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Ian Fleming On The Trump Administration

21/02/2017

“Mr Bond, they have a saying in Chicago:
‘Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it’s enemy action’.”
— Ian Fleming, Goldfinger

trump 16 - fake 3 times

Not once, not twice, but three times now Trump or spokespersons for his administration have referenced non-existent terrorist attacks.

Specifically, non-existent Islamic terrorist attacks.

These are not simple misstatements, confusing a place name, or a single slip of the tongue in an otherwise factual statement.

Read the transcripts. Trump and his spokespersons refer repeatedly to events that have not occurred as if they have and are in fact either common knowledge or would be if the media was not deliberately hiding the information.

That last part makes no sense. Mass media makes its profits off of viewership; they have every motive to over-report incidents (and often do).

There is a reason for these lies about non-existent terrorist attacks, and that reason is to lay the groundwork for a war against…somebody, just so long as they’re Islamic.

The most likely target will be Iran, for reasons I’ll go into shortly, but if ISIS or some other group obliges Trump and stages a successful attack on Americans in the US or abroad, that will be sufficient for the Trump administration to send hundreds of thousands of American service personnel in harm’s way for no other reason than to glorify the draft dodger who mocks genuine war heroes.

Say what you will about Presidents John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Lyndon Baines Johnson, and Richard Milhous Nixon, but when their country called they served in time of war.

Not Trump.

The reason Iran will be the most likely target can be found in the mindset of his chief strategist, Steven Bannon.

Bannon was a Navy lieutenant aboard the USS Paul F. Foster when President Jimmy Carter, a former nuclear submarine commander, authorized a mission to rescue Americans being held hostage in Tehran.

As to why Americans were being held hostage in Tehran, check below the jump. What happened was that the mission, later criticized as too complex and too ambitious for the resources allotted it, failed before it even got started, resulting in the accidental death of eight American service personnel and the lost of a helicopter.

Bannon has pointed to that failed mission as the start of his interest in politics, blaming President Carter for undercutting the mission. (If that sounds familiar, it’s because conservatives used that same trope against President Kennedy when the Bay of Pigs invasion failed.)

History is replete with demagogues, failing leaders, floundering governments, and brazen opportunists who have sought — all too successfully all too often — to stir up needless wars in an effort to bolster their own positions.

America has historically marched off to war with great enthusiasm…and far too often trudged back with the sad realization the sacrifice and effort was misspent.

We are good at invading, we historically have done poorly at holding what we’ve taken, much less building a successful peace (the aftermath of World War Two being the one bright spot in our history).

Bannon has openly talked about war with China, a rising economic power in the Middle East and Africa where their brand of foreign involvement steers clear of the pitfalls Europe and America fell into.

To build up to that — as other warmongers have sought to build up to their grand campaigns — the Trump administration is focusing on anti-Islamic prejudice to justify a warm-up conflict that will let the US test out new strategies, tactics, and technology before taking a swing at China.

[Do not look at China and assume it will be a simple replay of World War Two. For one thing, China massively outnumbers the United States, Japan in World War Two had a population of 71,380,000 while the US outnumbered them almost two-to-one with 131,028,000. China has over four times our population: 1,382,000,000+ vs 324,000,000+ for the US. At the start of the war Japan’s fleet was vastly outnumbered by the United States Navy and they had to fight not only us but the British and Australian fleets as well as elements of the Free French navy. Much of Japan’s war effort was devoted to maintaining control over occupied China in the face of coordinated attacks by Chiang Kai-Shek and Mao Tse-tung. Most importantly, Japan was an island that could be and was cut off from supplies and resources; China is the fourth largest country in the world in terms of land mass, trailing behind the US by only 230,000 square miles, and bordered by several nations more friendly to them than the United States. They have only 260 nuclear weapons compared to our 6,800 but that’s more than enough to devastate the US and its military if the balloon goes up.]

We know Putin has ambitions towards the Ukraine and the former Soviet States in Eastern Europe. He probably has sense enough to avoid anything that could be construed as a direct attack on Western Europe (because tell the Germans they can give the Russians some payback and this time they’re on the side of the angels and you’ll find that part of the world ablaze all too easily), but he does want the US out of the way, which is why he’s been encouraging Trump to make noises about abandoning long standing treaties with staunch allies. A US / China war would suit Putin’s plans just fine, taking two potential rivals out of immediate play by pitting them against one another.

There’s no reason for this to happen, of course. No real reason.

But neither Trump nor Bannon are men of reason.

Read the rest of this article »

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Beware The Gulf Of Tonkin

15/02/2017

lemon party hand job

There’s been a lot of people on the InterWebz recently warning “Watch out! Trump and Bannon are looking for a Reichstag fire!” to which a lot of people cry “Foul! Inappropriate use of Godwin Law!”

To which —
Surprise!
Surprise!

— I agree.

There’s no need to dip into the history of Nazi Germany and invoke the Reichstag fire as a warning against the Trump administration.

Not when America has its own Gulf of Tokin incident.[1]

On Aug. 2, 1964 the U.S.S. Maddox, a U.S. Navy destroyer, opened fire on three North Vietnamese torpedo boats.[2]

The Maddox was about 120 miles off the coast of North Vietnam conducting electronic espionage (Fun Factoid! Currently there is a Russian warship doing the exact same thing to us about 70 miles off the coast of New England and there’s not a thing we can do about it since they are in international waters). A South Vietnamese commando raid, vetted by the United States, hit a North Vietnamese radar station.

The North Vietnamese responded by sending three torpedo boats to shadow the Maddox. When the Maddox intercepted radio transmissions that indicated the North Vietnamese boats might attack, they opened fire.

The North Vietnamese fired back…from a distance of five miles. In the ensuing combat the Maddox and fighter-bombers from the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Ticonderoga sank one torpedo boat, badly damaged another, and killed four North Vietnamese sailors.

The United States sustained one single bullet hole from an North Vietnamese machine gun, which struck the Maddox more by sheer chance than deliberate intent.

The next day the Maddox detected false radar readings that initially led them to believe they were being pursued against by North Vietnamese patrol boats, but eventually realized these were not real.

Nonetheless, President Lyndon Baines Johnson used both the real incident and the non-existent second one to justify escalating U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, to the tune of 58,220 American dead by April 30, 1975.

Why?

Because he was afraid the alt-right was going to label him “soft on communism” if he didn’t commit ground troops to Southeast Asia.[3]

Johnson, to be fair, was in a tough position. Never a popular leader, he had accepted John F. Kennedy’s offer to be vice president in order to shore up the increasingly reactionary conservative Southern Democrats in 1960.

Kennedy’s assassination was terribly traumatic for the United States.[4] Kennedy was a popular president, though his handling of Cuba set pretty much everyone’s teeth on edge.[5] His assassination turned him from an average president with a mixed record and a philanderer’s potential for scandal into an American icon, and gave Johnson (a Southerner) the political leverage to push through the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on July 2 of that year.

The Civil Rights Act was massively important, long overdue, and absolutely justified, but the alt-right and their white supremacist allies had long been fighting against civil rights for African-Americans and other minorities, claiming the civil rights movement was actually a front for communist agitators to take over the country.

In this face of this bigotry, Johnson could ill afford to appear “soft on communism” and since fighting communists in America had the double drawback of (a) actually persecuting American citizens and (b) not having any actual communists in this country to fight, he opted to fight real communists halfway around the world.

Now, the next eleven years is a fascinating history, one that would be hilarious in its ineptitude if not horrifically tragic in its outcome, but doesn’t concern us today.

No, today we are looking at the following situation:

  • An administration facing large scale sustained opposition across the country
  • An occupant of the Oval Office who has repeatedly demonstrated again and again and again that he is untrustworthy, will lie about anything and everything simply because he doesn’t want to face the truth, and who has already betrayed and pissed off a huge hunk of his extremely narrow electorate
  • A chief advisor to said occupant who also has a long career as a demonstrable liar, albeit one driven by a far right / alt-right agenda instead of his so-called boss’ mere rapacious greed

This is not a reassuring position for the citizenry of the United States.

There is a great need for us to remain eternally vigilant in the face of evil people — both in our government and in other governments — who simply do not care about the lives of others so long as they maintain power.

They can be stopped, but only if we refuse to allow ourselves to be stampeded.[6]

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[1] In a nutshell: Capitalists, particularly those of the robber baron variety, have long been opposed to organized labor. Their violent opposition and suppression to organized labor in Europe ended up creating the nascent socialist movement, and the violent suppression to socialism ended up creating the Marxist communist party, and the attempt to crush communism led to fascist governments in Germany, Hungary, Romania, Finland, Italy, and Spain and we all know how well that turned out.

But instead of learning their lessons and finding a reasonable accommodation with labor and the middle class, the far right wing capitalists (those whom we refer to as alt-right today) declared de facto war on communism and socialism before Hitler’s ashes completely cooled, and as a result from Sept. 3, 1945 to Dec. 26, 1991 anyone suggesting peaceful co-existence between capitalist West and communist East was branded a commie-simp-pinko and a traitor to America.

[2] A little more history:  After World War One, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson championed for every nation to be allowed self-determination. A delegation from what was then called French Indo-China that included Nguyễn Sinh Cung attempted to gain his support for their independence and self-determination.

Wilson blew them off.

During World War Two, Nguyễn Sinh Cung (now known as Ho Chi Minh) led the Viet Minh against both the French colonialists and the Japanese invaders in Southeast Asia. The United States supported his efforts and promised to recognize Vietnamese independence after the war.

Instead, we double crossed them and allowed the French to reclaim their colonies in Southeast Asia. Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh fought the French and their ex-Wehrmacht mercenaries, defeating them at Dien Bien Phu on May 7, 1954.

Now at this point, most of the rest of the world shrugged, congratulated Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh on their victory, and recognized them as the legitimate government of Vietnam.

The U.S., however, opted to set up a puppet government in South Vietnam, triggering a faux civil war (the overwhelming majority of Vietnamese, North and South, preferred Ho Chi Minh’s government over any government supported and influenced by the West; we knew this and kept the fake civil war and puppet government going regardless).

In the intervening decade, the South Vietnamese puppet government proved remarkable inept and corrupt but despite this managed to continue fighting although unable to gain any significant headway against North Vietnam. The United States set “advisors” to help the South Vietnamese but in the aftermath of the 1950-53 Korean War (54,246 American dead) there was great reluctance to get involved in another land war in Asia.

The Gulf of Tonkin incident was about to change all that.

[3] And the kneeslapper is that the alt-right labeled every American president “soft on communism” including Dwight David Eisenhower who had a true warrior’s common sense reluctance to provoke unnecessary confrontations that would result in millions of deaths.

[4] I would argue more traumatic than the 9/11 terrorist attacks and almost as traumatic as the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

[5] He gave permission for the C.I.A. to attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro by landing exiled Cubans at the Bay of Pigs; this failed ignobly and in no small reason because the Cubans, like the Vietnamese, preferred one of their own as their leader instead of a foreign influenced government. Kennedy followed this by putting medium range nuclear missiles in Turkey to threaten the Soviet Union, and the Soviet Union responded by setting up similar missile bases in Cuba. This lead to the Cuban missile crisis, which ended with the U.S. agreeing to take their missiles out of Turkey and stop interfering with Cuba in return for the Soviet Union withdrawing its missiles. Before this agreement was reached, however, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. came within an eyelash of nuclear war, including the U.S. depth bombing a Soviet sub carrying nuclear torpedoes.

[6] Some of you may ask “Well, what about the attack on Pearl Harbor or 9/11 in the context of the Gulf of Tonkin; weren’t those the same thing?”

In a word: No. Pearl Harbor was the first salvo in an all-out hemisphere wide attack by Imperial Japan against the United States and our Pacific allies, launched after they had already invaded and occupied mainland China. It was not a single incident in direct response to aggression by the United States and our allies but part of a well thought out and competently executed strategy to drive the United States and our Western allies from Asia and most of the Pacific, and only because of a slow typist at the Japanese embassy in Washington D.C. did it occur before Japan’s formal declaration of war.

9/11 is a closer fit, but here, too, it was a real event, a genuine attack coordinated and launched against the United States with a specific reaction in mind: To provoke a weak minded administration to commit to a course of action that would forever damage our credibility and influence in the Middle East. If George W. Bush had treated 9/11 as a horrendous but aberrant criminal act, much the same way we treated the white supremacist far right Oklahoma City bombing as a horrendous but aberrant criminal act, and not as an act of war, we would have still tracked down and killed Osama bin Laden and probably have crushed Al-Q’aeda instead of stirring up a stink pot in the Middle East that will never go away in our lifetimes.

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The Enemy Is Not At The Gate But At Our Table

14/02/2017

The terrible thing about authoritarianism is that it robs one of moral agency.

That’s a fenchy-smenchy way of saying it takes away your individual moral responsibility.

“I was told…”

“The boss said…”

“According to the book…”

In each case the individual surrenders their ability to make a choice for good or ill and lets somebody else decide for them.

On occasion, this is good:
It speeds things up and prevents low level functionaries from making a mess of establish procedure.

But there’s also several magnitudes of difference between a check-out clerk who won’t give a refund without a receipt because of store policy, and a person who refuses to help a desperate person simply because the paperwork has been filled out incorrectly.

In the first case, one can always push it up to a manager or other higher authority figure; even if denied the person seeking the refund is unlikely to suffer great personal harm. In the latter, one may see that will befall a person, and simply avoid doing anything about it because one can hide behind authority. “Hey, I didn’t want to sends those Jews back to Nazi Germany, but their papers weren’t in order and the regulations are clear.”

Authority offers a comfort factor:
In an authoritarian environment, everybody knows their place.* Theoretically, when the old king dies the new king – even if only a child – immediately steps in, and things proceed in an orderly fashion.**

When many people feel their world shifting unfamiliarly around them, when they’re no longer certain or comfortable where societal boundaries lay, then they turn to authoritarianism.

A big hunk of this comes from fear of losing status, safety, and security to change. As human beings we are almost always more comfortable / less anxious if things stay the way they’ve always been.

“’Twas ever thus.”

But not everybody enjoys their current or past status, and many want that status changed, at least to the point where they feel safe and secure.

Too often those with the old mind set cannot grasp why they can’t continue acting and talking the way they once had — they have no problem with it and literally can’t imagine why anyone else would.

I remember in grade school, way back in the 1960s, hearing a sweet little white haired old lady ask after church, “Well, what’s so wrong with calling them n[bomb]s? That’s what they are.”

Racism is authority in the form of tradition: We have always had this system, ergo we must always have this system.

And since racism hinges so much on shoring up the status of the dominant group, it’s no surprise members of said group flock to comfort under certain authoritarian banners.

They want something to make them feel safe and secure, and gladly surrender heart, mind, and soul.

I am not a racist,” they proclaim, and in their specific definition that’s true.

But it doesn’t mater if you personally kick your neighbor’s teeth in or if you merely say nothing while somebody else kicks their teeth in if the end result is the same: Your neighbor gets their teeth kicked in.

We are now engaged in the opening salvos of a great test of our national character, one in which we shall see if we truly do believe in liberty & justice for all and loving our neighbors as we love ourselves, or will throw it all away in a desperate yet futile attempt to cling to a past that not only no longer exists, but never really existed in the first place and certainly can’t be summoned forth now.

There will be no neutrals in this struggle. There may be peacemakers, but those peacemakers will not be neutral.

We have failed — in fact, have been failing for a long, long time — our tests of moral character. We need to choose wisely so we do not destroy ourselves entirely.

Nobody thought Byzantium would fall…

…until it did.

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* And if that doesn’t sound offense and demeaning to you, it’s because you don’t feel the sting…yet.

** Theoretically. And that has happened on many an occasion. The pages of history, however, are well saturated with blood in all the places where it didn’t and pretenders to the throne went to war over heirs-apparent.

 

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Symbol Status

8/02/2017

[see “Two Sides, One Coin” and “A Walking Contradiction…”]

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There’s a concept called the hierarchy of needs and it basically boils down to this: As soon as your most basic level of needs are met (i.e., you have air / water / food), you forget about them and progress to the next level of needs (i.e., shelter and clothing for protection from danger and harsh elements), and then to the next level (i.e., securing a stable source / supply of those needs), and so on and so on until you get to the need for status.

And today, despite people complaining about crushing debt and limited buying power and lack of affordable health care, we are by and large living fat ‘n’ sassy and can afford to worry about status.

Our economic system has spent literally centuries telling workers that they were useless unless they produced wealth for someone else.

Even so-called self-made gazillionaires were producing wealth for investors and stockholders, not exclusively for themselves.

Anybody who tries going off the grid is dismissed as an impractical eccentric at best and a kook at worse.

Culturally, it’s even more daunting. It doesn’t matter if you are a bona fide hermit or a California nature lover or a self-contained religious cult or an early Delta blues musician or a jazz player or a rock’n’roller or a Greenwich village bohemian or a Beat or a hippie: If you opt out of the rat race, if you set your own goals, if you establish your own standards then you are suspect at best, despised most likely, and actively persecuted with depressing frequency.

We are expected to participate in the grand scheme of things.

The model created at the beginning of the industrial revolution is no longer viable:   Large numbers of human beings aren’t needed to grow food or make things; most of those jobs can be eliminated.

What do we replace them with if not a consumer society?
How can you have consumers if they have no money with which to consume?

The average human being travels in a relatively small community.

I’m not referring to actual physical location, but to the people who make that community up.

Most people have about 250 people in their lives whom they interact with enough to be comfortable with.*

Facebook and other social media lets us have thousands of ”friends” but in truth once one starts growing their Facebook friend list beyond a hundred or so people, one discovers those people are really fans or followers, people who find something interesting in your posts and keep an eye on what you’re doing.

Which is fine.

Nothing wrong with that.

But there’s a core of around 250 people who matter to us, even if they’re just Facebook friends or pen pals.

We want them to look favorably on us.

That’s status.

Real status.

Even among the world of celebrities and / or billionaires, there’s only 250 people they’re trying to impress.

They may want fame and fortune so that millions of schmoes will envy them, but having millions of schmoes envying them is how their 250 friends rank status.

We have an economy and attendant culture based on making / moving / marketing things.

We encourage people to consume things not for the obvious basic reasons of pure survival, but because by conspicuous consumption our status may be displayed to the rest of society.

Expensive shit stuff >means> “They make a lot of money” >means> “They must be important.”

We literally live in a culture based on this deliberate and incessant perversion of the Tenth Commandment: Thou shalt covet…

Our digital world is undercutting all this.

We no longer need to physically possess something in order to enjoy it.

We don’t need ownership for much of what we want, merely access.

So why do we need things to display status?

Consider a society / culture / world in which status was adjudged by doing something.

Hard to imagine?

Why?

That’s the world most people lived in the western world in the 17th, 18th, 19th, and early part of the 20th century.

That’s the world of classical Greece, of pre-Columbian American, of the Polynesian peoples.

A world rich with amateur and semi-pro athletics, of literary and art guilds, of amateur musical groups ranging from choirs to brass bands to full symphonic orchestras, of amateur theatrical troupes, of home makers displaying their skills and competing in local / regional / national competitions, of animal shows, of gardening clubs, of a thousand and one special interest groups, all built around the concept of their members doing things.

Read any history of popular culture in those eras. People worked hard, but had no mass produced diversions; they had to entertain themselves.

What happened to that world?

Consumer economy, that’s what.

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[to be continued]

* “Comfortable” here does not necessarily mean pleasant, merely that both sides know their respective roles in the relationship and can thus anticipate what the other will do in a given situation.

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007 in 008 words

2/02/2017

007 thunderball underwater cropped

kill all the men
boff all the babes

007 thunderball_art

art by Robert McGinnis

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Social Justice Warrior Snowflake

31/01/2017

All the unimaginative neo-nazis and their alt-right fans glom onto certain catch phrases the way anxious middle schoolers glom onto the latest slang in a desperate attempt to pass for one of the cool kids.

Catch phrases and slogans are a great way to avoid thinking, and when you avoid thinking you dupe yourself into believing you are also avoiding responsibility, that if anything goes wrong then “they” are responsible and not “me” because “I was only following orders” or “they said it was okay”.

Neeps.

Nope.

Never.

Sorry, we allow none
of that bullshit here.  
(Only the very finest butter.)

Here we do the math, we show the work, we follow things through to their logical-even-if-painful conclusions…and we live with the results.

So let’s look at two phrases the neo-nazi propagandists and their stooges like to bandy about.

The first is “social justice warrior” or SJW.[1]

Let’s break the phrase down into its three components.

First, ”social”. From the Latin socialis “of companionship, of allies; united, living with others; of marriage, conjugal”; in this context it means “of or relating to human society, the interaction of the individual and the group, or the welfare of human beings as members of society.”

In particular, relating to an orderly, peaceable culture among people who follow basic principles that reduce friction and maximize benefits to as many people as possible.

A society adheres to certain codes / morals / taboos / ethics so as to maintain order.

Clearly, not all societies are the same, and what might fly in an Irish pub might not pass muster in a Moroccan coffee house.

However, both societies, Irish and Moroccan, possess certain standards they subscribe to, and woe to those who violate said standards by either acts of omission or commission.

If you deny a patron of either pub or coffee house their due rights in those environments, you can expect someone to stick up for them.

So “social” in the SJW context means a person who recognizes no one is an island, and that all of us owe one another basic rights and courtesies.

To be opposed to “social” means by definition to be anti-social, or to live one’s life only for one’s own benefit.

Not all anti-social people are destructive psychopaths, but by definition all destructive psychopaths are anti-social.

So to use “social” as part of a derogatory insult is pretty much declaring one is at odds with what society stands for.

This is not necessarily a good thing. Hunter S. Thompson wrote extensively about Hell’s Angels and other outlaw motorcycle clubs, and while he took a sympathetic view of them and pointed out the numerous times they had been framed or set up by the establishment, he also noted their isolation from society fueled their animus against it, a truly self-fulfilling / self-defeating prophecy.

The Hell’s Angels, a surprisingly conservative and authoritarian group on their own terms, at least possess a live-and-let-live attitude where they will not actively seek out confrontation if left alone.

Not so the neo-nazis, who see any gain by any non-neo-nazi as a loss for them.

Which brings us to the second part of the phrase, “justice”.

Bad movies and TV shows and comic books tend to obliterate the original meaning of “justice” and replace it with retribution.

Retribution is not justice.

Retribution is merely
…retribution.

Justice is what happens before any wrong occurs; justice is not about returning pain for pain.

The neo-nazi mindset scorns the idea of justice while embracing the concept of punishment.

Punishment is what those in authority mete out to those who dare disobey them, and this is the rationale behind the alt-right’s scorn of justice.

“Justice” in the SJW context means taking pro-active steps to avoid harm or injustice falling on someone.

Justice is served if a store isn’t robbed, it is not served if it merely punishes those who committed the crime.

This is why the neo-nazis mock the concept of justice, frequently linking it to a straw man of their own devising: Political Correctness.

“PC” is nothing more / nothing less than the golden rule — threat others as you wish to be treated — writ large. It is an open and above board effort to forestall problems and injustice and harm by rephrasing issues so all sides are treated fairly,

I have yet to hear an anti-PC argument that does not boil down to some variant of “I can’t call people [slur of choice] anymore without being criticized for it!”

Anti-PC rhetoric is the mark of the coward and the bully, not of fearless persons who can defend their ideas.

As noted previously, the neo-nazi / anti-PC mindset is incapable of tolerating anything that challenges its authority, despite such authority often being unearned.

When they hear an oppressed group should be treated with the exact same dignity and respect they demand for themselves from others, neo-nazis respond with anger and resentment that their “right” to treat others unilaterally without fear of accountability or reprisal is being challenged.

Their argument against “Political Correctness” and their argument against “justice” are one and the same, and knowing that an open and honest assessment of their arguments would demonstrate their intellectual and ethical bankruptcy, they lash out in pre-emptive strikes (literally and figuratively) to prevent themselves from ever having to live up to the standards established by America’s founding fathers.

Their claims that “PC culture” squelches the free expression of ideas is simply further proof of the paucity of their own arguments.

Ideas can be expressed in a vast array of means, and if so-called “PC culture” requires a certain vocabulary, then intellectually fully engaged people can make their ideas known — and known clearly! — in any number of ways.

Neo-nazis fancy themselves as people of action, not intellect, and as noted do not want a genuine discussion of ideas but only acquiescence to a system that benefits them at the expense of others.

They refuse to embrace any system in which they are not the dominant group but instead are one of many.[2]

The final sneer from the neo-nazis’ lips is aimed at “warrior” which they use with deliberate irony, denigrating SJWs as impotent whiners while they are people of action.[3]

They hurl this epithet at those who stand up and voice support for people who have received a raw deal by society and want to see them treated fairly under the law.

This is where one must pause and scratch one’s head at the number of military and law enforcement personnel who support neo-nazi beliefs. They are either woefully ill-informed on who and what they are supposed to be defending, or else they are deliberately and willfully betraying the nation that has trusted them.

And I write this as a military vet. Even in the post-Vietnam era we were all acutely aware we had sacrificed certain rights and privileges guaranteed our fellow citizens in order to serve our country by protecting those rights and privileges for those fellow citizens.

Too many military and police today do not see themselves as servants of their nation and what it stands for, but rather as self-justified authority, might made right by application of force.

It’s easy to grasp why this appeals to the neo-nazi mindset — inarticulate action aimed at others to force them to obey simply for the sake of obedience.

And it is a well documented fact that in many jurisdictions the police have indeed been infiltrated by crypto-fascists — klansmen, neo-nazis, and white supremacists — who subvert the mission of their own departments in order to wage war on those they consider “undesirable”.[4]

Thus, whenever one hears the term “social justice warrior” used as an insult, one is very clearly hearing the speaker rejecting all sense of society and justice in order to claim unearned power and authority over others.

There is no escaping this truth.

In the case of the military and the police, this attitude besmirches the huge sacrifice made by others in order to protect the weak, the poor, the powerless, the defenseless, and the oppressed.

The military and police who support neo-nazis and their alt-right followers are for all intents and purposes wiping their asses with the Constitution and turning Arlington into a vast cesspool.

If that image offends thee,
soldier / sailor / airman / officer,
ask yourself why.

As stated earlier, there is no dodging unpleasant truth here.

Finally, the neo-nazis’ use of the term “snowflake” to denigrate SJWs. Again, the all too literal neo-nazi mindset fails to grasp the irony of their use of the term.

To them a snowflake is weak and ineffectual, melting at the first sign of trouble.

As with the fasces, the symbol they use belies their own philosophy.

A snowflake by itself is weak and fragile; every human being is.[5]

You know what you call a bunch of snowflakes moving in the same direction?

animated avalanche

AN AVALANCHE

And nothing stops an avalanche: You either get out of the way or you let it roll over you and hope you survive.

By their words ye shall know them. The neo-nazis and their alt-right supporters are incapable of recognizing how badly their own words portray them. They do not lack the intellectual capacity to grasp such ideas — indeed, in technical fields they often easily grasp far more complex subjects — but they lack the introspection to see how “social justice” is in fact a true measure of a person.

They lack introspection because they fear responsibility.
They love exercising authority over others. 
They loath exercising mastery over themselves.

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[1] Another sign of weak minded neo-nazis is not only a fondness for reducing everything down to simplistic slogans but then boiling those slogans down even further into abbreviations. What this does is remove all intellectual thought and rational articulation from the equation, suspends critical thinking, and renders complex, profound, and often nuanced and complicated issues down to pure visceral emotional reactions — reactions often totally at odds with the subject they are directed towards. Eventually even the abbreviations are discarded and replaced by a symbol designed to stir up violent emotion and spur unreflective action guided by others who are doing the thinking for those doing the work. “SJW” is always used in a sneering, derogatory manner, to ridicule and belittle those whom the neo-nazis and their alt-right sycophants have slapped this label on.

[2] Ironically, the very symbol of fascism — the fasces, or axe with the handle reinforced by a bundle of sticks — was co-opted by Mussolini and his crew of thugs despite the fact it symbolized the very thing they were opposed to! (i.e., trust, loyalty, and cooperation among all people).

[3] Yeah, I know, I’ve seen pictures of them, too. Irony is not one of their strong points.

[4] And the great tragedy — the great betrayal — is that honorable police officers, exhibiting loyalty to their own, allow the normalization of such treacherous behavior, and in doing so actually undermine their own real authority as well as the authority of the society that grants that authority to protect the society.

[5] Though neo-nazis and their ilk live in a mental comic book where they are great invulnerable superheroes who can do no wrong and make no mistakes.

© Buzz Dixon

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A Message From General Hawk To All GI Joe Personnel

30/01/2017

17 01 12 A Message From General Hawk To All GI Joe Personnel CAP 1

17 01 12 A Message From General Hawk To All GI Joe Personnel CAP 2

From: General Clayton M. Abernathy [codename: Hawk]
To: All G.I. Joe personnel [active/reserve/former/in-training]

 

Joes:

As you know, intelligence has determined there is a HIGH PROBABILITY that Cobra managed to hack G.I. Joe communications and is sending false information with the intent of undermining our mission.

Cobra is relying on the honor and trustworthiness of Joe team members to follow these orders and act on this information.

You are, by your oath as fighting troops of the U.S. military, by your oath to the unit, and by your conscience as honorable warriors, to obey every LEGAL order given you.

Cobra will attempt to trick you into obeying illegal orders.

You are required, once again by your oath as fighting troops of the U.S. military, by your oath to the unit, and by your conscience as honorable warriors, to disobey ILLEGAL orders.

You are correct if you think it is not your duty or privilege to set policy either for the United States government, the U.S. military, or the G.I. Joe team.

But you are required, if you have ANY doubts, to request clarification of any order you have doubts about.

If you receive an order, ask yourself if it sounds like something that would come from Joe headquarters or from Cobra command.

If you have any doubt, request clarification of the order to make sure you understood it correctly.

Good leaders never criticize their troops for requesting clarification; it shows the troops are conscientious in the performance of their duties, and desire to avoid any mistakes that might harm the unit, the mission, or the United States.

Good leaders never hesitate to provide clarity to a command, both for the mission’s sake and their own sake.

We have briefings on the importance of clarity in issuing orders, and you will remember from our last training session the point brought up about the disastrous charge of the Light Brigade in 1854. A messenger relayed a vague order to “attack those guns immediately.” When asked WHICH guns the order referred to, the messenger made an ambiguous gesture that resulted in the Light Brigade charging headlong into massed artillery, resulting in over 60% of the Light Brigade being killed, injured, or captured.

I know from personal first-hand experience that you are good soldiers, brave and reliable, willing to face overwhelming odds to do you duty to your country and your unit. I consider it an honor to have been placed in command of the G.I. Joe team, and I know you will stand by your oaths in the days and years to come.

Yo, Joe!
General Hawk

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Malachai 3:5

29/01/2017

trump hugs flag Malachai 3 5 verse CAP

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R.I.P. M.T.M.

26/01/2017

The grown-up show I liked the most as a young kid was the one my parents wouldn’t let me watch, not because there was anything wrong with it but because it came on after my bedtime.

That didn’t stop me.

I would sneak out of bed and creep down the hall to peer myopically at the TV in the living room. My father would be in his chair, snoozing away, my mom would either be in her chair or ironing clothes.[1]

I had a cover story in case I ever got caught[2] and learned to muffle my laughter as I watched The Dick Van Dyke Show with them…only without their knowledge.

Like the lion’s share of writers in my generation, what I saw on The Dick Van Dyke Show proved to be a profound influence in my choice of career and life goals.

  • I wanted to work at a cool, creative job like he did [Check]
  • I wanted to have great, fun co-workers to share that job with [Check]
  • and I wanted a wife like Laura Petrie [Check: The former Miss Yi Soon-ok, happily married for 43 years.]

Mary Tyler Moore was one of my childhood / early teen crushes, though after The Dick Van Dyke Show her career stalled briefly, appearing in a very bad Elvis movie, an even worse George Peppard movie, then finally bouncing back with a good supporting role in Thoroughly Modern Millie before landing the role of a lifetime in The Mary Tyler Moore Show.[3]

I call The Mary Tyler Moore Show the first real American novel for TV. It is an amazing show, a product of its time yet absolutely timeless as well. Tho not told in serial format, it really has to be seen in sequence because when viewed that way, Mary Tyler Moore’s incredible performance and growth of character is seen.

You can pick an episode at random and tell from her character not only which season the show comes from but when in that season it was written and performed.

She and her writers grew the character of Mary Richards from a 30 year old girl — and, yes, I am using that word deliberately and without irony; despite her age and apparent worldliness, Mary Richards had never assumed adult responsibilities before arriving in Minneapolis to start a new life — to a mature independent woman.

Ironically, Mary Tyler Moore was 34 when she took the role in 1970, and only 41 when the series ended, yet her character seemed to have matured — not aged — decades in that period.

This is not a criticism, far from it. The Mary Richards character makes more sense playing out the last season as a career woman in her 50s.

”You know what? You’ve got spunk. I hate spunk.”

Her most famous roles were all first cousins to one another — Laura Petrie, Mary Richards, Miss Dorothy Brown in Thoroughly Modern Millie — and her ability to project that splendid combination of wit, intelligence, an appealing personality, and at the same time a certain degree of vulnerability served her well.[4]

Later TV projects did not do her justice, but it was not for lack of ability on her part. She demonstrated she was more than capable of extending her range far beyond her most famous roles. She could be an icy cold matriarch who triggers a family breakdown (Ordinary People) and a real life villain of Disney proportions (Stolen Babies).

She also had a very complex inner life and a very complicated personal one. She struggled with alcoholism and diabetes. Apparently she kept the former at bay, but succumbed to the latter.

I don’t want to think about that. It does a disservice to Mary Tyler Moore the human being to look only at a thin slice of her life that, no matter how exceptional, still represents only a tiny fraction of who she really was. She, like all people, deserves more than that.

But this is my blog, and I want to close this entry by remembering how I first saw her, peeping over the armchair with my snoozing father in it…

Mary Tyler Moore

[1] She was a late night ironer, often watching the Late Show while ironing.

[2] “Can I have some water?”

[3] Wow! What are the odds of that?

[4] “Oh, Rohhhhhhhhhbbb…”

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The Impossible Dream lyrics by Joe Darion

21/01/2017

To dream…
the impossible dream
To fight…
the unbeatable foe
To bear…
with unbearable sorrow
To run…
where the brave dare not go
To right…
the unrightable wrong
To love…
pure and chaste from afar
To try…
when your arms are too weary
To reach…
the unreachable star

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far
To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a Heavenly cause

And I know
if I’ll only be true

To this glorious quest
That my heart
will lie peaceful and calm

When I’m laid to my rest

And the world…
will be better for this
That one man…
scorned and covered with scars
Still strove…
with his last ounce of courage
To reach 
the unreachable star!

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