Are Both Trump and Sanders Falling for a Dirty Trick from Clinton? Washington’s Blog

Trump-protest

Source: Are Both Trump and Sanders Falling for a Dirty Trick from Clinton? Washington’s Blog

I must admit the whole Trump phenomenon is a puzzlement.

I’ve come to think of bizarre political activity as the norm in these days of changing times, but this year is beyond the pale. I’m appalled that such an elitist blowhard such as Donald Trump would attract such a following, and now the piling on of violent protests and anti-protesters at Trump rallies adds even more inexplicability to the continuing political circus.

I’ve been reading through the series of books produced by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward about the Watergate break-in and subsequent revelations of political dirty tricks in the Nixon re-election campaign and others. Yes, I was aware of the events leading up to Nixon’s resignation, as they happened, but reading the sordid details has been quite a revelation. It also gives me a perspective on the political scene today.

It was interesting to learn in this Washington’s Blog post that Roger Stone, a principal in Nixon’s dirty tricks machine, was instrumental in Trump’s campaign, at least until August of 2015, at which time he left the Trump organization for parts unknown.

Or did he?

One of the characteristics of political dirty tricks, or “rat-fucking” as Donald Segretti called it, is things are never what they seem. It may be true that Roger Stone “resigned” from Trump’s campaign, but that does not mean that he is no longer active in manipulating it. For Trump, Hillary or Bernie. Stone has demonstrated that he has no loyalties or compunctions when it comes to political machination. All is grist for the political mill. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. It’s not the player, it’s the results that count.

So what is the result? Hillary is a size 12 shoe-in. Bernie is out in the cold. Trump is left to contemplate a spoiler role.

Cui bono?

Is Donald Trump Running a False Flag Campaign to Help Hillary Clinton?

“Donald Trump, the 69-year-old New York real estate mogul and unrepentant bigot, continues to dominate the Republican presidential primary polls. Trump’s sudden ascendance, accelerated by his willingness to insult virtually any ostensible ally within the conservative movement, has left GOP leaders dumbfounded. Within this vacuum of understanding, an almost-believable conspiracy theory has obtained currency: Donald Trump is in fact a false flag candidate whose actual mission is electing Hillary Clinton as President.

Source: Is Donald Trump Running a False Flag Campaign to Help Hillary Clinton?

Well, who can tell? Politics is a baffling circus at the best of times. It’s hard to understand what motivates much of the activity we optimistically call democracy.

In this case, it’s a matter of appearances and outcome. What would a Trump campaign look like if it really were a false flag aimed at scaring Democrats into supporting Hillary over Bernie Sanders? How would it be different? How would the outcome be different?

“In politics nothing happens ‘by chance.’ If something happens, then you can bet that it was planned that way.”
-Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Fascism or Business as Usual?

trump-rally

On the surface, the current political campaign for President of the United States looks like an inept and garish circus, a caricature of an election in a demented novel by a 60s, drug-besot author. Cartoon figures grimace and gesticulate from the pulpit, with earnest and  eager supporters artfully arranged in the background. Meaningful content is minimal, emotive display is de rigueur.

If it weren’t so comical, it would be frightening. No, it really is frightening, especially when one considers that anything that appears on the political scene is as intended by those in control. There are no accidents nor coincidences in something as critical to power as elections.

Elizabeth Drew has written an interesting and potentially enlightening essay about the current political scene:

In the presidential campaign, both parties are so divided as to raise the question of whether any victor will be able to govern. The anger, fear, resentment, racism, and frustration that are playing into the current political climate make for a situation prone to undermining our democratic system.

Source: The New Politics of Frustration by Elizabeth Drew | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books

I find it unfortunate that Drew used the word “fascism” to describe the potential effects of this trend. “Fascism” is a thoroughly misunderstood word, hanging out there in popular awareness with “anarchy” in the world of the misperceived. It’s difficult for me to equate the 1930s concept of political and economic fascism to today’s world. The United States is indeed a corporate oligarchy, but without the overt oppression and authoritarian zeal of World War II Germany and Italy.

If we are moving toward fascism in the United States, it is more the Friendly Fascism of Bertram Gross than the Fasci of Revolutionary Action of Benito Mussolini.

Looking back over the past sixty-six years of my life, it’s clear to me that the United States has changed drastically in character since World War II. Harry Truman inherited a totalitarian military culture, and a power structure that sought to maintain the “military-industrial complex” as the basis for the US economy and political process. The Kennedy brothers were the first, and the last, politicians to challenge that power structure. With their murders, the power elite took hold of the reigns of power and has succeeded ever since in holding them in their velvet-mailed fists.

What we see on the garish stage of global media is the control system in action, carrying out its program of newsertainment in support of domestic pacification and international imperialism.

“What’s past is prologue…” William Shakespeare, The Tempest

Making politics local

The environmental perspective, based on an understanding of ecology, anthropology and science in general, is the orphan child of the political process.
There is no candidate for national office, with any prospect of election, who acknowledges, let alone supports preservation and protection of the natural world, finite resources, steady state economy, conservation, human population reduction, energy demand reduction, topsoil depletion, species extinction, natural habitat loss, potable water depletion, GMO dispersal, organic agriculture, adaptation to natural climate variation.
In other words, there is no candidate for national office I could vote for. Political gamesmanship (hold the nose, vote for the lesser of many evils) merely continues the status quo. I have no stomach for “strategic voting.” I vote my principles and only support candidates who have demonstrated their understanding of our place as cooperating and contributing members of the natural world. If there be any.
It makes my task pretty easy, albeit frustrating. 
Why is there no national democracy in the United States? The corporate oligarchy that runs the United States government has fashioned the political system to respond to dollars, not votes. The candidates that are elected are prechosen by the system that eliminates all but a few with the proper obeisance to corporate power and control, who have paid their dues along the way, toed the corporate line, mouthed the corporate platitudes and emerged in the election process wearing the corporate seal of approval.
Not to blame it all on corporations, of course. The voting public has just as much responsibility for the outcome as the corporate sponsors of political candidates, corporate lobbyists and think (sic) tanks. If consumers didn’t buy the products that corporations produce, corporations wouldn’t market the products for consumers to buy. That includes political candidates as well as cheap plastic crap from China. If voters would stop voting for those whose loyalties lie elsewhere, they’d stop being elected.
That leaves local elections as the last vestige of democracy in this country. Let’s keep our politics close to home, where we can keep an eye on elected officials, hold their feets to the fire and make sure they do what they said they would do when asking for our vote and support. It’s a full time job, this keeping an eye on local politicos. Its fun, challenging, occasionally gratifying, always interesting, offering opportunities for pleasant walks to community meetings, confabs with friends and neighbors, occasional exercise for the bile and bladder. Long after the election season has passed, the process of community government continues apace.
Some day, after the End of the Age of Oil, local politics will be all that’s left. That Great National Asylum on the Potomac will be a passing memory, a faint rumor, something to tell stories about on blustery winter nights around the wood stove, fairy tales to teach the children about the evils that lurk beyond the horizon. Politics in Place, where we live our ideals and principles every day.
Sounds to me like something to work toward.
Michael

Abrupt, Irreversible Tipping Points – Anthropomorphizing Climate Change

Search anywhere on the Internet for stories about Climate Change or Global Warming and you’ll find the terms “abrupt,” irreversible” and “tipping points.” The last phrase is particularly egregious, now attributed to every manner of natural phenomena, as if all natural processes teeter on the brink of disaster.
This turns out not to be the case.
The problem is not so much intellectual dishonesty, scientific ineptitude nor self-serving agendas, though they are all at play as well. The reason the headlines abound in such mind-boggling maloprops is science and policy writers are desperately trying to translate highly technical climate science research into terms that non-scientists can absorb and embrace. 
It is not literally true that climate variation is “abrupt.” Abrupt is a judgment term coined by hasty humans to describe rapid change, to which we Homo sapiens are evolutionarily disposed to notice. “Abrupt” adds a note of immediacy and panic to what otherwise is an unnoticeable phenomenon, the gradual change of climate over centuries.
“Irreversible” adds to the urgency of the coming “abrupt” climate change, implying that once the climate “abruptly” changes in one direction, it will never, ever, cross my heart and hope to die, change back. This, of course, is absurd! Natural processes are never unidirectional, if they even, indeed, ever have a direction. “Irreversible,” “abrupt” climate change connotes something negative, something bad, something that we must avoid at any cost. Odd, this, in that we never think of changes in plate tectonics, vulcanism, gravity, cosmic rays, or the precession of the solar system as having direction, speed or irreversibility. 
These concepts applied to climate change are chosen and utilized purposefully and for specific agendas, seeking very cynically to produce a desired mental state in the minds of the public and policy making institutions.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) seeks to heighten alarm over climate variation in support of its parent organization, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), whose purpose is “To provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.” In other words, Sustainable Development. The purpose of the IPCC is to provide UNEP with policy recommendations to support UNEP’s goal of transferring large sums of money from developed to less developed countries to support Sustainable Development projects, aka economic growth. 
The scientific community lives in a world dominated by the struggle for funding for their parent agencies, be they academic, governmental or non-governmental organizations. When devising and submitting a research proposal, one must identify funding sources for that research, and submit grant applications amenable to those fundings sources’ ideals and purposes. Research funding sources in climate science are dominated by agencies supportive of the IPCC and its goals and therefore most interested in funding research projects supportive of the concept of “abrupt,” “irreversible” “tipping points” in natural climate variability.
The political community lives in a world dominated by corporate funding for political campaigns, so that it is now impossible to separate the views of any political officer or candidate from the source of his or her funding. Catastrophic climate change has become the litmus test of political candidacy. No candidate who questions the scientific orthodoxy of anthropogenic global warming has any chance of being elected to government office, because the money is solidly backing the global warming horse race.
Those who feather their own nests with global warming hyperbole use the tactics of fear, just as in the war on terror, the war on drugs and the war on ecoterrorism. These complex concepts are made simplistic through caricature and emotionalism, ascribing human emotions to physical phenomenon. Thus we hear of “angry” storms, “fierce tornadoes,” and other inappropriate emotions ascribed to weather.
Climate change is always described as negative, open-ended and unidirectional. Any change, either warmer or colder, wetter or drier, stormier or calmer, is considered detrimental to life, regardless of any historical data to the contrary.
This use of propaganda to achieve a political and/or economic end has a long history in human affairs. One would think we would have learned by now that those who wield the stick of fear are not to be trusted.
But then, one would have to think. 

Rebellion is not anarchy!

Once again, the media misuse the word “anarchy,” describing instead chaotic uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.

    However, this is not anarchy; this is rebellion. The people are demonstrating in opposition to the current central leadership: Mubarak. They are not demanding rule by the people. They want a leader who is not Mubarak.

    Anarchy is not “no rules,” it is “no rulers.” In anarchy, the people make and enforce the rules without a central state wielding a monopoly of power. Anarchy is self-rule, rule by the people, “democracy taken serious!” If the people wanted anarchy, they would be organizing locally, forming their own local decision-making bodies, solving their own problems at a local level.

    While rebellion may be necessary in order to depose a despotic ruler, it must have an anarchic organization to take the place of the central state. Organization first, then rebellion, if necessary. Ed Abbey, one of America’s foremost anarchists, argued strongly against violence as a tool to achieve an anarchist society. Anarchism is based on willing, cooperative relationships among all citizens in a society. Violence is inherently coercive and leads to a coercive society. One cannot create a free and peaceful society through violence.

    An anarchist society arises of itself, from the people. It cannot be imposed on the people from above.

The Business Party Wins Again – and the Earth loses

In a lucid analysis of uS politics and “The Economy,” Noam Chomsky strips the mask from the illusion of America’s “two-party” political system:

“Politics is the shadow cast on society by big business,” concluded America’s leading 20th century social philosopher John Dewey (1859 – 1952), and will remain so as long as power resides in “business for private profit through private control of banking, land, industry, reinforced by command of the press, press agents and other means of publicity and propaganda.”

The present economic crisis, for the investor class, is repeatedly compared to the Great Depression of 1929, and assurances are already being offered that this too will pass, we will weather this “adjustment,” and all will be well soon. Government socialization of corporate losses once again rescues corporate capitalism from inevitable failure.

There is a difference this time around, however, a difference that no one is talking about. The global recessions of the 1890s and 1930s were rescued by military Keynesianism, the influx of public money into the private economy through military spending. The post-World War II economic recovery was brought about by the expansion and globalization of the petroleum economy, which brought cheap energy to businesses and families throughout the developed world. Oil money allowed the projection of uS power throughout the world and solidified uS economic hegemony … until most recently.

Things are different now; different is not the same.

In 1929, we were at the beginning of the oil economy. In 2008, we’re near the end. Rosy projections of economic recovery following this natural and necessary collapse of corporate capitalism are based on the economic conditions of the past when oil supplies, and prices, were on the rise, the human population of the world was much smaller (1929 – 1.8 billion), natural resources were more numerous and cheaper to produce, and the world’s environments were not changing rapidly as a result of human industrial activity.

“Free-market capitalism” has never existed, and can never exist in a world of finite resources. The only thing free about free-market capitalism has been the free ride for its adherents and defenders … until now. The present economic collapse is the bill slapped onto the table by a surly waiter, the bill for 75 years of profligacy and economic opportunism marked by the destruction of the natural environment for human profit.

Mother Nature is calling in her markers.