Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Former FBI Secret Police Chief Robert Mueller Starting To Root Around In Trump's Closet Full of Skeletons

With Mueller's subpoenaing of the business records of Trump's business enterprises, it becomes obvious that the plot to bring down Trump doesn't hinge on "Russian collusion." Rather, as with the criminal charges brought against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, Mueller combs through the past history of Trump to find any indictable offense.The crimes alleged against Manafort and Gates have nothing to do with the Trump campaign at all. Other idiots have stupidly lied to the FBI and become pawns to Mueller as a result, at his mercy. Even a lawyer did this! (Don't people know by now NEVER to talk to the FBI?)

The Hate Trump bloc of politicians and media keep asserting that Trump must have colluded with Russia, because he acts like he has something to hide. But they are so stupid they can't see that Trump indeed has a huge number of things to hide- based on his lifetime of getting away with breaking the rules. It has nothing to do with Russian "meddling in our election" and "hacking our democracy," blah blah blah.

The same thing happened with Kenneth Starr's attacks on Bill Clinton. Starr was supposedly investigating Whitewater real estate deals from years ago in Arkansas. Ultimately he used the Paula Jones sex harassment civil suit as an entry point to accusing Clinton of impeachable offenses derived from Clinton's attempt to hide his sexual affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Kenneth Starr's true political remit was to get Clinton by hook or by crook. Mueller's true mission is to take down Trump in any way he can.

Do you really trust this guy?


Saturday, March 17, 2018

Notorious Cokehead Becomes Chief Economic Advisor to President of the U.S.

Larry Kudlow, a right-wing TV talking head who once had a $100,000 a month cocaine habit, which he funded by a grossly-overpaid Wall Street position, has been tapped by Donald "Jackass" Trump to be chief economic advisor, replacing Gary Cohn, who came from Goldman Sachs and left in a snit over Trump's imposition of import tariffs on steel and aluminum. Kudlow is known for making wrng predictions- a perfect fit for the fantasist regime of Trump.

Cohn and Kudlow both live charmed lives as made members of the capitalist nomenklatura. No long prison terms for consuming large amounts of cocaine for their ilk. No career ruination either. Kudlow still makes big bucks making bad predictions on television. Cohn will return to Goldman Sachs, which has salted the top level of the Federal government with its operatives going back several presidents.

We live under the corrupt rule of a rapacious class.

I'm sharp as a tack! On the ball! Yessir!

Thursday, March 08, 2018


Trump announced stiff tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. Aside from the fact that this is a terrible idea economically (but sounds good to the ignorant rubes who voted for him) it turns out that one of Trump's intentions is to use it to twist the arms of Canada and Mexico to stop being "so unfair" to the U.S. and knuckle under to a renegotiation of NAFTA on terms onerous to them. Trump announced his extortion demand via tweet and speaking to reporters.

“NAFTA, which is under renegotiation right now, has been a bad deal for U.S.A. Massive relocation of companies & jobs,” Trump proclaimed in a tweet March 5th. “Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum will only come off if new & fair NAFTA agreement is signed.”

Later, Trump, told reporters that he had spoken by phone with U.S. negotiators at the NAFTA "renegotiation" talks in Mexico City with Canada and Mexico. “But if they are not going to make a NAFTA deal, we’re just going to leave it this way,” Trump said at a news conference in Washington, holding the tariffs over the heads of those two nations as a club to bludgeon them into submission.

[NAFTA stands for North American Free Trade Agreement. "Free trade" is euphemism for big corporate economic hegemony. The horrible president Bill Clinton created NAFTA with Canada and Mexico, two weak nations to the north and south of the U.S. that are under heavy U.S. domination.]

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Four Cops Cowered While Florida Gunman Slaughtered 17 in School- The Trump NRA Solution

Their solution? Give the teachers guns! Pistol-packin' Mamas will solve the problem!

The Sheriff's deputy assigned to "protect" the school, where he'd been posted for eight years, and was deemed a "Deputy of the Year," he didn't want to risk his skin by going inside. And three of his colleagues hid outside behind their car doors with their guns drawn.

If fucking COPS cower in fear outside while a single malcontent murders people, how is arming teachers going to produce a better result?

So useless sheriff's deputies let a gunman kill 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Trump and the NRA think armed teachers can do a better job.

I guess if the teacher is cornered, and has a gun, at least there's a chance of the gunman being shot. We sure can't count on police. That's been shown repeatedly.

It was shown in a previous Florida massacre, at a gay nightclub, when cops hung back for hours.

It happened at the high school in Columbine, Colorado, when the cops played it safe.

You see, the vast majority of cops are no "heroes." They fall into two categories: time fillers who are in it for the money and the fat pension and medical insurance benefits denied to other workers (and increasingly denied to teachers), and bullies, thugs and sadists who are on a power trip. (Many of these are also racists.)

Teachers have been under a multi-year attack by the rulers in this country. There is an ongoing, systematic attempt to destroy their unions, obviously to attack their standard of living. This happened in Wisconsin under the Koch Brothers' puppet Governor Scott Walker, and other places. At this very moment teachers in West Virginia are striking over their abysmal pay (48th in the nation) and being gouged on their health insurance. The "charter schools" movement is a plot by billionaire hedge fund managers and their political stooges (like Arne Duncan and Barack Obama) and profiteers to deunionize teachers.

Teachers are scapegoated for the social pathologies of racism and institutional poverty. It takes a lot of GALL for the same political bosses who have been waging war on teachers to now demand that they function as armed bodyguards for their pupils and lay their lives on the line- something the Sheriff's Deputies in Broward County just conspicuously refused to do, as have police in numerous other instances.

Oh, and the "world's premiere law enforcement agency," the one the Democrats and the establishment propaganda system puts on a pedestal and insists everyone must genuflect before, and none dare speak an unkind word about- yes, that one, the secret police agency FBI. Their "tip line" blew off a specific warning that the killer, an emotionally disturbed 19-year-old, was dangerous and might ATTACK A SCHOOL. The FBI call center didn't bother passing that tip along. Because it wasn't about Islamic terrorism or some leftists making trouble for the system.

Okay, some police act like actual police. They are a minority.

But while teachers' wages and benefits are under relentless assault, cops are sitting pretty. The attack on public sector unions in Wisconsin exempted the police and fire unions. And cops generally are a labor aristocracy. In New York City, they make mid to high-five figure salaries, get a sweetheart deal on health insurance, and only have to work 20 years to get a full pension and lifetime health insurance. If they work fewer years, they still get partial benefits. And their pension is based on the last year of salary, so traditionally they pile on overtime to "earn" a six-figure salary that last year.

Some jurisdictions are even more lucrative for the enforcers of social order and protectors of the power structure, some less.

Florida, that day,  taking a bullet to shield his students.

What should be the lesson for would-be revolutionaries in this? It is that cops won't risk their lives. If there is ever a serious armed uprising in the U.S., expect the cops to mostly run away. These incidents reveal a weakness under the surface of the repressive U.S. apparatus. (Of course there are that minority of killers and fanatics and SWAT team thugs, who have been armed with fully automatic weapons and sniper rifles and even silencers by the Obama regime.)

In the past, riots by unarmed blacks were violently suppressed by white police, sheriffs, National Guardsmen, and even U.S. Army units. The situation could be very different in the future, with these repressive formations frequently racially "integrated" now, and a general sense of cynicism among those who serve a system that is corrupt. As at the end of the Soviet Union, when no one believed the propaganda slogans anymore, naive belief in the empty bellowing about "freedom and democracy" is on the wane.

Of course any revolution is as likely to be from the hard right as from the left. The right has guns, after all, and is treated with kid gloves by the system. The left is unarmed and subject to vicious repression, as what happened to the oil pipeline protesters at Standing Rock, in North Dakota, illustrated, and the ongoing persecution of Trump inauguration protesters by the Federal government in Washington, D.C.

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Biggest Flip-Flopper: Donald J(ackass) Trump

A common political epithet in the United States is "flip-flopper." This is considered a devastating characteristic, denoting indecisiveness and weakness. (And of course "weak" and "indecisive" leaders are assumed a priori to be BAD leaders.)

So here's a trick Trump's Establishment enemies have missed: tagging Trump with the "flip-flopper" label. He's certainly provided loads of soundbites they could use to devastating effect to "brand" him that way.

Just on the issue of DACA, how many times has Trump seemed to change his mind by saying different and contradictory things? [1]

But instead of pasting a Trump-style sobriquet to Trump's forehead, like "Flip-Flop Donald," the bourgeois yakkers of the Establishment media persist in trying to figure out what Trump "really means" or "really wants" or what his "actual position is." And the bourgeois politicians of the Democratic Party keep trying to "negotiate" with Trump and get him to "clarify his position."

What fools. Perfect foils for the inveterate con man Trump. A standard m.o. (modus operandi) of con men is confusing their marks, keeping them psychologically off-balance, the better to manipulate them, to buffalo them into the traps the con man sets.

Trump doesn't have positions. He's a fast-talking but very predictable con man who uses verbiage as a weapon, pure and simple. What he "wants" at any given moment is what he senses will produce an advantage for himself. If tomorrow the racists and xenophobes and fanatical nationalists of America lost interest in "the wall," so would Trump. His "positions" change from day to day, or even from sentence to sentence because he is winging it. He's a creature of almost pure instinct. So trying to figure out his calculations is a fool's errand because he does very little calculating.

Why would a person who calculates have the assistant Attorney General take credit for firing the FBI Director, have the story put out that it was because Comey was unfair to Hillary Clinton (!) and then go bragging to the Russian Foreign Minister and the Russian Ambassador to the U.S. how he fired Comey to get the "Russian meddling" investigation off his back, AND tell a TV interviewer the same? For that matter, why would a guy whom the Democratic Party and much of the Establishment media was branding a Russian stooge or colluder or puppet for months, even MEET with Russian officials if he was doing any kind of logical thinking that can be called "calculating"?

Furthermore, there are plenty of other examples of Trump's irrationality.

Trump is very easy to figure out. He is a narcissist, an egomaniac, a con man, a rip-off artist, a braggart, and a real estate hustler.

And lest the media make us forget, a racist.

    Trump reporting to his Russian handlers (as some would have it) 
Foreign Minister Lavrov, Ambassador to the U.S. Kislyak.

1]  DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is the program that Trump's predecessor, Barack "The Drone Assassin" Obama created by executive order in the last year of his eight year reign as part of his "legacy building" to be able to pose for the bourgeois version of history as a progressive. Under the program, "illegal" immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children by their parents, who have "clean" records, are temporarily exempt from deportation ("deferred action," get it? meaning they are still subject to deportation at a later date) and must either be enrolled in school or have a job. They are forced to pay a steep $495.00 registration fee every two years. They also had to expose their location: residence, phone, email, thus making later round-up easy. 780,000 young people are enrolled int he program.

I fulminated against this program at the time Obama announced it, because I foresaw how the information the DACA-ites would be required to give up was the equivalent of Jews registering with the Nazi "authorities" and sewing Stars of David to their clothing. (And for a small percentage of deportees, death is indeed the fate they meet in their dangerous "home" countries of Mexico, Central America, Haiti, Colombia, and so on.)

DACA-ites are referred to as "the Dreamers," a reference to "the American Dream." You see, America is, in U.S. propaganda, this paradisical land which everyone in the world aspires to live in.

But America only looks good to the "Dreamers," with their "dream" (delusion, it is turning out) of being accepted as "Americans," in comparison to the hellish, lethal lands of their origins. Lands that are lethal in all cases in part or mostly because of the malign power of the U.S.

To take the most obvious examples, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador are fascist death squad states where violent criminal gangs are also allowed to run rampant. This is because of a U.S. coup (Guatemala 1954), support for a coup (Honduras by Obama and his Secretary fo State, Hillary Clinton, who hadf the effrontery to boast of her crime in one of her autohagiographies) and support for fascist death squad governments (El Salvador).

Even in Mexico, the U.S. helps prop up corrupt regimes and validates a stolen presidential "election" every six years.

Then the U.S. has the nerve to persecute people fleeing the results of U.S. "foreign policy." And its border guards regularly murder people.

Evil Empire.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Donald Trump Treats Us To Another Dose of His Unadulterated Racism- But Not Everyone Will Acknowledge It

Trump in the presence of seven members of Congress, while "negotiating" changes in (anti-)immigration laws, erupted that the U.S. doesn't need people from the "shithole" nations of El Salvador, Haiti, and the entire African continent. Instead he querulously demanded why the U.S. can't get more people from "countries like Norway."

In other words, no more swarthy people, more blond-haired, blue-eyed, "white" people, similar to himself. (Although he is orange-haired, he's of German ancestry.)

For some reason, there is a dispute over whether this naked display of racism was racist. (As if, given Trump's decades-long record of evidence of racism, there is any room for doubt at this point.)

Rich Lowry, the editor of the neo-fascist "intellectual" rag National Review, founded by racist William F. Buckley, Jr. an opponent of civil rights laws, opined on the radio program "Left, Right and Center" that Trump merely meant the U.S. should take in people with skills, and he was just being "grumpy" when he called two nations plus an entire continent of another 54 countries shitholes. Apparently darkies have no skilled, unlike the Superior White Race.

This was doubly odd in that National Review, and Lowry, have been anti-Trump all through his presidential campaign and through his time in office, up until now.
And even though there is no doubt Trump said what he said, the fact that after a long delay, he issued an ambiguous kind-of denial, has led the media to use adjectives like "alleged" and "reported," creating doubt about whether he said it! Even the UK Government propaganda network the BBC is doing this.

Also instead of calling what he said "racist," the media is using the word "vulgar." (NPR for example, the U.S. government domestic radio propaganda network.)
What does the man have to do to convince the media weasels that Trump is a racist? March in a Klan rally in Klan robes?

A brief review of Trump's decades of racism:

Ordered his building agents not to rent to blacks.

After the Federal government forced the Trumps (his Dad, a known Klansman, was involved in this) into a settlement agreement not to discriminate, he violated the agreement and kept on discriminating.
Removed "non-white" casino employees from the floor of his casino.

Took out full-page newspaper ads calling for the death penalty for the Central Park Five, five non-white teenagers framed up by the New York City Police and Manhattan District Attorney for raping and nearly killing a white female investment banker jogger.

Years later, after the actual culprit was definitively identified by DNA and the rapist's confession, Trump refused to accept it and fulminated against money paid by the city to settle a civil suit by the now adult men.

His entire presidential campaign, which included branding millions of Mexican immigrants as rapists, drug dealers, and only "some, I suppose, are good people."

His bigoted attempts to exclude virtually all Muslims from the U.S.

And much more.

What's even odder about the media's soft-peddling is that they seemingly want to be rid of Trump. Apparently they're reluctant to offend the millions of white racists in America.

Fortunately there was one Democrat in the room, Senator Dick Durbin. The Republicans have been tongue-tied. Tom Cotton actually claims amnesia, saying he "doesn't remember" hearing it. You can bet Trump's remark went off like a bomb in the room. Cotton is a loathsome Senator from Arkansas, a former Army officer, rabid reactionary, and militant imperialist. And a dishonest creep who hates whistleblowers.

"We need more people who look like ME!"


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Steve Bannon's Delusions of Power Smashed Against Hard Rock of Reality

Bannon has been banished from the Land of Trump. Good King Donald is said to be mightily vexed that Sir Stephen did blaspheme against the Good Names of King Trump's Son, Donald the True, and on the husband of the King's Daughter, Princess Ivanka, who is married to Jared the Valiant, even uttering the vile vituperation that Prince Donald did commit Treason against the Nation. By such base effrontery did Sir Stephen author his own Fate and cause himself to be cast out from the charmed circle of The Elect(ed).

The indiscreet Bannon was too frank with a sneaky infiltrator of the Court, one Michael Wolff, known to be an inveterate peddler of rumor and inaccuracies, who took advantage of the King's good graces and, hidden behind a benign mask of faux friendship, came with mal-intent. Wolff is gleefully profiting from his treachery, peddling all over the Land with the help of sundry town criers a tome, whose title cheekily appropriates a quote from the King Himself, Who in defense of the Realm, righteously threatened a pipsqueak upstart Kingdom on the far side of the globe with "Fire and Fury." The underhanded Wolff has gone so far as to question the King's soundness of mind.

Our Noble King did immediately put to good use the rapier-like wit for which He is justly renowned, christening the fallen Bannon "Sloppy Steve," a mirthful jape not even the cleverest adolescents of the Land could best.

The Luckless Bannon, having fallen out of favor with His Majesty, is being ostracized by Respectable Society. His patron and benefactress, Rebekah of Mercer, has cut off the generous emoluments with which She favored him. The Accursed Bannon is no longer welcome even in his old haunt, the Breitbart Inn.

His political nemesis, Lord McConnell of the Senate, is understood to be experiencing a pleasurable feeling that in the lands of the Germanic tribes is dubbed "schadenfreude," said to refer to satisfaction occasioned by the misfortune of another.....

The King Points Out That He Is Sound Of Mind
Meanwhile, in the 21st Century...
Bannon's high-speed plunge from a lofty, privileged  peak of influence and power into the gutter of public opprobrium has been as rapid as that of Harvey "Come Up To My Hotel Room So I Can Show You My Script" Weinstein. It turns out that  Bannon's power was always wholly derivative, not organic to himself. Outside of TrumpWorld, he is merely another extreme reactionary crank, bigot, white supremacist, anti-Semite, sexist, militaristic hypernationalist who likes to run his mouth. In other words, a guy who is a dime a dozen.  

Bannon was encouraged in his delusions of political potency by the U.S. media, which obsessively treated him as if he were powerful. They did this in part due to his proximity to Trump, and in part because they took him at his word that he really was the representative of millions of racist reactionaries, his self-anointed role. There was much excited speculation about whether candidates running in GOP (Gang Of Plunderers) primary elections, which he endorsed, would unseat candidates of Bannon's sworn enemies, the Republican "establishment," which he publicly reviled.

I haven't heard any retractions or admissions of error by the establishment media for getting Bannon's true position so wrong, or for promoting him, nor by the media of that U.S.-toady nation, "Great" Britain, which aped the line of the American media.

Bannon's very energetic ego met the immovable mountain that is reality, and the ego wilted. All his life, Bannon has been a pushy, arrogant, abusive bastard (and violent towards women- brave man!). He made a mint from his ownership stake in the Seinfeld TV hit, and was paid the big bucks as an "investment banker." His reactionary ideology no doubt opened many doors for him, as the U.S. establishment is reactionary to its core, notwithstanding the masks it wears to dupe the rest of us. But the reality of power is that Trump is president, and Trump is a major celebrity with millions of enthusiastic fans. Bannon is not. And Bannon openly declared himself an enemy of the Republican Party, which is squarely aligned behind Trump. When crunch time came, Bannon had no friends or allies with any clout on his side. Indeed, his avowed aim to "overthrow the establishment" made enemies of every Republican politician, even "insurgents" who would rather nail their flag to Trump's mast than to that of Bannon's rapidly sinking ship.

  A Bummed-Out Bannon Mulls His Future
As for Wolff, he's long been a man on the make. A habitue of New York City media circles, during one period he kept trying to promote himself as a would-be media mogul. (Bannon and Trump aren't the only people in this saga with delusions.) He now boasts that his book will lead to Trump's downfall. Of course it won't. It's just more anti-Trump noise in the relentless anti-Trump campaign that most of the media, the Democratic Party, and the secret police agencies of the Deep State have been waging since Trump's election and with increased intensity after he was sworn into office. (The FBI has taken the lead in the covert side of this campaign to oust Trump or at a minimum tie him up and force him to carry out policies to the liking of the power structure as a whole, such as the new Cold War against Russia, but it is also no accident that top former secret police apparatchiks like Obama's CIA chieftain John Brennan, former NSA and CIA chieftain General Michael V. Hayden, and Obama's Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, have all publicly denounced Trump at various times.)
Wolff praised Bannon as a great strategist and "a man who can see two steps ahead." Maybe those are baby steps. Bannon couldn't see that badmouthing Trump's son and son-in-law wasn't a brilliant political chess move? [1]
Wolff's book contains numerous factual errors, errors readily apparent. Wolff's publisher, like all major U.S. publishers, disavows any responsibility for the accuracy of what they sell as non-fiction, even though they commission the books, edit the books, print the books, publish the books, market the books, and sell the books. Wolff's book taps into a ravenous appetite for dirt on Trump. Since everyone involved is making boatloads of money, all is forgiven. And since most of the media is determined to Get Trump, they've pretended that Wolff's credibility isn't an issue, despite all the obvious factual errors. His portrait of everyone in Trump's orbit being horrified by him is surely nonsense. But Wolff cleverly wrote his story to conform to the contours of the negative image of Trump which has already been established. I largely agree that the image is true, except that calling Trump "unstable" is ridiculous. Trump's personality has been firmly fixed since adolescent. We have decades of a public record of his behavior. He's a narcissist, egomaniac, con man, rip-off artist, hustler, and inveterate liar. His personality is extremely stable. His character as an amoral charlatan is unchanging. He has robbed workers, contractors, banks, and "students" of his sham "university." Oh, and he's a confirmed racist.
The inexplicable thing about the Trump phenomenon is that this loathsome character has admirers, indeed millions of them. Or rather, it's only explicable if we grant that there are millions of dumb asses out there who are ethically defective, as is their idol- not an unreasonable assumption based on much evidence besides the popularity of Trump. This is a truth leftists are unable to face, as "the people" is their idol. But it is a fact that demagogues and despots, as well as run-of-the-mill politicians, have long exploited, in many times and places. It is a huge barrier to the evolution of a rational, humane, normal human civilization.
Janet Malcolm (named Jana Wienerova at birth) is a very privileged writer with a sinecure at The New Yorker magazine (hence very privileged) who wrote a two-part article for that magazine in March 1989, which she also peddled as a book, The Journalist and the Murderer. It's basic message is conveniently conveyed in the first sentence: "Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible." What she meant, in part, was that journalists trick people into trusting them, and then frequently betray that trust. Michael Wolff perhaps would meet with her disapproval- except that The New Yorker is a main cannon lobbing shells into TrumpWorld in the ongoing campaign to oust him from office. So Malcolm perhaps is in line with The New Yorker consensus. That would make Wolff an ally.

Unfortunately, Malcolm's piece was an extended attack on and denunciation of journalist Joe McGinniss, for what she viewed as his reprehensible act of gaining the trust of the Green Beret Jeffrey MacDonald, and then accurately portraying him as the murderer he is. MacDonald had murdered his entire family, and claimed that LSD-crazed hippies had done the deed (sparing MacDonald himself for some odd reason). This blood libel against hippies by a trained killer was sickening. One of the main attributes of hippies was pacifism and non-violence. (No, Charles Manson wasn't a hippie, he was a psychopathic career criminal, and his cult followers were just a criminal gang.) Malcolm finds McGinniss morally despicable. MacDonald apparently not so much. There was great controversy over the MacDonald case because reactionaries preferred to believe the imaginary hippies did it.

Interestingly, Malcolm is completely blind to her own moral hypocrisy. She did exactly the thing she condemned McGinniss for. Her victim was a psychoanalyst named Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson. This project also started out as New Yorker articles and became a book,  In The Freud Archives. This was also back in the 1980s. I remember the articles well even today. They read as objective, descriptive accounts of Masson and doing at the Freud Archives, then suddenly near the end became a savage attack on Masson. I thought at the time, Gee, sure didn't see THAT hatchet coming! It was so over-the-top, and apparently unprovoked. Masson sued Malcolm for libel, but after a ten year legal battle, he lost, even though Malcolm was unable to offer written or recorded evidence for various "quotes" she put in Masson's mouth that made him sound like a sexual swinger who wanted to turn the Archives into something like the New York City sex swingers club Plato's Retreat. [2]

So Malcolm actually is what she reviled in McGinniss, someone who gains a subject's trust only to betray it. Well, journalism is a dirty business, but a gal does what a gal's gotta do, I guess. The rest of us should only care if the result is truthful and accurate. And that is why Russia deserves a salute for providing us all with accurate information about Hillary Clinton, John Podesta, and the DNC in 2016, making the American electorate better-informed voters. Thus the Russians strengthened American democracy!! 
A Wolff In Sheep's Clothes

1] Wolff in radio interview, WNYC-New York City, January 10, 2018, noon program. "Midday On WNYC."

2] Some of this is summarized in the Wikipedia entry for Janet Malcolm.


Friday, December 29, 2017

Israeli Parliament Passes Netanyahu Criminal Protection Law

The Knesset has passed a law designed specifically to protect Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu from corruption charges. A member of his own party, Likud, put it forward.

 The new law blocks the Israeli police from revealing incriminating information about politicians prior to a formal indictment by the prosecutor's office. Over the years, the police have had to pressure the prosecutor to indict criminal politicians by publicizing the evidence they assembled. Israeli prosecutors are as much politicians as law enforcers, a situation one finds in many nations (including the U.S.). Netanyahu has greater sway over the prosecution office than over the police.

Typical of rightwing fanatics, Netanyahu (and his son) is corrupt as well as repressive. He is the subject of two criminal investigation, involving taking gifts from wealthy businessmen, and his interference in the media business.

Of course, while Israeli politicians move to increase their own rights and protections under Israeli law, Palestinians have no rights. Subject to arbitrary arrest, detention without trial, torture, and fake "trials" in kangaroo military "courts" (with a zero acquittal rate), this highlights the dual nature of Israeli "law" and "justice." Even Palestinian children are subject to vicious abuse by the Israeli "authorities."

Enough of this exposure of my corruption. Let's put an end to busybody police. Instead of busting my chops, they should be cracking Palestinian heads!


Friday, December 22, 2017

See? I told you the Bitcoin Bubble Would Burst

Five days ago the make-believe currency Bitcoin hit $20,000. Today it crashed to $10,000, a plunge of 50%, before recovering to $12,000 (that's a 20% rise). Bitcoin has gone through repeated bouts of bubbles and bursting bubbles over its existence. A chart of its history looks like a roller-coaster.
Bitcoin is fetishized by Libertarian types who are into digital technology. They have fantasies of liberation from government control through technology and a neo-laissez-faire capitalism. This is magical thinking.

With every sharp rise in the price (NOT the value- it has no value) of Bitcoin, speculators pile in, driving the price up more. As in every market mania, there are shills who confidently assert the price will go much higher. (Some jackass insisted a few days ago that Bitcoin would go to $300,000.)

It's the same in other markets. A capitalist polemicist and a pseudo-economist came out with a book in 1999, "Dow 36,000: The New Strategy for Profiting From the Coming Rise in the Stock Market." That would have been a fourfold increase, and they predicted it would be by 2002 or 2004. Guess what? Shortly thereafter stocks went into a major decline. And that was followed by the 2008 financial crisis, which caused the stock market to collapse.

Another fool, a "certified financial advisor," pushed a book, "Dow, 30,000 by 2008- Why It's Different This Time."

Yet another shill came out with a tome in 1999, "Dow 40,000: Strategies for Profiting from the Greatest Bull Market in History."

You can still buy this crap on Amazon, amazingly enough. Why anyone would want to buy very wrong, very bad predictions from the past is a puzzle.

For an explanation of what is genuinely destructive about Bitcoin, see "The Great Bitcoin Con Game and How It's Harming Everyone On Earth." (It contributes to global warming.)

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

How The Media Acted As Accomplices to the Sex Crimes of Harvey Weinstein (and of many others)

The American Media is Like the Germans: Either At Your Feet or At Your Throat.

One aspect of American (and not only American) media is starkly illustrated [1] by the Harvey Weinstein affair, and that is its tendency to either be fawning sycophants or a lynch mob. That is, a former darling can be turned on suddenly and ferociously. The target can be the same person previously adored, or a foreign nation or ruler when the "interests" of the attacking media's nation warrant a reversal of attitude. Examples of this are the reversal of political polarity from positive to negative when the Shah of Iran was toppled and the Shiite theocrats took over; when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait; and the Soviet Union, which went from enemy from 1917 to 1942, when it became friend, then back to enemy from 1945 until 1989 when Gorbachev surrendered the client states of Eastern Europe. (The S.U. ultimately shattered into pieces in 1991.)

This is not to say Weinstein doesn't deserve strong condemnation. It SHOULD raise questions about the media's former sycophancy towards him. Indeed, it aided and abetted his abuses of and attacks on women. And even though that is obvious, the media has managed to totally ignore that aspect of the issue. Here's just some of the proof of media complicity in Weinstein's crimes:

Buried in a long New Yorker article by Ronan Farrow about Weinstein's sexual assaults and coercive behavior was evidence of media complicity in aiding and abetting his crimes. How witting or clueless his media enablers were has not been revealed by the media.  Here are excerpts with key words highlighted by me in bold:

Virtually all of the people I spoke with told me that they were frightened of retaliation. “If Harvey were to discover my identity, I’m worried that he could ruin my life,” one former employee told me. Many said that they had seen Weinstein’s associates confront and intimidate those who crossed him, and feared that they would be similarly targeted. Four actresses, including Mira Sorvino and Rosanna Arquette, told me they suspected that, after they rejected Weinstein’s advances or complained about them to company representatives, Weinstein had them removed from projects or dissuaded people from hiring them. Multiple sources said that Weinstein frequently bragged about planting items in media outlets about those who spoke against him; these sources feared that they might be similarly targeted. Several pointed to Gutierrez’s case, in 2015: after she went to the police, negative items discussing her sexual history and impugning her credibility began rapidly appearing in New York gossip pages.

“This wasn’t a one-off. This wasn’t a period of time,” an executive who worked for Weinstein for many years told me. “This was ongoing predatory behavior towards women—whether they consented or not.


“Textbook sexual harassment” was how Nestor [a young female employee] described Weinstein’s behavior to me. “It’s a pretty clear case of sexual harassment when your superior, the C.E.O., asks one of their inferiors, a temp, to have sex with them, essentially in exchange for mentorship.” She recalled refusing his advances at least a dozen times. “ ‘No’ did not mean ‘no’ to him,” she said. “I was very aware of how inappropriate it was. But I felt trapped.”

Throughout the breakfast, she said, Weinstein interrupted their conversation to yell into his cell phone, enraged over a spat that Amy Adams, a star in the Weinstein movie “Big Eyes,” was having in the press. Afterward, Weinstein told Nestor to keep an eye on the news cycle, which he promised would be spun in his favor. Later in the day, there were indeed negative news items about his opponents, and Weinstein stopped by Nestor’s desk to be sure that she’d seen them.

By that point, Nestor recalled, “I was very afraid of him. And I knew how well connected he was."

Notice that Farrow and The New Yorker protect the identities of the media organs that willingly, probably eagerly, ran whatever malicious propaganda Weinstein chose to plant with them. Media people stick together. They are a tightknit fraternity (except when it came to Michael Hastings, for one, who was ostracized for reporting the contemptuous attitude of General Stanley McCrystal, and the horrible example he set for his staff, towards his commander-in-chief, the president of the United States, and the rest of the civilian leadership, the alleged superiors to the military, and who have been accessories after the fact in Hastings assassination by refusing to report the obvious facts, much less investigate it), who in general have an all-around non-aggression pact with each other (excepting Murdoch's minions, who gleefully attack other major media organs, because like all fascists, they consider themselves the only legitimate pretenders to power). There is also the desire not to close the doors to potential future employers on the part of the reporters and commentators. They are all careerists who rely on friendly relations to gain exposure for themselves. So both institutional and personal factors create a system of media self-protection. Once in awhile these media actors put on a show of self-reflection, self-analysis, self-pseudo-criticism, which are invariably acts of self-protection, justification, exoneration, sprinkled with what the CIA dubs limited hang-outs, that ism, dribbling out seeming "revelations" while keeping the most damaging facts and truths well-hidden.

Despite the efforts of The New Yorker to protect the guilty, we know from other sources (in this case the WNYC radio program On The Media, October 13, 2017) that in the most egregious case, the attack on    the woman who instigated the New York City police criminal investigation of Weinstein, to discredit her, Weinstein's media accomplices were Murdoch's minions at his reactionary rag New York Post "news"paper, specifically Page Six, a tawdry "gossip" and political attack column. Fitting that it should be so. Murdoch has long been an employer of sexual predators, including but not limited to Roger Ailes, the evil, Mephistophelian founder of Murdoch's vile agitpropaganda pseudo-news channel, Fox "News," and the former top on-air propagandist on that network, Bill "SHUT UP!" O'Reilly. Among his numerous major crimes, Ailes organized the rehabilitation of the image of the loathsome Richard Nixon in 1968, helping elect Nixon president, from which position Nixon rained bombs down on Vietnam and destroyed democracy in Chile with a CIA-Pentagon coup, among numerous other crimes against humanity, domestic and foreign. To be sure, the CIA played the crucial role in electing Nixon, first by assassinating Martin Luther King, Jr., in April 1968, prompting justified rioting by blacks which played straight into Nixon's racist "law and order" campaign theme (code for "repress the blacks") but especially in June by murdering Robert Kennedy, who would have defeated Nixon in the November election had the CIA not eliminated him. (As it was, Nixon barely edged the ultimate Democratic candidate by less than a percentage point, the loathsome Hubert Humphrey, Lyndon Johnson's vice president, who discredited himself with liberal voters by his sycophantic support for Johnson's Vietnam war.)

Just to return to the relatively trivial matter of a disgusting movie industry poohbah abusing his power, and the major corporate media protecting him: NBC refused to run Ronan Farrow's story about Weinstein, so he took it to The New Yorker.

1] Illustrated, but ignored by that same media, of course.

Sex criminals Weinstein, O'Reilly, Roger Ailes- beneath their politics, birds of a feather.

"HEY! Who's molesting who!" Hillary Clinton just can't keep her hands off Harvey Weinstein. (Hint: She loves his money. I mean, his "donations" because he "supports what she stands for" and "the values of the Democratic Party." Yeah, right.)

"Stupid bitch, here's how you give a blowjob!" Victim of multiple misunderstandings Bill O'Reilly was merely conducting one-on-one sex ed lessons.

Who could resist sexy Roger Ailes! We sure do miss Rupert Murdoch's propaganda master, the man who invented the "new Nixon" of 1968. (Meet the New Nixon, same as the Old Nixon.)

And give credit where credit is due: The Man who empowered the sex fiends and spreaders of socially destructive reactionary agitprop Ailes and O'Reilly, the Global Master Propagandist himself, Rupert Murdoch, the Ageless One.

The Great Bitcoin Con Game and How It's Harming Everyone On Earth

First of all, what is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is fake money. That is, you can't actually shop with it. [1]

And unlike gold, another "alternative" currency, it has no tangible physical existence and no uses (gold has manufacturing uses, also in dentistry, and as jewelry).

The current Bitcoin Bubble is madder than the Dutch tulip frenzy. A year ago, this make-believe money was trading for $700 per Bitcoin- and even that was absurd for something with no actual value whatsoever. Yet it's risen over 2000 percent.

Some U.S. futures exchanges just jumped in to get in on the action. In the first day of trading, the Bitcoin contract closed up 20%, to $18,545. [2]

Unlike other speculative manias, this one is based on absolutely nothing. Even the tulip mania had a physical basis- flowers. Likewise stock market frenzies have actual companies at base. Futures markets trade currencies and commodities like metals and agricultural products. Other exotic speculative instruments were founded on U.S. Government Treasury obligations or aggregated home mortgages.

Bitcoin is based on absolutely nothing, and is backed by no government or central bank. It is a notional pseudo-currency.

The only physical reality of it is the computers doing massive mathematical calculations that is the game that "creates" the non-existent "currency," the Bitcoins.

It turns out that those computers use more electricity than the nation of Ireland (population 4.7 million people). [3]

Power plants have to generate that electricity. It turns out that at least half of the computing done to keep this speculative bubble of nothing inflated occurs in China. China burns coal for most of its electricity. Coal is highly polluting, and releases large amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, warming the planet. 

Thus we have a perfect expression of pure capitalist parasitism helping to wreak havoc on the climate, creating more and fiercer hurricanes, ultimately leading to sea level rises that will flood the coastal regions (and cities) of the continents and create drought and massive famines. In California the Governor has cites global warming as a cause of the massive forest fires that is burning large swaths of that state.

The insane bubble in Bitcoin will inevitably end in tears for some unlucky speculators. (Others with lucky timing will make a killing.) But the real lasting damage is to the planet we live on.  A planet unfortunately at the mercy of greedy parasites.

1]  Only a very few merchants are accepting Bitcoin as payment for purchases. Out of the hundreds of millions of sellers on the planet. And Bitcoin is used for some criminal activities. And computer ransomware extortionists are starting to demand payment in Bitcoins.

2]  Bitcoin started trading on the Chicago Futures and Options Exchanges. On Monday, December 18, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange is going to jump in on the hot action.

3]  BBC, December 12, 2017, morning broadcast.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Another Example of the Democratic Party Treating Their "Base" Like Dirt

Here's a brief item (four paragraphs in total) from the Wall Street Journal's "Washington Wire" column under the heading "Government Ethics," titled "IRS Scrutiny Hooks Left-Leaning Groups." I have annotated it with facts omitted from the piece, and with the larger political context. [1]

Some nonprofit groups received scrutiny from the Internal Revenue Service through the use of screening terms that would single out left-leaning groups, according to an inspector general's report released Thursday. [October 5.]

What happened to those groups from 2004 to 2013 [i.e under both Bush the Younger and Barack "The Drone Assassin" Obama] was similar to the treatment that tea-party groups received from 2010 to 2012. [Except that the tea-party groups were only targeted by a Democratic regime, and only for no more than three years- and there was a huge political brouhaha over it, and calls for criminal prosecutions of IRS officials, and forced resignations, whereas there was no reaction at all to the persecution of "leftists" for nine to ten years, and just a little article years later in a business paper.] A report from the same inspector general about conservative groups in 2013 led to the resignation of then-acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller. [And of IRS official Lois Lerner, who had to hire criminal defense lawyers to deal with the threat of indictment as Republican politicians and the rightwing media mob were demanding.]

"Democrats should be outraged," said Rep. Kevin Brady (R., Texas), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, about the new report. "The IRS targeted Americans based on their political beliefs, both parties."

Some Democrats have said the report shows that there wasn't political bias or targeting at the IRS. They said the problem was poor management and unclear rules about how to define political activity and how much is acceptable for different types of nonprofits. [End.]

Notice the essential unity of the two corporate imperialist parties that form a political cartel, both persecuting "leftists" whether it's a Democratic or Republican regime. Of course, throughout U.S. history, progressives of all stripes have been systematically surveiled, harassed, persecuted, subjected to various "dirty tricks" like thefts and sabotage of every stripe, imprisoned, and murdered by state agents and institutions, while reactionaries have had almost entirely free rein, including to commit thousands of acts of terrorism. (Examples: the Ku Klux Klan, the lynchings of thousands of blacks, the reign of terror against the civil rights movement in the 1950's and '60's, the thousands of attacks on abortion clinics, assassinations of anti-establishment activists by rightwing terrorists the secret police use as cut-outs, and more.)

Whether it's anti-abortion fanatics, Christian fundamentalists, gun fetishists, or people who want to shrink government down small enough to drown it in a bathtub, the GOP (Gang Of Plunderers) always obsequiously panders to its base, at least in rhetoric. And it serves most of those groups' interests, passing laws (especially on the state level) making abortions relentlessly more onerous to obtain, loosening gun laws to the point that the Texas state government has forced universities in that state to allow students to carry guns on campus, against the objections of those institutions allegedly dedicated to education and free thought. And in league with the Democrats, passing draconian laws that in practice target blacks and Hispanics for imprisonment, and tax laws that grossly favor the rich and large corporations.

1] Wall Street Journal, October 6, 2017, page A5.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Nobel Committee Awards Peace Prize to The International Campaign To Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Forgoing Giving Obama a Second Peace Prize

Remember 2009? Barack "The Drone Assassin" Obama had only been in office a matter of months, and the European bourgeoisie were so overjoyed with this allegedly new-model president replacing the execrable George W. Bush that the Swedish Nobel Committee got carried away and giddily awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to the newly-minted "good" U.S. president for accomplishing.... absolutely nothing to advance World Peace. [1]

Obama even sprinkled a bit of cold water on the Swedish Nobel poohbahs in his acceptance speech, cautioning that he might have to fight some wars- Good Wars, of course, wars of necessity. (What other kind is there? Throughout history empires have "needed" to conquer and subjugate to add to their wealth, for example. The Third Reich needed to defend "Western Civilization" from the Jewish-Slavic-Bolshevik hordes from the East- they actually said this, and citizens from all over Western Europe and Scandinavia rallied to the cause, joining the Waffen-SS, and helping round up Jewish vermin for extermination in their home countries. War is always "necessary.")

In what in hindsight looks like preordained irony, the 1999 Prize went to Médecins Sans Frontières (Medicine Without Borders), whose hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, Obama would later bomb as president, murdering medical staff and patients. After MSF complained about it, Obama sent a tank crashing through its gates. Yes, Obama did it. First, he is Commander in Chief of the U.S. armed forces, as specified in the U.S. Constitution. Thus under the doctrine of command responsibility, he is ultimately responsible. Second, he granted the armed forces the leeway to commit such war crimes and atrocities. And they certainly wouldn't have engaged in the second attack days later without the okay from Obama. Thirdly, it is quite possible that such a crime was either initiated by Obama or the Pentagon ran it by him first. MSF had repeatedly given the U.S. military the precise GPS coordinates of its hospital location, so as to avoid any "accidental" attacks. The same foolish thing that Al-Jazeera does, which has facilitated repeated U.S. attacks on its offices. (British Prime Minister and smarmy criminal Tony Blair had to talk then-president George Bush out of bombing Al-Jazeera's headquarter in Qatar, where it is based!) [2] 

Other U.S. presidents have had the noble Nobel bestowed upon them. Jimmy Carter in 2002, 22 years after he left office, for the vague reason of "his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development." And the very militaristic and rabidly war-mongering Theodore Roosevelt, in 2006, who at least arguably did something involving creating some actual peace, namely brokering an end to the Russo-Japanese war.

The problem with the Nobel Peace Prizes is that giving them out to so many execrable scumbags (there's a long list, but each one would require an explanation) devalues the legitimate recipients, and there certainly are some of those. In addition to prestige, the prize isn't a mere medal, but comes with 9 million Swedish kroner, about $1,110,000 U.S. at today's exchange rate.

Martin Luther King, Jr., received the Prize in 1964. The FBI tried to blackmail him into committing suicide before accepting it, using surreptitiously-made recordings of his sexual dalliances. By 1968 the U.S. power structure had had enough of him (the Washington Post and New York Times, major organs of and soapboxes for elite opinion, both excoriated him for his opposition to the Vietnam War, and his involvement in labor struggles also marked him as a threat) so the CIA murdered him, with the help of the Memphis police, the FBI playing its usual role of cover-up disguised as "investigation," and the entire U.S. establishment media and power system acting as accomplices to this day.

In fact, there is a lot of history that can be mined by going through the role of Peace Prize recipients. But this essay will be too brief to do that. Basically the recipients can be grouped into two categories: people with some meritorious claim to such a prize, and a rogues' gallery of major criminals and international phonies with fraudulent reputations (such as Elie Wiesel and "Mother" Teresa). I mean, Henry Kissinger? Are you trying to make people nauseous?

The Nobel Committee did find an anti-nuclear weapons group prize-worthy on a previous occasion: 1985, when the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War won it. I wonder where they are today?

1]  According to the Nobel Committee, Obama was worthy of the Prize "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples." I can't even imagine what they were referring to after Obama had only been in office a few months. After eight years of Obamaism, there's still nothing that fits such an extravagant description.

2]  I covered the MSF atrocity in detail in earlier essays. See the articles under http://jasonzenith.blogspot.com/search?q=doctors+without+borders

"Oooh, that feels so GOOD to get an undeserved award! (And a million bucks in prize money too!")

Friday, December 08, 2017

Democrats Clean House of Sexual Miscreants To Better Throw Stones At GOP Glass House

That pretty much sums up the action by Congressional Democrats in forcing Representative John Conyers and Senator Al Franken to resign from Congress. The main motive is to be able to more freely attack the GOP (Gang Of Plunderers) for the sexual crimes and misbehavior of the likes of Roy Moore, their candidate for U.S. Senate from Alabama, who as a local District Attorney spent his middle age seducing teenage girls, or for that matter the Republican president of the U.S., who happily bragged about his approach to women as consisting of forcible kissing and "grabbing them by the pussy." The Democrats needed to deprive the Republicans of ammunition to use in retaliation, so Conyers and Franken had to go. Both men resisted pressure from their fellow Democratic lawmakers for weeks before finally giving way. (Although the Democrats still have the albatross of known rapist and philanderer William Jefferson Clinton around their necks. During the presidential campaign the demagogue Trump managed to neutralize the Access Hollywood video of himself boasting of his sexual assaults by bringing along to the next debate women who were wronged by Clinton.)

Conyers, age 88, has clung like a barnacle to his seat for decades. He represents a black district of Detroit, Michigan. He is designated a "civil rights icon" by the "liberal" wing of the power establishment and by the black elite.  As a Representative, he has been one of these Big Talk Liberals who doesn't really challenge the corrupt and oppressive power system but makes his career comfortably within it. He used taxpayer funds to buy the silence of at least one victim of his sexual depredations.

As a final arrogant act, he has designated his son, named after him, as his successor, like a King would do. (His son cut up his girlfriend with a knife. He got away with it, unsurprisingly, as even "unimportant" men get away with such "domestic dispute" violence in America.)

Franken, U.S. Senator from Minnesota, put the accusations against him into two categories: ones that were "simply not true," and others that he "remembers differently" from the women he groped or forcibly kissed, which was his "right as an entertainer," he explained to one woman he attempted to assault. In his Senate speech announcing his resignation (under pressure- 30 Democratic Senators demanded he resign his post) he made the pertinent comparison to his fate with that of Trump, elected president and in power, and Roy Moore, seemingly about to be elected to the Senate from the primitive, benighted state of Alabama. This led to media tongue-clucking against Franken. [1]

Trump has given his full-throated endorsement to the erstwhile cradle-robbing Moore, and the GOP has fallen into line behind Trump, as they invariably do, opening the Party's money spigots to shower Moore with funds.

Franken made a carefully parsed statement in his resignation speech: "Nothing I have done as a Senator, nothing, has brought dishonor on this institution" [his emphasis]. In other words, all his molestations occurred in his former capacity as a comedian. Molestations he did not acknowledge. (Which leaves a mystery in his version of things: why are you resigning?)

Most of the recently-outed sexual predators have been men of power in politics or the entertainment/media industries. Franken thus is a two-fer: former minor entertainment biz star, now also a former politician.

I shed no tear for Franken. Aside from the fact that as a pro-human, I resolutely oppose the two-party political cartel that monopolizes political power in the U.S. and that relentlessly promotes U.S. imperialism and corporate oligarchy, there is much to dislike about Franken in particular. I listened to hours of his radio show on the now-defunct Air America radio. He was a tub-thumping nationalist and military groupie, and often made reactionary pronouncements. His kind only looks good in comparison to the primitive reactionaries of the GOP (Gang Of Plunderers). There is no salvation through the Democratic Party, contrary to the undying, naive hopes placed in it by putative progressives.

Normal humans should take pleasure in any difficulties experienced by our rulers. Sit back and enjoy the show!

 A comedy genius in action: Al Franken grabs sleeping woman's breasts.

John Conyers: His Congressional career tragically cut short at just age 88. 

1]  Minnesota has a Democratic governor, who will appoint a temporary successor to Franken. Then there will be a contested election for the seat in November 2018, and a regular reelection again in November 2020. The Democratic Party's hold on Minnesota is somewhat tenuous. By contrast, Conyers Congressional district in Detroit is safely Democratic, as U.S. blacks vote by better than 90% for Democrats.

The U.S. Senate consists of 100 Senators, two from each of the 50 states. It is the least representative elected legislative body on the earth. The 20 least populous U.S. states have the same population as California, yet get 20 times the power in the Senate, having 40 senators to California's 2. (Most of these states are reactionary hotbeds. This is yet another way in which rightwing politics is structurally baked into the U.S. power system.) Senators serve 6 year terms. Every two years, a third of the Senate is up for election.

The House of Representatives has 435 seats, which are very roughly apportioned by population. The entire House is up for election every two years.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Trump Loves To Create Sensation- Media and Politicians Still Don't Get That

They keep looking for a "strategy" and parsing his words to divine "what he means." He's just jerking your chains, you dupes.

It's natural to try to read the intentions of the president of the U.S., a position with far too much power for the good of humanity. But Trump is mercurial and capricious, so trying to predict his future actions is a fool's errand. What needs to be done is to put barriers in the way of his taking destructive actions, such as launching a military attack on North Korea.

Trump dropped one of his mini-bombshells regarding North Korea on October 5th, saying this is "the calm before the storm." What could he have possibly meant by that cryptic, ominous statement?

He had just publicly rebuked his own Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, for "wasting time" trying to arrange negotiations with North Korea over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, thus torpedoing that option for a resolution of the issue that avoids war. (Unless the U.S. simply accepts North Korea's new capabilities, which is almost unthinkable, given the aggressive nature of U.S. imperialism.) Asked what he meant by "the calm before the storm," Trump replied in typical high-handed fashion, "You'll see."

The next day, Trump's reliably sycophantic press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, (spawn of one of the most loathsome U.S. politicians, Mike Huckabee), when asked by reporters desperate to learn the meaning of Trump's taunting tease, replied dismissively, "We're never going to say in advance what the President is going to do. You'll just have to wait and see," she lectured the roomful of reporters like a teacher talking down to a class of children.

Oh, great. So the "policy" of the Trump regime is to keep everyone guessing, always. That fits a Trump lifelong existential modus operandi, keeping other people psychologically off-balance. That in turn is part and parcel of his hyper-aggressive, solipsistic personality.

It's not an accident that Trump's allies have been gangsters (including Russian ones) and political gangsters like Roy Cohn, one of the most malign creatures who ever existed in the interstices of the U.S. power structure. From his work as a key henchman of Senator Joseph McCarthy, to his role in the murderous inquisition against the Rosenbergs, scapegoated for "causing" the Korean War (according to the judge who sentenced them to death, Irving Kaufman, whom the New York Times spent years running puff pieces on, slathering on thick layers of treacly propaganda to create a false reputation in a smarmy attempt to rescue the judge from deserved opprobrium) to his operations as a political fixer and obstructer of justice in New York courts, Roy Cohn left a trail of social wreckage and slime behind him. A raving homophobe in public, he was a homosexual libertine in private who ultimately died, ironically and perhaps with poetic justice, of AIDS, apparently acquired sexually.

There is a saying: Birds of a feather flock together. Likewise, pathological personalities clump together, forming nodes and knots of social pathology within a society, to destructive effect.

But since when are the politics of an empire founded on the twin pillars of slavery and genocide ever not anti-human? At least with Trump, there isn't the mask of benignity, as with his predecessor, The Drone Assassin and Perfecter of the Surveillance State. Ogres like Trump are perfect grist for the Democratic Party's "we're the lesser of two evils" mill, that political extortion racket they use to "force" progressives and decent people to vote for them. So the two-party political cartel continues its malign monopoly of power, preventing any real reform of the vicious U.S. system. (They won't even convict a single cop for murdering an African-American citizen, no matter how egregious the circumstances. THAT is a country that is incorrigible! And after a mass murderer gunned down 58 people and wounded or caused injuries to another nearly 500 in Las Vegas, the topic of gun control can only be broached gingerly.)

There is supposedly a Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times." Well we sure do.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

THE UNTOUCHABLES: Known Sexual Predators With Immunity

George H.W. Bush, ex-president of the U.S. Spends his retirement grabbing women's asses and making the same bad joke every time to his victims. ("My favorite magician is David Copafeel." Hilarious.)

Clarence "Silent Cal" Thomas, Supreme Court Justice for life. Complained about imaginary pubic hair on his coke, among numerous other harassing comments. After a list of the porn videos he rented was made public, Congress leapt into action, passing a law banning release of people's video rental history. Politicians, protect thyselves.
The president who nominated Thomas for the highest court in the U.S.? George H. W. Bush! Nice!

Donald J. "Jackass" Trump, President of the United States of America. Rapist, molester, boastful grabber of women's private parts. Now is pretending video of his boasting of his crimes wasn't him.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Hurricane Harvey Weinstein Continues to Blow Powerful Men Off Their High-Status Pedestals

Matt Lauer- grossly overpaid (over $20 million per year) morning TV entertainer. Fired by NBC after years of covering up his sexual abuse, including at least one rape, just as Variety and the New York Times were about to expose him.

Charlie Rose- smarmy chatster of U.S. imperialist apparatchiks and nomenklatura members.
Creep pretends his gross sexual harassment was welcomed by his victims, claims "shared feelings." Canned by PBS, CBS, Bloomberg News. Finally, relief from his unctuous propaganda!

John Conyers- superannuated Democratic Party hack and "progressive" burlesque performer. (He's 88 years old and as of this writing is belligerently refusing to resign, despite calls to do so by his party "leader," House Minority Leader and multimillionaire Nancy Pelosi, and by the Speaker of the House, Republican Paul Ryan.)

Russell Simmons- music biz mogul who like all music biz moguls is a capitalist super-exploiter. (How do you think they get so rich?) Stepping down from his company after second rape victim names him.

Mark Halperin- hack "political analyst" who indoctrinates the public with corporate political outlook. Purveyor or garbage "election analyses" that ignore reality of voter suppression, crooked voting machines, etc. Discarded by media and disgraced for now. Spawn of Kissinger accomplice Morton Halperin.

Michael Orestes- former reactionary propagandist at New York Times, then propaganda overseer at NPR. After being protected for years by fellow male bosses, forced out.

The "A Prairie Home Companion" guy, what's his name. NPR dumps his shtick. (Oh yeah, Garrison Keillor. Weird name, hard to remember. Shouldn't that be Garrison Fort?)

Oh, too much schadenfreude for one day! I'm overdosing!

Still untouched: known rapist and groper, the second Teflon President, Donald J. "Jackass" Trump. Remarkable.

BONUS CONTRIBUTION TO "THE CONVERSATION" ABOUT SEXUAL HARASSMENT: Nobody needs to be "trained" to not rape, grab people's breasts/asses/vaginas, forcibly kiss, expose oneself, etc. They already know it's wrong- that's why they do it in secret, lie about it, intimidate and threaten victims into silence and pay them hush money ("settlements" with "non-disclosure agreements") etc. Instead here's a simple therapy treatment that is quick and immediately effective:

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Power Slips From Iron Grip of Zimbabwean Dictator Robert Mugabe

The 93-year-old, superannuated but seemingly ageless dictator of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, has taken a sudden fall from power. It happened in a day.

Mugabe, who has ruled that sad African land since 1980, made a fatal misstep. He fired his vice president, who was favored by the military, in order to grease the skids for his 52 year old wife, Grace Mugabe (derisively nicknamed "Gucci Grace" for her lavish shopping sprees) to succeed him.

But the men with the guns balked. And as Mao Zedong crudely said, "political power flows out of the barrel of a gun." One must control the men with the guns.

The head of the army made a surprising public pronouncement, warning of a "coup." Pretty daring. Apparently the coup was already arranged, as he wasn't fired and jailed by Mugabe. Next thing you know, the military seized control, for the good of the nation, naturally. They denied their coup was a coup, disingenuously, announcing that Mugabe was "safe." (Safe in a gilded cage, that is.) Thus the reign of Mugabe comes to a sudden, inglorious end.

Mugabe was a despot from the get-go. One of the first things he did after the ouster of the previous white racist regime (when the country was called Rhodesia) was destroy the other armed revolutionary party and militia that had battled the ancien regime, ZAPU. Mugabe's ZANU-PF became in effect a one-party dictatorship.

Over the years, Mugabe pursued highly destructive economic policies, and scapegoated the small number of white farmers in the country, unleashing mobs to seize their lands and terrorize them. This racist, lawless assault was justified with the standard "revolutionary" cant.

In Zimbabwe, we saw another sad example of the destruction of revolutionary ideals after a successful revolution. George Orwell's novel, Animal Farm, is an allegory of this process, modeled on the Soviet experience. (A similar loss of ideals can be seen in non-Marxist-inspired revolutions, like the American revolution.)

The question now is, what does the military do going forward? Is their plan to restore the cashiered vice president? Stage elections? So far the opposition party, much oppressed by Mugabe, hasn't had much to say. This seems like a successor struggle within ZANU_PF, with the military in effect vetoing Mugabe's choice of his wife as the next president. Either they will bend Mugabe to their will and have him agree to a successor of their choice, or he'll be "retired" "for reasons of health."

Those are my predictions.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Chief Manhattan Prosecutor Cyrus Vance Jr. is a Criminal Who Is About To Be Reelected Unopposed In Soviet-Style Election

That's right, Cyrus Vance (Jr.) is the only name on the ballot. People wanting someone else will have to write in a name. Needless to say, it will be impossible for anyone else to win this race in a borough of New York City of about 1.6 million inhabitants.

Vance has taken bribes in two major cases in return for quashing prosecutions, thus committing another crime on two occasions, obstruction of justice. The bribes were in the form of hefty campaign contributions. These are just the two cases that have come to light so far. There's a good chance there are others.  I'll just review the details in brief, as the cases are thoroughly delineated in separate pieces in establishment media organs. [1]

The first case, from 2012, came to light just last month. It involved major fraud by two of Donald Trump's (you've heard of him) children, Ivanka and Donald Jr. Prosecutors in Vance's office, the Manhattan District Attorney, spent a year building a powerful case against the duo. The evidence was damning and conclusive, including emails clearly showing criminal intent and knowledge of wrongdoing. Yet Vance overruled all the prosecutors on every level, ruling there was no case there. This happened after Trump Sr. sent one of his fixer-lawyers to "discuss" the case with Vance, after the failure of hired criminal defense attorneys to get prosecutors under Vance to drop the case, and the fixer-lawyer made some campaign contributions to Vance. (After the media spotlight was shone on Vance, he returned the money.)

The second case has been exposed with the explosion of coverage of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein's 30-year career of sexual molestations, harrassments, and assaults, including rape anf forced fellatio. In 2015, Police made a case against Weinstein, including a recording of him admitting to assaulting an Italian model by grabbing her breast. Weinstein sent two lawyers to lobby Vance- Vance’s former law partner Elkan Abramowitz, plus a former prosecutor. One of them gave Vance $10,000 days after the meeting. A third Weinstein attorney, David Boies, contributed to Vance. Vance duly refused to prosecute the case.

On October 11 of this year, Vance was forced to justify rejecting the police case against Weinstein, which included a recording made by the Italian model he molested on that particular occasion and whom the NYPD wired for sound for a return visit to Weinstein the day after the assault: "I as the DA have to be guided by the evidence by the elements of the crime..." sayeth the Upright Prosecutor of Wrongdoing. "If we had a case my experts thought we could prosecute we would have." "If my experts felt we could have prosecuted we would have." Thus spake Vance. (WNYC radio broadcast.)

Really Cyrus? But Vance OVERRULED ALL his prosecutors in the Trump case! Weren't they "experts"? And prosecutors can ALWAYS PROSECUTE, whether the charges are valid or not. Given how many innocent people they frame up, and how often they harass political activists that way and "neutralize" those they convict and imprison, his statement is particularly cynical. Vance himself targeted and imprisoned Occupy Wall Street activist Cecily McMillan for the crime of having her breast groped by a violent cop. Vance invokes "the law."

After Weinstein's shit hit the fan, Vance had the gall to urge people to come forward! One very big reason they DON'T is that guys like HIM don't PROSECUTE the cases!

He also struck a Nobler Than Thou pose: "I was sickened (by the surreptitiously recorded police tape of Weinstein in the Italian model case) but at the end of the day we operate by law not by public opinion," he sniffed self-righteously. See, he's better than us! He won't be moved by our outrage! (Cash contributions to his campaign coffers are another matter.) Those in power habitually hide behind the skirts of Mother Law to justify their base actions.

While Vance may have a soft spot for rich and privileged criminals, he's plenty tough on political dissidents rounded up by police for protesting things the power establishment doesn't want protested. Dissidents assaulted by the police especially come in for Vance's brand of "justice" and "rule of law." For example, the aforementioned case of Occupy New York Movement participant Cecily McMillan. A sadistic NYPD cop with a history of violence and brutality against defenseless citizens, Grantly Bovell, assaulted her at the Occupy site in Manhattan, grabbing her breasts from behind and mauling them. She instinctively and blindly swung her elbow backwards, catching the thug cop in the head, slightly bruising him. As is the usual practice when American police assault people, the victim was charged with assault on a police officer, a serious felony in a police state like the U.S. A jury of pro-government stooges duly convicted McMillan, ignoring the evidence, including medical records and photos of her injuries at the hands of her attacker-in-Blue. She was sentenced to 6 months in the infamous, Dickensian New York City jail complex, Rikers Island, plus 5-years of probation during which time she is forbidden from engaging in political activity on pain of reimprisonment, (Yet another in an endless stream of thousands and thousands of examples of the cynical hollowness of all the breast-beating propaganda proclaiming the U.S. to be positively the acme of "freedom.")

McMillan had simply been sitting among the crowd of protesters in Zuccotti Park (named after a member of the city's permanent ruling class) when she was singled out for attack and arrest, probably because she was a regional organizer for Young Democratic Socialists of America.

McMillan was denied access to an attorney, supposedly "guaranteed" by the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court rulings- so much for "rule of law." Apparently "law" is merely a club for those in power to beat the rest of us into submission with, not something they have to obey themselves. She was also denied timely medical care for her cop-inflicted injuries. [2]

Add false prosecution to the indictment of Vance, along with bribery and obstruction of justice.

As for the background of the criminal Vance; Vance's father was Cyrus Vance, a made-member of the nomenklatura. Among other things, Vance Sr. was Secretary of State under President James Earl Carter. That is, until he resigned. He resigned because he objected to Carter's "hostage rescue" mission, a raid on the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, iran, in which a slaughter of up to 1,000 Iranians was anticipated to forcibly spring the embassy personnel who were seized after the U.S. ignored Iran's warnings and gave sanctuary to the fleeing, murderous dictator the Shah, whom Carter had earlier politically blessed as a "great friend." Vance Sr. had certain scruples, but apparently Vance Jr. didn't inherit any.

1]  See "How Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump, Jr., Avoided A Criminal indictment," The
New Yorker, October 4, 2017; "Why Didn’t the Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance Prosecute the Trumps or Harvey Weinstein?,"  The New Yorker, October 13, 2017; "Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance needs a better explanation for why he didn’t charge Harvey Weinstein," Slate, October 11, 2017; "NYPD Was Ready to Arrest Harvey Weinstein in 2015 After Model Said She Was Groped," The Daily Beast, October 10, 2017.

2]  McMillan was far from the only victim of police violence. Barack "The Drone Assassin" Obama had the Federal government arrange coordinated, simultaneous "crackdowns" in various cities with Occupy Protests. A Marine veteran was almost murdered in Oakland by police who fired a tear gas canister at his head, and then attacked fellow protesters trying to come to his aid. In New York City, according to an eyewitness:

JEN WALLER: It is when we speak out against the 1 percent and defy them by fighting for public space that we are brutalized. On Saturday night as I simply sat in a park, I was violently arrested with my friends and watched as bloodthirsty cops stomped on their faces, knelt on their necks, pulled them by their hair, and slammed them into windows. I watched as one friend was treated as a battering ram as they carried him into an MTA bus, slamming his head on every step and seat as they went along. I watched as a young woman’s rib was broken, as she hyperventilated, convulsed and seizured in the middle of the street. ["Exclusive: OWS Activist Cecily McMillan Describes Seizure, Bodily Injuries in Arrest by NYPD," Democracy Now, March 23, 2012.] See also "Cecily McMillan's guilty verdict reveals our mass acceptance of police violence," Guardian (UK), 5 May, 2014, which has interesting details such as the fact that thug cop Bovell didn't even remember which of his eyes McMillan allegedly injured. And if it fact it was injured, it was accidental and provoked by his assault.

One small additional note, pertinent to the notion that if only more racial minorities were in U.S. police forces, things would be much different: Bovell is African-American. I'm not implying that police departments shouldn't be integrated and more representative generally of the populace, just that that is no panacea, absent the kind of systemic political and cultural changes needed in U.S. policing.

"I'm holding a number in my hand for the size of the "contribution" 
that will make your case go away. Guess what it is..."

 Like father, Not like son.