Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Putin's Head Rears

A couple of days after the 2016 US-American election farce, I could not contain my relief that at least Hillary Clinton wasn't going to start World War III. (Unlike liberal-progressive idiots, I was unnerved by her talk of imposing a no-fly zone over Syria even if the Russians and Assad said that they would refuse to comply. Unlike liberal-progressive idiots I tend to want to avoid provoking another nuclear power. Because unlike liberal-progressive idiots, I can process the fact that nuclear war is bad even if a Democratic president causes it.) (Also, don't get me wrong; I wasn't happy about Trump. Just re-read the previous bracketed sentences.) It was before the start of work and I sat with a co-worker. He's a white guy about my age. (We're a minority at this workplace.) I expressed my sentiments about avoiding nuclear war and the conversation soon descended into general observations about the whole election. He told me he agreed with Trump about illegal immigrants. How dare poor people want jobs. Or, if it's to Canada they're sneaking into, free health care.

I pointed out that in the case of the Mexicans, NAFTA had destroyed their agricultural economy and that three million people would have starved to death if a million of them hadn't fled to the USA to work and send money home. His response?

"Let them starve."

I can't fathom what such a mindset produces as it goes through the motions all those waking hours. I'm pretty sure I don't want to know.

Another co-worker is from India. I'd gotten inklings that he likes the BJP government. I showed him an article from CounterPunch about India's economic reforms saying it had caused living standards to fall. It also said something about a de-monetization program which I knew nothing about. I told my co-worker that I, personally, didn't know what to think. I wanted his opinion on the article. He read it and, ignoring all its major claims, told me that the de-monetization program was about stopping political corruption. Paper money can be used to bribe officials and by politicians to bribe others. He then said there were critics of it. Including:

"Poor people can't get food and blah, blah, blah."

I would think that people (poor or not) being unable to feed themselves would be a serious charge worthy of more than just "blah, blah, blah." I mean, how else could we use this phrase? "He's just angry at me because I killed his family and blah, blah, blah." "So I drove drunk and hit people and blah, blah, blah."

Poor people in India can't raise the wherewithal to pursue a better life in Canada. That takes resources that they don't have just to get started. They're stuck there and if they can't buy food because they have no paper cash and no bank accounts or access to a bank at all, then they'll be more upset than "blah, blah, blah."

I guess I have more empathy than a lot of people do. There was an explosion in Scarborough. A house blew-up due to a gas leak. A woman in the neighbourhood is still traumatised by it. It broke all her windows and shook her whole house violently. If a car back-fires she panics, almost half a year later. I was reminded of another co-workers contemptuous dismissal of the idea that refugees from war-torn countries would be traumatised by hearing the fighter-jets of an air-show display over Toronto.

So, apparently there's nothing concrete in any of these US intelligence agencies' claims about Putin hacking the DNC and Podesta emails to help Donald Trump. It's a ridiculous idea anyway, that Trump would be Putin's puppet after Putin provided marginal assistance to Trump. I can't begin to imagine the continued thought processes of anyone stupid enough to believe such drivel.

It's become quite clear to me that liberal-progressives will swallow anything if it's in a pretty package. Justin Trudeau and Barack Obama are cool, groovy, progressive dudes because they look nice and act nice. So forget about the wars. The assassinations. The denial of social-economic justice to oppressed groups. The pro-corporate policies. All of it.

I give up.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Hillary's "identity politics"

I was re-reading this post of mine when I read this:

Trump will probably abandon any pretences about controlling the avariciousness of corporate America if faced with their genuine opposition. He'll only be allowed to retain those policies that benefit capitalists or those to which they are indifferent too. This means his mass deportations, police harassment of Blacks, slashing taxes, and generally making the world safe for billionaires.
And I thought: "That's the same thing with the Democrats! "only allowed to retain those policies that benefit capitalists or those to which they are indifferent too."

"So what do we care if the person maximizing our profits is Black, or a woman, or a fag? So long as they produce!"

Whereas with Trump:

"So yeah! Who cares if some Spics get deported or some Niggers get shot? So long as we're maximizing profits!"

Selling your soul (by which I mean your mind) to a political party is always and everywhere a bad idea.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Putin's Rearing Head

So, yesterday it was established that Russia is much poorer and weaker than the United States. As such, it would be foolish of any Russian leader to provoke a conflict with the United States. Unless said leader was insane. Which Putin isn't. At least not to that extent. (It was also established that almost all the top politicians in evil systems of political-economy are a little more psychopathic than average folks.) (Oh yeah. I also discussed the evil and insane nature of capitalist society.)

"But what about the Ukraine thwap?? What about Crimea??? What about Syria??? What about the murdered journalists???? Putin is a BAD MAN!!!!!"

First of all, the murdered journalists: Yes. Putin IS a BAD MAN. I've never said otherwise. (Just as I've always agreed that Trump is a bad man. Just as I agree that many of Trump's most fervid followers are troglodytes.) Putin has had people killed. This is bad. But should we start a war with Russia then? Should we support US efforts to destabilize Russia and topple Putin? In the actual world that we're living in, what would be the results of the USA successfully removing Putin from power?

Well, this is where you liberals have to pull your heads out of your asses and face reality! The US political-economic system is evil. It's leadership is evil. They would either let Russia fall entirely to pieces, causing great dislocation and misery. Or they will install yet another loathsome stooge in the tradition of Boris Yeltsin. And we remember how bad Yeltsin was. He was so bad that a great deal of Putin's domestic support comes from the fact that he has reversed the steep decline in Russia's fortunes that were the result of the drunken buffoon Yeltsin's slavish devotion to Western diktat.

I was going to find a link and a quote to how badly the Russian Federation suffered under Yeltsin, but all I could find was propaganda. Either sources like Russia Today, which I didn't bother reading, or (and in much greater number) pro-Western drivel that downplays the role of neo-liberal hack economists and neo-liberal scum politicians in thoroughly discrediting "democracy" in the eyes of the Russian people. One British source disgustingly referred to the "proclivity" of Russian men to die young during those years. As if this "proclivity" was only indulged during the Yeltsin years and (for some reason) discarded in the Putin years. No. I remember at the time reading about the explosion of vast inequality, incredibe poverty, intense suffering and misery, caused by Yeltsin's imposition of these barbaric and stupid policies. I remember how the IMF blatantly intervened in Yeltsin's final re-election campaign with an entirely political multi-billion dollar loan. (Because otherwise he would have been defeated and the looting of Russia's resources would slow down.) You can read the chapter on Russia in Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine for background on this. The Russians were made homeless in the tens of thousands. Their health care system collapsed. Unemployment sky-rocketed, inflation sky-rocketed and savings were wiped-out. The people who died in their millions to defeat Hitler for us; the people for whom Western leaders and propagandists extended so much concern for their well-being when they suffered under the yoke of communism, were left to their miserable fates by these same leaders and propagandists so long as the "free-market" was obeyed.

Putin is a gangster. An autocrat. He has his own circle of oligarchs. But he brought the worst of the Yeltsin era policies to an end. The Russian's living standards went from hideous to merely grim. And for that, the Russian people are evidently grateful. But to do this, Putin has had to exercise some independence from Western, which is to say, US-American demands. And make no mistake about it: THAT is what the vermin in Washington D.C., London (and Ottawa) finds so objectionable about Putin. Just as they did with Libya's Qaddafi, Iraq's Saddam, Venezuela's Chavez and now Syria's Assad. Look at the subsidies, favours, indulgences given to the mass-murdering but pro-Western Israelis or the vile, head-chopping but pro-Western House of Saud to see what you can get away with so long as you toe the line.

Putin used Russian satellites to tell the world that the supposedly ultimate evil of ISIS was using mile-long convoys of tanker trucks to ship oil from their Iraq conquests to Turkey. Who in Turkey was receiving this oil? Why hadn't the NATO air campaign targeted these convoys? If Russian satellites could see them, then surely US-American ones could? Make no mistake about it: This is Putin's sin. He has enough power and enough independence to frustrate US policies. That's it. For that he must be toppled. For exposing the "War on Terror" for the bullshit that it is, he must be removed. The plan for the Middle East is weakness and instability. Because this is a breeding ground for terrorism. And terrorism helps continue the justification for the Military-Industrial complex. This also keeps Arab alternatives to the super-corrupt stooge dictatorships from ever being realized. And don't forget, Baathist Syria once annoyed the racist scum in Israel. It must be destroyed.

The US-American leadership want a world safe for capitalist monsters to gambol and cavort and exploit and destroy. There must be no opposition; none whatsoever to their monstrosity. No matter how willing to play along they might be: Any shred of independence is intolerable and must be stamped out. Putin has elevated a highly conservative Russian Orthodox Church to great social inflluence (and this is to the great social regression of the Russians), he has created within Russia's borders a capitalist paradise of no regulations, miniscule taxation and little in the way of workers' rights. But he exercises an independent foreign policy and restricts the power of foreigners to embezzle Russian wealth. That is why he is being targeted.

That and because the mass-murdering, corrupt scum-bag Hillary Clinton needs to deflect from her own miserable failure and unpopularity and her corruption.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Putin and the Rearing of His Head

I've actually been fairly productive in the 3-d world. But it's the damned holidays so I've blogged a bit. A bit too much about USA stuff. I was hoping to say something about the Canadian scene before I go back to work. Alas! Responses to a comment I left at one of Montreal Simon's recent posts have caused me to wish another post about domestic US-American politics and US-Russian relations.

Let's begin with some stuff we can all agree with, shall we?

A nuclear war between Russia and the United States would be a bad thing. (Agreed?)

596 is a bigger number than 66. Much bigger really. Considering that those numbers describe the relative military budgets of the USA and Russia.

18.6 is bigger than 1.3. Which is to say that the USA's $18.6 trillion GDP dwarfs Russia's $1.3 trillion.

Again; can we agree on these simple facts? If so, then maybe we can try to agree on more speculative issues.

For instance; can we agree that a much smaller person, if they are of sound mind, will not pick a physical confrontation with a much larger, stronger person? Is this generally true? Because it seems to me that a sane Russian leader would not initiate a military confrontation with the USA. And, while we're all of us, at least a little bit crazy, and that those who enter into and rise to the top of evil and insane systems are, by default, crazier than we are, they are obviously still rational on some levels. Moreover, none of the actors I'm going to be talking about are absolute dictators. Were they to act insanely in such a way as to jeopardize the continuance of the insane, evil systems they are a part of, others within those systems would restrain them.

For example; both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are evil psychopaths. These qualities have helped them rise to the top (or so close to it!) of the system of evil insanity that is US politics. But Obama's insanity is not such as to lead him to chop his country's military budget by 99% and spend the savings on untied foreign aid. And even if he did try to do that, others around him would prevent it. In the same way, were the evil psychopath Vladimir Putin to decide to try to re-conquer Eastern Europe (much of which is now part of the NATO alliance) and also expand the Russian Empire into the Middle East, others around him would see him risking the continued existence of their country and they would restrain him. But Putin is not insane in that sort of way. In fact, he is fairly rational in that respect. Given the power imbalances between his country and the USA, he is forced to give much more consideration to his actions and he appears very rational.

Now then, while these assertions of mine are more subjective than the simple number comparisons that preceded them, I can't see how anything in them is controversial or really debatable. Neither the leaders of Russia, nor those of the United States, are gibbering lunatics screaming at their hallucinations between playing with their own faeces. In many respects Vladimir Putin is a rational actor who will have coherent reasons for his actions. Especially in foreign affairs.

Of the leaders, I will even say that when it comes to foreign affairs, Putin is more rational than Barack Obama and much more so than Hillary Clinton. He has to be because he has a weaker country. A much weaker country. If you have two high-schoolers, each of normal intelligence, and (by all of society's standards) fairly sane and rational, with one of them being a bully of great physical strength, and the other being a diminutive freshman, it first of all stands to reason that the diminutive freshman will not initiate a fight with the bully. (Just as I've been saying all along.) If either of them is going to start a conflict, it will be the bully. And in this scenario, it is easy to imagine that the bully's target will exert much more consideration and brain-power in trying to avoid a confrontation and to extricate himself from the conflict. The bullied person will be trying to preserve their physical integrity, their dignity, their capacity for future activity, etc., whereas the bully can spend more of his brain-power on pursuing his cheerleader girlfriend's best friend, and getting the answers for next week's math test from the nerd and about his campaign of bullying against other dweebs and frosh.

Some of you might object to my characterizations of the USA's political system as evil and insane. Some of you might concede to that characterization but not extend it to Obama and Clinton. (I'm going to assume that none of my readers have any objection to describing the grim, authoritarian cesspool of violence and corruption of Russia's system as evil and insane and extending this diagnosis to Putin.) This is a sign that you have been successfully brainwashed. Of course the USA's political system is evil and insane! It is based on capitalism! And standing alone, on its own merits, without any deflections about other political-economic systems, capitalism is based on the inhuman, amoral, psychopathic notion that personal profit is the highest aspiration and that other human beings are merely means to this end.

When the hero of "free-market" nincompoops, Milton Friedman, said that shareholder profit was the ONLY moral obligation of a corporation, he was being serious. For Friedman (and for all his deluded followers) environment, community, compassion, and much else besides, are all irrelevant. Putting such "values" into practice ... well, we don't have to imagine the consequences, we see evidence enough of the disaster throughout the history of the capitalist system and into the present day.

The United States is dominated by its capitalist class. In recent decades the leadership of that class itself has fallen almost entirely into the hands of the financial sector. In 1999, thanks to the determined efforts of both Democrats and Republicans, this sector was relieved of the legislative restrictions that had been imposed on them in 1933 after they had almost destroyed the world economy back in 1929. And what did they do with their new-found freedoms? They engaged in reckless and often criminal behaviour that ended up blowing-up in all our faces in 2007 and, as in 1929, almost destroying the world economy. Since 2008 we have been mired in economic stagnation as financial sector parasites, having been rescued from the consequences of their actions by taxpayer bail-outs, strive to wring whatever wealth has been created in the aftermath, leaving practically nothing for the rest of the population.

The US political system is about aiding and abetting these selfish monsters. That is why Barack Obama violated the US Constitution and had the Department of Homeland Security conspire with local "law enforcement" services to harass and crush the "Occupy" movement that arose to protest the travesty. It's why, after having had hearings (mainly to satisfy public outrage), the US legislative bodies eviscerated the laws that were debated (again, mainly for the public's consumption) to control these monsters.

The US political system serves capitalism. "Capitalists" are people with "capital." "Wealthy" people tends to refer to people who have a lot of financial wealth. Which is to say: "capital." (You can be "wealthy" in friends or good health. But see how far that takes you in this society.) To serve the wealthy (capitalists) the governor of Michigan cut their taxes. This resulted in revenue shortfalls to the extent that water treatment services were no longer affordable. Rather than reverse these cuts and restore the funding to ensure that the majority of citizens had safe drinking water, the governor of Michigan (himself a wealthy man) implemented some cost-cutting measures which ended up inflicting lead poisoning on the mainly poor and Black population of Flint Michigan.

Here, have a look at the impact of lead poisoning:

Lead poisoning usually occurs over a period of months or years. It can cause severe mental and physical impairment. Young children are most vulnerable.
Children get lead in their bodies by putting the lead containing objects in their mouths. Touching the lead and then putting their fingers in their mouths may also poison them. Lead is more harmful to children because their brains and nervous systems are still developing.
Lead poisoning can be treated, but any damage caused cannot be reversed.
Signs of repeated lead exposure include:
  • abdominal pain
  • abdominal cramps
  • aggressive behavior
  • constipation
  • sleep problems
  • headaches
  • irritability
  • loss of developmental skills in children
  • loss of appetite
  • fatigue
  • high blood pressure
  • numbness or tingling in the extremities
  • memory loss
  • anemia
  • kidney dysfunction
Since a child’s brain is still developing, lead can lead to intellectual disability. Symptoms may include:
  • behavior problems
  • low IQ
  • poor grades at school
  • problems with hearing
  • short- and long-term learning difficulties
  • growth delays
A high, toxic dose of lead poisoning may result in emergency symptoms. These include:
  • severe abdominal pain and cramping
  • vomiting
  • muscle weakness
  • stumbling when walking
  • seizures
  • coma
  • encephalopathy, which manifests as confusion, coma, and seizures
Here's an example of the moral degeneracy of Michigan's Governor Rick Snyder:

This was only days after Snyder was heckled so intensely for his scandalous non-governance during the Flint water crisis that he had to leave a bar—a bar next door to the site of this birthday party. You can understand why he wanted to have the windows “blacked out,” lest anyone see that he was actually enjoying a cake pressed into the shape of luxury store boxes, a Michael Kors bag, and a diamond necklace while his poorest constituents were drinking toxic sludge.
Look at the thing! The good attention to bad detail! There’s sugar tissue paper coming out of a sugar Chanel box. Is there a pair of confectionary gloves inside? 
What evil person’s Pinterest board was this lifted out of? What instructions were given when the cake was ordered? Was there not enough room for a Gucci receipt made out of sugar? Why not just make a cake that says FUCK YOU in red icing?

Finally, here's a look at how other capitalists (these from the pharmaceutical sector) responded to this humanitarian crisis:

Outrage is growing this week amid revelations that the pharmaceutical company Valeant raised the price for its critical lead-poisoning treatment by more than 2,700 percent in a single year.
Before Valeant took control of the medication, known as Calcium EDTA, in 2013, the average price for a package of vials was stable at $950, the medical news outlet STATreported. But once the notorious pharmaceutical company bought it out in a multi-billion dollar deal, it swiftly boosted the price to $7,116 in January 2014 and to $26,927 by December of that year.
"This is a drug that has long been a standard of care, and until recently it was widely accessible at an affordable price," Dr. Michael Kosnett, an associate clinical professor, toldSTAT. He also contacted U.S. Congress. "There's no justification for the astronomical price increases by Valeant, which limit availability of the drug to children with life-threatening lead poisoning."

This is just one example of how the USA's political-economic system is evil and insane.

The USA's foreign policy (which includes the exercise of military power) is overwhelmingly dedicated to preserving access to the foreign resources that the USA's elites need to maintain their system as well as to spread the system itself world-wide. Here's former US Marine Major General Smedley Butler:

WAR is a racket. It always has been.
It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.
A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.
Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few -- the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill.
And what is this bill?
This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.

Is anyone still so stupid as to believe that the USA invaded Iraq so as to destroy Saddam Hussein's "Weapons of Mass Destruction" and to implant the seed of democracy in that land? (They don't even have democracy at home!)

If anyone wants to dispute these simple facts with me, by all means, leave a coherent argument in the comments section.

I'd like to conclude this post with a proposition. This is that while neither the Democrats or even the Republicans are shrieking lunatics, they are more unstable psychologically than is Putin's crew. And the reason for this is "hubris."
exaggerated pride or self-confidence
The USA is, by far, the most powerful country in the world. It is arguably, relatively more powerful than at any other time in its existence. In 1945, all of Europe was prostrate, Japan was in ashes, China was an undeveloped, devastated basket-case. Russia though, ruled the Soviet Union. And while it, itself was devastated, it had a mighty, well-trained, experienced, permanent army and a new empire. The USA was just moving into the political space being vacated by the former European great powers.

Today, Russia is at a fraction of its powers. US-American corporations dominate pretty much all sectors. Its ideological strength (think popular culture) is paramount. Europe and Japan are wealthy subordinates. China is a rising power but in no way capable of initiating a serious challenge. It is not outlandish to imagine that growing up and coming to maturity within a country as powerful as this, and being such people as to wish to control and guide a country as powerful as this, that people like Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John McCain, Mitt Romney, etc., are all at least a little bent and that they would be susceptible to become mad with power. That like a bully who has no challengers and therefore has never felt truly threatened, the USA could become arrogant, sloppy, careless. (I left Donald Trump out of that list because there is no question that he is more unstable than all of them. He is, in fact, a symptom of the malaise that I'm talking about here.)

To make me sound smarter than I am, I shall appropriate for this argument the phrase "Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad."

If there is any country in the world in dangers of hubris, and therefore endangering the world as we know it, it is the United States, and not Russia.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

"Driftglass": Evil or Stupid?

To hear him tell it, the blogger "Driftglass" is a precariously employed former managerial sort who has been fucked-over by corporate imbeciles and right-wing economic policies. Intelligent, aware, embittered, "Driftglass" spends a lot of his time exposing right-wing idiocy and perfidy.

I first encountered his blog in the dark days of the bush II regime when liberals and leftists were all on the same team; in that we knew who the enemy was and we all knew bullshit when we saw it. "Driftglass" (I'll drop the quotation marks from here on in.) is especially good at trashing the hypocrisies and absurdities of right-wing, mainstream pundits, especially the detestable David Brooks.

And this is one thing about liberals: They make sense. They criticize their right-wing opponents in ways that more thorough-going leftists can appreciate. Whereas with right-wing critics of liberal or leftist politicians, you get stuff like "He's a fag." "Kill the bitch." "Cuck!" or some variant of racism. And of course there's the colossal hypocrisy of right-wingers and scandals. A right-wing politician can be found standing over a recently murdered body with blood dripping from their hands and anyone who accuses them of murder is a "leftard conspiracy theorist." Just look at how these "lock 'em up or hang 'em high" "law and order" types stuck by massive hypocrite/buffoon Rob Ford: He of the infamous "zero tolerance for drugs and gangs" who ended up getting caught smoking crack with gangsters. And right-wingers will accuse leftist protesters of being angry to the point of derangement, five seconds before writing about how they'd like to lynch a liberal politician, execute their libtard supporters and then drop a nuclear bomb on Mecca.

Alas though! When one of their own is elected, too many liberals throw all their critical thinking and (worse) principles, out the window. Barack Obama hasn't expanded the war in Afghanistan! Paul Martin did not rob the unemployment insurance program to finance tax-cuts for the wealthy! Bill Cliinton did not throw millions of poor US-Americans into poverty and prisons! Jean Chretien did not slobber over Indonesian despot Suharto and decide that the UBC campus should be a "Charter-free zone" to neutralize protesters. Hillary Clinton didn't back jihaadist nut-bars against Libya's Qaddafi and destroy a country of six million people. Justin Trudeau hasn't pointedly ignored a legal order to provide adequate funding for First Nations youth services, even after cynically voting for an NDP motion that he obey said order and increase that funding. Obama and Hillary haven't backed more jihaadist monsters in Syria forcing millions to flee (thousands drowning in the Mediterranean Sea) while killing tens of thousands in Syria itself!

And on and on it goes. For liberal partisan hacks, anything can be overlooked, and, if people continue to complain, any pathetic, ridiculous rationalizations or excuses will do. "The IMF would have taken us over if Paul Martin hadn't robbed the UI fund!" "Obama is blocked by Republican obstructionists and 'Blue Dog' Democrats!" (Even though he's forever attempting "grand bargains" with the former and supporting the latter against progressive challengers.)

The long and the short of it is that even if liberals' overall beliefs are not idiotic and vile, their partisan behaviour is every bit as contemptible as their right-wing counterparts. (Obviously the NDP isn't immune from this sort of stupidity. Nor is any sort of faction. But the NDP hasn't enjoyed any sort of power in recent years and there's not a lot to talk about at the moment.)

But let's get back to Driftglass. Because he's become insufferable. You see, the Democratic Party coronated the detestable Hillary Clinton as their candidate in the 2016 presidential election. And as a result of the lack of enthusiasm for her, AND as a result of the Electoral College system undermining the results of the actual voting (a system the Democrats were aware of going in) AND as a result of Republican voter suppression laws (which the Democratic leadership has been strangely non-outraged by), Hillary Clinton was narrowly defeated by the quasi-fascist, obnoxious, ignorant buffoon, Donald Trump.

I'd always said that I wouldn't have voted for either of those monsters. Yes. Yes. Trump is a bad man. A horrible man. An ugly-minded racist, sexist, corrupt, greedy, ignorant scum-bag. But a victory for Hillary Clinton would have been seen as a vindication for the vile policies of herself, Barack Obama, and her disgusting husband and former president, Bill Clinton. Policies that have drenched the Middle East (and elsewhere) in blood; shredded human rights domestically' and contributed to global economic insecurity and inequality.

If Donald Trump is the racist maniac who will stab you to death on the sidewalk, Hillary Clinton is the psycho who will hang you buy your wrists in her basement, slit them, and leave you to bleed to death while she goes on about how she can now tolerate Blacks and Gays. (Trump would grab your wallet, whereas Clinton would get your pass-codes from you, as well as your cash and she'd sell your blood on the black market!)

That's why sensible people didn't care who won. Sure, Trump would be terrible. (And he's turned out to be.) But a victory for Hillary Clinton would have meant enough liberals had turned off their brains and were pretending that the dismal economic policies and the horrible, murderous foreign policies, and all the authoritarian bullshit spying policies were acceptable to them. Slowly bleeding to death because the alternative is worse and they can't fucking think of anything different and they can't even pretend that something different is required.

And Driftglass has been among the most obnoxious of the liberals who simply can't fathom how repulsive a candidate Hillary was. During the primaries he feigned incomprehension at the anger of Bernie Sanders' supporters. The dunce couldn't even grasp Sanders' appeal as opposed to Clinton's. Now he's whining about the possibility that some "Bernie Bro's" (a ridiculous term used to describe all of Sanders' supporters as sexist males who simply didn't want the USA's Commander-in-Chief to have a vagina) may have voted for Jill Stein or even (out of spite) Donald Trump.

And, of course, actual Trump supporters could only have been motivated by racism and other dog-whistle politics. They didn't vote in the deluded hopes to get their factories back. They didn't vote out of anger over bail-outs to Wall Street criminals as provided by Obama (who was carrying on the policy originated by george dubya bush) and which would have been continued by the paid stooge Hillary Clinton. Nope. They're all racists. Every last one of them. They're all sexist, racist homophobes. THAT is why they ALL voted for the Donald against the Hillary! They are, all of them, not just most of them, racist, ignorant, sexist, cretins.

(That many are ignorant is obvious though. Anyone who watches knows that sucking the rancid dicks of Wall Street banksters is a bipartisan affair. Anyone who doesn't know that Trump is a con-artist, serial fraudster is obviously ignorant. But ignorance can be fixed. Which is important.)

Ignorance can also mean misinformed. That's where the "fake news" of the corporate media comes in. Not just FOX News, but local radio and television. The "national" news programs of ABC, MSNBC, CBS and CNN. It's all garbage that fails to give people an understanding of their world. If there's no sensible analysis in their lives at all, if all they see is the drivel provided by the mainstream, they're going to see that their living standards are stagnating or declining and that criminals are growing richer and that Barack Obama has presided over it all. They won't even hear the caterwauling of Democrats about Repug obstructionism. That's the grip of the corporate media.

But one thing these people in fly-over country are right about is that their living standards aren't what they were told they'd be in all those bromides about the wonders of the capitalist system and the free market and the American Way.  Much was made of the fact that the "average" Trump supporter had an income of over $70,000. But "average" is just dividing the combined incomes by the number of people. A few wealthy supporters could skew the averages.

Plus, we're also going to be talking about the people who couldn't be bothered with the poisoned choice of Hillary the corporate stooge and Trump the stooge. People who voted for Obama even in 2012 but after eight years of the guy still hadn't seen any rescue from their predicaments and knew that Hillary Clinton was only promising them more of the same.

In the face of the widespread disenchantment with the Democratic Party's bullshit, what does Driftglass do? He spends an entire post cutting and pasting White House press releases about how much Barack Obama did for manufacturing!

If only Driftglass had gone to work sooner! All of those people committing suicide might have reconsidered!

Kevin Lowney lies awake some nights wondering if he should kill himself.
“I am in such pain every night, suicide has on a regular basis crossed my mind just simply to ease the pain. If I did not have responsibilities, especially for my youngest daughter who has problems,” he said.
The 56-year-old former salesman’s struggle with chronic pain is bound up with an array of other issues – medical debts, impoverishment and the prospect of a bleak retirement – contributing to growing numbers of suicides in the US and helping drive a sharp and unusual increase in the mortality rate for middle-aged white Americans in recent years alongside premature deaths from alcohol and drugs.
A study released late last year by two Princeton academics, Anne Case and Angus Deaton, who won the 2014 Nobel prize for economics, revealed that the death rate for white Americans aged 45 to 54 has risen sharply since 1999 after declining for decades. The increase, by 20% over the 14 years to 2013, represents about half a million lives cut short.
Fucking ridiculous; but just the end point for all the Democrat-liberal partisans who tried to claim that the Obama years were good years in the face of all the evidence. (And liberal shills: Don't try to spew anything about the Affordable Care Act. I've already covered that.)

Back when I started this post, Driftglass was the first blogger to resort to what became a terrifyingly popular conspiracy theory, to whit; that Russia's Vladimir Putin stole the election for his puppet, Donald Trump. I say "terrifyingly popular" because this loopy, shit-for-brains notion spread like wild fire amongst liberals who you'd ordinarily credit as being sentient life-forms.

Here's how it goes: Wikileaks released the contents of Democratic National Committee emails and the emails of Clinton campaign head John Podesta. The DNC emails showed that they deliberately conspired with Clinton to side-line Bernie Sanders and render the whole primary process a farce in order to install Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee for president. Podesta's emails detailed more of the same as well as snippets of HRC telling Wall Street bankers that she had one story for them in private and another for the public.

In short: Damaging, true intelligence about Hillary's campaign. From the beginning, the Clinton campaign screamed about Russian hackers trying to help Donald Trump. They had no proof, but Putin has been a useful bogeyman for both parties since forever, so why not? Besides, Trump once compared Obama unfavourably to Putin in one of his mindless tweets, and had spoken admiringly of Putin's actually fighting ISIS. (I deal with Trump's ignorance on the real nature of the GBSWOT here.)

But things really picked up steam when, .... get this, ... ANONYMOUS CIA AGENTS expressed their "STRONG CONFIDENCE" in their own "TOP-SECRET EVIDENCE" that Putin was personally involved in hacking the emails! Driftglass picked up this fresh, steaming heap of bullshit and fucking ran with it. Sadly, pretty much the entire liberal internet fell in love with this utter stupidity as well. Secret CIA evidence??? When has that ever led us astray???

I mean, the FACT that somebody else has admitted to getting the info from a DNC insider doesn't faze anyone. But let's look at it as if Putin was behind it. Is it possible he was? Well, the USA commits cyber-warfare on other countries (Iran comes to mind.) Was spying on Germany's Angela Merkel's cellphone and the entire United Nations. And it routinely meddles in other countries' elections (or just plain invades and deposes governments it doesn't like). Trump was saying nice things about Putin while Clinton was (INSANELY) talking about imposing a "no-fly zone" over Syria in opposition to the wishes of Putin and the Syrian dictatorship. So of course it's possible. Still, proof is nice, isn't it? Before you go running off screaming about "treason" and labelling every alternative media source that said anything critical of Clinton as Russian agents or "useful idiots."

But who honestly believes that this essentially negligible assistance from Putin would make Trump his puppet? Trump is a megalomaniac, narcissistic serial fraudster. He breaks promises as effortlessly as he breathes (stolen line from Rosie DiMoron describing the people of Afghanistan). Once you make someone like Trump the President of the United States of America (which is to say, arguably the most powerful man in the world) you can't control him. I mean, this should go without saying. But apparently the human race is so stupid and ignorant and deluded that one-quarter of US-Americans would vote for this fraudster and another quarter will believe he's Putin's puppet

You see, to hear Driftglass speak it, the Democrats can simply do no wrong. (Except, that is, fail to stand up to Repugnican hatred and bullying.) Is he a chump or a paid stooge? If he's the former, then he really should cut it out with the photoshopping and the blogging, because they don't appear to be paying for themselves and he's just cheer-leading for his own exploitation. But if he's a paid shill? Then that's evil. Doing stupid shit like posting White House press releases to fight against reality. Pushing that ridiculous "Putin stole the election" meme on gullible liberal fools. Perpetuating the Democratic policies of corruption, imperialism and betrayal, as if they're a genuine alternative to Repugnican atrocities.

You know that these Democratic party-shills are stupid, shitty people when they call Edward Snowden a traitor for having exposed the bipartisan mass-surveillance state that Obama expanded when he campaigned on reining it in. If McCain or Romney had been president when these programs were running, idiots like Driftglass and his fans would be apoplectic.Vile hypocrites. Imbeciles standing in the way of humanity finding a better path to survival.

I'll end this by saying that these repeated brain-farts of liberal failure make reading online even more pointless than ever. I really can't read Driftglass anymore. I don''t even care about his amusing take-downs of revolting, moronic puss-ball David Brooks. There's just too goddamned much whining and lying about the Democratic Party's loss to make it worthwhile. It's like listening to Eric Clapton after you've heard he's a racist.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Monday, December 5, 2016

Ted Rall on a Clinton Victory

Ted Rall writes about something I considered composing, and comes up with pretty much what I would have. (Just with more details.)

"Hillary's Lost: Should We Care?"

Here's some highlights:

The Cabinet: ... Hillary Clinton’s cabinet would have been composed of the neoliberal militarists who’ve been running things for Obama.
Taxes and the Economy: Clinton proposed a slightly more progressive tax structure during the campaign. She only wanted a $12/hour minimum wage — less than many states and cities. Even though NAFTA and trade were her Achilles’ heels, she didn’t propose a job retraining program or welfare plan for workers displaced by globalization. Largely, she pledged to continue the gradual Obama recovery, which has left most workers behind. 
Privacy and the NSA: Even in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations (when she called the whistleblower a traitor), Clinton stridently defended the government’s illegal spying against every American.
Healthcare: Obamacare would have remained in place in its present form. A few vague promises to add a “public option” do not amount to a pledge to spend political capital to get it past Congressional Republicans. But premiums are skyrocketing, so Hillarian inaction might have led to wider calls for ACA repeal, a big step backward. (No one knows what Trump will do. Not even him.)
War and Peace: Hillary has a long history of hawkishness. She didn’t push through any peace deals as Secretary of State. During the campaign, she called for a no-fly zone over Syria, a tactic designed to provoke hostilities. And her hot rhetoric so freaked out the government of Russia that Kremlin military analysts worried about World War III if she won. Trump is a hothead. But Hillary might have been more likely to start a war.
And in 2020, we’d be right back where we are now. Four years into President Hillary, the anger that unleashed Trumpism would turn into boiling rage.

So, to summarize: A Cabinet full of right-wing, neo-liberal militarists. Continuance of the economic policies that have impoverished millions and grotesquely reward a tiny few. Expansion of the surveillance state.

About ObamaCare: As I understand it, the ACA denied blood-sucking insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, ... BUT, ... being the pro-market piece-of-shit that it is, the ACA does nothing from allowing the capitalist scum to raise their premiums on everybody to compensate them for having to insure sick people. So, while Hillary-bot, Democratic die-hards are bloviating about how Trump is going to take away their insurance, Obamacare was going to make it unaffordable for a lot of people anyway.

So, I really have to stop and point out the obvious hypocrisy and derangement of Hillary supporters: She did not have ordinary people's best interests at heart. She, like Obama, was a servant of Wall Street. Both parties are. Both parties grovel before the plutocrats for donations.

All of a sudden, because of Donald Trump, progressives think the economy has been doing great under Barack Obama. It hasn't. Wages have stagnated for years. Wall Street engaged in criminal behaviour that almost tanked the global economy were it not for trillions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies, and yet Obama protected the banksters and illegally assisted in the destruction of the Occupy Movement that protested this criminality. As a result, 95% of the economic growth since 2008 has gone to the wealthiest 1%.

Democrats delude themselves that this is all the fault of Republican obstructionism. But time and time again, Obama has shown himself unwilling to press hard against them. When he isn't offering them "grand bargains" he's supporting "Blue Dog" Democrats against progressive challengers.

Stop fooling yourselves.

And listen: Yes, the Koch brothers funded the Tea Party. But they Tea Party members have minds (such as they are) of their own. That's why the were able to take down Eric Cantor. That's why the whole Repugnican establishment was shocked and appalled about Trump. Trump was promising to bring back factories by reversing free trade. He was going to force the pharmaceutical companies to bargain with the federal government, rather than just get the taxpayers to sign a blank cheque. He was going to get rid of Obamacare, which, however much liberals might like Obama, was making health care more expensive for people.

Now, I always thought Trump was a con-man. I never supported him. But he was saying things that ordinary US-Americans liked. Because they were and are hurting. And no matter how much deluded, simpering liberal fuck-faces want to believe it; Obama has not been their friend, he has not tried to help them; the capitalist system is still corrupt and inhuman and a failure. (I knew how extensive Trump derangement syndrome can get when I read Antonia Zerbisias praising NAFTA and getting a quote from elitist prick Mickey Cohen, just because Trump says he'll repudiate it.)

Listen: Hillary "won" the popular vote. But people knew the Electoral College existed before the 2016 election. Hillary's people encouraged the Trump candidacy because they thought she'd trounce him easily. Because (as they still refuse to admit) she's actually a really shitty person with a horrible record.

It turns out that Trump isn't going to pursue better relationships with nuclear powered Russia. But liberals wanted us to vote for a candidate who said straight-out that she'd pursue policies that could lead to goddamned fucking war with Russia. The depths of liberal insanity and delusion! Un-fuck you all you insane sons of bitches!

"Lesser evil"? I'm sure the degree of "lesser" is irrelevant to the dead and traumatized across the Middle East and in much of the rest of the Global South as well.

So Trump conned people. Some of them were salt-of-the-earth racists. Some of them just wanted job
opportunities and didn't care about the racism.


Yeah. Just like you fucking Hillary-bots don't care about her victims. The homeless refugees being attacked by neo-Nazis in Europe. The Libyans living under the nut-bar jihaadists Clinton backed in that country's uprising.

Just like we all type on lap-tops powered with raw materials mined by African child-slaves and assembled in Chinese hell-holes that have suicide nets around them to save the trouble of cleaning up the corpses of employees seeking an end to their miserable existences.

The Tea Party is angry. They lash out stupidly because they're stupid and they don't understand the system that's ensnared them. But more and more I have to ask if they're any more stupid that the liberals who delude themselves that Hillary Rodham Clinton was a brilliant humanitarian and not a racist, elitist, corrupt, mass-murderer.

And the people who stayed home? Who didn't vote? Well, maybe they looked at their miserable existences, the falseness of the "hope and change" that the cynical Obama campaign sold to them back in 2008 and decided it simply wasn't worth it. Things are going to suck under Trump and they sucked under Obama and they would have sucked under Clinton.