Sunday, March 26, 2017

Plowing Toward Defeat

The health care "repeal and replace" fiasco follows on any number of other failed efforts by the White House and the Trump Regime to force this or that policy or action.

Politifact has been tracking the "progress" of  Trump Regime policies and promises, and it's interesting to see what is moving forward -- however haltingly -- and what is stalled or abandoned. Most of Trump's efforts to fulfill campaign promises are effectively non-operative, but some are going forth.

The "Repeal and Replace" debacle is a spectacular failure, but the courts have thwarted the Muslim Ban (for now), the "Deep State" continues to undermine the Regime's authority, the Russia Thing continues to metastasize, the military seems to be going off on its own wreaking havoc in foreign lands without oversight by the White House, and so on. This is only part of what Chaos has wrought, and it is only the first 60 days of the Regime-in-Power.

My sense is that Trump and his boys and girls in the White House were effectively neutered during the last week of February. The courts would not yield to his Authority over the Muslim Ban, the signs were that the Health Care saga would result in defeat or at best a Pyrrhic Victory, the permanent government (the bureaucracy) was in open revolt, the media continued to taunt and in some ways to terrorize (I know, loaded term) the Regime, the polls were going south fast, and for all intents and purposes, Trump was checkmated. What he wanted, he could not have without the cooperation of the governing cliques, the media, the courts and the congress.

All of whom and more he had spent his political capital threatening, alienating, insulting, and denigrating.

This may work in the gangster real estate/casino framework Trump is used to, but it clearly doesn't work in government -- at least not beyond his loyalists in DHS/ICE/CBP. Hm. Who'd a thunk?

The Loyalist faction is interesting, too.

These elements have the potential to operate as a kind of Gestapo serving Trump's -- or someone else's -- interests, and that seems to be what they want to do. Very much so. I'd say their loyalty to Trump is ephemeral, but it is clear that they see their mission as political, forcing compliance with executive command.

What was wrought with the creation of these entities? We're finding out, aren't we? As long as their efforts appear to be focused on foreigners, brown people, non-conformists, what's to worry, right?

Not a wise attitude it seems to me.

Some of their efforts have been thwarted or mitigated by public outrage, but how long that will last is a question. The demonstrations can have an effect, but the returns are diminishing. There's only so much the Rabble in the streets can accomplish. Given our system, there's only so much they are allowed to accomplish, viz: Occupy, Black Lives Matter, NoDAPL, etc.

But something else is going on well outside the purview of the public; Trump is only being allowed so much rope -- apparently to hang himself. And he's doing a bang-up job of it, too.

Under the circumstances, it's looking more and more like he's headed for crash-and-burn defeat, sooner rather than later. Superficially, it may be entertaining as hell, but it's not good for the nation -- for it exposes so many of the weaknesses and worse in our system. We are not prepared to replace it with something better.

Until that time comes, we're in a world of hurt, regardless of who sits in the Big Chair.

What a whirled.


Saturday, March 18, 2017

On the Centenary of the Russian Revolution(s)

Yes indeed. This is the year of the hundredth anniversary of the Russian Revolution(s) -- the first was in March that overthrew the Czar, the second was in October (November) that overthrew the provisional government and initiated the Soviet Union.

The anniversary is largely ignored in the USofA, but in Russia and much of the rest of the world, the Russian Revolution(s) are being closely studied and evaluated critically

In the US, there has been an ongoing obsession with supposed Russian interference in the 2016 election, and the revival of some sort of anti-"Soviet" propaganda to counter "Trumpism." This is beyond foolish as it has led to an even greater level of Fascist resurgence -- in the US and Europe particularly. WTF, indeed.

In light of what's going on, I would just post "October" -- Sergei Eisenstein's 10th Anniversary examination of the Revolutions of 1917.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Going Into Town

I've been driving quite a bit more than I ordinarily do these last couple of weeks. Last week was midterms at IAIA, and Ms. Ché was under the weather thanks to a bug she picked up somewhere, either at school or at the New Mexico Writers' Dinner she attended the week before midterms. She didn't want to take the bus, and I don't blame her. She has fairly long layovers in Santa Fe as there is no direct bus out to IAIA, and mornings especially were cold in town (not so much at our place, but they were cold up there.) She figured she'd get a chill and feel worse. So I drove her up the hill to the campus in the mornings and she took the bus back home (or on Fridays, a fellow student who lives in the next town over drove her back.)

The trips up to Santa Fe are difficult for me, although I'm not complaining. It's hard to breathe, even with oxygen, and that's the main thing. Consequences include exhaustion; after a drive up there and back, I'm pretty well spent for the rest of the day, though I try to accomplish some things at home. I have a whole list of things to get done, and I'm getting through it slowly, slowly, but I'm stunned at how far behind I'm am.

This week is Ms Ché's Spring Break, but this is the only time she has to deal with some of her own medical and dental appointments that she's been putting off because she has no time for them when classes are in session. She's carrying 18 units and her class schedule is tough -- even without a bus commute. Two more semesters, she says, and she should be done. We'll see!

So this week, I've been driving her into Albuquerque for her appointments, and while it's not quite so tough on me -- due to a lower altitude, I guess -- it's still draining, and that bothers me. I'm afraid I'll get so tired that my attention will suffer and I'll run off the road -- as so many truckers tend to do -- and that will be that.

So far though, it's been OK, so again no complaints.

We still don't have another vehicle, and even if we did, I'm not sure Ms Ché would want to drive more than occasionally. She was really traumatized by the wreck, and I wouldn't blame her if she didn't want to drive at all any more. She's been in a couple of other wrecks, but this one was the worst. Thank goodness for the airbags, even though they were the cause of most of her injuries. Had they not deployed, there's no telling how bad it might have been.

There are a couple of things delaying the purchase of another car.

One being my dislike of car shopping. I tend to put it off as long as possible. Lately I've been scouring internet listings, but every time I find something online that I'm interested in, it's gone by the time I'm ready to make contact with the seller. Yes, well. That's how it goes.

So I found this on Hemmings, and thought: Well, here's a car that won't disappear tomorrow!

1948 Studebaker
Not exactly a commuter car, but what fun, eh?

And that's the way I have to look at this situation. Well, not just this situation, but the whole panoply of WTF that we're all immersed in. Life itself is throwing us some interesting challenges, eh? Some we'll meet head on, but others require a more nuanced approach -- or none at all. Just let it go.

I have my own appointments in town next week, so the trips will continue at least for now. The old beat up Astro van which got us here from California is doing heroic work getting us from here to wherever, and we're lucky to have it on hand.

Soon it will be time to start tomatoes. I have Cherokee Purple seeds and starting trays and as soon as the weather turns reliably warm -- probably next week, though we'll no doubt get at least a couple more cold snaps -- I'll start the seeds. Hope to get quite a crop and share the plants with the Cherokee group in town.


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Note on What Condition My Condition Is In

Well, I don't rightly know. Still trying to find out. At least there's no sign of multiple myeloma which is what I was at the doctor for the other day. It's being monitored because of a blood abnormality due to rheumatoid arthritis and the medications I'm taking for it. But there is no sign that either one is leading to the development of multiple myeloma, so that's good.

My rheumatologist has been trying to get me in to see a pulmonary specialist at UNM to see if there is something that can be done about my pulmonary issues -- which seem to be worsening. This is the real danger of rheumatoid arthritis if it affects the lungs as in my case. Untreated, it causes interstitial lung disease, pulmonary fibrosis, which eventually but inevitably makes it impossible to breath and you die.

I am being treated, but I'm not sure the treatment is all that effective any more, and the doctor is concerned enough to want me to see someone who is specially trained to deal with what she says is a rare enough pulmonary condition that she has no expertise in treating it.

Well, that gets us into the medical insurance bureaucracy big time. I have HMO Medicare Advantage coverage, and I'm finding out just how limited it is. I cannot have treatment outside The Network without advance approval from On High. Getting that has literally taken months of back and forth between my doctor and On High. It's almost unbelieveable what has been going on. I got approval -- however.

When I tried to get an appointment at UNM, the first available they had was in June, which my rheumatologist says is too long a wait, and I would agree as I feel worse and worse practically every day.

So she's trying to get it moved up. But who knows?

Part of the issue has been the HMO pulmonologist -- who I've seen and who has been essentially useless. He says treat the RA and the pulmonary problems will be mitigated. The rheumatologist says, no, there are specific immunosuppressant treatments for interstitial lung disease caused by RA that are not generally used to treat RA itself, and she needs a competent pulmonologist to guide those treatments.

So.

We'll see.

The Russia Thing -- Out of Control

It's always struck me as bizarre that the Russia Thing -- whatever it's morphed into at the moment -- is the crutch the internal governmental "resistance" to Trump is leaning on. Why that? And why build Russia and Putin up into such Enemies?

The echoes of anti-Soviet propaganda campaigns have been strong all along, but never do we hear the answer to the question "Why?" Nor did we back in the day for that matter. It was just a Thing. We hated and feared the Soviets because we did. They were the Evil and we were the Good and that was that.

And we saw how silly, dangerous and bloody this scholarly concept was in the war in Southeast Asia, wherein the clash of Good v Evil led to the devastation of a whole region and the extermination of millions of innocents as well as combatants, and the supposed Evil won, only to transform itself into one of the US's economic allies in the region, and to prove itself to be far less Evil than the propagandists had us believe.

But then, the hippies knew it all along.

So here we are, far down the road to another contest with the Evil, this time in the person of Vladimir Putin and his iron fisted rule over the long-suffering Russian peasants. Is the Czar or the Party Chairman? It's hard to tell, given the fog of falsehood we are immersed in.

Of course he is neither, and Russia is no actual threat to the United States, nor to Europe, nor, in fact to any likely western target at all. And yet, here we are in the midst of another furious propaganda campaign making Putin out to be the Devil Himself, and the Russian Federation into the Greatest Enemy in History Since Hitler.

Why?

"Taking down" the Russian government and dismembering the Russian Federation for the pleasure and profit of western oligarchs has been a Thing within the government of the United States for a long time, at least since the publication of "The New American Century" in 1999 or whenever it was.

Just as the chaos in the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa (much of the rest of Africa, too, but that's somewhat different) has been induced as partial fulfillment of the plans sketched out so long ago, so the demonization of Russia and Putin are part of ensuring US global hegemony.

China will have its turn once Russia is defeated and dismembered.

Of course it's a seriously daft plan, but oh well. It's apparently been burned into the skin and psyches of the US government's foreign operations with a hot iron. Immutable and unchangeable.

So it has been written. So it must be done.

Why?

Obama tried to change it and failed. Trump seems to have given up on changing it, if he ever intended to, but the fall out from trying has metastasized into the Russia Thing that bids fair to take down his entire regime, one at a time or in batches.

I have no love for this man and believe sincerely that he should not be president and his people should not be anywhere near the levers of US power let alone the nuclear launch codes. On the other hand, the anti-Russia full-court press (with the intent of controlling him or bringing down his regime) has never made any sense.

This long article at Politico "Trump Takes on The Blob" helps us see how the shift away from anti-Russia, anti-Putin (and other things) literally terrifies the permanent government (aka "The Blob") and I recommend it for perspective.

But what are they so afraid of?

BTW, there are so many echoes of the initial phases of the Reagan regime in this situation. It's déjà vu all over again.

What a whirled what a whirled.


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Catching Up -- Sort Of

Been feeling pretty run  down lately. Have a doctor's appt. today and more coming up in an effort to get a handle on difficult to control rheumatoid arthritis symptoms that were responding well to medication and now are not. So, we'll see.

Consequently, I haven't been keeping up with events quite as much as I once did, and I haven't got all that much to say about the Chaos swirling around us. There isn't necessarily much we can do about it for all that we might rage at the clouds and such.

I've held up the Water Protectors at Standing Rock as examples of how we might approach what's going on in an effective manner, but the eviction and destruction of the camps and the continued construction of the pipeline belies that, doesn't it? In other words, the effort has failed, hasn't it?

Well, yes and no.

Yes in the immediate cause of preveniting the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline, no in the sense of highlighting the issue and planting the seeds of resistance to the corporate state and its obsession with money and power all over the country.

In fact, Ms Ché is in the preliminary stages of working with some Standing Rock veterans planning an action against a pipeline in Oklahoma that is slated to cross the Trail of Tears. There are similar actions planned and under way all over the country. The Water Protectors are not going to win every struggle -- they know that -- but by keeping the pressure on, through their presence and their determination, they help those of us who can't do what they do see a way forward in the face of an increasingly militarized police state.

That seems to be what our rulers have in store for us now. From appearances, the Trump Regime and their allies in congress are depending on their loyalists in the police state to protect and defend them against the public outrage at their corruption and destruction of a decent society.

When Steve Bannon announced that their aim and goal was the "deconstruction of the administrative state" I took him at his word -- as should everyone. He's actually been rather clear about it for a long time. To most people, a statement like that is just gobbledygook, as the notion of an "administrative state" doesn't mean much of anything to them. Who or what is it?

Of course Bannon is not going to say in detail. He can't without provoking even more unrest and outrage than the Trump regime's actions already have.

The "administrative state" is anything that stands between direct rule by the oligarchy and the Rabble. That was easy.

Another term of art, shorthand, is "Clintonites." Anyone or any institution that tries to interfere with the oligarchic rule, any individual who stands in the way, any interest that does not align with the Trump regime is by definition "Clintonite," and is part of that "administrative state" to be deconstructed.

Whole swaths of the federal and state governments, as well as local and regional governments and compact would be subject to abrupt termination. Others, however, would be enhanced and given nearly free rein to enforce the rule of the oligarchs.

Indeed, that seems to be the plan, starting with the apparent free rein given to ICE and CPB to do as they wilt with regard to visitors, immigrants and deportees. The anecdotal stories coming out of these agencies are horrifying, but that's what's wanted of them. Scare the shit out of anyone who could become a target.

Once that's coordinated, it appears the next stage is to give free rein to the local and state police to do as they wilt with regard to "criminals" in their midst with the full backing of the Department of Justice, no matter how egregious their actions.

Then, of course, the real challenge begins. The coordination of the federal police and security forces completes the process of making serious and effective opposition impossible.

Once that's done, there is nothing to stand in the way of a full on purge and deconstruction of the "administrative state" at every level of government as well as within the private sector.

Ta-da! It would take less than a year and it is already under way.

The result? Not good, but perhaps unavoidable. There may be too much institutional support for taking this path to overcome it.

We'll see.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Water Protectors Retreat

I was able to watch a bit of what was going on at Standing Rock via Unicorn Riot's livestream yesterday, and I must say it was dispiriting on many levels.

The Oceti Oyate (formerly, Oceti Sakowin) camp had already been largely vacated and dismantled when the final eviction order was issued early in February. The issue of "clean up" came to the fore, with the authorities declaring anything that had been left in the camp was trash. Some clearly was, but much wasn't. Nevertheless, the bulldozers and skip loaders were sent in to "clear" the campground before the spring floods.

Of course they made a worse mess of things by churning up mud and destroying perfectly useful shelter and supplies.

Yesterday, the remaining Water Protectors lit the wooden buildings still standing on fire, in a ceremonial act. A few veterans and Water Protectors stood in the road confronting riot garbed police. For reasons unclear, the police attacked the unarmed Water Protectors, injuring several and arresting 9 or 10. Then they retreated behind their barricades saying they would leave the 50 or so remaining Protectors and veterans to their own devices, with the proviso that "clean up" would re-commence at 9am this morning. People on site at that time would not be subject to arrest unless they interfered with "clean up."

These are some of Unicorn Riot's videos from yesterday. Unfortunately, they missed a good deal of the action, particularly the police assault.

This is a link to Eric Poemz live video from the scene yesterday. He was apparently shot in the hip with a "rubber bullet" and arrested, along with several other independent media reporters. His arrest is documented at about the 2:57:00 mark in the more than 3 hour video.

Note: I despise Facebook, but for whatever reason, activists are devoted to it.

Truthdig live-blogged events yesterday. So there is that.

Some of the activists have moved to other camps nearby, but I've heard that they may be subject to eviction orders as well. Other Water Protectors have dispersed around the country, focused on the issue of... well, "Water Protection." Pipeline projects; contaminated municipal water systems; riparian and aquifer issues and so on.

I think I may have mentioned that the local municipal water system where I live doesn't meet federal standards for lead and other contaminants, so we don't drink it. Thousands of other municipal systems are in similar non-compliance, not just Flint's, but of course nothing (much) is being done about it.

The issue of water protection is not going away anytime soon, and it goes well beyond the specific matter of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Actions have been taking place all across the country and elsewhere, and they will no doubt continue until water protection really is taken seriously by those who rule us. So far, water is seen as a commodity for profit.

The Water Protectors and their allies made a stand in North Dakota. Hundreds were arrested, hundreds were injured, some permanently. They sacrificed their comfort and convenience and ultimately their well-being for a cause greater than themselves, and I commend them.

They showed that the State is the enemy of the People. Period. End of discussion.

So. What is to be done?

Pipelines will continue to be built. Water systems will continue to be contaminated. Profit seekers will continue to privatize access to clean water. That's how things are set up, and that's not going to change soon.

Nevertheless, the Water Protectors have highlighted just how screwed up the ruling paradigm is, and they have shown the way toward rectification. They didn't succeed in North Dakota but they showed how to succeed over time. It's a long struggle back from the brink, but if no one tries, they will never succeed.

Sustained opposition to what's wrong, positive envisioning of what's right, sacrifice, prayer, and determination all enter into the process of rectification.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Nope. Fizzled Out Again

The protests have begun to lessen, so it would appear from my perch in the wilderness. They haven't stopped by any means, nor are they likely to end any time soon, but the numbers in the streets have been on a declining trend for some time, and I suspect that something called protest fatigue and burnout is to blame. One can't keep marching and protesting every day, no matter how much one might want to, when there are other matters that need attention. For many, those other matters will include "making a living" and such.

Also, too, consider this: though there have been many indications that a coup of some sort is immanent, for whatever reason it doesn't happen. Instead, we seem to have a situation in which the presidency itself is becoming an irrelevancy -- except for its entertainment value.

Other people, other interests are taking charge of running the government, and as long as Himself is kept on the hustings and/or the sidelines, there's nothing to worry about. Right?

Nothing will happen that the ruling class doesn't want to happen; there will be no fundamental changes in the course of whatever may come. Trump won't change a damned thing. He can't.

Something happened over the weekend, some of which we saw, some of which we aren't privy to, and it was clear enough to observers that Trump's choke chain was tightened a link or two, and his leash was given a jerk. His shtick hasn't changed much -- at least not for his adoring believers -- but his demeanor has been dialed back a notch or two. While he may not be behaving in a classic Presidential style -- not in him to do so -- he's somewhat less abrasive on the Twitter machine, somewhat less stupid-seeming otherwise.

His campaign stop in Florida cheered his demoralized fans and seemed to give him something of a boost. His appointment of Gen. McMaster as National Security Advisor seemed to give the permanent government a reason for hope.

The story is that he isn't really much interested in presidenting beyond issuing diktats and shaking things up for effect. His staff appears to be weak and very limited both in numbers and skill level. They are way out of their depth, The permanent government is not nearly as vulnerable as they believe it to be, and beyond that, they need it if they want to get their policies implemented, their programs done.

Ergo, a tense standoff appears to be in place.

As some observers point out, this is all happening way above our heads, and we the Rabble have very little effect on it. Practically none. We can speculate all we want about what is going on, who's being thrown under the bus, who the survivors might be, yadda yadda, but it doesn't matter a bit. Ultimately, things will or won't happen regardless of the Rabble.

The defenestration of General Flynn, and then of poor Milo, I think served as cautionary warnings, the first to Trump himself, the second to "President Bannon" -- who seems to think he's invulnerable.

Flynn and The Russia Thing seem very bizarre, but there is something going on there beyond the hysterics over nuclear holocaust, etc. Whatever it is, it is being used as a cudgel by elements of the permanent government -- They Who Know -- over the Trump Regime.

My sense is that it has to do with Trump's extensive mob ties, some of which are clearly Russian, and who has dirt on whom. Little or nothing to do with geopolitical strategeries and what not. This reflects on the nature of the presidency itself -- it's been mobbed up for generations -- and how rule is implemented. And by whom.

As for Fucking Milo, GFC on a crutch. That one was almost too easy. I've seen maybe five minutes of his act in toto, and it was obvious from the get that the whole thing was fake. As fake as the ropes of "pearls" he wore for his Bill Maher appearance. No there there, and his provocations (:"":) were as substance free as he was. It was all a charade. Eagerly marketed by those who seek to profit from the gullibility of some of the masses.

Oh well.

Meanwhile, whatever is to come still won't be in our interests. The question is, whose?

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Is This Going to Be The Weekend?

The White House situation has reached a breaking point. The question is whether anything can or will be done about it, and if something is to be done, who will do it?

Some Americans have been bruiting the possibility of a coup since the election, and every time it gets close, it doesn't happen. I've suspected that it doesn't happen because those who could undertake such a thing don't agree among themselves about taking such a fateful step -- don't agree about whether it should be done at all, and don't agree on how to do it -- but I don't doubt the possibility has been gamed out and planned for long since. The potential perpetrators of a coup have the blueprint but for whatever reason, it's not being implemented.

Not yet anyway.

In the last several days, however, the coup chatter has reached a fever pitch, and one of the claims has been that Dems are all in favor of it. I wouldn't agree that's the case, but it is an article of faith among those who see their future with the gold-plated one. Dems, the Enemy, would do anything and go along with anything if it meant getting rid of him and getting their power back . But he was "duly elected," and messing with the "Will of the People" is... so wrong. Yadda yadda.

To me, that's silly. The "Will of the People" hasn't had much to do with our governing at least since 9/11, and that didn't change when Trump secured the presidency. In fact, he's just as eager to carry on the practice of governing contrary to the Will of the People as any potential replacement. We don't have the kind of government that gives much of a damn about The People any more, if it ever did.

And the Dems aren't the ones who had the Power in any case. Dems, just like the Rs, were and are tools of the ruling class. The idea that electing Trump changes that one iota is daft.

Elections are in most respects charades.

A coup, under the circumstances, is just as valid as a so-called election. Make of that what you will.

So, is this the weekend it will finally go down? My Magic 8 Ball says, "Maybe."

Trump has been erratic and foolish and unpresidential as all heck, but he's been that all along. Nothing new there. There were plenty of opportunities to "coup" him during the campaign and after the election but before the inauguration, opportunities not taken for whatever reason.

Now it appears that he has become or will soon become a clear and present danger to the Nation, without a doubt. You can argue all you want about how Trump is exactly the kind of president these times call for, a Hercules who will once and for all clean out the Augean Stables of our corrupt and clearly incompetent governing class, and do those other Needful Things that he was elected to do, but I say nay, those arguments fail on their merits.

He ran a con on the voters, and he never had any intention of doing most of those things he yakked about during the campaign. Most of what he's done since the inauguration has been for show, either to keep the opposition riled up but off balance, or to throw red meat to his base without actually doing anything worthwhile.

Meanwhile, behind the curtaitn, the real work grinds slowly on, and that real work appears to be an effort to incite the Apocalypse. There are way too many Believers in the White House, but not enough of them salted throughout the government to accomplish what I think these people have been setting out to do.

For all the Evil attributed to the Deep State -- and there's plenty -- their job has been to create/preserve a kind of tense but sustainable World Order, one that places the US at the top as Global Hegemon, but which ultimately operates to prevent the End of the World As We Know It.

And so, if the Apocalypse is to come via Trump, it is the job of the Deep State or whatever to prevent it -- by any means necessary.

Ergo, the long rumored coup.

Of course that has its own unintended consequences, and therefore it is not something I favor or advocate.

Yet, what else is to be done?

Uncharted territory. We don't know.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Pushback Is So Weak

It's long been a truism that "bullies are cowards."

Anyone who has dealt with bullies, which I guess we all have at one time or another throughout our lives, knows that they can be both dangerous and cowardly, but their ways are patterned. They can be wrangled and defeated, either by strategy or by force. On the other hand, a bully isn't necessarily bad; bullies can be useful if they're on your side. That may not happen often, but it can.

Bullies have to have toadies or they can't function. The idea of a solitary bully is almost impossible to conceive, but I understand they do exist and they can and do terrorize whole neighborhoods. I think that phenomenon may be a different thing, not a classic bully, but I don't know because I've never encountered someone like that. Heard about them; never seen one in the flesh.

No, most bullies I've encountered have a cloud of followers, toadies, some of whom become trusted assistant, others little more than hangers-on. The point being an expected reward for loyalty and service. The reward might consist of nothing more than a glance, a smile, a pat on the head, but for many who toady, that's enough. Some toadies become objects of contempt or derision among the group, and for them it's fine. At least they're noticed.

Challenging a bully can be tricky, especially if s/he has a relatively large following, each member of which can be a bully, a danger, and a coward in his/her own right. Getting through all of them to challenge the head-bully can be difficult, and it can be so exhausting that  challengers give up. In some situations, too, challenging the bully can get you killed.

Another truism: "If you strike at the king, you must kill him." Indeed. Challenging the bully without defeating him or her is a dangerous exercise, dangerous not only for the challenger but for many of those who seek to stay outside the conflict as well. Most people would just rather not be involved in any way, but when a challenge fails, as they often do, the consequences for the innocent can be severe.

All this is prelude to what I see going on with the White House occupants. Bullies and toadies aplenty, head bully with the gold-plated pate, and they are being challenged on all fronts, in the streets, behind the curtain, daily, hourly, nonstop in the media, and throughout the permanent and elected government. They have fewer and fewer allies, and they seem to relish alienating those individuals and interest who might naturally be their allies. They're in a world of shit of their own making.

What I'm seeing is some of the weakest pushback imaginable. Good heavens, they have essentially no defense mechanisms at all. It's all show business, no substance -- or at least not much.

Paper tiger doesn't begin to describe it.

The vile twitter rants have become international jokes. Policy and law are not made on the twitter machine. But the rants do expose weaknesses. Bald assertions of power and authority are regarded with the same arched eyebrows as Cartman's "You will respect my authoritah!" Sure, whatever. Blah, blah, blah.

Blamecasting for the multiplicity of missteps and failures, particularly blaming "Clintonites" and "The Media," is loopy. False claims and accusations are constant. They're called out for what they are, "lies," and the death spiral spins ever faster.

Threats and imprecations go nowhere. "Operations" to get rid of the troublemakers fail.

From the perspective of the governing class, those who do this governing thing for a living, the out of control and very weak bully-behavior is incredibly dangerous for the leader of an imperial nation-state such as the USofA.

It cannot be allowed to continue, and I have no doubt it won't be. The pushback is so weak from the White House, and it's becoming weaker by the hour, I'm not even sure the regime will last out the month. This coming weekend may be its last.

On the other hand you never know. All the weakness I'm seeing may be a feint, and something unpredictable and awful will take place. Another Reichstag Fire type event.

I've pointed out we've already had our Reichstag Fire (ie: 9/11) and there's no going back. We've been in a kind of interim phase since then; everything is set up behind the scenes to institute a full on police state autocracy, but if it were to happen, we the Rabble weren't supposed to notice. It would just be a smooth and natural transition, and that would be that.

The current situation has disrupted those plans (!), and the Rabble is noticing. How to finesse this with as little hoo-hah as possible?

I suspect it can't be done.

There will be hoo-hah, and some of it is bound to be ugly. In fact, a lot of it probably will be.

While Trump defenders continue to rationalize his every twist and turn as "brilliant!" even they are beginning to recognize that this situation is not sustainable, and the End quite likely is nigh.

The tipping point has been reached, and it's downhill from here.

It looks like some of the Rabble are recognizing that in order to correct the situation, there may have to be a period "without a president." Until yesterday, it seemed the focus was on impeachment or using the 25th Amendment -- ie: Constitutional remedies. Which would take time, time we don't have, and would result in Pence, Ryan, McConnell, or even Tillerson in the White House. But... this is such a severe situation that it seems more and more likely that extra-constitutional means will be necessary. In other words, "suspend the constitution" -- temporarily, of course. There is a means to do that, btw.

I for one don't necessarily look at what comes After the coup as a positive thing, but perhaps it's a Needful Thing. There will be dancing in the streets, perhaps replaced with fear and loathing soon enough.

What gets me about all this is that it was always possible for whoever sat in the Big Chair to do the right thing, and Trump, being such a disruptor and a bully to boot, could actually have taken the power of the presidency to new realms of Doing Right. That's what I think his believers thought he would, peace and prosperity would reign, and heaven would open a branch office on earth. But it isn't working out that way, and Trump is being revealed as a weakling, whining, empty headed freak.

OK then.

Off with their heads. Metaphorically speaking...

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

End of the Beginning?

Of course it's hard to know at any given time what's coming. One can read their beads and assess the signs and portents all the live long day and then something unexpected happens. You're in a different reality, one that perhaps was always there, the way multiple universes are said to interpenetrate one another, but it wasn't something we had to pay attention to. Until now.

The reaction to Stephen Miller's round of performances on the Sunday Gabfests has been rippling through the political class, the media, the permanent government and among some of the Rabble. With few exceptions, the judgment is that he was way, way over the line. And something must be done, and done quickly.

Miller took the place of Kellyanne Conway on the shows -- apparently because her credibility was in the crapper and since she'd been working so hard at it, she needed a break. We'd been hearing about Miller for some time, as he is reputed to have written some of the more incendiary statements and speeches of the regime and its titular ruler. He along with Bannon have long been considered the ideological masters in the White House. Miller, it is said, was one of the writers of the Muslim Ban (that isn't) now wending its way through the judiciary.

So the White House sends Miller out to do the Shows, and "OMG."

I saw part of his performance on Meet the Press, and it was shocking. He came across as Joseph Goebbels' bastard Jewish grandson, railing and ranting, ordering and demanding, lying and daring Chuck Todd -- or anyone else -- to do anything about it. Pugnacious doesn't begin to cover it.  This was a pure, over the top, Nazi performance project, something designed -- I thought -- to put the Fear into all of Trump's opponents, be they judges, media celebrities, or the pink pussy-hat wearing "Resistance."

Message: "This stops now."

Now while his performances were obviously being done for effect, I'm not sure he got the effect he wanted. When the initial shock wore off the Nazi allusions -- while still strong -- faded and some of us recognized that it was more on the lines of the Israeli Spokesperson (especially under the Likud regime) than straight out Nazi. Meaning that this is a contemporary model for regime spokesmouths, not the historic one from the Time of Unpleasantness in the 20th Century. This way of communicating regime demands and commands goes on all the time around the world. It's just not been typical American practice. So it's shocking -- and rightly so -- to see it on the Sunday Shows, unvarnished, unbridled, and very much in your face.

The reaction was mostly swift and quite negative. Not simply because he was lying; we're so used to that from the White House, it's almost normal. No, it was the whole package. If that's the way the White House wants to present itself, then by golly, it's game on.

A number of thinkers and pundits and commentators have been sounding the alarms. "This is an Emergency!" they say. If something isn't done, and done quickly, about Trump and his band of mountebanks and thieves, liars and con artists, Christian Dominionists and Apocalyptic believers, white supremacists, Fascists, and worse, the United States is on a path toward becoming a failed state in its own right and instigating global destruction on an unparalleled scale simply because it can.

Trump's core believers call these warnings "hysterics." I'm old enough to have lived through a number of these transformative presidencies, and I've never seen anything quite like this. The lies and the chaos are one thing. What's worse is the overt contempt for other interests and points of view, and the easy sadistic glee in scapegoating the vulnerable and punishing opponents. This cannot be allowed to stand.

But we can't look to the courts to save us. It's not going to happen. The courts can stall some of the worst of what's in store, but they can't stop it. Should the justices get too uppity, the regime can go full on Andrew Jackson and ignore any ruling it doesn't like. After all, the courts have no independent enforcement power.

No, the system under which we've been governed up till now can't handle something like this. It will shatter to pieces. Some would say that's a good thing in and of itself, and so we should just let it shatter. The system is decadent and corrupt and unreformable. It has to crash and burn for something better to emerge.

The Resistance, so far, is basically critiquing and naysaying. A positive alternative is still in formation.

Up till now, the Resistance has been a somewhat formless potential movement away from the chaos. Potential. It hasn't turned into a movement yet, though some of its critics call it one. It's lacking a catalyst to turn it into a movement.

But that could come at any minute.

Indeed, Stephen Miller's performance on the shows seems to be catalyzing something in the media particularly.

The demonstrations continue in the streets and at selected congressmembers' town halls and offices.

So far as I can recall, there have never been so many sustained nationwide opposition actions, and they are having an effect. That isn't to say they'll succeed. But they are being noticed, which is something that deliberately didn't happen with the demonstrations against the Iraq Invasion.

There have been a few counter demonstrations, but so far, they are very small and have had no effect at all.

Perception management is an important element in these situations, and in this case, there is a perception that opposition to Trump and his cronies is widespread, deep-rooted, active and determined.

The demonstrations immediately after the election were large and widespread, so large in fact that a whole sub-industry sprang up on line to discount them as "Clintonite" rejectionism, involving too few people to matter. Well, that was wrong. In fact those who were in the streets at the time reported that "Clintonites" were a minority among the crowds, as they have remained ever since.

No, the Resistance is something else again, and the Democratic Party and the Clintons are at best minor players. Often enough they are completely irrelevant to the interests and actions of those who are taking to the streets.

There was a brief moment of hysterics on the part of Trump supporters when Alex Jones (I think it was) said that the post election demonstrations were an attempt to incite a "Soros funded Color Revolution." Why that should inspire near-panic among the Trumpists, I'm not sure, but at the time, such a judgment was premature. There was no Color Revolution, not even a hint of it. There was a largely spontaneous rejection of the election outcome. Given the fact that Hillary had so many more votes than Trump -- by an as yet unknown margin at the time -- it was natural for people to vent their outrage. Yet again the Electoral College would override the vote of the people.

However, by the time of the Women's March, the day after the inauguration, many of the elements of a Color Revolution had come together. With or without Soros funding.

The color is pink; the hand-sign is a fist, the right arm held straight across the chest at heart level. Large scale mass demonstrations can be assembled at a moment's notice, and they can and do interfere with routine. They're covered in the media. When tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of demonstrators can be assembled quickly and can disrupt the implementation of some of the regime's diktats -- and do it over and over again -- it's kind of hard to ignore.

I said a week or so ago that the wheels had come off this shitwagon, and indeed that seems to be the case, as the White House is bunkered down and Trump himself prefers the Mar-a-Lago Winter Palace in Florida or the Trump Tower HQ in New York. At least in those places, his Divinity is unchallenged.

The White House has been flailing for weeks. The court battle over the travel ban diktat is symptomatic not dispositive. Flynn's resignation, the constant dissembling, the leaks,  the fights over cabinet picks, the utter chaos all contribute to the perception that the White House is a madhouse where no one really knows what's going on, and except for certain issues, Trump doesn't care. He's looking out for his own wealth and well-being; bugger the rest.

So my question is, "Will this regime be brought down?" The Magic 8 Ball says "Most Definitely!" I take that as a yes since my own Predict-O-Meter has long been on the fritz.

OK, let's say it happens. Who will do it? The people in the streets cannot do it on their own. They can, however, make it impossible for him (or his goons) to govern, and we're close to that point now.

"Ungovernable" has become one of the protest memes, and I'm promoting "Disobey." These are ideas and actions with powerful potentials. The roundups of immigrants haven't quite catalyzed the kind of response necessary -- ie: human shields in every case -- but as more and more efforts to crack down on the designated Others get under way, I think we'll see more direct action to stop it. Disobedience will become the rule rather than the exception. Becoming defiant and ungovernable will be the new normal.

On the other hand, the tipping point may have been reached with the resignation of General Flynn from the NSC. There is gossip that the matter actually involves Trump and Pence in a conspiracy of silence about their Russian dealings. (I've never put much store in the whole Russian Thing, but apparently it matters deeply within the governing clique.) If as may be the case, then entire Trump regime is involved in something that can be construed as compromising the sovereignty of the United States -- that's what this is beginning to look like -- then the consequences  can be, must be, severe. Though not likely, it could even involve treason.

Impeachment is an option, but I think it would take too long and much mischief would be possible in the meantime.

It looks more and more like a coup will be deemed "necessary." My suspicion is that the next time Trump goes to Florida, a select team will place him under house arrest. Meanwhile, in DC other teams will isolate Pence and the White House staff. A general, could be even Mattis, but Petraeus is more likely, will take charge (much as Al Haig tried to do when Reagan was shot.) He will be interim leader.

What happens then is anybody's guess, but if the present regime is deposed, we can be sure there will be dancing in the streets.

I give it till the end of the month.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Oroville



The dam and spillway situation at Lake Oroville in Northern California are apparently severe enough to cause the evacuation of around 200,000 residents of the City of Oroville and towns downstream on the Feather River. Flooding is either happening right now or is expected throughout the Sacramento Valley thanks to heavy rains, saturated soils, and rivers and streams overflowing their banks.

The problems with Lake Oroville are on top of an already difficult situation.

I'm paying attention to this rather more than I might otherwise do because the region under flood warning and evacuation is part of my old stomping grounds in California. I lived mostly in and near Sacramento, but I traveled all over the Valley, particularly north of Sacramento, and my work often took me to the area under evacuation and flood warning. I got to know many people there and I still have friends in the area. So many people have been evacuated, and there is still risk to many more. It's a horrible situation for many whose peace of mind has been shattered and whose world is overturned. My sympathies are with them, though there's little I can do from out here in the Central New Mexican wilderness.

For now, it seems the situation has at least partially stabilized. The lake level is down enough (a/o Monday morning, c.. 3:00 am) that water is no longer flowing over the auxiliary spillway and the immediate danger of spillway erosion and collapse is mitigated. Releases are apparently continuing from the damaged main spillway, lowering the lake level enough to allow more runoff and snowmelt to enter. More rain is predicted for later in the week, and depending on how much their is, the situation could return to critical very quickly.

The problem with the auxiliary spillway as I understand it is that erosion of the upper part of the spillway has been severe due to the over-top releases yesterday and the day before; authorities are afraid that the erosion will compromise the integrity of the spillway and lead to collapse of that section of the lake-wall (not the dam itself). If that were to happen, an immense flood of lake water would be sent down the Feather River, almost as if the dam had broken, and people in the path of the flood would be at severe risk.

Because that risk is somewhat less now than it was yesterday afternoon, I'm sure people who have evacuated are fuming, thinking perhaps they shouldn't have been told to move so suddenly.

From the views I saw of the spillway yesterday, however, it was clear that the situation was developing fast and there was no certainty at all that the lip of the spillway would hold. Given the flood situation throughout the Valley already, it was reasonable to declare a precautionary emergency and to get people out of the path of any potential Lake-flood.

In the meantime, as chaos spreads, it's well to remember that flooding (though not this kind of threat) is relatively frequent in the area, and most residents are able to cope one way or another.

News is available at the Sacramento Bee, KCRA, and KNVN. There are other news outlets in the area as well, but these some of the main ones.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Rich Wypipo

I've been poor most of my life, either dirt poor and sometimes literally starving, or on the margins of it, or living as if such poverty would be my fate tomorrow. And for the most part, one learns to cope, one learns to do without, and one discovers that there's not a lot of material things that one really needs in one's life to live well. Many of my poor friends over the years learned these lessons much better than I did and could not only live poor with style, they could live poor with utter grace and serenity, too.

They were some of the kindest and most generous people I ever knew.

Even now,  when (knock wood) I'm relatively well-off in retirement (in that Ms Ché and I have sufficient income to give a good deal of it away) we live simply, in an ancient and somewhat ramshackle pioneer adobe house in a tiny Central New Mexico ranching and farming community among people who are the salt of the earth, most of them not as well off as we are, with a very few ricos, mostly old ranching families from pioneer days, who share more qualities with the Rabble of the area than most of them do with their hot-headed peers in ranching and agriculture outside the region.

On the other hand, because of the kind of work I've done and the kind of life I've led, I've known a lot of urban rich people, rich Wypipo for the most part (a handful of blacks, browns and Asians thrown in to the mix), and I think I got to understand them reasonably well.

Trump is an aberration because he's so overt. But his perspective and behavior, and his many bizarre and largely false beliefs are not that different than those of many (most) members of his class. They are in my experience quite a despicable lot overall, the few and far between exceptions proving the rule.

They are selfish, greedy, cruel, self-obsessed, exploitative, aggressive, competitive with one another and typically they are wrong about everything or just about everything.

They live in a special bubble of their own creation, served by toadies and flatterers, deigning to part with their good will (and sometimes money) when and if they observe sufficient loyalty and obedience from their suppliants.

They are for the most part insecure as hell.

They loathe and fear the masses.

They want to be loved but believe they are hated. Often enough they're right about that.

Many spend their lives and much of their wealth in a futile quest for self-protection, obsessing on "security," with ever thicker walls, ever higher gates, ever more vicious dogs and guards to protect them from imagined (sometimes real) outlaws out there who were coming to take their stuff and rape their wives and daughters.

They believe sincerely that We the Rabble hate and envy them so much that if it weren't for their own layers of protection and it weren't for the government suppressing revolt, we'd all flood their mansions and offices and take everything they have.

As if what THEY have were the most important things in OUR lives.

They aren't. But don't tell them that. It might upset them even more.

"Generosity" among these people is almost entirely based on what they will get out of the deal -- how prominent their names will be, what sort of perks their beneficiaries deliver, and so on. New rich often see the notion of "generosity" as simply silly and have used it as a scaffold and opportunity for further exploitation of the despairing and downcast masses and the further enrichment of themselves.

They are ugly, ugly people, with no souls in my estimation.

There are exceptions, but they are often marginalized among their own peers. The "good ones" are laughed at by most of their class, called names behind their backs ("Saint" this or that) and otherwise mocked.

Trump is very open about these things whereas most of his class are socialized to obscure their natures -- at least in the company of people who are not like them.

What shocks me about the current situation is that so many people who should know better apparently don't recognize that Trump is what so many members of his class wish they were or could be. He's public about his crazy; no filters or shields. Right out there as a vicious, violent, cruel and despicable representative of his class -- yes, most of them in my experience are like Trump when you peel back the curtain -- who now has (almost) all the Power of the Great And Grand United States Government at his fingertips.

Oh my god in heaven, THINK of the possibilities! Gasp!

People who should know better think he's a one off. He isn't. They think his actions and success will somehow lead to a reaction from the Left, or something like it, that will result in some sort of Worker Paradise -- or at least something better than we have -- one day.

One. Fine. Day.

But first, destroy the Democrats. The Paradise will come once the Democrats are destroyed, the Clintoons  are hung from lampposts, and Trump succeeds in overthrowing the NeoLibCon paradigm. As if that were his intent or goal.

It's insanity.

Of course Trumpism and the apotheosis of his class can be defeated.

Start here:

Disobey card from Guerrilla Graphix, one of my favorite shops in Albuquerque


Friday, February 10, 2017

On Opposing the Trump Regime

This is getting interesting as various elements and branches of the sitting government go rogue on the President Known As Shit-Gibbon. Apparently a state legislator has used the term on the Twitter Machine, so I guess it's official now. My my. How quickly things have devolved.

I've been paying attention to the permanent and sitting government's response to the chaos and lies of the Trump regime. It matters. They will set the tone for the coming overthrow. I have little to no doubt now that the overthrow will come and it will be greeted with cheers and dancing, and things won't necessarily get better for we the Rabble. I had pegged the end of this regime by the end of the month. May be. We'll see. At the rate things have been moving, however, somewhat more slowly than I figured, the end of the Trump regime may not come until the first of May. But that's just hedging. I don't know, and my ability to predict the future isn't so hot.

The court situation is mirrored in the congress where radical Republicans are eager to emplace a raft of punishment laws that comfort the comfortable and further impoverish or suppress everyone else. They can't help themselves. It's an identity thing with them.

It appears the Trump regime has got a different and far more apocalyptic agenda which will have to be opposed by the congressional Republicans or their own punishment agenda won't be possible. What to do, what to do?

I think Trump is foreshadowing an apocalyptic outcome vis a vis the "travel ban." It was a deliberate provocation, but it's backfired so badly that the Plan B is to engineer some kind of "terror attack" or even falsely declare one has happened (a la the "Bowling Green Massacre" or the "Atlanta Terror Attack"). I don't think these are accidental stumbles. I think they are deliberate and cynical "preparation" for what's to come.

One of the key factors of tyrannical rule is that the rulers dissemble and lie all the time, and they don't care whether you believe them or not. It doesn't matter. All that matters is that enough doubt is generated about what's true and what isn't that the opposition exhausts itself trying to figure it out.

It appears the permanent government has had just about enough of this bullshit and is about to put the hammer down.

Refusing to reinstate the Muslim ban is the opening salvo. But Trump also lost a court challenge to his diktat regarding the fiduciary rule.

Of course these are not final-final rulings, but they are signs that the courts will not be intimidated by this regime.

The opposition in the streets is still plentiful but rather formless. There is a strong sense that the People must "do something" in these grave times, and they are doing something, but because there are so many outrages piling up, what is done lacks focus. On the other hand, calling for opposition to too many specific items is probably counterproductive at this point. A simple NO! will do for the time being.

No!

So simple. So right.

There's been a call for a general strike, something that is all but unknown in the US though it's fairly common in Europe and elsewhere. One of the ways it's been chacterized is "A Day Without Women." 

If it happens, it will be a Day Without a Whole Lot of Things. Old line Socialists are saying, Feh, but that's what they do, and nobody should listen to them any way.

Apparently congressional reps have been taking a whole lot of heat from constituents who are demanding and loud and really, really scary to these nincompoops. Oh well, make your bed, better lie in it.

In all this, where are the Dems?

Oh they're out there trying to wrangle the Resistance, but I don't see them succeeding. Not now at any rate. They may yearn for a Bourbon Restoration, but if it happens, it won't work out well for them. They've been chastised, but I don't know that they have been chastened. Their best bet is to maintain a low profile and be quiet. We'll see.

We'll see.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Making It Impossible for the Ruling Clique to Govern

Things are still so fluid, there's no way to tell how the unraveling will occur. But there will be an unraveling, no doubt about it. And many innocents will suffer.

That much is clear.

One of the keys to a successful rising is making it impossible for the ruling clique to govern. This was the key to bringing down the various targets of Color Revolutions, and indeed what led to the collapse of the regimes brought down during the Arab Spring and particularly the Ukraine not so very long ago.

It isn't that hard to do.

But note, efforts along those lines were tried in this country with the occupation of the Wisconsin state capitol in the winter of 2011 followed by the Occupy Movement in the fall of the same year. They received a lot of press and widespread admiration but they failed to bring on the Revolution, and in Wisconsin, the occupiers failed utterly in their goal of preserving, protecting and defending the gains made by their progressive political ancestors, gains being threatened by Scott Walker and the ascendant Rs.

The Wisconsin debacle should have been a lesson, but I'm not sure it was, as the failures mounted after the Capitol occupation was abandoned. It was as if the opponents of Walker and the Rs kept pushing the same nonfunctional button and expecting it to somehow work. It didn't. The wires had been pulled. But the Ds didn't notice. Or were they counseled not to notice?

The trick of  making it impossible to govern requires understanding how government works and knowing where the vulnerable pressure points are.

It seems that regime opponents rarely do, at least not when they start out. Resistance is typically inchoate at first, but then it coalesces around an "idea."

In Wisconsin, the "idea" was to Preserve the Status Quo. Oops. To me, that is a recipe for disaster in a revolutionary era. The status quo is fine for those who benefited from it, but under the circumstances, many were and are not benefiting from it, and that's why so many wanted it overthrown or undone. That's why the Rs were able to fully capture the political and governmental apparatus of a formerly Progressive state.

Enough Wisconsinites had had enough of "progressivism" to throw it all out and essentially revert to prior brawling, corrupt, and vile government practice. The Status Quo just would not do any more.

I tried pointing this out to some Wisconsinites who were absolutely convinced that Walker and his cronies and the Rs in the Lege would be brought down this time because reasons. I said no, it was becoming more and more unlikely that any political action would bring these people down, simply because there were enough Wisconsinites satisfied enough with the New Politics and Governance that they weren't about to change it, particularly not to go back to the status quo ante.  No, get over it, it's not going to happen. If you really want change, you have to go forward from where you are. You can't go back to where you used to be.

It seems axiomatic, but for whatever reason, the Ds and the progressives in Wisconsin never seemed to understand that simple premise. In politics, you can't go back.

That's one reason I had such high initial hopes for Occupy. They were focused on what was wrong in the present ("Shit's fucked up and bullshit!") and setting out on a path to fix it. Well, it didn't work out quite that way.

Part of the failure was operational. Much of the effort was focused on creating a model for a New Society based largely on Anarchist principles. Well... that can only go so far, and any resulting society will by nature be small-scale. In most cases, the Occupations themselves were too large and diverse to be run on an Anarchist model, though the effort to do so was maintained as long as possible. The models in Europe worked well enough, didn't they? Well, no, if you were paying attention, you saw them coming apart, and you saw them easily dispersed by the authorities and prevented from re-forming.

The operational model was a failure, though the ideas were right, and they continue to be vibrant all these years later because most of the forward looking ideas have yet to be addressed.

What were those ideas? I'll get to it in time -- or try to. This is not really about Occupy so much as it's about the current Resistance (which includes some of those ideas, just as it includes Black Lives Matter idea and many other elements of Resistance efforts.)

The current Resistance is still inchoate -- and probably will be for some months to come -- but it is coalescing around a few Big Ideas, including defending the rights of women, minorities and immigrants. There's a bit too much defense of the status quo, unfortunately. That can change. I hope it will.

The status quo wasn't working for far too many Americans. That's why we're in the political and economic mess we're in. Millions upon millions of Americans were forced into poverty during the Economic Crisis -- which has never ended for most of them. That impoverishment was due to policies, none of which have been rescinded. Most of them are due to get worse during the Trump regime.

I have yet to see a Resistance idea that addresses that fundamental problem. When I do, I'll cheer.

Mass imprisonment of (mostly) black and brown men was a feature of the status quo. That's slated to get worse, potentially much worse, under the Trump regime. What is the Resistance idea to address it? I don't know.

Rule by an out of touch elite was a feature of the status quo. That's not getting any better under a Trump regime -- which is nothing but a kleptocracy headed by the kleptocrat in chief. What is the Resistance idea regarding the kleptocratic elite who rule us? I have no idea.

And so it goes. These are among the ideas that can form the foundation for making it impossible for the ruling clique to govern, and that's a necessary factor in a successful Resistance.

The Dems are almost useless in this struggle, for they are the Party of the Status Quo -- whatever that may be. But they can be (maybe) useful within the ruling clique as a poker, shiv, etc. Otherwise, they should be ignored -- or defeated, right along with the Trumpists.

We need something better.

It's a long row to hoe, but it's more necessary than ever.



Despite all, the Hippies were right.





Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Wypipo and The Resistance -- A Color(less) Revolution?

So far, it appears that the growing and spreading Resistance is very, very white, largely female, and pissed as hell that this clown is allowed to fuck with the national consciousness this way.

Additionally, The Resistance appears to be largely middle and upper-middle class types who see that their benefits, rights and privileges are liable to be threatened or withdrawn by the advent of the Trump regime.

This is not to discount any other participants and interests involved in the ongoing series of protests, demonstrations, and actions that seem to have taken on a life of their own and have spread throughout the country. I can't be in the streets, unfortunately (or maybe fortunately!😀) so I don't have much personal contact with the Resisters, but I am still part of a peace and justice community that participates. Many of those in the community are well off white women but not all. But then, this is New Mexico, and it is as nearly polyglot here as any place in the US. And Wypipo are not always the most important social and political interests.

The Women's March was full of women of color, some of them quite a bit more radical than their white sisters. But that radical energy seemed to get rechanneled into more conventional and largely ineffective (because it's non-threatening) activism almost immediately. Activisim was channeled into raising a ruckus at congressional town halls and offices over various issues including the repeal of Obamacare. In other words, standard Democratic Party issues.

But then with the Muslim ban, a spontaneous resistance arose from below the Party apparat that the Democrats tried to get in front of. The immigration and refugee issue is one that Democrats have always been conflicted over. It has to do with how immigrants and refugees are seen by the owners and sponsors, and it's not a particularly pretty picture at all. Much of it is obscured by sentiment. Trump and his toadies are taking off the veil of sentiment, becoming openly harsh and unforgiving about the Others Who Don't Belong Here, but that's been hidden or open policy for most of my life.

The spontaneous uprising had to do with human rights and simple justice -- something the Democrats had avoided with regard to immigrants and refugees for many years, so it was kind of funny watching the spin from the Dems as the demonstrations filled airports and demanded the release forthwith of travelers who were being detained pursuant to the White House diktat.

Exploiting the issue has been customary since then. But I don't think the People are necessarily being listened to in this matter.

It's much more nuanced than the question might appear, and it has almost nothing to do with the fearmongering of the regime.

It had much more to do with simple justice. The US war machine and neoliberal economic policies have created the refugee crisis and keep it going despite ongoing efforts to bring this phase of American Imperialism to a conclusion. Simple justice requires that the US accommodate the refugees that it has created, either in the United States or in other lands, and that the US handle immigration justly. None of those things are happening, as power centers exercise essentially arbitrary authority over who does and does not enter the country on a nearly random basis. The chaos at the airports came about due to the extension of that arbitrary authority. Nope. Not gonna fly.

The Dem effort to get in front of it was pretty pathetic from my perspective, but now that the issue is in the courts, we can all move on to other things.

Which would be?

For now, the Resistance appears to be mostly preventional. Prevent the horrors to come. Stop the madness.

And then build a better future.

I don't know that you can do it that way, though. The Color Revolutions showed us that unless you have a Better Future Plan queued up and ready to go, the neolibs and the fascists will move right in and take over. Every time. The follow up is grim. If we're ever going to defeat the fascists and the dominant paradigm of rule, we're going to have to have something very much better ready to go.

We don't. Far from it.

We have to look beyond the desires of the Wypipo.

For me, the model of resistance and that better future is that of the Water Protectors and their allies.


The struggle continues.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

"Wypipo"

Until today, I'd never encountered that term before: "Wypipo" (ie: white people) -- a take on the unawareness of the dominant-colonist society. He he.

Well. It was said in connection with Standing Rock and how crazy the situation is getting there, with the tribal council apparently working with the feds to clear the camps and various elements within the camps being defiant.

Meanwhile, despite diktats from the White House, nobody in the bureaucracy quite knows how to proceed. Because of the EIS order from Obama's regime, the ACoE can't just issue the easement under the river on Trump's say-so. And yet they can't defy it outright. I don't know what they'll do.

Meanwhile, it appears (at least from drone footage) that the Company has proceeded anyway. Whether they've drilled under the river, who knows? I'd say it looks like they've gotten as close to drilling horizontally under the river as they can without being in technical violation of orders to desist, and once the go ahead is given, they expect to complete work within a few days. The statement that the pipeline will be in operation by "next quarter"  -- some time between April and June -- tells me that they expect the EIS process to be carried out but expeditiously. We'll see.

We get periodic but very sketchy reports of what's going on at Standing Rock. I can see now why we didn't get a heads up about the recent raid of the "Last (Lost/Little) Child" resistance camp up on the hill. Initial reports were somewhat overwrought. On the other hand, it seems relatively calm at Standing Rock compared to the chaos in DC and spreading over the country and the world.
-------------------------------------
Things are not going well for the Trumpists, and it won't end well. How it will end, I don't know. A few days ago, I gave this shit-show another month before the plug is pulled, but how that happens, I can't say. There are open calls for a military coup, which is what I thought could happen even before the inauguration. It still might. It depends in part on how out of hand things get in the streets. It also depends on when the OverClass decides they've had enough of this horseshit.

RefuseFascism, RevCom, various anarchist outfits and Black Bloc tactics may be in the vanguard, but the urge to revolution is not yet critical. The hysteria over a "Soros funded Color Revolution" waxes and wanes. The elements are mostly in place, and it could happen in a twinkling. On the other hand, if it does, we cannot expect the results to be all that beneficial to the Rabble.

So far, Trump's dictatorial effusions are causing both laughter and fear. He is attempting to rule as an autocrat, but he's finding out he can't do so, at least not the way he wants. However, I don't think the system of rule as it is can really cope with a would-be dictator like this one without imploding. Things are happening too fast and furiously. The institutional desire is to slow it down, and I don't think that's going to happen. If anything, we're facing a racing, out of control train.

Best to just get out of the way.

The bumpy ride continues...


Saturday, February 4, 2017

Antifa -- Is the Vanguard Ready?

The Incident at Berkeley has caused much hand wringing and hair pulling, "pearl clutching" in a word, throughout the law'n'order/"non-violence" -- except by the state -- crowd.

Ohnoes!!! Broken windows! "Molotov cocktails!" Disruption! Black clad anarchist!!!

This attitude toward disruption, inconvenience and broken glass (black clothing too) is one of the reason why we're in the pickle we're in. The fear of actually doing something that might-could get someone in trouble, change the narrative, prove disruptive, inconvenient, or break a window  has been so ingrained in the American subconscious that when it happens -- as at Berkeley, but many times before -- there is a reflexive recoil. "Ohnoes!"

Well, stop.

While I don't find the Black Bloc to be a particularly effective tactic -- never was -- it exists, it happens, it's going to continue, get over it.

Yes, really. Get the fuck over it. I think I said much the same during Occupy, whenever the Pearl Clutchers went into their periodic -- and idiotic -- hysterics over someone breaking something somewhere or burning trash in the street. Come on, it's a tiny thing when compared to the outrages of the ruling class. If it gets attention paid to some of those outrages, great. If not, it's not the end of the world.

Welp, here we are now, and Antifa is a rising thing as people start to recognize that Fascism has evolved and the Trump regime is its New Model avatar. If we really don't want fascists to rule us, we'll have to accept a bit of vanguardism from the Antifa.

Don't worry about it so much.

If you don't want to participate, don't. Is that so hard?

Of course I've heard plenty of reports that there are provocateurs sent by the state in every Black Bloc action we know of. Could be. I did encounter provocateurs during Occupy, but to my knowledge they were not included in any Black Bloc action I had personal knowledge of -- which wasn't all of them, by any means.

Any movement is going to be infiltrated. That's just the way it is, and it's another thing to get over and get used to. Infiltration will happen and authorities will attempt to decapitate any nascent movement -- at least any nascent movement on the Left -- before resorting to naked force. It's Iron Law.

We've seen, however, up at Standing Rock in particular, a remarkable level of resilience and continued resistance, despite the efforts of the authorities not just to decapitate but to violently confront and kneecap defiance.

Defiance, in fact, seems to be what puts the militarized police into an absolute frenzy. Hello. Clue stick. This is how you bring the system of rule to a halt and eventually bring it down.

Surprise: it's not a straight path to victory, and the Resistance makes many strange bedfellows along the way.

A key understanding is so far missing from the Resistance: this is Class War, and it is necessary to place Trump in the Ruling Class category and let it be known that the class he represents is in most ways just like he is.

In order to reach victory the entire 1% must feel the effects the defiance of the masses.

Their rule can be brought to a halt by making it impossible for them to govern.

The Antifa vanguard is already taking the risks, though it doesn't look coordinated -- yet. Interestingly, the RevCom agitators are right out front. Communists and Anarchists ordinarily don't get along -- and I'll leave to another time speculation on just who and what RevCom is -- but perhaps the danger is so great now that tired old animosities must be set to the side.

The Antifa vanguard is active but so far it is uncoordinated. Perhaps that will change with  the next ukase from the Winter Palace. We'll see.

But for now, I am surprised -- and impressed -- at the number of Antifa activists at the Disrupt J20 inauguration events.

 

Meanwhile in Berkeley:


And then there's this from WSWS:

Why is the New York Times promoting the “black bloc”?

By Bill Van Auken 
4 February 2017
The New York Times, the semi-official voice of the Democratic Party establishment, published an extraordinary article in its Friday edition headlined “Anarchists Vow to Halt Far Right’s Rise, With Violence if Needed.”
The piece, which ran across four columns of the newspaper’s front page under a huge photo of a black-masked individual preparing to break an office building window with an iron bar during Wednesday night’s protests at the University of California, Berkeley, amounted to free publicity and promotion of the violent protests organized by elements identifying themselves as the “black bloc,” anti-fascists and anarchists.

So there ya go. Chaos ensues...

Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind...

(Note: the Trotsky-ites at WSWS are great at analysis, but they tend not to get involved in anyone else's uprising. They field political candidates though, so there is that...)


Friday, February 3, 2017

The Chaos Is Deliberate

Stunning. It's hard to imagine that so many people are apparently so blind to the strategies being employed to keep the anti-fascists and all the rest of the Trump opposition off balance and fearful.

Of course one of those strategies is induced chaos.

It's classic. Now that they've captured the mechanisms of government, Trump and his operatives want to rule and to continue to rule. They knew there would be opposition though maybe not the extent of it nor its full nature, but their political theory says that injecting as much chaos into the system as possible as quickly as possible is the best and possibly only way to ensure their success.

So here we are.

Yet some observers are in deep denial about it, as if nothing is really wrong, as if the System will somehow magically right itself -- after a period of turmoil -- and everything will go on as it should.

Ie: Revert to the status quo ante.

Well, no. That's not going to happen.

The situation is chaotic, unstable, and no matter what happens from here on, it cannot revert to any prior state. The systems were fragile to begin with, and the strain is becoming too great to maintain appearances let alone to preserve, protect and defend.... what used to be.

Nihilists are loving it, and some of my anarchist and revolutionary friends believe this is "It" -- our experiment in constitutional self-government is coming to an end, and nothing can save the situation.

Could be.

In fact, I've long suspected the End of the Republic is nigh, and the advent of Trump and his cronies in the White House signifies that the End has Come.

They clearly do not believe in the rigmarole of Constitutional Self Government," feh. They're busy setting up a kind of quasi-fascist dictatorship/autocracy, based on principles we thought were dead and buried long ago, but which we're finding out are very pleasing to certain types of yahoos and others who desperately wish to be ruled by someone like Trump. A bully and an abuser. A conman with a highly unstable and unpredictable character. A white supremacist. A sexist/misogynist/homophobe/germophobe. A "Destroyer of Worlds." An out of control freak. A representative of his class.

They will defend Trump and his cronies come what may, and very often their defenses and apologetics are based in implacable hatred for the Clintons ("Clintooons!"), Obama ("0bomba!") and Democrats ("Dims!")

I've tried to study this phenomenon a little bit; it's not easy due to the tendency of a few online screamers to repeat and repeat and repeat the same tired tropes, with no ability on their part to see beyond their hatreds and personal desires to see others ("Clintonite scum!") suffer. They use charged and violent rhetoric casually, and they typically wait for word from on high to adjust their talking points to reflect the latest "position" of their Leader. It's all very cult-like in that way.

Some of these people deny the chaos underway, in part because their Dear Leader sometimes denies it. Whatever he says is Law, no matter his lies and contradictions.

On the other hand, some embrace the chaos, because they seem to think it's what's necessary to "shatter the Establishment once and for all!!!!!" Yes, well.

What they don't seem to understand -- in fact, most people seem to be in denial about it -- is that "shattering the Establishment" through this kind of chaos also shatters the systems by which the nation has governed itself for centuries. Ie: the whole thing is thrown in the dumpster, burned and buried.

It's over. Once and for all.

None of the nihilists have any idea what to replace it with. The true believers seem to think that Trump and his cronies know best, and they will institute a grand New America, The Way It's Supposed to Be.

I see the chaos spreading, and it will ultimately engulf us all. I don't think there's any escape. There are rumors of war going around -- of course, this is no surprise -- that should give pause to even the True Believers, but of they can't let reality interfere with their dreams. If what's being rumored comes to pass, not only do the systems collapse, but an End such as people of my generation marinated in for most of our childhoods becomes reality. Trump is from that generation, too. And he seems to be of the opinion that such an End is desirable, and that he and his cronies will survive and prosper.

Well only if we let them.

The other side of this chaotic situation is that it can sweep them away too.

Hang on. We ain't seen nothin' yet.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Battle Lines and Rituals

I have a number of unfinished posts in queue, but things are moving so fast, I may never finish them. The battle lines are being drawn and ritual actions are being taken. We are in for a very bumpy ride indeed.



Yesterday, there was (another) Incident at Standing Rock that encapsulates and clarifies the situation. It wasn't being reported on in domestic media, and I only found out this morning -- first clued to it by someone living in Australia who'd seen the report on BBC.

A camp at Standing Rock was raided by North Dakota police in armored vehicles. 76 people were taken captive (let's call it what it was), their tipis were burned, their things bulldozed and destroyed. A near perfect historical raid on an Indian camp from back in the day -- except there was no massacre.

At first, it appeared that the camp in question was the Oceti Sakowin (Oyate) camp that I was led to believe was being evacuated (slowly) due to the request (order?) of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II and the Tribal Council. But it was not so. In fact, it appears, some of the evacuees had established a satellite camp on high  ground overlooking Oceti, and according to reports, several hundred Water Protectors had assembled there.

Shortly, police assembled en masse and ordered the camp demolished and the Water Protectors to remove themselves or face arrest. It appears that most of the Water Protectors did in fact leave, but a number refused and the police began their assault. The 76 who refused to leave were arrested and the camp was destroyed. The apparent excuse was that the Water Protectors were "trespassing" on private property that just happened to belong to Energy Transfer Partners or one of the other Dakota Access Pipeline companies.

The police were "just doing their jobs" by removing trespassers. You see.

Cowards of the County and the Corporate Republic of North Dakota, LLC.



Well, yes. It is their job, their most important job, to protect "private property" from "trespassers," and in North Dakota, throughout the Water Protector actions since last spring, the North Dakota authorities, along with supplementary "law enforcement" forces from other states and the federal government have been doing just that -- with as much violence and destructiveness as they deem necessary. Hundreds have been injured, some very seriously, and over 700 have been arrested, many facing felony charges.

When it comes to protest actions in this country, the Water Protectors' actions are as serious as they get, at least in recent times. Models include the Occupy actions and Black Lives Matter actions. But there is a long history of resistance actions in Native American society, and those actions, including the AIM occupations of Alcatraz and Wounded Knee in the '70s, are helping to inform the Water Protectors at Standing Rock -- and now around the country.

Defiance of the cowards who rule us is a fundamental aspect of the battle under way. In addition, there must be some vision of the future, but so much of the vision thing is tied up with maintaining systems of rule as they are -- or as they were a few weeks ago.

Trouble is, the systems are under immense strain and are coming apart. I suspect they cannot withstand the strain of the Trump "administration" and the crazy-making he's incapable of controlling.

I give it a month, maybe two, before it all spins into the abyss.

Then what?

We shall see. The battle lines are drawn. The rituals are being performed. And none of us can say nobody warned us.

----------------------------------------------

UPDATE: It appears that the satellite camp that was raided was formed and inaugurated by Chad Iron Eyes, one of the prominent Standing Rock Sioux at odds with the Tribal Council and Chairman Dave Archambault II over how to proceed with the opposition to the pipeline. Chad was arrested along with numerous others in the raid. I understand Chad was charged with inciting a riot and other felonies, though there was no riot, so the charge is bogus, as are most of the charges levied against the Water Protectors.

Ms Ché asked some of the students at IAIA who had been to Standing Rock and who have kept in contact with those on the ground what they knew about the raid. Apparently the tipis were ceremonial and they were not burned. The camp was a symbolic statement by dissidents in the Oceti Oyate (Sakowin) camp who were being forced (requested) to leave before the floods came.

All of which I suspected when the news in the US was all but silent about what was going on.

One of the students Ms Ché talked to said, "Be careful about what you hear and read about the situation at Standing Rock. Some of the people on the ground and in the media are putting out fake news to advance their own agendas."

Well, yes. That's kind of how it goes these days, isn't it?

Monday, January 30, 2017

"What Is To Be Done?"

Time, I guess to dredge up Lenin and fight fire with fire.

"What Is To Be Done" is Lenin's 1902 consideration of how to mobilize the working class to oppose and ultimately defeat the Czar and his capitalist minions. It is said that the eminence grise of the Trump regime, one Steve Bannon, ex-Breitbart "News" -- is a Leninite and is political advice to the regime is driven more by Lenin than by Hitler. That remains to be seen.

The recent threat-power display by the regime -- which now refers to the action as a "travel ban" -- was very much in the mold of a Hitler rather than a Lenin, but we'll let that pass for the moment. The point was to exert arbitrary power over a "despised minority" and incite chaos in the process. Worked beautifully. They're probably having quite a chortle over the success of the exercise in inspiring fear, panic, and inchoate "resistance."

There will be many more shocks of this nature, as the regime consolidates its grip on the awesome power of the United States Government.

Czarist Russia had far fewer opportunities for resistance than the US does today, despite the many restrictions on protest and the militarized response to protests considered "serious" by the State -- cf. Standing Rock.

Yet the Czarist state was brittle and fragile and came tumbling down almost without an effort in 1917 when the Mandate of Heaven (ie: the will of the Petrograd proletariat) was withdrawn. Without the ability to command obedience from the Rabble in the Capital, the Czar's rule was suddenly and completely over.

Among my many papers, I have contemporary documents from the (March) Revolution that demonstrate how completely stunning the fall of the Czar and the collapse of Czarist rule was to those who engaged in the Revolution. Their victory was a shock, and they were clearly unprepared to take the reins of the Empire. Interestingly, they were curried by Britain and the US, in order to convince them to continue the war with Germany, because apparently that was all that really mattered to the Allies; the Czar could go to hell.

When Kerensky announced that Russia would continue the war, despite the fact that the war was the proximate cause of the Revolution, it made the overthrow of the Provisional Government by the Bolsheviks a necessity. For the sake of the Russian People, the war had to end.

Trouble was, once the Bolsheviks were successful, they found themselves riding the tiger and facing invasion and civil war which almost brought them down before they had a chance to consolidate their own Revolution.

Such are the vicissitudes...

Anyway, what we have in this country is a very weak "provisional government" based in part on Leninite principles but not ruling on behalf of the People -- despite its populist veneer and propaganda.

The provisional government has demonstrated that it can and will exercise arbitrary power, and in doing so, it tested its authority over the security apparat. Must have been satisfying all in all.

At least the Customs and Border Protection agents at the airports are all in with the Trump regime and will follow their orders without question, regardless of public protest and court orders to desist.

Having demonstrated that, they can move on to the south, imposing arbitrary power to detain and turn back Mexicans and others who arrive at the southern border. This will be even more chaotic and disruptive, as travel between Mexico and the United States at the southern border is far more massive than that between the US and the 7 Countries. Millions of crossings every day.

But they've shown that just detaining a few hundred is enough to put the fear in the remainder.

The chaos that ensues is useful, too.

So. How do we actually confront and counter this -- or do we?

This is the question, and this is why it's time to get out our Lenin -- and Mao for that matter -- and study up. We're in for a bumpy ride.