Wither Hillary?

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By Scott Ross

Christ, but there are so many things I would rather write about this morning than that alcoholic gasbag Hillary Clinton! Her latest caper, however, is, in a long life of ugliness, one of the vilest stunts she, or anyone else since Joseph McCarthy, has pulled in public. While we await in vain the arrival of a modern-day Joseph Welch to say to her, “Have you no sense of decency, ma’am? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” (Senator Sanders? This is your moment to show a little backbone. Ah, but then why would you buck your own longstanding trend?) let us review for those enviable few who don’t know what I’m on about.

Hillary - Nuerology image-1

The soon-to-be failed candidate reacts with gape-mouthed dysphasic wonder at the standard convention balloons falling onto the stage in 2016.

Last Thursday, on a previously obscure Apple podcast called Campaign HQ with David Plouffe, She Who Must Be Elected said, in words that may not live in infamy but will, I suspect, be recalled for quite some little time, the following to her host:

“I’m not making any predictions, but I think [the Russians have] got their eye on somebody who’s currently in the Democratic primary and they’re grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She’s the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far and that’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up because she’s also a Russian asset.”

Setting aside the fact, which Clinton knows perfectly well, that Tulsi Gabbard has said repeatedly she would not run as a third-party candidate — more’s the pity — and that Stein is not (unlike, perhaps, Mrs. Clinton herself?) in any 2020 race, look at the tone of those remarks: Even without hearing Clinton utter them through her own Chardonnay-benumbed lips one can feel, to mix my genera, the bitchiness and the cattiness (and yes, those are precisely the words I mean) of her words, but more, the patented McCarthyite sneer inherent in that baseless and unsupported (indeed, insupportable) accusation. It is perhaps the clearest signal yet of Hillary Clinton’s essential anti-democratic code, although she has certainly given strong indications for years, in particular the last three in which she has, in craven and irresponsible fashion, attempted to fob (and in some quarters, succeeded in fobbing) all blame for her own, well-predicted, loss against Donald Trump for the Presidency onto another nation. Now, not content with fomenting a new Cold War and turning her mindless acolytes into the veriest pod-people of the mid-1950s, she has finally alit where we always knew she would: The top of the fetid dung-heap on which perch those who, from selfish and cynical motive and without evidence, compunction or conscience, accuse their fellow countrymen and women with, not merely sedition, but active treason. This is the logical end-point, aside from a war between two nuclear-armed nations, to which Clinton’s unfounded, dangerous and anachronistic Red-baiting has been aimed all along: Tarring American citizens with disloyalty.

Putin-hrc-apec-mbe

Putin: “Ve appreciate sale of Uranium Vone. Vhere ve should send check of Bill?”  Hillary: “To our Foundation, silly – where else?”

Hillary Clinton has long known that the first rule of Machiavellian politics is deflection. Aware that she was uniquely vulnerable for the sale, while she was Secretary of State, of the Uranium One company to a Russian state corporation known as Rosatom, resulting in an $145 million windfall for the phony Clinton Foundation, and a cool half-million to Bill personally for a single speech in Moscow. This, Wikipedia now rushes to tell its users, is a conspiracy theory “promoted by right-wing media, politicians, and commentators.” Which might come as some news to the neoliberal New York Times, which ran a story on the controversy in 2015.

Thus, and with perhaps some assistance and prodding from a CIA terrified that Trump might actually win, Clinton immediately began insinuating that it was Trump, not she, who was in Russia’s pocket. This strategy reached its (previous) apotheosis immediately following the November 2016 Presidential election, when Team Clinton put out the ludicrous, and easily disproven, claim that Russia generally, and Vladimir Putin specifically, caused her well-predicted defeat, thus igniting an at-first only figurative new Cold War which has, frighteningly, mutated into the possibility of a hot war should the mercurial Trump be pushed far enough by the Clintons of this country on the one side and the permanent deep-state shadow-warriors on the other.

It was perhaps Plouffe himself, as the former manager of Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign most credited with besting Clinton, who should be her natural enemy. But no, it is the most interesting of the current Democratic contenders who has engendered Hillary’s wrath, and for a fresher reason: Gabbard’s abandoning of her post as vice-chair of the DNC in protest at the Clinton-controlled organization’s cheating of Sanders, and Sanders’ supporters… which is more than the Senator himself ever did… and her subsequent endorsement of him. These are offenses which, for a Clinton, cannot be brooked. Thus in addition to keeping the flame of her self-generated “There’s a Russian under your bed!” hysteria aflame, and smearing once again a third-party candidate who, if “official” election figures are to be believed garnered less than 1% of the vote, Hillary also gets to hit back at someone else she presumably blames for her loss to a television game-show host. (There is, after all, a new source of blame at least once a week, and has been for the last three years. Everyone on earth, it seems, except the one person most to blame for it.)

Although the Clinton Camp, surprised by the unaccustomed push-back her Red-baiting if not technically slanderous remarks have generated, attempted to back-peddle Hillary’s statement, that was a horse that wouldn’t run, especially after her spokesman Nick Merrill confirmed the obvious: That Madame Secretary was indeed referring to Gabbard. (Who else could she have meant?) He also managed to double-down on the completely fabricated notion that the dread Russians are controlling American elections. Relates Colby Itkowitz in the Washington Post, “Merrill, in an interview Saturday, said Clinton was ‘not saying Americans are Russian spies but that Russia has found ways to take advantage and is not being held responsible by anyone in government.’”

Oh. Well. Thanks for the clarification, Nick. Clear as mud.

And as if Hillary’s own ugliness was not enough, Merrill then compounded it by the elliptical comment, “If the nesting doll fits…”

russia-nesting-dolls-hillary

Which nesting-doll did you have in mind, Merrill?

Thankfully, and unlike the gelatinous Sanders, Gabbard does not absorb such personal attacks without a response:

Great!” [she Tweeted] “Thank you @HillaryClinton. You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain. From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know — it was always you, through your proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine, afraid of the threat I pose. It’s now clear that this primary is between you and me. Don’t cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly.”

I wish Gabbard had eschewed that rather bizarre locution “cowardly hide,” but I otherwise applaud her not allowing Clinton to slander her sans a whimper of protest. Had Sanders himself not let her, and her thoroughly corrupt party’s Committee, get away with it in 2016 — had he done what hundreds of thousands of his supporters begged and petitioned him, and his own team of lawyers advised him, to and nailed them all for rigging the election in Clinton’s favor, they might have been chastened, if not actually charged, tried and convicted. As it is, he didn’t, and they are already doing it again. Had it been Gabbard whose victories in the primaries were turned into defeats by a DNC wholly owned and operated by Hillary Rodham Clinton, I think we can imagine the result.

Wither

Note how the arrow points to the right. She knew what message she was conveying.

What we are being shown, in broad relief, is why Hillary Clinton is the avatar of a narcissism so total it ignores the fate of millions. My friend Eliot M. Camarena may not have been the first to identify Clinton’s supporters, wittily, and based upon her own self-regarding logo, as “Withers,” but he nailed them early, and often, and continues to do so.* What does it say of a candidate for President when her campaign slogan indicates not that she supports and will work for Americans, but that they must be “With Her“? And what does it say of her supporters that they not only accept this symbolic slavery, but embrace it, weep over it, fight for it? (I don’t know of one who has actually killed or died for it, but give them time.) Hillary’s sickness — that is, her emotional and psychic as opposed to her physical illness, which God only knows what it is — spreads to her mindless idolaters. She at least has the excuse of an abusive mother. What’s theirs?

Itkowitz, in her Post story, makes sure to get in her own licks, defining Gabbard as “an unconventional Democrat, whose message of an isolationist foreign policy [emphasis mine]… has gained her fans among the far right… She has also gained a following with some white nationalists. A neo-Nazi website called Daily Stormer said it deserved credit for getting her the support necessary to qualify for the first two debates. But the main reason many Democrats, including Clinton, are wary of her is because she’s a favorite topic on Russian websites and social media [emphasis again, emphatically, mine.]” It is worth noting that David Weigel, the insignificant little pissant who a couple of years ago attempted to smear Jimmy Dore in the pages of what Eliot calls The Washington Bezos, “contributed to this story.”

To his credit, Andrew Yang immediately defended Gabbard. Madeline Albright, meanwhile, who when she isn’t opining that a half-million dead children is “worth it” is declaring there ought to be a “special place in Hell for women who don’t help each other” when what she of course really means is, “Any woman who doesn’t vote for Hillary is a traitor to the sex!,” has been conspicuously silent. Marianne Williamson, however, accused the Democrat establishment of, in a line aimed squarely at Albright, “smearing women it finds inconvenient.”

hillary-clinton-pantsuits-lead_0

Pantsuit, Pantsuit, who’s got the (ugly, bland, unflattering) Pantsuit?: The relative age of the candidate can best be determined by the width of the cloth required to encase her increasingly Marie Dressleresque hips.

As anyone who knows me well can attest, I believe in Smedley Butler’s adage that war is a racket, that the various branches of the American military are its racketeers’ hired goons, and knows as well that I have never been one of those blubbering creeps who with tears in their eyes whimper, “Thank you for your service!” to every paid thug in a uniform. Further, while I agree with Gabbard on more than I disagree, I am cool to her precisely to the degree she carried on (in the 21st century, mind you) about “homosexual extremists” agitating for marriage equality. Nevertheless: Two fellow Americans, one  a candidate I voted for and the other a major in the Hawaiian National Guard who served as medical personnel in one of our endless Middle Eastern wars, are being accused by one of the nation’s most prominent politicians of disloyalty to their country. I should like very much to see Clinton and Merill forced to prove their assertions in a court of law. I strongly suspect Gabbard and Stein would walk away the clear victors in that event.

If such a lawsuit will shut this increasingly dangerous harpy up, it cannot be filed soon enough to suit me.


* Having done this so often of late, I am slightly embarrassed to cite Eliot yet again in one of my blog essays, but there is no one with whom I enjoy discussing these matters more than he, and no one I know who is more perceptive, or funnier, about them.

Text copyright 2019 by Scott Ross

Related
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2018/03/30/crucible/
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2019/05/21/the-politics-of-pique/
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2019/04/11/why-i-am-not-a-liberal/
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2019/04/07/keep-gloating/
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2019/10/16/delirus-liberalis-or-how-they-learned-to-stop-thinking-and-love-the-state/

Delirus liberalis, or: How They Learned to Stop Thinking and Love the State

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By Scott Ross

“We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.” — CIA Director William Casey to Ronald Reagan, February 1981

The late Mr. Casey may rest in peace. His dream has, at long last, become reality. And if the entire American public is not fooled all of the time, yet there is a substratum which, as Jacques Abbadie (not Abraham Lincoln) noted, can always be counted upon to be deceived. They adhere to no particular party or system of belief, but for the moment let us examine their allegedly “left” polity, otherwise known as the American liberal, who is in no way left and, in the things that matter most, is in most ways wrong. And for any conservative who might be snickering at that statement, may I say that I am not addressing your all too similar follies because you habitually make them so large, and so obvious; liberals get away with the same and worse because they’re more hidden, and better protected.

The state of American liberal delirium is circumscribed at the present time, as it has been for the past three years, largely by its unifying causus belli: A hatred of and for the current President of the United States so overmastering that not even similar loathings for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and his dark spawn can compare. Indeed, those particular lords of the flies are now looked upon with giddy nostalgia by the (seemingly) permanently deranged liberal class, as witness the recent fawning over the fag-bashing George W. Bush by Celebrity Lesbians Ellen DeGeneris and Rosie “Queen of Nice” O’Donnell, both of whom in their unhinged hatred for Donald Trump conveniently overlook that previous President’s desire for a Constitutional amendment permanently enshrining into law the inability of same-sex couples in America to marry. “If only we had him in the White House again!” goes the cry of Delirus liberalis. So he can cobble up and get enacted something even worse than the USA-PATRIOT Act, presumably.

bush-degeneres-2-2000

So Fun Time for narcissist sociopaths.

Just as all too many panicked Americans in 2001 willingly and against the advice of Dr. Franklin surrendered what few tatters of America’s once-valued demi-democracy still existed for a promise of “security” for the sinisterly-named “Homeland” — when outside one of Dick Chaney’s fever dreams did Americans ever refer to the United States as their “homeland”? — so too now do many of them on the (again, supposed) “left” sing the praises of the very people who insisted we give those liberties up, in the name of something they call National Security but which increasing numbers of my fellow countrymen and women are belatedly realizing is a well-entrenched (since 1947) and all too permanent National Security State. As such, it does not care who the President is, or from which party he (or, eventually, she) hails; it knows it is the enduring actual government, each succeeding President a temporary employee only. As someone once said of the 35th occupant of the Oval Office, Jack Kennedy was the last man who thought he was actually President… right up to the moment someone’s bullet — Lucien Sarti’s, possibly — blew his brains out the back of his head.

The question Delirus liberalis never asks him-or-herself, of course, is how the hated Trump got into office to begin with. As with their putative leader, the equally deranged, Chardonnay-besotted, Hillary Clinton, they know there is blame to be apportioned: To Jill Stein, or Bernie Sanders, or Julian Assange, or Susan Sarandon, or Jimmy Dore, or Vladimir Putin, or those twelve (or was it 16?) rather pathetic Russian ‘bots trolling for social media cash after the election. The new target for opprobrium changes monthly, sometimes weekly; only Clinton herself is, like a Pope, entirely without blame. Or should I say, “the Clintons themselves”? For Delirus liberalis, the infallibility of one embraces that of the other, as it does of any Democrat, however reactionary, pathologically prevaricating, demonstrably bigoted or terminally corrupt. Thus, it was not disgust with a quarter-century of the neoliberal policies embraced first by the Clintons, then successively by Gore, Kerry, Pelosi, Schumer, Biden and Obama that led many to consider, on the left, Sanders and, on the right, Trump; rather, it was some flaw within those voters themselves (the sexists.) There was at least one 2016 candidate whom polls consistently showed would most likely have beaten Trump in the general election, but as Jimmy Dore often notes, “Democrats would rather lose to a Republican than win with a progressive.” Or, as say, Democrats could fuck up a wet-dream.

Thus, too, when a Democrat — Schumer — is interviewed on national television by the increasingly demented Rachel Maddow (nice to see so many of my Lesbian sisters shilling at $30,000-a day for the war machine and the shadow government) and says of Trump’s problems with the permanent deep-state, “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” and says this, moreover, not in disgust or anger but smugly and with favor… and scores of liberal Democrats nod their heads and mutter the new millennial equivalent of, “Yes, Lord!”… we are being given a message, and not a subliminal one: “We approve.” It does not upset, or anger, or disgust them, that the (un)natural order of things in America now is that if any President attempts actually to govern the nation as he sees fit he will be met with instant opposition by CIA and NSA, not to mention their dirty little brother, the FBI. Yet I will state without fear of contradiction that this seeming complacency is wholly partisan; if a Republican Senator had made the same observation Schumer did of a Democrat president, Delirus liberalis would be screaming its coiffured little head off. But then, as is widely if not universally known…

Bad stuff is only bad when Republicans do it

Do you think for a moment that, if the President of the United States is not permitted to act as he sees fit, any of the rest of us will be?


The complete derangement of Delirus liberalis, however, the frighteningly debilitating sickness that has so completely eaten away their cognitive abilities, demands the worst, as long as Trump is perceived as its victim. Thus: A CIA-based operation, willingly (and I daresay more than eagerly) entered into by the Hillary-dominated DNC, which began during the 2016 elections, and with the active collusion of the Obama Justice Department, MI-5 and the Ukraine — a breakaway Russian “republic” set up by American intelligence fiat and governed by corrupt neo-Nazis — arrayed against the putative Republican candidate for President transforms, more or less instantaneously following the November election, from a plot against Trump, centered in Ukraine, to a campaign against Clinton, emanating from Moscow. But then, Madame C. knew her apples; the first law of Machiavellian politics being to deflect from your own peccadilloes (one’s Foundation benefiting from the uranium deal with Russia you orchestrated as Secretary of State) and to then tar your opponent with them (Putin was helping Trump!) It helps, of course, to have the entire shadow government’s numerous intelligence networks (CIA, FBI, NSA, Justice) to create the fantasy and the corporate press, which owes its very octopus-like existence to an Act cunningly devised by your husband in 1996, to promote it.

Cruise meets with Ukrianian president via Eliot

Ukraine president and all-around good guy Volodymyr Zelensky meets Impeachment Emissary Tom Cruise. (Does Cruise know Zelensky is a neo-Nazi? Does Volody know Tommy is a… whatever the hell it is he is?)

But where, the fiction having grown, as they say in the Show Business, legs, do you go from there? To a succession of shady investigations and specious hearings conducted by a cast of vaguely sentient ghouls left over from the Reagan and Bush era. And here is where the true worth, and cost, of Delirus liberalis is accounted, as a phalanx of former hippies and assorted agitators now embrace the Establishment as embodied by salivating would-be mass-killers (“We came… we saw… he died! Hahahahahahahaha!“) whose sole virtue, to the alleged liberal “feminist,” whose actual viewpoint as expressed in 2016 is in fact the very essence of sexism, is that she comes equipped with a vagina; and Law ‘n’ Order in the form of the various former and current CIA and FBI directors and general prevaricators who almost giddily lied us into a war whose age will soon permit it legal access to alcohol: John Brennan, Michael Hayden, James Comey, Robert Mueller… The very embodiment of the forces that wiretapped law-abiding Americans seeking only legal redress of grievance and the exercise of their rights to free speech; infiltrated peaceful protest groups and encouraged rioting and other forms of violence; broke the heads of said groups; murdered in their turn JFK, MLK, RFK, Fred Hampton and, in all likelihood, Malcolm X; overthrew elected governments across the globe and engineered the murders of their leaders; killed untold millions of men, women and children throughout the Middle East (and made refugees of millions more); who have in short exhibited for over a century a snarling hatred of, and intolerance for, all forms of democracy. Behold! These… these… are the heroes of the new liberal “Resistance.”

Or, to put it in terms Delirus liberalis can understand: It is as if someone re-wrote the climax of Return of the Jedi so that in the end Luke Skywalker decided to go ahead and team up with Darth Vader because he hated the Emperor too.

There have been times over the past three or four years when reading, listening to, or just hearing accounts of deranged Baby Boomers and other alleged liberals cheering FBI/CIA liars and psychopaths as heroes, gnashing their teeth at the President’s stated intention of pulling U.S. troops out of manufactured Hell-holes like Syria, all but demanding America go on promoting and engaging in the continuance of war and mass killings abroad, and praying for an economic collapse that can be blamed on Trump has made me feel as if I have changed places with Alice. They want suffering. They want killings. The more of you (not them) who suffer, the happier it will make them.

A Stanton collapse

That isn’t a statement of political ideology; it’s sadism on a world scale.

Well, as I’ve also often said: Scratch a liberal, find a fascist.

In the universe of the Boomer, ca. 2019, whatever opposes Donald Trump is an absolute good. He could issue a Universal Declaration of Love tomorrow, and they would demand a corresponding document upholding the right to hatred; he rules them more completely than if he really was the dictator they believe him to be. And he knows it. However idiotic they think him, he is a past master at manipulation: One early-A.M. Tweet and they’re set for the day, or the week; they can then be counted upon instantly to gibber and screech like a pack of howler monkeys in a rain forest, led by Her Royal Derangement, the mad cow known as Rachel. Their obsession with Trump is so perfect, so total, that he knows he can distract them anytime, anyplace, with just a few jumbled sentences. A single, bloated Trump Tweet and “The Resistance” will, as it has for the last three years, continue to ignore his overseeing the largest upward redistribution of wealth in American history, his presiding over record Defense Department budgets (which the Democrats cravenly and greedily voted for) and arms-sales abroad, his tacit permitting of economic warfare waged, and coups attempted, against sovereign nations and legitimately elected officials; they will instead gnash their collective teeth over some triviality, or playground insult, which they will return in kind. Trump is the charmless Harold Hill of American politics, and they are all — all — his willing chumps.

Larson E. Whipsnade would be proud.

You Can't Cheat an Honest Man poster

In which the voluble Mr. Dukenfield portrayed the carny con-man Larsen E. Whipsnade: “Never give a sucker an even break, or smarten up a chump.”

Somehow, in a 21 September piece on Salon.comSalon.com, David Masciotra managed to get this past the DNC- (if not indeed CIA-) sponsored shills who run the website for which he writes: “In a nonfiction adaptation of American Horror Story, Bill Maher, nominally a member of the liberal ‘Resistance,’ [emphasis mine] led his audience and guests in applauding and paying tribute to the FBI and CIA. To her credit, panelist (and rival talk-show host) Krystal Ball remained stoic, refusing to bring her hands together or smile. But even she allowed the moment to pass without noting the obvious: The CIA and the FBI are two of the most anti-democratic and violent forces in the history of our country.”

With Masciotra’s description of Maher as his show’s “admittedly clever host, who can often amuse, enlighten and nauseate in the same string of sentences,” I would strongly demur. I can’t recall having laughed at anything Maher has ever said, only at something said of and to him (by Martin Short, as Jiminy Glick.) Much less has he ever enlightened me. But he has certainly caused me nausea, often. And I should hope by now that the many neoliberal pronouncements by the “comedian” in question would convince anyone of even modest intelligence of — his atheism notwithstanding — Maher’s deep and abiding conservatism. More to the point, however, is that Maher learned something from having his network show canceled after a perfectly reasonable remark by him concerning September 11, 2001 was called “treasonous” by people who have no more notion of what the word means than they possess any real love for free speech. (Except, of course, their own…) He learned to stroke his audience’s prejudices. He learned to milk it for easy applause. He learned how to seem controversial while promoting the Establishment’s points of view on any given issue. He has learned, as Quentin Crisp used to say of Existentialists, to swim with the tide, but faster.

The “Make Love, Not War” crowd of 1969 has become, with rather predictable alacrity, a group un-fazed in the main by the indecency of America’s seemingly perpetual need to shed blood abroad. Peace is a movement for which they toil not, neither do they spin. That was, like, so yesterday, man. In the span of my lifetime my nation, which values peace above all virtues and conditions, has involved itself in no fewer than 37 overt wars (as opposed to Christ only knows how many covert), nearly a third of them just since the beginning of the new century. For older Boomers, the figure is still higher. Yet where, amidst the incessant babble of the chattering classes, is the voice opposing war? Alas, the Medea Benjamins and Brian Beckers of America are few, and we have become a culture in which all and sundry — very much including old 1960s anti-Vietnam War Boomers — must now reflexively whine, “Thank you for your service” to any vet we come across or risk the sort of freezing contempt that met me when I refused to stand for the National Anthem — at a goddamn college glee club concert — in 1990.

While the “Resistance” carries placards supporting the likes of the un-indicted serial criminals James Clapper and James Comey — imagine  American liberals in 1973 so deranged by their hatred of Nixon that they began marching in support of H.R. Haldeman — the Trump Administration meanwhile quietly continues giving obscene amounts of our treasure to arms manufacturers to support the seven wars Barack Obama managed to carve out of the two he inherited and to bomb civilians in Syria and elsewhere at the behest of Our Friends, the Saudis. That the “Resistance” says nothing about. (Indeed, the Democrats have voted for all of Trump’s obscene military expenditures.) Why? One can only posit two related explanations: 1) That their loathing for Donald J. Trump swamps all other interests, passions or human concerns; or 2) that they secretly approve of protracted war and mass-killing.

I am not fully persuaded that both are not equally true.

Senile Aggitation Boomers

Thanks to Eliot M. Camarena for this.

Certainly ABC News approves of endless conflict. Having repeatedly aired footage the network claimed was of civilians being slaughtered in Syria because Donald Trump ordered a troop withdrawal but which was subsequently proven to be of a gun demonstration in Kentucky, are there demands from the “Resistance” that such naked  and appalling manipulation of the airways be investigated? That the news executives and reporters who perpetrated this arrant hoax be removed from their jobs, charged, and tried or at the very least black-balled from their industry? Assertions that such craven and partisan assaults on the very notion of a free press are more damaging to American journalism, and to America itself, than anything Trump did by withdrawing combat troops? Outside of progressive YouTube channels such as Ben Swann’s and media outlets like that scourge of Delirus liberalis, RT America, not a peep.  Or a Tweet.


The latest hobbyhorse for Delirus liberalis is the whistle-blower… but only so long as the whistle being blown is on Trump. While a (so far) anonymous CIA hack is celebrated by liberals, his protection from the big bad President their gravest concern, a genuinely heroic whistle-blower, one who has both served her time and been pardoned, sits in a Virginia prison cell being fined $1,000 a day, not for any crime she has committed but for refusing to testify against a publisher, one with whom she had no direct involvement. Even if the charges on which she is being held were not so flagrantly anti-democratic,  indeed fascistic… even were she in better physical health than she currently is… Chelsea Manning would be worthy of our veneration and our support, yet the “liberal” media is, and liberals in general are, when not actively pillorying her, utterly silent.

Ah, but… Manning, you see, assisted WikiLeaks and, by extension, Julian Assange, the most hated figure in the rogue’s gallery of Delirus liberalis, despised in a way even the bile engendered by Vladimir Putin cannot match, for in the eyes of liberal Democrats, Assange’s revelations about their uncrowned queen cost her the election. It did not occur to them, of course, to be outraged that she was proved so base, corrupt, heartless and cruel; that she had two faces, only one of which she was going to show to the likes of them; that she controlled the DNC, and thus the 2016 Democratic Party elections; that it was she and her husband, her daughter and their phony foundation that gained most from the sale to Russia of Uranium One. No, they were, and are, engaged in a collective conniption, a massive, volcanic overflow of pique, because Assange exposed her.

And what of Julian Assange himself, speaking of whistle-blowers? Where the cheers of support for his exposing deliberate murder of civilians by the American armed forces? Where the cries of outrage at his patently illegal arrest and incarceration, in solitary confinement, in one of the worst prisons in Britain, or at his almost certain extradition, trial and imprisonment in America? Or the howls of anguish for young Seth Rich, who may or may not have been Assange’s DNC connection and who was, whatever the case, murdered for no other discernible reason? What of a true American hero, Edward Snowden, forced to leave his home and country because he cared more about Americans, and privacy, and democracy, than he did about the pleasurable trappings of his employment? For these whistle-blowers, and others, who have acted out of a love of truth and liberty, a commitment beyond themselves, no word spoken except to condemn, no passion offered but vilest opprobrium. For CIA agents who rush to tell, not their superiors, as John Kiriakou did when he adhered to Agency rules (and ended up in jail anyway) but the corporate media, anguished cries of, “We must protect the whistle-blower!”

Unlike Manning, Snowden, Rich, Kiriakou or Bill Binney, however, Assange is a journalist — or at the very least, a publisher. And unlike ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and MS-NBC, The New York Times and the Washington Post, not a single one of Assange’s claims has later been proven to be false.

Naturally, Delirus liberalis cannot suffer him to live.

wikileaks-julian-assange-cover-2010

What a difference a decade makes. Note Zakaria’s headline. Who in the corporate media believes this now, or will say so?

Finally, while I am on the subject of journalism, or what passes for it, this, concerning Senator Richard Blumenthal‘s terrifying new bill proposing to define who may call him-or-herself a journalist: “Blumenthal cited a fake video depicting President Trump carrying out a violent attack on members of the news media as he again called on Congress to make it a federal crime for anyone to attack or threaten a member of the news media doing their job.” Nowhere in this shoddily-written piece by Forbes is there any illumination for its readers of what is in Blumenthal’s bill. Yet liberals are now cheering the Democrat Senator’s proto-fascist proposal, which would permit the government to decide who qualifies as a journalist, and who does not. Who, in other words, deserves the protection of the First fucking Amendment to the goddamned Constitution.

For those who require a refresher course, the Amendment reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

As my friend Eliot M. Camarena rightly notes in his most recent blog essay: “The First Amendment is all the protection journalists need AND NEOFASCISTS LIKE SENATOR BLUMENTHAL KNOW THIS or he would not promulgate a law giving government the UNCONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY to decide who the First Amendment applies to […] Hey, you infantile, certifiable twits who satisfy your Cosplay egos by branding yourself ‘The Resistance’: Face the fact that you refuse to accept that a corrupt, obese, alcoholic, belligerent, old lady who long ago earned the sobriquet ‘Congenital Liar’, lost the 2016 election. This rage, and your continuous tantrum, blinds you to EVERYTHING else. Now you want to further gut the Bill of Rights because you don’t like the way Trump mocks journalists. Well done, you sap-heads! You have now truly become what Stalin called USEFUL IDIOTS – doing the work of the very fascists you so loudly CLAIM TO OPPOSE.”

Meanwhile, ABC News — a hive of the very sorts of journalists from whom the United States government need have no fear whatever — tells you civilians are being slaughtered in Syria, and has the film to prove it.

Somewhere in the ether, William Casey is smiling.

Text copyright 2019 by Scott Ross

Related
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2018/03/30/crucible/
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2019/05/21/the-politics-of-pique/
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2019/04/11/why-i-am-not-a-liberal/
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2019/04/07/keep-gloating/

The Politics of Pique

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By Scott Ross

May 3rd marked the observation of something called “World Press Freedom Day,” first proclaimed by the United Nations in 1993. There is much irony inherent in this, the first especial instance of which was the passage three years following that initial proclamation of a bill, engineered by Bill (and Hillary?) Clinton and rammed through Congress at his (their?) insistence: The Telecommunications Act of 1996. This blatantly fascistic law has in the years since effectively reduced media control in the United States from 50 corporations to a mere six and jettisoned what I would argue is the single most important component of a free society, without which democracy is impossible: An unfettered press.

There is irony as well in the reactionary and repressive governments —Saudi Arabia springs to mind, as it will — the United States, in foolish contravention of George Washington’s warning,* habitually supports and in which the press is strictly controlled by a state which, further, goes out of its way and across continents to punish with torture and death. I would include in that charming group the current government of Israel, whose military snipers target not only Palestinian men, women and children but clearly delineated medics and journalists. And indeed, the U.S. itself, as evidenced by the appalling video the almost infinitely courageous Chelsea Manning released to WikiLeaks of American military personnel massacring civilians, including journalists, from a helicopter in Baghdad, and laughing as they did so.

The more immediate ironies, which went unnoted save by the progressive left, were that “World Press Freedom Day” was commemorated this year during a period when the Western press generally, and the U.S. corporate media specifically, is (to use their new favorite word) colluding with the Trump Administration and its shadow masters to demonize and depose a legally-elected government in Venezuela. At the same time, the three most egregious examples of free-speech suppression by the West had so recently occurred, and (in the first case) been roundly celebrated by nearly all the ladies and gentlemen of the corporate media and (in the second two) utterly ignored:

  • The expulsion (following the promise of a massive American bribe) from the Ecuadoran Embassy and subsequent immediate arrest, on a flagrantly specious charge, of Julian Assange, now in a prison reserved for hardened and violent criminals and soon quite possibly to be turned over to the U.S. and extradited (on equally spurious charges), there presumably to be tortured, placed before a kangaroo installation called the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (known here as “The Espionage Court”), tried without legal defense counsel and sentenced for life — in not indeed to death — to the accompaniment of lusty cheers from the American press;
  • The harassment and, lately, arrest of legal and invited protectors of the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, in contravention of established world norms for protocol, a violation of international law and the inviolability of embassies throughout the world and which, its unalloyed totalitarianism to one side, will almost certainly generate dangerous blowback elsewhere;
  • And the re-imprisonment, largely in solitary confinement, of Manning, her release and her re-re-imprisonment last week, with the added financial burden it will eventually entail, in daily fines of $500 to $1000, in addition to the physical and psychological effects on a woman who has already been charged, sentenced, imprisoned and released for the identical “crime” and which are clearly, and cruelly if not indeed with evil intent, designed to break, or kill, her. Either would, presumably, be acceptable outcomes.

What is being done to Manning makes me so angry, and so frustrated, I can scarcely speak about it without choking. It is iniquitous. It is stunningly vindictive. It is in fact fascist. I am livid, not merely at the court that has imposed this deliberate torture on her, but the overwhelming lot of so-called journalists throughout America who are utterly silent on the subject…. when not actively sneering at and deriding her.

And it this last bulleted item that is most directly related to the main topic of this essay. For, setting aside for the moment that WikiLeaks (indeed, a free press generally) is the bane, not merely of the National Security State but of the corporate class, whose investments in the former are, however obliquely, threatened by exposure of the misdeeds of our military/industrial rulers, much of what now governs the reaction (or lack thereof) of corporate media, and its main consumers, can be boiled down to a simple concept. And the word that best defines this attitude is pique.

As long as Julian Assange, via WikiLeaks, was exposing the misdeeds of the hatred Bush Administration, liberals were more than delighted to receive the news — they were euphoric. Assange was all but nominated for a form of living canonization, feted and fussed over and interviewed at length. It was only when he, and figures like Manning and Edward Snowden, shone lights on the unsavory acts of the Obama regime (to use the favorite word of the mainstream media to describe any foreign government it does not care for) that Assange became suspect. This is due in part to party politics; how dare he — how dare anyone — rip the carefully constructed veil of respectability and moral rectitude off that universal symbol of hope, change and transparency? Revealing the lies and misdeeds of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz was one thing. Holding Obama to the same standards? Outrageous! But even that was as nothing compared to the greatest crime Assange committed: Drawing the curtain on the seedy backstage wherein Hillary Clinton exhibited her “private face” for her true public — her Wall Street owners.

That Hillary Clinton is not merely a practiced liar but, seemingly, a pathological one, should be news to no one not lost in the miasma of political team-sports. (As my friend Eliot M. Camarena has noted, we’ve already had one of those in the Oval Office; he was forced to resign.) But that WikiLeaks revealed the extent of her prevarication — that was too much. Of course, Clinton’s deceit goes deeper than assuring her billionaire donors with a wink that she has a public face and a private one so don’t worry, boys, I’ll always be true to you. It involves her takeover, and operation of, the DNC throughout the 2016 election; its subsequent cheating of Sanders and disenfranchising of his supporters and independent voters, the largest proven case of election racketeering in modern American history; her so-called “Pied Piper Strategy,” whereby she and Bill convinced their media assets to prop up Trump (and which, indeed, included that pair’s efforts in getting The Donald to run); and her determination to deflect voter concerns over her sale, as Secretary of State, of uranium ore to the Russian Federation as a means to directly benefit her husband and their phony Foundation, onto her opponent. No wonder she wanted Assange drone-bombed.

It was this unconscionable airing of Clinton’s soiled pantsuits by WikiLeaks that placed Assange officially beyond the pale. This is what I mean by pique. It is the same pique that found in any critical discussion of Hillary Clinton’s neoliberalism (if not indeed neoconservatism) the inevitable accusation leveled at the questioner and regardless of his or her gender, of “sexism.” It is pique that created the Pussyhat Brigade, fueled meaningless acts of protest that continue even now and which embrace such paragons of public virtue as James Clapper and Robert Mueller, and which suggests to them placards (“If Clinton was President I’d be having brunch now”) revealing far more than their carriers realize about their own essential complacence, and the extent of their personal pique. It’s the source of the virus that has engendered the entire so-called “Russiagate” hysteria, the gas that makes it run and which finds its apotheosis in the crazed Red-baiting of Rachel Maddow and that collection of deranged harpies on The View on the sillier end of the spectrum, and the seeming desire for nuclear war with Russia on the more dangerous, deadly, end. And it is Manning’s association with Assange, on a matter completely divorced from Assange’s revelation of the Podesta emails, which governs the lack of support for her and the reaction to her extra-legal imprisonment. She is seen as an expendable means to “getting” the source of their pique.

For pique it is which has seen to it that Trump cannot engage in a meaningful or productive conversation with Putin about anything. It is pique that has given him the greatest re-election gift imaginable. It is pique which demands that Democrats, and their media assets, not give an inch, or admit that the entire two-year investigation was a colossal waste of time, choler and treasure. And it is pique that will ultimately doom the campaign of whichever corporate tool they nominate as their party’s standard-bearer next summer.

But pique has other uses; it can extend the common madness far beyond reason, if not ad infinitum. For it is this same pique that encourages Neera Tanden to observe of the adherents of Twitter, “There are many cultists on this site, but the Assange cultists are the worst.  Assange was the agent of a proto fascist state, Russia, to undermine democracy.  That is fascist behavior.  Anyone on the left should abhor what he did.  Not celebrate it. [sic]” Note that Tanden, who “earned’ over $314K in 2016, is nonetheless a) not literate enough to understand basic tenets of the written word; b) feels compelled to waste two of her 140-character limit on unnecessary spaces between sentences; and c) apparently believes that, “Not celebrate it” is a sentence. (Yes, use of an abbreviated clause can herald an effective rhetorical flourish. But not in this case.) Her sub-literacy aside — the lack of a hyphen between “proto” and “fascist,” for example — Tanden, a Clinton stalwart to the end, thinks she is being clever by expressing a fascist sentiment while deflecting the accusation to those who not only might disagree with her but who know that there is not now, nor has there ever been, the slightest evidence to suggest that Assange, or WikiLeaks, is in any way aligned with, or subservient to, the Russian Federation. Like icon, like acolyte.

I will not accuse Tanden of the staggering ignorance her nasty little Tweet seems to illustrate, as I suspect she knows quite how deliberately she is misleading her hapless followers with that specious accusation, so let us assume that she is well aware that WikiLeaks has published thousands of pages of documentation critical of Russia. She may not know, as many do not, that Putin is no great admirer of Edward Snowden — nor, by extension, of Assange or Manning or John Kiriakou or Bill Binney — believing that the man his nation gave asylum to is guilty of a state crime. (See Oliver Stone’s The Putin Interviews.) Note too that the Tandens of the world, who without ever offering proof — or who offer self-serving official United States government excuses as proof — invariably state that the elected leader of Russia is, to use their favorite, CIA-directed, phrase, “a brutal dictator.” Yet they see nothing brutal or dictatorial about a band of uniformed “secret police” dragging an obviously ill Australian publisher into a waiting van.

Tanden is, please recall, President of the so-called Center for American Progress (which despite its sunny, double-speak name is in fact a neoliberal corporate “think-tank”) and was, during the 2016 primaries, a close advisor of Hillary Clinton’s. And, as Jimmy Dore recently pointed out, once said — apropos of whether Libya, now a chaotic no-man’s land, owes America for its “liberation” — “We have a giant deficit. They have a lot of oil.” Could Donald J. Trump have advocated international resource theft any better? It should, however, be remembered that Assange also published some of Tanden’s damaging emails. There is more than a slight whiff of personal vengeance — not to say pique — in her words. Such is the duplicitous game these types play. Tanden’s reaction to Russia asking that Assange’s rights be respected? “Fascists take care of their own.” One is tempted to ape her immaturity and sneer, “Takes one to know one, lady.”

WikiLeaks Editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson reports that, not only was Assange being monitored by video and still camera at every moment of his life, including conferences with his Ecuadoran attorney, but that legal documents were stolen and copied, the whole of this illegal surveillance then turned over to blackmailers in Madrid. The Tandens of the so-called “left” say nothing, of course, about the (to use her own word, only properly hyphenated) proto-fascist treatment of Assange. And I would love to hear the smug, condescending British and American reporters who have grilled Hrafnsson and Assange’s Australian attorney Jennifer Robison if their own governments were spying on them in their homes, recording their personal communications, legal discussions, sex lives and bathroom visits.† They’d squeal like stuck pigs. Yet somehow Assange is “naive” for not assuming it’s been done to him — and, presumably, ungrateful for complaining about it. And they wonder that so much of the public, both in Britain and elsewhere, is thoroughly disgusted by the press?

No one has ever successfully challenged the veracity of a single WikiLeaks’ publication. And that, I submit, is the real reason Assange is so hated, both by the National Security State and the permanently piqued.


Irony abounds as well in the fawning treatment of reporters and commentators in the United States (and in Britain) who, out of their pique over Clinton as much as their loathing for Donald Trump, have opportunistically peddled two and a half years of evidence-free accusations concerning the President and his counterpart in the Russian Federation.

Take, for example, the case of Marcie Wheeler, the likes of whom Michael Tracey refers to as “journalist-adjacent types.” This woman did the one thing that Glenn Greenwald correctly maintains is the gravest sin a journalist can commit: Turning in a source to the government. Even now, a year after she did so, and with the Mueller Report released, Wheeler is still speaking as if her informing on a source was of the gravest importance to the investigation and so cannot reveal the circumstances. And the brigade that has made hay (and jack) on the counterfeit accusations against Trump and, by extension, Vladimir Putin, lauded her as a fearless exemplar of the journalistic profession. So we can see where we are now: If you expose a government’s international murders and militaristic duplicity you are beyond the pale; if you snitch on a source ​to ​that government, you’re a liberal icon.

Take as well the increasingly deranged, deliberately prevaricating and, I aver, fundamentally dangerous Rachel Maddow, dementedly Red-baiting not only a nation that has not been Red in decades, but anyone who debunks her infinitely debunkable, certifiably reactionary, assertions, not the least insipid of which is that the Kremlin will turn off your heat during record freezes. To the best of my admittedly limited knowledge only the U.S. has, through its secret HAARP program, that ability. But for $30,000 a day, a person like Maddow may, and will, say anything. And the unthinking Piqued cheer this madness on.

Those of us who grew up in the 1960s and ‘70s and who in our teens looked into the 1950s Red Scare could scarcely believe what we were reading. How, we wondered, could claiming Communist interference on everything, without the slightest scintilla of evidence, not have been looked upon with skepticism by, at least, the more intelligent and well-educated Americans?

We now know the answer.


In the early 1980s, the then-CIA chief William Casey made a statement to the newly-elected Ronald Reagan at their first meeting, which a principled man would have responded to in the only sane possible manner: By, if not calling in the White House guards to hold the maniac until he could be arrested and charged with conspiring against his country, at the very least demanding its speaker resign and his government entity be scrutinized in minute detail and re-aligned as a result of that investigation. Reagan, of course, did none of these things.

“We’ll know our disinformation program is complete,” Casey told him, “when everything the American public believes is false.”

One expects the National Security types to receive this information with nods of approval. One would like to imagine that others — particularly in the press — would express outrage. But those who believe Operation Mockingbird, the 1960s CIA campaign to influence and guide writers, reporters, editors and entire publications and publishing houses in the production of their news and analysis content, was ended merely because the Company told us it was also, presumably, maintain a conviction that the Easter Bunny leaves multicolored eggs in convenient baskets. Perhaps when the day dawns… and dawn it will, ere long… that these same writers, reporters and editors of publications find themselves in shackles, sharing a concrete wall with Julian Assange for the National Security crime of revealing truth to their viewers, readers and listeners, they will grasp the opportunity that fell into their laps to defend their own profession and which they deliberately eschewed in favor of the fast buck and the hosannas of the professionally piqued, and repeat to themselves a variation on the words of Pastor Martin Niemöller:

“First they came for Assange, and I did not speak out because I was not Assange…”


*“The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest.” — George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796

†Always assuming — a dangerous occupation these days — these governments aren’t in fact doing just that, perhaps through our now ubiquitous electronic devices.


Copyright 2019 by Scott Ross

Related
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2018/03/30/crucible/
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2019/04/07/keep-gloating/

Why I Am Not a Liberal

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By Scott Ross

In a waning year of the Roaring ‘20s Bertrand Russell famously delivered a lecture entitled “Why I Am Not a Christian.” Although I pretend to nothing approaching Russell’s excellent mind, nor to his precise articulation of its febrile thoughts, and while I do not for a moment imagine it is as courageous a thing in 2019 to admit of a distrust of liberalism as it was for an atheist to explain himself publicly in 1927, one has to move with caution nonetheless. For if there is one thing liberals hate more than conservatives, it’s progressives — or in any case those who lean either to independence of mind generally or to the far left sphere specifically. We who do not thunder with the herd must nevertheless tread gently.

Introducing his song “Love Me, I’m a Liberal” to a live audience in 1966, the late Phil Ochs noted, “In every American community there are varying shades of political opinion. One of the shadiest of these is the liberals… Ten degrees to the left of center in good times, ten degrees to the right of center if it affects them personally.”

But surely Ochs was being generous. In his own his time, and as he alludes to in his song, it was fashionable for liberals to applaud the efforts of Civil Rights workers and desegregationists while never once inviting a Negro into their homes (except perhaps to clean them) and, secretly, hoping integration would not arrive before their public school children were safely beyond its reach… or perhaps weighing the option of bombing the first bus that came to take the little darlings to another neighborhood.

The liberals of a decade prior were, nearly without exception, dedicated anti-Communists, only slightly to the sinister of J. Parnell Thomas and no more aware, apparently, of history or current geopolitical realities than Senator McCarthy. Were it to be pointed out to these types (which, in those days included not merely Democrats but moderate and even liberal Republicans, a class now entirely wiped off the political map) that no nation had suffered more in the late World War than the Soviet Union (8-10 million military deaths and 24 million civilians) or that it was Russia’s beating back of Hitler at Stalingrad which, more than any other single factor, including D-Day, led to the Allies’ ultimate defeat of Nazism, one would doubtless have been met with incredulous stares, quivering jowls and the trembling accusation that one was at the very least a parlor pink. If one, further, reminded his listener that Stalin repeatedly asked for assistance on the Eastern Front, was as consistently assured he would get it, and that FDR and Churchill reneged at every turn, preferring the blood-bath of Omaha Beach to a successful collaboration with Russia which might have made the D-Day landing superfluous… or that following Roosevelt’s death his successor instantly turned on the Russians, in contradiction of all previous assurances, and that, far from being a world aggressor, the Russian nation was entirely surrounded by our bases, with our missiles pointed squarely at her heart… the hearer of such appalling and treasonous sedition would almost certainly have reached for the nearest telephone and placed a call to his or her local branch of the FBI.

It is never the liberal who effects positive change. It is, rather, the radical (if, if you prefer a softer epithet, the progressive) for whom the notions of universal suffrage, collective bargaining, the 40-hour work week, the complete social and political emancipation for the descendants of our former slaves, the eminently reasonable demands of feminism and of the call for gay rights and an end to unjust wars (or indeed to stop their beginning) are not merely conversant with American ideals and traditions but virtually demanded by them, who move the nation to action. Although at present these past victories are touted, in easily-available memes, as “liberal” shibboleths (“The Weekend Was a Crazy Liberal Idea”), they were and are nothing of the kind.

Even as a teenager I was uncomfortable both with Democrats and with liberalism, although I could not at the time have articulated precisely why, or explored in any meaningful way the alternative. But when, at 18, I registered to vote, I instinctively did so as an Independent — just as, a year later, I cast my first ballot against the “liberal” Democrat Jimmy Carter. Certainly I did not vote for that senescent Pithecanthropoid Ronald Reagan; as I would in 2016, I voted as an independent… which is to say, independently. Little the former (moderate) Republican John Anderson did later in his life, including the founding of FairVote, prevailing at the Supreme Court in Anderson v. Celebrezze, endorsing Nader in 2000, or helping to found the Justice Party in 2012, persuades me that my vote was in any way squandered. That, in 1976, Carter had potential is not in dispute. But that he chose to surround himself with slathering Cold Warriors such as the vicious, vengeance-maddened Zbigniew Brzezinski and to, rather than engaging the Soviets, place himself solidly against them, merely encouraged the following decade of Red-baiting, nearly unregulated arms acceleration and the cultivation of “freedom fighters” who would, inevitably (and, as they continue to do today) turn their American-made (or at least, -paid) arms against the United States… that is, when they had a moment free from their torture and slaughter of civilians. And let us not forget that it was the liberal Carter who exacerbated tensions with the Iranians by first physically embracing the hated Shah, then permitting him refuge after he fled the country.*

It was liberals who made possible the Hollywood and television Blacklist of the 1950s, and who permitted the establishment, and growing encroachment, of a National Security State which now permeates every fabric of our lives, and who sat back and watched, clucking their tongues as police first aimed fire-hoses at and sicced attack dogs on, then fired their guns at, peaceful Black marchers in Birmingham and Selma, and anti-war protesters in Chicago and at Kent State. It was liberals who did nothing to stop American activity in Chile, El Salvador and Honduras, which led to the wholesale killings of tens of thousands. It was liberals, whose old novels I still read and whose old movies I still see, who more than anyone else peddled and belabored the most venomous stereotypes about homosexual men in their books and television sketches and motion pictures, throughout the 1960s and ’70s and ’80s, well into the 1990s and even into the early Aughts, far beyond a point at which they would dare pillory any comparable group in the culture… aside, of course, from women, on whom it is always open season. The more liberal, indeed, the writer or filmmaker, the more flagrantly he nursed his often obsessive sexual victimizing; even the otherwise estimable civil libertarian William Bradford Huie, for example, drove me from the perusal of his The Execution of Private Slovik with a casual (and, as I recall, wholly unmotivated) loathing for queers, and the equally liberal Sidney Lumet’s period work is likewise inexplicably filled with homophobic contempt.

It was liberals who did nothing to curb the worst excesses of Carter’s successor. It should be remembered that, throughout Ronald Reagan’s eight-year Administration, it was Democrats, not Republicans, who were the party in charge of Congress and who, whatever their rhetoric, acquiesced time and again to the President’s wishes, approving his nominees and enacting his laws, exactly as they have those of the man they have professed to despise, and oppose, since 2016. It was the “liberal” Bill Clinton and his colleagues in Congress who gave us the disastrous Telecommunications Act of 1996 which has, by itself, changed Paddy Chayefsky’s 1976 Network from a satirical warning to a virtual documentary. It was a liberal named Madeline Albright who, asked whether the 500,000 Iraqi children dead as the result of U.S. sanctions were “worth it,” replied in the affirmative. It was liberals who, rather than enacting a universal healthcare plan which could have covered every man, woman and child in the nation, gave us a bill modeled on Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts plan. It is liberals who now tell us that single-payer — in the words of their erstwhile savior, Hillary Rodham Clinton — “will never happen.” (This is not to mention her laughing uproariously at the truly horrific 2011 murder of the Libyan Muammar Gaddafi, sodomized with a machete.)

It is liberals such as Pelosi, Schumer, Booker, Harris and Schiff who are now most in thrall to big pharma, the insurance industry, the military-industrial complex, the bankers and Wall Street generally. It was the “liberal” Barack Obama who, quite contrary to ending our illegal wars abroad, expanded two wars to seven… and liberals in Congress and the Senate who permitted, when they did not in fact encourage, him. It is liberals who evince public nostalgia for the un-indicted war criminal George W. Bush and who — including such alleged progressive stalwarts as the over-hyped and imbecilic Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — wail and rend their garments over the passing of men such as his equally vile (and equally un-indicted) father, as well as the unrepentant war-monger John McCain. It is liberals who applaud and defend officials of CIA and even the once-hated FBI, whose current agents are the descendants of those who routinely infiltrated student groups and civil rights organizations in the 1960s and who murdered their leaders (Malcom, Martin, Fred Hampton) with impunity and without punishment or even governmental investigation. It is liberals who not only accede regularly to Trump’s demands but routinely give him more than he asks for; when he submits a defense budget larger than that of any previous occupant of the White House the Democrats, not content with that obscenity, tack on millions more. It was liberals who embraced a war-mongering sociopath as their candidate of choice and, having endured her all-too-predictable defeat, turned at last to the bogeyman-god of, not their own youths but that of their parents, as the receptacle into which they have placed all of their hurt, anger, fear and pique. And it is liberals now who, after three years of screeching that Trump is both a puppet of Vladimir Putin and an existential threat to America and the world, cheerlead for his attempts — roundly condemned by those nations not entirely in America’s thrall — at a putative putsch to eject from Venezuela its duly elected leader. There is your liberal “Resistance.”


The 2105-2016 election period was a bruising one, particularly if one had liberal friends. I suspect I lost more friendships during that 18-month period than during the previous several decades of my life, some of them stretching back 40 years and more, to childhood. As dispiriting as it was to see so many old liberals quiver with senile avidity over Clinton, to hear supposed lefties and alleged feminists like Gloria Steinem sneeringly dismiss young women in the Sanders camp as “boy-crazy” and the Human Rights Council proffer its endorsement, not to the candidate who has been a vocal, public supporter of gay rights since the early 1970s but to the woman who opposed marriage equality (until, that is, the magic 51% of respondents said they supported it) how much more depressing was it to hear and read the comments and see the actions of our own old friends as they championed, and campaigned for, a reactionary neocon in liberal Democrat pantsuits? For it is liberals who, succumbing to Hollywood pop-imagery, proclaimed themselves “The Resistance” and now hold marches in support of a man who helped lie us into Iraq and carry placards assuring us — as if we didn’t already know — that, if a mainstream (read: neoliberal) Democrat was in office, they’d be having brunch instead of making a protest.

Yet something larger than mere selfishness is at work here. Those of us who were equally repulsed by Clinton and Trump have not allowed our special disgust at the latter to interfere with our ability to think, and to reason, for ourselves; indeed, it was precisely this positive trait, I would argue, that would not permit us to vote for Trump’s immediate rival. And many of us who have been dismayed for three years by our liberal friends’ inability to sort reality from fantasy, truth from rumor (Steele dossier, anyone?) have presumed that they are exhibiting cognitive dissonance, an offshoot of the apparently permanent derangement with which so many were left by the seemingly endless election and the, to them, insupportable results of that protracted assault on our pretensions of Demos. But as my friend Eliot M. Camarena suggested to me recently, American liberals today are stuck in that phase the developmental psychologist Jean Piaget termed “transductive reasoning.” A few bits of definition and commentary should be sufficient to define the concept. (Thanks, Eliot.)

“As children progress from infants to toddlers, they also progress from the sensorimotor stage to the preoperational stage. The preoperational stage includes transductive reasoning. According to information on Piaget’s Theory from Michigan State University, transductive thought involves seeing a relationship between two things that are not actually related. Your child may be using transductive reasoning if she tells you that an orange is a ball. Because both the ball and the orange are round, her transductive reasoning tells her that they both must be a ball.” — Kristen Lee, List of the Cognitive Development of Early Childhood

“With transductive reasoning, a child reasons from case to case, ignoring important, well-established facts they have yet to learn. For example, a child might reason that pizza is triangular in shape rather than round, if they have only seen single slices. Also, a child might reach the conclusion that he is capable of turning into an Asian if he eats rice, because his friend Larry, who eats rice regularly, is Asian. Both of these cases exemplify the use of transductive reasoning.” https://www.reference.com/world-view/transductive-reasoning-mean-eabbb9bff8ee8b16

“Transductive thinking in preoperational stage: Transductive thinking is prominent in children’s thoughts. They create a connection between two situations that occurs at the same time, even though there’s nothing in common to both of them. Transductive reasoning leads to illogical conclusions, since it involves reasoning from one particular instance to another particular instance without reference to the general. Transduction can sometimes yield a correct conclusion, but the overgeneralization resulting from this type of reasoning often leads to stubborn, rigid behavior. As the child matures, he becomes capable of logical thought based on inductive and deductive reasoning. ‘Inductive reasoning’ proceeds from specific to general ‘Deductive reasoning’ moves from general to specific.”
Ashana Suri

“[Transductive reasoning] is so called because it focuses on concrete instances and does not follow the principles of either induction or deductive reasoning. Also called transductive logic, but this is avoided in careful usage, because it is clearly not a form of logic.” [Emphasis mine.]
— http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803105323835

Am I saying my liberal friends — those few I have left — are children? No. Merely that they are thinking like children. And in so doing, are assisting the very man whose presence in the Oval Office has driven them from reason. The unintended result of their ceaseless yammering and instant adoption and repetition of words and concepts (collusion, the Emoluments Clause, redaction) about which they know nothing has been to strengthen the position of Donald J. Trump with his electoral base… and perhaps with a considerable number of his quieter foes as well.


Such transductive reasoning as has gripped liberals for the past three years plus is, of course, wholly enabled and abetted by the legion of CIA assets in the American corporate media. As I write these words, the Ecuadoran Embassy this morning opened its doors to a phalanx of British secret police, who duly arrested and carried Julian Assange — “guilty,” as far as is known, of little more than being a publisher — into a waiting van. Passing by for a moment the shame-making sight of a dozen burly, uniformed thugs dragging one small, bedraggled and, from what one hears, seriously ill, man into the street — how brave the guardians of law! how noble the soldiers of order! — I note that the babbling heads on CBS This Morning have already begun the disinformation campaign, accusing Assange of, in addition to the spurious and easily disproven charge of “conspiring with and encouraging” Chelsea (then Bradley) Manning, of somehow being involved in the “Russian hacking of our elections.” Thus is the official National Security narrative begun, and reinforced. Next up: Endless reiterations of the false and discredited accusations of rape and the horrified/outraged cries that this Australian and, now, Ecuadoran citizen, is somehow a “traitor” to a nation he has never been a citizen of.

Cue too the delighted squeals of liberals across the land as Assange, slayer of their goddess, is first surrendered to U.S. authorities, then perhaps carried in secret to some “rendition center” (possibly in Saudi Arabia?), there to be further tortured and denied the basic jurisprudence no liberal would countenance having removed from him or her. But then, as they will no doubt smugly remind us all, they would not be engaged in “espionage.” (What do they think doing the bidding of America’s shadow government for pay is — knocking on doors for the Welcome Wagon?) What, one wonders, will their excuse be when they are dragged from their homes in the early morning hours? For an unfortunate majority of liberals, the concept that one is innocent until proven guilty is merely a quaint remnant of unenlightened thought. How else could they have kept going for three years, with a concomitant waste of our national treasure, their inane (if not indeed actually insane) natter that Trump, in the face of no supporting evidence whatsoever, has been demonstrably guilty of this offense, or that?

I was deeply depressed by the news this morning. That depression has given way to intense anger. But although I am at present absolutely livid, I have seldom been more relieved than I am at this moment that I am not a Democrat.

And I have never been prouder of not being a liberal.
________________________________________

* I had wondered often over the years, since the 1979 seizing of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, why, as the Shah was a Central Intelligence Agency-installed puppet, and as we are so often told by our elders and betters that the analysts employed by that Agency are non pariel, the C.I.A. was unable to warn the U.S. government to get its employees out of its embassy before the takeover. It has lately come to my attention that the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq during this crucial period was no less a personage than that chilling psychopath Richard Helms, one of the men most likely to have given the go-ahead for the assassination of John F. Kennedy. We may be forgiven, then, for entertaining the notion that Helms, no fan of Carter’s, knew what was coming, smiled that sneering grimace of his, and let it happen.


Text copyright 2019 by Scott Ross

Related
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2018/03/30/crucible/
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2019/05/21/the-politics-of-pique/

Keep Gloating!

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russians-are-coming-blu-ray-movie-title

By Scott Ross

My previous essay on this topic, from 2018:
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2018/03/30/crucible/

At a rather woefully under-attended press conference at Duke University a few years ago, for a starry staged reading of Gore Vidal’s Civil War play On the March to the Sea, I asked Vidal how it felt to be nearly always correct about world events and to be consistently either ignored or traduced by what is laughingly called our free press. Vidal purred back, “The four most beautiful words in the English language are, ‘I told you so.'”

Although I have since become aware that this serene aperçu was one Vidal had used before, the wit and the truth of the remark are no less apt for repetition. Indeed, I have thought of it often in the last couple of weeks, since the odious Robert Mueller — predictably now beloved of the Clinton crowd, but only so long as he appears to be “going after” Donald Trump — announced that, after two years of costly investigation, there was no evidence the President had “colluded” (a word these types had never heard of before 2016) with a foreign government in the late, un-lamented, American election.

“Gloating” is a word much maligned in the language, and not without reason, as it typically denotes a sneering ugliness and self-regard unattractive at best and insufferably narcissistic at worst. There are, however, exceptions, and it seems to me that people such as Michael Tracey, Elizabeth Vos, Jimmy Dore, Matt Taibbi, Caitlin Johnstone, Jesse Ventura, Glenn Greenwald and Aaron Maté, who have from the very beginnings of this false, sordid and militantly partisan saga spoken or written about the subject with admirable skepticism and those rarest now of American journalistic virtues, thoughtfulness and reason, have more than earned the right to say, “I told you so.” That their voices were, and are, marginalized when not actively maligned, merely adds to their entitlement.

Naturally, and on cue, the very men and women who have been the loudest and most egregiously culpable in running a three-year scam against reason and perspicacity are now screaming that the Traceys and Matés of the world are “victimizing” the likes of Rachel Maddow merely by pointing out how knowingly duplicitous she has been. Maddow a victim? If so, she has certainly been well-compensated for her victimhood, unless you consider $30,000 a day scant recompense for self-induced martyrdom.

When I use the word “scam,” I am not being hyperbolic, merely realistic. As Dore is fond of pointing out, even a “jagoff nightclub comedian working out of his garage” was not fooled by the accusation, cobbled up by the cabal surrounding a Democratic candidate who was so disastrous she could not prevail against a self-regarding television game-show host to account for her eminently predictable (indeed, predicted) loss, even after taking control of her party’s operational arm and disenfranchising millions of voters in what looks to be the most monumentally fixed (and, predictably, un-punished) campaign in modern American history. A candidate, I might add, whose own machinations while Secretary of State, to sell uranium to the Russian Federation in exchange for a half-million dollars given to her equally corrupt husband, inspired her to employ the oldest trick in the political book: Deflection. “Don’t look at my dealings with Russia — look at him!” Anyone with a modicum of unaligned intelligence could see how transparently phony the whole business was. And indeed, as Jonathan Allen and Amy Parnes write in their book Shattered:

That strategy had been set within twenty-four hours of her concession speech. Mook and Podesta assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument. [Emphasis mine.]

The very word “hacking” is key. For well over three years, we have been treated to the absolute lie that John Podesta’s emails were “hacked” by WikiLeaks… or by Russian actors… when, as Ray McGovern and Bill Binney of VIPS (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity) have proven, the information was not “hacked,” but rather downloaded internally — possibly, if unverifiably, by the now conveniently dead Seth Rich at the Democratic National Committee. That WikiLeaks does not “hack” information from anywhere but merely publishes documents provided to them by third parties is conveniently left out of the narrative of those I call the Professionally Piqued… all too often, I’m afraid, women over 50, so desperate to see a person with a vagina elected to the office of President in their lifetimes they were willing to back any woman, even one as demonstrably corrupt and right-wing as Hillary Rodham Clinton, for the position.

That Clinton herself, like her erstwhile boss, the appalling Barack Obama, is so beloved of the supposed “Left” simply proves how neoliberal, or perhaps merely unthinking and reactive, most of these people really are. In fact, I would categorize the brunch-missing Pussyhat Brigade as worse than neoliberal; their words and deeds during the last three years have revealed them as deeply, and dangerously, reactionary. Their incessant Red-baiting, when the Soviet Union has long been a distant memory for many, and a non-existent one for anyone under the age of 30, reveals not merely an ugly and insupportable strain of naked xenophobia (Keith Olbermann: “Scum! Russian scum!”) but a willingness to push America toward an armed confrontation with another nation that would endanger not merely the U.S., or Russia, but the entire planet, and no one more vociferously or blindly as the now seemingly irreparably and permanently deranged Rachel “Victim” Maddow. The alleged “Left” has shown itself, in the main, to be worthy of that worst of all epithets in a sane society: Reactively pro-war.

Nearly as bad — indeed, insupportable — has been the avidity with which these same pique-maddened types, busy with demonstrations in support of, first, James Comey (after they vilified him) and then Mueller, and their cohorts in the corporate media have ignored, when not actively supported, their own nation’s current drive to overthrow the elected president of Venezuela. That they do not organize marches in support of the heroic Chelsea Manning, pardoned by Obama yet currently languishing in prison for a second time or in support of the besieged Julian Assange is equally telling, although explicable: Manning’s revelations involved the Administration of their beloved Obama. And it was Assange, of course, their one-time darling (always providing he limited his exposés to Republicans) who published the damning evidence of Hillary Clinton hypocritically assuring Wall Street that she had a public face and a private one. This last sin of Assange’s is the one which is of course wholly unforgivable.

That their allies in the corporate press are, collectively, sanguine about the perhaps imminent rendition of Assange to almost certain imprisonment in America, likely for the remainder of his life, should surprise no one. It was, after all, the enactment of Bill Clinton’s hideous, proto-fascist Telecommunications Act of 1996 that heralded the end of a free press in America, the fruits of which are now visible in every corner of our lives in what we are permitted, in the land of the free, to see and hear about events both at home and abroad. Were there still a free press in the United States, beyond the pockets of genuine (as opposed to in-name-only) resistance on outlets such as RT America, The Real News, Johnstone’s Rogue Journal and Vos’ Disobedient Media, journalists everywhere — including in Europe generally and in the United Kingdom specifically — would be daily, if not hourly, decrying the forced exile and probable arrest of a publisher.

That they do not, and that we have surrounded Russia with our bases and missiles, and make daily incursions into its air-space, while reflexively accusing that nation’s every attempt to defend itself and its territories as “aggressive,” and that none of the voices in corporate media ever call out this insane and dangerous hypocrisy, is indicative of the ways in which the American news media are still very much the employees of the CIA. Anyone who seriously imagines that the exposed and reviled “Operation Mockingbird” ended decades ago is living in a dream. The rest of us, who get it, are alas living the nightmare. And I hereby, and with no courage whatsoever, predict that the very voices stilled in possible protest at our government’s persecution of a publisher will be squealing in dismay when they are under indictment by that same, anti-democratic, entity ere long. It only takes one case to establish precedent.

In brief, then, I say to Michael Tracey, Elizabeth Vos, Jimmy Dore, Matt Taibbi, Caitlin Johnstone, Jesse Ventura, Glenn Greenwald, Aaron Maté, and all the others who “got it right” three years ago when they said and wrote that the so-called “Russiagate” investigation was an edifice built on the finest sand: If you feel like gloating, gloat. If only to remind the members of a Fourth Estate largely now turned into a Fifth Column of the sentiments of the late Sage of Ravello.

We told you so.

Text copyright 2019 by Scott Ross

Related
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2019/05/21/the-politics-of-pique/
https://scottross79.wordpress.com/2019/04/11/why-i-am-not-a-liberal/

Crucible

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By Scott Ross

Note: I realize this is only tangentially related to movies, but it’s pertinent nonetheless.
Plus… it’s my blog, and I’ll post what I like on it.


Fear doesn’t travel well; just as it can warp judgment, its absence can diminish memory’s truth. What terrifies one generation is likely to bring only a puzzled smile to the next.” — Arthur Miller, Why I Wrote ‘The Crucible’: An Artist’s Answer to Politics (The New Yorker, October 21, 1996)

I suspect by now the world and its brother take as a given that Arthur Miller’s 1953 Salem witch-trial drama The Crucible was his very personal response to a similar ordeal, enacted on a much larger stage than that of four centuries earlier, and one to which the playwright was by a no means disinterested observer. Fewer perhaps will understand that in the character of the Salem farmer John Proctor — in life a good deal older than Miller’s protagonist — lay a means for the author to expiate his own private sins. But an increasing, and increasingly nervous, number of citizens can now see in this essential post-war tragedy a troubling reflection of the ironic tragicomedy currently on view, not merely in his or her own national theatre, but in the smaller studio across the pond. A farce, moreover, with potentially the gravest possible outcome if the curtain is not forcefully rung down on it, and soon.

Yet there is an additional parallel reading just now which not even Arthur Miller could have foreseen when he first researched and then wrote his play, one brought home to me in the starkest terms on sitting down recently with the 1996 movie of The Crucible.

You know the story, surely, or should, if you studied the play in high school or ever attended a little theatre production or encountered the script in college: How Abigail Williams, besotted with love for the married man who’d bedded her, was driven nearly mad with that hopeless love burning in an adolescent brain and the attendant repression of her Puritan community; how, discovered performing in a shamanistic midnight revel, she gave forth the lie that she had seen this and that good wife of Salem disporting with Satan; that her “confession” had within its contours a darker, more hidden, purpose, that of ridding herself of her hated rival, the wife of her erstwhile lover; how the lie, catching fire, prompted other terrified girls to join in her willful delusion; and how, an entire town turning on itself, the final victim must perforce be that same man so beloved of the originator of the lie.

Try as I might to ignore the sensation, I could not hold at bay an unpleasant frisson of instant, and queasy, identification each time Winona Ryder’s Abigail Williams took the screen. The shock of recognition which precipitated this was so profound that I had often while viewing the movie to force my mind away from the uncanny and disturbing parallel I saw in it to what used, in our school days, to be called “current events,” merely in order to savor the beautiful means by which the picture’s director, Nicholas Hytner (before and since the great stage and screen interpreter of Alan Bennett) captured Miller’s magnum opus; the often exquisite playing of the cast (and which, aside from Ryder included Daniel Day Lewis, Joan Allen, Bruce Davison, Charlayne Woodard, George Gaynes, Mary Pat Gleason, the splendid Ron Campbell and the magisterial Paul Scofield); the economy and grace with which Miller adapted, condensed (and in some ways improved upon) his masterwork; the sumptuous cinematography by Andrew Dunn; and the equally fulsome production design of Lilly Kilvert; all of which, taken together, rendered the production far more effective and moving than any mere reading or previous production of the play I’ve so far encountered.

It’s a heady thing, after all, to be gob-smocked so completely by such a perfect, unbidden historical analog to the present. I knew this girl, I thought — this selfish, foolish, unheeding, unthinking monster of a girl, whose lies, born of defeat and panic, unleashed a holocaust she lacked both the wit to foresee and the emotional health to be anything but indifferent to.

We all know her, for she is, like Abigail, so anxious to be known… and discussed, and debated about, and deified.

Abigail Williams is Hillary Clinton.



“…I was motivated in some great part by the paralysis that had set in among many liberals who, despite their discomfort with the inquisitors’ violations of civil rights, were fearful, and with good reason, of being identified as covert Communists if they should protest too strongly.” — Arthur Miller

November, 2016: Hillary Clinton’s campaign team, desperate to create for themselves, and for her, a self-justifying narrative to explain why “the most qualified candidate in American history” had lost the late (and seemingly endless) Presidential election to a buffoonish television game-show host, holds a meeting at which it is decided that, henceforth and forever, something called variously “Russian meddling,” “Russian hacking” and “Russian collusion” was to be the bogey of choice. Never mind that the losing candidate herself will go off script and, at every possible opportunity — practically every other week — and find someone new to blame for her deserved defeat by Donald J. Trump. Russia it was to be, and Russia it was to remain.

We need not rehearse here the actual reasons for that well-predicted loss, save to note that she was, with her rival, one of the two most hated candidates in American Presidential campaign history; a single vote against him was canceled out by another — if not indeed many others — against her.

No, I take that promise back. Let’s rehearse those reasons. They have bearing.

  • The loathing of many for the Clinton Foundation — correctly seen as a revolving-door scam dependent for its survival on one or the other of the Clintons being in office; its horrific betrayal of cash-strapped Haiti; and the shady Uranium One deal with the Russian Federation which (among other things) netted Bill a half-million dollars, allegedly for a single speech and $142 million for the phony Clinton Foundation;
  • Hillary Clinton’s penchant, seemingly pathological, for lying, usually without necessity, the lies themselves nearly always easily disproved;
  • Her transparent hypocrisy: “I went down to Wall Street and told them, ‘Cut it out!’… which the transcripts of her speeches — not released by her — directly contradicts;
  • Her reactionary social beliefs: Against marriage equality… until the percentages of those for it reached that crucial 51%… Against abortion, which she deems a matter for “a woman, her family and her pastor” [emphasis mine] and which she asserts “should be rare, and I mean rare” [emphasis hers];
  • Her warmongering, both as Senator and as Secretary of State and including the disasters of Honduras and Haiti, and the mutation by the president she nominally served of three inherited wars into seven, presumably with her avid assistance;
  • The WikiLeaks revelation of the damning Podesta emails, instantly (and repeatedly) labeled “Russian meddling” when it is well-known, and well-documented, that Julian Assange received them from an un-named source inside the DNC;
  • Donna Brazile, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the clear rigging of the 2016 primaries by the DNC… which we now know was entirely controlled by the Hillary Clinton campaign… and which means, of course, by Hillary Rodham Clinton;
  • Bill: His deeply conservative tenets and acts, including NAFTA; turning much of America into a for-profit prison; his gutting of Welfare; and his utterly disastrous Telecommunications Act of 1996 which sacrificed a free press — without which a true democracy cannot function — on the altar of corporate commerce; his womanizing and accused rapes; and his ex parte meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on that now infamous tarmac;
  • Her own deep psychopathology, revealed in her laughing uproariously at the horrendous torture-murder of a foreign leader (Gaddafi) and her serious (and repeated) questioning of why Assange could not simply be murdered by drone-strike;
  • Her willful ignoring of the prevailing economic woes experienced by half the nation;
  • Her braying declaration that single-payer, Medicare-style healthcare for all was a pipe-dream that was “never going to happen!”;
  • Her willingness to means-test Social Security and to hand it over to her Wall Street pals who have, it is well known, been salivating for years over the prospect of getting their hands on our money;
  • Her sneering, dismissive stereotyping of voters whose ballots she desperately needed — both Trump supporters and progressives;
  • President Obama’s eight-year corporatist screwing of labor, the middle-class and working Americans, and his assertion that Clinton was his natural heir, implying her complicity in these matters, and that her election would mean more of the same;
  • Her staggeringly inept and egotistical campaigning style (And here, note that her official slogan was not “She’s with US” but “I’m with HER”); the equally arrogant manner with which her most vocal supporters demonized the progressive left with as much, on the one hand, indifference and, on the other, viciousness, as their goddess herself; their endless attacks on leftists on social media, much of it paid for; the incessant screaming of “Sexist!” at anyone who held reservations about her, even those who are themselves women or who campaigned for, or planned to vote for, Jill Stein (indeed, according to them, Stein herself was sexist for having the temerity, like Sanders, of thinking she had the right to run as a candidate); her supreme arrogance in not campaigning in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, states whose support she very much needed; and indeed, the overall conceit by which she presumed we owed her our votes, and that she therefore need not come to us for them;
  • The sense among many in the electorate — conservative, liberal and progressive —that a vote for Clinton was a vote for more war, more fiscal inequity, more lies and more corporatist/neoliberal/neocon policies. (And, as has often been noted, when Democrats run as Republicans, the actual Republican always wins.); and
  • Yes, those emails of hers, on that un-secured, un-encrypted, personal server; her refusal to turn said server over to the FBI; and James Comey’s corrupt and cynical refusal to prosecute her for something which, had anyone else committed it, would have resulted in that individual’s receiving a nearly automatic jail term.

That Clinton’s only serious primary rival was speaking to tens of thousands of enthusiastic supporters when she couldn’t fill a high-school gymnasium we will leave aside, for the moment, as we will the seemingly motiveless murder of the DNC staffer Seth Rich, the likeliest source of the WikiLeaks revelations. Because, of all the reasons for Hillary Clinton’s embarrassing defeat which bear on this essay, none is as important as that delineated in the third clause of the first bulleted paragraph above: Doing deals with Russia.

If the first rule of political expedience is not deflection, surely it must rank snugly within the top five. The Clinton team was cognizant of and, even after the election, still nervous about, Hillary and Bill’s reciprocal dealings with Vladimir Putin’s government for personal gain, and the corrupt manner in which the Clinton-controlled DNC shoved her down America’s collective throat. Solution: Deflect. It is Trump who is dealing with Russia! They “hacked” our elections! Trump is being blackmailed by Russia!

He’s a Putin-Puppet!

And so, if you doubt one word of what we’re saying, are you.



“…the politics of alien conspiracy soon dominated political discourse and bid fair to wipe out any other issue.” — Arthur Miller

However successful the Clinton team hoped its flagrant, Abigail Williams-like deflection might be, the immediate (and enduring) positive response to it must surely have dazed even them. Or perhaps it didn’t. Perhaps these cynics depended upon, and anticipated, the fervor of the equally cynical hacks in the corporate media — and, indeed, in the minds of Trump-haters and Clinton fanatics (often one and the same) which, as a predictable result of the 19-month election cycle, had become entirely un-hinged and utterly incapable of independent thought. Indeed, the scheme could only work with a figure as hated as Trump in the White House: Someone who inspires such fevered loathing that the mere fact of his presidency is enough to blow the mental fuses of Clinton idolaters.

Not that these types — known, in honor of their idol’s campaign slogan, by the rather perfect epithet “Withers” — have ever betrayed much acquaintance with rationality. But Trump-as-President creates such widespread cognitive dissonance among them that they cannot think, much less speak, coherently. Their obscenely well-compensated High Priestess in Derangement is a quondam Rhodes Scholar whose nightly billet has of late become the pulpit from which to extol such neoliberal shibboleths as hero-worship of the FBI and the CIA, the embrace of anyone seemingly opposed to Trump — no matter who, or how dubious or indeed anti-democratic — and war with a nuclear-armed nation as the best (really, only) means by which Trump can prove to her he is not Vladimir Putin’s personal kukla. More on this anon.

Had we anything like a free press, it would still plump for war, because that is its norm. (Gulf of Tonkin, anyone? Weapons of mass destruction?) Still, one would like to believe it might also, as once was its brief, perform at least a minimal amount of due diligence by way of investigatory journalism. That it would, instead of anointing a family as corrupt and venal as the Clintons, expose their duplicity.

I am speaking here not of the specious accusations and spurious, even libelous, claims by the right which have been so loonily over the top they have forced even those deeply skeptical of Hill-n-Bill into the bitter position of having to defend them, although I would argue that the more ludicrous of these attacks have redounded to the Clintons’ benefit so perfectly they might have been planned by that pair; Fox News has done more, in its way, to deify these two than even their usual lap-dogs in the press. I refer to the easily provable: Her pathological lying, his serial abuse of women, their pay-to-play machinations. But the corporate press, as with this former First Couple’s cynical donors, is invested in them, as it is with never,  if illuminating either at all, portraying labor or the left in anything but a negative light: The total Anglo-American blackout by the usual suspects in the news biz of Occupy Wall Street until the Asian and European press coverage shamed it into nominal (usually sneering) coverage is a good example, as is the subsequent repeat performance when Bernie Sanders was speaking to packed houses all over the nation yet, somehow, doing so into an electronic void. One listened in vain for any airing of either set of events on, for example, the once great, now wholly corporatized, NPR or its equally compromised British coeval the BBC.

I was reminded in 2016 of the 2004 Democratic primaries, during which Carol Moseley Braun and Dennis Kucinich constituted, separately and together, the ideal choice: A pair of candidates who speak passionately and articulately to the real needs and concerns of a nation — not for endless war but for economic reform and pay equity. Howard Dean too, in those salad days before he saw the corporate light and became an unconscionable shill, had some good ideas there, as did the once shining and now disgraced John Edwards. There were, altogether, ten potentials among the Democrats, yet the media informed us, sorrowfully, that it simply could not devote the necessary resources, either of employment or of money, to covering them all. Flash-forward twelve years, to 2016, with its 17 Republican primary candidates, every one of whose campaigns, regardless of personal loopiness, received from this same quarter a sufficiency (not to say a surfeit) of coverage. This is not to mention the plastering of Trump’s visage on the airwaves, to the tune of some two billion dollars’ worth of free advertising, including the sight of his empty podium… and a telephone number for making donations. Yet fewer than a half-dozen Democrats in 2004 somehow defeated the media’s resources. Who, having heard it, can ever forget the sound of Les Moonves giggling over how much money Trump was generating for CBS?

Their real money, of course, was on the establishment neocon candidate. How else explain why so little has been made by the corporate press of Clintons’ appalling arrogance in employing un-secured routers and devices for top-secret government communications, and in destroying her emails and the machines she used to send and receive them? How else justify the collective shrug given by the corporate media when the director of the Obama FBI and his minions altered an actionable charge of “gross negligence” against her to the wrist-slap of “extreme carelessness”? How else codify why the transparent rigging of the primaries — the crooked electronic votes (the actual, as opposed to fabricated, “hacking of our elections”) and the purging of voters from the rolls all over the country — by the DNC, an organization we have since learned was entirely under the control of Clinton herself? Woodward and Bernstein were working, initially and for some time, with a hell of lot less information in 1972.

But George Carlin said it best: It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it.



“The Soviet plot was the hub of a great wheel of causation; the plot justified the crushing of all nuance, all the shadings that a realistic judgment of reality requires.” — Arthur Miller

Those who have been deranged by the twin horrors of a campaign that lasted nearly half as long as an American President’s term in the White House and the specter in the Oval Office of the loathed and derided Donald J. Trump are now, in their pique, addicted to fresh promises that this new development, or that new indictment, or the other new “revelation,” will surely spell the end for his cynosure. And the corporate media feeds that addiction, daily raising their expectations by promising the last nail in Trump’s presidential coffin. It is an addiction that pounces on the merest scrap: The appropriately tawdry and meretricious “Steele Dossier”; the firing by Trump of this or that odious aide or National Security apparatchik; the indictment by the Special Prosecutor of a baker’s dozen of Russian trolls purchasing (the horror!) ten thousand dollars’ worth of seeming political ads on social media… after the election, please recall.

The Democratic Party has, of course, seized on this Wither-directed pique, declaring — after, one presumes one too many viewings of The Force Awakens — the emergence of something it calls “The Resistance” but which more impartial observers correctly deem “The McResistance.” For, as with the equally spurious “Tea Party” movement which came into existence only after a mixed-race Democrat took office, the adherents of this new “Resistance” were notably silent during eight years of corporatist Obama atrocities, not least including his more than doubling the existing wars and his stripping from the land of habeas corpus. But, unlike the Tea Partiers, who, whatever their true origin in the darkened boardrooms of Koch and ALEC, mobilized to effect a change, however dolorous, in their party, the McResistance does as it is told, donning pink caps here, massing against guns there, unable to see just how cannily (and pathetically easily) they are manipulated by the still-Clintonian DNC which robbed them of the best chance they had to defeat Trump — whose victory over their queen was predicted early and whose party rival was just as convincingly proved to be able to beat The Donald, had he been given the chance… and had he possessed the backbone to fight back against the vote-rigging and not caved so early, and so often.

But Irrational Trump Hatred is so high that it has overwhelmed the ability for critical thought. “Vote Blue, No Matter Who” means electing a Republican in all but name merely because he is not Roy Moore. It means further marginalizing all progressive comers. It means additional rigging of votes, such as during the recent Congressional election in Florida, where erstwhile DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz retained her seat by performing on a local level what her corrupt committee enacted on a national one mere months before: Robbing Tim Canova of votes and then destroying the contested ballots. Or take the March Illinois campaign, during which the progressive candidate Marie Newman not only saw her early lead over Republican-Lite Dan Lipinksi fall, but her ballot numbers actually go down, in real-time. 20 years ago, we were warned that the electronic voting systems being ramped up all over the land and administered by the right-wing Diebold Company, would surely benefit Republicans. Now, we understand, all too late, that they are also benefitting rightist neocon Democrats. Where is the outrage over this? Where the pussy-hat marchers? Too busy, one presumes, labeling any-and-everyone who disagrees with them “Putin Puppets” on Social media or over the “liberal” airways of MSNBC.

I mentioned Woodward and Bernstein in passing, above, but “Woodstein,” and Watergate, also have bearing on this essay, and on the general derangement Trump’s victory has unleashed. In Watergate, there was no Congressional investigation until evidence of a crime had come to light. This is a crucial element of a criminal inquiry: Investigators, knowing of a specific crime having been committed, then examine the evidence of that crime to determine guilt. They do not, except in a police state, go looking for a crime first. Since, as far as we can divine from the lack of evidence so far presented (and, trust me, if the various American entities gathered under that pretty little catch-all “security” had any evidence of “collusion,” they would release it) the basis on which the president is being investigated, in contradistinction of all previously understood and agreed upon understanding of jurisprudence, is that very lie cobbled up by Clinton’s campaign team. And the single most dismaying, and dispiriting, upshot of all this has been the avidity with which “liberals” have supported this judicial abuse, out of irrational hatred and plain pique.

The loss of such critical thinking skills (always presuming they existed to begin with) condemns the reactive and newly self-appointed legal experts to Pavlovian salivating over Trump’s “Russian collusion,” or his violation of a clause none of them had ever heard of before 2016 and most cannot properly pronounce, “emoluments” usually being spoken of as “emollients” — presumably relating to the illegal use of hand lotions. A progressive friend recently opined of Trump’s chicanery that he felt certain there was “a there there.” Well, yes — if you dig long enough, and deep enough, you’re bound to find something nefarious. That The Donald has gotten away with decades’ worth of shady business dealings and, on a lesser level, perpetual flummery, aided and abetted by the New York media’s slavering adulation of him, is well-known. Where were these would-be prosecutors then? Avidly devouring the latest New York Post story written by Trump about himself and copied more or less verbatim as “news” by hacks masquerading as journalists? Watching his long-running NBC game-show? Why do they only care now?

Further: That the immediate result of a Trump impeachment would be the installation as Commander-in-Chief of Vice President Pence seems not to have occurred to them. “Oh, we can control him” is the smug response, when one gets a response at all. As you have “controlled” Trump, by voting for nearly everyone he nominates and everything he wants? And, if he is so easily controlled, then why the tsouris?

How well these types would have sung in the Salem Town congregation.

The elevation by the McResistance of such oleaginous types as Comey, James Clapper and Robert Mueller, its unthinking embrace of the deep-state and the shadow government (and yes, even former CIA officials admit both exist), its indifference to the news that a record number of former military intelligence and ex-CIA operatives are running in the 2018 Democratic campaigns, its reactionary and chilling echoing of 1950s Red-baiting, and its refusal to accept that the much-discussed release by WikiLeaks of the Podesta emails was, as William Binney and Ray McGovern of VIPS (Veterans Intelligence Professionals for Sanity) have assured us, the work of someone inside the DNC using a USB data-stick, have led to the appalling if unsurprising intelligence that fully 85 per-cent of Americans now believe something called “Russian hacking” was responsible for Trump’s election rather than, as was the case, the bulk of American voters rejecting a candidate they deemed even worse. (Another old friend, who lived through the McCarthy scare, opined recently that even Henry Kissinger would be better as president than Trump. Henry Kissinger!)

Those still capable of rational thought, who have not allowed their disdain for The Donald to overwhelm their minds, understand that, after a year and a half of investigation, if there were anything to the many and varied charges of “collusion,” we would by now be awash in evidence. Sixteen months, and what are the results?

Thirteen Russians trolling for cyber-cash.

Nor does the new Red-Scare madness end at our borders. Across the pond, a Prime Minister beset on every side by the results of her own ineptness suddenly claims a pair of expatriated Russians living in Britain were “conclusively” poisoned by the Russians, on as little evidence as the Clinton team’s “Russia did it!” accusations — which is to say only their word on it. Other nations now are scrambling to deport Russian diplomats, on the word of Teresa May. International tensions, as they say in the news biz, are escalating, and there seems daily a greater chance that this spurious, un-proven (and, I daresay, unprovable) nonsense could eventuate in war with a nuclear-armed nation. Worse, the incessant Red-baiting and baseless charges against Trump make it nearly impossible for him to deal in any reasonable fashion with Putin; should he attempt to quell these ludicrous and easily avoidable tensions, the predictable cries of “See? He’s in Putin’s pocket!” will shortly deafen the airwaves.

And so the 21st century Abigail Williams, unlike her 17th century counterpart, has, in her avidity to deflect her own Uranium deal with the Russian Federation onto the new President, endangered not merely her small community or even her state, but the entire globe. This makes her both more and less than her theatrical coeval, who wanted merely a man she could not have, and when even that modest desire fell to ruin, departed the scene. Abigail-Hillary, by contrast, never shuts up. She and her disciples (who, again unlike those in Salem, don’t even — because they cannot, or their entire sense of self will come crashing about their dangerously empty heads — recognize how well their leader has played them) seem to want the very end of their world, as long as they can feel a little better about themselves during the millisecond they, and we, have before the first bomb drops.

Copyright 2018 by Scott Ross