Posted by Dennis M. on Sep 1, 2015 in Posts
The Great Unraveling
By Chris Hedges
August 31, 2015 “Information Clearing House” – “Truthdig” – The ideological and physical hold of American imperial power, buttressed by the utopian ideology of neoliberalism and global capitalism, is unraveling. Most, including many of those at the heart of the American empire, recognize that every promise made by the proponents of neoliberalism is a lie. Global wealth, rather than being spread equitably, as neoliberal proponents promised, has been funneled upward into the hands of a rapacious, oligarchic elite, creating vast economic inequality. The working poor, whose unions and rights have been taken from them and whose wages have stagnated or declined over the past 40 years, have been thrust into chronic poverty and underemployment, making their lives one long, stress-ridden emergency. The middle class is evaporating. Cities that once manufactured products and offered factory jobs are boarded up-wastelands. Prisons are overflowing. Corporations have orchestrated the destruction of trade barriers, allowing them to stash $2.1 trillion in profits in overseas banks to avoid paying taxes. And the neoliberal order, despite its promise to build and spread democracy, has hollowed out democratic systems to turn them into corporate leviathans.
Democracy, especially in the United States, is a farce, vomiting up right-wing demagogues such as Donald Trump, who has a chance to become the Republican presidential nominee and perhaps even president, or slick, dishonest corporate stooges such as Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and, if he follows through on his promise to support the Democratic nominee, even Bernie Sanders. The labels “liberal” and “conservative” are meaningless in the neoliberal order. Political elites, Democrat or Republican, serve the demands of corporations and empire. They are facilitators, along with most of the media and most of academia, of what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls our system of “inverted totalitarianism.”
The attraction of a Trump, like the attraction of Radovan Karadzic or Slobodan Milosevic during the breakdown of Yugoslavia, is that his buffoonery, which is ultimately dangerous, mocks the bankruptcy of the political charade. It lays bare the dissembling, the hypocrisy, the legalized bribery. There is a perverted and, to many, refreshing honesty in this. The Nazis used this tactic to take power during the Weimar Republic. The Nazis, even in the eyes of their opponents, had the courage of their convictions, however unsavory those convictions were. Those who believe something, even something repugnant, are often given grudging respect.
These neoliberal forces are also rapidly destroying the ecosystem. The Earth has not had this level of climate disruption since 250 million years ago when it underwent the Permian-Triassic extinction, which wiped out perhaps 90 percent of all species. This is a percentage we seem determined to replicate. Global warming is unstoppable, with polar ice caps and glaciers rapidly melting and sea levels certain to rise 10 or more feet within the next few decades, flooding major coastal cities. Mega-droughts are leaving huge patches of the Earth, including parts of Africa and Australia, the west coast of the United States and Canada and the southwest United States, parched and plagued by uncontrollable wildfires. We have lost 7.2 million acres to wildfires nationwide this year, and the Forest Service has so far spent $800 million struggling to control conflagrations in California, Washington, Alaska and other states. The very word “drought” is part of the deception, implying this is somehow reversible. It isn’t.
Migrants fleeing violence and hunger in countries such as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Eritrea are pouring into Europe. Two hundred thousand of the roughly 300,000 migrants to Europe this year have landed on the shores of Greece. Two thousand five hundred have died so far this year in the sea, on overcrowded and dilapidated boats or in the backs of trucks such as the one discovered last week in Austria that held 71 corpses, including the bodies of children. This is the largest influx of refugees into Europe since World War II, a 40 percent jump since last year. And the flood will grow ever greater. By 2050, many climate scientists predict, between 50 million and 200 million climate refugees will have fled northward to escape areas of the globe made uninhabitable by soaring temperatures, droughts, famines, plagues, coastal flooding and the chaos of failed states.
The physical, environmental, social and political disintegration is reflected in an upsurge of nihilistic violence driven by rage. Crazed gunmen carry out massacres in shopping malls, movie theaters, churches and schools in the United States. Boko Haram and Islamic State, or ISIS, are on killing rampages. Suicide attackers methodically commit deadly mayhem in Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen, Algeria, Israel and the Palestinian territories, Iran, Tunisia, Lebanon, Morocco, Turkey, Mauritania, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, China, Nigeria, Russia, India and Pakistan. They struck the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, and in 2010 when Andrew Joseph Stack III flew a light plane into a building in Austin, Texas, that housed offices of the Internal Revenue Service. Fanaticism is bred by hopelessness and despair. It is not the product of religion, although religion often becomes the sacral veneer for violence. The more desperate people become, the more this nihilistic violence will spread.
“The old is dying, the new struggles to be born, and in the interregnum there are many morbid symptoms,” the theorist Antonio Gramsci wrote.
These “morbid symptoms” will expand until we radically reconfigure how we relate to each other and the ecosystem. But there is no guarantee such a reconfiguration is possible, especially if the elites manage to cling to power through their pervasive global security and surveillance apparatus and heavily militarized police forces. If we do not overthrow this neoliberal system, and overthrow it soon, we will unleash a Hobbesian nightmare of escalating state violence and counterviolence. Masses of the poor will be condemned to misery and death. Some will try to violently resist. A tiny elite, living in a modern version of Versailles or the Forbidden City, will have access to amenities denied to everyone else. Hatred will become the primary ideology.
The attraction of Islamic State, which has up to 30,000 foreign fighters, is that it articulates the rage felt by the wretched of the earth and has thrown off the shackles of Western domination. It defies the neoliberal attempt to turn the oppressed into human refuse. You can condemn the group’s medieval vision of a Muslim state and its campaigns of terror against Shiites, Yazidis, Christians, women and homosexuals—which I do—but the anguish that inspires this savagery is genuine; you can condemn the racism of white supremacists who are flocking to Trump—as I do—but what they are responding to is their similar frustration and despair. The neoliberal order, by turning people into superfluous labor and by extension superfluous human beings, orchestrated this anger. The only hope left is to re-integrate the dispossessed into the global economy, to give them a sense of possibility and hope, to give them a future. Short of that, nothing will stem the fanaticism.
Islamic State, much like the Christian right in the U.S., seeks a return to an unachievable purity and utopianism, a heaven on earth. It promises to establish a version of the seventh-century caliphate. Twentieth-century Zionists seeking to form Israel used the same playbook when they called for the re-creation of the mythical Jewish nation of the Bible. ISIS, as the Jewish fighters who founded Israel did, is attempting to build its state (now the size of Texas) though ethnic cleansing, terrorism and the use of foreign fighters. Its utopian cause, as was the Republican cause in the Spanish Civil War, is attractive to tens of millions of youths, most of them Muslims cast aside by the neoliberal order. Islamic State offers a vision of a broken society made whole. It offers a place and sense of identity—denied by neoliberalism—to those who embrace this vision. It calls for a turning away from the deadening cult of the self that lies at the core of neoliberal ideology. It holds up the sanctity of self-sacrifice. And it offers an avenue for vengeance.
Until we dismantle the neoliberal order and recover the humanistic tradition that rejects the view that human beings and the Earth are commodities to exploit, our form of industrialized and economic barbarity will collide with the barbarity of those who oppose us. The only choice offered by “bourgeois society,” as Friedrich Engels knew, is “socialism or regression into barbarism.” It is time we make this choice.
We in the United States are not morally superior to Islamic State. We are responsible for over a million dead in Iraq and 4 million Iraqis who have been displaced or forced to become refugees. We kill in greater numbers. We kill more indiscriminately. Our drones, warplanes, heavy artillery, naval bombardments, machine guns, missiles and so-called special forces—state-run death squads—have decapitated far more people, including children, than Islamic State has. When Islamic State burned a Jordanian pilot alive in a cage it replicated what the United States does daily to families by incinerating them in their homes in bombing strikes. It replicated what Israeli warplanes do in Gaza. Yes, what Islamic State did was cruder. But morally it was the same.
I once asked the co-founder of the militant group Hamas, Dr. Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi, why Hamas sanctioned suicide bombings, which left Israeli civilians and children dead, when the Palestinians had the moral high ground as an occupied people. “We will stop killing their children and civilians as soon as they stop killing our children and civilians,” he told me. He noted that the number of Israeli children who had been killed at that time was a couple of dozen, as opposed to hundreds of Palestinian children. Since 2000, 133 Israeli and 2,061 Palestinian children have lost their lives. Suicide bombing is an act of desperation. It is, like Israel’s saturation bombing of Gaza, a war crime. But when seen as a response to unchecked state terror it is understandable. Dr. Rantisi was assassinated in April 2004 by Israel when it fired a Hellfire missile at his car in Gaza from an Apache attack helicopter. His son Mohammed, in the vehicle with him, also died in the attack. The downward spiral, more than a decade after these murders, continues.
Those who oppose us offer a vision of a new world. We offer nothing in return. They offer a counterweight to the neoliberal lie. They speak for its victims, trapped in squalid slums in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America. They condemn the grotesque hedonism, the society of spectacle, rejection of the sacred, profligate consumption, personal wealth as the primary basis for respect and authority, blind celebration of the technocrat, sexual commodification—including a culture dominated by pornography—and the drug-induced lethargy that are used by all dying regimes to keep the masses distracted and disempowered. Many jihadis, before they became violent fundamentalists, fell victim to these forces. There are hundreds of millions of people like them who have been betrayed by the neoliberal order. They are a powder keg. And we offer them nothing.
The wretched of the earth increasingly do not believe in the efficacy of nonviolence. They saw how nonviolence failed in Tunisia, which contributes the largest number of jihadis to the fighting in Iraq and Syria, and how it failed in Libya, Egypt and Iraq, a country where the U.S. puppet regime gunned down nonviolent protesters in the streets. The wretched of the earth—including in the United States, where we are seeing a mounting number of assassinations at the hands of police, 23 so far this year—intend to counter state violence with insurrectional violence. They have learned to speak in the language we taught them. Keep shooting unarmed black men and women in the streets of American cities while ignoring the nonviolent protests calling for an end to the state lynching and terror, and guess what will happen?
“Once their rage explodes, they recover their lost coherence, they experience self-knowledge through reconstruction of themselves; from afar we see their war as the triumph of barbarity,” Frantz Fanon wrote in “The Wretched of the Earth,” “but it proceeds on its own to gradually emancipate the fighter and progressively eliminates the colonial darkness inside and out. As soon as it begins it is merciless. Either one must remain terrified or become terrifying—which means surrendering to the dissociations of a fabricated life or conquering the unity of one’s native soil. When the peasants lay hands on a gun, the old myths fade, and one by one the taboos are overturned: a fighter’s weapon is his humanity. For in the first phase of the revolt killing is a necessity: killing a European is killing two birds with one stone, eliminating in one go oppressor and oppressed: leaving one man dead and the other man free.”
Do those in power read history? Or maybe this is what they want. Once the wretched of the earth morph into Islamic State, or adopt counterviolence, the neoliberal order can lift the final fetters that are imposed upon it and start to kill with impunity. Neoliberal ideologues, after all, are also utopian fanatics. And they, too, know only how to speak in the language of force. They are our version of Islamic State.
The binary world the neoliberals created—a world of masters and serfs, a world where the wretched of the earth are demonized and subdued by a loss of freedom, by “austerity” and violence, a world where only the powerful and the wealthy have privileges and rights—will condemn us to a horrifying dystopia. The emerging revolt, inchoate, seemingly disconnected, is rising up from the bowels of the earth. We see its flashes and spurts. We see its ideology of rage and anguish. We see its utopianism and its corpses. The more despair and desperation are manufactured by the neoliberal order, whether in Athens, Baghdad or Ferguson, the more the forces of state repression are used to quell unrest and extract the last drops of blood from collapsing economies, the more violence will become the primary language of resistance.
Those of us who seek to create a world that has hope of viability have little time left. The neoliberal order, despoiling the Earth and enslaving the vulnerable, has to be eradicated. This will happen only when we place ourselves in direct opposition to it, when we are willing to engage in the acts of self-sacrifice and sustained revolt that allow us to obstruct and dismantle every aspect of neoliberal machinery. I believe we can do this through nonviolence. But I am not blind to the inevitable rise of counterviolence, caused by the myopia and greed of the neoliberal mandarins. Peace and harmony may not engulf the Earth if we succeed, but if we do not remove the ruling elites from power, if we do not overthrow the neoliberal order, and if we do not do it soon, we are doomed.
(Chris, I was going to publish excerpts from this article but there was little that could be excised without lessening the article’s impact. The article is probably the most important article I have ever read and it comes at a time when the world is struggling to avoid a nuclear war and deal effectively with Global Warming.
Please forgive me, Chris and Tom. Allow me to add my little voice to yours. If other bloggers join in, we might be able to sway some minds and bring about desperately needed change!)
Posted by Dennis M. on Aug 28, 2015 in Posts
A White Man’s Fear in a Frightened America
By Frank Nuessle
“Reading Ta-Nehisi Coates’ new book about his experience of being black in White America has touched a place of deep-seated fear and unacknowledged anguish buried deep inside of me.
Why would I, a sixty something, tall, blue eyed, well educated, white man who has lived a privileged life in White America, be so afraid?
I think it’s because Coates is right when he points out that we “American Dreamers” espouse Freedom for All, while at the same time, we build our privileged lifestyle ‘on the backs of our fellow humans.’ In more recent times, technology has freed us ‘to plunder not just the bodies of humans but the body of the earth itself.” The hypocrisy of America’s actions in the world stand clearly opposed to our vision of our country as “the greatest and noblest nation ever to exist, a lone champion standing between the white city of democracy and the terrorists, rapists, barbarians, and other enemies of civilization.”
It frightens me that we Dreamers might reap what we have sown. If so, all of us, the rich and the poor, the innocent and the guilty, will suffer the consequences. How does America wake up to these consequences and escape from our current dream that is so divorced from reality?
Today America has no language, no story, for such a renewal. The rejuvenation of hope and belief in our democratic system is hampered because we live out of false belief about the nature of our humanness. Our cultural belief, which has spawned naked capitalism, is that we humans are just animals with more sophisticated brains, so that life is merely a constant struggle for survival and then you die. These beliefs are fed to us daily by mass media along with the false belief that America is still the shining exemplar of democratic values where honesty and hard work pays off. This is simply not true.”
Friends, I came across this article and this section of it struck me as particularly pertinent to where we are in world affairs (See Information Clearing House to read the whole thing).
The Americans still live in a world of their own and their actions, always ill-considered and illogical, drive us ever closer to a nuclear war that will probably lead us to extinction.
Posted by Dennis M. on Aug 26, 2015 in Posts
Happy kids from many nations!
9/11 does seem to be a pivotal moment in the bloody history of the U.S.A. It has allowed the U.S. to march across the world doing whatever it wants.
American killing and destruction began with the slaughter of Native Indians, then slavery. Then they fought against themselves (the North and South) and included France and Britain in the mix.
Since then, waging constant war has been part of the American dream which it seems is part of its plan to gain control over the world and impose its Fascist regime upon everyone.
As a non-American, I shake my head when I reflect upon the erratic progress of the U.S. Somewhere along the way it seems to have lost the plot and, instead of becoming noble and altruistic, it has turned itself into a killer nation that no amount of blood and destruction seems to be able to satisfy.
Where will it end? In a nuclear firestorm? In a Big Brother world? Will our planet eventually become a replica of the moon? Will our greed destroy us?
There are humans in this world who are thinkers, who can see the tragedy unfolding. Unfortunately these thinkers, who constantly warn about the coming catastrophe, have no power. The power is held by the militarists, the capitalists, the oligarchs, the owners of the MSM, the psycho-politicians, etc.
Peace will come when greed is banished, when being rich becomes a crime against humanity, when we accept that all humans should enjoy peace and should share equally in the world’s riches, and the children of the world should know only laughter rather than constant tears!
My heart aches for such a world while the scum of the earth continue to destroy our beautiful planet and care about nothing other than becoming more rich and more powerful.
Never again will she sing or dance!
Posted by Dennis M. on Aug 21, 2015 in Posts
Formidable but flighty!
On land, the Collins looks formidable. It’s just no good at sea!
No doubt about the Yanks. They use their Allies over and over. Sometimes they even abuse them, a word closer to the truth!
Australia, with a hopelessly under-strength and out-of-date air force (that is only rivaled by its submarine fleet for abject military weakness), has been requested by the world’s biggest warmonger to bomb Syria more often and with more venom. In other words: get serious! Show clearly you are worthy of being described as ‘our ally’.
Of course, our fearless though brainless leader Tony, “the Assassin” Abbott, is thrilled by the request. If the Pentagon requested Tony to drop his trousers, he would, permanently if required. Perhaps the world would be thrilled to once again see his bright red undergarments romantically called: budgie-smugglers.
Of course, if Tony was asked to bomb Putin in Moscow, he would try but our Tiger Moths only have a range of a few hundred miles. Alice Springs might get an unpleasant surprise!
What chance does Australia have with a mad monk as its leader? We are easy pickings for the Yanks who have more military equipment than the rest of the world combined and more psychos to the square inch than any other nation. They congregate in the Pentagon and plot and plan and plan and plot how best to gain control of the rest of the world.
Mind you, with military bases in almost every other nation and legions of back-boneless nations like Australia, Britain, France, etc, ready to do their bidding, it could be argued that they already have control of the world.
Of course, when Putin is shown riding horses bareback and catching lions in his bare hands this causes a few shivers up the spines of some but not Tony and his forty corporate thieves, oh no! He just says: “All the way with LBJ,” and adopts his simian, knuckle-dragging posture for emphasis.
Of course, if the U.S. eventually manages to force Russia into a nuclear war we might discover that the American Superpower is all illusion, as was evidenced in Vietnam and Afghanistan.
Where will Tony go next to grovel? Fiji seems his only option! Or New Zealand!
Posted by Dennis M. on Aug 20, 2015 in Posts
“How would the Greeks defend against a massive invading force? Where would the first battle take place? Who would lead a coalition of otherwise non-united defenders?
The job of leading fell to Sparta and Leonidas. He would assemble an advance guard of approximately 6,300 men to meet the Persians as they moved further into Greece. Three hundred of those would be Spartans – about four percent of the total Greek army. Only those with a living son, to carry on the Spartan blood-line if a father died in battle, would be chosen.
The first line of defense would be at Thermopylae, an area in central Greece (north of the Gulf of Corinth) where three narrow passes form a gap between mountains and sea. (Today, a road is located where the sea washed ashore in 480.)”
Most people are familiar with the story of Leonidas how, long ago, with a few soldiers, he defeated the might of the Persians.
By comparison, the modern Greeks are more like cattle. What are they doing to stop the Europeans led by the U.S invading and stripping their nation flawed though it may be? They have capitulated without a whimper!
Gird your loins, you obese Greeks. Find again your courage and fight for your rights while you still have some.
Send the European carpetbaggers packing!
Posted by Dennis M. on Aug 19, 2015 in Posts
Dear Friends, my apologies. I have been in hospital for a few weeks after succumbing to an infection which bowled me over bigtime. We humans are such fragile things especially as we age.
The reality of our temporary status on Earth suddenly gains new significance as we cope with new issues that threaten to overwhelm us. However, the secret is to seek out the best of medical care which, luckily, I am now receiving.
Before I found the right care I had to endure some medical fools and the health system has many of them. They, collectively, have massive egos and love to show how much power they have over the lives of mere mortals. Be warned, when you enter a hospital, suddenly hospital authorities can gain control over your life.
That I lived to tell this tale is a miracle in itself and demonstrates my will to continue with life and try to improve its quality even though adversity strikes. Fight on, friends! We can make the world a better place even if the villains and rogues may seem to have the upper hands most of the time.
As I recuperate, be patient with me. I will try to get up to speed relatively quickly!
Posted by Dennis M. on Jun 27, 2015 in Posts
This is American justice!
“We’re just washing your face, haw, haw, haw!”
“Hey, those drones do a fabulous job, don’t they!”
Friends, are you like me, scared out of your mind by the way the world is going? Do you go to bed each night wondering if you’ll wake in the morning to a world already semi-destroyed by nukes? Do you worry about the future for your children?
Do you listen to the television or read the newspapers and wonder then the world went mad, when we humans lost the plot, when we became deranged, when we began to talk about using tactical nukes, when people began to claim that they were exceptional, that their country was the greatest in world history.
Do you wonder about why Governments in many places now routinely use torture, why our police forces dress more and more like Darth Vader and use armored vehicles and tasers and sprays that render you unconscious, or bash you to death in the cells and claim you fell over.
Have you wondered about why the U.S. and its criminal buddies are all over the Middle East, why they have military bases spread all over the world, why they are provoking Russia and China, why they are forming alliances with other capitalist nations, why they are bribing and threatening all manner of countries to toe the American line or face sanctions which starve and kill their children and cripple their trade or their access to food?
And how do you feel about your Government listening to your communications and gathering data and filling your life with fear about the Death Cults that hide behind every shadow, governments that take away your pensions and financial help with bringing up your children?
And what do you think about Tony Abbott and his right-wing thugs and how he does whatever the U.S. wants regardless of its damage to China our main trading partner and how he allows the Yanks to put their armies on our soil and lets them use our land to launch drones and erect spying facilities and service their navies and he gives American Television open access to Australia so they can flood our country with American propaganda spewed out by American Corporations and the American Government.
And what are your thoughts on the disintegration of our political system, the musical chairs played by our political leaders, the lies all politicians tell, the dirty tricks they play and what about the criminal behavior of the MSM and the control of the news and television by cretinous people like Murdoch?
And what about the economy, its vicissitudes, its manipulation by Banks, the threats by Banks to employ BAIL-IN if they suffer losses in their investments and the use of capital gains and tax and super lurks by the rich who control most of each nation’s wealth?
Who’s world is this? Where are we headed?
Are we being taken to the dry cleaners?
Posted by Dennis M. on Jun 19, 2015 in Posts
“Suffer the little children to come unto me!”
The Pope has, within one of his Encyclicals, claimed that the world has become an immense pile of Filth.
I thought that he was referring to the sins of the Catholic Clergy who seem to have a strong penchant for sexually molesting the children of the 1.2 billion children in his Church, something that is real filth.
But no, the Pope was referring to the rape of the world by Corporations and insatiably Greedy Tycoons and Imperialists who steal from the poor to enrich themselves to a state where they can procure every depraved whim they can dream up yet still they want more money and more power.
This is an example of human filth.
“Suffer the little children,” Jesus says, but I don’t think even He imagined what horrors that that statement should come to mean even in his own Church and, let’s face it, every other iteration of religion.
The problem is within humans. We are driven by desires over which we have little control, some fathers and mothers molest their own children, who can guess at the horrors that occur in the typical family home to innocent little kids who have no protection at all from predatory parents. In fact, we are currently throwing away the mother and father paradigm, feeling instead that the normality of opposite attraction can be better replaced by male-male unions, female-female unions, etc.
We consume with no regard to the finiteness of the world’s resource. We use fossil fuels which are causing global warming which in turn is creating weather abnormalities and droughts and floods. We are poisoning our soil, our water, our air. We are interfering with the genetic qualities of our food sources and filling the world with dangerous chemicals which cause cancer. We over-eat and suffer from obesity and lack of exercise.
The photograph below shows the beauty of our world. If we forget about the physical damage that humans inflict upon our earthly home every minute, we can be serene. Unfortunately the damage is done and is ongoing.
Natural beauty is despoiled by the human touch.
How do we return the world to its pristine state? The answer is that we can’t and nuclear war will ensure that the world is destroyed and insane, greedy humans disappear forever!
Posted by Dennis M. on Jun 16, 2015 in Posts
The world has never seen any politician the equal of George W when it comes to stupidity, intellectual poverty, and simian behavior (except perhaps Tony Abbott who is currently hopelessly miss-managing Australia as he takes from the Poor and gives to the Rich).
Brother Jeb Bush, once Governor of Florida for two terms, has thrown his hat in the ring in the upcoming Presidential Poll for the Greatest, Exceptional, Noble, Inspiring Nation In The History Of The World (also known as DimsvilleUSA or Killing Jus’ Comes Naturally To Us!’.
Yes, soon the world will be swept up in political euphoria as we watch the endless parade of goons, dimwits, cowmen, carpetbaggers, and lobotomized buffoons as they lie their way towards glory surrounded by a million America flags and adoring crowds.
Lots of money will be thrown at the Candidates as those who make billions out of the American Way (the Rich and the Corporations) take yet another generation of brain-dead voters to the dry cleaners.
Now Jeb doesn’t look as entertaining as George was. The latter, a clown among men, was heard to say things like:
“Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren’t able to practice their love with women all across this country.” — Poplar Bluff, Missouri; September 6, 2004
“I’m going to put people in my place, so when the history of this administration is written at least there’s an authoritarian voice saying exactly what happened.” (Announcing he would write a book about “the 12 toughest decisions” he had to make. Presumably “authoritative” was intended.)
“See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.”
“I’ll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office.” —President George W. Bush, in an interview with the Jerusalem Post, Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008
“I’m the commander, see. I don’t need to explain — I do not need to explain why I say things. That’s the interesting thing about being the President. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don’t feel like I owe anybody an explanation.”
“Yesterday, you made note of my—the lack of my talent when it came to dancing. But nevertheless, I want you to know I danced with joy. And no question Liberia has gone through very difficult times”- Speaking with the president of Liberia, Washington, D.C., Oct. 22, 2008 
“This is still a dangerous world. It’s a world of madmen and uncertainty and potential mental losses.” (missile launches?)
“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”
“I’m telling you there’s an enemy that would like to attack America, Americans, again. There just is. That’s the reality of the world. And I wish him all the very best.” —Washington, D.C., Jan. 12, 2009
Thanks go to Wiki for the above selection of quotes.
So George has become a legend of sorts and it remains to be seen whether Jeb can cut the mustard. Of Course Hilary might end up in the Oval Office and be ministered to by a male intern, perhaps a black one! Hubba, hubba.
Posted by Dennis M. on Jun 7, 2015 in Posts
Beau and his father.
I read about the death of Beau Biden at 46. He was the son of Joe Biden. He died recently from brain cancer.
P.S. I guess you can’t die from brain cancer if you don’t have one!
Posted by Dennis M. on Jun 7, 2015 in Posts
“Man, thou art foolish and fickle. Reap the whirlwind!”
Dear Friends, I saw a movie called San Andreas last night. It was a Hollywood version of what would occur if the San Andreas fault line ever faltered!
It was, like Hollywood epics, full of ear-shattering special effects and comic book heroes. People were killed…, sorry, Americans were killed by the millions but, shining through all the death and destruction, the heroic, indispensable, larger than life bravery of Americans, though highly suspect, shone like a beacon on a hill.
I spent sometime wondering whether it was a satire or an epic. I decided it was an epic of satirical proportions, one that stretched the limited imagination of the movie makers to extremes. Each facet of the unfolding catastrophic earthquake was announced by ear-splitting crunching which then saw our heroes escape from a series of harrowing traps, crushed cars, collapsed lifts, unbelievable tsunamis, falling buildings, dams and bridges, etc.
The heroes and heroines managed to escape each tragedy only to be confronted by even worse ones but, somehow, nothing was insurmountable to our family who themselves were dealing with family issues like divorce, divided loyalties, split allegiances, lost love, etc.
My mind wandered a little as the scenes of catastrophe came thick and fast. I thought how closely the movie mirrored what would happen if China were to respond to threatening American provocations and a nuclear war started, a highly likely scenario.
Of course, an earthquake is something that nature dishes up whereas nuclear war is the result of human insanity and the total inability of humans to embrace commonsense. Why aren’t humans addressing the problems of earthquakes around the Ring of Fire and, instead, figuring out how to make the Earth a safer place to live given the existence of volcanoes, climate change, asteroids, imperialism, pollution, child cancer, etc?
I pose these questions only semi-seriously because I know that humans are not very smart. As well, they seem to love war and mass killings, especially the Americans who seem to be quite a few slices of bread short of a sandwich.
The end of the movie came quickly following the unrolling of a giant American flag on the deck of a warship. I was tempted to stand up sing God Bless America but, given that Australians are nearly as American as Americans, I feared I might be torn from limb to limb.
God Bless Hollywood! It’s where dreams are made but, unfortunately, some of them come true.
Posted by Dennis M. on May 29, 2015 in Posts
Dear Friends, please look carefully at these two photographs.
One is of an imported cane toad happily chewing on another Australian native mammal while the other shows a very self-satisfied politician who has just made life even better for the rich and big-timed himself by sending off Australian troops to another U.S. war zone.
It’s the eyes that hold the greatest similarity although that’s not to say there are not other points of serious commonality.
There is something sinister about the top photo, frightening even. The toad does not look triumphant but the politician does. The toad is just satisfying its need for food but the politician has other urges, more complex urges. He wants food too but he also loves lashings of power and seeks it constantly.
If I had to share a cell for a week with the toad or the politician, I’d choose the former.
How about you?