All posts by Jim Hickey

Two Key Facts, #1

Any erstwhile nonfiction narrative that purports to serve other than a diversionary, delusional, or misleading purpose must account for, or at the very least be able to incorporate seamlessly, all of the centrally important evidence in the situation that the storytelling exercise seeks to explain. Lacking the capacity to include even a single important factor means the the entire explanation falls apart. This is actually provable, mathematically, or at least so I would wager every penny in my possession, but that is not the point of today’s inauguration of a new series.

The intention of this cycle of articles, rather, centers around focusing on two undeniable developments in or background to the so-called COVID crisis that has unfolded, at least in the ‘mainstream’ story of things, since a novel Coronavirus, SARS-Cov-II, appeared on the world’s stage as a uniquely identifiable phenomenon that required, because of its pernicious lethality, that we take extraordinary measures to combat it. Quite probably, a minimum of many dozens of such pairings as today’s will appear in the coming period on this WOW blog, which means at least several dozen such articulations as this one over the next couple months or so.

Legal conflicts offer useful ways of thinking about the most important data in a given case. Material facts, especially pertinent in actions that allege fraud or misrepresentation, can help to conceptualize these things. Thus, a “Material fact is a fact that is important, significant, or essential to a reasonable person in deciding whether to engage or not to engage in a particular transaction, issue, or matter at hand. It is a fact that is significant or essential to the issue or matter at hand. The term material fact is also used to distinguish the unimportant or trivial detail.”

And thus, the absolutely accurate admission that I am roughly ¾ inch shorter than I was when I was twenty five years of age is ‘unimportant and trivial’ in relation to how authorities have managed determining and reacting to the SARS-Cov-II virus. While “genuine issues of material fact” may exist about evidence, various examinations of which are forthcoming, real dispute is not always possible; in legal terms, the parties would have to stipulate their truth, or the court would take “judicial notice” of their veridity. Such a required stipulation, in any event, applies to all of the twinned bits of data in this series of postings. None of them display an “issue of material fact,” in the legal sense of the phrase.

In many, or even conceivably all, of these notes that lay out paired key facts, moreover, one or both of these important elements of what has happened in the COVID-19 world make little or no appearance on the established, which is to say corporate and governmental, stages which supposedly report about such things, keep us updated, and generally investigate what might lurk behind what is happening on the surface of affairs that government press releases, business ‘explainers,’ and so forth generally limit themselves to describing. This failure to mention, again in juridical parlance, to disclose, information clearly critical to intelligent decision making cannot help but raise suspicion, especially when precisely the same ‘authoritative’ sources that overlook or hide important evidence are, simultaneously, calling for and instituting censorship against any forthright and open discussion of matters.

In a litigious setting, knowingly suppressing these key facts can be enough to trigger punitive damages: in other words, it is ‘against the law,’ albeit generally in a civil sense of the word, as opposed to any criminal interpretation. In the citizenship domain, cloaking core facts or disputes about them can, especially in circumstances of police state enforcement of whatever the leadership mandates, lead to elevated protest or even uprisings against standard operational protocols.

In some senses, members of any community that calls itself democratic have a basic duty to participate in—speaking and listening in turn—discussion about issues such as any masking of indispensable info about what is really happening and how it has come to pass. A piece of Marshall Arts driftwood message art speaks to this point. “Under ‘Normal’ Circumstances, Injunctions Against ‘Rocking the Boat’ Might Make Sense, But Under More Difficult Conditions, As When Our Common Craft Is Full of Holes & Sinking Or Approaching Other Dire Straits, a Failure to Mutiny Amounts to Insanity, Both Tactical & Strategic Lunacy, Since Thriving, Or Even Survival, May Well Hinge on ‘Making Lots of Waves.’”

Having once again, quite likely, taken too long to contextualize everything, which I vow not to do again in this series, what are the verifiable details that this posting gives to readers? The first concerns how we’ve come to find ourselves in “a public health emergency of international concern,” as the World Health Organization has expressed things since late Winter last year, a pandemic. One may examine, in this regard, how ten years ago, just weeks before amplifying the dangers of an earlier ‘pandemic’ that ended up being significantly milder that other influenza outbreaks, the H1N1 influenza irruption in 2009, W.H.O. reformulated its core definition of pandemic flu.

Here’s what the organization said in mid-April, 2009. “An influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus appears against which the human population has no immunity, resulting in epidemics worldwide with enormous numbers of deaths and illness.”

Now, one can compare that with the changes in language a month and a day later, twenty-odd days before declaring H1N1 pandemical, much to the benefit of vaccine marketers and detriment of regular people, who in one way or another paid for their shots without garnering protection against any ‘dread disease.’ “A pandemic is a worldwide epidemic of a disease. An influenza pandemic may occur when a new influenza virus appears against which the human population has no immunity.”

This elimination of any component about virulence and ubiquity has to mean something. Among the sources that pointed out plausibly culpable conflict of interest were The British Medical Journal, an investigating committee of the European Union, and the German paper, Der Spiegel. James Corbett wrote a scathing critique of W.H.O. roughly a year after the unfolding of what he terms now as “Scamdemic number one.”

All these sources and plenty more called for eliminating practices that depended on the advice and leadership of parties who had ongoing lucrative connections with pharmaceutical companies; however, to date, no such reformulation has occurred, so that now—at least till a Biden administration may restore U.S. assistance—the largest donor, by far, to the World Health Organization is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with its multiple interconnections to major manufacturers and marketers of drugs and vaccines like those that made these companies ten billion bucks in 2009 and that will result in windfalls of, quite likely, tens of billions more in 2020, 2021, and beyond.

The second key fact of today’s installment deals with influenza numbers in the here and now. Since last Summer, flu has essentially disappeared, both from the USA according to the Centers for Disease Control and from Earth, according to the World Health Organization. In au courant terms, WTAF? More prosaically, and in a more ancient idiom, “Excuse me?” or, “Say What?”

Undoubtedly, a possible explanation for such an unparalleled disappearing act—literally not once in the decades of keeping statistics on this issue have flu’s afflictions simply gone away—is that this diminution serves to emphasize SARS-Cov-II as the primary, almost the only, vector for seasonal respiratory illness. If such a plausible account is untrue, then those in charge—both ‘expert’ and ‘journalistic’ sources—need to tell the people what else allows us to see why this is happening. Instead, of course, rarely even a whisper about this point comes out of monopolistic ‘news’ outlets, while the CDC and WHO merely report the vanishing act with little more than a chart or graph or two as explication for what’s gone missing.

A later installment in this series will pair pneumonia’s supposedly decreasing prevalence with some as yet undetermined policy shift, paralleling today’s matching up of data about influenza numbers with earlier, elective changes in defining pandemics. The point of all this, of this particular grouping of interludes about evidence, is multifold, but it centers around a contextualization of the true utility of expertise, which is to establish, and then to communicate, facts and not to mandate policy, which in democratic realms must fall to citizens to determine in one way or another.

Are citizens actually even considering the identifiable empirical basis for current determinations of rules and regulations? They probably are wondering; that, in the event, ‘authorities’ and ‘mainstream’ reporters have almost nothing to offer common people about salient facts as they ponder is at best discomfiting, and quite likely much worse. Only by conveying this kind of information, as frontline nurses will state the case—STAT!!–can those who promise that they care about our health and well being contribute to either a fair or a widely accepted understanding of our situation, which obviously is the only way that a democratic decision making process can happen.

This is a centrally important point—that citizens’ ignorance has come about through negligence or intention—because one consequence of this insouciant oversight is clearly that huge elements of constitutionally guaranteed rights also apparently no longer exist, all as a result of the ‘horrible disease’ about which key facts are absent or barely noticed. Among the freedoms that now do not apply are these: to contract and do business freely; to travel over internal borders without interference; to speak and carry on discourse and assembly without limitations, like ‘social distancing’ and face coverings, that are only defensible in a case of a threat to the Republic’s very existence.

Thus far, we have not presented a factual foundation adequate to assess whether the COVID disease response is such a dire ‘threat.’ But we can use common sense. We have every right, and even a duty, to doubt such an assertion. Furthermore, neither of today’s facts support such a belief.

In actuality, the facts that this briefing mentions contradict, or at least are incongruent with, any impression that SARS-Cov-II is a mortal threat to the capacity of the United States of America to survive. For this reason, then, as well as for more general due diligence, we have to begin demanding more data, more clear explanation, than has been forthcoming thus far. As police state enforced lockdowns now threaten to destroy lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of Americans, such a clamoring, such a ‘rocking the boat,’ has become as important to our survival as paying close attention when we cross busy city streets.

At a minimum, failing to take a stand for more conversation and investigation will mean that we are complicit in the authoritarian protocols that our political and economic overlords insist that they are promulgating in our best interest, to keep us safe, to reduce harmful outcomes. If those despotic regulations then cause vastly more harm than that from which our so-called leaders want to protect us, we again will have primarily ourselves to blame. As my grandmother liked to say, “a word, to the wise, ought to be sufficient.

Abiding By ‘First Agreement’ Protocols

During one of Hot Springs’ episodic influxes of motorcyclists—they love to ride “the rattler,” as they’ve named Highway 209 between here and I-40—a stout fellow in a leather vest, with American flag pins on the faded black cowhide and silvered pigtails coming off his head, wandered into the tent and listened to a few pieces of wood. “So,” he began with a twang and a sliver of a smile, “you’re one of these ‘leftists,’ right?”

I might easily have intoned, a la my spouse’s tendencies, “WTAF??!” or something similar, but I diidn’t, opting rather to reply with an inquiry of my own. “I’l bet you nine dollars you can’t tell me what that word means, or where it came from, how people started using ‘left’ and ‘right’ for something other than directions in the first place.”

Of course, he didn’t know, and in my nerdy way I told him about Robespierre and the layout of the revolutionary French Assembly of the early 1790’s. The same kind of, to put the matter mildly, inchoate imprecision of language characterizes a big swath of our citizenry’s political discourse, such as it is, and it typifies almost all the monopoly mediated depictions of how people communicate about policy and law and schools and taxes and other germane pieces of the poliiical puzzle. Because of the way that I’m built, basically, this kind of verbiage makes me go berserk pretty quickly.

In that vein, among the multiple ways that my sweet wife’s impacts have altered and improved my life’s ambit, one of the most consequential has been her introducing me to the Four Agreements. These have zero to do with other key elements of my world view, at least directly, yet they do act as a set of emotional operational guidelines that are not only critical to attaining any sort of happy empowerment but also likely to be central in any actor’s successfully playing a constructive role in relation to fellow members of the cast and crew.

As is my wont, I’ve rewritten these protocols so that they use my own terminology and contain amplification as my judgment sees fit. The second, third, and fourth of these guidelines, in my retooling, go like this. 2. No matter what comes down the pike, one should never, with common sense exceptions that involve things like people holding guns to one’s head, take what happens personally, as a personal insult or slight. 3. Without incontrovertible documentation, and despite the utility of positing hypotheses about why things unfold as they do, one should never assume that one can know others’ motives and purposes, especially if the presumption is that others dislike one or want to do one harm. 4. Whatever else transpires, one should do one’s best, giving as much of a focused and diligent effort as is humanly possible to make relationships and upshots work out well for all concerned.

In my way of thinking, the First Agreement—in many ways similarly to the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights—serves as the linchpin of all the other mandates. In my rewritten form, it sounds like this. 1. In all one’s communications acts, speaking and listening, writing and reading, one should be punctilious in a relentless commitment to honesty and clarity, again with obvious common sense exceptions like not responding to queries at gunpoint with the same degree of forthrightness that one would display among friends, acquaintances, or fellow travelers.

I introduce these ideas, these suggested watchwords, on a World Organization of Writers site that seeks political understanding and societal transformation for the simple reason that whenever social discussion among ourselves develops along sociopolitical lines in the here and now, it tends to vacillate, for the most part, between the nonsensical and the meaningless, between horse manure and non sequitur, between pretense and absurdity, without much indication at all that a space or time exists where or when hearts and minds can meet and, in good faith, as honest brokers, people can converse about the state of the world and their lives in it.

Lacking such a context of give and take and deep listening, practically speaking, only the imperial status quo can ever prevail, for without honest and thoroughgoing conversation, both understanding and organization are impossible to achieve, inconceivable to orchestrate, and clearly, without knowledge and cohesion no social movement worthy or even capable of general human progress can possibly take shape to oppose the meticulously studious and organized masters and rulers of things, who in any event hire minions and experts and pundits to pronounce the present pass, or something suspiciously like it, as the only possible way of doing business in the world.

Examples of such bombastic prattle are everywhere, the Marshall Arts tent a magnet for such silly and erstwhile opposed pronouncements. “Leftists just want to let the government take over everything.” Or, “You wingnuts on the right just want racism to be okay again.” I’ve heard exactly these words: “All y’all liberals just want the government to raise taxes till all of you can get welfare checks.” Another kind of statement has been as common as corn for years: “All conservatives love Trump because he hates environmentalists and activists as much as they do.” This kind of dialog is lunatic, no more than the bedlam of babbling in an insane asylum.

One can make a persuasive case for such a harsh conclusion since almost none of these conversationaalists can say, like the biker bloke who showed up at the beginning of this rumination, where terms like ‘leftist’ or ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative,’ or phrases like ‘right wing’ come from, let alone how their meaning might have evolved over time to have more than a name-calling purpose today. With relatively few ‘mainstream,’ or corporate, exceptions, in other words, crazed jabberwocky and delusional ‘debate’ are characteristic of the current context.

Perhaps the most significant contributory factor is easy to delineate. Its articulation was a central component of Edmond Osborne Wilson’s The Social Conquest of Earth. “We have not gotten beyond the powerful propensity to believe our group is superior to other comparable groups.”

In a world where Hydrogen Bombs keep proliferating, such thinking is so dangerously foolish that no other trigger so threatens to finalize the thermonuclear existential threat and its ecocidal prospects. So what can we do to improve our behavior? A step in the right direction would be to name people’s world views with terminology that would at least invoke real images of different political possibilities.

Along these lines, “socialist,” “Libertarian,” “fascist,” “radical,” even “progressive” or “free market diehard” or “rich” or “common folk” are certainly superior to the predominant ubiquity of ‘right’ and ‘left,’ ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal.’ Better still would be to note the empirically undeniable polarization that has happened between a tiny set of privileged owners and the vast majority of humanity that cannot survive without income from labor or charity or welfare.

When we pay attention to this immutable fact, we can bring into focus the social stakes in the arena of political discourse. Given the vast gulf that separates the tiny set that owns everything from the plus or minus ninety percent who have on average zero equity in terms of accumulated wealth, managing this huge herd of readily restive beasts has become even more important to plutocrats than profit, since without untrammeled control, things could change way too fast for the liking of the rich.

This primary priority is most easily manageable through one means or other of divide to conquer. Whether division and conquest are the purpose, as in a conspiratorial motivation, of the nonsensical dribble that defines the dialogs and debates that are a key part of any foundation for a people-powered policy orientation, they undeniably make constructive engagement and compromise that serves the masses utterly impossible to obtain.

E.O. Wilson, the Harvard entomologist and sociobiologist cited above, summarized things.. “Humanity today is like a waking dreamer, caught between the fantasies of sleep and the chaos of the real world. We have created Star Wars civilization, with stone age emotions, medieval institutions, and godlike technology. …And this god-like technology is dragging us forward in ways that are totally unpredictable. …We are terribly confused by the mere fact of our existence, and a danger to ourselves and to the rest of life.”

An idea of Thomas Jefferson punctuates this brief. “Indeed, I tremble for my planet, when I reflect that Nature is inflexible: that her response to our abuse cannot sleep forever.”

Here I go again, rambling and babbling, but I mean well. I care about human survival, and our present mix of inability and unwillingness to engage with fellow Homo Sapiens could easily prove a lethal flaw. To make spoken, as well as written or otherwise mediated, interactions both more likely to permit mutual respect and more helpful to explore common ground is thus a survival skill, an adaptive trait that we’d better begin to develop, “tout suite,” as my mother used to say.

Doing that is more than a matter of verbal signatures, but grounded, reality-based phrasing and the vaunted ‘First Agreement’ sure as hell couldn’t hurt. Here are the best conceivable options for accomplishing such an outcome, in the humble opinion of one lonely scribe on the fringes of things.

We should be using language that actually relates to the almost inconceivable difference between folks who have little or nothing and generally trustafarian success stories whose aggregate trillions of dollars account for the provenance over a sizeable portion of our dear mother Earth. Therefore, we could talk about “upper class” or “ruling class” versus “working class” or “wage earners;” we could juxtapose “capitalists” and “owners” and “corporate interests” with “workers” and “wage slaves;” if we wanted to be fancy, we’d learn how to understand “bourgeoisie” and “proletariat.”

Would that really make a difference. Who knows? Right? But if we can wrap our heads around the likely truth that we’re not being very effective in our communications with each other these days, we just might usefully ponder the implications of some search engine results: they offer power evidence of my point in this essay.

Thus, the nauseating <leftist OR right-wing OR”right wing” OR liberal OR conservative> yields a lot more than half a billion results. The better but still misunderstood and poorly used <libertarian OR anarchist OR communist OR socialist> gives us less than half that many hits. The much more pointed and punctilious and purposeful <proletariat OR bourgeoisie OR capitalist OR “ruling class” OR “working class”>provides only two-fifths of that 250,000,000 citations.

If our speech acts are at least as often as not pointless or counterproductive, mere bullshit at best, if our survival probably hinges on improving this situation, if we know that idiotic usages are most common and descriptive descriptors are least common, then we ought to commit ourselves to improving on the above search outcomes by reversing them.

That’s it: just a thought. I mean, if we want our offspring to live past the current generation or so.

By the way, I didn’t even throw “middle class” into the discussion today. This phrase represents the most monstrous commingling of manure and misunderstanding in the sociopolitical and political-economic realms, so much so that I’ve reserved a posting for examining this combination of falsehood and fantasy all by itself.

Understanding’s Core Component: Honest Reporting, #2

In the course of a given day, I peruse plus or minus five hundred conduits to information and opinion, data and analysis. I do this, both because my existential duty as a human being requires me to do so, and because any glimmer of hope about being an effective citizen necessitates it.

One of our message-art inscriptions speaks to this point, in so doing establishing that item as one of my most favored pieces, admittedly along with several others. We’ve so far only sold one other version, so this is hardly a Marshall Arts ‘hot item,’ yet it will stay equal to anything else on top of the heap, for me, so long as I draw breath.

Here is what it says. “Like Infants to Maternal Milk, I Am Drawn to Those Who Seek the Truth, But in Noontime’s Glaring Glow & Midnight’s Silvered Sable, I Flee in Abject Horror From All Who Claim to Have Uncovered Its Everlasting Essence: Nothing So Eviscerates Or Extinguishes Any Search For Accurate Awareness As Does the Inherently Erroneous Notion That One Has Attained Complete Comprehension of Either the Universe As a Whole Or Any Intricate Piece of the Cosmos’ Inextricably Interconnected, Essentially Infinite, Puzzle.”

Now, without doubt, Jimbo has powerful ideological commitments—especially to Golden Ruled interaction, belief in Gaia-based ecology, and something akin to dialectical historical materialist thinking. These things are important to me because they seem most helpful in navigating the shoals and negotiating the thickets of life here on our fair Earth.

However, the absolute necessity of honest reporting doesn’t in turn mandate that the reporter in question agree with these world views. As I pointed out ten days ago, James Corbett and I would disagree on many things: I’d bet everything that I have that he’d accept ‘Do Unto Others’ as important guidance, but I’d also wager a smaller sum that he has no Wiccan or Marxist sensibilities.

Today, I’m introducing, or at least highlighting, for those already familiar with his work, Jeremy Hammond. I also would put all my money on his following the Golden Rule. I’d hazard more than I would about Mr. Corbett that Jeremy probably would never describe himself in terms of Goddess energy or Karl Marx.

I develop this line of thinking because almost all literate readers look askance on confirmation bias; I want to be very clear that such an error constitutes believing things because they fit one’s views, because they match one’s own conclusions, because they support the web of one’s overall point of view, but decidedly not because they fit one’s facts. Those are always non proprietary; they may be wrong or questionable, but their existence is not a matter of bias—either they are, or they are not.

Anyhow, no matter the gulf that separates Mr. Hammond from Mr. Hickey, Jeremy is a certifiable genius at unraveling complex reporting problems, at ‘getting to the bottom of things,’ at discovering the discoverable facts. In this interview with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who is another interlocutor who will soon enough merit his own profile here, Hammond masterfully deconstructs much of the SOP presentation of ‘the Corona Crisis.’

Unless one is unconcerned about one’s livelihood, society, or life itself, one will pay very close attention to this interview. It is worth vastly more than an hour of one’s careful consideration. To make some sort of Auschwitz social future other than inevitable, attending and then deploying the knowledge and methodology of someone like Jeremy Hammond simply must transpire. Otherwise, elite schemers and their coteries of ‘expert minions,’ bought and paid for, will almost certainly set a course toward one version or other of Adolf’s ‘thousand year Reich.’

That is an ‘I told you so’ moment that I no more look forward to than I do to the mass collective suicide that is the only other credible, billionaire boosted future that can come to pass here in the Goddess’ green groves.

An E-Mail Thread Encounter: Responding to Asserted “Neurotic Hatred of the Political Class”

INTRO

This will almost certainly vastly exceed the length that most readers will find manageable. While I can understand the empirical accuracy of this observation, the fact remains that established, monied, monopoly mediation churns out endless streams of narrative about ‘the news of the day’, albeit often in the form of audio video materials that require less attentive focus. In this context, some extensive responses are essential if any sort of critical understanding of said endless streams is to take place.

The following paragraphs are part of an e-mail thread that a friend of mine helped to initiate, the underlying impetus for which was from Atlantic, a magazine to which I subscribe, an article about how ‘America’s politics has gone insane.’ Anyone who likes can read that report here:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/07/how-american-politics-went-insane/485570/

.

While the piece was vaguely interesting, I found it at best trivial, inasmuch as it ignored or deracinated history, it assumed premises and made presumptions about what constitutes ‘politics’ and ‘sanity,’ and its arguments were often out of context or non sequiturs. The earlier discourse in my friend’s thread had not delved such points, however, focusing on ‘Trumpism’ and how ‘crazy’ its supporters are, how unusual, how unseemly, blah blah blah.

My rejoinder to this is the body of this posting. It follows my usual metrics of insisting on historical context, descriptive breadth and richness, and a nose for the contradictions in play.

BODY

Hey All!

Or is it “Hey, you two!?” Whatever the case may be, I’ll make a profferal despite my instinct to remain on the sideline.

The Atlantic, eh? Writing about “insanity” in politics as if it were unusual seems to belie the periodical’s Brahmin origins as a midwife for the Grand Old Party. They’ve endorsed only two presidential candidates since advocating ‘honest Abe’ early in 1860: Lyndon Johnson in 1964 and Hillary Clinton in 2016.

One way of viewing the magazine’s labeling contemporary politics as ‘lunatic’ is to suggest that, for the senior editors and publishers—a group that includes Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple Computer—any unfolding of things in which an Atlantic endorsement does not tip the balance must be, almost by definition, crazy, baby, crazy!

Such a view, on the face of it, implores that the reader consult R.D. Laing’s The Politics of Experience or Thomas Szasz’s The Myth of Mental Illness, both of which make the point that social barbarism, promulgated by insidious hegemonic cultural forces as if by Gaia’s grand plan, makes any sort of ‘calm, measured, sane‘ response to mostrous socioeconomic dynamics itself a dialectical definition of schizoid behavior and ideation. Political madness thereby must accompany our present pass, in which Brand Chaos’ great empire seeks to rule and plunder the planet and, if COVID’s coming makes possible, every single member of the human species along with the Earth itself.

Moreover, as David noted, this bloke’s ‘historical review’ is at best trivially superficial. Each of the two ‘revered founding fathers’ in the 1800 contest for chief executive imprimatur, for instance, Jefferson and Adams, more or less tried to put his opponent in prison for seditious libel in the fray, an actual possibility given the still extant Alien and Sedition Acts. In the event, Aaron Burr nearly became President with the help of ‘Federalist frenzy,’ years prior to gunning down dear nationalist bourgeois Alexander Hamilton, and well fefore his treasonous forays on the ‘Western frontier’ in favor of the British Empire.

The next half century combined predatory mayhem with euphoric expansion, the close juxtaposition of butchery and ‘opportunity.’ Anyone who doubts this would do very well to read, one after the other, Frederick Douglas’ autobiographical masterpiece—’my master was my father’ was almost the introductory sentence—and Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, following which a perusal of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the best selling book of the 19th century, and a careful reading indeed of Abe Lincoln’s Second Inaugural would be the order of the day: insane politics, for certain.

How about the ‘compromise’ of 1876? The Cross of Gold Populist eruption, Gene Debs’ Socialist six percent in 1912, and more than half that total in 1920 while he sat in Atlanta’s Federal Penitentiary for the ‘crime’ of calling Woodrow Wilson’s “He Kept Us Out of War” perfidy an instance of actionable class warfare? What about ‘W’s’ grandfather, Prescott, and the Liberty League’s attempt to recruit Smedley Butler, the two time Medal of Honor recipient and nine year Marine Corps commandant who wrote the chilling memoir, War Is a Racket, to overthrow and if necessary kill Franklin Roosevelt so as to save ‘democracy’ for the propertied rich? Or one of the ReDemoPubliCratiCan phalanx’s first incontrovertible salvos, the joining of the Democratic wing and the Republican to insure the defeat of Socialist Upton Sinclair’s bid to become California’s governor with his best-selling pamphlet, I, Governor and How I Ended Poverty: A True Story of the Future, a battle in which ‘Uppy’ Sinclair still garnered forty percent of the vote despite his own nominal camp’s treachery, an omen of what would befall Bernie eight decades later and guarantee the presidency to a ‘madman?’ What utter horseshit!!

U.S.politics have always delineated something like psychosis. Hell, things have heated up since the ‘Great Depression’s’ ultimate ‘solution’ was Nazism and world war, and the omnipresent threat of thermonuclear mass collective suicide followed apace in its aftermath. This insistence on Brand Chaos at the center of SOP establishment internecine competions has only intensified as ‘neocon’ and ‘neoliberal’ thugs have duked it out only to discover that they were the same animal.

Even the professional gangsters and political bosses who’ve ever predominated in Congress found John Kennedy’s mind blowing executive experience in Dallas to be, with 95% certainty, the result of a conspiracy, one that quite plausibly included ‘W’s’ dadand Prescott’s son, George Herbert Walker Bush, who moved from being the head of America’s SS simulacrum at Langley, in which he’d been active for a quarter century, to being a ‘heartbeat from the Presidency’ under Ronnie, Trump’s spiritual forefather, and then assuming the reins in his own stead immediately before ‘the victory over Communism’ that portended our descent into the deepest hellish pits of Brand Chaos’ complete capture of our ‘exceptional’ nation.

What exactly could one call sane about the First Gulf War, the attack on Yugoslavia, the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and generally homicidal international policies wherever anyone denied just how ‘special’ America really was? Examined in this wider cultural and political economic and historical context, Donald Trump is but a blip on the radar screen as plutocracy’s minions try anything, no matter how looney and delusional, to save their riches and their python’s grip on the levers of production and power.

In contextualizing how Atlantic articles demonstrate the fraudulence and Jekyll Hyde nature of the Yankee polis, one can examine headlines from the 1960’s: “New Yorkers Without a Voice” from April, 1966; and “The Quiet Victory of the Cigarrette Lobby,” September, 1965; and “One Woman’s Abortion,” by Mrs. X, from a month before; a “Mad Strangler of Boston” piece from May, 1964; “Why Land on the Moon,” August, 1963; “Report From the Congo,” September, 1963; Vance Packard’s “New Kinds of Television” assessment from a month later, another item from the mid ’60’s “Whatever Happened to Women’s Rights?” In “Churchill at the White House,” Eleanor Roosevelt’s March, 1965 contribution, the former first lady offers appreciative nostalgia for England’s chief militarist.

A decade and a half prior, defending “Mr. Churchill,” Isaiah Berlin takes the measure of Winston as a literary figure and finds him as dandy with a pen as he was with the defense of Anglo-American imperial policies, even if that transatlantic partnership was a fractious and contradictory and complex as the issues surrounding ‘the Jewish Question’ that nearly countenanced a grotesque ‘final solution,’ under Hitler’s Henry Ford inspired leadership, of capital’s fear of Bolshevism and its Torah tainted components, a la Leon Trotsky and others.

Early 1947, a couple years in advance of Berlin’s hagiography, saw two disputing takes on the nascent formation of Israel. As the magazine’s archives indicate, “Writing in the February Atlantic, Professor W.T. Stace of Princeton raised the issue of whether in Palestine we are ‘pursuing the methods of justice or the methods of force.’ His article, ‘The Zionist Illusion,’ provoked instant response, and chief among the more thoughtful replies is this article, simply titled ‘Palestine,’ by Eliahu Ben-Horin, who was born in Russia and immigrated in 1921 to (what became the State of Israel). He lived there for two decades and became Editor of the Hebrew daily Doar Hayom and Editor-in-Chief of the Palestine News Service. Mr. Ben-Horin writes with an intimate knowledge of the Middle East and Palestine, which he last visited in 1946. He is the author of The Middle East: Crossroads of History and a contributor to leading American magazines.”

In a somewhat similar vein of a ‘balanced’ approach to the balance of forces among the hoi polloi, months prior to editorial once-a-century partisan picking of a candidate, i.e., LBJ, the magazine had given John Dos Passo—blessed be his name among the potentates for his eschewing the Marxism and Bolshevism that his divine trilogy of novels arguably advanced—chances to point out his support for Goldwater and essentially retract the narrative arc of especially volume three of his U.S.A. series, The Big Money.

Sixty-six years apart, Atlantic gave the floor to W.E.B. Du Bois, to articulate ‘what the Negro wants,’ and Martin Luther King, Jr., in his “Letter From a Birmingham Jail,” to beg liberal brethren to get a clue. Richard Hernstein’s defense of his views about ‘I.Q.’s’ dependency on ‘merit’ came a couple years in the aftermath of MLK’s assassination, however, meaning deficient ‘Negroes’ were up Shit’s Creek with no paddles, and multiple paeans to “broken windows policing” then greased the skids for little rich girl Hillary Rodham Clinton to seek to suck up to reactionary bigots by embracing the need to stifle ‘super predators,’ a predecessor of Joe Biden’s upcoming assaults on ‘super spreaders.’

That this hundred sixty-five year old publication has offered readers astonishing content is indisputable. I’ve gone through less than half the archives, and couldn’t resist the allure of this trove of treasures. It included these and many, many more.

<https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1947/11/atomic-war-or-peace/305443/>.

<https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1949/02/the-open-mind/305431/>.

<https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1948/06/peace-is-still-possible/376239/>

<https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1948/08/henry-wallace-a-divided-mind/306029/>.

<https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1964/08/george-catlett-marshall/305438/>.

<https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1964/09/cubas-fumbling-marxism-an-eyewitness-account/305929/>.

<https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1965/08/hemingway-in-cuba/399059/>.

<https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1966/01/the-atlantic-report-indonesia/306660/>.

<https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1966/09/lsd-and-the-third-eye/361531/>.

<https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1966/11/the-great-marijuana-hoax/383250/>.

<https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1968/10/the-class-of-43-is-puzzled/376265/>.

<https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1968/04/how-could-vietnam-happen-an-autopsy/306462/>.

<https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1972/11/the-pentagon-papers-trial/376279/>.

<https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/02/how-to-kill-a-revolution/552518/>.

I’ve bookmarked more than a dozen others. That doesn’t override the fundamental fact that this monthly gloss of narration and propaganda is one hundred percent establishment in its orientation, with not even a passing nod of potential recognition to the possible validity of Marxism, socialism, and other mixed up attempts by the oppressed to find any way out of the modern mess without having capital at the center of the paradigm.

Thus, perhaps, James Fallows’ longstanding membership in the Council on Foreign Relations. Thus also, at least plausibly, the presence among the Atlantic‘s contributors of C.I.A. founding member Cord Meyer, whose former spouse was JFK’s mistress when he lost his head and sought to dismantle the Agency—or maybe the other way round is more apt. Mary Pinchot Meyer herself, while publicly promising to help show the fraudulence of the Warren Commission, died at a gunman’s hands in a mysterious ‘murder while jogging’ incident during 1964’s Autumnal runup to Johnson’s landslide.

Anyhow, this is merely a few snowflakes from the tip of the iceberg that reading this kind of sophistry, combining fatuous fantasy with whining woe-is-me moans, brings to my mind. I could write volumes. Before I bid a salubrious shalom, though, I’ll offer a few ‘Points of Information,’ in parliamentary parlance.

David mentions as creditable about the American way, “the rule of law and the values of egalitarianism.” As regards the first part of that pair, I’d recommend a careful reading of Chief Justice John Marshall’s iconic plus or minus 1819 decision in In Re Macintosh, in which the estimable jurist openly acknowledges that the foundation of said ‘rule’ is the sword and its steely slashes; concerning the assertion in the latter half, I’d insist on being inquisitive about the life, among tens of millions of others, of Sally Hemmings, the revered Jefferson’s slave mistress and, quite likely, niece of his wife via the parentage of his father-in-law. These two bits of contradictory evidence would be easy enough, with a large enough wager to justify the effort, to amplify ten thousand fold of course.

He also speaks about “fundamental values of the system,” which confused me. I mean, he didn’t mean imperial profiteering plunder in service to plutocracy, did he? If not, what other ‘values’ have had even close to the same je ne sais quoi?

“Trump is a sui generis monster of an animal”. WTAF?? Are we forgetting Jesse Helms? Curtis, ‘nuke-em-till-they-glow,’ Lemay? Richard Milhouse Nixon, for God’s sake, evil genius extradordinaire, not to mention a minimum of half his close comrades in arms? Oliver Fucking North, Heydrich or Himmler or some such in a past life? David ‘Grand Deacon’ Duke? That fully forty percent of the U.S. Senate, as was the case with Hugo Black, had at least friendly relations with the Ku Klux Klan, whether as members or sympathizers? Our society spawned Trump, in like fashion as most of Hitler’s ideas and methods had stamps of approval from this side of the Atlantic, from Henry Ford’s missive on ‘World Jewry’ to the fear tactics of hooded klansmen.

Ken also used some language that causes me to turn to the factual record as a corrective, to wit these pointers.

He spoke of “impatience with corrupt American politicians” as somehow noticeably greater today than heretofore. Oh, my! Twain, Mencken, Bierce, these are just a few of the voices that would make such a view, as such, essentially impossible to maintain. Upton Sinclair’s Brass Check, a journalistic expose and memoir of the author’s research and experience, should be required reading for all political commentators of any stripe.

“No one in the Democratic Party before now ever called himself a Democratic Socialist.” Whoa, dude! Sorry, Ken, but that is just false. For starters, check here: <https://www.dsausa.org/about-us/history/>. I’ve hung out with DSA Democratic politicians, in other words officeholders, more times than I can count.

He says, “calling Trump a proto-Fascist,” may be going too far, “but Rauch is pretty much on target.” That’s a logic thing, to me. Hitler had a numbering system for the S.S., in which the lower numbers meant that the holder was an ‘early adopter’ and hence higher in “the leader’s” pecking order. So if that’s what one means by proto, as in ‘from-the-original-crew,’ then, okay, maybe not; but is Donald Trump, the son of the father about whom Woody Guthrie sang, “Old man Trump,” organically disposed, or at least likely, to find fascist thinking and tactics and policies alluring as a cure for his own and bourgeois society’s copious self-induced ailments?

Well, duh!! For my tastes, if I want an honest, insightful, and reality based profile of ‘the Donald,’ I’m turning to someone like Glenn Greenwald. If you haven’t read or seen his stuff, from before Snowden to The Intercept to his new digs at SubStack, then you’re doing yourself a disservice. Check that shit out.

Ken avers as well that Karl Popper’s The Open Society and its Enemies remains a powerful model to follow and set of tools to deploy in assessing how matter’s stand. Granted, Professor P. is wicked smart and has many wrinkles, methodological, conceptual, and empirical, that are useful and interesting, even in some senses fun, to examine and test.

But I detest buried premises. When they find themselves disinterred, so to speak, they smell bad. What actually is this ‘Open Society’ about which we prognosticate, criticize, and fantasize? A relatively thorough reply to this inquiry could be forty or fifty volumes worth. Instead, for now, let’s just say that entire lines of potent media criticism and philosophical critique posit that wicked smart thinkers like Popper, when deconstructed, voila! turn out primarily to manifest ideological and propagandistic pointers of their ‘rulers and masters,’ especially outside of narrow ‘scholarly’ realms of dispute.

Just to instantiate what I’m saying, a social aggregate that relies constantly and centrally on “manufacturing consent,” as Chomsky and Hermann state the case, cannot be ‘an open society’ at the same time; furthermore, a sociopolitical context that embodies a “rich media, poor democracy,” along the lines of what Robert McChesney exhaustively and dispositively demonstrates, is fundamentally incompatible with ‘an open society;’ additionally, the description by Upton Sinclair, in The Brass Check, of Rockefeller control of and prevarication with media cannot conceivably coexist with ‘an open society.’ One could add scores more too, obviously.

In other words, I could go on, Anyhow, my main point personally, about all this, is that too much of what here and now passes as political discourse is careless with or unconcerned about disciplined use of evidence and argument. Harry Frankfurt, a Princeton emeritus philosophy professor, penned On Bullshit as a serious philosophical essay. It begins something like this: ‘The most saliient feature of our culture is that there is so much bullshit.’

In particular, this applies to the never even acknowledged presumption by Herr Rauch that elections and parties circumscribe ‘political classes’ and, for the most part, the realm of political work generally. What bogus ideation, as entitled as it is assiniine.

We recently sold a little piece of art for fifty bucks that has a message that speaks to this point. It came out of the river in the shape of a dining room chair; it bore this note. “We All Simultaneously Want & Woe Chances to Claim Chairs at Society’s Bargaining Table: on One Hand, We Know that Equity Mandates Such Assertions; on the Other, We Feel So Much Safer Assuming Roles of Children, Whom Powerful Parental ‘Leaders’ Will Protect, Though This Notion Amounts to Nonsense That Only Our Own Purposeful Participation Can Dispel.”

I’m an Atlantic subscriber. I both want to have an easy portal to ruling class thinking and like the easy access to an archive full of ideas and writing vastly more impressive than anything of the current context. The September cover blared the headline, “How Did It Come to This?” The article featured up front was by the COVID interlocutor, Ed Yong: “How the Virus Won” was its inside-the-covers title. Notably, ruing Trump’s obvious chances just ahead of this juncture, another of the issue’s essays also appeared on the cover: “The Power of American Denial” was another of dozens of hit pieces against our admittedly gangster chief executive, of course without the merest hit of a useful deconstruction about the publication’s backers and enthusiasts in bringing this situation to pass.

Here’s a prediction. So long as this promulgation of bullshit, twined in the here and now as nonsensical reporting on the dread Corona virus and pretentious blaming in regard to ‘Trumpism,’ Atlantic, no matter its revered roots and storied past, will have neither the impact nor the quality that once it did. Such a potent eventuality, indeed, would require actually engaging with ‘socialism,’ Marxism, and other radical points of view.

Understanding’s Core Component: Honest Reporting

Gaia’s environs have become increasingly easy, even salubrious, for humans to maneuver at exactly the moment that mass collective suicide threatens to erupt along multiple fronts, thermonuclear, ecological, political economic. The defining characteristic of such contradiction–opportunity and danger combined–will ever remain complexity.

How can one navigate such treacherous straits? One could easily write forever in response to this query, but even a few paragraphs is way too much for way too many readers.

Therefore, perhaps an interlocutor such as I might just note that the only way that regular people can play roles in their own attempts to thrive and survive is by organizing themselves to seek clear awareness of the ‘facts at hand,’ as if we were a huge jury that would render a verdict on what’s happening, who’s to blame, etc. In this context of constituting ourselves as a giant ‘trier of fact,’ where we’re all jurors on a citizen’s panel so to speak, one primary job that we have is to find honest reporting of what actually constitutes the realm of the real.

Here is a link to one of the top exemplars of this potential alive today, one James Corbett: https://www.globalresearch.ca/video-what-no-one-saying-about-lockdowns/5733741. While he and I have tons about which we disagree, we both absolutely affirm the absolute necessity of clear and, as comprehensively as possible, truthful reportage.

The embedded clip is a dandy case of such journalism. I encourage anyone who reads this to watch it.

Not paying very close attention, not trying deeply to delve what underpins the present pass, not ‘putting our heads together,’ not to mention our hearts and hands, to act on what we’ve discerned represents at best delusional insanity. So here I am, a Marshall Artist, guaranteeing a ‘kick in the aesthetic,’ bearing witness to the sort of human possibility on which survival hinges. Anyone also interested in the continuation of our kind might consider being in touch and loads more in addition.

Noteworthy COVIDified Exchange

One of my faithful correspondents just sent me this: <https://www.freep.com/story/sports/columnists/mitch-albom/2020/05/27/mitch-albom-coronavirus-100-000-covid-19-memorial-day/5251822002/>. I’m creating a little tidbit out of this as part of my ‘Call Me Cassandra‘ process. Of course, I found Albom’s horseshit objectionable, even execrable, and said so in no uncertain terms, to wit this.

Oh my goodness!
So you find the time to imbibe Mitch’s nonsense, from the red herring at the start to the straw men, big lies, and non sequiturs with which he thereafter laces his narrative. It would be merely laughably pathetic but for the fact that so many poor souls, hapless suckers afraid of themselves and the natural world from which they’ve sprung, so willingly view such manure as sound reasoning.  It makes my skin crawl.  These same credulous sorts, as gullible as they are unwilling to grapple with actual discourse, debate, and a seeking of truth, often enough can’t seem to find the time to listen to the likes of Knut Willetsky, brave scientific warrior whose witness decimates Albom’s pablum.
Here’s another apt reply, arriving happenstantially adjacent to your forward: <https://off-guardian.org/2020/05/30/covid19-the-denial-of-veridical-reality/>.  This is another profferral that any truth-seeker owes a perusal; ah, yes, truth seeking is so much more difficult than swallowing the cyanide laced propaganda that monopoly’s minions propagate to yield our very own fascist coup and its reliable, ‘Good German’ stalwart supporters..
Love and Solidarity Forever.

Powerful Frontline Testimonials

Hi again!

I’m just finishing burning the text into the twenty-sixth piece of the first Marshall Arts COVID tranche. One of the messages points out, more or less, how good policy, practice, and conceptualization is possible if one starts with false constructs. Here’s a clue: all highly mediated, prepackaged corporate presentations, without discernible exceptions, propound, or at least contain such false constructs, meaning that caveat emptor ought to remain at the front and center of one’s awareness, when one is contemplating such messages, or propaganda might be a more apt term.

Do folks keep that ‘critical distance’ and remain skeptical? Inquiring minds should want to know. In seeking to attain such a capacity to keep things in perspective, evidence, especially compelling expert eyewitness testimony, can be helpful. I’ve been sending such materials along to all and sundry who might have an interest.

Here are three more. The first is a WebMD interview with a soulful New York City critical care physician who returned to the emergency room instead, because he couldn’t continue to intubate patients who may have had COVID infections, seventy percent of whom were dying in the process. The second is a social media brief from a NYC nurse who notes, more generally, horrifying patterns of sloppy, shoddy, lethal care. The third is from a virologist, microbiologist who testifies to the fraudulence of contemporary research and policy in the biomedical arena.

I could go on, talking about facts and credibility and different world views. But I’ll save that for an instance when I know that folks are paying careful attention. Solidarity Forever.

Earth to Humans, over!  Or as Alicia might state the case, “Ground Control to Major Tom.”

Here is an interesting acknowledgment from Newsweek.  “SARS-CoV-2 , the virus now causing a global pandemic, is believed to have originated in bats. U.S. intelligence, after originally asserting that the coronavirus had occurred naturally, conceded last month that the pandemic may have originated in a leak from the Wuhan lab. (At this point most scientists say it’s possible—but not likely—that the pandemic virus was engineered or manipulated.),” available here: https://www.newsweek.com/dr-fauci-backed-controversial-wuhan-lab-millions-us-dollars-risky-coronavirus-research-1500741 .

Earlier today, I archived this title–9 Simulations, Drills and Laws that Planned and Prepared for the Coronavirus–from Waking Times, one of the many sites to which we subscribe with which we disagree about all sorts of things but agree completely about the need to account for even the most inconvenient facts. Readers can peruse the entire piece here:

What fascinates me is how nervous lots of so-called ‘liberals’ and ‘leftists’ get when things appear on the radar, tangible and incontrovertible, that mean the entire SOP narrative is suspect, or, more likely, some sort of ruminant manure.

If we can’t make sense of things, we might as well give up and sit quietly in the corner, drooling and smiling.  However, we can only begin to account for them when we put our heads together and, despite thre frequent anxiety and occasional anguish, talk about them combatively, critically, with open minds and stalwart hearts.
Anyhow, blah blah blah..  Solidarity Forever!

COVIDification Charade #1

Earth to Humans, over!  Or as Alicia might state the case, “Ground Control to Major Tom.”

Here is an interesting acknowledgment from Newsweek.  “SARS-CoV-2 , the virus now causing a global pandemic, is believed to have originated in bats. U.S. intelligence, after originally asserting that the coronavirus had occurred naturally, conceded last month that the pandemic may have originated in a leak from the Wuhan lab. (At this point most scientists say it’s possible—but not likely—that the pandemic virus was engineered or manipulated.),” available here.

Earlier today, I archived this title–9 Simulations, Drills and Laws that Planned and Prepared for the Coronavirus–from Waking Times, one of the many sites to which we subscribe with which we disagree about all sorts of things but agree completely about the need to account for even the most inconvenient facts. Readers can peruse the entire piece here. What fascinates me is how nervous lots of so-called ‘liberals’ and ‘leftists’ get when things appear on the radar, tangible and incontrovertible, that mean the entire SOP narrative is suspect, or, more likely, some sort of ruminant manure.

If we can’t make sense of things, we might as well give up and sit quietly in the corner, drooling and smiling.  However, we can only begin to account for them when we put our heads together and, despite the frequent anxiety and occasional anguish, talk about them combatively, critically, with open minds and stalwart hearts.

Anyhow, blah blah blah..  Solidarity Forever!