Democratic Moral Cowardice and the Failure of American Hegemony

by William Skink

In a guest post at Moogirl by Justin Robbins, titled The Moral Cowardice of Reactionary Politics, we get another heap of moral righteousness from Democrats about America’s obligation to assist refugees.

Oddly there is never any discussion about America’s obligation to not make refugees in the first place by seeking global dominance by any means necessary.

Robbins provides a link about this legal obligation that goes to this piece by Freedom House, an organization that claims to have been “championing democracy” for 75 years.

The problem with “championing democracy” is that the term is a euphemism for war, and if one takes a few minutes to examine the wikipedia entry regarding the forming of Freedom House, one would find that the organization was created to support America’s entry into WWII:

Freedom House was incorporated October 31, 1941.[6]:293 Among its founders were Eleanor Roosevelt, Wendell Willkie, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, Elizabeth Cutter Morrow, Dorothy Thompson,[7] George Field, Herbert Agar, Herbert Bayard Swope, Ralph Bunche, Father George B. Ford, Roscoe Drummond and Rex Stout. George Field (1904–2006) was executive director of the organisation until his retirement in 1967.[8]

According to its website, Freedom House “emerged from an amalgamation of two groups that had been formed, with the quiet encouragement of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, to encourage popular support for American involvement in World War II at a time when isolationist sentiments were running high in the United States.”

The moral cowardice of Democrat warmongers is evident by the deceptive euphemisms that must be used to manipulate voters into supporting America’s psychotic attempt to dominate global resources. Democrats delude themselves that they are supporting the spreading of democracy, when in reality they are supporting the madness of the neoconservative/neoliberal wet dream of full spectrum dominance across the global theater.

But this psychotic American project has just lost the support of one of its original architects in a monumental shift that should be front-page news. At Counterpunch today, Michael Whitney reports that Z-Big Brzezinski has made a 180 degree turn by acknowledging that America should now take the lead in “realigning the global power architecture”. Here’s more from the link:

“As its era of global dominance ends, the United States needs to take the lead in realigning the global power architecture.

Five basic verities regarding the emerging redistribution of global political power and the violent political awakening in the Middle East are signaling the coming of a new global realignment.

The first of these verities is that the United States is still the world’s politically, economically, and militarily most powerful entity but, given complex geopolitical shifts in regional balances, it is no longer the globally imperial power.”

That is Z-big in his own words. You can read the whole article at The American Interest here.

The refugee debate needs to be broadened to include a total reassessment of American foreign policy. As it stands now, the refugee controversy is just a wedge issue for morally righteous Democrats to bludgeon Republicans with, like Robbins does at Moogirl to damage the Gianforte campaign.

Ignored is the immense damage America has done to sovereign nations, to international law, and ultimately to America’s global standing in world affairs. This damage has been self-inflicted by both Democrats and Republicans in the insane, bipartisan effort to maintain global hegemony, risking a military confrontation with Russia and nuclear armageddon if America’s warmongers aren’t stopped.

If Justin Robbins and the rest of Montana’s Democrats can’t see that their moral righteousness quickly evaporates at the slightest examination of the dynamics that created this refugee crisis in the first place, then they will continue blindly lashing out at Republicans while the real threat to global peace–Strangelovian interventionists like Hillary Clinton and her cabal of slobbering sycophants–snatch the centers of American power to continue a hegemonic project that even Z-Big no longer supports.

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Stupid Is As Stupid Does

by William Skink

Is there any hope intelligent progressives will ever be able to wrap their head around foreign policy? Not for Don Pogreba there isn’t, as evidenced by this depiction of a female politician he doesn’t agree with as breathtakingly stupid.

One of the perspectives put forth by this stupid woman is that the image of the wounded boy in the orange ambulance seat is staged.

I was hesitant to wade into this, but a source I’ve followed and trusted for 8 years–Moon of Alabama–has two posts worth reading: this one and this one.

Before the ridicule and name-calling from any intelligent progressives gets directed this way, I would hope they would at least read the posts.

I would also hope they could consider that in a world where children are suffering terribly in places like Yemen and Israeli-occuppied Palestine, it’s worth asking why Syria? And why now?

Regardless of whether or not the image is staged, it doesn’t really matter. Those of us paying attention know how it will be used: to justify the overthrow of the Assad regime.

Another line of attack against stupid Debra Lamm is the notion that Obama wants an Islamic regime to take power. While no one knows what Obama “wants”, who else is going to fill the vacuum of power if Assad falls? All those “moderate” jihadists? Apparently Don Pogreba suffers from the common form of Americanized amnesia that selectively deletes memories, like what happens when one doesn’t plan for the aftermath of violently overthrowing another country (google Libya, Don).

American amnesia is dangerous. Something that shouldn’t be forgotten is the old saying that the first casualty of war is truth. When it comes to the proxy wars flaring up, there is very little truth to be gleaned from western media.

I got to hand it to the Plutocrats, though, running America’s brilliant political duopoly. It’s truly something to behold, watching Presidents do essentially the same thing, but receiving very different reactions depending on what letter is plastered next to their name on cable news.

Because Obama is a Democrat, he was able to solidify and extend Bush’s interventionist foreign policy for 8 disastrous years. And now, as Obama is about to pass the war baton to the Queen of Chaos, this is the situation: the Taliban control more territory than at any time before 2001, Libya has 3 competing governments, Iraq has lost swaths of territory to Saudi-backed jihadists, NATO’s noose is tightening around Russia, mass starvation from the American-enabled war in Yemen is worsening, Turkey is getting cozy with Russia, Ukraine is about to flare up, and Europe is in the midst of a refugees crisis unseen since WWII.

I don’t think Debra Lamm is stupid. I do think one has to be either stupid or willfully ignorant to think an even more hawkish Democratic president like Hillary Clinton is going to do anything other than ratchet up the death and destruction once elected.

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Irrational Liberal Mayor Proclaims Missoula Ready for Refugees

by William Skink

Mayor Engen has proclaimed, in a recent op-ed, that Missoula is ready to welcome refugees. In making his argument, our Mayor’s smug liberal righteousness is on full display. Let’s take a look.

The opinion piece opens with a young Engen recalling the relocation of Hmong refugees to Missoula during the 70’s. The problem is it’s 2016, and Missoula is a vastly different place.

It is interesting, though, to think about how similar the dynamics creating those refugees are, all these years later. During Engen’s youth, America was entangled in a proxy war against those evil commies, and now, decades later, refugees continue fleeing proxy wars against America’s perennial adversaries in the East, Russia and China.

But the geopolitics behind this refugee crisis isn’t a big part of the discussion, locally. Maybe that’s because all the liberal do-gooders basking in their righteousness are preparing to vote for death-dealing Queen of Chaos who helped engineer this refugee crisis in the first place with her “humanitarian” destruction of Libya and the up-coming escalation in Syria.

Anyway, after the feel-good personal narrative that has really no bearing on today’s situation, Engen gets into framing those who oppose relocating a hundred refugees a year into Missoula:

There’s been opposition to refugee resettlement in Missoula, but it’s largely been from elsewhere and based on misinformation, fear and outright lies. Most Missoulians, the folks I and Missoula City Council members swore to serve, believe that we’re up to the task of helping our share of refugees, whatever their situation, provided they’ve been thoroughly vetted by our government and the agencies who only continue to exist if they keep communities and refugees safe. And if I’m wrong about this or any of a number of issues, I will learn soon enough at the polls.

Engen’s mentality on the opposition is pretty clear. It can’t be coming from actual Missoulians, because Engen knows all Missoulians are enlightened liberals who think like he does, so if someone is opposing this effort, they are probably from somewhere else, like the ignorant Bitterroot. That, or they are victims of misinformation, fear and outright lies.

This statement ignores the growing body of evidence of increasingly violent cultural clashes happening in Europe between refugees and host countries. While there is no way America will ever be subjected to what Europe is dealing with (because of oceans), to just casually dismiss concerns as fear based on misinformation is wrong.

Next, Engen tries addressing the concerns about resource allocation, which has been part of the concern I’ve articulated on more than a few occasions:

Finally, welcoming refugees to our community doesn’t excuse us from taking care of everyone who is here today. There is poverty, hunger, violence and trouble right here in Missoula. We have folks who live, in some ways, as American refugees by virtue of a national political atmosphere that’s created more “have-nots” than “haves.” Taking care of the suffering here and those from somewhere else is not a mutually exclusive proposition. We’ll take care of our own and a few others, because that’s what this country is about. Sometimes this gets lost in irrational national dialogue.

The fact is that the IRC Missoula has solid funding and these families joining our community will be far less subsidized by taxpayers than the richest Americans. Volunteers and the good folks at our own Soft Landing Missoula will ensure that our adopted families will thrive, assimilate and enrich our place.

What pathetic lip service from a politician. At least Engen can acknowledge that poverty, hunger and violence exists in our liberal utopia, but ascribing that reality to some vague “national political atmosphere” is the kind of misinformation Engen decries. The national political atmosphere is not responsible for the dire situation America faces. It’s the collusion between corrupt politicians and the bottomless greed of the corporate class that has produced great chasms of economic disparity, causing the vast majority of Americans to feel more economically insecure than ever, and afraid of anything that threatens to increase that insecurity, like funding refugee relocation.

The Hmong were displaced by the violent geopolitics of America’s anti-communist obsession, driven by Tricky Dick Nixon and his main merchant of death, Henry Kissinger. I mention this because the thing that demolishes Engen’s credibility for me is his support of the neoliberal reincarnation of Nixon, Hillary Clinton.

When Clinton opened a campaign location in Missoula, this is what Mayor Engen had to say:

The mayor now supports Clinton, saying she’s most qualified to serve as the next U.S. president.

“She’s a brilliant public servant with the kind of experience our country needs, particularly given the nature of the rhetoric at the national level,” Engen said. “She believes that not just the rich, not just the white, not just the male deserve good lives. She believes we’re all first-class citizens, and that’s the kind of president I would support.”

What a load of bullshit. It’s rhetoric like this, from smug liberals, that angers me the most.

While Engen lectures us about misinformation and irrationality, supporting the political duo responsible for selling out the Democratic party and expecting them to do anything other than continuing to enrich themselves and their preferred insiders and sycophants is the epitome of irrationality.

The refugee crisis is a byproduct of American foreign policy. This foreign policy is a bipartisan effort between neoconservatives and neoliberals, Hillary Clinton being one of the worst. Mayor Engen supports this foreign policy by supporting Hillary Clinton.

Now tell me again, Mayor Engen, who is the irrational one here?

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Is Ryan Lochte the Victim of A Russian Plot to Embarrass America?

by William Skink

Clearly the American embarrassment known as Ryan Lochte succumbed to a Russian plot in Rio. I suspect Russian agents infiltrated the party Lochte left with his swimmer bros and used some kind of chemical agent and/or mind control techniques to cause the swimmers to go berserker on a gas station bathroom.

Knowing the inclination of Americans to lie and blame others for their misbehavior, all Russia had to do was sit back and watch the moronic Lochte concoct a robbery story that was immediately scoped up by the propagandists in our media predisposed to any negative story depicting Brazil as a dangerous, disgusting toilet of a country unable to pull off an Olympics in their third world hovel.

I hope our media can uncover this Russian plot to embarrass us at the Olympics so we can get back to feeling superior and mocking others like entitled mean girls laughing at the less fashionable at a high school prom.

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Housing Refugees Amidst Skyrocketing Home Prices in Missoula

by William Skink

When the effort to resettle refugees in Missoula got international attention earlier this month from the BBC, this is how the opening paragraphs framed the opposition:

“ISIS will come for our women”. That’s how one resident expressed his fears about the proposed settling of refugees in the US state of Montana.

Around 100 refugees could be moving to the American West thanks to a local group in Missoula who were inspired to help after seeing the photo of a drowned Syrian boy whose family had fled the conflict.

But people in the neighbouring rural county are not happy. A local politician told the BBC they want a guarantee refugees will not be a threat – and he warned of a culture clash between any Muslim refugees from Syria and the predominantly white local population.

The dynamic being set up is pretty obvious: stupid, ignorant yokels from the rural margins of Missoula saying stupid shit like the opening quote versus inspired empaths rising to save Syrian toddlers from certain death.

I have written about my perspective on this issue many times now, mostly contrasting the liberal do-gooders desire to save the world one refugee at a time with the reality of failing systems unable to meet the need that already exists in our community.

On Facebook, I have even been that asshole who shares this perspective by providing contrasting comments on posts gushing with that self-congratulatory adulation over the perception that Missoula is such a welcoming and amazing place (within city limits, of course, where that rural ignorance is kept at bay with liberal righteousness)

When I mention scarce resources for the disadvantaged already struggling in our community, I am told all the funding is from different pools and will have no negative impact. But the one resource that supporters of bringing 100 refugees a year to Missoula don’t have an adequate retort for is one of the most crucial: housing.

In the Missoulian today there is an article describing the “skyrocketing” price of housing as “unprecedented”. From the link:

The skyrocketing prices of homes in Missoula this year have even long-time real estate agents shaking their heads in disbelief.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Brint Wahlberg of Windermere Real Estate. “It’s truly an unprecedented market.

“I’ve been in the business 16 years, my mom has been in the industry 36 years. We’ve never seen a market where sellers have such an advantage to drive sales price and terms of sale and everything because there’s such a lack of supply inventory and a lack of affordable new construction.”

Over just the last eight months, the median sale price of homes in the Missoula urban area have surged up 4 percent from $239,500 to the current price of $249,900. That’s a jump of over $10,000 since the end of last year and a $53,000 increase since 2011.

The article goes on to describe immediate bidding wars over new listings, frustrated buyers who miss out if they have to wait until after work to do a walkthrough (the house already going under contract before the end of the work day), and buyers giving up to return to a rental market the article put at operating with a 3% vacancy rate, down from the 4.9% vacancy rate cited in an article about housing earlier this year.

Here is more from the article:

The affordability gap has been growing in Missoula. From From 2012 to 2016, the median price of a home in Missoula rose from $209,700 to $249,900. However, the median income for a single person has stagnated right around $44,000 and actually decreased last year.

As of Aug. 5, there were just 339 active residential listings in the Missoula urban area and 602 in the county. In July alone, the median sale price of the 128 homes sold in the Missoula area was $268,000, so there doesn’t appear to be any deceleration of the climbing prices.

Wahlberg said that it’s a simple math problem: People in Missoula don’t make enough money to afford housing.

For the refugee resettlement crusaders, the housing situation in Missoula represents a potential flashpoint of frustration that isn’t fueled by ISIS IS COMING FOR OUR WOMENFOLK!!! With supply this tight and demand so significant, making competition for housing so fierce, there is simply no way for the white saviors of war refugees to wiggle out of the reality that relocating 100 people a year into this housing situation will only make things more difficult for people trying to buy a house in Missoula.

Missoula isn’t the only place experiencing skyrocketing housing prices. There is an interesting resignation letter from a city official in Palo Alto who cites the price of housing as the reason she is moving her family away.  Read the whole letter below the jump.

Continue reading

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Trump the Trojan Horse Gallops Toward GOP Oblivion

by William Skink

After the “Obama is the founder of ISIS” bullshit Trump deployed to once again capture the media attention for the next few cycles, I’m more convinced than ever of Trump’s trojan horse function to actually benefit the Clinton campaign.

While Trump is now claiming he was being sarcastic, his insistence that he was being literal after the firestorm erupted, and not figurative, ensured that incredulous media outlets would carefully dissect his every iteration of this latest absurdity.

How this benefits the Clinton campaign is obvious. Trump could have hit Hillary hard on the new emails exposing how Clinton Foundation donors called in favors while Clinton ran the State Department, but he didn’t. Instead his remarks dominated news coverage, eclipsing the growing body of evidence that Hillary Clinton is a corrupt peddler of political influence unfit for the presidency.

There is also the added benefit of any topic that gets the Trump treatment becomes too toxic to approach, even though the topics need to be examined.

For example, let’s take a look at Trump’s claim that the vote count will be rigged. Here is how specifically Trump states it could happen:

Trump specifically told the Washington Post this week that he thinks rigging will take the form of voter identification fraud. But, as Hasen told NPR this week, the kind of fraud that voter ID laws are intended to counter just doesn’t seem to exist.

That quote comes from this NPR article. If you read the entire article, there is one election result conspicuously missing from the article: the 2004 reelection of George W. Bush. There is very good evidence that the Ohio results were hacked for Bush, but lucky for Bush (and Karl Rove) the guy who could have provided insight into this voter theft, Michael Connell, conveniently died in a plane crash before his deposition.

But Trump isn’t talking about voting machines, where the real threat of stolen elections exist. Why not?

Then there are the questions surrounding Hillary Clinton’s health. I think this is a real area of concern (better start investigating just who Tim Kaine is), but let’s see how Trump is framing this issue:

“She goes out and she sees you guys for about 10 minutes, she sees you for a little while, it’s all rehearsed and staged,” Trump said in an interview broadcast Sunday on Fox News’s “Media Buzz.”

“They’ll pick a couple of people out of the audience that are like, you know, 100 percent. She’ll sit around a little plastic table, they’ll talk to the people for a while. It’s ridiculous,” he added.

“And then she goes away for five or six days and you don’t see her. She goes to sleep.”

So Hillary sleeps? That’s the dig Trump is going to take? Hillary is no spring chicken, so it’s doubtful this line of attack is going to do much. Trump is trying to question her stamina, for sure, but there are much more substantive concerns regarding potential blood clots and other health issues that Trump isn’t using. Instead it’s excessive napping Trump is choosing to focus on.

Going back to the Obama as founder (and Hillary as co-founder) of ISIS comment, this one really pisses me off because the whole argument here is Obama abandoned Iraq (thanks to Bush’s Status of Forces Agreement) and Hillary destroyed Libya, creating the vacuums that ISIS emerged from. While there is a little truth to this assertion, there is a much more sordid tale to be told.

But Trump isn’t going to go there. No, he won’t talk about the other founders of ISIS, like Saudi Arabia, or the support provided to terrorists by Israel, or the complicity of Turkey in facilitating ISIS and other terrorist groups to make millions selling oil on the black market. Trump won’t question why it took Russia providing satellite evidence of ISIS transporting oil to shame Obama into finally ordering airstrikes.

From the beginning, since that phone call from Bill encouraging him to run, Trump has done more damage to the GOP than to the Clinton campaign. It’s gotten so bad that now there is speculation that down-ticket races are being hurt by Trump’s continued attempts to self-destruct his campaign. How convenient for Hillary Clinton.

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Storytelling

by William Skink

Lately I’ve been thinking about how central storytelling is to the human experience, and not just because I’m in the midst of constructing my own barely fictitious story. I believe we are (or become) the stories we tell ourselves through a sort of narrative alchemy that is much more potent than terms like “propaganda” can approximate.

Stories told through the mediums of cinema, television and music have had an immense impact on my own sense of narrative. The latest story to spark my synapses is the Netflix show Stranger Things. Set in the fictional town of Hawkins, circa 1983, the show has quickly imprinted its narrative on the minds of millions as they follow the nostalgia-laden characters through a visual collage of 80’s references.

I got so pulled into this narrative I even bought a poster on Etsy because I’m apparently 15 again decorating my basement room. Yeah, the nostalgia really is that good.

But it’s not just the nostalgia. Stranger Things takes on some plot points that are synchronistically fucking with me, but I don’t want to get into spoilers, so for now I’ll just leave it at that.

Next month I’m turning 38, and I have to say I don’t think the distinction between what is real and what isn’t has ever been this confused. I like fiction because there is no claim of being objectively real. Artists can create worlds with words and images and sound, and sometimes those worlds contain better information than what our reporters and journalists are pushing on us, especially during this election cycle.

Though I’ll probably regret it, I’d like to include Mark Tokarski’s descent into his face-splitting claims that celebrity deaths are mostly hoaxes to provide cover for reassignments to other roles. The comedian Bill Hicks transformed into conspiracy barker Alex Jones, for example, and Janis Joplin (or her twin) transformed into Amy Goodman, of Democracy Now.

While it might be easier to just ridicule and relegate this craziness to Mark’s murky corner of the interweb, I think the story Mark is telling himself is important. Because it’s not just Mark. I caught a piece at Zerohedge the other day speculating that nuclear bombs aren’t really that destructive, so what Japan experienced was more likely from conventional weapons.

I’m sure there is some level of comfort derived from declaring everything a hoax. And while revulsion and outright dismissal is the standard reaction to this kind of speculation, I try to at least keep an open mind about how much of our understanding of history has been artificially constructed to fit our present day agenda.

The narrative I’ve been chasing for years now is starting to coalesce. A central plot point to the story I’m interested in involves the overlap between the occult, Nazism, and the New Age movement. One of the books I’m currently plodding through is Peter Levenda’s Unholy Alliance.

After WWII, I think there is compelling evidence that America absorbed and expanded on Nazi research into mind control and other paranormal aspects of the planet we inhabit, with reckless disregard of the potential blowback. While this may seem like an outlandish assertion, there are plenty of compelling sources adding to our understanding of the 20th century wars that recast the global order, an order that is currently falling apart.

How far will this country go to preserve the destructive story of American execptionalism? The story of manifest destiny was bad enough, but the notion that America is the one indispensable nation is probably the most damaging story ever told.

The hubris and arrogance involved in the stories Americans tell themselves will ultimately be our undoing. Instead of believing in some divine mandate to expand and displace other cultures (manifest destiny), or in the exceptional role that justifies killing and manipulating whoever refuses to accept American hegemony, we need to start constructing alternative stories to pull us back from the brink of self-destruction.

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While Republicans Talk, Democrats Walk

by William Skink

Donald Trump has once again taken over the news cycle with his comments that are being interpreted as a call to violence to stop Hillary when he said this:

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

Now the media is predictably freaking out with their saturation coverage of all things Trump.

While Trump is being portrayed as an out-of-control demagogue calling for a political assassination, Hillary Clinton is seeking the endorsement of the indochina butcher, Henry Kissinger.  Here is The Nation suggesting how Bernie supporters should react to this impending endorsement:

Word comes from Politico that Hillary Clinton is courting the endorsement of Henry Kissinger. No surprise. Kissinger and the Clintons go back a ways, to when Bill in the early 1990s sought out Kissinger’s support to pass NAFTA and to, in the words of the economist Jeff Faux, serve as “the perfect tutor for a new Democratic president trying to convince Republicans and their business allies that they could count on him to champion Reagan’s vision.” Hillary has continued the apprenticeship, soliciting Kissinger’s advice and calling him “friend.”

Still, Bernie Sanders, and Sanders supporters and surrogates, should use the Politico story to draw a line, making clear that they will withdraw their support of Clinton if Clinton accepts Kissinger’s endorsement. If Sanders stands for anything, it is the promise of decency and civil equality, qualities that he has worked hard to bestow on Clinton since the Democratic National Convention. By accepting Kissinger’s endorsement, Clinton wouldn’t just be mocking that gift. She’d be sending the clearest signal yet to grassroots peace and social-justice Democrats that her presidency wouldn’t be a “popular front” against Trumpian fascism. It would be bloody business as usual.

The article goes on to describe Kissinger as a “unique monster”. The childhood taunt that it “takes one to know one” comes to mind.

One of my contentions about the danger of Democrats is that where Republicans say stuff, Democrats actually do stuff. I use this counterpoint with my dad all the time. For example, while hiking in Glacier recently, my dad lamented that Republicans wanted to destroy our national parks. I retorted that while he is afraid of that, Democrats like Jon Tester are actually doing immense damage to the environment by weakening the endangered species act to delist wolves (as a depressing side note to that, it’s now feared the entire East Fork wolf pack in Alaska has been wiped out for good).

Getting back to political assassination, while the corporate media throws out any remaining shred of journalistic standards to destroy Trump, making quite a stretch to imply that Trump’s statement were a call to violence, there is growing suspicion that one of the recent convenient deaths that have benefited the Clinton campaign may have been just that: a political assassination.

The person now hinting at this scenario has been the target of calls for political assassination himself. Julian Assange, who has had both Democrats and Republicans call for his political assassination, is now hinting that the murdered DNC staffer, Seth Rich, could have been the email leaker. This is big. Here is the exchange from a recent interview:

Assange: Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often significant risks. There was a 27-year old that works for the DNC who was shot in the back… murdered.. for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington.

Host: That was just a robbery wasn’t it?

Assange: No. There’s no finding.

Host: What are you suggesting?

Assange: I am suggesting that our sources take risks and they become concerned to see things occurring like that.

Host: But was he one of your sources, then?

Assange: We don’t comment on who our sources are.

Host: But why make the suggestion?

Assange: Because we have to understand how high the stakes are in the United States and that our sources face serious risks… that’s why they come to us so we can protect their anonymity.

Host: But it’s quite something to suggest a murder… that’s basically what you’re doing.

Here is some more context from Zerohedge:

The mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of 27-year-old Democratic-staffer Seth Rich (shot multiple times, and not robbed, at 420am near his home in Washington D.C., where no homicides have been reported within 1500 feet) have stirred Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to offer a $20,000 reward for information leading to a conviction. But it is Assange’s comments during a Dutch TV interview that are most disturbing as he hinted that Rich – who was in charge of DNC voter expansion data – was the email-leaker and his death was a politically-motivated assassination.

Within hours of the event alternative media reporters began to suspect something was amiss, as police had no witnesses, no suspects and no motive. This led to theories that Rich, who was in charge of voter expansion data at the DNC, may have been killed to cover something up. Subsequent reports even suggested Rich may have been on his way to speak with special agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding an “ongoing court case.”

Will the mainstream media take a break from everything Trump to do some investigative journalism into this? Probably not, as most people would prefer to keep their jobs and not be added to the body count themselves.

Or maybe the media could continue providing insight into the email evidence of corruption from America’s first female presidential nominee:

The new documents reveal that in April 2009 controversial Clinton Foundation official Doug Band pushed for a job for an associate. In the email Band tells Hillary Clinton’s former aides at the State Department Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin that it is “important to take care of [Redacted]. Band is reassured by Abedin that “Personnel has been sending him options.” Band was co-founder of Teneo Strategy with Bill Clinton and a top official of the Clinton Foundation, including its Clinton Global Initiative.

Included in the new document production is a 2009 email in which Band, directs Abedin and Mills to put Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire and Clinton Foundation donor Gilbert Chagoury in touch with the State Department’s “substance person” on Lebanon. Band notes that Chagoury is “key guy there [Lebanon] and to us,” and insists that Abedin call Amb. Jeffrey Feltman to connect him to Chagoury.

Chagoury is a close friend of former President Bill Clinton and a top donor to the Clinton Foundation. He has appeared near the top of the Foundation’s donor list as a $1 million to $5 million contributor, according to foundation documents. He also pledged $1 billion to the Clinton Global Initiative. According to a 2010 investigation by PBS Frontline, Chagoury was convicted in 2000 in Switzerland for laundering money from Nigeria, but agreed to a plea deal and repaid $66 million to the Nigerian government.

Hillary Clinton is a political creature who turned the State Department into a den of corruption and shows no qualms about getting advice and an endorsement from a murderous butcher who oversaw the slaughtering of millions of humans. I don’t think it’s that big of a stretch to claim Hillary Clinton knows more about political assassination than Donald Trump.

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John Pilger Unloads Some Reality on Smug Liberals

by William Skink

For expressing my concern about a world war breaking out and disruptions in our food supply if something major occurs, a new label was used to mock my concerns: drama lizard.

Here is the full comment from Pete Talbot (link):

World War III! No food on the shelves! All is lost! So says the drama lizard. No point in trying to change the system. Time to buy a handgun and hunker down.

And a Clinton presidency is scarier than Chief Executive Trump? The guy wants to “hit people in the face so hard,” and says “the fact is that we need unpredictability” when it comes to nuclear weapons, and “women who seek abortions should be punished … ”

Anyway, I’ll keep plugging away with a good number of other folks to pull the party to the left. I don’t know any other way, realistically, of bringing about progressive change.

Apparently progressive sadomasochists who revel in the humiliating loss delivered by the DNC can’t imagine a scenario in which their pathologically lying president (who has referred to Putin as Hitler and questioned whether he has a soul) provokes nuclear armageddon. Luckily not everyone has stunted imaginations. For those folks, I recommend reading John Pilger’s latest article, Silencing America as it prepares for war. From the link:

The 2016 election campaign is remarkable not only for the rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders but also for the resilience of an enduring silence about a murderous self-bestowed divinity. A third of the members of the United Nations have felt Washington’s boot, overturning governments, subverting democracy, imposing blockades and boycotts. Most of the presidents responsible have been liberal – Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Clinton, Obama.

The breathtaking record of perfidy is so mutated in the public mind, wrote the late Harold Pinter, that it “never happened …Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest. It didn’t matter… “. Pinter expressed a mock admiration for what he called “a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.”

Hypnosis is a better explanation for what Democrats seem to experience as they do their best to avoid the cognitive dissonance that occurs when reality intrudes and the hypnosis doesn’t work. How else to understand this comment from Talbot:

” … the only thing your party has to motivate voters is fear this election cycle,” says lizard. Did you not watch any of the Republican convention? Crime, Negroes, Mexicans, Muslims — time to circle the wagons.

The Democratic message was uplifting in comparison, except for the real fear that a madman like Trump could become president.

Instead of taking the word of a victim of DNC hypnosis, let’s actually take a look at the uplifting warmongering the Democrats offered in contrast to the orange demon spawn that has singlehandedly short-circuited the brain functioning of Democrats:

In Philadelphia, the former Special Presidential Envoy to the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS, retired Gen. John Allen, delivered a bombastic lecture in which he endorsed Hillary Clinton on the grounds that she alone was capable of opposing tyranny and evil via military interventions around the world.

“With Hillary Clinton as our commander-in-chief,” he shouted in language that doubtless warmed the hearts of interventionists of both major parties, “the United States will continue to be that indispensable, transformational power in the world.” Not only that, but the Pentagon would be able to relax, knowing that the military-industrial complex would never have to pinch pennies: “Our armed forces will be stronger. They will have the finest weapons, the greatest equipment.”

Amazingly, such balls-out hawkishness, delivered loudly at the highest-decibel level possible, garnered relatively little in the way of commentary or protest except in the Wells Fargo Arena itself. Anti-war activists started chants of “No More Wars,” but were quickly muffled by other attendees—and Allen himself from the podium—counter-chanting “USA! USA! USA!” (fearing pro-Bernie Sanders protests, the DNC had actually handed out directions to Clinton delegates on how to silence commotion).

As an antidote to this jingoistic American exceptionlism, here is more from Pilger:

The election of Trump or Clinton is the old illusion of choice that is no choice: two sides of the same coin. In scapegoating minorities and promising to “make America great again”, Trump is a far right-wing domestic populist; yet the danger of Clinton may be more lethal for the world.

“Only Donald Trump has said anything meaningful and critical of US foreign policy,” wrote Stephen Cohen, emeritus professor of Russian History at Princeton and NYU, one of the few Russia experts in the United States to speak out about the risk of war.

In a radio broadcast, Cohen referred to critical questions Trump alone had raised. Among them: why is the United States “everywhere on the globe”? What is NATO’s true mission? Why does the US always pursue regime change in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Ukraine? Why does Washington treat Russia and Vladimir Putin as an enemy?

The hysteria in the liberal media over Trump serves an illusion of “free and open debate” and “democracy at work”. His views on immigrants and Muslims are grotesque, yet the deporter-in-chief of vulnerable people from America is not Trump but Obama, whose betrayal of people of colour is his legacy: such as the warehousing of a mostly black prison population, now more numerous than Stalin’s gulag.

This presidential campaign may not be about populism but American liberalism, an ideology that sees itself as modern and therefore superior and the one true way. Those on its right wing bear a likeness to 19th century Christian imperialists, with a God-given duty to convert or co-opt or conquer.

My emphasis, in order to break the hypnosis: yet the danger of Clinton may be more lethal to the world. And the rest of the quote is, imho, right on, especially the part about American liberalism seeing itself as modern and superior and the one true way. That belief reminds me of the Vox article regarding the smug style of American liberalism:

Finding comfort in the notion that their former allies were disdainful, hapless rubes, smug liberals created a culture animated by that contempt. The result is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Financial incentive compounded this tendency — there is money, after all, in reassuring the bitter. Over 20 years, an industry arose to cater to the smug style. It began in humor, and culminated for a time in The Daily Show, a program that more than any other thing advanced the idea that liberal orthodoxy was a kind of educated savvy and that its opponents were, before anything else, stupid. The smug liberal found relief in ridiculing them.

The internet only made it worse. Today, a liberal who finds himself troubled by the currents of contemporary political life need look no further than his Facebook newsfeed to find the explanation:

Study finds Daily Show viewers more informed than viewers of Fox News.

They’re beating CNN watchers too.

NPR listeners are best informed of all. He likes that.

You’re better off watching nothing than watching Fox. He likes that even more.

The good news doesn’t stop.

Liberals aren’t just better informed. They’re smarter.

They’ve got better grammar. They know more words.

Smart kids grow up to be liberals, while conservatives reason like drunks.

Liberals are better able to process new information; they’re less biased like that. They’ve got different brains. Better ones. Why? Evolution. They’ve got better brains, top-notch amygdalae, science finds.

The smug style created a feedback loop. If the trouble with conservatives was ignorance, then the liberal impulse was to correct it. When such corrections failed, disdain followed after it.

This important and accurate description of liberal smugness is helpful in understanding our current political predicament.

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Progressive Sadomasochism?

by William Skink

I don’t think all progressives are sadomasochists, but let’s look at the wikipedia definition and then examine a brewing story mentioned at ID. First, the definition:

Sadomasochism, a subset of BDSM, is the giving or receiving of pleasure from acts involving the receipt or infliction of pain or humiliation. Practitioners of sadomasochism may seek sexual gratification from their acts. While the terms sadist and masochist refer respectively to one who enjoys giving or receiving pain, practitioners of sadomasochism may switch between activity and passivity.

And here’s to what’s brewing in MT politics:

Brewing but not yet in the news, is the formation of the Montana Progressive Democrats. Mostly made up of Bernie supporters, some of them recent delegates to the Democratic National Convention, it hopes to become a chartered organization within the Montana Democratic Party.

After being lied to, cheated, intimidated, maligned by “objective” media, conspired against by DNC brass, put in the back of the arena and strategically shouted out of having a voice–after all that, and Hillary picking Tim Kaine, and then giving Debbie Wasserman Shultz a top job in her campaign, and then lying some more about being truthful to the FBI because she clearly is incapable of being honest. After all this (and whatever comes in the next 90 days) some progressives in Montana want to go hat-in-hand to become a chartered organization WITHIN the stinking political apparatus that pulled every dirty trick in the book to disenfranchise their candidate?

I don’t think there’s any sexual gratification to be had by asking for more betrayal and abuse from these bastards, but there has to be something I’m missing to keep people going back to a party that has established decades of well-proven service to all the things progressives claim to abhor.

And Hillary Clinton is the vile embodiment of all those decades of triangulation, capitulation and well-paid service to the plutocrats and terrorist-funding foreigners salivating to call in those favors once she hits the oval office.

I don’t know why it’s so dumbfounding that one can make an argument (a compelling one, I think, but of course I’m biased) that Hillary Clinton is a bigger threat than Donald Trump, and that the Democratic Party has been more effective at pushing war and protecting corporations than Republicans.

The reactions I get when I put forth this assertion (including from people in meat space) vary from pointing out I’m a white, heterosexual male (which I agree means I don’t see the same degree of threat represented by statements made by the bloviating puss hole that is Donald’s mouth) to suggesting I am merely influenced by Russian propaganda.

None of these reactions account for the actual substance of what Hillary has actually done to make the world a less safe place for people across the world, and even for the demographics that will turn out to vote for her because fear of Trump is a powerful motivator.

Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party that serves her can’t overtly defend her terrible votes, past policy positions, endemic corruption and chronic dependence on destruction over diplomacy during her reign of chaos at the State Department because those things are not palatable to the progressive base that must turn out to put her in the White House.

But will the progressive base, if they are aware of this reality (many of them are) choose to defend what Hillary Clinton represents out of fear-driven, lesser-evil defeatism, or will they choose instead to redirect their energies into replacing the party that replaced their voice with corporate cash decades ago?

At the end of last month, James Conner put up some information about local efforts to get Jill Stein on the ballot in Montana. Here is some of that info:

Green Party members in Montana are collecting signatures to put Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein on the ballot in November. According to the GP’s ballot access page for Montana, the signature gatherers have until 17 August to collect 5,000 signatures of registered voters.

Ryan Moore of Bozeman is the Green’s statewide coordinator. There are regional coordinators in Helena, Billings, Missoula, Great Falls, and the Flathead. The email address for Missoula coordinator Dani Breck is missoula4bernie@gmail.com, which suggests that the resurgence of the Greens is in part a consequence of Bernie Sanders’ losing the Democratic nomination to Hillary Clinton. Paul Daughtry is the coordinator for the Flathead.

I haven’t made the effort yet, but a certain smug partisan has inspired me to do this one, small little thing–futile as I think it ultimately is–to emphasize my sincere belief that the Democratic Party needs to be replaced, not reformed from within.

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