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.


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Bourboons!

Back when I was a student -- don't ask how long ago -- the French Revolution was one of my chief interests, perhaps in part because my mother claimed some kind of relationship with Napoleon and with Marie Antoinette. I haven't found any French connection at all, so I can only believe that she came up with this silly notion for reasons of her own, reasons I never knew.

My interest in the French Revolution derived from the simple question, "Why?" I asked the same question about the American Revolution, the Russian Revolution, and so on. Why? Why go to all that bother, why deliberately induce chaos, when alternatives exist? What's so important that makes a Revolution necessary?

What it often seems to boil down to is the bovine indifference to the plaints of the Rabble by an out of touch ruling class; the Bourbons, if you will. Hanovers in the case of Britain. Romanovs in Russia.

It happens over and over again. The reigning monarchs and their families and the aristocrats who serve them have so little in common with the rough and dirty Lesser People, they barely consider them human. On the other hand -- and this is what generally triggers revolution in the end -- it's not the Rabble rising up that brings down the Old Order and sends the Bourbons to the guillotine. No, it's the excluded faction of the bourgeoisie, the lesser aristos, who actually do the deed.

In other words, piss off the wrong people at or close enough to the top of the heap, and you're done, especially if the Rabble have unaddressed grievances too.

Yes, well. It doesn't happen often in the grand scheme, but it happens often enough that one has to wonder just how bone stupid Our Rulers must be to let these sorts of things happen over and over again. How greedy. How indifferent to the plight of others. How desperately unaware.

And too, Revolutions tend to be anti- rather than pro- "progress" (whatever that may mean at any given time). In other words, they tend to be conservative at the outset. The targeted Bourbons are too progressive in some ways, and they think of their authority and power in terms of what God tells them is good for their people. So they do things that they think are positive and productive for their subjects -- or that they think will be in the long term, no matter the suffering in the interim -- and they can't understand why anyone would object to these forward movements toward the Future.

In the 18th and 19th centuries that might have meant power plays of surpassing stupidity, but for the most part, the rulers were able to get away with them because no one seemed to know what to do about it. The example of Britain's overthrow and execution of King Charles I somehow didn't sink in.

Charles was a "progressive" in his own time and the context of Britain. As was Louis XVI, George III, and to a lesser degree (well, maybe not at all) Nicolas I.

They tried to jigger things enough to enable a better future for themselves and (some of) their subjects, but not everyone in their inner and outer circles saw it that way. They didn't because it meant changed power relationships among the upper crust; some of the aristos would lose power and influence, others would gain. If all of this wasn't worked out well in advance and agreed to by the right people, chaos would most certainly ensue.

And so it did.

The proximate cause of the overthrow of the Bourbons in France was the Crown's inability to further finance the operations of the government without adjusting the relationship between the taxed and the tax collectors, ie: the Rabble and the rulers. The Crown needed more money, and the only way to get it was to squeeze more out of the lower orders, and the only 'legal' way to do that was with their agreement. The Rabble would ultimately be forced to pay, but they weren't asked. Only their Betters were called to assemble at the Estates General to give their assent to changing the ineffective taxation system then in place.

Well, all hell shortly broke loose.

This was partly driven by long held and unaddressed resentments of Paris, the non-capital of France. The poor people of Paris were on starvation rations, if that, because they didn't have enough money -- and couldn't get enough money -- to buy bread, if bread was even available. The economy of France, never all that robust, had broken down, and scarcity had become the rule. This was blamed on the King and his adventurism abroad, ironically including heavy support for the American Revolution to stick it to the British out of revenge. I won't go into that, but yes, the pettiness of the ruling classes is often a matter of well-deserved mockery.

The Estates General was called to begin dealing with some of these delicate matters, and wound up blowing the whole Ancien Regime to bits.

The Bourbons played dumb -- they were dumb -- through the whole episode, much as the Romanovs would do and be a century or so later.

They couldn't imagine that they weren't beloved by their own people, especially not by members of their own aristocracy. It just didn't occur to them.

Heh.

Well here we are once again. Our own Bourbons are once again facing an uprising-revolt of the Common People -- including parts of their own selected worthies -- but it doesn't/can't occur to them that they've done anything wrong or that they can't still persuade the masses to return to the fold.

They see that a charlatan named Trump is leading them directly over the cliff, and they're torn about whether to try to stop it or just let it happen. After all, from a strategic perspective, letting Trump fail, as he must and will, is perfectly fine. The Bourbons can then pick up the shattered pieces and reign on as the rightful chosen rulers of La Belle France, aussi L'Amerique Perdue. Cf. Louis XVIII, Charles X, etc.

Well, no.

What happens is that once Chaos is injected into the System, there's no going back, no restoration is possible. Nothing will ever be as it was again.

Chaos is our fate at the moment. The Trumpists are flailing wildly and many of their initial efforts at rule are turning against them. Resistance and opposition is growing, not shrinking, and elements of the government they are trying to subdue are openly defiant.

Those defiant elements appear to have broad-based support among the public, including a significant faction of the upper classes.

The Trumpists are pretend Revolutionaries. They are in fact a dissatisfied coalition of the gentry who are determined to rule directly rather than through their bought and paid for agents who stood between them and the ravening Rabble.

Their personal wealth and the power it confers shall be the simplified Ruling Paradigm in place of the ever more complicated neoLibCon structure of power and rule that was the operating system of the previous generation of autocrats, technocrats, bureaucrats, and kleptocrats.

It doesn't actually do away with the tenets of the neoLibCon paradigm -- tenets that have vastly enhanced the wealth and power of the very people and interests that now (sort of) denounce them. What it does is simplify it. Instead of obscure and complex and justified by ever-more ridiculous arguments about lifting all boats, and responsibility and other sorts of bullshit, just make it plain: play along and you'll get along. There ain't no free lunch.

And most of all: There is no alternative.

This is not -- at all -- Revolutionary. It's merely a change in the language and in who among the ruling clique wields the whip against whom.

Trump's personal popularity, never high, is cratering. The congress, itself a loathed institution, with the controlling Republicans even more loathed, is paralyzed with fear of the consequences of achieving their long - sought objectives.

The consequences are stark and are staring them in the face. "You do this, and it's to the tumbrels with you!" The Revolution is Nigh.

Meanwhile, Trump issues a flurry of diktats and ukases from The Oval, then retreats to his Winter Palace or wherever, and his #2, Mr. Pence, steps in to perform the rituals of rule... while elements of the government are in open revolt, and the streets are filling with masses of people appalled at the spectacle.

No, this can't go on. The situation is unstable, chaotic.

The more the Trumpists try to bully their way and abuse their power, the more open and widespread the defiance. The People appear to understand the weakness of the current ruling clique, ironically given their constant threat displays.

On the other hand, the Bourbons, the former ruling clique, are essentially sitting back and watching events unfold. They are convinced they will be restored.

Well, no. I don't think so.

As I've said, once Chaos is injected  into the system, there's no going back. That's where we are now.

What comes next? A real revolution? Perhaps. Or something else?

We'll see.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Water Protectors On Duty

By now everyone's heard that Trump has "restarted" the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline "shut down" by Obama. I use the scare quotes because what's actually happened is a little less declarative than the Narrative would have it.

Obama didn't actually shut down the pipelines, he deferred final decisions on them to a later time, when he was out of office. Trump has not restarted them, he has picked up the ball where Obama left it, and is considering whether to run with it.

I split hairs like this because what is actually going on in this chaotic situation often varies quite a bit from the Narratives put out by the White House and countered by the media. There are lies and lies and more lies, in a blizzard of falsehood -- coming from all sides -- and it's almost impossible for the Rabble to sort out fact from fiction under the circumstances.

Chaos is the key, and keeping things as chaotic and unpredictable as possible appears to be the way Trump intends to rule until he is deposed.

But he's not the only one who can play that game.

Not by a long shot.

Meanwhile up in frozen North Dakota, the Water Protectors were planning to decamp from Sacred Stone and Oceti Sacowin, packing up and moving away from the Standing Rock reservation and setting up camp again at other reservations by invitation. This was to be a voluntary evacuation, but it was in line with the SRS Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault's repeated requests (orders?) that the Water Protector camps be vacated "for the safety" of the campers. Or something.

His position was that while the Environmental Impact Statement ordered by Obama was being prepared, protection/provocation by Water Protectors was counter productive. The less conflict at the site during the process, the better in his view. There have been recent incidents of violence (by police) against Water Protectors at the Backwater Bridge, a continuous flashpoint at Standing Rock. Archambault said he wanted the bridge reopened,, and that couldn't happen so long as incidents of violence kept happening there.

So he issued another request/order that the Water Protectors leave, and he and the tribal council essentially seized the millions of dollars raised for the Water Protectors and declared it tribal funds to use as the tribal council determined. I don't know what happened to the warehouse full of supplies sent to the camps, but last I heard, the tribe was refusing to release them to the camps.

As a point of reference, there have been widespread Water Protector actions primarily against pipelines all over the country since things calmed a bit at Standing Rock. This is the kind of activism that takes on a life of its own, and by spreading out so much -- rather than being concentrated in one spot -- the Water Protectors are ensuring their survival come what may.

It's not unlike the way Occupy dispersed after the coordinated violent crack down against it in 2011 and 2012. While I haven't got around to updating my Occupy links -- many are dead now -- I am quite aware that Occupy is still around and is still active, though for the most part they keep a low profile. As one of the Occupy mottos says, "You can't kill an idea."


That's pretty much where things stood on Monday. On Tuesday everything changed when Trump signed his pipelines memorandum. Keystone XL and Dakota Access were suddenly placed on the track for eventual approval, regardless it seemed of anything else.

The evacuation of the camps at Standing Rock halted and a call went out for Water Protectors to return -- so long as they were physically able to do so and could be self-sufficient once there.

The call did not go out from Archambault, it was issued by Chad IronEyes, one of the Standing Rock Sioux activists who has stayed on top of the evolving situation there and who has occupied the space between the Tribal Chairman and Council and the Water Protectors.

I haven't checked the activist notices today yet, but after Trump's action, there were demonstrations by Water Protectors and their allies in many cities throughout the country. As the Water Protectors reassemble in North Dakota, the state is preparing to force the issue and prohibit protest in so far as they can by law. They've even come up with some kind of law that legalizes running down protesters who block roads -- as long as it's an "accident."

Yes, well. We've already seen that happen during the actions last year. Sport, dontchaknow.

And there have been violent incidents at the Bridge in which numerous Water Protectors and allies have been injured by rubber bullets, water cannon, and other weapons wielded by the police. They've even set up a missile launcher apparently to shoot down drones flown by Water Protectors in order to document what's going on.

Please understand, this is all a dry run for the eventual suppression of any and all popular revolts and uprisings that might come to pass in the future.

The Indians at Standing Rock know this; many of their allies do too. But the general public remains oblivious.

I've pointed out in other fora that serious protest action in the United States has historically been met with serious and deadly force. Kent State is a well known example, but there were many others in those days and previously. Massacres of Indians, of course, were routine in the 19th Century, but strikers, protesters, and other activists who were perceived as threats by The Powers That Be were frequently subjected to use of deadly force by private guards as well as the National Guard and police, occasionally by the Regular Army.

People who understand this history of suppression of dissent know that the Water Protectors, as some of the most successful activists in recent times, are at severe risk of injury or death at the hands of the authorities, no matter where they are, but particularly so in North Dakota. I don't know how many have been injured so far, but hundreds were injured during the action on November 20-21 when water cannon were first turned on the activists at the Bridge.

This is deadly serious.

I've pointed out that the Water Protectors have been showing the way to effective resistance under the current circumstances. They are rebels, yes, but they are not in the mold of past resistance efforts. They are a step beyond them. First, they are grounded in Native American spirituality, something a lot of Anglos like to play with, but something few of them understand or can relate to. It's a different way of looking at the relationship between the Spirits and the People. It's a much more powerful thing than most Anglos can imagine, and it's part of the reason why so many of the Water Protectors can endure the suppression and the violence unleashed against them by the authorities. It's a reason why the Water Protectors understand they might lose from time to time, and they understand the Dakota Access Pipeline might be completed no matter what they do, but that in the end, they will be vindicated and victorious.

They  have endured so much so far, and the struggle is re-engaged, not only at Standing Rock but all over the country now.

It is part of the emerging struggle against the forces of wealth and power so perfectly expressed through the elevation of Trump and his cronies to run the government of these United States.

Water Protectors have led the way. They are the vanguard.

Where the struggle goes from here, we'll have to wait and see -- unless, of course, we are involved in actions to change the situation for the better.


Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Stimulator Explains It All For You

I haven't linked to The Stimulator for a good long time, though I check in with him every six months or so. After the election he posted this little number (NSFW language and shit) that really helped explain what happened and what to do about it.



Then most recently, he's reposted a little effort from Global Uprising on the J20 actions in DC that were intended to disrupt the inaugural festivities...



These are some of the deeper currents of revolt in this country. They have not been able to gain more than momentary recognition from the public, and what recognition they get is typically bad. On the other hand, the "intersectional" nature of the growing revolt against Trumpism/Fascist USA has meant that even the most marginalized upriser may have a role to play in whatever is to come.

We shall see...

Transformative Presidencies

I was born during the 1948 election campaign between Harry S Truman and Thomas Dewey (Strom Thurmond ran as a Dixiecrat.)

The false Chicago Tribune headline would become a legend in November of that year:


Yes, well. "Everyone makes mistakes," right?

I don't remember Truman as president, but I certainly recall Eisenhower and his 1956 re-election campaign against Adlai Stevenson.

I grew up in a Democratic household and there are reasons for it. Loyalty to the Democratic Party on my father's side goes back at least to the anti-Irish riots in Ohio instigated by the Know Nothings -- a third party which amalgamated with the Republicans shortly after the mob violence in Ohio and elsewhere. On my mother's side, it's a little more complicated as her stepfather was a Republican, her mother was a Democrat (primarily due to social issues -- like women's right to vote and so forth) and my mother was initially disinclined to either party but became a Democrat under FDR. She stayed a Democrat the rest of her life, but was sometimes reluctant to vote for them.

Between Truman and Eisenhower, I think we can say that Truman was the Transformative President. Eisenhower consolidated the Truman Transformation.

Because I have no memory of the FDR administration and what I heard about it was somewhat conflicted, I can't say much about it from personal experience. Many of the programs initiated during the FDR administration were continued by Truman and Eisenhower, but many weren't. What I saw and experienced was what remained, the Legacy if you will, of a previous Transformative Presidency.

Of course the Post World War II context of the Truman administration is fundamental to any understanding of what was going on and why.

When I was growing up, WWII vets were everywhere. Some were doing fine. Others I knew were having a lot of psychological problems, what we know as PTSD now, and their difficulties reverberated in the neighborhoods where I lived. There wasn't a lot that was done for them; people were pretty much on their own to work out their war-time difficulties as best they could, or contrariwise, they could be sent to the looney bin.

Context.

Truman was Transformative, Eisenhower was not.

Truman authorized the use of nuclear weapons on Japan and was forever after unrepentant. Truman initiated the Cold War with the Soviet Union, something that would reverberate for all of us throughout the '50s and '60s -- and into later decades, and still (for some ungodly reason). Truman integrated the armed forces, which reverberated in unanticipated ways until civil rights and integration for minority non-white populations became the standard, a standard still resisted by die-hard White Supremacists.

Eisenhower, for the most part, just continued FDR and Truman era programs, initiated some of his own -- such as the Interstate Highway construction program -- and allowed particular political and economic interests to have their way. Eugene Joe McCarthy was given leeway to conduct his witch-hunt for example, with no interference from the White House, but what a lot of people don't understand now is that McCarthy was just a temporary phenomenon; the witch hunt for Communists and their sympathizers was continuous and it was everywhere throughout the '50s and early '60s, and it was that continuing witch hunt that inspired the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley in 1964 which in turn triggered the student rebellion of the '60s and everything that followed.

But as president, Eisenhower seemed very hands off, even disinterested. After his heart attacks he seemed to turn over much of his power and authority to his vice president, Richard Milhouse Nixon.

Kennedy's was a transformative presidency, but not the way he intended. Well, everything changed after his assassination. Changes we know of, changes we don't. But there were events during his brief presidency that transformed the way we looked at presidents and particularly their wives. They became celebrity figures more than political ones. In the case of Jackie Kennedy, she was not just a celebrity, she was a glamorous icon of beauty, fashion and class, a status she maintained the rest of her life, and which she passed on to her son, John F. Kennedy, Jr.

Kennedy's assassination in Dallas, November 22, 1963, was the first of many political shocks we would be heir to. What happened was, up till then, inconceivable. No president had been assassinated for decades, and the prior assassinations had been one-off anomalies. We were so far beyond that by 1963. Besides, despite political differences, who in their right mind would want Kennedy dead? There wasn't a Civil War after all, nor were there the kind of movements afoot in the land that led to the assassination of William McKinley.

No, it was crazy, and suspicion fell on the hostile environment generated by the right wing, John Birch Society saturated, white supremacist culture of Texas. In other words, Kennedy must have killed because those white crackers in Dallas hated him for being a Yankee interloper/"nigger lover."

But things got very strange very quickly when Kennedy's accused assassin was himself assassinated live on TeeVee -- nothing like that had happened before, either. It was equally inconceivable -- and the whole world seemed to come tumbling down over the Thanksgiving Weekend.

The elevation of Lyndon Johnson to the presidency was equally shocking. Lyndon Johnson from Texas. How convenient.

But LBJ got the benefit of the doubt from a strangely passive public, and he made the most of it, achieving the most comprehensive and broad-based social legislation in our nation's history, very nearly enacting FDR's Second New Deal over the muted objections of Republicans.

Transformative? There's no doubt about it. In fact, I rank Johnson the most transformative president of my lifetime. He was a steamroller of a President who managed to overcome many, many obstacles to get done what up till then couldn't be done, including civil rights legislation, Medicare, and a host of Great Society programs intended to alleviate poverty and build a better future for all Americans.

Then there was the war in Southeast Asia. How he got suckered into that one, I don't know, but he did, and once he did, there was no going back. They say he saw it as a "man" thing, he had to prove his cojones as a War President, following as he did a man who was hailed as a genuine War Hero. But the carnage in Vietnam and Laos for unclear or venal motives made less and less sense, and it triggered endless mass demonstrations against the war, added to the student demonstrations triggered by the FSM uprising in Berkeley added to the periodic rage and riots in the ghettos of the country. By 1968, it seemed like the whole country was descending into chaos.

And yet on the other side, the US had never been so prosperous and, yes, "progressive." Not everything about it was either good or perfect, but social and economic progress was being made on many fronts, and many of the changes that got under way following the assassination of President Kennedy became institutionalized very quickly. They're with us today. There is likely no going back.

But the assassinations of 1968 were perhaps too much of a shock to an already reeling society, and they helped destroy what little comity was left in the country, leading directly to the inauguration of Richard M. Nixon -- who ran on a platform of ending the War (Humphrey would have continued it on Johnson's terms) and bringing "law and order" to the streets.

Well.

Of course he didn't end the War, he intensified it, but he did end the draft, and that took a lot of the piss and vinegar out of the anti-war movement and the student rebellion. His "law and order" campaign had the effect of declaring domestic war on uppity Negroes, particularly males, who were essentially criminalized as a class. Cities stopped burning on a regular basis.

Some of the progressive ideals he'd grown up with continued, however, and so his truncated regime was/is considered a mixed bag. Good-Bad together.

But Nixon was forced from office in yet another shocking course of events. He was shown to be a criminal -- a political criminal -- who abused the office and the power of the presidency to advance his own political interests and ends. At the time, this behavior was unacceptable by both parties and rather than impeach his ass, he was prevailed upon to resign in disgrace. This after his vice president, Spiro Agnew, had been forced to resign in disgrace for his own crimes.

Dear me. People got the idea that the Presidency was a criminal enterprise run by gangsters.

Well. Yes.

Nixon's actions and fall had a powerful effect on society and the presidency that reverberates today, particularly with regard to an obsession with "law enforcement" (by any means necessary) on the proles, and the understanding that if done right, the Presidency can be an Imperial dictatorship. Nixon just didn't do it right. You see.

Yes, a criminal enterprise run by gangsters. What's to stop it?

I guess I will have to concede it was a transformative paradigm of rule, one we have by no means escaped. It's almost become iron law.

Nixon was followed by our first unelected President/Vice President pair, Gerald Ford and Nelson Rockefeller. They were place-holders while the government attempted to get its act together. The War in Southeast Asia ended, finally, essentially petering out, leaving a swath of destruction through the region that is still being recovered from, but somewhat amazingly transforming the relationship between Americans and the people of Vietnam in particular from enmity to high regard. In some ways, they see each other as equally victimized by out of control rulers.

Ford was followed by Carter, whose moral suasion might have been high, but whose ability to implement that suasion from the Oval Office was thwarted by events, particularly the Iranian Revolution which crippled Carter's presidency beyond recovery. He was not re-elected.

Instead, a movie actor who suffered from incipient dementia/Alzheimers, Ronald Reagan, was elevated in a wave election that began the counter revolution against "progressivism" in its entirety. They wasted no time transforming the government and society into a version of what they used to be prior to the Progressive era.

Once again, people who understood that this wouldn't turn out well for the many, but would greatly enhance the comfort and convenience of the few were largely passive in the face of the Reaganite transformation. What could they do, after all? He was elected and he was for most of his reign very popular with a still powerful subset of white men.

Reagan was transformative, but not in a good way, though some of what he did was positive.

Reagan was followed by his vice president G H W Bush, former head of the CIA, and reputed to have been the eminence grise of the Reagan regime. Once installed in the Oval Office on his own account, he seemed almost as bumbling as Ford, and his appalling War on Iraq eventually became an albatross around his neck; wtf, dude? Of course there were the scandals. Jeebus, what had the presidency become?

Then came Clinton. Oh dear. Clinton has been ritualistically scapegoated for everything since the world began, and strangely he seemed to accept the role of scapegoat. No skin off his nose, I guess. He accelerated the neoliberal transformation begun under Reagan (Carter instituted some of it prior to Reagan's efforts) and thus set the stage for catastrophes to come. But he seemed oblivious -- then and now.

After being re-elected, Clinton was absurdly impeached. WTF, Congress? The spectacle was indeed compelling, much like the Trial of OJ, but what the actual fuck? The lesson was that the Presidency was not at all what many Americans thought it to be. It was neither all-powerful, nor was it power-less, but what it was depended more on the political equivalent of teevee ratings than anything else. In the meantime, the neoliberal/neoconservative game plan was churning away in the background, largely unnoticed due to the spectacle of WTF. Shiny objects to distract from what was important and what was really going on.

Clinton's impeachment failed, but I don't think it was meant to succeed. It was Grand Theatre, Grand Guignol, a conscious and cynical spectacle of power run amok. He left office under a cloud but surprisingly popular nonetheless. He is still reviled and revered in almost equal measure.

Then came Bush2, dear me with sparklers. Jeebus what a shit-show.

His rule was an unmitigated disaster almost from the beginning, in part, certainly, because he was illegitimately placed on the throne (yes, by now it should be clear that the Imperial notion of the United States and the presidency inaugurated by Nixon was institutionalized, and the president was in effect an autocrat/Emperor who could be appointed and removed at will -- by whom, though?)

We knew it would be a catastrophe, and it was.

Transformative? Well, it was sick making. Nevertheless, as appalling as it was, the neoliberal/neoconservative game plan continued unabated. In other words, no matter what happened on the surface, no matter how destructive and horrible, the underlying paradigm did not suffer or change.

That should have been a lesson learned, but it wasn't. When Obama rode a wave of fear and revulsion into the White House, as the Redemption Candidate who would fix what had gone wrong, still the underlying neoLibCon paradigm of rule continued without a pause.

Nothing changed except rhetoric and appearances.

Obama had the opportunity to be a transformative and redemptive president, and he actually had the power, but he didn't use it. Instead, he used his charisma to calm things down while instituting or continuing many of the policies and programs that continued the exploitation and destruction of the Rabble. And then convincing much of the Rabble that it was Good For Them. And everything would work out for the best, you'd see.

No. It didn't.

Some of us were not surprised. Others still don't see his sleight of hand/con game for what it was. Others still are ambivalent, whereas there is a strong element of racism and hatred in much of the opposition to him, racism and hatred that effectively distracts from what he was doing.

I have no love for him, in part because so much of what he did was contrary to the interests of the People and served to further concentrate wealth and power among a kleptocracy that now rules directly through a not-very-tightly wrapped upper class twit, a con-man, gangster and raging conspiracist, who is apparently so wild and ego-driven that he is always spinning out out of control, and is more and more likely to be neutralized with extreme prejudice, perhaps by one of his own guards. It's that dicey.

This cannot be happening, but it is.

Where it might lead is anyone's guess, but I've already said it is likely to be the final end of the Republic, and what comes after will be some form of institutionalized autocracy, even hereditary rule -- a throwback to some other time and place. And endless meatgrinder wars.

Jeebus, what have we done to deserve this?