RANGER AGAINST WAR: The Country Club Set <

Thursday, August 03, 2017

The Country Club Set


There's a reason for the twenty first century
Not too sure but I know that it's meant to be
--21st Century,
Red Hot Chili Peppers

For every one that exalteth himself shall be abased;

and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted
--Luke 18:14
_________________

America is not a happy place. We are disgruntled, disorganized and disputatious, and this is not due to Russian interference in our elective process.

There are two Americas. (Maybe three, if one believes in a "deep government".)

My life has represented the middle class of America. As immigrants, we worked and struggled to integrate into American life. We carried union cards and served capitalism, as required of any citizen.

We bought the myth that any man (if not woman) could become President, and all the other platitudes of citizenship. We saluted the flag and pledged allegiance, and even marched off to war when asked to.

When we returned, it was not to a membership in the country club, which is the place the Others occupied. These are the folks blessed by capitalism, and they are the source of our leadership class.

Nobody in my family visited or were petitioned for membership in a country club. Our elections seldom placed working men in leadership positions. Yet we elect into positions of power people who live in artificial communities, people who live in a foreign land, for us.

The same was true in the military. The men of destiny had played golf, and had not worked, at the country club. This was doubly true in the Reserves. Those blessed by capitalism also excelled at promotion boards

We pretend to be a democracy when in fact we are a class-riven society dominated by and for those favored by capitalism. Even our new religion of Prosperity Gospel supports the idea of success as being a favor of God.

So the power struggle ensuing in the United States now is not for the soul of democracy but for the rights of capitalism to continue predating upon the workers. Strange that for capitalism to work, the people that elect our leaders must vote from among a small stable of the privileged.

The People are played when they buy into the lie that the system is democratic and designed to benefit all.

Seeking external corruption is merely a distraction aimed at keeping us obediently in our places, in thrall to the media scions and the country club set.

The only thing that matters to our power class is that we believe that whatever party they hail from represents the Truth and The Way. That they are public servant saviors giving it up for us, offering the hope of a bit of power and glory in the form of a company COSTCO membership.

The fact is, there is no salvation in any political system. Golf balls and tennis rackets are the basis of capitalism, and life can be devoid of both.

--by Jim

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54 Comments:

Anonymous p harris said...

I read this and Seth Ortman ( http://defense-and-freedom.blogspot.com/2017/08/testing-theories-of-american-politics.html ) back-to-back. You're both right.

Friday, August 4, 2017 at 7:47:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

I don't know. The system is obviously democratic enough that it can produce leaders who were plainly not desired by a critical mass of the upper class. Witness: Trump.

But yes, I think you're right about the gist of it. What we call "democracy" usually comes down to rival elite factions trying to muster the bigger popular support through empty sloganeering. In this case it came down to whether we were going to vote for the member in good standing of the prestigious country club or the owner of the club, and enough people chose the owner.

For one reason or another, this seems to be a situation that a critical mass of the population are content with.

Saturday, August 5, 2017 at 2:33:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim,
I can related to the images in this piece. I actually worked at the country club both as a caddie and with the greens keeper beginning in 6th grade and through high school; whereas many of my classmates - sons and daughters of captains of industry - were members. Sometimes I would see them on the tennis courts that were near the 18th hole. I tried to keep my back turned. Sometimes I would caddy for their parents, who felt a little uncomfortable about that. I was also in line to go to war, had there been one, in the 80s.

First, what you write is certainly true enough. However, I have a caveat. The captains of industry are supposed to have the wide range of experience at high levels. They should be more qualified to deal with top domestic organizations and interest groups as well as international players. I know a lot of blue collar middle class types and I wouldn't want them leading teams that are making decisions involving nuclear weapons, billions of people and $trillions. They just don't have the background.

OTOH, the farmers and blue collar folks I know have more common sense than the rich guys favored by capitalism. They also seem to have more loyalty to the notion of the USA that the founders had.

It seems to me the perfect mix would be the horse sense and patriotism of the hard working middle class + the leadership experience of a captain of industry or a military general (less the reflex belligerence). Sadly, this seems like a rare combination indeed. Trump at least has effectively portrayed himself as such a person. Observe how he is reviled by half the country and all the elites. They seek to knock him out of office by hook or by crook.

Most any hard working guy I know (+ military) have publicly made some jokes involving topics like "pussy", "fags"...probably "racist" jokes. They might have gotten drunk in some bar. That is enough to disqualify in the eyes of the progressive puritans and the country club set.

We can't have good leadership because we can't agree what that would look like. A saint? A king/Queen? A business person? A minority? A general?

So we get people that have the money to bombard us with info ops and to pay consultants to tell them how best to fool enough of us to win.

avedis

Saturday, August 5, 2017 at 8:31:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Avedis,
i hear what u r saying ,HOWEVER lets not mistake management skills for leadership.
would u want any country club denizen leading a fire team in an assault on a prepared en position? Could u even imagine Clinton , W or Obama/Trump carrying a rifle? We are indians with chiefs who are nutless wonders.
on the pacific isles the assault leaders were primarily average joes.i say this after reading Manchesters GOODBY DARKNESS.
the book was exceptional.
i have several articles in the cue,if i can get them past Lisa.
jim

Saturday, August 5, 2017 at 9:19:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim,
Never read Manchester's book. Seen it referenced, but never read it. On your recommendation I think I will.

Feeling chatty today...........Something that bothered about the country club set ( my parents and grandparents struggled and scraped so I could attend school with kids with surnames you'd recognize). .....they assumed they deserved to be well off. Their grandparents - or even great grandparents - made the big bucks and these kids were born into it, but they just knew they were superior. And they were treated that way. When they indulged in a little boys will be boys behavior, it was shrugged off as such. When I did it, it was considered evidence of my poor character. When progressives talk about "white privilege" , I think they are full of caca. However, they have a point where this one group is concerned.

I was offered two "chances" to join the elites. I guess they thought that perhaps enough of my fancy k-12 education had rubbed off on me that I deserved the opportunity. I was popular with my peers because I was athletic and daring and, actually, a nice guy. One involved the requirement that I change my last name to something less ethnic. This would have gotten me an entry executive level position in an established company. I refused and thus failed the test.

The second was the military. I never told you this before, but I was "recruited" by West Point (to the extent that WP recruits). WP sent me a very nice letter strongly encouraging me to apply. They had observed my ice hockey skills and were impressed (I was captain of the team and we won the state championship one year and were semi finalists another). They also liked my boxing and NRA rifle competition. And of course they too liked my fancy education. I applied, had the letter from a congress critter that lived in the neighborhood and was in like Flynn; except I failed the physical, of all things. I had acne on my back and shoulders. All that was left was to attend college and enlist in the reserves a couple years later after the acne cleared up, with the vague potential to attend OCS somewhere down the road; which would never happen b/c the cold war ended and their was a big draw down as I'm sure you are aware. A mustang is appreciated by the Es, but is never really part of an O cadre, anyhow.

Very few can join the elites. If not born into it, the door only opens once or twice. Failure to go through it relegates one to a life of grunthood. The game is rigged and the riggers are true believers in their own superiority. They don't need to lead a fire team against a fortified position because that is what stupid people are for.

avedis

Saturday, August 5, 2017 at 11:24:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok, enough of my maudlin reminiscing about brushes with glory.

I am going to disagree with you Jim. I think the kind of leadership you speak of is necessary at the small unit level....say up to company. Once you get to battalion and higher, managerial skills need to be dominant. Someone has to get the TO&E right. Someone has to make sure rations and ammo get to the front. Someone has to make sure arty, cas, etc are online for the mission. Someone has to argue that assets should be diverted from one sector to another. Someone has to make sure that the right objective is being selected for the mission in the first place. And on and on.....

And to clarify, I do not think assault troops are stupid (or any troops for that matter). That is how the elites think.

avedis

Saturday, August 5, 2017 at 1:54:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger mike said...

I never met any country clubbers. My father and uncles were truck drivers, bus drivers, RR workers, construction workers, and one a traveling salesman. We lived in a neighborhood of immigrants or the recent descendants of immigrants. They were mostly Irish, Italian, Lithuanian, French Canadian, Armenian, Greek. Very few had finished high school or even grammar school. And although some were as thickheaded as granite, there were many that were as astute and capable, or more so, than Ivy League grads. I would have trusted them to lead an army or a major corporation. Many of their sons or grandsons rose to prominence.

The country clubbers you are talking about are Trump and Bush - both were Ivy Leaguers and country club members. Neither have the managerial skills to lead a janitorial department, and both are as boneheaded as bricks. As for generals, Patton is the only rich-boy country-club general I recollect, except perhaps for the fictional Courtney Massengale. Going to the Point or Annapolis or USAFA is not limited to the sons of the capitalist class. And then some of the top generals in todays news, Mattis and Kelly, are Mustangs. Plus the CJCS, Fighting Joe Dunford, went to a small Catholic college.

Sunday, August 6, 2017 at 2:03:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Avedis -- When modern progressives talk about "white privilege" they usually mean what you and I would call class privilege, aka elite privilege. Probably this is because almost all such progressives come from the upper middle class.

Once you mentally correct for that in your head, it makes a little more sense.

Sunday, August 6, 2017 at 3:07:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike,
I knew someone would mention Mattis and Kelly. You're right, of course. But that's not what I'm talking about. I didn't mean becoming an elite via a military career. I meant that the country club set would have accepted me into the executive class(and the club) after a WP education and a tour as an officer. Had it worked out for me and I became career military, they would have never let me in the club. A young ring knocker captain that knows the right people and is from the right background can be in. A career Lt Col or Col, is a foreigner to them/ might as well be a space alien.

avedis

Sunday, August 6, 2017 at 4:50:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger mike said...

Avedis -

I have met one or two ring knockers that were not worthy of shining the shoes of the men who served under them. On the other hand, Academy graduates Eisenhower and Nimitz were not from the 'right' background. In a more modern sense neither were Generals Zinni, Krulak, Shalikashvili, Dempsey or Goldfein to name a few; same same for Admirals Fallon, Mullen, or Moran et al.

Like I said, I never met any country club members (that I know of), so I never developed that particular chip on my shoulder. My heroes were, and are, all blue collar - or had blue collar roots. Although I still get P.O.'d at plumbers.

Sunday, August 6, 2017 at 6:34:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Daid said...

The fact that you come from an affluent family doesn't necessarily make you a bad leader.

I'm going to come up on the middle on this one and observe that in virtually any area of the government's bureaucracy, including the officer corps, there's just enough of a path from the bottom to the top that:

(a) Sometimes people from non-elite backgrounds will make it all the way up because they're exceptionally good at their job, but

(b) If you're from an elite background you still start a few steps ahead.

Anyway, the real benefit of being an elite isn't that you're guaranteed to get the top job. It's that even if you're pretty mediocre you're still virtually guaranteed a decent job, to the potential detriment of your subordinates.

Sunday, August 6, 2017 at 9:19:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger mike said...

@David - "The fact that you come from an affluent family doesn't necessarily make you a bad leader."

Exactly! George Patton is a case in point.

'Anyway, the real benefit of being an elite isn't that you're guaranteed to get the top job. It's that even if you're pretty mediocre you're still virtually guaranteed a decent job, to the potential detriment of your subordinates."

Eric and Donald Jr???

Sunday, August 6, 2017 at 10:50:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

In order to drain the swamp, it was necessary to hire family members.

Sunday, August 6, 2017 at 11:30:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike and David,
What you are failing to understand is that Congress and, usually, POTUS are NOT leaders in the decision making sense. It's the country club set behind the scenes that are making the decisions re; domestic policy, trade agreements, etc. It is the think tank and foreign bribery crowd behind the scene that drives more pure foreign policy decision making. There have been exceptions, of course. Bush and Bush Jr were both elected representatives of the people AND the country club set. There was Kennedy too. The farther back you go, the more likely that elected reps were country club set and thus both the face of leadership and part of the decision making crowd.

I see Clintons as more of river boat gambler types as opposed to country club. Scum like them actually make me long for the good old blue bloods. Trump is not country club set either. He's flashy new money, the guy who crashed the party at the club.

And maybe that's what wrong with the country these days. Used to be a Ford or a Dow or a Gamble or a Forbes would meet with congress and POTUS and decide on policy that would make them money and keep American industry humming. Now we have the new rich and the river boat gamblers. They have no class, no background and no discipline. They lack the philanthropic urges that the old money had.

avedis

Monday, August 7, 2017 at 8:27:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

David,
Trump has not hired any family members.
these folks are not employees of the gov't, they just hang their hats near the oval ofc.
it's a great job if you can get it.

if a man won't lead a fire team then he sure as hell shouldn't want to be CINC.
jim

Monday, August 7, 2017 at 11:11:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Avedis,

Trump is not part of the country club set? Give me a break. He quite literally OWNS country clubs, including the one where the Clintons are members.

I haven't seen the sort of starry-eyed naivete demonstrated daily by Trump supporters since, well, I saw much the same from Obama supporters in 2008. It was strange then and stranger now.



Jim,

Some of them are, in their own words, "unpaid employees." You can take that how you will.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/29/politics/ivanka-trump-white-house-job/index.html

I can't disagree with your other principle, though.

Monday, August 7, 2017 at 12:29:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David,
Ever see caddie shack? The Rodney Dangerfield character? That's Trump. He's not one of them. They don't accept or like him. It doesn't matter that he can buy the club.

avedis

Monday, August 7, 2017 at 12:36:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

You'll have to remind me. Did Czervik own the golf club in that movie?

He's a billionaire president with a global network of businesses, including golf courses where elites like the Clintons go to play and recreate, while diplomats and lobbyists flock to his personal hotel in DC to curry favor with his administration while he turns for adice to a small retinue of close family members, bankers and other multinational company executives, and senior military officers.

Yes, I see it all now. Why, he's not an elite. He's a man of the people.

Monday, August 7, 2017 at 1:38:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger mike said...

Avedis -

The Clintons are toast, you can stick a fork in them. They are not coming back. No need to keep up the agitprop against them.

I have heard of sore losers, and I am certainly one myself. But sore winners??? You and the right-wing Mighty Wurlitzer should give it a break. You won. Enjoy it.

Monday, August 7, 2017 at 2:24:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike,
If I had it my way all of the so called progressive politicos would be ground into bone meal and salt plowed into the allegorical fields from which spring new "progressives". I'd poison the wells and streams, burn the forests and dump nuclear waste on their barren lands to ensure they stayed that way for ever.

If it makes you feel better, I'd do the same to GOPistan too.

I wish Trump was a fire team leader type, but he's all I've got for now. My hope is that he at least holds off the establishment and inflicts heavy casualties - especially on the progressive side of it - until one of these sharp young veterans of the more recent endless wars who is currently in congress gets enough experience to merit promotion. There are a few of them that could do it if their passion - especially for peace - remains intact.

Trump is the only one not agitating for war with Russia and war generally. He's the only one trying to make America secure from domestic terrorism and he's the only one trying to revive the economy for fly over country. I thought this is a blog AGAINST war.

avedis



Monday, August 7, 2017 at 4:05:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

If he's really "the only one," you might as well give up hope now, because one man isn't going to change Washington, even if he is the president.

My guess is that the disparate elite factions will make their peace with one another, as they normally do. Remember the last time someone was elected president on the grounds that they'd be the president to end the wars and restore the economy? It wasn't so long ago. It's kind of a running theme.

Trump will be told, if he hasn't already, that he can keep the pomp and the Twitter account and take the credit and spend his time golfing while the generals and bankers run the country. My guess is, he'll find that deal acceptable.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 12:46:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Avedis,
i share what you say,BUT i just can't believe that T is a leader.
by your standard he DID change his name as a requirement to enter the club.
or at least his dad did.
i feel with every fiber of my being is that this guy is out for number 1.
he's not a statesman, but neither were any of the other candidates.
so i'm not just anti trump.
heres an idea.
if T were a true CINC and he wanted to make America great then why not start by ONLY BUYING AMERICAN SOURCED DRUGS/GLASSES AND MEDICAL ITEMS for the DVA that are made in the USA?
he signs meaningless CHOICE LEGISLATION and eyewash that means squat.
he is not a populist.
thats a smoke screen.
jim

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 10:05:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

David,
per country clubs, whether owned by T or any one else.
they are a major source of chemical corruption of the environment, and they introduce exotic imports(plants)and suppress nature.
they are a perfect metaphor for the exploitation of the environment.
also=no enemy soldier was ever killed with a golf ball.
jim

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 10:12:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger mike said...

Avedis -

Bone meal? Salt? You will fail as the Turks of 100 years ago failed.

Why do I doubt your statement that you would do the same to GOPistan?

What is your opinion on Bernie?

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 10:32:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Mike

Although Avedis and I usually fill these threads duking it out, in this case I don't think he was lying to you. If you want to understand the Trump personality cult, you have to understand people's disillusionment and disgust with the professional mainstream of the GOP.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 11:16:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Jim

Yet if you're an elite who owns a golf course, you can get a sizeable tax break for designating it as a nature conservation area.

That said the golf course a half mile from my house has a sign on the road out front warning people about stray balls. Maybe we could persuade them to line up and wait?

Having spent most of my life in Canada, I know a fair number of draft dodgers. Here I mean the blue-collar kind who actually chose to up and leave, not the white-collar kind like Clinton and Trump who had more convenient excuses. Most of them I consider good people. One is a good friend. Would I trust them in public office, though? I have to say I would hesitate on that one, especially if they were talking about how they wanted to continue old wars or start new ones.

I suppose this is simply rehashing old talking points though. The Trump cult of personality is strong enough that his supporters genuinely believe someone who came from a wealthy family, went to private school, owns the elites' country club, and has business and financial interests all over the world is somehow not an elite. Once years ago, I gave up my religious belief that someone would descend from the heavens to save us. Apparently the capitalist version of that faith is still alive and well.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 11:30:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger mike said...

David -

If true, then why do they still support him while he supports the GOP and appoints Goldman Sachs perps to his cabinet?

BTW, there is no mainstream of the GOP. You have the tea partiers, the evangelists, and the wall street moguls. The only sane portion is the one or two 'old school' Republicans like Collins of Maine. Old school in the sense that they support small farmers and small Mom & Pop businesses and yes 'Progressivism'. i.e. the authentic inheritors of the 'Party of Lincoln' and the 'Progressive Era' of Teddy Roosevelt, not the ultra-conservatives and fundamentalist religious jihadis and corporatism hacks of todays GOP.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 11:34:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike,
I think Bernie never had a chance. Thanks to wikileaks, we know that is true.

I would not vote for him because he is a commie. But, worse than that, he is a divider. I voted for Obama and came to regret it as he and his significant other complained about evil white people even as they sat in the white house. They helped fuel the flames of Furgeson and Baltimore. I think MLK is one of the greatest Americans. People like Bernie go against that dream. They divide on race and gender and class. IMO, there are only Americans; some are light skinned Americans and some a dark skinned Americans, but first and foremost, Americans.

David, yes. A lot of don't like the GOP establishment either.

I don't play golf. I have despised the game most of my life. I'd rather play guitar, ride a horse or shoot some guns when I want to distract myself.

avedis

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 11:52:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Lisa or Avedis can probably answer your question better than I can because I never liked or believed such a transparent con man in the first place, but I imagine their feelings upon seeing those appointments were a little bit like those of people in the Obama movement seeing him appoint the same old, same old in 2009.

The second obvious answer to your question is simply that many of them are either incredibly naive or incredibly desperate.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 11:52:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike,
OK. You got me. I would first expend my ordnance and rampaging hordes on the leftists enclaves. I think they are the worst for the country at this time. Assuming we had ammo left, I would then turn my attention to the GOPistan. So I do have an order of priorities.

avedis

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 11:57:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim,
I don't worship Trump, find him infallible and Saintly or anything like that. In fact, I pretty much agree with your assessment.

My hope is that as he serves #1, some trickles down to me and you. At least his cultural views are in line with mine far more than the social justice warriors, reparations/down with whitey and anti-free speech crowd. And helping US business in the heartland MUST be good for all, if it happens. If it doesn't happen, then we are cooked anyhow.

I do think he must stick to his anti-foreign adventures stance or he won't get re-elected. The establishment seeks to remove him from office so they can get on w/ WW3. That's my take.

avedis

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 12:03:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Avedis,

To the people who supported Bernie, he was a uniter rather than a divider, yet to the people who didn't like him, he was a divider rather than a uniter. Much like Trump or any other politician who wants to play identity politics, for that matter. It's a lot easier to think of him as a uniter when you're in the group he's appealing to.

Good luck with your trickle-down theory.

On foreign adventures, so far he and members of his administration have expanded the war against ISIS and Afghanistan, started or at least made overt the war against the Syrian government, and threatened war against both China and North Korea. I'm still waiting for him to withdraw from NAFTA and label China a currency manipulator, which was supposed to have happened months ago. I am not holding my breath on this, and never was.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 12:18:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger mike said...

David -

Same old, same old? Panetta, Shinseki, Holder, Salazar, Locke, Solis Chu, Julian Castro were hardly traditional cabinet picks.

Plus he reached out across the divide - how many Republicans were in his cabinet? Gates, Hagel, Sebelius, LaHood, McDonald - where are Trump's 'Team of Rivals'?

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 12:41:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

There were people on the left who were not happy that in the wake of the Bush administration and the ongoing financial crisis, Obama went out of his way to find Republicans and Wall Street types to make common cause with. I'm sure there were people this didn't bother, too.

Trump's team of rivals is his cabinet. They are all rivals for his attention. Sadly, there is an unusually limited amount of it to go around and that is contributing to the dysfunction. I hope Trump's fans regard that ridiculous public praise session of a cabinet meeting as a high point of American democracy.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 4:29:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since everyone is hating someone else and pointing fingers, I just figured I'd pick the guy who was shifting The Hate to foreigners. So maybe we could be a country again. But it seems that the hate is so thick and general that we're just going to tear ourselves apart, instead of them, because we feel more enlightened and virtuous doing so, for crazy reasons.

Personally, I just want to be free and I don't care about all your ism's and schism's (to paraphrase Bob Marley). To be completely honest, I voted for Trump because he's a joke; an obvious jester that is more preferable to me than your Serious furrow browed jokes-in-disguise I have to hear about everyday from media and PR faggots. He's the perfect answer to all the bullshit. They're all crazy, they're all crooked, they're all stupid, craven self serving liars, Ok?

Have you ever listen to a government person talk? I mean really listened? And you still think they know something and are going to do right?

America has become a country of cry babies. All these sad little victims of their own neighbors. No one has individual agency. Everyone wants someone else to save them from someone else and give them stuff for free. There are PhDs that have the statistics to prove it's all true. I'm to blame. You're to blame. The lawyers and academics and politicians are going to maneuver and deal and sort it all out and get us paid. Just give them the power. They're your path to dominating the others before they dominate you.

You can't be free because there's a Christian over there that doesn't like you. The Christian can't be free because some guy is buggering another guy. Grinding into bone meal, indeed.

Why can't people mind their own business and pursue their own happiness?

It's sick and crazy.....and weak.

People that know better go along with it.

It's not the country club set. It's everyone. The country club set is only a problem because the outsiders are jealous and desiring the power to implement their hateful vision. The outsiders rip each other off left and right. I know a working class hero who's having a well deserved rough trip because he got caught boning his best friend's wife. How's that different from what Wall St is doing? It's all the same shit, just some people have the ability to do it on a mass scale. I guess that's what they mean by privilege.

I laugh at your vision as does Trump. It's a gallows humor kinda laugh, but a laugh all the same.

avedis





Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 12:17:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Avedis

Today your jester suggested that if another nuclear power kept threatening to defend itself against armed attack, he would start a war against them. So much for keeping out of foreign wars.

You've brought up this jester theory of yours before. I suppose I understand why, if Western civilization is circling the drain, at least people would want someone to laugh at while we all go down.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 1:04:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David,
So you take sides with NoKo? You think fat boy is being harassed needlessly?

avedis

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 7:17:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

I think if your goal is to avoid getting into foreign wars, starting foreign wars is a counterproductive way to do it.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 7:41:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Avedis,
i've often thought about writing a essay on the 1st thing that was impressed on my young brain.
MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.
in a nutshell.
jim

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 9:49:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

To all,
the thing about the NOKO situation is that i fear Trump more than i do chump.
i also find it extremely disturbing to see T's body language as he's slapping down NK.
also notice that his little daughter is next to him ,probably buoying up his courage.
i guess this is a new age of diplomacy.
talk loudly and carry a putter.
golf course diplomacy.
the thing is that Trump needs a war to become relevent.
we do love/support our wartime POTUS's.
even those that were draft dodgers or who played the system..
jim
jim

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 10:29:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

David,
i accept(with scorn) all draft dodgers, but i understand their position.
all i ask is that they not brag or force me to listen to the right of their cause.
i ran across a few bernie supporters at a local get together before the campaign ended and one of them immediately told me that he was a draft resister(RVN).
my comment to him was=LET ME SHAKE YOUR HAND,i knew the guy who died in your place, and i always wanted to meet you.
please note that most draft resisters never wanted to be CINC.
you see that's the bottom line.for every one that scammed the systen another poor lower middle/lower economic person was buddy fucked.17,000plus draftees died in that war. a lot of the regulars killed joined voluntarily to avoid infy duty, and they still got killed.

if one had bone spurs there was duty in the 8 non combat branches of the army.
we even had a finance branch.
i have a long term reader here at RAW and he was a draftee. he honorably served and when he returned he went to canada , and never came back to the lower 48.
now that's a man i'd vote for.
jim

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 10:42:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger mike said...

@jim: "LET ME SHAKE YOUR HAND,i knew the guy who died in your place, and i always wanted to meet you."

That is a classic Jim. What was his reaction?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 11:15:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Jim

As usual my own analysis is political rather than military.

This is a situation with two leaders who are inexperienced, both prone to bluster, both well aware that the shortest route to impressing the circle of foreign policy elites in their own country is hardline brinksmanship. The chances one side or the other will do something reckless without fully thinking it through are therefore high.

North Korea's capabilities are probably exaggerated. I have a difficult time believing especially that a regime as dysfunctional has maintained the necessary logistics and supply systems to make sure that all of the artillery supposedly threatening Seoul has all of the material it would actually need to carry out this threat. The nuclear developments however may be another matter.

Barring miscalculation, North Korea is paranoid and believes nuclear weapons ensure the survival of the regime. The solutions for the U.S. are therefore either:

(a) Start a war against the North to remove the weapons and accept whatever human cost this incurs. One might think both Trump critics and Trump supporters who wanted disentanglement from foreign wars would be opposed to this route, but my guess is that, as usual, starting a war will result in a wave of popular support for the president.

(b) A diplomatic and sanctions route that persuades the North that nuclear weapons are a bigger threat to regime survival than they are a help. Even if the U.S. had the diplomatic clout to accomplish this in general, however, the current administration clearly does not. The State Department is hemorrhaging personnel and is in no shape to mount any sort of concerted campaign.

(c) Accept that North Korea has nuclear weapons and move on. Is it really the United States's job to ensure that South Korea and Japan feel safe next to a country that has a fraction of their own capabilities, should they be expected to defend themselves?

I still don't see why C is a bad idea.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 11:44:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David,
Look, First, we've got some tin horn third world flunky with a nuclear capability that most serious analysts agree can now, or very soon, hit the mainland United States. Said tin horn maniac has actually threatened to hit the USA with these nuclear weapons; more than once. Do you really think the USA is going to shrug it off and move on to other things? Impossible.

Second, this same guy threatens to invade SoKo. Yes, he does have the capability to devastate Seoul and kill millions. Could he actually win? Probably not. That's not the point. Millions will die and the economy of SoKo, which is tied to the rest of the industrialized world, will be disrupted.

Third, not all war starting is equal. Doing something abut NoKo is NOT the same as starting war with Russia because the USA wants to be global hegemon. Nor is it the same as continued activity in Afghanistan, etc which is a waste of blood and treasure.

Fourth, I do not hear where Trump is saying that he is going to start a war. He and Tillerson are saying that NoKo better calm down and sit down and talk this out because IF they start any more crap, they are going to be annihilated. He is also calling for Russia and China to deal with Un. Both countries are taking the threat seriously enough that they have begun to step up to the plate. Trump is handling this well, so far. No one wants to see nukes flying back and forth. The only reason that American think tank people generate policies that bring us closer to that possibility (e.g. w/ Russia) is that they live in La La land and believe - or are willing to gamble - that whenever the USA pushes on a nuclear power, that power will back down.

Just think, one of Un's whacky nukes might just miss its USA target and land in Toronto or Vancouver. If that happens, I advocate that it's Canada's problem and they should be left to deal with it on their own. Maybe they can unleash some beer drunk mooses to attack.

avedis

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 2:03:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

No, it would not surprise me to see the U.S. empire respond aggressively to the most peripheral and unlikely of threats. For other reasons, as I already predicted, it also does not surprise me to see members of the Trump cult rally around the flag on this, even though not so long ago they claimed to be against more foreign wars. A little while ago you were concerned this blog wasn't anti-war enough for your tastes. Now apparently America can't go to war fast enough for you.

It also does not surprise me that members of the Trump cult think the Kim regime is insane. Naturally, all of America's enemies are always insane in imperial propaganda. I'm not sure what makes them insane in your eyes.

Trump has claimed that North Korea must stop its "threatening" behavior or face war. Recent behavior from North Korea includes (a) threatening to retaliate if America attacks them, and (b) building nuclear weapons. Do I think the U.S. should stop short of murdering hundreds of thousands of people because a small and isolated regime has threatened retaliation if the U.S. attacks them first? Yes, weirdly enough, I do.

North Korea has had 60 years to invade the South. They haven't yet, because they've been deterred, as they continue to be. The only crisis here is the one being manufactured by your jester in the White House, and given the reception from the media and from people like you, it is having exactly the desired effect.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 2:24:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

David,


I noticed your derisive response in an earlier comment,


Lisa or Avedis can probably answer your question better than I can because I never liked or believed such a transparent con man in the first place ...


I continue to be amazed at the flak I received and continue to receive for writing the truth I saw in 2016, which the MSM tried to obscure from your vision. I was right, of course, and I didn't see any other Democrats saying what I said.

Never politicking for anyone, I said, "Trump may not be a man for all seasons, but he may well be a man for this season" -- to howls of execration.

My comments remain more correct than ever: in its frenzy to undo the soon-to-be President, the media lost any semblance of rectitude. They will not gain it back, not in our lifetimes. They were already becoming superannuated by our now ubiquitous ego feeds, anyway.

What of The People? They still suffer their petty lives, but they made an incontrovertible statement. By electing Donald Trump they said, "None -- neither Right nor Left -- speak for us. You are all con men, and we are not abject fools, so we will chose the man who does not pretend."

That's all.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 3:44:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Lisa,

I cannot speak for the media.

For myself, I will call it as I see it, just as you do. It amazes me that Trump supporters are so insistent upon propriety when discussing Trump given the way he sees fit to characterize most others involved in politics and government, but I suppose that is typical of most personality cults.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 4:05:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David,
Where did I advocate for war? I said a threat to nuke the US cannot stand unanswered. Un threated to nuke Guam the other day. He fired a missile into Japanese territory. Your assessment of his inconsequence as a threat is noted. There are many in the business of making such assessments that disagree.

Most others in govt and in the media deserve the derision that Trump expresses toward them. They are carnival barkers in suits.

avedis

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 4:13:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Did the North Koreans threaten to nuke the U.S. except as a second strike in retaliation against an attack upon them?

I must have missed that threat.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 5:41:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, David. You missed that

avedis

Thursday, August 10, 2017 at 2:04:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

You are, of course, free to enlighten me.

The North Korean position is fairly obvious. They are multiple generations into a deep and probably incurable paranoia that the United States cares enough to come back and finish the job from the 1950s. The survival of the regime is its only policy objective. To that end, it believes that nuclear weapons will assure its security by providing the ultimate deterrent against attack.

As with any country that builds nuclear weapons for deterrence purposes, actually using them would defeat the policy objective. At the same time, one must maintain a semblance of credibility. North Korea's method of doing that is responding to any provocation they perceive with a round of bluster about how, when attacked, they will destroy the United States.

It won't surprise me if the U.S. government decides it doesn't want to live with a nuclear-armed North Korea and acts to destroy that regime, even if doing so means not only murdering a very large number of North Koreans -- "the people" in their entirety, according to Mattis's rather genocidal threat -- but also risking the lives of a million citizens of an important U.S. ally. I won't be terribly sad if Kim personally is dead by the end of the year. I don't, however, see a war of aggression against the North as either necessary or justifiable.

Thursday, August 10, 2017 at 3:40:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

David,
i find the US threats V. NOKO to be way out of line.
the threats are not proportional to the threat.
i feel that the mountains of NOKO are laced with protection V. US strikes.
the regime will survive.
think dien bien phu,tora bora and US continuation of government should we get attacked by nucs, from whatever source.they are as smart as we are, which is our problem b/c we act as if they are dumb.
they ain't.
i just can't believe that we are saying that we will destroy them as a social entity.
that is criminal and goes beyond reason.
jim

Friday, August 11, 2017 at 9:57:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Jim,

There's a strong possibility that this began as off-the-cuff bluff by an obviously BS-prone president who was frustrated by realizing that there are no good options for dealing with North Korea other than to kick the can down the road and hope deterrence continues to work.

However I do not know what happens now that it's been picked up by the national security establishment, e.g. by Mattis, and turned into a threat to do something approaching genocide. I assume there is some bloc at least within the DOD, and I don't mean all men in uniform here, just the military as an institution, that would really like a chance at a war to destroy North Korea.

Friday, August 11, 2017 at 1:01:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

As Exhibit B of the likelihood that Trump's foreign policy consists mostly of ignorance, bluster, and bluff, I suggest his other recent comment thanking Putin for "letting go" America's diplomats in Russia because now the State Department's payroll will be smaller.

Or, as Exhibit C, his other recent comments regarding the Lebanese prime minister leading the war against Hezbollah.

The main takeaway for other countries is that Trump has no idea what he is talking about when it comes to world affairs and that they should use that as an opportunity to push for as much as they think they can get away with.

Hence North Korea responds not by backing down but with more bluster of their own.

Friday, August 11, 2017 at 1:06:00 PM GMT-5  

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