become part of the societies that they were captured by if they gave up all allegiance to their previous ones. Do I really have to look up which tundra the Canadians placed the surviving Indians to show where they tolerated dropping them off? If its anywhere near their previous range, even when they crossed the Siberian landbridge, prove it to me. The last civilization to fight with this code, albeit with corruption by the barbarian Anglo-Saxon standard of warfare, was the Japanese Empire. Because their warplane pilots fought like Samurai-one on one- instead of dishonorably ganging up on the enemy like the Americans and because their best admirals would rather go down with the aircraft carrier rather than dishonorably be saved, the Japanese lost WWII before they even started. Their enemy found it acceptable to fight with the most disgusting brutality possible and the greatest disregard for honor. Don't even get me started with all the American military generals, even the insane General Curits Lemay who were even disturbed themselves by Trumans extermination of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Surviving Japanese ace Saburo Sakai would break off the radio antenna of his fighter to reduce drag rather than ask his commanding officer to design a better radio to coordinate double-teaming Americans. The Japanese focused production on their famous battleships because they believed that war with hit-and-run aircraft carriers brought too much dishonor. They never had a chance, poor industrialization notwithstanding.

As for California, their loyalty is to the Liberal wing of the American One-Party Imperial system; so we'll see. I don't care how people feel about a secession crisis in the American empire just that one shouldn't hesitate to find it useful to be on the road of ridding this country of the parasitic 1%.I still emphasize that it is too early to tell how far it will go. The falling white births and the stable Hispanic births in California do not fare well with the pro-preservation faction. Its interesting that the original referendum question was whether California should rejoin Mexico, which amuses me even today. This was before Donald Trump by the way. If the upper-crust "left-wing" Californian whites had shared the wealth more evenly with their impoverished Hispanic citizens, Hispanic births would have fallen as fast as white births in America and Europe. Affluent families of course always have less kids. Too bad they prefer, like the South's classic slavemasters before them, to breed and maximize the sweat of their wage slaves.

Saturday, February 18, 2017 at 4:02:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

I'm forgetting things now. Should probably be studying.




Please read up on the secessionist movements in other parts of the country. The Vermont secessionist movement became pretty meh after a famous governor (I believe) leading one died. So I didn't include it. There are chances here for collaboration. Old habits die hard. If the 1% would really prefer to live in their secluded Versailles world and rake in their gargantuan flows of money their used to getting to sustain their lifestyle over living in reality it may just come back and bite them when they least bother to expect it. They've bled and robbed the world, and now they think they can do the same to their own people. The oppression Athens imposed abroad it finally imposed on itself as they say.

I still didn't get the hint, but I assume you're either a farmer or minister. Fair occupations those. As long as you're not growing GMOs or pesticide-laden food, but then you've got to survive somehow in the free market in the free-world don't you?

Saturday, February 18, 2017 at 4:40:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Nikolay -- When thinking across cultures it's easy to wander from appreciating diversity into romanticizing and mythologizing difference.

If you live in a small band of 100 people on the plains, and one person is killed in combat, that's 1% of the population in a single battle. To my knowledge the United States has never experienced that kind of trauma. Today this would be the equivalent of 3 million people. One would not expect such societies to engage in much large-scale warfare simply because, if they did so, there wouldn't be many such societies anymore.

When you look at the areas of highest population density and political organization, on both coasts, you see what you might expect, from fortifications to organized warfare.

This isn't to say Native Americans were barbaric, just that they were human.

Saturday, February 18, 2017 at 11:25:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Jim - unfortunately I am being tripped up by the paywall as well. I hope I will be able to find some other way of accessing it soon. Assuming I find a way, thank you for the recommendation.

From the first paragraph and title that I do get to see, I would say it doesn't surprise me if certain crime rates are lower among illegal immigrants. If I was already in another country illegally, the last thing I would want to do would be to attract the attention of the government to my presence. This is simple logic.

Saturday, February 18, 2017 at 11:43:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

Jim, as long as you don't inform the WSJ, just copy paste the entire article into the comments section and that'll make it readable.


These images have been inducing shock all over the (rest of the) world- two days running (if Reuters recently dumbed down statistics are to be believed). While I believe this discrediting of the American Empire, straight out of some stupid Hollywood propaganda film usually made about authoritarian regimes ruled by the darker or Slavic races, is necessary to split the NATO Western Imperial Front; be sure to know that this is what Trumpists own Lisa. Don't worry about illegal immigrants. I've read multiple reports that they're crossing into a country that appreciates their labor-Canada- along with Millennial college students apparently. Canada of course, has never been kind to the indigenous people within its borders and has never met a third-world land it didn't want to ruthlessly mine and pollute, as controversial though broadly right Canadian Maoist author Jason Unruhe speaks about.

Are the Masou mythological? The !Kung people? The Kingdom of Nri??

These are just some of the rich cultures that we know of, some of whom have no word in their lexicon for murder; let alone suicide or poverty, that haven't been exterminated by patriarchal commodified empires before their discovery. Just like Amazon tribes of all persuasions and the rain forest earth's ecosystems rely on are being obliterated by cattle ranchers and the Anglo-Saxon capitalist encouraged appetite for beef, so are the !Kung as are all San peoples, being murdered and robbed of their land to convert their pacifist society into rancher farm hands and their land as digsites for diamond and oil. The antelope which they hunt sustainably, and regard highly in their mythology will be exterminated by the poisoning of their habitat- that the Botswanian militarist capitalist government claims to save from those "savage" Bushmen. Post-feudalistic Anglo-Saxon "civilization" hard at work.

Martin Luther King, before he was brutally silenced and recast as a harmless historical icon, always said that the United States (and by extension its Canadian and European NATO allies) were the greatest purveyor of violence on the planet. Don't think you can take the bloodthirsty values of the post-barbarian Anglo-Saxon society you grew up in and generalize that to the complexity of the entire species. Thats not fair to the truly advanced human civilizations- who figured out an end to poverty, war and anomie without hierarchies and expensive human-species ending technologies.

Sunday, February 19, 2017 at 5:06:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

Sorry again. I missed the article I was going to link. I really wish Blogger had the ability to edit comments.

Genocide in Plain Sight: Shooting Bushmen From Helicopters in Botswana


Most of the Native American societies were patriarchal, raided one another and retaliated against the Europeans who attempted to enslave them. The !Kung people thought killing another human being was such an obscenity they didn't even resist in self-defense their placing in Apartheid concentration camps half a century before. Whats the excuse of the Botswanian military junta and the multi-national conglomerates backing them now?

Sunday, February 19, 2017 at 5:30:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

sorry , i am not a computer type.
unfortunately our editor/co writer is in graduate school.
this is why we've cut back on entries.
jim hruska

Monday, February 20, 2017 at 11:41:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

Jim, you're foreign policy analysis is always highly regarded. I haven't disagreed with one yet. My doubt is whether any politician has the means or, with campaign bribery legalized under the Citizens United ruling, the incentive to answer your pointed rhetorical questions. I realize now that basing large parts of the American government on the Roman Empire was a mistake. It dooms the country to the same decadence and decline, even if it gave it its rise. The phenomena of a ruling class turning the people's representatives into their own harem of giggilos and whores is nothing new unfortunately and I fear that it all ends the same way, no matter how many maverick Caesars come to power. I remember my long-gone Polite Liberal years when such historical realities didn't pierce my consciousness. Naive days, those.

I enjoy Lisa's vocabulary and prose, but I fear her Zionism colors her analysis of the domestic politics of the United States. I notice this as a young Jew who sees the police brutality meted out to a black man who just wants to walk home as identical to that of a young Palestinian who was recently gunned down coming back from his chemotherapy clinic. Despite both of us technically belonging to the same tribe, the difference in perspective might be generational. But if she allows your musings to be legible, her contributions are appreciated.

Speaking of generational, perhaps this tech-savy Millenial can show you copy-pasting the easy way. Ctrl-A selects all the text, Ctrl-C copys the text to your computers invisible "clipboard" and clicking in the comment box and pressing Ctrl-V copies the entire article over.

Your welcome.

I have to thank you for allowing me to articulate my thoughts on this crazy world for all these years. Now that I'm in undergrad, a limit on that could probably help my GPA myself.

Monday, February 20, 2017 at 3:55:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

I'm not sure where you get the idea that I'm simply projecting. Most sufficiently large and crowded cultures have violent pasts. This is supported by archaeology and by history, oral and written. The cultures you speak of as exceptions did not "solve" the problems: they were just remote and/or small enough not to have encountered them as much.

I am hopeful that humanity can evolve beyond such violence, but I am not especially optimistic. To the extent that Western civilization can claim some measure of moral respectability, if not superiority, it is through the rule of law. Unfortunately, this seems to be a closed season for the rule of law. I doubt most Americans could even tell you what it means -- and that is for domestic law, which is the stronger form. International law was seldom more than a fig leaf anyways. Notably, among the many criticisms already leveled at the Trump government even from liberals, its evident disregard for international law does not rank high.

The founding fathers were interested in the Roman republic, not the Roman empire. They imagined that they could set up institutions that prevented a similar fate. So far I must say the results are not entirely encouraging.

One last cheerful note to close on: don't overestimate the Canadians. The days of welcoming Vietnam draft dodgers at the border are over. These people are running across illegally because if they showed up at an actual border crossing, they would be turned away. So far the government is happy to let them take advantage of what is effectively a loophole, but that might change at any time.

I'll try my hand at HTML here so you can see what I mean:


Monday, February 20, 2017 at 8:37:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

Indeed. Man, bred like rabbits in densely populated warehouses known as cities to become a resource cheap enough to create industrial civilization was supposed to be uplifted by its rise. Instead, the common man was so much as meat to fine-tune the meatgrinder and whatever comfort gained destroying the very world that holds its crumbling foundations together.


Writer Dimitry Orlov transmitting from primitive Wi-Fi repeaters on the solar-powered customized sailboat that he lives and commutes on writes on this question. Perhaps Man should return to their small bands of one hundred, the highest number a human society-or even school fraternity- can know without hierarchy until they learn to treat power with the respect it deserves. If mankind will ever be capable of trusting any of their species with such things again. On this question, it may be time the Western savages learn from the civilized Masou on how to return to such nobler lifestyles.


Neo-paganism and anarchist primitivist music and sentiment is already spreading throughout Europe and to a smaller extent the United States, almost mirroring the longing for a return to simpler societies in the Arab world. When climate change throws the final death blow to industrial civilization and the Great Culling destroys the human populations that were sustained by it, I don't think humanity will have a choice.

But what of this Western law?

In the government you call civilized, the happiness of the people is constantly sacrificed to the splendor of empire. Hence the origin of your codes of criminal and civil laws; hence your dungeons and prisons. We have no prisons; we have no pompous parade of courts; we have no written laws; and yet judges as highly revered among us as they are among you, and their decisions are as much regarded.

We have among us no exalted villains above the control of our laws. Daring wickedness here is never allowed to triumph over helpless innocence. The estates of widows and orphans are never devoured by enterprising swindlers.

We have no robbery under the pretext of law.
~Joseph Brant (Thayendanegea) - Mohawk

Dostoevsky said, show me your prisons and I will show you the integrity of your civilization. No more needs to be said.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 12:13:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

I wonder whether Tyendinaga accepted the legitimacy of the British "purchase" of land from the Mississaugas on his behalf.

As for Western law, I'll agree with you that the rule of law is on shaky ground. That was the thesis of my post, actually -- that, and that very large voting blocs in the U.S. and probably all Western countries are not actually supportive of the rule of law anyways, at least as long as their particular party is in power.

This notion of returning to noble savagery is an interesting one, but unfortunately I think it is far too late for that. Sure a few people could pull off a simplistic lifestyle -- ironically, people who enjoy more privilege in the present system, probably -- but there are seven billion people on Earth now. You want to go back to decentralized bands living off the land without intensive industrial-scale agriculture? Even if it was possible, you'd never persuade more than a few people to actually do it. I fear that ship has sailed.

I appreciate your desire to learn from other cultural traditions, and I don't think there is anything wrong with that per se, but go into it with your eyes open. None of the groups you are speaking of ever had to figure out how to ensure the peace, prosperity, or satisfaction of nations consisting of tens or hundreds of millions of people. You can look to them for inspiration, but don't assume that they have "solved" the "problems" we face when they never actually encountered them to begin with.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 2:14:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

Accommodation or war to the death with a colonial republic or the even greater empire is not a choice any Western leader had to make. It is still remarkable how perfectly even the society of this small warlord (if thats what you want to call him) can call out the lie of superiority of the more brutal ones that took over his land.

I think the solution of the Kingdom of Nri was simple. Ban all militaries so it becomes more punishing to fight a war than to grow your empire in less barbaric ways. Create a true non-Western controlled United Nations where the only force allowed is to enforce the Non-Aggression Principle. No force utilized for any reason. Overwhelming force consisting of a true proportional international coalition for any attempt of aggression to solve problems by anyone. This principle is enforced whenever you go to the movies, or stand in line. The police, numerous as they are in America; couldn't control the populace if ordinary people didn't follow this principle every day on their own. Its amazing what people can accomplish without being forced to live under "the law". But then the law was always meant to protect the pillage of the rich thieves and punish their much smaller competition. This has been true since it was written directly into the lawbooks in the mostly illiterate and ignorant city state of Hammurabi. The Western world, born from the ways of the Vandals and Visigoths couldn't imagine such solutions. More the point, the barbarian ruling class would never accept it. The Visigoths still rule the West, its just they wear expensive suits instead of expensive skins. Banning most biological weaponry is systemic of the folly of Kafkaesque Western law. That leaves more powerful nuclear weapons untouched and allows the Imperialist West to blame its client states that have gone rogue from their imperialist interests for defending themselves with the only outdated weaponry they have (and were provided by the West in many cases) to then be bombed and occupied by the greatest nuclear powers in the world after they destroyed them. Do I have to mention examples to illustrate this? Admittedly, the Empire of Nri had modest neighbors and weren't plagued by being bordered by the same warlike peoples that fought and butchered themselves in the greatest human slaughter in the species history, WWII.

Americans are only seeing the way Western law truly works today because the ruling class can no longer afford to share their pillage with their working class, or simply put, they only bothered to do so during the times their wage slaves were in a state of uprising and needed to be bought off. This is what the double-crossing capitalist Franklin Roosevelt called "The New Deal". A similar threat to the two independent socialist parties and the Communist Party of America would be necessary to force the capitalists to create a new "Great Society" again- turn their bloodthirsty exploitative capitalist system into one that might function for most people. Temporarily. It took the threat of general strike for the Capitalist Portugese president just recently to finally welcome the honest and militant Portuguese Communist Party into the ruling coalition of the country. The first Communist Party to do so in a founding NATO nation. I'll have to see what the 1%s next move is. They are willing to fight tooth and nail to make sure this never happens again however, even resurrecting proto-fascism and worse if necessary. Dupont, Firestone and Henry Ford himself funded Hitlers Condor Legions to crush the Spanish Republic after all.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 5:44:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

If I don't see your Western Ethnocentrism (if unintentionally) bleeding through, its naivety or historical ignorance. I still see your fear speaking of the growing Thucydides Trap between China and the Western Empires. The only explanation of the current anomaly in falling armed conflicts has been the invention of nuclear weapons. But scarcity will always breed war.

The Deer of St. Mathews Island is a classic tale retold by biologists of how a paradise could allow a being to be fruitful and multiply, and then starve and die out- all in a blink of an eye. Twenty-nine deer, blossoming into six thousand, collapsing into extinction.

But those are simple species of course. Humans have never seen such rancor?

The tale of Easter Island is somber but true. A civilization that cut down every single tree to build monuments to their greatness vanished without a trace. From Machu Pichu to even great empires on the Eurasian continents, this tale has been retold no matter the complexity or the efficiency of the civilization. Should this not be a cautionary tale? You said to me once, that there were always those who thought their civilzation's last days had come. But what has always been certain is that its last days always arrived. Only the timing was foolish. It is only the blind and comfortable who see it happening to their own last. It is why it might be pointless to discuss this matter further. I assume you not only have stock options that ensure you're status, but that you are far too old to see whats coming. I am young enough to have to see it for myself. The fall of Globalism, the collapse of the Nation-State, the curtain that may just fall on our species. Man was always meant to perish. Biologists estimate there have been five Mass Extinctions. The most complex beings died first. Only 1% of species lived to survive them. This does not count of course, those lost to the natural "background" extinction. Among the youngest is the horseshoe crab on the eastern United States seaboard, it is the last species of its order. It is five hundred million years old. Humanity, barely a few hundred thousand years, is a blink in Mother Nature's eye. It is presiding over what scientists are calling the sixth mass extinction. One should read Joseph Tainter PhD's Collapse of Complex Societies with as much care as the science showing the ephemeral nature of life itself. It takes a lot of care to make a civilization that survives an asteroid blast, or the mass release of methane into the atmosphere. Humanity dodged a bullet by being in a technologically primitive state when the last solar flare disabled all electronics in the 19th century. It barely survived the explosion of the Toba volcano that left as few as forty breeding pairs alive. These are known dangers to mankinds survival. Now it has embarked on a path of destroying itself with its own hands through the manipulation of forces it did not understand.

This scientific pariah and now eminent scholar will explain.


This Pulitzer-Prize winning Harvard-educated journalist, voice of conscience and relevant voice will elaborate.


And I'll leave you with this.


Per Professor Michael Parenti: History never ends. The last line is never written. It is always being rewritten, away from the lies of its victors and towards the truth of its victims. The most elucidating passages are not written by the princes, or the prime ministers or the popes. They are written by the common people. For all their faults, these people are all we have, infact we are they.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 5:46:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

You've raised quite a number of points there and I'm not sure which ones are worth responding to -- not because I'm dismissing what you're saying, just because otherwise our posts are simply going to continue to grow exponentially. So I'll limit myself to a few key points.

On the rule of law, my point is simply this: IF Western civilization in general can claim to have some form of moral respectability if not superiority, it is in the concept of the rule of law, more so than democracy. This may not be the only good principle in organizing a large society, and the West may not have a monopoly on good principles, but this is the key Western principle and America has always played a vital role in articulating that. This is the principle that prevents tyranny.

To the admittedly partial extent that it was ever practiced, we are seeing a steady erosion of the rule of law. Obama was a party to this in some ways; Trump almost certainly will prove to be, too. I predicted that a majority of my fellow citizens couldn't correctly define the rule of law, much less support it. I have no survey research to back that up, but it's a guess I will stand by based on personal experience.

The morality of empire is a separate point. For one reason or another, Western nations have always found reasons to practice the rule of law at home amongst themselves while practicing only by rule of law, or rule by force, abroad in their empires and among marginalized peoples. The U.S. may be unusual insofar as it tolerated such a large belt of relatively sovereign democracies in Canada and western Europe. Arguably we made up for that with our imperial adventures elsewhere.

Where does this leave the U.S.-China conflict that you bring up? I don't see it as inevitable in the way a realist foreign policy analyst would; if you follow that field at all, I would fall in the constructivist camp. But nationalist resurgences in Japan, the U.S., and China raise the likelihood of a confrontation between people who think like realists even if the world isn't truly realist.

You bring up some interesting issues in terms of thoughts about mass extinction, etc. The way we differ there I think is that while you seem to imagine there is a way forward in getting back to the past and learning how small societies can function, I think there are too many of us now for that to be feasible. Unfortunately the alternative -- an actual global civilization -- is not only even harder to achieve but has no historical precedents to learn from and will be actively opposed by most people, so from any practical perspective, it isn't an option either. Perhaps expecting humans to achieve the necessary coordination to do something like control the risk of climate change is akin to telling cape buffalo that they should band together and kill all the lions to save themselves from future predation -- very true, yet a totally, tragically pointless thing to do.

Al Bartlett has a fascinating lecture on exponential growth it's worth listening to on YouTube for many reasons, but the most relevant of which is his observation that overpopulation can only be solved by proportionately increasing the death rate relative to the birth rate. Nature will do this for us at some point if we don't do it to ourselves, and we can do it to ourselves either violently or peacefully. At the end of that process, we may well end up with few enough people to give your idea of small societies a go again.

Unfortunately they will probably be living in a post-nuclear war world at that point, because once the American empire destabilizes, there will be a lot more nuclear powers in the world, and sooner or later one of them is going to make a mistake that can't be walked back in time.

Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 3:33:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

D @ NL,
i don't think we're seeing the end to the rule of law.
what we're seeing is the death of truth upon which laws derive their legitimacy.
jim hruska

Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 9:01:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Assuming you are correct, we are headed in the same direction, just by a slightly different route.

I think I may stand by my remarks, though.

The erosion happens first in places that seem unimportant, and in ways that seem eminently reasonable and justifiable to supporters.

Obama's nuclear deal with Iran without review from the Senate, for instance.

Trump's continuing to do business with foreign governments despite the emoluments clause, for instance.

On a longer scale there is the more long-term shift in the power to declare war, effectively, from Congress to the President since Vietnam.

I am certain these seem like minor procedural matters to supporters of the respective parties in each instance, but they are constitutional questions.

Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 11:03:00 AM GMT-5  

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