2018.03.30 look over there!

Saturday 2018.03.31

Sometimes, when I start another note here, I wonder. Lots of questions cross my mind.

Is it worth the time and thought and general bother, when I see that few people even bother to read it after I post it? What do I choose to write about, given a great pile of subjects that should get some attention? If I write more than a few short paragraphs, will many people go semi-catatonic and bail out after 30 seconds, rolling their eyes and muttering “long winded rant!”? How many people who might come across this some way or another similarly bail out quickly because they fail to find something that will simply reinforce and validate whatever they have already banging around inside their head about a subject?

Every time I want to dive in and write some notes here about all sorts of topics and general subjects worth mentioning, things end up derailed by the swirling vortex of political insanity. As I keep saying, the constant repetition of saying many of the same things about a repeating list of subjects and specific topics feels more and more ridiculous, even as I contemplate the necessity of repeating the same things. In short, they just keep coming, the subjects and topics involved just keep forcing themselves into the picture. Part of the problem is that whatever you might describe as public consciousness, or some other term you might like, is constantly bombarded, or, you might say, flooded by a continuous tsunami of bullshit, telling them not only where to direct their attention, but what to think, say, and do about a set of topics, and only that.

It is more than a little disturbing to watch an ongoing phenomenon, of, let’s see, how should I say this, how easily people are directed.

I will note, here, that I think I might start doing something new in organizing these notes. As I include lists of webpage links at the end, I think I will make a separate category of links to pages presenting news stories and various opinion and editorial pages that should not be taken too seriously at face value and have some sort of problems, but are presented for review. You might simply regard them as “Links To Bullshit“, to put it crudely.

Along these lines, apparently, which I say because I did not see it, the old TV news established program 60 Minutes decided to devote a large chunk of its latest episode to an “in depth” interview with a woman who has been a featured “news” item. The apparently important newsworthy topic is that the woman, usually described as “porn star”, reportedly had a sexual affair with now-President Trump something like a decade ago, somewhere amid one of Trump’s several marriages.

That, evidently, is what we now consider “hard hitting in depth journalism” in American news. Like, OMG, scandal!

Meanwhile, other things are happening in all the rings of the circus of the Trump presidency. For example, the Secretary of State was tossed overboard, and as things stand now, the reports are that President Trump wants to replace him with the Director of the CIA. In turn, since there would need to be a new CIA Director if that happens, the person who would be the featured candidate to take that job would be someone whose CIA career has reportedly featured spending her time running the show for CIA operations in systematically torturing people, you know, for the “War On Terror” to keep us safe and Defend Our Freedom!

That part seems to not get so much attention.

A regular item here has been discussion of the bunch generally categorized as the “neoconservatives”, or simply neocons. That cult is unavoidable, one of the many metaphorical elephants in the room, yet they manage to be ignored to an astonishing and inexplicable degree.

Among the endless revolving door personnel changes in the Trump cast of characters, one of these has been a change in the position of National Security Adviser, whatever the hell that really is, and the news on that front reports that the main likely potential replacement is none other than John Bolton.

That name should be at least slightly familiar, and Mr. Bolton is quite a story. I will let you do some research yourself if that name does not ring a bell. Many people will recognize the name, and might immediately recognize a photo of this character, with his permanent feature of a gigantic bushy moustache, probably from his tenure during the Bush II presidency as the US ambassador to the United Nations. Among the main items about Bolton are his tendencies to basically be a dedicated warmonger, a somewhat ironic characteristic for a national ambassador to the UN, and, coupled with that, his position as arguably one of the highest level neocons, including his involvement in the now officially defunct organization Project for the New American Century (often abbreviated as “PNAC”).

The story of that organization is too large to include here, but should interest any American, or, for that matter, any human living on the planet, considering the menace to the entire world from the cult embodied by that bunch, which continues on as strong as ever, even if the actual PNAC organization has been officially disbanded for some time.

The possibility of Bolton’s appointment is certainly a good example of how President Donald Trump operates, which in this case, is the way that even if he appears to get something right, you can count on that changing. One aspect of the statements of Trump that probably appealed to some people was that he at least made noises of opposition to the general neocon cult, surely one main item that made the establishment Republican party culture object to him as a candidate. Since he took office, the neocons have slowly but steadily taken hold, with the naming of Bolton for his possible new job being an unmistakable indication. As indicators go, it does not get much more stark and clear.

Great heaping loads of tragic irony are generated by the current political confusion and madness in America, and part of this the way that so many people in one of the pens of bipolar political disorder have bought the notion that the neocon cult is strictly associated with people with an R after their names. Selective blindness takes hold where people have a D after their names, such as, well, Hillary Clinton. One thing is certain, if Mrs. Clinton was now the President, the neocon bunch would have an open door into government, arguably even more so than with Trump as President. A shocking few people seem to grasp an old story, that as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton appointed Victoria Nuland to the lengthy job title of Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, that being Victoria Nuland, wife of Robert Kagan, one of the founders of Project for the New American Century. As has been covered before, she was then a central player in the not so subtle involvement in the coup d’etat that overthrew an elected president in Ukraine, replaced by a cast of characters who just happened to be the bunch selected by Nuland and company.

Depending on the people you consider, you can fairly easily find some who know something about the PNAC organization and the general neocon bunch, a sort of gentlemen’s club for megalomaniacs that has also allowed women into the fold. The tragic irony is in finding people who know something of all that, and are quick on the draw to condemn that cult for their part in the US military attacking and invading Iraq, and rightly so, but then seem absolutely oblivious to their own unwitting support for the very same neocon cult. Part of the problem, of course, something that should be obvious, but evidently is not, for many people, is that they have sort of tunnel vision about this, that apparently they believe that this cult is exclusively “a Republican thing”.

I have been hammering away here about the absurdities of the bipolar political disorder, with people locked into all kinds of nonsense stemming from the simplistic notions of all that. A large blob of irony can be found, even while all that rages, in people making all kinds of noises about the wonder of “bipartisanship” when political creatures with both R and D attached to their names join together in falling all over themselves to support some neocon plan of horror, just as long as rhetorical poses are being made about America’s National Security and Defending Our Freedom and keeping us safe fighting The War On Terror. It even gets especially insane with occasional squawking about some large scale madness presented as humanitarian war, perhaps the ultimate obscene absurdity, you know, where some new warmongering is packaged in PR nonsense as being to save the innocent women and children of <insert Nation X> by bombing them and the places where they live into charred bits.

Add more crazy on to this pile in terms of what happens when assorted people in government and politics with, again, both R and D attached to their names, seeing all that warmongering and megalomania as what it is, and objecting, calling it what it is. They get dismissed as lunatic fringe oddballs, depending on the letter attached to them, as “alt-Right” or “Far Left”, or something like an odd term used by someone I know who keeps referring to people as “leftist leftists”. That, by the way, was somebody who insisted adamantly both in 2008 and 2016 that Hillary Clinton absolutely should be elected President. It has not escaped my notice that this particular person is quite vocal about political matters and frequently and consistently railing about Republicans as being that bunch who will get us into wars, while showing absolute blind spots and tunnel vision about Hillary Clinton, or any other Club D affiliate, joining in absolute solidarity with the Republicanista War Party cult.

One item in that area that gets lost with some people, for example, is the death and chaos brought upon Libya, sold as more humanitarian war (you know, because Ghaddafi, or however you spell his name in the English alphabet, was a madman dictator, so anything goes), under President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Clinton. Something like the war launched to attack and invade Iraq, a easy target of an almost cartoonish image of a madman dictator serves as carte blanche justification for anything, you know, we’re the Good Guys going in to save those poor people. In the case of Libya, the death, destruction, and converting of what was apparently at least one of the more prosperous and stable nations in the regions into a chaotic and deadly failed state, the neocons making a troubled place into something far worse, somehow, was blanketed under assorted PR manipulations. There was all the noise about how it wasn’t really the United States, you know, it’s a “coalition of the willing”, a NATO operation, the “international community”, and, well, not really a war, you know, because there were no “boots on the ground”, and so on. A key little item passed by, the infamous moment caught on video in what was apparently a prelude to a TV interview with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with her comment about the brutal killing of Ghaddaffi by a mob in a street, “we came, we saw, he died!”, delivered with a big grin and cackling laughter. This was a glimpse of a sociopath. (Of course, in the mob scene simplistic political madness around us now, even raising this will get some people saying “oh, so you’re sympathizing with The Brutal Dictator Ghaddaffi, then, are you?”.)

Many things can be derived from that horror story, about the ongoing domination of the neocon cult and their destructive megalomania, about how it consistently makes some problem area of the world into something much worse, and the happy cooperation and enthusiastic participation of “bipartisan” players in the R/D duopoly of “our two party system”, while people locked into the calcified madness of bipolar political disorder squawk about “look at The Other Side, they’re doing everything wrong!”.

The Libyan horror show happened in 2011, under Obama and Secretary of State Clinton, while later events happening in 2014 in Ukraine happened after Clinton left (to prepare for her next power grab), with the central player involved being Clinton’s appointee Victoria Nuland.

That one was even more effectively obscured, even with the open and blatant spectacle of neocon players of “both parties”, such as Victoria Nuland, Senator John McCain, and others, doing things like visiting Ukraine and openly supporting and encouraging the people who would eventually overthrow an elected President in a coup d’etat in early 2014.

The subject of the Ukraine mess has been reviewed here, I don’t know how many times, but if you randomly ask Americans about Ukraine, you’re likely to find people have no idea of what has actually happened. The propaganda campaign about that mess has been so pervasive and successful that more than likely the responses would usually be some vague confused mumbling about “oh, that’s where they had the Russian invasion that’s part of Putin’s plan to take over Europe”.

Go back a bit. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the neocons had their “policy group” of the Project for the New American Century, co-founded by Robert Kagan, complete with open papers, and something called “the Wolfowitz Doctrine”, declaring, essentially, that since the collapse of the USSR, the United States (under the control of the neocons) were now the sole superpower, naturally selected as the undisputed ruler of the entire world, with the principle that any nation that could possibly be in any position to oppose the undisputed domination of the world was to be regarded as a threat to be squashed. Not an actual threat to the United States of America, but a “threat” simply by being any sort of obstacle to their world domination. This wasn’t anything subtle, they were completely open and blatant about it, even righteously proud about it, regarding this all as being The Good Guys who would make the world safe for freedom and democracy. They had a website with all the stuff, which is now gone but still archived, so you can read what they quietly tried to slip out of sight.

After the Soviet Union collapsed, and the Eastern Bloc nations of eastern Europe were free of the Soviet domination, instead of NATO being wound down and disbanded as not being really necessary anymore, the neocons simply pushed to make all the eastern European nations that were part of the Eastern Bloc, or even former Soviet republic states, part of NATO until the Russian borders with Europe were completely lined with military forces aimed at them under the control of the US neocons. One exception was Ukraine, a former Soviet republic that was part of Russia for centuries (Kiev was once the Russian capital city), and which, for one thing, had a Russian naval base in Crimea that has been there for about two centuries. It also turns out that it was and is apparently the only warm water port Russian naval base, and the only Russian naval base on the Black Sea, which happens to include on its shores a couple hundred miles of Russian coastline. That was in Crimea, that, as I have pointed out, was part of Russia, even as Ukraine was part of the USSR, until some Soviet political games saw it given over to Ukraine as some sort of gift for political purposes around 60 years before the 2014 dramas.

When the elected Ukrainian president decided in late 2013 that he was not going to sign some agreement with the European Union that would be very bad for Ukraine, suddenly there was a “people’s revolution” for “freedom and democracy”, we were told, that overthrew the democratically elected president in a coup that just happened to usher into power, as I’ve said, the very bunch of characters selected by Robert Kagan’s wife Victoria Nuland in her role as US Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, appointed by Hillary Clinton. When the people in Crimea (and all of eastern and southern Ukraine, apparently) wanted nothing to do with it, and voted in a massive turnout in a referendum vote by over a 90% vote (some reports say as high as 95% in favor) to reject the coup, declare Crimea separate from Ukraine, and formally ask to rejoin Russia, this was completely ignored and rejected by the Washington neocons as “a sham election under Russian coercion”, even as the same people kept barking about “the people’s right to democracy and self-determination”. Ever since then, we have seen endless games of “Russian sanctions” supposedly about “Russia’s actions in Ukraine” and “the Russian invasion and seizure of Crimea” (you know, the “invasion” of the Russian military that had been here for 200 years and over 9 out of 10 voters in Crimea voting in actual democracy to rejoin Russia).

Part of that noise has been repeated insistence that those nasty Russians and the evil Putin simply must give back Crimea to poor Ukraine, never mind that naval base that just happens to be there that just happens to be pretty much the only obstacle to the neocons parking the US Navy along the Russian coast of the Black Sea.

But never mind all that, right, talking about any of this makes you some sort of Russian propaganda troll agent.

One item popped up that would be almost funny, if it were not so terrible. An article from Reuters reported about what was described as Ukraine’s neo-Nazi problem. It was just incredible to come across this, and what I mean is not that it was some shocking surprise, but rather that Ukraine’s neo-Nazi problem was treated as if this is some new development, like this is some new trouble added to the nonsense narrative of “poor Ukraine, they have this new trouble added to their struggle with fighting off that nasty Russian aggression and invasion against their noble fight for freedom and democracy”, when the neo-Nazi factions have not just been there since World War II, when these factions of Ukrainian society were actually supporting Nazi Germany and Hitler, even while Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union and the Soviet Union was fighting off attack by Nazi Germany. All that never went away, and furthermore, the neo-Nazi fascist factions in Ukraine, mostly rooted in the northwest region of Ukraine, were right in the middle of the violence before, during, and after the 2014 coup in Ukraine. Apparently that included being part of the violence and warfare directed at people in southern and eastern Ukraine who opposed the coup overthrowing their elected president, and threatened the people in Crimea, until the “invading” Russian military in Crimea (that had been there 200 years or so) put a quick stop to that.

Not only all that, but preceding the 2014 coup, in the visits mentioned above with people like Victoria Nuland and John McCain, they proudly posed with these people, the leaders of the Ukrainian neo-Nazis, for photographs!

My apologies for the repetition of what is now a very old story, to those readers who are already well aware of it, but the fact is, this is a very old story that is still completely lost in the noise for too many people bombarded and confused by endless propaganda, including the portion of the propaganda that dismisses any reporting on what the hell has happened as “Russian propaganda”.

In all the endless irony, contradictions, hypocrisy, manipulation, and plain lying in American national political power games, there is something to note. It is a reasonable argument to assert that probably a significant part of the rise of Trump was that during the circus to select a Republican party candidate for election as President, Donald Trump, clearing away the vast cast of characters in the R bunch, was aggressive in criticizing the “establishment” Republican candidates with their neocon affiliations. That gets into all sorts of squabbling, of course, as it does not fit simply with the raging that anybody supporting Trump was simply a racist moron. Even talking in such terms would probably get many people launching into twitching reflex spasms declaring that you must be “a Trump supporter”, with all the clichés that follow.

Part of the twisted madness, obviously, is that, now, President Trump is playing right along with the neocons, and that gets into all kinds of questions about how this happens. Was he just lying and manipulating, does he really not know what the hell he’s doing and what’s going on, was he simply brought to heel and coerced into submission by the pervasive neocon cult? The mostly likely answer, I think, is “yes, all of the above”. There is also probably a certain amount of tragic dark humor in considering the possible disappointment of people who did throw their support behind Candidate Trump for their perception of his opposition to the neocon bunch, and seeing the complete shift of President Trump, maybe prompting commentary something like, oh, you are surprised by Donald Trump acting in contradiction to his earlier statements of principle? But, then, I suppose there are people who would be surprised and shocked to find that their alligator turned out to be not a loyal, affectionate, and gentle pet companion.

So, here we are. People act shocked and outraged as we steadily have the signs of the neocon bunch taking control of the Trump presidency, in righteous indignation, shouting “look what Trump did now!”, even while managing a spectacular willful ignorance in failing to understand that President Hillary Clinton would have ushered the neocon club into her operation on Day One. That takes us right back into all kinds of other old stories that continue, like the way so many of the same people mocked anyone else in the 2016 affair, like Bernie Sanders, Gary Johnson, or Jill Stein, and shouted that you must support and vote for Hillary Clinton, because she’s The Not-Trump, and the only way Hillary Clinton could have lost to a candidate as spectacularly bad as Donald Trump was not because she was just that terrible, but because racist morons, and the Russians did it!

So, what’s important now? Oh, look! Trump had sex with some porn woman!

 

The American Empire and its Media – Swiss Propaganda Research

Now Here’s Some Real Interference In Election Campaigns by William Blum – Dandelion Salad

Gina Haspel: As If Nuremberg Never Happened | The American Conservative

I went to prison for disclosing the CIA’s torture. Gina Haspel helped cover it up. – Chicago Tribune

Russia Did It! | Peak Prosperity

Of A Type Developed By Liars – Craig Murray

Boris Johnson A Categorical Liar – Craig Murray

Five Horrifically Bad Foreign Policy Ideas That Should Disqualify John Bolton From Being Secretary of State – Hit & Run : Reason.com

Bolton: As Bad As It Gets – PaulCraigRoberts.org

Nuland’s Mastery of Ukraine Propaganda | Consortiumnews

Welcome to the Project for the New American Century

Plight of Phoenix: how long can the world’s ‘least sustainable’ city survive? | Cities | The Guardian

The Twilight of Authority – Ecosophia

 

PROBLEMATIC STORIES, FOR REFERENCE

May says considering next steps after Russia expels British diplomats

Commentary: Ukraine’s neo-Nazi problem

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