Category Archives: History

Why Doesn’t He Hurry Up And Die Already?

His name is Henry the K., but we leftwing children of the revolutions of the 1960’s always just referred to him as “Satan.”

People who truly know me know that I came out of the Vietnam War protest era, although I actually worked for Richard Nixon’s aptly named CREEP at age 15 in 1972, at my mother’s behest, for which I will always forgive her.

However, in 1968, I went door to door with my Cold War Liberal father campaigning for “Clean Gene” Eugene McCarthy, a forgotten Democratic politician who ran on a strict antiwar banner in the fateful Democratic primaries of 1968. I was only ten years old.

The well known riots at the Democratic Convention came later that year. I remember those also. Mayor Daley turned his police loose on protesters and many relatively peaceful protesters were badly beaten by police. A nearby park in Chicago was taken over by protesters and named “People’s Park.” Inside the convention, an equal amount of chaos ensued, with the party coalescing around establishment candidate Hubert Humphrey, who did not run on an antiwar ticket. I remember Humphrey well too. He seemed a decent enough man at the time.

The Chicago Seven were later placed on trial for conspiracy after the demonstrations. They included Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, and a number of others, mostly Jewish. They were represented famously by Jewish radical attorney William Kunstler, who has always been one of my favorite people. Although my father was against the Vietnam War, he really hated those hippies. He used to inveigh against “Ay-bie Hoffman.”

By 1974, I’d added long hair, rock music, LSD and marijuana to my high school studies. I hung out with hippies, potheads and acidheads. I remember once David A H, a bisexual hippie senior who nevertheless always left me alone. He used to take windowpane LSD by putting it right on his eyeball.

Nixon was one of our villains. You have to understand that in that era, if you identified with the hippie movement, still going gangbusters in 1975, Nixon was probably automatically your enemy. Hating him was almost a cultural requirement. He represented, all in one man, of everything we were against. The perfect human voodoo doll.

One day David said matter of factly, “Nixon always looks like he hasn’t shit in a month.” A good one-liner!

I always felt that that was one of the best summaries of Tricky Dicky I’d ever heard.

K. was Nixon’s right-hand man. Although he was not an attractive man, ponderous, overweight, nerdy, homely and bespectacled, he had an odd reputation as a playboy, often seen escorting various actresses in public. I remember one morning at the breakfast table my father was looking at the latest pic of him with some comely model draped on his arm.

“Boy,” my father remarked. “This administration’s really got problems if Kissinger’s their playboy.” A good zinger!

The more I read about this man, the more convinced I am that he is something approaching pure evil. He has to be a psychopath of some sort. He’s one cold-blooded bastard at least. He look in his face and you see a man with heart of ice. There are probably few people as hated among my anti-Vietnam War cohort as this man. I’m getting very impatient waiting for him to kick off so I can dance on his grave. He’s stuck around far too long already.

Just hurry up and die already, Henry!



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Two, Three, Many My Lais!


My Lai wasn’t the only such massacre conducted in the Vietnam War by US  troops. There were many more, but the number of killed in each incident was typically fewer. Numbers were often 10-20, but ranged from five to 30 all the way up to 100. Most took place between 1966-1968.

In fact, there were 19 Allied massacres in My Lai’s province alone in the first three months of 1968. A number of them were conducted by ROK South Korean troops.

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50 Years Ago Today

One woman approached me as she walked past and, pointing to her four children who were manfully helping the smallest ones over the rough ground, whispered: ‘How can you bring yourself to kill such beautiful, darling children? Have you no heart at all?’ One old man, as he passed me, hissed: ‘Germany will pay a heavy penance for this mass murder of the Jews.’ His eyes glowed with hatred as he said this. Nevertheless he walked calmly into the gas-chamber.

– Rudolf Hoess, Commandant of Auschwitz: The Autobiography of Rudolf Hoess, 1951


Bodies lie on the road heading out of the village of Son My, South Vietnam. There was not one military aged man in the entire village. All military men were no doubt either in the ARVN or even more probably in the Viet Cong.

50 years ago today, the My Lai Massacre took place at Son My, South Vietnam.

RIP to the 504 Vietnamese villagers, mostly women and children, who were murdered by US and South Vietnamese forces that day. It is not often reported that ARVN soldiers were involved, but looking at photos of the massacre, there were a number of soldiers with obviously Vietnamese faces mixed in with the Americans. US and ARVN soldiers often fought in mixed units.

My understanding is that My Lai was just the tip of the iceberg. There were many more murders of South Vietnamese civilians that were committed by US troops during the Vietnam War. Entire areas were termed “free fire zones.” That meant that you could shoot at any persons, Viet Cong and civilians, seen in that zone. Helicopters used to fly over rice paddies shooting at villagers in their rice fields. Anyone not directly associated with the US or South Vietnamese governments was considered to be an enemy in these free fire zones.

No one was ever really punished much for this war crime. Lieutenant Calley was convicted and sentenced to only three years of House Arrest. Colonel Medina was much more responsible, but he got off completely, not to mention other higher-ups who directly ordered the massacre. Soldiers were told that everyone in the village was VC and the orders were to kill everyone in the village. US troops had lost 40 men in the area in the previous months and they were out for revenge.

One Black US soldier was wounded in the massacre. He accidentally shot himself in the foot. He later claimed that he did this intentionally to get out of the killings. A US helicopter crewman who watched the massacre unfolding below landed his helicopter and got between the villagers and the soldiers and said they would have to kill him if they wanted to keep killing villagers. Incredibly, the entire event was recorded by US combat photographers.

The next day, US newspapers carried reports of a battle in Song My, South Vietnam in which 128 Viet Cong had been killed. Mysteriously, US troops suffered only one slightly wounded.

The day of the My Lai Massacre is now an annual holiday in Vietnam.

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Cascada, “Summer of Love”

Summer of Love was about hippies, not Beach Boys and Sheryl Crow, although Crow married hippies to the Brian Wilson, and surf culture at least in the 1970’s was very much a badass fringe hippie and especially drug culture.

The beach summer is called the Endless Summer, not the Summer of Love.

The latter’s Frisco, flowers in your hair, peace/love/dope, and all that good stuff. We actually used to say that. We would hold up a peace sign and say, “Peace love dope!” It was supposed to be a joke, and it was, but it was also dead real.

Watch out for the brown acid. That’s some bad stuff. Sprouted in the Haight, bloomed at Woodstock, and Waterloo at Altamont, or so goes the historical song progression. But that was always more myth than reality, as hippie culture never really died, as 70’s culture at least where I grew up was very much hippie culture and certainly drug culture. Drug-hippie culture to be exact.

There were probably numerically more actual hippies in the 70’s than 60’s, as the movement went mainstream and descended down to the high schools and Core Youth.

College kids aren’t really Core Youth unless you believe in infantalizing adults. We do that in this dumb culture, but it’s not a good thing. Peter Pan is fine – I’m channeling him as I write this – but babying is no good.

Babying took off badly with these millennials and this gender bent and identity obsessed pan-everything Generation Y is probably going to be even worse. They’re so babied they can’t even decide if they are males or females! That’s literally like a baby – a baby or toddler can’t figure out gender much either. Freud was onto something. Gender if not sexuality is diffused and polymorphous in the first few years. The fact that boys and girls exist and are quite different identities comes as quite a revelation to the toddler. I guess Generation Y never got the memo. They say they are 19, but too many of them are still three.

College kids are more properly young adults. Quit calling them kids. They don’t appreciate it anyway. Even teenagers hate being called kids.

Anyway, once again another Eurodance song by this great German dance outfit. This really is so much better than Abba you know. C’mon guys. Abba is so pussy.

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US Foreign Policy Has Always Been Far More Rightwing Than US Domestic Policy

Jason Y writes: Possibly the Democrats in the US need the US NAM’s for votes, but they don’t need NAM’s in other countries.

US foreign policy has always been far more reactionary than US domestic policy. This contrast is especially stark when looking at the Democratic Party.

The Cold War made this so much worse. The Republicans said any leader who liked labor unions or raised the minimum wage was a Soviet-supporting Communist who needed to be killed or removed via a coup. And many were killed and especially removed via coups.

At the same time, the Republicans spent most of the Cold War screaming at the Democrats for being Communists or at the very least Communist sympathizers or fellow travelers. The Democrats ran scared all through the Cold War, always terrified of being called “soft on Communism.” So they tried to out-Cold War the Republicans and bent to try to out-hate the USSR.

Hence, the Democrats went along with Jonathan Foster Dulles reactionary Containment Project he initiated in the late 1940’s. Foster Dulles was a very rich man who came from old East Coast money. He was also a very rightwing government official. US foreign policy followed Dulles dictum from the 1940’s on, so our foreign policy was molded on a template created by a reactionary from the ruling class.

When Reagan came in, he updated Containment with actual Rollback, and we got Contras, wars in Mozambique and Angola, etc. The Reaganites kept accusing the Democrats of being soft on Communism, and once again, the Democrats ran scared. The horrific Central American projects of the 1980’s, where the US government set up and helped run rightwing death squads that raged across the land, murdering tens of thousands of civilians, was mostly run by some of the most liberal men in Congress, especially the shameful super-liberal Alan Cranston of California and Chris Dodd, the very liberal Connecticut “Senator from Aetna.”

Keep in mind that US foreign policy was reactionary even before the Cold War.

FDR, one of our finest presidents, was a reactionary on foreign policy. He supported the murderous dictator Somoza in Nicaragua, and he made the famous comment, “Somoza may be a bastard, but he’s our bastard.”

Liberal President Woodrow Wilson was not only a reactionary and a proto-humanitarian bomber, but he was also a very racist man domestically. In modern terms, Wilson would be a flat out White Supremacist out of American Renaissance.

The liberal reformer Teddy Roosevelt continued the Monroe Doctrine that declared all of Latin America to be effectively colonies of the US. His famous statement, “Walk softly but carry a big stick,” referred to his reactionary bullying, aggression and immiseration towards our quasi-colonies in Latin America.

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America Has Never Been a Democracy, Nor Was It Ever Intended to Be One

Another wonderful comment by the great Francis Miville!

There is a problem with American identity: its founding mythology, its Constitution which is supposed to be the result of an Enlightenment-Inspired humanistic democratic republican revolution against a colonial empire. This can be understandable in as much as most scholars tend not to know too much was the real Enlightenment movement was: a movement of the filthy rich of their times who wanted first and foremost to do away with the various particular and limited rights many rather modest or middle-rank people had inherited from the Christian Middle Ages on a caste-basis most of the times.

American-style slavery was the epitome of the ideals of Enlightenment as applied to political economy, and if you care to have a look, you will see that the bulk of the clientele of those ideologues were the slaving classes on both sides of the Atlantic. But the problem now is that the truth about 18th-century Enlightenment cannot be sold due to popular hope worldwide.

Another big identification problem stems from the very word “democracy”: in ancient Greek, it did not mean at all the modern ideal (not the reality) of a government held in check by the commoners’ right to depose tyrants and vote down laws felt as abusive, it never meant government of the people by the people for the people, it meant government by a single governing party (dêmos, from verb daiomai, I divide, I take apart, like the Latinate word party which is related to the very partire meaning taking apart) Eastern European style (minus any form of social ideal however mendacious) or by a closed-access class, and moreover it meant that this ruling party or class had or felt no responsibility towards greater good but cared for their group interests only as a gated community is managed.

It was not different from the modern concept of oligarchy. The ancient concept of oligarchy was rather government by a team so small that everybody knew who did what and who ordered what: as soon as the elite, while comprising no more than 1 or 2%, was just big enough for the power it exerted to be anonymous and without any real possibility of influence from any single individual within it, it was called dêmokratia, and especially when the real leaders preferred to keep their identity secret thanks to the anonymous crowd they manipulated at will, which was the case in Athens, whose symbol of the owl meant that very ideal of secrecy and shady dealings.

When such a ruling class or body felt responsibilities towards the greater good, the regime was no longer called a democracy but a timocracy (government according to honor fostered by personal contribution to the greater good): timocracy was a government of takers and givers, a democracy of takers only, and if you check on ancient Athenian mentality, it considered any form of productive work (poiesis), even the production of poems, a dishonor (another gross insult was demiurge, which meant nothing more than a productive artisan at the city’s disposal).

Greek had a word to denote the right of the commoners to vote down tyrants and bad laws, it was called laodicea (the common people judging), but the city that used this system existed in Phrygia only, in Asia Minor, not in Greece proper, who had too high an opinion of themselves as a superior kind over all humans to stoop down to such a regime. In the 18th century most scholars still knew more or less what real Athens was about in the Classical times, a government where the rich and well to do were told by no one they too had duties towards a higher political or moral authority. The partisans of “democracy” just wouldn’t admit to being compelled to practice the same religion as was needed to keep their inferiors in line.

That was the real meaning of “democracy” under Jefferson’s pen. The ideal sold thereafter to the European commoners was meant as a propaganda trick for useful idiots only, exactly like the worst aspects of totalitarian Marxism later on. That is the identity problem I would like to terminate as regards America.

In a certain sense, I want that country to turn officially fascist – that would be actually more in tune with the real Founding Fathers’ will. This country should no longer be declared to owe its existence to the Founding Fathers of the American Revolution, nor even to the Mayflower Pilgrims – neither describe its real essence in the ears of most.

The US should officially declare that it owes its existence as the first White predator political entity on the American continent to the Viking invader Eric the Red. All Americans should idealize the conquering Viking as their ideal ancestor, thanks to whose blood and example the Wild West could be conquered as a prelude to the imperialistic conquest of the whole world.

America did not appear on the map devising a perfect constitution for the human gender; it appeared as a reality of the soil of its continent as an enterprise to genocide all Indians and all other all-too-romantic bums of that kind to make room for slaving plantations furnished with Negroes and Irishmen.

The main difference with Nazi Germany is that Nazi Germany postulated that the Germanic race was the only worthwhile and successful predator in the world and could propagate only through physical breeding. On the other hand, America postulates that the Viking predator, apart from having ideal blood, has even more value as the most perfect example anybody in the world can follow as a model of self-transformation into a monster, though some races like the Viking-descendant Wasps and some Jews are statistically nearer that ideal type than others.

The US should officially declare itself to be the fatherland of all predators of the world, and of all religions having declared war against common humanity. Any delinquent in the world committing vicious acts of predation or betrayal against their community of origin (as the Vikings were for instance, and as the Jews were according the American Protestant ideal of what a Biblical Jew should be) should be considered a de facto American citizen.

LBJ used to say, in order to justify his policy of desegregation and the temporary establishment of his Grand Society, that the real reason for his move was for the elite to be able to roll back America to official racism and segregation. This was badly needed prelude to get the White Trash ready for a future in which they would be prepared to jettison all human rights and accept a dictatorship together with an Indian-style caste society in exchange for their only real dearest right, that of knowing that however hard they have it, Blacks will have it ten times as hard as servants of the lowest of their own servants, as quoth the Bible.

And I think that time has come. Ideally, the future official religion of such a country formed during or after a second Civil War to come as a revenge for the first should be some form of Hinduism, with the Jews being the Brahmins, the Vikings being the Kshatriyas, and the contemporary Indians being the Vaishyas.

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Politico Magazine Advocates for the Reintroduction of Slavery in America


For those of you who don’t understand what the article is arguing for, it’s called indentured servitude. It was common in the past, but is now outlawed in most places that are not Third World ratholes, and it is now considered to be a form of slavery.

Unbelievable. I knew this country was getting more and more rightwing, but this is crazy. Are there any limits to how far right they go?

The piece was written by Eric Posner and Glen Weyl.

Weyl works at Microsoft Research and teaches at Yale. I know nothing about this person, but I assume they might be coming from a somewhat Silicon Valley Libertarian mindset

Posner is out of Harvard and Yale also. He is a Constitutional Law Professor at the University of Chicago, a bastion of reaction in the Economics Department, which birthed the economic Rosemary’s Baby named Milton Friedman, a loathsome man who was part of the brain trust behind recent mass move to neoliberalism. Friedman was basically a Libertarian. He’s widely praised all over the corporate media, but make no mistake about it, the man was a literal monster.

It turns out that UoC’s Law School is just as bad as its execrable Economics Department. Both are known as bastions of conservative scholars of both law and economics. Posner’s father was Richard Posner, a federal judge. He was a Reagan appointee and was on George W. Bush’s short list for appointees to the Supreme Court. He must have been quite conservative to make it onto Shrub’s Supreme Court list.

He recently wrote an insane article in Slate called The Case Against Human Rights arguing that we need to get rid of our freedom of speech.

Although some say Posner is a liberal Democrat, others say he is generally viewed as a conservative legal scholar. However, he seems to hate Donald Trump.

Reviewing some of his publications, I found him hard to characterize.I felt that he came across as a rightwinger. He’s not a liberal, or if he is the word liberal needs to be tossed in a bonfire and burned up forever as meaningless. If he’s a Democrat, he’s a conservative Democrat. But keep in mind that the monsters in the Killary Clinton wing of the DNC type of nightmarish neoconservative warhawks bill themselves as liberal Democrats.

N.B. I just did some more research and it appears that Posner is best characterized as some sort of Libertarian.

With his colleague and partner in crime co-author, he has written a book about International Law that seems to state that there is no such thing and that every country can interpret international law in whatever way benefits it most. Which is what the United States has always done anyway. We’ve never followed international law. Show me one time when the US followed international law to do anything.

These are the people who are shaping our country!

The other man is out of Microsoft Research. He’s apparently another reactionary, this time the usual Silicon Valley Libertarian “liberal Democrat” type. It’s beyond me how these Libertarian Democraps in Silicon Valley are liberal in any way, shape, or form.

How? Because they bellow for the rights of silly millennials to categorize their sexuality and gender as 40% this, 30% that, and 30% some other weird thing? That’s what Silicon Valley Libertarian Democrats are all about. They’re Cultural Left Democrats, but in most other ways, they are just corporate Libertarian monsters like all the rest of the corporate goons. Libertarian philosophy is the cancer of the Generation X’ers. It’s their fatal flaw. Vast numbers of them have been infected with it. Even many Gen X’ers who call themselves liberals or even Leftists often call themselves Libertarians.

I would like to point out one other thing. Both authors are out of the Ivies – Harvard and Yale.

You are well aware that the Silicon Valley Dystopia is actually the ultimate utopia of Late Capitalism. This is literally their dream society, if you can fathom that. This is as good as Late Capitalism gets. This is the hideous model that everyone else in the world needs to emulate and strive for.

And it’s complete crap in so many ways.

I have been told that the creators and promoters of Silicon Valley as the ultimate capitalism Land of Oz are mostly out of the Ivy League schools such as Harvard and Yale.

I am not sure how true that is, but if it is, then the Ivy League types are prominent in shaping our country in this monstrous direction.

Presumably, they are all tied in with neoliberalism/Libertarianism, the mindset of Silicon Valley which is glossed over with a pretty liberal Democratic paint job. Don’t be fooled. Silicon Valley is simply the latest manifestation of the endlessly shapeshifting neoliberal beast. It’s particularly dangerous because with that faux liberal Democrat sheen, it has the potential to pull a lot of decent but naive liberal and even progressive people into its foul spider web.

These two have co-authored a book out recently titled Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society. It’s probably not about a just society at all, and I worry about their notion that uprooting democracy is a good thing even if that has always been the standard view of the ruling classes. I doubt if they are talking about uprooting capitalism at all. It’s probably about the promotion across of this cancer called the “gig economy” which, trust me, is a very bad thing. It’s just he latest groovy idea cooked up by Silicon Valley Libertarians. It sounds very appealing but upon analysis, it’s a catastrophe for workers. It amounts to all of us putting ourselves and everything we own on the open market for use or rental. This mirrors what Marx said workers do in capitalism anyway, but it’s never been so open, blatant and galling as this.

Here’s the blurb from the book. It’s looking bad already, and I haven’t even read one page.

It shows how the emancipatory force of genuinely open, free, and competitive markets can reawaken the dormant nineteenth-century spirit of liberal reform and lead to greater equality, prosperity, and cooperation.


They show how the principle of one person, one vote inhibits democracy, suggesting instead an ingenious way for voters to effectively influence the issues that matter most to them.

Here’s where the democracy hatred comes in. Well the bourgeois have hated democracy since the onset of suffrage, so this is nothing new. Remember how France revoked suffrage at the best of their ruling class in 1848 very soon after it was granted? It’s just now that the anti-democratic language is gussied up in groovy hipster talk. You won’t get to vote anymore, but that’s a good thing! How taking away your right to vote is actually a good thing for you. I can see the subheads already.

Only by radically expanding the scope of markets can we reduce inequality, restore robust economic growth, and resolve political conflicts. But to do that, we must replace our most sacred institutions with truly free and open competition.

Um, no. So the way to reduce inequality, stabilize the political system and make everybody rich is to go to a full-blown radical free market across all of society.

Forget it. This is more of the Libertarian swill they have been selling us for decades.

  • The free market is never the road to reduced inequality – in fact, the freer the markets, the more the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
  • The freer the markets, the more unstable the political system becomes as extreme inequality and market as politics gives rise to the Marxist prediction of the right going further right and the left going further left which the marketization of politics automatically produces breathtaking corruption in the state. Pretty soon you have the 1930’s in Europe with Hard Left and Hard Right thugs fighting in the streets. Wait. We have that in the US right now!
  • The freer the markets, the less rich most everyone is. The wealth shifts up to the top 1%, while the top 20% also makes out quite well. The bottom 80% gets completely screwed. The economy becomes a board game where the upper classes spend all their time transferring more and more money and stuff out of the hands of the lower 80% and the people at large represented in the state into their own grubby hands. Racial neoliberalism results in the wild enrichment of those at the top, the decimation of the middle classes and the reduction of huge segments of society to near pauperism via economic immiseration. Free markets don’t make everybody rich. All they do is turn your country into Latin America.

The book’s got a blurb from the Indian CEO of Microsoft:

I have always been motivated to find ways to unite the power of technology and markets with the goal of creating a more egalitarian society. This book offers the most intriguing vision I have seen to date in uniting these apparently contradictory strands.

–Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft

A blurb from the head of Microsoft. That should serve as a warning. You think this Indian goon cares one whit about egalitarianism. Egalitarianism is the antithesis of the corporate ethos. If you advocate it, your shareholders can fire you for violating your corporate charter. Nadella is probably some sort of a Libertarian is what I am thinking.

Perhaps the most ambitious attempt to rethink democracy and markets since Milton Friedman…

–Kenneth S. Rogoff, author of The Curse of Cash

That first sentence ought to be a giveaway for what this scam is probably really all about. Comparing these authors with Milton Friedman is probably intentional and should be a heads up to what these two sneaky chameleons are all about. I know nothing about Rogoff, but the seeming praise for the Friedmanstein human monster should be a giveaway. Rogoff is also probably some sort of Libertarian.

These two cretins recently wrote an article for the New Republic on how to reduce income inequality. I’m not far into it yet, but apparently the solution is…open borders! Now you see how Libertarian reactionary with fake neo-Centrist masks sell their poison. The New Republic is a liberal magazine. For quite some time, they went Clintonite DNC Centrist to the point where I could not bear to read them. The magazine was long run by Israel-firster (((Martin Peretz))) and ~20% of the articles were about (((you know who))). It gets annoying after a while. I am not sure where they are at now, but I am sure their politics is categorized as liberal. So a liberal magazine is running poisonous articles by two devious Libertarians deliberately designed to appeal to liberals.

See how this scam works. This is like what they did with the Council on Cultural Freedom in the Cold War. A number of magazines, often literary and political mags, were essentially set up by the CIA. A very prominent one was the Paris Review. These magazines were de facto run by the CIA for many years. The CIA used these quite liberal magazines to attack Communism during the Cold War. Many people who worked at these magazines were never even aware of how they were being turned in marionettes.

Here the ruling class – the capitalists, the corporations and the rich are trying to sell their class politics to liberals and progressives as part of a progressive project. The problem is that a lot of decent liberals are going to get fooled by this scam.

So Libertarians are arguing for the return of indentured servitude. What’s next? Out and out slavery? I suppose if two free individuals enter into a contract for indentured servitude, it’s a-ok with “No Harm Principle” Libertarians. Somehow such an agreement is not harmful to anyone involved.

Eric Posner is the 4th most cited Constitutional scholar in the US. And this is how he thinks. The ideologues who run our system are monsters.

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Why Would Anyone Like America?

Good question!

Answered on Quora. I got a comment on this article from a woman that I think is very interesting. First she said, when I think of America as a person, I feel very uncomfortable. And well you should! Narcissists and sociopaths make a lot of people shiver. Then she tried to answer the question of how in heck did this country end up this way. She traces Radical Individualism, the true and only religion that America has ever had, to the type of immigrants who came to our shores. She may be onto something.

If you are conservative to reactionary, it’s a great place to live, as the US is clearly one of the most rightwing places on Earth and has been for a long time. Do you believe in radical individualism or “let em die” Libertarianism. America is the home for such things. America is one of the most callous countries on Earth and its foreign policy has always been vicious and wicked. It believes that there one set of rules for it and another set for its enemies.

It commits Nazi-like wars of aggression against its enemies all the time. America is the worst bully on the planet and has been for a very long time. America has always been for the rich and the corporations and has always treated its workers, poor, low income, and minorities like complete garbage. It hasn’t even treated its middle classes very well, but it took them forever to figure it out.

The hatred of working people and unions in the US is off the charts. This one of the only countries on Earth that actually hates labor unions. America is one of the only countries on Earth that hates government. Any time the government tries to help the people, Americans react in rage and revolt. This is one of the only countries on Earth where people hate paying taxes because that means that they have to share with other Americans. Americans are the most aggressively selfish people on Earth.

This is one of the only countries on Earth that actually hates public education (because it helps the people), and it has been rolling it back and privatizing it ever since. Botswana is the only country besides the US that does not have a government health system. This is because Americans are so callous that they don’t care if other Americans get sick or die. The message is that if you are not rich, you don’t deserve healthcare and you need to die.

American foreign policy has only helped the top 20% of the people in the countries it engages. Anytime any country tries to help its workers or its ordinary people in any way, for example trying to help the 80% bottom instead of the 20% top, it gets attacked in one way or another by the US.

A prime example is the minimum wage. Many nations in Latin America have been attacked by the US for simply daring to wage the minimum wage! Aristide in Haiti raised the minimum wage and built more schools in eight years than in the previous 200. For these crimes, death squads were sent against its people, killing thousands of them, and kidnapping Aristide at gunpoint.

The President of Honduras raised the minimum wage. For this, he was ousted by a US coup, imprisoned in a foreign embassy and threatened with death, a new coup government was put in by the US, and the US set up death squads that have now murdered over 1,000 people.

Any time a country tries to do anything nationalist to keep from being a colony of the US and its allies, the US attacks it. The US wants to keep most of the Earth in bondage to the US, their resources plundered, their people immiserated, so all of the wealth in the land goes to the US. America is the new Roman Empire and most of the world is made up of our vassals.

The purpose of the US military is to threaten any nation that tries to help itself or its people with annihilation. That’s what you are signing up for when you join the military. Thing is that Americans love all of this. They cheer for it, for this is the essence of US patriotism or jingoism. Even US liberals support almost everything that I wrote above. I am always shocked when I speak to US liberal Democrats by how much they have bought into the patriotic reactionary swill.

The basis for all of this is something called radical individualism. US foreign policy is based on something called US imperialism that says that the US is dictator the world and most of the countries in it are slaves and colonies of the US. The American people love radical individualism and US imperialism. Even many liberal Democrats do. Almost all liberal Democrats support US imperialism to the hilt.

All of this is maintained by a completely controlled media controlled by very rich people and huge corporations. This media is viciously anti-people and only supports the rich and the corporations – the only two groups the US has ever represented and fought for.

We have never had a single day of democracy in this country. We started to finally head that way in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and the rich and the corporations founded think tanks and wrote many papers on how to shut down radical democracy in the US. The results of this are, among other things, mass voter disenfranchisement and Jim Crow style voting restrictions designed to keep Black people from voting.

Since 2000, the wealthy and corporate elite discovered voting machines and started stealing elections this way. They have been doing it ever since and it has only gotten worse with time. In 2000, the Supreme Court legalized an actual theft of an election. In 2016, many states went to court to stop recounts in states that were obviously stolen by Republicans with voting machines. Courts in all of these states ruled that recounting the stolen elections was illegal.

Almost every state in the US is radically gerrymandered so that democracy is shattered. For instance, a Democrat could win the popular vote and still lose 86% of the seats to Republicans. This is the case in Alabama, Wisconsin, Virginia, and many other places. The Republicans only need two more states, and then the rich and the corporations will write a constitutional convention to rewrite the constitution to take out everything democratic in it to perpetuate continuous rule by reactionary rich people and corporations. At that time, democracy will have surely died.

With the election of Donald Trump, we see an actual American fascism taking shape. Of course this fascism has always lurked in the background, and in fact I would say we have always been a fascist country or at least a radical rightwing authoritarian country in many ways. But this is the most overt fascism we have seen in the US in a very long time.
The hatred for democracy runs deep in the bones of Americans and right now, maybe 1/3 of the population is overtly fascist. I would say that America has always been a great country for rightwingers, as it has been a far rightwing country for most of its history. The jingoists, patriots, and flag wavers are almost all rightwingers and always have been. This is their paradise and it always has been.

That is why rightwingers, reactionaries, and fascists have been flooding to the US for many years now. This is considered to be the Rightwing Dreamland of the rich and corporate classes the world over. In fact, our immigration policy was deliberately set up for many years to favor rightwingers and reactionaries and to keep leftwing immigrants out. This only made the country more and more rightwing. Incredibly, the Democratic Party supported this favoring of rightwing immigrants and opposing of leftwing immigrants.

The Democratic Party and Democratic Presidents have been part of the whole process above for most our history. They just push it forward less hard and sometimes they tinker around the edges to do something for the people. We had a large populist uprising from 1910–1920 in the US and then again in the Great Depression. For the first time in its history, the US government actually worked for the people and did many things to benefit the common man instead of just taking money from the bottom 80% and giving it to the top 20% or even 1%, which has been the American Way from Day One.

I would say that if you are a conservative or even a “liberal” who thinks all of the above is the greatest thing since sliced bread, you are correct. America is your paradise. A lot of people love this conservative – reactionary or even now fascist or Libertarian land. It’s their oyster. It’s the apple of their eye. I don’t blame them for feeling that way.

But it has always puzzled me how liberal or leftwing Americans could love this wildly reactionary country. I believe they have been brainwashed by patriotism and bullied into going along with the project. I have seen many liberals and even out and out Leftists shouting jingoistic tripe, screaming that America is the best country on Earth (83% of Americans believe this silliness), and ordering anyone who disagrees to leave the country. The enforced jingoism runs deep.

But really what is there to like here for a liberal to progressive person? Honestly not even one single thing. How could the most rightwing country on Earth be some leftwing paradise? It makes no sense.

So there you have it. America is great for rightwingers. This is their ultimate dream. For liberals and especially for progressive people, it has always been a dystopian Hell, one of Dante’s nine circles.

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“Rowing,” by Alpha Unit

Anyone who has not rowed in a really close boat race cannot comprehend the level of pain. – Dan Topolski

In 1936 the United States Men’s Olympic eight-oar rowing team won the gold medal in Berlin. These rowers from the University of Washington were the sons of laborers, farmers, loggers, and shipyard workers. They had beaten their acclaimed arch-rival, Berkeley. They had prevailed over elite East Coast rowing teams. They had defeated Great Britain, whose Olympic team were oarsmen from Oxford and Cambridge. People who read their story are moved and inspired by it, seeing it as a story of underdogs who came out on top.

Perhaps it is. But rowing began as a “blue collar” pastime. Rowing contests had long been popular with sailors and fishermen and in fact dated all the way back to ancient times. But the modern sport of rowing was created by working class men in eighteenth-century England. They were ferrymen and taxi service providers on the River Thames.

Boatmen began to compete with one another, first for pleasure, to see who would arrive at his destination first. The races became popular and started to attract crowds. Rowing evolved into a bona fide sport when wealthy enthusiasts began offering prizes to the winners. By the 1820s Oxford and Cambridge had established their famous Boat Race.

Rowing eventually caught on in the United States, too, initially in the port cities of New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. It was one of the first sports to become popular here, particularly among those who could afford it; Yale University started the first collegiate rowing club in 1843. The oldest intercollegiate athletic event in the country is the Harvard-Yale Regatta, established in 1852.

Because of the cost of boats, equipment, maintenance, and training facilities, rowing was expensive. But people liked watching it in the same way people enjoy watching other expensive sports like auto racing. (In fact, NASCAR has similar origins to that of rowing – ordinary working people deciding to race one another while transporting certain goods.)

In competitive rowing, the boats, or shells, come in two types. In a scull, a rower has two oars. In a sweep boat, each rower has one oar. Each seat in the boat is numbered according to its position going from bow (front of the boat) to stern (back of the boat). Where there is a coxswain, he or she occupies an extra seat, usually at the very rear, facing the direction the boat is headed, while rowers face the rear.

For sculls there is the single (one rower), the double (two rowers), and the quad (four rowers). For sweep boats there is the pair, the coxed pair (two rowers and a coxswain), the four, the coxed four (four rowers and a coxswain), and the eight (eight rowers and a coxswain).

The coxswain (COX-un) or cox is smaller than the rest of the team but is a vital addition to the boat. This person’s main job is keeping the boat in its lane. If it moves out of its lane it can be disqualified, so the cox keeps it straight, steering it by pulling wires attached to the boat’s rudder. The safety of the boat and everyone in it is the cox’s responsibility. The cox is also the voice of the boat: he or she calls out instructions to the crew and motivates and guides them till the end of the race.

Take, for example, the men’s eight. At the front of the boat are the bow pair, seats 1 and 2. At the back of the boat are the stern pair, seats 7 and 8. The rower closest to the stern, in seat 8, is the stroke. The stroke sets the pace for the crew. Everyone else follows his timing, placing their blades (oars) in and out of the water exactly when he does.

The stroke establishes the crew’s rate (number of strokes per minute) and rhythm. In addition to having great stamina he is one of the most technically sound members of the boat.

The rower directly behind the stroke in seat 7 closely follows the rhythm set by the stroke and helps transmit the rhythm to the rest of the boat.

The middle rowers (numbers 3, 4, 5, and 6) are the heaviest and most powerful rowers. Their nickname is the engine room. These rowers, being closer to the centers of mass and buoyancy, have less effect on boat movement so they don’t have to be as technically proficient. They can concentrate on pulling as hard as they can.

The bow pair are the stabilizer of the boat. The hull is narrower at the front of the boat and rowers can easily feel any subtle movements there. The bow pair have to be able to make appropriate adjustments while keeping in sync with the stern pair. Bowmen are usually smaller than the rest of the rowers.

From the start of the race the cox is instructing the team, letting them know when and how to adjust their rowing and at times telling them who’s ahead or behind and by how much. He drives them forward, and they’re going to need it. Not long after they begin rowing, every fiber of their bodies is going to be screaming at them to give up.

Pain is an inescapable part of sports. But with rowing, there are no “time outs” for pain. The race doesn’t shut down because people are in pain. You brace yourself for the pain and when it comes – and it surely will – you begin to fight it. Rowing is essentially a contest to see who can endure the most pain. That’s what some rowers say. Here is rower John Seabrook’s well-known observation:

Marathon runners talk about hitting “the wall” at the twenty-third mile of the race. What rowers confront isn’t a wall; it’s a hole – an abyss of pain, which opens up in the second minute of the race. Large needles are being driven into your thigh muscles, while your forearms seem to be splitting. Then the pain becomes confused and disorganized, not like the windedness of the runner or the leg burn of the biker but an all-over, savage unpleasantness.

As you pass the 500-meter mark, with three quarters of the race still to row, you realize with dread that you are not going to make it to the finish, but at the same time the idea of letting your teammates down by not rowing your hardest is unthinkable.

Yes, rowing is about pain. But sometimes a crew doesn’t just keep pushing ahead through pain; they actually rise above it.

Legendary rowing coach Ky Ebright said that a boat cannot be jerked through the water. There is a rhythm of the water and everything must flow smoothly. And sometimes a team will begin to adjust to each other through what Michael Socolow calls a nonverbal and unconscious “cooperative physicality.”

If one rower barely drops his hands, somewhere else in the eight, another will slightly raise his to maintain balance and harmony. The process is automatic. Every single stroke is slightly different, with numerous tiny, simultaneous adjustments constantly occurring, until a crew move beyond conscious adjustment and into the realm of unspoken sensitivity to their environment and teammates.

With all eight oars in sync like this, a team can reach a moment when the boat seems to lift out of the water, says one rower.

…Then all of a sudden the race is over and you don’t remember anything about the race except that you ended up two boat lengths ahead.

This moment is what rowers call swing. This, more than anything else, is the goal of rowing.

Rowers will tell you that they’ve only experienced swing in perhaps three or four races in their entire careers. You can’t conjure up swing or force it to happen. You have to have some other way to get through. Trevor Teller tells what keeps him going until he’s over the finish line.

The reason I never stop is because giving up before the end would make all the pain pointless.

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Filed under Alpha Unit, Britain, Europe, Guest Posts, History, Labor, Regional, Sports, USA

Drug Culture in the 1970’s

The drugs back then were mostly just pot/hash/hash oil, some cocaine (not much), and psychedelics, especially LSD. PCP was also quite popular but it was also very much maligned. It was usually not called PCP but instead it was called “crystal” or “cannabinol”. Crystal would be sprinkled on marijuana leaves and passed off as pot. Cannabinol looked like a very small amount of silly putty. It was smoked.

Many to most users saw themselves as “hippies.” Hippie culture was still going very strong in the early to mid 1970’s. In fact, hair never got that long in the 1960’s. It was in the 1970’s when men really started wearing  their hair long and hippie culture definitely went mainstream in a huge way. In the  1960’s, I think it was always somewhat sidelined as a freak phenomenon. Most high school and college students in the 1960’s were probably not hippies. I would wager that many more were in the 1970’s.

LSD was usually “windowpane” – some of the craziest, strongest LSD I have ever taken. It was just a tiny sliver that looked like a piece of very thin glass. Some people would  put it in their eyeball! It gets into your bloodstream just fine that way.

I remember one day, two of my best friends showed up at high school with a cassette tape box. They opened it up and showed it to me. Inside were 300 hits of Brown Windowpane LSD. It was very early in the morning. The school day was not yet through before they had sold out the whole box – all 300 hits in a school with 3,500 students enrollment. That shows you the extent of drug use at a White middle to upper middle class high school in the suburbs in those days. Drug use was off the charts. Could you sell 300 hits of strong LSD at a suburban high school nowadays before the day was out without getting caught?

This was another thing. No one would tell on you back then. Narcs were seriously hated and if you turned in a drug user or dealer, your name was mud for eternity. There were probably straight-o’s that might turn you in, but  I think even they were afraid of being “narcs.” If an undercover officer tried to make a drug arrest in the middle of the school day, I am afraid that he might actually start a riot – that’s how anti-police high school students were back then. Anyone who wanted to be a cop when he grew up would be completely eliminated from everyone’s social circle as a “straight-o”, a “geek” an “idiot” a “loser” and especially a “pig.” If he tried to attend a party, someone might hit him. “Police officer” was simply not an acceptable career choice.

Neither was going in the military. This was during the Vietnam War Era with Watergate going on, and all high school kids hated Nixon. Only a complete idiot would volunteer for the military. Remember that during this era, ROTC offices on college campuses were actually being bombed and burned to the ground! I do not know one person who went in the military after high school.

Why would anyone do that? Such a person would be known as an “idiot” and really, you would not even want someone like that in your social circle. At the very least, you would be a “square” and that was very bad. Squares got ostracized in the worst way, thrown out of most social circles and no one would talk to them. They might join up with some other squares and form some square clique, but everyone else avoided them. Also to be a square was to be a “geek” and a nerd, and the idea was no chick would look twice at you.

That’s how popular acid was back then. Most people didn’t take it many times – just a few times here and there. But others were acidheads – I had friends who took it every single weekend for years on end and eventually racked up ~300 trips. I never met a single LSD casualty in my life. I don’t think they exist. One of my best friends is held up as a classic LSD casualty,  but there is nothing wrong with him at all  other than the fact that he seems very weird in that he has all sorts odd mannerisms, etc.

The problem with the LSD casualty account for this guy is that he is 100% normal and logical in his mind – if anything, he is an inhibited introvert. Supposedly the acid caused all these weird, basically neurotic or eccentric mannerisms, but the thing is, I knew this guy when he was only in 7th Grade before he had taken even one drug and he was far weirder than than he was after the dope. If you want to play cause and effect, go for it, but in his case, you are forced to conclude that the drugs actually made him more normal. Truth is this guy was weird as Hell from day one and he was way weirder before drugs than afterwards, so  you were not  seeing drug effects, you were just seeing some naturally eccentric person.

Interestingly, I saw his IQ score when my counselor showed me mine b because his name was right next to mine. He had the exact same IQ that I have – 147. So this was probably a case of  as IQ rises higher and higher, you start to reach a point of diminishing or even negative returns where with each rising IQ point, the person seems to get weirder and weirder and this actually gets seriously in the way of making a living and even functioning well in society.

That’s why you see all those 160+ IQ men who are not married, never date, are celibate, live alone in small apartments, are painfully shy and introverted, are unemployed or have very low paying jobs and live on the edge of poverty. These people have the problem that they are so damn smart that they are basically too smart to even function in our society, so they end up being social and occupational failures in many ways.

I have seen some very bad trips – a friend of mine was hospitalized for 48 hours on a bad LSD trip that was more funny than anything else. I never had a bad trip on LSD, but I have only taken it nine times.

There were also pills called “whites”. That was illegally manufactured amphetamine made by motorcycle gangs. I believe I have heard that the stuff was never anything but ephedrine. They were quite popular. Downers were also popular, especially Seconal. Those were called “reds.” I took one once and it was like drinking a six pack – a similar seriously drunken feeling.

Meth was for all intents and purposes nonexistent.

Cocaine was very expensive and hardly used outside of very wealthy circles. However, it was heavily glamorized as a harmless recreational drug, which it is certainly not.


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