Arrby on 2013 in review captnmike on 2013 in review Arrby on Oookaaayy! Kayode George on Oookaaayy! Arrby on Unsafe At Any Speed
Click on a word and all posts tagged dealing with that subject will show.Al Jazeera Amy Goodman Barack Obama beans betrayal Bill Clinton Canada capitalism Carol Goar CBC censored CETA Chicago School China Chomsky Chris Hedges CIA Common Dreams corporate-owned media corporatocracy Dalton McGuinty darkness deficit terrorism democracy Democracy Now disaster capitalism Edward Snowden Egyptian Revolution eros fascism gatekeepers Gaza Glenn Greenwald God Gog Google Haiti Honduras imperialism Israel Jason Kenney Julian Assange law & order government Libyan Revolution Linda McQuaig mafia capitalism Maude Barlow media mining Naomi Klein NDP neoliberal neoliberal capitalism Noam Chomsky NSA Obama Occupy Wall Street Oshawa propaganda riches for the strongest Rob Ford special interests status quo Stephen Harper tax havens terrorism Toronto Toronto Star torture TPP Ukraine UN WikiLeaks William Greider Zelaya
*March 2, 2015 – The ‘censor’ at Consortium News, it appears, just took the weekend off. Good. I hope he, she, etc, they always get their weekends off. I’ll try to remember that the next time I suspect that one of my weekend rants attacking a writer’s position there seems to be getting disappeared. Also, I see I screwed up with my stylized enclosing lines. I can undo the damage here, but there’s no editing of anything I post to Consortium News. I also see that a response to Ole Hendrickson’s article (which I attached to his article on Rabble) that I promised is missing. I have corrected that. That’s what happens when you are about to leave your room (which is what I live in) to go for coffee and instead start fooling around on your computer. Three or four hours later I did go for coffee.
Why was my comment on Consortium News disappeared? (It wasn’t censored on Rabble.) Who knows? But I had in mind the kind of instructions you see on sites like these when I decided to critize Mr Polk’s portrayal of JFK as being part of the solution. Participants are reminded to keep it civil, to try to contribute to the discussion, etc.. There aren’t many leftwing places where you are told “Say what you want. We believe in free speech and democracy.” That’s how it is. Generally, That’s not a problem. I ‘am’ civilized. But I can’t say that I care for the overly restrictive, controlling hand. Usually, Where I see those notices, I also see a fair bit of ranting and rudeness that crosses the line set by the site management; So, in fairness, the intent is evidently to try to take reasonable steps, short of actually censoring comments, to make things civilized.
And I am always conscious of the existence of gatekeepers. You never know about rat-like gatekeepers scurrying around in any organization. They can cause trouble that, I’m sure, goes undetected.
You, dear reader, can judge for yourself whether my response to an article on the Consortium News website was out of bounds. First, I’ll give you an excerpt from William R. Polk’s article. Then I’ll give you my response to it.
Willaim R. Polk:
It will take acts of statesmanship to avoid giving sway to the fun of Russia-bashing. I look around and find few statesmen. My dear friend Senator George McGovern was one of the last, and he was roundly defeated and is now dead. So, I suspect and fear we are unlikely to think and plan better ways…
It will take acts of statesmanship to avoid giving sway to the fun of Russia-bashing. I look around and find few statesmen. My dear friend Senator George McGovern was one of the last, and he was roundly defeated and is now dead. So, I suspect and fear we are unlikely to think and plan better ways;
–If we do not, what will happen? Having been intimately involved in the only serious confrontation with nuclear weapons in hand, I know how hard it is to keep one’s sanity. In the Cuban Missile Crisis, we were all exhausted. I presume the Russians were too. Many on both sides were all for having a go at one another.
Then, at least some of even the hawks knew how easy it was to move from conventional conflict to nuclear war either by design or by mistake. Or from simple exhaustion.
Fortunately, President Kennedy had his hand on the brake. Robert Kennedy, whom I had known in college and did not like, played an essential supporting role. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara took the role of the technician, without any clear position, but ready to supply the means for a nuclear war if that was decided upon. The rest of us (we were not many) played lesser roles.
During that week, I dealt with a number of senior commanders of our armed forces; they showed, in my conversations with them, surprisingly little knowledge or even information on what was likely to be involved if we pushed too hard. In fact, astonishing as it now seems, few even knew what the main strategic issues were. This was certainly true of, for example, the senior American naval commander, the chief of naval operations, Admiral Anderson.
Absent Kennedy and absent Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, both of whom reined in their hawks and kept themselves open to the compromise that literally saved the world. We don’t have such men around today. Or at least I have not identified them…
Seriously? If Polk can believe in JFK for putting the brakes on in regard to the Cuban missile crisis, then why can’t he believe in Obama, who, with Putin’s assistance, pulled back from bombing Syria? What’s the difference? They are both bloodspillers. You can always find something that a killer did that you can point to and label as positive if you want to.
My online, disappeared, response to the above linked-to article by William R. Polk follows:
In a world that gave us Operation Condor (http://bit.ly/17FOZvG), ‘safe country’ refugee laws (How many countries, I wonder, have them? – http://bit.ly/1E2gfRx), financial blockades (the practice of which is being debated, thankfully – http://bit.ly/1JZKQV4) and JFK’s paradigm shift from focussing on external enemies (pre US-led corporatocracy) to the internal enemy (citizens), the casual reference to ‘statesman’ John F Kennedy, by a progressive, is alarming in the extreme.
I think Chomsky sums it up nicely in “Rethinking Camelot – JFK, the Vietnam War, and US Political Culture.” But the paragraphs leading up to it are perhaps needed, as a counter to [the] force of Camelot propaganda that continues:
“It seems more than coincidental that fascination with tales of intrigue about Camelot lost reached their peak in 1992 just as discontent with all institutions reached historic peaks, along with a general sense of powerlessness and gloom about the future, and the traditional one-party, two-faction candidate-producing mechanism was challenged by a billionaire with a dubious past, a “blank slate” on which one’s favorite dreams could be inscribed. The audiences differ, but the JFK-Perot movements share a millenarian cast, reminiscent of the cargo cults of South Sea islanders who await the return of the great ships with their bounty,” writes Chomsky on page 147 of “Rethinking Camelot.”
On pages 145 & 146 he reviews some of the historical record of JFK. Consider:
“Another common belief is that JFK was so incensed over the failure of the CIA at the Bay of Pigs that he vowed to smash it to bits, sowing the seeds for right-wing hatreds. Again, there are problems. As historians of the Agency have pointed out, it was Lyndon Johnson who treated the Agency “with contempt,” while JFK’s distress over the Bay of Pigs “in no way undermined his firm faith in the principle of covert operations, and in the CIA’s mission to carry them out.”…
“Under JFK, the CIA Director became “a principle participant in the administration, on a par with the Secretary of State or of Defense.” The enthusiasm of of the Kennedy brothers for counterinsurgency and covert operations, is of course, notorious.
“The “decline in reputation and standing of the CIA” paralleled the “decline in the abundance and power of the Ivy Leaguers.” LBJ reduced their role in the decision-making process, and Nixon “consciously sought to exclude the CIA from power” because of his contempt for the “Ivy League liberals” who still dominated the Agency, he felt. The Nixon years were “the nadir for the CIA.”…
“…After the crisis ended, Kennedy initiated a new sabotage and terror program, and still sought to “dig Castro out of there” (memorandum of private conversation, March 1963). US-based terrorist operations continued until the assassination, according to reports from the FBI, which monitored them; though “with the assassination, …the heart went out of the offensive,” Michael McClintock observes, and the operations were terminated in April 1964 by LBJ, who regarded them as “a damned Murder, Inc. in the Caribbean.”
“One of the most significant legacies left by the Administration was its 1962 decision to shift the mission of the Latin American military from “hemispheric defense” to “internal security,” while providing the means and training to ensure that the task would be properly performed. As described by Charles Maechling, who led counterinsurgency and internal defense planning from 1061 to 1966, that historic decision led to a change from toleration “of the rapacity and cruelty of the Latin American military” to “direct complicity” in “the methods of Heinrich Himmler’s extermination squads.”…
“These improved modes of repression were a central component of Kennedy’s Latin American policies, a companion to the Alliance for Progress, which required effective population control because of the dire impact of its development programs on much of the population. Related projects helped subvert democracy and bring on brutally repressive regimes in El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, British Guiana, Chile, Brazil, and elsewhere… Six military coups overthrew popular regimes during the Kennedy years, ten more later; in several cases, Kennedy Administration policies contributed materially to the outcome…”
There’s lots more. To be clear, the turn to national security states in Latin America wasn’t only done there, as we see. The new threat to corporatocracy states is the internal threat, namely the people. Here in Canada, everyone’s freaked out at the latest ramping up of the national security state nonsense, with the introduction of Bill C-51 (http://bit.ly/1aC9zyP), about which Craig Forcese and Kent Roach say:
We regard the proposed provision as potentially sweeping. We have serious doubts as to its constitutionality. Meanwhile, we have precisely no doubts that it is capable of chilling constitutionally protected speech.
We do not rehearse all our reasoning in this forum. We provide instead what we regard as a plausible hypothetical:
A newspaper columnist writing on foreign affairs is asked to present at a conference. It is the columnist’s view that “we should provide resources to Ukrainian insurgencies who are targeting Russian oil infrastructure, in an effort to increase the political cost of Russian intervention in Ukraine”. The columnist knows that her audience will include not just academics and Canadian government officials, but also support groups who may be sending money to those opposing Russian intervention.
Wisely, she decides to get legal advice. Her newspaper has no in-house experience with the new terrorism offence, and so (at great expense) it retains outside counsel. In a tightly packed five-page opinion letter, that lawyer reasons that if the columnist makes her statement, she will knowingly encourage a course of action that falls within the definition of a “terrorism offence in general”.
This is because providing resources to a group, one of whose purposes is a “terrorist activity” is a terrorism offence. And causing substantial property damage or serious interference with an essential service or system for a political reason and in a way that endangers life, to compel a government to do something, is a “terrorist activity”. This is so even if it takes place abroad.
The lawyer acknowledges uncertainty. “Terrorist activity” does not reach acts in an armed conflicts, done in accordance with the international laws of war. The lawyer consults with an international law expert, who opines that the expression “in accordance” with international law could exclude acts of violence by armed groups who lack what is known as “combatant’s immunity” – that is, they are not lawful combatants. Few insurgencies meet the requirements of lawful combatants.
Fortified with this advice, the original lawyer advises the columnist that since she knows some of her audience may respond to her opinion by sending money to the insurgency, her acts may constitute the crime of promoting or advocating a terrorism offence. He notes that unlike equivalent “promotion” provisions in the hate crimes laws, there is no public interest defence that might apply to this situation.
The lawyer advises the columnist to change her statement so that it reads: “Ukrainian insurgencies are targeting Russian oil infrastructure, in an effort to increase the political cost of Russian intervention in Ukraine. I take no position on whether this is a good thing”.
An idea is changed, and an opinion hidden.
From Sean McCarthy’s Globe and Mail article (http://bit.ly/1Dm6N7A) titled “‘Anti-petroleum’ movement a growing security threat to Canada, RCMP say,” the following:
The RCMP has labelled the “anti-petroleum” movement as a growing and violent threat to Canada’s security, raising fears among environmentalists that they face increased surveillance, and possibly worse, under the Harper government’s new terrorism legislation.
From page 41 of “Rethinking Camelot,” the following:
Recall that “subversion,” like “concealed aggression,” is a technical concept covering any form of unwelcome internal political development. Thus the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in 1955, outline “three basic forms of aggression”… “Aggression other than armed, i.e., political warfare, or subversion.” An internal uprising against a US-imposed police state, or elections that come out the wrong way, are forms of violence. The assumptions are so ingrained as to pass without notice, as when liberal hero Adlai Stevenson, UN Ambassador under Kennedy and Johnson, declared that in Vietnam the US is defending a free people from “internal aggression.” Stevenson compared this noble cause to the first major postwar counterinsurgency campaign, in Greece in 1947, where US-run operations successfully demolished the anti-Nazi resistance and the political system and restored the old order, including leading Nazi collaborators, at the cost of some 160,000 lives and tens of thousands of victims or torture chambers, and a legacy of destruction yet to be overcome (along with great benefits to US corporations.)
If you’re okay with JFK, then you’re okay with fascism and it’s work, such as we see in the concerted attack (the Troika) by corporatocracy states, mainly Europe’s hegemon, Germany, on Greece. And you’re okay with the US’s play for Ukraine, which it’s always wanted. Europe is okay with [the efforts of the US in Ukraine], except that it’s not so gung-ho for more war (that might disturb the comfort of important people there) in it’s nabe.
What made me nuts when I read Polk’s poke was that I had just finished reading another bit of Camelot propaganda on another progressive website. A contributor to Rabble named Ole Hendrickson wrote an article titled “Combatting ISIS: The case for universal service.” An excerpt, and my response, follows:
Governments would do well to consider an additional way to prevent extremism: create opportunities for young people to serve others. This would enable youths who might otherwise join extremist groups to find positive alternatives. More broadly, it would help restore faith in civil society.
In his inaugural speech in 1961, U.S. President John F. Kennedy said, “ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” Later that year he launched the Peace Corps, with a mission “to promote world peace and friendship.” He also proposed a national service corps “to help provide urgently needed services in urban and rural poverty areas.” Two years after Kennedy’s assassination, Lyndon Johnson launched “Volunteers in Service to America” (now called “AmeriCorps”).
My online response to Ole Hendrickson’s Rabble article follows:
Is there ANY leader, including Stalin, who doesn’t say positive things? Hitler said plenty of positive things about democracy and human rights. My goodness man! Stop perpetuating the myth of JFK the shining white knight and set an example for young people of honesty and integrity. You fail to do that when you prop up bloodspilling liars and hypocrites like JFK. You very well know that a few of us out here, including some young people, read history. You’re not trying to influence us, even if you don’t mind annoying us.
You’re trying to influence the people, all ages, who might happen to read here, who don’t read and only know ‘facts’ that the establishment, through the education system and the major media and popular culture, has pushed at them. And that’s shameful. You’re trying to turn them against those of us who would like to educate them. When we now try to communicate with them, we are rejected because what we say is strange to their ears and not what they ‘know’ thanks to people like yourself.
For those who want to know: There is lots of info about the Kennedys and it’s in the history books. Check out Noam Chomsky’s “Deterring Democracy” and “Rethinking Camelot.” Whenever the Kennedys come up for mention in articles by writers on the Left (outside the mushy, fake Left represented by institutions like the Toronto Star or political parties like the Liberal Party or the Democratic Party), the Kennedys are revealed as being quite nasty. Here’s an example of a recent article (not about the Kennedys specifically), by Alfred W. McCoy, that mentions bad behavior by JFK: “The Real Ameriican Exceptionalism” – http://bit.ly/1LNG1tn
Neither Polk nor Hendrickson offer any qualification for their almost direct praise for a mass murderer and father of the present day national security state. Why do progressive orgs keep dishing this sort out to us?!!!
Hendrickson essentially endorsed the now defunct CIDA, stating that the Harper government “eliminated the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), once world-renowned for its aid work in developing nations.” I have read enough history to know that CIDA operates much like the American USAID operates. The reader has to understand that there’s a lot of complexity attached to powerful institutions and their history and bad intentions are easy to bury in complexity when those who you are trying to persuade don’t know anything and are willing – especially when you pop up on websites known for championing human rights etc – to take you at your word that a thing is so. CIDA has no doubt done some good. (I’m not an expert.) USAID has done some good. Both have done lots of bad stuff and they have done it in service to the monstrous, godless corporatocracy. Do we want to know that?
I had a quick look at Yves Engler’s “The Ugly Canadian – Stephen Harper’s Foreign Policy,” which I read not long ago. I remembered that he mentioned CIDA but couldn’t remember exactly what he had said. That probably stuck in my mind because, as I saw after re-examining his comment, he also referred to Todd Gordon’s comments about CIDA in Todd’s book, “Imperialist Canada,” which I had just read. Engler’s contribution (from a quick review) to the reader’s understanding of CIDA’s role had to do with Canada’s shameful role in helping to destroy Haiti. “Despite the crying need for housing and sanitation, after the earthquake the Conservatives ramped up spending on prisons and police. According to a report by Roger Annis, CIDA paid for 18 prisons to be built or refurbished and announced a total of $44 million in new security spending in the year after the quake. This $44 million was on top of $51 million put up for justice and security reform through Canada’s Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force, which began in 2006,” writes Engler (pgs 228, 229).
Turning to Todd Gordon’s in depth look at Canadian imperialism in his book, “Imperialist Canada,” we find a substantial contribution to the subject of CIDA. Just from the index alone, that can be seen. Here’s a sample: +++ CIDA… in Afghanistan; destabilization under cover of “democracy promotion”; facilitating mining in Third World; financing for Chamera Dams; funding Ñanpaz Foundation; funding National Coaltion for Haitian Rights-Haiti; funds free-market ethic in school systems; helped Latortue regime prepare Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper; Investment in Peru under Mineral Resources Reform Project; liberalization of Colombia’s telecommunication sector; neoliberal orientation toward the world’s poor; no human rights measures for its aid program… structural adjustment as guiding principle; transition to market economy as main focus… +++
Gérard Latortue, a neoliberal economist, was prime minister of Haiti from March 12, 2004 to June 9, 2006. Says Peter Hallward of his murderous rule (made quite murderous by his inclusion of some sociopath relatives, such as his nephew Youri Latortue): “Beyond its primary political purpose (the repression of Lavalas), Latorture’s government is not likely to be remembered for doing a great deal. As Father Rick Freshette put it a month before the end of Latortue’s administration in 2006, “It has done absolutely nothing, nothing with a capital N. It’s been an absolute dead loss.” On the other hand, it managed not to do an impressive number of things. In March 2004 Aristide’s literacy programme was abandoned overnight. Subsidies for schoolbooks and school meals were canceled. Agrarian reform came to a halt, as former landowners began to reclaim land that had been redistributed to peasants through legislation initiated by Préval. The collection of income taxes was suspended for three years, supposedly to compensate members of the elite who had suffered property damage during the elite-sponsored insurgency (no state support, needless to say, was offered to the thousands of poorer citizens who lost property let alone lives during the coup).” -page 261 of “Damming The Flood – Haiti, Aristide, And The Politics Of Containment” by Peter Hallward
Try as I might, I could not find Ñanpaz Foundation online. I typed the name into a dozen alt media sites and was met with no returns. A simple Google search seemed to suggest that Ñanpaz Foundation (but not in English) has a connection to mining.
From “Todd Gordon’s Imperialist Canada,” on pages 330 & 331, the following:
Around the time Aristide was elected for the second time, the Canadian state cut its funding to the Haitian government, most of which came through CIDA and Foreign Affairs, and instead shifted its support to, in its words, “civil society.” But as [Yves] Engler and [Anthony] Fenton demonstrate, “‘civil’ society was in effect equated with opposition to Haiti’s elected government. Without exception… organizations ideologically opposed to Lavalas were the sole recipients of Canadian government funding.” One such organization is the National Coalition for Haitian Rights – Haiti (NCHR-H), a virulently anti-Aristide organization which was funded by CIDA and was the most widely used source detailing Aristide’s supposedly authoritarian character by the international media and governments. It levelled accusations of atrocities at the Aristide government that were proven by independent human rights researchers to have been spurious. NCHR-H has been silent about post-coup political repression, but used a CIDA grant of $100,000 to investigate a genocide committed by the Aristide government that has been thoroughly refuted (Aristide’s former Prime Minister, Yvon Neptune, was jailed for supposed involvement in it).
The Canadian state also funded several Canadian-based NGOs with ties to anti-Aristide groups in Haiti. Ottawa-based NGO Rights And Democracy, funded entirely by the federal government, wrote a report on Haiti denouncing the Aristide government and describing G184 as “grassroots.” It used information provided by NCHR-H. The Concertation Pour Haiti (CPH), a Québec-based network of NGOs, called Aristide a “tyrant,” denounced his government as a “dictatorship” and a “regime of terror” and weeks before the coup called for his removal. After the coup they brought NCHR-H coordinator, Yoléne Gilles, who named wanted Lavalas “bandits” on Haitian radio, to Canada for a speaking tour. CPH also brought Danielle Magloire, who works for CIDA-funded anti-Aristide feminist organzations. Quick to denounce supposed human rights abuses by the Aristide government, Magloire’s organizations have also remained silent about violence and mass rape by government forces following the coup. Magloire would also serve on the Council of Wise People, set up after the coup to pick the interim leader. A number of Québec unions also received hundreds of thousands of dollars from CIDA for work in the Centre International de Solidarité Ouvriére (CISO). They denounced the detention of union activists in Haiti under Aristide, but have said nothing about the targeting of unionists after the coup. CIDA also had Philippe Vixamar on its payroll from 2001 to at least 2005. Vixamar became the Deputy Minister of Justice under the post-coup government where he oversaw police operations and prisoners…
An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Alfred W. McCoy follows. The original can be found at TomDispatch:
“The sovereign is he who decides on the exception,” said conservative thinker Carl Schmitt in 1922, meaning that a nation’s leader can defy the law to serve the greater good. Though Schmitt’s service as Nazi Germany’s chief jurist and his unwavering support for Hitler from the night of the long knives to Kristallnacht and beyond damaged his reputation for decades, today his ideas have achieved unimagined influence. They have, in fact, shaped the neo-conservative view of presidential power that has become broadly bipartisan since 9/11. Indeed, Schmitt has influenced American politics directly through his intellectual protégé Leo Strauss who, as an émigré professor at the University of Chicago, trained Bush administration architects of the Iraq war Paul Wolfowitz and Abram Shulsky.
All that should be impressive enough for a discredited, long dead authoritarian thinker. But Schmitt’s dictum also became a philosophical foundation for the exercise of American global power in the quarter century that followed the end of the Cold War. Washington, more than any other power, created the modern international community of laws and treaties, yet it now reserves the right to defy those same laws with impunity. A sovereign ruler should, said Schmitt, discard laws in times of national emergency. So the United States, as the planet’s last superpower or, in Schmitt’s terms, its global sovereign, has in these years repeatedly ignored international law, following instead its own unwritten rules of the road for the exercise of world power…
While Presidents Eisenhower and Bush decided on exceptions that violated national boundaries and international treaties, President Obama is exercising his exceptional prerogatives in the unbounded domains of aerospace and cyberspace.
Both are new, unregulated realms of military conflict beyond the rubric of international law and Washington believes it can use them as Archimedean levers for global dominion. Just as Britain once ruled from the seas and postwar America exercised its global reach via airpower, so Washington now sees aerospace and cyberspace as special realms for domination in the twenty-first century.
Under Obama, drones have grown from a tactical Band-Aid in Afghanistan into a strategic weapon for the exercise of global power. From 2009 to 2015, the CIA and the U.S. Air Force deployed a drone armada of over 200 Predators and Reapers, launching 413 strikes in Pakistan alone, killing as many as 3,800 people. Every Tuesday inside the White House Situation Room, as the New York Times reported in 2012, President Obama reviews a CIA drone “kill list” and stares at the faces of those who are targeted for possible assassination from the air. He then decides, without any legal procedure, who will live and who will die, even in the case of American citizens. Unlike other world leaders, this sovereign applies the ultimate exception across the Greater Middle East, parts of Africa, and elsewhere if he chooses.
My online response to the above linked-to article follows:
“A sovereign ruler should, said Schmitt, discard laws in times of national emergency.” It’s necessary, for obvious reasons, for those who choose the path of darkness to dress it up. But that seems to get missed in so much commentary. Leaders, even those as loony as George W. Bush, are not so caught up in dressing up their evil that they don’t know that it is evil. That’s my view. I will admit only that once on that path, a mind gets lost. Darkness is it’s own reward.
We are all compelled to sin in a world in which Satan rules. But his rule is not absolute and he answers to someone higher who has altogether different principles. God isn’t torturing us. This situation is unique, brought upon us by the abuse of free moral agency by the person who became Satan and his first human victims. Adam and Even wrongly chose to learn, the hard way, that independence from the Source of life, the highest Sovereign, doesn’t work. He’s the source of life. He designed us. He’s also a God of love. We were in Adam’s loins and had he punished all then and there with a punishment commensurate with their crimes, ‘some’ justice would have been done at the expense of a greater injustice. We were innocent. So Adam and Eve were given time to have offspring. However, We have inherited imperfection, clearly. And that imperfection allows for all kinds of folly, including the very darkness Alfred McCoy describes.
We will learn, fully, that independence from the Source of life doesn’t work. In the course of so doing, we are invited to avail ourselves of the means of escaping the destruction that the first rebel would cause to us if he could. And note, If this lesson, or issue, of universal sovereignty, was to be halted by the God of love, then it would never get settled. That’s not how judges judge. The issue must be settled once, for all time, so that a system – corporatocracy – like that which we are suffering under now may never be permitted to come into being again, even if individuals will always be free to request destruction if they should so choose. The difference between that future and now is that now, when individuals request destruction (knowingly and willingly embrace evil and reject God), they are able to cause untold harm to others. And that, in turn tests, or compels us. It’s easier to choose the wide and spacious road that leads to destruction than the cramped road that leads to life. Wide and spacious just means ‘rule-free’. Those choosing to live the life of a gangster, lying and manipulating and surviving by pleasing those they believe have power, aren’t thinking “I’m on the road to destruction.” That’s just God’s, and others’, standpoint. The cramped road leading to life is not cramped, as in unpleasant, in itself. It’s cramped because it involves rules and boundaries that those who accept them understand are needed for there to be social harmony and life in a positive sense. Sure, You can’t do this and you can’t do that, but the things that God’s people can’t do will be the things that would be harmful to them if they chose to do them.
We are compelled, but resistance isn’t futile. Some will be, as God’s Son was, tested to the max. But life comes from God and not even physical death can change that. And not all are tested to the max. Otherwise, None of the above would be fact. (And the reader can choose to accept the above as fact or reject it. The only compulsion God might employ is a reason that you can’t argue with, successfully. You can always choose, but there are always consequences. If you make choices ‘you’ know are wrong, you create a disturbance within your soul. And that turns you into a trouble maker. And if you’re a national leader…)
Alfred’s article, let alone his books (I have his most recent, but haven’t started it yet), certainly puts the meat on some bones of mine. I’ve been saying forever that [the] way evil people come to dominate in this world is by breaking every written and unwritten rule. You first get together with everyone (just the way the Americans have done in myriad ways, as outlined by Alfred in his article) to decide on the rules by which all will play, for the purpose of promoting social harmony, which includes security and prosperity for all. Then, because you don’t have principles, but would never come out and say so (especially to your young daughters), you proceed to strategically break those rules and agreements (and the ones that weren’t in writing, like James Baker’s agreement with Gorbachev to rein in NATO, are easiest to break), which enables you to climb over and on top of the ‘weak’ sheep who believe in all the law and order talk. From a position of dominance, you can then dictate and guarantee outcomes of all types.
For now. For the lesson has been learned really. The issue is all but settled. We are very near the end. We have tried all manner of social economic organization. We have developed technology. Have we proven that there is an equal or superior form of universal rule [to] God’s rule of love? Or, without his intervention, Are we about to burn to death on a poisoned planet that soon enough won’t be able to feed us even if it didn’t cook us first? And then there are those loons who want to accelerate that via nuclear war. But that’s their pathology. That’s their darkness. They have rejected God and attempted to replace him. It has turned them into monstrous trouble makers and their pathology includes a need to actually believe that there is no God of love who will judge them for their crimes and so they call out to God, via atrocity after atrocity, to “Bring it!” So far, He hasn’t responded (that they can see). They heave a little sigh of relief, but the pathology is still there. Lucky humankind! They continue to call him out because they are not convinced and they can’t actually convince anyone, for lies never work. They can exert pressure upon others to get the same slave’s mark that they’ve consented to be branded with, and that’s difficult to deal with. But we all possess free moral agency. And the Creator knows like no one else can what our limits are. Resistance might not get you a great career or even the necessities of life. But it isn’t futile.
*Note: This is essentially the same essay I’ve put up in the cloud. The main difference being that I can easily add in some pictures, with links, here. What I put up in the cloud was first typed out in my WordPerfect and so I used short links (bitly.com) and left out pictures. Maybe I could have added in pics to the cloud version, but I was focussed on saying what I had to say, not on how the essay might appear. With this version, I can add pics and a few embedded links. Also, I may alter my cloud version, adding stuff or re-phrasing passages or whatever. If I do, I’ll be making the same changes to this version.
I decided to write out a separate explanation for gatekeepers for the reason that often enough I want to point people to such an explanation without going through the whole explanation then and there. Linking to one of my posts, in which the explanation is given is an option but that forces the reader to dig into material the reader wasn’t looking for until that explanation shows up. If the reader was reading something else entirely, then the reader is being forced to set aside the subject he (or…) was interested in, dive into another subject temporarily and then hope to return to what he was reading and still be able to keep it all straight, that might not work.
Obviously there’s a simple explanation of gatekeeper that requires knowing nothing more than the meaning of ‘gate’ and ‘keeper’. Someone who watches at a gate, purposely, can be called a gatekeeper. When the term is used, by anyone, to mean something more, then the context in which the term appears will suggest that additional meaning. Usually when I talk about gatekeepers, I’m talking about politics and ideology and the way that the powerful hold on to power, which they do partly by eschewing democracy and accountability, which gatekeepers help with by serving as a wall between leaders and the people.
There are two kinds of gatekeepers. There are appointed gatekeepers and there are self-appointed gatekeepers.
The gates that I am usually talking about, therefore, are the gates to – access to – corporatocracy’s (unaccountable) political and other leaders. They are the gates to the powerful, namely the iconic 1% who own and run the world. The 1% eagerly (and willingly and knowingly) plays the Darwinian game of ‘riches for the strongest’ in which there must be losers. They are macho, perverted lawbreakers. They are perverted because they so often mean, very deliberately, exactly the opposite of what they say. Think about that the next time you hear or read some official’s breathless explanation for why whistleblowers must be crushed. John Kiriakou is now out of prison and beginning his 3 year house arrest for blowing the whistle on the CIA’s use of water boarding, torture in other words. In his interview from his home, with Amy Goodman (http://bit.ly/1Cbhvxb), he notes that the horrible, terrible, dangerous leaks that his accusers talk about when they are attacking someone like him are something that they – people like CIA director Leon Panetta and General Petraeus – do on a regular basis. Here’s an example of powerful, appointed gatekeepers keeping the people away from their bosses and receiving protection from them in return for their service. Gatekeepers (especially ‘appointed’ gatekeepers) are very free, to the point where they can break laws that others can’t. And that’s how you end up with power in this world.
Elites and their tools say that their policies and measures are all about protecting and extending democracy, freedom, prosperity and law and order when the opposite is true. How do they get away with it? Partly, It’s the ‘big lie’ effect. (See Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_lie) The lying is so grand, that normal people (before all of this perverts them) simply refuse to see it, as William Blum explains in his book, “America’s Deadliest Export – Democracy, The Truth About US Foreign Policy And Everything Else.”
From the Introduction, the following:
…Principally, one must come to the realization that the United States strives to dominate the world, for which end it is prepared to use any means necessary. Once one understands that, much of the apparent confusion, contradiction, and ambiguity surrounding Washington’s policies fades away. To express this striving for dominance numerically, one can consider that since the end of World War II the United States has
● endeavored to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, most of which were democratically elected;
● grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries;
● attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders;
● dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries;
● attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movement in 20 countries.
from pages 9 & 10 of “America’s Deadliest Export,” the following:
American leaders have convinced a majority of the American people of the benevolence of their government’s foreign policy. To have persuaded Americans of this, as well as a multitude of other people throughout the world – in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, such as the lists of US international atrocities shown above – must surely rank as one of the most outstanding feats of propaganda and indoctrination in all of history….
A lack in the American citizenry of any of the other types of intelligence, though perhaps personally detrimental, does not kill. A widespread deficiency of political intelligence, however, can and does allow the taking of the lives of large numbers of innocent people…
The American people are very much like the children of a Mafia boss who do not know what their father does for a living, and don’t want to know, but then wonder why someone just threw a firebomb through the living room window.
Now why is that?
And what sort of police forces do you suppose fascist leaders like Chris Christie and Hillary Clinton, and corporatocracy governments generally, want? That’s not the same as asking what sort of police forces do you suppose corporatocracy leaders and governments ‘say’ they want. See also Peter Linebaugh’s CounterPunch article titled “Police And Plunder.”
William proceeds to try to provide some answers to the question he asks in his above statement, focussing on what he considers to be the central myth that elites depend on to get away with ongoing mass murder and terrorism, namely the myth that American leaders are what they say they are, which is Benefactors.
Here, the reader should consider a revelation by Eric Lichtblau, author of “The Nazis Next Door – How America Became a Safe Haven for Hitler’s Men,” concerning ‘liberator’ General Patton. He discovered information when doing research for his book, about the inmates in Nazi Germany’s concentration camps. People probably assume that those gates were thrown wide open once the Nazis were defeated and the victims rescued. No, no, no. That’s not what happened nor how Patton felt about them. If one Nazi camp defeats another, Is Nazism defeated? See the Democracy Now episode (part 2 is where Patton is mentioned) where Eric talks about his discovery, here: part 1- http://bit.ly/1FrCjEf and part 2- http://bit.ly/1KHad8U)
The Jews, he wrote – this is General Patton speaking – are worse than human, they’re locusts, and they have no respect for human dignity. And he recounted taking General Eisenhower, soon to be President Eisenhower, on a tour of the displaced person camps, and he said that Eisenhower didn’t really understand how loathsome the displaced persons were, and he thinks that they have some human dignity, when really they don’t.
Blum writes, on page 13, that “No matter how many times they’re lied to, they still often underestimate the government’s capacity for deceit, clinging to the belief that their leaders somehow mean well.” Maybe it’s easier for citizens to think like that once they’ve been corrupted themselves and once they start to behave like their gangster leaders. People who lack a moral foundation observe their political and other leaders deliberately, knowingly breaking agreements and laws and conclude that “They know what they’re doing but they’re good people. Maybe bad is sometimes good.” I call it mysterious lawlessness. The lawlessness is mysterious, but only to those who lack a moral foundation, which makes them morally mushy and susceptible to the propaganda of gangster leaders. Maybe there’s an element of Stockholm Syndrome to it. The people don’t get, despite the ample evidence for it, the simple fact that, as Noam Chomsky says, States are not moral actors, for one thing. If the world is, as Peter Dale Scott sort of said, one big criminal organization, then Wouldn’t those who are smart and clear-eyed about that, but unprincipled, see success in this life as being something that comes from pleasing those in the hierarchy who have more power than they do, even if they happen to also be willing to sacrifice, work hard, educate themselves, etc.? And they set the example for the nation.
From “‘US Foreign Policy Straight Out Of The Mafia’,” by Seaumas Milne (http://bit.ly/1D2tVNk), the following:
Noam Chomsky is the closest thing in the English-speaking world to an intellectual superstar…
But the bulk of the mainstream western media doesn’t seem to have noticed… The explanation, of course, isn’t hard to find. Chomsky is America’s most prominent critic of the US imperial role in the world, which he has used his erudition and standing to expose and excoriate since Vietnam…
The veteran activist has described the US invasion of Afghanistan as “one of the most immoral acts in modern history”, which united the jihadist movement around al-Qaida, sharply increased the level of terrorism and was “perfectly irrational – unless the security of the population is not the main priority”. Which, of course, Chomsky believes, it is not. “States are not moral agents,” he says, and believes that now that Obama is escalating the war, it has become even clearer that the occupation is about the credibility of Nato and US global power.
This is a recurrent theme in Chomsky’s thinking about the American empire. He argues that since government officials first formulated plans for a “grand area” strategy for US global domination in the early 1940s, successive administrations have been guided by a “godfather principle, straight out of the mafia: that defiance cannot be tolerated. It’s a major feature of state policy.” “Successful defiance” has to be punished, even where it damages business interests, as in the economic blockade of Cuba – in case “the contagion spreads”.
Surely there’s some justice here in the bad state uncaring people end up in, since, If you choose to reject the Source of life, you should not be rewarded for that. (Caring means knowing means caring. When you care, You put your head up and look around. That’s because you care about any dangers out there to yourself and your loved ones. When you see what’s there, then you know. It’s that simple. But putting your head up and looking around has to be of the ‘lifting your little finger’ variety. Passive learning, where you have information pushed at you by corporate owned media is worse than knowing nothing at all. If that’s all you take in, then you actually become dangerous.) ‘If’ there’s a God, Will he bless those who reject him and attempt to take his place and then try to get others to follow their example? Maybe Americans, and the wider world, have the political leadership they deserve.
For now, Those who are not capable of making big decisions, along with those who are and who have chosen wisely, must endure the negative consequences of millions of others, including oppressors and oppressed, who play ‘riches for the strongest’. They must endure the negative consequences of the powerful and the powerless who have bought the Lie and endeavor to sell it to others. But ‘now’ isn’t ‘forever’.
In this dark world, People acquire power, usually, by breaking rules. They first get together with everyone else to work out the rules by which everyone will live, with the stated aim of achieving social harmony. Then they strategically break those rules and, naturally, look down on those who, unlike them, are too weak and frightened to do what it takes to ‘succeed’. (Look at the lies the US told to Russia about NATO, which has become nothing more or less than a US imperial attack force. See Ray McGovern’s Baltimore Sun article titled “When the U.S. welched on Shevardnadze” at http://bsun.md/1D9Lqdf) Their rule-breaking puts them ahead of, and over, others. From positions of dominance, the rule-breakers can then dictate. They can use their power to guarantee outcomes and ensure that they and their’s are looked after. And they now have the freedom to enjoy pursuing more power, riches and glory via destruction, terror and darkness.
“The United States is not actually against terrorism per se, only those terrorists who are not allies of the empire. There is a lengthy and infamous history of Washington’s support for numerous anti-Castro terrorists, even when their terrorist acts were committed in the United States. At this moment, Luis Posada Carriles remains protected by the US government, though he masterminded the blowing up of a Cuban airplane that killed 73 people. He’s but one of hundreds of anti-Castro terrorists who’ve been given haven in the United States over the years. The United States has also provided close support to terrorists, or fought on the same side as Islamic jihadists, in Kosovo, Bosnia, Iran, and Syria, including those with known connections to al-Qaeda, to further foreign policy goals more important than fighting terrorism.” -pg 17 of “America’s Deadliest Export,” by William Blum
Noam Chomsky recently referred to the world’s present day greatest terrorist operation, namely President Obama’s drone murders. (See “Noam Chomsky: Obama’s Drone Program ‘The Most Extreme Terrorist Campaign of Modern Times’” by Andrea Germanos – http://bit.ly/1sVhvmI). Andrea writes: “World-renowned linguist and scholar Noam Chomsky has criticized what he sees as Western hypocrisy following the recent terror attacks in Paris and the idea that there are two kinds of terrorism: “theirs versus ours.” …Offering further proof of what he describes as western hypocrisy towards terrorism, Chomsky takes aim at Obama’s drone program, which he describes as “the most extreme terrorist campaign of modern times.” It “target[s] people suspected of perhaps intending to harm us some day, and any unfortunates who happen to be nearby,” he writes.”
William Blum, in “America’s Deadliest Export,” mentions John Brady Kiesling. Kiesling was a political counselor at the US embassy in Athens until the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. Just before that invasion, he resigned. What he said in his letter of resignation (http://www.peace.ca/kieslingresignation.htm) is noteworthy. Here’s an excerpt:
It is inevitable that during twenty years with the State Department I would become more sophisticated and cynical about the narrow and selfish bureaucratic motives that sometimes shaped our policies. Human nature is what it is, and I was rewarded and promoted for understanding human nature. But until this Administration it had been possible to believe that by upholding the policies of my president I was also upholding the interests of the American people and the world. I believe it no longer.
The policies we are now asked to advance are incompatible not only with American values but also with American interests. Our fervent pursuit of war with Iraq is driving us to squander the international legitimacy that has been America’s most potent weapon of both offense and defense since the days of Woodrow Wilson. We have begun to dismantle the largest and most effective web of international relationships the world has ever known. Our current course will bring instability and danger, not security…
…Why does our President condone the swaggering and contemptuous approach to our friends and allies this Administration is fostering, including among its most senior officials. Has “oderint dum metuant” really become our motto?
‘Oderint dum metuant’ means ‘Let them hate as long as they fear’. (Encyclopedia Brittanica: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/2980/Lucius-Accius) One, People will hate those who attack them and rob them. Two, They will fear you while you are as powerful as you are, but they will most certainly notice you when you attack them. Therefore, The glory that you seek is ensured. The powerful, uncaring, special interests (mainly the defense contractors) who want their government to go to war, previously with Iraq, now with Russia, and might even ‘profit’ while they prove to the world, again, how strong they are, are nuts if they think that the profitting they do is worth it. Destroyers destroy others and themselves – because that’s the reality designed by the Creator. “Credibility,” rather than ‘proof of strength’, is the term they usually prefer in public. See page 135 of “The New Military Humanism – Lessons From Kosovo” by Noam Chomsky, for a good explanation of what leaders like Clinton and Bush I & II and Obama mean by “credibility.” But they have made an enemy out of one who is stronger. In time, O benefactors. In time.
“However, there also arose a heated dispute among them over which one of them was considered to be the greatest. But he said to them: “The kings of the nations lord it over them, and those having authority over them are called Benefactors. You, though, are not to be that way. But let the one who is the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the one taking the lead as the one ministering. For which one is greater, the one dining or the one serving? Is it not the one dining? But I am among you as the one serving.”“ – Jesus’s words as recorded at Luke 22:24-27
The lawless law & order crowd gets it’s glory by taking the means of survival from others, systematically, via capitalist expansion, which involves the use of force, and in other ways. When you take the means of survival from those who are not violent and who are therefore not inclined (before they are pushed too far) to destroy their destroyers, they can’t help but notice. The attention that the powerful get from their victims equals glory. And they are addicted to it, which is to say that, lacking humility, they enter onto a dark path – lawlessness, Nazism and fascism, imperialism – that doesn’t make those on it enlightened, but which they can’t get off of because humility means being able to say “I made a mistake.” And the longer one walks that path, the more abased (reduced) that person becomes, even while he holds tighter to the idea that, in fact, he is God.
The role of gatekeepers (which some gatekeepers will understand and some won’t) is to enable trouble-making, macho, destructive leaders to ignore the people who might want them to answer for their crimes. Gatekeepers are a wall between the 1% and the abused people. The 1% wants our attention. It just doesn’t want to answer for the crimes it’s members commit for personal and class gain and for the attention they will garner. It’s hard to get accountability from elites, from political and corporate leaders, when you are distracted, hindered, frustrated, abused and terrorized by gatekeepers. Gatekeepers are meant to keep the people off balance, distracted and unable to organize and effectively deal with their trouble-making leaders. The trouble that gatekeepers cause runs the entire gamut, from the smallest nuisance to murder and terror and torture.
I referred to an article by Ray McGovern, above. Ray McGovern was recently arrested, improperly (as in with physical brutality), when he attempted to attend a meeting that he had a ticket to attend. Here’s an excerpt from Robert Parry’s Consortium News article (http://bit.ly/16Mk8gq) titled “When Silencing Dissent Isn’t News”:
McGovern, who has become a prominent critic of recent U.S. war policies (and who writes frequently for Consortiumnews.com), called me the day before the event and said he planned to attend Petraeus’s speech with hopes that he might be able to ask a question from the audience, like he had in challenging Rumsfeld.
But someone in authority apparently got wind of McGovern’s plan – he still is curious how that happened – and he was intercepted when he arrived at the 92nd Street Y. A security guard addressed him by name, “Ray, you’re not welcome here” – and the NYPD was prepositioned to arrest him.
As the police pinned his arms behind him – wrenching his injured shoulder – McGovern screamed in pain as bystanders unsuccessfully implored the police not to behave so brutally. The arrest was captured on an amateur video (uploaded to YouTube by April Watters). It is not pleasant to watch.
Probably some Americans feel that McGovern got what he deserved for even thinking about posing a pointed question to a “hero” like retired Gen. Petraeus, who was speaking along with one of his neocon friends, Council on Foreign Affairs honcho Max Boot, who, like Petraeus, had been all gung-ho for the Iraq War.
Having briefed senior U.S. government officials for years while at the CIA, McGovern is not intimidated by some growling response from a powerful man. Nor is he scared of getting booed by an audience enthrall[ed] to a famous speaker.
So, in that sense, McGovern might well have “disrupted” the event with an impertinent question, possibly about how the Iraqi Army that Petraeus has boasted about training so well collapsed in the face of ragtag militants from the Islamic State in 2014.
That might have caused an uncomfortable moment or two, but isn’t that what democracy and freedom of speech are all about, the ability for a citizen to question the mighty? And, really, is it the job of police in a “free society” to roughly arrest a citizen who objects to being denied entry to a public event because of his perceived political opinions – and to prevent the citizen from having the chance to ask a question?
Ray might find this essay interesting.
One (made up) example of self-appointed gatekeepers in action might be found in the workplace. If your political views are leftwing and others happen to overhear when you say something about lets say Stephen Harper’s illegal military adventure in Libya (See chapter 4, “Bombing Libya,” of Yves Engler’s book, “The Ugly Canadian.”), then, a short time later, your boss may suddenly take you aside and tell you to not talk politics at work. (I’ve been there, although not in relation to this subject.) Usually, in such situations, others won’t care and you’ll garner little sympathy. That’s because others do ‘not’ care and don’t have any interest in the trouble that their political leaders cause, especially if it’s toward foreigners.
Or if they have rightwing political views, then they probably feel safe saying a little bit about things, even under a gag order, because they know that their views are not controversial, as in leftwing. (Think about that when you read some of Robert Parry’s reports about journalists and news reporters asking group commanders in Ukraine about the neo-Nazis in their ranks and the uniforms and helmets with swastikas and other Nazi symbols on them. See, for example, “NYT Whites Out Ukraine’s Brown Shirts.” http://bit.ly/1D2GCrm) Adults, leftwing or rightwing, don’t like to be ‘told’ in a disciplinary manner. I know. I’m an adult. But not all adults care passionately about human rights and about right and wrong. When a group is told to shut up about politics, those in the group who hold views that they know their boss and others with power don’t like will feel more upset by the gag order, and, because they are also more concerned with human rights and democracy than their uncaring and/or rightwing co-workers, they will feel offended and alarmed. Those who care: Be prepared. And when you find the crowd turning on you for doing nothing (indecent), remember, ‘You’ are the normal person.
The conservative London Telegraph offered more details about the Azov battalion in an article by correspondent Tom Parfitt, who wrote: “Kiev’s use of volunteer paramilitaries to stamp out the Russian-backed Donetsk and Luhansk ‘people’s republics’… should send a shiver down Europe’s spine.
“Recently formed battalions such as Donbas, Dnipro and Azov, with several thousand men under their command, are officially under the control of the interior ministry but their financing is murky, their training inadequate and their ideology often alarming. The Azov men use the neo-Nazi Wolfsangel (Wolf’s Hook) symbol on their banner and members of the battalion are openly white supremacists, or anti-Semites.”
Based on interviews with militia members, the Telegraph reported that some of the fighters doubted the reality of the Holocaust, expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler and acknowledged that they are indeed Nazis.
Andriy Biletsky, the Azov commander, “is also head of an extremist Ukrainian group called the Social National Assembly,” according to the Telegraph article which quoted a commentary by Biletsky as declaring: “The historic mission of our nation in this critical moment is to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival. A crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.”
In other words, for the first time since World War II, a government had dispatched Nazi storm troopers to attack a European population – and officials in Kiev knew what they were doing. The Telegraph questioned Ukrainian authorities in Kiev who acknowledged that they were aware of the extremist ideologies of some militias but insisted that the higher priority was having troops who were strongly motivated to fight. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Ignoring Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi Storm Troopers.”]
Uncle Sam is quite pleased with the Ukraine coup goverment’s fighters’ efforts, which, if successful, will help rid Ukraine of all who object to and oppose Ukraine becoming a neoliberal ally of the US, which means the US capitalist class. That little thing about Nazis and the terrorism they’ve been conducting? No big deal. Forget about it.
Try expressing admiration for Osama bin Laden or Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the ISIS leader (for now), and see where that gets you. That example I made up. Here’s another: Try calling sobbing relatives of the victims of 9-11 disgusting and see where that gets you. Try calling Timothy McVeigh a great American and see where that gets you. Actually, We know. William Blum has a section in “America’s Deadliest Export” called “a tale of two terrorists.” Zakarias Moussaoui, the only 9-11 terrorist to go to trial, said those things at his trial, which didn’t end well for him. Whereas, Orlando Bosch, who was implicated in the 1976 downing of a Cuban passenger plane that killed 73 people, some whom were young people belonging to the Cuban fencing team, conveniently wrote them all off saying “I saw the young girls on television. There were six of them. After the end of the competition, the leader of the six dedicated their triumph to the tyrant… We had already agreed in Santo Domingo, that everyone who comes from Cuba to glorify the tyrant had to run the same risks as those men and women that fight alongside the tyranny.” The tyrant is Fidel Castro. “The difference between Zacarias Moussaoui and Orlando Bosch is that one of them was put on trial and sentenced to life in prison while the other walks around Miami a free man, free enough to be interviewed on television,” writes Blum.
One, namely Bosch, was a gatekeeper from the standpoint of enemies of the 1% and it’s appendages, like the New York Times. From the same, people’s, standpoint the other, Moussaoui, was just a terrorist. But here’s the thing; From the standpoint of his community, depending on it’s character, Zacarias very well may have been a gatekeeper. It’s all relative. Certainly from the standpoint of Robert Parry, normal European citizens and normal people everywhere, the hired Ukraine killers, sporting Nazi symbols and causing trouble for Ukraine citizens who the media calls separatists for not wanting to live under a fascist, Western-backed coup leader, are gatekeepers. From uncle Sam’s, and the New York Time’s, standpoint they are not gatekeepers (as I define them), or bad guys, but nationalists and the good guys fighting the good fight against the commies. (That’s leaders’ line. But they know better.)
The neo-Nazis who Petro Poroshenko is using to terrorize innocent eastern region Ukraines are doing serious gatekeeping. The boss who once told me to not talk about politics at work was not doing serious gatekeeping, in one way. Another example of seemingly small-scale gatekeeping can be found in John Kiriakou’s above interview with Amy Goodman. John is a very educated man. He felt that he could be productive, and stay mentally fit, in prison by teaching other inmates. Consider:
AMY GOODMAN: You wanted to be a GED instructor, but were told you had to be a janitor at the chapel?
JOHN KIRIAKOU: I did. Right. I have a master’s degree in legislative affairs, a bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern studies, and I did my Ph.D. coursework at the University of Virginia in international relations. So I thought, “Well, I’ll make some good use of my time, and I’ll teach a GED class.” But when I volunteered, they told me, in not very nice language, “If we want you to teach an effing class, we’ll ask you to teach an effing class.” And so, I spent the next two years as a janitor in the chapel…
AMY GOODMAN: What most surprised you there, John?
JOHN KIRIAKOU: I was really surprised how prisoners are treated as—as not—not treated as human beings. They’re treated as somehow subhuman, people not to be respected, people about whose health we should not be concerned, people who don’t deserve a fair hearing. It’s warehousing, and it’s warehousing being overseen by flunkies and dropouts from the local police academy or people who couldn’t cut it in the military. They’re the people running our lives in prison.
It’s a real pathology. If you reject God and decide to replace him with yourself, then you will acquire an inner turmoil that you will never – until your complete destruction – lose. That inner turmoil translates into trouble that the perverted lawless one makes for others in an effort to prove a Lie (biological evolution plus the force belief) that he has embraced. The dark soul is, once he’s made choices and accepted certain ‘truths’ that he knows are false, ever after plagued with a mental itch stemming from a disturbance that his choice has created within his soul. (It’s essentially cognitive dissonance. “I’m a good person” now conflicts with “I’ve chosen a dark path.”) The dark soul deals with the disturbance, the itch, by attempting to prove the Lie to all who he encounters, for that is also his effort to prove it to himself. And since that can’t be done, the effort, namely his trouble-making, never ends. And when the dark soul is a powerful leader…
Also, That dark soul has a need to be sure that he is right, that he can’t be corrected by the God he has rejected. “There can’t be a real God because if there is, I’m in BIG trouble!” How does he attempt to fulfill that need? He attempts to fulfill that need by calling to God – a God of love – to “Bring it!” How does he do that? Anything perverted, antisocial and vile that he might do is good, but the more horrifying the atrocities committed, the better, for if evil deeds that cause the innocent to suffer are going to get God’s attention, then you would want them to be as evil as you can make them.
Imagine! Segments of the American ruling class want to do full on war, nuclear and all, with Russia! Just because. This isn’t going to bring democracy, enlightenment or liberation to anyone. Unless you are talking about liberation from life. Rational people might ask, “Have they lost their minds?” The answer is: You don’t get brighter the longer you walk on the path of darkness and the longer you lie to yourself and others. You are dangerous when you deny reality, as Michael Klare explains in his recent TomDispatch article titled “A Vision From Hell – Exxon’s Neo-Imperialism Vision For 2016.” Nuclear war with Russia can’t prove that American leaders are strong, let alone God.
“At Munich Conference, US Hawks Press for Military Escalation Towards Russia,” is the title of Sarah Lazare’s Common Dreams article. In it, she notes that “U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) vigorously pressed for more western military backing of Ukraine and escalation towards Russia, openly clashing with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and pointing towards a deepening transatlantic rift over strategy.” See that article at: http://bit.ly/18YY5o4. Stephen Cohen also talks to Amy Goodman about that cabal’s desire to go to war with Russia. That interview can be found here: http://bit.ly/1zEiTeD.
God is there. He has his timetable. And, for now, God needs to know who (among those capable of choosing) wants to remain when this godless world is destroyed and who wants to be destroyed.
“But the lawless one’s presence is by the operation of Satan with every powerful work and lying signs and wonders and every unrighteous deception for those who are perishing, as a retribution because they did not accept the truth in order that they might be saved. That is why God lets a deluding influence mislead them, so that they may come to believe the lie in order that they may all be judged because they did not believe the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness.” – 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
For now, People must be very free (still within limits, although it doesn’t always seem that way) to behave the way that they want, so that they may believe what they want. (‘Clearly’ ask God to take you out of existence if you want to have an expectation that it will happen.) And those who call for God to “Bring it!” should think about that.
Gatekeepers are bad people – if the definition of ‘bad’ includes ‘one who does something bad’. Look at the kinds of people gatekeepers protect! Gatekeepers are those with the ‘right’ political views, which basically just means that they, in some way, protect the powerful and make trouble for 1%’s enemy, namely the people who the exploiters and their political partners have attacked. Because those gatekeepers have the right political views, which can be fully or partially formed political views or just an uncritical acceptance of what (rightwing) authorities say, they will find that they have enormous freedom. Anyone can be a self-appointed gatekeeper (which doesn’t require self-awareness but doesn’t exclude it). Someone educated, professional and powerful can be a self-appointed gatekeeper. Someone on the street who watches Barack Obama on the tv in the common room in the shelter he is in talking about war with the evil commie Putin and shouting out “God damn commies!” is a self-appointed gatekeeper. The range is full. A self-appointed gatekeeper can be rich and powerful, poor and powerless or anyone in between.
Appointed gatekeepers are not likely going to be homeless people. Some appointed gatekeepers will be very conscious of their gatekeeper role, as well. In a mafia capitalist system, that’s just not mysterious. Please power and increase your chances of survival. Sin and survive. And, note, The powerful teach that to the people – mainly by example – even if the powerful would deny it. That is reprehensible, which means that it’s worse than it normally would be because those perpetrating the crime know better and have no excuse. As Jesus Christ said, ‘If the light that is in you is, in fact, darkness, then how great that darkness is!’ (Matthew 6:23)
As for self-appointed gatekeepers, They aren’t always powerless. When they come together in a group for some reason, they can be very powerful and scary. And the state is a big fan of terrorism done by it’s supporters. Bill Moyers recalls a story he heard from his father in his Common Dreams article titled “The Fiery Cage and the Lynching Tree, Brutality’s Never Far Away.” (See that at: http://bit.ly/1DMk9eU. See a picture of Jesse Washington, after his murder, at the Library of Congress website, here: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/95517168/) People, including those clutching Bibles and Korans, who have abandoned God are capable of committing the absolutely worst, unimaginable atrocities. Bill’s story is much like another told by Chris Hedges in his pointed and angry book “Death Of The Liberal Class.” Chris tells the story of a group of gatekeepers who got away with murder, with their defense counsel arguing that the mob had simply committed “patriotic murder.” But when the state is controlled by godless monsters, What is patriotism?
From Bill Moyers’s article, the following:
“Here is the photograph. Take a good look at Jesse Washington’s stiffened body tied to the tree. He had been sentenced to death for the murder of a white woman. No witnesses saw the crime; he allegedly confessed but the truth of the allegations would never be tested. The grand jury took just four minutes to return a guilty verdict, but there was no appeal, no review, no prison time. Instead, a courtroom mob dragged him outside, pinned him to the ground, and cut off his testicles. A bonfire was quickly built and lit. For two hours, Jesse Washington – alive – was raised and lowered over the flames. Again and again and again. City officials and police stood by, approvingly. According to some estimates, the crowd grew to as many as 15,000. There were taunts, cheers and laughter. Reporters described hearing “shouts of delight.”
“When the flames died away, Washington’s body was torn apart and the pieces were sold as souvenirs. The party was over…
“Jesse Washington was just one black man to die horribly at the hands of white death squads. Between 1882 and 1968 – 1968! – there were 4,743 recorded lynchings in the US. About a quarter of them were white people, many of whom had been killed for sympathizing with black folks…
“Yes, it was hard to get back to sleep the night we heard the news of the Jordanian pilot’s horrendous end. ISIS be damned! I thought. But with the next breath I could only think that our own barbarians did not have to wait at any gate. They were insiders. Home grown. Godly. Our neighbors, friends, and kin. People like us.”
The Jordanian pilot? In case you don’t know, even though you should: “Video Purportedly Shows Jordanian Pilot Burned Alive By ISIS” is the title of the Common Dreams article by Common Dreams staff, which you can look at here: http://bit.ly/1EPyYBi.
From page 79 of Chris Hedges’s “Death Of The Liberal Class,” the following:
An angry mob in Van Houten, New Mexico, accused an immigrant miner of supporting Germany. The mob forced him to kneel before them, kiss the flag, and shout, “To hell with the Kaiser.” Robert Prager, a German-born coal miner, was accused in April 1918 by a crowd that swelled to 500 people of hoarding explosives outside of St. Louis. Prager, who had tried to enlist in the navy but had been rejected on medical grounds, was stripped, bound with an American flag, dragged barefoot and stumbling through the streets, and lynched as the mob cheered. At the trial of the leaders of the lynch mob, who appeared in court wearing red, white and blue ribbons, their defense counsel argued that the killing was justifiable “patriotic murder.” It took the jury twenty-five minutes to return a not guilty verdict. One jury member shouted out, “Well, I guess nobody can say we aren’t loyal now.” The Washington Post wrote that “in spite of the excesses such as lynching, it is a healthful and wholesome awakening of the interior of the country.” The explosives that Prager was alleged to be harboring were never found.”
I’m a Christian (who has no use for the beliefs and behavior, and organizations, of most of those who also call themselves Christians), so forgive me for tossing out scriptures and Christian ideas. You don’t have to believe the way I do. And if you choose not to, that won’t, in itself, be something I hold against you. Same goes for God. I will offer a last, Christian, thought about all of this.
Gatekeepers are the opposite of whistleblowers. Gatekeepers take the easy, but unprincipled road. Whistleblowers are also interested in the good life, for all. But they realize that a good life that comes from doing bad things doesn’t work. In the long run, it ‘really’ doesn’t work. Those who own and run the world are not just living the good life – if they are quite high up – but they are responsible for literally destroying our livable earth. They have broken agreements and rules and laws in order to get to the top, but in the course of getting there, they have broken the livable earth. Powerful special interests support each other. Among them are the polluters and fossil fuel addicts, not to mention the nuclear club. And we aren’t able to stop them. William Blum, in his book “America’s Deadliest Export,” says that deep down he believes that the people are outgunned by the 1%. I don’t know why that would be “deep down,” but, yes, we are. (But ‘we the people’ are not the 1%’s only enemy.) We read daily in the news, especially the alternative news, about how we the people are outgunned.
Jesus told his followers to walk on the cramped road to life and avoid the wide and spacious road that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13). He wasn’t saying that those who choose the wide and spacious road want destruction and discomfort. He was simply alluding to the fact that while we may all want the good life, you can’t just get it any old way. The road that is cramped isn’t unpleasant, although it easily becomes unpleasant when others, who have chosen the other road, feel judged by you for your choice and choose to punish you for it. What can be done about that? The ‘cramped’ nature of the road to life simply means that we are bound by rules, which is not a bad thing. Try crossing the street when it’s very busy. The rule is, Wait until it’s clear before attempting to walk across the road because in a crash contest with a moving vehicle, pedestrians will lose. So, You can ignore that rule or obey it. Ignoring it doesn’t change reality. It just furnishes you with a lesson that you’ve chosen to learn the hard way. I’m reminded of another instance when Jesus was speaking to people and he told them that they can get to know his words or his power. It’s a free universe.
Along the same lines, Jesus told his followers “If anyone wants to come after me, Let him disown himself and pick up his torture stake and keep following me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 16: 24,25) The evidence that exists, incidentally, points to the instrument used to kill Jesus as being a stake, not a cross. But this world’s churches prefer the ‘cross’ because they are this world’s churches. Lying comforts them. It’s a badge. It’s a mark which they show to each other to gain acceptance and access. (Christendom, a part of global false religion, took the easy way and partnered with the powerful; in the process helping to corrupt millions of followers. But the Christian Bible, which they know, clearly states that the ‘kings’ of the earth with whom Babylon The Great, the whore of false religion, commits adultery, turn on her. The kings, meaning the secular realm, are who they are. The whore is who she is. The time to care, my friends, is ‘before’ the catastrophe, not after. See Revelation chapter 18.)
If there is a real God (not humankind), Do you suppose that whistleblowers will get a more favorable hearing before our Judge than gatekeepers?
An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Donovan Vincent follows:
Among the changes was a Jan. 26, 2014 entry about Fenbrook Institution, a medium-security prison in Gravenhurst, Ont., that Correctional Service Canada manages.
The current Wikipedia entry about the facility is benign, with straightforward descriptions such as the number of inmates, when it was built, and the fact that it has merged with Beaver Creek Institution.
But in the January 2014 Wikipedia edit — which is traceable to an Internet protocol address registered to Corrections — Fenbrook was described as having the “largest concentration of homosexual inmates in the entire Ontario Region.”
Another Wikipedia edit from 2011 described Peter North, a Canadian-born adult film actor, producer and director as a “big queer.”
The edits have been corrected but are still accessible online since Wikipedia keeps track of changes.
The story about the edits was first reported in the Ottawa Citizen and based on a Twitter account that flags anonymous Wikipedia edits from government computers.
My online response to the above linked-to article, including what I was unable to post (at least all at once) because the Star, which uses discussion software by Viafoura, disallows substantial posts, follows:
Whatever the bosses and politicians and journos say about this, the fact is that the corporatocracy state and the mafia capitalism that it embraces depends on gatekeepers like the yahoos within Correctional Service going on about queers. I’m sure that those yahoos are just as hostile toward commies and socialists and those who don’t, like them, trust what our law & order leaders tell us and go along with all that the authorities do and say. Gatekeepers, appointed and self-appointed, are meant to keep the people off balance any way they can (which includes all kinds of rule-breaking). They have enormous freedom to do that precisely because they have the ‘right’ political views. What are the right political views? I’ve already told you. You simply have to go along with what power – who can protect you – does and says, no matter what it is, just as in the conventional mafia.
In security, When you go for training, they tell you to be professional and that one of the things that can get you into trouble is swearing, which is something that can, potentially, create hostile witnesses. While instructors are telling you this, they are swearing. The lesson? There’s what is said and there is what is done and you must figure that out. ‘Professional’ may indeed mean trained and/or experienced. It also apparently means being smart enough to navigate the hypocritical rapids so as to stay employed, something that imparts confidence, which then becomes a mark of the professional. But it also means going through the motions and bending the definition of honest. (You’re supposed to care about the wider society, but you’re also supposed to meld with your company and help sell it to others, even though it might be the worst, tax evading, environmentally destructive, pro war business out there. But that’s okay. ‘If’ you are in the business, then you ‘have to’ acquire a certain flexible view of ethics. That too feeds into the definition of professional in security, although you won’t find it stated clearly.)
An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Michelle Tauber follows:
Chris Kyle didn’t waver on the battlefield. As he saw it, he had one job to do – protect his fellow troops – and he did so with unflinching focus.
But back home following his four tours of Iraq, the Navy SEAL – whose 2012 autobiography, American Sniper, is the basis for director Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-nominated film of the same name starring Bradley Cooper – struggled with the after-effects of war. And he shared his struggles with others going through the same thing…
Before his death in 2013, Kyle – who was fatally shot on a Texas gun range at age 38 while trying to help a veteran allegedly suffering from PTSD – believed passionately in raising awareness for veterans’ causes. Now, with the massive box-office success of American Sniper, his mission is reaching more people than ever.
I didn’t see the movie and don’t want to. But I might if it’s the only way to know for sure that what Peter Maass says is true and what Michelle Tauber, in her article written well after the movie opened, says is false. How can Eastwood’s and Cooper’s movie, which Cooper defended as being not about politics (and not something that would generate discussion of important issues therefore), be what Tauber is claiming it is if it’s producers left out details like those surrounding Kyle’s death? If you, dear reader, have seen the movie and have some thoughts on it, Please share them with me and my other readers.
My online response to the above linked-to article follows:
Well, Zergnet reveals itself. That’s where I found the link to this article, which doesn’t interest me because I don’t bow to any flag on demand. All states are godless.
Sniper, like just about all such movies, is merely a recruitment tool. Duh! You (to whom it applies) could know that if you cared to. The subject is looked at in detail in Tricia Jenkins’s book, “The CIA In Hollywood.” The 1% uses all manner of tools, including the state’s instruments of repression, to protect itself. And it calls that national security, laughably. (Bertrande Aristide, who I’m not a fan of, and others certainly know, from experience, what national armies and police forces are all about. They are about keeping the domestic population in it’s place for one thing. See pages 31, 69, 70 of Peter Hallward’s “Damming The Flood.”) Don’t you just get so sick of hearing ‘our’ this and ‘we’ that? The Right is something else. While conducting the most vicious class warfare, it then turns on anyone who points that out and even charges them with engaging in class warfare, as recently happened in connection with Obama’s State Of The Union address (http://bitly.com/1Cbtq1T).
While the divide between the rich and poor is so wide Hubble might not see from one side to the other, Detroit citizens are free to hope that they can somehow acquire water now that the privatizers (neoliberal capitalism in action) are telling them to pay up even if they can’t (http://bit.ly/1yLBntm), while police are increasingly militarized so that the mic can keep making money making weapons (http://bit.ly/1owUJ1i) and the political class, which serves the corporate class (including the mic), plans no changes to the ‘austerity for the majority and prosperity for the minority’ approach which means squeezed people, which means angry reactions, as anticipated, and the heavy handed police response. The investment opportunities are certainly there though. (And Canada follows the US since our border is mostly just a sentiment. See Murray Dobbin’s article titled “This Is The Security State Steve Built” at http://bit.ly/1Jqo5nt )
American Sniper is clearly nothing more than another recruitment tool and it won’t be the last and that’s because it works. That Sniper is nothing more is clear from the fact that it’s producers had to make an effort to ‘not’ look at some pretty darn relevant and important (discussion generating) facts in deciding what to include and exclude, as Peter Maass notes. From his article titled “How Clint Eastwood Ignores History In ‘American Sniper'”:
The problem is that the film makes no attempt to tell us anything beyond Kyle’s limited comprehension of what was happening. More than a decade after America invaded and occupied Iraq, and long after we realized the war’s false pretense and its horrific toll, we deserve better…
While it is about a certain type of bravery, the film itself is not brave. One of the things it does well is highlight Kyle’s post-traumatic stress disorder. But there is no mention of the problems returning soldiers often encounter when they try to get treatment at military hospitals–even though the disturbed veteran who killed Kyle in real life, at a Texas shooting range in 2013, had been denied the care he desperately needed. Why ignore an issue of national importance that is also the reason Kyle is no longer with us?
The conclusion that the world’s dominant economic model—a globalized form of neoliberal capitalism, largely based on international trade and fueled by extracting and consuming natural resources—is the driving force behind planetary destruction will not come as a shock, but the model’s detailed description of how this has worked since the middle of the 20th century makes a more substantial case than many previous attempts.