Sunday, December 29, 2019

A PATRICK HENRY ESSAY (No. 5-98) THE POLITICAL LEGACY OF PATRICK HENRY


red hill

This is not my work.  It was censored from the Red Hill Website (it was originally at www.redhill.org/history_essay.html). I just found an archived copy of this essay here https://web.archive.org/web/20021212044753/www.redhill.org/history_essay.html.  I am reposting it since it is important to the debate.

A PATRICK HENRY ESSAY
(No. 5-98)
THE POLITICAL LEGACY OF PATRICK HENRY
By Henry Mayer

A talk prepared for the 160th Anniversary of the Founding of Emory & Henry College, Charter Day, March 21, 1996
Two hundred and twenty-one years ago come Saturday [March 23, 1775] Patrick Henry delivered a powerful sermon on the illusions of hope and the inevitability of war that ended with a phrase that still reverberates in our political consciousness. We may not know very much about the man or the context of his speech, but on the basis of that one ringing sentence Patrick Henry occupies a place in the annals of American oratory and the pantheon of American patriots. I hope I won't shock you too badly by suggesting that this approach short-changes both our hero and ourselves. It's not the quotation, but the career that commands attention--at least fifteen terms in the legislature, leadership in the historic revolutionary conventions, the continental congress, and the 1788 ratifying convention, three successive annual terms as Virginia's first governor and three additional years later, and--from first to last--a deep and affectionate popularity that amounted to folk hero status and for a long time made Henry more highly cherished than George Washington in the hearts of his Virginia countrymen. Because Henry's career was so much tied to Virginia's, and because the significance of the states as political and cultural entities has atrophied over two centuries of national growth, the significance of Henry's role has dwindled, too, into that of a provincial politician. It is true that he was no philosopher and, unlike four of his Virginia compatriots, he never became president. Yet what Henry set in motion in Virginia eventually shook America and reshaped its politics.

Patrick Henry was on of the first and greatest political mavericks in American history, and his career stands as an inspired example of popular democratic leadership combined with public service. Although his antagonists dismissed him as a demagogue who whipped up the masses to serve ignoble ends of personal ambition, I would argue, rather, that he had the great public gift of articulating, in an age of deference, what the silenced majority thought and felt. All great popular leaders have this ability to express to the powerful what the powerless feel and to develop new forms of protest and participation by which they can make their concerns register on the political agenda. Time and again in a long career that spanned the quarter-century between the Stamp Act protests and the conflict over ratification of the U.S. Constitution, patrick Henry took the unorthodox, advanced, uncomfortably radical and provocative position and made himself, as one admirer said, "the very devil in politicks."

Did this make him a patriot or a subversive? That depends upon whom you ask, and when. To George III or Lord North in 1775, Henry was the bane of sedition; but he was equally seen as seditious and rebellious by the Speaker of the Virginia House of Burgesses and a good many other aristocrats in 1765 when he loudly advocated massive public defiance of the Stamp Act while his elders--and social betters--wanted a more traditional and sedate approach. (To protect their position, incidentally, they did not scruple to rescind the vote as soon as Henry's back was turned and expunge his most radical recommendation from the record.) To James Madison and Alexander Hamilton in 1787-88, Henry was "the great adversary" who sounded "the trumpet of discord" with his implacable opposition to their plans for a powerful new central government. To a considerable extent history has shared their perspective: Henry is remembered for his revolt against the King, but his opposition to the Constitution is regarded as cranky, wrong-headed, and if not precisely seditious, certainly an affront to national progress and historical good order.

To Henry, however, his career from first to last represented fidelity to the fundamental maxims of a free society. Since our system rests--somewhat uneasily at times--upon the twin principles of majority rule and minority rights, it is notable that his political legacy is the dual one in that he both opened the door to democracy and protected--indeed, exemplified--the right to dissent.

His first important contribution--and the key, really, to everything that followed--lay in the area of religious liberty. Henry had grown up partly in the snug and cozy world of the Virginia gentry--his father was a magistrate and his uncle an Anglican minister--and partly in the world of the evangelical dissenters--his mother, grandfather, and many kinfolk had joined the Presbyterian revival of the 1740s. Patrick Henry sympathized with the spiritual force of the revival, though he never experienced the new birth himself, and he sensed the cultural and political challenge to the gentry's aristocratic control that lay behind it. Though he knew the g entry's ways and remained comfortable with tavern and courthouse politics, his father's declining status and his mother's religious alienation made him somewhat of an outsider.

In the 1760s, as a young lawyer, he made his reputation defending a second wave of revivalists--the itinerant Baptist preachers who were subjected to fines, beatings, and persecution by the local authorities. When the preachers were indicted for disturbing the peace, Patrick Henry often came along to disturb the indicters, and it is very important to emphasize that in 1772 he sponsored a bill in the House that would have gone beyond the traditional principle of English toleration (the state's indulgence) to the recognition of a natural right of conscience to "have and enjoy the full & free exercise" of religion without molestation or penalty by the state. It was Henry's concept of "free exercise" that he, working with young James Madison, incorporated into the Virginia Declaration of Rights during the momentous convention of 1776, and that helped reorient the controversy over religious freedom from the issue of what dissenters could do to the question of what the state could not do--and thus provided the scaffold upon which the First Amendment was later built.

To return, however, to the revival. In an important, if somewhat paradoxical sense, Henry's protection of the right to dissent animated his ability to create a more democratic politics, Patrick Henry understood intuitively that there was both a religious and a political awakening going on in Virginia, and he became the evangelistic leader of the revolution because he translated the subversive elements of religious discord into politics and made the dissenters and the ordinary folk excluded from the traditional political process and skeptical of aristocratic rule his power base. He fused the evangelical and gentry style into a new and powerful political identity--the angry outsider who turned old political forms toward new ends.

In this sense, Patrick Henry was a mediating figure--and by that I don't mean someone with a gift for compromise, but rather a figure capable of embodying and guiding the historic transition from the hierarchical society of the colonial 18th century to the democratic society of the 19th century American republic. Henry knew how the gentry operated, but was not wholly committed to it: he sympathized with the yeoman's condition, yet aspired to more for himself; in the mixture he became a man who could reach out to ordinary people, speak to them with fire and conviction, meld them into one community of belief, and turned that massed opinion into a profoundly new political force. It was that taking of politics "out of doors" that angered the aristocracy: it was that appeal to public opinion which antagonized Thomas Jefferson until he applied the lessons ten and twenty years later; it was that popular militancy that made the revolutionary work of the colonial assemblies and conventions possible, and it was that commitment to the centrality of popular constituencies and local majority governance that seemed most directly threatened by the new centralized administrative apparatus mandated b y the Philadelphia convention of 1787.

Henry became known as " a son of thunder," the new Boanerges, a political apostle of popular government, and the epithet does evoke the natural fervor of the man. Just as the religious revivalists engaged in a soulful, personal preaching that mocked the polite discourse of the Anglicans, so did Henry employ a natural, homely style that mocked the elaborate rules of rhetoric and the flowery Latin quotations and the classical allusions so admired by the gentry. He broke the mold of traditional political address and rhetorical argument and fashioned a new one--partly theatrical, partly sermonic--that combined an actor's flair with a preacher's fervor and transported audiences even more than it persuaded them.

The "liberty or death" speech (delivered, by the way, not in the capitol at Williamsburg, but in a church, in Richmond) resonates with Biblical references and cadences, but let's take another look at that famous concluding phrase--"I know not what course others may take but, as for me, give me liberty or give me death." What posterity hears is the devotion to liberty, but what his audience heard, and what we need to hear as well--is the emphasis, as in evangelical religion, on personal choice and individual commitment, here directed toward unorthodox and daringly original political ends. "You never heard anything more infamously insolent than P. Henry's speech," a Tory merchant wrote. "This creature is so infatuated that he goes about praying and preaching amongst the common people."

In the longest and most reliable texts we have for Patrick Henry, the hundreds of hours of heroic speech he offered in the 1788 ratifying convention in defense of the agrarian majority against the centralizing tendencies of the commercial elite, we see again the personal style at work. He portrays himself as an aged "sentinel" of liberty; he tries to imagine the effects of the proposed new government upon the ordinary folk whom he fears will "sip sorrow" in a consolidated government of implied powers, unrestricted by the traditional bill of rights: "I speak as one poor individual," he says, in that insistent, self-dramatizing way he had, "but I speak the language of thousands."

To Madison's reassurances that civil liberties were protected by implication, Henry replied, "If they can use implication for us, they can also use implication against us." Notice the identification with the majority, even as he sought protection for the minority. "We are giving power, they are getting power; judge, then, on which side of implication will be used!" Henry said he would be for modest increases in the powers of the central government. "If we grant too little power today, we can grant more tomorrow. But if we grant too much today, tomorrow will never come." This, in a nutshell, was Henry's traditional Whig skepticism, fidelity to the idea that the polis itself (the electorate, as it was coming to be understood) had a civic obligation to supervise the governors, and it is this sense of duty that is most difficult to exercise in the era of mass communications and the modern nation-state.

Henry's sustained attack was silenced only once, ironically, by a thunderstorm that rattled the windows of the building so noisily that the session had to be adjourned. The convention was closely divided, but despite his willingness to accept consolidation if only a bill of rights were added before ratification, Henry could not prevail. Virginia ratified the Constitution by ten votes and Henry had to accept Madison's promise that the new Congress would consider Virginia's list of suggested amendments along with those from other states. This was a process that the redoubtable Henry would not leave to chance, and he applied some formidable political pressure to ensure their consideration, forcing Madison to run for Congress in a largely anti-federal district and to make a campaign promise (significantly accomplished ina latter to a Baptist minister) that he would work for amendments. It was the mobilization of public opinion that underlay Henry's first great triumph in the Stamp Act protests, and it was this novel, popular constituency-based politics that formed his last, for I will leave to you the beguiling question of apportioning the credit for the Bill of Rights between the man who drafted the first ten amendments and the man who made him do it.

In this connection, however, I need to say something about a recent popular misconception concerning Patrick Henry's legacy and the genesis of the Second Amendment, which states, "A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." Despite efforts of a number of misguided scholars to construe this language as justifying individual, unregulated gun ownership, I am firmly convinced that the Second Amendment is concerned with the state's power to control its own militia as a civilian alternative to a professional standing army. In raising the issue in the Virginia Convention Patrick Henry several times pointed to Art. I, Section 8, Clause 16, as an example of the potentially threatening effect of dual state and congressional jurisdiction over the militia and the possibly dangerous union of the purse and sword vested in Congress. Yet wielding the scholar's power of the ellipse several partisans of gun ownership have edited Henry's remarks about how best to regulate the militia into an inflammatory half-truth "The great object is that every man be armed....Every one who is able may have a gun." The NRA has blown this up into a poster-sized blurb embossed with Patrick Henry's image.

This is not, I repeat NOT, part of Patrick Henry's legacy. Clearly speaking of the problem of militia organization, what he actually said is, "The great object is that every man [of the militia] be armed.--But can the people to afford to pay for double sets of arms &c.? Every one who is able may have a gun. But have we not learned by experience, that necessary as it is to have arms, and though our assembly has, by a succession of laws for many years, endeavored to have the militia completely armed, it is still far from being the case. When this power is given up to Congress without limitation or bounds, ho will your militia be armed? You trust to chance...."

Not to belabor the argument, but cinch it, I would also remind you that the liberty or death speech itself was in support of a resolution to put the colony in a mode of defense, and the plan proposed by Henry's committee as a result of its passage included a militia law that described in great detail not only the number of men, but the amount of ammunition to be raised by a collective levy, and a very clear procedure for maintaining county and provincial control over the militia system. If Henry's remarks were intended to cast doubt upon the adequacy of a hypothetical Congressional militia law, they only affirmed his commitment to the traditional method of state control over a militia that, far from being a privatized collection of gun-toting individuals, was a community temporarily called to arms and always subservient to public authority and law.

Having said perhaps too much about the effort to distort Patrick Henry's legacy by putting words in his mouth, I now need to say something about a silence in Henry's legacy. Like the other Virginia framers Henry both owned slaves and owned up to the impossibility of squaring the existence of chattel slavery with the ideals of the Revolution. Sensitive as he was to the influence of religious radicals, he at least had the decency to respond to an exhortation by a Quaker leader, Robert Pleasants, who asked all the prominent patriots to follow his own example of legally emancipating his slaves and rehiring them as paid laborers. Yet Henry's letter is both forthright and evasive. He concedes the evil, laments his entrapment in the system, suggests it will be abolished in the fullness of time, and declares that he will transmit to posterity, together with his slaves, a pity for their unhappy lot and an abhorrence of slavery. Henry was skilled at the politics of gesture and brave in defiance of convention, but on this issue--the gravest and most fateful in our history--the common path of least resistance and left successor generations to sip the sorrow of his era's default.

Henry, we may say in extenuation, was a man of his times, and this brings me to a final point about legacies. No matter what we take from the past, what we make of it is our own. Henry's time is done. Independence was secured, the Constitution was ratified; we have an income tax and a standing army, interstate highways and social security, federally insured bank deposits, pure food and drug laws, and a minimum wage. We have abolished slavery; we have eliminated property qualifications for voting and outlawed disenfranchisement on the basis of race or sex. We have become so great, so centralized, so industrialized a nation that it is hard to credit Henry's anti-federal vision, rooted in an agrarian localism that no longer exists, as a once-plausible alternative. Yet the larger significance is not the outcome of this free-wheeling debate, but an appreciation that it took place at all. Dissenters like Henry deserve to be recognized as framers, too, because they took politics seriously enough to contend for their beliefs and animate one pamphleteer's maxim that "in principles of politics, as well as in religious faith, every man ought to think for himself."

This is a responsibility that we must accept. We cannot make an icon of Patrick Henry and fling his remarks, however resonant they may be, at our contemporary problems. Of course one hears echoes of Henry's populism and skepticism in modern controversies, and the intersection of religion and politics remains as dangerous and unsettling in our day as it was in his. But hear my point. They are echoes, not mandates. It is not enough to choose a position on the basis of what patrick Henry might have thought or said or done. What we can best take from him, in the final analysis, is inspiration for active engagement in the public affairs of our own day.

The patriots at odds in the 1760s, 70s, and 80s struggled with the endemic American conflict between liberty and authority, between the realm of personal freedom and the power of the state. And it is part of our paradoxical politics today. We are a people, after all, who rail against government even as we insist upon law enforcement, who praise self-rule but suspect politics, who glory in an egalitarian credo yet tolerate profound inequities of class, race, and gender, and who celebrate diversity while railing against outsiders and harshly judging the world's people who choose not to follow our example. We yearn for past certainties and spurn past restraints, fearing change even as we desire it. Patrick Henry was born into a world that seemed both staid and settled, and yet pulsated with forces that, within his lifetime, reshaped his world and pointed in the direction of ours. We live in a world that seems to throb with forces beyond our control, and we are faced with conflicts in values perhaps more profound than any faced by Patrick Henry and a new century whose dan seems clouded with uncertainty rather than bright with promise. What new era will we help to deliver? We need to accept the challenge, not shrink from it, understand politics as a civic calling, not a spectator sport or a giant yawn, and not leave it to another George or Patrick or Bill or Bob or Newt or Ross to do it for us.

Modern historians once stigmatized the Anti-federalists as "men of little faith." had Patrick Henry heard the charge, he would have clearly rejected it. Citizens, he believed, are not supposed to have faith in their governors; they are supposed to have faith in themselves. We can best honor Patrick Henry's political legacy of democratic participation and individual dissent by recognizing the legitimacy, indeed, the necessity of political conflict in a free society. As a sentinel for liberty Patrick Henry manifested the citizens' essential skepticism against entrenched power, yet he did so mindful of the need to nourish the commonweal and lead lives of civic virtue. he was a political man in an age that honored politics and believed in its possibilities. In speaking the language of thousands, he teaches us, most of all, to speak for ourselves and our deepest aspirations for the common good.

Henry Mayer is the author of Son of Thunder: Patrick Henry and the American Republic. His new book, All on Fire: William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolition of Slavery, will be published in fall 1998 by St. Martin's Press. The Patrick Memorial Foundation is grateful to Mr. Mayer for permission to publish "The Political Legacy of Patrick Henry."

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Who Rigged the 2016 Elections? Hint: It wasn't the Russians

The reason I know that Russiagate was a crock was that I saw what went on.

And here is the documentation that the DNC rigged the 2016 primary:
https://medium.com/@brandondegraff/the-dnc-rigged-the-2016-primary-for-hillary-clinton-c0752fbf3140

BC Degraff does a fantastic job of documenting what happened to the Sanders campaign in 2016.

What gets me is that this was so blatant, yet MSNBC and Wretched Madcow never addressed this. Instead the media spent a lot of time on the Russian Interference distraction tactic.

Any "Russian interference" was negligible compared to the internal corruption of the system.

Now, why isn't Adam Schiff spending his time on this?

Oh, yeah, the Democratic party was the perpetrator.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Kayfabe Impeachment

Remember the time Trump tweeted "Covfefe"? and it created a stir because no one knew what "Covfefe" was? Trump tweeted again at 6:09 am: "Who can figure out the true meaning of "covfefe" ??? Enjoy!" and the original tweet was removed.

 People were confused. Lots of way out guesses.

But some people know about World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE) and that Trump is a WWE Hall of Famer.. Let's add in that not only is Trump an actor, he's a reality show star.

Kayfabe is a term in WWE:
In professional wrestling, kayfabe (also called work or worked) is the portrayal of staged events within the industry as "real" or "true", specifically the portrayal of competition, rivalries, and relationships between participants as being genuine and not of a staged or predetermined nature of any kind. The term kayfabe has evolved to also become a code word of sorts for maintaining this "reality" within the direct or indirect presence of the general public.
"Covfefe" doesn't make sense, but the tweet makes a whole lot more sense if we change the word to what it should have been "kayfabe":
"Despite the constant negative press covfefe"
"Despite the constant negative press faked hatred"
We know that the Dems wanted a pied piper candidate (Wikileaked Podesta e-mail). Why not have Trump be the "jobber" or faked opposition in WWE Terms? The Candidate would be a great reality TV show as CBS CEO Leslie Moonves said about Trump, "It May Not Be Good for America, but It's Damn Good for CBS."

Trump received nearly 6 Billion in free coverage because he was good for ratings. Better yet, not only was he the "jobber", but he could be the "heel" (villain, baddie) to Hillary Clinton's "face" (the good one). Trump acts like a jerk and distracts from Clinton. Did Trump just say "pussy"?

Got it?

Except things didn't work to plan. Hillary Clinton was so bad, which was something mentioned in 2007. But you were a "misogynist" if you said in in the 2016. Clinton was so bad that the result of the 2008 Michigan had Clinton "win" with 51% of the vote, but the runner ups were "Uncommitted" 31% and "undecided" 9% (total 40% for nobody).

The way that translated in 2016 was that she couldn't get enough votes in what she thought were the close states: Michigan being one of those close states.

That meant that Trump would move reality shows from "The Candidate" to "the Presidency of the United States". He would keep the role of the heel and the public could boo him to their hearts content.

They would have "the impeachment" as a spin off where the Democrats could pretend to look into what went wrong in 2016 while really doing fuck all about the problem. But like "The candidate" the Dems didn't plan on public reaction. The Dems had to create a show for the public.

But the problem was that the Dems knew it was a bad idea and would be doomed to failure.

Worse, if the public twigged to what was actually going on in Ukraine they would be even more pissed at the Dems.

Pelosi's failure to pass on the articles of impeachment is an admission the impeachment was kayfabe. A show trial to try and make the public happy. Democrats can watch their people attack Trump. Republicans can watch their people defend Trump. Both Democrats and Republicans could feel good.

Sort of.

Some people got it and didn't feel so good. They couldn't understand why.

It's like covfefe. People were guessing. People were confused until they understand it was Trump breaking kayfabe.

You won't know what to feel until you understand the impeachment was just duopoly kayfabe.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Yes, Impeachment is a Show Trial

Let's start this with a couple of definitions:

a judicial trial held in public with the intention of influencing or satisfying public opinion, rather than of ensuring justice.
Now, The impeachment seems to be playing to the base of partisan Democrats since, as the Republicans correctly pointed out, the Democrats made it clear from BEFORE Trump even took office that they would impeach him.

Next characteristic of a show trial:
A show trial is a public trial in which the judicial authorities have already determined the guilt of the defendant.
The fact that the vote pretty much went down party lines is indicative that the outcome was predetermined. My Rep., Madeline Dean, has members of Ukrainian Nationalist Stepan Bandera's family in it. I know at least one contacted her repeatedly to tell her that the impeachment was a bad idea. Not sure whether Rep. Dean's vote was due to willfull ignorance or just towing party line.

Ukraine is a cesspit of scandal and corruption and to have brought charges against Trump based on events happening there was a serious error of judgement.

It was already ordained that the House would impeach and this would die a death in the Senate. Mitch McConnell said as much. Now, Pelosi is holding off on sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate.

A public trial with the intent of satisfying public opinion with a predetermined outcome is the perfect description for what just happened. I dare anyone to argue that wasn't what happened.

But please don't blame the left. I know this lefty would have preferred that the Democrats have been productive with their time and work on election reform. But I know that it was easier to find blame in others and do the neo-McCartyite totalitarian thing.

Because any serious investigation into what went wrong in 2016 would find plenty of dirt on the Dems.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Impeachment WTF?

I don’t want impeachment “to be a way of life in our country.” 
The Democrats impeachment thing is totally pathetic. The impeachment is a prime example of Trump Derangement Syndrome. The Dems SHOULD have spent the past few years looking into what really went wrong in 2016. Instead, they have spent the time on total bullshit.

Worse, they announced they would impeach Trump early on. So, points for the Republicans who are pointing out that the impeachment is a joke.

The really pathetic thing about the Impeachment hearings is listening to the Democrats trying to justify giving military aid to Ukraine as being in the US national interest.

Um, Ukraine is rife with neo-Nazis and this money is going to them. I want to know how giving money that ends up in the hands of Right Sector and the Azov Brigade is in the US interests?
One writer said that:
the Democrats’ impeachment bid as a dead man’s hand, Aces & Eights. But the actual cards on the table are even worse—more like two-seven, unsuited.
But make the analogy even more accurate by saying the Republican are sitting there with a royal flush while the Dems are bluffing. I'm not sure how the Democrats could be so blinded by TDS to miss that they are running straight into the Grand Canyon without a parachute.

These people are so blinded by partisanism that they aren't listening to themselves let alone other people.

Seriously, watching the impeachment debates is like watching a really bad movie where you know how it's going to end. You watch it anyway to see how much worse it can get.

My Questions from watching this are:
Democrats: How does giving money that ends up in the hands of neo-Nazi Groups like Right Sector and the Azov brigade in the US national interests? Very important since those people train US right wing crazies.
Republicans: how can you say that Trump was "democratically elected" when Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by a margin of 2.1%? It was the anti-Democratic electoral college that put Trump in Place. 
 Seriously, this mess could have been avoided if there had been a serious examination of what went wrong in 2016. But that would look bad for both parties. Although I think the Dems would come out of it looking much worse than the Republicans.

I have to wonder what more could go wrong here. The ending is obvious, this is a partisan exercise where Trump will be acquitted in the Senate.

You have to wonder why the Democrats are bothering with all this. Since the real time to remove Trump is coming in less than a year. Is it because the Democrats have nothing to offer?

Monday, December 16, 2019

The Impeachment of Hillary Clinton.

I love alternative reality scenarios and this one is easy to do.

Here is the alternative reality where Hillary Clinton becomes president because she won the popular vote with a margin of 2.1% (or nearly 3 million votes). Forget the Electoral College result because Katherine the Great didn't persuade the founding fathers to put that in the Constitution.

The Republicans control the house 241-192 and Senate by 52-48.

https://www.cnn.com/election/2016/results
 
Are you telling me that Hillary Clinton WOULDN'T be under investigation for anything and everything? The Clinton Foundation is still under scrutiny in our current reality (and "no" it hasn't gotten a clean bill of health, but Trump is really great for distracting people).


I'm sure there would have been loads of things the Republicans could go after Hillary for, but since I mentioned the Clinton Foundation, let's go with that. Especially since you can see a clip of the December 2018 hearings here.
https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4767670/user-clip-clinton-foundation-charity-fraud



“Some interviewees reported conflicts of those raising funds or donors, some of whom may have an expectation of quid pro quo benefits in return for gifts,” the lawyers warned.

I wouldn't be so smug about impeachment if I were a Democrat since the shoe very easily could have been on the other foot.

And I would put money that Clinton would have been impeached and removed since the Republicans had control of both houses after the 2016 election.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Why Sanders is the only hope for the Democrats.

“Just as he did in Burlington, Sanders is putting his faith not in some mythical negotiating power as Trump did, or in some fantasy of coming to the table in good faith negotiations with Mitch McConnell as Biden and Obama and Buttigieg do, or even in his ability to jiujitsu the levers of government through superior bureaucratic knowledge as Warren does. He believes, just as he did in Burlington, that the only way to break the back of Congressional gridlock and inertia and neoliberal entrenchment is by putting your faith in the people. In serving as organizer in chief.”
Krystal Ball describes how he can fix things here.

But you don't need a Crystal, or Krystal, ball to see that the Democrats need new blood and real issues to run on in order to win.

Trump being bad won't win elections. Especially not if the alternative is just as bad.
Seriously, both parties are 60-80% the same. I would say 100% the same given how inept they are and how much they wasted time on inane bullshit the past few years.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Vote Blue No Matter WTF?

Seriously? The Democrats haven't learned squat since 2016. That's due to the fact that they have been blaming everybody but themselves for that election. Toss in that they have been trying to distract people from their mistakes.

Except that is backfiring BIGTIME.

I wouldn't have known or cared about Hunter Biden if the Dumbocrats had that lie, but No they have to involve Donald Trump. The whole shebang looks like a Mexican finger pointing standoff of who is more corrupt in regard to Ukraine.

But we need to get a little history of the situation.

The US want to control Ukraine in order to establish US managed pipeline routes relating to the geopolitical competition over oil and natural gas. The US also wants to advance the US controlled NATO alliance to surround all of Russia's European borders. The Obama administration and the State Department (which Hillary Clinton had built up from 2009 to 2013) assisted in the undemocratic coup in Ukraine which was led by neo-Nazi white supremacists in 2014. This Nationalist group violently took over Ukraine. The Nationalists attempted to make it illegal in Ukraine to speak Russian, a minority who are still a major force in running the Ukraine government.

In Crimea, where the vast majority of residents are Russian, the Crimeans, fearing the Nationalist regime that had just taken over Kiev, quickly voted to rejoin Russia and by agreement with no military action at all, Crimea legally rejoined Russia. There was no supposed ‘invasion’ of Crimea. It did not happen.

Likewise, the people in the Donbass region of Eastern Ukraine were also concerned with the Nationalist ethnic cleansing. An election was held, but because a similar annexation of Donbas into Russia would spoil western plans to dominate pipeline routes and control Russia’s border, the fascist government in Kiev immediately moved with its military, to by force squash the vote and stop Donbas from leaving. This resulted in a 2014-2015 civil war in Donbas, in which Russia lent military support to Donbas (but no formal troops) and the US lent mirroring military support to Kiev.

Putin, if anything, is there preventing a possible genocide. Additionally, the Aid being given to the Ukrainian forces is questionable given that it could result in a genocide.

But TRUMP.

This is an excellent example of Trump Derangement Syndrome since very few people are discussing why we are giving aid which could result in a genocide in the first place.

Let's toss in that Hunter Biden's employment with Burisma was also being called into question under the Obama Administration. On the other hand, no one is questioning the propriety of his employment during these hearings.

The problem here is that both Biden and Trump are slimy. Biden has already said not to vote for him if you dislike fracking.

I'm not the only person to point out that Biden is the male version of Hillary Clinton.

The problem is that the Democratic Party's credibility will be shot from the failed attempt to impeach Trump. They can't pull of a repeat of what they did to Sanders in 2016 without totally alienating his supporters.

Maybe there will be a few who are total masochists or idiots, but one of my takeaways from 2016 was that my vote didn't count. The other was that the problems were internal which means the US needs election reform more than they need the circle jerks to remove Trump.

The bottom line is that all the problems which led to Trump's becoming president are still firmly in place. I see the Democrats ready to make the same errors because they are too arrogant to fix their problems.

No, you have to earn my vote, which is why I left the Democratic Party before the DNC in Philadelphia. Don't count on me voting Blue. Or Red.

I don't vote for evil: lesser or otherwise.

That's how we got into this mess in the first place.

This is worth watching for why impeachment will backfire and the Dems will lose if Sanders isn't their candidate:
https://therealnews.com/stories/trump-impeachment-misguided-move

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The Dems double down on their bad bets.

Ever watch a compulsive gambler?

The Dems are like compulsive gamblers who make bad bets. They double down on the next "sure thing" until they self-destruct.
"Hillary will win in a landslide"
"Comey will vindicate Hillary"
"Russiagate will end trump"
"Ukraine is a done deal: Trump will be impeached"

See a pattern here?


The first problem is that "Russiagate" and "Ukrainegate" both had underlying Democratic misconduct. Clinton's e-mails and Wikileaks for Russiagate where DNC internal emails showed that Clinton WANTED Trump to be her opponent. The media pushed Trump and gave him nearly 6 billion dollars in free publicity.

Ukrainegate's underlying Democratic scandal concerns Joe Biden's son, Hunter, receiving a job from Buresma. Something which could have flown under the radar if the Dems kept their moufs shut.

Naw, they have to draw attention to Trump asking the Ukrainian President to look into it. There is also the money/military aid/arms sale  which was alleged to be held up by Trump and whether this is tied to the Biden thing. There is another aspect to this: a Ukrainian company called Burisma Holdings.

Like REFCO, Hillary Clinton's Commodities Broker, Burisma has a dodgy rep:


Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine and National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) have conducted in total 15 investigations on Burisma's owner Zlochevsky. In 2016, former Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko accused Burisma subsidiaries of conspiracy and tax evasion of about one billion hryvnias (US$70 million) in 2014–2015, but later during investigation subsidiaries of Burisma were not mentioned. Tax audit of Esko-Pivnich by the State Fiscal Service found some violations in 2016. As a result, 50 million hryvnias (US$1.9 million) of additional taxes was paid to eliminate criminal charges. In total, Burisma paid additional 180 million hryvnias (US$7.44 million) of taxes to avoid further criminal proceedings. A criminal investigation was conducted if natural resources extraction licenses were issued to Burisma subsidiaries legally during the period Zlochevsky held government office. Although violations of the procedure were established by NABU, the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office missed procedural deadlines for a lawsuit and the case for nullifying licesenses was dismissed by the court. In October 2019, Prosecutor General Ruslan Riaboshapka announced that all 15 investigation cases will be reviewed.
Let's add in the video of Joe Biden talking about how he was instrumental in getting the Ukrainian prosecutor fired for good measure.

At least the Ukrainians get what is going on if the American Public hasn't. A couple of Ukrainian MPs have asked for both Ukraine and US investigate this matter.

How much do you want to be no Ukrainians will be invited to the Partisan mudslinging match?

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Hunter Biden is one very impressive person

Чи розуміє Гантер Байден українську?

Мало того, що українська мова - це інша мова. Він має інший алфавіт. Гaнтер зміг зрозуміти достатньо, щоб зробити гарну роботу?
Which is "Does Hunter Biden understand Ukrainian? Not only is Ukrainian a different language. It has a different alphabet. Was Hunter able to understand enough to do a good job?"

Serious question since Biden was getting 50k a month to be a compliance officer for a Ukrainian corporation. Wouldn't being able to work in Ukrainian be part of the job description? Even Lt. Col. Vindeman said that Hunter Biden didn't seem to be qualified for the job.  Toss in Even Hunter Biden admits these jobs don't appear to be on the up and up.

We can get into Buresma's corruption as well. And the Ukrainians seem to be on the same page as Trump about this matter as well. I'm not holding my breath to see any Ukrainians give testimony before the house Judiciary Committee.

But it would be interesting.

Let's add in for good measure that Hunter Biden has a similar job with a Chinese corporation.

So, while Trump asks for information on this, which even the Atlantic admits is "accepatble corruption", he's hauled before the Media and public with impeachment proceedings.

Listening to politicians talk about corruption is like Captain Renault being told there is gambling at Rick's place.

I can't wait for all this to blow up.

The better part is that the Ukrainian forces have serious neo-Nazis in their midst: the Azov Brigade. The right could have a field day with all of this!

Friday, December 6, 2019

Dissenting voice on impeachment which got missed by the US media

This law prof makes it clear that he dislikes Trump, but he knows what the public seem to be missing and the Democratic establishment. I don't like Trump, but I also do not like the Democrats.



Unfortunately, he has the pulse of the nation down to a tee.

People are pissed, but they are pissed at the wrong thing. Trump's win was due to a sick system.

The lack of proper introspection into what really went wrong in the 2016 election is what would be much more proper than the bullshit that Trump has been subject to.

This guy is right: both sides of this controversy have demonised the other to justify their defences.

Why isn't he being listened to?

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Russian Bots at Work?

Я не умер, трахая лошадь. И я определенно не трахал твоего осла после моей смерти. Вы думаете, я сделаю предложение о шоу ослов, если отцы-основатели добавят коллегию выборщиков в вашу конституцию?


No, Empress Katherine the Great didn't die fucking a horse. And she couldn't fuck the Democratic Donkey after she died either.

You think she offered to give the founding fathers a donkey show if they added the electoral college to the Constitution?

Anyway, Putin wasn't alive when the Constitution was drafted, but Katherine the Great was Empress of Russia!

Now, drop the partisan bullshit and start working on some serious issues such as climate change.


Saturday, October 19, 2019

All the News that's fit to print?

Or "The US media is as liberal as the large corporations that own them."

Part of propaganda is to stir up the emotions.

And no country does it better than the good old USA!

Unfortunately, my reaction when I saw all the gushing on about the Kurds was to think: "When the fuck has the US ever really cared about the Kurds?"

That wasn't the response that the US Media was hoping to elicit from me. I was supposed to be upset about what was going on in Syria.

Well, in another way than it is a mistake that has come back to bite the US in the ass.

Trump talks about fake news, which the US Main Stream Media likes to pretend it isn't. But there is a definite bias there.

FAIR.org has a fantastic piece on how most of the reporting on the situation in Syria misrepresents the facts.

You might want to compare NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg's comments to Erdogan to Trump's letter.

Not sure what to say about Trump's handling of the situation, but I will say he is the perfect distraction for what is really going on right now. It's really easy to blame Trump for a situation which should never been allowed to have happen.

Friday, October 18, 2019

What's the alternative?

I hear a lot of people criticising Trump for the Syria thing, but I don't see any alternative solutions being offered. The problem is that this was a time bomb where the US was acting with NATO ally Turkey in Syria.

The Kurds were good for being proxy troops for the US, but they were a problematic ally. First off, the Turks (and US) lists them as being terrorists. Secondly, the Kurds' loyalty was to themselves and their goal of a nation. That was a goal that the US could never honestly promise. And while the Kurds will happily fight anyone: they won't do it for someone else unless the someone else is going to protect them.

That leads to problem one: the Kurds will shift loyalties to who ever will protect them. They were fighting with Assad early in the conflict. The US lured them away, but the Kurds made it clear that they would switch back to Assad if the US stopped protecting them. The problem is that the military isn't the body that makes the decision: the politicians are. The military isn't supposed to question: it's supposed to obey.

And the military can't make too many friends in a place where there are rapidly changing allegiances such as the Syrian Civil War. Learn a lesson from the Kurds, your loyalty is to yourself first.

The Kurds were an American ally against ISIS, not Turkey. The United States made no commitment to protect the Kurds against the Turkish army, much less assist them in maintaining a degree of independence in northern Syria that I know about. The United States was entitled to pursue its own interests in the region without some form of formal agreement. Neither Trump nor Obama defined those interests in a way that would justify a deepening military engagement in Syria. 

Leaving the few soldiers in the Kurdish zone endangers American lives. The Generals who felt strongly could have disobeyed orders if they felt such a strong tie to the Kurds, but then the blame would fall on them for endangering their troops in a Turkish invasion.

Next problem: the NATO Treaty.  The Treaty is a formal agreement, unlike whatever was between the US and Kurds. The existence of a Treaty ruled out a military response of any sort. A no-fly zone would be a no-no. Nothing says betrayal like shooting down an Ally's airplane.

On the other hand, Congress could declare war on Turkey if they feel as strongly as they purport to, but they won't.

The only real options are economic or diplomatic. The only real difference between what I would have done and what Trump did would have been to get international action to prevent the Turkish invasion. I also would have begun working on an exit strategy earlier. The Turkish invasion of Syria was not something which was in any way a surprise, yet no one did anything to prevent the problem.

The big problem is that there is a lot of bluster here. Congress is blustering. The Generals are blustering. The Turks are blustering. Trump is Blustering.

It's easy to play the blame game, but this was a disaster waiting to happen.  Too many people failed to act to prevent the problem.

At this point, the US should take a deep breath and look at how it got into yet another mess.

See also:

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

If Barack Obama made a really stupid decision about US troop deployment: wouldn't we hear about it?

Something that Senator Lindsay Graham would describe as “the dumbest idea in the world.”

What I am describing is something that would put the US into conflict with a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member.

Something which should have had congressional approval before being implemented. Something along the lines of funding an organisation which the US State Department lists as being a terrorist organisation.

Yet, that is exactly the situation that happened in Syria. After all the person who was president when the American-led intervention in the Syrian Civil War was Barack Obama.

There are a lot of things which stink to me about the US coverage of this event. The main one is the sudden sympathy for the Kurds.

But even more bothering is that Donald Trump is being blamed for something which sits squarely on Barack Obama's shoulders.

Yet even people who would have attacked Barack Obama are criticising Trump for this situation.

Trump was right? or who really committed treason?

Treason is the only crime defined in the US Constitution (Article III, Section iii):
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.
Prosecutions under this section are rare since it requires the act to take place during war time.

I'm no fan of Donald Trump.

On the other hand, whose administration decided to arm a group on the US State Department's list of Terrorist organisations. An action that would eventually lead to conflict with a NATO treaty ally?

Of course, you can't just blame Obama since congress knew, but did nothing about it. In a previously posted video, Lindsay Graham asks about the Kurds being listed as terrorists. Sen. Graham was among the harshest critics of Trump’s decision this week. Graham was once sympathetic to Turkish concerns and called the partnership with the Syrian Kurds “the dumbest idea in the world” in an April 2016 Senate hearing, given the PKK connection (clip mentioned above).

The question is who in the US was in charge on September 22, 2014 when the US began its involvement in Syria!

See also:

Monday, October 14, 2019

Syria, Trump Derangement Syndrome, and the Media

I have to admit to being baffled by the current reaction to Trump's decision to remove 50-250 soldiers from the Kurdish held area of Syria. Probably because I am somewhat aware of the situation, which means I see this as nothing new.

I'm no fan of Donald Trump, but the way the current Turkish invasion has been portrayed seriously makes me question the bias of US media. There has been absolutely NO discussion of some serious background points that put an entirely different spin to this story.

Part of me wanted to subtitle this "I love it when Barack Obama gets us involved in pointless military exercises." US involvement in the Syrian Civil War began back on 22 September 2014 during the Obama administration.
YPJ girl soldiers: shouldn't they be in school?

It seems that the Trump detractors have been too willing to think that the "abandonment" of the Kurd was somehow "sudden" when anyone familiar with this will tell you that it is amazing it hasn't happened yet. The Kurds in Syria are tied to the Kurdistan Workers' Party or PKK (Kurdish: Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan). This group is considered a terrorist group by the United States, European Union, and NATO: to name a few. The YPG/YPJ's use of child soldiers should be embarrassing as fuck to people who are trying to make Syria's Kurds somehow "allies" of the west. The Kurds are no saints, but you wouldn't guess that from the current attention they are getting lately.

Andrew McCarthy gets to the crux of the matter:
The Kurds have been our allies against ISIS, but it is not for us that they have fought. They fight ISIS for themselves, with our help. They are seeking an autonomous zone and, ultimately, statehood. The editorial fails to note that the Kurds we have backed, led by the YPG (People’s Protection Units), are the Syrian branch of the PKK (the Kurdistan Worker’s Party) in Turkey. The PKK is a militant separatist organization with Marxist-Leninist roots. Although such informed observers as Michael Rubin contend that the PKK has “evolved,” it remains a formally designated foreign terrorist organization under U.S. law. While our government materially supports the PKK’s confederates, ordinary Americans have been prosecuted for materially supporting the PKK.

The fact is that:
"The Kurdish militias weren’t Washington’s first choice. U.S. attempts to train secular, anti-Assad, Syrian Arab forces to fight on its behalf cost hundreds of millions of dollars but produced just 5-50 fighters. The U.S. was forced to change tack and support Syrian Kurdish militias. The largest and most powerful of these were the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which were later called the “Syrian Democratic Forces” in the hopes of easing Turkish hostility and endearing the new fighting force to the predominantly Arab territories it began to conquer with U.S. air support."
What bothers me most about all this is the sudden concern for the Kurds, a group which has been fucked over for some time in the geopolitical struggles of this region. The Kurds say that they "have no friends, but the mountains." On the other hand, all the anti-Trump forces have developed a deep love for  these "strong allies of the US."

Another thing which is conspicuous in all this is the fact that Turkey and The Kurds have had an armed conflict going on since at least 1978. There have been two other Turkish "invasions" of Syria (2016 and 2018) prior to the latest. A Northern Syria Buffer Zone was created by agreement between Turkey, The Kurds, and the US. Turkey felt the Kurds were in breach of that agreement, which is the reason for the current mess.

An even more important point which is missing is that Turkey is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, as is the United States.  NATO, as a treaty adopted by the United States is part of US law (US Constitution Article VI, ii)! The Turks as co-signators of the treaty are our allies, not the Kurds.

As far as I know there is no formal agreement between the US and Kurds making them "allies" of any sort. In fact, the Kurds have fought with the Assad Regime and their Russian Allies during the Northern Aleppo offensive of 2016. The Kurds will fight with whoever promises to protect them at the moment. They aren't strong allies of anybody but themselves.

The Kurds can fuck back in the same manner as they have been fucked with in the political events of the region which makes it amusing when people try to make them out as "strong allies".  Anyone who says that appears to be ignorant about the Kurdish people. The Kurds will find that all this concern will vanish like writing in the sand after the next news cycle.

Scott Ritter, the man who was "the loudest and most credible skeptic of the Bush administration’s contention that Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction" writes:
That Turkey, an American NATO ally, is waging war against the SDF (which the Turks label as YPG/PKK—more on that later), while at the same time targeting ISIS, the archenemy of the all these Kurdish groups, underscores the complexity of the regional politics at play in northern Syria today. Deciphering this alphabet soup goes a long way towards explaining why the Turkish actions are justified and why President Trump will ultimately be vindicated for pulling the troops out.  
The reality of the situation is as Scott puts it:
The American embrace of the SDF was always a temporary solution to the problem of ISIS. The United States never has supported a greater Kurdish nation. And while there’s been much lip service to the idea of using the SDF as a vehicle to destabilize the government of Bashar al-Assad, regime change has never been seriously pursued by the United States in Syria.

The most important point is raised by Andrew McCarthy:
 Our intervention in Syria has never been authorized by Congress. Those of us who opposed intervention maintained that congressional authorization was necessary because there was no imminent threat to our nation. Contrary to the editorial’s suggestion, having U.S. forces “deter further genocidal bloodshed in northern Syria” is not a mission for which Americans support committing our men and women in uniform. Such bloodlettings are the Muslim Middle East’s default condition, so the missions would never end.

A congressional debate should have been mandatory before we jumped into a multi-layered war, featuring anti-American actors and shifting loyalties on both sides. In fact, so complex is the situation that President Obama’s initial goal was to oust Syria’s Assad regime; only later came the pivot to fighting terrorists, which helped Assad. That is Syria: Opposing one set of America’s enemies only empowers another. More clear than what intervention would accomplish was the likelihood of becoming enmeshed, inadvertently or otherwise, in vicious conflicts of which we wanted no part — such as the notorious and longstanding conflict between Turks and Kurds.
There are a lot of different players in the Syrian Civil War. It was a dangerous game for the US to have entered. Although, it wasn't really just the US that was involved here: Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve comprised soldiers from at least Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, Belgium, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. There were more troops on the ground than the 50-250 US soldiers.

I find the media's story troubling because I see narrative in the US media which is highly partisan and interventionist. I see a concern which is based not on reality, but on a media image which couldn't be further from the fact.

But it sure is convenient for making Trump look bad.

See also:

Saturday, October 12, 2019

More on the Kurds

Not sure how accurate this is, but it definitely changes the debate if true.


But it does demonstrate that Trump Derangement Syndrome has infected the debate!

How can so-called progressives not support a withdrawal from this territory if the Kurds used child soldiers?

Trump Derangement Syndrome is REAL!

OK, I'm going to preface this by saying I'm no fan of Donald Trump.

On the other hand, you may know people who start frothing at the mouth at the mere mention of the "Cheeto" if they are left of centre.

There is a right wing manifestation as well which thrives on making the aforementioned people cringe. The ones on the right will support Trump because it makes the left leaners act in the manner depicted.

For the Left, Trump can do nothing right and is up to no good. It is their hope he will somehow be impeached, which isn't very likely.

Ted Rall hit the nail on the head with his definition:
“Trump Derangement Syndrome” is when you have so much anger and rage at President Trump that you are willing to do anything, no matter how stupid or reckless or dangerous, to try to get him out of office by hook or by crook. Lately I’ve been hearing Democrats say that they’re hoping that the economy head south, as if they didn’t live in the economy themselves. Others want him to attack Iran so that people angry at the war don’t vote for him for reelection. This is crazy talk

The recent incident with Turkey announcing it would be making bombing raids in Syria to push back the Kurds demonstrates how this all works.

I would put that most people who were upset by this know next to nothing about the Kurds: a stateless people who mostly live in Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. They also don't know that Turkey has been participating in airstrikes against ISIL alongside the U.S.-led coalition, but also actively supporting the Syrian opposition and occupying large swaths of northwestern Syria while engaging in significant ground combat with ISIL, the SDF, and the Syrian government since August 2016.

SDF if you didn't know is The Syrian Democratic Forces which is composed primarily of Kurdish, Arab, and Assyrian/Syriac militias, as well as some smaller Armenian, Turkmen and Chechen forces.

Since most people don't know about the situation here is a brief run down of it:
The Kurds are an ethnic group of about 40 million people centered at the intersection of Turkey, Syria, Iran, and Iraq. Many naturally want their own state. The four countries in which they live naturally do not want that to happen.

On the one hand, the Kurds are a perfect tool for U.S. foreign policy. We can arm the Kurds in whichever of these countries is currently our enemy, whether to make trouble for that country’s government or to accomplish various other objectives. On the other hand, we don’t want the Kurds we’re utilizing to ever get too powerful. If that happened, the other Kurds — i.e., the ones living just across the border in whichever of these countries are currently our allies — might get ideas about freedom and independence.

It seems that this is another instance of the Kurds being used for political gain. In this case, an attempt at internal US political gain by putting Trump into a no win situation.

Ahval, a trilingual independent online news site on Turkey, reported on 1 October that:
"U.S. and Turkish officials last month (September) agreed to work together to create a buffer zone free of fighters from the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara views as an existential threat due to its presumed links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The PKK is an armed group that has been at war in Turkey for over three decades and has been designated as a terrorist organisation by Ankara, the EU and the United States."
"However, Ankara has been critical of the lack of progress made with the envisaged zone, threatening to put its own operation plan into effect if Turkish troops do not control a “safe zone” within a few weeks.
Turkey will also continue with operations in northern Iraq “until all terrorists are eliminated from the area,’’ the council said.
Turkey on Aug. 23, launched Operation Claw-3 in northern Iraq targeting PKK militants.
Monday’s statement by the council also said that Turkey would continue its activities in the eastern Mediterranean."
Al-Jazeera also contradicted the narrative seen in the Western Press about Trump giving a green light to this. Let's toss in that this was not a total withdrawal of US troops from Syria:
In a statement, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said, "The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial "Caliphate," will no longer be in the immediate area."

The New York Times reported Monday that about 100 to 150 American forces would withdraw from northern Syria but not completely from the country. Newsweek confirmed the Times reporting but the National Security Council official said the number was closer to 230 service members, among them U.S. Special Forces and reconnaissance units.

While Trump's action caused a stir,  it may end up actually creating peace in this part of the world: which is why this is a prime example of Trump Derangement Syndrome. People are upset that Trump could possibly bring peace to the Middle East.

Sure, he may have blundered his way into it, but he would have done brought peace to the Middle East.

Which people suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome would hate. Yes they would hate peace if Trump managed to achieve it!

Anyway, this story appears to have lived its short life cycle especially if it is yet another tactic that backfires on Trump's detractors. The bottom line is that this is a prime example of Trump Derangement Syndrome because people started reacting without all the facts. It seemed that emotion triumphed over reason in this instance.

See also:

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Why I went Green (and sort of silent on Guns)

“There was once a big atomic bomb
That wanted to be a bullet.
His friends all asked why, when he was such a big atomic bomb, he would want to be a tiny bullet.
"I miss", he sighed, "the personal touch.”
-- Tuli Kupferberg

I've kind of gone silent on the topic of guns since, like the above passage, climate change is something which affects us all. Sure, guns are bad, but the coming crisis makes the gun debate in the US look tame.

Climate change is happening. It's undeniable (if you are not totally out of touch with reality). And it will require cultural as well as political changes.

It's also long overdue that people start addressing it. We shouldn't have needed Greta Thurnberg.

The United Nations has estimated that we need to reduce carbon emissions by half within a decade to have a 50% chance of avoiding global catastrophe. Of course, this is likely to be an underestimation as recent science shows permafrost melting 90 years earlier than forecast and Himalayan glaciers melting twice as fast as expected. Feedbacks and locked in heating will take us over 2C even before we factor in additional temperature rises from human caused emissions over the next ten years.

In short, we're fucked


George Monbiot says:
A paper published in Nature shows that we have little chance of preventing more than 1.5C of global heating unless existing fossil fuel infrastructure is retired. Instead the industry intends to accelerate production, spending nearly $5tn in the next 10 years on developing new reserves. It is committed to ecocide.
But the biggest and most successful lie it tells is this: that the first great extermination is a matter of consumer choice. In response to the Guardian’s questions, some of the oil companies argued that they are not responsible for our decisions to use their products. But we are embedded in a system of their creation – a political, economic and physical infrastructure that creates an illusion of choice while, in reality, closing it down.
Sure, people can try to say that this is "liberal nonsense", but climate change has been on the radars since physicist Edward Teller told the American Petroleum Institute (API) back in 1959 that a 10% increase in CO2 will be sufficient to melt the icecap and submerge New York. “I think that this chemical contamination is more serious than most people tend to believe.”

Lyndon Johnson’s President’s Science Advisory Committee states that “pollutants have altered on a global scale the carbon dioxide content of the air”, with effects that “could be deleterious from the point of view of human beings”. Summarising the findings, the head of the API warned the industry: “Time is running out.”

A confidential report prepared for Shell’s environmental conservation committee in 1988 found that CO2 could raise temperatures by 1C to 2C over the next 40 years with changes that may be “the greatest in recorded history”. It urged rapid action by the energy industry, “By the time the global warming becomes detectable it could be too late to take effective countermeasures to reduce the effects or even stabilise the situation.” 

Instead of addressing the issue in the past sixty years, people have been heading full tilt on the road to disaster. It would have been far easier to have addressed this issue early on than to wait until the house has almost burned down.

Anyway, I am more interested in addressing climate change than in wasting time on trying to impeach Trump. This issue requires cultural and political change. I've made as many of those changes as I can, but others need to catch on.

The ecological and climate crisis is not be owned by any political ideology, culture, age or gender.  We ALL need to take action on this pressing issue.

Monday, October 7, 2019

MELT THE GUNS!

OK, the real problem facing any solution to the US gun problem is getting the guns off the streets. Yes, there will have to be a buyback which will be fun given that it will have to be on the same level as the Aussie one. There will probably be later gun amnesties, but without the monetary incentive.

So, cash in early.

There is a solution for those who can't wait to get your guns off the streets but aren't altruistic enough to just give them to someone without some kind of benefit.

The National Center for Unwanted Firearms

They say they are willing to buy or allow for donation of the firearms. That is a pretty good deal if one can realise the fair market value of your firearm: even if it's only as a tax deduction.

Gun control won't work in the US as long as there are guns in circulation which is why getting them off the streets is the most important aspect for dealing with this problem.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Can't stop thinking about reparations

Let's start with:
A 2016 Marist poll found 58% of black Americans were in favour of reparations, while 81% of white Americans opposed the idea. A 2018 Data for Progress survey also found reparations to be unpopular among the general public, and especially so among white Americans.
Being opposed to a cash payout reparations tends to push the number up even higher.
Bayard Rustin, who organised the March on Washington and was a friend of Martin Luther King Jr, called reparations a "ridiculous idea".Mr Rustin told the New York Times in 1969, "If my great-grandfather picked cotton for 50 years, then he may deserve some money, but he's dead and gone and nobody owes me anything".He later expanded on the views, writing that a payout would demean "the integrity of blacks" and exploit white guilt.
The issue here being time at least five generations of US blacks have been free (i.e. were slaves). Sure we can talk about the discrimination in the South, but what do you do with a Kay Coles James or a Madam C.J. Walker? The name Pat McGrath came up during this search.

You don't need a white person to debate this issue since I know that blacks have opinions on the topics, but Ta-Nehisi Coates found a great topic to grab some attention. Unfortunately most of the talk is divided by race. It would be nice if some conservative blacks weighed in on the topic.

Coates mentioned debt, which is one thing which started me thinking about this topic. The Western Countries wrote off Africa's debt back in 2005, but the countries are now worse than they were BEFORE the write offs. While the reasons are different, the bottom line is the same:

Unless something is changed the debt will return worse than before. 

In other words, people can throw as much money as they want at a problem, but fuck all will happen unless the underlying causes are addressed.

On problem with the US is the myth of abundance, in particular and abundance of land so that rich people can move out of the cities. That means the cities are left to decay (I blame most of Detroit, Flint, and Saginaw's problems on the industry the built those cities: the automobile).

Mr. Coates needs to integrate himself since there are poor whites living in those places. Of familiarise himself with Fred Hampton who understood the issue 50 years ago.

I wouldn't say that whites are better off economically by looking at a graph. I am no where near a Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, or other 1% than Ta-Nehisi Coates is to Pat McGrath. And Pat McGrath still doesn't raise the income of poor blacks. On the other hand, those people skew the numbers when you look at averages. The average white person in Appalachia is in no way affluent.


There's a lesson in here somewhere, but I think that reparations will fail when it comes down to it.  it's something that sounds intriguing, but is doomed to failure if anyone tries to implement it.



Tuesday, October 1, 2019

There wouldn't have been a problem had the Dems run Bernie.

Kyiv Post has an article on how the Ukrainians see the latest attempt by the "Democrats" to try to harm Donald Trump. Another one that will backfire bigly.
What are Giuliani and Trump alleging?
Specifically, Giuliani alleges that: 1) Biden pressured Ukraine to fire its prosecutor general in order to hamper an investigation into Burisma Holdings, the oil and gas company where his son Hunter worked, and 2) that Ukrainian officials conspired to help Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election.
The problem with the impeachment nonsense is that the Democrats need to come up with something that won't backfire on them. This one will as the last one did since the underlying claims relate to Democratic corruption.

As the dude said, "let the person without sin cast the first stone".

But this shit beats having to address the US's problems.

Read the article here: https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/trump-whistleblower-scandal-explained-from-ukraine.html

Monday, September 30, 2019

A guess on why Slavery, Indentured Servitude, and Transportation aren't properly discussed in the US

It makes people uncomfortable to think that someone's ancestors didn't come to the US willingly. Slavery, indentured servitude, and transportation run against the narrative of people coming here for the "American Dream". Unless you mean the American Dream of someone else who receives cheap labour.

The US is far too in love with its national myth of opportunity and unlimited resources. The narrative runs that people come to the United States because they can work hard and enjoy the benefits. The reality has been that people work hard and someone else gets the benefits.

Tell someone who wants to know your ancestors immigration story that they came over in chains as a slave and they get all uncomfortable.

And Transportation is something no one is willing to talk about, but I would scream out my convict heritage like an Aussie boasts about being an ancestor of the first fleet if I found out one was in my family tree. But people also get really uncomfortable when they find out that a lot of pre-Independence immigrants were felons.

Bottom line is that unwilling immigrants aren't what people want to hear about.