Saturday, October 15, 2016

Hillary's "deplorables" and other fun things about 2016

The presidential election of 2016 is SO damn ugly, I mostly just want to look away.  When I worked as a surgical orderly as ordered by my draft board for the "crime" of refusing to participate in their war crimes against the Vietnamese people, I got to see a lot of mindbendingly ugly stuff. My personal "favorite" involved a young motorcyclist who had managed to dribble his head along the pavement without a helmet for a hundred yards.  I got an especially long look because when I arrived to transport him to surgery, the folks from neurology were still debating whether his brain waves had been flat for the required 24 hours.  Meanwhile transplant was screaming a wide assortment of doctor-level curses at them because they had already prepped recipients who were NOT going to be happy if the brain jocks lost the donor. (Which is exactly what happened.  The rules and technologies have changed since then. For example, improved preservation techniques have extended the time available between harvesting and transplant. In 1971 they still needed a "live" donor.)

In my mind, this election is THAT ugly.

And because politics has strayed SO far from its intended objective of presenting alternative solutions to the problems of the day, it has become actually worse than simply useless.  I believe the absurdity of this contest can be summed up when the party of the Kennedys and Bill Clinton resorts to calling out a known womanizer for his sexual appetites.  At least Donald Trump hasn't driven anyone off a bridge yet.  But let's not quibble.  Discussing sex is what politics has come to.  And here I am wondering when the adults will start insisting on how we are ever going to confront the serious matters like climate change and the other environmental disasters.  Our schools are a disaster and serve no function other than to deliver the young into debt slavery.  Our main channels of communication have been seized by skilled liars who stupefy the public with insane propaganda.  But we can still talk about sex so we aren't quite the brain-dead donor material we should be by rights.

My world is especially conflicted because I have to assume that the vast majority of my pet Producing Classes are Trump supporters.  They are the ones who have been on wrong end of neoliberalism for over a generation and are looking for someone, anyone, who will speak for their economic and social interests.  Trump may have his flaws, goes their reasoning, but he is the closest thing to what they are looking for in MANY election cycles.  At least he has built something.  It may be as useless as another golf course, as ugly as an Atlantic City casino, and as socially destructive as overpriced housing for New York's mega-Predators, but it is something!  We can fill in the blanks later, say the Producers who are hoping for somebody to represent their world-view.

And so the party of the so-called working class is represented by a woman who utterly loathes the Producing Classes.  She actually has called them "deplorables."  And Hillary, I hate to tell you this, but you ARE going to need these people to succeed.  And while the great success of neoliberalism has been to lower the life expectancies of the Producers, they probably are not all going to go gently into that good night.  If you manage to win this election, your problems will have only begun.  Which is an amazing thing to contemplate considering you are already the most hated woman in the history of the planet. And we know this for a certainty because you have surrounded yourself with some of the most deplorable people to have ever set out to "serve" the public.

Paul Street provides a short list of some of Ms. Clinton's most deplorable advisors.  Read it and weep.


'CHINDIT13', October 14, 2016

What I find most surprising today is that the insiders and the elite have no idea what is percolating just beneath the surface. Okay, maybe their arrogance actually produces its own fog, so it should not come as a surprise that they are blinded. They do not look at the calendar, which, if one really looks, says "1788" on it. Something is close. Very close. Society is near the breaking point.

My own experience is that Hillary’s so-called Deplorables are actually the most reserved, most polite, and most honest demographic in the country. They are more informed, more self-reliant, and among other things, better armed. Regarding their arms, they are incredibly responsible, and not the source of the violence for which the implement, and not the person, is too often blamed. The Deplorables have the longest fuse. It is, however, a fuse.

Alt Left, on the other hand, are the Neo Fascists and Neo Neocons. It is Alt Left that thinks Free Speech means THEIR speech only. It is Alt Left that needs 'safe spaces' and wants to enforce thought crime.

It is Alt Left, and its media lapdog sites, that is heavily into censorship of ideas that diverge from their approved ideology. It is Alt Left that champions regime change and ratcheting up the rhetoric against Russia. It is Alt Left that believes it has an inherent right, even an obligation, to lie and obfuscate if it serves their greater purpose.

Perhaps most significant is that it is Alt Left who so quickly resorts to violence and vandalism when confronted with people and ideas with which it takes exception. Never has that been as clear as in this election cycle.

The Deplorables, however, are not possessed of infinite patience. Like a capacitor, there is a charge building, and at some point it will be released into the circuitry of society.

The media and other insiders believe themselves to be immune. That thought no doubt results from being immersed inside a cocoon where dissonant voices are not allowed. When the levee breaks, or the capacitor releases its charge, they are going to be gob smacked.

Precious few of them are anywhere near as immune as they believe themselves to be. Additionally, what they might think, or hope, is their support, their security, their safe space, doesn't really exist.

Most of society's guardians, whether they are law enforcement or military, are card-carrying members of the Deplorables.

France was similarly constructed in the late 1780s. The elite were isolated only in thought, not in reality. Their protection was of a Potemkin Village nature: not actually there, but merely a facade that gave them false comfort.

They paid dearly for their arrogance and ignorance.

History may not repeat, but it does rhyme. The calendar really does seem to say 1788, so 1789---and 1792--are not as far off as some would like to believe.

This is not a call to arms, but it is a call to reality. Ignore it at your own peril.

Some may see these words as a threat. They are not. They are, however, a warning, and a warning from someone who is a student of history.

Every society eventually reaches a breaking point. Ours is nearly there. Some of those who might feel threatened, the so-called elite and insiders, think that they can buy protection as easily as they can buy a Gulfstream. How naïve! Who are the private security contractors? Who are the various SOGs? Like law enforcement and the rest of the military, they are the Deplorables. The Deplorables will take your money, but you will not take their lives. Better said, they won’t give up their lives for you or your family. The security you believe you have purchased is an illusion. Make that delusion. Best to get that out front here and now.

Some who feel threatened, or nervous, might fall back on the tired adage of ‘We gave them (the Deplorables) everything; what do they think they will do without us?’ Well, the use of ‘we’ is arrogant, because those who have actually produced something of value are few and far between. Industrialists, for lack of a better term, are those who produced for society things of lasting value. There are few true industrialists today, and many who still remain have shipped their production overseas, jacking up the compensation of bonus-based execs, but contributing to the hollowing out of America. The true industrialists did produce the cars, trucks, machine tools, generators, servers and even computers. They produced lifesaving medicines and treatments. They made steel plants and built railroads.

They produced jobs. They even produced the guns that the Deplorables have by the hundreds of millions. The Deplorables recognize that entire contribution.

Mark Zuckerberg, however, is not Henry Ford. Jack Dorsey is not Andrew Carnegie. Mark Benioff is not John Rockefeller. Lloyd Blankfein is not John Pierpont Morgan. (Elon Musk might turn out to be someone of significance, if he is allowed to fail and is forgiven for it. Time will tell.) The old Robber Barons, despite their faults, did produce things of lasting value.

What did these new ‘titans of industry’ give us? Facebook? Snapchat?

Twitter? They gave us banality and pabulum. Some embraced it, despite its triteness, perhaps because all other meaning had already been lost, like America’s exported jobs. These new titans, Neo Titans, did little more than help dumb down society. They made America less productive, less curious, more pedestrian. Maybe they think they gave us the internet, but credit for that goes to DARPA, which is to say the military, which is to say the Deplorables. The Neo Titans gave America nothing, at least nothing positive. Social networking? Gaming? Selfies?

The Deplorables can live without the silly oxymoron called social networking, which, as anyone who looks at it objectively knows, is anything but social. We don’t care what two thousand of our fake friends had for breakfast, or what Andrew Ross Sorkin thinks of the latest Presidential debate. He probably thinks we do. After all, he has ‘Twitter Followers’, whom he assumes live and die by his every Tweet. We can live without that. I wonder if his ego can? He, and those of his ilk, are merely Kim Kardashians without knowing it. They are the talentless dishing out white bread to the emotionally and spiritually starved.

Some might think this is all Trump’s fault. Again, that shows a degree of ignorance and naïveté which characterizes the elite. Trump is a symptom, not a cause. He might even be a salve, as the changes he could bring might defuse some of the current anger.

On the other hand, Hillary is a lit match in a room of dynamite. She, like many of the self-important, thinks her very existence is a favor to the rest of us. She epitomizes the absolute worst of what America has become. Above the law, wealthy not through accomplishment, but through influence peddling only, and a bull in a china shop in terms of her effect on both the country and the world---and I apologize to bulls for that analogy. The world is more unstable because of her.

America is less safe because of her. Russia and the US---the two largest nuclear powers---are more at odds because of her. With her in power, we will reach the breaking point at home and internationally, perhaps leading to ‘accidental’ nuclear war, as the heightened rhetoric impacts clear thinking. Society is more stratified because of her. Race relations have deteriorated because of her (and Obama).

There are few current ills in society and in geopolitics that cannot be laid at her feet, at least to some extent. The Great Deceiver to many, who exhibits an astonishing aversion to truth telling, is enough to make even an agnostic wonder if the anti-Christ hasn’t finally arrived for its three and a half years of rule.

A recently hacked email of John Podesta finds him saying “she (Hillary) has begun to hate everyday Americans”. No doubt the same feelings were voiced by Nicolas Ceaucescu. It turned out the feeling was mutual.

Elect Hillary, and continue with business as usual, and it is likely this warning will become an epitaph for the America we know. Society may collapse regardless, because the rot is already very great, but she will hasten the day of reckoning.

The Deplorables have already considered what is coming. They are as prepared as they can be. Years of decline have enabled many to build their survival skills, to make due with less, to build real communities where one man can trust another, to discover what is truly important and what can and should be salvaged from this society.

Outside of that demographic, however, people are stark naked. They are vulnerable in ways they simply cannot imagine. They are unprepared and unskilled for what will matter most. They are cannon fodder living on borrowed time.

History is full of examples of this sort of collapse. We humans have always rolled along a sine wave of progress and decline, of civility and social unrest. We think we have outgrown the sort of mayhem with which the history books are full, but that thought stems from recency bias. Most of history---the vast majority---is not peaceful.

Societies are not, on average, stable and safe. Thomas Hobbes knew that quite well, as evidenced in his most famous quote. Humanity is likely on the verge of returning to the mean, and the mean is exactly that: mean. In case some have forgotten their Hobbes: solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.

Have a nice day. more

Hillary Clinton’s Basket of Deplorables


Hillary Clinton recently said that half of Donald Trump’s supporters come from what she called a “basket of deplorables…. racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic.” I don’t doubt that many of the Donald’s backers are terrible, racist, nativist, and misogynist people. I’ve met a number of them. Still, it’s never smart to write off millions of voters (remember when Mitt Romney committed political suicide by denouncing 47 percent of the electorate as lazy moochers?) and Hillary’s word choice got me thinking about her and her friends and team.

“Deplorables?” How about Madeline Albright, the noxious woman who championed the mass-murderous bombing of Serbia and told the nation on CBS News that the death of half a million Iraqi children thanks to U.S.-led “economic sanctions” was a “price worth paying” for the advance of U.S. policy goals? She is Hillary Clinton’s very good friend and was former First Lady Clinton’s choice as Bill Clinton’s second Secretary of State. She is a fierce advocate of dangerous Western aggression against nuclear Russia. Hillary has put her to work the campaign trail this and last year. She’s dreadful.

Another gone one is Henry Kissinger. “Among the war profiteers, bankers and industrialists that Mrs. Clinton counts, opportunistically or not, among her friends,” Rob Urie notes, “Henry Kissinger holds a special place in human history. With a laundry list of crimes against humanity to his ‘credit,’ the term deplorable applied to Mr. Kissinger would be a kindness” (emphasis added). Urie suggests that we ask “those who saw their families murdered and their communities destroyed by Mr. Kissinger in Southeast Asia or by the Clintons in Iraq or Libya” about deplorable Americans.

How about Hillary’s despicable life semi-partner William Jefferson Clinton? His epic list of transgressions includes the advanced neoliberal deregulation of Wall Street and the elimination of poor families’ former entitlement to basic family cash assistance in the name of “welfare “reform.” Both of these and numerous other disgraceful Bill Clinton policies and actions have generated significant human disaster. He’s quite base and reprehensible on numerous levels. More on Bill below.

There’s also Hillary’s campaign manager, John Podesta. He’s a legendary ruling-class operative. A former chief of staff for President Bill Clinton, Podesta has headed a major Washington, DC, lobbying firm whose clients have included BP, Citigroup, Walmart and Lockheed Martin. He founded the Center for American Progress (CAP), which has become a virtual policy arm of the neoliberal Obama White House and — as The New York Times reported after Obama appointed him as a special adviser in December of 2013 — “taken millions of dollars in corporate donations and has its own team of lobbyists who have pushed an agenda that sometimes echoes the interests of those corporate supporters.” The CAP poses as a “progressive,” even “left-leaning” alternative to right-wing think tanks like the Heritage Foundation, but it really embodies a kind of reconstructed “Third Way neoliberalism” that is deeply captive to global corporate and financial interests. Podesta also is president of the Clinton-Kaine Transition Project. He’s dreadful.

Tim Kaine, Hillary’s running mate? He’s a financial-sector darling who backed fast-tracking the arch-global corporatist, Wall Street-backed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). As the Governor of Virginia, this “liberal” champion backed the state’s vicious anti-union “right to work” law. His declared opposition to the death penalty did not stop him from carrying out 11 executions. Appalling.

And then there’s Ken Salazar, a former US senator who strongly supports the TPP and angered environmentalists and cheered Big Carbon by backing offshore drilling and fracking during his years as Obama’s secretary of the Interior. He’s a partner at WilmerHale, one of the world’s most politically powerful law firms, representing multinational capital at home and abroad — making him a leading example of the shockingly widespread “revolving door” between high public office and the elite private sector. He’s the chair of Hillary Clinton’s transition team. Shameful.

What about Robert Rubin, the great Wall Street maestro behind “Clintonomics” and a great friend of Bill and Hill? Rubin will certainly play a key advisory role for a Hillary Clinton presidency (should she avoid blowing the 2016 presidential election). Under Rubin’s influence, and in accord with the “Rubinomics” trilogy of balanced budgets, free trade and financial deregulation, Clinton joined with corporate Democrats and Republicans to: enact the great job-killing and anti-labor North American Free Trade Agreement, slash government spending, eliminate restrictions on interstate banking, repeal the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act (which had separated commercial from investment banking), and prevent the regulation of toxic “over-the-counter” financial derivatives with the so-called Commodity Futures Modernization Act. All this helped distribute wealth and power upward and prepare the ground for the financial collapse of 2008.

Rubin left the Clinton administration in 1999 to join Citigroup, the primary benefactor of the Glass-Steagall repeal. American Banker calls “Exhibit A when progressives talk about the ‘revolving door’ between banks and Washington.” His formal return to the private sector hardly meant a full retreat from national politics and policy, however. Along with top positions at the CFR and Brookings, Rubin helped organize financial backing for Obama’s presidential campaign. As Greg Palast notes, “Rubin opened the doors to finance industry vaults for Obama. Extraordinarily for a Democrat, Obama in 2008 raised three times as much from bankers as his Republican opponent.”

Rubin also served as a top informal Obama adviser and placed a number of his protégés in high-ranking positions in the Obama administration. Rubin’s Obama appointees included Timothy Geithner (Obama’s first treasury secretary), Peter Orszag (Obama’s first Office of Management and Budget director), and Larry Summers (first chief economic adviser). “Perhaps,” Robert Reich writes, “it was not entirely coincidental that the Obama administration never put tough conditions on banks receiving bailout money, never prosecuted a single top Wall Street executive for the excesses that led to the financial meltdown and even refused to support a small tax on financial transactions that would have generated tens of billions of dollars in annual revenues and discouraged program trading.”


I could go on with Hillary friends and allies but Hillary might want to take a look in the mirror when searching out deplorable Americans. t’s not for nothing that Hillary Clinton is known on Wall Street as “Lady Klynton Kissinger Sachs.” The consistently war-hawkish Clinton is the quintessential power-elite and ruling-class insider. She was minted and socialized at such ruling-class institutions as Oxford, Yale Law, Rose Law, the Wal-Mart board of directors, the Democratic Leadership Council (the DLC – more on that organization below), the globalist Clinton Foundation, the CFR and the U.S. State Department. She and her husband “operate in … a world awash in money and connections … [a] very privileged place,” as The New York Times’ Carolyn Ryan recently said. She is the candidate of campaign finance and of (exorbitant) speaking-fee choice for Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, the CFR, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Robert Rubin and the rest of the nation’s transnationally oriented corporate and financial aristocracy—including a remarkable number of pinstripe Republicans who do not trust Trump.

She’s a deeply conservative right-winger on both the domestic and the foreign policy fronts, consistent with the rightward drift of the Democratic Party (and the entire U.S. party system) – a drift that she and her husband helped trail-blaze back in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1964, when Mrs. Clinton was 18, she worked for the arch-conservative Republican Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign. Asked about that high school episode on National Public Radio (NPR) in 1996, then First Lady Hillary said “That’s right. And I feel like my political beliefs are rooted in the conservatism that I was raised with. I don’t recognize this new brand of Republicanism that is afoot now, which I consider to be very reactionary, not conservative in many respects. I am very proud that I was a Goldwater girl.”

It was a telling reflection. The First Lady acknowledged that her ideological world view was still rooted in conservatism of her family of origin. Her problem with the reactionary Republicanism afoot in the U.S. during the middle 1990s was that it was “not conservative in many respects.” She spoke the language not of a liberal Democrat but of a moderate Republican in the mode of Dwight Eisenhower or Richard Nixon. How deplorable was that?

The language was a perfect match for Hillary and Bill Clinton’s politico-ideological history and trajectory. After graduating from the venerable ruling class training ground Yale Law School, the Clintons went to Bill’s home state of Arkansas. There they helped “lay…the groundwork for what would eventually hit the national stage as the New Democrat movement, which took institutional form as the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC)” (Doug Henwood). The essence of the DLC was dismal, dollar-drenched “neoliberal” abandonment of the Democratic Party’s last lingering commitments to labor unions, social justice, civil rights, racial equality, the poor, and environmental protection and abject service to the “competitive” bottom-line concerns of Big Business.

The Clintons helped launch the New (neoliberal corporatist) Democrat juggernaut by assaulting Arkansas’ teacher unions (Hillary led the attack) and refusing to back the repeal of the state’s anti-union “right to work” law – this while Hillary began working for the Rose Law firm, which “represented the moneyed interests of Arkansas” (Henwood). When the Arkansas-based community-organizing group ACORN passed a ballot measure lowering electrical rates residential users and raising them for commercial businesses in Little Rock, Rose deployed Hillary to shoot down the new rate schedule as an unconstitutional “taking of property.” Hillary joined the board of directors at the low wage retail giant Wal-Mart.

During the Clintons’ time in the White House, Bill advanced the neoliberal agenda beneath fake-progressive cover, in ways that no Republican president could have pulled off. Channeling Ronald Reagan by declaring that “the era of big government is over,” Clinton collaborated with the right wing Congress of his time to end poor families’ entitlement to basic minimal family cash assistance. Hillary backed this vicious welfare “reform” (elimination), which has proved disastrous for millions of disadvantaged Americans. Mr. Clinton earned the gratitude of Wall Street and corporate America by passing the arch-global-corporatist North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), by repealing the Glass-Steagall Act (which had mandated a necessary separation between commercial deposit and investment banking), and by de-regulating the burgeoning super-risky and high-stakes financial derivatives sector. Hillary took the lead role in the White House’s efforts to pass a corporate-friendly version of “health reform.” Along with the big insurance companies the Clintons deceptively railed against, the “co-presidents” decided from the start to exclude the popular health care alternative – single payer – from the national health care “discussion.” (Barack Obama would do the same thing in 2009.)

The Clinton White House’s hostility to “big government” did not extend to the United States’ giant and globally unmatched mass incarceration state or to its vast global military empire. Clinton’s 1994 crime bill helped expand the chilling expansion of the nation’s mostly Black and Latino prison population. Clinton kept the nation’s “defense” (Empire) budget (a giant welfare program for high-tech military corporations) at Cold War levels despite the disappearance of the United States’ Cold War rival the Soviet Union.

Mrs. Clinton’s service to the rich and powerful has continued into the current millennium. As a U.S. Senator, she did the bidding of the financial industry by voting for a bill designed to make it more difficult for consumers to use bankruptcy laws to get out from crushing debt. As Secretary of State (2009-2012), she repeatedly voiced strong support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – a secretive, richly corporatist 12-nation Pacific “free trade” (investor rights) agreement that promises to badly undermine wages, job security, environmental protections, and popular governance at home and abroad. In Australia in November of 2012, she said that “TPP sets the gold standard in trade agreements for open free, transparent, [and]fair trade…” As New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd has cleverly reflected:

“All these woebegone Republicans whining that they can’t rally behind their flawed candidate is crazy. The G.O.P. angst, the gnashing and wailing and searching for last-minute substitutes and exit strategies, is getting old. They already have a 1-percenter who will be totally fine in the Oval Office, someone they can trust to help Wall Street, boost the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, cuddle with hedge funds, secure the trade deals beloved by corporate America, seek guidance from Henry Kissinger and hawk it up. … The Republicans have their candidate: It’s Hillary.”

How, well…deplorable.

I agree with the distinguished left political scientist Adolph Reed, Jr. when he argues that “Clinton and Trump are both evil, but voting isn’t about determining who goes to Heaven or choosing between good people and bad people.” I assent also when Reed maintains that voting is an “instrumental act” not to be confused with bearing moral witness on high moral principle. I am not so inured to the neo-fascistic evil of the Trump phenomenon and the horrific prospects of a Trump presidency that I would not at least entertain the possibility of following Reed’s advice to “vote for the neoliberal warmonger” HRC to block the Donald. Still, whatever I or other radical lefties (a very small part of the total U.S. electorate) do or don’t do on the Electoralist High Holy Day, Democratic politicos will have no legitimate business blaming “the left” if Trump beats the odds and triumphs over the Clintons. The main fault will lay with the Clintons and other deplorable dollar Democrats, who have opened the barn door for right-wing white-nationalist fake populism and who will have given the game away to the rightmost of the two reigning capitalist parties. It won’t be with left progressives who couldn’t bring themselves to mark a ballot for either of the reprehensible major party options in this deplorable double dumpster-fire of a presidential election. more

1 comment:

  1. Hello Jonathan, it's been a while since you heard from me. I’m overwhelmed. I can’t keep up.

    I hadn’t heard of “Blacklisted News dot com” before, or “Chindit13” or “Zero Hedge dot com” ...and some of the rest of all the other links and names...

    The one concluding with: “Societies are not, on average, stable and safe.” Struck a responsive chord. (That quote from Thomas Hobbes was spot on) that: “Humanity is likely on the verge of returning to the mean, and the mean is exactly that: mean.” (And, as the author pointed out, in case we have forgotten our Hobbes: “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”) Indeed!

    Hillary Clinton’s list of deplorable advisers (compiled by Paul Street) was a true reflection of what's in store for us when “Lady 'Klynton-Klingon' Kissinger Sachs,” takes charge. I hope you are able to hang in there, Jonathan, for surely we will all hang separately if you don't.