Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Caitlin Johnstone on Aaron Bushnell


"A Profound Act Of Sincerity"

One of the main reasons the self-immolation of Aaron Bushnell is having such an earthshaking impact on our society is because it’s the single most profound act of sincerity that any of us have ever witnessed. 

In this fraudulent civilization where everything is fake and stupid, we are not accustomed to such sincerity. We’re accustomed to vapid mainstream culture manufactured in New York and Los Angeles, airheaded celebrities who never talk about anything real, self-aggrandizing Instagram activism, synthetic political factions designed to herd populist discontent into support for status quo politics, phony shitlib “I hear you, I stand with you [but I won’t actually do anything]” posturing, endless propaganda and diversion from the mass media and its online equivalents which are algorithmically boosted by Silicon Valley tech plutocrats, and a mind-controlled dystopia where almost everyone is sleepwalking through life in a psyop-induced fog. 

That is the sort of experience we have been conditioned to expect here in the shadow of the western empire. And then, out of nowhere, some Air Force guy comes along and does something real. Something as authentic and sincere as anything could possibly be, with the very noblest of intentions.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

The Courage of His Convictions: Aaron Bushnell

 “Many of us like to ask ourselves, ‘What would I do if I was alive during slavery? Or the Jim Crow South? Or apartheid? What would I do if my country was committing genocide?’

“The answer is, you’re doing it. Right now.”

Aaron Bushnell couldn't live in a society that actively supported a deliberate genocide.  He no doubt could not satisfy his conscience by engaging in symbolic protests.  It wasn't going to be enough for him to sign a petition or write a letter to those people who are probably [given the nature of the US political system] only pretending to represent his interests.  I am going to speculate that he felt his entire culture, the values it espoused, the expressions of joy of its artists and entertainers, the longings of its musicians and poets, the everyday diversions of the individuals living within it, ... all were tainted by their passivity in the face of this cruel, racist, murderous, sadistic, evil genocide.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Trudeau be-shits himself in Ukraine


So our airhead, pro-genocide, neoliberal dimbulb prime minister Justin Trudeau paid a "surprise" visit to Kiev yesterday.  Doing what he does, he made empty promises of eternal support and expressed other meaningless platitudes.  Among Trudeau's promises was around $150 million in mostly non-military aid. What's Ukrainian for "How fucking pathetic!" ???

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Response to an "Off Guardian" Piece About the Global Oligarchy


So here is my response to this Off Guardian piece: "The 'they're all in it together' rebuttal canard (Multipolarity is a crock)" by Iain David, offered by an anonymous commenter in the comments section at this post.  (From time to time I might, for all I know, provide quotes from Purple library guy's response to the article that he left in that same comments section.)

I have bittersweet memories of The Guardian.  I remember when they used to provide an excellent antitode to the bush II regime's garbage about Iraq WMD's and NATO "winning" in Iraq and Afghanistan.  But, sadly, they continue to disgrace themselves with Ukraine, with Syria, with Assange, and I wasn't keen to read them anymore.

And then I developed my bittersweet memories of Off Guardian.  At first they provided well-written pieces criticizing the propaganda system of the international political-economic order.  Then, in 2020, they started writing pandemic denialism.  I know from personal experience that pandemic denialism is garbage.  And Off Guardian's increasingly unhinged denial of reality caused me to unsubscribe from their newsfeed and I hardly read them now.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Trump, Biden, and Clinton (Hillary) - a brief note


Even though Purple library guy already wrote an excellent critique of the Off Guardian article that had been offered by another [anonymous] commenter, about the global hegemonic oligarchic order, there are still some things I'd like to say about it and I will probably at least begin working on that tomorrow.

In the meantime, I'd just like to post a brief bit of observation and speculation.

Sunday, February 18, 2024



I started this post in late-January.  Then stuff happened.  I'm posting it now because the overall observation remains valid.  The thesis is this: The various geo-political struggles going on today are often just conflicts between different sets of scumbags.  It is up to ordinary folks to do their best to objectively look at each conflict and decide what the facts are and how the victory of one side or the other will best weaken the more dangerous party.  Generally speaking, NONE of these actors are on our side and therefore we should NOT see ourselves as being part of any team.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

The Trials & Tribulations of Rob Oliphant


Hind Rajab, murdered by the IDF

Even though he belongs to the imperialst/oligarch Liberal Party of Canada, such is our confused, debased political culture that even a 100% - Grade-A Certified, genuine, radical human rights activist has told me that my Member of Parliament, Rob Oliphant, is one of the good guys.  That he is sincere about human rights and that he has provided crucial assistance for many worthy causes on many occasions, both in government and in opposition.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

The "2+2=4 Controversy"


In response to this post about the toxic behaviour of zionists, commenter "zoombats" mentioned an article in The Guardian by Kenan Malik about how Jewish people who criticize Israel for abusing the Palestinians, or for being non-zionists (which is to say they espouse a universal humanitarianism and believe that states based on exclusionary grounds -- religious, ethnic, linguistic, whatever --- are illegitimate) are "Un-Jews" or "self-hating/antisemitic Jews."

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Toxic Behaviour Part II


In Part I I mentioned how I saw a similarity between genocidal zionists and scumbag oil executives.  How could these human beings be such complete, entitled assholes?

It seems to me that they both share the same gross sense of entitlement and the same contempt for "others" and this is what allows these people (and others who possess their psychosis) to do what they do.

How could right-wing, zionist, Israeli politicians and racist IDF goons act with such inhuman barbarism, blurt out idiotic rationalizations for their barbarism, and then shriek about "antisemitism" whenever their barbaric actions and racist talking-points are criticized?  Could it be explained by the shamelessness of arrogance?  Which is to say: They know that we know that they're fabricating when they say that condemnations of their crimes is "antisemitism."  And they're grinning in our faces daring us to do something about it.

That might actually be the case with some of these individuals.  However, on the other hand, I know personally of a few instances of North American Jewish people who feel genuinely threatened by antisemitism and who feel that criticism of Israel is inherently antisemitic.

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

El Salvador & Our Future

 A right-wing authoritarian has won re-election in El Salvador.  A takeover of the judiciary was required to allow him to run for a consecutive term but his majority appears to be based on genuine election results.

As Rauda’s reporting shows, Bukele is expected to sweep the February 4 presidential election. With sky-high approval ratings since he declared a state of emergency in March 2022, Bukele’s lock ’em up approach to gangs has resonated with Salvadorans exhausted from relentless violence over the last half century. From the civil war to gang domination of many communities, collective trauma has become a political commodity in elections.

Reelection videos posted on the president’s social media platforms and making the rounds in traditional media provide emotional testimonies as to why average Salvadorans affected by gang violence stand with Bukele to say Nunca más — “never again.” Coming on the heels of his state of exception tactic to break gang control by suspending constitutional rights, the media campaign appears to have been effective. Sixty-six out of every hundred Salvadorans have strong faith in the president, according to a December 2023 poll by the Instituto Universitario de Opinión Pública.


Bukele’s ability to carry out his promise rests on maintaining public safety — contingent on keeping gangs unable to govern, and curbing the police, military, and narco violence. But multiple people pointed out to me that the main gang leaders were able to leave the country, in some cases aided by Bukele’s government. The increased security many people in El Salvador are experiencing under the state of exception is predicated on a false promise that the gangs, weakened at the moment, won’t come back. It also doesn’t account for the increase in violence from state actors, including police, military personnel, the judiciary, and penal system staff. But since such violence is not evenly distributed across the population, it hasn’t yet undercut Bukele’s popularity.

This is what we all have to look forward to.  Neoliberal economic policies impoverish the majority and make crime one of the few alternatives to a life of hopeless, grinding poverty.  But the more people who turn to crime, the more criminals have to fight with each other to control access to the criminal economy.  This means more violence in society.  Which makes ordinary citizens cry out for relief.  Which means the state imposes harsher penalties for criminals as well as giving the police more leeway to impose violence and abuse civil rights.

People don't care that they're slitting their own throats by empowering the police state.  Many people are only capable of judging what is immediately before their eyes (such as crime) and of calling for "solutions" that are suggested to them from the hegemonic culture (getting "tough on crime" for instance).  Social conservative morality steers them into self-destructive belief systems.  (Besides getting "tough on crime" this also means demanding that teenage mothers be condemned to poverty instead of receiving suppport for themselves and their children.  People who despise pregnant teenagers don't care about a weak welfare state because they'd rather proudly refuse welfare until the point where the neoliberal nightmare has brought them to the point of desperation.  At which point they're too broken to be capable of anything but shameful gratitude.)

Meanwhile, local versions of Jeffrey Epstein live far away from the violence except when they send their subordinates out to negotiate with gangsters for some teenaged prostitutes.

Monday, February 5, 2024

The Oil Weapon

 In 1973 the Arab OPEC countries punished countries that had supported Israel in the Fourth Arab-Israeli War by imposing an oil embargo on them.

In October 1973, the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) announced that it was implementing a total oil embargo against the countries who had supported Israel at any point during the Fourth Arab–Israeli War, which began after Egypt and Syria launched a large-scale surprise attack in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to recover the territories that they had lost to Israel during the Third Arab–Israeli War. In an effort that was led by Faisal of Saudi Arabia,[2] the initial countries that OAPEC targeted were CanadaJapan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. This list was later expanded to include PortugalRhodesia, and South Africa. In March 1974, OAPEC lifted the embargo,[3] but the price of oil had risen by nearly 300%: from US$3 per barrel ($19/m3) to nearly US$12 per barrel ($75/m3) globally. 

One wonders why they haven't done anything to punish those countries supporting Israel's nazi-like genocide of the people of Gaza.  Obviously, there's the possibility that the rulers of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Gulf monarchies are corrupt, bought-off autocrats who don't care about the Palestinians. But the other day I thought it might be possible that they don't want to hurt BRICs countries like Brazil, India and, most importantly, China.

Just some idle speculation on my part.

Sunday, February 4, 2024

Toxic Behaviour (Part I)

 For some reason, I looked at the picture and the headline from CommonDreams:

"In 'Brazen Wealth Transfer' , Exxon and Chevron Pay Out Record Sums to Shareholders"

... and I thought about the narcissism and entitlement of Israelis (as well a few Jewish individuals I've encountered here in Canada) who seem to think that they're justified in slaughtering Palestinians due to the fact that the Palestinians hate them for no reason other than crazed antisemitism.  It seems to me that they both share the same gross sense of entitlement and the same contempt for "others" and this is what allows these people (and others who possess their psychosis) to do what they do.