Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Trump and Vietnam.

Donald Trump did not avoid killing Vietnamese people in their own country as a matter of principle. He dodged the draft to save his own skin. As Mr. Khan said at the DNC, Donald Trump sacrificed nothing: no arrests for protesting the war, no police clubs on his head trying to stop it.

Plus, like many of America's most prominent warmongers, he is only too happy to play the role of Mr. Tough Guy, a loudmouth bravely boasting about how he is going to send other people's kids to other people's countries to kill other people's kids.

An expression was going around for a number of years after the Vietnam War: everybody did what they did. It means you did what you thought was right: fighting for your country because you believed the politicians' lies or doing what you thought would help to stop the war because you didn't.

Donald Trump never has and never will do what he thinks is right. He does what is good for Donald Trump, no matter who loses money on his crooked schemes or whose kids die so he doesn't have to.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

McConnel and Ryan.

Mitch McConnell is a disgrace, a cynically opportunistic politician with the moral authority of a sanctimonious gnat.

What annoys me most about McConnell's soulless posturing is that he coopts words -- obstructionist, divisive, uncompromising -- that accurately describe him and the pathological political philosophy that he and the Republican party represent and uses them to accuse people disgusted by his policies and tactics of precisely the attitudes and behaviors of which he is guilty. The man is so emotionally stupid that he seems actually to believe that this two-year-old's behavior is anything but transparent to anyone who is not entirely brain-dead.

Paul Ryan is an ignorant moron who believes he is an "intellectual" with "ideas." His "ideas" are a fact-free ideology grounded entirely in the idiotic ravings of an emotionally disturbed woman, Ayn Rand, who was pathologically devoid of empathy and warmth -- a female predecessor of the sick thief, Trump, running today for president of the USA.

McConnell has had 7 and Ryan has had 2 years to do something constructive for the millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet, and there is a reason why they haven't: people at the bottom of the capitalist pyramid are prey for the people at the top. McConnell and Ryan believe this is the natural order, and they have no problem with it. McConnell and Ryan and their ilk are precisely what is wrong with the USA: everything of yours for me and nothing for you.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Obama's speech at the DNC.

Mr. Obama is an exemplary human being: smart, inspiring, everything you would want in a parent, neighbor, friend, and statesman.

His message, though, that your burden will be eased in the by and by, is cold comfort to the hundreds of millions of people on this planet suffering the abuses of unbridled predatory capitalism, racism, greed, war, and environmental destruction.

Please don't take this as a rejection of the truly admirable personal qualities of a wonderful man anyone would be honored to know personally. It is the difference between MLK and Malcolm X, Hillary Clinton (domestically; internationally she is a menace) and Bernie Sanders. While you wait for pie in the sky, tears flow, blood flows, and champagne flows.

Job number one for the American people is to keep Trump out of the White House. Job number two will be to keep Hillary Clinton's feet to the fire. Whether anyone can get anything humane and reasonable out of a Republican House and Senate is questionable. And two thirds of U.S. state governments are in Republican hands.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


The American ruling class, for whom the NY Times is a propaganda instrument, does not care how much money autocrats steal from their citizenry or how brutally they treat individuals who challenge their authority: the Shah, Mubarak, Marcos, Pinochet don't even scratch the surface of the litany of truly terrible people the USA has installed, supported politically, and sold weapons to. So please, stop with the sanctimony with respect to Vladimir Putin. There are equally as criminal elements in the American political, military, financial, and industrial sectors of American society as he: Cheney, Rumsfeld, Kissinger, and many, many more.

What distinguishes candidates for military aid from candidates for regime change among the owners of the USA is who makes plunder easy for American corporations and who makes it hard. As usual, the NY Times is willing to risk war with Russia because the USA simply must rule every square inch of planet Earth and will not rest until it does. Every country the USA invades, every titular head it deposes, is demonized day after day, year after year by the NY Times until the deed is finally done. Then we live with the results. This is the logic of their support for Hillary Clinton to be neocon in chief. One can only hope that American aggression on Russia's borders does not result in nuclear Armageddon.

Monday, July 18, 2016


With the exception of committed peace activists who have been trying for generations to raise Americans' awareness of the existence and the consequences of its violent impulses, the USA has barely begun to be willing to know the truth about itself.

Defensiveness among people who do not feel privileged but are is on a hair trigger when their position in society is questioned; and when it comes to questions about policing, guns, militarism, and war, a reflexive, visceral fear that has been cultivated in the American cognitive process for centuries kicks in: "If you take away cops' guns, all hell will break loose."

Americans take it for granted that the world is a violent place full of terrible people, and policies to protect themselves from this imaginary menace have become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The roots of American violence are in the way its ruling class does business: as little as possible for you, everything else for me, and you have no choice but to live your life within the parameters defined by a global corporate machine that assumes the world and everybody in it belongs to it. Humanity and life have long since dropped away from the American vision of its national purpose.

Dallas, Baton Rouge.

Violence. The core organizing principle of the USA -- after money. I would like to say the USA has lost its way, but the fact is that the United States was created as a nation of white male property owners. Black people were brutally enslaved; Native Americans' land was stolen and they were almost all killed. Women were second-class citizens, and in many ways they still are.

Does any of this justify murdering police officers? Of course not. But pitched rhetorical battles that minimize the anguish of African-Americans terrified of the police -- dismissing police killings of black people as inconsequential compared to "black-on-black" killings, or characterizing Black Lives Matter, which is a desperate plea by African-American citizens to be treated like human beings, as a terrorist organization or worse -- are a recipe for ever more deterioration of American society.

The footprint of the USA on this planet is a violent footprint: wars followed by wars followed by wars from before its founding to the present. Violence is the way it resolves conflict. The atom bomb is the ultimate peacemaker -- pure insanity.

Understanding root causes degenerates into blaming victims. Whose fault is it that black people are treated like mad-dog criminals in every encounter they have with police? Why are black people shaken down by police again and again?

Owning guns turns everyone into a potential killer. It just becomes a question of whom it is OK to kill.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Drone war.

Americans' preoccupation with "lethal force" obscures questions like: why is the USA trying to dominate the world militarily?

Why do Americans reach immediately for weapons when confronted by people who are not interested in being cogs in their corporate machine? Why are so few Americans aware of the racist underpinnings of the American imperial project?

The attitude of privilege and entitlement -- to do whatever they want to whomever they want wherever they want -- among the American ruling class is screaming to be acknowledged, and year after year, rather than to be willing to perceive the truth about itself, it ruminates interminably about who it should kill.

The narrative always begins with hotheads in a colonized society lashing out violently against American domination -- or fighting back against a dictator the USA installed or the death squads that it trained -- and the question always is what form lethal force should take, never why is the United States manipulating, plundering, and trying to control everybody and everything on this planet.

Meanwhile, a tiny minority in the USA live in opulence and life even for white, formerly middle-class people is deteriorating steadily. What is all this killing protecting?

Friday, July 08, 2016

After Baton Rouge, Minneapolis, and Dallas.

White America has to back off, calm down, and be willing finally to extend whatever help, if any, to its fellow human beings it is asked for. There is no need to feel defensive. Americans are blessed with the opportunity to get to know people of every origin and background imaginable. Are we all enemies? We don't even know each other, which with a little humility and a willingness to reach out can be corrected.

We live in a world of delusions that revolve around money, power, and war. Electronic images generated by the corporate economy create an illusion that feels 100% like it is reality, but it is entirely divorced from the actual world from which we emerged. What are we killing each other for? Why all the wars? Why all the poverty? Why all the hate and rage?

It is time for Americans to ask themselves what they think they are doing on this planet and start conceiving of themselves -- and everybody else -- as living human beings.