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 
--Revolution,
The Beatles

 Sanctuary, it said:
but only the road has meaning there. It leads
into the world's cities like a long fuse laid
--Sanctuary,
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 shirts proclaiming, "Not 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.

Alas, since gay marriage was signed into law, the last Civil Rights rampart has fallen, and Liberals are not Liberals unless they have some untermensch behind which to rally (provided they are not Jewish).

Do these sanctuary insurgents comprehend the nonsensical illegality what they are doing? If President Obama -- known as the "Deporter-in-Chief --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 our 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 amongst the agonistas keeps it bearable and seemingly sensible) 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?

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

70 Comments:

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...

David,
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.

avedis



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

DAVID,
LETS KICK THIS DOG A BIT.
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...

FYI:


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...

David,
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.

avedis

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...

David,
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.
jim

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

Avedis,
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...

Jim,
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

avedis

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.

avedis

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.

http://fredoneverything.org/

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.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/200/484012121_a4b45578f3_z.jpg?zz=1

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.

avedis

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.

http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2014/06/24/tribal_nation_map_custom-973eefab3541e8d2c23056100549ac543e59beee-s900-c85.jpg

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/6e/3d/75/6e3d75fead9e28aa9a7f88eb22b9c95e.jpg

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.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottoman_Caliphate

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kDr76tuCY8

http://www.truthdig.com/arts_culture/item/automation_climate_change_and_donald_trump_what_kind_of_future_20161207

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...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oneida_people

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuscarora_people

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.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/League_of_the_South

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_secession_movements

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_active_separatist_movements_in_North_America#United_States

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.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-canada-refugees-idUSKBN15W2GN?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&rpc=408

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

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/08/25/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...

NL,
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:

Link

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.

http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/

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.

https://thraenenkind.bandcamp.com/album/the-elk

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.

https://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2008/mar/01/scienceofclimatechange.climatechange

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CN4fCaL9P4

And I'll leave you with this.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/mar/21/bring-back-ideology-fukuyama-end-history-25-years-on

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  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

Although its time to wrap this thing up anyway (you may not even see it this late), I had forgotten why I stopped the discussion with you the last time- you don't read my links. I can tell because you don't even speak of them. I'm not a fan of that David. And so I now have another good excuse to resume focus on my studies.

Just to summarize though, if the broken and then signed again treaties with the Native Americans tell you anything (now defacto colonies literally within the borders of the United States) and the injustice against the African American community; you'll realize that Western law is a lie. The United States is the only industrialized country where slavery is still legal if thats what you mean by Western. Please see Ava DuVernay's documentary 13th- black liberal though she is and certain criticisms aside http://www.aaihs.org/mass-incarceration-and-its-mystification-a-review-of-the-13th/. This is the unabashed truth expounded on by the NYU-educated lawyer and anarchist Arthur Silber. If you need analysis from the legal perspective; see him and those libertarian legal experts he cites- Jacob Hornberger and John Whitehead and also the numerous Chris Hedges videos you didn't watch or skipped through. Woodrow Wilsons tearing apart of the Constitution makes Obama and Bush look good and Obama is using his discredited laws (thought to be anyway) to persecute wistleblowers. Do I have to review the miscarriage of justice that was the trail of Eugene Debbs? Everything that Hitler ordered was legal as Marin Luther King Jr. said. Nothing different from the British Empire.

Latin America is fine. Under the tutelage of the socialist governments there, under assault though they are, much of the continent has signed a no-war zone across the region. Marking what has almost always been a continent that refused to go to war with one another (If you know you're Spanish you can find the article on Telesur since its the only outlet that reported it). Its funny how Mesitzos, Native South Americans (Indians in accepted vernacular on both continents) and Blacks can find common ground against the White Imperialists that exploited and brought them there respectively- with the help of White allies of conscience of course. It should be a model even with the constant encroaching of imperial powers. There is a wisdom of these dark masses that the Western European nations have long lost.

I'd rather live in a nuclear apocalypse than a world where Western Imperialism slowly swallows whats left of the world but thankfully when the U.S. Empire destabilizes (your words) the only power to use nuclear weapons on a civilian population center and the power most adamant about fine-tuning nuclear technology- even to the point of pulling out of treaties- it will sound a death-knell for nuclear weaponry. Britain will get rid of its nuclear weapons either through inevitable Scottish independence (where the nukes are stored), the election of Jeremy Corbyn or civil war. France looks sure to elect a pro-Assad anti-NATO "fascist" president either this or next election who will ally with the East and Russia, China and North Korea are only testing nuclear weapons to defend against the United States. The Third-world, empowered by the buckling of the Western Bloc will demand an end to these weapons in return for allowing countries to use the last natural resources left on the planet as they have for years. http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/10/28/nukes-and-the-un-a-historic-treaty-to-ban-nuclear-weapons/

But lets see if that can all happen within the next hundred years. At the most. If six thousand can crash to zero in a few years on a deer island, 7 billion collapsing to zero won't take that much longer.

Sunday, February 26, 2017 at 4:30:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

On your links point -- well this is not entirely true. For instance, we discussed Hedges in some detail around the time of the election. I do skim articles but I don't tend to watch videos. It's just that I find it more interesting to respond to the points of the person I'm conversing with, especially when that person is thoughtful enough to raise quite a number of them in detail.

To take some of the links from this particular discussion, I didn't need to look up the Wikipedia page on the Ottoman Empire because I'm quite familiar with it. I'm familiar with Fukuyama's work, with Lovelock's views, and with the map of the indigenous nations of North America. Peter Frase is one of a chorus of people saying that technology is as important as cheap foreign labour when it comes to the decline of traditional manufacturing, and while he has a point, I suppose that if enough neo-nationalist countries put tariff barriers high enough, that might well reduce the market of any individual factory to the point where human labour was cost-effective again. I have also followed the stories about refugees on the Canadian border with interest -- enough interest to see the irony that an international treaty effectively requires them to sneak in across fields rather than walk through at customs.

You see, I'm not unfamiliar with the world outside of my bubble and I do know how to follow links. It's just that your posts are already lengthy enough, as are mine, that there is enough meat for discussion here.

With that throat-clearing out of the way --

I'm not sure precisely what King meant with respect to Hitler, but both the court that convicted him in the 1920s and the court that convicted much of his cabinet after 1945 would clearly disagree with you and King on the legality of Hitler's actions. Possibly you have in mind that Hitler's enabling legislation followed legislative due process, which is true and is precisely why I have shared my misgivings about the steadily growing power of the executive branch, especially in the U.S. but also in lockstep in other Western countries. Although there was an unmistakable element of victor's justice to the Nuremberg Trials, clearly Hitler's foreign policy was illegal under international law.

I'm also not sure where you've drawn the notion that I think America represents a shining, unbroken history of upholding of the rule of law. That isn't what I said. You're welcome to cite Wilson as an example of an aberration from the rule of law. But not just Wilson. Just remaining within his time in office, for instance, we can see the Supreme Court happily setting aside freedom of speech in Schenk (the case from which the famous phrase "shouting fire in a crowded theater" comes from, although the people actually convicted were charged with distributing anti-war leaflets, not shouting fire in a theater, which is an excellent example of what happens when the rule of law is set aside.)

I'm not sure you'll be "living in a nuclear apocalypse" -- that's kind of the point of an apocalypse -- but perhaps you live in some out-of-the-way location. Fair enough. We are probably witnessing the decline of Pax Americana, I'm sure you'll agree with that at least. Historically, the collapse of large-scale political orders doesn't result in everybody deciding to be peaceful, and nuclear weapons are far too useful to states for states to decide to get rid of them. Already there are mutterings about nukes in German foreign policy circles. The Ukraine probably wishes they had kept a few to deter the Russians from taking Crimea. Etc, etc., etc.

Monday, February 27, 2017 at 1:28:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Nl,
this months ACOUSTIC GUITAR mag has a pic of Buffie St.Marie on the cover.
i suggest you hear =NOW THAT THE BUFFALO ARE GONE.
she also wrote =UNIVERSAL SOLDIER when quite a young lady.
jim

Monday, February 27, 2017 at 3:46:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

Alas, in my more cynical moments, extinction through nuclear war would be a merciful end. Perhaps enough ruins of human civilization will remain so that the cockroaches that will evolve to replace us will learn from the mistakes of the intelligent species that came before. If anything, what remains would be an interesting xenoarchaeological study for any visiting extraterrestrial civilizations. Those that truly deserve the term, that escaped the cycle of birth and extinction to live among the stars. It would be something that they've seen before if Carl Sagan's pessimistic view on intelligent life has any truth.

Then, if the cockroaches end up powering their civilization with boric acid, humanity will not be the only species that so squandered its gifts. The !Kung civilization proved that humanity has the social ability to eschew conflict and sacrifice individual desire to achieve common goals for the greater good. Barbarians don't build civilizations that last. These Western post-feudal cultures were not ready for the industrial mantle, let alone its leadership. Again. African-Americans will tell you about that and I don't think you'll ever understand that until you've lived for enough years in their dilapidated inner-city neighborhoods, neighborhoods the 2008 capitalist crisis has forced whites to do already. Now that will actually be outside your bubble. There is no excuse for not knowing the true "legitimacy" of Western law. I've been to these ghettos too and I picked that up quick. Until you do that, we have no more to discuss here.

One can start with the League of Nations kicking out the Soviet Union for trying to regain a part of its former Russian territory that it had governed for hundreds of years, versus shrugging when the new colonialist United States (as old as that time) put down a workers strike in someone elses country (Panama, to say nothing of Mexico, El Salvador and militarily intervening in the "election" in Honduras). All just as grievous yet treated differently by "international law". But you acknowledge that. Now acknowledge how the police handle the opiod addiction crisis in white neighborhoods and how they handled the crack crisis in black neighborhoods before and still do today and note that difference.

Monday, February 27, 2017 at 6:06:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/02/03/national/fukushima-radiation-level-highest-since-march-11/#.WLSJMDvytxD
http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/10/of-putins-russia-and-fukushima-another-view/

With the Indian Point power plant being shutdown (this is just the beginning), Fukashima now spiraling into a global disaster that makes Chernobyl look good and the West Coast of the United States in for its rude awakening (covered up by governments and the corporate media) I think the source of nuclear missiles themselves are in danger, let alone nuclear weaponry. The governments are even running out of places to dump spent fuel rods if the Yucca Mountain debacle is any indication, or the seeping of radiation into groundwater or the spiraling cancer rates; all in just one American continent.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-economy-trade-idUSKBN1622SO?il=0

Unless the mushroom clouds cover our planet, I would be curious to see how your views will change when China's new Great Silk Road ensures its replacement of the Western Bloc without dropping a single bomb (or anywhere close, how about that eh?), to say nothing of how the continuing information technology revolution and the growing-not stopping- ownership of multinationals of all of the worlds economies undermines any chance of nationalism undoing the inevitable globalizing path of industrial civilization today. See Trump eventually bowing down to China's One China policy. The International Capitalist class owns entire continents, let alone individual factories. Save a new Communist or Anarchist Revolution, that won't change. Until the collapse of the fertility of arable lands make Neolithic, let alone industrial level population levels impossible. See George Monbiot on that.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/25/13-crises-we-face-trump-soil-loss-global-collapse
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/23/donald-trump-climate-change-war

Thanks Jim, its next on my playlist (between all these college essays of course).

Monday, February 27, 2017 at 6:08:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

NL,
per extinction and evolution, pls read Vonneguts last titled GALOPAGUS.
it's fiction but well thought out.
jim

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 11:14:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Since we've both made our positions clear on the feasibility of scaling lessons from tiny groups of humans to extremely large groups, as well as whether the rule of law is desirable, and are now clearly talking past each other on those, I see no reason to continue harping on those points, except to remind you once again that my original argument wasn't that the U.S. government consistently respects the rule of law.

I'm less bothered by nuclear power than nuclear war, and I would put very low stock in Hilaire's theory that there is a competent force behind the curtains, mainly because my view is that the elites are usually shown in the long run to be as incompetent as everyone else. Historically this is normally why nuclear reactor crises happen. Both at Fukushima and at Chernobyl, reactor promoters decided that the promises of nuclear power justified ignoring a few safety measures present elsewhere that would prevented a meltdown. Fukushima happened for the boring and eminently bureaucratic-capitalist reason that they decided many, many years ago that it would be more cost-effective to have a 9-meter tsunami design basis accident instead of a 14-meter one. Oops?

If in this century the Chinese empire does surpass the American one without a shot fired, and my other alternative is nuclear war, then I will glad we avoid war. Exactly how callous do you think I am? I will be glad, in no small part, because it will mean the survival of many of those disproportionately poor and non-white city neighbourhoods that you want me to care more about. Ironically, if there are survivors, rural Trump supporters will probably be disproportionately represented.

I am not overly optimistic, though, because again I am guided by history. I'm not sure elites in any country actually want a nuclear war, but they seem to have a way of blundering into such things anyways. If war does start it will probably be partly by accident and chance, kind of like 1914 or what might have happened in 1962. Trump administration officials have already threatened to go to war with China on at least two occasions since the inauguration over island-building in the South China Sea, which is probably ill-informed bluster (especially given how quickly he walked back his challenge to the One China policy) but a clear indication of how quickly things could spiral out of control over what really is a non-issue.

I wish I could put some faith in your idea of a communist or anarchist revolution, but again that comes up against the same suspicions I harbour with respect to lessons learned from small non-state societies, as we already went into extensively. At best this is speculation about what might be possible. Historically, the only successful revolutions carried out under communist banners very quickly deteriorated into authoritarian dictatorships, often with as little or even less regard for environmental protection than the capitalist West.

As for your Great Silk Road hypothesis, some food for thought -- the TPP, whatever one may think of it from an economic standpoint, was intended as an economic containment of China. Now that it's failed, China will move ahead with RCEP. Already traditional American allies like Australia are clearly being pulled into the Chinese sphere of influence. None of which needs to be a challenge to your position on capitalism. Any Marxist with his or her salt is perfectly well aware that imperial conflict is an important part of the capitalist world system.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 12:09:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

I'll post articles at this point and you can go from there, if you will.

The crisis of nuclear waste.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/09/02/down-the-atomic-river/

And thus good news (for dimming prospects of nuclear power plants and thus nuclear weapons), bad on everything else climate of course.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/02/28/while-our-attention-is-elsewhere-climate-change-worsens/

Not only will you live longer in Cuba, but their policemen don't kill you as often as they do in the United States. Thats authoritarianism I can live with, as have many Western ex-pats who have made it their final home. What never gets mentioned however, is its government actually has a sterling record on ecology, perhaps unique in that all Communist states never had the wealth looted from third-world nations to play with in preserving their own country's "environment" like the First-World did. Western multinationals flout of course environmental regulations in the third-world that they follow at home so the achievement is especially great. To just retain my humanity, I'll probably be teaching or fighting the good fight wherever it leads me but if I fight through it all to a ripe old age, Cuba is where I'd rather live out my last days. While Capitalist America turns on itself after increasingly devastating hurricanes, crop failures and sea level rise at least the Cuban government gives a damn about sticking together and distributing the hardship.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/10/09/hope-in-abandonment-cuba-detroit-and-earth-scientific-socialism/
http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/10/07/solidarity-in-the-storm-cuba-in-the-wake-of-hurricane-matthew/
http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/10/18/the-wreckage-of-matthew-cuba-and-haiti/
http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/02/19/natural-disasters-and-planning-the-cuban-state-and-popular-participation/
http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/10/21/hurricane-matthew-an-overview-of-the-damages-in-cuba/

As for nuclear war? Who knows? I only know that if it happens the Western Imperialist Bloc will provoke it. The Peoples Liberation Navy isn't constantly making "freedom of navigation" patrols off the American coast.

Trumpists might survive nuclear winter... but not nuclear summer. My moneys on the third world denizens who are already hardened by deprivation.

Jim, William Golding should be appreciated more for his writing, which symbolize though, more hatred and distrust for God than humanity.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 1:59:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

If you think the aftermath from Hanford is bad, look at the ex-Soviet mess. One of their equivalent sites just dumped completely untreated waste into a lake, Karachay or Kyshtym if memory serves. One year the lake dried up and dust from the lakebed irradiated tens of thousands of people. Nuclear power is the energy equivalent of deficit financing: enjoy the ride now, let our great-grandchildren pick up the tab.

I suspect you could get people to tolerate for national security what they wouldn't tolerate for electrical power, though. The government and the media are pretty good at selling that. Trump says he's going to expand the nuclear arsenal. Clinton would have maintained it. Even the Trumpists fall inside the "mainstream political consensus" on this one.

Everybody points to Cuba as an example of what socialism can do, which is fair enough I suppose, but you can have most of those things in other Western democratic countries plus freedom of expression and a higher standard of living to boot, which is what I'd rather do. The absence of universal healthcare, to continue with that example, is a specifically American problem, not a capitalist one. Virtually all Western countries have that. You don't have to take a boat to Cuba to see that in action; you can simply drive to Canada.

I also don't understand why people who are concerned about the failure of the American state to uphold the rule of law, which is presumably your concern when you talk about police violence, are so enamored with foreign countries that don't even maintain a pretense of the rule of law. I suppose I can chalk this conversation up to my original prediction, though: even among the minority of Americans who could correctly define the rule of law, most don't support it anyways.

In any event I wouldn't start filling out my Cuban immigration papers just yet if I were you. The most likely future for that country is a capitalist economy with a "communist" dictatorship: the worst of both worlds. What sanctions couldn't do, foreign direct investment will.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 3:46:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

If the United States 1% wants to continue the charade of trying to tame the nuclear juggernaut they're people are going to continue paying the price. Spent fuel rods aren't just irradiating Hanford but everywhere a nuclear plant was built, because thats the only place left where they can be "safely" stored. Don't even get me started with fracking, whose drill-induced earthquakes have made the safety of these nuclear dumps a serious safety concern (per Dahr Jamail at Truthout); to say nothing of how fracking is poisoning entire American rivers let alone a lake.

As the third-world and even perhaps the first-world post-colonialist Western nations (as you claim) like Australia leave the Western orbit for the Chinese, I fail to see how such healthcare can continue to be afforded. Far-right (and even true radical left) movements are storming Europe largely because "austerity" and "belt-tightening" has rendered these entitlements precarious and shells of their former selves. To say nothing of "zero-hour" employment becoming standard, if you're lucky to avoid the mass unemployment and refugee chaos now ravaging more than one EU country. Even Canada's healthcare system is on track for further privatization, with Trudeau in charge to boot. http://www.rcinet.ca/en/2016/03/17/private-vs-public-the-battle-for-ontarios-health-care-system/ Its quality has been declining while its price increasing for someone whos seen it with both eyes. Although you can avoid one for a high premium in the U.S., not even Cuba has waitlists. Cuba's doctors are valuable enough to be traded for oil by more than one Latin American country. Infact, I hesitate to see how long this will last for the West now that the blood-spattered gravy train from the most exploited nations is arriving less and less often.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 11:35:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

David, if you would read the actual stats, the only cities that rival Havana in safety are in Canada and Chile. Elias Carranza, a senior UN official for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders Institute, declared Cuba the safest country overall in the (general) region but the United States has been beating Cuba in larger overall homicide rate for years. The United States has recently all but caught up with Cuba (depending on how you look at the stats) but with violent crime spiking again after the murder of Freddie Gray and Michael Brown, the United States might just keep falling into fourth place.

Alas, after reforms, independent candidates outside the Communist Party sit in Cuba's parliament which is more than one can say for the United States. Reforms have even empowered and not shut down cooperatives who turned down Nestles deal for exporting Cuban coffee. Raul Castro of course personally turned down Google's offer to provide Cuba internet after it censored China's and collaborated with the NSA. Castro prefers China's public Wi-Fi transmitters. Maybe thats why Obama, in a hissy fit, showed his true colors and put Cuba (and Venezuela at that) on the list of "National Security Threats" just as he left office when Trump won. I assure you however, the Cuban government through thick and thin has never harassed Western pensioners whose hard currency is sought after by the Cuban economy. The terrorist Posada Carrileses (who though, have blown up those pensioners) the CIA agent Alan Gross' who try recruiting Cubas Jewish community and the "USAID" Zunzeo Twitter software designed to overthrow the government does keep the Cuban secret service busy and paranoid however. Thats not Castros fault I fear. The United States shut down all German radio stations even after the Zimmerman Affair turned out to be a tempest in a teacup remember, to say nothing of the Japanese-Americans.

I have to say, if capitalist imperialism is something that I must deal with I would much prefer China's "We Help You Develop Your Country, We Develop Your Resources" versus the classic Western imperialist "We Develop Your Resources, And Leave You With Nothing". If theres one thing I'm more thankful to China for than unwittingly exposing the Western 1% as mercenaries who care nothing for their countries working class, its that.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate_by_decade#cite_note-unodcstat-48
http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/09/18/redefining-socialism-in-cuba/
http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/08/16/cooperatives-becoming-bigger-part-of-cubas-reforms/
http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Obama-Declares-Cuba-and-Venezuela-National-Security-Threats-20170113-0024.html

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 11:38:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

If Cuba is as wonderful as you say it is, I wonder why it is necessary for the government to pre-select candidates for parliament rather than permit open and competitive elections, why they censor the press, and why they forego judicial review by the courts. Perhaps the people are too stupid to realize what a good thing they gave going for them? It's for their own good!

My lack of trust in government is consistent. It applies in Cuba as much as here.

As for healthcare, Cuban doctors earn less than $100 a month. I am not surprised that many would volunteer to go overseas or that the government would view it as a good foreign aid program at such rates. Again, if you would prefer to live in Cuba over Canada because you prefer one left-of-center healthcare scheme to another, obviously that would be your hypothetical choice to make, but I suspect the healthcare system that is presented to international tourists is not the same one enjoyed by the majority of residents.

I have spent a fair amount of time in Canada, which, incidentally, has a higher life expectancy than Cuba. Although people do like to complain I suspect their system is pretty stable. There are three major national political parties in Canada. Presumably if people thought that a fully paid-for healthcare system was more important than tax cuts, they would vote accordingly. This is a frustration not just for leftists in Canada, though. I suppose if it's that important, one option would be to cancel free and competitive elections, impose press censorship, and nationalize medical services.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at 7:15:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

Jesus Christ, David if you need an article to skim through about Cuban elections (yes elections) read these three.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/01/09/democracy-in-cuba-and-at-home/.
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/wikileaks-castros-death-wont-change-cuba-much/
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-cuba-election-opponents-idUSKBN0MY15020150407


The final one has a certain slant of course, even though it does mention the personal news service of one of the candidates that proves a certain tolerance of freedom of the press. Maybe Reuters could of wrote something similar about the dirty tricks both Democrats and Republicans played against Trotskyist Communist city councilwomen Kshame Sawant in Seattle (I'll get to that later if you really want to know the answer), but this admission was interesting.

"Many Cubans are suspicious of dissident leaders."

Could it be this reason? http://www.reuters.com/article/us-cuba-dissidents-wikileaks-idUSTRE6BG1NJ20101217

"Farrar's comments, made in a cable dated April 15, 2009, raise questions about the wisdom of the United States' longtime policy of supporting Cuban dissidents as an alternative to the Communist government that has ruled the island since a 1959 revolution put Fidel Castro in power... He described the dissident movement as largely ineffectual, due to factors including internal conflict, outsized egos, preoccupation with money, outdated agendas and infiltration by the Cuban government... He told of one political party organization that told him "quite openly and frankly it needed resources to pay salaries" and presented him "with a budget in hopes the (interests section) would be able to cover it."

"With seeking resources as a primary concern, the next most important pursuit seems to be to limit or marginalize the activities of erstwhile allies, thus preserving power and access to scarce resources," he said."

Really? I wonder why? William Blum is pertinent here when he describes Cubas electoral system and questions; in a corrupt democracy like Canada and the United States if the West really knows what a democracy is at all? I'm glad we agree about America, but do you really believe any of the three bourgeois parties are going to reverse the tide of privatization in Canadian healthcare? Will they ever finance the creation of worker cooperatives willingly? Why not exile and jail dissidents and take away their First Amendment rights? Why not stop the fiction that its a democracy to be proud of? Why pull wool over peoples eyes and just tell them that the 1% will get what it wants no matter which Capitalist gigolo they elect? Oh I forgot, the West only does that when a Communist party and their socialist party allies get enough legitimate popularity. Then they can call it the Red Scare and explain why the Fifth Amendment and the right to association had to be suspended and torn up. Do I really need to post the article showing just how many laws are still on the books, and are still defended by lawmakers, requiring anti-Communist loyalty oaths?

Fine. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/02/23/anti-communist-oaths-persist-despite-court-rulings/1940865/

Even if every one of those laws were removed; I am, to an extent, glad that for-profit news services like Reuters who clearly shill for only one agenda are told to dump their slop on the rest of the world thank you. http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/02/26/cuba-made-simple/

Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 1:45:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/02/27/the-future-of-cuba/ As to the doctors motivations, I'd click here. I already drop enough links to find you a special thank you from the United Nations to Cuban doctors in helping to stop the Ebola pandemic in Africa. Doctors can get into the profession because they actually want to help people, you know. Versus dirtbag MDs who went into medicine for the money and overprescribed opiods in a certain superpower, helping to galvanize the far-right revolt around the world but I guess the former can always get a salary bump from working in economically troubled Venezuela (and other countries Cuban doctors volunteer to go to where the reward for helping people is never monetary because the countries can't even afford it). Again, you're "skimming" of articles makes you miss important details like Garry Leech's clear example of Belen, largely neglected by tourists which still has 24-hour urgent care centers; a luxury even in the second richest county outside of New York City or at least the part I once lived in.

But you still don't get the point. The tiny Caribbean island never inherited the wealth of (at least half a continent vis a vis Canada) or was protected from invasion by a wall of ocean, not to mention the British Navy. If Capitalist class swine respected democracy, all Communists would be Allendists (we'll see what they'll still do in Portugal today). We all know what happened to Salvador Allende when he thought the CIA would accept a communist leader just because they were elected, even Sankara who like Castro, simply overthrew the military dictator before him was assassinated because his popular revolutions defenders didn't protect it well enough even after making the country self-sufficient in food in four years, ending polygamy and appointing women to high posts. In order to eat organic food (even Monsanto is blocked by the embargo), live in the safest Caribbean nation in the world and enjoy high-quality health care outside the Western imperial orbit you have to endure some government agent checking on you and yours from time to time. Its the price of keeping the gains in the revolution safe even if the execution is not ideal at all. Its a clumsy autocratic security state with actual justification.

The biggest tragedy here, and this is important, is that the West raped the majority of the planets resources, even sucking entire countries like the Congo dry of resources just before their "independence" and they still squandered it on their rulers yachts, creating the possibility of nuclear annihilation, ensuring a species ending climate crisis and finally on an economic model that ensured their civilizations' own destruction- let alone those peoples they neo-colonized. For an island that has been embargoed (the highest import cost tonnage in the world, buying medical supplies from Communist Czechoslovakia and school buses from Japan), subject to sabotage and terror attack for half a century http://www.salon.com/2008/01/14/cuba_2/, and the meager resources and young experimental government that it had, its accomplishments aren't just humble but miraculous. I wish a single Western Capitalist country could make do with the efficiency of resources Cuba has.

Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 1:50:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

If I was king of the world I would still scrap all of the worlds militaries, break apart nation states into much more saner pieces and ensure that humanity returned to the small sustainable communities that made up the relatively survivable 9/10ths of humanity's history until they could wield technology and power responsibly. But if you're denying that the Wests democracy and prosperity was provided only on endless streams of raped resources and millions of corpses, I really have more important things to do than to try to explain such basic facts anymore than I already have.

Even an ethnocentric European liberal agrees. And remember this is the attitude that justifies imperial wars, for the bourgeois liberals anyway. http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/01/storming-fortress-europe-in-search-of-a-social-world/#_ednref4

Jim, if I'm indeed needlessly clogging up comments sections with this, know that I mean that. If my patience isn't running out my time as the semester grinds on is.

Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 1:51:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

David,
imo alliances always lead to war.
look at ww1 and 2.war always follows the formation of alliances.
so here we are 100 years later, and we're doing the very same thing.
in ww1 my homeland was in the habsberg empire, and now they are in nato. they didn't do f..kall to save the empire and they won't do squat if we fight the russians.
nato is a losing idea and it's not b/c of the % of gnp spent for their defensive partnership.
they are a losing concept because coalition warfare didn't help Hitler, and it won't help us.
If u are a croatian or slovak would you fight your country to the death for nato?
i don't think so, therrefore the concept is based on false assumptions.
i predict that germany will tell us to cram the rules as laid down by mattis recently..
they have absorbed 1.3 million refuges resultant from our mucking up the ME, and then we have the gall(play on words)to haggle with them over their financial contributions to nato.

to NL.
militaries are a reflection of a countries citizenry. as for america(usa) whens the last time that the electorate had a say in any war? an elected representative govt isn't the same as the citizens wishes.
we do drift to hostilities rather blithly.
jim hruska

Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 1:20:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

NL,
if u get to ban all militaries then u would have to impose mandatory birth control to lower the birth rates of the soldier producing segment od societies.
that'll be harder than a nuclear weapons ban.
jim

Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 1:29:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

If the world had a king, it wouldn't need 200-odd separate militaries. Mind you, most kings in history have used their militaries against their own people. I would want such a king's powers to be constrained by a constitution, and hence we're back full circle to this issue of the rule of law. It's not that I question your motives, but I wouldn't trust you or anyone else to exercise absolute power as head of state, for obvious reasons.

If I can try and salvage some common ground from this fairly disastrous thread, it would be this. I think you and I probably differ only in degree in our opinion on the long-term viability of Western capitalism and democracy. That degree, however, has led us in very different directions. If I read you right, you believe that there are a host of successful examples we could draw on, from indigenous societies and isolated nation-states. This belief I simply do not share, and it leads me to a more pragmatic position where it leads you to a more radical one.

To me, the proximate problem from an environmental, social and political perspective is overpopulation. You are free to blame Western capitalism for that. Unfortunately, there are no good alternatives left that are both (a) demonstrably successful at the scale we need them to be and (b) that you could sell a critical mass of people on anyways. We're going to ride this train to a bad end in the long run, I think.

However, I have no time for the argument that because Western democracies are dysfunctional we should just scrap it and learn to live with unchecked government. (Interesting how the left and the right sometimes coalesce around that viewpoint though, isn't it?) The rule of law obviously functions at least partially in the United States to an extent that it does not in Cuba, or we would not have had this ridiculous drag-out fight over Trump's short-lived refugee ban.

I may give August's book a read on the strength of that review. Without reading August's book I am not sure how to square the description of that book in the Counterpunch review with the description of the Cuban election in Reuters. I wonder why people running for municipal office in Cuba are not allowed to campaign. I wonder whether this accurately reflects reality or whether a some amount of informal campaigning must go on. I suspect the latter. Perhaps August's book makes that clear.

However, I hope the last two paragraphs illustrates why to me this is not about whether a regime is democratic. Virtually all regimes today are in some way democratic. The Saudis have municipal democracy, too. Even North Korea has national elections and a multi-party legislature. Most of these "democracies," including both ours and Cuba, suffer from systemic flaws, some more severe than others.

Short of blood in the streets, the rule of law is one of the most important checks on executive power between elections. Cuba doesn't have it. Sometimes America does. Canada and western Europe usually do. An electoral system is only as secure as the laws that underpin it and the judicial system that exists to ensure those laws are obeyed by the government.

So far at any rate, the most important bulwark against Trump will be the rule of law. It will be interesting to see what happens if and when, in the name of the people, he says that a court ruling must be defied.

Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 1:33:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

JIM --

I partially agree about your point about alliances.

Although my background is German, that goes back three generations so I can't speak to what today's Germans actually think. But it isn't just their thoughts on it, to be honest.

Frankly, I don't want my government to be part of a nuclear war to avenge Lithuania, say, either. Perhaps this is a cruel thing to say to Lithuanians, but they aren't worth it to me, and I hope we wouldn't be worth it to them if the situation was reversed.

And you are right, whether everybody actually spends 2% of their GDP on the military changes this not a whit. What, we support a nuclear war if Lithuania spends 2% of its GDP on its army, but not if it's only 1.8%? The Russians must view this as high comedy.

Pragmatically, I would settle for maintaining defensive alliances only. This would avoid a basic confusion in our politics nowadays about the "need" to defend countries like Ukraine, which are not and never have been our allies.

However I admit my approach doesn't solve the problem that if NATO ever was a defensive alliance, now it is certainly an offensive one. If war were to occur in Europe, regardless of who fired the first shot, it will be because we decided to tighten the encirclement of Russia by expanding NATO into the former Soviet bloc.

Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 1:42:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

David,
there are soooooo many reasons why nato should be scrapped.
i first came upon this in 1969 when serving in the infantry in FRG.
while the Bundeswehr had union like atmosphere we were always in the field, both cold and hungry.
they fat catted.we carried their water and they've never reciprocated.what is the present numbers in the German army? then there's the deefensive thing.
now for my BIGGY- why would the US fight to support nato in a war?nato is another word for the EU, but we never discuss this point.
let the EU form their own military force. the eu wants the Ukraine so let them fight for it.
next point- why do we want to be involved in any euro problems?
isn't that why we all hatted up and came to america.?
next-in all my experience i never understood why the euros accepted the premise that we will/would fight a nuclear war on euro soil to defend them from the rusns. isn't that a bit like destroying the village to save it, but on a much larger scale?
next- i have no love for any of our allies. these supposed allies hate one another and are really nothing but slicky boys in expensive suits. these allies are all natural enemies as seen by history.
jim hruska

Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 2:02:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Well that's the Cold War part of the reasoning, but yes I agree with you. I think probably that was why the Europeans wanted you over there -- because they didn't trust us to keep our word, but figured we'd be more likely to if American troops were sacrificed in the first fighting. How charming. Mind you maybe I am overly cynical but civilians in government seem to develop an alarming habit of viewing men in uniform as expendable toys.

One point I wouldn't mind having your thoughts on because I'm trying to sort through more objective kinds of thinking on these things, but post-Cold War, is NATO an offensive or a defensive thing? (I'm not sure if the right word for what I'm aiming here is policy, strategy, objective, tactic...?)

Anyways what I'm getting at is that far from defense we've clearly used NATO as an expansionist imperial tool since the fall of the Berlin Wall, taking in former Soviet bloc countries as new "allies." Obviously this is calculated to reduce Russian power as opposed to purely working as a defensive guarantee. Whatever the word I'm looking for is, this seems like an offensive rather than defensive approach.

Even if there was some historical or cultural or political or economic reason why America should have this kind of alliance with countries in Western Europe, surely those don't apply to Lithuania or Hungary, let alone Ukraine? Unless of course the real aim of NATO is confrontation with Russia.

Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 4:00:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

Right on Jim. While everybody's heard about the "brave" violent ultranationalist Hungarian uprising against the Soviet Block, that "inspiring" struggle of a people against communist tyranny, no ones heard of the bloodshed between Greece and Turkey-both NATO powers- that occurred right in front of their alliance's faces over Cyprus. After a series of massacres and skirmishes in the decades hense and the bombing of Greek troops by the Turkish military, I think we can put to rest the myth that democracies never fight each other. If Finland's war with Britain and parliamentary Britain's fight with parliamentary Germany in WWI was any more indication.

I still insist that the illusion of the rule of law is maintained by the relative wealth of the West. Alas I apologize, because I should of added that the blood and sweat of the United States working class is responsible for that simulacrum in its allies. The Marshall Plan was just one such aspect. In the "developed" world, the American military does most of the fighting and if thats not enough, the American working class does most of the working beating out even the Japanese in the shortness of their vacation days. Canadian Maoist Jason Unruhe may still be right in that the 1% can simply come up with a New New Deal, buying off the first world working class- even at the peak of their revolt- by once again donating the wealth their ridiculous and insane economic system accrued to them so they can tighten the vice against the unwashed masses yet again after they've isolated their leadership; thus making revolution only in the third-world possible. What if the 1%, facing China, facing climate change decided to go all in and try to run away with as much of the wealth as possible? This seems to be the plan so far, but third-worlding the exact place where they are building their bunkers isn't the smartest plan methinks. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/bunker-builders-anticipate-lucrative-trumpocalypse-932748

Friday, March 3, 2017 at 12:25:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

When a Dupont heir is given probation for raping his three-year old daughter because the judge ruled his rich ass "would not fare well" in prison who then goes on to rape his ex-wife's son while blacks get arrested at a higher rate even though contraband is found in more vehicles whose owner is white, the Western law system is garbage. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/02/dupont-heir-homeless-mom-america-prison-bias When a teenage girl and rape victim is charged with contempt of court for naming her rich rapists who got off on a plea deal while children- mostly black- are sentenced to life or death for crimes they may not have committed- the only industrialized country to do so (including Cuba)- the justice of Western law is a fiction. http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/teenage-rape-victim-facing-contempt-charges-for-naming-her-attackers/ Matt Taibbi has written a very antiseptic book on this, how Ponzi scheme manipulators can get away with massive illegal fraud- unless they defraud their fellow 1% like Madoff- while black men are arrested if they stand in front of their house. http://crasstalk.com/2014/08/matt-taibbis-the-divide-might-be-the-most-important-book-you-read-this-year/ Its not dysfunctional that the United States jails more people than any other country, including China, its very, very, rational. As Noam Chomsky steals from Marxist professor Michael Parenti, and I paraphrase, if you want to guess the reason a government policy was enacted, if you guessed benefiting someone from the wealthy class your are probably correct. Jailing thieving bankers is bad for business but as Chris Hedges constantly explains; a homeless black man on the streets is worth nothing, a black man in a private prison cell is worth tens of thousands of dollars. Hedges already mentioned the companies profiting off prison slave labor. Its the reason mild Occupy Wall Street activists can be placed on no fly lists while Cuba negotiates the expulsion of one hundred and fifty dissidents to Spain. One profits from a prison state while one avoids it when possible. Do I really have to compare death penalty statistics between Cuba and the United States? Can you imagine Castro doing anything like this in this day and age? It'd be on the nightly news five years later. The amount of innocent people exonerated through "judicial controls" cannot make up for those brutally executed with harder to find boycotted drug cocktails.

Friday, March 3, 2017 at 12:29:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

And heres what gets me. Its the West thats getting worse on this question and Cuba thats getting better despite being besieged (with some Chinese aid obviously). I see you are beholden to false consciousness, so I don't think you'll even realize that the United States deserves even more condemnation for their charade of justice being the richest country in the world versus the standard of a poor, besieged Cuba. That its a greater legal outrage that the United States could jail and exile Communists (independent Trotskyists and traditional Marxist-Leninists) that never posed a single threat to their country, let alone the foreign financing to do so than a popular Cuban government (per Wikileaks) dealing with serious well-funded efforts by a vastly wealthier foreign government to finance actual traitors with enough power to bring down their own. So I'll leave you with this. You may be privileged enough to never be affected by the growing tyranny in this nation to perceive it but that hasn't stopped Martin Niemoller's famous poem applying to the greatest of complex civilizations, even once upon a time, the most powerful. Even Trumps feud is that between a Silicon Valley that needs legally dubious Asian immigrants to take cheap paying jobs once reserved for Americans and a silly campaign promise that he'll follow only if its profitable for him and his. Otherwise, the case wouldn't of made it past a circuit court. Your privilege may have deluded you, but you seem open minded enough to heed warnings of the ages. If you survive that long, don't prepare for saving your skin when the law has run out of Muslims, blacks and honest radical leftists to neutralize and have come for you. If you realize the charade of Western law soon and prepare now theres a chance you'll live through the coming storm. In my case, messiah complex or not, I'll see my Cuban retirement only if I survive trying to forestall it, as any decent human being should do. If thats not in your interest, theres always the possibility of escape, if you want to talk as freely as you still do that is. The Supreme Court case Hedges vs. Obama was not decided in a vacuum. Its the end of the beginning.

Good luck. Of course, you can always defect to their side. Bourgeois liberals are notorious for betraying their supposed pining for law and order to protect the ruling class they once (may have) inadvertently legitimized. The Great Capitalist Terror (Red Scare) was only one such revealing event, persecution of Charlie Chaplin and all. Those Imperial nations of the West have always been ruled by rapists, murderers and overall outlaws that write laws only for the working class to follow. It is becoming more obvious only now. It will become ever more clear soon.

Ciao.

Friday, March 3, 2017 at 12:31:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

I doubt Silicon Valley needs to import much in the way of cheap Asian labour. It's more likely they need mathematicians and computer scientists from other countries because too much of the American education system has been destroyed to produce enough highly skilled STEM people to fill the demand. After all, people who are actually knowledgeable, as opposed to simply credentialed, are too much of a political liability.

I'm really not sure what you're tilting at here. I suggested that the rule of law was an important principle, and you've responded by producing example after example of what happens when that principle is not upheld. Well, yes. That's kind of the point. Don't confuse the rule of law with justice, though. I'm talking specifically about the rule of law, most recently tested by government lawyers arguing, on Trump's behalf, that the President's executive orders were effectively decrees above the law and beyond judicial scrutiny.

As for the NDAA of 2012, enter part 2 of my thesis: that probably only a minority of Americans understand what it is, and probably only a minority of that minority actually support it. A democracy unchecked by the rule of law is as likely as any other political system to become tyrannical. It's just that in democracies the lines between the privileged and the marginalized might be drawn in different locations.

The men who drafted the constitution, naturally given their background, associated tyranny with concentrated executive power and laid out a system to prevent that. Unfortunately it turns out that tyranny is popular, or at least palatable, to the point where the most important check on executive power, the legislature, has freely conceded to something approximating permanent emergency powers (and thus: the NDAA for Obama, the Patriot Act for Bush, etc., etc., etc.). That leaves the other branch, the courts.

I'm hesitant on this one but my current thinking is that I reluctantly agree with the appeals ruling in the Hedges case. Under the current American doctrine of standing, the plaintiffs probably didn't have standing and therefore couldn't challenge the law. Of course, one could correct this electorally, but given the great farce of 2016 as the new baseline, I can't imagine that an issue as technical as reforms to jurisprudence on standing have a hope in hell of shifting an election in the future.

Interestingly, in Canada, where the courts are more independent and less partisan, the Supreme Court eventually closed this loophole by simply creating a new doctrine of public interest. But then, Canada is simply a wealthy free-rider in the American empire. I think Canadians are probably more scared of American tariffs than they are of Muslim terrorists.

Friday, March 3, 2017 at 3:12:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

*Sigh*

Well I'm glad we've come to some understanding.

I think you've underestimated the need of Silicon Valley, like any other capitalist institution, to follow the never ending built-in capitalist necessity of capitalist accumulation: to drop costs and maximize profits. Indian and Chinese workers have constantly shown that they will trade their meager livelihoods in their formerly (although not entire formerly which is another story) colonized countries for a slightly better lifestyle that a European or American worker- growing up with parents with more material abundance- wouldn't accept. And even that constantly drops. It doesn't help that property values, one of the last remaining places capital investment can turn a profit in this era of capitalist crisis, is almost bankrupting the tech workers already there. Yes. Even the ones who make six-figures.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/feb/27/silicon-aa-cost-of-living-crisis-has-americas-highest-paid-feeling-poor
https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2015/12/25/the-power-of-ideas-david-harvey-at-the-lse/

(Marxist Professor David Harvey's video above on the event of his honorary degree from London School of Economics, the first geographer in one hundred years to earn it, explains it better than the previous liberal British rag if you're at all interested)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/03/the-democratic-party-is-facing-a-demographic-crisis/
I think this article demonstrates the problem here clearly. Although it touches on it, it doesn't emphasize it enough- Americans didn't vote for Donald Trump so much as they realized Hillary Clinton was going to be more of the same and didn't show up at all. I think you're underestimating how much Americans realize the clusterfuck they're country is heading towards no matter the capitalist party in power with the widely known PEW polls showing clear record low membership of Republicans and Democrats. Still, I think the scheming methods used to thwart Chris Hedges are indicative of a legal system that does not see everyone as equal under the law, but as a system thoroughly subservient to a class of mobsters. You still should watch the entire speech but Hedges begins talking about it at 41:52 here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGQoCS7ty1g

Saturday, March 4, 2017 at 11:19:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

He only has no standing in a government bought and paid for by the 1% a long time ago that has already decided to destroy the Bill Of Rights and is hell bent on writing it out of existence slowly into law with the judges it bought legitimizing it every step of the way. Just like boiling frogs. I wouldn't put much weight on the Constitution however. It was written, in the end, by slaveowners and merchants who wanted the future of their wealth protected by a decree of a new nation. It has no resemblance to the more radical Declaration of Independence (and doesn't mention democracy once). This was blocked by a King who in the end, didn't so much tax them without representation (defending the colony was expensive and cost the British taxpayers and soldiers much already with the cost of going to war with imperial rival France over the right of who was to profit from the New World some years before) as prevented them from slaughtering their Indian neighbors so they can use their land to expand their cotton and tobacco slave empires. The French used this greed to their advantage in their long wars against Britain by sinking the British Armada that had come to end the American rebellion which was surrounded on all sides by neutral (and hostile) Indian tribes, British Canada, Loyalist Florida and the sea- without which they would of suffered certain defeat. The true heroes are the working class Anti-Federalists who were the only reason rights like the First Amendment were introduced at all and who fought hard to keep the Articles of Confederation which granted at least some flawed form of freedom that was destroyed by a centralized Constitution (as new scholarship below confirms). It was as socialist American revolutionary Tom Paine observed, a classic case of class struggle where the (Federalist) exploiting class won against the (Anti-Federalist) exploited class whose meager compromise of adding the Bill of Rights- which the Federalist "heroes" like James Madison opposed- turned out to be in vain. And of course thats a tragic theme of market complex societies as Karl Marx and Pierre Proudhon, among just a couple famous documenters, later observed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWxpkcQUCeo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pDA-Q4zOEs
http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2011/11/concerning-american-change-in.html

Saturday, March 4, 2017 at 11:25:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

(Man Blogger's comment text limitations are annoying)If theres one major takeaway as vain as it might be to hit home (I probably should of figured this out by now, that tricky problem first exposed by Upton Sinclair, you can almost never see a problem if your paycheck or stock option depends on you not finding out) is this. Capitalism ≠ the rule of law. Its a nice concept. But it will never function as it should in a society where a minority class decides the destination of the surplus value, in Capitalism's case, the minority's bank accounts- when not retooling equipment or upgrading the means of production, which the Capitalist class can't even do today as their economic systems contradictions pile up (see the stock buybucks making a smaller and smaller 1% rich but leaving factories to rot or be outsourced or merged). Hammurabi could literally put this stipulation directly into his laws because the vast, vast majority of Babylon couldn't write let alone read. Today, in a mass media age, this stipulation is simply hidden under another esoteric legal language specifically designed to hide just this fact through, among other things, loopholes. As long as allied Capitalist societies such as Canada are wealthy enough to create welfare states generous enough to discourage revolt against an otherwise self-destructive economic system, loopholes can be closed... while other ones can be immediately found to replace them- almost by design. Even police officers- the enforcers of capitalist tyranny- can be charged for "overstepping" their authority like that Canadian police officer punished for arresting someone who wouldn't show his ID (which I'm sure you've heard about). In the United States where these entitlements are no longer affordable or desirable, the law will be used instead as a cudgel to legitimize a more exploitative and more cruel society (Taft-Hartley act included) destined to make sure more and more Americans are worked to the bone to ensure the 1% will have enough drained surplus wealth to construct their fallout shelters for the environmental catastrophe or world war to come. Alas. Its going to be revolt or extinction at that point. And/or we must end Capitalism or Capitalism will end us.

And or this video which will explain everything I said in five minutes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-14SllPPLxY

You let me know if theres anything in there I missed.

We shall see how this plays out. Although I will not be a passive participant in what could be the final chapters of man.

Saturday, March 4, 2017 at 11:28:00 PM GMT-5  

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