It is pretty easy to get carried away with broad generalizations, let’s face it, but sometimes it certainly does seem that things are getting weirder, depending where you look. A lot of this revolves around people generating and getting all tangled up in great heaping piles and tangled knots of ridiculous, stupid, absurd squabbling conflicts. There really are loads of people who seem to be determined to make their daily life revolve around it. It might be tempting to throw out a half-baked cliché about how they seem to thrive on it, but the question there would be, do they, really?
A couple of recent minor events really struck me as strange, although one of them was very close to being not minor at all. Both would take an extended story to set the scene and explain the relevant details, and let’s not spend time on that.
In the first, I found myself literally off the road on the shoulder of a bit of highway to avoid a collision with a pickup truck driven by some dangerous fool who could not follow the general rules of the road and seems to operate a motor vehicle with the general principle of “make way for me, and I make way for no one”. A much different and not dangerous scene unfolded maybe a week after that episode when a visit to a corporate chain business establishment, a gas station of the modern kind that is a carryout store with self serve gas pumps, saw what should have been a simple quick transaction involving virtually no effort by a clerk/cashier behind a counter instead turned into a fairly weird and annoying time wasting scene. That one, another odd story that would take the whole detailed story to explain the oddity, with a display of a nasty combination of startling incompetence, unbelievable stupidity, and evidence of the young woman involved operating on the personal principle that the entire universe should revolve around her petty idiocy, while theoretically, at least, in a job position involving “customer service”.
It is very unfortunate that loads of people are around like these two careless fools, sucking up far too much attention and energy as people around them have to deal with whatever petulant stupidity drives them, and the problems they cause. On a broader level, too many people divert attention and energy into some stupid conflicts and squabbling, away from important things that really matter.
One recent bit of news seems to be lost in the continuing swirling barrage of lunacy that mostly revolves around some form of mass psychosis involving politics. Evidently the carbon dioxide level in the Earth’s atmosphere hit a level around 410 PPM, when a level above 350 is apparently a threshold where things become, to put it mildly, problematic. It might be reasonable to think that this merits some serious attention. That, however, can be counted upon to lead straight back into the ongoing craze of political squabbling.
In Flint, Michigan, people are still dealing with the obscene horror show of depending on a local water supply that is simply toxic poison. I had seen an item or two saying that, supposedly, some sample testing of the Flint water system had declared the water supply to be acceptable, which is insane. From what I can gather there, it seems that this essentially came down to this declaration being made as some sort of official move to decide that people there would no longer be served by being supplied with emergency response supplies of water in plastic bottles, as if that was a solution to people’s need for water in the first place in what is supposedly functional modern civilization.
With things like municipal water systems being a function of local governments, getting into the subject of that disastrous problem gets people squawking that this is up to the Flint local government to handle. We cannot have anything like maybe the national level government coming in to help fix this basic severe problem; if nothing else, it gets into “the federal government can’t be spending that kind of money to help local problems… we can’t afford that!”.
Meanwhile, the federal government manages to offer “assistance” to local municipal governments in the form of assorted military equipment, including armored trucks and whatever else to turn local police departments into armored military commando squads bashing into people’s homes for unpaid parking tickets or something. That, they can do.
All kinds of things are lost in the fog of stupid political games, general malevolence and idiocy. In the 2016 election circus, people were mocking and ridiculing Bernie Sanders for suggesting ideas like free college education, with the unsurprising howling about the costs. That can seem reasonable, considering that the US federal government is effectively bankrupt, and deeply so. More recently, a new “defense authorization” was passed by Congress that massively increased the already astronomically large military budget, with the increase in the budget being larger than estimated costs of free college tuition for students in the United States.
Let that sink in for a minute or two.
A slightly different way to look at this is that according to a report of President Trump’s requested 2019 military budget, the amount devoted to “overseas contingency operations (OCO)”, the bureaucratic euphemism for launching and continuing warfare elsewhere in the world, is more than the estimated costs of free college for Americans.
It might be worth pondering that, and question how much money congressmen and people in Washington can get from college students, and how much money they might get from the war supplies business. This is not a subtle mystery. Despite this, many people seem incredibly easy to manipulate with all the noise about sending the US military all over the world to kill people and blow places up, you know, to “defend our freedom”, and “fighting the terrorists over there so we don’t have to fight them over here”.
Despite being warned about all this by former five-star General and President of the United States Dwight Eisenhower, 57 years ago, including naming it with the title “military-industrial complex”, bring up that term, and you might find yourself mocked as one of those wacky “conspiracy theorists”.
That phrase, itself, has become something of, shall we say, a loaded phrase. Notice how often the terms “conspiracy theory” and “conspiracy theorist” come up, and how those are used. Let’s notice the obvious, which is that these phrases are used as mocking pejoratives. One thing that should be interesting to people is to take note of stories saying that the term “conspiracy theory” was coined and subtly fed into the American public psyche by the CIA in the period following the 1963 murder of President John Kennedy, to ridicule people who questioned the official story of the President’s assassination.
Whatever you might think about the details of that tragedy, it should be remembered that Kennedy was killed after substantial conflicts with the CIA and its director Allen Dulles, who was fired by Kennedy a little less than a year after Kennedy took office; and Allen Dulles was then involved in the Warren Commission that was presented as an official government investigation of Kennedy’s murder, which declared that one lone nut went and did it all by himself, (but maybe he was a Soviet agent!), certainly no CIA involvement in this as a coup d’etat to rid themselves of an uncooperative President, no sir, nothing like that here!
But, oh, dear, that starts to sound like conspiracy theory!
It feels like this might be a good place to drop in something interesting that I came across somewhere (I can’t remember who said it, but that’s not so important), which was somebody saying “watch who you’re not allowed to criticize“.
Sorting out much of anything now runs you right into the bog of the epidemic of bipolar political disorder that I keep talking about, being unavoidable these days.
There is more talk lately about the label “Deep State“. Strangely, as so much is strange now, with the distortions of the bipolar political disorder affecting everything, this term has not only been regarded by some people as another nutty conspiracy theory trope, but, more recently, as some bizarre notion held by “Right Wing Conspiracy Theorists”. It has been addressed by quite a few people. They are not just imagining things, having some paranoid delusions. I see that some people prefer some different terminology to describe the phenomenon, like “shadow government“, or, another one, “permanent state“, perhaps a better descriptive label for the idea of entrenched government power in the hands of people who are not elected to their position and have absolutely no real accountability and responsibility to the people of the nation.
This is a large and fairly ugly subject, and it also has wound up being an item in all kinds of squabbling conflict revolving around President Donald Trump, now about a year and a half into a term in office that has to qualify as one of the strangest presidential terms in American history.
There is Trump himself, suggesting that the Deep State is out to get him, with the responses I just alluded to about people laughing it off as “Right Wing Conspiracy Theory” and so on, although this is a situation where Trump, whose statements far too often have a problematic relationship to reality, is actually speaking some truth, from the looks of things. Anything in this subject area, sadly, ends up inevitably with people dragging everything into the domain of the mass illness of bipolar political disorder, an ongoing subject here that is almost unavoidable these days. Rather than trying to watch and examine events and situations as they are, too many people drag things into squabbling about what side somebody/something is on.
Still, now, people tangled up in that are fighting their raging squabbles based on everybody, in their minds, being either a Trump person or a Hillary person, over a year and a half past the appalling farce of the 2016 election. Lost among all of them is any objective perspective on how what we had here in the United States in that circus was being presented with a bombardment of noise declaring that “our two party system” has given people a choice between two people, and only those two, to select the President of the United States of America in a popularity contest between two people who, by any reasonable gauge, are not exactly the best among us, and who appear, once you wash away all the rhetoric, to essentially both be narcissistic sociopathic criminals. I have said this many times, at this point, but the attempt by many people to somehow rationalize this absurd, irrational, awful situation has induced some kind of mass psychosis in large swaths of the American people; this has literally made people crazy.
As we here in America deal with the reality that somehow, Donald Trump is President, one of the latest episodes is the spectacle of people seeing themselves as The Resistance squawking about Trump being part of an international summit meeting and screaming about Trump being a traitor… because, apparently, Trump suggested that Russia should be restored as a member of the association of nations that had been known as “the G7”. One web meme I saw going around was conveying the message that the silly Mr. Trump had not gotten the message that the reason for Russia being excluded from the club was the glaringly obvious, supposedly, of “Putin’s illegal annexation of Crimea”, the terrible crime against international law and humanity as a whole.
That brings up an old subject once again. There are problems with that little meme. One is that the idea of “Putin’s illegal annexation of Crimea” is at odds with the reality, which was that after the coup d’etat overthrowing an elected president in Ukraine (which seems to be something that might certainly be called “illegal”), the parliament in Crimea conducted a voter referendum, actual democracy in action, where there was a very large voter turnout, something like over 80% if I recall correctly, which, as a side item, is much higher than American elections these days. In that vote, over 90% of the voters chose to separate from Ukraine, absolutely rejecting the gang that had seized control in Kiev, and ask to be part of Russia again, as it had been until about 60 years before. Another problem is that not only have the facts regarding that situation been very successfully buried and kept out of mainstream American public attention, but that all of it has been replaced with the idea that “Putin’s illegal annexation of Crimea” is supposedly so plainly obvious that you must be a complete fool to ignore it, and if an American president dares to suggest that another major nation should be part of cooperative and friendly international relations, he must be a traitor against America!
But, again, bring up any of that, and you are likely to draw all kinds of ugly hostilities… oh, are you a Trump supporter, then, a Russian agent, a Putin propaganda troll, a traitor to America?!
All this rancorous absurdity has been going on for a long time, but people holding on the the notion that Trump must go, by any means possible, continue to hang on to the irrational frenzy about Russia and Russians and Vladimir Putin personally like a crazed aggressive attack dog with its jaws clamped on to something no matter what.
With all this, the “Russia investigation” continues on in all its absurdity. Looking at the larger picture of the bunch of people involved in the Trump administration reveals a loathsome cast of characters with all kinds of problems, yet somehow we still have the investigation with the purpose of investigating “wrongdoing” in the form of seeking evidence that the current President and associates have committed the treasonous crime of talking to people of another nation’s government. You know, the kind of thing usually referred to as diplomacy.
One thing that strikes me as very odd is that if there is some sort of “Russian investigation”, from what I can tell it might be a good idea to investigate the President’s business affairs with questionable Russian “businessmen”, but that obvious notion seems completely lost in the crazed noise.
In all this, including the stated purpose of some parties to investigate “Russia’s attempts to influence our election”, we manage to have a situation where people hang on some fiercely to the trope that “we got Trump because he was installed by Putin and his agents” that something monumentally obvious is lost in the noise. That is, the control of American government by people and organizations right here in the United States that have turned a supposed democratic republic into a oligarchy/plutocracy of people elected to represent the people who finance them.
See any number of specific areas for evidence of the effects, such as, for just one example, the way there is “no money for (insert item X benefitting the American people and the nation as a whole)”, but never any limit to the vast amounts of money available to be paid out to the war supplies business, even though the United States of America has not fought off a threat to the country since 1945. Another would be anything involving banking and finance and corporate business and the general rule of law and welfare of the nation.
In the meantime, what we have is a constant continuation of the ugly stupid squabbling and raging tantrums associated with the epidemic of bipolar political disorder, something I have been writing about in nearly every note here for quite a while, as it pollutes and infects everything. Virtually any matter involving government and politics seems to have become almost impossible to address and deal with sensibly and rationally, everything fouled and derailed by raging squabbles between people occupying one “side” or the other, often resembling some scene of screaming argument or even full on brawling between groups of drunken goons in a bar about “their” sports team versus the dreaded rival sports team.