The Quaint American

It’s quaint how many Americans & others who tend to identify with the two US political parties view the investigation into the activities of Donald Trump & his campaign for the Office of the US Presidency as it relates to whether they cooperated with its manipulation by a foreign government as either an unlawful inquisition, the worst witch hunt since Salem or some such, or as crucial to the ongoing existence of the democratic republic since… take your pick.It is almost intriguing how what is routinely seen as the importance of the party designation in the election of a representative or appointment to a post is an affiliation set aside by some based solely on the fact that a special prosecutor happens to be investigating members affiliated with his own party. Of course, there is sound, if still quaint, reasoning behind this: The always good Democrat, who’ll readily admit that Democrats are not always good, says it’s because there exist non-partisan Republicans, which is big of ’em. As proof, there’s the sometimes fair, depending on the weather, Republican who is troubled by facts learned so far and feels like the investigation should continue. Here lies the firm foundation of American democracy! How quaint.

This bipartisan brotherhood brews over into mistrust the moment members don’t behave as their counterpart had hoped. This, too, is rooted in soundness, and is quite quaint. Naturally when someone who’d been friendly to you suddenly smacks you in the face you’re gonna change your opinion of them. But not least of which based on the unpredictability of the actions of others, I say these party affiliations are irrelevant.

I allude here not to the question of the discrepancies between the iterated party ideologies and their actual differences. I rather refer to the irrelevancy of the Biggest Sideshow on Earth. Warning, I’m fixin’ to make the oft fallacious “the same people who…” argument, which as a matter of course should be viewed as question begging. So don’t beg it, that is, don’t take my word for it, but seriously consider whether or not this statement is true: The same people who are salivating at every tidbit coming downwind of Robert Mueller and consequently see him as a man of integrity today would view him as a treasonous party hack the moment he were to complete his investigation without either fingering the president or prosecuting someone in his inner circle. And of course the same people who are currently calling for the president to fire Robert Mueller for abuse of power or whatever will cite in perpetuity his investigation should the president escape scot-free.

Not that every selfsame amateur constitution wonk, who learns of some new arcane statute with every related “actually” tweet from their fave professional DC policy wonk, are not willing to hold that nothing is certain and will admit in advance to whichever special investigator’s being treacherous unless he gets fired first. This is also part of the quaintness quagmire that makes up the self-image of this moment’s American. It constitutes just the latest act in the sideshow.

Every spotlighted actor in this play is a study in treachery, but not of the disloyalty to the quaint American kind. It is a treachery toward whatever potential there is for earthy human decency. But not of the civility & decorum variety, quite the contrary. The most treacherous lay claim to that mantle with the backing of decorous fanfare — a quaint contradiction if there was one, which just might be a clue as to the expedient nature of that civility in all its historic duplicity.

Quaint Americans, much like the ugly ones, are selfish. If it’s found that the current monster in the White House has nada effect on their own real lives, they’ll point out how much they care about the effect it has, or will have, on others. Given the perpetual relativist application of the evidence of such effects depending on the timing of their cause, it’s difficult for me to sympathize.

Butawhatery

Note that the list of the greatest threats to American democracy does not include whenever the Americans manipulated or destroyed someone else’s. “Two wrongs don’t make a right” is the quaint logic moving forward, but neither does a second wrong necessarily warrant the most urgent need for correction. This is true when there is wrongdoing of relative ubiquity, particularly so when that ubiquitous wrongness is of the official institutions tasked with the correction of wrong. That’s called institutionalized corruption. There has never been a greater assurance of the end of American democracy than the partisan embracement of those institutions when it suits one’s selective fancy.

“But I can criticize both,” or “We can’t do anything about the other thing,” are a common refrain of the quaint American, often in that the wrong in question lies in the distant past or is beyond the powers of democratic citizens and their apparently expediently powerless representatives charged with confirming those who sit in the institutions.

But the institutional wrongs are quantifiable. They are individual as well as collective actions taken in any of the institutions’ names, or under one or more of their auspices, sometimes in secret. Enough of those secrets have been officially revealed such that any special investigators and prosecutors worth their weight in honor-ability or well-qualified-ness would be able to air the grievances publicly and sentence any & all the wrong doers living & dead.

Before there can be a credible account of the election of 2016, there needs to be a credible account of both of their primaries. Still of greater urgency would be for international cooperation into the investigation of the murderous manipulation and/or overthrow of the Ukraine and Libya most recently, Iraq, Somalia, Honduras, Haiti, Venezuela, and again Libya more recently as well as historically, by all means Russia in the 90s, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, and Panama in the ’80s, Chile, Ghana, Zaire, Bolivia, the Congo— hell, just about anywhere in Africa and Latin America that ever attempted autonomous democracy, socialist-ist or otherwise, and throw in Fiji, Grenada, and Jamaica, and Cuba. Naturally Iran, Guatemala, and Indonesia— I know. Pure fantasy, right?

I submit that it is more important to the survival of democracy that those institutions face a reckoning regardless of how temporally afield their transgressions lie. By comparison, the current lawless executive facing even the slightest censure from any one of those same institutions would bolster their credibility of convenience with the quaint American. The removal of the latest symptom will make them happy and might lead to that infamous fanfare, but it ain’t gonna save no democracy.

 

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Taken What’s Given

The range of thinking that views the Pledge of Allegiance as anything from a harmless ode to good citizenry to an important expression of respect for liberty does not entail a range of thinking at all. Accepting that kindergarten children will be made to recite the pledge daily is nothing short of obedience to doctrinairism, which could not be more at odds with liberty and is anything but harmless.One can debate direct and indirect causes of the current climate in American sports until Sunday, but it’s not a disrespect for a flag or that for which it stands that cause offense to the patriot consumer of a football game. It is rather their centuries long acclimation to the national tolerance of feel-good patriotism that has led to this affront to their authoritarianism. It’s hostility rooted in ahistorically based hubris.

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Der Parkbank Pinkler Kapitel XXI: durchgesetzt: zur Entlastung endgültig Ersticken

Heute ließen wir uns beraten und haben  die Entscheidung getroffen und dementsprechend überparteilich so durchgesetzt, damit das überparteiliche Gesetzschaffende Organ durch eine direktere, effizientere außerparlamentarische Zweckgesellschaft offiziell mit sofortiger Wirkung ersetzt zu verstehen ist.

—das Organ a.D.
XXI.

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Scientactically-Told Truths

Raining capital in nineteen words:
They used to dub the leaders Great. Not because they were good guys & gals, but because they achieved the extreme. On horses. Call that ancient history along with the mid-twentieth century, but it’s not just recently that words like “marvelous” have been taken for “wonderful” and almost never WTF?! Such simple choices, little turns of phrase, sound uttered self-consciously if you listen really closely, as if there’s an ambiguity-minimum dishonesty requirement set forth in The Really Real Book of the Law somewhere. At any rate, quality propaganda requires retail twisting of truth as well as wholesale dissemination of dubious modern mythology. It’s when words matter most.

Like lukewarm lies as licensing fees claimed to protect all of our rights, the fights aren’t for your freedom to move, but their freedom to buy and to move you out. Or someone else. If you benefit or’re even only just spared, there’s a secure chance you don’t mind any more than they do.

They do not care for the health of the sick and the working poor, but for the right of their clients to profit from each and every illness in the manner they alone deem passable.

There is no concern for the oppressed under socialist regimes, but concern for those concerns’ well-being who will pay to get them toppled.

They’re not speaking on behalf of she-born hes to shoulder arms sanctioned by their nation as much as they are framing that sanction as self-evidently just and egalitarian so they can keep packing the force with bodies.

They couldn’t care less about the subversion of democracy or they wouldn’t go on undermining it in every other convenient case you’re not likely to read about (unless you are genuinely interested, which they know you likely are not). At present they must only tactically balance their for-ness & against-ness regarding the current ostensible world leader’s sanction and/or regime change plans, such as they are, which I’m sure makes the art in the artifice a challenge, except that people aren’t really watching them. Or so it would seem.

(A rhetorical quiz for later: Which paragraph(s) in this entry allude(s) to a combined vote & recent passage in the houses that tallies 516-6 and how does this reality square and not square with the stated policies of the president (not stated as much by the president himself as his self-stated opposition about him)?)

And they certainly don’t give a shit about the “territorial integrity” of the Ukraine or Crimea beyond ultimately facilitating fracked gas-hawking on behalf of their preferred partners in crime at home. And if they are devastated about the Paris Accords like they say they are, where were they when their party was watering the deal down? Ditto immigration.

In yet another regard in which they adopt their scene partner’s specious rhetoric, increasingly when they fret about racist and sexist attitudes, they decry as racist accusations of American meddling in foreign affairs, as it’s apparent to them, so they’ll say, that it’s racist to suggest the oppressed abroad hadn’t had the agency to carry out their own awesome revolutions otherwise unremarkable. Unless of course they wanna make that claim themselves. Their next candidate for office will be a woman and/or person of color, which amounts to a dare for you to challenge them on such points, like their immediate re-rehabilitation of Goldman Sachs, who, as far as I can tell, are selectively bad right now. The trumpcard tags of these not-so distant future supporters could be something latently (& (un)ironically) racist with “#bros” in it, and #complex and #notIraq03 for the implied 2smart 4U science-y nature of war as wielded by the party of Bubya Jefferson. The cheekiest ‘d go with #notBenghazi after some snotty version of “leave it to the adults in the room”. Or the most stupidly vain who’re not with the other guy.

Two and three years from now, one more hashtag might be #NowIsNotTheTime. How about now now? If you were, say, a regular party voter, now could be the time to make clear they got nothing without you. Theoretically. Or, you could wait until #NowIsNotTheTime arrives. The ugly truth, however, is that now is never the time when bobble headed functionaries have no intention span: no intention of listening to anything but the sound of their interests beyond your distance.

Long live the sciendustry that’s made it possible for them to engage more intimately with the public in democratic dialog. Hardly less marvelous has been the capacity of sciendustry to ease the outsourcing of that dialog to their free-labor force of raving mad Twitter followers tweeting their religious lesser virulence, enabling lawmakers to put the masses on mute while the ten thousands strong bully brigade blame everyone else preemptively for their own abysmal failures.

They are not the weak-willed wimps who fail to stick up for their constituents at every turn who they play on TV, and just when you think their theater is all milquetoast & jelly, they’re reliable in leading the way when it comes to everything from beating down resistance within the party that belongs to them to authorizing death — giving them hell, as it were — something against which their loyals will not object; many will cheer them on. For these long for the days when the ministry of duplicitous bellicosity was helmed by someone they’d been trained to respect. Someone… presidential.

They’re no opposition. Theirs isn’t resistance. One might make the case that they play it well. Consider, however, that their mise en scène is underwritten by the fiercest force finance has known with all of the tricks of that trade, all of the media monopolies and all of their intelligence infiltrations with all of their manipulations and influence on entertainment as industry, and billionaire-backed philanthropy-branded NGOs to boot. All of us awash in what hijinks remain to make them adorable… for they are no opposition. And when there is no opposition, the result should be obviously painful. Acknowledge it, ignore it, or play right along, but be careful. Banzai.

And now a reprise of the above, with bonus bits about the achievement of science & industry under the will of the Army, each aspect more marvelous than the other.

 

The Fist of May

As it relates to the fruits of labor beyond just harvest, this first day of May means a number of things, down to nothing, depending upon where one comes- or is coming from. Being an American by arbitrary birthright I can observe the spectrum from ignorance to disregard. The European perspective — which, perspectives being as they are, one should in no way claim capacity of even the most far-flung interpretive representation — is hardly of one voice as to the significance of International Workers’ Day, or how it should or shouldn’t be observed.There are non-Europeans who think they know how things are different in Euroland and are comfortable acting as authority on the matter. There are non-Euros who know better, but act as authority all the same. There are those who admit ignorance, but will say they get the general idea and don’t have too big a problem arguing a viewpoint on it. There are those who are less comfortable in this final regard, but not to the extent that you won’t hear plenty of peep out of them. Wherever the end of this line is, it doesn’t have anyone on it who’ll admit they don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about, counting myself. If there’s a silent majority, they ain’t sayin’ shit.

About the First of May: it’s easy to bear distant witness to people throwing bottles at cops or breaking windows and setting things on fire and saying that this isn’t what the celebration is supposed to be about. If there’s any safer an utterance on the subject than, “It’s supposed to be a peaceful demonstration of (compete cliché here),” I can’t recall hearing it. On the flipside, there’s no rounder a rebuke guaranteed than if you were to state certainly that breaking shit is in fact what it is all about.

Take the events 131 years ago surrounding Haymarket Square in Chicago as substantiated origin of today’s holiday in Europe and you have a parallel of competing stories as to what inspired what took place then — including who was involved and why, and what ultimately resulted and who all were instrumental in that — that lend remarkable credence to the appropriateness of this recurring annual symbolism of “we just wanna barbecue” vs. “get in line or stay away” vs. “peacefully demonstrate” vs. “stand up and be counted” vs. “make a ruckus” vs. “break the fucking system”.

If, on the other hand, the aforesaid safest interpretation of the meaning of these gatherings is the one viable demonstration, it seems to me like an awful lot of marching under the aegis of advertising democracies whose backdrop is an infrastructure of hierarchy that democracy is helpless to change more than indirectly rearrange.

Enter the Strike: standing up to sit down, walking in to walk out, shouting out to shut down, fully embracing boycott. These are all actions that, even if you see them as passive resistance, will most certainly beget an increase in violence one must be prepared to withstand in order to remain resolute enough to make a difference. Unfortunately, this threat of reactionary beatdown does not, in my opinion, factor into why the workers of the world will never unite to overcome those who own the right to hire and fire them under conditions that mutate with the times. Moreover, the lack of solidarity is not only due to inadequate organisation, but down to lack of unity of enlightened desperation: It requires the participation of a broad range of people of centuries-long indoctrination who are everything from too in need of their income to feed their own, to comfy enough in their consumer habits and don’t want to rock the yacht.

The most quickly dismissed are the ones who stand up. Given that the elections that dominate much of the world’s news these days are in a myriad of ways rigged at their outset, voting is anything but standing up. It serves first as an outlet of plausible freedom. If we really wanted the world free of its oppressors, the world’s workers’d be on strike and her unemployed boycotting everything else.

And the action alone is not enough. If it’s true that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance, the strike would have to be permanent.

solidarity forever

 

Trump wrecklessly employs Clintonian rhetoric to co-opt SCotUS argument

Evidence of the more extremely qualified nature of Hillary Clinton comes by way of her so-called opponent (aka candidate who in spite of any estimable future reality could become president):

“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is, I don’t know.”

The allusion to the conceivable murder of an adversary by gun is clear, just as was candidate Clinton’s original, which came the last time she was in the running for the same office when she justified remaining in the Democratic race by reminding those li$tening that her husband in 1992 hadn’t captured the nomination until June in California, adding, “We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California.”

Nevertheless, her shot was so much more skillfully put.  First, she employed the passive voice, avoiding the appearance of having called upon potential perpetrators discretely.  This aptitude for language in politics is crucial to executing the power of the office they seek, while maintaining control of its requisite chaos.  Why, Trump doesn’t even know what the passive voice is.

Second, unlike Trump, she was not referring to the potential of a resentful element taking the law into its own hands to prevent their paranoid fantasy’s coming to life, but simply reminding a few influential friends with benefits along with her party’s shakers that, in addition to being within easy electoral reach of her primary opponent, one of the many ways said opponent could falter might be exiting through the kitchen door before the dirty dishes had been cleared.

By comparison, Donald Trump’s reference to “Second Amendment people” is so unsophisticated as to qualify the use of the word “dangerous” to describe it.  Given his one-time status as Clinton family friend with benefits, one wonders how he could be so sloppy.  He certainly doesn’t come off as presidential.

Again, Clinton uses the language to signal those who help manage strict order and underwrite the American project, while Trump manages to use it to get his detractors as worked up as his supporters — for yucks or shocks or who knows what the hell for.  Clinton’s comment was about the deadly serious issue of seizing the nomination for President.  Trump has long had the nomination wrapped up, and still he doesn’t seem to take anything seriously enough to get the occasional good press.  All he does is scare supporters away.  Puzzling, to say the least.

What if Donald Trump were called upon to justify his prior vote for an unpopular war, or having supported a putatively pernicious trade agreement or seemingly creepy crime bill?

Not only is he not in the possession of foresight to have a non-apology issued through his spouse, he certainly does not have the capacity to start the next war, let alone does he have the ability to parse the language just so in order to give the Congress the cover needed to close the deal on the next trade agreement.

Can you seriously imagine him surrounding himself with the right people to effectively evolve the definition of threats to democracy and eliminate them with extreme prejudice in a way that is sustainable?

I’m sorry, it’s not enough to appear racist when you’re so gauche.  On his watch the war on terror would be over before you could say Shoah!  In a Commander in Chief, we need someone at the helm who can make the nation’s wars also the next president’s responsibility.

Anyway, given the volume and sources of cash the Clinton campaign has been receiving, she must be doing something better than he is.  One can only hope that Trump’s attempt to steal the Democratic party’s final trump card, the SCotUS argument, backfires.