Friday, August 19, 2016

Pentagon Preparing For Mass Civil Breakdown

A US Department of Defense (DoD) research programme is funding universities to model the dynamics, risks and tipping points for large-scale civil unrest across the world, under the supervision of various US military agencies. The multi-million dollar programme is designed to develop immediate and long-term “warfighter-relevant insights” for senior officials and decision makers in “the defense policy community,” and to inform policy implemented by “combatant commands.”
Launched in 2008 – the year of the global banking crisis – the DoD ‘Minerva Research Initiative’ partners with universities “to improve DoD’s basic understanding of the social, cultural, behavioral, and political forces that shape regions of the world of strategic importance to the US.”
Among the projects awarded for the period 2014-2017 is a Cornell University-led study managed by the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research which aims to develop an empirical model “of the dynamics of social movement mobilisation and contagions.” The project will determine “the critical mass (tipping point)” of social contagians by studying their “digital traces” in the cases of “the 2011 Egyptian revolution, the 2011 Russian Duma elections, the 2012 Nigerian fuel subsidy crisis and the 2013 Gazi park protests in Turkey.”
Twitter posts and conversations will be examined “to identify individuals mobilised in a social contagion and when they become mobilised.”
Another project awarded this year to the University of Washington “seeks to uncover the conditions under which political movements aimed at large-scale political and economic change originate,” along with their “characteristics and consequences.” The project, managed by the US Army Research Office, focuses on “large-scale movements involving more than 1,000 participants in enduring activity,” and will cover 58 countries in total.
Last year, the DoD’s Minerva Initiative funded a project to determine ‘Who Does Not Become a Terrorist, and Why?’ which, however, conflates peaceful activists with “supporters of political violence” who are different from terrorists only in that they do not embark on “armed militancy” themselves. The project explicitly sets out to study non-violent activists:
“In every context we find many individuals who share the demographic, family, cultural, and/or socioeconomic background of those who decided to engage in terrorism, and yet refrained themselves from taking up armed militancy, even though they were sympathetic to the end goals of armed groups. The field of terrorism studies has not, until recently, attempted to look at this control group. This project is not about terrorists, but about supporters of political violence.”
The project’s 14 case studies each “involve extensive interviews with ten or more activists and militants in parties and NGOs who, though sympathetic to radical causes, have chosen a path of non-violence.”
I contacted the project’s principal investigator, Prof Maria Rasmussen of the US Naval Postgraduate School, asking why non-violent activists working for NGOs should be equated to supporters of political violence – and which “parties and NGOs” were being investigated – but received no response.
Similarly, Minerva programme staff refused to answer a series of similar questions I put to them, including asking how “radical causes” promoted by peaceful NGOs constituted a potential national security threat of interest to the DoD.
Among my questions, I asked:
“Does the US Department of Defense see protest movements and social activism in different parts of the world as a threat to US national security? If so, why? Does the US Department of Defense consider political movements aiming for large scale political and economic change as a national security matter? If so, why? Activism, protest, ‘political movements’ and of course NGOs are a vital element of a healthy civil society and democracy – why is it that the DoD is funding research to investigate such issues?”
Minerva’s programme director Dr Erin Fitzgerald said “I appreciate your concerns and am glad that you reached out to give us the opportunity to clarify” before promising a more detailed response. Instead, I received the following bland statement from the DoD’s press office:
“The Department of Defense takes seriously its role in the security of the United States, its citizens, and US allies and partners. While every security challenge does not cause conflict, and every conflict does not involve the US military, Minerva helps fund basic social science research that helps increase the Department of Defense’s understanding of what causes instability and insecurity around the world. By better understanding these conflicts and their causes beforehand, the Department of Defense can better prepare for the dynamic future security environment.”
In 2013, Minerva funded a University of Maryland project in collaboration with the US Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to gauge the risk of civil unrest due to climate change. The three-year $1.9 million projectis developing models to anticipate what could happen to societies under a range of potential climate change scenarios.
From the outset, the Minerva programme was slated to provide over $75 million over five years for social and behavioural science research. This year alone it has been allocated a total budget of $17.8 million by US Congress.
An internal Minerva staff email communication referenced in a 2012 Masters dissertation reveals that the programme is geared toward producing quick results that are directly applicable to field operations. The dissertation was part of aMinerva-funded project on “counter-radical Muslim discourse” at Arizona State University.
The internal email from Prof Steve Corman, a principal investigator for the project, describes a meeting hosted by the DoD’s Human Social Cultural and Behavioural Modeling (HSCB) programme in which senior Pentagon officials said their priority was “to develop capabilities that are deliverable quickly” in the form of “models and tools that can be integrated with operations.”
Although Office of Naval Research supervisor Dr Harold Hawkins had assured the university researchers at the outset that the project was merely “a basic research effort, so we shouldn’t be concerned about doing applied stuff”, the meeting in fact showed that DoD is looking to “feed results” into “applications,” Corman said in the email. He advised his researchers to “think about shaping results, reports, etc., so they [DoD] can clearly see their application for tools that can be taken to the field.”
Many independent scholars are critical of what they see as the US government’s efforts to militarise social science in the service of war. In May 2008, the American Anthropological Association (AAA) wrote to the US government noting that the Pentagon lacks “the kind of infrastructure for evaluating anthropological [and other social science] research” in a way that involves “rigorous, balanced and objective peer review”, calling for such research to be managed instead by civilian agencies like the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The following month, the DoD signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the NSF to cooperate on the management of Minerva. In response, the AAAcautioned that although research proposals would now be evaluated by NSF’s merit-review panels. “Pentagon officials will have decision-making power in deciding who sits on the panels”:
“… there remain concerns within the discipline that research will only be funded when it supports the Pentagon’s agenda. Other critics of the programme, including the Network of Concerned Anthropologists, have raised concerns that the programme would discourage research in other important areas and undermine the role of the university as a place for independent discussion and critique of the military.”
According to Prof David Price, a cultural anthropologist at St Martin’s University in Washington DC and author of Weaponizing Anthropology: Social Science in Service of the Militarized State, “when you looked at the individual bits of many of these projects they sort of looked like normal social science, textual analysis, historical research, and so on, but when you added these bits up they all shared themes of legibility with all the distortions of over-simplification. Minerva is farming out the piece-work of empire in ways that can allow individuals to disassociate their individual contributions from the larger project.”
Prof Price has previously exposed how the Pentagon’s Human Terrain Systems (HTS) programme – designed to embed social scientists in military field operations – routinely conducted training scenarios set in regions “within the United States.”
Citing a summary critique of the programme sent to HTS directors by a former employee, Price reported that the HTS training scenarios “adapted COIN [counterinsurgency] for Afghanistan/Iraq” to domestic situations “in the USA where the local population was seen from the military perspective as threatening the established balance of power and influence, and challenging law and order.”
One war-game, said Price, involved environmental activists protesting pollution from a coal-fired plant near Missouri, some of whom were members of the well-known environmental NGO Sierra Club. Participants were tasked to “identify those who were ‘problem-solvers’ and those who were ‘problem-causers,’ and the rest of the population whom would be the target of the information operations to move their Center of Gravity toward that set of viewpoints and values which was the ‘desired end-state’ of the military’s strategy.”
Such war-games are consistent with a raft of Pentagon planning documents which suggest that National Security Agency (NSA) mass surveillance is partially motivated to prepare for the destabilising impact of coming environmental, energy and economic shocks.
James Petras, Bartle Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University in New York, concurs with Price’s concerns. Minerva-funded social scientists tied to Pentagon counterinsurgency operations are involved in the “study of emotions in stoking or quelling ideologically driven movements,” he said, including how “to counteract grassroots movements.”
Minerva is a prime example of the deeply narrow-minded and self-defeating nature of military ideology. Worse still, the unwillingness of DoD officials to answer the most basic questions is symptomatic of a simple fact – in their unswerving mission to defend an increasingly unpopular global system serving the interests of a tiny minority, security agencies have no qualms about painting the rest of us as potential terrorists.

Assassination Talk

During a campaign rally in North Carolina, Donald Trump suggested that “Second Amendment people” would take care of Hilary Clinton for picking Supreme Court judges who favor stricter gun laws. The Clinton campaign and many others saw this as a veiled endorsement of an assassination attempt.[1] These inflammatory, if not dangerous, comments are part of a wider movement in American politics to empty political discourse of any substance, turning it mostly into a form of rhetorical theater designed to mimic a larger culture of stupidity, idiocy, and spectacle. The spectacle of titillating and infantilizing consciousness and public discourse with a flood of shocks, sensations and simplistic views has become the hallmark of a broken political system now largely controlled by the ideological extremists who inhabit big corporations, hedge funds, and the ranks of the ultra-rich. It is a strategy that mixes what Hannah Arendt once called the “banality of evil” with what the eminent historian, Richard Hofststadter has called the paranoid style of American politics.[2]
Trump’s rhetoric, along with the discourse of other extremists, echoes Hannah Arendt’s insight that totalitarianism is produced, in part, by making human beings superfluous, ignoring their voices, and silencing them in fascistic discourses of certainty, absolutes, and unaccountability that allow no space for critical thinking, informed judgment, and critical agency. Trump’s speeches and his off-the-cuff comments bear an eerie resemblance to what Arendt once called in her famous book on Adolf Eichmann “the banality of evil,” in which she defines the roots of totalitarianism being shaped by a type of thoughtlessness, the inability to think, and the disavowal of any form of self-reflection and critical inquiry. For some theorists such as Richard J. Bernstein, Arendt was largely interested in understanding how ordinary people with banal motives can commit horrendous crimes and how such actions were connected to making human beings superfluous as critical, thinking agents.[3] He is only partly right. Arendt connected the dethroning of the political and the emergence of a kind of anti-politics to the inability or reluctance of individuals to “imagine what the other person is experiencing…a kind of stupidity (in which) obedience is idealized.”[4] Trump and other ideological and political fundamentalists exemplify a kind of thoughtlessness in which informed judgment and dialogue are replaced by a rigid ideological embrace of certainty, the eschewing of doubt, and a willingness to sacrifice critical inquiry to the realms of emotion, anger, and contempt for others.
Language in the service of violence is on full display in Trump’s use of the term “loser,” a term that he carries over from his Reality TV shows and is used in many of his political speeches. Trump’s use of the term, echoing Hofstadter, denotes a language in the service of humiliation, but there is also a deeper structure of meaning that is indebted to the current fascistic embrace of “total war” and a “survival-of-the fittest” ethos in which winning and losing become the central organizing principles of a neoliberal society. As the discourse of war and excessive competition moves into the realm of the market place, consumption also serves to reward winners and debase losers based upon a fetishistic notion of consumption. Subjecting the majority of the polity to the discourse of humiliation and disdain and praise for the small number of winners who constitute the .01 percent of the population create an affective economy of misdirected rage, resentment, and retaliation, which finds its most egregious expression in the hateful and racist discourses of authoritarianism, buttressed by a kind of stupidity that is as banal as it is dangerous. The economic and pedagogical forces at work in the production of the banality of evil in reinforced in the registers of atomization, loneliness, and humiliation that often provide fertile ground for the rise of the fascistic sovereign. This was evident at the 2016 Republican National Convention when Donald Trump told his adoring crowd that “I am your voice. I alone can fix it. I will restore law and order.” As Yoni Appelbaum points out in The Atlantic, Trump “did not appeal to prayer, or to God. He did not ask Americans to measure him against their values, or to hold him responsible for living up to them. He did not ask for their help. He asked them to place their faith in him.”[5] And in doing so, he was greeted with sporadic emotional outburst that amounted to disturbing expressions of racism, hyper-nationalism and calls for lawlessness. According to Applebaum, “when Trump said, ‘I am your voice,’ the delegates on the convention floor roared their approval. When he said, “I alone can fix it,” they shouted their approbation. The crowd peppered his speech with chants of ‘USA!’ and ‘Lock her up!’ and ‘Build the wall!’ and ‘Trump!’ It booed on cue, and cheered when prompted.”[6]
In this instance, neoliberal values support and amplify what the Richard Hofstadter called the “paranoid style in American politics.” Writing in the 1960s in the aftermath of the McCarthy period, Hofstadter made clear that the animosities, anger, “heated exaggerations, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantas[ies]” that characterize such a style were deeply rooted in American politics and history and did not simply apply “to men with profoundly disturbed minds.”[7] Such a paranoid style could only be understood with a broader social, cultural, and political context specific to a distinctive historical era. Hofstadter performed a theoretical service in providing a language for unpacking the new authoritarianism in American society. Building on Hofstadter’s insights, Trump represents more than the fascistic celebration of the heroic leader, there is also a systemic attempt to empty politics of its democratic impulses, repress debate and dialogue, and construct an anti-politics that thrives on conflict, on an enemy/friend divide, fueled by a rhetoric of demonization, objectification, and hatred. Under such circumstances, language becomes militarized, serving as an expression of politics in which persuasion becomes armed, wedded to the production of desires, modes of agency, and forms of identification compatible with political and economic forms of authoritarian domination. The friend/enemy divide creates the boundaries, borders, gate keeping, and circle of certainties that intensify the paranoid state of mind in the American polity while at the same time creating the foundation for new forms of totalitarianism unique to American society.
What is distinct about the current era is that such extremism has moved to the center of politics and has become the hallmark of a period characterized by the destruction of civil liberties, the emergence of what Mike Lofgren calls The Deep State,[8] mass surveillance, the militarization of everyday life, the widespread spectacle of violence, and a culture steeped in the mobilization of mass fear and cruelty. Donald Trump’s take over of the Republican Party alone cannot explain the emergence and embrace of right-wing populism among millions of Americans who as Beverly Bandler observes: “sport idiocy as a ‘badge of honor,’ cling to the discredited, silly birtherism, brazenly support serial lying, rampant xenophobia, racism, misogynism, [and] suggest that [Trump’s] political opponent is ‘the devil’.”[9]
We live in an era when knowledge has been replaced by information, and propaganda seeps into every institution in American society fueled by the billions of dollars provided advertisers, the Koch brothers, hedge fund criminals, bankers, the ultra-rich, and big corporations, all of whom provide the pedagogical parameters for what can be considered to falsely be acceptable ideas, views, and frames of reference. Screen culture is the new force of politics and it is signed, sealed, and delivered by powerful corporate interests, with some exceptions in the mainstream media and certainly a sprinkling of alternative views in online progressive sites such as Truthout, Truthdig, Counterpunch, and others, though such sites operate at the margins of American society. Combine the control by the rich of commanding cultural apparatuses such as the media and public and higher education with the Supreme Court ruling, Citizens United, which allowed politics to be flooded and controlled by big money and you have what Tom Engelhardt has rightly called the “first 1% elections” coupled with a dominant public pedagogy infused with insults, stupidity, insults, racism, and a toxic “sea of words and images.”[10]
Arend’t’s notion that evil becomes banal when it is normalized, supported by a culture in which thinking is seen as an act of stupidity and thoughtlessness provides the foundation for mass violence is crucial to understanding one of the most fundamental elements of American politics—an attack on all vestiges of critical thought and the institutions that support them. Hofstadter makes clear that such extremism has to be understood within broader historical, political, and cultural context and cannot be addressed in limited vocabulary of the eccentric or outlandish personality.
Both Arendt and Hofstadter offer fertile ground for addressing the question of what might be learned from the rise of the political and economic structures of domination in the current historical moment. Implicit in their work is the notion that any viable understanding of politics has to address the role of the educative nature of a politics as a powerful force that demoralizes and inftanlizes consciousness, stunts any viable notion of agency, and embraces view of war that thrives on demonization, exclusion, and the production of losers. Central to such a task is expanding the notion of the political to include a notion of public pedagogy that would be fundamental to addressing matters of identity, consciousness, and agency. The teaching machines of the current era are not limited to simply schools but are found in multiple sites in society. Hence, addressing the ideological and structural forces that celebrate the inability to think, readily eliminate institutions and public spheres that make thinking possible, intensify the connection between non-thinking, thoughtlessness and the routinization of misery, human suffering, along with the destruction of the eco system should be at the heart of any viable movement for political and economic change. At stake here is the creation of a politics willing to address the distinctive challenges posed by the emergence of a digital age in which culture, power, and politics become more integrated and serve to reconstitute the ways in which people relate to themselves, others, and the larger world. What Arendt and Hofstadter teach us is that the task of politics in the age of an overabundance of information and knowledge is not to make politics a discourse limited to structural forms of domination but to broaden its meaning as part of a wider project of which pedagogy is central to how it understands, addresses, and shapes the world, particularly how it shapes memory, consciousness, and individual and social agency.
The emergence of Donald Trump, and the deeply corrupt Republican and Democratic political parties on the current American political scene exemplify how ignorance breeds corruption and endears a large number of people to falsehoods, venality, and carnival barking. The corruption of both the truth and politics is made all the easer since the American public have become habituated to overstimulation and live in an ever-accelerating overflow of information and images. Experience no longer has the time to crystalize into mature and informed thought. Leon Wieseltier is right in stating that “words cannot wait for thoughts and patience [becomes] a liability.”[11] Opinion outdoes reasoned and evidence based arguments and the power of expression degenerates into a spectacle. News has become entertainment and echoes reality rather than interrogating it. Popular culture revels in the spectacles of shock and violence.[12] Universities now labor under the burden of a neoliberal regime that celebrate the corporate model made famous by McDonalds. Knowledge is now instrumentalized, standardized, and collapses the distinction between education and training. Knowledge is packaged for easy consumption resulting in curricula that resemble a fast-food menu[13].
Many of the commanding institutions that produce and distribute ideas—from the media to higher education—have become disimagination machines, tools for legitimating ignorance, stoking paranoid fantasies, legitimating conspiracy theories, and are central to the formation of an authoritarian politics that is gutting any vestige of democracy from the ideology, policies, and institutions that now shape American society. Education has lost its moral, political, and spiritual bearings just as teachers, union members, and other public servants across the country are being belittled and attacked by economic and religious fundamentalists. One consequence is that an increasing number of public spheres have become corporatized, employ a top-down authoritarian styles of power, mimic a business culture, and infantilizes the larger polity by removing the public from all forms of governance. Clearly all of these defining relations produced in a neoliberal social order have to be challenged and changed.
The rise of thoughtlessness and the inability to think along with the demonization of vulnerable others constitute a political epidemic and do not augur well for democracy. Americans live in a historical moment that annihilates thought. A culture of cruelty and a survival-of-the-fittest ethos in the United States is the new norm and one consequence is that democracy is on the verge of disappearing or has already disappeared! Where are the agents of democracy and the public spaces that offer hope in such dark times? What role will progressives play at a time when the very ability of the public’s ability to translate private troubles into broader systemic issues is disappearing? How might politics itself be rethought in order to address the pedagogical and structural conditions that contribute to the growing intensification of violence in all spheres of American society? What role should intellectuals, cultural workers, artists, writers, journalists, and others play as part of a broader struggle to reclaim a democratic imaginary and exercise a collective sense of civic courage? What is now clear is that not only is pedagogy linked to social change but also to the production of modes of agency and the institutions that make radical change possible. Education as a political force makes us both the subjects of and subject to relations of power. The key is to expand that insight so as to make education central to politics itself. That is a lesson we can learn from both Arendt and Hofstadter.

Fascism Masquerading as a Democracy

Fascism-if it's considered at all- is easily connected historically to Italy's former fascist leader Benito Mussolini, to a lesser extent Spain's Francisco Franco and of course Germany's Adolph Hitler.

Though each country had its own unique features they were all right wing dictatorships, interconnected and supported by the countries large business interests, exercised absolute control over the media, put down dissent, had the support of the generals and the military, used prolific nationalistic symbols, particularly the nations flag, while organized religion was either complicit or kept silent.

Now in the modern era can you think of a country that fits that criteria? Sure you can. It's our good ole US of A.

It doesn't take much to consider the tentacles of entanglement of our corporate behemoths with our government, their thousands of lobbyists inundating the offices of Congress often writing the very legislation these sycophants enact into law. A main stream media that acts as a complicit enabler of the government-rather than questioning and being skeptical of governments actions-distorting events by accepting unsubstantiated claims and assertions of the government as factual without any evidence. This is propaganda hiding behind a 1st Amendment free press but acting as nothing more than an unofficial organ of the state. The military carrying out our illegal wars, funded by Congress and all to the benefit of the arms industry. Then there's the overt symbols of the flag seemingly flying everywhere, shouts of "USA,USA" at international sports events, "Support our troops" decals on cars, our Navy is a "A force for good", God Bless America sung during the 7th inning stretch at major league baseball games, spotlighting veterans in the stands-with the perfunctory standing ovation, plus the military fly over's . Throw in the occasional right wing Republican exhortation of "We're a Christian country" and "We support Israel" to say nothing of the propaganda indoctrination we're all subjected to in our public schools and it's clear what has happened.

Fascism masquerading as a democracy, the Constitution and the rule of law, but the democracy, the document and the idea disregarded as necessary by a government always hiding behind the fig leaf "In the interests of national security" to justify its actions. A clever maneuver of dissembling keeping its sinister machinations from the people.

This to say nothing of the illegal NSA surveillance of everyone without cause, the increasing militarism of the local and state police and the complete takeover of our electoral process by the big moneyed corporate and special interests making a mockery of our supposed representative democracy.

Only through likes of Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Wikileaks Julian Assange and investigative reporters do we get the truth of the governments wrongdoing. And each is either forced into exile, locked up in a military prison or in refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Yet in the US it appears many are so indoctrinated with our "goodness", our righteousness, intentionally or otherwise fail to recognize or refuse to see the reality because the horror of it is too much to bear.

So many (most?) get distracted with their Smartphone's, needing to take care of everyday endeavors, going to work, making a living, paying the mortgage, child rearing and family obligations, just getting food on the table then often too exhausted to even contemplate the reality of what's happened to our country.

Think about it. We grow up in this country standing and reciting the "Pledge of Allegiance", placing our right hand over our heart whenever we hear the "Star Spangled Banner", now more than ever "God Bless America" and "America the Beautiful" with its sea to shining sea. All meant to propagandize and indoctrinate.

In elementary school we had to dive under our wooden desks to practice in case of a nuclear attack. It never occurred to us the absurdity of the idea. We just did it unthinkingly as dutiful kids.

Kids don't do such things these days, but my sense much of the old indoctrination recitals remain.

Thinking back again, during the early 1970's even the Washington Post was a great newspaper doing real investigative reporting exposing the "Watergate" scandal and it's connection to Nixon. The Post's revelations basically forced Nixon to resign in disgrace. At that moment we were a democracy without government control of the media.

Now that paper has been reduced to neo-con rag, a complicit enabler to our governments illegal wars and occupations, mirroring the worst of official state organs of authoritarian regimes.

The same goes for the New York Times and every other newspaper in this country. Meanwhile the airwaves, owned by six major corporations spout the "official" propaganda fed as "news" to the people.

Luckily there's the internet with alternative web sites such as this one that pierces the "official" dogma to present more factual accounts of what's happening in America and around the world.

On these sites US machinations in the world aren't the sanitized version put out by "officialdom", then regurgitated by the corporate MSM.

US machinations in the world are presented factually by the likes of investigative reporters such as Pepe Escobar, Robert Parry, Jeremy Scahill, Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, Chris Hedges, "The Saker", Dmitri Orlov, Andre Vltchek as well as the prescient analysis and editorial writing of others.

Currently we're in the midst of a presidential campaign with the two most hated nominees from both major parties. They represent the interests of the 1%, neither of whom represent the interests of the 99%. A 3rd party candidate Jill Stein, the likely Green Party's nominee does represent the interests of the people, refuses to take corporate money and has no chance of being elected.

This is not new phenomena in America with the best candidate having no chance. Only with the Donald and Hillary our politics has reached its nadir.

Let's be honest, We the people are not innocent in all this. We've let it happen; we haven't been vigilant.

Ike warned us in his 1961 presidential farewell address of the military/industrial complex-taking out the political connection in the last minute as some have suggested. Did we take notice? Essentially no.

At present we've reached the most dangerous moment in our history, marching toward the abyss of a war with Russia and China, two nuclear powers capable of incinerating the US in a nuclear strike.

We're currently provoking both countries unnecessarily and without precedence, even during the cold war with the Soviet Union.

Now the primary question is how to prevent this impending madness from happening?

Luckily there's the internet with alternative web sites such as this one that pierces the "official" dogma to present more factual accounts of what's happening in America and around the world.

On these sites US machinations in the world aren't the sanitized version put out by "officialdom", then regurgitated by the corporate MSM.

US machinations in the world are presented factually by the likes of investigative reporters such as Pepe Escobar, Robert Parry, Jeremy Scahill, Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, Chris Hedges, "The Saker", Dmitri Orlov, Andre Vltchek as well as the prescient analysis and editorial writing of others.

Currently we're in the midst of a presidential campaign with the two most hated nominees from both major parties. They represent the interests of the 1%, neither of whom represent the interests of the 99%. A 3rd party candidate Jill Stein, the likely Green Party's nominee does represent the interests of the people, refuses to take corporate money and has no chance of being elected.

This is not new phenomena in America with the best candidate having no chance. Only with the Donald and Hillary our politics has reached its nadir.

Let's be honest, We the people are not innocent in all this. We've let it happen; we haven't been vigilant.

Ike warned us in his 1961 presidential farewell address of the military/industrial complex-taking out the political connection in the last minute as some have suggested. Did we take notice? Essentially no.

At present we've reached the most dangerous moment in our history, marching toward the abyss of a war with Russia and China, two nuclear powers capable of incinerating the US in a nuclear strike.

We're currently provoking both countries unnecessarily and without precedence, even during the cold war with the Soviet Union.

Now the primary question is how to prevent this impending madness from happening?

Dave Lefcourt
opednews.com
7th Aug 2016

Obama to Reinforce the Militarized Police Occupation

"Obama’s short-lived retreat from the federal government’s frenzied militarization of local police, announced with great fanfare in May of 2015, was his sole substantial concession to the movement that swept the nation after the rebellion in Ferguson, Missouri. The sight of armored vehicles and battle-ready cops on the streets of American cities was an international embarrassment for the United States – bad “optics” for the First Black President’s legacy. However, the sad truth is that Obama is responsible for the biggest escalation in the history of the one-sided war against Black America.

A recent study show that, under the Pentagon’s 1033 program, enacted in 1997, the value of military weapons, gear and equipment transferred to local cops did not exceed $34 million annually until 2010, the second year of the Obama administration, when it nearly tripled to more than $91 million. By 2014, the year that Michael Brown was shot down – and when the full Congress, including 32 members of the Congressional Black Caucus, rejected a bill that would have shut down the 1033 program – Obama was sending three quarters of a billion dollars, more than $787 million a year, in battlefield weaponry to local police departments. In other words, President Obama oversaw a 24-fold (2,400%) increase in the militarization of local police between 2008 and 2014. Even with the scale-back announced in 2015, Obama still managed to transfer a $459 million arsenal to the cops – 14 times as much weapons of terror and death than President Bush gifted to local police at his high point year of 2008.

When Obama was earmarking $163 million for U.S. Justice Department “community policing” projects in 2015, he was simultaneously budgeting more than half a billion dollars for militarization of the police. Conclusion: Obama is willing to invest limited funds in cultivating more snitches, but he’s really gung-ho about outfitting the cops with tanks, machine guns and grenade launchers."

From:
Glen Ford
Aug 11, 2016
truthdig.com

Saturday, June 18, 2016

R.I.P.

(1999 - 2016)



What would
Dian Fossey 
say?
Jane Goodall
say?
Louis B. Leakey
say?

Binti Jua saves little boy

 Harambe attempts to protect little boy

Gorilla Population =            105,180
Human Population = 7,400,000,000

Do gorillas hunt humans .....NO
Do humans hunt gorillas .... YES

Are gorillas pushing humans to
                    extinction
NO
Are humans pushing gorillas to extinction
YES

Koko's kittens
 

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

Animal Farm - George Orwell

 

 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Remember? ... Remember!

........... the 7th of June.


 Hint #1:
"Who controls the past controls the future;
 who controls the present controls the past."
      1984 - George Orwell

Hint #2:
"...to achieve certain things, they must be concealed, because to proclaim what they are would raise difficulties too great to attain them in the end."
Jose Marti 

Hint #3:
June 7th - California Democratic Primary

Hint #4:
"cui bono?"

ADDENDUM:
Item #1:  the Justice Department has convened
a Grand Jury (just-in-case);
       Item #2:  POTUS is being lobbied to use an
Executive Order (clemency) to grant HRC
an "Preemptive Pardon."

Clinton Email Timeline

Email "Take-down" 
 
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
SUBJECT: Those “Damn Emails – 
Really a Concern”

Pat Thurston (KGO-San Francisco) interviews
Ray McGovern (CIA - Ret.) I

Pat Thurston (KGO-San Francisco) interviews
Ray McGovern (CIA - Ret.) II


Gaius Publius: “Networks are Colluding” to Declare Clinton the Overall Winner Before California Polls Close 

 

Did Clinton’s Emails Expose CIA Agents?

 

Will Hillary Clinton Get Favored

Treatment?

 

 “Break classification rules for the public’s benefit and you could be exiled. Do it for personal benefit and you could be President."

Edward Snowden

 

 


 to be continued ...
 

Monday, May 02, 2016

What Beast To This Election Comes?

"Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, 

     and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity."

                               ( William Butler Yeats)

Historical Metaphors From An Unlearned Past:

1)  With the exception of Trump, all of the
     Republican candidates are reminiscent of
     Hitler & the General Staff after the defeat
          at Stalingrad ...
     "We are so fucked" ... wash, rinse ... repeat.
2)  Trump is Hitler after the fall of France,
      before The Battle of Britain ....
     "I'm winning ... I'm winning .... I will win!"
3)  Hillary is as Hitler was just prior to
      becoming Chancellor on 30 January 1933.

Because we repeat our mistake through history,
     doesn't mean that history repeats itself.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Why Bernie?

Kabuki-Fucking-Theater
&
Jousting-Fucking-Windmills

"The Old World is dying, and
the New World struggles to be born.
Now is the Time of Monsters"
Antonio Gramsi

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Friday, October 16, 2015

AWASH IN A SEA OF IGNORANCE

The Message Below Sent by the American Empire:
     1)  The Hippocratic Oath does not apply,
     2)  The Nuremberg Trials were Kabuki Theatre, and
     3) "The friend of my enemy is my enemy."

The Actions Below Demonstrate the Above: 
 
UPDATE: 10 JAN 2016 ...
...27 Oct 2015:  Haydan hospital was destroyed by an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition (SLC).
....3 Dec 2015:  A MSF health center in Taiz was hit by the SLC.
...10 Jan 2016:  A Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)-supported hospital in northern Yemen was bombed Sunday morning.
.....................................................................
3 Oct 2015:  Médecins Sans Frontières Hospital
     In Afghanistan Attacked by U.S. Military







 


Virtually all of the reportage describes
the incident as a "bombing." 

Fucking corporate media ........ bombing,
Fucking chattering-class ......... bombing,
Fucking "independent media".... bombing,
Fucking bloggers .................. bombing,
Fucking "ditto-heads" ............ bombing,
Fucking "story-spinners"......... bombing, and
Fucking politicians ............... silence.

 Gen. John Campbell, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, has called the bombing a "mistake," and President Barack Obama apologized to the president of Doctors Without Borders.

The hospital wasn't bombed, rather,
     it was strafed by a
Variant unknown:
(Spooky II, Ghostrider or Stinger II)
















In 1hr 15 mins, the aircraft made
     5 passes on the target.

Once could be a mistake, but
     5 Fucking passes ...

 Lesson:  Wrap your shit tight
     before you open your pie-hole!

UPDATE:
US troops knew they were bombing Afghan hospital

US troops knew they were bombing Afghan hospital

US troops knew they were bombing Afghan hospital