Worse Than Birthers…

by William Skink

Alternative Radio featured Thomas Frank this evening speaking about the America that elected Trump. I appreciate Frank because he understands, historically, how Democrats willfully transformed their party into the hot mess it is today. One of the central rationalizations driving the decision to abandon the working class for the professional class was the need to keep pace, dollar for dollar, with the deep pockets of Republican backers. How else could Democrats be expected to compete, they argued.

Thanks to Trump, that rationalization is now gone. Hillary’s war chest was immense, but despite the money propping up the Clinton brand, the branding failed.

Another part of Frank’s talk that resonated with me was his zeroing in on the most consequential missed opportunity of the first Obama term; a disastrous decision that doomed Democrats and set this country on the path to another global war: the bailout of Wall Street.

The real enemies threatening the livelihoods of Americans walked in to that infamous meeting with the incoming Obama administration ashen faced, said Frank, and left smiling. The moment to address the rot that metastasized after the Clinton administration successfully killed Glass-Steagall passed and now we’re just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

It’s true I’ve spent the majority of my blogging time over the years railing against Democrats. But before Trump I didn’t know how truly contemptible these party loyalists would become.

The Russia hysteria enrages me beyond words. These smug, tantrum-throwing losers once offended by conspiracy theories about birth certificates to delegitimize a president now believe any anonymous-sourced swill coming from their beloved papers of record. These are the same people who breathlessly warned us about Trump supporters not accepting the results of an election that was sure to enthrone their ceiling-shattering candidate.

While the Russia hysteria continues unabated, despite a persistent lack of tangible evidence, acts of war are escalating. In just the last 24 hours America’s illegal presence in Syria, fighting a war not declared by Congress, kicked up a notch after a U.S. fighter jet shot down a Syrian warplane, then there’s Iran’s missile strike targeting ISIS in Syria.

(I used the NYT and Slate for sources so Democrats know this is really happening and not just fake news planted by Trump to distract from his treasonous collusion with Putin)

Syria is a cauldron of conflict that could easily spark a wider war, and there is absolutely no substantive political force in America positioned to give voice against the madness of escalation.  That fact could not have been more clear with the recent 97-2 vote for more sanctions against Russia.

Neither of those two dissenting votes came from a Democrat.

Going all-in on Russiagate is easily, imho, the second worst decision perpetrated on the American people by the Democratic political machine. Because there is more at stake than delegitimizing a president and stoking right-wing racism, I find this tactic deployed against Trump worse than what the birthers tried to do against Obama.

What will Trump have to do to prove he isn’t a stooge of the Kremlin? Start WWIII?

Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

The Democrats Have a Bigger Class Problem Than Just The Disgruntled White Working Class

by William Skink

Democrats have a class problem, and if they don’t fix it the losses will continue to mount. Before getting to the NYT article describing why the Democratic Party is in worse shape than you thought, a recent letter to the Indy from State Rep. Hill Smith includes a hint of this problem worth pointing out.

The point of Rep. Hill Smith’s letter is to lambast the Indy for not including any women it its recent piece on the Democratic loss in Montana’s special election. With the focus on gender, it was this part that caught my attention:

In January of this year, 10,000 Montana women grabbed their Patagonia jackets and donned them with pink pussy hats, huddling together, fists and protests signs in air.

What stands out to me is the part where Hill Smith describes women grabbing their Patagonia jackets. The reason I am pointing this out is because Patagonia is an overpriced active wear brand that not every woman at the march, or across the country, can afford. Rep. Hill Smith is unconsciously stereotyping the 10,000 women who showed up in Helena last January as all being well-off enough to drop over a $100 bucks for this type of jacket.

While this minor aspect of Hill Smith’s gender diatribe may not seem like a big deal, I think it’s indicative of the class-cluelessness contributing to Democrats increasing irrelevance (to use a term recently thrown at me).

Now, let’s get to the NYT piece. One of the popular postmortems of the 2016 Democratic debacle is that it was just white working-class defectors who swayed the election for Trump. But that’s not the whole story:

What the autopsy reveals is that Democratic losses among working class voters were not limited to whites; that crucial constituencies within the party see its leaders as alien; and that unity over economic populism may not be able to turn back the conservative tide.

Equally disturbing, winning back former party loyalists who switched to Trump will be tough: these white voters’ views on immigration and race are in direct conflict with fundamental Democratic tenets.

A Democrat looking to rationalize their loser status will see this quote and only focus on immigration and race, assuming they are losing because all those working class white people are hopeless xenophobes and racists. What Democrats seem more reluctant to acknowledge is the underlying reason keeping key parts of their constituency from turning out. Here’s more from the article:

Priorities also studied Obama-to-Trump voters. Estimates of the number of such voters range from 6.7 to 9.2 million, far more than enough to provide Trump his Electoral College victory. The counties that switched from Obama to Trump were heavily concentrated in the Midwest and other Rust Belt states.

To say that this constituency does not look favorably on the Democratic Party fails to capture the scope of their disenchantment.

The accompanying chart illustrates this discontent. A solid majority, 77 percent, of Obama-to-Trump voters think Trump’s economic policies will either favor “all groups equally” (44) or the middle class (33). 21 percent said Trump would favor the wealthy.

In contrast, a plurality of these voters, 42 percent, said that Congressional Democrats would favor the wealthy, slightly ahead of Congressional Republicans at 40 percent.

The tendency from Democrats is to just dismiss millions of people as ignorant rednecks voting against their economic interests. The party that sold out to Wall Street under the 90’s Clinton regime don’t seem to want to examine why Democrats are seen as more likely to favor the wealthy than Republicans.

What Democrats can’t seem to understand is that economic insecurity is the driving force behind race and immigration issues. When people are scared about their own ability to provide for themselves, scapegoating immigrants and other minorities increases. This sentiment has obviously been exacerbated by Republican politicians exploiting and directing that fear for their own political gain.

The article goes on to describe why the economic populism of the Sanders/Warren segment of the Democratic Party may not be the key to future success that many progressives hope it will be.

Will Democrats absorb and operationalize this information? I doubt it. And that’s why they are going to keep losing for the foreseeable future.

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

The Keepers

by William Skink

There is a documentary on Netflix called The Keepers I’ve been watching this week. It’s about the murder of a nun in Baltimore. She was killed because she was going to take allegations of sexual abuse by a priest to the police.

This is not a new story. It’s now widely known that the Catholic Church harbors pedophile priests who have preyed on thousands of victims for decades. These priestly predators have been systematically protected by one of the most powerful religious institutions on earth.

For me, the documentary has additional relevance. Sexual abuse by people in power is not just about the sexual gratification of sexual predators. It’s also about control and understanding how the mind reacts to trauma.

Nazi scientists were deeply involved in researching this aspect of mind control. After WWII, thanks to evil monsters like the Dulles Brothers, this research continued under the auspices of programs like MK-Ultra. The reluctance of Americans to acknowledge that this occurred in their own country, with their own intelligence agencies, doesn’t make it not true.

I’ve recently come into contact with a survivor who experienced significant trauma at the hands of a medical professional back in the 70’s. She didn’t start recovering her memories of this trauma until the 80’s, years after the abuse occurred. I’ve looked into aspects of her story, and it checks out. Unfortunately I can’t say any more than that at this point.

I wish people understood what this country has become. Americans like to think of this country as the beacon of liberty and democracy for the world, the shining city on the hill, but it’s a lie–a hollow myth kept alive through ignorant belief. The harsh reality is that after WWII, the worst aspects of Nazi Germany were absorbed by the American power structure, and further developed to maintain power and control, not just over the US population, but to exert power and control as far as possible.

I don’t know if this dark force can be stopped. The evil has metastasized. The enemy cloaks itself in the American flag and smiles as it shakes your hand. Wake up before it’s too late.

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Clueless Missoula Democrat Sue Malek on Paying Attention

by William Skink

A new post at Intelligent Discontent provides more evidence that Democrats in Montana are clueless, especially here in the Missoula bubble. The post–titled Eee-gads, we better pay attention–is penned by Sue Malek, a Democratic member of the State Senate.

Here are some of the issues politicians like Jon Tester and Chuck Schumer are telling Malek to be worried about now that year zero of the Trump era has descended on the former utopia run without issue by Obama:

Our president has proposed cutting millions from every Forest Service program. Public lands are in grave danger, Senator Tester says.

Trump plans private-public partnerships to rebuild our roads and bridges. Expect toll roads coast-to-coast, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says.

Trump insults and castigates allies who’ve helped defend of democracies around the world. He withdraws from the Paris Climate Accord. Germany and the EU step up to fill the void.

Tensions between Qatar and other gulf states increase and Turkey forms a new military alliance with Qatar. Trump takes credit.

Trump proposes huge cuts in all programs for low-income, disabled and elderly so he can cut more taxes for the wealthy and build the US-Mexico wall.

Eee-gads is right, Sue Malek. It’s almost like you are not aware of Tester pushing more logging mandates and undermining the Endangered Species Act, or the many, many reasons not to trust a Wall Street Democrat like Schumer.

With regards to Trump castigating allies who have helped defend democracies around the world, I’m not sure what the hell Malek is talking about. She can’t be talking about our Arab allies, because they most decidedly do not support democracies. Israel doesn’t either.

If Democrats like Sue Malek were paying attention BEFORE Trump was elected, maybe they wouldn’t have gotten their asses kicked so badly. Maybe they would have realized that income inequality exploded under Obama because he chose to bail out Wall Street over Main Street, and that the continued military interventions have increased terrorism, allowing ISIS and Al-Qaeda affiliates to emerge to expand into new territories.

Here is the problem: Democrats like Sue Malek were not paying attention during the Obama years, which means they most certainly weren’t holding their own party accountable. Now that they are suffering from Trump depression and getting overwhelmed by current events, politicians like Malek are imploring us to pay attention:

It’s up to us to pay attention, even when we don’t want to. It’s up to us to protect the equal rights of all our citizens. It’s up to us to hold our congress people responsible.

Most of us have been sick about Trump since the Republican National Convention attendees led by a former general in the US military chanted “Lock her up” and Trump stated he would not accept the results of the election.

I was glad to have four months of distraction being in the Montana legislature this year. During the session, my friends suffered with Trump depression. But now we all know depression is not an option.

Sure, Sue Malek, go protect those equal rights of all our citizens, like that teenager Obama blew up with a drone strike because his dad was a terrorist. What, you didn’t know Obama ordered the execution of US citizens without due process? I guess you weren’t paying attention back then, oh well.

Some of us continued paying attention even after Obama was elected and lulled Democrats into a deep slumber for nearly a decade. I know, weird. But because we didn’t willfully disengage from educating ourselves on the abuses of American imperialism, we have the unique capability of seeing Trump as a part of a continuum, and not some horrendous aberration that came out of nowhere.

At least you and your depressed friends can commiserate together about the horrors of the Trump regime, Sue Malek. For those of us who continued paying attention to the atrocities of US imperialism under Obama, there was no concerted resistance movement to alleviate the sickness we felt that a slick-talking Democrat duped so many willfully ignorant Democrats.

Posted in Uncategorized | 23 Comments

As Labour Surges in UK, Comey Makes Trouble for Democrats

by William Skink

It’s hard to see the Labour Party surging across the pond under Corbyn and not wonder what might have happened had Bernie been allowed to fairly challenge Lord Clinton in the US primaries. Sure, Corbyn was openly derided by members of his own party early on, but that’s because members of his party are the UK version of neoliberal Democrats beholden to Wall Street and peddlers of war.

Back at home, it’s all Comey. I’m sure people will take what they want from today’s testimony, but I really can’t see how Democrats can view this as a win for the resistance. If the effort to depose Trump, after today, remains focused on Russia, it’s going to fail.

Mike Krieger thinks Democrats will stay with the Russia angle, and here is his reasoning:

“…Democrats will never let this go because it would force them to talk about real issues like Wall Street, oligarchy and imperial foreign policy, but they don’t want to do that. That’s the dirty little secret. Since the Democrats largely agree with Trump on many of his most heinous policy stances, they have to come up with an overseas bogeyman to obsess about. That’s what this has been about since day one. As such, there continues to be no functioning opposition party in American at this time. Unfortunate, but true.”

Yep, while the entire Middle East–including Turkey, a NATO member–prepares for war, Democrats will continue obsessing over Russia and ignoring the real reason people disdain the Democratic Party and its establishment tentacles that reach into media strongholds like the hallowed halls of the New York Times.

Comey didn’t have anything nice to say about one particular Times article that came out in February. For that story, let’s consult the source reporting on its reporting:

Answering a question about the Times article during an appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mr. Comey said that “in the main, it was not true.”

The article was the first to reveal direct contacts between Trump advisers and Russian officials before the election — contacts that are now at the heart of F.B.I. and congressional investigations. Multiple news outlets have since published accounts that support the main elements of The Times’s article, including information about phone calls and in-person meetings between Mr. Trump’s advisers and Russians, some believed to be connected to Russian intelligence.

Mr. Comey did not say exactly what he believed was incorrect about the article, which was based on information from four current and former American officials, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because the information was classified. The original sources could not immediately be reached after Mr. Comey’s remarks, but in the months since the article was published, they have indicated that they believed the account was solid.

Translation: he says it’s not true but other rags ran this anonymous stuff, and though we haven’t met these anonymous people in secret since Comey called our article crap, they did tell us after we published it that it’s like totally solid man, so just trust us.

Another challenging aspect (for Democrats) of Comey’s testimony is his claim that Loretta Lynch used her position of authority to help the Clinton campaign by suggesting Comey use the word “matter” instead of “investigation” when talking about the INVESTIGATION into Hillary’s reckless, obstructive behavior with classified information.

If Democrats need another distraction, John McCain apparently provided some good theatrics. I didn’t watch any of it, but people on Twitter say it’s crazy, so, you know.

Closer to home, the Indy takes a look at Montana Democratic dysfunction to try and understand the special election loss. I think my favorite part of the article is this from Andrew Person, loser to Adam Hertz and signatory to the Russophobic MONTANANS FOR NATIONAL SECURITY:

Andrew Person, a former state representative from Missoula who lost his seat to Republican Rep. Adam Hertz in 2016, thinks the party needs a better-defined identity, one that distinguishes itself from the baggage that comes with the national party.

A 37-year-old veteran with a young family and an outdoorsy vibe, Person works as an attorney at the Missoula law firm Garlington, Lohn and Robinson. Sitting on the firm’s top-floor patio, he discusses economics and campaign finance with the approachable, animated accessibility you’d think voters would clamor for.

Isn’t this priceless? An urban lawyer, luxuriating on an upper-floor patio, musing about how Democrats need to better-define their identity. What a joke.

To further exemplify the tried-and-failed reliance on identity politics, one notorious Missoula State Rep. (being termed out) clamored on Facebook that no women were quoted in this article. I’m not sure if that’s the most important takeaway from this piece, but that might just be the closeted misogynist in me talking.

While Democrats go in search of a better, poll-tested identity, there are more US air strikes in Syria getting no attention, more weapons for Saudi Arabia, and chaos spreading across the Middle East.

It would be nice to have an opposition party, but I certainly am not waiting around for the Democrats to become something they are simply incapable of becoming.

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Anti-Russia Hysteria Consumes Mother Jones and the Missoula Independent

by William Skink

America has officially lost its shit over Russia.

When I wrote this poem back in December about Russians infiltrating my coffee pot, I was trying to be absurd. Now, I can envision CNN reporting Kremlin agents spiked their coffee.

Why? Because Russia hacking is being absurdly blamed for the sudden diplomatic bodyslam spearheaded by Saudi Arabia against Qatar. By CNN. Seriously.

US investigators believe Russian hackers breached Qatar’s state news agency and planted a fake news report that contributed to a crisis among the US’ closest Gulf allies, according to US officials briefed on the investigation.

The FBI recently sent a team of investigators to Doha to help the Qatari government investigate the alleged hacking incident, Qatari and US government officials say.

Intelligence gathered by the US security agencies indicates that Russian hackers were behind the intrusion first reported by the Qatari government two weeks ago, US officials say. Qatar hosts one of the largest US military bases in the region.

The alleged involvement of Russian hackers intensifies concerns by US intelligence and law enforcement agencies that Russia continues to try some of the same cyber-hacking measures on US allies that intelligence agencies believe it used to meddle in the 2016 elections.

Sure, CNN. I’m sure it’s the Russians and not Qatar’s shared natural gas field with Iran or the billion dollar ransom Doha paid to rescue a royal hunting party.

The Russia paranoia is everywhere. While partisan blogs like Intelligent Discontent focus primarily on conservative trends in the media landscape with Lee Enterprises and the Sinclair Broadcasting Group’s recent power play, Russia hysteria has infected Mother Jones and even the Missoula Independent.

The criticism of Mother Jones comes with a historical reminder of what the magazine experienced during the original red scare:

Mother Jones recently announced it’s “redoubling our Russia reporting”—in the words of editor Clara Jeffery. Ain’t that rich. What passes for “Russia reporting” at Mother Jones is mostly just glorified InfoWars paranoia for progressive marks — a cataract of xenophobic conspiracy theories about inscrutable Russian barbarians hellbent on subverting our way of life, spreading chaos, destroying freedom & democracy & tolerance wherever they once flourished. . . . because they hate us, because we’re free.

Western reporting on Russia has always been garbage, But the so-called “Russia reporting” of the last year has taken the usual malpractice to unimagined depths — whether it’s from Mother Jones or MSNBC, or the Washington Post or Resistance hero Louise Mensch.

But of all the liberal media, Mother Jones should be most ashamed for fueling the moral panic about Russian “disinformation”. It wasn’t too long ago that the Reagan Right attacked Mother Jones for spreading “Kremlin disinformation” and subverting America. There were threats and leaks to the media about a possible Senate investigation into Mother Jones serving as a Kremlin disinformation dupe, a threat that hung over the magazine throughout the early Reagan years. A new Senate Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism (SST for short) was set up in 1981 to investigate Kremlin “disinformation” and “active measures” in America, and the American “dupes” who helped Moscow subvert our way of life. That subcommittee was created to harass and repress leftist anti-imperial dissent in America, using “terrorism” as the main threat, and “disinformation” as terrorism’s fellow traveller. The way the the SST committee put it, “terrorism” and “Kremlin disinformation” were one and the same, a meta-conspiracy run out of Moscow to weaken America.

And Mother Jones was one of the first American media outlets in the SST committee’s sites.

My how the roles have switched. Disgusting.

The Missoula Independent has provided its platform for a group calling themselves Montanans for National Security. Before getting to their propaganda, it might be good to know who we are talking about:

This piece has been signed by Montanans for National Security Members Julie Sirrs, Andrew Person, Charlie Cromwell, Danny Tenenbaum, Tom Leonard and Randy LeCocq. Our organization includes former national security professionals with extensive experience serving and protecting U.S. interests at home and abroad, including Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, former Defense Intelligence Agency officers, and former diplomats from the U.S. Department of State.

Now, here is the fear-mongering propaganda:

Recently, a small group of Montana citizens committed to calm, thoughtful, nonpartisan engagement joined together to ensure that our representatives in Washington, D.C., hear our concerns about Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential race. That is the concept behind a group we recently formed called Montanans for National Security, and you are invited to join our efforts.

On Jan. 6, 2017, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a declassified document that listed a number of troubling conclusions. Among them were that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign aimed at the 2016 presidential election; that Russia’s goals included undermining public faith in the U.S. democratic process; and that Moscow is likely to apply lessons learned to future influence efforts worldwide, including those targeting U.S. allies.

First, the idea that this groups is non-partisan is a joke. Why? Because there will never be any concern expressed from a group like this about Hillary Clinton undermining public faith in the democratic process by rigging the primary against Bernie Sanders.

Nope, blaming Russia for running this “influence campaign” has always been about diverting attention away from the evidence of corruption that sunk the Clinton campaign. Thanks to the duplicitous intelligence community who lied this country into wars that have killed hundreds of thousands of people, blaming Russia has fully blossomed into a deep state soft coup against the Trump regime. With that in mind, here is how the MONTANANS FOR NATIONAL SECURITY!!! conclude their propaganda appeal to Montanans:

Take a moment and reflect on the intelligence community’s conclusion that Putin’s goals included undermining public faith in the U.S. democratic process. Whether Putin accomplishes his goal is largely up to us, and the time to act against him is now.

When we come together—not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans—to ensure that Congress conducts a thorough and impartial investigation that follows all leads, regardless of where they go, we will have shown the world how robust and strong American democracy really is.

If you are interested in joining our effort to host both our senators for a public discussion in Montana about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, please email mt4america@gmail.com with contact information, and we’ll help you get involved.

Mother Jones and the Missoula Independent have joined the ranks of once respected media sources now peddling xenophobic Russian conspiracies to their respective audiences. This is not just disgusting, it’s dangerous and irresponsible.

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Water, Ship, Down

by William Skink

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Making Art in the Era of Trump

by William Skink

Even though he over does it sometimes with his smarty-pants-takes-on-pop-culture style, I don’t think you will find better analysis of Kathy Griffin staring dead-pan into the camera lens while holding aloft the blood-drenched fake head of President Trump than this post by Dan Brooks.

As someone who has filmed himself dancing with a halloween Trump mask covering his ass, I take seriously the dilemma we artists face in finding ways to effectively respond to the crude absurdity that is Trump. For anyone who finds value in art, I think the conclusion of Dan’s deep-dive into Griffin (sorry, couldn’t help myself) is worth highlighting:

The worst thing about having this man as president is the brutalization of the poor, sick, and brown. The second-worst thing is the terrible judgment his election laid upon our country’s soul. But way down the list, and perhaps too little remarked, is the problem of how his flat, stupid badness has flattened and stupefied art. So many of us feel so strongly against him that we are apt to mistake any mirror for a picture. The question of how to say something interesting about this man is getting increasingly hard to answer, and yet he is so terribly important.

That a person like Trump with an ego like a blackhole sucking in all matter around it became president is stupefying, so how should artists respond?

I’ve been asking myself that a lot this past year, and for me it’s not a question of saying something interesting about Trump. I am more interested in the narrative I am piecing together that allows me to understand how we have reached this bizarre breaking point so many seem ill-equipped to handle.

I started assembling and posting my music video journal last September, and since then I have created over 40 pieces. In the Halloween piece I even predicted the election of Trump because I had a feeling it was in the cards, so to speak, for Trump to win.

The story (I’m barely working on) still anticipates a future scenario that every day feels more plausible. I’m working out the particulars, but the Pacific Northwest in the future I envision becomes an autonomous zone called New Cascadia, a region governed by whatever clever name I come up with to describe the Neo-Nazis of the future.

I’ve been working on this story since 2015, long before any hint the Trump Train would crash DC and turn the town into a hysterical, Russophobic madhouse. I must admit I, too, was stalled in my craft (the story, not the videos) when Trump was actually elected–not because I was reduced to a weeping ball of disbelief–but because all around me the ripping-away of the safety blanket an Obama/Clinton transition promised created a massive psychological shockwave that is still reverberating with every breathless report of lurking Russian agents having their way with our virtuous democracy.

Artists are going to respond to this however they choose to respond, or not respond. My choice to sometimes dance with a Trump mask on my ass is my choice to make, at least for a little while longer here in Amerika.

The important thing is to not just rely on spectacle to get attention, like Kathy Griffin. There has got to be the chance of deeper meaning emanating from my Trump-covered, gyrating buttocks. Like how the mask was purchased with 20 American dollars at a local Halloween store that makes money selling ways for us to pretend to be monsters and slutty nurses and stuff.

I think what I’m trying to say is capitalism is making us all insane, and if you want to appreciate some art that tells that story, read this Salon piece that claims Breaking Bad is the boldest indictment of modern American Capitalism in tv history.

I happen to agree.

Now, excuse me while I retire to my shop to shout into a microphone about bunny rabbits.

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

American Supremacists Lament Loss of Global Leadership

by William Skink

A few days ago I got a notice that my first annual subscription to Pro Tools was up and I had to renew. Its only been a year, but May 2016 feels very far away from where we are now.

For me, I feel like I’m in a particularly peculiar place. I didn’t stop being anti-war when Obama was elected like so many good Democrats did, relieved to be rid of Bush. I wasn’t easily lulled into complacency or manipulated into cheerleading regime change wars because the New York Times and SoS Clinton cried crocodile tears over half-baked humanitarian crises.

I really try not to get into it on FB, but a former local reporter shared this Atlantic piece bemoaning The Death Knell for America’s Global Leadership. After providing some recent examples of global leadership under the previous US regime, like the destruction of Libya and support of coups in Honduras and Ukraine, the former reporter said this:

Well, it’s certainly your right to criticize American leadership. But American political leadership is just part of how Americans can and should lead. Smart and active environmental groups leading by example on climate. Nonprofits doing the work that should and could be done by government. American scientists working around the globe on issues that affect the world, not just America. We are NOT our politicians, so I’ll take exception to your critique and continue to work with others who understand that America can and should be a part of global leadership. Finding the downside of everything gets you nothing.

Only an American could say this. I’m tempted to start using a term that’s been bouncing around in my head the last few days: American Supremacist.

The reality that seems to escape so many American somnambulists suddenly emerging from the last 8 years of sleep walking is that the illusion of collaboration with a global community has been shattered under the crude antics of Trump.

The notion that America wants to be “a part” of global leadership is ridiculous. The effort is still full spectrum dominance, an effort that was more politely pursued under Obama. But Trump has done away with all the slick PR doublespeak, and at least one non-American commentator appreciates the candor:

For decades the U.S. foreign policy elite and its presidents played the farce of an altruistic United States that acts for the global good and in the interest of humanity.

That was always a lie. Wherever one takes a deeper look the U.S. acted solely in its (perceived) self interests. But the rhetoric helped to drag others along. Tributary governments could pretend they worked for the “universal good” when they in fact just followed orders from Washington DC. U.S. pressure was applied behind the curtain – through bribes, threats of revealing private secrets or, if necessary, via well managed “democratic” coups.

Those times are over. Thanks to the honesty of the Trump administration the foremost positions of hard U.S interests and deadly threats are now openly declared fundamentals of U.S. foreign policy.

To drive home this point, the host of MoA’s whiskey bar cited a recent op-ed by H.R. McMaster and Gary Cohn in the Wall Street Journal that featured nuggets of naked aggression, like this:

The president embarked on his first foreign trip with a clear-eyed outlook that the world is not a “global community” but an arena where nations, nongovernmental actors and businesses engage and compete for advantage. We bring to this forum unmatched military, political, economic, cultural and moral strength. Rather than deny this elemental nature of international affairs, we embrace it.

At every stop in our journey, we delivered a clear message to our friends and partners: Where our interests align, we are open to working together to solve problems and explore opportunities. We let adversaries know that we will not only take their measure, deter conflict through strength, and defend our interests and values, but also look for areas of common interest that allow us to work together. In short, those societies that share our interests will find no friend more steadfast than the United States. Those that choose to challenge our interests will encounter the firmest resolve.

The American Supremacists who lean left are so horrified by Trump’s style that they can’t see how Trump has actually capitulated toward the kind of interventionism both Bush and Obama used, thanks in large part to the relentless corporate media information war against Trump.

Russia meddling in America’s election is the main thrust of the soft-coup effort to delegitimize Trump by “the resistance”, but that non-American blogger from Germany referenced an alleged Obama-era retaliation against a German politician who had the audacity to resist vassal status and opposed the effort to overthrow Gaddafi. Here is b from Moon of Alabama (the whiskey bar) responding to the above excerpt from the Wall Street Journal op-ed:

From now on the U.S. will only engage in selective, temporary friendships. “Where our interests align”, and only there, will the U.S. be friendly because it obviously serves U.S. interests. Wherever a country deviates from that, even partially, it will “encounter the firmest resolve.” That is as clear a threat as it can be.

The threat was there before but it was applied silently. When the then German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle voted against the war on Libya at the UN Security Council, the Obama administration launched a local media campaign against him (through U.S. stooges), that devastated his party in the following election. Most people in Germany did not recognize the campaign for what it was. It was hidden behind “human rights” talk, “democracy” fluff and “winning” in Libya. But the U.S. induced campaign against Westerwelle happened and was a lesson to other local party leaders to stay in line with U.S. demands.

The more honest Trump approach brings such threats out into the open. It is now clear that the U.S. follows only its interests – exclusively, and that it will apply the utmost pressure on whatever party disagrees with it in this or that case.

Now that it’s out in the open, left-leaning American Supremacists can’t handle it. They adored the illusory veneer Obama provided, even as that Nobel peace prize was bathed in the blood of drone strikes and Saudi-funded jihad.

Taking away that illusion reminds me of taking my first child’s pacifier away. Like then, all I can do is hope, at some point, the tantrum will stop.

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Twilight of the Cowboy Poet

by William Skink

Quist my Gianforte
Greg my grumpy hands
violence is a language
the masses understand
though culture wars are staged
the medical debt is real
but Montana’s aging hippie
failed to appeal
Quist my Gianforte
Bobby sings the blues
Democrats astound
still without a clue
of how the fire feeds
and where it needs to burn
hard hands take the day
Democrats refuse to learn

Posted in Uncategorized | 33 Comments