Collected Poetry

 

 

Collected Poetry

VOLUME TWELVE  

 

Original materials - Copyright © 2016 by Gary Bachlund    All international rights reserved

 

"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.


 

No Scrutiny

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.

 

Envoi:   "The 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 2016.

 

 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.   [ 1 ]

 

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.   [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of American Worry Over Hungarian Newspaper 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 October 2016.     [ 3 ]

 

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 2016.

 

 Addendum 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 2016.    [ 4 ]

 

 Addendum 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.    [ 5 ]

 

NOTES

 

[ 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."

 

 $11 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.

 

 Putting 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.

 

 Academic 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 Don't Look Now .

 

 In 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 clarifies, Corruption 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 unobserved.

 

[ 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.

 

 The 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.

 

 What's 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 and tyranny.

 

 Economic 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 with money.

 

 The 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 irony of 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 recompense.

          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 scrutiny.

 

[ 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 Dissent .

 

 Academic 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 been achieved.

          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 vocabulary.

          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 their actions.


 

I do recall I don't recall

 

"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,

        for thereby lies a tale.
        The lion's share's forgotten, and the answer's grown stale.
I do recall that I don't recall

        suggests a 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 with you,
        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.

 

 Addendum 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 September 2016.

 

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 August 2016.

 

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 2016.

 

 Addendum 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.

 

 Addendum 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 ]

 

 Addendum 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 ]

 

 Addendum 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" :   Hillarious   - with two l's, because misspelling can be fun

 

NOTES

 

[ 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 dollars.

          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 2016.

          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.

 

 

Detail from a Huffington Post tweet, 9 November 2016

 

          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 recall."

 

[ 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 footnotes, You're Up - 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 No Scrutiny .

          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 election."

          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, 1963.

 

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.


 

High horse

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.


 

Pronouns changed

"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.

 

Pronouns changed
            though parts did not
And functioned just
            as things turned out.
Sturdy wordy he-to-she
            as delivered-baby she-to-he
Were basically ignored
            by their biology.
Pronouns propose
            changed identity
While this odd tale
            tells plain reality.
If parts had changed
            a bit earlier on,
Those clippings would have
            had no spawn.
Pronouns change
            while parts still stay,
Proof biology sees
            what words mislay.

Envoi:  Sic transit gloria mundi - Thus passes away the glory of the world.

 

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.

 

 Addendum 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.

 

 Addendum 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.

 

NOTES

 

[ 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.

 

 Uncompromising in Rhetoric

 

          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 discussion.

 

[ 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.

 

 It's 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 Hen Party - a eunuch's cluck.

          A summary by Greer herself, can be found hosted by Marxists.org

 

 Reaping the Harvest

 

          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 postmodern Wedding Shredding -- 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 September 2016.

          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 reassignment.

 

 Savagery 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 Fluidity

          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" world.

          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 language itself.

 

[ 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 learn....

          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 Wedding Shredding  -- bedding, treading, sledding -- a "father" of a child, while the news report tags this mother as "lesbian."

 

 Weird Vapidity

 

          Do current definitions apply?

          Do they survive the postmodern complexities of blah-blah-blah?

          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 birth?

          Is "marriage" to a lesbian anything more than a legal contract, as a classic divorce and all the accompanying arguments loom?

          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 Fluidity 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 the rhyme, Wedding Shredding  -- bedding, treading, sledding.

 

[ 7 ]    Once the words have little to no meaning -- "girls with male genitalia" -- the conversation can only end in disagreements.

 

 Sterile 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 across cultures.

          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 females.

 

 A Barren Landscape

 

          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.

 

Envoi:   "... 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.   [ 1 ]

 

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 ]

 

 Addendum 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.

 

 Addendum 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.

 

 Addendum 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 ]

 

 Addendum 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.

 

 Addendum 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

 

NOTES

 

[ 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.

 

 The 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 seems so.

          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.

 

 Intentional Miscalculation

 

          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 Classic Ponzi Scheme Operated by Government

 

          Who then is expected to pay for government promises to a protected class, and who is expected to pay when the politically-connected few mismanage? Taxpayers, as always, until failure and collapse of the protected class' upper crust benefits schemes.

          One reads:   "...the fiscal 2018 tab will be at least $13 billion to meet retirement obligations for public workers, according to the analysis, which is based on actuarial reports and audited financial statements. Barring any changes to pensions, 'several California cities and counties will find themselves forced to slash other spending,' the group wrote in its report. 'The less fortunate will simply be unable to pay the bills they receive from Calpers or their local retirement system'." In "California Cities' Pension Tab Seen Almost Doubling in 5 Years," by Romy Varghese, Bloomberg, 10 April 2017.

          When "the less fortunate will simply be unable to pay the bills they receive from Calpers," what will quickly end is the game of Kick the can - most governments' plan.

 

 A Thorn in Society's Flesh

 

          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 Mühsam, 1932.

          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.

 

 A 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 -- Ill annoy - 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 another view 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.

 

 Imagine Doubling Taxes?

 

          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 December 2016.


 

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 ]

 

 Addendum 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 2015.  [ 4 ]

 

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 October 2016.    [ 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 ]

 

NOTES

 

[ 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.

 

 Entitlements 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 rhyme, Grease .

 

[ 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 Politics .

 

[ 3 ]     To gain an understanding of how "rare" overwhelming evidence can be found, consider the many sources cited to support a rhyme titled:  Corruption .

 

 Will 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 backfire."

          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 skids.

          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.

 

 To 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 2016.

          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 November 2016.

          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 will Bring presents to the party .

 

 To 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 is corrupt.

 

 Lobbyists 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 2016.

          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 democratically.

 

[ 6 ]     Since "grease" -- see Grease 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.

 

 Removing 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 profit.

          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 No Scrutiny .

 


 

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 February 2015.

 

 

 

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 2016.

 

 

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 ]

 

 Addendum 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.

 

 Addendum 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 ]

 

NOTES

 

[ 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 unintended.

          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.

 

 Metaphorically Unfairly Blamed?

 

          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.

 

 Kill 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 victorious."

          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 been called 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 opposing positions.

          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 accusation of Islamophobia , 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 one?

          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.

 

 The 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.

 

 A 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 September 2016.

          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 rhetoric?"

          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 contrary perception.

          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, n. d.

          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.

 

 A 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 Lair?

 

          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.

 

 Gangrene Theofascism

 

          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 2016.

          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 2016.

          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 2016.

          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 radical.

 

 Lone 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 four years.

          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 nicht gefällt.


 

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.


 

Casino

"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.

 

NOTES

 

[ 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 April 2016.

          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 study

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

 

 Addendum 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 2016.

 

 

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 2016.

 

 

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics' Army at the Brandenburg Gate

 

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

 

 Addendum 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

 

 Addendum 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 2016.

 

 

EU National Leaders at the Brandenburg Gate

 

 Addendum 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

 

 Addendum 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 Commission

 

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 Big Business

 

 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 2016.

 

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.

 

 Addendum 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).

 

 Addendum 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.

   

 Addendum 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.

 

 Addendum 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.

 

 Addendum of EUro-Sclerosis and Foolish Economic Errors:   "The real problem the EU has is that it has failed to do the one thing it promised: To turn Europe into a fast-growth, high-productivity regional economy with higher standards of living for all. In fact, it has become a global laggard. The EU has repeatedly vowed to overtake the U.S., but it's falling farther behind. In 2015, U.S. per capita GDP stood at $51,825, compared to $34,552 for the EU — a gap of $17,273. And that gap is widening. We're not gloating. Many in the U.S. would replicate the foolish economic errors of the EU. Instead of celebrating anything about the EU, we should all be learning from its failures, and rededicate ourselves to the free market principles that genuinely work." In "Celebrating EUro-Sclerosis," Investor's Business Daily Editorial, 24 March 2017.

 

 Addendum of the Parties' Dream, circa 2012:    "Our political family is the driving force of European integration. The European Christian Democrats were founded in 1976 as the first European party – the European People’s Party. We have since become the party of the centre and the centre right. At the end of the East–West conflict we became the decisive political actor in the reunification of Europe. During the economic and financial crisis we have kept Europe together. And we will lead Europe out of the crisis." In "Manifesto," EPP Statutory Congress, 17-18 October 2012, Bucharest, Romania.   [ 10 ]

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]     That "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 2016.

          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 ideological skin.

 

 A 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 September 2016.

          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.

 

 Of 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.

 

[ 2 ]   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 Spinelli

 

          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 August 2016.

          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. Smith (1930).

          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."

 

 Still Seeking a Framework of Protection and Borders That Can Be Guarded?

 

          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 accusation of Islamophobia .

          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.

 

 Economic 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 December 2016.

 

 

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?"

 

 Predictions for 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.

 

 A 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 March 2017.

 

 

 

          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 2017.

          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.

 

 The 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 March 2017.

          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 assured.

 

[ 3 ]    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."

 

 The 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.

 

 Under What Authority?

 

          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 2016.

          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 2016.

          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 found.

 

 Politics is at Play

 

          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 2016.

          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.

 

 Seeking a New Impulse

 

          One notes the use of elusively-defined slogans as one watches 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 September 2016.

          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?

 

 Public 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 excessive government.

          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 Europe

 

          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 blood-drenched stories.

 

[ 4 ]   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 considered "far-left?"

          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.

 

 Right 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 political placards.

 

 

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 reporting?

 

 Historical Questions

 

          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 before it?

          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 guarded?"

          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 drum?

 

 Almost-Meaningless Terminology

 

          What a fascinating time this is in which to take note of almost-meaningless political terminology used in haphazard fashion, as one may easily conclude that 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.

 

 Unify 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 war.

          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 Politics   be significantly diminished and restricted in favor of greater freedom from governments' "impulse" to immerse themselves in the same old game of centuries.

 

 So Many So-Shall-ists

 

          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 obfuscate. 

          For myself, I Shall Believe the Socialist when....

 

[ 5 ]   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.

 

 Against 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."

 

 An 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.

 

 The 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 deeds of Grease .

 

[ 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 February 2013.

 

 One 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 October 2014.

          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 University.

 

 Appointment 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.

 

 The 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 bank.

           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.

 

 Peeking 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 September 2016.

           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 October 2016.

 

[ 7 ]    "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."

 

 The 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."

 

 Opposing Concepts

 

           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, October 1926.
           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.

 

[ 8 ]    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.

 

 Avoiding 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 Bratislava

 

           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 2016.

           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...."

 

 The Bleeding Obvious -- It's Only About Politics and Politicians Being Paid

 

           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.

 

 Feathering 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 November 2014."
           That a political job of three and a half months duration warrants two years and more of "allowance" is an affront to taxpayers throughout Europe.

           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 September 2016.

           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 Europe-wide.

 

 Further Opposing Concepts

 

           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."

 

 

Otmar Issing

 

           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 Cassandra might.

 

 

Jacques Delors Institute panel advocating for greater government

 

           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.

 

 Added 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 2017.

           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 power.

           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."

 

 The EU Seeks Risk Sharing and Sovereignty Sharing -- an Imperial Dream

 

           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.

           Some in Ireland see the EU as having cheated Ireland, as one example of a growing Euro-skepticism. One reads:  "When asked whether euroscepticism was growing on the island, he said: 'For sure. There is definitely a support for stopping what seems to be an unstoppable march to EU integration, EU super state, whatever you want to call it.' He said a growing distrust of Brussels was centred on three concerns: a lack of accountability from those in power, a loss of sovereignty in Ireland and the EU’s treatment of the country during the banking crisis. Mr Redmond said: 'Ireland as an island was quarantined for the toxic banking debt of the EU. They basically shafted us'." In " 'They SHAFTED us!' Ireland will punish Brussels with shock EU exit, says Dublin think tank," by Joey Millar, Express UK, 25 March 2017.

           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 "you."

 

 A Rather Brazen Caper -- the Speeches of Old Seem to No Longer Apply

 

           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."

 

 

You're Up

 

           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.

 

 You're Up's Pact to Ensure Power for the Few

 

           The Spiegel Online article goes on to observe of the two top EU politicians, 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 about Politics .

           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 2017.

 

 The 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 February 2017.

           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 Press, 1955.

 

 Democracy 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 2017.

           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 defeated.

           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 European Dream?

 

           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 November 2016.

          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 noticing,

          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 December 2016.

 

 Becoming Abundantly Clear

 

          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 2017.

 

 Secret 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."

 

 The 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 2017.

          A nation to Europe's east also threatens:  "In his Izmir speech, Erdogan said Turks living in Europe were being 'oppressed' and 'humiliated.' 'Europe will pay for what they have done. God willing, the question of the European Union will again be on the table after April 16,' Erdogan said. 'They said a century ago that we were the 'sick man.' Now they are the 'sick man.' Europe is collapsing,' he added." In "Turkish Leader Erdogan Assails Europe, Calls It 'Sick,' 'Collapsing'," RFE/RL, 10 April 2017.

          But as to Jean-Claude Juncker and those European leaders who dreamed loudly of their vision of a united Europe, one might do well to heed a former statement by this proven dissembler who is quoted as testifying that If it's serious, you lie .

 

[ 9 ]    While 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 September 2014.

 

 The Rise of Anti-Semitism from the Right, Center, Left and Islam?

 

           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'.
           Combining this 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.

 

[ 10 ]    One notes that the "Manifesto" from 2012 had promised answers to crises, not more growing crises which now include the follow-on from Britain leaving the European Union, to European nations amassing massive public debt, to the renewing problem of Greece and its failure to reform and pay down its loans, to Islamic migration from North Africa and the growing issues thereto, and more.

 

 

 

           The manifesto boldly states "we." It wrote in 2012:  "We want a European Political Union. The EU will, over the coming years, have to be fundamentally reformed. The Union and the Member States will exercise more powers jointly."

           The problem therein is simple. One learns that the "we" of the EEP is not a "we" made up of voting citizens of various nations. Rather, the "European People's Party (EPP) is a European political party. A transnational organisation, it is composed of other political parties, not individuals." In "European People's Party," Wikipedia, n. d.

           That a "party" made up of some but not all political parties creates a meta-party is better defined as an oligarchy -- government by the few -- as one sees in the publicity photo above. The additional dark irony is that this party made up of some but not all political parties throughout Europe names itself the "European People's Party."

 

 When and Under What Leadership Was Europe Ever United?

 

           Thus "political parties" and not the entire parliament of the EU but only some within the larger organization and without permission from nations' individual voters who have not been asked in referendum is a party of parties, not individuals. These pictured above are fast becoming rulers, not leaders, and have not involved their own nations' citizens in the process.

           So much for democracy. What then do these people who refuse to ask their own voters want. The Manifesto of 2012 speaks clearly: "reunification of Europe." The manifesto of an oligarchy claiming to some sort of prior "unification" of Europe which would justify the term "reunification" is historically uninformed, unless it answer certain basic questions.

           When was Europe ever united?

           The so-called Holy Roman Empire of the Middle Ages, which did not encompass all of Europe and was autocratic with hereditary rulers? One considers the changing rulers which Europeans in those centuries did not elect. One considers the Carolingian dynasty, the Widonid dynasty, a return to the Carolingian dynasty, the Bosonid dynasty, the Unruoching dynasty, the Ottonian dynasty, the Salian dynasty, thr Supplinburg dynasty, thr Staufen dynasty, the Welf dynasty, a return to the Staufen dynasty, thr House of Luxembourg, thr House of Wittelsbach, a return to the House of Luxembourg, the House of Habsburg, the House of Wittelsbach, and the last, the House of Habsburg-Lorraine which collapsed under the next dream of European unity....

           ...under Napoleon.

           The same dream was sought by Islam, as the story of the siege of Vienna tells clearly.

           Then under the Kaiser?

           Then under the National Socialists?

           Then the European division under the Soviet Union which ruled over a large part of Europe until the collapse of the USSR and Soviet Communism.

           How does a new party "composed of other political parties" re-unite what has never been fully "united?" All previous attempts has been sought by war-driven, murderous coercion and driven by a political elite daring to speak for Europe and of Europe-wide dreams -- of power.

           This time around, stealth is at work, for when individual nations' voters are not asked for permission to "reunite," then the dream is as all the previous dreams of uniting Europe in a "European Political Union" have been.

 

Europe's survived its masters
Who came, then fought and died;
The same old Dream relives again.
You're Up once again has lied.


 

Promise, cutie

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.

 

Envoi:   "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 September 2016.

 

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 ]

 

 Addendum 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.

 

NOTES

 

[ 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."

 

 The 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 promiscuity.

          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 Sexy acrostic 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 footnotes titled Sexy acrostic 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 have some'."

 

 Among 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 or politics.

          Consider the various truths carried in the texts which make for a 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.

 

 Super

 

          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 2016.

 

 Quick

 

          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
            upon its sanded beach?
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
Bloody accents.
Operations' successes
When patients all die
Was once just a joke,
Now a president's lie.

 

 

President "Probably Failing to Plan"

 

Envoi:     "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.

 

 Addendum 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 2016.

 

 Addendum 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 2016.

 

 Addendum 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 ]

 

  Addendum of 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 ]

 

 Addendum 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 November 1971.    [ 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 2016.

 

 Addendum 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.

 

 Addendum 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

 

 Addendum 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 ]

 

NOTES

 

[ 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.

 

 Whose 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.

 

  The 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.

          Consider that 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 entail. 

          "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.

 

 Chaos 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 footnote to 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 declared?

          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 2016.

 

[ 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 February 2010.

 

 Missteps and Miscalculations

 

          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.

 

 American 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 Potemkin Village 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 lying.

 

 Deception, 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.

 

 Success 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 Libya's affairs."

          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 mistake." Boom.

          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 immediate self-congratulation.

          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 October 2016.

          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.

 

 Geopolitical 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 geopolitical game.

          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.

 

 The 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 September 2016.

          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 October 2016.

          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.

 

 The 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 pipeline.

 

 Further 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?         

 

 Obama's 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 September 2016.

          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 than 9 trillion dollars, at an enormous pace historically.

 

 A 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 Obama

 

          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.

 

[ 8 ]    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."

 


 

Potemkin Village

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.

 

Envoi:    "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.

 

 Addendum 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 2016.   [ 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 ]

 

 Addendum 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.

 

NOTES

 

[ 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 man-made?"

 

 The 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 ironic question: 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 we 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 schemes.

         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.

 

 No 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 minimum.


 

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.

Schrödinger posited
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:    Before:    |Whole>|Alive>+ |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 commencement address.

 

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 ]

 

 Addendum 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 2008.   [ 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.

 

 Addendum 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 ]

 

Addendum of 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 August 2016.   [ 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.

 

 NOTES

 

[ 1 ]    "The Erwin 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 the rhyme:  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?

 

 Journalism 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.

 

 People Don't Know

 

           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 -- Trust rusts .

 

[ 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, 2015.

           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 September 2016.

           "No" is "yes."

 

 No 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 box.

 

 To 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 (bi@globalculturalstrategies.com) to John Pdesta ( john.podesta@gmail.com) 13 March 2016, as provided by Wikileaks, circa 2016.

 

 Clearing a War Hawk's Path 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.

 

 War 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."

 

 War Hawk Party Support for 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 cast."

           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.

 

 Jobs 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 hospitals."
           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 administration before.

          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.

 

 A 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.

 

 Yes. Yes. Covertly. Kill.

 

          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 oblivious.

           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.

 

 Championing 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 when Platitudes meet realities .

 

[ 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:

 

 

Before:  |Decayed>|Dead>|Bury 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 Politics .

 

[ 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 unobserved.

           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?  ∆x∆p≥h/2?

 

 Truth 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'."

 

 It 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 refilled.

           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, political self-congratulations.

           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.

 

 Picturing 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 of hindsight."

           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.

 

 Escalating Peace Prize Wars

 

           "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.

 

 Recalling 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. War-and-Peace.

 

[ 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.

 

 Flowery Language

 

           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.

 

 Where 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 benevolent-sounding verbiage?"

           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 achievement'."

           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 August 2016.

 

 Obama's 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?

 

 Forgetfulness and Contempt

 

           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 self-serving Politics .

 


 

Platitudes meet realities

"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?
Steamrolling actualities
                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.

 

Envoi:  "I 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 2015.   [ 1 ]

 

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, August 2016.   [ 2 ]

 

NOTES

 

[ 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 sin."

          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 Fa Queue - 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.


 

Plan

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 July 2016.

 

 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 ranks https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2001rank.html. 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 ]

 

 Addendum 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)

 

NOTES

 

[ 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 citations as 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?

 

 Who 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 racism?

          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 "institution?" 

          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 Grievance .

          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" problem of  How to kill a negro -- 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.

 

 A Direct Connection

 

          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


 

Language gauges

"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.
 

Language gauges
            a writer's intent,
Intent on told tales
            of a marketing bent.
"The" definite article
            in the singular states,
But "lasted years"
            a plural relates.
"Incident specifically"
            is but a one,
"Taking place for years"
            suggests numbered fun.
There was; there were.
            It's jargon unsubtle
Euphemizing
            a numbered rebuttal.

Language gauges

            tell pressures mounted,

Precisely, not nicely,

            quantifiably counted.
Singular, plural,
            but all just remains
The language as writ
            tells that trust wanes.

 

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."

 

 Addendum 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 Trust rusts


 

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.

Taken together,
    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.
 

 

 

 Addendum of  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 ]

 

 Addendum 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 March 2017.

 

 Addendum 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.

 

 Addendum 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.

 

 Addendum 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 ]

 

 Addendum 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 September 2016.

 

 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.

 

 Addendum 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.

 

 Addendum 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 ]

 

 Addendum of Killing Journalists:     "Friday’s shooting is the latest in a string of violent attacks on journalists in Mexico that has claimed four lives since March 2 and has left several others wounded. The attacks have drawn condemnation from human rights advocates, with the Committee to Protect Journalists calling the situation in Mexico a 'crisis' of freedom of expression." In "Another journalist is gunned down in Mexico — the fourth in just six weeks," by Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times, 15 April 2017.

 

 Addendum of a Rare Commodity:   "Across the city, more than half a million homes lack a daily water supply, and nearly 50,000 have no running water." In "In Mexico City, water a rare commodity," by Yussel Gonzalez, Agence France Presse, 26 April 2017.

 

NOTES

 

[ 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 2013.

          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.

 

 A Presidential Pardon?

 

          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.

 

 Routine Rape?

 

          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 If 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.

 

 Corruption 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.

 

 Corruption Has Reached the Top

 

          More as to corruption in Mexico affecting the United States, one reads:  "Edgar Veytia, 46, was detained Monday at the U.S. border in San Diego on an indictment handed down by a grand jury in New York, Ralph DeSio, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said Wednesday. The indictment was filed March 2 in the Eastern District of New York — the same jurisdiction where federal prosecutors have charged Sinaloa cartel commander Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán — and a U.S. magistrate judge in Brooklyn unsealed the charging papers on Tuesday. As attorney general, Veytia is the top law enforcement official in Nayarit, a state in western Mexico between the cities of Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta. The indictment accuses Veytia of conspiring to manufacture and distribute illicit drugs and import them into the U.S. from 2013 — the year he became attorney general — until February of this year. Court papers refer to Veytia by a range of aliases, including Diablo, Eepp and Lic veytia." In "Mexican state attorney general arrested at U.S. border in San Diego on drug trafficking charges," by Matt Hamilton, Los Angeles Times, 29 March 2017.

          When the attorney general of a state is investigated for and charged with narcotics manufacture and trafficking, then corruption in Mexican government is seen to be among the top echelon of Mexico's "rulers."

          The Mexican police are compromised as well.   "A former federal police official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is no longer with the agency said Reyes Arzate was probably two or three steps down in the command chain from Mexico's federal police commissioner. 'Reyes, in his role as supervisor over the SIU, routinely had contact and worked collaboratively with DEA agents in Mexico City,' according to the indictment. Mike Vigil, a former chief of international operations for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, said there had always been a problem with the special units: The top commanders refused to submit to background or polygraph checks, even though low-level agents were vetted. 'The higher echelon, the higher level of the federal police, do not want to be vetted,' Vigil said." In "Top Mexican official said to tip drug cartel about probe," by Associated Press, 5 April 2017.

 

[ 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 Vasquez."

          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?

 

 Party Failures

 

          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 2016.

          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?
Let's disengage
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.

 

 Addendum 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.

 

 Addendum 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 2016.

 

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 October 2016.

 
Consider the too-often truth of political offices, in America and throughout the world:  Corruption   and  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.

 

Fauxlloquial's fauxlogical,
        Fauxever in a daze.
Fauxlingual is fauxfeasible,
    Fauxarmed with nowadays.
Fauxbear in every circumstance!
        Fauxboding sobriquets
Fauxment as a faux smarty-pants
    Fauxlloquially brays!
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. Brewer, 1898.

 

 Addendum of Using in a Sentence:   "The politician in question spoke in a manner so fauxlloquial that even the words should have been embarrassed."   [ 1 ]

 

 Addendum 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., 1997.

 

 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.

 

 Addendum 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. Martin's, 1997.  [ 2 ]

 

 Addendum of 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.

 

 Addendum 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:   dodecophonoclast

 

NOTES

 

[ 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 good'."

           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 Politics .

 

[ 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 limitless.


 

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.
     Rejecting terminology
    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.

 

                    Envoi:        Words of a feather
                                        Block together;
                                        Clarity loses punch.
                                        Words' bellwether
                                        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 ]

 

 Addendum 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 ]

 

 Addendum 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.

  

Addendum 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

 

 Addendum 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.

 

 Addendum 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.

 

 Addendum 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.

 

 Addendum 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 ]

 

 Addendum 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 ]

 

 Addendum 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.  

 

 Addendum 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.

 

 Addendum 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 ]

 

 Addendum 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 2016.   [ 7 ]

 

 Addendum 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.

 

 Addendum 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 ]

 

 Addendum 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.

 

 Addendum 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.

 

 Addendum 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 ]

 

 Addendum 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 Books, 1992.

 

Consider the mostly plain spoken synonym in government-recommended American English:   The religion of peace

 

NOTES

 

[ 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 extremists are.

 

 To Paralyze 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 Christopher Black.

          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 "charged."

          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 war?

          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.

 

 Little 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.

 

 A 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 terror." Really?

          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 2016.

          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 .

 

 Paradise 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 46.

          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 State."

          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 2016.

          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.

 

 Disconnecting 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 Advisory Council?

 

[ 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 "function?"

          "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?"

 

 Jihad 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 critical thinking'."

          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.

 

 Naming 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 September 2016.

          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 Islamophobia .  This is a preferable view of that council to the conclusion that these bureaucrats are misinformed, ill-educated or utterly unaware.

          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 Western Takfiris

 

          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 inform otherwise.

         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 authenticate Islam? 

         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 instance, Coexist ?

 

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 September 2016.

         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.

 

 Difficult 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 Islamophobia 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 "problematic positioning."

         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.

 

 Whose 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.

 

 You?

 

.         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...."


 

Slice

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 Association, 1957.

 

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.

 

  NOTES

 

[ 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 ancient.

          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 October 2016.

          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 2016.   [ 1 ]

 

Don't look now.
Don't look then.
Don't say anything --
Especially when
Hunger's now
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.

 

Envoi:    "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 2016.     [ 2 ]

 

     

 

 Addendum 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.

 

 Addendum 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.

 

 

 

 Addendum 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.

 

  

 

 Addendum 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 ]

 

 Addendum 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 ]

 

 

 

 Addendum 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.

 

 Addendum 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.

 

 Addendum 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 ]

 

 

 

 Addendum 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.

 

 Addendum 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.

 

 Addendum 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 ]

 

 Addendum 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.

 

 Addendum 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 August 2016.

 

 Addendum 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.

 

 Addendum 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.

 

 Addendum 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.

 

 Addendum 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.

 

 Addendum 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 October 2016.   [ 12 ]

 

 Addendum 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.

 

 Addendum 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 December 2016.

 

Consider a tale of those who  Fled from empty market shelves - a history lesson

 

NOTES

 

[ 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.

 

 British 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 2015.

          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 Politics , so well lubricated with Grease .

 

[ 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 leadership.

 

[ 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."

 

 A 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 August 2015.

          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 citizenry.

          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 of Grease . -- 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.

 

 Emma Goldman's Lesson, Revisited

 

          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, 1924.

          Consider the Sheer Ignorance 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 Grease . 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 Totalitarian rages against what has historically been called the Sheer Ignorance 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 now.

 

[ 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.

 

 Misunderstood

 

           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.

 

 Celebrity Delusions

 

           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 Dissent . 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