Original materials -
Copyright © 2016 by Gary Bachlund All international rights
"The real composer
thinks about his work the whole time; he is not always conscious of this,
but he is aware of it later when he suddenly knows what he will do." Igor
Stravinsky (1882 - 1971)
A politician thinks
|' I'd love to sure rub elbows '
With the unwashed hoi polloi.
I'd love to get to know them
If they did not so annoy.
' I'd love to be among their kind, '
But keep my upper crust
Because the low class masses
Must not against me thrust
Their elbows, rubbing dirtily
Against my polished gloss
Which I preserve so sacrosanct,
Not scented with their dross.
|' I'd love to sure rub elbows '
With those average sorts of guys
Who work blue collared daily
At work which stupefies.
' I'd love to get to know them '
In a photo-op or twelve,
As long as it's not required
That into their lives I delve
Because I care in newsprint
But not in reality,
For average sorts of little men
Are best met with brevity.
|' I'd love to sure rub elbows '
With voters that are so dumb
That they'll never ever come to see
I only play their chum,
' I'd love to feel that which they feel; '
I've learned that act so well.
Let the unwashed hoi polloi
Run their rat race carousel.
As long as they believe in me,
Why, I'll believe in them,
As long as it's only elbows.
More I must condemn.
Ssh! They tell you. Ssh!
They'll tolerate no scrutiny.
Ssh! They threaten! Ssh!
Truth would stir a mutiny.
Ssh! Their clenched fist shows,
To further further tyranny.
Ssh! Deny, and then deny;
To speak out is deemed villainy.
Ssh! So speak faux journalists
In a silent synchrony.
best weapon of a dictatorship is secrecy, but the best weapon of a
democracy should be the weapon of openness." Niels Bohr (1885-1962)
Addendum of a Cuban Campaign Against
Independent Media: "The recent dismissal of two young
Cuban journalists and a call to expel a foreign correspondent from the
island are fueling a debate about censorship and freedom of expression
in Cuba, as the state's media monopoly for the first time faces
competition from independent digital outlets. When news broke on the
death of the Miami Marlins' Cuban-born star pitcher José Fernández, for
example, several independent media prominently displayed reports on the
boating accident. The official media, however, remained largely
silent — its typical treatment of sports figures it brands as
'deserters'." In "Cuban government steps up campaign against
independent media," by Nora Gámez Torres, Miami Herald, 29 September
Addendum of Algerian Attacks on
Independent Media: "Attacks on independent journalists
and human rights defenders have intensified over the past months in
Algeria. This includes the arrest of two senior staff at a privately
owned TV channel. Mehdi Benaissa, Director of the television station
Khabar Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) and his colleague Ryad Hartouf
were arrested on 24 June. The arrests are believed to be related to the
broadcasting of two satirical TV shows Ki Hna Ki Nass Nass ('We are like
anyone else') and Ness Estah ('People of the roof'). The shows deal with
political, economic, and social issues, including allegations of
corruption against long-time president Abdelaziz Bouteflika and other
government officials." In "Algeria: Alarming attacks against
independent media," Article 19, 6 July 2016.
Addendum of Distributing the
Denial of Internet Speech: "... Distributed Denial
of Service (DDoS) is an increasingly common Internet phenomenon and is
capable of silencing Internet speech, usually for a brief interval but
occasionally for longer. We explore the specific phenomenon of DDoS
attacks on independent media and human rights organizations, seeking to
understand the nature and frequency of these attacks, their efficacy,
and the responses available to sites under attack. Our report offers
advice to independent media and human rights sites likely to be targeted
by DDoS but comes to the uncomfortable conclusion that there is no easy
solution to these attacks for many of these sites, particularly for
attacks that exhaust network bandwidth." In "2010 Report on Distributed
Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks," by John Palfrey, Ethan Zuckerman, Hal
Roberts, Jillian York, and Ryan McGrady, Berkman Klein Center for
Internet and Society at Harvard University, 20 December 2010.
Addendum of Ecuador's Sanctions Against
Independent Voices: "A government agency in
Ecuador that regulates media content, dictates headlines and corrections
that news organizations are forced to publish and doles out fines to
those who dare to disobey has just celebrated its second anniversary and
announced changes in the country’s controversial communications law.
Despite an overwhelming condemnation from national and international
organizations dedicated to advocate for freedom of expression and
freedom of the press, the Ecuadorian government is happy with the work
of this unprecedented agency called Superintendency of Information and
Communication, also known by the acronym Supercom." In "Sanctions
against independent media continue as Supercom marks 2 years in
Ecuador," by Teresa Mioli, Journalism in the Americas, University of
Texas, 2 July 2015.
Addendum of Ethiopian Repression:
"Ever since the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary
Democratic Front (EPRDF) won 99.6 percent of parliamentary seats in the
2010 elections, the government of Ethiopia has escalated its
repression of the independent media, limiting the rights to freedom of
expression and access to information. At least 60 journalists have
fled their country since 2010 while at least another 19 languish in
prison. The government has shut down dozens of publications and controls
most television and most radio outlets, leaving few options for
Ethiopians to acquire independent information and analysis on domestic
political issues. With elections scheduled for May 2015, the media could
be playing a key role educating and informing the public on the issues,
and providing public forums for debate. But the ruling party has treated
the private media as a threat to its hegemony, and is using various
techniques to decimate private media, independent reporting, and
critical analysis, with drastic results." In " 'Journalism Is Not a
Crime'," Human Rights Watch, 21 January 2015.
Addendum of Somali Attacks:
"According to the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) a FAJ
affiliate, around 09:30 am on Friday 15 August, heavily armed security
forces raided and shut down both Radio Shabelle and Sky FM, which are
owned by Shabelle Media Network, and arrested at least eight
journalists, including Shabelle chairman Abdimalik Yusuf Mohamud." In "FAJ
Condemns new wave of Attacks against Independent Media in Somalia,"
Federation of African Journalists, 17 August 2014.
Addendum of Another Media Clamp
Down in Socialist Venezuela: "Basic commodities have become a rarity,
inflation is at an all-time high and crime is also on the rise. In
response, Maduro is tightening the screws on the media yet again.
Foreign journalists, local reporters and even drone images were denied
access and permissions to cover 'the taking of Caracas' protest march.
He is also encouraging his supporters to take their message online, but
the battle to control the cyber narrative is no easier there." In "Venezuela's
media clamp down," Listening Post, Al-Jazeera, 28 September 2016.
Addendum of Secret Laws
Abounding in America: "Despite President Obama’s pledge to
make government more open and transparent, federal agencies are still
keeping a considerable amount of policy and legal interpretations under
wraps, the Brennan Center found. The opinions and memos by the Justice
Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) were written between 2002 and
2009, said the report’s author, Elizabeth Goitein, who obtained several
data sets through Freedom of Information Act requests. 'This is an
extensive body of secret law, which is fundamentally incompatible with
democratic self-governance,' said Goitein, the co-director of the
Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security Program. 'When the
government makes law out of the public eye, the results are more likely
to be tainted by bias or groupthink, and are frankly more liable to
violate statutes or to be unconstitutional'." In "Despite Obama’s
pledge to make the government more open, a report shows secret laws
still abound," by Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post, 18 October 2016.
Addendum of American Worry Over
Collapse: "We are following closely the reported ban
of an independent website from the parliament building on October 19 and
the sudden closure of Hungary’s largest independent newspaper,
Nepszabadsag, on October 8. The loss of this paper – regardless of
the reason – is a blow to media pluralism in Hungary." In "Hungary
Media Freedom," by Mark C. Toner, United States Department of State, 20
Addendum of Turkish Media
Crackdown: "The executive decrees have
ordered the closure of 15 more newspapers, wires and magazines, which
report from the largely Kurdish southeast, bringing the total number of
media outlets and publishers closed since July to nearly 160.
Universities have also been stripped of their ability to elect their own
rectors according to the decrees. Erdogan will from now on directly
appoint the rectors from the candidates nominated by the High
Educational Board (YOK)." In "Turkey sacks 10,000 more civil servants,
shuts media in latest crackdown," by Humeyra Pamuk, Reuters, 30 October
of the Chinese Communist Crackdown: "In yet
another move to crack down on anti-government sentiment in society, the
Standing Committee of China's top legislature passed a revised
cybersecurity law on Monday that has once again generated controversy
worldwide. The third and final draft of this law emerged at end of
the latest session of the National People's Congress Standing Committee
in Beijing. In a country that is already infamous for its internet
control, the law will add further restrictions to personal internet use,
increase the government's internet monitoring power, and directly affect
business, service, and education sectors." In "China adopts new
cybersecurity law that has overseas rights groups and businesses
completely spooked," by Abby Ordillas, Shanghaiist News, 8 November
of Europe Jailing Truth-telling Whistleblowers: "In his
June ruling, Judge Marc Thill recognised the defendants' 'undeniable
contribution... to greater transparency' on tax matters. But the two men
were still found guilty, angering activists who have launched petitions
and raised money for legal fees. 'The original sentences of Mr Deltour
and Mr Halet were a total disgrace, and we want this injustice to stop,'
said Tove Ryding, a tax justice coordinator at the European Network on
Debt and Development. 'You shouldn't have to go to court for exposing
the fact that multinational corporations are dodging taxes,' she added.
The blockbuster leak revealed the huge tax breaks that tiny EU nation
Luxembourg offered international firms including Apple, IKEA and Pepsi,
at a time when Jean-Claude Juncker, now head of the European Commission,
was prime minister." In "LuxLeaks whistleblowers appeal jail
sentences," France 24, 12 December 2016.
Addendum of a Dynamic
New York University Community That Values Full Participation Suppresses Participation:
"A 12-person committee calling itself the Liberal
Studies Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group, including two
deans, published a letter to the editor in the same paper. 'As long as
he airs his views with so little appeal to evidence and civility, we
must find him guilty of illogic and incivility in a community that
predicates its work in great part on rational thought and the civil
exchange of ideas,' they wrote. 'We seek to create a dynamic community
that values full participation. Such efforts are not the ‘destruction of
academic integrity’ Professor Rectenwald suggests, but rather what make
possible our program’s approach to global studies,' they argued." In "Professor
who tweeted against PC culture out at NYU," by Melkorka Licea, New
York Post, 30 October 2016.
[ 1 ] Scrutiny annoys, as
facts leaking out can convict the corrupt. In the case of
Petroleos de Venezuela and the Maduro government's control
of it as a nationalized entity justified by 'socialism,' the
unaccounted billions missing is reason enough for the
corrupt to "clamp down."
Billion Reported Missing is a Right-Wing Smear
Of this growing scandal of Venezuelan socialsim, one reads:
"A report by a Venezuelan congressional commission accused
Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) [PDVSA.UL] of corruption on
Wednesday, saying about $11 billion in funds went missing
from the state-run oil company while Rafael Ramirez was
at the helm from 2004-14. 'It is more than the (annual)
budget of five Central American countries,' said Freddy
Guevara, comptroller commission president and a member of
one of Venezuela's hardline opposition parties, alleging
widespread malfeasance at the state oil producer." "In
"Venezuela congressional probe says $11 billion missing at
PDVSA," by Alexandra Ulmer, Reuters, 19 October 2016.
Ulmer's article notes the socialists' answer: "Critics
have long accused PDVSA of corruption, but the company
has maintained it is the target of a right-wing smear
campaign, led by the United States and compliant
international media, to sabotage socialism."
But democracy dies in Venezuela as socialism flexes its
muscle. One reads: "Critics of Venezuela's 17-year
left-wing administration have made the recall their central
political issue after being sidelined in Congress and in
virtually all other public institutions this year. But the
campaign had already become mostly symbolic after elections
officials in September said no vote would take place this
year. That timing is crucial. A successful vote to oust
Maduro this year would have triggered a presidential
election and given the opposition a good shot at winning
power. If Maduro is voted out in 2017, though, his vice
president will finish the presidential term, leaving the
socialists in charge." In "Opposition cries dictatorship
after Venezuela blocks recall," by Hannah Dreier,
Associated Press, 21 October 2016.
Off Elections Indefinitely
The key here, as throughout the world, is that those in
power so fear a legitimate voice of the electorate that all
to hamstring it becomes the strategy. The AP article notes:
"Polls say a majority of Venezuelans want Maduro gone.
The opposition charges that in the face of overwhelming
voter discontent, the socialist party has simply decided to
put off elections indefinitely."
One reads of clarity on this: "...for 17 years,
political scientists have been casting about for a suitable
way of describing the strange in-between political system
Hugo Chávez invented for Venezuela. It wasn’t quite
democracy in the usual sense, clearly, but it also wasn’t a
normal dictatorship. The government might not have had much
time for the fine print of constitutional rule, but in broad
terms people were basically free to associate, speak and
vote. What do you call that? Competitive authoritarianism? A
hybrid regime? An illiberal democracy? None of the labels
seemed to stick; what did stick was the lasting impression
of in-betweenness, of Venezuela as not-quite-a-dictatorship.
In "It’s official: Venezuela is a dictatorship," by
Francisco Toro, Washington Post, 21 October 2016.
Circumlocutions and Dictatorship
But that article closes with: "We are finally
through with the academic circumlocutions. There’s no need
to hyphenate it anymore. Venezuela is just a dictatorship."
Another report agrees: " Venezuela's Congress on
Sunday declared that the government had staged a coup by
blocking a drive to recall President Nicolas Maduro in a
raucous legislative session that was interrupted when his
supporters stormed the chamber. Opposition lawmakers
vowed to put Maduro on trial after a court friendly to his
socialist administration on Thursday suspended their
campaign to collect signatures to hold a referendum on
removing the deeply-unpopular president." In "Venezuelan
Congress declares that Maduro has staged a coup," by Hannah
Dreier, Associated Press, 23 October 2016.
As to the Maduro "supporters" who managed to storm a
heavily-guarded Congress chamber, political opposition
spokesman Jesus Torrealba is reported to have said, "
'The fact that lawmakers elected by 7.5 million people were
silenced by 300 thugs sums up the situation better than any
speech could....' " Such were the tactics in as
National Socialists in Germany staged their putsch.
Maduro wills to remain in power, surely to avoid scrutiny of
many things. One reads: "Venezuela's President Nicolas
Maduro threatened on Friday to jail his political
opponents if they follow through on their vow of launching a
legislative trial to remove him from power." In
"Venezuelan president threatens to jail opponents," Agence
France Presse, 28 October 2016.
One man's revolution is another man's coup, and
unsurprisingly those who manage a "revolution" never want it
to revolve after their ascent to power. Thus using the
same strategy as many corrupt politicians in time past have
used, the Venezuelan socialists demand that we
a Crisis It Is Important to Silence Truth
Part of the Maduro "Don't look now" policy is to detain
journalists. One reads: "Venezuelan authorities on
Tuesday detained at the airport three Peruvian journalists
working for the Mexican network Televisa and an Argentine
photographer for the Associated Press. One of the
detained journalists wrote on Facebook that they would be
sent home." In "Street challenges power in Venezuela
crisis," Agence France Presse, 26 October 2016.
Another report: "ABC News correspondent Matt
Gutman was detained by Venezuelan intelligence agents
Monday while he was preparing a news report about the dire
conditions at the Central Hospital of Valencia, in the state
of Carabobo, the National Union of Media Workers told Fox
News Latino. He and two physicians who were aiding him
were transferred to the government agency's headquarters in
Valencia, where they remained for three days." In "ABC
News' Matt Gutman detained in Venezuela for 72 hours for
reporting on health crisis," by María Emilia Jorge, Fox News
Latino, 27 October 2016.
Only months later, one learns that the "military" is "at the
heart of graft." "With much of the country on the
verge of starvation and billions of dollars at stake,
food trafficking has become one of the biggest businesses in
Venezuela, the AP found. And from generals to foot soldiers,
the military is at the heart of the graft, according to
documents and interviews with more than 60 officials,
business owners and workers, including five former generals.
As a result, food is not reaching those who most need it."
In "Venezuela military trafficking food as country goes
hungry," by Hannah Dreier and Joshua Goodman, Associated
Press, 1 January 2016.
One may view many other world events based on this same
model, a model in which power arrays against the people --
as ever. In so many instances, the "academic
circumlocutions" provided by talking heads obscure clarity,
and media often toes the party line until that party line
"crosses the line" as Toro's article notes. This is why the
demands for "no scrutiny" as so common around a world of
corrupt governments, corrupt politicians and supporting
corrupt cadres making their "academic circumlocutions."
[ 2 ] The article
about United States "secret law" is in apt company with the
other sampled news items here, because the public stance of
the government has been of being "open and transparent," all
the while opacity and closed-to-the-public actions abound.
One need only look to the dissonance between transparency
and opacity as supports the rhyme telling of
Sir Veiled Lance
One notes that when opacity is ripped away and transparency
in and around government is so often found. For this one
finds too many political voices raging against "independent
media" for voicing nothing more than political opposition in
reporting that which powers-that-be would rather be left
[ 3 ] Scrutiny
has been paid to a State Department official remark about a
Hungarian newspaper closing. Interestingly, one reads back
story about this "blow to media pluralism" to find it does
not fit the narrative exactly.
Communist Party Mouthpiece Declines
One reads of the people of a former Soviet satellite:
"...Hungarians have become increasingly anti-communist,
with some 70 percent of voters supporting nationalist,
anti-globalist, anti-communist parties. The 'Socialist
Party' successor of the communists, meanwhile, is imploding,
with just 10 percent public support. 'As might be expected
when a political party implodes, readership and revenue of
its mouthpiece also declines,' McAdams observed. 'That
is why Nepszabadsag racked up more than five billion forints
($17.6 plus million) in losses recently and its
current owner, Mediaworks Hungary Zrt., decided to close the
loss-leading publication.' The whole situation would seem to
be simple enough — the market rejected leftist propaganda,
and so the paper should shut down." In "Obama Admin: Hungary
Should Rescue Communist Party Newspaper," by Alex Newman,
New American, 25 October 2016.
In a Name?
The article cited notes: "The newspaper
Nepszabadsag (ironically, 'People's Liberty') was founded by
the Hungarian Communist Party in the midst of the 1956
revolution, a revolt where Hungarians rose up to pull
themselves out from behind the iron curtain. For the next 30
plus years Nepszabadsag was the official mouthpiece of the
Communist Party, until shortly after the Berlin Wall fell.
It was subsequently acquired by Bertelsmann AG, a German
media conglomerate, in the early 1990s. But while there was
a 'system-change' in Communist Party monopoly rule in
Hungary, there was never a 'system- change' in Hungary's
former Communist Party mouthpiece. The Communists renamed
themselves 'Socialists' and continued to play a leading role
in Hungarian political life, winning the second
post-communist election in 1994. Their newspaper
Nepszabadsag remained at their side, lock-step loyal to the
renamed communists and their allies." In "Former Hungarian
Communist Party Paper Goes Bankrupt, Washington Panics," by
Daniel McAdams, Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity,
21 October 2016.
The back story to the US State Department's hand wringing
over Nepszabadsag's collapse in readership and crushing debt
bringing bankruptcy is odd, given that many other nations as
represented in the above news citations have closed many
independent opposition media and suppressed their voices,
most especially when speaking against political corruption
Realities and Media
But simple media bankruptcies are not a new phenomenon. One
reads of an American newspaper: "The Star Tribune,
saddled with high debt and a sharp decline in print
advertising, filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition
Thursday night. Minnesota's largest newspaper will try to
use bankruptcy to restructure its debt and lower its labor
costs." In "Star Tribune files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy,"
by David Phelps, Star Tribune, 16 January 2009.
Additionally other nations' economic policies are hammering
news media, as one reads: "According to national
newspaper El Nacional, at least 5 regional newspapers
have ceased printing in the past month. The lack of
printing paper is also expected to soon affect another 25
papers that are quickly using their reserves. Due to the
nation's currency controls and small amount of U.S. dollars,
both importers and editors can't get the currency needed to
pay for newsprint that is manufactured abroad, reports The
Global Post. The shortage is even forcing some editors to
have to request the product from rival companies in order to
keep their presses running, reports ABC News." In "Venezuela
Paper Shortage: Nation's Newspapers Shut Down Due To Lack Of
Printing Paper," by Treye Green, International Business
Times, 5 September 2013.
Given media suppression
by governments as noted in citations above taken together
with the basic effects of economics on the day-to-day
operation of media such that crippling debt cripples, the
State Department's odd public concern for the bankruptcy of
Nepszabadsag because of "more than five billion forints
($17.6 plus million) in losses recently" suggests that the
slogan, "media pluralism," is in fact a false narrative.
After all, Nepszabadsag could easily go through bankruptcy,
and re-open as an online media outlet offering Hungarians
"people's liberty" news of the once-Communist and
now-Socialist stream of editorial thought.
There is irony here, along with double standards aplenty
waiting to work themselves out. As ever, all this has to do
Point of Any Communist Publishing versus Pluralism in Media
In the case of a "radical" publisher, Lawrence & Wishart,
demanding that the Marxist Internet Archive take down its
for-profit English translations of texts, the Marxist
response was: "It is true that L&W is in the tradition
of other communist & leftist publishing houses. That
tradition, by and large, provided inexpensive, shortened
versions in pocket-book form of the writings of Marx, Engels
and Lenin. This particular tradition went by the wayside a
long time ago. Though we commend L&W for publishing in free
e-book format (as does the MIA) the point was to distribute
to workers and youth the works in question, not to restrict
their use by higher and higher prices and taking away an
easy access to them. The point of any communist
publishing house, which the MIA lives up to, is to assure
the widest distribution of these works, not, again, to
restrict them. That is the opposite of communist publishing."
In "Response to Lawrence & Wishart statement on MECW," David
Walters, Marxist.org, 26 April 2014.
That any media would amass unsustainable debt in parallel
with losing paying customers as did Nepszabadsag --
quite like the many governments doing the same -- and move
the United States Department of State to worry that
"pluralism in media" is threatened is strange. Media
conglomerates as businesses are subject to economic
realities, and crushing debt and labor demands are part of
them, as is old-fashioned profit-taking. Even socialists
want to profit from their work and be repaid when having
made a loan. There's the rub, as illustrated by the great
Capital for Communists
a story growing old.
Should one wish to observe media of this ilk, one may look
at the Communist Party in the United States (CPUSA) for an
example. It built a network it called
People before profits
at the outset billed as another in the many Marxist media
available online. Since then it has morphed into a speakers
bureau, with online pictures and resumes of various Marxist
speakers who probably would not balk at being paid a fee and
expenses for their "media" work. Perhaps Nepszabadsag could
"morph" into the Hungarian version at very little cost,
after abrogating its existing debt and liquefying its hard
assets which debtors might try to legally seize in
With so much media worldwide and with many bilingual readers
also worldwide, the notion of diminishing "pluralism in
media" is a laugh. What is not amusing are governments
suppressing media as one reads above of Cuba, Ecuador,
Venezuela, Algeria, Ethiopia, Somalia and even through DDoS
attacks in the United States and "free world" in general,
and such large scale work to obscure scrutiny of
Marxist-inspired government far outweighs the State
Department's concern for one post-Communist and
over-indebted media concern in Hungary.
Politics' strange bedfellows are often not as strange when
placed in context. That context is the avoidance of annoying
[ 4 ]
The simple ration of "more government: less freedom" is
seen. The article notes of the stiffening law: "It
comes as Chinese President and newly-proclaimed 'core'
leader Xi Jinping strives to consolidate his power
halfway through his 10-year term while also stamping out
dissent online. Last month, one young activist
disappeared after posting on social media about his plans to
wear a 'Xitler' shirt in public on China's National Day."
[ 5 ] Not all
suppression of speech and squelching of scrutiny is done by
government, per se. Rather it is done by power. The
professor silenced by an academic "community that values
full participation" named "Liberal Studies Diversity, Equity
and Inclusion Working Group" finds someone "guilty" has
forgotten -- or never learned -- of the political
enforcement which went on in the National Socialists of
war-defeated Nazi Germany, the Soviet Socialists of the
collapsed Union of Soviet Socialists and many other such
"enforcement" entities which judged guilt based on
disagreement with officialdom.
There was a time when "speak truth to power" was in support
of disagreement with official doctrine and "liberal" was an
adjective to describe such
Freedom: It's Great, As Long As You Don't Use It
Now "liberal" is become an adjective which defines "power"
which "judges" against those who would "speak truth to
power." As the article notes about this professor and victim
of this "inclusion working group," he said, " 'I’m
afraid my academic career is over,' he said . 'Academic
freedom: It’s great, as long as you don’t use it'." Ssh. One might irritate the Inclusion Working Group which
will again react with silencing the offending voices.
Uniformity will be enforced, and fascism will have again
What is noteworthy herein is that silencing an opposing
voice by an academic tribunal calling itself inclusive is
quite the parallel to Maduro in Venezuela jailing political
opponents, or Algeria attacking independent media voices.
That consistency of action proves that "ssh!" tolerates no
scrutiny, throughout the world. In each case it exercises
power, reacts against voices which would "speak truth to
power" and blithely justifies its actions with Orwellian
There was a time on American campuses when dissent students
campaigned for free speech. Time will come again when
dissidents will have to campaign for free speech.
Without free speech, what is sought by power of any
description and colored by any adjective is always
The End Game of Conformity
This tale ended quickly. The "12-person committee calling
itself the Liberal Studies Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Working Group, including two deans" was overruled. About two
weeks after this "committee" and its supposed "guilty"
verdict, one reads "The politically incorrect professor
on leave since his NYU colleagues griped about his
'incivility' has been promoted — and his fellow
liberal-studies profs were lectured about their conduct.
Michael Rectenwald, 57, was bumped from assistant professor
to full professor on Monday, just days after he was placed
on paid leave. The promotion comes with an 18 percent raise
to $80,000, a source said." In "NYU awards promotion and
full time gig to 'deplorable' professor," by Melkorka Licea,
New York Post, 13 November 2016.
Self-appointed tribunes have often names themselves with
glowing words, while inverting the meanings of such words in
I do recall I don't
"Although the U.S. Justice Department didn't end up
pursuing criminal charges against Hillary Clinton, she's still having to
answer questions about her private email server. And it's not just on
the campaign trail — it's in court. Clinton's attorneys submitted on her
behalf answers to 23 of the 25 questions posed to her by Judicial Watch
as part of its Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against Clinton." In "Clinton
says she 'does not recall' in her answers about her emails," by
Lauren Stephenson, Newsy via AOL News, 13 October 2016.
I do recall that I don't recall,
now that I'm
asked some thing.
I do recall that I can't recall of
what's asked in questioning.
I dare not say I won't recall,
lies a tale.
The lion's share's forgotten, and the
answer's grown stale.
I do recall that I don't recall
broadened memory lapse,
And might testify to weaknesses and
some mental handicaps.
I do recall that I can't recall
and swear that
this is true,
But cannot say I won't recall, for
what would then ensue?
Be with me and be at my side
as I politick
Which I might also not recall when
the coming bill is due.
Envoi: "In at
least one case, according to documents released Friday by the FBI,
Clinton said she could not recall every briefing she had received
after a 2012 concussion, which later led to a blood clot in her head.
'Clinton stated she received no instructions or direction regarding the
preservation or production of records from [the] State [Department]
during the transition out of her role as secretary of state in 2013,'
the report says. 'However, in December of 2012, Clinton suffered a
concussion and then around the New Year had a blood clot. Based on her
doctor’s advice, she could only work at State for a few hours a day and
could not recall every briefing she received'." In "Hillary Clinton
told the FBI she couldn’t recall something more than three dozen times,"
by Aaron Blake, Washington Post, 2 September 2016.
Addendum of No Joke:
" 'I don’t recall any joke,' Clinton said
Tuesday afternoon. 'It would have been a joke, if it had been said, but
I don’t recall that'." In "Hillary Clinton: I 'Don't Recall' Ever
Wanting To Launch A Drone Strike At WikiLeaks," by Tim Hains, Real Clear
Politics, 5 October 2016.
Addendum of Not Recalling Any
Briefings: "Clinton told investigators
she could not recall getting any briefings on how to handle
classified information or comply with laws governing the preservation of
federal records, the summary of her interview shows." In "Clinton tells FBI
she could not recall all briefings on preserving documents," by Julia
Edwards and Jonathan Allen, Reuters, 2 September 2016.
Addendum of Belief in Not
Recalling: "She said she couldn't recall. One of
the most compelling -- and informative -- moments of the day unfolded
shortly after 7 p.m. during an exchange with Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Ind.,
who repeatedly asked whether Clinton had spoken with Stevens after he
was sworn in as the U.S. ambassador to Libya in May 2012 and before his
death on Sept. 11, 2012. 'We don't know the answer. Did you ever
personally speak to him after you swore him in in May?' Brooks asked
Clinton, her voice raising with emotion. 'Yes or no please.' 'Yes, I
believe I did,' Clinton replied. 'I don't recall'." In "11 Benghazi
takeaways: One for each hour," by Eric Bradner, Tal Kopan, Jeff Zeleny
and Stephen Collinson, CNN, 23 October 2015.
of Drawing a Blank: "Shown a cable that went out under
her name, warning all State Department employees about security threats
to their personal email accounts — and advising them not to use them for
official business — Clinton drew a blank.
She replied that all policy cables carried her name and 'she did not
recall this specific cable.'
So it went during her three-and-a-half-hour grilling, according to an
official FBI report on Clinton’s interview that was made public by the
bureau on Friday. During the course of her interview, Clinton was
repeatedly unable to respond to many questions about her use of the
private email server and the classified emails she sent on it. She
said she 'could not recall,' 'did not recall' and 'did not remember' 38
times, according to a Yahoo News tally of her responses recorded in
the 11-page FBI report." In "Clinton didn’t remember much about her
emails when questioned by the FBI, by Michael Isikoff, Yahoo News, 3
Addendum of Not Having to
Recall to Reach a Conclusion: "While it is widely
known that some companies and foreign governments gave money to the
foundations, perhaps in an effort to gain favor, one of the key parts of
the puzzle hasn’t been reported: At least a dozen of those same
companies lobbied the State Department, using lobbyists who doubled as
major Clinton campaign fundraisers. Those companies gave as much as $16
million to the Clinton charities. At least four of the lobbyists they
hired are 'Hillblazers,' the Clinton campaign’s name for supporters who
have raised $100,000 or more for her current White House race. Two of
the four also raised funds for Clinton’s unsuccessful 2008 presidential
bid. USA TODAY reached these conclusions by obtaining federal
lobbying data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics for
2009-2013, Clinton’s tenure as secretary of State. Reporters then
compared the data with donor lists made public by the Clinton nonprofits
and federal campaign financial records." In "Companies used Clinton
fundraisers to lobby State Department," by Kevin McCoy, USA Today. 26
Addendum Wondering If This
Will Be Recalled: "The latest hacked email
released by WikiLeaks details how one of Bill Clinton’s closest aides
helped rake in tens of millions for the former president while his wife
was serving as Secretary of State. The 12-page memo was sent by
Clinton's former aide Doug Band in 2011 to him, his daughter Chelsea,
several board members of the Clinton Foundation and its lawyers as well
as its then special advisor John Podesta. Published on Wednesday by
Wikileaks, after a hack of thousands of emails from Podesta’s account,
it details how Band helped run what he called 'Bill Clinton Inc'." In "Inside
Bill Inc: Aide lays out how the former president raked in tens of
millions of dollars through a series of deals while Hillary was
Secretary of State in a memo unearthed by Wikileaks," by Khaleda
Rahman, Daily Mail, 27 October 2016.
Addendum of Finally Recalling
Years Later a Million Dollars: "The
Clinton Foundation has confirmed it accepted a $1 million gift from
Qatar while Hillary Clinton was U.S. secretary of state without
informing the State Department, even though she had promised to let the
agency review new or significantly increased support from foreign
governments." In "Clinton's charity confirms Qatar's $1 million gift
while she was at State Dept," by Jonathan Allen, Reuters, 4 November
of a Liberalism of the Rich: "...a kind of
chronic complacency that has been rotting American liberalism for years,
a hubris that tells Democrats they need do nothing different, they need
deliver nothing really to anyone – except their friends on the Google
jet and those nice people at Goldman. The rest of us are treated as
though we have nowhere else to go and no role to play except to vote
enthusiastically on the grounds that these Democrats are the 'last thing
standing' between us and the end of the world. It is a liberalism of
the rich, it has failed the middle class, and now it has failed on its
own terms of electability. Enough with these comfortable Democrats and
their cozy Washington system. Enough with Clintonism and its prideful
air of professional-class virtue. Enough!" In "Donald Trump is
moving to the White House, and liberals put him there," by Thomas Frank,
Guardian UK, 9 November 2016.
of a Repudiation of the Power Structure: "What
has happened in America should not be seen as a victory for hatefulness
over decency. It is more accurately understood as a repudiation of
the American power structure. At the core of that structure are
the political leaders of both parties, their political operatives, and
fundraisers; the major media, centered in New York and Washington DC;
the country’s biggest corporations, their top executives, and Washington
lobbyists and trade associations; the biggest Wall Street banks, their
top officers, traders, hedge-fund and private-equity managers, and their
lackeys in Washington; and the wealthy individuals who invest directly
in politics. At the start of the 2016 election cycle, this power
structure proclaimed Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush shoo-ins for the
nominations of the Democratic and Republican parties. After all, both of
these individuals had deep bases of funders, well-established networks
of political insiders, experienced political advisers and all the
political name recognition any candidate could possibly want. But a
funny thing happened on the way to the White House." In "Democrats
once represented the working class. Not any more, Bill Clinton and
Barack Obama helped shift power away from the people towards
corporations. It was this that created an opening for Donald Trump,"
by Robert Reich, Guardian UK, 10 November 2016.
[ 1 ]
of Wanting to End the Advantage of the Rich and Powerful:
"The poll, which will be updated as additional
responses are tallied and votes are counted throughout Tuesday, found: -
75 percent agree that 'America needs a strong leader to take the
country back from the rich and powerful.' -72 percent agree 'the
American economy is rigged to advantage the rich and powerful.' -
68 percent agree that 'traditional parties and politicians don’t care
about people like me.' - 76 percent believe 'the mainstream media is
more interested in making money than telling the truth'." In "U.S.
voters want leader to end advantage of rich and powerful: Reuters/Ipsos
poll," by Chris Kahn, Reuters, 8 November 2016.
[ 2 ]
of Recalling the Polls Weeks Before the Election: "Buoyed
by a double digit lead in some national polls, Mrs Clinton has said
she is now looking past Mr Trump entirely, and will no longer counter
allegations made by her rival. 'I don’t even think about responding to
him anymore,' Mrs Clinton said when asked about Mr Trump’s charge
that American media outlets are in cahoots with her presidential
campaign." In "Hillary Clinton so far ahead in polls that she 'doesn't
even think about' Donald Trump anymore ," by Ruth Sherlock, Telegraph
UK, 24 October 2016.
Addendum of ABC News
Recalling: "Covering Clinton, what is one thing
that has surprised you about her? Amy Chozick: Hmm. She likes to
drink. We were on the campaign trail in 2008 and the press thought she
was just taking shots to pander to voters in Pennsylvania. Um, no."
In "One Thing That Might Surprise You About Hillary Clinton," by
Benjamin Bell, ABC News, 21 February 2015.
Addendum of Remembering What
Didn't Happen: " 'I remember landing under sniper
fire,' Clinton said at a recent campaign event. It started when, in a
recent speech, Clinton spoke of her visit to Tuzla, Bosnia, in 1996 as
first lady. The brutal war was over, but hostilities continued. And
though the trip was exactly 12 years ago Tuesday, the memories seemed
etched in Clinton's mind. 'There was supposed to be some kind of a
greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads
down to get into the vehicles to get to our base,' she said. Problem
is: that's not how it happened at all. And we should know: CBS News
investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson and a CBS News crew
accompanied the First Lady on that Bosnia trip. And pictures CBS News
recorded show the greeting ceremony when the plane landed." In "CBS
News Video Contradicts Clinton's Story," CBS News, 24 March 2008.
Consider that the Postmodern Political Tragedienne
Said "The Truth Will Come Out" :
- with two l's, because misspelling can be fun
[ 1 ] The
Democrats who Reich says "helped shift power away from the
people towards corporations" include Democrat Party bigwigs.
That a presidential candidate of any party from any nation
pleads repeatedly "I don't recall" suggests either a
legalistic and evasive stance towards questions or some
incapacity of memory as glaring as to not recall a million
One finds post-election views of Madame I-Don't-Recall and
her party supporters which are telling.
One reads: "It is not an exaggeration to say
that the Democratic Party is in shambles as a political
force. Not only did it just lose the White House to a
wildly unpopular farce of a candidate despite a virtually
unified establishment behind it, and not only is it the
minority party in both the Senate and House, but it is
getting crushed at historical record rates on the state and
local levels as well. Surveying this wreckage last week,
party stalwart Matthew Yglesias of Vox minced no words: 'The
Obama years have created a Democratic Party that’s
essentially a smoking pile of rubble.' One would assume that
the operatives and loyalists of such a weak, defeated, and
wrecked political party would be eager to engage in some
introspection and self-critique, and to produce a frank
accounting of what they did wrong so as to alter their
plight. In the case of 2016 Democrats, one would be quite
mistaken." In "The Stark Contrast Between GOP’s
Self-Criticism in 2012 and Democrats’ Blame-Everyone-Else
Posture Now," by Glenn Greenwald, Intercept, 18 November
One notes the interesting phrase about the party line, that
it was held by "a virtually unified establishment." Such a
unified establishment can only be explained in losing that
it was opposed by enough votes to suggest that the
"establishment" was being rejected, as the Reuters/Ipsos
poll above concludes.
Echoing Reich, Greenwald notes: "...Democrats have
spent the last 10 days flailing around blaming everyone
except for themselves, constructing a carousel of villains
and scapegoats — from Julian Assange, Vladimir Putin,
James Comey, the electoral college, 'fake news,' and
Facebook, to Susan Sarandon, Jill Stein, millennials, Bernie
Sanders, Clinton-critical journalists, and, most of all,
insubordinate voters themselves — to blame them for failing
to fulfill the responsibility that the Democratic Party, and
it alone, bears: to elect Democratic candidates."
Greenwald's summation explains much in the party loyalists'
post-election tone: "Acknowledging one’s own
responsibility for failure is always difficult, which is why
scapegoating and finger-pointing at others is so tempting."
The failure then was one of being "a virtually unified
establishment" which busied itself with "constructing a
carousel of villains and scapegoats" such that the election
was, in Reich's words, "a repudiation of
the American power structure." Perhaps the inane repetition of "I don't
recall" speaks to a candidate who purported to be the "best"
option for a nation's leadership, a leadership wherein
political difficulties are all explained away with "I don't
[ 2 ] One notes
similar poll results of people and populaces no longer
trusting in a similar "virtually unified establishment"
which may be contemplated via the rhyme, addenda and
- a historical study.
Greenwald's observation that "scapegoating and
finger-pointing at others is so tempting" is a truth of
political whirlwinds on both sides of the Atlantic, as
charges of hate speech, xenophobia, sexism, racism and more
are repeated daily in media, and "a carousel of villains and
scapegoats" are targeted not only with accusations, but also
litigation and trials.
One likely rational is that so many in a "virtually unified
establishment" demand that they like so many other
governments around the world come under
One reads of a younger Democrat who wants to challenge the
"old" Democrats in leadership: "One Democrat who
understands the need to for his party to reconnect with
working-class voters in middle America is Rep. Tim Ryan
(D-Ohio), who has challenged Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
for the post of House minority leader. 'What we are doing
right now is not working,' he wrote in a letter to his
colleagues. “Under our current leadership, Democrats have
been reduced to our smallest congressional minority since
1929. We have the fewest Democrats in state and federal
offices since Reconstruction'." In "‘Hamilton’ and the
implosion of the American left," by Marc A. Thiessen,
Washington Post, 21 November 2016.
The Washington Post op-ed notes: "Today’s Democrats
have become a party of coastal elites completely
disconnected from the rest of America. Doubt it? Take a
look at a county-by-county map of the 2016 presidential
How alike are the observations of voices like Thiessen,
Reich and Greenwald, and how linked to the Reuters-reported
poll that a population wants to "take the country back from
the rich and powerful." How sad, given the electorate's 2008
optimism for Obama that his administration, including a
billionaire in his cabinet and ex-Secretary of State
Clinton, had become so quickly and easily come to be
exemplified by "the rich and the powerful."
Scrutiny by the average Joe annoys the rich and powerful
greatly, and pointed questions are evaded with unpersuasive
replies such as "I don't recall" because this all aggregates
to an image and seems quite how
A politician thinks
It helps to be crazy
"The Civil Rights Division encourages qualified
applicants with targeted disabilities to apply. Targeted
disabilities are deafness, blindness, missing extremities, partial or
complete paralysis, convulsive disorder, mental retardation, mental
illness, severe distortion of limbs and/or spine." In "U. S. Department
of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Voting Section, Trial Attorney,
GS-14/15,Department of Justice, 8 February 2010.
It helps to be crazy
but don't take offence.
It helps to be nuts,
at the people's expense.
It helps to be loony,
so paste boilerplates;
Retardation in law
is just deaf to much sense.
It helps; be unmoving
like bureaucrats' true.
It helps, as convulsion
is a government brew.
It helps to retard
with distortions of law,
For what is then missing
o'er that cuckoo's nest flew.
It helps to be crazy
as divides civil rights.
It helps to be nuts
in the legalist fights.
It helps to be loony,
so government shows,
To disable the lawyers
as their trial ignites.
Addendum from the Writer's Nest:
"But the rest are even scared to open up and laugh. You know,
that's the first thing that got me about this place, that there wasn't
anybody laughing. I haven't heard a real laugh since I came through that
door, do you know that? Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your
footing." Ken Kesey, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," Mass Market,
Addendum of the Mentally
Impaired Lawyer: "The Opinion then cites Model Rule
8.3 to require that there may be an obligation to report the impairment
to the appropriate professional authority. However, Model Rule 8.3 and
Illinois Rule 8.3 differ importantly on this point. Model Rule 8.3
provides that a 'lawyer who knows that another lawyer has committed a
violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct that raises a substantial
question as to that lawyer’s . . . fitness as a lawyer . . shall inform
the appropriate professional authority.' The Illinois Rules, following
the Himmel decision, state that informing the appropriate authority is
only necessary in the case of a violation of Illinois Rules 8.4(a)(3) or
(a)(4) – commission of a criminal act that reflects adversely on the
lawyers fitness, or conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or
misrepresentation. Thus, unless the lawyer’s mental impairment results
in a criminal act or dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation,
there may be no obligation to report the impairment under the Illinois
Rules." In "The Mentally Impaired Lawyer: What is our Obligation to
Report?" by John Levin, CBA Record, the magazine of The Chicago Bar
Association, December 2003.
Addendum of the Loony Bin:
"McMurphy: I must be crazy to be in a loony bin
like this." Quote from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," a film
script by Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman, after the novel by Ken Kesey
and play by Dale Wasserman, 1975.
Addendum of What Happened
Here: "I’m pretty sure I know what happened here:
Boilerplate that was designed for a wide range of federal jobs —
including the ones (probably a relatively small percentage of all
federal jobs) for which one can be qualified even though one is mentally
retarded — is just being copied here; and the limitation to 'qualified
applicants' who 'are able to perform the essential functions of the
position' ensures that no mentally retarded lawyers will indeed be
hired. Still, the result looks pretty striking in a call for
applications from experienced attorneys." In "Seeking Qualified Mentally
Retarded Lawyers?" by Eugene Volokh, Volokh Conspiracy, 3 February 2010.
Climb atop your high horse and
You've oh so far to fall,
Not to mention smaller things
Like showing off such gall.
Yea, much moral high ground
Can quickly wash to sand,
And quicksand, men have found,
Requires some saving hand.
Getting off that starring stage
As audiences shift like winds
Is difficult and much much more,
Until memory rescinds
You elected to mount your high horse
And nattered so nosily on
Until your hobby horse collapsed,
You fell, and then were gone.
"A transgender man has given birth, making he and his
partner the first transgender couple in Ecuador to have a baby. Fernando
Machado and Diane Rodriguez have become a father and mother after
Fernando, who was born Maria, gave birth to a healthy baby. Neither
he nor Diane, who used to be a man, has undergone gender reassignment
surgery, meaning they were able to conceive." In "Transgender man
gives birth to his female transgender partner’s baby," by Harley Tamplin,
Metro UK, 23 September 2016.
And functioned just
Sturdy wordy he-to-she
Were basically ignored
While this odd tale
tells plain reality.
If parts had changed
a bit earlier
Those clippings would have
had no spawn.
Proof biology sees
Sic transit gloria mundi - Thus passes away the glory of the
Addendum of Sick Trans Gloria and Achieving Irrational
Bigotry: "..last week Germaine Greer, normally a
stalwart of the left, bluntly confront the First Commandment of
transgenderism: Thous shalt not deny that gender is 'fluid.' Here’s what
she said: 'Just because you lop off your d— it doesn’t make you a
woman… a man who get his d*** chopped off is actually inflicting an
extraordinary act of violence on himself. I’ve asked my doctor to give
me long ears and liver spots and I’m going to wear a brown coat, but
that won’t turn me into a f***ing cocker spaniel.' Greer’s turn of
phrase was perhaps gratuitously crass. But the media lynch mob now
baying for her blood reveals just how narrow the bounds of reasonable
discussion have become on all things trans. In achieving this iron
grip on public opinion, the invention of the word ‘transphobia’ has been
most useful. It is a convenient descriptor used to discredit anyone who
expresses an alternative view to the trans-worship orthodoxy as an
irrational bigot'." In "Sick Trans Gloria," by John Slater, Quadrant
Online, 4 November 2015.
[ 1 ]
Addendum of Reassignment:
"...assessed by a psychologist, Dr Georg Sturup, who
accepted the strength of her conviction that she wanted to proceed with
sex reassignment surgery. As a result, Sturup successfully
petitioned the Danish government to change the law to allow castration
for the purposes of the operation. Finally, after more than a year of
hormone therapy, Jorgensen went under the knife for the first of a
series of operations that would attempt to change her genital organs
from male to female. Exactly what was done during these operations
is unclear, but it is likely that Hamburger and his team followed the
lead set by a group of surgeons several decades earlier." In "Christine
Jorgensen: 60 years of sex change ops," by Chloe Hadjimatheou, BBC World
Service, 30 November 2012.
[ 2 ]
Addendum of a Note on Name
and Pronouns: "...a note on name and pronouns:
Historical sources uniformly refer to Elagabalus with male pronouns. The
emperor is best known under this title (which is grammatically
masculine) and she was assigned male at birth. I have decided to use
female pronouns because, based on the evidence, this choice is just as
valid as male pronouns. The three extant sources from antiquity,
while they do contradict each other, still broadly concur that the
sovereign did have very strong manifestations of cross-gender behavior.
Telling aspects such as the story related by Dio Cassius that Elagabalus
offered half the empire to the surgeon that would correct her genitalia
seem to go far beyond merely scandalizing an effeminate monarch and more
towards showing the desperation a transgender person might well feel in
an age long before any methods were found to modify her body according
to her desires." In "A Brief Biography of Elagabalus: the transgender
ruler of Rome," by Alexis Mijatovic, OutHistory.org, n. d.
[ 3 ]
Addendum of Sexist Science:
"Although Parson is a doctoral candidate in the UND’s
school of education, she seems not to have encountered in her 'advanced'
coursework the decades of significant research in cognitive science
that directly contradicts poststructuralist feminist theories about how
people acquire knowledge. Parson’s paper asserts: 'Instead of
promoting the idea that knowledge is constructed by the student and
dynamic, subject to change as it would in a more feminist view of
knowledge, the syllabi reinforce the larger male-dominant view of
knowledge as one that students acquire and use make the correct
decision.' Parson is repeating the old canard that people construct
knowledge, which stems from the anti-scientific theory that truth is
relative, and what is true for one person is not true for another
because we have all had different sensory experiences." In "Feminist
PhD Candidate: Science Is Sexist Because It’s Not Subjective," by Joy
Pullmann, Federalist, 29 September 2016.
[ 4 ]
Addendum of No Reassignments
Except Bureaucratic Legalism: "...the lesbian
mother accused of abducting the daughter she raised with her wife and
eloping with a man. Lauren Etchells has sparked an international hunt
after fleeing from Canada to Britain with Marco van der Merwe. She and
wife Tasha Brown are said to have asked him for help conceiving a second
child after they had daughter Kaydance with an online sperm
donor. The women split, but teacher Miss Etchells went on to have the
baby with IT expert Mr van der Merwe – and later declared that they were
engaged." In "Pictured together: Runaway lesbian mother and her
‘sperm donor lover she wants to wed’," by Tom Kelly and Chris
Brooke, Daily Mail, 1 October 2016.
[ 5 ]
Addendum of a Papal View:
"In the age of 'ideological colonization' where gender
theory has become a key part of a 'global war' on marriage and family,
the Pope defended the traditional union between a woman and a man as
'the most beautiful thing God created.' Responding to one woman in the
audience in Tbilisi, who asked about gender theory being taught in
schools, the Pope said: 'You mentioned a great enemy of marriage
today: gender theory'." In "‘Global war against family’: Pope
Francis denounces gender theory," RT News, 2 October 2016.
[ 6 ]
Addendum of Canadians
Considering Too Much of a Good Thing: "Bill 28
does not provide for a registration of who the biological parents
actually are, leaving children with an existential crisis of never
knowing where they came from as a matter of routine. There are many
other questions: Why only four? This is not a sarcastic question.
Polygamous and polyamorous families can and do include more—Bill 28
would appear to legally recognize both kinds of families (so long as
they have four parents or fewer) without these special interest groups
even needing to fight for it. There are those who desire family and
marriage to legally be whatever individuals want it to be. Once we
change the traditional number, any new limit is entirely arbitrary and
open to change. Another question: Have we considered the effects of
surrogacy on mothers? Surrogacy is rife terrain for exploitation of
women. Should wombs be up for rent? Some countries, such as Iceland,
Finland, Germany, France and Italy have outlawed even altruistic
surrogacy, not merely commercial surrogacy as is the case in Canada." In
"Aren’t four legal parents too much of a good thing?" by Andrea
Mrozek, Mercator Net, 27 October 2016.
of Euthanizing Unsatisfactory Sex Change Patient:
"Verhelst began the woman-to-man sex change
procedure with hormone therapy in 2009, and had a mastectomy and
penis construction surgery in 2012, but 'none of these operations worked
as desired,' he said. 'I was ready to celebrate my new birth,' he
continued. 'But when I looked in the mirror, I was disgusted with myself.
My new breasts did not match my expectations and my new penis had
symptoms of rejection. I do not want to be ... a monster'." In "Belgian
transsexual dies by euthanasia after unsatisfactory sex change
operation," by Tracy Miller, New Zork Dailz News, 2 October 2016.
Addendum of Girls with
Male Genitalia: "Jazz said that although some
boys want to date girls with male genitalia, she claimed in an article
for the website that 'the majority won't'. She wrote: 'Your average
straight cis-gender teenage boy isn't going to pursue a relationship
with a trans-girl. Even if he does find her attractive, it could be
social suicide if he acts on his feelings'." In "'I'd love to meet a
cute trans boy who will be my true love': Reality star Jazz Jennings
admits she is struggling to date because straight boys think it is
'social suicide' to date a trans girl," by Miranda Bryant, Daily Mail,
28 October 2016.
[ 7 ]
Addendum of Arguing for
Personality Problems Without Mental Illness: "...Hogben
defending Seren said: 'I am sure looking at this defendant and the
offences which she has admitted there is a great deal of concern.
There are no mental health issues but there are personality disorders.
Miss Seren was born a man but since an early age felt she is more a
woman than a man.' Seren had pleaded guilty to indecent assault and
downloading illegal child sex images. The court heard how Seren thinks
he is a five-year-old girl and is regarded as 'highly vulnerable.'
Although psychiatrists concluded the defendant has personality problems
he did not have any mental illness and he was jailed him for a total of
15 months." In "Creepy sex offender who thinks he is a 5-year-old
girl appeared in court clutching baby doll," by Chris Dyer, Daily
Record, 6 December 2016.
of His Menstrual Cycle: "The Ministry of Health
has acknowledged the lack of availability of Testex on its web page and
indicates that it will be fully available again by mid-January. 'I’ll
use the gel until then,' says Álex. 'There’s no other option.'
Meanwhile, various political groups have voiced their opinion on the
matter including the LGTBI – Lesbians, Gays, Transgender, Bisexuals and
Hermaphrodites – collective of Spain’s left-wing Podemos party. This
collective says that there are political and discriminatory factors at
work while stating that it is a dangerous practice to leave important
issues such as access to pharmaceuticals to the mercy of market forces."
In "Spain’s transgender men start menstruating due to drug shortage,"
by Emilio de Benito, El País, 16 December 2016.
Addendum of the
Unsurprising Outbreaks: "...she said, 'elite
discourse about gender has become so nonsensical and removed from
reality that rowdy outbreaks of resistance and rebellion are
unsurprising'." In "Camille Paglia Predicted 2017," by Molly
Fischer, New York Magazine, 7 March 2017.
[ 1 ]
Greer has stirred a hornet's nest of sorts, for challenging
one "ism" with perhaps "another." One reads: "In her
1999 book, The Whole Woman, she wrote: 'Governments that
consist of very few women have hurried to recognise as women
men who believe that they are women and have had themselves
castrated to prove it, because they see women not as another
sex but as a non-sex. No so-called sex-change has ever
begged for a uterus-and-ovaries transplant; if
uterus-and-ovaries transplants were made mandatory for
wannabe women they would disappear overnight. The insistence
that man-made women be accepted as women is the
institutional expression of the mistaken conviction that
women are defective males." In "In Photos: Germaine
Greer glitter-bombed for trans comments," by Stephen Gray,
Pink News, 14 March 2012.
It is an out-spoken perspective. Of such one reads:
"Greer was uncompromising in her rhetoric, condemning
from the beginning of her speech the 'pressure on women to
be clean, sweet, perfumed and submissive' and later
suggested that trans women do not know what it is to 'have a
big, hairy, smelly vagina'. Greer was robust in her
championing of the woman as an autonomous person and was
anxious not to be diverted into what she described as 'side
issues'. Witty and acerbic, Greer had the audience laughing
throughout; describing the Sun website as a 'fantasmagoria
of nipples' whilst simultaneously speaking passionately and
intensely about her notion of 'the disappearing woman'. She
cited examples of cases in which women are judged but go
unheard, condemning the fact that 'nobody bothers to
investigate' the perspective of women such as Amanda Hutton,
who was widely reviled in the media. Her championing of
sexual liberation and power for women was clear as she
invited her audience to 'kick ass and take names and talk
loud and make a crowd'." In "Germaine Greer: transgender
women don’t know what it’s like to ‘have a big hairy smelly
vagina’," by Sarah Collins, Varsity, 27 January 2015.
What one may clearly take from the Metro article is that
after sex reassignment surgery, that most natural ability
"to conceive" is lost. While all around, nature is fecund,
in this arena of a postmodern world it is barren. End of
[ 2 ] One notes the expression,
"sex reassignment." In the case of Fernando Machado and
Diane Rodriguez, as above, no "reassignment" had occurred,
explaining the pregnancy and delivery in purely biological
terms ignoring the "reality" of words. Thus the postmodern
Pandora's box is opened, as definitions of the word "sex"
become conflated with many incompatible meanings. Sex is
defined by genital configuration, as is the case of "sex
reassignment" per the above and when in consideration of
Greer's observation that no "so-called sex-change has ever
begged for a uterus-and-ovaries transplant...." It is an
interesting and instructive observation as yet unanswered.
Not the Same Thing
It also crashes on the shores of whatever it means to be
dysphonic in terms of body parts. One might consider that
few issues can be found in which other body parts are asked
to be "reassigned." Fro this Greer's assertion irritates
many, as is often reported: " 'I do understand that some
people are born intersex and they deserve support in coming
to terms with their gender but it’s not the same thing.
A man who gets his d**k chopped off is actually inflicting
an extraordinary act of violence on himself ." In "Germaine
Greer in transgender rant: 'Just because you lop off your
penis...it doesn't make you a woman'," by Lucy
Clarke-Billings, Telegraph UK, 26 October 2015.
Is reassignment a poor choice of word, any more than a
self-referential pronoun might be seen as a poor choice of
word, when Greer observes that "intersex" who "deserve
support" are not the "same thing" as a reassignment purports
them to be?
As is plainly the case from Jorgensen and into today, a
change of "genital organs from male to female" does not
include as Greer notes a "uterus-and-ovaries" transplant.
Thus the outward form is reassigned, while the inward form
is not reassigned. It then becomes an argument about words
and their definitions. What does it mean to be a woman? A
man? Must the "intersex" choose one of two options? In other
arguments about words, one finds more choices being argued.
With a nod to Greer's 1970 book, The Female Eunuch, see the
rhyme and supporting materials which is become a
- a eunuch's cluck.
A summary by Greer herself, can be found hosted by
In it she observes: "The opponents of female
suffrage lamented that woman’s emancipation would mean the
end of marriage, morality and the state; their extremism was
more clear-sighted than the woolly benevolence of liberals
and humanists, who thought that giving women a measure of
freedom would not upset anything. When we reap the harvest
which the unwitting suffragettes sowed we shall see that the
anti-feminists were after all right."
"...the end of marriage, morality and the state" is
foretold. In this progressive march, much stumbling is
found, as the end goal seems elusive even as one observes a
-- bedding, treading, sledding.
Irony is not lost as the Express UK follows the report above
with this: "Ms Rodriguez said: 'We live as man and
woman. I’m a transfeminine woman and Fernando is a
transmasculine man. The process to get here was complex
for each of us'." In "Transgender man gives birth to his OWN
BABY in world first," by Laura Mowat, Express UK, 26
The confluence of gender words and qualifications is a
matter of word play, as a uterus and birth canal were
involved in the delivery of the child. Asserting that these
are somehow "trans" anything has nothing to do with
biological facts. It is word play in service to what may or
may not be psychological health, as too many opinions abound
while truths tend to be univalent. One reaps a harvest of
wordy assertions trying to say something akin to "we are
like everyone else, only different." Using Greer's
perspective, it would be more exact to say "we live as
transfeminine woman and transmasculine man," as yet
apparently not "reassigned" by surgery. As soon as the
surgeries are complete, this "man and woman" will be a
barren man and a barren woman living together.
[ 3 ] Given the historical tale,
perhaps the "cross-dressing boy emperor Elagabalus"
and "transgender ruler of Rome" is not supportive of
postmodern arguments about sexuality, fluidity and
and Sexual Hedonism
The tale is dark, at best: "By day, he continued to
alienate the Roman people with his insistence that they
should worship his god, Elagabal. Every morning at dawn he
made huge, public sacrifices to this little-known deity,
represented by a black conical stone held within a temple
built on the Palatine Hill, the sacred heart of the capital.
Attendance was compulsory for members of the senate, who
were forced to watch dutifully as Elagabalus paraded before
them in ever more lavish priestly garb. The proceedings
began with his slaughter of dozens of cattle and sheep,
whose entrails were then placed in golden bowls and offered
up as a sacrifice to Elagabal. It was suspected that these
offerings included the remains of young boys, Elagabalus
killing only those who had both parents still alive so as to
maximise the resulting grief and suffering. As his reign
continued, his excesses took ever more bizarre and obscene
turns." In "Move over, Caligula! Book reveals the story of
cross-dressing boy emperor Elagabalus, whose savagery and
sexual hedonism were unparallelled," by David Leafe,
Daily Mail UK, 28 December 2011.
In this seemingly modern era, should one champion the
age-old old god of
Perhaps then the issue should be broadened beyond mere
political excesses and heated arguments about terminology
but also into "savagery and sexual hedonism" in the same way
that one may examine the savagery of much in this "modern"
Words fail, because so many fail at words, confused with
contradictory meanings and surface tensions to distract from
clarity and realities unmoved by words' inability to change
that which words cannot change. Such is the nature of
[ 4 ] If than else,
because logically maybe might not be what is which isn't and
wholly constructed, so she which apparently might be a
misidentified pronoun at the University of Michigan can fly
with her own wings, because her words can say so. Watch and
One might follow her argument to a logical conclusion. If,
as the article captures, "what is true for one person is
not true for another because we have all had different
sensory experiences," then all individuals have a right
to "their truth" whether male or female, young or old,
genius or idiot and so on. In this way, the word truth has
no shared meaning, should someone wish to say it hasn't. And
that's the truth.
As to a doctoral candidate arguing for "a more feminist view
of knowledge," one wonders how Parson as a graduate in a
highly competitive educational job market might react when
or even if some
Doctor Oppression comes to call
[ 5 ] In the modern
politics of "you are who you allege to be" in terms of
gender, a now officially "fluid" concept, biological parents
of a child become "reassigned" as some support the notion of
"help" in conception in which a "mother" who does not
conceive asserts through law to be a mother nonetheless,
while another mother who did conceive with a biological
father and now wishes to "wed" -- see
-- bedding, treading, sledding
-- a "father" of a child, while the news report tags
this mother as "lesbian."
Do current definitions apply?
Do they survive the postmodern complexities of
Might "former lesbian" define a current reality, and
reinforce a notion of "fluid" gender self-definitions?
Might "sperm donor lover" define "father," and clutter the
legal rights of a non-biological "mother" who has not given
Is "marriage" to a lesbian anything more than a legal
contract, as a classic divorce and all the accompanying
Does a biological mother have greater weight in terms of
legal rights than a non-biological mother.
What in fact does mother mean anymore, as a mother contests
a mother for motherhood rights?
The article notes "they [ mother and mother ] had a
daughter" and yet only one gave birth, so is a father who by
definition barely surviving the assault of
politics and pronoun-denominated word games a father, all
the while the first article cited above says a father can be
a biological mother, as the titles testifies as much to word
fluidity as to gender fluidity, "Transgender man gives birth
to his female transgender partner’s baby
Up is down, of course, and true is false, and all thirteen
of them are seven. It all adds up, as fun with words plays
itself into contradictory vapidity. But as to the
article cited, a deliciously understated sentence quoting
the jilted lesbian and self-announced non-birth "mother" on
a father living with a birth mother is read: " 'There
started to be this weirdness,' said Miss Brown."
One might agree. Weirdness is a word, and probably as fluid
as all the others.
[ 6 ] The" enemy
of marriage" is a sentence without any meaning today, as is
the word "marriage." This is not an assertion without merit,
but rather a statement of fact. One only need survey the
notions, addenda and footnotes which cluster together around
-- bedding, treading, sledding.
[ 7 ] Once the
words have little to no meaning -- "girls with male
genitalia" -- the conversation can only end in
Words with Opposing Definitions
Male now means having or not having male genitalia, while
female means having or not having the same, or female
genitalia. So what do male and female mean? All and nothing,
by the simple language terms of the current idiocy sweeping
If a "trans-girl" has male genitalia and most males, as
defined by male genitalia also, seek dating relationships
with human beings with vaginas -- what a cold and cynical
discussion must be had from these language games -- then
this is a matter of personal choice in each individual case.
When personal choice becomes attacked, what remains? Social
control by enforced means, in the end.
Using biological facts to hone in on words, if a straight
male "with male genitalia" and a gay male "with make
genitalia" and a trans-girl "with male genitalia" all share
the physiological feature, then the trans-girl has more in
common with males, straight and gay alike, than with
In like manner, if a straight female "with female genitalia"
and a lesbian "with female genitalia" and a surgically
reassigned ex-male without outward appearances of "female
genitalia" all share that physiological feature, then the
surgically reassigned ex-male can no longer have genitalia
similarity with male genitals. Yet genitalia is not all that
applies, as Greer notes above. For the females, one may well
argue that the uterus and possibility of pregnancy is the
physiological feature which defines. If so, by current
gender reassignment surgery the unhappy trans-girl will
merely be a "cosmetic" imitation, and of course as with all
gender reassignment surgery, barren.
As with the parents cited above, Fernando Machado and Diane
Rodriguez, once their gender reassignments are complete,
neither will again be a birth parent of a next child. Such
is biology, unaffected by redefinition of words. The end
game is sterility.
Off - at the trough
"Proponents sold the measure in 1999 with the promise
that it would impose no new costs on California taxpayers. The state
employees’ pension fund, they said, would grow fast enough to pay the
bill in full. They were off — by billions of dollars — and taxpayers
will bear the consequences for decades to come. This year, state
employee pensions will cost taxpayers $5.4 billion, according to the
Department of Finance. That’s more than the state will spend on
environmental protection, fighting wildfires and the emergency response
to the drought combined." In "The pension gap," by Jack Dolan, Los
Angeles Times, 18 September 2016.
They were off by just a little;
That little was, golly, a lot.
They were wrong, as it turns out,
And much is turning to naught.
They were greedy, it proves to be;
But for awhile look what was got.
They were up; soon all is falling down.
See what the politics has brought?
They were off by by billions, yes.
It's quite as if a plot.
They were off; that's the excuse;
Now consequences burn red hot.
"... Seeling told the CalPERS board that if the pension fund’s
investments grew at about half the projected rate of 8.25% per year on
average, the consequences would be 'fairly catastrophic.' The warning
made no discernible impression on the board, dominated by union leaders
and their political allies. 'There was no real taxpayer representation
in that room,' Seeling, now retired and living in a Dallas suburb, said
in a recent interview. 'It was all union people. The greed was
overwhelming'." Also in "The pension gap," by Jack Dolan, Los
Angeles Times, 18 September 2016. [
Addendum of the Big Picture,
Clarifying: "State-run pension systems across the
country were underfunded by $1.2 trillion last year and are expected
to be in even worse shape in the years ahead, according to a report
released Thursday from a top credit rating agency. Moody's Investors
Service said it expects the gap to hit $1.7 trillion with the next round
of state audits, largely because investment returns have been far below
expectations for the funds." In "Report: State pension funding gap at
$1.2 trillion," by Geoff Mulvihill, Associated Press, 6 October 2016.
Addendum 13.4 Average
Length of Service for Lifetime Public Pension:
"...Average member salary: $89,241, Active members: 145, Active
retirees: 309, Total active beneficiaries (including survivors): 424,
Required employee contribution rate: 11.5 percent, Participant
contributions: $1.49 million, Employer contributions: $15.87 million,
Total participant contributions as percent of total contributions
revenue: 8.6 percent, Average age at retirement: 60, Average pension:
$58,644, Average length of service: 13.4 years." In "Top 25
Retired Illinois Politicians With The Biggest Pension Payouts," Reboot
Illinois, via Huffington Post, 19 February 2016.
[ 2 ]
of Things Seeming Bigger in Texas: "Over six recent
weeks, panicked Dallas retirees have pulled $220 million out of the
fund. What set off the run was a recommendation in July that the
retirees no longer be allowed to take out big blocks of money. Even
before that, though, there were reports that the fund’s investments —
some placed in highly risky and speculative ventures — were worth less
than previously stated. What is happening in Dallas is an extreme
example of what’s happening in many other places around the country.
Elected officials promised workers solid pensions years ago, on the
basis of wishful thinking rather than realistic expectations.
Dallas’s troubles have become more urgent because its plan rules let
some retirees take big withdrawals. Now, the Dallas Police and Fire
Pension System has asked the city for a one-time infusion of $1.1
billion, an amount roughly equal to Dallas's entire general fund budget
but not even close to what the pension fund needs to be fully funded.
Nothing would be left for fighting endemic poverty south of the Trinity
River, for public libraries, or for giving current police officers and
firefighters a raise. In "Dallas Stares Down a Texas-Size Threat of
Bankruptcy," by Mary Williams Walsh, 20 November 2016.
of Sinkhole States: "The total debt burden is
estimated at $6,100 per city taxpayer. 'Jacksonville has used accounting
tricks to conceal its pension debt from taxpayers,' said Sheila
Weinberg, founder and CEO of the accounting group. But Jacksonville’s
868,000 residents are far from alone with their pension problem.
Statewide, Florida ranks 12th in the Truth in Accounting rankings of
state pensions, with each resident responsible for $1,100 in unfunded
debt. That puts it among the 40 'sinkhole' states that don’t have enough
assets to cover their pension obligations." In "The State Level
Pension Crisis: Jacksonville, Florida Edition," by William Patrick,
American Spectator, 18 November 2016.
Addendum of the Simple
Reality: " 'It's probably beyond repair,' he said.
'We’re at the point where we’re just managing the decline'." In "Bad
Math and a Coming Public Pension Crisis," by Mary Williams Walsh, New
York Times, 8 July 2015.
Addendum of Rising Pension Costs Breaking Budgets:
"...rising pension costs generated by past state underfunding are
hitting every school district. If those costs had stayed steady, the
Battle Creek district would have a surplus this year, not a deficit.
Enrollment declines usually translate to hard times for school district
budgets. But having to pay more every year to catch up on state pension
underfunding is also part of why Battle Creek teachers saw no salary
increases in 2015-16." In "Soaring Pension Costs Breaking School
Budgets, Crimping Teacher Pay," by Tim Gantert, Michigan Capitol
Confidential, 30 November 2016.
of Big D Without Enough Liquid Reserves: "The Dallas
Police and Fire Pension System's Board of Trustees suspended lump-sum
withdrawals from the pension fund Thursday, staving off a possible
restraining order and stopping $154 million in withdrawal requests. The
system was set to pay out the weekly requests Friday. Pension
officials said allowing the withdrawals would leave them without the
liquid reserves required to sustain the $2.1 billion fund. 'Our
situation is currently critical, and we took action,' board chairman
Sam Friar said." In "Dallas Police and Fire Pension Board ends run on
the bank, stops $154M in withdrawals," by Tristan Hallman, Dallas News,
8 December 2016.
[ 3 ]
of San Francisco and Inadequacies: "State and
local governments have about $2 trillion less than what they need to
cover retirement benefits because of investment losses, inadequate
contributions and perks granted in boom times. And in California, over
the next few years, there will be 'a rash of local agencies unable to
meet their pension obligations,' said Dane Hutchings, a lobbyist for
the League of California Cities. San Francisco’s net pension liability
-- a key measure of how much retirement benefits exceed the assets set
aside to cover them -- more than doubled to $5.5 billion in the year
ended in June due to lagging investment returns and an update to
assumptions, including longer lifespans for retirees. In addition, the
city lost a court case and must now pay some cost of living adjustments
to retirees it was trying to limit because of the measure that voters
approved. Contributions to the San Francisco Employees’ Retirement
System will increase 36 percent by 2022, more than three times faster
than the city’s revenue, according to the five-year plan." In "Even San
Francisco, Flush With Tech Wealth, Has Pension Problems," by Romy
Varghese, Bloomberg, 20 March 2017.
of Massive Fraud in State Employee Pension Fund: "Two
financial firms raked in billions of dollars of business from the New
York State Common Retirement Fund, the $184-billion retirement fund
serving many state employees, after their agents bribed one of the
pension fund's employees with cash, watches, travel, bottle-service,
cocaine, strippers, prostitutes, and Paul McCartney tickets, according
to indictments announced today by Preet Bharara, United States Attorney
for the Southern District of New York. The two indictments announced
today only cover three people: Navnoor Kang, 38, the director of fixed
income and security for the $185 billion New York State Common
Retirement Fund; Gregg Schonhorn, 45, the vice president of fixed income
sales at FTN Financial Corp; and Deborah Kelley, 58, at the time the
managing director of institutional fixed income sales at Sterne Agee.
Kang, who worked for the fund, was considered a public officer under the
law. In exchange for plying Kang with drugs, women, jewelry and
vacations, the indictments allege, Kang directed more than $2 billion in
business to FTN Financial and Sterne Agee. Initially, Kang did this
through front companies, since FTN Financial and Sterne Agee were not
approved brokers for the fund. Since both the front brokers and the
actual brokers took commissions, the fund got soaked." In "Bribes +
NY State Pension Fund = Millions In Profits For Financial Companies,"
by Nick Pinto, Village Voice, 21 December 2016.
Consider the unpersuasive argument that
Naturally no one steals anything
1 ] As paying
for yesterday's "workers" now no longer working demands a
larger share of government income, there are precious few
options, each easily foreseeable except when political
rhetoric clouds the arithmetic picture.
One learns: "...retirement costs would
continue to consume roughly 20% of operating revenue. The
effects can be measured in services forgone and civic
ambitions deferred. With the money put into its pension
funds over the last two years alone — nearly $2 billion —
the city could have fixed every one of its broken sidewalks,
built or leased housing for more than 25,000 homeless people
or restored 11 miles of the concrete-clad Los Angeles River
to a natural state. L.A.’s pension burden, while severe by
national standards, is not unusual for California. Six
of the state’s 10 largest cities — Los Angeles, San Diego,
San Jose, Sacramento, Oakland and Bakersfield — devoted more
than 15% of their general fund budgets to pensions and
retiree healthcare during the 2015 fiscal year, The Times
found. San Jose contributed the greatest share — almost
28%." In "Paying for public retirees has never cost L.A.
taxpayers more. And that's after pension reform," by Peter
Jamison, Los Angeles Times, 18 November 2016.
Piling onto Many of the Pension Debt for the Few
How large is the underfunding in California? The answer
changes over time. For this Stanford University has created
a measurement procedure. One reads of already massive debt
as well as growth in it: "Pension Tracker was recently
created by Stanford Professor Joe Nation and a team of
graduate students and researchers at SIEPR. According to the
New York Times, through the work of SEIPR and the creation
of Pension Tracker, California is the only state in the
nation that provides access to the market value of pension
liability on a local basis. Pension Tracker recently added
the 2015 data, and plans to also add data for 2016 and 2017
when it becomes available. The market value of California
pension debt is expected to likely exceed $100,000 per
household in 2016, based on recent market calculations."
In "Stanford University's Pension Tracker Pegs Total
California Pension Debt at $1 trillion or $93,000 Per
California Household in 2015, Up 19% from 2014," by David
Kersten, Kersten Institute for Governance and Public Policy,
1 December 2016.
From "no new costs on California taxpayers" in 1999
to an increased debt burden of $93,000 per household
eighteen years later suggests that California's politicians
are either liars, hugely uninformed or both. The "benefits"
devolve to a small number of "public servants" while the
burden falls on all taxpayers. Privilege for the few? It
Thus one may rightly conclude that "liberal" politics as
practiced in California has been illiberal, with the
political and public "servant" class being elevated by
various political methods until paying "for public retirees
has never cost cost L.A. taxpayers more." With more demands
to fund this special class of people soon to come,. because
"naturally no one steals anything."
2017 brings an admission, as one reads: "Less
than four years after declaring California’s budget was
balanced for the foreseeable future, Gov. Jerry Brown on
Tuesday said the state is now projected to run a
$1.6-billion deficit by next summer. 'The trajectory of
revenue growth is declining,' Brown told reporters at
the state Capitol on Tuesday as he unveiled the state's
budget." In "Gov. Jerry Brown predicts a $1.6-billion
deficit as he unveils state budget," by John Myers, Los
Angeles Times, 10 January 2017.
Another view to this "miscalculation" because mathematics is
not politics, though politics pretends that words can rule
numbers: "The administration discovered accounting
mistakes last fall, but it did not notify lawmakers until
the administration included adjustments to make up for the
errors in Brown's budget proposal last week. The Democratic
governor called for more than $3 billion in cuts because of
a projected deficit he pegged at $1.6 billion. 'There's
no other way to describe this other than a straight up error
in accounting, which we deeply regret,' said H.D.
Palmer, a spokesman for the Department of Finance." In
"$1.9B miscalculation adds to California deficit
projection," KCRA 3/NBC News, 18 January 2017.
Another report offers a telling admission. One reads:
"California’s pension problem isn’t new. For years,
economists and policymakers have warned that the state’s
pension systems won’t have enough money to fulfill promises
to millions of current and retired workers. But next
year, officials said, rising pension costs will eat up more
than a third of proposed increases to the state education
budget. There is a predicted shortfall among all state
retirement accounts of at least $230 billion based on what’s
owed to current and future retirees. The pension funds,
including CalPERS, haven’t made as much money from the stock
market and other investments as they had hoped. That means
school districts — like other public agencies — have had to
backfill pension funds. Workers have also been forced to pay
more. But it hasn’t been enough." In "California schools
may face cuts amid skyrocketing pension costs," by Jill
Tucker, San Francisco Chronicle, 23 January 2017.
If policymakers knew "for years," what was and seems to
remain the motivation to continue? One finds that motivation
in government workers' self-interest fueled by the
politicians who rely on them for support.
Yet another perspective suggests the miscalculation could
have been intentional and political. One reads: "...already
well-paid government workers sometimes have their pay pegged
to a multiple of the minimum wage. The increase will also
drive up state welfare costs by wiping out many jobs.
The American Action Forum predicts the increase will
ultimately cost California nearly 700,000 jobs. An economist
at Moody’s calculated that 31,000 to 160,000 California
manufacturing jobs will be lost. Gov. Brown won’t be fazed
by these job losses. Back in 1995, he declared that the
'conventional viewpoint says we need a jobs program and we
need to cut welfare. Just the opposite! We need more welfare
and fewer jobs.' In signing the massive increase into law
last year, Brown admitted that 'Economically, minimum wages
may not make sense.' But 'politically they make every
sense,' he said." In "California Budget Deficit Rising:
Wasteful Spending, Minimum Wage Hike to Blame," by Hans
Bader, Cybercast News, 20 January 2017.
"...pay pegged to a multiple of the minimum wage" is
sought all the while the system is in slow motion shrinkage,
if not eventual collapse.
As to the competence of the leadership of the CalPERS
organization, a quote stands out: "A shift
away from stocks and private equity just before the
presidential election has caused CalPERS to miss out on
about $900 million in revenue since September. CalPERS Chief
Investment Officer Ted Eliopoulos disclosed the number at a
Board of Administration meeting on Monday in a presentation
describing how a temporary shift in assets has played out."
In "Investment shift costs CalPERS $900 million in potential
gains," by Adam Ashton, Sacramento Bee, 13 February 2017.
A few weeks later, Sacramento as both state capitol and the
home of the Sacramento Bee newspaper prints an editorial as
the city and its paper see all too easily the coming fiscal
crisis for the city and all sister cities in the state.
One reads: "If the higher CalPERS contributions aren’t
the stuff of nightmares for city and county officials across
the state, they should at least be a big worry. The League
of California Cities calls the pension issue the biggest
obstacle facing every full-service city in the state. It is
urging its members to run the numbers and to start taking
necessary steps. It says some cities may have to consider
hiring freezes and service cuts. Even then, the league
warns, some cities might eventually veer dangerously close
to bankruptcy." In "Why California cities and counties
should act scared by pension payments," by Editorial Board,
Sacramento Bee, 7 March 2017.
How's that for a losing wager?
A Thorn in
When policy decisions which makes government better paid are
admitted to not make sense economically, but politically,
the fingerprints on that policy are about government as
described in 1932 by a self-declared "Communist anarchist."
One reads: "...state and society are two
different things. Neither is society an accumulation of all
the different organizations and connections within which
people order their communal affairs and under which the
state exists alongside other institutional forms, nor is the
state from among a great many possibilities one of the types
of organization in which society can embody itself. It is
certainly clear that wherever society exits there is no
room for the state, but that wherever the state is it is
like a thorn in society’s flesh, it does not permit it to
form a people who can socially inhale and exhale, and
instead divides them into classes and thereby prevents them
from being a society. A centralized construct cannot at
the same time be a federalist construct. A system of
management organized along authoritarian lines is a
government, a bureaucracy, a commanding power, and this is
the mark of the state; a community built upon equal rights
and mutuality is, when considered within the bounds of their
physical proximity, a people, when considered as a general
form of human living, a society. State and society are
opposing concepts; the one excludes the other." In "The
Liberation of Society from the State," by Erich Kurt
Thankfully for those in government, Jerry Brown's government is paying itself well as the ship of
the State of California "unveils" itself to be in growing
debt coupled to "miscalculation." The end to this story is well known, having been seen
many times before. It is the old phenomenon of
Fat, fat government
as may be told again in
The Story of Innocent Bloat
As to that "accounting error," consider the truth of
No correct arithmetic
2 ] The
public pension crisis has been hidden, overlooked, misstated
and even lied about, depending on which voice and in which
year one has found such views. In one case, the obvious is
being proven true proving previous public, political
postures were plain wrong.
Recipe for Taxpayer Rebellion
One reads: "Illinois is like Greece in one obvious
way: it overpromised and underdelivered on pensions and has
little appetite for dealing with the problem, says Hal
Weitzman of the University of Chicago Booth School of
Business. This large Midwestern state, with a population of
13m (Greece has 11m, though a far smaller GDP than
Illinois), has the most underfunded retirement system of any
state and the largest pension burden relative to state
revenue. It also has the highest number of public-pension
funds close to insolvency, such as the one looking after
Chicago’s police and firemen. According to the Civic
Federation, a budget watchdog, Illinois has piled up a
whopping $111 billion in unfunded pension liabilities (see
chart), in addition to $56 billion in debt for health
benefits for pensioners. The state devotes one in four of
its tax dollars to pensions, which is more than it spends on
primary and secondary education." In "America’s Greece?"
The Economist, 20 December 2014.
The conclusion is simple. In order to financially feed the
"public servant" few, the general public has been made to
suffer. When the "average length of service" comes to less
than fourteen years on the "public servant" roles, and comes
with a lifetime pension for such short service, the whole
makes a mockery of 'liberal' and party politics demands to
subsidize the few from the many. One sees much more in the
case of just one state which name rhymes with --
- punning ploy.
This bellwether shows the path forward towards an abyss.
3 ] Those deep in this
mess pretend there is some political solution, but from
No correct arithmetic
will solve the problem until the underlying political issue
is collapsed. What is the political issue? It is that
government has grown to cost too much and those who
supported this were those who in a variety of ways profited
from it. As long as a gullible public supports such
"political" leadership, the foreseen end of the game is
obvious. Government becomes dysfunctional, often while
putting on the best face it can. The problem is in the
nature of government itself, as in this case the "public"
employees and their unions planned throughout to pile
burdens onto taxpayers for the benefit of these "public"
servants, and local politicians assisted mightily.
As to a concise summary of what Dallas faces, one reads:
"Fixing this mess without serious reform is almost
unimaginable. Even a 40-year plan to pay off the pension
debt (twice as long as the Society of Actuaries recommends)
would require the city to spend the equivalent of 75 percent
of its payroll on pensions alone. Finding the money to do
that would require Dallas to more than double property
taxes. Even so, a four-decade plan would expose the city
to future market crashes that could undermine any recovery.
Instead, the city is looking at a host of unpopular changes
to the current pension plan, including cutting back
cost-of-living adjustments and asking employees to forgo
some of the interest they’ve earned on their DROP accounts.
State legislators, who crafted a system they didn’t have to
fund, would need to approve any changes. Things could get
complicated: Republicans dominate the legislature, while
Democrats control the city. Still, the prospect of an
insolvent Dallas should focus some minds." In "Pension
Collapse in Big D," by Steven Malanga, City Journal, 13
Grease the Skids - a
variant of slippery folk
"China’s legislature has expelled 45 of its members in
a vote-buying scandal that has snared a prominent businessman who is
active in donating to American universities, foundations and political
campaigns. Some of the lawmakers whose dismissals were announced on
Tuesday, all from the economically struggling northeastern province of
Liaoning, had bribed their way into the National People’s Congress by
buying votes, according to the official news agency Xinhua." In "An
Unlikely Crime in One-Party China: Election Fraud," by Michael
Forsythe, New York Times, 14 September 2016.
[ 1 ]
Grease the skids with party cash,
And slip into some upscale bash
Where elbows rub with greased panache
And wallets reign their mighty stash.
Grease the way. Connect the dots
Of many moneyed, structured plots
To climb the ladders' rungs to slots
High above where corruption squats.
Grease the few with much and more
And all the tenderest spots explore
Where a rich, rare reservoir
Parts great powers' corridor.
Grease the skids, the way, the few,
As the pathway sure and true
To upper crusts' rich revenue
For the cream and retinue.
Grease a little election fraud
Both at home and wide abroad
For grease is welcomed and hurrahed
Where purchased access speaks like god.
Addendum of Directing Political
Contributions: "The 1996 United States
campaign finance controversy was an alleged effort by the People's
Republic of China to influence domestic American politics prior to and
during the Clinton administration and also involved the fund-raising
practices of the administration itself. While questions regarding
the U.S. Democratic Party's fund-raising activities first arose over a
Los Angeles Times article published on September 21, 1996, China's
alleged role in the affair first gained public attention when Bob
Woodward and Brian Duffy of The Washington Post published a story
stating that a United States Department of Justice investigation into
the fund-raising activities had uncovered evidence that agents of
China sought to direct contributions from foreign sources to the
Democratic National Committee (DNC) before the 1996 presidential
campaign. The journalists wrote that intelligence information had shown
the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C. was used for coordinating
contributions to the DNC." In "1996 United States campaign finance
controversy," Wikipedia article, n. d.
Addendum of No Wrongdoing in
Greasing the Skids: "A number of major donors to
Clinton, now secretary of state, have faced criminal allegations in
connection with fundraising scandals since she dropped out of the race
for the White House in 2008. Federal prosecutors have mounted four major
cases involving six defendants, who together helped raise more than $1.1
million for Clinton's presidential and senatorial campaigns, records
show. None of the cases has revealed any wrongdoing by Clinton or her
top advisers, and most of the money has been returned or donated to
charity. But Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for the Public
Citizen watchdog group, said Clinton effectively put her campaign at
risk by relying so heavily on wealthy bundlers to help her raise money.
'When you turn to that traditional wealthy donor base, you're going to
run into a lot of problems because they encompass the type of people who
know that big money buys influence,' Holman said." In "Several big
donors to Hillary Clinton now facing criminal allegations," by Dan
Eggen, Washington Post, 19 February 2011.
[ 2 ]
Addendum of a Tactic
Perfected: "Fattah isn’t the first Clinton
superdelegate to be convicted under corruption charges. Former New York
State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who was convicted of corruption
in November 2015, had close ties to Hillary Clinton while she served as
senator of New York. In 2008, Clinton called Silver, who played an
important role in convincing Clinton to run for Senate in New York after
Bill Clinton’s presidency ended, 'a stalwart voice on behalf of the
needs of New Yorkers.' Silver formally resigned from serving as a
superdelegate in March 2016, and Congressman Fattah should do the same.
Both Fattah and Silver still maintain their innocence, a tactic
perfected by Hillary Clinton over the years—to constantly deny
wrongdoing despite the overwhelming evidence suggesting otherwise."
In "Corruption Conviction of Clinton Crony Foreshadows Hillary Legal
Struggles," by Michael Sainato, Observer, 22 June 2016.
[ 3 ]
At the Heart of One Tale Among Many: "At the
heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining
industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of
former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group
built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that
would become known as Uranium One. Beyond mines in Kazakhstan that
are among the most lucrative in the world, the sale gave the Russians
control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United
States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications
for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee
composed of representatives from a number of United States government
agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State
Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three
separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow
of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation." In "Cash Flowed to
Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal," by Jo Becker and Mike
McIntire, New York Times, 23 April 2015.
Addendum of the Technicality
of Greasing the Skids: "Technically speaking
this isn’t a scam, since the Clintons’ donors know exactly what they are
getting. Indeed, many of them may well have gotten their money’s worth
of influence by giving money to the ex-president and a sitting secretary
of state and would-be president. If so, that is a scandal and one
that ought to disqualify Hillary Clinton for consideration for the
presidency. But though it may not be illegal, it is not quite the noble
cause to which we’re all supposed to pay homage. What’s more, the
'mistakes' the foundation has made in its filings are leading to
reasonable suspicions that we have just started to scratch the surface
of its questionable dealings. Those liberals that are dedicating
themselves to rationalizing and apologizing for the foundation may find
that they have taken on a task that is in the process of becoming a
full-time and increasingly impossible job." In "Is the Clinton
Foundation Really a Charity?" by Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary, 30 April
Addendum Unlike Democrats and
Republicans: "Unlike the Democrats and Republicans,
we don't cuddle up to Wall Street and special interests with our
'public' and 'private' positions." Jill Stein, Twitter post, 12
[ 5 ]
Addendum of Removing
Subsidies and the Grease which Applies: "It
had been more than 20 years since a left-leaning government in New
Zealand chose to eliminate government subsidies for farmers, and
Hausman was surprised at what had transpired since. 'I will tell you it
was a shock to their agricultural system,' says Hausman, 58, who farms
corn and soybeans on a 1,500-acre plot 150 miles south of Chicago. 'You
had a system dictated by government programs that was thrown out the
window overnight,” Hausman adds in a recent interview with The Daily
Signal. “But the farmers kind of reinvented themselves and now New
Zealand is a powerhouse when it comes to agricultural production on the
world stage'." In "What Happened When New Zealand Got Rid of Government
Subsidies for Farmers," by Josh Siegel, Daily Signal, 22 September 2016.
[ 6 ]
[ 1 ] Election
fraud in China as corrupt politicians had "bribed their way"
into government suggests similar motivation for these
individuals -- criminals, should one say, based on China's
legal actions against them -- all the while the politics of
such things outside China pretends similarities cannot be
seen as similar. So goes the argument. This is not that, but
this is also not this.
for Big Money
The article details: "Through his companies, Mr. Wang
has donated to American universities, charities, research
institutes and political campaigns, including New York
University, the Clinton Foundation and the successful 2013
campaign for Virginia governor of Terry McAuliffe, a
Democrat. Though Mr. Wang is a Chinese citizen, he is
also a legal permanent resident of the United States, which
entitles him to make campaign contributions."
Given the supposed transparency of American political
parties and a supposed "liberality", one might find this
broadens the large story of
Capital for Communists
a story growing old.
This alone is explanation for the corrupt class of
politicians and their toadies to argue that such behaviors
are "crony capitalism," as if capitalism is the engine of
criminality. Rather it is politics, Consider a study in
[ 2 ] The
sentence speaks from now twenty years ago: "...you're
going to run into a lot of problems because they encompass
the type of people who know that big money buys influence."
What is equally clear is that money brings access, something
the average citizen will never have, which therefore makes
the democratic process undemocratic. There is deep irony in
this for a party which uses the word in its name.
Thus one may conclude that greasing the skids with big money
remains the modus operandi for government, whether Chinese
Communist or American democratic. It is all a matter of
[ 3 ] To
gain an understanding of how "rare" overwhelming evidence
can be found, consider the many sources cited to support a
There be a Backfire?
The Observer's Sainato acts as possible seer in predicting:
"Just as her associates steadily receive the justice
their years of corruption call for, Hillary Clinton’s long
record of playing loose and fast with the rules will come
back to haunt her. The Clintons have been leading the
charge in the increasing influence big money has in the
political system, at great peril to the American public, but
their hubris in thinking they can continuously break the
rules and get away with it to propel their own political
careers and the interests of their donors will eventually
The political calculation remains political. Maybe yes.
Maybe no. Thus the "quantum state" of this sort of
sordid politics is supposed to be unknown, quite like the
The Cat in the Box
[ 4 ] It becomes
interesting to note that the Chinese Communists root out
such political corruption, as reported above, while the
American system of politics seems to foster it and then look
the other way. Ergo, this becomes all about greasing the
Among the skids being greased, one finds the
military-industrial complex handily arguing for itself, when
one surveys the rhyme and supporting sources:
A Modern Observation on The Anti-War Movement, Revisited
- "All we
are saying is give peace a chance."
[ 5 ] Jill
Stein is the Green Party 2016 candidate for president, as
she was in 2012. Her voice is relatively unheard by the
media, for the obvious reason that most corporate media
today is a "special interest" in Washington. It becomes
sadly ironic then that a media entity on the so-called political right
has to help a voice on the so-called progressive left to be heard.
Grease the Skids for Washington's Uniparty
One reads: "Stein observed that 'corporations were
originally chartered to serve the public good, but they’ve
become monsters that dominate our government.' Stein has
previously explained that the liberal progressive agenda–on
health care, crime, climate change, trade, etc.– cannot be
accomplished under a corporatist like Hillary Clinton. Stein
argued that a Clinton presidency will simply be the
continuation of the policies supported by Washington’s 'uniparty,'
which is controlled by special interest donors–and will not
in any way advance the goals of liberal progressives."
In "Green Party’s Jill Stein Tells Progressives: ‘Don’t
Waste Your Vote on Corporate Democrats’ Who Betray You," by
Julia Hahn, Breitbart, 13 October 2016.
One also finds similar sentiment from other voices after the
2016 election: "The Democratic Party as it is now
constituted has become a giant fundraising machine, too
often reflecting the goals and values of the moneyed
interests. This must change. The election of 2016 has
repudiated it." In "Robert Reich: The Democratic Party Needs
to Clean House," by Robert Reich, Newsweek, 10 November
Additionally: "If Clinton’s 'basket of deplorables'
comment accomplished anything, it was to push away irritated
or bitter voters who are tired of being called Islamophobic
when they criticize radical Islam or racist when they
contemplate voting Republican. Consider a reader over at
the Atlantic, who started in the 'NeverTrump' camp and
claims to still 'deplore' the president-elect, yet ended up
voting for him anyway. His reason? What he views as
left-wing identity politics run amok. ' Accusations of
racism are being thrown about as political weapons (mostly
by white liberals) in a way that belittles the seriousness
of bigotry,' writes the reader, who is white but married to
a Mexican-American. 'When everything is about identity
politics, is the left really surprised that on Tuesday
millions of white Americans, for the first time ever, voted
as ‘white’? If you want identity politics, identity politics
is what you will get'." In "Neoliberalism’s epic fail:
The reaction to Hillary Clinton’s loss exposed the impotent
elitism of liberalism," by Conor Lynch, Salon.com, 19
An "impotent elitism of liberalism" as a "giant fund raising
machine" that has been "controlled by special interest
donors" is against what many voters reacted. It came as a
surprise, except in retrospect as the above voices and many
more speak out.
One sees the corporatists working diligently to support the
military-industrial complex, as detailed in the truths in
A Modern Observation on The Anti-War Movement, Revisited
- "All we
are saying is give peace a chance."
As to money in politics greasing the skids, one reads that
of the current candidates, one stands above: "Overall,
the Hillary Victory Fund raised $261 million in the
three-month time period while Trump Victory raised $61
million. The unconventional Republican nominee has struggled
to raise money from the kinds of traditional donors who
write the biggest campaign checks. Clinton has another joint
fund for big donors, while Trump has another account for his
campaign and the party that’s aimed at small donors." In "Hillary
Clinton has at least twice as many six-figure donors as
Donald Trump," Associated Press, 16 October 2016.
"Victory" for big donors who best grease the skids?
Indeed, and it has a sordid precedent as many a skid greaser
Bring presents to the party
Rig the Whole System
As to the party being planned, one reads an interesting
editorial: "Among the curiosities spewed from John
Podesta's email by WikiLeaks is an intriguing memo to a
group of billionaires that outlines the real goals of the
Democratic Party's progressive wing. Turns out they don't
want to rig an election, they want to rig the whole
system — demographics, politics, the media, everything.
The idea that the Democratic Party is the party of the
"little man," as the old term would have it, is one of the
great fallacies of our time, as this memo clearly shows. The
Democratic Party has been captured by the interests of a
handful of left-leaning billionaires and cash-rich labor
unions who see the party as a way to impose their
progressive vision on all of us, without us even knowing
it." In "WikiLeaks Reveals How Billionaire 'Progressives'
Run The Democratic Party," IBD Editorial, International
Business Daily, 2 November 2016.
With "big" donors and their billions in wealth "advising"
the Democrat Party in ways Democrats had once accused
Republicans of doing, an awareness dawns in the electorate.
One reads of an opinion that the Democrat National Committee
as Democrat Superdelegates
"Actress Susan Sarandon on Thursday tore into the Democratic
National Committee (DNC), calling it 'completely corrupt.'
'After my experience in the primary, it’s very clear to me
the DNC is gone,' she told CNN's Carol Costello. 'Every
superdelegate is a lobbyist. The way that the system is set
up in terms of trying of having superdelegates — you could
win a state and not get the delegates. It’s crazy.'
Sarandon backed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for the
Democratic nomination." In "Susan Sarandon: 'DNC is
completely corrupt’," by Mark Hensch, The Hill,4 November
Among the proofs for this assertion and editorial stance is
that presidential candidate Jill Stein has been almost
consistently ignored by the so-called "Left-leaning" media.
This is a clear suggestion that Stein's stance threatens the
"uni-party" which rages at the thought of being overthrown
[ 6 ]
Since "grease" -- see
for a lengthy examination into economics and politics--
refers to money applied to politicians for favors, this news
item from New Zealand is an interesting and informative
counterpoint. "What Happened When New Zealand Got Rid of
Government Subsidies for Farmers" is that farming prospered
-- without grease and subsidies, but with a healthy dose of
freedom as fertilizer.
Government Assistance Completely
The article details: "Removing government
assistance completely, New Zealand officials say, freed
farmers to produce what people really want, and to do so in
an efficient way that could turn a profit. Since the
reforms, New Zealand farmers have cut costs, diversified
their land use, and developed new products, Clark says.
Additionally, productivity in agriculture has grown faster
than the New Zealand economy as a whole."
This real-world experiment flies in the face of the central
planning theorists whose words portray themselves as the
best of leadership. The experiment was not optional. One
reads further: "Facing a budget crisis in 1984, the
incoming Labour government took the first step in
implementing a long list of market reforms when it
eliminated about 30 different agricultural production
subsidies and export incentives."
Thus and as before is so many historical instances,
"reforms" left to the free choices of individual make for
prosperity. One may reasonably infer the antithesis, that
when government seeks to grease "the" skids of commerce, the
skids it greases are its own, and whole segments of an
economy weaken. The incentive for a "left-leaning
government" faced with a "budget crisis" is to get out of
the way of individual freedom and individual effort to
As the article states, "a system dictated by government
programs" was failing. "Thrown out overnight," the people
adapted and prospered.
As one surveys the scope of grease and greasy politicians
from the United States to China to Europe, a lesson could be
learned. For this reason and so often, such "leaders" often
seek for themselves varying methods to assure themselves of
Poor and lonely wolf
" 'We cannot win this war by killing them. We
cannot kill our way out of this war,' Harf said. 'We need, in the
longer term — medium and longer term — to go after the root causes
that lead people to join these groups — whether it’s lack of
opportunity for jobs.' As Kramer reported, Harf made the remarks in
spite of the videos of gruesome beheadings on a regular basis, and
daily reports of other atrocities. 'We can work with other countries
around the world to help improve their governance,' Harf said. 'We
can help them build their economies so they can have job
opportunities for these people.' King characterized Harf’s attitude
as naïve." In "U.S. Rep., Terror Expert Shocked At State Dept.
Claim That Jobs Program Can Stop ISIS, Obama Administration Ripped
Over Spokesperson's Comments On Chris Matthews" CBS News, 17
|Poor and lonely wolf,
Alone, as many have said,
Comes from a family of lonely wolves
Which in lonely packs has bred.
Surely this and only this,
As so much in the news we've read,
Explains such abject loneliness
By which so have many bled.
|Poor and lonely wolf
To be so misunderstood,
As its motivations are unclear
In its lonely neighborhood.
Surely this and only this,
As reasons all are blurred,
Explains the sudden viciousness
With which each wolf is stirred.
|Poor and lonely wolf,
Attacking here and there,
Is all alone and lonely,
But where then is its lair?
Surely this and only this,
As talking heads have erred,
Clarifies each lonely wolf
As part of some larger herd.
|Poor and lonely wolf
Is perhaps not all alone,
In the bigger scheme of things
The wolf is just a clone.
Surely this and only this
Will dawn upon this age,
As many, many lonely wolves
In their lonely wars engage.
Envoi: "A lone
wolf or lone-wolf terrorist is someone who prepares and commits
violent acts alone, outside of any command structure and without
material assistance from any group. However, he or she may be
influenced or motivated by the ideology and beliefs of an external
group, and may act in support of such a group." In "Lone wolf
(terrorism)," Wikipedia article, n. d.
Addendum of Calling for Lone Wolf Attacks: "...the
terrorist group has urged followers to stab, shoot, and poison
Australian people. 'Light the ground beneath them aflame and scorch
them with terror. Kill them on the streets of Brunswick, Broadmeadows, Bankstown, and Bondi. Kill them at the MCG, the SCG,
the Opera House, and even in their backyards,' the article reads.
'Stab them, shoot them, poison them, and run them down with your
vehicles. Kill them wherever you find them until the hollowness of
their arrogance is filled with terror and they find themselves on
their knees with their backs broken under the weight of regret for
having waged a war against the believers, and by Allah’s will, and
then through your sacrifices, this Ummah will be
victorious'." In "ISIS has issued calls for 'lone wolf' attacks
on the Opera House, MCG and Bondi," by Sarah Kimmorley, Business
Insider Australia, 7 September 2016.
[ 1 ]
Addendum of Legitimate Prey:
"The Islamic State has released a new online magazine urging
adherents to carry out more so-called lone-wolf attacks globally.
Targets for attacks include businessmen on their way to work, young
people playing sports in the park and even 'the street vendor
selling flowers to those passing by.' A photo from what appears to
be a British market vendor selling flowers has a caption beneath it
that reads 'Even the blood of a merry crusader citizen selling
flowers to passersby.' Jihadis are urged to strike such soft
targets with no special precedence to attack soldiers or policemen,
but rather to strike terror into the hearts of all disbelievers." In
"Islamic State issues new call for attacks in the West, all
non-believers 'legitimate targets'," by Lisa Daftari,
Foreign Desk News, 5 September 2016.
[ 2 ]
Addendum of Lone Wolves As Nothing of the
Sort: "Since early 2014, at the latest, the
Islamic State (Isil) has been plotting terrorist attacks in Europe.
There has been a tendency, including during the wave of attacks
in the last month in Europe, to favour the 'lone wolf' explanation
for Isil-claimed terrorist attacks, where the killer's only
connection to Isil is to be "inspired" by their online propaganda,
but in reality the institutions of the caliphate stand behind this
campaign." In "'Lone wolf' attacks in Europe are nothing of the
sort," by Kyle Orton, Telegraph UK, 29 July 2016.
[ 3 ]
Addendum of the Norm in Islamic Plots:
"...a Reuters review of the approximately 90 Islamic State court
cases brought by the Department of Justice since 2014 found that
three-quarters of those charged were alleged to be part of a
group of anywhere from two to more than 10 co-conspirators who met
in person to discuss their plans. Even in those cases that did
not involve in-person meetings, defendants were almost always in
contact with other sympathizers, whether via text message, email or
networking websites, according to court documents. Fewer than 10
cases involved someone accused of acting entirely alone. The 'lone
wolf' image obscures the extent to which individuals become
radicalized through personal association with like-minded people, in
what might be termed 'wolf dens,' experts on radicalization and
counter-terrorism say." In "Wolf dens, not lone wolves, the norm
in U.S. Islamic State plots," by Joseph Ax, Reuters, 14 June
Addendum of the
Radicalized: "The PST study attempted to
investigate the backgrounds of people in extreme Islamist groups.
Everyone in the representative sample study by the security service
had been radicalized in Norway and all were under the age of 40. A
full 88 percent of the radicalized individuals have an ethnic
background other than Norwegian and over 30 different nationalities
are represented amongst the radicalized individuals. Some 76 percent
of the extremists have Norwegian citizenship. The vast majority,
88 percent, are men and 68 percent of those men have been either
suspected, charged or convicted of a crime before they became
radicalized." In "PST: Every fifth extremist in Norway is a
Muslim convert," TheLocal.no, 15 September 2016.
[ 4 ]
Addendum of a Turkish
Immigrant in the US: "The Turkish
immigrant accused of gunning down five people at a Washington mall
smirked at his first court appearance Monday even as reports
revealed he had a blog with photo posts of ISIS leader Abu Bakr
al-Baghdadi and Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei." In
"Mall shooting suspect had blog with picture of ISIS leader,"
FoxNews with Associated Press, 26 September 2016.
Addendum of Terrorism in
Turkey: "The deadly attack in the Istanbul
airport late Tuesday, suspected to be the work of the ISIS, comes as
the terrorist group today marks the second anniversary of the
declaration of its Islamic 'caliphate,' or kingdom. In that time,
the group has gone from obscurity, mocked by President Barack Obama
as a terrorist 'JV team,' to the world’s most brutal terrorist
network, not only responsible for thousands of deaths in the Middle
East but also linked to hundreds more in dozens of terrorist plots
in the West." In "ISIS 2 Years Later: From 'JV Team' to
International Killers," by Brian Ross, Alex Hosenball, Cho Park and
Lee Ferran, ABC News, 29 September 2016.
[ 5 ]
Addendum of Encouraging
Words from a Lair: "A new magazine issued by the Islamic State
advises lone jihadists to get over any squeamishness about using
knives and embrace sharp objects as '"widely available' weapons of
jihad in nighttime stabbing campaigns. ISIS' Al-Hayat Media Center
issued the second issue of its magazine Rumiyah, meaning Rome, in
English, Turkish, German, French, Indonesian, Russian, Arabic and
Uyghur." In "ISIS Calls for Random Knife Attacks in Alleys,
Forests, Beaches, 'Quiet Neighborhoods'," by Bridget Johnson,
PJMedia, 4 October 2016.
[ 6 ]
of a Lone Wolf Cub: "Fortunately a
pedestrian spotted the bag and alerted police, who then had
specialists carry out a controlled explosion, Focus magazine
reported on Thursday, citing security sources. The 12-year-old, born
in the town in Rhineland-Palatinate in 2004, had been radicalized
and was encouraged to carry out the attack by an as-yet unknown
member of the Isis terror group, according to Focus." In "12-year-old
attempted to bomb Christmas market in south Germany: prosecutors,"
TheLocal.de, 16 December 2016.
of Being a Better Connected Lone Wolf: "Tunisian-born
Anis Amri traveled to 15 different mosques - 12 of which were
located in the western Ruhr region, according to a report from
German public broadcaster WDR's "'Aktuelle Stunde' television
program. Amri used one of eight aliases to apply for asylum
in the western German city of Oberhausen, the report said citing a
multi-page profile on the Berlin attack suspect put together by
security authorities." In "Report: Berlin attack suspect better
connected to extremists than thought," by Rebecca Staudenmaier,
Deutsche Welle, 28 December 2016.
Addendum of Friedrich
Schiller's Observation: "The most pious may
not live in peace, if it does not please his wicked neighbor."
William Tell, 1803.
[ 7 ]
[ 1 ] One
notes in a single article the use of the metaphor "lone
wolf" alongside Islamic words like Ummah, and both in
plain English. This is observed and highlighted because
some US State Department entities find such use of words
not 'recommended' by them. For this subtle distinction
on the part of bureaucrats, consider another metaphoric
use of words and plea in:
Words of a feather
- block together.
Of the unsubtle attempt to deflect by avoiding words in
plain English, it is failing and those who try are
failing. One reads an opinion, as one of many examples:
"They talk of how awful it all is, but studiously
avoid advocating any real action for fear of upsetting
or offending people. The President doesn’t even like
using the phrase 'Islamic terrorism', which is utterly
absurd given that’s plainly what it is." In "It
doesn’t matter what names the mainstream media call
Trump – he says exactly what most Americans think,
especially when it comes to Islamic terror," by Piers
Morgan, Mail Online, 20 September 2016.
"...that's plainly what it is."
Moreover, it is stated plainly in other ways, as one
reads: "...the thug said: 'She was dressed against
my traditions. Friends, everything is under control.
Everything happened according to Islamic law.'
During his prosecutor’s testimony, Cakirogu reportedly
said: 'I beat people whose outfits I do not like. The
state should punish those who dress like this'." In
"Muslim man who KICKED woman in the head for wearing
shorts says ‘Islamic law demanded it’," by Lizzie
Stromme, Express UK, 21 September 2016.
Apparently "lone wolf-ism" is shared by many.
[ 2 ] The
metaphor, lone wolf, is a function of language and
sometimes a trick, as are all metaphors carry
connotations and therefore comparisons, sometimes
As an example, one reads: "While wolf puppies
might be every bit as cute as dog puppies, they will
grow up to be wolves, not dogs, no matter how much they
are treated like dogs. With wolf-dog crosses, or
hybrids, the higher the percentage of wolf genes, the
more wolf-like behavior the hybrid will exhibit." In
"Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) Get A Dog: Wolves Are Not Good
Pets," U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service, n. d.
That government-published article observes: "Many
an unsuspecting wolf lover has purchased a wolf pup,
only to find that it is largely untrainable
(since it does not care much about pleasing its owner),
and that as it grows into adulthood it becomes
unpredictable, if not downright dangerous,
especially around children and small animals. Many
such animals end up living miserable lives on the end of
a chain after a frustrated owner gives up on trying to
care properly for the animal. When such an animal is
cornered or frightened and reacts by attacking a human -
- often a small child - - the incident reinforces the
common misconception that wolves are bloodthirsty and
aggressive creatures. Often wolf or hybrid owners
who are unable to cope with their "pet" elect to either
pass the animal along to another unsuspecting wolf lover
or sentence the animal to life at a sanctuary (many such
facilities exist, but most are already overcrowded).
Some may release the animal to the wild, where it will
most likely starve to death or because of its
familiarity with people may be involved in depredation
incidents resulting in a wolf being unfairly blamed."
So are lone wolves "being unfairly blamed?" In part, no.
Such creatures act as they act, and the "unsuspecting"
believe that they will act otherwise. Adjectives modify
the noun: "largely untrainable" as well as
"unpredictable, if not downright dangerous." With the
wolf -- as opposed to the human animal labeled with this
metaphor -- man does not "blame" a wolf for acting as a
wolf. What then may be concluded about the human "lone
wolf" acting in a dangerous way? Is a human lone wolf
without blame? The ISIS-published article referenced
above evidences will, not simple nature.
Them Wherever You Find Them
What then of this? "Kill them wherever you find them
until the hollowness of their arrogance is filled with
terror and they find themselves on their knees with
their backs broken under the weight of regret for having
waged a war against the believers, and by Allah’s will,
and then through your sacrifices, this Ummah will be
Should one apply the metaphor's connotation that this
ideology's members -- lone wolves, in many cases -- are
untrainable, unpredictable and dangerous? Should one
believe that this ideology's members represent what has
The religion of peace
If not, what is the Islamic State when deemed not
representative of Islam? What are its lone wolves, if
not examples of "peace?" Can such wolves be
rehabilitated? These issues roil political discourse,
with little reference to more than simple slogans and
postures. If all non-believers are "legitimate targets"
of lone wolves encouraged to kill, are not then these
"legitimate targets" allowed to kill in response? And if
so, according to what policies? Talking heads have many
Returning to the metaphor's other connotations, one
reads: "Although closely related to domesticated
dogs, wolves do not show the same tractability as dogs
in living alongside humans, and generally, much more
work is required in order to obtain the same amount of
reliability." In "Wolves as pets and working
animals," Wikipedia article, n. d. Should a society
expect to confront "much more work" to "obtain?" And
what would be obtained? Peace? Predictability?
Conversion from an ideology? A religion? Referring to
verbiage above, are whole nations "unsuspecting?" It
seems so in the moment.
One notes that even Islam fumbles in dealing with
jihadis as with schisms and lone wolves. Consider
various worldwide responses sourced under the silly
in which even Muslims can be maligned with such
accusations, as well as many nations of the world.
Poor and lonely wolf? Where is its lair? What is its
religion? Its strategies and rationales and targets and
victims? Will its ummah of wolves, as noted above, be
victorious? Can lone wolves ever be victorious? Can a
single ideology capture and rule the world? Will this
It is trying, all around the world. As an example
of a small pack of wolves, one reads: "Under the
pretext of reporting a stolen phone, the women walked
into the police station on Saturday morning, a knife and
petrol bomb concealed in their traditional Buibui robes.
Patterson Maelo, Mombasa County Police Commander, said:
"While being questioned by officers, one drew a knife
and the other threw a petrol bomb at the police
officers." In "Three burka-clad women shot dead by
police in terror attack," by Joey Millar, Express
UK, 11 September 2016.
One reads of the call to the "lone wolves" from ISIS.
"Pro-ISIS media has published a magazine calling upon
jihadis in Europe and the United States to avenge
Islamic State losses in Mosul by carrying out so-called
‘lone-wolf’ attacks around the world. In the second
issue of an English language magazine entitled 'Nashir –
Now fight has come,' the writers appeal to Muslims
around the world, telling them of the ‘privilege’ they
have living 'among our enemies who live peacefully in
their countries'." In "Pro-ISIS media call upon ‘lone
wolves’ globally to avenge losses in Mosul," by Lisa
Daftari, Foreign Desk, 30 October 2016.
[ 3 ]
A "tendency" to use the figure of speech testifies to
the many who would shy away from using other words. As
found in many news reports, the Islamic State's
preference is at time "soldier of the Caliphate."
Apparently these lone wolves are not "alone." Such a
conclusion frightens those who prefer to be less direct,
while plain English tells the tale with a clarity that
metaphoric prose does not.
Door of Jihad
The article noted of one jihadist: "Kermiche, who
had twice been prevented from joining Isil in Syria,
showed, there are costs to preventing emigration, too.
In his Ramadan speech in May, inciting this wave of
attacks, Isil's spokesman Taha Falaha (Abu Muhammad
al-Adnani) said: 'If the [governments] have shut the
door of hijra (emigration to the caliphate) in your
faces, then open the door of jihad in theirs.'
Kermiche did exactly that in Normandy. The destruction
of Isil's statelet will still leave Isil networks in
Europe, but it would remove the training field that
allows those networks to be replenished."
Thus one sees that such demands are the demands of the
fascist as of the criminal -- and as of the Islamist
State, not some nebulous "ideological" entity which one
should not identify with specific terms, metaphors and
clarity. The "door of jihad" is opened, a specific
reference to Islam as do other "lone wolf" narratives
appearing in news reports.
Another "lone wolf" story from the US tells of likely
radicalization. One reads: "Rahami had
travelled several times to both Afghanistan and
Pakistan, people who knew him said on Monday night, and
on his return appeared to have been radicalised. Flee
Jones, who grew up with Rahami, said that when he
returned from one of the trips, he had a beard and wore
traditional Muslim robes. He started praying regularly
in the back of the family's chicken restaurant." In
"New York bombing: Suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami 'may have
been radicalised after visiting Afghanistan'," by Barney
Henderson, Louise Burke, Harriet Alexander, David Lawler
and Chiara Palazzo, Telegraph UK, 20 September 2016.
More Negative Perception by Non-Muslims
For this "door of jihad" imagery, one finds blowback.
One reads of "... a tense political climate in the
U.S. Hussein Rashid, an adjunct professor at
Barnard College who frequently writes and consults about
Islam in the U.S., said the jump in anti-Islamic
sentiment the study pinpoints is reflected in the
current political rhetoric. 'The data from this survey
shows that there is an increasing pull away from the
promise of America,' he said in an email. 'In 10 years,
people have a more negative perception of Muslims, Jews,
gays, Latinos, and Blacks. As a new America is taking
shape, with all its diversity, there is a reactionary
response that wants a mythic America of everyone being
exactly the same.' The study was written from data
collected in 2014 from 2,500 participants. It was
published in the current issue of Social Forces journal.
The previous study was published in 2006 by three of the
same authors." In "Muslims are now more disliked than
atheists and homosexuals," Arab American News, 15
A "jump in anti-Islamic sentiment" conforms with such
acts as Islamic entities and individuals evidence, for
judgments are constructed from a preponderance of
evidence. Many current "lone wolf" attacks carry
descriptions of Islam in news reports. A stereotypical
composite is constructed, such that an instance of "x"
is similar to other like instances of "x." But is this
not also the same construct which finds statements in
Islam and by Muslims about Jews in particular, as well
as against the West in general?
The PST study in Norway was gathering associative facts
to clarify a judgment. Should not societies and
individuals make judgments as they see based on evidence
found and reported? And is this all "political
What then is jihad, if not Islamic?
One does not simply ignore repeated instances of
violence, but rather generally moves to act against
violence, and this must include violence rooted in
Islam. The way forward to a more positive perception of
Islam is to find voices speaking out against other
voices within Islam. As yet, such voices are not loudly
heard over the din of events and news reports to the
This is an era of deep crisis of and within Islam itself
which has a yet to be resolved. Each "lone wolf" adds to
the narrative of the House of War which some portions of
Islam itself identifies -- dar al-harb. This is
sometimes downplayed: "Jurists trace the concept
to Muhammad , whose messages to the Persian, Abyssinian,
and Byzantine emperors demanded that they choose between
conversion and war. When the leaders of dar al-harb
accept Islam, the territory becomes part of dar
al-Islam, where Islamic law prevails; conversely,
according to the majority of jurists an Islamic
territory taken by non-Muslims becomes dar al-harb when
Islamic law is replaced. Like other classical legal
concepts, dar al-harb has been affected by historical
changes, and with the fragmentation of the Muslim world
into numerous states, the concept has little
significance today." In "Dar al-Harb, The Oxford
Dictionary of Islam, as cited by Oxford Islamic Studies,
Yet calls for Islamic law in non-Islamic and acts
purported to be jihad occur worldwide. Perhaps the
"concept" is showing greater significance as time
passes. As the Arab-American News reports, that "jump in
anti-Islamic sentiment" is occurring outside the dar
al-Islam.. It is also occurring within Islam.
More Negative Perception of Muslims by Other Muslims
It is also occurring inside Islam itself. One reads of
frictions: "Such a tone is not new in the
Salafi-Wahhabi discourse. It dates back to the old
history of Wahhabism in the kingdom continuing to the
present time. When Abdul-Aziz bin Baz was grand mufti
from 1962-1999, he deemed Shiites apostates on several
occasions, including in official fatwas and speeches.
Ibn Jibreen, the oldest member of the Council of Senior
Scholars when he died around age 76 in 2009, issued
several fatwas stating that Shiites are polytheists who
have deviated from Islam, saying they 'deserve to be
killed' if they reveal their beliefs. The council is
the highest religious authority in the kingdom. Other
fatwas from influential and living clerics in the
kingdom such as Sheikh Abdul Rahman al-Barrak called for
considering Shiites apostates, secluding them, treating
them with hatred and banning humanitarian aid from
reaching them." In "Anti-Wahhabism spreading in Muslim
world," by Ali Mamouri, trans. Pascale Menassa,
Al-Monitor, 11 September 2016.
Given such sentiments by a grand mufti, it is not
surprising that opposition rises. The article notes:
"The Shiites' increasing effort to undermine
Wahhabism’s influence in managing Islamic affairs is now
expanding to other Islamic denominations, including
sects within Sunnism. This is especially true given the
fact that hatred of Wahhabism is not confined to
Shiites, but also includes Sufis, most of whom are Sunni.
Wahhabis and their political advocates in Saudi Arabia
often express equal hatred for Sufism and Shiism.
Western states recently tightened the noose on Saudi
Arabia’s Wahhabi activities after they noticed the role
of the associations sponsoring these activities in
producing religious radicalism. The French authorities
decided Aug. 20 to close down 20 out of 120 mosques
affiliated with Salafi groups in France. In Berlin, King
Fahd Academy is shutting down because the academy is
thought to have played a role in provoking extremism."
Thus the PST study in Norway points to similar
conclusions and responses by other nations and disparate
streams of thought in Islam itself to those within Islam
who "have played a role in provoking extremism."
It seems the proverbial "door to jihad" is swinging both
ways. Any demand to choose between war and conversion,
as the historical account from the Oxford source notes,
becomes a confused mess, as conversion to which form of
Islam is unclear, unstructured, inauthentic to another
form and all seem to open some "door to jihad." Islam is
at a crossroads of crises, both internal and external.
This reality is underscored in a 2015 speech by Egypt's
president who "...said they had no time to lose. 'I say
and repeat, again, that we are in need of a religious
revolution. You imams are responsible before Allah. The
entire world is waiting on you. The entire world is
waiting for your word ... because the Islamic world is
being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost. And
it is being lost by our own hands,' el-Sisi said.
'We need a revolution of the self, a revolution of
consciousness and ethics to rebuild the Egyptian person
-- a person that our country will need in the near
future,' the President said." In "Egypt's President
calls for a 'religious revolution'," by Dana Ford, Salma
Abdelaziz and Ian Lee, CNN, 6 January 2016.
[ 4 ]
One view attempts to portray "American Islamist
extremists" as suffering a variety of problems, while a
report includes the opposing view as well. One reads of
such argumentation: "A number of American
psychologists ruled out the possibility that religion
might be the main motive for the American Islamists
extremists who used violence, especially those who said
they are ISIS followers. These experts said that a huge
number of them suffer psychological problems and
cultural contradictions or even a failure in life.
John Cohen, a criminal justice professor at Rutgers
University and the former counterterrorism coordinator
at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, told Asharq
al- Awsat that many of them have psychological and
behavioral characteristics in common. 'Some studies
reveal that they suffer dangerous psychological and
personal problems regardless of their religious motives
or identities such as moving from one job to another or
difficulty making friends,' said Cohen. On Friday,
Washington Post newspaper published cases of extremist
American Muslims who refuge to violence since 2001. 'Detectives
see that the aggression might have been related to
extremist Islamic ideologies,' said the newspaper."
In "American Experts: Religion Unlikely a Motive for
ISIS American Followers," by Mohammad Ali Salih, Asharq
Al-Awsat, 25 September 2016.
Whether radicalized in Norway or America or elsewhere,
the question becomes one of which lens one selects to
view the "lone wolf." Yet news from varying sources
suggests that viewing all through the lens of
apologist-oriented psychology -- arguably also a sort of
belief system rather than hard science -- is not a
prevailing view, especially among Muslims, because
suggesting that those "lone wolves" acting out jihad are
in fact psychologically ill also suggests their beliefs
are in part caused or exacerbated by such illness.
A Hub or a
Yet one reads as contrast: "The alleged New
Jersey terrorist charged with trying to blow up Chelsea
last weekend with homemade bombs spent weeks getting an
'Islamic education' at a Pakistani seminary, according
to a report. Ahman Khan Rahami spent three weeks in
Kuchlak, an area described as a longtime 'hub' for the
Taliban, in 2011, a security official inside the country
told the Guardian. Rahami, 28, attended lectures at the
Kaan Kuwa Naqshbandi madrasa." In "Chelsea bombing
suspect spent weeks at Islamist seminary in Pakistan,"
by Kathianne Boniello, New York Post, 25 September 2016.
Are lone wolves then psychologically ill and those
madrassas which support such a supposed illness also
evidence of a sickness? Or are such "infected" with
incorrect religious notions? Or are they correct, and
the surrounding world of dar al-harb incorrect? Science
as purported by Professor Cohen is stuck with this
dichotomy, for consistent conclusions in opposing
directions yield wholly different policy recommendations
to any government -- non-Muslim or even Muslim -- as to
how to address and attack such Islamic radicalism.
One finds interesting notions in another opinion, in
which some Islamic thought and even wealth has fed this
font of Islamism and lone wolves. One reads of Saudi
Arabia specifically as it faces its own pushback from
other Muslims: "The kingdom you ought to remember
is not kind towards those religious groups which refuse
Wahhabism. In 2008 Human Rights Watch published a
damning report against the kingdom when it testified to
the cultural and religious genocide Ismailis in Najran
faced. It read: 'Official discrimination in Saudi
Arabia against Ismailis encompasses government
employment, religious practices, and the justice system.
Government officials exclude Ismailis from decision
making, and publicly disparage their faith. Following
the clashes in April 2000, Saudi authorities imprisoned,
tortured, and summarily sentenced hundreds of Ismailis,
and transferred hundreds of Ismaili government employees
outside the region. Underlying discriminatory practices
have continued unabated.' Ismailis, Zaidis, Twelvers,
Sufis, Sunnis … all those communities have faced the
intolerant blade of Wahhabism. Why would they not
yearn to return to Yemen’s flag and live in peace once
more? Why would they not aspire to a life of dignity and
freedom following decades a brutal oppression? Saudi
Arabia has become a devolution onto itself, a
theofascist gangrene propped by its oil revenues and
Islam pilgrimage. Still Riyadh continues to benefit from
Western friendships … still its monarchy has been
allowed a sit at Democracy’s table for it carries in its
wake shiny gold coins." In "Yemen Resistance
Shatters Saudi Arabia Territorial Integrity," by
Catherine Shakdam, New Eastern Outlook, 26 September
Thus one may make a link between lone wolves and
elements of Islam and even various foreign policy
stances around the world, much of it seemingly
influenced by "shiny gold coins." In this regard, one
may consider the silence of the "liberal" Western world
and its politicians and war industries in
A Modern Observation on The Anti-War Movement, Revisited
- "All we
are saying is give peace a chance."
Thus the "lone wolf" narrative is seen as a fumbling
shield to protect not only militant Islam but also
warmongering liberalism, both motivated by the pursuit
of power and greed.
[ 5 ] The ridiculed
"junior varsity" has cost a bundle. The report notes:
"So far, the U.S. has spent $7.5 billion on
operations dedicated to defeating the group in Iraq and
Syria, including more than 12,000 airstrikes — over
9,600 of them American, according to the Pentagon."
[ 6 ] Lone
wolves and lairs? The picture coalesces. One reads: "The
members of a special 'July' commission (die
Sonderkommission 'Juli') that was created to address
this phenomenon by the Bavarian State Police believe
that extremists are scanning the net in a bid to find
young people who can potentially be indoctrinated with
their poisonous ideas. Once they are hired, ISIL
instructors are contacting them to provide
recommendations on the selection of targets for
terrorist attacks and to motivate them into murdering
people. The growing threat of terrorist attacks in
Europe committed by lone wolves that would be receiving
instructions from ISIL via the Internet has been
announced by the head of the Federal Office for the
Protection of the Constitution, Hans-Georg Massenya.
According to this official, in Germany extremists are
often using the social network Facebook, and instant
messengers like WhatsApp and Telegram to find new
recruits. According to the Federal Office for the
Protection of the Constitution, 12 out of 15
terrorist attacks that have been committed in Europe in
the last two years were executed by lone wolves. In
a number of cases police officers found evidence of them
obtaining instructions from ISIL via the Internet." In
"Can the Ongoing Internal Feud Draw the End of ISIL
Nearer?" by Jean Perier, New Eastern Outlook, 8 October
But of these lone wolves, one learns: "Islamic
State (IS) modules and 'lone wolves' in India have
lately been instructed by their handlers to focus on
hacking their targets, particularly foreign citizens, to
death with big chopping knives or machetes. 'We have
gathered that IS modules and lone wolves here are being
told by their handlers not to risk gathering explosives,
assembling IEDs or illegally buying automatic weapons
for attacks. Instead, all they need to do is buy big
chopping knives or machetes, which would neither raise
suspicion nor involve a huge cost,' a senior
intelligence official told TOI. The first case of
IS-inspired youths plotting beheadings came to light in
July when a module led by terrorist Masiuddin alias Abu
Musa was busted by West Bengal CID and machetes
recovered. Now, members of the Kerala-Tamil Nadu module
arrested last week have revealed that they too planned
to hack foreigners to death in the two southern states."
In "Hack your targets with machetes, Islamic State tells
lone wolves," by Bharti Jain, Times of India, 11 October
More arrests as a lone seems not to have been alone:
"Ten suspects, including one or more Albanians, were
arrested in various parts of Nice and another was
detained in the western city of Nantes, the sources
said. The arrests come five months after Tunisian
extremist Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel drove a 19-tonne
truck into a crowd on the Nice seafront, further
traumatising a country reeling from a series of
terrorist attacks. The victims, from 19 different
countries, were watching a fireworks display on the
Bastille Day public holiday. Over 400 people were
injured." In "France arrests 11 people in Bastille
Day truck attack in Nice," Agence France Presse vis
France 24, 13 December 2016.
The lairs are inspiring their wolves, and the lairs are
best described as Islamic -- as in, Islamic State -- and
Wolves and the Junior Varsity
The "junior varsity" has been at war with the United
States, Europe, Syria and Iran as well as the current
government in Iraq, not to mention Russia for more than
Given that WWI was of four years duration and WWII of
six, it seems all the Western powers alongside Russia
and Middle Eastern powers have not been as successful as
they thought, given the duration of this "humanitarian"
crisis in which too many fail to see that "$7.5 billion
on operations dedicated to defeating the group in Iraq
and Syria, including more than 12,000 airstrikes — over
9,600 of them American" have not as yet prevailed.
Apparently the "junior varsity" has been playing against
feckless opponents? And now that Russia is making
headway, the hand wringing commences as to war crimes.
Failing to continue to stabilize Iraq -- Bush's and (more so)
Obama's "failing" in large part -- led to this "junior
varsity -- Obama's words -- and Obama's
Failing to plan
-- flailing's in view.
[ 7 ]
The original German: Es kann der Frömmste
nicht im Frieden bleiben, / Wenn es dem bösen Nachbar
We cannot rule out
"Note, however, that currently we cannot rule out
other plausible explanations, such as the effect of the rotating
bar, impacts by GMCs, or other complexities in the gravitational
potential of the Galaxy, that would lead to mild orbital chaos or would
induce substantial variations in the stripping rate of the cluster." In
"A sharper view of Pal 5’s tails: Discovery of stream perturbations with
a novel non-parametric technique," by Denis Erkal, Sergey E. Koposov and
Vasily Belokurov, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society,
Cambridge, 7 September 2016.
We cannot rule out that which we cannot know,
Nor can we jettison what seeing does not show.
We cannot simply figure an elusive figure's form
When we are not able to square it to some norm.
We cannot for the fact is we cannot all things do;
With so much that is plausible, the we is me and you.
We cannot for we cannot; such is the state of things.
Imagine that! We're limited, such a conclusion brings.
We cannot, as time ticks off, as length of days grows short,
And cannot in this eternity our limitations thwart.
"Japan’s $1.3 trillion Government Pension Investment
Fund lost 3.8 percent in the year ended March 31, or 5.3 trillion yen
($51 billion), the retirement manager said Friday in Tokyo. That’s the
biggest drop since the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009. GPIF lost 10.8
percent on domestic equities and 9.6 percent on shares in other markets,
while Japanese bonds handed the fund a 4.1 percent gain." In "World’s
Biggest Pension Fund Loses $51 Billion in Stock Rout," by Yuko Takeo
and Shigeki Nozawa, Bloomberg, 30 June 2016.
Casinos are wide open;
Plunk your money down.
Some win while most will lose
In each wide and worldly town.
Who will game the games?
The stakes are up for grabs.
Who will lose the most?
Just who is keeping tabs?
Casinos are wide open
Both with smiles and frowns.
Who will win when many lose?
When red ink floods, who drowns?
Addendum of a Shipping
Bankruptcy: "Marine ports worldwide, including in the
Northwest, are scrambling after South Korea's Hanjin Shipping filed for
bankruptcy Wednesday. Hanjin is one of the largest shipping companies
in the world. Some ports are refusing shipments from the companies."
In "Hanjin Shipping files for bankruptcy in South Korea," by John
Langeler, KGW Portland, 1 September 2016.
Addendum of Sitting Empty:
"Clayton estimated that some 25 percent of global container capacity
now sits empty. Shippers desperate to cover at least some of their
costs have slashed prices — the cost of chartering a container vessel
has plunged from 2008 highs of $200,000 a day to just under $5,000 a
day, according to a July report by brokers JLT Speciality. And those
kinds of prices are hurting — in an April report, Drewry Maritime Equity
Research estimated the industry will lose at least $6 billion this
year." In "Drowning Hanjin may not be alone among global shippers,"
Agence France Presse via Japan Times, 4 September 2016.
[ 1 ]
Addendum of a Wave of
Bankruptcies: "The Chinese economy's woes are
rippling toward Japan and the rest of the world, triggering a wave of
bankruptcies among companies dependent on the Asian giant. From
April 2015 to February 2016, Japan saw 80 bankruptcies caused by such
factors as China's slowing economy and higher production costs, with
liabilities totaling more than 230 billion yen ($2.01 billion),
according to Tokyo Shoko Research. The number of cases jumped 70%
compared with a year earlier. Total liabilities rose by roughly a factor
of 10 to account for about 13% of the total among all Japanese
corporations that went bankrupt in the period as opposed to just over 1%
in all of fiscal 2014." In "China-related bankruptcies spike in Japan,"
Nikkei Asian Review, 5 March 2016.
[ 1 ] The
article noted: " 'I think (Hanjin) expanded after the
global financial crisis, expecting the market to recover and
the cash flows to come,' he said. 'The problem was the
market just did not come back. They were waiting for the
market recovery so that they could retire their short-term
debt, long-term debt. That was their major undoing'."
In terms of companies taking on too much debt, one reads:
"The company said it will continue to operate while in
bankruptcy, while working to reduce debt and improve cash
flow. 'Peabody has a new management team, outstanding
workforce, unmatched asset base and strong underlying
operational performance that represent a key driver in the
company's future success,' CEO Glenn Kellow said in a
statement announcing the Chapter 11 filing. In addition to
plummeting coal prices, the company cited weakness in
China's economy, overproduction of domestic shale gas and
ongoing regulatory challenges as reasons for its declining
prospects." In "The largest U.S. coal company just filed for
bankruptcy," by Charles Riley and Chris Isidore, CNN, 13
It is worth summarizing: 1) weak prices, coupled to 2)
over-production, with 3) regulatory "challenges" which means
governments' adding costs to products for consumers, and of
course 4) debt.
You're Up - a historical
European Union Flag Obscures Berlin's Brandenburg Gate
"... the Eurocrats in charge of the EU are running
scared. 'Given the complex history of Europe's nation states, it
seems likely than an EU that acts as a competition-stifling cartel will
grow increasingly unpopular, and more countries will leave it,' wrote
former Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers R. Glenn
Hubbard and American Enterprise Institute economist Kevin Hassett in a
July commentary. Countries in the EU have lived with a demographic death
spiral, out of control spending and debt, absurd regulations that enrich
no one and a regional economy that, as hard as it may be to believe,
grows even more slowly than ours. From 2008, the peak year of the
financial crisis, through 2015, EU GDP grew 2%, according to U.S.
government data. No, that's not 2% a year -- 2% total. It's been an
utter disaster, and the EU's clueless bureaucrats seem helpless to do
anything about it other than blaming their own citizens." In "Brexit
Fears Weren't Overblown -- They Were Flat-Out Wrong," Editorial,
Investors Business Daily, 17 August 2016.
You're Up prides Itself, itself,
For glories past Its prime,
When tallying Its present day
And presently Its grime.
You're Up waddles in Its debt
While Europe shivers cold;
You're Up's crises brew Their pain
As moral will grows cold.
You're Up's at bat without a clue;
Your Fat Cats meet to eat,
Fat with You're Up's politics
At You're Up's privileged seat.
You're Up rages as table d'hôte
Tallies up Its cost.
Europe needs no You're Up; nope.
Without It, it's not lost.
Europe's been before You're Up
And will be after all
The You're Ups and Their pride
Are gone after Its fall.
You're Up was Napoleon,
Kaiser Will and Adolf too,
All dreams of You're Up's glories
Like the Soviets proved untrue.
You're Up's Capitalized today
In Its bully Babel'd towers
As Its Privileged preening Few
Seek more privileged powers.
You're Up's time ticks off
As You're Up quakes,
You're Up's citizens rile
And their anger shakes.
You're Up's heady dream
Is the oft-told tale of history.
Once again the same old tale
Is acting out Its mystery.
Europe's survived its masters
Who came, then fought and died;
The same old Dream relives again.
You're Up once again has lied.
Napoleon's Troops at the Brandenburg Gate
Addendum of Madness:
"Calls to drop border controls in Europe sparked fury yesterday.
Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, claimed they
were 'the worst invention ever'." In "EU boss sparks border OUTRAGE:
Juncker slammed over 'beyond parody' checkpoint madness," by David
Maddox, Express UK, 23 August 2016.
Kaiser Wilhelm II's Prussians at the Brandenburg Gate
of Unwilling EU Finance Ministers:
"On 8 June, the European Parliament voted for progressive
anti-tax avoidance measures, including efficient CFC rules. On 12 April,
the European Commission released a proposal on tax transparency which
limits public country-by-country reporting to the EU and an arbitrary
list of tax havens. In May 2016, Oxfam released 'The Netherlands: a
tax haven', an analysis of European Commission data showing the
Netherlands is a top EU tax haven for corporations. Of 33 harmful tax
practices listed by the Commission, 17 were identified in the country
currently holding the EU presidency." In "EU finance ministers
unwilling to address tax avoidance," Oxfam, 21 June 2016.
Mussolini's Visit to Berlin
Addendum of Support Crumbling
on the Left and the Right: "The former
economy minister says France voted for a left-wing French manifesto four
years ago and ended up with a 'right-wing German policy regime'. This is
objectively true. The vote was meaningless. 'I believe that we have
reached the end of road for the European Union, and that France no
longer has any interest in it. The EU has left us mired in crisis
long after the rest of the world has moved on,' he said. Mr Montebourg
stops short of 'Frexit' but calls for the unilateral suspension of EU
labour laws. 'As far as I am concerned, the current treaties have
elapsed'." In "French support for the EU project is crumbling on the
Left and Right," by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph UK, 25 August
Hitler's National Socialists at the Brandenburg Gate
Addendum of Warning of War:
"Mr Juncker also said a stronger EU was the best way of
beating the rising trend of nationalism cross Europe. In another
extraordinary remark, he appeared to warn of war on the continent if the
EU disintegrates as he echoed the warning from the former French
president Francois Mitterrand, who said nationalism added to nationalism
would end in war. 'This is still true so we have to fight against
nationalism,' Mr Juncker said." In " 'Borders are the worst invention
ever!' EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker widens rift with European leaders as
he calls for open borders," by Matt Dathan, Mail Online, 22 August
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics' Army at the
Addendum of the EU Behaving Like
an Oligarchy: "Calling for far greater political
involvement from citizens of the EU - including a US-style constitution
for the 28-member bloc - she said only "permanent scrutiny" will stop
eurocrats from 'behaving as an oligarchy'. And she blasted: 'We
have to admit democracy as a whole is left with broken bones. I am
convinced of the influence of the Greek events over Brexit, a vote that
has been claimed by a large number of people who said to themselves…what
Athens has not been able to reach - the restoration of popular
sovereignty - we, as a stronger and older state, have the power and
strategic weight to achieve it'." In "Brexit happened because the EU is
a 'broken DICTATORSHIP' Italian MEP blasts," by Nick Gutteridge, Express
UK, 8 August 2016.
East German Troops atop the Wall at the Brandenburg Gate
of a Deep Antipathy towards Democratic Accountability:
"The New York-based Columbia University professor also went on to slam
Herman Van Rompuy, a former European council president, who he says led
a steady flow of politicians who have ignored the will of the public.
And he eviscerated Jean Claude Juncker insisting his legacy will be the
dismantling of the whole system. He added: '[Van Rompuy] revealed a
deep antipathy towards democratic accountability'." In "EURO HAS
FAILED: Mistrust and money wars sparks claims Juncker’s EU is finished,"
by Siobhan McFadyen and Monika Pallenberg, Express UK, 19 August 2016.
Kennedy and Brandt at the Brandenburg Gate
of the EU as Existential Threat: "In an interview
with Mandag Morgen, Krarup said that the EU is an existential threat
to Denmark and is a much bigger problem than Russia. 'For Denmark?
Yes, without a doubt. Just Schengen alone is a catastrophe. It’s
something that will make Denmark disappear from the world map if we
don’t pull ourselves together. That national borders have been disbanded
is a threat against Denmark’s existence,' she told the magazine." In
"Danish MP: EU a bigger threat than Russia," TheLocal.dk, 23 August
EU National Leaders at the Brandenburg Gate
of European Human Trafficking at Crisis Levels: " 'Our
indicators are the majority of these women are being deliberately
brought in for sexual exploitation purposes. There has been a big
enhancement of criminal gangs and trafficking networks engaging in the
sexual exploitation of younger and younger Nigerian girls.' Although a
thriving sex trafficking industry has been operating between Nigeria and
Italy for over three decades, there has been a marked increase in the
numbers of unaccompanied Nigerian women arriving in Italy on migrant
boats from Libya. In 2014, about 1,500 Nigerian women arrived by sea. In
2015 this figure had increased to 5,633." In "Trafficking of Nigerian
women into prostitution in Europe 'at crisis level'," by Annie Kelly
and Lorenzo Tondo, Guardian UK, 8 August 2016.
Obama and Merkel at the Brandenburg Gate
Addendum of Forging More
Europe: "Faced with existential risks, Merkel
wants to cement 'a better Europe' rather than forge ahead with "more
Europe". Renzi wants Italy to have a strong voice in how the bloc's
future is shaped after Brexit and, according to the French diplomatic
source, Hollande wants an EU-wide investment plan to be doubled. The
three leaders differ over how to boost economic growth - which slowed
across the 28-nation bloc in the second quarter and stagnated in France
and Italy - and cut unemployment. France supports Renzi's push for
expansionary measures and against austerity, Germany is likely to oppose
any undermining of Europe's deficit and the debt constraints that Italy
and France have struggled to comply with." In "Show of European unity:
Merkel, Hollande, Renzi meet to discuss gameplan," by Isla Binnie,
Reuters, 21 August 2016.
Turkish Nationalism at the Brandenburg Gate
Addendum of Hearing It
Before: "In the end, their great dream simply
over-reached itself, as we see in every one of those crises piling in on
it today. When they spoke of the need for more jobs, more shared
intelligence, a European army, it was just the same 'more Europe' we
have heard a thousand times before, the only song they know. And how
appropriate that they should go back to that sad little prison island to
sing it." In "The secret history of the EU, written on an Italian
prison island, reveals why the project is doomed," by Christopher
Booker, Telegraph UK, 27 August 2016.
[ 1 ]
Hollande, Renzi and Merkel on Ventotene
Addendum of That Italian
Prison Island in 2016: "Italian Prime Minister Matteo
Renzi invited German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande to
Ventotene, a tiny island off the coast of Naples, to discuss their
strategy ahead of next month's crucial summit of all 28 leaders. The
three leaders, who are all facing vital elections over the next year in
their own countries, will also address Europe's response to the refugee
crisis, the continent's ongoing economic woes and security on the
continent in the wake of a string of terror attacks in French and German
cities last month. The aim of the summit on Ventotene today is to
demonstrate the unity of Europe's three biggest countries and three of
the founding nations of the EU, but it is likely to attract questions
over the elitist nature of the meeting." In "The scramble to save
the EU: Leaders meet on the Italian island where the idea of a federal
Europe began as they plot to stop the Brussels project unravelling
following Brexit," by Matt Dathan, Mail Online, 22 August 2016.
[ 2 ]
European Union Flags Fly At EU Brussels Headquarters
Addendum of an Irish-EU Post-Brexit
Rift: " 'The idea that you have the state aid mob -
who've had more court verdicts overturned than any other department in
Europe in the last 20 years - come along 10 years after the fact and
say, 'no we didn't like that, we think you should have done something
else', is frankly bizarre.' On Tuesday, Europe's antitrust commissioner
Margrethe Vestager slapped the maker of iPads and iPhones with a 13
billion euro (£11.1 billion) tax bill. She claimed Apple paid just 1%
tax on its European profits in 2003 and 0.005% in 2014, and said its
arrangement with the Irish government is illegal under state aid rules.
Apple is set to challenge the decision, and Mr O'Leary added: 'I
think there's no chance of this surviving a court ruling in Europe.
There's certain things that Europe has no competence in'." In "Apple
tax row: Irish government should tell EU to f**k off, says Michael
O'Leary," by Press Association, 31 August 2016.
[ 3 ]
German "Right" Protests Atop the Brandenburg Gate
of a German Protest: "Members of the far-right
Identitarian Movement scaled Berlin's Brandenburg Gate on Saturday and
unfurled a banner to protest against the "Islamisation" of Germany
via mass immigration. More than a million people, many of them
Muslims, flocked to Germany last year from the Middle East, Africa and
elsewhere. The IAB German labor office research institute says around
16,000 are still arriving per month." In "German rightists scale
Brandenburg Gate to protest immigration," by Michelle Martin, Reuters,
27 August 2016.
[ 4 ]
Protest Against Secret EU Trade Negotiations
Addendum of "Free" Trade and
You're Up: "...the proof on their evil intent
by noting that the talks were pre-classified as top secret by the EU by
putting a 30-year ban on the deliberations being publicly released.
That, folks, is what you call one hell of a big threat to independent
oversight, and Europeans need to wake up and realize they need a
semi-revolution to 'Redo the EU' while they still have time to do it.
It is not enough to pour concrete on the radioactive decay of the TTIP,
we have to punish the key players by politically excommunicating those
involved in the process, in what was clearly an attempted economic coup
by transnational business entities and their helpers. Those involved
in government are fully expecting to be well-compensated under the
deferred compensation program, where they get huge paying jobs from the
trade war winners in their post-government careers." In "EU-US Trade
Deal – Organized Crime on a Grand Scale," by Jim Dean, New Eastern
Outlook, 8 September 2016.
[ 5 ]
Jose Manuel Barroso at the Brandenburg Gate
Addendum of Goldman Sachs at
the Brandenburg Gate: "The European Ombudsman,
Emily O'Reilly, has asked European Commission president Jean-Claude
Juncker for more details on his predecessor Jose Manuel Barroso's new
job at Goldman Sachs. In a public letter dated Monday (5 September),
O’Reilly asked the commission chief what measures were taken to verify
that the appointment abides by ethics obligations as laid down in the EU
treaty. Ex-commissioners must have the commission’s approval to take up
positions during a 'cooling off' period of 18 months after they step
down. Barroso joined Goldman Sachs as a non-executive chairman and
Brexit adviser in July, 20 months after leaving office." In "EU
watchdog seeks details on Barroso's bank job," by Aleksandra
Eriksson, EUObserver, 6 September 2016.
[ 6 ]
In support of freedom at the Brandenburg Gate
Addendum of the Chaos of Political Correctness:
"Mr Tusk blamed 'political correctness' for delays in
closing Europe’s borders in 2015 which allowed more than a million into
the continent unchecked, including ISIS jihadis who attacked Paris and
Brussels killing 130 and 32 people respectively. Mrs Merkel was
forced to listen to EU leaders ripped into her - destroying the unity
leaders of the EU are attempting to portray as they meet to talk about
the future of Europe after Britain voted in June to leave the bloc." In
"YOU'VE CAUSED CHAOS! EU chief blames Angela Merkel for migrant crisis
and ISIS attacks," by Alix Culebertson, Express UK, 17 September 2016.
[ 7 ]
Frans Timmermans, First Vice President of the European
Addendum of Terrorism,
Migrants and Crippling Debt: "Doubt is the
commodity in greatest supply among Europe’s leaders at the moment, and
when someone as sober and experienced as Frans
Timmermans questions the future of the E.U., we should take notice."
In "Terrorism, Migrants, and Crippling Debt: Is This the End of Europe?"
by Henry Porter, Vanity Fair, 7 January 2016.
[ 8 ]
Against the EU Revolving Door Between Top Management and
Addendum of Petitions
Against Corruption Rejected: "The European
Commission has refused to accept a petition drafted by EU employees
urging it to end the 'revolving door' between its top management and big
business. The appeal was launched after former commission president
Jose Manuel Barroso landed a top job at US investment bank Goldman
Sachs, and has now been signed by 152,000 people. The European
Commission didn't want to receive signatures to a petition by its own
employees, calling for more stringent rules on EU top management. But
security guards stopped the petitioners from entering commission
headquarters on Wednesday (12 October). A delegation from the Alliance
for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (Alter-EU) received the
same treatment when trying to deliver a similar petition ,signed by
63,000 people, moments later." In "EU staff blocked from delivering
Barroso petition," by Aleksandra Eriksson, EU Observer, 13 October
Angela Merkel at the Brandenburg Gate
Addendum of a European
Union in Danger of Falling Apart: " 'Europe
is in danger of falling apart,' Valls said at an event organized by
the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. 'So Germany and France have a huge
responsibility.' He said France must continue to open up its economy,
not least by cutting corporate taxation, while Germany and the EU as a
whole must increase investment that would stimulate growth and job
creation, as well as boosting defense." In "Europe at risk of
collapse; France, Germany must lead - French PM," by Michelle Martin
and Joseph Nasr, Reuters, 17 November 2016.
from 1878 as Distant Echo of Manuel Valls in 2016:
"Europe today is a powder keg and the leaders are like men smoking in
an arsenal … A single spark will set off an explosion that will
consume us all … I cannot tell you when that explosion will occur, but I
can tell you where … Some damned foolish thing in the Balkans will set
it off." A comment by Otto von Bismarck during the Congress of Berlin in
1878, as quoted in 'European Diary' by Andrei Navrozov, in Chronicles
Vol. 32 (2008).
of to EU Parliament Learning the EU is Going in the Wrong Direction:
"...other results show a decline in this survey. For
example, Europeans feel that their voice counts less and less, both at
national and at European level. However, in 26 of the 28 Member States,
they felt that their voice counts more in their own country (53% in
average, -10 compared with 2015) than at EU level (37% in average, -2).
When asked about the future situation, Europeans are increasingly
pessimistic, both in the EU (54% « things are going in the wrong
direction », +13 compared with 2015) and in their own country (58% « id.
», +14),Among the various elements of European identity, a
significant decline in the single currency as one of the essential
elements is also noticeable (33%, -6), particularly in the Euro area."
In "Parlemeter 2016," European Parliament, ( survey was conducted
in the 28 Member States of the European Union from 24 September to 3
October 2016 ).
Addendum of the Brandenburg
Gate's Berlin in 2016: "Berlin hate crime
monitoring groups also found an increase in anti-Semitic crimes
committed in the city last year. A separate study by Berlin's Free
University showed how anti-Semitic sentiments can be found across the
political spectrum, with 34 percent of 'extreme left' members surveyed
expressing negative views about Jews." In "Berlin Holocaust memorial
could not be built now: creator," thelocal.de, 27 October 2016.
[ 9 ]
Addendum of EU Fat Cats With
Second Jobs Wasting Money: "The EU recently come
under fire for allowing highly paid MEPs to keep their second jobs.
European Parliament members can take home two pay packets in a decision
made just months after the controversies surrounding former members
Neelie Kroes and Jose Manuel Barraso. Mr Koenders also called for the
Parliament to scrap its monthly trips between Brussels and Strasbourg,
describing it as a 'waste of money'. His remarks come after it emerged
Brussels bureaucrats enjoyed a three-day jaunt costing more than half
a million euros in November last year." In "Dutch demand EU fat cats
stop WASTING money and slash parliament seats," by Rebecca Perring,
Express UK, 30 January 2017.
of Unsustainable Inequality: "...the inequality is
largely down to a north/south geographical divide which means the
division between the northern and southern EU countries is too big.
The bloc's more prosperous nations such as Germany consistently fund the
deficits of those in the south, and that simply can't go on, said
Greenspan. 'The European Central Bank (ECB) has greater problems than
the Federal Reserve. The asset side of the ECB’s balance sheet is larger
than ever before, having grown steadily since Mario Draghi said he would
do whatever it took to preserve the euro,' he said. 'And I have grave
concerns about the future of the euro itself… The eurozone is not
working', added Greenspan." In "‘The eurozone isn’t working’ - Alan
Greenspan," RT TV-Novosti, February 2017.
of Non-performing Loans and Politics Failing at Economics:
"The total stock of non-performing loans (NPL) in the EU is
estimated at over €1 trillion, or 5.4% of total loans, a ratio three
times higher than in other major regions of the world. On a
country-by-country basis, things look even scarier. Currently 10 (out of
28) EU countries have an NPL ratio above 10% (orders of magnitude higher
than what is generally considered safe). And among Eurozone
countries, where the ECB’s monetary policies have direct impact, there
are these NPL stalwarts: Ireland: 15.8%, Italy: 16.6%, Portugal: 19.2%,
Slovenia: 19.7%, Greece: 46.6%, Cyprus: 49%. That bears repeating: in
Greece and Cyprus, two of the Eurozone’s most bailed out economies,
virtually half of all the bank loans are toxic. Then there’s Italy,
whose €350 billion of NPLs account for roughly a third of Europe’s
entire bad debt stock. Italy’s government and financial sector have
spent the last year and a half failing spectacularly to come up with a
solution to the problem." In "Deepening EU Banking Crisis Meets
Euro-TARP and Taxpayers," by Don Quijones, Wolf Street, 17 March 2017.
"secret history?" The article details: "We were
coyly told that the little island of Ventotene off Naples
was where, in 1941, a prisoner of Mussolini’s had written
the visionary manifesto that looked forward to building,
after the war, a 'United States of Europe'. What somehow
got omitted was that Altiero Spinelli was a Communist
(the Today programme merely described him on air as a
'Fascist prisoner', although, lest this be misunderstood,
that was edited out of their online report). We were not
told that Spinelli’s Ventotene Manifesto proposed that
his future government of Europe should be quietly assembled
by its supporters over many years; and that only when all
its pieces were in place would those supporters summon a
convention to draw up a 'Constitution for Europe', which
would finally reveal to the European people just what they
had been up to." In "The secret history of the EU,
written on an Italian prison island, reveals why the project
is doomed," by Christopher Booker, Telegraph UK, 27 August
Of Mussolini, one looks back, with an interesting tidbit
about Renzi who stood together with Hollande and Merkel at
Ventotene: "In 1912 Mussolini was the leading
member of the National Directorate of the Italian Socialist
Party (PSI). Prior to 1914 he was a keen supporter of
the Socialist International, starting the series of
meetings in Switzerland that organised the communist
revolutions and insurrections that swept through Europe from
1917. Mussolini was expelled from the PSI due to his
opposition to the party's stance on neutrality in World War
I. Mussolini denounced the PSI, and later founded the
fascist movement. Following the March on Rome in October
1922 he became the youngest Prime Minister in Italian
history until the appointment of Matteo Renzi in February
2014." In "Benito Mussolini," Wikipedia article, n. d.
Appointed leaders seems a parallel theme as one follows the
streams of thought, alongside the parallel tales of
socialism, fascism and communism, brothers under the
Drama of Moral Imperialism
As to elected leaders, one finds France's Hollande wildly
unpopular, while Merkel's "rule" quakes. Consider the
vocabulary being used: "It is an unparalleled drama.
Just one year ago, Merkel was more popular than almost any
chancellor who had come before, with her prudent foreign
policy being a significant reason why. But then came the
refugee crisis, and with it the accusation that Merkel was
pursuing a kind of moral imperialism in Europe. Her
partners in the EU abandoned her while back home, the AfD --
a party she thought she had already defeated -- began
gaining support. In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the AfD
on Sunday even won more votes than the CDU -- the first time
in German postwar history that a right-wing populist party
attracted more votes than the center-right." In "Is The
Merkel Era Coming To an End?" Staff, Der Spiegel, 9
Of course, given the images above centering on images of the
Brandenburg Gate, this latest is not an "unparalleled
drama." It is more a next fumble. Der Spiegel's staff writer
observes: "...Merkel finally seemed prepared to spend
the political capital she had amassed over the years to
stand up for her convictions. It was a courageous move and
one that garnered her respect the world over. But in the
ensuing weeks and months, she was unable to find a way to
impose order on the flood of refugees coming into the
country, which resulted not only in significant hostility in
Europe, but also among the German population."
Hostility in Europe? This is not "unparalleled, and neither
is opposition politics. One notes a hostility "among the
German population" suggests that "kind of moral imperialism
in Europe" is in fact more of the same, as history has shown
repeatedly. The dreams of national and now supranational
political, economic and military power are not new. They are
old and repetitive.
a Founding Father
Of Altiero Spinelli and his dream one reads: "Altiero
Spinelli (31 August 1907 – 23 May 1986) was an Italian
Communist politician, political theorist and European
federalist. Spinelli is referred to as one of the
founding fathers of the European Union due to his
co-authorship of the Ventotene Manifesto, his founding role
in the European federalist movement, his strong influence on
the first few decades of post-World War II European
integration and, later, his role in re-launching the
integration process in the 1980s. By the time of his
death, he had been a member of the European Commission
for six years, a member of the European Parliament for ten
years right up until his death. The main building of the
European Parliament in Brussels is named after him. The
1987–1988 academic year at the College of Europe and the
2009–2010 academic year of the European College of Parma
were named in his honour." Wikipedia article, n. d.
] Note the noun,
"elite." When three European leaders meet while the
remainder of European national leaders remain at home and
opt to meet in this particular iconic location rather than
many other options all around Europe, the "You're Up" folks
seem to be making a statement to their supporters, and that
message echoes with the words "Communist" and "elite."
Merkel, Hollande and Renzi pay tribute to
One reads of these three "elites" the
following: "The three leaders travelled to the
sun-soaked island of Ventotene to pay tribute to one of the
founding fathers of European unity, Altiero Spinelli, and
show common cause going into a bigger EU-wide summit next
month in Slovakia. Spinelli, along with another
intellectual confined to Ventotene in the 1940s by Italy's
fascist rulers, co-wrote the "Ventotene Manifesto" calling
for a federation of European states to counter the
nationalism that had led Europe to war. The document is
considered the inspiration for European federalism. Renzi
invited his French and German counterparts to the island off
Naples to remind Europe of its founding ideals as the EU
forges ahead amid a spate of challenges, from slow economic
growth to extremist violence, after Britain's vote to leave
the bloc." In "Updated: Italy, Germany, France eye
beefed up EU defence after attacks," Associated Press, 22
The assertion that "nationalism" led to war
is refuted as the EU alongside NATO at war with the Islamic
State in the Middle East in 2016. The assumption that
"nationalism" caused war is unproven, given that the allies
who fought against National Socialism, as one example,
expressed their alliance through nationalist pride and
individual nations' efforts in an alliance. One could also
suggest that, in the case of National Socialism, that
socialism was the driver for war.
For more on
a facet of nationalist
terminology, consider this:
True socialism, oh yes, he said
Additionally as to socialism/fascism as a driver for war,
one reads Mussolini's words: "The law of socialism is
that of the desert: a tooth for a tooth, an eye for an eye.
Socialism is a rude and bitter truth, which was born in
the conflict of opposing forces and in violence. Socialism
is war, and woe to those who are cowardly in war. They
will be defeated. As quoted in Il Duce: The Life and Work of
Benito Mussolini, L. Kemechey, New York: NY, Richard R.
A reductionist argument may be made that governments' dreams
for control drives war, and the 2016 war being made by the
European Commission alongside NATO in the Middle East was
caused by what? Nationalism in individual European nations?
Or perhaps the dream of a "European" solution to
non-European nations' ills? These nations have dreamed of a
joint and unified European military, as proof of their
potential for war under the flag of the EU.
The article notes a quaisi-religious tone: "The
three placed three bouquets of blue and yellow flowers - the
colors of the European Union - on Spinelli's simple white
marble tombstone before meeting for an hour privately
aboard the nearby Garibaldi."
Seeking a Framework of Protection and Borders That Can Be
All the while Jean-Claude Juncker, the current head of the EU, bemoans
nations and national borders in favor of what is essentially
a supranational state with its own flag and different borders, the article
noted ironically: "Europe should have a framework of
protection. For security we need to have borders that can
be guarded," Hollande said. "We also want there to be
more coordination in the fight against terrorism."
Given that Juncker has called for nations to drop border
controls, for what does Hollande ask? Guarded borders,
alongside "protection" and "security" in "the fight against
terrorism?" But from what source comes such terror that the
French seek guarded borders and protection? Islamic terror
comes to mind, though to think so suggests the modern
Yet a rotating president essentially opts out as regards
illegal immigration and quotas for all member states as
pushed by some. One reads: " 'What the Visegrad
countries – including Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary and
Poland – have been saying for a year and a half now becomes
official EU policy,' Fico said on Monday. 'Whoever wants
to divide Europe, let them put quotas on the table, who
wants to unite Europe, let them come up with a different
concept of fight against illegal migration'." In "EU
migrant quota idea is finished, says Fico," by Eszter Zalan,
EUObserver, 27 September 2016.
It is a problem which is clarified as time goes by. One
reads: "Seven of the nine ISIS jihadis who launched
a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris last
November entered Europe by posing as refugees. The
attackers were part of a group of 14 who plotted their way
into Western Europe by riding the wave of the migrant crisis
last year, according to Hungarian security officials. By
using fake Syrian passports, many of the attackers, already
on European terror watch-lists, were able to slip back into
Europe undetected, along with thousands of other refugees."
In "Majority of Paris attackers entered Europe posing as
refugees," by Lisa Daftari, Foreign Desk, 2 October 2016.
Consequences Becoming Apparent
The economic consequence is being seen very quickly:
"Joachim Moller, director of the IAB, said: 'If we manage to
get 50 percent of them into work which pays for their lives
in five years, that'd certainly be a success. But it would
be an illusion to believe that we will manage to find jobs
for a decent proportion of refugees in well-paid industry
jobs like car manufacturing.' This means the bill of
feeding, housing and caring for the migrants will continue
to soar into the billions and fall upon the German taxpayer."
In "Just 34,000 migrants out of 1.2million to arrive in
Germany in the last two years have found work, government
reveals," by Allan Hall and Jennifer Newton, Mail Online, 19
Millions of Muslims In Migration to Europe
Borders that can be guarded for the EU, but borders that
should not be guarded for individual member-states is a
contradiction in rhetoric, given the "dream" of a united
Europe, a dream which has been shared with other historical
"elite" as the various images of a parade of various
"leaders," their representatives and their armies pictured
at Berlin's iconic Brandenburg Gate. Why not have a meeting
there than at the "prison island" of Ventotene?
Perhaps the opening quote above tells the real truth, that
"... the Eurocrats in charge of
the EU are running scared." Which next "elite" will appear
at the Brandenburg Gate to espouse the next "dream?"
and Threats of the Next European War
With the Turkish flag projected onto Berlin's icon, one sees
forecasts of coming war. One such is: "Professor
Gilles Kepel, from the Sciences Po in Paris, France, said a
growing 'Jihad Generation' is likely to continue to carry
out terror acts in European cities. The aim of their terror
activity is to both incite hatred towards Muslims and, in
doing so, cause further radicalisation among young people,
the professor of political science said. He told the
German newspaper Die Welt that this in turn could lead to
the point where Europe enters into civil war. Kepel said the
recent terror attacks across the continent were part of a
war within Islam rather than between Islam and Western
civilization." In "Generation Jihad: Scholar of Islam
predicts civil war across Europe as more young Muslims
facing poor job prospects turn to radical groups," by Julian
Robinson, Mail Online, 12 September 2016.
In spite of realities facing ordinary citizens, You're Up
has managed to dictate to British Press, as one reads:
"A report from the European Commission against Racism and
Intolerance (ECRI) found there was an increase in hate
speech and racist violence in the UK from 2009 to March
2016. Blaming the press, ECRI Chair Christian Ahlund, said:
'It is no coincidence that racist violence is on the rise in
the UK at the same time as we see worrying examples of
intolerance and hate speech in the newspapers, online and
even among politicians.' The report makes a whopping 23
recommendations to Theresa May’s Government for changes to
criminal law, the freedom of the press, crime reporting and
equality law." In "EU orders British press NOT to reveal
when terrorists are Muslims," by Katie Mansfield, Express
UK, 5 October 2016.
Apparently the European Commission against Racism and
Intolerance is intolerant of a free press. Should WWII
reporting have been measured by such standards, the National
Socialists would not have been revealed in reporting. You're
Up seems to be moving quickly towards becoming You're Over,
at least as far as Britain and its press are concerned.
Crusade Against Islam and a Holy War in Response
With yet more crises including the forecast by Turkey of a
religion-based "holy war" in European nations, one reads a
simple threat: "Turkey's Interior Minister Suleyman
Soylu has threatened to 'blow the mind' of Europe by sending
15,000 refugees a month to EU territory, in an intensifying
dispute with the bloc." In "Turkey threatens to send
Europe '15,000 refugees a month'," Agence France Presse, 17
Turkey threatens the EU if it does not get special deals and
a privileged relationship with it. Yet it fumbles in its
foolish rhetoric, as one reads of the graphic just above:
"The front page was published two days after German mass
circulation daily Bild lashed out at Erdogan, accusing him
of 'endangering Europe's stability through his lust for
power'. 'Bild tells the truth to Erdogan's face -- you are
not a democrat! You are hurting your country!' the German
daily had said. Bild's front page hugely upset Ankara and
the foreign ministry issued a statement describing the
article as 'mind-boggling' and part of a mindset 'hinging on
hatred'." In "Turkish daily depicts Merkel as 'Frau
Hitler' on front page," Agence France Presse, 17 March
Additionally Turkey is angered by a decision valid in
European nations that allows a company to ban religious or
political symbols while at work. One reads of the reaction
from Turkey: "Turkey’s president today (16 March)
accused the EU’s top court of starting a 'crusade' against
Islam after a ruling allowing European companies to ban
employees from wearing religious or political symbols
including the Islamic headscarf. 'The European Union’s
court, The European Court of Justice, my esteemed brothers,
have started a crusade struggle against the (Muslim)
crescent,” Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a televised
speech, asking “where is freedom of religion?' The Turkish
press wrote that the country’s government will provide legal
support to Turkish citizens living in France and Belgium
after the ECJ ruling. The European Court of Justice (ECJ)
ruled on 14 March that internal rules in companies in the EU
which prohibit the visible wearing of any political,
philosophical or religious sign does not constitute direct
discrimination." In "Erdogan sees ‘crusade against Islam’
behind ECJ headscarf ruling," by Georgi Gotlev, Euractiv,
16 March 2017. Erdogan is showing his willingness to
interfere in European law and jurisprudence.
Amusingly, the center of Islamic belief, Saudi Arabia, bans
any practice of any religion other than Islam, so Erdogan's
argument rings hollow. Islam, where and when it is able, is
unconcerned with "freedom of religion."
Europe as well as individual "member states" in the context
of the EU are at a clear crossroads with Turkey in specific
and the OIC in general. Submit (the meaning of the word,
"Islam") -- or not.
Future of Europe is Turkish?
As to the future of Europe and its sub-replacement birth
rates coupled to Turkey's stance, one reads further: "Calling
Turks the 'future of Europe,' Turkey’s president on Friday
implored his compatriots living on the Continent to have
multiple children as an act of revenge against the West’s
'injustices'." In "Turkey's President Says Muslims are
'the future of Europe'," by Russell Goodman, New York Times,
17 March 2017.
Turkey's fat cat and top dog went farther in condemning
Europe with a not-s0-veiled threat, as one reads: "
'If you continue to behave like this, tomorrow in no part of
the world, no European, no Westerner will be able to take
steps on the street safely and peacefully,' Erdogan said
during a speech in Ankara." In "Erdogan warns Europeans'
security at risk as EU feud rages," by Raziye Akkoc, AFP, 23
A variant of the threat to individual citizens in the West
shows worry on Erdogan's part about even his own safety,
though it is not presented in that manner: " 'I am
addressing Europe once again: Turkey is not a country to
push around, we are not a country whose ministers you can
deport. What is happening is being watched by everyone
around the world. If Europe continues this way, no European
in any part of the world can walk safely in the streets'
said the Turkish President in a televised speech." In "‘No
peace for hundred years if Erdogan is harmed’ president’s
senior advisor threatens," KOM News, 23 March 2017.
One recalls the pro European Union advocates calling
themselves and their plans the future of a peaceful and
prosperous Europe. It seems
the future of Europe as a political entity is far from
] A private
entrepreneur weighs in on the EU's demand against Apple and
Ireland for its tax policy which is declared illegal by the
EU Commission. His tone is direct: "...the outspoken
Irishman said: 'One of the fundamental principles of the
European Union is that each country has its autonomy to make
its own tax decisions. 'Frankly the Irish government should
turn around - they shouldn't even appeal the decision - they
should just write a letter to Europe and tell them politely
to f**k off'."
One learns more of the EU's demands based on arguments about
taxation that the EU has little policy to guide it, and no
agreement among member nations. One reads from a year
earlier: " 'Germany and France are demanding a
minimum threshold value; we are reacting to that,' one
commission source told the newspaper. At 20 per cent,
Britain has the lowest corporation tax rate in the G7, and
among the lowest in western Europe. Any measure to harmonise
corporation taxes would likely hit Ireland, the base of many
international tech companies, with a 12.5 per cent rate.
The European operations of Apple, Google, and Facebook are
all headquartered in the Republic. American Internet
companies have become a target in Brussels on an array of
issues including privacy and competition, as well as
taxation." In "France and Germany behind plans for 'common
EU corporation tax'," by Matthew Holehouse and Christopher
Williams, Telegraph UK, 26 May 2015.
Thus the "common EU corporation tax" is not in place. It is
noted this "common" policy is "non-existent."
Dissonance of European Tax Harmonization
One learns: "...one need not look very hard to find
examples that jeopardize efforts to harmonize the
nonexistent 'European tax system.' The most obvious
example involves the European Commission’s expanding agenda
of state aid investigations. While some view these
investigations as a unified European assault on the
aggressive tax planning practices of large multinationals,
others see them as an aggressive supranational assault on
the sovereignty of individual EU states. This dichotomy,
most apparent in the commission’s challenges to rulings in
the transfer pricing arena, leads observers to wonder
whether the commission will eventually seek to control the
tax policy of all the member states, over their objections.
These dissonances in tax policy resonate beyond the state
aid cases. While some member states have expressed a desire
to resurrect long-dormant (some might say extinct) proposals
to adopt a common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB),
there are many obstacles to overcome before even
contemplating a European tax future that includes the
CCCTB." In "The Dissonance Of European Tax Harmonization,"
by Stuart Gibson, Forbes, 27 January 2016.
Further, "The EU Commission has no authority to tell
member states to change their tax rules, but it can act if
it finds a company or companies gained an unfair advantage
as a result of taxes being levied improperly." In "EU to
order Ireland demand back taxes from Apple in excess of
€1bn," by Donal O'Donovan, Independent, Ireland, 29 August
Who decides what "taxes being levied improperly" and how is
this argument different that the proposed "tax
harmonization" which is to date "nonexistent?"
The EU (with France and Germany specifically "behind plans")
pushes Ireland. As a result, one sees: "Ireland’s
pursuit for lower corporate taxes to attract foreign direct
investment may also be under assault if they maintain their
presence in the European Union with Brussels planning to
force a continent-wide 'tax harmonisation' plan that would
disproportionately harm Ireland’s economy. Irish MEP
Brian Hayes warned this week that any attempt by the
bureaucrats in Brussels to force a higher corporate tax rate
against the will of the Irish voters would be met with an
immediate decision by the country to leave the European
Union. 'This is the absolute red line issue. Any attempt
to cajole us, as far as I’m concerned, we’re out the door,'
said Hayes." In "Ireland Considers EU Exit in Response to
Europe’s Tax Harmonization Plan," Sputnik News, 11 July
The three-dimensional game of politics declares that there
is and there is not a European Tax Harmonization in place.
But harmonization implies harmony, and harmony is not to be
Politics is at
One reads Apple's CEO's view: " 'This conclusion
that the Commission has reached has no basis in law or in
fact. So I think it clearly suggests that this is politics
at play.' Mr Cook said that the European Commission may
be trying to use state aid laws to alter the tax system
possibilities too, but 'I think it’s clear that there is a
desire to harmonise tax rates across the EU. Doing it this
way doesn’t seem like the right approach to me. There should
be a public discussion about it.' Mr Cook agreed with the US
government finance minister, Jack Lew, that the
'retroactive' €13bn tax bill was an attempt by the EU to
grab taxes owed to the US treasury." " 'No one did
anything wrong here and Ireland is being picked on... It is
total political crap' - Apple chief Tim Cook," by Adrian
Weckler and Michael Cogley, Independent UK, 1 September
The Irish government weighs in: " 'How could any
foreign direct investor come into Europe if they thought the
valid arrangements they made under law could be overturned a
generation later and they be liable to pay back money,'
he said at a news conference. Public Expenditure Minister
Paschal Donohoe said Dublin stood behind its corporate tax
regime as a means of creating jobs. 'This ruling has
seismic and entirely negative consequences for job creation
in the future,' he said." In "Ireland to join Apple in
fight against EU tax ruling," Reuters, 2 September 2016.
a New Impulse
One notes the use of elusively-defined slogans as one
Platitudes meet realities
and so a new elusive word is spoken into the political
realm. One reads: "Twenty-seven EU leaders will meet
without Britain in Slovakia on September 16 and France's
Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said
in a joint statement that a 'new impulse' was required.
'With Brexit and the rise of populism and even questions on
the very idea of Europe, a new impulse is needed for the
European Union,' they said. 'France and Germany will
assume their responsibilities' to do this, they added." In "Hollande,
Merkel urge ‘impulse’ for post-Brexit EU," TheLocal.de, 3
What is that new impulse, as disruptive disharmony results
from the "impulse" for "tax harmonization?" Or when migrant
issues and an absence of democratic accountability in
Brussels played a part in Britain's referendum deciding upon
Brexit? If one recalls Marxist rhetoric which ends the
Communist Manifesto of 1848: ""Let the ruling classes
tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have
nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win."
If chains are to be thrown off and "ruling classes tremble,"
today some European nations and political parties ponder
throwing off the chains of the European Commission and its "Eurocrats"
who seek in response seek some new "impulse" to forge
chains. Referendums in many nations -- so often denied to
citizens in member states of the European Union, giving rise
to the correct impression that democratic principles were
set aside to forge the "chains" which bind nations under the
EC -- threaten and the "ruling classes tremble," as they now
seek that new "impulse" which would further their causes.
Benito Mussolini - 1925
How like older impulses Hollande's call for a "new impulse"
seems. Again citing Mussolini, one reads: "We want
an extraordinary heavy taxation, with a progressive
character, on capital, that will represent an authentic
partial expropriation of all wealth; seizures of all
assets of religious congregations and suppression of all the
ecclesiastic Episcopal revenues, in what constitutes an
enormous deficit of the nation and a privilege for a
minority; revisions of all contracts made by the war
ministers and seizure of 85% of all war profits." From
Mussolini's Fasci Italiani di Combattimento (Italian Combat
Fasci), Il Popolo d'Italia newspaper, 6 June 1919. Speech
published in Revolutionary Fascism, by Erik Norling, Lisbon,
Finis Mundi Press (2011).
At one point Hollande proposed 100 percent taxation of the
"rich," and had to back down. Was this not like unto
Mussolini's strategy, as sourced above?
Trust in the Establishment?
Of Europeans about the EU, one reads: "Public trust
in the establishment is low - whether traditional
politicians, bankers or EU bureaucrats - and Mr Juncker is
an unelected president." In "Juncker proposes EU
military headquarters," BBC, 14 September 2016.
You're Up and "an unelected president" in a series of
unelected presidents have sought and continue to seek
expansion of powers, including the military. The BBC notes
the what may be called imperialist actions: "Since
2003 the EU has launched some 30 civilian and military
operations in Europe, Africa and Asia - under the Common
Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). Sixteen are still going
on, including six military operations: Its mission in
Bosnia and Herzegovina oversees the implementation of the
1995 Dayton Agreement which ended the Balkan Wars. It
replaced Nato forces in 2004. Counter-piracy operation
Atalanta began off the coast of Somalia in 2008. In 2015,
Operation Sophia began targeting migrant-traffickers in the
Mediterranean. The EU also has military training programmes
in Somalia, Mali and the Central African Republic."
Here is a novel "impulse" which the current masters of
Europe -- quite like the old masters, as above -- are
assiduously avoiding. The notion that greater
Freedom is freedom is freedom
Given that imperial, National Socialist and other socialist
dreams alongside Spinelli's Italian Communist dreams to
"unify" have been played out, how radical freedom from such
impulses by changing elites is.
Given that so many of those pictured above passing by the
Brandenburg Gate represent war, freedom is best then defined
not as a single word, but rather the phrase, freedom from
How might one then analyze the current news of the European
Commission and its cadre of bureaucrats, as they "tremble?"
By looking to every speech, existing and proposed policy,
and all political speech for these simple words, "freedom"
and "liberty." Their new "impulse" seems to be merely that
same old impulse for growing government power over a people.
You're Up Is Not
A comment to this article notes: "What is with
this deluded notion that a country is European only if it's
in the EU, and has to stay in to keep it's 'European
identity?' All European countries are part of Europe, and
will be even out of the EU. They can still pursue relations
with each other. Not being in the EU doesn't mean a
country is no longer European. Almost 60% of Europe isn't in
the EU. So the EU actually doesn't equal Eureopan [ sic
] identity, and does not speak for most of Europe."
You're up is not Europe, as events are disclosing, at the
same time that the "elite" and EU bureaucrats -- many
unelected by European citizens -- remind themselves of their
ideological debt to a "founder" and Communist by three of
the political "elite" visiting his grave. Perhaps they
prayed for "the nonexistent European tax system" might come
to be -- without referendums and without voters having a
democratic voice. Thos pictured above all held dreams of
leading Europe, and history declared the end of their
] The confusing
politics of political terminology is seen in the Reuters
report. What is "far-right" if the National Socialists are
seen more accurately as socialists and therefore part of a
range on the political Left?
What is "far-left," a term used
infrequently in news reporting? Would Altiero Spinelli,
noted in his biography as an Italian Communist, have been
considered "left" or "far left?"
Would Stalin's Soviet
Troops which partitioned Berlin as pictured above be
representative of a "far-left?" Would the Berlin wall which
was built by East Germany, also pictured above, be
A small protest by a handful of
Germans from a relatively new movement in Germany is labeled
"far right," and inferred as potentially dangerous.
It is seen as dangerous to "ruling classes" and their
"impulse" to rule.
to be Left and Left to be Right
Yet another Reuters article also speaks to a potentially
dangerous "far-left." One reads: "Ten people with
Turkish and Kurdish backgrounds went on trial in Germany on
Friday accused of belonging to a left-wing militant group
in Turkey, a case defense lawyers say is politically
motivated. The nine men and one woman face charges of
organizing propaganda events, raising funds and
recruiting for the Communist Party of
Turkey/Marxist-Leninist (TKP/ML), founded in 1972 and
listed among a dozen active militant groups in Turkey." In
"Germany starts trial of alleged Turkish militants,"
Reuters, 17 January 2016.
Interestingly, during elections in my own neighborhood in
Berlin, I have seen the Marxist–Leninist Party of Germany's
Kommunistische Partie Deutschlands
Of this party, one reads: "The Marxist–Leninist
Party of Germany (German: Marxistisch-Leninistische
Partei Deutschlands, MLPD) is an anti-revisionist
Marxist-Leninist political party in Germany. It was founded
in 1982 by members of the Communist Workers Union of Germany
(Kommunistischer Arbeiterbund Deutschlands; KABD). The
MLPD advocates for the establishment of a dictatorship of
the proletariat, overthrowing current capitalist relations
of production and replacing them with a new social order of
socialist orientation. It sees this as a transitional stage
to the creation of a classless, communist society. In
doing so, it refers to the theory and practice of Karl Marx,
Friedrich Engels, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin and Mao
Zedong. It rejects the terms 'Stalinism' and 'Maoism' as
anti-communist fighting terms that divide the
Marxist-Leninist movement." In "Marxist–Leninist Party
of Germany," Wikipedia article, n. d.
The question comes to mind: would not a classless society
throw off a ruling class? The answer is yes, were it not for
the old bugaboo in Marxist theory which declares the step
between now and that classless society involves dictatorship
which always erects its own ruling class?
So in terms of politics and political terminology, one
learns that to some "Stalinism" and "Maoism" are
anti-communist terms, which places such terminology on which
side of the supposedly meaning-filled political spectrum?
Left? Right? Far-left? Far-right? But then if Stalinism is
"anti-communist" to these German Marxist-Leninists, are
Marxist-Leninists somehow moderate or centrist? What
definitions fit any of these terms, as so blithely used in
Was the parade of Napoleon's triumphant French troops
through the Brandenburg Gate in the 19th century
representative of politics of the "right" or
"left?" What was the "impulse" of Napoleon
to parade himself through Berlin?
Were Kaiser Wilhelm and his Prussian troops "right" or
"left?" What was his "impulse" and was it new or
the same old dream of a ruling class?
Was National Socialism "right" or "left?" What was the
"impulse" which drove the Nazis to conquer and control other
nations? Were the German troops taking Paris a "new" impulse or just another impulse
to rule like those
Was Italian Fascism rising out of the international
socialist movement of the "right" or the "left?" What
"impulse" drove Italy's Mussolini -- or Italy's Spinelli,
for that matter -- to
dream of a greater Europe?
Was the DDR's partition of Berlin behind the Brandenburg Gate done
by a political "left" or "right?" What
was its "impulse" and was it new or just a continuation of
previous dreams of a ruling class?
In this modern era, are these latest protests as pictured
above in which the Turkish flag is displayed on the
Brandenburg Gate "left" or "right?" What was the
"impulse" to project Turkey's flag onto the Brandenburg
Gate? Was that a new "impulse" or the old Ottoman empire's
expansive dream to conquer and rule?
The banner placed by the Identitarian Movement is labeled
"far-right." How odd that the banner asks for "sichere
Grenzen" -- secure borders -- and this is "far-right" while
Hollande, the socialist President of France, is quoted above as saying, "For security we need to have borders that can
be guarded." Is there a difference between "secure borders"
said to be "far-right" in a Reuters article and a French president
of the openly Socialist Party asking for "borders that can be
Is asking for borders which can be guarded politically right or left?
Or do their hopes agree? Do their words agree?
Manuel Valls- Menaces terroristes: protéger
les Français dans la durée
Is security right or
left? In one instance it is French and yet about politics as well,
as one reads: "French Prime Minister Manuel Valls
said on Sunday there would be new attacks in France but
proposals by former president Nicolas Sarkozy to boost
security was not the right way to deal with threats." In "France's
premier warns of new attacks, 15,000 people on police radar,"
Reuters, 11 September 2016.
Shall one right-left-right-left march? To the beat of whose
What a fascinating time
this is in which to take note of
almost-meaningless political terminology used in haphazard
fashion, as one may easily
Left is Right, as Right is Left
and both represent some version of that which contrasts
greatly with the age-old "impulse" of
So shall ism
One finds agreement between the ostensible Left and Right
being reported, as economic problems assert themselves in
the face of You're Up's diktats.
One reads: "...statements 'clearly mark a change in
direction', said Alain Trannoy, head of research at the
School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences in Paris.
He noted that criticism of the pact, agreed in 1997 as
preparations for the introduction of the euro stepped up,
has spread across the political spectrum. 'The Maastricht
and Lisbon treaties have bogged down the eurozone in crisis,
locked it in absurd, obsolete and suicidal rules', said
Arnaud Montebourg, a former Socialist economy minister who
announced his run for the presidency last month. The two
treaties underpin the euro and public finance rules in the
eurozone. Montebourg's view is shared by both the far
left which is anti-austerity, and by the far-right National
Front on national sovereignty grounds. It also appears to be
making inroads among the Republicans, the centre-right
party, which is in favour of massive cuts in taxes to
stimulate the economy." In "French politicians mull
ripping up EU budget rules, TheLocal.fr, 11 September 2016.
How odd to find a "far left" evidencing shared views with a
"far-right" as well as a "center-right" segment of France's
electorate. How is these political "oppositions" finding
potential common ground against the Maastricht and Lisbon
treaties? You're Up may insist legally on enforced
agreements but not on an absence of opposition. Treaties
have been made and abrogated, as the history of Europe has
proved repeatedly. The dream of unification of Europe into a
You're Up has a long pedigree.
or Else War
Unify Europe under Napoleon and that dream of empire, as
under the Austro-Hungarian empire. Conquer and unify Europe
as the goal of the Ottoman empire's dream. Unify Europe
under the Germanic will of a Kaiser or National Socialist
Chancellor. Unify Europe through the dreams of an Italian
socialist of fascist colors, or under an Italian Communist.
Unify Europe's eastern nations under the Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics. Unify Europe under the European Union
and its democratically-unelected commission? There is a
pattern, and throughout the pretense was that war, even if
necessary, would prevent the next war, all under the waving
banner of unification? Unify or else war is threatened? Each
unification attempt has been about war, not the antithesis.
One may rightly conclude the dream of a unified Europe -- or
even a unified world -- is one significant foundation of
The supra-state is a state itself, and the EU has
apportioned to itself its own flag, anthem, formative
statements and philosophical stances, and as a "nation" over
nations acts to threaten its neighbors to the East
geopolitically all the while it is allied in NATO-justified
military actions in the Middle East, making war by degree.
Proof of Europe still making war? Consider the military acts
allied with the Obama administration as both are seen
Failing to plan
-- flailing's in view.
All the imagery above centers on the iconic Brandenburg
Gate, as foreign and domestic political "impulses" have
ravaged the nation and all of Europe in the process. Perhaps
it becomes time for the wealth and power seeking of
be significantly diminished and restricted in favor of
greater freedom from governments' "impulse" to immerse
themselves in the same old game of centuries.
There seem to be so many different facets to the worldwide
So-shall-ists, on the far-right, right, center-right,
centrist and moderate, center-left, left and far-left that
the latest calculus of political terminology becomes
meaningless excepting one element, and that element is the
will for power over others, usually connected to wealthy
privileges for those atop some political
heap. Those atop a ruling political heap and their toadies will
always declare a political opposition with political
pejoratives, especially those which are elusive and meant to
I Shall Believe the Socialist
] The attempts to make
negotiations for a "trade" relationships between national
entities secret, not only during negotiations but for
decades beyond suggests skullduggery at high levels indeed.
the Euro Elite
You're Up has been in such negotiations, but not with either
buyers or sellers who trade. Rather with other governments,
such that protests have been heard in Europe against You're
Up. One reads: "Brussels has been totally caught
off guard by the astonishing level of opposition to the
Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and
Comprehensives Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
agreements." In "PEOPLE’S REVOLT: Brussels under siege
as THOUSANDS march against hated EU trade deals," by Nick
Gutteridge, Express UK, 21 September 2016.
TTIP Protest - Berlin
One notes that these agreements are not being made at a
national level, but for You're UP at the supra-national
level. For this the protesters in the article above made a
case: "Campaigners carried slogans reading 'power
to the people, not the multinationals' and 'the people and
the planet as a priority' as they put on a show of people
power against the Euro elite."
Attempt to Shackle Trade to Greater Governance
For trade to be free, one requires only a buyer and a
seller, anywhere in the world to agree to buy and sell at
agreed upon prices and terms. Therefore, with the exception
of government interference via tariffs, regulations and a
host of costs to both buyer and seller created by
government, such trade can be free.
What then does one need a massive "free trade" set of
treaties except to treat governments and their favored
multinational corporations to favored terms? This does not
benefit buyer nor seller, but the world of governance,
making consumers into a population to be fleeced of "added
value" costs, added by governance itself.
One might note, this is the opposite of free. It is shackled
trade, and the latest attempts at shackling has included
hiding even the details while protecting those who would
shackle, and has nothing at all to do with buyer and seller
agreeing freely to a transaction which they perceive and
conclude to be "free."
One notes the rhetorical choice in the article above, that
the EU trade strategy was an "attempted economic coup" by an
elite. The obvious strategy was to constrain "free" trade to
the advantage of a privileged group and make secret the
dealings and details. Of what advantage would this have been
to consumers? The equally obvious answer is nothing.
Natural Order of Things?
The article notes: "This clearly shows the
plantation-owner mentality of the business community that
wants the government to cooperate in keeping the citizens in
their respective serf positions. To them, this is the
natural order of things."
Consider this attempted "deal" which seems to have failed
from its own internal contradictions follows the
storytelling elements of
A Tale of Lords, told by a Serf
As ever, the slaves, the serfs, the indentured servants and
the taxpayers, as each successive step on the road to
freedom learns that
Freedom is freedom is freedom
annoy their self-appointed masters. The tale unfolds, as one
watches the parallel tale of the application in words and
[ 6 ]
That a now-proven one percent fat cat made
wealthy by being a "public servant" is now also working for
the international bank, Goldman Sachs, testifies to greed.
One reads that he has a hefty "pension" from the EU based on
a salary of over 304,212 Euros per year: "José
Manuel Barroso, president of the commission, is paid a
monthly salary of 25,351 euros, a residence allowance equal
to 15 percent of that salary, and allowances for expenses
like running a household and schooling for children. The
seven vice presidents of the commission earn basic monthly
salaries of 22,963 euros." In "Bureaucracy’s Salaries
Defended in Europe," by James Kanter, New York Times, 4
Oily Eurocrat Among Many
One reads in unflattering terms of Barosso: "He has
been cast as the 'villain of the piece' in the latest
'shock' coming out of Brussels - and described as an 'oily
Eurocrat from the land of sardines' - but outgoing
European Commission President Durão Barroso is taking it all
in his stride as he leaves his post this week after a
10-year stint. The reason he is smiling like a Cheshire Cat
is that he is taking with him a millionaire’s pension: a
minimum of €36,000 per month, plus three years of subsidies
that could reach €367,000. As one British commentator
pointed out, it is not a bad reward for being part of a
'collection of unaccountable, interfering, overpaid
paper-shufflers and time-servers'." In "“Oily Eurocrat”
Barroso retires on millionaire pension," Portugal Press, 27
That article details: "Analysing his 'millionaire'
future income, national tabloid Correio da Manhã said
Barroso would be receiving a lifetime pension of €11,000
per month, plus an 'additional salary' of €25,000 plus
travelling expenses, as well as what is called a
'reintegration subsidy' of between €122,000-€200,000 per
year, for a maximum of three years."
Barosso then moves on to an academic position at Princeton
and Appointment and Appointments Which Follow
More as to his history, Princeton after hiring him
summarized his career: "Barroso’s political career
began in 1980 when he joined the Social Democratic Party (PSD),
a major social-democratic political party in Portugal.
He was named president of the party in 1999 and was
re-elected three times. During the same period, he served as
vice president of the European People’s Party. As state
secretary for foreign affairs and cooperation, he played a
key role as mediator in the signing of the Bicesse Accords,
which laid out a transition to multi-party democracy in
Angola in 1991, and, as minister for foreign affairs, he was
a driving force in the self-determination process in East
Timor (1992-1995), a country in Maritime Southeast Asia.
Under his leadership, the PSD won the general election in
2002, and Barroso was appointed prime minister of
Portugal in April of that year. He remained in office until
July 2004 when he was nominated by the European Council and
elected by the European Parliament to the post of president
of the European Commission." In "Former President of the
European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, to Discuss 'The
State of the European Union'," News release, Woodrow Wilson
School of Public and International Relations, Princeton
University, 8 April 2015.
As a further advancement after his "lifetime pension of
€11,000 per month" (and other estimates suggest other
sizeable numbers which taxpayers will fund in perpetuity)
from the EU, he joins Goldman Sachs.
Goldman Sachs on the NYSE
One reads of this: "Legally, the ex-president is bound
to avoid any conflicts of interest for a period of 18 months
after the end of his function. So since the beginning of May
this year, the Portuguese politician no longer has to
consult the current College of Commissioners. U4U’s calls
for an 'appropriate decision' refer to the ex-president’s
generous monthly stipend. For three years after they leave
office, former presidents of the European Commission are
allowed to claim 60% of their salaries, or €15,000 per
month. In theory, this package is designed to make job
offers from conflicting interests less attractive. But Barroso’s new job, announced exactly 20 months after the end
of his second term as European Commission President, clearly
illustrates this system’s limitations." In "Civil
servants join call to cut Barroso’s EU pension after Goldman
Sachs hire," Aline Robert, EurActiv, 12 July 2016.
EU Elite Serves?
One will not learn what additional salary and benefits this
"private" American-based international bank will pay for it
has issued a statement of "no comment," but the picture of
economic advancement into the ranks of the truly wealthy by
a politician justify in the minds of many deep skepticism.
One reads in this last article cited of sharp criticism from
both ends of the political spectrum: "The outcry
against Barroso’s nomination was echoed by the French
government. On Friday, the Secretary of State for Foreign
Trade Mathias Fekl condemned the behaviour of a
'representative of an old Europe that our generation will
change'. On the extreme right, the National Front chimed in
with criticisms of its own. 'Barroso at Goldman Sachs: no
surprise for those who know that the EU serves big finance,
not the people'."
One also reads: "Goldman Sachs is a massive
presence on the Brussels lobbying scene - although not
necessarily flying its own colours. Very often its lobbyists
are representing broader coalitions, such as the derivatives
industry or the futures industry. Often, the bank is also
able to squeeze itself into advisory groups set up by the
commission, the European Central Bank, or the financial
markets authorities. Imagine Barroso putting his address
book and expertise on the table in order to open more doors
for Goldman Sachs." In "Barroso’s bank job: A failure of
integrity," by Corporate Europe Observatory, EUObserver,
7 September 2016.
Only weeks later: "Correspondence obtained by
Portuguese daily Publico under a freedom of information
request suggests that Barroso, who took a job with the US
bank earlier this year, held unregistered meetings with
Goldman's top people. In one email dated 30 September
2013, Goldman boss Lloyd Blankfein thanked Barroso for their
'productive discussions' and said the bank’s senior partners
were delighted about their 'extremely fruitful meetings'.
Publico reported that Goldman executives were happy to
suggest 'on a confidential basis'” changes to EU policies,
which Barroso’s cabinet read 'with great interest'." In
"Barroso had deeper ties to Goldman Sachs," by Aleksandra
Eriksson, EUObserver, 26 September 2016.
Let the last sentiment echo: "...the EU serves big
finance, not the people."
"Old Europe" -- pictured in the many historical images above
-- which has set its belligerent tone for war is risen again
with talk of a "European" army under the control of You're
Up, this time the politicians smirking all the way to the
Meanwhile the next crop wants to extend a stay in power. One
reads: "Moves to let European Parliament head
Martin Schulz extend his tenure are sparking fresh
infighting in the crisis-hit EU, with his opponents warning
it would be akin to a declaration of war...." In "EU
'war' looms as German leader tries to cling to power,"
TheLocal,de, 13 September 2016.
In another revelation, "embarrassment" is the order of the
EU elites' day. One reads: "...the Kroes
revelation is another stinging embarrassment to an EU
commission that is already struggling for credibility.
Current commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, for example,
served as Luxembourg prime minister while hundreds of
tax-avoiding deals with multinationals were agreed.
Those revelations, known as Lux Leaks, helped firms
channel billions through the Duchy in an effort to avoid
paying into state public coffers. The commission has
since launched tax transparency policies but critics say it
falls short. 'Today we got another peek into the dark
underworld of the global financial system,' said Tove
Maria Ryding, from Brussels-based European Network on Debt
and Development (Eurodad), in a statement." In "Ex-EU
commissioner Kroes held offshore firm," by Nikiolay Nielsen,
EUObserver, 22 September 2016.
Into the Dark Underworld
Published the same day, another article shows Kroes busy
with a number of lobbying alliances. One reads: "Kroes
has already waded into controversy by landing a job on the
advisory board of US car-sharing firm Uber, a company she
had defended during her time as digital agenda commissioner.
It is unclear if she does any other lobby work, but earlier
this month, she also defended US tech giant Apple in its tax
clash with the commission by writing an op-ed in The
Guardian, a British newspaper." In "EU commission seeks
answers from Kroes," by Nikolaj Nielsen, EU Observer, 22
How odd to consider once high ranking politicians deeply
into employment and directorship relationships with business
and finance. All the while the EU and its unelected
leadership posture "serving" the people of Europe while
seeming to well service themselves and their crony friends.
Again, "...the EU serves big
finance, not the people."
Poverty in Greece
As to the people, one learns the EU is not making things
better. One reads: "The EU set itself a target of
significantly reducing the key measures of poverty by 2020.
It is failing miserably. Even worse, it is becoming clear
that one of its own main policies, the creation of the euro,
and the botched, half-hearted rescue packages that have just
about held the thing together, are largely responsible. It
is hard to think of any other plausible explanation for the
stark difference between poverty rates for the countries
inside and outside the eurozone. Why should Greece and
Spain be doing so much worse than anywhere in Eastern
Europe? Or why Italy should be doing so much worse than
Britain, when the two countries were at broadly similar
levels of wealth in the Nineties? (Indeed, the Italians
actually overtook us for a while in GDP per capita.) Even a
traditionally very successful economy such as the
Netherlands, which has not been caught up in any kind of
financial crisis, has seen big increases in both relative
and absolute poverty. In fact, it is not very hard to work
out what has happened." In "The eurozone is turning into
a poverty machine," by Matthew Lynn, Telegraph UK, 24
] "Freiheit" --
freedom -- is mentioned so often in demonstrations at the
Brandenburg Gate. Freedom for what? Freedom from what?
Clarity is found in the words of Erich Kurt Mühsam
(1878-1934), as I reproduce here a footnote to the page for
my song setting of his
Gesang der Intellektuellen
"For Freedom" at the Brandenburg Gate
It is this: Mühsam wrote in his tract titled
The Liberation of Society from the State. What is
Communist Anarchism? (Berlin-Britz, November 1932,
Translated by CR Edmonston, 13 Sept 2008), "It is
certainly clear that wherever society exits there is no room
for the state, but that wherever the state is it is like a
thorn in society’s flesh, it does not permit it to form a
people who can socially inhale and exhale, and instead
divides them into classes and thereby prevents them from
being a society. A centralized construct cannot at the same
time be a federalist construct. A system of management
organized along authoritarian lines is a government, a
bureaucracy, a commanding power, and this is the mark of the
state; a community built upon equal rights and mutuality is,
when considered within the bounds of their physical
proximity, a people, when considered as a general form of
human living, a society. State and society are opposing
concepts; the one excludes the other."
Mark of the State
As You're Up works diligently to become its own supra-state,
uniting European nations with the same enthusiasm but
different means than previous conquerors, one finds the
"habit of rule" overwhelming much.
One reads: "The necessity of keeping the subjects in
order and at the same time of maintaining them at their full
capacity for labor, leads step by step from the fifth to the
sixth stage, in which the state, by acquiring full
intra-nationality and by the evolution of 'Nationality,'
is developed in every sense. The need becomes more and
more frequent to interfere, to allay difficulties, to
punish, or to coerce obedience; and thus develop the habit
of rule and the usages of government." In "The State:
Its History and Development viewed Sociologically," by Franz
Openheimer, translation by John M. Gitterman, Huebsch, 1922.
For this You're Up has its own flag, border announcements,
supranational bureaucracies, supra-national regulations and
reach, and has expressed the urge for its own military under
its aegis. It has found it necessary to "interfere, to allay
difficulties, to punish, or to coerce obedience." Words from
Openheimer parallel Mühsam's "a thorn in society's flesh"
which is "organized along authoritarian lines."
How unlike the many above quotes, reports and images in
which European leaders have sought to unify Europe by a
variety of methods. But "State and society are opposing
concepts; the one excludes the other."
Thus from French wannabe emperors to a Kaiser and the
dictators of Germany and the Soviet Union to the dreams of
the unelected presidents of this era and such examples as
"an oily Eurocrat" which many say is exemplary of many, many
more, one finds a European elite in each generation crying
aloud for itself, "You're up!"
Against this self-appointment and its ever-dreamt goal of
"unification," Mühsam wrote, "Wo Staat ist, kann keine
Freiheit sein und keine werden." ("Where there is
government, there is no freedom and can be no freedom.")
in Fanal, Anarchistische Monatszeitschrift, Jg. 1, Nr. 1,
The inverse is
proven true by the above few samples. Where there has been
government, there has been a French wannabe emperor, a
Kaiser, a Führer, a Soviet Socialist "republic," and now a
"member state" in a European Union which has been arrived at
without the democratic participation of European citizens.
While some governance is a necessary phenomenon, the
remaining question and corollary to calls for freedom, how
limited can government become? One has seen how unlimited it
has become, always and ever to the short term gain of its
leaders in terms of their own transitory power and wealth,
and always against the poorest and least powerful.
When "you're up" has called itself, freedom has waned. This
is the lesson, and a lesson too often lost.
] The Porter
article notes: "Europe is beset by so many crises
that it can be hard to remember them all. In rough order
of prominence, they are: homegrown terrorism, the largest
migration of people since World War II, sovereign debt,
doubts about the euro’s viability, the rise of extreme
right-wing parties such as France’s National Front, Russia’s
menace to its western neighbors, growing Euro-skepticism
(especially in Britain, which may easily vote to leave the
European Union in a forthcoming referendum), the election of
hard-line governments in Central and Eastern Europe, and the
Catalan independence movement. Many of these are related—the
sovereign-debt crises and doubts about the euro, for
example—but they have combined over the last two years into
a perfect storm which, with the notable exception of
Germany’s Angela Merkel, has shown Europe’s leadership to be
wanting in both speed and imagination."
Thus, Porter reports of this First Vice President's view:
"...Frans Timmermans, the first vice president of the
European Commission and the former foreign minister of the
Netherlands, voiced his deepest fears. “The challenge to
the European project today is existential,” he said before
the Paris attacks. “The refugee crisis has brought that to
light. What was unimaginable before now becomes imaginable,
namely the disintegration of the European project."
The "leadership" on You're Up -- as is the thesis of this
rhyme, addenda, footnotes and commentary -- is being
observed as they "act" in failing to act, essentially.
All the Difficult Questions
One reads: "...Mr Renzi’s dissent did serve two useful
purposes. First, he exposed the fearful, almost timid
mood that has taken hold in Europe. Mr Hollande, facing
a difficult re-election bid next year, spoke endlessly
yesterday of 'protecting' citizens. The summit declaration
spoke of tackling Europeans’ fears but had little to say
about their aspirations. Mrs Merkel at least acknowledged
the failure of Europe’s 'promise of prosperity' to its
citizens, but did not say how it might be met. Second, Mr
Renzi highlighted the difficulty of finding common ground on
the toughest issues Europe faces. Around 150,000 migrants
cross the Mediterranean for Italy each year; perhaps
two-thirds are not entitled to international protection.
Tougher border checks mean fewer are making their way to the
richer countries of northern Europe. EU-wide relocation
schemes are not working (they are not supposed to apply to
economic migrants anyway) and Europe remains woefully bad at
returning failed asylum-seekers home. Despite endless
meetings, debates and votes, Europe’s leaders have found no
durable answer to this problem. It was not unreasonable
for Mr Renzi to draw attention to this fact." In "European
leaders in Bratislava avoided all the difficult questions,"
Economist, 17 September 2016.
Avoiding all the Difficult Questions in
Avoid might be too weak a word. One reads: "...there
were so many words, but we weren't capable to saying
anything clear about the issue of Africa. 'That's why,
to use a euphemism, we didn't take it well. (European
Commission President Jean-Claude) Juncker says lots of
wonderful things, but we don't see actions. This is one
of Europe's problems. Italy will go it alone. It is
capable of doing it, but this is a problem for the EU'." In
"Italy 'ready to go alone on migrants'," ANSA, 19 September
Europe being a geographical designation has no political
problems, but You're Up has now and at this time, as it has
been other governments in preceding eras. To conflate the
distinction between a geographic term so to wrap many
nations under one government "union: has been a trick of
words. As Renzi says, "there were so many words...."
Obvious -- It's Only About Politics and Politicians
That Economist article from September was foreshadowed by others
noticing the avoidance of "all the difficult questions."
One reads from the previous January: "European Union procedures groaned to
the breaking point. With the EU's external borders as porous
as a sieve, exercising zero control over internal borders --
those between two EU members -- no longer seemed such a
grand idea." In "4 reasons the refugee crisis will shake
the world," by Don Melvin, CNN, 6 January 2016.
Skepticism over the EU -- You're Up and its high-profile
political leaders -- has a very long life as does the EU's
unwillingness to be criticized. Looking further back, one
reads: "The European Court of Justice ruled yesterday
that the European Union can lawfully suppress political
criticism of its institutions and of leading figures,
sweeping aside English Common Law and 50 years of European
precedents on civil liberties." In "Euro-court outlaws
criticism of EU," by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph UK,
7 March 2001.
That was the result of a critique by Bernard Connolly,
refused by the EU in that time. Of Connolly, one finds:
" 'The Rotten Heart of Europe' may look prophetic, but “'it
was really stating the bleeding obvious'. It’s just
that, back then, 'lots of people didn’t want to see or
recognise the bleeding obvious'. Now they have to. Has
the eurozone been a mess in the way he expected? Completely.
It was 'badly constructed', because the people who
constructed it didn’t care about economics, only about
politics. The plan from day one was to 'put in place a
mechanism' that would force Europe’s countries into a
political union. Anyone who doesn’t believe that must
believe instead that 'these people were so blind,
incompetent, and stupid that they should never have been
allowed to be in charge of a whelk stall'. What will happen
next? If you want the euro to hold, there are two routes:
the German route of a fiscal union 'in which the Germans set
rules that everyone else has to follow'; or a transfer union
in which everyone else “puts their hands in Germany’s
pocket”. You can’t have both." In "Bernard Connolly: The man
who predicted the euro crisis," by Meryn Somerset Webb,
Money Week, 31 January 2013.
Elite Financial Nests
From 2001's refusal to accept "the bleeding obvious" to
2016's "fearful, almost timid mood that has taken hold in
Europe," what might well be concluded is that the many
Eurocrats, who have amply feathered their own financial
nests as the example of Barroso above testifies, have found
themselves avoiding "all the difficult questions" because
the project was always "only about politics."
As feathering their own financial nests, Barroso's "team"
still pockets large sums of public money after "leaving"
their jobs. One reads: "Sixteen former European
commissioners are currently receiving monthly payments from
the commission's coffers, even though several of them have
already found new, well-paid jobs. The list of who
receives the so-called transitional allowance of at least
€99,996 per year was acquired by German weekly newspaper Die
Zeit." In "Half of Barroso II commissioners still get
allowance," by Peter Teffer, EU Observer, 3 November 2016.
That politicians pay themselves handsomely is all too true.
But the details tell more: "...more than half
of those who were a member of the Barroso II team, are on
the list, two years after they left office. Some on the
list have new political jobs, like Dacian Ciolos, who is now
prime minister of Romania, and Andris Piebalgs, who since
June leads the centre-right Unity party in Latvia. The list
also includes an active MEP. Former budget commissioner
Janusz Lewandowski receives an allowance from the
commission, while at the same time receiving a salary of
over €8,000 per month for his work as a member of the
European Parliament. Two people who were commissioners for
just 3.5 months also still receive the allowance, two years
after they left office: Jacek Dominik and Ferdinando Nelli
Feroci, who were part of Barroso II from 16 July 2014 to 1
That a political
job of three and a half months duration warrants two years
and more of "allowance" is an affront to taxpayers
It is important to note that "big finance" as mentioned
above as it lobbies politically is not about "economics" nor
"freedom" but about power and wealth as politics may assist
in its acquisition and wielding.
As to such politics morphed into "foreign policy," one reads
of one amusing report among a number of backlashes against
the unelected leaders who have sidestepped democratic
principles. The Philippines democratically elected president
is quoted: "He said: 'I read the condemnation
of the EU against me. I will tell them: 'F*** you. You’re
doing it in atonement for your sins.' He accused the bloc of
hypocrisy, saying a rudimental check of the history books
showed European countries had killed thousands of people in
the past. He added: 'And then the EU has the gall to condemn
me. I repeat: "F*** you'." In "'F*** you EU!'
Philippines president hits out at Brussels amid EU
bureaucrats meddling," by Ross Logan, Express UK, 21
Why such rhetoric? Perhaps because the EU has reached too
far. In the so-called Barossogate scandal, as it is now
called, what seems certain is that insiders are squabbling.
One reads: "...Juncker took action only after one
of his favourite papers, the pro-European Le Soir, dedicated
a dossier to his shortcomings and said the commission was
'in denial'. He called the Belgian daily to present his
proposals, But these are already falling short of
expectations. The Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), a
transparency group, called it a 'face-saving exercise' that
wouldn’t stop the next ethics scandal." In "Juncker's
Barrosogate response is too little, too late," by Aleksandra
Eriksson, EU Observer, 8 November 2016.
Now one watches European opposition political parties also
becoming voices against such "legal corruption" of
democratic principles. In fact, none of the elite in the EU
itself have subjected themselves directly to voters
Of Connolly, looking back to his critique of 2001, the Money
Week article notes he was "one of the very few economists
to predict the global financial crisis."
From a 2002 critique to 2016, warnings persist. One
reads: "Prof Issing lambasted the European
Commission as a creature of political forces that has given
up trying to enforce the rules in any meaningful way.
'The moral hazard is overwhelming,' he said. The European
Central Bank is on a 'slippery slope' and has in his view
fatally compromised the system by bailing out bankrupt
states in palpable violation of the treaties. 'The Stability
and Growth Pact has more or less failed. Market discipline
is done away with by ECB interventions. So there is no
fiscal control mechanism from markets or politics. This has
all the elements to bring disaster for monetary union.
The no bailout clause is violated every day,' he said,
dismissing the European Court's approval for bailout
measures as simple-minded and ideological." In "Euro
'house of cards' to collapse, warns ECB prophet," by
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph UK, 16 October 2016.
But as has been the story element since Troy and its
Cassandra foretelling tragedy, warnings are ignored. Why
not? For the elite in the political world, they live in a
rarefied, privileged stratum which ordinary citizens will
never experience. It is in their rational if immoral
interest to see this continue as long as possible. This is
among the reasons the parade of "leaders" with the
Brandenburg Gate as backdrop informs well, even as a modern
Jacques Delors Institute panel advocating for
On the opposing side to Issing as a modern Cassandra, one
reads of prophetic warnings for growth of the EU as
government. One reads: "Europe is taking a very
risky bet by hoping the next crisis could again be solved by
last-minute stabilisation measures and by relying on a
powerful ECB response. The current criticism of the ECB and
the discussions about the limits of its mandate are
indications that the scope for another forceful ECB
intervention may be limited. That is why European
governments should step in today and build a stronger EMU.
We propose a strategy that brings together the most
compelling proposals of the ongoing discussion on EMU and
translates them into a comprehensive reform plan, based on
three building blocks." In "Repair and Prepare, Growth and
the Euro after Brexit," by Henrik Enderlein, Enrico Letta et
al., Jacques Delors Institute, 2016.
Another report -- post Brexit -- by this Institute
insinuates the phrase "European added value," suggesting
that the EU government adds some "European" value to nations
and peoples already European, whether or not the European
Union as another layer of super-state government survives or
not. The EU seeks money, and it is Europe -- in
whatever incarnation an era presents -- which must pay the
supra-state. This simple fact illustrates the historical
association of rulers appearing at the Brandenburg Gate,
only to be washed away by history.
Value -- Doublespeak for Added Taxation
The text reads: "Although much is still uncertain, it
is clear that Brexit will deal a shock to the EU budget.
There is no easy way to fill the 'Brexit gap' of around €10
billion per year, especially because a unanimous decision is
required to do so and neither contribution increases or
budget cuts will be palatable to all Member States. This
spells trouble for the negotiations concerning the next MFF.
They are likely to be even tenser than usual because Brexit
entrenches the existing differences between net contributors
and net recipients. Today’s largest net contributors
would be hit hardest by an increase in contributions,
while today’s net recipients would be relatively unaffected.
Budget cuts, on the other hand, would likely hurt net
recipients by reducing spending on the two largest budget
titles, namely the CAP and cohesion policy. The alternative
– cutting spending on areas such as research, pan-European
infrastructure or migration – would yield only small savings
and would be devastating for the EU’s efforts to create more
European added value." In "Brexit and the EU budget:
threat or opportunity?" by Jörg Haas and Eulalia Rubio,
policy paper of the Jacques Delors Institute, 16 January
One notes in the Institute's vocabulary, increased
"contributions" replaces the more honest phrase -- increased
taxes. Such are the "efforts to create more European value."
One notes editorially that government is most usually for
government, proving Mühsam's observation that the state
stands in opposition to society, most especially any in
opposition to a particular party in power. Mühsam's murder
was by the party in power in his time for independent and
surely opposing thoughts threaten gathering or entrenched
An economic monetary union -- EMU -- of course requires a
political union of governance, so the dream of the
supranational European Union becoming ever more a reality is
embedded in this call. The call's "building blocks" proposed
are 1) "quick fixes that should be implemented immediately
include a reinforcement of the European Stability Mechanism
(ESM), a further strengthening of the Banking Union and
better economic policy coordination under improved
democratic control," 2) "more convergence and growth," and
3) "a true economic and monetary union" which is imagined to
"based on significant risk sharing and sovereignty
sharing within a coherent and legitimate framework of
supranational economic governance."
EU Seeks Risk Sharing and Sovereignty Sharing -- an Imperial
The argument becomes circular. Because of the EU crises one
"needs" a stronger EU. But the politics -- it is ever
political, in the end -- is risky, and the Delors Institute
takes note of this, as their recommendation "...might
undermine public support for the euro because of additional
risk sharing and sovereignty sharing."
The question of treaties and their unenforced fiscal rules
arises. One reads: "The commission has let France
and Italy off the hook on budget deficits. It also decided
last summer not to impose sanctions on Spain and Portugal.
It did it in part because France was heading into elections
with the anti-EU National Front party posing a threat. Italy
was struggling with earthquake reconstruction and refugee
costs, as well as a referendum that could catapult an
anti-euro party, the 5 Star Movement, into power.
Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker recently also said that
France got flexibility 'because it’s France' - a remark
which indicated that big EU states could break rules with
impunity. 'That is a philosophy that doesn’t work for the
European Union', Schaeuble said on Friday." In "Germany
wants EU fund to enforce fiscal rules," by Andrew Rettman,
EU Observer, 29 October 2016.
Risk sharing? The commission letting member states "off the
hook on budget deficits" for political reasons? When a gamble is made and losses result, the
economic reality is that the one making the gamble loses. In
the EU currently this risk sharing passes on losses to tax
paying citizens. Sovereignty sharing? When a nation "shares"
sovereignty, the word itself becomes meaningless, for no one
entity which truly sovereign "shares" said sovereignty. This
is a call for EU sovereignty wherein all risks anywhere are
to be piled onto the citizenry.
Given the way the EU elite
politicians have shown their elite side, handing them
sovereignty over whole nations seems quite with historical
precedent, as Napoleon sought greater sovereignty, the
Kaiser and the National Socialists sought annexation of
other lands, the Soviet Socialists ruled through their
satellite DDR as "sovereign" for a while. So the call from
the Delors Institute has precedents, albeit many destructive
precedents. This is the age-old imperial dream. "We" will
rule "you." This is the age-old rational. "We" will protect
Rather Brazen Caper -- the Speeches of Old Seem to No Longer
Where in all the above is the seeking after freedom? From
Napoleon marching through the Brandenburg Gate and across
centuries, one finds the dream to have unified Europe is
again teetering from its own lust for political, economic
and military power as to be wielded by the few over the
many. As Mühsam wrote: "State and society are opposing
concepts; the one excludes the other."
One finds that the fat cats atop You're Up are trying to
assure each other's position of power. It is reported that
"...Schulz and Juncker have become so comfortable with
their symbiosis that Schulz isn't of a mind to fulfill his
pledge. For months, a campaign has been underway in Europe
that has but a single goal: That of ensuring Schulz's
re-election as president of parliament. It is a rather
brazen caper. When Martin Schulz and Jean-Claude Juncker
campaigned across the continent in spring 2014, they
promised to bring more light into the darkness of Brussel
bureaucracy. 'This is a democratic revolution,'" Schulz said
at the time. But now that one of them is supposed to step
down, the speeches of old seem no longer to apply."
In "A Test for EU Democracy," by Peter Müller, Spiegel
Online, 21 September 2016.
Up's Pact to Ensure Power for the Few
The Spiegel Online article goes on to observe of the two top
that they "...have made a pact that seems primarily aimed
at ensuring each other's power. 'This kind of backscratching
is harmful to Europe,' says Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, a
European parliamentarian from the business friendly Free
Democrats. 'It demonstrates that the parliament isn't
interested in controlling the Commission to the degree
necessary.' Schulz ensures that the Commission president,
plagued by affairs as he is, doesn't have to face questions
that are too uncomfortable. In return, Juncker was organizing
a campaign for the re-election of his friend Schulz and does
what he can to spare him from nasty headlines."
Only a month later, the "campaign" to re-elect Schulz is
jettisoned, as opposition forced his political hand. One
reads: "Schulz had fought to stay on for a third term,
despite having promised to hand over the post to the
centre-right EPP group. But he was struggling to get
enough support for his candidacy." In "Martin Schulz to
quit as EU parliament leader," by Aleksandra Eriksson, EU
Observer, 24 November 2016.
Losing power at the EU level is motivation enough to seek
prolonging a political career elsewhere, following a
different path than the tale of Barrosogate. Of Schulz one
reads: "The SZ and Spiegel both reported that
Schulz could very well be a potential choice as candidate
for Chancellor for his party, running against Merkel in the
election next autumn. According to Spiegel, Schulz made his
decision to step down as EU Parliament President in close
consideration with Gabriel. SPD sources also told Spiegel
that the party has a set plan to announce a decision about a
candidate for Chancellor at the end of January, and Schulz
is set to remain in his current office until mid-January."
In "Is this the man who will run against Merkel next year?"
TheLocal.de, 24 December 2016.
Juncker too then announced he would not seek reelection. The
"caper" has proven one too many.
Of this last imperial You're Up "rather brazen caper,"
one has learned that today as at the onset, "the
people who constructed it didn’t care about economics, only
The alleged commitment to fight corruption also seems to
wither, as one reads: "Timmermans and EU commission
president Jean-Claude Juncker had earlier this week issued a
short joint-statement on Romania. The two noted that the
'fight against corruption needs to be advanced, not undone.'
But such statements, given their refusal to publish future
anti-corruption reports, have riled transparency
campaigners. 'The gap between the rhetoric from President
Juncker and Vice-President Timmermans and the reality on the
ground is striking,' said Carl Dolan, Transparency
International's Europe director, in a statement." In "EU
commission drops anti-corruption report," by Nikolaj
Nielsen, EU Observer, 2 February 2017.
As to Timmermans, his relationship with Poland, a member of
the EU, is telling. One reads: "...The ministry
also accused Timmermans of trying to marginalize Poland and
violate its national sovereignty. Timmermans was engaged
in a tense public exchange with Polish Foreign Minister
Witold Waszczykowski over the constitutional court during a
panel discussion at the recent Munich Security Conference. 'Poland
interprets the actions and comments made by Frans Timmermans
as politically motivated and serving to stigmatize one of
the member states,' it said, calling on him 'to stop
such acts'." In "Poland tells EU: We value democracy,
respect our sovereignty," Associated Press, 20 February
New Architects, Quite Like the Old
And yet the EU is in crisis for its elite's dream of ever
greater rule, quite like all those who paraded in the
pictures above through the Brandenburg Gate. One reads of
some: "...Tusk and Verhofstadt are two of the
architects of Europe’s crises, Obama era puppets who
evangelized the current EU mess in the first place. The
former Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt is running for
EU president now, which frames his fear monger cries well.
To put these two in context, if Washington has a swamp
needing draining, Tusk and Verhofstadt are two of Brussels’
biggest, slimiest swamp monsters. The term 'rabid
liberals' best describes these people. Verhhofstadt’s
founded the Spinneli Group, which swears to eradicate
nationalism and intergovernmentalism. The group is
essentially in favor of government so big and nebulous, that
no common person can never hope to understand or oppose it.
Looking at the list of members of this group reveals all
that is wrong with Europe, and every unsolved problem the
people here face." In "Donald Trump Named a Threat to
Globalist Elites," by Phil Butler, New Eastern Outlook, 3
One has seen documented EU functionaries' work to "eradicate
nationalism" and create government "so big and nebulous,
that no common person can... hope to understand or oppose
it." This idiotic stance should be compared to recent
European history, as one reads: " 'What no one seemed
to notice,' said a colleague of mine, a philologist, 'was
the ever widening gap, after 1933, between the government
and the people. Just think how very wide this gap was to
begin with, here in Germany. And it became always wider. You
know, it doesn’t make people close to their government to be
told that this is a people’s government, a true democracy,
or to be enrolled in civilian defense, or even to vote. All
this has little, really nothing, to do with knowing one is
governing. What happened here was the gradual habituation of
the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise;
to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing
that the situation was so complicated that the government
had to act on information which the people could not
understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could
not understand it, it could not be released because of
national security'." In "They Thought They Were Free -
The Germans, 1933-45," Milton Mayer, University of Chicago
According to the Elite -- The People Could Not Understand
and Must Be Governed by Surprise
The validation of this sort of behavior which was seen in
the last century of European history is that it is being
seen again. One reads of an EU government of secrets:
" 'Twenty eight ministers have acted illegally by adopting
these guidelines,' he added. 'How can you expect European
citizens to abide by European law, if the European ministers
don't?' " In "EU 'breaking own laws' by keeping
documents secret," by Peter Teffer, EU Observer, 10 March
What began as a common market strategy has become a massive
political enterprise, reaching for supranational control of
its own military in 2017, all the while European citizens
grow more skeptical. One reads: "The EU is about to
celebrate its 60th birthday, but its age is showing. The
British have opted to leave, while Eurosceptic parties are
growing in popularity in major members, such as France and
the Netherlands. In Germany too, the anti-Euro Alternative
for Germany (AfD) are set to win their first seats in the
Bundestag (German parliament) this September. And it seems
that the German electorate are also restless for change."
In "Eight in ten Germans think the EU needs to be reformed,"
TheLocal.de, 16 March 2017.
How dare mere citizens of a "member state" conclude that the
supranational entity be changed?
How akin to that time is this, as the EU declares itself
synonymous with Europe as a political as well as geographic
entity, works to wither nations within its
grasp, grows ever more distant and secretive in an
incremental manner, and in need of acting on "information
which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that,
even if people could understand it, it could not be released
because of national security. One only replaces "national"
with "supranational" and the picture comes into focus.
Where is the greater freedom for millions of European
citizens of many lands in all this? Absent.
Where is the greater
democracy for voters in all this? Withering away.
Where is the greater
transparency in governance in all this? Proven
Where is the
egalitarian impulse in all this? There is none, for
the egalitarian impulse philosophically and politically
opposes the elite impulse. The European Union began as an
elite exercise and is trying to grasp at greater power and
control even as Britain exercises its right to exit the
"union" to howls of complaint from those who would rule
Britain from Brussels.
Requiem for a
The tale of the EU has a beginning and an end is foreseen,
as one reads: "Despite what most Eurocrats think, the
EU’s grave-diggers are not the Orbans, Kaczinskys and
Farages. It's a general disillusionment, including on the
political left, as they, too, can hardly support the EU in
its current form. British Labour's half-hearted Remain
stance, Renzi's removal of the EU flag from his public
appearances, the disappointment of Hungarians and Poles at
the EU's impotence in tackling the corruption and
dismantling of democracy in their countries has sapped
support. The EU's reaction has done little to demonstrate
their acknowledgement of a problem, let alone their
willingness or ability to fix it. Critics have been labelled
racists or forced into a binary category of pro- or
anti-European, a disgraced president is running the European
Commission, and citizens have been ignored when they
have vetoed a new treaty, or approved Brexit, or pointed out
the pathetic nature of the refugee relocation scheme." In "Requiem
for a European dream," by Andras Baneth, EU Observer, 23
The telling phrase of You're Up is "citizens have been
ignored." Government pretending to be a servant easily
becomes a master, and then resents the citizens for
The imagery above is testimony to so many European dreams of
unifying the continent.
Then there is testimony from the horse's mouth as to
distrust of democratic processes, as one learns: "
'I'm fundamentally not a big friend of referendums,'
European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said in June, days
before the UK vote. 'One always breaks out in a sweat
when someone dares to ask the opinion of the people,' he
told Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung." In "EU
legitimacy in question," by Eric Maurice, EU Observer, 30
More of Juncker and his "leadership" is reported, as one
reads: "The German cables say plans to roll back
aggressive tax planning schemes were repeatedly blocked by a
core set of members often led by Luxembourg. Luxembourg had
also protested efforts by some members to ease decision
making within the group and expose those obstructing tax
reforms. One cable, according to the Guardian, said
Luxembourg had no interest in real reform. 'It has become
abundantly clear once again that a majority [of members
states] are not interested in real reform. In particular,
Luxembourg representatives said they would fundamentally
object to any proposal to publish arguments made by
Luxembourg in the committee,' the German diplomatic note
said." In "Juncker blocked tax reform, leaked cables
say," by Nikolaj Nielsen, EU Observer, 3 January 2017.
The "opinion of the people" annoys. How dare it?
The leadership looks away from reform? It seems so. Such
project a picture of politicians politicking -- for
themselves and crony friends, for favoritism and against
democratic principles and accountability to "the people"
they rule, but do not wish to heed.
As to over-reaching rule of an elite over European nations
and their peoples, an admission is heard: "There are
elections in France, Germany and The Netherlands this year,
and in all three populists are making gains. Why do you
think they are getting support? 'I think this is largely due
to our faults. I think the European Union and the
Commission gave the impression that we are in command of
everything. We were trying to have influence in so many
things which are better in the hands of national, local and
regional authorities'." In "Q&A: Jean-Claude Juncker on
Brexit, Russia, and Trump's 'Highly Unfriendly' Remarks on
the E.U." by Charlotte McDonald-Gibson, Time, 15 February
Government, Off Limits to the Public
What validates this "impression" is fact demonstrating that
democracy in the EU is dead. One reads: "The
closed-door talks are off limits to the public. Minutes
are usually not taken. The bigger negotiations require a
forward calendar of dates, preceded by technical briefings
with staff from all three institutions. Those dates are not
published either. If any notes are taken, obtaining them is
also difficult because the meetings do not formally exist.
Exercising the right to access EU documents to a meeting
that never officially took place can be a daunting exercise
in patience and disappointment. The back-room dealings have
also led to a clustering of bills being agreed at first
reading, making it more difficult for the interested public
to follow the legislative trail in detail." In "Secret EU
law making takes over Brussels," by Nikolaj Nielsen, EU
Observer, 24 January 2017.
Against a tableau of decisions from distant and seemingly
unaccountable law-making commissions, one finds push-back.
" 'The EU makes decisions once a year. These decisions
are based on data which are absolutely guaranteed to be
wholly inaccurate because we estimate roughly a million
tonnes of good, healthy fish are thrown back into the sea as
dead pollution'." In "EU's fishing policy is a 'SOVIET
SYSTEM' which kills a 'MILLION tonnes of fish each year',"
by Charles Bayliss, Express UK, 2 March 2017. Such
sentiments are rising across Europe, as counterpoint to
"secret EU law making."
Dying European Patient
As an EU anniversary approaches, one finds prognostications
in parallel with the over-all sentiment of this rhyme, its
addenda and sourced footnotes. One reads a possible prophecy
in a sure0footed critique: "The rhetoric inside all
the documents I’ve scanned leaves little doubt that Brussels
is assured of an EU collapse. What makes matters worse
though, is the fact these 'thinkers' have no real and
concrete plan for even a 're-envisioned EU'. Every time
Juncker or any key player is mentioned in the texts, the
points are only stating the obvious. This is, after all,
the only thing the parliamentarians do actually." In "EU60
and the Dying Europe Patient," by Phil Butler, New Eastern
Outlook, 6 March 2017.
In the aftermath of the British vote to exit the EU, the
smallest EU member-states are reviewing their relationships.
One reads: "...the Russian administration continues to
mend fences and to create new bonds of friendship. To the
south and west of Moldova a score of EU member states
discuss a 'Brexit-like' abandonment of a globalist system
many see as doomed to failure. And Moldova’s plight
since the fall of the Soviet Union is a picture window into
the biggest international experiment in history. To quote
Ms. Greceanîi on Moldova’s recent elections and the lean
toward Russia: 'We won because the majority of Moldovans are
for strategic partnership with Russia. In 2014, our current
pro-European coalition in the parliament signed an agreement
on association with the European Union, and, frankly, we
got almost nothing in return from the European Union, while
sustaining a major economic setback by losing the Russian
market and our strategic partner. This is what happens when
politicians who try to destroy age-old ties and traditions
between our peoples come to power.' The Moldovan
politician expressed what is a growing sentiment toward the
European Union. The poorest country of the former Soviet
republics, Moldova is perhaps the most neglected country in
Europe." In "Brussels, NATO, and the Globalists: In Total
Disarray," by Phil Butler, New Eastern Outlook, 17 March
But as to Jean-Claude Juncker, one might do well to heed a
former statement by this proven dissembler who is quoted as
If it's serious, you lie
neo-Nazis as supposedly defining the far-right are the
seemingly most obvious examples of anti-Semitism, another
report: "...Schroeder criticized the fact that many
politically motivated acts of violence are not officially
linked to left-wing extremists. For example, he told Die
Welt that, according to the official report, 600 violent
crimes each year are carried out by 'non-extreme' leftists.
But Schroeder argued that 'anyone who tries to create
political change through violence is an extremist. Period'."
In "Anti-Semitism 'widespread' among German extreme left,"
thelocal.de, 18 July 2016.
The New European Anti-Semitism
As to this new-old problem, one reads: "...anti-Semitism
didn’t originate with Europe’s Muslims, nor are they its
only proponents today. The traditional anti-Semitism of
Europe’s far right persists. So, too, does that of the far
left, as a negative byproduct of sympathy for the
Palestinian liberation struggle. There’s also an
anti-Semitism of the center, a subcategory of the sort of
casual anti-Americanism and anticapitalism that many
otherwise moderate Europeans espouse. But the rise of
Muslim anti-Semitism is responsible for the recent change in
the tone of hate in Germany. Until recently, the country’s
anti-Semitism has been largely coded and anonymous.
Messages might be spray-painted on walls at night; during
the day, though, it would be rare to hear someone shout, as
protesters did in Berlin in July, 'Jews to the gas!' Another
popular slogan at this and other rallies was 'Jew, coward
pig, come out and fight alone!' — shouted just yards from
Berlin’s main Holocaust memorial. And this is the
difference today: An anti-Semitism that is not only
passionate, but also unaware of, or indifferent to,
Germany’s special history." In "What’s Behind Germany’s New
Anti-Semitism," by Jochen Bittner, New York Times, 16
Rise of Anti-Semitism from the Right, Center, Left and
As to the monikers of
Left and Right
as well as that "center" of which the NY Times article
spoke, these terms seem ineffectual to clarify issues, being
slogans with varying and even contradictory meanings. If
Germany, in this case, and Europe in general is experiencing
anti-Semitism at the hands of both the right and left, then
one finds the words useless. Rather historical clarification
is advised, as one considers such as
True socialism, oh yes, he said
which underscores the quote from Schroeder above, that
'anyone who tries to create political change through
violence is an extremist. Period'.
clarity with Mühsam's distinction between the state and
society, one understands that those seeking state political
power for "political change" -- both from the political
right and political left, if the research from Berlin
Universities have merit and instructive effect -- target
society, which is why the visual theme of these addenda
focus on the Brandenburg Gate. Too many having sought what
became destructive power are linked historically, and too
many who have been "legally" as well as illegally corrupt
have used the state to take from society. In this historical
process, one comes across
The same old story
- a tale grown hoary.
Promiscuity shares its wares,
Concentrically rippling out.
Promise, cutie, you'll not swim
Near miasma's crippling spout.
Promiscuity spreads its wings,
Its sharpened talons bared.
Promise, cutie, you'll stay safe,
Distant from what's shared.
Promiscuity's boys and girls
Prance in sickly ways.
Promise, cutie, you'll abstain
From infections' deadly plays.
Promise, cutie, you'll beware
The lair, the lure and snare.
Promiscuity, I promise cutie,
Will always play unfair.
"The 2016 Public Health England (PHE) syphilis report has shown that
infection rates are on the up, with disproportionate rates in
London. In 2015, the capital accounted for 56% of all cases in England,
with a 22% increase in diagnoses in the year 2014-15. Since 2010 the
number of cases of syphilis in Londoners has increased by 163%, with a
22% increase in the year from 2014 to 2015. The borough of Lambeth has
the highest rates, closely followed by the City of London and Southwark.
Men who have sex with men (MSM) represented 90% of all syphilis cases in
2015, with a 232% increase in diagnosis over the last five years, said
the report. More than half of the MSM diagnosed with syphilis in 2015
were also infected with HIV, and over half additionally tested positive
for a separate STI. Rates in heterosexuals remain stable but are higher
than ideal." In "Syphilis is on the rise when it should be confined
to history," by Verity Sullivan, Guardian UK, 24 August 2016.
Addendum of a Perfect Storm:
" 'It’s been the perfect storm,' said Beltran. 'Our attitude kind
of shifted, where it became more acceptable to engage in casual sex
... then to find someone in a certain mile radius'."
In "Rhode Island Finds Increase in STDs After Rise of Social Media
Dating," by Gillian Mohney,
ABC News, 27 May 2015.
[ 1 ]
Addendum of Super-Bug:
"Chief Executive of sexual health charity FPA Natika H
Halil told The Independent: 'There should be statutory sex and
relationships education, which the government has still not implemented,
and easy access to sexual health services. With ever-shrinking public
health budgets and increasing pressure on local authorities to meet
people’s varied health needs, this is no longer a given and is a cause
of real concern. PHE’s report is a timely reminder, ahead of our Sexual
Health Week focusing on STIs next week, how important it is for
people to know how to protect themselves. It particularly highlights
the importance of testing so that cases can be diagnosed early and as
well as of partner notification to help limit infections being passed
on'." In "Super-gonorrhoea outbreak could be out of control as
attempts to stop spread fail." by Siobhan Fenton, Independent UK, 9
Addendum for Promiscuous Old
Folks: " When older men go to see a doctor to get a
prescription for a drug like Viagra for erectile dysfunction, doctors
should see this as an opportunity to discuss safe sex and the high risks
of developing an STD. Said von Simson, 'Just like younger people, older
people who are sexually active are at risk for STDs'." In "Sexually
transmitted disease rates rise among elderly: Why?" by Ryan Jaslow,
CBS News, 6 February 2012.
[ 2 ]
Addendum Especially For
Promiscuous Men: "The number of cases of
chlamydia and gonorrhea in the United States increased between 2013 and
2014, after being on the decline for several years. Cases of syphilis,
which have been on the rise for the last decade, shot up in 2014.
Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis are the three most common STDs in the
United States that are also notifiable, meaning health departments are
required to report new cases to the CDC. (HIV and shigella are also
notifiable STDs.)" In "STD rates rise dramatically, especially among
men," by Carina Storrs, CNN, 19 November 2015.
Addendum for Promiscuous
Europe: "Why the rise? The Bologna team tried to
answer this question by pointing not only to the clinical results but
also to data on socioeconomic, demographic and behavioral factors. Their
conclusion: if one disregards the prostitutes' influence, the rise in
infections is due above all to increasing promiscuity, a failure to use
condoms and a low level of education. 'Almost a third of these young
people had had between two and nine partners in the last six months and
over 23% had even had ten partners or more,' explained Manfredi. 'Over
70% of our subjects did not use condoms.' That proportion was as high as
96% for under-18s, while for prostitutes it was only 10%." In "STDs On
Increase In Europe, ECCMID Conference Is Told," Daily University Science
News, 3 April 2001.
Addendum for Promiscuous
Africa: "The largest number, over 28 million, of
AIDS sufferers live in sub-Saharan Africa. In 16 African nations, at
least 10% of those between 15 and 49 are infected while in seven
southern African countries the rate of infection in that age group
reached 20%. 4.7 million South Africans, about one in nine of the
country's people, is HIV-positive, the largest number in the world.
Other hard-hit countries include Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and
Botswana, which has about the highest infection rate in the world. Half
of the population between 25 and 29 are dying of the disease. The
economic impact of AIDS is devastating. Several of the hardest-hit
African states could lose 20% of their gross domestic products by 2010."
In "AIDS on the Rise, 2001 UN/WHO Report shows cases increasing,"
by David Johnson, Infoplease, n. d.
[ 3 ]
of Wasting Money on the Message: "Over the
past 15 years the U.S. has spent $1.4 billion promoting abstinence
before marriage as a way of preventing HIV in 14 countries in
sub-Saharan Africa. Unfortunately, according to the most comprehensive,
independent study conducted to date of the effort, the money was pretty
much wasted. A rigorous comparison of national data from countries
that received abstinence funding under the 2003 U.S. President’s
Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) with those that had not showed
no difference in the age of first sexual experience, number of sexual
partners or teenage pregnancies—all aspects of behaviors that have been
linked to a higher risk of becoming infected with HIV." In "U.S.
Anti-AIDS Abstinence Efforts in Africa Fail to Prevent HIV," by
Christine Gorman, Scientific American, 4 May 2016.
Addendum of Promiscuity
Identifying Promiscuity: " 'After the long, long
history of Bill Clinton, Gennifer Flowers, Juanita Broaddrick, I don't
know, 27 people making claims against him, including a settlement with
one of them where it was obviously true, when she first heard about
Monica Lewinsky, to pretend for five or six months that it was false,'
the thrice-married Giuliani said." In "Rudy Giuliani: 'Everybody'
commits infidelity," by Amy Graff, SF Gate, 3 October 2016.
[ 4 ]
Addendum of Not Being
Sure Why: "Infections from three sexually
spread diseases have hit another record high. ...Officials at the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say part of the growth may be
due to better testing and diagnosis, but much of it is a real increase.
They're not sure why." In "3 sex-spread diseases hit another record
high, CDC says," Associated Press, 20 October 2016.
[ 5 ]
Addendum of Being Sure Why:
" 'If STDs are going up, it means people aren’t practicing safe sex,'
Seidman said. He said STDs are more common in young adults from 15 to 24
because they are otherwise healthy and are not coming in to doctors’
offices to be screened. 'They’re busy living their lives and not
thinking about their risks,” Seidman said. In "Sexually transmitted
diseases surge in California," by Susan Abram, Los Angeles Daily News,
21 October 2016.
Addendum of Infected Blood,
Arkansas Style: "The Health Management Associates
Scandal refers to the sale of tainted blood from HMA (a now defunct
American company based in Arkansas) to Canadian blood banks. HMA was
contracted by the state of Arkansas to provide health care to prisoners
in the state of Arkansas in the early to mid-1980s. This arrangement
allowed HMA to collect blood from the prisoners. The blood, some of it
proven to be infected with HIV and hepatitis C, was found in the
Canadian blood supply. It was not found in American supplies because of
a ban on prisoner blood use. The president of HMA at that time was
Leonard Dunn, a close friend of Bill Clinton and Vincent Foster. He
chaired Clinton's re-election campaign and was appointed by Clinton to
the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission." In "Health Management
Associates (Arkansas company)," Wikipedia article, n. d.
[ 1 ] The
article notes: "Increases in the rates of three
major sexually transmitted diseases in Rhode Island have led
local health officials to warn that high-risk behaviors
could be to blame, including the use of social media to
'arrange casual and often anonymous sexual encounters.'
Among the statistics, HIV rates have risen 33 percent,
gonorrhea cases are up 30 percent and syphilis cases are up
a whopping 79 percent."
Word Is Promiscuity, High Risk and Definitely Not Casual
As one surveys news of sexually transmitted diseases, one
notes the noun, promiscuity, is often absent, replaced by
seemingly more acceptable euphemisms such as "high-risk
behaviors" and sex which is "casual."
The article adds: "The department, according to a
written statement, found that high-risk behavior,
including 'using social media to arrange casual and often
anonymous sexual encounters, having sex without a
condom, having multiple sex partners, and having sex
while under the influence of drugs or alcohol,' as well as
increased testing, was the likely cause for the spike in
STDs. While the department was able to track STD rates from
2013 through 2014, national data is only available until
2013 and it's unclear if STDs are going up nationally, as
well." What's unclear?
[ 2 ] Why?
Promiscuity, no matter how unfashionable the word is. Work
is afoot to make less of a stigma of HIV infection. One
reads: "... he says, "You know, I'll hear that people are
saying, 'Oh that guy is HIV positive.' But I don't mind what
they're saying,' he adds. 'I've overcome this stigma. And
know I'm not alone ." In "Uganda Crowns Mr. And Miss HIV
Positive," by Nurith Aizeman, National Public Radio, 29
September 2016. With the exception of some modes of
transmission, the most regular mode of transmission is
It is as fashionable in these postmodern days of feminism's
progressive truths as it was centuries ago, as proves the
rhyme, addenda and footnotes to a
just to turn a trick.
[ 3 ] The
UN/WHO report mentions all areas of the world. Of course the
prescription is the most usual drug of all, more money." A
prescription such as avoid promiscuity is rarely suggested.
Such is the Zeitgeist of today, which so often recommends
the antithesis, as one may survey in the rhyme, addenda and
just to turn a trick.
[ 4 ] In the
interview, one finds a broadening of the definition: "
'By infidelities, I don't just mean marital. People lie.
People cheat. People misrepresent. People commit sins,' he
said. 'The point that I was trying to make was, as far as I
can tell, among human beings, there are very few that don't
Human Beings, There Are Very Few
While Democrats bewail promiscuity in Republicans, they
defend it among their own. While Republicans bewail
promiscuity, they defend it among their own. Biology makes no
such political distinction, for when STDs behave as they
behave epidemiologically, infections in a population are not
"sensitive" to human faults, whether called sin, dysfunction
Consider the various truths carried in the texts which make
Requiem for the Victims of AIDS
[ 5 ] Not sure why, so the
article states, is naive. Promiscuity is promiscuity is
ignored as avoiding infection, epidemiologically correct, is
ignored. And how does one avoid infections? The Center for
Disease Control seems flummoxed, in their studies and public
statements as are media reports, because avoiding infections
has become a politically incorrect and supposedly unpopular
topic of simple conversation. For this, they are "not
sure why." As to the Associated Press report, one only
need be "associated" with an STD-infected person and still
"press" forward with unprotected sex. This becomes a
tragically "associated press" in epidemiologic language.
Promise, cutie.... There's a historical answer.
But such promises are denigrated as, at the minimum,
unrealistic. For this, the sometimes laughable phrase
"safe sex" has entered the public discourse in parallel with
the very real increasing rates of sexual disease infection.
So how safe is sex? Apparently whatever that phrase means is
become as devoid of meaning and empty of advice to many as
does the clarity of abstinence.
What is not devoid of meaning is the growth of infection.
One reads further: "...we can't think of any
case where the use of the word 'super' is more frightening
than when it comes to sexually transmitted infections.
Super-gonorrhea is the latest in a series of
antibiotic-resistant diseases causing concern. Late last
year the Centers for Disease Control issued a warning about
new super strains of chlamydia (in fact, they actually
called it an "epidemic"), and now they've added gonorrhea to
the list. Most people think of these two infections as
relatively minor—at least they're not HIV or syphilis,
right? But if they can't be treated with our current
antibiotics, they can be every bit as deadly as scarier
diseases." In " 'Super Gonorrhea' Is a Thing That's
Spreading," by Charlotte Hilton Andersen, Shape, 19 April
As to advocacy groups awakening to the dissonance between
advocating for forms of safe sex alongside sew, one reads of
increased infection's link to cancer: "Dysplasia may
range from mild to severe, but because HPV infection is
usually contained by the immune system, most healthy adults
will never develop it. For persons with poor immune
system function, however, infection HPV infection may
quickly progress to severe dysplasia and cancer. For this
reason, HIV-positive gay or bisexual men have higher levels
of both HPV infection and HPV-related disease than
heterosexual men (Stein, 1999). An estimated 61% of
HIV-negative and 93% of HIV-positive gay and bisexual men
have anal HPV infections, compared to 50% or less of
heterosexual men. Men who have sex with men are also at
increased risk for anal cancer compared to the general
population (Brewer, 2010)." In "HPV and Cancer,"
National LGBT Cancer Network, n. d.
But even the abbreviation tells only a partial story of
tragic proportions. One reads: "HPV is a group of
more than 150 related viruses. Each HPV virus in this
large group is given a number which is called its HPV type.
HPV is named for the warts (papillomas) some HPV types can
cause. Some other HPV types can lead to cancer, especially
cervical cancer. There are more than 40 HPV types that can
infect the genital areas of males and females." In "What is
HPV?" Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n. d.
"Promise, cutie" seems quite the safer alternative to
promiscuity. Spread it around.
Where does the time go?
Where does the time go
which flows beyond our reach?
How should one count grains
For what might one rightly hope,
as for all and for each?
What may one grasp with
fumbling, faltering speech?
Sea birds glide on waves air
to dive with fisher's screech,
Dropping through the cresting foam.
What does then time teach?
Failing to plan -
flailing's in view
The Old Joke: The operation was a success, but
the patient died.
[ 1 ]
|Failing to plan
Is, yes, a plan too,
When putting together
Two tales, sadly true.
|Failing to plan
Is a strategy's ace
While sparking destruction
All over the place.
|Failing to plan
Seems excuse without sense,
Mistaking no mistake's
When patients all die
Was once just a joke,
Now a president's lie.
"Probably Failing to Plan"
"The wars have gotten bigger, we are now bombing seven countries.
It is important to not just look at the rhetoric but also look at
the track record...." In "Road to the White House," quote of
Jill Stein, Green Party candidate, C-SPAN," 12 October 2016.
Addendum of the Biggest Mistake: "
'Probably failing to plan for the day after,' Obama said in
the session, which was taped at the University of Chicago on April
7." In "Obama Cites Lack of ‘Day After’ Plan in Libya as Biggest
Mistake," by Anthony Capaccio, Bloomberg, 10 April 2016.
of the Winners: "The only winners were arms
dealers, oil companies, and jihadists. Immediately after the fall of
Libya, the black flag of Al Qaeda was raised over a municipal
building in Benghazi, Gadhafi’s murder was soon to follow, with
Secretary Clinton quipping with a laugh, 'We came, we saw, he died.'
President Obama apparently learned from this misadventure, but not
the Washington policy establishment, which is spoiling for more war."
In " Why Is the Foreign Policy Establishment Spoiling for More War?
Look at Their Donors." by Dennis Kucinich, The Nation, 25 October
of Results from Obama's Failure to Plan: "
'Libyans seem to have swapped a repressive centralised
authoritarianism with a more decentralised and chaotic form of
authoritarianism, be it under militias or under the rule of
general Haftar.' The persistent chaos has also enabled human
traffickers to step up their lucrative trade in the
Mediterranean nation, with hundreds of migrants dreaming of Europe
drowning off the Libyan coast." In "War-weary Libyans miss life
under Kadhafi," by Rim Taher, Agence France Presse, 17 October
of Passing the Shit Show Buck:
"Mr Obama went on: 'We actually executed this plan as well as I
could have expected: We got a UN mandate, we built a coalition, it
cost us $1bn – which, when it comes to military operations, is very
cheap. We averted large-scale civilian casualties, we prevented what
almost surely would have been a prolonged and bloody civil conflict.
And despite all that, Libya is a mess.' Referring to that mess in
private, Mr Obama reportedly uses the more colourful term, 'shit
show'." In "Barack Obama says David Cameron allowed Libya to
become a 's*** show'," by Tim Walker and Nigel Morris, Independent
UK, 10 March 2016.
Addendum of Lack of Planning:
"President Barack Obama said the worst mistake of his presidency
was a lack of planning for the aftermath of the 2011 toppling of
Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi. 'Probably failing to plan for the
day after what I think was the right thing to do in intervening in
Libya,' he said in a Fox News interview aired Sunday." In "Obama
admits worst mistake of his presidency," by Allie Malloy and
Catherine Treyz, CNN, 11 April 2016.
Addendum from Four Months After April:
"The new round of US military aggression against
Libyan was announced by Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook, who pointed
out that the decision to launch the so-called 'military
operation' was taken by US President Barack Obama himself. The
beginning of a new US campaign in Libya was confirmed by the Prime
Minister of the 'Government of National Consensus' (GNC), Fayez
Mustafa al- Sarraj who is conducting all meetings at a military base
near Tripoli. According to Fayez al-Sarra, 'Washington carries out
the operation at the request of the GNC'." In "Washington Has
Launched Yet Another Military Aggression against Libya," by Jean
Perier, New Eastern Outlook, 9 August 2016.
[ 2 ]
Addendum of Armaments and
Profits: "The US State Department has approved
the potential sale of more than 130 Abrams battle tanks, 20 armoured
recovery vehicles and other equipment, worth about US$1.15 billion,
to Saudi Arabia, the Pentagon said on Tuesday. The approval for
land force equipment coincides with Saudi Arabia leading a military
coalition in support of Yemeni forces loyal to the exiled government
of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi who are trying to oust
Iran-allied Houthi forces from the capital, Sanaa. Human rights
groups have criticised the coalition’s air strikes because of the
deaths of civilians." In "US approves US$1.15 billion tanks,
military equipment deal with Saudi Arabia," Reuters, 10 August 2016.
[ 3 ]
Obama's "Junior Varsity" Team: "If he had
attacked the Islamic State cancer early, Obama could have stopped it
from spreading in the first place. But instead, he dismissed the
terrorist group as the 'JV team' that was 'engaged in various local
power struggles and disputes' and did not have 'the capacity and
reach of a bin Laden' and did not pose 'a direct threat to us.' He
did nothing, while the cancer grew in Syria and then spread in Iraq.
Now the cancer has spread and metastasized across the world.
According to a recent CNN analysis, since declaring its caliphate in
2014, the Islamic State has carried out 90 attacks in 21 countries
outside of Iraq and Syria that have killed 1,390 people and injured
more than 2,000 others. The Islamic State has a presence in more
than a dozen countries and has declared 'provinces' in Algeria,
Libya, Egypt, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Pakistan and
Afghanistan. The Post reported in 2015 that 'since the withdrawal
of most U.S. and international troops in December, the Islamic State
has steadily made inroads in Afghanistan' where it has 'poured
pepper into the wounds of their enemies... seared their hands in
vats of boiling oil... blindfolded, tortured and blown apart
[villagers] with explosives buried underneath them.” In "Thanks to
Obama, the terrorist cancer is growing, by Marc A. Thiessen,
Washington Post, 23 May 2016.
Addendum of an
Appropriate Question: "So it looks like an
appropriate time to demand the Obama administration to confess where
did the billions allocated on the so-called 'War on Terror' went?"
In "Obama Administration – the Faithful Accomplice of ISIS," by Jean
Périer, New Eastern Outlook, 16 August 2016.
Addendum of Painting a
Rosy Picture: "According to a hard-hitting
government task force report released Thursday, intelligence
generated by the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) was manipulated to
paint a rosier picture of the U.S. effort to combat ISIS in Iraq and
Syria. The report finds that, beginning in mid-2014, final
intelligence reports issued by CENTCOM contradicted the initial
internal assessments made by its own analysts, reports CBS News
correspondent Jim Axelrod." In "CENTCOM accused of manipulating
intel on ISIS," CBS News, 11 August 2016.
[ 4 ]
of the Less-than-Rosy Picture:
"Syrian militias armed by different parts of the U.S. war machine
have begun to fight each other on the plains between the besieged
city of Aleppo and the Turkish border, highlighting how little
control U.S. intelligence officers and military planners have over
the groups they have financed and trained in the bitter
five-year-old civil war. The fighting has intensified over the
last two months, as CIA-armed units and Pentagon-armed ones have
repeatedly shot at each other while maneuvering through contested
territory on the northern outskirts of Aleppo, U.S. officials and
rebel leaders have confirmed." In "In Syria, militias armed by the
Pentagon fight those armed by the CIA," by Nabih Bulos , W.J.
Hennigan and Brian Bennett, Los Angeles Times, 27 March 2016.
Addendum of the Ugly
Picture, Updated: "The picture of the world’s greatest
superpower killing or seriously injuring a thousand non-combatants a
week, while trying to pound a tiny backward nation into submission
on an issue whose merits are hotly disputed, is not a pretty one."
Robert S. McNamara, quoted in " "Lying in Politics: Reflections on
The Pentagon Papers," by Hannah Arendt, New York Review of Books, 18
[ 5 ]
Addendum of Dragging Libya Into Complete Chaos:
"...Tobruk MP Jaballah Al-Shibani lashed out at the EU decision
to impose sanctions on some Libyan figures. 'We are not members in
the EU and we do not follow it, I refuse the EU threats against all
Libyans.' He said, accusing the EU ambassadors of intervening in
Libya's affairs. 'Britain is working on a plan to divide Libya by
putting obstacles and encouraging MPs not to go to Tobruk to
practise democracy in the parliament,' Al-Shibani told Libya
Channel. He also deplored the UN Mission in Libya and the EU
ambassadors for creating chaos in Libya and dragging it into a civil
war, according to him. 'They are not working for the sake of Libya;
they want to impose a government that meets their interests.' He
indicated. 'All Libyans should be aware that that UN envoy
(Martin Kobler), his staff, and the EU ambassadors are dragging
Libya into complete chaos.' He added." In "Tobruk MP accuses
Britain of dividing Libya, says UNSMIL creating chaos," Libya
Observer, 17 March 2016.
[ 6 ]
Addendum of Flailing and
Failing: "As his
presidency comes to a close, the fact is that Obama has little to
show the world on Syria. With an estimated half a million deaths,
the Middle East in flames and European allies destabilised by the
impact of refugee flows, he will pass on a festering crisis to his
successor." In "The devastation of Syria will be Obama’s
legacy," by Natalie Nougayrède, Guardian UK, 22 September 2016.
[ 7 ]
Addendum of Obama's
Planning in Afghanistan after Eight Years of War:
"Despite the widening of U.S. air support, the White House
believes that the war in Afghanistan is tipping in the Taliban’s
favor. Speaking on the condition of anonymity to speak frankly
about Afghanistan's deteriorating security situation, a senior
administration official called the situation in the country an
'eroding stalemate.' In 2017, U.S. forces will draw down from 9,800
troops to approximately 8,400. With little mention in the recent
presidential debates, it is unclear how the next administration
will handle the next stage of the United States’ war in Afghanistan."
In "An ‘eroding stalemate’ in Afghanistan as Taliban widens its
offensive," by Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Washington Post, 14 October
of Obama's War in Yemen: "How many more
wars will the current US President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate
start before his term is over? At this rate of 'peaceful
activities,' he’s running the risk of leaving no countries left to
invade for his warmongering successor – Hillary Clinton. Although,
certainly, it would be handy for the Nobel Committee to prepare a
new Peace Prize in advance for Hillary Clinton’s arrival." In "Is
There a Way to Justify US Aggression Against Yemen," by Jean
Perier, New Eastern Outlook, 16 October 2016.
Addendum Asking Who Will Be
Held Responsible: "The US Air Force
in recent years has been the unofficial 'leader' of indiscriminate
bombings in the whole world, and those strikes are still being
carried on. Just last Saturday as a result the US Air Force has
stricken a residential area in Iraq’s Mosul, leaving 90 people dead
and more than a 100 more injured. Earlier it was reported that
as the result of US-led coalition air strikes in the Syrian province
of Raqqa 20 civilians were murdered. There can be no doubt that the
Obama administration has done everything it could to bury the myth
about the role that the US foreign policy plays on the international
stage, as the prolonged military conflicts in the Middle East have
buried the myth about the effectiveness of the US Army. But could
one expect with the US military lobby in power, that is only ever
concerned about stealing more money, instead of building more tanks.
But who will bear responsibility for this, and who is to be held
responsible for the deaths of innocent civilians? Or the
American-style democracy does not imply there must be punishment of
those responsible when they are the members of the ruling elite?"
In "How Brutally Ineffective the US Military Machine has Become," by
Grete Mautner, New Eastern Outlook, 14 December 2016.
of Liberal Interventionism Misreading History on a Monumental Scale:
"Never underestimate the ability of political leaders to misread
history on a monumental scale. The invasions of Iraq and
Afghanistan have both served to hasten western decline: they have
both failed to achieve their objectives and in the process
demonstrated an underlying western impotence. In contrast, those
other 'rogue' states, namely North Korea, Zimbabwe, and perhaps even
Iran, show strong signs of responding in a positive manner to a very
different kind of treatment. Liberal interventionism has failed.
But as yet the west shows no sign of either understanding the new
world or being able to live according to its terms. It remains in
denial, refusing to recognise the diminution in its own authority
and, as a result, seemingly incapable of adapting to the new
circumstances and coming up with an innovative response." In
"Burma and Zimbabwe witness the last gasps of the supreme global
sheriff," by Martin Jacques, Guardian UK, 30 July 2008.
Eisenhower with Adenauer in 1959
of Optimistic Words from the Past: "I
like to believe that people, in the long run, are going to do more
to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people
want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get
out of the way and let them have it." Dwight D. Eisenhower,
radio and television broadcast with Prime Minister Harold Macmillan,
London, August 31, 1959. Public Papers of the Presidents of the
United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1959.
[ 8 ]
[ 1 ] The old joke
is used as if to illustrate many sorts of failings.
As example, an anti-capitalism article was titled by
this: "Medical metaphors for the economy are
liberally applied at times of crisis. The analysis of
formative pathologies of capitalism, however, is
generally popular in academic and critical contexts at
all times. The well-worn joke of this essay's title,
applied to the context of cuts in public spending,
articulates a fairly reformist position: if you punish
the system too much, it won’t survive." In "The
Operation Was a Success But the Patient Died," by
Maija Timonen, Afterall, Spring 2012.
Joke Is It?
The complaint: "But perhaps something more
interesting, and more pertinent to the functioning of
capitalism, is captured in the uncertain identity of the
subject at the centre of the sentence — the patient.
Who is the patient? The ambiguity of its referent
captures something of the confusion of interests when
discussing the economy. The patient of the title
could be the economy as a whole or perhaps the real
subjects whom austerity affects. The identification of
individual interests with market interests may be a
sinister feature of neoliberalism, but this merger
serves here to highlight its own contradictory nature."
Oddly as ideological thinkers and writers posit some
"sinister feature" of government-run economies, the
notion of freedom as practiced by free individuals is
the patient which is not surviving the surgery.
Capitalism is not waging war in Libya. Governments
demanding regime change are. That is the "contradictory
nature" in all this.
As one watches the consistent policy of the Obama regime
in pursuing what was begun by Bush in the previous
regime, war and specifically the "war footing" of the
economy is not representative of capitalism, but most
representative of statism as administrations demand
"regime change" targeting other administrations under
the threat of war and the conduct of actual war itself.
Operation Was Successful, But the Patient Died
Tying together the use of the old joke, one finds it
used elsewhere: "As Coalition Forces pull out of
Afghanistan after 12 years, their leaders struggle to
define the intervention’s legacy. Alluring narratives of
success - crafted to suit political and military agendas
- abound. But any desire to package the intervention
into a simple success story obscures the reality of an
ongoing conflict." In "The Operation Was Successful,
But the Patient Died," by Jonathan Whittall,
Huffington Post, 19 May 2014.
Yet two years after the Whittall article, coalition
forces have in fact not "pulled out of Afghanistan after
12 years." That "intervention" and "ongoing conflict" --
words and phrases meant to hide the reality of "war" --
now numbers 14 years. So much for "probably failing to
plan for the day after," in Obama's words about Libya
applied to all the current wars which the American media
prefer to call "interventions" and "ongoing conflicts"
around the world.
Nobel for Today
as a Peace Prize recipient makes eight years of war,
consistent with the administration before him. Consider
additionally that the current Democrat nominee for
president in 2016 also postures as what she is not, a
peace maker, while avoiding the reality of what she is,
an armaments saleswoman. See:
A Modern Observation on The Anti-War Movement, Revisited
- "All we are saying is give peace a chance."
As to this armaments salesperson running for high
office, one reads of the threat to peace her policies
"Critics of the plan also question how using US military
power to establish and police a safe space for
beleaguered Syrian civilians would contribute to the
downfall of President Bashar al-Assad – the explicit
goal of US policy in Syria. 'If she is not
politically posturing, it’s going to be a disaster. I
hope it’s political posturing,' said John Kuehn, a
retired navy officer who flew no-fly zone missions over
Bosnia and Iraq. Kuehn who called denying an adversary
its airspace 'the cocktail party military application of
power of choice'. David Deptula, a retired air force
lieutenant general who commanded the no-fly zone
operations over northern Iraq in 1998 and 1999, said the
Russians were a 'complicating factor' but considered the
problems with a no-fly zone to be more fundamental.
'Until a strategy that defines the desired end-state is
clearly laid out in a comprehensive way, it’s difficult
to advocate for a no-fly zone,' said Deptula." In "Why
Clinton's plans for no-fly zones in Syria could provoke
US-Russia conflict," by Spencer Ackerman, Guardian
UK, 25 October 2016.
[ 2 ] One notes in
reporting about a Pentagon spokesman for the Obama
administration that there is a "Government of National
Consensus" for Libya now. Is it representative of
Libyans? Or is it a Western provisional entity,
constructed as antidote to "Probably failing to plan for
the day after?"
One reads from 2015 that the same US which failed to
have a plan for "the day after" in 2011, has taken years
to cobble together a plan under the aegis of the UN:
"Libya's rival governments have reached a 'consensus'
on the main elements of a political agreement, a U.N.
special envoy told reporters early Sunday.
Bernardino Leon said in Skhirat, Morocco that the two
sides were able to 'overcome their differences' on major
outstanding issues, increasing the likelihood of signing
a long-awaited agreement to form a unity government this
month. He called it the first time 'that we have the
possibility to make it and to have this agreement with
the all the parties, all the key parties in Libya
onboard,' adding that both sides have made compromises."
In "UN Libya Envoy: Rival Governments Reach
'Consensus'," Associated Press, 13 September 2015.
from the Right Thing to Do
The article notes clearly in choice words: "Since
the 2011 overthrow and killing of longtime dictator
Moammar Gadhafi, Libya has slid into chaos. The country
is divided between an Islamist-backed government in
Tripoli and the internationally recognized government in
Tobruk." Thus one sees that the 2011 "success" was not a
success. But as cited and sourced below in the 8th
The Cat in the Box
one reads: " 'In Libya, the death of Muammar
al-Qaddafi showed that our role in protecting the Libyan
people, and helping them break free from a tyrant, was
the right thing to do' – US President, Barack Obama,
speaking in October, 2011."
That "right thing to do" resulted in the "success" that
"Libya has slid into chaos," according to
self-congratulatory political speech For this, after the
"2011 overthrow" in which Obama and Clinton
played pivotal, public roles, in 2016 the "new round of
US military aggression against Libyan was announced by
Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook," as noted above, and "the
decision to launch the so-called 'military operation'
was taken by US President Barack Obama himself."
Five years after "success" is more war? Or is it just a
"military operation" five years after "success" was
One reads: "Third week of February marked
6th anniversary of 'popular' up-rising in Libya that
ultimately led to the overthrow of Gaddafi regime.
Thanks to NATO's intervention and the chaos it left
behind, today’s Libya lies in ruins, over-run by a
multitude of militias and the self-styled Islamic State.
While NATO intervention itself was a drastic failure, as
we had previously reported, its aftermath has turned out
to be even more devastating, forcing the country to
descend into utter chaos. What was previously a
reasonably stable Libya is today a picture of extreme
debilitation where power cuts are routine, water
shortage is acute, inflation rate is sky high and a
liquidity crisis is looming large. Not to forget that
the country does not have a central government and is
being run by a militia whose authority and legitimacy is
openly challenged by rival factions." In "NATO’s
“Success” in Libya, ISIS Replaces Gaddafi," by Salman
Rafi Sheikh, New Eastern Outlook, 21 February 2017.
One may rightly conclude that "the right thing to do"
resulted in years of "chaos" and now the launch of
the "so-called 'military operation'," all by the same
political stance of the Peace Prize president amassing
the longest stretch of war making in the history of the
United States. Boom, and "the rockets' red glare / of
bombs bursting in air / gave proof through the night"
that success was not there.
[ 3 ] From the
article worth repeating: "Human rights groups
have criticised the coalition’s air strikes because of
the deaths of civilians." The explanation is simple.
The "Yemeni forces loyal to the exiled government" are
by this loyal to Saudi Arabia, such that this war is a
civil war in Yemen, in which the Saudi supported Yemeni
government is "exiled" for their fleeing the rebels
which are supported by Iran. It is a proxy war in Yemen,
and the United States military-industrial complex
profits from this, all the while "human rights groups"
bewail "the deaths of civilians." Who is killing
civilians? Apparently many, and in part by US-made
weapons. Ka-ching for the profits of the war machine,
which under Obama is in its eighth year of "success." It
was the right thing to do, says somebody.
This view of the American -- and other Western nations'
- military-industrial complex is echoed, making even
some western press complicit: "...ask yourself why
again your willing media have drowned you in sectarian
adjectives, playing maestro to the orchestra of your
prejudices. Your governments quite simply did not
want you to associate with the Houthis – the carriers of
Yemen’s independence. They did not want you to recognise
in Yemen’s Resistance the expression of your own
nationalism … because you would then have clamoured for
Saudi Arabia to withdraw. Surely then, you would
have called Saudi Arabia’s massacres against unarmed
civilians the Terror they truly are, demanding that your
governments end all dealings with such grand war
criminals. Sadly the veil of deceit remains as thick
as our Western capitals’ greed." In "The March for
Riyadh – Yemen’s War Takes on the Colour of Revolution,"
by Catherine Shakdam, New Eastern Outlook, 12 September
[ 4 ]
Painting a rosy by manipulating internal assessments is
the charge, as reported by CBS News. But as to "initial
assessments," one may look back to even rosier visions
of government success.
One reads from Obama's Vice President: " 'I am
very optimistic about -- about Iraq. I mean, this
could be one of the great achievements of this
administration. You're going to see 90,000 American
troops come marching home by the end of the summer.
You're going to see a stable government in Iraq that is
actually moving toward a representative government. I
spent -- I've been there 17 times now. I go about every
two months -- three months. I know every one of the
major players in all the segments of that society. It's
impressed me. I've been impressed how they have been
deciding to use the political process rather than guns
to settle their differences'." In "Joe Biden update:
Iraq one of Obama's 'great achievements',"
Commentary, Andrew Malcolm, Los Angeles Times, 11
But as to one great achievement, one learns: "..an
intensive review of the record during Clinton’s tenure
presents a broader picture of missteps and
miscalculations by multiple actors — including her
State Department as well as the Maliki government, the
White House and Congress — that left Iraqi security
forces weakened and vulnerable to the Islamic State’s
2014 surge. Documents and interviews point to ambitious
plans by State Department officials to take control of
dozens of military-run programs in Iraq, from training
assistance for Iraqi police to new
intelligence-collection outposts in Mosul and other key
Iraqi cities. But the State Department scrapped or
truncated many of the plans, sometimes at the behest of
a skeptical Congress and other times on orders from the
White House, which balked at the high costs and
potential risks of U.S. civilians being killed or
kidnapped. Still other efforts were thwarted by a Maliki
government that viewed many of the programs as an
unwelcome intrusion in Iraqi affairs." In "As ISIS
Brewed in Iraq, Clinton’s State Department Cut Eyes and
Ears on the Ground," MSN News with Washington Post,
Pro Publica, 15 August 2016.
Thinking on Biden's 2010 remarks about Obama's
accomplishment in Iraq, one learns that the US military
remains in Iraq in 2016 and blusters now as the US did
throughout the decades-long Cold War with the Soviet
Union, as one reads: "In the most direct public
warning to Moscow and Damascus to date, the new US
commander of American troops in Iraq and Syria is
vowing to defend US special operations forces in
northern Syria if regime warplanes and artillery again
attack in areas where troops are located. 'We've
informed the Russians where we're at ... (they) tell us
they've informed the Syrians, and I'd just say that we
will defend ourselves if we feel threatened,' Lt. Gen.
Stephen Townsend told CNN in a telephone interview
Saturday from his Baghdad headquarters." In "Top US
commander warns Russia, Syria," by Barbara Starr, CNN,
21 August 2016.
Troops in Iraq and Syria in 2016
"...American troops in Iraq and Syria...." four years
after the "great" achievement announcement.
"Missteps and miscalculations" that "left Iraqi security
forces weakened and vulnerable to the Islamic State’s
2014 surge" is an achievement of sorts. The remaining
question is one of applying a descriptive adjective --
"great" or "tragic." Perhaps "political" or "Potemkin."
A fine way to assure the perception of "great"
achievements is to build and maintain a
cobbled of optimistic prose, rosy predictions by
public officials, and contradictions to intelligence
reports intended to "correct" what politics determines
to be the "incorrect" truth -- irrespective of
verifiable reports from many sources of that reality
which must be ignored to assure "great achievements."
[ 5 ] The quote is apt,
for today as for the era of the Vietnam War. Arendt's
review of "Lying in Politics: Reflections on The
Pentagon Papers" capsules well the reason for suck
the Deliberate Falsehood and the Outright Lie
From the article one reads: "...most readers have
by now agreed that the basic issue raised by the Papers
is deception. At any rate, it is obvious that this issue
was uppermost in the minds of those who compiled the
Pentagon Papers for The New York Times, and it is at
least probable that this was also an issue for the team
of writers who prepared the forty-seven volumes of the
original study. The famous credibility gap, which has
been with us for six long years, has suddenly opened up
into an abyss.
The quicksand of lying statements of all sorts,
deceptions as well as self-deceptions, is apt to engulf
any reader who wishes to probe this material, which,
unhappily, he must recognize as the infrastructure of
nearly a decade of United States foreign and domestic
policy. Because of the extravagant lengths to which the
commitment to nontruthfulness in politics went on the
highest level of government, and because of the
concomitant extent to which lying was permitted to
proliferate throughout the ranks of all governmental
services, military and civilian—the phony body
counts of the 'search-and-destroy' missions, the
doctored after-damage reports of the air force,1 the
'progress' reports to Washington from the field written
by subordinates who knew that their performance would be
evaluated by their own reports2—one is easily tempted to
forget the background of past history, itself not
exactly a story of immaculate virtue, against which this
newest episode must be seen and judged. For secrecy—what
diplomatically is called discretion as well as the
arcana imperii, the mysteries of government—and
deception, the deliberate falsehood and the outright lie
used as legitimate means to achieve political ends, have
been with us since the beginning of recorded history."
The lying as seen in the current CENTCOM deception is of
political origin, as the toadies try to serve up a
constructed reality as wished for by their masters. From
Lyndon Johnson to Barack Obama, the structure remains
the same, and almost perpetual war is the result. Given
that World War II was of four years duration from the
perspective of the United States, one must note that
much of today's wars -- plural -- have been going on for
fifteen years, with new battlefields opened in the last
years. This is what such Democrat and Republican
politics has become, even if a sitting president
ordering war holds the ironic, even idiotic, Peace Prize
among his trophies of his political and real wars. It is
an ugly picture from which the partisans in media avert
their faces today.
[ 6 ] "Dragging
Libya into complete chaos?" Since 2011 and since
Obama's admission that he had no plan other than
toppling an existing government, one sees five years and
more of "complete chaos." As regards the US and the EU,
there is a sense, as Jaballah Al-Shibani
expressed, of working "to impose a government
that meets their interests." How is this not simple
modern day colonialism?
As to the EU's participation in the chaos, one learns:
"Martin Kobler is one of Germany's top officials dealing
with crisis zones around the world. He's also one of the
country's leading diplomats at the United Nations. The
62-year-old has led UN missions in Afghanistan, in Iraq
and most recently in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The UN appointed him in November to lead its support
mission for civil war-torn Libya, where he is seeking to
bring the country's divided factions together into a
unity government. December's Skhirat agreement aimed
at establishing that government of national unity marked
his first success in the position. So far, however,
it has done nothing to stop the spread of the Islamic
State (IS) in the country." In " 'We Simply Can't Give
Up on Libya'," Interview with Martin Kobler, by Juliane
von Mittelstaedt, Spiegel Online, 4 February 2016.
is Failure and Failure is Success
"Success" in December is failure in the following
September, in quite an interesting parallel to the
paraded "success" of both the Obama administration and
the NATO's leadership, followed by intermittent military
actions, followed by a "cobbled" agreement announced in
2015, followed by more self-congratulation as recently
as February of 2016. Six months later, a refusal of "the
EU threats against all Libyans" and a rejection by some
Libyan voices of "EU ambassadors intervening in
For this "Failing to plan" with "flailing" in full view,
the Obama-asserted "right thing to do" of 2011 and the
self-congratulation of EU and NATO war makers paraded as
peace makers, then Secretary of State Clinton has been
christened as "Butcher of Libya" by Jaballah Al-Shibani,
Obama has publicly said he had no plan, and various
voices bragging about "success" have been proven to be
nothing but empty political chatter. The once-vociferous
antiwar movement in the US and Europe is for the most
part mute. Boom.
If self-determination is a "right" in some instances but
refused in others, how shall one parse political speech?
The Peace Prize president gave the clue: "Probably
failing to plan for the day after what I think was the
right thing to do in intervening in Libya' was a
The British have learned this too late, as their
publication of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs
Committee's "Libya: Examination of intervention and
collapse and the UK’s future policy options," Third
Report of Session 2016–17. It testifies to the lies of
the US and NATO in their reasoning and subsequent and
An editorial based on that report castigates. One reads:
"Three years ago, NATO declared that the mission in
Libya had been 'one of the most successful in NATO
history.' Today, this statement is a proven lie that was
fed to the public at large in the West. A recently
published report of British parliament’s foreign affairs
committee has categorically acknowledged that the
Western intervention in Libya in 2011 was not only based
upon flawed intelligence but also directly paved the way
for the resurgence of Islamist terror groups in the
country. What had initially been propagated as a sort of
'humanitarian intervention' to 'protect' civilians from
the 'tyranny of Gaddafi” soon exacerbated into the
notorious game of regime change and led to the
subsequent disaster, proliferation of Islamist groups
and Libya’s downfall from a reasonably stable state to a
fragmented one. The report’s findings are, as such,
highly critical in terms of the way the West,
particularly the US, has been projecting the utmost
necessity of NATO’s intervention." In "Libya is a
Complete Western Disaster, Finds a British Parliamentary
Report," by Salman Rafi Sheikh, New Eastern Outlook, 28
Comparative details of the Western-mace tragedy in Libya
are gathered by the author: "It is a mess, a
victim of Western conspiracy and its notorious cold-war
era policy of imposing regime change in countries that
refuse to abide by their rules of global politics.
Libya, today, is a disaster. Facts speak for themselves:
In 2010, Libyan economy was generating US$75 billion in
GDP, with an average per capita income of US$12,250,
roughly equal to an average income in some European
countries. As of 2016, however, Libya is likely to
experience a budget deficit of some 60% of GDP. The
United Nations ranked Libya as the world’s 94th most
advanced country in its 2015 index of human development,
a decline from 53rd place in 2010. Thanks to the Western
intervention which was, to say the least, not only
ill-informed and a result of propaganda against Gaddafi
but also motivated by purely geo-political
considerations. Thanks to the Western intervention
that has ‘successfully’ transformed Libya from the
richest African state under Gaddafi to a failed state
under Western supervision. Its various experiments in
Libya have failed to transform it into a pure Western
vessel. And as the reports indicate, the US in now
trying to install one of its long term assets, General
Khalifa Hifter, who aims to set himself up as Libya’s
new dictator and then help the West in transforming
Africa’s political economy into a disastrous the kind of
which Libya, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan today are."
Facts do indeed speak for themselves, as the aim of
making Libya a "pure Western vessel" in another ongoing
war, alongside Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Somalia
and more demonstrate that Western self-congratulation is
dishonest, as wars for dominance and oil under Western
liberals and progressives continue. Libya is a "mess"
and a "disaster," while Barack Obama and Anders Fogh
Rasmussen said at the outset it was a "for the people."
One cities Obama's 2016 admission of failure and direct
orders of military actions against his flowery language
of five years earlier. One reads: "The surest
way for the bloodshed to end is simple: Moammar Qadhafi
and his regime need to recognize that their rule has
come to an end. Qadhafi needs to acknowledge the
reality that he no longer controls Libya. He needs to
relinquish power once and for all. Meanwhile, the United
States has recognized the Transitional National Council
as the legitimate governing authority in Libya. At this
pivotal and historic time, the TNC should continue to
demonstrate the leadership that is necessary to steer
the country through a transition by respecting the
rights of the people of Libya, avoiding civilian
casualties, protecting the institutions of the Libyan
state, and pursuing a transition to democracy that is
just and inclusive for all of the people of Libya. A
season of conflict must lead to one of peace. The future
of Libya is now in the hands of the Libyan people. Going
forward, the United States will continue to stay in
close coordination with the TNC. We will continue to
insist that the basic rights of the Libyan people are
respected. And we will continue to work with our
allies and partners in the international community to
protect the people of Libya, and to support a peaceful
transition to democracy." In "Statement of President
Barack Obama on Libya," White House Office of the Press
Secretary, 22 August 2011.
And then the White House and NATO "failing to plan...."
Bloody war rages five years later, as one recalls "the
surest was for the bloodshed to end is simple..." Words.
Political words. Empty words, followed by bloodshed and
Western allies' bombs.
As the British report notes: "The international
community’s inability to secure weapons abandoned by the
Gaddafi regime fuelled instability in Libya and enabled
and increased terrorism across North and West Africa and
the Middle East. The UK Government correctly
identified the need to secure weapons immediately after
the 2011 Libyan civil war, but it and its international
partners took insufficient action to achieve that
objective. However, it is probable that none of the
states that intervened in Libya would have been prepared
to commit the necessary military and political resources
to secure stocks of weapons and ammunition. That
consideration should have informed their calculation to
intervene." (p. 40).
"...should have informed their calculation to
intervene?" It did not. The "international community"
congratulated itself in the words of Cameron, Obama and
Anders Fogh Rasmussen. It was a "success." Years later,
it was admitted to be a "shit show" and a "mess" which
was named Operation Unified Protector.
As cited above, " 'Operation Unified Protector is one
of the most successful in NATO’s history… We have
done this together for the people of Libya, so they can
take their future firmly and safely into their own
hands. Libyans have now liberated their country. And
they have transformed the region. This is their victory'
- Former NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen,
speaking in October, 2011." In "I Thought NATO
'Liberated' Libya in 2011?" by Steven MacMillan, New
Eastern Outlook, 4 August 2016.
[ 7 ]
The turmoil in the Middle East includes not only Iraq
and ISIS, but Syria as the Obama administration and
unelected top dogs in the EU have been demanding that
Assad's "regime" be changed. Interestingly one reads of
far more than humanitarian issues at stake.
War Games for Oil and Natural Gas, Not for Democracy
Something is learned: "In 2009, Qatar, a leading
natural gas producer, approached Syria about routing its
planned 1,500 mile pipeline to the gas markets of Europe
through Syria’s Aleppo province. Qatar wanted a
pipeline straight to Europe as its current gas
transport modes were limited to Liquefied Natural Gas
(LNG) tanker, mostly to Asia with limited spot shipments
to Europe or the Dolphin pipeline to the United Arab
Emirates and Oman. The pipeline would head north and end
in Turkey after crossing Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and
Syria. Syria declined Qatar’s offer, which would have
cut the European market share of its partner, Russia,
and instead agreed to participate in the 'Friendship
Pipeline' between Iran and Iraq that was considered a
“Shia Pipeline” to some and a target for the Sunni
monarchies of the Gulf. Not understood, or ignored,
was Syria’s longstanding support of the Iranian regime,
especially during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War, and its
long relationship with Russia, dating from 1944, which
should have been a warning of who might appear if things
hotted up." In "The Natural Gas War Burning Under
Syria," by James Durso, OilPrice.com, 22 September 2016.
Regime change in Syria might accomplish Qatar's goal,
but given that many of the Sunni states in the Middle
East are not democracies, one wonders why "regime
change" for Qatar and other kingdoms are not called for
by "concerned" Western nations. In addition, the
question of alliances intertwines with this large
One reads: "In a striking interview with German
journalist Jürgen Todenhöfer published today the German
press including the prominent newspaper Focus, a
militant jihadist commander said that US weapons are
being delivered to Jabhat Al-Nusra by governments that
Washington supports, adding that American instructors
were in Syria to teach how to use the new equipment. 'Yes,
the US supports the opposition [in Syria], but not
directly. They support the countries that support us.
But we are not yet satisfied with this support,'
Jabhat al-Nusra unit commander Abu Al Ezz said in an
interview with Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper from the
city of Aleppo. According to the commander, the
militants should be receiving more 'sophisticated
weapons' from their backers to succeed against the
Syrian government." In " 'America Is On Our Side':
Al-Nusra Commander Tells German Press US Is Arming
Jihadists," Tyler Durden, ZeroHedge, 26 September 2016.
West Politely Ignores All That
The Obama State Department continues to approve arms
sales. One learns: "The United States on
Wednesday began notifying lawmakers that it has approved
$7 billion in long-stalled sales of Boeing Co (BA.N)
fighter jets to Kuwait and Qatar, and more than $1
billion in Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) jets to Bahrain,
sources familiar with the decision said. The sales had
been pending for more than two years amid concerns
raised by Israel, Washington's closest Middle East ally,
that arms sold to Gulf Arab states could be used against
it, and criticism of Qatar for alleged ties to armed
Islamist groups." In "Exclusive: U.S. approves
Boeing, Lockheed fighter jet sales to Gulf - sources,"
by Andrea Shalal and Rachel Nielsen, Reuters, 28
The why is explained, as one reads: "Qatar
without energy resources would be an island backwater of
feudal sheikhs, camels and falcons. Its brand of Islam
is the same fundamentalist Sunni Wahhabism as Saudi
Arabia, its only neighbor. Beheading, death
penalties for homosexuals, stoning to death for audeltry,
all are permitted under their strict Sharia law. Owing
to the gas and oil, it is also the world’s richest
country per capita, so the West politely ignores all
that. The country was selected by Britain, whose
territory it was from World War I until 1971, and later
by the United States, to be site of one of their most
important military bases in the entire Middle East, in
Doha. Only 13% of Qatar’s 1.8 million population are
Qatari citizens. Fully 1.5 million are foreign
“guest-workers” typically working in slave conditions.
Qatar is home to the exiled Muslim Brotherhood and to
the CIA and NATO-tied Al Jazeera TV. In short, Qatar is
the ideal partner for the CIA and MI6 and NATO to
advance their Middle East oil and gas agenda. For
fundamentalist Sunni Qatar, its despised foe, Shi’ite
Iran, suddenly was a deadly rival for EU gas sales."
In "Silence of the Lambs-Refugees, EU and Syrian Energy
Wars," F. William Engdahl, New Eastern Outlook, 10
And yet one reads signs of this reality being
sidestepped for at least two years: "Democratic
presidential nominee Hillary Clinton sent an email to
her campaign chairman John Podesta in 2014, who was
then-counselor to President Barack Obama, that said
Saudi Arabia and Qatar are both giving financial and
logistical support to the Islamic State and other
extremist Sunni groups, according to a recent
Wikileaks release." In "Hillary In Leaked Email: Saudi
Arabia And Qatar Are Funding ISIS," by Alex Pfeiffer,
Daily Caller, 10 October 2016.
Neo-con Liberals' War for Energy
Engdahl explains: "Fast forward to 2009. As the
EU natural gas market became defined as the largest
potential gas import market around, all eyes of major
gas producers turned to Brussels and to various EU
member states as potential major customers. As pipeline
networks and LNG terminals spread around the world, gas
was slowly becoming more and more like oil as a global
or at least, regional market. In 2009 Ronald Dumas,
former French Foreign Minister, revealed that British
military were preparing for invasion of Assad’s Syria.
This was a full two years before allegations of mass
killings by Assad’s military and security that gave the
green light to the US-backed war against Assad. Dumas
told French TV, 'I was in England two years before the
violence in Syria, on other business. I met with top
British officials, who confessed to me that they were
preparing something in Syria. This was in Britain, not
in America. Britain was preparing gunmen to invade
Syria.' Leaked e-mails from the private US intelligence
firm, Stratfor, revealed notes from a meeting with
Pentagon officials which confirmed that as of 2011, US
and UK special forces’ training of Syrian opposition
forces was well underway. The goal then was to bring
about the 'collapse' of Assad’s regime 'from within'."
Thus one sees "the West" acting as proxy for Qatar, in
the energy wars of the moment, hoping to forestall the
Iran-Syria pipeline in favor of a Qatar-proposed
Destabilizing Syria, as Libya Was Destabilized
With America on a
specific "side" in the Syria war, all the while the ISIS
catastrophe lingers in Iraq, Libya and Syria, of what
purpose would siding with a designated terrorist group,
even if through proxies, be? Of course "regime change"
in Syria would benefit Sunni states as above and the
"pipeline" dreams of one side would replace the
"pipeline" dreams of the other.
As to Jabhat al-Nusra, one looks back to learn: "The
notice in the register lists the Al Nusra front as one
of the “aliases” of Al Qaeda in Iraq. In practical
terms, the designation makes it illegal for Americans to
have financial dealings with the group. It is intended
to prompt similar sanctions by other nations, and to
address concerns about a group that could further
destabilize Syria and harm Western interests." In
"U.S. Places Militant Syrian Rebel Group on List of
Terrorist Organizations," by Michael R. Gordon and Anne
Barnard, New York Times, 10 December 2012.
So the question for "Western interests" then is one of
supporting via proxies an Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria
and Iraq. Which pipeline does the West want constructed?
The Sunni-controlled, it seems, while Russia's interests
align with the Shia in Syria and Iran. Thus one might
well suspect the "Peace Prize" president of picking
sides in a civil war for "interests" which can be summed
up as natural gas and oil. A war for control of
resources and wealth.
As Abu Al Ezz is quoted as saying of the Obama "regime":
"They support the countries that support us."
Regime change, anyone?
Eight Years of Liberal Interventionism and Acts of War
As to the purveying of arms around the Middle East in
particular and the world in general, one reads of epic
folly: "It’s believed that a major war writes off
all debts, and the more 'cannon fodder' of different
nationalities you can bring into it- the more debt you
can write off… This formula is being put to good use by
the sitting Obama administration, that is getting
American troops engaged in all sorts of conflicts across
the globe. This is confirmed by a recent study of the
Institute of Watson that was published by The Intercept.
The study shows that the costs of US wars since 2001
have already reached five trillion dollars! At the same
time the local government expenses related to medical
care of veterans and homeland security, the macro
economic costs of war for the US economy are not being
included in this count." In "US: The Mega-Bubble
That’s Going to Go Bust," by Martin Berger, NEO, 27
A companion article on the same day notes: "When
the US and Britain are not busy killing Syrian soldiers
who are fighting against ISIS, they are flooding the
most war-torn region on earth (thanks to Western wars)
with weapons. The likes of Raytheon, Lockheed Martin,
Northrop Grumman, Boeing and BAE Systems, have been
making a killing off the perennial wars we have seen in
the 21st century. The new Western-manufactured Cold War
2.0 has also proved to be beneficial for the war giants,
as this is used to justify exorbitant defense/war
budgets. The power and influence of war contractors
is nothing new in the West however. In his farewell
address to the nation in 1961, the 34th President of the
US, Dwight D. Eisenhower, warned the American people of
the dangers of this insidious 'military-industrial
complex'...." In "The Anglo-American War Machine," by
Steve MacMillan, NEO, 27 Sept 2016.
Thus one sees solid proof that the Obama administration
is deep into war while increasing the national debt more
at an enormous pace historically.
Mistake Among Many
And as to Obama's claim of ending the war in Iraq, one
reads: "U.S. forces began returning after the
Islamic State group overran Mosul in the summer of 2014
and blitzed across much of northern, central and western
Iraq, joining it to territory it holds in Syria. Weeks
later, President Barack Obama announced the start of the
air campaign against the Islamic State. At the time, he
underlined that he will not allow the U.S. 'to be
dragged into fighting another war in Iraq.' But the U.S.
role has steadily grown as Iraqi and Kurdish forces
continue to rely heavily on coalition airpower and
support in taking back the territory the militant group
overran in 2014. Over the past year, three American
service members have been killed by IS in Iraq,
revealing the increasingly active role of U.S. forces in
a fight the Pentagon initially refused to describe as
combat." In "US forces increasing Iraq footprint
ahead of Mosul operation," by Susannah George,
Associated Press, 10 October 2016.
The Associated Press quoted U.S. Army Col. Brett Sylvia:
"I think there is some admission (among some Iraqis)
that it was a mistake for us to leave." One of a
number, one tallies.
Greek Anti-war Poster Stands Against
One opinion looks at the 2016 presidential race from the
perspective of war. One reads of Obama's
ex-Secretary of State: "...Clinton’s
beliefs, behavior, and promises all suggest that she
most likely would do the wrong thing, embracing a
militaristic status quo which most Americans recognize
has failed disastrously. In fact, her proclivity for
promiscuous war-making has attracted the support of
leading Neoconservatives, including some architects of
the disastrous Iraq war, which as Senator she voted to
authorize. Some otherwise obscure Neocons even have
appeared in her campaign ads." In "Hillary Clinton
Never Met A War She Didn't Want Other Americans To
Fight," by Doug Bandow, Forbes, 26 September 2016.
As to "neocon" liberals for war (quite like
the other neo-cons, it turns out) consider the addenda and
footnotes below clarifying the rhyme,
The Cat in the Box
which detail the "war hawk" who would keep an electorate
"ignorant" and at the same time campaigns with "neocons"
as "militaristic" allies. An America at war for the
eight years of the Obama administration and seven of the
previous Bush administration is an America at war. It
has been "a militaristic status quo" which most Americans
recognize has failed disastrously.
] One amplifies by
repetition, "...governments had better get out of the way...."
But as seen above, from a range of neo-cons to progressive
liberals, war has been repeatedly not only justified even when
later admitted to be a "mistake," but it is governments -- plural --
with both neo-cons and progressive liberals
still very busy with making war, even when a Nobel Peace Prize
is awarded to a war maker. Such is the idiocy of today.
Freedom painted on the Berlin Wall
One may re-learn the wisdom of earlier optimistic words: "Five
enemies of peace inhabit with us — avarice, ambition, envy,
anger, and pride; if these were to be banished, we should
infallibly enjoy perpetual peace." Petrarch, "De vita
solitaria" (1346) quoted in "Wisdom for the Soul: Five Millennia
of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing," Larry Chang, 2006.
Looking at world leaders today, one may well question their
"avarice, ambition, envy, anger and pride," even as political
rhetoric is used to conceal such qualities of "leaders" from
neo-cons to progressives, all too many busying themselves with
war. These five things define those who seek to "lead."
The village needs a bit of paint
So faded from worst wear;
Its fabrications' fascia
Requires great repair.
That which peals and that which sags,
That which is threadbare,
And that which tells a weathered tale
Lures not as polished snare.
The village craves renovation
From foundation to teetering crest;
False fronts must be repainted
To show them at their best.
That which rusts and that which molds,
That which ruin shows,
And that which does no longer tempt
Is a village in death's throes.
It takes a village, so it's said,
To raise up on the morrow
A glittering image built upon
Great debts and greater sorrow.
That which lies and that which steals,
That which wears away,
And that poor built on shifting sands
Was but a tattered appliqué.
"A 'Potemkin village' signifies any deceptive or false construct,
conjured often by cruel regimes, to deceive both those within the land
and those peering in from outside." In "Potemkin Villages, Shh ...
It's Classified," by Ishaan Tharoor, TIME, 6 August 2010.
of the Village Facade: "A central feature of
institutional change in these states is the superficial character of the
property rights that resulted from over a decade of privatization.
Liberal economic policies and local politics combined to produce a
facade of rural ownership – a modern Potemkin village. Like the wooden
facades that, according to legend, were constructed along Crimean roads
to impress and mislead Tsarina Catherine the Great during her travels at
the end of the eighteenth century, post-Soviet Potemkin villages
convinced Moscow and Kyiv of local state officials’ loyalty and
international lending institutions of the Russian and Ukrainian
governments’ commitment to property rights reform. In Russia and
Ukraine, the documentary record shows the creation of millions of new
landowners through titling. On paper, rural capitalists arose, like
Minervas, fully formed from fields recently emptied of socialist forms
of production. State records in both countries show the allocation of
millions of hectares of land to erstwhile members of collective farms
and workers on state farms." In "The Post-Soviet Potemkin Village -
Politics and Property Rights in the Black Earth," by Jessica
Allina-Pisano, Cambridge University Press, 2007.
Addendum of the 2016 Bolivarian
Village: "...a complete collapse. And it's entirely
man-made. The easiest way to think about this is as a four-stage
cycle of doom that begins with inflation, continues to price controls,
then shortages, and finally nationalizations." In Venezuela’s death
spiral is getting worse," by Matt O'Brien, Washington Post, 8 August
[ 1 ]
Addendum of East Germany's
Faultless Village: "...East German leaders
also refused offers of help from West Germany, wanting to prove that the
socialist state was strong and that it could manage on its own. The
documentary explained the accidents is connection with one another and
argued that there was a recurrent pattern according to which GDR leaders
and Stasi officials acted. Strict silence was often ordered after an
accident and evidence was swiftly removed from the scene. The aim was to
show: 'socialism is never guilty'." In "Disasters in East Germany:
socialism was never at fault," TheLocal.de, 18 August 2016.
[ 2 ]
of the U. S. Army's Illusionary Potemkin Budget: "The
United States Army’s finances are so jumbled it had to make trillions of
dollars of improper accounting adjustments to create an illusion that
its books are balanced. The Defense Department’s Inspector General,
in a June report, said the Army made $2.8 trillion in wrongful
adjustments to accounting entries in one quarter alone in 2015, and $6.5
trillion for the year. Yet the Army lacked receipts and invoices to
support those numbers or simply made them up." In "U.S. Army fudged its
accounts by trillions of dollars, auditor finds," by Scot J. Paltrow,
Reuters, 19 August 2016.
[ 3 ]
Addendum of the European
Union Monetary Village: "On the surface, it would seem
that the euro crisis has calmed. Markets have rallied since the summer
and, to borrow a phrase from Herbert Hoover, 'prosperity is just around
the corner.' But outward appearances in Europe are like a Potemkin
village. Behind the well-scrubbed facades, Southern Europe is in a death
spiral. Anyone convinced that the European monetary union has come
through the crisis stronger is a victim of the slickest PR campaign in
history. Let’s be very clear here: this is what the euro has wrought.
This destruction of the non-German industrial bases has taken place with
the active complicity of the European technocrats. They did not even
realize that France, the EMU’s second largest economy, for example was
becoming hopelessly uncompetitive." In "Europe: The Last Great
Potemkin Village Where 'The Rich Get Richer, And Poor Get Poorer',"
ZeroHedge.com, 10 February 2013.
Addendum of Communist
China Managing a G20 Potemkin Village Meeting:
"...astonished and bewildered at how China’s authoritarian rulers have
managed to transform a usually bustling metropolis of 6 million
inhabitants into a virtual ghost town to guarantee a trouble-free
summit. More than a third of Hangzhou’s population were reportedly
“convinced” to leave town as part of what Chinese state media called a
massive exodus that saw cars forced off the roads and a seven-day public
holiday declared. Thousands of residents were ordered to vacate the
towering apartment blocks that surround the conference centre where
world leaders had gathered, to prevent an assault from above. Dissidents
were placed under house arrest or forced to leave the city by security
agents." In "Ghost town: how China emptied Hangzhou to guarantee
'perfect' G20," by Tom Phillips, Guardian UK, 5 September 2016.
Addendum of Potemkin
Euro-armies: "Why should America, with a
smaller population and economy than the EU, keep underwriting Europe’s
security? Only four of its 25 European allies—Britain, Estonia, Greece
and Poland—meet the minimum standard of spending 2% of GDP on defence.
And Europeans waste much of their money on mostly useless toy armies,
navies and air forces. Any serious European policy must start from the
fact that Europeans have to spend more on defence." In "Potemkin
Euro-armies," by Economist, 29 September 2016.
[ 1 ] "Man-made," writes
O'Brien. A similar assessment states: "Venezuela
was once Latin America’s exemplar: home to Simón Bolívar,
who freed much of the continent from Spanish rule. Now,
after years of political mismanagement and months in
economic free fall, it is the region’s cautionary tale.
The bolivar, the currency named for the Liberator himself,
is now carried in backpacks instead of wallets; one unit is
worth less than a penny. While production plummets, crime
soars. Fights frequently break out in food lines. The number
of murders last year ranged between 17,000 and 28,000. No
one knows the exact tally, but regardless it would put the
nation’s murder rate—driven by a lethal mix of street gangs,
drug cartels, leftist guerrillas and right-wing
paramilitaries jostling for power—among the world’s highest.
Even animals are dying: some 50 zoo animals have starved to
death over the past six months because there’s not enough
food. 'It is like there had been a natural disaster, like
a hurricane which swept things away,' Henrique Capriles,
the governor of Miranda state and a key opposition leader,
tells TIME. 'If we don’t look for a democratic
constitutional solution, I fear there will be an explosion
in Venezuela, and it will finish collapsing'." In "It was
once the richest country in Latin America. Now it’s falling
apart," by Ioan Grillo, TIME, 10 August 2016.
What is the "it" which has "swept things away?" What is the
"it" that is "like there has been a natural disaster?" What
is the form of "political mismanagement?" What is "entirely
Cautionary Tale of a Man-Made Disaster
What is entirely man-made is that "Venezuela has denied
food and humanitarian aid from groups like Amnesty
International and the United Nations. Amnesty officials
contest that the government doesn't want to accept aid
because that would make the government look inadequate."
In "Venezuela food crisis deepens as shipments plummet, by
Patrick Gillespie, CNN Money, 11 August 2016.
Ideologues cite many versions as their lenses try to explain
away what Chavez clearly stated was "21st century
socialism," adding that what has become no assertion, but an
Jesus was a socialist?
It is for this basic reality that the Venezuelan socialists
currently in power -- who have been described as victims of
the West's conspiracy against them, to being left-wing
and right-wing as well, corrupt, inadequate and thuggish -- demand that
Don't look now
[ 2 ] The use of
the "Potemkin village" metaphor to describe East Germany is
more than apt. After the fall, one saw the prosperous West
begin to integrate the failed socialist state. One reads:
" The integration of the old communist lander is far from
complete: money has moved from west to east, the people have
moved in the opposite direction. Some Germans now say the
old East Germany is the equivalent of a Potemkin village:
the buildings have been given a makeover but the mass exodus
of the young means there is no one living in them." In
"Germany's new boom: making money by making stuff," by Larry
Elliott, Guardian UK, 14 March 2011.
The imagery of this was and remains profound, as one
considers how and why East Germans
Fled from empty market shelves
- a history lesson.
[ 3 ] Such an enormous
number should be headline news in the US, not to mention
around the world given the many governments which hold US
treasuries. It is not. One likelihood is that other
government investors are involved in the same sorts of
A clear-headed editorial opinion is found: "This is
no minor book-keeping bureaucratic snafu. It exposes the
rampant corruption at the heart of the world’s largest
military Leviathan, the Pentagon. The Pentagon report
goes on to declare, 'In addition, DFAS Indianapolis did not
document or support why the Defense Departmental Reporting
System-Budgetary (DDRS-B), a budgetary reporting system,
removed at least 16,513 of 1.3 million records during third
quarter FY2015…the data used to prepare the FY2015 AGF third
quarter and year-end financial statements were unreliable
and lacked an adequate audit trail.' (emphasis added)
Translated into plain English, the US Army–and that’s only
one branch of the US Armed Forces–destroyed accounting
documents, did not provide an audit trail for accountability
of funds allocated by Congress, and made apparently
arbitrary, unverifiable accounting year-end adjustments that
made it look like the books balanced, adjustments of $6.5
trillion worth. In other words they not only cooked the
books, they Dixie-fried them, as
in…trillion…trillion…trillion…" In "The Collapse of
Rome: Washington’s $6.5 trillion Black Hole," by F. William
Engdahl, New Eastern Outlook, 22 August 2016.
$6.5 Trillion in
Arbitrary and Unverifiable Adjustments
This number represents approximately one-third of the
so-called public debt. This number also is symptomatic of
the extreme lack of accountability for not only the US Army
and the Pentagon, but also the Commander-in-Chief, Obama,
and his entire upper-level functionaries which include the
previous Secretary of State, Clinton, and her ineptitude in
that position coupled to major military marketing on the
part of the federal government and demands for regime change
around the world.
As to accountability, one reads: "The American
arming of Syrian rebels, by both the Central Intelligence
Agency and the Defense Department, has also been troubled by
questions of accountability and outright theft in a war
where the battlefield is thick with jihadists aligned with
Al Qaeda or fighting under the banner of the Islamic State."
In "How Many Guns Did the U.S. Lose Track of in Iraq and
Afghanistan? Hundreds of Thousands," by C. J. Chiversaug,
New York Times, 24 August 2016.
Minor Book-keeping Bureaucratic Snafu
"This is no minor book-keeping bureaucratic snafu." This is
the exposing of "rampant corruption" by government under a
Democrat administration and its now proven dream for "a
comprehensive planetary regime," in the words of those in
service to Obama and his political allies, as they dream
their elitist dreams, as seen in
The Privileges of Intellectuals
The Potemkin Village of a Peace Prize recipient advocating
seemingly kindly, liberal politics alongside continual war
wears away, exposing simple fascism ineptly hidden behind
the social justice, cultural relativist and postmodern
smiley-face of today's "progressive" politics. After all,
progress today equals fifteen years of continual war, new
military conflicts, profitable weapons sales in parallel
with $6.5 trillion in cooked federal accounting in only one
year's budget, at the
The Cat in the Box
"The sun did not shine. / It was too wet to play. / So we
sat in the house / All that cold, cold, wet day." So begins "The Cat in
the Hat," by Dr. Seuss, who was also Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904-1991),
Random House, Houghton Mifflin, 1957.
The sun did not shine
For the box was closed shut;
Thus no one could tell
If that cat lived -- or what.
Yes, and -- yup -- no,
So the answer is this:
You can't really know.
Who'd buy a cat,
Both dead and alive?
You'd just have to peek
And answers derive.
Schrödinger with umlaut
Is Schrodinger too,
And Schroedinger, also,
Spelling three states, not two.
Dead or alive?
'Maybe' will play.
Umlaut or not?
What do you say?
You can't really know
Until you can know,
For to know what you can't
Heaps trouble on woe.
The sun cannot shine
When willfully blind,
As ears will not hear
When closed is a mind.
Envoi: "A cat
is placed in a steel box along with a Geiger counter, a vial of poison,
a hammer, and a radioactive substance. When the radioactive substance
decays, the Geiger detects it and triggers the hammer to release the
poison, which subsequently kills the cat. The radioactive decay is a
random process, and there is no way to predict when it will happen.
Physicists say the atom exists in a state known as a superposition—both
decayed and not decayed at the same time. Until the box is opened, an
observer doesn't know whether the cat is alive or dead—because the cat's
fate is intrinsically tied to whether or not the atom has decayed and
the cat would, as Schrödinger put it, be 'living and dead ... in equal
parts' until it is observed. In other words, until the box was
opened, the cat's state is completely unknown and therefore, the cat is
considered to be both alive and dead at the same time until it is
observed." In "The Physics Behind Schrödinger's
[ 1 ]
Cat Paradox," by Melody Kramer, National Geographic, 14 August 2016.
Addendum in Notation:
|Decayed> |Dead> and After:
|Whole>Alive>|Buy Cat Litter>+|Decayed>|Dead>|Bury in the box>
Addendum in Politics:
"You've heard about the controversies within the bill, the
process about the bill, one or the other. But I don't know if you have
heard that it is legislation for the future, not just about health care
for America, but about a healthier America, where preventive care is not
something that you have to pay a deductible for or out of pocket.
Prevention, prevention, prevention—it's about diet, not diabetes. It's
going to be very, very exciting. But we have to pass the bill so that
you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the
controversy." In "The Ghost of Gaffes Past, A selection of gaffes from
the 2010 campaign that we should forgive," by David Weigel, Slate.com,
27 December 2010.
[ 2 ]
Addendum of Not Fooling the
Person Easiest to Fool: "The first principle is
that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool."
In "Cargo Cult Science," Richard P. Feynman, "Some remarks on science,
pseudoscience, and learning how to not fool yourself," Caltech’s 1974
Addendum from an Email, as Hacked by Wikileaks:
[ 3 ]
Addendum of the Democrat National
Committee's Taco Bowl, as Hacked by WikiLeaks:
[ 4 ]
Addendum of Some Cats Missing
in the Goggle Box: "Need to know who’s running
for President of the United States? Don’t Google it. Searching for
‘presidential candidates’ brings up a handy guide above all of the other
search results with pictures of candidates with active campaigns.
Clicking on a picture brings up searches for the candidates. The only
problem is that Republican candidate Donald Trump isn’t included.
Neither is Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson." In "Trump left out of
Google search for presidential candidates," by NBC4 Staff, WCMH-TV
Columbus, 27 July 2016.
[ 5 ]
of a Paradoxical Reversion to a Singular State:
"Bernie Sanders said he plans to return to the Senate as an independent,
despite winning 13 million votes in the Democratic Party’s presidential
primary contest. 'I was elected as an independent; I’ll stay two years
more as an independent,' Sanders said." In "Bernie Sanders to revert
to independent for rest of Senate term ," by Peter Nicholas, Market
Watch, 26 July 2016.
[ 6 ]
Addendum of a Dead Cat Box
Opened in 2008 and Closed Again in 2016: "Hillary
Clinton. She’ll say anything, and change nothing. It’s time to turn the
page. Paid for by Obama for America." In "Obama: Hillary Will 'Say
Anything and Change Nothing'," by Michael James, ABC News, 25 January
[ 7 ]
Addendum of the Rich Picture
of a War Hawk: "...those Hillary Clinton emails, they
connect together with the cables that we have published of Hillary
Clinton, creating a rich picture of how Hillary Clinton performs
in office, but, more broadly, how the U.S. Department of State operates.
So, for example, the disastrous, absolutely disastrous intervention
in Libya, the destruction of the Gaddafi government, which led to the
occupation of ISIS of large segments of that country, weapons flows
going over to Syria, being pushed by Hillary Clinton, into jihadists
within Syria, including ISIS, that’s there in those emails. There’s
more than 1,700 emails in Hillary Clinton’s collection, that we have
released, just about Libya alone." In "Assange: Why I Created WikiLeaks'
Searchable Database of 30,000 Emails from Clinton's Private Server,"
quote of Julian Assange, Democracy Now, 25 July 2016.
of the Cats in a Basket Generalization: "In an
effort to explain the support behind Trump, Clinton went on to describe
the rest of his supporters as people who are looking for change in any
form because of economic anxiety and urged her supporters to empathize
with them. 'To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of
Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables,' Clinton
said. 'Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you
name it'." In "Clinton: Half of Trump supporters are in 'basket of
deplorables'," by Dan Merica and Sophie Tatum, CNN, 10 September 2016.
Addendum of the
Advertising Box Ripped Open: "It's all an act.
Sports Illustrated model Hannah Ferguson revealed filming Carl's Jr. ads
which are known for their steamy campaigns is not as sexy as the
commercials make it out to be. 'They had a spit bucket on the side,
so every time I would take a bite out of the burger, this guy would have
to run over with a bucket,' she told Hamptons magazine. 'I ate a few
bites, but most of it I put in the spit bucket'." In "Hannah Ferguson
admits filming Carl's Jr. ads is not sexy," FOX News, 3 August 2016.
Addendum of Success in
the Box: " 'Operation Unified Protector is one of
the most successful in NATO’s history… We have done this together for
the people of Libya, so they can take their future firmly and safely
into their own hands. Libyans have now liberated their country. And
they have transformed the region. This is their victory” - Former NATO
Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, speaking in October, 2011." In
"I Thought NATO “Liberated” Libya in 2011?" by Steven MacMillan,
New Eastern Outlook, 4 August 2016.
[ 8 ]
Ransom-and-not-Ransom: "Despite the
administration’s official claim of an innocent confluence of events,
Iranian Revolutionary Guard leaders claimed otherwise in state media
that 'Taking this much money back was in return for the release of the
American spies.' David Ibsen, president of United Against Nuclear Iran,
told Salon that the recent detention of Robin Shahini, another U.S.
citizen, is further evidence that Washington should be thwarting—not
rewarding—Iran’s bad behavior. 'The secret airlifting of $400 million
in cash to the Iranian regime is just another example of the United
States enabling the nefarious activities of the Ayatollah and his
proxies,' he said." In "Congress was right: The Iran deal is a
travesty — and Obama is to blame" by Carrie Sheffield, Salon.com, 4
[ 9 ]
Addendum of the Cat in a Bag:
"Magnette was addressing MPs after a meeting in Namur with Canada's
international trade minister Chrystia Freedland and the former EU
negotiator for the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (Ceta)
Mauro Petriccione. The talks are about a declaration that will be added
to the agreement, to explain some of its elements, such as agriculture
policy; labour; environmental or data privacy standards; or the investor
settlement mechanism. 'The mechanism is not described with
precision,' Magnette said. 'It's like buying a cat in a bag'." In
"Wallonia still refuses to buy Ceta 'cat in a bag',' by Eric Maurice, EU
Observer, 21 October 2016.
Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger (German: [ˈɛɐ̯viːn ˈʃʁøːdɪŋɐ];
12 August 1887–4 January 1961), sometimes written as Erwin
Schrodinger or Erwin Schroedinger, was a Nobel Prize-winning
Austrian physicist who developed a number of fundamental
results in the field of quantum theory, which formed the
basis of wave mechanics: he formulated the wave equation
(stationary and time-dependent Schrödinger equation) and
revealed the identity of his development of the formalism
and matrix mechanics. Schrödinger proposed an original
interpretation of the physical meaning of the wave
function." Wikipedia article, n. d.
2 ] The
amusing editorial stance by Weigel, who was also a
journalist writing for the Washington Post, states that this
statement was a "gaffe." In hindsight, one sees the emerging
answer to whether or not the ObamaCare cat is prospering or
dying in a survey over time from media reports found after
A Countdown Song
- counting upwards to down.
As the box is opened, the state of something not known but
with more than one possible outcome becomes observable as
only one outcome. Does the cat live or die?
Pre-approved by Politics
In another gaffe informing on the possibility of collusion
or no collusion in journalism: "Politico acknowledged Sunday
that it was a 'mistake' for one of its top reporters to send
the Democratic National Committee an advance copy of an
article while emphasizing there were no substantive changes
made to the piece prior to publication. A May 2 article by
Politico’s Ken Vogel and Isaac Arnsdorf ― 'Clinton
fundraising leaves little for state parties' ― has come
under scrutiny since WikiLeaks published over 19,000
internal DNC emails on Friday." In "Politico Admits
‘Mistake’ In Sending DNC An Article In Advance," by
Michael Calderon, Huffington Post, 24 July 2016.
Modeling on the "not yet known" is akin to the paradox of
the alive-and-dead cat. One must wait to see: "...people
don't know how much she's accomplished and how big an effect
it's had on people's lives. But here's what I will say. I
don't think people will fully appreciate who she is until,
knock on wood, she's elected president, because when she is
president, I think--I think she will be phenomenally
successful because she's a workhorse." In "Full transcript:
POLITICO's Glenn Thrush interviews Robby Mook," by Politico
Staff, 28 July 2016.
Examining the argument at face value, Mook argues that a
politician in the public eye for decades, who was first lady
in the White House for eight years, a Senator from New York
and Secretary of State in the current administration and
regularly in the news throughout those many years. The
statement that "people don't know how much she's
accomplished and how big an effect it's had on people's
lives" is nonsensical, albeit political. What he proposes,
therefore, is quite akin to the "gaffe" as noted in the
Huffington Post article, in which the Politico -- which has
published the above appeal to vote for a somehow not well
enough known candidate in order to "appreciate" her --
"admits 'mistake' in sending DNC an article in advance."
That this is paradoxical in the sense of the dead-and-alive
cat becomes obvious, for when gauging
an outcome based on people's political allegiances, the
answer so often remains yes-and-no. No factual answer
separates yes from no. Thus one refers to the
"notation" above to find that the state of so much politics
seems designed to remain as long as possible in the "before"
state, and never learn clearly whether the cat is dead or
alive, or even if the name is spelled one way or another.
Consider the fact that -- and reasons why --
3 ] Of a
"secure" server or email, one reads: "Mrs. Clinton,
and her campaign, have always maintained that the server was
secure. President Obama backed her up in an interview last
October on CBS’s '60 Minutes.' 'I don’t think it posed a
national security problem,' he said. But Mr. Comey painted a
different picture. 'Hostile actors gained access to the
private commercial email accounts of people with whom
Secretary Clinton was in regular contact,' he said." In
"Hillary Clinton’s Email Was Probably Hacked, Experts Say,"
by David E. Sanger, New York Times, 6 July 2016.
As to exposes of Clinton emails, one reads from the Clinton
campaign: "Was the server ever hacked? No, there is no
evidence there was ever a breach. Was there ever an
unauthorized intrusion into her email or did anyone else
have access to it? No. What was done after her email was
exposed in February 2013 after the hacker known as 'Guccifer'
hacked Sid Blumenthal’s account? While this was not a
breach of Clinton’s account, because her email address was
exposed, steps were taken at that time to ensure the
security and integrity of her electronic communications,
including changing her email address." In "Updated: The
Facts About Hillary Clinton’s Emails," HillaryClinton.com,
Briefing, Factsheets, last Last updated on December 11,
One reads of leaked Democrat National Committee emails:
"WikiLeaks released approximately 20,000 DNC emails on
Friday. Another email shows that Wasserman Schultz called
the attempt by the Sanders campaign to moderate the party’s
stance on Israel 'disturbing.' The DNC chair has long been
criticized for anti-Sanders bias. Wasserman Schultz served
as co-chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign,
and is a longtime Clinton ally." In "DNC emails:
Wasserman Schultz furiously pressured MSNBC after it
criticized her 'unfair' treatment of Sanders," by Ben
Norton, Salon.com, 22 July 2016.
"Was the server ever hacked?" It turns out the answer
is yes. One reads based on FBI interviews and reports:
"The incident appears to be the first confirmed intrusion
into a piece of hardware associated with Hillary Clinton’s
private email system, which originated with a server
established for her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
The FBI disclosed the event in its newly released report
on the former secretary of state’s handling of classified
information." In "Someone using Tor breached email
account on Clinton server," by Eric Geller, Politico, 2
"No" is "yes."
Recollection of Significant Things?
From the FBI interview, one also learns: "Most
surprisingly perhaps: Clinton said she 'did not recall
receiving any emails she thought should not be on an
unclassified system.' Clinton said she relied on
employees’ judgment in sending her emails. But Clinton’s
memory doesn’t just fall short on email servers, vital
procedures and possible security problems. When asked by the
FBI to give an example of how a federal document arrives at
classification, Clinton couldn’t. The FBI document is sure
to raise issues about how Clinton and President Obama’s
State Department handled secure papers and emails." In "Clinton
Told FBI She Couldn’t Recall Key Details 26 Times," by
Jim Stinson, Lifezette, 2 September 2016.
"No" is "yes," and also not recalling substantive things.
A further report notes: "Said the report, 'Clinton
said she received no instructions or direction regarding the
preservation or production of records from (the) State
(Department) during the transition out of her role as
Secretary of State in 2013. However, in December of
2012, Clinton suffered a concussion and then around the New
Year had a blood clot (in her head). Based on her doctor's
advice, she could only work at State for a few hours a day
and could not recall every briefing she received,' the
report said." In "Clinton says could not recall all
briefings due to concussion: FBI report," Reuters via
CNBC, 2 September 2016.
"No" is "yes," and not recalling based on a concussion. Were
one to try to revise Schrödinger's Cat Paradox to include
more than two possible outcomes, what would that look like?
It would look like a political campaign.
One could image other possible assertions modeled on the
above, such as "war" is "peace" is "I don't recall." Or
"debt" is "wealth" is "I forgot because I hit my head." Or
"true" is "false" is "because I could." This is a story with
many interesting twists yet to be uncovered as this paradox
seems not yet to have been fully solved by fully opening the
Produce and Unaware and Compliant Citzenry
What is important to note is that current Democrat party
politics seeks to produce "an unaware and compliant
citizenry." These words are specific as one reads:
"And as I've mentioned, we've all been quite content to
demean government, drop civics and in general conspire to
produce an unaware and compliant citizenry. The unawareness
remains strong but compliance is obviously fading rapidly.
This problem demands some serious, serious thinking - and
not just poll driven, demographically-inspired messaging."
In an email from Bill Ivey (email@example.com)
to John Pdesta ( firstname.lastname@example.org) 13 March 2016, as
provided by Wikileaks, circa 2016.
Clearing a War
in a Primary
Looking back one reads: "The Democratic National
Committee is 'clearing a path' for Hillary Clinton to be its
presidential nominee because its upper power echelons are
populated with women, according to a female committee member
who was in Las Vegas for Tuesday's primary debate.
Speaking on the condition that she isn't identified, she
told Daily Mail Online that the party is in the tank for
Clinton, and the women who run the organization decided it
'early on.' The committeewoman is supporting one of
Hillary's rivals for the Democratic nomination, and said she
spoke freely because she believes the former Secretary of
State is benefiting from unfair favoritism inside the
party." In "EXCLUSIVE: Democratic National
Committeewoman says her party is 'clearing a path' for
Hillary because 'the women in charge' want it that way," by
David Martosko, Daily Mail, 15 October 2015.
Also: "Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has a widely
known antipathy toward Clinton. He's been quoted as
calling the former Secretary of State a 'war hawk'—a
disparaging term for someone eager for armed conflict
abroad—and warned in June that a new leak could damage her
candidacy. Assange has also been sharply critical of
President Barack Obama's foreign policy, most notably his
administration's use of drones in the Middle East." In "Wikileaks
hits DNC ahead of convention, competes with Kaine VP
nomination," by Javier E. David, MSNBC, 23 July 2016.
Hawk Endorses a War Hawk
More as to the description of war hawk from news of a Bush
administration supporter of Clinton: "As deputy
secretary of Defense under Bush, Wolfowitz was among the
earliest and biggest cheerleaders for invading Iraq and
deposing Saddam Hussein. Clinton, as a senator
representing New York, voted in 2002 to go to war in Iraq.
Clinton’s support of the invasion has dogged her since,
creating problems with members of the Democratic base who
view her as a hawk." In "George W. Bush's Iraq war
architect says he will likely vote for Clinton," by Seema
Mehta, Los Angeles Times, 26 August 2016.
Another War Hawk
Endorses a War Hawk
Yet another Clinton advisor, supporter and former CIA
Director for Obama shows a war hawk's talons: "Hillary
Clinton wants to increase airstrikes against ISIS. She said
she would arm the moderate rebels, and pressure Russia to
get out of Syria. We should add that Panetta is advising the
Clinton campaign." In "Former CIA director on
'worst-case scenario' in Syrian civil war," Margaret Brennan
Interview with Leon Panetta, CBS News, 17 July 2016.
The article details the war hawk's urge to "press on" for
expanded war: "I think the likelihood is that the
next president is gonna have to consider adding additional
special forces on the ground to try to assist those moderate
forces that are taking on ISIS, and that are taking on
Assad's forces. And we have to increase our air strikes.
We've got to do all of those things in order to put
increasing pressure on ISIS but also on Assad. We can't
surrender one objective for the other. We've gotta continue
to press on both fronts."
a War Hawk Candidate
Amusingly entities with spokespersons ready at an instant to
comment seemed immediately absent. One reads: "The
DNC did not respond to requests for comment. The Clinton
campaign did not immediately respond to a request for
comment." In "Emails Released by WikiLeaks Appear to
Show DNC Trying to Aid Hillary Clinton," by Alana Abramson
and Shushannah Walshe, ABC News, 22 July 2016.
When the quantum-masking box is opened, one observed quantum state is
confirmed, sometimes embarrassingly. One reads: "The
head of the Democratic Party resigned on Sunday amid a furor
over embarrassing leaked emails, hoping to head off a
growing rebellion by Bernie Sanders supporters on the eve of
the convention to nominate Hillary Clinton for the White
House. Lingering bitterness from the heated primary campaign
between Clinton and Sanders erupted after more than
19,000 Democratic National Committee emails, leaked on
Friday, confirmed Sanders' frequent charge that the party
played favorites in the race." In "Democrats in disarray
on eve of convention to nominate Clinton," by John
Whitesides, Reuters, 25 July 2016.
One must conclude that the Democrat Party is now a party of
war, given the eight years of Obama's wars continuing in
Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, as well as being allied
with Saudi Arabia against Yemen, and with cross border drone
attacks in a number of other nations. Moreover, this shows
in the consistency with which the DNC seems to have
concluded Clinton was the nominee "before a single vote was
One finds that expressed literally: "Based on many
similar memos and documents released by Guccifer 2.0 from
the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and DCCC, it
appears the Democratic Party leadership felt strangely
self-assured Clinton would be their presidential nominee
before a single vote was cast. The Clinton campaign and
DNC have not disputed the veracity of any files or documents
leaked, rather they have portrayed themselves as the victims
of Russian hackers to divert attention from the content of
the leaks." In "Breaking: Guccifer 2.0 Releases More DNC
Docs, Exposing More Corruption," by Michael Sainato,
Observer UK, 23 September 2016.
an Issue for a CNN War Hawk?
As noted below, the Obama State Department under Clinton
advocated for massive weapons sales to Saudi Arabia. One
finds a "news" man worried if such sales were not to
continue. One reads: "...opposition to a $1.1
billion U.S. arms sale to Saudi Arabia — which has been
brutally bombing civilian targets in Yemen using U.S.-made
weapons for more than a year now — alarmed CNN’s Wolf
Blitzer on Thursday afternoon. Blitzer’s concern: That
stopping the sale could result in fewer jobs for arms
manufacturers. 'So for you this is a moral issue,' he told
Paul during the Kentucky Republican’s appearance on CNN.
'Because you know, there’s a lot of jobs at stake. Certainly
if a lot of these defense contractors stop selling war
planes, other sophisticated equipment to Saudi Arabia,
there’s going to be a significant loss of jobs, of revenue
here in the United States. That’s secondary from your
standpoint?' " In "Wolf Blitzer Is Worried Defense
Contractors Will Lose Jobs if U.S. Stops Arming Saudi Arabia,"
by Zaid Jilanind Alec Emmons, Intercept, 9 September 2016.
The article notes this alliance with Saudi Arabia results in
the following: "Saudi Arabia began bombing Yemen in
March 2015, and has since been responsible for the majority
of the 10,000 deaths in the war so far. The
U.S.-backed bombing coalition has been accused of
intentionally targeting civilians, hospitals, factories,
markets, schools, and homes. The situation is so bad that
the Red Cross has started donating morgue units to Yemeni
One may well
conclude then that there are many war hawks in the United
States, in media as in and surrounding the Obama
administration. For more on this, consider the sourced
addenda and footnotes which tell of war hawks aplenty:
A Modern Observation on The Anti-War Movement, Revisited
- "All we
are saying is give peace a chance."
War Hawk and Her
War Party Seeking
to Keep People Ignorant
As to the ostensibly "disparaging term" of war hawk, one may
survey many sourced addenda and footnotes to the Obama
administration and Clinton's time as Secretary of State
which undergird the description that both have proven in
government actions, unlike government words, to have been
"war hawks" quite like and more potent than the Bush
The issue is merely one of opening the box to determine the
outcome of a seeming paradox. As one journalist noted of the
"long-standing problem" being solved by opening the "box"
and perhaps letting the "cat" out of the proverbial bag:
"The email leaks turned that into a public conversation."
In "Leaked emails aside, the DNC has been a long-standing
problem," by Dan Balz, Washington Post, 24 July 2016.
"War hawk" as a phrase enters the larger picture for the
Democrats, as it should. Moreover during the DNC convention
one learns that the powers that be sought to quiet an
anti-war message directed at Leon Panetta: " 'To
have a literal blackout occur over the people supporting the
anti-war message, which is what Bernie Sanders supports,
this is just more of the same,' LaFleur said. 'This is
to be expected'." In "DNC 2016: Lights over Oregon
delegation cut after chants of 'No More War'," by Talia
Richman, The Oregonian," 28 July 2016. Are some Democrats
war hawks? Is the nominee a war hawk? Are the producers of
the event a part of what has been called the
"military-industrial complex?" Is the party demonstrably for
war in deeds, if not in words?
It becomes understandable and even predictable
political strategy for a war hawk as well as a highly aggressive
campaigner against Sanders in the primaries, as pictured
above: "She wants to achieve consistency and the
best way to do that is to keep the people ignorant."
One may remain ignorant or one may become informed, and
especially as regards Mrs. Clinton, proven war hawk
masquerading as a dove of peace. Which is the true state? To
observe, one must open the box.
Plan to Kill by Yet Another War Hawk
As to opening that box, one finds an aggressive voice for
war supporting Clinton for president in 2016. Michael Morell
is a former acting director of the US Central Intelligence
Agency (CIA) who worked under the Bush and Obama
administrations. One reads: "... Morell's plan to
kill Russians and Iranians was an ill-conceived attempt to
convince both nations to capitulate to US designs in Syria
today, so that an even greater loss of Russian and Iranian
lives could be embarked upon by wider proxy war in the near
future. In the process of organising this ill-conceived
plan, the US has now further implicated itself as a
state-sponsor of terrorism, further undermining its own
pretext for intervention in Syria to allegedly 'fight
terrorism.' With US-made TOW missiles conveniently, or
very likely, covertly falling into the hands of designated
terrorist organisations and being turned against Russian and
Iranian forces, the US has also further undermined its own
narrative revolving around its primacy as a stabilising
force both within the region and globally." In "Has CIA's
Plot to "Covertly" Kill Russians in Syria Come to Pass?" New
Atlas, 9 August 2016.
In Morell's own words from a Charlie Rose interview, one
reads: "During the interview, Morell would state: 'I'd
give them the things that they need to both go after the
Assad government but also to have the Iranians and the
Russians pay a little price. When we were in Iraq, the
Iranians were giving weapons to the Shia'a militia who were
killing American soldiers. The Iranians were making us pay a
price. We need to make the Iranians pay a price in Syria. We
need to make the Russians pay a price.' Charlie Rose would
then interrupt Morell to clarify by stating: 'You make them
pay the price by killing Russians? And killing Iranians?' To
which Morell replied emphatically: 'Yes. Yes. Covertly.
You don't tell the world about it, right? You don't stand up
at the Pentagon and say we did this. Right? But you make
sure they know it in Moscow and Tehran.' Morell's plans
echo those laid out by other US policymakers, including
those at the Brookings Institution." In "Has CIA's Plot
to "Covertly" Kill Russians in Syria Come to Pass?" New
Atlas, 9 August 2016.
The Democrat administration of Obama has postured as being
for peace, all the while pursuing and expanding war. The
Democrat nominee in 2016 is supported by Morell, who opening
his own yes/no paradox by saying for posterity: " 'Yes.
Yes. Covertly. You don't tell the world about it, right? You
don't stand up at the Pentagon and say we did this. Right?
But you make sure they know it in Moscow and Tehran.' "
Covertly? In a televised interview? While supporting the
Democrat Party? The conclusions are obvious, except to the
See that box has been opened, though many avert their eyes:
A Modern Observation on The Anti-War Movement, Revisited
- "All we
are saying is give peace a chance."
All the above may be placed in Marxist perspective, as one
reacquaints with the "war hawk" stance of Lenin. One
reads: " 'War is the Continuation of Politics by
Other' (i.e., Violent) 'Means'. This famous aphorism was
uttered by one of the profoundest writers on the problems of
war, Clausewitz. Marxists have always rightly regarded this
thesis as the theoretical basis of views concerning the
significance of every given war. It was precisely from this
viewpoint that Marx and Engels always regarded different
wars." In "Socialism and War," Vladimir
Ilyich Lenin with G. Y. Zinoviev, Sotsial-Demokrat Editorial
Board, Geneva, July—August 1915.
Moreover from this easily documented view, one learns that
war can be "progressive" as well as socialist:
"In history there have been numerous wars which, in spite
of all the horrors, atrocities, distress and suffering that
inevitably accompany all wars, were progressive, i.e.,
benefited the development of mankind by helping to destroy
the exceptionally harmful and reactionary institutions."
The only remaining question is to examine which are the
officially defined "harmful and reactionary institutions,"
as one watches a century and more of socialist
"institutions" having been befouled by wholesale and
barbarous murder. War is the continuation of politics, and
American politicians like so many politicians around the
world are easily invested in "progressive" war.
[ 4 ]
The latest WikiLeaks of the Democrat National
Committee emails demonstrates here and there some
interesting anomalies, this one being a cavalier tone in
speaking about the Hispanic community in the United States
as requiring the Democrats' "taco bowl engagement." It seems
that the box once closed, is opened and become a Pandora's
box of political problems for the party.
a Catastrophe and Taking Voters for Granted
Other related problems are noted: "...an all-white
ticket ignores the Democratic Party’s primary base,
especially considering the difficulty that people of color
have of being elected governor or senator, two of the
primary political vehicles (along with the vice presidency)
for being successfully elected president. Despite efforts to
tout her racial bonafides working for the Children Defense
Fund after law school, Clinton continues to take black
voters for granted. This is especially egregious given that,
as First Lady, she helped her husband champion crime and
welfare policies that ultimately resulted in catastrophe for
some of the nation’s most racially and economically
vulnerable communities." In "Clinton Continues to Take
Voters of Color for Granted," by Peniel Joseph, New York
Times, 22 July 2016.
One reads: "What’s with Hillary Clinton and email? The
Democratic presidential nominee who shattered her
credibility over a rogue email system while serving as
secretary of state now must deal with an electronic snafu at
the Democratic National Committee. Among 20,000 DNC
emails posted by WikiLeaks on the eve of Clinton’s
nominating convention, there are scores in which party
employees criticized and mocked Bernie Sanders during his
primary campaign against Clinton." In "Another Clinton Email
Scandal," by Ron Fournier, Atlantic, 24 July 2016.
A variant on the quasi-logical notation above is suggested: Before: |Details
Hidden >|Champion of Minorities > + |Details Exposed
by WikiLeaks >|Taking Minorities
for Granted > and After: |Details Hidden >Champion
of Minorities >|Campaign Successes > + |Details Exposed >|Taking
Minorities for Granted >|Campaign Struggles >.
The box which remains closed keeps up the suspense. In this
political free-for-all, one finds: "...Assange
refused to confirm or deny a Russian origin for the mass
email leak, saying Wikileaks tries to create ambiguity to
protect all its sources. 'Perhaps one day the source or
sources will step forward and that might be an interesting
moment some people may have egg on their faces. But to
exclude certain actors is to make it easier to find out who
our sources are,' Assange told CNN." In "Julian Assange:
'A lot more material' coming on US elections," by Matthew
Chance, CNN, 26 July 2016.
Refusing "to confirm or deny" is to maintain the box as
closed, and the possible states not observed -- yet. The
metaphor between physics' famous box and the boxed-in
politicians whose "box" is opened to determine one "state"
and not another, of which Assange seemed fully aware.
Thus "keep the people ignorant" was a closed box, when
opened slightly and fleshed in with details
such that the health of this particular political "Schrödinger's cat"
suggests Pandora's box as the parallel metaphor.
One might want to "wave" at the "particle" as the quantum
state of not known is changed to Philip K. Dick's pertinent
quote just below, addressing that often-recurring moment
5 ] This small
news item carried by NBC News in Columbus, Ohio, was
amusingly commented on by someone with the moniker,
TheNakedLady. "If you need to google who is running for
President, maybe you shouldn't vote."
This seems doubly amusing because one thing about the
paradox of Schrödinger's Cat is that, if one begins with a
dead cat, the paradox is no paradox at all. The classic
diagram is amended to erase the living cat:
in the box> After: |Decayed>|Dead>|Bury
in the box>
One may then simplify further, doing away with the Geiger
counter, a vial of poison, a hammer, and a radioactive
substance. This leaves other questions. Who killed the cat?
Why? "If you need to google who is running for" cat or even
top dog, maybe you shouldn't vote?
In the search for a unified theory, this is a dream of the
many, and "many" of these many pursue their sinecure in a
lifelong and well-fattened career in
6 ] The DNC
campaign box, opened, shows a "Democrat" candidate to have
been consistently an Independent and to remain so after the
campaign's end. In the ballot box, was he Democrat or
Independent? The perception was that he fulfilled both
states of political being. At the end of the experiment, the
possibility of two distinct states of political being was
Schrödinger's Cat, if found dead at the end of the
paradoxical experiment, would not be revived, though if
alive could be killed. Democrat and Independent, to reveal
which state after the box was opened? Not a Democrat after
all, it seems.
[ 7 ]
The indeterminate state (one of two) becomes determined when
that state is measured. Looking back to Obama's assertion
about Clinton from 2008 that "she’ll say anything, and
change nothing. It’s time to turn the page" becomes
problematic as he endorses her eight years later. For the sake of
politics, he has seemingly changed this opinion. Which
opinion is his true opinion?
One reads of physics' wave particle singularity: "We
see that the more accurately we try to determine a
particle's position, the less accurately we know its
momentum, and vice versa." In "Timeless Reality:
Symmetry, Simplicity and Multiple Universes," by Victor J.
Stenger, Prometheus Books, 2000.
What may one then know of Obama's 2008 statement? Was it
true or false? Perhaps it was true-and-false?
is the Truth, Not an Either-Or Paradox
Of a particular 2016 statement by Clinton, one finds immediate
response: "New Bedford leaders are livid at Hillary
Clinton’s depiction of the Whaling City as a place where
handicapped children were abandoned at home because the
schools lacked accommodations for youngsters with special
needs. 'It’s not true,' former Mayor Jack Markey told the
Herald yesterday. 'I’m even a Democrat, but the truth is
the truth'." In "New Bedford officials angry at Hill,
Ex-Dem mayor, others dispute New Bedford anecdote in Clinton
DNC speech," by Brian Dowling and Joe Dwinell, Boston
Herald, 31 July 2016.
One measures an indeterminate statement by opening the box
of true-and-false to find in this instance that "New Bedford
leaders are livid" at a statement which a candidate hoped
would be heard to be true and which they state outright to
be "false." This simple political dance returns one to
Obama's 2008 statement. "Hillary Clinton. She’ll say
anything, and change nothing." His conclusion was "It’s time
to turn the page." Was this true-and-false in an
indeterminate manner in which both states are likely yet
neither clearly known? Or was this a true statement that it
was "time to turn the page" in 2008? Or was this a false
statement then, if seemingly a false statement by the
perspective of the DNC 2016 convention? All cannot be true,
anymore than Schrödinger's cat paradox implies. Why? The
"cat is considered to be both alive and dead at the same
time until it is observed." The New Bedford Democrats have
stated their observation, for the box is opened and the cat
is let out of the proverbial bag. " 'I’m even a Democrat,
but the truth is the truth'."
Depends on What the Meaning of the Word "Is" Is
A Washington Post "fact check" awarded "four Pinocchios" to
Clinton. One reads: "The Pinocchio Test - As we have
seen repeatedly in Clinton’s explanations of the email
controversy, she relies on excessively technical and
legalistic answers to explain her actions. While Comey
did say there was no evidence she lied to the FBI, that is
not the same as saying she told the truth to the American
public — which was the point of Wallace’s question. Comey
has repeatedly not taken a stand on her public statements.
And although Comey did say many emails were retroactively
classified, he also said that there were some emails that
were already classified that should not have been sent on an
unclassified, private server. That’s the uncomfortable
truth that Clinton has trouble admitting." In
"Clinton’s claim that the FBI director said her email
answers were ‘truthful’," by Glenn Kessler, 31 July 2016.
This fact check is amusing, as one watches as a candidate
try to stuff a "cat" back into the paradoxical box, so
as to assert one cannot yet know the "state" of the
dead-and-alive political cat. The box seems unwilling to be
In the same manner a globalist war hawk is a globalist war hawk, no matter how
peaceably it speaks while working to sell weapons and
overturn governments and promoting war. If Schrödinger's box
exploded for the armament sales advocated by Clinton and the
regimes toppled under her time as Secretary of State, the true-and-false
"cat" would no longer by found alive.
8 ] Like
Schrödinger's Cat Paradox in which one cannot know which
state the cat is in -- dead or alive -- without making a
direct observation, "success" in the 2011 parlance of Libya
was declared. Steven MacMillan of New Eastern Outlook looks
into the "success box," gathering together several pompous,
Among them: " 'In Libya, the death of Muammar
al-Qaddafi showed that our role in protecting the Libyan
people, and helping them break free from a tyrant, was the
right thing to do' – US President, Barack Obama,
speaking in October, 2011.
Then: " 'I am proud to stand here on the soil
of a free Tripoli and on behalf of the American people I
congratulate Libya. This is Libya’s moment, this is Libya’s
victory, the future belongs to you' – Former US
Secretary of State and Democratic Nominee for President,
Hillary Clinton, speaking in October, 2011.
Macmillan notes: "On August the 1st, US warplanes
bombed Islamic State (IS/ISIS/ISIL) targets in the Libyan
city of Sirte, almost exactly five years after Western
imperialists declared NATO’s 2011 war in Libya a complete
success. These strikes are not the first conducted by
the US in Libya this year, in a broader campaign that is
officially aimed at defeating an enemy that the US had a
major hand in creating in the first place (I’m sure the
military-industrial complex isn’t complaining however)."
The 2011 "success" was placed in a paradoxical box, with
public statements aplenty claiming what "was" was. Five
years late, it isn't.
a Complete Success for an American War Hawk
One reads the adverb "initially" from four years later:
"Initially, the Libya intervention seemed set to go down
as one of the Obama administration's triumphs. 'We came, we
saw, he died,' Clinton joked with a television reporter in
the wake of the death of the fugitive Gadhafi at the hands
of a mob, days after she visited Tripoli in support of
Libya's transitional government. But when Gadhafi fell, he
left a land of eviscerated political institutions
ill-prepared for its sudden freedom." In
"Hillary Clinton's other Libya problem,' by Stephen
Collinson, CNN, 21 October 2015.
"...the right thing to do."
Barak Obama, 2011.
The "success" box, packed and sealed up in 2011, is opened
like a Pandora's box. The "initially" statements were bogus.
CNN further notes: "Gathering questions over Libya
also point to one of the central complications of Clinton's
campaign for the Democratic nomination: The fact that she
must own a record at the State Department that lacks
clear-cut diplomatic triumphs. In addition, she'll have
to answer for misfires in the Obama administration's wider
foreign policy as GOP candidates who have not faced the
same tough choices can nitpick her record with the advantage
So is Obama's next front in the nebulous war on terror which
is mostly being fought against some Muslim entities legal? One
reads an editorial opinion: "This week’s strikes by
U.S. drones and attack jets targeted Islamic State positions
in the city of Surt on the Mediterranean coast, from which
Libyan government forces are attempting to dislodge the
terrorist group. Though not the first American airstrikes in
Libya, this week’s missions are the inauguration of what
Pentagon officials called an open-ended effort to secure
Surt. It amounts to a major escalation. If one accepts
the administration’s insistence that the U.S. must take on
Islamic State — and we do, though we have opposed the
deployment of U.S. ground troops — it’s difficult to argue
that Libya should be off-limits. But it’s outrageous that
this war has been fought for almost two years without
explicit approval by Congress." In "Another front in the
war on Islamic State, and still no legal authority," by The
Times Editorial Board, 4 August 2016.
"Fought without explicit approval by Congress" is a phrase
testifying that "for almost two years" the Obama
administration has done what "amounts to a major
escalation." Obama is at war, and has been for his entire
"Peace Prize" administration. As Orwell noted in a work of
fiction, war is peace. It is become reality in the present
day. One might term this Schrödinger's Peace Paradox, in
which what is contained within the paradox is war-and-peace.
Two states, neither of which is supposed to be discerned
through the lenses of politics and newspeak.
Orwell -- War Is Peace
A Wikipedia article on Newspeak assists in deconstructing
this paradox. One reads: "It is a controlled language
created by the totalitarian state Oceania as a tool
to limit freedom of thought, and concepts that pose a
threat to the regime such as freedom, self-expression,
individuality, and peace. Any form of thought alternative to
the party’s construct is classified as 'thoughtcrime'."
That freedom, self-expression, individuality and real peace
were deemed in Orwell's tale as "a threat to the regime" is
in fact playing out in Western media today, left and right.
All is political perspective and nothing is supposed to be indisputable
fact. Two contradictory states of reality are contained in
this modern Western paradox, which resists solution as many
rage against clearly determining the end state of "The Cat
in the Box."
As with other forms of a "box" in which one is supposed to
be blinded from knowing a single outcome between two
possible states, the "success" box of Obama,
Clinton and NATO in 2011 contained little success,
but much killing and destruction. Such is the nature of politics,
which hopes not to be answerable to reality by throwing up
constructed paradox after constructed paradox, as with lie
after murderous lie. Such is the nature of the political
"success" box, as NATO and the peace-pursuing
Democrats of America crow about that which is
supposed to be perceived as objectively true. Success-and-Failure.
9 ] Obama claims
the shipment of $400 million of cash in various currencies
was not a ransom for American hostages. Iran claims it was.
Two contradictory states of political truth, much like the
alive-and-dead paradox, mirrors many such "political truths"
which try to evade clarity.
The article cited ends with an apt comparison, stripping
"difference" from the political circuses of 2016 by opining
that "...Trump continues to exhibit his reckless judgement [
sic ] on the campaign trail, Obama continues to exhibit
his own, just with more flowery language."
Flowery language hints at the human penchant for
storytelling, as occurs in courtrooms wherein two opposing
lawyers attempt to paint different pictures from a same set
of facts or bog down proceedings in procedural
technicalities, all in attempts to "prove" two opposing
states of "dead-and-alive" as the Cat Paradox images.
The use of such language is important. One finds this view:
"This is the mysticism of apparatchiks, the romanticism
of bureaucrats, the poetry of clerks. From my limited
observations of management in public hospitals and other
parts of the public health care system, it seeks to be not
lean, in the commonly used sense of the word, but fat,
indeed as fat as possible; nor are large private
institutions very much different. It seems, then, that we
have entered, gradually and without any central direction or
decree, a golden age of langue de bois or even of
Newspeak. Langue de bois is the pompous, vague, and abstract
words that have some kind of connotation but no real
denotation used by those who have to hide their real motives
and activities by a smokescreen of scientific- or
benevolent-sounding verbiage." In "Life de Bois," by
Theodore Dalrymple, Taki's Magazine, 10 September 2016.
Have All the Flowers Gone, Long Time Passing?
Would Obama's "flowery language" in this
"golden age of langue de bois" be "to hide" his "real
motives and activities by a smokescreen of scientific- or
Sheffield clearly states her view without flowery
language: "The ransom not only incentivizes Iran
to take more Americans hostage, but it also effectively
declared open season on Americans for every rogue regime and
terrorist group around the world. 'The $400 million payment,
which Tehran has transferred to its military, directly
subsidizes Iran’s hegemonic ambitions,' Kahn told Salon.
'It has led the regime to capture more hostages. And it
demonstrates that the nuclear deal, far from moderating
Iran, has merely emboldened it to further provoke America,
secure in the knowledge that the White House will do almost
anything to protect its signature foreign policy
Another report suggests this was "...a one-sided
transaction loaded with perks for Tehran. 'The Islamic
republic made an expensive offer to the equation: the
release of seven Iranian prisoners in the United States,
$1.7 billion, and the lifting of sanctions against 16
Iranians who were prosecuted by the U.S. legal system with
the unjust excuse of sanctions violations,' the narrator
intones." In "Could Trump have been right? Propaganda film
suggests Iran DID videotape cash-drop plane and photograph
shipment of cash during January prisoner swap," by David
Martosko, Daily Mail, 5 August 2016.
But as to the tale of money and Iran, one learns of a
complexity: "Ahmadinejad wrote that despite
early promises by the US president to improve ties with Iran
'the same hostile policies along with the same trend of
enmity were pursued'. He specifically mentioned the $2
billion of Iranian foreign currency reserves seized from New
York bank accounts earlier this year. In April, the US
Supreme Court confirmed an earlier ruling that the money
should be used to compensate the families of victims of the
1983 bombing of a US Marines barracks in Lebanon and other
incidents blamed on Iran." In "Iran ex-president writes
to Obama demanding frozen funds," Agence France Presse, 8
Eight Years of War, War and Wars
Meanwhile in the eight year of Obama's portion of the
Afghanistan war, "The (ISIS) website that published the
photos speculated that the equipment and weapons were left
behind during that engagement, but Flesvig said American
officials are still trying to determine exactly when and how
it was lost. The push in Nangarhar came after President
Barack Obama cleared American troops to take a more active
role in fighting militants in Afghanistan." In "Islamic
State militants claim capture of U.S. weapons in Afghanistan,"
by Josh Smith, Reuters, 7 August 2016.
Even stranger as regards the Obama State Department, one
discovers: "Khalimov is set to take the position
vacated by Abu Omar al-Shishani, also known as Omar the
Chechen, who was killed in the Iraqi city of Shirqat, south
of Mosul. in early July and whom the Pentagon described as
Islamic State's 'minister of war.' What makes the ascent
of Khalimov particularly embarrassing for the US is that The
former paramilitary unit commander of the Tajikistan armed
forces received his battlefield training from American
advisors and even came to the United States on several
occasions to receive special counterterrorism training
through the US State Department’s Diplomatic
Security/Anti-Terrorism Assistance program." In
"US-Trained Special Ops Fighter Is The Islamic State's New
Top Commander In Iraq," ZeroHedge, 5 September 2016.
Why would the Obama State Department involve itself in
training someone who turns out to have become a major
Islamic State militant? The article observes: "In
any case, as has so often been the case in the recent past,
a special ops military expert by the US, is now engaged in
deadly combat wih [ sic ] his former teacher; further
adding to the paradox, his weapons and supplies have also
been provided by the US: an odd outcome which, as many have
pointed out, benefits just one group: the shareholders of
the US military-industrial complex, which always wins no
matter who, or how many lives are lost."
With the Obama-Clinton nexus responsible for the last eight
years of war, some but not all of it begun under Bush, the
fact is that the US State Department has been deeply
involved in armament sales, weapons proliferation and the
arming of both sides in wars. These are achievements?
Flowery language connects with a failure to rely on history,
recent and ancient alike. Of language and war and terror one
reads: "Perhaps that’s as good a definition of good
writing as we’re going to find. Destructive politics is
inevitably bound up with forgetfulness of our humanity, in
one way or another – the organised inhumanity of tyranny,
the messianic aspirations of communism, the passion for
control on the part of managerial modernity, the naked and
brutal murderousness of terrorism. But Merton
explicitly, and Orwell implicitly, remind us that this is
not just about bad governance or oppression. If we talk
and write badly, dishonestly, unanswerably, what we are
actually doing is getting ready for war. The habits of
mind that make war inevitable are the habits of bad language
– that is to say, the habits that grow from uncritical
attitudes to power and privilege: contempt towards the
powerless, towards minorities, towards the stranger, the
longing for an end to human complexity and difference.
Orwell explicitly and (perhaps) Merton implicitly are trying
to identify the all-important possibility that we may
passionately quarrel, even that we may fight to defend
ourselves against political evil in one way or another,
without simply buying into various kinds of totalitarianism,
overt or covert. Orwell has an almost medieval sense of what
is involved in battling to the death to defend yourself
against an enemy for whom you retain a degree of human
respect, in that you do not seek to dehumanise them, to put
them once and for all outside the boundaries of human
discourse and exchange." In "What Orwell can teach us about
the language of terror and war," by Rowan Williams, Guardian
UK, 12 December 2015.
Using language persuasively yet dishonestly has allowed a
"Peace Prize" to be conferred on a maker of wars with now
eight years of war behind him. It allows a "journalist" to
worry about the jobs of the makers of war materials, as it
allows politics to ignore the wars and bragging about regime
changes by ostensible "progressive" and "liberal"
politicians. It allows messianic aspirations to flourish in
the generalizations of political speech. Most especially, it
allows the camouflaging of contempt by "leaders" for whole
groups of people. As Clinton rudely spoke of her imagined
"basket of deplorables" as but one example of contempt for
others in supposedly "flowery language."
What is an achievement when and if built upon flowery
language which so easily lies? It is
that all-to-human game in which truth becomes optional, and
as above "the right thing to do" and "success" ballyhooed in
one year is borne out as wrong-headed and a failure in the
next. It surely seems to be self-congratulatory and
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it,
doesn't go away." Philip K. Dick, in "I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon," first
published in Playboy, December 1980, under the title, "Frozen Journey."
Platitudes meet realities,
and vapidities are harmed.
Slogans cross complexities,
simplistic thought's alarmed.
Think a phrase will conquer all?
Think that words are charmed?
find platitudes unarmed.
Clichés simply are no match,
repeated as if prayer
As verities strip naked lies
and, yes, life is not fair.
Truisms speak not clear truth,
though spoke in hackneyed words,
And broke is fumbling verbiage
which so little undergirds.
am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I
am saying." Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
Addendum of the
Unintelligible Creed: "Platitudes piled up
about 'values', 'equality', and 'beliefs' do not comprise an ethic to
live by, as is already amply demonstrated. He [ Cameron ]
even says of ISIS: 'We should contrast their bigotry, aggression and
theocracy with our values. We have a very clear creed in our country and
we need to promote it much more confidently.' What creed? Whatever it
is, no one seems to know it. And it doesn’t seem to work. Young Muslim
idealists – 700 roughly at the last count – have flocked to join ISIS
precisely because 'our creed' is unintelligible." In "Bring on
the theologians, Mr Cameron," Jenny Taylor's blog, Lapomedia, 20 July
Addendum of an Era of
Platitudes: "We are now in an era when much of
political discourse consists in the shrieking of epithets, as well
as the imputation of discreditable motives and (often) of a slavish
adherence to extreme or notoriously unsuccessful ideologies. In the rare
moments when the war of defamatory sound bites rises to the invocation
of respectable or at least recognizable sources, foreign and
national-security matters are generally reduced to bandying about the
Munich Conference of 1938 and countering with the conjuration of 'boots
on the ground' as if that were an insane or morally reprehensible
concept." In "Political Discourse Enters Era of Platitudes, Lies,"
by Conrad Black, NY Sun, 2 October 2014.
Addendum of the
Preference for Platitudes: "...they preferred to
utter vague ideological platitudes about 'restoring democracy' and
'taking back control', falsely insinuate that incidents like the steel
closures would not have happened if it were not for the EU and admonish
'elites' despite being a campaign run by and using cherry-picked
statistics from these very elites." In "The politics of platitudes," The
Weekly Worker, 23 June 2016.
Addendum of Commencing
with Platitudes: "Commencement speeches are, by
and large, terrible (yes they are -- don't be one of those people who
pretend to like them. No one believes you). This may be because the
speakers, much like their intended audiences, seem to have waited until
the night before to begin working. More likely, the trouble is that
commencement speeches are usually little more than 15 minutes of
saccharine platitudes strung together in a vain attempt to mimic what
the speaker hopes sounds like wisdom." In "Lessons from
Ecclesiastes: Dreaming and doing," by Jack Hoey III, Carolina Compass,
[ 2 ]
[ 1 ] Taylor
notes from a Christian perspective than much of Western
political speech is constructed of "unintelligible"
platitudes. For this she concludes in speaking for the
"unintelligible" liberal West of today: "Greed is
our creed. Blame is our game. We blame everything for ISIS –
poverty, the Iraq war, capitalism, Islam, unemployment –
except the fact of evil and a world turned away from its own
The notion of "sin" sends a society which has supposedly
separated church from state fleeing from discussion or
raging against the word itself. In a similar blog Taylor
critiques the modern West aptly.
One reads: "We therefore have nothing to fight for,
or from. As Roger Scruton has written, 'It is as though
our society is seeking to define itself as a religious
community, whose very lack of faith has become a kind of
orthodoxy.' But you cannot fight a religious enemy
without religious conviction. Instead, we will be
consigned to an endless attrition on our own streets and
against our own freedoms against an implacable foe we cannot
even identify. The future looks very bleak indeed." In
"You cannot fight religion with atheism," Jenny Taylor's
blog, Lapomedia, 27 November 2015.
This orthodoxy has a vapid creed at best, and many of its
proponents become as exercised and angry with others within
its own society as with violent enemies of that society who
"hate" such a creed, which is easily seen essentially as no
creed at all. Such a vapid creed with its "lack of faith" as
an "orthodoxy" which must not be questioned brings many to
take their place in the
- there's no debating you.
[ 2 ] Hoey
echoes another and the very good question: "I, however,
prefer the sentiment of Stephen Colbert, when he delivered
the commencement speech at Northwestern University in 2011:
'You have been told to follow your dreams,' he said. 'But
what if it's a stupid dream?' This is a very good question."
The same question may be asked of political slogans, not to
mention the overly emotional argument over seemingly
competing platitudes, as if one amorphous slogan is really
that different than another competing amorphous slogan.
On the isle of crutches
On the isle of crutches
Men must limp and lean,
For so says the tradition
From which they must not wean.
They do this as their fathers
Before them also did,
And their fathers' fathers;
To not lean, they forbid.
On the isle of crutches
Women cling to them
For crutches are demanded
Which no one dare condemn.
They do this as their mothers
Before them also leaned,
And their mothers' mothers,
Tradition ne'er contravened.
On the isle of crutches
One who thinks to stray
And walk quite free, unfettered,
Must penalty harshly pay.
They do this for tradition
Which generations held
And generations duly teach:
Think never to rebel.
On the isle of crutches
A rebel must be crushed,
For so rules tradition
Which says rebels must hushed.
They do such as the culture
Has generations ruled;
As forefathers had enforced,
The rebel must be schooled.
On the isle of crutches
Hobbled men must rule,
For so says the culture
Which none should ridicule.
They do this for their fathers
Before them also did,
And their fathers' fathers;
To rebel they forbid.
I plan to live quite well beyond
the after I am dead,
And so distill a cheery draught
in place of worries' dread.
I plan to sing though voice be stilled,
as blind eyes see ahead,
And plan with faith quite also blind
to offer heart outspread.
I plan in prayer to cast out care;
for this end was I bred.
For such, these little brittle words
are here to read and spread.
Black and white
The above are black and white,
yet no one I have met
in all my travels round this world
are either one, and yet
what's black and white in truth
are words which separate
into distant classes
to chew the racist's bait.
The above are white and black,
but when one dares compare
these two colors, no one,
not even one most rare,
is truly black or white,
like print upon a page
which uses distant colors
to taunt us into rage.
The above are truths one sees
when looking with clear lens
which tell no lies worth telling
but yet might clearly cleanse
the animus of words
in print, in black and white,
which read or spoken shriek
with all their wordy might.
Listen with your eyes
and see the truth of tint
for none are black nor white
in nature's quaint blueprint
of colors crossing spectrums
and borders that well blur
the edges of both white and black
which wordy words so err.
Palettes of colors bold
stain with deft flecked paint
all the mixtures in-between
and with them reacquaint
that black and white are but
two among myriad hues
which tell so little of so much
though easy to abuse.
Black and white while read
was comedic jargon which
spoke to that odd wordiness
aimed to bait and switch
to doleful animosity
out symbols, speech or page,
as has been of man's language
in every bloody age.
White and black are liars,
which characters cartoon,
constructed for amusements
as are each broad buffoon
which contrasts black to white
on the world's storyboard
to distill one brittle message
seeking man's discord.
Eyes will blind to black
as bones will bleach to white
and all in all will meet
in that dimly distant night
when rancor's done
and days are dead,
when our colors fade
as ends the road ahead.
Addendum of a Recollection:
"WALLACE: How are we going to get rid of racism until...? /
FREEMAN: Stop talking about it. I'm going to stop calling you
a white man. And I'm going to ask you to stop calling me a black
man. I know you as Mike Wallace. You know me as Morgan Freeman.
You're not going to say, 'I know this white guy named Mike Wallace.'
Hear what I'm saying?' Hear what you're saying? Boy, do I ever. And
that part about "Stop talking about it" - nothing makes more sense.
Since racist acts were already against the law and had been
diminishing, the best way to extinguish, or seriously curtail, the
remaining racism was to stop talking about it, to stop making such a
big deal about it, to call each other by our names and not our races
and let the racial scab slowly heal and disappear." In "Why Race
Relations Have Gotten So Much Worse," by Roger L Simon, PJ Media, 10
Addendum of a
"Minority Minority" Op-Ed: "Black Americans
are not poor. Black Americans are among the wealthiest people on
Earth. According to Hollywood’s number one rating and advertising
standard, Nielsen- African Americans will spend $1.3 trillion
dollars in 2016 (http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2013/african-american-consumers-are-more-relevant-than-ever.html).
That is an amount greater than the total economies of Norway,
Sweden, and Switzerland combined. These are three of the wealthiest
countries on Earth http://www.businessinsider.com/top-countries-on-oecd-better-life-index-2013-5?op=1.
This amount of cash alone makes Black Americans the 19th
wealthiest “nation” in the world out of 230 countries that the CIA
This places us in the top 8% of countries as a global economic super
power. We spend so much money that our consumer spending dwarfs the
economy of the entire continent of Australia. So why do we “think”
and insist that we are poor while everyone else on the planet KNOWS
we are rich? The direct answers to why we think we are poor are
two equally important reasons: 1) Leadership 1) Entertainment."
In "Money, Entertainment, And Black Lives Matter," by Jerome Almon,
ThyBlackMan.com, 10 September 2015.
[ 1 ]
Addendum of an Illogical American
Meme: " 'To say that the Black Lives Matter
movement is racist is bizarre to me, not just because black
people don’t have the institutional power to be racist or to deploy
racism...." Quote of commentator Marc Lamont Hill, CNN
Interview, 11 July 2016.
[ 2 ]
of Black Racist Words: "Detroit police arrested
four men for allegedly threatening on Facebook to kill police
officers, police Chief James Craig said Sunday. One of the men
reportedly posted: 'All lives can’t matter until black lives
matter. Kill all white cops.' The arrests of the four
African-American Detroiters follow Thursday’s slayings of five
Dallas officers by a black sniper during a protest march. The man
blamed for the killings and injuries to seven others reportedly told
police he wanted to kill as many white cops as possible." In
"Detroit police arrest four for threats against cops," by George
Hunter, Detroit News, 11 July 2016.
[ 3 ]
Addendum of Not Helping
the Conversation: "...'I get so tired of
talking about diversity. These are amazing, talented actors and
amazing writers who give their all and they don’t have to do this.
It’s crowding the conversation.' Star Tracee Ellis Ross, nominated
in July for an Emmy for best comedy actress, turned the question
back on the reporter, asking, 'Is that a question that you’ve
asked other shows that are not predominately of a certain color?'
'Not necessarily,' the reporter said. 'Those questions continue the
conversation in a direction that does not help the conversation,'
Ross added." In "‘Black-ish’ Creator: ‘I Get So Tired of Talking
About Diversity’," by Daniel Holloway, Variety, 4 August 2016.
Consider the unscientific notion:
Everything's about my colored skin
(or sadly, Why racism works)
[ 1 ]
It has been said that perspective is or becomes reality.
There are of course poor and rich in every demographic,
including whatever it means to be black in America
infected with the belief in race as a biological
taxonomy. But what is more instructive is to consider
how this concept, unknown in regards to other forms of
animal life as "race," is used in the present day, quite
as in the days of slave ownership in the United States.
Skin color creates "value," positive or negative, and on
this political and sociological stances hinge. They
should not in an informed world making progress.
One needs to consider then a methodology by which
perceptions of oppression continue in the hearts of
Americans. This may be seen in a survey of sources and
Doctor Oppression comes to call
[ 2 ] There is an
interesting side to the assertion that "black people
don't have the institutional power to be racist or to
deploy racism," given the current administration is lead
by President Obama, whose replacement for Eric Holder as
Attorney General is Loretta Lynch. When the presidency
as an "institution" and the nation's top law enforcement
executive over an entire segment of the federal
government -- an institution within the institution --
are black, the argument begs the question: who heads the
institution which deploys institutional racism?
Is In Charge? Who Has Institutional Power?
Nationally those cities whose mayors, councilmen, police
chiefs and other administrators are black are black and
whose constituencies are black must as leaders of
various political institutions must then also "have the
institutional power to be racist or to deploy racism,"
given the nation has a black president and has had and
has currently black attorneys general. Are Philadelphia
and Baltimore, as examples, capable of deploying racism?
Internationally, those countries which have black
majorities in Africa and all nations and other entities
whose heads are "black" must as institutions then "have
the institutional power to be racist or to deploy
racism." Are African nations capable of deploying
This becomes the conundrum in language, when such a meme
is asserted. How is America as an institution racist
with blacks in positions of legal authority over that
Notion of "race" applied to arguments seems itself
racist. If this is so, then those who assert racism
today self identify as the real racists, as consistent
as those who held authority in the slave states before
the US Civil War in the 19th century, as those who held
authority over such race-avowing groups as the Ku Klux
Klan which included a recent Democrat leader in the US
Senate, Robert Byrd, and as consistent as all who offer
allegiance to the notion that "race" is a concept which
1) makes value judgments about the color of one's skin,
and 2) refuses to abandon such a concept, however wholly
unscientific and socially divisive such a concept is.
Such is "the racist's bait."
It serves a industry built upon it which for
profit to the few peddles to many the product called
As to Jerome Almon's taking note of rich among African
Americans, various estimates of Marc Lamont Hill place
his worth at about one million dollars. Apparently
institutional racism is proven by such? The answer would
be given that having a worth of one million dollars is
not rich, but in a world's demographic, it is.
[ 3 ] Wanting to kill
based on racial identification was and remains a human
phenomenon, as wanting to kill based on religious
affiliation has also been demonstrated over millennia.
The problem for racial polemicists in the United States
today is one of trying to define race, given the
multiracial makeup of Americans. But the stance of
killing whites as revenge for blacks killed by a group
is an additional burden in the so-called progressive
mind set. All one need pose is the seemingly "white"
How to kill
-- or would you just say no?
The response one might give speaks to the cognitive
dissonance of modern politics which answers too many
queries and challenges with some convoluted version of
"it depends." The question of how to kill anyone based
on some stereotypical bias is the same, ultimately. It
depends -- on your politics.
One learns that Marc Lamont Hill has weighed in on the
conflicts surrounding how to kill a negro on more than
one occasion. One reads: "In a HuffPost Live
segment today on the issue, host Marc Lamont Hill
made clear where his theoretical thinking lay: 'For what
it’s worth, I do think that those of us on the left have
made a decision not to cover this trial because we worry
that it’ll compromise abortion rights. Whether you agree
with abortion or not, I do think there’s a direct
connection between the media’s failure to cover this and
our own political commitments on the left. I think it’s
a bad idea, I think it’s dangerous, but I think that’s
the way it is.' Strong words from a host on a
left-leaning outlet." In "Gosnell case: HuffPost host
says left ‘made a decision’ to not cover trial," by Erik
Wemple, Washington Post, 16 April 2013.
It depends, and "that's the way it is."
let's - do postmodern pirouettes
let's define things as they're not
let's add up what no one's got
let's see all which isn't there
let's divide the only share
let's create what we cannot
let's all have what we have not
let's decide by putting off
let's well drain the emptied trough
let's use words we must not say
let's tip the scales as we weigh
let's decry all others' lies
let's all lie and steal some prize
let's all fashion what will fail
let's all squeal and tattletale
let's all choose what is not there
let's bewail life isn't fair
let's all chain those who'd escape
let's imitate what others ape
let's all brag how fine we are
let's all shrink our repertoire
let's all do as others do
let's all everything misconstrue
"The incident specifically concerned accusations of
scientific misconduct and data manipulation by a mass spectrometer
operator assigned to the Energy Resources Program’s (ERP) Energy
Geochemistry Laboratory in Lakewood, CO, in the Energy and Minerals
Mission Area. The matter was discovered in late 2014, but had been
taking place since 2008. This was the second such incident involving
the same laboratory. The Inorganic Section’s work has implications for
ERP’s national and international coal and water quality assessments. Our
review revealed that the impacts were far ranging, and included
publications that were retracted or delayed because of inaccurate
information; potential damaged reputations of USGS and individual
scientists; potential lost collaborations with outside organizations;
diminished employee morale; and reduced public trust of USGS-generated
information." In "Scientific Integrity Incident at USGS Energy
Geochemistry Laboratory," Report No. 2016- EAU-010, Office of Inspector
General, US Department of the Interior, June 2016.
Intent on told tales
"The" definite article
But "lasted years"
is but a one,
"Taking place for years"
There was; there were.
tell pressures mounted,
Precisely, not nicely,
but all just
The language as writ
Addendum from the Report:
"This incident of scientific misconduct and data
manipulation in a major USGS laboratory, however, potentially undermines
the Bureau as a trusted scientific organization. Although management
discovered the incident in late 2014, our review disclosed that
employees had suspected quality-related problems with the laboratory for
many years. In our interviews, USGS employees consistently voiced their
distrust of the lab. The employees also expressed their
preference not to use the inorganic laboratory and, instead, to use
other USGS laboratories or outside commercial laboratories. The people
most directly affected by the scientific integrity incident were the
researchers who submitted samples to the inorganic laboratory for
analysis. The incident at the lab placed at risk the validity of the
determinations and conclusions made by these scientists."
Additional Addendum from the Report:
"...customers, nearly all of whom expressed disappointment, anger,
and/or distrust of the lab. Many stated in very strong terms they would
not use the lab if it reopened."
of the Magic: " 'We don’t think this was
something where the analyst was trying to get a certain outcome to
influence a decision or report,' USGS spokeswoman Anne-Berry Wade told
TheDCNF. 'They found several steps of analysis where the data had been
altered by more than 20 percent,' and there was one instance where it
was altered by 50 percent. Yet a USGS official apparently said 'Tell
me what you want and I will get it for you. What we do is like magic,'
according to the IG’s notes, Arkansas Republican Rep. Bruce Westerman
said at a recent congressional hearing, though the quote’s context is
unclear. Regardless, data was manipulated for another six years after
the first incident." In "Federal Lab Ignored Environmental Data
Manipulation For YEARS," by Ethan Barton, Daily Caller, 8 July 2016.
Consider the simple lesson that
If you - nonsensically true
If you were but you
your you would be
a you dropped off
your you-berry tree.
If I were but I
my I would push
myself as plucked from
my I-berry bush.
If we were but we
then we would be
most likely in time
to just disagree.
If they were but those
who are not truly us,
their they would surely
make their own fuss.
as an I and a you
or maybe a we
as others would see,
Could tear us apart
as pronouns tend
to mark off borders
which tell which are friends
To be as we are
as you are and I am
in the mess of a language
which jellies like jam.
If you were an I
must I be a you?
And whither the why
Of our hullabaloo?
Pronouns are pro
positions we take
when not quite real
and not quite fake.
If you were but you...
but I question the why
which fumbles with words
and jumbles my I.
Use a kid for politics
- political optics' tricks
|Make America Mexico again?
A kid signs for politics,
Ignoring who defines the words
And how a nation ticks.
Make a nation poorer yet,
As you would tear down
To fashion the stuff of fantasy
With a childish frown.
|Make a message, jargon filled,
And blithely little read;
Be assured what might come
Is not some dream agreed.
|Use a slogan. Use a child.
Convey a message dulled,
Twisted to some darker use
As facts are cut and culled.
Addendum of Mexican Poverty:
"Poverty headcount ratio at national poverty lines (% of
population) 53.2%," World Bank Data, circa 2016.
[ 1 ]
Addendum of Mexican
Femicide and Rape: "...the victim explains she
decided to make her case public to encourage President Enrique Peña
Nieto and Attorney General Arely Gómez González to finally put an end to
the wave of femicide the country has been experiencing in the past
couple of years. 'For the love of God, what’s going on in Mexico?'
she cried in the footage. 'For the love of God, enough is enough!' " In
"Femicide In Mexico: Woman Raped In Bus Calls Out President Peña Nieto,
Demands Justice In Video," Latin Times, 20 June 2016.
[ 2 ]
Addendum of Child Abuse in
Mexico: "Children in a squalid home for abandoned and
troubled kids run by a controversial mother figure in western Mexico
said hunger and regular beatings drove them to offer sex for food and
get high by sniffing paint. Mexican police raided the refuge known as
'La Gran Familia' (The Big Family) in the state of Michoacan on Tuesday,
finding more than 450 kids in squalid rooms filled with trash and
cockroaches. Many of the children, skinny and listless, described
enduring years of abuse at the hands of home administrators including
79-year-old 'Mama' Rosa Verduzco, who ran the home in the town of Zamora
and has been detained on charges of deprivation of liberty and abuse."
In "Children in raided Mexican group home begin telling horror
stories of being raped, going without food," Reuters, 18 July 2014.
Corruption in Mexico: "Corruption in Mexico is
not just a legal and moral problem. It is an economic one. The annual
cost amounts to 5 percent of gross domestic product, according to one
report, which also found that almost half of business owners said
officials have sought money in exchange for contracts or business
opportunities. Worse, those who are caught have rarely been punished:
Only 1.5 percent of corruption cases lodged in Mexico end in conviction.
(In Singapore, in contrast, the share is 80 percent.) In fact, many
Mexicans say they're more concerned about government corruption than
even security and the economy." In "Mexico's Faltering Fight Against
Corruption," Editorial Board, Bloomberg, 29 April 2016.
[ 3 ]
of Mexican Citizens Living in Fear of Going Back to Mexico:
"... 45-year-old housekeeper who lives in the Miami area, said she is
gathering all the Mexican documents she would need for her U.S.-born boy
to go along with her if she is deported. 'We live in fear of going
back to Mexico, to the violence, the poverty we suffered,' said
Ciriaco, who migrated along with her husband and two children 20 years
ago from the state of Guerrero." In "Mexico launches nationwide effort
in US to help migrants," by Adriana Gomez Licon, Associated Press, 3
of Mexican Drug Cartels: "The Mexican government says
almost 25,000 people have died in drug-related violence since
President Felipe Calderon deployed the army to fight the drugs gangs in
December 2006." In "Mexico police find human heads dumped near
Durango," BBC, 28 July 2010.
[ 4 ]
Addendum of Acapulco's
'Too Many Bodies': "Ten doctors work at the
morgue in a once-glamorous city where 902 people were murdered in
2015 and 461 more in the first half of this year, according to official
figures. With a population of 810,000, that's a rate of 111 murders
per 100,000 inhabitants in 2015, ranking Acapulco among the most violent
cities in the world outside war zones." In "In hot Acapulco, too many
bodies in morgue's fridges," Agence France Presse, 21 July 2016.
of Attacks on Priests: "...Sanchez Ruiz had
been threatened in recent days because of his activism. The priest 'had
received threats in recent days because he is a defender of human rights
and social causes. He has criticized the system of corruption and the
crime problem in Catemaco,' Reyes said. Sanchez Ruiz took part in a
recent protest of high electricity bills, an important issue in the town
because of its extreme heat. At least 31 priests have been killed in
Mexico since 2006. Most of the attacks occurred in areas of Mexico
plagued by drug cartel violence." In "Priest abducted in Mexico Gulf
region found alive, tortured," Associated Press, 13 November 2016.
Addendum of Priests Slain:
"When Alejo Nabor Jimenez and Alfredo Suarez de la Cruz were found bound
and shot to death outside Poza Rica on Monday, it brought to 14 the
number of priests slain in Mexico since Pena Nieto took office in late
2012." In "Priests' murders rattle Mexican city gripped by
violence," by Christopher Sherman, Associated Press, 24 September 2016.
of Violent Drug Corridors: "The mayor of a
town in one of Mexico’s most violent drug corridors was shot to death,
the second mayor killed in Mexico in two days. Ambrosio Soto was
mayor of a township that includes Ciudad Altamirano, a known haven for
drug traffickers in southern Guerrero state." In "Mayor gunned down in
Mexico is second in 2 days," by Associated Press, 25 July 2016.
Addendum of a National
Crisis: "Some call corruption a national crisis, and
one that by some estimates costs Mexico 9% of its economic output. 'The
big problems that Mexico has to face now - organised crime, violence,
poverty, lack of economic growth - all are costs or directly aggravated
by corruption,' says Juan Pardinas, director general of the Mexican
Institute for Competitiveness. 'All of these problems are directly
linked to the impossibility of the state punishing members of the
police force and politicians that have been corrupted by organised crime.
If we don't face the problem of corruption, we won't be able to face the
other problems'." In "People vs politicians: Who can tackle Mexico's
corruption?" by Katy Watson, BBC, 27 March 2016.
[ 5 ]
of an Attack on a Military Convoy:
"Mexican soldiers killed ten members of a criminal
group accused of ambushing a military patrol near the U.S. border in
the violent northern state of Tamaulipas on Saturday, the government
said. A military convoy was attacked by armed men in several vehicles on
a highway outside the border city of Nuevo Laredo, according to a
statement from the state's joint military and police task force." In "Mexican
soldiers kill ten after highway ambush near U.S. border," Reuters, 4
Addendum of Army Troops
on the Streets for Years: "Mexican President Enrique
Pena Nieto said Friday troops will remain in the streets to combat drug
violence after his defence minister issued a rare complaint about the
controversial deployment. Although Pena Nieto acknowledged that the
soldiers and marines have been doing law enforcement tasks that 'don't
correspond to them in the strictest sense,' he said the armed forces are
'determined to continue' policing the streets." In "Mexican President
Enrique Pena Nieto says army to stay in streets," Agence France
Presse, 10 December 2016.
of the Emerging All-out Gang War:
"For a few years, a wide-spread effort by the Mexican
military to arrest or kill cartel leaders, most notably Joaquin 'El
Chapo' Guzman, seemed to be making progress. But as Cartels began to
fight for the territory of military-weakened rivals, the homicide rate
once again exploded. Now, a disturbing video shows the extreme length
that participants in the emerging all-out gang war will go to retain or
take power." In "Drug trafficking Los Zetas cartel creates
ISIS-style beheading video to spread fear," by Fernando Ramirez, Houston
Chronicle, 10 March 2017.
of Mexico's War Dead: "Ten years after Mexico
declared a war on drugs, the offensive has left some major drug cartels
splintered and many old-line kingpins like Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman in
jail, but done little to reduce crime or violence in the nation’s
roughest regions. Some say the war has been a crucial, but flawed,
effort. Others argue the offensive begun by then-President Felipe
Calderon on Dec. 11, 2006, unleashed an unnecessary tragedy with more
than 100,000 people dead and about 30,000 missing - a toll comparable to
the Central American civil wars of the 1980s." In "100,000 dead,
30,000 missing: Mexico’s war on drugs turns 10," Edgard Garrido,
Reuters, 11 December 2016.
Addendum of Greater
Integration: "Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto
on Monday called for greater integration with Canada and the United
States in the wake of Britain's vote to split with the European
Union. Nieto, who spoke during a stopover in Quebec City, is scheduled
to attend a North American leaders summit in Ottawa on Wednesday with
his US and Canadian counterparts." In "Mexican president urges North
American integration after Brexit," Agence France Presse, 28 June 2016.
[ 6 ]
[ 1 ] Make America
Mexico again, when Mexico is so poor? "Struggling to
make ends meet in the town of Zitlaltepec in the central
state of Tlaxcala, Zuniga is one of the 45.5 percent of
Mexicans who live below the poverty line. That is only
down slightly from 2010 levels, government data showed on
Monday. Mexico’s poverty rate fell 0.6 percent between 2010
and 2012 to 53.3 million people, the government’s social
development agency Coneval said. Factoring in population
growth, the ranks of the poor grew by half a million
people in that time. That rise underscores the challenges
President Enrique Pena Nieto faces as he tries to lift
millions of people out of poverty and boost growth in
Mexico, which has a huge wealth gap." In "Mexico’s
Poverty Rate: Half Of Country’s Population Lives In
Poverty," by Luc Cohen, Reuters via Huffington Post, 29 July
The Mexican president and a wealth gap is suggested in a
report: "Mexico's president apologized on Monday
for a 2014 scandal involving a $7 million mansion bought
by his wife from a company that won lucrative contracts with
his administration." In "Mexican president apologizes
for wife's mansion scandal," Associated Press, 18 July 2016.
This scandal dates from a year after the report about the
president trying to lift up the poor, as his wealth
increases while in public service. One reads further as this
president who first denied the scandal: "...more than
1½ years after the scandal broke, Pena Nieto said he
understood why Mexicans would be angry about the apparent
conflict of interest. Pena Nieto said he was deeply sorry
and asked Mexicans for their forgiveness. Speaking at
the presentation of a new anti-corruption law, Pena Nieto
offered 'my profound and sincere apology'."
[ 2 ] Make
American Mexico again when rape is endemic? "According
to statistics provided by TSJ (Tribunal Superior de Justicia),
738 attackers received jail sentences for sex crimes in the
last four years. That means that only 19% of the suspects
were legally punished. 'The lack of serious and detailed
regimens is causing the files to accumulate and therefore,
being discarded,' says Adivac’s spokesperson Rosalba
Cruz. She also added that Mexico City is also going through
a degenerate stage due to the fact that most of the reported
victims are young women and little girls. According to
reports published by the United Nations, 7 out of 10 women
experience some sort of sexual violence at some point in
their lives." In "Rape In Mexico: Only 2 Out Of 10
Aggressors Legally Punished, Statistics Show," by Janel
Saldana, Latin Times, 18 February 2016.
The authority of Mexican government is also questioned.
"The types of mistreatment the women were subjected to
included blows to the stomach and head, threats of rape
directed either at them or their families,
near-asphyxiation, electric shocks to the genitals, groping
and rape. 'Police appear to be using them as easy targets
for arrest to boost figures and show society that the
government's security efforts are yielding results,' said an
Amnesty International statement." In "Mexico police,
troops 'routinely' rape arrested women: Amnesty," by
Yemeli Ortega, Agence France Presse, 28 June 2016.
[ 3 ] Make
America Mexico again, when only 1.5 percent of corruption
cases in Mexico "end in conviction?" One reads
further: "Mexico’s institution with the worst
reputation is the police force, with 89.7 percent of
respondents identifying them as corrupt. They are followed
by political parties at 84.4 percent, the Public
Prosecutor’s Office at 78.4 percent, state governments at
77.2 percent, legislators and senators at 77 percent, and
the media at 62.3 percent. Corruption comes in third
place of all the problems that worry Mexicans the most, with
48.5 percent holding this view — even ahead of poverty at
39.3 percent. This is only behind crime and security at 70.4
percent and unemployment at 51 percent, respectively." In
"Mexico’s Police Outdo Even Politicians for Corruption," by
Adriana Peralta, PanAmPost, 20 June 2014.
This parallels the corruption in other "public servants," as
one may see in
you but were
Comparisons are made, as one reads: "Mexico has
once again found itself at the top of a list of nations
grappling with one of the developed world’s most complex and
common problems: corruption. According to the World
Economic Forum (WEF), the North American country is the
13th most corrupt nation in the world thanks to high levels
of organized crime. And when developing countries are
excluded, Mexico rises to the top of the list." In "Why
Mexico has been named the most corrupt developed country,"
by Claudia Altamirano, El País, 6 October 2016.
[ 4 ] Make
America Mexico again, when drug violence coupled to
corruption is so high? "Mexican authorities said at
a forum that drug-trafficking gangs pay around 1.27 billion
pesos (some $100 million) a month in bribes to municipal
police officers nationwide." In "Mexico: Cartels Pay
Corrupt Cops $100 Million a Month," Latin American Herald
Tribune, 28 June 2016.
Has Touched Bottom
Make America Mexico again, when "...rage and despair have
galvanized a society already familiar with abuse and
atrocity. 'Mexicans are ready to explode,' Homero
Aridjis, a prominent Mexican poet and social activist, said
as he hurried to join the march down Reforma Boulevard. 'Corruption
has touched bottom, people are poor, suffering violence.
They are fed up and desperate.' The Iguala tragedy
exposed how rotten parts of the Mexican political system
remain despite promises of democracy and reform." In
"Thousands protest in Mexico against corruption, missing
students," by Tracy Wilkinson and Cecilia Sanchez, Los
Angeles Times, 20 November 2014.
It becomes known that local government fails to protect its
citizens. One reads: "Aguayo’s report, carried out
under the auspices of the state-funded prestigious Colegio
de México, is called En el desamparo (Unprotected) and draws
the conclusion that the Mexican state has failed the
victims of violent crime: 'It has not done its job,'
says Aguayo." In "Mexico’s police and state failed victims
of Zetas cartel, says new report," by Pablo de Llano, El
País, 10 October 2016.
[ 5 ] As the BBC
notes in its title, this is about "people vs politicians."
Corrupt politicians. A political campaign by Mexicans --
"people" -- is underway, irritating the elite and the
corrupt. The BBC reports: "The campaign, as well as
setting out a new system to deal with corruption, has three
important demands - that politicians declare their assets
such as houses, as well as their interests such as previous
jobs and friendships. And finally they need to prove they
pay their taxes. 'I signed because I want a better country -
not just for me but for my kids too - where things work
better, where not just a few get rich but it's distributed
more fairly,' says 42-year-old civil servant Roberto
How consistent is this undercurrent of distrust in
government the world around. For this, such optics as a
small child holding a sign as above is a demonstration that
the corrupt will employ violence and rape, as reported
above, but also propaganda tools to counter threats against
their "divine right of corrupt politicians" not to mention
the demonstrable truth about
Fat, fat government
[ 6 ]
"Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Monday called
for greater integration" with: 1) national poverty of
"53.2%,", 2) "femicide and rape" alongside endemic child
abuse, 3) endemic government "corruption," 4)
"drug-trafficking gangs" bribing the police, and 5) the
ongoing friction between "people vs politicians." So testify
the World Bank, Reuters, Bloomberg, the Latin Times, the Los
Angeles Times and the BBC. Make America Mexico again?
The call for greater integration is made by an interesting
politician, given the following. "Mexican President
Enrique Pena Nieto plagiarized nearly a third of his 1991
undergraduate law thesis, according to a report published on
Sunday by one of Mexico's leading investigative journalists.
Of the 682 paragraphs that made up the 200-page thesis,
titled 'Mexican Presidentialism and Alvaro Obregon,' 197, or
28.9 percent, were found to be plagiarized, the report said.
The article and accompanying video were published on the
website of journalist Carmen Aristegui, whose investigative
team revealed in 2014 that Pena Nieto's wife was in the
process of acquiring a luxury home from a government
contractor. The Casa Blanca scandal, as it came to be known,
dealt a major blow to the reputation of Pena Nieto, whose
poll numbers have recently hit all-time lows over
perceptions he and his Institutional Revolutionary Party
(PRI) have failed to stamp out rampant crime and corruption."
In "Mexican president Pena Nieto plagiarized law thesis,
report says," by Gabriel Stargardter, Reuters, 22 August
Aside from the reported plagiarism and Casa Blanca scandal,
a politician who "failed to stamp out rampant crime and
corruption" and yet calls for "greater integration" with
other nations while using his political office for seemingly
obvious self-aggrandizement begs the question. Greater
integration to further rampant crime and corruption, poverty
and drug trafficking gangs and "femicide?"
Don't argue with me
for Brian, who knows the terms of our agreement
Don't argue with me;
I've cited my source.
Go argue with it,
And yell yourself hoarse.
Don't argue you're right
When you can't prove a case;
Don't argue the end
When behind in the race.
Don't argue that facts
Dissemble to twist;
Go run from hard proofs
And see if you're missed.
Don't argue with all
That amasses in weight
To tip true the scales
Toward solutions which wait.
Don't just argue, no,
Please, let's better debate,
Citing our sources
And telling things straight.
I'll change my views
If you prove your case;
Will you change yours, if
Yours loses the race?
If not, what's the point?
Why argue yet more?
And each other ignore.
If you but were
"The ex-Kirchnerite official, considered the right/hand
man of ex Federal Planning minister Julio De Vido was caught by the
police after neighbors and a nun of the Fatima monastery warned
authorities about the presence of a man throwing bags over a dividing
line of bushes. Investigators estimate Lopez was carrying between
US$5-8 million and that he was trying to hide them in a patio of the
convent that is located in the San Carlos neighborhood of the Buenos
Aires province locality. Furthermore, luxury watches and Euros were
reportedly also inside the several bags and suitcases, and an automatic
gun, he was apparently trying to hide." In "An Argentine ex-Kirchnerite
official caught red-handed trying to hide bags of cash in a monastery,"
Merco Press, 15 June 2016.
|If you but were a loyal cog
Of an oily criminal class,
You could have an epilogue
Quite like this oily ass.
|If you but were a smaller man
In the larger scheme of things,
You'd have wealth greater than
Little people's sufferings.
|If you but were a lying cheat,
Corrupt atop some heap,
You would for time, not longer,
Live the high life as you reap.
|If you but were never caught
In your oily criminal deeds,
You would have stayed bought
While a nation weeps and bleeds.
Addendum of the
Details: "Jose Lopez, who served as public works
secretary under ex-President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and her late
husband, Nestor Kirchner, was found with an assault rifle and six
bags containing dollars, euros, Japanese yen and Qatari riyal. Local
media outlets broadcast and published images of Lopez wearing a
bullet-proof vest and riot helmet in custody outside a police station on
the outskirts of Buenos Aires. The arrest may further complicate any
return to politics for Fernandez, who is already under investigation in
a string of cases involving money-laundering and corruption allegations.
In April, she accused the government and the judicial system of
conspiring to put her in prison." In "Kirchner Official Caught Burying
Millions Outside Convent," by Charlie Devereux, Bloomberg, 14 June 2016.
of a Russian Variation of This Theme: "The
Kremlin on Monday insisted it was serious about tackling endemic graft
in Russia after a top anti-corruption official was busted with over
$120 million in cash. Dmitry Zakharchenko, the acting head of an
anti-graft agency at the Russian interior ministry, was formally
arrested on Saturday for receiving "especially large" bribes after
police found banknotes worth more than $120 million in a raid on a
Moscow flat." In "Russia's anti-corruption boss arrested with $120
million in cash ," Foreign Staff, Telegraph UK, 13 September 2016.
of a Second Russian Variation: "Russia's Economy
Minister Alexei Ulyukayev has been charged with taking a bribe to
endorse a state takeover. Investigators said he received a $2m (£1.6m)
payment. The minister pleaded not guilty to the charge." In "Russian
Economy Minister Ulyukayev charged with $2m bribe," BBC, 15 November
Addendum of the Ukrainian
Variation of This Theme: "An anti-corruption reform
requiring senior Ukrainian officials to declare their wealth online has
exposed a vast difference between the fortunes of politicians and those
they represent. Some declared millions of dollars in cash. Others said
they owned fleets of luxury cars, expensive Swiss watches, diamond
jewelry and large tracts of land - revelations that could further hit
public confidence in the authorities in Ukraine, where the average
salary is just over $200 per month." In "Ukrainians shocked as
politicians declare vast wealth," by Alessandra Prentice, Reuters, 31
Consider the too-often truth of political offices, in America and
throughout the world:
Corruption has a middle name
Riff on a new word
- 'just folks' public speaking skewered
"Fauxlloquial, adjective: 1. Appearing to be
informal while holding a serious amount of power over the circumstances
of the people in your audience. 2. Giving the appearance of being 'just
folks' and accessible when you are neither." In "A New Word?" Elaine
Fine, Musical Assumption Blog, 30 May 2016.
Fauxever in a daze.
Fauxlingual is fauxfeasible,
Fauxarmed with nowadays.
Fauxbear in every circumstance!
Fauxment as a faux smarty-pants
Faux I, faux you, faux fake we all,
Faux tense we conjugate.
Fauxlloquial we fauxmulate,
Fauxclosing faux debate.
Envoi: "The object of words is to
conceal thoughts." In "Words," Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. C.
of Using in a Sentence: "The politician in
question spoke in a manner so fauxlloquial that even the words should
have been embarrassed."
[ 1 ]
of Obscuring Rationality: "Emotive words are used
to provoke emotion and sometimes to obscure rationality."
In "Why People Believe Weird Things," Michael Shermer, Henry Holt & Co.,
Addendum of a Glorious
Explosion: "Shakespeare, by contrast, offers us a
profusion of intelligible analogies. To compare sleep with human beings;
death, hot baths, ointment and the main course of a meal (not to mention
'hurt minds' and 'life's feast') -- all within a single sentence,
expressed in a few lines of blank verse -- is to awaken so many of
the ideas latent in our minds that we experience a glorious explosion of
newly recognized meanings." In "The Creative Mind," Margaret
A. Boden, Harper Collins, 1991.
of Colloquial Rhythms: " It is still said by way of
compliment that this or that poet, dramatist, prose writer is good at
catching colloquial rhythms, be they those of today or yesterday
in Mayfair or Essex or upstate New York. We are all grateful for a word
kindly meant, but this one perhaps amounts to less than it may seem."
In "The King's English, a Guide to Modern Usage," Kingsley Amis, St.
[ 2 ]
Manipulation: "The manipulation of emotions
is, of course, one of the essential features of ritual ceremonies and
the reason for their effectiveness. Sharing important strong
emotions together is a potent means of bonding, as war veterans and
survivors of catastrophes will attest, not to mention sexual partners or
parents and children." In "Homo Aestheticus," Ellen Dissanayake,
Free Press, 1992.
of Seeing: "I am a romantic who tends to see the power
and depth of human creativity as virtually limitless."
Douglas R. Hofstadter, "Le Ton beau de Marot," Basic Books, 1997.
[ 3 ]
Consider another Fine new word:
[ 1 ] Colloquial,
as defined in the Dictionary of Literary Terms and
Literary Theory, J. A. Cuddon, Penguin, 1991:
"A colloquial word, phrase or expression is one in everyday
use in speech and writing. The colloquial style is plain and
relaxed. This sentence is colloquial: 'The man, a dodgy
customer with a shifty look in his eye, was clearly up to no
Therefore as variant: "A fauxlloquial word,
phrase or expression in one in everyday use in speech and
writing. The fauxlloquial style is mannered and forced. This
sentence is fauxlloquial: 'The politicians, dodgy sorts
with a shifty look in their eyes, are clearly up to no good."
[ 2 ] Then as
instructive variant: "It is still said by way of
backhanded compliment that this or that politician, "a dodgy
sort," is good at catching fauxlloquial rhythms...."
This is one facet to the many who practice
[ 3 ] Then as
variant: I, though a romantic who tends to see the
power and depth of human creativity as virtually limitless,
also see the power and depth of human folly as virtually
Words of a feather
- which block together
"Reject religiously-charged terminology and
problematic positioning by using plain meaning American English. a.
US v THEM: For example, use 'American Muslim' rather than 'Muslim
American'; 'Muslim communities' rather than 'Muslim world.' b. AMERICAN
ENGLISH: For example, on using American English instead of religious,
legal and cultural terms like 'jihad,' 'sharia,' 'takfir' or 'umma'." In
"Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Subcommittee Interim Report and
Recommendations," Homeland Security Advisory Council, the Executive
Office of the President of the United States, June 2016.
In plain English
Never call a spade a spade
While digging deep a hole.
Never clearly name a thing;
Swap words to words control.
Never say what's right when left
In a niche or pigeonhole.
Always speak as you you are told,
And never speak too bold.
Reject what's charged with problems;
Rather, synonym away.
Should brighten up your day.
Reject positions plainly said
For words which winds may sway.
Extremely violent are two words
Which point most any way.
Never call jihad "jihad,"
But what then to suggest?
Never use "sharia" words
Which point to rules' conquest.
Never speak of "takfir,"
Which cuts one from the rest.
Never mouth the "umma,"
Worldwide in its quest.
Reject, because committees print
Words you should not use.
Reject, to mask religion
As a metric one might choose.
Reject, because cultural terms
Might somehow offer views
Extremely violent, as such words
Might turn out to be clues.
Words of a feather
Clarity loses punch.
Makes truths tether
To lies, so tells a hunch.
Addendum of Calling a Spade a
Spade: "Maybe someone out there has the
answer to all this. I don’t. But we are not going to find it, even
look for it, unless we know when to call a spade a spade, and not
'terrorism,' unless we define our own terms and talk to each other with
real meaning, instead of being trapped in the matrix of lies and deceit
that define the modern world." In "Terrorism: A Matrix of Lies and
Deceit," by Christopher Black, New Eastern Outlook, 17 June 2016.
[ 1 ]
of Merriam-Webster's Plain American English: The normal definition of
war is, in American English according to a Merriam-Webster 11th
Collegiate Dictionary, primarily "a state of usually open and declared
armed hostile conflict between states or nations," "a period of
such armed conflict," and secondarily, "a state of hostility, conflict,
or antagonism." and "a struggle or competition between opposing
forces or for a particular end."
[ 2 ]
of Religiously-charged Terminology in Plain English:
"One of the few - and certainly the most remarkable and troubling -
glimpses into the minds and motives of the men who wrought the slaughter
of 11 September is a four-page document, written in Arabic, found in the
baggage of the suspected ringleader behind the carnage, Mohamed Atta....
'Either end your life while praying, seconds before the target, or make
your last words: 'There is no God but God, Muhammad is His
messenger'. Afterwards, we will all meet in the highest heaven,
God willing. If you see the enemy as strong, remember the groups
[that had formed a coalition to fight the prophet Muhammad]. They were
10,000. Remember how God gave victory to his faithful servants. He said:
'When the faithful saw the groups, they said, this is what God and the
prophet promised, they said the truth. It only increased their faith.'
And may the peace of God be upon the prophet.' The document was released
by the F.B.I. and translated for The New York Times by Capital
Communications Group, a Washington-based international consulting firm
and by Imad Musa, a translator for the firm." In "Last words of a
terrorist ," Guardian UK, 30 September 2001.
of a Variety of Plain Speaking: "A group
of radical Islamists attacked a listening party in Istanbul where
Radiohead was holding a listening party for fans in support of their new
album. The men reportedly stormed the record store, Velvet Indieground,
in Istanbul, Turkey, and used pipes to violently beat fans running away
from the venue for drinking alcohol during the holy month of Ramadan."
In "Radiohead Listening Party in Istanbul Attacked by Islamists,"
Variety, 17 July 2016.
[ 3 ]
In plain English
of Jihad in Plain English: "In 2013 he was secretly
recorded urging his followers to also sponge off UK taxpayers by
claiming their 'Jihad seeker's allowance'. He told a crowd of
around 30 fanatics: 'People will say, 'Ah, but you are not working'. But
the normal situation is for you to take money from the kuffar
(non-Muslim). So we take Jihad seeker's Allowance. You need to get
support.' He was once asked how he justified living on benefits, to
which he replied: 'They give us the money but we attack their system. If
I’m given wealth, I will take it.' In another video a grinning Choudary
was recorded telling his disciples it was justifiable to take money from
non-believers. He said: 'The normal situation is to take money from
the kuffar. You work, give us the money, Allahu Akhbar (God is great)."
In "Fanatic's web of hatred: From 7/7 bombers to Lee Rigby's killers,
how vile preacher's network of radical connections was like a who's who
of Islamic terrorism - with links to 15 plots and 500 jihadis," by
Richard Spillett, Mail Online, 16 August 2016.
of Jihad II:
The word 'jihad', when mentioned on its own, only means combat with
weapons, as was mentioned by Ibn Rushd, and upon this the four Imams have
agreed." In "Join the Caravan," by Shaykh 'Abdullah 'Azzam, 1st Jummad
al-Awwal 1409 A.H. corresponding to 9th December 1988 CE.
of Jihad III in Translation: "Narrated
Abū Hurairah: I heard Allāh's Messenger saying, "The example of a
Mujāhid in Allāh's Cause -- and Allāh knows better who reallys trives in
His Cause -- is like a person who observes Ṣaum (fast) and offers Ṣalāt
(prayer) continuously. Allāh guarantees that He will admit the
Mujāhid in His Cause into Paradise if he is killed, otherwise He will
return him to his home safely with rewards and war booty." In "The
Book of Jihad (Fighting for Allah's Cause), Sahih Al-Bukhari, 2787.
of Sick Jihad Reported and Strict Sharia in Plain English: "Sick
jihadists from the Islamic State (Isis) beheaded a four-year-old girl
then forced her horrified mother to soak her hands in her dead
daughter's blood. The latest shocking incident is said to have
happened in the Daesh (Isis) de-facto capital of Raqqa, in Syria. The
extremists are renowned for their shocking punishments meted out by
their feared al-Hisbah police who enforce their strict version of
Sharia Law on the towns and cities they conquer." In "Isis beheads
4-year-old girl then forces mother to soak hands in her blood after 'swearing
to Allah'," by William Watkinson, IBTimes, UK, 21 June 2016.
[ 4 ]
of Another Attack in Bangladesh: "Islamist
militants killed 20 people, most of them foreigners, inside an upmarket
restaurant in Bangladesh's capital, before security forces stormed the
building and ended a 12-hour standoff on Saturday. Islamic State
said it was responsible for one of the most brazen attacks in the South
Asian nation's history, but that claim has yet to be confirmed. It marks
a major escalation in a campaign by militants over the past 18 months
that had targeted mostly individuals advocating a secular or liberal
lifestyle in majority-Muslim Bangladesh." In "Bangladesh militants kill
20 before commandos end siege," by Serajul Quadir and Ruma Paul,
Reuters, 2 July 2016.
[ 5 ]
of the Plain English Word, Sunni: "The Sunni
extremists view the Yazidis as barely human. The Yazidi faith
combines elements of Islam, Christianity and Zoroastrianism, an ancient
Persian religion. Their pre-war population in Iraq was estimated around
500,000. Their number today is unknown." In "Islamic State tightens
grip on captives held as sex slaves," by Lori Hinnant, Maya
Alleruzzo and Balint Szlanko, Associated Press, 5 July 2016.
of More in Plain English: "In an Eid message posted
online on Friday, the AQIS chief called on Indian Muslims to 'pick up
their daggers, and start attacking the Indian Administrative Service and
Indian Police Service officers who protect Hindus during communal
riots'. 'When your daggers reach the necks of the Hindus who now call
for your blood, you see how their words change,' he said. Even
though Jaish-e-Muhammad was banned by Pakistan in 2002, following its
attack on Parliament House in New Delhi, it continues to operate
military facilities in several parts of Pakistan. Earlier this year,
this newspaper had obtained satellite images showing that the
terrorist group had set up new military facilities in the shadows of
the historic Maujgarh fort, in Pakistan’s Cholistan desert." In "Jaish
seeks funds for ‘jihad in India’ outside Karachi mosques," by
Praveen Swami, Indian Express, New Dehli, 5 July 2016.
of More Plain English Clarity from India: "After
the Boston Marathon bombings, Pakistani-Canadian writer Ali A Rizvi
wrote, 'The 'anything but jihad' brigade is out in full force again. If
the perpetrators of such attacks say they were influenced by politics
(or) nationalism … we take them at face value. But when they
consistently cite their religious beliefs as their central motivation,
we back off, stroke our chins and suspect there has to be something
deeper at play, a 'root cause'. It is often religion itself … that is
the root cause.' This sort of candour is lacking among most mainstream
commentators in modern, liberal democracies today. Calling out jihadi
terrorism is inhibited for fear of being labelled prejudiced,
Islamophobic or, oddly, even racist." In "Name the problem: The
world must support those within Islam speaking up for reform," by
Baijayant 'Jay' Panda, Times of India, 6 July 2016.
[ 6 ]
of the Takfiris: "In the onslaught at the Prophet’s
Mosque, the Wahhabi basis of Al-Qa’eda and ISIS was blatantly exposed.
Wahhabis condemn honours to the Prophet, as well as the construction of
tombs, claiming they represent a form of polytheism and idol worship
(shirk). The behaviour of Wahhabis in dishonouring the Prophet of Islam
is incomprehensible to Jews and Christians. In the Qatif attacks, the
Wahhabi denunciation of Shia Muslims as alleged unbelievers, a posture
absent from traditional Islam, was brutally expressed with the murder of
three unidentified victims. The takfiris chose the end of Ramadan for
their new offensive in a manner that discredits Muslims everywhere."
In "Ramadan ends in blood," by Irfan Al-Alawi, Lapido Media, 13 July
[ 7 ]
of Planned Violent Islamic Extremism in Plain English:
"Khurasani also warned our man to say absolutely nothing of his mission
to friends or family. When our reporter asked if his mission would help
his family get into heaven, Khurasani replied: 'Ur family is Muslim?
Give them Quran to read. And ask them to read and understand it. May
Allah guide them to Islam if they are not Muslims already. But please,
dont give them any hint about ur work. U have to be completely normal.
And don’t let family feel something special is going on'." In "'ANYTHING
CAN WORK IF ALLAH HELPS' Sun investigation exposes ISIS’ sick car bomb
bid to strike at heart of UK," by Jake Ryan and Mike Sullivan, The Sun
UK, 28 July 2016.
of 'Islam for Dummies' Published in Plain English:
"ISIS wannabes are so ignorant about the culture they’re pledging their
lives to that they are ordering books like 'Islam for Dummies' before
joining the terrorist organization. About 70 percent of ISIS recruits
only have 'basic' knowledge of Shariah law, the Islamic legal
system, according to an analysis by The Associated Press of more than
3,000 internal documents from the terror network. Some jihadis-in-training
admitted in court that they tried to beef up their knowledge about the
religion before traveling to Syria by buying a few books from Amazon."
In "ISIS fighters are using ‘Islam for Dummies’ to prepare for jihad,"
by Sophia Rosenbaum, New York Post, 15 August 2016.
[ 8 ]
of a Major Challenge: "Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo
said that it would be 'naïve' to ignore the problematical passages of
the Qu’ran, and it is a major challenge for Islamic leaders to 'give
a peaceful hermeneutic to these passages'—particularly in light of
pressure from extremists." In "Vatican prelate challenges Islamic
scholars to give peaceful interpretation of Qu'ran," Catholic World
News, 12 August 2016.
of Jihadists in Plain English as an Uncharacteristically Flip Analogy:
"In the 2012 campaign, Obama spoke not only of
killing Osama bin Laden; he also said that Al Qaeda had been
'decimated.' I pointed out that the flag of Al Qaeda is now flying in
Falluja, in Iraq, and among various rebel factions in Syria; Al Qaeda
has asserted a presence in parts of Africa, too. 'The analogy we use
around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts
on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,' Obama said,
resorting to an uncharacteristically flip analogy. 'I think there
is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a
network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the
homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power
struggles and disputes, often sectarian'." In "Going the Distance," by
David Remnick, New Yorker, 27 January 2014.
of Using an Alternate Word in Plain English: "Speaking
at a National Academy of Sciences' panel on 'Ideologically Motivated
Violence,' Saeed described rehabilitation and integration as a strategy
area of focus for the State Department. 'We’ve seen a large number
of individuals travel overseas to foreign conflict zones, places like
Iraq and Syria, Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan,' Saeed said. 'So what
happens when they come back? You have to be able to rehabilitate them
and then re-integrate them back into society'." In "State Dept.: U.S.
Should 'Rehabilitate' and 'Reintegrate' Foreign Fighters Back into
Society," by Lauretta Brown, Cybercast News, 8 September 2016.
[ 9 ]
of Unsure Leadership: "Staffers of the Special
Operations Command (SoCom) in the Pentagon believe that the report must
note that Salafi jihadism is the branch of Sunni Islam that is
responsible for most global terrorism in the world today. Salafi
jihadism is the ideology shared by the Islamic State and al-Qaeda.
'Pretending there is no relationship between the violent jihadists and
Islam isn’t going to win,' a source knowledgeable about the National
Military Strategy told The Washington Times. 'We’re completely
ignoring the war of ideas. We’re still in denial. We’re pretending the
enemy doesn’t exist.' The source said that the issue cannot be viewed
only in terms of those who believe in active violence: 'It’s a much
bigger problem, because it’s not just the violent jihadists; it’s the
non-violent jihadists who support them'." In "Pentagon still
unsure whether to link Islam & violent Jihad," by Hillel Fendel,
Arutz Sheva, 7 October 2016.
Addendum of Cognition:
"...language is based on cognition -- that is, on
cognitive models that can be understood in terms of bodily functioning.
This cognitive base is constrained by the nature of physical reality and
also depends on imagination and social interactions. Meaning derives
from embodiment and function, understanding arises when concepts are
meaningful in this sense, and truth is considered to arise when the
understanding of a statement fit's one's understanding of a situation
closely enough for one's own purposes." In "Bright Air,
Brilliant Fire - on the Matter of the Mind," Gerald M. Edelman, Basic
Consider the mostly plain spoken synonym in
government-recommended American English:
The religion of peace
[ 1 ] The notion of
calling a spade a spade uses plain language, as advised in
the US government's committee's recommendation titled
"Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Subcommittee Interim
Report and Recommendations." The phrase, violent
extremism, tells nothing as to causes, which parties
participate and what the characteristics of such violent
Thought with Madison Avenue Skill
The article notes: "The use of the word 'terrorism'
says nothing. It contains no useful information that can
lead to an understanding of events and circumstances. It is
a word used to dope the mind, paralyse thought, to sap the
will. Language is an important tool of control of the
people. To accept the terms of propaganda used by the powers
that want to control us is to surrender to them completely
because once we do that we lose the ability think
rationally, to analyse, to question, to think for ourselves."
If this is a correct view, then the Homeland Security
Advisory Council's advice is functionally "to dope the mind"
as it is "to sap the will," in the plain prose of
The Homeland Security Advisory Council, a function of the
Office of the President, asks we "reject" what it terms
"religiously-charged terminology and problematic
positioning," as if religious terminology was charged in the
same way that both explosives and explosive speech are
Black notes in plain speech: "We are told, the world
over, by every government, that we are in a 'war against
terrorism.' But terrorism is an action, a tactic, a
strategy. It’s a method not person, a group, a country. How
can there be a war against a method of war. But they want us
to fight a method and never ask the why or the who. That
doesn’t seem to matter anymore. They tell us not to be
concerned with why something happens, only how it happens.
Let’s face it, the Americans, with all the creative
skills of Madison Avenue, have got us all to use a phrase
that George Bush first used in 2001after the strange event
in New York that has all the indicia of a state attack on
its own people to justify the invasions of Afghanistan and
then Iraq. It has become a euphemism and a justification for
all the wars they have waged since. The people don’t need to
know why 'terrorists' exist, or who they are and what
motivates them, or even whether they really exist, for they
are just 'terrorists'."
Other voices are being heard: "Claims that the
atrocities of the Islamic State have 'nothing to do with
Islam' are harming efforts to confront and combat extremism,
the Archbishop of Canterbury has insisted. Religious leaders
of all varieties must 'stand up and take responsibility' for
the actions of extremists who profess to follow their faith,
the Most Rev Justin Welby said. He argued that unless
people recognise and attempt to understand the motivation of
terrorists they will never be able to combat their ideology
effectively." In "Justin Welby: It's time to stop saying
Isil has ‘nothing to do with Islam’," by John Bingham,
Telegraph UK, 18 November 2016.
The Islamic State's own publication in rather "plain
English" gives indication that jihad is both now a word in
English and an Islamic concept about killing. One reads:
"He was asked, 'What jihād is best?' He replied, 'He
who performs jihād against the mushrikīn with both his
wealth and life.' He was asked, 'What killing is noblest?'
He replied, 'He whose blood is spilled and horse is
slaughtered.' [Hasan: Reported by Imām Ahmad, Abū Dāwūd, and
an-Nasā’ī]" In "Perfecting One’s Islam, Īmān, Hijrah,
and Jihād," Dabiq, Issue 9.
In this way, war is justified, and the current Obama
administration is conducting a "war on terror" including
explosive attacks in cross border violations within nations
which the government has not identified as war zones. The
"war on terror" may be translated a war on "an action, a
tactic, a strategy." It is a war on "a method." Black is
correct to ask: how can there be a war against a method of
That question is, in the council's parlance and according to
its supposed collective wisdom, uses "plain speaking
American English." And the council is using plain speaking
American English to plead with the world not to
identify "terror" by words which clearly identify an Islamic
component to such acts as ISIS, the Islamic State, boasts.
One wonders for whom does the Homeland Security Advisory
Council advocate, in advocating not to use words such as
"jihad" which is entering the American English lexicon by
simple repetition and common use.
A spade is a spade. A strategy is a strategy. One does not
make war on strategies or spades. One makes war on people.
[ 2 ] As to plain language
and plain meanings, war is "between states or nations,"
and also "between opposing forces or for a particular end."
Relying on plain American English, what is the global war
between? States or nations, and if so, which? Opposing
forces, and if so which?
The Homeland Security Advisory Council, created in 2002
under George Bush and continued under Barack Obama, seems
unwilling to use plain American English, preferring instead
to counter "Violent Extremism" with recommendations about
which words coming from Islamic culture should no longer be
used in the identification.
No nation or group is at war with "violent extremism," and
violent extremism is not at war with any nation or group.
How does one identify a soldier under the banner of violent
extremism? What commonalities are there between violent
extremists, aside from violence and whatever it may be as
people try in vain to define "extremism?" Rather much of
this seems naive at best.
in the Way of Debate and No Critical Thinking
The components of current "violent extremism" around the
world include -- in plain English -- Islamic streams of
thought. Of these differing streams, one reads in plain
English the words of an Islamic pluralist: "In
radical madrassas, such as those run by Wahhabis and
Deobandis, 'open conversations' are absent. Madrassa
schooling in the Wahhabi and Deobandi style involves
memorization of Qur'an and learning Arabic, with little in
the way of debate. It would be surprising to find students
in Wahhabi or Deobandi madrassas who had absorbed enough
knowledge about Islamic doctrine to engage in serious
dialogue with their instructors. Such madrassas do not teach
'critical thinking'." In "Regulation of UK madrassas is
acceptable to spiritual and traditional Muslims," by Irfan
Al-Alawi, Lapido Media, 20 January 2016.
When considering the naive words of an American council's
recommendations to an American president and his
administration that "plain English" should also avoid
Islamic tenets using Arabic words, then that council is also
not involved in "critical thinking" to suggest not using "religious,
legal and cultural terms like 'jihad,' 'sharia,' 'takfir' or
'umma'," when in fact media around the world
reports on jihadists as it reports on protests in many
nations as "radicals" demand sharia law in place of local
and national laws. An Islamic pluralist writes of "radical
madarassas" in Great Britain, not radical "violent
extremist" schools. In plain English, the violent extremism
around the world today is Islamic violent extremism, first
and foremost, and among the streams of Islam like the
Wahhabu and Deobandi. Yet the politics of the current US
administration suggests "plain English?"
Reject "us versus them?" How odd. How partisan. How
like a linguistic "takfir" this is. Paraphrasing Karl Marx,
one may well argue less foolishly that such advice from
government is become a new "opiate of the people."
After all, the "people don’t need to know why
'terrorists' exist, or who they are and what motivates
them...." It is rather like choosing a word
Menu à la carte
[ 3 ]
In the variety of
words, words and more words, "radical Islamists"
seems descriptive enough. One wonders if such clarity
violates the Homeland Security Advisory Council's
recommendation to "reject
religiously-charged terminology and problematic
positioning" words. Sensibly, one must reject a notion that
some nondescript and unidentified "violent extremism"
attacked a party of Turks listening to music and drinking
beer during the "holy month of Ramadan."
This sparks the question about terms, themselves, and those
who insist on one term in place of another. One reads an
opinion: "Obama’s vaunted national-security
strategy, 'Countering Violent Extremism,' is Orwellian. The
term CVE supplants identification of our jihadist enemies
with the woolly notion that “violence” can be caused by any
form of 'extremism' — it has nothing to do with Islam. By
transferring security responsibilities from government
intelligence agents to Muslim 'community leaders' (often,
Islamist groups), CVE actually encourages violent extremism."
In "Obama: Anti-Anti-Terrorist," by Andrew C. McCarthy,
National Review, 18, 2016.
Nebulous Enemy by Definition
If one should stop using terms such "religious, legal and
cultural terms like 'jihad,' 'sharia,' 'takfir' or 'umma',
as advised by recommended by the Homeland Security Advisory
Council, a subset of the Executive Office of the President
of the United States, as noted in their own document, then
McCarthy's argument is valid. A nebulous enemy such as
"violence" would never have clearly identified the National
Socialists during World War II, and rather the Roosevelt
administration would have to have conducted a "war" -- which
is of course state violence incarnate -- against "violent
extremism." Orwellian, indeed.
Whatever "plain English" is, the subcommittee's
"recommendations are not in "plain English." That
"countering violent extremism" as a phrase makes more clear
the issue is sadly amusing, as is the metaphor so often
trotted out by the Obama administration, consistently drawn
from the Bush administration before it. There is a "war on
One reads of metaphors: "Perhaps the most
ubiquitous metaphor is that of war. Sometimes it is
helpful: the 'war on AIDS' could actually be won. But others
cannot, and then the metaphor may mislead. Wars are waged by
coherent enemy forces and end, if not in victory, at least
when both sides are on their knees. The 'war on cancer' has
encouraged doctors and patients to view bodies as
battlefields. In the 'war on drugs', addicts who need
health-care are recast as enemy combatants. And the 'war
on terrorism' has fostered the delusion that, with a final
push on a battlefield somewhere, it can be won." In
"Declare war on misleading metaphors," Prospero blog, The
Economist, 21 July 2016.
Another Economist article ignores Obama's Homeland Security
Advisory Council desire to reject such a word as "jihad" in
favor of plain English, as one reads: "...in the Arab
world the young are treated, for the most part, as a curse,
to be suppressed. These days life for young Arabs is
often a miserable choice between a struggle against poverty
at home, emigration or, in extreme cases, jihad. Indeed,
in places such as Syria, the best-paid jobs involve picking
up a gun." In "Look forward in anger," Economist, 6 August
By a faux-clarity which wishes to avoid certain words for
some unexplained reason, the "war on terror" is like "countering
violent extremism." They are misleading metaphors. This begs
the question: who is misleading and why?
Something is certain however in terms of language. The
caliph of ISIS and the Al Jazeera News have not heeded
Obama's council's warming about using plain English. One
reads in English from Al Jazeera of Baghdadi: "ISIL
leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has expressed confidence in
victory, in his first message after US-backed Iraqi forces
started an offensive to take back Mosul, the last major city
under control of his group in Iraq. He also called on
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters to
invade Turkey. 'This raging battle and total war, and the
great jihad that the state of Islam is fighting today only
increases our firm belief, God willing, and our conviction
that all this is a prelude to victory," he said in an
audio recording released online by supporters on Thursday'."
In "ISIL leader Baghdadi confident of Mosul battle victory,"
Al Jazeera News, 3 November 2016.
Jihad appears as English now, so the remaining question for
Obama council is to answer whether it is "plain" English,"
for it is indeed English.
[ 4 ] For one
official Islamic opinion on "Allah" not naming a God as
worshipped by Christians, consider:
There's God and then there's Allah
If Killed - in Plain English
Then of course rejecting "religiously-charged terminology
and problematic positioning" washes away Islamic terminology
which may be understood in plain English. One such
interesting and "problematic" instance is the following
authoritative quote: "Narrated Abu Huraira: I
heard Allah's Apostle saying, 'The example of a Mujahid in
Allah's Cause-- and Allah knows better who really strives in
His Cause----is like a person who fasts and prays
continuously. Allah guarantees that He will admit the
Mujahid in His Cause into Paradise if he is killed,
otherwise He will return him to his home safely with rewards
and war booty'." From Bukhari, Book 4, Volume 52, Hadith
Such "religiously-charged" theology is "problematic" when
one considers a "lone wolf" crying aloud "Allahu akbar" when
attacking, killing and perhaps being killed in an exchange.
Should one ignore such testimony, by diluting the Islamic
content into a nebulous category as "violent extremism?"
[ 5 ] Unlike the Obama
administration's council recommendation suggesting one
reject "problematic positioning," one finds references to
Islam which have now entered "plain English" in the news
reports about the Bangladesh Islamists' attack. From the
article: "Bangladesh has seen a spate of murders in
recent months claimed by Islamic State and al Qaeda on
liberals, gays, foreigners and religious minorities. A
Hindu priest was hacked to death on Friday at a temple in
Jhinaidah district, 300 km (188 miles) southwest of Dhaka.
Local authorities say no operational links exist between
Bangladeshi militants and international jihadi
networks. They say two local militant groups, Ansar-al-Islam
and Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, have been behind the violence over
the past 18 months. Ansar pledges allegiance to al Qaeda,
while Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen claims it represents Islamic
Moreover, this attack was not simple "violent extremism" but
involved the Koran itself. One reads further as proof
of this: "Those who could recite a verse from the
Quran were spared, others were tortured, said a rescued
hostage of the Gulshan restaurant attack where at least two
lawmen were killed. 'The others were tortured by the
gunmen,' said Rezaul Karim, father of Hasnat Karim who was
held hostage inside Holey Artisan Bakery in the diplomatic
zone for over 10 hours." In "Those who could cite Quran were
spared: Gulshan attack victim’s family," by Rashidul Hasan,
Daily Star, Bangladesh, 2 July 2016.
One begins to learn that these Islam-motivated murders --
violent extremism, in the parlance of Obama's Homeland
Security Advisory Council -- were not carried out for
reasons of poverty or rebellion by a lower class. One reads:
"The men, all in their late teens or early 20s, were
products of Bangladesh’s elite, several having attended one
of the country’s top English-medium private schools as well
as universities both in the country and abroad. Among
them was the son of a former city leader in the prime
minister’s own Awami League, the governing party. 'That’s
what we’re absolutely riveted by,' said Kazi Anis Ahmed, a
writer and publisher of the daily newspaper The Dhaka
Tribune. 'That these kids from very affluent families
with no material want can still be turned to this kind of
ideology, motivated not just to the point of killing but
also want to be killed.' That children of the country’s
upper classes appear to have joined militant Islamists in an
act of such brutality highlighted the radicalization among
the largely moderate Muslim population here, a process that
has accelerated in recent years." In "After Slaughter,
Bangladesh Reels at Revelations About Attackers," by
Julfikar Ali Manik and Geta Anand, New York Times, 3 July
Thus the US council's advice to term such "violent
extremism" while rejecting "religiously-charged terminology"
is another word game in the many word games of the present
day. "Jihad" and "jihadi" have become "plain
English." In plain English, "a spate of murders"
directed against "liberals, gays, foreigners and religious
minorities" who are not Muslim is a phenomenon seen around
the globe which is wholly related to Islam.
Violent Extremism from Islam?
A British opinion does not reject "religiously-charged
terminology and problematic positioning" as Obama's advisors
wish, but rather writes plainly in criticism of this stance:
"...speculation about the shooting happening on the fifth
anniversary of Anders Breivik’s terrorist assault in Norway
meant that every-one could ignore the Muslim eyewitness who
heard Sonboly shout 'Allahu Akbar' and headline on Breivik
instead. Meaning that in Europe in 2016 a child of Iranian
parents can be portrayed as a white supremacist, while no
amount of Mohameds shouting 'Allahu Akbar' can be said to
have any connection to Islam." In "Europe’s terror
summer: will politicians now accept the reality of Islamic
terrorism?" by Douglas Murray, Spectator UK, 27 July 2016.
"...a secular or liberal lifestyle in majority-Muslim
Bangladesh" is under attack, but not by a "violent
extremism" within the Presbyterian community, by the Amish
or Mormons, certainly not by those who live a "secular or
liberal lifestyle" and not by Jews, Jains, the Bahai or
Buddhists. This "violent extremism" as seen around the world
is violent Muslim extremism. Reject this terminology, much
of which has already entered "plain English" and there is
little about which to talk or do.
Perhaps this is the goal of Obama's Homeland Security
[ 6 ] Name the
problem is the simple challenge, one which the Homeland
Security Advisory Council names as violent extremism, while
being unable to identify the causes of violent extremism.
Panda writes in plain English that "Meaning derives from
embodiment and function." What embodies the many cases of
"violent extremism" around the world today and how do they
"Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Subcommittee Interim
Report and Recommendations" is a title made of words. Using
Panda's plain English, what do these words embody and how do
they function? More importantly how do the words of the
Homeland Security Advisory Council function when they
recommend that words which are "legal and cultural terms
like 'jihad,' 'sharia,' 'takfir' or 'umma'" are to be
replaced with "plain English?"
and Sharia Are Plain English
In a Merriam-Webster's 11th Collegiate Dictionary,
jihad and sharia (in two variant spellings) appear.
Therefore jihad and sharia are in fact plain English. This
suggests that the Homeland Security Advisory Council, as
part of the Obama administration, are recommending plain
English words not be used because they are somehow "legal
and cultural terms." Should all legal and cultural terms be
abandoned then, or only Islamic ones?
The Free Dictionary (by Falex) online shows jihad and sharia
and more as now within the scope of plain English, because
language takes into itself words from other cultures, and
makes them its own. The same holds true for the Oxford
Dictionaries, and others as well.
The Times of India article goes further in plain English:
"...in sheer scale, number of attacks and fatalities,
nothing comes close to jihadi terrorism. Even 'traditional',
non-religious, left-wing extremists like Germany’s
Baader-Meinhof, Italy’s Red Brigades, Columbia’s FARC,
Peru’s Shining Path and our very own Naxalites are now
either defunct or well past their peak. The numbers speak
for themselves. 2015 statistics cited by political
scientist Ian Bremmer show that the world’s top terrorist
organisations are IS (8,420 fatalities), Boko Haram (6,299),
Taliban (5,215) and Al Shabab (1,586). That al-Qaida doesn’t
even rank any more shows how exponential the growth of
Islamist radicalisation has been. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a
bestselling author and Somali refugee has said, 'It simply
will not do for Muslims to claim that their religion has
been ‘hijacked’ by extremists. The killers of Islamic State
and Boko Haram cite the same religious texts that every
other Muslim in the world considers sacrosanct … The biggest
obstacle to change within the Muslim world is suppression of
With the Obama administration's council recommending that
plain English not include such words as the members have,
the obvious conclusion is that this well-paid, high-ranking
Homeland Security Advisory Council is 1) unaware that many
plain English dictionaries include the words that a "CVE"
stance says are not "plain English," and 2) embodying and
functioning -- the words Panda uses in his editorial -- as a
suppression of critical thinking.
"Islamist radicalization" is a phrase in plain English. It
is more precise than "violent extremism." It gathers
together the many instances of Islamic "violent extremism"
into a grouping, and the statistics show that this grouping
is informative, and names an enemy, all the while the
"Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Subcommittee Interim
Report and Recommendations" report goes to great lengths to
excuse away the plain English information which makes so
much modern "violent extremism" Islamic at its roots.
A next question is simple to identify. Why would the Obama
administration's Homeland Security Advisory Council seek to
avoid a linkage in words between the phrase "violent
extremism" and the descriptive adjective "Islamic" except to
suppress plain English thinking -- "critical thinking" in
Ali's plain English? Is naming an enemy so difficult? For
the Obama administration, it seems so.
of an Enemy
This naming of an enemy and even declaration of war was easy
for some. One reads in plain English from only decades ago:
"Although bin Laden and Zawahiri are the most notorious
Islamist terrorists, there are hundreds like them. These
dedicated commanders in turn lead thousands of terrorists in
a relentless and uncompromising holy war against the United
States and the West as a whole. The bombings of the U.S.
embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 were the latest but
by far not the last shots in this rapidly escalating war of
terrorism. What makes these individuals -- the leaders and
symbols of the new Islamist upsurge -- commit themselves to
this kind of war?" In "Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared
War on America," by Yossef Bodansky, an excerpt reprinted in
USA Today, 25 October 2001.
In the same way that a USA Today article can print the words
"Islamist terrorists," one finds an opinion in plain English
by two-time Pulitzer Prize winning editorial artist after
the beheading of an octogenarian Catholic priest in France:
"...these tragedies expose 'those who subvert religion to
justify brutal acts of barbarity. Only when the world can
see these animals for what they truly are will the world
unite against these emissaries of death and destruction.'
But before you can go after evil, you must define it. It
goes by many names; ISIS, ISIL, lone wolf, DAESH... but they
all share one thing in common, the celebration of death in
the name of radical Islam." In "Normandy Church Attack
07-26-16," Michael P. Ramirez.com, 26 July 2016.
What was easy for enemies of America to say outright is
become difficult for Obama's America to say, courtesy of the
oddly named Homeland Security Advisory Council, handwringing
lest one say "jihad." Even word processors in today's
computers can correct a misspelling of the word -- in plain
English -- "jihad."
Another "in plain English" news report reads: "There
were eight victims with stab wounds, police said. Seven were
treated and released and one remains in the hospital with
non-life threatening injuries, according to police. Police
said the suspect, dressed in a private security uniform,
made a reference to Allah and asked one victim if
they were Muslim." In "Police: 8 Stabbed, Suspect
Dead In St. Cloud Mall Incident," CBS Minnesota, 17
Is such reporting in violation of the council's urge to
"reject religiously-charged terminology," although in plain
English? Or does the CBS report evidence "problematic
positioning?" But in plain English, what doe the phrase
"problematic positioning" even mean?
It may be that the Obama administration's Homeland Security
Advisory Council is afraid of the utterly inane though
thoroughly modern accusation of
This is a preferable view of that council to the conclusion
that these bureaucrats are misinformed, ill-educated or
Perhaps there is some sympathy for or rationale about each
Poor and lonely wolf
if Muslim. What is the "plain English" for Muslim?
[ 7 ]
Among the words which the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE)
Subcommittee recommends is "takfir." One finds this
word, as yet not found in some English dictionaries and
therefore arguably not "plain English," to tell of those who
say others are not authentic or real Muslims. In India as in
Saudi Arabia and other Middle East nations, accusing a
self-described Muslim as not Muslim is the act of the
takfiri, as read in the citation above.
The article mentions Muslim-on-Muslim, as well as on US
interests, violence in Saudi Arabia: "In the 4 July
attacks, the US consulate in Jeddah, the Saudi commercial
capital, was assaulted, with the death of the bomber and
injuries to two people. Saudi authorities identified the
Jeddah bomber as Abdullah Qalzar Khan, 34, a Pakistani who
worked in the kingdom as a driver. Saudi officials say they
prevented even worse consequences of the Jeddah terror
incident. The Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, where Prophet
Muhammad is said to be buried, was bombed the same day,
leaving four security officers dead and five wounded. Saudi
Wahhabism is now devouring its parent."
This word, takfir, is most interesting, given the many
Western political leaders who busy themselves trying to say
that ISIS is not authentic Islam. Thus one could use the
Arabic word to describe not only the violent Muslim takfiri
movements condemning other movements to being apostates and
therefore worthy of death, but also the many public
pronouncements that some "violent extremist" Muslim
movements are not representative of Islam.
The Voices of
In this such
voices -- as President Obama's and John Kerry's -- are the
voices of Western takfiris. Perhaps this is why the Homeland
Security Advisory Council worries about a greater awareness
of this word, that it might become a part of "plain English"
and speak plainly to more people informed as to what is
found within Arabic as in Islam itself. Why? Because no one
speaks authoritatively for Islam, when so many seemingly
authoritative voices speak only to violently disagree.
By "countering violent extremism" while sidestepping a word
like takfir, as well as jihad, sharia and umma, the policy
wonk can avoid association with Islam. After all, it's only
"violent extremism" without any apparent religious or
cultural roots when one "rejects" language which might
Irfan Al-Alawi writes "Saudi Wahhabism is now devouring
its parent." Perhaps that parent is violent extremism,
not rooted in anything except violent extremism? The parent
is Saudi and Wahhabi Islam, and its spawn are jihad around
the world, demands for sharia to replace national
governments, and accusations and death sentences for
apostasy from Saudi Wahhabism, Salafism, Islamism and all
other naming which cannot be conducted in "plain English."
All the while Saudi Wahhabism and its variants in virulence
as well as name rage, on finds the phenomenon of takir
rooted in the Sunni-Shia division of Islam itself. As one
example, one reads: "Hazaras, most of whom are
Shiite Muslims, were especially persecuted during the
extremist Sunni Taliban 1996-2001 regime." In "IS attack
on Afghan protest kills at least 61, wounds 207," by Karim
Sharifi and Lynne O'Donnell, Associated Press, 23 July 2016.
The "violent extremism" which is not countered by a report
by Washington bureaucrats resulted in "at least 61 dead" and
"207 wounded" for the Hazaras: " 'Such
attacks are a reminder that the conflict in Afghanistan is
not winding down, as some believe, but escalating, with
consequences for the human rights situation in the country
that should alarm us all,' it quoted Champa Patel, Amnesty's
South Asia director, as saying." Which side in
this "violent extremist" event is authenticate Islam, and
which is identified by the procedure of takfir as not
The "Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Subcommittee Interim Report and
Recommendations" simply does not say. Just don't say or write "takfir."
Use plain English -- the roots are in many versions of Islam, the many
streams which war with the world as between themselves. Shall one hope that Sunni
Taliban and Shia, especially the Afghani Hazara in this
Muslims and Descendants
of Majoos and Enemies of Islam
Some Muslims have been quite willing to announce which
Muslims are not Muslims, but rather apostates. One reads:
"Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh fired back
at Iran on Tuesday in a growing war of words over the Hajj
pilgrimage, saying Iranians were 'not Muslims,' as
the country's armed forces put on a show of force with a
military parade. In comments made to Saudi media, Sheikh
said that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the
Iranian government were 'enemies of Islam and doctrine,
and descendants of the majoos,' using the pejorative
term for pre-Islamic Iranians who believed in fire worship.
'You must understand that they are not Muslims - they are
descendants of the majoos,' he said, using a derogatory
term for pre-Islamic Iranians. 'Their enmity with Muslims is
old, especially with Sunnis,' he told the Mecca daily
newspaper." In "Saudi strikes back: Top cleric says Iranians
'not Muslims'," by Karim El-Bar, Middle East Eye, 7
Apparently the Grand Mufti does not have the same concerns
for verbiage as does the U. S. State Department, and yet the
Obama administration has provided logistical support for the
Saudi war with Yemen's Houthis.
[ 8 ] That the
Associated Press acts as a takriri is interesting, and its
apologia that Muslims taking up jihad -- violent extremism
-- are "dummies" is refuted.
One reads in plain English: "Most telling
about the AP’s motives, their report ignores the central
importance that the Islamic State places upon the Qur’an: In
its communiqués, it quotes the Qur’an copiously. They
quote it in threats to blow up the White House and conquer
Rome and Spain; in explaining its priorities in the nations
it is targeting in jihad; in preaching to Christians after
collecting the jizya (a Qur’an-based tax, cf. Qur’an 9:29);
in justifying the execution of accused spies; and in its
various videos. ISIS’s beheadings (47:4), sex slavery (4:3,
4:24, 23:1-6, 33:50, 70:30), subjugation of Christians
(9:29), global imperative (8:39) and more are all based upon
the Qur’an. ISIS has also awarded $10,000 prizes and sex
slaves in Qur’an memorization contests. One of its
underground lairs was found littered with weapons and copies
of the Qur’an. Children in the Islamic State study the
Qur’an and get weapons training. As for misrepresenting
the Qur’an? One Malaysian Muslim said that the Qur’an led
him to join the Islamic State. A Muslima in the U.S.
promoted the Islamic State by quoting the Qur’an." In
"AP Claims ISIS Recruits Have a Poor Grasp of Islam," by
Robert Spencer, PJ Media, 24 August 2016.
This highlights the seemingly enlightened Western
politicians who pontificate about Islam as
The religion of peace
all the while engaging in war against Muslims, to include
cross-border attacks and many newly opened fronts, as some
now admit openly they were caught flat-footed,
Failing to plan
- flailing's in view.
Questions Exposing Ideological Bias
Meanwhile "dummies" according to the Associated Press quote
"the Qur'an copiously" while the Associated Press does not,
and across the world of Islam, violent extremism rages
against itself as against others. Is Islam at war with the
world? It seems so. Is it at war with itself? Without a
doubt as one finds evidence that
is easily found in Islamic lands torn by "violent extremism"
which the Obama administrations wants the world not to see
as a facet of Islam.
After all, according to Obama's councilors, the world is to "reject religiously-charged terminology and
problematic positioning by using plain meaning American English." But
even the Associated Press writes about "jihadis-in-training"
using plain English. Perhaps that was the result of
In plain English, Islam is having enormous problems with
itself as with other religions, including the religions of
secularism and non-Islamic statism.
[ 9 ] The use of
"ideological" to replace "Islamic" is noted and obvious. But
the word, ideological, is camouflage if not denial, because
in any list of ideologies, there are many. Yet the
phenomenon of the day clusters around Islamic ideology. A
simple test reveals that one finds almost no Christian or
Buddhist radicalism -- as but two of many religious
ideologies -- traveling around the globe seeking violent
outlets for extremism, as one finds almost no Communist or
capitalist radicalism -- as two among many non-religious
ideologies -- traveling with the purpose of that violent
extremism known as jihad, a word in plain English today.
Responsibility Is It?
Thus, with the simplest of logical tools, one may identify
an ideological bent to the "CVE" employees of the Obama
administration, buying themselves with the various incidents
of Islamic jihad being perpetrated by radical Muslims
traveling to kill. It is furthermore noted that Saeed
himself listed nations to which radical Muslims have
traveled: "... places like Iraq and Syria, Somalia,
Pakistan, Afghanistan." If it were mere ideologies
and the perpetrators were not interested in nations with
Islamic extremism, the list could as easily has been "places
like" Canada, El Salvador, Cuba, Finland. Thus in plain
English, Saeed and the others busy advising for pay the US
State Department stumble over their own words, serving only
to mask poorly Islamic jihad and its Muslim perpetrators.
Moreover, Saeed's assertion is naive, as he states: "You
have to be able to rehabilitate them and then re-integrate
them back into society." There are other historical
answers, such as banishment and stripping "foreign fighters"
of citizenship and not allowing them re-entry, thus avoiding
the issues of whose responsibility it is to rehabilitate
them and then re-integrate them back into society." Even
here, there is more than one alternative. Another is to
state -- pun intended -- that any returning to a nation
after pursuing jihad in another nation, if accepted back,
are responsible to rehabilitate themselves and re-integrate
themselves. These alternatives are not addressed. Such
alternative options would put Obama's Homeland Security
Advisory Council out of work.
If a criminal act of an individual prosecuted assigns
responsibility to the criminal, then guilt is apportioned.
If a criminal act of an individual is judged the fault of
"society," then one finds the logical foundation of this
"council's worries about "countering violent extremism"
which it seeks to 1) not name in words of plain English, 2)
not respond to by historically-valid methods, and 3) blame
society, handing the responsibility to a nation.
It is assured that those so willing to serve on a Homeland
Security Advisory Council would be unprepared to
actually do the one-on-one work of rehabilitating and
re-integrating violent extremists whose ideological bent is
consistently Islamic. The obvious conclusion is that they
have many fine words to speak at conferences and publish in
working papers and offer in political pronouncements, but
they are words, words and words, themselves ideologically
slanted and politically motivated to obscure even plain
English like jihad and Islam. "You have to be able...."
A little slice of bacon,
A rasher, one or two,
Will never be mistaken
As modest, tried and true.
A little treat of butchered pig
Offends those who demand
That one must also never swig
The brewer's contraband.
A little swig, a little slice?
The French call this cuisine.
Such is difference, quite precise,
Stewed in a sin machine.
Patrols must seek the sinner
To slice away at choice,
Distilling what makes dinner
While killing freedom's choice.
Is it discipline or doctrine
Defining things unclean?
A slice of that which has been
Sliced by knife or guillotine?
Trick a gnosis till it squeals,
Infecting all those around;
Intoxicating, debauched appeals
Make recipes their battleground.
Abstinence is either one
Or some other throughout time.
Enforced is not like freely done --
One cries liberty, the other crime.
Addendum of Pork and Alcohol I:
"Pork meat and alcohol are illegal products for
Muslims to consume in Iran. The Christian minority — made up of
about 300,000 Armenians and Assyrians — can buy pork in certain stores.
But for Muslims, the consequences can be severe if they are caught with
a slice of bacon in their mouths. 'If you get caught by the modesty
patrol, the religious police, you face fines, potentially corporal
punishment,' Emanuele Ottolenghi, a senior fellow at the Foundation for
Defense of Democracies, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. 'There
are unpleasant consequences for people getting caught … it has to do
more with how strict the enforcement [of the] modesty patrol is.' " In "In
Sharia-Ruled Iran, Muslims Are Willing To Risk Corporal Punishment For A
Slice Of Bacon," by Jacob Bojesson, Daily Caller, 11 June 2016.
Addendum of Pork and Alcohol
II: "The same principle applies to the dietary laws
given to Israel of old. It is true we refrain from eating certain
articles, as indicated in the query, but not because the law of Moses
has any binding claims upon us. Far from it. We stand fast in the
liberty with which God has set us free. It must be remembered that God
recognized "clean" and "unclean" animals at the time of the Flood, long
before there was a law of Moses. We reason that if God saw fit at that
time to counsel His people against certain articles of diet, these
things were not best for human consumption; and since we are
physically constituted in the same way as are the Jews and all other
peoples, we believe such things are not the best for us to use today. To
us, the whole matter of unclean foods is primarily a question of health,
for we believe that "'God is as truly the author of physical laws as He
is the author of the moral law.'—Ellen. G. White, Christ's Object
Lessons, p. 347." In "The Question of Unclean Foods," from "Seventh-day
Adventists Answer Questions On Doctrine," Review and Herald Publishing
Addendum of 'le porc et
l'alcool' : "Good Price discount mini-market in
Colombes has been told by the local housing authority, from which it
rents its premises, that it has not followed the conditions on the lease
that stipulate that the shop must act as a 'general food store.' The
authority argues that all members of the local community are not being
served properly if there are no alcohol or pork products in the Good
Price store, which is run as a franchise and which last year replaced
another small supermarket." In "Sell alcohol and pork or we will shut
you down, French town tells halal supermarket," by Rory Mulholland,
Telegraph UK, 4 August 2016.
Addendum of Pork versus
Cocaine: "Cambrai, Sunday, 18 October 2015. A
young man and young man left the discothèque Le Mix Bar where they had
spent the evening. Then as they ordered pizza from a nearby food vendor,
they were approached by individuals who offered the young couple
cocaine, after which the couple were eating ham on the pizza, the others
told the pair they would 'go to hell' for eating it." In
"Douai-Cambrai : à la sortie de la discothèque, la commande de pizza
vire à la descente aux enfers," La Voix du Nord, 28 August 2016.
[ 1 ]
Addendum of a Proposed
Alcohol Ban: "...the proposed ban is a sign
that Indonesia is facing a creeping Islamisation that threatens to
impose extreme forms of Sharia law on more liberal provinces like Bali.
The country of 260 million is the world's most populous Muslim nation but
it is also home to several strong religious minorities. The island of
Bali is predominantly Hindu. The secular government of President Joko
Widodo is coming under increasing pressure from influential Muslim
political parties to impose a strict morality code across the entire
country." In "Bali's tourism at risk of being completely wiped out by
Islamic law banning alcohol," by Nicola Smith, Mail Online, 12 September
2016. [ 2 ]
Addendum of Football's Tricky
Issue: "The comments by Hassan Al-Thawadi will
further alarm football traditionalists already unhappy that the
tournament will be moved to the winter because of fierce summer
temperatures in Qatar. A ban on alcohol inside stadiums -- there has
long been speculation about what the conservative Muslim country would
do on the tricky issue of alcohol for the World Cup -- could
bring organisers into conflict with FIFA and powerful sponsors." In "No
alcohol in streets, public places at World Cup - Qatar," Agence
France Presse, 9 November 2016.
[ 1 ] In the
original French: "Cambrai, dimanche 18 octobre 2015.
Une jeune fille et un jeune homme sortent de la discothèque
Le Mix Bar où ils viennent de passer la soirée. Alors qu’ils
commandent une pizza auprès d’un commerçant installé à
proximité, ils sont abordés par des individus qui leur
proposent de la cocaïne, avant de leur reprocher d’avoir
choisi une pizza au jambon, car, en consommant ce type de
nourriture, ils risquent 'd’aller en enfer'."
[ 2 ]
The question of supremacy arises, as ever.
Which entity holds supremacy? State? Society? One religion
or political party over others? The notion of
integration as migration occurs is very modern, though very
From Norway one dins this sentiment: " 'I think
those who come to Norway need to adapt to our society,' she
wrote. 'Here we eat pork, drink alcohol and show our face.
You must abide by the values, laws and regulations that are
in Norway when you come here'." In "Norwegian Minister
Tells Muslims: ‘We Eat Pork, Drink Alcohol And Show Our
Face’," by Jason Le Miere, International Business Times, 21
If bans are proposed in some cultures and nations against
pork and alcohol, then other nations by the same right can
reject calls for bans with the same fervor. Though not park,
the adage found in language applies -- sauce for the goose
is indeed sauce for the gander.
Don't look now
"The demonstrators blocked streets as they chanted: 'There
is hunger in Venezuela, there is no food…' Usually, the authorities
in charge of Libertador, a poor neighborhood controlled by chavista
politicians, deny the Venezuelan opposition any permit to protest on the
streets. Today, however, the mass gathering against the government
formed spontaneously. Members of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Guard
tried to disperse the protests with tear gas. They also asked members of
the news media who had arrived to cover the unfolding events to withdraw
from the scene immediately." In "Venezuelan Regime Attacks
Journalists to Hide Protests," by Sabrina Martín, PanAmPost, 2 June
[ 1 ]
Don't look now.
Don't look then.
Don't say anything --
And comes again.
Not looking is ordered
By thuggish men.
Don't see want.
Don't see need.
Don't see anything.
Repeat the screed.
All goes well
When no one sees,
Though hunger is often
A political disease.
"From each according to his ability, to each
according to his needs (French: De chacun selon ses facultés, à
chacun selon ses besoins; German: Jeder nach seinen Fähigkeiten, jedem
nach seinen Bedürfnissen) is a slogan first used by Louis Blanc in 1851
(although an earlier version of the saying appeared in Étienne-Gabriel
Morelly's The Code of Nature) and popularised by Karl Marx in his 1875
Critique of the Gotha Program. The principle refers to free access and
distribution of goods, capital and services. In the Marxist view,
such an arrangement will be made possible by the abundance of goods and
services that a developed communist system will produce; the idea is
that, with the full development of socialism and unfettered productive
forces, there will be enough to satisfy everyone's needs." In "From
each according to his ability, to each according to his needs. Part of a
Series on Marxism, Wikipedia article, n. d.
Addendum of the Hungry and
the Tired: "A protester called Jose Lopez said he
and several others, who were neither government supporters nor
opposition members, marched through Caracas' main thoroughfare,
chanting, 'No more talk. We want food. We have needs. We all need to
eat,' Lopez told journalists. 'I've been here since 8 in the
morning. There's no more food in the shops and supermarkets... We're
hungry and tired,' another protester told the broadcaster Vivoplay. As
they neared President Nicolas Maduro's residence, national guardsmen and
police in riot gear fired tear gas and pushed them away. Onlookers
leaned out of their windows, banging pots and pans and calling the
officers names. More security personnel were sent to curb the mob as
government supporters hit the demonstrators with sticks." In "Venezuela
police fire tear gas at protesters demanding food," Reuters, 29 May
[ 2 ]
of Hesitancy: "Those watching from around the
world, particularly in the United States, seem hesitant to put a label
on Venezuela's struggle. But for me and mine, it's clear what
precipitated this crisis – and we don't share the hesitance to point it
out. While extenuating circumstances like drought and oil prices have
certainly worsened the situation, it's clear there's a larger force
behind Venezuela's woes. The force that is driving Venezuela into the
ground is socialism. I've heard them break down crying because they
lack basic needs like toilet paper. And I hear the fear of not knowing
what's next or when these struggles will end." In "How Socialism Failed
Venezuela," by Andres Malave, US News and World Report, 6 June 2016.
[ 3 ]
Addendum of Mounting
Protests: "Jose Salazar is waving a fistful of
Venezuelan bolivars in the middle of a Caracas street. 'What do I do
with this money?' demands the angry retiree and grandfather, one of
dozens of Venezuelans who blocked an avenue in the capital Wednesday in
protest against the food shortages ravaging the troubled country."
In "Venezuela Food Crisis Triggers Mounting Protests," Agence France
Presse, 10 June 2016.
of Maduro's Diet: "Other families have to choose
who eats. Lucila Fonseca, 69, has lymphatic cancer, and her 45-year-old
daughter, Vanessa Furtado, has a brain tumor. Despite also being ill,
Ms. Furtado gives up the little food she has on many days so her mother
does not skip meals. 'I used to be very fat, but no longer,' the
daughter said. 'We are dying as we live.' Her mother added, 'We are
now living on Maduro’s diet: no food, no nothing'." In
"Venezuelans Ransack Stores as Hunger Grips the Nation," by Nicholas
Casey, New York Times, 19 June 2016.
of 21st Century Socialism's Collapse: "The fact
is that Venezuela, while still pumping oil, no longer has a functioning
economy. Seventeen years of nationalizations and confiscation of
private industries, farms, cattle ranches, distribution companies, sugar
mills, and even shopping malls have completely destroyed not only the
local production, but the distribution networks necessary for the normal
functioning of the economy. Ninety percent of confiscated and
nationalized companies and farms no longer produce anything. SIVENSA, a
private steel company formerly with over USD $1 billion in sales, mostly
for export, now has negligible production. A country that during the
1980s boasted about having Latin America’s highest levels of production
of cement, which it exported to the USA, now has a shortage of cement,
even with insignificant construction levels. For most of the 20th
century, Venezuela was among the world’s largest coffee producers. Now,
the coffee that Venezuelans drink, if they can find any, comes from
Nicaragua." In "Venezuela: Mass Famine Is Imminent as Neighbors,
Washington Stand By," PanAmPost, 22 June 2016
[ 4 ]
Addendum of Real Hunger
Games: "Security forces and Venezuelans faced off
on the streets during further protests that included the chant 'Hay
hambre, queremos comida' (There is hunger, we want food). Social media
caught police taking part in the robberies." In "Food Riots Shut
Down Venezuelan City as Police Join Rampage," by Sabrina Martín,
PanAmPost, 15 June 2016.
of 21st Century Socialism's Looting of the State:
"Under Fidel Castro’s tutelage, Chávez successfully cultivated a
pro-poor, anti-American posture . Endless professions of concern for the
poor followed furious denunciations of gringo imperialism. But this,
too, was a charade. We now know that the fiery speeches professing
unconditional love and support for the poor were a ruse to deflect
attention from the wholesale looting of the state. In fact, more than
$100 billion in oil profits stashed in a 'National Development Fund'
were simply never accounted for." In "Venezuela’s democratic façade
has completely crumbled," by Moisés Naim and Francisco Toro," Washington
Post, 1 July 2016.
[ 5 ]
of Socialism for Venezuela's Rich: "In countries like
Venezuela, the inequality between crony politicians and common citizens
is evident. The first group enjoys considerable privileges, while the
latter struggles to avoid drowning in a sea of inflation, shortages, and
unemployment. The ruling class’s friends can travel and have access to
foreign goods. Common Venezuelans must make do with 'shopping' at mostly
empty supermarkets. But make no mistake, Venezuelan leaders are not
covert capitalists. Their wealth does not come from outperforming their
competitors in the provision of superior, affordable goods and services.
It is not the result of taking risks and investing their own capital.
They are rich because the government has awarded them privileges and
subsidies, at the expense of the average citizen. That’s 21st-century
socialism’s social mobility. They don’t want capitalism, since their
socialist system has already made them quite comfortable." In "Chávez’s
Daughter Is Filthy Rich, and That Shouldn’t Be a Surprise," by Ezequiel
Spector, PanAmPost, 26 August 2015.
[ 6 ]
of Family Relations: "Two nephews of Venezuela's first
lady, who face charges of conspiring to import cocaine into the United
States, confessed to U.S. agents after being arrested in November to
being involved in the drug scheme, newly-filed court records state.
Details of the confessions by Franqui Francisco Flores de Freitas, 30,
and Efrain Antonio Campo Flores, 29, were contained in documents U.S.
prosecutors filed late on Friday in a Manhattan federal court." In "Venezuela
first lady's nephews confessed to drug scheme, US says," by Nate
Raymond, Reuters, 24 July 2016.
of the Narcotics Connection: "Two high-up
officials in Venezuela’s government were accused of drug trafficking
this week. Former Minister of Justice and current Commander of the
National Gaurd Nestor Reverol, as well as former Assistant Director of
the National Anti-drug Office Edylberto Molina were both accused,
Reuters reported Monday, August 1. The hearing, which took place in a
federal court in Brooklyn, New York, saw the prosecution claim both
senior officials to the Chavez administration received payment from drug
traffickers in exchange for helping distribute cocaine that ultimately
made its way into the United States." In "US Indicts Top Former
Venezuelan Officials of Drug Traficking," by Orlando Avendaño, PanAmPost,
2 August 2016.
of Inflating Inflation: "It’s gotten so bad, the
government this week handed over control of food stocks to the military,
ceding even more power to the armed forces." In "Venezuela’s
inflation is set to top 1,600% next year," by Richard Wheatstone, Wall
Street Journal Market Watch, 18 July 2016.
[ 7 ]
of What You Need to Know: "...
Venezuela's poor have taken the brunt of the country's decline after
making modest gains during Chavez's socialist regime. Maduro, who is
also a socialist, has confounded Venezuelans with his sometimes
impractical suggestions to resolve the crisis." In "Venezuela's
Economic Crisis: What You Need to Know," by Michael Edison Hayden, ABC
News, 21 June 2016.
of the Dark Irony of 21st Century Socialism: "A
new decree by Venezuela's government could make its citizens work on
farms to tackle the country's severe food shortages. That 'effectively
amounts to forced labor,' according to Amnesty International, which
derided the decree as 'unlawful."' In a vaguely-worded decree,
Venezuelan officials indicated that public and private sector employees
could be forced to work in the country's fields for at least 60-day
periods, which may be extended 'if circumstances merit." In
"Venezuela's new decree: Forced farm work for citizens," by Patrick
Gillespie, Rafael Romo and Osmary Hernandez, CNN, 29 July 2016.
[ 8 ]
Addendum of the Failing
Socialist Experiment: "A BBC journalist, who
attempted to film the crisis, was stopped and forced by soldiers to
delete footage of a protest outside a supermarket as desperate
Venezuelans waited for food. Baying crowds shouted 'We want to buy
stuff!' as they grouped outside the store in the country’s capital,
Caracas. BBC journalist Vladimir Hernandez reports that many people
approached him to say they had queued for 12 hours without being able to
buy what they wanted." In "'Socialist experiment' Venezuela in ruins
as soldiers delete videos of 12-hour food queues," by Joe Barnes,
Express UK, 2 August 2016.
of the Now Silent Socialist Experiment Enthusiasts:
"Without market incentives, workers have had no reason to produce. If
they tried to organize against the state, they lost their jobs. If they
tried to complain, their news outlets were closed. This is not freedom.
This is not 'helping the poor'. This is statism; and price controls,
food rationing, starvation, money-printing, and hyper-inflation always
come as the last phases. Venezuela has reached that point, and no amount
of makeup the U.S. leftists put on this can hide the ugly face of
desperation that collectivism has wrought." In "Leftist Media
Icons Overlook the Economic Disaster of Venezuela," by P. Gardner
Goldsmith, MRCTV, 23 May 2016.
[ 9 ]
Addendum of Left is Right --
Again: "Because Venezuelans pay the price
now with mass hunger, as a recent BBC report noted, empty shelves,
people unable to breastfeed because the country was destroyed by this
populist, militarist nonsense. Chavez was not a 'progressive,' he was
a right- wing militarist who passed himself off as left-wing in much the
same way Hezbollah and Hamas, Bashar Assad and the ayatollahs are all
'left-wing'." In "Why Western leftists adore right-wing religious
extremists abroad," by Seth J. Frantzman, Jerusalem Post, 2 August 2016.
[ 10 ]
of Growing Hunger: "...about 20 percent of
Venezuelan children face problems of malnutrition, and that the number
of children admitted to hospitals for severe malnutrition has spiked. A
survey carried out by the committee concluded that nine out of every
10 Venezuelan homes lack the resources to maintain a balanced diet as
the country sinks into hyperinflation. The latest official data
shows the basic food basket per month for a family of five costs about
226,000 bolivares (about $226), while the minimum monthly salary stands
at about 15,000 bolivares ($15). That means that Venezuelans are going
hungry, even though they live in a country with one of the largest oil
reserves in the world." In "Hunger haunts Venezuela, especially its
children," by Antonio Maria Delgado, Miami Herald, 5 August 2016.
of No Hunger for More than 80 of Government's Friends:
"According to National Assembly member Carlos Berrizbeitia, Maduro — who
was in Cuba Monday, August 8 through Sunday, August 14 — lived lavishly
while celebrating on the island. According to calculations done by
Berrizbeitia, the Venezuelan government has spent US $124 million on
visiting other countries so far this year. 'The amount spent on trips
this years surpasses billions of bolívares,' Berrizbeitia said. 'For the
trip to Cuba, for example, it was unnecessary to use the presidential
plane, whose flight time cost US $25,000. Additionally, they brought
musicians, journalists, family and friends to sing happy birthday to
Fidel. That added up to $400,000 because there were more than 80 people
there'." In "Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro Spent $400,000
Celebrating Fidel Castro’s Birthday," by Sabrina Martín, PanAm Post, 17
of Corruption-fed Violence: "Venezuela has the world's
second highest murder rate and the street gangs that plague its poor
neighborhoods have become increasingly heavily armed in recent years, at
a time when a deep recession has reduced resources available to police.
Gangs often get weapons from the police, either by stealing them or
buying them from corrupt officers, experts say. With inflation of 185
percent in 2015 and a currency collapse, police salaries have fallen far
behind rising prices creating more incentives for corruption." In
"Venezuela crushes 2,000 guns in public, plans registry of bullets," by
Frank Jack Daniel, Reuters, 18 August 2016.
of Abolishing Bread Lines and Anxiety: "The
Venezuelan government has announced it will be fining bakeries that make
people stand in lines to buy bread. The National Superintendency of
Fair Prices noted this measure is intended to 'dismantle the strategy of
generating anxiety' in Venezuelans, as the lines are more of a political
decision than they are a reflection of a lack of raw materials." In
"Venezuela Bans Lines Outside of Bakeries that Spread 'Anxiety'," by
Sabrina Martín, PanAm Post, 19 August 2016.
of Not Allowing Political Opposition: "Venezuela will
remove state employees appointed to their positions by the government
who signed a petition to recall President Nicolas Maduro as the
opposition seeks to remove him amid an economic crisis. In the first
confirmation by a cabinet member, Information Minister Luis Jose Marcano
said the government is free to name as well as remove high-level
bureaucrats it has appointed. 'Whoever has a position that is freely
appointed and removable, those referred to yesterday by the PSUV on
President Maduro’s instructions, evidently cannot be allowed to
attack the Bolivarian revolution,' Marcano said in an interview on
the Globovision network, referring to the ruling party." In "Venezuela
Confirms Plan to Purge State Workers Who Signed Recall," by Fabiola
Zerpa, Bloomberg, 24 August 2016.
[ 11 ]
Addendum of the Socialist
Downward Spiral: "Venezuelans of all political
stripes want to abandon the country in record numbers, as the socialist
nation continues its downward economic and political spiral, according
to a poll released Friday. A survey by Caracas-based Datincorp found
that 57 percent of all Venezuelans said they want to leave the country,
up from 49 percent in May 2015. Broken down by political affiliation,
the poll found that 24 percent of all government supporters and 71
percent of those who consider themselves the opposition want to
emigrate." In "Almost 60 percent of Venezuelans say they want out,"
by Jim Wyss, Miami Herald, 9 September 2016.
of Running Out of Patience:
"...this year, Venezuela -- which has the world's largest oil reserves
-- has seen oil production crash to a 13-year low. Some of its service
providers, such as Schlumberger (SLB), have dramatically lowered
operations due to unpaid bills from the Venezuelan government.
Socialist president Nicolas Maduro has led a regime that mismanaged
Venezuela's resources and pushed the economy into a crisis, experts say.
China has now run out of patience. 'The Chinese have allowed the
Venezuelans to be stupid,' says Derek Scissors, a resident scholar at
the American Enterprise Institute who tracks Chinese investment around
the world. 'The Chinese don't want to allow the Venezuelans to be stupid
anymore'." In "China is cutting off cash to Venezuela," by
Patrick Gillespie, CNN, 30 September 2016.
of Supreme Social Happiness: "Three years ago,
the government created a new ministry of supreme social happiness. I
thought that minister would help us. But when we went to ask for money
to buy food, she replied that we had to ration what we had, adding: 'The
whole country is on a diet.' The government wants to make the issue
of poverty and hunger 'invisible'." In "Venezuela crisis: Caracas
hospital shows sorry state of health system," by Julian Keane, BBC, 9
of the Irreversible: "The
Venezuelan opposition needs to understand that 'the revolution is going
to continue,' President Nicolas Maduro said Thursday, while urging his
political foes to remain part of the dialogue the two sides began
earlier this week. The revolution begun in 1999 by his predecessor, the
late Hugo Chavez, 'is irreversible,' Maduro said in a speech at the
presidential palace." In "Venezuela’s Maduro Vows 'Revolution' Will
Continue," Latin American Herald Tribune, 4 November 2016.
of Requiring Revolutionary Amounts of Money: "It’s not
so easy to find someone who still uses a wallet in Venezuela, where
inflation is expected to reach 720 percent this year and the biggest
bill — 100 bolivars — is worth about 5 U.S. cents on the black market.
The currency has dropped dramatically in value as Venezuela’s oil-based
economy has cratered and the government has frantically printed more
money. Prices, meanwhile, are soaring." In "Venezuela’s currency is
so devalued it no longer fits in ordinary wallets," by Sofia
Barbarani, Washington Post , 27 November 2016.
Addendum of Withdrawing the 100-bolivar Note Worth 2 Cents:
"The surprise move, announced by Maduro during an
hours-long speech, is likely to worsen a cash crunch in Venezuela.
Maduro said the 100-bolivar bill will be taken out of circulation on
Wednesday and Venezuelans will have 10 days after that to exchange
those notes at the central bank." In "Inflation-hit Venezuela to
pull largest bill from circulation," by Girish Grupta, Reuters, 11
Consider a tale of those who
Fled from empty market shelves
- a history lesson
[ 1 ] The worry about
a government attacking its own people, journalists included,
is proven out. Among those who expressed this are the
British Socialists. One reads: "The real
policy of the Chavez regime regarding social movements was a
mixture of co-optation, surveillance and repression.
Efforts were made to incorporate grassroots activists into
official structures such as the community councils. Those
who allowed themselves to be incorporated lost their
autonomy and came under the control of the state
bureaucracy. Those who resisted co-optation, smeared as
supporters of the ‘fascist’ right-wing opposition, were
harassed and intimidated by vigilante groups trained, armed
and funded by the state. These groups also collected 'social
intelligence about workers, homeless people, street vendors
and other social sectors with a proclivity to generate
conflict' (Uzcategui, p. 202). Finally, increasing use
was made of the police and army to suppress protests and
demonstrations. The 'Bolivarian' leaders who succeed Chavez,
lacking his popular charisma, may well resort to even
greater use of repression." In "Hugo Chavez: ‘21st
Century Socialist’ or Populist Strongman?" Socialist Party
of Great Britain, n. d., circa 2015.
Socialists Noting the Extreme Wealth of Venezuelan Socialists
The Socialist Party of Great Britain questions. Other
reports suggest there is no question. One reads: "...the
late-president's family owns 17 country estates, totalling
more than 100,000 acres, in addition to liquid assets of
$550 million (£360 million) stored in various international
bank accounts, according to Venezuelan news website Noticias
Centro. While ordinary Venezuelans suffer growing food
shortages and 23 per cent inflation, the Chavez family
trades in US dollars that now fetch four times the official
bank rate on the black market. Living in numerous mansions
in Alto Barinas, the city's most affluent district, the
family and their children live a life of privilege, says Mr
Azuaje, whose wife left him to marry into wealth and now
lives next to the Chavez mansions." In "Venezuela: the
wealth of Chavez family exposed," Alasdair Baverstock
and Peter Foster," Telegraph UK, 14 April 2013.
Two years later one reads: "The 35-year-old, whom
embattled President Nicolás Maduro last year appointed an
alternate ambassador to the United Nations, apparently holds
most of her assets in accounts in the United States and
Andorra, where they are not affected by Venezuela's volatile
economy and highly deflationary currency, Diario Las
Américas reported." In "Maria Gabriela Chávez Net Worth:
Hugo Chávez's Daughter Richest Woman in Venezuela, Worth
$4.2 Billion," by Andre F. Puglie, Latin Post, 12 August
Is it a function of 21st century socialism to create
billions in wealth to be held by only the select few? The
tale is quite the same as one reviews the wealth ferreted
away by socialist political leadership in a number of
nations over the last many decades, rivaling if not
surpassing the supposed capitalists who also become wealthy
through "public service" and
so well lubricated with
[ 2 ] Police fire tear gas
at people wanting food? One reads: "Over the last few years,
ordinary people trying to get basic groceries have had to
wait in line for seven hours a week on average. Worse,
the government has downplayed the crisis--for instance,
Chavista leader Jacqueline Faría said she thinks of these
lines as 'delicious,' and that real revolutionaries should
stop complaining and get behind Maduro. Comments about the
need for revolutionary sacrifice couldn't be more cynical
coming from a politician at the top of a bureaucratic state.
Faría's comments symbolize how a section of the Bolivarian
movement has alienated itself from the everyday lives of the
average working person. Unfortunately, this isn't an
isolated incident, but describes the dominant political
trend within the Chavista leadership." In "The end of
'21st century socialism?'," by Eva María, Socialist Worker,
16 December 2015.
One sees some socialist organizations from around the world
seeing the Venezuelan "21st century socialism" for what it
has been. Cynical. Repressive. Militant. This is indeed a
history lesson, but sadly one which has been enacted
repeatedly across the 20th century and now into the demise
of this "21st century socialism."
One should consider the failings of
So shall ism
The reality of widespread hunger alongside such incompetence
in government coupled to political corruption has been
foreseeable and foreseen. From the beginning of 2016, one
reads this analysis: "In Venezuela, longstanding policy
distortions and fiscal imbalances were already having a
deleterious effect on the economy before the collapse in oil
prices. These problems worsened as falling oil prices
triggered an economic crisis, with an expected fall in
output of almost 18 percent over 2015 and 2016 (the third
sharpest decline in the world). A lack of hard currency
has led to scarcity of intermediate goods and to widespread
shortages of essential goods—including food—exacting a
tragic toll. Prices continue to spiral out of control, and
we expect inflation to rise to 720 percent this year, from a
world-high inflation of about 275 percent in 2015." In
"Latin America and the Caribbean in 2016: Adjusting to a
Harsher Reality," by Alejandro Werner, International
Monetary Fund Direct, 22 January 2016.
The 21st Century Socialists' answer? Foreign and domestic
political opposition are at fault, and not the government of
Maduro and his "Chavista" Socialist party's enlightened
[ 3 ] The
problem with naming with a name is that those who would
defend a name against its realities reject and even rage at
such a naming. Malave states: "...socialism
is not compassionate. Whether a socialist government
owns the means of production via nationalized industries, or
enforces central planning via price controls and stringent
regulatory structures, socialism operates under the
assumption that an insulated leader and his legion of
bureaucrats are the best judges of what people are worth.
Socialism assumes that government officials are more
qualified than individuals to decide how much a person
should earn, which products and services are necessary for
that person to live and how much that person should have to
pay for them. The government makes all of these decisions
and more, but only after taking a huge piece of the pie
for itself, leaving the remainder to ration among the
majority who don't have political connections."
Huge Piece of the Pie for Oligarchs
For this, the Maduro government acts against journalists who
would tell of realities "on the ground." But Malave notes
correctly that government acts to take "a huge piece of the
pie for itself, leaving the remainder to ration among the
majority who don't have political connections."
As to the Venezuelan rumors about "a huge piece of the pie,"
one reads: "Alejandro Andrade, who served as
Venezuela’s treasury minister from 2007 to 2010 and was
reportedly a close associate of Chavez, was discovered to
have $11.2billion in his name sitting in HSBC accounts in
Switzerland, according to documents leaked by whistleblower
Hervé Falciani." In "Being the ex-President's daughter
pays off: Hugo Chavez's ambassador daughter is Venezuela's
richest woman," by Pete D'Amato, Daily Mail, 10 August 2015.
The Spanish-language media writes: "Los
4.197.000.000 de dólares que María Gabriela Chávez posee
en sus cuentas de Andorra y EEUU le conceden el ostentoso
título de la mujer más millonaria de Venezuela, muy por
encima de empresarios como Lorenzo Mendoza, dueño de
Empresas Polar, tildado cientos de veces por los chavistas
como 'el gran oligarca'." In "María Gabriela Chávez podría
ser la mujer más rica de Venezuela," Diario las Americas, 7
This translates: "The $ 4.197 billion dollars which Maria
Gabriela Chávez has in accounts in Andorra and the US give
her the title of the most flamboyant millionaire woman in
Venezuela, well above businessmen and Lorenzo Mendoza, owner
of Empresas Polar, branded hundreds of times Chavistas as'
the great oligarch'." Given that investigations are
not yet underway while the Maduro government clings to
power, the question of what funds Alejandro Andrade and
Maria Gabriela Chávez have from their closeness to the
Bolivarian socialist government remain unanswered.
Time passes as the Bolivarian revolution and its 21st
century socialism contend against an ever more hungry
The picture is clear: "Imagine a city where menus
don’t print prices because inflation drives them higher
daily; where streets are ghostly empty after dark and the
murder rate is the world’s highest; where people queue for
hours for meagre supplies of medicines and food, leaving
many hungry and sick; where farmers don’t bring goods to
market because roads are dangerous and police corrupt.
Imagine a nation, whose richest woman, with billions stashed
away, is the daughter of the former president, whose family
owns 17 country estates in his birth state; where
'socialist' elites live in mansions and have ready access to
government-subsidized supplies that others queue for from
dawn to dusk. Welcome to one of the world’s most beautiful
cities, Caracas, in resource-blessed Venezuela." In "Venezuela’s
tragedy spurred by crony capitalists and socialists who
detest free markets," by Fred McMahon, Globe and Mail,
13 August 2016.
How akin is this to the dialogue between various voices who
want to paint capitalism as a system of political patronage,
to which the antidote is some form of socialism which also
ends up as a system of political patronage. Crony capitalism
is not simple capitalism, but rather corruption. For this, those
social welfare democracies which operate social charitable
efforts as a function of the state are named "really
existing capitalism," when the fact is that a mixture of
economic systems participates in both capitalist and
socialist streams of behavior. Consider the back-and-forth
-- that slippery stuff on which government and commerce are
supposed to run, though it always seems more about
corruption than capitalism, especially when found in
socialist revolutionary events.
The most effective grease is greater freedom, a product in
short supply when governments expect citizens to line up and
support them so well lubricated -- until the hunger sets in
and collapse threatens.
[ 4 ] Some media report that
the Venezuelan collapse is about the collapse in high oil
prices, while ignoring the Chavez-Maduro ideology which was
termed by them both "revolutionary" and "21st century
socialism. Yet their many years of nationalization of
industries placed crony friends in the stead of private
sector owners and was therefore a replacement of managerial
and financial expertise by cronyism. Historically this is
wholly consistent with the Marxist-Leninist stance, should
one simply review Lenin's own resentment of what is today
termed the private sector.
It is interesting to compare the sad news of Venezuela under
its 21st century socialists with the words of a true
revolutionary. One reads: "The STATE IDEA, the
authoritarian principle, has been proven bankrupt by the
experience of the Russian Revolution. If I were to sum up my
whole argument in one sentence I should say: The inherent
tendency of the State is to concentrate, to narrow, and
monopolize all social activities; the nature of revolution
is, on the contrary, to grow, to broaden, and disseminate
itself in ever-wider circles. In other words, the State is
institutional and static; revolution is fluent, dynamic.
These two tendencies are incompatible and mutually
destructive. The State idea killed the Russian Revolution
and it must have the same result in all other revolutions,
unless the libertarian idea prevail. Yet I go much
further. It is not only Bolshevism, Marxism, and
Governmentalism which are fatal to revolution as well as to
all vital human progress. The main cause of the defeat of
the Russian Revolution lies much deeper. It is to be found
in the whole Socialist conception of revolution itself."
In "My Further Disillusionment with Russia," Emma Goldman,
of an ideology which can accuse a private sector of sheer
ignorance, and then nationalize whole sectors of a
functioning economy to be place under the uninformed and
corrupt management of party members and their ignorance
about the functioning of production and trade. This is 21st
century socialism, as seen expertly through the radical lens
of Goldman. It has again been the concentration, narrowing
and monopolization of all social activities, of which
private sector businesses are a productive part. It has been
yet another attempt at "bankrupt" governmentalism -- the
state idea and authoritarian principle.
[ 5 ] What emerges is
a lesson which must again be learned. As was true of
National Socialism and Soviet Socialism, of ZANU-PF Marxism
and so many other instances of "wholesale looting of the
state," the common theme is looting by government itself.
This should be
Socialism's Last Hurrah
- not democracy in any town
-- but remains to the world to learn the lesson of the
seemignly many forms of statism in which government gains
control until it proves the human tendency towards "wealth
and power" for the few, constructing a charade behind which
to hide the corruption of the few.
Personally, there is only one condition under which
I Shall Believe the Socialist
[ 6 ] The argument as found
in various media and from various "important"
anti-capitalist intellectuals is that capitalism is the
gathering and use of money. This is of course false.
Ezequiel Spector exposes this in noting that the socialist
leaders of Venezuela "are rich because the government has
awarded them privileges and subsidies, at the expense of the
average citizen. That’s 21st-century socialism’s social
mobility. They don’t want capitalism, since their socialist
system has already made them quite comfortable."
For further on the mode intellectual games as regards
socialism versus capitalism, see the rhyme and addenda
telling a story of government and
The faces of the militarized police above are guarding the
socialist rich from the hungry classes, an old tale renewed.
[ 7 ] As one reads "the
government this week handed over control of food stocks to
the military," it becomes instructive to compare "handing
over control of food stocks to the military" with "...a comprehensive Planetary Regime
[which] could control the development, administration, conservation, and distribution of all natural resources, renewable or nonrenewable, at least insofar as international implications exist. Thus, the Regime could have the power to control pollution not only in the atmosphere and the oceans, but also in such freshwater bodies as rivers and lakes that cross international boundaries or that discharge into the oceans. The Regime might also be a logical central agency for regulating all international trade, perhaps including assistance from DCs to LDCs, and including all food on the international market."
Another report shows the military dictatorship over food
supply and distribution: "Venezuela named publicly 18
military commanders to oversee the production and
distribution of food and basic goods in an effort to
alleviate severe shortages affecting the country.
Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez selected the
military personnel for the 'Great Mission of Sovereign
Supply and Security,' appointments formalized in the state
newspaper. 'We will have thorough, precise control of the
strategic areas,' Padrino Lopez told journalists Saturday."
In "Venezuelan military personnel named to oversee food
distribution," Agence France Presse, 4 September 2016.
"Handing over control of food stocks" -- a nightmare
courtesy of Venezuela's 21st century socialism is the
nation-sized version of the dream
of a "planetary regime" (which would hand over control
of food stocks to a different and larger regime) and the
source of the quote are found when considering
The Privileges of Intellectuals
Such is the contrast between a free market of individuals
and companies versus the capture of "means of production and
distribution" which has been a watchword for socialist
theory, under its many guises.
[ 8 ] As
the corruption and utter mismanagement of the Chavista brand
of 21st century socialism are seen, also seen is the irony
that as the economy fails with it comes enforced labor.
Effectively this is slavery in its fist stage.
The article observed: "Maduro's actions are very
similar to a strategy the communist Cuban government used in
the 1960s when it sought to recover sugar production after
it declined sharply following the U.S. embargo on Cuban
goods. It forced Cubans to work on sugar farms to cultivate
the island's key commodity." One notes that Castro's
revolution was, in CNN's prose, "communist." One learns from
Castro himself that it was socialist:
Socialism's Last Hurrah
- not democracy in any town.
What force would Maduro's government, communist or socialist
because terminology is so fluid, would be 'employed' to enforce such farm labor?
The military is that force, of course, as has been the case
in so many previous cases as the
rages against what has historically been called the
of the private sector of a citizenry.
Given other quotes as above, one may conflate notions and
verbiage to conclude rightly that the "wealthy" atop the
current Venezuelan government are quite willing to make
"forced labor" of citizens.
How reminiscent this is of the feudal system as of various
socialist governments throughout the 20th century's bloody
history. Today's socialists unwilling to see the
consequences of this ideology then must plead -- don't look
[ 9 ]
Experiments provide a thesis with provable
outcomes. The prose above addresses "the ugly face of
desperation that collectivism has wrought."
It is seen as easy to take sides politically and
ideologically based on the failed models of
Left and Right
but reality provides a laboratory, as are the images above
of state power arrayed against hungry citizens.
In this laboratory, one sees economic collapse in Venezuela.
Looking back only years one finds enthusiasts for what has
become that "ugly face of desperation that collectivism has
wrought." As example one reads of an American film maker's
view: "The president said on Wednesday that a recession
in Venezuela marked the death of capitalism and had nothing
to do with his government's socialist revolution." In
"Oliver Stone: Venezuela's Chavez is misunderstood," by
Eyanir Chinea, Reuters, 28 May 2010. The recession is
now economic collapse with hyperinflation and hunger. That
cannot be "misunderstood."
Of enthusiasts, in looking back a few years one finds:
" 'There is no pattern of repression' in Chávez's
Venezuela, says the Oscar-winning ('Platoon,' 'Born on
the Fourth of July') film director." In "Oliver Stone claims
U.S. media demonizes Hugo Chávez in 'South of the Border'
documentary," by Lewis Beale, Daily News, 16 June 2010.
The images above argue otherwise.
Further one looks back to read: "Looking to explore
the role mass media has played in shaping the American view
of South American politics and policy, 'South of the Border'
begins with a series of broadcast clips critical of
Venezuela, reports that Stone attempts to show are incorrect
through eyewitness accounts and an interview with President
Chavez. Stone then goes on to speak to Evo Morales
(Bolivia), Lula da Silva (Brazil), Cristina Kirchner
(Argentina), as well as her husband ex-President Nėstor
Kirchner, Fernando Lugo (Paraguay), Rafael Correa (Ecuador),
and Castro (Cuba), interspersing archival news broadcasts
from 20 different sources such as Fox, CNN and C-SPAN
throughout." In "Oliver Stone on Castro, Chavez: ‘None of
Them are Dictators’," by Alexandra Cheney, Wall Street
Journal, 22 June 2010.
Six years later, eyewitness accounts testify that Stone's
view -- as a media maker -- was incorrect. Lula da Silva was
toppled democratically in Brazil and is under investigation
for corruption, while Kirschner was toppled democratically
in Argentina and is also being investigated for corruption.
Castro testifies in a rather clear way to
Socialism's Last Hurrah
- not democracy in any town.
Of enthusiasts for the 21st century socialism in Venezuela,
one also reads of Chavez' death: " 'Today the
people of the United States lost a friend it never knew it
had. And poor people around the world lost a champion,'
says Penn in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. 'I lost
a friend I was blessed to have. My thoughts are with the
family of President Chavez and the people of Venezuela.
Venezuela and its revolution will endure under the proven
leadership of Vice President Maduro," adds Penn." In "Sean
Penn on Hugo Chavez's Death: 'I Lost a Friend'," by Rebecca
Ford, Hollywood Reporter, 5 March 2013.
As to the reality of "poor people" in Venezuela, only three
years later one reads of "Flour. Pasta. Milk.
Three basics people all around the world have in their
kitchens. Three staples always in stock in groceries and
supermarkets for any home cook looking to rustle up a family
meal, pancakes or a quick, nutritious drink. But in
Venezuela, you can get these products only if you're lucky
or have the connections and the cash. A lot of cash." In "Venezuela:
Where flour, pasta and milk can cost a month's pay," by
Flora Charner and Rachel Clarke, CNN, 2 August 2016.
The enthusiasts only six years ago were "steadfast" as one
recalls: "Penn, speaking on Bill Maher's HBO
chatshow, is part of a small but vocal pro-Chávez Hollywood
group which includes Oliver Stone and Danny Glover. They
have remained steadfast even as Venezuela's leader has lost
fans at home and abroad. Inflation, crime and water and
electricity shortages have hit his popularity and led to
defections from his socialist party. The Organisation of
American States recently accused Chávez of intolerance and
authoritarianism, and a Spanish judge accused Venezuela of
cosseting Farc and Eta terrorists, sparking a diplomatic
spat with Madrid." In "Sean Penn: Journalists who call
Hugo Chávez a dictator should be jailed," by Rory Carroll,
Guardian UK, 11 March 2010.
"Journalists who call Hugo Chávez a dictator should be
jailed" is the enthusiasm of the fascist, to silence
Thus Goldsmith writes
with accuracy that "no amount of makeup the U.S. leftists
put on this can hide the ugly face of desperation that
collectivism has wrought." If one, left or right, were to
champion the poor and hungry in Venezuela, such statements
of support for Chávez' and Maduro's 21st century socialism
should be withdrawn, in favor of the poor and hungry.
The world hears silence from these cultural icons, because
reality's lessons too easily upset ideology with reality.
This is why repression has its apologists, This is why
ideology blinds the eye. This is what happens when
Platitudes meet realities
[ 10 ] And again, the slogans
pretending to say something -- left and right -- fall over
themselves in the hands of varying commentators. From these
few sourced citations, one learns that Chávez was a
socialist, a democrat, a leftist and a rightist, as well as
a "champion" to the poor. One hears that Venezuela's woes
were meant to prove the death of capitalism, as well as the
triumph of 21st century socialism.
Frantzman's shift of terminology -- quite like
Left is Right, as Right is Left
-- pegs the "champion" of the poor as "a right- wing
militarist who passed himself off as left-wing."
Frantzman expands his three card Monte of words to speak of
"progressives": "Don’t kid yourselves and pretend
these progressives simply don’t hear their friends in Iran
call abortion 'satanic' or hear them say homosexuals are a
'cancer,' or hear their chauvinist friends in the Muslim
Brotherhood say a woman’s 'place is in the home.' They
hear it, and they support it. When the overweight,
bearded religious leaders in Iran say 'women and men are
different; women are driven by their emotions,' the same
people who speak of 'gender neutrality' in the West widen
their eyes and say 'yes I agree, such an insight,' not
'where is the transgender bathroom?' When Hugo Chavez said
he couldn’t be a homosexual because he was 'sufficiently
macho to pulverize any accusation along those lines,' gay
rights advocates didn’t bat an eye. Homophobia is cool –
only abroad, not at home."
His summation foretells a history as yet unwritten: "When
the history of the West is written it will say: they
educated themselves to hate themselves and love what they
hate about themselves in the other."
Shall the enthusiasts and apologists for Venezuela's
revolutionary experiment with socialism -- is it left-wing
or right-wing now? -- straighten out this tangle of
verbiage? My conclusion in rhyme was and remains:
"All goes well /
When no one sees, /
Though hunger is often /
A political disease."
Don't look now....
[ 11 ] The notion of
"revolution" is become a farce. To revolve means to turn,
but when a "turn" results in the suspension of turning, then
a revolution ends. The "Bolivarian revolution" of "21st
century socialism," as Venezuela's socialists have called
it, has quickly become sclerotic, as well as ever more a
one-party attempt at rule.
The many failures of this government under Chávez and Maduro
have resulted in increased poverty, hyperinflation, rampant
corruption and a police state footprint on the ground, as
the images above show, yet the many failures are all some
other nation's fault. Consider the reality of
Revolution revolves but once
- lèse majesté remains among
[ 12 ] The
article form 2016 cites Maduro's "ministry of supreme social
happiness." One looks back three years: "A new
Vice Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness has been created
by Nicolas Maduro, the Venezuelan president, in an attempt
to coordinate all the 'mission' programmes created by Hugo
Chavez to alleviate poverty. 'I have decided to create
this Vice ministry and I have given it this name to honour
Chávez and Bolívar,' Mr Maduro announced on Thursday in
a televised speech made from the presidential palace. He
said that the Vice ministry aimed to take care of the
most 'sublime, vulnerable and delicate, to those who are
most loved by anyone who calls themselves a revolutionary, a
Christian and Chavista'." In "Venezuela creates Social
Happiness ministry," by Associated Press, 26 October 2013.
Indeed, just as some think a "revolution revolves" when
history has shown most revolutions quickly ossify into
dictatorships which no longer revolve to advance, some think
it "Christian" to bankrupt a nation, Consider the odd
Jesus was a socialist?
What I say is now a lie,
both my feet on a pair of docks.
A heap of lies, says sorry tease,
lessens as it defrocks.
Silly gist sour fellows seize
when seen outside the box,
And logically is illogical
when thoughts themselves outfox
Words, not worth the rhyming,
which add to that which mocks
The liberal as conservative,
perverse as orthodox.
Masked men are, are not,
and therefore are not quite what shocks
When what I say is now a lie,
as crow all weathercocks.
Addendum of Uncontroversial
Reasoning: "...the concept of a heap appears to
lack sharp boundaries and, as a consequence of the subsequent
indeterminacy surrounding the extension of the predicate ‘is a heap’, no
one grain of wheat can be identified as making the difference between
being a heap and not being a heap. Given then that one grain of wheat
does not make a heap, it would seem to follow that two do not, thus
three do not, and so on. In the end it would appear that no amount of
wheat can make a heap. We are faced with paradox since from
apparently true premises by seemingly uncontroversial reasoning we
arrive at an apparently false conclusion." In "Sorites Paradox,"
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 6 December 2011.
Addendum of a Paper's Concluding
Question: "Could this be right?" In "The
sorites paradox," by Jeff Speaks, University of Notre Dame, 22 April
Addendum of the Politician's
Syllogism: "The politician's syllogism, also known as
the politician's logic or the politician's fallacy, is a logical
fallacy of the form: 1. We must do something, 2. This is something,
and 3.Therefore, we must do this. The politician's fallacy was
identified in a 1988 episode of the BBC television political sitcom Yes,
Prime Minister titled 'Power to the People', and has taken added life on
the Internet. The syllogism, invented by fictional British civil
servants, has been quoted in the real British Parliament. The syllogism
has also been quoted in American political discussion." In "Politician's
syllogism," Wikipedia article, n. d.
Morton's fork is tined
Sharp as Hobson's choice.
The easy way's the hard way
So think not to rejoice.
The path of most resistance
Shrieks loudly with one voice
To pose many questions' fallacies
And bid a false invoice.
Burdian’s Ass is doing it
So rational it's not.
Out the window, down the stairs
To get to where you've got.
If it's all the same to you
I'd pen a counterplot,
For when the end is certain
And tied up in a knot,
Cut to the chase, then period.
Justly say you just cannot.
Addendum of a Sophisticated
Dilemma: John Morton "...was made Archbishop of
Canterbury in 1486, Lord Chancellor in 1487, and Cardinal in 1493.
Traditionally, Morton has been known as the inventor of 'Morton’s
Fork,' a sophistical dilemma imposed on both rich and poor by
Henry’s tax commissioners in order to extort funds for the crown. The
rich were told that they could afford to contribute, and the poor were
accused of having concealed wealth." In "John Morton," Encyclopædia
Britannica, n. d.
Consider the choice to
Raise those taxes!
Cold hard cash
“This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was
this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of
the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of
these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of
paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green
pieces of paper that were unhappy.” In "The Hitchhiker's Guide to
the Galaxy," Douglas Adams, Pan Books, (1979).
Let us all fix history
With a little cold hard cash;
In order to rehash
That someone lost in times now spent
Did something horrible,
For which today some must repay
For history deplorable.
Let us remix history,
For the sake of cold hard cash
Which cheers those who'd receive
Over some historic clash.
Cold hard cash from someone
To grease another's palm,
And ease the pain and suffering
Applied as a modern balm.
Let us find in history
The grounds for cold hard cash,
For all the world's suffering
Counts up money's sweet panache.
One must pay, or perhaps be paid,
For crimes of an age now past,
As this sums up the argument
And its money-aimed bombast.
Skin must pay for other skin,
As group must pay a group,
As nation must some other pay,
To historical sins recoup.
Who must pay? Well, there's the rub,
For not all will agree,
As is the game of give and take
Let us all fix history
Repaired with cold hard cash.
This was and remains the reason
Why peoples all do clash.
Conquest was and now is played
In other tactics' schemes,
For expropriating yesterday
Fuels conflicts' dearest dreams.
"The blood curse refers to a controversial New Testament passage from
the Gospel of Matthew, which describes events taking place in Pilate's
court before the crucifixion of Jesus and specifically the apparent
willingness of the crowd to accept liability for Jesus' death." In
"Blood Curse," Wikipedia article, n. d.
[ 1 ]
Addendum from Mein Kampf:
"...this lie that millions of Germans saw in the peace treaty
of Versailles only a justified retribution for the crime we had
committed at Brest-Litovsk, and that therefore they considered any fight
against Versailles an injustice and sometimes remained in the most
sincere moral indignation. And this was, among others, the cause why
the shameless and monstrous word 'reparations' began to make its
home in Germany. This most mendacious hypocrisy appeared to millions of
our harried fellow citizens really as the execution of a higher justice.
Terrible, yet it was so. The best proof of this was furnished by the
success of the propaganda, introduced by me, against the peace treaty of
Versailles which I had heralded by an enlightenment about the treaty of
Brest-Litovsk. I contrasted the two peace treaties, compared them
point by point, demonstrated the truly actually limitless humaneness of
the one treaty as contrasted with the inhuman cruelty of the second,
with a telling result." In "Chapter VI, The Struggle of the Early
Days, the Significance of the Spoken Word," by Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf,"
(English translation) Reynal and Hitchcock, New York, 1941.
[ 2 ]
Addendum of Long Ago:
"...the reparations question was challenging partly
because the events happened so long ago. 'But that doesn’t mean we
should do nothing,' he said in a telephone interview. 'You’re talking
about a long historical trend of denial,' Mr. McCalpin said of Turkey.
'To admit or recognize a genocide also requires acknowledging a wrong,
and that is where reparations come in. You acknowledge, and then you
move to repair'." In "Armenian Groups Are Increasingly Focused on
Reparations for Genocide," by Rick Gladstone, New York Times, 23
April 2015. [ 3 ]
Addendum of Long, Long Ago:
"Caricom's 10-point plan will pursue a full formal apology for slavery,
repatriation to Africa, a development plan for the native Caribbean
peoples and funding for cultural institutions. It also seeks to address
chronic diseases and psychological rehabilitation for trauma inflicted
by slavery, technology transfer to make up for technological and
scientific backwardness resulting from the slave era, and support for
payment of domestic debt and cancellation of international debt. The
subject of reparations has simmered in the Caribbean for many years and
opinions are divided. Some see reparations as delayed justice, while
others see it as an empty claim and a distraction from modern social
problems in Caribbean societies." In "Caribbean nations agree to seek
slavery reparations from Europe," by Aileen Torres-Bennett, Reuters, 11