The Mad Elephant and The Bear

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Medvedev compares the West with an elephant in a china shop

MOSCOW, August 4 – RIA Novosti. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has compared the actions of some Western countries in a number of regions, for example in the Middle East in recent years, with the behavior of an elephant in a china shop: it trashes things, and then does not know what to do.

I must say, I am jealous! Dmitry Med-ved-ev (literally: he of the Bear [‘honey-eating’] clan) has nailed it with respect to the extreme behavior of Empire — an ‘elephant in the china shop.’  What international venue have we not ‘trashed’ in recent memory?  Just look at MENA, add in a jigger of Pakistan and few grams of Afghanistan (gold) for good measure, shake well and serve it on ice.  That is just about how cold the shoulder is that we are presented with from most of the international community outside of a few select ‘allies’ in Europe.  And even they are becoming fed-up with our behavior in light of the recent revelations about the covert surveillance of our good friends and neighbors.  Thank you again, Mr Snowden!

And so, we scratch our heads in disbelief when we uncover (or imagine) some sinister plot to strike back, or when we hear threats from the kinsmen of those we killed as unfortunate collateral damage. This elephant has no memory whatsoever; but its victims kinsmen do.  As we read in the BBC report from March of 2011:

Tribal leaders in the Pakistani region of North Waziristan have vowed revenge against the US after drones killed more than 40 people near the Afghan border.

“We are a people who wait 100 years to exact revenge. We never forgive our enemy,” the elders said in a statement.

Thursday’s attack has caused fury – most of the dead were tribal elders and police attending an open-air meeting.

And we wonder why they hate us, why we are terrorized by them.  But it is not Americans they hate – even though our average citizen may become a target – it is the ELEPHANT, and all the trashing he does as he spins wildly in the china shop!  This is what makes them fuss and fume.  But, what do we expect?  They should just turn the other cheek? We have such a myopic view of the world.  We see it as a place to satisfy our needs, to disseminate our ideologies, and stamp out all others.  It is our playground, our battleground, and our marketplace… and the rest of the seven billion be damned.

If we continue such ‘counterinsurgency’ maneuvers against the peoples in that part of the world, then the insurgents over there will continue to counter our countermeasures, and even try sometimes to do so over here.  The perversity of the Abrahamic faiths are of one mind on this issue… “an eye for an eye.” After all, Mohammed’s genealogy itself traces back to Ishmael, the other son of Abraham. And I must say that our god-fearing christian brethren — those who followed a brooding and disaffected young jew along with his ill-tempered and emotionally unstable legalistic mouthpiece, Saul — have also followed the old scripture word for word in this respect. Yet patience seems to be the friend of our estranged Islamic brethren, as it must have been with Abraham’s illegitimate and estranged son, Ishmael. But any friend of my enemy is also my enemy; and therefore patience is not our virtue.

Religion may be the opium of the masses, as Marx roughly suggested (not recognizing the extremist reach of his own ideological fervor), but it is the deluded self-righteousness of the extremist that provides the fuel for war. And every ideology is essentially extremist, if not in fact, then in potentia — all “isms” qualify, whether preceded by the words capital or commune, there are no exceptions. Evangelical fundamentalism itself is simply fascism hiding behind colorful robes and beautiful stories! So now the deluded, i.e., self-righteous, capitalist brothers of Calvin are at war with the radicalized sons of Ishmael. 

Meanwhile our enemy sits patiently in a cave in Waziristan, awaiting the opportune time to surge. Or does he? Perhaps the enemy sits caged right here in the homeland, for example, in a brig at Quantico Virginia, or perhaps temporarily asylumed in Russia, or maybe holed-up in an Ecuadorian embassy in London.  It is more than Kafkaesque, people.  Could it be that the enemy walks the streets among us, that he is one of us, that we all have become the enemy of a State in extremis? As Tom Dispatch clearly articulates this week, the self-righteousness of such extremism now turns back in upon itself, chewing away at its own citizenry. Perhaps even manufacturing terror where there is none, so as to prove to the populace that we are indeed the enemy and that insurgency must be fought here in the homeland, and against the citizens of Empire as well. A heightened terror alert thus becomes “believe on me or be damned…” You are either with us or you are a terrorist, a traitor, an infidel!  What’s the difference.  This brief offering from one of our fellow critics earler, GF Sutton, seems to hit the mark:

I used to wonder how it is that empires die,
with all of history to warn them.
Nothing to wonder about now, is there?

It helps little to water-proof the foundation
after the rot has already well set in.
And set in it has.

If only our enemies were truly outside our borders,
it would all make sense.
If only they were outside our skins!

And while one State may well see the warts of another, it will assuredly never admit to its own blemishes.  Even the illusion of objectivity is sacrificed for the sanctity, the security, and the honor of the State, its ideology and homeland. So, as our own extremist view falls victim to its peculiar brand of myopathy – a SUPERSIZED sense of its own righteousness – another, one with a different perspective, emerges to point a finger, an apparent voice of reason, of humanity, a protector of freedom, watching as the elephant spins wildly in its dance, mercilessly striking out at anyone who questions its authority.

If the enraged elephant did not already have enough to to get emotional about, he decided to kick his feet and thrash even more.  Again, we see ‘eye for an eye’.

Barack Obama has said he is “disappointed”that Russia granted temporary asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden instead of sending the former government contractor back to the US to face espionage charges.

Obama, in his first comments about Snowden since Russia’s decision last week, said the situation reflected “underlying challenges” in dealing with Moscow.

“There have been times where they slip back into cold war thinking and a cold war mentality,” Obama said on NBC’s Tonight Show.

Unfortunately, I think the elephant was already outdone by one of his idiot sidekicks calling for a new cold war with the great honey-lover!

On Thursday, Arizona Senator John McCain released a statement criticizing Russia for granting whistleblower Edward Snowden a one-year asylum and preventing the United States government from subjecting the former NSA analyst to the Bradley Manning treatment.

All I can think to do is thank Russia for saving Edward from Bradley’s fate if even only temporarily.  Maybe the elephant men need to learn something from the honey lovers.

As these ‘statesmen’ seek to chase or, perhaps, carry one another down this road to perdition, the unwashed masses sit meekly by like the three monkeys – speaking, seeing and hearing no evil – while we, the wild ones, continue to strain against the bit. But now the bull elephant has become fully enraged and will stop at nothing short of absolute control or terminal chaos. An enraged bull elephant is no laughing matter. And the bear? Well, bears will be bears. Please pass the honey!

70 Responses to The Mad Elephant and The Bear

  1. kulturcritic says:

    Seems if you travel abroad too much or express your discontent with US foreign policy, that makes you a terror or espionage threat. WOW. Are we fucked!
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/07/insider-threat-training_n_3714333.html?igoogle=1

    • Malthus says:

      I for one do not give a damn what the pentagon thinks. It’s like worry if psychopaths like you. The hell with them all.

    • DrCiber says:

      Fucked indeed. I’ve thought that for longer than I can remember at this point. But I’d say it is “they” who are fucked having left the US in my rear-view mirror. I actively avoid returning even for short visits as the whole American scene creeps me out. I know first-hand what the German Jews -those that weren’t in denial- were thinking in the mid-1930’s. I think all of us here do.

      • Disaffected says:

        Where is “here,” if you don’t mind me asking? I’m not sure leaving is the/an answer, but I’m always willing to consider it.

        • DrCiber says:

          I tried to answer you DA, but it appears that my post got swallowed by the cloud… or maybe the NSA..I’ll again in a few minutes if it doesn’t show up.

        • DrCiber says:

          That would be telling, so let’s just say Latin America somewhere north of Machu Picchu but not nearly far enough away if I had it to do all over again. And you are absolutely correct, leaving isn’t even a option for almost anybody, much less an “answer”. If everyone were able to leave it would even cease to be an option. I’m only here now because I had spent several years here when I was much younger and had a contact base of old friends & family that I could count on to help me get settled again. If I’d never lived outside the US previously, I have plenty of doubts I’d be up to adequately adjusting at my age unless I was literally under the gun to do so. You know, like Mr. Snowden, but I don’t think it’s going to be easy for him even if “he of the bear” and comrades let him stay there forever. He’s gonna get homesick and he’s gonna get so tired of hearing Russian in a few months that he’ll be ready to strangle somebody-anybody, all at the same time that he has to learn the language and all the different social norms, etc., etc. Changing countries for anybody with the possible exception of the super-rich isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes a certain fire in the belly, self-effacement to the nth degree, a boatload of patience, and a willingness to abandon much of what you think you know about how the world works. It will make you a better person though, if you stick it out for the 18 to 48 months necessary IMO to get over the rough spots.

          • Malthus says:

            I have to agree with you that at sometimes it isn’t easy. What is disturbing is the constant attempt to homogenize every place in the world in globalization think. Plus the expense of leaving and setting up a base in another country unless you know how to create income in that country as in some type of entrepreneurial situation after jumping through hoops to meet what ever regulations are required to allow you to create a job for yourself you will probably be tethered to a life line of some kind of pension or means of some kind to the country you left. It can be a challenge and at the same time in is an adventure great learning experience as in (think like a nomad) and this tends to push one out of the familiar and comfort zone and the opportunity to become more accepting of the culture you have prevailed on to live. Some fun and keep that sense of humor.

    • Disaffected says:

      On the plus side, I think we more often than not put WAY too much faith in the government bureaucracy’s ability to make sense of any of the intelligence it collects. Government funding being what it is generally – even in it’s “blackest” of corridors – and hierarchical based bureaucracies’ widely recognized across the board ineptitude in particular considered, I think we far more often than not give credit where none is due to the great stumbling elephant. Crazy as it sounds, I give far more credence to the idea of said inept agencies seizing on snippets of misguided “intelligence” and creating “threats” where none actually existed, including the idea of facilitating/creating/actualizing terrorist “threats” from harmless sources (the Boston Bombers, Timothy McVeigh and Co., etc.) in order to perpetuate larger strategic goals.

      Security people in general, when you talk you to them (and I know a bunch), are not very bright. Yeah, I know, they’ve got some academic bright lights shining high in DC, but what they ALL are, almost INVARIABLY, is PARANOID. And that ALWAYS affects their decision making for the worse.

    • Colin says:

      Whatever happened to Obama’s “pledge” to “restore America’s image abroad”. This President can’t do anything he promises and actually I would go further and say he can’t even admit he can’t do anything he promises. On the Tonight Show interview he claimed the US did not have a domestic spying program and then went on to describe what the NSA does with your telephone, wireless, email and chat info. which was the exact description of a domestic spying program. Two days later he makes a press announcement about how they are going to review certain portions of the Patriot Act. But wait – I thought we didn’t have a domestic spying program? You just told us we didn’t!

      Also, did anyone notice his comments about not supporting countries who target their LGBT community? So I guess we aren’t supporting Saudi Arabia, China, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kenya, heck all of Africa for that matter? I suppose we should stop buying oil from “The Kingdom” for that matter or is going to reform their LGBT policies? What a joke. His speeches just sound downright infantile these days. Russia does not care what we think about its policies towards LGBT’s and certainly we support regimes who have far more atrocious human rights transgressions to speak of. My understanding is that Russia has a population slump and is worried that promoting LGBT politics will further reduce their population which to some degree is understandable although generally I don’t support such overt methods and I do support gay rights just not at the expense of anyone else.

      That said, I’ve recently relocated somewhere north of the border myself. My home country gives me anxiety these days….

      • Disaffected says:

        When you think Obama, think public relations. That’s his sole (soul?) function. He’s got “experts” making all the actual decisions for him behind the scenes. He’s just the nice, smiling, black face that gets to present them to us sheep. But when you stop to think about it, at least the Shrub and Cheney had the good sense to avoid that kind of shameless shilling, which in Shrub’s case, would have been just downright embarrassing. Hell, his official appearances were just downright embarrassing. Poor Shrub!

        • Colin says:

          The tingle I used to get when Obama made speeches in 2008 has turned to something similar to the sensation of free-falling off a cliff. His calm demeanor, smooth rapport combined with his deadpan predator-drone humor gives me a cognitive dissonance headache, not a tingle on my leg like Chris Matthews. He couldn’t have done a bigger 180 as far as I am concerned….

      • kulturcritic says:

        Colin, nice to hear your voice. Sandy

  2. the Heretick says:

    let me start by saying that i 100% agree with your post, so don’t take anything i say as any sort of dig at you.
    you know what? some of us actually love this country, we were raised that way, we watched Patton, Run Silent Run Deep, and Merrill’s Marauders (my personal favorite).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merrill%27s_Marauders
    we grew up saluting the flag, ducking under our desk, and playing little league baseball.
    we joined the Boy Scouts, prayed to the Virgin Mary, and even joined her Blue Army.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Army_of_Our_Lady_of_Fatima
    and then we grew up and found out it was all a lie, a big bald faced lie.

    GW, BHO, doesn’t matter who the puppet is, our country’s foreign policy is run for the benefit of the 1%, but let’s not stop there, there is also a worldwide 1% who collude with whatever country best helps them to subjugate their own citizens. Russia may be guilty of their own misdemeanors, but i’m not Russian, i’m American and my govt. is wrong, so wrong it makes me sick.

    not much else to say here, i’l say it in a post if that is all right.

    no wonder they put out a terror alert for Yemen, we’ve been bombing the hell out of them, this is not our country, we need to get out and let them do whatever they want including kill each other, we cannot run the entire planet that is obvious. we are overreaching, what a bunch of dumbasses.

    • kulturcritic says:

      Heretik… I too grew up in the same fashion, hiding under desks, scared when I heard the name Kruschev on the radio, selling Xmas cards door to door, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, little league, school basketball. But, I started to question things early, when I was in my early teens. You see, I could not do things as easily as my friends, I had some limitations due to childhood heart disease, and four surgeries over the span of my life. So, I became a big businessman, and I was off to the races, lost in the fury of capitalist success and acquisitiveness. That was an 18 year stint; then I came out of the fog and remembered the whole thing was a joke, and that I had indeed contributed to the abuse and took advantage of some fine people on my way up. I appreciate your comments. And you are welcome anytime to do another post. sandy

    • Disaffected says:

      You doin’ alright over there these days Heretick?

      Can’t put my finger on it, but I sense you’ve been retreating a bit of late.

      DA

      • the Heretick says:

        thanks for asking, just working, preoccupied with the kids, once they grow up there are more concerns than when they are young. it’s hard to afford transportation in order for them to get to college, although FAFSA does help them out. here’s the messed up thing, a 40 hour job at $11/hour puts one of them over the limit to get assistance, so she pays it all, and even community college is hundreds just for one course.

        these clowns in govt. they don’t have a clue about life on the street, all of their pronouncements ring hollow.

        been reading Dexter, the serial killer serial killer, maybe you’ve heard of him, author Jeff Lindsay. not near as well written as some of the classic detective stuff, thinking of Chandler, Hammet, or say the Travis Mcgee series, however; in the last book he does seem to be reaching for a kind of archetype characterization reminiscent of Judge Holden. the question is whether pathologies are inherent, manifestations of indwelling tendencies, or whether there are unseen forces which play out in our world we just being the actors. odd for a Skinnerian such as myself.

        this summer has been very wet (like the summers before the dust bowl, on schedule), the heat and humidity are just oppressive.

        life in the land of make believe, just a hint of coming attractions.

        • Disaffected says:

          Hope it’s better than the cable TV version, which is pure pap. Dexter’s rationale is just aggression turned inside out in my opinion, and the TV series is all about helpless rats in a cage (the viewers) living their passive-aggressive dreams vicariously through an insipid TV character. But I think there’s A LOT more going on in our day to day than pure Skinnerian Determinism. Scientists are forever engaged in the enterprise of trying to fit things into logical little boxes, or traps. Human behavior has, and will continue, to defy their efforts. Hell, if it could all be programmed, then we should all truly just sit back and await “the Singularity,” but I’m not holding my breath on that one either. It’s all just technological arrogance/hubris of a kind, aka pseudo-intellectual bullshit.

          But the other stuff? Yeah, my condolences. The college trap is indeed a nasty bargain, isn’t it? The youth of today are truly screwed either way. Can’t survive without it, probably can’t survive even with it. If I had it all to over again, I would have taken two years of CC and been done with it. Been a low level computer tech of some kind and left it at that. I’m smarter than that, but as I’ve learned since, advancing in the corporate world ain’t got a damn thing to do with being smart. And if you’re starting over at 50 (or probably even 40+ now), you might as well just bag it and go sell cars or something. I might well end up doing that anyway at some point.

          • the Heretick says:

            don’t bother with the Dexter books, i have read them all, they turn into an old testament mish-mash. one time read sort of thing. but you never know, Elmore Leonard wrote some good stuff. hate to trash an author like that, i doubt he’s suffering much what with the TV money.

            • Disaffected says:

              I’ve got two Morris Berman books still to finish. My eyes are so bad anymore from staring at a computer all day that books are really hard for me. When I get home at night my eyes burn and itch so bad I just want to stare at the TV (Seinfeld and Family Guy) for an hour or so and then go to bed. I’m rarely awake past 8PM these days. Guess it’s safe to admit it now – I’M FUCKING OLD AND FEELING IT!

              • the Heretick says:

                not me, i wallow in the popular culture, i love it. nothing too high brow for me, i read for pleasure, and i suppose for a degree of intellectual stimulation, keep the brain active.
                my views were formed years ago, so like many others, any interest in current events is usually just to pick them apart, try to figure out what they’re lying about now.

                Seinfeld? seriously? no “How I Met Your Mother”?, Scrubs? not to be snobby, i do love me some trash culture, but we watch more movies than anything, what i want is for Lorelei and Rory to run into someone like, well never mind, poor Luke.

                • Disaffected says:

                  Seriously? I’m too damn lazy to even change the channels anymore once I plop my fat ass down after a typical 8-10 hour “grind.” When it comes to TV, I want something I know and I want it quick, cause like I say, what I want even more than that is 8-12 hours of uninterrupted SLEEP EVERY NIGHT. Yep, I’m old school. I often dream that I’m awake (or maybe I am?) when I’m sleeping and vice versa. But I DO like to work out when I’m awake. In fact, that’s my dream job. Get up, eat, work out mentally (intensely and briefly), then physically (intensely and longly), twice a day. Can I actually do it? Not with my currently salable skills. Not that I’m bitching one bit. I’m guessing I’m STILL in the upper 1% of the upper 5% at least, with regard to privileges at least.

  3. outsider says:

    As happened to me during the too long reign of Obama’s predecessor, I can no longer listen to the man. Hence, the last thing I would have done would have been to watch his performance on Jay Leno’s show last night. Obama continues to cement his celebrity status going on low brow shows that used to be off limits to the dignity of the office. I don’t think you mentioned it, Sandy, but we all now know that our fearless leader has cancelled the summit scheduled for Sept with Putin. I guess, per Obama, the Russkies must bow down and allow the hegemon to throw Snowden in the dungeon or be accused of retreating back into a ‘cold war mentality.’ The unmitigated gall of such despicable statements is truly amazing. So, a high level meeting has been cancelled because the USG didn’t get its way for once. What’s this, leadership by temper tantrum? I’m not at all religious, but here’s praying that Putin holds firm. I think most of the world is on Russia’s side in this, and they know it.

    • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

      Being emperor has rarely been conducive to maintaining good mental health. We should expect it will get worse. Cold war mentality is built into the DNA of the Imperium. If Russia doesn’t regain its cold war mentality over this incident, the empire will keep pushing until it does. We were always this crazy, but it’s much more readily apparent when the existential enemy is a bunch of riflemen hiding in central asian caves. They badly need an enemy with at least potential for causing real damage. May the Farce be with them.

  4. Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

    Sandy, I like the critique by zoological analogy. I like it so much I’d like to propose an addition. The critter in question is not found in any zoo. We really don’t know what it looks like. While the elephant sets about crushing the china and the bear licks honey off its paw, a far more fearsome creature stirs in its lair waiting for its time to appear. I speak of a Kraken as avatar for all the long buried methane working its way into the skies above. The elephant and bear are both committed to digging the kraken’s escape route. That methane belch may be closer than we’d care to believe.

    Over at http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/ Sam Carana had to update his post on peak methane levels twice between August 4th and the 6th. The number rose from 2303 ppb to 2442 ppb. That’s not a belch, but I wouldn’t call it a sigh either. Meanwhile a team of Rocky Mountain scientists determined that about 9% of the methane gushing forth from the fractured well bores of Uintah County, Utah is taking the aerial route east instead of the officially approved underground tube. It is not yet known whether that is typical of most fields or just another peculiarity of Utah.

    Another site (don’t have a link right now) it is explained that the claim of CH4 being 20 or maybe 25 times as potent as CO2 is inapplicable to the present situation. That only applies where the level is constant. There seems to be some uncertainty as to just how much more potent it will be in our new circumstances. The highest value calculated in that article was something like 738 times as potent. I’m no scientist or mathematician, so I’ll just opine that it is sure to be quite a bit more than 20 times.

  5. Ron McCafferty says:

    Speak what is in your heart. Truth of the matter is we who see the coming tidal wave are relegated to waiting to drown while we watch. Hopefully those who survive will make a better way to be.

    • Disaffected says:

      OK, I apologize in advance, but I simply MUST post this again in response to Ron’s comment. It’s just TOO good of a setup:

      Some of them were dreamers
      And some of them were fools
      Who were making plans and thinking of the future
      With the energy of the innocent
      They were gathering the tools
      They would need to make their journey back to nature
      While the sand slipped through the opening
      And their hands reached for the golden ring
      With their hearts they turned to each other’s heart for refuge
      In the troubled years that came before the deluge

      Some of them knew pleasure
      And some of them knew pain
      And for some of them it was only the moment that mattered
      And on the brave and crazy wings of youth
      They went flying around in the rain
      And their feathers, once so fine, grew torn and tattered
      And in the end they traded their tired wings
      For the resignation that living brings
      And exchanged love’s bright and fragile glow
      For the glitter and the rouge
      And in the moment they were swept before the deluge

      Now let the music keep our spirits high
      And let the buildings keep our children dry
      Let creation reveal it’s secrets by and by
      By and by–
      When the light that’s lost within us reaches the sky

      Some of them were angry
      At the way the earth was abused
      By the men who learned how to forge her beauty into power
      And they struggled to protect her from them
      Only to be confused
      By the magnitude of her fury in the final hour
      And when the sand was gone and the time arrived
      In the naked dawn only a few survived
      And in attempts to understand a thing so simple and so huge
      Believed that they were meant to live after the deluge

      Now let the music keep our spirits high
      And let the buildings keep our children dry
      Let creation reveal it’s secrets by and by
      By and by–
      When the light that’s lost within us reaches the sky

      • Ron McCafferty says:

        DA, I think I am going to have to add Jackson Brown to my collection. Thanks for the song, it was great. Ron

        • Disaffected says:

          I’m always amazed at the number of people who haven’t heard of / don’t remember Jackson Browne. THE American post-1970 west coast songwriter/singer bar none, in my opinion at least.

      • the Heretick says:

        Dirge for a Dying Planet?

        • Disaffected says:

          Tangerine Dream meets Pink Floyd! FUCKING EXCELLENT! And music that even old men can play and appreciate. Thanks HT!

          • Disaffected says:

            Oops, sorry. Looks like Roger Waters was actually Robert Waters. Nonetheless, some good ol’ fashioned Deutsche Tangerine Dream inspired techno rock in the finest tradition, although they’ve evidently got a name conflict with another band of a decidedly younger persuasion. Good stuff!

            • the Heretick says:

              actually i kind of shortchanged you, this version has much better solos imho. Schmoelling has an extra couple stanzas, whatever. i like the rehearsal better, they’re both live.

              • the Heretick says:

                what a dork. Jerome Froese you know is Edgar’s son, Johannes was in one TD iteration, Waters i have no idea. however………just think if Roger was to get in that sort of jam, boggles the mind.

        • Disaffected says:

          Might be best electric guitar solo ever:

  6. GF Sutton says:

    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
    John F. Kennedy, In a speech at the White House, 1962

    Sabo Sabo
    Is it Time yet to throw Sabo?
    Or can we tarry yet dear Bro?
    Will Markets bow and People Love?
    We harken still but where’s the Dove?

    Oh how can this so long be true,
    while labor may no longer sue,
    and bosses take and take and take,
    somehow it all must be a fake.

    But if we tarry and if we’re slow,
    will they just bury and never grow?
    Grow to stature, tall and true,
    Or fall still further while we unglue?

    Brothers and sisters please come Home!
    Why must you only serve the Gnome?
    Can you rise, why must you sink?
    All we have left is the kitchen sink!

    Tarry my Brother strong and True,
    or throw Sabo at whom to know.
    But if not tarry, and if not grow,
    I fear dear sister, it all may blow.

    • Disaffected says:

      GF,
      My only problem with JFK and all his platitudes is that they increasingly sound like BHK and all his, which simply reminds me once again that JFK, regardless of the fact that the CIA murdered him for reneging on promises made regarding Cuba and Vietnam, was plain and simply nothing more than just another war president at heart and a hostage of the MIC. Yep, it’s hard to gulp down at this point, but none other than his successor LBJ CERTAINLY demonstrated INFINITELY more cojones by simply acknowledging his monumental mistake in Vietnam and refusing to double down on it in ’68, even though it cost him his career, and soon thereafter, by all accounts, his life. Johnson, of course, had the luxury of giving way to another ill-fated (and largely inevitable) war president in Nixon, who soon after met his own exceedingly well-deserved fate, but it was JFK who set the stage in the first place, with his McNamara Pentagon “Whiz Kids,” and all their stupid shit. And we live with that legacy still.
      DA

      • outsider says:

        Boy, DA, I can’t disagree more. JFK may well have started as a war president, but I’ve read there is at least some evidence that he was ready to reverse his initial position. Oliver Stone and Peter Kusnick, for one example, make this case in “The Untold History of the US.” You did say that JFK reneged on “promises made regarding Cuba and Vietnam” (which you believe is why the CIA murdered him), but you later say that JFK “set the stage in the first place” and that “we live with that legacy still.” Please, which is it?

        Of course, we’ll never know due to JFK’s untimely murder. But to infer that LBJ was somehow better because he lived to acknowledge his “monumental mistake in Vietnam” defies belief. Many think that the US started on its downward slide the day that Kennedy died. Lastly, who is BHK? Best wishes.

        • outsider says:

          BTW, books (I don’t know how many) have been written claiming that Johnson was the man who orchestrated the ‘hit’ on Kennedy. I haven’t yet read any but plan to. The conspiracy theories will never end.

          • Disaffected says:

            I don’t think Johnson had the smarts or the cojones (or the despicable character) to pull something like that off. But there’s no doubt about the fact that he certainly had to have knowledge of it as it went down. Could well be that he was under threat too, so he might not have had a realistic choice. But I think the whole thing destroyed him as a man. He died shortly after leaving office and was never the same before his death. People forget largely due to his hangdog appearance, that he was a HUGE energetic man. But I think the only “conspiracy theory” behind the JFK assassination is that it was Oswald acting as a lone gunman, and the facts simply don’t even REMOTELY bear that one out. Never have, no matter how hard the Warren Commission and other government sources tried to spin it. Ditto 9-11 in spades!

      • GF Sutton says:

        Hello Disaffected.

        You know history better than I do.
        I’m trying to learn some before it ends.
        We seem to figure $hit out after it’s too late.
        Flawed he was for sure, JFK.
        I like his words though,
        and thought to sway the sleeping sheeple,
        hoping they would listen to a deified dead president.
        If only we could have listened to Eisenhower’s parting warning.
        I guess I am naive hoping on words and votes.
        But I hate violence.
        Unfortunately, following Citizens United,

        Crying tears into the ocean
        would sooner raise the tides beyond the moon
        than votes now,
        change the course of the empire.

        • Ron McCafferty says:

          Well, if I may add to this conversation about JFK and that whole era. I have the enviable pleasure to frequently speak with a man who is a retired Air Force three star general. He served with Eisenhower and during JFK’s short term. He has pictures with all of them and he loves to reminisce. He was in charge of or had something to do with the Apollo Program. Talk about a walk through history. It is much better than a book. He said one day when we were talking about Kennedy that his womanizing was really overblown. No one actually saw it although most were sure that there was some side romances as this seems to be the nature of politics and power. But he still believes that JFK had a good heart and was an excellent father and most everyone knew that the marriage was political between JFK and Jackie. It is fascinating to listen to him. He is still very lucid for being 90.

          • Disaffected says:

            Well, see that’s the rub of it. I still believe it’s possible that many if not most of these rapscallions actually have a “good heart” in their most personal and private moments. I think they’ve just been skewed by a capitalist world view that at its most basic, instills fear of lack in everyone who lives under its rule. Fear that you and yours will be judged negatively for not measuring up, fear that you won’t be able to “make it” and provide adequately for you and yours, and eventually, fear that you won’t be able to provide at all and might go begging in the street. All of which are REAL fears under a capitalist system for EVERYONE except the most privileged among us. And don’t they know it!

            That said, neither Kennedy was the first great and/or heroic man to make tragically seemingly misguided choices which ultimately cost them their lives. Or, thinking larger, was perhaps their purpose all along? Hmm…

      • Disaffected says:

        Outsider,

        BHK should have course been BHO, the current idiot. Got carried away with my K’s. And yep, I implied that sorry ol’ sad sack LBJ – a classic Basset Hound if I ever saw one – was somehow “better” than JFK, which is certainly not true. Both got caught up in a Faustian bargain with the MIC, and both paid the price. For whatever reasons, Johnson was allowed to escape with his life, while Kennedy was not, the theory being that while Johnson was repentant for his mistakes, he wasn’t going to try to undo anything, just bow out, while Kennedy was actually planning on reversing policy after ’64 when he won reelection. But I stand by the idea that as an ambitious young president in ’60 Kennedy decided his ultimate fate by getting into bed with those rascals in the first place, which perhaps casts a new light on Eisenhower’s fateful warning about the dangers of the MIC on the way out.

        Now it certainly could be that he had no choice in the matter and that Obama didn’t either (see the 2009 Salahi White House dinner incursion episode as a possible shot across the bow), but if that is the case we are all truly boned. That would mean that the fox was running the hen house by brute force altogether, and I think it’s a distinct possibility at this point.

        Although, with Obama, it seems more likely that there was extensive grooming that took place to put him into power in the first place, much in the same way that corporate heads bring their proteges up from high school and college. I think he was chosen early on for his 1.) ethnicity, knowing full well that the time was right to play that card, and 2.) his grandiloquent verbosity. He was JUST the kind of trojan horse that the American people, chumps that we are, would fall for hook line and sinker, especially in the wake of eight years of the stupefying dolt GWB. So is Obama being “held hostage” in his decision making, or is he a willing “grand conspirator?” Hard to say at this point, but one thing’s for sure, the words – all bullshit – don’t match up with the deeds, not for a minute and not from the very start. If Obama is what we can expect from a “liberal landslide” election mandate, then we might as well just all vote Republican and get the real deal. But we all – the people on this board anyway – know the real score. It;s about whose interests are being served, not mere party affiliation. And in that sense, there IS only one interest. The CORPORATE interest, which is to say the interests of the wealthiest among us and the thin line of sycophants and handmaidens who do their bidding. I’ll address all that this week in a little flight of fancy I’m working up. Which reminds me…

        • the Heretick says:

          whatever happened it marked a turning point in our history.

          ‘Tis the day of the chattel,
          Web to weave, and corn to grind,
          Things are in the saddle,
          And ride mankind’

          http://www.emersoncentral.com/poems/ode_inscribed_to_william_h_channing.htm

        • outsider says:

          Thanks for clarifying, DA. I have no reason to doubt your scenario of how BHO came to power. If Hillary had been elected instead, and she would have beaten McCain by a wider margin due to the race factor, I can’t imagine how things would be any different. The corporate powers pulled off a real coup with BHO. Imagine if a GOP hack like McCain/Romney had been elected instead with the same foreign policy as BHO. The now restive unthinking liberal proles would be in the streets in protest. When it comes to foreign policy, there is only one party in the US. Any differences are basically cosmetic.

          • Disaffected says:

            Just got back from long walk, while I was ruminating over all this some more. If there was any doubt about the Kennedy assassination being an inside job, I think the JFK and MLK jobs in ’68 laid them to rest. I mean really now, Johnson steps down cause he can finally sense which way the wind blows, and evidently young Bobby didn’t believe they’d actually have the audacity to publicly murder TWO Kennedys in one decade, so he defiantly presses forward with an openly anti-war, equal rights campaign, which King pretty much mirrored in the social realm. Bad choice. Bang, bang. Two more dead bleeding heart liberals and the end of the Woodstock Generation for good. Bleeding heart liberal openly defiant anti-war political candidates since that time? Zero. Number of serious inquiries into any of the controversial events during that period, other than Watergate and Monica-gate (which was just a sideshow anyway)? Zero. Number of undeclared wars committed to and overseas military garrisons established during that same time? Who could possibly count them all? Conspiracy theories? I think not. The coup happened at least fifty years ago now, and nobody even noticed.

            • the Heretick says:

              there’s some of us noticed. i personally know at least one each of hardcore democrat, libertarian, and republican who know there was a coup.

              • Disaffected says:

                Yeah, I realized I misspoke (literally, at least) as soon as I posted. That said, DO TELL and name the names you’re referring to DT!

                Oliver Stone and his coterie certainly knew. Which means a whole lot of academics and other government insiders knew, at least from a logical point of view. How many are terrified to speak the truth on any of this for fear for they and theirs safety? Taking all of the currently possibly active conspiracies in play, I’d guess somewhere in the tens of thousands if you included everyone out to the very fringes of every one of them.

                But that’s the BEAUTY of it all! Just like the alleged Al Qaeda “threats” we’re warned about every day, 1.) At all levels, conspirators are de facto true believers in the cause, and 2.) Conspirators’ weaknesses/family/loved ones are identified up front for possible exploitation later on (a key point), and 3.) NO single conspirator is allowed an iota more knowledge than he/she needs to perform his function, and 4.) Each level is kept segregated and fully severable from the next.

                It also helps that each conspirator, TRUE BELIEVER that they are, realizes that NO ONE is likely to believe them, should they, in a moment of conscience, ever decide to go it alone and expose the whole sham for what it is.

                Why do “conspiracies” work? Turns out, OUR OWN GOVERNMENT has ALREADY TOLD US why. Trouble is, THEY’RE the one’s using it against US!

  7. Disaffected says:

    Best post in recent memory old man! You really covered a lot of political/religious ground in an extraordinarily succinct, yet typically caustic manner. Good work!

    Bulls? Those are just so 20th century! We’re all elephants now! Pity the world we live in. And pity us as well, eventually anyway.

  8. GF Sutton says:

    Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

    Aye, it is a corpse. my lord.

    Whose, pray tell?

    Not who, but what, for it is big as the world!

    Again, what? Tell me what rots so!

    The Republic.

    —1st line, Hamlet, the rest—GF Sutton——-

  9. Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

    Here is a great little elephant and bears parody.

    As the robot Bender would say, we’re boned.

  10. the Heretick says:

    “Could it be that the enemy walks the streets among us, that he is one of us, that we all have become the enemy of a State in extremis?”

    w/o addressing every point in this post, or in the excellent TomDispatch article, i would just say that both Sandy and he are correct, this is neo-colonialism turning in upon itself. with the true countries of the world being tans-national corps, nations being irrelevant nowadays, the planet is turned into one giant labor pool.

    the problem for the 1% is resource scarcity and too many people. in the good old USA during the majority of the 20th century the growth paradigm worked just fine, the proles could be bought off with a house in the suburbs, a shiny new car, and a well stocked larder. well, the working class got uppity, so jobs shifted overseas, but then what happens when the low-wage countries get uppity?
    we see what happened in Iran during the 50’s when a sovereign nation bucked the Anglo-Iranian oil monopoly, Operation Ajax is what happened.
    we have the worldwide ruling class having problems keeping the rabble in line, so we have a more than incipient police state.

    there are several factors at play here, but the upshot is that the wealthy do not have the surplus to buy off the peasantry anymore, the resources aren’t there. the intelligent thing would be to accept smaller profit margins, allow more capital to pass into the hands of said peasants so that capital intensive sustainable infrastructure could be built, but i’m not gonna hold my breath.

    nah, the jetliners will keep flying, necessitating a ridiculous security infrastructure.
    the cruise ships will keep cruising, no matter how many people get sick.
    huge ports to handle imports and exports will keep loading humongous container ships night and day, and the 1% will reap the benefits.

    speaking of outdated philosophies and such, i seem to remember a quote from somewhere, “he who troubles his own house shall inherit the wind”, or the whirlwind, sumpin like that.
    probably in a movie or something. hooray for Hollywood!!!

  11. Disaffected says:

    For no reason at all, I think it’s time we all heard this one again. For Obama!

    • Disaffected says:

      If that weren’t enough, even back in the year of our lord 1976 (Christ! The FUCKING internet didn’t even EXIST yet!), ol’ Pink had THIS to say about the Pigs’ sycophant Dog enablers:

      • Disaffected says:

        Unfortunately, Pink (a TRUE curmudgeon to the last) didn’t think all that much of the rest of us either. Some people are NEVER pleased!

  12. FIDO says:

    Interesting posts… But WTF does it mean for the rat bastards who live in the swamp. BTW, Pink rocks. We don’t need no education !!!!!.

    A poem

    We just put our baby kitty to sleep…
    I can do nothing but weep.
    The pain will seep.
    until I am a heap
    and nobody gives a bleep.

    Our kitty was 16 years old. We tried everything to save her life.
    We even took her to see a specialist.
    I cry every day….
    I miss our baby kitty….

    FIDO

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