We’ll soon be hearing stuck pigs

Russian President Vladimir Putin is currently the object of a propaganda demonization campaign in the United States, and because the same power centers that controls our flow of information also owns the entertainment outlets, he is getting it from every angle, from Jimmy Fallon to Brian Williams, George Will to Barack Obama – from the smart comic to the stupid anchorman, the wily pundit to the weak political tool.

I don’t think this matters in the long run. We cannot stop the propaganda, and anyway, American public opinion has never been anything more than a force to be controlled, kept in its box so that it does not interfere with public policy. When it gets out of its box, as in the “sixties,” leaders get worried. So the demonization, the agitation, has to be ignored, and I think it is once we leave the bubble called the United States. We are our own self-fulfilling war machine, creating and then attacking new demons on a regular basis. We have to have our wars.

In the meantime, Putin is a figure of respect on the international stage, taken seriously in Europe and Asia as well as at home. His words are always measured, and deeds as well. No one doubts his ability to lead, where few outside this country think Obama has real chops.

Russia is currently measuring its response to the Ukrainian junta and its attacks on its own civilians. Putin says that the new ruling committee does have a support base, but not a majority of public approval, and since it is using its military to suppress its own population, and does not consult its parliament (but rather its masters abroad), uses that word, junta,

a council or committee for political or governmental purposes; especially : a group of persons controlling a government especially after a revolutionary seizure of power.

Since 9/11, America has shown awesome propaganda and brute force. The brutality with which the American regime attacked Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and (and currently Syria) was hard to watch, disgusting bestiality, but more disgusting was the complete control of perceptions and opinions within our borders. Any who objected to the attacks were marginalized, even driven off the airwaves for the slightest offense, as was Bill Maher (since dumbed down and tamed). To object to the masters and their whips required yelling out over the carnival and all of the dazzled patrons, none able to think clearly, all drunk with anger and seeking vindication. It was the golden moment for our fascists to attack, seven countries were to fall. I wanted to crawl into a hole, move to another country and be away from the ugliness and stupidity. There was no escape.

More troubling still was how public opinion was measured and manipulated yet again in 2008. Those with the whips knew that Bush had lost what little hold he had, that people were tired of that image as a fake leader and needed a new one, more cerebral and calming. Barack Obama was tagged not in 2008 to be president, but rather, and this is most discouraging, in 2004. We were told that this wonderfully charismatic young black man gave a dazzling speech at the Democratic Convention. It was fairly mundane. He was suggested to us as a potential great leader. But it is impressive to see that the leaders knew to answer to the moral indignation of the liberals of this land by giving them a black man or a woman to choose from, ideological validation. Both Obama and Hillary Clinton are tools and warmongers, she a raging psychopath (married to a suave and clever one), he not so easy to peg. If French President Sarkozy can be given credit for insight, he probably nailed it when he said that Barack Obama is merely a weak man.

Something has changed. The Ukrainian coup d’état was a product of brute force and naked aggression. All of American punditry is required to misidentify these elements, to pretend in public that these are democratic forces that seized power and who are not using military force against their own citizens. Looking about it is hard to know who pretends in public that does not also delude themselves in private. To live a lie is difficult, so that the mind usually follows the pocketbook. News anchors are merely stupid people, but writers and pundits have more on display and have to get it right to be invited to appear on TV. There are brains at work there, and the compromises behind the faces are serious and disabling.

These are not just our right-wing pundits, by the way. It’s all of them, total spectrum dominance. They are all afraid, or don’t know, to speak up. We are a tightly controlled totalitarian state.

At this time, we are witnessing democratic forces in Ukraine playing out a counter-revolution, and the monsters in Kiev are required to adopt the language of civilized people to put it down. Putin is having none of it. I assume that when Russians in Ukraine are threatened with violence, he will act to protect them. American leaders and pundits will squeal like the stuck pigs. Would that they really were just that. As I have said many times, our leadership class needs to be showing us the toe-twitch at the end of a rope that we handed out to the criminals on the losing side of the last great war.

Posted in Ukraine coup | 2 Comments

An act of betrayal

I link below to an interesting interview with Sergey Lavrov by RT’s Sophie Shevardnadze (@SophieCo_RT). He is Russia’s Foreign minister, so it is natural there is going to be some deference there that might not be present if she were interviewing someone from another country, as, say, when the great clown Charlie Rose interviewed Bashar Assad and suddenly became a confrontational journalist. Lavrov gives good background to the crisis, but Russians always play chess, so there is much left unsaid. He states clearly that Americans are running the Ukrainian show from eleven thousand miles away, and that the new regime answers to them and no others.

Regarding the matter of Russian provocations, Lavrov says that they have acted legally, and wonder why the US constantly says “Russia must do this, Russia must do that,” while the US feels no obligation to follow up on agreements reached in Geneva in February. Case in point: the US now demands that Russia disarm Eastern Ukrainian protesters, as if protesting has suddenly become uncool.

Sophie Shevardnadze: Russia cannot pressure these [Eastern Ukrainian] self-defense forces to put down arms unless …

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, and we do not have any moral authority to pressure the East or the South to do something unilaterally in front of the army, being ordered to go against them, in front of the right Sector who should have been, must have been disarmed long ago and in the face of the political prisoners who continue to be taken.

The Kiev government has decided that demonstrations in the country are now acts of terrorism, giving it a right to use violence to put them down. For Russia to step in and demand that Ukrainians disarm themselves in the face of deadly force would be an act of betrayal.

Makes perfect sense. Read the whole interview for better insight than one snippet offers.

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Duck eggs ….

imagePortland is its own place, that is, a place where the book store is a still a hangout and where people dress and think differently than in other places. They are called “hipsters,” some of them anyway. I don’t know how to define them, but do recognize them when I see them.

When we were looking for houses in Colorado, I made it a point to check out book shelves to see what people read, to get a sense of the current owners who wanted us to buy their house. Most houses had no book shelves and few books and so I got no sense of the people who lived within. In Portland there are books and shelves and ideas and attitudes. The TV show Portlandia captures it I suppose, but understand this: There would be no TV show unless they grasped that something is different about this place.

It’s an attitude about life, optimism and possibilities … people seem to think that acting together to achieve common goals matters, so there are constant efforts at organizing. It is on signs and repurposed buildings. Silly little fools they are, they want to matter. They know some things. They redefine the American, and the new citizen speaks up and out, does not bow before power. He demands a different response from compromised government officials and the greedy corporations who also occupy this space.

Maybe it is all silliness – it is hard to navigate this place for all of the bike paths, green lanes, trains – it is as if the roads are designed for everything but cars, but cars dominate. Portlandia wants to be different, and there is a critical mass of people here who can make things different. It really does work that way. So power, though deeply embedded here (the Oregonian is as devoid of content as any newspaper anywhere in this land), is more masked than in other places.

All if this leads to my complaint, and this is serious: Where we live in Colorado we are given two options for pizza: Anthony’s, and Madoff’s. Neither are good. We could go down the hill to Old Chicago, but that is a thirty minute drive, or an hour of our life with the beer buzz worn off by the time we get home. So we live without pizza.

Pizza matters, and so while in Portland, given this opportunity, I Want Pizza! We found a place on Sunday evening, Hot Lips. They know what pizza is. We were going back there last night, but nooooooo … I am told that Oven and Shaker has the best pizza, so we go there.

There is no pepperoni. I am not kidding, and what I am about to tell you will shock you, so gird your loins: One of the ingredients they offered was duck eggs. Duck eggs! I end up having sausage and fennel. It is the only ingredient that I am certain is meat. I forsook the arugula.

People of Portland! That is not pizza! That is tapas! If I wanted mascarpone and yellow foot and hedgehog mushrooms, speck, leeks, chives, and fricking duck eggs, I would go out to the local commune and mingle with the hipsters and learn the names of the animals while holding hands and singing Kumbaya! Or I would go to the continent and lean against a railing and spend two euros for a little blob of God only knows, fish eggs or the like with some cheese I cannot pronounce.

It’s simple: dough, sauce, spices, cheese, and pepperoni. Portland, when did you lose your way?

Posted in American wilderness | 8 Comments

Ukraine notes

CIA head Brennan

CIA head Brennan

The CIA is generally headed by civilized looking men in suits, but the current head looks the part of an agency involved in murder, drug smuggling, violent coups, assassinations (domestic and foreign) and terrorism all over the globe.

He is John O. Brennan, and he scares me. He was in Kiev over the weekend trying to find the remnants of a Greystone legion (formerly Blackwater), for-hire terrorists sent into Ukraine during the recent overthrow of that government.

In other news, Thierry Meysson reports that the Polish government under Donald Tusk had trained the agents that went into Ukraine to foment the violence. Says Meysson, these agents were trained for four weeks beginning in September of 2013 in

  • crowd management
  • person recognition
  • combat tactics
  • command skills
  • behavior in crisis situations
  • protection against gases used by police
  • erecting barricades, and
  • especially shooting, including the handling of sniper rifles.

If I were investigating the February 18 incident in which 25 people were killed, I would start here.

So, if true, we have here a violation of international law by the Polish government, supported of course, by the United States. Just as Turkey is using Al Qaeda to undermine Syria, to too is Poland using terrorists to undermine a government that the west wants done away with. It is international terrorism, Gladio, still up and running.

And we have the usual suspects who eat it all up. It helps to understand how an American administration can get way with this without recrimination. It is the American world view. Democrats hold the White House. That’s all they need to know.

Posted in American terror, American wilderness | 3 Comments

Rovian tactics at play in Ukraine

The leaflet distributed in Donetsk, Ukraine, calling for all Jews over 16-years-old to register or face deportation, sparked concern among the area's 15,000-strong Jewish community. Now many are looking at fleeing Ukraine for Israel

The leaflet distributed in Donetsk, Ukraine, calling for all Jews over 16-years-old to register or face deportation, sparked concern among the area’s 15,000-strong Jewish community. Now many are looking at fleeing Ukraine for Israel

Montana Cowgirl is a stupid place. To borrow from whoever writes Joe Biden’s off-the-cuff remarks, she’s a noun, a verb and Tea Party. But I took opportunity there this morning to place the following comment:

I think people misunderstand when I say that the Tea Party is an Obama invention. People are so guileless about politics! The members of the Tea Party are mostly stupid people, and so of course cannot know that they are being manipulated to create political cover for Obama. They imagine they think their own thoughts and act independently, just as you do.

You Democrats imagine yourselves smarter than Tea Party members, but honestly, if you cannot see through such a simple ruse, you gotta take stock here. The Tea Party was a PR invention used to pass ACA, and now used to create political cover for Obama and his right-wing agenda. For so long as you remain focused on a noun, a verb, and Tea Party, Obama literally gets away with murder.

And I say and mean “murder.” He unleashed horrible drone strikes in Yemen over the weekend, killing scores of people. He’s got blood in his eyes, lust for death in his blood. He’s Cheney with charm.

There is not point, of course, in trying to explain stupid to the stupid. It makes me stupid.

Here’s a nice post from Lizard at 4&20 that is about the same phenomenon: Are they that gullible? That desperate? – this time, a forged letter circulated in Eastern Ukraine intimating that the Russians are about to round up Jews. This is Karl Rove territory, and so smacks of some brilliance. The new Ukrainian government is backed by neo-Nazis, Medici’s, fascists, psychopaths, whatever you want to call them, and that is a point of weakness: it forces those who automatically support the Obama Administration to reflect … Hey, wait a minute. What am I doing backing Nazis? Most people do not know how to reflect, so it is but a slight problem. Someone on the PR side of the Ukrainian coup d’état decided it was time for some deflection/projection, and so-called out the old archetype of Jew-hating Nazis, placing it on the face of the Russians.

It’s a brilliant PR strategy – the Rove school of political treachery teaches his students to attack opponents at their strong points. But on the ground level, in the American media, and for anyone still paying attention as they mop up over there, to buy such a fabrication smacks of extreme stupidity. Our media are paid to be thus, but just once in a while I’d like to see someone in a position of influence in this country call bullshit on such tacky maneuvers.

But it never happens. It is as if they bet on the stupidity of the American public, and never lose. It is so discouraging.

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Piece of cake

Most of our thinking is done for us by others. Part of what we think is that we think our own thoughts. That’s part of the thinking that is done for us – the part about allowing us to imagine that our thoughts are our own. But they are not.

The means by which is this done is simple. We are given “facts” that can only lead to certain opinions. Any opinions that we might have that do not embrace those facts are out-of-place and considered oddball.

Once we agree on the facts, there is little room for disagreement, but there is some. That minor variation in views creates two parties. But the two parties are more a fracture in personality types than in viewpoints. One party is composed of hard-boiled authoritarians. The other is composed of softer nurturing types.

Here’s an example of how it works: The “facts” are that there is a spontaneous uprising in Ukraine, and it is featured in our news. Our news does not inform us, but rather directs our attention.

Such uprisings are common and usually not featured in our news, but this one was. The president of Ukraine is said to be a bad person who was not elected fairly. The people of his country want to be westerners, and he wants them to be easterners. The spontaneous uprising keeps getting worse. He orders gunmen to to fire into a crowd, and that sets off riots. He flees, and a new government, a good one, takes over. But the Russians Vladimir Putin interfere[s] and keep[s] taking parts of the country for themselves himself.

Here is what we are allowed to think: Our president, Obama, was [or was not] strong enough in standing up to Vladimir Putin. That is it. No other opinions are tolerated.

See how easy thought control is? Control information, control thoughts. Piece of cake.

Posted in Thought control, World views | 1 Comment

Killing Hope (and change)

I am currently watching Mad Men Season 6, and enjoying it. Like everyone, I am taken in by the casting, writing and acting. As far as my memory goes, they do a good job recapturing that era with desks and hair and props. But they have complete control there, as my memory is triggered by their props and I do not know what is not triggered.

Woody Allen had a nice message in his movie Midnight in Paris: nostalgia is pointless. The past was just like the present. Back then we thought we were on the cutting edge of consumer technology (we were). So did Mark Twain, who thought the telegraph and electricity were the bomb. We forget that people then were as smart as people now, and better informed. (In 1969 perhaps 30% of the American public thought the moon landings were faked. Now it’s only 7%. We are dumbed down considerably.)

I don’t care about moon landings – that is Lincolnesque log-splitting stuff, the mythology that binds countries together. We all have it everywhere, and we need it if we are to have political boundaries and cohesive cultures.

The episode of a Mad Men I just watched included the Martin Luther King assassination. I was fortunate to have had a phone conversation with James Douglass, author of JFK and the Unspeakable, last week. He and my cousin are close friends, and she put me on the line. He had a good message for me.

More important than details here and there, he told me, is why they murdered JFK. I’ll add RFK, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King? Why did they murder or imprison every Black Panther leader? Why did Stokely Carmichael take refuge in Cuba? Ever hear of Mary Sherman? Gary Webb? Mike Connell? Mary Jo Kopechne? There are not scores of unsolved murders in our history. There are not hundreds. There are thousands, most names not well-known.

But take just one, Martin Luther King. With JFK and RFK, we fell into deep sadness. But killing MLK risked insurrection and revolution. Mad Men captures some of that. I remember when it happened that the Rat Pack entertainer, Sammy Davis Jr., came on The Tonight Show to beg everyone to stay calm, not to riot and tear down the cities. He was the epitome of the good negro, hair straightened and hanging out in Vegas with Frank and Dean and the boys. Take it in stride he said. Don’t get uppity.

There were riots, anger and angst, but the King murder was salt on the earth, the end of an era, and civil rights died with him. In its place we got the Rockefeller Drug laws and every potential black leader either in jail or dying. You might argue that blacks have made great progress in the years since, but killing MLK kept them in their place. He was uppity, and worse yet, was talking about Vietnam. Some say that was the trigger, the final scene in the play called Killing Hope. (One more high-profile assassination lay in store before the close of the era, George Wallace.)

Why did they kill Martin Luther King? They knew the risks. They thought it had to be done. Every assassination and every witness murdered, every journalist and crusader removed dampens our expectations. The good really do die young. By design.

We can have our nice cars and computers and social media, we can have music if it is empty of meaning. We cannot have hope or change. Those two things are not allowed. Ever. The words are no more than an empty ad slogan.

Posted in American wilderness | 2 Comments

Accountability

imageIn the movie As Good As It Gets, Jack Nicholson played Melvin Udall, a best-selling author. After visiting his publisher he is getting on an elevator, and one of the employees asks him how he writes women so well. Says Udall,

I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability.

His character has many flaws, misogyny among them. But the word, accountability stuck with me. It is the thing that is missing from American politics. George H.W. Bush, a tone-deaf aristocrat, squeaked out an election in 1988 against a typically weak Democrat using the catch phrase “Read my lips, no new taxes.” He then raised taxes, though I don’t remember the specific details. But watching him it was apparent that it never even occurred to him that voters would connect his behavior in office with his campaign rhetoric.

Most conservatives moved over to support Ross Perot, and that split, unfortunately, gave us the creep Bill Clinton and his shrill wife. (Clinton held office for eight years thanks to Perot.) But still, it was a proud moment for Republicans. They held their man accountable.

Accountability. The right side of the spectrum since that time has gotten very stupid. Their wing-nuts have taken over, and though I believe their leaders are more sensible than they appear in public, they to have to send out these shrill, stupid messages like those out forth by Sarah Palin in the 2008 election. There must have been cringing and crying behind the scenes and people telling John McCain “Don’t worry, people eat her stuff up!” (I’ve since come to like Palin in her proper place, entertainment. It takes special talent to light up a room as she does, even if she will never gold-star in wisdom.)

Our biggest problem is the Democrats. I understood the genius of their leadership this morning as I read another one of Pogie’s brain droppings. It’s a perfect storm: With a black president, they feel morally superior. With invention of the Tea Party, they feel intellectually superior. Ergo, they are insufferable. Democrat leaders understand Democrat voters really well. I do wish that were a two-way street.

Democrats do not hold their office holders accountable. Consequently, “Obama” (his handlers are essentially the same people who gave us George W. Bush) has outflanked the Republicans on the right extreme! He’s been kinder to Wall Street, made newer and better wars, clamped down on civil liberties, ramped up torture and aggression in all forms abroad. He’s gone after whistle blowers with vengeance.

Karl Rove promised us a “permanent Republican majority” while Bush was in office. I did not know what he meant until Obama uncloaked as a Neocon.

The members of the Democratic Party are still aglow with the pride that they elected a black man to the White House. Otherwise, they don’t seem aware of much. Some intellectualize themselves into supporting the Neocon agenda that Obama promotes, but the rest are just getting a heavy dose of personal validation.

They are oblivious. There is no accountability.

Democrats are the problem.

Posted in American wilderness | 2 Comments

Postcard from the San Juan’s

I write now and then about “portals,” or sea-changes in outlook. They happen to a few of us, but two elements must be present: First, doubt. We must learn to question everything we’ve been taught to believe. Nothing should be held sacred.

Then follows curiosity. Without curiosity, doubt merely produces cynicism.

There’s only a few of us capable if these Herculean mental feats. I witness all about me thought-controlled zombies. It’s creepy.

We’re traveling in the Pacific Northwest. I hope when I get the urge to write, that I look at the words above and decide there is nothing to add.

Peace be with you, brothers and sisters!

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#2501

The post below, About a Boy, was post number 2500 on this blog. I discovered that after writing it. It’s a milepost, and a good time to stop and reflect.

The photos below the fold in that post clearly show strong resemblance between Charles Harrelson and the Dealey Plaza tramp. St. John Hunt, E Howard’s son, looked at the photos and said that the third in line behind Charles Harrelson was his father. There was no mistaking him. That is my dad, said the son. The dad had the power of denial and it works on most everyone, but not on his son. St. John Hunt had a mental awakening when he saw that, and passed through a portal.

Make no mistake: Power keeps a lid on the JFK assassination because it is a transformative experience for any who venture there. The accumulated evidence of conspiracy and cover-up, of an American crime, is simply overwhelming. No one of sound mind can look at it and remain agnostic.

So what do people do? It’s simple. They refuse to look at it.

But your refusal to be curious is a tell. It means that you know what I know but are afraid to say so. You are not cowards, that’s not my point. You are set in your ways. If the murder of JFK was a high crime committed by Americans, and if the American justice system won’t investigate and prosecute (there has never been a trial), and if the American media is afraid to broach the subject, then you have got work to do. You have to change the way you view our country and its institutions, its leaders, history, and even our present. That is a giant undertaking. Few are up to it.

The first baby steps are so utterly baffling, unsettling! Security goes out the window, uncertainty and mistrust rule. But after all of the crying is done, the pain and anger of betrayal, you do grow up and learn to walk again, you do learn to live in the real world and coexist, even if uncomfortably, with ugly truth.

The two critical elements in propaganda and indoctrination in any country are what we call “news” and “education.” In the United States, power owns all of it. Power has always defined our reality from birth to death. It imposed an artificial reality on our young and impressionable minds, and reinforced it at every opportunity. We got our daily affirmation in school, on TV, in our newspapers, movies, books… if certain books are avoided.

Living in the real world astride the lies is hard, but essential to a clean life. We have to face ugly truth. We have to look at our leaders and realize they are lying liars, and perhaps forgive them as they cannot tell the truth and hang on to power. They are cowards, they live in the gutter of indignity and yet seem to like it. They are detestable human beings. But we learn to live with them.

Some even think we should vote for them, as some are worse than others. I don’t buy that myself.

Power demands homage to lies. The mind follows the body. That is all that Hans Christian Andersen was telling us in his fable about the naked emperor.

Most people, it appears 95%, want no part of this world I live in, and power has provided an easy escape. It has given you the power of ridicule (“Oh, he’s just some conspiracy nut.”) It has given you the power of avoidance. (Out of sight, out of mind.) It has given you the power to rely on authority figures. (No one in position of power ever breaches the subject, as immediate retribution awaits.) It has given you the power of distraction (our lives are filled with things that don’t matter, from Superbowls and other orgies to mindless entertainment in high-definition all day and night long.) It has give us the power to replace learning with the illusion of learning. (Our education system teaches our kids not to think and grades them on that inability, those best at regurgitation achieving the highest marks.)

But if you are reading this, you have a choice, and you know it. You can take that first step, and doubt. That’s all it takes – that first quiet act of betrayal, to decide not to believe, but rather learn for yourself. After that, the road is long and winding, and God only knows where your curious mind will take you. You are on your own. I can only give you one guarantee: It’s fun.

Posted in American wilderness, World views | 8 Comments