Category Archives: Satire

World War III

So, 2020 is off to an exciting start. It’s barely the middle of January, and we’ve already made it through World War III, which was slightly less apocalyptic than expected. Forensic teams are still sifting through the ashes, but preliminary reports suggest that the global capitalist empire has emerged from the carnage largely intact.

It started in the Middle East, of course, when Donald Trump (a “Russian-asset”) ordered the murder of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani outside the Baghdad Airport, presumably after clearing it with Putin, which, given Iran and Russia’s relationship, doesn’t really make much sense.

But whatever. According to the U.S. government and the corporate media, Soleimani was a “terrorist,” who had been working with Assad (another “terrorist”) to destroy ISIS (who are also “terrorists”) and elements of Al-Qaeda (who used to be “terrorists”) with the support of the Russians (who are kind of “terrorists”) and doing all sorts of other unspecified but allegedly imminent “terrorist” things.

Apparently, Soleimani had flown to Baghdad on a secret commercial “terrorist” flight and was on his way to some kind of covert “terrorist” diplomatic meeting to respond to a de-escalation proposal from Saudi Arabia (who are definitely not “terrorists”) when the U.S. military preventatively murdered him with a General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-9B Reaper drone.

Iran (officially a “terrorist” country since January 1979, when they overthrew the brutal Western puppet that the CIA and MI6 had installed as their “Shah” in 1953, after they regime-changed the Iranian prime minister, after he nationalized the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, later to be known as British Petroleum) reacted to the preventative murder of their “terrorist” general like a bunch of “terrorists.”

The Ayatollah Khamenei (you guessed it, a “terrorist”) issued a series of “terrorist” threats against the 50,000 U.S. military personnel more or less completely surrounding his country on bases all across the Middle East. Millions of Iranians (currently “terrorists,” except for members of MeK), who, according to the U.S. officials, hated Soleimani, took to the streets of Tehran and other cities to mourn his death, burn American flags, and chant “death to America” and other “terrorist” slogans.

The empire went to DEFCON 1. The 82nd Airborne was activated. The State Department advised Americans vacationing in Iraq to get the hell out of there. #worldwar3 started trending on Twitter.

Freedom-loving countries throughout the region stood by to be annihilated. Saudi Arabia postponed its previously scheduled weekend edition of public head-chopping. Israel dialed up its non-existent nukes. The Kuwaitis posted armed guards on their incubators. The Qataris, Bahrainians, United Arab Emiratis, and other loyal empire outposts did whatever those folks do when they’re facing nuclear Armageddon.

In the U.S.A., it was mass hysteria. The corporate media starting pumping out stories about Soleimani having “blood on his hands,” and being “the number one terrorist in the world,” and having ruthlessly genocided hundreds of American soldiers, who, back in 2003, had preventatively invaded and destroyed Iraq and were preventatively slaughtering and torturing its people to keep them from attacking America with their non-existent WMDs.

Americans (most of whom had never even heard of Soleimani until their government murdered him, and many of whom can’t find Iran on a map) took to Twitter to call for the immediate nuking of Iran from orbit. Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered a division of heavily-armed anti-“terror” forces to stand around in New York City with their rifles in the classic “sling-ready” position to prevent the Iranians from swimming the Atlantic (along with their communist killer dolphins), crawling up onto East Hampton Beach, taking the LIRR into town, and committing some devastating “terrorist” atrocity that would be commemorated throughout eternity on key rings, T-shirts, and jumbo coffee mugs.

Trump, disciplined Russian agent that he is, held his nerve and maintained his cover, performing his “total moron” act as only a seasoned Russian operative can. While Iran was still mourning, he started publicly jabbering about Soleimani’s dismembered corpse, bombing Iranian cultural sites, and otherwise bombastically taunting Iran like an emotionally-challenged street-corner drunk. His strategy was clearly to convince the Iranians (and the rest of the world) that he is a dangerous imbecile who will murder the officials of any foreign government that Mike Pompeo tells him to, and then incinerate their museums and mosques, and presumably the rest of their “shithole” countries, if they even think about retaliating.

Nevertheless, retaliate the Iranians did. In a sadistic display of cold-hearted “terrorism,” they launched a firestorm of ballistic “terror” missiles at two U.S. military bases in Iraq, killing no one and injuring no one, but damaging the hell out of some empty buildings, a helicopter, and a couple of tents. First, though, in order to maximize the “terror,” they called the Swiss embassy in Tehran and asked them to warn the U.S. military that they would be launching missiles at their bases shortly. As the Moon of Alabama website reported:

The Swiss embassy in Tehran, which represents the U.S., was warned at least one hour before the attack happened. Around 0:00 UTC the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) which prohibited civil U.S. flights over Iraq, Iran, the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

In the wake of the Iranians’ devastating counter-strike, and the mass-non-casualties resulting therefrom, anyone with an Internet connection or access to a television descended into their anti-terror bunkers and held their breath in anticipation of the nuclear hell Trump was sure to unleash. I confess, even I tuned into his speech, which was one of the most disturbing public spectacles I have ever witnessed.

Trump burst through the doors of the White House Grand Foyer, dramatically backlit, freshly “tanned,” scowling like a WWF wrestler, and announced that, as long as he is president, “Iran will never be allowed to have nuclear weapons” … as if any of the events of the preceding week had had anything to do with nuclear weapons (which the Iranians don’t need and do not want, except in some neoconservative fantasy wherein Iran intends to commit national suicide by nuking Israel off the face of the Earth).

I didn’t make it through his entire address, which he delivered in a breathless, robotic staccato (possibly because Putin, or Mike Pompeo, was dictating it word-for-word into his earpiece), but it was clear from the start that all-out, toe-to-toe nuclear combat with the Axis of Resistance, or the Axis of Terror, or the Axis of Evil, or the Axis of Whatever, had been averted.

But, seriously, all mass hysteria aside, despite whatever atrocities are still to come, World War III is not going to happen. Why, you ask, is it not going to happen? OK, I’ll tell you, but you’re not going to like it.

World War III is not going to happen because World War III already happened … and the global capitalist empire won. Take a look at these NATO maps (make sure to explore all the various missions). Then take a look at this Smithsonian map of where the U.S. military is “combating terrorism.” And there are plenty of other maps you can google. What you will be looking at is the global capitalist empire. Not the American empire, the global capitalist empire.

If that sounds like a distinction without a difference … well, it kind of is, and it kind of isn’t. What I mean by that is that it isn’t America (i.e., America the nation-state, which most Americans still believe they live in) that is militarily occupying much of the planet, making a mockery of international law, bombing and invading other countries, and assassinating heads of state and military officers with complete impunity. Or, rather, sure, it is America … but America is not America.

America is a simulation. It is the mask the global capitalist empire wears to conceal the fact that there is no America … that there is only the global capitalist empire.

The whole idea of “World War III,” of powerful nation-states conquering other powerful nation-states, is pure nostalgia. “America” does not want to conquer Iran. The empire wants to restructure Iran, and then absorb Iran into the empire. It doesn’t give a rat’s ass about democracy, or whether Iranian women are allowed to wear mini-skirts, or any other “human rights.” If it did, it would be restructuring Saudi Arabia and applying “maximum pressure” to Israel.

Likewise, the notion that “America” has been making a series of unfortunate “strategic mistakes” in the Middle East is a convenient illusion. Granted, its foreign policy makes no sense from the perspective of a nation-state, but it makes perfect sense from the perspective of the empire. While “America” appears to be mindlessly thrashing around like a bull in a china shop, the empire knows exactly what it’s doing, what it has been doing since the end of the Cold War, opening up formerly inaccessible markets, eliminating internal resistance, aggressively restructuring any and all territories that are not playing ball with global capitalism.

I know it’s gratifying to wave the flag, or burn it, depending on your political persuasion, whenever things flare up militarily, but at some point we (i.e., we Americans, Brits, Western Europeans, et al.) are going to need to face the fact that we are living in a global empire, which is actively pursuing its global interests, and not in sovereign nation-states pursuing the interests of nation-states. (The fact that the nation-state is defunct is why we’ve been experiencing a resurgence of “nationalism.” It isn’t a return to the 1930s. It is the death throes of the nation-state, nationalism, and national sovereignty … the supernova of a dying star.)

World War III was an ideological battle, between two aspiring hegemonic systems. It is over. It’s a global capitalist world. As Mr. Jensen put it in the movie Network:

You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multinational dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds, and shekels. It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today.

That system of systems, that multivariate, multinational dominion of dollars, has us all by the short hairs, folks. All of us. And it won’t be satisfied until the world is transformed into one big, valueless, neo-feudal, privatized market … so maybe we should forget about World War III, and start focusing on World War IV.

You know the war I’m talking about, don’t you? It’s the global capitalist empire versus the “terrorists.”

Impeachment Derangement: Or How I Learned to Stop Hating and Love Trump

I’m not an Evangelical Christian, lover of Israel, or someone who wants to ban Muslims from entering America. Would never put a kid in a cage or a dog in a box.

I’m not a wounded warrior, won’t allow guns or flag waving in my house, don’t voluntarily stand for the Anthem.

Don’t ride a Harley or make menacing faces. IMHO, leather vests, blue jeans and jack boots make for a silly ensemble on aging white nationalists.

Not a banker, CEO, landlord. Don’t invest my hard-earned $$$ in pharmaceutical corps (though I have nothing against opioids, per se). I want to “tax the rich until there ain’t no rich anymore.”

I’m certainly not a male chauvinist or libertarian like Jeff St Clair. It’s not all fun and games for me. I have a conscience. I believe in fighting for free health care for all, including abortion on demand. I believe in free tuition. And free beer and chicken for union members on Sundays.

At least I did. But all that has changed.

It started with Russiagate and climaxed with Impeachment Derangement.

My good friend Max P.  opened my eyes. Max made me see that each is a farce, a witch hunt, a hoax designed by Soros, the Deep State and the Fake News media to undermine American democracy. The Russians are as innocent as Trump. It was the Ukrainians, under the malign influence of Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, who interfered in the 2016 elections. According to Max, Obama, Biden and Clinton got their buds in the CIA and FBI to blame the Russians and frame Trump for collusion.

I was dubious at first, but the Mueller Report confirmed everything Max said. No Collusion! And yet Rachel Maddow continued to Spew the Big Lie! How could this be, unless, as Max stated in no uncertain terms, the CIA Conspiracy continues unabated?

I was reluctant to believe such a CIA Conspiracy was possible, but then the DOJ IG Report revealed that, under Obama’s direction, high placed FBI officials tricked the FISA court in order to Spy on Trump. Incredibly, this Treason has gone Unpunished. Why? Because, as Max patiently explained, up until now, the Liberal CIA has been indomitable. And only Trump has been man enough to fight it.

Due to be released in June, to ensure that Truth, Justice, and the Republicans Prevail, the Barr-Durham report will reveal that an evil Papist-cum-Leftist branch of the CIA (Brennan, Biden, Pelosi) along with HILLARY, is behind the plot to Smear Trump and overthrow Democracy. Thank God Max told me how it really works. Despite 35 years investigating the CIA, I thought it was run by right wing fascists working for the super-rich. I thought the CIA had staged a coup in Ukraine and that the CIA was still battling Russia for control of Crimea.

Little did I know. But now, thanks to Max and his fellow Gabbard-wing Libertarian, I know Russia is not our longstanding enemy, and that the CIA is controlled by a secret cabal of neoliberals trying to impede peace with Putin for their own enrichment. Under God-fearing Republicans, the Senate Judiciary, Finance, and Homeland Security Committees will collaborate Ukraine’s meddling in the 2016 election in time for Trump ascension.

“Look,” the Apostle Max said in his gently mocking tone, “Oliver Stone likes Putin and Putin said Trump was impeached for on “made-up reasons.” What more proof do you need?”

I had to admit, that made for an almost airtight case. Then Rudy confirmed everything the Apostle Max had said. Rudy provides more proof than you can imagine. All you brainwashed doubters out there, turn off Rachel, stop grinning about impeachment, and watch Rudy’s documentary on OANN TV. See for yourself.  Biden is the Traitor! Trump is your Truth-Telling Friend.

Yesterday, at Max’s suggestion, I read Triggered in one sitting. And the scales finally fell from my eyes. I learned the true meaning of words. I realized it’s the disinformation Democrats habitually employ that has confused me all along. Pelosi saying she prays for Trump is the perfect example. She’s obviously lying. May her false teeth fall out!

And now Pelosi wants to delay sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate! When will these Devils leave Trump alone to do God’s work and destroy the Satanic Deep State (aka the Democrats)? There is going to be Hell to pay, as Max says. Already Trump’s secret agents are organizing the vigilante DHS-ICE Death Squads that will hunt down and kill Trump’s tormentors like the mangy dogs they are.

It happened in Bolivia. It can happen here.

Long have I believed my own assumptions about right and wrong, true and false. No more. I realize now there’s only one way to endure this vicious world, to live like Trump in eternal youth and enlightenment until the Rapture. Accept the Golden Chosen One! Save your sorry ass and climb on the bandwagon before the Vengeance begins.

And that’s how I learned to stop hating and love Donald Trump.

Thank you, Max.

The Year of Manufactured Hysteria

Well, it looks like we’ve somehow managed to survive another year of diabolical Putin-Nazi attacks on democracy. It was touch-and-go there for a while, especially coming down the home stretch, what with Jeremy Corbyn’s desperate attempt to overthrow the UK government, construct a British version of Auschwitz, and start rounding up and mass-murdering the Jews.

That was certainly pretty scary … but then, the whole year was pretty scary.

The horror began promptly in early January, when Rachel Maddow revealed that Putin was projecting words out of Trump’s mouth in real-time; i.e., literally using Trump’s head like a puppet, or one of those Mission Impossible masks. And that was just the tip of the iceberg, as, despite the best efforts of Integrity Initiative, Bellingcat, and other such establishment psyops, Internet-censoring sites like NewsGuard, and an army of mass hysteria generators, Putin’s legion of Russian “influencers” was continuing to maliciously influence Americans, who were probably also still under attack by brain-eating Russian-Cubano crickets!

While Resistance members were still wrapping their heads in anti-cricket aluminum foil, Putin (i.e., Russian Hitler) ordered Trump (i.e., Russian-asset Hitler) to launch a coup in Venezuela (i.e., Russian Hitler’s South American ally), probably to distract us from “Smirkboy Hitler” and his acne-faced gang of MAGA cap-wearing Catholic high-school Hitler Youth, who were trying to invade and Hitlerize the capital. Or maybe the coup was meant to distract us from the un-American activities of Bernie Sanders, who had also been deemed a Russian asset, or a devious “Kremlin-Trump operation,” or was working with Tulsi Gabbard to build an army of blood-drinking Hindu nationalists, genocidal Assadists, and American fascists to help the Iranians (and the Russians, of course, and presumably also Jeremy Corbyn) frontally assault the State of Israel and drive the Jews into the sea.

As if all that wasn’t horrifying enough (and ridiculous and confusing enough), by early Spring there was mounting evidence that Putin had somehow gotten to Mueller, possibly with one of those FSB pee-tapes, and was sabotaging the “Russiagate” coup, the Intelligence Community, the Democratic Party, the corporate media, and the rest of the Resistance had been methodically preparing since 2016. Liberals’ anuses began puckering and unpuckering as it gradually became clear that the “Mueller Report” was not going to prove that Donald Trump had colluded with Putin and Julian Assange to steal the presidency from Hillary Clinton and transform the United States of America into a genocidal Putin-Nazi Reich.

Meanwhile, the anti-Semitism pandemic that had mysteriously erupted in 2016 (i.e., right around the time Trump won the nomination) was raging unchecked throughout the West. Jews in Great Britain were on the brink of panic because approximately 0.08 percent of Labour Party members were anti-Semitic, as opposed to the rest of the British public, who have never shown any signs of anti-Semitism (or any other kind of racism or bigotry), and are practically a nation of Shabbos goys. Clearly, Corbyn had turned the party into his personal neo-Nazi death cult and was planning to carry out a second Holocaust just as soon as he renationalized the British railways!

And it wasn’t just the United Kingdom. According to corporate media virologists, idiopathic anti-Semitism was breaking out everywhere. In France, the “Yellow Vests” were also anti-Semites.  In the U.S.A., Jews were facing “a perfect storm of anti-Semitism,” some of it stemming from the neo-fascist fringe (which has been a part of the American landscape forever, but which the corporate media has elevated into an international Nazi movement), but much of it whipped up by Ilhan Omar, who had apparently entered into a “Red-Brown” pact with Richard Spencer, or Gavin McInnes, or some other formerly insignificant idiot.

Things got very confusing for a while, as Republicans united with Democrats to denounce Ilhan Omar as an anti-Semite (and possibly a full-fledged Islamic terrorist) and to condemn the existence of “hate,” or whatever. The corporate media, Facebook, and Twitter were suddenly swarming with hordes of angry anti-Semites accusing other anti-Semites of anti-Semitism. Meghan McCain couldn’t take it anymore, and she broke down on the Joy Behar Show and begged to be converted to Judaism, or Zionism, right there on the air. This unseemly display of anti-anti-Semitism was savagely skewered by Eli Valley, an “anti-Semitic” Jewish cartoonist, according to McCain and other morons.

Then it happened … perhaps the loudest popcorn fart in political history. The Mueller Report was finally delivered. And just like that, Russiagate was over. After three long years of manufactured mass hysteria, corporate media propaganda, books, T-shirts, marches, etc., Robert Mueller had come up with squat. Zip. Zero. Nichts. Nada. No collusion. No pee-tape. No secret servers. No Russian contacts. Nothing. Zilch.

Cognitive dissonance gripped the nation. There was beaucoup wailing and gnashing of teeth. Resistance members doubled their anti-depressant dosages and went into mourning. Shell-shocked liberals did their best to pretend they hadn’t been duped, again, by authoritative sources like The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Guardian, CNN, MSNBC, et al., which had disseminated completely fabricated stories about secret meetings which never took place, power grid hackings that never happened, Russian servers that never existed, imaginary Russian propaganda peddlers, and the list goes on, and on, and on … and hadn’t otherwise behaved like a bunch of mindless, shrieking neo-McCarthyites.

Except that Russiagate wasn’t over. It immediately morphed into “Obstructiongate.” As the corporate media spooks explained, Mueller’s investigation of Trump was never about collusion with Russia. No, it was always about Trump obstructing the investigation of the collusion with Russia that the investigation was not about, and that everyone knew had never happened. In other words, Mueller’s investigation was launched in order to investigate the obstruction of his investigation.

Or whatever. It didn’t really matter, because, by this time, Assange had been arrested for treason, or for jumping bail, or for smearing poo all over the walls of the Ecuadorean embassy, and The New York Times was reporting that a veritable “constellation” of social media accounts “linked to Russia and far-right groups” was disseminating extremist “disinformation,” and Putin had unleashed the Russian spywhale, and “Jews were not safe in Germany again,” because the Putin-Nazis had formed an alliance with the Iranian Nazis and the Syrian Nazis, who were backing the Palestinian Nazis that Antifa was fighting on behalf of Israel, and Jews were not safe in the UK either, because of Jeremy Corbyn, who Donald Trump (who, let’s all remember, is literally Hitler) was conspiring with a group of “unnamed Jewish leaders” to prevent from becoming prime minister, and Iran was conspiring with Hezbollah and al Qaeda to amass an arsenal of WMDs to launch at Israel and Saudi Arabia, and other peaceful Middle Eastern democracies, and Trump was finally going to go full-Hitler and declare martial law on the Fourth of July, and he was operating literal “concentration camps” where immigrants were being forced to drink out of toilets, which looked almost exactly the same as the “detention facilities” Obama had operated except for … well, you know, the “fascism.” So who had time to worry about the corporate media colluding with an attempted Intelligence Community coup?

Then, in August, right on cue, some racist whack job murdered a bunch of people, and so now, as if the mass hysteria hadn’t already been jacked up to the max, America had “a white nationalist terrorist problem,” or was in the throes of a “white nationalist terrorism crisis.” Trump was now officially our “Nihilist-in-Chief,” and “a white supremacist who inspires terrorism” and was basically no different than Anwar al-Awlaki. It was time to take some extraordinary measures along the lines of the Patriot Act, except focused on potential white supremacist terrorists, or anyone the Editorial Board of The New York Times might deem a “threat.”

This sudden outbreak of “Trump-inspired terrorism” and the manufactured “fascism” hysteria that followed got the Resistance through end of the Summer and into the Autumn, which was always when the main event was scheduled to begin. See, these last three years have basically been a warm-up for what is about to happen … the impeachment, sure, but that’s only one part of it.

If you thought the global capitalist ruling classes and the corporate media’s methodical crushing of Jeremy Corbyn was depressing to watch … well, prepare yourself for 2020. The Year of Manufactured Mass Hysteria was not just the Intelligence Community and the corporate media getting their kicks by whipping the public up into an endless series of baseless panics over imaginary Russians and Nazis. It was the final phase of cementing the official “Putin-Nazi” narrative in people’s minds.

For the sake of anyone new to my columns, here’s how the Putin-Nazi narrative works …

The Putin-Nazi narrative has two basic parts, or messages, which are constantly repeated: (1) “Russia is attacking our democracy!; and (2) “fascism is spreading like wildfire!,” both of which parts are essentially fictions. This official Putin-Nazi narrative was introduced in the Summer of 2016, and replaced the official “War on Terrorism” narrative, which had run for fifteen years, and which was just as fictional. It has been methodically reinforced and repeated by the neoliberal establishment, the corporate media (and, more recently, the alternative media, and even by extremely intelligent anarchist anthropologists like David Graeber) for the last three years on a daily basis. At this point it has become our “reality,” just as the War on Terror became our “reality” … as the Cold War had previously been our “reality.”

When I say that this narrative has become our “reality,” I mean that it is now virtually impossible to refute it in any mainstream forum without being dismissed as a “conspiracy theorist,” or an “anti-Semite,” or a “Russian asset.” It has become axiomatic and is taken for granted that we are experiencing an explosion of anti-Semitism, and fascism, and that Russia is out to get us (so axiomatic that someone like Graeber falls into the trap of defending Corbyn by relying on, and thus reifying, the very “fascism” hysteria that was used to destroy him).

Never mind that the entire planet continues to be ruled by global capitalism, transnational corporations, and supra-governmental bodies, and that most of it is occupied by the U.S. military, NATO, and other GloboCap allies, and assorted corporate military contractors. Never mind that Russia isn’t “attacking” anyone, and that the “Nazis” haven’t taken over anything, and that no one is rounding up and murdering the Jews, or the Mexicans, or anyone else for that matter … because when have facts had anything to do with maintaining an official narrative?

The answer, in case you were wondering, is “never.” We are, all of us, living in a fiction. A fiction authored by those in power to serve the interests of those in power. That’s what an official narrative is. It makes no difference whether we believe it or not. It functions as “reality” regardless. If you doubt that … well, just ask Jeremy Corbyn. Or watch as the Labour “anti-Semitism crisis” evaporates into thin air, as the War on Terror did in 2016, once it no longer served a useful purpose.

As for 2020, I’m afraid the manufactured mass hysteria is only going to get worse. The global capitalist ruling classes are determined to snuff out this populist rebellion, and to make sure it never happens again, or at the very least not on this scale. Anyone who gets in the way is going to be branded an “anti-Semite,” or a “fascist,” or a “Russian asset.” Politicians who do not toe the line are going to have their political careers and personal reputations destroyed. (Did you notice how it took less than two days after the crushing of Jeremy Corbyn for the smearing of Sanders as an anti-Semite or “soft on anti-Semitism” to begin?)

Mainstream journalists who dare to question the official Putin-Nazi narrative, even in the most respectful way, are going to come under increasing pressure to tone it down or suffer the consequences. Putin-Nazi paranoia will metastasize. Dissident websites will be deplatformed and demonitized. The Internet will be increasingly monitored for any and all forms of non-conformity. Dissent will be increasingly stigmatized. “Reality” will be increasingly policed. It’s all going to get extremely unpleasant, and that’s assuming that civil war doesn’t break out.

And as for me, I’m just a political satirist with a barely respectable cult-sized following, so they’ll probably let me get away with continuing to cover the whole ugly show (as long as no one starts to take me seriously). I’ll try to find the humor in it, but honestly, just between you and me, what’s coming may not be all that funny.

“Deep State” or Quid pro Coup?

Whether seen as a shadowy, villainous presence or, possibly, a heretofore tight-lipped benefactor, the “Deep State” has recently risen from the far-fringed depths of obscure conspiracies to seize the public discourse with a Leviathan-like tentacle.  On the surface, President Trump, the quid pro quo‘ster boy of impeachable note, either looks like a paid clown of the “Deep State”; or, alternatively, the tin-skinned hero of a globalist, “Deep State” witch hunt.  Whichever direction you look, left or right, the conspiratorial “Deep State” talk has become normalized in mainstream media.

Nevertheless, there are limits to how far this newly acknowledged “Deep State” awareness extends.  Take the recent — and ongoing — coup d’etat in Bolivia, for example.  This coup has been so slow-rolling that most North American media consumers never saw it coming, since Bolivia is never seen as a country of note. Indeed, for well over a year, the New York Times, and other corporate news presenters, have been trumping up the regime change operation in Venezuela, instead.

At first glance, most Venezuelan coup subscribers probably felt a shock at this sudden Bolivian substitution.  However, when their new “Deep State” awareness sinks in, they will realize that Venezuela is more “in play” than ever, since that “red devil” Maduro’s now three-quarters surrounded by a “troika of…” — Colombia, Brazil, and Bolivia, as the still-wet concrete of the Bolivian coup continues to harden.

In Greater South America, one could ask, in this “Jeopardy” capitalist world, like Alex Trebek:  “What is Lithium?”  One could even clue in the contestant that “social” and “indigenous” are excluded from the correct answer; “corporatist Bible-thumping,” however, will be admitted, as the Bolivian coup actors have brazenly brandished their Bibles while overthrowing the “satanic” Evo Morales.  Does one sense a Pompeo-Pence connection, perhaps?  Maybe something deeper than that? Certainly, the Trump regime has vigorously endorsed the militaristic ouster of Morales while, ironically enough, having its own legitimacy put on trial through a carnivalesque impeachment proceeding.  Could the “Deep State” be working both angles at once:  executing a coup down there while staging a “quid pro quo” show up here?

Who “quid pro” knows, but a tentacle of the “Deep State” (now that everyone’s talking about it) can also be surmised in the Kafkaesque case of the Gray Zone editor-journalist Max Blumenthal.  Blumenthal was recently arrested by Washington D.C. police on a warrant that had been thrown out by a judge five months previously. The charge stemmed from Blumenthal’s participation in a civilian operation to supply activists in the Venezuelan embassy besieged by a throng of anti-Maduro, pro-Guaido apparatchiks who were literally blockading the Venezuelan embassy:  a microcosm of the United States illegally blockading the entire country of Venezuela. In late October, 2019, someone in the Leviathan Apparatus revived the moribund warrant against Blumenthal, which caused the D.C. police to forcefully paddy wagon the journalist off to a local jail cell for 36 hours, during which time the anonymous authorities denied Blumenthal his right to make a phone call.

“Calling Kafka –”

“Hello, Patriot Act:  are we reaching?”

In the event, Blumenthal’s Kafkaesquely incarcerated status, his “disappearment,” was just as mysteriously lifted, and the contrarian pen-wielder of note was just as suddenly free to commit more of his pen-wielding atrocities — such as exposing the Academy Award winning alt-terrorist group, the White Helmets, in Syria.  The Blumenthal “redaction,” plus the gest apo  —  or “Police State”  — tactics involved raises the question:  who in our government signs off on such secretive detentions?

Interestingly enough, Blumenthal had no prior criminal record, beyond reporting on crimes of the state (“Deep” or just plain obvious), which is not yet considered to be a crime in “America” — unless, of course, you are a Snowden, Manning, or Assange, who is not even a U.S. citizen.  If the “pen is mightier than the sword,” then Blumenthal’s pen appears to have crossed an undisclosed “red line.”  Whoever signed off on Blumenthal’s arrest, going so far as to list the journalist as “Armed and Dangerous,” remains in the shadows –– an invisible authority, if you will.  There’s more than a shred of “quid pro quo” hanging over the Blumenthal abduction, about which major media journalists have maintained an icy silence.

Now, back in March, 2019, mainstream media types also missed a “strange” and “unusual” detail of newly elected Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s first state visit to the United States.  Bolsonaro is unabashedly chauvinist, and the ostensible purpose of his trip was to meet with his American doppelgänger, Donald Trump. However, a funny thing happened on the way to the Oval Office:  Bolsonaro stopped at the CIA HQ in Langley, Virginia, first.  Far from stopping the presses, the peculiarity of a major hemispheric  — not to mention world — leader seeing the CIA at all (never mind before meeting the American president) was scarcely reported on here.

In Brazil itself, news of Bolsonaro’s CIA visit raised eyebrows all the way back to the 1964 CIA-engineered coup d’etat (Code Name “Brother Sam”), which ousted the democratically elected Joao Gaulat.  Gaulat was Brazil’s last liberal leader until Lula da Silva in 2003.  “Lula,” the popular front-runner in Brazil’s 2018 election cycle, was jailed on corruption charges under a hastily expedited anti-corruption probe (lava jato, or “Car Wash”) orchestrated by the Brazilian judge Sergio Moro, who was working with both the U.S. FBI and DoJ.  In jail, da Silva was banned from running for president, blazing a path to victory for the right-wing firebrand Bolsonaro.  In quid pro coup fashion, Sergio Moro was quickly appointed Minister of Justice by Bolsonaro after his election, and accompanied Bolsonaro on his “unusual” visit to CIA headquarters.

There’s more to the Brazilian story, of course, including the 2016 impeachment of Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s first female president, who had cancelled a state visit to the Obama White House in 2013 after leaked revelations that the NSA had been spying on her government for years, as if…

So, the near distant trajectory of Jair Bolsonaro’s rise to the presidency of Brazil bears all the Leviathan-like tentacle marks of a slow-rolling coup, too.  Bolsonaro’s “strange” visit to the CIA HQ, obviously, bolsters this view.  Moreover, Bolsonaro’s trip also checked off a telling wish on a shadowy wish list:  the U.S. Military now has basing rights at Brazil’s Alcantra Aerospace Launch complex, a little less than a rocket-propelled stone’s throw from — Venezuela.

One further incident deserves mention in this context:  peace activist Medea Benjamin’s recent dust-up with the “Venezuela Democracy Caucus.”  Three days after the Bolivian coup, coincidentally enough, U.S. congress members Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Democrat) and Mario Diaz-Balart (Republican) held an open air press event to launch their caucus, which is the latest D.C. platform  for regime change in Venezuela.  Medea Benjamin was there, in protest.

Somehow, a scuffle ensued, involving pushing, shoving, and an arm bar on Benjamin.  Claiming to have been “touched” during the melee, Wasserman Schultz complained vociferously to D.C. Capitol Police, who arrived in force at Benjamin’s residence an hour later to apprehend the offending civil disobedient, in an eerie replay of the Blumenthal incident scant weeks before.  In this case, however, the “hall monitors” were truly warrantless, and Benjamin was left undetained, but shaken.  Clearly, the pro-Guaido crowd has pronounced aggressive tendencies that are not troubling to the D.C. gendarmerie (nor the corporatist press, for that matter), who prefer to harass non-violent journalists and activists, instead.

Whatever the state of the “Deep State” in the United States, the Blumenthal and Benjamin incidents suggest we have a resurgent “Police State” waiting in the wings to crack down on dissent.  The more virulent version of this crackdown is presently on display in coup-stricken Bolivia and, if the “Deep Staters” get their way, Venezuela will be the next exhibit.

Nota bene:  as of December 6, the U.S. government has mysteriously dropped the warrant against Max Blumenthal.  “Trial balloons, folks; nothing but (impeachment?) trial balloons!”

The Second Coming

From BBC TV New Year’s Eve retrospective, 31st December 2019:

“As we reflect on what was the most truly remarkable election campaign in living memory, indeed in all of recorded history, it is important to recognise the fact that we as human beings, as inhabitants of the planet Earth, have been fundamentally changed by the incredible events of December 2019. We are no longer the people we were before he came. When Jesus Christ revealed himself to us on December 6th, not long into the election campaign proper and whilst standing on top of a soapbox in the middle of a Tesco car park on the outskirts of Milton Keynes, nobody could possibly have predicted the tumultuous events that were to come.

Surrounded by TV and radio news journalists, their proffered microphones picking up his every word, Jesus was asked if he had come to replace the sitting Pope in Rome.

“Rome…at Easter? Ooh no,” he said, clearly horrified, “I’m not too keen on the Romans. I can still feel those nails – ouch! I’ll stay in my nice little two up-two down terrace in Northampton, thank you very much.”

Jesus was asked if he had been living in Northampton for the last two thousand years.

“No, no,” he replied with a laugh, “I have been sitting at the right hand of God.”

“I never saw this Jesus guy in my life!” tweeted Donald Trump immediately.

“Jesus, why have you chosen to live in the UK?” asked a journalist from Milton Keynes Hospital Radio.

“The meek shall inherit the earth but I will start with the UK, which, as you all know, is in a mess and in desperate need of a moral leader.”

On hearing of the second coming, Jeremy Corbyn grasped the political nettle by declaring that Jesus was the first socialist and had returned to his natural home in the Labour Party. As it turned out, however – and this came as a surprise to many – it was to the Liberal Democrats that Jesus turned. At an extraordinary general meeting of the party, and amidst immense popular support from the public at large, the Liberal Democrats immediately elected Jesus as their leader, unceremoniously displacing an outraged Jo Swinson.

“Replacing the first female leader of the Liberal Democrats with a middle-aged male is a backwards step for feminism!” she protested in anger and humiliation.

“Do not be consumed by bitterness, my child,” urged Jesus.

“Oh, bugger off back to Galilee, you misogynist, immigrant scumbag!” replied the embittered Ms. Swinson, before professing her undying love and support for Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party.

“Beardy do-gooder with a messiah complex!” was how Boris Johnson described Jesus just before a head to head TV debate, not realising that his microphone was switched on and his comments were being broadcast to the nation. Upon realising that his election campaign was now obviously doomed to failure and his bid to be re-elected Prime Minister thwarted by divine intervention, the Tory Party leader railed against the new order.

“This is the end of democracy as we know it, what a mess – Jesus Christ!!”

“You called?” replied Jesus.

We all know what happened next – the revitalised Liberal Democrats were elected by a landslide and Jesus became our new Prime Minister. In his acceptance speech, he announced that his most pressing priority was to eradicate world hunger, beginning with the replacement of food banks in the UK. Whilst there was initial delight at the free loaves and fishes, nutritionists expressed their dismay at the lack of vitamin C on offer and warned of a dietary apocalypse. McDonald’s, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken and a whole host of other fast food chains went bust almost overnight, precipitating fears of a possible world recession, and the City was horrified as shares in the nation’s alcohol and tobacco companies were rendered worthless. The FTSE Index fell 15 per cent – its worst one day drop in history – and this was replicated on stock exchanges all over the world. While economists warned of an imminent deflationary spiral, churches the length and breadth of the land were full to bursting and august City institutions were now clamouring to invest in charitable causes.

The new prime minister’s next initiative was to propose a vote to limit MPs’ salaries and expenses, but this motion was defeated 653-1. He managed to perform a less ambitious miracle, however – League Two football club Northampton Town, Jesus’ local team, managed to attract new free-transfer recruits Christiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos, all of whom pledged their undying allegiance to their new club, which is expected to win the Champions League in 2022.

Just before Christmas a fatwah was declared on Jesus by the fundamentalist Islamic leader Abdul Ahmad Codadudi and there were warnings of nuclear annihilation from a clearly rattled President Xi Jinping of China. The population of the United Kingdom, however, and indeed the just under five billion people around the world who had converted to Christianity since the second coming just a few days before, appeared to be unconcerned. But there were further clouds on the horizon. When Greta Thunberg urged Jesus not to fly to the upcoming NATO conference in New York, he responded by saying ‘certainly, my child – I’ll take a stroll over the Atlantic or get my father to give me a lift.’ Environmental movement leaders levelled accusations at Jesus that he was out of touch with concerned millennials who didn’t have the luxuries of supernatural powers and an all-powerful parent. In response, Jesus raised his hands to the heavens, his eyes fixed on rays of sunshine appearing between the parting clouds.

“Lord, my work here is done, there is no hope for these ungrateful wretches. Let’s have a go on another planet. Beam me up, if it be your will….”

And with that, as suddenly as he arrived, he was gone. Will he return? Nobody knows, although there are some who think they know, or perhaps pretend to.

So, what of the future? There lies the question, the same question we always ask at this time of the year, and the answer… well, fuck knows. Let’s all go and get pissed.”

Bleep — Blank Screen

END OF BROADCAST

Legalienate Hails Democratic Coup In Bolivia

Legalienate editors Frank Scott and Michael Smith, who declared themselves co-president of the United States in February, today hailed the self-proclaimed presidency of Jeanine Añez in Bolivia as a harbinger of democratic self-determination throughout the world.

“Juan Guaidó in Venezuela was just the beginning,” exulted Smith. “On the eve of Thanksgiving, we are deeply grateful to have yet another self-proclaimed president, especially in Bolivia, which suffered the indignity of majority rule for 13 long years, and couldn’t have been expected to take it much longer.”

“Their long national nightmare is over,” added Scott, who observed that Morales’s “insane socialism” had sent the country careening disastrously into sustained high economic growth, increased literacy, and sharp reductions in poverty and inequality before rich white Christians restored the natural order of looting and burning homes, teargassing funerals, and firing machine guns into unarmed crowds.

“That is what democracy looks like,” said Smith.

Añez’s democratic legitimacy is beyond dispute, as her voter support soared to nearly two percent in the October elections, while her Democratic Unity Party did even better, claiming a massive 4.24% of the vote. The deposed and disgraced Evo Morales could only garner a meager 47%, just ten percent more than his nearest rival. Fortunately, the Organization of American States cried fraud, so the top vote-getter could properly be declared the loser, an increasingly common electoral standard famously celebrated by the United States in 2000 and 2016, though with a much wider margin this time.

Unexpected condolence calls from Al Gore and Hillary Clinton coached Morales on the art of showing grace under pressure. “Just bend over and take it,” said Gore, summarizing wisdom learned from his 2000 campaign. “It worked wonders for me.”

“Blame everyone but yourself,” recommended HRC, who revealed that, though widely detested, she is thinking of running for president on a third party ticket if Bernie Sanders wins the democratic nomination in the United States. “The challenge of our time,” said Clinton, “is to prevent a raving lunatic from destroying our democracy.” She added that she opposes Donald Trump, too.

President Añez, her smooth diplomatic skills already on display, announced from La Paz that “our power is God,” and humbly entered the Bolivian presidential palace toting a huge Bible while tweeting subtly that Bolivian Indian rites were “satanic.” Fortunately, Indians only make up a large majority of the population, so no repercussions can be expected.

Many experts object to describing Añez’s ascension to the presidency as a coup, insisting that Morales voluntarily resigned his post. Williams Kaliman, head of the Bolivian Armed Forces when Morales quit, insists that he merely suggested the former president step down, either before or after police finished ransacking his house. Kaliman, a graduate of the United States School of the Americas at Fort Benning, famous for democratic practices like mass torture, rape, and murder, said he had “no idea” how people got the idea that force was involved. “I left the matter entirely up to Morales,” he said, describing the atmosphere in which the decision was made as “completely calm,” except for the unrestrained arson, assault, and looting by democracy-loving police officers.

There is no truth to vulgar Marxist claims that the change in Bolivia’s government was motivated by a U.S. desire to gain control of the country’s lithium, (70% of the world supply), a crucial metal needed for mass production of electric car batteries.  Such conspiracy theories are based on the long discredited notion that private profit has something to do with a market economy dedicated to maximizing private gain.

Which Would You Prefer: Nuclear War or Climate Catastrophe?

To: The people of the world
From: The Joint Public Relations Department of the Great Powers

The world owes an enormous debt of gratitude to Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Narendra Modi, Boris Johnson, and other heroic rulers of our glorious nations. Not only are they hard at work making their respective countries great again, but they are providing you, the people of the world, with a choice between two opportunities for mass death and destruction.

Throughout the broad sweep of history, leaders of competing territories and eventually nations labored at fostering human annihilation, but, given the rudimentary state of their technology, were only partially successful. Yes, they did manage to slaughter vast numbers of people through repeated massacres and constant wars. The Thirty Years War of 1618-1648, for example, resulted in more than 8 million casualties, a substantial portion of Europe’s population. And, of course, World Wars I and II, supplemented by a hearty dose of genocide along the way, did a remarkably good job of ravaging populations, crippling tens of millions of survivors, and blasting much of world civilization to rubble. Even so, despite the best efforts of national rulers and the never-ending glory they derived from these events, large numbers of people somehow survived.

Therefore, in August 1945, the rulers of the great powers took a great leap forward with their development―and immediate use―of a new, advanced implement for mass destruction: nuclear weapons. Harry Truman, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin were all eager to employ atomic bombs against the people of Japan. Upon receiving the news that the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima had successfully obliterated the population of that city, Truman rejoiced and called the action “the greatest thing in history.

Efforts to enhance national grandeur followed during subsequent decades, as the rulers of the great powers (and some pathetic imitators) engaged in an enormous nuclear arms race. Determined to achieve military supremacy, they spared no expense, employed Nazi scientists and slave labor, and set off vast nuclear explosions on the lands of colonized people and in their own countries. By the 1980s, about 70,000 nuclear weapons were under their command―more than enough to destroy the world many times over. Heartened by their national strength, our rulers threw down the gauntlet to their enemies and predicted that their nations would emerge victorious in a nuclear war.

But, alas, the public, failing to appreciate these valiant efforts, grew restive―indeed, disturbingly unpatriotic. Accordingly, they began to sabotage these advances by demanding that their governments step back from the brink of nuclear war, forgo nuclear buildups, and adopt nuclear arms control and disarmament treaties. The popular clamor became so great that even Ronald Reagan―a longtime supporter of nuclear supremacy and “winnable” nuclear wars―crumpled. Championing nuclear disarmament, he began declaring that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” National glory had been sacrificed on the altar of a cowardly quest for human survival.

Fortunately, those days are long past. In the United States, President Trump is determined to restore America’s greatness by scrapping nuclear arms control and disarmament agreements, spending $1.7 trillion on refurbishing the entire U.S. nuclear weapons complex, and threatening to eradicate other nations through nuclear war. Meanwhile, the president’s good friends in Moscow, Beijing, London, Paris, New Delhi, and elsewhere are busy spurring on their own national nuclear weapons buildups. As they rightly insist: The only way to stop a bad nation with the Bomb is with a good nation with the Bomb.

Nor is that all! Recently, our rulers have opened up a second opportunity for a planetary destruction: climate catastrophe. Some scientists, never satisfied with leaving the running of public affairs to their wise rulers, have claimed that, thanks to the burning of fossil fuels, rising temperatures are melting the polar icecaps, heightening sea levels, and causing massive hurricanes and floods, desertification, agricultural collapse, and enormous wildfires. As a result, they say, human and other life forms are on their way to extinction.

These scientists―and the deluded people who give them any credence―are much like the critics of nuclear weapons: skeptics, nay-sayers, and traitorously indifferent to national grandeur. By contrast, our rulers understand that any curbing of the use of fossil fuels—or, for that matter, any cutbacks in the sale of the products that make our countries great―would interfere with corporate profits, undermine business growth and expansion, and represent a retreat from the national glory that is their due. Consequently, even if by some remote chance we are entering a period of climate disruption, our rulers will refuse to give way before these unpatriotic attacks. As courageous leaders, they will never retreat before the prospect of your mass death and destruction.

We are sure that you, as loyal citizens, are as enthusiastic as we are about this staunch defense of national glory. So, if you notice anyone challenging this approach, please notify your local Homeland Security office. Meanwhile, rest assured, our governments will also be closely monitoring these malcontents and subversives!

Naturally, your rulers would love to have your feedback. Therefore, we are submitting to you this question: Which would you prefer―destruction by nuclear war or destruction by climate catastrophe? Nuclear war will end your existence fairly quickly through blast or fire, although your death would be slower and more agonizing if you survived long enough to die of radiation sickness or starvation. On the other hand, climate catastrophe has appealing variety, for you could die by fire, water, or hunger. Or you might simply roast slowly thanks to unbearable temperatures.

We’d appreciate receiving your opinion on this matter. After all, providing you with this kind of choice is a vital part of making our nations great again!

The Ministry of Wiki-Truth

OK, here’s a silly one for you.

Have you ever wondered how all those Wikipedia articles get produced … you know, the ones you pull up on your phone to look up an actor, an author, or a recipe, or a historical or scientific fact? Unfortunately, one of the Consent Factory staff had an opportunity to find out recently.

Apparently, what happened was, someone (presumably one of my readers) tried to add a reference to one of my essays to Wikipedia’s Identity Politics page. The Ministry of Wiki-Truth objected, adamantly. A low-level edit war ensued. Once the Ministers had quashed the rebellion, one of them, “Grayfell,” immediately went to the CJ Hopkins Wikipedia article and started punitively “editing” its contents for “neutrality.”

Other Ministers soon joined in the fun. The list of my awards was summarily deleted. My debut novel, Zone 23, which I published under the Consent Factory’s literary imprint, Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant Paperbacks, was “edited” into a vanity publication that I “self-published,” probably in my mother’s basement. The “Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant” imprint (which every bookseller, library, and professional catalog recognizes) was disappeared so that my potential readers will be warned that I’m trying to trick them into buying a book that wasn’t published by a “real” (i.e., corporate) publisher, like the Penguin Group, or one of its … uh, imprints. References to my “political satire and commentary,” and to many of the alternative outlets that regularly repost my essays (like the outlet you’re probably reading this in) were also zapped, because they’re all “fake news” sites operated by Putin-Nazi agents.

Also, given my attempted book fraud, the Wikipedia Ministers immediately launched an investigation into whether I had possibly made up my entire career. Perhaps I had invented all the productions of my plays, and my awards, and even my existence itself. I assume they have contacted my “legitimate” publishers, Bloomsbury Publishing and Broadway Play Publishing, to verify that I haven’t somehow hacked their websites and faked my other books. If they haven’t … well, they should probably get on that.

This “editing” and pursuant investigation was overseen and approved by a senior member of the Ministry’s Arbitration Committee, Doug Weller, who is apparently a “Grandmaster Editor” or a “Lord High Togneme Vicarus” in Wiki-speak. (I kid you not … click the link.) Given Lord Weller’s supervision of the process, I think it’s probably safe to say that this was not just the work of a bunch of kids attempting to negatively impact my book sales because someone on the Internet pissed them off.

This brouhaha was brought to my attention by the Consent Factory’s in-house Wikipedia Liaison, King Ubu (or König Ubu in German). As his job title suggests, King Ubu’s duty is to periodically check my Wikipedia article and make sure that no one has posted anything false, defamatory, or just plain weird. Naturally, when he saw how the Ministers of Wiki-Truth were punitively “editing” my page for “neutrality,” he attempted to engage them. This did not go well. I won’t go through all the gory details, but, if you’re curious, they’re here on the CJ Hopkins “talk” page (which King Ubu reports that he has copied and archived, which I find a bit paranoid, but then, I’m not an IT guy).

Look, normally, I wouldn’t bore you with my personal affairs, but my case is just another example of how “reality” is manufactured these days. In the anti-establishment circles I move in, Wikipedia is notorious for this kind of stuff, which is unsurprising when you think about it. It’s a perfect platform for manufacturing reality, disseminating pro-establishment propaganda, and damaging people’s reputations, which is a rather popular tactic these days. The simple fact is, when you google anything, Wikipedia is usually the first link that comes up. Most people assume that what they read on the platform is basically factual and at least trying to be “objective” … which a lot of it is, but a lot of it isn’t.

If the name Philip Cross doesn’t ring any bells, you might want to have a look into his story before you go back to uncritically surfing Wikipedia. As of May 14, 2018 (when Five Filters published this article about him and his service at the Ministry of Wiki-Truth), he had been editing Wikipedia for five years straight, every day of the week, including Christmas. He (if Cross is an actual person, and not an intelligence agency PSYOP) specializes in maliciously “editing” articles regarding anti-war activists and other anti-establishment persons. The story is too long to recount here, but have a look at this other Five Filters article. If you’re interested, that’s a good place to start.

Or, if you don’t have time to do that, go ahead and use my case as an example. See, according to Ubu, the Ministry’s punitive “editing” of my article to make it more “neutral” began when this specific Minister (“Grayfell”) discovered (a) that I existed, and (b) that I am a leftist heretic. “Grayfell,” as it turns out, is extremely invested in maintaining a positive image of Antifa, whose Wikipedia article he actively edits, and whose honor and integrity he valiantly defends, not only from conservatives and neo-fascist bozos, but apparently also from nefarious leftist authors and political satirists like myself.

Which … OK, I probably deserve it, right? I have satirized identity politics. I have satirized Antifa. I have satirized liberals. I don’t forbid controversial outlets (or any other outlets for that matter) from republishing my political satire and commentary, even after I was instructed to do so by the Leftism Police at CounterPunch. Jesus, I even included a link to a Breitbart article in the preceding paragraph … don’t read it, of course, it’s all a bunch of lies, notwithstanding all the supporting evidence.

Chief among my leftist heresies, I haven’t insulted Trump nearly enough. I don’t believe he’s a “Russian asset” or the resurrection of Adolf Hitler. I believe he is the same narcissistic ass clown and self-absorbed con man he has always been. Much as I dislike the man, I’m not on board with the deep-state coup the Intelligence Community, the Democrats, and the rest of the neoliberal Resistance have been trying to stage since he won the election.

I’m not a big fan of Intelligence agencies, generally. I don’t care much for imperialism, not even when it’s global capitalist imperialism. I do not support the global capitalist ruling classes’ War on Populism, or believe in the official Putin-Nazi narrative that they and their servants in the corporate media have been disseminating for the last three years. I do not sing hymns to former FBI directors. I don’t believe that all conservatives are fascists, or that the working classes are all a bunch of racists, or that “America is under attack.

Let’s face it, I’m a terrible leftist.

So it’s probably good that “Grayfell” and his pals discovered me and are feverishly “correcting” my article, and God knows how many other articles that don’t conform to Wikipedia “policy,” or Philip Cross’ political preferences, or Antifa’s theory of “preemptive self-defense,” or whatever other non-ideological, totally objective editorial standards the “volunteer editors” at the Ministry of Wiki-Truth (who have nothing to do with the Intelligence Community, or Antifa, or any other entities like that) consensually decide to robotically adhere to.

How else are they going to keep their content “neutral,” “unbiased,” and “reliably sourced,” so that people can pull up Wikipedia on their phones and verify historical events (which really happened, exactly as they say they did), or scientific “facts” (which are indisputable) … or whether Oceania is at War with EastAsia, or Eurasia, or the Terrorists, or Russia?

Oh, and please don’t worry about my Wikipedia article. König Ubu assures me he has done all he could to restore it some semblance of accuracy, and that the Ministers have moved on to bigger fish. Of course, who knows what additional “edits” might suddenly become a top priority once “Grayfell” or Antifa gets wind of this piece.

Democracy Lost?

Snippet of a possible conversation overheard:  “So, who won the Game?”
“You know, I don’t know, but Democracy was losing pretty badly when I fell asleep…”

It almost goes without saying that this is no longer a Democracy, these United States.  Never mind the “fake news” President, Donald Trump:  America’s not been a Democracy for a very long time — if, indeed, it ever was a…democracy.  This has been the case since at least 1945, 1917, or, quite possibly, even as far back as 1776.

Beyond the powdered wigs of our founding Patriarchs, ancient Athens has always been seen as the cradle of textbook Democracy. However, the textbooks tend to under-emphasize the fact that the ancient Athenians held Slaves before they held elections, just like many of their modern counterparts in the breakaway republic of colonial America.  In theory, of course, Democracy does not require a Slave economy; neither does it necessarily sanction a War-making economy that brazenly embraces foreign entanglements while waving a false Flag of “We the People.”

Consider the current kerfuffle over the illegal American troop presence in Syria, for example.  What are American soldiers doing in Syria in the first place, and how did they get there?  They certainly weren’t invited by Bashar al-Assad, who remains the internationally recognized ruler of Syria.  Instead, American troops were covertly inserted into Syria in 2014 or 2015 — the record is unclear — behind the backs of the American People and its Congressional representatives — not to mention the Syrian government and its People.  Only in 2018 did it become a minor news item that the United States military ruled over one-third of sovereign Syrian territory, much to the surprise of many American politicians and the Public they pretend to represent.

Who’s in charge is hard to say, as the situation’s so fluid, so malleable, so “Syrian…”  In any case, it appears that the United States has had more than a hand — plus many Libyan arms — in fomenting the regime-change war against al-Assad that’s been destroying Syria since 2011.   No matter what the Anarchy’s going on in Syria, this example of continuing American combat operations in the Persian Gulf region points to a persistent pattern of un-democratic decision-making by American policymakers since at least 1945.

1945 is a somewhat arbitrary date.  However, after the atomic bomb-punctuated victory over the Japanese in 1945, a decision was made to keep the United States on a permanent war footing.  Like the decision to use “The Bomb” itself, this post-War forging of our National Security State was hammered out behind closed doors, well beyond the eyes and ears of the American public.  “We the People” were never consulted, but merely informed, loud speaker style, after the fact — a fact dressed-up in the paranoid shades of a new-and-improved “Red Scare.”

By way of this fresh “Red Scare,” the villainous menace of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan was magically morphed into an aggressive fear of our most recent ally, the Communist — or “Red” — Soviet Union.  And, what an all-encompassing fear it was, as totally mind-numbing as the genocidal war that preceded it.  Two atomic bombings later and the trick was turned.  Our Russian ally was now the unusually evil enemy, hell-bent on World domination.  What a truly arbitrary state of affairs, then, in 1945!

Since 1945, our education system has emphasized the exceptional, self-evident, and manifestly destined qualities of the American brand:  and the Brand prayed on, no questions asked.  We deal in unconditional assertions, not medieval disputations. Because we so deal, whether it’s New or Monroe’ld, we more or less own the World.  In a word, domination’s been the post-War American deal.

Now, if you were born after 1980, you probably don’t remember the Communist threat to our way of life.  By the 1980s, our most hell-fire and brimstone fight with actual Communists had been air-brushed out of American consciousness.  Which is a strange thing to report, because that fight had occurred pretty much right off the post-War bat.

In fact, tens of thousands of American soldiers were overrun by hundreds of thousands of Chinese Communists in late 1950 in the Northern reaches of the Korean Peninsula.  Things got so bad that the American brass considered using nuclear weapons to save the day.  In the event, they stayed with napalm as their genocidal weapon of choice.  (Question:  did the United States drop more tons of napalm on Korea or Vietnam?  Per-square-year, the answer is — Korea.  That’s the kind of question American school kids never get asked.)

Growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, all I ever heard about Korea was — less than a pin drop.  There was the popular TV sit-com “M.A.S.H.,” of course, which was more or less understood to be an allegory of Vietnam, because America had been trained to forget Korea, our Manchurian Candidate’s War, as if the Second World War had never ended.  And the Brand prayed on:  Murder, She Wrote. So, through the long, savage dissonance of Vietnam, the Korean “police action” — as Hiroshimatomic bomb-dropper Harry Truman infamously called it — was forgotten, like the exceptional American had gotten his dance steps all wrong in this new-fangled, “We Dropped the Bomb, Twice!” kind of world.

So Vietnam, and, since then, Afghanistan, that rock-and-poppy strewn Asian expanse that sunsets Empires.  These undeclared war days, the idea of American Democracy’s looking more and more like an opioid dream.

Yes:  it’s Afghanistan again, like a hangover that won’t go away.  Holy hair-of-the-dogs of War we keep sending over there, but doesn’t the American Afghan policy bear all the needle marks of a drug addiction?  We are now 18 years into this undeclared war dependency; as in Korea and Vietnam, the Pentagon’s still calling the shots over the heads of the American citizenry.  A real, working Democracy would have called a referendum on this sorry sack of military adventurism years ago.  The Afghan War’s always been a dog that won’t hunt — unless all it’s doing is sniffing for drugs.

The record for Democracy since 1945, then, is pretty sketchy.  It shows that American Democracy’s morphed into a ceremonial mask stretched ever thinner over an unaccountable War-Making Apparatus, as if the “War to Save — and now Expand — Democracy!” we’ve all been whipped up to keep fighting during the last century is really about saving the “War Machine” instead.

On a lighter note:  It may be a bit late in the post-War day, but there are signs that more people, the perpetually sleepy People, are waking up to the dissonance of living in, and paying for, a War Machine State disguised as a Democracy.  Hillary Clinton’s recent attack on “anti-regime-change-war” candidate Tulsi Gabbard, for example, shows that the Death Star’s getting slightly rattled that Gabbard’s “heresy” is garnering even what little attention the Mainstream Media actually grants it.  There’s obviously a Big Wave out there for something more than more War…

By the way:  Did someone finally find Democracy in the Persian Gulf?

The Putin-Nazis Are Coming (Again)!

So, it looks like that’s it for America, folks. Putin has gone and done it again. He and his conspiracy of Putin-Nazis have “hacked,” or “influenced,” or “meddled in” our democracy. Unless Admiral Bill McRaven and his special ops cronies can ginny up a last-minute military coup, it’s four more years of the Trumpian Reich, Russian soldiers patrolling the streets, martial law, concentration camps, gigantic banners with the faces of Trump and Putin hanging in the football stadiums, mandatory Sieg-heiling in the public schools, National Vodka-for-Breakfast Day, death’s heads, babushkas, the whole nine yards.

We probably should have seen this coming.

That’s right, as I’m sure you are aware by now, president-in-exile Hillary Clinton has discovered Putin’s diabolical plot to steal the presidency from Elizabeth Warren, or Biden, or whichever establishment puppet makes it out of the Democratic primaries. Speaking to former Obama adviser and erstwhile partner at AKPD Message and Media David Plouffe, Clinton revealed how the godless Rooskies intend to subvert democracy this time:

“I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate.”

She was referring, of course, to Tulsi Gabbard, sitting Democratic Member of Congress, decorated Major in the Army National Guard, and long shot 2020 presidential candidate. Apparently, Gabbard (who reliable anonymous sources in the Intelligence Community have confirmed is a member of some kind of treasonous, Samoan-Hindu, Assad-worshipping cult that wants to force everyone to practice yoga) has been undergoing Russian “grooming” at a compound in an undisclosed location that is probably in the basement of Mar-a-Lago, or on Sublevel 168 of Trump Tower.

In any event, wherever Gabbard is being surreptitiously “groomed” (presumably by someone resembling Lotte Lenya in From Russia With Love), the plan (i.e., Putin’s plan) is to have her lose in the Democratic primaries, then run as a third-party “spoiler” candidate, stealing votes from Warren or Biden, exactly as Jill Stein (who, according to Clinton, is also “totally a Russian asset”) stole them from Clinton back in 2016, allowing Putin to install Donald Trump (who, according to Clinton, is still being blackmailed by the FSB with that “kompromat” pee-tape) in the White House, where she so clearly belongs.

Clinton’s comments came on the heels of a preparatory smear-piece in The New York Times, What, Exactly, Is Tulsi Gabbard Up To?, which reported at length on how Gabbard has been “injecting chaos” into the Democratic primaries. Professional “disinformation experts” supplied The Times with convincing evidence (i.e., unfounded hearsay and innuendo) of “suspicious activity” surrounding Gabbard’s campaign. Former Clinton-aide Laura Rosenberger (who also just happens to be the Director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy, “a bipartisan transatlantic national security advocacy group” comprised of former Intelligence Community and U.S. State Department officials, and publisher of the Hamilton 68 dashboard) “sees Gabbard as a potentially useful vector for Russian efforts to sow division.”

The Times piece goes on to list an assortment of unsavory, extremist, white supremacist, horrible, neo-Nazi-type persons that Tulsi Gabbard has nothing to do with, but which Hillary Clinton, the Intelligence Community, The Times, and the rest of the corporate media would like you to mentally associate her with. Richard Spencer, David Duke, Steve Bannon, Mike Cernovich, Tucker Carlson, and so on. Neo-Nazi sites like the Daily Stormer. 4chan, where, according to The New York Times, neo-Nazis like to “call her Mommy.”

In keeping with professional journalistic ethics, The Times also reached out to experts on fascism, fascist terrorism, terrorist fascism, fascist-adjacent Assad-apologism, Hitlerism, horrorism, Russia, and so on, to confirm Gabbard’s guilt-by-association with the people The Times had just associated her with. Brian Levin, Director of the CSU Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, confirmed that Gabbard has “the seal of approval” within goose-stepping, Hitler-loving, neo-Nazi circles. The Alliance for Securing Democracy (yes, the one from the previous paragraph) conducted an “independent analysis” which confirmed that RT (“the Kremlin-backed news agency”) had mentioned Gabbard far more often than the Western corporate media (which isn’t backed by anyone, and is totally unbiased and independent, despite the fact that most of it is owned by a handful of powerful global corporations, and at least one CIA-affiliated oligarch). Oh, and Hawaii State Senator Kai Kahele, who is challenging Gabbard for her seat in Congress, agreed with The Times that Gabbard’s support from Jew-hating, racist Putin-Nazis might be a potential liability.

“Clearly there’s something about her and her policies that attracts and appeals to these type of people who are white nationalists, anti-Semites, and Holocaust deniers.”

But it’s not just The New York Times, of course. No sooner had Clinton finished cackling than the corporate media launched into their familiar Goebbelsian piano routine, banging out story after television segment repeating the words “Gabbard” and “Russian asset.” I’ve singled out The Times because the smear piece in question was clearly a warm-up for Hillary Clinton’s calculated smear job on Friday night. No, the old gal hasn’t lost her mind. She knew exactly what she was doing, as did the editors of The New York Times, as did every other establishment news source that breathlessly “reported” her neo-McCarthyite smears.

As I noted in my previous essay, 2020 is for all the marbles, and it’s not just about who wins the election. No, it’s mostly about crushing the “populist” backlash against the hegemony of global capitalism and its happy, smiley-faced, conformist ideology. To do that, the neoliberal establishment has to delegitimize, and lethally stigmatize, not just Trump, but also people like Gabbard, Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn … and any other popular political figure (left, right, it makes no difference) deviating from that ideology.

In Trump’s case, it’s his neo-nationalism. In Sanders and Corbyn’s, it’s socialism (or at least some semblance of social democracy). In Gabbard’s, it’s her opposition to the Corporatocracy’s ongoing efforts to restructure and privatize the Middle East (and the rest of the entire planet), and their using the U.S. military to do it.

Ask yourself, what do Trump, Sanders, Corbyn, and Gabbard have in common? No, it’s not their Putin-Nazism … it’s the challenge they represent to global capitalism. Each, in his or her own way, is a symbol of the growing populist resistance to the privatization and globalization of everything. And thus, they must be delegitimized, stigmatized, and relentlessly smeared as “Russian assets,” “anti-Semites,” “traitors,” “white supremacists,” “fascists,” “communists,” or some other type of “extremists.”

Gabbard, to her credit, understands this, and is focusing attention on the motives and tactics of the neoliberal establishment and their smear machine. As I noted in an essay last year, “the only way to effectively counter a smear campaign (whether large-scale or small-scale) is to resist the temptation to profess your innocence, and, instead, focus as much attention on the tactics and the motives of the smearers as possible.” This will not save her, but it is the best she can do, and I applaud her for having the guts to do it. I hope she continues to give them hell as they finish off her candidacy and drive her out of office.

Oh, and if you’re contemplating sending me an email explaining how these smear campaigns don’t work (or you spent the weekend laughing about how Hillary Clinton lost her mind and made an utter jackass of herself), maybe check in with Julian Assange, who is about to be extradited to America, tried for exposing U.S. war crimes, and then imprisoned for the remainder of his natural life. If you can’t get through to Julian at Belmarsh, you could ring up Katharine Viner at The Guardian, which has ruthlessly smeared Assange for years, and published outright lies about him, and is apparently doing very well financially.

And, if Katharine is on holiday in Antigua or somewhere, or having tea with Hillary in the rooftop bar of the Hay-Adams Hotel, you could try Luke Harding (who not only writes and publishes propaganda for The Guardian, but who wrote a whole New York Times best-seller based on nothing but lies and smears). Or try Marty Baron, Dean Baquet, Paul Krugman, or even Rachel Maddow, or any of the other editors and journalists who have been covering the Putin-Nazi “Attack on America,” and keeping us apprised of who is and isn’t a Hitler-loving “Russian asset.”

Ask them whether their smear machine is working … if you can get them off the phone with their brokers, or whoever is decorating their summer places in the Hamptons or out on Martha’s Vineyard.

Or ask the millions of well-off liberals who are still, even after Russiagate was exposed as an enormous hoax based on absolutely nothing, parroting this paranoid official narrative and calling people “Russian assets” on Twitter. Or never mind, just pay attention to what happens over the next twelve months. In terms of ridiculous official propaganda, spittle-flecked McCarthyite smears, and full-blown psychotic mass Putin-Nazi hysteria, it’s going to make the last three years look like the Propaganda Special Olympics.